UNC Med School Incident!

I went to a UNC medical school 

for an electrocardiogram. 

While the a med school student 

was lining up her machine,
I told her I have dextrocardia.

"What's that?" she asked.

"It means my heart is on the 

right side of my chest rather
than on the left," I answered. 

"You should set up your
machine to accommodate that."

As she attached the wires, 

she asked casually, "Tell me,
have you had that for long?"


Professor Howdy said...

*The real measure of your wealth is how much you would be worth if
you lost all your money.


*1760: "The Poor Robin's Almanack" Published April Fools' Issue

"The Poor Robin's Almanack" published one of the first
celebrations of April Fools' Day. Some believe April Fools'
started independently in different countries to celebrate the
Spring Equinox. Others say it celebrated New Year's Day, which
fell on April 1st in the Julian calendar.


The Crucifixion Swoon Theory:
The Case for Christ

Forensic evidence: How many times has it helped solve
a medical mystery -- determining how someone really died?

Well, Lee Strobel covered many trials during his
journalism career where a jury's decision hung on the
medical evidence. So, was it possible, he wondered,
to examine 2,000-year-old medical evidence and
determine if Jesus really died on the cross?

If so, science could deliver a knockout blow to one
of the most persistent claims against Christianity:
that the resurrection of Christ, which we celebrated
yesterday, was really just a hoax.

For expert opinion, Strobel went to Dr. Alexander
Metherell, a research scientist. Metherell had
studied the medical data concerning Christ's death,
and he's convinced there's no way anyone could have
survived what the Romans put him through.

First, there was the flogging. Soldiers used whips of
braided leather thongs. The metal balls woven into
the lash caused deep bruises, which broke open during
the torture. Often the victim's back, in such a
beating, was so shredded that his spine was exposed.

Those who didn't die from the flogging went into
hypovolemic shock, brought on by blood loss. There
would be a loss of blood pressure, leading to
faintness and collapse. And the loss of fluids would
result in tremendous thirst.

The gospels indicate that Jesus was in shock as he
carried his cross to Calvary: He collapsed in the
road, and Simon of Cyrene had to carry the cross for
him. Later, Jesus said, "I thirst."

And then there was the agony of the crucifixion
itself. The Romans drove spikes through the wrists
and feet of Jesus -- spikes that traveled through the
median nerves. This caused such enormous pain that a
new word was invented to describe it: "excruciating."
The word literally means "out of the cross."

Metherell believes that Jesus, like other crucifixion
victims, eventually died of asphyxiation. The
stresses on the muscles and diaphragm put the chest
in the inhaled position; in order to exhale, the
victim had to push up on his feet to ease the tension
in the muscles for just a moment. It would be
enormously painful, and exhaustion would eventually set in.

As his breathing slowed, the victim would go into
respiratory acidosis, leading to an irregular
heartbeat and eventual cardiac arrest. Then, in the
case of Jesus, to ensure that he was dead, a Roman
soldier thrust a spear into his side.

The flogging, the massive blood loss, the shock, the
crucifixion, the stabbing: Could Jesus have suffered
all this and survived?

Not a chance, Metherell told Strobel. Besides, Roman
soldiers had good reason to make certain Jesus was
dead: Had he survived, they, themselves, would have
been executed.

In the weeks before and after Easter, we often see
the usual spate of articles by so-called experts
claiming that Jesus didn't really die on the cross --
and, thus, is not the Son of God.

If your friends mention these articles, explain that
forensic science goes a long way in disproving these
ideas. And give them a copy of Strobel's book, The
Case for Christ. The better the science the greater
the support for what Christians have long believed in
faith: that love drove Jesus to willingly endure an
excruciating death -- so that you and I might live.

For further reference:
Strobel, Lee. The Case for Christ. Grand Rapids, MI:
Zondervan, 1998.

Should We Have Perfect Bodies?
What Intelligent Design Really Says

It's a humbling experience we've all had on the way
to the morning shower -- looking at our bodies in the
mirror. Even the physically fit can spot areas for
improvement. And some of us, of course, don't need a
mirror to tell us what needs fixing!

We're not perfect creatures. But do our imperfections
prove that we're evolved by natural selection, and
not created by an intelligent designer? Well, a
recent article in the magazine Scientific American
makes that very claim.

