Brave atheist PZ Myers (the American Richard Dawkins wannabe) did humanity the favor of debunking the so-called “God Equation”—a simple physics trick that purports to give “scientific evidence that the creation of the Earth and Moon was a deliberate act.” But what has begun to come out of the debunking is a misunderstanding by some that this attempt at proving “intelligent design” has somehow come from “Christian” creation scientists. So, the story now needs debunking on two counts—the particular spin on “intelligent design” given by the discoverers of the equation, and the particular misapplication that some atheists on the web have added to it. In the end, we will see the God Equation proponents and the atheists are the ones in league.
A Pagan Intelligent Design Theory
Readers should first realize that the “discoverers” of this equation (which I will discuss in particular in a moment) are decidedly not Christians, at least not by any traditional measurement. The “discovery” was made by artificial intelligence (AI) engineer David Cumming of Edinburgh, UK. Cumming runs an organization called Intelligent Earth that develops AI products such as facial recognition systems and robotics. He describes himself as a “skeptic,” telling Myers in correspondence, “I didn’t [at first] believe the equation either. I am a skeptic and a great fan of people like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, etc. so please don’t tar this with the pseudoscience brush because it’s not appropriate in this case.” A self-proclaimed skeptic and fan of the famous atheists Harris and Dawkins can hardly be accused of being a creation scientist, or a Christian.
When I first read the article something sounded really fishy, and then I spotted it: “Working completely independently, well-known researchers Christopher Knight and Alan Butler, have shown that there is a unique unit of measurement based on the fundamental characteristics of the Sun, Earth, Moon system.” The name “Christopher Knight” rang a bell and I immediately began to dig up a few books from past studies. Sure enough, Knight turns out to be the author of The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus—one of the books that gained best-selling popularity in the wake of The Da Vinci Code years ago.
In that book, Knight condemns the traditional history of the Church and sides with occultists and radical liberal scholars such as Elaine Pagels in favor of the Gnostics. He then complete these same heist of logic that the atheists do and claims that Christianity was really nothing more than a rehash of the ancient pagan sun-worshiping mystery religions. I addressed this nonsense long ago in my video series Defeating the Mythstorians, and in my books Manifested in the Flesh, and Zeitgeist—the Movie: Exposed. Knight goes beyond even the most radical of the atheists and claims that with Christianity versus the mystery religions, “This is not a case of similarities; we’re talking about total interchangeability.” His book is filled with this type of grandiose fallacy, upon which he builds each of his next arguments, conjecture upon conjecture, arriving at even more grandiose conclusions. The main point being, however, that he rejects the faith, the divinity of Jesus, and opts for the alleged glories of freemasonry.
In that freemasonic world—in which I suspect all the parties involved with this equation have a foot—“God” can mean whatever the individual wants it to mean. It could mean everything from an enlightened Buddha to an extraterrestrial. So when these cosmic number-tinkerers claim to find proof of engineering, they could mean that higher beings from another part of the universe “engineered” part our solar system (the equation, by the way, says nothing about the origin of life on earth or intelligence itself, only about the relationship between the size and motion of the earth and moon). From what I gather from the parties involved, anything like the Creator God spoken of in the Bible is the farthest thing from their minds. They are occultists—neo-Pythagoreans trying to reduce all reality to numbers—not Christians.
My thanks to PZ Myers (despite my great disagreements with him over the issue of God in general) for actually not calling these perpetrators “Christian” in this case, nor even suggesting an association with “creation science” or “intelligent design.”
About the “God Equation”
The equation at its simplest allegedly “shows a direct link between the speed of light, the radio frequency of hydrogen in space, pi, and earth’s orbit, rotation and weight.” And this “direct link” supposedly provides evidence of engineering in the universe. But this fine-threaded theory has a few knots.
The equation itself contains arbitrary components which render it dubious if not laughably contrived. For example, in contains a mysterious constant Ω which equates to “(0.0123456789 representing all the characters of the base 10 number system)”—a curious oddity at best, though one employed by more than one scientist who purports to have discovered “God” through arcane mathematics. Atheist Myers easily debunks the equation by pointing out the curious negligence with the units of measurement: “For instance, the term Hl has units of MHz; the other parameters seem to be dimensionless; and C [the speed of light] has units of km/sec. This does not compute.” I agree with his quip, “That seems like a rather fundamental error in a very simple equation that must have been formulated by a couple of the geniuses of the age, don’t you think?”
