I have two questions that are on topics recently touched on,
namely the Flood and Intelligent Design. To give you a quick
background, I was raised in a Christian family, and am not a
scientist, although I have read fairly widely and believe I
have a better than average grasp of scientific matters. Some
years ago I became interested in Creation Science. However after
reading a lot of their material I decided to read some of the
refutations made by other scientists, and came to the conclusion
that a lot of Creationists are not scientists. This sparked
somewhat of a crisis in my faith with which I am still struggling.
Firstly the Flood question. The February 98 edition of Scientific
American has an article on Greenland Ice Cores, by Messrs Richard
Alley and Michael Bender. In the article they explain how ice
crystals formed during summer and winter vary in size, and how in
spring the stronger winds deposit more dust onto the ice. They
use this information to count the yearly layers of ice formed in
Greenland, and are also able to calibrate the data using trapped
volcanic dust from known eruptions. The problem for believers in a
global flood is that the authors of the article believe they have
counted back 110,000 years, with no interruptions of a cataclysmic
nature. How can this information be reconciled with the account in
Genesis of a global flood?
The second question relates to the issue of intelligent design.
Richard Dawkins in his book "The Blind Watchmaker" (pages 15 & 93)
relates how the human eye is structured, and in particular how the
photocells do not have their light sensitive area closest to the
source of light, but instead buried several layers down. The
nerve cells connecting the eye to the brain are instead uppermost,
and the connections run across the surface of the retina to the
"blind spot" where they pass through the retina and on to the brain.
Is it reasonable to ask why the eye is designed in this way,
when any human engineer would be able to suggest an obvious
improvement, ie have the nerve cells behind the light sensitive
area, eliminating the need for a blind spot. This is especially
the case when we discover that this is how the eye of the octopus
is structured. Are we allowed to ask why an intelligent designer
would choose this design? Is there some hidden benefit we are
unaware of? Is he just demonstrating his creative power?