The human body and a rocket that takes astronauts to the space station have something in common: Master Design.
26 An honest answer [truth] is like a kiss on the lips.
Both the human body and the rocket are incredibly designed and built. How weird would it be for the astronaut to say, ” This rocket built itself,” and then ride it to the space station? Case in point is the index finger. The other day, I had you hold out your pointer finger and move it left and right. Let’s do it again, only this time fold it up close to your hand; now, stretch it out and make it go up and down. These motions involve muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood flow, skin, and lots of nerves. From, “A Pocket Guide to the Human Body,” pages 81-84.
Seven muscles are required to control the index finger. The lumbrical muscle, unlike most muscles that attach to bone, connects a tendon near the front of the index finger to a phenomenally complex shroud of delicate tendons and related tissues. This muscle serves two main functions: extending and retracting the finger in coordination with the other muscles.
As the lumbrical muscle contracts, it reduces the tension on the long flexor tendon, while the lumbrical muscle simultaneously pulls on a ligament at the side of the finger, extending the finger (figure 2). Several other muscles and tendons help control the positions of the finger bones. Consider the two long extensor muscle-tendon units. They split into three separate tendons over the first bone of the finger (Figure 3). The side tendons then shift above or below the second joint of the finger, depending on the degree to which the finger must be curled (or “flexed”).
Yet these tendons cannot straighten the finger by themselves. They need the simultaneous action of four other muscles, two in the palm of your hand, and two located in the forearm. Without all these muscles working together, the finger bones would quickly become malpositioned and nonfunctional. A wonderfully integrated relationship between muscles is required to bring about this desired motion.
Other finger motions require a different symphony of muscle movements. For instance, try shifting your finger sideways and forward, as though you are typing the letter y. The muscles interact in very different ways than when you type u, but the motion can be just as smooth. The number of potential finger positions is virtually unlimited. If each of the seven muscles is capable of assuming one hundred different positions (and this is a conservative estimate), then the possible combinations would be about 100 trillion. Yet our index finger can attain all of these positions with ease [probably while I was typing this post!].
I think I am making a very “pointed” case for Irreducible Complexity. I have a new respect for surgeons who can reconnect severed fingers and make them work again. From now on, I will not take for granted the ability to play the guitar, saxophone, or piano. Our bodies praise the Creator even if we do not. Let’s make sure that we give credit where credit is due: To our heavenly Father!
Abba, the stars are majestic, but pointing to the stars brings that majesty down to earth, right where we live! May we see You in every part of our body, in the structures around us, in our world, and in our universe. Jesus, all things were created in You and through You, both in heaven and on earth, and in You all things hold together (Colossians 1:16-17). We praise You, for we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Amen.