I was showing an educational video on Anatomy to my high school students and I heard the Narrator say [concerning the mechanics of the human hand] “This is evolution’s grandest design.” What took me aback was not only the assumed fact that our hands had evolved but the Narrator’s belief that evolution had the ability to ‘design’ something. How can a random process like evolution that is non-living and non-thinking be praised for its design? Isn’t design an intelligent action that has intention and purpose?
The problem we find in secular education is the denial of any evidence that points to anything other than Darwinian mechanisms for the origin and design of life. But there is ample evidence for an intelligent being behind all that we observe in and around us. One of the strongest pieces of evidence for a Theistic God who created the universe is found in the design factors evidenced in the cosmos and nature.
Using the Acronym GOD we can breakdown the evidence into the following categories:
G = Good vs. Evil – The Moral Argument (see post from two weeks ago)
O = Origin – The Cosmological Argument (see last week’s post)
D = Design – The Teleological Argument (this week’s post)
THE TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
Whatever has the appearance of design must have a designer. For example, a building must have a builder, a painting or sculpture must have an artist, and a computer must have a programmer.
The Universe has the appearance of design. Mathematics, engineering, physics and biochemistry are all elements with evidence of design.
Therefore, the Universe has a designer.
*Four example areas of evidence for Premise #2:
I. Evidence of Design in Mathematics:
Fibonacci Sequence: By definition, the first two numbers in the Fibonacci sequence are 1 and 1, or 0 and 1, depending on the chosen starting point of the sequence, 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.
- 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!
- Example: the next number in the sequence above would be 21+34 = 55
We find examples of the Fibonacci sequence in nature:
The Golden Spiral
We see this in sea shells, galaxies and in plants and flowers
We also find the golden spiral in our galaxies and in plants and flowers:
The Fibonacci sequence in also seen in the Golden Rectangle:
We find the golden rectangle used in architecture and the design of logos:
AND, we find our Great Creator using His fibonacci sequence in one of His most important designs, the human body:
II. Evidence of Design in Engineering:
Bridge design: Warren’s truss
The strongest bridge design developed by humans…
But, we find this same bridge design in the wings of a bird. God was way ahead of us, but we are made in His image so this is what we would expect to find!
III. Evidence of Design in Physics:
Watch this 6 minute clip by Dr. William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith on the Fine Tuning of the Universe:
The Fine Tuning of the Universe: The Anthropic Principle
- All the seemingly arbitrary and unrelated constants in physics have one strange thing in common – these are precisely the values you need if you want to have a universe capable of producing life.
- There are over 100 constants that we find in nature. If any one of these constants was off by a percent of a billionth there could be no biologically based life on earth or anywhere in the universe.
- These constants must be maintained on a balance thinner that a razor’s edge.
- This is one of the most compelling pieces of evidence of divine creation and has persuaded even some ardent atheists like Anthony Flew and Patrick Glenn to become theists.
There are over 100 very narrowly defined constants for life to exist here are just are few:
1. Oxygen level:
21% of the atmosphere is O2, if 25% fires would erupt spontaneously, if 15% human beings would suffocate
2. Atmospheric transparency:
If thicker not enough solar radiation would reach the Earth, if thinner we would be bombarded with far too much solar radiation
3. Moon-Earth gravitational interaction:
If the pull was a few degrees greater then tidal effect on the oceans, atmosphere, and rotational period would be too severe, if less, orbital changes would cause climatic instabilities, in either event life would be impossible
4. Carbon dioxide level:
If at a higher level a runaway a greenhouse effect would develop and we would all burn up, if lower plants would not be able to maintain efficient photosynthesis and we would all suffocate
5. Strong and weak nuclear force:
If at greater or weaker levels then elements could never form and the atom could not hold together
6. Gravitational force:
If altered by 0.37 of 1 percent our sun would not exist and neither would we
7. Centrifugal force:
If this force of planetary movements did not precisely balance the gravitational forces, nothing could be held in orbit around the sun
8. Expansion rate of the universe:
If at a rate one millionth slower expansion would have stopped and the universe would have collapsed on itself before any stars had formed, if faster then no galaxies would have formed
9. Atmospheric water vapor levels:
If greater a runaway greenhouse effect would cause temperatures to rise too high for human life, if less an insufficient greenhouse effect would make earth too cold to support human life
10. Jupiter’s orbit related to its protection for Earth:
If Jupiter were not in its current orbit the Earth would be bombarded with space material; Jupiter’s gravitational field acts as a cosmic vacuum cleaner, attracting asteroids and comets that might otherwise strike Earth
11. The thickness of the Earth’s crust:
If thicker too much oxygen would be transferred to the crust therefore not enough left to support life, if thinner volcanic and tectonic activity would make life impossible.
