For those my age, and especially those born afterward, the question of whether God existed began to be a common subject in culture.
Unlike the vast majority of people from previous generations in the west who took God’s existence for granted (even if they weren’t Christians), by the time I landed on planet earth, the popularization of the supposed scientific story of (Darwinian) evolution had reached a tipping point in academia and public education/media.
And so large numbers of people began feeling quite comfortable voicing atheistic beliefs, feeling their worldview was heavily supported intellectually. Supposedly supported by science. As famous atheistic Professor Richard Dawkins once said,
“ . . . Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”1
Once the caricature of “those that believe in God are people of faith” whereas “those that believe in evolution are people of science” became commonplace, the result was a hard push to remove any mention of “religion” in the public square in the name of supposed neutrality. Secularists argued that religion should not be pushed upon children, whereas science (read evolution) was unbiased and self-evident, akin to teaching mathematics, reading, or writing.
And this has now washed into the mainstream of society in the sense that the public mention of God, Jesus, creation, or the church in general is often considered taboo in a world that has embraced the idea that the story of evolution has been proven beyond contesting.
Even though many are taught that the evidence for evolution has simply become too overwhelming to hide from, this saturation of naturalism in the general public’s mind was largely accomplished by people who held to an atheistic presupposition despite the so-called facts having proven anything, not because of them.
A perfect example—and a rather startling admission—came from one of the world’s leaders in evolutionary biology, Professor Richard Lewontin, a geneticist (and self-proclaimed Marxist) and a world-renowned champion of neo-Darwinism.
He wrote the following and very revealing comment that perfectly illustrates the common implicit philosophical bias against belief in God among modern academia, regardless of whether or not the facts support it.
“We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”2
A shorter summary of his beliefs: “There’s nothing in science that compels us to accept a materialistic view of life, but we will begin and end with that conclusion because we don’t want to entertain any notion of God.”
And this fits perfectly with what we read in the book of Romans, where the Apostle Paul describes a detailed process of hardening in people’s hearts and minds when they suppress the truth of God that has been plainly shown to them.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” Romans 1:18–23
Indeed, despite the evidence of God’s creative handiwork displayed everywhere, materialists foolishly suppress that truth and come to revere man and nature rather than God. Despite often claiming they are “free thinkers,” they actually operate within a very close-minded box called naturalism, and they do not entertain anything outside that box in their worldview.
Remember how he phrased it? Atheistic evolutionists like Lewontin are committed to a materialistic origin of life—they don’t want to let a divine or supernatural (i.e., God) foot in the door. They believe that materialism is absolute—matter is all there is! There’s no soul or spirit or supernatural in this atheistic mindset.
But you see, if the materialist’s worldview is correct, there should be no non-material quantity in the universe—after all, how could matter produce a non-material entity? That’s why they (even if very poorly) try to explain away feelings like love, happiness, or sadness as just the result of a concoction of chemicals inside of us somehow producing such things.
However, if matter is all that is supposed to exist, you’d think the discovery of something non-material would be sufficient to shake them from their naturalistic stupor and illuminate their darkened minds to the fact materialism is absolutely false.
And this is the case, there is a demonstrably non-materialistic component to the universe that you and I are utilizing right now! It’s called information. What do I mean?
Well, modern science shows us that the study of biology is not simply about studying the “stuff,” or the matter that makes up a creature’s body parts or functional abilities. It is now rather largely a study of information science, as it is well known now that all living things contain vast libraries of information in the form of DNA, a genetic code, and a language system.
The hard-core atheist Richard Dawkins has admitted as much when he said the following,
“Our genetic system, which is the universal system of all life on the planet, is digital to the core. With word-for-word accuracy, you could encode the whole of the New Testament in . . . the human genome . . . ”3
And that genetic information which he describes as “digital to the core” is a necessary prerequisite for life to exist. But information is non-material; it is a metaphysical entity and has only been observed as derived from an intelligent source. This can be illustrated easily.
Say I took a piece of chalk and wrote out this message on a blackboard.
“Hi, my name is Cal.”
Now if I asked you, “Where did the information come from?” Would you say, “From the chalk”? Before you answer, ask yourself—does chalk itself (a mixture of pulverized calcite, clay, and water formed into cylinders and then baked), as an entity contain information? No!
Because if I were to rub the message off the board and show you the chalk dust on my hand, would you say there is any information in it?
No. Obviously, information was carried and communicated on the material of the chalk because of the arrangement it was in, but I could have smeared it on the board with one of my wife’s lipstick containers or rubbed some soot on the board and it would have said the same thing.
I could take a bag of sugar and pour out the same message onto my kitchen counter, but is there any inherent information in sugar? No. And if I understood braille—which is essentially a code system using raised dots—I could communicate the same message as well. But there is no information in bumps unless they are placed in a specific order by an intelligent mind.
Neither bumps, sugar, soot, lipstick, or chalk (all made of matter) have any inherent information content. And in the exact same way, DNA (which is comprised of sugar, phosphates, and bases) contains information because of its arrangement—not what it is made of.
The Oxford University Press online blog describes how DNA similarly stores information,
The biological information stored in a DNA molecule depends upon the order of its building blocks—that is, its sequence. If a DNA sequence changes, so too does the information it contains. On reflection, this concept—that the order in which a selection of items appears in a linear sequence affects the information stored in that sequence— may not be as alien to us as it might first seem. Indeed, it is the concept on which written communication is based: each sentence in this blog post is composed of a selection of items—the letters of the alphabet—appearing in different sequences. These different sequences of letters spell out different words, which convey different information to the reader.4
However, they also point out that the physical properties that constitute DNA are nothing special.
