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SCIENCE AND FAITH You are a Miracle Presbyterian Church of the Master SOJOURNERS CLASS October 12, 2014 Bill Olson.

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Presentation on theme: "SCIENCE AND FAITH You are a Miracle Presbyterian Church of the Master SOJOURNERS CLASS October 12, 2014 Bill Olson."— Presentation transcript:

1 SCIENCE AND FAITH You are a Miracle Presbyterian Church of the Master SOJOURNERS CLASS October 12, 2014 Bill Olson

2 Review from Last Week The Rise of Science and the Rise of Scientific Atheism First Rule : If we can explain it, we don’t need God for it – This became known as “God of the Gaps” – and the gaps were being filled in one by one – Early in the 19 th century, Laplace to Napoleon regarding God, “Sire, I have no need of that hypothesis.” (He believed that he did not need God to explain nature.) – Unfair!!! – its God’s creation! We think that we don’t need God just because we figured out how some parts of His creation work! Second Rule : Everything is random, uncaused, happens by chance – This rule comes from Darwin’s evolution and is now applied to everything – education, law, science – What Darwin’s friends, especially Huxley wanted; freedom from the “church” – this was their alternative to “creation”. So Darwinism and science become a new religion – This rule has morphed into the Western worldview today Science explains everything We got here by random chance and an indifferent universe – we don’t need God And we accept “social Darwinism” – everything is relative – there are no absolutes 10/11/14Copyright by P. W. Olson, October 20142

3 Statistics – Probability Coin flip – multiply probabilities, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, etc. Chance of winning the California lottery: 1/13,000,000 Chance of being struck by lightning: 1/576,000 Chance of winning AND being struck 1/728,000,000,000 – we multiply probabilities 10/11/14Copyright by P. W. Olson, October 20143

4 From the Big Bang to Us Meeting Here Today What had to happen to get us here? What are the chances – what is the probability of it happening? There are (at least) five steps that must have taken place for us to be here: 1.The universe - it must come into existence 2.The physical laws that govern it – and their “constants” 3.The formation of an Earth that can give rise to life 4.The beginning of life – the first self-replicating cells 5.Intelligent life and consciousness We will ask: what are the chances for each to happen? – by chance We will ask: does the second rule accurately describe each of them? – that is, do these steps happen by chance? 10/11/14Copyright by P. W. Olson, October 20144

5 1. The Creation of the Universe - the Big Bang 10/11/14Copyright by P. W. Olson, October 20145

6 Evidence for it: Hubble’s Law – the farther a star – or galaxy is from us, the faster it is moving away. This implied that earlier, all astronomical objects were closer together Hydrogen, helium abundance Cosmic background radiation – Hawking calls this “the greatest discovery of all time” The solution of Einstein’s equations for general relativity Resistance to it: Sir Arthur Eddington: I have no axe to grind in this discussion, but the notion of a beginning is repugnant to me... I simply do not believe that the present order of things started off with a bang.. The expanding Universe is preposterous... Incredible.. It leaves me cold. Walter Nernst: To deny the infinite duration of time would be to betray the very foundations of science. Phillip Morrison: I find it hard to accept the Big Bang theory, I would like to reject it. Allan Sandage: It is such a strange conclusion, it cannot really be true. Robert Jastrow:... scientists cannot bear the thought of a natural phenomenon which cannot be explained... There is a kind of religion in science; it is the religion of a person who believes there is order and harmony in the Universe. Every event can be explained in a rational way as the product of some previous event, every effect must have its cause; there is no First Cause. An alternative to it: The Multiverse – our universe is only one of many – maybe an infinite number of other universes. This is offered up mostly be scientists who do not want to admit to God – or to any other mind more brilliant than their own The Multiverse idea however shows that the universe is a very special place – one of billions Multiverse idea is untestable since we cannot physically communicate outside the universe – we cannot detect other universes Acceptance of it: Francis Collins: The consequences of the Big Bang for theology are profound. For faith traditions that describe the universe as having been created by God from nothingness (ex nihilo), this is an electrifying outcome. 10/11/14Copyright by P. W. Olson, October 20146

7 Description: It happened 13.7 billion years ago – it came into being out of nothing – ex nihilo It marks the beginning of space, time and matter Planck epoch – from 0 to second: temperatures are so high that all forces were one fundamental force From to second: the gravitational force separates from the other three From to second: strong nuclear force separates from weak nuclear and electromagnetic forces During the first second – doubled in size at least 90 times During the first three minutes – protons and neutrons collided to make deuterium – which fused to form helium Some lithium and beryllium also formed during the first 100 to 300 seconds– this is the first nucleosynthesis. During the first 400,000 years – too hot for light Then, recombination era where cooling permitted electrons to combine with nuclei to form neutral atoms. Now the universe becomes transparent – and there is light But not for long – the Dark Ages of the universe follow where vast clouds of hydrogen slowly condensed to form the first stars and galaxies. The first stars were much larger than our sun and burned out in just a few million years Probability: It either did not happen (0) or it did (1). The Big Bang did take place. Was it “caused” or did it bring itself into being? We will assign: 1/2 10/11/14Copyright by P. W. Olson, October 20147

