Random Designer III

Continuing to work through this book, chapter 6, “Magnificent Molecular Micro-Machines” presents a great deal of the complexity of the cell, and its form and structure. I’m going to start this time with a quote:

At first glance, it would seem impossible to generate such increidble diversity from such a small pool of amino acid building blocks. However, in living organisms where random design has been effectively operating for billions of years, the task is actually quite simple. ( p. 54)

One of the serious problems, I think, for Christian readers of books like Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box, is that they may have learned just how complex cells are in the book for the first time. That leaves those who are uninformed with the impression that scientists are kind of ignoring all this complexity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Scientists are constantly working on learning just how all of this works. This chapter in Colling’s book will put the incredible complexity into some perspective, and show how it is quite workable within evolutionary theory. In fact, Dr. Colling calls this “incredibly productive.”

Chapter 7 continues with a basic description of RNA and DNA, and their functions. This is fairly routine stuff, though critical, of course, and again Dr. Colling lays it out in a way that the lay reader can easily understand.

I’m going to conclude this entry by looking at chapter 8, “Trial and Error-or is it Trial and Success.” The production of many options and a selection of only a few was introduced earlier concerning the production of various complex molecules. Generation of random options with selection of working results looks very interesting when we’re talking about molecules, but when it comes to living creatures. We’re OK with molecules falling apart. Few of us are even concerned about the death of bacteria, but what about puppies? Or people?

Dr. Colling makes the strong case that the principle of Random Design applies everywhere, even to human beings. Human beings may be more than physical beings–he believes we are–but we are also biological entities and the laws of biology act upon us fully. Whatever spiritual nature we possess, it doesn’t exempt us from the same rules that apply to all other life.

This is probably the hardest thing for a Christian to present regarding evolution. Dr. Colling presents it very positively, as his optimistic chapter title indicates. But if Christian readers are going to stumble, they’re probably going to do it right her in this one chapter. But the bottom line is that the evidence is too overwhelmingly strong that random design does apply to all living creatures, including human beings, and if one believes in God the creator, it must be God’s product.

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One Comment

  1. Hello Henry,

    You are right, this chapter is one of the toughest for traditional conservative Christians who have been taught that evolution is evil or that death came into the world 8000 years ago, that physical death was a result of a human action, and that death and life are sort of on the opposite extreme of things. But the truth is that death is very much part of life in biology, and all evidence suggests that it has always been that way. Of course, we all know that this is true intuitively, because if even the first bacteria ever to metabolize on the planet billions of years ago were to never die, it would have completely overrun the planet in just a few years, and no other life could have competed. (The mathematics are enormously revealing – a single bacteria, under optimal conditions become billions in just 24 hours)

    What I have attempted to do in this chapter is to tell the unbridled real stuff of how biology/life works, and to lay the framework for a later argument that these understandings of physical life need not present problems for us, since as believers, we are primarily concerned with spiritual life. Even Jesus’ himself continually reminded his listeners that when they related everything to physical, they were not on the same page as he.

    Out of death comes life. As repulsive as that may seem, is this not the message of Jesus’ life?

    My hope is that believers and potential believers will not feel it necessary to reject well-established scientific/biological facts in order to believe in God. His calling is to a deeper level of existence than just the physical. Perhaps we are more than just our chemistry???

    I think so.

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