If We are Here and God is God, Then Why Worry: Removing Christian Fear about Scientific Discoveries

universal_law  In the view of many, science and religion are irreconcilable enemies. Some scientists feel this way and many religious individuals feel this way, too. This is fueled by discoveries  used by secularists to supposedly damage the faith of the faithful. One will read the passive-aggressive, and some outright aggressive, comments of secularists purporting that they possess evidence that will put the idea of God to rest. This has left many Christians fearful that a discovery could be made that would disprove the existence of God. Is such a discovery possible? If God is understood as the creator of all things, then such a discovery is not possible. Why? It is due to the fact that everything in the universe is understood as a creation of God. The universe is like an engine where God is like an engineer. John Lennox said at a conference, “Some people claim that they cannot see God in the universe. Well of course you can’t. That is like seeking to find Henry Ford in a Ford engine” (John Lennox, SES). Lennox explains in his book Gunning for God, “Physical laws on their own cannot create anything; they are merely a (mathematical) description of what normally happens under certain given conditions. Newton’s law of gravitation does not create gravity; it doe not even explain gravity, as Newton himself realized. In fact, the laws of physics are not only incapable of creating anything; they cannot even cause anything to happen” (Lennox 2011 GFG, 33). So if we understand who God is and the fact that we are here, then we would expect to find certain scientific truths.

Jeff Zweerink     1.     If we are here and God is God, then we would expect to find beginning processes.

On a recent Apologetics.com Podcast, Jeff Zweerink spoke on the beginnings of the universe. Zweerink, who holds a PhD in astrophysics, spoke of the early universe and of the possibility of a multiverse. He basically said that a multiverse and many of the theories employed by secularist scientists do not negate the existence of God. He indicated that he, like many Christians, worried  that there could be a finding that would negate the existence of God. But such a finding will not occur if God is God and we are here.

Think about this: say a computer programmer desires to create a new program. It is a complex program and would have characters who would have minds of their own. In order to create this program, the computer programmer needs a super computer. So, the programmer sets forth creating a mega-computer. He starts by developing a motherboard. Piece by piece, he solders the chips in place. Then he adds the hardware and monitor that consists of the computer. After starting up the computer, he programs the computer to hold certain systems. Then, he begins the program with the first command. Command after command and algorithm after algorithm, he continues until the virtual universe is created and the characters within the universe are created. Now suppose the virtual characters begin to wonder how they came to be. They begin exploring. They trace their existence back to the first command. Then, in their scientific experiments, they would notice a universe far greater than they could imagine. They notice circuits which gave rise to their program. They tried to find a unifying theory on how all these things came to be. Do the program and circuitry explain how they came to be? Yes. But, do the program and circuitry explain why they came to be? No. More importantly, do the program and circuitry explain the rise of the characters? Absolutely not. The commands and algorithms are assigned to give order to the program. However, the commands and algorithms came from the programmer.

Why should we expect to find anything different? The laws of nature are descriptive and NOT prescriptive. Because elements have mass, we should expect to find things like the Higgs Boson. Because the universe came into existence, we should expect to find things like the singularity and the origins of the universe. We should expect to find structures in quantum physics that were used to jumpstart the universe. However, these beginnings do NOT negate the importance nor the existence of God. In fact, these things demand the existence of God because they exist. It may be that scientists find that the beginning of the universe was far more complex than expected. We may find that what is beyond our universe is far more fantastic than ever imagined. However, this does not negate the existence of God. For God is far bigger than the beginning of the universe. God is the whole show. God is the author, designer, and implementer of these processes. Again, these processes explain how God brought the universe into being…not why the universe was brought into being. These laws and processes are no more responsible for the origin of the universe than a light bulb is for electricity. They are tools and instruments to explain how the universe came to be, not answers to why the universe came to be. The “why” question can only be answered by the existence of God.

development2.     If we are here and God is God, then we would expect to find developing processes.

Could God create everything at once? If God is God, then yes God could. However, from what we can tell of God through special revelation (the Bible) and general revelation (the universe), it is seen that God works through the process of development. Perhaps this shows the patience of God. If we are here and God is God, then this would be what we would expect to find. People are not born full grown adults. They are born tiny babies and develop into adult men and women. If this is the process God has established, then why would we expect to find anything different in the universe and the world? This does not demerit the existence of God no more than an algorithm demerits a computer programmer. Because there are processes of development, it is necessitated that there exist one who designed the process. For how does non-being give birth to being? How does an inorganic thing give birth to a organic (living) being? Life produces life. Consciousness begets consciousness. Order does not come from chaos unless there is a conscious living being giving order. The processes, like a program, demand an organizing, creating first cause (God). Otherwise, it would seem that absurdities (like a rock giving birth to a zebra) would exist.

