"THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS" The Superiority Of Christ's Priesthood (7:20-28) INTRODUCTION 1. In the first seven chapters of "The Epistle To The Hebrews", the main thought is the superiority of Christ... a. To the prophets - He 1:1-3 b. To angels - He 1:4-2:18 c. To Moses - He 3:1-5 d. To Aaron and his Levitical priesthood - He 5:1-10; 7:1-28 2. In showing the superiority of Jesus' priesthood, the author has done so step-by-step... a. Jesus is qualified to be a priest by virtue of His calling by God and His suffering - He 5:1-8 b. He has been called to be "a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek" - He 5:9-10 c. The priestly order of Melchizedek is shown to be superior by comparing Abraham and Melchizedek - He 7:1-10 d. That Christ has become such a priest has several implications - He 7:11-19 1) The Levitical priesthood could not make one perfect before God 2) The Law upon which the Levitical priesthood was based has been annulled 3) Christ now provides "a better hope, through which we draw near to God" 3. This brings us to He 7:20-28, in which we find a climatic comparison... a. Where Jesus is contrasted with those who served in the Levitical priesthood b. Where "The Superiority Of Christ's Priesthood" is clearly demonstrated [In this passage, we find at least four points illustrating Jesus' superiority, the first of which pertains to...] I. HIS DIVINE APPOINTMENT (20-22) A. LEVITICAL PRIESTS WERE APPOINTED BY A "COMMAND"... 1. Beginning with Aaron, he and his descendants served in the Levitical priesthood 2. It was a divine command that so appointed them - Exo 28:1-4 3. While divinely commanded, it was not with an oath A. JESUS WAS MADE A PRIEST WITH AN "OATH"... 1. Again, the reference is to Ps 110:4, in which God swore an oath concerning the coming Messiah and His priesthood 2. We saw earlier that a promise joined with an oath really confirms the "immutability" (unchangeableness) of God's counsel - cf. He 6:17 2. Appointed by an oath and not just a command, Jesus has become "a surety of a better covenant"... a. "surety" means "guarantor" (NEB) b. Appointed by such an oath from God, Jesus guarantees the new covenant, that it is "better" (there is that key word again!) [The superiority of Christ's priesthood is also illustrated by...] II. HIS ETERNAL INTERCESSION (23-25) A. LEVITICAL PRIESTS WERE LIMITED IN SERVICE BY "DEATH"... 1. When one died, another took his place 2. Of necessity there had to be "many priests" B. JESUS "EVER LIVES" TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR US... 1. That is because "He continues forever" 2. As seen earlier, Jesus came "according to the power of an endless life" - He 7:16 3. He therefore "has an unchangeable priesthood" a. He is "able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him" 1) He can do what the law could not do: make one "perfect" - cf. He 7:19 2) That is, make one "holy, and blameless" - cf. Col 1:21-22 b. And "He ever lives to make intercession for them" 1) I have always been impressed by this phrase 2) For it suggests what Jesus is doing for us now, and is most willing to do! [As we continue in our text, we see yet another contrast with Levitical priests...] III. HIS PERFECT CHARACTER (26-27) A. LEVITICAL PRIESTS WERE "SINNERS"... 1. Some more so than others 2. Even the best of them had to "offer up sacrifices"... a. On a daily basis b. For his own sins before offering sacrifices others B. JESUS IS "SEPARATE FROM SINNERS"... 1. We see our High Priest described in regards to... a. His holy character: "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners" b. His preeminent position: "higher than the heavens" -- Thus He does not need to offer sacrifices for Himself 2. This makes Him a High Priest "fitting" (becoming, seemly) for us [Add to His perfect character another element that shows His superior priesthood...] IV. HIS PERMANENT SACRIFICE (27) A. THE LEVITICAL PRIESTS SACRIFICED "DAILY"... 1. Every day they offered sacrifices for their own sins and for those of the people 2. That they had to be continually offered implies a fundamental weakness in the efficacy of the sacrifices themselves 3. Later we learn that the problem was the inability of animal sacrifices to make one perfect and to cleanse the conscience of sins - He 10:1-4; cf. 9:9 B. JESUS OFFERED HIMSELF "ONCE FOR ALL"... 1. This implies the efficacy of His sacrifice 2. The superiority of Jesus' sacrifice will be explained further, later on- cf. He 9:11-15; 10:11-14 CONCLUSION 1. In verse 28, we find a summary statement that contrasts the two priesthoods... a. The "law", upon which the Levitical priesthood derives its authority, appoints men who "have weaknesses"; for example: 1) They are sinners themselves, and death terminates their service 2) Their sacrifices cannot truly remove sin, so had to be repeated daily and yearly b. The "oath", given after the law and the basis for Christ's priesthood, appoints the Son "who has been perfected forever"; for example: 1) His humanity and the obedience learned through suffering makes Him most "fitting" to be our High Priest - cf. He 2:17-18; 4:14-16; 5:8-9 2) His sinlessness makes the sacrifice of Himself the perfect and all-sufficient sacrifice, given once for all! - cf. He 10: 12-14 2. In chapters 9 and 10, the focus of this epistle will center on the superiority of Christ's sacrifice; but for now, our attention has been on those things that illustrate what our great High Priest: a. His appointment by an oath from God, not just a command b. His eternal intercession, not limited by death c. His perfect character, untainted by sin d. His permanent sacrifice, offered once for all when He offered Himself Don't you desire to have such a High Priest interceding in your behalf? Then as Christians... "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." - He 4:16 Let us never forget that "He ever lives to make intercession" for those who come to God through Him!
7 Reasons to Believe in God
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
Kyle Butt, M.Div.
How can you know that God exists? You can’t see, hear, touch, smell, or taste Him. You can’t weigh Him like you can a five-pound bag of potatoes. You can’t put Him under an electron microscope to show your friends what He looks like on an atomic level. You can’t experiment on Him with probes and scalpels. You can’t take a picture of Him to show your neighbor that He’s not just an imaginary friend. You can’t magically make Him appear in the classroom of an atheistic professor who is challenging anyone to prove that God exists. So how can you know that God exists?
Although atheists contend that God does not exist and agnostics allege that there is a very high probability that He does not exist, theism is the rational belief that there is a God. A sincere pursuer of truth who follows the available evidence will come to the logical conclusion that God exists. Admittedly, this belief in the 21st century is not the result of seeing God’s Spirit or touching His actual essence (cf. John 4:24; Luke 24:39). What we have at our fingertips, however, is a mountain of irrefutable, indirect, credible evidence that testifies on God’s behalf. Consider seven lines of evidence that warrant the conclusion that an eternal, supernatural Creator (God) exists.
1. MATTER DEMANDS A MAKER
No rational person denies the fact that matter exists. The Universe and every atom that makes it up is a reality. The logical question to ask is, “Where did it all come from?” From the Milky Way to the most-distant galaxy in the Universe—what was the cause? What made matter?
A study of the material Universe reveals that every physical effect must have an adequate antecedent or simultaneous cause (an idea known as the Law of Cause and Effect or the Law of Causality). The American flag that stood erect on the surface of the moon in 1969 was neither eternal nor without a cause. Its existence on the Moon demands a sufficient cause. The robotic rovers that have rolled across the surface of Mars since the early 21st century are the effect of adequate causes. No one believes that they popped into existence from nothing or that they are the result of any number of ridiculous, insufficient causes that could be suggested (e.g., an accidental explosion in a junk yard on Earth sent metal objects spiraling toward Mars that assembled themselves into the robotic rovers). Simply put, all material effects demand adequate causes (see Miller, 2011 for more information).
So what caused the Universe and all of the matter in the Universe? The theory that atheistic evolutionists have advanced for several decades now, which supposedly best explains our existence from a purely naturalistic perspective, is known as the Big Bang. Allegedly, approximately 14 billion years ago all of the matter and energy in the Universe was concentrated in a tiny ball of matter that exploded, causing the eventual formation of galaxies throughout the Universe.
