Port Vila has witnessed three massive socio-religious festivals over the past month: Unity Week, Christmas in the Park and Zion Fest Christmas 2020 which ended last Sunday night. Not to mention the other musical competitors.
The depth of the impact these events have had on their attendants and viewers could be huge. We have never before seen a combination of such events being crowded into a month in the Capital. Only time will tell. The whole world might think Vanuatu has gone crazy amidst a global pandemic. We’ve been celebrating ever since July 2020 and to make it more interesting, all these festivities were livestreamed globally. Some of our neighbours have been severely affected by Covid-19, while we’ve been busy celebrating: from Covid-free to imported Covid back to Covid-Free status.
Street commotions and wrong motives
But this is not all. On the margins of these socio-religious events were street commotions and fights by angry mobs of drunken, delinquentyouths, defeating the honourable ideals and intentions of these much-publicised and praiseworthy events. Do we just shrug our shoulders and march on, looking forward to another series of events like these in 2021 or should we rather slow down and think about the deeper meaning of the strange relic called ‘Christmas’? Remove the ‘mas’ part of the word and you’re left with “Christ” (the person who’s supposedly being honoured during ‘Christmas’). Is He real or is He just an idea? Is God just a myth? Is Christmas just a day to celebrate a myth? Does God exist?
Remember atheists, agnostics and heathens also celebrate Christmas, but for all the very wrong reasons. To begin with, they neither believe in ‘Christ’ nor in God. Their definition of X-mas has more to do with having a good time, winding down after a long hard and bad year (like 2020), feasting and gluttony, gifts, booze, and more, as promoted and advocated by the mass media.
Ours is a world that has turned unbelievably foolish though heavily surrounded by an abundance of evidences to confirm the prevalence of design in nature to confirm a designer. Our state of unbelief is amazing and absurd.
‘Computers, space shuttles, dictionaries and planes are the product of genius and hard work. But – so we are taught – the men who designed them are the product of accident and chance. Is this credible’? This question was posed by former TV presenter George Vandeman and scientist Dr Mart de Groot (head of Armagh Observatory) and Dr John Walton (University of St. Andrews).
They continue, ‘honeybees know logarithms. Ants demonstrate advanced engineering skills. Plants have a unique pumping system. How do they do it?’ We’re surrounded by these wonders all the time. But we don’t realise the lessons about ‘design’ that they bear. Are they and we the products of ‘chance’? As the foregoing authors question, ‘Can mental and physical vision be attributed to chance? If reason is the product of chance, can its products be trusted? Conversely, if reason can be trusted, must it not be because reason itself is the product of Eternal Reason’?
At any rate, Who are we? Where have we originated from? Where are we going? As argues Professor E. H. Andrews – Professor of Material Science at the London University once argued, ‘There always will be some things which transcend the ability of science to explain them. I really do think that people have been so brainwashed into believing that evolution is a proven fact…that they are extremely surprised to find a practising scientist who at least appears to be intelligent[ly] espousing the cause of the biblical account’ [of Creation]. Indeed, we are brainwashed!
Nature speaks of a designer
Nature is packed with a plethora of evidences not of ‘chance’ but of design, which point to a Master Designer. Take the case of the Bombardier Beetle that flies around with an explosive mixture of hydroquinone (10%) and hydrogen peroxide (23%) without any chemical explosion due to an inhibitor inside it, until such time that an explosion is needed. And the honeybees as incredible architects, the comb of which is built by young bees under 17 days old. According to Dr Mart de Groot and his team, ‘The worker bees are unquestionably the real marvels of the hive. But they have no leader. Yet somehow they get all the right things done!’. Who directs them? Chance?
The writers continue, ‘A honeybee is a fantastically engineered flying machine. Man-made freight planes can carry a payload of about 25 per cent of their weight. But bees can carry almost 100 per cent of their weight. The bee needs no propeller or jet. Its short, wide wings both lift and drive it. It can move straight up or down, or it can hover in mid-air. Its stubby wings fold in a split second when it dives into a flower. Or it can use its wings as a fan to cool the beehive. The bee has three places for storing cargo. One is a tank inside its body in which it stores nectar. Then, on its hind legs, it has two storage pouches for carrying pollen. Imagine a freight plane with its load dangling underneath! Are these pollen pouches something that evolved because of a need? Man first wrote about the bee in the year 3000 BC. It had the pollen pouches then. And it hasn’t changed since’. Whatever happened to the warped and spurious theory of evolution?
The above brief accounts of the bombardier beetle and the honeybee are just but two examples of myriads of cases in nature to suggest a designer.
As we take time off our busy schedules to enjoy the festive season, we should take a moment to Thank God for His providences and safekeeping throughout a very difficult year, from a pandemic that could have costed a lot of lives.
Wishing all a joyous festive season, and remember one thing, there is a designer in nature. Trust God. He is real.
Howard Aru is current CEO of the Vanuatu Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (VFIPA) and former Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity, and the Ministry of Health.