|HIGHLIGHTS OF DAWN||July 2001|
An Intelligent Creator
ON SUNDAY, MARCH 25, 2001, on the front page of a prominent newspaper—“The Los Angeles Times,”—an article appeared entitled “Enlisting Science to Find the Fingerprints of a Creator.” The “Times” religion writer wrote from Burlington, Washington:
“In this rural farming community, a high school biology teacher named Roger DeHart set out to question Darwin’s theory of evolution. He never mentioned God.
“He dissected such scientific topics as bacterial flagella, fossil records, and embryonic development. ‘Examine the evidence,’ he told the students, ‘and ponder the big question: Is life the result of random, meaningless events? Or was it designed by an intelligent force?’
“Over nine years, DeHart would introduce ideas about this theory of ‘intelligent design.’ Then a student protested that DeHart was pushing religion. Then the ACLU filed a complaint. In 1999, school authorities ordered DeHart to drop references to design, and stick to the textbook.
“Last week, DeHart was told he could not even introduce materials questioning Darwin’s theories. Now DeHart is being portrayed as a martyr in the movement promoting intelligent design, the newest twist in the timeless debate over the origin of life.
“The idea that an intelligent force guided creation is as old as Plato. But it is sparking modern battles as a new breed of mostly Christian scholars redefines the old evolution-versus-creationism debate and fashions a movement with more intellectual firepower, mainstream appeal, and academic respectability.
“The scientific establishment generally rejects the theory. But design advocates aim to reshape modern intellectual culture by marshalling scientific evidence that life was created by a transcendent mind, rather than by impersonal, random natural forces.
“‘Our work will alert people to the possibility that God is real rather than a projection of the mind,’ declared Phillip Johnson, a U.C. Berkeley professor emeritus of law, whose 1991 book, ‘Darwin on Trial,’ laid the foundation for the emerging movement.
“Arguments about the theory’s use have arisen in public schools from Washington to Minnesota. On Saturday, intelligent-design theorists made their first appearance at the National School Board Association Convention in San Diego to explain to school system attorneys why their ideas should be allowed in classrooms.
“Unlike Biblical literalists who believe God created the world in six days, most theorists of intelligent design are reputable university scholars who accept evolution to a point. But they question whether Darwinist mechanisms of random mutation and natural selection can fully account for life’s astonishing complexity.”
AN ONGOING DEBATE
Most of the article pits the ‘design’ advocates against its critics. The critics view the promotion of intelligent design by the design group as attempts to get religion into the classroom, saying, “They are using political and social tools to gain acceptance in the classroom that they are unable or unwilling to win in the scientific community.” Design advocates claim that they have been deliberately snubbed by the scientific establishment. Other scientists report receiving correspondence from colleagues who confess doubts about Darwin’s theories, but are afraid to go public for fear of career setbacks.
Ken Miller, a Catholic biochemist at Brown University, and a leading critic of intelligent design, took on a leading design theorist, Michael Behe, a Catholic biochemist at Lehigh University, and author of “Darwin’s Black Box: the Biochemical Challenge to Evolution.” Behe’s theory, called “irreducible complexity,” was challenged by Miller, who claims that design advocates duck their peers—failing for instance to publish their arguments in major scientific journals—because their enterprise is religious, not scientific. At this point, neither side has been persuaded by the other.
Bible students have claimed for many years that the Bible teaches a scientific, orderly creation by a supreme, intelligent Creator. As scientists continue to learn more and more of the immensity and complexity of the universe, many freely acknowledge that they are convinced that this did not happen by chance. Instead, it points to the existence of a supreme, intelligent Creator.—Isa. 40:12-26
PLANET EARTH AND ITS FOUNDATIONS
It should increase our faith in the Bible as the revelation of God’s design for mankind, as we realize how accurately it describes many of the essential facts concerning the earth. For example, the ancients believed that the earth was flat, but it is now established that the earth is a spheroid. This fact was referred to by the Bible 3,000 years ago. In the book of Isaiah we read of “the circle of the earth.” (Isa. 40:22) Furthermore, the Prophet Job said concerning the Creator, “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.”—Job 26:7
The Creator asked Job, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.” And again, “Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof?” (Job 38:4,6) In the light of geological truths now established, it appears that these questions refer to definite characteristics in the formation of the earth. Man’s home does have ‘foundations’ which are firmly established on what is believed to be a solid mass of nickel-iron substance which forms the hard core of the earth’s center.
