A green galaxy and an empty tomb
by Barry Newton
“Don’t bother me with where the evidence points, I know what I believe.” Do people make such statements? I don’t know.
However, the lives of scientists as well as religious leaders reveal that agendas and deeply rooted assumptions can be so powerful, they can cause a person to overlook the obvious. People will scramble to justify their denial of what is evident.
In the latest issue of Scientific American, an astrophysicist explains how astronomers have classified our Milky Way as a green galaxy with a supermassive black hole. Amazingly, these characteristics appear to provide the best conditions for life on our little planet.
As if subconsciously cued, he muses, “Scientists and philosophers sometimes discuss … the awkward question of whether or not our universe is somehow just right for life to occur.” (Aug. 2012): 37.
We knew already that our earth, our solar system, and even the fundamental physical laws were fine-tuned for life. To this list we can now add a galaxy that is just right.
What the astrophysicist fails to mention is that this merely adds another layer to the already absurd improbability that all of these conditions are the result of mere naturalistic causes. If everything appears fine-tuned, perhaps this is because there is a Fine Tuner who is concerned about life on earth!
What is his response to awkward evidence?
“We are determined to try to overcome any prejudice that we are ‘special’ in any way. … One possible solution to the discomfort of assigning ourselves a special status hinges on a conceptual and physical picture of nature that allows for multiple realities or multiple universes.”
That’s right. If the hard evidence starts pointing too strongly in favor of the undesirable conclusion that we are not merely accidental byproducts of nature, bury the evidence under a speculative mountain of theoretical conjecture beyond the possibility of being scientifically falsified.
Nothing here should surprise the Bible student. Faced with the reality that Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, the chief priests and the Pharisees “planned together to kill him” (John 11:53). If you don’t like where the hard evidence is pointing, just get rid of it!
While evidence is important, what makes the difference in our lives is whether we are willing to follow where it leads. We live in a green galaxy. Not only did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead, but Jesus’ tomb is itself empty.
What is the reasonable conclusion? Who or what are you following?