The Validity Of The Bible In An Age Of Skepticism – Part 3

I need to make a few remarks before starting this morning. You know, I am not a man of science. In fact, I never really liked it much in school but I will say I have read a great deal on the subject matter that I’ll be speaking on this morning. And what I feel, like, and I was thinking about this this morning, what I feel like is I am presenting to you today a well-documented research paper but it’s at the level that people like you and I can understand. And, like I said, I finished it late yesterday and as I looked at it, I realized it was about an hour’s worth of material and so I’m going to cut out the introductory part and just jump right into the meat of this. Now, I will tell you this. I have a friend that is very knowledgeable in the sciences who I used as a resource primarily just to run by him some of the things that I was studying and what I was going to present. And I may refer to him as my science friend during the course of the talk. Ultimately, he and I don’t necessarily agree on everything and I’m going to point that out but he was a great resource. So, with that, I’m going to just really dive into this and like I said, leave out the first introductory part and start with this thought. There seems to be three different ways that people view the relationship between science and God. And the first is this. Science and religious belief are at war with each other. That’s kind of the approach Richard Dawkins takes. And most people who believe that also believe that science has the edge in credibility because it’s about provable facts and religion depends on faith. The second view is that they have nothing to do with each other. In other words, they are two separate and distinct realms that don’t interact at all. Steven J. Gould, a very prominent paleontologist believed this. He said, “That science and faith occupy distinct different domains. Science,” he says, “covers the empirical universe while religion extends to issues of morality and values.” Now there’s a third way to view this relationship and that is this. The testimony of science points, it doesn’t prove, it points to the existence of God. Dr. Steven Meyer, who has degrees in physics, geology, and a doctor’s degree in history and philosophy of science, all from the prestigious Cambridge University, says that, “new evidence has come to light in the last 50 years across a wide range of the sciences that supports a belief in God.” And I want to share with you, and I think this is really interesting stuff, I think you’ll enjoy hearing this. A couple of examples of scientists who have recently come to see that science provides a strong case for theism. A Dr. Allan Rex Sandage who is considered the greatest observations cosmologist in the world, in fact, I want to read this to you so you’ll know this guy’s credentials. Few scientists are as widely respected as this onetime protégé to legendary astronomer Edwin Hubble. Sandidge has been showered with prestigious honors from the American Astronomical Society, the Swiss Physical Society, the Royal Astronomical Society, and the Swedish Academy of Sciences receiving astronomy’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize. The New York Times dubbed him the “grand old man of cosmology“. I share this because back in the 1980s there was a very important conference that was held in Dallas. And this conference was discussing the origin of the universe, and the way they had it set up is they would have a panel of scientists on one side of the room who believed in God and then on the other side of the room you would have those who didn’t. And they were going to have this discussion. And Sandidge, because of his importance, I mean everybody assumed he was going to sit with, on the atheist side, because they basically knew that he had been a virtual atheist since he was a child. There was no doubt where he’d be sitting. And then the unexpected happened. Sandidge set the room abuzz by turning and taking the chair among the theists. And what’s even more interesting is what he said – what he had to say about the big bang theory and its philosophical implications and disclosed publicly at this conference that he had decided to become a Christian at the age of 50. The Big Bang, he told the rapt audience, was a supernatural event that cannot be explained within the realm of physics, as we know it. Now listen to this. This is where I’m going with this. He says, “It was my science that drove me to this conclusion. It was only through the supernatural that I can understand the mystery of existence.” And then he said, “Many scientists are now driven to faith by their very work.” James Clark Maxwell was one of the most exceptional scientists who ever lived. He left a legacy of accomplishments considered on the same plane as Einstein. He made important contributions to diverse realms of physics, but more importantly, he discovered the fundamental laws that govern electricity, light, and magnetism. Max Plank, the founder of the discipline of quantum physics, said that Maxwell achieved greatness unequalled. Now, I tell you all of this because I had never heard of the guy. But listen to what he says. He says, “I have looked into most philosophical systems and I’ve found that