8 2. The Physical Laws, the Physical Constants and the Anthropic Principle 10/11/14Copyright by P. W. Olson, October 20148

9 The physical laws Examples: expressed as mathematical equations, F = ma, E = mc 2 The Mystery: How did these laws originate? – Did they come into being with the universe? – Why do they work so well? – Why does mathematics describe nature? – Albert Einstein: This is the greatest mystery” The physical constants A physical constant is a physical quantity that is universal in nature and constant in time Their values cannot be derived from the mathematics – only measured There are 15 of them including the speed of light, the gravitational constant, the charge on an electron, etc. Each of their values is precisely what it must be in order for us to be here today Examples The gravitational constant: Stephen Hawking: Why did the universe start out with so nearly the critical rate of expansion that separates models that re-collapse from those that go on expanding forever, that even now, 10 thousand million years later, it is still expanding at nearly the critical rate? If the rate or expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in 100 thousand million million, the universe would have re-collapsed before it ever reached its present size. The strong nuclear force: It holds together protons and neutrons. If it was slightly weaker only hydrogen would have been formed in the universe. If just slightly stronger, all the hydrogen would have been converted to helium and the fusion process in stars would not have taken place. There is a similar story for each of the 13 other physical constants 10/11/14Copyright by P. W. Olson, October 20149

10 That all 15 of the physical constants must be exactly the values they are measured to be suggests that the universe has been “fine tuned”. This fine tuning has become known as “The Anthropic Principle” which states: The universe exists such that intelligent life can be present This forces us to three choices: 1.There are an infinite number of universes. Ours is one of billions and just happens to have the constants as they are – each just right for life. This is the “multiverse hypothesis”. The statistics: probability for our universe 1/1,000,000,... 2.There is just one universe – we are extraordinarily lucky. Statistics: probability for us 1/1,000,000,... 3.There is just one universe, the precise tuning of all the “knobs” reflects the action of the “creator” of this universe. Probability: Chance that all the physical constants are “correct”, one chance in the number of universes assumed in the “multi-verse” hypothesis, at least a billion. So we assign: 1/1,000,000,000 10/11/14Copyright by P. W. Olson, October

11 From The Privileged Planet, by Gonzalez and Richards

12 3. The Formation of an Earth that can Give Rise to Life 10/11/14Copyright by P. W. Olson, October

13 Along the way Stars are formed by the gravitational collapse of giant clouds of hydrogen, helium and debris from earlier stars. Most early stars were massive – 10 to 100 times the mass of our sun and had lives as short as a few million years. Toward the end of the life of a star it heats up enough to form heavier elements – nucleosynthesis At the end of a star’s life – its outer shell is ejected into the interstellar medium. Stars with over 10 sun masses end their lives explosively as a supernova which are hot enough to form the heavier elements and spread them back into the interstellar medium. All of the atoms that make up our sun and solar system (and us) have been recycled many times in earlier stars. 10/11/14Copyright by P. W. Olson, October

14 The Early Earth The Earth began its life about 4.5 billion years ago. In the first 100M years in the formation of the solar system, 20 planets formed. – 10 Mars size objects hit the Earth, the last impact caused the Moon. – There was continuous bombardment of smaller objects. – An early planet with its orbit between Mars and the Earth collided with the Earth. If it had collided with Mars instead, there would have been no life on either planet. After ~ 500 million years the bombardment stopped. Simple single cell life began on Earth ~ 3.8 billion years ago. By 3.3 billion years ago simple life is present in abundance – but there is no oxygen present in the atmosphere. – This causes a serious limitation: no epithelial cells (required for all membranes, layers, etc.) are present. Oxygen released by photosynthesis in single cells had to first oxidize all exposed iron – before an oxygen atmosphere could be formed. Life did not move beyond single cells until just 500 million years ago – over 3 billion years after the first single celled life began on Earth. Part of the reason for this was the time it took for the oxygen to combine with iron and other elements in the Earth’s crust before an oxygen rich atmosphere could develop 10/11/1414Copyright by P. W. Olson, October 2014

15 Our Earth – Just Right for Life The chemical elements required for life are abundantly present Water, a necessity for life, is in abundant supply It is the right temperature: In the universe, temperatures range from minus 524 F to over 35,000,000 F. Carbon based life cannot exist above boiling or below freezing temperature of water. It has the right gravitational force (1 g) – Human sized life forms could not exist on the large planets – A smaller gravitational force (such as the moon’s) is not sufficient to retain an atmosphere An atmosphere with ~ 20% oxygen A steady input of energy from the sun – necessary for all life 55 parameters have been studied Dr. Hugh Ross estimates probability of meeting all conditions: ~ while the possible number of planets in the universe is ~ His estimate can be off by about 40 orders of magnitude and the earth would still be unique in the universe! “We are not the center of the universe, and we never will be. But we are not so ordinary as Western science has made us out to be for two millennia.” Peter Ward & Donald Brownlee in Rare Earth Probability : the chance that in all the universe one Earth should exist - 1/100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 10/11/14Copyright by P. W. Olson, October

