"Fearfully and Wonderfully Made"

June 8, 2011

Saint Augustine noted long ago a lack of proper consideration by man of the marvelous nature of the creation of man by God:

Men go abroad to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering. —Quoted in Fearfully & Wonderfully Made: A Surgeon Looks at the Human & Spiritual Body, 5

More recently, Spurgeon made comments along the same lines:

We need not go to the ends of the earth for marvels, nor even across our own threshold; they abound in our own bodies. —The Treasury of David, Vol. III, 262

In support of these remarks, consider that

the simple act of walking into a room and immediately recognizing all the objects in it requires more computing power than a dozen of the world’s top supercomputers put together. —The Wonder of Man, 19

The human frame is so admirably constructed, so delicately combined, and so much in danger of being dissolved by innumerable causes, that the more we think of it the more we tremble, and wonder at our own continued existence. . . . To do justice to the subject, it would be necessary to be well acquainted with anatomy. I have no doubt that a thorough examination of that ‘substance which God hath curiously wrought’ (verse 15), would furnish abundant evidence of the justness of the Psalmist’s words; but even those things which are manifest to common observation may be sufficient for this purpose. —TOD, 277

Those who were skilful in Anatomy among the ancients, concluded from the outward and inward make of a human body, that it was the work of a Being transcendently wise and powerful. . . . Galen was converted by his dissections, and could not but own a Supreme Being upon a survey of this his handiwork. —Ibid, 280

We today have much more knowledge of anatomy than any of the ancients ever had. For example, imagine putting the whole Bible onto one photographic slide in such a way that it would still be readable. Though doing so would be an incredible feat, compare that with the fact that to put the equivalent of the information contained in one DNA molecule onto one photographic slide would require our being able to put 7.7 trillion readable copies of the whole Bible onto that one slide:

If we want to obtain the DNA packing density on a [single] photographic slide . . . we would have to divide its surface into 2.77 million rows and 2.77 million columns and copy an entire Bible in a readable form in each of the tiny rectangles formed in this way. . . . Even if it were possible to achieve such a photographic reduction, then we would still only have a static storage system, which differs fundamentally from the dynamic storage system of DNA. —In the Beginning Was Information, 192-93

Learning of such wonders as that of the DNA molecule certainly supports the following comments:

The all-seeing God is also almighty, the resources of whose power are already revealed to me by the amazing complexity of my own physical body, which he made for me. Confronted with this, the psalmist’s meditations turn to worship. —Knowing God, 86

Has it ever been the case for you that contemplation of your physical body has led you to worship God, its Creator, for how fearfully and wonderfully He has made you?

Rajesh

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