This text will discuss the existence of God and the supporting evidence. This is an important topic, because if God really exists and we have an eternal soul and are responsible to God, then we shouldn’t look past this matter. It would be downright foolish of us if we didn’t want to find out about the truth and search ways to get closer to God. This is something that is worth looking into.
What about different views in relation to the existence of God? In this area there are three general views in the Western countries: theism, agnosticism and atheism.
• In theism it is believed that God exists and that He created everything.
• Agnosticism leaves the existence of God open: He might or might not be. Many believe this is something that we cannot be certain about.
• The third alternative is atheism, which denies the existence of God and assumes Him to be merely a man-made concept. Atheists also like pose as scientific. They want to separate the scientific worldview, which they believe they have, from the religious one, but they don’t understand that their view is also a belief. It requires the same kind of faith that you need to have in God. How can atheists be sure that God doesn’t happen to exist in an area that they have no knowledge about?
The following image illustrates this point. We cannot refute things just because we have not seen them if we only know a fraction of all information. God and His existence might be one of such things.
PROOF THAT GOD EXISTS
Now, we will begin to investigate the evidence supporting the existence of God. The evidence is not completely solid, but we can still make conclusions based on it. It indicates that there truly is a God.
Something exists. Firstly, we should come to realize that things exist. The fact that life is not pure nothingness requires an explanation. Why does the non-living and the living world exist? Why are there stars, the moon and the Sun, which gives us light and warmth? Why are there people, who drive cars, go to space, write books, and why are we able to run, speak, sing or have emotions? Why are there mountains, rocks, dirt, clouds, water, and water systems? Why are there animals on land, in the sea and in the air, such as elephants, lions, worms, fish, chirping birds, butterflies and mosquitoes? Why are there trees and flowers? Or why are there tasty carrots, apples, strawberries, peas, oranges, bananas and blueberries that we can eat?
The fact that all the things listed exist requires an explanation. We should think about this profoundly and not just consider these things to be self-evident. When there are only two possibilities: something exists or that there is nothing, we need to find a reason as to why the first possibility is true. Why isn’t it that there’s only nothingness, instead of the current diverse life that surrounds us. This observation is so primitively simple that we aren’t always aware of it. We take it for granted, but it happens to be a very significant concern. We shouldn’t look past it lightly.
Therefore, the first reason to consider God’s existence is the fact that things exist, instead of there being only a void of nothingness. It doesn’t directly prove the existence of God, but it is an indication towards it.
Everything has a beginning. Secondly, we must take into consideration that everything has a beginning. This includes two things, the non-living cosmos and life:
Cosmos, ergo the galaxies, stars, planets, the Sun and other celestial bodies in it entail a beginning.
That is, at the moment scientists publicly agree that the universe cannot be never-ending and infinitely old. It is due to the fact that the universe is inevitably heading towards heath death – a state, where all differences in temperature have disappeared and the amount of usable energy decreases and eventually runs out.
This decrease in energy can basically be paralleled to when firewood burns out in a campfire. Once the wood has burnt out, it cannot be reused – it is unusable. This shows how usable energy decreases all the time, and that there must have been an absolute beginning to it all. We could call it the point zero. There must have been a point in time, when the clock that ticks towards the heath death began running and that there must come a point in time when it stops running. This applies to both, our own Sun and to other celestial bodies, which are still radiating energy.
Thus, everything has had a beginning, and we cannot avoid the issue of creation. The beginning of the universe is its own kind of an indication towards the existence of God. Sir Fred Hoyle explains this peculiar paradox in his book The nature of the universe:
For creation to be reduntant, the building material of the universe should be immensely old. - - Hydrogen transforms slowly to helium - . How is it then possible that the whole of the universe is still mainly hydrogen? It being immensely old is completely impossible. Thus, as the universe is as we have noticed it to be, we cannot avoid questions about its creation.
Life also has a beginning. Another important observation is life on the planet. It too cannot be never-ending, which is due to a simple reason: limited time of the Sun sets exact limitations for life. That is, because the Sun isn’t eternal and it hasn’t always brought warmth and light on our planet, it is not possible that there would have been life either. Without the Sun the temperature would be almost -273 °C, it would be dark and water would be frozen, and no one is aware of any life-forms that could survive in those kinds of conditions. That is why it is impossible for life to have always existed on the planet, because even the Sun hasn’t existed always.
The conclusion is that both abiotic universe and life must have had a point in time, when they began to exist. Neither of them is never-ending, and thus we cannot bypass the possibility of creation and God.
The following passages relate well to this matter. The Bible suggests that behind all observable things, there must be a higher power. The best explanation for it all is the existence of a supernatural God, whose acts prove His existence. Everything was created by someone, and this also applies to the universe and life in it:
- (Rom 1:19,20) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it to them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse
- (Ps 19:1) The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork.
Naturalistic theories have a weak foundation. We mentioned two important things above: abiotic universe and life must have an onset. They cannot be everlasting.
How do naturalists try to explain this then? They agree that the universe is not eternal and that life has had a beginning, but they say everything came to exist on its own without the help of God.
However, if we look at their option and naturalistic theories, we can see that they’re not founded on proper grounds. Conversely, their theories lack evidence, which many scientists have admitted. We’ll look into these theories next.
