South Sydney Anglican Church

Apologetics: Defending the Christian Faith (3rd Sunday)

28 April 2024

Series: Apologetics

Bible Passage: Genesis 1:1-31

The Infinite Complexity of the Universe testifies to God’s Glory

Intro:    Well morning South Sydney Anglican Church. My name is Matt Johnson and today we continue our sermon series on Christian Apologetics.

Prayer:    Well over the past two weeks I shared with you both 1) the Moral Argument and 2) the Cosmological Argument – for the existence of God. These are philosophical arguments that show belief in God is reasonable. But in recent years a SCIENTIFIC argument for the existence of God has also emerged. Many regular, secular scientists are now admitting that the most plausible explanation for all the intricate, details in the universe is God. This is now known as the Fine-Tuned Argument for the existence of God…

(Slide 2) Now the fact that science is beginning to prove the existence of God should not surprise us as Christians. As we saw last week in Romans 1 – everything IN NATURE testifies to the fact that God exists. And what scientists study is NATURE. So, if science is really doing science honestly – we expect science to discover – evidence that God exists. Now incredibly, the evidence that God exists from nature is almost reaching the point of being UNDENIABLE.

Two weeks ago – I shared with you this image (Slide 3). In the 1990’s and early 2000’s these four men (plus Ayyan Hirsi Ali) became the biggest promoters of atheism. And sadly many of our friends and work colleagues have been influenced by their arguments for atheismwithout realising that their arguments are not really supported by science. ConsequentlyAyaan Hirsi Ali ended up becoming a Christian end of 2023. Two weeks ago Richard Dawkins admitted he is a cultural Christian and in recent years he has even admitted DNA points to a Designer of some sort.

But let’s now come to Christopher Hitchens (ENTER). CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS was probably the most arrogant atheist of the four horsemen. I say “WAS” because he died a few years ago.

But shortly before he died – a journalist asked him what was the best argument against atheism? And in a moment of unexpected candour, Hitchens responded (Slide 3). Notice Hitchens says “we all say that” – presumably talking about – “all four Horsemen”. So why is the fine tuned argument so powerful?

Point 1:         The Universe Testifies to the Fine Tuning of God

Show:            Gen.1:1-2 (READ)

Explain:         Well this says the heavens and the earth are the product of a being called GOD. In the beginning GOD made the heavens and the earth. Now with the discovery of the big bang – most scientists now agree the universe had a beginning some 13.6 billion years ago and the earth began about 4.5 billion years ago…

Now I know SOME CHRISTIANS strongly believe that the whole universe was created in seven literal days about 7000 years ago. If that is your position that is ok. I don’t want to dissuade you. But I have noticed that Genesis 1:14 – tells us God created TIME on day 4. Verse 14 says God put the sun, moon and stars in the sky to mark (or measure) times, days and years. So the Bible tells us that TIME (as we normally understand it) only became possible on day 4 when God put the sun in the sky. Earth time is measured in relation to the sun.

But when it comes to science – we have other big problems with time. For starters – Einsteins THEORY OF RELATIVITY says time can actually warp with speed. Move fast time slows down. Move slow times speeds up. But most estimates of the age of the universe are based on the COSMOLOGICAL CONSTANT that the universe is expanding at a constant rate. However, recent discoveries with the James Webb telescope – has led to a new COSMOLOGICAL THEORY OF INFLATION which hypothesizes that the universe may have expanded super-fast, then slowed down AND is now speeding up again. This all wreaks havoc for science’s guestimate of time. So don’t be surprised if the scientific-age of the universe starts bouncing like a yo-yo over the next few years. Simply put – there are still too many unknown variables for scientists to really measure time or age accurately. So arguing about time and age in apologetics is probably not that helpful.

But with that said – let’s now get into some of the FINE-TUNED MARVELS. In the 1960’s astronomer Carl Sagan said there are two essential ingredients for life. First, you need a sun (like ours) to produce energy AND second you need to be exactly the right distance from that sun – so that you do not cook or freeze. Now believing these were the only two criteria for life – scientists believed they would find many planets in the universe capable of supporting LIFE. But scientists are now discovering there are so many variables that have to be just perfect for life – that it is unlikely we will ever find alien life forms anywhere in the entire universe. Seriously!

For instance, PAUL DAVIES (an agnostic) highly respected physicist writes; (Slide 5). Or from committed atheist STEPHEN HAWKING. (Slide 6). What on earth are they talking about?

Well first a planet (any planet) has to be exactly THE RIGHT SIZE for life. Any bigger – no life. Any smaller – no life. It just so happens that our planet is the RIGHT SIZE to create the perfect MAGNETOSPHERE (MAGNETIC POLES) around the earth. This magnetism is just strong enough (based on our size) to deflect all the charged solar winds passing through space to safely deflect around our planet. If our magnetism was even slightly lower those solar winds would rip away all hydrogen and oxygen out into space – and everything would die. But if our planet was even marginally BIGGER and the MAGNETOSPHERE slightly stronger we wouldn’t 1) be able to MOVE and 2) our ATMOSPHERE would so thick and dense – no one would be able to breathe.

What’s more – JUPITER AND SATURN – save your life every day. Whirring through space every day are huge asteroids and meteors capable of destroying our planet within a week. But Jupiter and Saturn are just THE RIGHT SIZE and just THE RIGHT DISTANCE from us with just THE RIGHT GRAVITY to either draw all those projectiles into themselves or deflect them safely around the earth. We are in what scientists call the GOLDILOCKS ZONE. It’s just right to be safe.

But our whole solar system is also in a goldilocks zone within the Milky Way. You know our solar system of sun, moon and eight planets is in THE ORION ARM of the Milky way galaxy. That’s about ¾ of the way out from the center. If we were any closer to the center of our galaxy we’d receive so much SOLAR ENERGY (from other stars) – we’d all die of radiation. But if we were any further out in the Milky Way galaxy – all the planets become too small to have a magnetosphere capable of protecting us from solar winds. The fact is – even our solar system is in THE SWEET SPOT to sustain life.

But let’s really spin out your brain. There are four major forces in PHYSICS that hold the entire universe together. Change any of these forces by even the slightest margin and everything falls apart. The four forces of physics are (Slide 7). Now each one is perfect to sustain life. But more amazing yet – each force is independently playing off each other force in a perfectly calibrated way. SO MATHEMATICIANS have now worked out THE PROBABILITY of these four forces perfectly aligning by random chance (like atheists claim). They calculate it is (ENTER) 1 chance in 1060. that this happened by random chance, Now remember 1 chance in a trillion is only 1 in 1012.

So let’s imagine – you took US penny’s and you covered the whole of the United States and Canada with penny’s so that no land could be seen. And then you piled the pennys on top of each other 380,000km high – all the way up to the moon. You got the picture. Ok.  Now you have to find another BILLION continents the same size as USA-Canada and do the same thing. That’s about 1 in 1060 penny’s. But then I say I want you to find one particular red penny in those billion piles – all piled up to the moon. What’s the chance of you finding that coin? Well, that’s the mathematical probability that the FOUR FORCES OF PHYSICS came about by random chance. And this number is coming from a non-Christian and has been peer reviewed to be about right. So at this point – is it easier to believe that it all happened by chance OR is it is easier to believe God made it this way?

Point 2:         The Earth also testifies to the Fine Tuning of God

Show:     Gen.1:3-5 (READ)

Explain:         So day 1 God creates light and darkness. Now you may think how can there be light – if there is NO SUN until day 4. Traditionally, Christians have said God’s glory gave the light. But it’s also possible – that other stars (earlier than our sun) bathed the earth in some light. So it’s possible that on day one – God just spun the earth – so we started to have the experience of day and night – in relation to these early stars. Then DAY 2 God takes some of the water in the sea and creates an ATMOSPHERE. And DAY 3 – the seas separate to reveal land.

 Now days 1, 2 & 3 in Genesis perfectly aligns with what scientists think were the actual order of events. They agree the entire earth was covered in water. They agree that as the earth was bathed with light and energy it started to create an atmosphere. They also agree that as our planet cooled tectonic plate activity caused the seas to divide and dry land to emerge. Genesis 1 is so accurate – many scientists ask – how does the pre-scientific Bible know this was the order of events?

Well this brings us to some really strange properties of light and water. A few years ago Australian biochemist MICHAEL DENTON published a book called the “Wonder of Water.” H2O (or water) is actually one of the strangest substances on our planet. (Simply google the words ANOMALY and WATER if you want to know more). Now for some unknown reason water floats as ice in its solid state. Most substances that exist as a solid and a liquid – sink in their solid state, But – ice floats – which is absolutely essential for life. If ice sank (like it technically should) – our oceans and rivers would freeze from the bottom up – absolutely destroying their ecosystems. But that doesn’t happen because ice floats as a solid AND this then creates AN INSULATION BARRIER that preserves the life in the ecosystem underneath. If ice didn’t float – aquatic life and many say all life on earth would disappear.

