Arguments related to the existence of a transcendent intelligent Kosmic force, usually identified as God:
- The origin of the universe (the Big Bang)
The Argument of the First Cause
“In the world we can see that things are caused. But it is not possible for something to be the cause of itself, because this would entail that it exists prior to itself, which is a contradiction. If that by which it is caused is itself caused, then it too must have a cause. But this cannot be an infinitely long chain, so therefore there must be a cause which is not itself caused by anything further. This everyone understands to be God” – Thomas of Aquino.
We can formalize the argument like this:
“So the simplest cause for the universe is a single, powerful, eternal, immaterial, uncaused cause — The concept of a transcendent kosmic force (usually identified as God):
- Everything that has a beginning has a cause.
- The universe had a beginning.
- Therefore, the universe had a cause.”
The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem, a cosmological theorem which deduces that any universe that has, on average, been expanding throughout its history cannot be infinite in the past but must have a past space-time boundary.
Implying a causal agent outside space and time who creates space, time, matter and energy.
2.The fine-tuning of the Big Bang (the consequences of the second law of thermodynamics)
“If the rate of expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the Universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached its present state.” – Professor Stephen Hawking.
Some see this fine tuning as evidence for God, as the rational principle ordering the universe.
- The exceptional fine-tuning of the conditions of the universe for the development of life (the constants of nature)
“According to growing numbers of scientists, the laws and constants of nature are so “finely-tuned,” and so many “coincidences” have occurred to allow for the possibility of life, the universe must have come into existence through intentional planning and intelligence. In fact, this “fine-tuning” is so pronounced, and the “coincidences” are so numerous, many scientists have come to espouse The Anthropic Principle, which contends that the universe was brought into existence intentionally for the sake of producing mankind. Even those who do not accept The Anthropic Principle admit to the “fine-tuning” and conclude that the universe is “too contrived” to be a chance event.” – Gerald Schreuder.
- The fine-tuning of stellar nucleosynthesis (calculated by Fred Hoyle)
“According to the latest scientific thinking, the matter of the universe originated in a huge explosion of energy called “The Big Bang.” At first, the universe was only hydrogen and helium, which congealed into stars. Subsequently, all the other elements were manufactured inside the stars. The four most abundant elements in the universe are: hydrogen, helium, oxygen and carbon.
When Sir Fred Hoyle was researching how carbon came to be, in the “blast-furnaces” of the stars, his calculations indicated that it is very difficult to explain how the stars generated the necessary quantity of carbon upon which life on earth depends. Hoyle found that there were numerous “fortunate” one-time occurrences which seemed to indicate that purposeful “adjustments” had been made in the laws of physics and chemistry in order to produce the necessary carbon.
Hoyle sums up his findings as follows:
A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintendent has monkeyed with the physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce within stars. Adds Dr. David D. Deutch: If anyone claims not to be surprised by the special features that the universe has, he is hiding his head in the sand. These special features ARE surprising and unlikely.” – Gerald Schreuder.
- The fine-tuning of the planetary system (the rare earth hypothesis)
“In planetary astronomy and astrobiology, the Rare Earth Hypothesis argues that the origin of life and the evolution of biological complexity such as sexually reproducing, multicellular organisms on Earth (and, subsequently, human intelligence) required an improbable combination of astrophysical and geological events and circumstances. According to the hypothesis, complex life is a very improbable phenomenon and likely to be extremely rare.” – Gerald Schreuder.
- The fine-tuning of chemical processes (Henderson: The fitness of the environment)
“Henderson wrote two philosophical works, The Fitness of the Environment (1913) and The Order of Nature (1917), in which he argued that the planet’s natural environment is perfectly suited for the development of life. Furthermore, he felt that “unique physical properties of matter” made a steadily increasing variety of chemical interactions inevitable; thus, chemical evolution, the creation of life, and biological evolution proceed by design and not accidentally.” – Encyclopædia Britannica.
- The evidence of the applicability of mathematics to the physical world
“Mark Steiner in his book “The Applicability of Mathematics as a Philosophical Problem” analyses the different ways mathematics is applicable in the physical sciences, and presents a startling thesis–the success of mathematical physics appears to assign the human mind a special place in the cosmos.
Mark Steiner distinguishes among the semantic problems that arise from the use of mathematics in logical deduction; the metaphysical problems that arise from the alleged gap between mathematical objects and the physical world; the descriptive problems that arise from the use of mathematics to describe nature; and the epistemological problems that arise from the use of mathematics to discover those very descriptions.
