The Argument from Design
THE ARGUMENT FROM DESIGN
The splendid universe is something to wonder at, from its galaxies to its planets, from its atmosphere to its winds, from its flowers to its fishes and from its birds to its insects. An age-old method used to prove God’s existence is to refer to His creations. Materialist atheism, which advocated that all these arguments were unfounded and that the universe was the product of pure coincidences, found many enthusiasts. Yet, the scientific developments of the last three score of years in particular have caused the movement to retreat.
In the past, it was customary to draw an analogy between the watch and its maker and with the universe and its maker. Thanks to recent developments, this analogy has been superseded by methods based on mathematical expressions. This mathematical approach and newly acquired data contribute to the argument from design advocated throughout history that there is a design in the creation, a design that includes order and purpose, teleology and grace. The study of these arguments under different headings in which the emphasis keeps shifting from the purpose, to the order reigning in the universe, to the harmony foreseen between the universal design, man and other living beings, makes no difference, for all these approaches point to the fact that the universe was the work of a conscious Power and not the product of a string of coincidences. The fact that differentiated stages in the universe made possible life on earth point to teleology; the perfect function of sub-atomic particles, our bodies, and our heliocentric system point to order; all the critical values that are designed in such a way that living beings would thrive and their needs would satisfy point to grace.
The Big Bang theory has demonstrated that the universe came into being from an immensely dense and hot singularity, that it was expanding continuously and that out of this emerged the entire creation, ranging from the sub-atomic world to the celestial bodies. At different stages of this evolution, critical values were at play and the existence of the universe, the galaxies and the living beings depended on these. The critical values enumerated in the coming pages point to a design behind the evolutionary stages. Thus, God has not a function only as Prime-Mover, but He has designed all stages.
RELATIVITY OF TIME AND GOD’S INTERVENTION
The analogy drawn between the watch and its maker with the universe and God can cause misinterpretations. Once the clock is made, it works regularly without undergoing any change. The Big Bang, on the other hand, demonstrates that the universe is in continuous transformation and not a single moment is exactly equal to another moment.
Leibniz’s philosophy emphasized pre-established harmony. On the other hand, there have been people, like Malebranche, who emphasized God’s continuous intervention both in the universe and in all the acts of man. One may draw false conclusions from these and think that in the first case, God does not intervene at every stage of the evolution of the universe, and in the second case, that God was unaware, in the beginning, of all the prospective stages of the evolution of the universe (intervenes not from the start, but at the moment of the evolutionary stage). In fact, Leibniz advocated that God was aware of every stage and made all the interventions in advance. Malebranche, on the other hand, suggested that God was omniscient and that His intervention was a continuous process.
The theory of relativity has contributed to our better understanding of this question. According to this theory time is relative, it is not an absolute concept; the difference between the beginning of the universe and the stage it is in at a given period of time may be insignificant in a different dimension. For instance, in the beginning to say that God had pre-established the Big Bang with a view to creating the prospective world of ours and to say that God had intervened, after ten billions of years after the Big Bang, to create the world do not differ in any way. The theory of relativity has demonstrated that in quite another dimension ten billions of years might be insignificant; thus, the question is settled when billions of years are of no consequence with the concept of relative time.
WHAT PLACE, THEN, FOR A CREATOR?
What is important is to demonstrate that the universe is designed. This is the evidence of God’s intervention, sovereignty and omniscience. Infinite amounts of evidence are provided by astronomy, chemistry and biology. Various sciences explain the phenomena within the framework of causality; the very existence of science depends on casual relationship. Our very reasoning faculty also depends on causal relationship. For instance, in order that the readers may have access to the present book, it had to be written and printed beforehand. The penning of this book and its printing are the cause for its final reading. The effect never comes first. The reader cannot have access to it unless it has been written first.
The reason why I am relating all of this is the following: some contenders, having acknowledged (through causal relationship) that the universe is described by recourse to the laws of science, have asked the question, considering that science explains everything; “What place, then, for a Creator?” We must draw attention to the fact that science and causality do not explain whether the universe was created or not, but the way it operates. This is not antagonistic with God’s existence. On the contrary, the better the operation of the mechanism is described, the more accessible becomes the order of the universe, and this provides proof for the fact that the universe was designed. The causality and the laws of science are not antagonistic to finality, but an instrument of comprehension. The causality and the finality are inextricably related to each other, contrary to the suppositions of some people. As Averroes had drawn attention to it, the mechanism dependent upon the causality reigning in the universe contributes to the demonstration of God’s existence.
The fact that the universe operates within the framework of the laws of science and this is accessible to the human mind is one of the most interesting pieces of evidence of design in the universe. It might well be that the universe is devoid of order or that the order would be so complicated that the individual might contemplate it without understanding anything. The fact that the mind has been endowed with the intuition of causality (as Kant showed) through which it can understand the universe points to the design of mind. Harmonizing the universe with the human mind is a miracle to wonder at. We can summarize the conditions required for the understanding of the outer world under four items:
1. The human mind must be endowed with consciousness and an innate capacity of comprehension. To this end, in the mind must be inherent the a priori intuitions of time, space and causality.
2. If he is to understand the universe, man has to have the capacity of comprehension and memory. For example, the universe will be inaccessible to a person with a poor memory that is incapable of storing more than a few facts.
3. The universe must conform to the causality principal. Phenomena should take place according to the laws prevailing in the universe.
4. The laws in the universe must not be too complicated. Had the simplest phenomenon upon the earth been the result of laws realized through hundreds of thousands of equations, it would have still remained a mystery. In order that the outside world may be comprehensible, the universal laws must be accessible.
