Imagine being one of the first human beings to stumble upon the buried remains of Pompeii in Italy. As far back as 1599, the ancient Roman city began its journey to rediscovery by the modern world. Over the next few centuries, the city has been excavated to reveal a vast 170-acre area that could house nearly 11,500 people.
Upon seeing these discoveries, would anyone wonder if these paintings, structures, and roads were simply a result of freak volcanic eruptions from nearby Mount Vesuvius? That perhaps over the last thousand years, underground water formed these shapes? That vegetation grew then decayed into the form of images on the walls? After all, no one alive today or at the time of excavations was there when the site of Pompeii came into existence.
No, we'd assume that the frescoes, buildings, and artifacts were not randomly created, but rather, they clearly point to human creation. This truth is so obvious that it would be absurd to even entertain the idea that this buried city was merely the product of an environmental phenomenon. No natural process could produce such an intricate place as Pompeii.
Even though we weren't there when the walls were erected, it's easy to accept the belief that Pompeii came from human hands in 6th or 7th century BC —that it did not merely rise up out of the earth over a period of thousands or millions of years. In fact, it would be much, much harder to accept the latter, wouldn't it?
Could a slab of marble standing in a field eventually turn into a statue of Athena, given enough time? Could the wind shape the stone so precisely with erosion, blown sand, and water? Or could the statue only come into existence because an artist came along and carved the rock to create a likeness of Athena as he envisioned it?
For many of us, the answer is obvious. A purposeful hand imagined, then shaped the statue with care, skill, and artistic talent. If that is so obvious, why is it so difficult to look into the complexities of, say, a feline eye and not see that it was designed a specific way?
I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this. There's been a lot of debate over the last 100+ years (and especially lately) about creation vs. evolution*, about where the universe originated, and how life began. But I suggest that the answers to these questions are not as tricky as we think.
If we observe what we see around us, from the tiniest mitochondria in a human cell to the enormous, sophisticated ecosystem inside and outside our planet, which sustains the perfect atmosphere for life on earth, it's clear that somebody had to think these things up. Such intricacies don't develop randomly.
Somebody had the idea that two matching eyes were ideal for most creatures but that multiple pairs were better for others. That a heart and lungs were best for pumping blood and supplying oxygen to a living thing. That a female egg and a single male sperm would spark the beginning of a new life, and that those cells would come together because of a complicated desire for pleasure and/or reproduction.
Everything we see from our bathrooms to the street to the cities to the mountains and the oceans was created for specific purposes by intelligent beings. To believe that this complicated universe or life emerged over time and due to mere chance is to have a faith that is much bigger than my faith in God and His ability to create something out of nothing.
I admit, my faith is easy. It gives an easy answer. It's easy to believe in the possibility of a divine designer as I view the world I live in. It is one answer that leaves no further questions. Every question can be answered with this: "God designed it that way for a reason. Now let's find out what it is!"
I suggest that it takes more faith to believe that order could ever from chaos. More faith than I have anyway.
* To be clear, I am not talking about micro-evolution, which is evolutionary change within a species or small group of organisms, especially over a short period of time. Micro-evolution is a proven and observable fact of nature. I'm referring to the question about the origin of LIFE from the beginning—whether living things originated from an intelligent Creator or if they developed out of a primordial soup over a span of billions of years.
Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room. When Catiana is not writing, cooking, or drawing, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, four socially-awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.