none will work without a God. The belief in design is a necessary consequence of the laws of thought acting on the phenomena of perception.” And then he said this, “Therefore, I put my hope in Christ.” And this is what’s so interesting. Maxwell was leery, you all need to hear this, he was leery of linking scientific theories to the Bible because he believed the truth in the Bible was absolute and unchanging where the theories in science were consistently changing. Consistently in flux. Then there’s Dr. John Baumgardner with a PhD in Geophysics and Space Physics from UCLA. In 1997, US News and World Report described him as the world’s preeminent expert in the design of computer models for geophysical convection, the process by which the earth creates volcanoes, earthquakes, and the movement of continental plates. He stated, “Science has flowed from a Christian understanding of reality, a Christian understanding of God, and a Christian understanding of the natural world. In general, I believe that science is legitimate, that it does reveal the glory of God, that it does confirm what the scripture says is valid and true.” Now, I know this is a great deal of information that I’m throwing at you. I’ve got two more real short ones because I think they’re important. Probably the most celebrated, he was described as the most notorious atheist in modern time, was a guy by the name of Anthony Flew. Several years ago, he changed his position. He became a theist. Not a Christian. He wrote an interesting book called, There is a God. I highly recommend it. There is a God. And then it says, How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. And this is important. I’m bringing this up for a reason. He says this; “I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an infinite intelligence. I believe that this universe’s intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the ‘mind of God’. I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine source. Why do I believe this? Given that I expanded and defended atheism for more than a half a century, the short answer is this – this is the world picture as I see it that has emerged from modern science.” And then he goes down and describes some of the things that have emerged from modern science. And then finally, probably the most celebrated scientist alive today is physicist Steven Hawking. You probably know who he is. He’s pretty visible. He has Lou Gehrig’s disease. He’s had it for 20 years. He speaks through a voice synthesizer.  He wrote the book, A Brief History of Time, probably the best-selling book on science that’s ever been written. He says this, “The emergence of our universe clearly has religious implications.” He said, “it would be very difficult to explain why the universe would have begun in just this way except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.” So, science seems to point to the existence of God. In fact, I just read according to a survey of the members of the American Associate for the Advancement of Science conducted by the pew Research Center in May and June of 2009, a majority of scientists, 51% say they believe in God or a higher power, while 41% say they do not. Now, what I want to talk about this morning primarily is the book of Genesis and science. Primarily focusing on three of what I think most people would consider the most important issues of the day. The first is the origin of the universe, the second is the origin of life here on earth, and then third would be the origin of human life. And I want to start with the origin of the universe. Obviously, the book of Genesis begins in Chapter 1, verse 1. We’re told that God created the heavens and the earth. And then in the book of Romans, there’s this interesting phrase. It says this, “God calls into being that which does not exist.” Think about that for a minute. God has the ability to bring into being, that which does not exist. You know, it’s interesting for much of the last century, cosmologists, and cosmology is the study of the cosmos, the universe, but for much of the last century, cosmologists believed the universe was eternal and that you didn’t need to think about the origin of the universe because it didn’t have an origin. It’s always been there. But when Einstein came along with his theory of relativity, and then astronomer Edwin Hubble and the work that he did observing the heavens, this view began to change. I want to read this to you, it’s really interesting, but this is when it really began to change. It says, it was 1916 and Albert Einstein didn’t like where his calculations were leading him. If his theory of general relativity was true, it meant that the universe was not eternal but had a beginning. Einstein’s calculations indeed were revealing a definite beginning to all time, all matter, and all space. This flew in the face of his belief that the universe was static and eternal. Einstein later called his discovery irritating. It irritated him. He said he wanted the universe to be self-existent, not relying on any outside cause, but the universe appeared to be one giant effect. In fact, Einstein so disliked the implications of general relativity, a theory that is now proven accurate to five decimal places, that he introduced a cosmological constant that some have called a “fudge factor” into his equations in order to show that the universe is static to avoid an absolute beginning. In 1922, Russian mathematician Alexander Freidman had officially exposed Einstein’s fudge factor as an algebraic error. Incredibly, in his quest to avoid a beginning, the great Einstein had divided by zero something that even schoolchildren know is a no-no. Meanwhile, Dutch astronomer Willem de Sitter found that general relativity required the universe to be expanding and in 1927, the expanding of the universe was actually observed by astronomer Edwin Hubble. Looking through the 100-inch telescope at California’s Mount Wilson Observatory, Hubble discovered a red shift in the light from every observable galaxy, which meant that those galaxies were moving away from us. In other words, general relativity was again confirmed. The universe appears to be expanding from a single point in the distant past. Now, listen to this. In 1929, Einstein therefore made a pilgrimage to Mount Wilson to look through Hubble’s telescope for himself. What he saw was irrefutable. The observational evidence showed that the universe was indeed expanding as general relativity had predicted. With his cosmological constant now completely crushed by the weight of the evidence against it, Einstein could no longer support his wish for an eternal universe. He subsequently described the cosmological constant as “the greatest blunder of my life“. And he redirected his efforts to find the box top to the puzzle of life. Einstein said, and I quote, that he “wanted to know how God created the world. I’m not interested in this or that phenomenon, or the spectrum of this or that element, I want to know his thought.” He said the rest are just details. Basically, the predominant view in cosmology today is the big bang theory. Now, I don’t know if you are familiar with that, but the theory simply is this. That the universe is expanding from a single point in the distant past. In other words, at some point there was this explosion and the universe has been expanding ever since but the point is that the universe had a beginning and because of that, it points to a theistic view of the beginning of the universe, the origin of the universe. It’s a profoundly theistic view. In fact, I read if you have a debate, if you want to have a debate on the existence of God, it’s hard to find any cosmologists that want to participate because of what’s happened in their branch of science. I want to go back to Alan Sandage, remember, described by The New York Times as the grand old man of cosmology? He says, “The big bang was a supernatural event that cannot be explained within the realm of physics as we know it.” Going back to Steven Meyer from Cambridge, he says, “You can invoke neither time nor space nor matter nor energy nor the laws of nature to explain the origin of the universe. General relativity points to the need for a cause that transcends those domains and theism affirms the existence of such an entity, namely God. In short,” he added, “naturalism is on hard times in cosmology. The deeper you get into it, the harder it is to get rid of the God hypothesis.” Taken together, the big bang and general reality provide a scientific description of what Christians call creation ex nihilo, creation out of nothing. As Nobel Prize winner Arno Penzias said about the big bang, the best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I nothing to go on but the first five books of the Bible, the Psalms, and then the Bible as a whole. Guys, this is significant of what’s happened over the last 50-70 years. Now, let’s talk about, and this is the one that I find most interesting, the origin of life on this planet. How did life arise from nothing? Well, the Bible says that God, this is from Genesis 1, God said let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed. And it says and then the earth brought forth vegetation. As you keep reading in that first chapter, he did the same with fish in the ocean and birds in the air. He talked about living creatures on earth, God said let it happen and it happened. He brought into existence something out of nothing. Now, up until the 1970s, maybe even the 80s, the prevailing belief in science was this. You go back to primitive earth and it was covered with pools of chemicals. They call it the primordial soup and as, the theory went as electrical sparks from lightning went into this soup, amino acids were formed. And amino acids are the building blocks of life. And the theory went this way. Once amino acids are formed, natural selection takes over. Life begins to evolve and millions of years later, here we are. And this theory really took off in 1953, which was the year of my birth. Very significant year. But in 1953, this theory really took off because Stanley Miller demonstrated this could happen in the lab. He had this pool of chemicals and he had pumped electrical charges into it and formed amino acids. And, as you can imagine, Darwinian scientists were elated because if the origin of life can be explained solely through natural processes, then God is out of a job. In fact, this is what I was taught in biology back in 1970 at Mountain Brook High School. Fred Stevens. Any of you all have Fred Stevens in high school? I’m sure your kids were probably