Water for Living and Living Water

Water for Living and Living Water

We all know that getting dehydrated is not good for our health. What we may not realize is how much water is designed to be part of our human makeup. Even the sound of water has a positive effect on our emotions and health. More important than that, our bodies depend on water. We need both water for living and living water.

Yesterday, we talked about our ability to cool our bodies through sweating. Eccrine glands work inside our cells to produce sweat, and humans have more of those glands than any other animal. When we lose significant amounts of water by sweating, a complex network of hormones and the electrical system that controls our kidneys work together to concentrate our urine.

The necessity of water for living means that we must constantly add water to our bodies, and to do this, we have great flexibility in our diets. In the United States, about 20% of the water we take into our bodies comes from the food we eat. In Japan, that number is around 50%. People get water by eating fruits and drinking milk, which is 87% water.

Humans are more locked into water than we may realize. We all travel by using water as the marker for where we stop. In our culture, it is often rest areas along the highway. In others, it may be desert springs or finding jungle plants that hold water. We spend large amounts of money on the construction of devices to bring water to us. Two thousand years ago, the Romans built a series of aqueducts to move water 16 kilometers to supply 50,000 people in the city of Caesarea. In today’s world, we build enormous pipelines to supply water to places where there are shortages.

When Jesus began to teach, He referred to His message as “living water” (John 4:10). In reality, the only thing more important than the water that sustains our physical lives is the living water that takes us to eternity. Revelation 22 pictures heaven with “..a pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the lamb.”

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Reference: Scientific American, July 2021, pages 40-44.

Human Cooling System Design

Human Cooling System Design

We are in a season of extreme heat in much of the United States. One of the reasons we can survive this heat is because of the human cooling system. The heat release system design built into our bodies is extraordinarily efficient and superior to other forms of life.

Our body’s internal temperature depends on the climate, what our clothing consists of, and how active we are. The human cooling system to prevent overheating begins with receptors in our skin that sense when a person begins to overheat. When those receptors send a warning signal to the brain, the brain’s hypothalamus signals eccrine glands in the skin to release sweat.

The skin can release up to three pounds (1360 grams) of sweat in an hour. As the sweat evaporates, it removes 540 calories per gram of water evaporated (778 BTUs per pound of water) from the body. Meanwhile, blood vessels dilate, sending more blood to the capillaries in the skin, taking heat away from the body’s core and radiating it away from the skin’s surface. Finally, the person’s breath carries away whatever excess heat is left.

One of the main reasons humans can exist everywhere on the planet is the design of our bodies and the human cooling system that enables us to handle heat and cold. This design reminds us of the words of the psalmist, “I praise you, God, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalms 139:14).

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Reference: National Geographic July 2021, page 60.

Who Owns Your Body When You Die?

Who Owns Your Body When You Die?

One of the medical issues of our day is the shortage of organs for transplant. Many people die while waiting for a heart, kidney, or liver, and the problem of finding organ donors is complicated. That leads to the question of who owns your body when you die?

In the United States, there are data banks for almost every organ in our bodies. If someone needs a kidney, their surgeon can go to the kidney bank and see how many people in the database have the blood type and traits to be a donor. Often kidneys are supplied by living donors, so the kidney is moved from one person to another, with both the donor and the one receiving the new organ in the same operating room. Of course, that is not possible for many organs such as hearts.

The government of Switzerland is considering a bill that would make the state the receptor of everyone when they die unless the person officially opts out. When a person dies, their organs will become a “public asset” so doctors could harvest them for transplant to alleviate the shortage. The Swiss medical establishment says that between 50 and 100 patients die in Switzerland every year because of the lack of organs for transplant.

This proposed law brings up all kinds of issues and gives a whole new dimension to the relationship between the state and the individual. Who owns your body when you die? Many times a dying person is in a coma or is pronounced brain dead. Taking their organs would certainly be a form of euthanasia. What about the person who is terminal with cancer but has organs that are unaffected by the disease?

The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:50, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven.” That same chapter tells us that we will all be changed (verse 52). The natural body is not sacred. It is the dwelling place of God’s Spirit when we are alive (1 Corinthians 3:16), and our soul is housed in it. But Genesis tells us that our body is “dust to dust.”

