Section 1: In _________ We Trust

The history of “In God We Trust” becoming the official motto of the United States spans nearly a century. Originally used on coins during the Civil War and later adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956…

as the country became ravaged by the Civil War, religious sentiment grew…In November of 1861, Reverend M. R. Watkinson appealed to Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase, to add the phrase to all U.S. coins…He wrote, “This would place us openly under the Divine protection…

Really? The belief that proclaiming a condition brings it into existence is magical thinking. Common in young children but considered psychotic or New Age religion in grownups.

Trust is not created by fiat, like “God said…and it was so.” (Genesis 1)

Or Richard Dawkins said…and it was so.

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1) Scientific Methodology

From the Department of Health and Social Behavior, Harvard School of Public Health

[I]ntimate relations exist between mathematics and material reality, that counting and categorizing are the currency of durable knowledge, and that empirical study of variegated humanity…can uncover universal truths. The common origins of contemporary epidemiology and social sciences can accordingly be traced to Western Europe in the 14th—16th centuries, when quantification of phenomena…becomes a potent new mode of describing and predicting events of the heavens and earth…

What universal truths on religion are revealed in statistical studies?

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2) The End Of The Material World

Science cannot answer the question “Does God exist?”science studies the natural world, not the supernatural. No amount of scientific testing or theorizing could prove or disprove the existence of a supernatural creator.

So we are forced to rely on revelation by a supernatural being.

Hundreds of thousands of people died in the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. But as described in these news reports, others saw warning signs, and escaped with their lives…

a 10-year-old British girl saved more than 100 people because she had just studied the killer waves in school. When the sea suddenly began to boil, then pulled away from the resort she was visiting, leaving fish and boats stranded high and dry, Tilly Smith recognized that a tsunami was approaching. Fortunately, her frantic warnings were heeded, and the beach was evacuated just moments before the huge waves crashed ashore…

Many other people in the region were less attuned to nature, and paid with their lives. 

The most important knowledge, guiding our values and behaviors during our lifetime, is what happens after this lifetime.

But there are over 4,000 religions in the world offering hope for a quality of spiritual existence after death of the body. Which one is trustworthy?

From a research perspective, the logical place to start investigating is with the documents that provide an established basis for trust on the statistical evidence of

  • prevalence – consistently high numbers of believers over time
  • and incidence – consistently high numbers of new adherents over time

Of all religions, the Bible, written by Jews thousands of years ago, has the best statistics for prevalence and incidence over the entire course of history.

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3) Existence: Pointless or Endless?

Stephen Hawking is a genius physicist and “one of the most important scientists and public intellectuals of our time, if not all time.” 

But despite being a top ranked scientist among scientists, Stephen Hawking does not base his choice of belief system on evidence.

Note carefully that Stephen Hawking’s choice of belief is made to resolve his emotional response to the concept of an afterlife. As he states, he is grateful, i.e. relieved to conclude that there is no afterlife. This is understandable, since he spent his entire adult life struggling with a severely debilitating physical disease, experiencing, in essence, the misery of a disembodied soul as postulated to be the condition of the afterlife.

But is someone’s emotionally disturbed coping mechanism a viable basis on which to base belief directing your own life’s choices and plans for your soul’s fate after death? 

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4) Evolution: Science or Religion?

Evolution has been aggressively championed as scientific truth in opposition to religious dogma since its inception in the 19th century. Its claim that there is no Creator of life has made significant inroads against religious belief in developed nations.

A new poll conducted by Ipsos for Reuters News in twenty-four countries found that 41% of respondents identified themselves as “evolutionists” and 28% as “creationists,” with 31% indicating that they “simply don’t know what to believe,” according to a press release issued by Ipsos on April 25, 2011.

What has Evolution discovered since its philosophical inception in the 19th Century that establishes its scientific credentials?

There were three major revolutions in scientific thought that prepared the way for a successful theory of evolution.

The first major change in scientific thought was in the field of biology. Linnaeus, the Swedish biologist, had…abandoned the theory of the chain of being that claimed that all living creatures formed an unbroken scale of complexity and nobility, terminating with the most complex and noble of all, humanity. Instead, Linnaeus showed that life could be divided into five separate kingdoms, each divergent from the other.

What a gross distortion of the facts.

In fact, Linnaeus was a devout Christian who believed that The study of nature would reveal the Divine Order of God’s creation, and it was the naturalist’s task to construct a ‘natural classification’ that would reveal this Order in the universe.”

