"THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS" Faith That Overcomes The World (11:23-40) INTRODUCTION 1. What kind of faith leads "to the saving of the soul" (He 10:39)? a. It is "Faith That Pleases God" - He 11:1-7 1) That has confidence and conviction in things hoped for, in things unseen 2) That believes God is, and that He rewards those who seek Him 3) That worships like Abel, walks like Enoch, and works like Noah b. It is "Faith That Embraces The Promises" - He 11:8-22 1) Obeying God when He calls, even it means sojourning as a pilgrim, or sacrificing that which is most precious to you (Abraham) 2) Receiving strength from God to do His will (Sarah) 3) Declaring the promises of God from generation to generation (Isaac, Jacob, Joseph) 2. Saving faith is also "Faith That Overcomes The World", concerning which... a. The apostle John wrote in 1Jn 5:4-5 b. We have many examples in He 11:23-40 [In the last half of chapter eleven, then, we are reminded how in the Old Testament those with faith were able to "overcome the world". How such faith overcame the world may vary. To see how, let's begin by noticing...] I. FAITH IN THE GENERATION OF THE EXODUS (23-31) A. THE FAITH OF MOSES' PARENTS... (23) 1. They hid Moses for three months - cf. Exo 2:1-3; Ac 7:20 a. They saw he was a "beautiful" ("good", "proper", "not ordinary") child b. They were not afraid of Pharaoh's command - cf. Exo 1:22 2. It was their faith that gave them courage to withstand the king's edict -- With such a small beginning, by faith they "overcame the world" of Egypt B. THE FAITH OF MOSES... (24-28) 1. He refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter - He 11: 24-26 a. He chose to suffer affliction with God's people rather than enjoy sin's temporary pleasures b. He esteemed the reproaches of Christ more valuable than the treasures of Egypt -- Through faith "he looked to the reward" (he had confidence in "things hoped for", i.e., that heavenly reward) 2. He forsook Egypt - He 11:27 a. It was not the wrath of the king that he feared b. It was the invisible God he feared - cf. Mt 10:28 -- Through faith "he endured" (he had conviction in "things unseen", i.e., God) 3. He kept the Passover and sprinkling of blood - He 11:28 a. He believed in God's warning regarding the death of the firstborn- Exo 12:1-30 b. He had Israel sprinkle the blood of the lamb on the lintels and door posts -- By faith, Moses "overcame the world" of Egyptian bondage! C. THE FAITH OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL... (29-30) 1. They passed through the Red Sea - He 11:29 a. They walked through it on dry land - Exo 14:21-22 b. The Egyptians who followed them perished in the sea - Exo 14:23-28 2. They destroyed the city of Jericho - He 11:30 a. They walked around the city for seven days - Josh 6:1-20 b. Thirteen times they encircled the city, showing their faith in God rather than in their own military might -- By faith, Israel "overcame the world" of Egypt and Palestine! D. THE FAITH OF RAHAB THE HARLOT... (31) 1. She had received the two spies from Israel with peace - Josh 2:1-24 2. Therefore she did not perish with the unbelievers - cf. Josh 6:22-25 -- By faith, Rahab "overcame the world" of sin and unbelief! [Through faith, Israel receive the promised land as God had told Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Josh 21:43-45). In the process, by faith they overcame what obstacles the world placed before them. Even a Gentile sinner like Rahab became a recipient of the promise by her faith. But the need for faith did not stop there. As we continue, we see examples of...] II. FAITH IN THE LAND OF PROMISE (32-40) A. A SAMPLE LIST OF HEROES OF FAITH... (32) 1. There is not enough time for the author to describe the faith of others in detail 2. Such as: a. Judges like Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah b. A king like David c. A prophet like Samuel, and the rest of the prophets -- But what the author does provide is that which follows... B. A SUMMARY LIST OF WHAT FAITH ACCOMPLISHED... (33-37) 1. Through faith, people such as these... a. "Subdued kingdoms" 1) Joshua, in conquering Palestine - Josh 12:7-24 2) David, in conquering neighboring nations - 2Sa 5:4-25; 8:1-14 b. "Worked righteousness" (administered justice) 1) Samuel, as judge - 1Sa 12:4 2) David, as king - 2Sa 8:15 3) Solomon, as king - 1Ki 3:28 c. "Obtained promises" -- The nation of Israel, receiving the promised land - Josh 21:43-45; 23:14 d. "Stopped the mouths of lions" 1) Samson - Judg 14:6 2) David, protecting sheep - 1Sa 17:34-37 3) Daniel, in the lions' den - Dan 6:21-22 e. "Quenched the violence of fire" -- Shadrach, Meshach, Abed-nego, in the fiery furnace - Dan 3:23-25 