Occasionally, I see comments or articles circulate decrying the ‘absurdity’ of a belief in a Supreme Creator, or a God. It is often surprising to see how vicious many people can be, and how hard they try to belittle a belief in a Supreme Being, or a God, who created the Universe. Since I believe in a God who created all things, I wanted to take a minute to respond to such arguments.
I always like to ask the question “Do buildings build themselves?” No, people say, certainly not. “Why not?” I ask. At this point people look at me as if I’m stupid. “Because a building is not natural” they almost invariably reply, or “it can’t”, “it isn’t alive,” etc. To most people, trees, animals, and humans are ‘natural,’ but buildings are not, hence a human can exist without a builder, they argue, since it is ‘natural’, but a building cannot.
What does “natural” really mean? In reality, it only means something that exists outside of “human” design. What, though, is really “natural” about the “natural” things on the earth? Why do our bodies have ten fingers, two eyes, two legs, etc.? What is “natural” about mountains, trees, or animals? It’s simply that we don’t know how they were created, that they existed before us, and that we can’t make them.
Buildings typically have plumbing, electricity, and other items intricately worked throughout their walls. However, a building pales in comparison to the complexity of the human body. Why don’t buildings with plumbing and electricity simply evolve, as the more complex human body supposedly did? Why doesn’t evolution produce a building, a parking lot, or a car?
Consider robots for a moment. Robotics is a rapidly developing field, with powerful robots that can do many things. Think a few years ahead to the point when we have robots that are programmed to mine and manufacture metals to create additional robots. What if such robots, programmed with the ability to replicate and make more robots, were sent to some remote planet in another solar system? What if they started building things, including more robots?
What would it take for the robots there to be ‘natural’? If we ever managed to make it to the robot planet, would it be possible for us to ever consider them ‘natural’, even if they covered the entire planet by that point? Probably not, honestly, as humans would always recognize that they created the robots.
The point of discussing buildings and robots is to illustrate one point – All things that exist require a builder, just like a building does. A building doesn’t build itself. Neither does a human body. Neither does a tree.
I fully admit that I do not see how anything could build itself. To me, it requires a lot of faith in ‘chance’ to have everything I see be produced from an explosion, or ‘big bang’. Every explosion I have seen destroys. Every explosion I have seen tears down. I have never seen, and submit I will never see, an explosion produce anything remotely similar to a building. And, since a building is far simpler than a human body, I fail to see how an explosion would produce anything even close to the human body.
Of course, I fully understand the arguments in support of evolution, that the body wasn’t built all at once so the explosion of the Big Bang itself didn’t automatically create the complex human body, but came about over eons of time as it slowly evolved from a protein or cell or something small like that. But, even cells and proteins are more complex than most buildings. So, even with this in mind, I still find myself asking “why doesn’t one brick evolve into a building?” “Because,” most people would say, “a brick isn’t alive,” to which I simply respond “neither was that protein or physical material that we supposedly started from.”
Ultimately, a question we do not have any empirical evidence for is the question of ‘what brings life?’ What is the life power that enables something to live? Science doesn’t know. Evolution doesn’t know. We know what is needed to sustain life, but we don’t know where life comes from.
In my mind, even evolution implies that a higher intelligence exists, an intelligence guiding the course of the evolution, as matter (like a brick) is unable to discern or recognize that there is a higher or better state to evolve to. Evolution seems premised on the theory that creatures evolve to be able to better handle situations around them. Creatures want to continue living. Zebras at one point developed stripes, fish at one point left the water, cells at one point grew a hard outer structure, etc. However, something that was never alive to begin with would never ‘know’ what a better situation is, or a better way to handle things, unless there was something teaching or pushing it.
When asked why a cell would grow a hard outer structure, evolution would claim that it was simply chance, and that the cells that did were then able to survive better. Science doesn’t know what caused cells to move from their original state to a state better suited for life. Returning to bricks though, while some bricks from thousands of years ago just happen to have been left in an environment where they could be preserved until our day, none of those bricks are changing into anything else.
