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Return to 3rd Quarter 2023 articles.

The title of this article is DECIDING WHO IS HUMAN AND WHO ISN'T with a illustration of a monkey and 'Darwin'.

When I was in high school, a required health course involved a plastic model of the human body with the organs visible. We named the model “Oscar.” We learned that correct internal organ placement is essential. Getting all the organs into Oscar was difficult because they were hard plastic, and not all are symmetrical. We learned that the heart is on the left, but we did not know why.

We learned there is a reason for the brain to be at the top of the body to avoid a stroke. The pressure in a column of liquid is greater at the bottom than at the top. For that reason, a blood vessel can rupture in our feet but we can still survive. If our brain were in the lower part of the body, a broken blood vessel would lead to a stroke.

So what determines where our organs are placed? A recent study led by Harvard Medical School researchers gave some answers to that question. In early embryonic development, a cluster of cells called the left-right organizer contains some hair-like structures called motile cilia. They sense the biomechanical forces that shape the body plan. The cilia beat rapidly, moving extracellular fluid in the correct direction to move organs to the proper place to function most efficiently.

Incorrect left-right placement of the internal organs can result in various disorders, including heterotaxy syndrome and primary ciliary dyskinesia. These disorders can cause recurring respiratory infections and congenital heart disease.

In Psalm 139:10-14, David speaks of God forming him in the womb. In Psalm 139:14, David says, “I will praise you, God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made … .” The more we learn about how our bodies are designed and formed, the more we understand the truth of that statement.

— John N. Clayton

Picture credits:
© New Africa. Image from BigStock.com

Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.