Hearing by Design - Design by Intelligence

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, July 9, 2015 0 comments


by Steve Risner

Hearing is one of the most important sense we have, if not the most important. Without it, language and speech would be useless. Because we have ears and they are connected to our brains appropriately, we can distinguish between 2000 different frequencies in a variety of intensities. An amazing fact about hearing is that we can sense a sound and interpret it if it dents the ear drum the width of a hydrogen molecule.

How does this whole thing work? How are we in the business of hearing? I’ll give you a brief explanation in a moment. But first, let’s stress that sound is not the reason we hear. The energy of sound is actually very small. But the sensitivity of the ear is what makes hearing possible. If a person spoke continuously for 100 years, they wouldn’t generate the energy necessary to boil a cup of water. But our miraculous ears can detect a cricket’s chirp from a ½ mile away on a still night! That’s amazing to me.

Sound waves are pretty interesting things. They’re a pressure wave that essentially compresses and decompresses air in a rhythmic fashion, producing a frequency. Those little waves are channeled by the ear, amplified or softened depending on their decibel level, and converted to electrical signals by the ear. Let me explain it in a little more detail: the ear is divided into three main parts—the outer, middle, and inner ear. Sound waves enter the outer ear, travelling down the ear canal to the tympanic membrane (aka ear drum). Here, the pressure waves of sound are converted into a mechanical vibration. Behind the ear drum, in the middle ear, we find the 3 smallest bones of the human body—the malleus, incus, and stapes (aka hammer, anvil, and stirrup). These bones work together to transmit the vibrations to the oval window. We’ve been so marvelously designed that, in the presence of sustained loud noises, the muscles attached to the ear drum tighten. This tightening will actually pull on the ear bones and the last bone in the line of three, the stapes, which is connected to the oval window, will draw away from the oval window effectively dampening the sound level. This aids in preventing damage to the ear. Immediately behind the oval window is the inner ear containing the snail shaped chamber known as the cochlea and organ of Corti. Perhaps you’ve heard of cochlear implants. As the oval window vibrates, it displaces the hearing cells within the inner ear. The hearing cells are actually tiny hairs—about 20,000 of them or so. The outer hairs will amplify or dampen sounds as needed while the inner hairs transmit information to the auditory nerve. The auditory nerve, called the cochlear nerve, is part of the 8th cranial nerve—one of the nerves that is directly attached to the brain in the skull. The other half of this nerve, the vestibular nerve, is used for balance, which we’ll touch on later.

The ears are also directional. They can, through a process known as binaural summation, determine the location a sound originated from when the sound reaches one ear in as short a time as 0.00003 of a second after the other. Within the ear are also thousands of tiny motion sensors that aid in balance. These little hairs help determine where you are in space by transmitting that information to the brain via the vestibular nerve. It’s all packed nicely in the temporal bones of the skull.

The amazing thing here and the thing you can’t really argue against (rationally) is that the ear is useless if the cochlear nerve is not attached to the ear on one end and the brain on the other. It’s also useless if the brain’s auditory cortex and brainstem don’t know how to interpret sounds. But even if the nerve can transmit and the brain can interpret, what if one of the parts of the ear is missing? So which came first? Which of the numerous parts of the ear (there are many thousands of parts if we include the hair cells within the cochlea) developed first? Did the nerves attaching the ear to the brain that transmit the signals come first or later? Did the brain just know what information was being transmitted or did it develop over time? In reality, the ear is useless if it’s not functioning. So why would an organism keep a useless piece of equipment? If it worked perfectly but had no means of transmitting the information to the brain, why would it stick around? If it was transmitted to the brain but the brain had no idea what it was receiving, why would it keep it? The ear by itself is enough of a challenge to make the Darwinist appear to be na├»ve and in denial.

This leads us to the difference between our physical ears and our spiritual ears. It seems as though spiritual ears have grown deaf for many. The Lord says in Jeremiah 6:10, “To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.” He further states in Ezekiel 12:2, “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.” This sounds like we’re without excuse—we have the ears to hear but we don’t. We have the eyes to see, but we don’t. And Paul, the great missionary, says in 2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” How appropriate are those words in today’s state of the nation and the Church.

But Jesus encourages us to hear Him. He says numerous times, “He who has ears, let him hear.” What is He saying to you today? He can be heard by studying His Word. You can hear Him in the quiet prayer time you dedicate to Him. You can hear Him speaking through others. But do we listen? Do we take the time and, if we do hear Him, are we obedient? His plans for you are far better than any plan you might have for yourself. Trust Him. He is worthy. And His Word on a subject is far greater than your opinion, society’s opinion, or the government’s opinion. Instead of going with the flow, let’s stand on His unfailing and unchanging Word.

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