Ask Pastor Alex, Ep. 22
This is the Ask Pastor Alex podcast with your host, Pastor Alex.All right, welcome back to the podcast, everyone. We’re here with another episode and another question. And we’re going in for a longer episode this week because the question for this week is, does science point us to God? And that’s a really fun question. We had one of those questions, one like that, actually recently. And that question was, has science disproven God? Which was also really fun. So if you haven’t had a chance to check that out yet, you can go and find that on the podcast page. But the question is, does science actually point us to God? And the answer to that question is yes, science does point us to God. And It actually does so in a number of different ways. But the one that we’re going to be talking about in this episode goes by different names. Sometimes you’ll hear it referred to as theanthropic principle. Other times you’ll hear this referred to as the teleological argument for God. And both of those are essentially referring to the exact same thing, that our universe seems to be specifically tailor-made and designed for us. Anthropic comes from the Greek word for man, which is anthropos. And teleological also comes from the Greek Word telos, which refers to something’s end or purpose or design. So these are just saying that our world seems to have been designed for us. Now I know that if a non-Christian hears me say that, they’re going to quickly dismiss me thinking, well of course you would think that. You’re a Christian, so you believe that God created everything and that God designed everything. And I do believe that. But non-Christian scientists also recognize the fine tuning of our universe. On a regio quote from the late Stephen Hawking, an atheist, physicist,and professor. And this is what he said, our universe and its lulls appear to have a design that is both tailor-made to support us and, if we are to exist, leaves little room for alteration. That is not easily explained and raises the natural question of why it is that way. The discovery, relatively recently, of the extreme fine tuning of so many of the laws of nature could lead at least some of us back to the old idea that this grand design is the work of some grand designer. And he of course is right. So let’s get into some of these examples of the extreme fine tuning of our universe and see how science points us to God. Our first example is that of hydrogen. Right? So if the strong nuclear force were only slightly more powerful, then there would be no hydrogen, an essential element of life.And if it was only slightly weaker, then hydrogen would be the only element in existence. Not Only that, but we have the example of the electromagnetic force. If the electromagneticforce were slightly stronger or weaker, atomic bonds and complex molecules could not form.But we have plenty of other examples too. You have the example of the strength of gravity.Physicists say that if the strength of gravity were different by just one part in 10 to the 60th power, there could be no stars and galaxies. A tiny bit stronger and all the matter wouldhave collapsed back in on itself. A tiny bit weaker and the matter would have spread out too quickly for anything like galaxies or stars to be able to form. Of course we need those things if we’re to have planets and specifically planets that we would live on.I mean we could even get down to the atoms themselves. Right? So every atom, you’ll remember this from science class hopefully, every atom has a nucleus of protons and neutrons anda cloud of electrons swirling around it. When an atom binds with another atom to make a molecule, the charged protons and electrons interact to hold them together. Now here’s the important bit. The mass of a proton is nearly 2000 times the mass of an electron.But if this ratio changed by only a small amount, the stability of many common chemicals would be compromised. In the end, this would prevent the formation of many molecules, listen,including DNA, the building blocks of life. So if this proton to electron mass ratio was different by even the slightest bit, we could not have DNA. We can even look at many examples from our own earth, which is amazing. Earth’s magnetic field, for instance. If it were any weaker, our planet would be devastated by cosmic radiation. And if it were any stronger,we would be devastated by severe electromagnetic storms. Then there’s also the tilt of the earth. You all know from looking at a globe or things like that, that the earth is tilted.And the axial tilt of the earth ensures not only an optimal temperature, but that the temperature will be normalized over the surface of the planet. If the rotational period of the earth were any longer, the difference in temperature between night and day would be too drastic. And if it were any shorter, atmospheric wind would be too fast. And the there’s something we really don’t think about too much, which is the earth’s shininess or albedo. If the earth reflected too much sunlight, the surface temperature would cool and extensive glaciers would form. If it retained too much sunlight, the atmosphere would fall into a greenhouse effect. So the earth is the perfect level of shininess. And then you can even look at the earth’s gravity. If the earth’s gravity were any stronger, the atmosphere would retain too much ammonia and methane. If any weaker, it would lose too much water. And then we can move even beyond our own earth and look to the solar system.If our sun were redder or bluer, plants would not be able to use sunlight for photosynthesis,which is essential. The sun’s magnetic field is perfectly aligned to protect us from cosmic rays, yet not generate too high of an X-ray flux. You can even think about the position and sizes of the gas giant planets that are in our solar system. They are imperative that they have to be where they currently are. If they were closer or larger, they would catastrophically affect earth’s orbit around the sun. If they were smaller or farther away,they wouldn’t cause as many comets and asteroids to detour away from the interior of the solar system. In fact, you can do some research on this and just see how many comets and asteroids that Jupiter in particular takes that if it didn’t get hit by those, those comets and asteroids would actually hit the earth. It’s actually pretty amazing when you start todo the research and see all these comets that would be hitting us, but because of Jupiter’s huge gravitational pull, they hit Jupiter instead. So we should all be wearing t-shirts that say, thank God for Jupiter. So these are just a few, but in my opinion, pretty compelling examples of the fine tuning of our universe. And you can research all the examples I’ve listed here. You can even research more examples for yourself because there area ton of them. But at the end of the day, we have to go another step further and we have to ask, well, why is our universe so finely tuned? That’s the question that everybody has to deal with. When you realize that our earth, our universe is finely tuned, you have to ask, why is it like that? And this is a huge problem for atheist scientists because every atheist scientist understands the problem of the fine tuning of the universe. That’s why, like I read before from, from Dr. Stephen Hawking, he said that it appears that our universe has been tailor made for us. And he even acknowledged that he can understand why it would send