Creation - coincidence or intended? 

Margarete van den Brink

I regularly prepare a salad with dinner. Before I start this I always feel the urge to take the head of lettuce – usually iceberg – in my hands and admire it. Time and again I am struck by its form. Layer upon layer the leaves are formed in such a way as to form a sphere. Magnificent to observe. On top of that, each leaf is a miracle of art and artfulness in itself: efficient and beautiful, shaped so that the juices can flow through the small leaves in order to nourish the greater whole.

The astonishing order in nature

You can have a similar feeling of wonder and amazement when you come across an ant's nest in the forest. Nests of forest ants can be up to a meter high. An enormous achievement for such tiny insects! From the inside as well, the ants nest looks impressive. Ants belong to the group of colony-forming, social insects. Every ant colony exists of one or several queen(s), worker ants (all female) and male ants. The worker ants are the largest group. They are the smartest and together they divide the tasks at hand. Within this group there are explorers, food gatherers, ants that maintain the nest, child carers and soldiers, to name just a few roles.

On the inside the nest is made of dirt in which several rooms are created for breeding. There are several layers. Dependant on the weather the workers move the spawn from the layer above ground to the rooms in the layers below ground. Sometimes it is even briefly brought outside to dry. Afterwards it is taken back inside.

The swarming crowd that you can observe near an ant's nest looks like a chaotic mess. In reality, it forms a whole of harmonised activities in which each ant ‘knows' her or his task. Everything within an ant's nest has an order and a definite function.

The strikingly efficient construction of the human body

We can see a similarly striking efficiency in the human body.

For example, in the bones of our legs which exist of a large amount of overlapping little beams. These little beams are arranged in such a way that these fairly thin bones form an immensely solid construction that can even support a body of more than a 150 kilograms. And not only this, they can also grow and even repair themselves after a break. If a leg is broken, then both parts are pressed together and secured. Subsequently both parts grow back together to form a solid whole.

The entire human body turns out to be one large ingenious construction and a work of art.

If we observe each organ of the human body separately and study with great discernment and sensitivity, we become deeply impressed by the way in which they work and the wisdom that is evident in each part. The different organs of the human body turn out to function individually, but at the same time together also. Take the process of digestion. Food that we ingest is digested with the help of the different organs – mouth, stomach, liver, gall, intestines – and transformed into energy that nourishes the body. That is how our body stays alive and heals itself.

Usually, we don't dwell on these miracles. We think it's normal the way things happen and do not notice how exceptional things are. Only once you take the time to examine a plant, an animal, or a growing child and let your feelings speak, do you notice how remarkable the object of your observation really is.

The spirit observed in the material world

What you can then ‘observe' is ‘something you cannot see', namely the spiritual world. For in the pieces of fluff of an overblown dandelion, in the way in which a pair of birds raises its young, or a person suddenly grasps the understanding of a difficult problem, the world expresses the inner workings of the spirit.

We could put it in another way: through this we become aware of the active operations of the spiritual world. In a person who gains an understanding of a difficult problem we can even observe, very directly, the workings of the own higher spirit-Self.

You can ‘see' these workings when you look at nature and people and become aware of the beauty, the order of things, the purposefulness, the wisdom, the brainpower and love. They're all qualities that belong to and are characteristic of the presence of spiritual beings and the functioning of the spiritual world in general.

That which moved Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin, the scientist that developed the theory of evolution, also speaks of how moved he felt by that which he observed during his research. When, for example, he observed orchids and worms he became – as he himself put it – often overwhelmed by the sense that he was dealing with an ‘expression of Mind' 1) , in other words: an expression of a spiritual reality.

You could say that in these orchids and in these worms he observed the workings of a principle of a whole different, higher, spiritual-order. The same thing happened when he studied the human eye intensively. In a letter to Asa Gray in 1860 he writes: ‘The eye is giving me cold chills at the moment, but when I think of the refined degrees that are known, then logic tells me that I should conquer those chills'. 2)

His words show that he observed something with his imaginative abilities that affected him so deeply that it gave him cold chills. That sensation or that experience he subsequently conquers with his ‘logic', his analytic mind. With the latter he pushes his experience of a mystery away and by doing so creates the space to use his intellect to develop the theory of evolution.

Domination of the analytical mind

The more Darwin – who originally was a religious man – develops his theory of evolution, the less he sees any truth in a creation by God or the workings of a higher, spiritual power. Eventually he swore off the existence of God altogether.

