Leonard: Everyone has faith? Yes, they do — and here’s why (column)
A few months ago I was asked to speak at a small public middle school. They were studying evolutionary theory and a few parents (Jewish and Christian) asked if the school would mind if an hour or so could be allotted to creation theory since, after all, an extremely large percentage of the world (Muslims, Jews, and Christians) all trace themselves to the God of Abraham, the God who the Torah and Old Testament says created the world. Being politically correct (as ironic as that is), the school said yes, and before I knew it I had a date on my calendar.
I showed up and immediately divided the class into two teams. I gave each team a brand new remote control car worth about $25 and had them race them up and down the street. Somehow, unbeknownst to me, the AA batteries enabled the remote control to send signals that controlled speed and turning abilities to a cheap plastic car. As soon as the race ended I had the teams take the car apart into as many different parts as they could (by jumping on it and smashing the remote). There were multiple screws, tires, batteries, parts, wires, a small switchboard kind of “brain,” etc.
Then I asked them a question, “How many people/engineers and how much money do you think went into making remote-controlled cars?” The answers were all over the board but a common theme emerged: a lot of really smart people spent a good amount of time and money creating these awesome toys.
I quickly shifted gears and had them do three minutes of research on a much more complex system: their iPhones (camera, apps, wireless abilities, flashlight, vibration technology, switchboard brain, ability to hold thousands of pictures/videos/songs, etc.). I posed the same question and got the same answer: some really smart people spent a lot of time and resources to make this amazing machine possible.
Lastly, I had them research, ever so briefly, the human body (bones and muscles, body parts, organs, miles of blood vessels, the brain’s storage capacity, and DNA (WHOA … DNA!). Whereas my iPhone X has 64 gigabytes, the brain has been said to have 1,000,000 gigabytes (aka 2.5 petabytes). This is enough to store 3 million hours of TV shows, which would take you 300 years of continuous watching to do.
Then I posed a similar question to the one I had before, “If it took some really smart people to make the cheap RC car and it took some really smart people to make an iPhone, do you think our bodies, which are RIDICULOUSLY more complex, just happened to come together so perfectly by chance over time without a creator of some type?” My thoughts on the matter were pretty obvious.
If I would’ve had more time I would’ve spent a few minutes looking at DNA and then a few minutes looking at the earth and our solar system to show how they all work together: the sun aiding in photosynthesis for plants to grow, our bodies need for the nutrients from plants, animals eating plants and then us eating them for nutrients, trees absorbing carbon dioxide that is harmful to us and releasing the oxygen we need to live. WHAT?!?!??! And don’t forget, if the Earth were any closer to the sun we’d all burn up and if it were any further from the sun we’d all freeze (according to the really smart people with huge degrees). Yet here we are, mysteriously orbiting the sun and moon in perfectly timed periods every single day of every single year. Wow!
So, we all have faith. We either have faith that something or someone is behind the amazing order and complexity that we see every day or we have faith that nothing is behind it. But if you’re willing to be a little objective about it and look at the evidence, I believe that the creation we see and experience points to a creator.
The mission of the organization I work for, SEARCH, is “Inviting adults to take the next step toward God.” Our tagline is, “Questions. Answers. Conversations.” Granted, this column really just opens Pandora’s box to a bunch of other questions, but I believe they are significant ones that we all should really look into. Next month’s column will explore one of the questions that usually comes up once we establish that there just might be a deity behind all of this: Is the Bible reliable? Then in March, we’ll look at the question: How can a good God allow suffering?
If you’d ever be interested in asking me your questions or sitting in on a group agnostics, atheists, and believers with their own questions, I’d love to have you!
Scott Leonard is the area director for Search Vail Valley. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.