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What is the origine of Man ? "Maurice Bucaille"

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What is the Origin of Man? The Answers of Science and the Holy Scriptures Dr Maurice Bucaille
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What is the Origin of Man?
The Answers of Science and the Holy Scriptures
Dr Maurice Bucaille

What is the Origin of Man? ....................................................................................................... 1
Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 3
Chapter 1: Evolution in the Animal Kingdom established facts and gaps in our
Knowledge ......................................................................................................................... 7
The Origins of Life and the Diversity of Living Beings ............................................................ 7
The Diversity of Living Beings ................................................................................................... 9
The Concept of Evolution in the Animal Kingdom: The Difficulty of Solving the Problem .. 10
Lamarck & Transformation ..................................................................................................... 12
Lamarck, the Father of Evolution ............................................................................................ 13
Critical Assessment of Lamarck's Theories ............................................................................. 13
Darwin and Natural Selection, or a Hypothesis survives through Ideology ............................ 14
The Ideas of Malthus as Applied to the Animal Kingdom ........................................................ 15
Criticism of Darwin's Theory ................................................................................................... 16
Data on Evolution in the Animal Kingdom that Contradict Darwinian Concepts .................. 16
Neo Darwinism ........................................................................................................................ 18
Socio-biology ........................................................................................................................... 19
Essential features of Evolution that should not be Overlooked ............................................... 20
The role of Chance and Necessity ........................................................................................... 21
The Complexity of Cellular Organization and the Genes ........................................................ 24
Essential Data Concerning the Biochemical Organization of the Cell ................................... 25
The Chromosomes .................................................................................................................... 27
The Genes ................................................................................................................................ 28
The Genes: Their role in Evolution and other Processes ......................................................... 29
The Role of the Genes in Evolution. Mutations ....................................................................... 29
Other Points Which Need to Be Explained .............................................................................. 30
Genes and Regeneration .......................................................................................................... 31
Genes and Animal Behaviour .................................................................................................. 32
Genetic Manipulations ............................................................................................................. 34
Creative Evolution ................................................................................................................... 35
Chapter 2: The Evolution of Man compared with that of other living beings similarities
and differences ................................................................................................................. 39
The successive waves of Human types from Primitive Man to Homo Sapiens ....................... 39
Evolution in the Various Human Groups ................................................................................. 42
The Gaps In Our Knowledge ................................................................................................... 42
Were the Waves Independent or Interdependent? ................................................................... 43
Gradually Acquired Stability ................................................................................................... 44
Fortuitous Variations Do Not Provide An Answer .................................................................. 45
The Most Debated Origin: The Apes or their Ancestors ......................................................... 45
The Importance of Dealing With This Subject ......................................................................... 45
Those Presented As Our Grandparents ................................................................................... 46
Similarities and Differences Between the Anatomical Features of the Two Lineages ............. 47
Biochemical and Genetic Features .......................................................................................... 48
How Relevant Is the Debate Today? ........................................................................................ 49
Innate and aquired Behaviour: A comparison between Man and the Animals ........................ 50
The Role of Innate Behaviour in the Animals .......................................................................... 50

