Christian Apologetics - Lesson 15


Discussion of different arguments for God's existence.

Ronald Nash
Christian Apologetics
Lesson 15
Watching Now

The Existence of God

Part 2

II.  Arguments for God's Existence

A.  How high should our standards be?

1.  Don't set them too high.

2.  "What kind of an argument would satisfy you?"

B.  Cumulative Arguments

1.  Many arguments are better than one strong argument.

2.  Similar to a legal case

C.  Deduction or Induction?

1.  Deductive - Conclusion in the premises

2.  Inductive - Cumulative case

3.  Antony Flew - Ten leaky buckets

4.  Richard Swinburne - Response to Flew

D.  Scientific Explanations vs. Personal Explanations

E.  Recent Advances in Science

1.  Astrophysics - Hugh Ross

2.  Microbiology - Michael Behe

a.  Natural Order

b.  Intelligent Cause

3.  Information Systems

  • Introduction to Apologetics.

  • Apologetics involves finding evidence and presenting arguments to defend the Christian faith.

  • Two prominent worldviews are Christian theism and naturalism.

  • The law of non-contradiction states that A cannot be B and non-B at the same time and in the same sense.

  • Explanations and responses to different worldviews.

  • If God is good and all powerful, then why does evil exist?

  • Discussion about how the existence of evil is consistent with God's character.

  • Your noetic structure, presuppositions and view of epistemology are important elements in the formation of your worldview.

  • Discussion of deductive presuppositionalism vs. inductive presuppositionalism.

  • Objections to inductive presuppositionalism.

  • Arguments for and against evidentialism.

  • Arguments for and against foundationalism.

  • Discussion of natural theology.

  • There are valid, sound and cogent arguments for the existence of God, but no coercive proofs.

  • Discussion of different arguments for God's existence.

  • One version of the cosmological argument for God's existence emphasizes God as first in time, another emphasizes God as first in importance.

  • A possible world is a way the real world could have been. Modal logic, propositions, state of affairs and eternal entities are some of the considerations when discussing a possible world.

  • Something is logically possible if its description does not include a logical contradiction. The existence of the laws of knowledge refute the system of naturalism.

  • Middle knowledge is a form of knowledge attributed to God by Molina.

  • Miracles are a dividing line and central to Christianity.

  • David Hume's rational arguments against miracles and responses to those arguments.

  • Two miracles central to Christianity are the incarnation and resurrection.

  • The question of whether or not Jesus is the only savior touches on pluralism, inclusivism and exclusivism.

  • Pluralism is the view that all religions have salvific value.

  • Inclusivism is the view that even though the work of Christ is the only means of salvation, it does not follow that explicit knowledge of Christ is necessary in order for a person to be saved.

  • Salvation is totally the work of God and all children who die in infancy are elect of God.

  • Discussion from a biblical perspective of God's character and attributes.

  • Open theists believe that God does not have a perfect knowledge of the future.

  • Divine omnipotence and divine omniscience are two attributes of God.

  • When contemplating life after death, remember, Jesus has been there and come back. Will you commit your life to him or reject him?

These lectures were given at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida during the fall of 2001.


