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How Beauty Is Making Scientists Rethink Evolution

Science writer Ferris Jabr asks a difficult question about those who do not believe in God as Creator: “How do you explain beauty?” He quotes Charles Darwin, who believed not everything was a result of merciless natural selection: “A great number of male animals, as all our most gorgeous birds, some fishes, reptiles and mammals, and … magnificently colored butterflies have been rendered beautiful for beauty’s sake.”

There is such an overabundance of beauty and creativity in nature that we often don’t even have the tools to observe it. A bumblebee, as just one example, can perceive ultraviolet light. Many flowers absorb or reflect this light, and are a distinct beacon for the pollinating bumblebee. Jabr claims, “There is an entire dimension of floral beauty invisible to us … because we do not have the proper biological hardware to perceive it.”

Jabr concludes his piece by admitting that we can’t properly grasp the elegance, power, and universal truth about beauty. “Beauty is a dialogue between (seeing) and (what is seen). Beauty is … the impulse to recreate water lilies with oil and canvas. It is the need to place roses on a grave.”

Possible Preaching Angle: “Merciless natural selection” does not explain the beauty present in the world. However it is explained when we know our loving and gracious Creator “who richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17).

Ferris Jabr, “How Beauty Is Making Scientists Rethink Evolution,” The New York Times Magazine, (1-9-19)

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