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5) Time: Uniformitarianism or Catastrophism?

The second major change in scientific thought was in the field of geology. Traditional…geologists held that the catastrophes described in the Bible, such as Noah’s flood, had actually taken place and caused many of the signs of geological change that could be seen. This view was known as catastrophism.

An alternative to catastrophism was the view called uniformitarianism. Proponents of uniformitarianism argued that the world’s current geological state was the result of uniform forces working slowly over long periods of time. Uniformitarianism was one of the foundations of evolutionary thought, in part because it provided a geological analogy for biological change: both were the result of gradual forces working over extremely long time periods.

Hutton (1726–1797) was a Scottish farmer whose study of features in the landscape and coastlines of his native Scottish lowlands” were used to counter biblical catastrophism with the idea that gradually changing processes were responsible for shaping Earth’s surface.

Charles Lyell (1797–1875) was a contemporary of Charles Darwin who grasped at Hutton’s concept of slow vs rapid alterations of landscapes. He handpicked his own examples of these processes in local rocks and sediments to support the concept of Uniformitarianism. 

In 1830 Lyell publishes Principles of Geology that due to its “eloquence…convinced a wide range of readers of the significance of “”Deep time” “for understanding the earth and environment as a “deistic mechanism keeping the world eternally suitable for humans.” 

 To this day, Lyell’s Principles of Geology is the foundation of modern geology.

That’s simply incredible! Modern geology was founded by an idea published in 1830 based on a tiny sample of Earth’s terrain, where, by the way, there are no volcanoes, remains of asteroid impacts, tsunamis, hurricanes, typhoonsor cyclones.

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6) Dating: The Stones Cry Out

[In 2015] the world said hello to Homo naledi, a new species of ancient human discovered in South Africa’s Rising Star cave… at least 15 individual skeletons—one of the richest hauls of hominid fossils ever uncovered.

But one significant problem clouded the excitement over the discovery: The team doesn’t know how old the fossils are…Everyone from professional paleontologists to interested members of the public raised the same question: Why hadn’t the team dated the fossils yet?

The simple answer is: Because dating fossils is really difficult.

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A closer view of the 250kg British bomb that was lodged in the ground at the site where workers were digging

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7) Cosmology: Fake It ‘Til You Make It

the so-called Kármán line…sits some 62 miles (100 kilometers) above Earth’s surface, and it’s generally accepted as the place where…outer space begins…

I don’t know about you, but sixty miles up wasn’t at all what I envisioned whenever I heard the news of “outer space”.  That’s still well within Earth’s atmosphere.

Earth’s atmosphere is divided into five different layers, based on temperature…

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8) The Space Race Is The Arms Race

The space race was a series of competitive technology demonstrations between the United States and the Soviet Union…the development of rockets and…the advancements made within each national space program were inexorably tied to the development of nuclear weapons.

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I remember being a young child in the early 60’s, caught out in the open in Fort Lauderdale, Florida when the sirens blared out the Cuban nuclear bomb warning. I was terrified as I raced home to get under shelter. I remember being an impressionable teenager in the late 60’s reading about the Viet Nam war on the front page of the newspaper every day. And then we lost to the Communists.

Can you possibly get out of your own mind and life and times and consider how much Communism influenced American emotions in both leadership and civilians desperate to feel safe in the immediate aftermath of the most destructive war in history?

The aftermath of World War II saw much of Europe devastated in a way that is now difficult to envision. Approximately 36.5 million Europeans had died in the conflict, 19 million of them civilians.

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Section II: IN THE BEGINNING

One of the biggest questions that many ask about the creation of the universe is where did it come from and how did the Big Bang happen. Many scientists believe that the Big Bang came from nothing around 14 billion years ago, but scientists have little or no idea how the Big Bang actually happened. This does beg the obvious question though, “how can something come from nothing”? Surely if there was nothing before the Big Bang, then there would be nothing now…

I make the following argument where one of three propositions must be true regarding how the universe came to be. I can further prove which of the three propositions is true, thus demonstrating with irrefutable logic the origin of the universe. My approach uses a simple process of elimination where the universe came into being either by nothing, something, or someone. These three headings cover every option imaginable and no matter what your view, it will fit into one of these three headings. Atheists can choose to believe in either nothing or something, while Theists believe in someone. So let’s look at each option rationally…

