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A Case for the Existence of a God, Based Upon the Pursuit of Truth Through Science and Reasoning.
Wesley Adam Miller July 11th, 2012
Since the acceptance of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species by the scientific community in the second half of the 19th century, science and faith have been at sure odds. The idea of random acts and natural selection has put us into the idea that we are just a by-product of the ongoing processes of the universe. And in the past century, it has been informally established that a scientist, or a person with confidence in science, cannot have any faith in the existence of a deity. However, science can be seen as an advocate for the existence of a deity. As James Tour, Doctor at Rice University states, “Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.” In this essay, I plan to summarize information that is published in The Case for a Creator, by Lee Strobel. This evidence will be based on information gathered through a series of interviews. Each of these interviews is with qualified scientists in their respective fields. These fields range from cosmology to biochemistry, from physics to consciousness. To begin with, there will be the breaking down of images that have been notorious in the support of evolution, as explained by Jonathan Wells, an atheist who changed his views after re-examining evidence. He received his undergraduate at University of California at Berkeley, received his doctorate at Yale, and is now a researcher at Berkeley. The first of these images being the Miller Experiment. The Miller experiment is shown in most high school and college biology textbooks. The experiment, done in the 50s, was simulating what was thought to be Earth’s early atmospheric properties. And when struck with simulated lightening, simple amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, are produced. However, the scientific community’s understanding of what the Earth’s early atmosphere would have been like changed. Two researchers, Klaus Dose and Sidney Fox, in the 1970s confirmed that the atmosphere used by Miller in his experiment was not an accurate representation of what was in Earth’s atmosphere. If Miller’s experiment is repeated with what is to be believed to be the correct atmospheric conditions, the result is a
combination of formaldehyde and cyanide, obviously not helpful to the creation of life on Earth. Another image used in textbooks to teach evolution is Darwin’s tree of life. Even when Darwin published his book, he stated that the fossil record had gaps that would be filled in the future and would therefore support his case. However, the fossil record, which is now very full and complete, shows something interesting called the Cambrian explosion. In a short time period, most of the phylum in the animal kingdom arrived, fully formed. There was no slow gradual change over millions of years. In fact, the Cambrian explosion would only represent one minute if Earth’s life were a twenty-four hour clock. All of a sudden, new phylum appeared, each with its own recognizable body structures. And Darwinism cannot explain such results, because it is based on slow, gradual change. Thus, Darwin’s Tree of Life has noted to be flipped. Major groups of animals are not at the top of the tree, but rather are the base into which species develop. Common ancestry can only be seen in a specific species. For example, cats and lions and tigers all came from a common ancestor. But that common ancestor wasn’t related to the common ancestor of birds. They both exploded into the fossil record at the same time, during the Cambrian explosion. Darwin himself admitted that the Cambrian explosion was a good objection to his theories, but he believed in the future the fossil record would change and fit his theories, and simply put, they have not. A common image in any biology textbook is Haeckel’s Embryos. These drawings of different animals’ embryos seem to be similar, even if they are of from chicken, rabbits or humans. However, these images do not accurately represent anything. Haeckel drew the embryos to support his theories, thus the embryos were drawn all the same, regardless of what the actual embryos look like. He also used a salamander embryo to represent amphibians, but frog and salamander embryos look very different. Along with embryology, it is important to touch on the misconception that humans have gills as embryos. This is simply not true; fish do not even have gills at such stage in development. The “gills” are simply folds on the neck. Look up and rub your
fingers on your neck, and you can feel these ridges now. British embryologist Lewis Wolpert warns the resemblance is only illusory. Again with development, it is said that ninety eight percent of our genes are similar to those of an ape. And the two percent account for the differences. However, all body-building genes are in the ninety eight percent. The so-called distinguishing two percent different genes do not regulate any body-building genes. Just as man has done, it is proposed a designer may use common building materials. A bridge and a skyscraper are very different, however they both use steel and concrete. Another image, established shortly after Darwin’s publications, is the archaeopteryx. This fossil shows something of a cross between a bird and a reptile. However this is not good enough evidence to believe in evolution. Nobody believes that a platypus is evidence of evolution. The fossil