Listen to this blog post which will, at a future date, be added to The Explanation Podcast
The human body sends shock waves through science with its intricacy and coordination. The brain, the central controlling organ, is a marvelous headquarters.
Words cannot describe the interconnectedness of the human brain. The book Mind-Body Problem Solved asks the most fundamental question. Does the brain, or any other organ or group of organs, generate consciousness and mind? Answer that query first, with certainty, and we’re on our way to a solution.
(Mind-Body Problem Solved, Chapter 12)
In the last chapter, we saw “the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground…” (Genesis 2:7). The Potter fashioned the exquisite human body from dust. This chapter explains what the fascinating human body is. The amazing shell all human beings inhabit if I can put it that way. All we need to do is add nutritious food, fresh water, and normal movement (less computer time :)) and it’ll run for around seven decades. Unfortunately, today we mistreat our human bodies enormously, but that’s another story.
The Explanation has written extensively about our human bodies. The human body, composed of stardust, defies imagination. We take it for granted. Almost eight billion on the planet function identically yet, each one is unique. How can that be? For lack of space, to find out more about the wonders of our bodies, please refer to these articles and sections in Inventory of the Universe.
There are so many unexplained incredible systems going on in the human body like proteins synthesized from the very amino acids they generate (which came first, the chicken or the egg?).
Another marvel is protein folding (just watch the amazing short videos), the split-second construction of a motor to run a specific function in your body, like a filter to allow only certain elements through the cell wall into the nucleus. When I wrote that book, the revelation that stunned me was apoptosis, the programmed death of cells in the human body. You see, when a fetus develops in the womb, we don’t realize that cells are dying in specific locations, at just the right moment, in order to fashion fingers and toes.
Programmed cell death takes place in a baby’s brain before birth. The University of Maine tells us “A fetus’ brain produces roughly twice as many neurons as it will eventually need — a safety margin that gives newborns the best possible chance of coming into the world with healthy brains. Most of the excess neurons are shed (apoptosis) in utero. At birth, an infant has roughly 100 billion brain cells.”
Your Brain, an impressive body part
Your brain is multitasking hundreds and thousands of functions right this moment (and every moment) without rest. In fact, your brain doesn’t even relax when you are asleep! We function better after a good night’s sleep because the brain continues to process the input received while we were awake, sifting, sorting, reinforcing what we learned, and allowing us to recall the information later.
Each action or sense, no matter how trivial, affects our neurons and activates synapses that we can see with neuroimaging. All these actions (feeling hungry, holding an apple, trying to guess what time it is) are given high, medium, or low priority and coordinated with all the other involuntary or voluntary actions taking place within our bodies.
You may think the coordination of New York City or Beijing traffic is complex, but your brain is capable of integrating all the sensory information, mental processes, and motor skills you need to drive a car in rush hour and help you reach home safely.
If a colony of weaver ants coordinating the building of a nest awes you, or a herd of wildebeest migrating long distances in Africa, or the vast internet network with about 5 billion people and the interconnected transmission of all the messages, email, and web pages, consider that your brain’s 100 billion neurons and the routing paths for your physical and mental activities act with split-second precision and coordination.
The number 10, followed by hundreds of zeroes, a number far greater than the total sum of atoms in the Universe, expresses the gargantuan quantity of neuronal circuits for communicating information. We’ve never imagined these sheer numbers of neurons or their speed, let alone the organization and coordination needed to make our body and brain run smoothly.
It’s stupefying that all the wiring and connections are overseen by your brain. Your brain is 1,4 kilograms of jelly tissue, of which 78 percent is water. It fills a space of 1,130 cubic centimeters in your skull, which is equivalent to a small balloon with a diameter of thirteen centimeters.
Imagine, right now, that 20 percent of your oxygen intake and 25 percent of your glucose consumption fuel your brain. Compare this with the size of the infrastructure and the energy input required to run the Internet or the world’s most sophisticated supercomputer.
Pause for further thought and consider that this three pounds of jelly tissue is incredibly fluid and responsive, more so than the fastest Internet connection! The human body and brain are exquisite.
What is the composition of the human body?
The amazing body with its 78 organs, systems, and networks, including your brain, runs perfectly in sync, but don’t forget, God formed it, and it’s nothing but dust.
“You are from dust and to dust shall you return.” Quite a well-known Bible verse from Genesis 3:19. What does it really mean? If you asked someone what the Bible says about the composition of humans, I think the general answer you’d get is: of the ground. That’s not far off, but it’s not exactly right.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust (H6083) of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Why did Yahveh choose dust and not the ground? Because coming from dust teaches us several characteristics. Not just of man, but all humans. Let’s first see the Biblical Hebrew and how the King James translators rendered it.
עָפָר ʻâphâr aw-fawr’; from H6080 (עָפַר); dust (as powdered or gray); hence, clay, earth, mud:
KJV – ashes, dust, earth, ground, morter, powder, rubbish.
There is a vivid contrast that God wants humans to understand. Our origin is in stark contrast to
- The LIFE-GIVING mist and rain in the preceding verses 5-6
- The breath of LIFE He was going to infuse
- The LIVING souls He formed.
We’ll get to a much deeper explanation of the breath of life and living souls, but dust is dead. In dust, there’s NO life. On Day 6, God said, Let the earth (not the dust!) bring forth the living creatures. Of course, God created the animals, but even the fauna comes from living matter, whereas humans don’t get that distinction. We come from the dead dust of the ground. Humankind begins rather austerely even compared to animals.
Did you notice the last word in the KJV list of translations for H6083, rubbish? Pretty graphic. Nehemiah 4:10 says, “The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; (H6083) so that we are not able to build the wall.” That’s what we humans are, what we humans do. Here’s another piece of the puzzle you can assemble in this context, Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Please understand that the intention is not negative, but we have to call a spade a spade. Humans start from an inferior position, in some ways lower than animals because they came from the ground. Dust is synonymous with rubbish, unclean things, and filthy rags.
The human story starts from the most humble origins but includes potential far beyond animals. We’ll get to that in the rest of this verse. Yahveh, man’s Creator could’ve used ground or wood or grass to form the human body, but He used dust. The Explanation has just given you a reason for this choice, but there are other reasons.
In the list of verses containing the Hebrew word for formed (H3335), read Isaiah 44:9-10 and see what humans form: idols from molten metal and other materials including clay like a potter. “They [humans] that make (H3335) a graven image are all of them vanity (Sam, this corresponds to the dust, rubbish, filthy rags); and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. Who has formed (H3335 ) a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?”
God formed humankind from dust; humankind turns around and forms valueless graven images from dust. Instead of forming things to glorify our Creator, humans form anti-gods.
The human body is sophisticated, complex, strong, and delicate. At the same time, it is just dust from the ground. Our brains are intricate and complicated dust. Consciousness and mind are elsewhere.
Dig Deeper into The Explanation
Join The Explanation Newsletter to stay informed of updates. and future events. No obligations, total privacy, unsubscribe anytime, if you want.
The Explanation series of seven books. Free to read online or purchase these valuable commentaries on Genesis 1-3 from your favorite book outlet. E-book and paperback formats are available. Use this link to see the details of each book and buy from your favorite store.
Since you read all the way to here… you liked it. Please use the Social Network links just below to share this information from The Explanation, The Human Body. Incredible Complex Dust of the Ground