It is not just at the physical level that the human body is badly designed. There are numerous improvements that could be made at a biochemical level. Because our bodies have evolved and not been designed they have a number of inherent faults or areas that could function much better:
- The liver could manufacture and store all the 22 amino acids (like plants can). This would mean that we would not need to eat as much protein and we would not need to produce poisonous excretory products (such as urea) from the breakdown of excess amino acids that cannot be stored.
- We could have chlorophyll (like plants) which would enable us to produce some of our food from carbon dioxide and water (like plants do). It would mean we’d need less food and we’d produce some of our oxygen and use up some of our carbon dioxide – win, win, win.
- We could do away with deleterious genes. We all have a plethora of flawed genes which cause illnesses ranging from colour blindness to cancer, brain damage to heart disease and a range of other nasty illnesses. These are mainly recessive, which is why we are not allowed to marry close relatives (who will likely have the same damaged genes so the illnesses will be more prevalent) and it is best to marry someone from a different race (who is likely to have a different set of flawed genes so they are not likely to match up).
- We have many autoimmune problems that lead to such diseases as lupus, arthritis, multiple sclerosis. A better chemistry would deal with these.
- The liver could process lipids better so that cholesterol did not clog up arteries causing heart attacks and strokes.
- We could have more brown fat (rich in mitochondria) to burn off excess fats so that nobody became obese despite whatever diet they had.
- We could remove all the satellite DNA clogging up our chromosomes. Most of the DNA sequences are gobblegook, coding for nothing. They have built up over millions of years from defunct genes or copied sequences and have no purpose – like the old programmes and files clogging up our computers that require defragging.
- We could have a system that cleans the brain of impurities so that waste proteins don’t clog up the brain causing dementia.
- We could have articular cartilage that was more active at repairing itself so that our joints don’t wear out.
The possibilities for improving the human body on a biochemical level are endless. It is like it is because it is the product of evolution and not design. With a little thought the improvements would be immense.
There are some who claim that the human body is a wonder that clearly demonstrates design.
As a biologist I find that ludicrous. The human body is a disaster of flawed design. That is because it is the product of evolution. Any fool can easily identify a number of basic improvements.
- The brain – a highly delicate organ yet exposed outside of the main body where it is subject to trauma and injury. If it was housed inside the thorax it would be protected much more and closer to the heart for a far better blood supply. It is where it is because of cephalisation (grouping the brain and senses together at the front end) which occurred as early as in the annelids (worms).
- The respiratory system – with only one opening shared with the digestive system it is subject to choking and asphyxiation. I doubt there is one human being who has not choked or spluttered and a number die from blocked tracheas. This is because the lungs evolved out of the swim bladder of a fish which is attached to the gut. A better design would be to separate the digestive and respiratory tracts and provide multiple openings so that we can’t suffocate.
- The reproductive system – having the reproductive system open with the excretory and egestory systems means that the bladder and vagina and uterus are prone to contamination from faeces and urine and hence infections. The systems evolved from the common cloaca of a fish. The problems did not manifest in water. The systems need separating so that the openings are not close together.
- The birth canal – as the reproductive system evolved from a fish common cloaca the birth canal opens through the pelvic girdle creating a dangerous and highly painful birth. If it opened through the abdomen birth would be neither dangerous nor painful.
- The neck – as the brain is stuck out on top the neck is very precarious. It has major blood vessels near the surface to supply the brain and a spinal cord inside vertebrae which is prone to being broken resulting in death or paralysis. If the brain was in the thorax and the spinal cord not in the vertebrae then the risk of death and paralysis would be greatly reduced.
- Testicles – putting the testicles outside the body in a vulnerable place is absurd. If sperm production occurred at 37 degrees the testes could be safely housed inside the body where they wouldn’t be vulnerable. Anyone who has been kneed in the balls would know what an improvement that would be – (we could have a retractable penis while we were at it).
- The vertebrae – the backbone has evolved for quadrupedal walking (as per chimps and gorillas). Bipedal walking causes major stresses because the spine is the wrong shape. This results in many people having major back pain. Redesign it for walking upright.
Well I could go on through a series of other poorly evolved organs – joints, hearts (why not two?), digestive tract, teeth, senses (why only two of eyes and ears?), regenerative organs (why can’t we regrow limbs like the Amphibia do?) but it would start to get boring.
The creationists believe we were designed. If so we have a god who obviously enjoys seeing people choking, getting needless infections, brain damage, paralysis, great pain and suffering the agony of childbirth; all of which could, like so many other things, be easily avoided.
If I were to design a better human body I would do a much better job and I’m only a mere human.