Entitled "If Humans Were Built to Last," the article
by S. Jay Olshansky, Bruce Carnes, and Robert Butler
argues that the human body reflects the mindless
process of natural selection, and not purposeful
design. Olshansky and colleagues write that many of
our physical shortcomings exist because natural
selection causes us to survive "just long enough to
reproduce." Once we've passed on our genes, they say,
our bodies start to fall apart.

If we had been intelligently designed, they argue, we
should last much longer. And we wouldn't choke on
food, suffer detached retinas, or a host of other ailments.

Well, this argument for naturalistic evolution dates
back well before Darwin. The eighteenth-century
philosopher David Hume, for one, argued that the
miseries of human existence are best explained by
"blind nature," not design. But this misrepresents
what intelligent design really says. It also
overlooks the powerful insights of the Christian worldview.

First, intelligent design does not say that any
currently existing organism, including human beings,
should be perfect. Every designed system in our
present universe is subject to physical laws, and
involves trade-offs with a wide range of functional requirements.

Consider, for example, your throat. The esophagus
(the passage to the stomach) and the trachea (the
passage to the lungs) come together at the top of the
throat. When you swallow, a structure called the
epiglottis closes to cover your trachea. You can feel
this if you put your finger on your Adam's apple and swallow.

Sometimes, when people take excessively large bites
of food, or if they're inebriated, the epiglottis may
not close properly, and they choke.

Now, Olshansky and company argue that if our throats
had been intelligently designed, this wouldn't
happen. They suggest that a better design would have
placed the trachea higher, near the nasal passage.
.. . . Maybe, but maybe not.

You see, it would be impossible to speak if air only
passed through your nostrils, not your mouth.
Catching a cold could be a life-threatening illness,
because congestion would block the only pathway for
oxygen. And if you needed more air -- running to
catch the bus, for example -- sorry, opening your
mouth for extra oxygen won't help.

Yes, humans occasionally choke. But there is
absolutely no evidence that another system would work
better. It's easy to speculate about what an
intelligent designer would have done, but there's a
world of difference between speculation and science.

The Christian worldview tells us not to expect
perfection. While God created the world, it's also
fallen -- a world with illness and pain, waiting to
be redeemed by God's new creation.

So remember that the next time you look in the
bathroom mirror. If your current model is due to
expire, don't worry about it: There's an incomparably
better one coming!

For further reference:
Hume, David. Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.
Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, [1776] 1980.
Olshansky, S. Jay, Bruce A. Carnes, and Robert N.
Butler. "If Humans Were Built to Last." Scientific
American, March 2001, pp. 50-55.

As you read the Scriptures with your family, I hope
you'll have a new appreciation for who the "Word made
flesh" really is: He's the Creator who existed before time.
He's the Logos who made heaven and earth, and who
steers the stars in their courses. He is the Truth that is
ultimate reality. He is the 'Babe of Bethleham & the
'Word' of John 1. If you know of others who would
enjoy receiving BreakPoint in their E-mail box each
day, tell them they can sign up on the Web site at If they do not have access to
the World Wide Web, please call 1-800-457-6125.

J.M. - Atlanta said...

My 17-year-old niece asked me if she could use my name as a
reference on her resume', which she planned to submit to a
local fast-food restaurant. I agreed.

A few days later she called and asked me to meet her at the
restaurant later that afternoon. When I asked her why, she
replied, "The manager wants me to come in for an interview,
and she told me to bring my references."

Roach - S.C. said...

The first carload of Boy Scouts had left my house minutes
earlier, bound for our three-day wilderness trip. As I
backed my own vanload of Scouts out of my garage, I noticed
a pair of hiking boots on the back steps, so I stopped to
retrieve them.

An hour later, we caught up with the first car, which was
parked at a highway rest stop. Seeing me pull up, my assis-
tant Scout leader rolled down his window. "Your wife just
called on my cell phone," he said. "She asked if you knew
anything about the plumber's boots that were on your back

MLH - Harvard University said...

A man received a phone call one day, and the caller asked
if he had lost a parrot. He said that he had indeed lost
the bird, but wanted to know how the caller located him.

The called said that the bird had landed on his balcony
and kept repeating, "Hi, you have reached 555-1234. I
can't come to the phone right now, please leave a message
at the tone."

Professor Howdy said...

Per il dio così amava il mondo
intero che ha dato il suo soltanto
figlio in modo che se chiunque
crede in lui - mai perirà ma non
vivrà per sempre.

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