Alex McLellan is the founder and executive director of Reason Why International. It's a ministry dedicated to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, strengthening the belief of Christians and reaching out to non-Christians who are interested in matters of faith and understanding.

Alex serves as an associate with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) and Josh McDowell Ministry (JMM). He works with churches, para-churches, camps, universities, colleges, and schools. He has featured on In the Market with Janet Parshall, Chris Fabry Live!, RZIM's Just Thinking, TalkSport UK's Big Debate and Ireland's LifeFM.

Alex's first book "A Jigsaw Guide to Making Sense of the World" was published in December 2012 (InterVarsity Press). He teaches "How to Share Ultimate Truth with Ordinary People" in the US, Asia/Pacific and Europe.

“If you're looking at life and looking for answers, Christianity will help you put the broken pieces back together - so you can stand back and see the big picture. The good news: there is hope and we can be prepared to share it!"

Alex McLellan

Reason Why International

Top Gear’s Top Tips: The greatest designer of all…

“Forget the mechanical marvels of Top Gear, says Richard Hammond – it’s Mother Nature who’s the greatest designer of all.”[1]

If you’re part of the international audience that enjoys the BBC’s long-running motor show, Top Gear, you’ll be familiar with Richard Hammond. Well known on the small screen, Hammond presents other BBC shows, and among them was a popular-level science show that caught my attention. The program highlighted the fact so much human design is merely a copy-cat of the wonders of the natural world. So credit where credit is due: Mother Nature (note the capitalisation) is the greatest designer of all.

However, there is a problem. On this (BBC) view, as popular atheist Richard Dawkins points out, Mother Nature is simply “blind physical forces and genetic replication” and “there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.” But how does blind, pitiless indifference explain the wonders of the natural world?

Another popular atheist, Ricky Gervais was asked to provide the answer, and he defaulted to the text book example: the modern giraffe. “Everyone uses the modern giraffe. A creature like the giraffe was born with a slightly longer neck, it could reach more leaves, it could pass on its genetic material for longer, it was more successful…”

So the reason for the genius of the giraffe was a mutated, slightly elongated animal? Simple. Or is it?

1.     If being short was the problem, how did female giraffes survive (they are significantly shorter than the males)?
2.     If being short was the problem, how did young adults survive (for the same reason)?
3.     Why assume a slightly longer neck confers reproductive advantage (without assuming the facts to fit the theory)? Why would a shorter neck not be an advantage, e.g., during dry season or drought.
4.     If giraffes could not reach the higher leaves, they would spend more time grazing on the ground - like other animals, and migrating in search of food - like other animals.
5.     The modern giraffe’s long neck is not simply the result of one mutation - followed by natural selection. It needs an entire biological, chemical and structural mechanism to develop simultaneously in order to support it, literally.

Ricky Gervais does not ask these questions, but Richard Hammond said the giraffe should faint every time it stands up and its head should explode every time it bends down to drink. However, the powerful heart pumps blood five feet into the air along the length of its neck. An amazing system of valves constricts the blood flow whenever the animal’s head drops to the ground. Such genius has been copied to develop technology that helps fighter pilots cope with excessive G-forces, ensuring they don’t black out during the most dangerous manouvers.

Does the genius of the giraffe really suggest it’s the product of no purpose and no design? It seems far more reasonable to conclude this animal points us in the direction of an intelligent designer. In other words, the genius of the giraffe points us in the direction of God, the greatest designer of them all.

Now that’s a top-tip you won’t hear on Top Gear!

"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 men are without excuse." Romans 1:20

[1] The Telegraph, 30 October 2012