Perhaps in no other area of modern biology is the challenge posed by the extreme complexity and ingenuity
of biological adaptations more apparent than in the fascinating new molecular world of the cell…To grasp the reality
of life as it has been revealed by molecular biology, we must magnify a cell a thousand million times until it is twenty kilometers
in diameter and resembles a giant airship large enough to cover a great city like London or New York.
What we would then see would be an object of unparalleled complexity and adaptive design. On the surface of
the cell we would see millions of openings, like the port holes of a vast space ship, opening and closing to allow a continual
stream of materials to flow in and out. If we were to enter one of these openings we would find ourselves in a world
of supreme technology and bewildering complexity…….
It is the sheer universality of perfection, the fact that everywhere we look, to whatever depth
we look, we find an elegance and ingenuity of an absolutely transcending quality, which so mitigates against the idea of chance.
Is it really credible that random processes could have constructed a reality, the smallest element of which – a functional
protein or gene – is complex beyond our own creative capacities, a reality which is the very antithesis of chance, which
excels in every sense anything produced by the intelligence of man?
Alongside the level
of ingenuity and complexity exhibited by the molecular machinery of life, even our most advanced artifacts appear clumsy.
We feel humbled, as Neolithic man would in the presence of twentieth-century technology.
The idea of evolution
is the key-stone of our modern world view. Yet the theory of evolution as propounded by Darwin and elaborated into accepted
“fact” by the scientific establishment is coming under increasing fire. This authoritative and remarkably
accessible book by a molecular biologist shows how rapidly accumulating evidence is threatening the basic assumptions of orthodox
Although the theory appears to be correct regarding the emergence of new species,
its larger claims to account for the relationship between classes and orders, let alone the origin of life, appear to be based
on shaky foundations at best. Not only has paleontology failed to come up with the fossil “missing links”
which Darwin anticipated, but the hypothetical reconstructions of major evolutionary developments --such as that linking birds
to reptiles – are beginning to look more like fantasies than serious conjectures.
the currently popular theory of “punctuated equilibrium” cannot adequately fill in the real gaps we face when
envisaging how major groups of plants and animals arose. Most
important of all, the discoveries of molecular biologists, far from strengthening Darwin’s claims, are throwing more
and more doubt on traditional Darwinism.