As part of a discussion on doubts and questions, one often ends up wrestling with the idea of the existence of God. In our modern, “scientific” world, it is very much in vogue to scorn those who believe in God as silly or weak minded. The existence of God is not a trivial question, for if God does not exist or is no longer relevant, then obedience to His laws is also irrelevant. If, on the other hand, we were created and have a Creator who cares about us, then how we act while searching for answers does matter.
Below we present several arguments for belief in a Creator.
Does a universal Creator exist?
Many struggle with the question of whether God exists. It is a question that, if taken seriously, makes most people uncomfortable because it challenges the most fundamental elements of one’s world view. This article invites both believer and non-believer to more fully consider the assumptions on which the popular science-based position is based.
To enter this discussion with any credibility, two things must be acknowledged from the outset: First, the science-based argument is not against the existence of God, but only that the existence of a Creator is not required to explain the world as we know it—mankind included. Second, that no set of reasoning, no matter how persuasive, could prove the existence of God. Any meaningful evidence of God’s existence must come to an individual from God himself. In the meantime, a belief in God can be based on logic combined with personal spiritual experiences (the “mind” and the “heart”).
We must still deal with the fact that a lot of complex and wonderful things do exist, including ourselves! If one does not accept that the existence of all creation proves the existence of a Creator, then where did all of this come from? The science-based answer is essentially that it is the result of the interaction of the forces of nature and chance over infinite time.
We argue that the belief that man in particular was created by unguided “evolution” or some other kind of spontaneous process is not logically sound. One example of the problems with this belief may be demonstrated by unfolding a handkerchief, wadding it up, and throwing it on the ground. What reasonable person would expect the handkerchief to iron and refold itself if we watched long enough? But this is exactly what the argument for spontaneous creation proposes. Anyone knows that even if we could watch it for 10,000 years, a mere blink of the eye in “evolutionary time,” the handkerchief will have disintegrated to dust.
(Obviously, more dramatic examples could be proposed to illustrate this same point, e.g., drop a glass tea cup on the floor and watch to see if it reassembles itself; drop a printer’s typeset and watch to see if the letters order themselves into Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, etc., but one gets the point.)
That is how the world works! That is what Newton’s Second Law of Thermodynamics (which describes the concept of “entropy” or ultimate randomness) predicts. This Law predicts that in any “closed system” having some degree of order things will necessarily and spontaneously proceed to a state of lesser order unless acted upon by some external force. To believe that a handkerchief will refold and iron itself by chance, not to mention that something as complex as a protein would create and configure itself by chance, requires a greater “leap of faith” than the religious beliefs for which some scientists criticize religionists.
So the first problem with “spontaneous creation” is the problem of entropy; over time things of themselves become progressively less organized not more complex.
In fact, there are other problems with the basic logic behind the theory of spontaneous creation. Let’s list a few more to make the point.
The problem of improbabilities and infinite time
Of course, some scientists argue, the chance events that supposedly resulted in the creation of complex organic structures are feasible because they could occur over essentially infinite time, giving plenty of time for extraordinarily improbable things to actually happen. But how does the scientist propose that individual molecules that took ever-so-long to form were kept from disintegrating while they waited ever-so-much more time for other molecules to form, not to mention the additional time and the closeness required for something or some force to assemble all these molecules together? While infinite time is the friend of this theory about improbabilities, it is also its enemy, because the events in question must occur simultaneously and in extreme closeness one to another if they are to occur at all.
Because these ordering events must have happened at the same time and very close to each other, to fall back on the ploy of infinite time is not a reasonable answer. It simply makes the highly unlikely much less likely since the probability of such unlikely events occurring simultaneously would have to be calculated in terms of one very small fraction multiplied by another very small fraction and on and on, producing each time an ever-so-much smaller likelihood of the whole thing happening at all. In this case, the concept of infinite time only makes the virtually impossible, i.e. the evasion of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, that much more implausible.
While I recognize that there are some very credible scientific theorists who argue that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is not a problem for the theory of evolution because our universe is not a “closed system,” there are other very credible scientists who resoundingly disagree. So it is a stretch to propose that the question is closed.
The problem of life
Even if we grant our scientist his belief that somehow complex structures, even mammalian bodies, came into being by chance, exactly how does he suggest that these bodies came to be alive, with all the capacities of metabolism, maintenance, growth, and reproduction that life implies?
The argument goes something like this: If you can build all the right parts and get them close enough together and arranged in just the right ways, they will begin to interact. That is, placing all of the required structural components into their ideal organizational state would result in precisely the required complex intermolecular interactions that produce the features we call life.
