An atheist friend, who I will call Terry for this note, wrote me an email about one of the article I have on my web page. Following is his note, and my response to him. Proving God exist is not impossible at all, but will we believe it when it stands right in our face?
Howdy, I saw on your web site that you believe public prayers in schools should be restored. I felt a tad obligated to respond to your comments. First off, I should inform you that atheism isn’t a faith, its a disbelief of the existence of god. As an atheist, I don’t believe public prayer should be restored in schools. Even if I was a Christian, I would still believe that. Why you ask? Well, because its illegal (first amendment: establishment clause) and contradicts the bible (Mathew 6: 5-8). toodles ;o)
Thank you very much for your kind note, its always a joy to meet a new friend and to evaluate my own beliefs thru the eyes of another. In your note you brought up two subjects, prayer in school, and atheism. Both are important subjects in our modern world, but I think it will be difficult for you to understand my position on prayer in schools because we are of different faiths. Perhaps our faiths distorts our views on these subjects, and yes atheism is a faith as your own words attest when you say, “atheism isn’t a faith, it's a disbelief of the existence of god” To ”disbelief” is itself a belief, and Webster's definition of the word “faith” is - "a belief which is not based on proof". Atheism, or a “disbelief” in a creator God, is by definition a faith which is not based on proof, therefore creationism and atheism are both just simple faiths. Perhaps we are both a little like the fish which swims in the ocean whose faith tells him there cannot possibility be a thing called fire, and we need to get out of the water and take a closer look.
But then what is acceptable proof? Is the fact that I am sending you this letter proof that I exist? The irrational person might argue that it is not, but I would suggest that any reasonable person would agree that some form of intelligent life has to be behind these words you are now reading. Or, perhaps these words just happened by random chance, and by some mysterious mathematical probability this message was generated which exactly responds to your note. I believe that we can agree that the probability of this happening is far beyond chance, and the fact that you and I are reading these words prove we do exist.
If you received a response to your note from the internet which did not come from me but was generated by random chance and only had the first word of my note, “Hi”, what are probabilities that that could happen randomly by itself? Knowing a little about how the internet works I think we would agree that it could happen by chance, but the probability would be low. Now add to that the probability of a full sentence following the word “Hi” which actual responded to your note. I think we can also agree that such a response would be extremely improbable. Then add the next sentence and the probability becomes almost beyond mathematical calculation. In our scientific world of today this would be considered mathematical poof that some intelligent life created this note, and it would be impossible for it to have just occurred randomly.
Perhaps we can use the same analysis to prove that a creator God does exist. In my own personal search for an answer to the atheism verses creationism question, I started with trying to understand the creation of the earth itself, and then I moved to what it would take to create the smallest form of life.
First, in order to support life our earth must maintain a certain temperature and stability. Could this ideal temperature range occur by random chance? Perhaps, but in order for this to happen the planet would have to maintain a perfect distance away from a burning star to provide the environment required to support life in any form. The earth is the only planet in our solar system which has such a stable temperature, but this could have happen by random chance, even thou the probability is very low. In addition to being the right distance from the sun, in order to evenly distribute the warmth, the planet must spin just right so the sun’s heat will be evenly distributed across the surface of the planet. The spinning of the planet cannot be too fast otherwise it could not provide the stable environment required to sustain life. One turn every 24 hours should work out just about right considering the diameter of the earth and our distance from the sun. The probability of this alone happening just right by random chance is almost beyond calculation.
Now we add to that the need for water to support a basic life form, but how do we get it and how much is needed to continuously support the entire planet? Even now we humans cannot calculate this, as the earth's requirements for water continues to change daily. What are the probabilities that a perfect water supply just happened by random chance? In addition the spinning action required for temperature control on the planet would surely cause the oceans to flow in the same direction as the earth is turning thereby creating total destruction upon the land and sea. But not so here on earth! Such destruction does occur in the atmosphere of all other such planets which we are able to observe. Nature’s only other alternative is a planet with no atmosphere at all. The ragging winds and oceans are controlled here on our earth simply by placing a moon of the proper size perfectly in orbit around the earth working in perfect harmony with the sun. This perfect balance between the earth, moon, and sun keeps the great oceans within their banks and tames the ragging winds. Each day the oceans rock back and forth with the tides, like rocking a baby in a cradle providing the oxygen and rain the earthly incubator requires. What are the probabilities that this all occurred by random chance, and the probability of it continuing to happen day in and day out by random chance? It is beyond mathematical calculation.
