For most of you the idea that God can be proved scientifically is rather a strange one. This is a result of the secular distinction between facts and values. Modern thought would say that you have a lower floor of objectively proved unarguable facts and then a higher floor of subjective values like morality, dignity and God. As long as you accept the ‘facts’ then it’s fine to believe in whatever you want because that’s your own little higher floor and bears no relation to the lower floor.
Unfortunately, Christians have allowed themselves (and I include me in this) to be argued into the higher floor only. That is why you get Christians drawing a line between their faith and science. Modern thought would dictate that Christianity is a higher floor concept only and can therefore offer no opinion on the lower floor ‘facts’ that science deals with.
Under such a two tier system all religious thinking becomes fairies – fantasy beings with no relation to reality.
However, such a system simply does not live up to the reality of the world we live in. Christianity for example whilst making many statements about the supernatural realities of this world is also thoroughly grounded in history. Jesus did exist, he was crucified and his grave was empty. These historical facts are well testified to. The Bible doesn’t follow this fact/value spilt and instead gives insight into everything from economics to politics to creation to social theory. The Bible asserts to be the Total Truth - the basis of all other truth that is known.
Take the existence of God – modern thought would place that squarely in the values floor – a personal belief and nothing more. The ‘facts’ show that God doesn’t exist.
There is a problem with this view. Science has advanced a long way such Darwin’s Origin of the Species and scientific evidence for Intelligent Design is mounting. As such I thought I’d give you a brief overview of the latest scientific thought in this area.
Darwin thought that a living cell was ‘simple’; no more than a bubble of protoplasm. Since his time we have witnessed the advent of molecular biology which has proved that the term ‘simple cell’ is oxymoronic at best.
Francis Crick (of DNA fame) wrote “The cell is thus a minute factory bustling with rapid, organised chemical activity. Nature invented the assembly line billions of years before Ford.” You cannot even begin to describe a cell without resorting to the language of mechanics and engineering. The more we know about a cell the more complicated it becomes.
So what you ask? Well consider this – for a cell to work all the pieces must be in place, all the coordinated and interlocking parts will only work if they work together. Hence the term irreducible complexity. The cell has a minimum level of complexity that has to be reached before it will function as a cell.
So what? Well evolution works on a series of gradual changes and tiny improvements yet it must have something to work with. But irreducible complexity means that a series of interacting pieces must be present before natural selection can even begin to work! A cell is much too complex to just spontaneously evolve and its complexity is irreducible, it cannot function on a simpler level. Therefore it cannot evolve gradually over time. As such the only plausible theory is that cells were designed from a blueprint by God.
And bear in mind that this argument doesn’t even begin to cover vastly more complex systems than a cell. Blood clotting for examples involves the use of two separate and distinct proteins that would have to have evolved together, simultaneously, first time round for there to be any hope of a creature that wouldn’t just bleed to death from the slightest scratch.
As the science of astronomy progresses evidence for design is being uncovered in physics and cosmology as well. The universe’s fundamental forces are intricately balanced so that they are just the right level to support life. Gravity at just the right strength, the mass of protons and electrons at just the right level, electromagnetic force just at a certain strength. Thus the argument centres around the Goldilocks dilemma: how did these numerical values turn out to be not too high, not too low but just right?
As Greenstein says: “Nothing in all of physics explains why its fundamental principles should conform themselves so precisely to life’s requirement.” Science draws a blank as to why these values are so precisely, so perfectly calibrated to supporting life. Yet if we add in an all powerful God to the equation it makes perfect logically sense. The Creationist’s explanation for these facts is superior to the evolutionist’s theory. Indeed, it is amazing what strange and exotic theories have been postulated for this phenomenon – everything from aliens to multiple universe theory to, and I quote, “the universe wanted to be known”
When faced with the scientific realities of a precisely balanced universe the only logical interference is that it was designed by God.
Compelling though all the above evidence is it still pales into comparison to DNA. As you probably know DNA is built up of four bases – adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C) and guanine (G). This four letter code combines to spell out messages to cells to tell them what to do. As such Dawkins writes “What has happened is that genetics has become a branch of information technology. The genetic code is a truly digital, in exactly the same way sense as computer codes. This is not some vague analogy, it is the literal truth.”
The origin of life can now be re-stated in question form as: how do we get highly specified, complex biological information?
There are three options:
2) Natural laws
Evolution suggests that it would be a combination of chance and natural laws. In other words anything but design – yet how accurate is this?
Well, taking the first one – virtually all origin of life researchers have abandoned theories based on chance. This is because whilst chance can explain the presence of information it cannot explain the presence of complex information. If you were picking letters at random you may get the odd word that made sense but never a complete sentence. Chance does not create information it scrambles it.
Chance gets you amino acids but comes nowhere close to getting you the more complex DNA molecule.
So what about number 2? What about natural laws? Having ruled out chance then this option is the one in vogue today. The theory was known as Biological Predestination and stated that given the right preconditions exist life will arise automatically and inevitably.
There was a slight problem with this view – when they tested in labs then the chemical compounds never actually came together into the right order to form biologically significant results. Indeed, the author of the theory faced with the failure of his experiments is now a proponent of Intelligent Design.
Why don’t laws work? They don’t work because they describe events which are regular, repeatable and predictable. If laws governed DNA you would just get a few repeated messages over and over again. Yet in reality DNA houses vast quantities of information. Scientific principles dictate that laws do not generate high information content.
Having ruled out chance and natural laws then only one option remains: design. However it is not only a negative argument we can use.
DNA is specified information – that is to say its code means something. There is no natural force which determines the meaning of its chemical combinations. To use an analogy I could say the sounds G-I-F-T but there is no natural law which states what that means. Instead human intelligence has decreed that in English it means ‘present’ and in German it means ‘poison’. It is meaningful as linguistic convention has made it so.
Similarly DNA code can only be meaningful if it has linguistic convention which it does (only some of its chemical combinations carry meaning). Therefore, this points to intelligence behind it. DNA has specified complexity which is the hallmark of design and so points to God.
At the very least I hope I’ve convinced you that evolution as unarguable scientific fact is a myth. The universe, even down to cells and DNA, exhibits specified complexity the likes of which neither chance nor nature can explain. At the very most I hope I’ve shown that the Psalmist was telling the truth when he wrote:
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
Psalm 19 v 1
There are many other arguments I could mention in all fields of science. People say that Christianity should be relegated to the sphere of values rather than facts. Well, the scientific evidence is in and the verdict is clear: God exists. Fact.