Creation, rightly understood, bears indisputable testimony to the Creator. In fact, God has provided “many infallible proofs” that this is so.1
This can be appreciated by considering a courtroom scene in which one witness supplies testimony that establishes an important fact involving helpful services provided by the witness to a customer base.
Now imagine the same courtroom scenario, except this time there are literally quintillions—more than 1,000,000,000,000,000,000—of witnesses, all providing uncontroverted and harmonious testimony to prove important facts about vital services provided by those witnesses to multitudes of consumers.
These quintillions of witnesses are microscopic blood cells—tiny “blood service agents” serving the “end user” cells of the human body. A small percentage of these agents are white blood cells, but most are red blood cells. These cells continually supply vital gas exchange and the immunity defense needs of the human body,2 yet the individual blood cells are unintelligent—they have no personalities or volition. They are microscopically small parts of a huge whole, and that whole is greater than the sum of its parts, because the parts themselves do not have human life and yet the whole body does.
So why should unthinking blood cells provide such helpful services to a human body? It is beyond genuine dispute that our blood cells help us in ways that are so vital that we would promptly die without them. This indispensable service is true of both red blood cells and white blood cells.
Vital Service Provided by Red Blood Cells
Simply put, the main service provided by a red blood cell (“erythrocyte”) is that of carrying through the blood system the amazing molecule called hemoglobin (C3032H4812N780Fe4O872S12), one of the largest molecules that exist. The hemoglobin itself carries molecular oxygen (O2), which is needed by human cells all over the body, and exchanges it for carbon dioxide (CO2), which can be destructive to the human body. The hemoglobin molecules carried by the red blood cells quietly and repeatedly implement critical gas exchanges.
To accomplish this, the hemoglobin iron atoms attach to oxygen (similar to how rust forms), using a hydration bonding to form carbonic acid, which is immediately neutralized by adding sodium, thus producing (in conjunction with blood plasma) a temporary form of baking soda. This speedy process is reversed in the capillaries to release the oxygen, so that all of the trillions of human body cells have repeated “refills” of oxygen.
A study of erythrocytes [i.e., red blood cells, or RBCs] illustrates the correlation between structure and function. RBCs are structurally the simplest cells in the body. RBCs are highly specialized for their oxygen transport function. Each one contains an amazing 280 million hemoglobin molecules.…Since [mature] RBCs do not have nuclei, their internal space is available for oxygen transport. The shape of the RBC facilitates its function. A biconcave disc has a much greater surface area [to enable speedy absorption of gases] for its volume than a sphere or a cube. The shape confers two advantages. First there is a large surface area for the diffusion of gas molecules in or out of the RBC. Second, the biconcave disc is very flexible which permits RBCs to squeeze through small capillaries, some of which are as narrow as 3 µm [i.e., 3 millionths of a meter].3
Vital Service Provided by White Blood Cells
White blood cells (“leukocytes”) also provide necessary services to the blood system and thus benefit the entire human body. The services provided by leukocytes are diverse, because they are themselves diverse—leukocytes include neutrophils, granulocytes, eosinophils, basophils, lymphocytes (both B and T cells), and “natural killer” leukocytes.
Some white blood cells called macrophages intercept harmful intruders, “swallowing” and destroying them.2 In short, the overall benefit provided by white blood cells is their non-stop service as extremely active agents for the body’s immune system.
The blood cells that raced through your brain as you began to read this page are not exactly the same blood cells that you will be using when you finish reading the page, because our bodies constantly produce replacement blood cells at a rate between six to eight million cells every second! Red blood cells last about 120 days after they are generated, so absorbing the remains of “dying” blood cells and replacing them at a rate that achieves a balanced equilibrium is vital to the stability of our bodies’ circulatory systems.
