Not Merely By Chance

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One night this week, Rebekah and I were watching a National Geographic television show called World’s Deadliest, about the various methods of hunting that lions use. At the end of the show, after a pack of lions had made dinner of an adult giraffe, the narrator said this:

“This death, this meal, did not happen merely by chance. There are a myriad of tiny variables reacting off one another that determines the outcome of the battle: The mastery of perfect timing. The fine-tuning of sensory skills. The fervent dance of defense. But it is this power of cooperation that has worked to the lion’s advantage” (emp. added).

The giraffe’s death did not happen merely by chance. True enough. But in the same show, discussing the lions’ hunt of zebras, the narrator also said this:

“The cats have taken five hours to reach this critical point of the hunt. But it’s the culmination of millions of years of pack-and-prey evolution that prime the outcome” (emp. added).

Notice how unreasonable and contradictory these two messages are. On the one hand, the show says that the lions use very careful, complex, organized techniques in order to hunt. In fact, the lions cooperatively “plan” what they will do in order to make a kill. On the other hand, the show says that the very existence of the lions and their techniques is a giant accident—the result of mere chance, merely random naturalistic process involved in organic evolution. To summarize the show’s message: The lions’ hunt is not a chance process, but the very existence of the lions is.

When the show invokes Darwinian evolution, it makes a very specific claim. The claim is that there was no mind, intelligence, or organization, that produced the lions—including features such as retractible claws, muscles specially designed for sprints, eyes perfectly suited for nocturnal hunting, and instinct to work in prides. Is this a reasonable claim? Think about what would be required in order for the claim to be true. For example, some creatures that were sort-of-lions-but-not-quite lions would have had to survive without all of these features as they gradually developed over millions of years. Furthermore, it would be required that a creature without retractible claws accidentally grew retractible claws (and everything else that makes a lion a lion). This list could of impossible requirements go on.

There is no scientific evidence that proves that such things occurred. The Bible provides a much better explanation for the existence of lions: “God made the beasts of the earth” (Genesis 1:25).

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