The beginning of the universe is something that must be explained from a naturalistic point of view. Currently, the most common theory is the Big Bang theory, which assumes that everything - galaxies, stars, the Sun, planets, the sea and water, rocks, humans, birds, elephants, mosquitoes, flowers – appeared from nothing just like that. However, there aren’t any observed practical examples to indicate objects or substances having the ability to appear from nothing. This theory goes against the laws of nature. Moreover, many scientists also disclaim the accuracy of this theory (Descriptive of this phenomenon is when in 2004 secular researchers, who doubted this theory, wrote an open letter to the New Science magazine. There were over a hundred other cosmologists supporting the letter. The letter contained the following: “There is a lack in open discussion; doubting and dissidence are not tolerated. In any other field of physics it would not possible to constantly rely on new hypothesis, in order to bridge the gap between theory and observations.”).
As an old cosmologist, I see the current observational data repealing theories about the beginning of the universe, and also the many theories about the beginning of the Solar System. (H. Bondi, Letter, 87 New Scientist 611 / 1980)
There has been considerably little discussion about the possibility of the Big Bang theory… many of the observations that conflict it are explained through numerous unfounded assumptions or they are simply ignored. ([nobelist] H. Alfven, Cosmic Plasma 125 / 1981)
Physicist Eric Lerner: ”Big Bang is merely an interesting tale, which is maintained for a certain reason” (Eric Lerner: A Startling Refutation of the Dominant Theory of the Origin of the Universe, The Big Bang Never Happened, NY: Times Books, 1991).
David Berlinski: ”It is pointless to argue that something comes into existence out of nothing, when any given mathematician understands this to be complete nonsense” (Ron Rosenbaum: ”Is the Big Bang Just a Big Hoax? David Berlinski Challenges Everyone.” New York Observer 7.7.1998)
The Big Bang theory also goes against all logic and common sense, when it presumes that our whole current universe and life could come out of nothing or from a pin-sized space.
But can anything appear from nothingness or come out of a tiny space? This theory could be compared to someone stating that it is possible for all kinds of things to come out of a matchbox (which is way bigger than a pin). He might claim that it is a scientific fact and one should not question it, because all rational scientists believe it. Therefore, according to his words it is possible that more complex and larger things can appear from the box, such as:
• An elephant and the grass it eats
• A rock that weighs a thousand pounds, as well as other rocks and cliffs
• A fast cheetah also emerges from the same box
• Roaring lions
• Birds that chirp and fly
• Mosquitoes that the birds can eat
• Fish and the oceans around them also originate from that same tiny box
• Beautiful scented flowers and tall trees too come from the same matchbox
• Billions of galaxies, stars and planets also come from that very same box
• The Sun that warms us and gives us light
• Humans that can speak, feel emotions, cry, laugh, get angry, be scared, mourn, like someone and fall in love.
• Tasty strawberries, bananas, blueberries, peas, grapes and nuts. Those too are believed to have come from that tiny matchbox.
Can we question this theory? I’m sure we can. It would be the greatest miracle if all those things and more would have actually appeared on their own from a space as small as that matchbox or a pin, which are both way smaller than many things in our universe. It’s utterly impossible, and against logic, because sheer nothingness cannot cause existence. Something must exist first, before anything could be born. How could a “pin-sized” space transform itself into a tasty strawberry, flying bird, car driving human, the hot Sun, roaring lion, fertile creature, or into rock or anything else that exists? If we believe in this theory, we probably aren’t very wise. We are forced to cast aside common sense.
The origin of galaxies and stars. How about the origin of galaxies and stars? That is also something that we have been unable to witness. The belief that they would have come into existence by themselves is poorly constructed:
I do not want to claim that we really understand the process that created the galaxies. The theory on the birth of the galaxies is one of the major unsolved problems in astrophysics and we still seem to be far from the actual solution even today. (Steven Weinberg, Kolme ensimmäistä minuuttia / The First Three Minutes, p. 88)
A major problem, however, is how did everything come into being? How did the gas from which galaxies were born initially accumulate to start the birth process of stars and the large cosmic cycle? (…) Therefore, we must find physical mechanisms that bring about condensations within the homogenous material of the universe. This seems quite easy but as a matter of fact leads to problems of a very profound nature. (Malcolm S. Longair, Räjähtävä maailmankaikkeus / The Origins of Our Universe, p. 93)
The scary thing here is that if none of us knew beforehand that stars exists, the frontline research would provide many convincing reasons as to why stars could never be born.” (Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries, p. 187, W.W. Norton & Company, 2007)
Abraham Loeb: “The truth is that we don’t understand the formation of stars on a fundamental level.” ([Cited from Marcus Chown’s article] Let there be light, New Scientist 157(2120):26-30, 7 February 1998)
The origin of the Solar System is surrounded by many theories, but all of them are uncertain:
Even nowadays, when astrophysics has progressed enormously, many theories concerning the origin of the solar system are unsatisfactory. Scientists still disagree about the details. There is no commonly accepted theory in sight. (Jim Brooks, Näin alkoi elämä, p. 57 / Origins of Life)
All presented hypotheses about the origin of the solar system have serious inconsistencies. The conclusion, at the moment, seems to be that the solar system cannot exist. (H. Jeffreys, The Earth: Its Origin, History and Physical Constitution, 6th edition, Cambridge University Press, 1976, p. 387)
The origin of life. What about how life came to exist? Scientists, who think from a materialistic point of view, want to believe life began by itself, but this view can easily be called into question, because there is no practical evidence to support it. There is zero empirical information that would indicate abiotic substances having the ability to produce life – that a lifeless rock or any other non-living substance would all of a sudden begin to move, reproduce, eat, sleep, talk or show different emotions. There’s nothing that would suggest this; instead, the issue with life beginning by itself has become greater, the more knowledge we have acquired. The gap between living and abiotic matter has grown too wide.
