The Facts of Life: Reproduction and Evolution

New Developing Life ...

Source

How Life Developed on Earth...

Public Domain Image / Wikipedia
Public Domain Image / Wikipedia | Source

Where Did I Come From?

An alternative way of looking at the Evolution - Creationism controversy.

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Where do babies come from?
Inside Mummy's tummy.
But how do they get there?
Well ....

These are very big questions, usually posed by very little people.

Another is: does everyone really die?

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Where did I come from?
We all seem to want to know the answer to this question.

Was there really a time when I simply didn't exist?
Was there really a time when I might never have existed?
Will there be a time, again, when I shall not exist?

Yes!

Thence, from the personal to the general:
Where did life come from?
What was the first life like?

Who were the first ever people?
Where did they come from?

Where did the Universe come from?
How did the Earth, sun and moon get here?

Etc, etc, etc.

Humans are curious beingsand they want answers to their questions.

'Science' can provide many answers, but, where it cannot, is that where 'God will provide'?

Human Sperm

Wikipedia Quote: 'I, the copyright holder of this work, release this work into the public domain'. Srr: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spermatozoa-human-3140x.jpg
Wikipedia Quote: 'I, the copyright holder of this work, release this work into the public domain'. Srr: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spermatozoa-human-3140x.jpg | Source

Human Sperm Cell - Diagrams

By Mariana Ruiz Villarreal, based on a diagram in "Gray's anatomy" Williams & Warwick, 1980 and a diagram in "Formation and organization of the mammalian sperm head" from Kiyotaka Toshimori and Chizuro Ito. (Chiba, Japan).
By Mariana Ruiz Villarreal, based on a diagram in "Gray's anatomy" Williams & Warwick, 1980 and a diagram in "Formation and organization of the mammalian sperm head" from Kiyotaka Toshimori and Chizuro Ito. (Chiba, Japan). | Source

Human Ovum - Surrounded by Corona Radiata

'Reproduction of a lithograph plate from Gray's Anatomy'
'Reproduction of a lithograph plate from Gray's Anatomy' | Source

The 'Facts of Life'

The story is pretty much the same for all mammals, but I shall discuss humans here.
This a simplified explanation for a very complex phenomenon ~ the biology of human reproduction.

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Eggs and Sperm ~ human reproductive biology

Sexually mature males produce an apparently unlimited supply of spermatozoa.
The word 'sperm' comes from the Greek word for a seed.

Sperm are single-cell gametes, which develop in the male testes.
Under a microscope, sperm look a little bit like tadpoles.

Females are born with a limited number of roundish single-cell gametes called ova ~ ie eggs.
Ova are contained within the ovaries

In sexually mature females, the ovarian follicle releases one egg per month. (Occasionally more than one egg may be released.) This is called ovulation.

The male reproductive cell is much smaller than the female reproductive cell ~ only 5 µm by 3 µm, but with a tail 41 µm long.

The ovum is a large cell, measuring 0.12 mm in diameter.

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It takes both knowledge and imagination to appreciate that a sperm and an egg could produce a new child.

Human Sperm - Stained

'Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License'. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sperm_stained.JPG
'Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License'. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sperm_stained.JPG | Source

Fertilisation: 'Zygote' to 'Embryo'

If a mature male and a mature female mate ~ ie. indulge in sexual activity ~ at the right time of the month, when the egg is ready, then the many sperm, which are released, will instinctively aim to fertilise that egg. Fertilisation does not always take place, but, when it does, two single cell gametes will join together to form new life.

After the fusion of the two gametes ~ one sperm and one ovum ~ the newly fertilised egg will become 'implanted in the female's uterus and, all being well, it will divide and then grow and develop until it becomes an embryo ~ and, eventually, a new baby..

Sperm Cell Fertilizing Egg Cell

Public Domain,. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sperm-egg.jpg
Public Domain,. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sperm-egg.jpg | Source

Haploid and Diploid cells

'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Haploid_vs_diploid.svg
'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Haploid_vs_diploid.svg | Source

Human Embryo - Eight Cells

'This work has been released into the public domain by its author, ekem'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Embryo,_8_cells.jpg
'This work has been released into the public domain by its author, ekem'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Embryo,_8_cells.jpg | Source

Cells

Human somatic eukaryotic cells ~ ie the cells which make up our bodies ~ are complex structures surrounded by a membrane and they contain 23 pairs of homologous chromosomes; that is 46 chromosomes in all. They are, thus, 'diploid'.

