Evidence of God in the world around us

One dictionary defines Evidence as “the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid”. So, if we wanted to see if something was true or valid, we would want to look at the available body of facts or information available. What if the question we’re seeking to answer is on the existence of God?

Many people doubt the existence of God, unsure whether something as powerful as a creator exists. Others reject the notion of a creator outright, choosing to believe we are here by pure chance, that we are the product of random, undirected events. Still others do wonder if there is a creator, but they do not seek the answer for themselves.

Evidence of a creator can be found all around us. I would like to examine three (3) main pieces of evidence that point to the existence of a Creator. (1) First, we will discuss how creation itself gives evidence of a creator. (2) Second, we will discuss how this creation reveals God’s qualities. (3) Lastly, we will see how the Bible gives evidence of a Divine Author. (Authors Note: This blog post is only point (1) – Points 2 and 3 were handled by others in a multi-part symposium)

Have you ever wondered if there is a God and, if there is, whether there is a larger purpose to life? Perhaps you have encountered facts that are difficult to explain without the existence of a Creator, such as the unfathomable vastness of our universe or the finely tuned balance in nature that makes life possible. Have you ever wondered why, among all the earth’s creatures, we are unique? If a God does exist and we are unaware of it, then we would be living without knowing the most fundamental truth in the universe. Whether or not we believe in the existence of God can have a profound affect on the meaning of our lives. We then would do well to consider this question and our own belief and to look at the evidence, or available body of facts or information, and decide for ourselves.

Turn with me to Hebrews 3:4. In verse 4 we read “Of course, every house is constructed by someone, but the one who constructed all things is God.” The one who constructed all things is God. To some this is self-evident, yet to others this is difficult to imagine. Let us begin to view the evidence to support this in our first main point.

How Creation Gives Evidence of a Creator.

Many scientists view Albert Einstein as one of the greatest minds to have ever lived. When Einstein published his seminal thesis on a special theory of relativity in 1905, he and most other scientists believed that the universe consisted of just one galaxy – our Milky Way. How greatly he, and others, underestimated the size of the universe! Today, when scientists point their telescopes to the heavens, they see not just the Milky Way but an estimated 100-billion galaxies in just the observable universe. Each of these galaxies having billions or 100’s of billions of stars. The largest galaxy we have found so far has an estimated 2-trillion stars!

Let us turn to Isaiah Chapter 40 and read the words in verse 26: “Lift up your eyes to heaven and see. Who has created these things? It is the One who brings out their army by number; He calls them all by name. Because of his vast dynamic energy and his awe-inspiring power, not one of them is missing.” The sheer vastness of our universe is evidence of the inexhaustible energy of our Creator. Jehovah himself is the source of this awe-inspiring power and the vastness of creation!

Jehovah is also the one who organized everything just so. The orderliness of the universe gives evidence of a purposeful designer. Let me explain:

Imagine with me a box, maybe about the size of a shoe box in my hands. In this box I place balls of varying colors. Imagine each one about the size of a marble in beautiful colors, red, green, blue, yellow. All the colors of the rainbow! Now imagine I put the lid on this box and shook it up. Would you expect that when I open the lid that all the balls were sorted by color? All the red ones at this end, the yellow ones at that end, and maybe blue in the middle? No of course not! Science even has a word for this, it’s called entropy. Entropy is just a fancy word meaning “lack of order or predictability”. One of the fundamental laws of science says “Entropy is always increasing”, meaning that the universe, matter itself, over time becomes more disordered. For those who have had chemistry they likely recognize this as the second law of thermodynamics.

Current scientific reasoning is that our universe is about 13.7-billion years old. After 13.7-billion years what do we see when we point out telescopes up and look at the night sky? We see not a disordered universe, but a highly ordered universe. We see that planets orbit neatly around their stars, moons around their planets, even our sun rotates around the galactic core of the Milky Way! All of these are moving about with great precision. The Milky Way is but one of billions of galaxies, and even the galaxies themselves are ordered in clusters. And these clusters? Yep, they’re ordered into what scientist call “intergalactic filaments” that span unimaginably vast stretches of space. Yeah, “intergalactic filaments” is a good Star Wars sounding name right there I promise I didn’t make it up.

Yes, we are surrounded by evidence that God used his holy spirit in a very orderly way. Yes, when Isaiah looked up to the heavens he called Jehovah “The One who brings out their army by number” (Isaiah 40:26) he wasn’t kidding! And this is but one of his vast creations. The Psalmist said it better than I can so please turn to Psalms Chapter 19:1. Here it says “The heavens are declaring the glory of God; the skies above proclaim the work of his hands.