Scientific exploits are but a means to get nearer to God, rather than moving away from Him. The problem lies not in the scientific approach, but in the deification of science. The Big Bang has shown that the universe had a beginning and that the laws of physics were not absolute, just like the universe itself. We observe that the laws prevailing in the universe depend on the Power that created the world, and that the universe is based on causality, the laws that are operative and are conserved. The “argument from design” is a sign that shows that the universe is the work of a Designer, conscious and aware of everything.
FORTY EXAMPLES ILLUSTRATIVE OF DESIGN
There is an unbelievable amount of recent data illustrative of universal design that is not accessible to the general public. I will choose only forty among these. The examples I am enumerating below are the sine qua non of life on earth.
1. Had the blast that generated the universe been a bit more intense, all matter would have scattered in space; had it been a bit less intense, all matter would have collapsed. In both cases neither the galaxies, nor the stars, nor our world, nor the living beings would have seen the light of day. The probability of the explosion’s forming the galaxies, our world and the living beings on earth would be as infinitesimal as the falling of a pencil thrown in the air on its tip.
2. If there had been a greater quantity of matter at the moment of explosion the universe would have collapsed. If, on the other hand, a lesser quantity of matter had existed at the moment of explosion the blast might have scattered matter apart before it could form the galaxies. It becomes evident, therefore, that the Big Bang is designed in such a way that the intensity, the ratio of matter and their interdependent arrangement have been taken into consideration.
3. The sub-atomic phenomena took place thanks to the extreme heat generated by the Big Bang, thus making possible the process of creation, from the galaxies to the living beings.
4. The original homogenous constitution of the universe was a sine qua non of the formation of galaxies. The slightest reduction in the initial homogeneity would not have allowed the formation of galaxies and would have led to the transformation of all matter into black holes. And we would not have come into the world.
5. Entropy is continuously increasing in the world. This is a sign of the fact that in the origin of the universe the entropy must be at a very low level. The realization of this probability is impossible. Roger Penrose has calculated the probability of a beginning with low entropy and found this probability as 1 to 10 .
6. The protons and antiprotons that grew in the wake of the Big Bang would destroy each other. Life required that the number of protons be superior to the number of antiprotons. That is what happened, in fact.
7. Likewise, the neutrons and antineutrons would destroy each other. And life required that the number of neutrons is superior to the number of antineutrons, and that is exactly what took place.
8. Electrons and positrons would destroy each other. Life was possible by a greater number of electrons over positrons, and that is exactly what happened.
9. Quarks and anti-quarks would destroy each other. But life requires a greater number of the quarks than anti-quarks, and that is exactly what happened.
10. Life required not only a greater number of protons, neutrons and electrons over their anti-matters, but also they must have been made in appropriate proportions to each other. This was what life required.
11. In order that life may thrive on earth, the masses of protons, neutrons and electrons must be as they actually are. Had these masses been different, life would not have formed.
12. Despite their widely differing mass, protons and electrons balance each other with electric charges. Had this balance been lacking, no atoms necessary for life would have formed. Had the electrical charge of electrons been a bit different, the stars could not have formed.
13. Had the quantity of neutrinos been less than it is, the formation of galaxies would have been impossible. Had the quantity of neutrinos been somewhat more, the galaxies would have been extremely dense. Both cases would have made life impossible.
14. Strong nuclear force keeps the protons and neutrons together in the nucleus. Had this force been weaker, no atoms other than hydrogen would have formed and life would be an impossibility.
15. Had the weak nuclear force been a bit stronger, too much hydrogen during the Big Bang would have been converted into helium. Had this force been somewhat weaker, the formation of the heavy elements in stars would have been adversely affected and life would become impossible.
16. Had the intensity of electromagnetic force been higher, problems would arise in the formation of chemical bonds. Had it been weaker, the same problem would have existed and the carbon and oxygen atoms of absolute necessity for life would not have been in the required quantity.
17. Had the gravitational force been more powerful, all the celestial bodies would have been transformed into black holes. Had it been less powerful, stars to form the heavy elements would not have formed. Life would be impossible in both cases.
18. The weak nuclear force, the strong nuclear force, the electromagnetic force and the gravitational force had to have been created within the framework of the well-designed critical values and in due proportions to each other. This was an extremely fine balance for the formation of galaxies and stars and of life on earth.
19. For the formation of life, interstellar distances must have been well arranged. For, had they been nearer to each other, the excess of gravitational force would have impaired the orbits of planets. Had they been separated from each other by greater distances the heavy atoms scattered in the universe by supernovas would have disposed over a wider stretch and atoms necessary to make life possible on earth would have fallen short of the mark.
20. Two of the most important atoms vital for life are carbon and oxygen. Of these atoms, had the proportion of carbon to the energy level of the oxygen atom been higher, oxygen necessary for life would not have sufficed. Had the existing proportion been lower, the carbon necessary for life would not have been sufficient.
21. The carbon and oxygen atoms of vital importance for life on earth are not only dependent on each other’s levels of energy, but are also dependent on the energy level of the helium atom. Had the energy level of helium been higher, the quantity of carbon and oxygen vital for life on earth would not have been sufficient; had it been lower, the same would have been the consequence.
22. The distances and the frequency of occurrence of the supernova explosions also are vital for life on earth. For instance, had these explosions been nearer, radiation would have exterminated life on earth. Had they been farther, the atoms required for life on earth would not have been enough.
23. Our galaxy ought to be in possession of matter of a definite quantity to make life on earth possible. Had this quantity been more than necessary, the orbit of the sun would have changed. Had it been in less than necessary, the lifetime of a star like our sun would have been shorter. On the other hand, the magnitude, the shape and the distance of our galaxy from other galaxies are also vital for life on earth.
