Tuesday, May 27, 2014

#61 Muscles

If you are a fan of any sport, I’m sure you are amazed by what human beings can do. How strong and how fast they are and how coordinated they can move is astounding. It is almost incomprehensible that their eyes can see a ball moving over 100 miles an hour and through the brain coordinate their arms, legs, and hands to catch or hit that ball with precision. Also, I’m sure you know that many animals are capable of feats that humans cannot begin to duplicate.

All of these movements are accomplished by specialized cells called muscles.

If you do an Internet search for “evolution of muscles”, you will come up with almost nothing. The articles have totally speculative statements or are just a description of a supposed sequence of development, but there is no explanation. If they are honest, they will admit they have no idea of the origins of muscles. For example, “The structure and function of vertebrate striated muscle, which can be contracted at will, has been studied in detail, but its evolutionary history remains obscure.” [1] Here is another, “While the structure and function of muscles, especially of vertebrates, have been intensively studied, the evolutionary origin of smooth and striated muscles has so far been enigmatic.” [2] Even Wikipedia, which is pro-evolution, admits this with a disclaimer at the top. “This article has multiple issues.” [3]

The tiniest movements we make, like the “jitter” of each eye over 30 times a second [4], like every beat of your heart, like large jumps with your legs, are all accomplished by muscle(s). Every time your mind wants your body to do something, it calls on specific muscles to accomplish it.

Not only movements, but our minds have so many emotions they need to be able to express. So our faces are designed with all the muscles we need for that. Why would all those facial expressions we can make be necessary in order to be the fittest to survive as evolutionists claim?

I like this description from How Stuff Works. “Because muscles are so crucial to any animal, they are incredibly sophisticated. They are efficient at turning fuel into motion, they are long-lasting, they are self-healing and they are able to grow stronger with practice. They do everything from allowing you to walk to keeping your blood flowing!” [5]

Many things inside your body happen automatically to keep you alive, but they happen without you having to think about it. Muscles move your food down your esophagus, through your stomach and intestines, and all the way out. Your lungs suck in air. Your heart beats almost every second. This is all done by muscles.

Wikipedia has a list of 642 “skeletal muscles” which are the ones controlled by our consciousness and the list includes their location in the body and their purpose. [6] But some other sources may count muscles differently and come up with as many as 850.

Muscles exist in 320 pairs. According to Wikipedia’s sources, “almost every muscle constitutes one part of a pair of identical bilateral muscles, found on both sides,...” [7] Remember this point. It will be important later.

There are 3 distinct types of muscles.

            Skeletal muscles, also called “voluntary”, are ones which can be controlled by the mind. These are the 642 mentioned above.

            Smooth muscles, or “involuntary”, are ones which we cannot control. They are contained in our digestive system (esophagus, stomach, intestines), blood vessels, bladder, bronchi (lungs), arrector pili (skin), and, in females, the uterus (childbirth).

            Cardiac muscle is found only in the heart and is very unique. The cells are specially designed and connected so they can all contract at the same time at the command of cells called “pacemaker” cells in the heart.

42% of a man’s body mass is muscle. For women it is 36%. While we are on the subject, it could be noted that men and women have many differences in their muscle systems, particularly in the reproductive area. If you want some fascinating reading sometime, check out how the uterus works.

The Skeletal muscles can be further subdivided into “slow twitch” or “fast twitch” muscles. The slow twitch muscles contract for a long time but with little force. The fast twitch muscles can contract rapidly and with strong force. The fast twitch muscles are even subdivided into 3 more categories.

Muscles are made up of many, many muscle cells which are arranged together in bundles inside a sheath called a sarcolemma. Furthermore, many of these sheaths are again bound together in a large bundle which is surrounded by another sheath called a fascicle. Then again many fascicles are bound together in another sheath called an epimysium. This reminds me of the steel cables used to make the Golden Gate Bridge. This design gives amazing strength.

Inside every muscle there are numerous arteries and veins to bring blood with oxygen and nutrition and carry away waste products. There are also many nerve endings coming all the way from the brain that initiate contractions. There are also many mitochondria in the cells to process oxygen, fats, and carbohydrates as fuel for energy.

The whole process of chemical reactions and how a muscle is able to contract and relax is super complicated and over my head. But you can research the details yourself if you are interested.

