Islam

Friday Sermon: Creation Revisited 1

By Babatunde Jose

In one of his last works, The Grand Design, Professor Stephen Hawking argued that the Big Bang, rather than occurring following the intervention of a divine being, was inevitable due to the law of gravity. However, in his previous book, A Brief History of Time (1988), Hawking had seemed to accept the role of God in the creation of the universe. But in The Grand Design, co-written with American physicist Leonard Mlodinow, he said new theories showed a creator is “not necessary”. This is one aspect of the arrogance of science. In the book Hawking sets out to contest Sir Isaac Newton’s belief that the universe must have been designed by God as it could not have been created out of chaos. “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing,” wrote Hawking: “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. Lord Sacks the Chief Rabi of England accused the astrophysicist of logical fallacy for excluding possibility of supernatural creation. Unfortunately for the astrophysicist, his theory encountered the same pitfall of creationists belief in Creatio ex nihilo ( “creation out of nothing”).This  refers to the belief that matter is not eternal but had to be created by some divine creative act, frequently defined as God. It is a theistic answer to the question of how the universe comes to exist. It contrasts with Ex nihilo nihil fit or “nothing comes from nothing”, which means that all things were formed from preexisting things; an idea by the Greek philosopher Parmenides (c.540-480 BC) about the nature of all things.

All divine religions have taught that the flawless functioning of the Universe is proof of intelligent design in creation. See Quran 2:117 and Quran 6:73.  Every detail that emerges as we observe the sky, Earth, and all living things is intended as evidence of the Creator’s power and wisdom.

God is not limited in what He can create or how He creates. We can have knowledge only to the extent that He permits. Going further, man did not invent the natural laws of science. These laws have always been there until man was able to reason them out. The laws of gravity, speed of light and sound have always been there. Archimedes did not invent the law of displacement, he only discovered it through observation, neither did Newton invent the law of gravity, gravity had always been there before he was created. In short, what science has done is to open our eyes to the existence of established laws of nature and the unlimited possibilities open to man. Scientific discovery is a work in progress.

God can use stages in His creation if He so wills. For example, He produces a plant from a seed or a human being from the coming together of a sperm and an egg cell. Yet these stages have nothing to do with evolution and have no room for chance or coincidence. Every stage in the emergence of a plant, or the turning of a single cell into a human being “in the best of forms,” happens thanks to the perfect systems created by God’s infinite might.

A growing number of educators and scientists around the world believe the account of creation in the Bible and the Quran and are pointing us back to the truth of these words: ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’ The question ‘evolution or creation?’ becomes clearer when you rephrase it as ‘accident or design?’ Sir Fred Hoyle, professor of astronomy at Cambridge University, said: ‘The chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way [through evolution] is comparable to the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junkyard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.’ Even evolutionist Stephen Hawking, acknowledged: ‘The universe and the laws of physics seem to have been specifically designed for us.’

Today, scientists are coming to grips with the fact that that life can exist even in unimaginable places. Life has been found to exist in volcanoes and in extreme cold; conditions which were hitherto believed to be inhospitable to any life form: Ethiopia’s Dallol geothermal area could qualify. Minerals from one of the volcano’s many hot, acidic, salty springs have been found to contain an ultra-tiny order of microbe. High heat, salt, and an insanely low pH are not typical conditions you would expect to harbor life. In the Alaskan tenebrionid beetle Upis ceramboides, the extracellular fluids freeze at a high sub-zero temperature, and once frozen in the natural environment this species can survive down to −60°C. Who says life cannot be found on another planet?

Science defines the universe as being made up of five components: time, space, matter, power, and motion. 1) ‘Most cosmologists agree that the Genesis account of creation, in imagining an initial void, may be uncannily close to the truth’ (Time magazine). 2) ‘The universe suddenly exploded into being…The big bang bears an uncanny resemblance to the Genesis command’ (Jim Holt, science writer: The Wall Street Journal). 3) ‘New scientific revelations about supernovas, black holes, quarks, and the big bang even suggest to some scientists that there is a “grand design” in the universe’ (U.S. News & World Report).

The retina in your eye contains 137 million light-sensitive cells, while the focusing muscles in your eye move approximately 100,000 times a day. Well guess what? Charles Darwin wrote in ‘On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection’, ‘To suppose that the eye…could have been formed by natural selection [evolution], seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.’ The truth is this: God made you, and He has a plan for your life.

What animal gazes with awe at the magnificence of Mount Kilimanjaro? What animal obtains joy from the sounds of music? Or takes the time to form itself into an orchestra to create and harmonize music? What animals among the beasts sets up court systems and dispense justice to its fellow creatures? Only man can uncover the hidden laws of electricity and can utilize the law of aerodynamics to transport ourselves around the globe.

Man is not just another animal in the evolutionary chain. ‘Microevolution’ teaches variations within species. For example, there are different types of dogs, etc. But there is no scientific evidence to support ‘macroevolution’ – one species evolving into another species. Contrary to belief of evolutionists, God did not first create apes and then cause them to evolve into human beings through a flawed transitional form with missing organs. No Sir, God created man as we know him.

In reference to creation, Dr Derek Prince wrote: ‘I have been a professor at Britain’s largest university [Cambridge] for nine years. I hold various degrees and academic distinctions, and I feel in many ways I am quite sophisticated intellectually, . . .  I have studied many attempts to explain man’s origin and found them all unsatisfying and in many cases self-contradictory. The limits of science?

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