When we look at living things, we find that they have a highly organized structure.  When we consider the complexity and function of living things and their components, it is difficult to understand how they could have evolved to do the extremely complicated tasks they are capable of.  Think about your body and just one organ - say, the lungs.  They enable the interchange of inhaled and exhaled respiratory gasses.  They have to contend with variations in air temperature, air quality, air pressure, and with the invasion of foreign matter carried by the air.  They function all the time you are alive - up to 120 years in some people - and they work to peak efficiency if at all possible.  The delicate tissue from which your lungs are made, would cover a football pitch if laid out, and this is thin enough to allow gasses to pass through, yet prevent your blood pressure from bursting the tissue.

To fabricate something like the lung, make it fit the chest cavity, and expect it to work without maintenance for more than a century is currently an engineering impossibility.  In fact, the technology to do something like this is decades or more away.

So how could such a complex biological structure evolve?

Anything is possible, given time. you may say, but that side-steps the issue.  If you break the lung down into increasingly small component parts we find that everything is more-or-less the same.  We eventually arrive at the cell.  The cell is relatively simple.  We, or rather the world's best microbiologists, working in the world's best laboratories can almost make a living cell!

So how can something as simple as a cell - or a collection of cells - "engineer" more complex entities?

The answer lies in two factors:  the genetic material in the cell, which carries the instructions, and in the natural mathematical behavior of evolution.  It is only recently, with the understanding of two branches of mathematics called chaos theory and fractals, that we have come to understand this:  that simple mathematical processes associated with addition and multiplication, and applied to the reproduction of living things, can have highly complex and organized outcomes.

The basic secret, if that is what it is, of all Earth life is the cell.   All life is made from one or more cells.  What is interesting is that the cell has remained more or less the same size, throughout the history of life on Earth.  Over the same time period, though,  living creatures the size of nano-bacteria at one extreme, and the great whales, redwood trees and giant fungal colonies at the other, have evolved.  Some make use of just one cell, whilst others need many trillions of cells to exist.


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