In our last post, Fractals and Fractures, my friend Matthew Dodson shared beautiful prose, laying out an age-old battle between order and disorder:
“There are two schools of thought when it comes to patterns and how they relate to the world. One school says that everything happens for a reason, that patterns are made for us to decode, that rock face was designed by a Creator specifically so that we could climb it…”
“The other school maintains that there are no patterns, that life is a series of chaotic instances coagulating into primordial nothingness upon which we project our invented realities so that we might feel a little better…”
I love Matt as my friend for many reasons, but one of the most prominent is his earnest quest for truth paired with prodding questions that heave me deeper into the meaning of life. Since reading his post, I have wrestled with many wonderful thoughts about creation and its display of pattern and chaos, order and disorder. What does this tell us about the wilderness? Does it support a Creator?
Matthew and I beginning a climb together.
As Matthew has pointed out, we can clearly observe naturally formed patterns in this world; to deny their existence would be foolish. He also revealed it to be impossible for us to see everything in this world as fractals. But to dig a little deeper into the battle between order and disorder, I am not sure that the dominance of one or the other proves or disproves a Creator or a meaningful purpose for our lives. Maybe both order and disorder have something to teach us. This world is formed with intricate detail, sometimes revealing fractals, sometimes displaying chaos, but both are beautiful.
Men like to think we created order. I don’t buy it, and nature doesn’t either. The existence of fractals in nature prove to me that people did no such thing. Order exists beyond human hands. This helps me want to believe in and follow a Creator, a God, something bigger than me that was capable developing such order.
Webster’s dictionary defines chaos as “a state of things in which chance is supreme,” leaving no room for something in a chaotic state to have been designed. Men attempt to describe disorder in nature to be this type of chaos, disproving the existence of God. But I do not feel that such disorder, in which “chance is supreme,” is found in nature. The disorder I find in astronomy, physics, and the like seems to point to an extremely intelligent design that perfectly creates the environment necessary for life. Earth may not be entirely made up of patterns, but it is certainly where and in the form it needs to be for humans to live on it. That disorder is beyond what any human could develop. It points to a designer who is bigger than our own understanding. If we are going to believe in and follow a God, I would hope He would hold such a quality, being bigger than our own understanding.
So whether order or disorder, pattern or chaos, nature continually points me back to believing in the intelligent design of the universe, our world, and the life within. I’ll wrap up with the following verse, one that I believe holds great value regardless of what you think about Jesus.
“For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” – Romans 1:20
Climbing “Best Seat in the House” in the OBED Valley.
People often ask me why I love climbing so much. Well this verse gives one answer. On a cliff, birds soaring level with my chest, wind seeping through the fabric on my back, and a vast array of colors oozing through my sight, I feel like I am literally soaking up something bigger than myself. And as much as I love studying science and the facts about what I observe out there, nothing in a textbook can explain what I feel in those moments. It becomes harder for me to believe that the wilderness being sponged in by my senses is happenstance than it is for me to believe there is something beyond our understanding, capable of such intelligent design.
Founder of The Network 5.12
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