"... it is absurd for the Evolutionist to complain that it is unthinkable for an admittedly unthinkable God to make everything out of nothing, and then pretend that it is more thinkable that nothing should turn itself into everything." -- G. K. Chesterton
Here we have another common argument used by Neo-Darwinist, usually used in the attempt to redirect the argument of origins back on the proponent of ID (intelligent design). I normally see this question when the Neo-Darwinist has no answer for the Origin of Life (OOL) issue; which how could he if no empirical evidence for the OOL argument exist? Either way, it surprises me that this argument of seemingly amateur nature arises so frequently by those who seem to know so much. The reason is this argument crumbles and proves irrelevant when using science and logic together.
For this we start with the Law of Causality which is the very foundation of science. Since science is the search for causes the question arises…who made (caused) God? But since something undeniably exists today, then something must have always existed: we have 2 options: the universe, or something that caused the universe. The problem for the atheist is that while it is logically possible that the universe is eternal, it does not seem to be actually possible. Scientific and philosophical evidence such as The Second Law of Thermodynamics, Expanding Universe, Radiation from the Big Bang, The Great Galaxy Seeds, Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, Radioactive Decay, and the Kalam Cosmological Argument, tells the universe cannot be eternal. So by ruling out one of two options you are left with the only other option—something outside the universe is eternal. So there are 2 possibilities for anything that exist 1) it has always existed and is therefore uncaused, or 2) it had a beginning and was caused by something else (i.e. the universe). So according to the overwhelming evidence, the universe had a beginning, so it must be caused by something else—by something outside itself. Notice that this conclusion is consistent with theistic religions, but is not based on those religions; it is based on good reason and evidence. So I argue the First Cause must be:
A) Self-existent, timeless, immaterial (since the First Cause created time, space, and matter, the first cause must be outside of time, space, and matter). This makes him without limits, or infinite.
B) Extremely powerful, to create the entire universe out of nothing
C) Very intelligent, to design the universe with such incredible precision
D) Personal, in order to choose to convert a state of nothingness into the time-space-material universe, (an impersonal force has no ability to make choices.)
An article from http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/197.asp says:
- Everything which has a beginning has a cause.
- The universe has a beginning.
- Therefore the universe has a cause.
"It's important to stress the words in bold type. The universe requires a cause because it had a beginning, as will be shown below. God, unlike the universe, had no beginning, so doesn't need a cause. In addition, Einstein's general relativity, which has much experimental support, shows that time is linked to matter and space. So time itself would have begun along with matter and space. Since God, by definition, is the Creator of the whole universe, he is the Creator of time. Therefore He is not limited by the time dimension He created, so has no beginning in time. Therefore He doesn't have a cause."
"The "Who made God?" question is a textbook example of the compound question fallacy. A fallacious compound question occurs when one ignores questions that should be asked first. For example, "have you stopped beating your spouse?" is fallacious when it is has not been established that one has ever beaten one's spouse. Likewise, "Who made God?" presupposes the prior question "Is God a created being?" http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/billramey/whomade.htm
- From nothing, nothing comes.
- Therefore, if nothing existed in the past, nothing would exist now.
- Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
- If the universe began to exist, then the universe has a cause of its existence.
- The universe began to exist.
- Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.
- An actual infinity cannot exist.
- An infinite regress of cause and effect would be an actual infinity.
"One might take issue with the soundness of these premises, but the point here is that unless one wants to argue that something can come from nothing (and I realize that there are atheists who do so), something has always existed. The KCA then goes on to argue that the universe has not always existed and that, therefore, something else has always existed. That's why proponents of the KCA can maintain both that God is uncaused and that the universe has a cause, without special pleading." http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/billramey/whomade.htm
"One need not fully understand the origin or identity of the designer to determine that an object was designed. Thus, this question is essentially irrelevant to intelligent design theory, which merely seeks to detect if an object was designed. If SETI detects a signal from intelligent extra-terrestrial life, we need not know how that life form arose to determine that there was indeed an intelligent being that sent the signal. Intelligent design theory cannot address the identity or origin of the designer--it is a philosophical / religious question that lies outside the domain of scientific inquiry. Christianity postulates the religious answer to this question that the designer is God who by definition is eternally existent and has no origin. There is no logical philosophical impossibility with this being the case (akin to Aristotle's 'unmoved mover') as a religious answer to the origin of the designer." http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1147
I decided to take on this argument based on the fact that I hear this question asked a lot. Usually the person asking this question is trying to discredit ID and or Creation progress. I find this argument seriously flawed and will explain why.
