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3. Has Science Replaced the Need for Faith?

Anthony Bosman


Anthony Bosman

Assistant Professor



  • December 31, 2018
    9:30 AM
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This message was presented at the G Y C to the end in Houston Texas for other resources like this visit us online. What's go ahead and jump in I'll say a word of prayer and then when we get with today's topic which is has science replaced the need for faith let us pray. For the God we stand in incredible all of you recognize you as the sovereign the Creator of heaven and earth but I was president as we take some time to to unpack how you revealed yourself that you might give us clarity of thinking that we might better understand and appreciate you and your works we might learn how to communicate the truth about you to those who don't yet have a saving knowledge it's in Christ in for a moment so you might have seen some internet name means I go something like this here's what I pulled up it's go science it's God's way of telling you he doesn't exist or there's a great number in this category you're suggesting that now that we know science we don't need faith maybe we need a faith when we were a primitive people maybe we needed faith we didn't understand the universe very well when lightning was a mysterious thing when the stars in heaven were cryptic messages but now that we have science we don't need faith anymore they will come across this idea of unique incapacity Yeah you probably come across in some form. So what I want to do is I want to judge and evaluate that claim in particular I want to compare 2 world views the 1st is naturalism naturalism is the claim is that the natural is all that there is there was no supernatural cross Sagan put this way to show cosmos He said The cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be that is the merely the natural the physical matter and energy right nothing beyond that no spirits no angels no demons no God just the natural and we're going to contrast that with Christianity with deism belief in God When particular creator god was incident a time in history and so C.S. Lewis he put it this way he said that when I became a Christian because of the became a Christian I believe in Christianity as I believe in the risen sun not just because I see it but because by it I see everything else and so Lewis is saying that his faith isn't just one belief among many that he has his scientific knowledge and his historical knowledge in his a study acknowledges that his his faith but he says his faith opens up a window by which she understands the world as a whole Ellen White made a similar statement when she said Christ his character and at work is the center and so comforts of all truth in him is the complete system of truth. And so Louis and white and others understood that Christianity isn't just one belief among many but it's a way to make sense of the world as a whole and what I want to try to argue today is a Christian he has incredible sense making power that is Christianity makes sense of the world around us and when we are able to make this case in establishing to others we can help others see that Christianity is an intention that with science rather crucially helps us understand appreciate the discoveries of science yet you have a question. Let me give the mike so we can get it on recording one speak to the mike now Carl Sagan. And the cosmos I have watched some of it but I've watched some of it but he doesn't really say that the cosmos is everything he doesn't say there's no God going to very good he says. That the cosmos includes all. Includes all that so there is the view of pantheism that the universe itself is God and I don't think he's advocating that but there are other worldviews that we could compare of of God is somehow part of the universe of the universe itself is God and perhaps that's the direction of thinking but I just want to contrast the 2 claims of the big claim of there being a creator god with naturalism the claim that there is no god at all it's merely the physical merely the the natural universe OK let's go ahead and jump into it and I want to suggest as a number of features of the universe that Christianity makes sense and the 1st one is the origin of the universe Genesis $11.00 begins after all of the claim that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth now that's not a controversial claim today because we have overwhelming scientific agreement that the universe had a beginning begetting with Hubble as he was observing the world around us Hubble noticed that there is some red shift that occurs when looking at distant galaxies and he came to the conclusion that the galaxies are moving away from each other that the universe is expanding but then if you play the story in reverse the universe is expanding you rewind the story you get back to origin of the universe of universes expanding you can rewind this we have some origin of the universe this is commonly referred to as The Big Bang right Interestingly enough the term the Big Bang was a critique of this theory a number of individuals were resistant to the idea that the universe had a beginning in the 1900 while he was being proposed this model that the universe had a beginning and then people thought no that can't be possible because throughout the centuries we believed that the universe was infinite infinite in time had always existed and that's really convenient because if the universe had always existed then you don't have to. Explain where it came from you simply say it always was just a brute fact it's always been here but suddenly if the universe has a beginning and then begin to cry out for an explanation of where did the universe come from and what I want to do is contrast the biblical claim intially enough the Bible begins by affirming the universe had a beginning thousands of years ago scripture declared this and it wasn't till the 19th century that our science caught up and was able to see Oh in fact there's really good reason for us to believe that the universe had to be getting so if you had lived a couple 100 years ago people might have thought you we're to believe in Genesis 11 but now we have overwhelming evidence that in fact the universe did have some beginning with some singularity point of the very beginning but I want to contrast this with how might a naturalist one who rejects the narrative of Scripture how might he explain this and someone give one such explanation my hope for today is to get through this to have some time for Q. and A at the end so he will hold on to your question we'll save some time of the end for it but I'll try and make sure we have plenty of time for questions so he was one attempt to explain the origin of the universe through an entirely naturalistic perspective that is without making any appeal to God Stephen Hawking the recent physicist in his book The Grand Design wrote because there was a law such as gravity the universe 10 and the will create itself from nothing no this is trying to appeal to explain the origin of the universe make sense of the origin of the universe without appealing to God Well I want to do is think about his statement right here because there was a law such as gravity the universe can and will create itself from nothing now when you hear that do you notice anything possibly problematic about it. Let me hear from a couple