Empirical Evidence for the Existence of God

            During the follow-up questions & answers period after a presentation given by a Christian apologist or after a public debate between an atheist and a Christian, invariably a person from the audience will ask some version of the question: “Is there empirical evidence for the existence of God?”

            In this modern 21st century, this has to be one of the most outdated questions a person can have.

            I place the blame for this partially at the feet of the scientific materialists of the second half of the 20th century and our current 21st century, for the atheism of their philosophical worldview of scientism that attempts to prevent anyone, based upon science, from considering a broader and more rational view of the natural world.

            Richard Dawkins in his 1987 book The Blind Watchmaker wrote: “Darwin made it possible to become an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”[1]

            But this only works today if Darwinian evolution is actually true.  If Darwinism is false then atheists would have to look elsewhere for their fulfillment.

            It is not difficult to show that the atheism of naturalistic materialism or scientific materialism does not hold-up under close examination.

            Let’s start with the hypothetical example of humans as physically material beings trying to produce a duplicate, identical, Plan-B backup planet to colonize. 

This new planet would complement our own earth as human overpopulation now critically stretches the natural resources to their limits available on this planet.

This Earth-2 planet must be placed precisely within the same “goldilocks zone” orbit, distanced from the sun to enable water to exist as a liquid. 

It would have to be orbiting at the same speed so the two planets would not collide with one another.

            First, we would have to find enough cosmic dust and gases that contained all of the fundamental elements of the Periodic Table. 

We would then have to bring this material in the right quantities to coalesce together into close-enough contact for gravity to condense this material into a habitable, non-star planet yet having a hot, molten-iron core like that of earth.

            We might do this by searching through the asteroid belt for free, loose material hopefully already in the form of what is called a debris disc.

            We could not use atomic bombs to break-off large pieces of other planets in our solar system, as this material would then be radioactive and unusable.

            We would then have to figure-out how to get this material from where it currently is to its new location within the same elliptical orbit of the earth around the sun.

We could then set it in motion four days travel out ahead of us or four days behind us in our orbital rotation, for example, at the right speed while it is condensing into a planet. 

This would take some currently unknown length of time discoverable only through trial-and-error.

            And we currently do not know how to accelerate this process of building a planet by altering the strength of gravity.

            Next, we would have to produce a similar moon like our own, having just the right size and distance from the new planet. 

We would need to tilt this Earth-2 planet to spin on its axis at the same 23-degree angle to produce seasonable, temperate climate.

            We would have to find somewhere enough nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide in the right quantities to form a comparable atmosphere, having enough carbon so that the gravity of Earth-2 could hold the atmosphere in place without drifting off into outer space.

And we would have to find enough hydrogen and oxygen to produce water to create oceans, lakes, and rivers.

            It would take unimaginable control over geography to duplicate exactly the size and shape of our continents on earth to successfully mimic our functional ecosystems. 

We would have to develop the technologies to get the crust of Earth-2 to be the same thickness as our planet, and to encourage the formation of plate-tectonics with geological uplift, to form higher elevations of dry land plateaus and mountains, and lower elevated depressions to form oceans, lakes, and rivers.

            The atmosphere that we created would have to consist of the exact same proportions of elements and have the same depth as on earth, to allow photosynthesis to occur. 

The HշO water we created out of hydrogen and oxygen would have to possess exactly the same properties of transparency to allow sunlight to penetrate to the same depths within the oceans, lakes, and rivers for fish to be able to see, and for underwater plant-life to flourish.

            Once we got the hydrological cycle functioning, starting with evaporation from the oceans, to clouds, to rain over the land, to the breaking-up of rock into soils, and the erosion that puts nutrients into the soil, then we could begin transporting land plants from earth to produce terrestrial life on the new planet.

            Then things get even more complicated.

            How large a percentage of each ecosystem of living organisms would be required to sustain an ongoing and self-sufficient environment on the new planet?  Would we copy exactly the pattern of the varied, living environments like the Amazon rainforest, the African savanna plains, the North American plains, the Sahara Desert, the Canadian tundra, the Australian Outback, or the mountainous regions of Tibet?

            This simplistic example of breaking-down into a bare minimum of details some of the coordinated steps needed to make a new planet Earth-2 using the universal dictum in biology of “like begets like,” reveals the extreme complexity of creating a life-sustaining planet earth.

We can so easily take this popularly for granted or as scientists, because our understanding always comes from looking backwards through the viewpoint lens of the existing orderliness and intelligibility currently in place.

            This example illustrates the obvious impossibility of a single living organism or multiple organisms in however large a number, existing as physically material beings, from a purely practical perspective even theoretically being unable to build planets, solar systems, galaxies, or a universe.

            This recognition narrows the field of possible candidates for the position of creator of the universe down to a non-physically material, thinking Spirit-Being.

This conclusion holds as long as we first eliminate as plausible candidates matter and energy as non-thinking entities being incapable of the organized complexity of self-design and self-assembly needed at the Big Bang beginning of the universe.

            But this real-world difficulty only becomes apparent when we take a fresh look from the direction of starting from scratch with nothing.

We need to look from the past to the present and from the present to the future, through the series of complex, sequential steps to reach function and fit for some particular phenomenon, like in this hypothetical example of humans creating a new and nearby planet Earth-2.

            Apply this looking-forwards approach to the creation of the universe or the creation of life on earth starting from scratch with nothing, and the same acknowledgment of the difficulties involved quickly eliminates naturalistic materialism as being hopelessly implausible as the causal explanation behind the existing order, function, and fit we presently recognize in the natural world.

            Acknowledging and discussing the realistic difficulties in creating a complementary, backup planet Earth-2 is not a God-of-the-gaps surrender to giving-up on scientific advancement.

            It is not out of the question that human beings at some time in the future could develop the technologies to harness gravity to pull together the gases and particles needed to create a new nearby planet, having all of the qualities required to support ecosystems that are favorable to human colonization. 

            I think as difficult as this would be that it is not out of the realm of possibility in the far distant future.

            But I will go out on a limb here and say that humans as physically material beings, limited by the spatial realities of distance and time, will never create a galaxy like the Milky Way.

This is an excerpt from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.


[1] Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (New York: Norton, 1987), 6.

The God of the Bible Cannot Abdicate His Throne

            God cannot relinquish His position of being God like occurs with term-limits in politics.

            What better response to rebuff the challenge of an unqualified contender using character assassination through deceptive half-truths and unfounded accusations, than to create a physically material universe that no one else could create, and to compose life-scripts for human beings that illuminate the real meaning within the knowledge of good and evil, that otherwise merely eating a piece of fruit could not possibly achieve?

            Jesus is recorded in Matthew 20:27-28 as saying: “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

            In Matthew 25:31-46, an account of Judgment Day is given in which the sheep ask Jesus the King when their good-works towards other people were equivalent to doing these good deeds to Him.

            Jesus the King responds by saying: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Mt. 25:40).

            This presupposes that this large assemblage of sheep standing before the throne of God on Judgment Day acquired through their personal relationship with Jesus Christ some measure of His empathy and care for other people.

            If there is not evil and suffering in this world, how do disciples of Jesus Christ acquire the care and empathy for others that is designed to last an eternity?

            If there is not a bad Pharaoh in Egypt, how does the Passover, deliverance from Egypt, the Exodus in the wilderness, and the conquering of the land of Canaan ever occur for the Jews?

