A billion years to evolve

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Helen, Jun 4, 2003.

  1. Helen

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    Galatian has stated it took about a billion years for a prokaryote (a unicellular organism with non-membrane bound organelles) to evolve into a eukaryote (in its simplest form, a unicellular organism with a more organized interior set-up; but in the long run, all the cells in your body and mind and in the body of every fish, mammal, amphibian, reptile, and bird -- and plant).

    OK, let's run with that.

    Today an E.coli can replicate in about 20 minutes. Let's give the earliest prokaryote an hour, or three times as long to allow the evolution argument as much leeway as possible.

    In a billion years, that's 24 generations a day, or 8760 in a year. Let's give some extra time and say 8000 generations in a year. Times that by a billion, please. That's 8,000,000,000,000 generations (if I counted my zeros right this time of night!).

    8,000,000,000,000 generations plus to get a more organized interior.

    The minute you have a generation time anywhere near approaching a year, which so many animals have, you have just run out of time for evolution on earth -- even if it were possible genetically, which it is not.

    Evolution does not work mathematically, either...
     
  2. InHim2002

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    I love the last part of that statement! - at least you have an open mind!

    Anyhow, you have made an error in your logic - a hypothetical billion years for the first step does not mean that every subsequent step took the same amount of time.
     
  3. The Galatian

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    In fact, that's what the fossil record shows. Dogma has many uses, but in a battle with reality, it always comes out second.

    I suppose it offends a great many people to think that the greatest and most difficult step in life was the evolution of eukaryotes.

    I suppose they would rather think it was us.

    But that's not how it is.
     
  4. Helen

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    InHim, think about it. Which is going to take more mutations: getting some membranes around organelles or getting a hip joint out of a fish? Or into a fish, as the case may be! The fact that a hip joint requires a special membrane around the joint means that a membrane must be mutated for along with many other things (bone extension, tendons, ligaments, musculature, nerves, circulation, etc.). So I would submit that what it takes for a fish to become a reptile or amphibian is much more difficult in terms of genetics than for organelles to become membrane-bound. And if the latter took billions of generations, and since it is the generations which are of importance (not the simply numbers of years), evolution has still run out of time, by orders of magnitude.

    This does not count into the equation any untoward factors, such as catastrophes, deleterious mutations, predation, etc.

    Evolution gets hung on its own petard.
     
  5. InHim2002

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    I don't follow your logic at all Helen - why would the thousandth step be the same length (or longer as you now seem to be arguing) as the first?

    aside from your personal incredulity do you have any evidence to support your hypothesis?

    so if we ignore the factors that spur evolution, evolution does not work?
     
  6. InHim2002

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    to better explain my thinking - I would not try to determine the length of time a journey will take me based on the time it takes me to reverse out of the driveway.

    I can see no logical reason to support Helen's hypothesis that every step should take the same amount of time as first.
     
  7. The Galatian

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    From a systems standpoint, modification of a basic unit of structure is much more difficult than a rearrangement of such units in a larger structure.

    A hip joint in a fish is a matter of mechanics, not biochemistry.

    Joints can form spontaneously from two bones growing together.
     
  8. Helen

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    InHim, my logic is that there are more steps in forming a working, weight-supporting joint than there are in forming a membrane. The membrane is required in both instances (prokaryote to eukaryote and joint formation). However joint formation requires much, much more. If the first membranes took a billion years and billions upon billions of generations to form, how on earth (or anywhere else) are you going to get joints and eyes and four-chambered hearts and complex nervous systems etc. etc. etc. out of fewer generations? And that is what is required by evolution. It's not that any other step would take longer. Even if each other step took only half as long as the original supposed membrane formation, evolutionists are into ages which far exceed the age they presume for the entire universe! We just don't get that many mutations per generation and have a population survive!

    And Galatian, you are off into your own tries to obscure the subject again:

    1. granted, cranial joints are simply two bones joined together

    2. If a hip joint were that way, the animal would not be able to use it.

    3. The hip joint requires mobility, which means muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerve control, special circulatory alterations, the bursa, the fluid, etc. etc. Not at all simply a matter of two bones joining! Get real!

