Prof. Dr. Werner Gitt
English: Why as a scientist I believe the Bible
Why as a scientist I believe the Bible
If the Bible is true, then we automatically have the answer to many questions that concern us all. Nobody wants to live in error and realize at the end of his life, ‘I’ve lived the wrong way’, or ‘I’ve only been doing useless things’.
Werner Gitt worked for years in mathematics, information and computer science. Evidence has always played a special role in his thinking. When it comes to the Bible, the question of credibility arises immediately. Is the existence of God provable? The place where we spend eternity depends on the answer to these questions. That is why we must reach the utmost certainty here. Based on three different forms of proof, Werner Gitt shows in this paper that God exists and the Bible is true.
Quicklink to this article: wernergitt.de/scientist-believes
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Why as a scientist I believe the Bible
We all have in common the yearning for love, security and community—and we all seek after truth. No-one wants to live in error, only to find at the end of one’s life: “I’ve lived the wrong way“ or: “I’ve pursued only useless things“.
I’ve been professionally involved in the fields of mathematics and information science for many years, so evidence and proofs have always played an especially significant role in my thinking. When it comes to the matter of the Bible, for me the question of its trustworthiness immediately arises. Many have thought deeply about God’s existence; is it in fact possible to prove it?
Where we spend eternity depends on the answer to such questions. So we need to be as certain as we can be on these issues. If the Bible is true, then we automatically have the answer to many questions that concern all of us, such as:
- Where do we come from?
- What is the purpose of our few years spent on Earth?
- Where do we eventually go?
- Who is God, and who is Jesus?
We will then also have the following benefits:
- We can then truly understand this world
- We can then expose its fallacies
- We will then have found the benchmark for our life
- And we will then know the compass that points to Heaven.
I will use three different lines of evidence to show that God exists and the Bible is true. The first takes up Romans 1:20:
“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.”
The other two are ones I developed some time ago, and they have a mathematical/scientific basis.
1. THE EVIDENCE OF GOD FROM THE CREATION
Out of the Creator’s vast workshop, we will single out only one detail—the human brain. It is the central supervisory organ of our nervous system which directs, oversees and coordinates virtually all processes in the body. It gathers and assesses sensory inputs, stores them and evaluates them meaningfully.
Next to nothing is known about how the brain actually processes information. No-one knows how it extracts the actual semantic information out of the electrical signals coming in from the sensory organs. We also don’t know how we retrieve certain memories, and what happens in the brain when we learn something new.
The brain consists of some 100 billion nerve cells (= 100 x 109); the same order of magnitude as the number of stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. To this immense number we need to add a further 100 billion metabolic and support cells.
The length of the nerve fibres in our cerebrum, laid end-to-end, would reach a staggering 500,000 kilometres (300,000 miles)!
Outside of the brain, our body is wired with a dense information network of nerve fibres with a total length of 380,000 kilometres. They run throughout our body, and end-to-end would reach from the earth to the moon. In these nerve conduits and branches, in part only a thousandth of a millimetre thick, there is a constant back-and-forth flow of information and commands between the brain and all parts of the body.
Inside the amazingly dense network of the neuronal circuitry, extremely rapid signal processing is not only possible, but necessary. The brain can carry out 1018 ( = 1 billion x 1 billion) calculations in a single second. Real-time visual processing, in particular, requires this high speed of processing. Despite many research findings, the brain still belongs to those very large blank areas of the unknown on our map of scientific knowledge. Brain researchers Robert Ornstein and Richard F. Thompson tell us:
“After thousands of scientists have studied it for centuries, the only word to describe it remains amazing.”
We also don’t understand: how does information transfer take place between the immaterial soul and the material brain? How do the functions of the soul (will, feeling, rational thought) communicate with the brain?
Who has worked all these wonders? The above verse from Romans 1 shows us that there can be only one reasonable conclusion: an all-powerful God, who is above all things, has conceived and created it all!
2. THE EVIDENCE OF GOD FROM THE NATURAL LAWS OF INFORMATION
To describe the natural laws of information so as to be able to analyse an unknown system, one needs a suitable and precise definition:
Information is always present when all five hierarchical levels occur:
- syntax (code, grammar, vocabulary)
- semantics (meaning)
- pragmatics (action) and
- apobetics (goal-directedness, outcome).
