Challenge Response: In an Age of Science, It’s Silly to Believe God Created Everything

Here's my response to this week's challenge:



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In an age of science, is it silly to believe that God created everything? This comes from a Salon article, and it says this:

“It insults our intelligence to be enjoined to believe – now that we've split the atom, discovered the Higgs boson, and sent a probe to Pluto – in the veracity or truthfulness of a supernatural account of the origin of the cosmos.”

There are a number of assumptions that are in play here. First of all, I think the challenge assumes that because we've come up with natural explanations, natural causes, to certain phenomena of the world, that we’ll eventually explain everything naturalistically. So, as natural causes increase, supernatural causes or explanations decrease until we've explained everything naturalistically.

The next assumption that comes into play in this challenge is that the challenge assumes that there's a “god of the gaps.” That is, when we don't know the cause of some particular event, we just say that God did it. It's an argument from ignorance. So, as science progresses forward, it slowly closes these gaps in our knowledge where we used to say, “God did that.” 

Now we know there's a Higgs boson. This assumes that a supernatural account of the origin of the universe is just a “god of the gaps” argument. We don't know how it happened, so therefore God did it. But that's not our argument at all. We actually have a positive case for God's existence as the explanation of the origin of the cosmos. 20th and 21st century science actually points to a supernatural account of the universe, not away from it.

In the early part of the 20th century, Albert Einstein comes up with the theory of general relativity. This points to an expanding universe or a contracting universe. Just a couple of decades later, Edwin Hubble discovers the redshift, and indeed the universe is expanding. Well, if it's expanding into the future, in the past it must be getting smaller and smaller to the point where we have a beginning of the universe. Not just the beginning of matter and energy, but a beginning to time and space itself. Scientists call this the singularity. This is the point where the universe comes from absolutely nothing. This has led many theists to conclude that therefore a supernatural, something beyond nature, must be the best explanation for all of nature.

In fact, the only alternative is that nothing caused the universe to come into existence. Nothing explains everything. No, the better explanation is that someone, God, caused the universe. Rather than science and age of science pointing away from a supernatural account of the universe, it is science itself that is pointing us towards the Creator of everything.

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Tim Barnett