Do you believe in God? If so, could you adequately defend that belief if you were asked to do so? Do you think you could convince someone to believe in God if he or she did not believe already? Do you simply hope that God exists, or do you know that He exists? Do you ever have doubts about whether or not there is a God?
We should all seriously consider these important questions. My aim in this lesson is to present some of the many proofs that logically demand that there must be a God--there must be a Supreme Being of some sort. I want you to know that God exists, and I want you to be able to show others why they should believe also. I want you to be able to defend why you believe (I Pet. 3:15). Let's be candid--a religion or doctrine that cannot be defended is not worth believing!
But how, Stephen? How can we prove that God exists? Obviously, we cannot provide empirical evidence of the existence of deity; that is, we cannot directly show that God exists with our human senses. We cannot see God with our eyes or hear Him with our ears. He is not subject to our sense of touch, taste, or smell. We cannot "experience" God today in any of these physical ways for the simple reason that God is a spirit being (John 4:24). He is not a physical entity. So, if we cannot prove that God exists with any of our human senses, how can we prove that He exists? Well, we will have to prove His existence indirectly. We will have to examine evidence that through reasoning will lead us to the conclusion that there must be a God.
The information I'm going to share with you at this time is all related to what philosophers call...
THE TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
This proof is also known as the argument from design. Cicero once said, "If you saw a splendid house, you surely would not assume that it was built by mice or weasels. A splendid house implies a splendid architect; and a wonderful world implies a divine creator." Does that make sense? Sure it does! That is the argument from design in a nutshell. This argument is also informally stated in the Scriptures. Hebrews 3:4 - "For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God."
Formally stated, the argument is as follows: (1) Anything exhibiting order implies a designer. (2) The universe exhibits order. (3) Thus, the universe had a designer. (4) The designer of the universe is God (by definition). (5) Therefore, God exists. This argument is like asking the question: Is it reasonable to think that a tornado blowing through a junkyard could create a jet airplane? Or, is it reasonable to think that an explosion in a print shop could produce a dictionary? Think about it! Could those things "just happen"? Of course not! A jet airplane shows signs of design; it could not have happened on accident and neither could a dictionary. Our universe is the same way! It exhibits order in so many ways and could not have happened on accident. Thus, it must have had a designer. I believe the designer of the universe is God!
Perhaps you are thinking to yourself: Stephen, how do you know that the universe exhibits order? Allow me to show you just a fraction of the evidence that is out there. And, as you consider the scientific evidence I'm about to present, keep asking yourself this question: Could all of these things have happened on accident? If the answer is "no," then we can be certain that our universe was designed, and hence, there must be a designer who made our universe and the things contained therein.
Let's begin by talking about planet Earth. The Earth, as we all know, orbits around the sun. The orbit is almost a straight line in human terms. Earth only departs from a straight line by one-ninth of an inch every 18 miles. Do you know what would happen if the orbit changed by one-tenth of an inch every 18 miles? Our orbit would be vastly larger and we would all freeze to death! What if the Earth departed from a straight line by one-eighth of an inch every 18 miles? Then what? We would come so close to the sun we would all be incinerated! Are we to believe that such precision just happened by accident? The sun is burning at approximately 20 million degrees Celsius at its interior. It is approximately 93 million miles from Earth, which happens to be just right. Is this just some accident?
What about the moon? It is positioned some 240,000 miles from the Earth. Move it in just one-fifth of that distance and twice every day there would be 35 to 50 feet high tidal waves over most of the Earth's surface. The distance of 240,000 miles happens to be just right. Is this just some accident?
But, what about evidence of design on some smaller objects like human bodies, for example. There is a great deal of evidence for the existence of god when one examines the marvelous design of the human body. As the Psalmist said, "...I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." (Psalm 139:14). How very true this is!
Consider the skin of a human. It is a nearly waterproof layer, enclosing the body's contents, almost 60% of which is water. Skin prevents the exit or entrance of too much moisture, and it acts as a protector for the rest of the body. At the same time, it is both a radiator and retainer of heat, and it helps to regulate the body's temperature in conjunction with the two hypothalamus glands in the brain. Skin may be as thick as 5/16 of an inch (e.g., a callus) or as thin as 1/500 of an inch (e.g., an eyelid). The skin contains over 2,000 sweat glands that form one of the most ingenious air-conditioning systems ever known to man. Skin acts as a barrier to protect the sensitive internal organs and even has the power to regenerate itself. Is that not wonderful? When you cut yourself, you will not always have a cut! You might not consider that to be such a big deal, but what if you scratched the paint on your car or punctured a tire? Would you expect them to heal themselves? No, of course not. But why? Well, because we humans simply do not know how to design such. Though you might take your skin for granted, it truly is amazing and shows plenty of evidence of design. There must be a designer responsible for the marvel of human skin!
Let's now focus on the skeletal and muscular systems of the body. A human body contains 206 bones. They are more durable and longer lasting than man's best steel. Each joint produces its own lubrication, and the system as a whole is able to provide not only structure, but also great protection. There are 29 skull bones, 26 spinal vertebrae, 24 ribs, 2 girdle bones, and 125 other bones scattered throughout the body. The bones range in size from the tiny pisiform bones in the hand to the great femur (over 20 inches long in the thigh of an average man). Yet, in a man weighing 160 pounds, the bones weigh only 29 pounds! Did you know that ounce for ounce, bone is stronger than steel? Yet, a piece of bone will stretch 10 times as much as steel. A steel frame comparable to the human skeleton would weigh 3 times as much.
