Creation According to Plan

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Creation According to Plan

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Many of us are facing serious struggles. We are looking for solutions, for healing, for help.

We try to make sense of our world and want to believe there is a Creator behind what exists—a great God who cares about us. But in our troubled world we can so easily lose focus, especially with so many respected academics urging us to reject this view as primitive superstition and false hope.

Those who believe in God need at times to look deeper to reaffirm our faith. And those who’ve been convinced out of faith need to see that there are valid reasons to believe—not blindly but based on evidence and sound logic.

And the evidence is everywhere. As the Bible tells us, “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” (Romans 1:20 Romans 1:20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
American King James Version×
, New International Version).

How much more is that true now? More is coming forward every day to show that our universe is not random but was purposefully designed—the product of a Creator who planned ahead before implementing His plan. And His plan includes you.

Darwinism collapses as creation evidence builds

Probably the most destructive deception of modern times—which our youth in primary schools and up through prestigious universities have been brainwashed into accepting—is that of Darwinian evolution, a theory that’s become a curse on our educational systems and society. But its grip is weakening as its falsehoods are exposed.

We can see a figurative picture of the shift that’s occurring in a recent news story about a famous rock formation in the Galapagos Islands, where Charles Darwin voyaged and conducted studies of nature prior to developing His evolutionary theory. Discovery Institute reported:

“For generations, ‘Darwin’s Arch’ in the Galapagos Islands stood as an unmovable monument to the life and work of Charles Darwin. A few weeks ago, on May 17, the arch collapsed. While the loss of this landmark is sad, it’s also fitting—for Darwinism as a scientific and social theory is collapsing as well. Just look around:

“In March, Nobel Prize–winning physicist Brian Josephson declared that ‘intelligent design is valid science.’ In April, researchers writing in the journal Current Biology asked whether Darwin’s ‘tree of life’ [showing supposed evolutionary links] should ‘be abandoned.’

“In May, it was reported that Sheffield University has stopped hiding Darwin’s deadly social views from students. A university handbook now accurately notes that Darwin ‘believed . . . his theory of natural selection justified the view that the white race was superior to others, and used his theory of sexual selection to justify why women were clearly inferior to men’” (June 15, 2021).

As Darwinian theory faces decline, the title of a pivotal new book announces, Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe. In it, bestselling author Stephen C. Meyer, who holds a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in the history and philosophy of science, lays out powerful scientific evidence for the Creator of the universe and of life. No other theory or hypothesis—even belief in other gods or in religions other than what we find in Scripture—offers a better explanation as to why we are here. (Be sure to read more about this significant work on pages 14-15 of this issue.)

The personal God of Scripture declares that He made the universe we inhabit (Genesis 1:1 Genesis 1:1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
American King James Version×
). The cosmos reveals His glory and handiwork (Psalms 19:1 Psalms 19:1The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork.
American King James Version×
). And as we gaze out into the depths and interrelations of it all, we find a clear requirement for the existence of an all-wise and all-powerful God in the design, fine tuning and sustainability of the universe. It could not exist through blind random processes. Nor could life have developed through Darwinian evolution—not even the tiniest microbes, which are immensely complex.

Rather, it must have taken incredible planning.

The universe and life required foresight

So much of the world around us displays not only awesome ingenuity but also detailed foresight of inter-relationships between various systems and the need to resolve problems that would arise. Foresight in this context is the ability to see or plan for what will happen in the future.

We see such foresight at work in human daily life today. For example, having builders install a gas range in a new home. Or saving money in an emergency fund in case you lose your job. Also, staying home or having a warm winter coat on hand when a winter cold front moves through. In human interaction, planning and foresight can eliminate the last-minute crisis of an unfinished project or an unhappy client.

God clearly built His creation with great foresight. When a builder builds a home, he thinks—ahead of time—of all that will be needed to make the home function and keep it functioning.