The Capacity for Imitation in Animals and Its Possibly Delayed Effects ................................ 51
Animals Rarely Use Implements .............................................................................................. 52
The Loss of Man's Innate Behaviour........................................................................................ 53
Man's Mental Faculties Highlighted By Social Intercourse .................................................... 54
The Influence of Creative Evolution in Man's Development................................................... 55
Chapter 3: The first answer of the Holy Scriptures: The Bible ....................................... 57
The need to know the Origin and History of the Texts ............................................................ 57
Modern Approaches to the Books of the Bible ........................................................................ 58
The Old Testament ................................................................................................................... 58
The New Testament .................................................................................................................. 60
The Creation of Man according to the Bible: The narratives and their Context ...................... 62
The Creation of Man According to Genesis ............................................................................. 62
An Examination of the Two Narratives : Of the Creation in the Light of Modern Knowledge 64
The narrative found in the Sacerdotal version ......................................................................... 65
The narrative found in the Yahvist version .............................................................................. 66
The Date of Man's First Appearance on Earth ........................................................................ 67
Data from the Biblical Genealogies ........................................................................................ 67
Data contained in the New Testament ..................................................................................... 68
The Inevitability of Scientific Error in the Bible ...................................................................... 69
Chapter 4: The Origin, Transformations and Reproduction of Man according to the
Qur'an ............................................................................................................................... 70
Preliminary Notions of the Qur'anic Text, Its History and Contents ....................................... 70
The Origin and Perpetuation of Life ........................................................................................ 73
The Origins of Life ................................................................................................................... 74
The Perpetuation of Life .......................................................................................................... 75
The Origin of Man and Transformations of the Human form over the Ages .......................... 76
The Profound Spiritual Meaning of the Creation of Man from the Earth ............................... 77
The Components of the Ground and the formation of Man ..................................................... 78
The Transformations of Man Over the Ages ............................................................................ 82
Human Reproduction: Its effects upon Transformations in the Species .................................. 85
Reminder of Certain Notions Concerning Human Reproduction ............................................ 86
Statements Contained in the Qur'an ........................................................................................ 86
The Small volume of Liquid required for Fertilization ............................................................ 87
The Complexity of the Fertilizing Liquid ................................................................................. 88
The Implantation of the Egg in the Female Genital Organs .................................................... 89
The Evolution of the Embryo inside the Uterus ....................................................................... 90
The Transformations of the Human Form Over the Ages and Embryonic Development ........ 91
Chapter 5: The Compatibility between Religion and Science ......................................... 93
The many approaches to the Question ..................................................................................... 93
The Difficulties Encountered ................................................................................................... 94
The Concept of the Creation and Science ................................................................................ 95
Evolution and the Animal Kingdom and the transformation of the Human Form .................. 96
Cellular Organization and the Origin of the Genetic Code: A Scientific Enigma ................... 98
The Evolution of Living beings, A special case within the General Evolution of the Universe
................................................................................................................................................. 99
The Compatibility between Religion and Science ................................................................. 102


Introduction

Man has pondered his origins for thousands of years, but until recently, his only source of ideas consisted of
notions drawn from religious teachings and various philosophical systems. Not until modern times, and the
arrival of data of a different kind, has he been able to approach the problem of his origins from a new angle.
We live in a time where reason and the conquests of science claim to provide logical answers to all the great
questions asked by the human intellect. Likewise, the problem of the origin of man has primarily been presented
by some as a matter that can be perfectly explained by secular knowledge. Darwin's On the Origin of Species,
which appeared in England in 1859, enjoyed a great success with the public, and during the years that followed.,
it became clear just how significant was the effect of a theory which, as far as the origin of man was concerned,
did little more than offer suggestions. A basic hostility toward religious teachings already existed, however, and
in Darwin's theory, people saw what seemed to be a decisive argument: Through what appeared to be a logical
assimilation, they felt free to postulate that man was descended from the apes. This went beyond Darwin's
theory, however, for by extrapolation, such people had managed to assert that, just as other species must have
come from a different, pre-existing species, so man must have appeared on earth as the result of an evolution
from a neighbouring lineage in the animal kingdom.
This statement concerning the origins of man came as a profound shock to all those who remained faithful to the
teachings of the Bible, for they believed that man was created by God. Moreover, the very idea of the evolution
of species contradicted the words of the Bible, which stated quite clearly that the species were fixed and
immutable. Secular theory and religious teaching were at odds, and the consequences of this confrontation were
far reaching indeed. It was maintained that the Bible until that time considered to be the word of God had been
found wrong. Credence could no longer be given to it, and for many, that meant rejection of the entire text of the
Bible. As a result, the theory gained ground that scientific data undermined the faith in God.
At first glance, this argument seems logical, but it does not hold water today because when talking of the
Biblical texts, we now possess certain facts that were only beginning to be discovered at the end of the
nineteenth century. The idea of a text of revelation to be accepted without questioning a single sentence gave
way to the notion of a text inspired by God. The text of inspiration was written by mortal men at different points
in time, it took its cue from ideas of the day, and included the traditions, myths and superstitions prevalent at the
time it was written. "The scientific errors in the Bible are the errors of mankind, for long ago man was like a
child, as yet ignorant of science:" This quotation from the work of the eminent Christian thinker Jean Guitton
(1978) leads us to view the texts of the Bible from an angle very different from what was once the rule.
Indeed, the texts referred to here were consistently, thought to have been written by Moses himself. In actual
fact however the longest part of Genesis: `(the Sacerdotal narrative)' was written by priests in the sixth century
B.C. There is, however, a second narration, the Yahvist version, that probably dates back to the ninth or tenth
century B.C. In view of this, it is difficult to take archaic ideas seriously. I have given a detailed account of this
question in La Bible, le Coran et la Science' [The Bible, the Qur'an and Science] [Published by Seghers, Paris, 9th edition, 1983,
Also available in English from the same publisher.], and if we add to it ideas put forward on the texts by Christian exegetes
themselves, we may conclude that there is no need' to prolong the antagonism between the supremacy of
scientific fact and the primacy of Biblical teachings.
Later on, we shall see that the situation is quite different for other Scriptures, on account of their origin as well
as their content. Here again, however, the age-old antagonism between religion and science is no longer
justified.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that many scientists continue to view with disdain or at least with indifference
any comment that touches on the supernatural, an attitude which appears to have hardened over the last few
decades: Science is the key to everything, and sooner or later it must reveal facts that will enable us to form an
exact picture of the origins of life, the formation and functioning of living matter; the appearance on earth of
organisms ranging from the most basic to the most complex, and last but not least, the origins of man. In view of
this, we may well ask whether religious teachings have not been superseded by progress. How indeed can we
fail to be impressed by the stupendous discoveries of modern times particularly in molecular biology and

