The Brain's Emergency Brakes | The Institute for Creation Research
The Brain's Emergency Brakes

Emergency brakes are an important safety component in elevators. In a dangerous episode, such as an earthquake, these brakes activate and stop the elevator from moving, keeping the passengers inside from plunging to the bottom floor.

Human brains also have an ingenious “brake” system. Discovered by University of Oslo researcher Johan Storm, these remarkable systems within brain cells restrict the inflow of calcium ions from the cell’s fluid surroundings, an action that could save cells during trauma. Precise cellular calcium levels are integral to neuron function, and stressful situations like strokes can disrupt the calcium balance.

Professor Storm confirmed the effects in mice of the seldom-used “BK channels” found on brain cell membranes that communicate with the constantly-used calcium channels. If BK channels were not typically closed, ions would leak through them, disrupting the cell’s primary functions. In fact, “a mutation causing the BK channels to open more often than they normally do may cause epilepsy.”1

A University of Oslo news release described the brain’s emergency brakes as “ingenious,” “smart,” “essential,” “advanced,” and “wisely constructed.” However, it claimed that the brakes are “the result of an evolution that has gone on for more than two billion years,”1 since other organisms such as fruit flies and frogs contain these cell membrane channels. But the presence of BK channels in different organisms does not require an evolutionary interpretation because an intelligent Creator could and would have placed these little lifesavers in many of His creatures, precisely because they work well.

Human brains are far too well-formed to be products of cosmic accident. It makes more sense that these are “ingenious” and “advanced” products of an ingenious and advanced Creator, rather than of undirected natural and randomizing processes.

Reference

  1. Vogt, Y. New knowledge on the brain: An emergency brake in the brain. University of Oslo, press release, December 3, 2008.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer.

Article posted on December 10, 2008.

The Latest
CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Can Scripture Be Trusted? | Creation.Live Podcast: Episode 8
Both believers and skeptics can find themselves asking if Scripture can be taken at its word. Is it scientifically accurate? Can its history be trusted?...

NEWS
Cambrian Soft Tissue Defies Evolution
Paleontologists have discovered “early fossils [of] simple hollow tubes ranging from a few millimetres to many centimetres in length.”1...

NEWS
Fruit Fly Jitters
Researchers working with fruit flies–the ubiquitous lab animal–have discovered the flies are able to undergo an amazing ocular process called...

CREATION PODCAST
Can Radioisotope Dating Be Trusted? | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Carbon dating is a common method used to determine the ages of fossils and other materials, but carbon14 deteriorates quite quickly. How can it still...

NEWS
Prepare for the Big Non-Event!
In 1950 the famed Italian physicist Enrico Fermi asked his coworkers at the lunch table the simple metaphysical question in regard to possible aliens...

NEWS
Move Toward the Enemy: Fighting for Truth in Science
Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the...

NEWS
Evolving Mammals?
The evolution of mammals from non-mammals, like the evolution of all other animal groups, has been, and will always be, problematic. English paleontologist...

NEWS
Butterfly Variation
Butterflies have made science news again, this time in regard to a master gene called WntA: “a combined team of researchers from Cornell University...

CREATION PODCAST
How Old Is The Universe? | The Creation Podcast: Episode 35
Many scientists claim that the universe is approximately 13.8 billion years old by reverse-engineering the Big Bang with the assumption that this theory...

NEWS
Massive Tsunamis Generated by the Flood, Not an Asteroid
Two separate studies claim massive tsunamis and earthquakes from an asteroid impact profoundly affected the rock record. One research team modeled a...