Learning how to Discover Design

Strong and Courageous Blog


Learning how to Discover Design.

 In our current postmodern culture there is a strong movement away from looking at things with the idea that they are designed. Particularly when thinking about origins of life or about how our natural environment came to be as we now see it. Students will study at great lengths, the vast complexity of various systems, while assuming that they occur only by chance or natural selection.

We study the how’s but not the why’s. Dr. John Lennox talks about this using a birthday cake as an example. Scientists can tell you what the components of the cake are made of in great detail. But they do nothing in explaining why the cake was made or for that matter, who is responsible for the baking. Johnny’s mother baked him a cake for his birthday. Scientism does not care about Johnny’s birthday, his mother or about God either.

I like to help people start to consider the deeper questions of why things are the way they are. Particularly helping folks see patterns of design. I have used photos of Mt. Rushmore to help explain what this process involves. I show them the picture of the presidents which is obviously of human design and compare it with another photo of a rock structure that is weathered by wind and erosion.

I ask the question, what evidence of design do you see in the Rushmore photo, that is not present in the other picture? So I ask you today as well, what do you see in this photo?



There are many answers. The rock is much smoother on the faces; the shape of the faces closely matches 4 of our most famous presidents (which was the intent of the artist). More importantly we see the evidence of the piles of rock with sharp edges below the monument. These rock chips are the result of the jackhammer work to chisel out the shapes. We could even add further evidence by looking at other pictures that were taken by the artists as they were in the process of building the structure.

 Carving Mount Rushmore

You see what I am getting at? I am building evidence for the fact that Rushmore was designed. If I had only one piece of evidence, it would not be compelling. But with each additional piece, the probability dramatically increases that wind or erosion could not be the most likely explanation for this extraordinary piece of art.

The inference between looking at these photos as compared to looking at the greatness of our vast universe or the amazing chemical alphabetic code of DNA found in our chromosomes (that is responsible for all the information required for life is astounding). The pictures are different, but the thought process of seeing design is the same.

"For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened." (Romans 1:19-21 ESV)



One Minute Apologist with Dr. William Dembski