- Education and Science
The human body is the most powerful and complex living organism on Earth. So much so that it urges its host to wonder how it works, to explore how it is put together, and to seek its origin. Some are satisfied to know that the human body is a miracle and the result of an intelligent design. Some are able to find similar design and common features with the other living organisms. Some unearth strong evidences that the origin of the human body can be traced to the formation of the organic compounds on Earth around 3.5 billion years ago. Some unravel that behind Nature’s unpredictable weather, changing climates, destructive earthquakes and tornadoes, the outbreak of disease epidemics, etc, there are laws and orders and everything happens for a reason and purpose.
The human body shares a lot of common features with the other living organisms on Earth. From fish, amphibians, reptiles, to other mammals, externally, there are:
1) Skin for protection from the elements,
2) Two eyes for seeing,
3) A nose or gills for breathing,
4) A mouth for eating, etc.
Internally, there are:
1) A brain that processes sensory information and controls the body functions,
2) A lung that extract oxygen from the environment,
3) A heart the helps circulating the oxygen to the whole body,
4) A stomach that extract nutrients from the food intake, etc.
These common features differ only in size and complexity but all share the same ultimate function that is to enable the extant living organisms to survive the specific environment that each is in. The human body may not be the biggest in size and highest in complexity. But, putting together, it is the most powerful and versatile enabling the humans to survive in any environment and anywhere on Earth.
The human body not only shares common features with the other living organisms, its design can also be traced all the way back to the fish. Based on the fragmented fossils that were unearthed by the humans around the globe in the last 400 years, sufficient evidences had been collected, carbon dated, analyzed, and studied, transitory living organisms were identified to show that mammals were evolved from the reptiles, reptiles were evolved from the amphibians, and the amphibians were evolved from the fish. This evolutionary process had taken around 3 billion years. The human body’s present form came to fruition only around several million years ago. Since then, the status quote and the face of the Earth have not been the same. Today, the human population is around 7 billion strong and can be found living in comfort almost anywhere on Earth.
The human body’s curiosity and thinking brain not only enable the humans to see the origin of its complex design in the fish but also to uncover that all living organisms are made of individual cells inside which resides the DNA that is responsible for the body’s design. The DNA is made of complex molecules called nucleic acids which in turn are made of several chemical elements holding together by carbon atoms. It is estimated it had taken the carbon a billion years under the right conditions to bond with the right chemical elements to form enough complex organic molecules to make the journey of life on Earth possible. The humans have experimented with other chemical elements to replace carbon as the building block of life to no avail.
Further research and experimentations discovered that there are only 98 chemical elements that exist naturally on Earth, each with its unique atomic structure and property. Everything animated or in-animated on Earth is made of one or a combination of these 98 elements on a microscopic level. Each element is the result combination of 17 fundament particles in varying amount. These 17 particles permeate the Universe and were created in the beginning of the Big Bang around 14 billion years ago. After the fiery explosion and expansion subsided, these high energy particles slowed down and combined to form the gaseous clouds made of hydrogen and helium. Due to the slight but continuous expansion of space, some clouds were push further apart while some were coalesced into stars where the immense gravitational pull caused the dense hydrogen and helium core into fusion reactions generating the energy and light as observed in the human’s star - Sun. In about 10 billion years or so, some of those early stars would have exhausted its hydrogen-helium fuel source and spilled out the heavier chemical elements by products in an explosion. Those new materials mixed with the primordial hydrogen-helium gaseous clouds would give birth to new stars and/or planets. It is believed that the human’s solar system was thus created around 4 billion years ago.
All the events that have occurred from the Big Bang 14 billion years ago, to the formation of the human’s solar system 4 billion years ago, and to the emerging of the human body in the present time may seem chaotic, random, and unpredictable. But, upon closer examinations and patient observations, there are orders, patterns, and a purpose that can all be explained and understood by the laws of physic and probability:
1) The Big Bang can be explained by the Quantum Mechanics as to how the energy required to create all the objects in the Universe can be released in an instance from a single source as small as a single atom.
2) All the fundamental particles that came out of the Big Bang can now be created in the laboratory of high energy colliders where their properties can be exactly measured and their functions can be precisely defined.
3) In the observable Universe, it is estimated that there are around 100 billion galaxies with various sizes and well defined shapes. Inside each galaxy, there are at least 200 billion stars. Some are being formed out of the primordial gaseous cloud; some are in the dying process after using up all its fusion fuels, while some are still burning bright like the human’s Sun. The birth, life, and death of a star followed a predictable process dictated by the laws of physic.
4) As the Sun is being formed at the center, planets are also normally being created at the outer edge of the primordial gaseous cloud. Our Sun has 8 planets orbiting around it and Earth is the one with all the right conditions to give life form a chance to flourish. Since the formation of the Solar system was a totally random occurrence, using powerful telescopes, it is estimated that out of the 200 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, 17 billions of them have planets similar to Earth.
5) With all the right conditions in place, life on Earth started its long and slow journey guided by the laws of physic and chemistry. It is by no accident that carbon is the building block of the living organism. The complex organic molecules that were formed around the carbon atoms (nucleic acids, amino acids, proteins, etc) dictated how and what life forms will look and function.
The human body is the crowning achievement of a life journey that began 3.5 billion years ago. Like no living organism before, with it, the humans have not only developed a civilization with written language but also embark on a pure quest for the origin, meaning, and purpose of life in general, the origin, the meaning, and purpose of the human body in specific. The humans have learned and observed that all other living organisms spend all their life looking for food, seeking mates to reproduce, and caring for the young. All their behaviors are based on basic instincts and at the mercy of the environment. Humans, on the other hand, have figured out how the environment works and are able to exploit its resources. Their main concerns become how to live and share a life of comfort and with meaning. The humans have also learned that since it is possible for life to start on Earth naturally, it can also have started in the Universe elsewhere as there are billions of stars in the billions of galaxies that have planets with similar environment like the Earth. Earth is just a nursery and learning school to prepare the humans for the real world and adventures out in the Universe where the humans will confront the origin of the fundamental particles and the laws that govern their existence as well as that of the living organisms.