Design?…Without a designer?
“Inside Nature’s Giants” looked like it was going to be a fascinating programme, but it turned out to be another Natural History programme that really annoyed me. They couldn’t do their disections and work out how the elephant walked and breathed and was able to suck up water with its trunk, with out again presenting speculation on its evolution as known fact. But as no evoultionary scientists were around howevermany millions of years ago when this was supposed to have happened, they cannot be anymore certain that this is how it happened than I am of hitting a dart board an twenty feet with a blindfold on. Don’t get me wrong I am fascinated by the diversity of life on our planet and the antics that these creatures get up to, but it’s the way they are presented.
Take a good quality microscope; an amazing object in itself, such precision, incredible engineering, giving you the ability to make the invisible visible; but I digress. Put a droplet of pond water on a slide and look at it through said microscope. What appeared to be an empty drop of clean water to the naked eye turns into a complete menagerie of creatures of all shapes and sizes, each with its own way of propelling it through the water. Now take a walk high up on a mountainside. Look down on forests, fields, valleys, lakes and rivers. All are interdependent on each other. Such breath taking beauty and diversity. If a part of any one of them is put under the microscope it reveals an even more complex structure and wide range of organisms, living off and contributing to its host structure. Yet many natural historians, the revered Mr Attenbourough included will try to tell you, nay, they will insist that this all came about by accident. When they travel the world and bring some exotic species into our homes through the awesome power of television, another amazing feat of engineering, they will often speak of its superb design, but they will never acknowledge a designer. When questioned about it recently he replied he had never seen any evidence for the existence of a God. It reminded me of a ceramic sculpture made by a final year student when I was in college. The sculpture was of a caricature of an explorer with a magnifying glass in his hand studying a butterfly, without realising it had landed on the horn of a rhinocerous; it was called “The bigger picture” When questioned about how a structure as complex as a human eye could evolve, Mr Attenborough explained the theory that if a group of light sensitive cells in a simple multi-celled organism developed in a depression in the front of the organism then the cluster would be able to pick out the direction the light was coming from by the shadow cast by the edge of the depression. This would give the creature an advantage over others of its kind. It would breed with others with a similar development; the depression deepens and becomes an eye. My reaction was two fold. Firstly a deep depression covered in light sensitive cells is a long way from an eye with a lens, an iris and all its other structures; and secondly while this theory may be possible, is it probable, I think not.
To quote another leading scientist, Professor Lord Robert Winston, “The Cardinal sin of science is its certainty.” Today we are unquestionably sure this is the way it is. Tomorrow they will tell you they have moved on and they know better, with not even an apology for the mistake. They arrogantly charge ahead telling us the way it is because they are scientists, they know and they expect us to believe them and follow blindly. To believe that a chemical soup on a primitive planet was a place where somehow the right chemicals bumped into each other, linked and formed life, and that out of this developed the complex highly designed creatures that cover our planet today equates to believing that a tornado running through a scrap yard could accidentally build a jumbo jet. Now wouldn’t that be something!
As a trained designer, with some years spent studying, practicing, teaching and lecturing design, I find it quite demeaning when some scientist tells me that the greatest designs on earth just happened; there was no need for a designer. Why did I bother with all those hours spent burning my brain out over a drawing board, when if I had just put a blank sheet of paper on the board and walked away, my scheme would have designed itself!
The Maths Problem
I love maths, I always have not just the ordinary, one plus one stuff, but the complex maths behind spirals and geometry. The problem I have is, if everything developed by accident why is it all so mathematical. Why is a pine cone so perfectly mathematically arranged, every segment, when it is open is a part of a perfect spiral. The seeds of a sunflower are arranged in the same way forming a perfect spiral. Snow flakes, under our microscope, are mathematics through and through. Could random chance and accident create such perfect geometry, again it’s possible, but is it probable?
Then there’s the Water Problem
All substances obey certain laws of Physics and Chemistry. The gas of a substance is lighter than its liquid form and the liquid is lighter than its solid form. This makes logical sense as at each step we are compressing molecules into a smaller space more matter less space equals a denser material, but what happens to water? We find the gas, steam is lightest, but the solid floats! Water is at its densest at four degrees above freezing oops! So much for laws.
I appreciate everyone is entitled to a point of view, and that to believe that everything including us has been created by a God has consequences that many people may not wish to accept, but I wish natural history presenters could make programmes about life on earth without imposing their theories presented as fact. Until they do I suppose I will have to watch their programmes with the sound turned down.