I've got two new grandbabies, twins Fearne and Freya, born just over a week ago. They were born early because my daughter had pre-eclampsia, and they are adorable tiny scraps of life. Fearne is doing well, feeding well, and will soon go home from hospital. Her tiny sister is now also on the mend after an eight-hour operation to repair a tracheoesophageal fistula. (See previous blog 'Praise for the NHS'.)
And that has set me thinking about how a child is formed in the womb. Perhaps it is something we take for granted. We assume everything will go right, and we will have a perfect little baby at the end of a pregnancy. And most of the time that is the case. But it's when something goes wrong that it highlights the miracle of why it goes right most of the time.
What do I mean?
The condition that tiny Freya had is not common, but is also not unknown. In TOF as the cells are dividing to form the baby at the stage soon after conception the oesophagus and the stomach do not join up. Freya's intestine also was not joined to her stomach. Both have been repaired by surgeons and they expect her to make a full recovery. We ask: why did that happen? But perhaps the question we ought to ask is: how does it usually go right?
I'm no scientist, but it seems to me that the different components within the body must develop independently of each other. So, the oesophagus from the throat is one stage; the stomach is another stage; and a third stage must be the bowel. Maybe there's more stages than that, but let's keep it simple! Then they all join up. (Or in Freya's case, they didn't.)
So we all know what happens when a baby is conceived. Two cells become one, then they start multiplying. At some stage the cells start to form the baby, the sac, the placenta. Within the baby part, a brain, heart, internal organs, eyes, ears, limbs, spinal column and so on all come into being. I've always thought: What makes those cells do that? What programming is it that forms the different parts of the human body?
The answer is DNA. Well I cannot go into the complexities of DNA here, it is far too complicated for me! But I found some interesting quotes you might like to consider.
Did DNA come about by mere chance?
Quote: "DNA is packaged within the chromosomes in a manner so efficient that it has been called a 'feat of engineering."
Question: So how could such an organised structure come about? By blind chance or by design?
Quote: "DNA contains all the instructions needed to build a unique human body and maintain it throughout life."
Question: How did those instructions come to be in the first place? Blind chance, or by design?
Quote: "For DNA to work, it has to be copied, read and proofread by a swarm of complex molecular machines called enzymes, which must work together with precision and split-second timing."
Question: Could a highly complex and reliable machine come about by mere chance? Or did it have a designer and builder? What then of the more complex DNA?
The more scientists find out about the human body, the complexities of the brain, the eye, the kidneys, heart, and other organs, the more they find out about all living things, about the earth itself, about the universe, the more wonderful it seems to me. Science is showing us more and more that there is design in everything around us. And where there is design, there has to be a Designer.
That's why I believe in a Creator, someone with the wisdom and power to work it all out.
Perhaps we should find out more about him.