Thank God for the Cowper Gland

“For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

 I was sitting in my sex education class in Year 7. Much to our pre-pubescent amusement the teacher had projected on the wall a diagram of the male sex organ. As the teacher explained the various parts and functions to his uncharacteristically interested audience, he pointed to a small gland, about the size of a pea.

The Cowper gland, as it is called, secretes an alkaline mucous during sexual activity so as to neutralise the acids in the urethra that would destroy male sperm. I found it…and still find it incredible to think that the flourishing of our entire species rests on a single gland the size of a pea. Though I did not come from a particularly religious home, I was struck with the thought, “There must be a God.”

Others among us are similarly struck by the beauty of a sunset, the majesty of the heavens, the intricacy of an ant, the complexity of biosphere or the presence of rationality, morality and conscience in humankind. This sense we have of a Grand Designer in Creation is common for so many millions of people (Christian and non-Christian).

The atheists of today tell us that they see no evidence of God. But the Bible tells us the evidence is everywhere. It can be, “clearly seen…from what has been made.” Just open your eyes! Atheists are accused by God of “suppressing” an inconvenient truth (Romans 1:18-20).

One of the foremost atheists of our time, Dr Richard Dawkins, Emeritus Professor in Evolutionary Biology, is quite fond of making out believers in God to be intellectual fools. However, when speaking to Australian ABC radio on 2 March 2000 he remarkably stated:

“I suppose the grace of a running leopard or cheetah, the bounding kangaroo…the sort of powerful illusion of design that all living creatures have, but some seem to express more vividly…The almost irresistible urge to think, ’Gosh, somebody must have designed that’, and the beauty of discovering actually, no, they didn’t. There’s a wonderful process called evolution by natural selection which can go to work and shape living matter so that it really looks as though it has been designed.”

Dawkins is not the only notable atheist to admit a sense of design. University of Chicago professor Jerry Coyne, in his book Why Evolution is True, wrote:  “If anything is true about nature, it is that plants and animals seem intricately and almost perfectly designed for living their lives” (2009, p. 1). Atheist Michael Shermer, in his book Why Darwin Matters, stated: “The design inference comes naturally. The reason people think that a Designer created the world is because it looks designed (2006, p. 65).

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck…but not to Professor Dawkins. If the illusion of design is so powerful, even to the great professor, then perhaps he can forgive those “simpletons” among us who dare to see the very same evidence differently…”simpletons” that include the likes of Professor Francis Collins, who headed the Human Genome Project and the Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, Dr John Lennox, or the late Sir Robert Boyd (1922-2004), a pioneer in British space science who was Vice President of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Atheists and believers alike should all be thankful for the evidence of design. After all, where would any of us be without the Cowper gland?

For Prayer and Reflection:  Thank God for the beauty and marvellous design of his Creation. Thank Him for the wonders of Creation that touch your heart.

For Further Reading: Romans 1: 18-20.

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