            If there is not an “evil generation” (Mt. 12:39) in power in Jerusalem during the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus, how does Jesus possibly make it all the way to the utter rejection and death on the cross?

            If Saul/Paul does not run his full course all the way to the revelation on the road to Damascus that Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Christ that he entirely missed in the scriptures and in his contemporary society, resulting in actively persecuting the Christian church until that time, Saul/Paul cannot possibly acquire on his own the unprejudiced, enlightened tolerance needed to evangelize the Greco-Roman world.

            Finally, when the late Ravi Zacharias was asked in a radio interview where was God during 9/11, the astute answer given by Ravi Zacharias was that God was exactly where everyone wanted Him to be.

            The same can be said after the devastation following a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, exploding volcano, avalanche, mudslide, flood, tsunami, or the occurrence of a deadly virus outbreak.

            It is an absolute certainty that we all will face death at some point in time.

            The outreach of the God of the Bible is eternal salvation by grace through faith in Christ, offered freely to anyone willing to acknowledge His death and resurrection.

            Those people over human history not having access to the program of faith as articulated in the examples of journeys of faith in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, because of isolated distances in terms of geography and historical time-periods, I believe will be judged fairly and righteously according to a different standard (Acts 10:34-35).

            The reality of evil and suffering in this world does not argue for the non-existence of God or an incompetence on His part to create a world free of evil.

            The temptation in the Garden of Eden identifies the earliest example that the complexity in some portions of the broad array of moral concepts eternal in cognitive, sentient reality, need the participation of God like children need adults to beneficially warn them to look both ways before crossing the street.

This is an excerpt from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.

Neither God Nor Man Can Write Laws that Guarantee Good Moral Choices

            After his road to Damascus experience, Saul/Paul could have said to Jesus that yes, he had been entirely wrong and mistaken about persecuting the early Christian church, but that he was too offended that God had allowed him to go this far in error, to then step into this new mission-calling to preach Jesus as the risen Christ.

            After his exceptional education in Jerusalem under the acclaimed teacher Gamaliel, Saul/Paul could have complained to Jesus that God should have told him earlier about looking both ways before crossing the street, before being allowed to proceed in ignorance to create so much havoc in attacking the Christian church in Jerusalem.

            Saul/Paul could have reasonably responded to the new calling of Jesus to go out into the larger sphere of the Greco-Roman world to preach the gospel truth of a risen Christ, that he was both too mad at God and at the same time totally unable to forgive himself for being ignorant about the preeminence of faith in the biblical narrative stories, and in the proper role of the Law of Moses in Judaism.

            Saul/Paul could have justifiably complained that God should have given him the needed discernment upfront to be able to recognize Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ, without the extreme measure after-the-fact of a revelation by way of a blinding light on the road to Damascus, to learn this truth the hard-way.

            But this reveals possibly the whole point God is making in the creation of this physical universe, that in the Garden of Eden we were unable to parse the malicious half-truth that eating a piece of fruit from a specific tree would render us into gods having the knowledge of good and evil.

            God did not rescue us at that critical juncture because non-divine, free-thinking beings lacking timeless foresight are susceptible to the persuasively clever arguments delivered by a charismatic, outwardly beautiful liar…and this particular truth has to be demonstrated over time through human history in a variety of laboratory-type, empirically investigated lessons-learned.

            Whether it is Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Jim Jones of Jonestown, Guyana, or Satan in the holographic guise of a beautiful talking serpent, in the vast eternity of reality some of the moral concepts in the knowledge of good and evil are difficult to nail-down without the benefit of first-hand field research. 

            The divine brilliance revealed in the method of the calling of Saul/Paul through the road to Damascus experience, was that God was able to flip Saul into Paul the apostle in a moment of time, creating in an instant an exceptionally qualified rabbinical Pharisee yet having the super-humility to engage with the Gentiles without looking derisively down his nose at their ignorance about God.

            Without Saul/Paul’s colossal blunder in persecuting the early Christian church in Jerusalem, within the environment of a world having evil and suffering, there is no Paul the apostle to the Gentiles, and no Paul a new creature in Christ beloved widely in the early Christian churches he was instrumental in founding, as revealed in Romans 16.

            This conversion story of Paul the apostle displays at the very heart of the matter our deep need for Jesus Christ to be “the way, the truth, and the life” in our lives, to approach the deepest meanings in the broad array of moral concepts at their end-points of understanding.

            These arguments are not subservient to the factual empiricism of science, but are humanly understandable to be at the higher level of ultimate and eternal reality.

            The reason why Jesus the Son of God and the Second Person of the Trinity, the humble God/man from the obscure town of Nazareth, was on the cross that fateful Friday as the Passover Lamb of God sacrifice for sin, was missed by everyone including His disciples.

            The fact that we all missed this as a group is one of the main points God is trying to make through the cross and resurrection of Jesus.

            We need God to tell us to look both ways before crossing the street, and to show us how to use the brakes on our bicycles.

            We need this broken world with all of its evil and suffering, for exceptional goodness and brilliant virtue to immerge.

This is epitomized in the cross and resurrection of Jesus that inaugurates at the highest imaginable level God sacrificing Himself so that we can embark on a guided research program into the knowledge of good and evil, through the lens of a fallen yet redeemed, imperfect moral character.   

Even Peter has difficulty with discernment as he tries to figure-out his right course of action at the night trial of Jesus (Mt. 26:34-35, 69-75).

Before Damascus, Saul/Paul could not conceivably have imagined a way that God could extend to the undeserving, totally misguided, polytheistic and idol-worshipping Gentiles, salvation by grace through faith.

This brilliant creativity of imaginative insight in crafting this life-script for the apostle Paul to enable him through super-humility to become the missionary evangelist to the larger Greco-Roman world at this time-period of the start of the Great Commission (Mt. 28:19-20), to my thinking is uncannily similar to the brilliance of the Big Bang creation of the universe, the origin of life, the nanotechnology inside living cells, and human thought that we examine through science.

            Saul/Paul made the right moral choice independent of the Law of Moses he knew so well, because the law that he revered so much had little to say about the right choice to follow Jesus Christ into an adventure of faith that was so profoundly at the outer edge of the knowledge of good and evil, beyond anything Saul/Paul could have previously imagined.

            Laws, rules, and precepts can only take Paul so far in contrast to the discernment of subtly shaded right and wrong in thinking he was in God’s will when he persecuted the early Christian church.

            Again, we need the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth including parsing the subtleties in the broad array of moral concepts contained within the knowledge of good and evil.

            The revelation on the road to Damascus that Jesus was the Christ was a priceless gift to Paul that was beyond the human perception of one of Jerusalem’s young rising stars within its tight rabbinical group.

            This need for God’s light in this critical area of discernment was not lost upon Saul/Paul as he took the gospel message out to the Greco-Roman world in the first-century, that Jesus as the truth active in our lives will set us free beyond our wildest imagination.

            People have to want to do the right things from the heart.

            Create humans with free-will choice, and the bent of the heart then becomes key.

            Paul the apostle is the epitome of the Christian salvation by grace through faith message to the world, because he more than anybody recognized that he should have known better, but missed it.

