Allah's Art of Detail 21-25
The Perfect System That Perceives Scent
When you take a deep breath, you simultaneously perceive various smells, for example, from the coffee you are drinking, the food cooking in the kitchen, the flowers in the vase, and the smoke outside. And yet you perceive them all individually, because your nose can analyze each smell it detects in thirty seconds and thus can distinguish among 3,000 scents.
Messages arriving from billions of scents are transmitted within a matter of minutes to tens of thousands of cells. The speed involved here is extraordinary. Several million pieces of data move from one cell to another in as little as one-thousandth of a second, never making a mistake. These processes allow you to identify a smell very quickly. In addition, the identification and organization of the transmitted data further increases scent sensitivity. The distinguishing and recognition of smells further increases scent sensitivity in the nose. (Tim Jacob, "Olfaction", 2001, http://www.cf.ac.uk/biosi/staff/jacob/ teaching/sensory/olfact1.html)
We can explain the extraordinary nature of the flawless transmission as follows: Let's assume that a specific piece of data is carried along a million telephone lines and that the number of these lines is suddenly reduced to a thousand. In that event, it is very likely that no matter how advanced the technology being used is, a loss or error in the original data will take place. Yet scent cells carry out the same task without error for as long as we live. The fact that we come into contact with a large number of scents at the same time does not prevent us from telling them apart; no matter how numerous they may be, we can distinguish one from another quite easily.
The fact that each person has such an amazing system may never have seemed surprising to us. A person finds nothing odd in recognizing the scent of a rose or of coffee and may never have wondered about the different stages involved in recognizing a particular fruit's smell. Yet the complex systems in the nose's olfactory area, which exists only because Allah wills it to and controls its flawless operation, make this possible throughout one's life:
... that is the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible, the Almighty, the Most Merciful, He Who has created all things in the best possible way. He commenced the creation of humanity from clay. (Surat al-Sajdah, 6-7)
The Superior Details in Bacteria
Life on Earth could not survive in the absence of bacteria. All of the wastes we throw into the ground, certain that they will be broken down and rot away, disappear because of bacteria. Thus, all of our waste products can be processed and recycled. Bacteria break down each part of a dead substance into small minerals that living things can use as food. They purify our water, make our soil fertile, synthesize vitamins in our intestines, convert what we consume into useful sugars and polysaccharides (a carbohydrate group), and combat the harmful bacteria we ingest with our food.
The nitrogen cycle, which is of vital importance to Earth, depends entirely upon bacteria to take nitrogen from the air and convert it into nucleotides and amino acids, our own building blocks. This literally amazing process cannot be carried out by any other living thing, including humanity. Bacteria effortlessly carry out a process that can be achieved only at a temperature of 500 degrees Celsius and at a pressure 300 times greater than normal by using industrial techniques in a matter of seconds.
More important, bacteria provide us with the oxygen we breathe. In fact, much of Earth's breathable oxygen is supplied by micro-organisms through photosynthesis. Cyanobacteria, algae, and other micro-organisms that fill the oceans, release some 150 billion kilos (331 billion lbs.) of oxygen every year. (Hemen Her Şeyin Kısa Tarihi, Bill Bryson, Boyner Yayınları, 2003, sf. 264)
Bacteria, just one of the countless reasons why life exists on this planet, completely discredit Darwin's theory of evolution. Darwin imagined, mistakenly, and therefore based his entire theory on the assumption that these life forms were primitive. However, twenty-first century technology clearly reveals that these life forms are perfect entities with such complex features and abilities that they could never have come into being by chance or spontaneously. In fact, the theory of evolution cannot account for the supposed random emergence of bacteria.
