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By Dr. Fazale Rana
Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? (Job 12:9, NIV)
In early March (2017), I took part in a forum at Samford University (Birmingham, AL) entitled Genesis and Evolution. At this two-day event, the panelists presented and discussed scientific and biblical perspectives on young-earth, old-earth, and evolutionary versions of creationism.
The organizers of this forum charged me with the responsibility of describing old-earth creationism (OEC) from a scientific vantage point while also providing the rationale for my views. As part of my presentation, the organizers asked me to discuss the assumptions that undergird my views. One of the foundational tenets of OEC is an important idea taught in Scripture: God has revealed Himself to us through the record of nature. According to passages such as Job 12:7–9, part of that revelation includes the “fingerprints” He has left on His creation.
Detecting the Fingerprints
If Scripture is true, then scientific investigation should uncover evidence for design throughout the natural realm. Science should detect God’s fingerprints. And indeed, it has. As a biochemist, I am deeply impressed with the elegance, sophistication, and ingenuity of the cell’s molecular systems. In my view, these features reflect the work of a mind—a divine Mind. But the evidence for intelligent design in the biochemical realm is much more extensive. For example, the eerie similarity between the structure and function of biochemical systems and the objects and devices produced by human designers further evinces the Creator’s handiwork. In my book The Cell’s Design, I show how the remarkable similarities serve to revitalize William Paley’s Watchmaker argument for God’s existence.
To describe the hallmark features of human designs, Paley used the term “contrivance.” Human designs are contrivances—and so are biological systems. If human contrivances require the work of human designers, then it follows that biological systems—which are also contrivances—require a divine Designer. In The Cell’s Design, I introduce the concept of an intelligent design pattern. Following Paley, I identify several features that characterize human designs. Collectively, these characteristics form a pattern that can then be matched to the features of biological and biochemical systems. The greater the match between the intelligent design pattern and biological/biochemical systems, the greater the certainty that designs found in living systems are the work of a Mind…
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