Coming Soon! Update to The Creator and the Cosmos: Interview with Hugh Ross.
Dr. Hugh Ross, the president of Reasons to Believe (RTB), has been a friend of mine for many years. I have had the opportunity of speaking at RTB's annual AMP Conference and even appeared on a TV panel with him, Ken Ham, and others. Dr. Ross is one of the leading authorities on the intersection between physics/cosmology and the Christian worldview. Although he has written many books, The Creator and the Cosmos is perhaps his most influential.
Dr. Ross first wrote The Creator and the Cosmos in 1993, and has a new edition releasing March 1. He gave me the opportunity to endorse the book and I highly recommend it. Check out his brief answers to a few of my questions and consider getting a copy of his excellent book.
SEAN MCDOWELL: You first wrote The Creator and the Cosmos in 1993? How has the scientific evidence for a Creator increased in the past 25 years?
DR. HUGH ROSS: The new edition is the fourth. With every new edition I was able to demonstrate the biblical principle that the more we learn about the record of nature the more evidence we will uncover for the supernatural handiwork of God in nature. The fourth edition offers the most dramatic demonstration of this principle. It includes 70 pages of new content plus a 300-page online compendium.
MCDOWELL: Can you share a specific new finding that you include in this update? And how does it confirm the existence of a Creator?
DR. ROSS: Everything that we can see and measure about the universe shouts that the universe has a beginning that includes a beginning of space and time, which implies a Causal Agent beyond space and time who created our universe of matter, energy, space, and time. These compelling evidences had forced non-theistic scientists to speculate that in the remaining tiny epoch (10-43 seconds) of cosmic history that our measurements are unable to penetrate, when the expanding universe was smaller than the diameter of an electron, quantum space-time fluctuations were so enormously large that they yielded a conceivable loophole that would permit the universe to have eternally existed. Two years ago, astronomers pointed out that if such large quantum space-time fluctuations indeed existed when the universe was smaller than an electron, they would blur the images of distant quasars and blazars. Observations made a year ago rule out such blurring. Thus, there is no possible escape. A God beyond space and time must exist who created our universe.
MCDOWELL: Where do you see the scientific research heading over the next 25 years? Any specific predictions?
DR. ROSS: I see science establishing not only ubiquitous fine-tuning design of the universe and everything within it to make possible a home for humanity, I see it advancing to establishing ubiquitous fine-tuning design to make possible the redemption from sin and evil of billions of human beings within just thousands of years. The Bible tells us that God began His works of redemption before He created anything and all the major creation texts in the Bible link the doctrine of creation to the doctrine of redemption. Thus, I expect that every event in the history of the universe, Earth, and Earth’s life and every component of the universe, Earth, and Earth’s life will prove to play a role in making possible the redemption of billions of humans in just thousands of years. In my book, Improbable Planet, I document and describe how the latest scientific findings provide some initial verifications of this conclusion. I look forward to future scientific research establishing beyond any reasonable doubt that a God intent on redeeming billions of humans within just thousands of years from their tendencies to commit sin and evil must exist and that His redemptive plan will be fulfilled within the next several centuries or less.
MCDOWELL: What is the process like when updating a book of this magnitude? Can you give us a glimpse behind the curtain?
DR. ROSS: This updated edition took 2.5 years of research and writing on my part and another 9 months of editing and publication preparation on the part of our RTB Press staff. I spent a whole year surveying the scientific literature and synthesizing from what I read the latest new scientific evidences for the God of the Bible as well as objections raised by non-theistic scientists. During the subsequent 6 months, I developed several talks based on what I had discovered and delivered those talks in front of both scientific audiences and non-scientific audiences as a means for soliciting critique and feedback. The next year I spent writing the fourth edition, making frequent revisions in light of newer discoveries and comments I had received from scientists and theologians who reviewed the early manuscripts. The next 9 months I spent working with our editorial staff on enhancing the book’s readability for lay audiences and creating the book’s figures, diagrams, tables, and index.
MCDOWELL: What do you consider the toughest naturalistic objection to cosmological design? And how do you respond?
DR. ROSS: I don’t know about the toughest objection but certainly the most frequent objection is the appeal to a multiverse to downplay the fine-tuning evidence. The multiverse appeal speculates that an infinite number of universes exist where each universe possesses physical properties distinct from all the other universes. Non-theists claim that in such a multiverse there must exist at least one universe where by pure chance all the features needed for life to exist must occur.
In my responses, I first point out that all multiverse models are subject to the space-time theorems that establish a cosmic Creator beyond space and time. These models do not avoid the need for God. Second, I show that the non-theistic multiverse models explain too much. They explain away not only God’s intentional design but also the intentional design of every human being who has ever lived. Here, the non-theists are being philosophically inconsistent. Third, I demonstrate how the non-theistic multiverse models are testable. If what they claim is true, advancing scientific research should establish diminishing evidence for fine-tuning design for humanity’s benefit. That for the past 25 years we have observed scientific evidence for fine-tuning design for humanity’s benefit rise by a minimum of a factor of 1,000 times per month stands as a dramatic refutation of non-theistic multiverse models. In The Creator and the Cosmos, 4th edition I offer several more refutations of these multiverse models.
Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, best-selling author, popular speaker, part-time high school teacher, and the Resident Scholar for Summit Ministries, California. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog: seanmcdowell.org.