taught this. Lee Strobel said that when he heard this taught in his high school biology class, it transformed his belief in God and led him to atheism. He said, “That’s when I became an atheist.” And, as you can imagine, Miller’s experiment was hailed as a major breakthrough in science. Carl Sagan believed it was one of the most significant things that happened because it would prove that life easily could arise on other planets. But this is where it gets interesting. The only way for Miller’s experiment to work is that the atmosphere of the earth had to be a hydrogen rich mixture of methane, ammonia, and water vapor. And the only problem was that they didn’t have any real evidence for that but they still believed it because it produced the amino acids. But then in the 1980s, NASA scientists were able to demonstrate that the primitive earth never had any methane, ammonia, or hydrogen to amount to much. Instead, it was composed of water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. And guys, this just blew their theory right out of the water. Because in Miller’s experiment, amino acids cannot be found or formed with that mixture and this theory on the origins of life, listen to this, this theory on the origins of life, which had been taught for years as an indisputable scientific fact, imploded. And today’s science doesn’t have the slightest idea how life began on earth. Klaus Dose, the biochemist who’s considered the real expert on the origin of life says, “More than 30 years of experimentation on the origin of life in the fields of chemical and molecular evolution, have led to a better perception of the immensity of the problem of the origin of life on earth rather than to its solution. At present, all discussions on principal theories and experiments in the field, either end in stalemate or in a confession of ignorance.” In fact, Nobel Prize winning scientist Francis Crick, whom you’ve probably all heard of, said this out of frustration, and I quote, he says, “Every time I write a paper on the origin of life, I swear I will never write another one because there is too much speculation running after too few facts.” And then he says this, this is incredible, and he was very antagonistic towards a belief in God, he says this, and I quote, “The origin of life appears to be almost a miracle.” He said, “So many are the conditions which would have to be satisfied to get it going.” And finally, even Richard Dawkins in his latest book, it was called Rock of Ages, written in 2009, has admitted that “evolution cannot explain the origin of life.” He says, “We’re just clueless of how it happened.” Now before moving forward I want to read to you a wonderful story that I heard John Lennox share. I think, you know, John has been to Birmingham a number of times, he debated Dawkins down at UAB, he’s a good friend of Larry Taunton’s and he’s written several books but I heard him share this story and he says, there is a very brilliant scientist in England; a guy by the name of Andrew Parker who is the director of research at the Natural History Museum in London. He holds professorships in a Chinese university and an Australian university as well. John says, “I’ve known him for some years and he is an expert on,” now you all hear this, “Bioluminescence“.  I Googled that, and that is the production and emission of light by a living organism. He studies marine life that emits light and in his research, he came to the conclusion that the eye played a central role in the evolutionary biology. One day he was giving a lecture on this, this light phenomenon, and there was a reporter in the back of the room who raised his hand and said, “Sir, you sound like Genesis.” And he replied, “What do you mean? Genesis what?” The reporter said, “You sound like Genesis in the Bible, let there be light.” Lennox said his friend had never read the Bible before and so he went out and got one and he started to read it. And he couldn’t let go of it. It astounded him. Night after night he would read the first chapter of the Bible, Genesis 1. He said he finally contacted Dr. Lennox because he knew Lennox was a Christian and therefore interested in these things. He said, “I would like to talk to you.” He said, “Though I’m not religious I would like to talk with you about science and religion.” The net result is he recently published a book called The Genesis Enigma and the subtitle is Why the First Book of the Bible is Scientifically Accurate. And the argument he makes goes like this, he says, I quote, “I’m not a religious man and I do not want religion particularly at this time in my life.” That’s interesting. “But what I have discovered is the most remarkable correlation between the order of events as I see them in the history of light and what Genesis says.  