Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In the News: Something from Nothing

Image This past week I came across a YouTube video, where an apologist for the theory of evolution was seeking to explain the origin of the universe. Said apologist is taken with a book written by Lawrence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing , which posits that the universe came from, as the apologist states, “literally nothing.” Please read the following quotes carefully from that video:

“Of course it’s counterintuitive that you can get something from nothing, of course common sense doesn’t allow you to get something from nothing. That’s why it’s interesting. It’s got to be interesting in order to give rise to the universe at all. Something pretty mysterious had to give rise to the origin of the universe.”

“The nothing that Lawrence Krauss is talking about, whether or not its what a naive person would conceive as nothing, or what a sophisticated physicist would consider to be nothing, it’s going to be something much, much simpler than a creative intelligence.”

“Something can come from nothing, and that’s what physicists are now telling us.”

“I’ve been accustomed to the idea that pushing back from biology into physics, you get back to a zone that we don’t understand, and you get back to a zone where there is… not nothing, but a sort of primeval simplicity. What I learn from your book (referenced above), that I find stunningly exciting is that it is literally nothing.”

“You can dispute exactly what’s meant by nothing, but whatever it is, it is very, very simple.”

“It’s possible to dispute whether nothing is quite the right word.”

“There could be literally nothing which then, from which something suddenly springs. And, it is very hard to grasp, and I certainly can’t grasp it.”

Reading the quotes, you might be inclined to think that we quoted the most incompetent opponent possible to contrast with our contention that God is behind the universe. Not so, as all these quotes were taken from Richard Dawkins, a famous and preeminent apologist for evolutionary theory today. Most, but not all of the quotes were taken from a debate between Richard Dawkins and a Catholic Cardinal, George Pell, which took place in October of 2012.

The absurdity of the contention behind the quotes is apparent, and needs little comment. In fact, the quote, “You can dispute exactly what’s meant by nothing, but whatever it is, it is very, very simple” elicited a laugh of disbelief from the live audience at the debate. Dawkins inability to see why his statement was funny is a testament to his blind allegiance to science as an explanation for the origins of the universe. Put simply, Richard Dawkins is saying that nothing equals something… an absurd concept!

And why should we accept his contention, despite the fact that he acknowledges his own inability to “grasp it”? Because as non-scientists we are “naïve”, and physicists are “sophisticated.”

This reminds me of Paul’s statement in 1 Timothy 6:20. There he was reminding his young charge to place his trust in God’s word rather than men. “O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge.” In this case, the false “knowledge” is hardly compelling, as Dawkins can’t even explain the concept without becoming hopelessly muddled and self-contradictory.

Regardless, all Christians would do well in response to such contentions to remember another admonition from Paul. “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8).