The Design in Nature


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Let us for a moment think of an aspirin; you will immediately recall the mark in the middle. This mark is designed to help those who take a half dose. Every product that we see around us, even if not as simple as the aspirin, is of a certain design, from the vehicles we use to go to work, to TV remote controls.

Design, in brief, means a harmonious assembling of various parts in an orderly form designed for a common goal. Going by this definition, one has no difficulty in guessing that a car is a design. This is because there is a certain goal, which is to transport people and cargo. In realisation of this goal, various parts such as the engine, tires and body are planned and assembled in a factory.

However, what about living creatures? Can a bird and the mechanics of its flight be a design as well? Before giving an answer, let us repeat the evaluation we did in the example of the car. The goal, in this case, is to fly. For this purpose, hollow, light-weight bones and the strong breast muscles that move these bones are utilised together with feathers capable of suspension in the air. Wings are formed aerodynamically, and the metabolism is in tune with the bird's need for high levels of energy. It is obvious that the bird is a product of a certain design.

If we leave aside the bird and examine other forms of life, we encounter the same truth. In every creature, there are examples of extremely well-conceived design. If we continue further on this quest, we discover that we ourselves are also a part of this design. Your hands that hold these pages are functional as no robot hands could ever be. Your eyes that read these lines are making vision possible with such focus that the best camera on earth simply cannot achieve.

Hence one arrives at this important conclusion; all creatures in nature, including us, are of a design. This, in turn, shows the existence of a Creator, Who designs all creatures at will, sustains the entire creation and holds absolute power and wisdom.

However, this truth is rejected by the theory of evolution that was formed in the middle of the 19th century. The theory set forth in Charles Darwin's book On the Origin of Species asserts that all creatures evolved by chains of coincidences and mutated from one another.

According to the fundamental premise of this theory, all life forms go through minute random changes. If these random changes improve a life form, then it gains an advantage over the others, which in turn is carried onto following generations.

This scenario has been passed around for 140 years as if it is very scientific and convincing. When scrutinised under a larger microscope and when compared against the examples of the design in creatures, Darwin's theory paints a very different picture, i.e. Darwinism's explanation of life is nothing more than a self-contradictory vicious circle.

Let us first focus on the random changes. Darwin could not provide a comprehensive definition of this concept due to lack of knowledge of genetics in his time. The evolutionists who followed him suggested the concept of "mutation". Mutation is arbitrary disconnections, dislocations or shifts of genes in living things. Most importantly, there is not one single mutation in history that has been shown to improve the condition of a creature's genetic information. Nearly all the known cases of mutations disable or harm these creatures and the rest are neutral in effect. Therefore, to think that a creature can improve through mutation is the same as shooting at a crowd of people hoping that the injuries will result in healthier improved individuals. This is clearly nonsense.

As importantly, and contrary to all the scientific data, even if one assumes that a certain mutation could actually improve a being's condition, Darwinism still cannot be delivered from inevitable collapse. The reason for this is a concept called "irreducible complexity." The implication of this concept is that the majority of systems and organs in living things function as a result of various independent parts working together, the elimination or disabling of even one of which would be enough to disable the entire system or organ.

For example, an ear perceives sounds only through a sequence of smaller organs. Take out or deform one of these, e.g. one of the bones of the middle ear, and there would be no hearing whatsoever. In order for an ear to perceive, a variety of components – such as external auditory canal, tympanic membrane, bones in the middle ear, that is, the hammer, anvil and stirrup, fluid-filled cochlea, hearing receptors or hair cells, the cilia which help these cells to sense the vibrations, the net of nerves that connect to the brain and hearing centre in the brain – have to work together without exception. The system could not have developed in segments because none of the segments could possibly function alone.

Hence, the concept of irreducible complexity demolishes the theory of evolution at its foundations. Interestingly, Darwin also worried about these very prospects. He wrote in On The Origin of Species:

If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.1

Darwin could not, or might not have wanted to, find such an organ at the premature levels of 19th century science. However the science of the 20th century did study nature in minute details and proved that the majority of living structures embody irreducible complexity. Therefore, Darwin's theory has "absolutely" collapsed just as he feared.

In this book, we are going to explore various examples of systems in living beings that demolish Darwin's theory. These mechanisms will be found anywhere from in the wings of a bird to inside a bat's skull. As we examine these examples we will not only see the immense error Darwinism makes but also witness the greatness of the wisdom with which these systems were created.

Hence, we will see the indisputable evidence of Allah's flawless creation. Likewise, the power and artistry of Allah to create flawlessly is expressed in a surah of the Qur'an as follows:

He is Allah - the Creator, the Maker, the Giver of Form. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Everything in the heavens and earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Surat al-Hashr: 24)

An Example of Irreducible Complexity: The Eye of the Lobster

There are many different types of eye in the living world. We are accustomed to the camera-type eye found in vertebrates. This structure works on the principle of the refraction of light, which falls onto the lens and is focused on a point behind the lens inside the interior of the eye.

