Wednesday, February 2

Natural Laws and God

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1) "By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth... For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm." (Psalm 33:6, 8) "He set the earth upon its foundations; it can never be moved." (Psalm 104:5) "The highest heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to humankind." (Psalm 115:16; Photo credit to: Archdiocese of Washington, EniG - edited by Aditaya Vadhan, Creation Wiki)

From these verses, mankind is able to determine that by the Word of the Lord, He created the universe, including the earth and mankind. All around us are "natural laws," such as the laws of chemistry, laws of mathematics, laws of physics, and laws of logic, that were established at Creation, "for at his command they were created, and he established them for ever and ever - he issued a decree that will never pass away." (Psalm 148:5-6)

These natural laws govern the universe around us. Take the law of biogenesis, for example, which states that life always comes from life. This law necessitates a Creator, although it does not specify the designer, we know the Creator to be God. Observational science as well as Genesis 1 reveal that living organisms reproduce after their own kind - this law and all other natural laws exist because God created the universe with this order.[1]

Like mankind, the universe obeys specific rules and laws, to which all things must adhere to, they are un-changing. When we examine natural laws we find primary laws of nature, followed by the secondary laws of nature which are based on the first. Consider the big bang hypothesis. Hypothesis means, "possible explanation for an event or solution to a problem, which is based on information."[2] In other words, an interpretation. The "big bang hypothesis" is defined as, "theory that the universe was originally a single dense sphere of hydrogen that exploded into a gigantic expanding cloud that eventually condensed into separate galaxies.[3] One of the leading Astronomical organizations, in their magazine Astronomy Magazine, freely admit, "What came before the big bang? No one knows... Science simply cannot answer this question."[4] God, however, can, and He has, in His Word. God created the heavens and the universe, and ordered them and has kept them in order using what we know as natural laws. Everything in the universe, whether it is a plant or animal, human or rock, light wave or star, whatever it may be, is bound by certain laws which all must obey.

Jeremiah 33:25 tells us that there are laws of nature, "ordinances of heaven and earth." These laws help to describe the way in which God accomplishes His will throughout our universe. The logic of the Lord is built into the universe so that it is not arbitrary in any sense. Indeed our universe obeys the laws of chemistry which are derived from the laws of physics, and several laws of physics are derived from other laws of physics as well as laws of mathematics. These laws are logical and we can extrapolate that these laws only exist because it is God's will.

If there was no law-giver, these laws ought not exist. God's Word is the foundation for natural laws. There are those who claim that these laws do not depend on a designer because man could change the laws or that if we had not discovered them, they would not exist. But consider the following: before Johannes Kepler discovered the Laws of Planetary Motion, did they not exist? Would our planet not already have orbited the sun in ellipses before Kepler discovered this?

Johannes Kepler was a creation scientist who discovered that the planets within our solar system obey three laws of nature. Kepler had found that planets orbit in ellipses and not perfect circles as previously believed, with the sun as its focal point, the focus of the ellipse. It is because of this that a given planet, such as the Earth, is sometimes closer to the sun than at other given times. Kepler also discovered that the planets "sweep out equal areas in equal times," which specifically is showing that planets will speed up as they move closer to the sun within their orbit, and conversely.[5]

The third law discovered by Kepler was the exact mathematical relationship between the distance of a planet from the sun (referred to as "a") and the planet's orbital period (referred to as "p"). Planets that are farther out in the solar system take longer to orbit than the planets which are closer, (shown as p2=a3) these laws also apply to the orbits of moons around a given planet. These laws are not fundamental, but are derived from other laws of nature. Sir Isaac Newton, another famous creation science, discovered that Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion could be mathematically derived from the laws of gravity and motion, which Newton discovered, and are both laws of physics.[6]

The laws of gravity existed before Newton discovered them, so does this mean that had he not, this law would not exist? No, on the contrary since the beginning of time these laws of nature have existed, but it took some time for mankind to discover them - they existed, but were as atoms, hidden. The Law of Life (also known as biogenesis) is a well-known law that, as aforementioned, states that life comes from life. Louis Pasteur disproved of one alleged case of spontaneous generation, showing that life comes from previous life. This law is universal - in other words, "Omne vivum ex ovo," which means, "all life is from life."  Pasteur also commented, "La génération spontanée est une chimère," which is translated as, "spontaneous generation is a dream."[7]

We know that life requires a specific chemistry - each of our bodies are powered by chemical reactions and are dependent on the laws of chemistry. The information that makes up any living being is stored in a molecule called DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid),[8] and if the laws of chemistry were any different, life as we know it could not be possible. God created these laws in a specific way so that life would be possible here on Earth, along with specific atmospheric conditions. (See entry, "The Intricacies of Creation"Different properties are given to different elements, (each of which is made up of a type of atom) and compounds (made up of two or more atoms bonded together). Atoms are the basic units that make up all matter. Electrons, which have a negative charge, are subatomic particles found on orbitals - the flow of electrons constitutes electricity in a conductor. Protons (from the Greek πρωτος, -η, -ον meaning "first")[9] are one of the other three types of subatomic particles in an atom (electrons, protons, and neutrons), and have a mass of 1 amu and a positive charge of +1.

Neutrons, the third subatomic particle, has no charge, as it is electrically neutral, and has slightly more mass than a proton unlike an electron, though both protons and neutrons have a mass of 1 amu. (Atomic Mass Unit) Properties of elements and compounds are not arbitrary, and can be logically organized into what is called "the periodic table," based on their physical properties. Elements on the periodic table are arranged in order of increasing atomic number. There is order to these elements, and it can be clearly seen that the periodic able did not happen by chance. Both atoms and molecules have their various properties because their electrons are bound by the laws of quantum physics. From this we can determine that chemistry was logically derived from the laws of physics. Consider, if quantum physics were slightly different, atoms may not even exist, but God created and designed the laws of chemistry and physics in a specific order so that they would come out the correct way.

