Chapter 1:

Does Life Have Any Purpose?

Do you ever dream of a perfect world? Imagine the whole earth at peace. The land is clean and beautiful. Wild animals are abundant and yet friendly. They are not afraid of man, for no one ever abuses them. Everyone is honest and kind. Mates are faithful, and children are loved. Everyone is happy to serve for the good of all. No one has to slave long hours for low wages, and no powerful elite exploits the weak. Things are made to last and are repairable, and are recycled when no longer needed. People are responsible and take care of their belongings. Of course there is work to do, but it is shared fairly. Everyone has time to travel and visit, to develop artistic interests and hobbies. Everyone is healthy, there is no need of doctors, medicines or insurance. In this perfect world, everyone stays young! Can you imagine such a world?

Throughout history people have dreamt of perfecting the world, or even just a nation, but no one has been able to do it. Politicians promise everyone a better life if they win office, but it seems that their greatest skill lies in spending a lot of money, with little to show for it. Scientists hope wonderful things will come from their research, and it is true, modern technology has improved life in many ways. Yet science has also brought fiendish weapons of war, high-pressure working conditions, and devastating pollution. In fact, the world is now in serious trouble. Sexual perversions and infidelity are widely accepted, and many children are neglected and abused. Even young children commit crimes of unbelievable cruelty, with no trace of pity or remorse. Vicious ethnic and religious wars rage on for years. Billions of decent hardworking people live in miserable poverty, while a few who do very little work live in extreme luxury. So you might dismiss ideas of a "perfect world" as foolish dreaming. Yet we cannot help but long for such a life. Why does life have to be so insecure, so troubled, so short? What prevents real progress?

Bright blue bird

A look at the natural world makes us wonder. There is so much that is beautiful: intricate flowers with delicate colors and delightful scents, brightly colored birds singing cheerful songs, glorious yet subtle shades of magnificent sunsets! Have you watched kittens or puppies playing, or studied the wings of a butterfly? What potential life has for enjoyment and delight!*

Yet even in the natural world there is predation, parasitism, pestilence, poison and pain. No, wilderness is not a paradise. So is it foolish to think it could ever be made so?

Why We Can Believe

For an answer we must turn to the question, why does life exist at all? Is there a purpose to existence? Or are we just a product of chance, of mindless evolution? Perhaps you have asked that question at some time.

If life has a purpose, then there must be a Purposer, One who brought life into existence for a reason. Further, in creating life, this One would have designed it able to fulfill that purpose.

Running foal

When we examine living things, do we see evidence of design? Indeed we do. As the science of biology advances, scientists have become more and more impressed by life’s complexity, its intricacy of interconnecting processes and materials. Some scientists even dare to confess, despite an environment in the scientific community that is openly hostile to such heresy, that surely there must have been a Designer for what they see.

Let us consider two examples of design: First, think about reproduction. Two special cells, a sperm and an egg, join and merge their DNA material. From this a "plan" is created, which controls rapid growth that is both precisely timed and positioned. Organs, nerves, bones, muscles and other specialized tissue all develop to form a new living being. Not long after being born, some creatures (such as antelope) are able to get up and run faster than a man. This requires vision and coordination that scientists have yet to imitate even in a clumsy fashion with their robots. Surely this requires a Designer!

sleeping baby

This DNA "plan" also creates the brain, our second example. A human brain occupies only .05 cubic foot (1.4 liter), yet all our awareness, imagination, and understanding is contained in it. All the knowledge we have learned fits in there. All the skills we have mastered are controlled there. Scientists have no idea how that is accomplished; yet we certainly do not deny that it happens. Nor does it appear that we have begun to challenge the brain’s capacity in a full lifetime of 80 years; if its health is maintained, one’s mind can be as sharp and active and able to learn at 100 as at 20. This alone should convince us that life was not meant to be so short. Surely such a marvelous creation would require careful design!

Another marvel about the DNA "plan" has recently been discovered: there is an amazingly reliable repair system constantly guarding the integrity of the code. When damaged DNA is detected, molecules that act like micromachines go to work, snipping the damaged segment out, fetching a copy of the correct replacement, and stitching it in. Those who look at this and say "it designed itself by hit-or-miss" are marvels themselves— of blindness!*

The fact that the genetic code contains a "plan" is substantial evidence that there must be a Planner, a Designer, a Purposer. We can rightly call this One "God", which means "powerful one." Believing he exists should give us hope, for such a God would surely not abandon his creations forever to wonder and grope blindly for its purpose.*

Has This God Made Himself Known?

