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A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

Select Quotes from Scientists Regarding the Appearance of Design in the Universe

Though origins apologetics is not really my speciality, I wrote a piece a while back about the appearance of design in the origins of the universe. Not ready to revise the whole thing, but as I was reviewing it I was once again impressed by the number of top scientists who either suspect their is design in the universe or at least have to admit that it sure looks that way (even if they try to explain it away). So here's that list:

Fred Hoyle: "A superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology" The Universe, at 16.

Paul Davies: "The laws [of physics] seem themselves to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design." There "is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all.... It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature's numbers to make the Universe.... The impression of design is overwhelming." The Cosmic Blueprint, at 203.
George Greenstein: "As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency--or, rather, Agency--must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme God? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?" The Symbiotic Universe, at 27.

Tony Rothman--theoretical physicist: "The medieval theologian who gazed at the night sky through the eyes of Aristotle and saw angels moving the spheres in harmony has become the modern cosmologist who gazes at the same sky through the eyes of Einstein and sees the hand of God not in angels but in the constants of nature.... When confronted with the order and beauty, it's very tempting to take the leap of faith from science into religion. I am sure many physicists want to. I only wish they would admit it." A What You see Is What You Beget Theory, Discover, May 1987, at 99.

Cosmologists Bernard Carr and Martin Rees: "Nature does exhibit remarkable coincidences and these do warrant some explanation." "The anthropic principle and the structure of the world," Carr and Rees, at 612.

B. Carr: "One would have to conclude either that the features of the universe invoked in support of the Anthropic Principle are only coincidences or that the universe was indeed tailor-made for life. I will leave it to the theologians to ascertain the identity of the tailor." Carr, at 153.

Physicist Freeman Dyson: "The problem here is to try to formulate some statement of the ultimate purpose of the universe. In other words, the problem is to read the mind of God." Infinite in All Directions, at 298.

MIT physicist Vera Kistiakowsy: "The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine." Henry Margenau and Roy Abraham, eds., Cosmos, Bios, and Theo, at 52.

Nobel Price winning physicist Arno Penzias: "Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say 'supernatural') plan." Id. at 52.

Theoretician Alexander Polyakov: "We know that nature is described by the best of all possible mathematics because God created it. So there is a chance that the best of all possible mathematics will be created out of physicists' attempts to describe nature." Stuart Gannes, Fortune, 12 October 1986, at 57.

Mathematician and Stephen Hawking colleague Roger Penrose: "I would say that the universe has a purpose. It's not there just somehow by chance." A Brief History of Time, Movie.

Cosmologists George Ellis: "Amazing fine-tuning occurs in the laws that make this possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word 'miraculous' without taking a stand as to the ontological status of that world." The Anthropic Principle: Laws and Environments, at 30.

Cosmologist Edward Harrison: "Here is the cosmological proof of the existence of God--the design argument of Paley--updated and refurbished. The fine-tuning of the universe provides prima facie evidence of deistic design. Take your choice: blind chance that requires multitudes of universes or design that requires only one.... Many scientists, when they admit their views, incline toward the teleological or design argument." Masks of the Universe, at 252, 263.

Astronomer Allan Sandage: "I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing." John Noble Wilford, "Sizing Up the Cosmos," New York Times, 12 March 1991, at B9.

Mathematical physicist Robert Griffiths: "If we need an atheist for a debate, I got to the philosophy department. The physics department isn't much use." Tim Stafford, "Cease-fire in the Laboratory," Christianity Today, 3 April 1987, at 18.

Even Stephen Hawking admits that "it would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us." A Brief History of Time, at 127.

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