1. Sooty and the universe (Who made God?)

    The chapter explores the various answers that can be given to the atheist’s favourite question; ‘If God made everything, who made God?’ We look in turn at the following ideas: (1) that ‘we made God’ — God is an invention of the human mind; (2) that God is highly improbable and therefore probably doesn’t exist (this involves dealing with common misunderstandings of probability in nature); and (3) that the question is unanswerable (it isn’t, providing that ‘God’ is properly defined).

  2. Yogurt, cereal and toast (Can science explain everything?)

    In this chapter and the next we demonstrate that scientific explanations never lead back to self-evident foundations but rather into a jungle of counter-intuitive concepts like curved space and quantum uncertainty. The point is made via an entertaining popular review of the ‘impossible’ physics of quantum mechanics and its implications.

  3. Stringing it all together (Searching for a theory of everything).

    This chapter continues to explore — in a popular and gently humorous style — the elusive nature of scientific explanations. Starting with cosmic rays and the ‘zoo’ of fundamental particles, we see how modern physics seeks to unify our understanding of the universe by seeking a ‘theory of everything’. So-called ‘string theory’ may be a close approach to this final aim, but it comes at an immense cost in comprehension — requiring 10-dimensional space and other mind-boggling concepts. Far from explaining everything, science actually explains nothing except on its own counter-intuitive terms.

  4. Pouring concrete (Foundations; how hypotheses are born).

    If science can really explain nothing in terms that we can understand, how can we explain the universe and our own existence? We can find an answer using the scientific method — advancing an hypothesis, testing it and verifying (or falsifying) it. The hazards and advantages of this ‘hypothetic approach’ are discussed before we introduce the ‘hypothesis of God’. This is, in fact, the approach of the Bible, which nowhere seeks to prove the existence of God but assumes it (adopts it as an hypothesis) and then proceeds to work out its implications — in creation, revelation, history and human experience.

  5. Ferrets and fallacies (A brief critique of Victor Stenger’s book God, the failed hypothesis; How science shows that God does not exist).

    Having introduced the hypothesis of God, we take a fun interlude to critique one particular atheistic book that pronounces this hypothesis a failure and claims that science proves it so. We see that the claim is wholly without merit, being based on faulty reasoning and tendentious interpretations of science.

  6. Defining God (The importance of defining what we mean by ‘God’).

    One advantage of our approach is that in advancing the hypothesis of God we may define God any way we like without pre-empting discussion about his nature. We can therefore define God as ‘the God of the Bible’ without assuming what we want to prove. We can then test the explanatory power of our hypothesis by studying its implications and seeing if they agree with science and personal experience.

    We describe briefly some common but unbiblical misconceptions of God — the ‘God of the gaps’; the God of complementarity; the God who takes responsibility for nothing; the deist’s absent-landlord God; and the lowest-common-denominator God.

  7. Starting with a bang (Cosmic creation).

    We now begin the serious business of seeing how far the hypothesis of God correctly predicts what we know of cosmic creation. We consider the expanding universe, modern cosmology and the way they imply the existence of a non-physical realm that transcends space and time and within which the physical universe was created.

  8. Steam engine to the stars (Time and the hypothesis of God).

    Beginning with a brief history of time, we examine the scientific view of time and its foundations in entropy and the second law of thermodynamics (the treatment is entertaining and as far as possible non-technical). We ask, ‘Can we get rid of time?’ — the atheist needs to do so if he is to avoid its theological implications — and see how the hypothesis of God describes the evolving cosmos, time and eternity.

  9. Peeling onions (The ubiquity of law in human conscience, nature and society).

    Before exploring in chapter 10 how the hypothesis of God explains the laws of nature, we pause to point out that God’s hand as the law-giver is seen in every aspect of human society and experience, not just those areas accessible to science.

  10. Cosmic chess (The nature and origin of the laws of nature).

    Without natural law there could be no science. We consider the universality, elegance, mathematical nature and comprehensibility of the laws of science and nature. We examine the atheist’s futile attempt to explain away the origin of these laws by appealing to a multi-universe or yet higher natural laws. By contrast, the hypothesis of a transcendent yet immanent God explains both the origin and nature of these laws in a fully satisfying way.

  11. Over the moon (Miracles).

    According to Richard Dawkins, miracles do happen but are simply highly improbable natural events. We examine his examples — the hand-waving statue and the cow that jumps over the moon — and show that they are scientifically vacuous. We also see why the atheist needs to establish that literally anything can happen by natural causation given enough time (another false conclusion). Turning to the hypothesis of God, we take a serious look at providence, miracles and the over-ruling of natural law.

  12. Information, stupid! (The origin of life).

    Following a brief ‘layman-friendly’ explanation of the molecular basis of life, we consider the scientific impossibility of life arising by chance. We discuss information theory — the origination of the codes, syntax and semantics present in the genomes of all living things. The essence of life resides not in the chemistry of DNA but in information, which can only be the product of intelligence not chance.

  13. Life in a cake mixer (The origin of living organisms).

    Given the existence of DNA and proteins (or their alleged precursors) how did these organise themselves into living cells and their constituent parts? We consider various ideas about self-organisation and find them sadly wanting. The hypothesis of God, by contrast, reveals God as the supreme organiser in both history and nature.

  14. The tidy pachyderm (A critique of Neo-Darwinianism).

    Natural selection is the new deity — the blind watchmaker — but is a god with feet of clay. We demonstrate the shortcomings and limitations of natural selection as an agent for biological change and consider the almost total lack of scientific evidence for macro-evolution over against special creation.

  15. The mighty mutation? (Do mutations have creative power?)

    Having identified mutations as the only factor in evolution theory that might introduce new genetic information into the biosphere, we examine the evidence for the claim that they can in fact do so, including the cases of sickle cell anaemia, bacterial drug resistance and insecticide resistance. We find the evidence points to genome degradation rather than upward evolution. The biblical hypothesis of God accounts for this scenario in terms of the Fall of man and nature.

  16. The second shoe (What is man? Man and his mind).

    Man is unique in having mind. Just as information ‘rides’ on the physical DNA molecule but transcends it, so mind ‘rides’ on the physical organ we call the brain. This follows naturally from the hypothesis of God, who imprints his own mental ‘image’ upon man. If mind is no more than a by-product of the brain, all thoughts and theories are meaningless, including the atheist’s.

  17. Man and his Maker (Man, sin, judgement and redemption).

    Like mind, morality and conscience are also unique to man and atheism has no adequate explanation for them. We consider the implications of morality and the effects of original sin and the fall of Adam. Man’s redemption lies not in evolutionary self-improvement, or even in moral teaching, but in rebirth through God’s grace and the atoning work of Jesus Christ. How the hypothesis of God explains salvation, judgement, restoration and the world to come.