Is not the very existence of these vast heavens proof of God’s existence? Yes! Much as the Psalmist who sang in Psalm 33:6 “By the word of Jehovah the heavens themselves were made, and by the spirit of his mouth everything in them“.

Now, Many scientists have noted that the laws that govern our universe appear to be finely tuned. The book Science & Christianity – Four Views asks its readers to visualize the highly tuned nature of the universe by imagining they are an explorer and visiting an imaginary “control room for the whole universe”. There, the explorer observes rows and rows of dials that can be set to any value, and he learns that each must be calibrated to a precise setting in order for life to be possible. One dial sets the strength of the force of gravity, one the strength of electromagnetic attraction, another the ratio between the mass of the neutron and the proton, and so on. As the explorer examines these dials, he sees that they could have been set to different values. It also becomes clear to him, after meticulous calculation, that even a small change in any one of the dial settings would modify the architecture of the cosmos in such a way that life in it would cease to exist.

But what do we see? We see that each of these figurative dials is set just right, precisely so to keep the universe running and habitable. What would you deduce from this? The astronomer George Greenstein put it this way: “As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being?”

This very evidence of the fine-tuning of the laws of nature, of the physical world is itself evidence of a creator.

Lets now consider another way God’s power is evident in creation, a little closer to home. This home we live on, the Planet Earth, has two shields that help to provide us with a habitable environment. The first shield is our atmosphere. Sure it provides us with the air we breath, but just as importantly, it also shields us form the majority of the debris that hurtles through space. Most of the asteroids and comets that come hurtling towards earth end up burning up in our atmosphere. A planet without an atmosphere allows all debris to hit the surface. The second shield is the earth’s magnetic field. This field originates deep inside the earth’s core. The outer core is made up of mostly iron and as it spins in the core it acts like a planet sized dynamo and generates a powerful magnetic field that envelops the planet and stretches far into space. This magnetic field safeguards us from the radiation coming from our sun. Without this magnetic field solar flares would scorch the face of our planet. Instead, these charged particles are absorbed and deflected. We can even see evidence of this in action in the northern and southern latitudes in the great light displays we call the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis. Yes, just as Isaiah said, all you have to do to see evidence of our creator is to “Lift up your eyes to heaven and see”.

Yet there is even more precision in the circumstances of our planet. Lets consider the earths measurements and its position relative to the rest of our solar system. The book of Job at Chapter 38, verses 4 and 5 has these humbling questions “Where did you happen to be when I founded the earth?” and “Who set its measurements, in case you know?”. Jehovah knew long before man that these measurements were very important. Scientists are only now starting to discover exactly how important those measurements are.

For instance, our earth is just the right size for our existence. If it were slightly larger, its gravity would be stronger and hydrogen, a naturally occurring light gas, would be unable to escape the earth’s gravity and instead collect on the surface of the plane. This would make the atmosphere inhospitable to life. On the other hand, if our earth were slightly smaller and the gravity slightly less the life sustaining oxygen would escape, and surface water would evaporate. In either case, we could not live. Yes, our planet is just the right size to allow for our atmosphere to be composed of the gases we need to live.

But there’s more! Our planet is at the ideal distance from the sun! Professor David L Block notes “Calculations show that had the earth been situated only 5% closer to the sun, a runaway greenhouse effect [or overheating of the earth] would have occurred about 4-billion years ago. If, on the other hand, the earth were placed only 1% further from the sun, runaway glaciation [huge sheets of ice covering much of the globe] would have occurred some 2-billion years ago.” Does this all seem to be merely a coincidence to you? Is this great precision in creation not further evidence of a wise and powerful creator?

But wait, there’s more!

In addition to the surprisingly well-suited planet we live on, the origin and complexity of living things cannot reasonably be attributed to chance. Some people say life arose spontaneously from nonliving matter. They say that billions of years ago, on the edge of some ancient tide pool or deep in the ocean life began. The belief is that in some such location the right chemicals existed to spontaneously assemble into basic structures, then those basic structures spontaneously assembled to form complex molecules and begin to replicate. Is this answer satisfying? Scientists can only speculate about what conditions on earth were like billions of years ago, but we do not need to know all of that to know how it started. Let’s turn to Genesis 1:24 and see what the bible says her in the first part of verse 24: “Then God said: “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds, domestic animals and creeping animals and wild animals of the earth according to their kinds.” And later in verse 26 it says “Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness”.

