Design is apparent throughout Nature. The concentric circles of sunflowers, the remarkably polygonal and effective cell walls of a celery stalk, the movement of celestial spheres in mathematically predictable ellipses. This design of course is real or it would not be observable. So argues Granville Sewell in this short and pithy recent post.
As Christians this concept is easy to embrace. God is the big, capital D Designer, and we his image-bearers are little, lowercase designers. We were designed to design in other words. One small way that I have been developing this idea in my science classes is by only using fresh biological specimens for observation under the microscope and for dissection. If we trust our senses, then using preserved specimens at once causes us to question them.
This preserved mackerel, for example, lies to us about its origin. It smells as if it were factory made. It appears to have been alive at some point but its texture and smell insist that it is not of organic origin. Different complex organ systems are of the same identical mealy yellow variety.
This is not how God made the mackerel. He made the mackerel to be coated in mucus so it glides through the water. He made it with a deep-red 2-chambered heart just posterior and ventral to its bright-red feathery gills. The fresh specimen connects you to the grocer and to the place this fish lived its life in the world. Slides of fresh muscle tissue and red-blood cells can be made and observed. Parasites can be discovered and identified. Lenses can be extracted from eyeballs, stomach contents examined.
To fully grasp our role as designers and to better fathom our Creator’s wisdom we should study Creation as it is. To sterilize it prior to investigation is to miss myriad design inferences and rejects the natural wisdom built into all animate and inanimate objects.