Do not forget the muscles. There are over 600 of them in the human body with the function of contraction and release. From the smile on the face of a newborn baby to the legs of the marathon runner, the muscles are in charge. They are placed, however, into two systems: the voluntary systems you have control over (e.g., reach out and pick up the phone) and the involuntary systems you have little or no control over (e.g., try stopping or starting your heart just by thinking about it). Are we to believe that the skeletal and muscular systems--in all their complexity--"just happened"? No one could convince you that, for example, a Cadillac limousine "just happened." Yet some would ask you to believe that something infinitely greater in design and structure (i.e., the human body) "just happened"! What kind of irrational logic is that? How could anyone in his or her right mind reach such a conclusion? G. K. Chesterton once said: "When men stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing. They believe in anything!" How true! One does not get a poem without a poet or a law without a lawgiver. One does not get a painting without a painter or a musical score without a composer. Likewise, one does not get purposeful design without a designer!
Dr. Alexander Macalister, a former professor of anatomy at Cambridge University, stated: "Man's body is a machine formed for doing work. Its framework is the most suitable that could be devised in material, structure, and arrangement." Dr. Macalister basically stated that the design for the human body could not be improved upon, yet evolutionists want us to believe that our bodies are nothing more than a product of time and chance! How ridiculous!
Let's now consider the human ears and eyes. The average piano can play 88 different key tones; the human ear can distinguish over 2,500 different key tones! In fact, the human ear can detect sound frequencies that flutter the eardrums as faintly as one-billionth of a centimeter. Over 100,000 hearing receptors in the ears are continually sending impulses to the brain to be decoded and answered. Pretty amazing, eh? Who would believe that it could have happened on accident?
What about our eyes? Each human eye is composed of over 100 million cells with 7 million cones (allowing the eye to see in blacks, whites, and grays). The eyes are connected to the brain by over 600,000 nerves and can detect light as feeble as 1/100 trillionth of a watt. Scientists estimate that the eye receives 1.5 million messages at the same time, sorts through them, and sends them to the brain. Evolutionists believed that the eye evolved somehow. But think about it--what "intermediate state" between no eye and a perfect eye could nature have "selected" to be passed on to successive generations?
The human eye works so well that technological companies model cameras after it. Today, we have tiny camcorders that can be held in one hand and are used in both bright and dim light. They have lenses, automatic focus, color monitors, and other well-engineered features that allow them to record images. Yet, even with all the time, effort, and money that went into designing these technological jewels, they are nothing but clumsy replicas of the human eye! If we found a camcorder lying on the ground, who among us would suggest that it "just happened" by chance? No one, I hope. Yet, the average human being has two eyes that make the camcorder look like a kindergarten toy! Who can believe that a camcorder was designed but the human eye was not? Mark Twain once commented, "It's amazing what men will believe, so long as it's not in the Bible!" Indeed! Darwin's theory of evolution is absurd. How could anything composed of millions of cells and hundreds of thousands of connections evolve? How could something this complex "just happen" on accident and work perfectly?
There are other systems in the human body that could be discussed, but let's now turn our attention to the human brain. The brain is the organ that regulates the rest of the body. It contains over 10 billion nerve cells, and 100 billion glia cells. These cells float in a jellied mass and they sift through information, storing memories and creating what we call consciousness. There are over 120 trillion connections that tie these cells all together. The brain sends out electrical impulses at a speed of 270 mph, and it receives nerve impulses being produced at a rate of over 2000 per second. The brain receives signals continuously from 130,000 light receptors in the eyes, 100,000 hearing receptors in the ears, 3000 taste buds, 30,000 heat spots on the skin, 250,000 cold spots, and 500,000 touch spots. And, with the brain functioning properly, all the other body systems (hormones, circulatory, digestive, reproductive, etc.) can be overseen and controlled. Are we to be convinced that this magnificent structure "just happened"?
According to Clark Pinnock, the human brain consists of about three pounds of gray matter, and yet no manmade computer of any size can duplicate the myriad of operations it routinely performs. It is composed of billions of nerve cells--one of the wonders of the universe, you might say. How can a person be expected to believe that an organ of such incredible complexity and usefulness came to exist by accident as the result of an unintelligent and purely material process?
Dr. Gerhand Dirks, who holds fifty patents on the IBM computer, has said that he acquired most of his inventive ideas from studying the human brain. Think about that! To a large extent, computers are nothing more than crude imitations of the human brain! Computer scientist, Dr. W.S. McCulloch once said that "computers are clumsy, stupid beasts...computers don't have the brains of a retarded ant."
Now, think about this: If it takes a mind to build a computer (and it does), who can believe that it did not take a mind to create the mind that built the computer? Let's be reasonable! If a person does not believe that a computer could "just happen," then he should not believe that the human brain (which is much more complex) could "just happen" via some evolutionary process!
There are only two explanations for our universe. Either it happened by chance or it was designed by a designer (i.e., God). It is easy to see that chance alone cannot explain the existence of our universe and its almost infinite displays of design. If you are reasonable, you will have to conclude that there must be a Supreme Being--there must be a God! Now admittedly, the evidence we have considered could be used by anyone who believes in any deity. These particular points do not prove that the God of the Bible is the only true and living God. But, there are other arguments that can be employed to prove that the God who has designed the universe and the things therein is the God of the Bible. We will consider such evidence in future studies.
Let me reiterate that the things I've mentioned in this lesson are just the tip of the iceberg of evidence. We encourage those who are interested in further studies on this topic to visit www.examinetheevidence.com to study this fascinating subject further.
Let us close with a quote from Dr. Richard Dawkins: "If anyone doesn't agree that this amount of complex design cries out for an explanation, I give up." Every watch has a watchmaker; every painting has a painter; every building has a builder; "but He who built all things is God" (Heb. 3:4). Thank you for listening, and may the Lord bless you as you strive to do His will.