Einstein once named the coincidences in Science “God’s calling cards”. A HUGE number of scientific laws rely on chance; for example, chance plays a central role in quantum theory, which underpins modern physics. We’ll touch upon this in greater depth later (see Quantum Entanglement Theory)
So, we must ask ourselves, to what extent does God have a role in chance?
Perhaps the most debated topic in this area is within discussions of biological evolution. The process itself is inconceivably complex as evolutionary theory relies heavily on the concept of chance; in essence, random variations depend on non-random retention. For some, this a way of discounting God as a creator.
Perhaps, if we look back in time to some 600 million years ago, we could hardly imagine, or rather the ‘chance’ would be almost nil, that we would arrive at the current state of the world of today. Although, some scientists such as Simon Morris (2003) have argued that similar species would still evolve under different conditions. However, it is widely understood that it is virtually certain the same path could not be repeated. Gould discussed evolutionary process as a tree structure; at every joint, there would be a multitude of paths the process might take (Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History ,1989). The sheer size and complexity implies of such a tree implies that it is hardly possible any of the particular tips would have been reached (Bartholomew, God and Chance: Christian Perspectives 2016). Again, this is discussed later under the Multiverse Theory.
The ‘randomness’ of evolutionary process can be compared to the random processes that generate meaningful mechanisms, say, in DNA. Biochemical reactions can be “chaotic” at a molecular level and almost impossible to predict. However, the randomness of biochemical processes can, in fact, be very useful. Let’s look at DNA mutations. Indeed, while some cause disease, others provide opportunity for new properties (Biologos). DNA itself has enough instability to allow “two strands to be separated by the cell’s molecular machinery for various purposes”. This seems to complement the idea of a purposeful God.
This blog category will explore real and palpable facts put forward by scientists and move to argue that randomness is a genuine feature of design; God has always guided the course of evolutionary history and design. Although some struggle to see this as compatible with Divine Intervention or Divine Action, this should not be the case. The true causal powers that God has blessed us with come in all forms, from the random occurrences that allow the subatomic world to function as it does in the present day, to the human forms we can see in our many capacities of free will. As Miller stated, such freedom is best supplied by the open contingency of evolution, and not by strings of divine direction attached to every living creature (1999/2007). Overall, we understand that while God subcontracts his control to the laws of the universe, the results are not always predictable. While many atheists somewhat rely on ‘chance’ as an argument in their favour, we hope to dispel the negative role it often plays in current theology (Bartholomew, God and Chance: Christian Perspectives 2016). Instead, chance in creation makes for purposeful and intelligent design.
From the edges of our Galaxy to the subatomic and the molecular levels of our World, Science has proven that our Structure, our Universe, our Home depends upon a very particular series of numbers that allow for physical, interactive life. These numbers are the fundamental grounds to our existence; they exist within an improbably narrow life permitting range that, if even slightly altered, would mean that this interactive life would be absolutely non-existent. As Stephen Hawking put it, “the remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.”
Here, we rely on the empirical evidence that surrounds us as proof for the existence of intelligent design. These are teleological arguments that support the fact that “wherever physicists look, they see examples of fine tuning” (Sir Martin Rees). Let us start at the beginning of creation, at the Big Bang, at the formation of gravity. Gravity is determined by a gravitational constant. If this constant varied by just 1 in 1060 parts, there would have been an entirely different ‘Bang’ altogether. Simply put, the Universe would have either collapsed on itself or have expanded far too quickly for stars to form.
In visual perspective, that is the chance of 1 constant varying in: 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 parts.
We don’t want to be presumptuous, of course, but we like to think of that as improbable, if not ridiculously, impossibly unlikely