God Did Not Create Earth For Us

It is often stated by religious people that Earth is so wonderful and well suited to human inhabitation that it must have been created by God. However, this is only plausible if viewed from the human level looking up. Were we to look from the universal level downwards, we would see this argument doesn’t hold. It is not through divine guidance that humankind has thrived but through natural selection. If the Earth had been designed it would be an unrecognisably different place, without the flaws and difficulties that it has in reality.

The first and most obvious hole in the divine design argument is the fact that three-quarters of the Earth is covered in water. Now if a God wanted humans to live on Earth why would he cover it with a substance that humans cannot live on? If anything it implies that Earth is designed for marine life, with land life being a small sideline affair. Furthermore, not only is Earth covered in uninhabitable (to humans) water, but it is not even the water we need for life. It is almost as though someone was trying their best to prevent humans from living on Earth when they filled the ocean with saltwater.

Even the remaining landmass is not entirely welcoming to humans. There is the uninhabitable North of ice and snow, the rocky mountains where little grows and the vast and empty deserts devoid of life. Even the flat land is not safe as it is full of disease and wild animals that preyed on early humans. If God created Earth for us, why did he fill it with so much land that we cannot live on? Why are there so many diseases that serve no purpose but to kill us? Would a loving God not cover the planet with arable green land that would allow us to prosper, rather than harsh extremes where nothing can live?

A cursory examination of humans will show that in no sense were we intelligently designed. Some might think that the surprising fact our bodies function is proof of God, but if a God were to create a master species (as religion claims we are), they would not resemble humans. First of all, why do humans need so much sleep? A species that must spend between half and one third of its existence resting seems to be suffering from a major design flaw. Imagine how much we could achieve if this was not necessary, a point a supposedly intelligent designer would quickly spot. Likewise, why must we spend so much time eating? This requirement is so arduous that early humans did little but eat and sleep. The necessity of eating three times a day is a serious design flaw as is the fact that so many die for failing to meet this requirement. Why are there so many foods that will poison us and make us sick? Why would the supposed all-knowing, all-loving designer not create a food containing all the nutrition we need and fill the Earth with it? Combining a constant need for food with a planet that seems to be designed as to not produce much food suggests either a cruel God who does not want us to grow or one that does not exist.

The human body itself is full of flaws that mitigate it being intelligently designed. We eat and breathe through the same pipe which greatly increases the chance of choking. Sex which is necessary to reproduction is also prone to disease and childbirth has a very high death rate (until advances in modern medicine). What God would make such necessary activities so dangerous? We have an appendix, an organ with no use or purpose whatsoever that can randomly explode and kill us. Was that placed there as some sort of joke? Knee joints are not designed to withstand much use as any sports player can tell you. The spine is not designed for vertical movement and as a result most people suffer severe back pain in their life. We are easily susceptible to diseases and our bodies decline rapidly. We are weaker and slower than animals our own size and only a few would last in the wild. There is an endless list of ridiculous design flaws in humans and most animals that exclude the possibility of intelligent design. However, the one final and definitive proof that we were not designed by God is the simple fact that men have nipples.

The most famous argument for intelligent design was made by Ray Comfort with a banana. He claimed a banana was proof that God designed the world for us as it was the right shape, texture and was nutritional. This is almost of a parody of the Voltaire quote that claiming the Earth was designed for us is like claiming the nose was designed to fit your glasses. If a soft banana is proof of God, then what is a hard pineapple proof of? The Earth was not designed for us; rather we have adopted to suit it. Through natural selection, humans die out in harsh climates and thrive in hospitable ones. Likewise we are masters at changing our surroundings to suit ourselves, after all, Europe was covered entirely in forests until humans arrived and cut them down. Most foods such as wheat and bananas are inedible and even poisonous in the wild; it is only after long periods of selective breeding that they adjusted to the modern edible and nutritious forms. Bananas in the wild were small, black, oval and hard to eat (picture). Foods that are uncomfortable or awkward to hold and eat are discarded while easy ones like bananas are chosen and grown specifically.

