A short time ago my wife and I attended a concert featuring Tchaikovsky. As usual, immediately before the concert began each musician was working on his or her own particular part of the music that they wanted to give final honing. The result, as always, was musical chaos. Then the conductor came out, everyone applauded, he lifted his baton, and this group that minutes earlier was producing chaos joined together in the production of Tchaikovsky’s First Symphony.
I was overwhelmed as I reflected on the distinction between these two outcomes. The first chaotic cacophony was tolerable for a few minutes, but I can’t imagine listening to that melodic malpractice for much longer. The second outcome engendered overwhelming beauty, possessing the capacity to lift the soul.
As I compared these outcomes I reflected on the incredible faith of the evolutionist who would have us believe that somehow natural selection took us from chaos to order and beauty. One wonders how long those instruments would have needed to play to move from their chaotic output to Tchaikovsky’s First Symphony guided only by chance. The old cliché, “Not in a million years,” doesn’t begin to capture the hopelessness. Mathematically one could easily demonstrate that countless trillions of years would not get us there.
And if we ever got there, which we would not, the chance of reproducing it would be equally as daunting. At best we would have to wait trillions of years more to again win the evolutionary musical lottery.
But that’s not the worst of it. At such a concert I am constantly overwhelmed by the technology required to produce the sounds that are created. If I tried to make a French horn or violin or bassoon, where would I even start? Think of the immense knowledge and skill required to produce even one instrument, let alone the vastly different types included in an orchestra.
Digging a little deeper, imagine the brain cells, nerve cells, muscle cells, and countless other types of cells in the human body required to produce those instruments. And imagine all the coordination of all of those cells required to produce a French horn, not to mention the various cells needed to give a human being the skill to play such an instrument.
But beneath that, yet, think about the DNA molecule needed to produce those cells, with its vast complexity, and how the same DNA molecule in all of the cells of a given person knows how to produce the right kind of cell in the right place in the body. Imagine if instead of producing brain cells in your skull your DNA produced bone cells.
The fact is that those vastly complex DNA molecules are needed to produce all those various types of cells, which need to be coordinated within the human body so that individuals can gain the knowledge and skill to build instruments, learn to play them, write music, and coordinate it all in a symphony orchestra to produce Tchaikovsky’s First Symphony. What phenomenal faith it requires to believe that natural selection accomplished all that.
I tend to pick a spot in my iTunes alphabetical song list and just let it play songs as they come in alphabetical order. It produces an interesting variety. Granted, my iTunes collection would seem very strange to most people. Last night I started somewhere in the “P,s” and found myself listening to Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, which took me back to the recent concert where Tchaikovsky’s First Symphony was performed. The skill set required to produce his First Piano Concerto is even greater, mandating the building of that phenomenal instrument and then a musician coordinating all 10 fingers, usually in rapid succession, to accompany the orchestra in generating that phenomenal musical masterpiece.
No wonder I felt tears welling up in my eyes as I heard the song on my alphabetical music list after Piano Concerto #1 begin to play:
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.