“If any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.” –Paul, 1st Corinthians 8:2
Every so often I will look down at my own hand and consider how very little I know about it. Moving my fingers I can see an array of bones working together in tandem, somehow tied together by a complex network of muscle and tendons. The muscle is mysteriously activated by electrical impulses triggered by my brain, causing a cascade of molecular rearrangement that makes one of thousands of fibers contract precisely in such a way as to create an efficient movement. The draft I feel as my fingers cut through the air results from millions of branched neurons scattered throughout my hand granting me the wonder of sensory perception. The very flesh that encases my hand is composed of countless cells each containing their own biochemical factory rivaling all the industries on the face of this planet. And for all this, my knowledge is limited to the vaguest generalizations of a reality that infinitely extends in complexity.
I could focus all of my attention on one aspect of one detail of my hand, and perhaps could suggest a reasonable theory for how it came into existence. However brilliant my theory may be though, it would still be void unless it could also account for the rest of the hand. The problem with theories of origin is that they fail to take into account the paradoxical arrangement of our universe. From swirling galaxies to swirling electrons, everything is ordered in such a way that every aspect of detail requires another aspect of detail in order to exist. For example when it comes to life on earth, the existence of every creature is dependent on the existence of other creatures in an elaborate ecosystem. The earth’s environment is regulated by millions of different organisms that continually cycle carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen for their mutual survival. Nothing on earth can survive on its own, and if we were to find life on another planet it is only reasonable to assume that we would have to find an entire ecosystem.
When studying theories of origin in college I was particularly struck by this lack of thinking when it came to the evolution of DNA and proteins. Initially in the 1950’s there were theories advanced suggesting that the building blocks of proteins, amino acids ‘could’ have existed in some primordial soup billions of years ago. However even if that were the case, and this ‘soup’ somehow produced functional proteins contrary to principles of dynamic equilibrium, how would those proteins be reproduced? In our modern world, the information that encodes for proteins is found in DNA. This means that in some form or another, DNA and proteins had to coexist or at least co-develop from the very beginning of time. Proteins can’t exist without DNA, and DNA can’t exist without proteins! Modern theorists have attempted to resolve the problem by suggesting that RNA, a functional hybrid of DNA and proteins was the first to develop. This initially sounds plausible, but RNA can’t successfully perform the functions of DNA or proteins - and also requires DNA and proteins to exist itself!
Contrary to the critics of intelligent design, the chief argument in favor of the universe being created is not merely that everything is ‘really complex’. Rather, it is the paradoxical arrangement of that complexity – such that everything depends on everything else for its own existence. Such an arrangement could not have come about in a step by step process, but must have had some functional unity from the very beginning. For anyone that is truly honest with their selves, and considers how little they really know – none of this should come as a surprise. God never intended His reality to be questioned, but designed creation to be an open declaration of His existence.