There is a problem with my bathroom. Regardless of how many times I scrub it clean, I always come back in a week and find it has once more become a crusty, smelly mess. So I clean it again. Whatever this problem is, it seems to have extended to my kitchen, bedroom, and even my truck. The issue of course is that everything in life tends towards chaos. The law of entropy dictates this. Left on its own, nature reverts to disorder, disrepair, and eventually ruin. For this reason, any appearance to the contrary is evidence of an intelligent force acting against nature’s steady march towards madness. We see this reversal of entropy any time we encounter order, design, or creativity, which lead us to conclude in an orderer, a designer, and a creator. The more complex the system – that is, the further removed it is from chaos – the greater the evidence that an intelligent being had a hand in it’s existence. Likewise, the greater the complexity, the greater the intelligence of the designer must prove to be.
In my college days I would frequently steal away from classes to hike the endless acres of national forest that lay nestled in the lowlands of the Ohio wilderness. During one outing, I scaled a cliff of Dolomite using a makeshift grappling hook, to find a curious sight at the summit. Over one-hundred pinecones had been arranged in a circular pyramid. They were positioned with the bases downward, the peaked cones pointing out, as if a landmine had petrified mid-explosion. I have found strange things in the woods before, but this was among the strangest. Yet even miles from any civilized dwellings, I recognized that this perfect pinecone pyramid must have been left here by a fellow human being. The order was too precise to have happened by chance. Even though the surrounding forest contained literally thousands of pinecones scattered all over the forest floor, this was anything but happenstance.
A few days later I found an old, worn out wristwatch, and beyond that, scratched into the rock face beside a stream, the words “Kevin + Amanda” encircled by a crude heart. Now these were certainly a step up from before. The pinecones demonstrated order; the watch, design, structure, and complexity. The message was perhaps the greatest evidence, for it introduced language, communication, and emotion.
Now each of these things might have been the product of random chance. Pinecones are plentiful and naturally occurring in the outdoors. While the chance is 1-in-a-million, they may have been tumbled and tossed by the wind to form an apparent structure. Yet every last thread of human experience says otherwise. Patterns not naturally occurring in nature are the evidence of forces beyond nature inflicting their will upon it. This is order. If you came upon a row of tin cans standing in a straight line, would you not assume at least a child had placed them there? Not even bird’s nests build themselves.
To look at the Order present in the universe and conclude that anything other than an Intelligent Designer is responsible for its being so ordered, quite frankly, is ridiculous. The evidence for God in this world is so immense that it takes more faith not to believe in his existence! From the laws of gravity and thermodynamics to electromagnetism, planetary motion, and conservation of mass and energy, all natural scientific laws are evidence of such order. They are the reason this whole mess of life hangs together and keeps on spinning. The dictionary defines Natural Laws as “statements that describe, predict, and perhaps explain why, a range of phenomena behave as they appear to in nature.” These are found in all realms of science: astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology physics, and the rest. Science can tell us how these laws work, and make predictions and advancements based upon them. They are the foundation for our understanding of all science. But science cannot tell us why these laws are the way they are. Einstein himself once said, “The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.” By this he meant that science could not explain adequately why life exists, or order, or that we should be here to wonder at and study the universe at all. Unsurprisingly, this genius of a man believed in God, also stating “Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man.”
The wristwatch presents a greater problem. It demonstrated a much greater level of intervention with the process of chaos – and being thus further removed, a greater level of intelligence. Atheists may say that given an infinite amount of time, anything could happen. I disagree. Even if you disassembled a watch, threw all the pieces in a box, and shook the box for a hundred thousand years, they would never manage to reform into a working mechanism, much less tell the correct time if they did. In fact, you know what would happen? The pieces would be beaten to dust within the first few decades! Even with all the materials necessary to create a watch randomly crashing into each other for endless ages (ignoring the fact that such materials would require a craftsman to assemble in the first place), the assembly of a functioning device would be impossible.
Atheists want to say that everything we observe in the world is no more than the result of random ingredients banging around in a box the size of the universe. And from that incessant cacophony I am to conclude that we derived life, intelligence, plants and animals, and most incredibly, a creature known as Man. Yet any surgeon, scientist, or psychologist will just as readily admit – in awestruck admiration – that the human brain itself is far beyond even the most complex computers we can create. It is a mystery. An enigma. If a wristwatch, which is infinitely more simple by comparison, can only be the result of an intelligent being, I simply cannot escape the conclusion that the world and everything in it is the result of an even greater mind.
Finally we have the declaration of love scratched into the cliff face in the middle of an Ohioan national park. More simple than a wristwatch, perhaps, but no less significant. While there is intelligence involved in the whirring of gears and winding springs, these can be the product of a cold, calculating force. The message I found demonstrated something personal. “Kevin + Amanda” it said. Who was Kevin? I wondered. Had he hiked this trail alone, as I had done, to etch in stone a testimony of his undying love? Or had he carved it right there in the girl’s presence, while she looked on with a shy smile as the leaf-scattered sunlight dappled her upturned face? What was the story behind the person behind the creation?
That is, of course, the very question that all religions of the world seek to answer. As a Christian, the question that most interests me is not whether God exists but what sort of a Person he is. When gazing at the world, what is the message there? Ancient peoples, observing the frightening and often cruel forces of nature thought that the gods must be equally harsh. Thus they imagined primordial deities of uncertain and explosive natures, in accordance with the elements of nature itself. Yet mixed in with all the chaos of life, there is also beauty. I have seen, or fancy I have seen, something like a declaration of love written wide across the world, etched deep into the bedrock of the planet. In the open vaults of endless blue skies, in the heady, exotic scent of windswept wildflowers, in the joyful gurgle of a baby’s laugh, I have found echoes of love underlying life itself, wrapped around it like a heart.