Thursday, March 12, 2009

Long...but good! I Promise!

With the amount of intrigue i feel towards the human body, what its made of, how it works, how it fails to work, you'd think i'd have a stellar mark in my anatomy and physiology class. unfortunately for my gpa, i don't. But this insane level of intrigue makes me curious and always wanting to know more. 
I often wonder what my A&P prof believes. It is very clear that she loves biology and she loves to teach it as well. I love biology but i like to learn about it on my own time, in my own way. Like right now for example.  I came to the peterborough library so i wouldn't get distracted at the university library. As i was walking to my favorite spot, my eye caught a glimpse of a magazine and i had to read it. It's an article in the New York Times Magazine about undiagnosed diseases and how this the National Institutes of Health in Oregon have developed an Undiagnosed Diseases Program.
I find it fascinating that these intricate and delicate masses of matter in our skulls can name 6,600 diseases. But what's even more fascinating to me, is the thousands of undiagnosed diseases that our intricate and delicate masses of matter in our skulls just cannot, for the life of us, figure out. 
The woman in the article, Summer, has an odd array of co-morbidity's and has suffered long and hard from strange symptoms such as retinal bleeding, small oddly shaped pointy teeth, severe seizures occurring every few minutes, high blood pressure, edema, intestinal bleeding,  vomiting, diarrhea, venous lakes in her brain as a result of benign tumors that are caused by collapsing capillaries...etc. 
So there is a giant team of specialist working on her and doing every test known to man to figure out what is going on in her body. Every specialist is relating it back to their favorite organ, but this lead doctor, thinks its something else. He wonders if there is a problem with her basement membranes. Specifically, he thinks she could have a problem with one of the 20 or so proteins that express themselves in the basement membrane. More specifically than that, he thinks that she may have a deletion or duplication of SNP's (snips). Each SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) represents a small change in the 3 billion nucleotides in the human genome. BY itself, any SNP is unlikely to have any major effect, but a duplication or deletion; and several in a row, could have significant meaning and could potentially interfere with the functioning of a single gene. Summer's tests came back normal, she had 47 SNP regions and the average is 50. Interesting. Then they test her skin cells and her fibroblasts are barely growing in the dish, while the melanocytes are growing in bizarre shapes. 

Ok, many of you may have found that boring... unless your my mom. But all that to say one important thing. 

I sat here in the library feeling overwhelmed by one small little passage. 
"For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because i am FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made; your works are wonderful, i know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when i was made in that secret place. When i was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body." - Psalm 139:13-14

Excuse me, but HOW COOL is that. Really... How insanely sweet is it that my body is so uniquely and specifically made that one tiny defect can alter my body's composition so uniquely and specifically.  Lord thank you for my health!

One more thing. Reading this giant super cool article, thinking about the loads of A&P homework i have to do, and about my pathophysiology tutorial today and all i'll learn in it, makes me feel so desperately heartsick for people just don't feel the same way. 
Ravi Zacharias puts it soooo well when he answers a man who asks him why he doesn't believe in atheistic evolution.... 
"If you're telling me that matter has caused mind, then no i do not believe.... do you believe that time plus matter plus chance has produced your brain? I really don't know what chance means to you. I've read books on the philosophy of chance, but frankly i've come to the conclusion that chance is just a catch word to explain what you don't understand. If i were to ask you to show me chance, we can't stand at the window together and you say "there goes chance". See chance doesn't have a body. If you take a coin and toss it into the air and 9 times in a row it comes down heads, the possibility of it coming down tails the 10th time is 50/50. Chance doesn't have a body, doesn't have power, and frankly i believe that chance is nothing. chance is no  thing. and just in case you don't know what nothing means, Aristotle defined nothing as "that which rocks dream about". You can't conceive of it in your mind. But i'll give it you.. time plus matter plus chance has created your brain. If time plus matter plus chance has created your brain, then truth as an absolute category no longer exists. Because truth but nature is absolute. time is changing, matter is changing, chance- whatever it is- is changing. You never get time, matter and chance remaining the same. if time plus matter plus chance has created your brain, truth as an absolute statement no longer exists because  if it is an absolutely truthful statement with the givens its true on monday, true on tuesday, true on wednesday and so on and so forth but with the fluctuation and flux of time plus matter plus chance, truth as a category no longer exists.  he said "i believe that to be correct" i said "if that is correct, how do you know it is true, that time plus matter plus chance has created your brain?" ...... Somewhere in the foundations of science, somewhere in the foundations of mathematics, somewhere in the foundations of physics and chemistry and geology and theology at the foundation of all  of these systems are some philosophical assumptions which you cannot deny. to deny them is to assert them, when you assert them you prove them  and you cannot deny it without asserting it."

1 comment:

janet said...

huh? sorry but my bronchitis brain is not keeping up today. I am thankful for my health too. very thankful. becuase its days like these when i feel like a pile of poo i cant help but think to others who are far more sick than me day after day. How blessed we are.
I will read again when my brain is working...