Many evolutionists ridicule the idea that nature’s designs indicate a designer. Richard Dawkins and Francis Crick, among many others, claim appearance of design is misleading and does not really signal input of intelligence in the features of nature, especially among living things. Do not be fooled, they warn. Their warnings cover a broad range: total body plan, integrated organ systems, complex organs, tissue types, and on down to the fundamental structural unit, the cell.
It is worthwhile to distinguish between nature’s patterns and nature’s designs. For example, many meteorological phenomena show patterns--regularity of cloud shapes, predictable events in storm development, and uniqueness of snowflakes. Patterns are not necessarily indicators of design. Why? Because designs also manifest potential for function, but patterns do not. One may look at the DNA molecule and admire the regularity and complexity of its pattern. Beyond the beauty of its pattern, however, the DNA molecule is packed with functional capabilities. It replicates itself and synthesizes RNA which, in turn, directs the production of thousands of proteins, the physical building blocks of living systems. The DNA molecule is perhaps the most elegant example of design in all of biology. It is actually a language, spoken in code. It directs thousands of functions. These functions are carried out inside the cell—life’s fundamental structural unit.
And what of the cell? Dr. Fazale Rana, Reasons to Believe scholar, has just written a book entitled The Cell’s Design. Readers could admire the description of complex, integrated cell structure. But put simply, structure indicates function. There are many events taking place inside the cell wall enabled by devices analogous to man-made machines. These machines help construct products and direct events which impact the working of the entire organism in multi-cellular creatures. As I read Dr. Rana’s volume, I listed over a dozen functions taking place inside the cell. It is an injustice to list only a handful: manufacturing, operating, transporting, regulating.
Naturalistic scientists such as University of Chicago’s James Shapiro attribute phenomena such as the cells’ capabilities to the intrinsic capabilities of matter. He says cells are good at “figuring things out, processing information, analyzing complicated situations, and making good decisions about them.” He does not credit the Creator for design features which produce complex, purposeful function in living things. Instead, matter alone gets the credit. Contrast Psalm 139:14… “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” God, the Maker, has infinite capabilities as the designer. In turn, He imparts wonderful capabilities to creatures having the characteristics of design.