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'X' and 'Y' Chromosomes

Human sex cells, however, are 'haploid' ~ they each only contain one set of chromosomes; that is 23 chromosomes in all.

When sperm and ovum fuse, a new cell is produced which contains a complete set of chromosomes ~ 23 pairs; 46 chromosomes in all. It is, thus, diploid.

Sex-determination chromosomes are called the 'X' and 'Y' chromosomes.
Two 'X' chromosomes (XX) result in a female child.
An 'X' and a 'Y' chromosome (XY) will result in a male child.

Female ova always carry an 'X' chromosome.

Males determine the sex of their offspring, since individual sperm may bear either 'X' or 'Y' chromosomes.

A fertilised egg ~ ie one where ovum and sperm have fused to form a single cell with a full set of chromosomes ~ is known as a zygote.

Thus the zygote contains half of its DNA from its mother and half from its father. Since it has two sets, it is classed as 'diploid'.


Mitosis and Cytokinesis

The 'zygote' cell will then divide ~ or cleave ~ quickly, to form new cells, via processes known as 'mitosis' and 'cytokinesis'.

Each new cell will contain identical chromosomal material. The process repeats. Thus the new life develops into a multicellular 'embryo'.

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An 8-celled embryo looks nothing like a child, yet parents may already consider it to be their 'baby'.

Mitosis is ...

Definition of 'Mitosis'.

According to the online Oxford Dictionary, 'mitosis', is 'a type of cell division', resulting in 'two daughter cells, which each have the same number and kind of chromosomes as the parent nucleus'. This is 'typical of ordinary tissue growth'.

http://oxforddictionaries.com

Embryogenesis in Humans

'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license'.
'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license'. | Source

'First Stages of Segmentation of Mammal Ovum': a. Two-cells b. Four-cells c. Eight-cells, etc.

'Reproduction of a lithograph plate from Gray's Anatomy'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gray9.png
'Reproduction of a lithograph plate from Gray's Anatomy'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gray9.png | Source

Human Embryo: Head of 4-Week Embryo

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embryo_drawing
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embryo_drawing | Source

Human Embryo - 4 weeks after fertilization / 6 Weeks Gestation - Size: 1/8 inch. Weight: Less than 1 gram

Licensed under the Creative Commons. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:6_weeks_pregnant.png and http://3dpregnancy.parentsconnect.com/static/pregnancy-week-6.html
Licensed under the Creative Commons. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:6_weeks_pregnant.png and http://3dpregnancy.parentsconnect.com/static/pregnancy-week-6.html | Source

Haeckel's Work on Various Embryos: Is there any truth in it?

'Embryos of fish (F), salamander (A), tur tle (T), chick (H), pig (S), cow (R), rabbit (K), and human (M), at "very early", "somewhat later" and "still later" stages, from Haeckel's Anthropogenie published in 1874Public domain ~ copyright expired. See
'Embryos of fish (F), salamander (A), tur tle (T), chick (H), pig (S), cow (R), rabbit (K), and human (M), at "very early", "somewhat later" and "still later" stages, from Haeckel's Anthropogenie published in 1874Public domain ~ copyright expired. See | Source

'Embryo' to Newborn Babe

After 'cleavage', the embryo then grows and develops, until, at around nine weeks after fertilization, it is known as a fetus (foetus).

At this stage, according to Wikipedia, it measures about 30 millimetres 'from crown to rump', and 'weighs about 8 grams'.

After five months, the fetus measures about 20 cm.

By the end of the pregnancy ~ at around nine months ~ the baby may measure about 53 cm at birth.

Thus, within nine months, a new individual is created.

A new person arrives on the planet ~ hopefully to be loved and cared for.

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From two haploid cells ~ a nondescript egg and a minuscule, tadpole-like sperm ~ which just happened to find each other, a zygote is formed.

This zygote looks nothing like a human.

If the zygote were to become visible, no-one would ever guess that this was a potential baby.

Slowly, gradually, the cells divide and develop, until it becomes clear that a new little human is growing within its mother's womb.

In its early stages, one might be forgiven for wondering if it might turn into some other ~ non-human ~ life form, which it might then resemble.

* * * *

Ernst von Haeckel

Ernst von Haeckel (1834 – 1919) is famous for having produced a selection of embryological drawings, apparently showing early similarities between different species.

