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.
Among the most powerful ways of demoralizing or belittling an opponent is to mock their position. It’s not one I recommend, but it is the source of a particular kind of argument one hears from time to time from atheists in discussion with Christians.
“Believing in God makes about as much logical sense as believing in the Flying Spaghetti Monster,” is one form of mockery that, as cold-casechristianity.com’s J. Warner Wallace points out, was first heard in 2005 during debates in Kansas over whether to include Intelligent Design evidence as an alternative to evolutionary theory in public schools.
The most unfortunate aspect of this retort is the fact that Christianity, unlike any other world religion, is based on a fact in history for which there is significant evidence that can be assessed, verified and then accepted or rejected. And that makes all the difference:
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:
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.
It is a commonplace belief among prominent contemporary atheist thinkers that the universe is strictly materialist, with nothing remotely non-material, or “spiritual,” as has been commonly understood for thousands of years.
But John Lennox, the British mathematician, philosopher of science, and Oxford professor emeritus, detects some interesting trends among the atheists he often debates in public forums.
“I think we’re getting to the state now where serious atheist thinkers are beginning to re-examine the kind of naturalism that reduces everything to physics and chemistry,” Lennox said during a recent discussion with Talk Radio’s Dave Rubin on The Big Conversation.
Check out this excerpt in which Lennox explains and includes examples:
“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
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:
Proponents of atheism like Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking and Sam Harris have become prominent public figures, thanks to their intelligence and debating skills, science knowledge and formidable public presences.
They are helping prompt the renewal of a much-needed public debate in the U.S. and Europe on the Theory of Everything (TOE) questions: Why is there something rather than nothing, why does the universe exist, why are human beings in it, and what happens to us after we die?
For all of our knowledge, there remains no definitive, testable, repeatable scientific answer to the question every person who ever lived asked themselves at least once: What happens to me after I die?
Science deals with the material world, cause and effect, the repeatedly demonstrable. But death, at least as far as we know from common human experience, is always and everywhere a one-way ticket (yes, I know there are folks who claim to have died and come back with vivid – but unverifiable- reports of what Heaven is like).
(The photo above is courtesy of Madison Grooms of Unsplash.)
Things, including people, tend to change over time and, according to the conventional wisdom of many of the top folks among the scientific and cultural elite, if you combine enough time with the right kind of matter and the phenomenon called “chance,” you get to evolution as an explanation of the origins of life on Earth.
Note that the phrase can either refer to theistic evolution, which God uses, or a-theistic evolution, which puts God entirely out of the picture. There is also an important distinction to be made between macro-evolution, which concerns the appearance of distinct species, and micro-evolution, which concerns the appearance of changes within species.
So why should anybody working on Capitol Hill care about this?
Evolution is accepted as unquestionable fact throughout the popular culture, mainstream media and academic community, but what if more than 1,000 scientists from Harvard, MIT, Princeton and similarly prestigious institutions from around America and the world say they now reject Darwinism, not on the basis of religion but science?