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The universe is full of change; almost everything in the physical universe is constantly changing.Yet, we all assume that the laws of nature do not.The Christian has a rational reason to believe this.
In your section, “Can Creationists be scientists”, there’s a line that irritates me. The line is “The universe is orderly because its Creator is logical and has imposed order on the universe.” This is backed by the sentence “Furthermore, we can trust that the universe will obey the same physics tomorrow as it does today because God is consistent.” I would question if any of your staff has any training in the field of physics. Order in the universe isn’t reliant on any creator to exist. Consider, if you will, a Godless universe, that operates on the principles of this universe. As a system, what would change those principles and constants? Those constants exist for definte phsyical [sic] reasons, not because of a logical order inspired by god. If there was a logical order of the world, pi wouldn’t be imaginary, e wouldn’t be irrational. A mole a bit more rational than 6.02x1022. I ask this, in the absence of God, what would change these constants? What force could drive that change?
In your section, “Can Creationists be scientists”, there’s a line that irritates me. The line is “The universe is orderly because its Creator is logical and has imposed order on the universe.” This is backed by the sentence “Furthermore, we can trust that the universe will obey the same physics tomorrow as it does today because God is consistent.” I would question if any of your staff has any training in the field of physics.
I have a Ph.D. in astrophysics. However, ultimately this isn’t relevant to the argument. To think otherwise is to commit an ad hominem fallacy. An argument should be evaluated on its merit, not on the formal credentials of the person making the case.
Order in the universe isn’t reliant on any creator to exist.
How do you know this? If the universe were a mindless accident, why would it display any order at all—in particular, why would it obey laws? Laws of nature make sense in a Christian worldview—they are descriptions of the consistent, logical way that God upholds the universe. But if there is no God, how do you account for the existence of laws?
Consider, if you will, a Godless universe, that operates on the principles of this universe.
The concept is contradictory. This universe is God’s, and operates on the principle of God’s sustaining power (Hebrews 1:3). You can’t have a God-less universe that is sustained by God’s power. You might state that the universe doesn’t require God’s sustaining power—but that is begging the question. I contend that God’s sustenance is the only rational justification for assuming the uniformity of nature.
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As a system, what would change those principles and constants?
What would force them to be constant? An asteroid floating through space is constantly changing its position and will continue to do so unless an outside force acts upon it. Many things change in this universe. Why is it that we all assume that the laws of nature do not? The consistent Christian has an answer to this: God created a universe in which things can change with time. However, God is beyond time and upholds the universe in a consistent way—the uniformity of nature. I have never heard a cogent secular explanation for the uniformity of nature.
Those constants exist for definte phsyical [sic] reasons, not because of a logical order inspired by god.
How do you know this? What are the physical reasons? I’ll grant that some principles of physics are derivative principles—for example, Kepler’s laws can be logically, mathematically derived from Newton’s laws of motion and gravity. But the most fundamental laws are not derived (otherwise they would not be the most fundamental). Such laws exist for no other reason than that God has chosen to uphold the universe in such a way. Furthermore, even derivative principles are derived logically and mathematically—so such derivations require the existence of logical and mathematical laws. But what is the basis for logical and mathematical laws in a secular universe? How can you have invariant, immaterial, universal entities (like laws of logic and laws of mathematics) in a materialistic universe? In the Christian worldview, such things make sense; after all, God Himself is an invariant, immaterial, sovereign Being.
If there was a logical order of the world, pi wouldn’t be imaginary,
Pi is not imaginary. And there is nothing illogical about it.
e wouldn’t be irrational.
There is nothing contradictory about having a number that cannot be expressed as the ratio of two integers. You may not feel comfortable with such concepts, just as little kids are bothered by negative numbers when they are first exposed to them; they might say, “How can something be less than zero?” But kids become comfortable with negative numbers as they gain experience. As you grow in your understanding of mathematics, numbers like e and pi will make sense. In fact, some of the most fascinating and beautiful concepts in mathematics involve these two numbers. (They are related by the famous Euler’s equation: eiπ = -1.) So, your discomfort with such concepts is not at all rationally relevant to the topic.
By the way, in a purely material universe, you can’t have numbers at all. Numbers are abstract, universal, invariant entities; they are not made of matter and do not exist physically. You can’t stub your toe on 5 or point a telescope and see 9. In the Christian worldview, numbers are (in a sense) a reflection of the way God thinks. The physical world obeys mathematical laws, since God is upholding and sustaining it.
A mole a bit more rational than 6.02x1022.
The mole comes out of human conventionality (defined as the number of atoms in 12 grams of carbon-12). In other words, it is a human invention and could have been defined differently had we chosen to do so. This stands in stark contrast to numbers like e and pi which are transcendent entities contingent on God’s nature—not human experience.
I ask this, in the absence of God, what would change these constants? What force could drive that change?
In the absence of God, what would compel them to be constant? The universe is full of change; almost everything in the physical universe is constantly changing. Yet, we all assume that the laws of nature do not. The Christian has a rational reason to believe this. But in the secular view, such an assumption is totally arbitrary, and therefore irrational. Yet, the assumption of uniformity is a requirement for science and technology. When the people at NASA send a rocket into space, they assume that the laws of gravity, motion, and thermodynamics will continue to operate in the future as they have in the past. Virtually everyone assumes this to be true, but only the Christian worldview provides a logical justification for such an assumption.
The unbeliever must unwittingly borrow concepts like the uniformity of nature from the Christian worldview in order to do science.So, the real question is this: how can you assume that the laws of nature will continue to operate tomorrow as they have in the past? How can we assume anything about a future that no one has experienced? Only the Christian has a cogent answer. Yet, without uniformity, science and technology would be impossible. The unbeliever must unwittingly borrow concepts like the uniformity of nature from the Christian worldview in order to do science.
When it comes to issues of how the universe operates, why is it that the future reflects the past? You might say, “Well, it always has; so, I assume it always will.” But this is circular reasoning; you’d have to already know that the future reflects the past in order to argue this way. In other words, by using past experience (“well it always has”) as an indicator of what will happen in the future (“so I assume it always will”), one must already assume that the future will be like the past. Otherwise, past experience would be totally irrelevant to the future. Most people don’t catch the circularity of such reasoning; the assumption of uniformity is so fundamental that we take it for granted. If you are able to develop a non-arbitrary explanation for the uniformity of nature apart from the biblical God, I’d love to hear it.
—Jason Lisle, Ph.D. (astrophysics)
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.