Category Archives: Atheist Pseudo-Science

The God Theorem

Can a mathematical theorem point to the existence of God?

Consider whether our universe had a beginning, as claimed by the Bible. Until about a hundred years ago, there was no scientific evidence it did. Then, in the 1920s, Edwin Hubble discovered the universe is expanding in a way that implies a beginning, or “Big Bang.” Stunning confirmation of this theory came with the accidental discovery in 1965 of radiation, “relic photons” from the Big Bang (actually, to 380,000 years after the Big Bang, when the universe had cooled down enough to allow light to travel freely). Today the Big Bang theory is commonly accepted.

By itself, the Big Bang theory claims the universe had a beginning, and suggests the existence of God. So today most Atheists have retreated to belief in a “multiverse.” They believe our universe is an insignificant part of a much larger scheme, a collection of universes typically called the multiverse. To avoid the need for a beginning, Atheists typically believe the multiverse contains an infinite number of universes. One popular theory has universes exploding out of other universes, in “eternal inflation.”

Which bring us to the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem, what I call the God theorem. (For videos on this theorem, click here.) In 2003 these scientists proved that, if you assume an expanding universe, you can’t have an infinite past. Every universe that expands must have a space-time boundary in the past. What’s so powerful about this theorem is that it covers all cosmological models and theories of expanding universes. According to Professor Vilenkin:

All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.

With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe.

The multiverse has other problems, not the least of which is that it’s impossible to prove or disprove, and therefore many people think should not be considered “science.” The multiverse theory may be losing favor, even among Atheists. An opinion piece in the current issue of New Scientist magazine, by physicist Lee Smolin, is titled: “You think there’s a multiverse? Get real.”

Here’s how one blog sums it up:

If the universe came into being out of nothing, which seems to be the case from science, then the universe has a cause. Things do not pop into being, uncaused, out of nothing. The cause of the universe must be transcendent and supernatural. It must be uncaused, because there cannot be an infinite regress of causes. It must be eternal, because it created time. It must be non-physical, because it created space. There are only two possibilities for such a cause. It could be an abstract object or an agent. Abstract objects cannot cause effects. Therefore, the cause is an agent.

Sounds like God to me. Thanks for reading.

New Evidence Against “Junk DNA”

Only 1.5% of your DNA is used to build proteins. Proteins are the machine parts of life. Followers of Darwin’s theory of unguided evolution claim that the rest of your DNA, your “noncoding” DNA, is mostly “junk,” and that this supports Darwin’s theory that human beings were created through accidental mutations and natural selection. They predict that a haphazard, unguided process should produce large sections of useless DNA.

My book has five pages on this subject. Science has now found that most and likely all of our DNA serves a purpose. That stunning announcement was made in September 2012 by scientists working on the ENCODE project. It made the front pages of newspapers around the world. ENCODE found biochemical functions for 80% of our DNA. “It’s likely 80 percent will go to 100 percent,” stated one of their lead researchers. “We don’t really have any large chunks of redundant DNA. This metaphor of junk isn’t that useful.” The front page of the New York Times announced: “The human genome is packed with at least four million gene switches that reside in bits of DNA that once were dismissed as ‘junk’ but that turn out to play critical roles in controlling how cells, organs and other tissues behave.”

This week the prestigious science magazine Nature published new evidence that “noncoding” DNA serves a purpose. The authors “highlight a potentially large and complex set of biologically regulated translational events from transcripts formerly thought to lack coding potential.” In other words, we’re finding out what the other 98.5% does. The authors of this new study point out that just because we may not have figured out yet what the purpose is, doesn’t mean it is junk.

This is a huge problem for Darwinists. “If ENCODE is right, then Evolution is wrong,” admits one, using “Evolution” here to refer to neo-Darwinian theory. But ENCODE is not some fringe group. It is an international collaboration of 450 of the world’s most respected scientists, working together, with no religious agenda whatsoever, “to build a comprehensive parts list of functional elements in the human genome.” The 11 authors of this new study also have no religious agenda.

How did we get 3.2 billion letters of working DNA? Science continues to reveal the existence of God.

Thanks for reading.

Lafayette, Louisiana

I was invited to Lafayette to talk about my book, and last Sunday I went. Did you know the National Bureau of Economic Research rates Lafayette the “Happiest” city in the United States? (All of the top five and seven of the top 10 were in Louisiana; New York City got the lowest rating). I sensed I was headed to God’s country when I got on the plane. A Roman Catholic priest sat next to me and a young man with a T-shirt quoting a line from the Book of Proverbs sat in front of me.

I was met at the airport by Wayne Taylor, a wonderful man who is Executive Director of the Louisiana Baptist Foundation. Wayne introduced me to a number of Baptists attending a convention, and allowed me to speak to a youth group that night. Some of them related to me the usual sad stories of being bullied about false science by atheist professors.

The next morning we headed off to Baton Rouge, to meet some more people and a key aide to Governor Jindal. Louisiana has enacted the Science Freedom Act:

(1) The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, upon
request of a city, parish, or other local public school board, shall allow and
assist teachers, principals, and other school administrators to create and foster
an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that promotes
critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of
scientific theories being studied including, but not limited to, evolution, the
origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.

(2) Such assistance shall include support and guidance for teachers
regarding effective ways to help students understand, analyze, critique, and
objectively review scientific theories being studied, including those enumerated
in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection.

You would hope that encouraging teachers and students to examine scientific theories critically would be welcomed. Of course, that has not been the case. The law has been very controversial and the ACLU and other groups are constantly seeking to repeal the law and constantly threatening litigation whenever a teacher dares to reveal recent evidence contradicting Darwin’s theory of unguided evolution. How very sad for all of us that students are denied access to the true facts of science, simply because those facts contradict the atheist worldview. I signed a copy of my book for the Governor. I offered my help, perhaps by appearing at a state hearing, to further the cause of scientific freedom. I hope they take me up on that.

Thanks for reading.

Origin of Life – Atheist Pseudo-Science #3

“That’s life,” sings Sinatra. Well, exactly what is life? We now know that all life, even the most “primitive” life, is amazingly complex. This week let’s look at perhaps the most stunning evidence of design in the universe, the origin of life. We will also look at the pseudo-science claims of some atheists that life could have arisen by chance.

Impressed by your digital toys – smartphones, computers, TVs, and more? Life began with digital technology – DNA coding — 3.5 billion years ago. Life’s digital technology is far superior; you could store the coding for every species that has ever existed in a spoonful of DNA, with perhaps enough room left over for every book that has ever been written.

Heard of work to build “3-D printers” – machines that take in pure information and build parts and items on command? Life began with 3-D printing 3.5 billion years ago. Life’s 3-D printers – ribosomes – use the information in DNA to snap together fantastically long chains of amino acids, and then to fold that chain into the shape required for the precise functional protein a cell has ordered to be created. Ribosomes are 3-D printers that manufacture parts for cells, and all life uses essentially the same technology to do that.

Do you think your computer or cell phone could have arisen by accident? All life, even primitive life, is more sophisticated. Your cell phone can’t reproduce itself.

Last week I gave a talk in Florida. A person in the audience suggested that, since we now know that some of the amino acids used by life can arise by chance, we can now explain the origin of life as having arisen by chance. That’s like saying that, if we can find a way the letters of the English alphabet could have been created by chance, then the works of Shakespeare could have arisen by chance. The amino acid experiment he was referring to – the Miller-Urey experiment of 1953 – was tremendously flawed, and both Miller and Urey later admitted that it did not explain the origin of life. Yet this sad experiment is still given in most high school textbooks as an explanation for the origin of life. I read of it in high school and, not knowing of the flaws, began my personal sad conversion to atheism, a conversion that took decades to reverse.

There is so much more to say on this subject. I’ve got a whole chapter in Counting To God on it. If someone thinks there’s a way to explain life without God, they should read Chapter 10.

In 1964 Yale Physicist Harold Morowitz estimated the odds of life arising by chance, at any time in the history of the universe, as one in a number with a hundred billion zeros. I have never seen that estimate challenged. In other words, it is more likely that you will win a Powerball lottery 10 billion times in a row than that life arose by mere chance.