The obvious problem with this explanation is that even if the Big Bang actually happened (and sound science argues against such a theory—see May, et al., 2003), a person must still explain whence came the “original” ball of matter. It must have an adequate cause. What do some leading atheists and agnostics around the world argue about the cause of matter? Atheistic cosmologist Stephen Hawking stated on national television in 2011, “Nothing caused the Big Bang” (“Curiosity…,” emp. added). In the book The Grand Design that Dr. Hawking co-authored, he and Leonard Mlodinow asserted: “Bodies such as stars and black holes cannot just appear out of nothing. But a whole universe can” (2010, p. 180, emp. added). In 2006, Todd Friel asked Dan Barker, one of America’s leading atheists, “Do you really believe that something came from nothing?” (emp. added). Barker responded with a simple, “Yes” (“Wretched…”).
The observable truth is, however, in nature, matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed. Scientists refer to this fact as the First Law of Thermodynamics. Though evolutionists have alleged that the Universe began with the explosion of a ball of matter several billion years ago, they never have provided a reasonable explanation for the cause of the “original” ball of matter. “Nothing” is nota reasonable explanation. In 2007, the pro-evolutionary New Scientist magazine ran a cover story titled “The Beginning: What Triggered the Big Bang?” in which the publication attempted to explain the origin of the Universe. But consider the last line of the featured article: “[T]he quest to understand the origin of the universe seems destined to continue until we can answer a deeper question: why is there anything at all instead of nothing?” (“The Universe…,” 194:33, emp. added). The implication of such a question is quite clear: if at one time in the past “nothing” existed, then nothing should exist today. A reasonable, naturalistic explanation for the origin of the “original” ball of matter that supposedly led to the Universe does not exist. One of the world’s leading atheists, Richard Dawkins, has basically admitted such.
In a panel discussion in 2012 on Australian national television, Dr. Dawkins was asked “how it is that something as enormous as the universes came from nothing?” Notice what Dawkins admitted: “Of course it’s counterintuitive that you can get something from nothing. Of course common sensedoesn’t allow you to get something from nothing. That’s why it’s interesting. It’s got to be interesting in order to give rise to the universe at all. Something pretty mysterious had to give rise to the origin of the universe” (“Q&A...,” emp. added). Indeed, atheism’s explanation for the origin of matter is “not agreeing with what seems right or natural” (“Counterintuitive,” 2014). According to Dawkins’ own admissions, the idea of getting something from nothing in nature defies “common sense.” It is far from “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts” (“Common Sense,” 2014).
What’s more, atheists cannot logically argue that the Universe is eternal. It seems that relatively few scientists even propose an eternal Universe anymore. (In fact, there would be no point in attempting to explain the “beginning” of the Universe in a Big Bang if atheists believed it always existed.) Furthermore, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that matter and energy become less usable over time, has led most scientists to conclude that the Universe has not always existed (else we would be out of usable energy; see Miller, 2013). The fact is, the Universe had a beginning. Alex Vilenkin, cosmologist from Tufts University, pressed this fact in his book titled Many Worlds in One: “It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape: they have to face the problem of acosmic beginning” (2006, p. 176, emp. added).
At one time in the past, the material Universe did not exist. Then, at some point, matter came into existence. But since matter is not eternal and cannot create itself from nothing, then something outside of the material realm must have brought matter into existence.
In short, matter demands a Maker. The evidence clearly indicates that the cause of the Universe is inexplicable without a supernatural Being. Something has to be eternally powerful, but we know it cannot be natural or material. Romans 1:20 says: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” Without some type of eternal power, our Universe cannot exist, and the atheistic answer that our Universe created itself from nothing is the furthest thing from either a scientific or a rational explanation.
2. LIFE DEMANDS A LIFE GIVER
Life does not pop into existence from nothing. Neither the puppy at the pound nor the bacteria on the doorknob spontaneously generated. Every scientist, whether theist or atheist, knows this observation to be true.
In biology, one of the most widely recognized laws of science is the Law of Biogenesis. “Biogenesis” is composed of two words—“bio,” which means life, and “genesis,” which means beginning. Thus, this law deals with the beginning of life, and it simply says that in nature life comes only from previous life of its own kind. Over the years, the truthfulness of this law has been documented by thousands of scientists, most notably Louis Pasteur. His work dealt a crushing blow to the notion of spontaneous generation.
In 1933, evolutionist John Sullivan admitted that “it became an accepted doctrine that life never arises except from life. So far as the actual evidence goes, this is still the only possible conclusion” (p. 94, emp. added). Okay, but that was 1933. As we move further into the 20th century the obvious question was “Is it still the only possible conclusion?” What have we learned since the days of Louis Pasteur in the 19th century and John Sullivan in the first half of the 20th century? Observational science has reached the same conclusion experiment after experiment, year after year. The eminent evolutionist George Gaylord Simpson and his colleagues observed that “there is no serious doubt that biogenesis is the rule, that life comes only from other life, that a cell, the unit of life, is always and exclusively the product or offspring of another cell” (1965, p. 144, emp. added). Evolutionist Martin Moe noted that “a century of sensational discoveries in the biological sciences has taught us that life arises only from life” (1981, 89:36, emp. added). More recently, staunch evolutionist Neil Shubin conceded the following in his book titled Your Inner Fish:
I can share with you one true law that all of us can agree upon. This law is so profound that most of us take it completely for granted. Yet it is the starting point for almost everything we do in paleontology, developmental biology, and genetics. This biological “law of everything” is that every living thing on the planet had parents. Every person you’ve ever known has biological parents, as does every bird, salamander, or shark you have ever seen.... To put it in a more precise form: every living thing sprang from some parental genetic information (2009, p. 174).
The importance of Shubin’s concession must not be missed. He recognizes that the actual scientific information verifies that life in the natural world must come from previously existing life. Yet he refuses to carry that fact to its proper conclusion: that life could not have sprung from non-living chemicals. Materialistic evolution cannot adequately account for or explain the most basic laws of science, not the least of which is the Law of Biogenesis.
If it is the case that the “only possible conclusion” which scientific evidence demands is that in nature “life never arises except from life,” then, pray tell, how did the first life come into being? Did it somehow break the most fundamental natural law of biology and arise “naturally” from non-life? Or is there another possibility? The truth is, there is another possibility (which science has not disproved), but it is one that evolutionists such as John Sullivan admitted that “scientific men find very difficult of acceptance” (p. 94, emp. added). According to Sullivan, “So far as the actual evidence goes,” biogenesis “is still the only possible conclusion. But...it is a conclusion that seems to lead back to some supernatural creative act” (p. 94, emp. added). Do not miss the point: real, true, operational science indirectly supports a “supernatural creative act,” which implies a supernatural Creator.
Evolutionist and Harvard University Professor George Wald similarly admitted in an article he wrote titled “The Origin of Life” that there ultimately are two options for life’s origin: (1) spontaneous generation and (2) “the only alternative, to believe in a single, primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position” (1954, p. 46). Sadly, though “[m]ost modern biologists, having reviewed with satisfaction the downfall of the spontaneous generation hypothesis,” they are “unwilling to accept the alternative belief in special creation” (p. 46). Rather than follow the evidence where it ultimately leads (to a supernatural Creator!), atheists would rather put their confidence in a theory that was disproven long ago. Antony Flew, who for five decades was the world’s leading atheistic thinker, was forced in the end to conclude: “The only satisfactory explanation for the origin of such ‘end-directed, self-replicating’ life as we see on earth is an infinitely intelligent Mind” (2007, p. 132; see Miller, 2012 for more information).
