Have you ever wondered why our bodies operate at 98.6 degrees F?
I have. I do. Often. I blame god for a lot of things. I’m not sure there is a god, I’m an agnostic type as near as I can tell. There may well be a god. God might look exactly like the god of the Christian bible, or might be an alien with 6 legs and half a brain – and not the logical half either. Whatever started it all – I call god.
I found myself thinking about this question early this morning as I lay in on the floor where I sleep. Living in Thailand acclimates one to weird stuff. I can sleep soundly on a concrete floor – AND my back feels great I don’t need to tell you. Hard beds do wonders for a bad back, it’s not an exaggeration.
I was in that hazy hardly know my name state of mind somewhere between sleep and realizing that in 5 minutes this mass of tissue must get up to face another (god-given? god-imposed?) catastrophe day.
Sometimes Often when I’m in this state I think about how god screwed us (mankind) from the very beginning. The rules that govern all that humans are, and do – as a species. Within the realm of possibility – have already been “given”.
We started this game with certain things predetermined you know?
Environment that we grow up in (luck of the draw with the parents we end up with) and choices we’ll make about what we do with our lives don’t come until much later. There are already many facets of the game that have been layed out for us… the rule book written from beginning to end. We don’t do anything outside of the possibilities that were already given us by whatever creator (god, or whatever you choose to call it) started this game.
Part of the rule book god made states that… besides being at odds with every human being on the planet because of the pain-pleasure principle which I’ll talk about in future blog posts,
“Man will be at odds with his environment.”
There are many examples of this, and I’ll talk more about the other ways in future articles. Today I’ll focus on our body temperature being at odds with the environment of the earth. It’s a stress on the body from the time we pop out to face the cruel world.
I’m angry at god a lot of times. I think the game we’re all playing here wasn’t set up in a way that makes life nice for us… it wasn’t made for our pleasure… that much is without argument. Sure, some things are nice. But, if you added it all up – pluses and minuses, there is a whole lot of suck to account for in the world that isn’t glossed over by the happy. The environment we face is AGAINST us… we’re at odds with environment, life requirements, and in general with most of the rules of the game.
A human’s body temperature, for it to remain healthy, comfortable, and at ease in the world, needs to be very close to the 98.6 F mark of the thermometer. It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out that the body and or the mind is constantly stressed by this ideal that MUST be met over the course of our entire lives.
The earth expresses a wide range of temperatures across it’s surface. At the extremes of the poles the temperature is very cold – probably averaging around 0 F. At the other extremes are locations within the tropics around the equator where the average temperatures are over 80 F.
There is no ideal temperature in which the body is at a homeostasis or balanced state. Take a look…
You might think, but only for a second, that the body when it’s in an environment where the temperature is at 98.6 F is in the perfect environment. But then you’d realize that at that temperature the body is trying furiously to cool down.
WHY is that?
For some reason, and this is another rule God made… Human beings, and those that are “warm blooded” mammals like humans, create warmth as the cells of their bodies go about their normal routine. So, if you are sitting in a 98.6 F degree environment your body is also producing a lot of heat on top of that – regardless if you’re doing anything, you can be sleeping and your body is still producing a lot of heat. Since damage occurs to brain cells and other cells at higher than 102 degrees the body must self regulate through sweating and other means. So, in reality, at 98.6 degrees F your body is struggling to keep you cool and your mind is stressed out because you’re “too hot”. It’s not a comfortable state for the body or the mind.
Let’s look at another situation…
You’re sitting at home in your yard on a straw mat, or maybe at the beach. The temperature today is one of those 73 F degree days that feels just perfect. There is little humidity and you usually have about 40 of these ideal days out of 365 per year. No mental stress. No body stress that you notice… but, inside the body the cells are still producing heat. They’re working to keep the body warm because the cells of the body must not dip down much from 98.6 F degrees. Nearly every cell in the body must be producing heat to contribute to the 98.6 F ideal. The body is not at peace.
In fact, the body is NEVER at rest in the ideal temperature range – it’s always working towards the ideal. The ideal MUST be reached each and every day, hour, and minute. It’s not OK if the body hits the ideal 95% of the day. It requires close to 100%. Did you ever hear of shock? Bodies go into shock when the core temperature either drops or raises and cannot be controlled.
Oh, I almost forgot… there are physical factors in the world that are changing and that are constantly affecting mankind…
The temperature is one of those factors. The temperature is constantly changing here on earth. Not just between latitudes and types of terrain (desert, forest, valley) but from day to day, hour to hour outside versus inside, versus moving or sitting still…
Here in Thailand we have nights that are around 65 F degrees. During the day it might shoot up to 95 F. If it rains in the middle of the day the temperature might dip to 70 F. Temperatures are changing all over the world, all the time. So, even if you were able to sit in the perfect 73 degree environment where the ambient temperature was a good match for the internal cellular heat production for a day or so… or a month – eventually it changes. Bang, again your mind as well as your body is at odds with the environment, with the game of life.
How many people do you think live in a 73 degree environment constantly? I don’t think so either.
What about the humidity? Humidity, the wetness of the air, has an effect on whether we feel warmer or cooler as well as affecting the body’s ability to regulate it’s temperature. Rain? Snow?
Wind? The “wind-chill” factor is something that profoundly affects us.
Sun versus clouds? We feel the sun’s heat through a process of radiation. When the clouds block the sun for an instant the body must change because it no longer feels that heat.
The body is constantly making changes to regulate the body temperature to be as close to 98.6 F degrees as possible. It’s constantly at odds with the environment.
It’s odd that god did this, putting us in direct conflict with our environment since reptiles and other cold-blooded animals like fishes don’t have the same problem. They are at home in their environment. They still need a range of temperatures in which they can operate as ‘living’, but they have a much greater tolerance for different temperatures. They are not at odds with the environment from day 1, they are more in tune with it – having little stress over it. But, when they exert themselves their cells also produce some heat, as evidenced by snakes constantly flexing their muscles to create heat as they incubate their eggs.
Since probably only adults are reading this blog I’m safe in saying that we all pretty much overlook the problem of being at odds with our environment all the time. There are times we’re cold or too hot and those are the times that we give it a little thought. How many times did you question god’s intention for creating the human body like it is?
I need to ask – for me, for you, for all of us…
WHY GOD? What the hell is the purpose of this, and every other rule in your stupid game? What is the point of making mankind suffer physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually every single day of living on this planet and playing your stupid game?
WHAT is the purpose?
Silence, of course…