In their book, “Evolution from Space”, Nobel Prize of Physics winner – Dr. Fred Hoyle and Astrobiologist – Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe tried to calculate the odds that even one single, long molecule which contains any information could originate at random. We’ll spare you the infinite number they reached, but to summarize, they said it’s comparable to the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junkyard might assemble a flight-ready Boeing 747.
However, many skeptics claim that the greatest triumph of science is that it explains how the processes of the universe works, and thus, they conclude that God is unnecessary to these processes and therefore – does not exist. According to them, science will eventually unveil all the laws of nature and the need for God will diminish until it vanishes entirely. This is an argument we hear quite often. But, philosophically speaking, are these claims and conclusions correct?
The Story of Mr Ford
According to Prof. John Lennox – a philosopher and Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, not only is this conclusion incorrect, but that, as he put it: “The claim involves a common fallacy”. He then goes on to demonstrate the fallacy in the following manner:
“Take a Ford motor car. It is conceivable that someone from a remote part of the world, who was seeing one for the first time and who knew nothing about modern engineering, might imagine that there is a god, Mr. Ford, inside the engine, making it go. He might further imagine that… when it refused to go, it was because Mr. Ford did not like him. Of course, if he were subsequently to study engineering and take the engine to pieces, he would discover that there is no Mr. Ford inside it… he did not need to introduce Mr. Ford as an explanation for its working. His grasp of the impersonal principles of internal combustion would be altogether enough to explain how the engine works… But if he then decided that his understanding of the principles of how the engine works made it impossible to believe in the existence of a Mr. Ford, who designed the engine in the first place, it would be patently false. in philosophical terminology, he would be committing a “category mistake”. Had there never been a Mr Ford to design the mechanisms, none would exist for him to understand.”
How is this illustration relevant to God and the universe? Prof. Lennox explains further: “It is likewise a category mistake to suppose that our understanding of the impersonal principles according to which the universe works makes it either unnecessary or impossible to believe in the existence of a personal Creator who designed, made and upholds the universe. In other words, we should not confuse the mechanisms by which the universe works either with its cause or upholder.”
Hawking, Dawkings and other skeptics ignore the basic philosophic principle, according to which, the fact that science succeeds in deciphering processes SUPPORTS God’s existence. Why?
Because only if our universe was established upon rational thought patterns, can it enable research and logical conclusions to be drawn regarding it. Science could not exist if the universe had not been rationally created. A rationalism with rules, enabling research and observation, which can be rationally comprehended.
In other words: Science couldn’t have existed without abstract philosophical principles which cannot be proven using scientific methods.
For example: the Laws of Logic, without which, there is no such thing as “science”.
The rational order of the universe, thanks to which we can explore the cosmos and reach conclusions as well as the reliability of our own cognitive skills. The point is that science would not exist if it weren’t for these philosophical assumptions, but it also cannot justify them. Conversely, the notion of God’s existence CAN justify these assumptions, by understanding that the world is a product of complex rational thinking by a personal creator and therefore, the logic is built into it. Since He created us, we can trust our own cognitive skills and senses.
We are not claiming that we necessarily need to involve God in our understanding of processes in the universe, but rather that God Himself is the basis of the existence of the universe, which we can research and understand.
To summarize, negating the existence of God because science helps us understand how and why it rains during the winter would be like denying the existence of Steve Jobs because we know how an iPhone operates. Not only does one have nothing to do with the other, but the very existence of the iPhone calls for the logical conclusion that there WAS a Steve Jobs, who put plenty of thought and planning into creating the iPhone.
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