John Lennox claims … “You can’t explain the universe without God” 36


A Muslim has been posting on Facebook some rather selective cherry-picked quotes from John Lennox’s Daily Mail article of 3rd Sept 2010. The fact that our Muslim friend did not attribute the source of his quotes and so by default implied they were his own is rather dishonest, but perhaps understandable because he was in fact quoting a Christian apologist in order to justify his specific variation of Islamic beliefs and clearly did not want to reveal that rather embarrassing fact.

Having not previously seen Mr Lennox’s article that is entitled , “As a scientist I’m certain Stephen Hawking is wrong. You can’t explain the universe without God“, I thought that I would now take a look at the claims being made. He is apparently “certain” God made everything, and since he is a “scientist”, well that means he just must be correct … right?

The fact that the title of his own article is nothing except an appeal to authority, and the authority he is appealing to is himself, would imply that the entertainment value here should be quite good.

So what arguments does he present?

But, as both a scientist and a Christian, I would say that Hawking’s claim is misguided. He asks us to choose between God and the laws of physics, as if they were necessarily in mutual conflict.

But contrary to what Hawking claims, physical laws can never provide a complete explanation of the universe. Laws themselves do not create anything, they are merely a description of what happens under certain conditions.

What Hawking appears to have done is to confuse law with agency. His call on us to choose between God and physics is a bit like someone demanding that we choose between aeronautical engineer Sir Frank Whittle and the laws of physics to explain the jet engine.

In essence his argument here boils down to, “I have no idea how the Universe could have happened naturally, therefore God did it by magic”, and that is essentially an appeal to ignorance. When faced with “Physics” the stuff we observe and can measure and detect, and “God”, a supernatural entity for which we have exactly zero observational data, then rather unlike Mr Lennox, I much prefer to discard the fantasy and embrace the things that we can actually detect and measure. If there is indeed something that we do not yet fully understand, then the only valid rational conclusion we can have is, “I don’t know …yet”, you simply cannot stick God in, because then all you are doing is making stuff up.

It might also be worth pointing out that Mr Hawking simply pointed out that you don’t need a god to explain the universe. When you live in a reality where you can see and observe fundamental particles popping into and out of existence in what some might label as “empty space”, then no supernatural leap is required as an alternative.

Some agency must have been involved.

And the reason he “knows” this is because?

To use a simple analogy, Isaac Newton’s laws of motion in themselves never sent a snooker ball racing across the green baize. That can only be done by people using a snooker cue and the actions of their own arms.
Hawking’s argument appears to me even more illogical when he says the existence of gravity means the creation of the universe was inevitable. But how did gravity exist in the first place? Who put it there? And what was the creative force behind its birth?

… For me, as a Christian believer, the beauty of the scientific laws only reinforces my faith in an intelligent, divine creative force at work.

We are now on the topic of causality. The assumption is that everything has a cause, and since that is true then the ultimate cause must be a god. Oh but wait a second, there is a rather obvious flaw in his thinking here …

  • There is an implicit rule that states that everything has a cause and that there are no exceptions to this rule
  • Since there are no exceptions to this rule, then the initial cause must be a God.

Ah but then you need to ask “What caused god?”. The standard reply is, “Oh, but God has no cause”. So new we suddenly discover that this rule we used to infer the existence of a god has an exception to it … “God”. But since the only reason we inferred God is that the rule cannot have any exceptions, has now been broken .. well you get the idea.

In other words, all he has done is to make stuff up and declare it to be the magical answer … using exactly zero data, and for no logical reason at all … except for the fact that he just happens to believe.

So he then moves on to argue like this …

The very reason science flourished so vigorously in the 16th and 17th centuries was precisely because of the belief that the laws of nature which were then being discovered and defined reflected the influence of a divine law-giver.

And so of course we have the old “Since there are laws, then there must be a law maker” argument. This is simply the previous causality argument dressed up in different clothes – the observation remains the same … who made the law maker, who made the maker of the law maker, etc… Just adding additional levels of complexity (for no reason at all) does not really solve anything.

