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Do creationists need to prove God exists?

Published: 8 June 2019 (GMT+10)

Our article Creation isn’t science? elicited many responses, some positive and some negative. Others may have been well intentioned but missed the boat entirely. We are publishing two comments below, with responses from Lita Cosner.

Brien D., Australia, wrote:

Creationism is founded on the belief of a god! That god has yet to be proven.!… Therefore, until that god is proven, ‘creationism’ is not a valid concept to discuss; It remains a fictional idea!!

Lita Cosner, CMI-US, responds:

You are correct that creation rests upon a foundation of belief in the Creator God. But you are incorrect that we need to prove that He exists before creation can become a valid topic to discuss.

In fact, your attempt at philosophy falls far short of a good argument. You use the word “proof” as if there is any such thing in the world of science. There is not. Instead, to approach science one needs to make several important starting assumptions. Are you awake? Is the universe real? Can you actually know what you know? You cannot even ‘prove’ that the universe was not created yesterday and that false memories were implanted in your brain. Of course, this is ridiculous, but why is it ridiculous? It is because such ideas do not fit into the grand edifice of knowledge we have built from our basic assumptions. The universe is real, it is logical, and we have the ability to comprehend it. We believe these things are true because God is true. Non-theists have to assume they are true without a reason. But all I am trying to say is that science is squarely based on philosophy and your question ignores this very important fact. You would benefit from reading our 3-part article series called Dystopian Science.

Why do we feel comfortable using the Bible as a guide for science?

First, God has revealed Himself through what He has made. Scripture tells us that all of us, including you, know that God exists. It also says that people who do not believe suppress that truth (Romans 1). The Bible also says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”—and apparently God thought it was important enough to include the exact same statement twice (Psalm 14:1; 53:1). But even children instinctively know there is a God who created the world. The existence of God is self-evident, and we are without excuse if we reject the evidence for His existence (Romans 1:20).

Second, God has revealed Himself through His Word. The Bible tells us about God, His attributes and nature, and how He has interacted with humanity to bring about salvation.

Third, God has revealed Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ, who was born as a human, like us in every way except that He was without sin. He lived the righteous life we never could, and died the death that we deserved (because we have broken God’s good law, which is written on our hearts—Romans 1). He rose from the grave on the third day as vindication of His claims and proof that God accepted His perfect sacrifice on behalf of all who would trust in Him for salvation.

Thus, we do not have to prove that God exists because God has revealed Himself to us already. Furthermore, people who try to explain the universe apart from the Creator God have a hopeless task, because they want to use the creation that testifies to God’s power and eternal nature to try to disprove that very God! And they run into trouble at every level, from the microscopic to the cosmic.

The atheist cannot explain how the universe began, how stars formed, how planets form, how life began, the diversity of life and all the wondrous design in living creatures, the complex coded language of DNA, why humans have consciousness and a conscience. They can’t explain why we instinctively believe in God and why something like 99% of people throughout history have believed in a god.

In conclusion, we do not have to prove that God exists because you already know that He does. The good news is that He has revealed Himself in the Person of the Saviour, Jesus Christ, and that anyone who calls on Him will be saved. But the ‘bad news’ is that anyone who continues to suppress the truth in unrighteousness will one day stand before that same Jesus, but not as their Saviour, as their judge. I urge you to consider these matters before it is too late, because none of us is guaranteed another chance.

Jeff, US, writes:

Dear Lita

You have, by intention I suspect, missed the point of Vince D’s comment. The NAS describes Creationism as pseudoscience, not necessarily its practitioners. So all the names you mention can sleep sound knowing that they are “doing science” as long as it is not creationism. Poets are poets only when they are wrapped in the throes of poesy. Footballers, when they are playing the game. And so on. Rest easy!

Lita Cosner responds:

If there could be such a neat separation between creation science as an idea and the scientists who believe it, why would there be such a systematic campaign of persecution of any scientist who displays even the slightest belief in design? This seems like a convenient way to dismiss the fact that scientists who believe in creation have made some real scientific advances. As such, I reject the distinction as intellectually dishonest.