3. DESIGN DEMANDS A DESIGNER
Everyday observation reveals and confirms the obvious fact that complex, functional design demands a designer. Paintings demand painters. Poems demand poets. Architecture demands architects. And on and on we could go. Everyone knows that cars and computers, pianos and projectors all require engineers, technicians, and tuners for them to exist and function properly. But what about the Universe as a whole? Can it be described accurately as “designed”? If so, what could such design imply about its origin?
No honest, informed person can deny that the Universe is extremely fine-tuned and functionally complex. From the Earth’s precise orbit around the Sun to a shorebird’s 15,000-mile yearly migration pattern, literally millions of examples of fine-tuned design in nature could be pondered. But consider just one example involving electrons and protons. The ratio of the mass of an electron to a proton is 1:1836, which means that a proton is 1,836 times more massive than an electron. Even with this mass difference, however, electrons and protons have the same electrical charge. Scientists suggest that if the electrical charge of the electron were altered by one part in 100 billion, our bodies would instantly explode (Barrow and Tipler, 1986, pp. 293, 296). Is such precision indicative of precise design? Most certainly.
The truth is, atheists frequently testify to the “design” in nature. Australian atheistic astrophysicist Paul Davies has admitted that the Universe (which according to atheists is the result of mindless, naturalistic, random processes) is “uniquely hospitable” (2007, p. 30), “remarkable” (p. 34), and “ordered in an intelligible way” (p. 30). He even admitted to the “fine-tuned properties” of the Universe. In a 2008 National Geographic article titled “Biomimetics: Design by Nature,” the word “design” (or one of its derivatives—designs, designed, etc.) appeared no less than seven times in reference to “nature’s designs.” The author, evolutionist Tom Mueller, referred to nature’s “sophistication” and “clever devices” (2008, p. 79) and praised nature for being able to turn simple materials “into structures of fantastic complexity, strength, and toughness” (p. 79). After learning of the uncanny, complicated maneuverability of a little blowfly, Mueller even confessed to feeling the need to regard the insect “on bended knee in admiration” (p. 82). Why? Because of its “mysterious” and “complicated” design. The fact is, as evolutionist Jerry Coyne admitted, “Nature resembles a well-oiled machine…. The more one learns about plants and animals, the more one marvels at how well their designs fit their ways of life” (2009, pp. 1,3).
But how can you get design without purpose, intelligence, and deliberate planning? The first three definitions the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary gives for “design” (noun) are as follows: “1a: a particular purpose held in view by an individual or group…b: deliberate purposive planning… 2: a mental project or scheme in which means to an end are laid down; 3a: a deliberate undercover project or scheme” (“Design,” 2014, emp. added). After defining “design” as a drawing, sketch, or “graphic representation of a detailed plan…,” the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Languagenoted that design may be defined as “[t]he purposeful or inventive arrangement of parts or details” (“Design,” 2000, p. 492, emp. added). A design is preceded by “deliberate purposive planning,” “a detailed plan,” or an “inventive arrangement.” A design is the effect, not of time, chance, and unintelligent, random accidental explosions (what nonsense!), but of the purposeful planning and deliberate actions of an inventor or designer. Literally, by definition, design demands a designer; thus the designed Universe demands a Designer.
According to Paul Davies: “Our universe seems ‘just right’ for life. It looks as if…a super-intellect has been monkeying with physics” (2007, p. 30). Similarly, well-known skeptic Michael Shermer conceded, “The reason people think that a Designer created the world is because it looks designed” (2006, p. 65, emp. added).
Indeed, both honest observation and rational thought should lead every truth-seeking individual to the same conclusion that the psalmist came to 3,000 years ago: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (19:1). “The whole earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:3). Both the heavens and the Earth testify day after day and night after night to anyone and everyone who will listen (Psalm 19:2-4). “Lift up your eyes on high, and see Who has created these things” (Isaiah 40:26).
Since the Universe exhibits complex, functional design, and (by definition) complex, functional design demands a designer, then the Universe must have an intelligent designer. This argument for God is logically sound and observationally true. A person can know (without a doubt) that God exists if for no other reason than that the Universe’s design demands a Designer. “For every house is built by someone, but He Who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4).
4. INTELLIGENCE DEMANDS AN INTELLIGENT CREATOR
Intelligence is defined as “the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge” (“Intelligence,” 2000, p. 910); “the ability to learn or understand things or to deal with new or difficult situations” (“Intelligence,” 2014). It is not difficult to identify certain things that have some measure of “intelligence,” while recognizing other things that have no intelligence. Man obviously has an extremely high level of intelligence. He has constructed spaceships that he can guide 240,000 miles to the Moon while both the Earth and the Moon are in motion. He has built artificial hearts that can extend the lives of the sick. He continues to construct computers that can process billions of pieces of information a second. He can write poetry, calculate where Mars will be 50 years from the present, and build everything from pianos to PlayStation video game consoles. Man is an intelligent being.
Although there is a great chasm between mankind and the animal kingdom, animals do possess a measure of intelligence. Dogs can learn to sit, stay, roll over, and play dead. Dolphins can learn to jump through hoops on command. Birds can make helpful “tools” from twigs in order to accomplish some basic tasks. A few years ago, two colorful, eight-legged cephalopods, known as cuttlefish, graced the cover of the journal New Scientist. The authors referred to this amazing sea creature as a “sophisticated,” “inventive,” eight-legged “genius” with “intelligence” and a “secret code” (Brooks, 2008).
According to atheistic evolution, billions of years ago “nothing” caused a tiny ball of matter to explode. Then, billions of years after this Big Bang, galaxies began to form from lifeless, mindless, unintelligent particles floating around in space in massive clouds of dust. Allegedly, Earth eventually evolved from such a dust cloud. Hundreds of millions of years later, intelligent animals and humans evolved.
What humans have consistently observed in nature, however, is that intelligence demands previous intelligence. The reason that humans in the 21st century are intelligent is because our ancestors were intelligent. The reason that animals have some measure of intelligence is due to intelligent creatures that came before them. Dust does not give way to organized dust particles that have “the capacity to acquire and apply knowledge.” Water does not think. The mindless mud that evolutionists contend gave way to intelligent life on Earth is nothing but a delusional tale unsupported by everything we know from observation and experience. Neither “nothing” nor inorganic matter ever produces intelligent creatures. So how did the first intelligent creatures come to inhabit the Universe? Just as the first life demands a supernatural life Giver, so the first intelligent beings demand a self-existent, miracle-working Creator of intelligence.
5. MORALITY DEMANDS A MORAL LAW GIVER
Why do people generally think that some actions are “right” and some actions are “wrong,” regardless of their subjective opinions? Why do most people believe that it is “evil” or “wicked” (1) for an adult to torture an innocent child simply for the fun of it? (2) for a man to beat and rape a kind, innocent woman? or (3) for parents to have children for the sole purpose of abusing them sexually every day of their lives? Because, as evolutionist Edward Slingerland noted, humans have metaphysical rights—rights that are “a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses” (“Metaphysical,” 2014)—and “rely on moral values” (as quoted in Reilly, 2007, 196:7). The fact is, most people, even many atheists, have admitted that real, objective good and evil exist.
Although objective morality may be outside the realm of the scientific method, every rational person can know that some actions are innately good, while others are innately evil. Antony Flew and Wallace Matson, two of the leading atheistic philosophers of the 20th century, forthrightly acknowledged the existence of objective morality in their debates with theistic philosopher Thomas B. Warren in the 1970s (see Warren and Flew, 1977; Warren and Matson, 1978). Atheist Michael Ruse admitted in his book Darwinism Defended that “[t]he man who says that it is morally acceptable to rape little children, is just asmistaken as the man who says that 2 + 2 = 5” (1982, p. 275, emp. added). Philosophers Francis Beckwith and Gregory Koukl said it well: “Those who deny obvious moral rules—who say that murder and rape are morally benign, that cruelty is not a vice, and that cowardice is a virtue—do not merely have a different moral point of view; they have something wrong with them” (1998, p. 59, emp. added).
