Our mate, Prof Richard Dawkins said
The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect, if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. A River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life
Now, if your day was going well, then be assured Richard is on a mission to ruin it. Stop smiling, don’t you realise that there’s nothing to be happy about? Wondering how to succeed in life? How to find happiness, meaning and purpose?
Don’t bother, for according to our mate Richard there isn’t any. Don’t you see that the universe is callously indifferent to your petty and futile aspirations. If that’s not enough to beat the hope out of you, then let the remonstration of Bertrand Russel assign to you, a dungeon of despair
‘….no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the débris of a universe in ruins…,’ from "A Free Man's Worship"
These Atheists are a cheery lot. Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding party, but Richard has the supernatural ability to turn honey into gall, at your next BBQ.
Well, if the Gospel is a triumphant message of Hope, then Atheism (the anti-Gospel) is an unequivocal message of utter Despair. For it’s the logical and inescapable conclusion one must accept, if there is no purpose behind the universe.
What is Teleology? and Why it Matters
Roughly speaking Teleology arrived on the scene with Aristotle (you know one of the famous Greek philosophers) way back in 384 – 322 BC (not BCE). Thomas Aquinas took it a little further 1225-1274 AD (not CE), later embellished by William Paley 1800s, whose ideas were embraced and developed by the Intellect Design movement (ID).
Teleology proposes that everything in the world has a purpose, well then if everything has a purpose, it must’ve been designed to meet that specific purpose– you know, we design stuff to do certain things. Well you see, if things are designed for a purpose, then that requires an intelligent designer. The random, blind forces of Nature don’t design stuff, hmm … or do they?
Oops, sorry must have been an embedded memory from my Atheism indoctrination class at High School. No, I mean my science class that caused that lapse of consciousness.
Getting back on topic, the logical conclusion drawn from the presence of design is that it implies a designer and the designer could be God (I can see my science teacher shudder). Be assured that this conclusion rankles the Atheists, not a little. But hey! It’s a pretty good argument, don’t you think?
Let’s Take a Deeper Look
The reach of Teleology extends into every corner of the natural world. From the positioning, velocity and orbits of the planets, to forces that hold atomic particles together in the nucleus of an atom, to transmission of electro-chemical signals in our brains and to everything else I failed to mention. Everything in our universe from the greatest to the smallest, and to seemly insignificant has PURPOSE.
Take for example the eye (I’m an Optometrist by the way). The cornea is the only part of the body where the collagen fibres are laid parallel to each other and spaced at precisely the correct distance apart to create the property of transparency, (in all other areas the collagen is laid irregularly – therefore no transparency.
Furthermore, the cornea is curved to provide approximately 2/3rds of the eyes refractive power. The remainder is from the lens. Why is this so? Is it such a naïve notion to suggest that the eye was purposely designed by God, to allow images of the world we move about in, to be focused on the retina and perceived by our brain?
According to Professor Richard and his mates it is.
It Walks Like a Duck, it Quacks Like a Duck – but we Know it isn’t a Duck.
Dawkins brazenly and dogmatically asserts that although everything around evinces design, we shouldn’t conclude that there’s a designer. Rather with absolute certainty (thanks to Darwin) we be assured that the blind, unguided forces of matter/nature caused them to have the design that we see. That’s to say that natural selection and mutations caused the diverse forms of life on the planet. As for the rest of the stuff; planetary orbits, the strong and weak nuclear force, the Finely Tuned universe, etc is just waiting for its Darwin to arrive and explain it. Hmm………. it’s been a long wait.
If we accept the notion that everything which exists has a purpose, then it constrains the question ‘What is your purpose’? The universe, our world, life and your life in particular is a miracle. All of it was created by a God of infinite intelligence and power.
But there’s more. Here’s the thing, ID only takes us to the point of accepting that there is or could be a designer, i.e. God. However, the crucial next step is Why did God create you? Why did he make you in his image, then put you on this planet?
The answer is really simple – You shall love Yahweh, your God with all your Heart, with all your Soul and with all your Strength. Deut 6:4
Loving God and living in relationship with him is your purpose, that’s why he created you.
Vic Matthews has three degrees: B.Optom, B.Arts & B. Christian Studies. He is a kiteboard tragic, and a fledgling author, and copywriter. His books can be found at http://www.graphw.co/books/
Vic Matthews' previous articles may be viewed http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/vic-matthews.html