And what’s more,” he says, “there’s no way the Hebrew writer of Genesis could have known that light was important, that marine life was important,” and then he goes through a whole list of things and then he says, “the writer of Genesis has it all in the right order,” and then he says, “Could this be the evidence of God?” Lennox says as brilliant as this book is, it has been slammed by the Academy because it is so unusual for a scientist to come raw at it without a speck of Christian belief and seeing this strong correlation. Now, I want to close and talk about the origin of man. This is probably the most controversial and since I’ve got about 17 minutes left, I’m not sure how much justice I’ll do it but I’m going to give it a shot. Genesis 1:27 says, “God created man in his own image.” And then in the second chapter, as you probably know, he formed man out of the dust of the ground. I might remind you before I go forward that we see God’s ability to create in the life of Jesus. I mean, he took plain old water and transformed it into fine wine at a wedding celebration. He took a couple of fish and loaves of bread and created bread and fish to feed 5000 people. And then he approached a man who had been dead for four days, his corpse was decaying, and he breathed life into him in the person of Lazarus when he said, “come forward out of the grave.” So you do see this power to create. Now when you turn to the view of modern science, we get an obviously very different explanation. It’s explained by Darwin’s theory of evolution. It’s important to know there are two types of evolution. There’s microevolution – changes that take place within species that has been observed to be true. I mean, you can see it in dogs or cats. But then you have macroevolution. It’s the theory that says all living creatures had a common ancestor and that natural selection drove the eventual development of the countless organisms we see in the modern world. And Darwin, who first articulated this theory, says that life evolves slowly by accumulating slight successive favorable variations over thousands and thousands of years. The problem with evaluation as a science is that you can’t prove it with the scientific method. In other words, you can’t prove it in the laboratory. It’s a forensic science. It’s kind of like that historical inquiry we talked about last week and that’s why Darwin made it very clear. It would have to be validated by the fossil record. Because he said that if the theory of evolution is true, he said there must have been, and these are his own words, “a truly enormous number of intermediate links which would tie all the life forms together.” And during his lifetime, and he acknowledge it, that there was no great fossil evidence that was ever found. But he believed that future fossil discoveries would vindicate his theory. And the branch of science that we call paleontology has come about to study the fossil record. But before moving on, I do want to talk, or make a comment on this term, intermediate link that Darwin believed must be found in the fossil record if the theory of evolution was to be validated. Just to give you an example of this intermediate link. Think about prehistoric man. I mean, here you have apes over here and then you have human beings over here and we have these ancestors, supposedly, as kids we called them cavemen, but you hear other words like Neanderthal man who evolved into Cro-Magnon men who were the first homo sapiens. They are the intermediate links between apes and humans. Of course, my first question, and I asked my science friend this, and he didn’t really have a good answer, I mean, he will acknowledge he didn’t, is why are there no surviving pre-historic ancestors. I mean, you have apes and you have humans, why don’t any of them, why aren’t any of them alive today? They’re supposedly all dead. So now, what’s going on is the search is on for our pre-historic ancestor sin the fossil record and the question is how are they doing? Well, apparently, from all that I read, not that well. Lee Strobel, who I mentioned earlier and used as a resource, was drawn to atheism, as I said, because of what he was taught in biology class in high school. And he went on this two-year search for the truth of life and while he was in the midst of the search, he was a believer in Darwinian theory. But as he said, and these are his own words, he was deeply troubled by the lack of fossil evidence for these intermediate links. Listen to this, here’s some observations; this comes out of a college textbook on general paleontology. It says this; “One of the most surprising negative results of paleontological research in the last century is that such transitional forms seem to be inordinately scarce. In Darwin’s time, this could perhaps be ascribed to the paleontological record and to the lack of knowledge. But with the enormous number of fossil species, which have been discovered since then, other causes, must be found for the almost complete absence of transitional forms.” David Rock, the curator of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago said, “We are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. We have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time.”  