Thus far in this series, we have explored many of the intrinsic parts of humanity, many things that make up the strong foundation upon which Western Civilization lies. We have pulled the curtains back on Christianity, taking an in-depth look at the values and ways of living well that it teaches us. And while we have yet many more aspects to discuss, it is at this point that we should take a deeper look into how everything around us, including our own selves, came into being.
There are generally two schools of thought on the way in which both we and all that we see around us were created: Creation and Evolution. The theory of evolution is one you might be familiar with because it was taught to you at school. High-school science classes typically teach evolution theory as the explanation for how human beings came to be, in addition to other parts of nature, particularly the wildlife present in the modern world. If you were like me, you would have likely been taught about Charles Darwin and his work, including the theory of natural selection, whereby only animals that can adapt to their environment and any changes that occur within it will survive, the others left in the past. While there is likely some merit to this theory, it is generally common sense.
But the notion of human beings evolving from monkeys or apes or what have you is a completely different kettle of fish. It is difficult to see how the complex beings that we are could have come into being as a derivation of primates. The complexities of the human brain, the human body, particularly the heart and mind, are just too great to have suddenly formed as the next level up from an ape. The only reasonable explanation for them, and indeed for all the complexities of the world around us, is some kind of intelligent design. And for that to be the case, there would have to be some kind of intelligent designer, some sort of creator.
That is where Creation comes in. Creationists believe that the Earth was created by God, completed over a period of six days with the seventh being set aside as a day of rest. Creationists believe that the sun, moon, stars, animals (be they on land, in the air, or in the sea), plants, and human life itself, was all created by one Divine Being.
When it comes to humanity itself, the first human being created was Man, called Adam. From Adam, God took a rib and used it to fashion Woman, called Eve:
So Adam gave names to all the cattle, the birds of the air and to every beast of the field. But, he did not find among them a companion suitable for himself. Then the Lord God caused a deep sleep to come over Adam and he fell asleep. Then He took one of his ribs and filled its place with flesh. The rib which the Lord God had taken from Adam he formed into a woman and brough her to the man. Adam then said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman because she was taken from Man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2:20-24)
The creation of man and woman is of particular interest, as it brings us back to the subject of marriage and family. When God created Woman, He did so by taking part of the Man He had already created. So when a man and woman come together in marriage, this could be seen as a rejoining of the two parts of one body. It is an intriguing idea, one that I personally cannot take credit for thinking of, given it did not even occur to me until I recently read it in Jordan Peterson’s Beyond Order: 12 More Rules For Life. He writes of how when the rib was taken from Adam and formed by God, the Divine Creator, into Eve, the two sexes were separated, which “implies not only the partition of a divinely produced unity, but the incompleteness of man and woman until each is brought together with the other.” He notes this in his remarks about a wedding he attended for his Christian friends, who, when exchanging their vows, held a lit candle between them. Peterson writes of the candle, “The fact that the candle is held jointly indicates the binding of the two celebrants. The fact that the candle is held aloft, lit, implies that something higher – something superordinate – is representing or performing the union.” It could therefore be assumed, at least by this ritual, that man and woman are once again being joined together by a Divine Being, by God. Upon reading and realizing this, even I was in awe. It should go without saying, Christians are always learning as well. We are by no means perfect, and we do not necessarily fully understand the Word of God, that which is written in the Bible. There is a lot to consider, which makes a moment of understanding an incredible one.
But back to Creationism. For this world to have come into being, able to be inhabited by humans and animals alike, and everything within it to work as they do, it has to have done so through some form of intelligent design. It is difficult to see how any of this could have occurred as it did without such. There is, of course, the concept of the big bang, and while this is scientifically accepted, it is hard to fathom how the world that came into being could have done so spontaneously, everything just falling perfectly into place by chance. Everything had to have been fine tuned to the nth degree to bring such a complex creation as the Earth and Universe itself to life.
