God's Design in all things
By: A. Muhammad

One of the oldest disputes between atheists and believers is the question of whether the universe and the design in it was a result of chance, or was the design we see placed by an intelligent Creator.

The Quran tells us that no matter what sign and proof the disbelievers may see, they will never believe. For them, disbelief is not a result of lack of information or proof, it is a much deeper issue. An atheist categorically refuses the idea of a superior 'power' that controls everything in the universe (him included). The core of this rejection is closely connected to egoism. That is why the effect of God's signs on two people may be categorically different. They may both be scientists who have similar knowledge and education; however for one, the signs may be regarded as conclusive evidence while to the other they are of no significance whatsoever.

Say, "Look at what is in the heavens and the earth." Still, the signs and all the warnings will not avail a people who do not believe. 10:101

The words in 10:101 contain 2 valuable truths:

1- All the signs in the entire universe are not sufficient for the disbelievers.

2- The reason that all these signs will not convince the disbeliever is not because they lack merit, but because a disbeliever has already decided not to believe.

The purpose of this article is to present various fields of deliberate design in the universe.

1- Design perceived through Intuition

Perhaps the oldest of all, is the design we acknowledge by means of our intuition. Watching the beauty of nature, watching the birth of a new child, marvelling at how all creatures function through instinct, not least mother's instincts, or looking through a telescope at the complexities of the universe, all these can inspire belief in a Supreme Designer of incredible intelligence who made all of this possible.

This kind of intuitive appreciation for God's signs comes from every field of science and from everything around us. The Quran tells us that intuitive belief in God is instilled in every human being before birth, however, this could be masked by the ego of a person:

Therefore, you shall set your face firmly towards the religion as a monotheist. Such is the natural instinct which God instilled in the people. 30:30

It is the instinctive belief in God that makes a person, in the split second of facing death say, "Oh God!".
These words are uttered before a person has the time to think.

2- Structural Design

The second type of design is what is termed as 'Structural design'. This is evident in the fact that we frequently see things of identical pattern in the universe when they have no apparent reason to be that way. A very evident example of such design is in the design of orbits.

Orbits in the macro as well as the micro worlds:

The orbit of the moon around the earth is very precisely calculated. The following variables have to be precisely accounted for to produce a stable and balanced orbit:
1- The mass of the moon and the earth.
2- The
distance between the moon and earth.
3- The orbital speed of the moon and the orbital eccentricity.

If any of these variables were only .01% out of sync the moon would either crash to earth or would escape the gravity of earth altogether and be lost in space.

Equally, the earth is governed by the same process in its orbit around the sun. The same applies to the orbit of the sun around the centre of the galaxy.
In actual fact, the same balancing process applies to all heavenly bodies which are in orbit around other bodies.

The very precise calculations worked out are mentioned in the following verses:

The sun and the moon precisely calculated. 55:5
And the sky, He raised it and set the balance. 55:7

The words "precisely calculated" and "the balance" speak of nothing other than the very precise balance that is set between all the variables mentioned above.

We note that the fingerprints of the Creator are evident when we realise that the same design of orbits was applied to quantum mechanics. Inside the atom, we also find a central nucleus with electrons rotating around it. The same system of orbits we see in the universe at large is evident in the micro world inside the atom.

3- Numerical Design

The Golden Ratio:

The Golden Ratio is indeed a very interesting one that once again denotes a meticulous and deliberate design in creation. It has been found that a great number of God's creations are structured on the golden ratio. The ration is 1.618, where one value is 1 and the other is 1.618. Examples of this feature can be found all over the universe.

There are numerous golden ratios in the (average) human body, these are some of them:
- If the distance between the navel and the foot is taken as 1 unit, the height of a human being is equivalent to 1.618.
- The distance between the finger tip and the elbow/distance between the wrist and the elbow.
- The distance between the shoulder line and the top of the head/head length,
- The distance between the navel and the top of the head/the distance between the shoulder line and the top of the head.
- The distance between the navel and knee/distance between the knee and the end of the foot.

The golden ratio also applies to numerous features of the human face. The following are some of them:

- The total width of the two front teeth in the upper jaw over their height gives a golden ratio.
- The width of the first tooth from the centre to the second tooth also yields a golden ratio.
- Length of face/width of face.
- Distance between the lips and where the eyebrows meet/length of nose.
- Length of face/distance between tip of jaw and where the eyebrows meet.
- Length of mouth/width of nose.
- Width of nose/distance between nostrils.
- Distance between pupils/distance between eyebrows.