The following quotation relates to this issue. It is from an interview with Stanley Miller during the latter part of his life. He became famous for his experiments relating to the origin of life. J. Morgan talks about the interview:
He was indifferent about all suggestions about the origins of life, considering them “nonsense” or “paper chemistry”. He was so contemptuous about certain hypotheses that when I asked his opinion about them, he only shook his head, sighed deeply and sniggered – like trying to reject the madness of the human race. He admitted that scientists may never know exactly when and how life started. “We try to discuss a historical event that is clearly different from normal science”, he noted. (1)
Consequently, when it comes to life, there is only one logical alternative, which is that God created it. That is, the obvious rule seems to be that life can only come from life, and no one has found a single exception to this rule. In terms of the very first plants and animals this indicates to a source external to our planet, ergo God.
Many atheist scientists are reluctant to acknowledge the possible accuracy of this view, but if their views were true, evidence should demonstrate it. They have been unable to do so. The problem is that these people don’t want to accept God as the Creator and give Him the glory. That is why they rely on other noticeably false explanations.
- (Gen 1:1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
- (Rom 1:19,20) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it to them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse
- (Rev 4:11) You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created.
- (Rev 10:5,6) And the angel which I saw stand on the sea and on the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
6 And swore by him that lives for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer
- (Rev 14:7) Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
The lack of transitional forms – indicator towards a Creator. We should also look into our current plants’ and animals’ origin. There are two opposing views to account for their existence: either God created all plants and animals or they all developed from a simple original cell into their current forms, as suggested by evolution. There are no other alternatives than these two, which are creation and evolution.
What does the evidence suggest? Evolutionists want to believe that organisms developed from one original cell and that there are transitional forms in between different species, but they have not been able to observe any of that. In fact, no one has been able to provide any evidence for these assumptions. Darwin’s finches, variation in bacteria, peppered moths and in other species is always variation within a created-kind. (Almost every time, when evolutionists talk about proof for evolution, they refer to adaptations, where, e.g., bacteria adapt to their environment. That is why it is important to clarify what we mean by evolution; do we mean macroevolution, which means the emergence of new species, or do we only mean adaptation and variation. The latter is something that is agreed by everyone and there are no uncertainties there, but the former one is where people argue. If we don’t address this issue first, we cannot proceed in the matter.). Finches, peppered moths and bacteria have not transformed into other species like that.
What about fossil records? They are our best tool for figuring out the past. If we can detect a gradual development in fossils – from a simple original cell into their current forms, we could consider that as solid evidence for evolution. On the other hand, if we don’t see any gradual development, it would suggest that the species have been separate from the beginning and that they are the result of creation.
So what does the evidence actually suggest? Many frontline paleontologists have given direct statements about that. They deny the existence of transitional forms and admit that fossils don’t carry any signs of gradual development, although this should be a prerequisite for evolution. This is a similar problem to the fact that no one has been able to prove life coming into existence on its own. There’s a lack in clear evidence for both cases.
We are going to look at some comments that address the issue. From them we can see that the missing transitional forms between created-kinds, is a real problem, which remains unsolved. The evidence best supports the idea that species have been fully formed and separate from each other from the beginning. They must have gotten to this world through creation. This suggests that there is a God.
The comments also include a statement by a well-known atheist philosopher Richard Dawkins. The comment is taken from his book The Blind Watchmaker (p. 240,241). Dawkins is not a paleontologist, but he refers to the issue, which is that there doesn’t seem to be gradual development. Dawkins also hints in his comment that our fossil records are not yet perfect, which isn’t such a great argument. That is, we have dug up ten millions of fossils and none of them have shown any signs of transitional forms or gradual development, hence transitional forms don’t probably exist in the remaining fossils that are still underground either:
Richard Dawkins: Since the times of Darwin, scientists researching evolution have known that fossils arranged in the order of time do not form a sequence of small and barely noticeable change. - - For example, strata from the Cambrian period from 600 million years ago are the oldest strata that contain fossils from most of the vertebrate phyla. On top of that, many of them are already quite far developed. Because there are no earlier fossils, they seem to have appeared on these strata from thin air… Regardless of their school of thought, all the evolutionists agree that in this area there is a huge gap in the fossil discoveries.
It is not possible to even compile a distorted picture of an organism's evolution based on paleobiological facts. The fossil materials gathered are so perfect now that the lack of intermediate forms cannot have been caused by insufficient data. The gaps are real, and can never be filled in. (A statement of Swedish botanist Heribert Nilsson approximately 50 years ago. )
The greatest mystery of the fossil materials is that we have not found any clear factor that takes evolution forward in the history of life. (…) We have set the findings in order based on our wishes, but this order cannot actually be found in the real world. (Stephen J. Gould, The Ediacaran Experiment. Natural History, vol. 93, Feb. 1984, p.23)
No matter how far in the past we go in the series of the fossils of those animals that have lived before on earth, we cannot find even a trace of animal forms that would be intermediate forms between great groups and phyla… The greatest groups of the animal kingdom do not merge into each other. They are and have been stationary since the beginning… Neither has an animal that could not be set in its own phylum or a great group been found from the earliest stratified rock types… This perfect lack of intermediate forms between the great groups of animals can be interpreted in one way only… If we are willing to take the facts as they are, we have to believe that there have never been such intermediate forms; in other words, these great groups have had the same relation to each other since the very beginning. (Austin H. Clark, The New Evolution, p. 189)
The deceased Dr. Colin Patterson was the older palaeontologist of the British Museum (natural history) – a supporter of the evolution and a fossil expert. He wrote a significant book on evolution – but when someone asked him why there was no picture of the intermediate forms (organisms which are in the transitional stage) in his book, he wrote the following answer:
"I agree completely with your opinion concerning the lack of illustrations in my book about organisms which are evolutionarily in the transitional stage. If I were conscious of any such, of a fossil or of living, I would have willingly included them in my book. You propose that I should use an artist to illustrate such intermediate forms but from where would he get information for his drawings? Honestly saying, I could not offer him this information, and if I should leave the matter for an artist, would it not lead the reader astray?
