Show Me the Money
by Don R. Camp

Show me the evidence. Anti-theists throw down that challenge regularly in comment sections on news sites, blogs, YouTube, and Facebook posts. Apparently they think it is the final unanswerable dare. But really, is there no evidence? Consider the following.

The Bible says there is evidence in the sky (Psalm 19:1). How so?

When David looked up into the night sky, he could see the watercolor wash of the Milky Way splashed across a background of several thousand individual stars.  And when he reflected on that awesome tableau, he saw the glory of God displayed. But David was already a believer in the Creator who made it all. What about those who are not?

Today we can look far, far deeper into the universe than David could. The Hubble space cosmostelescope shows us not just stars but galaxies in the millions and billions. And Hubble can take us back in time to a point close to the beginning of the universe. Does the universe still provide us evidence for God as it did for David?

Yes. The universe provides us more evidence for the Creator than David could ever have imagined.

To begin with, we know from Edwin Hubble’s observations (ca. 1929) that the universe had a beginning. Now, Hubble did not take the next step, but it obvious: a beginning implies a Beginner.

There have been objections, of course, from scientists and anti-theists to inserting into the history of the universe’s origin and evolution a supernatural Beginner. There might be other explanations, they say. The universe might be the result of quantum fluctuation in the void. It might be the extension of another universe or universes that were earlier and are beyond our detection. It would be possible – if the universe were not as it is.

And what is it about the universe that makes either of those possibilities highly improbable? The first is that the universe exists because of what we call natural laws and forces, none of which are a necessary component of matter or energy. Not only so, but those forces are so delicately balanced with each other that should one of them have been slightly different – gravity, for example, 1 part in 10 to the 40th power stronger or weaker1 – the universe as we know it would not exist today. 2  How could that have happened?

The second is that the universe is not simple.3 And simple is what we’d expect from a universe that was the product of any of the simple forces proposed for a natural origin. For example, disorganized energy, which is what quantum fluctuations are, or a black hole in another universe, sometimes suggested as a possible origin in the multiverse theory, are simple. But there is no means known or imagined by which something fundamentally simple can naturally develop into the complexity of the universe we live in. Yet, complex we are. How is that possible?

The third is that at least our particular neighborhood in the cosmos is unexpectedly fit for life such as ourselves.4 (Scientists call this the anthropic principle, and it is recognized by scientists whose religious beliefs range from agnosticism to theism.) How unexpectedly? Well, it is computed now that about 200 conditions must obtain for the earth to be hospitable to intelligent life like ourselves. The probability of those existing together computes to far beyond the 1 in 10 to the 45th power – that is 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000 -  considered to be beyond possibility. How is that possible? It is not, unless the universe is designed by an intelligence.

Astronomy and Cosmology have opened up the wonders of the universe far beyond anything David could have dreamed. And with every new revelation science provides us, the hand of a Creator seems more and more evident and necessary. Evidence? This would seem to be sufficient.

1. Davies, Paul. The Accidental Universe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982.

2. Stephen Hawking.  A Brief History of Time. Bantam Books,  1988, p. 7, 125.

3. “The universe seems to be getting more complex. In the first few moments of the Big Bang, 10 to 20 billion years ago, the universe contained only radiation, out of which condensed the elementary particles. As the universe expanded and cooled, these particles assembled to form simple atoms; gravitational attraction among atoms (mainly hydrogen) laid the foundations for galaxies; within galaxies, stars and planetary systems differentiated; and in these, with the emergence of the heavier elements, complex chemical, biological and ultimately cultural entities arose. In each transition, the complexity of the most complex structure in existence seems to have increased: Galaxies are more complex than atoms, stars are more complex than galaxies, and so on.” McShea, Daniel W. “Measuring Complexity.” American Scientist. Americanscientist.org

4. Ross, Hugh. “Anthropic Principle: A Precise Plan for Humanity.” Reasons to Believe. reasons.org. January 1, 2002.