The epistemological problems lead to the thesis about the mind. It is frequently claimed that the universe is indifferent to human goals and values, and therefore, Locke and Peirce, for example, doubted science’s ability to discover the laws governing the humanly unobservable. Steiner argues that, on the contrary, these laws were discovered, using manmade mathematical analogies, resulting in an anthropocentric picture of the universe as “user friendly” to human cognition–a challenge to the entrenched dogma of naturalism.
As Wigner wrote, “the enormous usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences is something bordering on the mysterious and there is no rational explanation for it.”
In other words, It could be argued, it takes the existence of some kind of a god to make the mathematical underpinnings of the universe comprehensible.”
- The origin of life, which defies a mechanistic explanation
“Abiogenesis, or informally the origin of life, is the natural process by which life arises from non-living matter, such as simple organic compounds. Abiogenesis is studied through a combination of paleontology, chemistry, and extrapolation from the characteristics of modern organisms, and aims to determine how pre-life chemical reactions gave rise to life on Earth.”
Paul Davies: “The problem for as far as abiogenesis is concerned is that Darwinism can only operate when life (of some sort) is already going, It cannot explain how live starts in the first place”.
This seems to indicate some organising principle behind the origin of life.
- The complexity of the cell with its nanotechnology
“The complexity of cellular processes is astonishing. Cellular processes, such as adhesion, migration, proliferation, morphogenesis, polarity, differentiation and apoptosis, as well as tissue development, functionality and regeneration are influenced by the chemical composition, morphology of the extracellular environment through complex interactions between cells and a myriad of external chemical and physical stimuli. These multiple extracellular cues, including gradients of growth factors, chemokines and cytokines and other secreted proteins from close and distant neighbouring cells, chemical and physical interactions with the extracellular matrix (ECM) and direct cell–cell contacts, are expressed in a spatially and temporally coordinated manner and interpreted and integrated by cells to initiate signalling cascades leading to the activation of specific cellular processes.”- P.M. Mendes.
“…. man has 100 trillion cells, each of which is a wonder of microminiaturization. The biochemical processes that occur moment by moment are nothing less than astounding. The bewildering complexity of these tiny functional units was acknowledged even before recent discoveries of how cells operate at the nanotechnological level.
If you could build a motor one millionth of a millimetre across, you could fit a billion billion of them on a teaspoon. It seems incredible, but biological systems already use molecular motors on this scale.
Indeed, “it seems incredible” to suggest that such sophistication is the result of chance, time, and genetic mistakes!
A 1997 Nature article by Steven Block detailed the “Real engines of creation” that included a discussion of sub-cellular structures composed of springs, rotary joints, and levers–all made of protein. The awareness of cellular sophistication has only increased by orders of magnitude since then, further demolishing the increasingly anemic Darwinian explanations for the origin of cells.” – Frank Sherwin, M.A.
- The complexity of D.N.A. the hardware and the software of 3.1 billion letters
“The giant elephant in the room of Dawkins’ insistence on the power of physics to create life is the observation that physical interactions have nothing to do with the coded biological information, called language, that characterizes life. Ironically, Dawkins himself admitted that “life is just bytes and bytes and bytes of digital information.” But there is no observation of such information originating naturally (i.e., without applied intelligence), and Dawkins fails to describe even one example that shows physics inventing language.” – Brian Thomas, M.S.
- The irreducible complexity of biological systems
“Irreducible complexity is the argument that certain biological systems cannot evolve by successive small modifications to pre-existing functional systems through natural selection
Molecular biologist Michael Behe described a system made of several interacting parts, whereby the removal of one part would disrupt the functioning of the whole, as being irreducibly complex. Both creation scientists and intelligent design proponents highlight examples of irreducible complexity in their studies, because they argue against evolutionary hypotheses. The very structure of these systems—with their interdependent parts working all together or not at all—demands a non-Darwinian, non-chance, non-piecemeal origin.” (Wikipedia)
- The rational structure of the world
That the world has a rational structure, is seen by many as pointing to an organising principle behind it that transcends the physical world.
- The intelligibility of nature: That nature can be understood
“The atheistic worldview is irrational and cannot provide an adequate basis for intelligible experience. An atheistic world is ultimately random, disorderly, transitory, and volatile. It is therefore incapable of providing the necessary preconditions to account for the laws of science and the universal laws of logic. In short, it cannot account for the meaningful realities people encounter in life.”
- The impossibility of the Neo-darwinistic model to be supported by an affirmative estimate of probabilities (Wolfgang Pauli)
Wolfgang Pauli. Wissenschaftlicher Briefwechsel, Band IV,Teil III: 1955–1956. Berlin, Springer.
