How do we know God exists? How can we see a God who we cannot physically see?
Well, how can you know a creator better? The answer is quite simple. You just have to look at the creation. Why? Because a creation points back to a creator. A Lego battleship can’t build itself from nothing, by itself and by chance. The universe is much more complex than a battleship, so could it possibly build itself from nothing, with no external input and by chance?
We, as Christians, believe that the creator, the invisible hand behind the universe, is God. Genesis 1:1, NLT, says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” From the start, we can see the moving force behind the scenes: God. In fact, the Bible further adds that “ For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God” (Romans 1:20).
However, as humans look at the universe, there remains a doubt. “Possibly,” they say, “in fact, probably, all this came by chance. What looks like design is not really design, it’s just natural selection and mutations, working together.” But is there really no design in the universe? Many scientists, and even non-scientists, think otherwise. To see why they think so, we must travel down to the building blocks of life: DNA.
DNA can be found in every single cell of your body, making up your genetic code. It is so complicated, that just one error in your genetic code could cause huge defects. Many sicknesses come from genetic disorders. Examples of monogenic diseases include thalassaemia, sickle cell anemia, and. haemophilia. Ten thousand sicknesses are monogenic sicknesses, meaning they result from a single error in a single gene. That’s a mind-blowing amount of specificity.
Think about the most complicated video game, movie, or website you’ve ever seen. Now think about the code behind that. The most sophisticated programs probably have millions of lines of code. If just one of those lines of code is off, it will probably cause a bug, a glitch in the program, or destroy the program altogether. That amount of complexity is astounding. Yet Bill Gates said “DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created” (Gates).
Wouldn’t it make sense that, if the most sophisticated computer programs needed dozens of programmers, and if DNA is more sophisticated than any of those, it’s plausible to infer that there’s a creator behind DNA? As Christians, we believe that that the creator is God. The code that makes programmed you was created by God – who definitely did form you in your mother’s womb.
If we turn our sights to the huge aspects of the universe, to the stars and galaxies or even to our own solar system, we find the same stunning complexity. If the earth was moved just 1.5 million kilometers closer to the sun, it would cease to be uninhabitable (Gunn). That seems like a large number, but in terms of the solar system, that’s only 1% of the distance from the earth to the sun – a 1% that would make a huge difference. Everything, from the number of stars, to the celestial dance, to the workings of DNA, points to a creator.
And yet, there remain a couple of questions. First of all, say God does exist. Well then, who created God? Secondly, as brilliant mathematician Stephen Hawking said “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing” (Hawking).
This observation would seem to destroy my entire argument, for if the universe could create itself, then there would be no need for a creator. In fact, if the universe could create itself, evolution is definitely plausible. Furthermore, if God is created, then there is a problem of understanding who created God? And that question just repeats on and on – it’s a difficult paradox.
So, how do we answer these objections? Keep reading.
Gates, Bill. The Road Ahead. Viking Press, 1995.
Gunn, Dr Alastair. “How Much Closer to the Sun Could Earth’s Orbit Get and Still Be Habitable?” BBC Science Focus Magazine, www.sciencefocus.com/space/how-much-closer-to-the-sun-could-earths-orbit-get-and-still-be-habitable/.
Hawking, Stephen, and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design. London, United Kingdom, Transworld Publishers, 2015.
Photo by Alexander Popov