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I think the jumbo-jet argument is off a little - maybe 5 or 6 orders of magnitude? Anyway, a vivid analogy.

If you mean the jet airplane is the simpler of the two, I would agree. The famous Roche Biochemical Pathways chart of just those mecahnisms that are understood illustrates this perfectly: http://www.expasy.ch/cgi-bin/show_thumbnails.pl

Right. Proteins alone, there are something link 10^9 in one cell. Plus all the 'parts' the proteins deal with (many more)

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