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Does God Exist?

April 19, 2015

 

Does science prove the existence of God?  That was the question put to me a couple weeks ago which we will endeavor to answer this morning.  Some people, including my skeptical colleague at work, would answer no, science disproves his existence.  Some have rejected God and Biblical Christianity because of their firm adherence to science falsely so called.   However, according to the science journal Nature, 40% of American scientists believe in a creator God who hears and answers prayers.  In fact, some of the greatest scientists have not only believed in the existence of some Divine Intelligence or Supreme Being but even the one true and living God.  For instance, Lord Kelvin worked on the transatlantic telegraph cable, on the first and second laws of thermodynamics, determined the correct value of the lowest possible temperature – called absolute zero – and was a devout Christian who stated, “The more thoroughly I conduct scientific research, the more I believe that science excludes atheism.”  Award winning scientist Michael Faraday, who studied electromagnetism, was also a devout Christian, and uttered as his dying words, “I shall be with Christ, and that is enough.”  Other, more contemporary examples include the late biochemist and Christian apologist Dr. Duane Gish, Dr. Raymond Damadian (inventor of the MRI), Dr. Maciej Giertych (head of the Department of Genetics at the Polish Academy of Sciences), etc. etc.  All of them are both scientists and our fellow brethren in Christ Jesus.

                                                                        

Indeed, rather than a hindrance or hurdle to the belief in God, many scientists see God’s fingerprints all over his creation, whether as an astronomer gazing into the distant reaches of space or a microbiologist examining single-celled organisms in all their astonishing complexity, or as a geneticist deciphering DNA, and on and on.  And well they should, because God has revealed himself to everyone at every time and in every place in his creation, what is called his general revelation.  Just as a painter reveals himself in his painting, the Creator reveals himself in his creation.  We read in Romans 1: “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For his invisible attributes, namely his power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” (Romans 1:19-20)  

 

While science may not prove the existence of God, it does provide very compelling evidence; it does over and over and over again point to him.  Let’s just look at a few examples of how science points to God’s existence: causation, constants, and code.

1. Causation

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)  Did you ever hear about how baseball is mentioned in the Bible?  It says, “In the big inning.”  But notice: In the beginning.  You know, some atheists try to deny that the universe had a beginning.   Albert Einstein was unhappy, because he wanted the universe to be self-existing and eternal, but his theory of General Relativity proved to the contrary, and the discovery that the universe had a beginning was, in his own words, “irritating.”  But even he eventually conceded the fact, and stated his desire “to know how God created the world.”

You see, Einstein recognized that, since the universe had a beginning, there needed to be someone or something outside and independent of the universe which caused it.  The father of modern science, Sir Francis Bacon, said “True knowledge is knowledge by causes.” paraphrased by Christian apologists Norman Geisler and Frank Turek as “science is a search for causes.”  And in science, there is the Law of Causality which states that everything which had a beginning had a cause; and if everything that had a beginning had a cause, and the universe had a beginning, then the universe had a cause.

And right of out of the gate, we can make assumptions about this cause.  Allow me to read from I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, in which the authors posit the following assumptions:

“The…Cause must be: self-existent, timeless, nonspatial, and immaterial (since [he] created time, space, and matter, [he] must be outside of time, space, and matter).  In other words, he is without limits, or infinite; unimaginably powerful to create the universe out of nothing; supremely intelligent, to design the universe with such incredible precision; personal, in order to convert a state of nothingness into the time-space-material universe ([because] an impersonal force has no ability to make choices).”  Notice, just from this one simple fact that the universe - that all time, space, and matter had a beginning, whether you place it 20 billion years ago or, like me, 6,000 years ago, that one fact can lead someone to believe that there is an infinite, powerful, personal, intelligent Creator without even so much as picking up a Bible.  Causality points to God.  Now let’s turn to the next two arguments, which both are design arguments: and design demands a Designer.

2. Constants

Remember the classic fable of Goldilocks and the three bears.  While papa bear, mama bear, and baby bear are out, Goldilocks samples the papa bear’s porridge and it’s too hot.  She then samples the mama bear’s porridge and it’s too cold.  But baby bear’s porridge is just right.  Similarly, there is a scientific principle called the anthropic principle, which basically states that the universe is designed to support human life on earth.  There are 122 conditions, or anthropic constants, that must needs be met, that make it just right, to sustain human life on earth; and even the most miniscule adjustment, the least change, can make our planet too this or too that for us to exist.  Just a couple examples:

Consider water vapor.  If there was more water vapor in our atmosphere, there would be a runaway greenhouse effect, turning our planet into papa bear’s porridge, making to too hot; but if there was less water vapor, there would be an insufficient greenhouse effect - earth would turn into mama bear’s porridge, be too cold, and we’d be looking for a microwave to nuke it for a minute or two.  Consider gravity.  The least fraction of a percent adjustment to gravity - we’re talking a decimal point followed by 37 zeroes and a 1 - would mean no more sun and no more us.  Consider oxygen.  Oxygen comprises about 20% of our atmosphere: at 25% there would b e spontaneous fires, and at 15% we would suffocate.  Those are just three of the 122 conditions or anthropic constants.     

What are the chances of any one planet in the entire universe meeting all 122 constants?  A 1 in 10138 chance - a 1 followed by 138 zeroes.  That’s a bigger number than the estimated total number of atoms in the universe.  By comparison, you have only a 1 in 250,000 chance of being killed by a meteorite and a 1 in 775,000 chance of being struck by lightning.  In other words, it is virtually impossible.

