Dr. Wysong's Blog -
YOUR IMPOSSIBLE SPEED
When we think of humans and speed, the 100 yard dash at 9 seconds or driving a vehicle or airplane at hundreds of miles per hour come to mind. We don’t think of the human body itself as speedy. Cut it open and about the only thing that is even moving is the heart and the slow peristaltic wave-like contractions along the digestive tract. The rest, the brain, liver, muscles, and so on just seem to sit there.
Our understanding of what goes on inside the body is skewed considerably by our education, paucity of understanding, and presumption of complete knowledge we do not have. We learn in books about how food is broken down in digestion, how amino acids combine to form proteins, how fats, carbohydrates, and proteins are burned as fuel, and how DNA replicates itself to make babies and new cells. But the pictures, drawings, and descriptions still-framed in books don’t do the underlying reality justice. The considerable time it takes us to learn and put to memory these processes also leaves us with the impression that things are slow and plodding
Look down at the skin on the back of your hand. Although it seems motionless, if you could peer closer, much closer, there would appear a beehive of molecular activity at speeds beyond belief. The trillions of biochemical processes that occur in our bodies moment by moment, even when we are sleeping, are mind bogglingly fast. If the same reactions were to take place in a test tube, they might take minutes, hours, days, years, or never even happen. Enzymes (proteins unique to life) catalyze the reactions of life so that they occur in fractions of a second—really small fractions.
Enzymes create biological products in milliseconds (1/1000 of a second). The unwinding of the DNA helix to replicate or express itself is a microsecond event (1/1000000 of a second). Proteins are three dimensional and can have myriad conformations. The rotation (hinge motion) of proteins from one shape to the other, and the interactions between macromolecules occur in nanoseconds (1/1000000000 of a second). The change in structure of light absorbing biochemicals in the retina of the eye when struck by a photon of light occurs in picoseconds (1/1000000000000 of a second)!
In other words, you are alive because trillions of biochemical reactions are occurring moment by moment at speeds we cannot even conceive. And it all must coordinate and proceed pretty much without error.
The evolutionist will say this has all come about by chance and natural forces. Yet the formation of even the simplest protein cannot be explained as a spontaneous step by step process in a real Earth environment. Over six thousand enzymes have been discovered, but with all of our intelligence and technology scientists have yet to synthesize even one in the lab. But when these same intelligent scientists are asked where enzymes came from, they will tell you they spontaneously popped out of the primordial volcanic muck back when no intelligence was around at all.
We are miraculous creatures. Every breath we take is an astonishing event. Clearly something other than mere physics and chemistry (natural forces that cause randomness, not functional complexity) is at play in explaining not only our existence, but every picosecond that we are alive. The lightning speed of the processes occurring in our bodies moment by moment is a humbling prospect, one deserving our awe and gratitude, not presumptions of entitlement by pretending to know what we do not.
Thinking Word — paucity- \pôs-t\ Click for pronunciation -noun: Smallness of number; fewness, scarcity; dearth: "a paucity of natural resources."