Most rational people do not merely feel like rape and child abuse may be wrong; they are wrong—innately wrong. Just as two plus two can really be known to be four, every rational human can know that some things are objectively good, while other things are objectively evil. However, reason demands that objective good and evil can only exist if there is some real, objective point of reference. If something (e.g., rape) can be legitimately criticized as morally wrong, then there must be an objective standard—“some ‘higher law which transcends the provincial and transient’ which is other than the particular moral code and which has an obligatory character which can be recognized” (Warren and Matson, p. 284).
Recognition by atheists of anything being morally wrong begs the question: How can an atheistlogically call something atrocious, deplorable, evil, or wicked? According to atheism, man is nothing but matter in motion. Humankind allegedly evolved from rocks and slime over billions of years. How could moral value come from rocks and slime? Who ever speaks of “wrong rocks,” “moral minerals,” or “corrupt chemicals”? People do not talk about morally depraved donkeys, evil elephants, or immoral monkeys. Pigs are not punished for being immoral when they eat their young. Komodo dragons are not corrupt because 10% of their diet consists of younger Komodo dragons. Killer whales are not guilty of murder. Male animals are not tried for rape if they appear to forcibly copulate with females. Dogs are not depraved for stealing the bone of another dog. Moral value could not arise from rocks and slime.
The fact that humans even contemplate morality testifies to the huge chasm between man and animals and the fact that moral value could not have arisen from animals. Atheistic evolutionists have admitted that morals arise only in humans. George Gaylord Simpson, one of the most recognized atheistic evolutionists of the 20th century, confessed that “[g]ood and evil, right and wrong, concepts irrelevant in nature except from the human viewpoint, become real and pressing features of the whole cosmos as viewed morally because morals arise only in man” (1951, p. 179, emp. added). Atheists admit that people (i.e., even “atheists”) have “their own innate sense of morality” (“Do Atheists…?, n.d.). No rational person makes such admissions about animals. “Humans,” not animals, “rely on moral values” (as quoted in Reilly, 2007, 196:7).
The moral argument for God’s existence exposes atheism as the self-contradictory, atrocious philosophy that it is. Atheists must either reject the truthfulness of the moral argument’s first premise (“If objective moral value exists, then God exists”) and illogically accept the indefensible idea that objective morality somehow arose from rocks and reptiles, or (2) they must reject the argument’s second premise (“Objective moral values exist”), and accept the insane, utterly repulsive idea that genocide, rape, murder, theft, child abuse, etc. can never once be condemned as objectively “wrong.” What’s more, if atheism is true, individuals could never logically be punished for such immoral actions, since “no inherent moral or ethical laws” would exist (Provine, 1988, p. 10).
If there is no God, then there is no objective basis to say that some things are right and others are wrong. Reason demands that objective good and evil can only exist if there is some real, objective reference point outside of nature. The only reasonable answer to an objective moral law for humans is a supernatural, moral law Giver.
6. THE BIBLE’S SUPERNATURAL ATTRIBUTES DEMAND A SUPERNATURAL AUTHOR
Christians do not believe that God exists simply because the Bible teaches that He does, nor do Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God simply because the Bible claims to be inspired by God. Anyone can make claims about whatever they wish. Simply because a person claims to have revelation from a supernatural Creator does not make it so (e.g., the Book of Mormon; see Miller, 2009). However, if the Bible possesses attributes that are super-human, then the Bible proves itself to be of supernatural origin and has indirectly proven the existence of the supernatural Author. American atheist Dan Barker alluded to the legitimacy of this argumentation for God’s existence in 2009 when he explained that one of the things which could falsify atheism would be if God spoke to man and gave him specific information about future events (see Butt and Barker, pp. 50-51).
Indeed, one extremely valuable line of evidence that confirms that the Bible is the inspired Word of God is the presence of accurate, predictive prophecy contained in its pages. Not only are the prophecies of the Bible fulfilled in minute detail with complete accuracy, but these fulfillments are often accomplished centuries after the prophecies were made. Even the skeptic understands that if this is the case, a supernatural agent must be responsible for the writing of the Bible. That is why the skeptic attempts to discredit the prophecies by claiming that they were written after the events or by claiming that they were not fulfilled in detail. By attempting to disparage the prophecies using these methods, the skeptic admits that if the prophecies were written centuries before the events, and if they are fulfilled in detail, then a supernatural agent is responsible for them. As the prophet Jeremiah wrote: “As for the prophet who prophecies of peace, when the word of the prophet comes to pass, the prophet will be known as one whom the Lord has truly sent” (28:9). Completely accurate, fulfilled prophecy is a characteristic that verifies the divine inspiration of the Bible.
One such prophecy concerned a man named Cyrus and two nations: Babylon and the Medo-Persian Empire. Isaiah, who prophesied around 700 B.C., vividly described how God would destroy the powerful kingdom of Babylon, “the glory of kingdoms” (13:19). Writing as if it had already occurred (commonly known as the “prophetic perfect,” frequently employed in the Old Testament to stress the absolute certainty of fulfillment, e.g., Isaiah 53), Isaiah declared Babylon would fall (21:9). He then prophesied that Babylon would fall to the Medes and Persians (Isaiah 13; 21:1-10). Later, he proclaimed that the “golden city” (Babylon) would be conquered by a man named Cyrus (44:28; 45:1-7). This is a remarkable prophecy, especially since Cyrus was not born until almost 150 years after Isaiah penned these words.
Not only did Isaiah predict that Cyrus would overthrow Babylon, but he also wrote that Cyrus, serving as Jehovah’s “anointed” and “shepherd,” would release the Jews from captivity and assist them in their return to Jerusalem for the purpose of rebuilding the temple. Isaiah's prophecies were recorded almost 200 years before Cyrus conquered Babylon (539 B.C.). Amazing! [NOTE: Secular history verifies that all of these events came true. There really was a man named Cyrus who ruled the Medo-Persian Empire. He did conquer Babylon. And just as Isaiah prophesied, he assisted the Jews in their return to Jerusalem and in the rebuilding of the temple.]
Truly, “no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21). And, if men were inspired of God to write the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16), then God exists. In short, the Bible’s supernatural attributes logically demand a supernatural Author (see Butt, 2007 for more information).
7. THE HISTORICAL, MIRACLE-WORKING, RESURRECTED JESUS DEMANDS A SUPERNATURAL EXPLANATION
Human beings can do many amazing things. They can run 26.2 miles without stopping. They can show remarkable courage in the face of great danger. They can even walk along a tightrope hundreds of feet above the ground. But there are certain actions that are humanly impossible. Humans cannot walk on water unassisted, give sight to the blind, instantly reattach severed ears with only their hands, or raise the dead. If ever such a “man” existed, his life would logically testify to the existence of a supernatural Being.
Atheists understand the rationality of this argument. Dan Barker once said on record, “If Jesus were to materialize” and work any number of miraculous deeds, atheism would be disproven (see Butt and Barker, p. 51), and thus theism would be established as a fact. The truth is, the very proof that Barker and other atheists request was provided 2,000 years ago when God put on flesh and came to Earth in the form of man. And He did not merely claim to be God; He did what a reasonable person could expect if God were ever to prove His divinity on Earth—He fulfilled precise prophecies and worked supernatural miracles, including coming back from the dead Himself. (For more information, see Butt and Lyons, 2006). The life and works of Jesus testify to the existence of a supernatural Being.