Sadly this work, which was at the centre of a huge controversy, is of little use to the non-specialist, because it is difficult to know which elements, if any, are reliable.

It has been claimed that Haeckel was found guilty of fraud, but, according to Wikipedia, 'there does not appear to be an independently verifiable source for this claim'.

Furthermore, Richardson and Keuck, in their work "Haeckel's ABC of evolution and development" wrote: 'While some criticisms of the drawings are legitimate, others are more tenditious'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haeckel

Left: Human Embryo: 4 weeks after fertilization / 6 weeks gestational age. Right:Human Fetus: 8 weeks after fertilization / 10 weeks gestational age

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Abortus.PNG
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Abortus.PNG | Source

10-Millimeter Human Embryo: 5th week / 7th week of pregnancy

'Released into the public domain by its author, E Uthman. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tubal_Pregnancy_with_embryo.jpg
'Released into the public domain by its author, E Uthman. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tubal_Pregnancy_with_embryo.jpg | Source

Conception - Birth - Change - A 'Magical' Phenomenon

Hundreds of babies are conceived every second, but, if this were not a regular occurance, and if we were not used to witnessing it, then it is likely that we simply would not believe the process to be true.

How could a beautiful little baby possibly come ~ apparently ~ from nowhere?

In the past, when the links between sex and reproduction were not known, or not understood, then this must have seemed to be a very mysterious ~ even magical ~ process.

Even so, it is still amazing that two haploid cells, once joined, could divide and grow and make a new human ~ a person who previously did not exist.

It is equally fascinating that the new little human baby should slowly disappear, as a child grows in its place, and that the child should disappear, as a young adult grows in his place, and that this young adult, too, should be replaced by ever older adults until, finally, death claims the individual, and s/he, once again, ceases to exist.

Human Embryo: Approximately 6 weeks from conception / 8 weeks estimated gestational age

'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Embryo_-_Approximately_8_weeks_estimated_gestational_age.jpg
'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_Embryo_-_Approximately_8_weeks_estimated_gestational_age.jpg | Source

Human Embryo: seven weeks / ninth week of pregnancy'

'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:9-Week_Human_Embryo_from_Ectopic_Pregnancy.jpg
'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:9-Week_Human_Embryo_from_Ectopic_Pregnancy.jpg | Source

The Potential of One Single Cell

Clearly a single-celled potential human can develop from two single haploid cells, which might otherwise have simply died off.

Clearly, a fertilised zygote can develop from a tiny, barely noticeable single cell, which resembles nothing, into groups of cells, which also resemble nothing very much.

And clearly, these cells can develop, through various different stages, until they take on obviously human form.

A single cell can become recognisably human in less than nine months of pregnancy.

A new baby can change so many times, within it's life, that s/he might become unrecognisable from one year to another.

The centenarian is nothing like the baby it once was ~ and certainly nothing at all like the zygote which started it all.

Yet the vital material was all there, passing on the traits of the parent and grandparents and ready to form arms and legs; heart and lungs; eyes, nose and mouth.

It's a non-supernatural miracle.
It would seem unbelievable, if we did not know that it were true.

Similarly, evolution seems unbelievable to many.

Human Embryo: 8 Weeks

'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.' See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_embryo_8_weeks_4.JPG
'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.' See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_embryo_8_weeks_4.JPG | Source

Human Fetus: 8 weeks after fertilization / 10 weeks gestational age

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:10_weeks_pregnant.png
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:10_weeks_pregnant.png | Source

From Single Cell

It takes only nine months for a baby to develop from a single cell to a 'bundle of joy'.

It takes only one lifetime for a thriving new baby to change completely into a dying old man.

Within around 100 years, a person may go from non-existence to existence to non-existence again.

Though the changes might otherwise be barely comprehensible to us, we can witness them ~ so we simply accept them.

However, it takes many, many, many lifetimes for a primitive single-celled organism to evolve into a modern human. Thus we cannot witness this phenomenon first-hand. Consequently, many people find it hard to accept.

Many refuse to believe it and many reject the idea, without ever giving it a real chance.

But, as pregnancy and childbirth show, though something might seem unbelievable, this does not, necessarily mean that it is not true.

