The Teleological (Design) Argument
Please watch this great introductory video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE76nwimuT0&list=PL3gdeV4Rk9EfL-NyraEGXXwSjDNeMaRoX&index=4
In 1874, John William Draper, a scientist, published a book titled “History of the Conflict between Religion and Science”. In 1896, Andrew Dickinson White, President of Cornell University, published a book titled “A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom”. They both taught that science & Christianity were at war with each other. Until this time, science was seen as the hand-maiden of religion. Almost all scientists were Christians or expressed their discoveries in Christian terms. One of the things I like best is that over time, science eventually comes into agreement with the Bible. Faith and science are both quests for the truth.
Now we’re going to look at where the universe comes from and how fine-tuned it is for life.
The Bible teaches that the universe had a beginning. Until the mid-20th century, science taught that the universe had always existed, in direct conflict with the Bible and philosophers. But in 1929, astronomer Edwin Hubble (who the Hubble space telescope was named after) discovered the red shift of distant starlight. This meant that the universe was expanding in all directions. Then in 1948, scientists began to conclude that the universe came from one single point and it expanded outward. This was confirmed in 1964 with the discovery of cosmic background radiation. The conclusion was that all matter, energy & time came into existence at the same time in a Big Bang.
J.M. Wersinger, Professor of Physics at Auburn University, said, “At first, the scientific community was very reluctant to accept the idea of the birth of the universe because it seemed to call for a supernatural creation. It took time, observational evidence, and careful verification of the predictions made by the Big Bang model to convince the scientific community to accept the idea of a cosmic genesis.”
Even now, the 13.7 billion year age of the Big Bang is generating serious problems for scientists. Many now are questioning the Big Bang model and some are coming up with other models. One such model by Dr. John Hartnett is even more in line with Biblical time limits. But there are still scientists who are trying to get around the need for a creator. One such attempt is the multi-verse model. But it is without any observational evidence at all. It just goes to show how far some scientists will go to not accept the evidence for a Creator.
The teleological argument is as follows:
A) All complex systems (not simple designs or patterns, like a snowflake) imply a designer.
For example…If you were walking in a forest and found a watch, you would assume that it was made by someone. You wouldn’t assume that it evolved over eons of time from Earth’s
chemicals/materials by chance.
B) There is great design in the universe.
For example…The information encoded in our DNA, the physical laws of the universe, the structure of the atom, etc.
C) Therefore, there must be a great Designer.
To fully understand the modern implications of this argument, you’ll need to understand some math. Oh hush, it’ll be fun. Exponents…
101 = 10
102 = 10 x 10 = 101 x 101 = 101+1 = 102 = 100 = one hundred
103 = 10 x 10 x 10 = 101 x 101 x 101 = 101+1+1 = 103 = 1,000 = one thousand
106 = 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 = one followed by 6 zeros = 106 = 1,000,000 = one million
109 = one followed by 9 zeros = 1,000,000,000 = one billion
1012 = one followed by 12 zeros = 1,000,000,000,000 = one trillion
The difference of one number in an exponent is a difference of 10 times as much as the previous number. So 100 (102) is ten times as much as 10 (101).
There are 1022 (one followed by 22 zeros) number of stars in our entire universe.
There are about 1080 (one followed by 80 zeros) number of atoms in our entire universe.
Although ‘impossible’ is hard to define, scientists have defined it as…if you don’t have one chance in 1053 (one followed by 53 zeros) of something happening, it’ll NEVER happen.
Now if you change the strength of gravity by one part in 1040 power, no stars would have formed.
If you changed the rate of expansion of the universe by one part in 1012 power, the universe would not have formed at all.
If you changed the strength of the strong force (which binds particles together in an atomic nuclei) by one part in 1060 power, atoms would fly apart and nothing would exist at all. This precision is the same as firing a bullet from a gun and hitting a one inch target from a distance of 20 billion light years (that’s 480,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles away).
For all 3 of these ‘constants’ to happen by pure chance would be 1040+12+60 or one chance in 10112power. Astro-physicist Dr. Hugh Ross has identified 122 of these ‘constants’. The probability of any planet in the universe existing by pure chance is one chance in 10138 power. That’s the number one followed by 138 zeros. Since there are only 1080 number of atoms in the entire universe, we’re saying that there is zero chance of even one planet forming with all the life supporting conditions that we have here on Earth, unless there is an intelligent designer. Nobel Laureate Arno Penzias said “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.” Cosmologist Ed Harrison said, “Here is the cosmological proof of the existence of God…The fine tuning of the universe provides prima facie evidence of deistic design.”
These ‘constants’ all define what is known as the Anthropic Principle, which is the mounting evidence that many scientists believe that our universe is extremely fine-tuned (designed) to support human life on Earth.
Life being created by chance takes a lot more faith than it takes to believe it was created by God. I have listed several websites and books that go into much greater detail about the teleological argument.
“The Case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel
“I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” by Geisler & Turek
“The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design” by Jonathan Wells
“What’s So Great about Christianity” by Dinesh D’Souza
For His Kingdom,