Unfold the Evangel before your eyes!

Are you lost?
Are you worn out?
Are you overwhelmed?
Are you rational?

Only rational, non-dogmatic persons can understand and accept this message. Give yourself a try. Nothing will be like before, I promise!

quarta-feira, setembro 27, 2006

Chance and Intelligent Design (part 2)

By James A. Choury, serving with WorldVenture in North Brazil

[Leia este artigo em português]

What do Logic and the laws of probability have to do with evidence of God’s existence? The first verse of the Bible states that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Psalm 19.1-4 and Romans 1.20 tell us that the creation proclaims God’s existence and His invisible attributes and that that proclamation is intelligible to mankind to such an extent that not heeding it leads to man’s condemnation.

How does the creation proclaim God’s existence and invisible attributes to such an extent as to leave any one who does not recognize Him without excuse?

At least a part of the answer is to be found in the probability calculus. In the study of probability we learn that complex and interrelated phenomenon very seldom happen simply by chance. When we find something complex and interrelated the rational inclination is to assume that it was designed or prearranged. So the proclamation of God’s existence, power and divine nature are revealed by creation’s order and complexity because experience and an understanding of mathematics tell us that complex and interrelated things come about through design. Discussions about God’s existence naturally (and, as we shall see later, necessarily) revolve around the issue of chance or design.←

Let’s return to the Law of the Excluded Middle described in Part I. Logically we can affirm that life and the universe came about by chance or they came about by “not chance”. It was either chance or not chance and it must have been one or the other. If it was chance then we are automatically driven into the area of Mathematics and the Probability Calculus. If it was chance it is logical to ask “what are the odds?” “Are they good odds?”* Is chance a reasonable explanation for the existence of the universe and of life?

If we consider the only other logical alternative, “not chance”, what are we driven to there? When we say something resulted from “not chance” we are talking about design or some kind of intelligent intervention.

We are caught between two options by the law of the excluded middle. Chance or not chance. Can we agree that “not chance” is just another way of saying “design”? If so, we are talking about chance or design. Can there be design without intelligence? If not, we are talking about chance or intelligent design. No other options. That’s the Law! The Law of the Excluded Middle.

Now, some astute thinker may propose a third alternative: “It may have been partly by chance and partly by design”. Good thinking! But this option only leads us back to the former genuine dilemma. If part was by chance we need to know which part? If some part was by chance we need to ask what are the odds? If part was by design we need to ask who or what was the designer? No, there is no escape along that avenue. The Law of the Excluded Middle is only strengthened by that third, proposed alternative.

We have demonstrated that the Law of the Excluded Middle, when applied to the existence of life and the universe, leaves us with only two rational options: “chance” or “not chance”. If we chose “chance” we are faced with some hard questions about the probability of such chance. If we chose “not chance” we fall logically into affirming that life and the universe are a result of design and are faced with the question of the designer’s existence and identity.


1. Write a short essay on the thoughts found in Genesis 1.1, Psalm 19.1-4 and Romans 1.20.
2. Try to come up with a third possibility for the existence of life and the universe not included in the above options of “chance” or “not chance”.