Powerpoint, Class 2 - Presbyterian Church of The Master

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SCIENCE AND FAITH
You are a Miracle
Presbyterian Church of the Master
SOJOURNERS CLASS
October 12, 2014
Bill Olson
Review from Last Week
• The Rise of Science and the Rise of Scientific Atheism
• First Rule: If we can explain it, we don’t need God for it
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This became known as “God of the Gaps” – and the gaps were being filled in one by one
Early in the 19th century, Laplace to Napoleon regarding God, “Sire, I have no need of that
hypothesis.” (He believed that he did not need God to explain nature.)
– Unfair!!! – its God’s creation! We think that we don’t need God just because we
figured out how some parts of His creation work!
• Second Rule: Everything is random, uncaused, happens by chance
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This rule comes from Darwin’s evolution and is now applied to everything – education, law, science
What Darwin’s friends, especially Huxley wanted; freedom from the “church” – this was their
alternative to “creation”. So Darwinism and science become a new religion
This rule has morphed into the Western worldview today
• Science explains everything
• We got here by random chance and an indifferent universe – we don’t need God
• And we accept “social Darwinism” – everything is relative – there are no absolutes
Copyright by P. W. Olson, October 2014
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Statistics – Probability
• Coin flip – multiply probabilities, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8,
etc.
• Chance of winning the California lottery:
1/13,000,000
• Chance of being struck by lightning: 1/576,000
• Chance of winning AND being struck
1/728,000,000,000 – we multiply probabilities
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From the Big Bang to Us Meeting Here
Today
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What had to happen to get us here?
What are the chances – what is the probability of it happening?
There are (at least) five steps that must have taken place for us to be here:
1. The universe - it must come into existence
2. The physical laws that govern it – and their “constants”
3. The formation of an Earth that can give rise to life
4. The beginning of life – the first self-replicating cells
5. Intelligent life and consciousness
We will ask: what are the chances for each to happen? – by chance
We will ask: does the second rule accurately describe each of them? – that is, do these
steps happen by chance?
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1. The Creation of the Universe - the
Big Bang
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Evidence for it:
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Hubble’s Law – the farther a star – or galaxy is from us, the faster it is moving away. This implied that earlier, all
astronomical objects were closer together
Hydrogen, helium abundance
Cosmic background radiation – Hawking calls this “the greatest discovery of all time”
The solution of Einstein’s equations for general relativity
Resistance to it:
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Sir Arthur Eddington: I have no axe to grind in this discussion, but the notion of a beginning is repugnant to me . . . I simply
do not believe that the present order of things started off with a bang . . The expanding Universe is preposterous . . .
Incredible . . It leaves me cold.
Walter Nernst: To deny the infinite duration of time would be to betray the very foundations of science.
Phillip Morrison: I find it hard to accept the Big Bang theory, I would like to reject it.
Allan Sandage: It is such a strange conclusion, it cannot really be true.
Robert Jastrow: . . . scientists cannot bear the thought of a natural phenomenon which cannot be explained . . . There is a
kind of religion in science; it is the religion of a person who believes there is order and harmony in the Universe. Every event
can be explained in a rational way as the product of some previous event, every effect must have its cause; there is no First
Cause.
An alternative to it:
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The Multiverse – our universe is only one of many – maybe an infinite number of other universes. This is offered up mostly
be scientists who do not want to admit to God – or to any other mind more brilliant than their own
The Multiverse idea however shows that the universe is a very special place – one of billions
Multiverse idea is untestable since we cannot physically communicate outside the universe – we cannot detect other
universes
Acceptance of it:
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Francis Collins: The consequences of the Big Bang for theology are profound. For faith traditions that describe the universe
as having been created by God from nothingness (ex nihilo), this is an electrifying outcome.
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Description:
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It happened 13.7 billion years ago – it came into being out of nothing – ex nihilo
It marks the beginning of space, time and matter
Planck epoch – from 0 to 10-43 second: temperatures are so high that all forces were one fundamental
force
From 10-43 to 10-36 second: the gravitational force separates from the other three
From 10-36 to 10-12 second: strong nuclear force separates from weak nuclear and electromagnetic forces
During the first second – doubled in size at least 90 times
During the first three minutes – protons and neutrons collided to make deuterium – which fused to form
helium
Some lithium and beryllium also formed during the first 100 to 300 seconds– this is the first
nucleosynthesis.
During the first 400,000 years – too hot for light
Then, recombination era where cooling permitted electrons to combine with nuclei to form neutral atoms.
Now the universe becomes transparent – and there is light
But not for long – the Dark Ages of the universe follow where vast clouds of hydrogen slowly condensed to
form the first stars and galaxies.
