Friday, June 28, 2013

Human reproduction favors chance instead of design

To this day theists insists based on what they believe their Bible tells them that each and every individual was "created" and "designed" purposely by God. I beg to differ and in this post I will attempt to demonstrate how human reproduction favors chance (natural selection) over design.

First let's see what the Bible has to say about where babies come from. According to the scriptures God has the power to make a woman either fertile or infertile by his own choice. In fact, oftentimes as a punishment in the Old Testament he would shut the wombs of the female population for some violation or sin of its leader. In Genesis 20 we read of Abrahams encounter with Abimileck King of Gerar. According to this tale Abraham feared that Abimilack would kill him in order to obtain his wife who the scriptures describe as beautiful. So Abraham had Sarah tell them that she was his sister. By the way she was his half sister through his fathers relationship with another woman. But she was also his wife. I'll leave that story for another day.

In response to Abrahams lie Abimileck took Sarah with the intent of making her his wife. But in a dream the good Lord told him what was really happening. He was warned that he must give up Sarah back to her husband or he and everyone who was his would suffer death! The bible states that all the women in Abimileks house were made infertile by the Lord.

17Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek, his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again, 18for the Lord had kept all the women in Abimelek’s household from conceiving because of Abraham’s wife Sarah. Genesis 20:17-18

Moving forward the birth of Samson as narrated in Judges 13 also instructs us that the Lord is the giver of life. Samson's mother whom the Bible does not name in this narrative is said to be "...barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son." Judges 13:3 In other words she was infertile and incapable of becoming pregnant by otherwise natural means. But according to this tale God opened up her womb to make her the mother and bearer of Israels liberator from the Philistines the famed Samson.

Similarly the birth of John the baptist and Christ were considered to be purposeful events orchestrated by God. Elizabeth John's the baptists mother was also infertile and old at the time that God chose her to conceive a son.  The Bible also reminds us constantly that God is the giver of life.

"See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. Deuteronomy 32:39

Of course as expected this was way before they knew anything about conception and about the sperm and the egg (ovum). Generally just by observation alone anyone could come to know that if you had intercourse with a fertile woman and ejaculated into her eventually a child would be conceived. But the exact process behind this very natural occurrence was not known at the time. The authors of the scriptures seemed to believe based on the language used that God predetermined each and every individual birth of a human or animal, etc. This did not take into account the occurrence of infertility that in most cases the Bible not surprisingly attributes to God's punishment or choice to make a woman fertile or not. 

Okay enough of the mythical explanation of life! Let's see what modern day science has to say about this process. The first thing to note is that the sperm and the egg are both cells. What are cells? Cells are the structural and functional units of all living organisms.

 Though there are many types of cells, what we will be dealing with in this article are specifically the reproductive cells the egg and the sperm. Let's start worth with numbers in describing how many sperm cells are typical in a single ejaculate. According to Dr.Charles Lindemann of Oakland University "An average human ejaculate contains about 180 million sperm (66 million/ml), but some ejaculates contain as many as 400 million sperm."

 Sperm cells attempting to fertilize and egg

Once sperm is injected into a female vagina through the male apparatus the penis, it has but one goal: to be the first to fertilize that egg! But that goal will not be easy because it has to compete with approximately at a minimum 180 million to 400 million other sperm cells. Each sperm cell contains 23 chromosomes consisting of half of the usual DNA amount the same is true about the egg cell as well it too contains 23 chromosomes that when united to the sperm cell through a process otherwise known as fertilization. When fertilization takes place together they form the total of 46 chromosomes that combine in the nucleus of the cell and contain all the genetic information necessary to build a human being.

Here are some of the obstacles that sperm must overcome in transit to the uterus in search of that egg. Initially millions of sperm cells are overcome by the acidity of the vagina, millions more may be blocked from entering the uterus by thick cervical mucus, thousands more may be destroyed by phagocytic uterine leukocytes, those that do make it to the uterus face other obstacles. Once sperm makes contact with the egg it must then penetrate two layers referred to as the corona radiata and the zona pullucida. Here is how this process works:

How do sperm penetrate the corona radiata? "Some sperm undergo a spontaneous acrosomal reaction, which is an acrosomal reaction not triggered by contact with the zona pellucida. The digestive enzymes released by this reaction digest the extracellular matrix of the corona radiata. As you can see, the first sperm to reach the oocyte is never the one to fertilize it. Rather, hundreds of sperm cells must undergo the acrosomal reaction, each helping to degrade the corona radiata and zona pellucida until a path is created to allow one sperm to contact and fuse with the plasma membrane of the oocyte."

As I've illustrated here with the aid of some articles on reproduction etc. from the moment that sperm makes its way into the vagina to the moment that one single sperm cell fertilizes an egg (ovum) approvimately 200 plus millions of cells die in the process. This is in and of itself a wasteful process in order to form in this case a single human being. On a microscopic scale in a sense natural selection is played out in this scenario. The only way God could even come into this picture is after the egg is fertilized and even then to think that he could do this for every single woman is beyond absurd.

The process of reproduction favors natural selection over creation. It is obvious by studying this subject matter more thoroughly than I have illustrated here that the process is entirely random and not selective. The sciences have consistently proven religious ideas and theories wrong in everything from the origins of the universe to the evolution of life in general. Faith in fairy tales is not a substitute for knowledge gained through the scientific method.


Note: All scripture citations are taken from the New International Version other sources on the sciences have been linked to directly within the text. 

5 comments:

  1. Its a highly inefficient, like a lot of the other so called "designs". Evolutionary processes make much more sense, now how do we convince the creationists.

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    1. My sister once called it the miracle of birth. I corrected her and told her there is nothing miraculous about it. It's a perfectly common and natural occurrence.

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    2. I am actually facing this problem at the moment. It was not a miracle birth if anything it was a gift of science. But not sure how I can explain it besides the obvious you are wrong.

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  2. Actually evolution hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell to account for human sexual reproduction. Sperm must be able to swim. Sperm must be deposited into the vagina. Egg must be released. Egg must produce hormones to attract the sperm. Cervical mucus must be produced for sperm to swim through. Sperm must be able to penetrate egg wall. Sperm and egg genetic material must fuse etc and the list goes on. I documented it at http://goddidit.org/human-reproduction. Surely evidence of a designer!

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    1. Thanks for your comment marksteggles but I disagree. I think that the process of human reproduction is in and of itself a random occurence. The fact that millions of sperm die in this process indicates randomness to me not design,

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