WHAT KIND OF DESIGNER?
If leading scientists like Greenstein are right in their conclusions that a designer exists, are there things that can be deduced about his nature from the observation of the universe? Why did he create us? Has he left any clues about our purpose here on planet Earth? Although these questions move beyond science into the realm of natural theology, they have been provoked by new discoveries in science.
So, if a designer has left clues about himself, where would we look for them? To begin our search, we need to examine the universe to see if he has left his fingerprints. Just as the paintings of The Last Supper and Mona Lisa tell us something about their artist, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony reveals clues about its composer, we should be able to discern clues about a designer by observing his universe.
Although scientific evidence only gives us a partial picture of what a designer is like, the universe does reveal some insightful clues about his nature.
The following characteristics seem to emerge. The designer is a
• purposeful designer
• powerful designer
• superintelligent designer
• personal designer
Once scientists discovered the remarkable fine-tuning of the universe, many reasoned there must be a purpose behind it. Paul Davies, one of the leading theoretical physicists in the world, writes, “If the universe has been designed by God, then it must have a purpose.”
Mathematician Roger Penrose –who, with Hawking, derived proof for the beginning of time–offers his insight:
There is a certain sense in which I would say the universe has a purpose. It’s not there just somehow by chance. Some people take the view that the universe is simply there and it runs along–it’s a bit as though it just sort of computes, and we happen by accident to find ourselves nin this thing. I don’t think that’s a very fruitful or helpful way of looking at the universe. I think that there is something much deeper about it, about its existence, which we have very little inkling of at the moment.
Penrose deduces that the fine-tuning of physical constants (see article 3) for man’s existence is so improbable that it must have been intentionally planned. And it follows that whoever intentionally created the universe has a purpose that must include us. In his book, Superforce, Davies writes,
The laws which enable the universe to come into being spontaneously seem themselves to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design. If physics is the product of design, the universe must have a purpose, and the evidence of modern physics suggests strongly to me that the purpose included us.
If purpose is apparent from the fine-tuning of the universe, its awesome power is evident from startling new discoveries made possible by Hubble and other high-powered telescopes. Consider a few of the latest findings:
• Black holes have such powerful gravitational force that even light cannot escape their grasp. Large ones gobble up stars like our Sun as mere snacks. (Maybe yummy…but a little too hot).
• Supernova eruptions are so powerful that their light can rival the visual brightness of an entire galaxy with 100 billion suns. The resulting neutron star is so dense that on Earth, one teaspoonful would weigh a billion tons!
• Quasars generate the energy of 100 galaxies, shine with the intensity of a trillion suns, and reach temperatures of several million degrees.
• Gamma-ray bursts have the power of 10 billion billion suns. A single gamma-ray burst is capable of obliterating life on Earth in milliseconds.
Power demonstrated by great earthquakes and thermonuclear explosions would be virtually insignificant when contrasted with that of black holes, gamma-rays, or quasars. Yet, even those are miniscule when compared with the power demonstrated at the beginning of the universe. Scientists are not only amazed at the power within the cosmos, but even more in awe of the power required to create and control it all.
Scientists are also in awe at the incredible genius behind the universe. Arguably the greatest mind in the history of science, Albert Einstein acknowledges that the mind behind the universe is a “superintelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.” Einstein acknowledged this intelligence without ever defining it in personal terms.
Perhaps with DNA engineering, man will discover ways to increase human intelligence or develop supercomputers far more advanced than Deep Blue, the IBM version that defeated Grandmaster Gary Kasparov in chess. But as Einstein notes, we can’t compare human genius with the intelligence of the one who designed it along with the universe and its laws of physics, quantum mechanics, and the intricate complexity of DNA?
Astronomer Hugh Ross explains that it is impossible to impose any limit on either the power or intelligence of a transcendent Creator. That is because the Creator would not be restricted by any of the constraints of our four-dimensional world–including time.
Think for a minute of a being outside of time and the limitations of gravity and other natural forces. Our natural laws would have no power over him since he would be in complete control of them. And, being outside of time, he would know everything in the past–present–and future.
But is the Creator of the universe merely an energy force like a microwave or is he personal like us? Is he aloof and non-relational like The Force in Star Wars? If so, how was an impersonal force capable of creating personal, relational beings? This is the question that has puzzled both scientists and philosophers.
In Contact, Ellie Arroway supposedly discovers the purpose she had been yearning for, but not from a personal creator. After returning from her encounter with an advanced civilization, Ellie tells her Christian friend Palmer,
The story I have to tell you isn’t exactly about Punishment and Reward….There’s not a word in it about Jesus. Part of my message is that we’re not central to the purpose of the Cosmos.
Ellie continues, “The universe was made on purpose….In whatever galaxy you happen to find yourself, you take the circumference of a circle, divide it by its diameter, measure closely enough, and uncover a miracle–another circle, drawn kilometers downstream of the decimal point. There would be richer messages farther in. It doesn’t matter what you look like, or what you’re made of, or where you come from. As long as you live in this universe, and have a modest talent for mathematics, sooner or later you’ll find it.” Sagan ends his novel with this message: “She found what she had been searching for.”
Is it possible that an impersonal, mathematical force like Ellie’s circles is behind everything in the cosmos? In his book, The Kalam Cosmological Argument, Dr. William Lane Craig argues that it isn’t. He states that a beginning to the universe proves that its Creator is personal. Craig summarizes the possibilities:
1. The universe either (a) had a beginning or (b) had no beginning.
2. If it had a beginning, the beginning was either (a) caused or (b) uncaused.
3. If it had a cause, the cause was either (a) personal or (b) not personal.
Therefore, since the evidence clearly points to a universe that had a primary cause, it logically follows that the cause was personal. According to Craig, intelligence, volition (will), and power are all implied in the act of creating. If we think about a painting such as the Mona Lisa, we see the same things. Leonardo Da Vinci needed intelligence, volition, and power to paint the image he wanted to portray. These attributes point to Da Vinci being a person, and not a mere force.
Philosopher Francis Schaeffer concurs, asserting, “No one has ever demonstrated how…an impersonal being can produce the needed complexity of the universe, let alone the personality of man.”
Continue reading page 5 of 5 of “Is a Designer Revealed in Creation?”