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Material Design

Ecclesiastes 1:7: “All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.”

When I was a department head in a high school in Wales, I had to kit out a new science laboratory. My team and I chose laboratory work surfaces, made from a specially designed material. This artificial material was resistant to corrosion by strong acids, and other chemicals and solvents. It was impervious to ink, so that graffiti left by schoolchildren could easily be removed. The material could also be ground down, like wood or stone, so that more severe damage could be rectified. And, of course, the material would not burn. In short, the material did what it was designed to do.

Many materials in nature give an appearance of design. Consider just a small number of properties of water. It freezes from the top down. We are so used to this, that we forget how unusual it is. All other liquids freeze from the bottom up, but if that happened in ponds and rivers, fish would never be able to survive through winters.

Water has a tiny molecular mass, so the molecules can pass through semi-permeable membranes, enabling the movement of water through cell walls, and yet the molecules associate together, held by forces called hydrogen-bonds, so that the melting point and boiling point are much higher than we should expect from the size of the molecules. Of course, there are those who think such properties are coincidental. But these properties, and many others, are precisely what we would expect, given that the world was designed and created by God.

Prayer: Lord God, when we look at the way You designed even the way that molecules interact, we are again and again amazed and in awe of all that You have done, and we praise Your Holy Name. Amen.

Notes: Adobe Stock photos, licensed to author.

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