By Editorial Staff
Published December 22, 2007
Sir Issac Newton (1642 -1727) was a man of the most extraordinary genius. It is almost incomprehensible that the discovery of the Laws of Motion, the Law of Gravitation, the discovery of the light spectrum, and the development of Calculus could have all had their beginning in the mind of one man.
This same man, almost defied in his own lifetime by the scientific community, recognized the source of his knowledge and humbly proclaimed his appreciation by saying on more than one occasion: “Science is simply man’s thinking God’s thoughts after Him.” (Proverbs 22:4)
A story is told about a globe that Sir Issac had a very skilled craftsman make for his study. Not only did this globe possess great beauty but it also operated as an astronomical clock, giving the time of day while, at the same time, showing the relative positions of the sun, moon, and the then known planets. One day a learned colleague of Newton’s visited him in his study and his attention was soon drawn to the magnificent globe. He studied it for several minutes, noting the many weights, wheels and pulleys that all worked together in such a remarkable, synchronized way. Finally the visitor spoke: “Sir Issac, this is the most intriguing, most marvelous example of a craftsman’s genius I have ever witnessed in my life. Please tell me who did this.”
Newton answer in a subdued voice: “No one.” The visitor still caught up in his enthusiasm, continued: “Sir Issac, surely you have noticed what a feat it has been for the craftsman to have all of those parts moving in such precise synchronization that the sun and the moon are at all times in the exactly proper position with respect to each other. Who was it that you said was the craftsman?”
“I said, ‘No one’, Sir,” replied Newton.
The guest became a bit annoyed at this point and said: “Do you expect me to believe that this complex, detailed, mechanized model of the solar system could possibly have come into existence without a maker? Please sir, what sort of a fool do you take me for?”
Newton turned to the gentleman and replied: “My friend, please excuse my seeming impertinence, but I see nothing in my response to you that is any more foolish than your asking me to believe that the real world in which we live, with its infinite variety and complexity and yet obvious organization and interdependence, just happened into existence without a Designer. It truly puzzles me that this globe must have a maker, but the incomparable universe must have brought itself into being without a Creator.” The visitor smiled, shook his head and changed the subject.
The subject of the design in nature and the universe is many times a sensitive topic of discussion between those who accept a literal interpretation of the Bible and those who have views ranging from limited acceptance to complete disregard for the Bible as God’s Word.
An approach that is reasonably easy to see in spite of its seemingly formidable name, is the probabilistic approach, in which we consider the statistical probability that an event can take place. For example, we know that nitrogen and oxygen molecules comprise most of the air we breathe.
If, as you read this article, you are sitting in a room at normal room temperature, the molecules of nitrogen and oxygen are moving about you at an average speed of about 1000 miles per hour. These same molecules are also undergoing about five billion collisions per second.
It is possible, however, that at a given instant all molecules in the room could be moving in the same direction, such as right toward, and out through, an open door. While this particular molecular motion is possible, statistically it is so highly improbable that you need not worry about the room suddenly turning into a vacuum and suffocating you.
To be fair and objective, we must recognize that many, many very highly improbable events do indeed occur. Suppose you have in your wallet a dollar bill with an eight digit serial number. Since there are ten possible numbers, 0, 1, 2, … 9, there is a probability of one in ten that the first digit of the serial number is 2.
There is a probability of one in ten that the second digit is a 7. There is one chance in one hundred (10 × 10) that the first two digits are 27. We do not have to go any further to see that the probability is extremely small that the eight digit number is 27516679, but you look at your dollar and sure enough this is the serial number.
Whatever the serial number is, it is by the previous thinking a highly improbable series of eight digits.
However, if we had been at the United States Mint on the day the Mint was printing the series of bills that includes our sought for serial number, the probability of our finding the bill would have been a certainty. On any day before this printing, we could have looked for this combination of numbers on every one dollar bill in the world and we would not have found it. Of course, were it not classified information, we could have called the Mint the day before the printing of our serial number, and they could have informed us that the number was to appear the following day. What we see then is that what appears from one point of view to be an improbable event not only has a possibility of occurring but from another viewpoint is virtually certain to do so.
In science, the final test of truth is direct observation. Scientists seek to replace the unknown with increased amounts of irrefutable evidence until they can be convinced, one way or the other, that the evidence provides only one reasonable conclusion. Both evolution and creation scientists proport to be following this objective pursuit of truth, however, too many times both sides have failed to do so, due to their strong intellectual and/or spiritual basis.
In the remainder of the article you will read about some directly observed occurrences in living nature. The only accepted method for the development of all life, according to evolution scientists, is that of random mutations (accidental changes) which have evolved upward by natural selection over millions of years. Each mutation is said to have conferred an advantage to the organism, and is now producing all of the structures of living things.
According to creation scientists, the biblical record is a factual account of the design and origin of all of the major kinds of things, having been accomplished through the intelligent will and supernatural acts of an all knowing, purposeful Creator. In the paragraphs that follow, we ask you only to listen to what your conscience tells you as to how these occurrences came to be.
1. The millipede (species Apheloria corrugata) is a very clever chemist. On both sides of each segment of its body, glands produce a liquid containing a certain chemical compound, mandelonitrile. When the millipede comes under attack by enemy insects, it can cause a chemical reaction to occur involving mandelonitrile. The reaction results in the formation of a mild irritant, and a deadly gas, hydrogen cyanide, used in gas chambers to execute criminals. Yet, there the little millipede sits in a cloud of lethal fumes, while his attackers “split” in all directions.
2. Most spiders hate water, but one spider, Argyroneta, lives under the water. These creatures live in little silken diving bells about one foot under the surface of ponds and streams. At the surface they capture bubbles of air, which cling to the hairs of their bodies, and they fill their diving bells with bubbles brought down from the surface. The female lays her eggs in her diving bell, and the young spiders begin their life there beneath the surface. When they are ready to begin an independent life, they dart out into the water covered in a bubble of air taken from their mother’s diving bell home.
3. The giraffe heart is probably the most powerful in the animal kingdom, because about double normal pressure is required to pump blood up that long neck to the brain. But their brain cannot stand high blood pressure. What keeps the giraffe from “blowing his mind” every time he bends down to take a drink? Three features have been found that may explain why it does not get headaches whenever it drinks. These factors act together in such a way as to prevent any sizeable increase in blood pressure on the brain during a giraffe’s drinking time.
The explanation given by evolutionary scientists for the development of the complex functions listed above requires that some kind of advantage be derived from each of the many in between stages that resulted in the “completed” functions. But is this really reasonable?
What would be the selective pressure used to cause any of the above systems to evolve from partially completed stages toward the final completed system? Does the availability of millions of years for evolution to occur really help the situation?
I submit to you that the variety, complexity, and coordination seen throughout nature cannot lie in the area of chance, as suggested in the theory of evolution, but must find their origin in the intelligence of the Designer and Creator – God. (Psalms 104)
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Science
Your comments are welcome!
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)