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Christian response to the challenges of BB and E

Religious fundamentalists, liberals and creationists.
- reject Big Bang theory and evolution
- everything in the bible is the word of god, no room for interpretation
- genesis god is speaking directly to humans
- archbishop usshur said god made earth 40004 before Jesus was born, used the genealogies of the bible

Scientific creationism
big bang theory is incompatible with the religious belief in a creator
- first two chapters are a scientific approach of how the world was made

The bible is symbolic (science and religion can go together)
genesis account is symbolic
- direct scientific link between the genesis story and the events in the Big Bang theory
- Gerald Schroeder says it is okay to accept modern scientific ideas and believe in a creator

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Christian responses continued

Mythological and theological truth
two stories in genesis (genesis 1 and genesis 2)
- need to accept the scientific ideas
- theistic evolutionists think that god made the world over long periods that the universe has gone through and this demonstrates his glory.
- Big Bang theory and theological truth should be put together, we need to understand science and religion to understand the universe.

Evolution (scientists and faith)
Stephen Jay Gould says science ant discredit religious faith.
- says Darwins theory has no bearing on the existence of god.
- argues that evolutionary scientists are either theists or atheists. Making them stupid or evolution is compatible with religion
- Alister McGrath says how Dawkins is wrong about evolution proving there is no god
- there is a gap between Darwinism and atheism
- he feels that Darwins theory is not a reason for everyone to be atheists.

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Christian responses continued

Evolution (scientists and faith)
- Charles Kingsley
he was a churchman who supported Darwin
- he felt that if god could create creatures that are callable of self-development then god is more Powerful and impressive
- it means god doesn't have to intervene to make new creatures
- FOSSILS there are no fossils to show evolution taking place. Scientists say these would be very rare.
- REDUCTIONISM (reducing everything down to science)
- loooking at complex things on a small scale, the simple parts which fit together to make them
- means nothing is more than parts, so humans are just molecules atoms and sub-atomic particles
- Martin Rodgers says we are much more than this
- he says science and religion should be put together to get the big picture
- those against reductionism state how humans are much more unique as we are able to have thoughts and a soul (enables relationship with god)

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Criticisms of miracles

his definition "a miracle is a transgression of a law of nature by a particular violation of a Diety"
- insufficient evidence, human testimony, competing religions
- two parts to his argument a priori and a posteriori

PART ONE (a priori) why the definition of miracles shows it is unreasonable to believe in them
- laws of nature are said to be descriptions of what has been observed to happen regularly
- they are firm and unalterable
- a miracle goes against the firm experience
- miracles thus can never happen
- miracles can be seen as the least unlikely events possible
- he didn't say it was impossible to break a law of nature
- he argues that we shouldn't believe in them
- too much evidence for nature being firm and regular
- hence his saying " a wise man proportions his belief to the evidence"

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Criticisms of miracles

PART TWO (a posteriori) reasons to doubt those claim to have evidence of miracles

  • Hume is an empiricist he needs evidence with knowledge to say it is true
  • he says that we ant trust all evidence
  • he believes in a strict criteria for belief in miracles, only when all these are present can he believe in a miracle
  • sufficient number of witnesses
  • unquestioned good sense
  • so educated as not to be deluded
  • beyond all suspicion of lying
  • with a very good reputation to lose if lying
  • the claim was public and easily falsified
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Criticisms of miracles


  • doesn't believe in miracles
  • accepts him as creator but thinks he doesn't intervene
  • god made the world in its entirety she doesn't need to intervene and wouldn't undermine the natural laws
  • he argued that an omnibenevolent god would not perform trivial miracles but miracles of a mass scale
  • he said how god either acts arbitrarily (randomly) so we should not worship him
  • or he doesn't act at all
  • the biblical miracles should be seen as symbolic for god's teachings andn it rejected
  • prayer should be seen as having a purpose to connect with god not as god taking action
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Design argument criticisms

  • order and purpose is not evidence for existence of god, but adaptation of species to environments.
  • if everything has a designer then who designed god?
  • over the years science has proved evidence for the Big Bang theory but none for god
  • sometimes a watch isn't perfect but has faults, so the universe could have faults and not have perfect order
  • why one god? Why not many gods?
  • is a watch a suitable comparison to a universe??
  • inductive leap - may have a designer doesn't have to be god though
  • cant compare the universe to something as simple as a watch, universe isn't fully explored and discovered.
  • Darwins theory gives convincing explanations of nearly everything in nature that paley used in arguing there is a designer
  • laws of nature explain the order of the universe
  • regularity of the universe can be explained by newtons laws of motion
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Design criticisms continued

Dawkins challenges those who claim evolution is a matter Of chance and that it is too unlikely that random mutations an make complex biologica structures.
- he says if they find it too hard to understand that things can form naturally it doesn't make it magic
- the idea of a supernatural being creating these sort of structures out of nothing is like trying to leap on to a mountain in one go
- unlike gradual evolution by natural selection is like climbing mount improbable (take one step at a time)
- before 1859 all attempts to understand humanity are useless (design argument therefore is useless)
- uses computer system to show how highly complex things can be produced through small randomly gendered yet natural selected steps
- this is instead of an intelligent designer
- the watchmaker analogy is self-refuting, if an intelligent designer designed complex objects then this designer to just be complex and needed a designer
- life was the result of complex biological processes not a god

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Design criticisms continued



  • if an all loving, all knowing, all powerful Christian god designed the universe why is there evil in the world?
  • is god evil?

Humans Know Nothing

  • humans only know about man made things, the universe is full of complex things
  • it isn't possible to apply this limited knowledge to something of universal creation


  • attacks the comparison between the world and a machine, a closer comparison would be something more organic and living.
  • applied to palye's watch analogy.
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Design criticisms continued

The Analogy

  • if we follow an analogy we would find an imperfect designer and probably a whole team of designers for something huge as the universe
  • the universe is imperfect (natural disasters) does this mean the designer was imperfect? Perhaps elderly or too young?
  • 23 years before the watch analogy Hume said someone would do it and listed out ways how it wouldn't work.

The Epicurean Hypothesis

  • matter is eternal meaning it is based on chance not a designer.
  • if enough time was given and random arrangements soon a universe exactly the same to this one would appear.
  • stability and order is the result of random particles not a designer.
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