And probably the most influential evolutionary biologist of the 20th century who I’ve already mentioned, he died several years ago, Harvard’s Steven J. Gould, he says this, the extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record, persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches. The rest is inference, however reasonable, but not the evidence of fossils. He says Darwin’s argument that the geological record is extremely imperfect, still persists as the favored escape of most paleontologists from the embarrassment of a record that seems to show so little evidence of evolution. Now I don’t have much time to spend on this but Gould and many others have abandoned Darwinism for a new theory of evolution called punctuated equilibrium. Punctuated equilibrium says that evolutionary transitions occur rapidly and not slowly as Darwin insisted they had to take place. And he says this is why, Gould says this is why you have such little chance, and they have such little chance of being preserved in the fossil record because they happen so quickly. I share this because you have this huge division now among evolutionists. So let’s go back to the fossil record just for a second.  I remember as a kid, you probably have seen this too, I think I first saw this in the encyclopedia – I remember when my parents bought an encyclopedia for the first time – and you have a picture of an ape-like creature and then you see these other ape-looking creatures along a timeline, and then at the end of the timeline, you have a human being. Have you ever seen that? It was started at the American Museum of Natural History. And the second pre-historic man in line, after the ape, was what they call, or who they call Java man. You may have heard of Java man because he was the first human fossil discovered in 1891 by Dutch scientist Eugene Dubois. And it was a huge discovery and many believe this was the missing link between apes and humans. It was many years later though that the true story was discovered. Java man merely consists of nothing more than a skullcap, a single femur, or thighbone, and three teeth, and a great imagination on the part of Dubois. I’m going to read to you what Strobel says about this. He says this, “As a youngster beginning to form my opinions about human evolution, I wasn’t aware of what I have more recently discovered that Dubois’ shoddy excavation would have disqualified the fossil from consideration by today’s standards or that that femur bone didn’t apparently belong with the skullcap. Of that, the skullcap, according to prominent Cambridge University anatomist Sir Arthur Keith, was distinctly human and reflected a brain capacity well within the range of humans living today. Or, most people, he says, don’t know about the 342-page scientific report from a fact-finding expedition of 19 evolutionists demolished Dubois’ claims and concluded that Java man played no part in human evolution. In short, Java man was not an ape-man as I’d been led to believe, but he was a true member of the human family.” He says this was a fact apparently lost on Time Magazine, which, as recently as 1994, treated Java man as a legitimate evolutionary ancestor. And then, I don’t have time to go into it, there has been unbelievable fraud in the fossil record. As my science friend told me, in the fossil record, you will rarely ever find a full human skeleton. You might find a jawbone, you may find a skull, you may find some teeth, and what they’ll do, is they’ll then take them, and reconstruct the skeleton in what they think it would look like and they rarely disclose it. Back in 1985 on the Dick Cavett Show, Richard Leakey, the famous paleontologist was on there and he had these impressive looking human fossils, and as they were talking about it, Cavett pressed him and said, how much of this was actually found in the ground? Well, Leakey said, just really a little small piece of bone was found and then we reconstructed the rest with plaster. Cavett was dumbfounded, as I was. And so whenever you read about these great fossil finds, and you’ll see them in the paper from time to time, you assume it’s this well-constructed ancient human skeleton. British paleontologist, Henry Gee, who’s the senior science writer for the prestigious Nature Magazine said this, “The intervals of time that separate fossils are so huge, that we cannot say anything definite about their possible connection to ancestry and descent.” And he called each fossil an isolated point with no knowledgeable connection to any other given fossil and they all float around in an overwhelming sea of gaps. In fact, he said, listen to this, it’s unbelievable, all the fossil evidence for human evolution between 10 and 5 million years ago, several thousand generations of living creatures, can all be fitted into a small box. I don’t know how many of you all saw this; it was two weeks ago in the Wall Street Journal, Bones that Tell a Tale. It’s a review of this book called The Fossil Chronicles. I want to read to you the first paragraph. It’s really interesting. He says, has the discovery of a fossil human ever been announced without stirring an immediate controversy. He says for more than 150 years, revelations of a new species of our prehistoric kin have sent scientists into a tizzy about the meaning of the news. He says just last month, Science Magazine trumpeted the existence of two million old human like fossils found in the South African cave, but no one has yet agreed on how this proposed ancestor of ours actually relates to us. And that article goes on to say, every time there’s a discovery, there’s this huge dispute over what is it? Because they don’t find much, they’ll find a little bone, a jaw, maybe a skull, and that’s it. I’m about out of time. I want to end this by sharing with you something that I really kind of concluded myself, in