In this book, we will principally consider the miracles performed
by Jesus Christ during his approximately three year ministry on the earth.  We will
ask questions about the evidence that these miracles actually happened.  We will make
the effort to consider what is implied on a physical, scientific level by the
miracles recorded in the Bible.  We will also consider the spiritual implications
of the signs and wonders worked by Jesus and others, as recorded in the Word
of God.  In the present chapter, we will step back a little bit further and consider
the miracle of the initial creation itself.  In addition, we will consider another,
equally spectacular miracle, which many do not think about much at all.  We will
spend some time thinking about the every day, on-going miracle of God, through
Jesus Christ sustaining the initial creation.

The Gospel of John begins with this astounding statement regarding Jesus, the
incarnate Word:


    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God. He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him
nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light
of men.  (John 1:1-4)


Paul echoes these thoughts in his letter to the disciples in Colosse: 


    He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. [16]
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and
invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were
created by him and for him. [17] He is before all things, and in him all things
hold together. [18] And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning
and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the
supremacy. [19] For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him?          
  (Colossians. 1:15-19).


And the writer of Hebrews introduces Jesus in this way:


    In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times
and in various ways, [2] but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son,
whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.
[3] The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his
being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification
for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:1-3).


Consider some of the claims made about the Son in these scriptures.  He pre-existed with
the Father.  There was never a time when Jesus did not exist.  He was with God and at the
same time he was God.  There is a mountain of theology contained in this one
statement.  Hundreds of books have been written about this concept.   Our primary concern here
is not with the theology, but with the factual implications of the claim that
Jesus is creator and sustainer.    According to John, Jesus is the co-creator of all that
is, both in the visible realm and in the invisible, spiritual realm.  Not only is
Jesus the co-creator, he is also the sustainer of all things.  Paul agrees with John. 
As he puts it, ?in him all things hold together.? (Colossians 1:17).  Jesus ?sustains
all things by his powerful word.? (Hebrews 1:3).  If John and Paul are right, then
without the divine intervention of Jesus, the physical world would somehow simply
fall apart.  Paul continues to say that Jesus is the visible image (Colossians 1:
15) and the exact representation of the Almighty God (Hebrews 1:3).  Quite a resume! 

From God?s perspective the fact that there is a single (monotheistic) creator
of all things should be obvious to everyone.  ?For since the creation of the world God?s
invisible qualities?his eternal power and divine nature?have been clearly seen,
being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.? (Romans
1:20).  As a scientist with a PhD in chemistry and physics, and with twenty years
of research and teaching experience, I find myself in thorough agreement with
this claim of God.  In the four hundred or so years since the scientific revolution
hit Western Europelike a storm, scientists have made absolutely astounding progress
in understanding the basic laws and the underlying workings of the physical
universe and of the myriad life forms which inhabit our tiny portion of the
creation.  Having the ability to understand at least a part of how the system works is
one thing, but trying to think about God having the unimaginable wisdom to conceive
of the laws and processes required for the physical and the living world to
function is enough to give one a headache.  Add to that the apparent fact that God had
to power to pull all of this off:  creating the matter and energy, and setting it
all in motion in a way which led to the end result we can see today and one
is left speechless.

Before the advent of the Jews, all of the ancient human cultures conceived of
the world as essentially chaotic; governed by many gods and the whims of those
gods.  The goal of religious activity was to appease the gods.  Nature was unpredictable
because the gods were unpredictable.  The idea of a universal Creator who miraculously both
caused and sustains everything in that creation was not known.  Not known, that is,
until a relatively insignificant people know as the Hebrews brought to the world
a brand new idea.  Noted atheist and Nobel-Prize winning expert on the origin of
life, Melvin Calvin noticed this:


?The fundamental conviction that the universe is ordered is the first and strongest
tenet {of scientists}.  As I try to discern the origin of that conviction, I seem to find
it in a basic notion discovered 2000 or 3000 years ago, and enunciated first
in the Western world by the ancient Hebrews:  namely that the universe is governed by
a single God, and is not the product of the whims of many gods, each governing
his own province according to his own laws.  This monotheistic view seems to be the
historical foundation of modern science.?