            This revelation on the road to Damascus eliminates forever for Paul the program of self-salvation through the effort of performing good-works, because with all of his education and knowledge about the Law of Moses, he lacked the needed discernment to see that Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Christ (Mt. 5:17).

The fundamental question having eternally cosmic implications is why isn’t reaching the truth much easier than it is?

This is why Jesus says to Nicodemus: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (Jn. 3:3).

This is why modern science is a search for truth regarding phenomena in the natural world.

This is why God-composed, adventure of faith life-scripts displace our ways with God’s higher ways and thoughts (Is. 55:8-9), a concept that is anathema to the philosophical worldview of humanism.

This is why, to be able to adjudicate the question of the competence of either Satan or God to be the King and ruler for an eternity of time to come, God has given to the believer the indwelling of His Spirit as a personally accessible PhD theology and life-coach professor, guiding believers through our research program into the knowledge of good and evil (Rev. 3:20; Heb. 11:6).

This is why there must be a fallen, broken world that contains evil and suffering, that with tragically unavoidable consequences is nonetheless necessary to separate-out the outcomes between self-sovereignty versus God-sovereignty, being the fundamental, primary issue within the broad array of moral concepts, first introduced at the temptation in the Garden of Eden.

The materialistic worldview has no explanation for the existence of good and evil in the human experience, and no explanation for the universal existence of imperfect moral character in every human person who has ever lived (with the exception of Jesus Christ), which the Bible calls sin, which is defined as missing the mark.

Redemptive salvation by grace through faith in Christ, that provides the impunity of being able to enter into a research program into the knowledge of good and evil, utilizing the lens of an imperfect yet redeemed earthen vessel to comprehend the subtle nuances contained within the broad array of moral concepts…to my thinking is the epitome of the concept of being an inference to the best explanation, based upon the evidence currently on the earth today.

            The cross and the resurrection of Jesus Christ enables believers to surgically investigate the knowledge of good and evil without ruining ourselves or the world.

            The bottom-line in the Bible is that we need God to craft life-scripts for us to lead and guide us into all truth (Jn. 16:13), assisted by spiritually born-again, new hearts and minds that have eyes to see and ears to hear (Jn. 3:3; Mt. 11:15).

            From the Christian viewpoint, this is one of the reasons why God created the universe. 

This is one of the seemingly inexplicable mysteries within human intellectual and moral reasoning for why some people succumb to the deceptive appeal of personality cult leaders (2 Sam. 15:6; Rev. 12:9). 

This is an excerpt from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.

How Does the Creator God of the Universe End-Up on a Cross of Roman Crucifixion?

            The God of the Bible pays us the deepest compliment on our value and worth by engaging with us on a personal level, because God-composed journey of faith life-scripts are not easy, by necessity and design.

            This is comparable to the universal experience of young children going to school, with all of its challenges but also with all of its eventual upside benefits.

            The timeless foresight of God knows upfront that we are big enough to handle the challenges to be confronted within God- composed adventures of faith, long before our callings enlist us into the mission-plan destinies of our lives.

            Not a single positive person of faith in the Bible quits or gives-up early before fulfilling the overall purpose of their calling.

            God knows before we do that we are “man” or “woman” enough to persevere when the going gets tough, that believers encountering evil and suffering in their lives can press forward to be overcomers with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to help us, like Jesus was an overcomer in His uniquely targeted life-script.

            But God also knows from eternity past that some aspects of the knowledge of good and evil are too difficult to divide and parse at their deepest subtleties, without some experiential examples actualized through life-events to provide illumination and understanding.

            Simply stated, we need experiential data through actual life-events to provide the discerning judgment to close the gap between the limits of normal, everyday human wisdom and the farthest end-points of each of the broad array of moral concepts as divinely understood by God…at the top of the vertical spectrum-line of brilliant pure light and absolute goodness.

            This is why in the biblical narrative stories of faith God displaces our ways with His higher ways (Isa. 55:8-9) through life-scripts we could not imagine or orchestrate.

            And the God of the Bible is too virtuous and honorable to ask us to do something difficult through basic field research into unraveling the mysteries of good and evil, that He is not also willing to do Himself by first leading the way.

            Solve this question of why the Creator God of the universe Jesus Christ is on a cross of crucifixion on Calvary Hill in first-century Jerusalem, and we will have partially come a long way towards figuring-out why there is evil and suffering in this world.

            One standard answer satisfying biblical orthodoxy for why Jesus is on the cross is that He is the singularly unique, morally perfect Passover Lamb of God atoning sacrifice for our sins.

            But digging deeper, the research into the material workings of the natural world through scientific investigation is similar to the basic field research into the knowledge of good and evil through God-composed journeys of faith life-scripts as patterned for us in the Bible, because both research protocols are difficult to chart a navigational course that reaches absolute truth.

            Some of the broad array of moral concepts extended-out to their end-points are too subtle for us to perfectly discern and parse, in the same way that the mysteries of life, death, gravity, energy, the independent decision-making of human thought, and time are currently too profound for us to perfectly unravel through the reach of normal scientific inquiry.

            The realization that some realities require digging deeper than mere surface appearances, in both the physically material natural world and in the abstract, non-physical world of ideas and moral concepts, may be part of what is meant when Jesus is quoted as saying: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:32).

            The remarkable thing about this statement by Jesus that the truth shall make us free, is that in another place in the gospels Jesus tells us that He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” (Jn. 14:6).

            We shall know the truth that shall make us free when we have Jesus in our lives, because He is the source of truth in every field of knowledge progressing forward in past centuries leading-up to today.

            If there is a genuine God-of-the-gaps, it exists between the limits of human reasoning capacity as non-divine sentient beings, and the divine reasoning capacity of God.

            This is evidenced through modern science today that reveals the easily discernable differences in the organized complexity in the workings of the natural world compared to the brilliant yet far simpler manufactured creations by human ingenuity.   

            The bottom-line lesson from modern science, philosophy, and biblical theology at the fundamental level of ultimate reality, may be that at every level of human existence we need to not impulsively jump at the first thing that sounds good on the surface, but to apply some amount of critical thinking and questioning, dig deeper, and research the facts whenever and as far as we can.

            Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden did not have to impulsively go with the option being presented by Satan in the beguiling, spiritually holographic apparition of a talking serpent.

            They could have answered simply by saying that what was being proposed sounded appealing, but that they next wanted to dig deeper by asking God in person why He told them not to eat this fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

            The entire program behind the creation of this universe may be simply to provide an empirically experiential environment for human beings to discover that we need the divine expertise, wisdom, and knowledge of God as an active participant in our lives (Heb. 11:6)…and that pushing Him away in rebellious self-sovereignty leads to chaos and mayhem.

            Jesus Christ is on the cross at Calvary because that is the one and only way for Him to extend justified immunity from condemnation for us, taking our place of punishment in divine non-rebellion for our obstinate rebellion, to be able to embark on a genuine research program into the knowledge of good and evil while inhabiting the earthen vessel (2 Cor. 4:7) of a fallen yet redeemed, imperfect moral nature.

            Some skeptical atheists have referred to the cross and the resurrection as being petty.

            This response to evil and suffering through the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ is anything but petty.

            There is more to reality than physically material things we study through science.

            I would again submit here that the mere existence of this discussion over the origin and causation of evil and suffering being debated by intellectual and moral reasoning human beings, must argue for the existence of God outside of and transcendent above the matter and energy universe.

