One of the assumptions of the last two and a half centuries has been that the universe was infinite in size and that it always existed. That has now been shown to be incorrect. Our generation has discovered how to measure the cosmos and probe the deepest mysteries of the universe.
The other assumption made by the Kantian worldview is that the basic building blocks of life have always been available and that the universe, and our world specifically, had enough time to allow random chance to assemble those building blocks in such a way as to naturally cause life to develop. There are two sets of evidence that have come to light that make this assumption fail.
On the one hand, the relatively recent origin of the universe, measured in billions rather than trillions of years, does not leave enough time for random chance to function even if the right ingredients for life were readily available.
On the other hand, molecular science, as well as astronomy and physics, has discovered a complex world of molecules, atoms, nucleons and electrons that are so finely tuned that even a small variation in a complex web of parameters would make life impossible in our universe (or on our earth).
Lee Strobel makes the comment that “In the past thirty-five years, scientists have been stunned to discover how life in the universe is astoundingly balanced on a razor’s edge.” This idea that the universe “possesses narrowly defined characteristics that permit the possibility of a habitat for humans” is called the Anthropic Principle.
Of course, it could just be coincidence but the statistical level of possibility (blind chance) is so astronomical that it is patently difficult to quantify it. The popular approach, used by many rational atheists today, is to assume that blind chance has indeed happened since we are here after all.
This is, of course, to abandon a rational approach to a naturalistic explanation for the world as it is observed and experienced. A rational approach would attempt to attach all truth statements to the observable reality of our world.
A dependence on blind chance to account for the “cause” of the universe is as much a faith statement as a belief in a personal God – without even accounting for the inescapable indications of intelligence, creativity and design.
Cosmologists Bernard Carr and Martin Rees state that “nature does exhibit remarkable coincidences and these do warrant some explanation.” Bernard Carr, in another article, gives a further thought that is worth mentioning. He says:
“One would have to conclude either that the features of the universe invoked in support of the Anthropic Principle are only coincidences or that the universe was indeed tailor-made for life. I will leave it to the theologians to ascertain the identity of the tailor!”
If these “remarkable coincidences” are truly a sign of intelligence, creativity and design with the purpose of supporting life, especially human life, on earth, the obvious question would be –why? And if there is a purpose, there must be a “who” behind that purpose. There can be no intelligence, creativity or design without a personal being to exercise those attributes.
But perhaps that is already a step of faith that is beyond most people’s ability to take. Suffice it to say that the burden of proof is now on the other side of the equation and we now live in a post-positivist world in which the minimum expectation for intellectual honesty would be some form of theistic agnosticism.
Atheism and all forms of Pantheism and the worldviews depending on them, are now scientifically suspect. Theism, especially biblical theism, fits the scientific evidence most closely and is therefore rational even if not conclusive.
That is, to say the least, an interesting place to be.
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Whispers of the Desert Warrior by Bert A. Amsing
Copyright © 2012 by vanKregten Publishers. All rights reserved.
Footnotes and references included in original manuscript.