One morning, Boudreaux pulled up to Thibodeaux's house to give him a ride to work. As Thibodeaux got in the rusted, beat up truck he noticed Boudreaux's Thermos on the seat between them.
"What's dat?", he asked, pointing at the Thermos.
"Oh, dat der's a 'termos I gots at da Walmarts last night." said Boudreaux, "It keeps da hot things hot, and da cold things cold."
Come lunchtime, Thibodeaux's jaw dropped as Boudreaux poured out steaming hot gumbo from his Thermos.
The next day, come lunchtime, Thibodeaux's jaw dropped as Boudreaux spooned out ice-cold ice cream from his Thermos.
Thibodeaux , totally perplexed and impressed, finally asked Boudreaux, "You know how ya said it keeps da hot things hot, and da cold things cold? How do it know?”
What’s the Point?
Simply, if you want to end an argument about the existence of God or “intelligent design” ask a thinking person “how do it know?” with regard to our immune system – or any complex system within the human body, nature or the universe. The atheist can then start trying to explain things in terms of principles and mechanisms – none of which he/she can explain if you then ask how the parts know what to do or how their intelligence or “powers” came into being.
The atheist may be able to explain what happens (which is amazing enough to convince most thinking people that there is a God), but they can’t reasonably explain how this system knows what to do or how it came into being without intelligent design. Case closed.
Step One: View this video from Kurzgesagt on the immune system https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXfEK8G8CUI (and/or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSypUV6QUNw about complement proteins, phagocytes, membrane attack complex, ) with your friend.
Step Two: Ask them the “how do it know?” question about any of the macrophages, neutrophils, complement proteins, dendritic cells, T cells, B cells, etc.
Step Three: Ask them to try to explain how likely it is that a system like this could “evolve” through random processes – even if they add the traditional atheist copout of “billions and billions of years” or “big bang” to their explanation.
The case for “no God” or “no intelligent design” should be closed once and for all.
There is no way that a half-honest person could dismiss or explain away this incredibly complex system and the intelligence of its cell “agents”. These tiny cells have intelligence, functionality, communication, and cooperation capabilities beyond belief. Each one is amazing – a miracle. Anyone will simply sound foolish if they try to explain away the incredible miracle of this system (and many others) in terms of random evolution, mutations or coincidence. Each cell is a miracle in itself – let alone the entire coordinated system of all of them working together.
As Thibodeaux might say:
- “How do a single one of these cells know what to do?”
- “How do each of these cells even know about the other cells on the team?”
- “How do all of these cells know how to work together?”
…let alone how they are actually capable of doing any of the things they do. Watch the video!
As John McEnroe used to say, “you can’t be serious” if you try to claim that this kind of system could have just evolved through randomness. What are the odds? 100 billion to one? Trillion+? Now who sounds like they are taking things on faith? Now who sounds like they are making things up to fit their preconceived ideas?
While one such system should be enough proof of intelligent design, there are thousands of other examples. Even a thermos is fairly incredible, isn’t it?
- Explain how two very explosive gases form super-safe water, how water has three states, and how it is so vital for life in “almost” every non-dormant cell.
- Explain how light energy becomes mass and vice versa. Easy?
- Explain the inner workings of gravity if you really want to talk about something unbelievable that could only exist if there was intelligence beyond genius in the universe.
- Consider the “Standard Model” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Unl1jXFnzgo or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ynMmhqVGx4 if you encounter someone who sees the world as simple Minecraft blocks/components that you drag and drop together -- and never asks how they were created, who created them, or “how do they know” how to work together to make a world.
The point of this article isn't to have you come away with your detailed concept of the specific nature of God. In-depth beliefs specific to the Bible or specific manifestations of God can be handled elsewhere -- and there will be many different conclusions drawn by different ones of you after years of experience, study, revelation, and insight. The only question addressed here is "creator or not".
This is a practical man's common sense approach to thinking about this vs. a deep philosophical or theological examination of the issue. In fact, this may be one of the briefest "proofs" of a creator, intelligent design, or God that you may find. Brief as it is, however, the arguments here should stand up well against the counterarguments brought by the most intellectual of intellectuals.
This subject is important to your joy and success because there are many aspects of life where the pleasure, success, and power in "worldly" life are in conflict with what should be done if your character, conscience, spirit, soul, eternity, and the creator are the ultimate. These decisions in your life can range from small trade-offs involving taking advantage of others to major decisions where you might actually have to sacrifice your whole life for a great cause -- as difficult as those kinds of life choices may be.
Offense of Asking vs. Defense of Answering -- And Who Should Have the Burden of Proof
Going into this, you need to know that conclusions leaning in the direction of "there is a creator" will be challenged. To defend your conclusions effectively, you will need to make sure that you are asking the questions -- offense of question asking vs. a defense of question answering.