Common sense will tell you that our muscles were designed by a super intelligence. The abilities of man-made robots are miniscule in comparison.

Remember I noted that muscles all come in pairs. If you put your arm out, you need a complementary muscle to pull it back. If you look up, you need a complementary muscle to pull your eye back down. If you step forward, you need a complementary muscle to keep you from falling over.

If there is no God, and all muscles came about by accident, mutation, and natural selection, how can you account for complementary pairs of muscles? Mutation would have to guess right 340 times. Suppose you evolve a muscle (which isn’t easy) that will move your arm out. What good is that? How many generations will it take with all people having their arms hanging out until some individual evolves a muscle to bring his arm back in. If it’s a man, he has to wait for a woman to also evolve that same muscle to pull in her arm, find her, marry her, and have children. Then they become the Adam and Eve for all mankind because we all have both those muscles. All the people without both those muscles have died out. Oops, I almost forgot that we have to repeat that process 339 more times to account for all the pairs in our bodies. And that’s just the voluntary muscles. How we could possibly evolve the cardiac and involuntary muscles is still not accounted for.

Remember evolving a muscle is not going to be simple. You have got to also evolve the nerves (connected to the brain) and arteries and veins (connected to the heart) inside the muscle and then surround it all with 3 layers of sheathing. You also have to evolve the tendons to connect the muscles to your bones. This is not even in the realm of possibility.

Natural Selection would theoretically prevent the evolution of muscle pairs anyway. Survival of the fittest would eliminate single muscles before their complementary muscle could evolve. You can’t close your eyes and not be able to open them. If you stick out your arm and can’t bring it back, you would not be one of the fittest that could survive.

I’ve already discussed in other posted articles the explanations of how mutation [8] and natural selection [9] have never been shown to be processes that can produce new species. So to, they are not processes that can even begin to explain how muscles originated either.

We discussed human muscles above, but every other species of mammal, fish, birds, and insects has muscles as well. Most all of those muscles are in pairs. We’re talking about several million species that would have had to evolve their own unique muscles to accommodate their unique skeletons.

All those species also have hearts and involuntary muscles as well. Those would all have to evolve separately too inside every animal species. This is astronomically impossible.

Think about involuntary muscles for a minute. If evolution were true, then at some point before our lungs worked automatically we would have to think “breath in, breath out,” all the time. Ridiculous. Before our esophagus evolved to automatically push our food down, we would have to think about it. At what point after many generations of evolution did we have to stop telling our stomach to move the food along and our lungs start breathing on their own? Equally ridiculous. It was all in place from the beginning or we would have died out as a species.

What about the cardiac muscle in the heart? How did that muscle accidentally “evolve” and start beating. At what point did the arteries and veins get connected and then blood was created to move around the body or up to the lungs for oxygen and back again?

The masterpiece of the human body is not the result of ad hoc, random additions over many generations.

It was designed from the beginning.

There must be God.

[1] Evolution of muscles, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit√§t M√ľnchen, http://www.en.uni-muenchen.de/news/newsarchiv/2012/2012_woerheide.html

[2] Searching for the origin of muscles, Science Daily,   http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120628145626.htm

[3] Muscular evolution in humans, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscular_evolution_in_humans

[6] List of muscles of the human body, Wikipedia,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_muscles_of_the_human_body

[7] List of muscles of the human body, Wikipedia,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_muscles_of_the_human_body

[8] Proof for God #27, The Truth About Mutation, http://101proofsforgod.blogspot.com/2013/02/27-truth-about-mutation.html

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

#60 Water

Of all the treasures that we could talk about on earth, the number one most valuable substance is water. Every living being requires water. As a matter of fact, every living cell requires water.

The water molecule is so unique and special among all substances. It is so finely tuned and ideally suited to foster the existence of life that it is impossible to rationally conclude it was a cosmic accident. It is much easier to accept that it was miraculously designed.

A water molecule is totally different from the normal properties that would be expected from the patterns of similar compounds in the Periodic Table of Elements. Its freezing temperature and boiling point are way too high. It should be a gas at room temperatures. It should turn from ice to liquid at around -100°C (instead of 0°C) and then from liquid to gas at around -80°C (instead of 100°C). This would mean almost all the water on Earth would not exist (and neither would we).