All of these things are manifestations of Allah's artistry, for He created and brought together these awesome complexities, perfect structures, and flawless abilities. This example shows just how complex a single cell, described as the simplest form of life, can actually be and what superior characteristics it can actually possess. Allah reminds us that we live in need of a single-celled life form. Those who learn from this will strive to attain His mercy and Paradise and appreciate Him as is His due, for He created everything for a purpose:
The keys of the Unseen are in His possession. No one knows them but Him. He knows everything in the land and sea. No leaf falls without His knowing it. There is no seed in the darkness of the ground, and nothing moist or dry that is not in a Clear Book. (Surat al-An'am, 59)
The Beauty in Earth and Sky
The universe's dimensions and distances far surpass human understanding. Numbers that are very large in earthly terms are, in fact, minute when the universe as a whole is considered. For example, the universe is estimated to contain some 300 billion galaxies. Our own Milky Way galaxy, which is just one galaxy, contains about 250 billion stars. The diameter of the Sun, an average-sized star, is 103 times greater than Earth. Alpha Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun, is some 78,000 km (48,467 miles) distant from it.
Space and the billions of galaxies contained within it, the secrets of which are still a mystery, move in their determined courses and influence each other by means of enormous gravitational forces. With the giant scales involved in this magnificent universe, all of its contents act according to a destiny that has been determined for them. Each one's movement, rotational speed, temperature, and distance has been determined in the Sight of Allah, Who creates a tiny creature, invisible to the naked eye, in the depths of the ground. The One Who appoints its destiny is also the One Who perfectly creates the giant stars and keeps them, as well as all that exists, constantly under His supervision. Allah demonstrates His might and greatness in both instances.
No matter what we may study on Earth and in the skies, we will always be confronted by His sublime and impeccable artistry. No entity can acquire any attribute by chance or maintain the existing order and balances by chance, for all of these are under the control of a sublime and boundless intelligence: Almighty Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
The Ant's Glorious Nervous System
A tiny ant, which has around 500,000 nerve cells, is a great sign leading to faith. Even in such a creature as this, which has almost no other aim in life than to survive by gathering food, Allah has created a perfect structure, a superior communication system, and a miraculous neural network. Thanks to this extraordinary neural network, ants use various modes of communication to find their prey, follow each other, build their nests, and fight their enemies. Thanks to their superior abilities, they are able to survive in a perfect way without any need for assistance.
Yet the ant is completely unaware of its 500,000 nerve cells. Neither scientists nor random events can endow it with this comprehensive equipment so that it can continue to live. The random mutations envisaged by Darwin cannot produce a single cell in this magnificent system; chance cannot know what a living thing needs to sense and from where, and thus cannot give rise to a new bodily system. Given that the evolutionists' proposed evolutionary mechanisms can only harm the existing complex system in question, unconscious chance cannot be the reason behind this special system.
Ants have always had this comprehensive neural network, because they, like all other living things, are the work of our Lord, Who reveals His greatness in every detail, gives life to all things, and exhibits His Almighty artistry in the most perfect form even in a single form:
Blessed be He Who placed constellations in the sky and put a blazing lamp and shining Moon among them. It is He Who made night and day succeed each other for those who want to pay heed or to give thanks. (Surat al-Furqan, 61-62)
The Size of the Earth
When people stand up and begin walking, they feel no pressure in an upward or downward direction. Sitting, walking, and running are exceedingly mundane activities. Yet each time people engage in such activities, they are completely unaware that they are resisting a very powerful gravitational force.
The most important reason for this is the size of Earth. If it were just slightly smaller, gravity would be far weaker, the planet's atmosphere would fragment and disappear, and we would be unable to remain stable in the world. If the Earth were larger, gravity would increase considerably and various poisonous gases would make our atmosphere lethal. Even if we managed to protect ourselves from these gasses, we would be unable to move.
Yet such a problem never arises, because Earth's size has been determined in a manner that makes human life possible. The conditions that combine are so delicate that there is no way even one of them could have come about by chance. Scientists have calculated the odds of such an event as 1 in 10123.1 Clearly, the accidental formation of an environment suited to life is impossible.
Were Allah willed so, He could make each star and planet suitable for life, arrange matters so that human beings had no need to eat or drink, breathe gasses in specific proportions, or gravity or the Sun. But Allah, Who created all that exists, willed to bring together all of the astonishingly detailed conditions necessary for life to remind people that He created and controls everything and to give us the opportunity to appreciate His infinite might and turn to Him:
He to Whom the kingdom of the heavens and Earth belongs. He does not have a son, and He has no partner in the Kingdom. He created everything and determined it most exactly.