12. Earth’s rotational speed:
If the rotation of the Earth took longer than 24 hours temperature differences would be too great between night and day, if shorter than 24 hours atmospheric wind velocities would be too great to sustain life
13. Earth’s axial tilt:
The 23 degree tilt is just right, if altered slightly the surface temperatures would become too extreme
14. Atmospheric discharge rates:
If discharge rates like lightening are too great it would cause excessive fire destruction, if less there would be too little nitrogen fixing in the soil and plants could not grow
15. Seismic activity rates:
If more active life would be lost, if less then nutrients on the ocean floors and in river runoff would not be cycled back to the continents through tectonic uplift
Dr. David D. Deutsch, Institute of Mathematics at Oxford University says…
- If we nudge one of these constants just a few percent in one direction, stars burn out within a million years of their formation. If we nudge it a few percent in the other direction, then no elements heavier than helium form. No carbon, no life. Not even any chemistry. No complexity at all.
Dr. Robin Collins, Mathematics, Philosophy and Physics professor has said…
- The unexpected, counterintuitive, and stunningly precise setting of the cosmological constant is widely regarded as the single greatest problem facing physics and cosmology today. There is no way we can really comprehend it. This fine-tuning has conservatively been estimated to be at least one part in a hundred million billion, billion, billion, billion, billion. That would be a ten followed by 53 zeroes. That’s inconceivable precise.
Collins put it in another way to illustrate this extreme mathematical improbability:
- Let’s say you were way out in space and were going to throw a dart at random toward the Earth. It would be like successfully hitting a bull’s eye that’s one trillionth of a trillionth of an inch in diameter. That’s less than the size of one solitary atom.
This amazing fact of fine-tuning can also be illustrated by imagining a large control panel with a hundred different dials that have been carefully calibrated to just the right setting to allow for life to exist on our planet out of all the places in the universe. If any one of them were off by an infantile fraction there would be no life.
IV. Evidence of Design in Biochemistry:
Evidence from inside our bodies and the information codes contained therein
I remember as a child looking forward to shrinking down to the size of an atom as I rode Disneyland’s ‘Adventure Thru Inner Space.’ This was the first attraction to utilize Disney’s Omnimover system. It opened on August 5, 1967 as part of the New Tomorrowland, and closed in 1985 moving on to more imaginative rides.
As a High School Biology Teacher I have always been fascinated with the immensity of the microscopic world. How far can we peer into inner space, how small can we go and what do these microscopic particles show us? Is this just the result of chemicals working by blind chance as evolution would teach, or are these discoveries allowing us to peer into the creative mind of God? If God created us are there any clues from biochemistry in the way our bodies are built?
Richard Dawkins, noted Biologist and atheist, in his book “The Blind Watchmaker” said that, Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been *designed for a *purpose.
Francis Crick, Nobel prize winning scientist for the discovery of the structure of DNA has said: Even though things often give the appearance of being *designed, we must constantly keep in mind that what we see is not designed but rather evolved.
*Notice how evolutionists can’t help but use words like design and purpose. Could it be that things appear designed for a purpose because they really are?
Evidence of irreducibly complex molecular machines in cells:
Michael Behe’s theory of irreducible complexity:
Michael Behe shook the evolutionary scientists’ world when he wrote his book called “Darwins Black Box.” In this book he presented evidence showing microscopic structures in living things that must come into existence all at once, and not by gradual evolutionary changes, for the organism to survive. A definition of irreducible complexity:
A single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning… Any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is, by definition, nonfunctional.