f. "Escaped the edge of the sword" 1) David, fleeing King Saul - 1Sa 23:19-29 2) Elijah, fleeing Jezebel - 1Ki 19:8-10 3) Elisha, whom the King of Israel wanted murdered - 2 Kin 6:31-32 h. "Out of weakness were made strong" 1) Samson, after his hair was cut - Judg 16:29-30 2) Hezekiah, who was given fifteen years of life - Isa 38:1-8 i. "Became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of aliens" 1) David, in defeating Goliath - 1Sa 17:50 2) Jehoshaphat, in defeating Edom - 2Ch 20:1-30 3) Hezekiah, whose faith led to the slaughter of 185,000 Assyrian soldiers - 2Ki 19:1-36 2. Also through faith... a. "Women received their dead raised to life again" 1) The widow of Zarephath, via Elijah - 1Ki 17:17-24 2) The Shunamite woman, via Elisha - 2Ki 4:8-37 b. "Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, to obtain a better resurrection" 1) Eleazar, in the Maccabean period between the Testaments - 2 Macc 6:30 2) Also, seven brothers and their mother tortured by Antiochus Epiphanes - 2 Macc 7:9-36 -- Such events would have been well known by the Hebrew readers c. "Others had trials of mockings, scourgings, chains and imprisonment" 1) Micaiah, the prophet - 1Ki 22:24-28 2) Jeremiah, the prophet - Jer 20:1-3; 37:11-21; 38:1-13 d. Some were: 1) "Stoned" - Zechariah, son of Jehoida the priest - 2 Chr 24:20-22 2) "Sawn in two" - the prophet Isaiah, according to tradition 3) "Tempted" - Daniel, as a youth - Dan 1:8-21 4) "Slain with the sword" - Uriah the prophet - Jer 26:20-23 e. Some wandered about: 1) "In sheepskins and goatskins" - Elijah - 2Ki 1:8 2) "Being destitute, afflicted, tormented" - Elijah - 2 Kin 17:2-6; 18:9-10 C. WHAT THESE PEOPLE RECEIVED BY THEIR FAITH... (38-40) 1. Certainly not the praise of the world! - He 11:38 a. Many had to wander in deserts and mountains, live in dens and caves (Elijah) b. But in truth, the world is not worthy of them! 2. They did obtain a good testimony... - He 11:39a a. As stated regarding the elders in He 11:2 b. As stated regarding Enoch - He 11:5 3. Yet they did not obtain "the promise" during their lifetime - He 11:39b-40 a. They did receive some of the promises, such as the promised land - cf. He 11:33 b. But they did not receive "the" promise 1) They did not live to see the coming of the promised Deliverer (Christ) 2) Nor did they experience the "perfection" which Christ now offers a) The Law could not make them "perfect" - He 9:9-10; 10:1-4 b) But Christ can! - cf. He 9:11-14; 10:11-14 4. What they did not receive during their lifetime, they did with the coming of Christ! a. For Christ died to redeem them as well as us! - He 9:15 b. They are now made "perfect" just as we are - He 11:40; cf.10:14; 12:22-24 1) Note the phrase "the spirits of just men made perfect" in He 12:23 2) Those who in the past "should not be made perfect apart from us" are in Christ "made perfect"! CONCLUSION 1. Through faith, they truly overcame the world... a. Sometimes their victory was miraculous; often it was not c. Their ultimate victory was that they "died in faith" - He 11:13-16 -- And now, they enjoy the fruit of faith: bliss in the presence of the Lamb! - cf. Re 7:9-17 2. Through faith, we can also overcome the world... a. Faith in Jesus as the Son of God will give us the victory! - 1Jn 5:4-5 1) Victory over the world's temptations 2) Victory over the world's persecutions b. The victories we win may not be as impressive as those listed in this chapter, but if we are "faithful until death", the reward will be the same! - cf. Re 2:10 May this great chapter with its heroes of faith, serve to motivate us to grow in the faith which... * Pleases God! * Embraces The Promises! * Overcomes The World! We may not win the praise the world, but we will receive the praise of God, for such is the faith which leads "to the saving of the soul"!
Australia's Unique Animals
|by||Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.|
How do creationists explain the origin and distribution of Australia’s unique animals in terms of a young Earth and a worldwide flood?
Explaining the origin of Australia’s marsupial population, and especially its uniqueness to that one isolated southern continent, is difficult for evolutionists and creationists alike. Marsupials such as kangaroos, opossums, wallabies, and koalas seem unusual, but monotremes (i.e., the echidna and the platypus) are even more puzzling. The main difference between marsupials and most other mammals centers on the reproductive system. Marsupials give birth prematurely and allow the fetus to develop in an external pouch. In other mammals, excluding the monotremes which lay eggs, the fetus develops within the uterus and is attached to, and nourished by, the placenta.