To explore this further, let us take a look at some of the specifics in terms of the mechanics of the Earth and the Universe. There are a few factors, fine-tuned in nature, that, without, the existence of our universe would not be possible. (The following scientific examples are taken from discovery.org.) For example, if the strong nuclear force of the universe was even slightly more powerful than it is, hydrogen, an element essential to life itself, would not be present, meaning most of what we see around us, even our own selves, would likely not exist. On the opposite, if it was slightly weaker, hydrogen would be the sole element to exist. When we consider the weak nuclear force: if this were slightly different, heavy elements would not exist, given there would either be too low a level of helium to produce them in the stars, or the stars would rapidly burn out so that supernova explosions would not be able to scatter these elements across the universe. To the electromagnetic force of the universe: if this were just slightly stronger or weaker, atomic bonds would not be able to form, thus complex molecules would also be unable to form, and much of what we see around us would not exist. The gravitational constant must also be finely tuned to prevent the stars from either burning out too rapidly or not burning at all.
Each of these things are finely tuned to such a degree of complexity that they match the specified requirements necessary for life to exist. Just to give you an idea of how great the degree of fine-tuning is with regard to these values for the purpose of a universe compatible with life to exist, here are the exact specifications that must be met, and respectively are (Again, taken from discovery.org):
- The gravitational constant must be 1 part in 10˄34
- The electromagnetic force versus the force of gravity must be 1 part in 10˄37
- The cosmological constant must be 1 part in 10˄120
- The mass density of the universe must be 1 part in 10˄59
- The expansion rate of the universe must be 1 part in 10˄55
- The initial entropy (measure of the amount of energy unavailable to do work or the number of possible arrangements the atoms in a system can have) must be 1 part in 10˄(10˄123)
That final one in particular demonstrates an incredible degree of fine-tuning. While it may be difficult to understand these parts of the makeup of the universe, we are still able to appreciate that there was an astronomically precise level of purposeful design and planning that went into creating the universe, its laws and constants, all that is needed to create and maintain a place that is completely compatible with life. If you are still not convinced, take it from Charles Townes, a Nobel laureate in the field of physics:
“Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: It’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all. The sun couldn’t be there, the laws of gravity and nuclear laws and magnetic theory, quantum mechanics, and so on have to be just the way they are for us to be here.”
Townes is spot on in his assessment. This universe somehow managed to come out just right, and for that to happen is quite incredulous. The only explanation for this is intelligent design. Although some scientists respond to this notion with the idea that there are a large number of universes, each one being slightly different to all the others. Their logic is that, of all the universes, this one by chance turned out just right. But that argument would postulate that there are a truly great number of universes, all with laws that differ to a degree. For that to be true, there would likely have to be some machine that could generate universes, or some kind of multiverse alike to those that appear in comic book universes (eg. the Marvel and DC universes). This is highly unlikely, and so we must turn to the other distinct possibility that the universe we inhabit was planned; that this is the reason it has come to be the way it is: unique, special, and compatible with life.
The other point that must be discussed on the matter of Creation and intelligent design is humanity itself, moreover Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA). DNA is one of the most complex information systems in existence. It incorporates two features that bring forward the argument of intelligent design: its complexity and its functional specificity. We could compare it to a computer code, which has much the same features. Both code to produce certain forms of matter, or in the case of computers sequences of symbols (be they letters, numbers or the like). These forms and sequences are complex in nature, however are functionally specific; They each work to carry out some particular function. Now, other theories for how this could be have, as Stephen Meyer writes in his text Signature in the Cell, “proven universally inadequate for explaining the origin of such information”. Seeing as agents of intelligent design are capable of producing forms and sequences that are of great complexity yet maintain functional specificity, it stands to reason that intelligent design is the greatest explanation for these systems occurring within the world. Indeed, Meyer goes on to explain “intelligent design now stands as the only entity with the casual power known to produce this feature of living systems.” Humanity itself could only have come about at the hands of some intelligent designer, again pointing toward a Divine Creator, God, and Creationism as being the true explanation for how the universe and all that lies within it came into being.