    4. "Mechanics, not biochemistry" -- don't know what sort of rabbit trail you are on there, but have fun with it.


    Even if there were no deleterious mutations to get in the way (which there are),
    even if all positive mutations were retained (which they are not),
    even if the positive mutations built on each other steadily (which they do not)
    even if no catastrophes wiped out sections of populations which might have these positive mutations (which the geological record shows is quite a reasonable possibility)
    even if no predators consumed the organisms with some developing new parts (which there is no guarantee against)

    -- in other words, even if the situation were ideal for evolution to occur, given the time elements involved in generation times, there is no possibility of evolution actually having been responsible for the diversification of life from a common ancestor on this planet, or in this universe.
     
  9. The Galatian

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    Forming a phospholipid bilayer is no problem. But that's only a tiny part of the events that had to occur before eukaryotes could be. Further, membranes predated eukaryotes; a bit of membrane separated from the whole can spontaneously form new membrane. But the eukaryotic cell is a bit more complicated than that, and it clearly took a long time to evolve. Longer than anything else, in fact. To get a eukaryotic cell, you need not just a nuclear membrane (with pores not found in the cell membrane), but many other things as well. Here's a site that discusses some of them:

    http://www.biol.sc.edu/courses/bio102/f97-26.html

    It's not as simple as you've been told.

    Hardly. We can see it happening in therapsids, for example, as the old reptillian jaw joint gets smaller, and a new, mammalian one forms in its place. Just two bones comeing together. The formation of articular cartilage is mediated by the "growth plate" phenomenon, of concentrated osteoblasts in young vertebrates. No blood vessels are required in the formation of such joints, nor is a capsule required. (our jaws still don't have a capsule)

    It's harder to make components, then to use them to make larger systems. Embryology shows that a few properties of cells, such as contact inhibition, tiny electrical currents, and the like, can account for a wide variety of structures.

    But our jaws are like that. We can use them. Some of us more than we should. :(

    In Acanthostega, one of the first animals to have hip and shoulder joints, we find that they are very primitive and weak, without the elaborate adaptations that have evolved in tetrapods. Which is what evolutionary theory predicts.

    Not all joints are that highly evolved. As I mentioned, the first hip joints were very simple and inefficient, relative to mammalian hip joints. Should we talk about shoulders? That one hasn't done so well. Instead of a nice, secure acetabulum, there is no socket. The whole apparatus has a rather jury-rigged look to it, and it causes lots of difficulties thereby.

    I used to be an ergonomist, and a good deal of my time was spent on dealing with shoulder problems.

    I think to begin, you might want to read "On Growth and Form", by D'Arcy Thompson. It's a classic of biological literature, a very enjoyable read, and Thompson discusses how physical forces have a great deal to do with the way biological structures form. Thompson has greatly influenced many modern researchers. You might want to read one of them, Steven(?) Vogel, who wrote "Life's Devices", which would also make this clearer for you.

    Barry Hall had directly observed that happening.

    http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/DI/Parts-is-Parts.html

    It took a billion years to get the hard part down. The rest was relatively easy.
     
  10. mdkluge

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    The exercise comparing the number of generations needed to get from prokaryote to eukaryote to that it takes to get from the first eukaryote to something us like us. Since the number of generations it took to accomplish the former is much greater than the number avilable for the latter, she concludes that the latter is impossible.

    But she makes one assumption here, perhaps tacitly. She assumes that it is not, somehow more difficult from going from prokaryote to eukaryote than from first eukaryote to ssomething else/ Why must that be the case. It could be that there are more genotypic transitions necessary to go from prokaryote to eukaryote than from first eukaryote to something else. Perhaps the p-e transition required a sequence of coincidental mutations, none of which offered adaptive advantage alone, but together did so. Perhaps that sequence was longer than any similar sequence going from first eukaryote to something else.

