“You created my inmost being: you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
David. Psalm 139:13-14
It is laughable to even think about writing a “blog post,” essay, poem or book that would be valued in the year “5013.” I wonder if David had any idea that the psalms he was writing, 3,000 years ago, would still be read, pondered and enjoyed. After selling 1.2 million copies of a book about Jesus, the author boasted that his book was the best-seller in the world. He wasn’t even close. Each year, over 100 million Bibles are sold globally, and all include the fabulous Psalms of David. Many describe his intimate connection to nature. John Muir knew all of them by heart and soul. He kept a copy of The New Testament with him at all times and it was as important as the “bread” he ate. Some critics of Biodesign Out For A Walk have labeled it, “controversial,” “over-the-top religious:” I can only respond that I humbly and honestly recorded what I saw and take solace knowing that people thought David and Muir were also “over-the-top,” yet their voices are more important that ever before.
After all these years, gamete production, sexual orgasms, conception, embryonic growth and childbirth remain among the great human mysteries; some people regard all as miracles. Regardless of whether “we was made or just happened,” (Mark Twain) scientists and theologians agree that the human brain is the most complex organ on Planet Earth. David’s psalm leaves us with three options: Is it the truth? Is it untrue? Does it really matter?
In The Medusa and the Snail, Lewis Thomas muses about why people made such a fuss over the test-tube baby in England. The true miracle, he affirms, is the common union of sperm and egg in a process that ultimately produces a human being. “The mere existence of that cell,” he writes, “should be one of the greatest astonishments on the earth. People ought to be walking around all day, all through their waking hours, calling to each other in endless wonderment, talking of nothing but that cell.”
“Over nine months these cells divide up functions in exquisite ways. Billions of blood cells appear, millions of rods and cones—in all, up to one hundred million, million cells from a single fertilized ovum. And finally a baby is born, glistening with liquid. Already his cells are cooperating. His muscles limber up in jerky, awkward movements; his face recoils from harsh lights and dry air of the new environment; his lungs and vocal chords join in a first air-gulping yell.
Within that clay-colored, wrinkled package lies the miracle of ecstasy of community. His life will include the joy of seeing his mother’s approval at his first clumsy words, the discovery of his own unique talents and gifts, the fulfillment of sharing with other humans. He is many cells, but one organism. All of his 100 trillion cells know that.”
Human eyes can typically see 8 million colors.
Human ears can distinguish 300,000 different tones.
The surface area of the lungs is 1,000 sq/ft, 10X greater than the skin.
The human face can generate over 250,000 expressions.
If all of the muscles in the human body pulled in one direction it could lift 25 tons.
The human brain contains 30 billion nerve cells. It has 10 billion, billion working parts and can store information equal to 100 trillion words, and accept ten new facts every second. Adult humans have 100 trillion cells, each cell has 46 chromosomes, each chromosome is made up of thousands of molecules, and each cell contains over 100 billion atoms. The burning, yet unfathomable question is: How do the 100 billion atoms in each cell “know” how to be in the right place at the right time in order for life to occur? When Darwin contemplated this he opined: “When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.” [The Autobiography of Charles Darwin]
There are huge potential social and health advantages of being in tune with the rapture of being alive. St. Paul described the human body as a temple and people who have a deep appreciation for this concept are often inspirational and become beacons of faith, hope and love.
David did not have all the recent information available, however, it should be clear, even to hardened cynics, and egocentrics, that we are indeed, “fearfully and wonderfully made.”