- Education and Science»
- Life Sciences
The human body is a work of wonder, the result of an intelligent design that takes 3.5 billion years to perfect. It is equipped with the capacity to protect itself against not only the visible dangers of the natural catastrophes and the hungry animals but also the invisible threats of the virus and bacteria. To combat the visible dangers, the human beings build stronger structures against the elements and make deadly weapons against the wild beasts. To fight the invisible threats, the human beings rely on the immune system that works 24/7 against the tireless and opportunistic microbes. The immune system is on guard and in action autonomously to prevent the foreign entities causing harm to the body from the inside. Every living thing on Earth possesses an immune system in various forms and complexities. The human body being the most advance living thing is equipped with the most advanced immune system to ensure its survival.
The only time we know that the immune system is doing its job is when we are sick. Majority of the time, the immune system can destroy the invading microbes before the body can feel the damaging effect. Occasionally, the immune system is overwhelmed by the severity and scale of the attack causing the normal boy function to be compromised. Usually, all it takes is a little body rest to allow the immune system to adjust to and find way out of the new predicament. But, sometimes, the body needs to get professional help for suffering relief and a speedy recovery. Sometimes, despite all the efforts, the immune system fails to stop the ravage of the aggressive invaders and the body ceases to function. The immune system is build upon its learning experience in fighting the new threats. The virus and bacteria are constantly mutating and changing to develop new ways to enter the human body and take over its functions. This never ending battle has been waged since the dawn of life on Earth.
Before the appearance of the human beings, this has been a see-saw battle. Before a new breed of virus and or bacteria can wipe out a living species, the immune system through the same mutation and change processes will develop new defensive tactics to save the day. But, the human beings change the equilibrium. Through the understanding of how the immune system, virus, and bacteria work, the human beings are able to develop medicines and preventive measures to help the immune system to fight the dangerous threats. There are medicines that reduce pain and suffering while the immune system is at war. There are medicines that target specific virus and bacteria for destruction. The preventive measures include identifying and taking proactive actions against disease spreading insects and animals, and forming comprehensive hygiene habits and routines. The result is dramatic as the human population multiplies uncontrollably and life expectancy is on a steady upswing.
The immune system is the cumulative result of more than 3.5 billion years of trial and error tinkering under incessant pressures to develop new defensive mechanisms to avoid extinction. Its functions and effectiveness have passed the test of time, the unforgiving environmental conditions, and the attack of the deadly invaders. Of all the living things on Earth, the human beings are the only species able to understand how its immune system works and are attempting to supplement its functions and to improve its effectiveness. After more than 2000 years of recorded testimonies in fighting illness and disease epidemics, antibiotics are developed to help destroying the bacteria inside the body, vaccines are developed to help preparing the body for the defense against the impending virus, and RNA based drugs are developed to help disrupting the cellular operations of the microbes inside the body. With the immune system and the medical establishments, the human beings have kept illness and disease under control.
With good mental and physical health, the human beings can devote their energy and attention to understand how Nature works and how to unleash its hidden resources. As a result, the human beings are no longer at the mercy at the unpredictable environmental conditions and the dwindling food supplies. All these provide the human beings plenty of times to ponder the meaning and purpose of life. If life is all about survival at any cost, then why family, friendship, and pursuit of happiness sometimes matter more. If life is all about mating and reproduction, then why overpopulation, domestic violence, and nasty divorce have become common social issues. In life, human beings know that they cannot escape physical death. Yet, there are urges to compel them to achieve immortality in other means. They make music that sooth the mode of the present as well as future generations. They write literatures that inspire the minds of the others for a thousand year. They build monuments that withstand the ravage of the climate and become the treasure of human civilization.
The immune system works only on Earth. Yet, it is not going to stop the human beings to realize that the outer space with its limitless resources and boundless playground is where their destiny lies. With the knowledge of how the immune system works, the human beings learn how their body works and thus, how to protect its functions in any foreign environment. The adaptive immune system also teaches the human beings to be ready for changes and to be imaginative in solving new problems. The environment has played a central role in shaping how the immune system works as the human beings start to play a more important role in affecting how the environment is changing. Life on Earth is entering a new phase of self awareness, taking control one’s destiny, and fulfilling the urge to understand the scope of the intelligent design.