A Counselor Reflects on Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
“But why anything comes to be there at all and whether there is anything behind the things science observes—something of a different kind—this is not a scientific question. If there is ‘Something Behind’, then either it will have to remain altogether unknown to men or else make itself known in some different way (p.23).” Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Why is there something instead of nothing? Why is there life instead of just lifeless matter? These are questions that we will never answer scientifically (please do not read this as a slight at science). But for as long as mankind has existed to “observe” (this is the primary tool of science), we have never seen life come from non-life; only life can (or, at least to our observation, has) beget life.
It should be noted that even the most popular theories of secular science – evolution and the Big Bang – do not really answer this question. They do not explain why there is something instead of nothing. They have not given a defensible explanation of how life would come from lifeless matter. Their explanation attempts to pick up at the point in “history” when there is “something” and that something is “alive.”
What C.S. Lewis points out in this quote is that we will never answer these questions in a scientific fashion, because science requires observation. The q
uestions we are probing predate the creation of the eyes and ears by which we observe.
The agent of creation (using the words “agent” and “creation” on the observational premise that non-life cannot beget life) would have to make itself known. The only possible options before us would be (1) existence with no preface or introductory chapter, or (2) self-disclosing revelation from the Creator as to the method and purpose of creation.
This is not an attempt to defend the creation account of the Bible, but an exercise in logic. The same logic (at this point) could be used to defend the creation account of other faiths. If you found a dead body you would assume (1) the person died of natural causes or accident, (2) the person was murdered by another person or creature, or (3) the person committed suicide. These would be the only feasible options.
If you have life (without even considering the grand, inter-dependencies of the environment in which that life exists and supports other life), then there must be a Living Begetter of life and that origin of life would have to make itself known.
Consider a new born infant. It comes from parents (life begetting life). If the parents did not nurture, educate, and inform that baby, the child would know nothing of its origin, history, or identity.
From these reflections, I would like to offer a concluding thought. I believe one of the reasons we (speaking for humanity as a race) are often so hesitant to embrace creation and divine revelation is because it reveals our dependency and child-like qualities. It may not be our intellect that takes us in the direction of a competing hypothesis as much as it our pride that blinds us to what creation clearly reveals (Romans 1:20).