Fundamental Forces of Nature3.     If we are here and God is God, then we would expect to find sustaining processes.

The fact that the laws of physics remain stable in a dynamic universe is amazing. But the stability of these laws seem to indicate a stabilizing principle. In a universe of flux and change, a universe governed to run out of energy (2nd Law of Thermodynamics), how is it that these laws remain consistent? These laws demand something greater than themselves. As John Lennox wrote, “However, in the world in which most of us live, the simple law of arithmetic by itself, 1+1=2, never brought anything into being. It certainly has never put any money into my bank account. If I put £1,000 into the bank, and later another £1,000, the laws of arithmetic will rationally explain how it is that I now have £2,000 in the bank. But if I never put any money into the bank myself, and simply leave it to the laws of arithmetic to bring money into being in my bank account, I shall remain permanently bankrupt” (Lennox 2011 G&SH, 41-42). Richard Feynman, a Nobel Laureate in physics, is quoted as saying, “The fact that there are rules at all to be checked is a kind of miracle; that it is possible to find a rule, like the inverse square law of gravitation, is some sort of miracle. It is not understood at all, but it leads to the possibility of prediction–that means it tells you what you would expect to happen in an experiment you have not yet done” (Feynman 2007, 23). Like the designed circuitry and programming by a computer engineer, one would expect to find consistent laws of nature in a universe designed for life. But these laws are not responsible for themselves. They are in fact programmed by a grander Mind…God.

god_particleConclusion:

Understanding the nature of God allows the Christian to rest easy when it comes to scientific findings. When the Christian understands that one needs not worry about the findings of science, it is extremely liberating. The Christian can then appreciate the sciences without feeling the need to be concerned over scientific findings. Science will not…and in fact can not…disprove the existence of God. However, the Christian should still remain wary of particular interpretations. As Frank Turek has stated, “Science does not say anything. Scientists do.” It is not the science that is the concern. Rather, it is the philosophy of those interpreting facts to say things that the facts are not equipped to state. So, enjoy the wonder and splendor of creation found in science. For the sciences, like the heavens, declare the glory of God.

Bibliography:

Feynman, Richard. The Meaning of It All. London, UK: Penguin, 2007. Quoted in John Lennox, God and Stephen Hawking. Oxford, UK: Lion, 2001.

Lennox, John. “Gunning for Gun.” Lecture. Southern Evangelical Seminary’s National Conference of Christian Apologetics 2012. Charlotte, NC. (October, 2012).

Lennox, John. God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design Is It Anyway? Oxford, UK: Lion, 2011.

Lennox, John. Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists are Missing the Mark. Oxford, UK: Lion, 2011.

Livermore, Jeffrey. “Astrophysics of ‘In the Beginning’–how the Higgs Boson helps us understand Creatio Ex Nihilo with Dr. Jeff Zweerink.”Apologetics. com. (October 8, 2013). http://www.apologetics.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=43&Itemid=74. Accessed October 15, 2013.

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10 thoughts on “If We are Here and God is God, Then Why Worry: Removing Christian Fear about Scientific Discoveries”

    1. Don’t know exactly what you are asking. Since the Christian can rest easy with science, one can engage with science and demonstrate the rationality of faith without feeling that one must be opposed to every finding. One should, however, engage with flawed philosophical interpretations of scientists promoting secularist agendas. I hope this answers your question.

      1. A secularist agenda is flawed as opposed to say, the Evangelical Biblical literalist approach?

        Or, the Sharia Law approach.

        Or the ultra Orthodox Jewish approach.

        Those of course are perfectly acceptable, un-flawed, commonsense approaches are they?

        Dear oh dear…the Ark shakes his head.

      2. You are comparing apples to oranges. If you are speaking of a young earth interpretation of time, it may seem nonsensical according to time. This is not a view that I hold. However, it still makes far more sense for an eternal being creating the universe in a short time frame than to think that order and processes have always been structured and give structure…something that intelligence does. Or to think that non-living things can bring forth life. Or that the laws of nature are prescriptive rather than descriptive. The list could go on and on.

        If you are speaking of some of the extreme religious laws that exist, it is interesting, because you are using the standards found in the Judeo-Christian ethic to gauge such standards. For if there is no God, there is no call for morality. Nothing has purpose in such a world and neither are there standards to gauge good actions from bad. In such a world, Hitler and Stalin’s horrendous massacres are no different that Mother Teresa’s acts of kindness in India. But if there is a God, life has purpose. You have a purpose and a reason for being here as do I. To believe that the grandeur of the universe is the result of anything other than a Grand Conscious Mind is preposterous at its core. That mentality leaves me saying…Dear oh dear…as the Pastor shakes his head.