The God Equation argument runs thusly: “As the possibility of the Earth having the exact required characteristics to fit the equation by chance is remote, and the equation has, in theory, been in existence since the beginning of the Universe, this means that the Earth’s orbit, rotation and weight must have been engineered to fit this equation.” As science this is dubious; as logic it is very poor. To say that finding a certain regularity means that the objects involved “must have been” engineered to fit the mathematics derived from it is to reason upside-down. Anyone can triangulate a given set of data from regularly behaving objects in the universe, then derive an equation to fit the data (and some equation will fit because the motion is uniform), find some conversion factor to make some of the numbers look smooth (this is the nature of math), and then claim the objects were specifically engineered to fit that equation. The conclusion should come as no surprise, for it was custom-molded to fit the data.
Logic simply does not compel one from “order” to “divine creation.” Other factors besides divine input could possibly account for order. (This is why evidentialist apologetics will always be doomed to failure—a hamster wheel.) Atheists readily accept the orderliness of the universe, and yet reject every notion of creation. They rightly point out that all things being equal, a purely material universe will simply behave according to whatever properties matter may have. We observe regularity and precision, and therefore we accept regularity, as long as it works, and describe it mathematically. The bigger question, therefore, will be that of where the orderliness comes from to begin with. Answering that question ultimately involves a faith commitment upon which each worldview is based—orderliness is dependent upon a creator, or upon an eternal universe of matter and motion, etc. We will only get nearer to a proof of God by challenging these presuppositions and seeing which one actually holds up.
That math works in the universe is not the debate. Why math works in the universe gets closer to the necessary point of argument.
What Cumming has “discovered,” therefore, is hardly novel or helpful. Newton just as easily saw that his derivation of the laws of gravity from the coursing planets in the heavens proved their special creation. But what happens if and when we observe chaos? What happens when there is no human reasoning, and when there may not even be reason and ratio enough to explain some aspects of the universe? Are we then to abandon God? If mathematical regularity proves divine creation, then does irregularity prove atheism? Are we to adhere to God in the portions of the universe we can subdue beneath the bar of mathematics, and assume that the chaotic parts have no Creator? Did God, therefore, create only part of the universe? And where did the other parts come from? Relying on particular instances of regularity in the universe to prove the existence of a designer is hot very helpful at all in the long run. It may prove God, or it may not. It may in part disprove Him. Or it may prove the type of God you’d rather not know.
The equation essentially proves nothing (assuming it is legitimate, which is highly questionable) except one particular instance of regularity in the universe—something which scientists of all sorts have long-since conceded. Science is based on regularity in the universe because it operates on repeatable, testable, predictable experiments that in turn require regularity. Even if the God Equation were legitimate, it would only provide evidence of intelligent design insofar as regularity in general provides evidence. Why this instance of regularity does not present an intelligent design argument, I will discuss further in a minute.
Atheism, Mysticism, and Tyranny
That said, I think our debunking atheist PZ Myer would be surprised to realize that these “crackpots,” as he rightly calls them, have more in common with his own worldview than with that of the Christian. It is the atheistic scientist that most heartily believes the universe may someday be deciphered and unraveled by human reason. This is the same drive behind the occultists’ quest to unravel the ratios of the universe. In fact, Christopher Knight’s coauthor for The Hiram Key, Robert Lomas, boasts that freemasonry (with all of its implicit Pythagoreanism and Euclidian-soaked sacred geometry) actually founded and birthed modern science (see his book, Freemasonry and the Birth of Modern Science). I would contend that science requires more than just some anti-church stance (common between atheism and freemasonry), it further requires things like an objective reality and adherence to moral absolutes—things which the worldviews of neither the atheist nor the mystic can guarantee. Christianity, however, makes perfect sense in comparison to these needs.
In the worldviews of both atheist and mystic, unless the earth is invaded by super-evolved aliens, all authority over man resides in other men. The issue of aliens is never far from the surface, however, as many mystics and new-agers continually watch the skies. The atheists are not immune, as even Richard Dawkins has argued for the evolution of aliens. He has even argued that the existence of super-evolved aliens is more likely than the existence of God. Barring any space invaders, however, man is in control. The weak and slow will be made to serve the powerful and bright, and this is the way it should be in their worldview. In a Christian worldview, however, even the scholars, rulers, and generals are held to the same ethical and moral standards, ultimately. (Police and bureaucrats would have to submit, too, but in truth there wouldn’t be any in a fully Christian world.)