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Readers’ comments

Dan B.
The correspondent commits a logical fallacy in claiming that it is necessary to prove God's existence in order for creationism to be on the table of ideas up for discussion. No, all that's needed is for God's NONexistence not to have been proved. While that issue is left open-ended, creationism will certainly be among the ideas for debate; while if it is considered that God's existence is proved, then creationism in its essence will cease to be a topic for discussion in the sense that it will then have become a certainty (dismissing the horse-and-tractor nonsense some would like to push).

Also the weird way they (and not only they) talk about "a god" and "that god" strongly suggests they have a weak grasp of what the word God means in the first place. There can only be one Creator God, or none. And the funny thing is that if you don't properly know what the word "God" means, it follows that your idea of what "atheism" means is equally vague. Frankly, given their inability to explain the world, atheists should really be called acosmists - something Isaac Asimov seemed to be edging towards, believe it or not.
Xavier D.
It is correct that this debate has nothing to do with evidence and everything to do with presuppositions. It is also correct that the debate is with the Secular religion rather than Science. However, there is one thing you can try with people who demand proof of God's existence. Since eyewitness testimony is evidence, you can point out that the Bible records the testimony of dozens (if not hundreds) of eyewitnesses why saw God and his acts.

Invariably, the Secularist will argue something along the lines of claiming that the eyewitnesses are liars/mistaken/fictitious/etc but note that the tables have turned. They are now the ones making claims and most likely haven't presented evidence of their own. Just point this out and the more open minded will probably start realising how blind their beliefs are. More narrow-minded will most likely either have a rescuing device or circular reasoning to save them.
Richard P.
In Mathematics, there is a standard of complete, objective proof. For example, we know that nobody will ever discover a plane right-angled triangle which defies the theorem of Pythagoras, because clear, logical, irrefutable proofs of the theorem have been found. But as the article rightly observes, in the Physical Sciences, the same level of proof is not attainable.
Instead we need to turn to the language of the courtroom: proven "beyond reasonable doubt". And how does a court attempt to arrive at such a determination? Why, of course, by inspecting the evidence! Yet in the courtroom of Judge Brien D, the evidence is not worthy to be considered because the case has not yet been proven. He wants there to be proof, before the evidence can be presented: it's the wrong way round!
Lita's article rightly focuses on higher, Scriptural principles by which the truth about God may be known, and these ought to be given careful attention. But even for people who as yet have no regard for such things, there is abundant additional evidence amassed by creationist scientists and accessible through resources such as this website.
Brien D, if you don't even want to examine such evidence, then you stand convicted of operating a "kangaroo court" in your own mind. As for me, I find all doubting of the reality of God's existence to be unreasonable, because it flies in the face of overwhelming evidence.
Dan M.
When you look at a Boeing 747 do you need to prove engineers exist? No! You intuitively know they exist because of what has been made. The complexity of the machine is enough evidence!
If anything, modern science has proven evolution cannot explain the existence of the universe or biology. It is too complex to have happened by pure chance. And so evolutionists need to stop using the personification of nature and the creative narrative to explain their point of view, (they are ripping off God). "Blind, pitiless, indifference" doesn't cut it as an explanation! The evolutionary hypothesis is, in fact a competing religion but a intuitively ridiculous one. Historical science can't prove anything. The real scientific method necessarily happens in the present time as discovered by creationists during the enlightenment. Nether the creation or evolution historical point of view can be defined as science but at least we creationists have a narrative that explains nicely the present observations.In light of everything that has been made, (complexity) it is up to evolutionists to prove God doesn't exist by creating a complex living thing from nothing, (dirt only)! They'll never be able to do it and if they did, they would only prove it takes an intelligent being. Despite the fact that evo's control the educational and scientific communities, we creationists can have peace of mind knowing we stand on higher ground. Jesus Christ!
Michael T.
"That god has yet to be proven" (Brian D). Not true. As we know from Scripture, the evidence is irrefutable - another way of saying the existence of God IS proven. Romans 1:20 "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"
Dean R.
Its the old dishonest suppresively designed claim that somehow atheism is rational science(even though it is reliant to the core on miracles & super/anti-nature) while Theism is irrational science (even though there is a perfect match between the sacred revelation/text & nature/information, design, age, catastrophe, rapid burial, decay) Thats why you can rest, because the God who apparently doesnt exist does in fact exist as His work declares.
Alf F.
Evolution is not real, it is not part of reality. To demonstrate this clearly we have to keep a sharp focus in discussions. If we keep focus, reality automatically stands up one step at a time and waves its hands in our face. The enemy always uses some form of distraction to keep our eyes off straightforward truth.
We must discipline our minds when we think.
Keep focus, folk, Jesus is the Truth, and the love of truth is love of Him. No falsehood can ever be proved true, that stands to reason. When we are not fully informed on a matter, or don't understand it, reserve judgement, but as we well know through through History, Science, experience and conscience, whatever the Bible says will be found trustworthy. We don't ever have to fudge evidence or be afraid of facts and investigation, truth cannot and will not change. Work (for the truth) whilst it is still day: the night comes when no man can work.
