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Evidences of God - Modern Science

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					            “Is God Dead?”




    The Rise & Fall
          of
      Naturalism


1
    References

     Patrick Glynn, “God, The Evidence”, (1997)
     Gerald L Schroeder, “The Science of God” (1997)
     Newsweek magazine, July 27, 1998, “Science
      finds God”
     Time magazine, December 4, 1995, “Evolution’s
      Big Bang”
     Various articles from the Internet and CD-ROM
      encyclopaedias


2
    An Ancient Harmony Disrupted
     Worldviews accommodate divine agency
     Allows for natural and intelligent causes
     Harmony between science and faith

                Then came Copernicus, Kepler,
                Galileo and the clash in
                worldviews with the
                Catholic Church…

3
     Birth of Modern Science
     Copernican worldview: Man is not the centre
      of the cosmos, contrary to the Catholic
      Church’s worldview
      (Catholic’s worldview actually based on Ptolemy’s
      philosophy, not on Scriptures.)
     Faith contradicts reality
     Catholic Church eventually discredited in its
      persecution of Galileo
         Pope John Paul II apologised for this unfortunate
          event in 1992
4
    Science vs Faith
     Gradual separation of science and faith
     Eventual exclusion of divine agency, which
      cannot be seen or empirically tested
     Accepts only natural causes/explanations


     Naturalism



5
    Methodical Materialism

    If it cannot be
    empirically tested,
    it is not science




    Only natural
    explanations
6
    accepted
     A boost from Darwin
     Then came Darwin  It was not
      necessary to believe in the existence
      of God to explain the origin of life.
     Human life came about
      essentially by accident, from
      mechanistic forces working
      randomly over eons and eons
     Man - “a curious accident in a backwater”,
      a by-product of the “random universe”
7
      (Bertrand Russell, Religion and Science, 1935)
     Rise of the Secular Worldview

     Thus began decline of
      religious worldviews and
      rise of secular ones
         Age of Enlightenment

         Age of Reason

         Modernism

     Atheism
8
    Atheism Ascendant

     Science had “long before
      dissolved the Christian
      worldview in nitric acid”
      (Ludwig Feuerbach, 1850)
     J Hillis Miller echoed Nietzsche in 1963
      when he spoke of the “disappearance of God”




9
     Empty Boast
     Science was able to provide more and more
     explanations of how things worked -
     “Nothing left for a Creator to do” (Carl Sagan)




                           Just how real is this boast?
10
     From Harmony to Conflict
      Science, by definition, is based
       on naturalistic and mechanistic
       principles
      But it should be limited to the natural realm
      Whether there is Divine Agency or not is a
       premise that cannot be tested by science, as
       scientists rightly recognise – it is a matter of
       faith, and for faith
      If science is unable to prove the existence of
11     God, it has no business to deny it either
      Unsolved
     Mysteries of
       Modern
       Science


12
     Four centuries later…

     Science not any closer to important questions
     after centuries of search
      Origins of the universe
      Origins of life
      Basic questions like gravity
      Or even what is matter made up of?
     Instead, it opened up even more questions.
13
      Life by Accident?

      1953 laboratory experiment
       created amino acids by
       “random” chemical reactions
      Led George Wald, Nobel prize
       winner in biology and Harvard
       professor, to write an article in
       1954 for Scientific American
       stating that given enough time,
       life can begin by chance
14
      Wald’s Article (1954)
     “... since the origin of life belongs in the category of at-
     least-once phenomena, time is on its side. However
     improbable we regard this event, or any of the steps
     which it involves, given enough time it will almost
     certainly happen at least once ... The time with which
     we have to deal is of the order of two billion years. ...
     Time is in fact the hero of the plot. Given so much time,
     the ‘impossible’ becomes possible, the possible
     probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has
     only to wait: time itself performs the miracles”
     (Wald, G., "The Origin of Life," Scientific American, Vol. 191,
15   No. 2, August 1954, pp.47-48)
     Autobiogenesis
Wald reinforced
belief in a godless,
“random” universe

“Nothing left for God
to do”

