Science and God’s existence

Posted on November 26, 2012. Filed under: Religion, World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

A taster article from the October 2012 edition of the Christadelphian magazine

Book review: Science and God’s existence

This brilliantly argued, and authoritative book uses powerful new evidence from the cutting edge of science to challenge aggressive atheism head on.

The author is Professor in Mathematics at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College. He employs his superb reasoning and mathematical skills and his expert and wide ranging understanding of current scientific research to demonstrate that science far from ‘burying God’, points increasingly towards an intelligent designer.

Creative intelligence

The book begins with a consideration of the philosophical basis of science and knowledge. It explores and effectively counters the views of scientists such as Richard Dawkins, that science can explain everything and that what is not science cannot therefore be truth.

English: Richard Dawkins giving a lecture base...

Richard Dawkins giving a lecture based on his book, The God Delusion, in Reykjavik (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The book then moves on to analyse the latest discoveries about the origins and nature of the universe. The author examines the findings of astrophysicists and cosmologists who are using increasingly complex equipment to explore the very edges of the universe. He adds his own mathematical reasoning to that of experts working in these fields and leads us to the conclusion that the universe is so remarkably finely-tuned and the mathematical probabilities of this happening by chance are so impossibly small that a creative intelligence must have been involved in their creation.

In the second half of the book, the author tackles evolutionary biology. He considers Dawkins’ view that natural selection accounts not just for the diversity but also the very existence of life on earth. Lennox highlights the lack of evidence that natural selection has ever created new characteristics, let alone life. The author then turns to molecular biology and research into DNA and the genetic code. In these fascinating chapters Lennox explains how scientists working at the forefront of this field have been staggered to discover that genetic codes are both highly specific and phenomenally complex. Lennox does the maths for us and demonstrates that there simply has not been enough time since the Big Bang for these complex codes to have come about by chance. The more that experts working in the field learn, the more they are led to the conclusion that there must have been a super intelligence behind them.

Valuable information

Lennox’s book is necessarily technical to a degree; presenting as it does mathematical and scientific data and employing complex and abstract reasoning in order to weigh the evidence and draw conclusions. He has, however, managed to make much of this accessible and understandable to the lay person and produce a readable and at times very amusing book.

Here is a valuable source of information for countering the views of people who believe that science has disproved the existence of God. Recent scientific discoveries are doing quite the reverse and this book provides facts and figures and very strong arguments which can be used as evidence for this.

This book would be particularly useful for brethren and sisters and young people who are at college or university and who find themselves face to face with knowledgeable and clever atheists. It will also be valuable for parents and brethren and sisters who work with our young people, many of whom may be wondering deep down whether science really has taken away the need for faith. This book shows us that it most certainly has not.

Rachel Green

God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? by John C. Lennox is published by Lion Hudson; 220 pages, £8.99 ISBN 978-07459-5371-7.

The Christadelphian magazine reflects the teachings, beliefs and activities of the Christadelphians – groups of believers living in most countries in the world.

> home of The Christadelphian

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  • Science and the belief in God – A video short for a Sunday afternoon (rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com)
    “Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.” Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) Physician and Mathematician, Father of Calculus
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    “I do not share the foolish incoherence of the scientist who would contest the existence of God, who would close his ears to what the heavens declare, and refuse to see what shines before his eyes. To know God, to love Him, to render to him a pure homage, that is true knowledge and the study of the wise.” Andre Marie Ampere (1775-1836) Author: ‘The True Scientist’, Father of Electrodynamics
  • Atheists’ Reviews Of Dawkins’ The God Delusion (withalliamgod.wordpress.com)
    Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, a book that attempted to expose logical faultiness  of religion and its’ cause of much suffering in the world,  is the most read atheistic literature in our times. In this series of articles, I  explored different prominent atheists and agnostics reviews of The God Delusion.
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    Spinning towards the evils of religion, Orr correctly appreciated Dawkins for reminding us the “horrors committed in the name of God”. “No decent person can fail to be repulsed by the sins committed in the name of religion” wrote Orr.
  • Alvin Plantinga on the New Atheists (keithburgess-jackson.typepad.com)
    Apparently some of the dreaded “New Atheists” do think serious discussion is out of place in this area. Here is Richard Dawkins’s suggestion for dealing with those religious people he disagrees with: “We need to go further: go beyond humorous ridicule, sharpen our barbs to a point where they really hurt.” . . . Fence sitters, he says, “are likely to be swayed by a display of naked contempt. Nobody likes to be laughed at. Nobody wants to be the butt of contempt.”
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    One gets the impression that Dawkins has an irrational hatred of religion (perhaps brought on by events in his childhood). Hatred makes people do pointless and destructive things.
  • Ravi Zacharias Answers Stephen Hawking – Part 3 – 20 Min. (christcenteredteaching.wordpress.com)
    Stephen Hawking declared that God was not needed for the universe to be created.

    Theologian Ravi Zacharias and Dr. John Lennox,( a triple doctorate in science and philosophy from Cambridge university where Hawkings also studied, and has studied and is Professor of Mathematics at Oxford), respond to Hawking’s claim.

  • If materialism is wrong, what can replace it? (geneveith.com)
    Nagel, an eminent philosopher, is an atheist, but he recognizes the force of the intelligent design arguments and in this book (published by Oxford University Press), he dismantles the materialists’ assumptions.  What is especially interesting, though, is how Plantinga interacts with Nagel and challenges his atheism
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    According to Nagel, materialist naturalism has great difficulty with consciousness, but it has even greater difficulty with cognition. He thinks it monumentally unlikely that unguided natural selection should have “generated creatures with the capacity to discover by reason the truth about a reality that extends vastly beyond the initial appearances.” He is thinking in particular of science itself.
  • Science & Theism in Concord? (ubcgcu.org)
    God created both us and our world in such a way that there is a certain fit or match between the world and our cognitive faculties: adequatio intellectus ad rem (the adequation of the intellect to reality). For science to be successful, there must be a match between our cognitive faculties and the world.
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    Creation is a free act of God. The contingency of divine creation both underlies and underwrites the empirical character of modern Western science.  This is the domain of a posteriori knowledge, which requires experience, knowledge produced by perception, memory, exactly the sort of knowledge produced by empirical science—through observation and experience.
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    Theistic religion gives us reason to expect our cognitive capacities (part of the imago dei) to match the world in such a way as to make modern science possible. Naturalism gives us no such reason to expect this sort of match. In his final chapter, he goes further to demonstrate provocatively the incompatibility of science and naturalism.
  • Big Bang: Is there room for God? (bbc.co.uk)
    Now that the Higgs has finally been spotted – a scientific discovery that takes us closer than ever to the first moments after the Big Bang – Cern has opened its doors to scholars that take a very different approach to the question of how the Universe came to exist.
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    “There’s a need for us, as naive scientists, to discuss with philosophers and theologians the time before or around the Big Bang.”
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    “You can’t disprove the theory of God.”

    “The power of science is uncertainty. Everything is uncertain, but science can define that uncertainty.”
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    John Lennox, professor of mathematics at the University of Oxford, is also a self-declared Christian. He thinks the very fact that human beings can do science is evidence for God.

    “If the atheists are right the mind that does science… is the end product of a mindless unguided process.

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