This article describes evidence for what appears to be physical design on Earth, in the universe, and in the basic laws of nature. Some have used the examples of design as arguments for the God of religion as the intelligent designer; others have explained the design naturalistically. Some pros and cons of the arguments will be outlined along with cautions in using the arguments.
Because the creation of God bears undeniable evidence of its Author, there are things in nature that may reflect – even though in a very pale way – some of the characteristics of the nature of God. What follows are two analogies from physics that can serve as illustrations for aspects of the Divinity.
Quantum mechanics deals with particles and events at infinitesimally small scales, such as the smallest particle of mass or light energy. Observed events at these tiny scales often follow regularities completely foreign to common experience and results may be contrary to what is regarded as common sense. Published in Origins v. 18, n. 1.
Historians of science have suggested that the Judea-Christian environment of western Europe and the belief in a monotheistic God were responsible for the development of modem science in that culture. Today students can still see that Christianity and physics are compatible and that similar assumptions underlie both.
In this discussion I propose to present a scientific and a biblical model of origins and explore how these can be brought into harmony with each other. I also hope to show that the differences between the statements made by these two disciplines are largely a result of differing interpretations based on different paradigms.
Engineers have the distinguished legacy of following in their Creator's footsteps, thinking God's creative and analytical thoughts after Him. Should we not spend some time reflecting on the Master Engineer as we train engineers to work responsibly in this world?
The concept of a monotheistic God, who is the same yesterday, today and forever, not a plurality of capricious gods, suggested the universality, consistency and coherence of His creation. Among the contingently created beings were humans created in God's own image. This led to "the idea that we lesser rational beings might, by virtue of that Godlike rationality, be able to decipher the laws of nature."
This paper suggests that from its beginning, science has been one of those factors informing the Christian understanding of human and Divine causality. We conclude that the new physics suggests a wide-open universe in which the interaction of a Creator-Sustainer god can be postulated with far less confrontation with rational and scientific views of the natural order than was the case with the older Newtonian worldview.
Modern cosmology, represented by the Big Bang theory, may have its virtues in explaining numerous aspects of the physical, inanimate universe, but that it is a poor model when it comes to explaining everything, and that it leaves too many of our questions unanswered.
In all this, the overriding importance of a correct paradigm is clear. The conclusions scientists draw from their observations of nature change radically when a different paradigm is used. God does make a difference to the Universe! This is no surprise, because He is not only the Creator, but also the Sustainer.
The way in which God interacts with the world, or divine action, has long been a matter of discussion for theists in the philosophy of science, and continues to remain a complex and controversial topic. In recent decades, this question has taken on additional complexity with advances in contemporary physics, namely quantum physics, which posits a random or probabilistic world in contradistinction to the apparently completely deterministic natural world of Isaac Newton.
As science develops more complete naturalistic explanations to describe the universe, it may appear that there is less room for God in the picture. And if science ever discovers a “complete” theory, it could be presumed that it would describe a universe without God. I am confident, however, that this conclusion is neither necessary nor valid. Drawing upon examples from physics, my purpose is to show that in developing a more complete picture of the universe, scientists are led to greater evidences for God and His design.
Science is most powerful when its limitations in understanding the complexity of nature are recognized. Newtonian physics has been a powerful tool for understanding nature for hundreds of years and is still an essential part of any physics class, but it has its limitations in understanding complex systems, so more is needed.
A review of the book, Dreams of a Final Theory. Attempts to explain all of creation from a naturalistic perspective have limited success. Published in Origins v. 22, n. 1.
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Michael Denton. 2018. Discovery Institute. ISBN-13: 978-1936599592
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