According to Melvin Calvin, the historical root of science and of the scientific
method was monotheistic belief.  A glimpse at the history of science will confirm this
statement.  In fact, the scientific revolution began in the context of ?Christian? Western
Europe.  Belief in a single, all-powerful God led to an intellectual movement which
traces its roots to before the Renaissance.  It began with natural philosophers such as
Roger Bacon (1214-1292).  Bacon was a Franciscan monk who some have described as the first
scientist.  To quote Bacon from his Opus Majus;


?The result of all true philosophy is to arrive at a knowlege of the Creator
through knowlege of the created world.? 


In order to discover the workings of natural law, Bacon urged the use of;


?External experience, aided by instruments, made precise by mat




Because of his concept of God, Bacon believed that experiments would uncover
invariant laws of mathematical precision governing the universe.  The discoveries of
scientists in the following seven centuries proved Bacon?s insight to be profound.

            William of Ockham (1285-1349) is considered by many to be the first
of the reformers?a precursor to Luther, Zwingli and Calvin.  Ockham was also a natural
philosopher.  He rejected human authority as an ultimate source of truth about the world,


?Nothing is assumed as evident unless it is known per se, or is evident by experience,
or is proved by authority of scripture.?


Like Roger Bacon, Ockham proposed that knowledge of God?s work is gained through
logic (things known per se), experiment (evident by experience) and scripture.

            Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642) agreed with his predecessors.  Galileo was perhaps
the most important influence in creating the scientific revolution.  He was the first to
discover predictable, mathematically precise natural behavior in the laboratory.  Conc
erning the relationship between natural philosophy (science) and religion, Galileo
said in his letter to the Duchess Christina;


?For the Holy Bible and the phenomena of nature proceed alike from the divine
Word, the former as the dictate of the Holy Spirit, the latter as the observant
executor of God?s commands.?


Nikolai Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Galileo, Robert Boyle, Isaac
Newton,? the list could go on.  All of the founders of modern science based their
search for order in nature on a belief in a single all-knowing Creator.  To quote from N


Whence is it that Nature does nothing in vain; and whence arises all that order
and beauty which we see in the world??


Of course, Newtonsaw the source of all that order and beauty in the Creator.  One of
the rules of thumb amongst scientist is that the most useful and well-accepted
hypotheses are those with the broadest predictive power.   By that standard, it would
be safe to say that the initial hypothesis of all these great scientists?that
there is a single Creator and sustainer of the natural world who created invariant,
mathematically precise laws?has been the most fruitful and powerful hypothesis ever
derived by scientists.


            King David of Israelexpressed a thought similar to that of Newt
onas he looked at the natural world;


?The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;

night after night they display knowledge

There is no speech or language

where their voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out into all the earth,

their words to the ends of the world.


The heavens and the earth do indeed declare the glory of God and his awesome,
amazing miracle-working power and creative work. 

Some would say that a careful look at nature through the eyes of scientific
discovery removes the need to invoke God to explain the natural world.  The mathemati
cal physicist, LaPlace developed a mechanical model for the solar system in
the early nineteenth century which could explain the motion of the planets almost
completely.  After reading M?canique c?leste by Laplace, Napoleon is said to have questioned
him on his neglect to mention God.  Laplacereplied that he had no need for that
hypothesis (Boyer 1968, p. 538).  Perhaps Laplacecan be forgiven for his hyperbole.
Despite rumors to the contrary, scientific discovery had not removed the need
for God to explain the workings of nature.  What it has done is reveal, in seemingly
unlimited detail, the wisdom of God?s creation.  When Newtonand later Laplacediscove
red the mechanics of planetary motion, they were simply discovering the laws
by which God established the heavens in their motion.  When Copernicus, Galileo and
Kepler discovered that the earth is not the center of the universe, but that
it, with the planets, moves around the sun, they did not disprove the Bible.  Wha
t they disproved was an incorrect interpretation of the Bible. 

