What are some of the fairly large footprints in science (not philosophy) that truly indicate there was a creator?
The braided rings of Saturn
The new map of Cosmic Microwave Background CMB]
[and then at the other end of the size spectrum]
[and, in between, the platypus ]
[and for applied scientists: “**why did oil and natural gas first appear in New York State?” ]
A professed atheist that I once new told me about a book called Rare Earth which basically made an extremely strong case for the odds of intelligent life existing elsewhere in the universe being very low (in fact, it may not even exist). If I recall correctly, the book said that even things like having a moon of a certain size stripping away the top layers of atmosphere are absolutely indispensable for the existence of intelligent life.
Years later, after I converted to the faith, I now realize that this atheist actually made an incredibly strong case for intelligent design. If the odds for intelligent life existing elsewhere in the universe are so low, then what are the odds of it having occured on earth by random chance? It’s more logical (and scientific) that life did not occur here through random chance but was brought about by an intelligent designer.
For me it’s the ‘Big Bang’. The universe started from a single tiny particle that expanded. Who put it there? Before the ‘Big Bang’ time and space did not exist. What existed in that timeless, spaceless condition?
Yeah, but … [how do we know that nothing existed before the “Big Bang”?]
[What if there were billions and billions of years of existence … in previous “cycles” … but we have no way of knowing for sure.]
A bit difficult to have billions of years of existence if time hadn’t yet been created.
The Language of DNA
This why I have always believed in God:
Louis Leaky was a hero of mine when I was growing up. I saw him once on TV talking about a certain flower that exists in Africa.
This flower or anything like it is found no where else and is actually a group of beetles whose habit is to congregate on a tall grass stem and arrange themselves into an elaborate flower. There are no other flowers that look like it. He showed us one of these flowers on the TV screen and the imitation is so good you really couldn’t tell it was anything but a flower. They had all the right sort of things sticking out, and they had the right flower like shape when all together. Colour and tranparency of the petals was perfect. They even made a sweet fragrance like a flower.
Each bug as an individual looks nothing like a flower.
Birds in this area eat bugs, not flowers.
I do believe in evolution, but how did evolution manage that by natural selection alone?
I think God is laughing at us…
Scientifically, the odds of intelligent life forming on Earth are 1. (100%).
As a result of random occurrence, as per the atheist claim?
Sure, because it was designed.
That’s easy; nothing. Before the Big Bang there was nonexistence. The Big Bang is the beginning of existence. There is a new trend in scientific communities today to suggest that molecules, heat and gravity existed “before” the Big Bang in a tiny, tiny area as a means of trying to find a way to explain the first cause without reference to a creator or designer. The thinking is that some things have just always existed, a concept that I find completely unacceptable. Even scientists don’t like the concept of infinity because it doesn’t answer any questions.
I saw a show recently where Stephen Hawking said that since time began at the Big Bang, then God couldn’t exist, because before the Big Bang and the creation of time there was no place for Him to be! For all his cleverness and learning, the concept of God existing outside of time and space seems to have escaped Professor Hawking. Heck, even the Greeks understood that a creator must necessarily exist outside of their own creation.
Scientifically, the odds of intelligent life forming on Earth are 1 (100%), regardless of whether intelligent life was designed or not.
Point being, no one is here to even pose this question if intelligent life doesn’t exist on Earth in the first place. So, the whole idea is kind of irrelevant.
One of the arguments I have heard in favour of intelligent design is that the conditions on Earth are so perfect for life, and that any amount of deviation from those conditions would have rendered Earth unable to support life.
The objection to that is that life arose as a response to those conditions. Of course life would need exactly the temperature, the mixture of air, and so on that we see on Earth.
It sounds like a good argument, but we need better…
Darn tootin’ you need better.
You are now, at this moment, reading what I wrote some time ago. The fact that you are doing that is because I wrote it in the first place. And there are direct causal links between me writing it and you reading it that go back as far as you’d like to go. The fact that you got out of bed at a particular time this morning; the fact that I had a spare couple of minutes at lunchtime to write this; the fact that you have a PC and live in Cortes Island. The fact that thousands of ancestors of yours (and mine) over millions of years managed to survive long enough to pass on their individual genes.
Just think - your very existence could have been decided by some creature deciding to turn right instead of left when it left its cave hundreds of millions of years ago.
So was all of this planned so that you could read these few lines? Did that creature turn left as part of some galactic plan just so that you could read this? Of course not. Because you can’t take a random event and then state that everything that led up to it was non-random. There is an unlimited number of individual and separate events over billions of years that led you to read this, yet the chances of you actually doing so, as Veritas said above, is 1. Kinda weird, isn’t it…
Unfortunately for anyone who has a religious belief, this leads to the undeniable conclusion that all of us being here in this ‘fine-tuned universe’ is, in fact, a random event. And, quite understandably, some people don’t like that.
