Science is now the greatest argument in favor of God.
Since the era of the Enlightenment, when rationalism and empiricism established their dominance over faith in the pursuit of gaining access of the greatest truths of the universe, science and religion have appeared to be fundamentally antagonistic to one another.
It appeared at the time that every single major scientific advancement only served to undermine the truth of the holy scriptures and to further the cause of atheism. Therefore, it is perhaps a great irony that in the modern world as scientists become more sophisticated in their techniques and capable of understanding more about the universe than at any phase in human history it appears that their discoveries point compellingly towards an ancient conception of a creator God.
HAS SCIENCE DISCOVERED GOD?
In the early twentieth century, scientists believed in the permanency and eternal nature of the universe. This means that it was held that the mass, the space and the energy of the universe had always existed and that there was no definitive beginning. This idea was challenged in the early twentieth century by the discoveries of the astronomer Edwin Hubble who discovered that the universe is expanding. By reverse engineering the process mathematically he concluded that the universe could not have been eternal and that it must have had a beginning. This idea was met with great skepticism in the scientific community with many of the most renowned scientists of the age, including Albert Einstein, coming forward to pour scorn on the idea that the universe could have had a beginning point.
The British astronomer Sir Frederick Hoyle was particularly vocal in his opposition to the idea, sarcastically naming the supposed beginning event of the universe ‘the big bang’. Ironically, it would be this disparaging sobriquet that would be adopted by the scientific community when the evidence of the creation moment of the universe became too compelling to ignore. In 1992, the COBE satellite experiments confirmed definitively that the universe had a beginning point, a big bang of light and energy that burst into being from nothingness and created everything in the universe. In the words of the astronomer Robert Jastow, “The picture suggests the explosion of a cosmic hydrogen bomb. The instant in which the cosmic bomb exploded marked the birth of universe”. The conclusion is everything in the universe came from nothing.” For the first time in centuries, scientists had been provided with a scientific discovery in which the hand of God could quite clearly be detected. The fundamental power of the big bang and its emergence apropos of nothing suggested that it had been powered by something or someone of infinite and inscrutable intelligence – could it be a creator god?
Traces of a creator god would go on to shine all the more vividly as scientific advancements made further discoveries possible. Physicists discovered that in order for life to exist at all, gravitational forces and other laws of physics had to be finally tuned in a specific way otherwise the universe would not exist at all. Speaking of this, the renowned physicist Stephen Hawking said, “If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand-million-million, the universe would have re-collapsed before it ever reached its present size”. Life on this planet is even more remarkable and improbable. The size, temperature, proximity to the sun and moon and the chemical makeup of the planet Earth are aligned in such an extraordinarily precise way that life is possible. If only one of these conditions was placed slightly askew, then life on this planet could have never flourished. The chances of this happening are beyond remote. According to one astronomer, the odds of this planet even existing are based at one chance in a trillion-trillion-trillion-trillion-trillion. This is the equivalent of a blind folded person plucking out a single grain of sand from all of the beaches in the world.
In light of all this, the concept of a creator god appeared all the more plausible. In 1953, scientists made a discovery which has caused even the most ardent atheists to begin considering intelligent design in the universe – the discovery of DNA. In light of the extraordinary complexity and sophisticated design of the brains of each cell in the human-led one of its discoverers, Francis Crick, to claim that it simply could not have originated on this planet and must have come from outer space. He pointed out that a mere pinhead sample of DNA contained enough information to build a stack of paper book books that would circle the Earth five thousand times. Further investigations in this field have found that DNA operates with its own language which bears astonishing similarities to the code of complex computer software. The astonishing sophistication of DNA even led the notable atheist and positivist Anthony Flew to believe in the creator God. He explained, “What I think the DNA material has done is to show that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements together.
The enormous complexity by which the results were achieved look to me like the work of intelligence… It now seems to me that the finding of more than fifty years of DNA research has provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design”. Despite the fact that science was once seen as the ultimate threat to religion it now appears that it is one of the greatest tools in pointing towards the existence of some form of greater, creative power in the universe. Only time will tell whether further scientific progress will serve to confirm the existence of God and whether humans will advance so far that scientists will eventually be able to discern the purpose and language of divine creation itself.