We are going to ask some of the difficult questions concerning faith, God, and the Bible in this series. Before we begin our examination, I want to urge every person to put away any preconceived notions or biases that you may have already formed and to be affected to a decision simply by the weight of the evidence. If you believe in God regardless of the evidence, I want you to set aside that bias and build a new foundation of faith based upon the evidence. If you do not believe in God, I also want you to set aside that bias and listen to the evidence to make a decision. When I was on a jury pool last year, this is exactly what the judge questioned us in our ability to do. You may have feelings about religion. You may have had different spiritual encounters. But you are asked to ignore your past feelings and prejudices and make a decision based upon the evidence. Some will believe in God no matter what evidence is presented. But this a person who is exhibiting blind faith and is worthy of criticism. Some will not believe in God no matter what evidence is presented. This person is also exhibiting blind faith and is worthy of criticism.
When Paul came to Athens in Acts 17, he did not attempt to prove the existence of God by using the Law of Moses. The arguments would not have been accepted by the Athenians. In the same way, and following Paul’s pattern, we cannot prove to the existence of God by using the scriptures. The person who does not know if there is a God does not accept the scriptures as the word of God. But God has created the world in such a way that though we cannot see Him, we can see His existence through what He has created.
Also, before we begin, if you have a “why” question concerning faith, the Bible, religion, or something of the like that you would like to have answered, write down your “why” question and hand it to me or put it in the question box on the table in the foyer. I want this series to legitimately answer your questions concerning faith and God. I hope this shows that this series is not going to simply answer the easy “why” questions, but we are willing to examine the difficult questions.
It is important to begin by realizing that there are only two alternatives when considering how everything got here. Either nature itself created all that we see (evolution) or God created all that we see (creation). There is not a third option. If a person does not like the tenets of evolution, there is not another theory to put your faith in. God is the only alternative.
We will spend more time in a future lesson talking about some of the specific deceptions in evolution. But, for now, I want us to realize that the general tenets of evolution are these:
Nothing produces everything. Originally there was nothing. At some point, nitrogen and hydrogen appeared in the universe. Also at some point, there was energy that sparked nitrogen and hydrogen to explode.
Non-life produces life. The nitrogen and hydrogen exploded, creating more complex molecules, which because to evolve into life-forming cells. However, this is a violation of one of the laws of the universe called the Law of Biogenesis. This law states that life comes from life. Non-life does not produce life.
Randomness produces fine-tuning. Random acts of chance caused life to become more and more complex. Given enough time and enough chances, everything that exists in the universe found its perfect balance.
Chaos produces information. Things went from a state of great disorder and chaos in the big bang to a great amount of complexity. However, this violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that everything in the universe is going from a state of order to disorder. Our bodies do not become more orderly as time goes on, but less orderly as we have more physical problems.
Unconsciousness produces consciousness. Over time, somehow humanity began to have a consciousness, though nothing like this existed in the past.
Non-reason produces reason. Also, somehow over time, humanity began to be able to think and reason, though nothing like this existed in the past.
I hope that at the very least we are able to make the point that evolution is not a “no-brainer.” Evolution demands a great amount of faith to suggest that nature, on its own accord and randomness, violated its own laws of the universe to bring about life. All of the complexity that we see today accidently came into being by chance and luck and nothing more.
Arguments For God
Cause and Effect. This is a very simplistic argument that many are not overwhelmed by. But it makes a good starting point, none of the less. Everything in this world has a cause and effect. It is the same reasoning that makes us long to understand what the magician did to pull a rabbit out of a hat. We know that a rabbit cannot come from nothing. Rabbits do not come out of empty hats. The rabbit must have come from somewhere. When David Copperfield has an empty stage, raises a curtain, and seconds later is sitting on a functioning motorcycle, we know that the motorcycle did not spontaneously come into existence. We know that the motorcycle did not come from nowhere. Here’s the point: even though we cannot see how the motorcycle got there, we know that somehow, someone put the motorcycle there. Even though we cannot see the rabbit be placed into the magician’s hat, we know that somehow the magician placed the rabbit into the hat. No one has ever claimed that nothing created something and the rabbit literally did materialize out of thin air. In the same way, it is unreasonable to look around and think that everything came out of nothing. Everything has a cause and effect. There is nothing in this world that we accept as coming from nothing. And though we cannot see God, we know he exists simply because everything comes from someone, somewhere. You would think I am crazy to believe that the rabbit literally materialize out of the air molecules surrounding the stage at a magic show. We should consider ourselves crazy for thinking that everything around us materialized out of nitrogen and hydrogen. Someone, somewhere always brings things into existence. To think, as a noted atheist stated, that “we came from nothing, by nothing, and for nothing,” seems intuitively and intellectually absurd. Even evolutionists and skeptics understand this point and argue that in the beginning there was nitrogen and hydrogen. Yet there is not explanation as to how the nitrogen and hydrogen came into existence. These elements are simply pulled out of the magic hat and we are asked to believe to accept that they came from nothing like the rabbit.