Dr. Ronald Nash
Christian Apologetics
Lesson Transcript


[00:00:01] Now, before Chapter 13 ends, I am going to present two arguments for the existence of God that I didn't know about when I wrote Faith and Reason. Okay. I didn't know about them. If Zondervan should come to me. Before I die and say, you know, Nash, this book has had a nice life of 15 years or so. Why don't you do a new edition of this? One of the sections I would rewrite would be the section on the arguments for God's existence. I'm not as satisfied with, say, chapters nine and ten as I should be. And I think what I do is incorporate I simply take Chapter 13 out of life's ultimate questions and stick it in here, and then I decide what else to do about some of this older material. Now, when I came to write this part of Life's Ultimate Questions. I knew this. I had one chapter and it had to be a short chapter because this is big book, you know, 400 and some pages in something like 15 pages writing to a reader who might very well be a freshman philosophy student. I had to make the existence of God not only plausible. That is, I had to do some natural theology, but I also had to prepare the student to understand the proper way to approach the existence of God. So let's just go through chapter 13 and allow me to make some comments and you'll know that some of this stuff is taken right from the faith and reason book. First of all, if we're going to seek an argument for God's existence, how high should our standards be? The point I'm making here is an important one. Some people, when demanding a proof for God's existence. Insist that those proofs meet standards that are so high that no philosophical argument can satisfy them. In fact, let me even add this as a kind of parentheses before you accept anybody's invitation or request or demand that you provide a proof for God's existence. Let me suggest you ask a question. What kind of an argument would satisfy you? Write that down. Maybe you've thought of that. Here's the point. If you're dealing with a particular kind of person, nothing will satisfy him and you might as well learn that sooner rather than later. The reason why many people are not believers at this particular moment is because they have become so biased towards any information that you might. Give them that nothing's going to change their mind. And remember how we discussed this earlier in the semester. Remember that thing called the non theoretical foundations of theoretical thought? Many times people become immunized against a certain position and thus nothing can function as an argument for that position. Okay. But let us suppose that instead we're just talking to a reasonable person and what we want to do using this material on pages 290 and 291 is help that person understand that we want to be fair when it comes to offering arguments to God's existence. And you can't be fair if you make demands of an argument that no philosopher attempting to prove anything can possibly satisfy. Now, in the course of making this case, I quote from a couple of pretty good philosophers. I quote, for example, from a philosopher named Ram Edwards. He's not an evangelical. He was a theist of some kind who taught philosophy at the University of Tennessee. He may still be there. And he wrote a philosophy religion textbook in 1972. And the footnote there gives you the title. Listen to what Edwards says, though. This is right from about the middle of page 290 in my book. He says occasionally, perhaps even some of the traditional proofs for the existence of God have been interpreted as providing conclusive evidence for their theistic conclusions. From the outset, however, we must recognize that it is a mistake. So to regard them, not because we know before we even begin that they do not prove anything, but rather because we know that there are no philosophical beliefs anywhere that are supported by conclusive evidence. Now, even I have to admit that's the case. No philosophical beliefs anywhere are supported by absolutely conclusive evidence. And by evidence he means an argument to expect indubitable premises and rigorous deductive validity from the traditional proofs for God's existence is to expect too much. No philosophical proofs of anything rest on indubitable premises. Philosophical proofs simply cannot meet such exact exacting requirements. All right. Now, what? What purpose does that paragraph serve in my chapter? Remember, in theory, the people reading this book could be, among other things. Well, doctoral students use this book, but college freshmen use this book. So here's a college freshman, maybe a football player, and he's saying, woo, woo, woo, woo, woo. Look at that. Here's a philosopher who isn't an evangelical, but he says, don't don't demand standards that are too high here. Okay. Now I quote from another guy, Stephen Evans. A friend of mine now teaches at Calvin College, used to teach at Wheaton College. Steve Evans says back. I hired him for a year or two at Western Kentucky University. He says in a civil Well, I don't have to read it. I can paraphrase it. In law cases, we demand different degrees of certitude. For example, if it's a capital crime, as in the case of O.J. Simpson, with respect to his murder charge, he's been on the court channel just recently about this road rage thing. And he was really doing a good job of acting yesterday. I mean, I was weeping as O.J. was. So he was being victimized by this awful man. And all O.J. did was get mad and reach in and grab him by the throat and tear off his glasses and scratch his face. They were making O.J. sound like an evil man. But in a capital crime. What's the standard? You must prove the guilt of this person beyond any reasonable doubt. And what did OJ's attorneys do during that capital case? If the glove don't fit, you must acquit. They were there just to cast doubt on the accusations against O.J.. And O.J. lucked out because he had the right jury. Okay. He could have they could have been a mass murderer, but they that jury would have turned him loose. So capital crime, the highest standard possible. Now, if it's if it's an automobile accident, instead of demanding 99% prove proof beyond any reasonable doubt. Technically, all you need is 50% plus a little push. 50% plus a tier. Plus 50% plus, you know. An itchy ear or something like that. So it makes a big difference which kind of case you're arguing. So in a civil damage case, you don't have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. You just have to prove, you know, get a little bit above 50%. Okay. Now, my statement instead of reading Steve Evans, here's my statement from top of page 291. If we accept the relevance of Evans's analogy between proofs and the kinds of court cases he decides describes and proofs for such religious claims as God exists. Several important points follow. For one thing, as Evans notes, good evidence for religious faith will not be some kind of absolute proof that some philosophers seem to seek. Rather, it will be evidence which is sufficient to satisfy a reasonable person. Now define a reasonable person. Answer a person who agrees with me. All right, That's a reasonable person. I'll accept that. Though such proofs are appropriate for their subject matter. They were seldom result in universal acceptance. Must an argument be universally accepted to be a proof? Not at all. Juries in court cases are not required to seek proof beyond all reasonable doubt, but only beyond. Only beyond a reasonable doubt. So that's the first point. If you're engaged in trying to offer a proof or an argument for God's existence, don't get backed into a corner and be foolish enough to accept a standard that no philosopher can meet. That makes sense. I think it does. Have there been a lot of people who've tried to prove the existence of God, who've been snickered by this? Of course they have. Don't do it. Now, the next point. Cumulative arguments. I would rather have a string. Of somewhat less coercive arguments that build up a case for something, then I would have then I would like one knock down, drag out, prove that will bring the patient to a state of unconsciousness or something. I don't know what I'm talking about here. But don't if you're if you're trying to argue for the existence of God, build the case the same way a good attorney builds a case, because I think it enhances the psychological acceptability of the conclusion. Okay. I've I've talked to a lot of people who've said, well, I don't know how to answer that argument. But if that's the only one you got, I think I'll I'll wait a few years just to see if something else comes along. And what you've got to do then is say, Oh, you don't like this one, We'll try this, all right? And you build up a cumulative case. Now, this is not new here because this is what I've been suggesting we do all along with regard to the Christian worldview. Somewhere in my file, in my office. I've got a sheet of paper that says it lists about 20 to 25 points, for which the Christian worldview has a good answer and other worldviews do not. Okay. Now, that's that's the major point there. Try to build a cumulative case. And now we're going to do that in the next section that is called deduction or induction. This is where the quotes are that I thought I was going to want to read in the earlier section. On the bottom paragraph of page 9292, we come back to my friend Anthony Flu. And Anthony flew. Has a response here to people who criticize those who would who would attempt to argue for God's existence only through the search for a deductive argument. Now, last week I told you what a deductive argument is. A deductive argument is one where the conclusion, if the premises are true and the deductive argument is valid, then the conclusion is is true is irrefutable. But it's because all of the information that's contained in the conclusion is already contained in the premises. Okay. But I also told you last week that because the conclusion to any deductive argument for God's existence, because the conclusion is the existence of an infinite being, a perfect being, and because the premises of these arguments for God's existence are making reference to finite beings like the world or something else, there's got to be a defect in any attempt to provide a deductive proof for God's existence. No art, no deductive argument for God's existence can be valid if you are reasoning from a finite being to an infinite being. Because the conclusion is saying more than the premises say, therefore this cannot be a valid deductive argument. Okay. And so therefore, a lot of people, including myself, have said, okay, with the exception of the non logical argument and maybe that I'm going to talk about that one of these days because I think the ontological argument is sound is valid, is a good argument. And I don't care that I'm the only person in the world who thinks that way. Okay. I don't care. But with the exception of the on a logical argument, I'm of a mind to suggest that we're we're