Even Darwin couldn’t explain why the peacock has its dazzling display

By Geoff Chapman

A fancy arch
The beautifully carved arch’s beauty is superfluous, compared to the plain arch which serves exactly the same function (Credit: Pixabay.com)

plain archThere are many beautiful things in the natural world, but why are they beautiful? The theory says that every step in the process has to be of use to the organism. Things don’t need to be  beautiful to survive, so the fact that so many things are beautiful is strong evidence for design.

Added beauty

Take a look at the two arches in the photos. One is plain and simply functional, while the other one has been carved and decorated to make it look attractive. These carvings are not necessary for the arch to do its job. They were added by a designer who wanted to make it look nice. This is added beauty. There are many examples of added beauty in the natural world. One example is the tail of a peacock.

a Peacock's tail
Nothing to crow about: the peacock’s brilliant tail has no evolutionary purpose because plain crows have multiplied more successfully (Credit: publicdomainimages.net)

Evolutionists claim that this is the result of sexual selection, and that the males with the most beautiful tails survived because peahens were more attracted to them.

However, if this is true, why have birds like crows, which are very plain, survived just as well? There are more crows than peacocks in the world! The peacock’s tail would actually be a hindrance, since it would make the bird conspicuous, and being so large, make it harder to escape from predators.

Charles Darwin admitted that the sight of a peacock’s tail made him sick!

Professor Stuart Burgess wrote: “Since evolution requires every step change to have a selective advantage, it is very difficult for evolution to explain how the eye pattern could evolve.”1 Charles Darwin admitted that the sight of a peacock’s tail made him sick! We agree with Professor Burgess that beauty is no accident. It reveals the wisdom of a Creator who took delight in creating beauty.

Hidden beauty

There are many beautiful things which can’t be explained by evolution through natural selection. Most puzzling from an evolutionary point of view is hidden beauty. Why are micro-organisms that live in water, and can’t be seen without a microscope, so beautiful? They don’t need to be in order to survive.

Many of the sea creatures that inhabit coral reefs are amazingly beautiful, and divers are dazzled and awestruck by them. Why would they evolve such brilliant colours? Many sea shells have beautiful colours and intricate patterns. Why? They are not necessary for survival.

Divers are dazzled and awestruck by coral

It’s much more logical to believe that they were designed by an intelligent Creator with an eye for beauty. Charles Darwin wrote: “Few objects are more beautiful than the minute cases of the Diatomaceae (see photo); were these created that they might be examined and admired under the higher powers of the microscope?”2 I believe the answer is “Yes!”

Why ugliness?

Darwin asked if tiny Diatomaceae “were created that they might be examined and admired under the higher powers of the microscope?” (Credit: US NOAA)

While there is a lot of beauty that evolution can’t explain, there is ugliness, too, which is a real problem for many people.

Despite the strong evidence for the existence of a Creator, the presence of evil and suffering makes many ask how such a Creator can be good. Darwin struggled with this, and wrote to a friend, Asa Gray, confessing that he found it difficult to believe in a “beneficent and omnipotent God”, because “there seems to me too much misery in the world.”

However, the Bible says that God declared his original creation to be “very good.” (Genesis 1:31). The Bible also explains that human sin spoilt everything, resulting in suffering, decay and death.

But there is a promise of restoration and a new creation. (Romans 8:20-22), in which all who come to Jesus Christ will share.

  1. Hallmarks of Design, Day One Publications, 2008
  2. The Origin of Species

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