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Stephen Meyer: The New Cosmology: Theistic Implications

This is an exceedingly strange development, unexpected by all but the theologians. They have always accepted the word of the Bible: In the beginning God created heaven and earth. ...It is unexpected because science has had such extraordinary success in tracing the chain of cause and effect backward in time.

Robert Jastrow

For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.

Robert Jastrow

A rather naïve reaction is to posit a God who performs a creation of the universe.

Christopher Isham

Naïve Because...

  • The theological doctrine of creation does not require a temporal beginning.

  • Natural laws or physical theories may ultimately explain (or at least describe) the origin of the universe or may eliminate the singularity.

Not Necessary, But Sufficient

A temporal beginning may not be necessary to support theistic belief or a doctrine of creation - but if there was a temporal beginning, it would nevertheless support theistic belief.

I. Confirmation of Hypothesis

Hypothetical-Deductive Model

If H, then E
Perhaps H

A Fallacy

If it rains, then the streets will get wet
The streets are wet  
Therefore it rained

Affirming the Consequent

If R, then W
Therefore R

An Important Qualification

If it rains, we would expect the streets to get wet
The streets are wet  
Therefore perhaps it rained

So What’s the Big Deal?

The best data we have (concerning the Big Bang) are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole.

Arno A. Penzias, Nobel Laureate

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens, and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Titus 1:2

...a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time... 

2 Timothy 1:9

...who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time...

Confirmation of a Theistic Hypothesis

If theism and the Judeo-Christian view of creation are true, then we have reason to expect evidence of a finite universe.
We have evidence of a finite universe
Therefore, we have a reason to think that theism and the Judeo-Christian view of creation may be true.

Confirmation of a Theistic Hypothesis

If T, then F
Perhaps T

II. Inference to the
Best Explanation

The Instant of Creation Remains Unexplained

Alan Guth, physicist.

A Causal Theory?

The actual point of creation lies outside the scope of presently known laws of physics.

Stephen Hawking

In my view the question of origin seems always left unanswered if we explore from a scientific point of view alone. Thus, I believe there is a need for some religious or metaphysical explanation. I believe in the concept of God and in His existence.

Charles Townes, Nobel Laureate

III. A Revised Kalam Cosmological Argument

The Cosmological Argument

  1. Everything that begins to exist must have a cause.

  2. The universe began to exist.

  3. The universe must have a cause (separate from itself).

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