            I would suggest that the question of why does God allow evil and suffering in this world, should be turned around to the question of how is it that there is exceptional goodness and brilliant virtue exhibited in human nature and in human history?

            Can exceptional goodness and brilliant virtue immerge out of an environment that does not have evil and suffering?

            How much evil and suffering would we choose to moderate if this also carried a corresponding reduction in the potential for exceptional goodness and brilliant virtue to actualize in response to evil and suffering?

            It is part of Christian theological orthodoxy that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, displays absolute goodness at the highest imaginable level of intellectual and moral reality.

            What quality of madness would eliminate through Roman crucifixion a person capable of multiplying a few small fish and loaves of bread to feed a multitude of people sitting on a hillside, or is capable of instantly calming a dangerous storm at sea?

            What quality of poor judgment would eliminate through Roman crucifixion a person who is healing a large number of sick people in and around Jerusalem from serious illnesses, diseases, and physical injuries?

What degree of insanity would eliminate through orchestrating the crucifixion of a person who might otherwise be interviewed as to possible measures to improve international trade, or to even broker a deal with Rome that would lead to Jewish autonomy without going to war?

There is no stronger argument that evil and suffering are needed as factors in the equation of reality in this world, that the demonstration of the subtlety of parsing truth from error within the broad array of moral concepts requires discernment at an advanced level…than the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the capital city of Jerusalem in the first-century.

Jesus Christ on the cross not only provides for forgiveness of sins and the impunity to embark on a God sanctioned research program into the knowledge of good and evil, but equally important Jesus on the cross demonstrates in actualized empiricism what went wrong for human beings in the temptation in the Garden of Eden.

What is so dangerous about Satan in the holographic, spiritual form of a beautiful talking serpent, is that what he is asserting in this temptation in the Garden of Eden is partially true.

God does know that if we eat this fruit we shall become as junior gods knowing good and evil.

But this is a half-truth, placed somewhere between absolute light at the top of the vertical spectrum-line of moral goodness and absolute darkness at the bottom.

Satan as a fallen angel is not absolutely evil.  There probably isn’t anything or anyone that is absolutely evil.  Evil is a corruption of goodness, a degrading of brilliant pure light into lower shades of gray still having some measure of light.

At the outer limits of the broad array of moral concepts within the knowledge of good and evil, our discernment needs a booster shot of divine wisdom to be able to accurately parse and divide right from wrong, and truth from error.

This is the strongest rebuke to the false notion that we are capable of going it on our own according to the worldview of humanism, without the divine wisdom and council of God (Isa. 53:5-6), because we can be deceived by the false narratives of half-truths.

That the way, the truth, and the life…that the eternal Word of God is crucified at Calvary…tells us that the discernment of good versus evil is a component that needs addressing within the context of this world, if eternal life is to proceed through voluntary self-government by the personal choice of virtue rather than rebellion and chaos.

God does not want a kingdom for eternity wherein He has to impose virtue from without to keep everyone in check.

Virtue, like love, cannot be imposed by force.  To have any meaning love has to be freely extended and reciprocated from one person to another.

Virtue stems from the highest form of self-imposed government wherein people voluntarily choose to do the right things, because they believe in virtue as the best possible way to live.

Nothing illuminates the need for people of good-will to know the truth that will set us free than the utter human failure of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

This is an excerpt from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.

Scientists Speaking Outside of Their Specialty are Laymen…Revised

            Some scientists have been telling us for decades that God is dead, and that the only reliable route to obtain truth is by the empirical evidences acquired through hard, bench-top science.

            Some scientists have been saying for decades that the clear evidence of design that we see in the natural world is not real, but is an illusion.

            The term-of-art popularly used by scientific materialists here is to say that the appearance of design in nature is an artifact…an artificially produced appearance created through human imagination.

            I can look through an electron microscope and see the nanotechnology of the molecular machinery at work inside a living cell, and conclude that the organized complexity I see occurring in action before my eyes is design-produced.

            To draw this reasonable conclusion, I do not have to produce an alternate database of facts to support the non-existent notion of “creation-science.”

            For the Bible believing Christian the existing database of scientific, fact-based evidences is the creation science that supports an intelligent designing agent God, whether we classify these evidences as being secular or theistic.

            No alternative set of facts is required of creationists.

            I simply draw a different conclusion in contrast to scientific materialists.

            I am not sure our modern culture has recognized clearly how potentially dangerous viewpoint bias is if carried to an extreme.

            The anti-god, materialistic worldview of Darwinism is on the brink of destroying the credibility of all human analytical ability because Darwinism exposes our susceptibility to the intimidating force of imposed group-think consensus that can even exist in science.         

            Confidence in the reliability of the reasoning capacity of the human mind/brain to arrive at genuine truth in science and in life, from the Christian viewpoint connects directly to a divine, non-material Mind/Being.

            From the Christian viewpoint, the God of the Bible created human beings with the capacity to enter into highly specified and detailed life-scripts as patterned for us in the biblical narrative stories of faith from Abraham through Paul, based upon a dependable and reliable confidence in our innate intellectual and moral reasoning ability.

            Atheism extended to its logical end-point reduces the human mind/brain to a mere material entity produced through blind, random, undirected, and accidental processes, having no firm basis to rely upon its reasoning capacity. 

            One contention of this book is that modern scientific investigation was always going to arrive at a point in time when it reached the inescapable recognition of the need for a Designing Intelligent Agent.

            The organized complexity of the information content now reveals scientifically an architectural and engineering Artisan/God of incomparable precision at the highest standards of craftsmanship.

            This Artisan has complete mastery of the database of information to create everything material and non-material in existence in the universe, because He Himself created all of this information.

            Because the natural world was always this complex,starting at the Big Bang creation of the universe 13.7-billion years ago and the formation of our planet earth 4.5-billion years ago, this paradigm-changing epiphany was waiting all this time for human scientific discovery to catch-up. 

            The functional coherence of specified complexity now points to intelligent design as the only remaining plausible option, in contradiction to the reasonableness of scientific materialism thrust forward by Darwinian evolution in 1859 based upon the database of knowledge understood at that time. 

            One point that is easily overlooked in the evolution versus creation debate, is that by making the natural world orderly and intelligible, and by having human beings with the capacity to do science, God is taking the risk that we might discover that He was sloppy, slip-shod, and incompetent as an architect and engineer.

            A God who was not completely confident about the quality of His workmanship credentials, would never open-up the first sentence in the Bible by saying: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” knowing full-well that a beginning point in time for the creation of the universe would not be validated by science, until at the relatively late point in time in 1929 in the discovery of an expanding universe.  

            In my career in building construction, I learned early in the customer service phase of new housing construction as a jobsite superintendent, that if a particular condominium unit or house was not ready to be shown to the homebuyer during the formal walkthrough prior to occupancy, that the best approach was to ask the sales staff to reschedule the walkthrough to a time a few days later.

            This gave myself and the customer service prep-crew time to fine-tune the unit, so that the walkthrough would produce from zero to two or three minor repairs at most, creating satisfied new homebuyers and general good-will throughout the remaining warranty period.

            There was no point in prematurely conducting the walkthrough with a unit that was not ready, producing two or three pages of needed repairs identified by the disappointed and dissatisfied new homebuyer.

