The Four Miracles of Atheism

Christians aren’t the only ones who believe in miracles

Famed evolutionary biologist and avowed atheist Richard Dawkins stated that “Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.”

Clearly as a Christian I would contest such a definition of faith. However, it is important to note that regardless of how it is defined, even naturalistic worldviews take some things on faith.

In fact, even an atheistic worldview is forced to place faith in the miraculous.

For the purposes of this discussion, we will define a miracle as an event which occurs outside of the natural order and cannot be repeated or explained by the scientific process.

Consider the following four miracles which must be accepted by the atheist in spite of scientific evidence to the contrary:

Getting Something from Nothing

There has never been an observed example where something was created from nothing. No person would attempt to build something without materials, and there is no theory outside Big Bang cosmology which reaches this conclusion without ridicule from the scientific community

Getting Life from Non-Life

Even if naturalistic causes could have created the universe, it would still be necessary for non-living material to become living. This is also an unproven (and impossible) feat which must be accepted when denying the existence of God.

Getting Order from Chaos

Personal observation tells us that all things tend towards disorder, not order. Left to themselves buildings crumble, gardens are taken over by weeds, and living material decays. If unguided natural causes produced the universe (from nothing) and produced life (from non-life) these processes would necessarily go against observed scientific principles in order to produce the complexity, beauty, and order that we observe in the world around us.

Getting the Immaterial from Physical Matter

If nothing was able to produce everything, non-life was able to produce life, and chaos was able to produce order the atheistic worldview would still encounter an insurmountable obstacle. No matter how organized, it is impossible for physical material to produce the immaterial realities of human consciousness. Our morality, beliefs, desires and preferences all exist outside of mere physical matter.


Each of these examples go against the natural order and could be labeled as miracles. Naturalistic worldviews such as atheism, evolution, and neo-Darwinism regard this evidence for God with what Dawkins would certainly consider an unscientific approach: each item must be taken on faith.

With God it is very logical to conclude that He who created all things can work within His creation as He pleases. Scripture is replete with examples of such miraculous interactions and the Genesis account of creation certainly addresses the above four points.

By sharing this information with others we can help to demonstrate that even an atheistic worldview takes portions of its belief system on faith. It can be particularly helpful when needing to deflect undue criticism that Christianity requires its adherents to hold to blind faith despite evidence to the contrary.

In fact, it is theism which is able to explain these miraculous occurrences in a satisfactory and logically consistent manner.

  1. There is a Praegar university video that makes some of these arguments, but some additional ones, which would ultimately make your miracle number perhaps higher.

    It says there are really 4 big bangs. I think you mentioned at least 2. It may be that its just a re-affirmation of what you said from a different perspective, but interesting none-the-less.

    Of course the list goes on with these 6 and many more: Mind, Personhood/identity, Conscience, Fine-tuning (part of the design argument obviously), Agency/Freedom, and Objective Ethics. I’m sure you the above already, but thought I would add it to the mix.

    Frank Turek’s CRIMES acronym is helpful for remembering those issues:

    C = Causality
    R = Reason
    I = Information and Intentionality
    M= Morality
    E = Evil
    S = Science

    Surely there has to be a way to put them altogether in a mega-acronym for simplicity.

    This quote is pretty devastating and presumably draws from CS Lewis, Platinga, and others and their critique of truth and reason in the atheistic context:

    It is my contention that these CRIMES not only help show that theism is true, but that the foundational assumptions of atheism make it impossible to make a sound intellectual case for atheism. If atheism is true, there’s no way to know it with any confidence. In fact, if atheism is true, there’s no way to know anything with any confidence.

    So it would actually need that kind of thinking such as “if we’re just random genetics, chemistry, and biology and natural forces there its non-sensical for us to believe that our thoughts are rational” Survival over time and rationality aren’t the same thing. Or as Martin Luther King Junior said in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, we as humans are more than “flotsam and jetsam” (aka we are more than just physics, chemistry, and biology). Sorry, thats a rather mediocre explanation, but that’s the core line of thinking. And to be fair, King is probably making more of an experiential argument rather than one like the Lewis argument–but the core conclusion is the same.

  2. The version of the Big Bang that I like is that God did create everything and the ‘big bang’ could have been the physical process used. I agree that starting the creation by any means without God makes no sense.

