A new level of evolution
Millions more years pass by. Nature “found” the best amino acid sequences in the chains of polypeptides – protein molecules appeared – the future bricks of living organisms. Replication has become more sophisticated and improved. The matrix is no longer a mechanical form, but a conventional, chemical “record” of the order of amino acids in a protein molecule. Record in the form of a portable chain of special molecules – nucleotides. The evolution of matter rises to a new level. Long, bizarrely curved strands of different protein molecules cling to each other and gradually assemble. First into small lumps, then into larger lumps that look like tangles or drops. Molecules that are closely in contact in a lump have different properties. Sometimes this leads to the possibility of a kind of their cooperation. For example, catalysts trapped in the midst of molecules can contribute to reactions useful to the lump as a whole. In other words, lumps of protein molecules in some cases turn out to be “systems” capable of some kind of internal activity. But the system is different. And of course, a long journey begins to search for the most successful combinations of molecules in them. More successful, for example, are those in which especially strong molecules are located outside. They serve as mechanical protection to others. More successful are those in which molecules capable of reacting to dangerous impurities in water are included. They serve as chemical protection. But the most interesting options are those in which there is a good set of catalysts. Now, however, they need to be called enzymes. In these lumps begins a more or less active “metabolism” with the environment. There is a capture of the material, the splitting of molecules, sometimes even with the release of energy, the throwing of waste, the restoration of damaged molecules. Even replication is the synthesis of protein chains. Metabolism is a very progressive property. Such a lump turns out to be very resistant to various destructive external influences, independent, strong, and durable. With great difficulty, it becomes very tenacious – that is what chemical evolution seeks. The substance in it, in essence, acquired some properties of the living! The evolution of protein molecules leads to their specialization. In some, for example, reactions with energy production are better, others clearly respond to temperature changes, in the third replication is well established. And if we again skip millions of years, we will find even more “gigantic” structures in the ocean, each of which has millions of molecules. Different types of lumps entered them in separate parts. Now biologists call these parts organelles. And the whole structure as a whole is a unicellular organism!
Remember the background of life. Atoms – molecules – polymers – organelles – unicellular creatures. Everything goes from simple to complex, to a variety of structures, forms, properties. In living organisms, the most important new thing was added – the powerful desire for self-preservation, for longevity. We need improved security, better weapons in the struggle for existence. By uniting, the cells achieve this. The struggle for existence, in particular, helps to increase the diversity of forms in the animal world. Sometimes it is much more profitable not to engage in battle with the enemy, but simply to move to another “ecological niche”, change your lifestyle so that, even if you stay on the same plot of land, you never have anything to touch with the enemy. Stop competing with him. Do not have anything to do with it. To oppose the opponent is not force, but some completely special quality, which gives new opportunities for existence. A lot of time will pass and a person will appear on Earth. It will appear and change the world in which it lives. He will learn to observe the stars, the planets of the solar system, build spacecraft and launch them into space. Many of these devices sit on the surface of the planets and come back.
The fruits of our activities are already visible from space. This is confirmed by astronauts who distinguish even highways and railways, bridges, ships at sea from orbital stations. They see this with the naked eye, which means that from the moon the same can be seen with a thousand-fold telescope, which are in our observatories. Martians, if they existed, even armed with equipment equivalent to ours, would have easily discovered our cities, industrial smokes, spacecraft, and atomic bomb tests. On closer inspection, they would notice artificial seas and irrigation canals. Well, the work of television stations can be found from other planetary systems. People in the world of stars. Civilization. A community of intelligent creatures that has grown over billions of years from lumps of mucus swarming in muddy puddles. Intelligent creatures that penetrated the depths of the atom and into the distance of the universe, who knew the structure of stars and the secret of a living cell, comprehended the laws of their evolution!