By Brannon S. Howse
The more we discover about the universe, the more we discover design. True.
When you look at a beautiful painting, you know it had a painter. When you look at a sculpture, you know it had a sculptor. When you look at a building, you know an architect designed it. However, when naturalists look at the world, they choose not to credit a designer with the feat. The mystifying order and complexity of the universe and its contents loudly proclaim a designer, and common sense dictates that the greater the design, the greater the designer. Historian and philosopher of science Stephen Meyer has said, “We have not yet encountered any good in principle reason to exclude design from science.”
As Norm Geisler points out in his Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, William Paley went to Cambridge in 1759 to study mathematics. He later taught at Cambrige for nine years and was a great defender of Christianity. Paley argued that there must be only one Designer, since there is displayed in nature a uniformity of divine purpose in all parts of the world.
As Dr. Geisler documents in his Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Paley refined what is known as the teleological argument for the existence of God. The analysis begins by observing the design in the world and concludes that there is a designer beyond the world. William Paley characterized the argument this way:
(1)Every watch has a watchmaker;
(2)The world is more complex than a watch;
Hence, the world must have had a world maker.
In more contemporary times, George Gallup, the famed statistician, claimed:
"I could prove God statistically! Take the human body alone. The chance that all the functions of the individual would just happen is a statistical monstrosity!"
With that in mind, let’s look at just a few examples of how complex and orderly many things are that we take for granted:
• Your brain weighs just over three pounds but can do what tons of electrical equipment cannot. It contains up to 15 billion neurons, each a living unit within itself. These neurons boast more than 100,000 billion (1014) electrical connections—more than all the connections in all the electrical appliances in the world. source: Dr. Walter T. Brown Jr. In the Beginning (Phoenix, AZ: Center For Scientific Creation, 1989, p. 2.)
• The human heart is a ten-ounce pump that operates without maintenance or lubrication for about 75 years, making it an engineering marvel. (ibid)
• In the fraction of a second that it takes you to read one word on this page, the marrow in your bones produces over 100,000 red blood cells. source: Encyclopedia of 7700 IIllustrations, 1999, Bible Communications.
• The human eye contains 130,000 light sensitive rods and cones which generate photochemical reactions that convert light into electrical impulses. One billion such impulses are transmitted to the brain every second. The eye can make over 100,000 separate motions and, when confronted with darkness, can increase its ability to see 100,000 times. It comes complete with automatic aiming, automatic focusing, and automatic maintenance during the owner’s sleep. To think that thousands of chance mutations accidentally formed such a structure is ludicrous. Also, within the evolutionary framework, the eye would have needed to evolve several times in different species, such as squids and arthropods. The human eye is so sophisticated that even now scientists and doctors do not fully understand it. source: Dr. Frank Harber, Reasons for Believing, New Leaf Press, 1998.
• The ear is as much an acoustic marvel as the eye is an optic one. The inner ear is like a piano with 15,000 keys—that’s how many different tones it can detect. Not only does the ear perform the function of hearing, but it controls equilibrium as well. source: Encyclopedia of 7700 IIllustrations, 1999, Bible Communications.
• Each one of us developed from a single fertilized cell. In the nucleus of that little organic dot was the genetic programming for every aspect of the yet-undeveloped adult—organs, nerves, hair, skin color, and even personality traits. These were programmed into the incredibly tiny specks of matter called chromosomes. According to Ashley Montague in his book Human Heredity, the space occupied by all this data is remarkably small. If the blueprints for every one of the five billion human beings on Earth were gathered together, they would fit into the space of an aspirin tablet. source: D.G. Lindsay, Harmony of Science and Scripture, Dallas 1998.
It is fair to say that a single cell is the most complex structure known to man. (ibid) Some cells are so small that a million of them could occupy a space no larger than the head of a pin. Yet the blueprint for our entire makeup was contained within the chromosomes of the nucleus of the first cell.
The cell is a micro-universe, comprised of trillions of molecules—the building blocks for countless complicated structures that perform chains of complex biochemical reactions with precision. One biologist declared the awe-inspiring constitution of a cell:
Even if we knew all there is to know about how a cell works, we would still be baffled. How nerve cells create emotions, thoughts, behavior, memory and other perceptions cannot yet, if indeed ever, be described in the language of molecular biology. source: D.G. Lindsay, Harmony of Science and Scripture, Dallas 1998.
D.G. Lindsay expands on the complexity of the cell:
[quote] A single cell exhibits the same degree of complexity as a city with all of its systems of operation, communication and government. Within each tiny cell are power plants that generate energy; factories that produce foods essential for life; complex transportation systems that guide specific chemicals from one location to another; barricades that control the import and export of materials across the cell. Every minute structure within a cell has a specific function. Without the full complement of all these systems, the cell cannot function. In fact, even the slightest malfunction within the cell can bring about the immediate termination of its existence. How unbelievable that such awesome complexity could have arisen by chance! [end quote]
A single amoeba’s DNA has enough information capacity to contain the data stored in a thousand sets of encyclopedias. Lindsay, Haromony of Science and Scripture. DNA is the equivalent of a computer program (and every program had to have a programmer). Microsoft founder Bill Gates even notes, “DNA is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software we’ve ever created.”
Every human adult carries about 100 billion miles of DNA strands—a distance greater than the diameter of the solar system—and each cell has four to six feet of the DNA ladder. And every adult human has 100 trillion cells. source: D.G. Lindsay, Harmony of Science and Scripture, Dallas 1998.
In his remarkable book Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Michael Behe explains that many biological systems are “irreducibly complex.” If any one part were missing—because the needed part had not yet evolved, for instance—the entire system would not work. Many such irreducibly complex systems support life, and if the missing part keeps the life support system from functioning, that is a fatal blow.
Behe argues forcefully that there are several cellular functions that could not possibly have formed gradually by any natural process, including “cilium, vision, blood clotting, or any complex biochemical process.” And if not formed by a natural process, the only alternative is a supernatural process by a supernatural designer.
Behe also notes: “Other examples of irreducible complexity abound, including aspects of DNA reduplication, electron transport, telomere synthesis, photosynthesis, transcription regulation, and more.” From these facts, Behe draws a bold but inescapable conclusion:
The result of these cumulative efforts to investigate the cell—to investigate life at the molecular level—is a loud, clear, piercing cry of “design!” The result is so unambiguous and so significant that it must be ranked as one of the greatest achievements in the history of science.
Copyright 2006 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.