This superbly illustrated book presents a compelling case that our world displays the hallmarks of design and testifies to the exquisite handiwork of our creator.
Evidences are first drawn from a selection of land mammals, sea creatures, birds and insects. The authors use their technical expertise to explain many aspects of design that are often absent from secular presentations.
Professors Burgess and McIntosh write in layman’s terms, succeeding admirably in communicating their message. They have spent their professional lives designing and implementing designs; their conclusions deserve our attention.
Our solar system and the wider universe also evidence design. While the theory of evolution is largely biological, driven by Darwin’s explanations of chance variations filtered by natural selection, there is no shortage of evolutionary speculation from cosmologists. The message of this book is that wherever design is absent from the mindset of scientists then evolutionary dogmas prevail. This is in tension with the evidences and a culture of meaninglessness is subsequently promoted.
The following sections of the book address themes of beauty, mathematics (including links with beauty and music), materials (inorganic and organic) and design as exhibited by the human body. The latter is particularly important as some evolutionists insist our bodies are full of design imperfections. A few years ago, the influential journal Science carried an article commencing: ‘Humans are the most successful primates on the planet, but our bodies wouldn’t win many awards for good design.’ Everyone grappling with this issue should read this section of the book.
Finally, the book presents a biblically-based approach to Earth history. Geological evidence as well as biblical revelation is utilised to instruct us as we grapple with origins issues. In answer to the question, ‘What happened?’, we read that, ‘A beautiful universe, perfectly fitted for planet Earth, and planet Earth, perfectly designed for all living creatures, is marred by death, destruction and decay’ (p.206). If Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden is not part of our thinking, then we will miss the meaning of Earth history, be confused about the meaning of life and fail to appreciate the significance of Christ’s death and resurrection.
In public education and the media, people are given to understand that unguided evolutionary accounts of origins have the status of fact and that all dissent is a sign of obscurantism driven by religion. Masquerading as science, evolutionary theories resist the thought that God had anything to do with origins. Young people and parents face the challenge of affirming that design, meaning and purpose are to be found in God’s creation.
Churches need to be havens where these issues and the tensions they bring can be discussed freely. One of the great assets of this book is that it is accessible, interesting and full of evidences that can be used to show that Bible believers are open to evidence and can make sense of the world around us.
Dr David J. Tyler
Biblical Creation Trust