After all, the person assuming that there isn't a God or afterlife is the one taking the risks -- so shouldn't they carry the burden of proof? To defend yourself, have the critics prove that there isn't a God.
They will say, "No, you need to prove that there is a God."
You can simply say, "No, you are taking the high-risk position and the least rational position -- so you need to prove that there isn't. The atheist is the one risking all eternity on his belief that there isn't a God. Go ahead, then. Explain beyond the shadow of a doubt without making any assumptions, for example, how the human heart, eyes, DNA, etc. just happened."
You will be pleased with how effective this is -- if you can stick to being the one asking the questions.
Beliefs that Allow Us to Live Life = X%*Facts + (100-X)%*Assumptions
Before going any further, it needs to be noted that one key point in all of these creator/religious questions (or similar complex questions in the areas of science, politics, relationships, etc.) is that none of us can, 100%, prove anything. After anyone provides "proof" in one of these areas, a critic can always ask the follow-up question, "How can you prove that?"
What we decide to believe is composed of (1) perception, facts, proof, observation, outcomes of experiments, and data and (2) faith, assumption, trust, extrapolation, and estimation.
You may encounter people who trust 100% in the "scientific method" or the "science" -- but real scientists will acknowledge that they don't really know it all. Scientific models for climate change, for example, rest on a multitude of assumptions. Einstein called it the "Theory of Relativity" because he was being intellectually honest. After Einstein, it was determined that Newton's "laws" were actually special case approximations -- even if they are extremely useful for 99% of everything we do in daily life. Darwin called it the theory of evolution by natural selection.
We don't know everything involved with designing, building, and flying an airplane -- but we assume that everything is going to be "sure enough" and, frankly, bet our lives on it. You may be finding this very hard to take, but you need to think about it. At some point, you need to have faith in something -- and you are doing this every minute of your life whether you acknowledge it or not.
The point of the four paragraphs above is that your beliefs are going to involve some assumptions -- and that those who claim that they "know" aren't really being honest with you or themselves. Belief in a creator, intelligent design, and/or God is going to take some faith -- but so does waking up tomorrow AM, buying a house on a mortgage, having a child, getting married, starting a business, or, even, driving across a bridge -- or Big Bang and evolution for that matter.
An honest intellectual will admit that "big bang" and "billions and billions of years" are really expressions of not knowing, uncertainty, and assumptions based on lack of knowledge.
More Questions for the Atheist
So, here are some simple questions that you should ask yourself (or ask an atheist or agnostic) to determine what you believe. If you can honestly answer them all with "random evolution", then feel free to continue thinking that creation was the result of random evolution. However, one should start feeling a little humbler if one's answer is "big bang" and "billions and billions of years" for all of the eight question sets below:
- Where did light come from? How were photons created? Why? Colors? How is light converted so we can see? Where did energy come from? How did different forms of energy come into being? How did the conversion of one form of energy to another come about? How is it that hydrogen atoms can be so benign but also produce massive nuclear energy? How did gravity come into being and why, exactly, does it work?
- Where did mass and the organization of material come from? The Universe? How do the few components of atoms result in so many different atoms, elements, and molecules with such different properties?
- Assuming the universe, energy, and mass as a "given", how did simple life occur? Proteins? Look deeply into the workings of a single cell and explain how it happened with just energy and elements available.
- Given simple life forms, how did extremely complex forms of life occur?
- How does something as simple as DNA carry so much information? Where did the concept and implementation of DNA come from? Doesn't it seem a little odd that something this complex in functionality and efficient in structure would be random?
- How did the heart, eyes, skin, lungs, and the brain all come into existence?
- How is it possible that a complex life-supporting ecosystem like Earth would come into existence?
- How long would it take some random events to create all of the above, and the inter-workings of them all, into systems that support complex life?
For all of the above, which is more likely: random or design?
How could any intelligent person think this is random?
If designed, can't we logically assume a designer?
Given the complexity, sophistication, and inter-dependencies of the world, isn't it simply more reasonable to assume (or believe in) a creator or intelligent design? You see, it isn't really that tough of a question. Either answer requires an assumption. Which is more reasonable?
You will often find that those who fight the idea of a creator usually start with a commitment to proving that there isn't a God. Maybe there are things they don't understand (like why there is evil in the world or why bad things happen to good people) and they then decide that there isn't a God. In unbelievable arrogance toward the power of the human intellect and "science", they decide that humans have the capacity to understand (and possibly create) the entire universe (on both macro and nano scales). Intellectually honest people will, however, admit that the universe is quite a remarkable thing (creation) and that "random" just doesn't do it justice.