Mankind has always instinctively sensed that there is a higher power or Deity. That is why there is no culture on earth lacking a religious tradition. There are thousands of religions worldwide, most of which are distinguished by rather minor differences of belief and ritual. The major branches of religion have greater differences, yet even these share some basic concepts. Can God be found in any or all of them?

Every religion has some kind of explanation for the purpose of life, although a few in effect say there is no real "purpose" as such. For example, the Hindu family of religions teaches reincarnation, in which life is a continual cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, ending, if ever, only in a state of nothingness or unconsciousness. In this view, any one individual cannot hope to live forever as himself, having a lasting purpose as an individual. Other religions say that the purpose of life is to get saved and go to Heaven at death, and be happy forever after. One teaches that we all may become mighty Gods in time, if we behave properly. The common thread is the belief that life goes on somehow, that death is not annihilation forevermore. Not all religions teach a unique Creator or Source of life, but all do involve reaching out for help from some kind of supernatural power.

The religious situation is so controversial and confusing that many today choose not to discuss it. They may say, "You believe what you want to believe, I’ll believe what I want, and we’ll both be happy." This is a tolerant, relaxed philosophy, and it is certainly better than fighting. But should we be satisfied with that as the best possible solution?

Jesus, known the world over as a man who claimed to be sent by God, said he had come "to bear witness to the truth." (John 18.37) This prompted a skeptical, worldly-wise man, Pontius Pilate, to retort, "What is truth?" Apparently he felt like many do today, that no one could claim to know the truth. Was he right?

Truth is definite. It involves drawing conclusions, and it excludes opposing opinions as untrue, false, wrong. Many today are uncomfortable doing that. Philosophers in particular seem to be uncomfortable coming to definite conclusions. They love dilemmas and paradoxes, such as "Everything I say is false." Some philosophers even doubt that there is any such thing as reality, that everything is just in your mind, we are all in a Matrix or something. "Truth is just what YOU believe," some teach. In effect, they are saying YOU are God, and there is no reality higher than YOU. Try thinking that next time a fly bites. Doesn't work very well. What you want and what is real can be painfully different.

Science is based on the assumption that correct and useful knowledge is attainable, that truth exists and can be discovered. Scientific inquiry is the search for understanding of the physical world, of things that can be sensed and measured. Men have put a great deal of time and energy into that search, and over centuries a considerable body of proven knowledge has been accumulated.

In the same way, there should be truth about God. Either he exists, or he does not. Either life has a purpose, or it does not. It is not reasonable to say both can be true. So we should not be satisfied with the relaxed philosophy "Just believe what feels right to you", that is so often applied in religious matters. (Some have a less relaxed attitude about it: 'My truth is whatever I believe, even if I contradict myself, and you are arrogant and insulting if you dare to suggest I could be wrong about anything.' That, of course, is no way to make progress.)

To some, faith and religion means fervently believing things that cannot be proven, even things that don't make rational sense. For them it is enough for religion to satisfy the emotions, to "feel right" or make them feel good. To try to understand it, to make sense of it, seems irreverent, impious. (Or just way too much work...) This attitude causes others to ridicule faith. But is this true religion?

Where and how should one search for truth about God and the meaning of life? A scientist doing research considers what he knows already, so as to establish a reasonable course of inquiry. We have already looked at creation, which tells us a few valuable things about its Designer. The Source of the galaxies must have tremendous power. The Origin of the laws of physics must be very precise; all parts work together with infinitesimal intricacy and consistency. The Creator of butterflies has a sense of beauty, of kittens a sense of humor. He surely is infinitely more intelligent than we are.

But here we have an advantage over the scientist. God is no mere rock or dumb animal, even though some religions depict him that way. (Romans 1:22, 23, 25) He can rightly be expected to speak up and make himself known. So in our search, it is quite reasonable to look for actual communication from him.

We can reasonably assume that God’s communication should have begun long ago and by now be widely available. Further, since the truth we are seeking is not the kind that changes with time, we should look for a message that has been recorded, written down, rather than at shifting oral legends and traditions. Of all the "holy writings" that claim to be God’s revelation to man, is there one which meets our reasonable expectations?

Most "sacred texts" do not even directly address the matter of who God is, nor do they offer hope for a better future. Some depict their deity as having rapacious qualities, such that if we were to follow the deity’s example, the world would be worse than it is. This is clearly not what we are looking for.

About one quarter of the earth’s population belongs to the "Judeo-Christian" branch of religions. Like the others, it is fragmented into thousands of contentious sects. The one book they all purport to accept is called "the Holy Scriptures" or the "Bible". This common confession has not united them. Even so, the Bible itself is a very unusual book.

