Author Eric Metaxas recently wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal announcing that science increasingly makes the case for God. He argues that the odds of life existing on another planet keep growing slimmer, and I agree. But no matter how true and compelling an argument he makes, evolutionists and atheists aren’t about to concede ground.
I thought it was interesting that his article began with the 1966 Time Magazine cover story asking, “Is God Dead?” Even then some believed God wasn’t needed in order to explain the universe, making him obsolete. Not much has changed since then, despite the fact that science provides overwhelming evidence for the existence of God. Back in March of last year the movie, “God’s Not Dead” was released in theaters, supporting Metaxas’ premise, but resistance from his opponents remains strong.
Metaxas argues that the search for extraterrestrials has completely failed- despite all the grand predictions, and that the odds of any planet sustaining life are so amazingly improbable that it’s fair to conclude that we’re not the result of purely random, natural forces; rather, it’s more likely that an intelligent creator, i.e. God, is responsible for life on earth, and such a statement of belief requires far less faith than believing life defied the insurmountable odds for no apparent reason.
Metaxas explains that, over time, our knowledge of the universe has increased, and now scientists understand there are far more factors necessary for life to exist on any given planet than were once believed back in the 1960’s. These factors (or parameters) have grown from just two, to over 200 today, and that has effectively reduced the odds of any planet supporting life- including earth- to zero. That means we shouldn’t be here to ponder our existence- unless we were created by an intelligent being on purpose.
One parameter that Metaxas mentions is the necessity for any given planet to have another planet- one like that of Jupiter- with enough gravitational mass to draw away asteroids. But Metaxas doesn’t stop there; he goes on to argue that the existence of the universe is far more improbable. If any one of the four known fundamental forces (gravity, electromagnetic force, strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force) were altered at the very moment of the “Big Bang”, then no stars could have formed. Therefore he concludes that the odds of this happening by random chance defy common sense.
Metaxas even produces several evolutionists who have acknowledged these staggering odds, such as Fred Hoyle and Paul Davies. Hoyle claimed that his atheism was “greatly shaken”, and that a “super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics”, while Davies said that “the more we get to know about our universe, the more the hypothesis that there is a Creator… gains in credibility as the best explanation of why we are here.”
Despite the implications of the fine-tuning argument employed by Metaxas, many evolutionists flatly reject the idea that God could exist, or have even played a role in the existence of the universe and life on earth. For them, God is not an option; rather he’s an unthinkable excuse demonstrating one’s failure to understand science.
However, those who reject the fine-tuning argument can’t produce any scientific evidence to refute these claims; instead they typically resort to meaningless rhetoric, insults, and name-calling. After scanning the viewer comments at the end of the article, Metaxas and those who agree with him are called simple-minded flacks, bozos, hacks for the religious right, religious freaks, and pathetic idiots who aren’t that smart. They claim that we have such hubris to think that we can figure out the universe out on our own, and that we have to invent solutions for what we can’t comprehend. Of course none of the name calling detracts from the points made in the article; instead it demonstrates that opponents can’t compete in the arena of ideas and aren’t able to refute any of the claims with actual science.
Others opposed to the fine-tuning argument simply claim that the odds are meaningless- no matter how unlikely- and that we must have overcome the odds in order for us to be here to ponder these questions. They claim that it’s the physicists who propose these parameters who could be wrong, and that it’s impossible to accurately estimate the number of planets with life, or how many are capable of sustaining life, and that the parameters are just speculations. They say we’ll need another 1,000 years before we can answer any of these questions, and that just because something is improbable, doesn’t mean it won’t happen. They also point out that some life on earth exists in extreme environments.
But I think it’s apparent the evidence not only demonstrates that the existence of God is highly likely, but that it’s the best explanation of the data. All science needs to do is demonstrate that God is a reasonable conclusion- and the fine-tuning argument does that rather well. Metaxas is suggesting that our existence was never subject to the impossible odds assumed by secular scientists.
The fine-tuning argument isn’t anything new; it’s been around at least since chemist Lawrence Joseph Henderson wrote about it in his book, “The Fitness of the Environment” back in 1913. Creationists and intelligent design proponents have advocated it for a number of decades now, and Metaxas is adding his opinion to the work that has already been done.
I think the best evolutionists can do to counter the fine-tuning argument is resort to a belief in multiverses- the idea that there’s an infinite number of universes that exist, and that we just happen to live in the one that broke the odds. Of course this is a completely hypothetical construct that must be accepted by faith rather than science, facts or logic. And if there are no other universes, then the secular rebuttal collapses.
Like Metaxas, I believe it’s much more logical to believe that God created the heavens and the earth, just as the Bible says. Science has been acknowledging the existence of God for centuries, and it’s great to see a popular magazine like the Wall Street Journal publish an article making this case.