Water is everywhere on Earth, covering 71% [1] of the Earth’s surface. “Earth is the only known planet to have bodies of liquid water on its surface.”[2] No other planet in the known universe has even the tiniest fraction of this much water. Think about the implications of that truth and the specialness of our “home” in the vast universe.

This much water allows for gigantic numbers of species to live in the water, especially the tiny life giving organisms like algae and plankton which produce a lot of the oxygen and nutrition for most species. “It is estimated that marine plants produce between 70 and 80 percent of the oxygen in the atmosphere.” [3]

What is the origin of water? It is so absolutely essential to all life that without water there could never have been any life. The properties of water are so chemically unusual and yet so absurdly complementary and coordinated with life that it is impossible to conceive that this is an accidental relationship. The most rational conclusion is that water and life were designed.

All of your needs for Oxygen, down to the last cell, are provided by the water in our blood. The way you get rid of Carbon Dioxide is provided by water. Water does the same thing for plants, but in reverse.

Even the smallest variation in any of the properties of water would be the end of us. It is all functioning miraculously on the tiniest cellular level.

“If the angle between hydrogen atoms in the water molecule were different, there would be no complex life-giving molecules, and no life on earth.” [4]

This property is one of my favorites. When water freezes, it expands. Only a small handful of other substances do that. But because it does that, frozen water, i.e. ice, floats. The density of ice is almost ten times lighter than liquid water. [5] If water were a normal compound, its frozen form would sink. But imagine if ice were to sink, then in winter when all the lakes would freeze, then the ice would sink to the bottom. Then new water on the top of the lake would freeze and sink to the bottom. Soon the whole lake from the bottom up would be frozen solid, killing all the fish and plants. When could it ever thaw out? It would take a really long time if ever with the sun only melting the ice on the surface. But fortunately that’s not what happens because of how water is designed. The ice floats and actually provides a protective layer against the cold for all life under the surface. Doesn’t that sound like it was designed by a brilliant, loving intelligence that was concerned for the life it created?

You probably realize cooler water sinks. This creates what is called “stratification”. You might have noticed this when swimming in a lake, that the water down deeper is colder. However, when water becomes ice it rises to the top. This causes a churning effect in the spring and fall that circulates and oxygenates the lake waters. That effect is very beneficial for plant and animal life in the lakes. Also because the warmer water stays on top, the sun’s heat cannot penetrate so deeply that it would harm the animal and plant life below.

An important property of water due to hydrogen bonding is called “cohesion”. The hydrogen atoms are constantly bonding and breaking bonds in tiny fractions of a second. “Cohesion due to hydrogen bonding contributes to the formation of waves and other water movements that occur in lakes. Water movements are integral components of the lake system and play an important role in the distribution of temperature, dissolved gases, and nutrients. These movements also determine the distribution of microorganisms and plankton.” [6]

Water has a high degree of surface tension. This also creates a protection effect, not only for lakes and oceans, but even in our own bodies. “Water has a greater surface tension than all other liquids except mercury.” [7] That surface tension is what makes water drops take the shape of spheres. Water falling from the sky takes the shape of drops. These can act like little bullets to penetrate and refresh plant life and the earth. They can dissolve and wash away toxins. It mixes up soils and fertilizes. It erodes rocks over time, making soil. It churns the oceans, benefitting fish and plant life.

Water rains down to the earth to nourish all life. It then flows towards streams and rivers to the sea where it evaporates and goes back into the atmosphere to repeat the cycle. The unidirectional flow of water in the evaporation/condensation cycle enables water all over the earth to continuously cleanse itself and renew the earth and all forms of life.

When water is heated in hot climates, the water vapor can carry large amounts of heat energy away to cooler locations and then release it in the form of rain. This cools the hotter climates and warms the colder ones, while at the same time refreshing and oxygenating the atmosphere.

"Water is called the ‘universal solvent’ because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid. This means that wherever water goes, either through the ground or through our bodies, it takes along valuable chemicals, minerals, and nutrients." [8] This allows water to carry nutrition throughout your body to every one of your 100 trillion cells. It also allows the water to extract the waste products from your cells and carry them to the organ that is designed to eliminate them.

