Many people, even people with respected scientific credentials, suggest that the universe – even the amazing and vast varieties of life on our planet – are not functions of intelligent design but rather that of random chance natural happenings. In some academic settings today, to advocate “Intelligent Design” as a teacher or professor is to assure a marginalized position at best and loss of position at worst. To me, this is irrefutable evidence of foolishness by the intellectuals who run mainstream academia in our day.
To illustrate my point, I ran a little scientific experiment of my own. I want you to consider the implications of this simple experiment. First, I will describe my experiment, in case you want to duplicate it and compare results. (This is how true scientific experiments work.) My experiment went like this:
I used an online random generator to assemble 109 consecutive letters from our 26-letter alphabet. (Yes, I had a reason for choosing 109; you’ll see later.) Then I generated random numbers from 1-10. I used these numbers to insert spaces, creating random “words.” Next, I again generated random numbers from 1-10, using these to identify which letters would be capitalized. Finally, I randomly chose a series of four punctuation marks (period, comma, dash and question mark). (Though there are other punctuation marks in our language, I thought use of these four common possibilities would suffice for my simple experiment.) Having randomly generated the sequence of punctuation marks, I then inserted these at random intervals from 1-10 spaces.
Below is the result of all that randomness:
fqzjJ mfv.lMa lYy.na jXn,rcdq oeRv- f?ufx,Cdyi t.fttcoE p,faWobrz?v,j A.ypIllzf uf-Z.butdmt.wfH k,tndazj-m?o Gnigchy,aHi x.gjgXktSbs,xe bljd tK
Now, compare that result of randomness to the following 109 letters with spaces, capitalization, and punctuation from Psalm 51: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me, Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me” (verses 10 & 11). Only an absolute fool would deny design and purpose in the construction of those words from Scripture. You can confidently conclude, without having witnessed it being done, that an intelligent order of letters and spaces and punctuation was done on purpose, not by accident. Likewise, only a fool would see anything but chaos in the random results I documented from my experiment. And a rational mind should expect nothing else.
Scientists at least ask you and me to believe – whether they believe it or not – that Psalm 51 could be created by those random processes I used – if we allow enough time for innumerable reordering of letters, spaces, and punctuation by random “chance.” Though that might be theoretically possible, it is not a philosophically sound assumption to expect it ever to actually happen. And, if it did eventually happen, those 29 words would be buried in a huge mountain of waste paper. I am not mathematician enough to begin to estimate the size of that mountain. Let me help you begin to digest the unlikelihood of generating that little Psalm passage via random selection.
For simplicity sake, let’s just assume that all we needed were the letters (capital and lower case) and spaces. For sake of this point of illustration, we shall ignore all punctuation. Thus, the random options would be 53 (26 lower case letters, 26 uppercase letters, and a space). Let’s look at the probability of randomly achieving just the first word, “Create.” The probability of randomly getting the first letter – “C” – is a one in 53 chance. That is not highly likely, but within the realm of possibility to most of our minds. Right?
Suppose you are fortunate and randomly get that capital “C”, the probability that you would get the next letter, the lower case “r”, is also one in 53. That same probability exists for each following letter, (e, a, t, e). If you are not aware of calculating statistical probability, here is how that works: The probability of getting the correct sequence of letters multiplies with each additional letter. Thus, to get a capital “c”, followed by a lower case “r” is one in 53 times 53, or one in 2,809. To get the capital “c” followed by a lower case “r”, followed by a lower case “e” is one in 53 times 53 times 53, or one in 148,877. Calculating the probability of randomly achieving the whole word “Create” would be one in (53 x 53 x 53 x 53 x 53 x 53) or one in 22,164,361,129. That is one chance in over 22 billion tries – just to get the first word, the first six letters correct. Oh, wait a minute: If we want to add the “space” after the word Create, the probability increases another 53 times. Now we are up to one in 1,174,711,139,837 chance of seeing this by random action. That is one chance in over one trillion random tries.
Remember, we have only “created” the word Create with the appropriate space after it. There are over 100 letters and spaces to go, with each successive letter increasing the probability by 53 times. I’ll let you do the rest of the math if you are interested. I don’t think you really need to do that; we have seen, in the random creation of the first word, a mind-blowing improbability.
You should easily see that no rational mind would expect that little Psalm passage would ever be generated by randomness. It grossly insults our intellect to suggest otherwise. Clearly, a creative mind was behind the penning of those verses. We may not know the specific mind that created the words in the verses, but we would not doubt that there was a mind behind the words. Likewise, as we honestly look at our world, we see so much evidence of “Intelligence behind the scene” that randomness is ruled out as a rational explanation of the phenomena we encounter.
Let us assume that all the prerequisites of life somehow existed on planet earth – naturally. That would be similar to assuming that the alphabet was a natural occurrence. For sake of illustration, let’s assume both existed on their own – naturally. So, if all the necessary elements of life just happened to be lying around on planet Earth, randomness could conceivably create life. The life that randomness would create, however, would not look anything like the life we see all around us. The life we see is highly complex and highly ordered – actually far more complex than those Psalm verses. Whatever the “life” that randomness would create would surely look like the chaotic mess of my experiment – nothing close to the beauty of life in the air, on the land and in the seas.
Tucked into the Genesis creation story are some important words and phrases, the significance of which can be easily overlooked. Repeatedly, we read of trees and vegetation with “seed and fruit,” which refer to the reproductive process put into the organisms. At least twice, we read of the Maker speaking to the creatures, “be fruitful and multiply.” I submit that it is this feature of life on planet earth that absolutely removes “randomness” from the rational explanation of ourselves and the teeming life all around us.
Clearly we were designed to reproduce our lives. Individual cells were designed to reproduce. Organisms were designed to reproduce. And they are designed to reproduce “according to their kinds.” Furthermore, this reproductive process is different for different plants and different animals; even in this vast array of reproductive processes we should see design, not randomness.
When I contemplate the scientific minds of my day who attribute our universe –
and especially life on our planet, to mere random chances of nature, I cannot help but recall words of the Apostle Paul written over 2000 years ago. Speaking of fallen humanity, who rejected the Maker and made gods for themselves, he said, “Professing to be wise, they became fools… ” (Romans 1:22). For well over a century, people who “profess to be wise”, people who are revered as wise by most of us, have
rejected the Maker as “unscientific speculation.” The Psalmist’s words still ring true: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ ” (Psalm 14:1). The strong bias in our day against the presentation of “design” is because secular educators know it is a very small step from contemplating design to contemplating a Designer. And the secularists must oppose this passionately.
I wrote this piece to encourage you to think for yourself. You do not have to be as intellectually brilliant as Richard Dawkins to reason for yourself about these crucial matters of life. I am certainly not Dawkins-bright. You do not have to be intimidated by the intellectual brilliance of others; I am not. Sometimes intellectually bright people become so enamored with their brilliance that they choose to believe some philosophically irrational stuff. To deny design in nature is just one such example of this error.
Finally, lest anyone think I think I have just proven the existence of God, or especially the God of the Bible, I am not so deluded. I have only suggested that a rational look at the evidence before us makes it more than reasonable to ponder the Amazing Intelligence behind the amazing creation. When we are prepared to honestly ponder and seek to know more about this Creator, the Bible begins to speak on page one. From there to the last page of the Revelation, the Bible forms a lens through which we can more clearly see our world, ourselves and the One who made it all. It emphatically declares that you are no cosmic accident; you were created on purpose for a purpose by the God who made everything. I pray you find Him and find your purpose in Him.
(All Scripture verses cited are from the New International Version.)