In 2012, renowned atheist Richard Dawkins was questioned about his unbelief in God. Specifically, he was asked, “What proof, by the way, would change your mind?” He quickly responded by saying, “That is a very difficult and interesting question because, I mean, I used to think that if somehow, you know, great, big, giant 900-foot high Jesus with a voice like Paul Robeson suddenly strode in and said, ‘I exist and here I am,’ but even that, I actually sometimes wonder if that would…” (“Q&A...,” 2012). So, though Dr. Dawkins raises the possibility of the legitimacy of disproving atheism with a 900-foot high, hypothetical Jesus, He continually rejects the historical, miracle-working, resurrected-from-the-dead Jesus Who walked the Earth 2,000 years ago. Sadly, such irrational, hard-hearted unbelief is nothing new. Even some in the very presence of Jesus in the first century, who testified to the supernatural feats that He worked, rejected Him (cf. John 11:45-53; 12:9-11). Thus, it should not be surprising that many will reject the Lord God today despite the evidence for His existence.
Atheists are fond of claiming that their way of thinking is logical, reasonable, and intellectual. Yet atheism irrationally says that everything came from nothing. Atheism says that an explosion caused exquisite order. It says that random chances produced precision and that life popped into existence in nature from non-life. Atheism contends that a well-designed Universe could come about without a Designer. Atheism says that fish and frogs are man’s distant forefathers and that intelligence is ultimately the result of non-intelligence. Atheism alleges that either man is on the same moral plane as a moose, or he actually evolved a sense of morality from amoral mice. While trying to convince others he is galloping confidently atop a stallion called Common Sense, atheism stumbles on the back of a donkey called Foolishness.
Theism, on the other hand, is absolutely rational. Why? Because (among other things) (1) matter demands a Maker; (2) life demands a Life Giver; (3) design demands a Designer; (4) intelligence demands an Intelligent Creator; (5) morality demands a Moral Law Giver; (6) the Bible’s supernatural attributes demand a Supernatural Author; and (7) the historical, miracle-working, resurrected Jesus demands a supernatural explanation (which demands God). Indeed, the Christian can say with all confidence, “I know that God exists.” As former atheist Antony Flew so eloquently concluded: “I must say again that the journey to my discovery of the Divine has thus far been a pilgrimage of reason. I have followed the argument where it has led me. And it has led me to accept the existence of a self-existent, immutable, immaterial, omnipotent, and omniscient Being” (2007, p. 155).
Barrow, John D. and Frank Tipler (1986), The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press).
Beckwith, Francis and Gregory Koukl (1998), Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Brooks, Michael (2008), “Do You Speak Cuttlefish?” New Scientist, 198:28-31, April 26.
Butt, Kyle (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Butt, Kyle and Eric Lyons (2006), Behold! The Lamb of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Butt, Kyle and Dan Barker (2009), Does the God of the Bible Exist? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
“Common Sense” (2014), Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/common%20sense.
“Counterintuitive” (2014), Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/counterintuitive.
Coyne, Jerry (2009) Why Evolution is True (New York: Viking).
“Curiosity: Did God Create the Universe?” (2011), Discovery Channel, August 7.
Davies, Paul (2007), “Laying Down the Laws,” New Scientist, 194:30-34, June 30.
“Design” (2000), American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin), fourth edition.
“Design” (2014), Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/design.
“Do Atheists Have Morals?” (no date), http://www.askanatheist.org/morals.html.
Flew, Antony and Roy Varghese (2007), There Is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind (New York: Harper Collins).
Hawking, Stephen and Leonard Mlodinow (2010), The Grand Design (New York: Bantam Books).
“Intelligence” (2000), American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin), fourth edition.
“Intelligence” (2014), Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intelligence.
May, Branyon, et al. (2003), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique [Parts 1-2],” Reason & Revelation, 23[5-6]:33-47,49-63.
“Metaphysical” (2014), Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/metaphysical.
Miller, Dave (2009), “Is the Book of Mormon from God? [Part 1],” http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=108&article=2787.
Miller, Jeff (2011), “God and the Laws of Science: The Law of Causality,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3716.
Miller, Jeff (2012), “The Law of Biogenesis [Part 1],” http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=4165&topic=93.
Miller, Jeff (2013), “Evolution and the Laws of Science: The Laws of Thermodynamics,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2786.
Moe, Martin (1981), “Genes on Ice,” Science Digest, 89:36,95, December.
Mueller, Tom (2008), “Biomimetics: Design by Nature,” National Geographic, 213:68-91, April.
Provine, William (1988), “Scientists, Face It! Science and Religion are Incompatible,” The Scientist, 2:10, September 5, http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/9707/title/Scientists--Face-It--Science-And-Religion-Are-Incompatible/.
“Q&A: Religion and Atheism” (2012), ABC Australia, April 9, http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s3469101.htm.
Reilly, Michael (2007), “God’s Place in a Rational World,” New Scientist, 196:7, November 10.
Ruse, Michael (1982), Darwinism Defended: A Guide to the Evolution Controversies (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley).
Shermer, Michael (2006), Why Darwin Matters (New York: Henry Holt).
Shubin, Neil (2009), Your Inner Fish (New York: Vintage Books).
Simpson, George Gaylord (1951), The Meaning of Evolution (New York: Mentor).
Simpson, G.G., C.S. Pittendrigh, and L.H. Tiffany (1965), Life: An Introduction to Biology (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World).
Sullivan, John (1933), The Limitations of Science (New York: Viking Press).
“The Universe Before Ours” (2007), New Scientist, 194:28-33, April 28.
Vilenkin, Alex (2006), Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes (New York: Hill and Wang).
Wald, George (1954), “The Origin of Life,” Scientific American, 191:44-53, August.
Warren, Thomas B. and Antony G.N. Flew (1977), Warren-Flew Debate (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).
Warren, Thomas B. and Wallace I. Matson (1978), The Warren-Matson Debate (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).
“Wretched: Nothing Made Everything” (2006), http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sK2yNkTuJkY.
7 Reasons the Multiverse Is Not a Valid Alternative to God [Part 2]
|by||Jeff Miller, Ph.D.|
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Part 1 of this two-part series appeared in the April issue. Part 2 follows below and continues, without introductory comments, where the first article ended.]
Problem #4: Unscientific
As with inflation theory, the multiverse is untestable and unobservable, making it unscientific. Astrophysicist and Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University Adam Riess and astrophysicist Mario Livio, previously at the Space Telescope Science Institute, stated: “Even just mentioning the multiverse idea…raises the blood pressure of some physicists. The notion seems hard to swallow and harder to test—perhaps signifying the end of the classical scientific method as we know it. Historically this method has required that hypotheses should be directly testable by new experiments or observations.”1 But observation, direct testing, and experimentation are not possible with the multiverse. Ellis, in apparent frustration, admitted:
Similar claims [about the existence of multiverses—JM] have been made since antiquity by many cultures. What is new is the assertion that the multiverse is a scientific theory, with all that implies about being mathematically rigorous and experimentally testable. I am skeptical about this claim. I do not believe the existence of those other universes has been proved—or ever could be. Proponents of the multiverse, as well as greatly enlarging our conception of physical reality, are implicitly redefining what is meant by “science”…. The various “proofs,” in effect, propose that we should accept a theoretical explanation instead of insisting on observational testing. But such testing has, up until now, been the central requirement of the scientific endeavor, and we abandon it at our peril. If we weaken the requirement of solid data, we weaken the core reason for the success of science over the past centuries.2
Krauss noted that “for many people, multiverses…are indications of how far fundamental physics may appear to be diverging from what is otherwise considered to be sound empirical science.”3Regarding string theory, inflation, and the multiverse theory, Ellis and Silk insisted, “We agree with theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder: post-empirical science is an oxymoron…. In our view, the issue boils down to clarifying one question: what potential observational or experimental evidence is there that would persuade you that the theory is wrong and lead you to abandoning it? If there is none, it is not a scientific theory.”4 Buchanan, writing in New Scientist about the multiverse, bewilderedly said,
[F]antasy is the very word that occurs to many—including some physicists—when they hear some of the ideas popular in cosmology…. [I]nflationary cosmologists have opened the speculative throttle so fully that physicists now talk routinely of such things as an infinitude of parallel universes, or a “multiverse”…. Is this still science? Or has inflationary cosmology veered towards something akin to religion? Some physicists wonder….5
By the end of the article, Buchanan’s answer was clear. “In the end, this [i.e., the multiverse—JM] isn’t science so much as philosophy using the language of science.”6
Lee Smolin is a theoretical physicist, faculty member at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and adjunct Professor of Physics at the University of Waterloo. In an article titled, “You Think There’s a Multiverse? Get Real,” he forthrightly argued the following:
[T]he multiverse theory has difficulty making any firm predictions and threatens to take us out of the realm of science. These other universes are unobservable and because chance dictates the random distribution of properties across universes, positing the existence of a multiverse does not let us deduce anything about our universe beyond what we already know. As attractive as the idea may seem, it is basically a sleight of hand, which converts an explanatory failure into an apparent explanatory success…. We started out trying to explain why the universe is so special, and we end up being asked to believe that our universe is one of an infinite number of universes with random properties. This makes me suspect that there is a basic but unexamined assumption about the laws of nature that must be overturned…. [T]he multiverse fails as a scientific hypothesis in spite of the fact that simple versions of inflation made some predictions that have been confirmed. The idea of inflation is plagued by the need to explain how the initial conditions were chosen…. [W]e had to invent the multiverse. And thus with an infinite ensemble of unobservable entities we leave the domain of science behind. In some sense, the multiverse embodies the unreal ensemble of all possible solutions to the laws of physics, imagined as elements of an invented ensemble of bubble universes. But this just trades one imaginary, unreal ensemble for another.7
Folger admitted, “The idea is controversial. Critics say it doesn’t even qualify as a scientific theory because the existence of other universes cannot be proved or disproved…. Does it make sense to talk about other universes if they can never be detected?...