stuck with inductive arguments. But here's the catch. If we can use a collection of inductive arguments for God's existence and build up a cumulative case. We can end up with a powerful argument for God's existence. That's how a prosecuting attorney works. We do not have an eyewitness to the crime. But what do we have? We have people who saw the accused come out of the room in which the crime was committed. He was holding in his right hand a smoking gun. Of the same caliber. That shoots the bullets that were found in the victim. He had a motive. You build up a kick. My goodness. Even. Who's in the TV series Murder, she wrote. Jessica Fletcher could prove this guy was guilty. The gun, the motive, the opportunity. The body. Okay. Now, here's what Anthony flu says regarding people like me or others. Top of page 293. It is occasionally suggested that some candidate prove, although admittedly failing as a proof that is a deductive proof. May sometimes do useful service as a pointer. This is a false exercise of the generosity so characteristic of examiners. Those are people who grade tests. And Britain, a failed proof, cannot serve as a pointer to anything, save perhaps to the weakness of those who have accepted it. Nor for the same reason can it be put to work along with other throw outs as part of the accumulation of evidences, and then get this sentence. Underline it. If one leaky bucket will not hold water, that is no reason to think the ten leaky buckets can hold water. And at that point Anthony flew lt's a cigar and smokes it in victory. Okay. Thinking boy, have I blown away these stupid Christians. But along comes another British philosopher named Richard Swinburne. Who offers, I think, a thoroughgoing refutation of Anthony Flu's ten leaky buckets. Let's read Swinburne. This is from a book he wrote titled The Existence of God. But of course arguments which are not deductively valid are often inductively strong. And if you put three weak arguments together, you may often get a strong one, perhaps even a deductively valid argument made up of three weaker inductive arguments. The analogy and flu's last sentence is a particularly unhappy one for his purpose. For clearly, if you jam, if you if you have ten leaky buckets, all of them with a hole somewhere or other, and you jam them together in such a way that the holes are in different parts of the arrangement. The holes in the bottom of each bucket are squashed close to solid parts of the bottoms of neighboring neighboring buckets. You will get a container that holds water. Oh, I love that. Ten. Leaky buckets squeezed in together can hold water. Ten. Leaky arguments put together in the proper way can prove their conclusion. Now let's go back let's go further down to to Swinburne. Next quotation. An argument from Peter ah may be invalid. Another argument from Q to R may be invalid. But if you run the arguments together, you could well get a valid deductive argument. Keep reading with me. The argument from P and Q to R may be valid. And here's the example. The argument from all students have long hair too. Smith has long hair is invalid. Because Smith might not be a student. And so too is the argument from Smith. As a student, too. Smith has long hair. But if the argument goes like this, all students have long hair and Smith is a student. Therefore, Smith has long hair. And remember, the parts of this are all inductive, but when you put them together, you not only have a deductive argument, but it's valid. All right. Now, here's another example. The fact that Smith has blood on his hands hardly makes it probable that Smith murdered Mrs. Jones. Nor by itself does the fact that Smith stood to gain from Mrs. Jones death. Nor by itself does the fact that Smith was near the scene of the murder at the time of its being committed. But all of these phenomena, taken together, perhaps with other phenomena as well, may indeed make the conclusion probable. So my conclusion of this section is the explanatory power of theism is based not on single isolated arguments, but on the cumulative case. One gets by reflecting on the existence of the universe, the order of the universe, and the facts of human rationality, moral consciousness, and religious experience. Okay. Now. The next section is crucial. It's the distinction between a scientific explanation and a personal explanation. Let me define those two terms. A scientific explanation is one that explains a phenomenon solely with reference to the laws of science. Here is an example of a scientific explanation. I drive my car north to Minnesota, let us say, in November without checking the antifreeze. Let's say I have none. And then the first night I'm in Grand Marais, Minnesota, which is near the Canadian border. I've been there. The temperature drops to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. I get up in the morning and my radiator is leaking great big cracks in my radiator. Now, What's is there an explanation? Sure. And what is the explanation? It's a scientific explanation. When water freezes, when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and then the water freezes. When water freezes, it expands. And if we're talking about water that's confined in a radiator block, the expansion of that water through freezing will cause the radiator to crack and the engine blocked a crack. And you've got a car that isn't going to go very far. Okay. That's a scientific explanation. Different example. You stay in Florida, the temperature doesn't drop below 60 