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A Journalist at Stephen Meyer’s Dallas Speech Recalls His Own Remarkable Response

David Klinghoffer

Stephen Meyer here unfolds the evidence for a finite universe and a beginning to space, time, and material existence. What does this evidence matter? Meyer spoke at Discovery Institute’s 2019 Dallas Science and Faith Conference. These presentations are now online:

A Gear Turned, Then a Shudder

In the audience was journalist John Zmirak, who had a remarkable reaction, as he writes:

Meyer told the story of how Einstein, as a good secular scientist, fiercely resisted this conclusion — though a Catholic priest had already theorized the Big Bang and astronomer Edwin Hubble had stumbled over evidence of it. After accepting the Big Bang, the honest Einstein began to talk about God, and would throughout his life. In fact, the more we learn about the universe, the less plausible we find the comfy scientific materialism that satisfied Victorians like … Charles Darwin.

What If God Is as Real as a Heart Attack?

At some point during this talk, I felt a gear turn in my head. Then a shudder went through the whole Rube Goldberg, sending all the mismatched parts of my mind into frantic motion.

What if God is real? Not real as in “something we hope for, and have decided to be confident about, thanks to Pascal’s Bet.” Or as in “a friend whom we trust to go on being a friend.” Or “the best explanation for a series of mysteries, including certain apparent religious experiences.” Or even “an argument whose truth we feel certain of.”

No. Real as the light by which you’re reading this. As certain as the smash of a plate you drop on the floor. Reliable not as in “socialism reliably produces poverty and shortages” but as in “if you stick your hand in a fire, it will hurt.” Inexorable and majestic, impossible to escape. Not the wisp of hope you feel for a happy outcome when your airplane hits some turbulence, but the vertigo which you feel looking down on the Grand Canyon, which seems somehow to be sucking you in.

That’s a horse of a different feather. What would it mean if the God of the Bible were real to us in that sense? If the Fact of God’s existence were as ludicrous to deny as the existence of air or water? As suicidal to flout as a hundred federal agents pointing rifles at your windows?

Zmirak goes on candidly to describe how, despite his own Christian beliefs, he previously took refuge in “a little part of my mind, which soaked in the secular Zeitgeist.” That was before Meyer turned that gear in his Zmirak’s head and the shudder ran through him. Read the rest at The Stream. Whoa. This is not the way Stephen Meyer talks about what he calls the God Hypothesis, the subject of his next book, but it’s a testimony to the power of the argument.

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.

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Albert EinsteinBig BangcosmologyDallas Conference on Science and FaithEdwin HubblefaithJohn ZmirakjournalistPascal’s BetReturn of the God HypothesisRube GoldbergscienceStephen MeyerThe StreamZeitgeist