    Of course I don't know that there is such a sequence, but there is no reason why one could not have existed. One cannot say a priori which phenotypic manifestations were the hard ones for evolution to accoh. One's intuition might suggest that it should be much easier to go from prokaryot to eukaryote than from first eukaryote to something else (or at least that the former shouldn't be much more difficult than the latter). Without knowing that the argument against the possibility of evolution fails.
     
  11. Helen

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    Mark, we know a few things that invalidate your argument. We know the number of possibly beneficial mutations for any one populations is about 1/1000 of the negative mutations and that all expressed mutations are only a fraction of the total number of mutations.

    We know that sexual reproduction eliminates most mutations.

    We know that even one mutation per generation which is heritable is enough to lead that population into something called error catastrophe, which means inevitable extinction.

    We also know that getting from a unicellular eukaryote to a multicellular one along the lines of you or a platypus or an ostrich requires enormously more changes than going from prokaryote to eukaryote.

    In other words, my arguments holds. It cannot hold against the evolutionary imagination, true, but it holds up find against fact and reality.
     
  12. The Galatian

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    So, in the absence of natural selection, that would mean evolution is impossible. But we know natural selection is a fact. Mutations that are harmful tend to be removed. The few useful ones tend to be preserved.

    Nope. That was an objection to Darwin's theory, when it first came out, and he had no answer for it, but that the evidence showed evolution had occured. Then Mendel's work became known. A new gene doesn't disappear in sexual reproduction; it may not show up in the phenotype immediately, but it's not gone.

    It would be, if all the mutations each generation happened to every member of a population, but that's not what happens. Alleles in the population are distributed in different individuals. Eventually, some become fixed (frequently from "founder effect" in small, isolated sub-populations).

    No, no one knows that, because it's demonstrably untrue. There is less genetic variation within eukaryotes than between various kinds of prokaryots. Which tells you that there have been fewer changes since prokaryotes evolved then before.

    It fails for lack of evidence, and for evidence to the contrary.

    Reality is the relative variation within prokaryotes, relative to total variation of living things. Even by that measure, most of the work in evolution was in getting to eukaryotes.
     
  13. WillRain

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    Let's try this one Helen.

    Let's postulate the billion years needed for that particular development.

    Now, let's presume that every other development happened rapidly.

    Evolutionist, as I understand it, says that evolution happens so slowly that no one can observe it, so lets postulate that one complete change takes, on average, 10 years, that's reasonable isn't it? Presuming cellular mutations might happen much more rapidly but larger scale animals would change only over the course of centurys?

    Even very fast.

    Now, according to talkorigins, the age of the Earth itself is 4.5 bilion years, more or less.

    So we have 3.5 to work with.

    So, the question before the house is this:

    How much time did it take for the first DNA to form?

    How many individual "evolutions" are necessary to go from a DNA strand to a prokaryote? Surely an estimate of "millions" is conservitive?

    A 10 years per "evolution" how much time have we used?

    Now, taking out our billion year break, we go back to "fast evolution"...

    How many individual mutations are necessary to go from one eukaryote to Man?
    Surely an estimate of one billion is WILDLY low.

    So, how do we have time for the necessary mutations?


    Now, this is of course, goofy on many many levels. IF a firmly comited evolutionist admits that the relativly minor process of going from prokaryote to eukaryote takes a billion years, it's ludicrus to presume that all the other changes took only 10 years apeaice on average - unless there are 100 million mutations necessary to go from prokaryote to eukaryote.

    But then, if there ARE 100 million changes involved in such a small step, then 1 billion is a stunningly rediculously low estimate for the eukayote to the Man. Probably 100,000,000,000,000 is more like it. Just as a ballpark.

    But let's say its 100 billion, that would require, on average, over 28 distinct mutations per year...and that's if you give them the whole 3.5 billion and presume the mutation from DNA to Prokaryote happened instantly.
    AND it pressumes every mutation was a positive one. When one factors in the likelyhood being far greater that a mutation will be counterproductive and eliminated by natural selection, the necessary muttions per year climbs into the several hundreds (consevitivly).