It must be stressed that these measurements will not apply to every single human being, however, if the average of hundreds or thousands of people was worked out, the golden ratio would indeed apply.
So much so, that professional sculpturers are aware of the golden ratio and indeed employ it to produce the best proportioned and beautiful sculptures.

4- Geometric Design

The Fibonacci Spiral:

Another example of identical designs is seen in Fibonacci's spiral. In 1202 the Italian mathematician Fibonacci noticed some constant patterns in numbers that ultimately resulted in not only some interesting data about numerical sequences, but also in geometric patterns.
The Fibonacci numbers are: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 and so on. Every number in the sequence is the total of the 2 previous numbers.

The figure above is based on the Fibonacci numbers. This type of spiral is often used in designs, such as staircases, music symbols, etc. The interesting thing is that this spiral is also seen over and over in hundreds of natural designs. Galaxy arms curve with the same shaped spiral that we have here. The same spiral describes water as it goes down the drain. A wave curls with the same shape as does the tail of a comet. Subatomic particles curl in magnetic fields with the same shape. We find the same shape in the curl of the horns of animals, the curve of the roots of teeth, the curl of a spider web, or of the antenna of insects. The Fibbonaci curl is seen in the tuber of plants, in the arrangement of seed in sunflowers, or the shape of pine cones. We see the same curl in sea shells, in the inner ear of a human, in the internal structures of all brain tissue, in the inside structure of algae.

It is important to notice that this curl is not confined to biological systems or to astronomical systems. Numerous examples abound in every discipline of science one can imagine.

5- The deliberate breaking of a law of physics

When the universe was created, all the laws of physics were set and put into action. These laws were unchanging and have continued to function for billions of years. The speed of light, the speed of sound, the laws of gravity, the laws that govern chemical reactions, the laws of thermodynamics and thousands of other laws, in all fields of science, all have functioned without change. All these unchanging laws could not have set themselves, but could have only been set by an intelligent Creator and Designer.

Once in a while, we do witness one of these laws of physics being broken. What is quite interesting here is that when such a law is broken it is broken to serve a grand purpose. The grand purpose served by the breaking of a law tells us that it was a deliberate intervention and not a coincidental one.

One such example is related to the law that governs the weight of various forms of matter. The laws of physics state that the solid state of any one substance is heavier than the liquid state of the same substance, which is turn is heavier than the gas state of the same substance. For example, liquid iron will float on solid iron, and gas iron is lighter than the two. This rule applies to all known substances except one, which is water. Solid water (ice) floats on liquid water, when it should be the other way around. This kind of deliberate breaking of a rule was designed to allow life on earth. For that, it is indeed a sign of the intervention of an Intelligent Designer. If liquid water followed the same rule that governs all other substances, ice would sink to the bottom of the seas and oceans. In due time all the oceans would become one big frozen ice pond. No marine life would have ever evolved. This would have not have allowed any life on earth since all life on earth originated from water. However, by allowing ice to float on top of liquid water, it forms a thermal protective layer. The thermal protective ice layer on top of water isolates the water below the ice from the freezing conditions above the ice, thereby allowing the water beneath the ice to stay at above freezing temperatures. This in turn allows all marine life to exist.

6- Irreducible Complexity

The biochemist Michael Behe, as well as other writers, have introduced a new design principle. He defines this design as follows:

"Irreducible complexity - a single system composed of several well matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning." (David Behe, Darwin's Black Box).

The illustrations of Behe involve biochemical systems which he demonstrates could not have happened by chance because all have to be integrated for the system as a whole to work. On a physics/chemistry level one might work with the systems responsible to produce a molecule.

In a complex multipart biochemical machine composed of many parts, evolution cannot produce these parts because these individual parts have no function of their own.
These individual parts cannot have been produced through natural selection (evolution) because evolution does not have a brain to instruct it to produce non functional parts that have no individual functions, nor a brain to tell it that these parts can only have a function when integrated into a bigger multipart system.

In addition, in order for a stable molecule to exist, a variety of physical systems have to be operative. The mass of the components of the atom determines how much gravitational attraction will exist between the individual parts of the atom and of the atoms that make up the molecule. The electrical forces in the atom are defined in terms of electrical charge and have no direct relationship to anything gravitational. These electrical forces are also critical and have to be structured in a particular way for the molecule to exist. The magnetic forces within the electrons and protons that make up the atoms and the molecules are also critically integrated with the other forces. In addition to all of these, there are nuclear binding energy forces that contain all of the other forces and allow the atoms, and therefore the molecules, to exist. All of these forces and particles are claimed to have begun at the same point in time and space after the creation of the universe. If any one of them was not at the appropriate level, stable atoms and molecules could never have come into existence.