As we would expect of a book from God, it is widely available: 98% of the world’s population can obtain one in their own language. Hundreds of millions have been printed. It has profoundly affected human history. For their loyalty to it, many have been forced to die; rather than deny it, many have willingly died. Its principles have been a source of wisdom in establishing the constitutions of nations. Truly, no one should consider himself well educated if he has never read it.

It depicts a God who is loving, compassionate, kind and forgiving, yet fear-inspiring, powerful beyond measure; a God we can appreciate and admire, even though he is beyond our full comprehension. He is exactly what we would expect, and more. If everyone carefully imitated this God and followed his counsel found in his book, this earth would be a rather nice place to live, even if we still had a limited lifespan.

The Bible describes God as having an active interest in his creation. Besides helping those who look to him now, it says he will take dramatic action to remove evil, and establish a new world. (Rom 2.4-11, 2nd Peter 3.9-13) This should interest us greatly, particularly since this event is depicted as near at hand. There is a surprisingly large amount of material on this in the Bible, which we will consider at length in chapters 6-9.

If the Bible is from God, we should expect those who are now using it as a guide in their everyday lives to be more peaceful, honest, industrious, and purposeful. Yet many who claim to live by the Bible are not good examples of these things. Besides the divisiveness already mentioned, professed Christians have at times used the Bible to justify war, racism, slavery, and colonialism. (For proof that this is misuse of the scriptures, see James 4.1-3 and 5.1-6, Acts 10.34, 5, Philippians 2.1-4.) All too often, men who preach and praise the high ideals of the Bible are found to be hypocrites. —Compare Rom 2.17-24.

This sorry state of affairs has convinced many that the Bible is not God’s book and that perhaps there is no God at all. But the fact that there are evil and hypocritical men who use a veneer of righteousness to advance their own selfish ends cannot bury the evidence that God exists. The Bible itself firmly condemns such men. —Matthew 23.23-28.

A Reason to Live

On the other hand, those who truly learn and earnestly apply Bible standards find their lives transformed. They find contentment, a clear conscience, protection from many troubles, and ability to cope with stresses common to life. Their life has a purposefulness that helps them make decisions with good results. They show genuine concern and compassion for their fellowman. From the Bible we learn the simple purpose of living: to enjoy life together in a way that honors and pleases our Creator.* This involves our work, our leisure, our education, our relationships, the very focus of our existence. Chapter 13 of this book, "Wisdom from God to Guide Your Life", shows how God’s Word gives much better advice on relationships and priorities than the selfish, faithless thinking common in today's world.

This book will take you on a study of the Bible in a simplified yet comprehensive way. After a brief history and outline (Chapter 3), we will consider what it reveals about God himself, its explanation as to why mankind is in such a miserable state, its promise of a better future, and the way we can assure ourselves of a place in it. But first, a warning: if you try to draw close to God, you must face an opposer who does not want you to succeed. Who is he? How can we stand fast against him?

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John 18.37
"For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone that is on the side of the truth listens to my voice." Pilate said to him: "What is truth?"

KJ: For this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?

Romans 1:22, 23, 25
Although claiming they were wise, they became foolish and turned the glory of the incorruptible God into something like the image of corruptible man and birds and four-footed creatures and reptiles. . . They exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshipped and served the creation rather than the Creator.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. . . Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator.

Romans 2.4-11
Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, because you do not know that God in his kindness is trying to lead you to repentance? But according to your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath and of the revealing of God's righteous judgment. And he will pay back to each one according to his works: everlasting life to those who are seeking glory and honor and incorruptibleness by endurance in work that is good; however, for those who are contentious and who disobey the truth but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and anger. There will be tribulation and distress on every person who works what is harmful, on the Jew first and also on the Greek; but glory and honor and peace for everyone who works what is good, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.

2 Pet 3.9-13
Jehovah is not slow concerning his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire anyone to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance. But Jehovah's day will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar, but the elements being intensely hot will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be exposed. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, consider what sort of people you ought to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion, as you await and eagerly anticipate that day of Jehovah, on which the heavens will be destroyed as by fire, and the elements will melt in the intense heat! But there are new heavens, and a new earth, that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these will dwell righteousness.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

James 4.1-3
What is the source of the wars and fights among you? Do they not originate from your fleshly desires that carry on a conflict within you? You desire, and yet you do not have. You go on murdering and coveting, and yet you are not able to obtain. You go on fighting and waging war. You do not have because of your not asking. When you do ask, you do not receive because you are asking for a wrong purpose, so that you may spend it on your fleshly desires.

Whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

James 5.1-6
Come, now, you rich men, weep and wail over the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothing has become moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted away, and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh. What you have stored up will be like a fire in the last days. Look! The wages you have withheld from the workers who harvested your fields keep crying out, and the cries for help of the reapers have reached the ears of Jehovah of armies. You have lived on the earth in luxury and self-gratification. You have fattened your hearts on the day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous one. Was he not in your way?

Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

Acts 10.34,5
At this Peter began to speak, and he said: "Now I truly understand that God is not partial, but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

Philippians 2.1-4
If, then, there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any spiritual fellowship, if any tender affection and compassion, make my joy full by being of the same mind and having the same love, being joined together in soul, having one thought in mind. Do nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism, but humbly consider others to be superior to you, as you look out not only for your own interests, but also for the interests of others.

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Romans 2.17-24
If, now, you are a Jew in name and rely on law and take pride in God, and you know his will and approve of things that are excellent because you are instructed out of the Law, and you are convinced that you are a guide of the blind, a light for those in darkness, a corrector of the unreasonable ones, a teacher of young children, and having the framework of the knowledge and of the truth in the Law— do you, however, the one teaching someone else, not teach yourself? You, the one preaching, "Do not steal," do you steal? You, the one saying, "Do not commit adultery," do you commit adultery? You, the one expressing abhorrence of the idols, do you plunder temples? You, who take pride in law, do you dishonor God by your transgressing of the Law? For "the name of God is being blasphemed among the nations because of you," just as it is written.

Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonorest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.

Matthew 23.23-28
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you give the tenth of the mint and the dill and the cumin, but you have disregarded the weightier matters of the Law, namely, justice and mercy and faithfulness. These things it was necessary to do, yet not to disregard the other things. Blind guides, who strain out the gnat but gulp down the camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of greediness and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may also become clean. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you resemble whitewashed graves, which outwardly indeed appear beautiful but inside are full of dead men's bones and of every sort of uncleanness. In the same way, on the outside you appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

2 Corinthians 8:9, 12-15
For you know the undeserved kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, he became poor for your sake, so that you might become rich through his poverty. . . For if the readiness is there first, it is especially acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what a person does not have. For I do not want to make it easy for others, but difficult for you; but that by means of an equalizing, your surplus at the present time might offset their need, so that their surplus might also offset your deficiency, that there may be an equalizing. Just as it is written: “The person with much did not have too much, and the person with little did not have too little.”

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. . . For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be an equality. As it is written, 'He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.'

If the world would voluntarily follow just this advice, how different it would be!
Note that this scripture is not meant to enable the lazy. Another verse says, "If anyone does not want to work, neither let him eat." (2 Thessalonians 3:10)

Luke 3:11
Let the man who has an extra garment share with the man who has none, and let the one who has something to eat do the same.

He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

Micah 6:8
He has told you, O man, what is good. And what is Jehovah requiring of you? Only to be just, to be loyal in your love, and to walk in modesty with your God!

He has shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Review for Chapter 1

How would you describe a perfect world?

Do you see evidence of design in creation?

Why seek truth?

What does creation show us about the Creator?

Why look into the Bible?

Briefly, how does the Bible depict God?

What is the purpose of living?

Restore Scripture View

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two happy cats
Best Friends
See also this trailer for the Echoes of Creation movie. Very nice. (Requires Quicktime or equivalent; press the Play icon to start the movie.) No affiliation with this site.

See this brief science page.
Of course, cancer and other genetic disorders prove that these guardians are not perfect. It is their existence that indicates design, not their perfection. This web page has some current research on this.

Weaver bird building a nest DNA also codes for instinctive behavior— as specific and intricate as a weaverbird's nest or as far-reaching as a global map (or awareness of a field gradient) to guide the arctic tern's migration from pole to pole. How is that stored in DNA? How is it read out? No one knows. The continents move, so any migration map would have to be updated over many generations. Does DNA "learn" new nest designs or migration routes by culling fatal errors (natural selection)? That is possible. But this ability to store, inherit, and express such amazing and refined skills surely cannot be dismissed as the product of mere trial-and-error blind groping by mindless molecules of a few atomic elements. Such purposeful and effective complexity moves unbiased observers to look for their Designer. It would be a minor maintenance task for that designer to update the map himself. Could he even make the code able to quickly incorporate new routes? Until we know how it works, we cannot say that is impossible. The homing pigeon can be taken blindfolded over 600 miles in any direction and be home the next day. This incredible ability to find their way home probably does not require a comprehensive map of the entire planet to be encoded into their DNA. But how does it work? For scientists, easily lost in their own buildings, this is a matter of great interest.

