Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, according to an old saying. Artist Steve Cardno feels that the beauty and design in creation all around us is a constant testimony to the handiwork of God. “God is the master artist, and I believe the innate desire to create and appreciate beauty is one of those unique qualities which sets us apart from the animal kingdom. This is part of what being ‘made in the image of God’ is all about,” says Steve.
As a Christian for almost twenty years, Steve enjoys his role as Art Director for Creation magazine and loves working creatively with others to present fascinating information on God’s world.
In the formative years of Ken Ham’s public ministry, Steve was the one who created the cartoon images for his overheads, including the now-famous “castle” diagram. These were found to be incredibly effective.
Gaining an understanding of the accuracy of the Bible’s recording of history was a turning point for Steve when he realized the events recorded were true. This caused him to examine the Bible’s claims with an open mind and later commit his life to Christ as his Saviour and Lord. “Christianity is not a blind faith,” comments Steve, “God has given us a mind and brains and expects us to use them, not discard them [Jesus told us in Matthew 22:37 to “love God with all your … mind”]. We are to be discerning in our faith and judge everything according to God’s Word. We even need to be careful regarding those things we hear in church, and be like the ancient Bereans, who ‘searched the Scriptures … [to see] whether those things were so’ [Acts 17:11]. God has never asked us to believe anything unreasonable. He’s given us enough information in His Word and His world, to trust Him on those things we can’t see.”
Apart from attending church, Steve, a single father for many years, says that some of his favourite times are enjoying God’s outdoors with his two children—on the beach, at a picnic, or walking through the nearby rainforests. Steve likes illustrating wildlife, some of which feature in Creation magazine from time to time. He also finds enjoyment in scuba diving, water sports, photography and music. He says, “I enjoy anything creative.”
And what is Steve’s favourite evidence for creation? “As a designer,” he says, “I’m fascinated by the design so evident in living things. Any kind of design process is geared towards a pre-determined end, and so much in nature shows this intelligent input. Being an artist, I’m very interested in our eyes and how we perceive things visually. Our eye is an incredibly complex organ, but as true as this is, it’s useless without the corresponding nerves and parts of the brain which analyze and interpret the information sent from the eye. And unless you have all these parts working together at the same time, there’s no point to them. Random evolutionary processes to explain these things just don’t add up.”
Steve believes God is a lover of beauty, the evidence of this being seen in the world God created. “Look at the beautiful colours in parrots, tropical marine fish, corals, butterflies and flowers. I see a God who created a beautiful planet for us, and we still see a lot of this, even though it’s been devastated by the Curse on all creation after Adam’s fall.
“We’re unique among every other creature God made in that, like God, we can appreciate beauty for its own sake. Human beings have an aesthetic sense—they get pleasure from making beautiful things. Far back in recorded history you can see people designing, sculpting, painting and building things, beautiful things, often with no functional purpose. Such things make no kind of evolutionary sense in my opinion.” Steve cites the examples of “a beautiful sunset, or the work of a talented artist. Or the enjoyment of beautiful music. And all of us can appreciate the non-tangible kind of beauty we see in the heart of a little child, or in the love between a man and a woman, or an act of selfless kindness.
“I think the most beautiful thing in the world was when the Almighty Creator of the universe humbly became a human being as Jesus Christ, and willingly suffered, died and rose again on our behalf to pay the debt for our sins. He did this purely out of love for us, which is amazing.”
Here at the Australian headquarters of Answers in Genesis, we really appreciate Steve Cardno’s selfless dedication to the ministry, as seen for many years in his brilliant layouts of Creation magazine.