By Ernest O’Neill
How did this whole world come to exist at all? Have you ever wondered aboutthat? Most of us have been forced to think this kind of thought at some point inour lives. Perhaps our mother or friend dies or we suddenly face some crisis inour own lives: momentarily we find ourselves wondering “Why are we aliveanyhow?” What’s the point of it all–the eating and sleeping and strugglingand working and dying–how did it all start in the first place?
The usual cliches satisfy only those of us who don’t really want an answer.You know them already– “It all came by evolution.” Evolution ofwhat? What evolved from what? Evolution from simple to complex forms may or maynot describe how this whole system developed, but it certainly doesn’t explainhow it started. What power originated the first single-cell amoeba? If it allstarted from scum on a pond, where did the pond come from? If it all came fromone proton, where did the proton come from?
In recent years we’ve tried through research in astronomy to suggest that itall started with a ‘big bang’ but even this attempt to explain an expandinguniverse begs the question “what exploded?” Somewhere, sometime,something or somebody had to make something out of nothing!
Theories like the ‘big bang’ look at the present facts and suggest probableexplanations for them: does that method suggest anything about the origin of theuniverse? Well, the facts about our universe suggest one very obvious thingabout its origin: it was not by chance or good luck! Why is that so? Because ofthe order that we find right from the smallest molecular structure to theorbiting of the largest planet. If our earth were any closer to the sun, wewould all burn up. If air pressure were any greater, we would explode. Ourenvironment is so carefully adapted to our existence and we are able so to adaptto it that it’s obvious this order was built in from the beginning.
This order is what caused one of the greatest geniuses of our era, Einstein,to declare, “My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitableSuperior Spirt who reveals Himself in the slight details we are able to perceivewith our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of thepresence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in theincomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.” This order, whichenables the blood to carry at least 64 substances thousands of miles a daythrough our bodies and is evident in the chart of the elements and the structureof the DNA molecule, suggests that very reasonable hypothesis that the universeoriginated from an intelligence at least as developed as yours and mine.
In other words, the existence and persistence of the seasons, the intricateconnection between your eye and the object it photographs, the mystery of whatmaintains the electrical charge that makes your heart beat–these facts andmillions of others suggest to common-sense this order did not result from chanceplus time but from the conscious design of an intelligent mind.