In the previous three articles we identified the important need for truth in the search for the God of our own understanding. The bedrock for this search is found in a realistic observation of the abundance of truthful evidence for an intelligent designer of the cosmos (universe) with its infinite uncompressible size, the perfect clockwork of own solar system, and our earthy habitat and the fine-tuning that it had to have to support life as we know it. This should only spur you to do further research of the enormous amount of empirical evidence that supports the belief that there is a master Grand Designer of everything and He is alive and personal.
My own belief is that our own individual recovery from alcoholism is not complete until we accept the Biblical God as the designer of everything from the infinite to the finite, including us – the human being. The Psalmist knew we were designed by God thousands of years ago when he penned “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. (Psalm 139:14 NLT). The writer of this psalm was King David and it provides a strong affirmation of God’s omnipresence. God created an amazing piece of work when he created the human. It is a grand design and we are the greatest of all the living creatures that God made.
There are really two aspects of evaluating the design of the human being. This article looks primarily at the intricate design found in the physical or biological realm while the next article will deal with the human experience and how we operate better when we are in the fullness of His design. Our final article in this series will investigate the design of the AA program and how it aligns itself with Gods design as we pursue the emotional and the spiritual aspects of recovery and as we grow in understanding of the depth of our 12 step program.
We are really a fine piece of work. Our physical body provides a means to relate to and live in our physical environment, the world we live in. Each and every part of us screams intelligent design in a marvelous way. A dynamic framework of bone and cartilage called the skeleton includes self-lubricating hinges and joints that were made to move. It is upon this skeletal system that the other major body systems are fabricated each with their own purpose and function. Briefly they are: The circulatory system moves blood, nutrients, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and hormones, around the body. The digestive system digests food and removes waste. The endocrine system regulates various bodily functions, such as metabolism, growth and sexual function. The immune system defends the body against bacteria, viruses and other pathogens that may be harmful. The lymphatic system plays a role in the body’s defenses and fights infection. The nervous system controls both voluntary action (like conscious movement) and involuntary actions (like breathing). The body’s muscular system aids in movement, blood flow and other bodily functions. The reproductive system allows humans to reproduce. The respiratory system allows us to take in vital oxygen and expel carbon dioxide in a process we call breathing. The urinary system eliminates a waste product called urea from the body, which is produced when certain foods are broken down.
Further, our design includes major vital organs that are essential for survival. These are the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, and skin. The human heart is a responsible for pumping blood throughout our body. Blood is fundamental to the function of every cell, our fundamental building blocks of every component in our bodies. Cells need food to survive, grow, and repair themselves and to fulfill their specific functions, and, to reproduce. Design, design, and more design display a dazzling intricacy in everything we consist of. The job of the kidneys is to remove waste and extra fluid from the blood. The kidneys take urea out of the blood and combine it with water and other substances to make urine. The liver has many functions, including detoxifying of harmful chemicals, breakdown of drugs, filtering of blood, secretion of bile, and production of blood-clotting proteins. The lungs are responsible for removing oxygen from the air we breathe and transferring it to our blood where it can be sent to our cells. The lungs also remove carbon dioxide, which we exhale. The skin is the body’s largest organ. It protects us from the outside world, and is our first defense against bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. Our skin also helps regulate body temperature and eliminate waste through perspiration.
This brings us to the main organ that provides us with the ability to understand our environment and live successfully in it, the human brain. It is the body’s control center, receiving and sending signals to other organs through the nervous system and through hormones. It is responsible for our thoughts, feelings, memory storage and general perception of the world. Our abilities of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch provide a means of sensing the material environment and with the brain helps us interact and live within it. The physical movement of our body and a voice that enables us to communicate with others is under the control of the human brain.
The human brain has intelligence that far exceeds that of the life of the animals we share life with on God’s created world. The brain controls the body’s chemical plant that is far more intricate than any plant that man has ever built. This plant changes the food we eat into living tissue. It causes the growth of flesh, blood, bones and teeth. It even repairs the body when parts are damaged by accident or disease. Power, for work and play, comes from the food we eat. The brain also manages our internal heating and cooling systems, keeping body temperature at about 98.6°F.
