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