Our chances of seeing God in the future are infinitely greater than the chances that science will discover a process that explains our existence.
One of the great things about the Christian faith is that it is based on evidence – real evidence – that God is real, that Jesus Christ is God, and that the Bible can be trusted as true. But sadly, in many countries today young people are questioning God’s existence and the validity of the Bible, after being taught the theory of evolution at school or university. So I thought it would be a useful exercise to consider some of the evidence I have found for my faith.
When I was in my early twenties, I began to attend church. There I met and read about other Christians who had experienced very specific answers to prayer and miracles. I discovered that the Bible also gave accounts of answers to prayer, public miracles, and hundreds of prophecies that were historically fulfilled. As I read my Bible, I came to believe in God – specifically, Jesus as God my Saviour – and began to experience an inner change for the better, as well as many specific answers to prayer. These experiences are very real to me, and so, to me God is very real.
Later, I wrote to Christian university professors around the world, asking why they believed in answers to prayer and miracles. Some of their responses became the book On the Seventh Day: 40 Scientists and Academics Explain Why They Believe in God.1
These highly-educated professional researchers described subjective evidence for a real, personal supernatural being – the God of the Bible. There are literally thousands of similar accounts of answers to prayer and witnessed miracles in both Christian and secular literature, that provide a massive amount of consistent subjective evidence for the existence of God.
However, there is also objective evidence.
Existence of the universe
Firstly, we observe the existence of the universe and ourselves. A number of theories have been proposed to explain the origin of the universe: big bang theory, string theory, multiple universe theory, etc. But there are major problems with all of these theories. Even the commonly-touted big bang theory requires a singularity (a one-off something), hypothetical inflation, as well as imaginary entities such as dark energy and dark matter, etc.2
None of these theories offer an explanation of how the first matter or energy came into existence or how the precise mathematical laws of physics and chemistry that constrain matter and energy came to be.
There is a law of physics which states that while matter can be converted into energy and vice versa, according to E=mc2, matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed by natural physical processes. Since we observe that matter and energy exist, they must have been created by a supernatural non-physical, non-natural process. The Bible explains that matter and energy were created from nothing by a self-existing supernatural God, outside the space and time that we can “know.” This account is the best fit of the observed data.
Life comes from life
The second objective point of evidence is the observation that we and other things are alive. However, we also observe that life always comes from life. In fact, when Jesus arose from the dead, we call that a miracle, because we know that nonliving things cannot become alive by natural processes. Also, from a “theory of origins” perspective, there is no viable mechanism that can explain how the first living cell could form. In fact, we now know it is biochemically impossible. Why this is so is explained by biochemists Dr. John Marcus and Dr. George Javor in my book In Six Days: Why 50 Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation.3
For the first life to form, we have to produce massive biopolymers. However, these giant types of molecules should not naturally form in an aqueous environment, according to Le Chatelier’s principle. The DNA that contains the codes for the components of living things is a huge molecule, encoding massive amounts of information. For example, the simplest free-living bacterium has a DNA code containing 580,000 base components. Furthermore, the first genetic code carried on the DNA molecule also had to form by some naturalistic process. However, there is no known mechanism or experiment that demonstrates how natural processes could produce such a code. As the eminent biologist Dr. Eugene Koonin (from the National Center for Biotechnology Information) points out in his 2009 paper “Origin and Evolution of the Genetic Code: The Universal Enigma”: “Indeed, it stands to reason that any scenario of the code origin and evolution will remain vacuous if not combined with understanding of the origin of the coding principle itself and the translation system that embodies it. At the heart of this problem is a dreary vicious circle: what would be the selective force behind the evolution of the extremely complex translation system before there were functional proteins? And, of course, there could be no proteins without a sufficiently effective translation system. A variety of hypotheses have been proposed in attempts to break the circle but so far none of these seems to be sufficiently coherent or enjoys sufficient support to claim the status of a real theory.”4
So science offers no naturalistic explanation for the origin of the DNA code; rather, it constitutes obvious evidence of amazing intelligent design.5
But there is more. Having a DNA code doesn’t make something alive. Scientists cannot take dead bacteria that have all their DNA intact and make them alive. To make a cell alive, one would have to set hundreds of biochemical reactions in a state of dis-equilibrium at just the right concentrations. That is, chemical A would have to be set at just the right concentration to make B, which it has to be at just the right concentration to make C, and so on, for hundreds of reactions, which is impossible to do by any known technology, let alone happen naturally.