[Cambridge University astrophysicist Martin] Rees, an early supporter of Linde’s ideas, agrees that it may never be possible to observe other universes directly.”8
Naturalists routinely argue that Creation is “unscientific” and therefore should not be taught in science classrooms. After all, God cannot be directly observed, and Creation and Noah’s Flood cannot be reproduced scientifically. In truth, direct evidence for the truth of the biblical model is available9 and abundant indirect evidence exists to substantiate the biblical model as well.10 However, even if it was the case that Creation is unscientific, multiverse theory and inflation (along with the Big Bang) should, on the same grounds that naturalists use, be deemed unscientific by naturalists and left out of the science classroom. Don’t hold your breath that such rational, consistent thinking will prevail among naturalistic scientists. After all, “If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse,”11 and according to Harvard University evolutionary geneticist Richard Lewontin, naturalistic scientists “cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”12
Problem #5: Origin of the Multiverse
For the sake of argument, let us concede the existence of the multiverse. Next question: where did the multiverse come from? Ellis noted,
Many physicists who talk about the multiverse…assume a multiverse context for their theories without worrying about how it comes to be—which is what concerns cosmologists…. Scientists proposed the multiverse as a way of resolving deep issues about the nature of existence, but the proposal leaves the ultimate issues unresolved. All the same issues that arise in relation to the universe arise again in relation to the multiverse. If the multiverse exists, did it come into existence through necessity, chance or purpose? That is a metaphysical question that no physical theory can answer for either the universe or the multiverse.13
Recall that Finkel wrote concerning the multiverse, “This is all highly speculative, but it’s possible that to give birth to a new universe you first need to take a bunch of matter from an existing universe, crunch it down, and seal it off.”14 If a Universe had to first be in existence before the new one was born, how did it all get started? And where did the “strings” of string theory come from? The multiverse theory still does not answer the ultimate question.
That ultimate question is precisely what Richard Webb titled a 2016 article in New Scientist: “Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?” One of the hopes about the multiverse theory is that it could explain why our laws of physics are what they are. As we have highlighted elsewhere, they certainly could not write themselves.15 In the multiverse, every possible law would be expected to happen in some Universe at some time—and possibly many times throughout eternity. But again, the ultimate question is not answered. Webb highlights that truth: “A popular idea is that all the other possible laws of physics—including no laws—exist elsewhere in a ‘multiverse’ of all possible worlds. In that case, why a multiverse?”16 Theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist, and Professor at Arizona State University Paul Davies weighed in as well in an article titled “Taking Science on Faith”:
The multiverse theory is increasingly popular, but it doesn’t so much explain the laws of physics as dodge the whole issue. There has to be a physical mechanism to make all those universes and bestow bylaws on them. This process will require its own laws, or meta-laws. Where do they come from? The problem has simply been shifted up a level from the laws of the universe to the meta-laws of the multiverse.17
In 2011, he said, “You still have to explain the multiverse. That still has laws. You need a Universe generating mechanism.”18 According to Davies, the multiverse theory merely moves the goal post. It does not really answer the ultimate question. Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist of the City College of New York, agreed, but went even further: “[I]n string theory, there are other universes out there. There’s a multiverse of universes…. [T]he question is, ‘Where did the multiverse come from?’ You could argue, therefore, that maybe you need a god to create the multiverse, or a creator to create string theory, perhaps.”19
While there are different versions of the multiverse theory which have been suggested, according to Ellis, “[n]early all cosmologists today” accept the type of multiverse wherein “[e]ach [Universe—JM] has a different initial distribution of matter, but the same laws of physics operate in all.”20 As astronomer Shannon Hall wrote in New Scientist, the other universes of the hypothetical multiverse are “all bound by the same laws of physics” as ours. She reasoned, “At least that’s the assumption: those laws don’t change over the distances we can see, so there is no reason to think they will suddenly transform beyond them.”21 Recall again that in the multiverse model, in order to form a new Universe you “need to take a bunch of matter from an existing universe, crunch it down, and seal it off.”22 It stands to reason that if one Universe starts from another, then the same laws would apply to both, which agrees with what Ellis stated. But if that is the case, then the same laws which prohibit matter and energy from creating themselves or existing forever in our Universe23 hold in those other Universes as well.24 The origin of it all must still be accounted for. If matter and energy in our Universe come from “a neighbouring universe leaking into ours,”25 the matter in that Universe still has to have come from somewhere. In the words of evolutionary biologist of Oxford University Richard Dawkins, “Of course it’s counterintuitive that you can get something from nothing. Of course common sense doesn’t allow you to get something from nothing.”26 Reason still leads to an ultimate Creator of everything.
Problem #6: The Multiverse Admits the Existence of the Supernatural
Recall what Ellis and Silk wrote in 2014 in Nature: “This year, debates in physics circles took a worrying turn. Faced with difficulties in applying fundamental theories to the observed Universe, some researchers called for a change in how theoretical physics is done.”27 Ironically, the “difficulties” theoretical physicists have encountered have forced many naturalists to go beyond nature to try to explain. As Smolin said,
“We had to invent the multiverse,”28 and according to Parker, it was from our “imagination.”29
The use of our imagination to determine where we came from certainly sounds like today’s “science” is moving ever further into the realm of fiction.
Regardless, notice that according to many physicists, something beyond the current definition of science is needed to explain certain things—i.e., the existence of the unobservable, supernatural realm is demanded by the evidence. Notice how Davies put it: “Clearly, then, both religion and science are founded on faith—namely, on belief in the existence of something outside the universe, like an unexplained God or an unexplained set of physical laws, maybe even a huge ensemble of unseen universes, too.”30
Besides the existence of the laws of physics, what kind of “difficulties” are physicists encountering that are forcing them to conclude that something outside of the Universe exists, and therefore, that they need to “invent” the multiverse to avoid God? Many have articulated well the problem. Read on to see a great lesson by naturalists on the need for a supernatural Designer for the Universe. According to Folger, “The idea that the universe was made just for us—known as the anthropic principle—debuted in 1973.”31 Since then, the principle has grown in strength. Consider, for example:
- In a 2011 article, under the heading “Seven Questionable Arguments” for the multiverse, Ellis discusses argument number four:A remarkable fact about our universe is that physical constants have just the right values needed to allow for complex structures, including living things…. I agree that the multiverse is a possible valid explanation for [fine tuning examples—JM]…; arguably, it is the only scientifically based option we have right now. But we have no hope of testing it observationally.32
[Notice that the multiverse is “the only scientifically based option,” and yet “we have no hope of testing it observationally.” Doesn’t that make it not a “scientifically based option”?]
