This is the Bibliography "A" page for authors' surnames beginning with "A" which I may
[Left: "The Mirror of Creation" (1990), by Edmund J. Ambrose, Emeritus Professor of Cell Biology at the University of London. Ambrose is a Christian and a critic of fully materialistic- naturalistic evolution in general and Darwinism in particular. See PS below.]
refer to in my book outline, "Problems of Evolution."
© Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology)
Abbott, E.A., 1884, "Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions," Dover: New York NY, Reprint, 1992.
Aczel, AD., 1998, Probability 1: Why There Must Be Intelligent Life in the Universe," Abacus: London, Reprinted, 2000.
Adair, R.K., 1987, "The Great Design: Particles, Fields, and Creation," Oxford University Press: New York NY.
Adams, F.C. & Laughlin, G., 1999, "The Five Ages of the Universe: Inside the Physics of Eternity," The Free Press: New York NY.
Adams, P., 1985, "Adams vs God," Nelson: Melbourne.
Ager, D.V., 1993, "The New Catastrophism: The Importance of the Rare Event in Geological History," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK.
Agosta, W.C., 1996, "Bombardier Beetles and Fever Trees: A Close-up look at Chemical Warfare and Signals in Animals and Plants," Addison-Wesley: Reading MA.
Alcock, J., 1993, "Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach," , Sinauer Associates: Sunderland MA, Fifth Edition.
Aldridge, S., 1996, "The Thread of Life: The Story of Genes and Genetic Engineering," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK.
Alexander, R.M., 1975, "The Chordates," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, Reprinted, 1977.
Allaby, A. & Allaby, M., eds, 1999, "Oxford Dictionary of Earth Sciences," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Second edition.
Allaby, M., 1989, "Guide to Gaia," Optima: London.
Allaby, M., ed., 1994, "The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Ecology," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK.
Allaby, M., ed., 1999, "Oxford Dictionary of Zoology," , Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, Second edition.
Alberts, B., et al., 1994, "Molecular Biology of the Cell," , Garland: New York NY, Third edition.
Allbrook, D.B., 1971, "The Evolution of Man: Part I-Origins of Man," Jacaranda Press: Queensland, Australia, Reprinted, 1975.
Allbrook, D.B., 1971, "The Evolution of Man: Part II-People of Our World," Jacaranda Press: Queensland, Australia, Reprinted, 1975.
Alters, B.J. & Alters, S.M., 2001, "Defending Evolution in the Classroom: A Guide to the Creation/Evolution Controversy," Jones & Bartlett Publishers: Sudbury MA.
Alvarez, W., 1997, "T. Rex and the Crater of Doom," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ.
Ambrose, E.J., 1990, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh.
Andrews, E.H., 1979, "From Nothing to Nature: A Young People's Guide to Evolution and Creation," Eurobooks: Welwyn UK.
Andrews, E.H., 1980, "God, Science & Evolution," Evangelical Press: Welwyn UK, 1985, Fourth impression.
Andrews, E.H., 1986, "Christ and the Cosmos," Evangelical Press: Welwyn UK.
Andrews, P. & Stringer, C., 1989, "Human Evolution: An Illustrated Guide," British Museum of Natural History: London.
Angela, P. & Angela, A., 1996, "The Extraordinary Story of Life on Earth," Prometheus Books: Amherst NY.
Ankerberg, J. & Weldon, J., 1993, "The Facts on Creation vs. Evolution," Harvest House: Eugene OR.
Ankerberg, J. & Weldon, J., 1998, "Darwin's Leap of Faith," Harvest House Publishers: Eugene OR.
Angier, N., 1995, "The Beauty of the Beastly: New Views on the Nature of Life," Houghton Mifflin: Boston MA.
Appleman, P., ed., 1979, "Darwin: A Norton Critical edition," , W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, Second edition.
Appleyard, B., 1992, "Understanding the Present: Science and the Soul of Modern Man," Picador: London.
Appleyard, B., 1999, "Brave New Worlds: Staying Human in the Genetic Future," HarperCollins: London.
Ardrey, R., 1961, "African Genesis: A Personal Investigation into the Animal Origins and Nature of Man," Fontana: London, 1971, Seventh impression.
Ardrey, R., 1967, "The Territorial Imperative: A Personal Inquiry into the Animal Origins of Property and Nations," Fontana: London, Reprinted, 1969.
Ardrey, R., 1970, "The Social Contract: A Personal Inquiry into the Evolutionary Sources of Order and Disorder," Fontana: London, Reprinted, 1972.
Ardrey, R., 1976, "The Hunting Hypothesis: A Personal Conclusion Concerning the Evolutionary Nature of Man," Fontana: London, Reprinted, 1977.
Armstrong, K., 1993, "A History of God: From Abraham to the Present: The 4000-Year Quest for God," Vintage: London, Reprinted, 1999.
Armstrong, P., 1985, "Charles Darwin in Western Australia: A Young Scientist's Perception of an Environment," University of Western Australia Press: Nedlands WA, Australia.
Arnold, A., 1992, "The Corrupted Sciences: Challenging the Myths of Modern Science," Paladin: London.
Arthur, W., 1987, "Theories of Life: Darwin, Mendel, and Beyond," Penguin: Harmondsworth UK.