Instead of the winds ragging out of control, ours gently move the clouds back and forth spreading the life giving water upon the dry land. As a separate thought, I believe the great storms we do see here on earth are God’s way of showing us what the world would really be like if His power was not here to harness the raging winds. They are reminders of just how fragile our world really is.
Now if all of this could have been put into place by random chance, we still have to create the first basic cell of life. With the discovery of DNA we are just beginning to understand the complexities of a single life cell, let alone the very complex human body and brain. As a result of this new science, there is a large number of scientist now retreating from the theories of evolution and the “big bang”. The new DNA science can no longer support the theory that life on earth was created by random chance as is required in the theory of evolution. Without going into a lengthy description of the internal structure of a single living cell, the probability of life being created by random chance is so far beyond possibility that many scientist are now taking the position that the earth is the only planet in all of the universe which can supports intelligent life. If there is intelligent life on another planet, then it was created there and did not just happen by random chance.Even the creation of the simplest cell would required thousands of random chances each more complex than creating the earth itself to have occurred in a specific order, and far more complex than having this note you are now reading having been generated by random chance. Some intelligent life source had to be involved in creating such a complex environment. The probability of the structure of the human inner ear alone occurring by random chance is trillions of times more improbable than this note being created out of nothing. It is the science which brings us to the realization that all of this could not have possibly occurred by itself. If I walked on the planet Mars and in digging in the ground I find a gold watch, would I think that it just happened to have been created there by random chance, or would I say there had to be some intelligent life which created the watch? This is exactly what the scientists are facing today.
If I came to this analysis with a blank mind, and evaluated the known facts about our environment, I personally think it is impossible that all of the earth, the stars, the rain, the seasons, the animals in the fields, and human life itself could have occurred randomly by chance. And therein lies my faith in a creator God, one with the knowledge and power to create and control such a vast environment.
If the new scientist are right, and the earth and life as we know it could not have occurred by random chance, then how did it occur and who created it? The knew DNA technologies prove that evolution cannot account for the creation of life and that is why we are now hearing about more public schools which are requiring both evolution and creationism to be taught to their students. These are not “Bible Thumper” communities but they are communities which have read the literature with an open mind, and are allowing all of the facts to be presented to their children.
Why is the atheist faith so afraid of the creationist theory, they should welcome the chance of comparison. There can be only two ways life could have been created, 1 - by random chance (the atheist approach), or 2 - by an intelligent creator (God). It is very important to remember that the scientist supporting the creationist theory are so sure of themselves that they believe not only did a God create the earth, but there cannot be another like it in all the universe.
In other words Terry, I believe we are alone in the universe, there is no one out there but God and our fragile earth. Having said all of that, it is still a choice each of us must make for ourselves. If I am wrong and you are right, then what have I lost? Nothing since my life is filled with joy and having faced death myself, I know personally that there is a greater joy when I pass the final tests of this earthly existence. But if you are wrong, then what have you lost? My prayer is that you will look further, and seek the answers which will be given to all who seek it with a pure and loving heart.
Sorry for getting carried away, but the words here can’t begin to cover the topics you mentioned in your note. Forgive me for my inadequate words to explain my faith in a creator God, and thank you again for taking the time to read and seek clarification.
My personal faith is in a loving Father who created me in His image, in my free will I have chosen to follow my own selfish desires and to flee the home of my Father. But He loved me so much that He sent me His only begotten Son to turn my life around, so that I would not be cast out of His house forever. His Son’s name is Jesus in whom I owe my life, my future, my all. Terry, I pray that you too will listen to your heart and see if you cannot find the love of Christ which resides in all of the Father’s children. To reject Him is to reject the Father who created us all. The Father is here with us now, and He knows our hearts because that is His world. I would gladly give my life for this belief, because my earthly death is only the beginning of life in my Father‘s house.
Thank you very much, friend.Your Christian friend always,