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6. Design in Living Things Points to God the Creator

"Oh, how I love Your law!...I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts." Ps. 119:97, 100

The Bible teaches us that to know and obey God's Word gives wisdom and understanding. This must also apply to knowledge of God's creation, to science which is the study of His creation. As we showed in Essay 3, Charles Darwin and the modern scientific Establishment which follows him have distorted science to make it an effort to explain and understand everything without God. Have they succeeded? The multitude of scientific observations which are complete mysteries to science show that success escapes them.

Let us track down a series of related mysteries that have been discovered in the ocean. The story begins with sponges, which are presumed to be very low down on the imaginary ladder of evolution, just one level of organization above the single-celled protozoa, such the amoeba and paramecium. Sponges consist of several different types of cells grouped loosely together in a gelatinous matrix to form the organism. Each type of cell has its own particular function, but the cells do not form tissues as in the higher animals. sponges generally do not have even a rudimentary nervous system, but somehow the various kinds of cells work together to build and carry on the life functions of a sponge. how they are coordinated, first to build the sponge and then to make the sponge work as a living organism, is our first mystery. Although sponges are composed mostly of soft material, they do have strengthening structures. Some species use pliable skeletons of protein which provide our familiar household sponges, and other species use tiny needles or "spicules" made of lime or of glassy silica.

Figure A

Let us look more closely at the mystery of coordination of the sponge cells. Special wandering cells make the spicules to form the beautifully engineered skeleton of the Venus Flowerbasket sponge(Euplectella aspergellum). the skeleton of this sponge is a cylindrical framework of silica spicules which form lengthwise struts and circular hoops at right angles to them. Resistance to twisting is provided by the insertion of diagonal bars which form spiral geodetics in the framework (See Figure A). Now consider in figure A the sketch of the construction of a single three-spiked spicule by a group of about five tiny, disconnected cells. Also note the construction of more complicated spicules by larger cells having many nuclei. The question comes to our minds, "How can these blind little cells which have no brain and no nervous system connecting them together know how to build just a single spicule, let alone the entire marvelous complete skeletal structure of the Venus Flowerbasket sponge?" Science has no answer. That God alone knows and can know is, in the light of the available evidence, still a viable position to hold. (W. Woodland, Quart. J. of Microscopical Sci., 1906, Vol. 49, pp. 231-282; I. Jima, J. of College of Sci. of Tokyo, 1901, vol. 15, pp. 1-299)

Our next mystery begins with the death of a sponge such s the one we have just described. The dead cells and other soft materials decompose, leaving the framework to break up and settle down into the ooze on the bottom of the Sea. Other species of tiny, single celled organisms called arenaceous foraminifera, which look under the microscope like formless amoebae. Most species of foraminifera secrete tiny shells of lime in which to live, but the species with which we are concerned build tiny houses from spicules of lime or silica dropped from dead sponges! In Figure B we see sketches of these houses magnified about 35 times. Technitella legumen builds a home shaped like a hollow cigar a little more than a 16th of an inch long (Sketch 1). Sketch 2 shows an enlargement of the structural detail, two layers of spicules arranged at right angles for strength. Sketch 3 shows the home built by Psammosphera rustica, and Sketch 4 is a much enlarged view of how different lengths and shapes of spicules are fitted and glued together by our tiny amoeboid archittect and craftsman.

Another enterprising architect among our little foraminifera is Marsipella cylindrica, which adds to its home a long, narrow entry hall, The other species do not seem to consider this necessary (Sketch 5). For the source of some of these sketches see Heron-Allen and Earland, J. of the Royal Microscopical Soc., 1912, pp. 382-389; for fuller discussion of the marvels described above see Sir Alister Hardy, The Living Stream, Meridian Books, World Pub. Co., New York, 1968, from which the sketches are taken.

