A Subtle Simplicity
The condition of the Cell being so complex today, it becomes difficult for us to see its past simplicity. On the left is an illustration of the cycle of the Cell which, after undergoing the process of Cytokinesis, enters G1 where its contents are duplicated. At Go the Cell takes a rest, after which it enters the S phase where the Chromosomes are duplicated. Prior to entering the mitotic phases, the Cell enters the unique G2 phase. Here the mechanism for dividing is built and the Cell “double checks” the duplicated Chromosomes for error, making any needed repairs. (Illustration 1).
Though the quotation marks enclosing the words “double check” are meant as a token of the fact that they are borrowed words commonly used to describe a similar condition, they could give one the impression that the Cell, like multicellular living creatures such as man, has then already had intelligence.
On the left hand side of this page is an illustration of some simple natural events analogous to what is described in G2. The pile of sand here is seen from the side. Above it is a pendulum made to oscillate one and a half circle by some force. (Illustration 2)
In the second event, the pendulum oscillating one and a half circle above it, the pile of sand is seen to form a concave in it, while at the same time some of sand collapse, seemingly trying to cover the concave. But because the pendulum continues to oscillate, what happens in the next round is that the sand that collapses is then swept away by the pendulum such that the pile looks like what is shown in the illustration depicting the third event. The third event as such, could we then not say that The Pendulum “double checks” the traces that it leaves on the pile of sand for errors, making any needed repairs? The fact here is that the Pendulum, having been made by the force of nature to pass twice above the sand, sweeps away what is left of the sand collapse for no purpose, thereby causing it to appear as if it were doing some double-checking.
In biology such endings as “so as to. . ., for. . ., in order to. . .” are so commonly used that we are given the impression that there must be some specific purpose underlying their use. Very often we come across such statement, “. . .the ‘skin’ of animals and human beings has come to emerge so as to protect the internal parts of their bodies from external influences.”
In this book, however, greater emphases are placed on such words as “. .because . ., etc.” in any attempt to discuss the causes of a particular event. E.g. the skin has come to emerge because of external influences. So much use has been made of such words in biology that we find it difficult to see the past simplicity of the Cell.
The complexity that features our own body today has made it difficult for us to imagine how simple in form living creatures were, physically speaking, when they emerged for the first time. If we were to imagine the physical condition of our present day body as being the foot of the hill of the “Pascal triangle”, we could perhaps say that our past physical appearance is so simple that it is comparable to the peak of the triangle with all its simplicity. (See illustration 3).