Lee Strobel: Science Points Toward Existence of a Creator


#1

LAKE FOREST, Calif. – Contrary to what many scientists believe, science points toward a creator of the universe instead of away from God, says best-selling author and Christian apologist Lee Strobel.
[LIST]Speaking at a two-day Christian apologetics event at Saddleback Church in Southern California, Strobel kicked-off the series of weekend messages given by five different apologists by talking about The Case for a Creator.
“There are some scientists that will tell you that the evidence of science points away from a Creator. That it disproves the existence of a Creator,” said the atheist-turned-Christian and former legal editor of The Chicago Tribune.
Strobel continued by giving an example.
"Jerry Coyne thinks so. He’s a University of Chicago professor of ecology and evolution. He said in USA Today: ‘Science and faith are fundamentally incompatible … Science helps religion only by disproving its claims.’ But is that true? Does science point away from a Creator?"
He then explained to the more than 3,500 people in attendance at the church and an online audience: "I used to be an atheist just like Dr. Coyne is an atheist, but I came to a far different conclusion after my investigation of the evidence. I concluded that science, when done right, points powerfully and persuasively toward the existence of a Creator who just happens to look a lot like the God of the Bible.

Read more at Lee Strobel: Science Points Toward Existence of a Creator
[/LIST]


#2

I think that one of Strobel’s books is “Evidence That Demands a Verdict.” This book, I think, traces his investigation of the relationship of science and religion. Like Madelyn Murray O’Hare’s son, Thomas, I believe he was searching for the exact opposite when his investigation resulted in his conversion.


#3

That’d be Josh McDowell.


#4

Mike tells me that the book I mentioned was written by Josh McDowell; I think Strobel wrote a similar one, or one with a similar theme.


#5

Correct, it was McDowell and Strobel wrote The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, and *The Case for a Creator *among others.

Lee Strobel: Online Store


#6

OK, I remember now; it was The Case for Christ that I was thinking of. That was the result, I believe, of his study of the Bible for the purpose of “disproving” it.


#7

[quote=“Susanna, post:6, topic:37288”]
OK, I remember now; it was The Case for Christ that I was thinking of. That was the result, I believe, of his study of the Bible for the purpose of “disproving” it.
[/quote]Now available on Netflix too.


#8

That’s correct. He also interviewed historians, experts on Jewish tradition, law and history, Biblical scholars, scholars and experts on Roman history, medical experts, etc.


#9

Yeah, I saw that. It was pretty good. It didn’t go into as much depth as the book, but it was good.


#10

If you try to to yoke science with religion, you may not like some scientific results in the future. I’ll explain what I mean in a second.

Science is DEscriptive, and Religion is PROscriptive.

Science seeks to describe the world AS IT IS, through a system of measuring as it’s basis. Religion, OTOH, seeks to describe the world AS IT “OUGHT” TO BE, through a system using human experience as its basis, “belief” if you will. For example, science may tell you what the distance to a star is . . . Religion can’t do that. OTOH, Religion may provide solace at a funeral . . . Science can’t do THAT. Science can’t “prove” the accuracy of beliefs, and belief’s can’t prove the accuracy of science. The two are totally independent of each other.

Some present Science and Religion as compatible (as the article above does), some present Science and Religion as incompatible (as most Atheists do), and some consider Science and Religion as totally independent of each other (as I believe.) Saying Science and Religion are compatible or incompatible is like saying a rock is compatible or incompatible with the ceiling. Huh? IOW, it’s a non-sequitur . . . one doesn’t follow from the other.

If you say that Science is compatible with Religion, you have two problems. First, you’ll get into an endless UNRESOLVABLE argument of “My guy is smarter than your guy”, “My guy won the Nobel Prize”, “My guy graduated from Oxford”, “My guy interviewed (blah, blah, blah)” etc., and second, and perhaps more importantly, you’ll bind yourself to scientific results.

In the latter, you may run into two more scenarios if the result is something you don’t like . . . for example, some neuroscienctists are very close, via P.E.T. scans, to declaring that there is no such thing as a “soul”. They haven’t got there yet, but they’re close. In that case, you’ll either revert to the “My guy is right and your guy is wrong” arguments, or just flat out say, especially if your guy supports that conclusion, “Hey, maybe I shouldn’t have put so much faith in Science now” and go back and rethink yoking Religion with Science.

