You may have heard of Enrico Fermi. He’s the Italian physicist who invented the first nuclear reactor. He also asked a rather pointed question that ought to challenge the best thinkers among advocates and critics of intelligent design.
That question — AKA “Fermi’s Paradox” — is simply this: If the universe is infinitely old, or billions and billions of years old, and there are multiple life forms out there, why haven’t they found us yet? Why haven’t we turned up at least a little evidence of their existence? (Yes, I know, maybe they/we have and we just don’t know it).
Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace explains the significance of Fermi’s Paradox in the great debate between those who claim the universe’s marvelous perfection is accidental and those who argue that it’s that way because its Creator designed it like that:
It’s among the most basic questions of all and how we each answer it shapes our thinking on everything else, often in ways we don’t realize. And it involves the most basic law of logic, non-contradiction, as well as the law of cause and effect.
In the following video, Kyle Butt of the Apologetics Press analyzes the claim of materialists that the universe (the effect) had no non-material cause. Pay close attention to the explanation offered by Stephen Hawking, who surely was one of the smartest men who ever lived:
Had a birthday a few days ago. How old am I now? Let’s just say, as President Reagan often did, that it was the 41st anniversary of my … okay, moving right along. It doesn’t really matter how old I became, what is really important here is that the occasion means I completed another of my allotted years, however many that may ultimately be.
But we all know what happens when we reach that final day and breath our last. We die. What then? Is that all there is to it? What happens after we die? If you are a secularist/humanist, there are, in the final analysis, what appear to be two possible answers but which are actually variations on a *theme:
There is a common assertion among atheists that religion is the cause of millions of deaths that would otherwise not have happened. The implication is that a world without religion would be peaceful whereas religion always and everywhere causes wars.
The implication is further that Christianity is somehow particularly prone to inciting armies to march and clash. Considering the Middle Ages and Reformation eras, there’s certainly an abundance of examples that seem to support the assertion, but, as is well-illustrated by, for example, Thucydides’ “The Peloponnesian War” and Julius Caesar’s “The Gallic Wars,” the ancient pagan world was equally familiar with wars having little or nothing to do with religion.
So the facts of history, especially in the modern era, simply do not support that atheist/agnostic contention about religion and war. As Dr. Frank Turek of cross-examined.org points out in the following video, the worst killers have been followers of officially atheistic Communism, genocidal murderers like Stalin and Mao.
And just for the record, the common element in all wars, be they religiously inspired or prompted by non-religious factors, is human nature and man’s ready resort to killing to settle things, otherwise known as Original Sin.
And Since We’re Talking About War, Don’t Miss This!
Ephesians 2:8-10 says, among much else, “you are saved by grace, not of works, lest any man should boast.” That makes Christianity a relationship with the Savior, not a religion of dos and don’ts by which one earns salvation.
Virtually any time somebody who believes the universe was created by God debates another person who denies that claim, odds are good the latter will accuse the former of advocating the “God of the gaps” theory.
That theory is a rhetorical device lobbed by the speaker using it at the other person to claim they are simply inventing “God” to fill in the gaps of their knowledge created by the present lack of a purely materialistic or scientific explanation. The often unstated assumption is that given enough time, such an explanation will be found.
Cross-examined.org’s Dr. Frank Turek addresses the “God of the gaps” theory in the following video and, at least in my humble opinion, makes it crystal clear why it is nothing more than a rhetorical device:
Richard Dawkins is among the world’s best-known atheists, having debated just about every major contemporary Christian apologist, including John Lennox, his Oxford faculty colleague, as well as philosopher William Lane Craig, and Ravi Zacharias.
Whatever you may think about Dawkins’ arguments against the existence of God, or how he performed versus Lennox, Craig or Zacharias, my interest here is in a strange but significantly revealing aspect of the evolutionary biologist’s recent statements about … cannibalism.
Experts didn’t expect such a development but it appears the ranks of the “Nones” — people who identify with no religious denomination or following — are no longer increasing and a decline may even be ahead.
