Thursday, April 3, 2014

Enough evidence for you, Mr. Russell?

This video will put into perspective for you the extremely fragile niche which Planet Earth occupies in the vastness of the known universe. (Click on the four corners emblem at the lower right to watch it fullscreen.)

Earth is:

  • just the right distance from the Sun to allow water and carbon-based life
  • now at just the unique time in the Sun's evolution for its light and energy to foster and not destroy us (as it will in a few billion years)
  • in a solar system just the right distance away from the galactic center for long-term stability
  • in a perfect spot to allow astronomers to see out to the farthest edges of space
  • circled by a moon at just the right distance to allow total solar eclipses
  • at the point in time when humans have evolved to hold the keys to their own fate

Do you begin to grasp why belief in God is at least rational?

Note: my title is taken from the rather supercilious response Bertrand Russell once gave to the question of what he would say to God if, upon his death, he found himself before Him: "I would tell him that He did not provide enough evidence for rational belief."


  1. "Not enough evidence, God! Not enough evidence!"

    If Bertrand is where I think he is, I wonder how many times he has been commanded to recite those particular words.

  2. Actually, I don't think the points related would be enough evidence. Given the size of the universe (the number of stars and the number of galaxies) it would be pretty surprising if there weren't several (perhaps even many) planets that would meet those tests.

    I would suggest that arbitrary physical properties of the universe (e.g. ratio of electromagnetic force to gravitational force) would be more convincing.

    A good short book on that topic is Martin Rees "Just Six Numbers". Note that Rees is not a theist.

    These kind of speculations however do not 'prove' the existence of God however in my opinion. What they do is make that existence at least somewhat plausible.

    What would faith mean after all if it was just plain as the nose on one's face?

  3. I couldn't agree with you more, OldCrusader -- it's not that the points illustrated by the video are "enough" evidence for everyone -- it's that they are evidence -- sufficient for some, but not for all. God does not work in "proofs", but in rational appeals to what He has "written on our hearts." Being made in His image, man is uniquely equipped to understand and appreciate the evidence for God's existence -- and how nice of Him to have situated Earth precisely where our astronomers could gather the data so impressively represented in the accuracy of the video!

    But He did not intend for His evidence to convince everyone in and of itself; otherwise, he simply could have written "By Me -- God" in the aurora borealis. Each has to make up his own mind, because God wants only those who take up His offer of grace in their own hearts and minds. And for my money, the video serves only to confirm what I have long believed anyway. May it, perhaps, serve as an impetus for another to begin the quest to find a home for his (or her) restless heart.

  4. Observe in Bertrand Russell's statement the implication that God is responsible for his lack of belief.

    This is consistent with Russell's immaturity and superficiality on virtually everything he wrote regarding God.

    Unfortunately, Russell was never able to see beyond his own hubris to recognise that he had fallen into the ancient trap of reproaching God for his personal sin, folly, and rejection of the truth regarding his own Creator and Origin.

    As we Reformed Protestants sometimes sing,
    "Creator God, our Sovereign Lord,
    The heavens tell, the stars have shown,
    Your splendour, might and deity..."