This is the last of a four-part series on the self-evident nature of God. Be sure to go back and read Part 1 (If There Is No God, There Is No You) Part 2 (If There Is No God, There Is No Free Will), and Part 3 (If There Is No God, There Is No True Value).

The question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” has occupied philosophers for centuries. It’s a tougher question than you might initially think. Where did all this stuff come from? Or has it always just been around?

One thing is for certain: The created world is incredibly complex. In fact, scientists have long pointed out the sheer improbability of the complexities of life forming out of a mute, unguided chaos.

Even the most basic molecules and DNA strands are incredibly intricate, enough so that you wonder, “How could a cosmic accident ever result in the irreducibly complex beauty of a DNA strand?”

It’s like thinking an explosion in an ink factory accidentally produced the collected works of Shakespeare.

In recent years, scientists have made a big deal out of how finely tuned our universe seems to be to sustain life. They call it the “anthropic principle,” and it states that there are multiple factors that are so precise that if they were off by even a hair, life could not exist.

Take, for example, the makeup of our atmosphere, which is made up of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, 0.5 percent argon, and 0.03 percent carbon dioxide. If some of those levels were even slightly off—say, CO2 was just a little bit lower (at 0.01 percent)—then the earth would either become an oven or have no atmosphere at all. Or, if the level of oxygen dropped by 6 percent, we would all suffocate; if it rose by 4 percent, our planet would erupt into a giant fireball.

Then there’s Jupiter, which just happens to shield us from 99 percent of asteroids. If Jupiter didn’t exist in its particular placement and orbit, scientists predict that there would be 10,000 the number of asteroid strikes here on Earth. Jupiter is the Kennedy Meeks of planets, setting picks on the asteroids so that Earth can be open for the 3-pointer of life.

These are just a few of dozens of examples. Scientists say that the odds of a planet like Earth existing are so astronomical that the notion that it all “just happened” defies common sense. It’s like tossing a coin every second and having it come up heads for 10 billion years in a row.

The greatest miracle of all time, without any close seconds, is the existence of life on our planet!

Atheists recognize this improbability just as often as theists—though they try to avoid “miracle” language to describe it. For instance, the famous atheist physicist Stephen Hawking said in A Brief History of Time, “The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many (precise ratios), like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron …. The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.”

Factors like this have driven many entrenched atheists to conclude that an intelligent Creator must stand behind life. One of the most surprising was Antony Flew. In his late 70s, Flew, one of the 20th century’s most famous philosophers, stunned the philosophical world by announcing that he had begun to believe in God (this would be like Rush Limbaugh suddenly declaring that he is a Democrat or Mike Krzyzewski declaring himself to be a UNC fan).

What did it for Flew? He said he just didn’t see any other compelling explanation for the complexities of design in creation. For years, he had tried to make peace with it, but it just couldn’t be that the wonderful, beautiful complexity and intelligence of life emerged from a mute chaos. There had to be, as Thomas Edison said, “a captain on the bridge.”

If God Is Self-Evident, Why Does Anyone Deny Him?

I’ve been talking this week about God’s existence as something that is self-evident. These four indicators are less like mathematical proofs and more like a voice constantly speaking to us, pointing us to our Creator. If you heard a literal voice speaking to you from behind a door—one that called your name and asked you something personal about your life—you would probably assume it was a person speaking and not just an illusion created by the wind. Perhaps you couldn’t prove it scientifically, but that’s where your common sense would lead you.

That’s the Apostle Paul’s basic argument about creation. The natural response is to think an intelligent Creator of great power is behind it.

If that’s so, then why do so many still deny it?

As Paul points out, our belief problems go back to our heart problems:

For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them.

Romans 1:18-19 CSB

Our problem is not that the evidence for God is insufficient. God is there and he is not silent. The fundamental problem is that there’s something off with our hearts.

As long as our hearts are bent on exalting themselves rather than God, we will be blind to the obvious truths about God. We won’t accept that he created us and won’t listen for his purposes in our lives.

For those of you who can’t get on board with the idea of God, I don’t have an airtight proof that will guarantee to change your mind. All I ask is that you approach the evidence again, asking, “Is it possible that I’ve been approaching this the wrong way?” Listen for the voice of God in creation, speaking to you, calling out to you. He has always been there, and in Jesus, he came to Earth to rescue you.

I am indebted to Andy Stanley’s helpful series, “Who Needs God,” for the concept of this series and the structure of the posts’ titles.