Thursday, May 29, 2014


What do you feel like doing right now?  Just go ahead and do it...........Did you do it?  Great! Was what you just did what you wanted to do?  Fantastic!  Now call the editor of Atheist Magazine.  I don't care if it's the middle of the night.  Wake him up!  And tell him that a miracle just happened!

What did you do?  Did you get a glass of water?  Did you stretch?  Did you yawn?  Did you propose marriage? Did you eat a cookie?  Whatever you wanted to do, a million neurons, the precise million neurons out of the one hundred or two hundred billion in your brain, fired that allowed you to do that.  Each of those million neurons are connected by a thousand axons each to different neurons, so there were literally quadrillions of paths of electric current that those initiating neurons could have taken, but they only took one path, not any of the quadrillion other paths, and that was the one path that led to the muscular contractions, and blood flows and energy distributions that allowed you to do exactly what you wanted to do.  Where was that desire, that little experience of wanting something that you had when I first asked you what you wanted to do?  Could you measure it?  Could you observe it?  Could any scientist using whatever instrumentation they chose measure or observe it?  No!  And yet, this unobservable, unmeasurable desire caused the firing of a million initiating neurons which followed one of probably an infinite number of paths, which was the one path and the one combination of neurons that allowed you to do whatever it was that you wanted to do.

Let's take this further.  This thing that you just did, that you did because you wanted to do it; did it involve any movement at all, even if it was just the lifting of a finger or the curling of a toe?  If it did, then here is what just happened.  An electrical impulse, probably many thousands of electrical impulses, traveled through the axons of thousands of nerves into muscle cells where the charge caused calcium ions to flow into the cytoplasm of those cells.  Those calcium ions bound to protein molecules called troponin-tropomyosin, located in the grooves of actin filaments within the muscle cell.  This bonding moved the troponin-tropomysin out of these grooves which exposed binding sites on the actin filament where the side arms of another filament molecule called myosin could then bind, forming a crossbridge between the two filaments. A chemical reaction that happened the moment the myosin touched the actin, caused the myosin arm, now firmly attached to the actin to bend.  This bending moved the actin filament a little in the direction of being more alongside the myosin.  When that happened the myosin released ADP and P causing a molecule of ATP to bind to the myosin which caused the myosin to release the actin molecule.  When the actin molecule was released the ATP molecule got split into ADP and P by the myosin which created the energy to move the myosin arm further along the actin filament and reattach, where it bent again and moved the actin filament further.  The same process happened over and over, simultaneously with many, many thousands of myosin molecules, causing the actin filament to move alongside the myosin filament further and allowing the muscle cell to contract.

Now if you did something really complicated, like getting a glass of water, the number of neural firings, troponin-tropomyosin shiftings, myosin crossbridge formations, ADP and P releases and reformations into ATP, is probably incalculable, but certainly in the many millions if not billions.  And why did the specific muscle cells contract that contracted?   And why did they contract the specific amount that they actually contracted? And why and how did they cause the specific twisting and turning that they caused (which is so complicated that I'd better not even get into it)?  And why were all these amazing processes undertaken, and undertaken in the exact right muscles and with the exact right intensities?  Why did that happen?  It all happened because you wanted a glass of water; or you wanted to shift your weight in the chair, or you wanted to, God forbid, attempt something as complicated as tying your shoe.

My understanding of a miracle is a physical occurrence caused by a non-physical cause. The firing of millions of precise neurons is a physical act.  The chemical/mechanical molecular processes that I just described are physical acts.  Your behavior that resulted from those firings was a physical act.  The cause of those firings was an unobservable, unmeasurable desire.  And the execution of those firings was caused by what?  Do you think you did it yourself?  Do you really think that even if your brain was in front of you on your desk that you could figure out how to locate those precise neurons and guide them along the one specific path of firings that was required? So who did it?  Was it some biological apparatus that translates desires into neuron firings?  What apparatus?  Where is it located?  What does it look like?  How much does it weigh?

The most highly skilled pianist in the world can look at a sheet of music and strike possibly five or six simultaneous keys of the eighty-eight keys on the piano keyboard a fraction of a second after reading the score.  Who is the pianist that reads the scores of your desires at every waking moment of your existence and strikes the million, or five million or five hundred thousand initiating neurons of the over one hundred billion neurons in your brain and guides them along the  precise path of firings that allows you to do whatever it is that you want to do the moment you decide to do it?  

I am telling you, call Atheist Magazine, call Discover, send Richard Dawkins an instant message!  There are miracles happening at every moment and no one is noticing!

If you are the editor of Atheist Magazine or just a normal civilian, please let me know what you think.