Beyond Critical Thinking – The Ask By Chris Corlett In Critical Thinking the dual components…
The Living Word of God
By Dave Hunt
Inspired of the Holy Spirit, Paul declared, “For the invisible things of him [God] from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,…so that they are without excuse” (Rom 1:20). God has provided to humble observers of the universe ample evidence for His existence, evidence available in every culture and time in history. Thus there is no excuse for rejecting the witness of creation. No wonder the psalms twice declare bluntly, “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God” (Ps 14:1; 53:1).
Christians have long pointed to the works of creation as proof of design and thus of a designer, i.e., Creator. Atheists have insisted that science would solve all questions about the cosmos and thus do away with the need for a God to explain anything. And they have persisted in this delusion in spite of the fact that, with each discovery science makes, the evidence for God becomes ever more irresistible.
Every door science opens reveals ten as yet unopened doors. While knowledge of the universe is expanding exponentially, the unknown expands even faster, like receding images in a hall of mirrors. Scientific discoveries overwhelmingly necessitate a power and wisdom, without beginning or end and infinitely beyond human comprehension, which alone could have brought all into existence.
Nowhere is the evidence for God stronger than in life forms, especially since the discovery of the electron microscope and invention of computers. Investigating the molecular level of life, we have discovered that its intricate design and ingenious function are beyond imagination. Reflecting that fact 3,000 years in advance, David said, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works…” (Ps 139:14). Observing the astonishing design and function even of microbes or insects, let alone human bodies, one is forced to admit that David was right: we could not have evolved, we could only have been created.
Even such a determined proponent of evolution as Richard Dawkins confesses that living things “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”1 He even admits that the nucleus of every cell (the smallest living unit, of which there are trillions in the human body) contains “a digitally coded database larger, in information content, than all 30 volumes of the En-cyclopedia Britannica put together.”2 Just the mathematical odds of getting millions of letters lined up in the right order by chance is off the possibility chart.
For life, something even more amazing is involved than the chance aligning of billions of chemical molecules in the right order. Dawkins refers to a digitally coded data-base! This is recent terminology never imagined by Darwin. Not only must the DNA molecules be put together correctly, but they must, like letters, express information in a language providing instructions to be followed.
Each person at the moment of conception begins as a single cell. How does that cell know what to do to construct a body composed of trillions of individual cells of different kinds and different functions? Most school children know the answer: imprinted in that original cell are instructions for the construction and operation of the human body—instructions which will be followed unerringly. DNA replicates this blueprint into every cell produced. And every cell, amazingly, will know which part of those directions it is to follow.
Today’s school child also knows that DNA has an incredible capacity for storing information. The information contained in DNA the size of a pinhead would fill a stack of books 500 times as high as the distance from earth to the moon! It would take tens of thousands of desktop computers to store and process that amount of data.
The world’s fastest supercomputer is now being completed. It is called “Blue Gene” and will perform one quadrillion (1 with 15 zeros after it) calculations per second! It is being built to map the three billion chemical letters in the human genome, equal to a 100,000-page run-on sentence of operating instructions for a human being. All put together by chance?
Blue Gene’s first task will be to figure out how the body makes just one protein molecule. To solve that problem it will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for a full year! Yet the body, following the instructions imprinted in DNA, creates a protein molecule in a fraction of a second. Were the instructions which this computer will take a year to understand arrived at by random processes? All this for just one protein molecule! “The probability of the required order in a single basic protein molecule arising purely from chance is estimated at one chance in 1 followed by 43 zeros. Since thousands of complex protein molecules are required to build a simple cell, probability moves…outside the realm of possibility.” 3
It takes many different kinds of enzymes (made of protein) to decode/translate the genetic information encoded into DNA—and the enzymes are independently encoded to do this. So it would do no good for evolution (even if it could) to imprint genetic information on DNA; at the same time it would have to independently encode the enzymes to translate it. DNA and the enzymes to decode it could not “evolve” over a period of time. All must be in perfect working order from the start. At the molecular level evolution is a bad joke!
Years ago the conundrum was, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Now it’s “Which came first, protein or DNA?” It takes protein to construct DNA, but it takes DNA to make protein. Obviously, both were created at once; neither could have evolved.
But the lesson of DNA points far beyond the statistical impossibility of it all somehow falling together through random processes over great time. The three billion chemical letters express information in a language which must be read to be usable! A language necessarily involves ideas framed within grammatical rules and can be created and expressed only by intelligence. This moves us beyond statistics and matter into another realm, involving issues—and issues cannot be comprehended by tissues.
Language expresses thoughts—and thoughts are not physical! They may be articulated in physical form, such as sounds or words and sentences on a page or the coded chemical letters in DNA. Obviously, however, the thoughts being conveyed by the language are independent of the material upon which they are expressed. A sentence may be written on paper, wood, sand, a computer chip, or audio tape, but none of these originated the message. It must have an intelligent, nonphysical source independent of the physical means of storage or communication. The Bible, of course, says that the God who encoded the DNA is a spirit (Jn 4:24).