To me the origin of life is a “chicken-and-the-egg” problem. To have life, you need to begin with both the chicken and the egg. You need to begin with ribosomes and other fantastic machinery to read and copy DNA and do all the other work of life, and the exact DNA code that those machines will use to build copies of themselves.

I’m often asked what is the one question you should ask an atheist who is trying to bully you with false science. That’s easy:

How did life begin?

Thanks for reading.

Ell’s Law

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately as to how I’m going to earn my Nobel Prize. I’m not getting any younger. I’ve decided I need my own “law.” That seems to be how you make it really big science-wise – to have a law or principle either named after you or always associated with you. There’s Hubble’s Law, Newton’s Law of Gravitation, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, and so on. And of course Murphy’s Law. So, to get me started on the road to Nobel, I propose Ell’s Law:

Whenever there are competing explanations for natural phenomena and one suggests, however slightly, the existence of God, the other will become the accepted “scientific” explanation, regardless of whether there is any evidence to support it.

Let’s look at Ell’s Law in operation, starting with Cosmology. The night sky is dark. Did the universe have a beginning, or do we infer there’s a lot of totally undetected dust in the heavens blocking the light from those infinite and eternal stars way out there? You guessed it! – the answer must be dust! Hubble discovers the universe is expanding, and the speed of receding galaxies is proportional to their distance from us. Do we now conclude the universe had a beginning? Nope, applying Ell’s Law, scientists invent the “Steady State” theory, where the universe is still constant and eternal and somehow matter is created in the voids to build new galaxies. This violates a basic rule of science – the First Law of Thermodynamics, the conservation of matter/energy – but, under Ell’s Law, we don’t worry about that. In 1965 we discover radiation from the Big Bang, and other evidence, absolutely confirming that our universe had a beginning. Do we now infer the existence of God? Of course not! Applying Ell’s Law, scientists conclude our universe was created by another universe, which was somehow created by a third universe, and so on, to infinity and beyond, to avoid having to come up with a “First Cause” for a first universe. We discover the constants and laws of physics are exquisitely fine-tuned for the existence of life. Do we infer a designer? Nope! Applying Ell’s Law, we just tweak our model of an infinite number of universes (together called a “multiverse”) to imagine that somehow the laws and constants of physics (and even the number of dimensions actually) can change from one to another. We have absolutely no idea how this occurs, and of course absolutely no idea how we can ever detect evidence of other universes, but, under Ell’s Law, you don’t need evidence!

Now let’s apply Ell’s Law to biology. We discover an incredible molecule called DNA that contains the information for all life. Apply Ell’s Law, and we conclude it arose by accident. We discover an amazing genetic code that all life uses to build proteins from the DNA code, and amazing machines to process DNA. Obviously, created by accident! We don’t have a mildly plausible explanation for the origin of life (and believe me, Harvard and others threw a lot of money at the problem), but, no problem, we ignore that and keep printing high school textbooks suggesting the “scientific” explanation that life was created by accident. We find all species contain massive amounts of unique DNA coding (orphan genes). Evidence of design? Not a chance! Just apply Ell’s Law, and you will conclude it all arose because of accidental mutations and natural selection, even if that’s mathematically absurd.

I could go on, but I think you get my point. Ell’s Law is one of the most powerful laws in science. It also applies in quantum physics and planetary formation. I’m going to start work on my acceptance speech.

Thanks for reading.

The Churches of Europe

This year I’ve had the great fortune to take three vacations in Europe. I’ve walked or biked through beautiful small towns and the historic centers of great cities. In every town, and every city, I’ve found amazing churches. Of all the sights of Europe, I can’t seem to stop thinking about the churches.

I was inspired and amazed by their splendor. Some took more than a hundred years to build. They seem to be everywhere, in least in the historic parts. In Bruges, Belgium there are three cathedrals, and one has a sculpture by Michelangelo. These churches contain the greatest art of the Middle Ages. Many are jaw-droppingly beautiful, others serene, others just impressive. They are magnificent monuments to the glory of God.

