To God-Believing Michael:
(I'm not even sure anymore what's been covered in the Believing-Michael debates - but this is me throwing in my two cents...)
Earth appears to be a very rare place. Earth has conditions on which to
support life, and allow life to evolve and flourish. Lots of events
seem to have been necessary for this: a magnetic field, a moon, a
meteor bombardment at just the right time, continental drift, etc. How
did life get here? It could have been floating through space. It could
be that the chemicals to produce life occur when certain elements are
And, it could have been implanted here by a God. What do you think is more likely?
If you look back on the history of human's search for answers to natural phenomenon, each time there is a groundswell of support by the religious that it is God who did it. And the scientists say, “No, there is an answer to this.” And every time the scientists find an answer, the religious take up their fight again
on the next question that is unanswered.
So, wouldn’t it be arguable that the most likely answer to the question of how life arose on Earth is that there is some natural, scientific answer? Crick is
right, it IS miraculous (in the sense that it is has a small chance of
happening) that life arose on earth. The conditions had to be just
But we don’t even know how many chances there really are out there for life. If the Universe is as big as it appears to be, and there are as many stars as we calculate there are, and as many planets and moons and so forth, it seems that – even with an
infinitesimally small chance of life taking hold on a planet, there is
still room for that to happen.
So, wouldn’t it be more prudent to go with the conservative answer? Not leap to God, but to instead assume that life arising on earth is a natural phenomenon?
Personally I have no problems with the panspermia hypothesis. Sounds
reasonable to me. I think that the seeds of life are ubiquitous in the
Universe, and that this is a likely way that life began here on Earth.
I don’t know exactly what this has to do with God, frankly. Or more specifically, what it has to do with a God that wanted us to exist (and knows our thoughts
and feelings, cares about us individually, sent his son to die for our
Do you deny that evolution is the way that nature creates species? I can’t remember if you are a young earth creationist or not. If you accept evolution, don’t you see what a horrifying and uncaring process it is? Even if God cared about human beings, why wouldn’t God care about all the other animals that lived, struggled, and died along the way? Why would God create human beings through the method of evolution, a
process that inevitably caused inestimable heart-ache and pain for our
species, people, human beings just like us?
For example, one of the costs of humans having a large brain is that females have a hard time giving birth. Their birth canal cannot accommodate such a big
brained baby easily. Think of all the mothers with narrow hips who died
in childbirth! Millions, probably. Women who were smart and cared
deeply about their babies. But still – killed off, the horrible
by-product of evolution. Why would your God do that to these women?
What had they done to deserve this?
For me, evolution and life as a natural product of the Universe is the most conservative and reasonable answer I can give in the face of this evidence. This allows me to feel compassion for those women and feel enormously lucky that I
am not one of those women. I get to have a full life. I get the luxury
of being able to love my friends and family for a very long time. Even
if I died tomorrow, I am still the lucky recipient of being born at
just the right time to live a long life.
But what would I feel like if there were a God who decided that those women should die in childbirth and that I should not? What a horrifying, uncaring,
maniacal, diabolical creature that would be! Fortunately I do not have
to hate God. Because science has given me a reasonable answer to these
complex realities. And that is the view of earth and our Universe as a
natural landscape, filled with accidents and natural selection.
So I ask you, Michael, “Why do you believe what you believe? What is the God like that you believe in?