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← Was the new finger a 'natural' miracle?

Was the new finger a 'natural' miracle? - Comments

Jiten's Avatar Comment 1 by Jiten

Whatever the explanation turns out to be it will not be supernatural.

Fri, 02 May 2008 10:01:00 UTC | #165513

DamnDirtyApe's Avatar Comment 2 by DamnDirtyApe

Natural? This sounds like a clinical trial. Its just not been published yet.

Fri, 02 May 2008 10:13:00 UTC | #165515

moderndaythomas's Avatar Comment 3 by moderndaythomas

It will turn out to be as Simon Kay sais

"a very common-or-garden, mundane fingertip injury"

Or will be relegated to the anals of spontaneous combustion and cloned humans.

We'll see what the demand for some peer-review will bring.

Fri, 02 May 2008 10:16:00 UTC | #165517

Abhishek's Avatar Comment 4 by Abhishek

Interesting. I wonder if Mr. Spievak is religious or prayed for the finger to grow back...

I agree with Jiten, the explanation will of course have to do with the genetics of cellular repair and tissue regeneration. The extra-cellular matrix might not have done anything or it may have served as a catalyst or provided the stimulus to wake up quiescence cells. It'll be interesting to see what the actual explanation is once the researchers figure it out.

Fri, 02 May 2008 10:26:00 UTC | #165522

DavidJGrossman's Avatar Comment 5 by DavidJGrossman

Human fingertip regeneration is nothing new (google it). Salamanders can regenerate entire limbs.

Fri, 02 May 2008 10:34:00 UTC | #165526

Star Spangled Eagle's Avatar Comment 6 by Star Spangled Eagle

I hate how they call it "pixie dust" wtf is wrong with these people? Does everything have to have a cute little name for the general public to understand it? Why not call it "extracellular matrix"

John Q. Public: The Matrix? What's that?

It's where you go when you take the red pill, doofus.

Arg.... fucking pixie-dust. gimme a break!

Fri, 02 May 2008 10:35:00 UTC | #165527

Szymanowski's Avatar Comment 7 by Szymanowski

I hope that teaches the BBC not to report extraordinary medical discoveries as if they're real before they've been peer-reviewed and published.

Fri, 02 May 2008 10:42:00 UTC | #165531

quill's Avatar Comment 8 by quill

Wait a minute. He didn't even cut into the bone? Unless I'm reading this wrong, it seems he only cut off a part of the tip of his finger, and only superficially. Yet when it grew back - a miracle!!

Fri, 02 May 2008 10:43:00 UTC | #165532

Epinephrine's Avatar Comment 10 by Epinephrine

Regeneration of digit-tips in mice is known, and humans can too; Scientific American had an article on this (April 2008), and says that it has been documented in medical journals thousands of times. Work is being done to determine what processes are behind this in mice, since we can't randomly chop fingers off people - but apparently the literature is full of cases of children, teenagers, and even adults regenerating fingertips. One "treatment" that doesn't work is to put a skin flap over it - this will prevent regeneration even in salamanders.

Fri, 02 May 2008 10:45:00 UTC | #165534

Abhishek's Avatar Comment 9 by Abhishek


Human fingertip regeneration is nothing new (google it). Salamanders can regenerate entire limbs.
I think the reason it's interesting is because although other species may have extraordinary regenerative capacity, humans generally are not known to be able to regenerate working, complex body parts (including apparently complete re-innervation that this guy has).

Fri, 02 May 2008 10:45:00 UTC | #165533

Vinelectric's Avatar Comment 11 by Vinelectric

Within weeks the nail grew back? After being chopped to almost the joint?

Well if you injured your nailbed, say trapped in a door, you'd need three to four nail growth cycles for it to regain its concave contour like the picture shown. We're talking two years. This nail recovered its natural structure in weeks?

Piss off.

Fri, 02 May 2008 11:05:00 UTC | #165544

Abhishek's Avatar Comment 12 by Abhishek

I think this is the article Epinephrine is referencing.

Fri, 02 May 2008 11:07:00 UTC | #165545

Elles's Avatar Comment 13 by Elles

I heard about him in Scientific American?

Why won't God cure amputees?

Because he's lazy and wants to leave it to science... like everything else...

Impotent fool...

Fri, 02 May 2008 11:13:00 UTC | #165550

moderndaythomas's Avatar Comment 14 by moderndaythomas

Why won't God cure amputees?

Was it James Randi that when walking past all the canes and wheel chairs back stage of one of the more infamous faith healers sound sets, asked, "what, no prosthetics?"

Fri, 02 May 2008 11:25:00 UTC | #165554

Stephen Maxwell's Avatar Comment 15 by Stephen Maxwell

Well if you injured your nailbed, say trapped in a door, you'd need three to four nail growth cycles for it to regain its concave contour like the picture shown. We're talking two years. This nail recovered its natural structure in weeks?

Hmmm. I don't know about two years. On December 11th 2007 I had an accident on a train where I completely - I repeat...completely - lost a fingernail by jamming it in a window. Nasty business, but I would say by mid-April it had regained it's natural structure so much so that it's no longer noticeable.

At the hospital I was told it would take around 3 took 4 months, but 2 years is a bit of an excessive estimate, imo.

Fri, 02 May 2008 11:27:00 UTC | #165556

Christownsend's Avatar Comment 16 by Christownsend

Ben Goldacre demolishes this story on his Bad Science site here:

Fri, 02 May 2008 11:42:00 UTC | #165565

Bizarro Dawkins's Avatar Comment 17 by Bizarro Dawkins

Is it possible that this "pixie dust" simply accelerates the fingertip regeneration?