By now it has been more than 150 years since Charles Darwin was born. The influence of his theory of evolution on the present conventional way of thinking about humans and nature, has remained immense. However, the image that he conveys of mankind and the world is purely materialistic in nature. Only the external that can be registered with the analytical intellect is valued. There is no place for the spiritual element. And still, there are many scientists that are of the opinion that Darwin's theory of evolution, and its successor Neo-Darwinism, provides the answers to all questions of existence. And in turn to those relating to the existence of God, religious feelings, wisdom and selfless deeds.

This claim creates much confusion. Which is right? Science, which believes to know all, or the old religious traditions? For that reason alone, it is important to know what the theory of evolution entails.

Darwins theory

Darwin's theory about the evolution of the world and humans is part of which is also called the naturalistic vision. The naturalistic vision assumes that space, time and matter simply started existing about 14 billion years ago during an event that is now called the ‘Big Bang'. This explosion led to, so state the adherents of this theory, that hydrogen and helium were created and later also galaxies, stars, and planets. On the latter, new chemical elements were formed such as carbon dioxide and oxygen. Following this, on our Earth, but possibly also on many different planets, other random processes took place, again spontaneously and unplanned, that led to the formation of complex molecules. These complex molecules were able to multiply. This led to all sorts of varieties. Meaning, varieties in which not all multiplied molecules were identical to their parents. From this arose gradually, through a process called ‘natural selection', the first living organism, the first cell. Concurrently, from that one cell, in a process that took billions of years, organisms with multiple cells were formed and eventually the vast varieties of plants and animals that we now know on Earth.

Natural selection, the battle of existence and the inheritance of useful traits

Darwin added three important elements to the naturalistic vision: That of natural selection, the battle of existence, and the fact that in nature useful traits are genetically passed on.

According to Darwin a certain mechanism, which he called the ‘invisible breeder hand', decides that the organisms that are most able to ‘make it' in nature are the ones that survive.

Furthermore, a ‘battle of existence' is created because of scarcity of space and resources such as food. In this battle the strongest wins. This one will have a great amount of strong offspring.

The third mechanism, also called ‘an invisible hand', ensures that the useful traits that have developed, are retained – for example the ability to exist in very cold climates – and that these are passed on from parent to child.

Everything happened by chance and has no meaning

Those that adhere to the theory of evolution emphasise time and again that all these processes unfolded entirely randomly. In other words, there is no intention nor any involvement of a higher consciousness such as a creator or a designer. That incredibly complicated process that took billions of years, so they say, serves no purpose. Life was created by chance, and therefore has no purpose and no meaning.

Within this theory, spiritual elements such as intellect, morality, and social and religious feelings are viewed as mechanisms that only serve survival, and to reproduce and maintain the species.

These materialistic views are prominent in today's society. You can observe it in the conventional approaches to healthcare, parenting, education, ethics, psychology, politics, economics, management and religion. In short, in all aspects of life. 3)

The biologist Ronald Plasterk, former minister of Internal Affairs of the Netherlands, said the following about religion: ‘We can assume that our traits are the result of natural selection. So why not the belief in God? 4)

Gaylord Simpson, an American palaeontologist and follower of the theory of evolution, wrote:

'Humans are the result of an aimless materialistic process that did not have us (humans) in mind. Our existence was not intended.' 5)

Brain researcher Dick Swaab also expresses himself quite harshly:

'As seen through the evolutionary process, us humans are little more than disposable items. Therefore, you are only temporarily useful and only to pass on a piece of
DNA.' 6)

Conclusions that are untrue

It is important to realise that such conclusions based on current scientific data have no definite grounds, for they cannot be proven in this way and consequently are untrue.

In essence, they are no more than explanations of the personal ‘belief' from the atheist world view of the particular scientist.

Often, you hear people who doubt the existence of a higher order, the spiritual world or God, say: ‘yes, but, science has proved that...'

The only fitting answer to this is: science, the way it is currently practiced, has nothing useful to say, let alone to prove, when it comes to matters of spirituality, the meaning of life, and the existence of angels or God. It simply cannot, since science limits itself solely to examining the material world and is therefore one-sided. This one-sidedness originates from the fact that it does not include the spiritual world in its research. It can't, because for that it misses the knowledge and the abilities.

