Travelling back from California on Monday, the flight took a more southerly route than I expected. After going over the San Jacinto Mountains, we passed a huge wind farm at the start of a barren desert following I-10 (or as they say in CA ‘”the 10”). What a vast area of sand and low mountains and dirt without a trace of anything green or living. I found myself staring into the bareness for close to an hour before anything green appeared – probably Prescott National Forest in the mountains of Arizona. Soon we were flying over Sedona, the unmistakable red rock formations and mesas glowing in the setting sun. To the north, I could see Humphrey’s Peak, the highest point in Arizona just north of Flagstaff, and beyond I could barely make out the Grand Canyon. We hit New Mexico at dusk and in several locations could see what I’m guessing were ancient pueblo villages. The color was the same brown-beige a the surrounding landscape, but the raised square and rectangular ridges were a dead give-away that it was not a naturally occurring phenomenon but something built, something designed, something planned by someone at some point in time.
Looking down on these ground-shapes, I doubt anyone would argue that they were naturally occurring formations, simply the result of time and chance. How is it, then, that people can look at something so basic and simple and conclude that there is intelligence behind its existence, yet view ‘natural’ systems of far greater complexity and believe them to be unplanned – simply the result of time and chance? As an architect, I design buildings with some level of complexity, but none of these can grow themselves, heal themselves or reproduce themselves as the human body can. In buildings, we use air conditioners and heaters to regulate air temperatures, but quite frankly have difficulty achieving uniformity of temperature throughout the building. Yet the human body can maintain itself at a perfect 98.6 degrees to insure that all of its organs function correctly. The ability of our eyes to see, our ears to hear, nose to smell and tongue to taste - complex process the likes of which the best intentional inventions of man do not come close to approximating. The attempt to explain everything in terms of naturalistic causes seems to me an abandonment of common sense. If I can look at a square from the air and say without anyone arguing “there is man behind that”, is it not more reasonable to look at the things of nature and proclaim “there is God behind that!”?