Now as I said before, natural selection likely plays a part in the world, just not in the way that Darwinism argues. Of course there will be change over time; that is true for most things. And there could of course be a common ancestry between certain creatures that inhabit the Earth. But Darwin’s theory that biological changes occur blindly, without some sort of direction from an intelligence of some kind, is questionable, if not unlikely. In another of his papers, Stephen Meyer writes of how scientists have discovered nanotechnology within living cells, each one containing little circuits and machines that work together to read, copy, and edit information that they receive, depending on the “coordinated function of many separate parts”. He cites bacterial cells as an example of this, stating that they are “propelled by miniature rotary engines called flagellar motors that rotate at speeds up to 100,000 rpm. These engines look as if they were designed by the Mazda corporation, with many distinct mechanical parts made of proteins”. Again, there is no other reasonable explanation for this apart from the possibility of intelligent design.
Here are some examples of how some certain cells work. Cells such as virus cells, upon entering the body, find a host cell (one already in the body) and take control of it, hijacking it by means of using the machines, proteins and building blocks found in a normal, healthy cell’s nucleus to copy its own genetic material. If it is unable to gain entry to the nucleus, the virus cell can still replicate its genetic material by using a ribonucleic acid (RNA) polymerase (like a copier for cells), which takes the genetic information from the genome of a virus cell, reads it, and translates it into what is known as messenger RNA (known in short as mRNA, which is currently being used to create vaccines). This mRNA is the blueprint for the proteins that are encoded within a cell’s genome. Once the virus has completed one of the above processes, it then uses this now corrupted cell as a factory, replicating itself so that it can infect the body. Once this has occurred, the being with the virus in their body will become unwell. Bacterial cells are different in that they do not need a host cell to replicate. Once a bacterial cell enters the body, it replicates by means of a process called “binary fission”, where the DNA of the bacterium divides into two, the cell then elongating and splitting into two new cells, what are known as “daughter cells” (given they have just come into being thanks to the “parent cell”, the original bacterial cell that entered the body”), each with identical DNA to the parent cell from which they derived.
Both examples above demonstrate a certain complexity in their systems of operation and, by extension, infection. Genetic material is obviously something that is complex in nature and has come about by no mean feat. It is highly likely, almost a certainty, that intelligent design was involved in its creation. When scientists start playing around with genetic material, be it DNA, RNA, mRNA or whatever else, you will hear people say that they are playing God. This is, in essence, true. The complexities of genetic material are not something to be taken lightly; they are not a scientific plaything. It is understandable that scientists wish to look deeper into these parts of life, to discover more about them, and that is perfectly fine. But when scientists start modifying genetic material for some other purpose, it can be incredibly dangerous. Although in some cases it may be cause for a medical miracle, there are many instances in which it can go horribly wrong, and if one were to weaponize it, it has the potential to wreak a destruction unlike any other.
Intelligent design is the most reasonable and logical explanation for the existence of this universe, of this Earth. It stands to reason that behind the mysteries of this world lies a greater presence, an intelligent designer, a Divine Creator. When God created all that He did in the universe, He saw that it was good. In fact, each day of the Creation story written in the Bible contains the phrase God saw that it was good. And on the sixth day, the final day of Creation before the day of rest (the seventh day), God saw all that he had made, and indeed it was very good. (Genesis 1:31). What God created was indeed very good. The incredible complexities that occur in nature, and in our very own being, is something that could not have possibly occurred just by chance. Remember, we were all created in God’s own image:
So God created man in his image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)
We are all created equally by God. We are all the inheritors of God’s marvellous Creation. What exists could not do so without His design, without His planning, without His fine-tuning. He created Day and Night, Sky, Earth and Sea, vegetation, light and dark, sun and moon and stars, the creatures of the sea and birds of the sky, cattle and every different kind of living creature that creeps along the ground, and man and woman. He brought this world, this universe, into existence. Even scientific exploration supports Creationism.
We are truly lucky and incredibly blessed to be alive and have all we have around us.
This is the Tenth Edition of a Series entitled Uncovering Christianity: Exploring the Roots of the West. This series explores the values and ideas originating from Christianity, looking back at Biblical times, and relating them to the modern world. There are central themes to each piece in this series, with key messages throughout to guide you in your own life. The series also looks at some of the threats to the roots of Western Civilization and discusses what can be done to placate them and protect the foundation of society. Keep an eye out for new series pieces each week.