of you where does the law of gravity come from great so this requires appealing to the law of gravity and so it posits the existence of the law of gravity so in fact it doesn't claim this is the universe came from nothing and yet somehow there was a loss of there was something so that's one problem aspect I mean if my hope more of you how is this claim problematic it says it comes from nothing you need mass to start something OK great so again pointing out this claim it comes from nothing what does that mean because it seems to say that it's coming from something of some law that already exists but also how can one or 2 or 3 of you more than Chime in the love of God We need smattered to act OK this is a really good point the law of gravity is merely a mathematical descriptor of the law that is the law of gravity describes how matter behaves it is not a creative law let me try and demonstrate the difference Does anyone have a wallet on you with some cash in it. Yeah OK right here in your wallet we have 3 fives so I could write down a mathematical description of his money and might look something like $5.00 plus 5 plus 5 that would describe the money he has rights that the mathematics is describing it but if I was to suddenly write plus $100.00. What $100.00 popped into existence I mean that the super convenient right but but that's not how mathematics works mathematics has descriptive power it can describe the world but it doesn't have creative power so the law of gravity while it describes the world and how it works it doesn't have creates a power to be able to bring it into being that this is a clear mathematics describes but it doesn't actually create any of the problems you notice with this statement one more. While since. The universe can't create itself then how would it. I think you've already hit it on the head when you pointed out this problem of the crane itself right so what does it mean to create itself because in order to be creative you must have some other cause right and so you have a cause and effect but how can that effect be its own cause and so here you have another so it seems like there's at least 3 or 4 problems of the statements there's a law such as gravity there's something so it's not actually coming from nothing where the law come from also how can a law have creative power if it's merely a mathematical description and finally it doesn't make sense to say the universe created itself well that's a contradiction in terms I want to keep moving but I think we can begin to see that whereas scripture gave a explanation of where the universe came from it could claim the universe began to exist thousands of years before we have the data support it that is naturalistic explanation seem to fall short but this raises an objection and maybe you've heard this objection before who created God. Richard Dawkins in his book The God Delusion this is one of his central arguments he goes OK you're asking who created the universe but I haha I can turn it back against you I can say you think that God created the universe then I can ask who created God. Checkmate right now what we're going to posit maybe the some other God who made God but then where did he come from and you know as it is it's trying to suggest that the same problem you face in explaining the universe you can then pose unto God as you heard this objection before who created God How might you respond to it is this the or power for objection that it seems to be yeah you want to chime in. Well if they say that then. The. He would say that God wasn't created he always existed but it they would like for example they say. That the universe always existed by going in circles so this is this is fantastic so you point out there's a crucial difference the reason we're asking about who created the universe is because the universe had a beginning right it's when we came to recognize the universe had a beginning that it forced the question upon us of where it came from you might run the argument something like this everything that begins to exist has a cause the universe had a beginning the Universe began to exist therefore the universe had a cause and you can ask what is that cause and we can see that naturalistic attempts to explain the cause seem to come short where Christianity offers some explanation but the same argument cannot be applied to God because God did not have a beginning in the same way that the universe does Christians have always affirmed that God is without beginning for instance in Psalm 90 verse 2 were told before the mountains you're brought for or ever you were formed in the earth or the world from everlasting to everlasting you are God God has always existed and therefore the same problem doesn't extend to God It only makes sense to ask what cause something if that something had a beginning. OK So the 1st thing I want to suggest that Christians make sense of is the beginning of the origin of the universe the 2nd aspect of the reality that the Christian has a really good job making sense of is the fine tuning of the universe so when we go and we do physics we doing physics display in the world and we come up with all these various constants constants like the gravitational constant or or the speed of light or or the strong and weak nuclear forces we come up against all these various constants that just mathematical constants that that seem to be fixed at various values but for no particular reason I think he doesn't tell us why they are that value and what scientists came to realize over the last century is that these constants are finely tuned that is if they were slightly different life wouldn't be possible let me give you just one example of how this fine tuning takes place if you compare for instance the value of the electromagnetic force with the strong nuclear force you can see that if the values were just slightly different life wouldn't be possible for instance if the electromagnetic force was significantly stronger then you wouldn't be able to get any of the heavy elements carbon anything like this. If it was weak but that the value of the strong nuclear force was sufficiently strong then you wouldn't be able to get hydrogen if the value from nuclear force is too weak you wouldn't be able to create stars that can shine to produce Starlight if the electromagnetic forces is sufficiently strong it's as well as the strong nuclear force then you can get chemical reactions chemistry is not possible and so what this is pointing out is is they have to be just finally tonight in just this right little range sometimes called the Goldilocks zone in just the right little range if it's not there you can't get complex chemistry U.K. to make it stars and so if you don't have stars you don't have heavy elements it's very difficult to imagine how you could possibly get something as complex as life some of these other constants if you look at the rate of expansion of the universe works for instance if it was slightly different the universe wouldn't even exist the universe or clocks back upon itself and so these are not this is not merely saying something like always through a little further from the Earth it would be too cold for life if we're close to be too warm because you can imagine well maybe life could adapt and survive in a cold or warm environment this is saying it wouldn't even be chemistry right we wouldn't even have stars we wouldn't even have complex elements and in those