Human Embryo: 8-9 Weeks (38 mm)

'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_embryo.jpg
'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_embryo.jpg | Source

Human Fetus: 3 Months (about 12 weeks)

Public domain - 'a work of the United States Federal Government under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fetus_3_months.jpg
Public domain - 'a work of the United States Federal Government under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fetus_3_months.jpg | Source

Modern Knowledge

Nowadays, because of better education and scientific advances, most of us know a lot more about the intricacies of birth and death.

We understand sexual reproduction.
We understand how cells work.
We know that they develop and grow in youngsters.
We know that our cells are forever being replaced.

We know that, as each organism ages, the replacement process will work less well and we know that, as inferior cell copies are produced, the person will degenerate with age, until they die.

In the distant past, few people, if any, would have understood this ~ just as they did not understand thunder and lightning, or eclipses of the sun and moon.

Human Fetus in the Amniotic Sac

Public domain - 'a work of the United States Federal Government under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fetus_amniotic_sac.jpg
Public domain - 'a work of the United States Federal Government under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fetus_amniotic_sac.jpg | Source

Human Fetus: Ultrasound Image (3 in / 7.6 cm)

'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ultrasound_image_of_a_fetus.jpg
'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ultrasound_image_of_a_fetus.jpg | Source

Human Fetus - 'Sucking his thumb'

'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license' See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sucking_his_thumb_and_waving.jpg
'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license' See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sucking_his_thumb_and_waving.jpg | Source

Seeking Answers

Answers were sought and found in the supernatural.

God was the solution to all mysteries.

Stories developed ~ probably passed on by shamans and priests ~ which attempted to explain the apparently inexplicable.

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Where did I come from?
~ God made you.

Was there really a time when I simply didn't exist?
~ You always existed in God.

Will there be a time, again, when I shall not exist?
~ You will return to God.

Where did life come from?
~ God created it.

Where did the first ever people come from?
~ God moulded them out of clay and breathed life into them.

How did the Earth and the sun and the moon and the entire universe get here?
~ God made them.

Why do we have thunder and lightning, or eclipses of the sun and moon?
~ They are messages from God.

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'God' was the only answer they had, because even the kings and lawgivers and priests were more ignorant of certain scientific knowledge than many school children are today.

And, if the people were told the Biblical stories, then they might accept them either as fact, or as allegory.

Having the people believe the stories as fact, because they were the word of God, would be more empowering to the leaders, who passed on these tales.


Human Fetus - Ultrasound

'This work has been released into the public domain by its author, I, Staecker': 'My baby, my picture'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:3dultrasound_20_weeks.jpg
'This work has been released into the public domain by its author, I, Staecker': 'My baby, my picture'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:3dultrasound_20_weeks.jpg | Source

Human Fetus: 18 weeks after fertilization / 20 weeks gestational age

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:20_weeks_pregnant.png
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:20_weeks_pregnant.png | Source

Human Fetus: 38 weeks after fertilization / 40 weeks gestational age

Human 'embryo' at 38 weeks. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:40_weeks_pregnant.png
Human 'embryo' at 38 weeks. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:40_weeks_pregnant.png | Source

Answers Found?

Atheists will say that God is no longer required to answer any questions.

Agnostics think that it is impossible to know the answers to certain questions, at this time.

Some Believers will say that God and science can co-exist. They even accept the science of evolution, because they consider Genesis to be allegorical.

Some Believers say that the Genesis story has to be literally true, because the Bible is God's word. Thus man did not develop from a single-celled creature, because he was formed, by God, out of earth or clay. Thus evolution must be a lie.

As for the existence of God, the truth is that no-one really knows ~ not for certain.
Atheists are people, who do not 'know', but who believe that God does not exist.
Christians are people, who do not 'know', but who believe that God does exist.
Agnostics simply admit that they do not know.
Some agnostics may have tendencies towards atheism; some may have tendencies towards belief.

Whatever people believe, as regards the supernatural, humans and other life-forms do exist, here on Earth, and life did begin and develop, somehow.

One might believe that God made us, or one might not.
One might believe that God is as described in the Bible, or one might not.
This has to depend upon faith.

Human Newborn

'Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License'. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HumanNewborn.JPG
'Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License'. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HumanNewborn.JPG | Source

Single-Cell Organisms Exist Today - Eg. The Amoeba

Public domain - copyright expired. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wilson1900Fig3.jpg
Public domain - copyright expired. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wilson1900Fig3.jpg | Source
'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Amoeba_%28PSF%29.svg
'Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Amoeba_%28PSF%29.svg | Source

Evolution and Faith?

