God’s Creative Design and the Power of Black Beetles

God’s Creative Design and the Power of Black Beetles

A few years ago, our family went to Southern Africa, visiting many of the countries in that region. When we were in Namibia, we made an exciting discovery through our guide, Freddy. Namibia is a desert country. Our initial impression was that this part of our trip wasn’t going to be very interesting. We were very wrong. Freddy is a man who is passionate about his country, about all the wonders in his country, and he is, as we found out towards the end of our time in Namibia, a passionate follower of Jesus. We sort of suspected that as whenever he pointed out some natural wonder or some creature, he mentioned that they were designed. Every time he used that word, I would think of our Creator full of purpose and design.

A picture containing ground, outdoor, person, baseball

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Freddy showing us something amazing about Namibia

Design is a concept in science that was accepted up until the mid-19th century. When Darwin showed up with his theory of Natural Selection, the concept of design became unfashionable. That was for “religious” people. Life is here by chance, stated the Darwinist. Organisms are a result of chaotic randomness, not intentional design. Richard Dawkins, an atheist evolutionary biologist, says any sense of design is an illusion.[1] But is it really an illusion? While this universe is immense and vastness of the created universe could lend itself to a sense of chaos, when we look hard, there is design throughout. Consider the laws of physics and the effect of gravity that keeps the planets on their course through space. Think about the uniqueness of the human body. All these systems are working together to keep the human alive. Even getting down to the sodium-potassium pump that creates the electrical charge that causes the heart to pump, there is a sense that the human organism and all other organisms have intricate designs.

How can random chance and chaos bring about such systems? Breaking it down, the building block of all life is protein. In order to create proteins, there need to be enzymes. The chances against a random creation of just the enzymes that would be required in order to produce proteins randomly are ~10 -313 .[2] That a 10 with 313 zeros after it. If perhaps that would happen, then the chances against protein developing into an organism are ~10-40,000 [3]. That’s 10 with 40 thousand zeros after it! Putting this into perspective, in the universe, there are ~1080 atoms.[4] The chances of life randomly coming together far exceed the material available to form that life! Brilliant mathematicians and ordinary everyday people call this – impossible. Occam’s Razor states that the simplest explanation is usually the right one. Design, while far from simple, is the simplest of answers. Chance and chaos cannot even begin to answer the intricacies of the patterns we observe in our world.

The magnificent black beetle
Creepy black beetle of the Namib Desert

Which brings me back to Namibia and our exciting discovery. While we were wandering around the Namib Desert, I noticed a bunch of beetles on the ground. Very black and very creepy beetles. I pointed them out to Freddy, and he told me that they were the most important creatures in the desert. Really? A creepy black beetle? As it turns out, Freddy explained to me the beetle was “designed” to be black in color. Because of this, the beetle gets super-hot during the day when it sits out in the sun. However, come the cool of nighttime, they open their back flaps and release that heat. The release of the heat causes condensation which is how they receive water. While that is interesting, Freddy did not stop there. He pointed out later some mice hanging around the beetles. These mice never drink water their entire lives. But they do eat the beetles, which is how they get their water. Further, there are birds and lizards that eat the mice as a way of getting nutrition and water. “Isn’t that an amazing design?” grinned Freddy as he was explaining this to me. Indeed, it is.

[1] Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (New York, NY: W. W. Norton 2015), 31.

[2] Dr. Charles Cruze, Daniel J. Dyke, Dr. Hugh Henry, “Evolution as Mythology, Part 3 (of 5): The Myth of Abiogenesis”, Reasons to Believe, https://www.reasons.org/explore/blogs/todays-new-reason-to-believe/read/tnrtb/2008/05/19/evolution-as-mythology-part-3-(of-5)-the-myth-of-abiogenesis.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Anne Marie Helmenstine, “How Many Atoms Exist in the Universe?”, ThoughtCo., https://www.thoughtco.com/number-of-atoms-in-the-universe-603795.

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