The body without the spirit is dead (James 2:26). I had that vividly pointed out to me as I stood beside my wife’s bed when she died. The body was lifeless, cold, and unresponsive. My wife Phyllis was gone and what was left was the house in which her spirit had lived.

The issue here is how much control the state should have over our being. Who owns your body when you die? In Switzerland, at least, the state may be considered the master of our existence, even in death.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Reference: The Week, May 21, 2021 page 16.

So You Want a New Body?

So You Want a New Body?

So you want a new body? Scientific American (April 2021 issue) published an article titled “A New You in 80 Days.” It contains news of a study by the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. It includes surprising information about how rapidly the human body generates new cells.

Different parts of your body turn over new cells at different rates. Fat and muscle cells make up 72% of our bodies by mass. Those cells last an average of 12 to 50 years. By number, there are far more cells in our blood, and they last only three to 120 days. The cells lining our gut live less than a week.

Every day, your body replaces 330 billion cells, which is about 1% of the total. That means in 80 to 100 days your body will replace 30 trillion cells. That is approximately the total number of cells in your body. So you want a new body, but don’t forget the larger fat and muscle cells will last for years while the smaller cells get replaced. Some cells last a lifetime, including brain, heart, and eye cells.

The study does not include the bacteria and viruses that are in our bodies. There are about 38 trillion of them. That is more than the number of your body cells, but they are much smaller and have a total weight of only seven to eleven ounces (200 to 300 g). By mass, cells make up 68% of our bodies. Fluids outside of cells make up 25%, and solids such as minerals in our bones complete the other 7%. By number, 87% of the cells in our bodies are the microscopic red blood cells.

A report like this can help us understand how complex the human body is. I remember how simple cars were 50 years ago when compared to today. When I was in high school, I had a friend who could tear his car down and put it back together in less than a day. That was in 1950. Today’s cars are so complex that such a feat would be impossible, but that also means it is difficult to fix when something goes wrong. The complexity of our bodies makes the treatment of our bodies difficult when something goes wrong, and, like today’s cars, there is a lot that can go wrong.

So you want a new body? That won’t happen in this life. We are reminded of the words of the psalmist in Psalms 139:14, “I will praise you, Lord, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful. I know that full well.”

— John N. Clayton © 2021

What Your Body Does in a Day

What Your Body Does in a Day

Own Olbricht sent us this summary of what your body does in a day. We thought it was worth considering the fantastic abilities of the bodies God has given us.

*Every day your heart pumps approximately 2,000 gallons of blood through its chambers.
*On average, your lungs take in 17,000 breaths a day with a typical lung capacity of roughly six quarts of air.
*Your brain processes over 50,000 thoughts a day – 35-48 thoughts per minute.
*Your stomach lining has cells which produce an alkaline substance every few milliseconds to neutralize stomach acid. The stomach would dissolve itself without its lining.
*Your eyes blink 28,000 times a day, with each blink lasting 1/10th of a second.
*Your body’s energy system expels enough heat to light twenty-five 100-watt light bulbs every day.
*Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and you shed a million skin cells every day.
*Your hair grows a millimeter a day. The average adult’s full head of hair consists of 100,000 strands.
*Your liver filters 1.53 quarts of blood every minute, and every day it produces a quart of bile to help digest food.
*Glands in your mouth produce more than a quart of saliva every day.
*Every minute your kidneys filter 2.2 pints of blood or 3168 pints per day. They expel 2.5 pints of urine every day.
*The average person will eat over 50 tons of food in a lifetime.

What your body does in a day is an excellent testimony to God’s wisdom, intelligence, power, and design.

— John N. Clayton © 2020

Largest Body Organ

Largest Body Organ - Skin
As you think about all of the organs in your body and how important they are, don’t forget the largest body organ. It’s also the one that is most visible—your skin.

Have you ever considered how incredible your skin is? The hands of a laborer may be rough like sandpaper, but his abdominal skin could be smooth and soft. The calves of your legs have skin bonded tightly to a muscle layer. The skin on your elbow can be lifted loosely in rolls. If you used a microscope to examine the skin of our scalp, lip, heel, and finger, you might think you were studying sample from different species.