Perhaps the most interesting fact about marsupials is that they nearly all have non-marsupial equivalents in other parts of the world (see Dobzhansky, et al., 1977, Figure 9.3, p. 267). The kangaroo has a similar role to the antelope roaming the African savanna. The wombat resembles a badger, and even has a backward-pointing pouch so that it will not fill with dirt while burrowing! There also are many small marsupials that have rodent counterparts. Evolutionists attribute such similarities to “parallel evolution” in both homology (being alike in form) and analogy (occupying a corresponding niche). That is, they believe that these marsupials and their placental peers developed independently; they share similar characteristics, but took two different paths to get there (see Simpson and Beck, 1965, pp. 499-501). A common ancestry, combined with similar forces of natural selection, evolutionists assert, will result in the same sort of changes through time. This common ancestor is thought to be the opossum because it is a marsupial and is found in other areas of the world apart from Australia.
According to evolutionary theory, the opossum was a primitive mammal living 200 million years ago on a single southern land mass called Gondwanaland. When parts of this supercontinent divided into what are now Australia and South America, the opossums were separated geographically. Over eons of time, so the story goes, the Australian descendants of the opossum developed into the various types of marsupials seen today. However, in South America, they “evolved” placentas and eventually migrated to North America and Eurasia.
These evolutionary ideas suffer from a number of problems, as listed below:
- There are no intermediate fossils (“transitional forms”) showing the development of the various marsupials from an opossum or opossum-like ancestor. Further, to suggest that one type of mammal could arise by supposed evolutionary mechanisms is incredible enough, but the chances of having both placental and non-placental forms evolve in the same way, at the same time, and in different regions, are remote to say the least.
- The humble opossum has been nominated as the ancestor of all mammals because it is supposed to be so “primitive,” having a relatively small brain and no “specialized” characteristics. But the opossum has thrived virtually unchanged in many parts of the world. In general, marsupials often are considered less “advanced” because they lack the complex internal reproductive system of placental mammals. However, they possess many other characteristics that could give them an edge over their placental counterparts. For instance, a female kangaroo can nourish two young ones of different ages at the same time, providing the appropriate formula from each teat. Unlike placental mammals, marsupials can suspend or abort the embryo deliberately if adverse conditions arise. And, of course, the pouch provides a superior place of protection for the young marsupial. Yes, marsupials are different, but they are not inferior.
- The distribution of marsupials is not well-answered by evolutionary theories. According to Michael Pitman, “the most diverse fossil assemblies have been obtained from South America and, later (Pliocene), Australia” (1984, p. 206). That is, according to the fossil record, the marsupials already were well-defined as a distinct group before the separation of Australia from other continents. Thus, geographic separation cannot be as significant to their development as evolutionists like to think. An alternate, biblically based model is as follows:
- It is reasonable to suggest that God created the various kinds of marsupials. Hence, the many varieties of opossums, kangaroos, wallabies, and so on, most likely have arisen since the time of creation.
- There could be any number of reasons that God created both placental and non-placental forms. One possibility is that marsupials were created for a specific environment. For example, on the African savannas or North American plains, animals migrate to different areas according to the seasons, and range over huge tracts of land in search of better grazing. However, vegetation patterns in Australia do not allow such flexibility. The unique characteristics of marsupials that allow them to survive in a tough environment are indicative of good design, not blind evolution.
- Representatives of marsupial kinds went into the ark and were carried through the Flood. Any other varieties not in the ark became extinct with the Flood (and now exist only as fossils).
- After the Flood, marsupials may have migrated to Australia across land connections or narrow waterways. Perhaps there is a supernatural element involving the second point made above. That is, God, having created specially equipped creatures, may have directed them to settle in Australia in particular. If God can arrange for all the animals to go to Noah (Genesis 6:20), then He very well could assist and direct them in their migration from Ararat once they left the ark (Genesis 8:17).
- There is no need to postulate long periods of time for whole-scale movement of animal kinds over the Earth. Initial studies by Richard Culp show that there are minimal differences between many North American, European, and Asian varieties of certain plant and animal species (Culp, 1988). The lack of dissimilarities, and the occurrence of unique animal or plant assemblages in various parts of the world (not just Australia), may be evidence for a rapid resettlement in relatively recent times. This would be consistent with the Genesis account.
REFERENCESBartz, Paul A. (1989), “Questions and Answers,” Bible-Science Newsletter, 27:12, July.Culp, G. Richard (1988), “The Geographical Distribution of Animals and Plants,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, 25:24-27, June.Dobzhansky, Theodosius, F.J. Ayala, G.L. Stebbins, and J.W. Valentine (1977), Evolution (San Francisco, CA: W.H. Freeman).Pitman, Michael (1984), Adam and Evolution (London: Rider).Simpson, G.G. and W.S. Beck (1965), Life: An Introduction to Biology (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World), second edition.
- It is reasonable to suggest that God created the various kinds of marsupials. Hence, the many varieties of opossums, kangaroos, wallabies, and so on, most likely have arisen since the time of creation.
