Is Nature Smarter Than Us?

“It’s so obvious there’s no excuse for doubting it. By observing all the incredible things around us, we must logically conclude they were made by a powerful, imaginative and highly intelligent Being whom we cannot see.” —Romans 1.20

The Biomimicry Institute’s mission is  investigating the genius of the natural order to solve global problems like pollution and finding better energy sources. These scientists admit they see sophisticated intelligence in the natural order.

This isn’t a new idea. The ancients used building methods they found in the architecture of insects. Long before the Wright Brothers, Leonardo knew human flight was possible by imitating birds in flight.  Here are ways the Institute proves nature is often smarter than we are.

  • NASA was stumped trying to develop a land rover that could negotiate the tough terrain of Mars until they designed one mimicking the locomotion of the humble inch worm.
  • By observing how certain wasps bore effortlessly into wood, Japanese researchers found techniques to aid neurosurgeons make safer, intricate incisions in the human brain.
  • By studying the prairie’s ecosystem, The Land Institute has devised better agricultural methods to reduce the need for fertilizers and insecticides that damage our environment.
  • The intricate structure of termite mounds inspired the creation of an efficient climate control system now installed in a Zimbabwe office complex that reduces need of electricity.

How did these inventions come about? How did the honey bee, for example, discover that hexagonal cells, not circles or squares, are the  very best shape for storing their products. And how did they learn how to build them?

They say evolution. Yes, there are scientists who, against all reason, attribute these intelligent designs of nature to inanimate forces such as natural selection.  The modern world has sadly  swallowed this myth that a mindless process can actually create intelligence.

While studying evolution at Cornell,  the prof stated, “You may wonder why we discount the possibility of God. Simple,” he explained—“You can’t put God in a test tube.” At the time I could find no reason to doubt that. Years later it dawned on me! We’d been snookered! Evolution can’t be put in a test tube either! It would require millions of years to test it.

“The fool has said in his heart–what an incredible leap of faith for otherwise bright folks (whose eternal prospects may not be so bright). How is it they can believe that the exquisite computer in our skull, vastly more complex than the best IBM can make, is nothing more than a happy accident? If they found a simple mechanism like a wristwatch on the moon, wouldn’t they instantly think. Someone is here!  Isn’t it more logical and far easier to grasp that only Divine Intelligence can beget intelligence? How can they fail to see God alone can create something out of nothing?

What triggered the Big Bang? It’s not a what, it’s a WHO! Common sense dictates a force of that nature doesn’t happen by itself. Only Someone, a wise and mighty Designer. could do that, and then from it construct the heavens and the earth. Can the finest theories of Darwin and his kin do that?

Hound of Heaven: God, Quincy and Me.

The Hound Of Heaven. This poem by Francis Thompson, a brilliant but tortured drug addict, hits home. It exquisitely describes how a friendly but persistent God pursues us with patience and love. Saints in every age, prodigals all, grasp the pure joy of being caught in the Divine Chase and the utter misery of running away from Him.

Charles Schultz’s hound, Snoopy did something similar, but in a subtle and light, tongue-in cheek style.  It’s interesting that in his Gospel According to Peanuts, the author, Mr. Short reminds us dog is God spelled backwards.

Quincy is my “some-timey” hound. Why do I say my 10 pound poodle is some-timey? The other night I kindly let him do his business out back. When I whistled for him,  he ran to me, likety-split, happily wagging his tail. Hugging him I said, “I just love it when you obey me like that!”

Today–a very different story. When I whistled, he glanced up and gaily went back to exploring all those lovely smells he’d found. I called, yelled and cajoled. Nothing. The pleasures of his doggy world had him in its grasp. Sadly I had to go and fetch him.           (I’m so like that).

So I’m thinking God must feel joy when I obey him—delighted when I come into His presence at his call–sad when I put him on the back burner, caught up in worldly cares and pleasures. Yeah, I think that’s probably right.

Some, with a puritan bent might raise an eyebrow at the notion that God feels joy or disappointment over us… or anything else for that matter.

Others might scoff that it’s anthropomorphic—projecting human traits and feelings onto the Divine. But isn’t believing we can attribute good stuff like love, joy, or bad feelings onto the King of the Universe rather like saying we invented ourselves?

King David, had deep insight into such things. No mean song and dance man, he also wrote some really cool lyrics to a bunch of songs, called psalms. One of them shouts, “Hey, it is He who made us! We did not make ourselves!” Dummy!  Wasn’t David the guy  ”after God’s own heart?” So isn’t it just plain whack-o to buck his insights and talk about projecting our feelings onto the Creator when it’s so completely the opposite.     

The prophet who heard God sing. Zephaniah wrote, “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty. He will save and He will rejoice over thee with joy. He will rest in his love. He will joy over thee with singing.” Zeph. 3:17 (Good old KJV)

In the very front of the book, we read how we are all made “in His image.” So, when we sing, dance, celebrate, feel joy, love, peace, good stuff like that, we are reflecting Daddy God. To say he reflects us is absurd, like saying the sun reflects the moon. A more recent song puts it this way, “I find beauty looking through my Father’s eyes.”

So in my relationship with Quincy, my hound, I get a glimpse of how God is happy with me when I trust him, obey him and love Him and others. It’s a good bet, like me with Quincy, Jesus is delighted when I come running at his call.

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 Next post: The Humanity of God? Sound like heresy? Let’s talk.