What follows was my second response in the ‘Ask Anything’ series. It answers the sixth most popular question, “What’s with the whole God thing? And can you even prove he exists?”
In an age where experience is king and our senses are numb from over stimulation, belief in an invisible God can sound just a little ‘old school’. Why believe in something you can’t see? ‘Prove it’ seems to be the chorus of our generation!
But can we prove the existence of God? Well not conclusively, but why not join me in a simple thought experiment and see where it takes you. Ask yourself two questions:
1) Q: What would we expect to find if there was no higher power?
Something can’t just appear out of nothing. Imagine you wake up one morning, lock the door to your room, and head off to school. Later that day you come home, unlock your room door and walk in to find a big fresh deposit of dog poo sitting on your carpet. What do you conclude?
You know it didn’t just appear out of nowhere! Therefore you must have accidently locked your dog in your room! Dog poo doesn’t just appear out of thin air, it needs a dog to create it. Something doesn’t just appear out of nothing!
2) Q: What would we expect to find if there was a higher power?
A: Nothing or Something.
Just because you lock your dog in your room doesn’t mean he has to do a poo on your carpet. He may be quite self-controlled and restrain himself from creating anything. Or he may not.
The point is if you have something (in our case a universe), it can’t have just appeared out of nowhere. Some higher power needs to have created it or at least started the process by which it eventually came about.
So let’s take a closer look at this something through the lens of what scientists call the Anthropic Principle.
The Anthropic Principle refers to the fact that the universe is precisely tweaked for human beings to exist. That is, it has the fingerprints of an intelligent being all over it. Here are a few examples I’ve discovered this week:
1) We are just the right distance from the sun. Any closer or any further away and life could not exist.
2) Our rotation of 24 hours is just right. Any longer or any shorter and life could not exist.
3) The earth’s axis is tilted at 23 degrees, anything more or less and life could not exist.
4) The gravitational force is exactly what it needs to be. If it were altered by just one part out of 1040 life could not exist.
5) If Jupiter wasn’t in its current orbit life could not exist. Why? Because Jupiter acts as a cosmic vacuum cleaner and attracts all the meteors and space junk towards it instead of us.
6) The average distance between stars is 30 trillion miles. If that distance were any closer then their gravitational forces would interact with the earth’s so much so that life could not exist.
It’s impossible to prove definitively that a higher power exists. But on the odd occasion that I tear my eyes away from the laptop, turn off my iPod, and leave the confines of my unit on the highway, I just can’t help agreeing with David’s words in Psalm 19 that, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.”
‘Which God?’ is a question we’ll have to address next week!