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Section 1: Design in Nature

Living Evidence of Design

Man is a thinking being who has some sense of responsibility for his actions and a persistent curiosity about everything in both his internal and external environment. He is also curious about things that may exist outside of his observable environment. Curiosity about the origin of the universe, the starry heavens, the sun, earth, moon and planets, life on earth, the species of plants and animals, about man himself, and about God has led philosophers, naturalists and scientists from time immemorial to spin hypotheses. A scientific hypothesis is an informed guess by which a scientist attempts to explain certain observed data and to relate them to the rest of nature. The big question pondered by many great thinkers was whether the natural order they observed in the universe was the result merely of chance and natural causes or the result of intelligent, purposeful design. The creation model of origins is founded on the belief that the origin of all things in the natural world is, indeed, the result of intelligent, purposeful design, just as Moses recorded in the biblical Book of Genesis. This belief is a matter of faith for Christians. From the perspective of science it is an assumption.

Is there evidence for intelligent, purposeful design in nature? We believe there is, and to answer this question a selection will be presented of remarkable instances of structures, functions and behavioral patterns in living things and also of complex structures and marvelous order in physical things ranging from atoms to the solar system. The facts presented require an explanation. What was their origin? The creation model of origins attributes the design and origin of all things to the intelligent will of an omnipotent, omniscient personal Spirit, God the Creator. In contrast, the evolutionary explanation proposes that a blind, unplanned, and purposeless materialistic process brought all things into being and originated all species of living creatures.

According to the evolutionary explanation, mutations and natural selection caused original "simple" living cells to develop into all of the millions of different species of plants and animals which have ever lived on the earth. "Mutations" are random (chance, unplanned) changes which appear from time to time in any population of plants or animals. According to the theory of "natural selection," the conditions of the environment in which a species lives confer an advantage on those individual organisms which possess certain mutations. For example, a mutation might produce a slightly different color of fur or feathers. This coloration might render the individual better camouflaged from detection by its predators. Mutation upon mutation upon mutation--minute changes by the million occurring over millions of years, each selected mutation being one which conferred an advantage to the creature--this is the process which supposedly produced all of the structures and relationships of living things, past and present. Can such a scheme offer a rational explanation for the origin of the entire world of living things? The reader is asked to consider the evidence, exercise his powers of reason, and be the judge. He or she should not feel that the conclusions of "authorities" or "experts" are either always trustworthy or final. Exercise reason in the light of the evidence. Be aware of your presuppositions and also of those of any author, teacher or scientist. The decision and the responsibility are yours.

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