Religious people used to believe that the Earth was the only planet or at least the centre of the universe. In a way, this was logical. If God created humans specifically and we were all that mattered (holy books making no mention of other species or planets) then the Earth must be the most important planet. However, advances in astronomy have ridiculed this belief. We are by no means the most important planet, but rather a tiny speck in a universe beyond comprehension. We are but one of trillions of planets and millions of galaxies that form, grow and explode before we even learn of their existence. How can any believer look at this and still claim that the universe was created by God? If humans are so special, why do we only live on one tiny and insignificant planet? How can the universe be designed for us if huge parts of it are created and destroyed before we can explore it? In fact we may never reach capabilities to explore the universe, mocking the notion that it was built for us. We are but grains of sand in the larger scheme of the cosmos and it is absurd to claim we are the masters of the universe.

Claiming God created Earth for us is merely wishful thinking. People want to believe they are important and special. They focus too narrowly on their immediate surroundings and fail to see the larger picture. When stand back and look at the whole Earth with its vast inhospitable areas, the many flaws of the human body and difficulty of merely surviving, there is no way but to conclude that Earth was not designed. Once we acknowledge this fact, then we can fully appreciate the amazing effect of evolution, natural selection and the universe.

35 thoughts on “God Did Not Create Earth For Us”

  1. The poem, Whale Nation, begins with these three lines:

    From space the planet is blue
    From space the planet is the territory not of man…
    But of the whale.

  2. We are told the garden of Eden was green and had enough food supplies, no animal was wild, which means the duo were not to leave the garden and two, I don’t there was meant to be us, it was just the two and the animals and trees. Bliss all the way

    1. I don’t agree because it says in the word that he created us to take care of this earth(not mother earth) until he returns and frankly we suck at it because of our sin nature.

  3. From a Biblical/ Christian perspective, God made everything, then added man, and made the garden for man.

    Genesis 2:5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground

    After this he made man. So I agree, God did not make the earth for us, but I believe we were made for the earth he created. Then after man disobeyed man was cursed with the toils of the world and taken out of a garden where everything was good.

      1. I was more arguing the idea of the Earth being made for us. But the issue of the world being designed all together is a different debate in that you would be branching out into a broader spectrum of issues (origin of the universe, purpose and meaning of life, philosophy of the world around us). But I’ll try my best to answer to your question, here’s my view:

        Philosophically, I don’t argue that there are things to suggest the world was not designed. But perspective of “design” also makes a difference in how you see the facts. If you don’t believe in a planned origin the facts will prove that there is probability in the validity of your view, and same for me. I believe in God there for I have the predetermined basis for viewing the facts. It would even determine what those facts are. But take out these bias and really we have nothing to judge our perception of “design” or purpose for what exists. If there is such a thing as an infinite universe than there is a possibility for design (whether by a spiritual deity or physical being). And if the universe is finite than there are no infinite possibilities that can be determined over an infinite amount of time. Therefore it would make more sense in a finite universe that there is design, and a possibility in an infinite universe for design. By design I mean to the idea that something was created by someone or something intentionally.

        There can be as many arguments that are for and against the issue of the Earth being designed. As far as evidence goes, I have not really dug deep enough for anything that I can expand on the world being designed other than my views of the possibility for it. I see there being a greater chance of design than random happenstance. Any hard evidence that I would think to come up with, in regards to the origin of the world or even universe, would still be arguable because the basis for the views of whatever I point out can be argued both ways. If there is no hard scientific fact that can prove one side and completely disprove the other (and I mean completely and unanimously) than we would have a universal worldview that can be considered correct. until then, by scientific standards, this debate will go on forever and no one is incorrect in saying there is a sense of design in the world around us.

        Aside from bias, the one thing I will argue is what you said in your blog about the “hole in the divine design argument” and mentioning the water covering the earth. There is a purpose for that much saltwater. There is a purpose for the shape of the earth, the terrain, the climate and the things that happen on the Earth. Regardless of evidence of divinity in the creation of the world. What would happen if all that water was gone? Or even 1/3 of it? Again I don’t have hard facts but it seems to me that if six degrees can change the world, losing that much water would devastate our ecosystem. Science has proven that if the world was different in some small way (ecosystem wise) than everything would be affected. Everything is connected therefore this brings up the possibility that there was someone or something out there seeing if water was just right or the world was moving at the right speed. Again, its all about perspective I guess. I am not one to think there is divinity and miracle in everything. But I believe there is a purpose for this Earth. And while I cannot discredit the possibility, scientifically, that your point is incorrect, I believe you cannot discredit the possibility that the world was designed.

        Hope this answers your question. Sorry, its so long 🙂

  4. Even scripturally we are made of the earth though more truly and by implication we are stardust. Natural selection may only reinforce that this is the place for us,,, you have some other alternative?