degrees. You wake up in the morning and your radiator has been cracked. In fact, the cracks have the distinct appearance of someone taking a sledgehammer and beating the steel up. Okay. Now will a scientific explanation. Tell you why the second radiator is leaking? No, because the temperature didn't go below freezing. The water didn't freeze. The second account requires a personal explanation. Some in some intelligent. And I'm sorry, this is not an intelligent person doing this. Some Afghan terrorist took a hammer to your radiator and broke it. Okay. Two other analogies. You sent your the air and your tires going down, you take it into a Goodyear Place act and tire. You say? I think I got a nail. They put it, you know, they test it. They say, Here's the nail. We'll fix your tire. You can be out on the highway in no time at all. That's a scientific explanation. But if you find that there are 20 nails pounded in every one of your four tires. What you need is not a scientific explanation. You need a personal explanation that refers to human intention, human planning, human action, the mind design purpose. That's a personal explanation. Now, when we get to the end of this chapter, I'm going to give you a number of examples of certain phenomena in the world that cannot be explained scientifically. They are such that they can only be explained in terms of mind intention. Purpose. Planning. If there are such phenomena in nature, let me tell you. You are in the presence of a potential argument for God's existence. Are you with me? Now we're going to skip pages to 96 through to 98, because that's a variation on the argument I gave you last week. Let me just suggest that you follow this line of thinking. Remember my little argument last week about the number one? Okay. Just substitute for the number one, the existence of any truth at all. And this the argument in your textbook proceeds in exactly the same way. But I've got other fish to fry here, and that's what I want to pursue. So we're going to we're going to we're skipping to page 298. Little bit of history. It was. I think it was last it was February of this year. Time flies when you get to be an old man. When Dr. Hugh Ross, who is a Christian astrophysicist, came to our teams to discuss some possible ways in which his ministry and our Ministry of Arts could work together. I wish I had more information to share with you about that. Incidentally, it was while Hugh Ross was here that he told me the information about Carl Sagan. The information that I shared with you, our first class or two together. Anyway, the following people were sitting in one of the conference rooms up and down the hallway here. I was in there. Luther Whitlock was there, our mom, when he was there. John Frame was there. And. One or two other people were there and to get the discussion going. Luter Whitlock asked Hugh Ross this question. What is the relationship between natural theology and the kinds of apologetic concerns that, you know, the faculty on this campus have? Here's the point to that. We're not very big on this campus. Whether we come out of the background of Van Tils apologetic or Gordon Clark's apologetic or reformed epistemology. We're just not big anymore on digging around for proofs for God's existence. So Luther Whitlock's pleasant question was tell us a little bit about natural theology and how you use it and how it can fit what we do here. Well, you, Ross, made a number of statements that were all pretty good, and then I felt that I felt the need to butt in and I ordered the following two or three sentences and one I was through uttering them. I sat back and I thought this to myself. I said, Now, you've never said that before. And I said, No, that's true. I have these conversations with myself and I enjoy them very much. You know, we all ought to have a conversation with some intelligent person now and then. Now I'm joking, of course. But not only did I like what I said, I said this to myself. Nash, Not only have you never said that to yourself before, but that's a profound comment that you ought to put in writing somewhere. And I am. I write a regular column for you, Ross magazine, and that's going to be the lead in to my next column. But I haven't told you yet what I said. I said, Gentlemen, in the last 15 years, something incredible has happened in the area of natural theology. Pay attention to me. If I think this is important, I wanted to change your life. Okay. Now, here's what's happened. I said and I'm going to write this on the board because this is so good. I think in the last 15 years, the content of natural theology has expanded exponentially. And then I'm sure I said, Wow. Now. Then I went on to explain, and this is why, you see, 15 years ago when I wrote this book, I didn't know about these arguments for God's existence. I didn't know about this expansion of the content of natural theology. And you know why? Because we didn't have the technology 15 years ago to know these things. All of this technology has come on the scene all since the early 1980s. And with these advances in technology, all of a sudden when we start looking at natural theology, we've got. We've got thousands and thousands and thousands of new pieces of information to draw upon. Now, here are the three kinds of technology that have developed since I wrote Faith and Reason. And let me put this on the board. First of all, in the matter of astrophysics, which is you, Ross, is territory, two pieces of technology at the minimum, the Hubble telescope and the Kobe satellite. If you're impressed so far, raise your hand. Yes, hundreds of people in the audience are raising their hands. Thank you for that vote of confidence. Do you do you think about the Kobe satellite often when you go to bed at night? I bet you don't. Or the Hubble telescope. Now. When did these things go up? All. 89. 