Ashpole, E., 1989, "Where is Everybody?: The Search for Extraterrestrial intelligence," Sigma Press: Wilmslow UK, Reprinted, 1997.
Ashton, J.F., ed., 1999, "In Six Days: Why 50 Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation," New Holland: Sydney, Australia.
Asimov, I., 1963, "The Human Body: Its Structure and Operation," Mentor: New York NY.
Asimov, I., 1964, "A Short History of Biology," Scientific Book Club: London, Reprinted, 1965.
Asimov, I., 1966, "Science, Numbers, and I," Ace Books: New York NY, Reprinted, 1976.
Asimov, I., 1966, "The Universe: From Flat Earth to Quasar," Penguin: Harmondsworth UK, Reprinted, 1980.
Asimov, I., 1970, "Photosynthesis," George Allen & Unwin: London.
Asimov, I., 1972, "Asimov's Guide to Science: Volume 1: The Physical Sciences," Penguin: Harmondsworth UK, Reprinted, 1978.
Asimov, I., 1972, "Asimov's Guide to Science: Volume 2: The Biological Sciences," Penguin: Harmondsworth UK, Reprinted, 1975.
Asimov, I., 1973, "Please Explain: The Myriad Mysteries of the Universe Revealed," Coronet: Sevenoaks UK, Reprinted, 1978.
Asimov, I., 1974, "The Stars in Their Courses," Panther: St. Albans UK, Reprinted, 1975.
Asimov, I., 1979, "Extraterrestrial Civilizations," Crown: New York NY.
Asimov, I., 1981, "In The Beginning...: Science Faces God in the Book of Genesis," Crown Publishers: New York NY.
Asimov, I., 1983, "The Roving Mind," Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1987.
Asimov, I., 1987, "Beginnings: The Story of Origins of Mankind, Life, the Earth, the Universe," Walker & Co: New York NY.
Asimov, I., 1988, "The Relativity of Wrong," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1989.
Asimov, I., Zebrowski, G. & Greenberg, M.H., eds, 1983, "Creations: The Quest for Origins in Story and Science," Harrap: London, Reprinted, 1984.
Atkins, P.W., 1992, "Creation Revisited," Penguin Books: London, Reprinted, 1994.
Atkins, P.W., 1995, "The Periodic Kingdom: A Journey into the Land of the Chemical Elements," Basic Books: New York NY.
Attenborough, D., 1979, "Life on Earth: A Natural History," Fontana/Collins: London, Second impression, 1984.
Attiwill, P. & Wilson, B., eds, 2003, "Ecology: An Australian Perspective," Oxford University Press: South Melbourne Vic, Australia.
Audi, R., ed., 1995, "The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, Reprinted, 1996.
Augee, M.L. & Fox, M.D., 2000, "Biology of Australia and New Zealand," Pearson Education Australia/Benjamin Cummings, Sydney, Australia.
Augros, R.M. & Stanciu, G.N., 1987, "The New Biology: Discovering the Wisdom in Nature," New Science Library, Shambhala: Boston, MA.
Avise, J.C., 1998, "The Genetic Gods: Evolution and Belief in Human Affairs," Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, Second printing, 2001.
Aw, S.E., 1982, "Chemical Evolution: An Examination of Current Ideas," Master Book Publishers: San Diego CA.
Awbrey, F. & Thwaites, W., eds, 1984, "Evolutionists Confront Creationists," Proceedings of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Pacific Division, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Vol. 1, Part 3, April 30.
Austin, C.R., 1989, "Human Embryos: The Debate on Assisted Reproduction," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK.
Axelrod, R.M., 1984, "The Evolution of Cooperation," Basic Books: New York NY.
Ayala, F.J. & Kiger, J.A., 1984, Jr., "Modern Genetics," , Benjamin/Cummings: Menlo Park CA, Second edition.
PS: The `tagline' quotes below are all from Ambrose's book. I could have added more such quotes, but this post was already too long. To save repeating "emphasis original" many times, emphases in italics are original and emphases in bold are mine).
"The British Association for the Advancement of Science, with which I have worked, is one of the few organisations, perhaps the only organisation which, over the years, which has provided coordinated presentations of major developments in science. What I have learned at the B.A. and from my own research in the field of molecular, cell and developmental biology, is that modern science objectively interpreted, provides an inspiring and wonderful picture of the Divine Creation, on a scale both in magnitude and complexity far exceeding anything visualised by earlier generations." (Ambrose, E.J., 1990, "The Mirror of Creation," Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, Number 11, Scottish Academic Press: Edinburgh UK, p.xi).
"Modern astronomy has provided striking evidence that our entire Universe was generated from a minute speck of gigantic energy. But this minute object had vast potential: as it expanded and unfolded, it was capable of generating the various building units which later formed atoms and molecules, also the forces which hold the building units together. The sizes of the units and the forces between them provided the unique conditions which have made possible the existence of our Universe. Had they been otherwise, stars, galaxies and planets could not have come into existence. But it was not only the properties of the elementary particles which led to the development of our Cosmos. As the original speck of energy expanded, Cosmologists have identified a series of critical stages where additional `fine tuning' was required to make it possible for our water planet to come into existence." (Ambrose, 1990, p.xiii).
