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Discussion 1 to Meditation 604
Emergence of Life

by: PsiCop

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The author brings up the matter of the emergence of single-celled life and posits that it's an irreducible concept. While I agree that Dawkins's argument to the anthropic principle is weak, I'd like to point out a couple of things.

First, what we think of as single-celled life (i.e. having a nucleus, distinct organelles such as mitochondria, external membrane or cell-wall, and in some cases cilia for locomotion) are not the only examples of single-celled life that we know of. There are single-celled animals without membranes, known as mycoplasma; a particular strain of this happens to be a common cause for pneumonia in humans. There are also prokaryotes, which have no nucleus or organelles, although they do have an exterior membrane.

These are all intermediary forms of single-celled life which are the leftover relics of the evolutionary process. Assuming that the single-celled animals that we know best, developed spontaneously from a mass of biochemical protoplasm ignores the possibility that these intermediate forms could have emerged first.

Second, it took billions of years for single-celled life to develop on earth. Billions. Even given the astronomical odds against the development of life, billions of years is a very long time. If you expand astronomically-low probabilities against an astronomically-long span of time, you come up with a likelihood of the event happening.

References for the above:

http://www.answers.com/mycoplasma

http://www.answers.com/prokaryote