Some Believers think that acceptance of evolutionary theory also depends upon faith.

Well, almost everything that we accept has to depend upon faith, to a certain degree.

We cannot all know everything about everything, so we have to rely upon experts ~ and experts are not infallible.

Meteorologists may get the weather forecast wrong.

Doctors may misdiagnose illnesses.

However, though doctors and meteorologists may sometimes make mistakes, this does not mean that everything every doctor or meteorologist says is incorrect.

It is not foolish to continue to consult the weather forecast, if one is going out for the day, or to consult a doctor, when one feels ill.

Relying on these experts ~ having 'faith' in them, is not at all the same thing as as believing in the amazing tales told in ancient times.

Accepting the information provided by science is not a religion.
Accepting that gravity will prevent us all from flying off the earth is not a religious belief.
Accepting the abundant evidence of evolution is not blind faith.

Evolutionary theory certainly is not the work of the devil, nor is it the dogma of an alternative religion.


Postpartum human baby - covered in vernix

'Llicensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.' See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Postpartum_baby3.jpg
'Llicensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.' See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Postpartum_baby3.jpg | Source

Newborn Baby with Umbilical Cord Still Attached

'This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.' See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Umbilical-newborn.jpg
'This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.' See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Umbilical-newborn.jpg | Source

Theories and Facts

Even the experts do not yet have the full story on evolution, and certainly some of them may have made mistakes.

That is how science works. It is an ongoing study. It doesn't just stop. It suggests hypotheses, tests them and draws conclusions ~ which will continue to be tested, as new information becomes available.

However, just because we do not know everything that there is to know about evolution does not mean that it is not true.

A 'scientific theory' is not a suggestion or a hypthesis, it is a tested 'fact'.

Because most of us do not use scientific jargon, many do not understand the implications of this. In general parlance, we may use the words 'hypothesis'. 'theory', suggestion', etc, interchangeably. One cannot do this in the scientific field, where these words have specific meanings. Even the word 'fact' is different there, so a scientist's 'theory' is a 'fact' to the rest of us.

Yes, evolution is a fact of life.

One may believe that it was set in motion by God, or not, depending upon one's religious faith, or lack thereof, but the evidence for it definitely exists.


Newborn Baby: 1 Hour After Birth

'Released under the GNU Free Documentation License; Licensed under the GFDL by the author.'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Newborn_baby-1_hour_after.jpg
'Released under the GNU Free Documentation License; Licensed under the GFDL by the author.'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Newborn_baby-1_hour_after.jpg | Source

Single cell to baby to old age.

Old Woman Dozing. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maes_Old_Woman_Dozing.jpg Public Domain. Out of Copyright - 1656
Old Woman Dozing. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maes_Old_Woman_Dozing.jpg Public Domain. Out of Copyright - 1656 | Source

A Parallel Phenomenon - human reproduction and development and human evolution

We humans develop ~ slowly ~ from two haploid cells, to one diploid cell. For every one of us, a single cell then develops to become the people who we are today.

Furthermore, all life on earth developed ~ very, very, very slowly ~ from single cells, to become the myriad life forms we see on Earth today.

It may, perhaps, be considered a parallel phenomenon.

The Alternative: Adam and Eve?

'Adam and Eve' by Lucas Cranach the Elder ~ 1533 and by Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) ~ c. 1570. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lucas_Cranach_the_Elder-Adam_and_Eve_1533.jpg and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tizian_091.jpg
'Adam and Eve' by Lucas Cranach the Elder ~ 1533 and by Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) ~ c. 1570. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lucas_Cranach_the_Elder-Adam_and_Eve_1533.jpg and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tizian_091.jpg | Source

A Nine-Month 'Evolution'


In his excellent book on evolution ~ 'The Greatest Show on Earth’ ~ Richard Dawkins recounts an amusing and thought-provoking anecdote.

The story concerned Professor J B S Haldane and a woman, who challenged him, at a lecture that he was giving.

Could a single cell ever evolve into a complex human, no matter how much time was available?

Haldane comfirmed that a single cell could most definitely, and obviously, develop into a complex human: “Madam", he replied,"you did it yourself, and it only took nine months".

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John (aka Jack) B S Haldane (1892 – 1964) was an evolutionary biologist and geneticist.

These and Other Books Available From Amazon

Front Covers ~ Amazon
Front Covers ~ Amazon

From This to This - Barely Believable!