genetics when these discoveries have enabled us to acquire an astonishingly precise insight into the field of
cellular physiology?
It is easy to understand the excitement of researchers. Aware of their immense scope for discovery and action,
they have even developed projects concerning the man of the future. In their view, certain of his qualities or
characteristics could be oriented' a concept that is today seen as a theoretical possibility. Many scientists
researching the practical applications of genetics are undoubtedly appalled at the consequences that might arise
if possibilities became realities. All the same, the very fact of wielding such power - if only theoretical power is
surely a source of great excitement for researchers. In the minds of many scientists, the knowledge that such a
power exists may lead them to consider that the ability to change living matter according to their fancy - for that
is what it comes down to renders obsolete any theory on the origins of life that incorporates the supernatural.
The same applies to those who confidently expect one day to see primary living matter created in the laboratory.
Greatly to their credit is the fact that they have contributed data of immense value to our knowledge of life.
They are seriously in error, however, when they imagine that from their laboratory and only from their
laboratory (along with additional mathematical studies) have come, or will come; definitive data concerning
man and the origins of life.
In actual fact, the subject of man's origins and evolution is extremely complex: It embraces so many disciplines
that it is questionable whether a single person could make a detailed confrontation between the great mass of
data, hypotheses and judgements that has been formed. Under the circumstances, we cannot fail to be sceptical
when we are told that a certain idea drawn from a study limited to a single field provides us with the definitive
answer to the question in hand. Clearly, this kind of zeal for an idea that often derives from mere supposition or
foregone conclusion is detrimental to our overall knowledge of the subject.
Some researchers seem to be driven by the misguided wish to defend ideologies that have nothing to do with
science. This fact is stressed by P.P. Grass', who for 30 years held the Chair of Evolutionary Studies at the
Sorbonne, in his recent work entitled L'Homme en accusation' [Man Stands Accused] [Published by Albin Michel, Paris,
1980], in which he is extremely critical of today's neo Darwinism. In the present work, I shall be citing many of
the ideas put forward by this eminent zoologist, for I am convinced that his theories are correct. Grasse'
concludes that while the fact of evolution is beyond question, there are great gaps in our knowledge of the way it
operates, and there is no valid explanation of the factors determining it: The random mutations that take place in
the genes which control heredity are insufficient to play a determinant role in evolution itself: 1n the case of
man, a fact such as the development of the brain since the Australopithecus, over, a period covering at the very
most 80,000 generations, is inconceivable in neo Darwinian terms. One of the great mysteries of human
evolution is the (almost total) loss of man's innate behaviour, a feature that has remained present and active in
apes. Man's evolution cannot be compared point for point with that of the rest of the animal kingdom.
In spite of this, we are constantly supplied with inaccurate data to support the opposite theory. Not long ago, for
example, I listened to a radio interview with a 'member of an important research institute. The interview was
aired as part of the main news programme of the day and reached hundreds of thousands of listeners. During the
interview, the scientist in question supported by the prestige attached to his position stated firmly that the
relationship between man and the apes had been clearly established by experiments pleading to the creation of
hybrid genes: A new chemical complex had been constituted at the level of the molecule, made from
components taken from both man and apes.. While this may be perfectly feasible in theory; it tells us absolutely
nothing. The fallacy lies in the fact that the gene was presented as a messenger' capable of carrying
information, and hence of triggering the creation of new living tissue, a statement for which there is not one jot
of evidence. What a pity it is that we live in an age where sensational but erroneous information is more likely
to capture the public imagination than carefully weighed judgements expressing reservations and pointing
toward the existence of facts as yet unknown.
Perhaps it is enough to remain at this stage, simply devoting our discussion of the origins of man to a review of
the facts that modern scientific knowledge allows us to present as certainties or hypotheses, and at the same time
refuting ideas that appear incorrect. What, indeed, is the point of bringing into the discussion the Holy
Scriptures of the monotheistic religions?
First let me reply to those who consider their scientific knowledge to be one thing and their religious beliefs to
be another a group that has continued to grow over the past few decades. To the atheist, mention of the
supernatural will seem anachronistic, even in cases where science encounters enigmas the genetic code, for
example. The idea of approaching a question such as this in metaphysical terms is unacceptable to the atheist,

