This is an email conversation I had with a friend:
I hope you don’t mind this note. I’m not trying to start a jihad or anything. But I was thinking about what you said before lunch about it being irrational or unscientific to believe in the existence of God. All I can tell you (as one rocket scientist to another) is if I thought it was irrational, I wouldn’t have anything to do with it. I can’t prove it by showing you God in concrete substance. But I think the circumstantial evidence is all around us. You’re the lawyer here, but having served as a juror, it has been explained to me that circumstantial evidence is sufficient to prove a case in a court of law (contrary to conventional Hollywood myth). One piece of evidence that I personally find to be compelling is the existence of biological systems. But first, consider much less complex engineering systems. You could pick any example, but take a typical traffic light. It has a sensing system in the lanes leading up to it to let it “know” when traffic is approaching from one direction and when it is clear in another direction. It’s control system relies on this sensing system to change the color of the light. This is an example of a very simple system. Now if you concluded upon seeing such a system in operation that it got there all by itself (i.e., no intelligence is responsible for it), you’d be laughed at. And rightfully so, because that would be irrational. It has an intelligent purpose, and its components have an intelligent pupose, therefore there must be an intelligence behind it. Biological systems are much more complex than anything we engineers have had a hand in. Look at the human body with it’s sensory systems, it’s immune system, it’s respiratory system, it’s circulatory system, it’s neurological system, it’s genetic code, etc. All these subsystems serve an intelligent and necessary purpose to the proper functioning of the body. If a simple system like a traffic light is circumstantial evidence of an intelligent designer, how can the body or any other complex biological system be anything less? It’s irrational to assume that inanimate matter can arrange itself into a biological system. It’s also unscientific to assume this could happen because there is no scientific data that I’m aware of that demonstrates it.
[size=2]The difficulty I have with this line of reasoning is that once you make the claim that an intelligent creator is required for any intelligent system to exist it leads to an infinite circular logic problem. This is similar to the “chicken or the egg” paradox.[/size]
[size=2]Let me explain: if a system as complex as a human being is to be created from nothing, the creator of this human system must arguably be more complex than the system he is creating. (e.g., a human might create a table from a tree, but a tree certainly could not create a human). A supreme being who is infinitely more complex than a human (since he can create the universe and all that is in it) must have been created from something or someone. [/size]
[size=2]Who then created the creator? To assume that the creator “just is”, is internally inconsistent with the argument that humans, because they are so complex, could not have merely evolved. A being such as the creator who is infinitely more complex than a human would be infinitely more unlikely to have come into being without his own creator. This leads to an infinite number of creators with infinitely increasing complexity. [/size]
[size=2]What is the answer? Who knows. I personally think that it is as good an argument that the universe “just is”, as the creator “just is” (i.e. that neither had their own creator). [/size]
[size=2]As far as circumstantial evidence is concerned: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. For example, if I were to claim that I could fly, walk on water, read peoples minds, cold fusion, etc., I would have to have pretty clear and convincing evidence. Merely showing that I crossed the Pacific Ocean in five minutes does not prove that I can fly (and really fast at that). I could have stepped into a worm hole, or some other unknown method. I would have to demonstrate that I did in fact fly, and probably explain the phenomenon behind human unaided flight, before my hypothesis would be accepted by the scientific community.[/size]
[size=2]This same standard should be applied to the question of “where did humans come from?”. This level of proof of a creator definitively creating humans has not be attained despite 2000 years of trying.[/size]