"If such conditions have controlled the emergence of the Cosmos, we should surely expect to find evidence for a similar progressive building up of order in the biological world. The purpose of this book is to provide this bridge between the physical and the biological worlds, a subject at present almost totally neglected by many biologists. The first chapters provide a general summary of cosmology. Subsequent chapters give an account of the unique features of our planet which have made it a cradle for life, also the origin of life, of higher organisms and the origin of the species. In the concluding chapters, the present evidence for design and order both in the cosmos and the living world as found on our planet is shown to give us a glimpse into the wonder of the Divine Work of Creation." (Ambrose, 1990, p.xiii).
"Examples of Fine Tuning The tuning of the radio detector circuit can be likened to tuning of a violin string by tension or an organ pipe where length determines the wave length of the sound wave which will fit the pipe. Something rather similar to the fine tuning described above has been recognised in recent years to exist within the Cosmos. One way of studying this aspect of the Cosmos is to consider what would be the effect of a minute alteration in the magnitude of the various sizes of building units, the strength of the glues which hold them together, the rate of expansion, etc. The extraordinary conclusion is that the minutest deviation from the fine tuning as it exists would have meant either that no Universe could have existed for more than a brief time or that the Universe would have had a constitution which would have made it impossible for planets and certainly for life to exist." (Ambrose, 1990, p.27).
"Initial density and rate of expansion of the Universe At 10-43 seconds after the initial event which created it, the Universe is believed to have had the prodigious density of 5x10-9 kg per cubic centimetre. If the density had been appreciably less than this the Universe would have expanded as a gas, becoming ever more and more attenuated; no region could subsequently have achieved sufficient density to draw other matter to itself by the snowball effect due to the force of gravity. On the contrary, if the initial density had been slightly greater, expansion could only have continued for a relatively short period; the force of gravity would have overcome the expanding pressure and within a comparatively short time the Universe would have been sucked back again almost like a backfire so returning into a singularity (a point) or a fluctuation." (Ambrose, 1990, p.28).
"The exactness of the fine tuning of the expansion of the Universe was in the first moments of Creation regulated to within 1 part in 1060. To give some conception of the precision of this control, it can be likened to firing a bullet across the greatest distance in the Universe in the range of 20,000 million light years; 1 light year being 6x1012 miles the distance could be at least 6x1012 x 2 x 1010 = 12 x 1022 miles. Travelling this distance the bullet would be aimed at a target 1 inch in diameter and hit it! Paul Davies has used this example to illustrate the level of fine tuning. He recognises that this level of tuning is one of the great mysteries of the Cosmos." (Ambrose, 1990, p.28).
"The Uniformity of the Universe There was need for control of the initial expansion also in various directions. ... The precision with which this was controlled can actually be measured. The background radiation, originally studied by Penzias and Wilson [Penzias, A.A. & Wilson, R.W., Astrophysics. J., 142, 1965, p.419], has now been plotted extremely accurately throughout the heavens. It does not vary beyond 1 part in 10,000 anywhere. To have achieved this regularity the original expansion in various directions must have been `fine tuned' to 1 part in 1040. One simple model for the expanding Universe, would be to think in 2 dimensions instead of 3. If it was a sheet, one side expanding faster than the other, it could assume peculiar curved forms. Only in special cases could it be flat or nearly flat. As mentioned ... our Universe is an almost flat Universe. Only in a Universe in which this level of uniformity is expressed in three dimensions is it possible for us to exist." (Ambrose, 1990, pp.28-29).
"The preponderance of matter over antimatter The way in which it came about that for every 1,000,000,000 particles of antimatter there are 1,000,000,001 particles of matter is possibly due to the unsymmetrical decay of the corresponding heavy particles called baryons already mentioned. This represents a fantastic level of fine tuning, leading to quite unexpected asymmetry of the Universe. There is something extremely special about this process of matter predominance, without which the Universe could not have existed at all." (Ambrose, 1990, p.30).
"Hydrogen the nuclear fuel of the Universe Without the nuclear fuel, hydrogen, which causes the stars to shine, the Universe would be `dead' with everything near to absolute zero. The processes which, in the early stages of the expansion, produced 74% of hydrogen out of a total of all matter in the early gas clouds involved extremely precise `tuning'. There was a continuous conversion of protons into neutrons and vice versa in the early stages of expansion of the Universe until the temperature had fallen to 1010°K; after that the proportion of protons to neutrons and hence the amount of hydrogen formed from protons was `frozen'. Two factors which were precisely tuned to provide the necessary amount of hydrogen were the strength of the weak nuclear force and the temperature at which the necessary reaction occurred. A neutron plus a neutrino can produce a proton plus an electron because the difference in mass between the neutron and proton is only slightly greater than the mass of an electron; this relationship between the masses of these particles provides the necessary fine tuning; the reverse reaction involves antimatter which is eventually annihilated. Even so, a few per cent increase in the strength of the nuclear force would later cause protons to stick together in pairs, leading to all the hydrogen being converted into helium. On the delicate balance between all the above factors has depended the existence of the nuclear fuel to feed the stars." (Ambrose, 1990, p.31).