24. Another condition that is vital for life on earth is the size and distance from our earth of the planet Jupiter. Had Jupiter not been at the place it now occupies and been of a different magnitude, the earth would have been exposed to detrimental meteor showers. Moreover, our actual orbit would have changed. Both conditions could impair the ideal state for life.
25. Had the earth been at a farther distance from the sun, we would have been invaded by icebergs, which would not be favorable for life on it. Had we been closer to the sun, the water on earth would have evaporated, making life impossible.
26. Had the gravitation of the earth been stronger, states like excess in the ratio of ammonium and methane would have been an obstacle to life on earth. Had the gravitation been weaker, the atmosphere could have run short of water, and life would again be impossible.
27. The magnetic field around our earth has been critically devised. Had it been stronger, sun rays beneficial for living beings would have been thwarted. Had it been weaker, harmful rays of the sun would make life impossible.
28. The light striking the earth and the light that the earth reflects must be in a certain ratio. Had this ratio been higher, the earth would have been invaded by icebergs. Had the ratio been lower, the earth heated by greenhouse effect would make life impossible.
29. The crust of the earth is also an important factor for life. Had it been thicker, the oxygen balance would have been disturbed because of oxygen transfer from the atmosphere to the crust of the earth. Had the crust been thinner, we would be witnessing volcanic eruptions from all over the crust of the earth. This, in turn, would not only change the climate but also destroy life on earth.
30. The quantity of oxygen in also critical. Had this quantity been greater, we would have frequent fires upon the earth. Had this value been inferior, breathing would become impossible.
31. The carbon dioxide ratio is ideal for life on earth. Had it been higher, we would have been facing the greenhouse effect. Had it been lower, photosynthesis would have been impossible.
32. The ozone quantity in the atmosphere is also critical. Had it been higher, the surface temperature would have fallen. Had it been lower, not only would the surface temperature rise but also the intensity of the ultraviolet light would increase to threaten life on earth.
33. Atmospheric pressure must be at a critical level. Had it been lower, the quantity of water evaporated would have been higher, which would have given rise to the greenhouse effect, transforming the earth into a desert.
34. In order that the air in the atmosphere is favorable for breathing, it must be at a definite level of pressure, fluidity and density. The slightest change in the density and fluidity would make respiration difficult.
35. The formation of the carbon atom, a vital element of life, within the stars takes place in a medium of extremely critical values. To this end, two helium atoms combine to form the beryllium atom in a very short space of time, i.e. 0.000000000000001 second, to be joined by a third helium atom forming the carbon atom. The slightest difference in the energy level of these atoms would have made impossible the formation of the carbon atom and would thereby have rendered impossible the emergence of the living beings upon the earth.
36.All living beings are the product of the combination of the carbon atom with other chemical elements. Carbon can form the compounds necessary for life within a narrow bracket of heat. The ideal temperature conforms exactly to the earth’s temperature. We should bear in mind the wide range of temperature stretching from millions of degrees down to absolute zero: -273.15 degrees Celcius.
37. Weak bonds like the covalent bonds can come about within a definit temperature range. This range is in perfect harmony with the temperature range reigning upon the earth. Had the weak bonds not come about, there would have been no life on earth.
38. The time of the creation of the earth was opportune as well. Had it been created earlier there would not have been enough heavy atoms (like carbon and oxygen) in the world. Had the creation occurred at a later date, there would not have been enough raw materials to form our heliocentric system.
39. One of the other conditions for life on earth is that water should have a definite surface tension. Plants’ absorption of water from the soil and their capacity to pump it up to the summit of their stems are possible by this well-designed tension. Had this tension been somewhat different, there would have been neither vegetation nor other living beings.
40. The reaction capacity of water is another requirement for life. Water presents no shredding properties like acids, nor does it remain inactive like argon. The fluidity value of water and the fact that the solid state of water is exceptionally lighter than its fluid state highly contributes to life on the earth.
The forty cases above indicate that they are designed to enable the unfolding of life on earth. To assert that all this system is the outcome of chance and there is no design behind it is illogical. The scientific data of astronomy, physics and chemistry prove that extremely critical values have been observed. In the field of biology such evidences become even more numerous and every living thing produces further corroborative data.
We can demonstrate, basing our assertions on logical probability, that there is strict observance of critical values in the creation of the universe. In this epistemology, probability occupies the center; it is a mathematical approach. I have selected only forty of a countless number of pieces of evidence pointing to the fact that the universe has been arranged to enable life on earth. I will take up examples of entropy and proteins, and try to show how one may use probability.
INITIAL ENTROPY AND PROBABILITY
We have already seen that according to the second law of thermodynamics entropy keeps increasing in the universe and that this is an irreversible process. Entropy is the objective mathematical criterion of the continuous increase in the degree of disorder. As Penrose has stated, high entropy is natural, but low entropy signifies order, and calls for an explanation. The existence of the universe with its galaxies, planets and living beings is the result of the low entropy at the beginning. Thus, the origin of the universe calls for an explanation.
The fact that a tiny point represented the beginning cannot account for the low entropy. Penrose, acknowledged to be an expert in these matters, has demonstrated that neither such tiny points as the black holes nor the terminal composition shall be able to escape the high entropy if the universe were one day to experience the Big Crunch. One deduces from this that the low entropy at the beginning of creation was not related in any way to the smallness of the initial point.