            There is no reason in a purely matter and energy universe that the natural world would be orderly and intelligible to human beings having the capacity to do science.

            The God of the Bible has in essence invited us to do a walkthrough utilizing the human scientific enterprise.

            One of the key observations coming from modern science today is that everywhere we look, as science digs deeper and deeper into the causations behind the phenomena in the natural world, that the specified complexity exhibited in nature wins the awe and admiration of atheist and theist alike.

Blocks of New Cell-Types in Clustered Groups…Revised

            I would also argue from the evidence that the introduction of the genetic information and the new and different cell-types to create a functional Asian honeybee, to survive in an environment that contains the giant Asian hornet, must occur through the addition of a block of new cell-types in a clustered group to an existing, intermediate precursor insect, or introduced in-mass to produce a honeybee instantaneously by fiat creation within a zero-time duration, and not doled-out one new cell-type at a time in succession in a blind search for function through the trial-and-error processes of materialism.

            The mature functionality and precise fit of the honeybee in Asia, I would also argue is factual evidence for designing agency that is not illusory.

            How exactly would a naturalistic Mother Nature provide the intentional foresight and directional determination to persist through the enumerable lethal failures of a hypothetical trial-and-error process, to reach a successful outcome for the honeybees defending themselves? 

            To do this Mother Nature would have to rise to the level of being a conscious, deliberative deity herself, possessing the overall picture to be able to connect a series of isolated physical improvements that confer reproductive and survival advantage, at each small step of the way to reaching the high level of actualized self-defense.

            We can substitute natural selection for Mother Nature in this example, and still have the same result.

            This information-based defensive strategy by the native Asian honeybee colonies is successfully functional and universally operative today in Japan. 

            The question can be asked, do we currently see a positive move forward by the European honeybee colonies imported into Japan, exhibiting a trial-and-error start of clustering around the intruder scout wasp and in unison flapping their wings, exhibiting the first signs of a developing defense in support of the behavioral adaptation theory?

            Can we identify an experiential transition part-way in development within the imported European honeybee colonies pointing towards the future perfected use of this successful defense tactic commonly utilized by their Asian cousins?

            Has word begun to spread through the natural, molecular language of inter-breeding and genetic drift from the successfully armed Asian honeybees to the unsuccessfully unarmed, newcomer European honeybees imported into Japan (if this is even possible)? 

            This vital genetic information for survival would then be actualized through the mechanisms of molecular biochemistry within the cell.

            But behavioral adaptation, inter-breeding, and genetic drift do not take us back the necessary one-step to explain the introduction of this information-based, novel defense strategy of the Asian honeybee in the first-place.

            Blind chance here is a poor substitution for intelligent agency.

            Long before a back-and-forth, escalating arms-race campaign can commence towards achieving these two incredible military-quality strategies of attack and counterattack, the fundamental question must be asked-and-answered as to the original source of this complex information.

            How could a purpose-free and meaningless material universe produce such a complex, fine-tuned, and coordinated relationship, exclusive to these two species of insects alone, falling-short of an all-hands-on-deck, all-out warfare but instead focuses and stops at the predetermined sweet-spot of the limited goal of taking-out the lone scout only?

            This has the constrained optimization of ecological balance written all over it, which chooses between multiple competing objectives to reach the optimum sweet-spot in the Asian insect-world, of neither the giant Asian hornet nor the Asian honeybees being able to completely wipe-out the other in all-out, major combat. 

            I would posit that the inference to the best explanation here is not the mechanism of random genetic mutations putting-out beneficial physical traits chosen by natural selection through trial-and-error, that can over time reach the balanced equilibrium between these two insect combatants we observe presently.

            A much more plausible explanation is immediate function and fit actualized through the input or release of new cell-types in a clustered group, being an infusion or an activation of a massive amount of innovative information through an intelligent designing agent God…producing a completed organism or a number of completed organisms simultaneously outfitted for survival and reproduction.

            No other current, living insect species that I know of clusters around a captured lone spy and flaps their wings to raise the temperature and create CO² gas to kill this roving scout on reconnaissance, before the scout can communicate back the whereabouts of the honeybee beehive.

            The materialistic mechanism of random genetic mutations producing variant traits chosen by natural selection, must apply post-birth, trial-and-error, feedback testing for viability to some extent and in some form for the ten-million living species on earth.

            Is this the observed paradigm of transitional development in the living natural world today?

If true this would display enumerable examples of architectural body-plans and lifestyle habits at mid-span points towards future iterations, like the theoretical, oscillating, back-and-forth arms-race between the giant Asian hornet and the Asian honeybee according to the concept of behavioral adaptation.

In the predator/prey relationship, synchronized developmental gradualism is not only absent observationally from the natural living world, but is conceptually unworkable.

The concept of incremental development in small steps towards complex life-forms is not well thought-out.

It is an inarguable fact that the history of life on earth goes from a single-cell bacteria to human beings today, in a gradual incline of complexity over a 3.8-billion-year time-span.

But this ever-increasing complexity does not have to occur exclusively through gradual small steps.

The small-step gradualism that must be the engine that drives the program of naturalistic materialism, does not hold-up as a satisfying explanation for the vast diversity apparent in the natural world.

Excerpt taken from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.

Human Development and Evolution, revised Part 2

Human Writing as an Indicator

            The human invention of writing is a critical, date-stamp indicator of human intellectual progress that helps to pinpoint when humans acquired their full complement of 215 cell-types and 100 brain nerve-cell types.

            The invention of writing is dated to as recent a time as 3,200 B.C. in the wedge-shaped cuneiform lettering of Egyptian hieroglyphs.  The cuneiform alphabet in Syria is dated to around 2,000 B.C., and the invention of the 22-sign Phoenician alphabet is dated to around 1,000 B.C.

            The start of the writing of the first five books of the Old Testament called the Pentateuch, is dated by conservative scholars at around 1,450-1,410 B.C., at the time of the Exodus.[1]

            The Greeks adopt the Phoenician writing script around 800 B.C.   

            The invention of human writing is therefore placed at only 5,200 years ago.

            There is no evidence of sophisticated, written communication using an alphabet 15,000 years ago, 50,000 years ago, or 150,000 years ago in the very recent past as a milestone event in human intellectual development.

            The boundary-line between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens is generally placed at around 200,000 years ago, which inaugurates the start of what is considered by paleontologists to be modern man.

            It would follow then that the invention of writing, by some exceptionally gifted persons having forwardly progressing IQ’s above and out in-front of the general populace as is common today, would have occurred at least as far back as sometime around 200,000 B.C.

            To have a smooth transition of beneficial, variant physical traits moving incrementally forward in a positive direction from the start of Homo erectus at 1.8-million years ago to the start of Homo sapiens at 200,000 years ago, yet have human writing start around 3,200 B.C., is illogically nonsensical.

            For humans to invent writing in 3,200 B.C. and then be standing on the moon in 1969 A.D. is fact-based evidence that argues for the near instantaneous introduction of intellectual capacity.

            This is in stark contrast with Darwin’s notion that nature makes no sudden leaps, in the one and only area where the developments of advancing physical traits and lifestyle habits can be compared side-by-side in the common descent theory of human beings.

            When Charles Darwin wrote in his classic 1859 book The Origin of Species “nature makes no sudden leaps,” he locked himself into the paradigm of changein relation to time applied to biological development, which in my opinion is wrong because he was working within the limited constraints of the materialistic worldview.

