Your hands. Nothing quite like them.

The part of the brain responsible for muscular movements in the body is called the motor cortex. About a quarter of the entire motor cortex is devoted to controlling the muscles of the hands even though the hands are a relatively small part of the body. No other creatures have such a relatively large section of the brain dedicated to controlling hands.

The great strength and ability of the human hands enables humans to perform amazing feats in activities such as writing, music, art, surgery, carpentry, engineering, and sport. Music is one area where the extraordinary control of fingers can be clearly apparent. A concert pianist playing a sonata can accurately play several different notes every second for up to half an hour.

Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor is played presto agitato, which means very fast. The pace of the music is so fast that the 27 notes in a specific bar are typically played in about 1 1/2 seconds! In each split second, the pianist’s fingers are placed in exactly the right place, with the right force for the right length of time.

Play Sample Clip

The third movement contains about 6500 individual notes and typically takes about seven minutes to perform. During the seven minutes, the pianist plays an average of about 16 notes per second!

Such extraordinary feats in piano playing are not achievable by just a few gifted people. The potential for this level of performance is there whether the pianist is originally from the jungle tribe in Borneo or from a modern culture. In fact, almost every child who is given a thorough training in piano playing can make a very good attempt at Moonlight Sonata by the age of 15.

The agility of the hands is also demonstrated in every day activities such as the tying shoelaces and fastening of buttons. It is very difficult for Evolution to explain why such incredible levels of dexterity should exist in the hands. Indeed, it is very difficult for evolution to explain how people from a jungle tribe can have the potential for playing concert-standard music when their immediate ancestors were supposedly adapted only to living in the jungle! In contrast, the capabilities of human hands are just what we would expect to see from a loving Creator.1

“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!”

Psalm 90:17

References and Notes

  1. Burgess, Stuart. Hallmarks of Design: Evidence of Purposeful Design and Beauty in Nature. Day One, 2008.[]

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