The Miracle Of The Immune System

What if the War in the Body Were Left in the Control of Human Beings

People do not immediately realize that microbes or viruses are invading their bodies. Only when the symptoms of their illness surface do humans become aware of them. This is proof that a virus, a bacterium, or a similar micro-organism has long ago settled within their body. This means that the primary intervention has resulted in failure. Such unchecked conditions could cause the disease to progress considerably, resulting in irremediable dispositions. Even if the person has been infected with a curable and relatively simple disease, delayed response may result in a serious crisis, or even death.

Now, let us imagine that the coordination and control of the elements of the defence system and the ensuing strategies to be developed and implemented, the overseeing of the war itself were all left to human beings. What sort of difficulties would we confront?

Let us assume that the initial symptoms were effectively diagnosed. When foreign cells enter the human body, immediately the warrior cells must be manufactured and then sent to the area of conflict. The B cells must immediately commence the production of the weapon (antibody). How are we to determine the type and location of these foreign cells? This is a significant point, as future treatment depends on this initial stage. To do this, the only solution for the person would be to have a medical check-up which covered all the organs of his body down to every drop of his blood at the slightest suspicion of invaders having entered the body. Otherwise, it would be impossible to determine the type and location of the antigens. The long time needed for such a process would undoubtedly cause a serious delay in timely intervention. It is evident how troublesome and distressful life would be for people if they had to go to the doctor's to undergo such a check-up on the merest hint of infection. 

Let us suppose that timely intervention was possible and the type and location of antigens could be identified precisely. Depending on the type of the enemy, first the phagocytes have to be activated. How can phagocytes be directed to rush to the exact location? What kind of a message would help them to locate the enemy easily? Let us suppose that the impossible became the possible. Then comes the time to learn whether the phagocytes have won the war or not. Depending on the result, either the macrophages will be launched or the war will be stopped. No doubt, the only possible solution lies with visiting the doctor again and having a thorough check-up. If the war has not been won, the secondary forces, that is, the macrophages, must be sent to the area of conflict. Meanwhile, the time spent on the check-up would work against us. Without losing any time, the macrophages have to tear a piece off the enemy and warn the helper T cells. The helper T cells will in turn warn the killer T cells, thus initiating another struggle. These cells, too, must be checked on as to whether they are successful or not - for which, again, a doctor's help is needed - and then the NK cells must be called in for assistance. After a final examination, it will be determined if the defence system has been effective in defeating the infection. 

If man were asked to control only his defence system and nothing else, he would have to be involved in such a complicated and difficult process. Even a simple common cold would require him to go to the doctor's many times over, follow up the recovery course of the cells with extremely advanced medical equipment, and direct them as necessary. Even the slightest delay or a problem in the course of the process would cause the illness to be further aggravated. 

What if man were asked to form these cells, make them recognize the enemy and manufacture the appropriate antibodies, then teach and organize all the processes they would perform … Unquestionably, such a life would be far more troublesome and distressful than the aforementioned model. It would literally be impossible. 

God has taken the burden of this process away from humans, creating a faultless system to work in the most immaculate and independent manner ever imaginable. Just like everything else in the universe, our defence system, too, has obeyed its purpose of creation to become an indispensable, critical element of life:

Hearkening to its Lord as it is bound to do…(Surat al-Inshiqaq: 2) 

Tolarance

We have explored in previous chapters how the defence system distinguishes between friendly and hostile cells with the help of the receptors. However, the building blocks of some hostile cells are almost identical to those of certain tissues in the human body. This represents a significant problem for the defence system, which might conceivably attack some of its own tissues accidentally. 

Under normal conditions, though, such a response never happens in a healthy human body. The defence system never attacks a molecule, cell, or tissue of its own. In medical terms this phenomenon is referred to as "tolerance".

This constitutes an extremely important miracle. We can clearly see that the defence system is fully capable of differentiating between thousands of proteins. For example, the defence system must distinguish the haemoglobin found in blood from the insulin secreted by the pancreas and from the vitreous humour contained in the eye, and indeed, from everything else in the human system. The defence system knows that while it fights a merciless war against foreign molecules, it must not harm any tissues belonging to the human body.

For many years, researchers have tried to understand how the defence system has learned to be tolerant towards its own tissues. Yet, details concerning why the most important lymphocytes, namely, the T and B cells, do not attack the human body have only been revealed in the last 20 years. The tolerance process, only a small portion of which mankind has been able to discover as the result of years long research, has been in operation since the human being came into existence. 

How then has the defence system possessed the ability to distinguish the various different structures from each other? Can this be the result of unconscious coincidences as the theory of evolution suggests? It is certainly impossible for structures made up of unconscious atoms to coincidentally acquire this selection ability that requires such consciousness, information and intelligence. 

When specially designed structures of lymphocytes enabling them to make the right choise is investigated, it will be understood how illogical and unreasonable the claim of evolutionists is. 

A defence cell developed within the bone marrow or the thymus would be killed or inactivated if it reacted to the products of the body. A mature lymphocyte faces the same consequence in case it attacks the body's own products. That is to say that any element of the defence system likely to harm the body is either killed or forced to commit suicide obeying the command it receives. 

However, if a T cell is confronted by another body cell, it does not attack but rather inactivates itself. Similarly, if there is any substance in the body that carries antigen properties which should not, however, be destroyed, the human body does not produce any antibodies and so does not attack it.

If we consider the fact that our body contains around 1 trillion lymphocytes, we can appreciate the miraculous discipline required to ensure that these cells only target enemy cells and spare friendly cells.