How do we recognize design? Is it through order? Not really. There are many natural processes that are ordered. Like the formation of a quartz crystal. The silicon and oxygen atoms are attracted to each other because of their respective charges. This causes them to stack up hexagonally which creates beautiful elongated crystals. But is this design? I could argue that it is—in the sense that God created the world—but it’s not what most of us consider to be designed.
As I write this, I sit in the parking lot at church surrounded by cars, vans and trucks. These aren’t things you would find organizing themselves out in the wild. How do we know they’re designed? Of course we know what they’re used for, but what if we didn’t? Pretend you’re part of an African tribe of hunter/gatherers and you’ve never seen anything modern. You stumble upon this large, square, hard contraption (an SUV) sitting on four round legs. Would you think it’s an unusual part of the savannah or a strange animal? Maybe, especially if it “ran” away fast.
Even if our African tribe decided the SUV was just another strange wildebeest, it wouldn’t change the fact that someone in a factory designed and built that vehicle. Evidence of the design is there, in the welding, in the stitching on the leather seats, and especially in the way it functions. Perhaps the tribe missed the signs of design because they could only explain it using the world they knew. None of them could imagine a beast built in a factory.
Scientists do this, as well. Many of them miss the obvious signs of design in the complicated workings of our bodies because they are searching for an explanation from only the world they know. Others, recognize the evidence of design, then credit mother nature or natural selection for it. If we saw an SUV sitting in the jungle, we wouldn’t think natural selection designed it, but still many believe our bodies (which are a thousand times more complex) are the product of random chance.
Let’s think about that for a moment in terms of our simplistic analogy. Even if we could explain how the material came together for the SUV (like metal for the frame or parts for building the motor), we’d still have the problem of the blueprints. Where did the blueprints come from? Somebody had to decide which parts went together to build the motor or where the frame needed to be welded so it would hold together. The blueprints are what make the design.
We have that same question to answer for our bodies. Where did the blueprints—the DNA—come from?
DNA is a plan for a human being. Some creative force had to come up with that plan. I could leave the parts for an SUV sitting in my back yard for a million years and they will never form themselves into a vehicle. The same goes for us. Our bodies need certain raw materials to form plus the blueprints, given by the hand of our Creator.
What do you think? Are we designed or the product of random processes? Are there problems with my made-up SUV analogy?
Coming Soon: I’m designating May as Dinosaur Month on my blog! If you love dinosaurs (as I do), keep checking back!