bad back = bad design?

Discussion in 'Science' started by Helen, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. Helen

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    One of the common accusations made by evolutionists is that if God had actually created man the way he is then God goofed and used a very bad design as we do seem to have a lot of problems with our backs.

    Of course, if evolution is responsible for this plight, then that doesn't speak too well for evolution, either, but never mind that.

    A study mentioned in the June 11 issue of Science News, a weekly newsmagazine (p. 373) discusses a study done at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research in Tokyo. The study indicates that there is a genetic element to lumbar pain, or lumbar-disk disease. Interestingly, they refer to the genetic element as "an inheritable gene variation" instead of a heritable mutation, which is what it is.

    In other words, our 'bad backs' may be the result of mutations away from something better, something we were created to be rather than something we have become.

    The original design was perfect. What has happened to us since has brought us a long way down. They won't say that in 'real science' because that would damage evolutution's good name! But the fact is that they are uncovering more and more 'inheritable gene variations' which are responsible for many of the physical problems of the human race.

    Those 'gene variations' varied from something....something better than what they produced. As Romans 8 says, all creation is in bondage to decay because of sin. Including our poor old backs.

    It was never 'bad design'. It was bad sin.

    Too many times we seem to want to 'blame God' for what we have done to ourselves. Maybe it's time to take the blinders off and look the evidence straight in the proverbial face.
     
  2. Paul of Eugene

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    Good to see you back, Helen!

    On this one, we agree, bad backs are not a very great evidence for evolution.
     
  3. The Galatian

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    Yep. They work fine for quadrupeds, but they don't do so well for bipeds. The disks evolved to accomodate a limited amount of shock while running in a horizontal position, not to take the full weight of the upper body and whatever load we are carrying. Because of the leverage inherent in lifting, even light but bulky loads can put well over 750 lbs of force on the L5/S1 disk.

    This is why the "Keep your back straight, lift with legs" practice can actually increase your chance of back injury, if the load is too large to lift between your knees.

    It's true. Evolution works like a gyrocompass; it reacts only when it's off course. This is why we get such cobbled up structures as human lower spines, knees, and the like.

    Well, almost all human genes have a large number of alleles. But if (as there was) an Adam and an Eve, we could only inherit 4 alleles at most from them for each locus. The rest evolved.

    Or the "good backs" might be the ones that improved on the bad ones. The study gives no indication which is true. However, natural selection tends to make organisms more fit. It turns out that human disks are more robust than than those of other primates, so it appears that the latter case is the correct one.

    Couldn't have been, unless Adam and Eve were a very different species. One of the problems is that the nerve roots emerge from the spinal cord in such a way that a ruptured disk is almost certain to entrap them and cause disablity. That condition is found in all primates, indeed, in all mammals. It's just that it's a problem only for a large bipedal mammal.

    And yes, it's good to hear from you again, Helen.
     
  4. UTEOTW

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    This study shows that a particular mutation, "a functional SNP (1184T [-&gt;] C, resulting in the amino acid substitution I395T) in CILP," increases the susceptibility to LDD. ThHose who do not carry this harmful allele still have all of the normal problems that are asserted to be evidence that the human spine has been adapted for upright walking from a quadruped origin and all the associated problems tha come from that. There still is no observationsal evidence, fossil or genetic, to show that humans once had a spine that was perfect for upright walking which has today degenerated into a spine that just looks like it was adapted from one optimized for walking on all fours.
     
  5. Helen

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    Galatian, you are never going to do anything but stand up for the lie of evolution, no matter how twisted your logic has to be. UTE, our 'normal' back problems come from abnormal lifestyles, such as sitting in front of a computer all day.

    Because I have bad legs, I have always lifted with my back. I have never had any back problems. And I have done some pretty heavy lifting! But, then, I don't spend most of my day sitting, either...

    We were created with a spine perfectly fit for our needs and abilities. It is just that we have abused it badly as well as suffered quite a few mutations which have not helped at all.

    But, just like with so many other of our inherited weaknesses/diseases/problems, you evolutionists are turning an intentionally blind eye to the truth. They are building up. We are degenerating. One does not degenerate from a previously bad condition; one degenerates from a previously good condition. But then you folks play word games, too. Sort of like the Mormons who believe Adam and Eve fell up!
     
  6. Pete

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    I may look like a gorilla...and act like it most of the time...but I'm not a monkey's nephew :rolleyes: [​IMG]

    My back knocked me off work for 6-7 weeks earlier this year, but there's nothing wrong with it's Designer [​IMG] Considering my poor old back has to put up with me being 150ish kg (330/340+ something lb for the foreigners ;) ), AND being twisted at all sorts of weird angles that it probably wasn't designed for when I'm out in the taxi, AND the beatings my Sunday school kids give me I think it's doing very well :D
     
  7. Helen

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    Ah, yes, Pete, but you THINK like a child of God! And that's the part that will last!
     
