The Question for Beauty is Not How But Why

These snowflake photos from photographer Alexey Kljatov are incredible. They instantly inspire awe in all of us, and for good reason. They also create questions.


Photos like these spark a debate among those who believe in a Creator, and those who adhere to evolutionary theory. The “discussion” (which quickly digresses to an argument) is usually centered around explaining how these came to be.

But the question for these snowflakes with regard to their genesis is not “how” but “why’?

If these snowflakes are merely part of a physical environment that evolved over time, there may be explanations for how these objects would form. Scientists are very good at explaining how atoms would (and could) arrange themselves such and so forth geometric shapes. It is an endless argument with proponents of intelligent design saying “this must be the work of a Higher Being”. “Not so!” cries the evolutionist, and round and round they go.

But this argument is settled with the question “why?”. Why on earth would these intricately beautiful objects be formed in the first place?

Evolutionary theory cannot explain nature’s beauty, nature’s beauty meaning non-biological beauty (i.e. a sunset or snowflake). What is the reason a sunset is beautiful? Or a starry night wonderful to our senses? What makes you say “wow look at that” when you see these images of snowflakes?

Why would these things appear to us to be beautiful? Evolution cannot answer this, but only shrug and say “it is just so”. What a insubstantial answer.

Intelligent Design answers the why with “why for your enjoyment of course!”, which implies a Designer who knows our aesthetic leanings intricately.

The scientific approach of how may be argued vehemently by both sides with no determinate conclusion as far as either party is concerned. The philosophical approach of why finds the only suitable answer in a Designer Who wishes his creations to experience awe. It is a question that science simply cannot address.

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