The God-Alone Hypothesis

Occam, a medieval scholastic monk, determined that the simplest theory is the best one. His reasoning has famously become know as “Occam’s razor.” Why is the simplest theory preferred? Because it explains the most with the fewest, wild leaps of faith! In line with this reasoning, Keith Ward, God, Chance and Necessity, writes:


“God is a very elegant, economical and fruitful explanation for the existence of the universe. It is economical because it attributes the existence and nature of absolutely everything in the universe to just one being, an ultimate cause…It is elegant because from one key idea—the idea of the most perfect possible being—the whole nature of God and the existence of the universe can be intelligibly explicated.”


The cause is always greater than the effect. Da Vinci is greater than his Last Supper. This speaks about the adequacy (elegance) of a theory. The foundation must always be greater than the structure it supports. In the same way, the first Cause (the Creator) must be greater than what results from Him (the creation). In contrast to this, naturalism (Darwinism is the most famous example.) insists that non-intelligence can give rise to intelligence, non-consciousness can father consciousness, deterministic forces can birth freewill, and chaos can bring about order, something for which we find no evidence. In each case, the cause is not great enough to explain what it produces, like a foundation which fails to be broad enough to support a house. When we offer a cause which isn’t broad enough to explain to effect, it is the same as saying the part of the effect does not have a cause, or that the upper right-hand corner of the Last Supper doesn’t have a cause. However, as great as this problem is for the naturalistic theories, this is not my focus here.


Returning to Occam’s razor, God, the causal agent, is One (economy). No further explanation is necessary. In contrast to this, myriads of natural explanations must be sought in order to explain the physical phenomena we find in this universe. While Darwinism is invoked to explain the development of species, other naturalistic explanations must be sought out to explain the fine-tuning of the universe and the origin of DNA and life itself. With each additional force or explanation that the naturalist is compelled to pull out of his hat, naturalism becomes less likely. It’s like the womanizing husband who is forced to explain to his wife his extended “business trips,” mysterious phone calls, missing pay checks, and the bra found in his luggage. Although he has a “credible” explanation for all of these things, when put together, they become unbelievable.


However, by itself, the God-alone hypothesis can explain everything. In line with this hypothesis, philosopher Richard Swinburne writes:


“Theism claims that every other object which exists is caused to exist and kept in existence by just one substance, God. And it claims that every property which every substance has is due to God causing or permitting it to exist. It is the hallmark of the simple explanation to postulate few causes.” (Both of these quotations are taken from The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, pgs. 148-50.)


Why is simplicity preferable? When astronomers were trying to come up with a theory to explain planetary orbits, they intuitively understood that one explanation should fit all. To put forth a different theory for each planet would neither be economical nor likely. I wish to show that the necessity for naturalism’s myriad explanations constitutes an insurmountable problem for that theory.


The best theory or roadmap is the one most simple, complete and accurate. Gravity is great, but it can’t explain much—just attraction. Likewise, even if the Big Bang is true, we need to introduce other causal factors to explain the initial explosion, how it generated stable laws, planets, stars, elements…. To show the superiority of the single, God-alone-hypothesis over the array natural hypotheses, I’ll list some of the phenomena that naturalism must explain if it is to be regarded as credible.


The First Law of Thermodynamics: Matter (and energy) cannot be created or destroyed! This strongly argues against any step-by-step natural evolution of the universe and instead in favor of a supernatural origin. Furthermore, naturalism lacks the “reach” to explain the laws of nature often termed “transcendent.” Regarding the impossibility of accounting for them naturalistically, Paul Davies sarcastically writes, “God got killed off and the laws just free-floated in a conceptual vacuum but retained their theological properties.”


In addition to this, any natural explanation succumbs to “infinite regress.” Whatever natural explanation is provided, an antecedent explanation is always required, ad infinitum.