conditions perhaps not even the universe if the is the values that are great under those conditions it's in part it's very difficult to imagine how they could be any form of light so Fred Hoyle in the atheist commented on this. He noted that nothing is shaken my atheism as much as this discovery a common sense interpretation of the facts suggest that a super intelligent has monkeyed with the physics as well as with the chemistry and biology and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature the number one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming that as to put the conclusion on QUESTION So we still see I'm holding on to my atheism but he says this thing really makes me wrestle with it because if you look at these numbers it's as if there's been someone who just finely tuned the dial on a radio to get it to be the exact right values while gives us an analogy to help us understand these incredible odds that and the possibility of us coming about for me to show you this analogy I need 2 volunteers to going to people come for it. I had 2 individuals and I needed to make sure you're not afraid of being blindfolded so are you could you consent to me blind following you fantastic OK let me and if you want to move take off your glasses I'm going to blindfold you. And we're going to if you're gonna turn around and we're going to try to imagine. What's the probability of these values being finely tuned just by chance just by blind forces if there were no super intellect behind it we have to submit the lecture here but I'm going to blind them. So you're going to my blind forces of nature. OK And Fred Hoyle gives a comparison. Involving a Rubik's cube so let me shuffle it up a little bit and I'm going to place it in your hand and I'm going to invite you just to begin turning it into. And you can try and solve the Rubik's Cube. And I'm going to hand you one as well now the Rubik's Cube has 43 controlling in possibilities that's 43 followed by 18 zeros if you were to move through all the possible combinations one per 2nd it would take you live it over a trillion years to go through them all and so this is Fred Hoyle's analogy says Imagine someone blindly turning a Rubik's Cube What are the odds that they would stumble upon the solution what they would get there eventually would have to wait a trillion years perhaps right here get there eventually but find her says it's more than that because it's not just one constant it's finely tuned but they're finally tuned to gather you have to get both values to align to gether and so he says it's like 2 people saw the Rubik's Cube and they both come across a solution at the exact same moment because that's how you think about it but it's not just 2 constants we look back to there are dozens of these various constants that all have to be finely tuned so it's as if we were all blindfolded. And we're all turning our Rubik's Cubes. And suddenly at the exact same moments we all stumble upon the solution he says that's what it's like that's what happened and his conclusion is that the only way to make sense of this despite being an atheist is that must be some kind of super intellect behind it or you got to take off you by hold you can see if you solved it. Not quite not quite. That's right thank you very much to give these guys a hand. He said So what if naturalistic attempts to explain fine tuning why this is it seems like it's some super intellect How could we possibly explain this well there have been some attempts to explain fine tuning without appealing to God and so we should review them he was one it's called the anthropic principle it goes like this is very clever conditions that are observed in the universe must allow intelligent life to exist else we wouldn't be here to observe it that is the constants are a little bit different and they wouldn't allow life to exist maybe no chemistry to you know heavy elements to exist well then we couldn't be here to observe it and the fact that we're here means that the constants must be this way. Problem solved. Are you satisfied of the explanation. How does that it's one nation come shorts it's true isn't that in order for us to be had observe the constants they must be just right to permit life to exist so it's a true statement. Ah very good it does not have explanatory power although it's a true statement it doesn't actually explain why the constants are that way think of an analogy you were blindfolded up here and I imagine that we were all trained marksman excellent shots and we all took our guns and aimed them out you and we all fired hundreds of bullets coming your way and after several minutes of these bullets flying we stop and you take off your blindfold and incredibly We all missed. And you said this is incredible and no no no it's not incredible because if we hadn't hit you you wouldn't be here to observe it therefore there's nothing to explain the other. One know it's true that if we had hit you you wouldn't be here to observe it writes but that doesn't explain how we all missed or jump out of a plane no parachutes and land on the ground of miraculously you're fine you think of something credible as how can I come up with that and I say no no no no if you had die you wouldn't be here to marvel at it that's true it's you wouldn't be but that doesn't explain why you lived so why the anthropic principle is a true statement and even a helpful statement to let us know that we should expect to find additions that create allow life to exist it's not an explanatory statement it doesn't actually explain why the conditions are that way is that distinction clear OK What is one more attempt. The multi-verse and you heard of this before the multi-verse Yeah this is again some traction lately it's like from the sexy physics I like to roll out sometimes right so it's like if getting all these constants right is like winning the lottery and that's quite remarkable Well here's how you make it less remarkable imagine you have bought you know 10000000 tickets or something so this is what the multi-verse does it says well OK it would be very remarkable for one universe to be finely tuned but perhaps there are innumerable in many universes infinitely many universes and each one has the constants slightly different the gravitational forces may be stronger in this universe the charming electromagnetic forces and the strong nuclear force a little higher here and lower there if that's the case then you would expect one of those universes to have just the right constants and therefore you've explained it why is our universe so special while there are infinitely many universes and c expect one of those to be special rights. What's the problem with this reasoning how might you respond let me give someone a chance to to think about this what do you make of this multiverse theory. Yeah. Falsifiability Oh very good so it's a great story it's a bit account of how things may be but that doesn't seem to be science and the fact there's no way for us to test this universes are by definition causally isolated that is we can't have knowledge about the other universes and so we could never possibly know if there actually are other universes and so it seems to not really be science one individually put it this way says in a sense multiverse enthuse he has take a leap of faith every bit as big as the leap to believing in a creator in the end this isn't science so much as philosophy using the language