Marcos Eberlin, a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, is a chemist and former professor at the Institute of Chemistry of the University of Campinas. One of his most recent books is titled Foresight: How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose (2019). We’ve relayed some of its examples before (see “Foresight or Blind Evolution?” in our November-December 2019 issue.)

In a Discovery Institute video interview about his book available on YouTube, titled “How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose,” Dr. Eberlin explains why the idea of foresight is so important in origins of life research. Quoting from the video:

“In studying life in the universe, we see solutions that solve really big problems. When we see those solutions, we wonder: Could evolution have provided those solutions?”

“As you look at the solutions and look for mechanisms that could provide those solutions, we see that foresight is so important. When we study those solutions at the molecular level, we see those solutions have to be there from the very beginning” (Oct. 21, 2019, emphasis added throughout).

Yes, it’s impossible that our universe could have waited for millions or billions of years for those solutions to appear. The problems demand that the solutions be there right away. The survival of life cannot wait for those solutions to gradually evolve, to gradually start to solve the problems.

For example, each animal cell can be thought of as a large factory with many departments such as manufacturing, packaging, shipping and accounting—each of which must be there from the beginning to support each other in order for the cell to survive.

Before the first cell existed, someone had to consider the future circumstances of the cell and anticipate that it would face some big problems demanding immediate solutions. Design foresight is critical. Only a mind with rational intelligence is able to predict the various problems and provide the means to solve them from the very first moment of life!

Cell membrane challenges worked out in advance

Think about what human designers and engineers do today. They put brakes on our cars, figuring that we will have to stop at some point. This is foresight. Seatbelts, in case we have an accident so we don’t go flying through the windshield. This is foresight. We look ahead to the winter months, knowing we have to have heat in our homes and do what’s necessary to ensure that. Random chance—evolution—would not have foreseen the first cold winter. And so early life would have died at the first freeze without fur or a layer of blubber.

Once problems appear there is no way for a gradual evolution of solutions to solve them—and you couldn’t roll back the evolutionary process to start over. Instead, a creative mind is essential for life and the universe as a whole to function. Quoting Dr. Eberlin again from the earlier-mentioned video interview:

“For example, at the simplest level of biology, we have the membrane that encloses the cell. Obviously, cells can’t exist without membranes to enclose them. When we look at the membranes, when we start to study the way they function, we discover those simple membranes are not so simple after all . . . The molecules that make up those membranes make a barrier to the outside world. That barrier must prevent some types of molecules from entering, but also . . . let other molecules escape . . .

“So, to let some molecules in and out, you need gates right from the very beginning of the cell membrane being formed. The cell needs gates, doors, to open and close. This is the most crucial problem for cell membranes—what is called the permeation problem—which needs foresight to solve before the first cell is formed!

“The membranes that evolutionists have proposed are not able to provide for those gates instantly . . . No, first, an intelligent being must look at those membranes and see the explicit need for permeation—see the need for gates—and also see the need for mechanical resistance for those gates to open and close. And all at the same time, everything must be there from the very first time the cell membrane starts to work as a cell membrane.”

Eberlin then goes on to explain further why a mind is required to design the cell and its isolating membrane. Foresight is needed from the very beginning. The task of building those membranes is extraordinary. It takes a lot of mechanical engineering and complex chemistry. The right molecules have to be selected, not just randomly chosen.

Repair system in place from the beginning

And here’s another piece of foresight in the design of cell membranes. Cell membranes easily tear and must have repair mechanisms built into their design ahead of time!

An article at Discovery Institute’s EvolutionNews.org relates: “Membrane repair would have been necessary with the first cell. If by a most fantastic miracle scenario—against all probability—a protocell emerged from the primordial soup [in which life supposedly originated], it would be all over quickly if the membrane sprang a leak . . .

“Membranes need channels for active transport to control what goes in and out. They also need repair mechanisms if they break . . . Along with code, machinery must be present to translate the code into other machines that know what to do when a membrane breaks. Unwatched membranes are vulnerable to leaks, and they don’t care.

