Red Blood Cells

Red blood cells are a unique feature of life that often goes unexamined outside of medical circles. Doctors study red blood cells extensively and with good reason.  Red blood cells are crucial to the bodies survival and their health is often indicative of the well being of the whole body. However, what is often not considered is the place red blood cells have in the origins debate. This article will consider that concept as well as provide a little bit of background on red blood cells.

Red blood cells, known to science as erythrocytes, are incredibly specialized cells that perform unique functions for the body.  Red blood cells are key because they transport oxygen from the lungs or gills of an organism to the extremities and exchange it for carbon dioxide, the by-product of cellular respiration.  They then carry this carbon dioxide to the lungs where they exchange it for oxygen and the cycle resumes.  The red blood cell has a deep concave location in the center.  This makes it very flexible, and less likely to get stuck in the veins, arteries and capillaries it flows through. It also maximizes surface area, allowing for the most efficient gas exchange. However, some organisms have different shaped red blood cells to fit their individual needs.

Red blood cells are formed in the center of long bones, such as the femur in the leg.  The tissue that makes them is referred to as bone marrow.  It takes a couple of days for the cells to mature, during which time the nucleus and the mitochondria disappear. The red blood cell will not need either one. Once the cells have matured and are released into the bloodstream, they will live anywhere between one hundred and one hundred and twenty days before being destroyed mostly in the liver and spleen.

Red blood cells carry oxygen to the extremities as was mentioned above. They do this using a specialized red protein called hemoglobin.  Hemoglobin is the actual transporter of oxygen as it binds with the oxygen gas.  This bond is very unstable and thus easily broken.  When it breaks, the oxygen is released.  Hemoglobin gives red blood cells their distinctive color and is critical to the survival of the human body. In fact, around ninety-six percent of the weight of red blood cells is hemoglobin if water is excluded. The protein requires iron to be formed. Iron is so important, that a person lacking iron is said to be anemic, which is considered a blood disease.  The reason iron is so important is that it serves as the focal point for the heme part of the hemoglobin protein. Without it, no hemoglobin can be formed.  Once the hemoglobin protein is built, it can increase blood oxygen levels over seventy times compared the dissolved oxygen capacity of the bloodstream.

With all of that in mind, let us consider the red blood cell in light of origins.  Evolutionists speculate that red blood cells began as phagocytic cells in sponges and slowly evolved into what we see today as life progressed up the evolutionary tree of life.  Essentially this means that red blood cells started in sponges as cells meant to eat other bad cells, like disease-causing microbes,  and eventually morphed into what we see today. This is so ludicrous that it’s shocking any evolutionist believes it, even with their propensity to believe ridiculous things (see Outer Space Octopus).

The first issue with evolutionists believing red blood cells developed in sponges should have been obvious even to evolutionists. Sponges lack circulatory systems and blood.  They move material through their bodies using water. That alone is a death sentence to red blood cells originating in sponges. Why would sponges originate red blood cells, then lose them later? It’s unfathomable that anyone calling themselves a serious scientist believes this, yet this is exactly what the US Library of Medicine’s National Insitute of Health says. “The most primitive blood cell may have been a protohemocyte which was first involved in phagocytosis and nutrition. When metazoans (sponges) appeared,  their “blood” cells, the archeocytes, were phagocytic.”

The ridiculous origin story aside, red blood cells present other problems for evolutionists. They must explain why the cells appear to be precisely designed to fit the creature they inhabit. Further, they must explain why these designs each maximize surface area, ensuring easy gas exchange, and ensure a smooth, streamlined blood flow with no backups, simultaneously.  They must further explain where hemoglobin came from and why red blood cells contain it. Without hemoglobin, oxygen exchange would plummet and the body would struggle to provide its extremities with the oxygen they need to function.  Evolution cannot explain these problems.

Creationists have no issues with red blood cells.  Because we acknowledge the designer, we can point to red blood cells as evidence of His master design. He knew that animals and man would need to exchange oxygen efficiently in the extremities so he placed the hemoglobin protein in red blood cells.  He knew what design of red blood cell would best fit each creatures needs so He designed each one differently. Only a Creator explains the origin of red blood cells.

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