But let’s now talk about the freezing and boiling points of water. Scientists can normally tell the freezing and boiling points of all liquids by the size of their molecules. But this doesn’t work with water. Scientists say water should freeze at -100 degree celsius and it should boil at 0 degrees Celsius. Now scientists can’t really explain why it doesn’t. But if water followed the normal properties of other liquids there would be no swimming at the beach ever. It would be boiling. Also every day when the sun came up – every living organism on earth would die because 65% of living organisms is water. But the fact that water also freezes at 0 degrees and not -100 degrees (like it should) is also essential for life. When water rises as vapour into our atmosphere it condenses into water and turns back into ice (at far higher temperatures than it should). So it falls back to earth. But if water had the condensing and freezing points (that it should scientifically have) we would be losing water into space every day and our oceans would be depleted.

But water also has the exact right SOLVENCY AND VISCOSITY to erode mountains at almost the exact same rate that tectonic plates are pushing them up. Water also has the exact right VISCOSITY AND SURFACE TENSION to carry the essential metals (pushed to surface by the tectonic plates) to carry these essential metals throughout our environment, creating nutrients that feed plant life. Why?

But here’s the last fun fact – water and light (day one and two of creation) have a perfect life giving symmetry. Andrew Parker – who has a PhD from Macquarie University in Sydney puts it this way. (Slide 10). This means there would have been no plant life in our oceans (or on land) – if light and water were not in perfect synthesis. This synthesis also points to FINE TUNING. But notice also the name of Andrews book. The Genesis EnigmaWhy the First Book of the Bible is Scientifically Accurate. Please be assured Andrew Parker is not a Christian. He is agnostic. But this is where the science is leading him. For some unknown reason Genesis 1 perfectly aligns with the order and events and symmetry that science is discovering.

Point 3:         Life itself Testifies to the Fine Tuning of God

Show:            Gen.1:11-13 (READ)

Explain.         Well moving to days three, four, five and six we find what science calls a SINGULARITY. How did non-living things become alive? Whenever cosmology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology stops working they call it a singularity. The Big Bang is called a singularity because all scientific models break down. Black holes are called singularities because all scientific theories break down. Non-living substances suddenly coming to life is also a kind of singularity because there are no scientific theories to explain how this is possible.

Now what science calls a SINGULARITY, Christians usually call a MIRACLE. Some things simply point to the supernatural hand of God. Of course, science can explain many things – including 1) the planetary movements of our solar system, 2) the cycle of water from clouds, to rain, to river systems, to oceans and back to the clouds. 3) Science may even make certain observations about adaptation or micro-evolution. At low levels – some NATURAL SELECTION processes are perhaps happening along Darwinian lines. But to think that science can explain everything, without reference to God really starts to come unstuck on day 3.

On Day 3 we first get flora or plant life. Then day 5 we get fauna or animal life. Then day 6 – we get human life. Science agrees the ancient Biblical text is exactly right in the order events.

But let’s be absolutely clear – scientists have – no way at all to explain how life began. THE TECHNICAL WORD for non-life becoming life is ABIOGENESIS. How did this happen? Well back at school – some of us were taught the idea that over billions of years non-living chemicals and compounds somehow collided in the oceans in just a perfect fortuitous way – to create life. But a long, growing list of scientists consider this A COMPLETE AND UTTER JOKE.

Atheistic evolutionary scientists continue to define their theory of abiogenesis like this (Slide 13). Now for common laymen (like us) – this is almost enough to pull the wool over our eyes. But it’s actually a sleight of hand. Most scientists now respond that is rubbish because non-living matter cannot evolve. Non living matter has no way to recognize STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE or undergo NATURAL SELECTION. What’s more non-living matter always breaks down, it never ever evolves upwards. So good science is now calling BS on these scientists. Abiogenesis is another singularity that no one can plausibly explain – APART FROM A GOD THEORY. Seriously.

