Can a theory of God be a legitimate scientific theory? If yes, why haven't scientists proposed it yet? Can something as mundane as bias, and not lack of empirical evidence, be at fault?
Probably one of the most dishonest and unrealistic arguments I've heard in support of our universe being billions of years old was by a scientist trying to refute the belief that the world came into existence approximately 6,000 years ago according to the Bible's account of Creation. He argued: There are stars which are billions of light-years away. This means that it took the light rays of these stars billions of years to travel to earth. Doesn't this make the universe at least billions of years old? And if the universe is only approximately 6,000 years old, wouldn't that make God a bit dishonest in trying to deceive us?
This kind of reasoning is so twisted that if this guy had the power of telekinesis he could start his own pretzel factory. What he perceives as 'dishonest' is little more than his own dishonest evaluation and perhaps a lack of reasoning abilities.
According to the Bible's account of Creation, God did not create man and woman as infants and wait for them to grow up. God did not create the first plants and animals in early stages and wait for them to mature. Why should cosmic rays have been any different? For God to have waited billions of years for cosmic rays to reach their intended destinations would have been inconsistent with the rest of Creation. Thus, for cosmic rays to have been created in a 'state of arrival' should not seem that far-fetched.
Besides, can you imagine God creating an entire universe in six days and then waiting billions of years just for cosmic rays to fly across the universe? Sounds a little absurd.
Of course, when considering an act of Creation of an entire universe, there is another possibility. During the Six Days of Creation all the laws of nature, as we know them, were obviously not yet in place. The fact that light travels at the speed of light is only a law of nature in our completed universe. It is quite conceivable that before all the laws of nature were put into place light traveled at a far greater speed than it does in today's universe. Consequently, a distance which may take many light-years for light to traverse today may have taken only seconds during Creation. Was this really that complicated for this scientist to figure out?
This scientist's totally insane argument is only one example of how perverted logic can get when a narrow minded and fanatical determination to get one's own view across sets in. There are endless additional examples of arguments showing the bias and dishonesty of some scientists in dealing with subject matters not particularly to their liking.
NO CONCERN FOR TRUTH
Another 'logical' argument was presented by a famous scientist in his weekly television program: 'Many people believe our universe was created by God. This leads to the question, 'Where did God come from?' So, why not save a step and just ask, 'Where did our universe come from?''
What this scientist was saying, in effect, was that there is no need to go through an extra step when you can conveniently eliminate it. The impression he gave was that it wasn't a question of which of the steps were true or false. It was more a matter of how you preferred to look at it. It is indeed rather pathetic to see a well-known scientist display such an obvious disregard for objective evaluation.
I'd like to point out in here how the step this scientist would have liked to so conveniently eliminate cannot be eliminated for SCIENTIFIC reasons.
First, it should be noted that scientists have learned to entertain only those 'supernatural' ideas which lend excitement to their own line of work and credence to their own ways of thinking, as will be pointed out here.
Ask any scientist, 'What lies inside or 'beyond' a black hole?' and you will probably get a picture of a world more bizarre than any science fiction concept ever dreamed up.
To begin with, the concept of a black hole is theoretical. A black hole is a heavenly body which has such a strong gravitational pull that nothing, not even light, can escape its gravitational field. Inside a black hole, time stops, no communication system known to man can communicate with the 'outside world,' and an object 'sucked' in would not retain any resemblance to its original shape, form, or size. Even observation of a black hole from the outside is impossible. Were it not for the strong gravitational pull it exerts on its neighbors, a black hole would be undetectable. In short, black holes are likely to remain theoretical, at least until modern technology provides us with a method of directly proving and verifying their existence.
Consequently, what might lie beyond or inside a black hole is certainly nothing more than fanciful speculation. Yet, this speculation is considered science.
Sometimes you hear discussions on universes made up of anti matter. (Without getting involved in much of the details, anti matter is basically some sort of 'counterpart' of matter. When matter and anti matter collide, they 'neutralize' each other's properties.) To date, we have not found or proven the existence of such universes. Like the inside of black holes, they are purely speculative. But this hasn't stopped some scientists from pondering the possibility of their existence.
The same willingness to speculate exists when confronting many scientists with the question, 'What was our universe like before the 'big bang?'' Although scientists will admit that whatever evidence may have existed of a universe before that alleged big bang would more than likely have been destroyed in such an explosion, there are scientists who will speculate that such an earlier universe may have had properties completely different from those of our present universe. In other words, not only is the notion of another universe having existed not inconceivable, but it is also imaginable that such a universe may not have resembled anything with which we are familiar. Yet, as 'unnatural' or as 'supernatural' as such a universe might have been, and as unverifiable as such a universe might be, it does not stop some scientists from speculating.