"The nuclear furnace in the stars In the stars it is the nuclei, the protons of the hydrogen atoms, which provide energy. In this reaction two protons react together to generate a nucleus of deuterium consisting of 1 proton + 1 neutron. If the strong nuclear force were 5% weaker deuterium could not exist while if the force were 2% stronger two protons would form a diproton; this would lead to an explosive reaction and no stable stars could exist. Deuterium acts as a brake on the nuclear reaction so leading to a steady conversion of protons into helium nuclei. Matter is steadily converted into energy during this conversion so that the process can last for thousands of millions of years and enables the stars to continue to shine." (Ambrose, 1990, pp.31-32).
"The formation of Carbon, the key element for life During the burning of the nuclear furnaces, hydrogen protons are converted into the nuclei of the gas helium. In older stars, where the temperature has fallen, two helium nuclei He + He are able to fuse together; they then collect a third He nucleus to produce a carbon nucleus. Hoyle has pointed out that a simultaneous collision between three helium nuclei would be an extremely rare event and it would be expected that carbon would be an extremely rare element in the Universe, but in fact it is one of the most common heavier elements. Imagine two golf balls falling on the green from the approach shots of two players. A collision between two balls is a rare event. But suppose that a third player's ball also arrives at the same moment and collides with the other two: we should never expect to see such an event. Yet in the star this type of event takes place. When the two helium nuclei collide they form a nucleus which is an isotope of the chemical element beryllium Be8. Each of the orbits of atoms has a frequency like a violin string or an organ pipe. It is called the resonance frequency. It was found by Hoyle that the frequency of the dihelium or beryllium nucleus was similar to the frequency of a single helium nucleus. This was like tuning the radio set to the frequency of the carrier wave ... . This harmony of `tuning in' makes it possible for carbon to be formed readily within the stars. But even so, the carbon nucleus need not be long lived; it could in turn be `burnt up' as nuclear fuel in another reaction. It could collide with another helium nucleus to form oxygen. But in this case the tuning or resonance frequency of oxygen is safely below that of carbon. Oxygen is therefore produced in the nuclear reactions only slowly from carbon. About equal amounts of carbon and oxygen, key elements for life, are produced in the stellar synthesis. Hoyle [Hoyle, F., "The Universe, Some Past and Present Reflections," Cardiff University Press: Cardiff UK, 1982, p.16] has stated in characteristic style, `A common sense interpretation of the facts suggest that a superintellect has monkeyed with the laws of physics as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature'. Hoyle was a pioneer in elucidating the origin of the chemical elements within the stars." (Ambrose, 1990, pp.32-33).
"Given an infinite time, it was concluded that anything could happen. We are all familiar with the monkey which continues to tap on the keys of a typewriter until all the plays of Shakespeare are produced by chance; so in spite of its extreme improbability it was believed by the materialists that given an infinite time the Universe, as we find it, together with the planets our earth and life could have arisen by chance. ... the general conclusions of late 20th Century cosmology are that the Universe had a beginning. This presents immense problems for the materialistic interpretation as most have fully recognised." (Ambrose, 1990, p.34).
"One way in which the materialists have approached their difficulty has been to assume that the Universe which arose from a `point' expanded to an enormous volume; the mass was sufficient for the force of gravity to draw it back again; it was steadily drawn towards a point or singularity. This would be drawing the matter back to a gigantic `black hole' through the power of gravity. Once again it could expand. This cycling process would once again provide a possibility for infinite permanence of the Universe in terms of cycles. John D. Barrow and Joseph Silk [Barrow, J.D. & Silk, J., "The Left Hand of Creation," Heineman: London, 1984, p.256] have pointed out that the point, singularity or `black hole' as it may be called; is a region of no return ... the generation of disorder is not reversible. This is a basic law of physics; the second law of thermodynamics .... The background radiation would simply build up in each cycle. ... The fact that there is so little disorder in our Universe, the background reaching only 3° above absolute zero, shows that we must be in a first expansion from the beginning of the Universe." (Ambrose, 1990, pp.34-35).
"Prior to the time of Copernicus, it was believed that the earth was the centre of the Universe. Since the time of Copernicus there has been a succession of astronomical discoveries revealing not only that our earth is a planet circulating round the sun, but that our sun is one of thousands of million of stars in our galaxy, that our galaxy is itself one amongst hundreds of millions at least. The immensity of the Universe disclosed by 20th Century science has led some materialists to question whether there can really be any significance to the lives of inhabitants of a minute assembly of cosmic dust. To anyone who thinks deeply it is obvious that the key to understanding what the Universe is about is complexity, not size. The Universe itself was generated from a speck of energy far smaller than the smallest atom. It had to be its present size in order that it could be an almost flat Universe of the sort in which planets could be generated. Above all it had to continue to expand for 15,000 million years or more to reach its present size in order to allow the various chemical elements which form planets to be generated and for them to be suitably disposed in cosmic dust clouds." (Ambrose, 1990, p.35).
"Once the fine tuning of the Universe was recognised, cosmologists began a return to the concept of an earth-centred Universe once more. This was expressed by Brandon Carter, a leading cosmologist in ... the Anthropic Principle. The weak Anthropic Principle states that we have to observe a Universe finely tuned, because no Universe which was not finely tuned could contain any observers. The Strong Anthropic Principle goes further. It states that there is a compulsion in the Universe to generate intelligent beings, this being the reason for fine tuning. There are two ways of accounting for this Strong Principle: (a) That the Universe is the work of a Creator; clearly the most straight forward explanation. (b) We the observers influence the observed world; this is the case in a limited sense, according to quantum theory; time also is now known to have unexpected properties. But the Universe originated 15,000 million years before we came into existence as intelligent beings. ... the tine tuning of the Universe, which forms the basis of the Anthropic Principle, took place in the main within a matter of minutes after the initial event which generated the cosmos. To believe that intelligent observers can have influenced events so far in the distant past is philosophically unacceptable. We note that even the weak Anthropic Principle represents a departure from the older materialistic interpretation of origins based on chance." (Ambrose, 1990, p.36).