But his basic premise
is so severely flawed

16
     Life cannot come by accident
  In 1979, Scientific American reprinted Wald’s
   article, with a retraction to deny that life can
   possible start by chance
        Very serious to retract an article by a Nobel prize
         winner in such a manner, but significance of Wald’s
         statement warrants this unusual action
  Consequence of computation by
   Harold Morowitz that time required
   for life to begin by chance would be
   more than the age of the universe!
17
  Scientific American Retraction
   “Although stimulating, this article probably
   represents one of the very few times in his
   professional life when George Wald has been
   wrong. Examine his main thesis and see. Can
   we really form a biological cell by waiting for
   chance combinations of organic compounds?
   Harold Morowitz, in his book “Energy Flow and
   Biology,” computed that merely to create a
   bacterium would require more time than the
   Universe might ever see if chance combinations
   of its molecules were the only driving force. In
18
   short, life could not have started by chance.”
     Life cannot come by accident
      Amazingly, no one wrote in to
       defend Wald’s original article!
      Since 1979, most reputable
       journals no longer accept
       articles supporting spontaneous
       generation
      More significantly, research to determine
       how life begin is currently under-supported.
     If not by chance, then what is the most
19   likely alternative?
     Stubborn Denial

     “I think a scientist has no choice
     but to approach the origin of life through a
     hypothesis of spontaneous generation. One
     only has to contemplate the magnitude of the
     task - life from non-life - to concede that
     spontaneous generation of a living organism is
     IMPOSSIBLE. Yet here we are as a result, I
     believe, of spontaneous generation.”
     (George Wald)
20
     What’s the Matter?




             http://particleadventure.org
21
     Uncertainties, Uncertainties

  You cannot be sure where things really are
   (Heisenberg’s Principle of Uncertainty)
  Is light wave energy or a solid? Is an atom a
   solid or a wave? (Wave/Particle Duality)
 So what or who controls how matter behaves?




22
     Uncertainty of Life
      Order in the universe prevails
       because of the laws of nature
          Even in chaos as seen in fractals

      But order and stability are
       susceptible to slight disturbances;
       hence, existence is precarious
          The Butterfly Effect

      There is also uncertainty in the cosmos -
23     man can never be sure of tomorrow
     A Perfect Balance
      But order and chaos is in perfect balance,
       thus preserving the existence of the universe
       - and life
      Who holds this balance so vital to the
       continued existence of this cosmos?




24
               For more on order, chaos and uncertainties
     Natural Disappointments




25
      Nagging Questions
      If spontaneous generation is false,
       then how did life come about?
      The fossil record does not support
       Darwinist theories of evolution
      Why a purely naturalistic (hence atheistic)
       cosmos should appear “designed”
     Main engines of secular, atheistic
     worldviews stalling!

26
     The Failure of Naturalism

     After 350 years of scientific          ?
     investigation and “progress”,
     modern science:
      Unable to answer numerous
       fundamental questions
       concerning the universe            Too much
      Still fail to produce satisfying   faith in
       answers concerning the origin      science!
       of life
27
     Turning Points




                     The Anthropic Principle



                          The Cambrian
                          Explosion

Intelligent Design
28
     Darwin’s Big Bang
      Dramatic step change in
       in the fossil record
       occurred at beginning
       of the Cambrian period
      Geologists as long ago
       as William Buckland
       (1784-1856) realised this
      Darwinists have for long time been stumped
       by this Cambrian explosion
29    Still no answer
     The Cambrian Explosion



                   The Theory – continuous
                   evolution over time from
                   single source




                    The Data – sudden
                    appearance all over – and
                    not from single source
30
     The Anthropic Principle
      1973 at the International Astronomical Union
      Occasion: the commemoration of the
       500th birthday of Copernicus
      In attendance:
       world’s most prominent
       astronomers and physicists
       including Stephen Hawking
      Presentation of paper by Brendan Carter, a
       well-known astrophysicist and cosmologist
31     from Cambridge University
     The Anthropic Principle
     Paper: “Large Number Coincidences and the
     Anthropic Principle in Cosmology”
      Mysterious finely tuned fundamental
       constants
      Relationships among unrelated areas
      Unexplained “coincidences” favouring
       creation of universe, life – and
       man (hence, the term “anthropic”)

32
     Evidence of “design”?
     Intelligent Design

      Presents a scientific approach to support the
       old teleological argument
      ID movement took off in late 1980’s
      Basic Premise: If there is “Intelligent Design”
       in this cosmos, then it is scientifically
       detectable.
      If there is Intelligent Design, then there is an
       Intelligent Designer – but stops short of
       identifying who this is
33
     ID Criteria

