ETERNAL DESIGN OR INFINITE ACCIDENT? by John N. Clayton
The existence of God is a subject that has occupied schools of philosophy and
theology for thousands of years. Most of the time, these debates have revolved
around all kinds of assumptions and definitions. Philosophers will spend a lifetime
arguing about the meaning of a word and never really get there. One is reminded
of the college student who was asked how his philosophy class was going. He
replied that they had not done much because when the teacher tried to call roll,
the kids kept arguing about whether they existed or not.
Most of us who live and work in the real world do not concern ourselves with
such activities. We realize that such discussions may have value and interest
in the academic world, but the stress and pressure of day-to-day life forces
us to deal with a very pragmatic way of making decisions. If I ask you to prove
to me that you have $2.00, you would show it to me. Even in more abstract things
we use common sense and practical reasoning. If I ask you whether a certain
person is honest or not, you do not flood the air with dissertations on the relative
nature of honesty; you would give me evidence one way or the other. The techniques
of much of the philosophical arguments that go on would eliminate most of engineering
and technology if they were applied in those fields.
The purpose of this brief study is to offer a logical, practical, pragmatic
proof of the existence of God from a purely scientific perspective. To do this,
we are assuming that we exist, that there is reality, and that the matter of
which we are made is real. If you do not believe that you exist, you have bigger
problems than this study will entail and you will have to look elsewhere.
If we do exist, there are only two possible explanations as to how our existence
came to be. Either we had a beginning or we did not have a beginning. The Bible
says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1 :1).
The atheist has always maintained that there was no beginning. The idea is that
matter has always existed in the form of either matter or energy; and all that
has happened is that matter has been changed from form to form, but it has always
been. The Humanist Manifesto says, "Matter is self-existing and not created,"
and that is a concise statement of the atheist’s belief.
The way we decide whether the atheist is correct or not is to see what science
has discovered about this question. The picture below on the left represents
our part of the cosmos. Each of the disk shaped objects is a galaxy like our
Milky Way. All of these galaxies are moving relative to each other. Their movement
has a very distinct pattern which causes the distance between the galaxies to
get greater with every passing day. If we had three galaxies located at positions
A, B. and C in the second diagram below, and if they are located as shown, tomorrow
they will be further apart. The triangle they form will be bigger. The day after
tomorrow the triangle will be bigger yet. We live in an expanding universe that
gets bigger and bigger and bigger with every passing day.
Now let us suppose that we made time run backwards! If we are located at a certain
distance today, then yesterday we were closer together. The day before that,
we were still closer. Ultimately, where must all the galaxies have been? At
a point! At the beginning! At what scientists call a singularity!
A second proof is seen in the energy sources that fuel the cosmos. The picture
to the right is a picture of the sun. Like all stars, the sun generates its
energy by a nuclear process known as thermonuclear fusion. Every second that
passes, the sun? compresses 564 million tons of hydrogen into 560 million tons of
helium with 4 million tons of matter released as energy. In spite of that tremendous
consumption of fuel, the sun has only used up 2% of the hydrogen it had the
day it came into existence. This incredible furnace is not a process confined
to the sun. Every star in the sky generates its energy in the same way. Throughout
the cosmos there are 25 quintillion stars, each converting hydrogen into helium,
thereby reducing the total amount of hydrogen in the cosmos. Just think about
it! If everywhere in the cosmos hydrogen is being consumed and if the process
has been going on forever, how much hydrogen should be left?
Suppose I attempt to drive my automobile without putting any more gas (fuel)
into it. As I drive and drive, what is eventually going to happen? I am going
to run out of gas.? If the cosmos has been here forever, we would have run out
of hydrogen long ago! The fact is, however, that the sun still has 98% of its original
hydrogen. The fact is that hydrogen is the most abundant material in the universe!
Everywhere we look in space we can see the hydrogen 21 cm line in the spectrum_a
piece of light only given off by hydrogen. This could not be unless we had a beginning!
A third scientific proof that the atheist is wrong is seen in the second law
of thermodynamics. In any closed system, things tend to become disordered. If
an automobile is driven for years and years without repair, for example, it
will become so disordered that it would not run any more. Getting old is simple conformity
to the second law of thermodynamics. In space, things also get old. Astronomers
refer to the aging process as heat death. If the cosmos is "everything that
ever was or is or ever will be," as Dr. Carl Sagan was so fond of saying, nothing
could be added to it to improve its order or repair it. Even a universe that
expands and collapses and expands again forever would die because it would lose
light and heat each time it expanded and rebounded.
The atheist’s assertion that matter/energy is eternal is scientifically wrong.
The biblical assertion that there was a beginning is scientifically correct.
If we know the creation has a beginning, we are faced with another logical question:
Was the creation caused or was it not caused? The Bible states, "In the beginning
God created the heavens and the earth." Not only does the Bible maintain that
there was a cause – a creation – but it also tells us what the cause was. It
was God. The atheist tells us that "matter is self-existing and not created."
If matter had a beginning and yet was uncaused, one must logically maintain
that something would have had to come into existence out of nothing. From empty
space with no force, no matter, no energy, and no intelligence, matter would
have to become existent. Even if this could happen by some strange new process
unknown to science today, there is a logical problem.
In order for matter to come out of nothing, all of our scientific laws dealing
with the conservation of matter/energy would have to be wrong, invalidating
all of chemistry. All of our laws of conservation of angular momentum would
have to be wrong, invalidating all of physics. All of our laws of conservation of
electric charge would have to be wrong, invalidating all of electronics and
demanding that your TV set not work!! Your television set may not work, but
that is not the reason! In order to believe matter is uncaused, one has to discard
known laws and principles of science. No reasonable person is going to do this
simply to maintain a personal atheistic position.
The atheist’s assertion that matter is eternal is wrong. The atheist’s assertion
that the u
niverse is uncaused and selfexisting is also incorrect The Bible’s
assertion that there was a beginning which was caused is supported strongly
by the available scientific evidence.
If we know that the creation had a beginning and we know that the beginning
was caused, there is one last question for us to answer–what was the cause?
The Bible tells us that God was the cause. We are further told that the God
who did the causing did so with planning and reason and logic. Romans 1:20 tells
us that we can know God is "through the things he has made." The atheist, on
the other hand, will try to convince us that we are the product of chance. Julian
Huxley once said:
We are as much a product of blind forces as is the falling of a stone to earth
or the? ebb and flow of the tides. We have just happened, and man was made flesh
by a long series? of singularly beneficial accidents.
The subject of design has been one that has been explored in many different
ways. For most of us, simply looking at our newborn child is enough to rule
out chance. Modern-day scientists like Paul Davies and Frederick Hoyle and others
are raising elaborate objections to the use of chance in explaining natural phenomena.
A principle of modern science has emerged in the 1980s called "the anthropic
principle." The basic thrust of the anthropic principle is that chance is simply
not a valid mechanism to explain the atom or life. If chance is not valid, we are
constrained to reject Huxley’s claim and to realize that we are the product
of an intelligent God.
Hoyle, Frederick, The Intelligent Universe, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1983.
Humanist Manifesto I and 11, Prometheus Books, 700 East Amherst St.,
?Buffalo, NY 14215, 1985.