Red Blood Cells
by D.W. Cloud
The human red blood cell (erythrocyte) is perfectly designed to carry oxygen throughout the body. Even evolutionary writings use terms such as “highly specialized” and “nature’s design” to describe these amazing things.
The blood cells flow in plasma through the body’s breathtakingly complex circulatory system, which is used to maintain the body’s temperature, regulate the body’s pH balance, provide communication, transport oxygen, nutrients, hormones, clotting agents, and immune defense mechanisms such as antibodies, white blood cells, and platelets, and remove waste. Blood flows everywhere in the body, from the roots of the hair to the toes.
The red blood cells are formed in the marrow of the ribs, pelvis, and some other bones. They are 1/25,000 of an inch in size. There are about 25 trillion of them in the body, and they live only 100-120 days. They must be replaced because they are unable to synthesize new enzymes to replace those lost during normal cell metabolic process due to their lack of organelles (http://www.fortunecity.com/greenfield/rattler/46/blood2.htm). The body replaces the blood cells at the rate of about 2.5 million per second, but that rate can be increased if the body needs more blood cells due to heavy bleeding or a reduction in oxygen content of the air at high altitude.
The main function of the red blood cell is to carry oxygen throughout the human body, and it is perfectly designed for this. First of all, its shape, which is biconcave and looks similar to a donut, allows more surface area to facilitate absorption and diffusion of oxygen. The shape of the red blood cell also allows it to contort through minute blood capillaries that are smaller in diameter than itself, and it can spring back to its original shape. Further, it can carry more hemoglobin molecules because it loses its nucleus, and its internal organelles (cell organs) are degraded soon after it is made, and it thus has more storage capacity than other types of cells in the body. Each red blood cell carries about 300 million hemoglobin molecules.
The hemoglobin (or haemoglobin) molecule that is carried within the red blood cell (and that gives the bright red color) is a miracle of design in its own right. It is an iron-containing protein that allows oxygen to be picked up from the lungs and carried through the fluid of the circulatory system. The hemoglobin molecule has a single atom of iron at its center, and in the lungs this iron atom combines with oxygen to create a compound called oxyhemoglobin. Oxygen by itself is not very soluble in water, but the hemoglobin molecule binds four oxygen molecules to itself, “consequently hemoglobin permits human blood to carry more than 70 times the amount of oxygen that it could have carried otherwise” (http://help.com/post/202779-are-there-any-parts-inside-a-red-bl).
After the hemoglobin transports its oxygen to cells in the body, it reinvents itself as a waste disposal entity; combining with the carbon dioxide given off by the cells as waste it carries this back to the lungs.
The processes that take place in the blood are extremely complicated and interrelated at the most fundamental level. Everything from the individual atoms up must work together in perfect harmony for the individual to survive. And the blood is only one part of the circulatory system that, in turn, is intimately interrelated with the other systems of the body. Even something as simple as a change in the shape of the red blood cell is a threat to survival.
A system this complicated screams out “divine creation.”
Further, nearly three and a half millennia ago the Bible said “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11). Only in these most modern of times have we learned how scientifically accurate that statement was!