The Cell Membrane and 100 Trillion
Consider how an automobile factory operates. All of its 1,000 or so workers must cooperate with great discipline and in great harmony. Several supervisory and chains of commands are in place to ensure that organization. Each section manufactures the parts demanded of it. For example, engines are produced on one assembly line, and doors in another. Everyone knows where every product will be used; everything remains under control.
Clearly, however, if the factory employs a thousand ignorant people with no idea of how cars are produced and tells them to find out on their own what to produce, and how, then great confusion and chaos will ensue.
Yet the human body contains not 1,000 but 100 trillion workers, all laboring together in perfect harmony. These individual cells are far more knowledgeable and better equipped than the workers in any factory. Not only are the miraculous processes they carry out quite breathtaking, but so also is the coordination among them. They recognize one another by means of signals in their membranes. Stomach cells recognize stomach cells, and hair cells recognize other hair cells (Figure 108).
Every cell works in the place and manner approved for it by God. In the same way that workers in a factory specialize in different departments, different cells work in each region and fulfill their duties with flawless organization.
We now face some inevitable questions: How can two membranes recognize each another? How were these “workers” trained? How is it that they perform their duties with such devotion?
Each one of these 100 trillion cells does what the body asks of it. So how does every cell know what it is to do, at every moment? All this happens, of course, through the knowledge and inspiration of Almighty God. For example, if cell division is desired in a given region, the brain issues the relevant command to the cells there. For this purpose, hormones are released and each one transmits the brain’s message by traveling to the relevant cell. When the envoy reaches the cell, it notifies the receptor protein on the cell membrane. The cell understands this message and takes the appropriate action (Figures 109 and 110).
Figures 109 and 110.
The brain issues the instruction to divide to those cells whose division is desired. With the transmission of that command to the relevant cells, the appropriate hormones are secreted. When the hormone comes to the cell, it notifies the receptor-protein on the cell membrane. The message received by the protein is reported to the center, whereupon the cell understands this message, makes a decision and acts accordingly.
But is it possible for an island of protein in a crowd of fat cells to understand an instruction given to it and passing this on to the nucleus of the cell? Will the cell obey this instruction and devote its life to producing a routine substance without even knowing where it will be used? Of course not!
In addition, as stated earlier, the hundreds of passage points, receptors and controllers along the cell membrane, all work together in great harmony, aware of one another’s existence. Yet these are all unconscious proteins. It is clear that the cell membrane did not come into possession of these attributes of its own accord, but that this entire system was created.
A cross-section of the cell membrane that performs miraculous processes in our bodies.
And that system was of course created for a particular purpose. Anyone of reason and conscience can see these miraculous proofs and appreciate God as He deserves. The attitude of believers to the miracles of our Lord is revealed thus in verses:
In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, there are signs for people with intelligence: those who remember God, standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: “Our Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Glory be to You! So safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Surah Al ‘Imran, 190-191)