It is useless to speculate about the origins of the Original Energy and structure inherent at the moment of the Big Bang. Yet many speculate and even investigate how inanimate Matter evolved into Life. More specifically, the current scientific quest is to understand how the inanimate, inorganic molecules that were on the Earth 4.4 billion years ago self organized themselves into organic molecules, which in turn self-organized themselves into a living cell that has successfully reproduced itself for the last 4.2 billion years. Due to its immediate reproductive proficiency, this original bacterium eventually evolved into all life forms on Earth.
That’s quite a leap – from impersonal atoms and molecules to cellular Life. Further according to the scientific community, this seemingly miraculous transformation occurred just 200 million years after the formation of the Earth as we know it, i.e. a planet with a solid surface, running water and an atmosphere. Hmmm?
The current contemporary wisdom is that self-organizing atoms eventually self-organized themselves into a single cell with studly reproductive powers. This chapter introduces a different model that we believe better fits the facts regarding the origins of the First Bacterium. In fact, we are trying to persuade you that the Creation of Matter and the Creation of Life are in the same set – Ultimate Mystery.
Let us take a pause in this onward rush regarding the microbiology of Attention to reflect upon a larger picture. All cells that are alive today are the result of successful self-replication for billions of years – almost as long as the Earth has been around. From the first tiny sub-microscopic bacterium to the 37 trillion cells that inhabit the human body, each of these cells shares many essential features in common.
1) Every cell has a membrane that encloses cytoplasm.
2) Every membrane has the same three-layer structure that alternates polar and non-polar molecules. This ingenious system effectively seals off the cell’s interior (cytoplasm) from the external environment, as the alternating layers repel all molecules,(both polar and non-polar).
3) Interaction with the environment occurs through thousands of Integral Membrane Proteins (IMPs) that are embedded in this cellular ‘skin’. These proteins come in two functional types: receptors and effectors – one for sensing and the other for action.
4) These sensory-motor switches (IMPs) work in tandem to enable the transfer of information and molecular content from the exterior to the interior of the cell and vice versa.
5) All cells possess the will to survive as a unit – stay alive as an organism.
6) The successful operation of the membrane’s IMPs – one type to sense and the other to react to stimuli, is essential for the cell’s survival.
7) Every cell has the ability to replicate.
8) In order to survive and replicate, each cell shares certain basic systems, e.g. digestion, elimination and reproduction.
Summarizing: all cells have the same basic membrane with IMPs that enable cells to sense and react to environmental stimuli in a way that ensures the cell’s survival.
The cell’s survival is based upon two types of successful response: 1) the individual response of the systems to perform their specialized task and 2) the collective response of the entire organism, e.g. identifying and moving to procure food. The individual response can easily be machine-like – a reactive relationship with environmental stimuli, while the collective response requires some intentionality to coordinate the entire organism in an interactive relationship with the environment. Both types of response, reactive and intentional, are necessary for the survival of the organism.
What it that has a will to survive and survives? The cell’s survival has very little to do with actual content – as the cell’s molecules are constantly being recycled. While the atoms and molecules provide the material substrate, they are not what survives. Conversely, the molecular content of inanimate objects is permanent. For instance, the molecules of tables or chairs persist as a unit until the table, for instance, is consumed by fire.
While cellular content, the molecules, is transitory, the cellular systems are permanent, until death when they suddenly cease operations. Unrestrained by a life force to fulfill a specific role, the individual molecules go their merry ways. The function of the cell’s universal systems (those shared by all cells) is the same. Ensure the survival of a holistic system that is greater than the sum of its parts.
While cellular content is transitory, the structures they form, e.g. the membrane with its IMPs, are permanent. These material structures provide the apparatus for the individual systems, whose ultimate purpose is to serve, not their individual existence, but rather the whole. They operate synergistically to ensure survival of an organism whose content is transitory.
Where does the ‘whole’ that intends to survive exist? Certainly not in the content – too transitory. Certainly not in the individual systems. While serving the whole, they are not the whole. If neither content nor individual systems, from whence does the urge to persist arise? Is it possible that the whole is an immaterial process, arising from substance – but insubstantial. Could it be, not individual, but in the collective behavior of trillions of inanimate molecules? Further, this process of survival requires the collective synergistic cooperation of multiple systems.
