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Article of the week

From Salvationist 16 February 2019

REFLECTION

CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE

by Peter Cooke

I WATCHED a stunning TV documentary that examined the possibility of the Earth being twice its present size. Would it matter? So strong would be the gravitational pull that we would hardly be able to take a step forward. Better, then, to leave it the size it is.

‘Would it matter if we were twice as tall as we are?’ we were next asked. The same thing would happen for different reasons. The weight of the bones in our frame would be too great for us to carry; the heart would find it nearly impossible to pump blood up to the brain. Again, no change called for.

The programme considered the size and position of the moon in relationship with the Earth and found that these were ‘just right’ as well. If it were bigger or closer the tides would be catastrophic in their effect. The same with the sun: a twice-as-big sun would bring a twice-as-long year, with twice-as-long seasons. Food production and processing would be affected.

All this made me think of a verse in Genesis where ‘God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good’ (Genesis 1:31 King James Version).

And it reminded me of the illustration used by William Barclay in his book, The Plain Man Looks At The Apostles’ Creed, in which he suggests that the idea of there not being some sort of creative intelligence behind the universe is like throwing up into space enough ‘movable type’ (this was in the days of movable type, obviously) to produce the whole of Encyclopaedia Britannica and for it to come down in the form of that classic work of reference. It just wouldn’t happen.

Again, my thoughts went to a well-known thinker of a previous generation, Edith Sitwell, who had no time for any religious thought at all, until one cold, frosty morning, when she noticed frost patterns on a window pane. ‘And that started my belief in God,’ she said. ‘For it surely needs some kind of intelligent thought process to produce something so beautiful.’

Having established, then, the existence God, all we need to do is to persuade people that he longs to have a loving relationship with them.

PETER IS A SOLDIER AT UPPER NORWOOD

 

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Salvationist is a weekly 24-page magazine for members and friends of The Salvation Army - with news, features, Bible studies and much more