It is through the exact elegance of physics, the complexity of chemistry and the dark spaces between stars in the night sky that humanity can know that God exists, according to Gunnar Dieckmann, a chemical researcher and traveling lecturer.
Dieckmann, whose speech was a part of Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship's monthly lecture series, outlined how modern science illustrates, rather than disproves, the existence of God.
As his first line of evidence, Dieckmann presented the nature of the cosmos. It was long believed that the universe was static, infinite and eternal, he said, but recent scientific advancements, like high-powered telescopes that can spy the swirling concoctions of extraterrestrial dust and gas called nebulae, have proved this view wrong.
Instead, Dieckmann said, the universe is finite, limited and aged. As proof, he asserted Olber's Paradox, a scientific principle that in effect says that if the universe were truly unlimited, then light from distant stars would make the night sky "as bright as the surface of the sun."
"The blackness of the night sky tells us there is a finiteness," Dieckmann said.
Dieckmann also used Einstein's theories of general relativity to expand on his view that the universe, and all time in general, had a beginning point.
"Can you name any physical thing that is infinite? No. That means if there is an infinite, it lies outside the physical," and that outlier is God, he said.
Newtonian and quantum mechanics made up Dieckmann's second point. He said the universe appears to be transitioning from some state of order to a state of disorder a principle of physics known as entropy.
This entropy, according to Dieckmann, proves that the universe had some kind of "winding-up" point from which it was allowed to relax. Whoever "wound up" the universe must have been intelligent and powerful, Dieckmann said, and could only be God.
The precision and delicacy of chemistry's most minute reactions illustrate "the marvel of life," according to Dieckmann. Furthermore, the fact that the human body evolves from a "soup" of chemicals before birth and then decomposes to those same types of chemicals at death shows the inherent instability of life.
"If life is so unstable, how did it form?" Dieckmann said. "It isn't as if these things just happen and stay around."
The transition of human life from disorder to order at birth and back again at death proves that life is designed and controlled by God.
"If life is designed, then we need to look at a designer," and that designer could only be God, Dieckmann said.
"The Science of Faith: The Triumph of Mind over Matter" is the second installment of Dieckmann's monthly lecture series, according to Campus Pastor Len Brisley. His third speech, "The Genius of Genesis: How the Bible Can Sustain Scientific Questioning" will be held April 7. The lecture series is co-sponsored by Chi Alpha and Marquette Student Government.
This article appeared in The Marquette Tribune on Mar. 15 2005.