Tag Archives: Paley

The Divine Watchmaker

If, while walking along a path, I find a watch setting on a rock, I know for a certainty that the watch didn’t just happen to come into existence by some accident. Lightning, or some other source of energy, zapping various minerals found in the surrounding soil or rock didn’t bring it into existence. I know that somewhere and at some time the watch was intentionally made by someone and placed on that rock.

Over two hundred years ago (1802) William Paley used this illustration to argue that life, which exhibits an incredibly more complex design than a watch, exists because of an Intelligent Designer. The argument that the first single and rather simple looking cells of life could have come into existence from the right chemicals being zapped with some form of energy seemed somewhat plausible to some when they knew far less about cells than we do now. Thanks to science, we now know that even the simplest cells are incredibly complex, far more so than a working watch.

In a living cell so many parts, like the parts of a watch, have to be present and all doing their assigned task (communicated by the astonishingly complex strand of DNA in each cell) in order to work. Author Michael Behe describes these simple cells or simple cell structures as “irreducibly complex.” Behe uses the example of the simple mousetrap to explain what he means by “irreducibly complex.” The mouse trap contains five basic parts. You can’t catch a few mice with one part, a few more with two parts, a few more yet with three parts, more yet with four, and the most with five parts. You need all five parts of the mouse trap in order for it to work. How could complex cells evolve when you need all of their many parts for the cell to live and reproduce?

The watch setting on a rock has a designer. Each living cell, whether plant or animal, is amazingly complex, far more complex than a watch. It makes sense to believe that everything that lives, moves, and has its being has been designed by The Designer, and that would include us humans. I yearn to know my Designer, to worship Him, and to serve and please Him! You too?

“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 people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

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