Colloidal action is another special property of water. The inherent vibration by the H2O molecules pushes around any dissolved substances so they are evenly distributed throughout the water.

Capillary action and surface tension are also important properties. This means that water goes into the tiniest of cracks and crevices automatically. This makes your life so much easier because your heart does not have to provide huge amounts of force to get your blood to circulate through all the tiny capillaries to supply all your cells. Blood carries nutrients to every cell in the bodies of all animals and then removes waste products. Water in the sap in trees and plants carries nutrients for their life.

“Water also has the ability to pass through cell membranes and climb great heights in plants and trees through osmosis and capillary force. Osmotic pressure and capillary action enable water to climb hundreds of feet to the tops of the highest trees. The mystery of osmosis enables plants to feed, and plants and animals to carry on a multitude of life processes.  Osmosis enables marine creatures to absorb fresh water in an increasing salt-water environment.” [9]

Water has a highest heat capacity of any liquid, [10] meaning it can absorb relatively huge amounts of heat. This means it is slow to increase in temperature and to eventually boil. It also releases heat very slowly. The whole planet and everything on it benefits from this. The sand on the beach can get so hot you can’t walk on it, but the ocean stays cool and doesn’t turn to steam.

The oceans keep our entire environment from getting way too hot and conversely from getting way too cold. Water makes a “womb” for all life, a protective habitat. It’s almost analogous to the female womb that lovingly supports the growth of new life. Near large bodies of water, the winters are warmer and the summers are cooler.

Because water can absorb great amounts of heat and our bodies are mostly water, it means our body temperature is much easier to regulate and there are not huge swings to deal with. Our body even has a mechanism to release sweat that will evaporate from our skin taking heat with it and keeping us cooler.

“"More energy is required to evaporate liquid water than most other substances. To evaporate each gram of water at room temperature, about 580 calories of heat are needed, which is nearly double the amount needed to vaporize a gram of alcohol or ammonia." [11]

Water remains a liquid over a very large range (0°C to 100°C, 32°F to 212°F). Most other substances have a much shorter range between solid and gaseous states. This range allows life to exist over a large spectrum of temperatures.

One source noted that water has "at least twenty-one anomalies, properties that the laws of chemistry and physics say it should not have." [12]

This doesn’t cover all the amazing properties of water, but let’s get to the point. Does this prove that God exists? Suppose every morning when you wake up, you go outside your front door and there waiting for you is exactly all the food and water that you will need for the day to live. The next day the same. The day after that the same. It never fails. All your essential needs are provided for in exactly the right proportions. If any of the ingredients were to vary slightly, you would starve or die of thirst. Could this be just a cosmic accident? The odds are so infinitesimally small as to be non-existent.

There must be God.

[1] How much water is there on, in, and above the Earth? U. S. Geological Survey http://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthhowmuch.html

[2] Are there oceans on other planets? National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U. S. Dept. of Commerce. http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/et-oceans.html

[4] Twenty Three Unique Properties of Water. http://www.intelligentdesigntheory.info/unique_properties_of_water.htm

[5] What happens to marine life when a lake or pond is frozen? http://www.myuniversalfacts.com/2005/12/what-happens-to-marine-life-when-lake.html

[6] Student Reading - The Unique Properties of Water. (The ensuing discussion is adapted from Campbell, N.A. 1996. Biology (4th edition))  http://www.waterontheweb.org/curricula/bs/student/water/unique.html

[7] Student Reading - The Unique Properties of Water. (The ensuing discussion is adapted from Campbell, N.A. 1996. Biology (4th edition))  http://www.waterontheweb.org/curricula/bs/student/water/unique.html

[8] Water Properties and Measurements, U. S. Geological Survey. http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/waterproperties.html

[9] Twenty Three Unique Properties of Water. http://www.intelligentdesigntheory.info/unique_properties_of_water.htm
[10] Water Properties and Measurements, U. S. Geological Survey. http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/waterproperties.html

[11] Student Reading - The Unique Properties of Water. (The ensuing discussion is adapted from Campbell, N.A. 1996. Biology (4th edition))  http://www.waterontheweb.org/curricula/bs/student/water/unique.html

[12] Twenty Three Unique Properties of Water. http://www.intelligentdesigntheory.info/unique_properties_of_water.htm