"An obvious conclusion from the Strong Anthropic Principle would be that the Creator has made the Universe the way it is in order that the earth could be formed as suitable for the emergence of life and for our existence also. It is sad that reference to the Creator has become unfashionable amongst most modern scientific popularisers, particularly when the evidence is now so strong that there is much design and fine tuning in the Universe. Most modern scientists accept this; in the past the greatest physicists had no hesitation, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday and many others." (Ambrose, 1990, pp.36-37).
"So we move from the gigantic perspective provided by the Cosmos to the living world on our planet. If we accept the Anthropic Principle of the Astronomers, it would indeed be surprising if the same principle could not be extended to the formation of our earth and the establishment of the living world. But we now encounter a change of emphasis; we think less in terms of fine tuning and more in terms of the generation of order ... and the need to account for the vast input of new information involved to account for both the origin of life and the building up progressively of high and higher levels of complexity in the living world. At the molecular level, we encounter the great discovery that life has an alphabet and a language. Written in that language is the nature of each species of organism on the face of the earth. We find that a beautiful harmony exists, a symphony written in the language of life is expressed in the perfectly controlled development of an organism from a single cell, first as an embryo, then an adult and functioning plant or animal. A striking feature of the living world is its diversity; hundreds of thousands of species of both plants and animals are found in various regions of the planet. Nevertheless, the basic building plan, based on information, as expressed in language, governs the development of every one of these species of plant and animal." (Ambrose, 1990, p.49).
"Water has an extremely high specific heat. We all know how long it takes to boil a kettle even when strongly heated. The large heat content of water helps to stabilise the temperature of the earth, which is basically a water planet, as is clearly seen in photographs of the earth from space. The temperature range at which life can exist is covered by the temperature range at which liquid water can exist. If other molecules existed in the Universe with the properties of water molecules and were present in large numbers, it would have been conceivable that they also might have formed the basis for life. This is not the case. In addition water molecules contain within themselves the capacity to form stable gossamer like bonds. These bonds are responsible for the decrease in density of water on freezing, a property not shown by other liquids of common occurrence. For this reason ice floats on water. If this did not happen lakes and rivers would remain frozen solid in winter and all life in the waters would be destroyed." (Ambrose, 1990, p.52).
"Water is a unique solvent; it can dissolve more substances than any other known solvent. Not only does it dissolve many carbon compounds, it also dissolves salts which can carry electrical charge. The electrical phenomena that are the key to life processes are dependent on this power of water to dissolve salts. Above all, water has the capacity to dissolve gases in limited amounts, oxygen without which respiration could not occur, and carbon dioxide the source of the carbon molecules which play a key role in all living structures. So water and carbon are essential for life. ." (Ambrose, 1990, p.52).
"The unique feature of the carbon molecule is connected with the `tuning' of the orbits in which the outer four electrons lie. This enables carbon to form long chains and rings all essential for life; also to combine with oxygen, and nitrogen, within the temperature range of liquid water. The orbits of the four planetary electrons of carbon are so arranged that they can form bonds lying at the four corners of a tetrahedron. Not only does this enable many compounds to be formed with the other light elements, but many carbon atoms can be joined together in strings, forming the long chains of fat molecules, also essential for life." (Ambrose, 1990, pp.52-53).
"However suitable the four elements hydrogen, carbon, oxygen and nitrogen may be for generating the molecules that form living organisms, it is evident that these alone could not provide the environment for life. No gaseous star however much it cooled could do so. There was a need for a solid surface upon which water molecules could condense. This has come from the magic dust generated by supernova explosions. ... the giant stars, which exploded to release the heavier chemical elements, had a layered structure ... The supernova explosion, which is now believed to have generated most of the elements described ... is thought to have occurred about 200 million years before the solar system was formed. .... a second supernova explosion occurred shortly before the solar system was formed. During this explosion the important element aluminium which forms a large part of the earth's crust was generated. In fact this second supernova explosion may have provided the shock wave which initiated the formation of the solar system." (Ambrose, 1990, pp.53-55).
"From the foregoing evidence it is clear that the steps which gave rise to our solar system, the planets and our earth were complex. Although there is now some evidence from infrared studies that a cosmic dust cloud surrounds the star Vega, it is by no means certain that this cloud could generate a planet like our earth. We cannot exclude the possibility that our planet is unique." (Ambrose, , 1990, p.55).
"Before considering this subject it is as well to point out that in trying to explain the origin of life, purely in materialistic terms, we are in much the same situation as those who put forward hypotheses concerning the first moments after the creation of the Universe. There is no possible way in which this event can be studied in a strictly scientific manner. Whatever the prelife and first life may have been like, it was certainly minute and without any hard structures. No trace has ever been, or is likely to be detected, in the most ancient rocks. Models can be built up in the laboratory but their interpretation in terms of the actual origin of life will always remain as hypotheses; they can be reasonable guesses and no more." (Ambrose, 1990, p.61).