records find these strange animals with crossing traits, however there is never any transition. There are just strange animals. There are archaeopteryx found, but there isn’t anything that is more bird than the archaeopteryx without it being a bird, or more reptile than an archaeopteryx without it being a reptile. Continuing onto a specific science, cosmology. The main argument presented by William Lane Craig, a Doctor in both Theology and Philosophy, is the kalam argument first developed by philosophers in Alexandria during the fourth century. The kalam argument is comprised of three steps that offer sound reasoning to the universe and its relation with a God. The first part of the argument is that everything that exists has a cause. And this is the most widely accepted. People for the most part agree there is a cause for their existence; even if that cause is just that their parents had sex. That is still causation. It is sound thinking to believe that things do not appear into existence without some type of causation. However some scientists believe that a quantum quirk known as a vacuum fluctuation can pop things into existence. Theoretically anything from a dog, to a planet, to perhaps our universe, can just pop out of this odd area of quantum physics. However, aside from all of this being speculative theories, there is great misunderstanding on what a quantum
vacuum actually is. Most people would mistakenly say a vacuum is something void of anything; therefore anything produced by it would not have a cause since it came from nothing. But a vacuum is actually sea of violent fluctuating energy that is under the coordination of physical laws. So it cannot be said that such things that pop into existence from these are made without cause. Once the first step is accepted, the second step asserts that the universe had a beginning. And science accepts this idea in the explanation of the Big Bang. The theory of the Big Bang began with Einstein, whose theory of relativity proposed the universe would be expanding or contracting. Russian mathematician Alexander Friedman and Belgium astronomer George Lemaitre predicted that the universe was in fact expanding, and the famous astronomer Edwin Hubble empirically confirmed this. And since the universe is expanding then if we rewind the universe’s life, we would rewind to a point of singularity. A beginning. Philosophers who predicted such findings centuries ago also utilized this reasoning. If the universe was eternal, that is the past being infinite. However, infinity as a conceptual term is actually not a sound way to describe the real world. Imagine if one had an infinite number of numbered marbles and gave someone every even numbered marble, both of them in fact would have infinite numbers of marbles. Therefore, if we subtracted infinity from infinity, our answer is infinity. You can see that if we went back through the events of the universe, it would be illogical to say it were infinite since there are in fact some actual number of events in the past. There are some theories that contradict the beginning of the universe through a Big Bang. One of these is that the universe oscillates, both expanding and contracting. However the laws of physics don’t support a contracting universe, the math simply doesn’t work. Five different laboratories all calculated the probability that the universe would ever contract, and all agreed the chances were very thin. Also a law of physics states that entropy, that is disorder, will always increase. And disorder is directly related to expansion. Stephen Hawking has also tried to come up with model to eliminate the need for singularity, that is a beginning. This model is called the quantum gravity model. It states that time is like a parabola, where if you follow
the curve you will never reach singularity. However, there is a problem with this model. It uses imaginary numbers to generate such results. And imaginary numbers do not represent a real universe. Much like infinity, it is a mathematical concept to aid in understanding things, but is not suitable to use as evidence in the real world. And now that the first two steps have been soundly reasoned, we can move on to the third reason, that is since the universe began to exist and all things that begin to exist have a cause, therefore the universe had a cause. Something began the universe. And such an agent would have to transcend time and space in order to be able to create it. And this agent would have freedom of will since the agent would be timeless and the cause of a finite universe. This agent can be simply named God. Now we can delve deeper into physics with the aid of Doctor Robin Collins. Collins explains that the constants of physics are extremely finely tuned to allow for life to exist as it does. One example of this is gravity. He uses the example of a ruler that expands from one side of the universe to the other side. And each inch represents a different strength of a force. And where gravity is situated, life can exist. However if gravity was moved as minutely as an inch, it would increase by a billion-fold. And if this were true, planets would be very, very small, not even visible to the human eye. And this is only one physical constant that must be perfect. The universe has over thirty of these constants. The fine-tuning of the universe has been conservatively estimated at one in a hundred million billion billion billion billion billion. Statistically this is far stronger evidence than DNA used in criminal cases. To continue, even the mass of neutrons being changed by one part in seven hundred, and nuclear fission in stars would cease. The likelihood of the universe being set up perfectly to support life is incredibly rare. And it is unreasonable to believe that there was not any intelligence that set the constants up perfectly. Of course some people speculate that maybe there are millions of universes that have been made and ours was the one to finally have the correct constants to support life. But this continues to go back and beg the question where those universes came from. And the argument is continued to give origin to a universeproducing machine. But like all machines, they must be first designed and made
