A very good talk of Dr. John Lennox, a Professor for mathematics and Christian scientist, who invalidates arguments against the existence of god.
And it includes the Easter message also!
Contemporary science is a wonderfully collaborative activity. It knows no barriers of geography, race or creed. At its best it enables us to wrestle with the problems that beset humanity and we rightly celebrate when an advance is made that brings relief to millions. I have spent my life as pure mathematician and I often reflect on what physics Nobel Prizewinner Eugene Wigner called ‘the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics’. How is it that equations created in the head of a mathematician can relate to the universe outside that head? This question prompted Albert Einstein to say: ‘The only incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.’ The very fact that we believe that science can be done is a thing to be wondered at.
Why should we believe that the universe is intelligible?
After all, if as certain secular thinkers tell us, the human mind is nothing but the brain and the brain is nothing but a product of mindless unguided forces, it is hard to see that any kind of truth let alone scientific truth could be one of its products. As chemist J. B. S. Haldane pointed out long ago: if the thoughts in my mind are just the motions of atoms in my brain, why should I believe anything it tells me – including the fact that it is made of atoms? Yet many scientists have adopted that naturalistic view, seemingly unaware that it undermines the very rationality upon which their scientific research depends!
It was not – and is not – always so. Science as we know it exploded onto the world stage in Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Why then and why there? Alfred North Whitehead’s view, as summarised by C. S. Lewis, was that: ‘Men became scientific because they expected law in nature, and they expected law in nature because they believed in a lawgiver’. It is no accident that Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Clerk-Maxwell were believers in God.
Melvin Calvin, Nobel Prize-winner in biochemistry, finds the origin of the conviction, basic to science, that nature is ordered in the basic notion: ‘that the universe is governed by a single God, and is not the product of the whims of many gods, each governing his own province according to his own laws. This monotheistic view seems to be the historical foundation for modern science.’
Far from belief in God hindering science, it was the motor that drove it. Isaac Newton, when he discovered the law of gravitation, did not make the common mistake of saying: ‘now I have a law of gravity, I don’t need God’. Instead, he wrote Principia Mathematica, the most famous book in the history of science, expressing the hope that it would persuade the thinking man to believe in a Creator.
Newton could see, what sadly many people nowadays seem unable to see, that God and science are not alternative explanations. God is the agent who designed and upholds the universe; science tells us about how the universe works and about the laws that govern its behaviour. God no more conflicts with science as an explanation for the universe than Sir Frank Whittle conflicts with the laws and mechanisms of jet propulsion as an explanation for the jet engine. The existence of mechanisms and laws is not an argument for the absence of an agent who set those laws and mechanisms in place. On the contrary, their very sophistication, down to the fine-tuning of the universe, is evidence for the Creator’s genius. For Kepler: ‘The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order which has been imposed on it by God and which he revealed to us in the language of mathematics’. Continue reading