Why we are hereQUESTION: Why we are here - What do the scientists say?ANSWER:
For those who pride themselves on being logical and rational, one of the most difficult questions to answer is: Why are we here?
While many scientists believe in God, those who don't offer some very complicated suggestions to address this question. In the absence of God, we must build the case for why we are here from the ground up.
First, we must build a universe. For 150 years, scientists have argued over whether the universe came into being 15 billion years ago in a "big bang" that is still expanding from a single, super-dense mass. The theory doesn't address the question of where this mass came from or how it was created.
Scientists more or less agree the universe eventually spawned solar systems - including ours - and planets coalesced out of hot debris. With billions of galaxies and stars and planets throughout the universe, sheer probability dictated that some would have the ingredients for life. Once the basic building blocks for cells came into being, there was a tendency for those that were best suited to life to continue while those less suited died off - thus evolving into more complicated life forms.
Over billions of years, scientists argue, humans evolved
to the point where they were capable of asking the question: "Why are we here?" Presumably, given enough time, some life form will evolve to the point where it is capable of answering that question.
In the meantime, scientists generally conclude we don't have a real purpose - any more than a tree or fish or insect has a real purpose. Those of us who reproduce will leave offspring who may be slightly better adapted to life here on Earth and thus the species may continue to gradually improve. But scientists don't propose that this is part of any master plan.
In the absence of God, humans are left to conclude that their only purpose is to behave as animals do, maximizing those things they find pleasant and minimizing pain. Even those who perform acts of compassion and charity may be seen as doing so because they find it pleasurable or because they receive something in return for their actions.
Unfortunately, humans have evolved to the point where they don't remain satisfied with this explanation or this way of life for long. Something in our internal makeup creates a sense of emptiness when we live this way. Scientifically, it makes no sense for humans to NOT be satisfied with being completely selfish - unless, of course, God put that emptiness there as a kind of calling card.
It's like spending years digging in the rubble of an ancient civilization and finding, at the lowest level, a spaceship. You can try to rewrite everything you've ever thought about ancient history to make sense of it, or you can admit that something totally outside your experience put that spaceship there.
God is calling on us to see the same thing with His creation
. No matter how deeply scientists dig into the nature of matter, the size of the universe, the complexity of life, they will never completely explain it.