Old Woman: Nicolaes Maes - 1656 - out of copyright. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maes_Old_Woman_Dozing.jpg Other Images: as above
Old Woman: Nicolaes Maes - 1656 - out of copyright. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maes_Old_Woman_Dozing.jpg Other Images: as above | Source

Conclusions - Human ancestors? Adam and Eve or primitive single-cell organisms?

Every human baby began as a single-cell zygote.

Were the earliest ancestors of humankind also single-cell organisms?

Or were the God-created humans, Adam and Eve, our earliest ancestors?

Or, indeed, are the names 'Adam' and 'Eve' just symbolic names for those earliest single-cell organisms?

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It seems, to me, that the book of Genesis provides an allegorical explanation for the beginning of life. At the time, it would have helped to provide answers to the questions that all humans tend to pose.

Genesis does not negate any truths about evolutionary theory, because, in those days, it is unlikely that anyone would have been able to propose or understand such a theory. Allegory was all they had.

*

I hope that all readers will enjoy this article, but I especially hope that those, who currently reject evolutionary theory, on the basis that a primitive single-celled creature could not possibly 'turn into a human', will think again, after looking, 'with new eyes', at the ways in which an individual human being changes, constantly, between conception and death ~ and develops from a single cell into a multicellular complex organism.

In the Beginning - Is this really how it all began?

'God Created Adam' ~ Sistine Chapel ~ Michelangelo Buonarroti - c1511. Out of copyright. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Creation_of_Adam.jpg
'God Created Adam' ~ Sistine Chapel ~ Michelangelo Buonarroti - c1511. Out of copyright. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Creation_of_Adam.jpg | Source

Sources, Copyright Etc

To supplement and check my own knowledge, I have consulted, for the most part, Wikipedia. Links have been given to the appropriate pages.

Specific quotes have been credited accordingly.

Images have been obtained from Wikimedia Commons and I understand that there should not be any problems, using them for this article. (Click on some of the images for a larger view).

This article ~ ie my own words ~ are copyright. All rights reserved.

Tricia Mason

Single-Cell Beginnings

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WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

Wow! What a great presentation. I always wondered about that.

Seriously, this is a wonderful study. I will recommend it.


JKenny profile image

JKenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

What a comprehensive, wonderfully written and well laid out. Great work Trish!! Voted up.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Great hub! I though the physiological part stood well alone without the nature/nuture explanations...maybe a prt one and two, it made it a task to take in, but I read it all.

People should read the books about these great doctors and philosophers. I hope excellent hubs like yours will give them the taste to do so.

The work you put into your articles! I'm in awe, I hope you are being recompensed.

Bob


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Diogenes, JKenny and WD Curry 111 :) :) :)

Thank you for reading!

And thank you, all, for your very kind words! I feel in awe, myself, after reading them :)

Maybe my hubs are a bit long, at times, but I have had the idea for this one floating around in my head for a while and I just had to get it 'down on paper', as it were :)

I wanted to address the issues that many people have with evolution, and the fact that they find it impossible to believe.

I can appreciate that evolution sounds unlikely and unbelievable. After all, how could we complex humans possibly have evolved from an ape ~ never mind an amoeba-like blob?

Yet the evidence is there that we did evolve, and the experts are certain, and the books on the subject clarify exactly how it works.

It seems to me that there are parallels between evolution and human development, and I wanted to use these similarities in order to address the 'rejecting evolution' issue.

Those people, who dismiss evolution, are usually happy to accept the almost unbelievable changes that happen within us, between fertilisation and death, without question. They have no real choice, though, because it occurs right in front of their eyes.

If they, who claim that primitive single-cell creatures cannot possibly 'turn into humans', can look at this subject with new eyes, and see how, every day, single cells are 'turning into humans', then, maybe, they will give evolutionary theory another chance. I hope so.

Recompense? ~ Well, I found my research very interesting and educational. As for financial recompense, I think that I earn about a dollar a day on here. Maybe I'll buy myself a mansion :) :)


anonymous 4 years ago

Well, lets see, your dollar a day means you can buy a coffee and scone at Starbucks about once a week. Lap of luxury there.

