Typically, in the past, we’ve been told that science is opposed to the theory or notion of an intelligent designer. I think that most people wouldn’t naturally see the two opposing each other, but for some reason, our schools, churches, and overall prevailing culture have pitted them against each other.
Although things may have changed since I was in school, which was one or two decades ago, I don’t see the evidence of that from talking with our younger generation. If I ask them if they believe in science or God, I typically get one or the other as an answer, not both.
I can ponder why we are where we are but I’m not sure that I would get a clear answer, and even if I did, would it matter at this point. My best guess, as with most of our thoughts and ideas, is that they were learned from somewhere. Only a rare few dare to venture and think outside the box, the norms of their culture, possibly opposing mainstream ideology.
The amazing thing about thinking differently is that most of our innovations and revolutions have come from people who think outside of the typical standards, the box, cultural norms, etc. While not all ideas and thoughts outside of the mainstream or norm are productive ones, some are, and those tend to be the big game-changers for our future.
When I speak with doctors and ask questions about the human body, it is common to be surprised by the complexity of our functions. It would seem like magic or a miracle that a pile of cells functioning altogether in harmony would stay that way without even thought or intention, as babies do. Even more miraculous is that there is a programmed code within each cell that instructs it to grow and develop. Our human mind is perhaps the most complex organ and the final frontier in what we could only hope to someday comprehend, much less conquer.
Although some can argue that it is possible for all of this complexity to naturally evolve through a process, comparable to the process of elimination, I think using Occam’s razor, it is actually the least likely cause. In this process, cells have never been observed to create new DNA, but through mutations, DNA can lose traits that cause “genetic variation”. It would follow logically then that over an extended period of time, eventually all traits would be lost. This would make it very hard for the creation of something new. Different or evolved, is not the same as something new. In short, we actually do observe a physical law called entropy that says things tend to decay and fall apart, a gradual decline into disorder; that is physics left alone.
It is not a far stretch to believe that from one living mammal you could have several variations of mammals down the line. However, thinking logically and rationally, it does seem like a far stretch to believe that a mammal could come from a rock accidentally or through genetic mutation and variation. It is important to point out that mutation and variation are the standing theory of creation from most scientifically taught perspectives in our education system. You could counter that instant physical creation is taught by a lot of Christian religions. Perhaps there is some middle ground of the truth we could all agree on. Could it be that intelligent design created things through a physical process that took time? Time is relative to a present state and its rate of change (time and place or time and space), therefore, if there isn’t much of a present state, the concept of time is quite fluid and very relative. This simply means time wouldn’t make sense compared to what we normally consider time. What would a day be?
Everyone would have to beg a question to be answered. The question is since it seems that things evolve to a lesser degree of complexity, through the process of elimination and entropy (which by accident adapts a species to better fit its environment), what could have caused things to “evolve” or actually upgrade into a more complex structure and organism? This upgrade is not just by a fractional and insignificant margin, but from lifeless dirt and water into a carefully orchestrated symbiotic and complex lump of cells we call the human body? This human body, capable of thought, imagination, creation, and ultimately good and evil, introduce something beyond physical functions.
Everything that we do can be reduced down to an observed description. A scientific explanation will describe what is happening as I think or make a decision, perhaps even attempt to explain why I made a decision but never know for sure. Describing a function, occurrence, or happening is far from definitively explaining any wide range of possibilities for the thought behind the function, occurrence, or happening. What is thought? Where is it observed? At best, we see the brain (or physical function) actively working, but we do not see the thought or ideas contained or perceived by consciousness.
Let’s say that I designed and created a computer (as we humans have) and let’s assume that this computer is so smart it meets the definition of being or becoming self-aware. If I was in a room next door to the room that the computer was in and I had the power to flip a switch and turn the computer on, could that computer ever answer the question why it was turned on?
