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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Keyboards and Atheists

A guy in one of my online communities boasts he is an atheist. I don’t ask him why he is an atheist. My discussions with such people in the past have always proven fruitless.

Anyway, so this guy types his arguments into a keyboard. I wonder if he has ever thought about the decades it took for mathematicians, physicists and other highly skilled men and women to design, develop, and program the current computer keyboard (not to even mention the computer itself).

But complex mechanical creations aside, I also wonder if he has ever considered the complexity of his well-designed body. Without giving it so much as a thought, the atheist sits at his desk tapping keys of a complex combination of metal and plastic and wire; Meanwhile, within his own body a bazillion multifaceted processes are occurring simultaneously that permit him to tap on that keyboard.

For example, his eighth cranial nerve continuously monitors his spatial position relative to the floor and the sides of the room. (Click here for a more detailed bit of information https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestibulocochlear_nerve). Without that nerve he’d be gripping the carpet because he’d sense the entire room spinning out of control. That’s not all the eighth nerve does, but for now, I hope I made a point about special design.

The atheist also moves his fingers and wrists in a very controlled pattern. He could not do so without the precise design of specialized motor and sensory nerves exiting his cervical and upper thoracic spine. In fact, while he is typing, more than 200,000 (yes, two hundred thousand) neurons permit him to do what he is doing because they are specifically designed to permit him to move his fingers and wrists.  You can read more about that here: http://www.innerbody.com/anatomy/nervous/arm-hand#full-description

As the atheist watches the screen above his keyboard, his eyes move with finely tuned and coordinated movements to the left or right or up or down (specially designed cranial nerves 3, 4, and 6) depending on what he wants to see on the screen. His pupils (specially designed cranial nerve 2) dilate or constrict depending on the amount of light his intricately designed eye needs to focus a clear and sharp image onto the retina at the back of his eye. That image is then converted into electrical impulses and sent along the optic nerve to a location at the back of his brain designed specifically for that purpose. It is there those electrical impulses are organized to allow the cognitive portion of his brain to interpret what he sees.

I mentioned neurons a moment ago. I wonder if the atheist has ever considered the phenomenal complexity of those neurons that run every specially designed function of his marvelous and intricate body. For example, each neuron needs a precise and coordinated flow of specific electrolytes into and out of the cell membrane – potassium, sodium, calcium, chloride (to name few)  -- AND at the correct levels until they reach a specifically designed threshold to produce an electric current along the neuron.  If this does not happen, our atheist will not be able to move his fingers . . . or anything else.

I hate to belabor the point, but let me include one more bit of information about our extraordinarily designed body.

We all require an elaborate, perfectly sequenced set of hormones to function. For example, when we get angry, our adrenal glands release a hormone called adrenalin (or, epinephrine). Circulating along our ten bazillion miles of expertly designed blood vessels, adrenalin attaches itself to very specific cell receptor sites throughout our body. Once attached to those sites our heart rate increases, our blood vessels constrict, our liver converts glycogen into glucose, our pupils dilate . . .  I could go on, but you get the point. (By the way, what I just described is the well-studied and well-known ‘Fight or Flight’ syndrome – a protective measure built into our bodies for self-preservation).

We today know so much about the human body that I have for many years defied atheists to read through even a high school biology text book and then tell me our bodies are not clearly designed and programmed to an exponentially greater degree than the computer keyboard.

So, if the keyboard would not exist without a creator, why does any honest person actually believe our body just happened to come into existence by accident and without the design of a Designer?

In 43 years of talking with atheists, I have never met one whose disbelief was rooted in ‘intellectual’ reasons. When I dug deeply enough, his disbelief was always rooted in moral reasons. The person had made a conscious choice to turn from God so he or she could live as they pleased.

The Creator of all I just mentioned about the human body is the same Person who designed it – every part of it. Organs, blood, electrolytes, neurons, cells, hormones – every part of it.

But there is more. Much more. This Creator – many know Him as the Heavenly Father – knows our name, where we live, and what are our most secret needs. It is this same Creator who, because of His great love for us, designed and implemented a flawless plan to reconcile sinners with Himself and live with Him forever. 

He bundled that plan in the life, death, and resurrection of His Son. We call Him Jesus.

Oh, Lord, our Lord, how excellent is your Name in all the earth.


Barb Schoeneberger said...

Considering my new acquaintance with functional medicine, I am increasingly in awe at what God has done for us. Psalm 139:14: "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." This is the verse I keep praying as I consider what to do about my cancer - or now the lack thereof.

I agree with you that atheists are willfully so. It may not be that they have a particular sin they are attached to. In some cases it is because of deep hurts and anger against God. A psychological issue causes them to lose their minds when it comes to God. We must pray that they will let Him in.

Rich Maffeo said...

Yes, I suppose some reject God because of how some Christians represent Him. Here is a section from Gaudium et Spes:

Paragraph 19 – Kinds of Atheism and Its Causes

19 . . . . "Without doubt those who willfully try to drive God from their heart and to avoid all questions about religion, not following the dictates of their conscience, are not free from blame. But believers themselves often share some responsibility for this situation. For, in general, atheism is not present in people's minds from the beginning."

"It springs from various causes, among which must be included a critical reaction against religions and, in some places, against the Christian religion in particular. Believers can thus have more than a little to do with the rise of atheism."

"To the extent that they are careless about their instruction in the faith, or present its teaching falsely, or even fail in their religious, moral, or social life, they must be said to conceal rather than to reveal the true nature of God and of religion."

Barb Schoeneberger said...

I was thinking here about rejecting even the idea of God because of things that have happened to them in life. The reasoning that "If there is a God who would let this happen to me, He is too cruel. I don't believe there is a God because a real God would never let this happen." Think of all the sexually and physically abused children out there whose minds get twisted beyond belief, for instance. Or the children abandoned by one or both parents or neglected to the point of grave hunger and sickness. Their feelings of worthlessness coupled with no instruction in the Faith often lead to "There is no God. God is a lie."

Rich Maffeo said...

Unfortunately, Barb, there is a lot of truth in what you say. That is why I like to lay situations like you describe to the mercy of God. I suspect He is not as 'hard-nosed' as some paint Him to be. Thanks for this perspective.