I have three questions concerning me a little bit.   1. My atheist friend says that random things can make something really complex, like random mutations in evoltuion.   2. He also says that humans create better things than God, for example the wild old bananas compared with the genetically modified ones.   3. What do you think about general relativity and how should a Christian interpret it?


On point #1, your friend is probably not a trained physicist or mathematician.  Otherwise he might not say what he is saying.  There is a grain of truth in what he is saying, by the way.  That grain of truth is this:  In living systems, with a MASSIVE amount of already-existing information and complexity, further complexity can be created through random processes of mutation.

But the problem with this statement is that it ignores the initial state of the system and how that initial state was achieved.  Evolution is not a means of creating an initially very complex system.  Systems with already-existing intelligence and information are capable of creating additional intelligence/information.  Look at what humans can do.  Like evolution, we create new kinds of information and complexity, and we do it much faster than evolution can.  This is not the central question.  The central question is this:  Whence arose life?  Evolution is not a theory of creation of life.  It is a theory of creation of additional species from already-existing species.  Science cannot explain how life originated from non-life.  Information is never created from a zero-information system.  When atheists have tried to create models for life coming from non-life, they always begin a system with a LOT of information in it.  They know what all well-trained scientists know, which is that information is not created through random interactions of non-informational systems.  Complexity is not self-generating.  This is implied in the second law of thermodynamics.  There is a chapter on this in my book Is There a God? (  Again, your friend has a point, but he appears not to understand the underlying problem.

Whether the bananas we eat are “better” than the ones created by God is highly debatable for this reason:  Cultivated bananas are not capable of self-replicating.  They taste better!  They are better agricultural commodities.  But they are not an improvement on what God created.  This, of course, is debatable.  Here is the problem.  God created the banana (through creating life initially and through evolution–a process he invented).  All humans can do is change the banana.  What we cannot do is create a banana from scratch.  GMCs only redistribute what was created by God through evolution.  It does not create significantly new information.  Can a human create atoms from nothing?  Can humans create physical laws which allow atoms to exist with properties appropriate to support life?  If humans can create something from nothing–if humans can create universes and natural laws all on their own, then I will begin to concede this point.  Can I be honest with you?  This point #2 is really pretty much ridiculous (but don’t tell your friend I said it that way)!

I think that general relativity is a very successful theory that Christians and non-Christians can study and use alike.  There are no important Christian implications in this theory other than to say that God created the universe with the laws it has, including relativity. Relativity helps to explain how a neutron can turn into a proton plus an electron.  There are an almost infinite number of reasons that relativity is essential to life.  If it were not for relativity, then atomic fusion would not generate energy.  Before Einstein’s theory, scientists had zero idea how a star works.  Relativity is a great theory.  It, along with all the other laws of nature are fantastically dramatic evidence for an intelligent designer/Creator.  As a scientist, a Christian should interpret the theory exactly the same as an atheist.  However, if one looks more deeply, one will see in relativity, quantum, and all the other models to explain how the universe a deep and abiding wisdom that can only be explained by allowing for the fact that the universe is designed by a very intelligent and powerful Creator.  Relativity only adds to this conclusion.

John Oakes

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