Atheists' Design Admissions
|by||Jeff Miller, Ph.D.|
Atheistic philosopher Paul Ricci summed up the Teleological Argument for the Existence of God well when he said, “[I]t’s true that everything designed has a designer…. ‘Everything designed has a designer’ is an analytically true statement.”1 There are an infinite number of design examples that present themselves to us when we study the natural realm—a problem for Ricci and his atheistic colleagues, to be sure. We have documented dozens of such examples in the past (see the various “Design” topics in the “Existence of God” category on our Web site), but consider the following points in addition to those examples of design. It is one thing for theists to provide positive evidences for the existence of design in the Universe, but it makes the job much simpler for theists when naturalists themselves admitevidences for design. Here are five areas of science where scientists openly acknowledge design in nature.
#1: “WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT WHO WROTE THE LAWS OF SCIENCE.”
Famous atheist, theoretical physicist, and cosmologist of Cambridge University, Stephen Hawking, clearly highly reveres the laws of science. In 2011, he hosted a show on Discovery Channel titled, “Curiosity: Did God Create the Universe?” In that show, he said,
[T]he Universe is a machine governed by principles or laws—laws that can be understood by the human mind. I believe that the discovery of these laws has been humankind’s greatest achievement…. But what’s really important is that these physical laws, as well as being unchangeable, are universal. They apply not just to the flight of the ball, but to the motion of a planet and everything else in the Universe. Unlike laws made by humans, the laws of nature cannot ever be broken. That’s why they are so powerful.2
Hawking, in obvious awe, acknowledges that the laws of nature exist, are unbreakable (i.e., without exception), and apply to the entire Universe—not just to the Earth. But that admission by the evolutionary community presents a major problem for atheism. Humanist Martin Gardner said,
Imagine that physicists finally discover all the basic waves and their particles, and all the basic laws, and unite everything in one equation. We can then ask, “Why that equation?” It is fashionable now to conjecture that the big bang was caused by a random quantum fluctuation in a vacuum devoid of space and time. But of course such a vacuum is a far cry from nothing. There had to be quantum laws to fluctuate. And why are there quantum laws?...There is no escape from the superultimate questions: Why is there something rather than nothing, and why is the something structured the way it is?3
Even if Big Bang cosmology were correct (and it is not), you still can’t have a law without a law writer.
In “Curiosity: Did God Create the Universe?” Hawking boldly claimed that everything in the Universe can be accounted for through science without the need of God. This is untrue, as we have discussed elsewhere,4 but notice that Hawking does not even believe that assertion himself. He said, “Did God create the quantum laws that allowed the Big Bang to occur? In a nutshell, did we need a god to set it all up so that the Big Bang could bang?”5 He provided no answer to that crucial question—not even an attempt. And he is not alone. No atheist can provide a reasonable answer to that question.
The eminent atheistic, theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and astrobiologist of Arizona State University, Paul Davies, noted Hawking’s sidestep of that question in the “round table discussion” on the Discovery Channel following “Curiosity,” titled, “The Creation Question: a Curiosity Conversation.” Concerning Hawking, Davies said,
In the show, Stephen Hawking gets very, very close to saying, “Well, where did the laws of physics come from? That’s where we might find some sort of God.” And then he backs away and doesn’t return to the subject…. You need to know where those laws come from. That’s where the mystery lies—the laws.6
Writing in New Scientist, Davies asked, “How did stupid atoms spontaneously write their own software...?”7 In a more extensive discourse on the subject in The New York Times, Davies said,
[W]here do these laws come from? And why do they have the form that they do?When I was a student, the laws of physics were regarded as completely off limits. The job of the scientist, we were told, is to discover the laws and apply them, not inquire into their provenance. The laws were treated as “given”—imprinted on the universe like a maker’s mark at the moment of cosmic birth—and fixed forevermore.... Over the years I have often asked my physicist colleagues why the laws of physics are what they are. The answers vary from “that’s not a scientific question” to “nobody knows.” The favorite reply is, “There is no reason they are what they are—they just are.” The idea that the laws exist reasonlessly is deeply anti-rational. After all, the very essence of a scientific explanation of some phenomenon is that the world is ordered logically and that there are reasons things are as they are. If one traces these reasons all the way down to the bedrock of reality—the laws of physics—only to find that reason then deserts us, it makes a mockery of science. Can the mighty edifice of physical order we perceive in the world about us ultimately be rooted in reasonless absurdity? If so, then nature is a fiendishly clever bit of trickery: meaninglessness and absurdity somehow masquerading as ingenious order and rationality.... 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.8
In conclusion, Davies highlighted the fact that naturalists have a blind faith when assuming that the laws of science could create themselves free from an “external agency”: “[U]ntil science comes up with a testable theory of the laws of the universe, its claim to be free of faith is manifestly bogus.”9Bottom line: there must be a rational origin of the laws of science. In 2016, Davies reiterated, “The ballyhoo about a universe popping out of the vacuum is a complete red herring. It just dodges the real issue, which is the prior existence of the laws of physics.”10 In an article titled “Taking Science on Faith,” Davies responded to the assertion that the existence of a multiverse could account for the origin of the laws of science, saying,
