December 11, 2017

God or Evolution? (II)

By Luther Blackmon

Anatomy and Evolution

To say that the human body is a remarkable machine is an understatement. I asked a doctor how a man could study the human anatomy as they must study it and remain an atheist. He said it is his opinion that not many doctors are atheists by conviction. Doctors are scientists. They move in strata of society where they rub elbows with the intellectual. Without sufficient reason, or any reason really, the label of tionary hypothesis, and the persistent false notion exists that there is an irreconcilable conflict between science and the Bible, between science and God. It is easy to see how a doctor or anyone else who moves in such an atmosphere might feel certain subtle pressures.

But let us examine briefly some of the parts of this marvelous machine. As we do so, search your heart honestly. Then if you still prefer to believe that from a tiny, formless, sexless cell, somehow originating in lifeless matter in the slime and ooze of an ancient sea, and directed only by blind chance the human body has evolved into its present form, I have no more to say to you.

The Eye

There is the same proof that the eye was made for seeing as that the telescope was made for assisting it. Both were adapted to the transmission and refraction of light rays. The pupil, or that part of the eye through which the light enters, dilates and contracts according to the amount of light needed for vision. Get in a dark room for a few minutes, then turn on a bright light and look quickly into a mirror. The pupil will be very large when the light comes on, but immediately it will begin to contract. It was dilated because of the lack of light rays. When they are plentiful and bright, it automatically (as we might say) contracts. We carry light meters with our cameras for the purpose of adjusting the camera to the light rays. The eye has its own built-in light meter. Who built it in? Who designed it? Mere chance?

When we look at a near object the eye changes its shape and becomes elongated as though it were squeezed in the middle. In fact that is what happens. It is somewhat like pulling a telescope out to its full length. But when we look at a distant object, it goes back to its round, convex shape. Then we have glands behind the eye that produce a salty fluid which keeps the eye washed. When we cry or our eyes smart this comes out as tears. But we do not cry all the time, so something has to be done with this salty water. Something is done. There are two tiny holes in the nose. When this moisture has done its work, it runs out through these holes into the nose where it is dried up by our breathing. Evolution, directed by chance, developed the salty solution and then bored the holes in the nose to let it out - some trick! Then there is the eyebrow. That is not up there just for the girls to pluck. It protects the eye from moisture that runs down the forehead. The lashes protect the eye from bits of trash that would otherwise plague us. It is certainly nice that chance happened to get all these accessories in just the right place, isn't it?

The fish has larger eyes proportionately because he is down there where light rays do not penetrate as well as through air. It is just right however, for seeing in his habitat. The eel's eye is covered with a hard horny transparent lens because he burrows in the sand and rocky mud. Did his burrowing grow this hard, transparent lens? Rather than grow a lens, it would have more likely have blinded him. Certainly he would not have grown a transparent lens, burrowing in mud and ravel. But, things do not have to sound intelligent to the person who refuses to consider the objections to his theory.

Some birds and a few quadrupeds have what is called a winking eyelid. You have seen a chicken with this white looking membrane over his eye when he is resting. It is a sort of an elastic, third eyelid that lies in the comer of the eye. When needed it is pulled over the eye to protect it and not completely cut out the light. According to Cuvier this third lid enables the eagle to look straight at the sun. The eagle, however, is the only animal which can look straight into the sun for any length of time. The fascinating thing about this nictitating eyelid is the mechanism that operates it. It is pulled over the eye by two muscles behind the eye. One muscle long enough to perform this act would be too long to lie behind the eye. So there are two muscles. One has a loop in it and the other runs through it like a rope through a pulley. When the eye is to be closed, one of these muscles contracts and twitches the other causing it to contract. By the contraction of both, the eyelid is pulled over the eye. The elastic nature of the membrane pulls it back when the bird is ready to uncover his eye. No intelligence designed it. Mere chance!

The eye of the eagle is one of the marvels of nature. He can see a field mouse in the grass a quarter of a mile away. He also must be able to see at a very close range when he dives into the grass or water to seize his victim. The eyes of all birds must have this variation in distance of vision. They must be able to see at great distances, especially the meat eaters, as they fly over the landscape. Then they must be able to see at a few inches when they are eating. "Chance might produce a wart or a mole, but never an eye."

Design in Other Creatures

Birds that eat flesh have digestive systems entirely different from those that eat vegetable aliment. The birds of prey have a stomach with gastric juices like man and other animals. The birds that eat vegetable aliment have a gizzard and crop. The gastric juices in the stomach of the falcon or kite will not digest the corn that a crow eats. It is interesting also to note that the makeup of the bodies of these birds is consistent with their diet. The eagle or hawk has sharp talons to catch his prey, a sharp, hooked bill to eat the meat and a stomach equipped with gastric juices to digest it. The goose and the duck have webbed feet for swimming, a broad bill for grazing in the mud or eating grass. Then they have a digestive system to match. What would happen to an eagle if he were hatched with sharp talons and a stomach for digesting meat, but with a bill like a goose? Oh, but this never happens. Why? Because the laws of nature just do not work that way. Who is nature? And what do you mean by LAWS of nature? We hear a lot about LAWS. But who was the law maker? Law implies agency - a lawmaker. Again the laws of nature, such as these we are discu3sing, show evidence of an intelligent LAWMAKER, and we are back where we started - "In the beginning God," But that could not be - it is unthinkable, you know!!!

