Science and Faith – Shanghai Cell

Taken from: Science and Faith (Vol 1, Issue 1 2006)

Shanghai Cell

I have been a scientist for more than 30 years. It never ceases to amaze me that perfectly logical and brilliant scientists would say quite matter-of-factly that evolution “caused” this or that to happen in history, as if it is a proven fact, well understood and generally accepted by everyone.

I often remark: “I don’t need you to explain how an ape evolved into a complex human being. Just explain to me how the first smallest cell ever came to being by “chance!” Just one little cell. The one little cell, the most “primitive” (to the uninitiated) cell, is actually as complex as the city of Shanghai!

As we learn more about the cell, we learn that it is indescribably intricate. Every discovery of science reveals it is even more complex than we thought before. Every new discovery never makes it simpler. It is always more intricate, more complex and more “intelligent.”

My usual joke is: were it not for the complexity of the cell, there would not be so many wonderful opportunities for scholars worldwide to come to the US, and many other technologically advanced countries, to obtain their PhDs, PostDocs, and Post-Post-Docs. It is as if the Intelligence that designed the cell, designed it to allow literally tens of thousands of scholars to have a career exploring “the amazing cell.”

And truly “the amazing cell” is like Shanghai: the simplest cell has the equivalent of phone lines, wireless connections, computer chips, cell phones, and emails zipping around inside. There are functions within the cell that serve as policemen, firemen, anti-pollution experts, garbage disposal staff, postmen and gardeners. In the cell there are features like street signs, traffic lights, superhighways, typhoon and tornado warnings, and fire alarms. And it all works beautifully: no garbage pileups, no traffic congestion, no plumbing backups, no water shortages, and no pollution in the cell. And it never stops working. And can we really imagine 50 trillion (50×1012) cells in the body? Or 50 trillion Shanghais in each of us, all working in an amazing interplay and interchange.

Tell me how it all “came by chance?” – One phone line at a time? One water pipe at a time? Or one traffic light at a time? Or did the Master Designer, of infinite wisdom and intelligence, put it ALL together as a PERFECT example of what can go right when all the pieces work together, and all the interlocking items fit perfectly? I prefer the Intelligent Designer over Illogical Chance. -Dr. Reginald Tsang

Tsang is Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics, and Obstetrics and Gynecology, and former Director of Neonatology; Executive director of the Prenatal Research Institute, University of Cincinnati. Awarded numerous US and International Awards and National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants over a quarter century.

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