with the correct structure, mechanism, and ingredients to produce universes. And this also continues to point inevitably to design. Others also note that the superstring theories being investigated by physicists may very well show how universes maybe be produced. However this is just a theory as of now and has no evidence to prove it other than speculation. Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku has said, “not a shred of experimental evidence has been found to confirm superstrings”. From this, it seems that a transcendent agent, a creator, can simply and best explain the fine-tuning of the universe. The Earth and its ability to support life is another thing that cannot be accounted to just chance. Doctor of Astronomy Guillermo Gonzalez and Doctor of Philosophy Jay Wesley Richards both elaborate on why this is. The Earth is also an amazing feat that cannot just be credited to chance. Earth’s size, location, composition, structure, atmosphere, temperature, and cycles like the carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and others, all create a perfect environment for life. Gravity for example causes earth to be the correct size to retain an atmosphere that is perfectly deep to keep out something like ultraviolet radiation that can harm life, yet thin enough to not allow too many gases to become trapped in the atmosphere and create an inhospitable planet much like that of Venus. There is also a bit of clarification of life that Gonzalez and Richards explain. One is that life, even on other planets, will very likely be carbon based. There has been this idea from science fiction that life could be formed from silicon, however carbon’s unique structure makes it perfect for life. And since silicon does not have this unique structure, it is not a plausible resource to build life. And from other science, it seems to be made out that water guarantees life on a planet. Although it is important, even the simplest bacteria require an additional fourteen elements beyond the hydrogen and oxygen in water. Scientists have sent a message towards the M13 star cluster. However it is unlikely it will be heard. Life is very unlikely in star clusters for two reasons. The first is that star clusters are almost always old and therefore are unlikely to even have planets
accompanying them, since most of the matter is hydrogen and helium. And the second reason is that there are so many stars that any planet wouldn’t have a stable circular orbit that keeps temperature ranges fairly constant, which life requires. So what is a good place in a galaxy that can support life? Well, the Earth is in one of those spaces. The best type of galaxy would be a spiral galaxy, since elliptical and irregular galaxies do not have circular orbits, which was previously mentioned to be required. But further in a spiral galaxy, a sun that could support a life-friendly planet could not be in one of the spiral arms of the galaxy. This is because the arms are where stars are created, which is a very violent process. And our sun is between two arms but not in them. And it is required to be sufficiently far from the center of the galaxy, which contains a black hole, which is incredibly dangerous to life. The Milky Way Galaxy also is in the largest category in size. And the larger the galaxy, the more heavy elements like metals there are, and some of these heavier elements are needed to support life. Our solar system in itself is perfectly made for Earth. Even other planets like Jupiter are important for us. Since Jupiter is so large, its gravity attracts a lot of comets and meteors that could head to Earth from outside our solar system. Astronomer Gonzalez explains how perfect our location is. If we were five percent closer or further from the sun, animal life would cease to exist. The sun itself is perfect for life. Most importantly it is stable, its light output varies about one-tenth of one percent over a full cycle. But its also the right type of star, other common stars like red dwarfs do not produce ultraviolet light, which was important in the formation of our atmosphere and its capture of oxygen. The mass is also correct too; a more massive star would burn out much quicker. Our moon is also actually perfect for Earth’s life. The stability of our axis is dependent on the moon, it allows enough sway that there are seasons, but stable enough to keep us out of extremes. The moon also causes tides that keep ocean circulation going. And the sun and moon together are perfectly matched to create a total eclipse. This is because the sun is four hundred times larger than the moon and also four hundred times further away. And total eclipses
