STUDY 2: THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
OUR first Study demonstrated that reason enables us to conclude that there is an intelligent Creator. This conclusion is strengthened by the presence of design in the universe, for there are innumerable objects in nature that in their constitution reveal design, that prove a prearranged fitness for certain future purposes. We use the word design here in the sense of prearranged fitness for certain future purposes. These designs among other things are beneficent. If such designs exist in nature, they prove that there must have been a designer, that is, one who planned and made them for their intended ends. This would argue that the intelligent first cause, in addition to having intelligence, has wisdom, benevolence, volition, and executiveness of the highest order.
Design in Inorganic Nature
Vast evidences of design are apparent: (1) in inorganic nature, (2) in organic nature and (3) in the relations of inorganic nature and organic nature to one another. Notice, for example, design in the filtration of rain water through the soil. During this process the earth does not lose one particle of its nutritive matter needed for vegetable growth. On the contrary, the soil immediately absorbs more of these elements as they are contained in the rain, and thus increases its store of them for enlarged fertility. Furthermore, only such elements are entirely absorbed from the rain as are needed for vegetable growth. Thus the rain and the soil show adaptability to purpose – production of food for man and beast. Here is a predestinated adaptability to realize a future purpose in inorganic nature.
Design is also apparent in the two gases, oxygen and hydrogen, combining in certain proportions to form water – so much needed for life. So, too, is design apparent in air, made by a combination of oxygen, nitrogen and argon – so much needed for life. In hundreds of ways design is apparent in light, heat and all other forces of nature – in their blending to preserve the universe and to make it habitable. What marvels of design are apparent in the rotation of the earth on its axis to produce day and night, with their purposes of growth, activity and rest, and in the circuit of its orbit in relation to the succession of seasons in themselves and variedly in the northern and southern hemispheres!
Other facts of inorganic nature display design: Why is iron, which is the most needed medal, the most abundant? Why do the trade winds frequently keep clouds away from certain parts of the earth where there is abundance of rain, and send them to yield rain in other parts that would otherwise be arid? Why do the warm ocean currents flow to the northern and southern portions of the earth, while the cold ocean currents flow to the equatorial regions? In all these facts we see beneficent design, which argues an intelligent first cause of wisdom, benevolence, volition and executiveness.
Design in Organic Nature
If we look at organic nature, design everywhere confronts us, as several examples demonstrate: why are the organs of the animal creation formed before there is any use for them? In the vegetable kingdom, the leaf attached to the stamen of the lime blossom is useless until the pistil with the fruit breaks away from the bough, when its leafy wing carries it far away from the trunk on which it grew, to produce another growth. How came the eyes of fish to be constructed in harmony with the laws of light refracting in water? How came the palm of the hand and the sole of the foot to have thicker skin than the rest of the body? How came the structure of the hand to have such marvelous adaptability? How came the eye to have the fitness to light and accordant vision?
How came the stomach and liver to be the most remarkable chemical laboratory on earth; the heart to exercise almost perpetual motion, as well as being a most marvelous pumping station; the blood to absorb oxygen for sustaining life, and to take up food elements and to distribute them throughout the body, and to replace depleted cells which it carries away; the kidneys to be the greatest filtration plant; the brain organs to think, perceive, remember, love, hate, etc.; the five senses to function for animal needs; the reproductive organs in male and female to be adapted to procreation and the bowels to be the greatest sewer system in existence? How? Do not all of these in their formation argue design – a prearranged fitness for certain future ends? Surely, design is manifest everywhere in organic nature.
Design in Relations of Inorganic and Organic Nature
So, too, is the presence of design apparent in the meeting ground between organic and inorganic nature. The lungs are adapted to the air and the air to the lungs; light is adapted to the eye and the eye to light; the ear is adapted to sound and sound to the ear; scent is adapted to the nose and the nose to scent; taste is adapted to the tongue and the tongue to taste; and food is adapted to the stomach and the stomach to food. The sun, day and night, seasons, water and climate, are adapted to animal and vegetable life and animal and vegetable life to them – everywhere a predestinated fitness for future needs.
Design everywhere confronts us, and it everywhere argues a designer who worked on the principle of adaptation of means to ends and prepared them before the need of them set in. This proves an intelligent first cause who is wise, powerful, benevolent, volitional and beneficent in His executiveness! Thus cause and effect combined with order and design, prove that there is a wise, powerful, benevolent, volitional and beneficent God. These propositions are proven by reason, entirely apart from revelation. When rightly put, they have never been successfully assailed.
(to be continued)
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