By David Russell,
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.” (Psalms 19:1-2)
Continuing in our quest, we arrive at another good reason to believe the truth of Christianity. Now, we aren’t quite there in proving Christianity however, we are well into proving the existence of God. “JUST CHANCE” is my thoughts on the teleological argument and asking, if it could all be “just chance”? It is a very powerful argument and often gives even the most adamant atheist pause. Christopher Hitchens was one, he said,
“Yeah. The fine-tuning, that one degree, well, one degree, one hair different of nothing—that even though it doesn’t prove design, doesn’t prove a Designer, [the fine-tuning] could have all happened without [God]— You have to spend time thinking about it, working on it. It’s not a trivial [argument]. We all say that.”
In my experience, I haven’t dealt with anyone who flat out rejects this. They have made arguments against it but, at the end of the day, they chalk it up to chance and natural selection. In the work place, most people I have come across have some notion of this argument but its blended with their own worldview and incomplete. My hope, in this article, is to show that chance and natural selection don’t have a chance. That this argument sheds an abundant light on the improbabilities of chance and shines forth a radiance of purposeful design.
Last month we talked about the common sense of theistic belief behind the universe in its beginning, this month we will discover the signature left within the universe and biological life. This argument has two legs. The first leg is the Teleological Argument from fine tuning of the universe. This is simply summed up as, the existence of intelligent life depends upon a complex and delicate balance of initial conditions given in the Big Bang. Reasons for these conditions can be argued in three distinct ways, chance, necessity, or design.
Before I can elaborate on the arguments, let me first discuss the initial conditions to which I refer. Admittedly, I won’t be able to discuss all of them in this article, but I can give a few examples. When discussing Initial conditions we have to start with discussing the constants. The constants are not determined by the laws of nature, the laws of nature are consistent with a wide range of values for them. These constants form when the laws of nature are broken down into mathematical equations, they are, Gravitational force constant, Electromagnetic force constant, the Strong and Weak nuclear force constant, and the Cosmological constant. To demonstrate we will take the cosmological constant.
This constant controls the expansion speed of the universe, which states that the attractive force of gravity and the repulsive force of space must be perfectly balanced. If they are off a hair in the positive or the negative by 1 in a number I can’t fathom, then space would fly apart or completely collapse, not to mention the ratios of the other constants must be fined-tuned relative to one another. In addition to that, there are the Initial boundary conditions that exist independent of the constants, that is to say, present at the beginning of the universe. These initial boundary conditions, or arbitrary quantities are put in as conditions in which the laws of nature operate, they are, Initial distribution of mass energy, Ratio of masses for protons and electrons, Velocity of light, and Mass excess of neutron over proton. Like the constants, if the quantities are off by even a teeny tiny bit, life doesn’t exist.
With that said, we then find that local planetary conditions must then be met for any intelligent life to exist, and the list just keeps going. This delicate balance is stated by some to be like multiplying improbabilities over and over again until you reach incomprehensible numbers. Theoretical Physicist Paul Davies quotes, “There is, for me, powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all….It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe….The impression of design is overwhelming”.
Astronomer Alan Sandage says, “We can’t understand the universe in any clear way without the supernatural”.
So, is it supernatural or just chance? We can rule out necessity because the constants and quantities are independent to the laws of nature. We are only really left with chance or design. But if we invoke chance we have to live with the improbabilities of chance. to break it down, its like winning the power ball over and over and over again or throwing a dart from space to earth and hitting a bulls-eye no larger than an atom. I am sorry, I don’t have that much faith.
To make this short, we move to the second leg of this argument. Which are signs of design within biological life. Along those lines we see incredible complexity within the cell. It seems our own biology is teemed with intelligence. We have recently found that DNA has sequenced genetic instruction locked in the nucleus that provides instructions necessary to assemble complex protein molecules, which then form structures. Called the language of life, to believe that this comes by natural selection and random mutation would be like believing that an explosion in a printing press produces an encyclopedia. Again, I just don’t have that much faith in the odds that it was natural selection.
In conclusion, I am left with intelligence. Anytime I see that much information or signs of a signature, its natural that I conclude an intelligence. I personally think that the signature left behind and within is God and not just chance. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the rest of apologetic’s awareness week!’