  Irreducibly Complex
     “A single system which is composed of several
     well-matched interacting parts that contribute
     to the basic function, wherein the removal of
     any one of the parts causes the system to
     effectively cease functioning.” [Michael Behe]
  Specified Complexity
     Anything with a less than 1 in 10150 chance of
     occurring. [William Dembski]
34
     The ID Filter
                                 A testable method –
              Start              hence “scientific”
                         No
           Contingent?        Necessity

                 Yes

                         No
           Complex?           Chance

                 Yes

                         No
           Specified?         Constrained Chance

                 Yes

35
       Intelligent Design
                   Converted




      Antony Flew – one of world’s
       leading philosophers, and one of the most
       renowned atheists of the past half century
      Abandoned naturalism, and atheism, as a
       result of Intelligent Design
      Twilight of Atheism
36
     The “Scientific” Reactions




37
     Paradigms

      “Science starts, not from
       large assumptions, but from
       particular facts discovered by
       observation or experiment.”
       (Bertrand Russell, Religion and Science, 1935)
      But science not always objective
       Normal science or the work of reason is
       always guided by some larger insight or belief
       - what Thomas Kuhn called a “paradigm”
38
     Paradigms
  Scientific research and thought defined by
   “paradigms” or conceptual worldviews -
   (Thomas Kuhn, Structure of Scientific Revolutions,
     1962)
  Paradigms influence
        the experiments conducted
        types of questions asked
        the problems that are considered important

39
      a priori prejudices
     Paradigm Shifts

      Need radical change in
       fundamental concepts, i.e.
       discarding of old paradigms,
       to trigger new approach to research,
       new theories and experimentation,
       search for new evidences
      Hence, Kuhn’s observed that advances in
       science not made through gradual progress
       but by revolutionary change
40
  “Scientific” Disenchantment
  Optimism in last decade of finding solutions
   now being replaced by pessimism
  “As we make progress understanding the
   expanding universe the problem itself
   expands, so that the solution always seems
   to recede from us.” (Steven Weinberg,
   1977 Nobel Prize winner in Physics, 1997)
    The more the universe has become
     comprehensible through cosmology, the
41
     more it becomes pointless (Weinberg)
     Denial a first reaction
  When confronted with anomalous evidence
   that fails to fit the prevailing “paradigm”,
   scientists deny the evidence
   or explain it away
  Examples
        Newtonian mechanics displaced by
         Einstein’s theory of relativity
        Einstein’s own struggle to reconcile his discovery
         of relativity with quantum mechanics
         (resolved only in the 1980’s, long after his death)
42
     Resistance to change
      Hence many scientists still reject
       the Anthropic Principle or
       Intelligent Design
      Many still cling on to
       spontaneous generation of life
      Many still insist that the
       theologians are wrong
      Anything but acknowledge God -
       the resistance to paradigm shift!
43
     A return to old hypothesis
Attempts to deny the “Big Bang”
(coined in 1948 by George Gamow)
 “So long as the universe has a
  beginning, we could suppose
  it had a Creator.”
  (Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time)
 Hence, Hawking invented his controversial “no
  boundary” theory (1981) suggesting the
  universe has no beginning
         Even if theory finds support, it still does not explain
44        why the physical laws behave as they are
     From Modern Science to Sci-Fi
      Search for a unified theory, a “theory of
       everything” to explain the physical constants
      Counter-hypotheses to retain the atheistic
       paradigm
          All speculative, unobservable, therefore
           unverifiable by scientific methods
      For many scientists, science fiction
       hypotheses preferable to
       supernatural design
45
      “Science Fiction” Reaction

      There exist billions of parallel universes
       - all godless and random
          Hence the “coincidences” to produce life
           in at least one of these, are not so unlikely
      Also “baby universes” (size = 10-25 cm)
       and “bubble universes”
      Above based on quantum mechanics
      One definition is that these other universes
       cannot be observed
46
     More Science Fiction
 The Gaia (gila?) Theory (James Lovelock, 1990)
  Earth is in reality a single
   living organism (a gaia)
   within the galaxy, also a
   living organism, and so is
   the universe
  Purpose of the universe is
   to produce other universes
   (baby universes) via
   black holes
47
     Science or Blind Faith?
      None of these can be observed to be
       verified scientifically!
      Why are theories like the “multi-verse”
       science, but not “Intelligent Design”?
      Who defines what is or isn’t “science”?
      Is this science or blind faith?


