Friday, March 23, 2007
The Existence of God
Three Key Ideas 3/23/07
There are three ideas that lead me to believe in the Prime Mover, the Great Architect, the Intelligent Designer, or, in other words, God. The first idea is that of the origin and existence of the Universe itself. Why the Universe? Why do Man and Life exist in this Universe? How, and especially, why did all of this come about? What is the purpose of it all?
There are at least four choices for man:
1) To ignore these questions as being senseless and unknowable;
2) To seek answers to the origins of our cosmos through the sciences of physics, chemistry, astronomy, and mathematics, among others, with an objective mind, and, most likely, an atheistic heart;
3) To ascribe the origins and welfare of the Universe, and all in it, to God, and be done with mind-boggling, futile intellectual exercises; or,
4) To hedge one’s bets by believing in God, but really waiting around for someone, perhaps God Himself, to verify or deny the proposition by means of a well-demonstrated miracle or two.
I believe that we all have gone through one or more of these choices at one time or another, and finally settled down on a position to live with. The questions still lie there mocking us, however. Can it be otherwise than God the Creator?
The second idea is the concept of information-passing by each of the original elements of the Big Bang to their successors and to the ever heavier elements. By definition, the information passed must have included the laws of physics and chemistry, the things, relationships, and characteristics we observe in the Universe today, and a program to cause the evolutions observed.
There is in this concept the idea of the First Cause, the deterministic act that began the chain of events with the beginning of time and an indescribably vast information, matter, gravity, and energy release into a space for it all, which has resulted eventually, by way of the initial program, in the Universe as we know it.
What a glorious concept, quite worthy of an all-knowing God! Why, He might also diddle with the program from time to time to suit His purposes!
The third idea in this trilogy of God-directed concepts is that of information-passing by intelligent genes. Speciation is a poorly explained concept, especially by Darwinian evolution, however one wishes to “punctuate” it! Were the gene data and procedures to be passed along from the beginning, most likely embedded in the total information package matter was given, we have a theory of Life which is inherent in the elements in space, and which has the capability for re-replication as needed when conditions are correct.
The theory would require that certain physical conditions existed in the environment before life, especially intelligent life, would be triggered and genes would do their thing. It has been observed that there are some 21 very precise physical conditions in the Solar System and on earth that support our kind of life, and that if any one of them were to be changed even slightly, would either prevent our evolution or be our end. Are these the triggers of life? Does this not imply that there is a dominant but perhaps locally weak Universal determinism?
These three ideas--the existence of the Universe, Man and Life, matter as a carrier of the information of how the Universe would be formed and evolved, including the forming of intelligent life under the right conditions--lead me to believe in the existence of God.
How this plays with our Free Will may be simply God’s dispensation to give Man sufficient “elbow room,” which was built into us by God from the beginning. This elbow room allows Man to make most decisions on his own, despite the largely determined progression of the Universe around him.
That we are born with certain knowledge and instinctive behavior, and are not a tabula rasa as some believe, supports the idea of information-passing to the newborn at conception.
Physics and cosmology have seemingly reached a boundary where their theories, while beautiful and comprehensive, are not testable, and appear to me to be crashing against the limits of Man’s ability to verify them.
But then I cannot follow adequately the in-depth arguments of quantum theory, string theory, or the general theory of relativity. I can glean a basic understanding of the new developments in cosmology, but my mathematical skills have long ago atrophied, my inertia is now too great to overcome, and applying midnight oil to the problem no longer works as it did. Perhaps I am simply lazy now, I don’t know. My mind has led me this far, so it is leap of faith time, if I am to make any progress.
God exists for me, because any other answer is ridiculous to contemplate.
....and God said, “let there be light,” and there was light, and it was good.