The woodpecker has feet specially designed for holding to the upright body of a tree. His tail feathers are designed for a brace to help hold his body in proper position while he works on the tree. His bill is like a chisel, tough and sharp for digging into the tree. There is a cushion behind that tough beak to protect his head from the beating it would get from his banging his bill against the tree. Then this bird has a tongue with a barb on the end which enables him to reach into the hole he digs in the tree and get the worm or ant which he somehow knew was there before he started all this work.

But, not only must the various organs of his body conform in this manner, but his surroundings must also conform. The bird's barbed tongue, unique bill, strong tail feathers, cushion in the head and unusual feet would serve no purpose unless there were worms and bugs in the tree. Now if you want to be with the "in" crowd you must believe that all these characteristics were developed over a period of many millions of years, while Mr. Woodpecker was adapting to his environment. This all comes easy to the twentieth century woodpecker. He has been this way all his life. But how about the woodpecker before he developed all the wonderful accessories? The old timers must have really had it tough. Many of them doubtless starved before their bill got hard enough to bore into a tree; others wound up punch drunk from banging their heads against trees before the cushion developed in their heads. I cannot help wondering also why the worms and bugs did not develop some escape mechanism while the woodpecker was developing all this. The worm does not seem to have much going for him, but he is still with us in abundance. This introduces another field where the evolutionist has some trouble: the balance in nature.

Take the rabbit for example. Everything that eats meat seems to like the rabbit. Not only that, but the poor rabbit has no defense but his color and his speed. Yet, after all these 'years that he has been the victim of all kinds of cats and dogs and wolves and eagles and hawks, there are more rabbits than there are cats and dogs and wolves and eagles and hawks. Why? I would ride a mule bareback with a blind bridle and slick bit twenty miles to hear some champion of evolution explain how the rabbits managed to step up production to stay ahead of all these rabbit eaters.

Evolution and the Human Body

Just briefly, and in "layman's" language, here is what happens when you eat food: It is masticated (chewed, to us country folks) while being moistened by secretion from the glands in the oral section. Then it is swallowed and passes into the stomach where digestion begins. Everything we swallow must pass over the glottis (windpipe). This would pose quite a problem in that we would be constantly troubled with food and liquid going down the wrong "pipe," BUT FOR THE FACT that evolution has very ingeniously (pardon me, I mean fortuitously; ingenuity would demand intelligence and that would mean personality or God) provided a lid for the glottis called the epiglottis. By means of the muscular movement in that region, this little lid or valve manages to close the gate to the windpipe when we swallow.

Once the food has reached the stomach it is mixed with digestive juices and churned for about an hour and a half, becoming chyle or pulp and then it passes into the intestinal tract where innumerable tiny tubes open their mouths to receive it and take it into other larger vessels where it finally reaches and empties into a large vein in the neck. From here it is taken with the old blood to the heart, through the lungs for oxygen, and then to every part of the body. This is how the food we eat reaches and nourishes all parts of the body. Quite a system to have to have just happened.

The Heart and the Circulatory System

The human heart is a hollow muscle, with four chambers or cavities. It pumps the blood out through the arteries to all the body and brings it back through the veins. All this is done by the same beat of the heart. This is why we have a sort of double beat, like chug-lug, each time the heart beats. Two of the chambers of the heart are called ventricles. They send the blood out. One sends blood to the lungs, to be oxygenized, and whatever else happens to it while it is in the lungs, and the other to the body, after it has been through the lungs. The other two chambers are called auricles. 11ey receive the blood as it comes back. One chamber receiving it from the lungs and the other receiving it from the body as it comes back through the veins.

Another interesting and marvelous thing about this is the valve system. When the heart contracts, squeezing the blood out if it were not for the valves it would flow right back. With each beat of the heart, blood is forced out of one ventricle into the lungs and from the other ventricle to the main part of the body. Also, and with the same movement, the blood must be forced from the auricles which receive the blood, into the ventricles from which it will be sent out. So there must be several valves. With each beat of the heart these valves close, holding the blood until it beats again, then the valve opens again and more blood is forced out and so on. Sometimes, as in the case of my own father, these valves cease to hold the blood and you have what is called leakage of the heart.

The whole mass of the blood in the body is about twenty-five pounds, and it all passes through the heart about fourteen times each, hour, which means that three-hundred-fifty pounds of blood per hour pass through the heart. In a large whale each beat of the heart sends out from ten to fifteen gallons of blood.

(Next issue "Evolution and the Invisible Man.")

TRUTH MAGAZINE, XII: 3, pp. 7-10
December 1967

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