“It was hard not to attribute divinity to it.” — Alexander Tsiaras
What a curious statement for a renowned mathematician and Chief of Scientific Visualization at Yale University’s Department of Medicine to make while speaking about the intricacies of the structures that sustain human life. After all, he and his colleagues at Yale would undoubtedly be among the foremost experts on the biology of the human body in the entire world! Any time the ‘experts’ admit that something is “beyond human comprehension”, it’s difficult not to sit up and take notice.
Usually, if I come across a powerful TED Talk, I am content just to share a link via Twitter, but I simply can’t escape thinking about the images that Tsiaras and his ‘new kinds of scanning technologies’ have made available for us to feast upon and ponder. I invite you experience them for yourself.
Humility and wonder were my natural responses to these ‘visualizations’. I have long agreed with the statement that Jason Bateman’s character makes in the movie “Juno” suggesting that motherhood begins when pregnancy is first discovered, while fathers often don’t experience a strong connection to their child or a heightening of parental instincts until they hold their babies for the first time. Even with our second child (born less than four months ago) I felt this to be true, which might serve to explain why I am left speechless when I consider what transpired before I first set eyes on her in that hospital room.
I expect that these different responses have something to do with the fact that as guys we are so visual! I wonder if my wife had some innate knowledge of this process at a rudimentary level despite it being concealed from her sight and understanding. (I asked her, but she ultimately found it difficult to put into words the emotional connection she had with our girls prior to birth and her non-scientific understanding of their foetal development.)
Perhaps the mystery of life and birth is one that will continue to evade scientific explanation–one that will “marvel” us for centuries to come! Perhaps it is good for us, amidst our seemingly never-ending pursuit of knowledge, to once in a while encounter and recognize an event or phenomenon that can best be described as ‘a miracle’!