If the brain were really the result of an unguided process, then there is no reason to believe in its capacity to tell us the truth.

That is essentially correct, and that is why the scientific methodology deploys double blind controls, peer review and strives to be objective and not subjective. We have learned that it is very easy to fool ourself into believing things that are not actually true (such as a belief in gods), and must eliminate all human bias.

When we see a few letters of the alphabet spelling our name in the sand, our immediate response is to recognise the work of an intelligent agent. How much more likely, then, is an intelligent creator behind the human DNA, the colossal biological database that contains no fewer than 3.5 billion ‘letters’?

Let me translate that for you – here is something that is very complex, I have no fracking clue how it could have possibly happened naturally, so I will simply assume that my god concept did it.

The fact that Mr Lennox is not an Evolutionary Biologist perhaps explains why he does not actually understand why natural selection beautifully exlains how such diverse complexity can develop quite naturally without recourse to any supernatural entities.

It is fascinating that Hawking, in attacking religion, feels compelled to put so much emphasis on the Big Bang theory. Because, even if the non-believers don’t like it, the Big Bang fits in exactly with the Christian narrative of creation.

How somebody can be so smart and yet so utterly ignorant is a wonder to behold, the above claim is pure utter bollocks. The “big bang” says nothing at all about the origin of the universe, it is simply a model that describes the early expansion of the universe. As for the claim that it fits his bible narrative, would that be the one where god makes light and then makes the earth and grass, and a few days after that finally decides to make the sun. Is he seriously asserting that it is a nice fit.

It is about this point in his article that he goes even more religious …

the religious experiences of millions of believers cannot lightly be dismissed

And yet he will happily dismiss the experiences of all Muslims and all Hindus as being the wrong belief and that his is the right one. Should I not also remind him that he earlier made the point about how easily our brains can fool us, and that from his viewpoint is a good reason to dismiss objective science, but apparently he does not apply this same standard to subjective religious experiences.

So finally he plays the morality card …

The existence of a common pool of moral values points to the existence of transcendent force beyond mere scientific laws. Indeed, the message of atheism has always been a curiously depressing one, portraying us as selfish creatures bent on nothing more than survival and self-gratification.

People are moral, not because a supernatural entity told them what is right and what is wrong, but rather because our very natural human empathy enables us to be like that. Should I perhaps remind him that the bible is from cover to cover a pro slavery book, even Jesus states “Slaves, obey your masters”, and never suggests that the idea of owning people is morally wrong. Mr Lennox will of course acknowledge that slavery is wrong, but he has not used either the bible, nor his supernatural god to work that out, but rather has absorbed that from our modern culture that has reached that conclusion through experience and reason.

As for his quip about atheism, once again “utterly clueless” best describes it. Atheism is simply the rejection of god claims due to the total lack of any credible evidence at all, it says nothing at all about anything else, that is it’s entire scope. People who have reached that conclusion are generally both moral and decent, and find meaning for non-religious reasons so don’t need a mythological god to do so.

Do we have any evidence here for anything at all? Actually, yes we do, we can clearly see that smart intelligent people will indeed rationalize crazy beliefs in smart ways, and that none of it makes any of the claims actually true.


Leave a Reply

36 thoughts on “John Lennox claims … “You can’t explain the universe without God”

  • Stromox

    I think you need to work on elaborating and explaining your ideas. Almost all of your rebuttals are weak—you highlight a point you disagree with but fail to provided a compelling descriptive rationale of why Lennox is wrong, like ” The fact that Mr Lennox is not an Evolutionary Biologist perhaps explains why he does not actually understand why natural selection beautifully exlains how such diverse complexity can develop quite naturally without recourse to any supernatural entities.” or “Is he seriously asserting that it is a nice fit.” Rather than merely stating the problem, give a brief summary of how natural selection beautify explains the development of diverse complexity or why it isn’t a nice fit.

