1 + 1 = 1.75±15.2
There’s a famous maxim in construction, “Measure twice, cut once.”
The unstated assumption is that you will cut straight. Otherwise it doesn’t matter how many times you measure. This came home powerfully today while making a wood box for work. The top and bottom are supposed to be 18” x 18”. In reality, no side has the same measurement, and the top is different than the bottom. In short, there should be one dimension occurring eight times, but I have eight dimensions once each. There’s joy in consistency. Or so they say.
Fortunately, I was able to make one cut on the bottom plate and it worked, close enough for government work, which is good since I’m a state employee. I’ll find out tomorrow if the newly cut custom measured top will fit.
Other than publicly embarrassing myself by confessing the effects of working too fast, there is a point. There’s nothing quite like the work of a master craftsman that our amateurish attempts reveal poignantly. Whether by lack of skill, patience or time, our flaws are often revealed on their own demerits. Yet the glory of the work of a true master shines all the more brilliantly with a background of mediocrity.
Our humble efforts in the lab to duplicate God’s greatest works reveal the glory of His masterpieces. We can do simply amazing things with our technology, yet compare them to the real thing ordained from the beginning of the Creation, and continually being replicated automatically by the perfect laws He instituted among and within the spheres, we see the mediocrity of our efforts. Yes, we are continually improving, but the beings of one small planet simply have not the capacity to replicate a universe.
Over time, we may in fact, replicate life and even maybe true artificial intelligence, and perhaps other wonders. Many of my colleagues insist these and similar achievements would do away with the necessity of the God hypothesis. I have no argument over whether the God hypothesis is necessary or not. This is what they miss: whether or not God is necessary has absolutely no bearing on whether or not He is.
God is the “I Am”, not the “I Must Be”. There is a huge difference between the two. God’s primary claim is that He IS. Necessity is actually secondary, and to an extent, irrelevant. To put one’s philosophical eggs in the ‘necessity’ basket is akin to cutting the wood sloppily. The worst part about it is that it may not be evident until one tries to assemble this into their worldview to find that things don’t add up.
One reason that many don’t get this distinction in time to prevent their box from being misshapen is because they don’t believe anything exists outside of the physical universe, so the only possible reason for the God hypothesis is to explain what we don’t yet know—they see the only God hypothesis as a “God-of-the-gaps” hypothesis. Thus they assume their raw wood is square when making their cuts, and don’t understand why the box isn’t, even with good cuts. To make their box square, they need to show why it is reasonable to assume God doesn’t exist and make all derivative cuts from that.
Now, Scripture is clear that God says He is necessary. He makes it clear throughout Scripture. However, as the first Cause, He is, whether or not He is necessary for anything to come after, or whether or not anything does come after. The problem with the necessary hypothesis is that being inside the frame of reference of creation, it is not inherently obvious philosophically at what points that necessity comes into play or if we are capable of noticing it.
What is obvious is that by defining God out of the equation, there is an excellent chance that key differentiating data are defined out also, and so the experiment has a substantial chance of failure and we are likely not to realize it. By not including all variables, some things do not get measured at all, much less any sense of the uncertainty in their measurements.
Lagniappe: FYI, it is interesting how much of our daily lives, especially online, is based on trusting a wide host of companies, individuals and agencies to have integrity and treat our data with privacy and respect. TED talks are incredibly informative, including this one, and I encourage you to pay attention to what their speakers say.