by Robert Brow (www.brow.on.ca) Kingston, Ontario, March 2006
Once upon a time there was a civilization of tiny atom-sized watchmen. They lived inside an old spring-driven Swiss watch, and they were brilliant scientists. They admitted there were some things they could not calculate exactly. Every day the spring would be wound up, but this could happen at unpredictable times. Everything else worked exactly by their formulae for the movement of the barrel assembly, the four connected wheels, and the escape wheel. Obviously these had evolved from other time pieces, which is why they tried hard to make contact with clocks out in space.
One day their world came to a catastrophic end. Their watch was taken to be cleaned, and they all perished without trace.
Like those tiny watchmen, scientists in our day collects millions of observations, and these can be set out as immutable laws of nature. This was done brilliantly by Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727). In his Principia Mathematica (1687) he set out the principles of gravitation in the working of the Solar System. He himself viewed his work as proof of an intelligent designer who must have created our universe (note at the end of the second edition of the Principia).
It was only later that scientists interpreted their inexorable laws as the basis of atheistic materialism. Newton’s system still works for all practical purposes in our solar system, but it was Einstein (1879-1955) who formulated the theory of relativity, and this was followed by the science of quantum mechanics, both of which are used to explain forces that work throughout our universe.
Is modern science any further ahead than the tiny watchmen? For atheists there is the assumption that their scientific laws will in due course explains everything there is. No God is needed to create or intervene. Others find it much easier to see some intelligent design at work.
If there could have been Christians among the watchmen, they might have listed five kinds of miracle that pointed them to an intelligent Creator :
1 The design and making of their watch .
2 The fact that watchmen can understand what the Creator has made.
3 The Watchmaker taking birth among them as a tiny watchman.
4 The resurrection of the watchmaker after he was put to death.
5 Their sense of being loved by the Watchmaker.
None of these can be given a proof from within the laws of science. Faith in Intelligent design assumes an intervention from outside the laws of science.