Some basic improvements to human biochemistry.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. We have many autoimmune problems that lead to such diseases as lupus, arthritis, multiple sclerosis. A better chemistry would deal with these.
  5. The liver could process lipids better so that cholesterol did not clog up arteries causing heart attacks and strokes.
  6. We could have more brown fat (rich in mitochondria) to burn off excess fats so that nobody became obese despite whatever diet they had.
  7. 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.
  8. We could have a system that cleans the brain of impurities so that waste proteins don’t clog up the brain causing dementia.
  9. 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.

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Some basic improvements to the Human Body.

 

 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.

 

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.

Five major ‘Design’ faults with the human body!

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Because the human body is the result of billions of years of evolution through chance mutation and selection it is far from perfect. Given the opportunity to design a human from scratch there are glaring problems that need addressing. As a biologist these are blindingly obvious. The human being is far from perfect.

Here are five major problems that could be addressed with simple design:

  1. The single opening to the lungs and its opening into the mouth/digestive tract.

Many people choke to death because of a simple ‘design’ fault. Because the lungs developed out of a sac/swimbladder of a fish as a part of the digestive tract we are saddled with one single opening into the mouth which opens right next to our oesophagus. Consequently we can easily choke and often do.

Answer: – two or more separate openings into the lungs that are completely separate to the digestive system. If one becomes blocked it would not be fatal. There would be less likelihood of food or drink going down the wrong tube.

2. The opening of the reproductive system, excretory system and egestory systems in one place.

Because the whole egestory, excretory and excretory systems are designed to open into a common cloaca of a fish living in water, where there would not have been a hygiene problem, they still open in the same area now. Except that we have evolved to live on land and this close association of the three openings together creates hygiene problems. The vagina and uterus, with its adaptations for life on land, facilitates internal fertilisation and development of the embryo. Thus allows entry of bacteria and a fertile area for them to breed. The contamination of faecal bacteria causes infections of the urinary tract and reproductive system. The genitals are contaminated with both urine and faeces. A recipe for infection. Also not brilliant for sex!

Answer: separate the three opening so that urine is not voided through the vulva and faeces are not ejected right next to the vagina.

3. the neck and brain.

Because of cephalisation the brain and senses organs are grouped at the front. With the increased size of the brain it has become more delicate and we now find it encased in protective bone on the end of a flexible neck. As we lead with our head our brain is vulnerable and the neck is extremely open to damage. We suffer concussion, brain injuries, broken necks and paraplegia.

Answer: house the brain in the centre of the chest where it would be better protected and also closer to the heart to ensure a great blood supply (oxygen and nutrients). There would be no need for a protective skull and no neck to break. The senses – sight, hearing, taste, smell, could still be congregated at the front.

4. The testes on the outside of the body.

As any man knows the most painful experience a man can have (85.6X childbirth) is to have a severely blow to the testes. It is mind-blowingly, paralysingly, agony. Yet there they are – an easy target and major weakness when fighting, hunting or participating in a domestic. They invite a good kick. The reason they are there is because sperm production is better at a temperature below body temperature.

Answer: make sperm production best at body temperature and put them where women keep there’s – inside the abdominal cavity!

5. The vertebral column

The vertebral column is the wrong shape. It has evolved for walking on all fours (as with chimps and gorillas) and has not yet evolved to suit bipedal ambulation. Consequently people are plagued with back ache and major problems caused by curvature of the spine. It cripples millions of people.

Answer: adapted the shape of the spine so that the weight bearing problems associated with bipedal locomotion do not cause the pressures, strains and structural decay we currently find.

I could go on through a list of other problems associated with our imperfect bodies – biochemically, with tissues and organs and structurally (feet, hip joints, knees, appendices, placques, deleterious genes…….). If we were made in god’s image or created then there has been a major cock-up somewhere down the line.

The human body functions but is far from perfect. A day spent in a design centre could come up with a far superior model that would not suffer with this range of problems.

Food for thought.

Poetry – Creation – The beginning of the banishment of dark.

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Creation

I wrote this poem after watching a Horizon programme on the creation of the universe. I stole various wonderful phrases that seemed to capture the essence of the wonder.

For me the universe is a mystery and one that slowly we are unravelling. Science is the greatest provider of wonder to me. Perhaps we will never know all the secrets of the universe and life. The further we extend our knowledge the stranger it all becomes. I’m fine with that. The wonder and awe are in the perpetual discovery. It wouldn’t do to understand it all. Where’s the fun in that?


Creation

The first star was born;

The first light;

The story of us.

 

In the beginning,

A bright beginning,

The Big Bang

And dust.

 

New,

White hot

And searing light,

With hydrogen gust.