Physics describes the behavior of the universe around us, down to the most fundamental levels. As with Chemistry, there are many different laws of physics, such as the way light reproduces, how gravity works, how energy is transported, how the total momentum of objects in a closed system remain constant, and many others. Another example is the law of conservation of charge that states that, "in a closed, isolated system, the total charge of the system remains constant," or the law of reflection which states that "the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection."[10]

The Periodic Table (Click to Enlarge)
Albert Einstein's famous formula E=mc² can be derived from other principles and equations of special relativity, although there are other laws of physics that cannot be derived from separate laws of physics, but many of these have derivative principles. The laws of physics, much like chemistry and mathematics, have been fine-tuned so that human life and other life on earth is possible, which is called the "Anthropic principle." The Anthropic principle can be defined as follows:

"The very presence of life within the universe is reliant upon a large number of extremely improbable events, and even the slightest alteration would make it impossible for life to exist. Everything from the particular energy state of the electron to the exact level of the weak nuclear force seems to be tailored for us to exist. We appear to live in a universe dependent on several independent variables where only a slight change would render it inhospitable for any form of life. And yet, here we are. Proponents of intelligent design draw support from this fact because it strongly suggests that the cosmos has been specifically designed."[11]

By examining the laws of mathematics we are able to determine that most are mathematical in nature. If we did not have the laws of mathematics, we would not have laws of physics and would therefore not have laws of chemistry, and would not have life. Laws include the rules of addition, commutative properties of addition and multiplication, transitive property, binomial theorem, and many others. Mathematics is one of the oldest and most fundamental sciences, and is often regarded as one of God's greatest gifts to mankind. (Jesus Christ is the greatest gift to mankind.) It is possible to envision a universe in which some of the laws of physics are different, but not a consistent universe with different the laws of mathematics, regardless of the fact that these laws do not necessarily attach themselves to any specific part of the universe and as abstract can be applied. Regardless of what God created, these laws of mathematics must true, as God's nature is logical and mathematical, and therefore any universe He created would involve mathematics.

The universe obeyed these laws before man discovered them, such as Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion or Newton's Law of Gravity. The only thing that could have been different in human terms is the notation, the way in which we express these mathematical truths through the use of symbols. This would not change the laws of mathematics, merely the notation in which they are expressed. Some rightly call mathematics the "language of creation" (such as Francis Collins of BioLogos).

Another point to consider is the Laws of Logic. All laws of nature are dependent on these laws. The law of non-contradiction is one example. The law states that you cannot have both "a" and "not a" in the same relationship, it is illogical. [12] Where do these laws of logic come from? God created these laws, and these laws reflect the very nature of God, such as the law of non-contradiction: God does not law and cannot be tempted with evil, as these things contradict His nature. (Numbers 23:19, James 1:13, see entry: "God and Simple Logic")

The laws of nature depend on other laws of nature, which depend on the will of God. The laws of nature are uniform and do not change, and apply throughout the universe. The laws of nature apply the same yesterday, today, an tomorrow, which is one of the most basic assumptions in science - without this assumption, modern science would not work. If these laws changed suddenly, we would not be able to determine anything about the future. Because God does not change, he upholds the universe in a consistent and orderly manner throughout the past, present, and future. These laws are perfectly consistent with what we find in God's Word, and lead us to the inevitable conclusion that there was a designer and that something created these laws as they are now. This is not illogical, instead, it is highly rationale and reasonable that God, not improbably chance, created the "heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1).

Troy Hillman

Sources
[1] Lisle, Jason. "God and Natural Law." Answers Magazine. Answers In Genesis, 28 Aug 2006. Web. 2 Dec 2010. .
[2] Spaulding, Nancy E., and Samuel N. Namowitz. Heath Earth Science. 1st ed. D.C. Heath and Company, 1994. 7, 671. Print.
[3] Spaulding, Nancy E., and Samuel N. Namowitz. Heath Earth Science. 1st ed. D.C. Heath and Company, 1994. 390, 668. Print.
[4] Kruesi, Liz. "Cosmology: 5 Things You Need To Know." Astronomy Magazine. May 2007: 32. Print.
[5] Lisle.
[6] Ibid.
[7] "Law of Biogenesis." Creation Wiki. Wikimedia, 23 Nov 2009. Web. 2 Feb 2011. .
[8] "DNA." Wikipedia. Wikimedia, 31 Jan 2011. Web. 2 Feb 2011. .
[9] "Atom." Creation Wiki. Wikimedia, 18 Jan 2011. Web. 28 Jan 2011. .
[10] Cook, Bernadine Hladik. Brief Review for New York Physics: The Physical Setting. 2007 ed. Boston, MA: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. 297. Print.
[11] "Anthropic Principle." Creation Wiki. Wikimedia, 29 March 2010. Web. 2 Feb 2011. .
[12] Lisle.

3 comments:

  1. For the definitive account of the periodic table of the elements please see,

    Eric Scerri, The Periodic Table, Its Story and Its Significance, Oxford University Press, 2007.

    http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Chemistry/?view=usa&ci=9780195305739

    ReplyDelete
  2. You've made some good points there. I looked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.
    Here is my webpage :: Original Feng Shui

    ReplyDelete