  1. For if there is no God, there is no call for morality

    I do not abide by this reasoning. Morality is not god-given as you have to demonstrate this. You are unable to do so.
    Furthermore it is ridiculous using examples of Hitler and Stalin, who, by the way, were both brought up in and influenced by religion, and Hitler continued to maintain a tentative relationship with the Catholic Church.

    Should I reel off all the heinous crimes perpetrated by Christians and other religions? Usually against fellow believers?
    We can simply start with 9/11

    The numbers game is one of the more disgusting practices the religious enjoy playing, have you noticed, Brian?
    “The atheists killed 10,000,000 whereas we only killed 5,000,000. See how wonderful it is to be a follower of God?”

    A somewhat sick comparison and one would have thought beneath a follower of jesus.
    I doubt he would stoop so low.

    Plus, atheists never kill/killed because of atheism, whereas the religious often murder because of their god. Even your god did it, and ordered others to murder in his name. I think you have a name for this: Divine Command, if I am not mistaken.

    Animals have been clearly shown to exhibit morality and have no ‘soul;’ according to your rationale.

    Mother Theresa was a misguided heartless fool who revelled in suffering as this was her idea of becoming Christlike, a belief she passed on to those in her .”care”, a great many of whom she denied basic medication for this reason.
    When one considers the incredible wealth of the Catholic Church it is appalling that those people remained in such abject poverty even while been ‘ministered’ to by the church.
    Please go and do your homework before you throw that old canard into the pot, otherwise you are merely towing the popular line and just demonstrating your ignorance.

    To believe that the grandeur of the universe is the result of anything other than a Grand Conscious Mind is preposterous at its core.

    Really? On what basis do arrive at this conclusion?

    The cosmological argument has been debunked and I care nought for any philosophical argument , thank you.
    So all we are left with is the God of the Gaps, no matter how you wish to dress up your presentation.

    Yours is an unsubstantiated belief. One you are entitled to , but it is not based on evidence nor is it considered factual, by any other than the religious.

    A secularist/humanist agenda will always come out on top as it does not ultimately give up its responsibility to a sky god or a religion that offers absolutely nothing.

    1. You completely missed the point. You have no basis for morality without God. Nothing has a purpose if everything is an unguided accident as you illogically purport. You are wrongfully gauging Teresa (without any proof), but you are still judging her by a standard of integrity…which is a Judeo-Christian ethic. You claim that the cosmological arguments have been dismissed…a big claim indeed without evidence. The point is: your standards and logic are based upon the assumption that a causing Mind exists of which gives order and purpose to all. Without such a Mind, nothing has purpose and value.

      1. You completely missed the point. You have no basis for morality without God.

        Wrong. I have missed no point. You posit a god and then argue morality.
        Demonstrate the veracity of your god first and then we can talk about where morality derives.

        You are wrongfully gauging Teresa (without any proof),

        Interesting. You criticize my statement for not containing “proof” yet your own statement concerning Theresa’s acts of kindness in India are completely unsubstantiated and I must accept this on face value? Is this not hypocritical, Brian?
        If you were to offer some evidence then maybe I might reconsider. How about it?

        The point is: your standards and logic are based upon the assumption that a causing Mind exists of which gives order and purpose to all. Without such a Mind, nothing has purpose and value.

        My standards are most certainly not based on a causing mind. What on earth gave you this idea?
        I do not know what is the cause , and , quite frankly, neither do you. Only I am honest enough to admit this but you will claim Gd did it, which, without evidence is hogwash.

        However, if you somehow believe you have evidence, please show me.
        Maybe it will qualify you for a Nobel Prize? You never know, right>

      2. What gave you the idea that anything could have purpose if everything is a cosmic accident? Accidents do not create. Accidents themselves must have causes. Laws of physics do not create. They are descriptive not prescriptive. In the end (if one is honest), one is left with a causing, designing Agent (ie. God). If life is nothing more than a series of random occurrences, then there is no such thing as morality, no standards for judging morality, and no purpose. As what mostly occurs in our conversations, you are not seeing the principle being made.

        As far as evidence, what kind of evidence do you require? Some say, “I would have to see God to believe in God.” Yet if God were to appear to such a person, the person would then say, “Ah, I had a hallucination of some sort.” You, like most atheists, purport that theists claim a God of the gaps. Nothing doing. Theists conclude by the overwhelming evidence from science, logic, morality, and experience that God exists. God is not a theory. God is the reality that comes from an accumulation of evidences from different spheres. This is something that requires openness. Hopefully I am wrong, but it seems that you are sold to the lie of atheism so intently and with such conviction that no amount of evidence would convince you to the otherwise. I hope I am wrong. So, you must ask yourself, how much or what kind of evidence would convince you of God’s existence?