The first stars were much larger than our sun and burned out in just a few million years
Probability:
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It either did not happen (0) or it did (1). The Big Bang did take place. Was it “caused” or did it bring itself
into being? We will assign: 1/2
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2. The Physical Laws, the Physical
Constants and the Anthropic Principle
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The physical laws
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Examples: expressed as mathematical equations, F = ma, E = mc2
The Mystery:
How did these laws originate?
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Did they come into being with the universe?
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Why do they work so well?
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Why does mathematics describe nature?
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Albert Einstein: This is the greatest mystery”
The physical constants
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A physical constant is a physical quantity that is universal in nature and constant in time
Their values cannot be derived from the mathematics – only measured
There are 15 of them including the speed of light, the gravitational constant, the charge on an electron, etc.
Each of their values is precisely what it must be in order for us to be here today
Examples
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The gravitational constant:
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The strong nuclear force:
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There is a similar story for each of the 13 other physical constants
Stephen Hawking: Why did the universe start out with so nearly the critical rate of expansion
that separates models that re-collapse from those that go on expanding forever, that even now, 10 thousand million years later, it is still
expanding at nearly the critical rate? If the rate or expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in 100
thousand million million, the universe would have re-collapsed before it ever reached its present size.
It holds together protons and neutrons. If it was slightly weaker only hydrogen would have been
formed in the universe. If just slightly stronger, all the hydrogen would have been converted to helium and the fusion process in stars would
not have taken place.
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That all 15 of the physical constants must be exactly the values they are measured to be suggests that the universe has been
“fine tuned”. This fine tuning has become known as “The
Anthropic Principle” which states:
The universe exists such that intelligent life can be present
This forces us to three choices:
1.
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3.
There are an infinite number of universes. Ours is one of billions and just happens to have the
constants as they are – each just right for life. This is the “multiverse hypothesis”. The statistics:
probability for our universe 1/1,000,000, . . .
There is just one universe – we are extraordinarily lucky. Statistics: probability for us 1/1,000,000,.
..
There is just one universe, the precise tuning of all the “knobs” reflects the action of the “creator”
of this universe.
Probability: Chance that all the physical constants are “correct” , one chance in the number of universes
assumed in the “multi-verse” hypothesis, at least a billion. So we assign: 1/1,000,000,000
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From The Privileged Planet, by Gonzalez and Richards
3. The Formation of an Earth that can
Give Rise to Life
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Along the way
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Stars are formed by the gravitational collapse of giant clouds of hydrogen, helium and debris from earlier
stars.
Most early stars were massive – 10 to 100 times the mass of our sun and had lives as short as a few million
years.
Toward the end of the life of a star it heats up enough to form heavier elements – nucleosynthesis
At the end of a star’s life – its outer shell is ejected into the interstellar medium.
Stars with over 10 sun masses end their lives explosively as a supernova which are hot enough to form the
heavier elements and spread them back into the interstellar medium.
All of the atoms that make up our sun and solar system (and us) have been recycled many times in earlier
stars.
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The Early Earth
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The Earth began its life about 4.5 billion years ago.
In the first 100M years in the formation of the solar system, 20 planets formed.
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After ~ 500 million years the bombardment stopped.
Simple single cell life began on Earth ~ 3.8 billion years ago.
By 3.3 billion years ago simple life is present in abundance – but there is no oxygen present in
the atmosphere.
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10 Mars size objects hit the Earth, the last impact caused the Moon.
There was continuous bombardment of smaller objects.
An early planet with its orbit between Mars and the Earth collided with the Earth. If it had collided
with Mars instead, there would have been no life on either planet.
This causes a serious limitation: no epithelial cells (required for all membranes, layers, etc.) are
present.
Oxygen released by photosynthesis in single cells had to first oxidize all exposed iron – before
an oxygen atmosphere could be formed.
Life did not move beyond single cells until just 500 million years ago – over 3 billion years
after the first single celled life began on Earth. Part of the reason for this was the time it took
for the oxygen to combine with iron and other elements in the Earth’s crust before an oxygen
rich atmosphere could develop
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Our Earth – Just Right for Life
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The chemical elements required for life are abundantly present
Water, a necessity for life, is in abundant supply
It is the right temperature: In the universe, temperatures range from minus 524 F to over
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It has the right gravitational force (1 g)
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35,000,000 F. Carbon based life cannot exist above boiling or below freezing temperature of water.
– Human sized life forms could not exist on the large planets
– A smaller gravitational force (such as the moon’s) is not sufficient to retain an atmosphere
An atmosphere with ~ 20% oxygen
A steady input of energy from the sun – necessary for all life
55 parameters have been studied
Dr. Hugh Ross estimates probability of meeting all conditions: ~ 10-69 while the
possible number of planets in the universe is ~ 1022. His estimate can be off by
about 40 orders of magnitude and the earth would still be unique in the
universe!