So based on our scientific knowledge, it is impossible for life to start by some natural process. Yet we observe life. I give more details in my book Evolution Impossible: Twelve Reasons Why Evolution Cannot Explain the Origin of Life on Earth.6
The third objective piece of evidence is the observation that we have a mind, think thoughts, create new ideas, and have an individual will. We wake up and think “I will get out of bed,” and those thoughts activate nerve impulses, which in turn activate muscles, and we get up.
What constitutes your mind or your thoughts? Your brain is a physical entity made up of chemical molecules; has mass and occupies space, but the mind and thoughts are non-material. Your thoughts don’t have mass. They don’t occupy cubic centimeters of space. Yet your non-material thoughts affect nerve impulses and move your body to create something that we would call intelligent design (non-random, that has never existed before) such as a poem, a mobile phone, an army tank, a painting, a sculpture, etc. Handel’s thoughts created the amazing piece of music “Messiah.” Jorn Utzon’s thoughts became the design that is now the Sydney opera house.
But where do thoughts and the mind originate? How does a mind and thought become part of life? The brain is physical and incorporates chemical processes that obey chemical laws that do not encode “intelligence or willpower.”
As the eminent New York University professor Thomas Nagel argues in his recent book, Mind and the Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, evolution cannot explain the origin of the mind.7
If human thoughts can cause physical actions in the human body, then God’s thoughts can cause the existence of the universe and us. It follows that just as artefacts are evidence of human activity, the universe is evidence of God’s existence.
The big picture
When we consider the big picture, science cannot explain our existence. Rather, the overwhelming evidence for design in the universe, in our planet, and in living things, all points to a non-material supernatural intelligent designer and creator whose thoughts initiated our existence – our universe, our planets, and life. This scenario is consistent with our three objective observations.
The creator God scenario is also consistent with the biblical account and many of the supernatural miracles and answers to prayer reported in Christian literature. Therefore, on the basis of the above arguments, I propose that we have consistent evidence from both science and personal experience for the existence of God.
Now, an atheist may be tempted to argue that in the future we will discover the seemingly-impossible mechanisms to explain the universe, life, and the mind. To this I would argue that in the future we will see God, because that is predicted in the Bible. Professor J.B. Payne, who earned his doctorate at Princeton Theological Seminary, notes in his 1973 book Encyclopaedia of Biblical Prophecy that there were 737 events predicted in the Bible, with the majority clearly fulfilled.8 So, clearly, your chances of seeing God in the future are infinitely greater than the chances that science will discover a process that explains our existence.
John F. Ashton (Ph.D., University of Newcastle, Australia) is strategic research manager for Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing, and serves as adjunct professor of applied sciences at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Australia. He has co-authored scores of science-related articles and published several books, including Evolution Impossible: 12 Reasons Why Evolution Cannot Explain the Origin of Life on Earth (Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books, 2012). E-mail: email@example.com
- J. Ashton, ed., On the Seventh Day: 40 Scientists and Academics Explain Why They Believe in God (Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books, 2002).
- See, for example, http://www.cosmologystatement.org/ and http://metaresearch.org/cosmology/BB-top-30.asp.
- J. Ashton, ed., In Six Days: Why 50 Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation (Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books, 2001).
- See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3293468/.
- A former leading researcher in the area of chemical evolution, Dr. Dean Kenyon, professor of biology (emeritus) at San Francisco State University, explains how he became convinced that it is impossible for chemical evolution to have produced the first living cell. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2RZzyFTTXo.
- J. Ashton, Evolution Impossible: 12 Reasons Why Evolution Cannot Explain the Origin of Life on Earth (Green Forest, Arkansas: 2012).
- T. Nagel, Mind and the Cosmos, Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).
- J.B. Payne, Encyclopaedia of Biblical Prophecy (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 1973).