Three Cheers for Science
Science certainly has made some impressive discoveries, finding the answers to many riddles in the universe. But there is one question that science cannot answer. Before we think about that, let’s consider the situation as many atheists portray it.
The God of the Bible, they say, is a myth. They sometimes call him the “God of the gaps.” When people didn’t understand what caused lightning or eclipses or fertility, they worshiped these unknown forces. But once we could understand how these forces worked, we no longer needed to believe in a God. The more we understand, the smaller this God of the gaps becomes. Now, some people say, we know enough that we don’t need to believe in such a Being anymore.
But Who Made It?
Does that make sense to you? Suppose you had never seen any sort of machinery before. When you saw a car operating, you might think it was magic. But then someone explains to you about the internal combustion engine. Once you understand how it operates, you wouldn’t believe it worked by magic anymore.
But now that you understand how the car works, does that mean you no longer believe in a designer? Of course not! In fact, the more you know about the car, the more you know there must be a Mind behind it. You would never be convinced that the car happened by accident.
Our universe, of course, is far more complex than a car. In fact if conditions in our world were even slightly different, life here would be impossible.
Roger Penrose, Rouse Ball Mathematics Professor at Oxford, has stated that the likelihood of the universe having usable energy at the creation would require ...an accuracy of one part out of ten to the power of ten to the power of 123. This is an extraordinary figure. One could not possibly even write the number down in full...
Penrose explains the number’s size: Even if we were to write a zero on each separate proton and on each separate neutron in the entire universe—and we could throw in all the other particles as well for good measure—we should fall far short of writing down the figure.
Cosmologist Stephen Hawking writes: “The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.” (A Brief History of Time, p. 125). But do they only seem to be fine tuned? Or is there actually a Designer?
Sir Fred Hoyle, British cosmologist, states: "A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question." (The Universe: Past and Present Reflections, Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 1982, 20:16).
Frank Tipler, Professor of Mathematics at Tulane University, in his book The Physics of Immortality (1994), confessed: "When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclu- sions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics."(New York: Doubleday, preface).
In a New York Times article (Aug 23/05), titled “Scientists Speak Up on Mix of God and Science,” Cornelia Dean tells about Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute: "Dr. Collins was a nonbeliever until he was 27...All that changed after he completed his doctorate in physics and was at work on his medical degree, when he was among those treating a woman dying of heart disease. 'She was very clear about her faith and she looked me square in the eye and she said, "what do you believe?”' he recalled. 'I sort of stammered out, "I am not sure.”'" This set him on a search that led him to the truth of the Bible—that, yes, there is a personal God behind the universe. As God has promised every honest seeker, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
What Science Cannot Answer
Later, the article quotes Dr. Collins: "You will never understand what it means to be a human being through naturalistic observation. You won’t understand why you are here and what the meaning is. Science has no power to address these questions—and are they not the most important questions we ask ourselves?"
The answer is that we were made to know and love God Himself! But this once perfect world has been ravaged by a civil war. Our sin has built a wall between us and our Maker:“Your iniquities have separated you from your God” (Isaiah 59:2). Many religions and philosophies have made valiant efforts to remove this barrier; all have failed. But God Himself took the initiative: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). No amount of human effort or supposed goodness will do. We need a Saviour, and thankfully there is one—only one. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).