I wrote the text of my book four years ago [in the book he tells that he believes in some intermediate forms]. If I were to write it now, I think that the book would be rather different. Gradualism (changing gradually) is a concept in which I do believe. Not just because of the prestige of Darwin but because my comprehension of the genetics seems to require it. However, it is difficult to claim against [famous fossil expert Stephen J.] Gould and other people of the American museum when they say that there are no intermediate forms. As a palaeontologist, I work much with philosophical problems when recognizing ancient forms of organisms from the fossil material. You say that I should also at least 'present a photo of a fossil, from which the certain organism group evolved.' I speak directly – there is no fossil that would be a watertight piece of evidence." (3)
Nature’s diversity and beauty can be regarded as a sign that hints to creation and to God’s existence. If Big Bang were possible (which it doesn’t seem to be), nature would most likely be covered in some kind of simple cellular mass. But instead, we have complicated structures and beautiful nature surrounding us: flowers, trees, beautiful animals and cells, and even the simplest of cells contain complex information in their DNA. In fact, the more complex and beautiful structures we encounter, the more likely it is that there is intelligence and a higher power behind them. From a creation point of view these things are easy to explain, but not so much from a perspective of accidental development. It is not enough to explain all the beauty and complexity if we only say “evolution did all this”. This kind of magical perspective is prevalent in naturalist thinking.
We can also see the practicality of nature’s structures in the way that people constantly look for intelligent ideas from the nature and apply them into different inventions. For example, bird wings have inspired the design of airplane wings. The fronts of Japanese high-speed rails serve as another example, where birds have been used as a model, as the design of the train mimicked a Kingfisher’s beak. In this way the trains have become more silent, faster, and they consume less electricity.
The new Finnish science magazine (Tiede 3/2014) provides us more examples of nature being the model for technological design. One article tells us, how by looking at the nacres of shells Canadian researchers were able to make sheet glass 200 times stronger. Another article from the same magazine reports, how by mimicking the structure of a pomegranate one can make batteries more durable. All these examples suggest that intelligent design was involved in the creation of nature, and we can use that intelligence to our benefit. Many technical solutions were made because of this. Orderliness and complexity are evident in the nature, and they can be regarded as evidence for the existence of God.
Sometimes there are scientists, who say they could have designed better structures and solutions to the ones that can be seen in the nature. They reject the idea of intelligent design, because they think all complex forms were developed by accident. However, it is much more logical to believe that we have complicated structures, reasoning, emotions and senses because of creation. It is arrogant to reject intelligent design straight off the bat. No one has been able to show, how tiny rock pieces could become alive and have feelings, reasoning and be structurally complex. Believing in these kinds of things isn’t that wise. The following quotation addresses the matter:
In section 18 of the Britannica encyclopedia of 1988 there is i.a. the following specialist’s statement in the chapter containing the evolutionary theory: “From a practical viewpoint it is inexplicable that a tortoise can swim, a horse run, a human write and a bird or a bat fly with structures that are based on similar bone structures. An engineer could design better fitting limbs for each of their purpose. However, if we accept that all these bones are inherited from a shared ancestor and transformed only through different developmental stages, we can find a rational premise for similar structures.” This utterance made Paul Nelson criticize this evolutionary view as follows: “Ha! Introduce me to an engineer that can design a better structure than is the wing of a bat or a bird! Show me an engineer that can design a better leg for a cockroach! The thought of this is absurd. Where do the people come from, who present these ideas? We are far away from the knowledge that was required to construct animals – we are on the other side of the universe, millions of light years away, millions. We don’t even understand the compelling nature of the question.
Think about it: the leg of a cockroach will fix itself, sense its environment better than any robot, it is equipped with tactile hair and other sensors throughout, from which we cannot evaluate more than a fraction. A cockroach doesn’t need fuel, electric current or compressed air. Only a little bit of waste, where the general structure of the leg will be formed by growing, which can make the strength of titanium feel like playdough. If a cockroach was the size of a human, it would easily move forward ca. 300 km per hour. This comparison could go on forever… The writer of the encyclopedia clearly doesn’t know, what they are talking about – to say something like this in a reference book is really silly… As an engineer I have noticed the highest possible intellectual arrogance in the writer”. (firstname.lastname@example.org,) (4)
The same idea to a purposeful design appearing to be necessary can be seen in the speeches of philosophers Socrates and Darwin. Both of them understood the complexity of senses, and that the thought of them having developed randomly seems irrational. However, Socrates was the only one who came to the right conclusion and realized the significance of a designer:
Darwin: The presumption that the eye with all its inimitable structures that focus images at different distances, regulate the amount of light, fix spherical and chromatic aberration (color aberration) could have been formed as a consequence of natural selection is, I do admit openly, absurd to a great extent. (...) The idea of an organ like the eye forming through natural selection is more than enough to confuse anyone. (5)
Socrates: Does it not strike you then that He, who made man from the beginning, gave him some useful senses – eyes to behold the visible world, and ears to catch the intonations of sound? (...) And besides all this, do you not think this looks like a matter of foresight that the eyes are closed by eyelids like doors, which, when there is need to use them, can open? They close in sleep and even the winds of heaven may not visit them too roughly, because the eyelashes are as a protecting screen. The eyebrows are like an eave so that sweat falling from the head won’t injure eyes. Besides, the ear catches all sounds but never becomes filled. (...) I ask you, when you see all these things constructed with such show of foresight can you doubt whether they are products of chance or intelligence? (6)
The laws of physics serve as another indicator that there is someone behind each design. It is peculiar that all these physical laws can be mathematically determined. I hardly doubt that an accident can cause such precise mathematical ratios, which can be detected in the nature. It is no wonder that G. Galilei wrote the following: “Only those can read the great book of nature, who can understand its language. And that language is mathematics” (7). English astronomer James Jeans noted decades later: ”The Universe seems to be designed by a mathematician” (8).