Contemplation on the Relations Between Science and Faith
Prof. Werner Arber (University of Basel, Switzerland – President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences) to the Holy Father, and to the members of the Synod of Bishops on “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”.
Curiosity is a basic property of the human mind. On the one hand, it is the driving force of scientific investigations seeking to identify natural laws. On the other, curiosity is also at the basis of every human being’s interest in knowing the fundamental laws of nature as an essential contribution to his own search for meaning and truth. Whereas the sciences are far from being able to give appropriate responses to all the questions raised, especially the ones transcending the natural sphere, various beliefs (including the ones that have their source in religion) also play an important role in answering the question about meaning. They are essential parts of the orientational knowledge that serves to guide our human activities. In this context we would like to raise the question of the mutual relations and compatibilities between scientific knowledge and the essential contents of faith.
Cultural values of scientific knowledge
Scientific insights into the laws and constants of nature are cultural values from the following two points of view: on the one hand, established scientific knowledge enriches our worldview and thus contributes to our orientational knowledge. On the other, scientific knowledge can also open novel approaches to technological applications and innovations for the benefit of our lives and our environment. Since such innovations will often contribute to shaping the future, ideally we should postulate that any respective decision should depend on careful technological assessment and, on the other hand, that the civil society and the Church are ready to take co-responsibility – with the scientists and with the economy – in reshaping the future with prospective benefits for mankind and for its environment. Such measures can help ensure the sustainability of the process and thus the long-term future development on our planet.
The role of rules of conduct for Humanity
We are aware that our life in society requires some binding rules of conduct that should become an integral part of our orientational knowledge. In modern societies, politically established legislation ensures that recommended rules of conduct are widely followed. Acceptance of such rules can be facilitated if their principles are also anchored in a religious faith. In the Christian society, important rules of conduct were propagated by Jesus Christ throughout his life and have been widely followed by Christians ever since. Nevertheless, it is an important task of today’s societies to update the established set of rules, paying particular attention to our acquired scientific knowledge. In this context, I assume that if Jesus Christ were still alive among us today, he would be in favor of the application of solid scientific knowledge for the long-term benefit of humans and of their natural environment, as long as such applications, which lead to shaping the future, could ensure that the relevant laws of nature were fully respected.
The compatibility of scientific knowledge and religious faith
*For a long time curious human beings have acquired scientific knowledge primarily by observing with their senses and aided by mental reflections including logical reasoning. The chapter of the Genesis in the Old Testament is for me a testimony of an early scientific worldview already existing several thousand years ago. This chapter also reflects a wide consistency between religious faith and available scientific knowledge. It proposes a logical sequence of events in which the creation of our planet Earth may have been followed by the establishment of the conditions for life. Plants were then introduced and subsequently provided food for animals before human beings were finally introduced. Leaving aside the question of Revelation, this is clearly a logical narration of the possible evolutionary origin of things by imaginary events that led to the nature that the ancient populations could observe. From the genealogy outlined in the Old Testament I can also conclude that its authors were aware of phenotypical (i.e. genetic) variants. The people described have their own personal characteristics and are not genetically identical clones of Adam and Eve. In these stories we find a good consistency between early religious faith and scientific knowledge about evolutionary developments. It is our duty today to preserve (and where necessary restore) this consistency on the basis of the improved scientific knowledge now available. I am convinced that scientific knowledge and faith are complementary elements in our orientational knowledge and should remain so.
It [Pontifical Academy of Sciences] periodically issues its publications – both in book form and digitally on its website www.pas.va – to inform the scientific world, the Church hierarchy, and all Christians and people of good will of its work, and also makes relevant recommendations in favor of a safe, responsible and sustainable development.
1.President of the PAS, 10/15/12
Title Professor, Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine, 1978
Those are giant footprints. What about smaller ones, like:
the wings of a butterfly
a spider’s web
the miracle of birth
our ability to think
or even a blade of grass.
All these are astounding creations. It seems God has left His marks everywhere.
Not so fast. If intelligent life doesn’t exist on Earth, then no one can say that the odds of intelligent life forming on earth is 100%.
For me I was really struck studying biochemistry at the incredible complexity that is achieved through seemingly simple and dumb components. The function of the oxygen-carrying protein hemoglobin is a good example. At a higher level, seeing the many layers of feedback and control that keep living cells “tuned” yet able to respond to stimuli. Amazing stuff, very non-intuitive. Learning that for the first time, I felt face to face with deep mysteries of the universe. I know for some scientists learning these details of biochemistry and molecular biology makes them feel less reverence for creation, less of a sense that God has a hand in it, because after all we can boil a lot of it down to basic chemistry and mechanisms. Quite the opposite for me however. It definitely don’t subscribe to intelligent design because a lot of it seems almost Rube Goldbergish. So much of it works exactly not the way human engineers would put things together, trivial examples not withstanding. I’m more fascinated by this mystery of God creating nature which is continuously unfolding, continuously growing, continuously revealing God’s nature.