By: Kelsey Flowers
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.” Psalm 19:1
In his book, There is a God, former atheist Antony Flew writes that perhaps the most innately credible argument for God’s existence is the argument for design and order. The design that is apparent in nature advocates the existence of an intelligent Designer. This argument is commonly referred to as the teleological argument.
Flew writes, “Science spotlights three dimensions of nature that point to God. The first is the fact that nature obeys laws. The second is the dimension of life, of intelligently organized and purpose-driven beings, which arose from matter. The third is the very existence of nature.”[i]
If one accepts that there are laws of nature, then something must impose that orderliness on the universe. It is strongly contended that theism is the only viable option, and the evidence of design is consistent with the God of the Bible. In fact, without God there is no satisfactory explanation for order in the world.
Evidence of the existence of a cosmic designer can be seen in the exceptionally small likelihood that the universe would permit life by chance. Apologist William Lane Craig gives the example that a change in the strength of gravity or of the atomic weak force by only one part in 10100 would have prevented life from being sustainable in the universe.[ii] This is just one of many examples of the fine-tuned nature of the universe.
In considering this complex order, Craig writes, “The view that Christian theists have always held, that there is an intelligent designer of the universe, seems to make much more sense than the atheistic view that the universe, when it popped into being uncaused out of nothing, just happened to be by chance fine-tuned to an incomprehensible precision for the existence of intelligent life.”
The details of the world’s workings and the complexity of life and nature indicate that it could not have all come together by chance.
Recently, the Christian satire source The Babylon Bee published a piece with the clever headline, “Apple iPhone Evolved Naturally Over Billions of Years, Experts Now Believe.”[iii] The article reads, “While the iPhone may have the appearance of design, and, yes, an Apple logo on the back, we assure you, these are happy accidents and not the result of intelligent designers creating the device… The obvious answer to the origin of the highly complex smartphone is that it created itself ex nihilo.”
A person would be deluded to think that something as complex as the iPhone could come together without a designer. If even one essential part of the smartphone were missing or broken, the whole device would not work. The iPhone is an irreducibly complex device that could not have come together piece by piece over time to form a smartphone in working order without a creator.
Similarly, and more seriously, in an article published by Answers in Genesis, Dr. Jason Lisle and Tim Chaffey give the example of a living cell that has complex parts that cannot operate independently.[iv] Because each part of the cell cannot operate without all the others, a cell cannot be the result of an evolutionary process in which fragments are added one at a time. An intelligent designer is required.
Just as it is ludicrous to argue that the state-of-the-art iPhone came in to existence in any way other than through the design of someone like Steve Jobs, it is also unreasonable to suppose, after any study, that the world and all that is in it came into existence in any way other than through the purposeful action of a great Designer.
The evidence of design points not to just any designer, but it is consistent with the God of the Bible. Irreducible complexity, perfectly calculated gravitational force, and the interdependence of the parts of a cell are exactly what one would expect from biblical creation.
The laws of nature and the orderliness of the universe are consistent with the character of God. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:20, “For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
In considering the laws of nature, one must conclude that something or someone imposes that regularity on the universe. Who is it that brings this about? The God who made Himself known through His Word and His creation is the only serious option.
[i] Flew, Antony, and Roy Abraham. Varghese. There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. New York: HarperOne, 2008. Print.
[ii] Craig, William Lane. “The Problem of Evil.” ReasonableFaith.org. Reasonable Faith. Web. 13 May 2017.
[iii] “Apple iPhone Evolved Naturally Over Billions of Years, Experts Now Believe.” The Babylon Bee. 21 July 2017. Web. 23 July 2017.
[iv] Lisle, Dr. Jason, and Tim Chaffey. “Commentary on the Intelligent Design Movement.” Answers in Genesis. 29 Mar. 2012. Web. 23 July 2017.