    • Nate

      Does Lennox develop and explain his assertions? Not that I have seen. He claims that because we an engage in science, god is real. A more illogical claim is hard to come by, yet apologists like Lennox live by them. Regarding Lennox’s take on DNA “letters”,. Where to begin. If you cannot understand how shallow and fallacious Lennox’s position is on that, then there is little hope.

      • Pedro Henrique

        law of non contradiion says the universe can either beggin with a mind or with no mind what so ever, if there is no ultimate mind then there is no absolute logic becasue it would derive from such absolute athoritative mind, so if you are concistent and coherent with your position then, nothing is ever wrong everything is relevant to the individual moist bio robot, but because you call lenox “fallacious” and “wrong”, you are holding him accountable to a objective universal law in which you expect and demand that he abides on in order to debate and argue to say he is “wrong”, all the while trying to use that universal set of laws of logic, to prove to him there is no absolute mind or absolute law giver that holds these same immaterial and unchanging laws such as logic in place …

        imagine a man that was placed on the top of a ladder, and he develops the belief that he does not need that ladder to stay where he is, and he procedes to use a saw to cut the ladder underneath his feat thinking he is still going to remain on top, and not fall, literally hanging on NOTHING … thats atheism.

  • Brian Holder

    Read Max Jammer’s book “Einstein and Religion” Einstein believed in a creator. No doubt there are many more lies in this atheist propaganda.

  • Yusuke

    To say that our ability to show empathy or sympathy toward another is the validity of our moral values, that a bunch of crap. Who made that claims that our ability to relate to one another had any significant worth or value to give us the right to establish a standard of moral or law that we are obligated to obey? That’s a lot of bullcrap. Trying to give value to preference reason is as much hypocritical as you can get. When condemning people for believing in a preference God of their choice yet trying to give worth or meaning to your values or reason.

  • Ted LeMoine

    Why is stating what the laws of the universe are ” A direct attack on religion.” ……..When you have to rearrange your story countless times to match reality then maybe your story is just plain wrong. And he argument that billions of people can’t be wrong is easily proven to be silly when you put Christianity against Islam. Instantly billions of people are wrong and headed for eternal damnation.

  • Shahidur Sikder (@beyondEinstein)

    God: Only single name for the absolute place or Nature or God or Dark energy or absolute time sole dimension or sole dimension of power of the things of the universe, great space or the location the center of the connectors between the great world or the great universes, location of the beginning or ending or the most deepest place, same location of place period or the matter, location of the big black hole or primordial black hole or before big bang, huge reserve of the natural force etc, is Nature (God).
    Big Bang: At the time of the beginning of the creation or from the absolute zero of time or from the God or big black hole or a black hole or Nature, part of the power of the Nature became divisible as a result of the big bang. The part of energy had been divided in the beginning of creation from the large field of energy, which is below 50% of total energy. In the most of natural power reserved in big black hole from which, the world of gravitation become influenced. See at https://shahidurrahmansikder.wordpress.com/2010/05/26/big-bang/
    Evolution: “Everything of the world of matter including the present visible unit is the result of evolution from the big bang”. The changing function of everything in the universe is going on always. The present scenery was not similar with past and also will not resemble with the future, the present and past space-time energy absolute zero of absolute time. As per formula of evolution; See at https://shahidurrahmansikder.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/21/
    See- God or Dark Energy, Big Bang, Evolution and Early Universe, My DEMO Final https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYcnbwUKUEM New Discovery of the Universe: can be found at http://lnkd.in/Sn6wPK

