Description: Order and design - the mind
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?
Order and Design – Our Mind
by Ernest O’Neill
What is the meaning of life? That is what we’ve been talking about at this time on this station. Our
conclusion is that there certainly has to be meaning for life itself. There has to be some meaning for us
being here. There must be some reason why you’re here and why I’m here.
You are convinced of that more and more as you examine our natural world, because it’s filled with meaning and
purpose. It is amazing, isn’t it? If I say to you in the middle of winter, “See you for a game of golf at 8:00
in the evening”, you automatically say, “No, it would be too dark. We won’t be able to play golf at that
It’s entirely different in the summertime. You might say, “We might be able to get a couple of hours in before
the sunset.” That’s because we know in the summertime the sun will set at such and such a time each day and in
the wintertime it will set at such and such a time each day. There just is an order there that we know we can
It’s the same with what we will eat in a certain restaurant. We say we’ll see you in a certain restaurant and
we’ll have some of the new asparagus or we will have some of the new Beaujolais wine. You know that at a
certain time of the year those items will be available because they are based on the order of the seasons, and
the order of the seasons is absolutely reliable. It’s the same if you are a sailor. You plan to come into
harbor at a certain time, because the tide is full. Or, you plan to beach your boat and paint the bottom of it
or the hull at a certain time, because the tide is out.
Our whole lives are based on the order of the world in which we live. So, we naturally conclude that there is
order in our lives and the reason for us being here, because throughout the world that we live in there is
order. Of course, the mind comes to that conclusion very naturally. If someone comes up and says, “No, no,
it’s all just a matter of time plus chance”, we say “forget it, forget it!” There might be time. There might
be even evolution involved in it, but it’s not time plus chance. We know that wherever we discover that kind
of order in our lives, it’s the result of conscious, deliberate design. It isn’t time plus chance that
So, forget that stuff. We know that there is order and meaning in our world, because there is design in it.
There is evidence of conscious, deliberate design and purpose. We find it in too many places to reject it. If
someone says, “No, no. If you want a watch, you just take all the elements of a watch and you throw them into
a washing machine, and you switch it on, and you let it hurl around there for half an hour. Then you open it
up and you expect to see a watch completely, perfectly assembled and going regularly.” You say, “That’s dumb.
You will never get order and design out of the arbitrary tumbling of however many elements you care to have.”
Some people say, “Well, what if you tumbled it around long enough?” We just say that the washing machine
wouldn’t last that long, and the elements wouldn’t last that long.” There is no evidence that if you tumble it
long enough it will result in order.
Indeed, one scientist has calculated that the chance formulations of a typical protein molecule, made up of
3,000 atoms, the chance formulations of such a protein molecule is of the order of 1 to 2.02 x 10231. Or,
practically nil. It’s really just ridiculous. Even if the elements are shaken up at the speed of the vibration
of light, it would take 10,234 billions of years to get the protein molecule for life. So it is almost
impossible to conceive, for a moment, that there is anything but some kind of mind, or some kind of reason, or
some kind of intellect, way behind the natural world in which we find ourselves today.
We conclude that, because the order that we perceive is an order that has to come from a mind like ours. It
must be a mind that has at least the same idea of order as ours has. It must be a mind at least as intelligent
as ours is. This is the kind of reasoning that the greatest minds of our generation have followed. Some of us,
of course, think, “Well, you know, that’s not popular stuff today. The popular thing is to say that it’s all
chance. It just happened by chance. It just happened by a â€˜big bang’. It just happened. It just happened.”
That is far from the opinion of the greatest intellects of our generation. Perhaps the greatest intellect that
any of us have known of in our era is that, of course, of Albert Einstein.
Here is Einstein’s own statement:
“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the
slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of
the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea
Almost every scientific procedure that is followed today is built on the amazing conclusions and reasoning of
Albert Einstein. He is, by far and away, the genius of our time. He out-thought all other mathematicians and
this is his statement; his statement is based on the pursuit of a lifetime. That is, the pursuit of his
lifetime has been the understanding of our universe, of its order and of its design and the way it works.
In other words, he is saying “the order and design that I’ve been able to see”. Then, he implies that he is
only able to see a little part of it. If he’s only able to see a little part of it, how much can you and I
see? He says that the little part of it that I’m able to understand makes it clear to me that there is a
massive intellect that originated this universe in which we find ourselves. There is a great Mind. There is a
great reasoning Power that has brought about the world that has so much design and order in it as this one in
which we live.
What is the meaning of life? There has to be great meaning for life, because the world in which we find
ourselves is filled with meaning, filled with order, filled with design, filled with purpose. Some of us, of
course, will say that, “Well, there’s a great deal of meaninglessness in it. Most of the meaninglessness is
created by you and me, and by our fellow human beings.
Is there meaning in our world? Just look around you. Just analyze the phenomena that the scientists have
discovered and have tabulated. You’ll come to the same conclusion as Einstein. There is deep meaning. There is
deep meaning and order and evidence of design.
There is great proof that there is behind our universe somewhere, a reasoning Mind, a Power, or an intellect
that can think and can reason and can infer and can analyze and can induce and deduce, just as we can.