Spiritual Resource Services @ Prayergear.com
~ Inexplicable Design ~
"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind... One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity...We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality."
These words were penned by Dr. Albert Einstein, who, in a letter to Max
Born in 1929, stated, "At any rate, I am convinced that He [God] does not
Now the words of Charles Darwin in his Origin of Species: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." Darwin was an astute observer and researcher, meriting scholarly respect. That statement was a bold one to make about his own work. It was also prophetic.
Darwin's theory does help to understand changes within a species. There are diverse varieties of fish, dogs, monkeys and humans. But jumping the gap between fish and birds is indeed demonstratively impossible, given my assumption of what Darwin meant by "demonstrated." So Darwin's theory has been modified into "Neo-Dawrinism" and a jump was taken into another species of thought known as "Intelligent Design."
Many are under the impression that Intelligent Design is a code name for Creationism. There are big differences between the two, beginning with nomenclature. The Creator did not "design" organisms. Design is an anthropomorphic term in the same sense of attributing human traits to God such as anger or a change of mind. Given what's going on in His creation, if God could be angry as we understand anger, or could hate (as in "hate sin"), He would be in a constant state of anger and hatred! God does not have roller-coaster emotions like we do.
Our Creator did not design anything, which would require the existence of some thing or some idea from which to design. He "spoke" every thing into being from out of nothing, or perhaps from out of Himself. "And God said..." That, however, is another anthropomorphic term, as God was not "saying" and we "say" or thinking as we think. So I really don't know what God was doing and how could I since I am not He.
The apostle John provides a little peak into this mystery in the beginning of his Gospel account: "In the beginning [before all time] was the Word [Christ], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. [Is. 9:6.] He was present originally with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being" (John 1:1-3, Greek Amplified). And that was not "by design" in the sense we know it.
A simple thing like a mouse trap had to be designed and built as a unit to work. The mouse trap "could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications" as Darwin put it. After the trap was designed and built, then it could be improved or altered, made bigger or smaller, and redesigned for other animals. So change in the species of mouse traps is expected but if I wanted to catch mice alive and have them automatically flown into a field and released, I'm looking at another kind of trap species and it would be back to the drawing or design board.
I read somewhere how interesting it is for a person to find a lap top computer on a tree stump and be convinced the tree evolved and the lap top designed and built. Still, this isn't a truly good argument in favor of creation versus evolution. The first tree was not designed and built by God, as it were. It was "spoken" into being.
We could get scientific about it and think of "irreducible complexity" as Michael Behe calls it. (He is a professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.) Some thing, for example, this lap top, or even a mouse trap, is a complexity that breaks down or cannot do its task if it is reduced by a necessary component. Once the spring on the mouse trap breaks, the thing can no longer catch mice and is, therefore, not a mouse trap. A mouse trap must have a spring, and everything else, all in place for it to be a mouse trap.
A single cell is a zillion times more complex than a mouse trap or computer. Evolution has no mechanism for bringing together all the diverse proteins and other molecules simultaneously and harmoniously into a functioning entity. Remove one component and the cell is reduced to nonfunctionability and will die and lose the battle for the survival of the fittest. The cell with one component missing is more "fit" than a cell with ten missing, however they are both as useless as a mouse trap without a spring and all three can be thrown in the garbage.
Darwin knew that. He asked for a demonstration of it and many were provided since his death. Besides, science depends upon reproducible experiments testing theories. Once a theory is established through experimentation that can be reproduced by others, it is called a "law" or "principle." Laws and principles can be demonstrated, often to the delight of audiences at tech shows and science demonstrations. Evolution cannot be demonstrated or reproduced. So we leave science and enter the world of philosophy.
And philosophically, to me, organisms are works of art, mystery and wonder. "Intelligently designed" just doesn't do it for me. I did my high school and college dissection and microscopic studies and was wondrously mystified over the components of organisms as well as the organisms themselves.
Spiritually, organisms have consciousness, howbeit in diverse ways. There is no place, no cell, no atom, to which you can point and declare that God isn't there, for He is infinite and omnipresent. "For the creation (nature) was subjected to frailty - to futility, condemned to frustration - not because of some intentional fault on its part, but by the will of Him Who so subjected it. [Yet] with the hope that nature itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and corruption [and gain an entrance] into the glorious freedom of God's children. We know that the whole creation (of irrational creatures) has been moaning together in the pains of labor until now. [Jer. 12:4,11]" (Romans 8:19-22, Greek Amplified).
This is all beyond evolution, beyond intelligent design, beyond me, beyond
Einstein. And I have no problem with it. I delight in the mystery and how
God is All in all.
John S. Hilkevich, Ph.D.
Spiritual Resource Services
~ Education, Research and Advocacy
in the Christian Faith ~
Spiritual Resource Services © March 9, 2006