"So the first requirement for life is that it should receive a continuous supply of energy: it must have a steady supply of matter also. Simple molecules called metabolites enter the cell, are built up into the proteins and other structures of the cell and are continuously broken down again. So a living organism can be likened to a river. As we stand beside the river, the banks appear to us to be unchanging, certainly during any period for which we can continue to observe them. And the river appears unchanging. But in the river water molecules are continuously flowing along because they are driven by energy due to the force of gravity drawing them to sea level. What is stable about the river is its pattern, the form of currents and flow of the water. Likewise a living cell imposes, with the help of its energy supply, a pattern upon the molecules which enter it and flow through it. It is this form, this `ephemeral design' which we call a species. Immediately, we recognise that we have to do with something totally new, outside anything to be seen in the natural nonliving world. Therefore we find that we have to use a new language to describe living organisms, a language that has no meaning in chemistry. ... The living cell can be more appropriately described in the language used by engineers. In fact a modern mass production factory operating by computers and robotics, is of considerable help in trying to find a model to represent the way in which the simplest known living cell is able to operate." (Ambrose, 1990, pp.74-75).
"The power house (The Solar panel) ? because a living organism is in a dynamic (moving) state it must have a continuous supply of energy. But this energy must be provided in a highly regulated, coordinated manner. ... In the cell's robotics factory, the energy originates through the green substance of plants, chlorophyll in almost all cases. Even our fossil fuels, oil, gas or coal come from ancient green plants. The chlorophyll molecule can absorb a packet or quantum of light energy in the red region of the light spectrum. This enables an electron within the molecule to jump to a new orbit of a higher energy. This electron then behaves rather like the baton in a relay race, being shifted from one runner (molecule) to another. But it is a downhill race. At each transfer, some energy from the electron is passed on. Finally the electron returns, in the case of blue green algae (cyanophytes), to its original low level home in the chlorophyll. This is like an electric circuit, except that the circuit is made by various carbon compounds instead of the copper in the wire of an electric circuit. The wires in the electric circuit are coated with polyvinyl; the electron circuit in the living cell must also be protected. In this case the insulation is provided by lipid membranes. The end product of these various complicated flow processes is to produce molecules which contain a store or reserve of energy; they are like electric batteries which have been charged by the light of the sun. In the mass production factory, energy is distributed to various parts of the plant by electrical wires; in the cell this is much more simply achieved by these energy carrying molecules. Their name is adenosine triphosphate, or ATP for short. They contain three key atoms of phosphorus. On the basis of present evidence from the rocks, the earliest known living organisms derived their energy from the sun by the process described above which is known as photosynthesis." (Ambrose, 1990, pp.75-76).
"The machine tools Each step along the factory production line involves a machine tool fitted to the particular step in drilling, milling, etc., to produce the end product. In the living cell this is achieved by beautifully designed molecules called proteins. These molecules consist of a string of beads in which the individual beads are the amino acids. ... In three dimensions this has the shape of a tetrahedron, in which the groups can be arranged in either left or right handed screw. In the living organisms, the amino acids are left handed or L-amino acids. ... The key to the effectiveness of these giant molecules is the gossamer threads which can be formed and broken easily at room temperature ... hydrogen bonds ...The protein chains have a complicated structure so the folded molecule is not totally compact; it can be likened in some ways to a Rubik cube, with a gap at one corner. This gap is shaped like a lock. It can act as a catalyst. ... Chemical reactions have ... been likened to hurdles in which so called activation energy must be provided to overcome a barrier ... The catalyst acts to reduce the height of the hurdle by absorbing the molecules which are going to react at its surface. In the protein molecule the substances that are going to react become absorbed inside the lock and fit the lock beautifully like a key. So the protein molecules, which are called enzymes, literally direct chemical reactions in a manner favourable to the life of the organism; a truly wonderful phenomenon, already seen at the level of molecules. These are the machine tools of life." (Ambrose, 1990, pp.76-77).
"The earliest known organisms on earth, the cyanophytes, and some bacteria were able to fix nitrogen in the atmosphere by attaching hydrogen to it. This generates a molecule soluble in water which cells can utilise. This these microorganisms were able to do with the greatest of ease, which is the case with the corresponding modern species also. The fascinating process by which these minute organisms, only fractions of a millimetre in diameter, are able to fix the comparatively unreactive nitrogen molecules of the atmosphere, has only recently come to light after many years of intensive research. The work of Hughes, Pickett and Talarmin of Sussex University and Pombeiro of Lisbon [Emsley, J., "Molybdenum lies at the heart of Nitrogen Fixation," New Scientist, 10th April 1986, p.30) has shown that there is a key enzyme, a nitrogenase, which contains an atom of molybdenum. Molybdenum can, in association with the special protein, attract a nitrogen molecule N2. The nitrogen is then swamped with hydrogen ions H+ from water while the molybdenum supplies electrons. Ammonia NH3 is formed. So simple yet so wonderful and beautifully refined. Attempts are now being made to imitate the behaviour of the enzyme and the molybdenum combination in the laboratory and so do away with complicated fertilizer plants which at present operate only at high temperatures and great expense. The living cells do all their work at room temperature utilising the 'solar panel' energy of chlorophyll." (Ambrose, 1990, p.80).