Today scientists speculate about the existence of ancient molecules that formed our current genetic material. These ancient molecules are supposedly more likely to spontaneously form and replicate from inert material. However, science has found no evidence of such molecules, nor have they been able to create them in a lab. One thing scientist do know is that so far all life we see was created by other life, there have been no spontaneous creation of life as long as we’ve been paying attention.

Living things are unique in the way they operate. Cells have the built-in ability to convey, interpret and carry out instructions contained in their genetic code. Much like a computer, this genetic code can be thought of as software and the chemical structure of the cell as a computer. But, evolution cannot explain how this all started.

In addition to the genetic code, protein molecules are necessary to the function of a cell. A typical protein consists of hundreds of amino acids strung together in a specific sequence. In addition to having just the right sequence, the molecule itself must fold into a specific three-dimensional shape for it to be useful. Some scientists have said that the odds of even one protein molecule forming spontaneously are “extremely improbable”. In fact, one scientist even said, “Since a functioning cell requires thousands of different proteins, it is not credible to suppose they formed by chance alone”.

Again, we see order in the system of proteins and cells which presents strong evidence that life is the product of an orderly and intelligent mind.
Not all scientists agree life started on earth. Some believe that life on earth arrived from outer space, hitching a ride on a meteor. Why do they believe this? Because despite their best efforts, scientists have been unable to prove that life can spring from nonliving molecules. In 2008, Professor of Biology Alexandre Meinesz highlighted the dilemma. He stated that over the last 50 years, “no empirical evidence supports the hypotheses of the spontaneous appearance of life on Earth from nothing but a molecular soup, and no significant advance in scientific knowledge leads in this direction.” By speculating that life originated in the stars, all that this hypothesis does is push the issue of where life started into outer space.

Researchers have learned that for a cell to survive at least three different types of complex molecules must work together: DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA (ribonucleic acid) and the thousands of proteins each made up of hundreds or more acids. Today few scientists would assert that a single cell suddenly formed by chance from a mix of inanimate chemicals. But what about the probability of just the RNA or proteins could form by chance?

RNA is a molecule found in the genetic makeup of living organisms. It is made up of smaller molecules called nucleotides. A nucleotide is a different molecule from an amino acid and is only slightly more complex. Robert Shapiro, professor emeritus of chemistry at New York University said of the probability of a self-replicating RNA molecule randomly assembling from a pool of chemical building blocks “is so vanishingly small that its happening even once anywhere in the visible universe would count as a piece of exceptional good luck.”

Even the odds of the most basic proteins forming by chance are unfathomably large. Even in a simple cell, there are thousands of different types of proteins. Scientists have calculated that the probability that just one protein containing only 100 amino acids could ever randomly form on Earth at about one chance in a million billion. That’s a 1 with 15 zeros after it. That’s not the chance of life, that is the chance of just one protein randomly forming. Keep in mind each of our cells is made up of thousands of these proteins, and our body contains more than 200 different types of cells. All working together.

Today scientists with their laboratories and experiments can cobble a few molecules together to make a protein. We can liken this to making steel or plastic out of raw materials. Now assume a scientist uses that steel and plastic to assemble a robot, and then program the robot to do task. What does that prove? It proves that it took something intelligent to make it.

Let us turn to Psalms and see what the Psalmist had to say on this. In Psalms, Chapter 139, let’s turn to verses 14 through 16. Psalm 139:14-16 Here we read “I praise you because in an awe-inspiring way I am wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know this very well.  My bones were not hidden from you When I was made in secret, When I was woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes even saw me as an embryo; All its parts were written in your book. Regarding the days when they were formed, Before any of them existed”. David knew how awe-inspiring life was, and with all our scientific understanding and technological know-how creations complexity is still just as awe-inspiring. The more questions we answer, the more we have. Are we to believe creation is all the product of random chance, that all of this order, this life, is just a coincidence. What does the evidence tell you?

We have looked at just a small portion of a larger body of facts and information in our universe that points to the existence of a wise and powerful creator. Be it the grand order and precision in the large universe, or the microscopic complexity of even the most basic of cells, Creation itself gives evidence of a creator.

(This post featured image “AST XDF Hubble eXtreme Deep Field 20120925 12.54 MB 2382×2078 hs-2012-37-a-full_tif” by rmforall@gmail.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0. and can be freely shared with attribution.)

(Note from the author:  This text comes from a talk I gave on 5/20/2023 which relied heavily on sourced material from the site JW.org.  I do not include a bibliography here because, well, I didn't include on in my original notes and don't feel like reverse engineering this)

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