- By 2014, Ellis and Silk went even further:The multiverse is motivated by a puzzle: why fundamental constants of nature, such as the fine-structure constant that characterizes the strength of electromagnetic interactions between particles and the cosmological constant associated with the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe, have values that lie in the small range that allows life to exist…. Some physicists consider that the multiverse has no challenger as an explanation of many otherwise bizarre coincidences. The low value of the cosmological constant—known to be 120 factors of 10 smaller than the value predicted by quantum field theory—is difficult to explain, for instance.33
- John Rennie, the editor for Scientific American, noted,The basic laws of physics work equally well forward or backward in time, yet we perceive time to move in one direction only—toward the future. Why?34
- Carroll, along the same lines, noted that[i]f the observable universe were all that existed, it would be nearly impossible to account for the arrow of time in a natural way.35
- According to Smolin,Everything we know suggests that the universe is unusual. It is flatter, smoother, larger and emptier than a “typical” universe predicted by the known laws of physics. If we reached into a hat filled with pieces of paper, each with the specifications of a possible universe written on it, it is exceedingly unlikely that we would get a universe anything like ours in one pick—or even a billion. The challenge that cosmologists face is to make sense of this specialness. One approach to this question is inflation—the hypothesis that the early universe went through a phase of exponentially fast expansion. At first, inflation seemed to do the trick. A simple version of the idea gave correct predictions for the spectrum of fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background. But a closer look shows that we have just moved the problem further back in time. To make inflation happen at all requires us to fine-tune the initial conditions of the universe.36
- Folger quotes Linde in Discover magazine:“We have a lot of really, really strange coincidences, and all of these coincidences are such that they make life possible,” Linde says. Physicists don’t like coincidences. They like even less the notion that life is somehow central to the universe, and yet recent discoveries are forcing them to confront that very idea…. Call it a fluke, a mystery, a miracle. Or call it the biggest problem in physics. Short of invoking a benevolent creator, many physicists see only one possible explanation: Our universe may be but one of perhaps infinitely many universes in an inconceivably vast multiverse…. Advocates argue that, like it or not, the multiverse may well be the only viable non-religious explanation for what is often called the “fine-tuning problem”—the baffling observation that the laws of the universe seem custom-tailored to favor the emergence of life…. [Andrei Linde:] “And if we double the mass of the electron, life as we know it will disappear. If we change the strength of the interaction between protons and electrons, life will disappear. Why are there three space dimensions and one time dimension? If we had four space dimensions and one time dimension, then planetary systems would be unstable and our version of life would be impossible. If we had two space dimensions and one time dimension, we would not exist,” he says…. [I]f there is no multiverse, where does that leave physicists? “If there is only one universe,” Carr says, “you might have to have a fine-tuner. If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.”37
- Stuart Clark and Richard Webb, writing in New Scientist, said,We can’t explain the numbers that rule the universe…the different strengths of weak, strong and electromagnetic forces, for example, or the masses of the particles it introduces…. Were any of them to have even marginally different values, the universe would look very different. The Higgs boson’s mass, for example, is just about the smallest it can be without the universe’s matter becoming unstable. Similar “fine-tuning” problems bedevil cosmology…. Why is the carbon atom structured so precisely as to allow enough carbon for life to exist in the universe?38
- Greene, commenting on Professor of Theoretical Physics at Stanford University Leonard Susskind’s thinking about the multiverse, said,Susskind was suggesting that string theory augments this grand cosmological unfolding by adorning each of the universes in the multiverse with a different shape for the extra dimensions. With or without string theory, the multiverse is a highly controversial schema, and deservedly so. It not only recasts the landscape of reality, but shifts the scientific goal posts. Questions once deemed profoundly puzzling—why do nature’s numbers, from particle masses to force strengths to the energy suffusing space, have the particular values they do?—would be answered with a shrug…. Most physicists, string theorists among them, agree that the multiverse is an option of last resort…. Looking back, I’m gratified at how far we’ve come but disappointed that a connection to experiment continues to elude us.39
- Mary-Jane Rubenstein, writing in New Scientist, said,Here’s the dilemma: if the universe began with a quantum particle blipping into existence, inflating godlessly into space-time and a whole zoo of materials, then why is it so well suited for life? For medieval philosophers, the purported perfection of the universe was the key to proving the existence of God. The universe is so fit for intelligent life that it must be the product of a powerful, benevolent external deity. Or, as popular theology might put it today: all this can’t be an accident. Modern physics has also wrestled with this “fine-tuning problem,” and supplies its own answer. If only one universe exists, then it is strange to find it so hospitable to life, when nearly any other value for the gravitational or cosmological constants would have produced nothing at all. But if there is a “multiverse” of many universes, all with different constants, the problem vanishes: we’re here because we happen to be in one of the universes that works. No miracles, no plan, no creator.40
Notice: Physicists cannot help but acknowledge the truth of the Teleological Argument for the existence of God. Design demands a designer, and the Universe has abundant evidence of design (i.e., fine-tuning). The multiverse is a concession by naturalists that we have been right all along: there exists an “unseen realm.” But rather than concede God, naturalists invent the evidence-less, imaginary multiverse. Ironically all the while, the multiverse is itself a supernatural option—albeit, one without any rules concerning how we should behave, making it attractive to many.
Problem #7: Would the Existence of the Multiverse Actually Prove the Existence of God?
According to multiverse theory, “All that can happen, happens” somewhere in the many Universes that make up the multiverse.41 Ellis explained concerning the multiverse that “[i]n seeking to explain why nature obeys certain laws and not others, some physicists and philosophers have speculated that nature never made any such choice: all conceivable laws apply somewhere. The idea is inspired in part by quantum mechanics, which, as Murray Gell-Mann memorably put it, holds that everything not forbidden is compulsory.”42
“In the multiverse of eternal inflation, everything that can happen has happened—and will probably happen again.”43
In 2014, Lisa Grossman authored an article in New Scientist titled “Quantum Twist Kills the Multiverse: Goodbye Eternal Multiverse, Hello the End of Everything.” Therein, she explained:
In such an infinite multiverse, everything that has even a slight chance of happening is virtually certain to happen—you just need to wait long enough. Some theorists have pointed out that, taken to its logical conclusion, that includes the spontaneous aggregation of matter so that it creates self-aware, disembodied brains. It’s the same kind of logic that says an infinite number of monkeys typing randomly would eventually produce the complete works of Shakespeare. “It sounds like something a bunch of college sophomores would discuss while high. It doesn’t sound like a real scientific problem,” says Scott Aaronson at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.44
It’s certainly a ludicrous idea—“pure speculation” in the words of Ellis45—but that is what multiverse theory suggests. Buchanan explained: “In the multiverse, every conceivable world exists, and individuals identical to you and I live out parallel lives in places we cannot have access to.”46 Gefter said that in the multiverse, “[e]very conceivable value of dark energy or anything else will exist an infinite number of times among the infinite number of universes, and any universal theory of physics valid throughout the multiverse must reproduce all those values.”47 Recall that Steinhardt, writing in Nature, criticized the multiverse concept: “Scanning over all possible bubbles in the multiverse, everything that can physically happen does happen an infinite number of times. No experiment can rule out a theory that allows for all possible outcomes.”48
Now, that said: if in the multiverse, “all that can happen happens” and “every conceivable world exists”; if “everything that has even a slight chance of happening is virtually certain to happen”; if “anything” “will exist an infinite number of times”; if “everything that can happen has happened—and will probably happen again”; if “everything not forbidden is compulsory”; then why would it not be the case that a God with the characteristics of the one in the Bible would exist in at least one of those Universes? Does the multiverse not demand that God exists? If not, why not? And if a God like the one in the Bible exists, then that God is omnipresent—He is everywhere and every-when (cf. Psalm 139:7-10; Proverbs 15:3; Ecclesiastes 12:4; 1 Timothy 1:16-17). That means that if He exists in another Universe somewhere, He must exist here as well.