even though there is little room for any alternative solution. The existence of this separation between science
and religious belief is in keeping with the reasoned ways of modern thought. As far as I am concerned, however,
the separation provides grounds for a discussion of the reverse theory one, which seems to me to correspond to
the reality of the situation. The separatists' could just as easily be believers in God who harbour a certain fear
that science will raise questions about their religion through a comparison they have often been told is
dangerous.
Many other reasons abound, not least of which is incomprehension. This has often been noted between those of
different faiths, who know little of other religions (and often little of their own Scriptures as well). We must bear
in mind the fact that the monotheistic religions [I have not studied the ideas on the origins of man expressed in the religions of Asia. The question is not
dealt with in any depth by these religions, nor is it treated in the concrete terms we are used to in the West - as far as I know, at least] - chronologically, Judaism,
followed by Christianity and then Islam represent the religious beliefs of over one third of humanity. We cannot
overlook these religions, and it is imperative to know how each of them views the origins of man. Particularly
interesting is the examination of a religion's approach when seen in the light of what we know today about the
origins of the Scriptures specific to each religion., The examination gives rise to new ideas, from which lessons
may be drawn that are at present unsuspected by many people.
In the case of the Bible, the information provided on the Biblical authors has modified archaic or obsolete
opinions, and has helped us distinguish the human factor in the texts. One of them is short, possibly having been
truncated long ago, and it sheds light on what people in the ninth and tenth centuries B.C. thought about the
origins of man : This is the Yahvist version of the Creation. The best-known text, the Sacerdotal version, is the
work of priests in the sixth century B.C. It is the time-honoured description of the Creation, which appears in the
first part of Genesis, setting forth the traditions of the day. Later on, the Christian religion adopted the Biblical
tradition and reproduced in the New Testament data concerning the length of time man had been on earth. For
centuries, the data were faithfully repeated in Bibles, and Y can remember seeing in 1930 a manual of religious
instruction, which stated that according to the Bible, man's appearance on earth should be placed at roughly
4,000 B.C. That is the sort of instruction budding young Christians received in my day!
Mistaken ideas regarding the Qur'an have been common in Christian countries for a very long time. They still
persist, as far as the history and content of the Qur'an are concerned. Because of this, the data in the Qur'an on
the subject of man's origins must be preceded by a description of the way in which the Qur'an was
communicated to man. The assertions on the origins of man to be found in the Qur'an will undoubtedly astonish
many people, just as they astonished me when I first discovered them. The comparison of the Biblical and
Qur'anic texts is moreover highly revealing: Both of them speak of God the Creator, but the scientifically
unacceptable detail in the Biblical description of the Creation is absent from the Qur'an. In fact, the Qur'an
contains statements concerning man that are astounding: It is impossible to explain their presence in human
terms; given the state of knowledge at the time the Qur'an was communicated. In the West, such statements had
never before formed the subject of a scientific communication until November 9, 1976, when I presented a
paper to the French National Academy of Medicine on the physiological and embryological data present in the
Qur'an, roughly fourteen centuries ahead of modern discoveries.
When taken together with Qur'anic statements on other natural phenomena, the details in the Qur'an on the
origins of man form an important factor in the age-old debate between science and religion. They reopen the
discussion by focusing on new arguments. In view of such significant points of agreement between firmly
established scientific data and a Holy Scripture, we must reconsider hasty judgements, which have devoted more
attention to abstract concepts than facts.
From the nineteenth century onward, religion and, science have been set in opposition in the West. The
argument in favour of this has been the discrepancy between the Biblical text and scientific data. If we adhere
strictly to 'the facts, however, we shall see that the opposition between the two was totally deprived of meaning
from the moment the human origin of the texts in dispute was established. It is important to remember that the
authors of the Biblical texts are considered by Christian exegetes themselves to have been inspired by God. All
the same, the Biblical authors may have introduced inaccuracies to the text, without in the least betraying their
divine inspiration. These inaccuracies could have arisen from the language of the day, or through references to
traditions still honoured during the period. In the light of this, the presence of scientific error is hardly
surprising. What would be surprising, from a logical point of view, would be the absence of any errors at all.,
The opinions of modern Christian exegetes on the Biblical texts are now clearly in agreement with the
discoveries of science concerning the discrepancy between scientific data and the contents of the texts.
According to the document adopted by the Second Vatican Council (1962 1965), the books of the Old

