Reasons to Believe

Cutting-Edge "Origins" Science Comports with Theism, Part 2 (of 2)

In part 1 I discussed how secular scientists, given their naturalistic worldview, expected to discover that the universe was eternal and thus self-sufficient and uncaused. However, big bang cosmology reveals a universe that had a singular beginning (of all matter, energy, space, and time) approximately 14 billion years ago. Since there was a singular origination to all things, then it is reasonable to inquire as to a causal agent (for that which begins needs a cause). Also, the fact that the universe had a singular beginning best comports with the expectations of theism over atheistic naturalism.

In this article I will discuss how the expectations of secular scientists concerning our solar system were also very different from what science demonstrated. Again the results tend to favor theism over the secular worldview of naturalism.

Our Solar System

The consensus of secular scientists a quarter century ago was that our solar system and its features were garden-variety typical. The thought was that our solar system was no different than any number of systems throughout our galaxy or even throughout the expansive universe. The Sun, Earth, and Moon in our system were viewed as being in no particular way uncommon or special.

However, this initial perspective and expectation from secular science has proved to be untrue. Astrophysicists now know that our solar system exhibits an amazing fine-tuning that allows for the emergence of complex and intelligent life. Specifically, the relationship of the Sun, Earth, and Moon provides a rare, if not unique, habitable zone for life to thrive on planet Earth. These “just right” conditions on the bodies in our part of the galaxy seem to be unmatched from what scientists know about other systems. In fact, the number and exquisite combination of factors needing to be fine-tuned to allow for life are so exceedingly improbable through purely natural means that the intuition of cosmic design is utterly probative.

While scientists who embrace a purely naturalistic worldview expected our solar system to prove to be commonplace, instead they discovered a seemingly unique system—one that has all the narrowly drawn parameters, characteristics, and content to allow for intelligent life to emerge and thrive. This discovery has led some within the scientific community to conclude that divine design seems intuitively obvious.

This amazing fine-tuning seems to comport well with a theistic worldview, but appears out of place and unexpected from an atheistic, naturalistic perspective. So what would our solar system look like if theism were true? Apparently very much like it appears right now.

For more on the fine-tuning of the universe, see Hugh Ross, “The Creator and the Cosmos”.

 

 


Part 1 | Part 2

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

Kenneth R. Samples

I believe deeply that “all truth is God’s truth.” As an RTB scholar I have a great passion to help people understand and see the truth and relevance of Christianity’s truth-claims. Read more about Kenneth Samples.