Uniformitarianism
The idea that we can use the current rates of geological change (i.e. carbon decay) to determine what happened in the past, based on the assumption that the rates and condi
Genome
A full set of chromosomes. A regular cell contains two full genomes.
Adaptive Radiation
The rapid diversification of a species to suit many different environments.
Organelle
A subunit within a cell that has a specific function. There are many types of organelles, such as the nucleus, mitochondria, and vacuole.
Pigment Epithelium
The cell layer just outside the retina of the eye that nourishes the retina’s visual cells.
Sonar
A navigation and communication technique using sound waves.
Synapses
The trillions of junctions in the body through which the nervous system communicates to other systems.
Amino acids
Molecules that have many important roles in metabolism. Proteins are simply chains of amino acids.
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a molecule that stores genetic make up, or code. All living things have DNA.
RNA
Molecules similar to DNA that are involved in the production of proteins in living things. While DNA molecules are double-stranded, RNA molecules are usually single-stranded.
Winter 2003 Newsletter: Creation to Restoration Part I
Author: Professor Walter J. Veith, PhD
Publish date:
 
 

In Genesis 1:31, we see God say that everything He had made was very good. There was no disharmony in this new creation, nor was it subject to death. Humans were created in the image of God, to rule over everything that God had created. 

And God said, 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. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (Genesis 1:26-28).

Humans were the crowning act of God's Creation. He honored them by granting them dominion of the newly created world. Humans were different from all the other animals because they were created in the image of God. They were granted intellectual capacity, a creative spirit, a sense of morality, and the freedom of choice. The creation of humankind was to bring glory to God throughout eternity.

I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him (Isaiah 43:6-7).

These verses show that the people God created are His sons and daughters; they were created for His glory. In the book of Hebrews, Paul sheds some interesting light on the subject of Creation when he wrote, "Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands" (Hebrews 2:7).

The Greek word brachus, translated here "a little," literally means "for a little while." The full meaning of the text, then, is actually "for a little while lower than the angels." In the restored world, the angels will not rule upon the earth, but rather restored humans will sit with Christ in His throne.

"For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak" (Hebrews 2:5).

"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Revelation 3:21).

Before the earth is restored, however, there is some overcoming to be done. We have sinned and forfeited our great privilege (Romans 3:23). The Scriptures teach that our suffering will be transformed into glory through the purchase of the blood of Christ. Through Christ, we can overcome and be conquerors together with Him. Only then will our full potential be realized.

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).

"And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory" (Romans 9:23).

"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind" (Isaiah 65:1).

"For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain" (Isaiah 66:2).

"Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13).

The Scriptures also teach that the whole creation is groaning while we wait for the promised restoration to be completed, the people of God to be revealed, and death to come to an end. Not only is humankind suffering from the consequences of sin, but the entire creation is also groaning under the burden of decay (Romans 8:19-22).

The Genesis account of Creation and the Fall is the exact opposite of the naturalistic view of origins. Genesis portrays a decline from perfection to degeneration and decay, whereas the naturalistic approach suggests an advance from chaos to order and perfection. According to naturalism, death is used to "create" better-adapted forms, and the cycles of death—which are enacted on the planet through prey and predator relationships—are the nurturing ground for adaptive radiation. According to the Scriptures, however, prey-predator relationships originally never existed and will also not exist in the earth made new.

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them (Isaiah 11:6).

This verse portrays an order of things that is totally different to what we currently experience on the planet. There will be no carnivores and no predators. All aggression will be removed from the natures of these animals and people will once more have total control over the animal kingdom. This restoration is in line with what the book of Genesis says about the beginning and about the original diet of all creatures:

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so (Genesis 1:29-30).

According to this verse, all creatures were vegetarian and the human diet consisted of seeds and fruits. There could have been no harmful bacteria or parasites—no creatures with harmful effects at all. What happened, then, to mar this perfection? Sin entered in, turning the perfect world upside down.

A Good God and a Broken World?

The existence of evil in a world created by a God of light and love is one of the principle dichotomies that cause many to reject God. This issue plagued Darwin, and he once wrote a letter to his friend Dr. Asa Gray regarding this matter:

I am bewildered. I had no intention to write atheistically. But I own that I cannot see so plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence for design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice.i

Darwin also wrote this in 1844 in his initial draft of The Origin of Species:

It is derogatory that the Creator of countless Universes should have made by individual acts of His will the myriads of creeping parasites and worms, which since the earliest dawn of life have swarmed over the land and in the depths of the ocean.ii

Charles Darwin was swayed to reject the hand of God in nature and to accept the naturalistic approach, but his conclusions were based on the assumption that the present interactions in nature have existed since life began. This idea of uniformitarianism is not necessarily true.

We must look at the evidence. Does it point to decay—with elements of perfection and design serving as reminders of a once-perfect situation—or does the evidence point to past imperfection with progress toward perfection?

A study of the Creation account in Genesis will help us understand how a good God can be present in an evil world.