The Origin of the Universe: Prior to the Big-Bang theory, the Steady-State theory reigned. It maintained that the universe always existed and therefore doesn’t require a cause or explanation. Now that science asserts that the universe, time, and space had a beginning, the question automatically arises– “If natural causes weren’t yet present, what caused the universe?” Since the idea that it all sprang into existence uncaused, out of nothing is unacceptable to science, the God-alone-hypothesis now seems more convincing. Naturalists have no explanation for its origin, but put their heads in the sand and dismissively state that “this isn’t a question for science!”


The Fine-Tuning of the Universe: Some scientists place the probability of our universe being so incredibly fine-tuned for life at one chance in 10 followed by a hundred zeros—more than the number of atoms in the universe. Naturalism responds that if there are an infinite number of universes, it stands to reason that one of them would be just right for us. However, there is no scientific evidence for even one other universe, nor is there a known mechanism to generate others. Besides, there is not enough time to try out an infinite number, nor space to keep them from colliding. Thus, the naturalist rests on blind, baseless faith rather than science.


The Origin of the Substances of Life—Proteins, DNA–and the Cellular Machinery: Naturalism has no viable explanation. There is no evidence that proteins could have existed prior to life, but in order to posit a natural explanation, they would have to exist prior to life. We have over 3 billion bits of DNA information in one of our cells, making DNA an information system more extensive than the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. In addition to this, naturalism can only account for things that reflect formulaic patterns. Laws manifest themselves predictably according to certain patterns. DNA doesn’t. It manifests information, like the words in a book, something that can only be the product of intelligence.


“If a cell were magnified a thousand million times…in every direction we looked, we would see all sorts of robot-like machines…the task of designing even one such molecular machine would be completely beyond our capacity.” Michael Denton


The Origin of Life: Naturalism has no viable explanation. Some have suggested life had been seeded here by extra-terrestrials. However, this is like saying that life comes from the ocean deep. This explanation is nothing more than a passing of the question off to a new and mysterious location, hoping that this slight-of-hand will suffice.


“The mathematical probability that the precisely designed molecules needed for the simplest bacteria could form by chance arrangements of amino acids is far less than 1 in 10 followed by 450 zeroes.” Kleiss


Consciousness: Naturalism is forced to say that this is simply a product of the right materials coalescing. When it comes to freewill, many naturalists deny that it even exists, creating for themselves many philosophical problems with regards to responsibility, relationships, praise, and punishment.


Biological Complexity, Diversity and Functionality: Only here does naturalism begin to have an explanation—Darwinism—but it faces considerable challenges:


  1. Second Law of Thermodynamics (Entropy): This principle of science predicts breakdown not development of increasingly complex species. Indeed, the human genome is de-evolving rather than evolving.

“This [collection of defects] is exactly what is happening to the human genome at an alarming rate. Thousands of tiny mistakes are building up with each generation.” Bruce Malone

  1. Fossil Record: We find the sudden appearance of fully formed species and no gradual development.

“All Paleontologists know that the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms; transitions between major groups are characteristically abrupt.” S.J.Gould


“No real evolutionist…uses the fossil record as evidence in favor of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation.” Mark Ridley



Many evolutionists have despaired of Darwin’s idea of gradual development, one step at a time, in favor of “punctuated equilibrium,” asserting that evolution can make vast quantum leaps. However, there is presently no mechanism that can account for this.


  1. No Experimental Evidence: “There have been over ninety years of fruit fly experiments involving over 3,000 consecutive generations. The mutation rate within fruit flies has been greatly accelerated, and the results have been carefully documented. The result has been the rearrangement and corruption of genetic information already contained within the fruit flies DNA, but nothing other than a modified fruit fly has ever developed. The loss of genetic information has produced organs which are deformed, but no new organs as required by evolution.” Kleiss

Reason and Logic: Naturalism doesn’t try to account for rationality, or the fact that logic remains unchanged as the guiding standard for our thought. This is especially problematic since naturalism describes the universe as “molecules in motion.” If this is the case, then there is no way to account for what remains unchanged. Thus, naturalism is continually obliged to apologize, “We may not have a natural explanation today, but this doesn’t mean we won’t have one tomorrow.”


