Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Ps 139: 13-14.

It was just another lecture on Hematology for the medical students. How does the human body decide how many red blood cells are enough, too many, too few? As I came up with answers for them, I was overwhelmed by the majesty of God’s design.

The simple answer to such regulation and growth questions in medical science is that this is just a matter of genes handed down from our parents. We get the genes from our folks that tell us how much blood to make. This macro understanding of biology fits well within a framework of accidental natural selection, but the real understanding of such biology is far more complex than that.

In making blood cells, for instance, it’s not simply that a certain mass of cells sends a genetic signal that says “stop” or “go”. In order to make blood cells, a whole host of perfectly coordinated fibroblasts, osteoblasts, fat cells and lymphocytes have to interact with blood cell precursors---to receive and send signals that match the body’s needs within a narrow range. Even location matters. It matters where precursor blood cells set up shop within the bone marrow, which neighborhood of host tissues nurture them at various phases of development. To find the right neighborhood, blood cells are equipped with homing mechanisms and adhesion molecules that move them about at exactly the right time. At each station growth factors must attach to receptors that signal multiple intracellular pathways to turn on or off certain genes that balance cell multiplication and length of survival. Hundreds of cells and molecules must interact in an ongoing, never ending, accurate way within a narrow margin so that we have exactly the right number of cells to deliver oxygen to tissues, fight infections and plug leaky vessels---each of these processes in turn requiring hundreds of coordinating cells and molecules. I study this science every day, and I am overwhelmed by the majesty of God.

I know that we have had millions of years for natural selection to get it right. But it is irrational for me to believe that the hundreds of complex interactions for each of thousands of body regulatory mechanisms have been guided by accident with no grand purpose in mind.

Dear God,I am overwhelmed by Your majesty when I see the mountains, and even more so when I study the science with which You have so intricately designed this body to think and love and serve. Thank you, Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment