Friday, May 17, 2013

In Defense of God the Creator

Psalm 19, verses 1-4 A psalm of David. (NIV)
The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.
I remember learning in Biology class about how the theory of Spontaneous Generation fell apart. Just because you can't see an organism with the naked eye doesn't mean it doesn't exist. We now know about bacteria and other microorganisms and we know that life doesn't spontaneous form out of non-living material.

In a Scientific American blog, John Horgan predicts that science will never be able to answer what he calls "The Question": Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?  Simply stated, from nothing comes absolutely nothing. As Douglas Groothius explains in Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith, only what exists can cause existence. The Cosmological Argument states "that there must be a final uncaused cause of all things."  The concept of there being an ultimate "uncaused cause" is mind boggling, yet it is the only thing that makes sense to me. I can wrap my mind around the concept of creation from nothing, creatio ex nihilo, only if an extremely intelligent designer exists. 

What my mind can't accept is how the universe and the amazingly intricate life forms on our planet could have come into being without the intelligent design of a supernatural being. Complexity is evidence that something is not random or accidental. Michael Behe coined the term irreducible complexity, which means that a complex system, like the systems in the human body, will not work if even one of its parts is missing or not functional. Astronomers have found evidence of fine tuning in the physical constraints of the universe. If the numbers behind forces like gravity were even slightly off, our universe would not support life. 

What about the creation story in the book of Genesis? How can one reconcile the scientific evidence that our earth is billions of years old with the Bible's description of creation? Isn't this a conflict between Christianity and science? I don't believe that there is. Some Christians are afraid to question seven day creationism just as some scientists are biased against the intelligent design theory of creation. I believe that the seven "days" outlined in the Bible are not 24 hour days; this is known as day-age creationism or Progressive Creationism. An article on Kevin Sluder's website, Understanding Genesis Chapter 1, explains how the Biblical creation story makes scientific sense if you understand "days" to be much bigger chunks of time. The discovery of dinosaurs and evidence of early human ancestors still fit in the framework of the divine design plan described in the book of Genesis.

What about evolution? I learned about Darwinism in school before there was a big debate about teaching the intelligent design theory. In our culture it is commonly accepted that Darwinism is fact rather than theory even though Darwin's "evidence" of macro evolution has been debunked. In Pat Sullivan's blog post, Observations on the Intelligent Design versus Macro Evolution Debate, he makes what I think are excellent points about the bias of evolution scientists. Michael J. Behe points out in Evidence for Intelligent Design how cleverly Darwin skirted the question of how complicated organs like the human eye could have resulted from natural selection:
Each of the anatomical steps and structures that Darwin thought were so simple actually involves staggeringly complicated biochemical processes that cannot be papered over with rhetoric.
There are many people like me who don't believe that life magically formed from random mutation and natural selection into the millions of species that exist on our planet today. Dissent From Darwin and Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity are forums for Ph.D.'s and medical doctors to publicly disagree with Darwin's macro evolution theory as a viable explanation for the origin and complexity of life.

My own response to the origins of life and the universe isn't just an intellectual response. It is an emotional response to my creator, the one who was there before time began, the Alpha and the Omega.  When asked what the people of Israel should call him, God told Moses to tell the people to call him I Am.  I believe he is more incredible and glorious than our human minds can comprehend. He just is. As the lyrics of one of my favorite songs says, "You are not a God created by human hands." You Are God Alone!

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