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.11
Astrophysicist and science writer for New Scientist, Marcus Chown, wrote:
If the universe owes its origins to quantum theory, then quantum theory must have existed before the universe. So the next question is surely: where did the laws of quantum theory come from? “We do not know,” admits [cosmologist Alex—JM] Vilenkin. “I consider that an entirely different question.” When it comes to the beginning of the universe, in many ways we’re still at the beginning.12
University of Oxford physicist David Deutsch said, “Even if the answer to why there is something rather than nothing were because of how quantum field theory works, the question would become why are the laws of quantum field theory as they are.”13 Cosmologist and Professor of Physics at California Institute of Technology Sean Carroll, writing in Scientific American, discussed the question of the origin of the Second Law of Thermodynamics: “[E]xplaining why low-entropy states evolve into high-entropy states [i.e., the Second Law of Thermodynamics—JM] is different from explaining why entropy is increasing in our universe.... [T]he real challenge is not to explain why the entropy of the universe will be higher tomorrow than it is today but to explain why the entropy was lower yesterday and even lower the day before that.”14 In other words, why is there such a thing as a law of nature, like the “Second Law of Thermodynamics”?
Theoretical physicist, faculty member at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and adjunct Professor of Physics at the University of Waterloo, Lee Smolin, admitted, “Cosmology has new questions to answer. Not just what are the laws, but why are these laws the laws?”15 In a 2014 interview with Scientific American, cosmologist George F.R. Ellis of the University of Cape Town, co-author with Stephen Hawking of the book The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, gave a stinging response to theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss of Arizona State University, who argues in his book, A Universe from Nothing, that physics has ultimately answered the question of why there is something rather than nothing. Among other criticisms, Ellis said,
And above all Krauss does not address why the laws of physics exist, why they have the form they have, or in what kind of manifestation they existed before the universe existed (which he must believe if he believes they brought the universe into existence). Who or what dreamt up symmetry principles, Lagrangians, specific symmetry groups, gauge theories, and so on? He does not begin to answer these questions.16
Quantum physicist Michael Brooks agreed with Ellis in his criticisms of Krauss’ book. Writing in New Scientist, he said, “[T]he laws of physics can’t be conjured from nothing.... Krauss contends that the multiverse makes the question of what determined our laws of nature ‘less significant.’ Truthfully, it just puts the question beyond science [i.e., beyond the natural—JM]—for now, at least.”17
In his book, The Grand Design, Hawking tried to submit a way that the Universe could have created itself from nothing without God and still be in keeping with the laws of nature—an impossible concept, to be sure. He said, “Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.”18 Of course, even if such were possible, he does not explain where the law of gravity came from. Professor of mathematics and Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science at Oxford University John Lennox concurred. He took Hawking to task over his assertion that the laws of physics alone can explain the existence of the Universe, saying,
Hawking’s argument appears to me even more illogical when he says the existence of gravity means the creation of the universe was inevitable. But how did gravity exist in the first place? Who put it there? And what was the creative force behind its birth? Similarly, when Hawking argues, in support of his theory of spontaneous creation, that it was only necessary for “the blue touch paper” to be lit to “set the universe going,” the question must be: where did this blue touch paper come from? And who lit it, if not God?19
Simply put, a more rational statement from Hawking would have been, “Because there is a law like gravity, the Universe must have been created by God.” Bottom line: the existence of the laws of science is evidence of a Designer—even atheists tacitly admit it.
#2: “WE NEED TO KNOW WHO CREATED LIFE.”
In Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, well-known British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, Oxford University’s Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 to 2008, said concerning the possibility of intelligent design:
It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the Universe, a civilization evolved by, probably, some kind of Darwinian means, to a very, very high level of technology, and designed a form of life that they seeded onto, perhaps, this planet. Now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it’s possible that you might find evidence for that, if you look at the details of our chemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some kind of designer. And that designer could well be a higher intelligence from elsewhere in the Universe.20
So, according to Dawkins, when we look at our chemistry—our molecular biology—(1) there could be evidence of design there, and (2) that design would imply the existence of a designer—a direct admission of the validity of the Teleological Argument. Granted, Dawkins does not directly endorse God as that Designer. Instead, he irrationally postulates the existence of aliens.
Ultimately, since there is no evidence for the existence of aliens, there can hardly be any evidence for their establishing life on Earth. Such an idea can hardly be in keeping with the evolutionist’s own beliefs about the importance of direct observation and experiment in science. Such a theory does nothing but tacitly admit (1) the truth of the Law of Biogenesis—in nature, life comes only from life (in this case, aliens); and (2) the necessity of a creator/designer in the equation.
