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Monday, January 19, 2015

Washington Post columnist on the question of whether God began the universe

Its not often that you can read a column, on the editorial page of a newspaper, about scientific evidence for God's activity in creation. But Michael Gerson, of the Washington Post (his column is syndicated, and our local daily newspaper, the Greenville News, prints some of his columns) has done just that. 

Gerson points out that there are a number of physical constants and properties that are just right -- The Goldilocks effect -- if they werent what they are, or very close to that, life, perhaps even atoms, would be impossible. This could be an amazing coincidence, but that seems to be a serious stretch.

Does this absolutely prove that there is a God? No. See the verse at the top of this web page. It takes faith to believe that the universe was planned by a Divine Creator, and people without such faith are not likely to be convinced. If one doesn't believe in God at all, one isn't going to believe that He had anything to do with the way things began. One alternative explanation for our existence is that there are many universes -- so-called multiverses. We are in one of these universes where the conditions are right for life. There may be an infinite variety of universes where life, even matter, would not be possible. Theres no proof of that, and not even any evidence for it. (It’s hard for me to imagine how we could get such evidence!)

For more information on the Goldilocks effect, see here. There is a Wikipedia article on the Anthropic Principle, which exists in more than one form, but is about how conditions in the universe are compatible with our existence. Heres my evaluation of the position of Richard Dawkins, the most prominent atheistic scientist of our time, on the question.

Gerson quotes Max Tegmark, a scientist who believes that there are multiverses: “To me, an unexplained coincidence can be a telltale sign of a gap in our scientific understanding. Dismissing it by saying, ‘We got lucky — now stop looking for an explanation!’ is not only unsatisfactory, but also tantamount to ignoring a potentially crucial clue.”

Indeed. Thanks for reading.


FancyHorse said...

Interesting reading, thank you. Multiple universes? One is more than I can comprehend. I put my faith in God and His Word.

Martin LaBar said...

That's the place to put it!