It follows that the low entropy at the beginning of the universe brings in an explanation other than the fact that the mass of the universe was extremely small in its origin. The ‘thermodynamic arrow’ moves in one single direction whether the universe is small or large. I liken this to the shortening of the height of elderly people. Even though the mass of the universe dwindles, its entropy will not mark any fall. Entropy is like time: unidirectional and certain. The probability related to the initial entropy, reached by Penrose, is absolutely impossible: He says: “This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been, namely to an accuracy of one part in 10 ”
If we were to write down this figure without exponents, the lifetimes of all human beings could not measure up to it. Were we to use all the protons, neutrons and photons in the universe and to put 1 trillion digits on each proton, neutron and photon, we would still be unable to write this number. The Creator has indeed been splitting hairs, so to speak, when He designed this order.
PROTEINS AND PROBABILITY
Probability calculations provide us with objective data of a mathematical nature that let us see whether the alternative of argument from design or the one of coincidence is more credible. In particular, the fact that Hume’s criticism of the analogical version of the “argument from design” was generally accepted in philosophy circles has been one of the reasons for the rise to prominence of the probabilistic version of the “argument from design.” The structure of proteins makes the application of probability calculations possible. Every living cell is made up of proteins. Proteins are the basic units that run the activities of cells. In the comparison between a cell and a factory, the proteins correspond to the factory’s machinery. Proteins are made up of a succession of amino acids. In a living organism, a protein is made up of 20 amino acids. The fact that these 20 amino acids should be placed in a certain order, and that the proteins should have a three-dimensional shape, are absolute requisites for a protein. There is a very great difference between the proteinoids, which are formed by a coincidental succession of amino acids, and the proteins, which have a special function within a cell. Amino acids come in two kinds, left-handed amino acids and right-handed amino acids. While proteinoids, which are a result of a coincidental union of amino acids, are made up of both kinds of amino acids, proteins include only left-handed amino acids. What is more important, proteins have to be set up in a certain order if they are to be able to carry out specific duties. The probability that amino acids will turn into proteins just because they have been subjected to energy is less than the probability that a stack of bricks, which have been blown up in the air with dynamite, will fall back down and form a house.
In living organisms, alongside relatively short proteins like ferrodexin (found in clostridium pasteurianum), which is made up of a succession of 55 amino acids, there are also long proteins like twitchin (found in caenorhabditin elegans), which is made up of a succession of 6049 amino acids. As an example for our probability calculations, let us consider the medium-sized serum albumin protein, which can be found in the human body and which is made up of 584 amino acids. The probability that the amino acids in this protein would be made up only of the left-handed kind, can be calculated in the following way:
The probability that an amino acid should be of the left-handed kind: 1/2
The probability that two amino acids should be of the left-handed kind: 1/2 x 1/2
The probability that three amino acids should be of the left-handed kind: 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2
The probability that 584 amino acids should be of the left-handed kind: 1/2
In addition to this, all amino acids have to form a peptide bond, which is necessary for tying up with the other amino acids in the protein chain. There are also many other kinds of chemical bonds that can be formed in a natural environment, among amino acids; the probability of a peptide bond forming is roughly equal to the probability of other kinds of bonds forming. Within the serum albumin, made up of 584 amino acids, 583 peptide bonds are required. The probability of these forming is as follows:
The probability that two amino acids should bond with a peptide bond: 1/2
The probability that three amino acids should bond with peptide bonds: 1/2 x 1/2
The probability that four amino acids should bond with peptide bonds: 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2
The probability that 584 amino acids should bond with peptide bonds: 1/2
The probability that the amino acids of a single protein should be all left-handed and that they should be connected with peptide bonds is: (1/2) x (1/2) = (1/2) = (1/10)
CAN ALL THE EXISTING ATOMS AND THE ENTIRE SPACE-TIME FORM A PROTEIN BY PURE COINCIDENCE?
We realize that this probability is a practical impossibility from a mathematical point of view, by means of the following reasoning. If we add the 10 protons and neutrons (total of all protons and neutrons in the universe) to the all photons and electrons in the universe, we obtain a number smaller than 10 . The life span of the universe: 15 billion years x 365 days x 24 hours x 60 minutes x 60 seconds = 473.040.000.000.000.000 expresses the time that has elapsed since the creation of the universe. We could say approximately that this number is equal to 10 . If we multiply the two numbers, the number we get is 10 x 10 = 10 . This number expresses the number of attempts made, if all the protons, neutrons, electrons and photons in the universe had each made an attempt every single second of the existence of the universe. If we assume that attempts made in a second by each of these are at the highest chemical speed 10 (one trillion), it makes 10 x 10 = 10 ; but even the probability of two simple events like the formation of a protein with 584 amino acids with only left-handed amino acids and the formation of its peptide bonds is 1 in 10 . This shows us that even if all the protons, neutrons, electrons and photons in the universe had turned into one of 20 amino acids in living creatures and that even if they had made 10 attempts in each second since the creation of the universe, it would not have been enough even to ensure that the amino acids of a single protein like the serum albumin should be left-handed and that they should be connected with peptide bonds.
This conclusion is indeed very interesting. Following the discoveries of Copernicus, the earth lost its central position in the universe; however, even mobilizing the entire matter in the universe could not ensure the coincidental creation of a single protein, which exists in thousands in living organisms that we can see only by means of a microscope.
It is vitally important that the succession of the amino acids in proteins be in the correct order. We can show the probability calculation for the serum albumin protein in the following way:
The probability that an amino acid should be in the correct position: 1/20
The probability that two amino acids should be in the correct position: 1/20 x 1/20
The probability that three amino acids should be in the correct position: 1/20 x 1/20 x 1/20
The probability that 584 amino acids should be in the correct position: (1/20) = (1/10)
If we multiply this number with the 1 in 10 , which we have already calculated, we get the probability that a given protein should be made up only of left-handed amino acids and that it should form peptide bonds and that the succession of amino acids should be in the correct order. This corresponds to a probability of 1 in 10 x 10 = 10 , which practically means that it is impossible (Generally in mathematics all probabilities less than 1 in 10 are considered impossible). It could be said that only a certain part of the succession of amino acids in proteins is active and that changes in the amino acids outside this part could be tolerated. This would mean that the actual probability for the succession of amino acids was higher than we calculated, but, on the other hand, if we include the probabilities also of things like the necessity that the protein should happen to be in the correct position within the cell and also that it should exist in the required quantity, then the probabilities decrease.