16 4. The Beginning Of Life – The First Self Replicating Cells 10/11/14Copyright by P. W. Olson, October

17 Life – simple or complex? In Darwin’s time – life was thought of as simple – just a “blob of protoplasm” Spontaneous generation – and Pasteur (~1865) Some thought that life, like the universe, was eternal so there was no need to discuss “first life” 10/11/1417Copyright by P. W. Olson, October 2014

18 10/11/1418 The DNA Molecule DNA is contained in every living cell The DNA molecule contains the cell’s genetic material It is divided into chromosomes The rungs on the ladder are made of “base pairs”, of which there are four, A- T, T-A, C-G and G-C We each have two genomes, one from our father and on from our mother – each consisting of ~3 billion base pairs. (Our parents do account for something. ) If we had the base pair materials available and wanted to construct a single DNA molecule randomly, what would be the chance of getting it right? (1/4) 3,000,000,000 ~ (1/10) 2,000,000,000 Probability: that a single replicating cell would come into existence randomly is 1/1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00 0,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,0 00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00 0,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,0 00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00 0,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00 0,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000 this followed by about 3 million more pages of zeros. Copyright by P. W. Olson, October 2014

19 10/11/14 DNA is only part of the simplest cell About water molecules About 100,000 protein molecules One to a few DNA molecules – simpler than human DNA: (1/10) 70,000 Each protein molecule consists of ~ 10 to 100 amino acid molecules For the simple cell the DNA is not so complex – but the cell has many more important parts. But how did self-replicating organisms arise in the first place? It is fair to say that at the present time we simply do not know. That is not to say that reasonable hypotheses have not been put forward, but their statistical probability of accounting for the development of life still seems remote. Francis Collins in “The Language of God” Rather than accept the fantastically small probability of life having arisen through blind forces of nature, it seemed better to suppose that the origin of life was a deliberate intellectual act Fred Hoyle – atheist astronomer and mathematician Probability: chance that life began randomly is as close to zero as anything studied in the sciences: 1/10,000,000,000,000,000 plus thousands of pages of zeros. Copyright by P. W. Olson, October

20 Review: the Time Line 13,700,000,000 BC – the Big Bang occurs, time, space and matter are born 10,000,000,000 BC – the first supernovas 4,550,000,000 BC – the Earth was formed After its formation, the Earth was very inhospitable to life for about 500,000,000 years No evidence of life in rocks over 4 billion years old 3,850,000,000 BC – several types of microbial life appear Multi-cellular animals do not appear until over 3 billion years after the first single celled life appeared on Earth The Cambrian “explosion” began over 500 millions years ago – By that time the atmosphere had ~ 30% oxygen By 230 million years ago, dinosaurs dominated the Earth That continued until their sudden extinction around 65 million years ago – There is general agreement that this was caused by a large asteroid hitting the Earth. – Ensuing climate changes decreased the oxygen content of the atmosphere down to ~ 10% – That worked to the advantage of the mammals with their relatively larger lungs – Collins speculates that if that collision had not occurred we would probably not be here today Today there are over 2 million known plant and animal species 10/11/1420Copyright by P. W. Olson, October 2014

21 Probability – the summary The chances of random occurrence 1.The universe – 1/2 2.The physical constants – 1/1,000,000,000 3.The formation of our Earth – 1/100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, The beginning of life –1/10,000,000,000,000,000 plus a million or more pages of zeros. Recall that the chance of us being here due to random causes is the product of these probabilities: 1/2 x 1/1,000,000,000 x 1/100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 x 1/10,000,000,000,000,000 plus thousands of pages of zeros. 10/11/14Copyright by P. W. Olson, October

22 What does this mean? Statistics says that there is almost NO CHANCE that we should be here if all four events occurred randomly But here we are! – somehow instead of no chance it is a certainty that we are here. – The universe did not begin by chance – The physical constants did not get their values by chance – The Earth that we live on did not get here by chance – Life did not begin by chance We needed some “absolutes” to get us here, the physical constants, DNA – not randomness Life on this Earth is a miracle – YOU ARE A MIRACLE! We should seek the One who made this happen 10/11/14Copyright by P. W. Olson, October

23 ... Especially for Christians This is a strong affirmation of our faith God’s Creation reflects his Word – we live in a very special home that he created for us (even if we messed it up). Both his Word and his Creation are about his love for us. We should praise and love God. Life is special; we should preserve it – not kill one another We should care for this planet, we are asked to be its stewards The existing Western world view is flawed. We did NOT get here by chance and the assumption that everything is relative is incorrect. We should stand tall in our faith 10/11/14Copyright by P. W. Olson, October

24 5. Intelligent Life and Consciousness Body, Mind And Soul 10/11/14Copyright by P. W. Olson, October


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