Many assumptions can be made. Some could say to be used. Some would say to do work. Some would say to assist me in some capacity. Some might even say to take on a life of its own and do what it wants. Who is to say that I was just bored and felt like flipping a switch up and down? Or that for no specific reason, more so out of curiosity, I flipped a switch in a room I had just entered, possibly not even realizing I turned a computer on. The possibilities are endless. I think we could agree, the self-aware computer could never really know why I did it for sure. So that question would be virtually impossible to answer. What would make it impossible to answer is refusing to believe someone existed to have created it or turned it on.
The computer’s inability to answer its own question may lead the self-aware computer to wonder endlessly. It may even, without an answer, begin to assume it has no purpose. It may begin to believe that it randomly came into existence through random coding that aligned perfectly in order for it to become self-aware, within an existing structure of plastic, silicone, wire, etc. This is most akin to our typical view of our existence.
My simple question to you is, would a computer that was by itself and became self-aware believe in a creator? Is it possible that we as humans are in a similar situation? And if it is possible, can both our idea of science and intelligent design make sense together? Science does a great job of describing things we can observe, but its flaw is its own limited process, imprisoned by the limits of observation.
I cannot read your mind yet, although someday we may be able to do that. And someday we may also be able to read the mind of a creator and better understand the “why” and “purpose” for which we exist if a creator exists. There are many different ways that we attempt to do this. We have many of our own beliefs and many shared beliefs. Perhaps one day, if this possibility exists, we will get an answer to all of our questions when we meet the creator. Refusing the possibility of a creator denies that possibility of ever happening. That would be bad science. Open minds usually work best.
My goal is not to convince you of my beliefs or any specific religion, but for you to ponder this idea by yourself, for yourself, and draw your own conclusion. I am actually not a part of any religion; I just don’t fit squarely into other people’s prescribed requirements. However, I would feel remiss without at least sharing two cents of my own personal perspective.
My assumption is that there is a creator. From the many cultural stories, myths, and main religions, we see that there is a common theme. Most of them speak of something beyond the physical, whether you call it energy, spirit, or the force. Most of them also believe that we are not an accident of randomly occurring physical interactions.
Not knowing exactly what this higher power is led me to explore various possibilities. Although I was raised as a Christian, on the Protestant side of the fence, the stories, reasons, explanations, and answers soon I was taught soon became insufficient for my own curiosity and personal experience. I had a desire to explore and find answers that made sense for me personally. I have come to realize that I may never know for certain why this proverbial switch was flipped, but luckily there are enough clues that have started to make more sense than ever before. These clues seem universal throughout the world and perhaps beyond. If you can open your mind to some of these possibilities, and follow some of these clues, it may lead you to a place that makes better sense of your current life experience.
I have to warn you that it’s not always an easy path. It will require you to be completely honest with yourself first. It may demand that you be stripped of pride and confidence in what you currently believe. As with any topic you were learning in school, if you already believed you knew it, it would make it more difficult for you to learn it. How can you grow this way? It works the same way here. However, I strongly encourage you to take a leap of faith and begin to operate on a simple assumption. It’s a pleasant one.
Begin to believe that there is something bigger than you. Believe that there is something so big and intelligent that it easily created and interacts with you, regardless of your awareness or interest in it. If you would only acknowledge and believe it is there, it would begin to speak to you in a variety of ways that best fit you. Your life would be changed completely, at your own pace, patiently and wisely. This higher power wants nothing more than to be involved in your life, to fill you with joy, peace, and love. This eternal energy aches when it sees you struggle and wants to rush in to help you, to form a partnership, a friendship, and restore a lost relationship that you were designed for.
My humble suggestion is that you approach this scientifically. Test this hypothesis rather than shut this possibility down before you have tested it thoroughly. If there was anything worth testing and trying your hardest to be certain of, it would be to disprove that there is a higher power, rather than prove that there is one. As I said in the beginning, the abundance of evidence leads to an easier conclusion, using Occam’s razor, that we were intelligently designed, whether it was by God or something else. As you begin to explore the possibility of being designed, I think you will also begin to see what I, and many others, see. The world begins to make a lot more sense through the eyes of the created, in partnership with a powerful and loving creator.