Those who deny that the causes were created target-oriented have succumbed to mathematics. This calculation of probability was made on the assumption that amino acids are the ones that are used in the living organism, and that after the formation of the protein the functions have been frozen. Supposing that all these stages had been added to the probability what was impossible would be even more impossible. However, the figure mentioned indicates this impossibility for those who are versed in mathematics. This serum albumin protein whose formation cannot be coincidental is being produced in the millions by our body.
According to the “blind coincidentalist” materialist view, serum albumin is a fortuitous formation. According to the believer, this protein is designed. This probabilistic approach about the formation of the protein can be stretched to cover many things, from the functions in our body to those in other animals and plants, from the phenomena occurring in our world to space.
As all living beings are made of proteins and as even the simplest bacteria has about one thousand proteins; the theory of probability proves that all living beings are the work of a Designer and an omnipotent Power. All this shows that coincidental happenings are out of the question in the world, and that even the simplest molecule is the work of meticulous design.
ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE AND CRITICAL VALUES
The recent discoveries in astronomy, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and other branches of science have demonstrated that the existence of the human being depends on very critical values, of which we gave forty examples. The existence of a multitude of critical values enabling the creation of man has not failed to attract the attention of scientists. Brandon Carter was the first to explain this situation with the “anthropic principle;” since then it has been used in the fields of philosophy, science and theology. However the “anthropic principle” has been interpreted differently by philosophers and scientists. Some have perceived the relationship between the “argument from design” and the “anthropic principle” and suggested that they are tantamount to each other, while others have suggested that there is nothing to wonder about the conditions that emerged to suit our situation in the universe, adding that had they not emerged we would not have been in a position to observe these things. According to this view, our observation has a selective effect and explains the conditions that enable us to exist.
To suggest that we should not wonder at the formation of the milieu in which humanity would thrive is irrelevant. Data provided by the “anthropic principle” are not limited to the existence of conditions favorable for the emergence of human beings on the earth. They point to much more. According to the “anthropic principle,” very critical values have made the emergence of humanity possible. Arrangement of the ideal milieu based on such critical values permits us to state that the universe and earth were created in perfect order, allowing life on earth. This is a postulate that some may debate, but scientific researches have corroborated this assertion. Let anyone willing to falsify this assertion describe, if he can, better atmospheric conditions and demonstrate, if he can, the existence of a fluid that promotes life better than water and the fact that the initial entropy could have been better!
Let me convey to you a pleasant example to which John Leslie refers in connection with those who misinterpret the “anthropic principle”: Suppose you are condemned to be executed and sent to the firing squad and 100 snipers shoot at you at a very close range, but you are not hit. Would you, in such a case say: “Considering I am alive there is nothing to wonder about; had I not been surviving now, I wouldn’t be in a position to observe this.” Or, would you rather say: “Considering that 100 snipers have shot so many bullets at such a close range and missed their targets, there must be an explanation.” The probability of the coincidence for the formation of the critical values required for our emergence on the earth is far less probable than the probability of missing the target by 100 snipers who shot at close range.
ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE AND INFINITE UNIVERSES
Those who perceived that the consequences of the “anthropic principle” would lead us to the “argument from design” and who were dissatisfied with such a conclusion put forth the “infinite universes” hypothesis. Their objective was to form an infinite grouping and belittle the critical values laid down by the “anthropic principle” by drawing an analogy with infinity. Had the hypothesis of “infinite universes” been demonstrated, that would not have changed the fact that the critical values in the universe were designed by an omnipotent Power. Richard Swinburne contends that it is lunatic to assume the existence of an infinite number of universes as a way of justifying this existing universe.
Those who tried to evade the issue rather than seek the truth in their attempt at dodging the existence of the Creator have reverted to such fantastic assertions. The hypothesis of the “oscillating universe” we have examined was also a product of the wish to reproduce an infinite number of universes. Even had such universes existed, this could not overshadow the evidence of argument from design. May I remind you once more of the way we should make use of Occam’s razor in certain situations?
I want to illustrate the attempt at the infinite universe scenario meant to evade the consequences of the “anthropic principle.” Imagine a gambling hall with thousands of roulette tables. I warn you beforehand that all the games played are tricky and tell you beforehand the results of games played at hundred of thousands roulette tables. When the figures I have given you turn out to be correct, you are persuaded that the results of the games are known beforehand and make an account of it to someone. But this someone contends that this is purely coincidental and that if all the people calling at the gambling house were to venture an estimate, there is the likelihood that the estimate of one of them will turn out to be true. When you demonstrate to him that in terms of probability this is impossible, he contends that the number of planets may be infinite and in these planets there might be an infinite number of people in an infinite number of gambling houses who can make such an estimate and that the result in question may have been made by one of them and that I am a liar as I told you that the results of the games played in gambling houses are known beforehand and that my guess had been purely fortuitous. What would your reaction be? Let us assume that you are persuaded about the existence of the infinite number of gambling houses, would you dare to explain away my correct guess of the results of thousands of roulette games in thousands of tables by chance?
