The Marvel of Design

“And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another.” (Genesis 43:33)

When creationists calculate the extremely low probability of the chance origin of life, many evolutionists scoff at the calculation, alleging that any one arrangement of the components of a simple, living molecule is just as likely as any other arrangement, so it is no great marvel that the components fell into this particular arrangement.

This is a puerile argument, of course, quite unworthy of the intelligent scientists who use it. There are at best only a few arrangements that will contain the organized information necessary for reproduction, compared to “zillions” of arrangements with no information at all.

This fact is beautifully illustrated in our text. Why should Joseph’s brothers “marvel” when they were seated in chronological order of birth by a host who (presumably) was entirely unaware of that order?

The reason why they marveled was because there are almost 40 million different ways (calculated by multiplying all the numbers, one through 11, together) in which the 11 brothers could have been seated! It seemingly couldn’t happen by chance.

Maybe an evolutionist would not “marvel” that this unique seating arrangement happened by chance, since he somehow believes that far more intricately organized arrangements than this happened by chance to produce our universe and its array of complex systems. Anyone else, however, would immediately have realized this, and so the brothers of Joseph “marvelled one at another.” So also, when we behold the wonders of design in the creation, we should “lift up [our] eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things” (Isaiah 40:26). HMM

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