We will look at a quotation that also discusses the role of mathematics in the universe. Theoretician physicist and cosmologist Paul Davies gives a few examples that reveal mathematical rules. He mentions, e.g., falling objects, magnets, gases and the movement and gravity of planets. These kinds of facts suggest there is a designer behind everything, meaning that God would exist:
A ball will fall four times as far in two seconds than it would in one second, nine times as far in three seconds, etc. School students will learn this law as ‘a fact of the nature’ and most likely move on without giving it a second thought. But I want to stop right here and ask why. Why does such a mathematical rule apply in the case of falling objects? Where does this rule come from? And why is the rule exactly like that and not any different?
I’ll give you another example of the physical laws: it’s the law that had a great impact on me during my school days. It’s about the way that magnets lose their pull when distanced from each other. Let’s put two magnets next to each other and measure the pulling force whilst the distance increases. We will see how the pulling force weakens proportionally to the cube of the distance; that is, if we double the distance between the magnets, the force will be weakened to one eighth, and if we triple the distance, the force will be 1/27, etc. Once again I have to ask why?
Some laws of physics carry their inventor’s name, such as the gas related Boyle’s law, which states that if the temperature of a certain gas amount is kept stable and the volume is doubled, the gas pressure decreases to half. Or Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, where one of the laws states the square of orbital period is proportional to the cube of semi-major axis of its orbit. But perhaps the most recognized of all are Newton’s laws of motion and gravitation, from which the latter is said to have been inspired by an apple that fell from a tree. According to this law the gravitational pull of the objects weakens proportionally to the square of the distance between the objects. Thus, the force that ties the Earth to the Sun and prevents it from floating away through the galaxies would weaken to one fourth if the trajectory of the Earth was two times as big as it is now. This is known as the ‘inverse square law’. (9)
Historical events. When we look at biblical events, we often see descriptions of peculiar things, such as miracles that happened through Jesus and the disciples.
What does all this have to do with the existence of God? If anything, they are an indicator towards a supernatural world and God’s existence. There are reasons to believe in the existence of God and that He can interfere with the events of this world. Miracles aren’t perfect evidence for God’s existence, as the Bible says that false prophets can also do them, but they show us that there is more than just the world we can see around us.
How should we approach this matter scientifically, in order to make sense of it? The best place to start is to investigate the reliability of the Bible. If it is truthful about secular matters, then it most likely is truthful about miracles too. These things are in connection with each other. Therefore, another reason to believe that God is real is the fact that many biblical events and information are confirmed by other sources. For example, at least 30 people from the New Testament are mentioned in other sources, thus making them historical figures and facts. In fact, the events of the Bible have been reinforced, the more information we have been able to collect through historical research and archeology.
The following comment discusses the matter. It addresses Luke’s reliability as a historian. He wrote one of the Gospels and the Acts. If he was accurate in telling secular information, then why would have he lied about miracles? Only a naturalistic bias, possessed by many researchers, will prevent people from accepting the view that there is a supernatural world and that God can interfere with the events of our world.
In a sense, this is exactly what archaeology does. If ancient historical details have been proven to be correct time and time again, we should also trust the stories of the historian in question that cannot be confirmed in the same way.
I asked for a professional opinion from McRay. – What do you think: does archaeology prove or disprove the reliability of the New Testament when archaeologists study the details included in the stories?
McRay immediately replied. – The studies make the New Testament more reliable, there is no question of that. Just like any ancient document is more reliable if archaeologists notice when proceeding with their digs that the author provided correct information about a location or event. (...)
– The consensus among both liberal and conservative scientists is that Luke was a very faithful historian, McRay replied. – He was a learned man, he was eloquent, his command of Greek was almost classical, he wrote like a well-educated man and archaeological findings have proven time and time again that Luke was very precise in his writings.
McRay added that in many cases related to the harbour stories, scientists at first thought that some of Luke's references were false, but later findings have confirmed that he wrote the information correctly. (...) One prominent archaeologist carefully studied Luke's references of 32 countries, 54 cities and nine islands without finding a single error. (10)
Intelligence demands its own explanation. Why does it occur in our universe? We can especially see it in man-made inventions and technology. Cars, planes, and other innovations prove it’s real. We live in a world where intelligence is present.
Where does it come from? According to naturalistic and atheistic theories intelligence appeared on our planet on its own. It is thought that it originates from primitive life-forms and that it may have come from a very tiny space in the Big Bang. This notion presumes that intelligence could have been born in an impersonal and senseless beginning through accidental processes. That is, non-intelligent matter has produced intellectual beings.
However, saying that impersonal and senseless matter could have generated intelligence is a poor premise for its existence. How could we rely on intelligence if it comes from rock -like lifeless matter or from a tiny space in the Big Bang? Many consider themselves to be scientific, critical and intelligent, but if our origin is impersonal and senseless, the base for our rational thinking is lost. In that case, we should doubt all our thoughts and rationality. We cannot consider them reliable. This is one of the weaknesses in atheistic theory.
Another alternative and a better excuse for the existence of intelligence is that it has always existed. It is likely that humans’ intellect is a part of that greater intelligence, which we were granted by a supernatural being that is God. We possess intelligence and personality, because God had these qualities before us. Humans were created in the image of God (Gen 1:27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.), and that explains our intelligence, personality, ability to speak and our other abilities.