"High Technology The above brief summary of some of the key features of a living cell may have given an inkling of the level of complexity and coordination that exists in the smallest known independent organisms. The degree of sophistication seen already at the level of individual molecules within the cell can be truly astonishing. The earliest known organisms on earth were able to obtain energy, produce protein membranes, etc., grow and multiply, utilising only simple constituents from the inorganic world, the cradle of life. This is already seen at the first stage of energy uptake, in the 'fine tuning' of the chlorophyll molecule which absorbs quanta of light derived from the sun. The electron so liberated from chlorophyll must have just sufficient energy to enable a carrier molecule FAD to pick up hydrogen atoms. This carrier molecule passes on its energy to the complicated chemical reactions which finally produce the molecules that carry the essential chemical energy to all parts of the cell, and enable carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to be 'fixed' and used to build up the proteins, etc., based on the key element carbon. If chlorophyll had been so constituted that it absorbed light of slightly longer wavelength, this would not have provided enough energy to enable all the complex reactions needed for life to start within the cell. Alternatively, absorption of shorter wavelength light can damage the delicate chlorophyll molecule itself. So the beautiful `fine tuning' of the chlorophyll molecule recalls to us the Anthropic Principle, already seen in the `fine tuning' of the emerging cosmos ..." (Ambrose, 1990, pp.80-81).
"But the level of sophistication within the 'simplest' living cell goes far beyond this. We need to think in terms of what modern engineers call high technology. A spade is an example of low technology. To function for digging a garden all that a spade requires is a 'willing' and hard working gardener, to take it up and use it; the spade's function to turn over the earth is so fulfilled. But after finishing the digging, the gardener decides to relax by going for a drive in the car. All that is required is to sit at the wheel, operate the starter and move forwards. The car represents high technology; it contains many components which function together, for example a steering wheel, road wheels, internal combustion engine, fuel system, ignition system, etc. Each of these components is interesting and requires skill to make, but each has no meaning in terms of function by itself unlike the spade whose function is complete in itself. This interdependency of parts is what is meant by high technology. Let us think of a group of such components A, B, C, D, E,...etc. We then say that A relates to B, C, D, E, etc...B also relates to A, C, D, E, etc. C relates to A, B, D, E, etc. In the case of the car A, B, C, D and E will be the components described above. In the simplest known living cell these are, the outer membrane, the energy supply system, the molecule-making plant and so on. Biologists now call these interrelationships supermolecular organisation. There is at present no explanation for it, in known physical terms." (Ambrose, 1990, p.81).
"As we encounter high technology, in the articles we use everyday, we immediately think in terms of engineering design. This aspect of a living cell involves vast interrelated phenomena rather like a complicated telephone exchange. It can be illustrated in systems which have been worked out most beautifully by biochemists in recent years. These are the so-called enzyme pathways involving a group of enzymes cooperating. In an enzyme pathway a simple starting molecule is passed step by step along a production line to produce an end product. In a car factory a body member will start as a steel ingot, be rolled in a rolling mill, to a sheet cut to a shape, drilled and pressed into a girder. Each of these steps must be closely integrated with the previous step to provide a useful final product. In an enzyme pathway similarly there are enzymes E1, E2, E3, E4, etc. For example in making the long hydrocarbon chains of lipids CH2.CH2CH2...that form the lipid barrier of the cell membranes, the process starts with pyruvic acid (CH3.CO.COOH); E1 is the enzyme pyruvate oxidase; it catalyses a reaction between pyruvate and coenzyme A: coenzymes are molecules that assist in enzyme pathways. The product acetylcoenzyme A can react with carbon dioxide with the help of enzyme E2- so successive carbon atoms are added to the lipid chain CH2CH2CH2.... In all, 6 enzymes are involved in this production line. Cell biochemistry in toto is vastly complex; products of one pathway are utilised by another pathway, as in the case of factory production lines. There can be a hundred or more different enzymes within the compass of one minute bacterium only a few ten-thousandths of a millimetre in diameter! This is because each enzyme consists of a sequence of amino acids arranged in a different order along the protein chains. This ensures that each enzyme has a pocket or lock of special form. All the pockets are interrelated. The product originating from the lock of E1 fits the lock in E2, the product coming from E2 fits the lock in E3 and so on. So here we have a beautiful example of supermolecular organization directly operating within the domain of protein molecules. How could it have arisen? Supermolecular organisation extends also beyond the molecular level, to coordinate all the diverse components of the cell." (Ambrose, 1990, pp.82-83. Ellipses original).
"The Central Computer A factory in which the various production lines worked independently could never produce a car. It is evident that some centre must also exist within a living cell to account for its closely integrated function. In a factory the coordination depending upon changing needs is, to a large extent, now dependent on computers; the stored information is in the form of binary language ... The cell also has a language, a wonderful language. ... The language of the cell contains four letters not the two (1 or 0) of the computer. It is written on long chain molecules called nucleic acids. They were given the name because they were first isolated from the nucleus or central region of cells. In place of the amino acids of proteins which easily form long chains, the units of nucleic acid chains are disc-like molecules which can pack on top of each other like a pile of coins. The discs are formed from rings of carbon atoms with nitrogen also. Thymidine (T) and cytosine (C) contain one ring. Adenine (A) and guanine (G) consist of two rings joined together. In each case they are joined to a sugar ring and a phosphate group. The phosphate and sugars are linked together to produce a long chain molecule with the disc-like regions sticking out at right angles to the chain. The language of life is written in the order in which A, C, G and T are strung together along the chain. It was mentioned that computer memories carry vast information due to the number of bits. Similarly the nucleic acid chain with its four letter alphabet is able to carry a vast amount of information within the minute volume of a living cell." (Ambrose, 1990, p.83).