Letter by Pauli to Bohr of February 15, 1955, letter 2015 in von Meyenn (2001), p. 105.
- Teleological processes, intentionality
“The teleological or physico-theological argument, also known as the argument from design, or intelligent design argument is an argument for the existence of God or, more generally, for an intelligent creator “based on perceived evidence of deliberate design in the natural or physical world”. It is an argument in natural theology.
Teleology or finality is a reason or explanation for something in function of its end, purpose or goal. It is derived from two Greek words: telos (end, goal, purpose) and logos (reason, explanation). A purpose that is imposed by a human use, such as that of a fork, is called extrinsic. Natural teleology, common in classical philosophy but controversial today, contends that natural entities also have intrinsic purposes, irrespective of human use or opinion. For instance, Aristotle claimed that an acorn’s intrinsic telos is to become a fully grown oak tree.
Since the 1960s, Paley’s arguments, including the words “intelligent design”, have been influential in the development of a creation science movement, especially the form known as the intelligent design movement, which not only uses the teleological argument to argue against the modern Darwinian understanding of evolution, but also makes the philosophical claim that it can provide a basis for scientific proof of the divine origin of biological species.
Contemporary philosophers and scientists are still discussing whether teleological talk is useful or accurate in doing modern philosophy and science. For instance, in 2012, Thomas Nagel proposed a non-Darwinian account of evolution that incorporates impersonal, natural teleological laws to explain the existence of life, consciousness, rationality, and objective value.” (Wikipedia)
- Philosophical arguments relating to metaphysical views other than monistic materialism
Monistic materialism doesn’t explain how mind comes from physical processes and while mind is correlated to the brain, correlation isn’t causation.
- The existence of information which points to an intelligent source
Why the Information in Our DNA Points to the Existence of God
“Warner Wallace: “The more we learn about the origin of life in our universe, the more reasonable the case for God’s existence. The building blocks of life (proteins, ribosomes, enzymes etc.) are formed at the direction of specific nucleotide sequencing in DNA, the largest molecule known. In humans, DNA contains as many as 10 billion atoms. The adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine bases in DNA are linked in a particular order to form the genetic code containing the master plan for every organism. The information in DNA guides and instructs the formation of proteins; without it, protein formation would be a haphazard, hit-or-miss proposal. The nucleic sequence in DNA is informational.”
Physicist Paul Davies expresses it well: “Once this essential point is grasped, the real problem of biogenesis is clear. Since the heady successes of molecular biology, most investigators have sought the secret of life in the physics and chemistry of molecules. But they will look in vain for conventional physics and chemistry to explain life, for that is a classic case of confusing the medium with the message. The secret of life lies, not in its chemical basis, but in the logical and informational rules it exploits.”
Information in RNA and DNA presents a problem for researchers, especially those who propose RNA as the first molecule to appear through some combination of chance and chemical necessity (known as the “RNA World Hypothesis”). Even if RNA is a precursor to DNA, the first RNA molecules would have to be rich in information to replicate. Information must exist first, before any other transformational process can take place. Without the prior genetic information in DNA and RNA, nothing of significance happens within cells.
Nucleotide sequences are more than statistical gibberish. They are semantically, pragmatically, and alphabetically significant sources of information The genetic sequence has meaning and directs action for a specific purpose.
Our personal experience tells us information comes only from intelligent sources. In fact, in the entire history of the universe (and the history of science) a single instance of information arising from anything other than intelligence has never been identified. This presents a problem for those who attempt to stay “in the room” of the universe to account for genetic information. If we limit ourselves to the materials available to us in the universe, information must be explained from matter, chance, the laws of chemistry or physics, and nothing more. Nobel winning biophysical chemist, Manfred Eigen recognized this challenge when he once said, “Our task is to find an algorithm, a natural law that leads to the origin of information.” Efforts to account for information in this way have repeatedly failed. In fact, the information in DNA proves to be the decisive stumbling block for every naturalistic theory offered for the origin of life.
And finally, every mechanism proposed for the origin of life—be it through “protein first” models, “RNA first” models, or any other model—requires an explanation for the existence of genetic information. Cambridge education Philosopher of Science, Stephen C. Meyer, says “Proposals that merely transfer the information problem elsewhere necessarily fail because they assume the existence of the very entity—specified information—they are trying to explain. And new laws will never explain the origin of information, because the processes that laws describe necessarily lack the complexity that informative sequences require. To say otherwise betrays confusion about the nature of scientific laws, the nature of information, or both.”
