Return to 4th Quarter 2020 articles.
Have you ever heard someone say that evolution makes God unnecessary? “Since evolution can explain the existence of everything, why do we need God to explain why we are here?” When someone tells you that, you might want to remind them of two fundamental questions that science cannot answer.
Why is there SOMETHING rather than NOTHING?
You could say, “Why is there ANYTHING rather than NOTHING?” Contemplate this question. Scientists agree that the universe is not eternal. (After denying it for thousands of years, but that is another subject.) First, there was nothing, then suddenly, something appeared. That something was a tiny speck containing every bit of matter/energy that now exists in what we know as the entire universe. The universe, with its billions of galaxies, each containing billions of stars and untold planets, was contained in that speck that scientists call a singularity. It included every bit of material that became dark matter and dark energy, which science tells us makes up most of the universe. It also contained the makings of every nebula, pulsar, quasar, black hole, and anything else that we do not even know about yet. It included the ingredients for every element and molecule that make up everything we can see and touch, including ourselves.
How did NOTHING become SOMETHING, or perhaps we should say, how did NOTHING become EVERYTHING? To make the question even more confounding, time and space did not exist before that cosmic creation event, commonly called the “big bang.” So how did nothing — meaning no time or space or matter or energy — become everything we can see and everything we cannot see?
Just thinking about that can make your head spin. How could NOTHING become EVERYTHING with no CAUSE? It had to have a cause. What is the cause? That is the crucial question. It is a question that must be answered by both theists and atheists. Of course, theists believe in God, and that is their answer. Atheists must find another solution to the question.
The late scientist Stephen Hawking thought he had the answer. In his book The Grand Design, he stated, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.” Hawking was a brilliant man, but that seems to me to be a rather weak answer.
When atheists such as Hawking answer the question of cause, they are describing their “god.” Whatever someone takes as the ultimate source of all that exists in this physical universe can only be described as that person's god. If Hawking believed that gravity was the ultimate source, gravity was Hawking's god.
Anyone who thinks through the idea of existence must contemplate the ultimate cause of why we are here. You are here because of your parents. They lived because of their parents and on and on until you get to Adam and Eve. But what was before the first humans? For an atheist, evolution describes the ancestry from there back to the “primordial soup” or whatever birthed the original life-form. That leads to the second question.
How did inorganic matter SPONTANEOUSLY become life?
How did lifeless matter SPONTANEOUSLY become alive? How did carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous, calcium, potassium, and other lifeless elements become a living cell and eventually us?
Science has been working for years to create life in the laboratory. They thought they made an early breakthrough in 1952 with the Miller-Urey experiment. We now know that the “atmosphere” in that experiment does not resemble the early Earth's atmosphere, thus invalidating the finding. Also, the experiment only created some amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, but far from a living cell.
I have an Associated Press news article in my files. The headline reads, “Scientists Believe Artificial Life Will Be Possible in 3 to 10 Years.” The report is dated August 20, 2007. In 2020, the artificial creation of life is still years away if it ever happens. If a team of scientists succeeds in creating a living cell capable of reproducing, what will they have proven? Will they have shown that life arises spontaneously from non-life? No. They will have proven that great intelligence under carefully controlled conditions can turn non-living matter into life-forms. They will have shown that life is not an accident, but the creation of an intelligent being. That is what the Bible has said for thousands of years (see Genesis 1).
Furthermore, in making that living cell, they will be using elements and molecules that they did not create. Where did those elements come from? That takes us back to question number one. There is a story about a scientist who challenged God, saying that it was no big deal to create a man from the dust of the ground. God said, “Go ahead and do it.” The scientist grabbed up a handful of dust, and God interrupted him, saying, “Wait a minute! Make your own dust.”
If life can come from non-life without intelligent intervention, why did it happen only once in our planet's history? Why is not life popping up from non-life in swamps today? Okay, so the atmosphere and conditions were different back on the early Earth. How did those just-right conditions merely happen, and did they occur in only one location? Why did not life pop up in many places? The more we consider how the cosmos and life began, the more questions we have.
MORE QUESTIONS SCIENCE CANNOT ANSWER
The two main questions we have considered cannot be answered by science today, and probably never will be. Science can only devise hypotheses on those two challenges because the events involved happened long ago. Without inventing a time machine to take us back, any hypothesis cannot be proven or falsified. So the bottom line is, even if you could prove evolution from a single-cell life-form to human beings, that would not eliminate the need for God.
Science also has no answer to the question, “What is the purpose of the universe?” If the cosmos just happened without an intelligent causer, then it cannot have an ultimate purpose. There is also a more personal question, “Why am I here? What is my purpose?” Science cannot answer that, either. If you are merely the result of chance evolution, you are no more valuable than a frog or an earthworm. You are just an accident.
Is your “god” a random gravity fluctuation of “nothing,” or a personal God who created you in his image with a purpose for your life? If the latter is your answer, you are infinitely valuable, and you are loved. All of this leads to the most basic and essential question of all — “Does God exist?”
© gan chaonan. Image from Big Stock.com
© honoverclock. Image from Big Stock.com
© Forplayday. Image from Big Stock.com
© danor. Image from Big Stock.com
© SciePro. Imagefrom Big Stock.com
© Herraez. Images from Big Stock.com
© CathyKeifer. Image from Big Stock.com
© SURZ. Image from Big Stock.com
Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.