I want to first begin with a quote from an evolutionist named Mark Isaak and the response by T. Wallace from the web page http://www.trueorigin.org/isakrbtl.asp :
"Isaak insists that "it would be wrong to say that evolution hasn't been observed. Evidence isn't limited to seeing something happen before your eyes. Evolution makes predictions about what we would expect to see in the fossil record, comparative anatomy, genetic sequences, geographical distribution of species, etc., and these predictions have been verified many times over. The number of observations supporting evolution is overwhelming."
Isaak's impressive confidence seems to be based in part on his inability to differentiate between "observing" an event and "interpreting evidence" to support a hypothesized event. Even so, the empirical data largely fails to support his claims. The fact is, evolution has NOT been observed, and its chief proponents don't deny this. Furthermore, contrary to Isaak's assertion, evolution's predictions regarding the fossil record, anatomy, genetics, and biogeography have NOT been verified with "overwhelming" support, contrary to Isaak's bold claims, but are more often challenged by the facts, as we shall see.
And in fact, using Isaak's own logic in fairness to the Creationists whom he wishes to discredit, one can just as easily (and much more accurately) state: "It would be wrong to say that creation hasn't been observed. Evidence isn't limited to seeing something happen before your eyes. Creationism makes predictions about what we would expect to see in the fossil record, comparative anatomy, genetic sequences, geographical distribution of species, etc., and these predictions have been verified many times over. The number of observations supporting Creationism is overwhelming."
Therefore, based on Isaak's statement you can see how ID and Creationism can gather evidence in the exact same manner.
Secondly, most of the evidences for ID seems to contradict Neo-Darwinism; Neo-Darwinist tend to whine that all ID science does is try to disprove rather than produce an alternate hypotheses. This to me seems quite contradictory when assessing the claims of ID and the claims of Neo-Darwinist. So, let's cover some of the predictions ID makes since this seems to be something ID is incapable of doing. Tristan Abbey writes:
"ID makes quite a few predictions, including, for example, that allegedly functionless "junk" DNA does, indeed, have a function. The existence of more irreducibly complex systems, a lack of precursors to the Cambrian phyla, a strong resistance in proteins to evolution, and functions for organs and systems thought to be "vestigial" and functionless are further predictions that ID can make. One recent hypothesis articulated by ID theorists Jay Richards and Guillermo Gonzales and recently reviewed in Nature is the idea of a "privileged planet," one finely-tuned both for life and scientific discovery." http://www.idurc.org/archive/laddis.htm
" Intelligent design theory predicts: 1) that we will find specified complexity in biology. One special easily detectable form of specified complexity is irreducible complexity. We can test design by trying to reverse engineer biological structures to determine if there is an "irreducible core." Intelligent design also makes other predictions, such as 2) rapid appearance of complexity in the fossil record, 3) re-usage of similar parts in different organisms, and 4) function for biological structures. Each of these predictions may be tested--and have been confirmed through testing" http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1156
Intelligent Design uses the same scientific method used for evolutionary theories, observation, hypothesis, experiment, and conclusion. http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1154
Even more compelling is the progress made by ID over the last 10 years which includes: design detection, biological information, evolvability, evolutionary computation, technological evolution, irreducible complexity in biology, natural vs. artificial design in bioterrorism, Steganography and biosteganography, cosmic design, SETI, philosophy of mind and autonomy vs. guidance. These 12 things can be further explained here http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1180
I cannot see how ID could not be an alternative to the failings of Neo-Darwinist predictions. Such examples would be 1)the failure of evolutionary biology to provide detailed evolutionary explanations for the origin of complex biochemical features. 2)The failure of the fossil record to provide support for Darwinian evolution. 3) The failure of molecular biology to provide evidence for universal common descent. 4) The failure of genetics and chemistry to explain the origin of the genetic code. 5) The failure of developmental biology to explain why vertebrate embryos diverge from the beginning of development. For more on this visit http://www.judgingpbs.com
I must admit, I think there is an underlying prerogative with those that claim ID science has not made predictions or is pseudoscience. I think this because if one were to research the contributions of ID proponents they would realize their assumptions are false. Either way maybe those that won't explore for themselves the progress of ID, are the very ones Neo-Darwinist try so hard to influence. So I urge an open mind into the understanding of this debate rather than using repetitive arguments which lack any substantiation.
For an excellent example from ID advocate Jonathan Wells and his TOPS method which he uses to research cancer can be seen here http://www.iscid.org/papers/Wells_TOPS_051304.pdf
You may visit Biologic Institute, a research lab opening new frontiers for scientific discovery. Biologic Institute shows the value of intelligent design for the practice of biological science and tests specific empirical claims of neo-Darwinism, intelligent design, and other theories of biological origin. http://biologicinstitute.org
Across America, the freedom of scientists, teachers, and students to question Darwin is coming under increasing attack by self-appointed defenders of the theory of evolution who are waging a malicious campaign to demonize and blacklist anyone who disagrees with them.