All Gospel work has eternal reward. Remember John 27:17b "Thy word is truth".
Malcolm T.
I just wanted to make a comment regarding what someone said about Creation being a pseudoscience. Having been a student of the Bible for 30 years and loving the teachings of Genesis, I believe that the book of Genesis is consistent with true science. On the other hand, evolution is a real Pseudoscience since it is based on nothing but false evidence, speculation, and wishful thinking.
Will B.
In a CMI article sometime back the writer commented something to the effect: There is no knock-out blow [argument] in the evolution v creation debate." Really? Not only is there a 'knock-out blow" against atheism/Darwinism there's a 'killer' argument and which I'm actually quite amazed that CMI and other creation organizations don't use. Let me give a real life example. Years back I had a number of exchanges with Richard Dawkins and in what was to be my penultimate communication I asked him if in his opinion it was possible that the product of "pond scum" could accurately foretell many years in advance specific events in details. Richard, in what was to be his final communication with me, responded by saying that such a thing was IMPOSSIBLE. So, in what was to be my final communication to him, I responded by giving the precise details of the Isaiah prophecy including the manner of the overthrow of Babylon in which Cyrus (who wasn't even born at the time Isaiah prophesied) would lead the Medo-Persians in toppling that world empire. I further mentioned that the details are recorded in the Cyrus Cylinder housed in the British Museum and which confirm the foretold events as recorded in Scripture. I asked Richard, in light of this event and his previous statement: IMPOSSIBLE, to comment. I never did hear from him.
William B.
I would encourage all skeptics to get the DVD advertised on this site, Evolution’s Achilles' Heels. Real observable science is the friend of the Bible believer.
John S.
For me, I vowed to myself many years ago that I would believe only the things that I had reasonable evidence for. When I examined creation, ALL the knowledge we have and have no doubts about proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that creation HAD TO be supernatural. Had to, and only fools would ignore ALL we know for sure in hopes that it may someday change. Next was finding evidence of who or what did the supernatural creation. I looked at various religions. Some sounded so sincere but there was no hard evidence for it. The Bible is the ONLY writings that prove there was NO way it could not have been inspired by God; clearly the true God! From that, looking at the extreme order, and I mean extreme, we have in this universe in so many ways, it boggles my mind that there's even debate about all this. It really does. No one can actually be that STUPID! It does prove the Satan blinds those that wantingly want to live in darkness. Again, they WANT to. It's until they humble themselves and ask for understanding from God. That happened to me when I humbled myself to the evidence. The overwhelming clear evidence. I asked God to please forgive me for being so stupid. For not looking at this sooner.
Richard S.
Two of history's greatest theologians take what, at first, seems to be contradictory views on discovering God's existence: St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (c. 130 - c. 202 AD) follows the model represented in the Biblical account of the Tower of Babel and God's scattering of the Tower builders to find the pathway to an encounter with God through His Works in Creation, saying, "The initial step for us all to come to the knowledge of God is the contemplation of Nature." John Calvin, on the other hand, advises the seeker after God to follow the path of Faith, "There is no knowing that does not begin with knowing God." Is it not so, that both are true and necessary dimensions of discovery of the Divine to know His Works. Atheists and agnostics never find God in science unless they are first looking for Him, while the seeker after God who is ignorant of Nature will never confirm His Living Presence among us and within us with their own eyes and by their own reasonings.
Bill D.
Wow!! This article is an absolute "Home Run" with all the bases loaded!!! Can't thank you enough. I am forwarding the link to hundreds of people. Your movement is the most important movement since the Protestant reformation!!!
Robert S.
The first answer is excellent and thought provoking. The second was like an arrow straight to the heart of the matter. Well done!
Norman P.
It is because of the very nature of the Fall, that God chooses to hide himself (Isaiah 45:15), but also to reveal himself through faith. Otherwise, God has 'concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all' (Romans 11:32). This way, we are saved by grace, through faith, not as 'the Greeks' would have desired, through unregenerate human wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:18-31). From there, we are able to see the true wisdom, that facilitates all genuine, godly, scientific endeavour, as per the inscription over the doors to the Cavendish Physics Laboratory in Cambridge: 'The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein' (Psalm 112:2). How great is our God, and how good he has been to us, in revealing just enough, so as not to compromise that faith which 'worketh by love'! (Galatians 5:5-6)
Geoff W.
@Brien D: Our late ex prime minister Bob Hawke once talked about Australia being the 'clever country'. Seems we still have a long way to go.
I don't suppose you've ever heard of any other unproven idea being discussed. Say... maybe... the 'big bang theory'? Or life from non-life? Mutations producing new kinds of creatures? Dinosaur soft tissue and carbon 14 surviving for tens of millions or billions of years, respectively? Missing transitional life forms, of which there should be billions? 'etceteraaa, etceteraaa, etceteraaa' (movie:The King and I).
Aaron I.
One of the arguments I hear from skeptics is along the lines of “If creation is true, then the ENORMOUS (notice that the ones that resort to the “amount” of evidence as a weapon seem much more interested in quantity over quality) amounts of evidence for evolution would have to be discarded. Essentially, science ITSELF would have to be thrown out!”

