• David Schrader, PhD., National Pastor

A Divine Creator or a Distant Alien?


When the famous atheist Christopher Hitchens was once asked what the strongest argument against atheistic belief was, he responded: "I think every one of us picks the "fine-tuning" one as the most intriguing. . . it is not a trivial argument. We [atheists] all say that."[1]


Richard Dawkins, in a conversation with geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, also acknowledged that the fine-tuning of the universe is the most troubling argument that atheists must deal with.[2]


Throughout the centuries, the origin of the universe has not been a subject that has troubled Christians. Christians have long been convinced that God is the Creator of the universe and even greater is their conviction that God has been sovereign over his creation. In other words, he didn't just create the world, and then walk away, but he is actively involved in sustaining his creation. The Scriptures put it this way:


Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. [italicized emphasis mine] (Col. 1:15-17)[3]

Fine tuning, as it applies to the universe, is the idea that the conditions that allow life to exist in the universe can occur only when certain universal constants lie within a very narrow range of values. If any of several constants were only slightly different, the universe would be unlikely to be conducive to the establishment of life. So, we must ask, "Who keeps these constants in check? Remember the words here of the Apostle Paul, "He [Jesus] holds all creation together."


We are told by today's astrophysicists that there were around 122 variables that would need to line up with perfect precision for our universe to have come into existence. If any of these variables was off by even a million-millionth matter would not have been able to unite and hold together. There would have been nothing – no stars, no world, no people.[4] Again, I urge my readers to think upon these words, "He made the things we can see and the things we cannot see . . . and he holds all things together."


What is an even a more troubling question for atheists is: "How did the law of physics come into existence in the first place?" It is one thing to recognize these variables, but they had to exist before the universe came into existence, or the universe as we know it would never have come into existence.[5]

Steven Hawking, an atheist himself, puts the fine-tuning of the universe in these terms:


If the overall density of the universe were changed by even 0.0000000000001 percent, no stars or galaxies could be formed. If the rate of expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have been collapsed before it reached its present size.[6]

Statements like these explain why more and more atheistic scientists are beginning to realize the seriousness of the fine-tuning argument. Even the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the top secular encyclopedia of philosophy in the world, includes the same claim: "The apparent probability of all the necessary conditions sufficient to allow just the formation of the planets (let alone life) coming together just by chance is utterly outrageously tiny."[7]


Of course, many atheistic scientists want to rule God out as the Creator of the universe, so that there is no moral accountability to God. As such, they will explain things in ways like astrophysicist John Gribbin does when he says, "Serious consideration [should be given to the hypothesis that our universe is an artificial construct, manufactured deliberately by intelligent beings in another universe."[8] Just why John Gribbon cannot credit God as that intelligent being is very enigmatic.


Carl Sagan, the renowned atheist astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, and astrobiologist, also believed that one day extraterrestrials would come to earth and explain to us the origin of life. I guess this cosmic fantasy was more believable to him than a personal God.[9]


While these men can acknowledge some form of super intelligent aliens from a far-off universe, they just can't bring themselves to believe that God is that divine intelligent Designer. How sad! But the evidence for God keeps mounting.


Eric Metaxas In his latest book, Is Atheism Dead? uncovers new evidence and arguments against the idea of a Creator-less universe. He draws on the insights of top scientists and five scientific discoveries to prove that atheism is untenable.


Metaxas believes that culture is at a “paradigm-shifting moment,” with science and archeology increasingly pointing to the existence of God — and those opposed to Christianity aren’t “going to like it." [10]. Metaxes says, “We've all lived at a time when not only is the trend that science is pointing us away from God, but we've been living for over 100 years with the narrative that says, science is fundamentally at odds with faith, that reason is at odds with religion. “The one thing everybody kept saying was, “Science is leading us away from religion.” Ironically, in the last 50 years, precisely the opposite has happened. Science is leading us to God. It's big news." [11]


One archeological discovery Metaxas and others have found that intrigued them was the reported discovery of the biblical Sodom. Some scientists have speculated that a city known as Tall El-Hammam was destroyed by a meteor and could be the site of Sodom, the ancient biblical city destroyed for its wickedness.[12] “Most believers, and definitely most non-believers, don't know this information, and it's because we live in a media echo chamber that tends to filter out this kind of information. "By the grace of God, I've been able to stumble on this stuff," Metaxes said. [13] Based on his research, Metaxas stressed that science, archaeology, and history don’t just support Christianity — they also undermine atheism:


This idea that data and science are at odds — is that not only is that not true, but there are also two things that follow,” Metaxas explained. “The second is, according to John Lennox ... it is actually atheism that is incompatible with science, which is a dramatic statement. The third thing, which nobody seems to know, but it's true, is that Christian faith led to modern science … this is a historical fact; this is not some Christian gloss on history.” “Science lately ... is discovering things about our universe, about the Earth, about human life, about cellular life that looks so fine-tuned, so perfectly calibrated … that even atheists are being shaken. That's the one thing that they don't know quite how to handle,” he added.[14]

The more advanced science gets, the more it points to the idea that there had to be a Creator who created the universe.


Do you ever wonder why the modern skeptic chooses to not believe in God? Perhaps it's not that they just do not believe in God, but maybe they don't want there to be a God. As noted, philosopher Thomas Nagel of New York University put it:


I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn't just that I don't believe in God and naturally hope there is no God! I don't want there to be a God; I don't want the universe to be like that.[15]

Just think about what Nagel has said" "I want atheism to be true. I don't want there to be a God. I don't want the universe to be like that." This is a picture of willful blindness and outright unbelief. Therefore, you must ask, "how much of atheistic belief is a matter of heart and will and not of the intellect?" Vince Vitale said these types of explanations are cropping up in scholarly literature as an effort to avoid having to admit the existence of God. It is a testimony to the strength of the fine-tuning argument.[16]


To ignore the fine-tuning argument for the existence of God is to fit the description of the Psalmist in Psalm 14:1, "Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”[17] The Psalmist also appeals to all our hearts and minds when he says: "The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known."[18]


Like the Psalmist, the Apostle Paul also said that all of creation is proof of God our Creator:


For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So, they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.[19]

"The skies display his craftsmanship". That sure sounds like fine-tuning to me! Ever since the world was created, people have been without excuse for not knowing God, its Grand Architect. God's handiwork in all of creation should be all the proof any atheist needs to believe that God is the Creator of the universe and not some distant alien.


Psalm 33:8-9, "Let the whole world fear the Lord, and let everyone stand in awe of him. For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command."


 

[1] Collision: Debate, Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson, directed by Darren Doane, 2009. [2] Philip Yancey, Vanishing Grace, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014), 179. [3] Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Col 1:15–17. [4] Mark Clarke, The Problem of God, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2017), 58. [5]. Ibid., 58 [6] Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, (N. Y New York: Bantam Books, 1996),126,129. [7] Del Ratzsch, "Teleological Arguments for God's Existence," The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta, Winter 2009 Edition, plato.stanford.edu/archivs/win2009/entries/technological-arguemnets. [8] Vince Vitale, Jesus Among Secular Gods: The Counter Cultural Claims of Christ (New York City: Faith Words, 2017), 85. [9] John J. Pasquini, Atheist Persona: Causes and Consequences (Lanham: University Press of America, 2014), 96. [10] Leah Marie-Ann Klett, "Eric Metaxas on why atheism is 'incompatible' with science, why the Church must 'wake up' and 'fight'", October 27, 2021, https://www.christianpost.com/books/eric-metaxas-on-why-atheism-is-incompatible-with-science.html?uid=ce8fdcf89d&utm_source=The+Christian+Post+List&utm_campaign=CP-Newsletter&utm_medium=email. [11] Ibid. [12] Leonardo Blair, “Researchers Claim Biblical Sodom was Destroyed by Massive Asteroid, Scholars Disagree” https://www.christianpost.com/news/study-suggests-site-in-jordan-is-biblical-sodom.html [13] Leah Marie-Ann Klett, Ibid. [14] Ibid. [15] Thomas Nagel, The Last Word (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997),130/ [16] Vince Vitale and Ravi Zacharias, Jesus Among the Secular Gods, (Hatchette Book Group, New York, 2017) 85. [17] Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Ps 14:1–3. [18] Ibid, Ps 19:1–2. [19] Ibid. Ro 1:20–22.

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