Why Science Cannot Discover God

by Spiros Zodhiates

 (Editor's note: with this installment, Dr. Zodhiates concludes his exegesis of 1 Corinthians 1:19-21.)

Col. Robert Ingersoll, a well-known avowed atheist of a past generation, was one day thrown into the company of Henry Ward Beecher. Ingersoll began to attack those who believed in a God, and Christians in particular.

Strangely, Beecher remained silent. Someone said to him, "Mr. Beecher, don't you have anything to say?" "Nothing," replied Beecher. "In fact, if you gentlemen will excuse me for changing the conversation, I will say that, while you were talking, my mind was bent on a deplorable spectacle that I witnessed today."

"What was it?" inquired Ingersoll, who was noted for his kindness of heart. "Why," said Mr. Beecher, "as I was walking downtown today, I saw a poor lame man with crutches slowly and carefully picking his way through a cesspool of mud in the endeavor to cross the street. He had just reached the middle of the filth when a big burly ruffian, himself all bespattered, rushed up to him, jerked the crutches out from underneath the unfortunate man, and left him sprawling and helpless in the pool of liquid filth."

"What a brute he was!" exclaimed the colonel. "What a brute he was!" they all echoed. "Yes," said Beecher, rising from his chair and brushing back his long white hair, while his eyes glittered with their old-time fire as he bent them on Ingersoll, "yes, Colonel Ingersoll, and you are the man. The human soul is lame, but Christianity gives it crutches to enable it to pass the highway of life. It is your teachings that knock these crutches from under it and leave it a helpless wreck in the slough of despond."

God was present at Creation, not man. Yet presumptuous man disputes God's Word and takes it upon himself to explain life's beginning. The evolutionist says: "Once upon a time, perhaps two and a half billion years ago, under a deadly sun, in an ammoniated ocean topped by a poisonous atmosphere, in the midst of a soup of organic molecules, a nucleic acid molecule came accidentally into being that could somehow bring about the existence of another like itself" (Isaac Asimov, in The Wellsprings of Life, 1960).

However, I believe in creation, not chance. "The odds against the right combination of circumstances occurring to evolve intelligent life on Earth," as estimated by Sir John Eccles, Nobel laureate in neurophysiology, are "about 400,000 trillion to one!" It requires more faith in chance happenings to believe this than it requires faith in God to believe that He created the first life by His almighty power.

Why should Paul attack wisdom, theology, and debate? Most men hold those things to be right and good in seeking after truth. Let us support them if they really are. But how far can we trust them? One of the most brilliant minds of all time, the Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 1:20, unleashes a relentless attack upon them. "Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" Of course He has. However this does not mean we should cease seeking wisdom, studying theology, or engaging in debate. We must develop our minds and keenly exercise our thoughts.

One thing we must yet recognize is that our minds, no matter how intelligent and trained, are still finite and can never fully comprehend infinity. The character of an infinite God must be revealed. God had to come down to earth so that we might know Him. Had He not condescended to our human level, we never would have reached high enough to understand Him. Reason is perhaps the greatest endowment of God to man, but we must never become so wise in our conceits that we let the gift cast out the Giver.

What reason does Paul give for God's making foolish the wisdom of the world? How do we know that unregenerate wise men are fools? Paul tells us in verse 21: "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." The word translated "for" here is gr, meaning in this context "because." God rendered their wisdom foolishness "because since in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God." The conjunction epeide, "since," is causal. It explains why man in his own wisdom did not experience God, in spite of the fact that he dwelt in a world that is in itself a demonstration of God's wisdom.

What does "in the wisdom of God" mean? The preposition "in" is the Greek word en. In this context en denotes sphere, even as it does in English when we say, "I am in the house, in the air, in the sea. I am amid or in the midst of." God placed man in the midst of His wisdom. That which is within and outside him speaks of God's wisdom. Although that wisdom was apparent everywhere, man nevertheless failed to know God in His own experience.

Our brain is far more intricate than the most complex computer devised by man.

The brain is enormously more sophisticated in potential pathways and micro-circuitry. (There are upwards of 10,000 to 50,000 independent nerve cells in every cubic millimeter of cerebral cortex—10 to 15 billion altogether. Each nerve cell is able to receive simultaneous information from thousands of cells, integrating and then funneling this new information to many other cells. Consequently, the number of permutations and combinations of circuitry and sequences become astronomical.)

Your body is not a product of evolution; it was wonderfully designed by an omniscient Creator.

There are in the human body 600 muscles, 1,000 miles of blood vessels, and 350 arteries important enough to name. The skin, spread out, would cover 16 square feet. It has 1.5 million sweat glands—which, spread out on one surface, would occupy 10,000 square feet and cover five city lots, 20x100 feet. The lungs are composed of 700 million cells, all of which we use in breathing, equal to a flat surface of 2,000 square feet, which would cover a city lot. In 70 years the heart beats 2.5 billion times and lifts 500,000 tons of blood.

The nervous system, controlled by the brain, has 3 trillion nerve cells, 9.2 billion of which are in the cortex of the brain alone. In the blood are 30 million white corpuscles and 180 trillion red ones. It is easy to believe that the very hairs of our heads are numbered—about 250,000. Can anything be more pathetic than for some young freshman, created of God in such intricacy and with such infinite wisdom, to spew his infidelity into the face of the very God who created him, the God who saw his substance before it was in existence and who wrote down in His book all his members and fashioned them when as yet there was none of them? [Quoted from the booklet, The Theory of Evolution Tested by Mathematics, by Dr. W. B. Riley.]

Hyman Appelman has commented: "The human heart will beat for 70 or 80 years without faltering. How does it get sufficient rest between beats? A kidney will filter poison from the blood and leave good things alone. How does it know one from the other? Who gave the human tongue flexibility to form words, and a brain to understand them, but denied it to all the animals? Is it all accidental? There is no God? That is what some people say. Yet, with all of this abundant evidence of God, man cannot know God until by faith he comes to know God's Son, the Savior, Jesus Christ.

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