  • Shahidur Rahman Sikder

    God: Only single name for the absolute place or Nature or God or Dark energy or absolute time sole dimension or sole dimension of power of the things of the universe, great space or the location the center of the connectors between the great world or the great universes, location of the beginning or ending or the most deepest place, same location of place period or the matter, location of the big black hole or primordial black hole or before big bang, huge reserve of the natural force etc, is Nature (God).
    Big Bang: At the time of the beginning of the creation or from the absolute zero of time or from the God or big black hole or a black hole or Nature, part of the power of the Nature became divisible as a result of the big bang. The part of energy had been divided in the beginning of creation from the large field of energy, which is below 50% of total energy. In the most of natural power reserved in big black hole from which, the world of gravitation become influenced. See at https://shahidurrahmansikder.wordpress.com/2010/05/26/big-bang/
    Evolution: “Everything of the world of matter including the present visible unit is the result of evolution from the big bang”. The changing function of everything in the universe is going on always. The present scenery was not similar with past and also will not resemble with the future, the present and past space-time energy absolute zero of absolute time. As per formula of evolution; See at https://shahidurrahmansikder.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/21/
    See- God or Dark Energy, Big Bang, Evolution and Early Universe, My DEMO Final https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYcnbwUKUEM New Discovery of the Universe: can be found at http://lnkd.in/Sn6wPK

  • R.L. Stratford

    I should like to know who the ‘many scientists’ were who ‘were keen to dismiss’ the Big Bang theory because ‘it seemed to support the Bible story’ and who ‘clung to Aristotle’s view of the “eternal universe” without beginning or end’. I have read many books on astronomy, some of them published before the Big Bang theory was invented and even before Hubble and others discovered the recession of the galaxies. The only authors I can remember who stated or even hinted that the Universe was eternal were Fred Hoyle, a champion of the steady state theory, and William B. Bonnor (1920-2015), the author of ‘The Mystery of the Expanding Universe’ (1964), who really did reject the Big Bang cosmology on the grounds that it was too much like the Bible story. This is not ‘many scientists’, and George Gamow, who published the first papers about Big Bang cosmology in 1948, was as much an unbeliever as Hoyle and Bonnor. So far as I can remember, the Big Bang was the favoured cosmological theory during the 1950s and the early 1960s, even before the discovery of quasars and the cosmic microwave background. So, I repeat my question; who were these ‘many scientists’ who ‘clung to Aristotle’s view of the “eternal universe”‘ and dismissed the Big Bang because ‘it seemed to support the Bible story’?

  • Logic > science

    When speaking about Science and evidence based claims, you must first assert that there are certain claims knowable through logic. It is logic that tells you that science is reliable, not science. Science has nothing to say about its own utility, only logic does, because science is just a sub category of logic, it’s a way of knowing things.
    You cannot know everything through science. You do not, for example, require en evidence claim to know that science is a useful way of knowing things. Likewise, if you believed (mistakenly) that science is the only way of knowing, you would be contradicting yourself, because that statement itself is not a statement of science but of logic, therefore you have proved that logic precedes science, and that there are ways of knowing things outside of science. Science is a child of logic.
    Now, do not try to use science to disprove a logical truth. The question of whether or not God exists is a question of logic, not of science. Much like how the question of whether science is practical or not is a question of logic, not of science. If you say that whatever has no evidence does not exist, then your use of science is irrational, because there is no evidence to suggest science is the only way of knowing.

  • Michael E.

    Lennox is not infallible – he is human, after all. However, this analysis represents an almost complete misunderstanding of just about every point he is trying to make.

    Regarding the quote about law with agency, you write,

    “In essence his argument here boils down to, “I have no idea how the Universe could have happened naturally, therefore God did it by magic”, and that is essentially an appeal to ignorance.”

    No, that is not what Lennox is saying. He is saying that the notion of a designer bolsters – rather than replaces – a scienfic explanation of a phenomenon, and that neither explanation is necessarily sufficient on its own – just as neither Frank Whittle nor the laws of physics on their own can entirely explain the jet engine.

    “And the reason he “knows” this is because?”

    Lennox doesn’t “know” this. He is extrapolating based on our knowledge of things that are designed by humans, based on the fact that the universe itself gives an appearance of design.

    “There is an implicit rule that states that everything has a cause and that there are no exceptions to this rule.”

    Lennox is not saying that. He is saying that laws don’t themselves cause anything, whatever else the cause might be.

    Furthermore, the premise that “everything has a cause” is a butchered version of the first premise of the cosmological argument, which claims that “everything that BEGNIS TO EXIST has a cause.” There’s a critical difference between those two claims.