Another point: Researching the way genes are ‘read out’ (or not, as need be) to produce the active components in a living cell, one scientist had to say: "There is some sort of dynamic process, a required sequence of changes to the histones packaging the DNA, involved in turning genes on. Order is vital. Gene activation is an intricate, highly orchestrated, and highly regulated series of events — as it should be for something so important to life." —Shelley L. Berger, Ph.D., the Hilary Koprowski Professor in the Gene Expression and Regulation Program at The Wistar Institute. (from ScienceDaily.com Report, 11/17/03)
See also this ScienceDaily page [topoisomerase: DNA transcription]. Update: more on transcription.
This one is interesting too [toucan's beak].

Every day, throughout the earth, billions of tiny seeds and embryos are developing into large, complex plants and animals, without any visible guiding hand. It almost looks like life is self-creating. It seems so effortless, many believe it a small step from that to life being also self-designing. But those who look closer find the process amazing, even awe-inspiring: this incredibly complex self-assembly, from a microscopic germ to a creature millions of times larger, appears to be intricately organized entirely by chemistry, with each step controlled, directed, by a very special package of highly condensed data, like a software program written in molecules. Is it reasonable to believe that such a progam could write itself from nothing, entirely by a series of accidents? What impetus would it have to do so? Then could random damage or execution errors edit it to soaring new heights of complexity and utility? Surely, to believe that takes more credulity than believing in a purposeful Writer of the software.

"But who designed the Designer?" someone will ask. To which we can only reply, there has to be an ultimate beginning; even believers in the Big Bang cosmology cannot say what caused such an event. They can only say ‘the evidence points that way.’ Are they dismissed as fools for that? So do not dismiss an Ultimate ‘One Who Causes to Be’ as irrational. The ‘evidence points that way.’

chimp in your family? We can leave open the possibility that the Designer has written life's ‘software’ to be responsive to its environment, enabling it to ‘evolve’, or adjust its expression, within limits as needed. That would increase, not decrease, our admiration for Him. Automatic differentiation at the species level may actually be a feature of God's design. But at a higher level, approximately corresponding to "family" in Linnaean taxonomy, there are insurmountable barriers. Humans and apes are separated by such a barrier. It would be reasonable, and economical, for the Creator to re-use much of one design in developing a subsequent model. Such "evolution of design" would appear to create lineages (albeit with jumps) that evolutionists would later misinterpret as natural. But we do not accept the theory that every form of life can be traced by a chain of self-evolution back to primordial ooze.

Here is a discussion of human evolution that was written for a public speech.

Solomon put it this way: “I have come to know that there is nothing better for them [mankind] than to rejoice and to do good during one's life; and also that every man should eat and drink and see good for all his hard work. It is the gift of God.” —Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13.

While those who do not know their Creator often try to "enjoy" life in selfish and harmful ways, God designed us to find satisfaction in good ways: by experiences, learning, achievement, and relationships. By "experiences" we mean doing things that give sensory pleasure, such as tasting delicious food or seeing beautiful things and places. But were we to center our life around only experiences, we would soon feel empty. We were also designed to be curious, to explore and seek understanding. We take delight in creativity: it is very satisfying to design something useful, or to make something beautiful. And we were not meant to be loners; we need to feel needed, and loved, and we instinctively offer the same support to others. Not so perfectly at present, but it is in our design nonetheless.

So it is that in this troubled world, one purpose for our life is to help others deal with burdens and reverses so that they can enjoy living also, to the extent practical at this time. We do this first by being as responsible for ourselves as we are able, so that we need less help from others; then we reach out to those who are struggling. Some may only need education and encouragement, so that they will be more responsible for themselves; others require actual physical aid, which we do not begrudge, although our means may limit us. We are not required to completely destroy our own quality of life to benefit others, but neither should we have an "I've got mine" attitude. (2 Corinthians 8:9, 12-15, Luke 3:11) Those who understand our Creator's purpose for providing us life do not callously advocate a selfish sink-or-swim "free market" where each person must struggle on his own to live or die. See Micah 6:8.

The evolutionist says that life is all about competition, the survival of the toughest or the most cunning, until it can fulfill its only real purpose: to reproduce itself. The common man translates this as, "the purpose of life is sex." That is NOT correct. It may be that horses are for riding, cows are for milking, and cats are for petting, but our purpose is clearly greater. It calls on us to utilize the wonderful brain we were given, and sex clearly does little of that.