This is what PHYSICIST DR PAUL DAVIES says (Slide 13). Paul is an agnostic, calling BS on the atheists. And things get even worse for atheists when it comes to DNA and cells in plants, animals and humans. Every single cell in your body is like a micro-city with it’s own energy system, transport system and sewerage system – more complex than the city of Sydney. Cells could never, ever just evolve. It all points to an intelligent designer. And the discovery of DNA so clearly points to a DESIGNER that it is truly laughable to say that DNA evolved from natural processes. Even the devout atheist Richard Dawkins admits there must be a designer. That’s right Richard Dawkins (the best known atheist in the world) admits DNA points to a designer. But in a public debate a couple of years ago Dawkins said that perhaps the DESIGNER was extra-terrestials. That’s right ET designed our DNA and gave us life. But this immediately leads to another infinite regression argument. So how did those aliens get life? Well perhaps other aliens. And who gave those aliens life? Perhaps other aliens… Seriously, this is what the best-known atheist in the world now claims to defend his atheism[1].

MATHEMATICAL PROBABILITIES say that the chance of ever finding another planet in our entire universe capable of sustaining life is virtually impossible. Most people will not be smart enough to grasp this truth.

But remember to arrive at the REAL PROBABILITY that everything in our universe came about just right for human life entirely by chance; you need to multiply 1) the ABIOGENESIS probability of 1 chance in 102,000,000 multiplied by 2) the FOUR FORCES OF PHYSICS probability of 1 in 1060 multiplied by 3) the Jupiter and Saturn being in exactly the right place probability, 4) by the earth being the exact right size probability, 5) by the water and light would have exactly asymmetrical properties probability, 6) by all the other fine tuned probabilities that I haven’t even had time to explain to you – and you end up with 1 chance in BS. Mathematics can’t even write that number. It’s a singularity.

Apply:            The reality is there are now so many examples of the FINE-TUNED ARGUMENT in the universe that they point (almost undeniably) to a God worthy of our worship. But this raises the question – who is this God? We also know (purely from nature) that this God is infinitely good and personally concerned about our well-being because He has truly placed in the GOLDILOCKS POSITION so we would be “just right” for life. We also know this God is somehow “different to nature” because there are growing examples of SINGULARITIES where all physics, chemistry, biology, cosmology and mathematics just break down…

Now sadly, sometimes materialistic Christians will say I am simply promoting a God of the gaps. I’m simply pointing at gaps where science does not yet have an answer and saying “Look, God.” They then say – eventually science will fill these gaps. But many scientists our now admitting science will never, ever fill some of these gaps. They are of a different order. 1) Climb to the highest mountain of cosmology and you find the singularity of the Big Bang – God. 2) Climb to the highest hill of physics and the four immutable forces of nature (and a kind odf singularity) screams God. Climb the highest hill in chemistry and the singularity of abiogenesis declares God. Do it in biology and the singularity of DNA screams God. Do it in mathematics and probability gives you a number so big (a singularity) that it responds God.

But even in the science of theology (and theology is a science) we climb the highest mountain and we find ANOTHER SINGULARITY which is Jesus Christ and his resurrection from the dead. Science will never explain this miracle. But in the singularity of Jesus you don’t find unanswerable questions; you find the answer to all questions. The singularity of Jesus (aligns perfectly with all the other singularities we find in the natural world) – there is a God; He is powerful, He loves you and by faith in Jesus he wants to put you in another GOLDILOCKS POSITION so that you are perfectly safe even as this world comes to an end. Do you know this God? He made you. He gave you life and he is offering you a sweet spot, a goldilocks position in the precious arms of Jesus if only you will align yourself with His ultimate purposes in life.

Do you realise our moon is exactly the right size and density (with the right gravitational pull on earth) to even out the earth’s wobble so that we have balanced seasons between winter and summer. Change the moon size by a whisker and there would be no balanced seasons of summer, autumn, winter and spring. Not to mention – change the moons size a whisker and the daily tides between high and low – and life on earth becomes nonsensical.

On that note – have you ever wondered at the plausibility of solar and lunar eclipses? The distance from earth to the sun is 150 million kilometers. The distance to the moon about 380,000 kilometers. That’s about 400 times further to the sun than the moon. Now the size of the sun is 1.4 million km and the size of the moon is about 3500km. But we see the sun and the moon in the sky as exactly the same size – to such a degree that the moon can cross in front of the sun and cause a perfect lunar eclipse. Its almost like someone designed this to be just perfect.

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