Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Designer

Aristotle believed “in an intelligent natural world that functions according to some deliberate design.” Likewise, Einstein stated that “the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.” This is because, as the renowned physicist Stephen Hawking wrote, “Everything in the universe follows laws, without exception” (“The Grand Design,” Hawking and Mlodinow). As a result of these laws, we can understand and even predict future events.

Hawking adds that even the characteristics of the entire universe “appear to have a design that is both tailor–made to support us and, if we are to exist, leaves little room for alteration.” This means that all of the physical constants – gravitational, nuclear forces and at least 30 other forces – have been finely calibrated to support existence and even life and can’t be changed without serious consequences. It’s like entering a restaurant and finding balloons, “happy birthday” signs with your name loudly painted on all of them, and your favorite foods and friends – everything designed for your birthday party. You instantly know that someone planned a surprise party for you!

However, not according to Hawking! In this, his latest book, he writes,

• “The discovery recently of so many laws of nature could lead some back to the idea that this grand design is the work of a grand Designer. Yet the latest advances in cosmology explain why the laws of the universe seem tailor-made for humans, without the need for a benevolent creator.”

Therefore, before you thank your wife for your wonderful surprise party, consider the possibility that all of these fortuitous arrangements might have just happened naturally, without anyone planning them. But how could something to intricate and fortuitous have just happened? Hawking explains that,

• “As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing.”

Well, if entire universes with their laws of physics just appear, don’t be too quick to thankfully hug your wife. You might ask, “Where does his evidence for multiple universes come from?”

Not from science! There’s doesn’t exist the smallest thread of hard, observable evidence that there is even a second universe, let alone an uncountable number as Hawking’s theory requires. He surmises that if there is such a number, then it stands to reason that one of them would be just right for us. It’s merely a matter of the throw-of-the-dice. If you throw ten dies a countless number of times, they should come up as ten “sixes” at least once! In the same way, if you visit enough restaurants, it’s likely that you’ll find one that happens to be celebrating your birthday.

But if you think a little further about what Hawking is saying, you might also ask, “How can Hawking appeal to ‘the laws of gravity and quantum theory’ to justify his strange idea that multiple universes spring into existence uncaused from nothing? There aren’t any ‘the laws of gravity and quantum theory’ in nothingness! Just nothing at all!” That seems reasonable.

Besides, I never see things springing into existence out of nothingness and uncaused, while Hawking is suggesting that entire universes just pop into existence. I would think that such frequent additions could disrupt life in this universe. Even the arrival of a new mouth to feed can disrupt our lives, but not so Hawking’s countless universes! Where is the evidence for spontaneous creation? Hawking insists that,

• “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God.”

Many wish that a few thousand dollars would just spontaneously appear in the palm of their hand, but it just doesn’t seem to happen. OK, I admit that I don’t know everything. Perhaps the “spontaneous creation” of multiple universes is possible even though no one has ever detected them. Indeed, perhaps I don’t exist, and the “I” that I think is me is just an impersonal consciousness that dreams up everything else?

Well, maybe I can’t absolutely disprove this idea, but I’ve got to go with the evidence that I have, and this tells me that I do exist, and this conclusion seems to work for me. It gets me out of bed in the morning. Likewise, it seems more likely that the incredible design – the laws of physics, the universe, and our own existence – requires a Designer rather than nothing at all!

At this point, the evolutionist thunders his indictment:

• “This is just another God-in-the-gaps argument. You assume that there must be a God to explain existence because science hasn’t yet provided a convincing explanation. However, it’s just a matter of time until science does provide that explanation.”

However, there are several unfounded assumptions buried here:

1. Simply because science has provided many explanations doesn’t mean that science can provide all explanations.

2. Scientific explanations fail to supplant God. Rather, they affirm the presence of design wherever we look. This gives us even more reason to invoke a Designer!

3. Scientific explanations fail to support an anti-God hypothesis. Instead, they call into question the idea that things just happen and appear without adequate causation – God. Science also tells us that matter/energy is neither created nor destroyed as anti-God hypotheses would require. Science also proclaims the breakdown of all systems as Creationism would predict.

Besides, birthday parties don’t just appear. They’re planned and engineered by agents who have adequate intelligence and resources to pull them off. If Hawking had claimed that his multiple universes were caused by a turtle, he would be laughed out of the university. However, he is asserting something even more absurd – that the generation of a universe has even a lesser cause than a turtle – nothing at all! I’ll put my money on the turtle! Better yet, I’ll invest it in an omnipotent God who has proved Himself in so many ways.

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