Let us consider some of the amazing beauty and wisdom of God?s creation.  Like already
mentioned, although all early scientists were believers in God, by the nineteenth
century a minority of scientists were beginning to use science to support a
belief that there is no God.  They predicted with confidence that further scientific
discovery would make this conclusion more and more obvious.  More recent discoveries
have in fact made the atheist assumption less and less tenable.

For example, applying an atheistic presupposition, by the early twentieth century,
many scientists had concluded that the universe had already existed (this despite
the fact that the Second Law of Thermodynamics seems to preclude that possibility).
(reference the chapter on thermodynamics in Is There a God?)  The assumption that the
universe has always existed seemed to remove a creator from the equation.  Then, in 1929,
Edwin Hubble announced his discovery that the universe is rapidly expanding?
the farther away a galaxy is from ours, the larger the ?red shift? of light
reaching us from that object.   (The effect is called the ?red shift? because light
from objects receding from us produce absorbance lines which are lower in frequency,
i.e. more red, than normal; similar to the lower frequency of a race car when
it passes). In other words, the farther away distant heavenly objects are, the faster
they are moving away from us. 

Using this discovery, Georges LeMaitre and Alexander Friedman, with the support
of George Gamow devised what is now known as the Big Bang Theory.  According to the
Big Bang model, the universe was created in a crazily massive flash of light,
from which all the energy and matter in the universe derived.   According to the working
models of the Big Bang, the universe, once formed, expanded rapidly and cooled.  T
he models were used to predict that background microwave radiation at a temperature
of just a few degrees Kelvin should fill the universe.  When Penzias and Wilson discovered
this ?background radiation? in 1963 by accident using a microwave antenna, the
Big Bang theory seemed to be confirmed.   By the 1960?s the scientific community was nearly
unanimous in accepting that the universe was indeed created.  What is amazing about
the scientific models is that it appears that when matter and energy were created,
time and space were created as well.  If the Big Bang model is correct, and further
experiment seems to strongly support belief that it is, then the universe?matter,
energy, time and space itself?are the product of what can only be described
as a miraculous creation.

The story definitely does not end there.  There are many very interesting implications
of the Big Bang model as they relate to the creation of the universe.  One of the fundamental

aspects of the universe is the size of the gravitational force.  Newton?s equation
for gravity is F = Gm1m2/d2, where m1 and m2 are the masses which are attracted
by force F and d is the distance between the objects.  G is the universal gravitational
constant, which has as its value 6.67×10-11 Nm2/kg2.  What is interesting is that when
cosmologists fit the size of the gravitational constant to the size and energy
of the big bang, they made an amazing discovery.  To quote the world?s most famous cosmologist,
Stephen Hawking, ?If the rate of expansion one second after the Big Bang had
been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million it would
have recollapsed before it reached its present size.?  (Stephen Hawking, A Brief
History of Time, (Bantam Books, New York, 1988), p 121)  In other words if the value
of G were larger by one part in 1017, the universe would have collapsed soon after
forming.  If it had been smaller by a similar amount, galaxies, stars and planets would
never have formed.  Apparently, the creator ?fine tuned? the value of the gravity constant
so that we could exist.  To quote Hawking, ?The odds against a universe like ours
emerging out of something like the Big Bang are enormous.  I think there are clearly
religious implications.?  (ibid, p 121)  I certainly would agree with Hawking?s assessment that
there are religious implications.  To quote from Robert Jastrow, noted astrophysicist,


?At this moment it seems as though science will never be able to raise the curtain
of the mystery of creation.  For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power
of reason, the story ends like a bad dream.  He has scaled the mountains of ignorance;
he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final
rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for
centuries.? (R. Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, (W. W. Norton, New York, 1978).


