The design argument
The design argument is often presented in a fairly confused way. It often seems little more than a declaration of being closed minded :" I cannot understand how natural selection could have made such wonderful creatures!" How could this have come about through chance?"
Once an explanation is given, the person putting forward the design argument generally fails to accept the explanation although many people are willing to concede that it offers at least a plausible explanation if not a quite powerful explanation of how creatures came into existence.
To make things clear: There is nothing in the Qur'an which contradicts the explanations of the origins of life and its evolution that are found in contemporary evolutionary theory. In fact there are some statements that confirm parts of that theory such as
Surah 21, Verse 30:
When I look at the wonderful forms of life around, I appreciate their beauty and their design. Evolution is reasonable and based on some solid evidence. It is, however, more difficult to prove because it is hard to contrive experiments that take place on a reasonable time scale.
The design evident in life is even more impressive when we can start to understand how it happens. We can then appreciate the design process as well. If we appreciate something we value it. As we study the life around us we see the design process of natural selection at work making life forms embody survival lessons from their environments more and more, we find it more and more impressive & more and more beautiful. We then exclaim that all this could not have happened for it simply to end in nothing; that existence should be more than a cruel joke or an idle game signifying nothing.
This point is at the heart of the design argument. A design is such not only because it has a designer but because that designer has some good purpose for his design.
Life's purpose is to learn about reality. The lessons are embodied largely in its genetics.
Manís purpose is to learn about reality, think about it, appreciate it & hence come to know and adore its ultimate source and destiny - i.e. to worship and serve Allah.
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