However, notice: since aliens are beings of nature, they too must be governed by the laws of nature. Recall Hawking’s claim: the laws of physics “are universal. They apply not just to the flight of the ball, but to the motion of a planet and everything else in the Universe.”21 Evolutionary physicist Victor Stenger submitted his belief that the “basic laws” of science “hold true in the most distant observed galaxy and in the cosmic microwave background, implying that these laws have been valid for over thirteen billion years.”22 In the interview with Stein, Dawkins went on to say concerning the supposed alien creators, “But that higher intelligence would, itself, had to have come about by some ultimately explicable process. It couldn’t have just jumped into existence spontaneously.”23 So, the alien creators, according to Dawkins, have been strapped with the laws of nature as well. Thus, the problem of abiogenesis is merely shifted to the alien’s abode, where the question of the origin of life must still be answered.
Bottom line: life is evidence of design, and by implication, an intelligent designer. Writing in New Scientist, Dawkins admitted, “The more statistically improbable a thing is, the less we can believe that it just happened by blind chance. Superficially the obvious alternative to chance is an intelligent Designer.”24 Sadly, the atheist simply cannot bring himself to accept the clear cut, “obvious alternative” that is staring him in the face.
#3: “WE HAVE TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO EXPLAIN ALL OF THIS DESIGN IN NATURE.”
George Ellis and Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, Joseph 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.”25 Ironically, the “difficulties” theoretical physicists have encountered have become considerable enough that going beyond nature is necessary. According to cosmologist Bernard Carr of Queen Mary University in London, a supernatural option of some sort is demanded. He warned cosmologists to accept the inevitable implications of the evidence: “If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.”26 The multiverse has, therefore, been latched onto by many naturalists to try to explain away the “difficulties” facing physicists without resorting to God, even though, among other issues with it, there is absolutely no evidence for its existence.27 Lee Smolin said, “We had to invent the multiverse,”28 and according to Lawson Parker, writing in National Geographic, 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. Recall 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 Tim Folger, writing in Discover magazine, “The idea that the universe was made just for us—known as the anthropic principle—debuted in 1973.”31 Since then, the mountain of evidence supporting the principle has drastically grown in elevation. Consider, for example:
- In a 2011 article, under the heading “Seven Questionable Arguments” for the multiverse, Ellis discussed 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. The Universe seems to have been perfectly designed—with detailed fine-tuning—just for us. Design demands a designer. Resorting to belief in 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.
#4: “WE NEED TO MIMIC ALL OF THE DESIGN WE SEE IN NATURE.”
One area of scientific study where scientists are admitting, many times unconsciously but forcefully, the presence of design in the Universe, is in the field of biomimetics, or biomimcry—as well as the related field known as bio-inspired design. Biomimicry is an attempt to engineer something—design something—using the natural world as the blue print. Engineers are becoming more and more aware of the fact that the world around us is already filled with fully functional, superior designs in comparison to what the engineering community has been able to develop to date.
The Web page for George Washington University’s Center for Biomimetics and Bioinspired Engineering admits: “[D]espite our seeming prowess in these component technologies, we find it hard to outperform Nature in this arena; Nature’s solutions are smarter, more energy-efficient, agile, adaptable, fault-tolerant, environmentally friendly and multifunctional. Thus, there is much that we as engineers can learn from Nature as we develop the next generation machines and technologies.”41
It would be difficult to better summarize the decisive evidence for design that is clearly evident to professional designers (engineers) when they look at the natural realm. This same mindset about nature’s design, however, is becoming widespread in the engineering community. Consequently, biomimicry is becoming a major engineering pursuit. The field of biomimicry is growing by leaps and bounds, with research centers being established all over the world, with their express purpose being to mimic the design of nature.
Some engineers are going even further. Realizing that nature’s designs are so impressive that many times we simply cannot mimic them, they are attempting instead to control nature to use it as they wish, rather than mimic it.42 Animals, for instance, possess amazing detection, tracking, and maneuvering capabilities which are far beyond the knowledge of today’s engineering minds, and likely will be for many decades, if not forever. An insect neurobiologist, John Hildebrand from the University of Arizona in Tucson, admitted: “There’s a long history of trying to develop microrobots that could be sent out as autonomous devices, but I think many engineers have realised [sic] that they can’t improve on Mother Nature.”43 Of course, “Mother Nature” is not capable of designing anything, since “she” is mindless—but notice that the desire to personify nature and give it design abilities is telling. While mindless nature has no ability to design anything, the Chief Engineer, the God of the Bible, on the other hand, can be counted on to have the best possible engineering designs. Who, after all, could out-design the Grand Designer? In spite of the deterioration of the world and the entrance of disease and mutations into the created order, after several millennia, His designs still stand out as the best—unsurpassed by human wisdom.
