One of the main purposes of this letter is to present fresh new evidence and intriguing new arguments for the existence of God.
For example, science has revealed the structure of atoms, which are the building blocks of the ordinary matter in the universe. It has shown us that atoms are made up of protons, neutrons and electrons, and that protons and neutrons are themselves made up of even smaller particles called quarks. In the first major line of evidence for the existence of God, I will demonstrate that an ancient prophet was shown all of these things in a vision, about two and a half thousand years before science discovered them. The vision even gives us the name of the quarks.
Science has also revealed how the cells in our body contain complex machinery and a blueprint for life. In the second major line of evidence, I will show how the structure of DNA, and the machinery and processes by which it is converted into proteins by the cell, are hidden in an ancient story about one particular man, which was written by another prophet of God.
In addition, up until now, one of the things that has been absent from the debate about God’s existence, is an explanation for how a complex entity such as God could even exist in the first place. I will correct this, by putting forward a potential explanation that could be scientifically tested. I have called it “The Neuroverse Hypothesis.”
Now, it’s reasonable to be skeptical of what I’ve just said. Even so, I ask that you give these new lines of evidence a fair hearing, as I introduce them to you in the chapters ahead. At the very least, you will benefit from a free crash course in physics and biology, even if you don’t believe the evidence itself.
In a court case, evidence is supposed to be weighed up fairly. Both sides of the argument are given consideration, the judge or jury draws a conclusion one way or another, and then the case is closed. If new evidence is found, the case can be examined again, and the new evidence can be considered. If we were on trial ourselves, this is certainly what we would hope for.
Unfortunately, the human mind doesn’t work like this when judging matters. Once it has come to a conclusion on anything of importance, it tends to accept supporting evidence at face value, while much harsher scrutiny is given to opposing evidence. This is known as “confirmation bias,” and it affects the mind of both believers and skeptics alike.
I am writing to atheists in this letter, so naturally the evidence presented here will be subjected to more intense scrutiny than if I were arguing against the existence of God. All I ask is that you give this new evidence a fair hearing in the court of your mind.
But why does it matter whether God exists or not? I suppose it can make a big difference to important questions like why we are here and where we are going. But perhaps the simplest answer is that, as humans, we have a desire to know the truth.
For example, after we wake up in the morning, why do we look at ourselves in a mirror, instead of a picture of ourselves looking our very best? The reason is, we want an accurate picture of how we look at that moment. In this regard, the mirror tells us the truth. It gives us an honest reflection of reality, as long as our mirror isn’t distorted. Even though it reveals our flaws and imperfections to us, we still use it because we value truth. We might secretly wish for a mirror that tells us we are the fairest of them all, but we want to know the honest truth about how we look, so we can make ourselves presentable to others before we leave the house.
In other words, we are truth seekers in reference to how we look in the morning, and I would suggest our desire for truth extends to every area of life. We spend billions of dollars pointing telescopes at the stars to discover whether we are alone in the universe or not. We put life under a microscope and smash particles into each other, because we want to know the truth about the universe in which we live.
Assuming you consider yourself to be an atheist rather than just a skeptic, then almost by definition you have already given some thought to the question of God’s existence. You have weighed up the evidence presented to you so far in life, and concluded that he probably doesn’t exist.
Before I proceed to introduce fresh new lines of evidence to you, let me ask you one important question: What would you personally consider to be valid evidence for the existence of God?
Let me give you an analogy to illustrate why this question is important. Suppose you wanted to collect a parcel from your local post office. You needed to prove your identity in order to receive it, and the post office specified in advance what forms of identification would be acceptable as proof.
You turn up with your driver’s license, but the clerk argues it isn’t acceptable because it could have been forged. You show him your passport, and he argues the picture might be you, but it could also be another person who looks like you. You show him a utility bill with your name and address on it, but he argues that you could have forged it at home with a word processor and printer.
All of the statements made by the clerk are true. You could have done all of those things. But if you weren’t able to walk out of the post office with your parcel, I think you’d be entitled to suspect that the clerk had a grudge against you. After all, you presented three lines of evidence for your identity, even though only one form of proof was required, but all three were rejected by the clerk, with arguments that were perfectly valid in themselves.
It has been said that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Now, whether the existence of God really qualifies as an “extraordinary claim” is debatable, but for the purpose of this letter, let’s just assume it is. Either way, the statement isn’t that useful, because it doesn’t define what “extraordinary evidence” actually is. If the skeptical clerk at our imaginary post office demanded extraordinary evidence of your identity, what exactly would you show him that he couldn’t reject?
Any evidence, no matter how extraordinary, could still be rejected. God could turn up on your doorstep in the middle of the night, presenting you with a cosmic light show, but you could still reject this, arguing he was a magician, or the show was a projection or trick of your mind; and besides, why would the Creator of the heavens and the Earth show up on your doorstep at such an unsociable hour?
It is therefore important to consider, in advance, what you would accept as valid evidence for the existence of God. If you don’t already have a set of criteria for what constitutes valid evidence, how will you recognize it when it comes along? For example, if it could be shown that particle physics had been revealed to an ancient prophet of God, would this be considered acceptable evidence? If not, I would suggest thinking more about the important question I raised a few moments ago, before reading on.