The chance arrangement of information in DNA is prohibitively improbable, and there are no chemical or physical laws at work to dictate its existence. We are left, then, with a paradox: the laws and forces of nature cannot produce information, but information is required for life to begin. As Paul Davies laments, “we are still left with the mystery of where biological information comes from . . . If the normal laws of physics can’t inject information, and if we are ruling out miracles, then how can life be predetermined and inevitable rather than a freak accident? How is it possible to generate random complexity and specificity together in a lawlike manner? We always come back to that basic paradox.”
Given the utter inability of chance or natural law, and our observations related to the origin of information, intelligence is the best explanation. But this requires us to look for an intelligent source transcending the limits of the physical universe. Scientists trying to account for information by staying “inside the room” seem to be rejecting the obvious. In order to create information, the author of this information must have the ability to select between possible alternatives. This ability to choose selectively requires intelligence, will, and purpose. Unguided physical processes simply cannot accomplish the task. German engineer and IT specialist, Werner Gitt summarizes it this way: “A necessary requirement for generating meaningful information is the ability to select from alternatives and this requires an intelligent, volitional entity . . . Unguided, random processes cannot do this—not in any amount of time—because this selection process demands continuous guidance by intelligent beings that have a purpose.”
The selection process required in the creation of information requires an intelligent, volitional free agent. That’s why the information in DNA most reasonably points to the existence of God.” – J.Warner Wallace.
- The existence of mind, which cannot be the result of unguided processes
If humans where an accident of ancient chemistry, it would be remarkable that this result of the product of evolution by blind forces, could really understand the world around us. Then there is no reason why we could understand the world.
Nobel prizewinner Roger Perry writes: “The laws of biophysics and biochemistry are not adequate to account for the cognitive sequencing of a train of thought”.
- The evidence based upon the existence of consciousness, which cannot be explained by mechanistic or physical properties
“A leading philosopher, Thomas Nagel, wrote in 2012 that, given the scientifically inexplicable – the “intractable” – character of human consciousness, “we will have to leave [scientific] materialism behind” as a complete basis for understanding the world of human existence.
As an atheist, Nagel does not offer religious belief as an alternative, but I would argue that the supernatural character of the workings of human consciousness adds grounds for raising the probability of the existence of a supernatural God.”
– Robert H. Nelson, Professor of Public Policy at the University at Maryland
- The existence of free will (conscious decisions)
A materialistic worldview is deterministic and excludes free will. Nevertheless conscious decisions are not algorithmic processes, and are free, as any judicial system presupposes.
- The meaning of life
This generally refers to the possible purpose and significance that may be attributed to human existence and one’s personal life. This is not to be found in a monistic materialistic world view.
- The ultimate foundation for ethics
Religious views of conscience usually see it as linked to a morality inherent in all humans, to a beneficent universe and/or to divinity.
- The nature of (mathematical) intuition
According to Kurt Gödel (and other Platonists) the non-sensory perception of a transcendent realm.
- The evidence of artistic inspiration
About 15 or more of the greatest classical composers claiming inspiration by a divine source. – “Talks with great composers” Arthur M Abell
- The evidence of mystical experiences. Revelatory evidence (direct contact with a transcendent intelligent Kosmic force)
Spirituality is based on direct experiences of numinous dimensions of reality, which become available in higher states of consciousness.
Although these mystical elements are accessed intrapsychically in a process of experiential self-exploration and introspection, they are ontologically real and have an objective existence.
These transcendental worlds manifest in higher states of consciousness” — the altered states in which experiences surface that, are very similar to those that inspired the great religions of the world.
By Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D.: “In regard to authentic mysticism based on spiritual experiences, the great mystical traditions have amassed extensive knowledge about human consciousness and about the spiritual realms in a way that is similar to the method that scientists use in acquiring knowledge about the material world. It involves a methodology for inducing transpersonal experiences, systematic collection of data, and intersubjective validation. Spiritual experiences, like any other aspect of reality, can be subjected to careful open-minded research and studied scientifically.
Scientifically conducted consciousness research has brought convincing evidence for the objective existence of the spiritual realm and has thus validated the main metaphysical assumptions of the mystical world view of the spiritual philosophies.”
This includes the idea that there are invisible dimensions of reality and that the existence of God can be personally known and experienced.
This isn’t an argument for God’s existence based upon arguments. It is a claim that God can be known to exist wholly apart from evidence and arguments.
“In philosophy lingo, beliefs that one is justified in believing apart from evidence and arguments are called properly basic beliefs. One might think that belief in the reality of the past is a properly basic belief. Christian philosophers, holds to the view that belief in God is properly basic.”