Testament contain material that is imperfect and obsolete'. Although the document does not actually state
which material, in reading this, I do not think we can find a better confirmation of the accuracy of the theory put
forward in the present work.
I have every reason to believe that similar opinions prevail in the most enlightened circles of Judaism. I refer in
particular to my conversation several years ago with an extremely important figure in the Jewish world; the
main subject of which was the, Sacerdotal narrative of Genesis. In the course of our meeting, we agreed that the
scientific errors in the text could be explained by the fact that the main preoccupation of the priests of the sixth
century B.C. was to instruct the faithful on the omnipotence of God. To do this, they related a story traditional at
the time describing the origins of the heavens, the earth, living creatures and man. The story was cast in images
and words that could be readily understood by the priests' contemporaries. The length of time that has elapsed
since man first appeared on earth, as stated in the Hebrew calendar, should also be viewed in this light. Indeed,
the statement of Biblical teaching that is most obviously at odds with science is that man first appeared on earth
5,742 years ago (calculated from late 1981). The moment we accept the existence of arguments that prevent us
from taking this affirmation at face value, we can no longer use it as a legitimate accusation against the Bible in
the confrontation between science and the Scriptures: It must be placed in its human context.
In the case of man, by comparing the Scriptural texts and modern knowledge, it became clear that the data in
Genesis referred to here ought to be set apart for the reasons already mentioned. If we accept this, there is no
longer any incompatibility between the teachings of the Scriptures and modern scientific discoveries,
concerning the general concept of the creation of man and other views on the first stages of humanity. This is
undoubtedly an unusual way of introducing the supernatural, but that does not alter its validity or usefulness.
This approach avoids appealing to sentimental arguments that rely on people's emotions or their spiritual state
the accusation usually levelled by materialist thinkers at those who tend to offer arguments based on faith.
Why should the idea of God not grow from extremely logical reflection concerning the infinitely large or the
infinitely small? The strict order to be seen in both cases is patently obvious to anyone who takes the trouble to
find out about them objectively and impartially. Similarly, in the field dealt with in this book, we shall arrive at
the idea that there exists an amazing degree of organization in the functioning and evolution of living matter.
Needless to say, God does not manifest Himself scientifically, yet it is perfectly possible to conceive of Him in
scientific terms. My personal outlook remains profoundly rational, and although I have adopted the conclusions
of modern science (when these are firmly established facts and not mere conjectures), I cannot find any
incompatibility between scientific findings and Scriptural teachings. At the same time, however, the origin and
history of the Scriptural texts must also be taken into, consideration. If we omit this aspect, we shall make an
uneven assessment of the Scriptures, for we shall have failed to make allowance for the part played by error or
human interpretation. I am convinced that such errors of interpretation were the result of lack of information.
The present book grew from the conviction that on the extremely sensitive subject of man's origins, a
comparison between scientific data and Scriptural teachings might help clarify points too often left obscure. I
hope that the discussion of the answers provided by both sources will show that it is time for past antagonisms
to disappear.

Chapter 1: Evolution in the Animal Kingdom established facts and gaps in
our Knowledge