Also, I find it absurdly boorish when some of the atheists on this site bash God on an article that is totally unrelated to the issue of His existence (or non-existence). It suggests an insecurity in their own beliefs since they find the need to twist any issue (relevant or not) to validate their belief that God must certainly not exist. Can't they just save it for the articles that are actually relevant to that topic?

Fri, 02 May 2008 11:47:00 UTC | #165569

decius's Avatar Comment 18 by decius

Bizarro, no one requires your presence here and you won't certainly dictate us what can be said with regard to your imaginary god. Do you find it boorish? Go and jerk off on a crucifix and leave us in peace.

Fri, 02 May 2008 11:55:00 UTC | #165572

Mark Smith's Avatar Comment 19 by Mark Smith

Ever been to church?
How do you feel about those preachers who hang their sermons on matters totally unrelated to god's existence? Do you stand up and say, 'How absurdly boorish of you reverend'?
Or how about the Bible. Do you find that boorish when it finds god in a whirlwind or an earthquake?

Fri, 02 May 2008 11:57:00 UTC | #165574

Don_Quix's Avatar Comment 20 by Don_Quix

Also, I find it absurdly boorish when some of the atheists on this site bash God on an article that is totally unrelated to the issue of His existence (or non-existence).

Well, this is the Richard Dawkins website. Perhaps you would feel more comfortable over at Answers In Genesis.

Personally, I find it absurdly boorish when some glassy-eyed nymph knocks on my door at 8am on a Saturday to tell me "the Good News"! Unfortunately for them, I'm usually naked when I answer the door.

I think that "absurdly boorish" feeling you are experiencing, Bizarro, is the painful sting of truth jabbing into the rotten core of your fairy tale beliefs.

Fri, 02 May 2008 12:00:00 UTC | #165576

phatbat's Avatar Comment 21 by phatbat

17. Comment #174453 by Bizarro Dawkins

Yeah bizarro - it's different when god is getting brought up in a negative way isnt it.

It's just a sign of how sick a lot of people here are of all the piety that gets preached about god everytime anything really good/bad happens as if it's something to do with him. And what you see here is people bringing him up sarcasticly because you can bet your arse a theist will do the same to use it as an example of a miricle.

Fri, 02 May 2008 12:01:00 UTC | #165578

Corylus's Avatar Comment 22 by Corylus

Actually, I 'm quite glad to see Bizarro back. While he is here he is talking. Ok, generally being priggish and snide, but talking nonetheless.

He is not stupid and it breaks my heart to think of his promising mind in the intellectual prison that is Liberty University.

I'm not ready to give up yet.


Bizarro What are your views on god healing amputees? Is he unable? Or able but unwilling?

Fri, 02 May 2008 12:22:00 UTC | #165585

Raiko's Avatar Comment 23 by Raiko

I don't even really understand the big deal. Some animals have the ability to regrow a lot more than a fingertip, so there are possible mechanisms to achieve this. I suppose we usually don't have or employ these mechanisms, for whichever reasons, but who's to say that it can't ever happen?

Fri, 02 May 2008 12:27:00 UTC | #165588

Tetsujin's Avatar Comment 24 by Tetsujin

This isn't really news. Check out there was a featured presentation on limb regeneration filmed back in 2006 and posted on their site in july last year.

I can't remember the video exactly but I thought he said at that time that it was 2 years ago.

Sorry, I'm new here and don't know how the make the hyperlink.

Edit: wow.... it did the link itself.... kudos to the site designer

Fri, 02 May 2008 12:28:00 UTC | #165589

Solarium Solaris's Avatar Comment 25 by Solarium Solaris

I actually kinda sort of agree with bizarro. it gets really old and annoying when people keep posting the same things about every article ("yeah, but we all know that in reality goddidit" is the most common, and most annoying. its not funny anymore. -please stop saying it as if it was). It seems as if some atheists on this site just want some excuse to make fun of religious people and their stupidity.

Ps: Im an atheist and a huge fan of rd)

Fri, 02 May 2008 12:40:00 UTC | #165595

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 26 by rod-the-farmer


Yes, the links work when you have them in your original article. But if you go back and EDIT your article, any link you add, will not work. Plan


as they say.

Fri, 02 May 2008 12:42:00 UTC | #165596

moderndaythomas's Avatar Comment 27 by moderndaythomas

but who's to say that it can't ever happen?

It's not so much saying it can't happen, it's just that it's equally as probable as, say, you growing wings and flying.
Animals do that too but.
It's just unlikely.

And if God is capable of healing an organic disease, he's more than capable of regrowing a paltry limb.
So where are all the prosthetics?

Fri, 02 May 2008 12:55:00 UTC | #165604

Don_Quix's Avatar Comment 28 by Don_Quix

Ps: Im an atheist and a huge fan of rd)
Ps: goddidit

Fri, 02 May 2008 12:57:00 UTC | #165606

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 29 by Border Collie

Why do you YECs use this site? Don't you have some witnessing to do or some idoitic anti-evolution films to make or some small children to scare to death?

Fri, 02 May 2008 13:01:00 UTC | #165610

justdust's Avatar Comment 30 by justdust

Does this mean you people don't believe in pixies either?! Not long now and I will be able to count the number of genuine pixies encounters I have had on the fingers of one hand.

Fri, 02 May 2008 13:02:00 UTC | #165611