A recent study determined that many people display a purely intuitive resistance to biological evolution. An alternate paradigm—God’s image in every human—accounts for this resistance by explaining that we are able to perceive creation’s “testimony” to the Creator’s existence (Psalm 19:1–4; Romans 1:18–20). Part 2 of this series more precisely defines and characterizes this testimony.
In part 1 of this series, I described recent work1 that examined reasons for the resistance that many people display towards biological evolution2 as an adequate explanation for life’s origin and diversity. The researchers found that the greatest resistance was due to a “feeling of uncertainty,” an intuitive (gut) feeling that evolution was not true.3 I then considered an alternate paradigm, that these intuitive feelings against Darwinism arise from God’s image in man (Genesis 1:26–27). His image or likeness within human beings enables us to be receptive to the “testimony” of His existence through creation, as indicated in Psalm 19:1–4, Isaiah 40:26, Romans 1:18–20, and in other verses.4
A Layperson’s Perspective of the Creator’s Testimony
In fact, the researchers themselves referenced a study that came to the conclusion that children “generate intuitive creationist beliefs about origins.”5 Because of God’s image, not only do children generate such beliefs; many adults do as well. Hence, an informed layperson can draw the following inferences:
- The universe had to come from something or Someone, not nothing or no one.6
- The universe is not a chaotic mess; it’s ordered and structured and manifests intricate complexity even on a subatomic scale. Moreover, this complexity appears to be designed to allow for the existence of living organisms.7 Thus, the universe likely arose from an intelligent Cause.
- The complex but integrated anatomies and physiologies of humans, animals, and plants reflect the intelligence, forethought, and craftsmanship of a Creator.8
These inferences are confirmed by several lines of evidence, including (1) the beginning of the universe in the relatively-recent, finite past (13.7 billion years ago; implying a transcendent, personal, and extremely-powerful Beginner);9 (2) the fine-tuning of the cosmos (implying an ingenious and purposeful Fine-Tuner);10 (3) the rationality, mathematical precision, and elegance of the laws of physics (implying an intelligent and rational Creator),11 and (4) the exquisite design of intracellular molecular machines—which are, in many instances, structural and functional analogs to man-made machines (implying a knowledgeable and clever Designer).12 In addition, many other intracellular biochemical systems give the distinct impression of being intelligently designed.13
Such evidences have prompted reputable scientists to make surprising acknowledgements:
- Physicist Stephen Hawking: “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.”14
- Astronomer Fred Hoyle: “... a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology.”15
- Physicist Paul Davies: “[There] is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all... It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe... The impression of design is overwhelming.”16
- Cosmologist Edward Harrison: “Here is the cosmological proof of the existence of God—the design argument of Paley—updated and refurbished. The fine-tuning of the universe provides prima facie evidence of deistic design. Take your choice: blind chance that requires multitudes of universes or design that requires only one... Many scientists, when they admit their views, incline toward the teleological or design argument.”17
A Reasonable Conclusion
Therefore, the sophisticated, organized, and coordinated complexity of the universe—and of life-forms within it—may well be contrasted with what scientists would expect to find in a universe without a Creator: namely, a randomized, extremely-chaotic state of affairs. There’s no reason for the existence of this astonishing array of ordered, complex structure and function, on both microscopic and macroscopic scales, unlessan intelligent Agent created it—with one conceivable exception: the hypothetical level-2 multiverse.18
Thus, as I have maintained, the intuitive resistance people display towards biological evolution has as its basis God’s image in humans, which enables us to clearly perceive creation’s testimony—the design features appreciated by laypersons and scientists alike, as described above.
In part three of this four-part article series, we’ll examine the insights of theologians into God’s image as it relates to the aforementioned intuitive resistance, along with some far-reaching biblical implications that support and reinforce these insights.
This article has been reviewed by RTB biochemist Fazale Rana.
Roger Bennett is an apologist and former amateur astronomer. He has also studied chemistry, physics, theology, and biblical Greek.