3 Proofs of God from Science

Rabbi Aaron Zimmer & Rabbi Dr. Elie Feder PhD

One way to see the substantial nature of these proofs is by considering scientists’ primary alternative - the multiverse. Since many modern-day scientists don’t accept the possibility of God, they reject the scientific indications of an intelligent cause and instead posit the existence of infinitely many unobservable parallel universes, each having different laws of nature. We’ll address the multiverse theory later.

Proof 1: The Fine Tuning Argument

The Relationship Between Fundamental Physics, The Constants of Nature, and a Theory of Everything

Three ideas lie at the heart of the fine tuning argument: (i) fundamental; (ii) constants of nature;  and (iii) theory of everything.


i) The term fundamental is used to describe the most basic entities that can’t be reduced to anything else. Specifically, fundamental physics is the study of the deepest principles of nature which are ultimately responsible for all the complexity and diversity in chemistry, biology, astronomy, and all the other sciences. 

Modern physics conceives of the world as being composed of fundamental particles and fundamental laws. According to the Standard Model of particle physics, fundamental particles, such as electrons and quarks, are the basic indivisible building blocks from which everything else is made. The fundamental laws, such as quantum mechanics and general relativity, are the basic irreducible rules that govern how these particles behave and interact.


ii) The next notion is the constants of nature. Based on scientists’ observations and measurements, they have discovered fixed numbers that are built into the fundamental particles and laws of nature. These 25 or so unchanging numbers, known as the constants of nature, determine quantities regarding the particles and the laws. Two examples are the mass of an electron (a number that describes how heavy it is) and the fine structure constant (a number that describes the strength of the force between two electrons).


iii) The last concept is physicists' dream of finding a final theory of everything. To realize this dream, they were searching for an irreducible, beautiful, unified, and simple law that explains all the complexity and diversity in the universe.

The Mystery of The Constants And The Problem it Poses For A Theory of Everything

Throughout the 20th century, modern physics had been quite successful in partially realizing physicists' dream of finding a theory of everything. However, the specific values of the constants presented a unique challenge. Physicists did not want to posit that the constants - which appear to be an ugly list of data - are themselves uncaused ad hoc additions to an otherwise beautiful theory of everything. Rather, it seemed clear that the constants, like everything else, should be explained by a theory of everything. The problem is: How can a theory of everything, a master law of nature, determine numbers like 1/137.035999139?  

The problem emerged from the fact that the numbers seem completely arbitrary with no apparent reason for their values. From the perspective of theoretical physics, the constants could have taken on any value whatsoever. Richard Feynman called the problem of explaining these values “one of the greatest damn mysteries of physics.” In their pursuit of a master law that explains everything, physicists faced the immense challenge of explaining the precise values of the twenty-five constants lying at the heart of the laws of nature. 

How the Discovery of Fine Tuning Impacted the Pursuit of a Theory of Everything

The discovery of fine tuning provided the all-important clue which illustrated that the values of the constants are not as arbitrary as they had seemed. Beginning in the 1970s, scientists realized that while the values of the constants don’t matter in terms of fundamental physics, the fields of astronomy, chemistry, and biology (among others) demand that these values are precisely tuned. That is, if these numbers were slightly different, the universe would be devoid of atoms, molecules, planets, stars, galaxies, and life. As such, fine tuning is the reason that our universe contains order, structure, and complexity.  

In scientists' quest to explain the cause of the values for the constants, it became evident that the precision of the fine tuning is too great to be chalked up to a lucky coincidence, as the odds of getting all the values within the correct ranges is staggeringly low. It was clear that the discovery of fine tuning is too significant a clue to ignore.

Why Fine Tuning Demands a Paradigm Shift to Solve the Mystery of the Constants of Nature

While it can't be denied that fine tuning is a vital clue for explaining the constants, its discovery presents a new problem. This is based on the fact that modern science generally proceeds by explaining how the laws of nature cause complex phenomena in the universe. For example, the laws of physics cause atoms to interact in a way that brings about molecules.  

But fine tuning seems to indicate the exact opposite - that somehow the end result of having a complex universe with atoms and molecules caused the specific quantities for each constant. From the ordinary scientific perspective, this seems backward! Since the significance of fine tuning is undeniable, it is clear that solving the problem raised by fine tuning motivates a paradigm shift in how physicists understand the universe. In fact, this is one of the major motivations for some scientists’ belief in a multiverse – a topic that we’ll discuss later. 

How Physics Proves Intelligent Design from the Fine Tuned Constants of Nature

The solution to the problem of fine tuning contains the heart of this argument. The mystery of the constants emerged from trying to explain the specific values of the constants exclusively using a framework in which a past law causes a future effect. The solution to this mystery emerged once science showed that the discovery of fine tuning indicates a framework of causality in which a future purpose causes a selection in the past. In other words, fine tuning indicates that the cause of the specific values of the constants is the purpose of bringing about an ordered, structured, and complex universe.  

