Apr 26, 2020

The Evidence for God

As a Christian ministry co-leader who maintains our social media accounts, I encounter a lot of atheist trolls. Even though I don't target non-believers — our ministry is not evangelical — they find us anyway. In a sense, they are more "evangelical" than we are, actively seeking to convert people of faith to their faithless cause.

Although many of my exchanges with atheists amount to little more than exchanging insults (erudite insults, but insults nonetheless), these experiences have proved valuable. I've learned a lot about what motivates atheists (spoiler alert: it's emotions) and how they think. Surprisingly, they are much less rational and scientific in their thinking than one might expect.

A case in point: Atheists' No. 1 argument is some form of "prove it." Prove God exists.

Fair enough. I usually start by explaining that if God were provable in the empirical sense, we would speak of our religion as our "science" and not our "faith." The fact we cannot prove the existence of God (not yet) is implicit in the words we use. It may make an atheist feel superior to point out that I can't use the scientific method on my beliefs about God, but that's a rather pedestrian point. As those old Geico commercials put it: "Everybody knows that."

Still, even though it's a straw-man argument, score one for the atheists, I suppose.

But then the atheists get too cocky. They say things like: "There is no evidence for God." Whoa. Hold on now.

There are many types of evidence. The empirical kind is just one. Greg Koukl uses the analogy of a court of law. An attorney may use empirical evidence to make a case, but he or she will also use circumstantial evidence, testimony and so on. The word "evidence" just means facts and other information you use to arrive at the truth, and in that sense there is plenty of evidence for God.

From the largest thing to the smallest things, from the universe to the DNA in our cells, the evidence for God is everywhere.

THE UNIVERSE

The scientific consensus is that the universe had a beginning. It began to exist at some point in the past. Whatever begins to exist must have a cause of its beginning. Therefore, the universe must have a cause of its beginning.

This is the "Kalam Cosmological Argument," and its logic is hard to resist. I’ll let the creator of the argument, William Lane Craig, take it from here:
What properties must this cause of the universe possess? This cause must be itself uncaused because...an infinite series of causes is impossible. It is therefore the Uncaused First Cause. It must transcend space and time, since it created space and time. Therefore, it must be immaterial and non-physical. It must be unimaginably powerful, since it created all matter and energy.

Finally...this Uncaused First Cause must also be a personal being...endowed with freedom of the will. His creating the universe is a free act which is independent of any prior determining conditions. So his act of creating can be something spontaneous and new. Freedom of the will enables one to get an effect with a beginning from a permanent, timeless cause. Thus, we are brought not merely to a transcendent cause of the universe but to its Personal Creator.
EARTH

Life on earth is further evidence for the existence of God. Scientists speak of the "Goldilocks Zone," the area around a star where the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold (like Goldilocks' preferred porridge) for liquid water to exist. Earth is within that rare zone. It is "just right" in this way — and many others. As Larry Ballard wrote in a letter to his granddaughter, our planet has:
…just the right size; just the right seasons dictated by just the right tilt of Earth’s axis; just the right magnetic field with just the right intensity; just the right-sized moon creating just the right tides and just the right continental drift; just the right ratio of oxygen to nitrogen; just the right ratios of carbon dioxide to water vapor—and on and on and on.
This concept applies to the universe as well. Ballard continues:
[Then] there’s the incredibly fine-tuned constants of physics that dictate the precise constitution of our physical universe—the force of gravity, the strong and weak nuclear forces, the initial entropy of the universe, the cosmological constant, the proton-neutron mass difference, the expansion rate of the universe, and on and on—with a miniscule change in of any one of them resulting in a universe completely unfit for life anywhere.
This is another scientific concept known as the "Rare Earth hypothesis." According to Wikipedia:
In planetary astronomy and astrobiology, the Rare Earth hypothesis argues that the origin of life and the evolution of biological complexity such as sexually reproducing, multicellular organisms on Earth (and, subsequently, human intelligence) required an improbable combination of astrophysical and geological events and circumstances.
CELLS

In On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin wrote:
If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.
Thanks to advances in science since Darwin's time, we now know that every living cell is "full of microscopic nanomachines made of molecules that are irreducibly complex," as Ballard put it. Alter or remove one part and the entire machine breaks down. This means cells could not have formed by the step-by-step evolutionary process Darwin imagined.

DNA

DNA is a detailed blueprint for building the amazingly complex biological machines around us, including the staggeringly sophisticated human body. Another way to think of DNA is as software code. But while computer code is ultimately two numbers (ones and zeros), DNA consists of four "letters" (the nucleotides A,C,G,T) that make it significantly more complex. As biologist Michael Denton explains:
The capacity of DNA to store information vastly exceeds that of any other known system; it is so efficient that all the information needed to specify an organism as complex as man weighs less than a few thousand millionths of a gram. The information necessary to specify the design of all the species of organisms which have ever existed on the planet…could be held in a teaspoon and there would still be room left for all the information in every book ever written.
CONCLUSION

As usual, the Apostle Paul put it best: "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made." (Romans 1:20)

As the above has shown, there is plenty of scientific evidence to support his claim. The existence of God is not just a matter of faith. After all, which requires more faith: Accepting evidence of design as evidence for a Designer? Or believing that all of the above is just coincidence and chance?

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