90 sometime around there. Now, what do we know about the Hubble telescope? Well, you know that when the Hubble telescope was put up there in the first place, there was a defect in the mirror. And some of our space guys had to go up there and change the lens. I guess it was the lens that was that was wrong because everything was kind of fuzzy and out of focus. But once they changed the lens, then we began to get all of these incredible photographs of the distant reaches of the universe that you've all seen on the cover of Time magazine and other places. And if you want to see some of these new photographs, subscribe to Hugh Ross magazine, which is called Facts for Faith. Okay. Just incredible stuff. All of a sudden we were able to get these dramatic photographs of the births of new planets and the deaths of old stars and then all things happening to the OC. Now, the Kobe satellite, it had the ability to measure variations in temperature and radiation. And so you, Ross, comes along and begins to publish and a series of books, one titled The Fingerprints of Fingerprint of God, the Cosmos and the Creator. And then he also published a book that I'd rather not talk about because it is a book about various dimensions in the universe. And I don't think that book works at all. But Ross was producing evidence for the Big Bang Theory. Now, I know there are people out there who don't like to hear Christians talk about the Big Bang Theory, and I know that some of those people are on this campus. But I don't care. This is important information. And if it is possible for science to do anything to demonstrate or offer supporting evidence for the creation event. This information seems to be very important in that respect. Now, what's the second kind of technology? The second kind of technology comes out of microbiology, and it would be these new powerful microscopes that allow us for the first time. To actually see what is going on inside of living cells. We didn't have that technology 15 years ago. So if you Ross was one of the major pioneers in astrophysics because of the Hubble telescope and the Kobe satellite. The guy who made the first publishing Mark with respect to advances in microbiology was Michael Behe, a professor of microbiology at Lehigh University and a Roman Catholic OC. And B, he wrote the incredible book called Darwin's Black Box. And what I do in those pages in your textbook is I summarize some of the major points made by Michael Behe in his book, Darwin's Black Box. Now, just to add a little more information here, what is a black box? Apparently, it's a term that scientists use all the time in certain fields. A black box is something whose output we understand we can recognize, whose output produces phenomena that we can study, but we don't understand what's going on inside the box. The content of the box is a mystery. Darwin's Black Box B, he argues, is. The cell of living creatures. When Darwin developed his theory of evolution, he didn't know anything about the human cell. And so he developed a system of theories as evolutionary theory and everything else. But he didn't understand. He didn't know. He couldn't know that if you have an opportunity to study the most fundamental part of life, that is the cell. You're going to find that your evolutionary theories collapse. So what, Michael Behe, given the new technology available to microbiologists, what he points out is. That life cannot exist. That living cells cannot exist without their using machines. And the word machine is really appropriate here. It's an analogy, of course, but B, he finds all of these systems, all of these machines that evidence what he calls irreducible complexity. And without any of this, there can be, you know. Now, what would be examples of these machines? Let me just read from B here. It's the middle page on 301. The processes of life within a cell are made possible by machines composed of molecules. According to behe, molecular machines hall car go from one place to another in the cell along highways made of other molecules, while still other molecules act as cables, ropes and pulleys. To hold the cell in shape, machines turn cellular switches on and off, sometimes killing the cell or causing it to grow. Manufacturing machines build other molecular machines as well as themselves. Cells swim using machines, copy themselves with machinery, ingest food with machinery. Every process occurring in a cell is controlled by complex and sophisticated molecular machines. Now I'm skipping a lot here, but here is the point. If we have only two kinds of explanation, scientific and personal explanation, there is no scientific explanation for these processes, for these machines that explain life. The only explanation that works is a personal explanation that this stuff is designed. Okay. Now, before we go further, let me just go back one more page to 299 and illustrate this. All of this in terms of two kinds of order. And let me suggest this as a thing that you should learn as you work through this. Just as there are two kinds of explanation. So two, there are two kinds of order. There is scientific explanation. There's personal