HAS THE DESIGNER SPOKEN?
Yet, in spite of these arguments for a personal creator, materialists remain unconvinced. They speak of a cold, uncaring universe that has originated by undirected forces blindly operating through eons of time. They believe in a universe without any purpose. But some startling new evidence recently brought forth seems to challenge their skepticism.
In The Privileged Planet, theologian Jay Richards and astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez reveal a startling fact: Earth has been placed in an optimal location for scientific observation of our universe.
In other words, if Earth was in a slightly different position in our solar system or galaxy, or located in another galaxy, we might find ourselves looking at a night sky with no stars to observe. Or the sky might be so flooded with light that we couldn’t distinguish one star from another. If we didn’t have this optimal position, many of the discoveries about our universe would have been impossible.
Imagine being in a large room with many seats and one tiny window with a view of space. One front row seat has a view, while the occupants of other seats can’t see out. Earth’s position in the universe is like having that front-row seat. Our front-row seat to the universe isn’t part of the fine-tuning requirement for life, but it seems to have been given to us intentionally. Richards and Gonzalez conclude that a designer wants us to know and understand his universe.
At this point many might ask, “so what? How does that impact my life?” The obvious next question is, has a personal creator related to us in ways we can better understand? And if so, where do we look to discover more about his nature, and what he has said about our purpose?
Agnostic George Smoot has remarked that an obvious parallel exists between the big bang and the Christian teaching of creation from nothing. Smoot takes his inference to the Christian God no further, presumably leaving it for theologians.
Theology, like philosophy or science, makes logical deductions –in this case, logical deductions about the nature of God. So let’s see what we can logically deduce from what science has told us about God. Since we have seen evidence from science and logic that the Creator of the universe is purposeful, powerful, super-intelligent, and personal, he certainly would understand our desire to know more about him and his purpose for creating us.
A creator who intentionally designed us with consciousness, personality, and the ability to communicate would be able to communicate with us if he so desired. Just as SETI is searching outer space for messages from intelligent beings in other galaxies, so we would expect a personal creator to have given us a message in a way we could understand. Of all creatures on Earth, humans are the only ones who are able to communicate propositional ideas –and we do it through written and spoken language.
Although our brief attempt to make sense of the universe cannot possibly look at each religion or its god, Smoot’s assertion that a parallel exists between the scientific evidence for a beginning and the Christian teaching of creation deserves a deeper look.
The Judeo-Christian Bible remarkably presents a God who is purposeful, powerful, superintelligent, and personal. It speaks of this God as an infinite, eternal Creator, who alone made everything there is from nothing. Although he is presented as a fearsome God of law and order, he is also shown to be a God of love who created us for a relationship with himself.
Well, perhaps we should stop here. But we can’t resist taking our logic one more step. If God were really there, and if he revealed himself through science, and even through the written word, would that be sufficient? Would that show the highest order of care and communication? We’re persuaded that it would not.
If you really love someone, sending them an email every month or so just wouldn’t cut it. Sooner or later, if you really care, you’ll be compelled to drop in for a visit –show up and get involved in his or her life.
We close by suggesting that God may in fact have done just that –“shown up.” Here we leave physics and chemistry and biology, and turn to history, a field of human inquiry that can also provide knowledge about the real world.
As we examine the history of mankind, is there any evidence that a designer has paid us a visit –and actually dropped in on us? Is it possible that God has visited Earth in human form? Many laugh at such an idea, recalling numerous ancient myths and legends that utter tales of superhuman gods visiting Earth. However, if the Creator paid us a visit, we would not be looking for a myth, but a real person who has transformed history.
Whereas history records the feats of many great people, only one person has truly transformed history. Yale historian, Jaroslav Pelikan tells us his name: “Jesus of Nazareth has been the dominant figure in the history of Western culture for almost twenty centuries.” When the great secular historian, H. G. Wells was asked what person had the biggest impact upon world history, he answered, “By this test, Jesus stands first.”
But historical impact is only one element of Jesus’ uniqueness. There are several other reasons why this one man is worthy of a deeper look. His life, his reported miracles, and his claims, convinced his followers that he was more than a mere man. They left a written record that Jesus was the one who put the stars in space, established the laws of the universe, and created you and me.
But were they deluded? Or could the entire account of Jesus have been a conspiracy like The Da Vinci Code asserts? Was Jesus Christ just a great man who was later deified by the Roman emperor, Constantine and the fourth century church? Or are the written accounts in the New Testament right? Did the Creator actually drop in on us and pay us a visit?
These all-important questions about this intriguing person are the subject of another investigation: Y-Jesus. In the Y-Jesus magazine which is about the most fascinating person in history, we examine evidence outside the Bible and tradition in order to solve the mystery of Jesus’ true identity. And if he is really who he claimed to be, we want to know what he said about you and me, and our purpose in the universe.
As we contemplate our place on this remote planet in a universe of ten billion trillion stars, we come back to the question, are we accidents, or are we special?
Materialist Stephen Jay Gould considered us lucky to be alive– “the glorious accident resulting from 60 trillion contingent events.” Yet, as leading scientists examine the universe, another picture is beginning to emerge. Many of these scientists are convinced that we are a divine conception, the intentional work of a powerful, super-intelligent, purposeful designer. If true, we are special.