Part 5: The Existence of a Creator, God vs. Naturalism—Evidence from Design seen in nature (The Teleological Argument)
This blog is part of a series. You can start the series by going back to the September 1, 2014 Introduction called A Case for Christianity: Why do we need one?
God never performed a miracle to convince an atheist, because his ordinary works provide sufficient evidence. –Ariel Roth
When I was younger I found myself looking for reasons not to believe in God. I was hoping to find the loophole that would let me off the hook so that I could live life the way I wanted without guilt in the fact that there might be a God who created me to live a particular way. However, one of the biggest obstacles to my wanting to believe that God did not exist was the fact that everything around me, particularly in nature, looked as though it had a design and purpose to it. This contradicted what I was studying in Biology. It seemed scientists had to keep saying that even though things have the appearance of design we have to remember that they are not designed but evolved in such a way as to give the appearance of design. Hum, even in the textbooks the words designed and created kept on appearing. It was only later when I decided to pursue Christian Apologetics that I stumbled across a simple but flawless argument against evolution’s theory of chance origins. It is called the Teleological argument and it goes like this:
Teleological Argument (Evidence from design)
Whatever has the appearance of design must have a designer. (For example a building, a sculpture, or a computer)
The universe has the appearance of design. (See a few of the many available examples below)
Therefore, the universe has to have a designer.
Wow, my gut feeling of the design I had seen in nature was confirmed in this argument and some of the evidence for premise two even came from prestigious fields of study like mathematics and engineering, not to mention physics and the anthropic principle evidenced in the fine tuning of the universe that we looked at last week.
An example of design in Mathematics:
Fibonacci Sequence: By definition, the first two numbers in the Fibonacci sequence would be 0 and 1 and each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two:
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34…
- The next number is found by adding up the two numbers before it (0+1=1)
- The 2 is found by adding the two numbers before it (1+1)
- Similarly, the 3 is found by adding the two numbers before it (1+2),
- And the 5 is (2+3), and so on!
- The next number in the sequence above would be 21+34 = 55
What is amazing about Fibonacci numbers is that mathematics takes intelligence to understand and apply and we find examples of the Fibonacci sequence all over nature in things like…
This is the Fibonacci sequence seen in the design of flower pedals, sea and snail shells, human anatomy, the movement of hurricanes and storms, and even the obits of the planets in our solar system (but interestingly not earth which seems to be in an exceptional place for life to exist).
This is the Fibonacci sequence seen in the design and beauty found in architecture, geometric figures in paintings, playing cards and paper, and it is even used in company logos because this design is catching and pleasing to the eye.
An example of design in Engineering:
One of the most fascinating designs I’ve seen in nature is that of an eagle’s wing where the structure is one that is both light and strong. We find this very same design in bridges such as Warren’s Truss that looks amazingly similar to the design in the wings of birds (I wonder who thought of it first?).
Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God. –James Tour, Nanoscientist
The Bible says that humans are made in the image of God and as children of God we have the ability not only to create but to do amazing things like research, make discoveries and appreciate beauty found in life, nature and art.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. –Romans 1:20 (NIV)
Let me know what you think: Does the world around us give examples and evidence of design and purpose, or is it all based on evolutionary chance?
Over the next several blogs I am going to continue to present logical reasoning and sound scientific evidence not found in the public school textbooks.
Join us next time for: Is There Really Something Beyond Us?
Part 6: The Existence of a Creator, God vs. Naturalism—Evidence from the uniqueness seen in biological life (The Teleological Argument continued)
Always be ready to give an answer for the hope that you have in Christ Jesus as Lord.
1 Peter 3:15