    Now, I admit that I'm not a trained scientist, and someone can come sailing in here and tell me that I just don't know how the process works, but I know enough biology to know (or have been taught) these facts:

    1. The Earth needed some thousands or millions of years to become conducive to life;
    2. DNA itself is incredibly complex;
    3. even a prokaryote is hugely more complex than a DNA strand;
    4. A man is almost infenintly more complex than a eukaryote;
    5. Evolution maintains that the process of natural selection rewards the positive mutations, punishes the negative ones and happens gradually over extended periods of time, or alternatly, by dramiatic though sparodic positive mutations.
    6. Geologist claim the Earth to be about 4.5 billion years old.


    Given all that, even if you DON'T postulate the billion years which was mentioned in this thread, that 4.5 billion years is enough time for...

    Earth to become inhabitable
    A DNA to form
    A DNA to make it's way to prokaryote
    A Prokaryote to make it's way to eukaryote
    A eukaryote to make its way to specialized multicelled organisms
    Multicelled organisms to develop into their modern forms

    ...Through TRILLIONS of necessary adapttions, all the while producing more evolutionary "dead ends" than productive mutations....

    Is an incredibly laughable proposition, IMHO.
     
  14. The Galatian

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    Let's try this one Helen.

    Let's postulate the billion years needed for that particular development.

    That would be a bad assumption.

    Nope. We can observe it happening now.

    Define "complete change".

    "Very fast" seems to be on a scale of tens of thousands of years for many things. On the other hand, a few hundred years turned out to be enough to get a new species of mouse. (Faroe Island mouse)

    Not part of the discussion. If you'd like to imagine that God "poofed" the first organism into existence, that's fine. It doesn't matter how life began, as far as evolutionary theory is concerned.

    Wildly high. No organism has close to that many genes. However, most of the fundamental properties of living cells were evolved long before prokaryotes. Most of the "stuff" of living things got done before prokaryotes. We have much more in common with bacteria, than things by which we differ.

    We have more time to do less. Sounds pretty simple to me.

    Some of which you haven't yet realized.

    That's the point. It was the hardest thing to do. Everything else was relatively easy. And required less adaptation.

    But hey, if your assumptions were correct, don't you think people who spend their lives on the subject would have realized it?

    Not knowing about science is a drawback, when you're trying to argue with scientists about science, yes.

    Whoops. Mistake there.

    Almost.

    Now it's "trillions"? We have Cartoon Evolution inflation going on here.

    Bad assumptions, goofy conclusion.
     
  15. Helen

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    Hi WillRain,

    Galatian's hand-waving aside, this problem of time vs. generations vs. mutation rates is one of the best I know for showing evolution to be impossible. It is far more difficult than you realize, I think, in terms of other problems that arise. First of all, how many bad mutations need to be removed or 'submerged' into the genome in order for a good one to even appear, let alone survive in the population? The answer is a minimum of one thousand.

    Another problem is something we see today: beneficial mutations are beneficial only in particular circumstances and can be damaging in other circumstances (think of sickle cell anemia).

    And despite what evolutionists claim, natural selection poses a HUGE problem. They would like to think that natural selection eliminates 'bad' or unfit segments of the population. Ain't necessarily so. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time -- no matter what your genetic package includes -- is a major culprit. Natural selection is MUCH more random than admitted by the evolutionist.

    In addition, how many traits can be selected for at one time. According to Dr. Sanford, who works with berries (and who invented the gene gun), the maximum even with plants (which have much more 'plastic' genomes), the answer is three. Because for every trait selected, a section of the population without that trait must be eliminated. By the end of three traits being selected for at once, the remaining population is too small and results in too much inbreeding -- and this would be especially true of animals.

    In addition, when one trait is selected for, an equally desirable trait may be fully or partially eliminated as a result. Thus, a robust immune system may give way to faster legs. This could end up being extremely deleterious to the entire population later. This is one of the reasons we see only variation around a mean and not continued variation away from type.

    This is why the most Galatian or anyone else can claim is variation within type, or kind. A 'new' kind of mouse -- is still a mouse. A bacteria which can digest nylon -- is still a bacteria. And so it goes...