Law and Morality: Naturalism maintains that these are just the product of intellect, will, conscience, socialization and perhaps a smidgen of “majority rules.” However, these are multiple, competing, and changing sources, and therefore can’t possibly provide a basis for moral absolutes, like “genocide is wrong.” Therefore, naturalism must reject the concept of “moral absolutes” in favor of moral relativity but only at great philosophical, personal, interpersonal, and societal expense.


If naturalism is to give us the optimal understanding or roadmap, it needs to be able to provide viable and humanly livable explanations for all the above phenomena, but it doesn’t, and I’ve tried to argue that it can’t. When it does try to put forth explanations, it’s always a collection of disparate explanations, requiring us to suspend reason at each incredible leap of faith, like the explanations of the faithless husband. Rather, it requires far less faith to believe that a single God is the explanation behind all the unity and diversity we see and experience.


Against these assertions that the concept of God is the preferred theory, the atheist Richard Dawkins writes:


“A God capable of continuously monitoring and controlling the individual status of every particle in the universe cannot be simple. His existence is going to need a Monmouth explanation in its own right. Worse (from the point of view of simplicity), other corners of God’s giant consciousness are simultaneously preoccupied with the doings and emotions and prayers of every single human being—and whatever intelligent aliens there might be on other planets in this and 100 billion other galaxies.” (Dawkins’ The God Delusion, pgs. 148-50.)


This is no more than a clever ruse to dismiss supernaturalism from consideration. Dawkins is trying to argue that the idea of God, although singular, is not simple but highly complex by virtue of all the things He’s supposed to be able to do! However, should we deny that computer chips exist because they can do/store lots of things?


It must be conceded that we are unable explain or account for such a Being; nor should we try. Even the existence and origin of so-called natural forces can’t be explained. It is therefore unfair to demand an explanation of God. However, we do know that something or Someone has to be eternal. Otherwise, we must erroneously conclude that everything sprang into being causeless and out of nothing. The fact that science has so decisively ruled against eternal matter-time-space, leaves only an extra-time-space Being for consideration.


In summary, here’s why I think Dawkins misses the point of the simplicity of God:


  1. A theory attempts to identify the cause for a set of findings. The cause must be greater than the individual findings. Whatever the cause for life, DNA, the fine-tuning of the universe….it must be adequate to explain them. This is precisely what makes the God-alone-explanation so elegant and economical.

  1. Inherently, there is nothing the matter with the God-only theory. (If the effect is greater than the cause, this is to say that some aspect(s) of the effect are uncaused—an unacceptable condition for scientific inquiry.) If I find a new gallon of milk in the frig, I will theorize that an intelligent, conscious, purposeful, free willed-person (a glorious cause!) placed it there. Although gravity is also glorious in its own way (It affects the movement of all objects in the universe), I would rule against it, (Gravity can only do a single thing, as is the case with all unintelligent causes! Natural causes can’t place milk in the frig!) in favor of my wife, Anita, although she is far more complex than gravity. Although Dawkins wouldn’t object to my suggesting that such a glorious creature (Anita) had brought the gallon, he would insist that God is another matter. But why? If Anita doesn’t violate Occam’s razor, why should God?

I think at this point Dawkins would argue two things: God is far more glorious (at least, our conception of Him), and His existence is not certain as is Anita’s. However, these two objections disappear with further examination. If Anita is an acceptable explanation, why not also God, even if He is perfect in conception? No reason! Even if Anita’s existence is more certain (She can be seen and touched!) than God’s, God leaves far more footprints.


Nor does His omnipotence argue against simplicity or elegance any more than the contention of the Big Bang–that all matter and energy had been compressed within a bitsy point. Also, gravity aspires to a form of omnipotence by impacting the movements of every molecule in our universe. If Dawkins has no problem with the grand hypothesis of gravity, why does he find God an unacceptable explanation?


In conclusion, science demands we explain the facts with the most adequate hypothesis. In itself, naturalism is entirely inadequate, while supernaturalism is more than adequate.


(If this subject is of interest to you, please see Expelled: No Intelligent Allowed.. This movie documents the evolutionists’ vicious attempts to silence anyone who says anything favorable about intelligent design.)



Daniel Mann

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