The churches of Europe are burdened with a sad history of religious intolerance and bloodshed. Armies were launched, and monarchies rose and fell, falsely in the name of God. As I noted in my book, it’s a lot easier to get someone to fight for you and die for you if you can convince them that God wants them to do it. This misuse of religion is rampant in history, from the Crusades to the Protestant/Catholic wars to today’s hijacking of Islam by radicals.

The churches of Europe are also, it pains me to say, becoming empty. This is more so in Northern Europe; in Belgium some are now being used primarily as museums or public meeting places. Church attendance in Europe is declining. It is very sad that the countries with the most magnificent churches are turning away from God. The disease of Scientism – the false belief system that our material world is all there is and that there are no truths outside the laws of science – is rampant in Europe, and it is growing dangerously in America.

I suppose there are many reasons for this, perhaps their bloody history of religious battles makes many Europeans want to distance themselves from God. I think the false belief that science is contrary to God is a key reason. People seem to think we are here by accident. To me, the belief that we are here by accident is a superstition, and the idea that science supports it is the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the human race.

Thanks for reading. If you’re in Vero Beach Florida next Tuesday, Oct. 21, I invite you to stop by Trinity Church at 6 pm for my talk.

A Paradigm Shift to God?

College professors don’t always get it right. They preached the virtues of collective economies as the Soviet Union imploded and China embraced markets. They loved Freud long after working psychiatrists moved past him. Today most refuse to consider evidence of design in living creatures, but new findings from mainstream science point in the same direction. Could we be on the verge of a paradigm shift to God?

Unthinkable, you say? Before you close your mind, consider the evidence. I was an atheist when I was an undergraduate at MIT, and during graduate school in theoretical mathematics. I have spent 30 years reconciling science and God. Let’s look objectively at three relatively new findings.

The first finding is a stunning negative, an inability to come up with an atheist explanation for the origin of life. Harvard’s 2007 “Origin of Life Initiative” is a good example. Their 2009 conference only served to emphasize that we don’t have a clue how life began. There is no chance-based explanation for the origin of life, for the appearance, perhaps 3.5 billion years ago, of complex molecules with millions of DNA subunits and ultra-sophisticated machines to copy and repair DNA and use its information to build proteins. All life works on this same operating system. Chance can’t explain the simultaneous appearance of DNA coding and this molecular machinery, particularly when you realize it’s a chicken and egg problem. To get life, you need to begin with both the exact code for the proteins and those same proteins – machine parts – to read the code and build themselves and other proteins. Yale Professor Harold Morowitz estimated decades ago that the odds of life arising by chance in the history of the universe are about one in a number with one hundred billion zeros. Darwin’s theory of unguided evolution (random mutations and natural selection) doesn’t apply; natural selection only works after you have a system for storing and passing on traits. Where did the information and technology to create life come from?

The second finding comes from 450 scientists worldwide working on the ENCODE project to map the human genome. In September 2012 they announced that most and likely all of our 3.2 billion “letters” of DNA is functional. Despite attacks by Darwinists, ENCODE issued a paper this year holding their ground. As one die-hard Darwinist admits, “if ENCODE is true, then Evolution is wrong,” using “Evolution” here to refer to Darwinian theory. ENCODE announced in December 2012 that human DNA has two layers of information. How could 3.2 billion letters of all or mostly functional code with two layers of information arise by chance? Some Darwinists would now like to believe that extra DNA confers a major evolutionary disadvantage, but there is no known disadvantage to excess DNA. Some species have a lot. The marbled lungfish has 132 billion “letters” of DNA; a Japanese flower has 152 billion.

The third finding is that all species contain genes with no analogue in any other species. They are called “orphan genes,” because it was once believed we would find their ancestors. We know today their ancestors never existed. Orphan genes play a key role in making a species unique, such as creating toxins in jellyfish and preventing freezing in polar cod. A 2009 paper reported that “Comparative genome analyses indicate that every taxonomic group so far studied contains 10-20% of genes that lack recognizable homologs [similar counterparts] in other species.” Leaf-cutter ants have 9,361 genes that are unique; they create the largest and most complex societies of all animals, surpassed only by human beings.