“Without foresight and oversight, protocells would be like bubbles that pop in due time. Too bad for those hard-won living ingredients inside . . .” (“Zip It: How Cells Repair Leaking Membranes,” May 27, 2021). Again, without foresight in creation, no life would have survived!

We now see the need for foresight in the design and preservation of a single-cell membrane. But our bodies are made up of 30 trillion cells! Just imagine how all these have to work together and how much planning would be needed ahead of time for all their differing functions!

Again, only a supremely intelligent mind could plan everything in advance, to have the foresight, to consider future needs to provide for facilitating interaction and solving problems.

The psalmist wisely penned about our amazing human bodies: “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Psalms 139:13-14 Psalms 139:13-14 [13] For you have possessed my reins: you have covered me in my mother's womb. [14] I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well.
American King James Version×
). May we know it well too!

As Eberlin concludes in his interview: “When we consider foresight we see it is by far the best explanation for many solutions in life in the universe. Scientists should follow the evidence wherever it leads, and when they do, foresight is clear and is evident. We are forced to accept it as the best evidence for design in the universe.”

Evidence of intentionality in design demolishes materialism

From foresight and complex operations of living systems we can infer another clear aspect of mind—intentionality.

Intentionality is a philosophical term for purposeful directedness of thought toward an intended object, whether other people, things, places or circumstances. It’s grounded in our mind, in our consciousness, and not in physical matter. Intentionality cannot exist in material objects.

Michael Egnor, a pediatric neurosurgeon and professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery at Stony Brook University, is an intelligent design advocate and blogger at Discovery Institute. In another Discovery video available on YouTube, this one titled “The Evidence Against Materialism,” Dr. Egnor explains several ways in which materialism—the denial of any existence beyond material reality—is not a viable theory of the origin of life. His final point is about intentionality.

Remember that for materialists there is only the physical realm. They see even our thoughts as merely a confluence of atoms. Here are some excerpts from Dr. Egnor’s video:

“Intentionality . . . is the ability for something to be about something else. For example, if I’m thinking now about Washington, D.C., my thought is intentional in a sense that I am thinking about something that’s not me. I’m thinking about a city, or I’m thinking about a doorway, or thinking about my wife. So the ability for a thought to be about something is unique to the mind, because no physical object is about anything—in the absence of a mind. A rock sitting on a beach isn’t about anything. A tree isn’t about anything. Only a thought can be about something” (June 10, 2019).

He further points out: “You can’t explain intentionality using materialistic precepts . . . You can’t explain a living thing without explaining what the purpose of the parts of that living thing are. You can’t explain the heart unless you explain that the purpose is to pump blood. You can’t explain the eye unless you understand the purpose is to see. Where do those purposes come from? Well, those purposes are kind of like intentionality, they’re kind of like a mind. And the implication is that behind the universe there’s a mind, a grand mind, a mind that is reflected in the way the universe works.”

It’s like your coffee mug or tea cup. The form shows intentionality, the purpose being to hold a hot drink. Likewise, we see that the entire creation shows purpose, a goal, intentionality. What we see all around us is a reflection of a much higher mind. It’s a reflection of God.

Egnor goes on to say: “Materialism in my viewpoint is not even really a philosophical perspective; it’s just a mistake . . . It’s like claiming that 2 + 2 is 5 is mathematics. It’s not really mathematics; it’s just an error. And materialism isn’t even sufficiently coherent in my view to qualify as a philosophical perspective . . .

“In biology, we need to focus on the purposes of biological structures, not just on the details of the structure itself. We need to know why they’re doing what they’re doing. And once you start looking for purposes you start looking at immaterial aspects of nature, at form. And that leads you out of materialism.”

