Christians are often scolded with the argument that it is Christianity which has declared war on secular science, specifically Biblicists who narrowly adhere to a literal 6-day Creation account; not science that has declared war on Christianity. Based on the tenor of the remarks that I’ve quoted, it would appear that argument is utterly false. For those who hold to a Biblical view of origins most of the scientific community has nothing but condescension and scorn.
Why is there such a sharp divide between modern science and Biblical Christianity? I believe the answer is contained in one sentence: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” This may well be the most controversial sentence in the entire Bible! From the very first verse of sacred scripture emerge three key words that affirm the difference between Biblical Christianity and nearly all other belief systems, including naturalism.
The Bible asserts that the world, man, history, indeed time itself has a beginning point. This is also the beginning point of the controversy between modern science and the Biblical view of origins, but it isn’t just “modern” thinkers who have taken an alternate view of the world’s genesis. Ancient philosophers and even more recent ones such as the 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (Who is famous or infamous, depending on your viewpoint, for declaring that “God is dead.”) held to the myth of eternal recurrence. This idea argues that the universe has no starting point; instead, the universe and everything in it is eternal, and everything goes round and round without an end or beginning.
This drudging up of an ancient and mostly discarded theory has not taken root in modern science. The predominant cosmological model of the universe’s origin is the Big Bang theory. Listen to the following statement, made by a scientist upon the launching of the Hubble telescope in 1990: “Fifteen to eighteen billion years ago the universe exploded into being.”
Like the first sentence of sacred scripture declares the Biblical view of origins, this sentence announces the naturalist’s view, and it, like Genesis 1:1, contains three key words: exploded, into, and being. Now, I am not a physicist or a cosmologist, but I don’t have to be to understand that is a nonsensical statement. You see, to say that “the universe experienced a massive explosion” is logical and rational; however, to suggest that the universe exploded into being is completely illogical and irrational. This learned and educated man was suggesting, indeed as all naturalists must, that the universe exploded from non-being into being. If the universe did not exist before the explosion, what was it that exploded?
What exploded? The model suggests that all energy and matter previous to the explosion had been condensed into one tiny little point of singularity. At some point, and for some reason, that infinitesimal point of singularity exploded, and the results of that explosion are still reverberating throughout outer space.
Now this raises a whole host of questions. From where did all of this matter and energy originate? Why did it all condense into that infinitesimal point of singularity? What started it all? Newton’s first law of motion states that an object at rest tends to remain at rest unless acted upon by an external force, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.
There has to be an outside force for anything to change, move, or come into existence. What is the force that scientists ascribe as the cause for the Big Bang and therefore the cause for all existence? The answer is chance. Chance becomes the great innovator and initiator of the universe.
Dear reader, I ask you: What are the chances that anything can happen by chance? The answer is: not a chance! Chance is a perfectly good term if used when speaking about mathematical probabilities. If I flip a coin, the chances of it coming up heads are 50-50, but chance cannot determine the outcome of the flip. There are many variables that cause the coin to come up either heads or tails, but chance is not one of them. Chance has no influence on the result. Chance cannot do anything because chance is nothing. For something to act it must first be. Chance has no being; it is no thing. To say that the universe was created by chance is to say the universe was created by nothing.
What modern scientists describe as the causal force behind the creation of the universe is the same thing that my boys cite when they try to wiggle their way out of trouble.
“Boys, what was that loud crash?”
“It was nothing, Dad!”
For both scientists and my boys the argument doesn’t stand to reason.
Chance gets a big assist from time in the evolutionistic view of beginning. In his book Not a Chance RC Sproul quotes Nobel laureate George Wald as saying,
Time is the hero of the plot. What we regard as impossible on the basis of human experience is meaningless here. 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 miracle.
Which is funny, because if you speak of Jesus doing miracles you become the object of derisive laughter, but substitute Jesus’ name with time and you may be a Nobel prize winner in physiology.
What is time? How much does it weigh? What are its dimensions? Like chance, time is not a thing, but the accepted and virtually unquestioned scientific claim of the universe’s origin is space + time + chance = everything. This amounts to nothing + nothing + nothing = everything.
Theologian RC Sproul recounts receiving a letter from a scientist who had read his book Not a Chance, and the scientist complained about Sproul’s critique of nothing. He informed Sproul that, “Science has now been able to isolate and identify five distinct types of nothing.” Sproul said he wanted to ask the scientist, “What is it about type 1 of nothing that is different from type 2 in the taxonomy of nothingness? What is it that number 2 has that number 1 lacks?” The answer would have to be…nothing! It would have been one thing to say, “We have five different definitions of nothingness, but to soberly suggest that there are five kinds of nothing illustrates the great lengths to which modern science will go in order to manufacture an alternative to Creation.
Science has relentlessly appealed to chance to save the phenomenon without looking to the Creator God, and what they have really done is create their own religion. The name of which is naturalism. This is the view that every law and every force operating in the universe is natural rather than moral, spiritual, or supernatural.
Therefore it is assumed that naturalism is not a religion; that naturalism essentially represents scientific objectivity. It does not. Naturalists like to portray their system as a philosophy diametrically opposed to all faith-based world-views. Thus, they pretend that it is scientifically and intellectually superior to all other worldviews because of its supposed non-religious character, but religion accurately describes naturalism. The entire philosophy is built upon a faith-based presupposition: from nothing comes everything. This requires faith, and, unlike Biblical Christianity, it is a blind, giant leap of faith. Science deals with what can be observed and reproduced by experimentation. The origin of life can be neither observed nor reproduced in any laboratory. By definition, then, true science can give us no knowledge whatsoever about where we came from or how we got here.
Naturalism is a religion with evolution as its foundational doctrine, and naturalists will routinely employ worshipful language when describing the creation. Carolyn Porco is a CIT trained planetary scientist who has worked on the unmanned Voyager and Cassini missions to explore the outer reaches of our solar system. Here is what she said at the 2006 seminar “Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival”:
We should let the success of the religious formula guide us. Let’s teach our children from a very young age about the story of the universe and its incredible richness and beauty. It is already so much more glorious and awesome — and even comforting — than anything offered by any scripture or God concept I know.
And let’s not forget the opening mantra to the late Carl Sagan’s TV series Cosmos: “The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.” Not only is that religious language, but it is Biblical language; only it substitutes God with the cosmos. Professing to be wise they’ve become fools, and worship the creation rather than the immortal glory of the Creator God.
Proverbs 16:33 – The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof [is] of the LORD.
Chance doesn’t come into play with a sovereign God. Every decision is from the Lord.
This was the second of three posts. Part one was linked in the beginning (pun intended) of this post. Monday’s post will be the third and final in this series. Click here to read an excellent and recent post by Dr. Albert Mohler on this subject.
Nehemiah 9:6 – Thou, [even] thou, [art] LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all [things] that [are] therein, the seas, and all that [is] therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.