Snowmen–Wintery figures point to design!
Published: 6 January 2015 (GMT+10)
Being in the throes of winter in the Northern Hemisphere many children will be hoping that enough snow falls so that the school they attend will have to close for a day or two. They will then proceed to either roam around the streets like wolves looking for prey, snowballs in hands, armed and looking for their next victim (!), or else, if they are anything like me, build the biggest snowman that they can.
Due to excessive snowfall a few years ago I found myself in that ‘fortunate’ position, unable to get into work, and decided to spend my time wisely exploring design theory by building two snowmen. Just as I had finished lifting the head onto the second snowman, and had added the obligatory items to construct a facial representation, I was joined by the next door neighbour’s child. Taking my opportunity to conduct this rather fun piece of research I asked him if he thought that the snowmen could have appeared by chance, all by themselves? He replied, “No, someone had to make them.”
Design and manufacture require intelligence
For this 10 year old boy it was obvious; of course the snowmen could not have appeared all by themselves. The design of the snowmen was glaringly obvious to him. He implicitly recognised that there was a specific way in which the snowmen had been put together and shaped, a specified complexity to it, that there had been a designer and creator.
Now snowmen in themselves are not very complex things to make.1 You start by making a small ball of snow, then you roll the small ball of snow along some fresh snow hoping that it will pick up some more from the ground until it gets large enough for a snowman—and for its creator to either be satisfied with its size—or like me, it just gets too big to push along. Then, you might stick a couple of bits of wood in the sides for arms, a hat and scarf and some stones for the eyes, nose and mouth (or a carrot nose), and there you have it, one perfectly formed snowman! Now, it takes only minutes to make, but I don’t think that any sane, reasonable person would deny that the snowman in your garden or yard was made by someone along the lines I have just laid out. Would they really tell you that it was, rather, the result of a snowstorm, followed by some wind erosion and the chance accretion of some bits of wood and stones, that the snowman came to be, all by itself? If they did so it would be against all observable data regarding the origin of any specified complexity in the world around us.
This then begs the bigger question, why do some people deny that the person creating the snowman is himself/herself designed?
Snowmen and ‘real men’
The human body is incredibly more complex than a snowman, obviously! To compare the two would be like comparing a toy car to a Ferrari F60, and then some more. Snowmen cannot see, taste, touch, move, digest, excrete, reproduce, talk, think, design, or make things. They do not have incredibly complex cellular machines like ATP Synthase, Kinesin or Ribosomes, or complex codes such as DNA, m-RNA, and yet no-one would dispute that they were made by somebody. As the snowmen speak of design, so the makeup of human beings screams design! The Bible is quite clear on this point in Romans 1:20 where the Apostle Paul speaks of design, declaring that God’s eternal power and divine nature can be understood from the things that have been made. This means that the design that we can see in the natural world around us clearly points us to God. And Paul says that because of this, the ungodly are ‘without excuse’ and that such people wilfully reject this clear evidence, as indeed they do. So, “it follows that when men proudly declare that they are atheists and deny that there is any evidence for belief in an almighty and eternal God, they are pitting their wits against clear evidence to the contrary”,2 as our snowman example amply demonstrates.
God’s design in salvation
The design that we observe in natural revelation, however, is not enough to come to a full knowledge of who the designer God is. This intimate knowledge, this special revelation, is presented to us in the Bible. The Bible tells us about the designer of the universe and how He created everything in it.3 It tells us of a perfectly designed world that was created for mankind to live in. It speaks of how, in rebellion against God, the sinful action of the first man, our forefather Adam, led to God cursing this world. We read of how Adam’s sin led to the entrance of death into this world. God did not design that perfect world, and mankind to live upon it, without purpose. God designed mankind to be able to know and have fellowship with Him. But because that relationship was broken through sin, the relationship had to be restored.
As we cannot restore it ourselves,4 God initiated the plan of redemption in which his son, Jesus Christ, came to earth to live a perfect life and present himself as a perfect sacrifice on the cross, thus shedding His blood for our sins. In the Bible, you can read and find out much more about this Jesus Christ, the Lord and Saviour who can save you from your sin. This website contains lots of testimonies of those, “who once were alienated and hostile in mind”,5 but now live in the peace offered by Jesus.
So next time you see some snowmen, those wintery figures, remember the Designer who created something a lot more complex, you, and all mankind; and how through reading and studying the Bible you can find out more about who He is and what he expects of us—relying on its accuracy from the very first verse to the last.
References and notes
- Granted, the water molecules (in the form of snowflakes from which the snow is formed) have to be there in the first place. Return to text.
- Still, W., Theological Studies in Genesis and Romans: The Collected Writings of William Still, Eds: Searle, D.C. & Ferguson, S.B., Christian Focus Publications, Edinburgh, 2000, p. 220. Return to text.
- For example in Genesis 1-2, John 1 and Colossians 1:15-16. Return to text.
- See Romans 3:10-12 & 3:23. Return to text.
- Colossians 1:21. Return to text.