I have to go to the dentist tomorrow. I have already had the root canal operation and now need the crown to cover it up. All this is both painful and expensive.
Knowing that God made us (if you believe in a God) and that God made us in his image, presumably God made us perfect. But God could have done a better job. This also ties in with countering the fundamentalist concept that “God is God. God can do anything that he wants to!”
With that in mind, God could have given me – and all of you – the tooth basis of sharks. By this, I don’t mean the little (or big) pointy things of sharks, but the fact that sharks constantly re-grow teeth their entire lives. Some sharks grow new teeth every two weeks, some over longer periods of time and all of them replace teeth when an old tooth is lost or damaged.
With a system like this, we would not need dentists, tooth brushes, dentures, denture cream, dental bridges, or to be eating mush by those who have lost all their teeth.
Basically, shark teeth are in endless rows in back of the usable teeth. They are pushed forward as new teeth are needed. Some sharks shed up to 35,000 teeth in a lifetime.
These teeth are in rows, almost like a little cartilaginous conveyer belt to deliver new fresh teeth on demand. They are also imbedded into the gum or skin of the shark, not into the bony jaw as with us. Sharks are all cartilaginous anyway, lacking any bones.
We would not want sharp teeth for tearing flesh, but probably God could modify that. God, since “God can do anything he wants!”, could easily modify that to make teeth that are combination choppers and grinders for us omnivores.
Otherwise, we should be in good shape. After all, shark teeth still have a core and enamel covering similar to our current equipment. And there is plenty of power, structural stability and tearing ability in those teeth to tear apart any fish, seal, whale, squid or anything else scooting around in salt water.
Just think – with a system like this, our dental health would be assured. There would be no more cavities, no more ugly fillings, no trips to the dentist, no dentists, no gaps in our smiles. There would be no more need for toothache cream or whitening formulas to put our best tooth/teeth forward when dating.
We could all relax, and smile. God – if there really is a God – could have done better in making us in his image or with the materials and tools at hand. After all, as the Christians say – God can do anything. It is a shame that he could not/would not make us at least as good as sharks when it comes to dentition.
Therefore, some of us are skeptical of this whole God thing.
(One of an occasional series of columns on human anatomy, physiology and God.)