My wife Catherine is the gardener in our family and she has a much greater awareness of nature than I. However, on one particularly sunny day recently when she opted to eat her lunch in the garden, I decided to join her. The recent weather – alternating very wet and very hot – has meant that our grass (I hesitate to call it a lawn) is not only growing fast, but has become home for a fairly wide variety of small wild flowers.
I tend to go barefoot around the house and garden, and it was especially pleasant to rest my feet in the unusually luxuriant carpet of three inch high grass and flowers. After eating, we just sat, enjoying each-others company and God’s world around us.
I say God’s world quite deliberately.
I am of a particularly unscientific mind, and I have never found myself able to understand the claims of some scientists, that the world we live in is the result of some form of random evolution. It has always seemed far more rational to me to believe in a Creator God, and as I grow older, I find myself increasingly comfortable in that position.
I do not grasp scientific fact very easily, but I have been much helped by some of the simple explanations I have heard recently. These explanations have not come from an evolutionist, but from a creationist who is one of the leading design engineers in the country. Prof. Stuart Burgess headed up the team that redesigned the cycle gearing for the world beating British team in the 2016 Olympic Games. Burgess is a scientist but not a biologist. He is an Engineer. It may be a surprise how many scientific engineers do not support the theory of evolution, and the reason is simple. Many designs in nature such as the human knee or the mechanism of a bird’s wing, only work in a fully developed form. Think of it in terms of a cantilever bridge over a river. Such a bridge can only work in its finished state: it cannot partially work or grow into a working model bit by bit. Scientists who are engineers, notice such things! When presented with the bone structure of the human knee and told that it developed in stages, the sensible reaction is ‘you have got to be joking’.
One thing that I do understand is how to play the odds. Brought up in a gambling environment, whilst I only rarely indulge these days, I do still know how to assess chance. I know for instance the rough odds of a lottery ticket winning the big prize. If you lined up the whole population of the British Isles from Lands End to John O’Groats, and then released a pigeon, there would be about the same chance of the pigeon crapping on you as there was of your ticket being the winner. As far as I can work it out, the random chances of many so called evolutionary stages, would be about as likely as the same pigeon coming back to target the same person, many, many times in a row without hitting anyone else. Not where I would place my money.
However, returning to my pleasant sit in the garden with my wife, I noticed a few bees collecting pollen from the clover dispersed among the buttercups and daisies. I then saw a couple of goldfinches near the birdbath. We may go several weeks without noticing any, then half a dozen or more will flit around for a while before passing on to who knows where. From deep within me stirred the instinct to give thanks, and I had nowhere else to go with it than to express it as thanks to God. It would have required a great deal of effort, including a denial of my own humanity, to refrain from responding to the creator for the wonders in creation.
I know that some Christians believe that God created by using evolution but I have never been able to grasp how that could work. I trust that I will be continually open to responding to the arguments of others, but I know that for the present I am very happy to adopt a place of rest as a committed creationist.