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Faith: God is found in the details when it comes to creation

Local columnist Chris Kempling asks the question, "Is atheism dead?"

Is atheism dead? That is the provocative title of a new book by Eric Metaxas, a prominent cultural commentator from New York City.

The short answer is yes — well, except for the “spittle-flecked ravings” of those in the camp of Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. I suppose one could call them “zombie atheists,” those who refuse to “die” despite the overwhelming proof their position is unsupported by any serious scientific evidence.

Metaxas assembles quite a collection of that evidence.

Atheism, of course, posits that there is no “intelligent design” of anything. All of the material world, including complex living organisms like human beings, are entirely the result of random occurrences.

To admit there is intelligent design is to admit there must necessarily be an intelligent designer.

Religious folks have a short, three-letter name for that intelligent designer — God.

The Christian/Hebrew holy book starts with, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

When was that “beginning”? The science says it was 13.8 billion years ago.

We know this because astronomers have been able to determine that a) the universe is expanding at a measurable rate from an initial big bang and b) reverse calculations of that measurable expansion indicate that the bang occurred 13.8 billion years ago.

The Big Bang Theory was articulated by the Belgian priest/physicist Georges Lemaitre, who used Einstein’s Theory of Relativity mathematics to prove his case.

Einstein wasn’t happy about Lemaitre’s conclusions, but eventually conceded they were correct.

Other anti-creation scientists like Frederick Hoyle propounded a Steady State Theory and called the concept of a Big Bang ridiculous.

But then two radio astronomers at Bell Laboratories, Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias, discovered evidence of the Big Bang — measurable background radiation that represented the partially dissipated heat from the original explosion.

The gamma radiation from that blast was everywhere and measured 2.7 degrees Kelvin.

They got a Nobel Prize for that discovery and poor Dr. Hoyle looked rather foolish.

It was poetic justice that his sneering name for Lemaitre’s discovery — Big Bang, given in a BBC interview in 1949 — became the name everyone now uses for what is undeniably a creation event.

Allan Sandage, one of the world’s pre-eminent astronomers and the man who carried on the work of Edwin Hubble (after whom the space telescope is named), had this to say about whether “God” was at work in the origins of everything, “… there was an event that happened that can be age-dated back in the past … Just the very fact that science [can make] that statement, that cosmology can understand the universe at a much earlier state and it did emerge from a state that was fundamentally different.

Now that’s an act of creation. Within the realm of science, one cannot say any more detail about that creation than the First Book of Genesis.” Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking agrees.

In his 1988 bestseller A Brief History of Time, he writes, “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe would have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.”

High-profile atheist Christopher Hitchens once admitted, on camera, that the most convincing argument for a “creator” was “fine-tuning.” He also stated that most of his co-atheists admitted as such.

“Fine-tuning” is the argument that there are certain things about the universe, the solar system and millions of biological systems here on Earth that are so perfectly calibrated that the chances that their “fine-tuning” is coincidental or accidental is so infinitesimally small as to be ridiculous.

For example, if our Earth was only slightly larger or smaller, life could not exist here.

Too small and the solar wind would strip away our atmosphere.

Too large, and the increased gravity would trap our atmospheric gases and make it unbreathable.

If Saturn and Jupiter were not exactly where they are in the solar system, we would have been pounded into oblivion by asteroids.

The gravity exercised by those two gas giants deflect the majority (but obviously not all) of life-killing asteroids. What about the idea we all learned in science class, that all life arose from inorganic compounds in a primordial “soup” being zapped by lightning to create life?

Physicist Paul Davies, writing in The Cosmic Blueprint, says, “it is possible to perform rough calculations of the probability that the endless breakup and reforming of the soup’s complex molecules would lead to a small virus after a billion years — it would be one chance in 10 to the two millionth power.” In other words, a mind-numbing improbability. How ironic that atheists would insist on believing the ridiculous instead of what the scientific evidence clearly demonstrates.

When it comes to creation, God is in the details.

KTW welcomes submissions to its Faith page. Columns should be between 600 and 800 words in length and can be emailed to editor@ kamloopsthisweek.com. Please include a very short bio and a photo.