     Goal is to keep alive the concept of
48   a cosmology without the divine
     Science or Blind Faith?
     Scientific dogmas blind to reality
          Scientific Dogma                     Reality
      Matter is eternal         Matter has a beginning

      Matter and laws evolved   Matter and laws constant – no new
                                laws

      Trend toward order        Trend toward disorder – second law
                                of thermodynamics

      Spontaneous generation    Law of biogenesis

                                Laws of Probability state this is
                                impossible

      Continual creation and    Conservation – first law of
      evolution                 thermodynamics
49
     Science or Blind Faith?

         Scientific Dogma                        Reality
     World history has progressed World catastrophe in the great flood
     in uniformity

     Organs evolved gradually      Organ always full developed –
                                   natural selection culls

     Mutations can improve         Mutations always harmful

     Civilisation grew gradually   Archaeology and anthropology show
                                   civilisation appeared suddenly

     Man is an animal              Huge gap between man and animals

     Naturalism                    Design is manifest – life complex and
                                   highly ordered

50
     The Emptiness of
        Naturalism




51
  Mechanistic & Impersonal

    Not interested in “final cause” -
     the goal, the purpose
    Emphasis is on “efficient cause”,
     i.e. the mechanism - how things
     work, how things came about
    Also assumes randomness, and hence denied
     the existence of “first cause”
    Takes humanity toward a mechanistic,
     impersonal and random view of the cosmos
52
     - devoid of the spiritual, the soul, of God
     Naturalism & Nihilism
     Hence
      Reject concept of God as
       “first cause”  lost roots
      Lack final purpose
        aimless, without purpose -
       what is the point?
      Nihilism, a belief in nothing

     Nothingness cannot produce any
53
     meaningful answers to life?
     Naturalism & Nihilism
  In neglecting the “final cause”, modern
   science has nowhere to go, no purpose -
   condemned to wander endlessly in the
   knowledge wilderness
  In rejecting the theistic paradigm,
   the quest for answers to timeless
   questions concerning life is hopeless
   because there is no other answer!


54
     Reduced to nothing

     “You, your joys and your sorrows, your
     memories and your ambitions, your sense of
     personal identity and free will, are in fact no
     more that the behaviour of a vast assembly of
     nerve cells and their associated molecules.”
     (Francis Crick, The Astonishing Hypothesis, page 3)



55
 “Science-sibility”
  The more objective ones would join John
   Wheeler, once the most prominent proponent
   of the parallel universes hypothesis, to
   abandon a “sci-fi” approach because it turns
   “science into a kind of mysticism”
    Newsweek (July 27, 1998) reported of an
     astronomer Allan Sandage who at 50, willed
     himself to accept God” after reason alone
     failed to provide answers: “It is only through
     the supernatural that I can understand the
56   mystery of existence.”
  “Science-sibility”
 “In this 20th century age of
 skepticism it is indeed ironic to
 discover that more evidence has
 accumulated for the existence of
 a transcendent Creator in this
 century than any time in the last 1,900 years.”
 “This evidence is so powerful that numerous
 prominent scientists have begun to speak openly
 about the existence of God.”
   (Mark Eastman & Chuck Missler, “The Creation
57
   beyond Time and Space”, 1996)
     A New Breed of Scientists
     Scientists who recognise the existence of God
      Charles Townes (1964 Physics Nobel prize winner)
      John Polkinghorne (physicist turned priest)
      Fred Hoyle (astronomer)
      Paul Davies (physicist)
      Arthur Peacocke
      Robert John Russell

58
     A New Breed of Scientists

      According to a 1997 study, 40% of
       scientists now believe in a personal God
      Some are actively informing the world that
       the post-secular age has arrived.




59
     A New Breed of Scientists



      A fellowship of Christians in science
      Share a common fidelity to the word of God
      Committed to integrity in the practice of
       science
     “The issue is not evolution versus creation.
     The issue is design versus accident.”
60   (Owen Gingerich, A.S.A.)
     Where to find the Answers

     “Why?” (the purpose) is a far more important
     question than “How?” (the mechanics)
     The important answers have always been there
     – “first cause”, “final cause”, purpose



                             Revelation & Reason

61

				
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