Collective Attention, collective survival, collective structure. A patterns emerges. Each has a transitory material substrate and properties that are qualitatively different than the matter that provides their substrate, i.e. Attention and Intention. Inanimate matter, such as a rock, doesn’t die if it loses a part, nor does it attempt to survive as a unit, nor does it self replicate.
Despite dynamic content, every cell has the same basic material structure that consists of the same type of molecules. The cell’s structure is designed to fulfill complex survival functions via interdependent systems. Neither structure, nor molecules, nor systems are missing from any cell.
For instance, the very first cell came equipped with IMPs. The thousands of receptors came with the hardwired ability to tune to every type of environmental signal that is required for survival. The signals include both molecules (matter) and energy fields (electromagnetic). The glove-like matching required for identification is virtually exact.
The first effectors likewise came with all motor responses necessary for the cell’s survival. No assembly required. Finally the IMPs in this first bacterium were manufactured to work in tandem. No training required. This finely tuned sensory/motor apparatus was built into the hardware of every cell including the very first one.
This is just the cell’s sensory/motor system. The cell has other built-in systems necessary for survival and replication that are equally complex. Every cell performs these same vital and exceedingly complicated functions, else they wouldn’t be alive.
So the hardware with its constantly shifting content came as a unit with all the codependent systems built in, like a stereo, cell phone, or car. Only an operator is required (life force?). The origination of all the parts had to be simultaneous with the operator, (the life force), else both survival and reproduction would be impossible. Besides with so much latitude for error, how could these cells have successfully replicated for over 3 billion years unless they had a perfect operating system along with an operator from the very beginning?
All facts point at simultaneous creation, not gradual consecutive evolutionary changes. How could systems, such as reproduction and respiration, have evolved separately and then been assembled as a unit. How could the cell’s complex, yet transitory, material structure have evolved from inert matter, when its only function is to serve living matter?
I can sense the collective scientific community cringing with this talk of Creation, especially capitalizing it.
“Horrors! Blasphemy! A violation of the Sacred Dogma. I would be shunned by my colleagues; might even lose a promotion; if I even hinted the slightest sympathy or support for the notion that Life came in a moment of instant Creation. This heretical view evokes our superstitious, animistic, non-scientific past – and more importantly, violates the Material Dogma applied to Evolution.”
But from where did the Big Bang evolve? That event seems a bit instantaneous – happening all at once – not gradual at all. A big explosion and then Matter evolves. The instant creation of Matter; why not Life? The instantaneous Creation of a Cell and then Life evolves.
“Ooops! Watch out for those pesky thoughts. Could jeopardize my career, if anyone found out.”
So a collective silence regarding the cell’s origin has settled like a dense fog over the upwardly mobile scientific types in order to align with the Group Data Stream. Why this aversive Pavlovian reaction? Humans always have reasons for everything.
“Smacks of the Bible – Jehovah God – the Chosen People – religious fanaticism –Crusades – superstition. Aurgh! We’re trying to distance ourselves from these occult phenomena. Like spirits and ghosts, they are merely constructs for the uneducated.”
Whoa! That’s a big leap – from the Creation of Cellular Life to a Biblical God, ghosts and superstition. There is no logical justification for this chain of thought – no way of inferring the latter from the former. Just a knee-jerk reaction to assaults on the common dogma – the conventional wisdom of the educated.
How about stick with the instantaneous Creation of Life and reside there? Attribute this seeming miracle to the Mystery, God, Divine Spirit, Providence, whatever, random chance. No need to explain.
”But it’s a slippery slope. Creationism goes straight downhill to religious fundamentalism, intolerance and violence against minorities, the indigenous and women.”
Whoa! Hold onto your intellectual horses. Hang tight with the facts and resist the urge to slide down the slippery slopes. How about role modeling after the medieval scholars, who would only rely upon the God explanation as a last resort – after every other option had been exhausted? Even this divine attribution is only a placeholder without any real significance. Just acknowledge that the Instantaneous Creation of Matter and cellular Life are both Mysteries and leave it at that. No inferences.
Evolution ≠ Origins of Matter or Cellular Life = Instantaneous
There is one other factor that points to Life’s simultaneous creation – Time. There was simply not enough time for Life to evolve from inanimate Matter. For instance our IMPs, the first bacterium’s original sensory/motor switches, came about fairly quickly. At the Earth’s beginning only inorganic molecules – then a relatively short time later, there were organic molecules like proteins – with not much time in-between for evolution to work its magic.
