One of the more imponderable aspects of the growing number of agnostics and atheists is their claim that there is no evidence for the intelligent creator of the universe that we call God. But clearly the created universe manifests intelligibility and order from the farthest reaches of the cosmos and outer space down to our small planet and further down into the “inner space” of microscopic bacteria, cells, and the intricate order of atoms and molecules. Science affirms the Creator by uncovering the inner order and intelligibility of created things. But strangely, the opposite trend seems be happening in this age of science.
Indeed, creation is a veritable symphony of billions of notes and movements working together in an extraordinary harmony and melody which seem to shout, “I was composed, and carefully though out. My master artist and composer is also the great conductor of my symphony, so carefully laid out.”
That the created world is intelligible is the very basis of the sciences. The world manifests meaning that we can discover and it moves along in predictable ways; it does not randomly change from one thing to the next from moment to moment. Because there is order and intelligibility, a scientist can predict, propose and test theories, and replicate results. Without order and intelligibility there could be no scientific method.
And yet many of the scientists who use this scientific method deny the Intelligence who gives the intelligibility that their science presumes. For if the created world is intelligible, then clearly an intelligence imposed this intelligibility upon it. That the created world manifests order demonstrates that someone so ordered it.
Even if one were to argue that all of this intricate order happened just by accident at one moment, it would then require something to maintain that order and keep it from breaking down the very next instant into something completely different. And yet this does not happen. Reality does not randomly mutate suddenly into something else. It follows predictable laws, and changes are orderly and exhibit continuity with what went before. Order is not only present at one instant, but is sustained over time and becomes demonstrably more organized as complex life forms have developed. Clearly creation tends toward a certain end in an orderly and progressive way.
That there is order and intelligibility to the created world is demonstrably true, and to deny this fact requires the status of a madman. The universe shouts out, “I was planned, and carefully executed! I have been intricately designed by an intelligent cause moving me in an intelligible direction!”
I would understand if the scientists of the physical sciences were to say that they are not equipped to opine on who or what this intelligence is. Indeed, the physical sciences are not equipped to measure the metaphysical. But that so many scientists claim the ability to deny that there is an intelligence that we believers call God, is for them to be unreasonable and to act outside of their field.
The claim that there is no God is not a scientific claim, it is a philosophical one. And those who claim that there is only the physical and not the metaphysical are making a metaphysical claim! They break their own rule in announcing it. The claim that physical science wholly explains all of reality is not a claim that can be demonstrated scientifically. So once again, the rule is broken the very moment it is announced.
Many will say that there is no evidence of God’s existence because they cannot see it under a microscope or through a telescope. But of course God is not a physical being; he does not tip our scales. He cannot be physically measured any more than can intelligence, justice, mercy, beauty, or any other metaphysical concept. None of these tip a scale or can be seen with the tools of physical science. But they are no less real.
For a reasonable person, there is a great deal of evidence of a Creator, as described above. The whole created world is steeped in intelligibility and order. There is a magnificent interplay between material, efficient, formal, and final causality. The created world shouts by its intelligibility of the intelligence that made it so. It sings, by its order, of the one who so ordered it.
Existence itself proclaims the questions: “Why is there something rather than nothing? Why is there anything at all?” The only reasonable answer that can come back from the existing cosmos is, “I was caused!” Something cannot cause itself anymore than you and I can cause ourselves. We, and the entire cosmos, were caused by someone other than ourselves and outside of ourselves. The cosmos says, “Someone outside of me caused me. That is why I exist. That is why anything exists at all.”
We moderns have become very obtuse and turned inward. If anything, we should be more convinced than ever that God exists as our sciences have revealed such incredible complexity and intricate order at every layer and level of creation. We should be on our knees singing of the incredible wisdom of the Creator who has so perfectly ordered every level of his creation. And yet sadly just the opposite seems to be happening—agnosticism and atheism are growing.
Far too many scientists, who should know better (for there would not be science at all without the intelligibility built into creation), make unfounded denials of God, a pronouncement that is clearly outside their field of expertise. And because so many of us idolize the physical sciences, we give great weight to their nonscientific claims.
In all of this tragic turn of events I am somehow mindful of a little parable told by Venerable Fulton Sheen many decades ago wherein he likens many modern men to a little mouse:
Those who refuse to unify the cosmos in terms of Pure Intelligence but content themselves with secondary causes maybe likened to an all-wise mouse living in a grand piano who…explained the music by the play of hammers on the strings, the action of which could be seen in his own narrow little world. Scientists catch the tune, but miss the player [Old Errors and New Labels Fulton J. Sheen 1931. P. 17].
Yes, we have become mousy in our thinking. We prefer to live inside the piano and explain the music of the spheres only internally, never thinking of the great artist outside, who gives and causes the magnificent, understandable, beautiful, and intricate melody we hear.
Sadly, the great debate over the existence of God seems only to grow, even as the evidence of intelligibility, order, and design increases. It is a great debate of mice and men.
Are you a mouse, or are you a man?
In this video, behold the song of the cosmos: