One of the best-known images in the world is that of the Great Sphinx of Giza, situated near the equally famous Great Pyramid of Egypt. But do you know the origin of the Sphinx?
Here’s the story: Over eons of time, swirling winds barreling relentlessly across the Sahara Desert from west to east shifted sand from one place to another. Outside of Cairo, however, by pure chance some of the sand descended into a completely random pattern that just happened to resemble the head of a man and the body of a lion. Atmospheric conditions were such that when the sand mixed with a light mist followed by a scorching sun, the accidental figure hardened into what we know today as the Sphinx.
The odds that wind and sand would eventually combine somewhere to create the Sphinx are surely astronomical (too many things had to be “just right” simultaneously) but, as Charles Darwin might say, given enough time anything can happen.
This explanation of the Sphinx’s origin is utter fiction, of course. I just made it up. The notion that the Sphinx was a random fluke demands an irrational rejection of science and senses, as well as a seismic leap of blind faith.
What if I told you that, as remote as they are, the chances the Sphinx was an accident are far greater than the odds that human life on Earth could emerge and develop as we know it? What if I said that the greatest ever leap of blind faith is the idea that everything — including life itself — evolved out of nothing and had neither a creator nor a beginning?
Today’s scientific consensus about the origin of the universe no longer accepts the outdated notion that there was no beginning. Recent evidence points with near certainty to a “Big Bang” that started it all 13.8 billion years ago and that the Earth itself was formed about 4.5 billion years ago.
Something that even more convincingly points to the existence of intelligent design — to, in other words, a Creator — is called the “fine tuning” argument.
In his remarkable new book, “Is Atheism Dead?,” Eric Metaxas beautifully elucidates these matters. He defines the fine-tuning argument this way:
There are certain things about our universe—and about our planet—that seem to be so extremely perfectly calibrated that they can hardly be coincidental [for example, the size of the earth, its distance from the sun, the size and distance of the moon, the nanoscience at the cellular level, etc.]. If these things were even slightly different, life would not even be possible.
Is this “proof” of a creator? Mathematician John Lennox believes it’s a question of probabilities. He argues that “the most plausible explanation for the fine-tuning of the universe is that there’s a fine-tuner.”
The alternative view (no beginning, no creator, infinite time) is increasingly untenable. It’s tantamount to assuming that we humans won the lottery, not just once but hundreds or thousands of times. As one who has never once purchased a winning lottery ticket, that seems preposterous.
The Sphinx was not an accident, and neither are you. The evidence for God is all around us, and always has been.
Lawrence W. Reed, a resident of Newnan, is president emeritus of the Foundation for Economic Education. His most recent book is “Was Jesus a Socialist?” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.