Physics. Modern science has discovered how precise and fine-tuned the universe is to be able inhabit life. There are more than thirty physical or cosmological parameters that require precise calibration in order to produce a universe that can sustain life. Physicist Robin Collins says gravity is fine-tuned to one part in a hundred million billion billion billion billion billion. Think of the odds that would be required for a random act of chance to hit just right to have gravity perfect for life. This physicist says that the possibilities lead us to these odds: 1/1052. That is a 10 with 52 zeros after it. The odds are ridiculous to think it happened by random luck. Multiply this with the other aspects necessary for life. The earth’s tilt is perfectly fine-tuned. Any degree off of the current tilt and the earth could not inhabit life. You have a 1/360 shot that the tilt will be just right. How about all of the distances that the earth could have exploded away from the sun? We know that if the earth were a mile closer it would be too hot for life, a mile further and it is too cold. Think of all the miles of possibilities. Hundreds of thousands of miles. Millions of miles. Yet the earth is in just the right spot for life. The odds of this are really 1 over infinity, because we have not found the end of space. But to be able to make some sort of calculation let just consider the odds within our own solar system. The earth is 93 million miles from the sun. Pluto, our former planet according to science, is 3660 million miles from the sun. Therefore, of all the places earth could have ended up, there is a 1/36606 chance it would be 93 million miles from the sun and thus able to inhabit life. Now multiply 1/3660 million by 1/1052 and that would be the odds of the earth being perfectly fine-tuned to this distance from the sun and also having the proper gravity. The odds are unfathomable to believe in. And we have only considered two aspects of the more than thirty parameters that are required for life. Multiply the odds of those other 28 parameters (like oxygen ratio, temperature, humidity, replenishing air, producing food, generating energy, disposing of wastes, electromagnetic fields, etc) and we are essentially at the impossible odds of the earth being perfectly built for human life by random chance and luck. Physicist Robin Collins calculated that just have two factors, the cosmological constant and the force of gravity, and the odds of it being just right for life is 1/1077.
Oxford physicist Roger Penrose said that the parameter “original phase-space volume” required fine-tuning to an accuracy of one part in ten billion multiplied by itself 123 times. It would be impossible to write down that number in full, since it would require more zeroes than the number of elementary particles in the entire universe. This is the precision needed to set the universe on its course.
Take a coin. The odds of flipping heads 50 times in a row is about 1/1014. If I were able to do it, you would assume the coin was rigged rather than think that this was a possibility. In the same way, there is evidence that the universe has been rigged, that is, intelligently designed and is not the product of random chance.
Patrick Glynn was a confirmed atheist by the time he received his doctorate from Harvard University. He is currently the associate director of the George Washington University Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. He said, “As recently as twenty-five years ago, a reasonable person weighing the purely scientific evidence on the issue would likely have come down on the side of skepticism. That is no longer the case. Today the concrete date point strongly in the direction of the God hypothesis. It is the simplest and most obvious solution to the anthropic puzzle.”
Paul Davies, a skeptical professor of theoretical physics at the University of Adelaide, said: “Through my scientific work I have come to believe more and more strongly that the physical universe is put together with an ingenuity so astonishing that I cannot accept it merely as brute fact. I cannot believe that our existence in this universe is a mere quirk of fate, an accident of history, an incidental blip in this great cosmic drama.”
Astronomy, Biology, and Botany. We have not even begun to add the faith needed to believe that random luck brought about the perfect balance of the earth. The plants produce the oxygen we need. Humans produce the carbon dioxide that plants need. The earth has the perfect balance of water upon it, which is why the global warming group freaks out about melting ice caps. Anymore water released and it changes the perfectly fine-tuned balance of the earth.
Consider the complexity of our human body. We do not even have to think to breathe. Our body does things on automatic. If we evolved, our bodies should have all sorts of evolutionary baggage, leftovers of anatomies previously used. While attempts have been made to proclaim such leftovers, those have been explained and we will examine those in more detail in a future lesson. I believe our daughter is an example of the finely-tuned body. She has two chromosome 15s from the mother rather than one from each of us. This has a dramatic impact upon her intelligence, her eating, her weight, her muscle tone, and many more things all because she has two of the same. She is not missing one nor has a deletion. The body was built with perfect balance and one change causes dramatic problems.
How does one evolve blood clotting? Blood clots in the wrong place cause death. Too little blood clotting and you bleed to death. Too much and you will die. How many people would have died before this evolution became perfect? No human would be left as person and person bled to death trying to evolve the right mixture of blood clotting capabilities.
Morality. If there is no good, where does the innate sense of morality come from? Why do we know that killing a person is wrong? Why does every person know that there is a right and wrong and that there is some sort of standard for morality? Morality without God is nonsensical. Why be moral if there is no God? Why not kill the weaker and chalk it up to being the survival of the fittest? This is exactly what Hitler argued in his extermination of the Jews.
Higher purpose. Finally, I will leave you with the inner desire to know why we are here and what our purpose is. All of us want to know the meaning of life. All of us consider that there is something more to life. If there is no God, then all answers are pointless. Life has no value. You are simply an act of random chance and luck. You have no purpose in life given to you. But these things defy our innate beliefs that there must be a reason. God suggests there is a reason, evolution says there is no reason, just luck.
Faith does not contradict science. Faith is built upon the science. There is nothing blind about believing there is a God. The evidence in the universe is overwhelming. The scriptures tell us that the universe reveals God. From the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly observed in what he made (Romans 1:20).
If there is no God, then what is your explanation for the universe? Will you accept the outrageous odds that everything that exists in perfect balance did so against all the odds? Will you believe that you can flip a coin two hundred times and get heads each time? Your faith in these odds is greater than the faith required to look around a figure out that someone made all that we see. You have not met the watchmaker but you know your watch was made because of its complexity, accuracy, and power. You have not seen God but you know He exists because of the universe’s complexity, perfection, and power.
Why not believe in God? The weight of the evidence stands against disbelief.