We are in a position to observe one single universe. The Big
Bang theory has postulated that this universe has had a beginning and that its expanding boundaries are finite. The critical values in this single universe make plain the fact that the universe had been designed consciously by an intelligent Power. This conclusion would not have changed even if we had acknowledged a groundless scenario that postulated an infinite number of universes as being correct. However, there is no logical reason to accept such a scenario; it is a far-fetched fanciful product of imagination.
DESIGNS SINE QUA NON AND DESIGNS WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF WHICH WE CAN EXIST EVEN THOUGH THEY DID NOT EXIST
In misinterpreting the “anthropic principle,” a combination is made of man’s choice of the required conditions as an observer with the scenario of infinite universes, and it is contended that man must not wonder about the conditions that enabled him to exist, since otherwise, had they not come about, he would not have existed. We illustrated the impossibility of this conclusion by illustrations.
This approach is wrong; however, assuming that it was correct, it would have held true merely for the sine qua non conditions that enabled man’s existence. The conditions required for man’s thriving on earth are the sine qua non requirements. For instance, the existence of water and carbon is a sine qua non condition for the existence of man. Yet, much of the evidence of argument from design in the world’s make-up is not in the category of “sine qua non” conditions. Man may live even if only 1% of the existing plants and animals existed. But the plants and animals and the living beings outside the said 1% bracket still bear evidence of argument from design.
Let us take up the bee, for instance. The existence of the bee is not a sine qua non condition for man’s survival. We cannot explain, therefore, the bee’s existence with man’s selective characteristic as an observer. We cannot say: “Had the bee not existed, we would not have been here now; and that is the reason why probabilities related to the bee have come true.” The body of the bee contains a multitude of proteins like serum-albumin, whose probability we calculated earlier. When we take up one of these proteins we can realize that all the atoms of space from the beginning of the universe would fall short of forming a single protein of the bee only.
THE WORLD PRINCIPLE
I am advocating a wider concept, which I call “the world principle.” This principle also contains the “anthropic principle.” In this principle is also inherent, in addition to the “sine qua non”con ditions necessary for man’s life on earth, those conditions that are not part of the “sine qua non” conditions of man, and the “sine qua non” conditions and perfections of all living things. For example, the proteins necessary for the existence of the aforementioned bee are also contained in it. My concept of “the world principle” is this: The “World Principle” encompasses a larger area than the “Anthropic Principle” The World Principle Anthropic Principle The world is an abode for the living. God has selected this place to display His power and art through His creation. Man, as an observer in his capacity of rational being, happens to be one of the reasons for this intention of exposition. Many of the living beings, although they are not sine qua non conditions, provide man with edible items like honey, showing thereby God’s grace. The existence of so many living creatures alongside man needs an explanation. These cannot be explained by mere observation of the existence of the sine qua non conditions. For even in their absence, man could survive.
Phenomena on earth and the living creatures on it, especially plants and animals, are far beyond the immediate needs of man; they point to perfection, to a superior art and power. The “world principle” leads us to a vast field beyond the confines of the sine qua non conditions toward which the “anthropic principle” is directed. The following are also embraced by the “world principle:”
1. Other living beings
2. Perfection indices outside the framework of those conditions that do not fall within the category of the conditions sine qua non for man’s survival (like eyelashes, and having two kidneys).
3. The fact that all that we have enumerated exists on the same planet (the world).
The most important characteristic of the “world principle” is that it answers the objections raised against the selective property of the “anthropic principle.” Designs that point toward the views of the “world principle” are no different from those explained under the headings of the design, of grace and the teleological argument. Nevertheless, the “world principle” supports the “anthropic principle” in a way that closes any loopholes.
Another important aspect of the “world principle” is its requirement that the probability calculations ought to be considered within the confines of the world even though the sine qua non conditions that enable man to survive are shoved aside by the misinterpretation of the “anthropic principle;” hundreds of thousands of living things, whose fortuitous formation is not possible according to the probability calculations and from whom man may draw benefit, point to argument from design. We multiplied 10 representing the total number of baryons, photons and electrons by the number of seconds in space-time from the beginning of the Big Bang, 10 , and found 10 . Then we drew an analogy between 1 out of 10 , which represents the probability of the left-handedness of serum albumin’s amino acids and the formation of its peptide bonds which is a condition sine qua non for the existence of man. If we do the same calculation in terms of the “world principle,” we shall disregard the sine qua non conditions of man and instead, as an example, we shall take up one protein of the bee (which does not exist in human beings), a creature created in the immediate vicinity of man upon the earth. (You may take up a protein from another animal or plant but the result will be the same.)
Let us suppose that we redo the calculation we had made for a single protein of the bee within the framework of the “world principle.” As our set would be the world, instead of the universe, the figure 10 would be reduced to the total number of the protons, neutrons, electrons and photons in the world, while our figure representing the age of the universe will diminish to equal the world’s age. The question now will be: “Assuming that all the protons, neutrons, electrons and photons in the world are transformed into amino acids and they strive to form one protein every second from the beginning of the world’s existence, can they make it?” The fortuitous formation of a single protein in the course of the total time of the universe will become more impossible.
We have already observed that it is impossible for all the particles in the entire universe to fortuitously make the amino acid bonds of a single protein. My aim is to show that the “world principle” turns our focus within the world, creating a mathematical ground for the argument from design in the world. At a time when some contenders wish to make us believe in the truth of the infinite number of universes scenario, the “world principle” indicates that we can provide evidence of design within the world, disregarding not only the infinite number of universes, if ever, but also the rest of the universe of ours, and that we are in a position to make probability calculations remaining within the confines of the world.
The fact that so many species live side by side calls for an explanation; the countless number of species shows the richness of the “argument from design.” It is worthwhile to remember once more that this evidence draws its validity from mathematical certainty.
