Home >> Articles >> Ask an Elder
Logic 101 - Occam's Razor|
Simplest the better…
Q. In theorizing about the origins of our universe don't natural evolutionary processes explain it better&more simply than the existence of God or Intelligent Design? Furthermore, maybe the universe isn't really all that complex - maybe mankind is just incredibly dumb.
Your questions suggest the theorem, "Occam's Razor." This is the principle that "entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily." Or, when you have two or more competing theories then the simplest one is better. It is also called the "law of economy" or the "law of succinctness." (The razor has to do with shaving off extraneous assumptions). It was refined by William Ockham in the 1300s although it appeared as early as the 1100s from the Jewish philosopher Maimonides. (www.wikipedia.org).
Discarding Fairy Tales
In scientific endeavors the use of Occam's Razor is a good "rule of thumb" to guide scientists who develop theoretical models. Pertaining to religion, atheists such as Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens suggest that God is an irrelevant notion and should be done away with just as thoughtful grown-ups have discarded fairy tales like the Easter bunny or Santa Claus.
(Never mind that numerous highly-intelligent adults embrace theism or belief in Christ in adulthood - including Dr. Fancis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project)!
Theory of Everything, Panspermia&Multiverse
Yet, perhaps not surprisingly, in their desperate attempt to strip philosophy or religion from the sciences, hardcore evolutionists devised some of the most complicated theories ever known! What could be more complex than the Theory of Everything, Panspermia or the Multiverse? Concerning the multiverse Dr. Collins states…"this near-infinite number of unobservable universes strains credulity. It certainly fails Occam's Razor" (Collins 2006, 76).
Aliens did it…
For example, the discovery of "information" in cellular biology which showed the cell to be something like a supercomputer brought Dr. Crick to theorize that life must have come to earth from spores in other galaxies.
How do spores survive millions of miles of bio-hostile travel? Furthermore, how did they originate in the first place? So much for "panspermia's" little-green-men theory… In essence, this is what Richard Dawkins concedes at the end of the documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Aliens did it!!
Dawkins: …"It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved, probably by some kind of Darwinian means, probably to a very high level of technology, and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Now, um, now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it's possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer." (Transcribed from Expelled).
Yes, as a species we are incredibly dumb. Some of us do better than others. But, we all just do the best we can with the information and brain-cells given to us. People like Dawkins just prefer to believe they are more highly evolved than you or me.
(Yes…so did Hitler).
The thinking molecular biologist observes that "DNA can inform the creation of a brain, but a brain as an aggregation of proteins cannot generate the information in DNA. Wherever there is information, there is a preceding intelligence" (Guilder 2006). In other words, complex interdependent systems do not evolve through so-called "natural processes." Any attempts to make them do so in laboratory experiments result in quick, natural death!
The possibility that "our universe exists in a multiverse of other universes" (Kaku 2008, 239) or that there may be a Theory of Everything surpassing even a 10 dimensional universe (p. 236) does not trouble me. After all, Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). The prophet Elisha unveiled a parallel world of powerful forces around him (2 Kings 6:16). Still, theories of cosmology and physics are increasingly complex and may violate Occam's Razor.
I guess what we need to do is to consider the simplest theory of all - one that does not violate Occam's Razor. Try this one:
"In the beginning was the Word"… (John 1:1).
This "Word" or Logos is "encoded information" that can only come from an intelligent source to perform a desired function. For example: Information is the "software" or set of instructions which is currently running the biological systems we observe everyday. Without this intelligent information no life is possible on earth. We sub-species known as "Christians" simply call it the "Word." What could be simpler than that?
A Razor cuts both Ways
To use Ockham's Razor as an argument against God is becoming less fashionable nowadays. The growing body of evidence points to "Intelligent Design." Evolutionary theory is becoming harder to swallow. It is simpler and more logical to believe in the Biblical account of creation than Evolution given all the scientific information we now have. So you could say that Ockham's razor is begining to cut the other way!
"In the beginning…God said, 'Let there be…' (Genesis 1)
Amazingly, science defines our universe as:
Yet, we see this stated simply in Genesis chapter one:
1. "In the beginning (time)
2. God created (power)
3. the Heavens (space)
4. and the earth (matter)…
5. And the Spirit of God moved (motion) upon the face of the waters."
It all starts with intelligence that gives birth to "information" that forms the blueprints for all matter and life.
Collins, Francis S. 2006. The language of God. New York: Free Press. (Advocates theistic evolution).
Gilder, George. 2006. Evolution and me: The darwinian theory has become an all-purpose obstacle to thought rather than an enabler of scientific advance. National Review. 17 July.
Kaku, Michio. 2008. Physics of the impossible. New York: Doubleday.
Stein, Ben. 2008. Expelled: no intelligence allowed. (DVD). Premise Media Corporation:distributed by Vivendi Entertainment.
William of Ockham, from stained glass window at a church in Surrey Source= self-created Date= 2007 Author= self-created (Moscarlop) wikipedia.com
Man Shaving - This image was originally posted to Flickr by Andrew Dyer at http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewdyer/350938953/
Authors Valorie Mays Emilio holds an M.A. in History from UCLA. Ken has his B.S. from CSULB and an M.A. in Biblical Studies from Louisiana Baptist University.
© RemnantReport.com. All Rights Reserved.