of science that is if you posit the existence of infinitely many universes without any evidence without even the possibility of evidence Well that's that's quite the leap of faith that is all that said just as big as believing in a creator but it seems almost bigger you posit the existence of infinitely many universes right that's an incredible claim but there's one more objection that could be made to the multiverse that I believe actually heaven falsify it this was Roger Penrose made this observation and Rogers Penrose pointed out that if we have infinitely many universes then what's much more likely is to have a universe where there's a small amount of order in a sea of chaos that is instead of the whole universe being finely tuned what you would be much more likely would just to have a small portion of the universe spying the tune and the rest of it totally chaotic. That as you get into a many universes the vast majority of them would have just a little bit buy into and the majority chaotic and would be very uncommon be very rare to have the whole thing in fine tune and so when we look into our universe that's what we should expect to see a little bit of fine tuning locally but the rest being a sea of chaos but that's not what we observe in our universe as you entrepreneurs to go one step further he said the most likely scenario in which you would get life in one of these universes would be a single brain pop into existence and the rest of the universe being completely are ordered and chaotic because a single brain is is less complicated than the entire universe being finally to and so he says if you take the multiverse seriously the philosophical implication seems to be that you are most likely a single brain in the illusion of the universe. This is kind of trippy stuff right this is called it's got both of them grating it's if you actually implemented universes it's much more likely for a single brain to be popping into existence creating the illusion of the world around them that's when the actual entire universe to come into existence that's finely tuned it's a Roger Penrose says objection is if you really believe those infinitely many universes that all its just like variations of each other then you should probably believe that you are a brain in a sea of chaos and everything is an illusion but he says that's an absurd conclusion and therefore we can reject the multiverse hypothesis. If you chuck without objection OK. OK Well I think it's a nothing to appreciate the multiverse is just a trippy wild idea with no scientific basis. It's not going to Humanae go on. You want to. They found a way to observe multi verses so I'm going to really push back on that because by definition you cannot observe another universe the causally isolated through wormhole OK so I get so this is another theoretical entity a wormhole that we do we don't have any evidence of them existing So it's a theoretical entity it's it's an engine idea but we don't actually have evidence of wormholes existing so we can talk more about this but we seem to be into more into the territory of science fiction rather than science from positing these things OK here's one more thing the Christianity makes sense of and that's the intelligibility of the universe so not only is the fact of the universe had a beginning and that the universe is fine tuned in order for life to exist the constants are just right but it's also the fact that we can understand it Einstein put it this way he said the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. They don't have a dog. Have you try to teach your dog physics you should do this or like math you know if you're doing some math there's a math homework Trying to your dog and you discover that your dog or he just isn't very good at doing physics right maybe intuitively but you really study these deep facts about the universe you have a cat you can put it in a library and you can jump around enjoy the furniture but it won't appreciate the text that's written on the walls in the books writes the they just not able to understand the language of the room that they're in however we find ourselves in the situation where we actually can make sense of the world around us I would I'm going to fish in a fish things from a round we're able to reflect upon the world we live on and we're able to come to knowledge of its deep structure we can discover that it is finally tuned it. Why is that how is it possible that we could understand the world around us. I believe this is a problem for naturalism Francis Crick phrases of this way he indicates a highly developed brains of brains able to can sciences really help their brains we have he says under the naturalistic narrative they were not evolved under the pressure of discovering scientific truth we didn't evolve to do true we simply evolved to be clever enough to survive and there's a big gap between those 2 things right natural selection favors adaptability ability to survive fitness right the ability to reproduce and passenger back information but that's not the same thing as ability to understand truth and therefore if you embrace the naturalistic narrative there why do you believe the capable of knowing truth not just small truths like there's a tiger over there I need to look out for you my eat me but the deep truths about the very structure in the fabric of our universe you see the problem. It is why can't we know the truth these deep facts about the universe why do we actually believe the convictions of our mind if our mind is merely the product of some on guided process to go to our own views in Christianity we say mine comes 1st the mind of God and matter comes 2nd the matter is derivative from mind and therefore when God made us He made us in His image and that's why we can give account for why we can think and understand but if you reverse the narrative as naturalism does and he says no matter came 1st the universe and our minds of merely driven to of matter then why should we trust those minds to be able to give us true thoughts about the world around us naturalism seems to be self-defeating the mathematician John Lennox at Oxford University puts it this way he says naturalism isn't just shouldn't itself in the foot it should itself in the head because it's undermining our ability our confidence for why we can trust our thoughts and why we can trust our reason. This is come back to that in the Q. way to C.S. Lewis puts it this way he says not only is it the case that. We can understand the universe but he gives an account of where this conviction came from he says men became scientific because they expect a law of nature and they expect a law of nature because they believed in a law giver in the next presentation will go through some of this history and will see that the foundation of modern science where individuals who were convicted of the intelligibility of the universe precisely because they believed in a law giver Isaac Newton for instance prior to Newton there was this idea that there's one way that the heavens go in this some other way in which things on earth go to heaven things go round on earth things fall down because Isaac Newton says no but I believe in One God created both Heaven and Earth and therefore I should spend one principle to explain both the result universal law of gravitation is his understanding that there's one law of gravity explains both the orbits of the planets and why objects