December 16, 2016 | David F. Coppedge

More Body Wonders

Here are more facts you probably didn’t learn in anatomy or physiology class.

Neurons in the human eye are organized for error correction (Science Daily): “Seeing is believing,” but only insofar as it is accurate. This article discusses “Cells that send visual signals to the brain act collectively to suppress noise and improve accuracy.

Understanding X-chromosome silencing in humans (Science Daily): If females didn’t silence one of their X-chromosomes, they would have an imbalance of gene expression. “X-chromosome silencing is essential for proper development,” this article begins. Researchers add another protein to Xist involved in this operation. It’s called Xact. Interestingly, it appears in humans but not in mice.

Super-you: Your body is a nation of trillions (New Scientist): It’s enough to give you the creepy-crawlies all night, just looking at the photo of an alien-like dust mite, then hearing that thousands of these eight-legged arthropods live on your face and skin. Indeed, Daniel Cossins writes, “Legions of creatures inhabit the cracks, contours and crevices of your body — and they all contribute to who you are.” You can take some comfort that it’s not just your problem. According to one Stanford biologist, “Each of us is really a complex consortium of different organisms, one of which is human.” Now back to sleep.

Your left hand knows what your right hand is doing (Science Daily): Experiments at Tel Aviv University showed that when “people practiced finger movements with their right hand while watching their left hand on 3D virtual reality headsets, they could use their left hand more efficiently after the exercise.” The opening of the article says that “the saying” goes, “your left hand doesn’t know what your right hand is doing.” If that was an off-hand reference to Jesus, the actual quote from the Sermon on the Mount does not make such a claim. He said, “when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret” – implying that both hands are in communication. The metaphor was not intended as a statement of science, but as a figure of speech to make a point about almsgiving.

Why we walk on our heels instead of our toes (Science Daily): A barefoot runner at the University of Arizona wondered why humans land heel-first when walking instead of ball-first. His analysis showed that “Walking heel-to-toe gives humans the mechanical advantage of longer ‘virtual limbs’.” James Webber explains:

“The extra ‘virtual limb’ length is longer than if we had just had them stand on their toes, so it seems humans have found a novel way of increasing our limb length and becoming more efficient walkers than just standing on our toes,” Webber said. “It still all comes down to limb length, but there’s more to it than how far our hip is from the ground. Our feet play an important role, and that’s often something that’s been overlooked.

Webber makes up a story about how humans evolved this heel-first habit based simply on the observation that barefoot runners tend to land on the middle or balls of their feet. But he acknowledges that the Laetoli footprints show the pattern of heel-first walking began early.

Laetoli Footprint News

Speaking of the Laetoli footprints, a new trackway has been found. Reported in eLife, it shows a modern gait with basically modern human feet, according to New Scientist. The problem is there should not have been any modern humans around 3.66 million years ago, when evolutionists believe these prints were made in Tanzania. But instead of focusing on that problem, the news reports latched onto the scientists’ supposition, based on the print sizes, that a fairly large male (5’5″, large for a presumed Australopithecus) was accompanied by several smaller females. That’s all that popular news reporters needed to go ape:

  • “Ancient human ancestor was one tall dude, his footprints say” (Phys.org)
  • “Oldest early human footprints suggest males had several ‘wives’” (Collin Barras in New Scientist)
  • ‘Lucy’ Species May Have Been Polygynous (Charles Q. Choi in Live Science)

From prints to polygamy; that’s one giant leap for mankind. One can only wonder what such reporters would concoct from footprints left by a teenage boy leading his younger sisters to the beach.

For all Choi or Barras know, the prints were made by children walking to Sunday School. That’s the danger of letting Darwinians into the science business. Their speculation knows no bounds.

Speculation drops the more you focus on details. Let these evolution-drunk reporters tell us about evolving a foot by mutation and natural selection. Let them tell us the specific accidents that yielded an efficient center of gravity below ground as they walk. Let them tell us what mistakes led cells to cooperate to improve accuracy of vision. Let them explain how two different proteins cooperated to silence an extra X-chromosome, or how a blind natural process figured out it needed to be done in the first place.

The devil is not in the details; that’s where the angel is. The devil lurks in the blurry figures the imagination conjures up in Darwin’s crystal ball when the lights are turned low.

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