BACH AND THE COMPUTER WITHIN THE POTENTIALITY OF THE BIG BANG
The explosion that triggered the Big Bang, the density of matter, the arrangement of entropy and heat and all the critical values involved are bodies of evidence proving that the universe was created by a conscious, powerful and superior Being. Thanks to the creation of the conditions and the laws of physics in the beginning, everything that existed potentially, actualized.
From a work of Bach to a song of Celine Dion, from all the scores ever composed to the musical instruments, from computers to mobile phones, from Turkish lahmacun to Italian pizza, from lilacs to ants, everything existed potentially in the initial singularity. The potential of the Big Bang embraced everything that has ever existed in the universe. One of the ways to conceive how the universe had been designed with such consummate art and power is to turn our glance from the moment of creation to its present state. This view would call for common sense and the inspiration of an artist. An individual reviving in his imagination the initial oneness, the soup boiling on the eve of creation, while listening to Bach and contemplating a landscape and sipping his tea may realize that the piece of music he is listening to, the landscape he is watching and the tea he is drinking were designed before the actualization of all these potentialities and he will comprehend that this was indeed the result of a design. This is one of the major contributions of the Big Bang to the evidence of argument from design. The Big Bang shows how different the original state of the universe is from its actual state today, while announcing that all the wonders of the world and the work of man had potentially existed at the outset.
Some people cannot perceive the divine in the discoveries of man because of the involvement of the human mind. Celine Dion’s songs, the existence of the musical notes and their concatenation were potentially there. The artist and the scientist discover what already exists in potential. In other words, artists and scientists are discoverers of what has been created potentially by God and remained concealed to humanity. The piece of music is the work of the composer and the computer is the discovery of the engineer, yet they actually existed potentially in God’s creation. So that all that is designed by man was essentially created by God the Creator-Designer, while scientists and artists are discovererdesigners. It follows that the composition of the composer is as divine as the chirping of birds, the shoe is as divine as man’s foot and the mobile phone is as divine as man’s ear. Had all things not been potentially immanent in the initial singularity, we would not have been in a position now to observe and benefit from them.
DESIGN OF SCIENTIFIC LAWS
“Why is there anything rather than nothing?” This was an avowal of the fact that the universe calls for an explanation outside the universe. We can add to this: “Why are there scientific laws instead of chaos?”
Scientific efforts are directed at the discovery of scientific laws likely to detect the mystery lying behind what is apparent in the world, which, in turn, are expected to enable man to make plans for the future, thereby securing the welfare and confidence of man. Yet, this does not explain the reason “why” of the existence of the scientific laws. Let us take up, for instance, the scientific explanation of the gravitational force. Whether we view this phenomenon from Newton’s viewpoint or from the viewpoint of Einstein, they give us an account of the manner by which the earth revolves around the sun and the orbits of the planets. A scientific explanation may reveal the time of the sun’s eclipse and the manner a satellite should be put into an orbit. Nevertheless, none of these statements is the answer to the question: “Why there are scientific laws, instead of chaos?”
The very existence of scientific laws and their applicability
regardless of a specific space and time calls for an explanation. To make this explanation is not the task of science. Science’s concern is to discover the laws and not their reason for existence. What makes science tangible is the existence of these laws; had the universe been in a chaotic state there would have been no reason to speak of the gravitational force, of the laws of thermodynamics and motion. In short, there would have been no science, for science cannot be thought of deprived of scientific laws. Had these laws not existed, there would not have been a universe; and even if we suppose that such a universe might be imagined existing, its chaotic state would challenge man’s comprehension and be even more difficult to untangle than dreams. Thanks to causality (scientific laws) we can conceive of the universe; causality is the guarantee of intelligence. A person unable to establish a link between cause and effect will be more flummoxed than a newborn baby. (Even the intuition of causality is innate in the mind of the baby, as Kant showed.) The reason our house and objects do not disappear suddenly, the atoms of our body do not mix with those of the seat on which we sit, the fact that we can move ahead at every step, and the very existence and nourishment of our body are all the consequences of the smooth operation of scientific laws. And the fact that our minds are designed to comprehend these laws contributed to our concretization as rational beings.
As Swinburne puts it, if all the coins unearthed in an archaeological site had the same insignia on them, or if all the documents contained in a given room were written in the same handwriting, we would have been looking for an explanation for a common point of origin; thus, the laws of science applicable all over the universe must have a unique source and an explanation, which can account for the existence of God.
We realized that the Big Bang and the beginning of the universe have led us to the conclusion that God exists. We found more evidence for His existence in the critical values observed during the stages of the evolution of the universe and in the display of evidences in the world. Now, we are observing, based on the existence of scientific laws prevailing in the universe, the existence of a design behind all the phenomena, and realizing that unless God’s existence is acknowledged, we are not in a position to provide an answer for the question, “Why are there scientific laws instead of chaos?” In other words, the beginning of the universe, the operation of scientific laws and the existing of scientific laws, each points separately to the existence of God.
CONCLUSION OF ELIMINATION OF COINCIDENCES
The careful selection of critical values from the onset of the Big Bang to every successive formation during the evolutionary stages points to the reliability of the “argument from design.” All the conditions that prevailed on the eve of the Big Bang, the formation of particles like protons and neutrons, the transformation of these particles into atoms and their conversion into amino acids, which were changed into cells that produced organs like the heart or the brain point to a design. This view of the universe will, of necessity, lead us to rule out all sorts of coincidences. A coincidental view of life would give us a feeling of an existence (both of ourselves and of the universe) without an aim, which will lead to nihilism in fact. If we come to realize that there is nothing coincidental in the universe, we may be in a position to understand that our very existence has a goal. This goal owes its existence to the Creator of the universe and ourselves. To realize this fact will give rise to important consequences in terms of ethics and give meaning to our life.
