by Saints and Sceptics
1) The fundamental question is not “how did God create the universe?” but “did God create the universe”? Do not confuse the design argument with questions about evolution.
2) The discovery of laws and mechanisms which describe how particles behave or how life came about do not explain God away. Because a rational, personal God would create an orderly, regular universe, theism led the first scientists to predict that nature would be governed by laws and mechanisms which could be described in the language of mathematics. The discovery of such laws and mechanisms confirm theism; they do not undermine it at all!
3) A universe ordered by laws and mechanisms which can be described in the language of mathematics seems much likelier if theism is true. In fact, the patterns that physics reveals are quite stunning in their elegance. Our universe is not only ordered; it can only be described by using deep, advanced mathematics. This would seem to require a mathematician of the highest order: the hall-mark of a designer.
4) There are arguably good grounds for rejecting the hypothesis of unguided, or unplanned, evolution. The mechanisms which explain evolution would themselves require design. Evolution depends on replicators: structures which cause copies of themselves to be made; each acts as its own template for copying. The copying system must allow for a little variation in each new generation: this allows a population of variants to come into existence. Yet the copying process must also be very reliable – otherwise beneficial variations would not be preserved. Finally, to explain taxonomic diversity and organised complexity , these replicators must be able to combine to form vehicles - that is, structures ( for example, organisms) which work to propagate their replicators
5) It is unlikely that these mechanisms would produce complex, conscious life without planning or guidance. There are no easy, gentle slopes to the peak of Mount Improbable. Imagine a long sequence of evolutionary transitions from the first cells all the way to us. Even if each transition in this chain — from the first to the second, from the second to the third, and so on – were highly probable, it would not follow that the transition from the first to the last is highly probable. Probabilities multiply; multiply a big probability like 9999/10000 by itself enough times and you arrive at a very, very small probability…
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