How these complex blood cells are produced is an amazing process, involving sophisticated manufacturing systems in the bone marrow.2, 3 But why would bones do this? The bones themselves are not intelligent; they have no independent personalities. Bone marrow has no conscience, so why does it faithfully produce red blood cells, as if it had what secular sociologists call a “Protestant work ethic”?4
The evolutionary fairy tale called “natural selection” cannot magically explain this. “Nature” cannot think how to design and invent clever mechanisms for blood production, or for systematic ways that blood cells benefit the trillions of “end user” cells of the body. Bones and blood cells are mindless. Neither can “select” or “favor” one action over another action—so there is no natural “selection” involved in whether (or how) a blood cell or a bone acts (or does not act). Bones and blood do not try to be “helpful.”
Accordingly, everything that blood cells and bones do while helping any part of the body (i.e., providing actions that benefit the whole body) must not only have been pre-programmed by God into the human bones and blood cells that He originally imagined and created, but must also be informationally reproduced and reactivated in every subsequent generation.
Without such providential programming, blood production, as well as blood cell services (such as carrying hemoglobin all over the body, or actively providing immune system services), would have failed during humanity’s first generation.
Quintillions of Witnesses
Human bodies are thus served by blood cells that are purposeful, vital, and, in fact, absolutely necessary. And each of us has hosts of them. How many blood cells are in a human body? Hundreds of billions, at least.
Do the math: hundreds of billions of blood cells in each human body, multiplied by six-plus billion humans now alive on planet earth, equals quintillions of witnesses.
The earth has hundreds of quintillions of blood cells providing the “blood service” needs of billions of humans all over the world. And each of those blood cells is an independent witness of God’s creation, because only biblical creation provides an adequate explanation for the extraordinary design and operation of each of those quintillions of cells.
Do not think of blood cells as one or two “generic” witnesses to God’s creativity and bioengineering handiwork. No, every single blood cell in the world today—wherever and for whomever it is doing its God-appointed work—is a stand-alone proof of God’s creation.5 Each of these quintillions testifies that God is our Creator!
Furthermore, what if we considered the benefit to each of the “end user” cells of the human body? The hemoglobin-carried oxygen constantly benefits trillions of cells in each body, and billions of human bodies on earth are now experiencing those gas exchange benefits. If each “end user” cell could testify of these oxygen transport benefits, that would mean sextillions of witnesses for creation!6
So, to use the courtroom scenario above, the blood cells are quintillions of witnesses, each of whom provides harmonious testimony about how human blood components provide purposeful and indispensably vital services to the entire human body. That’s infallible proof with mathematically astounding “weight.” It is overwhelming evidence of God’s creation that is made “manifest” in every one of us (Romans 1:19).
The united testimony of quintillions of microscopic witnesses provides proof of God’s wisdom and providential care, as our blood cells quietly serve as “many infallible proofs” of God’s providential glory.
- Acts 1:3, using this forensic phrase, refers to Christ’s resurrection from the dead. However, God has also provided many infallible proofs that He is Creator.
- Guliuzza, R. 2009. Made in His Image: Life-Giving Blood. Acts & Facts. 38 (9): 10-11. From the combined perspectives of an experienced engineer, physician, and flight surgeon, Dr. Guliuzza summarizes many of the amazing ways that blood cells serve the human body, as well as the remarkable processes used to renew the supply of blood cells providing those services.
- Gillen, A. L., F. J. Sherwin and A. C. Knowles. 1999. The Human Body: An Intelligent Design. St. Joseph, MO: Creation Research Society Books, 114-116.
- Weber, M. 1909. Die Protestische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus, translated into English in 1930 by Talcott Parsons as The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. In effect, each blood cell acts as if it were a servant committed to accomplishing tasks assigned by God, as if it were focused on glorifying God by doing an excellent job.
- Moon, I. 2004. Red River of Life. Moody Science Classics DVD. Chicago: Moody Publishers.
- A billion (109) times a trillion (1012) equals a sextillion (1021). Thus, a sextillion is a 1 followed by 21 zeroes. No judge would want to schedule a court trial with that many testifying witnesses!
* Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Johnson, J. J. S. 2011. Quintillions of Creation Witnesses. Acts & Facts. 40 (5): 8-9.