Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

by T.V. Oommen, Ph. D

The Wonderful Machine  

"You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made ..."

Psalm 139:13,14

"Men go abroad to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering."

St. Augustine

The above pronouncements were made hundreds of years ago, before medical science had revealed to us the marvels and mysteries of the human body. Modern scientific discoveries and technological advances have not diminished our sense of wonder; on the contrary, they have augmented it. The more we know of the machinery of our body, the more we are amazed at the complexity and unity of the body functions.

The Unity of the Cell Network

Our bodies are made up of a vast number of "living" cells, the basic units of life, 100 trillions (100,000,000,000,000) of them, packed into the various organs, the skeletal structure, the muscles, the blood stream, and so on. At birth a baby has one tenth of this many cells, all originating from one single fertilized egg cell by division into 2, 4, 8, etc. At an early point in the cell division the divided cells become specialized so that some become nerve cells, others become bone cells and so on. Eventually these cell groups become body organs, bones, muscles and other parts.

Each of the 100 trillion cells contain the identical genetic code, the DNA molecule which is made up of 100,000 subunits, the genes. The information carried by each DNA molecule, if written out, would fill a thousand 600-page books. Yet it takes an incredibly small space in the cell. Each cell, in spite of the identical code within, is unique because it knows its specialized function and its role in the overall well-being of the body. Without such unity our body would not function.

The Skeletal Structure

In 1867 an engineer demonstrated that the arrangement of the bone cells forms the lightest structure made of the least material to support the body's weight. Bones possess incredible strength, matched only by steel. The hollow structure of the bone is a weight saving device, and only in modern times our architectural designs have tried to imitate them. Inside the hollow structure is the bone marrow which is an efficient red cell factory that turns out a trillion new cells per day to replace the dead cells.

The design of the bones is ingenious in each part of the skeletal system. Consider the bones of the foot, where 26 of them line up in each, the same number as in each hand. A soccer player subjects these bones to a cumulative force of 1,000 tons per foot over the course of a match, but his bones endure this stress and maintain the elasticity. We walk some 115,000 miles in a life time with our feet. Our body weight is evenly spread through architecturally perfect arches which serve as springs, and the bending of the knees and ankles absorb stress.

The Brain

Our brain has ten billion cells, all of which are present at birth. They are not replaced like the cells of the rest of the body, because they are the communication network of the body and the source of intelligence, memory and recall functions. Damage to these cells by drugs and alcohol is irreversible. Each nerve cell has a potential 25,000 interconnections with other cells, making a total of 250 trillion permutations (a computer with the same capabilities may fill up a sizeable part of the earth). The brain controls all body functions, sends signals to activate muscles, triggers the release of hormones, receives sensation that is interpreted as sight, pain, softness, melody, and pleasure. Without the brain's constant monitoring of body activity, normal life would be impossible.

The Heart

This vital organ responds to stimulus from the brain by producing the rhythmic vibration of its muscles which is felt as heartbeats, and which causes blood to be circulated in the body. On a single day the heart pumps 1,250 gallons of blood through 1,000 complete circuits, equivalent to 38 million gallons of blood in a period of 70 years. To pump this much blood the heart beats 100,000 times a day, 40 million times a year, taking rest only one-sixteenth of a second between beats. Most of the malfunctions of the heart are associated with the blood supply to the heart muscles; those arteries that supply the blood to the muscles thicken by cholesterol deposits, and may be influenced by improper diet and health habits.

Respiration

The respiratory process in man and mammals has many common features. Our lungs intake air from the atmosphere, and in the tiny air sacs of the lungs oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide. The blood stream acts as the transportation mechanism in this exchange. All the 100 trillion cells of an adult human body receive oxygen each time we breathe.

The Sense Organs

Each sense organ is a marvelous piece of machinery. We shall consider only one sense organ here, the eye. This amazing organ is much more intricate than a television camera, in spite of several common features. The retina which registers the image contains 107 million cells of which seven million are called "cones" that give color perception and differentiation of color shades. The other 100 million cells are the "rods" which are required for low light vision. Each of these cells send a signal to the brain which interprets the image. We can sense light in the dimmest room as well as from the brightest source because the iris can adjust its opening automatically.

Reproduction

Perhaps the most amazing of all body functions is reproduction. There are various types of reproduction in nature, both sexual and asexual. God designed sex, and intended it to be a pleasurable activity that enriches our lives and presents us with our offspring. The design of our reproductive organs and their functions proclaims the wisdom of the Creator. All human and animal life begins with the union of a sperm and an egg, which enables the fusion of the genetic codes of the parents. The growth of the embryo into a fully developed human being in the womb and the process of birth are miracles. The mother's body switches off the immune reaction for rejection of the fetus which is somewhat foreign to her body. The birth process involves the turning on of biological clocks and initiating special activities that culminate in the release of the baby and the restoration of normality to the mother.

Conclusion

Our body is especially designed by the most intelligent Designer, whom we call our Creator. We ought to acknowledge our indebtedness to Him for our existence in praises as the psalmist did. Unfortunately, many people, particularly those blinded by evolution, do not give credit to the Creator but to Nature for the wonderful way we have been designed.

The creationist acknowledges that he is designed by God, and is under His care and protection. His relationship with the Creator does not end with this life, but continues through eternity.

Excerpted from The Creation Alternative, by T.V. Oommen, Ph.D. Used by permission.

The Creation Alternative was prepared using information gathered from numerous books and magazine articles in the author's collection (over 18,000 pages of reading material), and from the author's research.