From the starry sky to the working of viruses, this world shows an astonishing degree of coherent complication. This complication is present absolutely, and I mean absolutely everywhere around us, to the extent that the most sophisticated technology still couldn't reproduce the miracles happening in a small plant, or in a blade of grass.
Even today, in the century that has decided it is fine for a man to “marry” another man, no technology can recreate the miracle of natural hair, and when someone wants to have a transplant he must take his own hair from somewhere else and have it planted on his head. His own hair, mind; not some hair made by DuPont.
Similarly, no technology has allowed to create anything similar to one of the most astonishing among the countless miracles of nature: the human skin. No sophisticated military technology will be able to give you a new synthetic skin if your natural one is gravely harmed. The astonishing ability of the skin to self-heal is something every child can observe and, in fact, admire.
The sun, the others stars and the immensity of the universe, the hair, the skin. You can add whatever you want to it, the list would be practically infinite. Everywhere around us, the smallest and most banal things have a degree of sophistication unknown to the most advanced R & D departments of this world, and the biggest go beyond what we can even normally imagine.
It we were able to really see it, this world of wonder clearly present in the vastness and harmony of the skies, and still very visible in the commonly observed animal and vegetal kingdom around us, would show itself to us even in the realm of the very little, of the very small particles with an extremely high degree of sophistication. Your white and red globules perform wonders every day, though you don't see them. No effort of technology would be able to replace your eye. Apple itself would never be in a position, no matter how much money they threw into it, to give you something as seemingly insignificant as a new pancreas. In fact, Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer, which goes to show the little human cells in his body were still stronger than all the money medical research – and a tycoon fighting for his very life – can throw at them; therefore, the tycoon will have to die of them at 56 even if he has “CEO, Apple Inc.” written on his business card.
Everything in creation shows an amount of sophistication unknown to human achievement. Still, whilst human achievement is the result of the continuous effort of countless generations, all this – the Milky Way and the plants, the eye and the pancreas – should have been created by… coincidence, and at the same time – which is even more absurd and even more stupid – something should have been created from nothing.
Let me think. If an atheist comes back home and find it devastated, he does not think that the devastation was born out of a strange, rare, but still thinkable sudden and coincidental rearrangement of cells. He knows perfectly well that the door is broken because a force was applied to it; that the safe has been taken away because intelligent beings carried it out; and that there was a planned intention to break in his home in a certain way and at a certain hour, spend so and so much time looking for certain particularly desired loot, and go away before the police arrives.
It you were to tell the atheist “perhaps your safe has rearranged itself in a perfectly casual way disappearing in the ether, and the sudden rearrangement has caused all the mess in your house” he would not consider your theory for a split second. He would rather answer: “are you drunk? Safes do not casually rearrange themselves into the ether! There are laws of physics governing this! Safes do not appear and disappear in a home unless someone bring them in, and takes them out!”.
Well, exactly. There are laws of physics, and of logic. Both are universally observed. They say that nothing comes out of nothing, that there is an agent force behind every action, and that if something isn't it cannot also be, and vice versa. Safes do not magically appear out of nothing. Universes do exactly the same. They are also wonderfully coherent, these universes and the laws that regulate them, and of ubiquitous application. Not casual at all, then.
It is surprising to me that people you would otherwise call intelligent do not get such simple things. It's as if they had decided to suddenly become completely stupid. And the greatest stupidity is that they are unable to apply to God the same logic they themselves continuously apply to the reality they see around them, and would never question or tolerate to see questioned in every other circumstance. Alas, people don't study logic anymore. Nowadays, even the basic notion that nothing comes out of nothing is more than they can grasp. But hey, we have retina screens on our toys, so we must be living in an age of intelligence and progress.
Of course, at the root of the problem is not sheer stupidity, but pride; the pride that will be, unless they repent and see the light, the atheists' fall. Pride seems to have an easier game with somewhat intelligent people, but I have seen it work on stupid people to great effect, too.
Still, there can be no excuse for refusing to see a reality as big and evident as the Universe, and the foolishness of this must be in direct proportion to the consequences attached to it.
Which is why atheists are, however smart at making retina screens, in the end the dumbest of them all.
If anyone were to tell you that the tall building you see in front of you just came into existence because of some accidental combination of factors, you would think him rather stupid and would, in case, tell you so. If the same person were to tell you that his own watch has mounted itself into perfect functionality – always because “it just happened” – you would pity his relatives. If he were, then, to also insist that his watch has never needed to be put into motion by an appropriate source of energy (be that the charged spring, the battery or the solar cell), but one day, exactly in the same way as it “mounted itself” through pure coincidence, also started to run – and to run on time, his various inner elements all perfectly balanced – you would start to think whether medical attention is not urgently needed.
The fact is, though, you won’t find many people defying common sense is such a blatant way. Everyone knows things don’t build themselves out of pure accident, complex mechanisms need a high degree of intelligence to be even conceived, and every movement of a body is due to energy being utilised for the purpose, and which must have been applied to the body from a source of energy (a horse, an engine, the sun) or the movement would not take place. Everyone knows this, because this is the result of universal observation of laws which apply constantly to our entire reality; big or small, building or watch, engine or battery.