fall on earth and so it's their conviction that there was a mind behind the universe that led them to seek out a mathematical of physical descriptions of the world because they expected some kind of coherence in the world OK So we see the cushy and he has made sense of the beginning of the universe by tuning the universe intelligibility of the universe but here is the one I get really excited about and you're going to have to indulge me as a mathematician this is the one I just get thrilled about and it's not only is the universe is intelligible but it's mathematical. I know some of you like Wired Tell me mathematics I'm telling you this is the coolest thing so in mathematics we have various ideas we come up with some of them are kind of weird or like high you know 123 these are natural numbers the kind of compost of nature but Pai What is that that's the circumference of the ratio that's the ratio the circumference the diameter of a circle right that's kind of a weird ideas an irrational number it goes on forever or numbers like I mean maybe when you got to school you like now this is weird right the imaginary number you're like now they're just making things up right like what are they doing is true math is you just made this up is like we want to be able to solve these algebraic equations and sometimes you only go once real solution so let's force that to be another solution or make a call an imaginary solution right let's take the square root of negative numbers why not we're just making things up what Easy is essential to study of the Calculus 2.71 and 2 a way to it's irrational goes on forever fascinating credible number OK so so so we have all these different ideas we develop in mathematics and geometry and algebra and study of the calculus but then in mathematics we discover things that somehow they all come together and they fit together in these beautiful ways easy. Plus one equals 0 take it in. Appreciate it is incredible what is going on here. This is considered the most beautiful equation in mathematics they've actually done studies the University College London did a study with brought in mathematicians and with them up to brain scanners and they had them look at these equations and when mathematicians looked at this equation the emotional center of the brain went on I'm serious it's the same thing as I've seen a beautiful sunset or listening to music it's like whoa because there's this like incredible schlock sure going on here and it's it's way how we did this come from where we were just making stuff up but it all comes together in this beautiful way so big nervous reflected on this Nobel Prize winning physicist Eugene. And you know he says the great mathematician fully almost ruthlessly exploits the domain of permissible reasoning it skirts the impermissible he's saying we do things that we make up. Weird stuff but then he goes on to say that his recklessness does not lead him into a morass of contradictions is a miracle in itself that magic should end up in contradiction right. But he says Certainly it's hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought by Darwin's process of natural selection to the perfection which it seems to exist which it seems to possess that doing mathematics reveals that somehow we are deeply rational and somehow we can pursue lines of evidence to arrive at truth but how could how could the process of natural selection produce creatures capable of the US right this is this is question he says is seems to be a miracle so just of language but not only is the fact that we can do mathematics but he goes on to reflect on the fact that mathematics describes the universe he says the miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve here that language is a wonderful gift it's a miracle right he's not alone mass Titian's of this is marvel at this why is the mathematics explains the world in the crazy thing here is we made up this math just for the sake of doing cool math but it then turned out a couple centuries later this mathematics is essential to doing physics we discover the mathematics 1st because we thought it was interesting and beautiful and true and then it turned out that that was the mathematics we needed to make sense of the universe we can't do physics without. Organ So here's a really really cool story retyped for it's OK we have time for it. This is or if they have mathematical stories so you know about like geometry Euclidean geometry the jump in high school where you study jumps of a plane points and lines and circles and triangles and all that's good that's pretty cool stuff you could imagine in geometry and other surfaces instead of a plane like on a sphere where we navigate and it was sailing when you think about a sphere because we live on a sphere I hope we all recognize that we live on a on a sphere right OK not not a plane there not a plane we live on a sphere but then mathematicians started wondering what if instead of doing a sphere of radius one we imagine doing mathematics on a sphere of radius I imaginary radius you like what does it even look like a spiel imaginary radius I like like how can you can imagine that these mathematicians they would just you know then trip in there like let's just let's come up with it it ends up looking like this too she did. It's this crazy looking object but it's an imaginary sphere the sphere imaginary radius and they sort of making up a whole geometry in this imaginary sphere. Like this. I will have a picture at the end if your mind me. OK So this is this is the mathematics of the trying to do on this on this imaginary sphere and then turns out when I think Stein is trying to explain the nature of space time he's like this Euclidean geometry and the geometry of a plane doesn't work and the geometry of a sphere that's not it either I need this non-Euclidean geometry to take place on there's a Maginnis that's the geometry I need or it's Einstein's theory of general relativity is is built upon this weird geometry this this math isn't just making things up turns out to be exactly what we needed to explain the fabric of space time is the trippy It's like how is it that minds are so structured to pursue truth and beauty just for the sake of it but then it turns out that those ideals of things are said that is true and beautiful in some deep and profound way that is exactly what we need to explain the fabric of the world around us is that not a testimony to the fact there's a bottom line behind the universe a mind which itself is passionate about the true and the Beautiful is made us in His image so I believe that Christianity makes sense of the mathematical structure of the universe not only that though there's one more thing that Christianity offers that naturalism cannot and that's all to Mitt hope we said that the universe has a beginning there were some simulators here in which the universe expanded into its current state. You might ask OK Few of us had a beginning doesn't have an end. Naturalism has 2 scenarios one is called the Big Crunch there was a big bang at the beginning the big crunch of the end with the universe has been expanding but eventually it was slowed down into a began to contract back upon itself and up into a single point a big crunch that had a number because for a while but recently to some experiments that showed us the expansion rate of the universe is actually speeding up now expanding faster and faster and faster galaxies are