Atheism and the Origin of Matter
Some time ago I read in a modern textbook on elementary science this statement: "The earth's history begins with its birth from a cloud of primeval dust." The textbook did not say where the cloud of primeval dust came from. But the first verse of the Bible says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." I accept this for two reasons:
1. Because I believe the Bible to be a revelation from God.
2. This is the only sensible explanation of the origin of matter I have ever heard.
The textbook referred to admits that "our description of azoic times must be based on indirect evidence and scientific guesswork." But atheists reject the Bible account of creation because they think that belief in an eternal and self-existent God is unrealistic and unscientific. Atheists don't like to be bothered with origins. They prefer to start with something already in existence (like a fellow building a twenty-story building and trying to leave out the first floor). But give him a "cloud of primeval dust" to start with and it is amazing what theories he can build. But let's be realistic for a minute and consider origins, the origin of matter to be specific.
(1) Is matter eternal? If anyone thinks so, I haven't heard about it. (2) Did matter create itself? If so, then it acted before it existed. That would be quite a trick. If anyone thinks that, I don't believe I have anything to say to him. He'll be all right. (3) If it did not create itself, then it was created by some outside force. Who or what was that force? The Bible says it was God. Atheism says, "We don't know, but we know it wasn't God." And that's the scientific approach. Josh Billings used to say, "It ain't what we don't know that's hurting us. It's knowin' so many things that ain't so."
There had to be a first cause, an uncaused cause. There cannot be an endless chain of dependent clauses. To illustrate: The egg came from the chicken, which in turn came from an egg, which came from another chicken, and so on back. But there had to be somewhere a first chicken or a first egg. Every effect has its cause. The cause must be adequate to 'produce the effect. My typewriter is an effect. There had to be a cause. It had to be an intelligent cause. Typewriters give evidence of design and contrivance, meaning intelligent planning. The universe shows evidence of intelligent design. Intelligence presupposes personality, and personality in this case is God. Not only is the God of Gen. 1:1 a "force," He is a Person.
"The Fool hath Said . . ."
There first verse of the 14th Psalm says, "The fool hath said in his heart there is no God." The first verse of the 19th Psalm says, "The heavens declare the glory of God . . ."
Strange as it may seem, many people say they find it difficult to believe in the existence of an intelligent, eternal, personal, FIRST CAUSE: The Bible calls Him God. But get outside some starlit night and look up. While you are looking, remember that you are standing on a little planet that makes an annual journey of about 588 million miles around the sun, traveling at the rate of more than 63 thousand miles an hour; that the little planet is only one of nine that make up our solar system, and they, too, revolve around the sun. The earth makes it once a year, but it takes Neptune 164 and 1 / 2 years to make the journey. Pluto, I believe, takes 248 years for the same journey. Remember that these planets have their satellites which revolve around, them. The moon is our only satellite, but Jupiter has 12. When you have comprehended the magnitude of this solar system, the space required for it and the perfect timing with which it operates, then remember that our solar system is only one of more than 300 million. Our sun is so large that if it were hollow and had a shell 100 thousand miles thick, there would be plenty of room on the inside of the sun to place both the earth and the moon at their distance of 240 thousand miles apart. Then remember that in the universe there are other suns that make ours look infinitesimal.
Try to imagine the space required for such a galaxy of worlds. Space unlimited. But if you find it hard to conceive of unlimited space, try putting limits on it. What would you have at the end of space? The closest "fixed" star Alpha Centaure, is so far from the earth that the light that left it five years ago is just now getting here, traveling at 186 thousand miles per second!
If you conclude, with these facts before you, that no intelligence was required to produce and arrange all this, that no power was needed to "wind" up this gigantic clock and keep it running, that all this is the result of blind chance, then don't you smile indulgently at some poor soul if he should tell you that Hamlet was not written by Shakespeare at all, but was the result of an explosion in a print shop.
Truth Magazine XXI: 32, pp. 503-504