An example of information
The illustration here of Egyptian hieroglyphics shows characters chiselled into stone, as seen in the obelisks and pharaohs’ tombs of ancient Egypt. Do they contain information, or are they only something like a wallpaper pattern? That question remained unanswered for 1,400 years. That dramatically changed in July 1799 when Napoleon’s soldiers found a piece of black basalt the size of a common dinner plate in the vicinity of the port city of Rosetta, on the Nile delta. The Rosetta Stone played a pivotal role in deciphering hieroglyphics. Once the meaning of the whole text was known, it was certain: hieroglyphics contain information.
The four Natural Laws of Information (NLI) are:
NLI-1: A material entity cannot give rise to a non-material entity.
NLI-2: Information is a non-material entity.
NLI-3: No information can arise in stochastic processes ( = events without guiding intelligence).
NLI-4: Information can only arise through an intelligent source (sender).
All living cells contain information
The highest known density of information is found in the DNA molecules of living things.
We can illustrate DNA’s immense storage density by considering a quantity of DNA the size of a pinhead, 2 mm in diameter, and asking: How high would a stack of books have to be to contain the same amount of information as we could store encoded on that small amount of DNA? The answer is, another 500 times as high as the 380,000 kilometres the moon is from the earth!
When it comes to proofs, we need to clearly distinguish between hard and soft ones.
- Hard proofs are only known from mathematics and scientific laws. For example, the natural law that heat can never flow from a colder to a warmer body is irrefutable. Pythagoras’ mathematical theorem for right-angled triangles (a2 + b2 = c2) is likewise irrefutable.
- Soft proofs are for example legal or historical proofs, which are in principle refutable via reliable sources.
Because God’s thoughts far surpass our own (Isaiah 55:8–9), God in all His fullness cannot be made subject to verification. But with the help of the natural laws of information, we can nonetheless prove some of his characteristics—His existence, His eternal being, His omnipotence and His omniscience—in hard, i.e. irrefutable, form.
Here, our first and foremost concern is the proof of God’s existence. This can be accomplished as follows:
Since we find a code (DNA or RNA molecules) and the other levels of information in all forms of life, we find ourselves within the domain of information. So from NLI-4 we can conclude: This requires the existence of an intelligent sender!
This proof of God’s existence is at the same time a scientific refutation of atheism. Even the idea of macroevolution is refutable with the aid of the Laws of Information.
3. THE ‘PROPHETIC-MATHEMATICAL PROOF OF GOD’
From the total number of 3268 already-fulfilled prophecies we will here choose only two:
- The dispersion of the people of Israel, announced in advance by God in Deuteronomy 28:64–65, and centuries later His promised assurance (Jeremiah 16:14–15) that He would bring the people back into the ancestral land.
- The dispersion took place in the year ad 70, and in the year 1948, with the founding of the nation of Israel, the return promised several thousand years beforehand was fulfilled.
The Bible is in that regard an extraordinary book, since it is the only one which demonstrably exhibits an unimaginably high number of fulfilled prophecies. These give us a unique criterion with which we may verify the truth of the Bible in a mathematical way.
The example we will use for our calculation is an unusually large pile of ants, in which apart from the usual black ants, there is only one single red ant. Of course, the larger the ant pile contemplated, the smaller the probability of being able to randomly pick out a red ant. The question then becomes:
How big does this ant pile have to be so that the probability of picking out the one red ant by chance is exactly the same as the chance of 3260 prophecies just happening to fulfill themselves?
If we had to guess, we might think of one of the world’s largest lakes, like Lake Superior in North America, and imagine ants replacing all of its water. Or, realising how incredibly low the probability is, we might even think of the entire volume of planet Earth filled with ants (all black bar one). The calculation in fact shows that even densely packing with ants our entire gigantic, unimaginably huge universe would still not suffice. The actual number of complete universes turns out to be unfathomably high—10896 (10 followed by 896 zeros). Such an immense number of universes brimful of ants illustrates that the probability that the over 3268 prophecies could have fulfilled themselves by chance is, for all practical purposes, zero.
We see below that the calculation is in fact very generous, since it assumes that each prophecy has a 50% likelihood of having been fulfilled by chance prior to our time. I.e. the probability for each prophecy is 0.5. So the probability ‘w’ of all of them being so fulfilled can be calculated thus:
w = 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 x … x 0.5 x (i.e. 3268 successive multiplications) = = 0.53268 = 1.7 x 10-984 = 0.000 …17 (i.e. 983 zeroes after the comma).
The numbers resulting from these mathematical calculations extend into realms where one grasps for words to describe them meaningfully—even ‘hypergigantic’ or ‘transastronomical’ fall short. It simply exceeds the capacity of our thinking and imagination to be able to adequately evaluate this reality. We can briefly summarise the astounding outcome thus:
The existence of an all-knowing, all-powerful God, identical to the God of the Bible, can be established through the ‘prophetic-mathematical proof of God’.
THERE ARE THREE IMPORTANT CONSEQUENCES FROM THIS:
3.1 The Bible is from God, and it is true
No person is capable of framing prophecies, often centuries in advance, which are then all fulfilled without exception. The true authors of the Bible are the all-knowing and almighty God (2 Timothy 3:16), Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:12), and the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). Which is why the entire Bible is true, and why Paul acknowledges as a clear consequence that he believes “all things which are written [in the Bible]” (Acts 24:14). The essentials about God and His Son Jesus Christ are explained in an online video with many graphics.
3.2 There is no God other than the God of the Bible
None of the ‘proofs for the existence of God’ put forward in the past refer to a particular God. They are all kept so general that every religion can make use of them. By contrast, the ‘prophetic-mathematical’ proof of God points exclusively to the God of the Bible and to His Son, Jesus Christ.
Such a proof cannot be advanced about any of the gods in other religions. Appropriately, the Bible says that people in their religions have designated countless gods:
“For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’—yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist” (1 Corinthians 8:5-6).
In Psalm 96:5 the Bible dismisses all the gods of the religions: “All the gods of the peoples are worthless idols”.
3.3 Atheism is refuted
We may refute atheism in a threefold manner. In Psalm 14:1, the Bible appraises atheistic thinking: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’”. Atheists are therefore not just grasping at nothing; they are, sadly, on the way to eternal condemnation: “Whoever does not believe (in the Lord Jesus) will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
The above considerations have enabled us to clarify, in exact scientific fashion, three issues vital to our eternal destiny:
- God exists;
- the whole Bible is true;
- and this proven God is none other than the God of the Bible.
Does merely recognising this mean we are already believers, i.e. that we are then certain of a place in Heaven? The answer is NO. But the good news is encapsulated in the heading of the following section:
SALVATION IS AVAILABLE TO ALL WHO WANT IT
This article is not meant to criticise anyone for their life’s path hitherto—neither the representatives of other religions nor the missionaries of atheism. It is rather our desire to alert all readers to the ways that lead to lostness, and to appeal to them in welcoming invitation: in this life, salvation is possible for all—if one only wants it.
John 3:17–18 sums up the Gospel’s far-reaching implications for us:
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God”.
By the will of God we have been designed as eternal beings whose existence is never extinguished. Beyond the barrier of death, there are only two abodes—Heaven or Hell. The first is glorious beyond words, the other unimaginably dreadful. God’s express wish is for us to be in Heaven one day. For that, we need the Saviour, Jesus Christ. He is the opener of Heaven’s door, since He wants to free us of our sin and guilt. If you wish to be saved and go to Heaven, you need to turn from your old way without Jesus and entrust your life to Him. You can initiate this turning point in your life with a prayer, which could go something like this:
“Lord Jesus Christ, till now I have lived as if you did not even exist. Now I’m turning to you for the first time in a prayer. I now know that there is a Heaven, and also a Hell. So I ask you to save me from Hell, where I would otherwise go due to all my sin, especially my unbelief. I want to one day be with you in Heaven for all eternity. I know that I can’t get to Heaven through my own efforts, but only through believing in you. The way I’ve been living my life till now, I would never pass judgement before you. So I ask you, forgive me for all my sin. I am truly sorry for my sins. From now on, you will be my Lord, whom I will gladly follow. Give me therefore an obedient heart. I thank you that you have heard me. I believe your promise that now, through turning to you, I will one day be with you forever in Heaven. Amen.”
This decision will cause a change in your life, as briefly explained in these four points:
- egin with the regular reading of God’s Word, the Bible. It is the only book God has authorised as emanating from Him. The Bible is the essential instruction manual for our living and our dying.
- Speak to your Lord every day. We are to direct our prayers to God the Father, and to Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
- Put what is said in the Bible into practice.
Seek fellowship with others who have also knowingly turned to Christ.
Director and Professor (retd.)
Dr Werner Gitt, information scientist