If we can get rid of the reasoning based on coincidences, the fact that all the products of humanity were known on the eve of creation will be a plain truth. Take the television, for instance. The primary explosion that produced the sub-atomic particles and the processes that took place afterward in the celestial bodies and the evolutionary stages of the earth have made the production of the TV possible. The laws relative to the carriage by the atmosphere of sounds and vision on electrical laws, etc., had all existed at the moment of the said explosion.
If one concludes that in the cause and effect relationship, the cause is not a fortuitous act, one can derive from this that all effects are but God’s doing. The materialistic atheism that considers causality not to be a created process, but the cause’s own making, idolizes matter and the causality principles immanent in it. Once the idea of coincidence is ruled out, all the creatures in the universe automatically become the consequence of an Infinite Knowledge and Infinite Power. Assumptions of coincidental formations in the concept of time in which the stages of creation take place have prevented atheists from conceiving of the Creator. Once the concept of coincidence is dealt with, all knowledge is promoted to the Eternal Existence. Those who assert that an object of knowledge is the product of coincidences establish a connection to a process in time. Once coincidences are ruled out, the existent becomes the outcome of the wisdom of the Eternal Being. If we come to realize that there is no place for coincidences in the universe, we can conceive the fact that every single object, work of art, scientific discovery, the entirety of nature, organic and inorganic, were there in God’s mind.
ARGUMENT FROM DESIGN AND ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT
The ontological argument was one of the demonstration methods of God’s existence and is structurally different from the evidence we have produced in the course of the present book. According to this argument, the God concept is innate in every man, which is acknowledged to be a proof of God’s existence. Moreover, the examination of the concepts of “existence” and “perfection” are important in ontological argument. This argument was defended by such figures as Anselm, Avicenna and Descartes, though in different forms.
The ontological argument is examined separately from the cosmological argument that claims that the universe was created ex nihilo and from the teleological argument that dwells on the aim, order, grace and design reining in the universe. I am of the opinion that the ontological argument has an important connection with the teleological argument. This is particularly significant from the point of view of certain formulations of the ontological argument. Let us visualize this by a summary of Descartes’ ontological argument.
1. I have in my mind the idea of God, in other words the idea of the Most Perfect Being.
2. A being who lacks any attribute of perfection cannot be God.
3. Existence is an attribute of perfection. The existence of God is an integral part of the concept of God.
4. Therefore God exists.
The first proposition is the critical one. According to Descartes, God has inculcated the evidence of His existence into man’s mind just like an artist’s stamping his name or brand on his work. One may raise an objection to this proposition, saying that the ideas contained in man’s mind are coincidental and that the study of the Perfect Being that leads us to the idea of God is not important.
Some atheists contend that man is in need of a God and religion because he is a weak creature and this is the reason why he has made up God and religion. If man is weak and this weakness of his causes him to contrive a God and religion, this very fact is an indication of the fact some atheists acknowledge that the mental state of man necessitates concepts of God and religion. This may also be conceived as not necessarily innate intuition, but as a fact that the human mind is created in accordance with the idea of God and religion. To formulate such an ontological argument will change nothing. Moreover, this view is not as open to objections as are Descartes’ views. A believer takes it as an evidence of God and religion, while an atheist interprets this need as a coincidental occurrence and contends that man has concreted the idea of God and religion.
We see that what separates the believer from the atheist is whether the universe and man were created and designed or happen to be the work of pure coincidences. Even though an atheist may acknowledge that the concept of God does exist in man’s mind, he may insist that this innate idea is also coincidental. But, if it is established that man is the product of design, this contingency will be eliminated.
Descartes thinks that the human mind’s containing such an idea cannot be a coincidence and that had God not truly existed, such a concept could not have existed. However, one may revert to the argument from design to refute any likely objections to the ontological argument. Those who have appreciated the “argument from design” may acquire greater confidence in the soundness of innate ideas.
ARGUMENT FROM DESIGN AND CREATION EX NIHILO
“Argument from design” points to the fact that God is a Being who shapes everything; a Conscious Being, All-Powerful, free from all restraints and Omniscient. He is the Power that operates at every stage of universe. God’s design of the universe contains all these attributes and is a proof of His creative capacity. God realized the design of the universe based on scientific laws using matter that the universe contained. We saw that the cornerstones of matter, the protons, electrons, neutrons, quarks and the strong nuclear force and the electromagnetic force, and the weak nuclear force and the gravitational force were consciously designed. This has the same meaning as the creation of matter.
All the laws of physics, chemistry and biochemistry that rule the universe are immanent in matter as a quality thereof. All these laws are properties of matter; in fact, the fact that all these laws are applicable for definite purposes and contribute to the universal order proves that they have been designed. The designing of the cornerstones and of the forces controlling matter and of the laws of nature immanent in matter indicate that matter is a product of design, i.e. that it is created. Matter that God made use of in His creation is not an element existing from eternity that will go on existing forever. Like everything else in the universe, matter – of which everything in the universe is made – is also created. Had matter not been a created element, it could not have been in the service of man used for divine means as indicates the “argument from design.” As a matter of fact, the data of the “argument from design” is better conceived by taking cognizance of the fact that matter was created to be used for definite ends and served for the realization of God’s desire through immanent laws in it.
The argument from design demonstrates independently from the Big Bang that the universe was created. The evidence provided by the Big Bang, the laws of thermodynamics, the philosophical conclusions and the argument from design concur in substantiating the fact that the universe was created out of nothing.