Grass Huts and the Cosmos
On August 23, 2007, the Drudge Report led with this headline: “Martian Soil May Contain Life.” Extraterrestrial life! Now that’s a headline! Of course, with the disclaimer “may” in the middle, you could put that headline into any paper at any time and it would be true according to our present understanding of Mars.
As usual with such stories, by the next day it was already falling apart. On August 24, MSNBC ran an article headlined, “Life on Mars? Study sparks skepticism” . . . and so it goes.
The possibility of E.T. fills thousands of books, movies, television shows, articles, and web sites. But no one expects to look through a telescope and see little green men waving to us from a far off solar system. Instead of looking for the beings themselves, we look for evidence of their existence. One way is to listen for radio signals not naturally generated, but after four decades of listening, nothing’s yet turned up.
If NASA sent a probe into space searching for extraterrestrial life, and if such a probe found something huge and magnificent — perhaps a great city, intricately and ingeniously planned — they would view it as proof that at some point some kind of intelligent being had been there. The larger and more brilliant the structure, the higher the order of life we would assume built it.
But it wouldn't have to be huge and magnificent. In 1996, scientists announced that they might have found tiny fossils in a meteorite thought to have originated on Mars. Never mind that the structures being looked at were smaller than any known cellular life on earth, NASA (and later President Clinton) announced that we had discovered extraterrestrial life — maybe. I happened to have watched the news conference as NASA made the announcement live on C-SPAN. You have to give them credit. They included a skeptic on the panel who I found far more persuasive than the proponents of their theory. As the years have passed, the evidence looks weaker and weaker. Hardly anyone still believes the rock contains remnants of life, but at the time, it was big news.
Can you imagine how excited the people at NASA would be if they discovered a grass hut on Mars . . . especially since there isn't any grass there?
While we look for evidence of life among the stars and planets, it's easy to ignore the evidence of the stars and planets themselves. A grass hut would thrill the world. We can comprehend a grass hut. But we dismiss the most overwhelming evidence of all — the great design, the huge and magnificent city — the universe itself.
O.J. Simpson’s back in the news. Remember his famous trial? Maybe you remember, but wish you could forget. The prosecution and defense rarely agreed, but two things neither side disputed. Two people had been brutally murdered and somewhere, there existed at least one brutal murderer. Why? Because murder stands as irrefutable evidence of a murderer.
In the same way, design denotes a designer, while an accident is evidenced by chaos. The universe we live in and its design, the bodies we live in and their design . . . serve as overwhelming evidence of God's existence.
It has become fashionable for the new generation of atheists to say there is no evidence for the existence of God. Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation recently did a joint interview with Rick Warren for Newsweek. When asked, “Is there a God in the sense that most Americans think of him?” Harris answered, “There's no evidence for such a God.”
How can a man of science remain credible after making such a blanket statement? If he had said “the evidence is insufficient,” he could at least speak logically for his own viewpoint. But he attempted, God-like, to make an absolute statement for all time and all beings everywhere. “No evidence.” None. He’s saying there’s not a twig of evidence, discovered or undiscovered. He could have said, “There’s no known evidence that I can’t explain away, at least to my own satisfaction.” But he didn’t. Instead, he made a faith statement, a doctrinal statement. Atheism is his religion and he’s its evangelist. He tells us that what we see cannot be trusted, but what we cannot see can be fully known, at least by him.
It sounds like he’s been to the mountain and received a special revelation. Most of us would call that “religion.” After receiving the revelation, he comes down from the mountain to proclaim the absolute certainty of an unprovable statement. Religion again. He seems determined to squeeze as many souls as possible into the sad, angry little place where he lives.
And he’s blinded himself to obvious truth.
You want evidence for God? Look up. Some night soon, get outside, away from city lights, and look up. He has written across the sky in a universal language for all humankind of all generations a message of His existence and more.
You want evidence for God? Look at your hand. Look at the intricacies and beauty there. Look at your child’s personality, or at your own thought and consciousness, your existence.
The world isn't the way God made it. It bares scars from a horrible rebellion. But even in its present state, creation tells us of its Creator. It lets no one off the hook. It makes the case so obvious that even a small child or someone with a severe mental handicap can understand — God is!
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