  3. You’re on the right track. If you study metaphysics, even back to Aristotle, you’ll find difficulties with atheist “articles of faith” without drawing upon any theological references at all. What benefit does life provide to the universe? If all thought is chemical reactions…if the human species goes extinct, what value did atheism have? Thousands of questions abound as much for the atheist as for the theologian.

  4. I am actually not an Atheist but I have a hard time believing you have actually talked to an atheist.

    1. Something from nothing.
    I am not aware of any scientists that thinks this. Every theory that talks about the time previous to big bang involves something. The primary atheist argument is that if “nothing comes from nothing” than where did God come from? The Christian answer would be God has always been to which the Atheist responds, so why could the immaterial not have always existed?

    2. Getting life from non-life
    While not proven yet, the building blocks have already been established. If you do some research on “primordial soup” you will get the start of the research. There is still complexity that needs to be figured out but pretty much that standard Christian approach is to deny things for lack of proof and then do a complete 180 when concrete proof does emerge. Too many examples to count but you can start with the earth being the center of the universe.

    3. Getting Order From Chaos
    Order does come chaos all the time actually, look up fractals. Also planets circling suns is pretty predictable and is the creation of galaxies etc.. In fact human behavior is far more complicated and random than simple physics.

    4. Getting the Immaterial from Physical Matter
    This is probably your best point, a variation of which I myself have used against atheists but even this problematic. Consciousness could simply be a latent characteristic of the universe, like gravity. By that I mean that consciousness could have existed as characteristic rule of the universe even before life actually came into existence. However, if consciousness was latent in the universe this is actually an argument for God. Ultimately this argument falls short because all the “rules” of the universe are immaterial, consciousness could just be another one of those rules.

    If you want to actually talk about “miracles” there are much better points you can make besides this some what amateur points. For instance through out the universe the background microwave radiation is completely constant, this is problematic. Essentially scientists got around this problem of coming up with an ad hoc algorithm called inflation.

    1. You said..
      “1. Something from nothing.
      I am not aware of any scientists that thinks this.”

      You are kidding right? Please watch this clip of Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss.
      Pay attention around the 2:45 min mark where they agree that …
      “You can get everything from nothing.”

      1. Ah, the something from nothing video. Unfortunately, a mere zero sum of energy/matter is not equal to nothingness. Even empty space is something. Nothingness is literally the absence of existence, and by its very nature nothingness cannot spawn something that exists.

    2. 1. Something from nothing
      The problem with an eternal universe harkens back to the whole order from chaos thing. All natural things tend to become chaotic over time, and it doesn’t matter how much dawkins and some other dudes wanna believe in a theoretical ‘reset’ that occurs, it still wouldn’t make any difference. At some point something would break down (because something has to still be orderly [and therefore not reset] during the ‘reset’, or else the entirety of existence would be 100% chaos, not a good thing). Turtles all the way down doesn’t work with a cause and effect driven universe. Claiming it can be eternal is nonsensical, because there is not a single thing that we have observed within this universe that could continue to exist for an infinite amount of time into the future.

      2. Life from non life
      Giving examples of completely unrelated theories and problems accomplish nothing but showing off your own argumentative ineptitude. Scientists can’t even produce life from non life in laboratory settings! What makes you think that it could happen at random in nature when scientists can perfect the alleged ‘primordial soup’ in their lab and still can’t get anything from it?

      3. Order from chaos
      Physical observations aren’t really a proof either way on this subject, but we know that chaos only begets more chaos, and while there may appear to be a pattern within a set of randomly selected numbers those numbers were still determined by chaos and not in order to accomplish a pattern of some sort. Our perceptions of order don’t make chaotic things orderly.

      4. Immaterial from material
      Basically yes. There is no reason why consciousness and self-awareness would be produced by evolution.

  5. Your argument is teleological and not actually about science at all.

    My counterargument could easily be about extolling the virtues of Odin and how he created Midgard as the same kind of “proof”.

    1. It’s not theological, it’s philosophical and scientific. How is the necessity of an origin of life theological? They all have theological answers, but you don’t need God in order to ask these kinds of questions (well you do, because otherwise we wouldn’t exist, but you get what I’m saying).

      Atheists can’t explain them.

