Vol. 7, No. 2
~ Page 15 ~
In a biology class of yesteryears, the professor asked a student, "What is life?" The student replied, "I did know, but I have forgotten." Then the professor remarked, "What a pity! The only person who has ever known what life is in this room, and he has forgotten!"
In the 21st century, scientists still do not know what life is. All they can say is that life is:
that property of plants and animals which makes it possible for them to take in food, get energy from it, grow, adapt themselves to their surroundings, and reproduce their kind (Webster).
However, on December 10, 1998, came a startling announcement:
In a big advance in the race to understand the blueprint of life, scientists announced Thursday that they have, for the first time, mapped the complete genetic instructions for making a living animal. (The Oregonian.12 Nov. 1998)
Thousands of dead animals have been made, especially the teddy bear, "a stuffed toy for children resembling a bear in miniature" (Webster). But, is it possible for scientists to make a "living animal"? They believe that they have learned how to make a living animal by studying a very small animal.
A tiny roundworm (c. elegans) is by far the most complex creature to have virtually all the components of its DNA ["an essential component of all living matter," Webster] mapped. Although it would take 25 of the worms lined up end to end to fill an inch, it has a nervous system, eats, grows, reproduces sexually, ages and dies. (The Oregonian.12 Nov. 1998)
Unbelievable! One twenty-fifth of an inch long with amazing abilities! How did the roundworm obtain a nervous system? How did it learn to eat? What makes it grow? Who or what installed sexual reproduction in that tiny creature? With all those marvelous qualities, why does it grow old and die?
Those are questions which neither a non-talking roundworm nor a well-trained scientist can answer. But, three thousand years ago, a man wrote, "The Spirit of Yahweh spoke by me, and his word was upon my tongue" (2 Samuel 23:2), a statement that gives a complete answer:
How great are your works, O Yahweh! In wisdom you made all of them. The earth is full of your creatures. (Psalm 104:24)
Zechariah was not writing about earthworms when he asked, "[W]ho has despised the day of small things?" (4:10), but a tiny roundworm silently tells us about the Creator's "eternal power and divine nature," being "understood by the things that are made" (Romans 1:20).
A small thing was handed to me in Portland, Oregon, by Walter Masters, a visiting elder of the Hillview Terrace Church of Christ in Moundsville, West Virginia. He took the small thing from his coat lapel: a tiny piece of yellow brass in the form of two human feet, with ten toes, only three-eights of an inch long.
I was told that these "feet are the exact size and shape of an unborn baby's feet at ten weeks after conception"! Unbelievable! I was told that "The International Pro-Life Symbol" is "Precious Feet." If, at ten weeks, they are three-eights of an inch long, how small were they at the day of conception!
If you would like a meaningful lapel ornament called "Precious Feet," write to Heritage House, 919 S. Main, Snowflake, AZ 85937, or call their toll-free number: 1-800-858-3040. Along with the attention-getting pin, Heritage House will send you a card with these words:
When people see your Precious Feet pin you have the opportunity to share about the humanity of the unborn. At 10 weeks an unborn baby is perfectly formed--right down to his toes! All that is needed is time to grow. The unborn cannot speak for themselves: You speak for them by wearing Precious Feet.