Late last year, evolutionist Dr. Erik Svensson (professor of biology and evolution at Lund University in Sweden) wrote an article entitled, “The Study of Evolution is Fracturing—and That May Be a Good Thing.” Here is part of what he said:
Charles Darwin’s theories might be over 150 years old, but major questions about how evolution works are far from settled. Evolutionary biology is now undergoing one of the most intense debates it has had for more than a generation. And how this debate plays out could have a significant impact on the future of this scientific field…. Some go so far as to say that evolutionary theory itself is in crisis and must be replaced with something new…. That evolutionary biology is increasingly fractured does not worry me… as long as we recognize that a plurality of approaches is not a weakness, but a strength. If physicists cannot agree upon a grand unified theory of the universe, why should biologists expect to agree on one beyond what we have already achieved?
He concluded, “Maintaining a coherent overview, either the modern synthesis or some extension to it, seems increasingly hopeless.”
I read the article twice and it seems to me that what the author was saying is this: We’ve been studying evolutionary theory for 150 years and we’re running into more and more problems with our hypotheses. But since we’re committed to evolution, let’s just keep exploring and see what happens.”
Well, I’m not a scientist, but I am a student of a great book about the wonders of Creation, and I want to show you a few Bible verses and then introduce you to an interesting area of science and apologetics. That brings us to the verse I quoted earlier.
Job 12:7-10 says: But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
Ask the animals and learn from them. Ask the birds. Ask the fish. Ask the earth. In other words, the Lord is saying to us—look at My Creation and learn from what I have made. Let’s do that.
When I was a boy, my father took us to Hoover Dam. It’s one of the most breathtaking construction projects of the twentieth century, and as a little boy I felt totally overwhelmed by this massive structure. But long before anyone thought of building dams and creating lakes and reservoirs, do you know who was doing it? Beavers! They are the most incredible animals. They have huge orange front teeth that can cut through a tree. Why are they orange? Because they are reinforced with iron to make them strong enough for gnawing. When they get a tree limb in their mouths, their lips can close behind their teeth so they can swim underwater, and they become like submarines. They have a set of transparent eyelids that are like goggles, allowing them to see underwater. And they know how to fashion those sticks and limbs into a dam that can last for hundreds of years. They first drop large trees into the river to slow the flow of the water. Then they gather smaller sticks along with mud, carry all this in their mouths to their spot, and use their front paws to construct their homes, which includes altering the river enough to create ponds. These beaver dams contain different rooms for eating, for nesting, and with underwater entrances. They are marvels of engineering.
Now, if the Hoover Dam required intelligent engineers to design and build it, don’t you think there is an intelligent designer behind the Beaver?
Whenever I’m in New York, I like to walk across the East River on the Brooklyn Bridge. It was built in 1883, and at that time it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. The story of the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge has been told in books, novels, documentaries, and every other kind of media. At least 25 workers died while building the bridge, and after it was built showman P. T. Barnum took 21 elephants across it to show everyone it was safe.
But long before suspension bridges were built, tiny little spiders were building bridges and spinning webs that rival our greatest feats of engineering. To us a spider web is a nuisance. But truly, each one is a marvel of engineering. To build a web, a spider will climb to somewhere like the end of a leaf and start releasing a cable. With any luck, the wind will blow the other end of the thread against a twig; and when the spider feels the tug, he will tie his end to something and start walking across the thread, releasing more cable as he goes. He’ll come at it from another angle, then from another. By the time the web is completed, it’s a geometrical wonder. Scientists tell us that for its size, spider silk is stronger than steel—yet it has qualities steel doesn’t have. It is flexible, stretchable, and hard to break. Human beings have never been able to replicate anything like it. It’s as though the most brilliant engineering mind in the universe put a tiny bit of his genius into the tiny brain of each tiny spider.
Or think about radar. The science of radar began in the 1880s when a German physicist determined that radio waves could bounce off of solid objects. Then, a Russian man discovered these waves could be detected. The science of radar developed in the 1900s, and before World War II several nations had secret programs for developing radar technology. The ability to detect incoming planes helped save the British Islands during the War and probably changed world history.
But long before radar, there were bats. As bats fly through the air or in and out of caves, they emit extremely high-pitched sounds, far above the hearing capabilities of humans. The sound travels through the air, bounces off objects, and echoes back in the big ears of the creature. The bat’s brain instantly processes the information and determines its flight plan. The bat can instantly tell how far away the object is, how big it is, whether or not it’s moving, and if so in what direction and how quickly. All of that is instantly translated into a flight pattern. God was the original inventor of radar as He installed it into the structure of the bat.
If bridges and radar require intelligent design, what about spiders and bats?
Or consider the helicopter. I can’t tell you the thrill of strapping into a helicopter and hovering high above the ground. But long before helicopters, there were hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are very small creatures with wings that beat about eighty times a second. That makes a humming noise, which gives the birds their name. They can hover. They can fly up and down, left and right, backward and forward, and even upside down. They are the only kind of bird that can fly backward, and they can dive at sixty miles an hour. They expend enormous energy, and they have the fastest metabolism of any other animal on earth. They routinely consume three to four times their body weight every day. For me, that would be like eating about 300 pounds of food each day. They are God’s little helicopters.
We can also mention GPS. My wife and I traveled across Canada for our honeymoon. We had to rely on old-fashioned maps that would never fold back up correctly.
