Cells are ever so much more than “integrated circuits.”1-5. But, they are integrated circuits! As with integrated circuits in man-made devices, many switches must be set in concert and in the right sequence to compute sophisticated function.6-13
Life depends on far more incredibly complex integration of many different kinds of configurable switch-settings than any man-made device. Not only does each switch have to be set a certain way individually, but all of the switch-settings have to cooperate in computing life’s processes.14 One wrong switch-setting can fatally arrest life’s processes. Life is a concert of activity performed by many diverse subcellular instruments, devices, and nanocomputers, the function of which must be instructed by pre-written programming.13, 15-18. The slightest programming “bug,” or malfunction in molecular machines, can be fatal to life. Sickle cell anemia, for example, results from just one wrong nucleoside letter out of three billion in haploid human DNA.
But, the immediate subject at hand is this: “How did the simplest cell’s, and particularly the very first protocell’s, instructions get written and processed?”19-22
Using a contemporary analogy, how did life’s symphony get written before it was ever performed?23-24
The next question is, “How could each and every instrument in the orchestra show up and each perform its respective part with such purpose and harmony with all the other independent instruments?”
In addition, how did that symphony get conducted with such finesse right from the start? Not by “chance and necessity.” Not by mere mass/energy interactions. Not by exertion of any one or combination of the four known forces of physics: electromagnetism, gravity, strong or weak nuclear forces. Not by inanimate chemistry. None of these factors can integrate, organize, control or govern formal function.
Life is an all-or-none process. Life cannot “come to life” piecemeal, a little at a time. 3
Control and regulation are essential to every aspect of life.22 But control and regulation are formal functions, not just physico-chemical reactions.15-18, 25-28 Physicality cannot practice and perform purposeful, goal-oriented, abstract, conceptual formalisms.24
In a purely physical, pre-biotic, inanimate world, how could such finely-tuned formal controls and regulation have come into existence? Neither chance nor physical laws could have organized anything, let alone have written programs and produced the sophisticated machines needed to process those computational programs.
A third fundamental category has to exist in reality in addition to Chance and Necessity (Physical Law). That third fundamental category of reality is Choice Causation.15 Formalisms such as mathematics, logic, language, categorization, organization, programming and processing are all formalisms. They are not only abstract and conceptual rather than physical. All formalisms are choice-based. Chance and Necessity cannot explain them. Any worldview that pontificates that “Chance and Necessity are all there is” represents a logical “false dichotomy.”
Formalism not only preceded physicality, it supervised its origin.15 To this day, formalism continues to control and regulate physical interactions. That is why we are able to predict physical events using nothing but non-physical mathematical equations and their formal manipulations and rearrangements. This most basic principle of science is called the Formalism > Physicality Principle (The F > P Principle).15 The P > P Principle is the reason why “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences”29-31 is not the least bit unreasonable! The supremacy of formalisms, such as mathematics and organizing agency, is exactly what The F > P Principle describes and predicts.