WHY THE SUDDEN CHANGE
Why is it then that when it comes to the concept of God most scientific speculation stops? Surely the concept of God is no more removed from science than the inside of black holes, universes comprised of anti matter, and a universe before that alleged big bang. So what if the concept of God implies 'laws of nature' completely different from what we are accustomed to and God cannot be scientifically detected or communicated with. Black holes, other universes, and a host of subatomic particles which come under the heading of theoretical physics, are not exactly tangible phenomena either. The fact that some scientific phenomena have come into 'existence' through nothing more than logical deductions rather then hard facts did not preclude their serious consideration. The fact that we still cannot prove the existence of some of these theoretical entities does not keep scientists from accepting them as science. These unproven phenomena, as speculative as they are, are given a status of legitimacy. Why has the concept of God, with far more pointing towards the certainty of His existence than many so called scientific phenomena, not been introduced into science as at least a 'theory?'
SPECULATION ENDS WHERE IT SHOULD BEGIN
Aren't there enough ultra-sophisticated phenomena in this universe, from the microscopic to the macrocosmic, to warrant at least a consideration of an Intelligent Being as the source. I'm not talking about religion. I'm not talking about blind fanatical acceptance. I'm talking about an option which, by virtue of logic and reason, has at least as much merit as many scientific topics. In the twenty first century, the 'theory' of God should tower high above many other scientific theories. An Intelligent Creator being introduced into science as a direct logical deduction stemming from the unfathomable genius behind the entire universe, would not be inconsistent with other topics discussed among scientists. Completely dismissing the concept of God merely because it has been associated with religion for too long is as illogical as dismissing the idea of using wheels on a lunar module because wheels have been associated with cars for too long. If the concept of an Intelligent Creator seems to manifest itself in every corner of scientific endeavor, how can you simply dismiss it? Is entertaining thoughts of God really more 'religious' or 'spiritualistic' than some notions scientists have learned to accept yet have no idea whether or not they really exist? Or has scientific speculation become totally devoid of logic and completely a matter of whim and bias?
Although many notions which go beyond the basic concept of God might come under the heading of religion, the concept of God itself has in our time become more evident in scientific research and exploration than in any other time in earth's history. 'Mixing science and religion' is not the case here. The outdated misconception that God is strictly a product of religion has been disproven by twenty first century science. The concept of God can apparently be arrived at through more than one avenue of thought -- through science as well as religion. And it's this very fact that should move the concept of God away from the domain of philosophy and more toward reality. After such mind boggling concepts as black holes, exploding universes, anti matter, elusive subatomic particles, warped time, and curved space, God should hardly seem all that philosophical. Probably a lot more awe inspiring -- if all this is only His handiwork, God Himself must certainly be beyond human comprehension -- but not all that philosophical.
With all the logical evidence supporting the existence of God, there can be little question that the refusal of some scientists to entertain the concept of God, not even as a theory, constitutes more biased thinking than logical reasoning. Accepting God in the twenty first century hardly takes much complex reasoning. Not accepting God takes a lot of misguided determination.
SUBTLETIES BEYOND THE GRASP OF SOME
There are times, however, when we cannot accuse scientists of being biased or outright dishonest. Sometimes their misinterpretations appear to be the result of a lack of insight into the subtleties of the very fields they study.
The questions of 'Where did our universe come from?' and 'Where did God come from?' seemed to be the same in principle to the scientist mentioned before. To him, it seemed like just a matter of adding or eliminating a step. But if he'd had any deeper understanding of the subject matter, he'd have known that his argument sounded as ridiculous as: if you say, 'The baker baked the cake,' then you have to ask, 'Who baked the baker?' So why not eliminate the baker and just ask, 'Who baked the cake?'
The answer, in a nutshell, is that when you talk about our universe you are not talking about the same set of rules which apply to God. Here's why:
'Where did our universe come from?' is a legitimate scientific question. Nothing in our universe seems to have been around forever, nor does anything within it seem to have the potential to exist for eternity. This is apparently the process of our physical universe -- birth, accretion, formation, death, decay, destruction, etc. This makes curiosity about the origin of our universe downright scientific and not in the least bit philosophical. Furthermore, such curiosity is essential in studying the laws of nature. Anything less would be stopping short of a truly scientific endeavor.