            According to what seemed reasonable at the time in 1859, Darwin thought that by hypothesizing small-step changes put-out by living organisms as variant traits through random and undirected processes, that natural selection could arbitrate between the comparative values of these traits for survival and reproductive advantage, and favor the most beneficial. 

            In fairness to Darwin, it would be asking too much to expect that he could rise above the conventional thinking of change occurring over time, because the modern discoveries of complex, specified, and coherently integrated systems of information in the natural world of biology were little known in 1859.

            But today the concept of an instantaneous rate of change occurring in a “width-less” moment of time t=0 is entirely understandable when we ponder the Big Bang, the origin of life, the Cambrian Explosion, the immergence of human intelligence, and elementary calculus.

            The outdated skeletal explanatory framework based upon naturalistic materialism will pump-out a program of incremental, progressive, evolutionary development in biology.

            But there is an alternative skeletal explanatory framework that is more logical and fits the facts “on the ground” much better today.

            Here the concept of instantaneous rates of change enters into the choice of worldviews, this term being an oxymoron[2] within the limited context of a materialistic universe, but not at all inconsistent in a universe created by an intelligent agent existing outside of time.

            When I am driving in my car from a dead-stop at a traffic light that has turned green, to the next traffic light turned red one-half mile down the road, going from zero velocity to 30-mph to zero velocity again, over a 10-second duration…my velocity can be graphed on a two-dimensional x/y-plane as a standard bell-curve, and my acceleration and deceleration as a standard S-curve.

            I exist in the four dimensions of time and space, and it takes me 10 seconds in this example to go from one street intersection to the next street intersection, reaching a top-speed of 30-mph before slowing down to a dead-stop again.

            A photographic snapshot of me driving part-way along this short journey will not reveal how fast I am going.  To determine my velocity, I need the distance traveled divided by the time duration, which is not obtainable in an instant of frozen time having zero duration.

            In order for Darwin to make the extrapolation from microevolutionary change to macroevolutionary change, he needs the materialistic factors of measurable change over measurable time.

            But a timeless God can turn-on the gene regulatory network switches in existing living cells to release the 10 or 20 new and different cell-types to support the Cambrian Explosion of innovative, new architectural body-plans…in an instant of “time” having zero duration.

            The correct explanation for the immergence of the biblical Adam and Eve may then simply be the release of the on-switch of DNA information already contained within upright, bi-pedal primates (Gen. 2:7) to create the new amino acid folds, proteins, and new cell-types in number up to the minimum required 215 (and 100 brain nerve-cell types) to produce the functional architectural body-plan and lifestyle habits of modern humans at a certain point in time.

            This is an example of the relationship between distance (change) over time, expressed in this case as miles per hour driving a car…being distance divided by time…illustrating the huge practical difference between a purely agent-free, material universe contrasted with a material universe having a timeless God as its Creator.

            In this example, the God of the Bible driving in His car takes zero seconds to cover this same distance from one traffic light to the next. 

            In this analogy, the God of the Bible can drive across America from coast to coast in zero-time, because He is a timeless Spirit-Being outside of the four dimensions of time and space.

            “Instantaneous rates of change” is an oxymoron having no meaning in our reality, because “instantaneous” means no lateral movement of time on the horizontal x-axis depicting duration of elapsed-time (Figure 1).

            In the relationship of distance over time…of distance divided by time, zero elapsed time in the denominator is meaningless.

            Basic arithmetic tells us we cannot divide by zero.

            Humans invented calculus in mathematics to get around this problem.

            By choosing a materialistic worldview (a modern interpretation being inconceivable at the time), Darwin eliminated the possibility of “instantaneous rates of change” applied to biological progressive development, a possibility which provides a better explanation for the massive inputs of information as singularities at the Big Bang, the origin of life, the transition from single-cell to multi-cell organisms, the Cambrian Explosion, and the sudden appearance of the human capacity for intellectual and moral reasoning.

            The God of the Bible driving across America in zero-time would be shown on a two-dimensional x/y-plane graph as a vertical line parallel to the y-axis, starting at the bottom of the line on the West Coast to the top of the line on the East Coast for the distance traveled, but with line thickness zero (“width-less”) as measured along the horizontal x-axis depicting time.

            It makes little difference whether the elapsed time-period of Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana is a split-second as time t approaches zero or is actually zero.  The change from water to wine would be so fast as to be imperceptible.

            The use of the concept of limits in calculus to determine the rate of change as time t approaches zero is used in many applications in science.

            In my opinion, this analysis presents a much more plausible explanation for the near instantaneous creation of the dimensions of time and space, the speed of light, the force of gravity, and the expansion rate of the universe at the Big Bang (see Figure 1 below).


[1] 2061030 The Oldest Yahweh Inscription 2 Kings Joel Kramer, published Oct. 30, 2016 by Lighthouse Church-Twin Falls on YouTube…at Joel Kramer Archaeologist.

[2] The paradox of the derivative/Chapter 2, Essence of Calculus in the 3Blue 1Brown series on You Tube, published April 29, 2017.

Science and God are Not n Conflict, revised Part 4

The Physical Universe Requires a Timeless Creator

            Darwin’s fundamental condition that nature makes no sudden leaps locks his theory into the materialistic dynamic of change over time, which no longer works when applied to the complexity we find in the living world.

            But a timeless, Spirit-Being God can input the new information or turn-on a gene regulatory network switch to release 5, 10, or 20 new and different cell-types together to produce new architectural body-plans in time t=0.

            This can be represented by a “width-less”[1] vertical line on the two-dimensional x/y-graph of change (vertical axis) over time (horizontal axis) over the course of geological history.

            Common descent in biology can be true without utilizing Darwin’s model of small, incrementally progressive steps fueled by random and accidental serendipity.

            Common descent can simply have another and better explanation, being a divinely timeless God inputting massive infusions of information in the form of new and different cell-types in clustered groups at various points in time…represented by “width-less” vertical lines on the two-dimensional x/y-graph, these lines having zero-time durations.

            For a brilliant refutation of Darwinian evolution see Gunter Bechly Explains What The Fossil Evidence Really Says, hosted by Discovery Science, published November 23, 2021 on You Tube.

Moravec’s Paradox

            Moravec’s Paradox (footnoted below) makes the insightful observation that because modern machines can perform complex calculations like finding the square-root of 3,492 in a spit-second, we naturally make the incorrect assumption that machines can also perform “simple” functions that a one-year-old child can do.

            A one-year-old child giggles and laughs when I play “peek-a-boo” by taking my hand away momentarily from covering my face and saying “peek-a-boo!”, then putting my hand back to cover my smiling face.

            A young child instantly grasps the nature of this game.

            But this is many times more complex in the individual instructions that must be broken-down for a machine to duplicate this same child’s game…to even begin to approach a smiling face and cheerful voice that could elicit laughter from a child.

            Ask this one-year-old to tell you the square-root of 3,492 to an accuracy of three decimal places, and they will look at you with a blank stare.

            The one-year-old sitting on the floor building a small tower using square wooden blocks is an activity that seemingly is so simple that a child can do it. 

            Yet for a machine this child’s play is many times more complex, requiring the computer code language instructions that must be programmed into the machine involving the concepts of the recognition, grasping, positioning, balancing, and not knocking over the other blocks as the tower is built.