These days i am thinking about evolution in broader terms - what i mean is that animals (and humans) interact with their environment, and both adapt. So organisms adapt, but then they influence the place where they live, they change it in fact. I just finished a book called 'Buffalo For the Broken Heart,' written by a rancher who replaced his cattle with buffalo on his Great Plains ranch. He made this decision because he knew buffalo, a native species, were better suited to the unique eosystem of the great Plains than cattle imported from Europe. What caught him off guard was just how well they were adapted - and how the land they were on became healthier. Buffalo's behavior was different in everything from how they find water to how they cope with a blizzard. With buffalo living on the ranch, the grass grew taller, the soil retained more water, more species of plants began to seed and grow, and wildlife increased. I think evolution has to be looked at as a whole system - everything is evolving, or one might say adapting. The understanding of ecosystems - in particular how complex they are - is very new. However the earth began, it has changed dramatially over the last thousand years. All creatures have adapted - so have landscapes. I think this is all part of that larger picture of evolution.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi 'Anonymous' :)

I agree that, in all aspects of life, it is good to look at 'the bigger picture'.

Interesting comments ~ thanks :)


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Congratulations, Trish!

I'm sure you gained a lot of insights in the process of writing this great hub, eh?

While human evolution is your focus, the natural process of life unfolding before us is made very clear in your example: Haeckel's Work on Various Embryos

It becomes obvious that nature is more complex than some humans will ever want to admit, who want to simply credit some supernatural deity with this capacity instead of actually studying how nature works and how things unfold before us without nature ever requiring any divine intervention at all!

Thanks for a great job - well done!

Franto in Toronto


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Franto :)

Thank you very much!

Yes, I did learn a lot, and think a lot, as I wrote this.

Nature's miracles are there for us all to behold, every day ~ super nature rather than supernatural.

Evolution fascinates me.

I am a historian, not a scientist, but evolutionary theory takes our story ever further back into the past.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Trish. Me again. I really admire the way you had to tiptoe through this hub containing, as it does, some conflicting evidence. You did a great job stitching it together, especially knowing where your heart lies from previous writing. a $ per day is double what I make here and more than most I would say.

Bob


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 4 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

I'll vote up. It seems you haven't stirred up a hornets nest with this piece. I don't know why. Maybe all the Holy Joes are out to lunch.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Thanks Rod :)

I'd just like people to look at evolution and think about the parallels, before dismissing it.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Bob :)

I am an agnostic rather than an atheist, but some things I do reject.

I don't think that the 'miraculous' aspects of the Bible can be true ~ ie clay men coming to life.

I realise that evolution may sound unbelievable, but so does the development of single cell to baby, when one really thinks about it.

I think, therefore, that it is wrong to dismiss evolutionary theory, simply because the human brain has trouble comprehending it, and because an ancient myth says that it isn't so :)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas

Incredible hub! Lots of great information that everyone should know. As for evolution, I think we are always evolving -- mostly in the psychological/intelligence area. I don't believe we evolved from fish or apes or whatever some people want to believe.

God has made Himself known to me. I did not ask for proof, expect proof, or require proof, but He gave me proof, and as a result, I will never question or doubt His existence so long as I live. If everyone had the certainty I have about that, perhaps the world might be a better place.

But I love the biology you have here and I think it's excellent and awesome. Voting you UP and awesome, sharing with my followers.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Au fait :)

Thank you for reading and for your kind words.

We'll have to agree to disagree re beliefs ~ I do accept that we evolved from fish and apes ~ but that's ok :)

Glad you enjoyed it :)


Sooner28 4 years ago

Glad to see an intellectually honest Christian! I've encountered a few people on here who told me evolution was a farce, and they proceeded to explain, not being scientists or even able to get the explanation of the theory correct, why 7 day Creationism is superior and should be accepted. I have many relatives like this also, and certain members of out national government push Creationism (7 day,traditional Biblical type) also! Great hub.


EinderDarkwolf profile image

EinderDarkwolf 4 years ago from Tempe, A.Z.

I now know more about the Baby making process then I ever wanted to know before -_-. I'm scarred for life now. Still a great hub though. Shared and voted up!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi EinderDarkwolf :)

I'm glad that you found it educational :)


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Sooner28 :)

I'm glad that you enjoyed it. I have written a few 'evolution' hubs. I think that I was inspired to do so, by some of the people you describe :)

I am agnostic :)


Sooner28 4 years ago

Oh. I'm sorry. Well, glad to have you at hub pages either way!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello again Sooner28 :)

Nothing to be sorry for :) :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

Wow! An excellent hub about the facts of live! This was such an enjoyable read, refreshing my memory! Amazing: Haeckel's phases of the embrio: ?sh, salamander, turtle, chick, pig, cow, rabbit and finally human.