Following is a 2017 quotation from a prestigious research group (the Hadean Research Project based in Tokyo) that reveals some fundamental questions regarding the origin of Life, including the time duration problem. The express purpose of the group is to determine how the first cell developed from the materials on the earliest Earth. Although they are bound to the materialist dogma currently in sway, they remain mystified as to how Life could have evolved from Matter.
“We know that Life on Earth is built around compounds that contain elements such as carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen. Complex sequences of these elements bond together forming the very building blocks of Life. They form essential organic molecules, such as sugars, enzymes, proteins and DNA. However, these organic molecules did not naturally exist on Earth during the Hadean eon, when the first origins of Life appeared. The elements required existed only in inorganic form, bound up within the rocks, atmosphere and the early ocean.
The earliest Earth was a ‘naked planet’ … having no ocean or atmosphere when it first formed. These eventually appeared around 4.37 billion years ago after Earth had been pelted by aqueous asteroid material. Once there was liquid water and an atmosphere, there was a greater chance for prebiotic life to form (the chemical precursors to Life on Earth). The first traces of Life recorded on Earth are thought to be as old as 4.2 billion years, indicating that life may have evolved within 200 million years after the first appearance of liquid water.
We know that all the key elements for Life are found on Earth, but they do not easily form organic compounds.” Hadean Bioscience Project based in Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2017
Hmmm? Key elements on the Earth, but in the wrong places and in the wrong arrangements – inorganic, not organic molecules. And then a short 200 million years later, all the cellular structure and processes were suddenly in place. You might be thinking, “200 million years seems pretty long.” Let’s put this time frame into perspective.
In order to increase the collective Awareness, it took several billion years for evolution to move primary functions from the cell membrane to organelles in the cell’s interior and then another billion years for these cells to combine as multicellular organisms. Both of these evolutionary processes seem quite reasonable under the circumstances. All the raw materials (IMPs, membrane, cytoplasm and holistic Awareness) were in place, just a little rearranging to enhance the collective Attention.
But from liquid water and an atmosphere to Life in a paltry 200 million years?! Nothing was in place – no organic molecules, no proteins, no IMPs. Just an assortment of random inorganic molecules that were hidden inside of rocks and the ocean. And scientists believe that these inanimate atoms and molecules somehow self-organized into these organic molecules, which are part of an elaborate and intricate holistic system that somehow behaves intentionally to facilitate survival and reproduction.
Whew! What a leap of faith. And they laugh at me for believing in miracles.
While the types and number evolved, the structure (the form) of the IMPs does not evolve. Similarly muscle strength, flexibility, and types evolve, but the actual form of the muscle does not evolve. This logic also applies to the Cell. Although the parts of a Cell have evolved tremendously, the actual form of the Cell has remained the same for 4 billion years. Pretty good track record to be sure.
This is mighty suspicious. Generally things that evolve continue to evolve. How was it that Life’s original operating system began perfect? To be sure, there have been many improvements on the original design since then. However, the 3-layer membrane enclosing cytoplasm with IMPs as a sensory motor response mechanism has continued to be the standard. No need to tamper with perfection.
Hmmm?! Mighty strange. Something is going on here and we don’t know what it is.
But evolution? Highly questionable. Not enough time. Plus everything had to be intact from the very beginning.
Or maybe the circulatory system was constructed in China, digestive system in India and the reproductive system in South America. Then these component parts were transported back to the States where they had developed the cytoplasm and the membrane. Assembly required.
Natural forces then put these component parts together like Lego Blocks. Include an ID system. Turn on the life force. Et Voila! Life. The very first cell – a baby bacterium.
Impersonal inorganic molecules suddenly become organic molecules that self-organize into an integrated physiological system complete with membrane and DNA. And this new system self-replicates perfectly enough to continue unabated for 4 billion years.
Hmmm!? Something is not quite right. Somehow this explanation is not very satisfying. Too many discrepancies – discontinuities – leaps of faith.
But each to his own. Some prefer the conventional scientific dogma; others the Bible. Me I prefer the Mystery – the unknown – the uncertainty. Let’s root there. The instability is actually quite stable.
Where have we been? Where are we going?
We just provided evidence and reasoning indicating that the Creation of Life (on Earth) was instantaneous, rather than gradual. All necessary processes and structures were intact in the very first cell.
