Order and Design Require a Supreme Intelligence
By Fr. Marvin Deutsch, M.M.
Did you ever stop to think that there could be no order without intelligence? All order presupposes intelligence; for example, could an expert teach a chimpanzee, (probably the smartest of the ape family) how to drive a car? And if the chimp was trained to drive a car, could it learn to stay on the right side of the road, (in some countries the left side) keep the speed limit, and obey the traffic lights? The chimp has high instincts, but not the intelligence needed to follow the order necessary for the safety of everyday life. Can you imagine a chimpanzee on the freeway? Think of the bedlam that would follow if we didn’t have traffic rules and the intelligence necessary to obey them.
One of the proofs of the existence of God is order in the universe. When we think of the precision of the elliptical orbit of the planet earth around the sun, it truly amazes us. We know exactly how many days it takes for the earth to complete one orbit, which we call a year. We know the exact time of sunrise and sunset, even though it is constantly changing, not only in each season, but for all seasons, and we know what this will be for years and years to come. It all follows a precise pattern that is predictable and dependable. This could not be possible without a supreme intelligent designer.
We don’t have to be astronomers and search the heavens to find order. Think of the order of the human body, the most remarkable of all of God’s creation. The universe is great but there is no life there. Scientists can manipulate life but they cannot create it, not even the tiniest seed. Human life is the most complicated of all. I ran across a marvelous essay on the wonder of the human body. A few quotes follow:
Take any organ and examine it, for example, the way you see things. It is because of an incredible design. The back of the eye, or the retina, is part of the brain itself. Your eye is a camera, with the size of the pupil adjusting to the light and the eyeball adjusting to distance, so that light rays focus on the retina. The retina has 125 million rods and several million cones so that your brain gets the picture, and in technicolor.
The human brain is the control center for the senses and nerves. It is the place for reasoning, memory and decision making. The skull protecting this brain is made of tough, hard bone. Light and strong, it is shaped into a design that makes architects and engineers admire its strength. Scientists do not yet understand how a person remembers or thinks or feels. But they know the brain is an unbelievably complicated center of communications. The brain has 10 billion cells that never sleep, and these cells are linked with billions of interconnectors. It is an electro-chemical network that runs the body. In some brain areas a hundred million cells fit into a cubic inch, and every one is connected to at least 60,000 others. It is an awesome mass, sophisticated, untiring, elaborately protected. E1
Every other part of the body is just as amazing, and it all works together for the unity of the individual without our thinking about it. Our body continually needs oxygen to survive. We breathe without thinking about it day and night. Did you ever stop to think how many times your heart beats in an hour, in a day, in a year, in a life time? If it stops for even a minute we are gone and physical life is over. The heart adjusts its speed according to the energy and oxygen needed when we relax or exert ourselves. How does it do this? There are enzymes that make it work. A British scientist said that over 700 enzymes have been discovered in the human body. Without them the heart would not beat. We would not be able to digest our food. We would not be able to breathe, etc. He said that it is impossible for this to happen by chance. It would be like rolling a dice and expect it come up on the same number 1000 times in a row.
Some scientists talk about building a colony on the moon or on a space station orbiting the earth. But it just wouldn’t work, except for very brief periods of time. Why aren’t there more people living out in the middle of the Sahara desert? It is just too inhospitable. I remember flying over the Sahara on my way to Tanzania. There are miles and miles of uninhabited areas. The lack of water alone is enough to deter most people. God designed the earth to be our home and to be hospitable for humans, as the Psalmist tells us, a place to be lived in; for example, in a 24 hour period of day and night, there is a time to sleep, a time to eat, a time to work, a time to pray, and a time to play. When we follow the proper order, we are alert, happy and healthy. As one jokester put it, we should work 8 hours and sleep 8 hours, but not the same 8 hours. The sleep and wake cycle in the body harmonizes with the rotation of the earth. We need oxygen to maintain life. We do not find oxygen on the moon or other planets. Photosynthesis, the necessary connection between the lives of plants and animals, only exists on earth. The weather and temperatures are controlled by a remarkable interdependence of sun, winds, ocean temperatures etc.; powerful evidence of an awesomely intelligent designer. We could go on and on. It is amazing how we take all these things for granted until something goes wrong. It is only then that we realize what a remarkable organism every human being is. There is nothing like it in the entire universe. The great physicist, Albert Einstein, believed in a supreme intelligence. This is what he said:
My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit that 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 of God.
St. Thomas said back in the 13th Century that there is indisputable evidence of the existence of God from the principle of causality, which is, every effect presupposes a cause. (God is the uncaused cause.) If it is cold out today, something caused it to be cold; the wind is from the Northwest. If it is warm, something caused it to be warm; the wind is from the South. If you go into a library and see all the books in order, you know that this was not caused by an explosion. An intelligence had to put the books in order. Order presupposes an intelligence. Likewise, beauty presupposes an artist; design presupposes a designer, etc. Who can look upon the order, beauty and design of a wild flower and not believe in a higher being. Jesus said,
See the lilies of the field. They neither toil nor spin, yet Solomon in all his splendor was not arrayed as one of these. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith. E2
Those who believe in a Godless evolution, have not thought it through. There can be no evolution without intelligence. If one were to line up all the automobiles that Henry Ford and his successors built, from 1900 to 2004, he would see a gradual evolution from something very primitive, which looked like a horseless carriage to a magnificent vehicle capable of high speed and wonderful performance. Nobody would say that this happened without intelligence even though it was a slow step-by-step process. If one looks at the difference between the monkey and the man, he would see a similar advancement. But it could not happen without a supreme intelligence. As one of my professors used to say, if you want to believe in evolution, it is O.K. It was just God using a longer brush.
This essay would not be complete without drawing a moral lesson from it. If God has put order into his creation, he certainly has put order into his highest earthly creation, man. Obedience to God’s laws and order brings our lives into harmony and peace. Disobedience brings conflict and a terrible disorder. St. Ignatius wrote the Spiritual Exercises, to help us bring our lives by the grace of God back into order. He calls all sin disorder. Thus in the Exercises we try to get rid of all disorders through repentance and grace. Unlike the lower creatures we have free will. God wants us to freely choose him who is perfect order. It is through ordering everything to the final goal, God himself, that we are following right reason, which leads us to union with God and fulfills the reason why we were made.
Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)
E1 – The Vat. 11 Sunday Missal; Daughters of St. Paul, pp. 151-152
E2 – Matthew 6:28-30