Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Miracle of You

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 How often do you stop to consider the amazing workings of your own body? Even if you have your share of aches and pains or other conditions, there are still a myriad of functions that go on within our systems starting before birth until the day we die. Many of these are things we may never think about or even know about unless we take the time to study them. Here are a few incredible facts about the human body, some of which are happening even as you’re reading this:

 

  • The stomach’s digestive acids are strong enough to dissolve zinc. Fortunately for us, the cells in the stomach lining completely renew every 3 to 4 days.
  • The lungs contain over 300,000 million capillaries (tiny blood vessels). If they were laid end to end, they would stretch 2400km (1500 miles).
  • A fetus will already have one of the most unique human traits--fingerprints--at only 6 to 13 weeks of development. Those fingerprints won’t change throughout the person’s life.
  • Human bone can support four times as much as a block of concrete of the same size. The hardest bone in the human body is the jawbone.
  • The largest organ in the body is the skin. In an adult man, it covers about 20 square feet and is constantly being renewed. In a lifetime, an average person will shed around 40 pounds of dead skin cells.
  • The human body is estimated to have 60,000 miles of blood vessels. To put that in perspective, the distance around the earth is about 25,000 miles, making the distance your blood vessels could travel if laid end to end more than two times around the earth!
  • Every day an adult body produces 300 billion new cells. The body not only needs energy to keep organs running, but also to repair and build new cells that form the building blocks of the body.
  • Each kidney contains 1 million individual filters. They filter an average of 1.3 liters (2.2 pints) of blood per minute, and expel up to 1.4 liters (2.5 pints) of urine a day.
  • The focusing muscles of the eyes move around 100,000 times a day. To give your leg muscles the same workout, you would need to walk 80km (50 miles) every day.
  • In 30 minutes, the average body gives off enough heat to boil a half gallon of water.
  • A single human blood cell takes only 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body.
  • You use 200 muscles to take one step.
  • Scientists have counted over 500 different liver functions. The liver is one of the body’s hardest working and largest organs which produces bile, decomposes red blood cells, synthesizes plasma protein, and detoxifies the body.
  • It is estimated that your nose can differentiate between nearly 50,000 scents. [1[ [2]

And here are some amazing facts about the human mind:

  • The brain has about 100 billion nerve cells, about as many as there are stars in our galaxy. Nerve cells connect to each other through synapses, and there are up to 40,000 synapses per single nerve cell alone![3]
  • Information in your brain is estimated to travel between 170-260 miles per hour, generating between10 to 25 watts of power – enough to illuminate a small light bulb.[3]
  • The human brain can hold five times as much information as an entire set of encyclopedias. Although scientists have yet to settle on a definitive amount, the storage capacity of the brain in electronic terms is thought to be anywhere between 3 to 1,000 terabytes.[4]
  • Contrary to the old school of thought, scientists and doctors have discovered that humans do continue to make new neurons throughout life in response to mental activity. Neural tissue can regenerate and grow throughout your life.[4]

In Psalm 139:14-17, King David spoke of his admiration for the way we are created from the time of conception. Verse 14 says, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” How true that statement is!

When you think about the miracle of how we are created and how our bodies function, even the most complex computer that man has ever made pales in comparison. The DNA that makes us each the unique, unduplicated individuals that we are is contained in us from the time we are conceived. Then the formation of each system grows and continues in the body until the day we die. How mind-boggling it is to think about how our heart muscle can keep beating and our respiratory system can keep taking breaths non-stop until the spirit of life leaves us! 

Although the brain of any creature is a marvel of Jehovah’s creation, there is something even more unique and special about the human mind because of the way it was made. Some characteristics that set mankind apart are the ability to talk and reason. Mankind has also been granted the capacity to make choices about whom or what they will serve during their lifetime.

In Genesis 1:26, Jehovah said, “Let us make man in our image…” referring to himself and his Son. Together, they had the ability to create, contemplate, and express an array of emotions. They provided mankind with those attributes as well.

Another special faculty that Jehovah created within the human mind is the conscience. If heeded, it can be a wonderful monitor of our behavior. If something bothers us, we need to stop and consider the reason behind our feelings of guilt or shame. A good example of the human conscience at work is found in John 8:1-11 where the Jesus told the accusers of a certain woman to cast the first stone if they themselves were without sin. Because of their own consciences, all of them left without throwing a single stone at her. Conversely, we do not want to have our conscience “seared” as Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 4:1-2 regarding those who departed from Jehovah’s true doctrine.

Here is something else to wrap your head around: A number of years ago, the National Science Foundation estimated that our brains produce as many as 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day![5] Of the tens of thousands snippets that race through our minds in a 24-hour span, a majority of them are probably not very beneficial.

As humans, we often dwell on the past or the future, obsessing about mistakes we might have made, battling guilt, imagining scenarios to come, or fretting about things that might never happen. We may have the tendency to drift into fantasy, fiction, or negativity. Consequently, only a small number of our thoughts might actually be focused on what is truly important, positive, and real. Still, our minds can be exercised to perform in more profitable, effective ways, just as our bodies can be exercised to become stronger and healthier. (1 Timothy 4:7-8)

The apostle Paul wrote: “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:23-24) In addition to focusing our thoughts on good things, we also have the ability to communicate with our Maker just by praying what we’re thinking in our heads. How powerful is that?

Remember that every time you recall a memory, have a new thought, or learn something different, you are creating a new connection in your miraculous brain, which is a part of that miraculous body you’ve been given through Jehovah and Jesus Christ’s boundless mercy and wisdom! We owe our very lives to them, and should be always grateful for the amazing creation that we are!

[1] http://listverse.com/2008/06/10/top-15-amazing-facts-about-the-human-body/

[2] http://icantseeyou.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/02/100-very-cool-f.html

[3] http://www.savingthebrain.com/?p=1

[4] http://bryanking.net/10-weird-facts-about-the-brain/

[5] http://www.sentientdevelopments.com/2007/03/managing-your-50000-daily-thoughts.html

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