    “And so of course we have the old “Since there are laws, then there must be a law maker” argument.”

    But this is not Lennox’s main argument – he mentions it because it was the motivation of early scientists.

    Regarding doubting reason, you write “That is essentially correct, and that is why the scientific methodology deploys double blind controls, peer review and strives to be objective and not subjective.”

    Except that all those controls, peer reviews and attempted objectivity are achieved throught the efforts of human rationality. It’s like saying that we know we can be rational because we’ve put in place rational measures to ensure that we remain rational. The argument is circular.

    About language: “Let me translate that for you – here is something that is very complex, I have no fracking clue how it could have possibly happened naturally, so I will simply assume that my god concept did it.”

    No. Lennox is saying that as soon as we see language – symbols that convey a semiotic meaning – we infer to intelligence as the source. As DNA shares many characteristics with language, Lennox is questioning why we would therefore not make the same inference as with other forms of language. It ties in with recent notions in physics that information is immaterial – information cannot be explained by its material carrier.

    “The “big bang” says nothing at all about the origin of the universe, it is simply a model that describes the early expansion of the universe.”

    That’s not true. We cannot know WHAT happened in the very earliest moments as described by the Big Bang since the laws of physics break down. But the Big Bang theory does necessitate a beginning to spacetime as we know it.

    “As for the claim that it fits his bible narrative, would that be the one where god makes light and then makes the earth and grass, and a few days after that finally decides to make the sun. Is he seriously asserting that it is a nice fit.”

    It’s not a nice fit if you treat the biblical text as data. But the text is metaphorical, so to get hung up on the number of days and sequence of events is to miss the much more important claims of the text – that 1) the universe had a beginning and 2) an intelligent designer was the source. Neither of those views were adopted through the majority of the history of science, but now the first claim (that the universe had a beginning) is part of mainstream science, and the second (motivated by the fine-tuning evident in the universe) is starting to be explored.

    “And yet he will happily dismiss the experiences of all Muslims and all Hindus as being the wrong belief and that his is the right one.”

    No, he does not do that. He specifically says on many occastions that “As a Christian, I can only speak for Christianity – other religions must answer for themselves.”

    “People are moral, not because a supernatural entity told them what is right and what is wrong, but rather because our very natural human empathy enables us to be like that.”

    What natural reason would we possibly have to express empathy to others? And how would that alone explain morality? “Empathy” is the idea that we can understand someone else’s feelings – but if we don’t already have ideas of right and wrong, we won’t get them by attempting to enter another person’s frame of reference.

    If you want to find scientific or philosophical flaws with Lennox’s reasoning, go for it – we need more healthy debate on these issues. But the discussion is pointless if you don’t understand the points he is trying to make in the first place.

    • Dave Gamble Post author

      Hi Michael, thanks for commenting.

      You make some good points, but essentially we are not going to agree. For example you suggest …

      // He is saying that the notion of a designer bolsters – rather than replaces – a scienfic explanation of a phenomenon, and that neither explanation is necessarily sufficient on its own //

      I stick by my original stance … he is invoking a supernatural explanation for cosmological beginnings, not because he has credible imperial evidence, but rather because he appears to for cultural reasons believe that a god did it.

      People tend to believe what they believe, not due to such claims, but rather because they are emotionally invested in such concepts, and so tend to introduce unfalsifiable assertions as a defence mechanism to protect that investment.

      In the end this is perhaps a discussion that rooted in human psychology and not cosmology, and is driven by the ability we all have to embrace utterly absurd ideas as truth.

      • Michael E.

        I agree that we’re all driven by what we already believe. I also think that no matter what our worldview, we end up believing something that another person will find absurd for the simple reason that any discussion of origins and cosmology will lead to the intersection of philosophy and science – and the invocation of some sort of metaphysical ultimate reality to explain the universe.

        God is not falsifiable – but neither is the concept of the multiverse. Both concepts invoke the supernatural (inasmuch as we cannot observe a universe outside our own). I don’t think the two concepts are mutually exclusive – but barring an as-yet-unknown third alternative, rejecting the supernatural altogether leaves the question of origins unanswered (or unanswerable).

