Articles and Essays


DESIGN IN NATURE POINTS TO A PERSONAL CREATOR
by David F. Coppedge

Is it possible to know God exists just by looking at nature?  The Bible says yes:

“. . . Since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood
by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead. . . .”
– Romans 1:18-22

Now, consider the evidence!

The Laws of Chance

Could chance create life?  Few seem to realize how dumb chance is.  If you randomly selected 10 numbered coins, it would take 10 billion tries to expect to get them in order 1 through 10.   Selecting day and night, every 5 seconds, chance would take 1500 years—just to count to ten!  How much longer to create life?

Some people claim that improbable things can happen.  “In enough time,” they say, “a million monkeys typing on a million typewriters could reproduce the works of Shakespeare.”

    This is a faulty analogy, because:
  1. There isn’t enough time. The universe had a beginning, far too recently for chance.
  2. Typewriters break down, and monkeys get distracted—and die.
  3. The letters don’t remain on the page!  In the “primordial soup,”  where life supposedly arose by chance, the useful molecules would have been destroyed faster than they could have formed.

The Universe and Earth

The universe itself is finely tuned for our existence.  If any of the fundamental quantities of physics were altered, like the constant of gravity or the charge on the electron, life would not be possible.  The solar system we live in has many attributes that would, if altered, rule life out as well; Jupiter, for instance, sweeps most dangerous asteroids and comets safely out of harm’s way.   The earth is massive enough to support a dynamic interior with a solid crust; if much larger, the crust would melt, and life would be impossible.  Earth’s distance from the sun and moon are just right to maintain livable temperatures.  Its tilt allows for seasons and circulation of the atmosphere.  Its moon is the right size and distance for tides to refresh the oceans.  The apparent diameter of the moon is perfectly matched to the apparent diameter of the sun, allowing for the awesome beauty of a solar eclipse.  Other “coincidences” could be cited.

The Cell

Life on a molecular level is incredibly complex.  A symphony of proteins, enzymes and DNA work in harmony to permit rapid and precisely controlled chemical reactions.  At least 239 proteins are required for the simplest conceivable living cell.  The chance of getting even one of these proteins, even under ideal conditions, is less than one in 10161 (1 followed by 161 zeros).  To get the simplest reproducible cell is one in 1040,000.  Anything less likely than 1 in 1050 is virtually impossible, anywhere in the whole universe!

The Eye

Your eyes are better than any computerized closed-circuit TV system, producing color, stereoscopic high-resolution motion pictures.  Each lens is made up of 22,000 fine layers of transparent cells stacked in rows like crystalline bricks.  Unlike man-made lenses, it has a graduated index of refraction, and is flexible, allowing variable focus (try that with glass lenses!).  It has a diaphragm (iris) that can adjust to light intensities of 1000 to 1.  The cornea is slightly flattened to minimize spherical aberration.  The inside of the eye is dark to reduce stray reflection.  It has its own lubrication system, protective shields and a system of muscles to move both eyeballs in tandem.

The eye can also detect brightness differences of 100 million to one.  The retina has 125 million rods and cones; rods act like a high-speed black and white film, and cones act like a fine-grain color film that can perceive eight million differences in color.  Muscles keep the image moving so as not to saturate these delicate cells.  The center of the retina is densely packed with cones, each with its own optic nerve leading to the brain.  Your eyes operate without your conscious effort, and can work for a lifetime without needing repairs.

The Ear

Your ears can discriminate among more than 300,000 tones, far more than needed for survival—but abundantly adequate to enjoy music.  Each ear can detect volume intensities of 10 billion to one.  The inner ear has 20,000 hair cells, each with 100 separate hairs (two million total), each responding to its own frequency and intensity of sound.  The bones of the middle ear are finely machined levers.  To work perfectly, these ossicles must maintain a certain size, so they are the only bones which never grow from birth to old age.  Your ears constitute a complex stereo musical instrument and sound system in your head.

The Hand

The hand is a marvel of engineering.  With its 27 bones, opposable thumb, unique fingerprints, and flexibility, the hand can perform a multitude of complex tasks:  typing, sign language, conducting an orchestra, feeling for microscopic flaws in sheet metal, batting baseballs, hammering, clapping, knitting, playing musical instruments, swimming, karate-chopping bricks in half, assisting in acrobatics, performing sleight-of-hand tricks, and countless other functions both ordinary and extraordinary.  Fingernails allow picking up and manipulating small objects or strumming a guitar.  Hand skin is tough enough to withstand much abuse, yet sensitive enough to feel the lightest personal touch.

The Face

Your face has 28 paper-thin subcutaneous muscles, which move skin rather than bone, allowing us to make 250,000 facial expressions.  Most animal faces are indistinguishable from others of their own species, but almost all the 5 billion human beings alive today have faces so unique, they could be distinguished in a crowd.  People express a gamut of emotions through their faces.  All this shows design in our ability to relate to one another as persons, implying a personal God created us for fellowship with Him and each other.

The Brain

Your brain has 100 billion neurons, each with thousands of connections to other neurons, making around 100 trillion connections—more than in all the electrical appliances on earth!  The brain’s method of thinking and storing memories is unknown, but involves both electrical signals and a complex system of chemical neurotransmitters.  Programmers have a difficult time getting robots to accomplish even an apparently “simple” task like grasping and lifting a paper cup without crushing it; a child accomplishes this feat—and millions of others—with hardly a thought.

DNA

Your whole body began as a minute fertilized egg cell smaller than the head of a pin, with complete coded instructions to produce all the body’s tissues, organs and functions.  If the DNA from the fertilized eggs of all the people who ever lived were collected, it would be only 1/50 the weight of a postage stamp.  The DNA in your body alone would reach to the moon and back 100,000 times, but would fit into one tablespoon.  Transcribed into book form, however, that amount of information would fill 40 Grand Canyons to overflowing!

Endless Examples of Design

What could we say of the heart, that can pump the equivalent of a 50-mile train of tank cars in a lifetime, or all the body’s other organs and systems:  circulatory, digestive, respiratory, nervous, excretory, reproductive, lymphatic, endocrine, skeletal, sensory, immune, and much more, that all must work within close tolerances to permit life?  Working together, they allow a gymnast to perform a full-twisting double somersault, a runner to run a 26-mile marathon non-stop, and even a severely handicapped physicist to perform abstract mathematical computations in his head.  Truly we are fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14).

Yet atheist Carl Sagan said, “These are some of the things that hydrogen atoms do, given fifteen billion years of cosmic evolution.”  Is that credible?  Read that passage from the Bible again, this time in its context:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.  For since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse; because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools.” – Romans 1:18-22

Friend, design implies a designer.  Design on the order of complexity we observe implies an omnipotent, omniscient God.  Design with such attention to our personality implies a personal, loving God.  Wouldn’t you desire to know your Maker, your heavenly Father?  Start today . .  . read the Bible.



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