"The first function of this memory store is to control the synthesis of the various other molecules inside the cell. ... Proteins contain 21 amino acids. How can a language written in 21 letters, like our alphabet, be generated by the 4 letter alphabet of nucleic acids? It is fascinating to find that molecular biologists, in describing the way nucleic acids function, have been forced to adapt the language of writing, editing, printing and so on. There may be only one master copy of the message of nucleic acid the so-called DNA. ... But in the working part of the cell, `the shop floor' many copies of the `blueprints', the messages, are required. So equipment rather like a photocopier exists; these copies are made on slightly different nucleic acid molecules called RNAs. This is the process of transcription of the message like converting a written message into print. The messenger RNAs carry the information to the actual production line where protein chains are formed. The bases in the DNA and so also in the RNA are arranged in groups of three. Each set of three bases can code for one particular amino acid out of the 21 possible. ... This master code is all very well but how can it control the order in which amino acids are added to protein chains? Clearly there must be a decoder, a translator. The translators are also RNA molecules but of a different sort called transfer RNAs. Parts of these molecules fit the appropriate code in the messenger molecule, as a key fits a lock. There are 21 translator molecules. They can each pick up their own amino acid from a pool of amino acids inside the cell. ... The successive transfer RNAs come along as the protein chain grows in length; the protein chain is formed, carrying the message translated from the message stored in the DNA molecules. Protein chains reel off the production line one by one being formed within a few minutes. ... I never cease to contemplate this phenomenon of protein synthesis under nuclear control without awe and wonder. It surely represents the ultimate in dynamic engineering at the molecular level." (Ambrose, 1990, pp.83-84).
"There is no such thing as a self replicating molecule, only a self replicating system, involving flow of energy and molecules through it; involving a structural relationship between molecules also. This is ignored by many biologists, but is essential in terms of the laws of physics and chemistry. Natural selection could only operate on a complex system of interacting molecules. In so far as our planet is concerned the time interval between the arrival on earth of conditions in which life would be possible and the known existence, as revealed in the fossil records, of organisms 'engineered' in the manner described in this chapter, has become shorter and shorter as fossils in progressively more ancient rocks have been found. When it is realised that the total number of hydrogen atoms in the Universe is only 1078, the magnitude of the improbability of the code in the DNA message which controls that 'engineering' i.e. 1 in 102,000,000 having arisen by chance can be appreciated." (Ambrose, 1990, p.95).
"The fact that a living cell represents high technology in which the components have no meaning, except in relation to the function of the whole, has proved to be a great stumbling block in the attempts to bridge the gap between nonliving and living. For example all life processes are dependent upon energy being supplied by a chemical carrier like ATP. To make the carrier from a primary source of energy requires enzymes. The protein chains of enzymes are themselves built up both with the help of the DNA, messenger RNA and transfer RNA molecules, all steps being dependent on an energy supply, ATP. The necessary concentration of material inside the cell to enable it to function depends on a lipid barrier, the very synthesis of DNA to transmit the key message to daughter cells depends both on ATP and on a protein enzyme. Hutchison [Hutchinson, R., "The Search for our Beginning," Oxford University Press: New York NY, 1983] points out that the complexity of the process is staggering for to make a living cell a host of compounds must be available yet individually, each must have been useless!" (Ambrose, 1990, pp.95-96).
"These difficulties have led Cairns-Smith to propose that self replication really started with clay particles, as low technology, on which organic structures were progressively built up. Electron microscopy reveals highly complex layers, films, etc., generated within clay particles. But life with its self replication depends on an extremely delicate balance between the forces holding molecules together, as with the hydrogen bonds in nucleic acids and proteins leading to the stepwise formation of strong chemical bonds. Whereas the bonds in clay particles are of enormous strength, silicates being formed at high temperatures are hardly suitable for self-replication at lake temperatures. In any case Bernal pointed out that the element silicon is found only rarely in living organisms, never in their functional parts, similarly with aluminium the other main component of clays. If life had developed out of clay replication processes, these elements would still be found in more abundance in living organisms." (Ambrose, , 1990, p.96).
"If this is the case, a single gene mutation cannot generate a structure of new complexity. But according to neo-Darwinism, genes are distributed within the population. To produce a significantly new structure 3 or 10, or more generally 30-40 genes closely cooperating would have to be brought together in the same individual. To design a new style of dress for women, the designer would have to bring together the suppliers of fabrics with their various colours, suppliers of lace, suppliers of ribbons, etc. Working as a team, the final design would emerge. So it would be with the group of newly modified genes, which together, working in harmony would generate the new complexity. The rate of mutation is 1 in million, out of these non harmful mutations are 1 in 1000. For 2 such to occur would be 1 in 103 x 103. For 5 to occur 1 in 1000 million million (1 in 1015)." (Ambrose, 1990, p.167).