I’ve been having a friendly debate with a distinguished scientist. She believes there is a God, but argues science cannot prove the existence of God. I argue science has proved God.
What does it mean to “prove” something. I look to math. Math has theorems, logical arguments, that prove or disprove statements. But all mathematics rests on certain unprovable assumptions – sometimes called “axioms” or “postulates”. You start by assuming some things are true, and then you prove other things are true. What you can prove rests on, depends on, your starting truths. Your starting truths are the foundation you build on.
Geometry is an example (please skip this paragraph if high school geometry was not your favorite). Euclid began with five starting truths – five postulates. His fifth postulate was that parallel lines never meet. With these starting truths he created the elegant field of Euclidean geometry, where the sum of the angles of a triangle is 180 degrees. There are other systems of geometry with different starting truths. If you take the first four of Euclid’s postulates, and add the assumption that parallel lines always meet, you get the geometry of the surface of a ball, where the sum of the angles of a triangle is always greater than 180 degrees.
OK, technical discourse over. The point is, before you can “prove” anything, you have to start with certain unprovable truths. Here’s my starting truths:
Truth One: There is an objective reality.
There are real things apart from us and our minds. We are not beings in some sort of computer simulation.
Truth Two: We can generally trust what our senses are clearing telling us.
We can be confused, or deceived. But I think we all pretty much assume as true clear messages from our senses. If we run into a stone wall, we say that “proves” both that the wall exists, and that it is hard. If scientists around the world find that all living creatures contain coded groups of atoms we call DNA, we say that “proves” the existence of DNA code.
Truth Three: If something exists that, in all human history and all of science, has only on. . explanation, one cause, then that explanation is true and that cause exists.
We have found fantastic technology in every living creature. Plants have sensors that detect detailed variations in light and temperature. Some birds, fish, turtles, and even butterflies have sensors that detect both the direction and intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field, coupled with navigation systems that allow them to travel thousands of miles and return to the same field, stream, beach, or tree. This technology is complex almost beyond imagination – it is far more advanced than anything humans have ever created. We are only beginning to understand how DNA code works, with overlapping layers of information.
In all of human history and experience, only an intelligent being can create new technology. In all of science, there is no other known explanation. Chance is pathetically inadequate. No one has ever seen new technology created by accident, and the odds against it ever happening by chance are fantastic, even in a trillion trillion universes.
With these starting truths, my proof of God is this. Scientists have found fantastically complex technology in thousands of different kinds of living creatures. In all of human history, technology has only been created by a mind. There is no scientific explanation for the existence of technology without a designer. Therefore the technology of life was designed, and that designer is God.
The difference between this scientist and I is that she won’t make that third assumption. As a scientist, she has been trained to always question, to always need new explanations. I admire that spirit, but we must seek the truth in what we know. I think that, deep down, everyone agrees with my three starting truths. If you climb a mountain and come to the edge of a cliff thousands of feet high, you would (1) conclude there is such a thing as a cliff, (2) trust your eyes that the cliff is high, and (3) believe that gravity will pull you down if you step off.
Yet our society is in denial over God. We have climbed the mountain of science, and see fantastic technology in living creatures. This technology is confirmed in multiple scientific articles every week. Yet people close their eyes and step off the cliff, into the spiritual and moral abyss of Atheism.
Thanks for reading. Please spread the good news of science.