Your skin is the largest body organ, and there is no other organ like it. It flexes, folds, stretches, and bends around joints. It’s sensitive to touch. The skin of your finger pads is sensitive enough to detect a grain of dust on a smooth surface or read Braille letters in a book. When you blush (something that only humans do), the blood vessels of your skin suddenly rush many times more blood than usual. Your skin even regenerates itself when it’s damaged.

Your skin shows emotions, cools and insulates your body, protects you from germs, serves as a receptor for all kinds of stimuli, and gives you that unique appearance. We often cut off the hair growing out of our skin or add some substance to soften and beautify our skin. We seldom take a moment to realize what a fantastic organ it is.

Of all the vital organs of your body, your skin is the most visible. Skin color or texture may vary from person to person, but regardless of those factors, it protects what is inside. Your largest body organ is another incredible design by a Master Designer.
–Roland Earnst © 2019

Multi-purpose Robot Design

Multi-purpose Robot Design
The versatility of the human body is truly amazing. Think of all the things that humans can do. We can walk, jump, climb, and run. We can lift, throw, catch, and push. Our fingers, hands, arms, and legs can do many wonderful things. They can even do multiple different kinds of things, sometimes at the same time. Consider all of the things your mouth can do. You use your mouth to talk, sing, eat, drink, blow, kiss, and smile. Robot designers have not been able to create a robot that can do everything the human body can do. Perhaps taking a cue from the “Transformers” movies, some engineers want to develop a multi-purpose robot design.

The job is not easy. Some are experimenting with the idea of creating heat-activated origami suits that serve as exoskeletons for a robot to allow it to do different tasks. The robot would change costumes to “transform” itself. Just as crawling caterpillars morph into flying butterflies, the goal is to create a robot that transforms itself by taking on a different form as it applies a different suit. The director of the project at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory said, “With this metamorphosis-inspired approach, we can extend the capabilities of a single robot by giving it different accessories to use in different situations.”

It sounds like a very challenging task to create a self-morphing robot. However, changing an outer shell to give the robot different functions is not the same as the metamorphosis of a caterpillar. In a way that is beyond robot engineering, the caterpillar dissolves into mush then reorganizes into something completely different. It doesn’t merely take on a new shell. This worm with no real brain does something that the brightest engineering designers can’t accomplish.

Getting back to the versatility of the human body, that has to be the most significant engineering accomplishment ever. We can do a countless number of different things. Then using the brain that God gave us, we can create tools (even robots) to accomplish the tasks we don’t have the strength or stamina to do. Multi-purpose robot design is a worthy challenge requiring the versatile abilities that only God could give us.

The Journal Science Robots reported on “Robotic metamorphosis by origami exoskeletons” which you can read HERE.
–Roland Earnst © 2018

The Human Body and the Christian

Human Body

One of the unique teachings of the Bible is that the human body is the temple of God. First Corinthians 3:16 says it clearly: “Don’t you know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells within you?” This concept is repeated numerous times throughout the New Testament. The consequences of that belief are very significant. The next verse tells us: “If any man defiles the temple of God, he will be destroyed: for the temple of God is holy, and that temple is you.”

As Christians, we should treat our bodies with respect and care. Taking recreational drugs of any kind is an affront to that care. The consequences of taking alcohol, nicotine, meth, or crack into our bodies or abusing prescription drugs will ultimately destroy our health. The list of ailments from alcohol and nicotine is massive and growing.

In today’s world, many have been told that vaping involves no health risks. That is simply not true. It is true that e-cigarettes contain no tobacco, but medical data is showing that the vapor from e-cigarettes reduces the body’s ability to heal wounds. Teens who vape can develop smoker’s cough and bloody sores. Chemical analysis shows that the vapors contain cancer-causing chemicals. A new vaping behavior called “dripping” intensifies the effects of vaping and increases the risks.

The human body is an amazing machine, but it is also more than that. God has called us to care for our bodies and to treat them as a sacred dwelling for His Spirit. Involvement in solving the problems facing humanity today is a better high than vaping can ever produce. We cause many of our physical problems by not caring for God’s Temple, and the teachings of Christ should lead us to correct that.
Reference: Science News May 13, 2017, page 5.
–John N. Clayton © 2017