Home » Intelligent Design » NEW CONTEST: Describe the Cell

NEW CONTEST: Describe the Cell

It will be helpful to have a standard succinct but thorough description of the cell that incorporates references to as much of its marvelous technology as possible.  Here’s an example from a recent post by KF:  “nanotech, informational polymer based digital code using information system constituting a metabolising, von Neumann self-replicator automaton”

The contest is to develop such a description.  Remember, the winner will walk the best line between brevity and comprehensiveness.  Try to keep your entries under 50 words (few than 40 would be even better).

The winner will receive two prizes: (1) a copy of The Nature of Nature, and (2) his/her work will be permanently posted as a reference on UD.

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20 Responses to NEW CONTEST: Describe the Cell

  1. Unfortunately I have been in a few and they have all been different. Not much technology, just a flush toilet, sink with working plumbing and a light.

  2. 2

    http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Cell

    1. The structural, functional and biological unit of all organisms.

    2. An autonomous self-replicating unit that may exist as functional independent unit of life (as in the case of unicellular organism), or as sub-unit in a multicellular organism (such as in plants and animals) that is specialized into carrying out particular functions towards the cause of the organism as a whole.

    3. A membrane bound structure containing biomolecules, such as nucleic acids, proteins, and polysaccharides.

  3. After you select the winner, for a follow up, try to have someone translate the full content of the definition into language that doesn’t contain any language that implies “intent” – for example, in post # 2 above, the 2nd entry has words like: functional, even ‘unit’, “the cause” of the “organism” etc. How long would the definition be in that form?

    thanks

  4. 4
    material.infantacy

    The cell is an exquisitely crafted, integrated mechanism composed of protein subsystems specified for faithful reproduction with diversification, by way of a sophisticated information processing core which reads, copies, and translates DNA machine code in a process of self-manufacture.

  5. 5
    material.infantacy

    LOL @ Joe!

  6. es58,

    None of those words imply intent. Ex.:

    Soil is quite functional at soaking up water.
    This rock is a single unit in my rock collection.
    The hurricane caused the river to flood.

    etc.

  7. 7
    material.infantacy

    The last one was 39 words. Adding a few colorfully appropriate adjectives and adverbs, this version weighs in at 44:

    The cell is an exquisitely crafted, integrated mechanism composed of myriad protein subsystems specified for faithful reproduction with diversification, by way of an astonishingly sophisticated information processing core which reads, copies, and translates DNA machine code in a technologically unfathomable process of systematic self-manufacture.

  8. An arrangement of atoms and molecules organized into an auto-poietic system, independent from but interactive with environment, capable of self-replication and functional performance through cybernetic events in the form of biochemical reactions regulated by semiotic processes governed by internal prescriptive information.

  9. 9

    The cell is a stage of discovered matter composition awaiting more intimate discoveries of greater atomic composition.
    just a joke indicating the universe must be intimately connected to the spiritual world at some level.

  10. Bio-cybernetic chemical automaton able to self-replicate, self-organize and perform metabolic functions by mean of internal digital software stored in DNA polymers and run by nanotech molecular machines. Living cells can work standalone interacting with environment or specialize to cooperate in functional hierarchies called organisms.

  11. M.A.C.H.I.N.E.

    Molecular
    Automated
    Code Programmed
    High Ordered
    Integrated
    Networked
    Environment

  12. Biology for $400, Alex.

    Auto regulating, replicating, energy controlling bio-chem self contained system.

    What is the cell?

  13. 13

    The Cell:
    A masterful coding machine that causes atheist computer programers to rationalize in public forums that warm little ponds are far superior to writing codes then they are!!

  14. From the spider-like neuron to the humblest bacterium, every cell is a marvel of cutting-edge nanotechnology equipped with a dazzling array of sophisticated and elegant molecular machines that shuttle back and forth, rotate, and proof-read the transmission of biotic information with astonishing accuracy and fidelity.

  15. When brevity is called for I vote for poetry to convey the essentials.

    Cells

    Imagine miniature cities
    aswarm with activity,
    factories, powerhouses,
    post offices, libraries,
    trash collection, recycling,
    quality control,
    railroads, architecture,
    import/export centers,
    communication, transport,
    organized from seed cities
    by complex negotiation,
    specializing in manufacture,
    signal processing,
    reclamation, storage,
    or warfare,
    while some preserve the nation’s heritage
    and pass it on.

  16. Cell: miraculous object of scientific study. Why is it miraculous?

    • Every new thing discovered about cell shows that cell “unknown territory” is larger than thought before.

    • Do the world best chemistry labs have better technology than what’s inside the cell? For a thousand times the answer is no.

    • Do the most advanced manufacturing and assembly lines at Toyota or Ford have better robots than those in the cell? For a thousand times the answer is no.

    • Do the most innovative nano-technology startups can crowd so much marvelous machinery in nano spaces as the cell does? For a thousand times the answer is no.

    • Do the most skilled hardware and software engineers can code so many layers of information in a linear memory as the cell does in the DNA? For a thousand times the answer is no.

    • Do the supply chain specialists can boast with such perfect planning, scheduling and synchronization that cell reveals in its protein fabrication processes? For a thousand times the answer is no.

    • Is there any human engineering artifact that can manifest so much autonomy and self-sufficiency as a single-cell organism? For a thousand times the answer is no.

    • Can our smartest scientists and engineers realistically believe that they can design and create in the foreseeable future an automaton with ability to self – replicate as that of any ordinary cell? For a thousand times the answer is no.

    • Do the scientists, bio-chemists, bio-informatics specialists have more than basic ideas, where in the cell resides all the information (besides the DNA) that controls all these machinery, motors, fabrication and metabolic processes? Do they have any more than basic ideas what are the “programming languages” employed by the cell? For a thousand times the answer is no.

    The STRONGEST reason why the cell is miraculous is though another one:

    There is a far-away Galaxy in this vast Universe of ours that has a Planetary System in which there is a Special Planet full of a very large variety of these cells we are talking about. And on this Planet there are some tribes that worship their ancestor named Wardin. Wardin wrote a song in which he tells that these cells are the “fruits of the land”. They grew originally from bare land, from the whispering of the winds, from the warmth of their Sun, from the fire of the deeps, from the waters of the Oceans and from the Stones that fell from Skies. These tribes have daily rituals singing the holy Wardin’s song, celebrating and worshiping him for his divine insights. This is the MOST MIRACULOUS THING ABOUT THE CELL.

    For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares the LORD.
    As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
    Isaiah 55, 8-9

  17. Mr Arrington:

    I guess it would be hard for me to top my own inadvertent “entry” so let me just supplement it:

    The living cell is a “nanotech, informational polymer based digital code using information system constituting a metabolising, von Neumann self-replicator automaton” based on aqueous medium Carbon-chemistry in an observed universe that is fine-tuned in ways that facilitate the possibility of such life.

    The number of signs of design involved in that begin to defy counting! (Cf here on in context.)

    KF

  18. Cell. 8 x 6 room with a locked door containing a viewing port and a single small window covered by bars.

  19. ah, i see joe beat me to it, lol.

  20. IIRC, the cell was so named because it — at least in the form of cork cells — resembled Monks’ cells. So, there is a connexion. KF

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