The Origins of Life and the Diversity of Living Beings
If we are to believe certain researchers and their statements concerning the phenomenon of life, there are no
more secrets left to discover today "The origins of life no longer form the subject of laboratory investigation",
stated an eminent specialist in molecular biology in 1972. Always assuming these words still carry a meaning,
we may conclude that life does not contain any facts we do not know. In reality, however, the situation is quite
different, and there are plenty of mysteries that still surround the origins of life.
Ingenious experiments have for many years been repeatedly performed by biochemists and biophysicians in an
attempt to prove the possibility of spontaneously obtaining infinite quantities of certain chemical compounds
found in cells that are structurally highly complex. The scientists in question are of the opinion that due to
favourable physical influences, the compounds were able spontaneously to combine together in an organized
fashion, and by uniting, were able to produce the fantastic complex we call the cell, or even more rudimentary
living organisms. A statement such as this is tantamount to saying that the possibility of spontaneously forming
steel particles from iron ore and coal at high temperature could have led to the construction of the Eiffel Tower
through a series of happy coincidences that assembled the materials in proper order. Even then, this comparison
is very weak, for the actual structural complexity of an elementary living organism is much more complex than
the structure of the Eiffel Tower, considered in 1889 to be a triumph of metal construction.
Those who ardently defend the role of chance base their opinions on experiments of this kind, which claim to
reproduce the possible origins of life. They repeat the views of Miller, who in 1955 induced the formation of
complex chemical compounds; such as the amino acids present in cellular proteins, using electric sparks in an
atmosphere of gas composed of steam, methane, ammonia and hydrogen. Needless to say, such experiments do
not provide any explanation for the organization of the components; nor do we have any idea whether this
favourably composed gas really existed in the earth's atmosphere two or three billion years ago. A theory cannot
be built on unknown facts such as these. Even if a gas of this kind did exist in the earth's atmosphere; even if
certain physical conditions did trigger high-powered electrical phenomena; even if complex organic chemical
compounds had formed as a result of this fortunate combination of circumstances, there is nothing to prove that
they could have induced the creation of living matter. The determining factor for this phenomenon remains
unknown. Some researchers admit that there is an enigma in this. Others point to chance a convenient loophole
that excuses them from acknowledging their ignorance. We shall come back later to the reasons why it is
impossible to explain the phenomenon of life in terms such as these.
We must indeed turn to disciplines other than biochemistry to find the first clues to the problem, and in
particular we must look toward palaeontology. Certain prehistoric animals and vegetals were not totally
destroyed after their death. Their remains lay buried in sedimentary terranes, protected thereby from
disintegration, and thus providing us with vestiges of these prehistoric life forms. The state in which the vestiges
are found sometimes allows us ''to draw certain conclusions concerning the morphology and age of these once
living beings [The material studied by Paleontology is limited to the bones and teeth]. It is in fact possible to gain an immediate idea of their
age by establishing the date of the terranes. This can be done by various methods, in particular by radioactive
measurements (radio chronology). For terranes that are geologically less ancient, carbon 14 tests are used, while
strontium and rubidium tests are employed for older terranes. Having carried out these tests, experts can then
determine the age of the specimens under investigation.
Tests such as these lead us to think that living beings existed in a unicellular state roughly one billion years ago
[The earth is 4.5 billion years old]. Although it cannot be stated for sure, other forms may have existed before them. P: P.
Grasse', in his book entitled Evolution du Vivant' [The Evolution of Living Organisms] [Published by Albin Michel, Paris,
1973], mentions the discovery of vestiges of much older organisms: for example, the existence of organized life
forms roughly 3.2 billion years ago in the rock formations of the Transvaal. These forms could possibly
represent tiny bacteria, smaller than 1 / 10,000 millimetres, as well as particles of amino acids. These organisms
may have employed amino acids, or possibly proteins contained in the sea...Other microorganisms may also

have been present in the sediments, such as cyanophilous algae containing chlorophyll. The latter is a basic
agent in photosynthesis, a process by which complex organic compounds are formed from simple components
through the effect of light. Fossilized vegetation resembling algae and filamentous bacteria have been found in
more recent rock formations (2.3 billion years old) near the shores of Lake Superior in Canada. The bacteria and
certain algae displayed an extremely simple structure, without the well known differentiated elements of the
cells. Similar samples dating back roughly one billion years have been discovered in rock formations in Central
Australia. This stage probably gave way to a period in which algae of a different kind displayed a genuine cell
structure, with a nucleus and chromosomes containing molecules of deoxyribonucleic acid, D.N.A for short.
Many facts about these algae remain unknown, however.
The pluricellular stage was to follow, but "in the animal kingdom, between uni and pluricellular forms, there
was still a hiatus". Two basic notions must be mentioned immediately
a. The aquatic origins of primitive organisms;
b.
c. The emergence of a growing complexity, passing from one form to another combined with the
appearance of new organisms.
This growing complexity is ever present throughout evolution: We find similar fossilized vegetation at a much
more recent' period, 500 million years ago. We cannot be certain, of course, that today's bacteria are identical to
those said to have appeared on earth as the first living organisms. They may have evolved since then, although
bacteria such as Escherichia Coli have indeed remained the same for 250 million years.
Whatever the answer, the origins of life definitely appear to be aquatic. According to today's thinking, it is
impossible to conceive of life without water. Any search for traces of life on other. planets begins with the
question: Has water been present there? On the earth's surface, the combination of certain conditions including
the presence of water was required for life to exist at all.
The complexity of living matter in those very first organisms is not likely to have been as great as it is in today's
cells. Nevertheless, as P: P. Grasse' points out: "In order for life to exist, there must be a production and
exchange of energy. This is only physically possible within a system that is heterogeneous and complex. The
established facts at the command of the biologist provide a reason for him to concede that the first living form
was of necessity an organized entity". This leads Grasse' to stress the important fact that today's bacteria, which
appear to be the simplest living organisms, obviously attain a high degree of complexity. They are indeed
composed of thousands of different molecules containing systems of catalysis that are themselves highly
numerous, and which enable the bacteria to synthesize their own substance, to grow and to reproduce. The
catalysis relies on enzymes, which act in infinitely small quantities, each enzyme performing its own specific
function.
Like the amoeba, unicellular life forms are composed of differentiated elements. Their structure is amazingly
complex, even though the cells are measured in units of 1 / 1,000 of a millimetre. Within the fundamental
substance of unicellular forms, called cytoplasm, whose chemical structure is highly complex, there are
numerous differentiated elements, the most important of which is the nucleus. This is composed of many parts,
in particular the chromosomes containing the genes. These control every single aspect of the cell's functioning.
They give orders through a system of information transfer, using transmitters and a system to receive the orders
as they come in. The chemical vehicle supporting the genes has been clearly identified: It is deoxyribonucleic
acid (D.N.A.), a molecule of complex structure. The messenger' is a related molecule known as ribonucleic
acid, R.N.A for short. Within the cell, it is this system that ensures the formation of new proteins from simpler
chemical elements (synthesis of proteins).
It is difficult not to feel tremendous admiration for the molecular biologists that first discovered these extremely
complex mechanisms systems so perfectly regulated to maintain life that the slightest malfunction leads to
deformities or monstrous growths (cancer is a case in point) and ends in death. As far as I am concerned,
however, the brilliant analysis of the way this system works (for each and every cell is a kind of computer
comprised of innumerable interrelations) is just as amazing as the general conclusions cited above concerning
the supposed resolution of unexplained facts on the origins of life. One very important question immediately
springs to mind, based on the results of these investigations: How could 'a system as complex as this have been
formed? Was it the work of chance, following a host of trials and errors? That seems most unlikely. What other
logical theories are there? It is common knowledge that a computer will only function if it has been

