There is a a frequently heard claim by prominent atheist advocates like Sam Harris that Christians who argue for the existence of God are merely using God to explain the gaps in human knowledge about how the universe came to be, the origin of life, and other mysteries.
“Hey, we don’t understand how the world was created, or even if it was or has just always been, so that must be explained by a god,” is the alleged process atheists accuse Christians of following.
If you are a congressional aide who works on either of the Senate or House committees that deal with science and technology, odds are good you’ve heard this argument articulated more than once.
But, guess what, the same reasoning can be applied to “science of the gaps,” according to J. Warner Wallace of Cold-Case Christianity and NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective renown. “To deny personhood of the First Cause is science of the gaps,” he argues in the following video:
Hummingbirds are supposed to be able to fly, but they do. In fact, they move in ways that remind us of helicopters, hovering in place this second, then streaking off in a new direction. The maneuverability of common house flies is even more amazing.
So what have hummingbirds and common house flies to do with anything? They are inspirations of a developing field of technology known as “biomimicry.” It’s the adaption of capabilities and designs found in nature to improving the way we humans live. Congressional staff will do well to become familiar with the technology and its possibilities.
But biomimicry also points us toward a crucial fact about the natural world — the amazing capabilities nature displays in countless ways are collectively a strong argument for an intelligent designer. Kyle Butt of the Apologetics Press explains:
To counter the otherwise overwhelmingly convincing evidence for Intelligent Design (ID) of our universe, critics often claim that there are actually millions of universes and it just happens that one of them has all of those characteristics cited by ID advocates as evidence for the guiding hand of a designer.
Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace tackles the multiverse theory in the following video produced as part of his lecture series based on his book, God’s Crime Scene.
The crime scene refers to Wallace’s prior career as a cold-case detective who was so good at unwinding decades old homicides that he made multiple appearances on NBC’s “Dateline” show.
“Have you ever composed a text message on your smartphone and had the app suggest the next word? It is amazing that, many times, the app is correct. How does it work? By sheer chance? Or by reading your mind?
“The fact that technology can often predict the next word you are going to type is possible only because your text message comes from your mind. The sentence you type is informative and meaningful because it is intelligently designed and therefore predictable.
“Scientists have recently found similar predictability in biochemical systems. Does this similarity mean that biochemistry is also intelligently designed? Before answering this question, let us look at one way that mathematicians characterize information in the sentences we type.”
Those are the opening three graphs of a fascinating analysis on Reasons To Believe by Dr. Zachary Leung on biochemistry and the case for Intelligent Design of the universe. Some of it may be a little dense for general readers, but if I figured it out, odds are you will as well. Guaranteed to give you a lot to think about.
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:
Being a journalist by trade, I am a right-brained person. That’s why I never did well in mathematics in school, except for Geometry where the spatial relationships seemed to make intuitive sense to me. Maybe if I had studied more …
Anyway, you may not know this but mathematics is the foundational blueprint for reality. This is no recently discovered fact. As Galileo put it, “the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics.” Remember that the next time you bite into a delicious ear of Silver Queen corn on the cob and wonder what the formula is for such deliciousness.
In the following video from Philosopher William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith outfit, a succinct case is made for the proposition that the direct relationship between mathematics and the universe is powerful evidence that the blueprint didn’t just happen:
Read the following two graphs. If you, like me, are not a Ph.D. in computer science or quantum physics, odds are you won’t fully understand the implications for the God question:
“We now know that three quantum fields undergird physical reality — the electron, the up quark and the down quark. These ‘particles’ are in fact tiny clouds of pure energy. And somehow, they encode digital information for establishing what is known as a particle’s quantum state.
“We do not understand and cannot visualize what this ghostly energy is. But we do know that it cannot be created or destroyed by any natural power. We also know that we can use mathematics to model how these tiny clouds of digital information behave as they flow through time and combine to undergird larger and larger patterns of energy and information.”
Trust me, if, like me, you are curious about how we all got here and why we live in the kind of material universe we inhabit, you gotta read “Bits and Bytes at the Bottom,” by Kenneth Pederson and Jonathan Witt. It appears in the latest issue of Evolution News & Science Today.
Whether you are an atheist, an agnostic or a believing Christian, we ought all be tremendously inspired and encouraged by the incredible progress being made possible by all those bytes!