In this article, we have intentionally quoted extensively from emeritus distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town in South Africa George Ellis since he is a well-respected cosmologist among naturalistic scientists and a key player in the multiverse discussion. Ellis thoroughly grasps why the multiverse is being championed. He understands what is at stake for naturalism, but he also understands that the multiverse theory has significant problems. Consider what he said in his critique of the multiverse in Scientific American in 2011:
Proponents of the multiverse make one final argument: that there are no good alternatives. As distasteful as scientists might find the proliferation of parallel worlds, if it is the best explanation, we would be driven to accept it; conversely, if we are to give up the multiverse, we need a viable alternative. This exploration of alternatives depends on what kind of explanation we are prepared to accept. Physicists’ hope has always been that the laws of nature are inevitable—that things are the way they are because there is no other way they might have been—but we have been unable to show this is true. Other options exist, too. The Universe might be pure happenstance—it just turned out that way. Or things might in some sense be meant to be the way they are—purpose or intent somehow underlies existence.49
It is significant that Ellis and Silk acknowledge, “In our view, cosmologists should heed mathematician David Hilbert’s warning: although infinity is needed to complete mathematics, it occurs nowhere in the physical Universe.”50 The evidence is clear: there must be Something infinite beyond the physical Universe that brought about this Universe and its laws or ordinances. There is zero evidence for a multiverse being that supernatural realm. Indeed, by cosmologists’ own admissions, the multiverse concoction “leapt out of the pages of fiction into scientific journals”; is “hard to swallow”; is a “sleight of hand”; “dodge[s] the whole issue”; is “imaginary”; and is an “oxymoron.” But on the other hand, there is ample evidence that the God of the Bible exists.51 He wrote the “ordinances of the heavens” and “set their dominion” over the Universe (Job 38:33). By His word, “the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth” (Psalm 33:6).
1 Adam G. Riess and Mario Livio (2016), “The Puzzle of Dark Energy,” Scientific American, 314:42, emp. added.
2 George F.R. Ellis (2011), “Does the Multiverse Really Exist?” Scientific American, 305:40-43, emp. added.
3 Lawrence M. Krauss (2014), “A Beacon from the Big Bang,” Scientific American, 311:67, emp. added.
4 George Ellis and Joe Silk (2014), “Defend the Integrity of Physics,” Nature, 516:322-323, December, emp. added.
5 Mark Buchanan (2014), “When Does Multiverse Speculation Cross into Fantasy?” New Scientist, 221:46-47, January 18, https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22129 520-900-when-does-multiverse-speculation-cross-into-fantasy/, emp. added.
6 Ibid., p. 47, emp. added.
7 Lee Smolin (2015), “You Think There’s a Multiverse? Get Real,” New Scientist, 225:24-25, January 17, emp. added.
8 Tim Folger (2008), “Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator: the Multiverse Theory,” DiscoverMagazine.com, November 10.
9 Kyle Butt (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), /pdfs/e-books_pdf/ Behold%20the%20Word%20of%20God.pdf; Jeff Miller (2014b), “Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate: Tying Up Really Loose Ends,” Reason & Revelation, 34:38-59, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1152.
10 See the following for a discussion of indirect evidence in science: Jeff Miller (2013b), “‘Unlike Naturalists, You Creationists Have a Blind Faith,’” Reason & Revelation, 33:76-83, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1125&article=2164.
11 As quoted in Folger, emp. added.
12 Richard Lewontin (1997), “Billions and Billions of Demons,” The New York Review, January 9, p. 31.
13 Ellis, pp. 40-43, emp. added.
14 Michael Finkel (2014), “Our Star, The Sun, Will Die A Quiet Death,” National Geographic, 225:102, March, emp. added.
15 Jeff Miller (2012), “The Laws of Science—by God,” Reason & Revelation, 32:137-140, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1103&article=2072.
16 Richard Webb (2016), “Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?” New Scientist, 231:32, September 3, emp. added.
17 Paul Davies (2007), “Taking Science on Faith,” The New York Times, November 24, emp. added, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/24/opinion/24davies.html?_r=0.
18 “The Creation Question: A Curiosity Conversation” (2011), Discovery Channel, August 7.
20 Ellis, p. 38, emp. added.
21 Shannon Hall (2017), “Infinite Frontiers,” New Scientist, 233:28.
22 Finkel, p. 102, emp. added.
23 Concerning the eternality of matter/energy, some physicists have acknowledged that even the multiverse could not exist forever [Lisa Grossman (2014), “Quantum Twist Kills the Multiverse,” New Scientist, 222:9, May 17].
24 Jeff Miller (2013a), “Evolution and the Laws of Science: The Laws of Thermodynamics,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2786&topic=57.
25 Joshua Sokol (2015), “A Brush with a Universe Next Door,” New Scientist, 228:8, October 31.
26 Richard Dawkins and George Pell (2012), “Q&A: Religion and Atheism,” ABC Australia, April 9, http;//www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s3469101.htm.
27 Ellis and Silk, p. 321, emp. added.
28 Smolin, p. 25.
29 Lawson Parker (2014), “Cosmic Questions,” , 225, April, center tearout.
31 Folger, emp. added.
32 Ellis, p. 42, emp. added.
33 Ellis and Silk, p. 322.
34 John Rennie, Editor’s Note in Sean M. Carroll (2008), “The Cosmic Origins of Time’s Arrow,” Scientific American, 298:48, June.
35 Sean M. Carroll (2008), “The Cosmic Origins of Time’s Arrow,” Scientific American, 298:57, June, emp. added.
36 Smolin, p. 24, emp. added.
37 Folger, emp. added.
38 Stuart Clark and Richard Webb (2016), “Six Principles/Six Problems/Six Solutions,” New Scientist, 231:33, emp. added.
39 Brian Greene (2015), “Why String Theory Still Offers Hope We Can Unify Physics,” Smithsonian Magazine, January, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/string-theory-about-unravel-180953637/?no-ist, emp. added.
40 Mary-Jane Rubenstein (2015), “God vs. the Multiverse,” New Scientist, 228[3052/3053]:64, December 19/26, emp. added.
41 Ellis, p. 42.
42 Ibid., emp. added.
43 Sokol, p. 8, emp. added.
44 Grossman, p. 9, emp. added.
45 Ellis, p. 42.
46 p. 46, emp. added.
47 Amanda Gefter (2012), “Bang Goes the Theory,” New Scientist, 214:34, June 30, emp. added.
48 Paul Steinhardt (2014), “Big Bang Blunder Bursts the Multiverse Bubble,” Nature on-line, 510:9, June 5, http://www.nature.com/news/big-bang-blunder-bursts-the-multiverse-bubble-1.15346.
49 Ellis, p. 43, emp. added.
50 Ellis and Silk, p. 322, emp. added.
51 Eric Lyons and Kyle Butt (2014), “7 Reasons to Believe in God,” Reason & Revelation, 34:110-119, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1175; Jeff Miller (2015b), “How Can a Person Know Which God Exists?” Reason & Revelation, 35:52-53, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1189&article=2506.
Special thanks to Dr. Mike Houts (AP Auxiliary Scientist and NASA nuclear engineer) for reviewing this article and offering helpful suggestions.