When it comes to the 21st Century debate on science and religion, the answer to the question “Does God exist?” depends upon how one will position oneself in relation to the most profound existential human questions in life. In order to help people to answer these questions, Christian apologists investigate what science and philosophy would have to say about the claims of Christianity.
Keeping this purpose in mind, apologists use the methodology of investigating what science and philosophy have to say about the characteristics of the cause of the universe to compare those with the main characteristics of the Christian God:
- atemporal (uncaused),
- personal (meaning being able to have will), and
The investigation of what science and philosophy have to say about it is usually done through the three most common apologetic arguments for the existence of God:
- Teleological, and
- Cosmological Argument
The conception of an eternal universe lasted from Antiquity to less than one hundred years ago. There was only one book, written in the 14th Century B.C. that had a different conception about the existence of the universe: the book of Genesis.
The idea that this book presented was considered so bizarre, that it was hardly taken seriously by science for at least 33 centuries. The idea was that the universe had not existed forever, but on the contrary – had been created out of nothing.
Creation out of nothing (creation ex nihilo) was a concept that no one was willing to accept, partly because the idea of “nothing” is not to be taken as the absence of form or matter. The idea of “nothing” means the absence of everything, that is, it means that there was no space, no matter, and no time.
Scientists were completely astonished when 20th and 21st century science began to offer evidence (such as the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the Expanding Universe, Background Radiation, and the Theory of Relativity, among others) that the universe was really created out of nothing, and therefore, its cause must be non-spatial, immaterial, and atemporal. Additionally, it had to be all-powerful, since it created everything out of nothing.
- Teleological Argument
Contemporary science has shown that the universe is completely fine-tuned in order to permit life to exist. There are over 120 variables that are fine-tuned for a life-enabling universe to exist. Let’s take the expansion rate of the universe as an example. If even just a minute portion of this rate was altered, the formation of planets wouldn’t be possible, and therefore, the existence of life wouldn’t be possible either.
Besides that, it’s been shown with studies of DNA that it is a language carrying an incredible amount of meaningful information. As according to both our scientific (see SETI NASA project, for instance) and common sense criteria, meaningful information is always a product of a mind.
Therefore, the cause of the universe has to be very intelligent in order to be able to fine-tune all the variables for a life-permitting universe to exist, and this cause has to have a mind; for according to the criteria used, only minds produce meaningful information. As it has a mind, we can say that it is a personal cause.
- Axiological Argument
This argument shows that there is an objective moral law and that moral relativism is self-defeating. As by experience it is known that every law has a lawgiver; this objective moral law has to have an objective moral lawgiver. It can be argued that the best hypothesis for this objective moral lawgiver is a good God (a moral God), which according to Christianity, is the ultimate source of morality.
In conclusion, it can be said that science and philosophy not only support the Christian answer to the question “Does God exist?” but also end up with the same characteristics for the cause of the universe that are found for God in the Bible: atemporal, non-spatial, immaterial, all-powerful, intelligent, good, and personal, as we saw.