Rational Capacities

By: Jim Virkler; ©2008

In the world of living things, man is distinct from all other animals because he bears the “image of God.” Among other things, the image of God endows us with rational capacities not possessed by animals. Therefore, we intuitively ponder the meaning of order, organization, and design surrounding us — a capacity not possessed by other living creatures. Consider this post in that light…..

When I go to Wal-Mart expressly for a package of picture hangers, I may not contemplate much beyond locating the item, paying for it, and leaving. But while searching in the supermarket with my grocery list, I may linger a few moments to consider the array of thousands of food items and our ability to easily satisfy nearly every whim of our culinary desire. I might further reflect on the store’s organized scheme of display and access, muse over the efficient way hundreds of employees function in concert, marvel at the complexity of the delivery system for thousands of products, or even enthuse about the ease of checkout, inventory, and accounting resulting from barcode technology.

Do you share amazement at these every day “givens” of 21st century lifestyle? Compared with the design features and function of each of trillions of cells in our body, our visit to the superstore does not seem quite so amazing. When we study diagrams of the cell we discover a collection of dozens of intricate structures of surprising functional beauty. But when we understand cell chemistry and the spectrum of interactions taking place, we stand back, astonished. Bear with me as I alphabetically list some of the cell’s activities. We’ll make it a list of verbs: Our body cells absorb, communicate, detoxify, metabolize, recyle, regulate, repair, respire, secrete, sort, store, synthesize, and transport. One wonders how units so tiny are able to fill such giant roles.

The hierarchy of structural levels above the cell includes tissue (groups of similar cells), organs, (such as the stomach), organ systems (like the digestive system), and finally, the organism ( a human being). The cell is a unit far greater than the sum of its parts. The same can be said for all higher structural levels including, of course, the fully formed human being, made in the image of God.


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