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April 24, 2024 14 mins

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Did the universe happen by chance?
This sermon argues that it did not and further that the beauty and complexity of the universe give evidence for the existence of a creator, God. 

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Good afternoon.
Thank you to Mr Fisher and MrBell and the leadership for this
invitation to come here andspeak for this week's chapel.
Several years ago, I was inhigh school myself and I was in
a Christian school.
When I got out of high school,I felt like I was in a Christian

(00:25):
school.
When I got out of high school,I felt like I was in a Christian
school bubble, and this wasback in India.
So when I came out of myChristian school, the context
that I came out into was apredominantly Hindu context.
Now, the same thing is notgoing to happen to you when you
come out of your Christianschool.
This is not a Hindu context.

(00:46):
That is not going to happen toyou when you come out of your
Christian school.
This is not a Hindu contextthat you're going to come into,
but you're going to come into asecular context.
In a Hindu context, the primaryquestion that the Hindu context
would ask a Christian is why isJesus the only God?
But in your context, when youcome out of school and get into

(01:09):
a secular context, the questiongoes even earlier and the
question becomes why is there aGod or is there a God?
There are four main ways that weargue for the existence of God.
And if you read the book MereChristianity by CS Lewis, one of
the ways is called the moralargument and in book one of his

(01:29):
book he argues for the existenceof God using the moral argument
.
This afternoon I want to lookat another one of those four
ways by which we argue for theexistence of God, called the
teleological argument.
So the Psalmsalm that we read,psalm 19, verse 1, says the
heavens declare the glory of Godand the sky above proclaims his

(01:49):
handiwork.
Now there are several parts tothis argument.
I'm going to mention only two.
In a sermon entitled the MindBehind, I want to look at the
issue of beauty and complexityAll right, beauty and complexity
and argue for the existence ofGod.
First let's look at the issue ofbeauty.
I've got a couple of questions.

(02:10):
If you're in the seventh grade,let me ask you a question what
is the most beautiful animalthat you have seen?
Somebody from the seventh grade?
What is the most beautifulanimal you've seen?
A flamingo.
Wonderful, wonderful.
Let me ask a question to theeighth graders what's the most

(02:32):
beautiful natural scene that youhave seen?
The beautiful sight of naturethat you've seen?
Eighth grade?
Yes, yeah, what's that?
The Grand Canyon, beautiful.
You just have to stay off theedge, it's beautiful.
Now, those two answers representtwo types of beauty.

(02:52):
One is beauty for a reason, somost human beauty is beauty for
a reason.
And then there's another kindof beauty, and most natural
beauty is beauty without areason, or what is called as
gratuitous beauty.
The images that were sent backto us by the Hubble Space

(03:12):
Telescope or the James WebbSpace Telescope showed us the
beauty of our galaxy and thegalaxies around us, and that is
what is called as gratuitousbeauty.
There is no reason for thebeauty, which raises the
question why is there beauty atall?
Why do we think that beauty isgood?

(03:35):
And to answer that question, I'mgonna talk to you about matter.
There are two qualities aboutmatter, and whatever you see
around you is matter.
There are two qualities ofmatter.
One is called the primaryquality of matter, and this is
what you study in physics andchemistry, where matter has mass
, it's got energy, it's gotcharge, it's got wave, frequency

(03:59):
, amplitude.
Everything that you study inyour science class about matter
is what is called as a primaryquality of matter.
But there's a secondary qualityof matter which has to do with
our five senses.
Whatever we sense from matteris a secondary quality.
So, for example, color andsound and smell and texture, all

(04:23):
these are secondary qualities.
So let's say that you gave me abar of chocolate and you tell
me okay, here's a bar ofchocolate.
This is a rectangular bar ofchocolate with some square
subsections in them, and themilk solids are 11% and the
cacao is 10% and the milk fat is11% and the cacao is 10% and

(04:48):
the milk fat is 4.3%.
Now, all that are the primaryqualities of that chocolate
piece.
But I will tell you, pleasegive me the chocolate.
It is brown and it is delicious.
Those are the secondaryqualities of chocolate.
Beauty is a secondary quality.
Science focuses on the primaryqualities.

(05:09):
In fact, what science tries todo is to convert all the
secondary qualities into primaryqualities.
So, for example, when we dofacial reconstruction, to say
that a face is beautiful, thereare so many different criteria
and we divide the facevertically into thirds From the

(05:30):
hairline to the eyebrow is onethird.
From the eyebrow to just belowthe nose is another third.
From just below the nose to thebottom of your chin is another
third.
So there are thirds, horizontalthirds, and then there are
vertical fifth, the the nose isthe middle fifth, the two ears
are the side fifths and inbetween is the middle fifth, the

(05:51):
two ears are the side fifthsand in between is the center
fifths.
And so we do all thesecalculations and those are the
attempt to try to make what isbeauty, a secondary quality,
into a primary quality.
But science cannot explain asecondary quality like beauty.
Back when I was in 10th grade,as we were studying in our

(06:15):
chemistry lab, we had sodium,potassium and calcium.
So we took sodium and we burntit and that would burn with an
orange flame.
And we took calcium and weburnt it.
That would burn with a redflame.
We took potassium and burned it.
That would burn with a purpleflame.
And if you mixed all the threetogether and you burned it, it