Of course, people say again, it takes millions of years, not a few thousand, for a real change to take place, and it would be absurd to believe that the actual evolution could be seen in so short a time. If this were so though, how is it possible to develop a lung, for example, over millions of years? From what I have read, most life is presumed to have started developing in a water-based environment. Most of the early claimed life forms were in the water and later developed the ability to come out onto land. I have honestly tried to imagine a sea creature as I watched its evolutionary course. What would cause the creature to need to develop a lung that could breathe air on the land?
For example, does the creature slide onto the beach, flop around a few times trying to breathe and realize it cannot breathe? Does the DNA in one of these flopping sea creatures somehow realize that if it changes, it could find a way to breathe the air on the land? Or is it just ‘chance’ that one of the flopping sea creatures has the genetic makeup that can turn into a lung? Does that sea creature then slide back into the sea, and pass the start of a lung onto its posterity? Then, does that creature’s posterity (and its posterity) leave the sea and flop on the land while trying to breathe for the next three million years to help force a lung develop that has the ability to breathe air on the land?
Or, does the lung simply develop while the creature is in the sea, even though there is no need for the lung? Then, once the lung is nice and developed, for no reason at all as the creature never used it in the sea, the creature then leaves the water one day and realizes it can still live? At that point, does it also realize that flopping around isn’t the best form of travel, and so something triggers inside of it to develop legs, skin that can survive the sun, eyelids to protect from dust, etc.?
In my mind, evolution requires that any creature has to have a point where it can shift to a new environment, where it has developed enough to survive in that new environment. As a fish’s fin turns from a fin to a leg or arm (again, throughout millions of years of chance, as is claimed), how could those fish survive with a half-arm half-fin thing sticking out of its side? The fish would not be able to swim or walk at the middle point, and would simply die. In other words, the desire to live (which somehow became built into something alive) would keep the fish from wanting to develop legs, as such would give it a serious disadvantage for the millions of years it spent in the water developing them. If evolution presumes things survive that are the ‘fittest’ or most able, all of the creatures switching from a water-based environment to a land-based environment would have been the least fit or able to survive in the water the closer they got to being able to switch to the land, as their land-able bodies would be easy targets in a water system.
Evolution, it seems, relies on some type of ability that a creature has to recognize that change is necessary. For a brick, the brick doesn’t ‘know’ whether the ‘ideal’ state is as a full brick, cut in half, or with arms and legs. The brick has no reason to evolve or adapt, and has no knowledge that it might need to breath, see, taste, or smell. If the brick is thrown into water, it sits there, just as it would sit on land. Similarly, if I throw a fish onto the land, it doesn’t try to find a way to adapt to the new environment, it simply tries to get back into the water, as that is where it can survive. The fish knows where it can survive, and for the physical part of a fish to be able to adapt and change to life on the land, something would have to push the fish to make the change.
Evolution answers that changing environments caused animals to have to adapt and that the changing environments were the catalyst to evolutionary change. While this could answer some changes that have occurred in animals, such as producing thicker fur or different coloration, it still doesn’t explain the jump to radical changes in environments, such as from the water to the land, from swimming to walking, from having no eyes to developing eyes, etc. To me, evolution ultimately is premised on the ability of matter to recognize and pursue a ‘better’ state of existence.
Where did the eye come from for example? What caused matter to understand that it could develop a way to ‘see’? Nothing, most would say, the eye just happened by chance. If an eye, which is an object far more complex than the most advanced cameras yet made, were simply the product of chance, then all of our five senses would be the product of chance. Based on the extremely limited odds of developing anything though, much less an eye (as recognized by evolutionists themselves), wouldn’t that suggest that our five senses are only an infinitesimally small subset of all of the senses possible? In other words, since it is extremely unlikely that any senses developed by chance, wouldn’t that mean that most senses are still undeveloped, that we as humans rely on a very limited set of senses to understand the world around us?
And, if we truly have a limited number of senses, why in the world are we so certain of everything that we can perceive? If we can ‘perceive’ things with five senses, evolution would infer that there are countless more ways to see and understand the world around us. Consider if we were blind and could not see. We would not be able to ever understand stars, galaxies, or anything else in space. Our eyes open our minds to a bigger picture though, and help us see that there is more there, just as more senses would certainly open our minds to understanding the bigger picture.
