Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | September 25, 2013

15. Evidence for God – Design Convinces Scientists 1 – Benjamin Franklin

The Argument from Design is a powerful argument for the existence of God. It has convinced countless people throughout history and it’s used throughout the Bible.

Complex designs require a Designer to produce them. The kind of information the designs contain can only come from an intelligent Agent. This is the Argument from Design. The prequels of this Evidence for God series have extensively discussed the Design Argument.

Evolutionists promote the view that scientists support Evolutionism and do not believe evidence for design. But this is false. Many eminent scientists accept the Argument from Design.

This article and its sequels present quotations from a number of scientists who have been convinced by the Argument from Design.

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Benjamin Franklin

One of America’s Founding Fathers was the respected statesman, diplomat, and scientist Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790). He earned international renown as a scientist for his experiments with electricity and invention of the lightning rod, Franklin stove, carriage odometer, and bifocals. He penned these words:

“It might be judg’d an Affront to your Understandings should I go about to prove this first Principle, the Existence of a Deity and that he is the Creator of the Universe, for that would suppose you ignorant of what all Mankind in all Ages have agreed in. I shall therefore proceed to observe: 1. That he must be a Being of great Wisdom; 2. That he must be a Being of great Goodness and 3. That he must be a Being of great Power.

That he must be a Being of infinite Wisdom, appears in his admirable Order and Disposition of Things, whether we consider the heavenly Bodies, the Stars and Planets, and their wonderful regular Motions, or this Earth compounded of such an Excellent mixture of all the Elements; or the admirable Structure of Animal Bodies of such infinite Variety, and yet every one adapted to its Nature, and the Way of Life it is to be placed in, whether on Earth, in the Air or in the Waters, and so exactly that the highest and most exquisite human Reason, cannot find a fault and say this would have been better so or in another Manner, which whoever considers attentively and thoroughly will be astonish’d and swallow’d up in Admiration.”
(Franklin, On the Providence of God in the Government of the World. See Writings of Benjamin Franklin.)

Here Franklin is using Design to argue for an omniscient Creator. His essay continued to use Design to argue that the Creator must be a Being of great Goodness and Power.

Werner von Braun

The scientist who convinced President Kennedy that America could win the race to the moon was Werner von Braun (1912 – 1977). Von Braun, the chief architect of the Saturn rocket that took men to the moon, said,

“An outlook through this peep hole at the vast mysteries of the universe should only confirm our belief in the certainty of its Creator. I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science.”

“My experiences with science led me to God. They challenge science to prove the existence of God. But must we really light a candle to see the sun?”

Von Braun applied the Argument from Design to conclude from his scientific examination of the universe that God exists.

Allan Sandage

The New York Times called Allan Sandage “the grand old man of cosmology.” Some say he’s the world’s greatest living observational cosmologist, the successor to his mentor, Edwin Hubble (1889-1953), the father of modern cosmology. When Sandage, who became a Christian about age 50, was asked whether it is possible to be a scientist and a Christian, he replied,

“Yes. The world is too complicated in all its parts and interconnections to be due to chance alone. I am convinced that the existence of life with all its order in each of its organisms is simply too well put together.”

“The nature of God is not to be found within any part of the findings of science. For that, one must turn to the Scriptures.”
(From Henry F. Schaefer, The Big Bang, Stephen Hawking, and God, 2004, p. 19)

Sandage is appealing to the Argument from Design to conclude that there is a Designer, namely the God of the Bible, who is responsible for putting the world together.

Therefore…

These three men are world-famous eminent scientists. All three used the Argument from Design as evidence for the existence of God. These men believed in a Creator based on looking at what has been created. None would have been fooled by the evolutionism that hoodwinks so many today. Throughout history the vast majority of mankind has known that there must be a Creator because of the Argument from Design.

Questions to Ponder
  1. Does the opinion of these three renowned scientists (Benjamin Franklin, Werner von Braun, and Allan Sandage) carry weight with you?
  2. Many glibly claim that science disproves God. Yet Werner von Braun said, “My experiences with science led me to God.” Who is right?
  3. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the fifteenth article in the Evidence for God series that discusses the question,
“Is There Evidence for God?”
Read the prequels:
1. Evidence for God – Can You Answer a 6th-Grader?
2. Evidence for God – Design
3. Evidence for God – Experience
4. Evidence for God – Can You Prove God Exists?
5. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – Simple
6. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – Logical
7. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – Biblical
8. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – Old Testament
9. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – New Testament
10. Evidence for God – Stephen King & the Argument from Design
11. Evidence for God – Astronomy Quiz
12. Evidence for God – Astronomy Quiz Answers 1
13. Evidence for God – Astronomy Quiz Answers 2
14. Evidence for God – Astronomy Quiz Answers 3

Read the sequel:
16. Evidence for God – Design Convinces Scientists 2 – Isaac Newton

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday September 25, 2013 A.D.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (Romans 1:18-23)

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Responses

  1. Reblogged this on apologetics workshop.

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  2. These men are describing things that need a creator that we didn’t understand in their day, but do understand now. Franklin said that there must be a god to explain the orbits of the planets because isaac newton couldn’t figure out how they were stable. Around the time franklin died a new scientist, Pierre-Simon Laplace starting his career and would eventually expand on newton’s model of the solar system and actually explain mathematically how the solar system can be stable based simply on the crude property of gravity. When asked by napoleon what role god played in the regulation of the solar system Laplace replied “I had no need of that hypothesis”. The idea of god placing all the animals in their special habitats is also an outdated notion, species adapt to their environments not the other way around. This is necessarily true since environments actually change dramatically. As for the composition of the elements on the earth it too has changed dramatically over time, as evidenced by the traces in rocks laid down in different geological eras. Gaseous oxygen for instance was very scarce on the earth for about 3.5 billion of it’s 4.5 billion years and only began to accumulate when cyanobacteria began releasing it as a waste product.

    So yes, these men attributed many things to god, but it was a god of the gaps.

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    • Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Your first sentence is not correct. I quoted from 3 scientists: Benjamin Franklin, Werner von Braun, and Alan Sandage. Werner von Braun died in 1977. He was the leading rocket scientist of his day. We don’t know much more about the cosmos now than we did in his time. He would certainly disagree with your statement. Alan Sandage is still alive and is one of the world’s top cosmologists. He too would disagree with you. We still don’t understand many of the marvels Franklin pointed to as evidence of a Creator, so Franklin would still disagree with you.

      I acknowledge that there are many scientists that deny the Creator, as Laplace did. My point is that there are also many highly esteemed scientists who believe in a Creator and do not believe in evolutionism.

      It is not a “god of the gaps” argument. It’s a recognition of design underlying the entire universe and an attribution of that design to the Creator. It is giving credit where credit is due.

      Like


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