• Issue 58 / April - June 2007

    The Human Question

    Irfan Yilmaz

    Statements like “God must have createdwith special care” are most inconvenientand disagreeable. Even for the mostsplendid things, God Almightycommands “Be! and it is.”

    Imagine yourself in Spain, walking through the Alhambra palace. As you gaze at the artistry and beautiful architecture, you feel an urge to meet the master who built it. When you study other works of art, you see that throughout history, artists have used materials such as marble, iron, stones, wood, and glass, which are all found in abundance throughout our world, scattered in different places. The master architect however, uses the knowledge and willpower granted to him as it is represented in the spirit of a civilization. He transforms these things into living history. In other words, the physical structure and artistry of the Alhambra palace may stimulate a thinking mind to understand the whole of Andalusian civilization.
    In the same way, imagine a clock. It is made of various parts: mills, springs, screws, etc. that are all made of materials like iron, nickel, and copper. Again, these can all be found in abundance around the world. An intelligent clockmaker uses these items as he accurately plans, calculates, and measures the correct number and placement of the mills, how they turn, their diameters, and other details that all require very sensitive adjustments. The mastery of craftsmanship contributes to the precision, and thereby to the value of the clock. Although the famous evolutionist Richard Dawkins claimed that such an accurate machine could be made by a “blind clockmaker,” I am compelled to grant the genius of accuracy with a little more respect to suggest that a precise clock requires the attention of a focused eye.
    Just as with Alhambra and the clock, the genius of artistry and precision, when we perceive of the human being as work of art, we begin to understand the mastery that lies behind its development. Highlighting the amazing factual data about our physical and chemical structure, in this article, I try to find an answer to the question “what is a human being?” The resulting data reveals the degree to which human beings exist as magnificent works of art. My intent is to illustrate the intention of the Ultimate Master behind human existence.
    Here are some basic facts about the approximate numbers, size, and longevity of our cells, the smallest living units in our body:

    Facts in total numbers
    Cells in a human body: 100 trillion
    The variety of cells: 210
    Cells dying every second: 50 million
    Cells being created every second: 50 million
    Red corpuscles: 25 trillion
    White corpuscles: 25-100 billion
    Neurons: 30 billion
    (for a comparison, there are 100,000 neurons in the body of a fly and 10 million in the brain of a mouse)
    Neurons in the brain cortex: 10 billion
    Neurons in the cerebellar cortex: 10 billion
    Synapses of all neurons: 100 trillion
    Cells dying in a normal day: 50-100 thousand
    Cells activated at a remembering process: 10-100 million
    Cells producing gastric acid: male 1 billion, female 820 million
    Size of sperms-the smallest cells: 3-5m (1 micrometer=10-6 m)
    Size of glial cells in the brain: 5m
    Diameter of egg cells-the biggest cells: 100-120 m
    Average size of a liver cell: 30-50 m
    Diameter of a red corpuscle: 7 m
    Diameter of a kidney cell’s nucleus: 6.2 m
    Chromosomes’ adjoined width at metaphase: 4.5 m
    Diameter of the nucleus of a ganglion cell in the spinal cord: 1.2 m
    Diameter of a mitochondria: 0.5-1.2 m
    Diameter of a lysosome (enzyme carrier): 0.2-0.5 m
    Microvilli on the small intestinal cells: 100nm (1 nanometer=10–9 m)
    Diameter of a ribosome:12-20nm
    Thickness of a cell membrane: 8.0nm
    Diameter of a nexus on a cell membrane: 3.0nm
    Diameter of a DNA double helix: 2.0nm
    Length of an amino acid molecule: 0.8-1.1nm
    Diameter of an atom: 0.1-0.5nm
    Longevity of cells
    Anal epithelial cells: 4.3 days
    Epidermis cells: 19.2 days
    Bowel epithelial cells: 10 days
    Intestinal mucous cells: 1.4 days
    Rectal mucous cells: 6.2 days
    Bladder epithelial cells: 66.5 days
    Lip epidermis cells: 14.7 days
    Sole epidermis cells: 19.1 days
    Tracheal epithelial cells: 47.6 days
    Alveolar cells: 8.1 days
    Gastric cardia epithelial cells: 9.1 days
    Pyloric epithelial cells: 1.8-1.9 days
    Inner ear epithelial cells: 34.5 days
    Red corpuscles: 120days
    Neutrophils: 4-5 days
    Eosinophils: 10 days
    Lymphocytes: 5 days to years
    Monocytes: several months
    Liver cells : 222 days
    Kidney epithelial cells: 286 days
    Thyroid epithelial cells: 287 days
    Bone cells: 25-30 years
    Neurons Lifelong

    The cells which do not divide and reproduce:
    Egg cells, brain cells, neurons, sweat gland cells, and hair papilla cells.
    The human body is thus similar to a massive 3-D jigsaw puzzle; an incredibly complex one with trillions of minute-size pieces. It begins with a collection of 0.1 to 0.5 nanometer atoms that all come together to make up the elements of cells. From these elements-mitochondria and the like-a 100 trillion cells are formed that all come together to form the organs, muscles, tissue, and bones of the human body. All come together in a splendid fashion and all work together as if they are well aware of each other. All of this precision comes to together to form something that is both precise and beautiful.
    This is not all. The process is renewed every second as cells wear out, die, and are reborn. In a few years, the body is an entirely new thing. Even more, the longevity of cells varies; some live only 1.4 days (intestinal mucous cells), while others last for months. Your body replaces cells at exact moments with perfect timing. No pause is allowed, and this is supposed to go on for some seventy years. It seems impossible to believe that such a thing can ever happen, that a “blind puzzle-maker” or any other chance-based mechanism could produce such a result. But here we are, living examples of beauty and precision. Somebody has already made us, didn’t He?


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