(06:37):
would be a beautiful flame.
But science cannot explain whythere is beauty.
Why does gratuitous beautyexist?
When you have your annual artgallery and as you go in I see

(06:57):
all this art that's put up byall of y'all and it's beautiful.
When you see beauty, whatexplains beauty?
It is an artist that explainsbeauty.
It is an artist that explainsbeauty.
So the best explanation for thepresence of beauty in the
universe is a mind behind theart, and that, in our context,

(07:20):
is God.
Secondly, let's look at theissue of complexity.
There are two kinds ofarguments using complexity, but
I'm going to talk about just oneone of them what is called as
specified complexity.
So for that, I want to ask astudent from the ninth grade who
wants to volunteer their namestudent from the ninth grade who

(07:40):
wants to volunteer their ownname how about that?
With what's your name, ethan?
All right, so let's say thatthat as you're coming to the
chapel this afternoon, thatoutside there was a sign where
the stones were arranged inwords that said Welcome Ethan.
Now, there are two ways thatyou can approach as to how that

(08:04):
happened.
The first one is that asequence of wind gusts blew all
these stones in this patternthat said Welcome Ethan.
The second option is one ofEthan's fans decided to welcome
him and wrote Welcome Ethan.
Now we all know intuitivelythat if there was a sign that

(08:27):
said Welcome Ethan, it's likelyto be a person rather than a
random gust of wind.
But how do we objectify what isan accident and what is
intentional?
Mathematician and philosopher,william Dembski.
He looked at cases in whichinsurance companies, the police

(08:49):
and forensic scientists.
They were trying to find out,when a fatality happened on the
road, whether it was an accidentor intentional.
So he studied all these casesand he came up with three
criteria to say whether an eventis an accident or intentional.

(09:09):
And these are the threecriteria.
Bear with me as I go throughthem real quick.
The first criterion is that itdid not need to happen, what is
called as a contingent event.
A contingent event is differentthan a necessary event.
A necessary event is somethingthat has to happen.
For example, if the temperaturedropped below 32 degrees

(09:32):
Fahrenheit, water necessarilyhas to turn to ice, there's no
option, it's got to turn to ice.
That is a necessary event.
This is a contingent event.
The second criteria by whichWilliam Dembski says that an
event is not an accident butintentional is what is called as

(09:54):
a small probability ofhappening.
And the third one is what hecalls independent specifiability
, where it is a specialoccurrence.
It happened, yes, but it is aspecial occurrence.
It happened, yes, but it is aspecial occurrence.
Now, based on these threecriteria, did the universe
happen by accident or did ithappen intentionally?

(10:14):
Now, to make that case, I'mgoing to look at one physical
parameter of the universe.
There are at least 48 physicalconstants in the universe that
describe the universe.
One of them is what I'm goingto look at and for this I'm
going to ask a question that isfor the 10th, 11th and 12th

(10:36):
grades.
If you get this question right,I will give you 10 bars of your
favorite chocolate.
Okay, here's the question.
I will give you 10 bars of yourfavorite chocolate.
Okay, here's the question whatare the first two digits of the
gravitational constant?
What are the first two digitsof the gravitational constant?

(11:02):
I don't want to seem biased,anybody else.
Okay, go ahead.
9.8.
Constant I don't want to seembiased, anybody else?
Oh, yeah, go ahead.
That is well, I'll give youfive bars for it.
Okay, that's not correct, butit is close to the gravitational

(11:22):
constant.
Well, just for fun, let me justtell you the difference between
the two.
Well, the gravitationalconstant.
Well, just for fun, let me justtell you the difference between
the two.
Well, the gravitationalconstant is about the force
between two bodies with mass.
What you said is the gravity ofthe Earth.
That is 9.8.
So gravity of the Earth isbased on the mass of the Earth

(11:45):
and what is called as acentrifugal force of rotation of
the Earth.
Okay, so that's 9.8.
But the gravitational constantit is a constant that describes
the universe has been used byNewton and by Einstein in their
theories.
The gravitational constant is6.67 times 10 to the power minus

(12:09):
11.
Now, if you know anything aboutnumbers anything that is
multiplied by minus 11, thatmeans that is in the denominator
, correct.
So 6.67 on top, which is anumerator, and the denominator
is 10, followed by 11 zeros.
What that means is that it is avery, very small number.

(12:35):
Now to show you how small it isand how important this
gravitational constant is, if wedouble the gravitational
constant to 1.3 into 10 to thepower minus 10, life on Earth
would be impossible.
The universe would cease toexist.
And just to show you how smallthat number is, let's say that I

(12:58):
drew a line from where I'mstanding to the wall directly in
front of me and we divided thatline in half, and fourths, and
eighths and so on, and wedivided it into 10 billion
segments.
We took a line from here to thewall and we divided it into 10

(13:19):
billion segments.
And if I increase thegravitational constant by one
segment, life on Earth would beimpossible.
The universe would cease toexist.
The gravitational constant is sofinely tuned that it is

(13:41):
impossible to happen by chance.
And the gravitational constantis just one of them.
There are at least 47 otherphysical constants that are so
finely tuned that, for theuniverse to exist, all these
parameters had to be just so.
And so we come to therealization that the universe

(14:07):
exists because of the actions ofa mind behind it, the actions
of an intelligent being, theperson that we call God.
And so, with the psalmist, wesay the heavens declare the
glory of God and the sky aboveproclaims his handiwork.
Thank you.
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