Thomas Nagel: The problem is not in questioning how rational thinking can be valid when we do it, but in how are we able to do it if it is universal. We can’t find many possible answers to this question. Possibly the most popular non-subjective answer today is the evolutionary naturalism: People are capable of universal rationalization, because it follows after a more primitive way of forming beliefs, which had survival value at the time when human brains were developing. This explanation has always felt ridiculously insufficient to me - - Another well-know answer is a more religious one. The universe is something we can understand, because it and our intelligence were created for each other. (11)
Emotions indicate that a God with personality exists and that humans, especially, acquired these traits in creation. Naturalistic and atheistic theory assumes that our emotions come from lifeless, non-intelligent and impersonal matter, but that is a poor explanation. Does anyone really believe that a rock -like lifeless matter would all of a sudden begin to smile, cry, laugh, get angry, fall in love, have admiration, be afraid or display sexual desires? These things are difficult to explain from a naturalistic point of view.
The quality of being artistic and having a sense of beauty are especially related to human traits and also an indicator that a personal God exists. Why are there poetry, literature, music, art and mathematical talent? Or why do people possess a sense of beauty that makes them hang beautiful pictures on their walls or to take pictures of the nature and admire those photos? If these things are not a reflection of God’s creation, then how did we get them? These kinds of things are not easily explained from the naturalistic point of view. It is hard to imagine, how a rock or any other lifeless matter would suddenly start to feel a sense of beauty, like music and begin to write stories. A much more reasonable explanation would be that we have these traits because we were created that way, so that we could experience and do different things.
The difference between humans and animals can be seen in a multitude of ways. The more differences we see, the more difficult it is to explain them from an evolutionary stand point, which states that all life-forms derive from the same original cell.
The description provided in the Book of Genesis is a much more logical narration of how people were created to be with God and to be His image. All this suggest that He exists.
The Book of Genesis also tells us how a human has named all the animals. That too shows the difference people have compared to other things in the cosmos:
- (Gen 1:27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
- (Gen 2:19,20) And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them: and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
Language is unique to humans. Animals do not speak, write or have any grammar. Spoken language is an inherent ability of humans. There is no culture where people do not use language and grammar.
Furthermore, we can communicate even without actually speaking. Deaf children provide one illustration of this point. Such examples suggest that we are meant to be with each other, and that we are meant to be with God. Why would humans otherwise be the only species to have the ability to use language?? This is a difficult thing to explain with the theory of evolution but it can be explained by the fact that we were meant to be with God and received these skills at birth because of it.
When children grow up in an environment of deafness, the inner compulsion to communicate can be seen more clearly, because it can be done even without spoken words. If the child is deaf, and the parents use sign language, the child quickly learns to express himself in sign language too. If the parents are deaf, the child will learn just the same; and if his own hearing is intact, he will also learn to speak fluently and naturally through his contact with other people. In effect he becomes bilingual, because sign language is a true language with recognizable grammatical and syntactic4 structure, only using hand gestures and facial expressions instead of sounds. So the desire and ability to communicate via language is there, with or without actual speech ability.
A particularly striking example of this is to be seen in the experience of some deaf children in Nicaragua, reported by Peter Radetsky (18) Around 500 such children came together for the first time in schools for the deaf, established in 1980. Until that time they had had no established form of sign language. They had been living in scattered parts of the country, communicating with hearing relatives by gestures. Yet each child’s set of gestures had little in common with another’s.
But when they came together in the schools, they quickly developed a form of sign language between themselves. At first it was rudimentary, but before long it became a regular language with characteristic rules of grammar and syntax. Judy Kegl, a behavioural neuroscientist at Rutgers, described it as ‘the first documented case of the birth of a language.’ She continued, ‘Little kids about the age of three or four got exposed to that makeshift pidgin and absorbed it. And then, by virtue of their own language-generation capability, they came out with a full-fledged language.’ This sign language had no precedent. In our own culture, sign language has been handed down from one generation to another, but these children had no such background. Their language was entirely of their own making. ‘There is nothing that they could have used as a model’, says Kegl. ‘It’s clear evidence of an innate language capacity.’ (12)
Moral, which is our sense of knowing right from wrong, can be taken as an indirect reference to God and that humans were created in His image. It doesn’t directly prove His existence, but it still shows the difference between people and animals. If people originated from sheer matter, they probably wouldn’t make a distinction between different acts. Lifeless substances cannot generate moral or a sense of right and wrong. How could a rock, soil or gas influence in a way that someone would begin to regret their doings (A father who has neglected his children due to drinking and wants to make up for it), that someone would become bitter of others’ doings (“He stole from me, he lied about me, he insulted me “) or that someone would differentiate between different acts? These things must have a better reason as to why they occur, than matter alone.
What can we deduce from moral? The best premise would be that the origin of moral and ethics come from the afterlife and are based on the good nature of God. Because He is good and perfect, and because people were created in His image, it would explain the significance of moral values and norms. It is difficult to explain them from a materialistic worldview, but theism and God’s existence provide a proper beginning to account for their existence. Even many naturalists have admitted that moral values are hard to explain from a naturalistic basis, but that theism is a more likely alternative:
J.L. Mackie: If (...) there are (...) moral values, God’s existence is more likely than it would be without them. Thus there is (...) a defendable argument on morals for the existence of God. (13)
Paul Draper: “The moral world (...) is very likely, if theism is true.” (14)
Religion. Those who possess naturalistic and atheistic views of the world explain how people were developed from lower animals. They consider our connection to the rest of the nature, and that we stem from it, as self-evident. There are no distinctions being made between us humans and animals.
