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minds and machines


Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these . . . But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee” (Job 12:7, Luke 12:27).

This morning as Linde and I sat outside, her with her coffee and me with my flavored milk (best drink in the world!), we considered together the amazing growth of her tomato plants this year. Thanks to the skilled labor and generosity of Ernie and Melody, we now have well-constructed planter boxes exactly where they need to be to catch the right amount of sunlight. As a result, our tomato plants have never looked better. Looking at their phenomenal growth, I began to consider the remarkable molecular machinery at work within those plants at the microcosmic scale. I see how the sun has blistered the paint on my shed. Within the bodies of plants, however, we find machinery that is designed to harness and direct solar energy for the useful purpose of making the plant grow and produce fruit. The greatest human minds are still at present unable to produce solar panels that can work with this kind of efficiency. The staggeringly complex molecular machinery required for plants to do what they do, along with the coded instructions (expressed chemically as DNA) needed to build and assemble this machinery, absolutely defy any sort of atheistic, naturalistic explanation. If intelligent agency was required to produce my lawnmower, chainsaw, and snow blower, which are orders of magnitude less complex than even the simplest living system, then so did my tomato plants. As we sat together a wasp came buzzing past. A flying machine, I thought to myself, watching its drone-like flight pattern. Years ago, Discover Magazine had an article about the body plans of bats and how they are considered aeronautical engineering marvels. According to the article, the U.S. air force was spending millions of dollars studying these creatures in order to help engineers design better flying machines. Dragonflies are even more amazing. Every time I see one of these creatures, two thoughts enter my mind. First, please eat more mosquitoes! Second, you are an amazing creature; you do what human engineers wished their best helicopters could do! As my eyes drift from God’s amazing creatures and their obvious marks of intelligent design, I see my wife, surely the most wonderful of all of God’s creatures I have encountered in this life. She is infinitely more than a concatenation of molecular machinery; she is a stunning image-bearer of God, a special object of Christ’s redemptive love, uniquely crafted and equipped to accomplish God’s special work on the earth. So it is with all who are called into the household of faith (1 Corinthians 12:4-6). With grateful hearts, let us put our God-given knowledge, insights, and gifts to the best use possible, for God’s glory and for the good of others.

God bless,

Pastor John

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