Isn’t this obvious? God started right away in creating life, it just takes 13.8 billion years for collapsing gas to form people.
I enjoyed Bayesian statistic’s weird cameo in the article:
The question is, which explanation is the most probable? Of course, using Bayesian analysis, it depends on what you plug into the background data. But all things remaining equal, let’s look at which hypothesis has the best explanatory power.
What things remaining equal? This is such a purposeless paragraph that seems just to be there because someone told the author about priors once.
Patrick, God did not “wait” to create the universe. Only a creature confined to the matter-energy world and bound by the arrow of time is subject to waiting for anything.
Also, there was no such thing as time (a property of the matter-energy universe) in a reality without an existing universe. (I avoided speaking of “before” the universe because that is logically incongruous. There is no such thing as a “before time.”)
It is interesting, because the article does not match the title… Like @AllenWitmerMiller I was tempted to reply that God did not “wait” to do anything. But in reading the article, it seems that what the author asks is why did God start the universe and then wait billions of years to form life. In order to get heavy elements, a generation of stars had to live and die. It goes on from there.
RTB features many of the “just so” timing issues here along with several lists of finely-tuned aspects of the universe, galaxy, solar system, and planet:
I like Tim Saleska’s answer:
We could also ask the question, “Why did God decide that it would take a century to grow a huge oak tree?” From our human perspective, such things (whether oak trees or universes) take a terribly long time. Yet God is omnipresent in the time dimension just as he is omnipresent in the conventional spatial dimensions. So there is no “waiting” on God’s part—just a divine timeline where various things have various “plans” within the arrow of time. Some things involve more time than others (e.g., a universe versus an oak tree versus the lifespan of a mayfly), just as some things involve more space than others.
So then 65 million years ago, a global disaster wiped out every large animal on the planet mostly by horrible slow starvation. The magnitude of suffering of that many creatures defies the belief in the existence of a loving and powerful God. How do you explain this?
No, mostly by broiling in the first 20 minutes or so. See Robertson D.S., McKenna M.C., Toon O.B., Hope S., Lillegraven J.A. Survival in the first hours of the Cenozoic. Geological Society of America Bulletin 2004; 116:760-768.
I’m always curious about how people discover the nature of God. What was your method here?
Yes, much more humane than slow starvation.
Doesn’t seems like omnipresence to me. Seems more like complete ambivalence.
Obviously that extinction event occurred, but it ushered in a new wave of life on this planet, culminating in the creation of man. An epic disaster would have been a frightening thing to see. However, suffering as and always has been a way of life on the planet earth. It is obviously a part of the design. So, while it may be fair to ask about the magnitude of suffering in a single event, it is an emotional response. Everything dies and it is not always pretty. I have read reports (I don’t have cites handy) that explain that the lesser animals “feel pain” but do not have the “awareness” of it. So, while we humans are not at all insulated from pain, and we have incredible awareness of it, they are not so. So, it is easy to ask a question you ask about such mass suffering, but apart from this event, suffering would have also been a part of life.
Would humanity even exist if that event didn’t happen? Sure, evolution would go in that direction eventually, but who’s to say T-Rex wouldn’t have killed our ancestor.
I certainly believe that it was a part of the plan. But I believe in a human-centric creation. New life was ushered in for changing conditions, which ultimately became the domain of man.
I guess a YEC… they have us riding them.
Poor donkey, getting replaced by a T-Rex like that.
Must have been a sight to see, though.
Is there any possibility of any observation we could conceivably make that you would not consider “part of the plan”? Is there any way to test the claim that there was a plan?
Hi John: That’s a fair question, thank you for asking. Note that I did not bring up the “plan” issue until later in the discussion with Djordje, because it is a theological opinion and did not pertain so much to the issue that Patrick posed. So I purposely limited my reply to Patrick to avoid this issue.
My opinion is that there are many observations that might just be “random” events that have occurred and may not be a part of a grand plan. I believe that, in general, God must have steered certain events such that appropriate ecosystems were in place at the right times, and that all of this took place with the goal of earth hosting man, God’s greatest creation. I don’t look to scripture, though, and read it such that this particular extermination event could have been predicted or anticipated, and so it could have been a random event. I think that you are correct to point out that we Christians see patterns and think Cause. We are guilty as charged.
I do not believe that God makes every acorn fall. I do believe that He has a broad plan that He ensures is worked out in the way that man can live here and now, and have an opportunity for redemption in the next life, too.
I cannot think of how it can be tested. The best that I can conceive of is to evaluate what has occurred and to determine what could or could not have happened naturalistically. I don’t possess the knowledge to determine what could or could not, so I am here to read and learn.
So it’s not a plan, per se, but supernatural causation you would think of as testable. But can you equate that with a plan? If so, then human existence can’t be planned, because it relies on (among other things), that asteroid strike, which has a natural explanation. I think you suggested research program has no hope of finding a plan, and only very slight hopes of finding any supernatural causation. You really would be best advised to rely on faith and faith alone.
That’s what he said. ‘I believe’.
It seems that you are replying to what you either think that I said or what you hope that I said. In fact, what I said was this:
What you observe in the world fits into your model of faith. The same is true for me. How I go about that is my own personal decision. The same is true for you. What I see that augments my faith should not be expected to do the same for yours. That’s the thing about faith, it is not the same for every person. That said, because you do not see God in the creation does not affect me in any way.
That’s a great question and a topic worthy of its own thread. (When did we last have a theodicy thread on Peaceful Science?) I would encourage you to start such a thread, as it is really a very different type of question than “Why did God wait to create the universe?” (If you can’t wait that long, the Wikipedia article on The Theodicy Problem is a good place to start.)
In this case it was relatively simple: logic. Even atheist philosophers agree that a Creator God by definition and logical inference would be outside of and not subject to the time dimension which he himself had created.
Of course, many other aspects of God’s nature are not so readily determined by logic alone. That too could be a good thread topic of its own.