My youngest, our 17 year-old son, came to me the other day and said I had to watch the beginning of this short video:
The mechanism that allows human beings to hear is insanely complex. Either we are incredibly lucky, or that mechanism was created by an all powerful, all creative, all intelligent divine being. Can something so intricate that works as perfectly as does human hearing not be designed? Luck is a terrible explanation, as is an unguided process of natural selection and random mutation (Darwinism). The design inference (e.g., looking at human hearing and inferring a designer), is something I’ve used innumerable times with my children as they’ve grown up. It’s the reason my son would see this and instantly make the comparison: chance versus design? Luck versus God? I’ve programmed (we need to do this) my kids to see such things biblically, so of course they see God as the only plausible explanation, and chance as ridiculous, even ludicrous (more on this below).
Why we need to do this comes from living in the suffocatingly secular 21st century West, where the plausibility structure (what seems real to us) is dominated by secularism and materialism. At the website Evolution News (part of the Discovery Institute), I recently read a piece with the apt title, “The Darwinian Regime Can’t Hide Emerging Clues to Life’s Design.” Speaking of Darwinian evolution (unguided and undirected material processes), the author explains my point well, just replace “evolutionary” with “secularist”:
We have lived under the evolutionary regime for longer than people lived behind the Iron Curtain. It has certainly affected our culture in hidden and not so hidden ways, with the evolutionary view being in the foreground, the first thing we see in our news and popular culture. Everything is framed in terms of material explanations, material needs, material goals. The good life is something to have, to experience, to master. Subtle and not so subtle messages declare that worth comes from physical beauty, celebrity, or power. These are all things that would improve fitness, according to Darwinian theory. So the regime has affected our thinking.
It’s affected more than our thinking. It affects how we see things. What seems real to us, and what does not. What is worth living for, and what is not. It is crucial that we understand this as we seek to nurture our own faith, and the faith of our kids, and grand-kids, if we’re so blessed.
Part of my “strategy” to counter the ubiquitous and sinister influence of secularism with my kids, and help establish in them an unbreakable, and unshakable, faith has been, and still is, to mercilessly mock the secular/materialist/evolutionist idea that the “natural” world does not require a Creator. As I said above, it’s ludicrous! One of my tactics in this war against secularism is the phrase, “Praise chance!” When my son showed me this video, I turned to him and said, “Praise chance!” Or we’ll look at a beautiful sunset, I turn to my kids and exclaim, “Praise chance!” The opportunities are endless because we live in a universe created by our Creator God!
Let me give you a last example as a Christian how differently I see things, and so should you, and then pass it on to your kids, relatives, friends, everyone! It’s baseball playoff time, and the World Series is under way. Guys who make it to the major leagues are incredibly talented. It’s amazing to watch pitchers throw a baseball at 90 plus miles per hour, moving in various directions, and the batter be able to tell in milliseconds that it will be in or outside of the strike zone, often by an inch or two. Or see a batter crush a pitch toward third base, and the third baseman leaps, also in milliseconds, and catches it. Or another batter hits a sinking line drive to the gap in left-center field, and the center fielder sprints 50 yards in a matter of seconds and dives for the catch. But as amazing as these things are, think how much greater is the God who made these beings, and matter, and physics, and math, and gravity, and everything! And who sustains it all every moment. Wow! The point? Everything points beyond itself to the Creator of it all!