No atheists in birthing centers

By Peter Heck, columnist • • 765-455-1333

June 2010 – It has often been said that there are no atheists in foxholes. Having never been in combat, I can’t speak to that. But having just been present for the birth of my first child, I feel quite comfortable saying there are no atheists in birthing centers – at least none with a lick of sense.

To call the birth of a human baby a miracle is the understatement of the millennia. It is either the height of arrogance or ignorance (perhaps both) to believe that such an event could ever happen spontaneously and without intentional design.

Please understand that I mean no deliberate disrespect to those who have made the decision to live in rebellion to that which is patently obvious. I truly believe that many professing atheists are some of the most educated people on the planet. But an old boss I used to work for ingrained a phrase in my head that finds perfect application with these very non-believers: “Educated don’t mean smart.”

I remember visiting my dad on various Air Force bases when I was younger and he was on active duty. We would walk around and be amazed at the massive size and incredible intricacies of the jets assembled on the tarmac. And I remember thinking to myself while I gazed at those technological masterpieces, “I’d love to meet the one who built this thing; he must be the smartest person in the world.”

For all of the jet’s complex systems to function in just the perfect manner at just the perfect time with just the perfect result could never be the product of spontaneity or artless chance. No one – especially the educated – would ever suggest that an F-16 was assembled by mixing bolts, rods, and metal scraps together in a cement mixer and dumping them out all at once. No matter if a person concocted the most elaborate and detailed explanation of how these random processes might have occurred, used the most extensive vocabulary, and bolstered his theory by getting like-minded academics to concur, the proposition would still defy common sense and all reason.

Carl Sagan, one of the famous atheist minds of our time, agreed. For decades, Sagan was involved in the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project in the American southwest. His team of scientists beamed powerful satellite signals into the sky and listened intently to the furthest reaches of space to see if they could detect any sign of intelligent life. When Sagan was asked what exactly they were listening for, he responded by stating that if, in the noise of space, they could find a pattern of any sort, they would conclude life must exist somewhere else in the cosmos. Why? Because, Sagan said, a pattern always indicates intelligent design.

How men like Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Sam Harris, and others – truly gifted intellects – can look at the DNA code and maintain their arrogant disbelief is mind-boggling. I wonder if they have ever set foot in a birthing center.

When our little girl was born, I watched her tiny eyes dart back and forth, squinting from the bright lights. I asked one of the nurses whether she was seeing OK or not. Instead of a simple yes or no, I got a full explanation of the workings of the inner eye, and I was dumbfounded. From that first moment her eyes opened, her cornea was taking the widely diverging rays of light and bending them through the pupil. There, the lens focused light to the back of the eye chamber where the retina layer takes over. The retina is a membrane containing photoreceptor nerve cells that lines the inside back wall of the eye. It changes the rays into electrical impulses and sends them through the optic nerve to the brain where an image is perceived.

Stunned, I asked about the ears – could she recognize my voice? Even when she was in the womb, sounds from the outside world came in through the outer ear canal which amplified the vibrations and sent them across the eardrum. The eardrum transmitted these vibrations on to the inner ear through the oval window and into the cochlea. There the sound waves cause fluid to begin to move, setting tiny hairs into motion which transform the sound vibrations into electrical impulses which travel through the auditory nerve to the brain. There, somehow – though science still doesn’t understand how – the brain translates those sound pulses into recognizable information.

As I think of the intellectual elitists who, for the sake of pride, deny the existence of our Creator, Paul’s words take on new meaning: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” Anyone who denies the obvious conclusion that comes from such magnificent and unimaginable design, no matter how educated, is a fool.

As I held my little Addison that first night, I recalled walking around those Air Force bases as a child. And in the stillness of the hospital room, I found myself speaking the same words again: “I’d love to meet the One who built this masterpiece.”  undefined