Why is that important to me?
Simultaneous Creation provides a framework for understanding the origins of the ID system with its IOP process. The entire Life package came intact including this particular relationship to information. Evolution does not apply to the Creation of Matter or Life.
Similarly, evolution does not apply to processes/forces like gravity, electromagnetism, the two nuclear forces, etc. They were intact from the instantaneous creation of Matter – the Big Bang. We don’t know about the laws before that instant; but we do know that scientists have effectively employed the permanent force laws of our Universe to understand the evolution/development of Matter – from tiny hydrogen atoms to galaxies and then back to our solar system and the Earth. These permanent laws tell us about the development of the Universe from the Big Bang to the Present and then into the distant Future, at least on a macro-scale.
In similar fashion, Life’s essential features came intact at the moment of Creation – cell membrane, IMPs, cytoplasm and IDS with the IOP.
Evolution is relatively easy for us to understand. One thing leads to another in a logical progression. Senses, behavior, and Attention get ever more sophisticated. In contrast, instantaneous creation is impossible for us to understand whether of Matter or Life. Similarly we are mystified by the unfathomable behavior of the ‘particles’ in the Subatomic Realm. For instance, how are we to make sense of the notion that photons move forwards, backwards and every direction in time – at once – simultaneously? There are simply no parallels in our everyday world of atoms, molecules and things.
So rather than fret about the Mystery – frittering our creative energy away heading down a dead end – dreaming up ever more complicated reasons that we can understand but which explain little if anything. Rather chalk it up to Mystery and move on.
Why is the notion instantaneous Creation so important for my Info Digestion Model? Let’s see.
A particular Question has challenged my model as soon as I formed the Hypothesis that all living systems employ the LA to digest information. How could the Living Algorithm, or any algorithm for that matter, evolve into Life’s analytical tool? An algorithm either is or it isn’t. No transition between the two states. No in-between. Similarly IMPs and neurons are generally either off or on – passive or firing.
Employing Occam’s Razor – looking for the simplest plausible explanation. Somehow, someway, some type of divine force first organized the Big Bang complete with Original Energy and intricate structure and then let her rip about 14 billion years ago. This generated all the Matter and Energy in our known Universe.
For the next 10 billion years this same divine force set up the physical conditions that would sustain Life. Then when the time was ripe, a Providential force breathed Life into Matter.
Why? Probably loneliness. It's such a drag. Wanted a Life form that could appreciate the Glory of Creation. Humans are not necessarily the highest manifestation. But at least we can self-reflect enough to try to understand the Mystery, and then write our insights down as a permanent record for all eternity. Just kidding. Constantly whittling away at uncertainty, always knowing that there are more mysteries right around the corner. Like the Hydra, with each discovery come many more mysteries.
So accompanying this divine breath that generated Living Matter was Life’s ID system and its companion the IOP of which the LA is a reasonable facsimile. No need to worry about the evolution of an algorithm any longer.
The ID model adds some essential features to the simultaneous creation of the cell. Accompanying the physiological systems and cellular structure at the instant of Creation was the Life Force with its analytical tool – the Information Digestion System (IDS). In turn, Life’s IDS includes the collective Attention that transcends the individual IMPs and the Image Overlay Process (IOP).
Before the IOP, there were only meaningless, non-contextual Instants with no relationship to the future or past. This is the Realm of Matter – 100% opacity between the Instants – no translucency.
With Life came translucency between the Instants – the images of the overlay process. This translucency gave rise to meaningful Moments with a relationship to the past and pointing to the future. The Life Force employs these Moments via Attention to organize and unify the inanimate molecules behind a common goal – the cell’s survival. Without the IOP, the Life Force wouldn’t have any analytics with which to optimize choices.
Along with Attention came the IOP and moments. They all happened simultaneously, not consecutively. A simultaneous, not consecutive, occurrence. Everything had to come together at once, else our life force would have had nothing to work with – no molecular systems to unify and organize behind a common goal, i.e. the survival and reproduction of a singular living unit – an organism.
Under this perspective, Life originated the instant that all essential elements, i.e. cytoplasm, membranes, IMP switches, physiological systems, Life Force, IDS, collective Attention, and IOP, came together as a functioning organism. Not an instant before.
If my model seems preposterous, propose a better explanation for all the criss-cross of phenomena from a variety of disciplines.