When the Apostle Paul wrote to Christian believers in Rome, the most important city in the world in his day, he confirmed  that the earth’s inhabitants have no excuse if they try to deny God’s existence: “What can be known about God is  plain … clearly perceived in the things that have been made” (Rom 1:19–20, RSV). Anything that betrays thought,  consideration, planning or design in its existence demands also the existence of a Mind, a Designer or Inventor.  Viewed at any level – from the smallest insect, to the galaxies themselves – the natural world issues the same  challenge. We can ask the questions about any natural being or feature: Where does this come from? Who  determined that it should exist? Or to extend the enquiry, Why is there so much interdependence between different  creatures, each seemingly fitted for its own purposes, but also supplying or assisting in the needs of others?  From the myriad examples that teem in the waters, or thrive on the land, David Pearce selects just a handful of  well-known situations. Each of them poses the same question: How did this come into being, unless there was  first a Great Mind, a Designer? Challenging evidence always demands a verdict. Honest readers of this short work  must answer for themselves, but the author and publishers have no difficulty agreeing with the Apostle Paul: God  reveals Himself through the things He has made.

Science teaching about the natural world invariably assumes acceptance of the theory that  organisms changed by an evolutionary process  from simple to complex by means of improvements  taking place over long periods of time. The idea is  so widely accepted that it is rarely challenged. It  seems obvious enough in the biology textbook, a progression from microbe to fish, from sea creature  to mammal, from fern to flowering plant. Yet looking  at the diagram of the evolutionary tree, it is also clear that there are big gaps in the story.

What about the microbes right at the bottom of  the diagram – where did they come from? Cytology, the study of cells, shows that the tiniest microscopic unit of life, once magnified, becomes instantly a whole globe full of intricate specialised parts.

We can learn about the cell membrane, that fabulous elastic skin through which oxygen and carbon dioxide can pass, and the mitochondrion, the cell motor releasing energy for movement and growth.

We can marvel at the incredible spiral gene code helix, so neatly coiled that one metre’s length can fit  into the tiny nucleus of the cell, yet it can encrypt every  characteristic of an animal, from form and colour right  down to the position of brown freckles on its back.

How did the microbe evolve? Was it simply  by chance combinations of atoms of nitrogen,  hydrogen and carbon in the presence of electricity  and heat? How did this produce such complexity?

And where did the atoms come from? Even an  atom, as an elementary physics course makes plain,  is itself an ordered world of enormous power, with  many component parts – mesons, protons, quarks  and electrons, spinning round in tight orbits held  in place by charges so strong that, burst apart, the  energy released from a few kilograms could flatten  a city and destroy a million people. How did all  this energy become locked so neatly into the atom?

Every time we pose questions like these, others  arise to baffle us even more.

There are also enormous problems at the top end of the diagram. If life progressed steadily from simple  forms to complex ones, where are the intermediate  stages now? Why cannot their remains be found in  the fossil rocks? How is it that fossil bees, preserved in resin and claimed by the scientists to be many millions  of years old, are recognisable as close relatives of our  honey makers today? Or the squid-like nautiloid dug  up when they were building the Channel Tunnel between  Britain and France, which was said to have been  more or less unchanged for 500 million years! Why was  there no appreciable change over such a long period?

How did the butterfly manage to obtain nectar  from flowers before its tongue was long enough to  reach deep into the blooms? Or how do swifts and  other migratory birds find their way over thousands  of miles without ever having undertaken the journey  before? How did the first swift do it? Where did  the programme come from that compelled him to  set off to find another land in which to feed? Such  birds skim down aerial highways like satellites in  orbit with a precision that brings them back again  to the identical nest site next year. Yet no human  being pre-set the computer in their brain.

The questions could be multiplied many times.  Are the scientists right? Is there no better explanation  for the mystery of life than the theory of evolution  with all its flaws? We need to ask questions,  and not take everything for granted just because the  textbooks say so. It can take courage to challenge  the status quo, especially when the alternative to  evolution is belief in an intelligent, all-powerful  Creator. We find the supernatural uncomfortable.  The idea of a God out there who has the right to  tell us what to do is not popular today.

But if we shut our minds to the possibility of a  divine Creator we are missing the chance to know a  Being who is not just a brilliant Designer, but a God  who loves the people He has made, a God who is  willing to find us a place with His only Son in a new  world free from the problems we experience today.  He invites us to prepare for His kingdom now, but  leaves it to us to obey or ignore the call. He wants volunteers, not conscripts, in His kingdom.

To believe in a Creator takes faith, for we cannot  see His face, only the things He has made. But when  you get down to it, it takes just as much faith to  believe in evolution. No scientist saw the beginning  of human life. There is no first-hand evidence. All  the conflicting explanations for the origin of species  are no more than theories, possible explanations, to  be weighed against what exists today.

And there are many, many areas where the  claim that a Creator designed living creatures to  suit their environment is more compelling than an  explanation that depends on random mutations,  chance, or natural selection. In fact, the evolutionist  is often driven to speak of Nature as a designer, as  if nature were some intelligent being. The biologist  refers to the excellent ‘design’ of the feather, or the  eye, and draws comparisons with human inventions  like aeroplanes and cameras. Yet if evolution is true  there was no designer. The evolutionist’s sense of  logic demands a designer, but the humanist streak  inside him rebels at believing in one.

There is no room for compromise between the  two approaches. ‘Theistic Evolution’, the concept  that evolution took place, but God guided it, contradicts  what He has written in the Bible. It also  introduces a string of inconsistencies. For example,  the creation of Adam from the dust is a clear Bible  teaching, referred to repeatedly in both Old and  New Testaments. But the record of Adam is not  compatible with apemen who gradually became  civilised over vast periods of time. And if God was  powerful enough to fill the earth with living creatures  over millions of years, He could do it just as  well in days, for time has no meaning for Him. To  God “a thousand years is as one day”, the Apostle  Peter wrote (2 Pet 3:8).

No, the choice is clear. Either the Bible is right,  and God spoke and it was done, or God is a fiction,  and we are here only to live for a time, and to die forever.  We hope, in what follows, to show that there is  no shame in believing in Creation. Indeed, compared  with the great mass of humankind down through the  ages, you would be in a clear majority if you accepted  there is a Supreme Being in charge of the world.

Only in the last century and a half has Evolution,  like some new religion, drawn people away from  believing in God. You are still justified, like the  apostle of old, in taking this simple line: “By faith  we understand that the worlds were framed by the  word of God, so that the things which are seen were  not made of things which are visible” (Heb 11:3).

We cannot see God, we do not understand the  mechanics by which He bonded together invisible  energy to make visible atoms, molecules, and men. But we can have every confidence that our faith in  Him will not go unrewarded.