For example Behe uses the simple illustration of a mousetrap:
If any one of the small parts required for it to work is missing then the trap cannot work at all. Because all the parts are required to be there at the same time (they cannot slowly or incrementally come to be, or be added) the trap by definition is irreducibly complex.
One of the best examples of irreducible complexity is seen in the tail (flagellum) of a bacteria. Behe demonstrates how the design of the bacterial flagellum mimics that of an outboard motor, a highly manufactured and irreducibly complex structure. This fascinating comparison brings to light the detail involved in the creation of even the smallest microscopic part.
Other examples of things that are irreducibly complex include:
The structure of the eye: Sight could not be possible during a transitional phase of evolution, it all has to be there at the same time for us to see
The blood clotting factor: If this process came about in slow incremental phases the organism would bleed to death and could never come into being
The cochlea of the ear: Similarly the ability to hear, one of the animal kingdom’s most important factors, would not be available until the evolutionary process had reached this phase
Watch J. Warner Wallace in this 10 minute presentation on the importance of the evidence that points to Intelligent Design:
Information, the evidence from DNA:
What is DNA?
- DNA is found in the cells of all living things.
- A cell is the basic unit of life and a complicated molecular machine (a tenth of the size of the head of a pin) it is made up of about three billion units of DNA.
- DNA contains information encoded on strands that make up our genes—these genes are found on chromosomes located inside the nucleus of the cell.
- DNA has coded instructions on how to build and maintain the systems of the body.
Where did this code come from? Evolution does not have a mechanism for intelligence. Information can only come from intelligence and intelligence can only come from a mind.
To the skeptic, the proposition that the genetic programmes of higher organisms, consisting of something close to a thousand million bits of information, equivalent to the sequence of letters in a small library of one thousand volumes, containing in encoded form countless thousands of intricate algorithms controlling, specifying and ordering the growth and development of billions and billions of cells into the form of a complex organism, were composed by a purely random process is simply an affront to reason. But to the Darwinist the idea is accepted without a ripple of doubt – the paradigm takes precedence!”
― Michael Denton,
Watch Louie Giglio in this 40 minute presentation show the awesomeness of universe and a secret inside our bodies…
What is Laminin?
To the skeptic it is just “a fibrous protein present in the basal lamina of the epithelia,” it is a protein adhesion molecule that helps bind our cells. To a Christian who sees God’s signature in our very bodies laminin is a tribute to what the God of the Bible promised to do for us from the very beginning. It is the symbol of what Jesus accomplished in defeat of death and it is the very symbol that helps us remember that we are His children and we have an eternal home with Him. (John 14)
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. –Colossians 1:16-17
For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. –Psalm 139:13-16
Concluding question: If intelligent design is the best answer for the evidence found in search for the cause of the universe and life itself, who then is this designer?
From the Christian Worldview:
- The God of the Bible and His nature best fits this description of an intelligent designer.
- The moral, cosmological and teleological arguments give us two insights to this designer – one is scientific, the other is personal.
- Does the Bible show us a Creator-God that has complete control and order over His creation (science) with a plan and ultimate purpose for His creation (personal)?
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. -Romans 1:20
Additional Video Resources:
To conclude our series on the existence of God I would like to recommend a series of short videos by Ravi Zacharias’ Ministries. You can begin with this 6 minute clip and then go into the video series as a package:
For a full treatment of “The Case for A Creator” watch Lee Strobel’s one hour documentary:
Join us next week as we move into the Creation vs. evolution argument…
You will not find this material in the public school curriculum even though it is based on solid evidence and grounded in research. It is ironic that following the evidence to where it leads stops at the door of our public schools as they will not let a “Divine footprint” in! Join us as we examine evidence for Christianity and learn how to become a thoughtful defender and ambassador of your faith.
Click into the resource page of this website to view many of the top Christian thinkers and apologists along with some of their work; connecting to these types of resources is essential in your Christian growth.
Please let me know what you think: Give feedback, ask questions or send concerns in the comment section of the blog.