So compelling is this evidence that even some atheists admit that the universe seems to have been designed by some intelligent designer.  Atheist astronomer Fred Hoyle stated concerning the anthropic principle, “A commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has monkeyed with physics as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking of in nature.”  When we look at our atmosphere, or out into space, and see all the things that are just right to sustain human life on planet earth - our distance from the sun, our distance from the moon, etc. etc., we can join with David in saying “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands;” (Psalm 19:1) and again, “When I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place…” (Psalm 8:3)

3. Code, and we’re talking about the code which is DNA.

I have here one volume of my 1969 World Book Encyclopedia.  If I brought all 20-odd volumes, we’d see their bulk, admit they were chock full of information, and I’d probably need hernia surgery for foolishly forgetting to lift with me knees.  Now, imagine you and a friend came across this encyclopedia lying somewhere.  You postulate that some intelligent person or persons used different combinations of 26 letters to craft thousands of different words in order to communicate an impressive compendium of knowledge.  However, your friend suggests that there was no intelligence behind their composition; rather, it was created by a slapdash cocktail of time and blind chance.  Does that make sense?  Of course not, it’s unreasonable to think that an encyclopedia just showed up without any intelligence. 

Likewise, consider the voluminous information contained in a single cell.  Renowned atheist Richard Dawkins admits, “There is enough information capacity in a single human cell to store the Encyclopedia Britannica, all 30 volumes of it, three or four times over.”  Three or four times over!  Or consider the amount of information contained in a pinhead’s volume of DNA.  According to creationist Dr. Jonathan Safarti, “It is the equivalent information content of a pile of paperback books 500 times as tall as the distance from the earth to the moon, each with different, yet specific content.”  Think about that - a single pinhead’s worth of DNA contains that much information - 500 times the distance of the earth to the moon or almost 120 million miles!  The science teacher I work with told me the amount of DNA in a single human body, when uncoiled, would stretch around the entire solar system twice.

So what?  How does the wealth of information contained in a single cell or in a negligible volume of DNA point to the existence of God?  As Safarti elsewhere writes, “If it’s unreasonable to believe that an encyclopedia could have originated without intelligence, it’s just as unreasonable to believe that life could have originated without intelligence.” To paraphrase one atheist, to think that life originated without some Divine Intelligence is like thinking a junk pile could assemble itself into a Boeing 747 given enough time and chance; but that’s exactly the corner atheists have painted themselves into.  Even the simplest, single-celled organism has 482 genes constituting almost 600,000 base pairs of genetic information - and atheists have no explanation for how life originated in the first place, other than a notion disproven by the great scientist Louis Pasteur, the notion of spontaneous generation, or that life spontaneously generated - just sort of showed up - out of non-living chemicals.  That’s the only out - one day, a non-living soup of chemicals, then, presto - living things!  However, we know how life originated: “And God said, ‘Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky…And God said, ‘Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind…Then God said, ’Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…” (Genesis 1:20,24,26)

We could continue.  For instance, Sir Isaac Newton, reflecting on the eye, wrote, “Did blind chance know that there was light and what was its refraction, and fit the eyes of all creatures to make use of it.  These and suchlike considerations always have and ever will prevail with mankind to believe that there is  Being who made all things, and has all things in his power, and who is therefore to be feared…”  One female physician, studying anatomy, wrote in The Atlantic Monthly, “…one day, I was working on an arm and hand, studying the perfect mechanical arrangements of their muscles and tendons - how the sheaths of certain muscles are split to let the tendons of other muscles through, that the hand may be delicate and small and yet powerful…and now everything was an evidence of God; the tendons of the hand, the patterns of the little blue butterfly’s wings. - it was all part of a purpose.”  Reading that made me think of what David wrote in Psalm 139: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:14-16)

In closing, I read a story about a teenager named Johnny, who had just started his summer vacation.  One morning, when he came downstairs, he noticed a box of alpha-bits cereal knocked over on the counter, and some of the letter-shaped cereal was arranged into the words “Take out the garbage - Mom.”  At first, Johnny was disappointed - it was his summer vacation - he didn’t want to take out the trash.  But then he remembered his high school biology class, in which the teacher had said that all life was a fortuitous accident created by random, natural processes; and applying high school biology to his home life, he concluded that no intelligent person was responsible for taking the cereal box out of the cupboard, laying it on its side, and arranging the letters into a message - maybe the cat had knocked over the cereal, maybe a strong wind had gusted through the open window and blew the letters into that pattern randomly.  And so he left the trash in the can and went to the beach.  Question 1: does Johnny’s thought process make any sense?  No, of course not.  Question 2: When Johnny gets home and his mom is there, what’s going to happen to Johnny?  There will be consequences.

Many academicians, militant atheists, and secular scientists scoff at us because we believe that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  They think themselves wise and us to be fools; but the opposite is true.  God in his word declares, “Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom…” (Job 28:28) and of them which deny God’s existence we read, “The fool hath said in his heart, ‘There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1)  Just because you say there isn’t a God doesn’t mean there isn’t a God; that’s as absurd as me saying “There’s no income tax because I don’t believe there is any income tax.”  You can believe that sincerely - it’s still there and you’ll still have to pay.  Someday, everyone will see Christ - both us who have believed on him as our Lord and Savior and every person who has looked at all the evidence for God, every person who heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and rejected and resisted and reviled him will see him.  And what will happen in that day?  We read, “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom of priests to serve his God and Father - to him be glory forever and ever!  Amen. (That’s our reaction.  What about those outside Christ?)  Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him.  So shall it be!  Amen.” (Revelation 1:5-7)  Let us than praise the God who created heaven and earth and all that therein is, who displays his power and divine nature in his works.  And let us pray for those who see the creation, but ignore the Creator.  Amen.