Let us now think together about the origin of these remarkable abilities and activities of the industrious and cooperative single cells of the sponge and of the enterprising amoeba-like foraminiferan architects. Can science show how the architectural plans for the Venus flowerbasket and for the foraminiferan homes are "remembered" by the single cells? Supposedly these plans are stored in the DNA coded information of these organisms. Are they? Can this be proved? No, it cannot be proved. If it cannot be proved, how can we be sure? We can be sure only through an invincible faith, but faith is not science. Can it be proved, then, that these abilities were produced by evolution, rather than being created by the Creator of all things? No. Thus we are left with a choice between competing faiths.

If a scientist believes in evolution, he must assume that some process of gradual evolution taught these cells how to do what they do. Let us imagine the little amoeba-like foram squishing around in the dark ooze at the bottom the shallow sea. Perhaps he finds himself in an area where there is not really enough calcium in solution to form the little lime shells that most species of forams live in. So our little foram finds himself with no home on his back. But this is dangerous, so there is selective pressure to "figure out" a new kind home which can be built with available materials. One day while he is squishing through the ooze, he stumbles onto a bit of building material, a tiny silica spicule from some poor dead sponge. Our foram just has by chance a mutation which gives him the behavioral trait of hanging on to that first spicule and, perhaps, to a second one. But what is he to do with them? They are of no value to him now, and it is tiresome to drag them around. Nevertheless, we must imagine him and thousands of his descendants doing so until, finally, another mutation makes them able to produce a glue. Next, another mutation gives them the behavioral trait of gluing two spicules together, for no reason at all and with no advantage except, perhaps, that it is easier to drag them around glued together in one piece. You see, in this evolution business, both forams and scientists must be quite resourceful in order to have a reason for existence. The forams have no intelligence and evolution has no goal. Their only hope of escaping extinction lies in an amazing sequence of chance, undirected, unplanned mutations which finally enable them to construct from the spicules tiny boxes in which to live. Now by further mutations and natural selection, they "learn" to improve the quality of the house design, how to select just the right lengths and shapes of spicules, how to reinforce their walls with two layers of spicules set at right angles to each other, how to use spiral struts to increase the strength of tubes, how to go in and out, etc., etc.

Does this foray into speculation and imagination a la Darwin sound like science? Does it even sound plausible? Only if one is forced to think this way because of a previous choice to reject divine creation in favor of "creation" by some chance process of evolution. But the assumption is not a scientific conclusion. It is a philosophical or religious belief. There is no scientific evidence which proves that the complex designs of any living things originated by chance, without God the Designer and Creator of all things. In all of human history no complex new design has been observed to come from any source other than intelligent human minds. Therefore, we conclude that belief in creation by God is better in accord with the sum total of evidence than is belief in evolution. A scientist who is a Christian believer can investigate such wonders of the natural world with the glory of God as his motivation. Furthermore, research with this motivation and faith commitment can be and has been every bit as fruitful for the advancement of scientific knowledge as research carried on by scientists who have other faith world views and motivations to guide their research.

Sir Alister Hardy, in his little book, The Living Stream, cited above, concludes that classical evolutionary theory cannot explain much of the data of biology. He concludes that there must be an intelligent Spirit nature, which he refers to as God. He identifies himself as not being an orthodox Christian, but he believes that some kind of a God must exist to guide evolution to produce the marvels he observes in nature. This is the concept of theistic evolution, not biblical creation. But most scientists are so totally given over to a materialistic world view that they will never listen to Hardy with much more than condescending skepticism. But the uncompromising biblical position is superior to Hardy's mixing up of materialism with theism. The facts of biology support the biblical record of special creation of the original kinds of plants and animals, which were made to reproduce after their respective kinds, not to evolve into new kinds. The Christian who simply believes the Bible and pursues the service of God and of his fellow men in obedience to the law of God and the gospel of Christ possesses the Truth and has the key to wisdom. Let us not compromise God's Truth, regardless of who or how may around us may reject the Truth as it is in Christ Jesus.

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