The Proofs of Creation # 16 : The Proof of Cause and Effect
The Proof of Cause and Effect
If you see a child pulling a train with one arm, you will immediately say, “The one pulling this train cannot be the child because the child does not have the necessary strength to do it. In that case, there must be some other strength that I cannot see and this child is only a curtain of that strength…” The thing that causes you to think like that is the imbalance between the cause and effect. The child in this example is the cause and his/her pulling the train is the effect. The cause is very weak and ineffectual and since the effect requires a very great strength for it to occur, it dismisses this cause from the role of the doer and proves the presence of another agent. Even if you do not see the possessor of this strength, you will not doubt its presence because its performance is right before your eyes. Are there not more fascinating works that take place in this universe? Of course there are, and in fact, they are far more interesting works…
Giant trees grow from small seeds. Fruits that are different in color, taste and shape are attached to the bone-dry branches of trees. The jet-black soil works like a pot, so to speak, and all sorts of vegetables ripen cook/within it. A person’s entire life story and everything that he has learned is registered in his memory, which is as small as a mustard seed. A person is created from a drop of water… Yes, splendid works that we cannot count occur before our eyes all the time… While the causes that generate results are very ordinary, weak, simple, lifeless and poor, the results that occur from these causes are very ingenious, sapient, and valuable. This condition proves that these causes do not create these effects. On the contrary, God Almighty performs these works; the causes are only a curtain to His power.
To understand this matter better, let us reflect on an example… The golden plover bird, which is 200 grams, migrates 4000 kilometers from Alaska to Hawaii every year. It covers 88 hours (3.5 days) of travel as it flaps its wings without stopping. Scientists had figured that the bird needs about 82 grams of fat as fuel to complete this journey. However, the golden plover has only 70 grams of fat as fuel. Despite this, no golden plover falls into the ocean when its fuel is exhausted. What could its secret be?
Golden plover birds arrange themselves by flying in a “v-shape” as a flock. This way of flying lessens the resistance of air and saves the birds 23% of energy. In this situation, 6-7 grams of more fat will remain once the birds land on the ground. The remaining fat is reserved as backup fuel in case winds blow from the opposite direction. Now let us make a comparison: While a golden plover bird burns 70 grams of fat when flying 4,000 kilometers, a Boeing 737-800 needs more than 16 tons of fuel to be able to fly the same distance. Since this plane has the capacity to burn 14.2 tons of fuel, it cannot accomplish this type of flight without refueling.
In this example, the golden plover bird is the cause while the effect is the activity and journey that it accomplishes. The golden plover is a bird that can be understood by its name. It does not have intelligence, wisdom, power, strength, etc. However, its journey is one that can only be completed through an immense amount of wisdom and strength. For the effect to occur, it would require some kind of knowledge and power. Since the golden plover does not have this kind of knowledge and power, it proves that the golden plover is not making this trip on its own and that it is being made to undertake this journey.
If you do not accept that the golden plover makes this journey with God’s help and grace, then, answer the following questions and we will see your answers:
1. How does the golden plover understand that migration season has arrived?
2. If there were not signboards on the road, then, we could never find our way. In fact, we would get lost despite having followed the signboards and having used maps. Yet the aforementioned bird is never lost. Which signboards does it follow to find its way?
3. The bird flapping its wings non-stop for 88 hours is a task that requires immense strength. Marathon runners, who are the most enduring of the people, can only run 40-50 kilometers at most. How did this bird attain a durable figure on its own?
4. Who stored the 70 grams of fat that is necessary for travel in the bird’s body?
5. Who taught them to fly in a “V-shape” so they could break down the wind’s impact?
6. An airplane designed by humans cannot even be compared to the golden plover bird. The plane has an engineer. Then, is the golden plover an act of coincidence?
7. The journey that a golden plover undergoes with 70 grams of fat is also accomplished by the awesome airplanes of civilization, yet they burn 16 tons of fuel. In that case, we can say that the Craftsman of this bird is infinitely sapient and economical. Can you show another artist other than God, as being the possessor of sapience and savings?
Now reflect on the imbalance between cause and effect. In your reflection, you can look at these events:
A cloud is the cause and the rain is the effect. An egg is the cause and the chicken is the effect. The brain is the cause and the writing of a library within it is the effect. Matter is the cause and the transmission of sound is the effect. The honeycomb is the cause and the honey is the effect. The silk worm is the cause and silk is the effect.
During your course of reflection, think of how simple, lifeless, and ignorant the causes are and of how immensely extraordinary the effects are and how they reflect the handiwork of knowledge and power. Then consider the Entity, who works behind these causes, in other words, see God Almighty with your intellect’s eyes!
- Chapter 16: The Proof of Cause and Effect
- The Thirty-Third Word: It explains that there is a window opening to Almighty Allah in everything with thirty-three examples.
- The Air: The manifestation of Divine wisdom, will and power on the molecules of air.
- Do Angels have a real influence on their duties?
- The Proofs of Creation # 9: The proof of Divine Incitation
- Seeds of Reality are aphorisms from the booklet called Seeds of Reality, which was first published in 1920.
- What contributions can the month of Ramadan make to us so that we will be disciplined individuals? What kind of habits should Ramadan form in us?
- Why do we follow a madhhab?
- Question 30: How does Allah’s power become manifest through causes?
- Gleams: Flowers from the Seeds of Reality. A short ‘Mathnawi’ and collection on the subject of belief for the Risale-i Nur students.