Considering Religion and Science as independent avoids that whole dubious intellectual exercise. If science concludes there is no such thing as a “soul”, I can say, “So what?”. I believe there is a soul, and since Science can neither prove or disprove a belief, Science is irrelevant (IOW, independent of Religion and vice-versa) to the issue of whether or not there IS a soul. In that example, suppose the mind and body are a radio, and the soul is the waves that come from the transmitting tower. Just because the radio goes silent does not necessarily mean the tower is no longer transmitting the waves. All you can conclude is that that particular radio is no longer enabling the sound that would be produced by the waves. The “soul” (the transmitting tower and the waves) may still exist, we just can’t measure it. Consequently, Science cannot prove or disprove that. It may say that the reasoning is preposterous, or does not follow the “scientific method” (measurement), but beyond that it is totally impotent.

Finally, on the issue of “My guy” arguments. Einstein supported religion. OTOH, Stephen Hawking does not: “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” So, are you going to cite Hawking, the guy that took the understanding of Black Holes beyond where Einstein failed, or Einstein, the guy that came up with relativity? Both are towering intellects, but both are at opposite ends when it comes to Religion. A person who holds that Religion and Science are independent does not have to make a choice, a choice that will be based in bias anyway. Atheists will choose Hawking, Religious folks will choose Einstein, and you’ll get back to that endless unresolvable cycle of “My guy is smarter than your guy.”


#11

I would suggest that following the precepts of science has led many a scientist to religious belief.


#12

[quote=“Fantasy_Chaser, post:11, topic:37288”]
I would suggest that following the precepts of science has led many a scientist to religious belief.
[/quote]And just as many to Atheism. For example, Physicists are overwhelmingly atheist. Of course, divorcing Science from Religion makes that a non-issue for Religious folks.

(Interestingly, specific fields have different levels of Atheist/Religious distributions. For example, most Chemists are religious. And while Mathematicians and Biologists have a lower religious component, Physicists are at the very bottom. Not saying this proves the notion that most Chemists are religious, but I am a Chemical Engineer.)


#13

Perhaps they were atheists to start with. Or, at the very most, had only a vague head belief in the existence of God. Personally, I cannot see how scientists can delve into the wonders of the universe, and still not believe in God. To say that scientist are getting close to discovering the existence or non-existence of the soul is pure nonsense. Science cannot prove or disprove the supernatural.


#14

[quote=“Susanna, post:13, topic:37288”]
Personally, I cannot see how scientists can delve into the wonders of the universe, and still not believe in God.
[/quote]Indeed some do though . . . Carl Sagan having been one, and Sagan was a Cosmologist that certainly viewed those “wonders” . . . but I agree with you.

[quote=“Susanna, post:13, topic:37288”]
To say that scientist are getting close to discovering the existence or non-existence of the soul is pure nonsense.
[/quote]While I agree with you, Newsweek (left-leaning anyway), a few years ago, published an article reporting that there was some research by MDA and Harvard scientists (which O’Relly would likely call “pin heads”, an accurate sarcasm IMO) leading toward that very conclusion. (BTW, I canceled my Newsweek subscription shortly after that . . . that particular report was wayyyyy too over the top for me and confirmed my ever-growing objection to their lunatic fringe far left articles.)

I didn’t bother to check the studies for things like method, controls, population size, and peer review, because I compartmentalize Science and Religion. Whether or not there was any substance to the claim (can’t see how there could be though . . . Newsweek was likely twisting the conclusion to their own left-leaning purposes), didn’t make any difference to me. My faith would still be intact even if somehow a scientific study on the matter was flawless and made the same claim, simply because I don’t rely on Science to support my faith.

Science is OK in it’s realm, and Religion is OK in it’s realm, but they are two entirely different arenas, neither validating the other. And they tread on a slippery slope when they attempt to invade the other’s territory. To me, they are independent pursuits, one having no bearing on the other.

[quote=“Susanna, post:13, topic:37288”]
Science cannot prove or disprove the supernatural.
[/quote]Precisely. That’s why they should remain independent of each other.


#15

Why is this breaking news? It’s just the Cosmological Argument, again. There’s nothing new here, and certainly no cause to claim “science points toward the existence of a creator.”