Each of these findings is evidence of information in the universe. In all of human history, and in all of science, we have found only one thing that can create meaningful information. That is intelligence. I gave a lecture at MIT earlier this year, and asked the roomful of scientists if there was there was any other known source of information. The room became silent.

This argument from probability is a paradigm buster. Take the atheist/Darwinist claim that there is nothing special about human beings. In 2011 scientists identified 198 orphan genes in humans, chimpanzees, and orangutans that code for proteins used in the brain. Fifty-four of these genes are solely human. The odds of getting by chance DNA code to perform a specified function are vanishing small; one paper estimates that likelihood as one part in a number with 77 zeros. How many proto-human candidates do you think there could possibly have been – maybe a number with nine or ten digits at most? The odds that any of those proto-humans ever had a mutation creating one of these orphan brain genes is less than picking a specified marble out of almost unimaginably big pile, a pile of marbles 100 light years in diameter, extending far beyond our Solar System to include many nearby stars.

As the experimental evidence points to God, the academic rhetoric gets louder. A recent piece in the Sunday Review came from a biology professor who gives his students an anti-God “Talk” each year. He admits living things are “wonderfully complex,” but states that this is consistent with random variations plus natural selection, unguided evolution. That may be Darwinian dogma, but it’s mathematical nonsense. Orphan genes can’t be explained by chance; they’re not derived from any prior genes. 3.2 billion “letters” of all or mostly functional DNA code can’t be explained by chance. The origin of life can’t be explained by chance. I’d like to give that professor a course in probability.

There’s other evidence. The fossil record contradicts Darwinian theories of gradual descent; it documents an infusion of information into the universe 540 million years ago as part of life’s Cambrian Explosion. Could we be on the verge of a paradigm shift to God? Will people be open to these new facts of science? God only knows.

Thanks for reading.

Perfection and Whale Hips

One so-called “scientific” argument against the existence of God is that there are organs or features that appear unnecessary or imperfect. The argument is that this somehow shows that species evolved through a purely unguided process. Darwin wrote:

“On the view of each organism with all its separate parts having been specially created, how utterly inexplicable is it that organs bearing the plain stamp of inutility … should so frequently occur.”

This is nonsense. To borrow a phrase from a friend who teaches physics at MIT, this argument “is so bad it’s not even wrong.” It makes no sense on several levels. First, we are not able to judge God. What we think of as useless or imperfect may make sense in God’s plan. Second, who says everything has to be perfect or even useful? You don’t have to show that everything is perfect to have a scientific basis for belief; all you have to show is clear evidence of design in the universe and in life. (My book shows overwhelming evidence for that in seven areas of science.)

That’s all old news. What’s new, and amazing, is that organ-by-organ, feature-by-feature, scientists are discovering that items once thought useless are absolutely necessary. Take the appendix, cited by Darwin himself as useless. We now know the appendix is a “safe house” for helpful bacteria that may be otherwise destroyed in our stomachs, and serves other critical functions. About fifty species of mammals have an appendix, and those species are so diverse that, to quote one scientist, the appendix “must have evolved separately at least 32 times, and perhaps as many as 38 times.” Wow! So some blind, unguided, and ultimately chance-based process produced the same organ dozens of times in different species – or a common designer placed it there for a reason. Draw your own conclusion.

Take the myth of junk DNA – the argument that human beings were not designed because the majority of our DNA code was thought to be useless “junk.” This myth was destroyed in 2012 by 450 scientists worldwide as part of the ENCODE project.

And now whale hips. Whale hips were said to be the “marquee example” of a useless feature. Guess what? A recent scientific article explains why they are still necessary. Details aside, without whale hips you’re not likely to get baby whales.

I think baby whales are cute. Perhaps they’re perfect.

Thanks for reading.

Guided Evolution

“What’s in a name?” wrote Shakespeare. Perhaps a lot. In today’s sound bite world, we need to be careful with each word we use, because we may not get a chance to explain further.