However, the eyes possessed by other creatures work by different methods. One example is the lobster. A lobster's eye works on a principle of reflection rather than that of refraction.

The most outstanding characteristic of the lobster eye is its surface, which is composed of numerous squares. These squares are positioned most precisely.

The eye of a lobster shows a remarkable geometry not found elsewhere in nature - it has tiny facets that are perfectly square, so it "looks like perfect graph paper."2

These well-arranged squares are in fact the ends of tiny square tubes forming a structure resembling a honeycomb. At first glance, the honeycomb appears to be made up of hexagons, although these are actually the front faces of hexagonal prisms. In the lobster's eye, there are the squares in place of hexagons.

Even more intriguing is that the sides of each one of these square tubes are like mirrors that reflect the incoming light. This reflected light is focused onto the retina flawlessly. The sides of the tubes inside the eye are lodged at such perfect angles that they all focus onto a single point.3

The extraordinary nature of the design of this system is quite indisputable. All of these perfect square tubes have a layer that works just like a mirror. Furthermore, each one of these cells is sited by means of precise geometrical alignments so that they all focus the light at a single point.

It is obvious that the design in the lobster eye presents a great difficulty for the theory of evolution. Most importantly, it exemplifies the concept of "irreducible complexity." If even one of its features – such as the facets of the eye, which are perfect squares, the mirrored sides of each unit, or the retina layer at the back – were eliminated, the eye could never function. Therefore, it is impossible to maintain that the eye evolved step-by-step. It is scientifically unjustifiable to argue that such a perfect design as this could have come about haphazardly. It is quite clear that the lobster eye was created as a miraculous system.

One can find further traits in the lobster's eye that nullify the assertions of evolutionists. An interesting fact emerges when one looks at creatures with similar eye structures. The reflecting eye, of which the lobster's eye was one example, is found in only one group of crustaceans, the so-called long-bodied decapods. This family includes the lobsters, the prawns and the shrimp.

The other members of the crustacea class display the "refracting type eye structure", which works on completely different principles from those of the reflecting type. Here, the eye is made up of hundreds of cells like a honeycomb. Unlike the square cells in a lobster eye, these cells are either hexagonal or round. Furthermore, instead of reflecting light, small lenses in the cells refract the light onto the focus on the retina.


The lobster eye is composed of numerous squares. These well-arranged squares are in fact the ends of tiny square tubes. The sides of each one of these square tubes are like mirrors that reflect the incoming light. This reflected light is focused onto the retina flawlessly. The sides of the tubes inside the eye are lodged at such perfect angles that they all focus onto a single point.

The majority of crustaceans have the refracting eye structure. On the contrary, only one group of the crustaceans, namely the long-bodied decapods, have reflecting eyes. According to evolutionist assumptions, all the creatures within the class Crustacea should have evolved from the same ancestor. Therefore, evolutionists claim that reflecting eye must have evolved from a refracting eye, which is far more common among the crustacea and of a fundamentally simpler design.

However, such a transition is impossible, because both eye structures function perfectly within their own systems and have no room for any "transitional" phase. A crustacean would be left sightless and would be eliminated by natural selection if the refracting lens in its eye were to diminish and be replaced by reflecting mirrored surfaces.

It is, therefore, certain that both of these eye structures were designed and created separately. There is such superb geometric precision in these eyes that entertaining the possibility of "coincidence" is simply ludicrous. Just like the rest of the miracles of creation, the lobster's eye structure is an open testimony to the Creator's boundless power to create flawlessly. This is nothing but a manifestation of Allah's endless knowledge, wisdom and might. We can encounter such miracles as these regardless of what we examine in the world of creation.

Intelligent Design, in other words Creation

In order to create, Allah has no need to design

It's important that the word "design" be properly understood. That Allah has created a flawless design does not mean that He first made a plan and then followed it. Allah, the Lord of the Earth and the heavens, needs no "designs" in order to create. Allah is exalted above all such deficiencies. His planning and creation take place at the same instant.

Whenever Allah wills a thing to come about, it is enough for Him just to say, "Be!"

As we are told in verses of the Qur'an:

His command when He desires a thing is just to say to it, "Be!" and it is. (Surah Ya Sin: 82)

[Allah is] the Originator of the heavens and Earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it, "Be!" and it is. (Surat al-Baqara: 117)


1. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 6th Edition, New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1927, P. 179

2. J.R.P. Angel, "Lobster Eyes as X-Ray Telescopes", Astrophysical Journal, 1979, 233:364-373, Cited in Michael Denton, Nature's Destiny, The Free Press, 1998, P. 354

3. Michael F. Land, "Superposition Images are Formed By Reflection in The Eyes of Some Oceanic Decapod Crustacea", Nature, 28 October 1976, Volume 263, Pages 764-765.


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