programmed, a fact that implies the existence of a programming intellect, that provides the information required
to operate the system. That is the problem facing all thinking people who seek an explanation to such questions;
people who refuse to accept mere words of groundless theories; people who will only acknowledge conclusions
based on facts. Given the present state of knowledge, however, science has not provided any answer to this
precise point.

The Diversity of Living Beings
There is tremendous diversity among living beings. From the most ancient times, human observers have noted
this diversity and have taken great pains to analyse it in minute detail. Naturalists record the striking precision of
certain primitive peoples in their ability to distinguish between the species of animals surrounding them. Having
received no instruction from outside, these peoples have compiled inventories that are not far off the work of an
expert.
The first distinction to be made between living beings is the separation of the animal and vegetable kingdoms.
Although they share a common basic element the cell as well as numerous constituent substances, they are
different in several ways. The vegetable kingdom is directly dependent on the earth for its nourishment. It also
requires a much greater capacity for producing complex chemical compounds from simple bodies and light. The
animal kingdom, on the other hand; depends on the vegetable kingdom for its nourishment (at least with regard
to animals that have attained a certain degree of complexity), and carnivores depend on other species of animal.
Henceforth, we shall concentrate uniquely on the animal kingdom, which is extraordinarily varied and large.
There may be as many as 1.5 million species living on our planet. The list has continued to grow, especially in
recent decades, with the discoveries made in the marine world. Ever since the natural sciences gained stature
and importance in the seventeenth century, format classifications have constantly appeared, each updated in turn
as new data are discovered.
Aristotle drew a distinction between animals with red blood and those without, but no other studies of a serious
nature were undertaken until the seventeenth century, when more interesting characteristics began to attract
attention. For example: Some observers were struck by the question of respiration through the lungs or the
branchiae (fish gills), the existence or absence of a vertebral skeleton (backbone), the anatomy of the heart
(number of ventricles), or the existence of hair as opposed to feathers. ' In the classifications that were to follow,
characteristics such as these remained distinctive of certain animal groups.
The distribution of distinguishing attributes opened the way for classification by group, with series of
subdivisions. Thus the phyla [Plural of Phylum] characterise the broad basic divisions of the living beings presenting
similar features, allowing us to put them in the same group. Each phylum can be divided into clearly defined
classes; these are also determined by a certain number of specific characteristics. Similarly, each class contains
several clearly differentiated orders, which nevertheless maintain the general features of their class and phylum.
An order consists of various families, the families are composed of genera [Plural of genus], and the genera contain
different species displaying both collective and specific characteristics. Classification is further complicated,
however, by the existence of intermediary forms.
The first phylum of this classification is composed of unicellular forms, known as protozoans. It includes the
most primitive beings, which very probably divided at some point in time, thus giving birth to pluricellular
forms: This is the first example of evolution in the course of time.
The structure of these pluricellular forms (spongiae, cnidariae and ctenophores) became more complex as some
acquired more specialized functions, without however constituting organs with clearly defined attributes. For
example, some provided the covering of animals, others developed the ability to contract, or became sensitive to
outside stimuli, and others acquired reproductory functions. The system grew more involved when a cavity
appeared that served as a digestive tract (cnidariae and ctenophores) and the sensory organs made their
appearance. This group did not as yet possess a head, however.
Embryological data have been of great value in establishing the various classifications in the animal kingdom.
Thus an important stage in the growth of a structural complexity was reached with the early appearance during

