Is Believing in 'God' Reasonable?--Part 3
The Teleological Evidence
(what evidence does design give us?)
The fact that there is design and symmetry gives strong evidence for a Designer.
--If randomness and uncontrolled chance events were the mechanism for the beginning of our universe why is there noticeable order rather than random chaos?
--Why can we tell the difference between design and chaotic or haphazard construction?
Heb. 3:4—For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.
William Paley (1743-1805) gave one of the most popular arguments for design in his book Natural Theology the story of the Watchmaker. He insisted that if someone found a watch in an empty field lying among some rocks, one would rightly conclude that it had a watchmaker because of its design and complexity as opposed to the surrounding rock. Even if you had never seen the watchmaker or didn’t know what a watch was, the complexity and order (interlocking dials, precision parts, springs, moving implements all working together) implied design. He argued the greater the design difference (rock to watch) the more likely a designer. The greatest of differences (watch to universe) implied a Great Designer.
He argued that upon finding the watch you were left with 2 choices
1. Nature, time and chance worked together to bring about the order you see
2. Some intelligent mind brought about the order and design you see
An explosion in a junkyard doesn’t make a working red mustang convertible—you only get more random, less useful junk! (Without God there wouldn’t even be ‘junk’ in the junkyard to explode in the first place, because matter isn’t created from nothing)
Explosions on a local or cosmic scale never have a positive creative or designing effect, always destructive and random. While energy might change forms, increasingly complex design is never created through random uncontrolled energy placed on matter.
Charles Darwin was required to read Paley during his theological studies at Cambridge (1828–31). He later said, "I do not think that I hardly ever admired a book more than Paley’s “Natural Theology.” I could almost formerly have said it by heart." However, he then spent the rest of his life developing and promoting a theory to explain how ‘design’ in nature could occur without God. Darwin proposed that small, useful changes could occur by chance, and enable their possessors to survive and pass on changes—natural selection.
Evolutionists, including the atheistic Oxford Professor Richard Dawkins, still use Darwin’s theory to oppose the design argument. But now, they believe that natural selection acts on genetic copying mistakes (mutations), some of which are supposed to increase the genetic information content. But Dawkins’ arguments have been severely critiqued on scientific grounds.
• Natural selection requires self-reproducing entities. Producing even the simplest self-reproducing organism by a chance combination of chemicals is even more incredible than producing the Encyclopedia Britannica by throwing letters into the air. Living things require long molecules with precise arrangements of smaller ‘building blocks’. Not only will the ‘building blocks’ not combine in the right order, but they are unlikely, by natural means, to build up large molecules at all! Rather, large molecules tend to break down into smaller ones.
• There is complex biological machinery of which Darwin was simply ignorant. Biochemist Dr Michael Behe lists a number of examples that have irreducible complexity: real motors, transport systems, the blood-clotting cascade, the complex visual machinery. They require many immediately functioning parts or they would not work at all, so they could not have been built in small steps by natural selection.
• Biophysicist/information theorist Dr Lee Spetner points out that mutations never add information, but only reduce it — this includes even the rare helpful mutations. Natural selection is insufficient to accumulate slight advantages, as it would be too weak to overcome the effects of chance, which would tend to eliminate mutants.
David Hume, renowned critic of philosophical proofs for God’s existence and Paley’s ‘Watchmaker’ argument, recognized the power of the evidence of design wrote:
“A purpose, an intention, or design strikes everywhere the most careless man, the most stupid thinker; and no man can be so hardened in absurd systems, as at all times to reject it.”
It is seldom appreciated that in order to even propose natural selection or a 'beneficial mutation' theory, that you are already working with a designed organism! And since we don't observe anywhere in the universe where design and complexity increase on its own or with the addition of uncontrolled or undirected energy apart from a system designed to handle it, real design presupposes a real Designer.
Charles Darwin in Origin of Species, Chapter 6 said,
“To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.”
Yet, despite the absurdity, he then went on to try and explain the exquisite and phenomenal design of the eye by purely natural means without a Designer.
Only in a system where design is discernable from randomness or chaos is design possible. Since everything in our system goes from order and design to randomness and deconstruction, (2nd law of Therm.) then ultimately design comes first.
If we can recognize design in human creations how much more plausible is it to assume that everything from a cell to the cosmos has an ultimate Designer?
Design in Mind precedes design in Kind.
“The harmony of natural law reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection…God does not play dice with the universe.”
(Excerpts from Geisler, Baker Enyc. Of Christ. Apol.)