“Say What?” Series: Is there a God? Bill Akright B.S. Mathematics M.S. Industrial Engineering Can God’s Existence be Proved? Proof is a rather subjective commodity. God’s existence cannot be proved in a mathematical or scientific sense. Instead we should ask if belief in God’s existence is reasonable. Life Without God? Each of us will one day grow old, die, and our bodies disintegrate. What then? If the moral and the immoral eventually come to the same end, what does it matter how we live our lives? Life Without God? “No species, ours included, possesses a purpose beyond the imperatives created by its genetic history…we have no particular place to go.” E. O. Wilson Life Without God? “There are only three types of people; those who have found God and serve him; those who have not found God and seek him, and those who live not seeking, or finding him. The first are rational and happy; the second unhappy and rational, and the third foolish and unhappy.” Blaise Pascal Evidence for God The Cosmological Argument The Teleological Argument The Moral Argument Cosmological Argument: Why Is There Something Rather than Nothing? The universe had a beginning. Anything that had a beginning must have been caused by something else. Therefore the universe was caused by something else (a Creator). Cosmology’s Big Bang “Horrendous space kablooie” Calvin “The universe began as a ‘particle’ that was infinitely dense and occupied no space.” Cosmology’s Big Bang Something must be eternal The material universe had a beginning and, therefore, is not eternal Something immaterial, spiritual, or supernatural MUST be eternal Reactions “Philosophically, the notion of a beginning is repugnant to me. . . . I should like to find a genuine loophole.” “We [must] allow evolution an infinite time to get started.” Sir Arthur Eddington “It is simpler to postulate creation ex nihilo- divine will constituting nature out of nothingness.” Edmund Whitaker “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.” Robert Jastrow Teleological Argument: Is the Universe and Life Designed? Is the Universe and Life Designed? “I think that the most impressive arguments for God’s existence are those that are supported by recent scientific discoveries…I think the argument to Intelligent Design is enormously stronger than it was when I first met it.” Anthony Flew Anthony Flew - legendary British philosopher and atheist and has been an icon and champion for unbelievers for decades. His change of mind is significant news, not only about his personal journey, but also about the A “Just Right” Universe 51 Fine-tuned Parameters to our Galaxy, Solar System, and Planet Distance from the sun Size, temperature, & type of sun Size, axial tilt, rotation speed, moon, & composition of earth Stability of Jupiter and Saturn – Jupiter acts as a comet and asteroid magnet shielding earth from catastrophic collisions. A “Just Right” Universe Our sun is located between spiral arms of the Milky Way Galaxy – Fewer stars • less harmful radiation and disruptive gravity – Less gas and dust • we can see the rest of the galaxy and universe Probability that just one planet in the Universe is suitable for life? – 10 -166 x 10 22 = 1 in 10 144 • 1 in 10 166 - Probability of all 123 fine-tuned “Universal” parameters occurring by chance • 10 22 - Upper limit for planets in the universe A “Just Right” Universe 1 in 10161 – The probability of a single protein molecule being arranged by chance using all atoms on earth and allowing all the time since the world began. 1 in 10119,879 – Probability for a minimum set of the required 239 protein molecules for the smallest theoretical life. 10119,879 Years – Average time it would take to get a set of such proteins. Dr. James Coppedge A “Just Right” Universe “If we need an atheist for a debate, I go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn’t much use.” Robert Griffiths A “Just Right” Universe “As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency - or rather Agency - must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being?” George Greenstein Irreducible Complexity Mike Behe introduced the concept of irreducible complexity in his book, Darwin’s Black Box. Something is irreducibly complex if it is composed of two or more necessary parts. – Remove one part and function is not just impaired but destroyed. A mousetrap is irreducibly complex. Darwin’s Black Box Behe showed that the cell, Darwin’s Black Box, is filled with irreducibly complex molecular machines that could not be built by natural selection. Over 100 molecular motors are now known to exist inside the cell with very specific analogies to human designed motors. Cellular High-Tech Factory Artificial languages and decoding Central memory banks Precision control of automatic assembly Proofreading and quality control Prefabrication and modular construction Complete replication system 10-3 times smaller than our best computers “It seems to me that Richard Dawkins constantly overlooks the fact that Darwin himself, in the fourteenth chapter of The Origin of Species, pointed out that his whole argument began with a being which already possessed reproductive powers. This is the creature the evolution of which a truly comprehensive theory of evolution must give some account. Darwin himself was well aware that he had not produced such an account. It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.” Anthony Flew The Moral Argument: Is There a Law Written on Our Hearts? Moral laws imply a Moral Law Giver. There is an objective moral law. Therefore, there is a Moral Law Giver Moral Laws Imply a Moral Lawgiver Moral Laws are different from natural laws. Moral laws describe what ought to be not what is. “Human beings all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it.” C. S. Lewis –Mere Christianity There Is an Objective Moral Law “If no set of moral ideas were truer or better than any other, there would be no sense in preferring civilized morality to savage morality, or Christian morality to Nazi morality. In fact, of course, we all do believe that some moralities are better than others. . . . The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard . . . comparing them both with some Real Morality, admitting that there is such a thing as a real right, independent of what people think, and that some people’s ideas get nearer to that real Right than others.” C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity There is an Objective Moral Law Was September 11th wrong? For all people and all time? But if there is such a universal, objective moral law, then there must be a Moral Law Giver. Summary Life without God is absurd. The universe requires a sufficient Cause. The design of the universe and living things implies a designer. Our universal sense of right and wrong implies a Law Giver. Therefore belief in God is reasonable. A God Who Has Made Himself Known “I am very much impressed with physicist Gerald Schroeder’s comments on Genesis. That this biblical account might be scientifically accurate raises the possibility that it is revelation.” Anthony Flew A God Who Has Made Himself Known in Creation “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, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. ” Romans 1:20-25 A God Who Has Made Himself Known through Scripture “Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:31-32 A God Who Has Made Himself Known in the Person of Jesus “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 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. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Hebrews 1:1-3 A God Who Has Made Himself Known “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.” Blaise Pascal “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20 “Say What?” Series: Is there a God? Further questions…contact: Bill Akright Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.bethanycentral.org/resources/ For a copy of this presentation, click on “Apologetics Resources” folder and select “Evidence for God”.