Monday, November 27, 2023

Bodily Bioelectricity

 Most bioscientists would acknowledge, perhaps humorously, that our bodies are “electrical machines.” A study of the the digital information transmitted by the billions of neurons inhabiting our central and peripheral nervous systems may inspire young people to choose bioscience as a career. 

Young people have been raised in the so-called “digital age.” Previous generations may not have been aware that a “digital age” for our society was on their horizon. Let’s investigate the origin of our modern “digital age.” Then we may be able to relate some of our findings to the remarkable “electrical machines”—our bodies.  

Claude Shannon (1916-2001) is a scientist less well known than Albert Einstein or James Clerk Maxwell. He was a brilliant electrical engineer, mathematician,  computer scientist, and cryptographer. He is responsible for an astonishing societal revolution, the digital revolution, which launched the information age, generally acknowledged to have begun in about 1970. The digital revolution transformed our lives in multiple ways. In the 21st century it is almost impossible to exist without being aware of the ongoing digital revolution, aka the digital age. Shannon’s seminal paper was titled, “A Mathematical Theory of Communications.” Computers evolved from digital technology. A sequence of simple binary digits, called bytes—either 0’s or 1’s—is the fundamental informational code. Computing steps involve input, processing, storage, output, and communication. 

Without the body’s electricity our lives would be profoundly different. In reality, we would not exist without a digital code consisting of digital pulses of electrical current within our bodies.

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The Creator of the human body conceived of billions of neurons communicating by a storm of electrical impulses. The digital electrical impulses enable human audition, vision, as well as pressure, balance, olfaction (smell), and gustation (taste) awareness. Our body’s nervous system discriminates among countless smells, tastes, sounds, visual images, and forces. Various brain regions interpret the meaning of multiple digital codes. We are not only able to perceive many different sounds, but also identify the type of musical instrument producing the sound—its pitch, timbre, and loudness. The human visual apparatus is capable of sensing color, shape, and brightness. Explanations for human sensory capability is woefully inadequate. Bioscientists are far more able to offer accurate descriptions than meaningful explanations. Thousands of volumes describe human senses in intricate detail. The foregoing paragraph describes the input stage of information as merely a sequence of binary digits! Our bodies’ sensory system decodes the meaning of a sequence of simple binary digits in order to achieve a meaningful, conscious visual or auditory experience.

How do we account for the operation of our nervous system and its digital processing capability? Bioscience authorities cite evolutionary mechanisms as “explanations” as if the mere mention of the term evolution is self-explanatory. An extensive review of the literature often leaves the reader with far more questions than answers. Most scientists prefer naturalistic explanations for events in our bodies. Many bodily sensory phenomena are nearly impossible to explain. For example, neurophysiologist Christof Koch, President of the Allen Institute of Brain Science, proposes: “The details of the human brain may be way beyond human capacity and capability to understand…”

The digital code is a language enabling the transmission of information via billions of neurons in the human body. All languages are devised by a mind. The human body is fearfully and wonderfully made by the God of Creation (Ps. 139:14-15.) Perry Marshal, author of books on communications technology and evolution, proposed the atheist’s riddle: “Show me a language that does not come from a mind.” The digital code is a language, as are all codes. The digital code by which our bodies’ neural networks communicate originates in the divine mind of God, the Creator.


Our blog deals with the interaction of science and Christianity. In our view, the facts of science strengthen and reinforce, but do not prove, belief in the Creator of All Things—the God of the Judeo-Christian scriptures. The scientific discoveries relating to the human body’s sensory system are difficult to attribute to a purely naturalistic explanation.