Answering a Creationist Challenge
I was listening to a podcast of The Atheist Experience* the other day, and a creationist called in to try to challenge the host’s beliefs about how the universe began. Basically, it was the standard creationist argument that God is the only possible explanation for the laws of the universe being what they are. For one thing, I find it amusing that anyone would think atheists must have an answer to how the universe came into being. These are questions for a cosmologist, not a general atheist without specialized training in that area of science. Atheism isn’t a belief about how the universe began, it’s a rejection of the claims of theism.
But after some thought, I think I’ve come up with a simple response that doesn’t require expertise in cosmology. Science has a centuries-long history of replacing supernatural explanations with natural ones. Every single time we have finally understood a phenomena, there has been a natural, non-magical, understandable process behind it. All the assumptions about the natural world that were based on the Bible — for instance, that the earth is at the center and the Sun and everything else revolves around it — have turned out to be dead wrong. So does it really make sense to think that if we actually ever discover the true origins of life, the universe, and everything it’s just suddenly going to prove the Bible? Seriously?
*For anyone interested, here is the video of the Atheist Experience episode I am referencing. https://youtu.be/btnfp4FIcUw