I still wonder what the very first 'human-to-be' was, able to reproduce male and female off-springs? So many theories! But what does it really matters? Why are we so curious? Lol! We waste a lot of living-time searching for the answers of all our questions. Oh well.... we are but only human...

Voted up, again, Trish!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, Trish, Wow! I felt as though I was watching a documentary when I was reading this, those photos of the stages of a baby just kept me glancing over until I had to go back and read your words again! lol! Mothers, who would have us? lol! seriously this was an amazing hub, all the explanations of life, and evolution on top, along with a dash of religion and Wow! I personally believe that Evolution and God equals the same thing. If you think about it, if you plant a flower garden, you sprinkle the seeds and watch it grow, same with evolution. Why would God just place us down here never to change, never to evolve? doesn't make sense. Every thing in life is an evolution, but God was probably behind the whole idea! fantastic hub, voted up and shared! nell


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Martie :)

Thank you!

I think that humans were born to be curious ~ maybe it's part of what makes us human.

Since Haeckel's drawings were so controversial and, apparently, 'wrong', I really don't know which bits, if any, may still be considered 'right' :)

Thank you for reading and responding.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Nell :)

Thank you for your kind words!

I have to say that I am grateful to those, who allow access to the images that I used. Without them, I don't think that I could have written this article.

It's interesting that you accept both evolution and God, since thee is a debate going on in the forum on that very subject ~ resulting from a thread that I started :)

It seems that, for some, there is no problem, yet, for others, it seems impossible.

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a lovely comment :)


syed2011 4 years ago

I have never seen/read, Such type of explanation about human embryo with beautiful images.

Thank you so much..

Sheila Burnett

My blog : http://sheilaburnett.livejournal.com


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Thank you, Sheila :)


Muslim Believer profile image

Muslim Believer 4 years ago

Hi Trish,

The big question isn't about the changing of a cell into a complete human being, since we see this in the fetus as you have explained.

The real question is:

Where did the "primitive single-cell" you spoke about come from? Did it just pop into existence out of nowhere?


Muslim Believer profile image

Muslim Believer 4 years ago

Hi Trish

The big question isn't if a single cell could evolve into a human being, as this can be proved through the development of the fetus as you have shown.

The real question is:

Where did the primitive single-cell organism come from?

Did it just pop out of nowhere?


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Muslim Believer :)

Thank you for your interest!

Evolution is not about the origin of life, it is about the development of life, and that is all that anyone can discuss with any confidence, because no-one knows how life, itself, actually began.

However, I have seem some very persuasive presentations, which show how very simple life could have begun, given Earth's early environment. Time will tell, I'm sure :)


CatherineGiordano profile image

CatherineGiordano 14 months ago from Orlando Florida

Interesting hub. Now that water has been fond on Mars, some scientists are saying that since Mars is older that the Earth that life on Earth may have began on Mars in the form of microbes that hitched a ride on cosmic debris that landed here eons ago. Of course, that on;y pushes back the question. How did life begin on Mars?


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 14 months ago from The English Midlands Author

It's a truly fascinating subject, Catherine.

Thanks for your input :)


diogenes profile image

diogenes 14 months ago from UK and Mexico

Hi Trish: I got another reminder in my inbox today about this article which has some legs on it I see. It seems religion and evolution are neck and neck as they push us towards disaster. Evolution in denying us the mental ability not to conceive and religion the prime mover behind most of our bloody wars again and again.

Poor mankind. I saw a show on TV about the deep water sharks which survived the extinctions in the deeps by Japan. Some have been here hardly changing since (and before perhaps) the dinosaurs. It seems they will be the only creatures to carry on alone again soon.

Bob


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 14 months ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Diogenes, good to see you. :)

I think that we just have to try very hard to be optimistic in spite of everything going on around us. :)


diogenes profile image

diogenes 14 months ago from UK and Mexico

As the Hollywood cop, Friday said, "Jes gimme de facts, ma'm, jes the facts!"

For a minute, accept what we sense is actually true, (it may not be). Given these facts, there's no basis for optimism EXCEPT if we can colonise another world.

Bob


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 14 months ago from The English Midlands Author

I can't help but be optimistic, Bob. It's just the way I am.

However, I sometimes look around at what is going on in the world and depression has to be held off.

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