#16

Carl Sagan struck me as a bit of a biased activist. One flaw in his science that I’ve seen more than once (including in Cosmos, if I recall correctly) was the use of strawman arguments.


#17

From the OPs link.

“Well, you know what? It’s only a problem if you are an atheist, because if there is a beginning to the universe it leads to a very powerful argument for existence of God. It’s called the Kalam Cosmological Argument,” Strobel explained. "It’s very easy, it only takes three steps. First, whatever begins to exist has a cause.
“Can you come up with an example of anything that began to exist that doesn’t have cause? Even David Hume, the famous skeptic said, ‘I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without a cause.’”

Read more at Lee Strobel: Science Points Toward Existence of a Creator

Sounds to me more like they are moving from testing the observable universe as we currently understand it and instead just decide because it’s easier to say some dude in a giant wizards hat waved his magic wand and poof existence then that is the evidence of science pointing towards a creator. Sorry but no, that’s called using faith to come up with easy answers to hard questions. That isn’t what science is about.


#18

[quote=“Fantasy_Chaser, post:16, topic:37288”]
One flaw in his science that I’ve seen more than once (including in Cosmos, if I recall correctly) was the use of strawman arguments.
[/quote]If you feel confident arguing with these folks, that’s OK . . . for YOU.

But for me, things they say, like “In the case at hand, the probability is for the existence of the three-dimensional spatial slice S (the “three-geometry S” in Hartle and Hawking’s parlance), from which the probability of the other states of the universe can be calculated. The three-dimensional space S is the first state of the temporally evolving universe, i.e., the earliest state of the temporal length 10-43 second (the Planck length). S is the state of the universe that may be called the “big bang”; it precedes the inflationary epoch and gives rise to inflation.” is wayyyyyy over my head. I have absolutely no idea what that even means. I’m vaguely familiar with some of the terms, from college physical chemistry, but to even attempt to translate that into Plain English would be so slippery slope that I definitely wouldn’t even try to draw any conclusions from it.

And if they themselves translate it into Plain English, written in a popular book, it’s like the Fox guarding the Chickens. Can I trust that the conversion to Plain English was accurate? Don’t know. I have no idea if I’d agree or disagree, simply because I don’t even understand the underlying science lingo from which they drew the Plain English conclusion.

Fortunately, I don’t even have to try to understand any of their arguments . . . because Science is not relevant to my faith . . . faith is in an entirely different realm.


#19

[quote=“Maylar, post:17, topic:37288”]
From the OPs link.
[/quote]Hi, stranger. Good to see you around!


#20

Al-Gazali’s (1058-1111) form of the Kalam cosmological argument:

  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
  2. The Universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore, the Universe had a cause.

But Hawking disputes the assumptions by claiming that in order to have a first cause, you must have time (IOW, there has to be a “before”). He maintains that not only is the Universe boundless (“infinite”, has no end and has NO BEGINNING) but can be traced back to an infinitely small particle . . . a black hole . . . where there is no such thing as time and therefore no “before”. Time did not exist then.

Frankly, all this universe stuff, time stuff, and black hole stuff, founded on mathematical formulas I couldn’t even begin to understand, is, as I said in a previous post, wayyyyyyy over my head.

But again, I don’t even have to try because Science is totally irrelevant to my religious faith.

[quote=“Maylar, post:17, topic:37288”]
Sorry but no, that’s called using faith to come up with easy answers to hard questions. That isn’t what science is about.
[/quote]And, yes, I AM using faith to answer the question. Science says, “we don’t know right now, but we’re measuring it and will work on it.” Faith says, “YOU don’t know, and will NEVER know, but you don’t need to know anyway if you have faith.”

“Blind faith” is just that . . . admitting that some things will never have an answer that we can understand. “Philosopher (n): a blind person in a dark room looking for a black hat that is not there.”

Human nature abhors anything without an answer, and thinks there’s an answer somewhere to everything, that we can understand. How arrogant. Some things are mysteries, and will remain so perpetually.

So at what point do you stop your pursuit of an answer, and just throw your arms up and admit it’s a mystery and there will be no solution? There are two very practical answers to that question. Either when the scientific community’s patience runs out (but no sign of that in the near future), or when the funding runs out (probably the most practical answer, and one that occurs often.)