BY HUGH ROSS – JUNE 4, 2018
People we meet and audiences we address frequently ask us for brief descriptions of the best scientific evidences for God. Depending on individual backgrounds, what is best for one person will be different for someone else. However, in the more than 30-year history of Reasons to Believe, one or more of the following five have proven most effective in persuading modern-day non-theists that the God of the Bible really does exist:
- origin of space, time, matter, and energy
- origin of life
- human exceptionalism
- fine-tuning of the universe, Earth, and Earth’s life to make possible the existence and redemption of billions of humans
- Genesis 1’s predictive power to accurately describe, in chronological order, key events in Earth’s history leading to humans
Image credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team
Origin of the universe: All our observations of the present and past state of the universe are consistent with a cosmic creation event that occurred 13.8 billion years ago. Some examples include (1) maps of the cosmic microwave background radiation; (2) past cosmic temperature measures establishing the universe has cooled from a near infinitely hot, compact state; (3) observed spreading apart of galaxy clusters and galaxies; (4) measures of the cosmic expansion rates throughout the universe’s past history; (5) absence of black dwarf stars; (6) abundances of radioisotopes; (7) stellar burning time measurements; and (8) white dwarf cooling curves. Space-time theorems establish that a causal Agent beyond space and time created the universe. Resources: The Creator and the Cosmos; A Matter of Days
Image credit: Richard Wheeler (Zephyris)
Origin of life: Outside of living organisms and their decay products, scientists find no ribose, arginine, lysine, or tryptophan—molecules critical for assembling proteins, RNA, and DNA—either on Earth or elsewhere in the universe. No conceivable naturalistic scenario is able to generate the large, stable ensembles of homochiral ribose and homochiral amino acids that all naturalistic origin-of-life models require, affirming why no such natural sources have ever been found. Many of life’s critical building block molecules cannot last outside of organisms and their decay products for more than just days, hours, or minutes. Early Earth’s abundance of uranium and thorium (by their radiometric decay) would have split enough of Earth’s surface water into hydrogen and oxygen to shut down the chemical pathways to a naturalistic origin of life. The measured time window between Earth’s deadly, hostile environment for life and an abundance of life is narrower than a few million years. Even with high-tech lab facilities, biochemists cannot make RNA or DNA with genuine self-replication capability. Resources: Origins of Life; Creating Life in the Lab
Image credit: Domenichino (1581–1641)
Human exceptionalism: A wealth of scientific evidence shows that humans alone, as distinct from Neanderthals, Homo erectus, and other species, possess the capacity for symbolic recognition, for complex language, art, and music, and for spiritual and philosophical engagement. Humans alone manifest awareness of God, sin, moral judgment, and life beyond death. Humans alone demonstrate technological advancement, including the development of agriculture and civilization. New evidence shows that even during episodes of extreme environmental instability, humans were able to maintain small mixed farms (with multiple species of crops and livestock) and to manufacture flour and clothing. Resource: Who Was Adam?
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Fine-tuning: More than 100 different features of the universe and the laws of physics must be exquisitely fine-tuned to make advanced life possible. More than 800 different features of our galaxy and planetary system must be fine-tuned for advanced life to possibly exist. The fine-tuning evidences rise exponentially as one proceeds from what is needed for microbes, to what is needed for plants and animals, to what is needed for humans, to what is needed for billions of humans to understand and respond to the Creator’s offer of redemption from sin and evil. The fine-tuning evidence also rises exponentially as scientists progressively learn more about the universe, Earth, and Earth’s life. Resources: Improbable Planet; The Creator and the Cosmos
Image credit: Photo taken by the author from the NIV Bible
Genesis 1: Genesis 1:2 establishes the frame of reference for the six-day creation account as the surface of Earth’s waters, and it describes four initial conditions: ubiquitous darkness and water on Earth’s surface, no life, and unfit conditions for life. On day 1, Earth’s atmosphere becomes translucent (“let there be light”). On day 4, the atmosphere becomes transparent (“let there be lights in the expanse of the sky”). The Hebrew word for day, yom, has four literal definitions, one of which is a long, finite time period. That day 7 is not closed out by an “evening and morning” implies that the creation days are consecutive long time periods. Thus, Genesis 1 accurately predicted both the description, timing, and order of the events of creation. Resource: Navigating Genesis
In addition to the resource books, Reasons to Believe (RTB) scientists have written many articles and blogs on these five scientific evidences for God that can be accessed for free at reasons.org. RTB scientists also answer questions on these subjects on their personal Facebook and Twitter pages.
NOW THAT YOU’VE DISCOVERED REASONS TO BELIEVE
Get the latest delivered directly to you by subscribing to the RTB Weekly Digest.