God’s plans for you

Don’t fall for the lies of materialist pseudoscience anymore. Embrace the evidence of a divine Creator and His testimony in Scripture. Leave your old ways and confusion behind through the mercy and help of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. (See “Salvation in Christ, Not in Science” on page 12.)

Yes, there is an infinite Mind behind the creation of the universe—a Master Designer exhibiting in His amazing handiwork intentionality, purpose and planning. You are part of God’s incredible purpose. He has a plan for your life—and is planning still for your ultimate future with Him if you will accept it.

As God told His people long ago, so He declares to you today: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for well-being and not for trouble, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah 29:11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
American King James Version×
, New Life Version).

That hope is in a future beyond imagining. God’s ultimate purpose, as explained in our free study guide Why Were You Born?, is for all of us to become His divine sons and daughters, to raise us from this earthly existence into His eternal glory as His divine family to share dominion with Him over all creation!

 


 

Salvation in Christ, Not in Science

Alongside a freeway not far from our Beyond Today magazine home office, a billboard declares in bright red letters, “In Science Lives Hope.” It’s a billboard for UC Health, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Its website further states: “Because UC Health trains 1 out of every 3 doctors in the region, we are the teachers others look to. We are the authors of healthcare’s greatest breakthroughs. And we are always showing the world how science can win. UC Health, In Science Lives Hope.”

Science: good and bad

Since our world is in the middle of a pandemic that more and more are asserting was created in a science lab, such appeal to science doesn’t necessarily raise confidence. Yes, science has brought wonderful things—like air travel, cars, refrigeration and safe drinking water. But science has also become like a god to many people.

Think of some of what “science” is responsible for—nuclear bombs that could exterminate all human life, the World War II scientists who performed gruesome experiments on children to advance scientific understanding.

Then there are the scientists who want to protect us from global warming. More than one of the so-called experts would like to change the orbit of the earth to move us farther from the sun. Yeah, let’s try that!

Words without wisdom

When Job questioned the wisdom of God he was called to answer for his arrogance. The same response God gave Job could be given to many evolutionists and scientists today.

“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: ‘Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut in the sea with doors, when it burst forth and issued from the womb; when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band; when I fixed My limit for it, and set bars and doors; when I said, “This far you may come, but no farther, and here your proud waves must stop!”’” (Job 38:1-11 Job 38:1-11 [1] Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, [2] Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? [3] Gird up now your loins like a man; for I will demand of you, and answer you me. [4] Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if you have understanding. [5] Who has laid the measures thereof, if you know? or who has stretched the line on it? [6] Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; [7] When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? [8] Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it broke forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? [9] When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddling cloth for it, [10] And broke up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, [11] And said, Till now shall you come, but no further: and here shall your proud waves be stayed?
American King James Version×
).

I guess we could add some new thoughts today: “Where were you when I designed the cell membrane with the ability to let nutrients in and waste out and to repair itself when torn?” God is telling Job about very intentional things!

Is there hope for our future? Yes, but it’s not in science. Our hope is in God through Jesus Christ.

A better billboard

Science cannot change the heart of a person. Science has never saved a marriage. Science has never caused a criminal to repent. But God has done these things many times over.

And, most importantly: Science has never forgiven a man of sin. The freeway billboard should rather read, and our personal slogan should be: “In Jesus Christ Lives Hope.”

We must never forget that God the Father “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
American King James Version×
), and that Jesus “Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree [in crucifixion], that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24 1 Peter 2:24Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live to righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.
American King James Version×
).

In Christ is our salvation

Isaiah 40 declares: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary . . . Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (verses 28, 31).

Maybe you are weary and faint. At times we all need to be lifted up with wings like eagles.And we ultimately need deep and abiding faith in our Creator to help us rise anew and press on.

We must never lose sight of our destiny as children in God’s family. We must understand just how awesome our God is—believing in what He has promised us with foresight and intentionality toward us—to always keep the larger goal of our eternal life in perspective.

By our Father in heaven and Jesus Christ have truly come all things, including our life and our salvation!

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