This movie requires Flash Player 8. Download Flash Player 8

 
Issue Features
Discovery Magazine 6/1/1997

A Sketch of Skin

by  Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

Here’s an interesting question. Where can you find the following things: 19 million cells, 625 sweat glands, 90 oil glands, 65 hairs, 19 feet of blood vessels, and 19,000 sensory cells? The answer: in one square inch of human skin!

How amazing our skin is. If the skin from an adult man were considered as one large body organ, it would weigh over six pounds, and would cover an area of 20 square feet. Skin has many functions. It prevents the body from losing, or gaining, too much water. It soaks up rays from the Sun, and helps keep our bodies at a constant temperature. It stops germs from getting inside our system, and it acts as a "feeler" to communicate with the brain. Skin tells the brain if something is hot, cold, or lukewarm.

Sometimes the skin is tickled and gives us "goose bumps." Sometimes it alerts us to pain. And sometimes it acts funny and starts itching. If the skin is broken or cut, the body rushes to repair it. Blood cells around the cut clot, and prevent too much blood and body fluid from being lost. The skin also has the ability to secrete certain substances that can help kill germs.

If we get too hot, sweat glands all over the body can produce from 2 quarts to over 2 gallons of perspiration (pur-spa-RAY-shun) in a single day. When the wind blows across the skin, the sweat evaporates (eh-VAP-uh-rates) and cools the body. Skin cells die as they get old, but new ones always are being "born" to replace them. By the time we are 70, we will have lost about 40 pounds of skin!

Some people think skin just "evolved." One writer said, "The skin is a miracle of evolutionary engineering: it water-proofs the body, blocks out and destroys harmful bacteria, regulates temperature, and continuously communicates with the brain."* Yes, the skin is a "miracle" alright—but not a miracle of evolution. And yes, the skin was "engineered"—but the Engineer was God!

*Marc McCutcheon, (1989), The Compass in Your Nose (Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher), p. 113.



Copyright © 1997 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

This document may be copied, on the condition that it will not be republished in print unless otherwise stated below, and will not be used for any commercial purpose, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (4) textual alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden; (5) Some illustrations (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, etc.) are not the intellectual property of Apologetics Press and as such cannot be reproduced from our site without consent from the person or organization that maintains those intellectual rights; (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, in whole or in part, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original written content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken. Further, documents may not be copied without source statements (title, author, journal title), and the address of the publisher and owner of rights, as listed below.

For catalog, samples, or further information, contact:

Apologetics Press
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
U.S.A.
Phone (334) 272-8558

http://www.apologeticspress.org

Web Store

Explorer Series 7: The Church

This seventh installment of Explorer Series is for fifth and sixth graders to learn about the Church that Jesus came to Earth to establish. Students will learn about how and when the Church was established, who it includes, and how it should function (amo

Featured Audio

Listen

Click the following link to visit our Multimedia section.

Featured Audio