  • Alick

    The question of who made God?

    Let’s ask a mathematician / philosopher/ who along with Newton gave us calculus .

    Gottfried Liebniz – his argument

    Premise 1 -everything that exists has an explanation .

    Premise 2 – If the universe has an explanation of its existence , that explanation is God

    Premise 3- The universe exists .

    Premise 4 – the universe has an explanation for its existence ,

    Conclusion
    5- Therefore the explanation of the universe is God .

    This argument is not only logically coherent

    Its airtight .

    Premise 3 is undeniable if you are real about truth .

    So you either
    Deny premise 1 of 2,

    If everything that exists has an explanation – then God must have an explanation as well .

    But for Gods existence to have an explanation
    It would be some other being greater than God – impossible.

    Is premise 1 false ?

    Some things must be able to exist without explanation .

    If God can exist without explanation ,

    Why not the universe ?

    In Leibniz’s view – 2 kinds of things
    1- things that exist necessarily and –
    2- things that are produced by an external cause .

    1-Things that exist necessarily , exist by a necessity of their own nature – it is impossible for them not to exist .

    ( Numbers sets mathematical entities – are they caused ? – or do they exist by necessity of their own nature. ?
    Or Does mathematics reflect and describe reality.

    Mathematics can have no meaning if there is nothing ! Even the null set is created.
    In nothing not even numbers exist ! Not even the mathematical zero ,
    Which is not nothing .
    2- things that are caused to exist by something else , don’t exist necessarily – people physical objects planets galaxies .

    So premise 1 could be stated more fully –

    1 Everything that exists has an explanation for its existence , either inThe necessity of its own nature , or in an external cause ,

    If God exists – then he is a necessarily existing un caused being .

    • Dave Gamble Post author

      // Everything that exists has an explanation for its existence //
      And the explanation for god is what exactly?

      The basic problem here is that you are simply declaring that a god did it, and that your god concept is uncaused … on the basis of no data at all … and so in effect you are adding a layer of complexity for no reason at all. You could just as easily declare the universe to be un caused.

      In many ways I do get it, you believe, for what can be best described as cultural and emotional reasons, and so you grasp the assertions being made and truly believe them to be airtight, but I quite honestly do not find that to be the case.

      • matacueroJorge

        Everything that comes to be or comes to existence has to have a cause. Christians don’t believe in a created god or a god that came to be. “In the begining WAS the word…”
        This is nothing new, we are not changing our position to scoot around the law of causality. We always believed in a begining, scientist however Did Not. It was science that changed its position after learning about evidence for a begining. So now science turns this around, and states that everything MUST have a begining when for centuries they believed the universe to be eternal.

    • matacueroJorge

      You believe in magic as well I assume ( magic= believing everything that came to be and is in this universe just came out of Nothing and violating a very fundamental science law of causality)

      • Grace S

        What you call “a science law” is just regularities that have been observed so far and under conditions in which we can observe. Other conditions may produce different observations and, in fact, we do observe, even now, that virtual particles can pop into and out of existence FROM NOTHING. So you just don’t understand science very well.

          • Grace S

            Science does not say such a MUST. And the only reason science has been settling on Big Bang Cosmology is because of the FACT of the currente xpnsion of the universe. Go read physicist-cosmologist Lawrence Krauss’ book _A Universe From Nothing_.

  • Ayke

    i believe strongly that many people of reputable standards including atheist and physicists are missing the mark of knowing the existence of God or claiming there is no God or more preferably God’s Dead because of one fact. The fact is that the existence of God is a Mystery. A mystery that can only be known or unlocked by believing in the Son of God who came to open yours to this Mystery. No wonder the bible says ‘I am the Way the Truth and the Life no man cometh unto the Father but by me’-John:14:6.

      • Dave Gamble Post author

        By some amazing coincidence, those exact words were suggested to me a couple of days ago. In that specific instance, the guy repeating them was in fact a Muslim, and so just as you would have directed those words to any who do not believe what you believe, he would also direct those exact words to you.