explanation. Now, the first kind of order is order that results from the nature of the material of which a thing is made. The example of that first kind of order would be a snowflake. I don't know about you, but I remember early in my Christian life, a lot of preachers would get up and they'd show a picture of a snowflake and they'd say, Well, that's Snowflake in all of its beauty proves the existence of God. No, it doesn't. A snowflake manifests order, but it represents a kind of scientific order, a kind of natural order. But there's a second kind of order that does not arise from a natural set of causes. And it is an order that entails the existence of an intelligent cause. I go on to mention an example that my son and I saw on our first trip out West 1982 or 83 in Arches National Park, which is in northeastern Utah, and it's about 20 miles north of Moab, Utah. The end of the world. You drive into Arches National Park and the first rock formation you see resembles a sheep. Let me see if in my footnote, I mention a movie. It is Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. You can see that sheep's rock today. If you go to Blockbuster and rent Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, it's. So when your wife says, What are you doing? You say, this is this is a scientific experiment. It's a requirement for my philosophy, cause I got to watch Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. You're going to look at the sheep's rock and you're going to see that is a kind of created order. There has to have been a sculptor, someone who made that sheep's rock. Let me read from the text. The resemblance is so uncanny that some might regarded as the work of a brilliant sculptor. Sculptor. But once we examine the rock, we see that it is a product of natural erosion. The formation may look as though it was deliberately car, but on closer inspection see from a different angle, you'll notice the resemblance is only superficial. The shape invariably accords with what erosion can do as it acts on the natural cone. I can see Maud and Amy driving through Arches National Park, and Maud says, Prove that God exists. But sheep rock. I don't think so. Mort or Amy, whatever your name is. Now, the second kind of order, the order that requires an intelligent cause, is represented by the faces on Mount Rushmore. You see the point? First order. Nothing of any theological consequence. The second order, the faces on the granite cliff. Do not follow the natural composition of the rock. The chip marks cut a book cut across both hard and soft sections. Here you need an intelligent designer. Okay. Now, what's the difference between these two kinds of order? And the two kinds of explanation is understood. The distinction between natural and intelligently imposed order is obvious. If the only kind of order we discovered in the universe were natural order, we would be justified in saying that the sufficient reason for this order is natural causes. No intelligent cause is necessary. But what do we do if and when we encounter the second kind of order that which points to the existence of intelligence? This is the kind of natural theology that these new technologies have given us. Okay. So we have you you Bryce's work in astrophysics. We have Michael B, his work in microbiology. And the third kind of technology is related to information systems specifically. Well, let me give you two examples. Okay. Let me give you two examples. Suppose the first men on the moon were walking around and they came up against, let's say, the flat surface of a little cliff or a little wall. And, you know, they've got their video camera with them and they see some kind of. Cutting in the stone and let us see. The symbols they see are something like this and some linguist somewhere in Afghanistan, let us say, views this, views this on television. And he says, I know that language. That is a sentence that is a proposition in. And name the language, anything you want. And you say, Well, what does it say? And the Afghan scientist says, it says, Welcome to the moon. Okay. Welcome to the moon. Now, we got two kinds of order here. Natural order and designed order. Which kind of order would this be? It doesn't take a genius to figure it out. This requires intelligence design. Which kind of our two. Which of our two kinds of explanation are applicable here? Scientific explanation or if this is language, then obviously it points to a source that is intelligent, a mind. A different example, and this is a better one. I think I get it from Richard Taylor, who is a professor of mine at Brown University. And Richard, this has been cited many, many times, and I've used it in three or four books. Richard Taylor put it in a book called Metaphysics. Use this yourself. This is a great example. Imagine someone who is on a train in Britain and he's traveling from London to Wales. I've been on that train several times. Nice drive. Okay. And just about the time when you leave England and enter into Wales, you look up at a hillside and you see a whole lot of white stones amid the green grass. And the white stones seem to be arranged in such a way. It seems to say this The British Railways welcome you to Wales. Can you see a picture of all the white stones in your mind? Okay, now this is the way Richard Taylor reasons. He says you've got two possibilities. Either those stones fell into that arrangement by chance, or those stones were placed in that order by intelligent people who were following a plan. Okay. You