To suggest a series of chance events which could produce all of these forces and the mathematical constants which regulate them is an impossibility, because there is no time sequence that allows it to happen. Similar problems come up in biochemical processes of high complexity critical to life. Behe and others have shown the absolute necessity of intelligence to come up with a functional system that allows these biochemical processes to take place (John Clayton, Designs).

7- Probability Designs

Over the past 30 years mathematicians have entered the discussions about whether chance is a viable mechanism to explain the complexities seen in the cosmos. For many years there have been books and articles written by experts in the field on the question of statistical reasonableness of explanations of the origin of life and other evolutionary models.

The huge number of variables that have been discovered to exist pose a major problem for those who wish to believe that chance is the cause of all that we see. The problem lies in the nature of probability. When you flip a coin, the odds of getting a 'heads' is one in two or 50/50. If you flip a coin twice and want to get 'heads' each time, the probability is 1/2 x 1/2, or 1/4. If you wanted to get 'heads' three times in a row, it would be 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 or one chance out of eight tries. The total probability is calculated by multiplying the individual probabilities that make up the total. To get a 'heads' ten times in a row, the odds would be one in 1,024.
The possibilities in that example were only two (heads or tails), but what if we were throwing a dice which has six different numbers. What is the chance of getting number 6 ten times in a row? The probability of this happening spirals to 1 chance in
60,466,176 (60.5 million).

When we start considering highly complex forms of life, atomic structure, chemical processes, or galactic events, the individual odds are not simple by any means. Not only are the numbers not as simple, but there are far more variables involved. When scientists work out complex variables in the creation of the human beings, and all forms of life around us, the calculations they end up with have probabilities that are so astronomical that chance becomes a clearly untenable explanation. Numbers like 1 in 10160 are common (that would be one chance out of 1 with 160 zeros after it). This kind of a number exceeds the number of possible stars in the cosmos, or even the number of possible baryons (building blocks of an atom). Such an event is only one step in a long line of steps to reach a desired final objective. A notable scientist once wrote that there is more chance of an explosion in a print factory to result in a play by Shakespeare, than for such odds in the creation to happen by chance.

Chance is an invalid mechanism to explain the complexities seen in all parts of the cosmos. However, if there is an Intelligent Designer who controls the whole universe, and even controls chance itself, then such odds would no longer be relevant.

7- DNA Coding

DNA is a very small particle which stores coded hereditary information. It is said that the DNA of a human stores enough information code to fill 500,000 pages of very small, closely-printed text.

"The coding regions of DNA," explains Dr. Stephen Meyer, "have exactly the same relevant properties as a computer code or language" (quoted by Strobel, p. 237).

In their actual size, which is only two millionths of a millimeter thick, a teaspoon of DNA, according to molecular biologist Michael Denton, could contain all the information needed to build the proteins for all species of organisms that have ever lived on earth, and "there would still be enough room left for all the information in every book ever written" ( Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, 1996, p. 334).

Taking DNA coding complexity into account, two well known scientists calculated the odds of DNA coding to have happened by chance. They estimated that there is less than 1 chance in 10 to the 40,000 power that life could have originated by random trials. 10 to the 40,000 power is a 1 with 40,000 zeros after it! (Fred Hoyle and N. Chandra Wickramasinghe, Evolution from Space [Aldine House, 33 Welbeck Street, London, W1M 8LX, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1981], p. 148, 24,150,30,31).

Conclusion

These were some of the designs that we are able to see and comprehend in the universe at large. By no means are these the only such designs, there are thousands others, some we are aware of, but the majority lie dormant and inaccessible to us due to our limited knowledge of the universe.

What we see in these marvellous designs are sufficient to indicate to us that we are a product of design, purpose, and intelligence. Such designs tell us much about God's attributes of possessing authority, intelligence, power, creativity and adaptability.

Intellectual belief in God rests on the merits of observation, contemplation, and verification. Stubborn disbelief on the other hand is dismissive of all scientific findings for a Creator. In many cases, it can be argued that an atheist has already placed a barrier and veil over his brain even before examining the facts.