Do not miss the implication of practicing biomimicry and autonomous biological control. They are a tacit concession by the scientific community that nature exhibits design! Engineers are the designers of the scientific community. When we engage in biomimicry, we are, whether consciously or not, endorsing the concept that there is design in nature. It would be totally senseless to try to design something useful by mimicking something that was random and chaotic. For the highly educated, brilliant designers of the scientific community to copy nature, proves that nature must be much more than the product of random chance and accidents.44
#5: “EVOLUTIONARY DESIGN”?
A casual perusal of nearly any article by atheistic scientists when they are discussing the complexity of various species reveals that even they cannot help but intuitively acknowledge a designer. Such writings are riddled with the term “design,” apparently without the naturalistic writers following out the implications of that term. Phrases like, “This feature of the salamander is designed to do this,” are common place. Is it not true that the moment one acknowledges the existence of design, he is admitting the existence of a designer at some point—just as acknowledging a poem implies the existence of a poet? We simply cannot escape the evidence for design in nature and the reasoning ability that God has put within us that presses us to acknowledge His existence and ensure that those who wish to find Him will (Acts 17:26-28).
Some atheists have apparently noticed the tendency of naturalists to use such terminology. So, rather than try to rectify atheistic terminology, they embrace it and simply try to redefine the word “design.” Kenneth Miller is an evolutionary biologist at Brown University and co-author of the popular Prentice Hall high school Biology textbook that is used extensively in the United States. In his 2008 book, Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul, he admits that structural and molecular biologists, as they study the natural order, routinely mention the presence of design in their explorations. He, himself, admits that the human body shows evidence of design, pointing out examples like the design of the ball and socket joints of the human hips and shoulders and the “s” curve of the human spine that allows us to walk upright. In spite of such admissions, he irrationally claims such admissions should not be considered to be self-defeating for naturalists. According to Miller, the evidence for design in nature should be embraced. In an article published by Brown University, he said, “There is, indeed, a design to life—an evolutionary design.”45 Merriam-Websterdefines an oxymoron as “a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (such as cruel kindness).”46 Another example: “evolutionary design.”
If there is a painting, there must have been a painter. If there is a fingerprint, there must have been a finger that made it. If there is a building, there must have been a builder. If there is an engine, there must have been an engineer. If there is a creation of some sort, there must have been a creator of it. And if there is design, there must have been a…. If a person completes that sentence with any other word besides “designer,” is he not being the epitome of irrational? While we understand Miller’s dilemma as a naturalist and his desire to find a way to dismiss the incessant, forceful admissions of design by his highly credentialed colleagues, he must attempt to do so through some other avenue besides merely attempting to redefine the word “design” in such a way that it does not require intent and purpose—a mind.
The silliness of irrationally postulating that the clearly designed Universe could have designed itself through evolution has not been lost to many in the engineering community. Typically, in the first semester of engineering school, an introductory course presents broad concepts about engineering. Students may learn the basic differences in the engineering fields (e.g., civil, electrical, mechanical, chemical, structural, etc.). They may spend some time considering ethical dilemmas that engineers have often faced in their careers. First-year students also usually give consideration to the design process. Even in its basic form, the design process proves to be very complex, even before considering the specialized scientific knowledge required to design a given item.
Many steps are necessary in order to get a product to the public. Consider one introductory engineering textbook’s template for the design process47:
- Problem symptom or expression; definition of product need; marketing information
- Problem definition, including statement of desired outcome
- Conceptual design and evaluation; feasibility study
- Design analysis; codes/standards review; physical and analytical models
- Synthesis of alternative solutions (back to design analysis for iterations)
- Decision (selection of one alternative)
- Prototype production; testing and evaluation (back to design analysis for more iterations)
- Production drawings; instruction manuals
- Material specification; process and equipment selection; safety review
- Pilot production
- Inspection and quality assurance
- Packaging; marketing and sales literature
The design process is unquestionably lengthy, technical, complex, and calculated. To claim that an efficient design could be developed without a designer is insulting to the engineering community. Where there is design—complexity, purpose, planning, intent—there is a designer.
Truly, the Universe is replete with evidences of design. So much so, that even atheists cannot help but concede that truth. It is noteworthy that leading naturalists are unwilling to suggest that the laws of nature could create themselves naturally.
- Physicists know there must be a supernatural origin for those laws.
Similarly, more and more leading scientists are acknowledging that the existence of life is no accident either.
- Biologists know there must be an intelligence behind it.
- Engineers are so awed by the clear-cut evidences for design on the Earth that they have developed entire centers devoted to biomimicry—effectively plagiarizing the work of God when they fail to give Him due credit as the Chief Engineer.
