Apologetics for the Masses #335 - The Case for God (Part 1)

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A Walk in the Woods -The Case for God (Part 1)



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Is the belief in God solely a religious belief?  Is it based only on faith?  Or is there evidence, apart from religious faith, for the existence of God?



A Walk in the Woods

     Let's say you go for a walk in the woods one day.  As you're walking along the path, you see an empty Coke can lying in the grass along the path.  Your first thought is, "How could someone toss a Coke can away in a beautiful place like this?!"  The underlying assumption being, of course, that the Coke can is a sign of "someone" having been there.  Well, you walk along a little farther on the path, and across a meadow you see an old, dilapidated barn.  And you might think about who built it, how long it's been there, and so on.  Again, though, the underlying assumption is that the abandoned barn is a sign that someone was there.  In neither case - the Coke can nor the old barn - would you say to yourself, "Wow, look what mindless, meaningless, natural processes have made by blind, random chance. 

     But, here's the thing.  Those trees you've been walking by on the path, a single leaf from any one of those trees is more complex in its makeup - chemically, biologically, etc. - and from a design perspective, than either the Coke can or the old barn.  It has been put together in an absolutely magnificent fashion and it can do incredible things - like turn sunlight and carbon dioxide into food.  Yet, an atheist would say that, even though it is incredibly more complex than the Coke can or the barn - which are signs of the existence of an intelligent agent - the leaf came to be as the result of mindless, meaningless, natural processes that operate strictly by blind, random chance.

     In other words, things that are, by comparison, relatively simple in their makeup and design, are signs of intelligent agents at work, while things that are vastly more complex in their makeup and design, are not.  For me, that is the root of the problem for anyone who wishes to convince me that there is no Creator.  Everything that exists, for the atheist, is the result of mindless forces that have no meaning nor purpose, and operate by blind, random chance.  I simply don't have the amount of faith necessary to believe such a thing.

     Let's look at an analogy.  Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, has approximately 130,000 letters.  From a purely statistical standpoint, a monkey typing letters at random on a keyboard has a chance of one in 26 of correctly typing the first letter of Hamlet.  It has a one in 676 (26 × 26) chance of typing the first two letters correctly . Because the probability shrinks exponentially, it has only a one in 26 to the power of 20 = 19,928,148,895,209,409,152,340,197,376 chance of getting the first 20 letters right. Again, the text of Hamlet has around 130,000 letters.  So, the probability of Hamlet being produced randomly by that monkey are so remote as to be essentially non-existent.

     But, here's the thing - if every atom in the observable universe were a monkey with a keyboard, typing from the Big Bang until the theoretical end of the universe, you would still need to multiply that amount of time by 10 to the 360,000th power, to have just a 1 in 10 to the 500th power chance of success.  In other words, trillions of gazillions of bazillions of monkeys, typing randomly for trillions of gazillions of bazillions of years, would not produce the 130,000 character sequence of Hamlet.   

     Now, think about this.  A single strand of DNA - the basic building block of life - is made up of a sequence of chemicals that are represented by the letters A, G, T, and C.  These chemicals (A, G, T, and C) - these basic building blocks of DNA - are arranged in a sequence that is over 1 billion characters long.  So, the statistical probability of human DNA coding happening completely by blind random chance - with no intelligent agent, not even monkeys, doing the inputting - is approximately 4 raised to the billionth power.  In other words, there seems to be no chance that it was chance.  Yet, in spite of the math, atheists believe it happens all by chance.  They believe that the very specific sequences of the letters of our genetic coding - infinitely more complex than a Shakespeare play - came into being by blind random chance within just a few billion years?  Again, that takes way more faith than I have to believe such a thing.

     Furthermore, let's look at the very beginning of the universe.  When it comes to beginnings, atheists believe in what I call the "Poof" theory.  The universe began when matter and energy and all the laws of physics just - POOF! - came into being by blind, random chance.  Then, right after the beginning of the universe, all of that matter and energy - which was packed into an extremely small area called a singularity - exploded!  The Big Bang.  Many atheists mistakenly believe that the Big Bang was responsible for the creation of the universe.  Wrong.  The Big Bang explains how the universe began to, and continues to, expand.

     Then, after the universe had expanded to a certain degree, and parts of it cooled, and stars and planets were formed, and the Earth was formed - POOF! - life came into being from non-life.  Something non-living became living.  No one really knows how that happened, though.  Then, after the non-living became living - POOF! - it started to replicate itself.  But, these first living replicating things did not have membranes.  So - POOF! - membranes evolved.  Then, after a couple billion years or so, instead of the living cells dividing and going their separate ways - POOF! - some cells started to stay together and we went from one-celled living things to multi-celled living things.  And then - POOF! - these cells that stayed together in these multi-celled living things started to specialize.  POOF!  POOF!  POOF!  POOF!

     Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying that all of these things absolutely could not have happened.  I am open to any possibility here.  What I am saying, though, is that we have never observed any such occurrences as these in nature or in the lab.  Has anyone ever seen matter come into being from nothing?  Has anyone ever witnessed non-life becoming life?  Has anyone ever witnessed two cells randomly joining together to form a completely new organism?  No one has seen any of these things.  The belief that these things happened as a result of forces operating by blind random chance is an act of faith, not a result of the scientific method. 

    So, it seems to me that it makes more sense, and actually takes much less faith, to believe in an intelligent Creator - Who produced everything out of nothing, and life from non-life - than it does to believe this all happened as a result of chance.  Now, that is not a "proof" of God, but, for me, the astronomical statistical probabilities against the universe and life happening as a result of blind, random, meaningless chance is evidence that points to a Creator.  But, hey, I'm just an ignorant small town Alabama boy, so what do I know, right?


Closing Comments

Next week - The Case for God, Part 2.



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