many people back to God. It’s why the atheist scientist Richard Dawkins has conceded that our universe is fine tuned, but dismisses it as saying it merely appears to be designed. He says, it’s not actually designed. It just has the appearance of design.So please understand what I’m saying here. No one, whether Christian or scientists or atheists or anything in between, is denying the reality that our universe is incredibly fine tuned. The question is, why is it like that? And there really are only three possibilities.The first possibility that many atheists went with for a long time was the answer that our universe is this way because of chance or accident or evolution. This is just what we got through the evolutionary process. But blind, unguided accidents like occur within the theory of evolution cannot explain the high levels of fine tuning that we have today.Even atheist scientists today recognize the complete improbability of this level of fine tuning happening by chance. The odds are actually incalculable, making it impossible, which is why many scientists have abandoned the idea that our universe ended up this way due to chance. And so they’ve moved on to their next theory and it has become the favorite theory and it’s become a mainline idea within the scientific community today. And that’s the idea of the multiverse. That’s right. The multiverse is not just for Marvel movies.It has actually become a mainline scientific theory. In fact, it’s really interesting.If you do research on the formation of the multiverse hypothesis, one of the main reasons for its proposal is due to the fine tuning of our universe. Scientists can’t explain it by chance and they don’t want to mention God. So they propose a multiverse because there’s the key. If there are an infinite number of possible universes, then one of those universe will have all of the finely tuned attributes that ours has, which allows for life to be possible. So that is now their favorite explanation. They say, okay, we can’t explain it by chance.We don’t want to invoke God. So what if there is a multiverse in which an infinite number of possibilities, actually every single possibility that could exist does exist. That would explain how we have a universe that has all the things we need for life to be possible. And the multiverse actually solves a number of problems for scientists. It helps explain how our universe even began to exist, which we covered in an earlier episode of the podcast, which if you’ll remember,scientists have absolutely no explanation for. And the multiverse also helps to explain the high levels of fine tuning that exist within our own universe. And so I don’t want me to overlook this or miss what I’m saying here. I’m literally telling you that one of the main reasons we are hearing scientists talk about a multiverse today is to avoid having to admit that without a multiverse, God is the best explanation of our universe.And I’m personally amazed that the multiverse is even a legitimate theory today considering the fact that it is so unscientific. I mean, for instance, there’s literally no way totest the multiverse theory, which if I remember correctly from science class, being able to test something is key to the scientific process. You come up with a hypothesis, you’re able to test that hypothesis and then you need to be able to recreate it and reproduce the results. If you can’t do those things, you have no legitimate theory. And the whole multiverse theory, it can be theorized, but it cannot be tested in any way. You see, it’s actually kind of funny and ironic because scientists used to accuse Christians and they still accuse Christians of this thing called God of the gaps. And maybe you’ve heard of it. Basically,it was anytime science couldn’t come up with an answer for something, Christians would say, well, God is the answer. You know, why is there something rather than nothing? Science Can’t answer that. And so we say, well, God, God created everything. In the beginning,God created the heavens and the earth. Science looks at our fine tuned universe and they say, well, we can’t explain it. And we say, oh, we can, God. And so they would just say,well, you just put God any place where we haven’t found a scientific theory to explain this thing that we’re looking at. It’s a God of the gaps. And what’s really funny and again,ironic, is that they’re falling into the same problem now with the multiverse. It’s a multiverse of the gaps. Anytime science now can’t explain anything, they just explain it away with the multiverse, even though there’s absolutely no way to explain or explore such a theory.So how do we have something rather than nothing? The multiverse. How do we have a universe that’s so finely tuned? A multiverse. Anytime they can’t explain something and they don’t want to invoke God, they just explain it away with the multiverse. But I did say there were three possibilities. You have chance, you have multiverse, and then the final explanation for fine tuning, which I do think is the best explanation, is God. God is the best explanation for why our universe is so finely tuned that it cannot be altered even slightly and still allow for life as we know it to be possible. When you see such a design, how can you not conclude a designer? I mean, for instance, if you were walking in a jungle next to a stream and you notice that in the stream, rocks were placed in such a way that they redirected the water flow to an eddy off to the side. And you looked and you saw fish trapped in that eddy. And then you looked further and you noticed that at the bottom of that eddy, there were some tree prawns woven in such a way that they could be picked up to collect fish. Now that would be amazing. If you’re just walking in the jungle and you saw such a thing, that would be amazing. But you would never stop and say, this is amazing.I can’t believe these rocks just happened to be placed in such a way that they send fish directly to that eddy and that some tree prawns just happened to be woven in such away and placed in such a way that anyone can capture fish anytime they need them. What An amazing coincidence. What an amazing accident. No one would ever say that. If you were walking in that jungle and you saw that in that stream, you would immediately recognize that such designs require a designer. You would know immediately that someone had specifically designed this fish trap so that they could collect fish from the stream. In the same way when you look at our universe and its intricate design, the only legitimate solutionis that it had a designer. All designs have a designer. And God is the best explanation of the very evident design of our universe. So yes, science does point us to God in many ways. And one of the best ways it does point us to God is in its incredible design andthe fact that it is so finely tuned that nothing can really be altered at all. So I encourage you go and research this for yourself. You can look up the anthropic principle, the teleological argument for God, or even the fine tuning of the universe. And you will be amazed at how finely tuned our universe is and how it points us to God. Also, I just want you to remember that God created science, so science will never disprove God. Instead, it actually points us to God. So thank you for the question. I really appreciate that question. It’s always fun getting to talk about science and God, and I look forward to answering more in the future.