An Imperfect Planet

According to Scripture, sin entered the world and changed the order of nature. For example, the serpent was cursed and forced to move on its belly. The relationship between man and woman was also changed through the entrance of sin. The ground was cursed and Adam would have to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. This means that the provision of the necessities of life was to become his burden in the transformed world.

Eve, on the other hand, would find the raising of God-honoring children a task that would require concerted effort, patience, and many tears. Eve did not receive the lesser role in this new situation, for raising children with right characters is the noblest of all tasks.

Human and animal diets were also affected by this new order of nature. Plants of the field were added to the human diet, and the animals must have also undergone dramatic changes in diet as well. Both animals and humans were affected by this change of circumstances, but evil increased in the world until God flooded the whole earth to wipe out all those who did not follow Him.

Prior to the Flood, the animal world had already changed to such an extent that animals had been classified into clean and unclean categories. The Flood brought about a further radical change as God added flesh to the already-changed human diet (Genesis 9:3).

God created a perfect world that was to be ruled and enjoyed by humans. This world has been marred by sin, but God has provided Christ as a solution to repurchase us, his lost possession. In these times death is all around us, but the Bible shows that death is an enemy—an intruder on Earth that someday Christ will conquer forever.

Wherever we look we can find evidence of design: the marvel of life, the great variety of life forms, and the miracle of flight in birds and insects. Even feathers have design features that could not possibly have evolved gradually. The list of biological wonders in the organism and cell organelle world that point to a Creator is endless, but for the purpose of this discussion we will only look at a few examples.

The Genome
The greatest evidence for design lies in genomes, which are strings of genetic material that exist in each cell of an organism. Scientists say that mutations in genomes are the nurturing ground for providing new and exciting genetic material, but only the opposite has been shown to be true in actual observations and experiments. Some 3000 mutations have been identified in the fruit fly Drosophila alone, and all of them are either harmful or have no effect.iii None of the mutations produced more successful fruit flies. The most important nurturing ground for evolution thus seems hopelessly inadequate, or rather counterproductive, to the evolutionary process.

In addition, we need to remind ourselves that natural selection cannot create anything. It can only select from what is already there, and only if it is expressed in the phenotype. The entire Genome thus exudes design.

DNA is not alive. It is a dead molecule and needs the machinery of the living cell to make copies of itself. The information for that cell is, however, in the Genome, and the DNA is simply the carrier of the information. In order to read the information, there must be equipment to unravel it and translate it, and the information for that equipment is in the DNA itself. No matter how one looks at it, design is the only solution.

The Cell
The cell is not just a blob of lucky molecules that came together. Rather, it is an intricate machine with marvelous order and elements of design. Biochemist Michael Behe says that the cell—far from being a "simple little lump of albuminous combinations of carbon," as thought in Darwin's day—is actually an entire factory filled with molecular machines of astounding precision and complexity.vi

Within these complex structures are many individual microstructures and systems in which vast numbers of parts and enzyme systems work together. They will only function if every single piece is in place. Removal of even one link in the biochemical system eliminates the function of the organelle entirely. Behe calls this situation "irreducible complexity," and it is totally inconsistent with the evolutionary concept of gradual change over time.v

Consider the production of amino acids. The enzymes involved in the production of amino acids are coded for by genes. They need the very amino acids that they themselves have to produce in order to exist in the first place. Only design could account for such complexity.

Darwin himself stated that precisely such a situation would disprove his theory: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down."vi

The probability of complex machinery such as RNA or DNA or viable enzymes coming about by chance is so remote as to be non-existent.

The Organs
Human and animal organs are mysteries of ingenuity that baffle the greatest intellects on Earth and make even the world's supercomputers look like feeble toys by comparison.

The Brain
The electrical design and storage capacity of the nervous system is one such astounding mystery. There may be up to 100 trillion synapses in the brain, and each one acts as a filter, a signal disseminator, and a calculator ensuring the flow and filtering of information. The capacity to store information is infinite and, to crown it all, the brain makes it possible to appreciate beauty, it makes us creative, and makes us capable of moral judgments.

The Kidneys
Systems such as the countercurrent exchange and multiplier systems, which are found in the gills of fish, the lungs of birds, and in the kidneys of mammals, require full structural development before they will function. One wonders how such systems could have evolved gradually over time.

In the case of the countercurrent multiplier system in the kidney, for example, no halfway-developed system would work. These countercurrent systems make for highly efficient oxygen exchange and they create the capacity to concentrate urine against concentration gradients. The systems have to be complete before they work. This implies design.

The Eye

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Schematic_diagram_of_the_human_eye_en.svg
Scientists have used computer models to reconstruct the possible evolution of the eye, but notoriously absent from these models is the intricate retina, which contains more than 100 million light-sensitive rods and cones that enable us to see in dim and bright light and provide color vision.

