In the beginning was… not the Word …. but the singularity event occurring in absolute “nothingness” and timelessness that spontaneously created all we see in the universe around us. So say physicists such as Stephen Hawking and Lawrence Krause, who claim that discovery of such things as the “God particle” and the theory of multiple universes prove that God is unnecessary. Science, they say, has shown that we must throw off the "fairy tales" of the past and realize that there is not "evidence" for God.
"News" stories like these – most notably the recent accounts of the confirmation of the elusive God particle - can be very disturbing for people of faith, and provide false comfort to those who prefer to suppress their innate knowledge of God. But how does one argue with an expert, especially one with scientific credentials and published books to their credit?
Actually, it’s done all the time. Every week in criminal courtrooms across America, experts from a variety of disciplines take to the witness stand, with the expectation that the jury will follow along. These experts must first be qualified before they are allowed to offer an opinion. But their qualifications – even qualifications as weighty as those of a published quantum physicist – do not give them a free pass. The expert's opinions, like all evidence presented in court, must be tested. While the prosecutors who are called upon to test that evidence lack the expert’s depth of knowledge, they nonetheless can apply sound thinking skills to show that the expert opinions do not change the fact of guilt for the defendant whose fate the jury must decide. Often in fact, despite their great intelligence and knowledge of their particular field of study, the experts reach erroneous – sometimes downright foolish - conclusions.
Before testing these “new” scientific claims, it’s worth noting that this modern effort to dethrone God is really nothing new. People have always wished to throw off the “shackles” that recognition of God and his authority over us carries. What’s new today is the vigor with which some high-visibility scientists insist that there is not – that science has somehow proven that there cannot be – a Creator-God. But the vitriol with which they sometimes attack does not negate what we all know – intuitively and through our senses – that you cannot get something from nothing. No matter how long or how hard you try. More to the point, you cannot get all that surrounds us – the grandeur of nature, the inner working of the cell, the incredible complexity of the human brain, the existence of order, design, beauty, truth, morality – without some adequate underlying source.
While atheist-physicists may know a lot about quantum theory, the philosophy and reasoning they bring to this question of God’s existence is demonstrably weak. Simply put: you can’t use science to prove what occurred prior to, and outside of, nature. This is simply because science is a tool for discovering things about nature. It is not a book of wisdom, or a book of ultimate origins, but is instead a method for using our senses, and reason, to learn how and why things occur or are the way they are. So, even if there are a multitude of universes, and even if the God particle could “cause” creation – as they claim - there is simply no way for us - the created - to see beyond creation to know what set those things into motion. Even if Krause is right – that the particle explains all - there is no way he – or anyone else on Earth – could know it.
Consider a programmer writing a computer simulation in which a virtual soldier is given artificial intelligence, and a set of missions to perform. If the soldier uses its intelligence to begin inquiring as to the nature of the computer in which he is housed, what information would that provide him about the programmer? Only such information as the programmer wanted his creation to know. Regardless of how clever this soldier became, he could never know what the programmer wished to accomplish with the program, or what motivated him to write it, unless the programmer gave him that information. What stunning arrogance it would be for the soldier to nonetheless conclude from his inquiry that he self assembled, that there was not programmer at all.
This, too, is the secular physicist’s problem. As a scientist, he no doubt understands that theories must be tested in some fashion to give them scientific weight. How can a theory about multiple universes which do not intersect in any fashion with our own ever be tested? How can he demonstrate that gravity or the God particle was not first created by someone immensely powerful and completely outside of our physical reality?
Why then write books insisting that science has proven something it cannot even begin to legitimately address? The Bible warns that the wisdom of the world is folly to God. Perhaps this is what it means.