        The things that are true, can be demonstrated to be true with solid objective independently verifiable evidence, and anything else can be happily discarded.

        We are of course awash with cultural myths that are embraced as truth, for what are at best social and cultural reasons, and not because any of it is actually true at all.

    • Dave Gamble Post author

      Burdon of proof rests with those making claims Egonio, so far the quantity of independently verifiable objective evidence is exactly zero, and until that changes the god claim remains dismissed.

      • antonhillebrand

        Let’s assume for a moment that there is a god. The next question will be what kind of god is it? Wich denomination is right about that supposed god? All churches (there are thousands of them) are in disagreement with each other, so how can you be sure you’re right at all? It only proves that religion is man-made!

  • matacuero

    Calling DNA a “code” but not implying that it is more specific that we can ever begin to explain is not science. How can you recognize it as a code? Do you employ your intellect, reason, logic?
    On morality you stated “people are moral, not because a supernatural entity told them what is right and what is wrong, but rather because our very natural human empathy enables us to be like that”. Empathy is the ability to share the feelings of one another. How does that give us a basis to judge right and wrong? How does empathy give us an advantage? Do you think there is EMPATHY in Natural Selection?
    Please respond, I am very interested in this topic. Thanks!

  • Shiju

    “People are moral, not because a supernatural entity told them what is right and what is wrong, but rather because our very natural human empathy enables us to be like that.” What is the origin of this natural human empathy? What is the reference point that decides right and wrong. Is it since you say it is “natural human empathy” that people attribute subjectivity to rights and wrongs? Why is it that many believe that rights and wrongs are subjective and not absolute? If Christianity is true and there is a moral being called God, who brings about inward change to human beings who believe, just as He did to me, enabling them to love their neighbors and enemies alike, where does one stand, without this belief, if judgment of this world is imminent? Wouldn’t it be safer to know that you are a changed being from all the cares of this world with love and peace and joy and righteousness and long suffering and kindness and mercy abounding? At the end of it even if your theories were true, I will end up with these qualities in me at the end of my life. What if you were wrong?

    Out of all the species developed out of a primate, why are humans so different and naturally ill-adapted than many of its so called cousins. Attributes like intelligence, logical reasoning, moral reasoning, ethics etc are so human. Why did only human beings, out of millions of species, evolved so intelligently and differently?

  • churchoffreethought

    I’ve been watching some of what this Lennox fellow says on youtube. His reasoning is so sloppy it is difficult to believe he is a mathematician or philosopher. For example, he says (as quoted here) that the brain could not be expected to find truth if it were not the product of “guidance.” Well, it IS the result of the guidance of natural selection. Creatures who mistook a predator for one of their own did not survive long enough to breed successfully. At the same time, the guidance of natural selection is only “good enough” for that purpose which explains why our brains are so “buggy” and need to be checked against the systematic methods of science which, even today, are not as widely understood and applied as they should be.

    Lennox also falls prey to the somewhat poetic analogy of DNA to “language” and “words” and “letters.” DNA does not express any thoughts or concepts. It is “code” only inasmuch as it specifies parricular RNA molecules which, in turn, specify proteins. There are no words of letters or sentences in DNA in a linguistic sense.

    Lennox is either a dullard or deliberately obfuscates.

    • Christian

      For starters taking quotes out of context is bias. For two watch and try to stay objective when listening to John Lennox and Richard Dawkins. Thirdly his point on DNA is that it is infinitely complex like language and so it is not probable that it occurred by chance. Lastly God existing is not magic if you had listened in the debate his explanation of miracles was rather surprisingly convincing to me. Lennox does not claim he can prove God existence but rather science and its discoveries point towards an intelligent creative being.

        • Dave Gamble Post author

          Neither … theism is simply a religious claim that has no evidence, so is simply pretending to know. Atheism is not an assertion, but rather is a rejection of theism due to the lack of any evidence.

          The only totally honest answer is that we do not know.