To me, if evolution really were how we came to be, we should be extremely wary of our ability to understand the world around us, as we should recognize that there would be countless senses yet undeveloped in the human body. There is certainly nothing in evolutionary theory that would suggest that any animal or creature would have the possibility of developing all important traits. Humans cannot fly like a bird, cannot breathe under water, and cannot run like a cheetah, even though the ability to do so would have helped us survive. If we lack some of the most basic abilities of other animals that ‘had’ to develop such traits to survive, we would also certainly lack development of all of the senses possible, and our understanding of the world would be limited by the five senses that we have, as each sense opens to us an entire new world of understanding.
Returning to life though, all life, in my mind, has the potential to respond to the environment around it. I think that the ability to respond is a defining characteristic of life. Plants can follow the sun, fish can respond to a predator, and humans can respond to their environment. A brick though doesn’t respond to anything. It sits. It is acted upon, and never acts, just as all of the matter following the Big Bang would have sat and never acted on its own.
The biggest leap for me in evolution that remains unanswered is how two bricks coming together could suddenly respond to the environment around them. In the supposed masses of swirling matter following the Big Bang, what caused a few of those elements to take on the ability to respond to their environment, to start acting and not be acted upon? In other words, what caused life?
To me, those that believe in evolution or chance exercise a lot of faith, just as those who believe in Intelligent Design. Those that believe in evolution exercise faith in something we have never witnessed on this earth (an explosion creating, instead of destroying), they exercise faith in the ability of a brick to suddenly take on life and turn itself into a building, and they exercise faith in the assumption that there is nothing more intelligent than us in existence that was interested or involved in our creation. This, to me, is the hardest one of the presumptions to fathom. Even as humans we take a lot of interest in preserving animals and lower forms of life, and we go to great lengths and pains to try to stop an animal from becoming extinct. Other animals don’t seem to care as much, but if we care even a little for those below us, what would stop a higher intelligence from caring even more for us than we care for the animals around us?
Yes, Intelligent Design is also based on faith, a faith rooted in the natural order of things on the earth, the natural order that requires a builder for anything to be built. Evolution has certain logic to it, and many good arguments, but there are points where great leaps of faith are also required. In other words, evolution is based on faith, just as Intelligent Design is based on faith. Evolution is based on faith in chance, faith in the non-existence of things that humans cannot feel or measure with scientific instruments or our five senses, such as God, and faith in the ability of a massive explosion to create instead of destroy.
Even under an evolutionary theory, it is hard for me to believe that humans are the most advanced being in existence, that we somehow can truly understand everything about our world based on our five senses alone. There is an entire Universe full of things out there, of which we are such an infinitesimally small part. Based on the probability of everything out there, there is probably a greater chance that something more intelligent than us exists than there is in the chance that we are the most intelligent beings in existence. It is a large leap to assume that there isn’t anything more advanced than us as humans that had a part in our creation, to assume that nothing more advanced was involved in building us.
To a bird born in a city, the buildings are “natural”. They are simply part of the landscape. They pre-existed the bird, and the bird can’t build them. The bird accepts life with buildings, and the fact that buildings exist become a basic foundation upon which the bird views its reality. We, of course, can smile at a bird that is presumptuous enough to believe that buildings weren’t created or made, but for some reason we mock those who believe that trees, planets, and bodies had a Supreme Creator.
If something exists that we can’t build, then I fully believe that a higher power or intelligence created it, just as a power higher than the bird created the building it rests on. There is nothing silly about believing that all buildings require a builder, and all bodies require a Creator. This takes far less of a leap of logic or chance or faith than that required to believe that an explosion created all of us, that it made individuals, that it made order, and that, somehow, the non-living made life.
To me, Intelligent Design is a rational framework to accept. The building I sit in and the body I sit in really are not that different to me from an evolutionary standpoint. If my body can evolve, I see no reason why buildings shouldn’t evolve either. However, if buildings have to be built by a builder, so too, I believe, does my body.
So yes, I believe in a Supreme Creator, I believe in Intelligent Design, I exercise faith, just as everyone else does in trying to explain where we came from. As we are all trying to understand things that we cannot see or explain and are all exercising faith, I see no reason why a belief in a Supreme Creator should be mocked or ridiculed, as it is a belief based in the fact that buildings don’t build themselves.