    This is the evolution they claim can be seen. But it is evolution only in the sense of the broadest meaning of the word, which is 'change.' It has absolutely nothing to do with the evolution of one type of organism into another type of organism.

    The idea that the change from prokaryote to eukaryote was somehow the most difficult change is the fallback position they are forced into for two reasons:
    1. the ages assigned to the rocks require it.
    2. no radical changes in bacteria we have worked with for literally millions of generations have been seen.

    So why did this change take a billion years? Because evolution HAPPENED. That's it. End of story there. No discussion. It happened. Anyone who questions it is the kind of idiot you and I are.

    But getting from a simple unicellular eukaryote to specified and coordinated purposes involved in cell differentiation would necessarily be as difficult, for this, too, requires internal cellular changes.

    And then we must start adding new forms and functions -- which, of course, we really have no idea how this could happen genetically.

    But it happened. Evolution happened. Don't question it!

    Time is against them because time is degenerative, not generative (entropy).

    Mutations are against them because there are so many bad ones which have to be dealt with and the 'good' ones are limited to specific environments.

    Chance is certainly against them. That's a mathematics thing they try to get around.

    Natural selection deletes massively, resulting in over-speciation and eventual extinction.

    Evolution has no leg to stand on other than

    It HAPPENED. It is REAL. We KNOW IT!

    Why?

    Because the mind of man is to be preferred over the mind of God. Simple, and very, very sad.
     
  16. The Galatian

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    If so, then you have no argument at all.

    In other words, most organisms in the long run will not have descendents? Yes, that's correct. Many more are born than can live and reproduce. The "bad mutations" are part of that.

    Yep. Which is why all that variation you were worried about, it a good thing. If not for those "bad mutations" (which are bad only in terms of the current environment) then it's bad news for the species if the envirionment changes. We know that a species is headed for extinction when those "bad mutations" (recessive nonadaptive alleles) go away.

    The race is not always to the swift, but that's where the smart money is. We can, and have tested natural selection. It works. Of course, in very small populations, chance plays a bigger role, which is usually, but not always, bad news. Arguing against probability is not a promising tactic.

    Alleles can mutate and spread through a population for a very long time, without being fixed. Fixation is rarely an immediate consequence. On the other hand, numberous alleles can appear and spread though a population in different individuals.

    And harmful alleles can persist indefinitely in populations at low levels. We can even calculate the level of such alleles, based on the degree to which they are harmful.

    So, new breeds of dogs are possible, but we can only have three of them being developed at any given time? Something's really wrong with that assertion.

    Usually not. Gene duplication often lets one gene be mutated while the other copies continue to do what they do. That's not speculation; there are known examples:

    Evolution of new enzyme by gene duplication:

    "So now they have different jobs to do," says Zhang. "Before the duplication, you have one enzyme doing two jobs. After duplication, you have two enzymes, each doing just one job, but doing it better than the other."

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020304081153.htm

    No, that happens only in a relatively constant environment. The Grants work on finches in the Galapagos showed that a shift in environment immediately led to evolution away from the mean. Traits follow the environment. Knowing that, it's no surprise that insects rapidly speciate away from the mean, when given new environments.

    http://jnason.botany.iastate.edu/bot567x/bot567x_materials/Lec14%20Folder/Nason%20et%20al%202002.pdf

    A new kind of primate is still a primate. The Faroe Island mouse is more different from the house mouse than man is from a chimp. Hmm... that means...

    The singular is "bacterium". But if you remember, that example was not presented as macroevolution, but as a demonstration of the way new information evolves.

    Indeed, the creationists have installed casters on the goalposts.

    Nope. Speciation is macroevolution, which is the evolution of new taxa. Of course, there is abundant evidence for evolutionary processes that last longer than a few human lifetimes too. To deny that is the same as arguing that giant redwoods don't grow from seeds, because no one's ever seen it happen.

    1. The facts show that it took longer than anything else.

    2. Evolving a eukaryotic cell required more changes than anything before or since.

    No, that's wrong. We have directly observed bacteria becoming obligate intracellular endosymbionts. Which is one of the things that had to have happened to make a eukaryote.

    http://www.geocities.com/jjmohn/endosymbiosis.htm

    Well, no. Because we can observe the history of life in the rocks, and observably, it was about a billion years between the emergence of the first known organisms, and the first known eukaryotes. Pretty hard to refute that kind of evidence.

