The Science Of Human Life is Almost Unbelievable
by: Dan Shanefield
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I won't say I believe there is a conventional God behind human life, but it's difficult to believe in a strictly scientific explanation for humanity. I guess I do think there must be a godless explanation, because of the complete lack of evidence for gods or goddesses, but it's all quite weird. Right now I'd say a godless existence is only barely imaginable.
If there is some god-like life force in the universe, it can be awfully cruel, with Darfur as one of many examples visible in the world right now. And any mysterious "life force" sure doesn't respond to prayers, with Meditation 402 as a typical example from my own little set of experiences ("Prayer's Result: Wet My Pants").
As a working scientist and engineer, it seems beyond my understanding that the human brain can develop from a single egg cell plus a sperm cell. Of course we know that one sperm has very many DNA molecules, each of which contains an enormous amount of information coded in its combination of amino acid linkages. Enormous, yes, but enough to become a human brain with it's utterly fantastic complexity? Just look at the difference in size, a sperm cell versus a brain. And that big brain is capable of writing Shakespeare's plays and Einstein's theories. And the tiny sperm cell also has to develop into fingerprints, eyes, complex intestines and endocrine glands, muscles, bones, and so on. I won't say it's scientifically impossible, but it seems pretty close, just based on estimating the information content.
Another thing that stretches my belief in godless existence, since I am a chemical engineer, is the human system of sensors and "feedback" control systems. I have designed and used systems of sensors, which when it got too hot, started the cooling equipment, and so on. Using concepts like "proportional control without overswing," such systems can be very accurate. (They were used effectively in human efforts to go to the moon and back, for example.) But they can be very complex. The human body has amazing sensors that detect food oils, proteins, starches, and other complex nutrients, and then pump just the right amounts of the right digestive agents into the stomach. It's no good if there's too much or too little. It's all pre-programmed in a tiny sperm cell.
Similar "sensory feedback and control systems" are in our bodies for detecting a wide variety of complex and subtle bacteria, viruses, and poisons. Once again, at the risk of becoming a bore, I remind you that this all has to be pre-programmed into the tiny sperm and egg cell. The fact that it can work so well is fantastic, even given the millions of years of evolution, and billions of new seeds trying to survive.
To make things worse for our understanding (and belief), it all has to be preprogrammed to work in milk drinking babies, and later somewhat differently in adults, and still later to cause death when the elders are no longer useful.
Of course, just because we (or at least I) can't understand it, that doesn't mean godless life should not really exist. As I said in Meditation 461, there is plenty of "spooky" physics that appears to be true, and I believe it because I've used some of it to develop useful new products myself. But the more you think about complex human life coming from a tiny sperm cell, the harder it is to believe that there isn't some kind of "intelligent design," beyond just random actions for millions of years. Too bad it doesn't respond to our prayers.