would agree that those are the only two choices. Now, if you believe get the hypothetical reasoning here, if you believe those stones fell into that arrangement by chance with no purpose, no would tell. There's no intelligent order here. Then guess what? You'd better not assume that you're really entering Wales at that particular moment. But if on seeing those stones you reason like this, I must be entering Wales at this particular moment. And you base your conclusions solely on the evidence of those stones. Then you must believe those stones were placed in that arrangement as a result of an intelligent plan. Okay, then Richard Taylor goes on to reason like this. Our human sense organs. We rely upon our human sense organs for all kinds of information about the world. But what if you're a naturalist? What if you believe that your sense organs evolved in this particular way solely as a result of chance forces of nature? Here's the horrible consequence, Richard Taylor says. Just as if you believe the naturalistic falling down of those rocks. Then you've got you'd be a fool to infer that the message that seems to be conveyed by those rocks is true. So too, if you believed in the natural evolution of your sense organs, you would be just as unreasonable to believe the truth of what you think your senses are telling you about the world. If you believe your sense organs and you say they are really giving me information about the world, then you've got to believe that there's some kind of intelligent design, some kind of intelligent plan that helped make you the kind of perceiving person that you are. If you don't believe that, you really have no epistemological justification for believing anything that your senses tell you, and everybody who does trust their senses, who is an evolutionist is really cheating, is really cheating. So. Communal information systems. Now, let me just sort of read a little bit from this. I give you just two pages on this, possibly an even more impressive example of a sign of intelligent order in the human cell. You have beat these machines. Okay. But the information stored in DNA within the cell, without which life could not exist and development could not occur. This is even more impressive. The answer to the origin and development of life lies within the components of the cell. And in the last two decades, a number of scientists have described DNA. See my footnote there as an information system that is part of a biological structure. To quote these two thinkers, the DNA molecule functions as a code, and it is best explained using concepts borrowed from monarch Modern Communications Theory. If you've ever seen the DNA molecule, remember, it's like a long ladder that's twisted into a spiral shape and the sides of the ladder are composed of sugar and phosphate molecules, and the rungs of the ladder contain four bases that function like the letters of a genetic alphabet. And these bases join in different sequences to form the chemical equivalent of words and sentences and paragraphs. Now, I know if you've not read this stuff, this may sound fantastic to you, but it is fantastic. This is exactly what we have here. There is an analogy between DNA in the cell and language that gives rise to what is called a sequence hypothesis. And the sequence hypothesis assumes that the exact order of symbols, records, information and the sequences in DNA spell out encoded form. The instructions for how a cell makes proteins, it works just the way alphabetical letters sequences do in this article to give information about origins. Now. I'm very impressed by this stuff. As I said, the content, once this technology was invented and made available to us, the content of natural theology expanded exponentially. You've got to understand that I am the kind of guy who for 20 years looked down his big nose whenever I could, brush the hair out of my eyes, looked down my big nose and said, I wish the scientists would shut up there over their heads. They don't know what they're talking about. Scientists should stop trying to prove God's existence and let us philosophers do it. I was kind of an arrogant son of a gun back then. I'm glad. I think. I'm glad I found humility somewhere along the way. Okay. But doggone, I'm. I'm repentant people. I'm not so arrogant and stiff necked and so on that I cannot admit that I was wrong. This is powerful stuff. And if you've not read these books that I refer to in the footnotes, let me urge you to do so. Now, there is one problem with this stuff. As arguments for God's existence, it's almost impossible to summarize briefly. Okay. Take you, Ross, for example. One of the reasons why I don't talk about you, Ross, in this chapter, and I told you Ross this to his face is I said, you I don't know how to summarize your stuff in 500 or 1000 words. I don't know how to do that. So if I'm talking with someone that I want to, you know, to learn about this wrong, I really have to do is long them a copy of one of you Ross books here read the creator in the Cosmos or read Darwin's Black Box or read this stuff. The signs of life, language and meaning of DNA, which, as I explain in one footnote, is written by a scientist who wasn't even a Christian. Okay. Like an and here I'm quoting from this book by Robert Pollak. Like any proper encyclopedia, a human genome is divided and subdivided into volumes, articles, sentences and words. And as in an encyclopedia written in English or Hebrew, words are further divided into letters. Oh, I'm impressed.