We note how God uses layman’s language to describe the scientific principles he employed in forming the earth. The ‘corner stone’ of the earth is somewhat like the chief cornerstone of a pyramid, except that instead of being on top, it is in the center. Thus the entire weight of the earth presses down upon its central core. In “The Making of the Earth,” (Encyclopedia of Modern Knowledge, pp. 192,193), Prof. J. W. Gregory mentions seven massive foundations which support the upper crust of the earth. They are located in North and South America, Asia, Africa, Australia, and two in Europe.
While the oceans have a tremendous weight, and are well shored up by a floor of heavy basaltic material, the Lord has provided for additional support for the continents. No wonder the psalmist wrote concerning the Creator, “He hath founded the earth upon her bases, that it should not be removed for ever.”—Ps. 104:5 (Marginal Translation)
God asked Job another important question concerning the earth, “Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?” (Job 38:5) Measurements are vital to an architect when designing a building. Not only must the building itself have proper proportionate measurements, but these must be related to the surrounding objects and circumstances.
So it was in the design of the earth. The great Architect chose measurements in every way suitable to the purpose of his design. The diameter of the earth is approximately 8,000 miles. The importance of this measurement is appreciated only when it is compared with the smaller size of the moon, and with the much larger sizes of Jupiter and Saturn.
Earth’s oceans, it is believed, resulted from water vapor thrown out in earth’s early stages of formation when it was a hot mass. The diameter of the earth would therefore determine the amount of this vapor as related to its surface measurement. In the case of the moon, being much smaller, the amount of water resulting from its gases was so small that it was completely dried up as the moon cooled, with the result that there is no water on the moon. Scientists tell us, on the other hand, that planets the size of Jupiter and Saturn gave off such huge quantities of water vapor that their land masses are completely submerged under great depths of either water or ice. If the earth was to be habitable for man, it had to be the correct size, and the Divine Architect knew what that measurement would need to be.
Also, the distance from the sun had to be just right in order that the earth might be properly warmed, but not made too hot. The sun is about 91 million miles from the earth. Scientists tell us that should the sun be removed to 120 million miles away, we would all freeze to death. Or, if the sun were brought to within 60 million miles of the earth, we would all be burned to death; that even vegetation would be destroyed by the heat.
We see further in the Bible’s description of Earth as a habitable home for man, the orderly, intelligent design of the Father’s work. The six epoch days of Genesis are not twenty-four hour days, but long epochs. In each period a goal is reached in preparing earth for habitation.
THE FIRST “DAY”
In the beginning of the first ‘day,’ God’s Spirit—his almighty power—“moved upon the face of the waters.” (Gen. 1:2) The Hebrew word here translated ‘moved’ means to ‘brood.’
In a general way this is a fitting illustration of how the Spirit, or power, of the Creator brooded over the waters of Earth, that eventually a home might be made ready for the many creatures he had in mind for the earth, and especially for man.
When God’s Spirit began to brood over the waters, “darkness was upon the face of the deep.” Since this was prior to the time when land and water were divided, the earth’s surface was one vast ocean. God asked Job, “Who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it.”—Job 38:8,9
God’s question might well suggest the manner in which the sea came into being. Scientists agree that as the earth-mass cooled, a more or less solid crust formed on the outside. For a time this crust kept the hot gases confined, or, as God’s question suggests, ‘shut up … with doors.’ But the confined gas would build up a tremendous pressure and ‘brake forth’ through innumerable small craters, spread over the earth’s surface, then cool, condense and fall upon the hot surface of the earth; thus the sea was born, God likening it to an issuing out of the womb.
The Creator said, “Let there be light,” and as a result of this decree, “there was light.” (Gen. 1:3) This light could have a number of sources. It seems to be associated with the energy expended by God to set in motion a number of chemical reactions to achieve the correct composition for earth and its atmosphere.
THE SECOND “DAY”
During the second creative period, the earth’s atmosphere was formed. “And God said, Let there be a firmament [Marginal Translation: ‘expansion’] in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” (Gen. 1:6) This division of the waters by the ‘expansion’ meant that the main body of water remained on the earth, while a tremendous quantity of vapor water was held suspended in the upper atmosphere.
The atmosphere holds billions of tons of water in suspension, ready to be sprinkled upon the earth. What a marvelous watering system! How it reveals the wisdom of the Divine Architect! And how simply it is described, “God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven.” (Gen. 1:7,8) The Hebrew word here translated ‘heaven’ is the same one which is also translated “air” in this chapter. It would therefore be just as correct to say that God called the ‘firmament’ air.