That’s the news from two recently completed massive studies, both of which are reported today by the Religion in Public (RIP) blog. In the first, Washington College Political Science Professor Melissa Deckman notes:
John Lennox is the famous and brilliant Oxford mathematician and Christian apologist. David Rubin is the famous and brilliant web radio host and child of a conservative Jewish home.
What on earth might two guys of such different backgrounds have to talk about for an hour? Well, what could be more important than the question that has been center stage in Western culture ever since Nietzsche declared that “God is dead.”
This is an hour-long conversation, but I hope you will get yourself a cup of java, sit down somewhere quiet and give this delightful, stimulating and instructive conversation between two really smart, funny and honest guys your attention on this first Saturday of December 2019.
Read that headline again because it probably doesn’t suggest what you thought it did the first time through. That is, it’s NOT suggesting that if you think there are little green men somewhere “out there,” you must also believe God exists.
Now, check out this logic from Timothy Fox, one of the proprietors of the Free Thinking Ministries blog, in an illuminating post on Dr. Sean McDowell’s blog entitled “Aliens and the Existence of God”:
“The first question smart gamblers ask is, ‘What are the odds?’ There’s good reason for it; playing the odds gives them the best chance at winning.
“However, the odds for many things we see in our universe coming into existence without any intelligent input or intentionality are so mind-numbingly improbable it requires an irrational dose of blind faith to even consider them.
“How mind-numbing, you ask? I’ll give just one brief example. Take living cells and the biological proteins that compose them. If we consider just one simple living cell consisting of only 250 short proteins, and those 250 proteins each consist of only 150 amino acids (they can consist of up to 30,000 amino acids), the odds that these 37,500 amino acids (250 proteins X 150 amino acids) could all arrange themselves into a sequence where the cell could actually function is only one chance in 10 to the 41,000th (that’s a one followed by 41,000 zeros.
“That’s a lethal problem for atheism. Even if the universe were 14 billion years old (that’s the oldest estimate even the most ardent atheists give it), there hasn’t been nearly enough time for 10 to the 41,000th attempts at anything. Not by a long shot! And that’s only one example out of countless others we could offer.” — Tom Hammond, What Time Is Purple, pps 16-17
Strike up a conversation with folks around Capitol Hill about their view of how and why the universe came into existence and odds are very good you will sooner or later hear the theory ours is just one of many universes.
This is the “multiverse” explanation for why there is something rather than nothing, and it is a concept that in recent years has gained numerous advocates within the scientific community and disciples in the popular press.
Professor Sean McDowell of Biola University takes on the radical historians who claim Christianity’s sole legacy is intolerance, the slaughter of the Crusades and moral hypocrisy. Thursday, August 1, 2019.
NBC “Dateline” Cold-Case Expert J. Warner Wallace explains why those apparent variations in how each of the Gospels reported the Resurrection are evidence of their strengths as eyewitnesses. Monday, July 29, 2019.
You might even want to know “What Time Is Purple” and how to get a free copy of a remarkable little book. Or a free copy of “More Than A Carpenter,” the classic description of evidence for the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Black and white, cats and dogs, Christians and atheists. These pairs are just about as opposite as it is possible to be. But there is one fact that is so basic, so essential to logic and clear-thinking, that Christians and atheists agree on it.
(As for the other two pairs, our black Lab Twister definitely prefers his color and the company of other canines to that of, you know, those arrogant, self-absorbed furrballs.)
NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace — author of the highly recommended “Cold Case Christianity” — explains what that most basic fact is while responding to a probing question from a college student about how to explain the existence of a god:
Believe it or not, early in the decades following Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection, His followers were considered unpatriotic atheists by the most powerful government in the world, Rome.
As Ryan Leasure writes on The Poached Egg on this Palm Sunday, Roman Emperors expected subjects to bow down to the Roman pantheon of gods in an act both of loyalty to Caesar and religious piety.
Christians — in a dramatic act of separation of church and state —refused to worship the Roman gods and were thus viewed officially and by many Romans as atheists. But there was also an economic angle involved, as Leasure explains: