In our previous article, we explored the macro – the Universe – the biggest, most vast expanse in all of existence. Despite it being at least 13.8 billion years old and 92 billion light years across, we can still observe the Universe and measure its exquisite, fine-tuned design. This week, we peer inward, deeply inward, into the micro – molecular biology – and yet again we find exquisite, impossibly complex, fine-tuned design.
As we examine the building blocks of life, what are our options?
(a) Life originated because of random happenstance.
(b) Life originated because of finely tuned design.
If (a) is correct, then life has no ultimate meaning; we are merely a product of chemical and electrical impulses. If (b) is correct, then something that is designed must have a designer, and if a Designer (God) exists, then life by definition possesses deep spiritual and metaphysical meaning beyond our mortal comprehension.
The development of electron microscopes in the early 1930s opened up a tiny world that previous scientists could not have imagined. The further we examine the realm of microscopic life, the more we discover astonishing complexity.
For example, if you are walking along the beach and you see “Jacob loves Rachel” written in the sand, you don’t assume the waves wrote it. Even a short message of basic information such as this requires a mind to produce it. Natural forces do not create messages of information. And yet with DNA, a message 3.2 billion letters long resides in every one of the 40 trillion cells in the human body. DNA is genetic material that contains all the information about how a living thing looks and functions. Every cell of every living thing carries DNA. Even a one-cell amoeba has within it a volume of information equal to 1,000 large text books. If you stretch out all of the DNA strands in a human body, they would reach the Moon and back 200,00 times. That’s a lot of information!
DNA is like an enormous computer code, and where there is a code there must be a coder, where there is a message there must be a messenger. Additionally, DNA doesn’t mutate to create new body types, and it represents positive evidence for an intelligent designer.
Consider also the flagellum, a hairlike “tail” that helps some cells and microorganisms move and swim. A bacterial flagellum, like a motor on a boat, is a type of rotating propeller attached to a drive shaft and motor fueled by a flow of acid. It is a remarkably complicated system of numerous different parts with specific functions that relate only to flagellum movement. Remove one of the 40 different proteins necessary for the construction and activity of a flagellum, or any of its unique parts, and it ceases to work as intended. The odds of a flagellum emerging on its own by random chance were calculated to be virtually impossible, falling outside of the accepted boundaries of random probability. Either the flagellum is the result of an immense series of coincidences after coincidences, or it is by design.
Many other biological systems are equally or even more complex: the human eye, biochemistry of vision, blood clotting, cell membranes, antibodies, photosynthesis, and many more. All are composed of different parts that must come together in extremely intricate ways for the system to function properly. The more we discover about micro-complexity, the clearer it becomes that random chance simply cannot stand up to sustained scrutiny.
Yet, some scientists steadfastly refuse any other possibility beyond a random, natural (material) explanation for the origin of life. As Dr. Richard Lewontin, biologist & geneticist, asserts:
“We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism…Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”
Adding it all up, where to place our faith becomes clear. Biochemist, Michael Denton, sums it up well: “The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle.”