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Argument by Design - Teleological Argument
I chuckle when I remember the words of Albert Einstein,
"God Almighty does not throw the dice."
Einstein, one of the greatest minds of all time, acknowledged the existence, intention, and intelligence of God, the Creator. God does not do things by accident. And while there are those who would have us believe that a roll-of-the-dice, or chance, is precisely how we arrived on planet earth, it is comforting to know that some of our greatest scientific minds support the existence of a great and intelligent Creator.
Why? Quite simply because life is far too complex to be an accident. There is a tale about Benjamin Franklin that is quite illustrative. I only wish that I could credit the author or storyteller, but I can't find the origin. The story goes that Franklin had an acquaintance that came to his office and observed a beautiful and rather sophisticated model of the solar system. The model had all of the planets in appropriate alignment and mounted on gears, causing them to rotate when a crank was turned.
When the gentleman inquired of Franklin, "Where did you find such an excellent model? Who made it?" Franklin replied, "Oh, no one." The gentleman, a confirmed atheist, would not accept such an answer, yet he didn't think twice about discrediting the Maker of the very real universe, after which this model was constructed.
How quick some people are to make similar judgements. We would never think that the clock on the wall appeared by accident - assembled with its many gears and cogs, battery in place, time set perfectly, designer faceplate and fitted glass cover. Yet many assume the accidental appearance of the sun, the earth's rotation, and the very things after which we model and even set our clocks!
Below, this common sense approach to creation has been reduced to some convincing arguments, based on the fabulous and intelligent design of the universe.
All Intelligent Design Requires a Designer
Not only does an intelligent design require a designer, but the more complex the design, the more intelligent the designer. For example, birds build nests, but you won't see them reconstructing the Eiffel Tower or building a high-rise office building. Beavers build dams, but its not likely you will see them building something as sophisticated as Hoover Dam. These complicated designs require intelligent designers. Left alone, less intelligent creators produce less intelligent creations.
Intelligent Design is Present in the Universe
There is great design in all of creation. One can hardly argue this point. Consider the incredible complexity of the modern day camera lens. It can focus instantly and automatically. It can zoom in for a close-up and zoom out for a wide-angle shot. Then consider the substantially greater complexity and functionality of the human eye, after which it is patterned. Not only is the functionality greater, but the interface to the world's greatest computer, the human brain, is spectacular.
While this is an adequate example of the complexity of design in the human body, it only scratches the surface. For example, there is enough DNA data in a single human cell to fill an encyclopedia volume. And just as the words and letters in an encyclopedia volume are arranged in an intelligent pattern, the DNA in a cell is likewise perfectly formatted and constructed in an intelligent pattern. Did the words in an encyclopedia appear randomly? Did the pattern of DNA appear randomly?
And do we consider how perfect the DNA patterns must be? As a simple example consider the words on this page. There are a little less than 400 words here, but they don't require absolute perfection. If I misspelled a word or misused it, you could probably still grasp the meaning of what is written. Now consider the case of hemoglobin in the human body. This protein molecule requires that four chains of 100 amino acids be perfectly linked together. If a single amino acid is out of place it results in sickle-cell anemia, a potentially fatal disease.
On the previous pages I alluded to the complexity of life forms - as you can see, DNA is a great example of this complexity. The cell that contains the DNA molecules is even more complex. Several scientists have calculated the probability of a single-celled animal occurring by chance. There are many reasons to conclude that this can't happen, and that speculation becomes a bit ridiculous. For example as we mentioned above the very conditions needed to sustain life would prevent its formation.
But even if we concede the perfect conditions that would be necessary for the bonding of amino acids, we still face impossible odds. The mathematical odds of a single DNA molecule occurring by chance exceed, even by conservative estimates, 1:1010000. In fact, some scientists have said that it is even greater. Dr. Fred Hoyle, a scientist and one-time atheistic evolutionist, said it this way,
"Life cannot have had a random beginning. The trouble is that there are about two thousand enzymes, and the chance of obtaining them all in a random trial is only one part in (10 to the 20th) to the 2,000th = 10 to the 40,000th, an outrageously small probability that could not be faced even if the whole universe consisted of organic soup." 1
Here's a simple way to think about how big this number (1040000) is. The number of atoms in the universe (yes, the entire universe - space, matter - all of it) is estimated to be about 1087. If we consider Emil Burrel's conclusion that anything with a probability smaller than1:1050 will never occur, it's clear that we are toying in the realm of silliness. This kind of thinking is tantamount to reasoning that if the Scrabble factory explodes enough times, the letters will eventually land so they spell out War and Peace. Ridiculous! Later Hoyle added,
"The enormous information content of even the simplest living systems cannot in our view be generated by what are often called natural processes. For life to have originated on the Earth it would be necessary that quite explicit instruction should have been provided for its assembly."
While Hoyle does not believe that science can explain the spontaneous generation of life, he only recently recognized the existence of God. His prior explanation was that there was some other life in space from which we came. Deep down he believes that most scientists know this,
"My impression is that most biologists really know in their hearts the issue is there, but are so appalled by its implications that they are prepared to swallow any line of thought to avoid it. If one proceeds directly and straightforwardly in this matter, without being deflected by a fear of incurring the wrath of scientific opinion, one arrives at the conclusion that biomaterialists with their amazing measure of order must be the outcome of intelligent design. Problems of order, such as the sequences of amino acids in the chains… are precisely the problems that become easy once a directed intelligence enters the picture." 2
I couldn't have said it better myself. There must be a greater intelligent designer to put together the complicated pieces of life. Many scientists simply don't want to commit to the existence of God so they avoid the subject altogether.
Interestingly, in 1981 the London Daily Express published an article headlined, Two skeptical scientists put their heads together and reach an amazing conclusion: THERE MUST BE A GOD. This reference to Hoyle and Dr. Chadra Wickramasinghe came after they mathematically concluded that the chance of extra-terrestrial creation was no better than that of organic evolution.
Darwin anticipated this hole in his theory and addressed it in his popular work Origin of Species. He wrote about the complexity of the human eye in the chapter on Organs of Extreme Perfection realizing that this could be a problem with his theory. Darwin threw up a smoke screen by calling attention to the different types of eyes in different animals, completely avoiding the question of how those eyes came into being.
Because of the lack of scientific knowledge base on the subject, Darwin could successfully leave it at that, relying on speculation that the eye wasn't much more than a lump of stuff. In fact, not only the eye was viewed this way but the entire substance of life. The complexity of a single living cell was unfathomable in that day. Today that has changed.
Biologists have a much more thorough view of what happens behind the human eye, and the case for intelligent design is not disproved, but supported. Michael Behe, Professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University, has documented this topic beyond question.3 Behe's fascinating description is avaialable here on knowtruth. It's not there for you to study too hard, but merely to demonstrate the complexity of human life and the functions therein. Darwin couldn't have known this.
Conclusion: A Designer
If there is such great and intelligent design in the universe, the Designer must be even greater. The nature of this Designer is still unknown, but His existence is written all over creation.
|1||Fred Hoyle and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space (Aldine House, 33 Welbeck Street, London W1M 8LX: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1981), p. 148, 24, 150, 30, 31|
|2||Fred Hoyle, Evolution from Space (The Omni Lecture), Hillside: New Jersey: Enslow Publishers, 1982), pp. 27-28|
|3||Behe, Michael, Molecular Machines: Experimental Support for the Design Inference, http://www.arn.org/docs/behe/mb_mm92496.htm|