Next to Salvation, What Could Be God's Greatest Gift to Mankind?
Viewpoint of Mark Cadwallader, Creation Moments Board Chairman
Have you ever thanked God for His wonderful gift of music? I think Martin Luther got it exactly right when he said, "Next to the gospel, music is God's greatest gift to mankind."Music has been special to human beings through all cultures and for all time. People have a music "instinct" just as we have a language "instinct" – ingrained into our auditory, cognitive and motor functions. Very young children can enjoy music and tell if a tune or harmony is not quite right. No other species produces such elaborate sound for no particular reason. And it serves no obvious adaptive purpose. In fact, this was noted by Charles Darwin who, in The Descent of Man, wrote that "neither the enjoyment nor the capacity of producing musical notes are faculties of the least direct use to man in reference to his ordinary habits of life." Yet, music engages people's attention more comprehensively than almost anything else. Brain scans show that when people listen to music, virtually every area of their brain becomes more active. Music not only has all the ingredients of beauty, harmony and scientific order that we find in creation, but it makes a powerful emotional and spiritual connection with us.
Most people have experienced a sudden rush of emotion on hearing a particular piece of music – a thrill, a chill, a sense of excitement or exhilaration, a feeling of being swept away. We may be moved to tears without being able to tell why. Musical analysts have tried hard to find out how this happens, but with little success.
When combined with language and a message, music can have a truly powerful reach and influence on people. No wonder Christian worship is so integrated with music. The Bible speaks often about the use of songs and hymns and psalms to worship God. For example, Ephesians 5:18-19: "…but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord." Music truly has a spiritual connection.
Almost all musical systems are based on scales spanning an octave – the note that sounds the same as the one you started off with but at a higher or lower pitch of exactly twice or exactly half its frequency. Here we see some of the "science" of music which physicists and audio engineers understand – more created order which cannot be explained by evolution but only by the existence of a great Creator.
The vibrations of a tuning fork attached to a pen will mark out a wave on a paper scroll with its pitch corresponding to a specific wave frequency (the number of crests of the wave passing a given point per second). A tuning fork which produces the standard "A" – by which musicians standardize their instruments – has a sound wave frequency of 440/sec, so that all "A" notes as you move up the musical scale are double the frequency of the last – for example, 110/s, 220/s, 440/s, 880/s, 1760/s, are all "A" notes. This doubling or halving of frequency works for all of the notes within the scale.
Sound waves either harmonize with each other or they clash – making the difference between music and noise. Certain notes harmonize together to form a chord. And certain chords harmonize together to form a key. That our ears should be able to discern music … and our throats, mouths and tongues produce it in harmony with others is testimony to the wonderful work of our Creator.
Our vocal cords are like stringed instruments which can be tightened or relaxed to produce music. And our larynx and tongue are designed for maximum vocal variety.
For example, the larynx – which is the opening from the windpipe to the throat – is high up in the throat of apes and monkeys. This means that apes cannot simultaneously open up their windpipes and move their tongues freely to form varied sounds and syllables like humans can. They can grunt and scream but not much else. In humans, the larynx descends to a low position, allowing free movement of our tongues to form vowels and syllables without blocking the larynx. As a result, humans are able to make a very large variety of sounds.
Songbirds, unlike non-human primates, can also move their tongues rapidly while forcing air through their larynx and beaks and, therefore, have large vocal repertoires. They can vocalize many of the sounds which humans can make. So perhaps we are actually descended from chickadees, cardinals, mockingbirds or parrots instead of prehistoric apes, as the evolutionists teach!
What evolutionists teach is that pre-human primates started warbling and yodeling to each other during courtship as songbirds do. This took place before they invented language and music, and somehow this was a selective advantage for the propagation of the trait! Such a scene, if you can picture it, is really quite humorous because it is so ridiculous. Yet this is what evolutionists actually propose in tackling the thorny problem of the evolution of language and musical ability. If this were the case, we should find warbling and yodeling apes … but there aren't any so there is no basis in fact and this is simply more foolish conjecture from the theory of evolution – "cunningly devised fables" (2 Peter 1:16) from "foolish" people who "profess to be wise" (Romans 1:22).
Education is filled with the "just-so stories" of evolution like the one above. Everything seems to be "officially" interpreted from an evolutionary viewpoint. How do we counter the incessant propaganda? Let me suggest creation science curricula to offset the materials of the materialists. And at Creation Moments we can help you! We offer one of the largest collections of creation science materials available today – perfect for this back-to-school time of year! To see some of the educational resources we recommend most highly, see the enclosed flyer and visit our website!
As always, we covet your prayers, and we are very appreciative of your donations. The message of creation is more vital than ever. People need to know that biblical creation is the truth! Not only can creation truth strengthen the faith of Christians, it can spark an interest in the gospel among unbelievers. God is touching many lives through Creation Moments. Thank you for helping to make this possible!