In my new book “Miracles” I point out that possibly the greatest evidence for the existence of miracles is the fact that we exist.
The universe as we know it requires such a careful calibration of variables as to render its mere existence—never mind the presence of intelligent life—a miracle in itself. The British astronomer and atheist Fred Hoyle, who coined the phrase “the Big Bang,” summed up the sheer improbability of existence by saying “The universe looks like a put-up job."
For instance, if the earth were slightly larger, it would of course have slightly more gravity. As a result, methane and ammonia gas, which have molecular weights of sixteen and seventeen respectively, would remain close to the surface of the earth. Since we can’t breathe methane or ammonia because of their toxicity, we would die.
If Earth were slightly smaller, water vapor would not stay close to the planet’s surface, but would instead dissipate into the atmosphere. Obviously, without water we couldn’t exist.
What’s true of Earth is true of the Universe as a whole. What physicists called the four fundamental forces—gravity, electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces—are so finely-tuned that if any of them were in the slightest degree different, our universe would not exist.
What’s more, each of these crucially precise values was established once and for all within one millionth of a second after the Big Bang. In other words, immediately.
When faced with these facts, materialists and devotees of scientism often take recourse in the so-called “multiverse” theory, which states that if there exists an infinity of other universes—that’s one huge “if” by the way—then one of them must of course by chance possess all the variables perfectly right for everything to exist just as it does in fact exist. Wow.
Physicist and clergyman John Polkinghorne dismisses that by saying “Let us recognize these speculations for what they are. They are not physics, but in the strictest sense, metaphysics. There is no purely scientific reason to believe in an ensemble of universes.”
The saddest thing about these types of evasions is that they’re unnecessary. There is no real conflict between faith, including belief in miracles, and science. For starters, as John Lennox of Oxford has said “Rationality is bigger than science.” The world of scientific inquiry does not encompass all rational inquiry. Science has limits. It can describe the universe of matter and energy, but it cannot account for that universe, or for that matter, for the existence of such immaterial things as love or good or evil or even logic.
The so-called conflict between faith and science occurs when this reality is forgotten or denied. And the conflict is perpetuated by those ideological materialists who take it as a matter of faith that there are no and can be no such things as miracles.
As G. K. Chesterton summed up brilliantly in his book “Orthodoxy”: “The believers in miracles accept them (rightly or wrongly) because they have evidence for them. The disbelievers in miracles deny them (rightly or wrongly) because they have a doctrine against them.”
So folks, today is the official release date of my new book, “Miracles.” I do hope you’ll find out how to get yourself a copy—or get a copy for an unbelieving friend—at BreakPoint.org.
And here’s something very cool. Tonight at 7:00 Eastern, my friend and talk-show host Dick Cavett will interview me about “Miracles” at Socrates in the City. And you can watch it live online for FREE! Please join us. Go to BreakPoint.org, click on this commentary, and we’ll have all the details for you. Don’t miss it.
BreakPoint is a Christian worldview ministry that seeks to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending Christian worldview in all areas of life. Begun by Chuck Colson in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. Today BreakPoint commentaries, co-hosted by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet, air daily on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people. Feel free to contact us at BreakPoint.org where you can read and search answers to common questions.
Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children's books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
Publication date: October 28, 2014