But that is not all, not even close.  There are four fundamental forces in nature,
which are the gravitational, the electromagnetic, the nuclear strong and nuclear
weak forces.  The nuclear strong force is required for the nuclei of atoms to hold
together.  According to the Big Bang model, if the value of the nuclear strong force
constant were just a very small amount smaller than it actually is, there would
be only hydrogen in the universe, and therefore nuclear fusion, and, obviously
no life.  If the strong force constant were slightly larger, then there would have
been no hydrogen in the universe, and therefore no nuclear fusion in stars,
and obviously no life.  The same idea applies to the electromagnetic force.  This is the
force which holds electrons on atoms and which holds molecules together.  If this force
were just a little stronger, then there would be no covalently bonded molecules
and no life in the universe.  If it were just very slightly smaller, then the complex
molecules needed to support life would immediately fall apart.  One can argue for
luck, but reason cries out that this is not a coincidence.  The fundamental forces of nature
were created to sustain a stable universe in which advanced life forms can exist.

Like King David said, the heavens and the earth declare the glory of God.  So do
the fundamental particles out of which all matter is composed.  It just so happens that
the nuclear weak force is also very finely tuned to allow life to exist.  In fact,
as astrophysicists, physicists and chemists look around, more examples of what
is called the anthropic principle pop up at every turn.  The anthropic principle
is a unifying explanation of the laws of nature which explains the laws of nature
by the following premise.  The laws of nature and the constants of nature are such as
they are because they were created that way in order for advanced life forms
to be able to exist in the universe.  Examples of facts which seem to support this unifying
view of nature abound.  For example, the nuclear energy constants for elements affect
the abundance of those elements in nature.  The amount of the element carbon in the
universe is extremely sensitive to the value of the nuclear energy levels.  For the
isotope 12C, the value is just barely above the sum of the values for 8Be and 4H
e.  If the value of this constant were only very slightly different, in either
direction, there would be very little carbon in the universe, and no life.  Simi
lar arguments hold for the precise fine tuning of the constants for the isotopes 8Be
?and 16O.  One could also mention the fine tuning of the stability of protons,
the mass ratio of the proton and electron, the homogeneity of matter in the
universe and many other properties of the universe which bear the fingerprint
of God, the Creator of this beautiful system of laws and fundamental constants.
 In each case, a very small change in either direction of the actual value of
these constants would produce a universe in which advanced forms of life could
not exist.  In a desperate attempt to save their atheistic presuppositions, some have
proposed that there are an infinite number of universes, and that we happen
to live in the one which can support life.  It seems much wiser to admit the obvious,
which is that we are the marvelous creation of an all-powerful God.

            Whether or not physicists publicly subscribe to the anthropic principle,
the fact is that it is very difficult to find a true atheist in the ranks of
physicists, largely because the facts of nature seem to make the atheist assumption
impossible to support.

            Evidence for the miraculous wisdom and power of the creator are
found in chemistry as well.  When God conceived of and created the universe with
its natural laws, he created quantum mechanics.   In the creator?s wisdom, he made particles
such as electrons behave with wave-like properties.  Physicists such as Albert Einstein,
Max Planck, Erwin Shr?dinger, Werner Heisenberg and Louis Debroglie discovered
in the first half of the twentieth century that light, contrary to what seems
to be common sense, acts both like a wave (having properties of wavelength, frequency
and refraction and so forth), and at the same time as particles, containing
countable photons.  Similarly, particles such as electrons were found to have wave-like
properties such as wavelength, diffraction and so forth.  Having taught quantum mechanics
many times, I still am left unable to logically grasp how particles can act
like waves.  To quote Richard Feynman, "The theory of quantum electrodynamics describes
Nature as absurd from the point of view of common-sense."  Absurd, indeed, but
very effective in allowing life to exist. The wave-like nature of electrons
is absolutely essential to how the universe works and to the sustaining of living
things.  The wave-like properties of matter are required for fusion to occur in the
sun.  They are also responsible for the electronic properties of atoms. 

