Designed to Run

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dtr-thumbThe title of this article is also the marketing slogan and catchphrase of the 2014 edition of the Two Oceans Marathon, to be run on 19 April. More than a handful of members of the Soul Striders (BBC’s running club) with be participating in either the half-marathon (21.1km—don’t forget the 0.1!) or the arduous 56km ultra-marathon. Given the Christian, biblical and creationist presuppositions that the Soul Striders share, we embrace this slogan as a profound acknowledgement of the Creator’s wise and perfect design of the human body—choosing to ignore the fact that this slogan was chosen to coincide with Cape Town being the Design Capital of the year! More than any other of His created beings, Homo sapiens were indeed designed to run—and to run far and long. In comparison to the cheetah, gazelle or even the hippo, which can gallop along at 50km/h, humans are rather pedestrian—but they can be pedestrian for a long time!

At a recent seminar on long-distance running, and in a book that I am currently reading, the speakers and authors repeatedly refer to the process of evolution as being responsible for the development of these endurance running characteristics of humans. Some even go on to say that because humans evolved this grand ability to run, they are what they are today. You know how it goes: Primordial man was disadvantaged by his four wheel drive posture—short legs, hairy body that didn’t sweat and relatively rigid neck and trunk—and so by pure and very fortunate chance he got himself upright, stretched out his legs, grew some sweat glands and limbered up his spinal column. And overnight (read: a few million years) he became a perseverance hunter who would capture his prey when it collapsed in exhaustion, while he was still as fresh as a daisy.

Why is it that these bright and gifted scientists and researchers would attribute the amazing complexities and intricate functional design of the human body to chance, rather than see the deliberate and intentional design of an all-wise Creator? How do they account for what equates to thousands of spontaneous and very favourable genetic mutations that result in the transformation of a vegetarian, tree-dwelling quadraped into the perfect running machine? How do they explain these adaptive changes where one species morphs into another—especially given the fact that favourable genetic mutations that increase the genetic information of an organism, a basic requirement in evolution, do not happen. They cannot account for the total lack of documented evidence of one species ever becoming a distinctly different species.

Well, the answer is really simple. If you don’t know God you’ve got to try and explain Him out of everything! You see, the evidence for a grand designer and an infinite Creator is everywhere, and it is man’s refusal to acknowledge Him that results in man having to do some pretty fancy and imaginative footwork. This is not to say that someone who believes in the grand design and creation of all living things is not required to engage his imagination and reasoning abilities to plumb the depths and wonders of human physiology and anatomy. Rather, it means that he correctly identifies the source of all this wonder to his (and His) great delight. Evolutionists do not hold the rights to scientific discovery: They are simply discovering God’s amazing design—even though they don’t realise it. God is right there, revealing Himself in all that He made and in all that is being studied and researched. The clever scientists have no excuse for not seeing His unique attributes and for not glorifying Him in turn when they stand before the Lord Almighty one day (Romans 1:18ff).

The believer’s life is so much simpler and so much more pleasurable. The pleasure that a believer experiences when he considers the wonders of the human form and resulting function is in huge contrast to the limited appreciation and pleasure that an evolutionary model provides. An evolutionist looks at a Kenyan marathoner and says: “Wow, what long tendons you have, you lucky chap. You have a great marathon time.” And then the marathoner gets ill and loses his form and becomes just another name in the records. A creationist looks at the same Kenyan and says: “Wow, what long tendons you have. You have a great marathon time and an even greater Designer.” Essentially, the Creator is honoured for His handiwork. Removing the Designer from the equation makes the runner less special—and it robs God of the glory that He is due.

So the Soul Striders will run, and while they probably won’t win the Two Oceans (this year), they will be glorifying their grand Designer and enjoying Him as they do so.

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