really my own thinking. And I’ve thought about this for a long time and I ran it by my science friend and he said, you’re right on. And he said, it’s indisputable. And what I did was I tried to do kind of a study on the history of the population of the world. And I went to the Population Reference Bureau, which works in conjunction with the United Nations, and I don’t know that you can see this, some of you in the back may can’t see this, but this is a kind of history of the population. In 2009, there were 6.7 billion people on earth. In 1974, there were 4 billion. In 1927, there were 2 billion. In 1804, there was a billion. And they say once you get down to around 1500, they don’t really, they can’t really tell you much more. And this is just a big guess, that there were about 500 million people in 1500. But you can see this doubling take place. And what’s interesting, I came up with this term, a doubling generation. But I decided to go backwards down the timeline and it takes 28 doubling generations to end up, you eventually end up with two people. That’s it. And the question is, who were these two people? You have two options, really, I guess. The first option is what the Bible says. Adam and Eve. Or the second option is that you have these Neanderthal man and woman who become the Cro-Magnon, who were the first homo sapiens. And so that’s the option you have. And I’ve concluded, and before I get to this, this is interesting. When I did this, when I was researching and got this information, there was this caveat that came from again this Population Bureau that worked with the United Nations. The set of specific characteristics that define a human is a matter of definition and is open to debate which members of early homo sapiens should be considered human. Even if the scientific community reached wide consensus regarding which characteristics distinguished human beings, it would be merely to pinpoint the time of their first appearance, listen to this, because the fossil record is simply too sparse. Which raises, I think, a great question. When do the Cro-Magnon man and woman go from being an animal to a person, a human being? When did they become designed in the image of God? When did they go from being animals to being human beings that have souls? Now I’ve been very ambivalent, I’ve been kind of ambivalent on this over the years, but I’ve come to this conclusion, by faith, that the first two humans were Adam and Eve, who God created, not only because of the record in Genesis, but also because the apostle Paul mentions Adam a number of times in the scriptures. Now I will say this, there are those like Francis Collins, the committed Christian scientist that I mentioned in part I, my science friend as well, who believe that God created everything in the beginning, and it has evolved into what we see today in the world. It’s called theistic evolution. I don’t believe it, but they do. But you know, personally, I don’t know about you, I don’t give this a whole lot of thought. We exist, we are here, and God stands behind our existence, and as human beings, we reflect His glory. And so I’ll leave you with this, several years ago, I encountered this guy several times in my research, a guy named James Tour.  He’s a professor at Rice University in their Department of Chemistry in their Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology and he gave an interesting speech not long ago. He has a doctorate in organic chemistry from Purdue; he’s done post-doctoral work at Stanford and at the University of Wisconsin. He’s on the cutting edge of research into the molecular world. He has written more than 140 technical research articles, he holds 17 U.S. patents. He says this, “I build molecules for a living.” He says, “I can’t begin to tell you how difficult that job is.” The purpose of his talk was not to dazzle the audience with descriptions of his latest high-the efforts to store enormous amounts of information on a microscopic scale, replacing silicon chips that are large and unwieldy by comparison. Instead, it was to describe something else he found the deeper and deeper he probed into the awe-aspiring wonders of the molecular level. The fingerprints of an intelligent designer. He says this, “I stand in awe of God because of what he has done through his creation.” He said, “Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.” Let me close with a prayer. Father, so much of this just seems to be kind of overwhelming and yet we thank you, that, in very simple terms, you have shared with us the truth about our origins. And though we may not all agree, we do know that we exist and that you stand behind our existence, that you’ve given us life, but you’ve also, through your Son Jesus, given us salvation that we can know you personally. That we can walk through life with you. We thank you for that. We thank you that you have revealed yourself to us so that we aren’t in the dark. And as we leave, Lord, I’m grateful for these men, just their lives, their desire to be here, their desire to learn and grow. I pray your blessing on each one of them. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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Reflections on the Existence of God

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