moving away from each other which makes us suggest that it's not going to be a big crunch but instead going to be a big chill so what's the big chill was we continue to expand century continues to increase we're going to use up all the heat energy stars will die and as we use up all the heat energy the temperature of the universe will drop down in approach absolute 0 and then there'd be no more heat in the universe and without any heat differentials life becomes impossible and so would end up with a called barren lifeless universe and that's the ultimate fate of the universe under naturalism and the question becomes in that day Granted it's not for a while it's not as happened next week but in that day what significance will there be to anything that we have done or why will it have mattered if you lived too well or lived selfishly Why would anything that humanity have accomplished matter if he also meant fate is we end up in a dead lifeless cold Barin universe what also make consequence could any of our actions possibly have individually or collectively why does it matter that we did science why does it matter we discover that easily I pipe plus one is 0 right why does any of this matter if that is the ultimate fate. Christianity here diverges and it says No instead there's a different vision for the future not a big crunch or a big chill but instead we have this big hope that God is going to intervene in the history of the world to restart it to make things right right God is going to bring about this new order a new heavens a new earth and sort of suggest is that the weakness of naturalism is that it undermines any significance child actions because it says in the end which is headed to oblivion because Shandy says that we're headed to a new heavens a new earth they give significance to each of our actions each of our choices both individually and collectively so whatever scene we see in the Biblical faith make sense of the origin of the universe the fine tuning of the universe intelligibility of the universe the mathematical structure of the universe and it makes sense of why we can actually have alternate. But you know I've discovered something of the mathematician and that's the somethings I can't explain mathematically So this is the fun of the comic. We having some mathematicians trying to to work out love what's the square root of love cosigned of love. The driven type of love and this is my normal approach is useless here it's a recognition that is the more to life than merely mathematic in mathematical and scientific descriptions This is a whole other domains of what it means to be human Now some have failed to recognize this Bertrand Russell the great magician of the of the 1900 he claimed that he said whatever knowledge is the table must be attainable by scientific methods and what science cannot discover mankind cannot know he's saying that the only true knowledge out there is scientific knowledge and then everything else is for he's an atheist and so this is part of his critique of religion theology that's not science that's not real you know religion all of that that's that's not science that's not true knowledge scientific knowledge is the true knowledge is even heard this critique before how many respond to the claim that only scientific knowledge is true knowledge and what science cannot discover mankind cannot know how might you sponsor that it's. When you have passed the mike over. The thing is that within science we have the scientific method that creates exact. Cleans but troof can be does that does soft science is hard science so basically truth can be stuff outside of the scientific method because there's something that they do is true or something that is exact something that we replicate through the scientific method so I see that this distinction between what is true and what is exact good I think pointing out is part of the power of things like mathematics is that we limit the problems we work on to very precise exact problems we don't shine in gage the big questions of all to meaning and purpose and and what is love we don't do that in mathematics we limit ourselves to exact precise mathematical statements but they're all these other aspects of being human and these things do not engage with what he might just respond well that's if you can have any true knowledge about that you can't know anything true about those things you can only know 2 things about science science and works how my response to this claim I was thinking with an example may be something that we know about we cannot explain and I was thinking about death OK We are sad thing about death but I highly doubt that science can explain death or life why give a biological explanation of it I can give some some biological physical accounts of why this is ation of life but it seems that you're suggesting death may be a larger tartans and in the Grant significance of what is life and what is one possible could take I think we could we can make of these kinds of claims. Bertrand Russell is claiming to know something what is he claiming to know what he's claiming to know that we can only know the things that science tells us right. The question becomes how does he know that. How does he know that we can only know the things that science tells us. Did he do an experiment. Did he make some chemicals together now came the results you could only know what science tells you. No this is not a scientific claim he's making a philosophical claim that is making a claim to knowledge that is itself not scientific it's a claim about science but it's a philosophical claim into in making this he recognizes there's knowledge outside of science he's appealing to non scientific knowledge he's appealing to the claim that science is the only thing we can know and therefore his claim a self defeating the criteria of his claim you can only know what science tells you is not met by the claim itself because the claim is not a result of the scientific method you talk with that in addition to this what if you would actually accept this claim what would that mean that would mean the end of history and statics and ethics and law and literature as well as theology right I mean it might be a nice way to dog theology but are you willing to throw out all historical knowledge all of our knowledge of the law all knowledge about literature in a beauty and ethical reasoning this is not that these are important domains of knowledge but outside of science and so this kind of claim it seems to be ignorant of all these other aspects of human experience and human knowledge comes at an incredible cost and itself the feeling well here's another objection maybe science isn't the only kind of knowledge but it's the best kind of knowledge science is a period form of knowledge because if we burned all science books we could recover the knowledge or lost. Via the scientific method but if we burned all the religious books and all the Bibles there was no method to recover the stories so clearly science is better because we can recover the lost knowledge Hong how many respond to that claim. People. OK well imagine I was able to erase everyone's memory as well so as to somehow reset the saying reset everything about the. We have some powerful machine that's able to erase all knowledge it is a thought experiment writes OK let's listen someone else chime in how my response to the claim that that scientific knowledge is superior