Argument of Design

The Heavens Declare...
(by  Bob Pulliam) 

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and the words to the end of the world.
(Psalm 19:1-4a)

 Three-thousand years before the "Age of Reason", David penned these immortal words. They are timeless because they speak of an evidence for God that touches daily living and our very existence. That we have a place to dwell, ordered by masterful design, gives thought of a designer. There is a declaration made by "design". Design would declare the existence of the one who did the designing.
Structures from houses to skyscrapers declare the existence of their architects. Planes from Pipers to F-15 Strike Eagles declare the existence of their engineers. Items as common as watches demand the existence of a designer. We would see none of these and conclude that they just happened. Not even by a process of billions of years would we believe them to have just happened. Yet that is exactly what we are asked to conclude about the universe around us. But why should there be a difference? There is a big difference which causes such a break in logic.

Broken Logic...

So why would one see a watch, and believe that there was a designer; but also see the universe and deny a designer? The reason is simply a matter of philosophy. If the designer of the watch exists, the user of the watch has no obligation of life to it's designer. Simply read the time from it's face and go on. If you were to set the time on it's face incorrectly, the designer would not come to correct or punish you. But what if there is a designer of the universe? Now you are touching the very existence of the one who must believe. If the universe is designed, then so also am I. If I am designed, then I must follow the design of this creator. If I wish to live my life without the constraints of such an almighty creator, I must deny what would otherwise be a logical conclusion.

Design and Law...

This is the reason some can see the argument of design for a watch; but not for the world. While the heavens do declare the glory of God; they are also declaring our obligation to serve God in accordance with His laws. From the glory of God in His creation, the Psalmist immediately breaks into a tribute to the "law of the Lord" (vv 7ff). The transition between creation and God's law is not a disjointed change of subject. The creation demands a law. Creation follows God's laws in all of it's movements (e.g. the earth orbiting the sun). Mankind must also follow the law of God, for he also is created.
We do not appreciate this law of design when we lie down for sleep. It keeps us breathing, and our heart beating. We awaken and continue living without consideration of the laws that kept us living through the night. Our bodies do things to keep us alive of which we take little thought. Osmosis and peristalsis keep us alive as we enjoy life around us. God's laws of nature causes these things to work in our favor; and yet we do not seek His favor as diligently as these processes work for our benefit.

Enormity of Design...

Consider the concept of many different factors working together to give us a livable planet. The first factor is our distance from the sun. Any closer and the oceans would vaporize. Any further and the polar ice caps would build to dangerous levels. Our distance from the sun is maintained by the speed of our orbit around it. The earth travels at 18 miles per second (1,080 miles per minute, or 64,800 mph) through space to make it's one year journey around the sun. Any faster and we would swing away from our source of heat. Any slower and we would be drawn to a fiery death.
The earth is tilted 23 degrees in relation to the plane of it's obit around the sun. This gives us our seasons, and along with it's twenty-four hour rotation (at 1000 mph) keeps our planet from getting the sun's radiation unevenly.
The gasses in our atmosphere are blended just right for life. Nitrogen is actually the major component of the air we breathe. If oxygen were the major component, we would have burned up long ago. How did our atmosphere arrive at this happy coincidence for life and safety?... We are supposed to believe it just happened, rather than believe it was designed.
An innumerable host of factors that make our existence possible could be called to bear. The number of them is not so important as realizing their significance. Each factor shows that a design is present. A design would ordinarily demand a designer... Why would we think otherwise in the case of our planet.

The Quest for Truth...

It took NASA years to get a man to the moon, exercising an extensive amount of knowledge to shoot a projectile from Earth to an interception point 240,000 miles away, and sustain life within that projectile so that a return was possible. Because of that feat, we have this feeling that mankind can overcome any obstacle that the universe throws his way. But we still understand little about this world in which we live.
Science continually claims victories in the cause of proving that we are the result of chance in an evolutionary process. Nothing has actually been "proven". Science actually declares that there is a God, and reason would demand that we are the product of His omnipotent power.