Also absent from their models are the mechanisms which control the lens and iris and the mechanisms which lead to the perception and translation of the information. Scientists have still not been able to fully understand how the brain converts the simple nerve impulses from the eye into images.

The retina of the eye has been an issue of hot debate because it seems to be inside out. Its light sensitive disks face away from the light source and several nerve cells lie in the path of the light. This has prompted numerous derogatory statements from evolutionists. For example, Dr. Steve Jones, Professor of Genetics at University College, London, calls the eye the work of "an insensible drudge: an instrument, like all others, built by a tinkerer rather than by a trained engineer."vii

In fact, the eye is brilliantly designed. The retina is inside out for a very specific purpose. In the area of the retina that is responsible for sharp vision—the fovea—the nerve cells are almost completely absent, and the nerve fibers radiate away from the central region, thus allowing clear vision.

There is also a good reason for the orientation of the rods and cones toward the pigment region and not towards the light source, which lies on the outside of the retina. These rods and cones are constantly replacing the visual pigment disks and the pigment epithelial cells absorb the old ones. Were the retina not “inside out,” the pigment epithelial cells would not absorb the disks, and the vitreous humor of the eye would rapidly become murky, causing visual impairment. The pigment epithelial layer could obviously not lie on the other side of the retina so that the light sensitive bits would face the incoming light, since then there would be even more cells between the light source and the retina.

Of course, the pigment epithelium must lie exactly where it does lie, since it not only absorbs old disks, but also supplies the nutrients needed for the production of new ones and receives these nutrients from the rich blood supply in the choroids layer right next to it. Without the blood supply, the whole system would break down. If the retina was orientated the other way, the blood supply would also have to be on the inside of the eye between the light sources and the rods and cones, totally disrupting vision.

The Ear
Ears are a further example of intricate design. Some animals show phenomenal hearing and tracking abilities. The sonar systems of whales, porpoises, and bats are some of the most amazing structures on Earth; the design of a seals' hearing apparatus is equally baffling. Earless seals and dolphins have only tiny pinprick holes for ears, but fat bundles in the jaws and ear canals are shaped like trumpets and conduct the sound extraordinarily well.viii

Ears do not only record sound, they also provide information about where that sound is coming from. This is achieved by separating the ears spatially so that there is a slight time and intensity difference between the recordings of sound by each ear. This information is then used to calculate where the sound is coming from. Directional sourcing is even more astounding in tiny insects, since their ears are often only fractions of a millimeter apart.

For example, even though the fly Ormia ochracea's ears are only half a millimeter apart, it can source the direction that sound comes from with pinpoint accuracy.ix,x The difference in the time between the two ears hearing the sound is only 1 millionths of a second, with practically 0% intensity difference. This amazing ability is achieved by coupling the eardrums with a flexible lever, resulting in resonance, which increases the time difference 40-fold. The drum nearest the sound then also vibrates some 10 decibels stronger. The nerves also respond in coded fashion creating a further fivefold increase. These masterful design features are already being incorporated into hearing aids and could be used in directional microphone technology.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/118276383@N05/15825293237/

Co-evolution or design?
If we look at the marvelous relationships that exist in nature between animals and plants, it is hard to envision how such harmony could have come about by strategies and counterstrategies of co-evolution. Numerous plants can only be pollinated by specifically adapted insects that in turn are nurtured by the plants themselves. Evolutionists explain these relationships by suggesting that the two co-evolved. However, what if the fortuitous mutations were out of synchronization? Then the species would not survive. Moreover, considering the millions of such relationships that exist in the world, the likelihood of them having come about by chance is extremely remote.

It seems logical to assume that such a finely balanced system is the result of a superb design. One reason we can assume this is that only certain animals are adapted to certain specific compounds. They choose the plants with those compounds as their food source, thus ensuring even distribution over the wide varieties of food sources. For example, koalas are attracted to eucalyptus oils, which other species avoid.

Conclusion
The beautiful and astounding complexities of nature point to a loving Creator God, not to a multi-million year evolution. However, organisms do have the capacity to adapt.

To be continued. 

 


 

 

i Charles Darwin, The Autobiography of Charles Darwin and selected letters (New York: Dover Publications, 1958).

ii Charles Darwin, “The Essay of 1844” in Darwin for today: the essence of his works (New York: The Viking Press, 1963).

iii D.L. Lindsay and E.H. Grell, “Genetic Variations of Drosophila melanogaster” in Publication 627, (Carnegie Institution of Washington: 1967).

iv M. Behe, Darwin's Black Box (New York: The Free Press, 1996).

v ibid.

vi Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species (New York: Heritage Press [reprint], 1963).

vii Steve Jones, Almost like a whale: the Origins of Species updated (London: Doubleday, 1999).

viii “How dolphins hear without ears,” New Scientist 164 (2000): 17.

xi A.C. Mason et al., “Hyperacute directional hearing in a microscate auditory system,” Nature 410 (2001): 686-690.

x P.M. Narins, “In a fly’s ear,” Nature 410 (2001): 644-645.

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