Torn between theism and atheism

By Herbert Vego

WHO stands between the believers and non-believers in God?

It’s the agnostic, the doubter who believes that it is not possible to know whether God exists or not.

I have been wondering how famous agnostics view God in relation to the awesome “creations” in the universe as amplified by the Bible verse: “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19:1).

Learned atheists view order in the universe as a product of the “big bang” theory — resulting from chance, akin to winning the lottery with the odds of one in incalculable trillions. In fact, they admit that the possibility for human life to exist out of the big bang defies the laws of probability.

You must have seen the late English physicist Stephen Hawking, a quadriplegic agnostic, speak on TV: “The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life. It would be far easier for a blind-folded person to discover one specially marked grain of sand out of all the beaches of the world.”

Could astronomers explain their claim that the “big bang” produced the first life?

We God believers can only reason out that all of the above scenarios are impossible — unless it was fixed by the omnipotent Someone behind the scenes.

Scientists who believe in God may have no trouble in reasoning that each creation needs a “creator”. But atheists and agnostics are unable to explain the remarkable “coincidences.”

In his book The Symbiotic Universe, agnostic astronomer George Greenstein asked, “Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon the scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being?”

In another book, God and the Astronomers, agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow postulated why some scientists are reluctant to accept a transcendent Creator: “Science is the religion of a person who believes there is order and harmony in the universe. When it is violated by the discovery that the world had a beginning under conditions in which the known laws of physics are not valid, the scientist has lost control. He would be traumatized.”

Greenstein and Hawking could not accept a God-made universe. To them, being speculative, it could not be verified in the realm of science – beyond the reach of either the microscope or the biggest telescope.

Although in his last moments Hawking continued to explore purely scientific explanations for our origins, other scientists have acknowledged what appears to be overwhelming evidence for a Creator.

British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle wrote, “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.”

Albert Einstein wasn’t religious, but he called the genius behind the universe “an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.”

Until his death due to esophageal cancer, British-American book author Christopher Hitchens had spent much of his life writing and debating against God. But he admitted that life couldn’t exist if things were different by just “one degree or one hair.”

Ilonggo lawyer Edwin Catacutan, who is an ardent Bible student, told this writer that he does not doubt the creation of the heavens and the earth because “they could not have always been there.”

He quoted famous physicists like Paul Davies, who wrote that “the essential hypothesis – that there was some sort of creation – seems, from the scientific point of view, compelling.”



IN her radio program “More Power at Your Service,” Joy Fantilaga had Engr. Bernard Bailey Del Castillo, deputy head for network operations of MORE Power, as her timely guest. Timely, indeed, at this time when all power bills from the energy industry are raising eyebrows.

While it’s true that the higher cost of electricity stems from the big leap in the cost of fuel – especially coal which has jumped from US $60 to $405 per metric ton, indicating a 575% increase – doubting Thomases still suspect billing errors.

On the part of MORE, according to Del Castillo, the company has safeguards against wrong metering. It has acquired a digital test-meter laboratory where new meters that have been calibrated and certified accurate by the Energy Regulatory Commission are retested before installation.

The distribution utility has also acquired portable test instruments that may be brought to the homes of customers complaining about “inaccuracy” of their meters.

Kudos to MORE Power President Roel Z. Castro for consistently taking up the cudgels for the customers’ rights.