 

Then cooling,

A vast blackness,

A fog

Of hydrogen gas.

 

Welcome,

Welcome to the Dark Ages;

The long night

Of then –

But no us.

 

Then the first pinprick of light

And a dim cosmic dawn

As the first of zillions of stars was born.

The light of creation;

A fusion of elemental force

In the dark,

Forging metals

And hurling them back out

To leave their mark.

 

The supernova of nuclear storm

Creating planets

For a brand new morn.

All the gold silver and iron

Created in stars

Through fiery aeons.

 

Gravities pull

On that diffuse pool

With uneven spread

Fusing quarks

Into carbon and lead.

Giving forth sustaining light

With suns a hundred times bigger

Than our sun

With its heavy metal trigger.

As violet blue,

The elements they spew,

Cutting through the fog

With a cosmic knife.

Providing the building blocks

For life.

 

Now on this rock

Conceived in the maw of a star

We have eyes

That can peer near and far

And minds

To fathom the nature

Of a quark

And the wonder

Of that first

Bright spark

That lit up a tiny corner

Of perpetual dark.

 

Opher 20.9.15

Creation – the beginning? Or was it?

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Creation

There is much debate as to the moment of creation. Was it the moment of the Big Bang? Or did something exist prior to that? Was the Big Bang the result of two universes touching within the structure of the polyverse system creating a third? Was it the outpouring of a Black Hole? Did it come about through a sudden burst of expansion within one area? Or was it created spontaneously from nothing.

The religious amongst us would naturally say that God did it. But that still poses the same set of conundrums, if slightly different. Where was God before the universe, space and time began? Was God created spontaneously? Did he always exist? If so where and how?

The standard response to those questions is that only God knows which, in my opinion, is dodging the question.

For me the concept of God explains nothing and is merely one of man’s attempts to explain something that pushes our minds to the limit.

Putting that to one side let us go forward.

Perhaps the moment of real creation was when the first stars lit up the heavens and signalled the beginning of the universe as we know it, fusing hydrogen into the heavier elements and enabling life to emerge? After all, what is a universe if there is no one to see it?

In the beginning the universe was pure hydrogen, so hot with the moment of its birth and pressure that it glowed white. The heavens were incandescent with searing light. Fortunately there were no eyes around to see it or they would have been instantly blinded.

After its inception the universe expanded and cooled into darkness.

At this point it was pure hydrogen present in separate atoms, not bound into molecules, spread so thin that they formed a dark fog to the edges of all time ans space (created along with the matter).

If that hydrogen had been completely uniformly distributed that is where it would have ended. It would have gone forth forever as a dark expanding cloud of hydrogen atoms. Fortunately that was not the case. The distribution was not completely uniform. The physical laws took effect and gravity, over billions of years, drew the atoms together. As they clumped and aggregated their gravitational pull increased until they were sucking in all around them. These were the formation of the first generation of stars.

Once again we were fortunate. For with condensation comes heat. The gravitational force pulled those hydrogen atoms together but the heat drove the atoms apart. It would have resulted in a balance that stopped short of reaching the temperature and pressure necessary to initiate fusion. Fortunately the hydrogen atoms joined together into hydrogen molecules which were able to absorb sufficient heat to enable the process of fusion. The hydrogen began to fuse to create larger elements of helium and carbon giving out huge amounts of energy and light.

This is the moment of creation.

First one and then over millions of years a second and blinking on in ever increasing numbers the heavens erupted in light. This was not the light we see today. Those stars were fewer and hundreds of times bigger and brighter than our stars. Their fuel was hydrogen and they were short of all the heavier elements. The light they produced was obscured by the hydrogen gas surrounding them so that they must have shone like headlights in a dense fog.

Those huge first stars quickly sucked in their fuel, clearing the vicinity of hydrogen and lived out their relatively short lives to go out in a huge meganova that must have set the heavens ablaze with its fury. In so doing they hurled out the heavier elements they had created within themselves to fuel a second generation of stars.

If we only had a speeded up film of the universe in those early billions of years – the years of darkness, the first pinprick of light in the fog, the lights blinking on one after another until the heavens were awash with hazy light, the hydrogen being gobbled up leaving great empty holes and then the explosions as those stars erupted in gigantic fury to dissipate their energy and those precious elements. It is beyond imagination as a spectacle of such immensity, a firework display on a magnitude beyond our understanding. Yet it happened.

The second and subsequent generations of stars took those elements further creating all the elements the universe has ever known and spewing forth the matter that created planets and ultimately all life.

For me the moment of creation was that first spark of fusion in that very first giant star. That was the moment the universe came to life.