  8. Pete

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    oops! I didn't look at top of page until previous post went through, then saw I was in the science forum....Typical cabbie huh? Taking wrong turns :eek: [​IMG]

    Was going to edit my post out but my ISP decided to get a sense of humour almost as twisted as mine and it knocked me offline for a couple of hours.

    I'll now let my taxi training kick-in...and plant the foot and get outta here as quickly as I can :D I'll even do it without making a smart remark...(hey, it can be done...will hurt a bit, but oh well... ;) )

    Before I do take off though: Thanks Helen [​IMG] I'll add that reference to my resume ;)
     
  9. The Galatian

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    I'm sure you know that great majority of scientists who accept evolution are not lying, nor was Darwin lying. The notion that tens of thousands of scientists could maintain a hoax for a hundred and fifty years with no one blowing the secret, is pure fantasy.

    If, for example, you were lifting bales of hay for your horses, using your back would have been exactly the right thing to do. The trick is to minimize the horizontal distance of the load from your lower back. And bending your back would do that.

    Interestingly, I found in my research that if you let people lift any way they like, they will generally find the least stressful way. I don't know why everyone finds that surprising. It hurts to lift the wrong way.

    Another thing that surprises many people is that sitting in a chair is fairly stressful on your lower back. It turns out that walking around is the best thing, other than lying down when sleeping.

    People who lead active lives tend to have healthier backs, so long as they don't overload them. Smoking is a risk factor, as is overweight, and a sedentary lifestyle.
     
  10. Paul of Eugene

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    If the theory of evolution is true, then on average there should be some harmful mutations that are being eliminated from the population by differential reproduction failures as well as some very successful reproducers out there. Seems to me that what we see in the human race is exactly that.
     
  11. Helen

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    Paul, you are exactly wrong in the net count. Our genetic load is increasing. It is increasing in every animal population. It is this precise fact which initially clued me in that life on earth might be fairly young. And that was many years ago in my own life that I discovered this. Since then I have not only not changed my mind, but further research has confirmed that the story of life on earth is a story of general degeneration and decrease of genetic potential for variation.

    And the logical conclusion to that is that there was a time when we were a much more robust creation and when all basic types were capable of a much greater degree of genetic variation than we see today. In other words, when you see something going downhill, you pretty naturally presume there was an uphill to go downhill from.
     
  12. The Galatian

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    Some scientists have hypothesized that there might have been a much looser "fit" of genetic compatibility in early living things. Gould alludes to that in his book "Wonderful Life."

    It is merely a hypothesis at this time. Helen, do you have some data on this, comparing variability and the number of defective genes in human populations over the last few thousand years?

    There is certainly evidence that humans have improved in their ability to handle loads over previous humans.

    Our hands are also somewhat more capable than previous hominins, as are our hips and knees.

    We have come a long way toward accomodating bipediality, but not as far as we could.
     
  13. TexasSky

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    To begin with - Our backs were not meant to do the things we do with them. Remember - work and toil are the results of first sin. If we could spend all day in a garden of paradise, odds are we wouldn't have back problems. ;)

    Second - The evolutionist arguement is totally ridiculous. Obviously man was meant to walk upright, hence why babies try it all the time, often long before Mom and Dad and Doc say they should. Our ability to walk upright has allowed us to accomplish things that quadrapeds couldn't. We don't have "feet on our hands" either. Walking upright allows free use of our hands, and it takes pressure off certain internal organs. Hence the reason doctors and nurses incourage bedridden patients to get up and move as early as they possibly can.
     
  14. The Galatian

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    Due to the flaws in our spine, one can overstress the back reaching for a paperclip, if it's a long reach. Granted, hunter-gatherers don't have as many back problems as farmers, but they still have them.

    Our spines are evolved from those of quadrupeds, and still have many of the adaptations. They are poorly arranged for upright posture, and a prolapsed disk is almost certain to cause nerve damage.

    That doesn't happen to quadrupeds. Not too many years ago, I had a dog with a ruptured disk. The vet told me most of them just get better in time. It did. Not so with bipeds.
     
  15. Helen

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    Nonsense, Galatian. Our backs are incredibly well-designed for us. We can sit for long periods OR walk or run for long periods. We can twist, bend, stretch them. We can lift with them, carry with them. Mutations through time and poor use, such as lack of running and walking and lifting and carrying have destroyed many backs. But that does not mean they were not well-designed!

    Happy for your dog, but your reply was basic nonsense. In the meantime, watch out for those paper clips. Don't want you to damage yourself!
     
  16. The Galatian

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    I spent nearly 20 years as an ergonomist, Helen. They are not very well constructed for bipeds. Natural selection is not a perfect mechanism, and can only use what mutation presents, and what already exists. We have a lordotic curve in the back that somewhat relieves the stress, but in turn lays even more force on the L5/S1 disk. This is why it so readily ruptures. The connective tissues of the disks have no blood vessels; this means that they don't regenerate, but wear out. The faces of the disks are cartilagenous,and prone to failure.