“There is nothing that special about the atoms found in a molecule of DNA: they are no different from the atoms found in the thousands of other molecules from which the human body is made.”5
So, the information in DNA isn’t the product of its chemistry, just as the information in a book isn’t the product of the ink molecules it’s carried on.
However, there’s an even deeper quandary here for materialists, and that is the concept of the need for the interpretation or translation of any code in question in order for it to be truly, functionally useful.
You see, if you can understand what I’m saying right now, it’s because you have some sort of translation device in your head that is allowing you to perceive the message I’m communicating to you- through a symbolic coded language system. But without the translator- the code is useless.
Think of it this way—if someone is speaking or writing in Swahili to you, but you don’t understand that language (i.e., you don’t have the translator for Swahili in your head), how useful would the sounds you perceive through your ears or the symbols you see with your eyes be?
The fact is all living things contain coded information. And similarly to the examples above, the coded information in the DNA of living things is only useful when translated and expressed in specific structures and functions.
So even if a code as incredibly complex as DNA could have somehow written itself, what good would it be if there were nothing to translate or “understand" it so that it could be useful? What good is information or communication if nothing or no one is receiving them, lost in translation?
The nail in the coffin of the materialistic worldview is this: In any other coded language system (other than the genetic code) that we have ever studied, the origin of it can always be traced back to an intelligent, sentient mind.
As a matter of fact, whenever humans detect (or even suspect) a message being sent (whether scribbles on a wall, smoke signals, tapping in a language like Morse code, or using knots in ropes as the Incas did), we logically assume there is an intelligent mind behind it.
And not only that, whether deciphered by a person or a de-coding machine, there is always an intelligent mind involved in the translation of the message as well. For example, earlier I mentioned someone speaking in Swahili. Some might say, “Well, what if you used a program like Babelfish (formerly a free web-based multilingual translation application) to translate the message? It’s not an intelligent mind like a human.”
They might be trying to equate the idea to DNA, as its translation is performed ‘mechanically’ so to speak (analogous to the translation software). But one would have to ask- what was the origin of the Babelfish software program- and we all know the answer; a thinking mind programmed it.
One way or another, at some point in the transaction, a mind was needed on both ends of a message in order to complete the transmission from “sent” to “message received.”
Think about it, the idea that minds make messages is intuitive—even for materialists. For example, the SETI (search for extra-terrestrial intelligence) program (made up of many people who would declare atheism) has been listening for communications from outer space for decades now, waiting to hear a message from super-intelligent, evolved aliens. Why? Well, their FAQ section reveals the following:
Q: Why do we think that life is “out there”?
A: Over the last half-century, scientists have developed a theory of cosmic evolution that predicts that life is a natural phenomenon likely to develop on planets with suitable environmental conditions.6
As far as receiving some kind of message, they ask and answer:
Q: How would you know what the signal means?
A: If the signal is intentional, it might be decipherable. . . . But one thing we would know irrespective of content is that another intelligent civilization is out there.7
So, they admit that discovering a transmission of information would surely mean it came from an intelligent mind. But why is it that a coded signal from space would indicate an intelligent origin while saying that the coded information in DNA (and its translation device) developed with no intelligent input?
That isn’t scientific reasoning whatsoever—it is an entirely arbitrary conclusion based on a presuppositional bias towards materialism—as Lewontin admitted.
No one normally assumes that a coded message must have originated from an unintelligent, materialistic source, except for atheists that deny God’s existence. The same atheists that Scripture describes this way:
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1).
So, let’s take stock of what we’ve seen so far. (1) Information is metaphysical (it is not inherently part of the matter it is carried on), and (2) it’s only ever been observed to be created by intelligence, and it requires an intelligent mind in the translation process in order to make it useful.
So, for the naturalistic worldview to be viable, not only must a committed materialist believe that some kind of code system is spontaneously generated, but they must also believe that a translation device specific to that exact code must also have been generated through natural processes!
However, even putting aside the preposterous proposition that a code system somehow evolved by itself, what is the chance (in the infinite amount of translation devices that might have evolved) for the exact one needed to match that specific code to have evolved simultaneously?
And how did matter create something immaterial?
Can you see how, despite materialists often deriding people who believe in God as “science-deniers” and simple-minded people of faith, that the faith needed to believe their worldview goes way beyond faith and into the realm of pure fantasy?
Sure—Christians believe in God by faith—but a well-founded faith. Faith in Jesus Christ is founded on trusting the truth of God’s Word. And what we see in his Word matches what we see in his world.
This revelation from God is a credible message given to us from the past by the one who was there from the beginning—who foresaw our needs and cares and wants the best for us. It hasn’t been lost in translation as many critics say, rather, it’s a reliable message that has been faithfully passed on for hundreds of years.
Faith in God certainly isn’t some kind of blind leap but an intelligent step based on common sense, evidence, and logic.
Contrast that with the materialists’ belief in atheistic evolution, which is truly blind faith. It is a belief based on non-observed, unproven supposed scientific processes while philosophically denying the basis for morality, justice, hope, purpose, or any sort of ultimate meaning to life.
The ever-increasing accumulation of observable evidence is going in the wrong direction for the materialistic worldview! Observational science says all living things operate and replicate using vast quantities of coded information which is stored, read, transcribed, and translated. And that information is non-material!
Just as we might ask who the author of a book was (because of the way the ink was arranged), the real question is who arranged the information in DNA? All of these processes shout out purposeful, intelligent, sophisticated programming (far more advanced than any technology we’ve yet conceived), not blind, purposeless, naturalistic processes.
Scripture tells us that we must come to God by faith but that we must believe he exists to do so.
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
So, the answer to the original question is yes, there is a God. “Who is God?” would be a far wiser question for non-Christians to ask so that they might diligently seek him. As the Bible says,
“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).