Now our phones beam our location to a satellite, which maps our route and sends a voice back to tell us where to go. It’s a marvel of technology. But long before we put a navigational satellite into space, the migratory birds had an internal GPS that guided them on their long-haul flights between continents and around the world. Do you know which species of bird makes the longest journey each year? The Arctic Tern travels from the Arctic to the Antarctic. The average annual round-trip is about 44,000 miles. How do they know where to go? How do they know when? What prompts them to pack their bags and move north or south for the winter? How do they find their nests? God implanted billions of GPS units in birdbrains around the world, and our greatest telecommunication innovations are pale comparisons.
Think of solar panels to capture the sunshine for the purposes of renewable energy. Solar farms have miles and miles of panels aimed skyward. But why do you think the leaves of plants are? What do you think photosynthesis is? Every tree and every plant and every flower contains organic solar panels beyond number.
We’re also proud of our electrical generating plants, but the electric eel had that down from the beginning of creation. One electric eel is capable of generating an electric shock of 600 volts, and it can generate two types of electrical discharge—low voltage and high voltage.
The Wright Brothers designed their flying machine after studying flying pigeons.
When we think of the electric light bulb, we think of Thomas Edison, but down in the depths of the ocean are species of fish and ocean creatures that generate light through the processes of bioluminescence and biofluorescence. Some of these fish remain illuminated all the time, and others can turn their lights on and off. Or you can look out your window on a summer’s night and count the lightning bugs. These gentle little insects fly around in the evening turning their light bulbs on and off, and sometimes you can see them by the hundreds.
All of this is a category of both science and apologetics known as biomimicry. Biomimicry is the study of how some of our most advanced technologies simply mimics what God first placed in the world of nature.
In Japan, I stood on the platform as a bullet train whizzed by. But when the train first started running a few years ago, it would create a problematic sonic boom. A Japanese engineering team was hired to solve the problem, and the head of that team was an avid bird watcher. The team studied the kingfisher bird and noticed how the bird was able to slice through the air without a ripple and to dive into the water without a splash, and they designed the front of the train to conform to the design of the beak of the kingfisher.
If you look at the soles of your athletic shoes and compare them to the pads of a dog’s paws, you’ll see a resemblance. The reason is because in 1935, Paul Sperry noticed that his shoes would slip on wet surfaces while his cocker spaniel had no trouble walking beside him. Sperry studied the dog’s paws and saw wave-like grooves, and he started the Sperry Shoe Company based on that design.
In 1946, Joseph Cox studied the teeth of a timber beetle larva and used the design to invent the chain saw.
Velcro was invented when a Swiss engineer studied the burrs he was trying to get off his clothes and out of his dog’s fur.
As I researched all this, I came across a fascinating article by Dr. Grady McMurtry, who is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and has gone on to earn several postgraduate degrees. He’s an apologist who focuses on biblical creation. He wrote about an insect called the Bombardier Beetle.
Various species of Bombardier Beetle are found around the world. They are about one-half inch long. Inside their bodies they have chambers and they produce various chemicals along with both reactant inhibitors and accelerants. When these beetles are attacked they initiate a chemical reaction that takes place just outside their bodies. The beetle has produced hydroquinones and hydrogen peroxide which is mixed to produce a series of violent explosions. The temperature reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which turns the water left over from the reaction into steam; then at up to 500 times per second; and speeds that range from eight up to 43 mph through a twin set of spray nozzles whose direction can be controlled; these beetles spray hot toxic chemicals onto their attacker….
In essence, the Bombardier Beetle has a small rocket engine built into its body. The design of its internal chambers and defense mechanism has been used to improve the ignition systems of gas turbines and the inflation systems for automobile air bags.
But as I’ve been thinking about all of this, I’ve arrived at a conclusion and written an essay about it. I’m going to read it to you. It’s not a long essay. The title is: “I Don’t Believe in Inventors.”
I have investigated modern technology. I’ve driven across the Golden Gate and read about the engineering behind our most advanced bridges, spans and viaducts. I’ve seen radar installations on the British coast and along the Sinai Peninsula and in other places around the world. I have ridden on helicopters and marveled at their ability to hover in the air like hummingbirds. I’ve studied the science behind the propellers of the ocean liners and the technology behind GPS and satellite navigational guidance. I’ve seen solar farms and electrical generating plants. My grandparents used candles and oil lamps, but I was fortunate enough to grow up in a world lit by electricity and filled with modern conveniences that prior generations could not even imagine. But I now believe that, despite suggestions to the contrary, none of these things were actually designed by human intelligence. None of them were, in fact, designed at all. No scientists envisioned them. No engineers charted them. No manufacturers made them. The stories of the world’s great inventors are legends, and the reports of their inventions are myths. All these things—bridges and aircraft and generators and sophisticated, fine-tuned devices and equipment—came into being by chance plus time, merely as a result of random bits of junk coincidentally coming together in an unpremeditated and unplanned set of blind processes. Whatever we have been taught in the past about engineering, science, technology, inventions, innovation, human intelligence and intelligent design is false and fictitious and fanciful.
Of course, such a view would be foolish.
Of course it would—wouldn’t it?
The Bible says, But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
Romans 1 says: What may be known about God is plain… because God has made it plain…. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse (verses 19-20).
The Psalmist said, The heavens declare the glory of God; and the skies proclaim the work of His hands (Psalm 19:1).
The Bible opens with the words, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
All this should cause us to praise the Lord, the King of Creation, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.
Psalm 148 says: Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and women, old men and children [and we can add scientists, educators, and engineers]. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens (verses 7-13).
Let me end with this classic creation hymn:
This is my Father’s world,
And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas,
His hand the wonders wrought.