"Human finger movements excel in precision and speed. The average time a person takes to make a common choice between two things is about half of a second. But rapid finger motions are much faster--in fact even faster than is physically possible using only the body's sensor-to-motor loops. To obtain the highest possible finger speeds, sensors and conscious thought are augmented in the brain with an anticipatory function for individual finger movements called a forward plan, which is extraordinarily complex and significantly subconscious. Evidence shows that the central nervous system predicts the best outcome of every finger movement several movements ahead of its current state. Thus, skilled typists will visually process up to eight characters in advance and then--in anticipation--the forward plan for muscle movements will commit the finger muscles to an action about three characters in advance of actually striking the keys. Times between keystrokes are commonly as low as 60 milliseconds. Interestingly, speed is fastest if successive keystrokes are between fingers on opposite hands. So imagine the quantity of mental data processed for a skilled pianist who can play 20-30 successive notes with each hand every second--about 40 milliseconds apart--since the nervous system executes a forward plan (prescribing speed, direction, pressure, duration, etc.) for every finger simultaneously and updates all plans after every successive finger movement. The plan is compiled in the cerebellum, which may, if needed, retain memory of the plan (one or several varieties). This becomes an integral part of skilled learning. So far, no limits have been found on the number of plans that can be kept in memory.”
- The following is excerpted from Craig Beidler, “Proof of God in the Palm of Your Hand,” The Real Truth, Dec. 20, 2009:
Sir Isaac Newton once said, ‘In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.’ ... In his book Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, Dr. Paul Brand, who was one of the foremost hand surgeons in the world, testifies to the wonder—the miracle—of the human body. Dr. Brand explained that although many people think that fat serves no significant purpose, it does on the hand. ‘Underneath the skin in the palm of the hand lie globules of fat with the look and consistency of tapioca pudding. Fat globules, so soft as to be almost fluid, cannot hold their own shape, and so they are surrounded by interwoven fibrils of collagen, like balloons caught in a supporting rope net…where stress occurs, such as on the palm of the hand, fat is tightly gathered and enveloped by fibrous tissue in a design resembling fine Belgian lace.’ When you grasp a hammer in the palm of your hand, each ‘cluster of fat cells changes its shape in response to the pressure. It yields but cannot be pushed aside because of the firm collagen fibers around it. The resulting tissue, constantly shifting and quivering, becomes compliant, fitting its shape and its stress points to the precise shape of the handle of the hammer. Engineers nearly shout when they analyze this amazing property, for they cannot design a material that so perfectly balances elasticity with viscosity.’ The skin of the hand is also well suited to the task of gripping and handling different kinds of objects. Dr. Brand wrote, ‘If my skin tissue had been made harder, I might insensitively crush a goblet of fine crystal as I hold it in my hand; if softer, it would not allow a firm grip.’ ... Another remarkable feature of a normal hand is its sensitivity. Dr. Brand states, ‘A normal hand can distinguish between a smooth plane of glass and one etched with lines only 1/2500 of an inch deep.’ The fingertips have the ability to detect a difference of just three milligrams. How extraordinary it is that the hand should be so well-suited for its purpose through all of these amazing features and abilities. Was this the product of chance or the creation of God?”
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