There is one thing, however, that separates people from animals: religion and praying (ability to speak, the greatness of our intelligence and variety of emotions are among other things that separate us). Animals don’t possess a religious consciousness, dreams of eternal life, sense of responsibility to God, and they don’t pray. How could that be if all current species descend from the same original cell? Why do only humans possess such a sense of God?
The best explanation for it would be the Bible’s teaching that God truly exists and that people specifically were made to be with God and to live forever. Prayer, which is crying for help from God, has been with us from the very beginning (Gen 4:26:… then began men to call on the name of the LORD.). The existence of prayer and religious consciousness refer to God’s existence. There is not a single nation on this earth that wouldn’t have faith in a higher power:
“There is no place on earth where the impact of religion is not known,” says Dr Waitz in his important book Antropologie der Natur Völker. Dr Taylor, in his turn, says the following in Primitive Culture: “As far as I can deduce based on the several pieces of obvious evidence, we must admit that even the lowest of races we have studied believe in spiritual beings.”
(...) Professor Tiele assures in his book Outline of Religion, “The claim that there are people or tribes without religion is based either on unsound observations or mixed concepts. Not a single peoples or tribe without belief in higher beings has been observed as of yet. (...) Thus, calling religion a universal phenomenon within the human race is justified.” Professor Müller says the same, “Surely we can say that despite all of our attempts we have not found any human beings who did not have anything that they considered religion or, to put it a little more generally, who did not believe in something apart from what they can see with their own eyes.” (15)
Changed lives. Another indication towards God’s existence is the fact that lives can change, especially when God has renewed someone through the fullness of Holy Spirit, as happened to the disciples during Pentecost. We are going to look at some great examples revolving around this topic, not from the lives of the disciples, but something that happened some hundred years ago. These examples come from the lives of D.L. Moody and T.B. Barratt, who were well-known for being men of God. Both of them received great love and changed fundamentally for decades to come, when the Holy Spirit of God entered their lives making them new.
It must be said that similar experiences to what they went through are rare, but nonetheless, they show us how the Bible’s teaching about the fullness of Holy Spirit and change can be possible. They indirectly hint to the existence of God. How else could we explain such major and long-lasting changes?
Moody: The blessing came over me like a lighting strike. I remember, how I walked the streets of New York and right there on the street the power of God seemed to come over me in such a miraculous way that I had to pray for God to hold back his hand. I was filled with the feeling of God’s goodness, and I felt as if I could have taken the whole world to my heart. (16)
Barratt: It took place yesterday, Sunday, October the 7th, between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., and now I will tell you all how it happened. My soul is burning! I feel as if I was the happiest man in the world. Everything has become new. I am full of joy, peace, and love towards God and all people! Through the days he has led me, my heart continually shouting, “Forward! Forward!” Since my difficult illness over 20 years ago, there have always been forces, good forces, which have driven me forward. The question of sanctification has been my dearest subject; I have fought for it, even though I have not experienced it. (…)
But how wretched I felt in my own eyes before the purity and holiness of God! I saw my own ambition, selfishness, stubbornness, and carnality. Oh, my God, I saw so much, so much that would grieve the Holy Spirit! I was broken and bent to the ground over and over again. (17)
Descriptions of the afterlife. Lastly, we will discuss life after death, which is something that isn’t often taken seriously. People might have adopted the so-called naturalistic worldview, which claims that there is nothing after this life and that our personalities and individuality cease to exist in death. We are merely material beings, and there are no such things as soul or spirit, which would remain after death.
Then why should we pay attention to this in association to searching evidence to support God’s existence? The reason is quite simple. That is if God is real, then it would be very likely that the afterlife – including heaven and hell – is real too. This should not be overlooked.
Here lies one of the faults in the atheistic view. None of the atheists can be one hundred percent sure that life doesn’t continue after death. It is like a leap of faith into the unknown, comparable to a dive into the deepest of waters, where one is unaware of the dangers that may lie ahead. You are taking a risk when diving into that water or going into the unknown and you don’t know what to expect.
The question is how likely we consider the possibility of an afterlife and the possibility that, e.g., wrongdoers will be held accountable for their actions. Is the likelihood of that maybe 10 %, 30% or even higher? Even if the odds were at one percent, shouldn’t we take a note of this tiny possibility, when, after all, we are dealing with our eternity?
Negative experiences while being on the verge of death, provide us a reason to take the continuation of life seriously and the possibility of hell, especially. For example, Maurice Rawlings, who has revived clinically dead people for decades, states in his two books that nearly every person in interviews has described painful and tormented experiences after having been revived back to life (The same is noted by doctor Charles Garfield Kastenbaum in his book "Is there life after death?"). He stated that often times these painful experiences quickly fade into the subconscious, but if more patients were immediately interviewed after resuscitation, there would most likely be as many people with bad experiences as there are people with good ones. He writes about one such incident in his book “Beyond death’s door” (p.12,13):
Before I collected material for this book, I personally regarded most of the after-death experiences as the product of imagination or guesswork. I believed most of the cases that I had heard or read to have been euphoric delusions, caused by a lack of oxygen. Then, one evening in 1977 I revived a terrified patient who said he was in Hell. He begged me to pull him out of Hell and prevent him from dying. When I realized how real fear he was experiencing, I was frightened as well. The patients I have run into later, who have had these kinds of experiences, have aroused in me a compelling urge to write this book. Now I am sure that there is life after death and that all conditions after death are not good.