It all started with the Big Bang, right? Billions of years ago, there was nothing of the universe but empty space. No Earth. No stars or moons. Nobody anywhere. Nothing but … lots and lots of nothing.
Then the Big Bang happened and, well, the rest is literally history, right up to this moment as you read these words. You aren’t certain why it happened but you are convinced it did.
But hang on a second, there’s an aspect of the Big Bang that you probably haven’t thought about. It makes all the difference, however, because it’s a miracle, something super-natural, beyond what we understand to be normal. Cold Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace, author of “God’s Crime Scene,” explains why:
Imagine you are walking along and a sign suddenly appears telling you that if you take one more step forward, you will instantly disappear into nothingness. And the same sign further informs you that taking one step backward will have the same result.
That’s kind of how we humans are in this incredible universe we inhabit. To begin to appreciate just how miraculous it is, consider that there are dozens of characteristics like gravity, the degree of Earth’s tilt on its axis and the DNA structure that must be as precisely set as they are in order for the universe to exist.
It is almost impossible for us to really grasp just how amazing it is that we exist. But this video from philosopher William Lane Craig’s reasonablefaith.org is a great first step towards beginning to understand:
Right up front, let me say this post is not meant to spark an evolution vs intelligent design debate. I have my views, others have theirs and odds are good we don’t agree on every point.
But one thing everybody can definitely agree on is there is an all-but-inexpressibly amazing degree of creativity, variety and fascination in the world of living things, including Beetles capable of long-jumping incredible distances, dolphins with unmatched maneuverability, and shrimp capable of seeing the invisible energy known as heat.
This intriguing trio is the subject of a new post from the Discovery Institute’s EN that I highly recommend to everybody. Yes, the EN folks are highly critical of modern evolutionary theory, but put that aside as you read. Here’s a sample:
“The apparatus responsible for this exceptional jump is hidden inside the beetle’s hind legs and is relatively simple. It contains only three sclerotised parts and a few muscles. Yet, it is, in reality, a highly efficient ‘catapult,‘ able to propel the beetle at a distance hundreds of times its body length.”
Go to an art museum and you will see dozens of illustrations of the common sense truth that design requires a designer. Regardless if you see a classic Rembrandt or some weird post-modern existential scream, there was an artist behind it (i.e. a designer).
It’s the same in nature generally and specifically in that part of nature studied as the field of biology. In the following video, Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace, the NBC “Dateline” detective extraordinaire, walks us through eight signs he sees in biology of design.
When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved on an expedited basis the use of the Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine anti-malarial drugs in the treatment of coronavirus, it’s doubtful any of the officials involved or the mainstream media journalists reporting the decision realized they were also focusing attention on a key to the case for Intelligent Design (ID) of the universe.
But one journalist, David Klinghoffer, editor of Evolution News (EN), immediately recognized there was more to the story than a potential advance in the war against coronavirus.
“Yes, chloroquine-resistant malarial parasites figure prominently in biochemist and ID proponent Michael Behe’s argument for sharp limits to what unguided Darwinian processes can do. He details that case in his book The Edge of Evolution,” Klinghoffer reports.
Behe discusses with “ID The Future” host Andrew McDiarmid the mutation ceiling with the anti-malarial drugs and the significance of that ceiling possibly being beyond the edge of evolution. You can listen to the entire podcast here.
What if every time you have a thought about something, anything — what’s for lunch today, how should I react when the boss wants her District weekend schedule for next week tomorrow, why doesn’t Linda stop wearing her hair like that, how much do clouds weigh — you are providing evidence for God’s existence?
Think about it (no pun intended!), how can we account for the mind when, unlike our brains, it has no measurable weight, shape or volume. In other words, what if mind is not matter, at least not as the latter is understood in terms of physical properties.
Why should you, as a loyal, hard-working member of a congressional staff, care one way or the other about this? If mind isn’t matter, there must be more to life than the merely physical.
Watches don’t just magically appear out of nothing or assemble themselves without any outside assistance, therefore there must be a watchmaker doing what scientists and philosophers today call “intelligence design.”
The preceding paragraph is a modern restatement of William Paley’s Watchmaker argument for the existence of God. Just as the watch requires a watchmaker, the universe requires a creator.