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The Creation Explanation

Creation Explanation Beliefs and Interpretations of Evidence

Physiology, Philosophy and Tacit Assumptions

Because the philosophy of materialistic evolution has come to dominate the thinking of the majority of scientists, most of the scientific literature in the various sciences is flavored by the tacit if not explicit assumption that the facts being studied or discussed have a correct evolutionary explanation. The more difficult it is to imagine some plausible evolutionary origin, the less frequent and more indefinite become the allusions to evolution. the scientific discipline called physiology has a literature in which open references to evolution are relative to come by, simply because it is exceedingly difficult to maintain that the magnificently engineered and efficiently operating mechanisms of living things are the products of accident. Consequently, open allusions to evolution are relatively scarce in the literature of physiology.

Dr. David A. Kaufmann found in a survey of seventeen basic texts on physiology that thirteen of the authors made no reference to evolution.37 Yet even when not explicitly mentioned, the assumption of evolutionary origin seems often to be hovering in the background. An illustration may be found in a article on muscle control by P.A. Merton of the University of Cambridge published in Scientific American.38 In this report of current incomplete knowledge of the complex and highly sophisticated servo-mechanisms by which our muscle contractions are automatically controlled to carry out the actions which we desire, the author makes just one brief allusion to evolution. After noting that the liver, for instance, is not sensitive to pain, he remarks that this should not be surprising because for an animal to develop pain-sensitive nerves in its liver "...would give the animal a negligible evolutionary advantage..."39 Apart from this brief lapse from science, the article serves as an eloquent argument for intelligent, purposeful design in human physiology. Yet the assumption of evolution is there.

Dr. Kaufmann, on the other hand, writes from the viewpoint of biblical creation, when he describes some of the biological control systems which are so essential to the life of all creatures, but especially to the higher animals and to man. He lists ten classes of control systems found in the human body:

1. Internal environment and homeostasis

2. Nervous control systems

3. Hormonal control systems

4. Contractile control systems

5. Circulatory control systems

6. Respiratory control systems

7. Electrolyte control systems

8. Digestion and absorption control systems

9. Resting and energy metabolism

10. Regeneration and energy metabolism

It appears that all of these control systems in the human body utilize the principle of negative feedback which is the basis of numerous control systems devised by scientists and engineers and used in every part of a modern society, in our automobiles, air conditions, communications networks, and manufacturing plants. One of the examples offered by Kaufmann is the body's temperature control system for maintaining the body core temperature relatively constant at 99.6o:

In the hypothalamus a pre-determined ideal core body temperature for homeostasis is sent to a comparing device along with the actual core body temperature that is picked up by a temperature sensor. If there is a significant discrepancy, an error signal of too hot or too cold is relayed to an antirise center or antidrop center respectively. All these postulated structures are located in the hypothalamus, a conglomeration of nuclei in the diencephalon of the brain. If the antirise center is stimulated, it kicks on the sweating and vasodilation mechanisms, which release heat tot he environment and decrease heat production in the body. If the anti-drop center is stimulated, it kicks on the shivering and vasoconstriction mechanisms which preserve heat and produce heat in the body. Its arrangement and function are very similar to that of the thermostatically controlled household furnace. It obvious that core body temperature is not the only example of a negative feedback control system that regulates an optimal life-maintaining situation in the human body. Other examples are: Blood pressure, blood sugar concentrations, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood, muscle tone, etc.40

Physiology reveals the excellent wisdom of the great Engineer, God the Creator. A Christian because of his faith readily recognizes the hand of his heavenly Father in all of the marvels of nature. But the one who does not believe, tacitly or explicitly assumes God out of science because of his philosophy. He usually does this by assuming the chance, evolutionary origin of even the most wonderful works of the Creator.

Diagram of hypothalmic control of core body temperature in humans.

figure 7-3. Diagram of hypothalmic control of core body temperature in humans.41



37. Merton, P.A., Scientific American, Vol. 226, May 1972, pp. 30-37.

38. Ibid., p. 32.

39. Kaufmann, David A., ibid. (ref. 36), pp. 124-125, quoted by permission..

40. Ibid. (ref. 36), p. 125.

41. Popper, Karl, Unended Quest (Open Court Publishing Co., La Salle, IL, 1976), p. 168.

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