        If you want evidence of Teresa’s acts, go talk to individuals who were saved from the slums of India by Teresa’s loving heart. You do not have to look far to see Teresa’s good actions. To claim that Teresa was an immoral person is the most deluded and atrocious of all the comments you have made thus far. If this is the direction we are going, then this will be the last post accepted in our present conversation. This is precisely why the foundation of the New Atheism is crumbling. Its integrity has been lost. Instead of dealing with the issues, personal character is assaulted. Hopefully, one day you will be open to the reality that is God.

  2. What gave you the idea that anything could have purpose if everything is a cosmic accident?

    What ”purpose” are you talking about?

    Accidents themselves must have causes. Laws of physics do not create.

    The only question is this: you posit a creator. – god.
    I say demonstrate it or at least offer some evidence.
    You cannot.

    Even if we were to accept the premise that there is a Creator – God, how do you know this god is the Christian god?

    Why should I not accept the Muslim/ Jewish God? Why shouldn’t you accept the Muslim god?
    Or the Hindu god?

    Theists conclude by the overwhelming evidence from science, logic, morality, and experience that God exists.

    Which god? See previous answer above.

    but it seems that you are sold to the lie of atheism so intently and with such conviction that no amount of evidence would convince you to the otherwise.

    As you are with Christianity…so what?

    You keep saying the word evidence but you yet to produce any. All you are doing is saying there is evidence.
    Show me some

    Mother Theresa

    There are many, such videos as the one below but I chose this one as you will likely dismiss others as atheist rants or something similar.
    And remember this woman, through her connections with heads of state and also belonging to the Catholic Church, had access to millions upon millions of dollars. I also thought as you before coming across several controversial articles and then dug deeper.
    Consider this before you dismiss what I write with such arrogant impunity.

    http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/mother-teresa-hype/5135f5392b8c2a53730004d9

    1. We are going back and forth and you still are not seeing the point that I posit (which is a point that is stressed by many in academia): the point that if there is no God, nothing has purpose. This is something that Nietzsche, a champion of atheism, realized and wrote about extensively. If life is merely a grand accident, then nothing has purpose. Nothing. Period.

      The second issue that has been discussed is that of evidence. You claim that you have offered evidence, but you have offered nothing except ad hominem attacks against the church and against Christians. (By the way, I in now way meant to imply that you were arrogant nor did I intend to claim that you wrote with “arrogant impunity” although I do think many atheists do write with impunity…but it seems that you claim that I write with arrogant impunity so it seems that you are guilty of the very thing you charge me for. You also did not answer the question that I posed. What type of evidence would convince you? I have asked this before, but received no answer. Ultimately, as mentioned before, the term “evidence” is thrown around. However, unless one has an open mind and an open heart, then no amount of evidence would suffice for one who does not wish for God to exist. Sean Carroll, Richard Dawkins, and Lawrence Krauss have claimed on several occasions that they do not want God to exist. So again, you must ask yourself how much evidence will suffice?

      Third, you are correct that what I claim does not prove the Christian God. There are other things which go beyond the scope of this conversation that imply that the God is the Christian God. However, if God is God, then it would be difficult to contain God by too many limitations. But, I do think that humanity can know a lot about this God especially if there is evidence that God has revealed God’s self to humanity.

      Lastly, the point made about morality is this: if there is no standard for morality, then the actions of a good person could be seen as no different than the actions of an evil person. The term “good” indicates a standard by which such a person is deemed “good.” This standard cannot exist if there is not a moral lawgiver. Why? Because if God does not exist, then nothing has purpose. Nothing has value. Why? Because everything is a grand mistake. If humanity is nothing more than a series of chemical reactions, how can anything be deemed good? Goodness requires a conscious mind. Thus, this takes us back to the issue of standards. You brought up the issues of Mother Teresa. I saw the video and reserve judgment. Did Teresa always do the right thing? Probably not. But, I cannot think…I in fact know…that she helped countless individuals. But, this is besides the point. Even if Teresa is proven to be a fraud, you would use a moral standard in claiming that she was bad. This is not a Christian vs. atheist issue. It is a moral issue. If you claim that the Catholic church is evil, you are using a moral standard. Regardless of whether or not it is true (which I don’t think is true even though there are probably evil Catholics just like their are evil Baptists…not everyone is what they claim to be), you use a moral standard to gauge their “goodness” or “badness.” This requires a moral standard which in fact requires a moral lawgiver. Hence, this requires a purpose to life.

      Let this be our final comment for now. Let us allow each others arguments to marinate for awhile and we’ll pick this back up at a later time. Blessings my friend (oh…and I do enjoy our conversations and do not think that you are arrogant).

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