Surprisingly, though, common sense, logic and laws of physics are thrown straight in the rubbish bin whenever this simple common sense is supposed to be applied to the existence of God. A building cannot come into existence by chance, but the Milky Way did. Small complex things like a wristwatch need a high intelligence behind them, but the astonishingly complicated and wonderfully efficient human body (in which every second far more complicated processes happen than in the most complex of wristwatches) never needed any intelligence behind his daily, nay, continuously happening miracles. Energy cannot be created, but the energy from the Sun simply created itself from, from, from… ultimately from nowhere and nothing, really.
Nowadays, people just don’t think. They largely emote, and confuse this dim work of their fatigued brain cells for logic, or justice, or spirituality, o even Truth.
They allow themselves to be so blindingly illogical in what concerns things on a big scale as they are utterly logical in the little one. And they know, everyone of them knows, that dimensions never make any difference in the way the planet is organised; that the same laws of physics which apply to an elephant apply to an ant; that these laws will decide whether a building stands or falls irrespective of whether it is a log cabin, or a skyscraper. They know all this. They see it at work every day. They also know – most of hem anyway – that these physical and logical rules apply to the entire universe known to us and there is no parallel bizarro-world where two and two makes five, the laws of physics change according to the mood of the planets, and energy creates and multiplies itself for just so, for the fun of it.
They know all this, but when they stop applying elementary logic and most basic common sense observations to the matter of the Universe (of which, let me say this again, they know it is organised exactly as our little vale of tears), then being illogical and throwing most elementary common sense from the window suddenly sounds, if not outright smart, at least fetchingly “searching”, and more than somewhat sophisticated; as if this strange belief in God (or the belief that logic and rational thinking are important) were something for little children, uneducated peasants and boring, dim people.
Gosh, we live in stupid times…
One of the most tragic consequences of the deterioration in education is the progressive abandonment of those disciplines specifically aimed at training people to think; like for example logic, philosophy and theology.
What we nowadays have instead is an excessive reliance on technical knowledge, without considering that this in itself is no guarantee of sound thinking. Therefore, whilst in the past we used to have a sufficient number of people thinking right enough as to influence the public discourse, today we have a tragic absence of people promoting sound thinking , whilst we drawn in (useful, but ultimately sterile) technical knowledge.
This is why we live among people who would know how to build a bridge or write a software programme, but never stop to think of the many absurdities of modern life, let alone act upon this knowledge.
Look at the UK. A country which allows the slaughter of (if memory serves) 180,000 unborn babies a year is so worried about whether the hounds will kill the fox in a “humane” manner (!) that it delivers itself a decade-long battle on the issue, concluded with the great advancement of civilisation that the fox may be killed with a gun instead (very natural, you see…). Of course the subtext is political here – the envy for the well-off finding an outlet valve in the supposed “care” for the foxes, of which many times as many die horribly and unnaturally on motorways and other roads without anyone thinking of banning the roads; the same mentality, by the by, is at work with the “global warming” – but this is further confirmation of the emotion-driven, logic-free way politics is made in this country.
It goes on in the same fashion in so many other aspects of real life: think of the frontal attack to our most elementary liberties from self-appointed nannies for which our health must be imposed on us against our will (again, whilst children get murdered); or the now defunct, but until very recently fiercely raging global warming hysteria. I could go on, but you get my drift: never has this country had so many people who think of themselves as well-educated but are unable to think logically, and live in a world of media-driven emotional craze instead. Their ancestors ( factory workers perhaps; or miners, or domestic servants) were in the end smarter than they are, because they lived in an environment shaped by logical thinking rather than brainless emotionalism, and the very thought of world where you can kill children but hounds cannot kill the fox would have been dismissed as a very, very bad joke. The decline of religious instruction – both Catholic and Anglican; the Methodists & Co, are apparently already extinct, and if they aren’t they don’t want you to know…) has obviously gone hand in hand with this, dumbing down religious knowledge at the same time as sound thinking was going down the drain…
Not so today: more and more babies get killed so that those who are born may be made more and more dependant from an omnipresent state teaching them that the government is needed even to breath, that is the source of morality (this is very important; religion is a hobby one can practice in private, but should never be allowed to challenge The Supreme Good, State Morality) and that it wants them to live in a un-thinking, obediently voting, semi-vegetative and, no doubt, very healthy alcohol- and smoke-free state (they’ll be able to contracept and abort at their heart’s content, though… these kiddies are so expensive…).
A country where education was progressively eroded is now experiencing a deterioration of political, moral and social thinking at all levels; because again, even if once higher education was open to only a few the mainstays of the thinking of these educated people would percolate down to all social classes, making the principles of sound thinking and acting work for everyone. Nowadays, you’d think million consider Jeremy Paxman a moral instance, are utterly unable of logical thinking, and do not know the Ten Commandments.