I was thinking the other day about God’s handiwork: the universe. I think a lot about His work, but this particular time it was about the design of peacock feathers. Not the colorful designs so much as the way they are colored.
The flashiest colors aren’t pigments; they’re tricks of light caused by passing light through diffraction gratings. They’re like microscopic prisms. Now, picture a rainbow, either in the sky or from light passed through a prism. It has colors that span the spectrum of visible light, red through violet. The individual colors are simply certain wavelengths of light. Depending on how you look at a rainbow (and how closely you look), you can see either 5, 6, or 7 colors, or you can see a gradual scale of colors going from red through violet.
Now picture the flashy royal blue color that’s on a peacock’s feathers, shaped like what appear to be eye-like objects. Those are not blue pigments. They appear blue, because the diffraction grating only passes a small number of wavelengths of light. Because the feathers are always moving, on a microscopic level, the blue seems to shift a bit, giving it that flickering appearance.
Peacock feathers show what evolutionists would call “an appearance of design”. Believing in our Creator, I know that they actually WERE designed. In fact, they were designed extremely well. But, if it comes down to explaining the origins of peacock feather colors, or for that matter rainbows, one cannot make an airtight case for either creation or evolution. More on this in a future post.
For today, here’s where I see a problem: the evolutionist sees appearance of design. In fact, EVERYTHING in the universe carries an “appearance of design”. I cannot think of anything, anywhere, that does not carry some kind of design inference.
Given billions of years, perhaps random chance could maybe come up with microscopic diffraction gratings in peacock feathers. Or maybe even giraffe necks. Or, how honey is created by bees. But, we are to believe that EVERYTHING that appears designed is simply a byproduct of random chance.
Now, some might think “surely not EVERY thing”. Yes, I mean every thing. It’s not even limited to biological evolution. The Earth. The moon. The earth-moon system, which allows for eclipses of both solar and lunar varieties. Bombardier beetles. Giraffe necks. “There is no god”, so naturally it can’t be designed.
It’s true even if we turn our focus inward: think of a human. We have lots of cells. LOTS. And, barring pathology, every single one of them operates like a well-oiled machine. OK, some aren’t quite so well-oiled at my age, but that’s not the point; the fact that they work at all is amazing. Each cell is like a miniature city, with factories, dumping grounds, and transportation systems, to name just a few.
Every cell has jobs to do, and they do them well. Think about about blood? Blood is absolutely amazing. Just the clotting mechanism is fantastically well-designed. The eye is a marvel of engineering. Even hair is designed: it carries some toxins out of the body (like poisons or heavy metals). And you though it was just for impressing people.
Where do we draw the line? At what point do we simply surrender to God and admit it doesn’t just APPEAR designed; it IS designed!
Now would be a good time.