We Are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made!
The fertilised human egg is a unique cell. Genetically human, its 46 chromosomes and 30,000 genes lack nothing needed to make an adult human being. Within 18 days, long before most mothers are even aware that they may be carrying a child, the heart starts the first of the 3 billion beats it will make in a lifetime. Only 22 days later, brain waves can be recorded and the unborn child is already moving. That brain is already actively engaged in more than simply automatic functions. Studies show that by weeks 28 to 32 the unborn child is actually able to remember things.
The human brain is the most complex arrangement of matter in the universe. Even though it weighs only three pounds, the brain defies all explanations except those that include a Creator. That's due to more than its complexity. Our brains were designed to work at the level necessary for us to have a relationship with God Himself!
An average brain has ten billion neurons. Each of those neurons has some 25,000 connections to other neurons. The total number of connections in your brain is about ten billion times 25,000. It has been estimated that the brain can hold one million times as much information as anyone could possibly learn in a lifetime. If true, this suggests that man was meant to live much longer than 70 or 80 years.
Thanks to the brain, you can listen to someone talk and begin to put your reply together at the same time. While it's doing this your brain is also directing other projects, like your heart beat, breathing, and blood chemistry without your conscious attention. Your brain, through its extended sensory system, allows your finger to feel a vibration of less than eight-one-thousandths of an inch or see ten million different colours.
The human brain is also one of the busiest arrangements of matter in the universe. During intense concentration, your brain can burn as many calories as your muscles do during exercise! Intense thinking can literally be as exhausting as a physical workout! More than 100,000 chemical reactions go on in your brain every second.
Many people know that the brain is also a radio transmitter. It sends out measurable electrical signals. In fact, the brain continues to send these signals for as long as 37 hours after death!
The Body's Timekeeper
The brain is also in charge of the body's time clock. Our bodies have many different rhythms. For example, your body temperature fluctuates through the day on a cycle of about 24 hours. A person's blood pressure can change in a 24-hour cycle by as much as 20 percent. Some body rhythms go through their complete cycle in a few hours, others in seven days, and others in about 28 days. And in each case, one or more organs in the body control each rhythm. None of these clocks are set to the same time! This could be a confusing mess.
To prevent absolute and total confusion the brain has one master clock that co-ordinates all the other clocks in the body. This master clock goes by the initials SCN. Together the SCN and the hypothalamus turn out a bewildering array of chemical signals for the rest of the body to keep everything humming along in fine order.
It was once thought that our various behaviours and abilities were locked into position, each in their own parts of the brain. Now medical researchers are learning that if one part of the brain is damaged beyond repair, other parts of the brain will take over for the injured part.
However, this doesn't always happen automatically. It takes effort on your part. If you don't work hard to develop a lost skill, the brain won't work very hard to re-assign its function to another part of the brain. This also works the other way. Even if the brain isn't damaged, your failure to use a skill or limb will result in a shrinkage of the brain area that controls it.
This means that we are not, as many think, locked into certain bad habits, or sins. We are learning that the transformation of our minds by God's power is not only something that happens spiritually - physical changes take place in our brains as a result of our behaviour. Is your mind being transformed by the power of God, or conformed to the world?
More Than a Body
Does science support a purely materialistic view of man, as many claim?
Many well-known scientists believe that man has a non-material part to his being. They include Nobel prize winning scientists John Eccles and George Wald. Eccles believes that evolution might explain how our bodies got here. However, he wrote, "Each of us is a unique, conscious being, a divine creation... It is the only view consistent with all the evidence." He thinks scientists who say that man can be fully explained by materialistic principles are spreading a modern form of superstition. Their beliefs, he says, are worn out. In his words, "They lead us nowhere. Materialism gives you a hopeless, empty life, one without values." However, Eccles' idea of man's spiritual side should not be confused with the Christian concept of the soul.
Wald believes that man's spiritual part exists outside space and time. Sir Karl Popper, who is famous for his theory of the scientific method, believed that man has a spiritual component. So does neuro-biologist Roger Sperry.
The lesson is, don't ever let anyone tell you that scientists have shown that man is a completely material creature with no spiritual nature. Some of the most knowledgeable scientists in the world would disagree with claims that man is mere body without spirit.
Truly we are fearfully and wonderfully made! We are knit together by God's own hand in the womb into creatures so wondrous that God's handiwork cannot easily be denied.
by Paul A. Bartz
Source: 'Creation Ex-Nihilo'