Monday, February 24, 2014

Intelligent or Non-Intelligent Design?? The Origins of the Universe and Mankind

OK, so let's dig in a little for a moment.  After all, it's Monday morning...the start of a new week. I'm not always wild about weeks beginning again and need to do something to get my juices flowing.  Let's do something with those brains and instincts of ours and talk about something that I don't believe I've ever talked about on this blog before:  The Origins of the Universe.

Is that enough of a caffeine jolt to get you going this morning?  I can hear you sigh from way over here.


I've been doing some thinking lately (yes, it sometimes still happens).  I've been thinking about weightier stuff than my brain usually holds.  Specifically, I've been thinking about the origins of the universe, about the existence of mankind, and how we got here.

I don't, frankly, have a lot of answers yet.  I don't know if I'll ever be fully satisfied.  But I'm trying to learn a little more and I'm researching and reading.  Some of the things I've been trying to learn about, because I'm woefully ignorant on such topics are:  Tectonic plates; carbon-dating (turns out, not necessarily so accurate after all); the make-up of our physical earth; inner and outer planets; the various 'spheres' (biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, etc); the fossil layers of the Grand Canyon; etc etc etc.  I can't answer a lot of detailed questions about these things yet, and I'm just at the front end of my learning, and I feel a need to inform myself a little more on these matters.

There's one thing that stands out to me.  It's been staring me in the face for a while now.  I'm somewhat reluctant to say it out loud because my thoughts aren't complete yet; also because I don't have all of the answers; and lastly because I'm not really up for a giant debate (too much else cluttering my brain!).

But I'll say it anyway because it just suddenly seems like the most obvious thing in the world to me (pun intended).

I'm a Creationist.  I believe in Intelligent Design.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that I believe that the universe and everything in it was designed and created by an astoundingly intelligent Being; I believe in a God who created an undeniably remarkable universe.

The more (which, granted, isn't a lot!) I learn about the universe, about people, about the infinitely intricate systems of our natural world, about the utter miracle of human life, and about how everything just fits together, the more challenging I find it even to conceptualize that something other than a Being of unimaginable intelligence was the cause of our existence.

Evolutionists and big bang theorists believe that one atom (or other inanimate piece of matter) turned into a big explosion of gases, which somehow created out of chaos the order and majesty and unbelievable detail of the natural world.  These same theorists also believe that this same atom (or other particle of matter) was responsible for turning into something that ultimately turned into something that ultimately turned into a creature (say, a dog) that ultimately turned into a completely different creature (say a cat), that ultimately turned into a different creature that ultimately turned into a cell that ultimately resulted in a human being.  That we, and every creature and bit of plant life around us, have a common origin in that piece of non-living matter that started created our universe.

There are several questions that simply scream out to me in their obviousness (is that a word?):

First, if the big bang theory were true, where did that first atom (or gases, or whatever) come from?  I am not a scientist - neither a secular nor a creation scientist.  But even Bill Nye the (evolutionist) Science Guy has no explanation for where that first atom came from and I can't find any other evolutionary scientists who do either.  They have no idea whatsoever.  Of course, for a creationist, this question poses no challenge whatsoever.

Second, how does inanimate matter become a living thing?  How does non-living matter become life?  To the best of my knowledge, life cannot simply materialize from matter.  How did just the right chemicals or gases (or whatever) come together in exactly the right configuration for precisely the right about of time and under just the perfect conditions required to form themselves into the semblance of a living cell?  Evolutionary scientists have no explanation for this, although they suggest that this single step in a long chain of events actually happened, and via natural processes.

Third, if we're not the creation of intelligent design; if, in fact, we're the product of non-intelligent design, then shouldn't we all be able to create something...right now...such as a flower, or an ant, or even a single blade of grass?  After all, a belief in non-intelligent design means, put plainly, that it doesn't take intelligence to create life.

And fourth, where do our values come from?  Our morals?  Our conscience? How do we account for our souls, for that somehow-non-definable-but-oh-so-real part of us that makes us who we are?

Even if I weren't a Christian, even though I am a Christian, it seems far more obvious, and far easier to believe, that we were created with intelligence and with intention than as a result of a random explosion.

But I get it.  We're all entitled to our own belief systems.  You can have yours and I'll have mine.  I'll even respect your differences and hope that you'll do the same for mine.  But you weren't there at the time of the creation of the universe any more than I was, and we all have the same evidence to consider, so either way, we're operating on faith far more than on fact on either side of the equation.

I also get that there are people out there who simply don't want to believe in God.  Or who can't, for whatever reason.  Or who aren't interested enough to explore a little further whether or not there might be a God out there.  Or who are like the person I spoke with not that long ago who said she was simply too lazy to figure out whether or not she wanted to believe in God; and this sort of perspective actually makes sense to me because we live in a world where status quo and societal norms and non-thoughtful decision-making about life's big questions seem pretty commonplace.  Regardless of the reason someone doesn't believe in God, for such people it makes sense that the universe must come from somewhere else because the alternative would be to open oneself up to the possibility of God.

I'm done being a little on the lazy side in my understanding of the origins of the universe.  I will never have, in this life, all of the answers; in fact, even when I'm in the presence of the One I believe created me, I may not have possession of all of the answers.

But I'm interested in learning more.

I welcome you to join me...ideally over a cup of coffee!


  1. Brene Brown states: I question the scientists and theologians that ask us to choose between faith and reason. I don't believe it's one or the other. She defines: "Intuition is not a single way of knowing--it's our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we've developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason." Saw this yesterday, and kinda liked it. :)

    1. Hey Carolyn -
      I heard about Brene Brown just recently...funny that you mentioned her today.

      I like that quote too...really like it. Thanks for sharing!



  2. It is the mystery that keep us thinking about the bigger questions. We can hold these two ideas-faith and science- in tension with one another. I don't have the answers but I enjoy thinking and learning new things about these larger questions.