            A human-like machine using artificial intelligence would have to be able to create the physical expressions for a child to correctly recognize that “peek-a-boo” is a humorous game. 

            How is it that we are programmed from birth with the innate capacity for analytical thinking to be able to quickly perceive the humor in a game, and to be able to stack wood blocks one upon another to build a small tower to see how high we can go before the whole thing falls over, yet as adults we need machines to perform complex mathematical operations?

            Is the yes/no decision-making of deliberate, intentional design apparent in this human capacity?

Does Matter and Energy Alone Define the Whole of Reality?

            When a person today objects that they cannot believe the Bible, because they live in the modern Age of Science, they are voicing a storyline narrative that is based upon a 20th-century philosophy that is obsolete and no longer currently credible.

            Here I am borrowing heavily from a podcast[2] I listened to on You Tube entitled: Science and Faith in a Secular Society with J. P. Moreland, hosted by Think Biblically, through Biola University, downloaded by me on 3/24/2020.

            It turns out that scientism is a concept that is self-refuting. 

            Examples of concepts that are self-refuting might be: “No statement is longer than three words,” or “I can’t utter a word of English,” or “There are no truths,” each of which makes itselffalse, is self-refuting.

            To quote Dr. Moreland from this podcast: “The statement: ‘The only way that you can know truth is through the hard sciences,’ is not something that itself could be known to be true through the hard sciences.”

            In this sense, scientism makes itself false, is self-refuting by its own definition.

            It also turns out that scientism, as a worldview adopted uncritically and for the most part unknowingly by many people in our modern world, is as false a narrative as can be. 

            Upon closer inspection it is actually an enemy ofscience, undermining the very field of science it purports to defend.

            It is widely understood that scientific discovery is dependent upon several general assumptions, essential to conducting science, that do not meet the high-definition test that scientism itself cannot reach.

            These fundamental assumptions are: that the natural world is orderly and intelligible, that the laws of mathematics and logic are true, that truth has a correspondence to reality, and that human beings are endowed with the mental capacity to be able to understand things external to ourselves…paraphrased by me from this podcast.

            Without first accepting each and every one of these fundamental assumptions as being true, assumptions themselves lacking formal proofs, the empirical enterprise of human scientific investigation of the natural world cannot proceed forward, does not exist.

            This is part of the gaping hole of inconsistency in the modern narrative of naturalistic materialism that makes the untrue and unscientific suggestion to modern mankind, to rely solely upon the hard sciences as the only sure standard by which to identify truth. 

            The fact is that all of science is built upon the foundation of philosophical assumptions we accept “by faith” to be true, without hard scientific, backup proofs of their truth-value.

            One of Dr. Moreland’s main themes of this podcast is that scientism is one of the most corrosive and destructive ideologies in our modern social culture. 

            Scientism erroneously contributes to the post-modernrelativism regarding truth, which attempts to reduce all of the things we know to be true, down to the narrowly limited database of only those things that can be demonstrated as true through hard science alone.

            This then downgrades everything else asserted to be true to the relative opinions of my truth or your truth, neither one being able to rise to the standard of repetitive laboratory testing for truth as defined by scientism, including all philosophical assumptions.

            Because the fundamental, underlying assumptions that form the basis for all scientific research are philosophical in nature, and therefore cannot meet the standard of verification through the hard sciences, the narrow worldview philosophy of scientism ironically undermines by definition the very foundational assumptions of science itself.

            This narrowly crafted approach to categorizing genuineknowledgewould also reduce the obvious existence of well-defined, discretionary choice-making down into the inconsequential category of scientifically unsupportable data not amenable to being quantified or tested physically in a laboratory.

            Scientism is therefore a logically incoherent philosophical program that dissolves itself by being self-refuting, and by undermining the very edifice of the science it purports to defend.

            The irony here is that the complex, specified, and coherently integrated systems of information in the natural living and non-living world point towards the need for intelligent agency.

            The skeletal explanatory frameworks that define the distinctive essences of these systems of information are similar in character to the four basic assumptions underlying science listed above…being abstract, intangible, philosophical realities needed to conduct science.

            A reasonable argument could be made that if scientific materialism insists upon excluding intelligent agency based upon the abstract nature of some of the implications of its findings, then much of science should also be abandoned because the scientific method itself relies upon informational assumptions that are abstract and intangible, assumptions that are conceptually philosophical in nature.

From Pondering Our Creation: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.


[1] See on the Internet Moravec’s Paradox – Why are machines so smart, yet so dumb? On Up and Atom published July 8, 2019, and The Essence of Calculus, sections one and two, describing change over time and the concept of limits, in 3Blue 1 Brown.

[2] https://www.biola.edu/blogs/think-biblically/2018/science-and-faith-in-a-secular-society

Science and God are Not in Conflict, revised Part 3

Definition Automatically Creates Gaps of Exclusivity

            In the two Socrates in the City interviews of John Lennox in Labastide, France[1], the interviewer Eric Metaxas makes the point that the atheistic worldview of naturalistic materialism creates a false zero-sum game in science.

             Each new discovery made by science adds to the increasing database of valid human knowledge on one side of the ledger sheet, and creates an equal and opposite subtraction of human ignorance on the other side of the ledger sheet. 

            This beneficially decreases the number of explanations of the phenomena in nature based upon “old-wives” tales, superstition, black magic, witchcraft, unfounded speculation, and the unfathomable whims of the ancient gods.

            Human scientific investigation is the one and only research methodology that can move the innumerable mysteries regarding the phenomena in the natural world from the ignorance column over to the knowledge column.

            But for atheists, in a closed-system worldview consisting only of material things, the more we know about the workings of the natural world discovered through the reliability of the hard sciences, the less our need by default to ascribe the things we do not yet understand to the random serendipity of unknown causes. 

            This artificial, zero-sum dynamic from ignorance to knowledge has created the erroneous concept of a god-of-the-gaps explanation, of a god that does nothing else but exists to perform the role of a temporary placeholder for ignorance. 

            The contrived god-of-the-gaps fills-in as a “nothing burger” explanation until scientific investigation can uncover the real, empirical truths underlying the particular phenomena in nature.

            Until we scientifically understood the physics of lightning, for example, in ignorance mankind historically ascribed the mystery of lightning to be an act of God, which in one sense it is, for the Christian theist lightning being the natural creation of God.

            In these two episodes of Socrates in the City, Lennox and Metaxas arrive at the brilliant observation that the God of the Bible is entirely unique amongst other gods…is not a material entity.  The God of the Bible is not like the gods of the ancient world descended from the primeval “stuff” of the universe, but instead is an eternal, immaterial Spirit Being (Jn. 4:24).

            One problem with a zero-sum approach to judging the advancing achievements in science is that it requires a materialistic universe having a finite total number of available, objectively knowable facts that can be moved from the ignorance side of the ledger sheet to the knowledge side of the ledger sheet.

            But a universe having a transcendent Creator God…an eternal Mind…being a living Spirit, radically differs in that this theistic worldview infinitely broadens the possible biological diversities of the architectural body-plans and lifestyle habits of the ten-million living species on earth. 

            A non-material God who is a living Spirit broadens beyond human imagination the possible scope and diversities of the life-scripts that can be composed and orchestrated for human beings, from Abraham through Paul recorded in the Bible, and into our present-day.

