In a recent conversation with an atheist, I challenged him with four major topics his worldview can’t explain. I remembered them by using Frank Pastore’s nice mental hook, the “four big bangs” that materialism can’t explain.
- The “Cosmological Big Bang”
- The “Biological Big Bang”
- The “Psychological Big Bang”
- The “Moral Big Bang”
When atheists try to explain these away, there seems to be much hand waving and “just so” stories. I love lines like, “sure, we don’t know, but at least we’re humble because we admit we don’t know” or “at least we don’t believe in the God of the gaps.”
But I digress, each of these four items are predicated upon something, almost magically, the popping into existence of things when the wheel of time is spun.
1) The “Cosmological Big Bang”
This is the most fundamental issue the materialists struggle to explain. I want to be clear, I’m not talking about when the universe started to exist, rather that it did start to exist. Things are much more likely not to exist than to exist. They can’t explain why.
This “just so story” sounds like this: the universe popped into existence, like “poof”, and then expanded through eons of time. Sometimes the claim is that there was nothing and that nothing turned into everything, as in “no thing” or “not anything” caused it all. Nothing is actually what rocks think about. That radical view takes much faith, more than I can muster. Really, are you afraid a pink elephant just appeared in your fridge and now is eating your salad?
Others say “nothing” means “something.” Don’t worry if this misnomer confuses you, the rest of us are confused too. If it’s “something,” please stop calling it “nothing,” right? They say this “nothing” was a singularity, or “all the matter in the universe smashed into an incredibly hot, infinitely dense speck of matter.” Or was this “nothing” some sort of quantum vacuum?
The problem becomes exponentially worse when we understand that the universe is finely tuned. To explain what I mean by fine tuning, think of the International Space Station, or even your car, mower, vacuum or microwave. Even the simplest of these are finely tuned. Many things need to be just right or else the machine does not work. There are many more ways for machines not to work than to work.
The universe is no different, except for it is exponentially more finely tuned, the most complex structure known. So many constants need to be just right. If not, the universe, all the elements, our solar system, our sun and our earth would not exist. In addition, life on earth would not exist if these constraints were not tuned to be just right.
Examples of some of these constants include things like the strength of the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force, the electromagnetic force and the gravitational constant.
Scientist and agnostic Robert Jastrow, says this in “The Enchanted Loom”:
“Now we see how the astronomical evidence supports the Biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and Biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.”
We may disagree with some of his thoughts, but his main point is true; the evidence points to the biblical God. Simply put, from our experience, nothing ever makes something. Everything that begins to exist had a prior cause. Also, the fine tuning of the universe, like carburetors, cars and chainsaws, points to a fine tuner. Finely tuned things ultimately have an intelligent cause.
2) The “Biological Big Bang”
First dead matter, then alive matter, that’s the problem. Am I just to believe that a “poof,” composed of eons of time, created life? We could talk about the debunked “spontaneous generation” hypothesis from history to the modern “abiogenesis” version, but both have the same issue, lacking evidence.
Paul Davies, a well-known Astrobiologist, says this, “One of the great mysteries of life is how it began. What physical process transformed a nonliving mix of chemicals into something as complex as a living cell?” In a conversation on the Unbelievable radio show, he said we have no naturalistic theory for the origin of life. Anyone who has studied the origin of life will tell you the same. Life always comes from life. Life from non-life is a dead end, pardon the pun.
Also, you remember the fine tuning of the universe, right? Well, life too is finely tuned. From finely tuned cells, to finely tuned molecular machines, to finely tuned DNA code, to finely tuned molecules and all way to the finely tuned elements, life and its building blocks are finely tuned! Again, fine tuned things have an intelligent cause.
In addition, life’s microscopic machines are real machines, not metaphors. In biology, we find gears and motors, turbines and generators. These types of machines, from our experience, are always designed.
We must not forget the information contained in the cells. Again, from our universal experience, meaningful and functional information like this always comes from minds.
The question is simple, how did consciousness arise? From a bacteria like cell, to a blob brain, to a mind?
Somehow we acquired the capacity for creativity and consciousness, design and beauty, self-awareness and self-reflection. From proverbs to poems, to meaning and methods, to emotions and economics.
We have mental abilities, and complementary physical abilities that other organisms don’t have. We love beauty, love the arts and love music. In addition to beauty appreciation, we can make it too.
We can do complex mathematics, we have a complex language and we have the ability to create complex technology.
Our technology, as a whole, not only needs intelligent minds to dream and design, but also proper bodies to create. But there is another level too, that is the topic of fire. Most of our technology requires fire in manufacturing. Very few things, if any, were created without the help of fire.
Here is the interesting part, we are the only creatures on earth that can use fire. Not only do our minds have the ability, but we also have the proper body to make and interact with fire.
Greased with the ingredient of eons of time, this all seems so much like a fairy-tale for grownups!
4) The “Morality Big Bang”
Let me get this straight, we were some type of amoral animals, and through another poof of evolutionary generations, we now possess moral sensibilities? Why is it wrong for one Bag-O-Chemicals to bump off another Bag-O-Chemicals? Why is it wrong to torture babies for the fun of it, and right to treat them kindly?
If our main purpose on earth is to just pass down our genes to the next generation, as many Darwinists say, why the “me too” movement and why is rape so wrong? Oh, am I not supposed to bring up that conundrum? Why do we know those things are bad, wrong and evil? Why is it more wrong for one to try to trip someone maliciously and fail than for one to accidentally trip another? Who cares?
In an atheistic universe, there is no ultimate morality, except for pragmatic reasons. The only reason we do what is “right” is because it helps us. But that does not make things good or evil! And the “it just helps me” line seems quite selfish, so why would that be good?
And why is it a good thing to pass on our genes to the next generation? First, who cares if our genetics are passed on or not passed on? Second, the point seems quite circular. It’s good because it’s good. We are reusing moral language to explain the existence of morality.
The Monstrous Mountain to Climb
Again, each of these four “big bangs” point to God. They are a monstrous mountain to climb, and when the atheist scientist scales them…well, let me quote Robert Jastrow again from his work “God and the Astronomers.”
“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
Yep, the Bible was right all along.
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