What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:19–20)
In college I majored in neurobiology and animal behavior. I had the thrill of studying both the intricacies of the human brain and the amazing variety and diversity in the animal and plant kingdoms. At that time in my life I was an atheist . . . maybe an agnostic. I didn’t believe in God and I didn’t think one could prove the existence of God, so I decided to make up my own rules.
But what kept nagging at me was that the natural world I was studying was filled with such beauty, complexity, and wonder that I could not help but speculate just how something so marvelous could have come into being. Did it really make any sense to think that all of this just showed up by accident, that the most beautiful painting I had ever seen didn’t have a painter?
I could have described to you the detailed steps in the life cycle of the monarch butterfly and the amazing fact that more than 100 million monarchs mysteriously migrate thousands of miles each year and find their way to the same pine forests in Michoacán, Mexico. They weigh a fraction of an ounce, but they can navigate and fly several thousand miles to the same small patch of land every year. I could describe all of this, but I was at a loss to explain why and how there was such a thing as a butterfly to begin with.
Does it make sense that the millions of plants and animals we see today; the remarkable music and art of human beings; the incredible civilizations of Egypt, Rome, Western Europe, China, and Japan; the technologies that created television, cell phones, computers, and spaceships; and incredible cities like New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo just happened?
Now I know that my little argument won’t convince the academics who are battling this out in universities all over the world, but it usually makes sense to ordinary people who also can look at our amazing universe and reach a similar conclusion—there has to be a painter; there has to be an Author.
How does the natural world make God seem more or less real to you?
God, thank you for surrounding me with a stunningly beautiful natural world that seems infinitely complex. Please help me to understand you better as I understand your creation.