            This is one of the outstanding features exhibited in the biblical narrative stories of faith.  

            An Intelligent Spirit Being is a superior explanation for the origin of information in our universe, because both the Bible and modern science tell us that all of the universe-related matter, energy, and information all came into existence at the Big Bang.

            Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1-3 tell us that God inventedthe information and created the physical matter and energy through the medium of His spoken words, through information in the form of divinely uttered speech. 

            This is a metaphorical medium not currently amenable to scientific investigation, but has outcomes that can be empirically recognized and appreciated through its complex, specified, and coherently integrated function, a concept commonly referred to as organized complexity.

            Paraphrasing John Lennox, the Bible has the priority of creation in the right sequential order, in saying that immaterial, universe-building information generated by the Word of God Jesus Christ is primary, and matter/energy in the universe is secondarily derivative.

            Naturalistic materialism has it backwards, saying that matter/energy comes first…is primary…and information is derived secondarily from matter and energy.

            This is ingeniously and concisely summarized in the question posed by some modern physicists in this Age ofInformation: Is the universe it before bit, or bit before it?[2]

            In this question, it is material in the form of mass/energy.  Bit is non-material in the form of the “bits” of ones and zeroes comprising the information in computer software language code.

            One of the most brilliant takeaways I got from watching these John Lennox interviews is that for much of the phenomena in the natural world, the best that science can do is to offer descriptions only but not full explanations.

            Isaac Newton’s mathematical descriptions of motion and gravity, called the laws of gravity can get us to the moon, but Newton himself admitted that he had no idea what gravity actually is.  Newton attempts to offer no explanation of gravity beyond his description of it.

            Even today we do not understand what gravity, energy, and many other things in the natural world actually are, even though we can describe them in terms of mathematical equations and the laws of physics.  

            John Lennox tells the story about his 2008 debate with Richard Dawkins, who asked Lennox the question: “If God created you, then who created God?”

            In answer to which John Lennox asked the question: “If you believe that the universe created you, then who created the universe?”

            The Bible tells us that God is not a created Being, but is eternal.

            This seemingly paradoxical dilemma of who created God becomes easy to answer, if we simply jettison the notion that the dimension of time created at the Big Bang must apply to God going backwards for an eternity. 

            A more straightforward explanation is that God lives in a timeless reality, rendering the question of a moment in time when He Himself would have been created or come into existence as being mute and inapplicable.

            Unlike the ancient fertility gods that humanity invented, being derived from material things like the sun, the moon, the sky, mountains, and wild beasts that can be reduced to idol-gods of wood, stone, or precious metals…the God of the Bible is the Creator of the universe (Gen. 1:1; Jn. 1:1-3).

            The God of the Bible was not created by the universe, and therefore is transcendent and outside of the zero-sum reality that scientific materialists have limited themselves to through their closed-system philosophy.

            John Lennox goes on to say that the God of the Bible is far above being a mere placeholder for temporary ignorance, for mankind the invented god-of-the-gaps, who can be displaced by the empirical findings of science.

            Lennox gets a laugh from the audience when he recites a materialistic revision of the first verse in the Bible: “In the beginning God created the bits of the universe that we do not yet understand.”

            He then recites the correct first verse in the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1), which says that God created everything.

            The materialistic zero-sum approach leaves out the Intelligent Designer who invented the information content of the phenomena we investigate through science.

From Pondering Our Creation: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.


[1] Socrates in the City with John Lennox…in Labastide, France…Part One on Jan. 12, 2018…and Part Two on Jan. 23, 2018…interviewed by Eric Metaxas, on You Tube.

[2] John Lennox: Socrates in the City in Labastide, France Part 1, published Jan. 12, 2018 on You Tube.

Science and God are Not in Conflict, revised Part 2

Our Brain is a Mind

            In the Socrates in the City interview “Has Science Buried God?” of scientist and author John Lennox by Eric Metaxas[1], the critical point is argued that modern science has not buried faith, but that modern science can bury atheism.

            Oxford professor of mathematics Dr. Lennox tells the story of some of his world-famous scientist friends and colleagues asking the question why he is not an atheist. 

            His telling response is to ask them that if the computer and equipment they use in their scientific research was produced, was designed and manufactured through a random and undirected process, could they have a reasonable and consistent confidence in the data the computer and lab-equipment generated. 

            Their answer every time is no.

            If, according to materialism, the human mind/brain is likewise the product of the random and undirected process of Darwinian evolution, this undermines our sure confidence in the accuracy of human rational thought. 

When extended-out to its logical end-point this radical materialism dissolves rationality, even dissolves the philosophical thinking of atheism itself.

            Atheism thought-out all the way through to its end-point dissolves the reliability and credibility of its own thought process, because the accuracy of a computer, lab-equipment, or a human brain that is the materialistic product of a random and undirected process cannot be absolutely trusted.

            Atheism based upon naturalistic materialism, when extended-out logically, destroys rationality in every field of science.  Materialism sweeps away our reasonable confidence in the human mental capacity to accurately take advantage of the fundamental assumptions underlying all scientific research, that the natural world is both orderly and intelligible. 

            But most importantly and insightfully recognized, the natural world is intelligible to human beings alone amongst all other living organisms, an extraordinary capacity I do not believe we want to give up so easily to misleading philosophy.

            The reliability of our mental capacity to differentiate truth from error, and our ability to place value upon trustworthy research methods, enables the pursuit of modern science.

            One of the ingeniously insightful apologetic arguments in recent times for the existence of God is the differentiation between matter and mind…the contrast between concrete, material things as opposed to the abstract, conceptual nature of information.

            The classic case is made that the information conveyed in the daily headlines of the New York Times newspaper is not explainable by means of the physics and chemistry of ink bonding to paper.

            The information conveyed in the newspaper headlines is the product of the intelligent arrangement of the ink on paper, in this instance in the English language.  This reality transcends above and is completely detached and independent from the mechanical explanation of how ink bonds to paper.

            Physics and chemistry alone are incapable of the abstract thought process of arranging ink on paper to convey intelligible information.  The arrangement of anything complex, specified, and coherently integrated like the intelligent design of the headlines of the New York Times newspaper requires a mind.

            In the Socrates in the City interview noted above, John Lennox makes another critical point by saying that informationis not a material thing. 

            Information is correctly defined to be an abstract, intangible entity that has a non-materialistic essence, quite apart from the material explanation of how ink bonds to paper.

            Dr. Lennox gives a beautiful illustration of this.  On a mountaintop in the state of Washington, he sends up a message using smoke signals, which are read by Native American Indians who telephone this information to someone in Oxford, England, who types-inputs this into a computer that can be emailed to friends and colleagues of John Lennox at Oxford University.

            In this illustration, the information/message remains the same, but the mediums used to convey the information in the form of smoke signals, smartphone, computer, and email are all different. 

            This means that the complex, specified, and coherently integrated systems of information discovered in the natural world by modern scientific investigation cannot be the sole product of naturalistic materialism. 

            The information cannot be the product of the smoke signals, the smartphone, or the computer, but instead first originate from an intelligent mind, because information correctly defined is not materialistic but abstract.

From Pondering Our Creation: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.


[1] Socrates in the City: “Has Science Buried God?” Aug. 21, 2019.

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