If overthrowing evolution meant overthrowing science itself, sorry skeptics, but that ship has sailed, that means science should have been thrown out long time ago. Time and time again the consensus is overturned when all the experts were dead wrong.

I’m fact, just earlier today I came across an interesting article that challenges the late Professor Stephen Hawking’s theory that the universe had no beginning. Mind you it was from a secular source, not a creationist one. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people on the internet or atheist websites appeal to his work (appeal of authority) in a vain attempt at shutting down debate. Even he can and has been wrong!
Graham P.
Well done Lita, good job.
We might ask our skeptical friends: Is the universe really there? 'Of course it is' they'll say. But Hindus and most animists aren't so sure: maybe it's a dream? Ultimately we can't prove anything is there: ergo, as we creationists know, the founding fathers of science knew that the universe was there, because the bible tells us that it exists. The bible tells us that God, who objectively exists, made the world.
But if we reject the bible's assertion that the world objectively exists, how can we do science? How can experiments work, if we aren't certain that the material universe is even there?

Science is a child of the Christian tradition: without the bible there is no basis for modern science.
Anthony W.
Lita, in response to Brian's comment, the inverse of his comment is also true:

'The Grand Theory of Evolution is founded on the belief of there being no god! That the absence of god has yet to be proven.!… Therefore, until that absence is proven, ‘T.G.E.’ is not a valid concept to discuss; It remains a fictional idea!!'
James N.
Very good, very true. I have always said that it is easier to believe God created everything from nothing than to believe that nothing created everything from nothing. It is a matter of faith in both parts.

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