That is a fascinating theory but it makes the considerable leap from molecules interacting as they do in test tubes to whole bodies functioning the way they do in life. This is an assumption that, to our knowledge, is yet to be proved. And even if one believes this thesis, it begs the question as to how in the first instances all of the exquisitely complex molecules involved in the most basic of cells ever were brought into just the right arrangement and held there long enough and under just exactly the right conditions to begin to interact. The obvious answer is, “It just happened!” That, we suggest, is nothing more or less than a statement of faith.
No matter how forcefully one argues that life just happens (i.e. that structure begets function), to our knowledge no one has ever succeeded in getting it to “just happen” in any persuasive way, no matter how hard they have tried to create just the right conditions.
What about death?
The related question as to what death is also becomes interesting. If all the right pieces held together in just the right ways come spontaneously to life, what is the final structural change that makes the difference between a very, very sick but alive person and a truly dead one? And if one can define those precise structures that once broken lead to death, could we just repair them and bring the whole body back to life? The more obvious conclusion, that something called “life” has been lost, is difficult to avoid, especially for anyone who has actually watched death happen. Once again we find ourselves trying to define what “life” is and how a body gets it in some spontaneous way.
The problem of intelligence
To demonstrate how truly questionable the spontaneous creation theory is, let’s go one step further. Even if we accepted that complex bodies somehow came into existence by the undirected interaction of the forces of nature and also that the spontaneous generation of life within these organisms somehow occurred, how, we must ask, did the human beings ultimately created come to be endowed with intelligence? Even if one believes that by evolutionary pressures alone increasing intelligence was “selected out,” how did such analytic and decision making capacity come to be in the first place? It is certainly a large “leap of faith” to presume that metabolism, mobility, and so forth automatically lead to self awareness, insight, or intellect. How, we must ask, did even complex organisms begin to think?
Of course one could argue that instincts were selected favorably and developed into more complex interactions called “thought.” But we are still avoiding the real question; Where did the instincts come from in the first place? How did the relative risks and benefits of given sets of complex behaviors come to be recognized and analyzed? How did brain tissue develop feelings, analysis, and even self awareness?
The argument that thought is the natural consequence of a sufficient level of structural development is quite simply an unproved assumption, bordering on miraculous thinking. This belief is exactly the kind of faith for which religionists are criticized. Is it not just as much an act of “religion” for a “scientist” to believe that the process of natural selection results in the chance development of intelligence as it is to accept the unproved but appealing “beliefs” of formal religions? Thus, scientists accept the premise that evolution resulted in intelligence basically because of their faith in the underlying assumptions of the scientific system.
One can see that this whole argument simply becomes a matter of which religion one chooses to espouse: the religion that believes in the premises of spontaneous and undirected creation or the religion that believes in a powerful and directing Being.
Who is the top of the evolutionary ladder?
The biggest problem—the end point. Even if none of these other problems in the theory of spontaneous creation bothers you, this one probably should. You see, the only way one can stand by that theory is to insist on stopping the whole proposed evolutionary process, which has presumably been going on over infinite time—as one might stop a freight train by suddenly applying the emergency break—at the very moment of the appearance of man. In order to gain the day, one must claim that man is the highest and most intelligent organism that has ever come into being or that could possibly evolve. But this position is obvious nonsense. What gives us puny men reason to believe that nothing more intelligent than we could possibly exist? Aside from pure arrogance, there is no reasonable defense for this argument.
If over infinite time man came into being, then sufficient time has also passed for beings more powerful and intelligent than man to have appeared. If any combination of forces make less organized things become more organized, then the same forces would be able to make even more intelligent beings than man. If even one such being has developed, then why couldn’t that being have enough intelligence and power to actually direct and control these otherwise improbable organizing events?
In fact, using the same developmental or evolutionary argument as our scientist, this eventuality becomes inevitable. And if even one such powerful and directive being has evolved, what name would one assign to him? By whatever name one chooses to call him, functionally, he is God. Thus, the supposed arguments against the existence of God become yet another set of arguments in support of His existence. In the end, for his argument to be at all rational and consistent, the scientist who does not believe in God must ultimately find himself arguing in defense of the existence of God!
So, is there no such thing as evolution?
We hasten to add in this analysis that we do not disagree that evolutionary relationships and processes seem to exist among living things. In fact, the theory of evolution is a very useful—and probably indispensable—organizing philosophy for learning and using science as we have developed it. Nor do we suggest that a directed process of evolution is necessarily the mechanism that God used to create man in His image as well as all other things. But to ascribe the existence of such a complex organism as man, not to mention his living and thinking status, to undirected evolutionary forces alone is, as we have shown, fundamentally illogical.