Yes, it is a wonderful thing—this brain of ours. In fact, as we look at this very moment, we are actually seeing with our brain. Although, of course, the message is carried there from another marvelous structure, the human eye. Modern cameras operate on the same basic principle as our eyes. In our eye the focus and aperture are adjusted automatically. The human eye is more complex than the finest telescope or camera available. Man cannot make an optical instrument of any kind that is as efficient as the eye. The sound we hear is being played on a perfect little musical instrument inside our ears. The sound waves go down the auditory canal and are carried by the bones of the middle ear to the cochlea, which is rolled up like a tiny sea shell. The outer ear operates in air. But the cochlea is filled with liquid, and transferring sound waves from air to liquid is one of the most difficult problems known to science. Three tiny bones are just right to do the job that enables us to hear properly.
The brain is the centre of a complex computer system more wonderful than the greatest one ever built by man. The body’s computer system computes and sends throughout the body billions of bits of information, information that controls every action, right down to the blink of an eye. In most computer systems, the information is carried by wires and electronic parts. In the body, nerves are the wires that carry the information back and forth from the central nervous system. The brain receives input from the sensory organs and sends output to the muscles for action.
Actions can be voluntary or involuntary. That’s a good thing and we would be a poor design if many things were under our conscious control. And in just one human brain there is probably more wiring, more electrical circuitry, than in all the computer systems of the world put together. Trying to fathom the brain’s mind-boggling complexity and design isn’t easy. What we do know is that it’s the organ that makes us human, giving people the capacity for art, language, moral judgments, and rational thought. It’s also responsible for each individual’s personality, memories, movements, and how we experience the world.
Overall the human body is comprised of a blending of different systems that together make a complex organism that exhibits overall functional order in all of its aspects. The interaction of the brain and nervous system to perform its necessary purpose yields a complexity that demands a belief in an intelligent designer. Another example of complexity is the circulatory system. Its physical make-up yields evidence for design. There are so many proofs of design such as how the heart and vessels came to be so well laid out within the human body; how the heart is protected by a bony cage; and how the heart contracts and pumps blood involuntarily in order to maintain life without our conscious willing of it. There are so many examples of intelligent design in the physical or biological realm that volumes of books would be required to detail all of them. Science establishes evidence all of the time but the most significant scientific discovery to date that validates intelligent design is DNA, and the reason for that is simple – DNA is an information-based system.
In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the genetic structure deep inside the nucleus of our cells. This genetic material DNA is an abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA is found in every cell of our bodies and has the shape of a spiral staircase. The steps are like letters in our alphabet and the letters taken together spell words which have meanings. It is estimated that around three billion letters are in the human DNA – about what is found in 1000 encyclopedia volumes. And that is found in a tiny space inside each and every cell in our body.
In a computer it’s a series of bits (zeros and ones) that represent data storage in a computer and they also represent the code that runs the programming. In the same way, DNA is made up of four chemicals, abbreviated as letters A, T, G, and C. Much like the ones and zeros, these letters are arranged in the human cell to represent both information and programming. The order in which they are arranged instructs the cell’s actions and information itself is inherent to the structure. Together It is a highly complicated design that has never been matched by human intelligence. In fact, because of its superior design, major research is now going on to actually see if DNA itself can be used as a storage information system. The only thing that can explain its superior design is for there to have been a grand intelligent designer. There is no other explanation for such a sophisticated method of messaging and coding residing in our genetic makeup, only the hand of God can explain it.
On June 26, 2000, President Clinton congratulated those who completed the human genome sequencing. President Clinton said, “Today we are learning the language in which God created life. We are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, the wonder of God’s most divine and sacred gift.” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, followed that with this statement, “It is humbling for me and awe inspiring to realize that we have caught the first glimpse of our own instruction book, previously known only to God.”
According to the Bible, God is not only the Author of our existence, but he is a personal God that is our only solution to becoming a spiritually complete person. All the meaning for life that we crave, our emotional desires for strength for situations that used to baffle us, and our pursuit for peace, serenity, joy, and wisdom as we trudge the road to happy destiny, it is the fulfillment of these things that only God can satisfy. This is the God we seek in AA. Just as he has engineered DNA to direct the life process of each cell, he offers to direct our choices and action to achieve the life he designed us, for his glory and for our sake, because he loves us. The book of Genesis teaches that God took ‘the dust of the ground’, a heap of chemicals, shaped a man and then blew into his nostrils the breath of life. Then man became a living soul. Human beings are different from animals, for ‘God created man in his own image’ (Genesis 1:27). Our bodies have been designed with the ability to pass on to the next generation the programmed information required to form another person from simple chemicals.
The human being is more than flesh and bone. We are designed to find our creator. In order for that to happen we must experience life in not only the physical realm but also to experience Him through the emotional and spiritual realms he designed for us. That requires the human experience – living life to its fullest, not on life’s terms, but on spiritual terms. That’s the topic of the next article.
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