Socrates en Plato

The discussion about whether there is or isn't a higher order in creation, goes as far back as the old Greeks. Even 400 years before Christ philosophers such as Socrates and Plato were opposing philosophers that mainly adhered to materialism.

According to them, the fact that we can see the workings of beauty and strength is proof of a higher power. In other words: from what you can observe you can conclude that there is a creator.

Socrates put it in the following words:

'He who coordinates and keeps the cosmos together manifests himself in his ultimate creations and is at the same time invisible in the way in which he orders them. Because of this reason, it is fitting that we do not disregard these invisible things, instead it would suit us to become aware of the power of these invisible things and the way they express themselves, and honour the divine.' 7)

Plato expressed himself in his dialogues in the following way:

'Isn't it simple to claim that the gods exist? First and foremost, isn't there proof in the existence of Earth, the sun, the stars, and the entire universe, and the beautiful order of the seasons, that are marked by years and months?' 8)

They also mentioned the opinion of their opposition. In one of his dialogues Plato has Socrates say:

'or shall we say ...that all things in this, what we call ‘universe', are ruled by an irrational and coincidental power and are completely random…?'

The materialistic atomists, the epicurists and the stoics

Those, whom in the ancient Greek times before Christ adhered to the belief of an irrational, randomly functioning universe, are referred to as ‘materialistic atomists'. They explained the cosmos from a strictly material, mechanistic vision and viewed the universe, the Earth and humans as the result of a random collision of atoms.

In the first centuries after Christ it was the stoics and the epicurists that were opposing each other. The epicurists aligned themselves with the views of the materialistic atomists. The stoics largely agreed with Plato. They described God as an intelligent, fiery spirit (pneuma) that was inherently connected with the cosmos (present within it) and permeated it as an all-pervading logical principle (logos). Because of this God, the cosmos displays a cosmic order (diacosmo).

According to an ancient scripture, the stoics derived their knowledge of God first and foremost from:

'The beauty of things that are so visible to us'. Because they concluded that nothing of such beauty could be the result of happenstance. 9)

Because the divine logos (the divine Word of creation) permeates everything, people can become aware of its existence through sensitive thought and awareness.

Epictetus, a stoic philosopher, writes:

'God has brought humankind into this world to become an observer of himself and of what he created, and not only that, but also as a way of explaining these things. Make sure that you have observed these things before you die!' 10)

The stoic philosophers say that, because of the connection between the human spirit and the divine spirit, it is possible for us people to become conscious of and grasp the divine by using our sensitive thinking. When that happens, an inner change is realised.

C.S. Lewis

The latter was the case with C.S. Lewis, a British literature scientist and writer. In his autobiography he writes:

'I had to admit that Spirit is not a late, secondary phenomenon. That the whole universe, ultimately, is spiritual. That our logic participates in a cosmic logos'. 11)

In other words: our thinking (logic) is a part of (participates in) a cosmic logos (the all-encompassing, creating, divine Word). Because of this fact, everything is connected and real.


For now, we will leave the door open on the question of whether creation is entirely coincidence, or whether it was intended. In the subsequent articles, ‘Angel hierarchies as creators of man on Earth' and ‘From Darwin to the spirit of evolution', I will talk about how, in the views of esoteric Christianity, the concept of God as the creator of heaven and earth and the teachings of evolution come together.


  1. Darwin F. Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, dl II, New York.
  2. See 1.
  3. Cees Dekker, Ronald Meester en René van Woudenberg, En God beschikte een worm. Over schepping en evolutie, 2006, Ten Have, Kampen.
  4. R. Plasterk, Juist onder religieuzen heerst een gebrek aan ethiek'. In Leven zonder God 2003.
  5. Gayord G. Simpson, The Meaning of Evolution (Yale University Press, New Haven, l950).
  6. D. Swaab, Evolutionair gezien zijn we weinig meer dan wegwerpartikelen'. In Leven zonder God , 2003.
  7. Xenophon, Herinneringen aan Socrates 4.313-14. Socrates lived from 470 – 399 before Christ.
  8. Plato, Wetten 886A. Plato lived approximately from 427 – 347 before Christ.
  9. Aëtius, Placita 1.6.
  10. Epictetus, The lectures and notes of Flavius Arrianus 1.6. Epictetus lived approximately from 60 – 130 after Christ.
  11. C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, Harper Collins, Londen l998.

This article was translated by Veerle van Weelden.


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