because we can recover it as if we raced all the religious stories that be gone forever I mean this is just a non assumption we can see this is superior but there is no reason for why should we should assume its superior so good then good you could say religious stories us a period because we can not reproduce so very good so it's not clear why the ability to reproduce the knowledge would actually make it superior knowledge OK Excellent to pass it down with one more comment. You could probably get it from the same place you got to actually the Holy Spirit so if we actually believe that the religious texts are revealed from God then we may expect there's a God would reveal it had gotten well if you can look at this objection what is really saying is is it's not just a critique against religion if you were to delete all knowledge what are the knowledge we lost forever what knowledge of history writes all of historical knowledge we've lost and that's really the force of this because the biblical account religious knowledge is historical knowledge and so it's actually saying that it was point out to the fact is a religion is grounded in history but that's not a bug that's not a weakness of religion that's a strength of religion that is actually grounded in history and so these kinds of claims seem to not respect the significance of historical events right it seems to think that has the knowledge to detach from history or subpoena year but there's no reason to believe that in fact I would I'm starting to recognize that in some ways there's knowledge that's far superior to scientific knowledge and that's ethical knowledge you put it this way he says it's not a problem of physics but of ethics it is easier to didn't nature plutonium then to the nature of the evil spirits of man or. That is you know it's possible for us to solve these scientific problems but if that if humans continue to harbor evil in their hearts then what's the also an end and he has in mind here the creation of the nuclear bomb writes we solve this great scientific problem but maybe we didn't have the ethical maturity to know how to use that science right and to it's pointed out that it's great to have scientific progress but if that happens independent ethical progress has a well of more clarity and insight that we are going to draw house elves rights. Well that's right so the Cold War This was a problem at the heart of it OK so I want to end with this quote How have you guys if humans for some questions it's from a high calling and I really appreciate this element reminds us of the Gospel does not address the understanding alone that the gospel is not merely an intellectual activity if we did it we might approach it as we approach the study of a book dealing with mathematical formulas which relate to the intellect alone but I was just a. Fantastic intellectual edge exercise but she points out that the aim of the gospel is the hearts and therefore the what scripture is trying to do is more than just change our understanding although there is an international component to it it's also trying to transform our hearts that is it's trying to change the kind of moral creatures that we are to transform as back into the likeness of God and I just want to keep that in mind at all to me as we talk most plans my power of Christianity it's not about making sense of the data of the world it's about of how the table transform hearts as well well let me go ahead and turn it over to you for some questions we have about 5 or 10 minutes Well I'm happy to take any questions you might have about science or faith or in the came up in the context of the presentation and just please make sure you speak into the mike. I really appreciated your talk thank you I'm I'm a scientist as well and there's 2 things I wanted to to comment about one was the this idea of of well 1st of all the idea of faith in Hebrews $111.00 it talks about feet having something to do with substance and evidence OK So in your very 1st. Set of comments you talked about the origin of God. That he always was in John one expands upon the Psalms text that you gave a little bit more. But do you see anything in there that doesn't the takes beyond just a claim in other words what is the evidence for that and I believe that claim but I I I would like to be more confident about the evidence for God so we must in our presentation to talk a lot about the nature of faith and one of things we said it is the faith relates to evidence in this way it doesn't go against the evidence that God has given us evidence that points in the direction of faith but the faith always takes a step beyond the evidence that is faith is us choosing to consciously commit to something that has evidence points in that direction but we're taking a step into commitment and I gave the example of ziplining I did this ziplining adventure in Zimbabwe this summer is fantastic but you know when you zip line you look at the evidence that says this is it line is strong you hold me up it hasn't had too many people you know fall off and die has a good history is good evidence for me to trust it but I'm not merely going to intellectually consent to it's a good zip line I'm not going to take the step of actually going on the zip line and the Christian walk is similar in this way where we can have good evidence for believing in God but at some point we have to exercise our faith in step into the relationship with God And so that's a person with about the relation between faith and evidence based stepping in the direction which the evidence is pointing now about the turn out of God I think one thing that we could say to help us understand why God is everlasting in the terminal is because God unlike the universe is a necessary being while the universe is a contingent. Object so the distinction between necessary and contingent is contingent means it could have been some other way you can imagine the laws of nature being slightly different the universe could have been some other way it's contingent in that way God Himself as the ground of all being is necessary and therefore as being necessary He is eternal he he is is being is itself the god is not merely driven to something else God is not merely the then after that of progress something else God Himself is the necessary ground of all being we can explore that idea further but that's probably where most philosophers try to understand some basic knowledge of God. I would push back though and I'm not sure if we need to always give a reason for everything about God right like there's a danger of trying to explain away everything about God It's like why does God have this how should this how should this not your bit and so the power of an explanation is that it lets you see something more clearly so the actual nation is to serve like a window like why is the world this way you have an explanation you can see through it but says Lewis makes the point that if you go China to explain away forever it's as if the whole world was transparent if everything was window then you wouldn't be able to see anything. So if you always explaining something away and eventually mention is not a bench to arrive at some ground at some foundation then you haven't actually explained anything you just continuing to move one step further an infinite regress but Lewis points out that we need to have some endpoint of our explanations and for the Christian God is the end point so we don't