      1. I don’t believe I’m trying to say anything as i pretty much have said it. What is it that you don’t understand? That natural selection may well be divine guidance?

        1. Still don’t understand you. If natural selection was guided by God, why did religion fight evolution every step of the way. Even today many believe it is not possible to believe in evolution and God.

  5. I agree, a banana is a pretty good fruit, but how come those perfect bananas always have to get all mushy and brown? Can’t GOD make even one thing perfectly????

  6. Christians ought to be aware of what they consider God’s word say. They ought to be the first to know that the cosmos is not created for them per se. Both Old and New Testament explicitly declare that cosmos is made by God, through God and for God.

    Robert you made a strong and bold calms in this article which I would ask for justification for them. Let us begin with two:

    1. “It is not through divine guidance that humankind has thrived but through natural selection.”

    How do you know this to be the case? Is it possible that natural selection is divine guidance? (My question is not that is it “true” that natural selection is divine guarded but is it “possibly true” that natural selection is in deed divine guarded?) Both Charles Darwin and David Hume held that view that a deity set things into motion.

    2. “If the Earth had been designed it would be an unrecognisably different place, without the flaws and difficulties that it has in reality.”

    Do you have arguments or evidence to back-up these assertion? How do you know how Earth would be if it was designed? Could not flaws and difficulties be part of design(i.e. playing a role for something else)?

    David Hume, though rejected benevolent God because of flawed and difficulties in design, he nonetheless believed in a non-benevolent deity.(http://withalliamgod.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/humes-unnoticed-theodicy/)

    Help me understand your case Robert.

    1. Is it possible that God guided human development? Well seeing as God is defined as an invisible being that leaves no trace of his actions, then it is impossible to disprove it. But then again, the same can be said for Thor, Zeus, unicrons and pretty much every other mythical being.

      I am curiously how you square the fact of evolution with the obvious fiction of Genesis? As the Bible is clearly wrong, do you still think it is the word of God or written by mortals (in which case it loses its authority)? If it is still the word of God, why did he lie and create the false story of the Garden of Eden?

      Sure Darwin and Hume weren’t Atheists, but that doesn’t prove your point. All it shows was that they came from a time where disbelief in God was as acceptable as Devil worship. Darwin was not a religious man, but had to play it up in order to help gain acceptance for his theory.

      Why do you only quote the opening sentence of my argument and ask if I have anything to back it up? Of course, I do, the rest of the article is it! What part of that do you have the problem with? Or to keep things simple, why would God cover the Earth with water if he supposedly wanted us to live there?

      1. One paragraph at a time Robert. You only attempt to answer the first question. If I understood you, you said yes, it is possible that God guided evolutionary process by natural selection.

        If it is possible, then your first claim that assumed that either God or natural selection guided creation is a false dichotomy.

        What you pointed out about Thor and Zeus, Genesis etc are simply redherring and irrelevant because by God, I mean what all theist and deist like Hume, Einstein, Spinoza, Flew etc and all form of theism would agree. Deist don’t consider Bible nor any religious book as true. And for my question, I would side with deists to avoid unnecessary easy and cheap way out by an atheist.

        You are very wrong that Hume and Darwin came in a time when atheism was considered devil worship. Enlightenment was a period where belief in standard theism began to decline. Read Hume’s writings on how he strongly refuted natural theology. The works of Richard Carlisle, Annie Besant, Baron d’Holback, George H. Smith etc shows that atheism was gaining a stronger position academically than any other time.

        Your answer to one actually answers two. Before going to your second paragraph, I would love to know your thoughts 😉

        1. If you claim that God guided evolution then I cannot disprove it, just as it cannot be disproven if God is (invisibly) hiding on top of Mount Everest. You can make the claim and believe it if you like, but in doing so you must explain why religions have fought the theory of evolution since its inception and they themselves claimed that it was incompatible with the Bible. If you want to say that generations of priests, preachers and imans were completely wrong, then I will agree with you.

          Also if you accept evolution then you must admit that Genesis is a false story that never happened. If it never happened then original sin was never formed. If it was never formed then Jesus’ death could not remove it, hence his sacrifice was in vain. Again I will agree with you on this point.

          Your point on the Enlightenment only holds through for intellectuals, not for other people. Outside the world of academia Atheism was still unacceptable. The Enlightenment also bypassed some areas like Ireland.

