In the Beginning

After writing Secrets of the Cells, I was so intrigued that I needed to explore more the amazing  inner world of our cells and was struck even more with their surprising intelligence.  I was also surprised by the lack of scientific evidence on its creation –  the creation of life.  That first living cell is different than the Big Bang! And so it was that I began exploring the writings of two scientists who made the cell their life’s work – Nobel prize winners Albert Claude and Christian de Duve.

The Reverence these basic scientists afforded our cells is compelling  in our current scientific world of the genome and quantum physics. In our current modern science and skeptical times NOW more than ever we need a touch of FAITH and reverence that we are more than chemicals.  That our ancestors who have survived from the beginning knew something to guide us to be fully ALIVE.

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND What will you do to celebrate and revere your cellular ancestors?

Here are excerpts from Albert Claude’s Nobel lecture  Dec. 12, 1974.

“What I would like to do is to discuss with you is the impact of these discoveries[about our cells] on our daily life, and their significance for the present and the future… the mysteries of life itself.

Looking back 25 years, what I may say is that the facts have been far better than the dreams. In the long course of cell life on this earth it remained … for our generation, to receive the full ownership of our inheritance.

We have entered the cell, the Mansion of our birth, and started the inventory of our acquired wealth.

For over two billion years, through the apparent fancy of her endless differentiations and metamorphosis the Cell, as regards its basic physiological mechanisms, has remained one and the same.

It is life itself, and our true and distant ancestor.

It is hardly more than a century since we first learned of the existence of the cell: this autonomous and all-contained unit of living matter, which has acquired the knowledge and the power to reproduce; the capacity to store, transform and utilize energy, and the capacity to accomplish physical works and to manufacture practically unlimited kinds of products.

We know that the cell has possessed these attributes and biological devices and has continued to use them for billions of cell generations and years. In the course of the past 30 or 40 years, we have learned to appreciate the complexity and perfection of the cellular mechanisms, miniaturized to the utmost at the molecular level, which reveal within the cell an unparalleled knowledge of the laws of physics and chemistry. If we examine the accomplishments of man in his most advanced endeavors, in theory and in practice, we find that the cell has done all this long before him, with greater resourcefulness and much greater efficiency.

The cell, over the billions of years of her life, has covered the earth many times with her substance, found ways to control herself and her environment, and insure her survival. Man has now become an adjunct to perfect and carry forward these conquests. Is it absurd to imagine that our social behavior, from amoeba to man, is also planned and dictated, from stored information, by the cells? And that the time has come for men to be entrusted with the task, through heroic efforts, of bringing life to other worlds?”

Note that 40 years ago, Dr. Claude is using Her when he referred to our cellular ancestors. His language could easily have fit into my book, Secrets of Your Cells.  I had not read his Nobel speech until now, a year after the book was released. I knew of one quote only.

Yet for me, this speaks of the greater story that our cells have to share with us, survival – physical and spiritual.  And to still ask the question whether creation is an accident of Nature or a planned divine intervention.

And what is your picture of how life began? Was it a sacred beginning?  Did that first cell contain Life as Sanctuary?


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