            When God imagined and created the laws of nature, he simultaneously
created the periodic properties of the elements, which a
re based on the odd
wave-like behavior of electrons.  For example, life would be impossible without the unique
chemical properties of the element hydrogen.  Without hydrogen bonding proteins and nucleic
acids would not have their amazing and beautiful structures. 

Hydrogen bonding is necessary for the unique and essential properties of water
as well. Advanced life forms require a solvent for nutrients to move around
and for all of life?s chemical reactions to occur.  Of all the millions of compounds
which exist, only one, water, has the required properties to sustain life.  Thos
e required properties include a fairly high boiling point combined with a relatively
light molecule, the ability to dissolve both ions and covalent molecules, a
high heat capacity, and another unique property of water, which is that its
solid (ice) floats in its liquid.  If water did not have an extremely high heat capacity,
the temperature of the earth would fluctuate by hundreds of degrees, which would
make the existence of complex life forms impossible.  The fact that solid ice floats in
liquid water is unique among all compounds.  It is also required to keep bodies of water
from freezing solid in the winter, which is also required for advanced life
forms to exist over the long run on a planet.

There are a number of elements in the periodic chart whose properties are unique
and which are required for life to exist.  Among these unique and necessary elements
is carbon.  Carbon is the only of the one hundred or so elements which has the properties
required for it to be the element on which the molecules of living things are
built.  It is only carbon which forms four bonds, required for three dimensional molecules
to form (actually, silicon does as well, but it has none of the other required
properties to be the building block element of life).  Without tetravalent carbon,
there would be no way for such complex three-dimensional molecules as proteins
and nucleic acids to form.  Carbon is the only element to form stable large molecules
with itself and other elements.  Coincidentally, the region of temperature in which carbon-based
compounds are sufficiently reactive to perform metabolic reactions but also
stable is approximately the same as the range of temperature over which water
is a liquid.  Using the anthropic principle, this is not a coincidence, but a sign
of the wisdom of God.

            One could mention the absolute requirement of living systems for
an element with the unique and absolutely essential properties of oxygen or
those of iron or sodium or phosphorus or calcium.  The wisdom of God permeates the periodic

            When one considers the chemistry of living things the miraculous
creative power and wisdom of God is revealed once more.  In 1858, when Darwinpub
lished his wonderful book, The Origin of Species, the chemical basis of life
was virtually unknown.  The contents of a cell were completely unknown.  Scientists have come
a long way in this regard.  Gregor Mendel discovered phenomenological genetics with
its dominant and recessive genes and so forth at about the same time Origin
?of Species was published.  However, the molecular basis of heredity remained unknown until the
work of Watson, Crick and Franklin, published in 1953.  These chemists discovered
the now-famous double-helical structure of DNA. 

DNA is a miracle in itself.  The structure of this macromolecule is both complex and
elegant.  DNA stores the coded information required to produce all the molecules required
for a living thing to take in food, digest it, turn the digested molecules into
usable energy, to move, to protect themselves against chemical and living enemies,
to reproduce and so forth.  There is more information in the DNA of the simplest microbe than
in a thousand-page novel.  DNA contains coded information which allows it to direct
the synthesis of proteins.  Proteins are the work-horse molecules which do most of the
chemistry in a living cell.  Imagine the wisdom of the one who dreamed up this system! 
?God had to create a universe in which the elements phosphorus, nitrogen, hydrogen,
carbon and oxygen would all have just the right properties to allow for the
formation of a molecule stable enough to last for years without changing, yet
easily reproduced (replication) and easily copied to form its parallel compound
RNA (transcription) which is used to actually synthesize the protein (translation). 

One of the amazing and wonderful things about DNA is that it is made up of non-random
sequences of four different nucleotides, adenine, guanine, thymine and cytosine.  Th
e order of these nucleotides is a code which allows the DNA to intelligently
direct the synthesis of proteins.  A set of three nucleotides forms a codon.  Each codon is
a code for adding one of the twenty naturally occurring amino acids which combine
to form proteins.  Proteins are comprised of hundreds or even thousands of these amino
acids.  One change in the sequence and the protein, in general, ceases to function. 

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