The Nothing option

Some people including a number of reputable scientists believe that everything came from nothing. The idea that nothing actually caused anything is really impossible because nothing by definition is ‘no thing’. If it turns out that ‘no thing’ can actually do something, then it cannot be nothing in the true definition of that word, rather it had to be something all along. That alone makes this option a non-starter…However…the idea that nothing begat everything is still argued as a possible candidate as to the origin of the universe. So let’s dig a little deeper and give this view another chance…

Inflationary Theory or Cosmic Inflation says that the universe is expanding….this theory suggests that positive energy is exactly balanced by the negative gravitational energy. In other words, the total energy of the universe is zero, so it really consists of essentially nothing.

a look at Quantum theory and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, (according to some), provides an explanation for how energy may have come out of nothing. It has to do with ‘quantum fluctuations’. It assumes that particles and antiparticles form and quickly annihilate each other…One idea is that one fluctuation lived sufficiently long and had the right conditions for inflation leading to our universe. Of course if you delve deeper into such speculation, you have to conclude that in order for this to happen, there has to exist laws such as gravity, and/or particle pairs etc. That surely is not nothing…you don’t need to be a brilliant scientific mind to see that nothing cannot be the source of the universe…

Scientists who say that everything came from nothing are really saying that…nothing is really just a balance of negative and positive which equals zero, but it is a no brainer that something must exist in order for there to be positive and negative anything to take place.

upon simple deduction and analysis, the chance that the universe came from nothing just sunk to 0% because it turns out that it is impossible for nothing to do anything if we respect the true meaning of the word ‘nothing’…So we move on to the other two options. The Something option and the Someone option. On the outset, each of these last two options have a whopping 50 percent chance of being right…

The Something option

the Something option must be defined as a non-intelligent, non-aware, and non-living thing which produced the universe. This Something option could also include the universe itself. The Something option must also cater for the belief that this Something must be eternal, otherwise we are back to the Nothing option because something that was preceded by nothing brings us back to the Nothing option which we have already discovered is a non-starter…

The thing with the Something option is that because this option has to be non-intelligent, unaware, and possessing no consciousness…it must obviously possesses the IQ of zero. Because it lacks awareness and cannot make intelligent conscious decisions, some questions need to be asked. How does an eternal dead something give birth to consciousness?…why is it that the non-thinking Something came up with better inventions and designs than humans who possess consciousness, a mind, and intelligence….Yet, could Albert Einstein or Sir Isaac Newton make a universe?…these great men would struggle to even understand 0.0001% of all that the universe had to offer, even if they could observe the universe from beginning to end. And considering that the whole universe was determined at the first moments of the Big Bang, then that gives this something with no intelligence less than a second to determine everything that the universe was, is now, and will be in the future…

The weakness with this option for many is that design, complexity, logic, patterns, laws, and life, and even code such as DNA suggests very strongly that there is an  almighty consciousness at work. Many argue that these attributes are the result of a mind, perhaps even a programmer. It is for these people, far more likely that the universe is a product rather than the universe being the maker or cause of itself. It is like believing that a garage, car, or computer had always existed or that they can exist without a creator or maker…

One of the biggest hurdles with not including a consciousness of some kind in the creation process is the fact that consciousness exists. You are the proof of that. “I think, therefore I am” said the philosopher and one of the ancient names for God is “I am”. If existence started with no life or intelligence, then would life and intelligence exist today? It is a bit like arguing that the Universe came from nothing to suggest that consciousness came from something non-conscious.

Further, we have all observed that life comes from life…If we follow the timeline backward, it is logical that someone or some life form had to be the oldest or the first living thing. Like all things, there had to be a first…then the first life could well be an eternal life. If not then that first life came from non-life. Thus the observable facts to date do not point to life coming from non-life, and while it has certainly been tried, no one has ever produced life from non-living matter, nor have they ever made a dead creature come alive again. If the first living thing is not eternal, then consciousness sprung from nothing or at least something not possessing the attribute of consciousness. This option is starting to sound like the Nothing option when you probe deep enough.

The Something option also seems like a non-starter when you have thought it through. The problem is that most people do not think things through. They just don’t devote enough time to think about such things and often their conclusions are based on things they have read here and there, but they themselves have not thought about it deeply enough. Also, predefined beliefs can skew people away from asking such basic questions. It seems after some thought that the Something option is almost as silly like the Nothing option. Not quite as foolish, but folly all the same.

