Recently while seeing a new hospice patient with severe heart failure, I encountered the man’s son, who happens to work in manufacturing. The younger man sought to better understand his father’s medical condition and with it the relevant treatment options. So, beginning with the anatomy of the heart and its role within the cardiovascular system, we quickly moved on to what happens when the heart fails and how this had manifested in his father.
The son proved to be an astute interlocutor, as each answer engendered another probing question. Soon I had to explain how water is either inside or outside the cell, and if outside, either in the circulation or around the cells. We discussed the effects of hydrostatic and osmotic pressure on water movement in and out of the capillary. In the midst of this, as he gazed away rapt in thought, I assumed he was now content with what I had explained. But then a quizzical look came over his face and he asked, “But what happens to the water that doesn’t make it back to the veins?”
I responded, “Ah, have you ever heard of the lymphatics?” and went on to describe this microscopic drainage system. He quickly smiled, tapped the heel of his palm to his forehead, gave out a yell, and exclaimed “What a beautiful design!” As I mentioned, he works in manufacturing and so knows a thing or two about design.
I had just witnessed in action what Douglas Axe describes in his book Undeniable as the design intuition. It was much more than just an intellectual assent to the truth. It animated the son’s whole body as he expressed with joy, despite the painful circumstances of his father’s health, the recognition of his own body’s design.
It was a natural human response to the facts set before him. Yet in the wake of yesterday’s marking of Darwin Day, aka Academic Freedom Day, it’s sobering to consider that if he had done this in many a public or private university setting, he likely would have been belittled, criticized, or depending on his position, censured.
Image: © Stokkete — stock.adobe.com.