“We are not the center of the universe, and we never will be. But we are not so ordinary as Western
science has made us out to be for two millennia.” Peter Ward & Donald Brownlee in Rare Earth
Probability : the chance that in all the universe one Earth should exist 1/100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
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4. The Beginning Of Life – The First
Self Replicating Cells
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Life – simple or complex?
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In Darwin’s time – life was thought of as simple – just a “blob of protoplasm”
Spontaneous generation – and Pasteur (~1865)
Some thought that life, like the universe, was eternal so there was no need to
discuss “first life”
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The DNA Molecule
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DNA is contained in every living cell
The DNA molecule contains the cell’s genetic material
It is divided into chromosomes
The rungs on the ladder are made of “base pairs”, of which there are four, AT, T-A, C-G and G-C
We each have two genomes, one from our father and on from our mother –
each consisting of ~3 billion base pairs. (Our parents do account for
something. )
If we had the base pair materials available and wanted to construct a single
DNA molecule randomly, what would be the chance of getting it right?
(1/4)3,000,000,000 ~ (1/10)2,000,000,000
Probability: that a single replicating cell would come into existence
randomly is
1/1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00
0,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,0
00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00
0,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,0
00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00
0,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00
0,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000
this followed by about 3 million more pages of zeros.
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DNA is only part of the simplest cell
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About 1010 water molecules
About 100,000 protein molecules
One to a few DNA molecules – simpler
than human DNA: (1/10)70,000
Each protein molecule consists
of ~ 10 to 100 amino acid molecules
For the simple cell the DNA is not so
complex – but the cell has many more
important parts.
But how did self-replicating organisms arise in the first place? It is fair to say that at the present time
we simply do not know. That is not to say that reasonable hypotheses have not been put forward,
but their statistical probability of accounting for the development of life still seems remote. Francis
Collins in “The Language of God”
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Rather than accept the fantastically small probability of life having arisen through blind forces
of nature, it seemed better to suppose that the origin of life was a deliberate intellectual act
Fred Hoyle – atheist astronomer and mathematician
• Probability: chance that life began randomly is as close to zero as anything studied in
the sciences: 1/10,000,000,000,000,000 plus thousands of pages of zeros.
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Review: the Time Line
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13,700,000,000 BC – the Big Bang occurs, time, space and matter are
born
10,000,000,000 BC – the first supernovas
4,550,000,000 BC – the Earth was formed
After its formation, the Earth was very inhospitable to life for about
500,000,000 years
No evidence of life in rocks over 4 billion years old
3,850,000,000 BC – several types of microbial life appear
Multi-cellular animals do not appear until over 3 billion years after the
first single celled life appeared on Earth
The Cambrian “explosion” began over 500 millions years ago
– By that time the atmosphere had ~ 30% oxygen
By 230 million years ago, dinosaurs dominated the Earth
That continued until their sudden extinction around 65 million years ago
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There is general agreement that this was caused by a large asteroid hitting the Earth.
Ensuing climate changes decreased the oxygen content of the atmosphere down to ~ 10%
That worked to the advantage of the mammals with their relatively larger lungs
Collins speculates that if that collision had not occurred we would probably not be here today
• Today there are over 2 million known plant and animal species
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Probability – the summary
• The chances of random occurrence
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The universe – 1/2
The physical constants – 1/1,000,000,000
The formation of our Earth –
1/100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,0
00
The beginning of life –1/10,000,000,000,000,000 plus a million or
more pages of zeros.
Recall that the chance of us being here due to random
causes is the product of these probabilities:
1/2 x 1/1,000,000,000 x
1/100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
x 1/10,000,000,000,000,000 plus thousands of pages of zeros.
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What does this mean?
• Statistics says that there is almost NO CHANCE that we
should be here if all four events occurred randomly
• But here we are! – somehow instead of no chance it is a
certainty that we are here.
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The universe did not begin by chance
The physical constants did not get their values by chance
The Earth that we live on did not get here by chance
Life did not begin by chance
• We needed some “absolutes” to get us here, the physical
constants, DNA – not randomness
• Life on this Earth is a miracle – YOU ARE A MIRACLE!
• We should seek the One who made this happen
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. . . Especially for Christians
• This is a strong affirmation of our faith
• God’s Creation reflects his Word – we live in a very special
home that he created for us (even if we messed it up).
Both his Word and his Creation are about his love for us.
• We should praise and love God.
• Life is special; we should preserve it – not kill one another
• We should care for this planet, we are asked to be its
stewards
• The existing Western world view is flawed. We did NOT get
here by chance and the assumption that everything is
relative is incorrect.
• We should stand tall in our faith
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5. Intelligent Life and Consciousness
Body, Mind And Soul
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