Updated: Mar 9, 2019
Sean Carroll is a professor of molecular biology and genetics. He is also the
author of numerous books, including The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning,
and the Universe Itself.
That’s quite a broad sweep—the origins of life, the universe, and even meaning
itself?—all from one book, and especially from a guy who, as a molecular biologist,
probably spends a great deal of time looking at reality from underthrough a microscope.
No doubt, one can learn lots of fascinating things by peering into under a microscope,
but to extrapolate from there to the origin of the universe would require quite a leap of,
In his book, Dr. Carroll wrote: “We humans are blobs of organized mud, which
through the impersonal workings of nature’s patterns have developed the capacity to
contemplate and cherish and engage with the intimidating complexity of the world
Blobs of organized mud, huh? If so, then he, too, would be an organized blob of
mud, and so how much credibility could we put in what a blob of mud—organized or
not—says about anything, especially about meaning? From one blob of organized mud
to any other organized blob of mud, I would say, “Not much.”
Dr. Carroll got it almost right, however. We did come from the earth, but rather
than us being created from “the impersonal workings of nature’s patterns” on blobs of
mud, the Lord God formed man “of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrilsthe breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7).
So, what are we: blobs of organized mud created by chance, as Dr. Carroll
teaches, or beings purposely made by a loving Creator, as depicted in the Bible? And,
no doubt: your answer will greatly influence your own understanding of The Big Picture:
On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself.