Math Project on Existence of God

Hello everyone,
Just a disclaimer I’m no SCIENTIST just a senior in high school who’s thinking about ideas for an “exploratory math project.”

My investigation is supposed to be between 12-20 pages long and I can write about anything as long as I use math concepts to explore it.

I’ve been really interested in the scientific evidence for God and creation after I saw the Noah’s Ark in KY. I was wondering if y’all had any information/suggestions on what I could explore with math to prove that God exists. (Sounds very daunting, but I’d love to hear what y’all think.)

What resources should I check out? Any math concepts in particular? I thought about probability after watching this hilariously innacurate video on the existence of God: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jxdIt2_WI0

Thanks in advance y’all
Nathan

4 Likes

Excellent question, @nathan - and I agree with your assessment of the video you shared.

I think what you may be looking for would be something more along the lines of these short videos.

See what you think.

I hope it helps!

5 Likes

Nathan
I believe there are several projects that could be interesting. Here is a classic one.

  • Regression analysis of the earth’s population. Generally if you use reasonable assumptions in growth rate you end up with a couple about 4000 years ago which is the time of Noah and the Flood
6 Likes

Hi Nathan,
sounds like an interesting idea for an exploratory math’s project.

from the video transcript from youtube; with some comments…

The existence of God has been fiercely debated for centuries but regardless of what you think or feel is true can we use math, the universal, unbiased language to come to a conclusion? Can math prove God’s existence?

The most famous argument in favour of a God-made world using logic and reasoning is the “argument by design”.

I think this is referring to the fine tuning argument?

Simply put, given how complex and amazing everything around us is can we really believe that dumb luck put it together? Even from a scientist perspective life is amazing incredibly rare and took a monumental amount of steps chance-happenings and time to come about

So, a religious person may argue: “Doesn’t it seem much more plausible that there was some driving force behind it all?” This type of argument is called reductio ad absurdum which simply means it attempts to disprove a statement by showing it inevitably leads to absurd or impractical conclusions In this case it suggests that

  1. if there is no God, humans developing is very unlikely
  2. humans did develop therefore,
  3. it is unlikely that there is no God.

but let’s take this logic one step further and imagine a universe before anything has been created

yes this is the Cosmological Kalam argument;

Here, we have a base box where we have our two possibilities of God existing and no God existing On the other side are possibilities are that humans exist or that humans don’t exist If no God is true then most would agree that human existence takes a lot of specific factors to come about so let’s make up a tiny probability and say that there’s a 1/4 billion billion chance of humanity coming into existence in a world with no God and if God is real even though we don’t know that God would make humans certainly He could so let’s give it a higher probability of 1/4 million

is this math or just speculation? one can’t just make up random probabilities and call it math.

Of course, if we examine the evidence we know we exist so we can get rid of the other row and as many of you who have used the “argument by design” point out a human-made world with God seems much, much more likely rationally and statistically and while this is true in some ways it forgets an important point that we have assumed there are only two major theories, but we know this isn’t true.

Many societies have believed in multiple gods and given there are some aspects of this life that aren’t merely as beautifully complex or seemingly intentional perhaps a variety of squabbling gods created the world Mathematician Jordan Ellenberg uses the probability of 1/400,000 that universe with multiple gods would create humans but it’s important to remember that the exact numbers don’t actually matter.

So now this runs into the Cosmological Kalam argument problem again. created gods still need a creator, and you run into an eternal regression problem going back into the infinite past. Who created the god, that created the god, that created the god etc etc. :slight_smile: Assigning a nice number of 1/400,000 as a probability to the possibility of ‘gods squabbling and creating humans’ obviously adds no value to the argument because the basis of the argument rests on the possibility that created gods exist.

As John Lennox, on of my favourite authors points out. The question of who created God is a category mistake. The Eternal God revealed in the Bible is by definition uncreated. You don’t ask who created an Eternal Being…

What does matter is that we can agree rationally, that a universe with more gods has a higher chance of creating humans then one with a single God or none at all

Can we? a universe with more gods has an eternal regression problem as mentioned above; who created these created gods?

it’s also important to remember that we’re not comparing the probability of gods or no gods existing we’re asking ourselves if the God option is true what is the likelihood of Him making humans? and then we’re asking separately if the multiple gods option is true what is the likelihood that they would make humans?

now, let’s take this even further to theories of us simply living in a simulation like that of the Sims Which individuals like Elon Musk and Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom believe as technology advances it’s almost a certainty that future humans will make extremely realistic human simulations based on the world that we live in to study these humans like we study mice scientists already use simulations to understand nature and human behaviour

but in the future it’s possible that the human test subjects will be conscious and think they are real so we can give this scenario a fairly high probability again, the exact number doesn’t matter just that we can agree it’s very likely that advanced humans would create these kinds of simulations compared to the probability of a God or gods randomly deciding to make humans when they don’t need to or could make millions of other animals or other aspects of the universe after all, humanity is obsessed with humans so as you can see while

maths can, in fact, show that the existence of life is evidence that God exists compared to no God the same maths shows more compiling evidence that we’re simulation by much smarter people

So the final argument for this video is

1/ it’s probable based on made up probabilities that God is more likely to create a world in which humans exist than not
2/ it’s more probable that humans were created in a universe in which multiple gods exist, than one God, and because there are more created gods they had more chances of wanting to create humans?
3/ it’s more probable again that actually advanced humans will in the future create some sort of simulation machine in which humans are plugged into or live inside. Science fiction or the matrix type thinking basically.

Not very compelling arguments really from this video.

special thanks to audible for supporting this episode to give you a free 30-day trial at audible.com/asap this week we wanted to recommend the book ‘How Not To Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking’ by Jordan Ellenberg which was the main source of this episode and an incredible read on the hidden beauty and logic of our world through the lens of maths but in a way that is accessible to everyone you can get a free 30-day trial at audible.com/asap and choose from a massive selection we love them as they are great when you’re on the go and subscribe for more weekly science videos

You could do your research paper on ‘Why does Mathematics work at all?’. :slight_smile:

Here is the animated video from William Lane Craig and the associated resources.

https://www.reasonablefaith.org/god-and-mathematics

If you wanted to get into a good author on logic; John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics among other things, is my favourite author and speaker. (https://www.johnlennox.org/
https://www.rzim.org/speakers/john-lennox).

One of my favourite quotes from John Lennox; shows that atheism actually undermines our ability to trust our own logic.

On what evidence, therefore, do scientists base their faith in the rational intelligibility of the universe, which allows them to do science? The first thing to notice is that human reason did not create the universe. This point is so obvious that at first it might seem trivial; but it is, in fact, of fundamental importance when we come to assess the validity of our cognitive faculties. Not only did we not create the universe, but we did not create our own powers of reason either. We can develop our rational faculties by use; but we did not originate them. How can it be, then, that what goes on in our tiny heads can give us anything near a true account of reality?

How can it be that a mathematical equation thought up in the mind of a mathematician can correspond to the workings of the universe?
It was this very question that led Einstein to say, “The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible”. Similarly the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Eugene Wigner once wrote a famous paper entitled, “The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences”.6 But it is only unreasonable from an atheistic perspective. From the biblical point of view, it resonates perfectly with the statements: “In the beginning was the Word … and the Word was God … All things came to be through him” (John 1 v 1, 3).

Sometimes, when in conversation with my fellow scientists, I ask them “What do you do science with?”
“My mind,” say some, and others, who hold the view that the mind is the brain, say, “My brain”.
“Tell me about your brain? How does it come to exist?”
“By means of natural, mindless, unguided processes.”
“Why, then, do you trust it?” I ask. “If you thought that your computer was the end product of mindless unguided processes, would you trust it?”
“Not in a million years,” comes the reply.
“You clearly have a problem then.”
After a pregnant pause they sometimes ask me where I got this argument—they find the answer rather surprising: Charles Darwin. He wrote: “…with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy.”7

Taking the obvious logic of this statement further, Physicist John Polkinghorne says that if you reduce mental events to physics and chemistry you destroy meaning. How?
For thought is replaced by electrochemical neural events. Two such events cannot confront each other in rational discourse. They are neither right nor wrong—they simply happen.

The world of rational discourse disappears into the absurd chatter of firing synapses. Quite frankly that can’t be right and none of us believe it to be so.8 Polkinghorne is a Christian, but some well-known atheists see the problem as well.

John Gray writes: “Modern humanism is the faith that through science humankind can know the truth—and so be free. But if Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true this is impossible. The human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth”.9

Another leading philosopher, Thomas Nagel, thinks in the same way. He has written a book, Mind and Cosmos , with the provocative subtitle Why the Neo-Darwinian View of the World is Almost Certainly False. Nagel is a strong atheist who says with some honesty, “I don’t want there to be a God”. And yet he writes: “But if the mental is not itself merely physical, it cannot be fully explained by physical science. Evolutionary naturalism implies that we shouldn’t take any of our convictions seriously, including the scientific world picture on which evolutionary naturalism itself depends.”10

That is, naturalism, and therefore atheism, undermines the foundations of the very rationality that is needed to construct or understand or believe in any kind of argument whatsoever, let alone a scientific one. Atheism is beginning to sound like a great self-contradictory delusion —“a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence”.
Of course, I reject atheism because I believe Christianity to be true. But I also reject it because I am a scientist. How could I be impressed with a worldview that undermines the very rationality we need to do science? Science and God mix very well. It is science and atheism that do not mix.
(from this article below)

Hopefully some helpful thoughts; all the best with your studies. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Hey @nathan! I have enjoyed this thread!
Have thought of it sporadically and am wondering how your math project went? It looks like you received some great responses that were packed with insight in this realm!

Hi Ms. Christina and also to the rest of y’all who replied. Just want to say thank you for your inputs. These are some really deep and beautiful math concepts that y’all have presented here. Heads up, I’m still working on the project in the planning stages but God willing I will update y’all within the next few months of where I’m at. I request your prayers!
Stay safe everyone,
Nathan

1 Like