Thursday, May 09, 2013

Teleology and its impact on Christianity

Image Source: By Tkgd2007 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
In establishing the reliability of the Bible, we have implied that there is a God who knows all things and can do all things; this God inspired people to write the Bible and this is why it is so reliable and historically accurate. But how do we prove the existence of God?  Well, here is an interesting guest post from Richard Lowline on how Teleology points to the existence of a creator. 

It's sad that the vast majority of Atheists and supporters of the theory of evolution seem to think that an intelligent creator is impossible. According to them life just sprang up from one giant explosion, and as if by magic everything in existence slowly evolved to the level of complexity in nature that we see today. This sounds good in theory, but when you really take the time to sit back and think about life, one thing that usually comes to mind is the sheer complexity and organization of it all. Everything seems to have its own perfect place and function that serves a particular well-defined purpose.

Some of the most famous mathematicians in the world, as well as scientists, are beginning to agree that this type of complexity could not have just evolved through millions of years of trial and error alone. The statistical chances of this happening are astronomical, perhaps even greater than the amount of atoms in the known universe! This is where the philosophy of Teleology steps in to shed some light. To quote a God supporting biologist 
“So the theme or purpose or meaning of existence is the ordering or integration or complexification of matter, a process that is driven by the physical law of Negative Entropy… ‘teleology’, which is defined as ‘the belief that purpose and design are a part of nature’… recognise[s] this integrative ‘tendency’…put simply, selfishness is divisive or disintegrative while selflessness is integrative. So consider-others-above-yourself, altruistic, unconditional selflessness is the underlying theme of existence…Of these biblical references, Colossians 3:14 perfectly summarises the integrative significance of love: ‘And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.’” (  

What is Teleology? And what is its importance to Christianity? 

The basic premise of Teleology is that every design implies a designer. The word "telos" itself is Greek and literally means "purpose" or "goal". This concept is very important to Christianity because it provides irrefutable logical proof to the existence of God, or a creator that is of higher intelligence than the human form. 

To illustrate, let's look at an example.  Let's say that you were walking along the beach and came across a beautiful watch. You would not assume that millions of years of blowing sand and erosion created it by accident. Why? Because this would be absurd as a watch carries all the marks of a designer. It is specifically complex with numerous gears and parts that all work in unison, each being just as important to the whole as the next. It has a specific purpose and it displays specific information.  

If we compare this concept to the world we live in, the parallels become obvious. Out of every single solar system and planet known to man, and we've discovered billions of them, planet Earth is the only one with the right combination of water, oxygen, sunlight and millions of other elements necessary to produce life. It doesn't just end here though, because all of these rare elements then happened to come together in the perfect amounts to create living cells and organisms that all have a specific purpose within the greater whole of life. Every cell in your body has a purpose. Every organ has a purpose. Every plant and animal species has a purpose within the food chain. In order for all of these things to have a purpose then there must be a "purposer", someone or something who has given these things a purpose.  

The philosophy of Teleology is important to Christianity because it provides rational explanation to order and purpose in the universe as opposed the obvious untruth of the random evolution idea that science currently offers up as an explanation. This purpose-less explanation is horribly flawed—something the simplest of minds can see. The entire universe is way too complex and purposeful to be explained away into randomness which scientists seem extremely keen to do. To me this idea of randomness  is in direct contradiction to reality. In order for something to have a purpose, something or someone would have to have given it a purpose. This person or physical law could be called the almighty creator, or simply God.

Author Bio
Richard Lowline is a Christian scientist that wants to understand God and the world around him. He has recently looked at the work of Biologist Jeremy Griffith and the World Transformation Movement and found it’s work very interesting

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