Of course, like everything that exists for a purpose, the constants also had a direct cause that set their specific values. Therefore, the cause responsible for purposely setting the values of the constants must be intelligent, insofar as it fine tuned their values in just the manner needed to bring about our complex universe. This follows from the definition of ‘intelligence’ as the ability to pick out one possibility from among many for the purpose of producing an intended goal. Clearly, the selection of the fine tuned values of the constants in just the right manner that results in a universe that is much greater than the sum of its parts is a direct indication of an intelligence cause - God.

Proof 2: The Design Argument from the Laws of Physics

The qualitative laws of physics, quantum mechanics and general relativity, furnish an independent argument for an intelligent cause of our universe. This argument naturally arises from scientific inquiry: “Why are these laws true and not some other laws?”  

Throughout the second half of the 20th century, physicists aspired to address this question by discovering a final theory of nature that not only accounted for everything but was also unique—the only possible theory of everything. Such a discovery would explain why our observed laws of nature are real - because there simply couldn’t be any other laws. 

Despite physicists’ efforts to find a final theory, they eventually acknowledged that there is no logical reason why our laws are the only possibility. In fact, they were able to formulate many alternate “laws of nature” that were theoretically possible but simply weren’t true. Scientists realized that their dream of a unique final theory was unrealistic. 

This led them to the first insight that gets this argument going: The qualitative laws of nature did not have to be quantum mechanics and general relativity but could have been any of the plethora of mathematically consistent set of laws. However, eliminating the dream of a unique final theory brings back the question: “Why are laws real and not some other laws?”  

The solution emerges from the recognition that these laws are not just any arbitrary set, but are very special. For all possible sets of laws that our universe could have had, the majority would lead to a universe lacking order, structure, and complexity. 

​This leads to the second relevant insight: From the set of all possible laws of physics, only our observed laws have the potential to unfold and generate a universe with atoms, molecules, planets, stars, galaxies, and life. Our special laws are designed for the purpose of producing an ordered, structured, and complex universe. 

With these two insights, we can now address physicists’ question: What caused our universe to have these particular laws, rather than some other possible set of laws? 

Since the definition of ‘intelligence’ is the ability to select one possibility from many to achieve a goal, we can infer that the design inherent in the qualitative laws of physics indicates that our universe has an intelligent designer who selected quantum mechanics and general relativity from the set of all possible laws to create a universe containing galaxies, stars, planets, atoms, molecules, and life.

Proof 3: The Argument from the Ordered Initial Conditions of the Universe

(The following argument is a modified version of Aaron Zimmer’s essay in “Elevator Pitches for God”)


The remarkable initial conditions of our universe provide another independent argument for an intelligent cause of our universe. To see this, we need to first explore a physics concept called entropy. Any system, from a book to the universe, exists in a particular state with distinct emergent properties. An ordered state arises from a specific arrangement of components, creating an emergent property like the book’s meaning. A disordered state, however, occurs from a random arrangement that results in no meaningful emergent property. 

 Entropy is a measure of this order. High entropy signifies a disordered state; low entropy, an ordered one. According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, all closed systems evolve toward higher entropy, or disorder, over time. This means that if a system is in a state of low entropy now, it must have started with even lower entropy.  

When examining the universe, we might have expected it to be in a high entropy state, which after all, is its most likely state. If that were the case, we would see a universe filled with high entropy objects (like black holes). But instead, we observe the exact opposite! We see galaxies, stars, planets, life, etc.  

The Second Law of Thermodynamics suggests that the low entropy state of the universe today means that it began in an even more unlikely, lower entropy state. This shifts the focus to the highly ordered, extraordinarily unlikely, state with which our universe began.  

Renowned physicist Roger Penrose calculated that the chance of our universe beginning with such low entropy is about 1 in 10^10^123, an inconceivably low probability. This is much less likely than finding a needle in a haystack the size of the known universe. If our universe hadn’t started with these incredibly unlikely conditions, the subsequent evolution wouldn’t have resulted in the complex universe we observe today. Instead, it would have yielded an uninteresting black hole-ridden realm.  

This exceedingly improbable scenario directs us to the clear conclusion that the initial conditions of our universe were not a matter of random chance. Rather, they were purposely arranged to allow for the emergence of an ordered and complex universe, something that would have been impossible had the universe begun in a high entropy, disordered state. 

Just as a perfectly ordered book suggests the presence of an intelligent author, the universe’s highly ordered initial conditions suggest the existence of an intelligent orderer, as intelligence involves the ability to choose one possibility among many to achieve a specific goal. Therefore, considering the overwhelming odds against a random, low entropy beginning and the elegant order we observe today, it is compelling to conclude that our universe is not the product of chance but of an intelligent God.