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Can we prove the existence of God

By Val Conlon

Because of the terrible scandals of individual human beings in the Church many people have not just stopped attending the sacraments, but they have turned their back on God. They have come to the conclusion there can’t be a God to allow these things to happen.

When I was young, me and my friends battled with this kind of supposition, we had many heated discussions on the subject but we finally agreed there had to be a God. That belief weakens from time to time during your young life but once the seed has been sown it never really dies.

We went to college in Earlsfort Terrace and were impressed by Cardinal Newman’s words that if you were a Catholic and believed in God you had to be able to defend that belief. We didn’t believe because of tradition or culture or being loyal to our parents’ belief. We used our heads to come to belief ourselves. We reasoned out the case for God or no God and we came to the firm belief that there had to be a God.

We also reasoned that if God exists He would have to make this known, which we agreed He did by bringing His presence to earth in the person of Jesus Christ.

God is a law maker, rather than a wonderworker, but can intervene in any situation through prayer.

Let me explain all the things that convince us of God. To begin with take nature, there are precise laws in nature, that are set up like any responsible King would do to keep order and discipline in his kingdom. So, in the world we all live in, nature is responsible for laws determining the regular way in which everything on earth lives and has a purpose.

Then outside our world there are natural laws that govern our solar system and further afield much greater laws that govern the whole Universe.  The sun and our solar system, set up billions of years ago, works within strict laws, none of which have changed during all of these billions of years and without which none of us could exist. So, something had to set up these astonishing laws that govern all of nature and the universe and that allows the existence of man.

Scientists proceed in their work on the assumption that natural phenomena are governed by strict laws and that everything on earth and in the Universe is governed by a natural law. This is what gives scientists the means to do their calculations and arrive at conclusions. Thus the scientist can give an explanation based on the natural laws, (already established outside his understanding) to prove a particular theory.

But scientists and biologists have always considered the human animal the most extraordinary of all of nature’s creations, so a few years ago they set out to try to understand what basic ingredients it requires to make up the human being.

And they finally broke the code of all the prerequisites needed to make a human. They did this by analysing the human genome which consists of all the DNA of the human species and is considered the hereditary code of life. The investigation took ten years of a team of scientists and biologists who did this by analysing one cell of the human body, and if the biological information they recorded in this human cell was written down in a Word document format, and you were to read it at a rate of one word per second, it would take you thirty-one years to read the whole analyses. That’s how much genome information is in one cell of the human body.

The report showed that in humans, a copy of their entire genome has more than 3 billion DNA base pairs contained in each cell, with around 25,000 human genes. It was one of the biggest undertakings by scientists since scientific investigation first began. For the first time, a team of scientists and biologists put together, in the form of a huge amazing formula, with all of the biological and genetic needs for making a human being, which took the team over ten years to complete.

Professor Frank Collins the scientist in charge of the ‘Human Genome Project’, worked with this large team of renowned scientists and biologists to unravel the mystery of the complete DNA sequence that gives the blueprint for Human life. Professor Collins, who was an unbeliever, an atheist, said at the end of the study, that there was no way that this huge complicated formula for one human cell, could have happened by accident. He was a convinced atheist before he began this project, but after ten years of investigation he came to a conclusion that there has to be a God, and some years later he became a member of the Catholic Church.

Professor Collins has written a number of books on science, medicine, and religion, but his book, “The Language of God” A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief in God, was in the New York Times bestseller list at No.1 for over three years.  After leaving the directorship of NHGRI and before becoming director of the NIH, he founded and served as president of The Bio Logos Foundation which promotes discourse on the relationship between science and religion, and advocates the perspective that belief in Christianity can be reconciled with acceptance of evolution and science, especially through the advancement of evolutionary creation. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Professor Collins to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. In America he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science for his extraordinary work.

On the day this was made known to the world all of the scientists involved made their findings available  at the White House, in Washington,  as it was the American Government who had financed the project and had inspired this scientific investigation eagerly awaiting the findings of the scientists and biologists who had worked on it.

The scientists were thanked for their great endeavour and were told that this was probably the most important, and most wondrous project ever carried out by scientists in the name of humankind. Then after a lengthy explanation of the scientific investigation Professor Collins turned to the hundreds of the world  journalists present and said: "What this shows us on this historic day, and I say this without fear of contradiction, is that we have proven the existence of God and in fact during our years of work we were learning the language in which God created life, and we are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, and the wonder of God's most divine and sacred gift."

Other scientists involved in the project were asked later by journalists were they taken aback at such a blatantly religious reference by a scientist on what after all, was a scientific work. But to the surprise of the journalists all said they would strongly endorse every word that Professor Collins said.

One scientist said "It's a happy day for the world. It is very humbling and awe-inspiring, to realise that we have caught the first glimpse of how the human form was made, previously I believe, known only to God."

A Washington Post journalist asked why would such renowned scientists, charged with announcing a milestone in biology and medicine to the world, feel compelled to invoke such a reference to God? Was it just words? Or an attempt to disarm those who had criticised this study of the human genome going on for so long, at such a huge cost.

Professor Collins answered and said I believe every human is spiritual at heart, but unfortunately most intellectuals feel if they can't prove something, then it is easier on their intellect to conclude that its existence is a random act of nature without plan or purpose. On this occasion however all conclusions point to the fact that this hugely complex analysis of the human genome, and the uncovering of this most remarkable of all codes to human existence, was both a stunning scientific achievement, and an extraordinary occasion for proving the existence of God.

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