- Cosmologists gush with incredulity when they see the perfection of the created order as well, knowing that the “fine-tuning”48 that is evident in the Universe seems to have resulted in it being “custom tailored”49 for humans.
But how can there be “fine-tuning” if no One exists to tune in the first place? How can the Universe be “custom tailored,” and yet there be no Tailor? If one is to be rational—drawing appropriate conclusions from the evidence—he must recognize that there are implications to realizing that the Universe is finely tuned and tailor made. The design in the Universe demands the existence of a Universal Designer.
1 Paul Ricci (1986), Fundamentals of Critical Thinking (Lexington, MA: Ginn Press), p. 190.
2 “Curiosity: Did God Create the Universe?” (2011), Discovery Channel, August 7, emp. added.
3 Martin Gardner (2000), Did Adam and Eve Have Navels? (New York: W.W. Norton), p. 303, emp. added.
4 Jeff Miller (2011), “A Review of Discovery Channel’s ‘Curiosity: Did God Create the Universe?’” Reason & Revelation, 31:98-107, /apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1004&article=1687.
5 “Curiosity…,” emp. added.
6 “The Creation Question: A Curiosity Conversation” (2011), Discovery Channel, August 7, emp. added.
7 Paul Davies (1999), “Life Force,” New Scientist On-line, 163:26-30, September 18.
8 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.
10 As quoted in Richard Webb (2016), “Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?” New Scientist, 231:32, emp. added.
11 Davies, 2007.
12 Marcus Chown (2012), “In the Beginning,” New Scientist, 216:35, December 1.
13 As quoted in Webb, p. 32.
14 Sean M. Carroll (2008), “The Cosmic Origins of Time’s Arrow,” Scientific American, 298:50, June, emp. added.
15 Lee Smolin (2015), “You Think There’s a Multiverse? Get Real,” New Scientist, 225:24, January 17.
16 As quoted in John Horgan (2014), “Physicist George Ellis Knocks Physicists for Knocking Philosophy, Falsification, Free Will,” Scientific American Blog Network, July 22, emp. added, http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/physicist-george-ellis-knocks-physicists-for-knocking-philosophy-falsification-free-will/.
17 Michael Brooks (2012), “The Paradox of Nothing,” New Scientist, 213:46, January 11, emp. added.
18 Stephen Hawking (2010), The Grand Design (New York: Bantam Books), p. 180.
19 John Lennox (2010), “As A Scientist I’m Certain Stephen Hawking is Wrong. You Can’t Explain the Universe Without God,” Daily Mail Online, emp. added, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1308599/Stephen-Hawking-wrong-You-explain-universe-God.html.
20 Ben Stein and Kevin Miller (2008), Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (Premise Media), emp. added.
21 “Curiosity…,” emp. added.
22 Victor J. Stenger (2007), God: The Failed Hypothesis (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books), p. 115.
23 Stein and Miller, emp. added.
24 Richard Dawkins (1982), “The Necessity of Darwinism,” New Scientist, 94:130, April 15, emp. added.
25 George Ellis and Joe Silk (2014), “Defend the Integrity of Physics,” Nature, 516:321, December, emp. added.
26 As quoted in Tim Folger (2008), “Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator: the Multiverse Theory,” DiscoverMagazine.com, November 10, http://discovermagazine.com/2008/dec/10-sciences-alternative-to-an-intelligent-creator.
27 Jeff Miller (2017), “7 Reasons the Multiverse Is Not a Valid Alternative to God [Part I],” Reason & Revelation, 37:38-47, http://apologeticspress.org/pub_rar/37_4/1704w.pdf.
28 Smolin, p. 25.
29 Lawson Parker (2014), “Cosmic Questions,” National Geographic, 225, April, center tearout.
30 Davies, 2007, emp. added.
31 Folger, emp. added.
32 George F.R. Ellis (2011), “Does the Multiverse Really Exist?” Scientific American, 305:42.
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 Carroll, p. 57.
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 “Center for Biomimetics and Bioinspired Engineering: COBRE” (2012), George Washington University, emp. added, http://cobre.seas.gwu.edu/.
42 Jeff Miller (2011), “Autonomous Control of Creation,” Reason & Revelation, 31:129-131.
43 J. Marshall (2008), “The Cyborg Animal Spies Hatching in the Lab,” New Scientist, 2646:41, March 6.
44 For specific examples of biomimicry and bio-inspired engineering, see http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&topic=66.
45 As quoted in: Brown University (2008), “There is ‘Design’ in Nature, Biologist Argues,” ScienceDaily, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080217143838.htm.
46 “Oxymoron” (2017), Merriam-Webster On-line, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oxymoron/.
47 Introduction to Engineering at Auburn University: Manufacturing—Industrial and Systems Engineering (2004), (Boston, MA: Pearson Custom Publishing), pp. 10, 32.
48 Folger; Clark and Webb, p. 33; Rubenstein, p. 64.