I have found confusion over the word “evolution.” Some, particularly academics, will tell you that the word refers to Darwinian evolution – the theory that all species arose solely from random mutations and natural selection. That’s certainly one of the definitions in many dictionaries. But to many people, including I think most children, “evolution” just means any process of formation or change. In that sense, “evolution” is what we used to call at MIT a “no-brainer.” Clearly there have been different species at different times. There are no dinosaurs walking around my neighborhood.

So what’s the best way to frame the debate, to open minds to the substantial new evidence that Darwin’s theory is wrong? If you equate “evolution” with Darwin’s theory, and argue “evolution is wrong,” I think you are giving Darwinists an unnecessary advantage. To those people who have a basic, nonacademic, concept of evolution as a process of change, you appear to be arguing that species don’t change. You could come across as a flat-Earth person.

I would frame the debate as “guided” evolution versus “unguided” evolution. To me that puts the key issue out front – is there evidence of design? Most people have an instinctive awe over the variety and beauty of life. Today intelligent design is attacked, yet in the early 1800’s every educated person believed in intelligent design. Let’s regain the high ground. Let’s put forth the evidence that evolution was guided.

So what’s in a name? Perhaps a lot. When you add “guided” to “evolution,” you add God.

Thanks for reading.

Turtles All the Way Down – Atheist Pseudo-Science #2

The joke goes like this: After a lecture on the universe, an old lady approaches. “Nice lecture,” she says, “but the Earth is really sitting on the back of a large turtle.” Seeing the flaw, the lecturer asks “What is supporting the turtle?” She responds “Very clever young man, but it’s turtles all the way down.”

I’m reminded of that joke every time I read yet another supposedly “scientific” article about the so-called “multiverse.” That’s the belief that our universe – all of intergalactic space – is but an insignificant part of a much greater scheme, a collection of universes called the “multiverse.” In their attempt to evade the mystery of why anything exists (see last week’s blog), and the mystery of why our universe is exquisitely fine-tuned for the existence of life, Atheists typically believe the multiverse contains an infinite number of universes, and that those universes can somehow spin off new universes with different laws, dimensions, and constants. So they say our universe was created by a different universe, which in turn was created by a third universe, and so on and so on and so on, to infinity and beyond. You get the point. It’s turtles all the way down.

God could have created more than one universe. But Atheists are drawn to belief in an infinite multiverse. They pretend it solves the unshakeable mysteries of why anything exists and why our universe is fine-tuned for life.

Believe what you want, and I have no problem if you want to believe in the multiverse. But please be honest – admit there is no scientific evidence. And that belief in the multiverse can never be proved wrong. That’s a “deal breaker” for Princeton physicist Paul Steinhardt, who helped develop the multiverse concept, and now rejects it because it can be manipulated to predict anything. This from the Washington Post two months ago:

“It makes the theory a nonscientific theory,” Steinhardt said. “For the last 400 years, most people would say the key thing that distinguishes science from non-science is that scientific ideas have to be subject to tests. Some people are nowadays thinking, no, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. That’s a mega-issue.”

There is no science supporting the multiverse, no facts whatsoever. And don’t believe articles earlier this year suggesting that patterns in the photons released after the Big Bang imply a multiverse, what those articles conveniently omit or downplay is that those photons were released 380,000 years after the Big Bang. They sure didn’t come from another universe.

If the question is whether human ingenuity can create theories about multiple universes, the answer is a definite “yes.” But if the question is whether there is a single shred of scientific evidence that can only be explained by the existence of a multiverse, or whether there is any way to test the multiverse theory, the answer to both is a resounding “no.”

And Atheists don’t want to admit the serious mathematical problems embedded in the concept of infinity. Infinity is weird. Multiply it by any finite number of incredibly small numbers and it’s still infinity, it’s not one bit smaller. If you do the math, you see that, if the multiverse exists, then everything that has ever happened in our universe has happened an infinite number of times in the multiverse. Chapter 9 of Counting To God describes this and other “Problems with the Multiverse.”

Turtles all the way down. Atheist pseudo-science #2.

Thanks for reading.