The fact that life is created and functions by language originating from an intelligent, nonphysical source forever finishes evolution. There is no way that chemicals could put together intelligent thoughts in a language that contains the instructions for constructing and operating even a single cell, much less the trillions of cells in the human body! The fact that DNA is designed to replicate itself precisely and only fails to do so through destructive error eliminates even theistic evolution.
We are driven by science and logic to admit that life in any form can have its source only in a God who is independent of the material universe. That there cannot be more than one source is proved by the uniformity and universality of the language. These inescapable facts refute not only atheism but pantheism and polytheism, the major delusions of paganism.
DNA, of course, does not understand the information encoded into it. It is a mechanism built and programmed by the Originator of the encoded language to follow His instructions automatically. And the most complex mechanism built by DNA is the human brain. More advanced than any computer yet built by man, it contains some 100 billion nerve cells connected by 240 miles of nerve fibers involving 100 trillion connections.
For all of its complexity, the brain no more originates or understands what it is doing than does DNA. The brain does not originate thoughts. If it did, we would have to do whatever our brains decided. On the contrary, we (the real persons inside) do the thinking and deciding, and our brains take these nonphysical thoughts and translate them into physical actions through a connection between the spirit and body that science can’t fathom.
Wilder Penfield, one of the world’s leading neurosurgeons, describes the brain as a computer programmed by something independent of itself—the mind. Science cannot escape the fact that man himself, like his Creator, must be a nonmaterial being in order to originate the thoughts processed by the brain. But man did not originate thought itself. He did not create himself nor give himself the capacity to think. The Bible says that God, who is a spirit, created man “in his own image” (Gen 1:27), that man is a “living soul” (2:7), i.e., a nonphysical being made like unto his Creator, capable of thinking thoughts and making decisions. This ability makes him morally responsible to God. To escape that responsibility is the sole reason for atheism.
Not only has science failed to do away with God, but the latest data from computers and the examination of life at the molecular level confirm what the Bible has always said. Christians have wondered for centuries what was meant by the Word of God dividing even between “the joints and marrow” (Heb 4:12). Now we know that the language God has encoded in the DNA in the act of creation does exactly that. But God communicates to man in his spirit in a higher language which “is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (4:12). This Word of God is “for ever…settled in heaven” (Ps 119:89).
Long before modern science, David wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world” (Ps 19:1-4).
It becomes ever more thrilling and increasingly glorifying to God to allow Scripture to expound upon the essential role language plays in all creation. Genesis 1 tells us that God said, “Let there be light,” etc. The New Testament tells us that “the Word was God. All things were made by him…” (Jn 1:1-2). Later we read, “the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Heb 11:3). And the universe is “by the same word…reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Pt 3:7). Jesus said, “the word that I have spoken…shall judge him in the last day” (Jn 12:48).
Man’s capacity to study and understand DNA language is proof that he is a nonphysical being like the Originator of DNA, thus capable of a spiritual relationship with the Creator which is far different from that of any part of man’s body. His ability to form conceptual ideas and to express them in speech allows man to receive communication from his Creator in language which man (but not animals) can understand and obey. And conscience tells us when we disobey. The Bible says that believing and obeying this communication from God is absolutely essential for spiritual life. Moses declared 3,500 years ago, “[M]an doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live” (Deut 8:3).
Since Adam’s rebellion, his descendants are by nature all “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1) and must be born again to spiritual life by the Word of God through the Spirit of God into the family of God: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (Jn 3:6); “Being born again…by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever….And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Pt 1:23, 25); “the word of faith, which we preach” (Rom. 10:8). The psalmist said, “thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Ps 138:2).
Miraculously, the children of their “father the devil” (Jn 8:44) can become the “children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:26). Yes, “now are we the sons of God…” (1 Jn 3:2). After receiving spiritual life from Him through believing His Word, we are capable of and “must worship him in spirit and in truth” (Jn 4:24).
One can see the serious error of looking to physical things like baptism and the communion wafer for spiritual life. Yes, Jesus said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you” (Jn 6:53). Clearly, by eating and drinking He meant believing: “he that believeth on me shall never thirst …every one which …believeth on him, may have everlasting life” (vv. 35-40). As He explained to those who could not understand, “…flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (v. 63).
Man’s existence as a nonphysical being does not end with the death of his material body. For the Christian, death means a temporary separation for both soul and spirit “to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Cor 5:8). That separation ends when “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven [and] bring with him” the souls and spirits of those who have been in His presence while their bodies have been asleep in the grave. “With a shout” He will call their bodies from the grave to rejoin their souls and spirits, the living believers shall be transformed and “caught up [raptured] together with them…to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Cor 15:50-53; 1 Thes 4:13-18). Fantastic? No more so than creation!
His bride, snatched from earth and taken to His Father’s house as He promised (Jn 14:1-3), after the “judgment seat of Christ” (2 Cor 5:10), will be “arrayed in fine linen, clean and white” and married to her Lord (Rev 19:7-8). The One who returns triumphantly to the Mount of Olives (from which He ascended – Acts 1:9-12) leading the armies of heaven as “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS,”…wearing “a vesture dipped in blood,…is called The Word of God” (Rev 19:11-16). TBC