  6. Of the four cases you cite, the appearance of life is the most difficult for non-theists to overcome. Take, for example, Professor James M. Tour, one of the ten most cited chemists in the world. He is famous for his work on nanocars, nanoelectronics, graphene nanostructures, carbon nanovectors in medicine, and green carbon research for enhanced oil recovery and environmentally friendly oil and gas extraction. He is currently a Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Computer Science, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Rice University. He has authored or co-authored 489 scientific publications and his name is on 36 patents.

    On November 2012 Prof. Tour gave a lecture at Ga. Tech. You can watch it on YouTube (90 minutes!) but here is an excerpt that is directly pertinent:

    I will tell you as a scientist and a synthetic chemist: if anybody should be able to understand evolution, it is me, because I make molecules for a living, and I don’t just buy a kit, and mix this and mix this, and get that. I mean, ab initio, I make molecules. I understand how hard it is to make molecules. I understand that if I take Nature’s tool kit, it could be much easier, because all the tools are already there, and I just mix it in the proportions, and I do it under these conditions, but ab initio is very, very hard.

    I don’t understand evolution, and I will confess that to you. Is that OK, for me to say, “I don’t understand this”? Is that all right? I know that there’s a lot of people out there that don’t understand anything about organic synthesis, but they understand evolution. I understand a lot about making molecules; I don’t understand evolution. And you would just say that, wow, I must be really unusual.

    Let me tell you what goes on in the back rooms of science – with National Academy members, with Nobel Prize winners. I have sat with them, and when I get them alone, not in public – because it’s a scary thing, if you say what I just said – I say, “Do you understand all of this, where all of this came from, and how this happens?” Every time that I have sat with people who are synthetic chemists, who understand this, they go “Uh-uh. Nope.” These people are just so far off, on how to believe this stuff came together. I’ve sat with National Academy members, with Nobel Prize winners. Sometimes I will say, “Do you understand this?”And if they’re afraid to say “Yes,” they say nothing. They just stare at me, because they can’t sincerely do it.

    I was once brought in by the Dean of the Department, many years ago, and he was a chemist. He was kind of concerned about some things. I said, “Let me ask you something. You’re a chemist. Do you understand this? How do you get DNA without a cell membrane? And how do you get a cell membrane without a DNA? And how does all this come together from this piece of jelly?” We have no idea, we have no idea. I said, “Isn’t it interesting that you, the Dean of science, and I, the chemistry professor, can talk about this quietly in your office, but we can’t go out there and talk about this?”

    The problem that strict naturalists face is the one that Tour mentioned: The first-ever organism had to be complete and entire. The first living single-cell not only had to spontaneously, accidentally form from non-living compounds – it had to simultaneously come together with complete DBNA, cell membrane and be capable of mitosis – all the the same time.

    And non-theists tell Christians that we believe in fairy tales! Wow.

    Then there is the problem of functional peptide chains, without which life cannot exist. The final probability of getting a functional protein composed of 100 amino acids is 1 in 10^125. Even if you fill the universe with pre-biotic soup, and react amino acids at Planck time (very fast!) for 14 billion years, you are probably not going to get even 1 such protein. And you need at least 100 of them for minimal life functions, plus DNA and RNA.

    Let’s take a look at that 10^125:1 odds of getting a single protein working by chance. Just to eyeball the number, here it is:


    If a bonding attempt is made every second, with no repeats of combinations (which is reality are just as likely to reoccur as novel ones), just to reach half of all possible combination would require 1.09E+108 times as long as the universe has been in existence.

    These calculations knock flat the idea that “given enough time” anything can happen by random chance. There just has not been enough time, by quadrillions of quadrillions of years, for even a half-chance to get one functional protein by chance, and you need at least 100 proteins for even the simplest unicellular organism. Plus DNA and RNA, which have their own probability issues.

    Tour’s lecture:

    Problem of the peptide bonds:

    1. I actually went through his talk. I have an issue with something he said though. He quotes a verse about always keeping the truth and talks about how he never personally pirated software and how he was so blessed for it. Yet, despite this message, he now tells his students not to publicly talk against Darwinism because it will hurt their careers.

      “But my recent advice to my graduate students has been direct and revealing: If you disagree with Darwinian Theory, keep it to yourselves if you value your careers.”

      I guess God only chooses the hyper intelligent to bless that keep to the truth?

