Dumb or Designed?

When I look at creation with all of it’s intricate interactions and symbiotic coordination, I think it would take more “faith” for me to reject God’s existence than to conclude he obviously does exist.

It is not as though a few things just happen to work together, it is tens of thousands of things all working in just the right combination so that things are, just as they are. The whole universe shouts, “I was designed and I am magnificently governed! Even just to consider our own bodies and the thousands of things and processes in perfect combination that cause us to exist, be sustained and enable us to  engage is magnificent and manifold activities.  The statistical possibility that all this intricate unity just happened by accident, or by blind chance is simply not tenable to me. God exists and his fingerprints are everywhere.

In today’s Office of Readings (Thursday of the First Week of the Year), we read from St. Athanasius in his Discourse Against the Pagans. In it he observes the following:

For if the movement of the universe were irrational, and the world rolled on in random fashion, one would be justified in disbelieving what we say. But if the world is founded on reason, wisdom and science, and is filled with orderly beauty, then it must owe its origin and order to none other than the Word of God(Contra P Nn. 40-42: PG 25, 79-83)

Indeed the Father created all things through his Word (Jesus). The Greek for “word” is Logos. For God spoke, “Let there be light, and there was light.” Gen 1:3). And the Word he spoke was Jesus, the Logos, the Word. Of Jesus in this regard Scripture says, Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made (Jn 1:3). And again, All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (Col 1:16-17). In speaking through his Logos, the Father imprinted on all creation a “Logike” or logic. It is this logic that is at the heart of the scientific method which must presume that things are not randomly or dumbly here. Rather things have a nature, a coherent logic and order that can be discovered and counted on to be stably so.

Thus, Athanasius adds,

By his eternal Word the Father created all things and implanted a nature in his creatures. He did not want to see them tossed about at the mercy of their own natures, and so be reduced to nothingness.  But in his goodness he governs and sustains the whole of nature by his Word (who is himself also God), so that under the guidance, providence and ordering of that Word, the whole of nature might remain stable and coherent in his light….The almighty and most holy Word of the Father pervades the whole of reality, everywhere unfolding his power and shining on all things visible and invisible. (Ibid)

As such, the Creator is known by his works. St. Paul says

For what may be known about God is plain to them [the unbelieving Gentiles], because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse. (Rom 1:19-20).

We are still beset today by such unbelief and it too is without excuse, and is even more blameworthy, since we know so much more about the awesome intricacy of creation and how astonishing are the layers of its order at both the macro-level and the micro-level. The glory of one cell and all its parts so intricately working together looks up to a universe of billions of galaxies in an intricate dance of balance. Even its chaos brings forth new glories and forges elements and minerals.

Yes, the whole universe proclaims God’s existence:

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. Without speech or language, without a sound to be heard, their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun. Like a bridegroom emerging from his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course, it rises at one end of the skies and runs its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. (Psalm 19:1-6)

I don’t know how it is logically or reasonably possible to deny God’s existence when considering all this. Granted, one may not be able to conclude exactly to the God who reveals himself in Scripture with some attributes beyond reason. But any honest look at creation reveals a maker who is awesome in power, is intelligent,  provident, possessed of order and a manifest purpose to bring for beauty and life of immense variety.  Even from the cauldron of chaos (such as volcanos and storms) he brings forth needed minerals, gases for the atmosphere, and even a magnetic field to deflect cosmic radiation. From storms come the rains, ozone, and a distribution of heat from the equator to help warm the planet.

Order, order everywhere. And even some of what seems chaotic, is still part of a larger order. Creation shouts God’s existence and proclaims “I was designed!”