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Unfounded Claims from New Scientist Magazine Regarding the Evolution of Multi-Cellular Organisms

The July 26, 2003, edition of New Scientist magazine contained a claim concerning the so-called evolutionary origin of multi-cellular organisms. The article, titled “How Animals Learned to Stick Together”, discussed the molecular analyses carried out by Wisconsin-Madison University biologist Nicole King. It was maintained in the article that findings obtained as the result of King”s research had resolved a number of problems regarding how animals evolved from single-celled organisms. Below we explain how the research in question does not provide any results in favour of Darwinism but is rather a biased interpretation by the evolutionist magazine New Scientist.

A Murky Tale: The Evolution of Multi-Cellular Organisms

Before moving on to King”s study and claims it will be useful to have a quick look at the subject of the origin of multi-cellular organisms.

All multi-cellular organisms form from cells which are specialised in terms of the functions they perform. Different cells in the human body, for instance, play a role in the production of such structures as bones, teeth and hair, and these all work in great harmony together. These cells are attached to one another with molecules known as cadherin and communicate by means of molecules such tirosine kinases.

The origin of multi-cellular organisms is a mystery to evolutionists. They base the origins of multi-cellular organisms on single-celled organisms which they assume to have begun cooperation-based life by attaching to one another hundreds of millions of years ago. The fact is however, that no observation to support such a view has ever been made. Single-celled organisms living in colonies have never turned into multi-cellular ones by sticking together. In any case, according to the theory of evolution, which assumes that all living things are engaged in a ruthless fight for survival, there is no logic in independent cells renouncing their own identity and trying to become part of a new organism by deciding to join together.

On the other hand, the cell numbers of multi-cellular organisms deal a fatal blow to this evolutionist claim. (As far as is known, the creatures with the smallest number of cells are 12-celled parasites. Since, however, parasites cannot exist in the absence of a more complex organism, they cannot be regarded as a transitional form between single-celled and multi-cellular organisms. That is because far more complex multi-cellular organisms need to be already in existence in order for a parasite to live.) The non-parasite organism with the smallest number of cells is a 959-celled worm. This situation does not reflect the chance process of a transition from single-celled to multi-cellular organisms which is alleged to have taken place. If that evolution had taken place as claimed, then one would expect the organisms formed by single-celled organisms coming together to possess a wide range of cell numbers. The fact is though that there are no organisms with 2 cells, or 5, 8, 44, 98 … This is an indication, of course, of just how unfounded the evolutionist claims regarding the origins of multi-cellular organisms are.

In the study reported by New Scientist, however, Nicole King and her team extracted 5,000 fragments of active genes from single-celled water dwelling organisms called choanflagellates and compared these sequences with the genetic sequences of far higher organisms. As a result of these analyses it was seen that these single-celled organisms possess such molecules as cadherin, which allows cells to stick together, and tirosine kinase, which allows them to communicate.

According to New Scientist”s interpretation, this finding reveals that “These key molecules for animal development were present in the common ancestor of animals and choanflegellates shortly before multicellular animals evolved more than half a billion years ago.”

At the beginning of the article New Scientist claims that “This discovery solves a key part of the puzzle of how animals evolved from single-celled organisms.”

But does this finding really contribute to the theory of evolution, as New Scientist would have us believe?

Definitely not.

The presence of certain common molecules in single-celled and multi-cellular organisms contributes nothing to the theory of evolution, but rather adds new problems to those the theory is already unable to resolve.

The cadherin and tirosine kinase molecules necessary for cells to stick together and communicate are very complex structures. Evolutionists maintain that life evolved from the simple to the more complex. Yet according to this finding there were organisms possessing very complex molecules even before the Cambrian Age (half a billion years ago) in which the first single-celled and complex organisms suddenly emerged. In order for the theory of evolution to resolve the problems it needs to explain how it was that these complex structures came about, on their own, as the result of chance.

The fact that different species or single- and multi-cellular organisms possess molecules in common is no evidence for the theory of evolution. Common molecules can also be taken as an evidence for a common design, in other words that all living things are created by a single Creator according to a common design.

Evolutionists” irrational and unscientific claims

The study in question was carried on BBC Online on July 22, 2003, in a report called “Ancient Ancestor”s Legacy of Life”. The report also devoted space to Nicole King”s comments, and quoted her as saying the following about her research:

This is consistent with the idea of evolution as a tinkerer, cobbling together tools that are already available, rather than inventing a new widget for each job. (Dr David Whitehouse, “Ancient ancestor”s legacy of life”, BBC News Online,

She then continued by saying that the molecules which hold cells together in animals and which allow cells to communicate are also present in single-celled organisms. However, she goes on, these molecules serve other purposes in single-celled organisms. According to King and other evolutionists, evolution is so conscious and knowledgeable that it took molecules from single-celled organisms, adapted them to multi-cellular organisms, gave these molecules new duties and with considerable reparative expertise designed them in accordance with these new tasks. Yet there is no mechanism in nature which can adapt molecules to specific tasks in this way, nor which can build proteins and enzymes accordingly by identifying a living thing”s needs. Indeed, the fundamental difficulty facing the theory of evolution is its inability to define such a mechanism.

The True Origin of Multi-Cellular Organisms: Design

The theory of evolution is unable to account for the origins of the structures in living things – molecules, the cell and even amino-acids. For example, the origin of the cell constitutes one of the greatest dilemmas for the theory. The cells in living things contribute, within a perfectly functioning plan, to the activities of the body. Although all the cells in the human body contain the same DNA, an eye cell for instance always “uses” the information about eyes in the DNA in performing its functions. Similarly, a skin cell implements the DNA information concerning the skin.

Despite this process being exceedingly complex, no confusion ever emerges. No eye is produced in skin tissue, for example, nor any skin cells in the tissue of the eye.

In this process an important criterion regarding intelligence catches the eye: selectivity. The cells we have cited as examples behave like a human being combing through an encyclopaedia in search of information. That encyclopaedia consists of combinations of the 26 letters of the (English) alphabet.

The information in DNA is encoded by consecutive nucleotides abbreviated to the letters A, T, G and C. Unless the meaning behind the letters is sought out, then the letters in both the encyclopaedia and DNA are nothing more than repetitions of the same letters. That being the case it is evident that an eye cell is behaving “intelligently” in distinguishing between the large numbers of As, Ts, Gs and Cs in the DNA sequence which are necessary for activities regarding the eye from those which are concerned with skin activities.

The theory of evolution assumes that such an intelligent selectivity formed multi-cellular organisms, when cells, which emerged from molecules which had randomly combined, themselves combined in a random manner. It flies in the face of logic to think that as a result of this process, which is entirely based on chance, such organised and specialised activities developed in such a way as to reveal intelligence.

The manifest truth of the matter is that multi-cellular and single-celled organisms are created separately. Indeed, the fossil record shows that neary all the basic types of multi-cellular organisms with very different bodily structures – called phyla – appeared abruptly and in the same geological period, the Cambrian. This phenomenon, which cannot be accounted for in terms of the theory of evolution and which verifies “conscious design,” once again shows that creation is the origin of life on Earth.


This research reported in New Scientist offers no explanation in favour of the theory of evolution. The evolutionist interpretations added between the lines by the New Scientist author try to give the impression that a finding has been made which supports the theory of evolution. This once again reveals that there is an effort to keep the theory of evolution, which is bereft of any scientific evidence, alive by means of propaganda techniques. The fact is, however, that a publication which claims to be scientific should not devote space to interpretations which have been adapted to its own ideology by distorting the facts.

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