The First Miracle of Naturalism

Two Basic Worldviews

“The theories and discoveries of thousands of physicists since the 1930s have resulted in a remarkable insight into the fundamental structure of matter: everything in the universe is found to be made from a few basic building blocks called fundamental particles, governed by four fundamental forces. Our best understanding of how these particles and three of the forces are related to each other is encapsulated in the Standard Model of particle physics...

...Although the Standard Model accurately describes thephenomena within its domain, it is still incomplete. Perhaps it is only a part of a bigger picture that includes new physics hidden deep in the subatomic world or in the dark recesses of theuniverse” (CERN, 2017). People are enamored with modern science for its ability to provide mechanistic explanations. The idea is that scientists do the responsible thing and actually uncover how, scientifically, things occur rather than invoking some supernatural explanation. The holy grail of science would seem to be a mechanistic explanation for the origin of the universe of itself. I know at least one scientist has attempted such a grand unification theory—a mechanistic explanation for all of life and the universe. However, isn’t it apparent that a mechanistic explanationfor the ultimate origin of the universe is impossible? Clearly, naturalists/materialists are going to have to have a “first miracle”—the existence of some set of components that cannot be reduced any further and that cannot account for their own existence. To suggest that these components brought themselves into existence is a logical contradiction. For something to bring itself into existence would require the thing to exist before it existed.

This suggests that a cosmologist’s preoccupation with mechanistic explanations is little more than an elaborate stalling technique. Methodological naturalism won’t save scientists from having to invoke a “miracle” at the earliest stage of the game (of course they wouldn’t owe such a miracle to a personal God). Why then do many scientists act as though it’s critical to deny creationists their miraculous creation account?

Regardless of whether evolution is true or not, the fundamental elements of our universe owe their existence to one of only two causes: an impersonal force or a personal force. These categories are both mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive. And science cannot lend a birds-eye view on the process in either scenario. Science cannot hand us the basic answers, so logic—not science—should be used to define the parameters of what is reasonable.

There is nothing unreasonable about the concept of a personal creative force. It represents a logical fit with our universe, first and foremost with ourselves! We are personal (volitional, self-conscious, and rational). But for the past two-hundred years—since thepublication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species—this conclusion has become increasingly unpopular. The general consensus seems to be:“Why conclude God when you can dream up an impersonal force?” I hope that many in our generation will come to see that those who insistupon impersonal forces must invoke their own miracle, and far from being responsible, display an inexcusable negligence of logic.

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© 2020 by S.P. Clifton