help us learn about the nature of stars. It was even used to prove that gravity bends light, which helped prove Einstein’s theory of relativity. The Earth itself is also perfect for life. If it were to be a bit more massive, its gravity would prohibit the growth of mountains and other landmasses. And if it didn’t have crust plates, there would be no mountain producing earthquakes. Earthquakes also help churn the liquid iron in the center of the Earth, which creates a planet-sized dynamo that creates the magnetic field. Without the magnetic field, there would be too much radiation getting into Earth’s atmosphere. And if there were no land or mountains on the Earth and only ocean, life would cease to exist. Marsh areas along the coast draw out salt in the ocean. Without these marshes, salt would remain in the ocean, creating a salinity higher than any organism could bear. The result would be cells releasing water into their environment to lower the salinity, but loosing so much water that the cell would die anyways. It is important to note that Earth was not only put in the perfect location in the universe to allow life to thrive, but also is in the perfect location to view and study the universe. We are in a great vantage point to observe other stars and galaxies in the universe and we can also easily pick up cosmic background radiation that gives proof to the Big Bang. Our atmosphere has the best mixture of gases to support organisms and facilitate fire but also is transparent so we may view the stars. John A O’Keefe, Harvard educated NASA scientist, states that through mathematical calculations there should only be one planet in the universe that may facilitate intelligent life, and that planet is Earth. We are not only incredibly unique and well suited for life, but we are also in the best place to view the universe. As with real estate, the most important thing is location, and we have been given the best lot in the universe. Darwin admitted in his Origin of Species that “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” And Doctor Michael Behe believes that the cell very well works with Darwin’s statement
to breakdown evolution. Behe has been doing research at Lehigh University. In Darwin’s day, the cell was little more than a jello-like glob under a microscope. But today we see the advance biochemical machines at work within the cell that allows the cell to be the smallest form of life. Behe argues irreducible complexity is what destroys Darwin’s case. Irreducibly complex systems in the cell are highly unlikely to be built piece-by-piece since the system must be formed in entirety in order for it to work at all. One of the best examples of irreducible complexity is flagellum. Flagellum work like a rotary propeller and is only found in bacteria. The energy used to rotate the flagellum is acquired from the flow of acid through the bacteria’s membrane. And the rate of flagellum rotation is incredibly fast. It rotates at an astonishing ten thousand revolutions per minute, and can stop in a quarter turn. And the next instant it can be rotating in the opposite direction at ten thousand revolutions per minute. If you take out even the smallest component of the flagellum, you don’t get slower rotation, you get no rotation. Blood clotting is yet another irreducibly complex system. The system would need to be perfect right off the bat. If it didn’t clot enough or it clotted in the wrong location, the animal would bleed to death. If blood clotting weren’t perfect as it is, then anytime an animal got a minor cut, it would die. Now there are many objections to irreducible complexity as a way to disprove Darwin. One of the common arguments is that an irreducibly complex system’s components could have served previous functions. Behe uses the illustration of a mousetrap to show irreducible complexity, since all components are necessary. Of course one could say that the wood of a mousetrap could be used as a paperweight at first, but what turned that useless object into something useful? In the case of the mousetrap, William C Hooker used the wood as a base for his new invention the mousetrap. The same is true in flagellum. Maybe one of the components existed before, but what could have rearranged it for a more useful function? Most would say an external intelligence. Another argument is that during DNA replication, a gene is copied twice and one of the genes goes on to perform another task. It is reassigned. But according to this argument, in reference to the mousetrap, you can
copy the spring and then it turns into the wooden base. It just logically doesn’t make sense. Therefore it is safe to assume many of the biochemical functions of cells are irreducibly complex and give reason to not believe in evolution according to Darwin’s terms. And this leads us to the most crucial part of the cell, the DNA. Deoxyribonucleic acid is the information that carries all commands to produce proteins, to produce life. And in order to find where life came from, you must find where this information originated. There have been many attempts to explain where this life giving information originated. If it originated from a prebiotic soup that mixed amino acids together to create DNA it would have had to been filled with nitrogen, since amino acids are nitrogenous. But the nitrogen content of early organic matter on Earth has been recorded at point zero one five percent. Way too low to give credit to a prebiotic soup. Another cause could be nothing more than random chance. But the odds of this happening have been calculated. The chance that a short protein at random would come about is one in a hundred thousand trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion. And that would be one protein molecule; most cells use at least three hundred different proteins. The chances are extraordinarily slim that chance can explain the origin of information. Another common explanation is natural selection. But we are not talking about biological natural selection but rather chemical natural selection, which to begin with is far fetched. Darwinists admit that natural selection requires a self-replicating organism to work, but for cells to reproduce, they must have DNA they can replicate for each of the two daughter cells. So since that argument is dead, how about chemical affinities and self-ordering. This is the idea that the DNA bases will self organize much like sodium and chloride organize themselves into the crystal structure of salt. But even if you could say the bases would self-order like the salt crystals, the sequences would be repetitive, and not really be information. If you kept repeating our alphabet in order, over and over, you would not get any words. The same principle is used in the DNA bases. And furthermore, the bases used to make up DNA
do not interact chemically with each other and are totally interchangeable, they can occur in any order. Thus science has given no reasonable explanation to where the information in DNA originated from, so it is reasonable to assume that there was an intelligent designer behind the computer screen, that was inputting code to make the program run. The computer doesn’t need an explanation as to why this information came about, but accepts it. Of course, computers do not have a consciousness to think these thoughts, which leads to the final main argument, the explanation of consciousness. It is argued that the brain and the mind are two separate entities. That the brain is merely an organ, while the mind is what makes a person a person. Evidence of this was shown at the California Institute of Technology, where a year long British study showed evidence that the consciousness continues after a person’s brain has stopped functioning and has been declared clinically dead. J.P. Moreland believes that the soul is the ego, the “I” and contains consciousness. He claims this can be seen during brain surgery. An electrical current can be applied to parts of the brain to simulate actions. While in surgery, the surgeon was trying to find a tumor in a sea of brain. And in order to find it he had the awake patient start counting and would apply a current to a section of tissue, if his speech began to slur then he knew that area was good brain, and if his speech was unaffected then the tissue would be tumor. But there is no place in the brain where electrical stimulation can cause a person to believe or decide. Another example is dreaming and rapid eye movement. Scientists have been able to connect rapid eye movements to changes in the dreaming realm of the brain. But the problem is there is no way to observe the brain and know what the dream is about, they can only tell they are dreaming. What the dream is about is presumably stored in consciousness, in the mind. And it is interesting to note that we do not learn about a person through viewing their physical body, but through speech, through the translation of consciousness by the brain, we can find out what they believe and think. The brain is a middleman to bring what is occurring in the conscious mind to the physical world.
And this of course brings up questions about other creatures with brains. Do they also have a conscious? It is true that they do have thoughts but what is different is that they do not think about their thoughts. And that is the all-important part on self-awareness. Without being self aware, without knowledge that there is an “I”, there is no consciousness. In regards to evolution, Darwin says physical things can change into new physical things. But is it within the realm of possibility to get something non-physical from something physical? Obviously not. It is also important to consider what consciousness has to offer in the battle of survival of the fittest. And how do we know the consciousness is not physical? It has no location in the body. But significantly, you can get rid of a lot of the body, but still have a conscious. You could loose all your limbs, but still have a consciousness. You could have part of your brain removed, but still have a consciousness. The mind is present throughout the whole body and cannot be cut out. The argument is so strong that physicist and atheist Steven Weinberg said scientists should bypass the problem of the human consciousness altogether because it may just be too hard for them. And that in conclusion is what science has. It seems that through science and sound thinking, it is reasonable to conclude that the universe was made specifically for us, for life, and it was also made for science. We were meant to go out and find evidence of God through investigation. It is nice to think that a creator would like for us to go on a chase going through all of science to find him. And we are closer to the creator than ever before. Doctor Stephen Meyer says it well. “Darwinists say they’re under some sort of epistemological obligation to continue trying, because to invoke design would be to give up on science. We should not be looking for only the best naturalistic explanation, but the best explanation, period. And intelligent design is the explanation that’s most in conformity with how the world works.”
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