The atheistic and occult worldviews further have in common that their reducing-to-numbers “science” has one ultimate goal: material control of the universe. This is not necessarily bad if it is only aimed at nature and not humanity, for the Christian faith speaks of dominion and subduing the earth as well. The difference is that the other worldviews here see man as a part of nature while the Christian faith sees him as specially created in God’s Image. When the atheist or mystic engages in applications of their science, they must necessarily engage in the physical control of their fellow man. This is why officially atheistic regimes almost always turn out to be tyrannies (Soviet Union, North Korea, ad infinitum). It is also why they refuse to tolerate Christianity unless they denude it first and make it to serve the state—because Christianity places the rulers under authority and accountability as well, and frees the consciences and markets of men.
We see the exact same impulse toward tyranny, however, in the very scientists who developed the God Equation. Cumming’s organizations Intelligent Earth and Safe Cities are involved in developing classic “Big Brother”-type technologies: in particular they have generated a facial recognition technology used by UK police forces in conjunction with a massive national database of facial images. With cameras stationed in thousands of places throughout the nation, and linked to such a database, the technology screams the potential for tyrannical abuse. It is the freemasonic “eye” atop the pyramid of human society—classic top-down government control.
Note also that the two groups most focused on “artificial intelligence” are atheistic philosophers (particularly the so-called neuroscientists) and these mystic types, and they are even engaged in creating or evolving to the next level of consciousness. Both believe in creating the equivalent of man someday—man creating man, or man creating evolved, improved man. If they ever achieve it, they will no doubt think the more of themselves and the less of any Creator God whom they will believe they have approximated, or replaced, or finally have become.
Are they Baiting the Intelligent Designers?
I have a sneaking suspicion that this “intelligent engineering” claim was floated as a false-flag to bait Christians into parading a goofy argument, or else it was to steal the power of the intelligent design argument on behalf of the occultists. I would like to show a crucial difference between the two:
The basic argument employed by the occultists is the old version of the teleological “design” argument. It is based on the appearance of design coupled with the improbability of non-design for any given phenomenon. It says, “the chances of this not being a deliberate design are vanishingly small,” and “the possibility of the Earth having the exact required characteristics to fit the equation by chance is remote,” therefore, “the Earth’s orbit, rotation and weight must have been engineered to fit this equation.” The chances of this situation arising apart from design are “vanishingly small” and “remote” (assuming that their calculations of the chances are accurate). This means, however, that there yet remains a chance that it was not designed (even if it’s a small chance). We are only talking about a probability on a certain continuum of chance.
Some Christians and Christian apologists find this persuasive. I do not. I do not rest my faith upon the controvertible; faith does not derive from human persuasion or interpretations of evidence or mathematics. Faith is a gift from God that illuminates one to see the God who gave it, and who designed both the mathematical and the apparently chaotic—light and darkness. Divine Creation is an article of faith that makes rational sense of all that follows. We gather this by divine revelation, not human reckoning; as Cornelius Van Til wrote, “As the Word of God, Scripture is like the sun in the light of which all things are seen and without the light of which nothing is seen for what it is.”1
By contrast to the improbability argument, a good intelligent design argument rests upon the impossibility of non-design. Michael Behe has famously illustrated the principle with his mousetrap analogy. A mousetrap is an irreducibly complex system that requires at least five working parts to operate; if any single one of the parts is missing, the whole will not perform its function. This means that as a mousetrap, the machine could not have arisen step-by-step due to chance at all, because all five parts have to be placed together according to a preexisting blueprint, or else it would not exist at all. Behe then goes on to illustrate irreducibly complex systems in the human body—bacterial flagellar motors, the human eye, blood clotting biochemistry, etc. Creation scientist Jonathan Sarfati has filled a book, By Design, with examples of design, many or most of which would pass the impossibility of non-design criterion. In my opinion, this is the best of the best of evidential-type argumentation (but even here it does not rise to the level and power of presuppositionalism).
Christian proponents of intelligent design and readers of creation science materials should not accept or reference anything like a “God Equation” as a legitimate argument for the existence of the God of the Bible. It does not appear even to be legitimate science, and even if it were it would tell us little-to-nothing more about the universe than we already have known for some time. It does not even get close to a powerful argument for Christian theism, and it rests on basically the same worldview assumptions and methods as the atheistic worldview—human autonomy. In short, the God Equation does not make good science, good religion, or good apologetics. Christians can do much better, and should never be fooled by pseudo-religious claims like these.
- Cornelius Van Til, The Protestant Doctrine Of Scripture (The den Dulk Christian Foundation, 1967), 40.(↩)