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Purpose in Life

Purpose in Life

HUMANS ARE UNIQUE IN MANY WAYS​—WE WRITE, WE PAINT, WE CREATE, AND WE THINK ABOUT LIFE’S BIG QUESTIONS: Why does the universe exist? How did we come to be? What is the purpose of life? What does the future hold?

Some people shy away from those questions, thinking that the answers are beyond us. Others say that such questions are pointless because life is a product of mindless evolution. “There are no gods, no purposes,” claimed professor of history and biology William Provine. He added: “There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life.”

Some people, however, consider that fatalistic outlook unacceptable. They see a universe that is governed by precise, elegant, mathematical laws. They marvel at the impressive designs in nature, some of which humans try to mimic in man-made products. And everyday experience tells them that complex, highly functional designs point to intelligence, not undirected forces.

Such reasoning has moved some evolutionists to reconsider their position. Note the following two examples.

NEUROSURGEON DR. ALEXEI MARNOV. “The schools I attended taught atheism and evolution,” he said. “Anyone believing in God was considered uninformed.” In 1990, however, his thinking began to change.

“I have always tried to understand the logical reason for things,” he explains, “including the human brain. This amazing organ has rightly been called the most complex structure in the known universe. But was the brain designed to gain knowledge and skills and then die? This seemed pointless, unreasonable. So I began to wonder: ‘Why are we here? What is the purpose of life?’ After some serious reflection, I concluded that there must be a Creator.”

The quest for life’s purpose led Alexei to examine the Bible. Later, his wife, a medical doctor who was also an atheist, studied the Bible as well​—initially to prove her husband wrong! Now, however, both firmly believe in God and understand his purpose for humankind as explained in the Scriptures.

PLASMA SCIENTIST DR. HUABI YIN. Huabi Yin studied physics, and for many years, she did research on plasma. Considered the fourth state of matter, plasma (as in the sun) is composed largely of electrons and positive ions.

“Whenever we scientists study natural phenomena,” says Huabi, “we always find a high degree of order, which is a result of precise laws. ‘How did these laws arise?’ I wondered. ‘If even a simple cooking fire must be carefully controlled, who is responsible for the laws that regulate the sun?’ In time, I concluded that the first statement in the Bible is the most logical answer: ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’”​—Genesis 1:1.

Science, to be sure, has shed light on many “how” questions, such as: How do brain cells work? And how does the sun generate heat and light? But as Alexei and Huabi discovered, the Bible answers the more important “why” questions: Why does the universe exist? Why is it governed by laws? And why do we exist?

Regarding the earth, the Bible says: “[God] did not create it simply for nothing, but formed it to be inhabited.” (Isaiah 45:18) Yes, God has a purpose for the earth, and as the next article will show, that purpose is closely related to our hope for the future.