    Fortunately, we have living examples of transitionals in that respect. Cnidarians and sponges show various stages of this process, as do slime molds, which are intermediates between single-cell and multicellular life.

    Most of the time, they live as single cells. But sometimes, they aggregate together into an individual organism, which then puts up a stalk with a sporangium, and releases spores that can form new protozoans.
    http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/protista/slimemolds.html

    Actually, we have a good idea how it happens, and we are continually learning more about it.

    http://www.quinion.com/words/turnsofphrase/tp-evo1.htm

    Turns out that it's a lot simpler than some people thought it would be. As you know, if you found that reference on D'Arcy Thompson's book, that biological form is often very simply done by physical processes.

    Oh, yes, of course question it! This is how the discoveries I mentioned above were made. We should always question it.

    That's an odd claim. What processes required by evolution are prohibited by entropy? Be specific, and explain why.

    If there was no such thing as natural selection, you'd be right. But there is.

    Whenever I ask to see the numbers for that assertion, everyone begs off. Could you show them to us?
     
  17. WillRain

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    But I'm not speaking of Genes.

    what do we humans have that bactiria doesn't have?

    Eyes
    ears
    teeth
    noses
    hands
    feet
    bones
    skin
    blood
    brains
    vertebrete
    nerves
    lungs
    sexual organs
    livers
    kidneys
    stomachs
    intestines
    ligiments
    tendons
    nails
    hair
    and on
    and on
    and on
    and on
    and on
    almost ad infinitum

    And every one of those a multi-cellular body.

    Even if you want to presume the genes for all these are present in the eukaryote (which I find highly....well, let's just say I'm skeptical) there is still an astonding number of mutations necessary to get from point A to point B.

    Oh, BTW, the reason it went from one billion to "trillions" is because:

    A. In the first instance I purposely chose a conservitve number for the sake of the math (and yes, I still maintain it's wildly conservitive to suggest that one billion seperate mutations can take you from a eukaryote to a human)

    B. The "trillions includes all the necessary mutations from DNA to prokaryote AND those from prokaryote to eukaryote AND those from eukaryote to human which raises the total a great deal.

    I wasn't just throwing out random high numbers.
     
  18. The Galatian

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    Barbarian on estimates of a billion changes in evolution to get a man:
    Wildly high. No organism has close to that many genes. However, most of the fundamental properties of living cells were evolved long before prokaryotes. Most of the "stuff" of living things got done before prokaryotes. We have much more in common with bacteria, than things by which we differ.

    Doesn't matter. That's all that's heritable in living things. And you're off by a factor of about 100,000 or so.

    (lists 22 things)

    Not even close to a billion.

    Yep. But there were more changes required to get a prokaryote. You've fallen into the error early biologists made. The eukaryotic cell is not a little sack of protoplasm. The cell is more complicated a structure than anything else in your body.

    Show me the calculations. It appears you just pulled a number out of the air.
     
  19. WillRain

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    ^^^
    I did just pull a number out of the air. I stated in my first post on this board that im no scientist. Nor am I a mathmatician. I bring only a layman's moderatly well informed skepticism to the table.

    Take the gene buisness for instance. You tell any logical, rational layman who has no background in science, that there is more difference in one sort of single cell animal and another sort of single cell animal than there is between either of them and a human being and he's going to greet you with a shipload of skepticism.

    You don't have to run the calculations to know that doesn't pass the smell test...
     
  20. WillRain

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    ^^^
    Just realized how that sounds. My comment about not using random numbers meant that I had a reason for the relationship between using "one billion" and "trillions"...both numbers are "pulled out of the air" but their relationship to each other is not meant to be random.

    One other thing I forgot:
    Agreed. I think I mentioned earlier in the thread my recognition of the vast complexity of the cell. This, of course, fuels my skepticism thaat it arose from Natural processes.
     

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