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  • Writer's pictureBolaji Akinola-Alli

Creation: An Engineering Perspective

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

The biblical creation story told from the perspective of an engineer.

Engineering is a highly sought after profession, not only by engineering firms but also in other industries. Most of the engineering graduates I know do not work within traditional engineering roles.


So why do employers seek them out for non-traditional engineering roles?


Well that's the wrong way to look at it. Engineers are critical problem-solvers. This means is that they break down complex problems into smaller actions, tackling them individually and then assembling a solution that informs the final product. Other STEM subjects have a similar approach to solving problems.


Moreover, it is worth noting that solutioning usually requires multiple approaches, depending on the nature of the problem. A good way example is through quick experimentation to fail fast, in order to learn and grow, whilst constantly delivering value (Agile).


I recently re-read the book of Genesis and I have come to realise a number of similarities between how I solve problems and the way God created the world. And no I don't solve all my problems in 7 days.


But there is a systemic approach that was applied to create the world. And I am going to show it to you:


1. Let there be light

In order to solve a problem, you must first understand it. This sounds super obvious but you would be surprised with how often we address the symptoms of our problems rather than the root cause. This is sometimes because it would be easier to address it than actually solve the problem.

Similar to the creation story, God didn't start with making a tree, he simply turned on the light. I mean it was dark and the earth was formless, so why make something in the dark when you can explore further to see what is hidden.


This reminds me of systems and requirements engineers, whose role is to figure out what the customer needs and not what they think they need. They can sometimes be annoying because they keep asking questions. But the intent is to figure out the root cause of a problem in order to build the right solution.

Day 1
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Day 2 
8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning.

2. Come up with a plan

Ok so now we understand the problem, what next?


Although it was not explicitly spelt out in Genesis that God had a blueprint for the world before he created it. But when you think about it, God always has a plan, so why would this be different. I can prove it to you by a few examples:

This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations - Isaiah 14:26

All this comes from the Lord Almighty, whose plan is wonderful, whose wisdom is magnificent- Isaiah 28:29

But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations - Psalm 33:11

I can just picture the excitement of all the project managers reading this section. But yes friends I'm talking Microsoft Project and Excel-type planning. Understanding the nature of resources you need, the estimated time of delivery, and the cost!


Maybe this was a task for the angels...


3. Create a solution

You know your Toyotas and Dyson vacuum cleaners?


They were all conceptualised in drawings and designs, reviewed multiple times before being brought to life. Sometimes a dummy version was created first (a prototype), to test some physical features. Shout out to the design engineers out there!

So this step was when God got busy. In a four day work week, he created everything from plants and animals to the stars and then to human beings. Similarly, once we have a plan in place, and we know what the problem we are trying to solve is, the next thing is to just do it.


Chemical and civil engineers also spring to mind when it comes to a lot of the doing.

Day 3
11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation:seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.”

Day 4 
16 God made two great lights—the greater light to governt he day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 

Day 5 
21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it,according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Day 6
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

4. Observe and Improve

What happens after creating something great?


You would probably be pleased and maybe reward yourself with something nice. - So did God.

Day 7
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. - Genesis 2:2

So while we wait and hope that what we have created works as intended and doesn't break. We look to ensure that the problem we have just tried to solve does not re-occur. We monitor how well it does and look for ways to improve upon it.


But when things break, we try to fix the problem, and the cycle repeats itself all over again.


Final shoutout to the maintenance engineers e.g. the mechanics, electricians, plumbers etc that fix our cars and household equipments.


 

Now I hope I have shown you an approach to problem solving that has lasted since the beginning of time, literally. It is an approach that I use often in multiple areas of my life.


What is your approach to problem-solving?

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Guest
Jan 31, 2023

This was an amazing read looking at things from an engineering standpoint. The creation of the world was delicately planned and created, this is shown in the 6 days of building. We can also look at this like a 6day sprint cycle lmaoo. Well done!

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