    And when they do fail, they are constructed as to cause disability by nerve entrapment. That doesn't happen to quadrupeds, but it does to us.

    They work O.K. But they don't work as well as they do for quadrupeds, because they evolved in quadrupeds. The few improvements we have aren't good enough to make them work very well.

    The adaptations we see in human spines have helped, but not very much.

    "Torsion of the lumbar spine is withstood by an increase in the transverse distance between the inferior articular processes in the upper lumbar spine in primates, but lower lumbar spine in humans, quadrupeds and the seal. Sagittal zygapophyseal joint areas resist torsion in the seal and humans. Ventral shear is resisted by frontal zygapophyseal joint areas in humans and primates, and dorsal shear by encompassing joints in the ibex. The human fifth lumbar vertebra is remarkable in possessing the largest endplate surface area and the widest distance between the inferior articular processes, as an indicator of the high degree of axial load and torsion in bipedalism. Anat Rec 264:157-168, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc."
    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/85011401/ABSTRACT

    So you see, natural selection has definitely improved the spine but not enough to make it a very good structure.

    Still better than those of our nearest relatives, though.

    You might want to get a copy of "Industrial Biomchanics" by David Chaffin (Michigan University) to see why it works the way it does. You can even use the method, using your own physical measurements to assess the low back compression in different postures and loads to see.

    One of my clients paid a huge WC settlement over just that. The analysis showed that the worker did exceed NIOSH limits for low back compression in the working posture the company set for her.

    Redesigning the work area eliminated the problem.
     
  17. TexasSky

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    "Due to the flaws in our spine, one can overstress the back reaching for a paperclip, if it's a long reach."

    No. Actually, if we stay active and limber, odds of injuring the back with normal movement are slim to none. Also, we have no more "danger" of back injury from "reaching" than quadrapeds do.
     
  18. The Galatian

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    Barbarian observes:
    Due to the flaws in our spine, one can overstress the back reaching for a paperclip, if it's a long reach.

    Yep. It's true. In fact, lifting relatively small weights, in the wrong posture, is more dangerous than lifting heavy ones, under ideal conditions. The important thing is to find a comfortable posture, that minimizes the distance of the load from the body.

    The reason for this is that the weight of one's body adds to the load on the spine, and a long horizontal reach can easily exceed the level known to cause harm to a significant number of industrial workers.

    That helps. But even "limber" workers can be injured as easily as others, because the injury often does not happen to muscles, but rather to intervertebral disks.

    No, that's wrong, too. It's much more common in humans than quadrupeds.
     
  19. Helen

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    You know something I have seen with a number of the construction workers, and especially their bosses? They have great big fat bellies. That is going to cause back problems. It is not the fault of the back!

    Stay slim, stay active, eat right and your back will almost always do just fine until you die.

    If animals tried to do with their backs what we do automatically with ours, most of them would be crippled. Even the poor little dauchound (spelling?) can rupture a disc just being pregnant!

    Our backs are fine as created. They did not evolve. We have damaged a lot of ourselves, however, and genetic load has added to the problem, as the article mentioned at the beginning stated.
     
  20. The Galatian

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    Almost always the bosses. The guys with fat bellies don't last long on the job. Increases the distance you have to hold the load. Bosses seem immune to the effect. I think I know why.

    No guarantees, though. Fat people, with very flexible spines usually last longer than thin folks with less flexibility. And some people don't have a very good lordotic curve, which also makes things worse.

    I had a German wiredhaird daschund, which was not little (in Germany, they are bred to dig badgers out of holes) that got one from jumping out a window. It just got better, as the vet said it was likely to do.

    Apes avoid back problems (they regularly employ forces that are much greater than the ones we do, and they avoid lumbar problems by "entrapment" of the lower vertebrae in the pelvis, which stabilizes the lower spine at the cost of flexibility.

    They are quite a bit different from our distant ancestors, although the evidence is that our bipedal ancestors aready had evolved lower spines much like ours.

    "Modern humans also differ from other hominoids in the spatial orientation of their lumbar articular facets [31,33]. Progressing caudally, human facets become more coronally
    oriented, whereas those of chimpanzees become more sagitally. The only substantial evidence of vertebral structure in A. afarensis is provided by a single lumbar vertebra from
    AL-288-1 (probably L3) [35]. As with humans, the transverse distance separating the facet joints in AL-288-1 is far greater in the sacrum than in the L3 (Fig. 3). As would be expected to accompany this specialization, conspicuous
    “imbrication pockets” are present (Fig. 4). These serve as strong (Type 4; cf. Table 1) evidence of considerable lordotic flexibility of the lumbar column. As with modern
    humans, its sacral facets have a more coronal orientation than do those of apes (Fig. 3) [31,36]."


    There's much more to read here:
    http://www.stanford.edu/dept/anthsci/coreseminar/readings/LovejoyFurther.pdf

    That's true.

    It turns out that natural selection has done a little to improve things, although it has some way to go before the problem is resolved.
     

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