The Marvel of
marvel of our Lord's workmanship -- "without Him was not
anything made that was made" (Jn. 1:3) -- perhaps reaches
its apex in the human body. "I am fearfully and wonderfully
made" (Psa. 135:14); and when are added the depthless
mystery of the soul and of the spirit, we are struck
The heart beats
seventy times a minute, 4,200 times an hour, 100,800 times a
day, 36,792,000 times a year, 2,565,440,000 times in
three-score and ten years, and at each beat two and a half
ounces of blood are thrown out of it, one hundred and
seventy-five ounces a minute, six hundred and fifty-six
pounds an hour, seven and three-fourths tons a day. All the
blood in the body passes through the heart in 3 minutes.
The lungs will
contain about one gallon of air at their usual degree of
inflation. We breathe on an average 1,200 times an hour,
inhale six hundred gallons of air, or 24,000 a day. The
aggregate surface of the air cells of the lungs exceeds
20,000 square inches, an area very nearly equal to the floor
of a room twelve feet square.
weight of the brain of an adult male is three pounds and
eight ounces, of a female two pounds and four ounces. The
nerves are all connected with it, directly or by the spinal
marrow. These nerves, together with their branches and
minute ramifications, probably exceed 10,000,000 in number,
forming a bodyguard outnumbering by far the greatest army
The skin is
composed of three layers and varies from one-fourth to
one-eighth of an inch in thickness. The atmospheric pressure
being about fourteen pounds to the square inch, a person of
medium size is subjected to a pressure of 40,000 lbs. Each
square inch of skin contains 35,000 sweating tubes or
perspiratory pores, each of which may be likened to a little
drain pipe one-fourth of an inch long, making an aggregate
length of the entire surface of the body of 201,165 feet, or
a tile ditch for draining the body almost forty miles long.
The human body
is a marvel of mechanical efficiency and adaptability. Like
many other machines, it derives its energy from carbon. Coal
or oil burning engines get their carbon from coal or oil.
But these fuels come originally from plants. Man also gets
his carbon from plants, either directly or through the meat
of an animal which has eaten plants or has eaten some other
animal which has eaten plants. The body, like an engine,
takes in oxygen, combines it with the carbon, and exhales
carbon dioxide. The energy resulting from the combustion is
the energy at our disposal for everything we do.
Because of this
oxidation process going on within him, man is a kind of
walking furnace. The average human body dissipates about
2,500 calories daily -- enough energy to boil 25 pots of
coffee. The oxidation also provides us with heat -- which is
a form of energy. A remarkable temperature regulation system
keeps the body heat at an average of about 98.6 F.
throughout our lives, summer and winter, except when a
higher temperature is needed to combat disease.
of the temperature of the blood stream is accomplished
through a delicate control center in the brain. From this
center, nervous signals are sent throughout the body asking
for an increase or decrease of temperature. If the
temperature drops, oxidation is increased and the blood
vessels of the skin contract, so that less heat is lost by
radiation. The skin glands secrete a fatty substance, the
hair of the skin stands erect, resulting in a layer of dead
air which acts as an insulation layer.
If the blood
temperature becomes too high, signals are sent from the
control center for the oxidation to be decreased. The blood
vessels of the skin dilate, so that more blood passes
through and perspiration takes place. The moisture thus
evaporated cools the skin surface and the body.
system can -- for a limited time -- prevent our body
temperature from rising, even in heat that will fry a steak.
A man has actually withstood a temperature of 262 degrees
for fifteen minutes. A steak was fried in the same enclosure
during the time he was in it, yet close to his skin, almost
normal body temperature was measured.
The body is an
intricate electronic device, far more complicated than any
which man has ever built. The human brain is made up of
something like 10 million nerve cells, or neurons. Each
neuron is a battery-powered device operating at a potential
of 0.07 volts.
If man were to
make an electronic equivalent of the human brain, it would
need a very large building to house it, and all the
electricity generated at Niagara Falls to operate it.
system is a telephone system by which the brain is kept
informed of what goes on around us. It is estimated that
each of our eyes has 130,000,000 rods and 7,000,000 cones
which are the sensory terminals of sight. These are
connected to the brain by over 300,000 separate "telephone"
lines. When we look at something, the thing we see is broken
down by these millions of sensory points, and the
graduations of light and shade and color of each incremental
area are sent to the brain as separate signals. There they
are rearranged, in some way yet unknown to us, to give the
impression of visualizing the whole scene.
each tiny elemental area of the screen is connected to the
receiver for only about 1-250,000th of the time. In the
human eye, information is sent to the brain from all areas
of the scene simultaneously. Some of the early television
systems proposed to use the method which the eye uses, but
the system was so bulky, even to transmit a very poor image,
that it was abandoned.
signals from the ear to the brain, something like 150,000
separate conductors lead from each ear, each insulated from
the others. These signals are picked up by delicate probes
on the brain, amplified by sensitive amplifiers and
reproduced on a loudspeaker. These electrical signals sent
to the brain, in some unknown way give us the sensation of
hearing.(World Science Review)