The Someone option

So this leaves us with the Someone option…it is the most believed of all the options and has been the standard premise in the history of the world. Even the early years of science was not about explaining the universe without God, but more about explaining how God created things. Some of the greatest scientists who have ever lived staunchly believed that God created the universe. Included are big names like the father of physics and creator of the scientific method, Sir Isaac Newton. Other big names include: Nicholas Copernicus, Sir Francis Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, Rene Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, Michael Faraday, Gregor Mendel, William Thomson Kelvin, Max Planck, and Albert Einstein….Einstein never came to belief in a personal God, but he recognized the impossibility of a non-created universe.

However…the idea that God created the universe…is obviously ludicrous to Atheists otherwise they would at least be Agnostic. Questions and protests that naturally arise from the idea that a god created the universe is “who made God”, “does God have a God?”, “what was before God?, “religion causes wars”, etc. Such questions and reasons however have little or nothing to do with why there might be a god.

Take the question “Who created God?”. The answer is simple, God is eternal. If God wasn’t eternal. then he wouldn’t be God. If God exists, then this God must be infinite, otherwise there was something before God meaning that God is not God. It is like asking the question, ‘what was before infinity’?

To the Atheist though, the idea of a creator is almost as offensive as believing in the existence of the tooth fairy. However, as much as your intellect may or may not be offended, it has to be said that the Someone/God option is still one of three possible options and surely it wouldn’t be fair to just write this option off based on bias or conflicting belief, especially if you have no evidence, logic, or argument to the contrary. Unfortunately this is what many do. They discard this option because of bias even though nobody has proof that there is no God…

As for the idea that belief in God causes wars…The reality is that man causes wars. And what effect does a religious war have on the existence of God anyway? Absolutely no effect at all. The reality is people fight over all kinds of things, often politics, power and land. Even so-called religious wars are often about these things when you delve in to it. Regardless, these rebuttals against a god have no bearing on there being a God at all.

But let’s be rational about this….Could it be that you cannot measure an infinite God using finite tools of which we are limited to? But should we then just take it on faith that there is a God? Well we do believe in many things that we have never seen such as black holes or even the Big Bang itself. We often work out the existence of something in the universe if mathematics makes it possible and in mathematics we do have infinity. Some things are simply deduced by deduction while proof of their existence is often beyond actually seeing them. So which of the three options is the most likely then?…There is no theory as to the origin of the universe that doesn’t come under one of these three headings: Nothing, Something, or Someone.

The only option

Let’s start with some basic logic and a process of deduction to see which of the three ludicrous options must be true…

If you think that the universe popped into existence from nothing, then that is obviously the nothing option. If it had a cause or always existed but is non-conscious, then that is the something option. If the universe is sitting inside a the vaults of a matrix-style computer made by a higher intelligence, or if God spoke the universe into being, then that is the Someone option. No matter what idea you come up with, it will fit into one of these headings.

So let’s look at numbers. It is said that…numbers are the language of logic, so let’s see what we can deduce from them. We know that the universe or multiverse (if you are that way inclined) is very very big and is made up of very very small things. Let’s imagine the universe as a really big number. So how do we get instances of really big numbers or small numbers for that matter? That is easy. If we start with infinity, then using simple sums, we can come up with every number imaginable including zero. This is also what we observe in the universe. We see a huge amount of phenomenon and things in the universe both big and small. But what happens if we start with zero? Well, we end in zero. Zero stays zero forever. Unless you add a finite number to zero somehow (apply a cause), you will stay with zero. So what does this prove? It simply means that even the most basic logic tells us that if there was truly nothing before the universe, then there would be no universe now. There would be nothing and no one, so no one to observe nothing. However, if the first cause was infinite, then it would explain the incredible amount of finites and zeros that we see. Thus, even the most basic of logic tells us that the first thing or cause of the universe had to be infinite, there is no way around this.

Whatever was first had to have no cause because that is the definition of first in this context. Once we understand that, then there are some interesting requirements that the original or first thing must have, such as it must be eternal or infinite. If the universe has life, then life is part of the source of the universe. If the universe has order, then order is part of the source of the universe. If the universe has design, then the source of the universe has the ability to design. The ingredients and products of the universe must also be present in the source of the universe, otherwise they come from nothing which we already know is impossible.

The final analysis

God is described as a living conscious spirit (non-material being) that designed the universe, is intelligent, a law giver, programmer of code like DNA, eternal, and the source of love and life among an almost infinite amount of other things.

While the notion of a god creating the universe is offensive to some…that has no bearing on the existence of God at all.

When looking at what kick-started the universe and life, the following quote is very helpful:
“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” – Arthur Conan Doyle.