Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Where Did We Come From?

There are questions for which our culture's naturalistic view of the world has no good answers. Here are some key ones.

Where did everything come from? The standard explanation is a big explosion (known as the Big Bang). But even granting this is correct, where did the explosion come from? The only explanation I have ever heard is that in quantum mechanics there is a chance (howbeit an extraordinarily small chance) that everything could come out of nothing. This means that the universe came from a coin toss with no time, no space, and no coins. It also means a scientific law can exist and do things when there is nothing there yet for the law to be about. Now even from a scientific point of view the Big Bang has problems, like how do you get the products of an explosion to condense into stars and planets? If you are willing to allow the involvement of God, then it is simpler to say He created stars and planets intact. Why, then, is the universe expanding? According to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, if you do not put in the questionable Cosmological Constant, the universe should be either expanding or contracting. Expanding makes more sense. But irregardless, we still need to know where everything came from.

Also, where did life come from? It is claimed amino acids could be produced by an accident, for instance lightning striking in the right mix of chemicals. But there is huge difference between a puddle of amino acids and a living cell. A cell is a complex structure made up of a number of complicated parts that have specialized functions. It is like a tiny factory. You do not get a factory by throwing a batch of parts in a field and waiting for them to come together, no matter how much time is involved. Further, while there are serious problems with the Neo-Darwinian concept of evolution, it cannot even start to work until a large proportion of the cell's systems are intact and functioning. In fact, the whole idea of something as complex and interrelated as a cell coming into existence slowly over time makes no sense. Nor do viruses work as a transition form, as viruses live off of cells.

Further, what about human beings? If our thinking is just the result of natural processes, how can it have any validity? Do I not simply think what I am conditioned to think, which has no necessary correlation with what happens to be true? Also, how did this product of purely natural processes develop consciousness? or philosophy, morality, science, and the arts? And why, if we are the meaningless product of a meaningless process, do we long for some overarching purpose in life?

Now I do not want to advocate a God of the gaps. I am convinced God created everything. But I do want to point out that there are huge gaps in naturalistic thinking. And the answers are far from satisfactory.

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