By Editorial Staff
Published April 22, 2008
The fundamental laws of probability answer, “Yes, you do!”
by Dave Bovenmyer
“ACTUALLY NO ONE CAN PROVE THAT GOD EXISTS,” MY UNCLE BOLDLY STATED TO THE ENTIRE SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS. “IN FACT, WE REALLY CAN’T PROVE ANYTHING, NOT EVEN THAT WE EXIST.”
“That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,” our pastor responded.
Suddenly my uncle jumped out of his seat with a yell. Our pastor had kicked him in the shin under the table.
My uncle decided to drop the argument. He had had enough proof for one day.
Although some people may require more evidence than others to reach a conclusion, the fact that we exist is so obvious that most of us never question it. Yet just as there is an abundance of evidence to prove our existence, so there is an abundance of evidence to convince any open-minded person that God exists.
Of the many evidences for the existence of God, one of the most convincing is the existence of life as we know it. The incredible complexity that we find in living things demands the existence of a master designer.
Even the smallest unit of life, the cell, is amazingly complex: According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “The information content of a simply cell has been estimated at around one trillion bits or pieces of information.” That, according to Cosmos television series host Carl Sagan, is equivalent to the total number of letters in all of the books in the world’s largest library.
How do scientists who believe that God had no part in the origin of the universe postulate that such complexity could arise by chance? They resort to their hero — time. “Time is the hero on the plot,” Nobel prize winner George Wald has said. “Given enough time anything could happen — the impossible becomes probable; the improbable becomes certain.”
Prominent evolutionist Julian Huxley has stated that — given enough time — monkeys typing on typewriters could eventually type out the complete works of Shakespeare.
Such statements may seem plausible at first glance, but upon closer examination they become ludicrous. In his book Darwin’s Enigma, author and international lecturer Luther Sunderland calculated the statistical probability that thousands of monkeys – enough to cover every square foot of the Earth’s surface – typing on typewriters could produce a specific five-word sentence. Even if each one typed at the fantastic rate of 10 characters a second for 30 billion years, “there would not be the slightest reasonable chance that a single one would type out a single specific five-word sentence of 31 characters,” Sunderland concluded. In fact, the actual probability that any one monkey would type that sentence in 30 billion years is less than once chance in a trillion.
If a single five-word sentence could not be formed by chance in 30 billion years, it is utterly inconceivable that a cell – containing more data than all of the letters in all of the volumes of the world’s largest library – could have formed by random processes.
In 1981, famous British mathematician and astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle, in his book Evolution from Space, reversed his position on the origin of life. Although he had been an atheist all of his life, he came to the conclusion that the high degree of order in the universe demanded pre-existing intelligence “even to the limit of God.”
According to his calculations, the probability of life as we know it originating by random processes is one chance in 1040000 – that is 10 multiplied by itself 40,000 times.
Since the number 1040000 is so large that it is difficult to illustrate, let us try to visualize a much smaller number, 10157, using an illustration from astronomer and mathematician Peter Stoner’s book Science Speaks.
For his illustration, Stoner chose one of the smallest particles that we know of, the electron. The electron is so small that you can lay 2.5 × 1015 of them side by side to make a line one inch long. If we were to count the electrons in this one-inch line, counting 250 per minute, it would take 19 million years to finish.
Now let’s take 10157 electrons and put them in a pile. Since electrons are so incredibly small, it would seem that our pile of electrons would easily fit within a few square miles. However, the number 10157 is so large that such a pile would actually be inconceivably big.
To help us comprehend the volume of a pile of 10157 electrons, let’s first imagine a solid ball of electrons extending in all directions from the earth 1.5 million light-years, the distance from our galaxy to the next nearest one. (A light year is almost 6 trillion miles.) Would such a ball use up our 10157 electrons? No, it would be extremely tiny in comparison. Our pile of 10157 electrons would be 2 × 1024 times the size of this ball.
Imagine that we took this utterly humongous pile of 10157 electrons, somehow marked one electron, stirred up the whole mess, blindfolded a man, and had him pick one electron at random. His chances of picking the marked one would be one in 10157. And yet, according to Sir Fred Hoyle, the chance of life originating by random processes is not one in 10157, but an almost infinitely less probable chance of one in 1040000.
The figures speak for themselves. There is absolutely no reasonable chance of life originating through random processes.
If someone claimed that a fountain pen had originated over thousands of years through different pressures and forces of nature, we would consider his statement ridiculous. We all know that even something as simple as a fountain pen had to have a designer. How much more so with the incredible complexity of life.
If the evidence for a master designer is so obvious, why do many people still refuse to believe in God? Chapter one of the book of Romans gives the answer, “Although they knew about God,” it says, “they refused to honor Him as God or to give thanks.”
Men do not reject God because of a lack of evidence. We reject Him because, not wanting anyone to tell us how we should live, we refuse to submit to God. Or because deep inside, we know that we have violated the commands of a holy God and cannot bear to face the possibility of His judgment.
But God has provided forgiveness through His Son, Jesus Christ. When Jesus suffered on the cross, He paid the severe penalty for our violation of God’s commands. If we put our trust in Him and accept this payment for our sins, we will not only know intellectually that God exists, but will experience Him personally as we see Him working daily in our lives.
Reprinted from Potential Magazine
Forerunner - Home » The Mandate Newspaper » The Mandate - Volume 3, Number 1
Your comments are welcome!
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the free Study Guide!
Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?
This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.
Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.
The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?
As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).
Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.
Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!
Running Time: 195 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)