CAN SOMETHING COME FROM NOTHING?: Teaching Intelligent Design to Children
Evolutionists bombard students with the erroneous notion that we are a result of a cosmic accident; that human life arose by chance. Indeed, evolutionary theory teaches that man is an evolving animal. Human destiny is “an episode between two oblivions,” says Ernest Nagel.
The logical end of this river of sludge is hopelessness. Any consistent evolutionist must admit the utter futility of the human condition. Jean Paul Sartre faced this dire set of circumstances with intellectual honesty. The French Atheist admitted, “Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness and dies by chance.”
My family is in the process of studying the Westminster Shorter Catechism which addresses this issue directly. Q: What is the work of creation? A: The work of creation is, God’s making of all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good.
I began with a dinner time bombshell: “I want to teach you about the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system” (Francis Schaeffer’s catch phrase for the theory of evolution). “Do you know what this means?” Two blank faces. I continued by drawing two pictures on a paper napkin that represented two prominent worldviews in our culture, namely, a closed system and an open system.
We began with a closed system (the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system). In a closed system, man exists and God does not exist. Since God does not exist in a closed system, there is no distinction between the creature and the Creator. Then I asked my kids, “What are the consequences of living in a closed system?” We learned together that in a closed system, miracles are impossible. Knowledge and morality are impossible in a closed system. And meaning becomes meaningless in a closed system.
I set my watch on the table. “What are some things you know about my watch,” I said. Both children chimed in. “Your watch is silver. It has an hour hand and a minute hand. It shows the date. It includes the words, ‘Swiss Military.’” I asked my eight year old, “What would you say if I told you that this watch appeared out of nowhere … Poof!” He responded, “Dad, that would be crazy. That would be impossible.” My eager learners understood an important lesson. They grasped the law of causation, namely, every effect has a cause, a reality that is impossible in a closed system.
We continued to examine the implications of living in an open system. In an open system that is set in a biblical framework, God exists. God created the universe ex nihilo (out of nothing). His ability to create is as as Al Mohler notes, “not dependent upon any preexistent matter or conditioned by any external force” (For the Fame of His God’s Name). God not only exists, but he has revealed himself. He has spoken through his Word and through his Son (Heb. 1:1-3). Therefore, there is a distinction between the Creator and the creature. He is God. We are not. Therefore, we are accountable to God. Because he is God, we have an obligation to obey his commandments.
Children and adults alike need to be reminded of Augustine’s motto: Ex nihilo, nihil fit, out of nothing, nothing comes. In other words, something cannot come from nothing. Children and adults need to be reminded that the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system is one of the biggest lies that has been weaved into the fabric of public education. We all need to be reminded that a personal God created all things and holds all things together by the word of his power.
“For by him [Christ] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17, ESV).