try to explain away God Rather we see God as the foundation of explanation and so when we accept a belief in God it makes sense of all these other things that we're trying to show is that distinction clear so I would be cautious in us going down the road of trying to give an account for everything about God and try and have some other foundation for reality because God Himself is the ground of all being OK let's do another question. Mike you please speak into it. So and learn science and we've learn some science concepts. So. If I put one in Perth to get a grid OK Very good so you're asking a very practical question here as a student maybe I'm reading a report about something and the question is Can I just write down what the scientific theory says even if I don't believe it to be true even if I believe it to be in tension with some teaching of Scripture Yeah that's a great question. So maybe a couple things I could say one is scientists in general tend to recognize that science is not true 1000 this is the absolute we've arrived at this is corruption in the universe scientists tend to view science as getting better and better approximations of truth. That is Newton had some way of understand the world that was pretty good but then I came along with a better way that's more accurate and eventually we expect some further refinement That's community even better way of understand the world right so within science already is the idea that these claims on actually true which is the best attempt right now to explain the world and so I think if you understand it in that context then you free any of paper to write about this is what the current models suggest this is what they say but they rely upon assumptions on these things and so these are not actually absolutes claims to truth and if we had additional knowledge then we may come to a different picture and or understanding of the world is a fair so you can decide to what degree you want to go down that road to what degree you want to couch everything you say in the context of this is what the theory of the model says but I think it's fine for you to show that you understand these theories and you know stand those models in the context of knowing that they are simply models or theories that are best attempts to explain the world would be limited by the assumptions we make. I want to see more questions in. I mean I just want to I guess add to what he was asking just because I'm a high school chemistry teacher in a public school and this point when you know when I sit in faculty meetings I think on a higher level or maybe scientists at the university level. Are thinking in the way that you describe but from your high school science teacher I've sat in department meetings where you know teachers my colleagues have said you know such and such student thinks that God is involved in this but I told him no that's not true and they're very you know happy and proud of doing that because they feel like you know they're doing science and real science and I think that the high school level you definitely have teachers that aren't as aware or aren't as knowledgeable and aren't as open and so you can very well have a student who writes something like that on the paper and the teacher just gives them enough for marks it wrong so I think that someone things I can say in the struction One is I encourage all of us and the other some of the next presentation to review the history of science and look at people like Newton and Galileo and coupler and others as pioneers of science and they've been much talked about God being involved they would often quote the Psalms in the scientific work right and so you can see that they had a high you didn't see that this science was was taking away from the precision of God but it was enriching it so in a scientific context if you want to make some appeal to God you could do it by quoting some of the pioneers and that's that's still a legitimate academic way to to engage those and then the 2nd is I think would be fantastic if high school student had a better understanding of the philosophy of science recognizing the limits of science recognizing that scientific knowledge is not absolute final knowledge and that it depends upon the assumptions we make in all these other subjects we have to one last question and then I want to give you guys a little break I want to ask somebody or if you have any comments on the God of the Gaps argument I know John Knox talks about a little bit and he'll argue with other individuals about it yet chapter on it but his book is a sufficient. If you had like a simple or more comments on the other god of the Gaps argument so the idea of the God of the gaps is. When you don't understand something that's science you say god did it lightning What does it come from it must be the gods Well then what happens over time is we come up with some scientific explanation of where lightning comes from and now you don't need the gods anymore right and so the danger of them playing what God must have done it is that as a science of knowledge grows then God seems to get smaller and smaller however notice what I've been doing here is I have a minute appealing to our ignorance but our scientific knowledge and I would say look at what we've discovered in science fine tuning origin of the universe these things and look how God makes sense of these things and so it's not saying that we don't understand or we don't know but we do know it's what we do know when science has given us a greater appreciation and greater confidence that there was a god in there was a creator of the universe and so I find that to be a much more healthy approach I'm I would also want to. Just add that having a scientific explanation for something does not rule out a God explanation as well and John Lennox he makes his point very well for instance you might ask why is the water boiling. Put some water on the stove it's boiling and you might ask why is a boiling and you can give a fantastic scientific account for that you can explain that the transfer of energy and what's going on there but there's also the explanation while I'm making myself a cup of tea. Now those are both valid explanations one involves an agent who has some purpose that he's trying to accomplish one involves a scientific description of what's going on both explanation true and for us as Christians when we come to a scientific explanation of something this is not necessarily saying that therefore God cannot be involved it may simply be indicating this is how God has ordered the universe this is how God a structure of the universe so coming to understand how God has done it doesn't undermine our confidence of there's an agent behind that a mind behind it rather gives us greater confidence the mind behind it because we see how incredibly sophisticated and fantastic the world around us is I'm stuck there I'm happy talk more if you want to and one of you had 10 minute break before our next session we're going to explore the Book of Genesis and to this discussion of should we take Genesis seriously what's relationship in faith and science. This message was recorded at the G Y C D N in Houston Texas. Supporting Ministry of the 7th Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be bible based pricing and so Christians. To download or purchase other resources like this visit us online see what have.


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