Matter's Irreducible Complexity
When numerous things have to be "right" for something to exist, the likelihood of chance being the cause is reduced to zero.

Irreducible complexity--a single system composed of several well-matched interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease function. Sun

The above quote by Michael J. Behe in his book Darwin`s Black Box (The Free Press, 1996, page 39) has touched off a major war between atheist Darwinists and many flavors of creationists. Behe's arguments are biological in nature and, as a biochemist, both his statements and the rebuttals of his critics are beyond what most of us can completely follow. We would suggest a similar type of evidence for God's intelligent design in matter can be made. There are a wide variety of forces and energies which allow a stable molecule like water to exist. If any one of these forces or energies are not within a certain range, something as seemingly simple as water could not exist. Let us take a brief and simplified look at some of these quantities.

Gravity Force formula

One quantity that is operational in matter is gravity. As the electron orbits the nucleus of the atom, one thing that works on that electron is gravity. The electron and the nucleus attract each other. Isaac Newton gave mankind the equation above. The force pulling the electron and nucleus together due to their mass is what is being calculated, and it is just one of the forces doing this. That is the force labeled F in the equation above. The M1 and M2 in the equation are the masses of the electron and of the nucleus. X in the equation is how far apart the electron and the nucleus are. To make the equation work, there is a constant in the equation called the gravitational constant (G). That constant has to be a particular value in order for the equation to accurately calculate the force of gravity. The experimental value of this constant is 6.67 x 10-11. Suppose the value of this constant was larger than this number. What would happen to the atom? If the value of the constant were larger, gravity would be larger and the electron would collapse into the nucleus. As a matter of interest, if the value were substantially larger, all matter would collapse into a black hole. If the value were smaller, the force of gravity would also be smaller and the atom would have an increased tendency to fly apart.

 Gravity is a significant component of the glue that holds the cosmos together. Any value of the gravitational constant other than the one we have would have serious negative consequences for the very existence of matter itself.

Electrical Force formula

Another major force operational in the atom is electric charge. The nucleus of the atom is positive in charge and the electron going around the nucleus is negative. Like gravity, this attraction keeps the electron in orbit around the nucleus as centrifugal force pushes it away. Also, like gravity, the force of attraction between the charges is dependent on the magnitude of the charges (q1 and q2) and how far apart they are. The constant K in this equation is just like G was in the last equation--it makes the equation work. The value of K is 9 x 109. If the value of K were larger, the attraction between the positive and negative charges would be greater. This would eliminate virtually all chemical reactions, change the size of the atom, and the matter of the universe would not exist.

 We have chosen these two basic forces because most junior high school students have studied them and know something about how they work. We could explore magnetic force, nuclear force, weak nuclear force, electromagnetic coupling, ratio of electron to proton mass, entropy level, mass density, orbital eccentricity, albedo, atmospheric electric discharge rate, etc., and show the same kinds of equations and constants for each of them. The point is that, at the moment of the creation of space/time--of the cosmos in other words--all of these constants had to be right. If the value of the electrical constant K was off, matter could not exist--even if all the others were right. You cannot propose that these constants come about gradually or by some process. At the moment of the creation of space/time, all of the numbers have to be exactly what they are. If it is proposed that the numerical values are the product of chance, it is easily seen that the probabilities become prohibitive. Let us propose that the odds of having the right value for each characteristic listed above to be what it has to be was as low as 1 in 10. (In reality, all of them would be vastly less likely than that.) The probability would be:

Times Ten

This vastly exceeds the number of possible atoms in the universe. One can propose multiple universes to try and circumvent the obvious point that chance is not a rational cause to matter's basic design, but that is totally a faith proposal for which there is no evidence.

 Behe's concept of irreducible complexity is a good description of what we have been discussing. If any one of the basic components of the atom is missing, atoms cannot exist. All must occur instantly by whatever process forms matter. We suggest intelligence is the only possible answer to this structure. Because of all the other available evidence, we would say the intelligence is just one property of the entity called God. Genesis 1:1 sounds very simple, but the implications of the process are enormous.

--John N. Clayton


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