        1. Well the argument seems to be that the large oceans and salt water are a crucial part of the Earth’s eco-system. However, this is God we are dealing with. He makes the rules. If he wanted to design fish so that they didn’t need salt, he could. If he wanted the Earth’s climate to be in balance without the need for large oceans, he could have.

  7. Like with most of these sorts of discussions, the reasoning is often backwards.
    As with the existence of a god, one doesn’t need to argue against such a proposition. The default position on the existence of anything that we haven’t already established to be in existence by direct or indirect observation, is that they don’t. Not the other way around. This goes for gods, lizard people, Higgs Bosons and square circles.
    If I were to claim that our solar system actually has an extra planet in orbit between Jupiter’s and Saturn’s (let’s say I had a revelation about it one night), the object wouldn’t just magically appear there until we conclusively found out that it didn’t exist after all.
    Likewise one doesn’t need to point out in this case that the knee joint is of terrible ’design’ and that an X number of people choke every year while eating. Who’s to say the human body wasn’t inferiorly designed that way? You simply have to point out that there is a difference between believing something is designed (or that is it possible) and provide proof positive that this is actually the case.
    The standard of evidence we use to determine whether the origin of a certain object has a natural explanation or that it was made with intent (spectroscopic techniques and diamonds come to mind), is the same standard we must use to regard our planet or the universe at large. And if we all agree that a random rock found in the desert was not designed but that it was formed over time and that this is the default position to take, then this must also apply to the planets and to the universe as a whole.
    Arguments which state that it is unlikely or even impossible that our planet or our bodies were naturally formed are not arguments for design but against non-design. There is a less than subtle difference there; the arguments are by definition void of any explanatory power and are therefore utterly useless to the point of being head ache-inducingly banal. Think William Dembski of the Discovery Institute.
    Even the most ridiculously unlikely event or object we would observe\find in our universe cannot ever be proof that the universe itself was designed. To which universe would we compare ours to in order to reach this conclusion? And how would we know whether or not that comparable universe was itself designed or not?
    And even if we convincingly received confirmation one day by its creator(s) that the universe was designed (but how would we be able to test this admission?), how could anyone prove today that this fact alone even matters to our day to day lives or to our understanding of reality and the various applications that arise from this understanding? Wouldn’t the specifics as to how it was designed perhaps(!) matter and not the mere fact itself?
    It’s all just mental masturbation, nothing more..

    1. I would prefer to live in a world where it was recognised by everyone that the burden of proof lies solely on believers in God, but sometimes this point must be ignored in other to engage in debates with believers. It would make more sense if I simply said nothing and let believers come to me with proof of divinely created planet, but unfortunately due to the numerical disparity between Atheists and believers, a more pro-active approach must be taken.

      1. Especially if these believers come in the form of certain Suicidal Airline Pilots with a grudge against tall buildings.

        Simply asking them to “prove it” doesn’t cut it, sad to say.

  8. I am enjoying everyone’s arguments. I am a Christian who who believes in The bible and God and that Jesus was born crucified and then was risin. I believe the bible to be the word of God which is inspired and living. Because of that I believe that Jesus is real. I have experienced both good and evil so I know they exist. I don’t understand the Bible its all to much to take in. Some is Written in riddle while other parts are easy to read. My conclusion is I take only what I understand. I guess I’m gullible some would say. It works for me tho. It fills the void I was needing to fill. My questions are these tho: If God loves everyone then why the division? If sin is such a problem than why use the words Gods Wrath? If this world is so corrupted then why was it created? If God is all knowing then why are there things with held or not yet revealed? How can we who seek to know God be held accountable for things we don’t understand? I have looked into some other religions and none so far do harm to people rather they commit v themselves to what they know and than try to pass it others in order to do Gods will which is to share his word. Sin is in our DNA we are born with the blood line of adam and eve. All this stuff about false prophets and the ones who will go to heaven and the ones who wont is all just another way to ignite division and judgement. Jesus came for all of us and for me I choose to spread hope and love to those that need it thru the bible. There is a lot I don’t understand especially the parables and revelations. What I do understand is that I draw hope strength and comfort from the Bible. So is that supposed to be considered idolatry? Who knows at this point and who cares really.

  9. I agree with you on most of which you have written, herein, Robert. The part about being an atheist. I don’t however. Who knows, if there’s a God or No God. A No God is really a God. Because, the Infinite is God. Can you say there is no Infinite? Thanks! for your post! 🙂

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