THE THIRD “DAY”
During the third ‘day’ or epoch, the land surfaces of the earth appeared. “God said, Let the waters under the heaven [or air] be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”—Gen. 1:9,10
By Divine decree, and under the control of Divine power, there began a buckling of the earth’s surface, which was, as yet, a somewhat soft crust, deepening the ocean beds and heaving up our continents. As expressed in Job, “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.”—Job 38:11
“Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth [as the oceans originally did].”—Ps. 104:9
Also, in the third creative period, God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, … whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” (Gen. 1:11) Thus is described the earlier forms of vegetation.
THE FOURTH “DAY”
The fourth day involved the sun, moon, and stars. The text reads, “God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: … God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.”—Gen. 1:14-16
The casual reader might easily get the impression from the record that it was during this period that the sun and moon were created, but this is not the case. The sun and the moon were actually created “in the beginning,” when God created “the heaven and the earth.” They are a part of the ‘heaven.’—Gen. 1:1
In this creative epoch, the sun and moon became visible to someone standing on the earth. The atmosphere had cleared sufficiently to make this possible, and they were appointed in this manner to ‘rule’ over the day and the night.
THE FIFTH “DAY”
The fifth epoch was devoted to bringing forth marine life and “fowl that may fly above the earth.” (Gen. 1:20) In the King James Version we read that God created great “whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind.”—vs. 21
The Revised Version says “sea monsters,” instead of ‘whales.’ Strong’s Concordance informs us that the Hebrew word could also be translated ‘land monsters.’ Verse 21 probably refers to those huge monsters to which scientists have given such names as Dinosaurs, Diplodocus, and Tyrannosaurus, meaning huge lizards. Scientists suggest that while these monsters could live on land, their tremendous weight made it easier for them to move about in the water, for the water would help to bear up their weight.
It is most likely that the seas were filled with all forms of small marine life, and that dense vegetation was on the surface of the earth. These sea and land monsters were most likely used to clarify the waters and the earth of the dense marine life and vegetation.
THE SIXTH “DAY”
At the close of the sixth ‘day,’ God created man, in his own image. Appropriately, it was during this era that the land animals which were to contribute to human needs were also created.
While vegetation appeared during the third day, new species of plant life continued to appear, the flowering and fruit trees being created during the sixth day. Geologists have found that with the appearance of the flowering plants and trees came also the honey bee. It was at this point that the bee was needed for pollination purposes, and prior to this the bee would not have had its proper supply of food. The Creator saw to it that the bee’s natural desire for food would automatically cause it to serve the flowering plants and trees in their process of reproduction.
The crowning feature of God’s earthly creation was man. Creation’s Architect designed the earth and all its appointments for man. In unfolding the truth concerning man’s creation, the sacred writer takes us behind the scenes and lets us hear the God of all creation talking to his beloved Son, the very “beginning” of his creation. (Rev. 1:8) “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”—Gen. 1:26
It was doubtless a great joy to both the Father and the Son to know that now the great objective of all that had been accomplished by the brooding of Divine power throughout the preceding five days was about to be realized. No matter how wonderful the previous works of creation had been, there was still no suitable representative of the Creator who could be appointed king of Earth. Concerning man’s creation, the Bible says, “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”—Gen. 2:7
Two scientific truths are here set forth concerning human anatomy: (1) Man’s organism is composed of chemical elements inherent in ‘Mother Earth,’ and (2) He lives by virtue of the oxygen which he breathes into his lungs. Leviticus 17:11 says, “The life of the flesh is in the blood.” It is now known that the oxygen taken into the lungs is carried by the blood to every part of the body, and thus the body is kept alive. How wonderful that this knowledge should be recorded in the Bible so far in advance of its discovery by man!
Thus we see in this brief description of creation, the science God used to design a habitable home for mankind, and for all the living creatures associated with it. We marvel at the great knowledge, wisdom, and power possessed by him. Then, further learning of his character, we see the great motivating force of love behind it all. It makes us rejoice and give praise to him. Many of the great minds have not been able to see these things, for Jesus said to the Father, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.”—Matt. 11:25,26
It will not always be so. The time is coming when “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14) The Prophet Isaiah tells of God’s kingdom (mountain) and the blessings that shall flow to all the people, especially the removal of death. (Isa. 25:6-8) As Isaiah continues, he says, “It shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord [Jehovah]; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”—Isa. 25:9
For complete information on the subject of an ‘Intelligent Creator’ send for a free copy of the booklet, “Science and Creation,” Dawn Publications, 199 Railroad Avenue, East Rutherford, NJ 07073