embryonic development of an extra germ layer. The number of layers thus grew from two to three, each layer
ensuring the formation of clearly defined organs. Animals with three germ layers were in turn divided into 2
groups: those containing a single cavity (the digestive tract) and those with cavities that developed next to the
digestive tract and which were responsible for the formation of tissues and various other organs. The broad
divisions of the animal kingdom, here reduced to their most basic terms, already seem to suggest a methodical
organization.
The latter guided, the birth of the various phyla, of which 20 emerged (very unevenly) into the following four
groups
a. The unicellular forms, constituting a unique phylum;
b. The pluricellular beings containing two germ layers in the embryo [The external layer (ectodern) and the internal layer (endodern)],
these gave birth to three phyla;
c. The pluricellular beings with three germ layers [The first two layers plus a third (mesodern) interposed between the two others] but containing
only one cavity, these accounted for six phyla.
d. The group of animals with three germ layers and several cavities, constituting the other twelve phyla,
two of which are particularly important: They are the arthropods which comprise the largest number of
species in the animal kingdom, among which we find the insects and the vertebrates, the latter
including fishes, reptiles, birds and mammals.
Nevertheless, the gaps in our knowledge of the transitions from one of these groups to another are very wide
indeed. In the case of the insects, one of the most important groups, we know nothing whatsoever of their
origins (P. P. Grasse) Likewise, there are no fossils left to indicate the beginnings of the various phyla. "Every
explanation of the mechanism that governs the creative evolution of the basic organizational plans is weighed
down with hypotheses. This statement should figure at the beginning of any book dealing with evolution. Since
we have no firm documentary evidence; statements on the origins of the phyla can only be suppositions,
opinions whose degree of feasibility we have no way of measuring." P. P. Grasse's observation on the phyla
should caution any statement on the origins of the major basic divisions. From this point of view, the
determining causes of the phenomena in question are just as mysterious as the birth of the most rudimentary life
forms.

The Concept of Evolution in the Animal Kingdom: The Difficulty of Solving the
Problem

It is difficult to say at what period prior to the nineteenth century the question of evolution in the animal
kingdom was first raised. In the centuries before Christ, several Greek philosophers had already perceived that
the living world was subject to transformations. Observers coming after them sometimes displayed startling
flashes of intuitive insight. Inevitably, however, their conclusions arose from philosophical ideas or pure
speculations. The fact that they later proved to be correct, although the product of sheer guesswork; does not
lend any particular value to these early philosophical concepts. Indeed, we should always bear in mind that
during the same period, the same philosophers maintained totally inaccurate theories with complete equanimity:
the theories concerning the existence of the universe in an identical state throughout eternity, for example.
In 1801, however, Lamarck became the very first naturalist to put forward the idea of evolution.. It appeared in
his Discours d'ouverture' (Inaugural Speech), eight years ahead .of his Philosophie zoologique' (Zoological
Philosophy
). For the rest of his life, Lamarck collected arguments to support his theory. Cuvier, the other
famous French naturalist of the nineteenth century, published his Histoire des ossements fossiles' (History of
Fossilized Bones
) in 1812. He compares present day animals with fossilized remains, demonstrating the
existence of extinct species. Cuvier's study does not, however, support the idea of evolution. J. P. Lehmann
suggests the following reason for this: Cuvier thought that the fossils in question could not be older than the
maximum figure of several millennia allotted by the Bible to the earth and the animal kingdom. Because, for
example, the Egyptian mummy of an ibis did not indicate that a change had taken place in today's animal,
evolution did not exist. In 1859, Darwin introduced the idea of the natural selection of species, and it was not
long before others attributed to Darwin's theory the general concept of evolution. J. Roger has indeed pointed
out "the actual word evolution' is not part of Darwin's original terminology. It did not appear until the sixth
edition of On the Origin of Species, and even then it was used more as a general denial of the fixity of the

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