This, incidentally, is one reason why, as far as origins go, the big bang is a totally meaningless and 'empty' theory. It really doesn't answer much. If our universe came from a big bang, where did all that mass or energy that caused the explosion come from? That is, long before that alleged big bang, when, where, and how did the basic elements of our universe come into existence? And this is not being philosophical or clever. This is a legitimate scientific question which must be answered if we are to take some scientific theories seriously. Was the evidence of 'how it all began' destroyed in the explosion? Well, you don't need evidence to list the possibilities. What could possibly have caused our universe to come into existence? Another universe perhaps? Then where did that other universe come from? Or did it come from some big mass-spitting or energy-producing machine or monster? Then where did that machine or monster come from? No matter what you come up with you will always be left with the question, 'Where did it come from?'
Moreover, in a physical universe, being plagued with such an endless array of 'Where did it come from?' seems quite puzzling. Although, the question has such a strong philosophical tone, it deals with a real and physical dilemma. How is it possible that the origin of something so fundamental as the basic elements which make up everything in our universe could be so difficult to prove scientifically? These basic particles are all around us -- their origin should have been the easiest thing to prove. It's obvious that science has no answer. But not even a plausible theory? It's almost as if there was no way for our universe to have come into existence.
A 'DIFFERENT SOURCE'
Well, maybe that's the answer -- there was no physical way for our universe to have come into existence. The laws of nature, giving every indication that our entire universe is comprised of elements of finite potential, point in the direction of something of a more infinite nature as the source of our physical universe. This 'source' may not necessarily be easy to comprehend. Nevertheless, in light of the impossibility of sources which we can relate to on a physical level, this source, as incomprehensible as it may seem, must be the only rational explanation -- our universe must have come into existence through 'something' which did not itself have to 'come from' anywhere. What's more, this is not the 'best' or the 'most probable' explanation, this appears to be the only truly plausible explanation. For without this, we are left with explanations which cannot be verified or substantiated by science or logic.
Finally, common sense will tell you that to bring a universe such as ours into existence, this being would have to possess powers beyond our imagination and intelligence beyond our conception, and this being could not possibly be bound or limited in any way by the laws of nature which govern our universe. Then, after putting these logical deductions together, you should arrive at a startling conclusion -- the concept which is God.
As strange as it may seem, the concept of God, derived at through such a line of reasoning, has nothing whatsoever to do with religion. It's a completely independent conclusion arrived at through the same logical method used to arrive at other very real, physical phenomena. But this conclusion happens to coincide with what religious sources have been telling us for years.
APPLES AND ORANGES
Now, the scientist's question 'Where did God come from?' is not only not scientific, it's not even philosophical. It's downright nonsense. The notion that 'something' has to come from 'somewhere' is only a limitation of the universe we live in. Just as nothing in our universe can exist without time or space, so can nothing exist without having been born, formed, created, etc. But when you talk about God, the concept of 'birth' is not applicable. When we talk about a Being which brought everything that exists into existence, we're obviously talking about an Ultimate Source to which we were logically led to for want of any other possible explanation. Which means that what we've actually done is reached the 'end' -- there simply cannot be a source beyond this. As a result, the concepts of 'origin' and 'birth' cease to exist at this point and are only products of His Creation, and He can obviously not be bound by them. If He were bound by such things, He could not possibly be the source of all that exists -- something would have to have existed before Him, and we'd be back to square one. So, when we talk about God, we're talking about 'that Final Source,' an Original Source, or an Ultimate Existence, before Whom nothing else could possibly have existed. The concept of God, therefore, implies an Existence unlike any other existence, an Existence to Whom the terms 'beginning' and 'end' simply do not apply, an Existence to Whom 'limits' and 'boundaries' do not apply, an Existence from Whom every other existence must have originated, and an Existence so unique that His nonexistence is not even possible.
So, I don't think you can simply ask, 'Where did our universe come from?' just to 'save a step' and avoid asking 'Where did God come from?' as our scientist would have preferred. Our universe, according to our laws of nature, had to come from somewhere. And wherever it ultimately came from, that Source had to be the kind of Existence just described. As a result, not only can you not eliminate God from a discussion of the origin of our universe, but the very presence of our universe, even if it were not in any complex state, points to His unquestionable Existence. Consequently, eliminating the Creator of the universe from any discussion of the origin of the universe, is equivalent to eliminating trees from a discussion of the origin of apples.
An 'Intelligent Designer,' therefore, is religion only if your 'proof' comes from scripture (which is fine, if that's what your inclination is). When you arrive at an Intelligent Designer through logic and reasoning, based strictly on empirical evidence, that's science. But you can't prove it, you say? Well, until it is proven, it should remain a theory as any other not-yet proven scientific theory.
Read Josh Greenberger's latest book Fossil Discoveries Disprove Evolution Beyond A Doubt
-- the most compelling evidence yet that evolution never happened!