Sometimes people have been dead for a longer period of time and then have come back to life. One such incident is described by Mel Tari in his book “Like a Mighty Wind” (p. 77-80). He tells about a man, who was dead for two days and his body had already started to rot, but he managed to come back to life, nonetheless:
When we arrived, we noticed that there were over a thousand people. The deceased had been dead for two days and had begun to smell heavily. In our tropical land, the dead start to rot six hours after death. But after two days – oh, it is almost impossible to be closer than thirty metres from the body. The smell is awful. In America, you cannot understand this because your funerals are organized so well. But they also cost you 2,000 dollars. In Indonesia we do not have the possibility to make the dead look attractive. The local dead look terrible two days after death. (…)
We went and stood around this dead man. We started to sing. (…)
Nothing happened even after the fifth song. But during the sixth song, the man started to move his toes – and the group was afraid. There is a story in Indonesia that sometimes the dead may wake up and come back to life. They will suffocate some person between the lid of their coffin and then die again. Despite of that we continued our singing. When we were singing the seventh and eighth songs, the dead brother woke up, looked around him, and smiled.
He did not suffocate anyone. He opened his mouth and said, 'Jesus has brought me back to life. Brothers and sisters, I want to tell you something. Firstly, life does not end when you die. I have been dead for two days and I have experienced it. Hell and Heaven are real. I have experienced it. The third thing that I want to tell you is that unless you find Jesus in this life, you can never get into Heaven. You will then certainly be judged to hell.’
We can also find another description of the afterlife in the book “Visions of heaven and hell” by John Bunyan, a preacher who lived in the 17th century (He also wrote the well-known piece “Pilgrim’s progress”, which is one of the most distributed books in the world.). This book tells about a lost person, who says the following:
Why was I given the chance? Why had I been equipped with an immortal soul? Why did I not care about it? Oh, how my own neglect pierces me so dreadfully and I still know that I cannot and will not die. But to live a deadly life is worse than ten thousand deaths, and I still could have been helped once but I did not want to! Oh, this is the gnawing worm that never dies. Once, I could have been happy; once I was offered salvation but I rejected it. If it had happened only once and I would have rejected it, even that would have been unforgivable foolishness, but it was offered to me a thousand times, and I resisted it as often (so lousy I was). Damn the sin, which with its deceitful enjoyment enchants mankind to eternal destruction! God called me often but I resisted Him as often. He reached out his hands but I did not care. How often did I go against His commands, how often I resisted His reprimands! But now, the situation has changed, for now He follows my accident and mocks the ruin that has come for my part. He could have helped me then, but I did not want His help. Therefore, these eternal pains are just a reward for my own deeds and I am condemned to suffer." (John Bunyan, Näkyjä taivaasta ja helvetistä [Visions of Heaven and Hell], p. 67)
What does the Bible say for those, who want to ensure their wellbeing in the afterlife and want to be forgiven for their sins? If eternity is real, how can people have the opportunity to join God’s kingdom and be forgiven for their sins?
This is where we reach the fundamentals of Christianity. That is, God has already prepared forgiveness of sin for each person through His own Son Jesus Christ. We don’t have to earn salvation through ourselves, because we can receive it as a gift, as the following passages will show us:
- (Eph 2:8,9) For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
- (Rom 3:24) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
- (Rev 21:6) And he said to me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely.
- (Rev 22:17) And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
However, salvation and grace don’t automatically come to people, because everyone needs to personally turn to God, similarly to the prodigal son in Jesus’ allegory. Let this happen in your life and take a step towards God.
- (Luke 15:17-20) And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you,
19 And am no more worthy to be called your son: make me as one of your hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
- (1 John 1:9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
You need to also put your trust in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, because only through Him are we able to be forgiven for our sins. He is the way to our heavenly God’s kingdom:
- (John 14:6) Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.
- (John 5:39,40) Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40 And you will not come to me, that you might have life.
- (Acts 16:30,31) And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.
The prayer of salvation: Lord, Jesus, I turn to You. I confess that I have sinned against You and have not lived according to Your will. However, I want to turn away from my sins and follow You with all my heart. I also believe that my sins have been forgiven through Your atonement and I have received eternal life through You. I thank You for the salvation that You have given me. Amen.
2. Heribert Nilsson: Synthetische artbildung, 1953, s. 1212 – Cit. from "Evoluutio - tieteen harha-askel?", Mikko Tuuliranta.
3. Carl Wieland: Kiviä ja luita (Stones and Bones), p. 15,16
4. Kimmo Pälikkö: Taustaa 2, kehitysopin kulisseista, p. 41,42
5. Charles Darwin: Lajien synty, p. 236,237
6. Ksenofon: Sokrates (1985, Helsinki, Otava), p. 30
7. Stillman Drake: Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo, (Douple-dayAnchor, New York, 1957), p. 70
8. James Jeans: The Mysterious Universe (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1930), p. 140
9. Paul Davies: Kultakutrin arvoitus (The Goldilocks Enigma, Why is the Universe just right for life?), p. 20, 21
10. Lee Strobel: Tapaus Kristus (The Case for Christ), p. 132-134,136
11. Thomas Nagel: The Last World. New York; Oxford University Press, p. 75
12. Kevin May: Syntynyt kommunikoimaan, Luominen-magaz
ine number 7, p. 13, http://creation.com/born-to-communicate
13. J.L.Mackie: The Miracle of Theism. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982.
14. Paul Copan: “The Moral Argument” teoksessa Paul Copan & Paul K. Moser (toim.) The Rationality of Theism. London: Routledge, 2003.
15. Arno C. Gaebelein: Kristillisyys vaiko uskonto?, p. 6,7
16. Dwight L. Moody – biography
17. Martin Ski: T.B. Barratt - Helluntaiapostoli, p. 108-110
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life
Grap to eternal life!