    1. Thanks for taking the time to write a response. The above article did not claim that intelligent scientists could not come up with theories to circumvent these 4 simple points, but merely that scientific observation has yet to produce any real-world examples of them being refuted. Ironically, your response serves to confirm the point of the article; Despite a lack of evidence, some are willing to have faith that the theories you put forth will ultimately prove true.

      1. The secret to understanding science is understanding how ‘theories’ are bodies of confirmed science – i.e confirmed with evidence from experiments and valid predictions. If they were unproven, like religious claims, they would be called ‘hypotheses’, not ‘theories’.

        Unlike religion, science deals with the real world and so has no need to look for spurious confirmation of pre-existing prejudice, even at the abandonment of intellectual integrity.

        Nor does science have any reason to try to mislead credulous and vulnerable people for money by misinforming them and by deliberately confusing terms like ‘theory’ and ‘hypothesis’.

        I hope that helps.

        1. Science has never mislead people for money?? Are you serious? Surely you don’t believe that.
          Or is this what you mean by “theory”?

      2. Ah, “God in the Gaps”.

        Your straw people that “are willing to have faith that the theories you put forth will ultimately prove true.” are people that aren’t approaching the science in an actually scientific way.

  7. Atheism is rejection of the claim god exists by lack of evidence! Atheism is not a worldview or ideology or belief or religion. Obviously you are incapable to comprehend the meaning of atheism. Sad …

    1. Hi “Prophet Atheist.” Thanks for your comment. It seems there are some issues with differing definitions. In the strict sense of the term, an atheist is not one who lacks belief in God, but rather a person who actively believes that God does not exist. The difference may seem subtle, but it is very important. Secondly, while you are correct that atheism is not a religion (which is not a claim made in the above article) it is most certainly a worldview.

      Everyone has a worldview, even those who do not have a ‘belief system’ in the religious sense. A worldview is a set of assertions that a person has regarding important topics such as human origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. To hold that science is the most authoritative measure of truth is a worldview, as is a person’s belief regarding the existence or non-existence of God. For elaboration on how the article defines ‘worldview’ you could view this video:

      1. It seems there are some issues with differing definitions. In the strict sense of the term, an atheist is not one who lacks belief in God, but rather a person who actively believes that God does not exist. The difference may seem subtle, but it is very important.

        Considering how quickly a lot of Christians are to define who is and isn’t a “Christian” when presented with an example they don’t like, I find it amusing when they try to tell atheists that their definition of atheism is incorrect.

        You make a claim that a god of a specific sort exists. I don’t accept that claim as true. That’s an absence of belief and not an active belief on my part. It’s really that simple.

        Lots of theists like to claim atheism is an active belief so they can try to shift the burden of proof. Clearly that’s your goal here.

        1. Actually, it is this new definition of atheism which was created to shift the burden of proof. “Atheism” literally means “without God”, so it is an active belief of claiming there is no God or rejection that there is a God. The ancient Romans accused Christians of being atheists for not worshiping the pagan deities. A child implicitly lacks a belief, whereas you made an explicit choice to disbelieve.
          Before the 18th century, the existence of God was universally accepted in the western world, so the atheists have come out against theistic innatism.

          1. You said: “Atheism” literally means “without God”,

            1. the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation (distinguished from deism ).
            2. belief in the existence of a god or gods (opposed to atheism ).
            Origin: 1670–80; the- + -ism

            1. belief in the existence of a God on the evidence of reason and nature only, with rejection of supernatural revelation (distinguished from theism ).
            2. belief in a God who created the world but has since remained indifferent to it.
            Origin: 1675–85; < French déisme < Latin de ( us ) god + French -isme -ism

            Therefore a-theism is simply the negation of theism, a disbelief in existence of a god or gods. No specific social or political views are implied by the term atheist.

            I'm confused by what you mean by an active belief.
            I believe that the Earth is spherical, that the Earth orbits the Sun, that it is unsafe to drink stagnant water. There is reasonable evidence and consensus that these statements are true and I accept them as facts until observable, repeatable evidence states otherwise.

            I don’t actively push myself to believe these things. I accept them as true because they are demonstrably true.

        2. I agree with your conclusion and insights. Additionally it can be said that these are the inevitable positions that entail a lack of belief in God whether the unthinking atheists understands and accepts it or not. Good job. Encouraging work.

        3. It is an active belief though. There is a large difference between not believing in God and believing that God definitely doesn’t exist. The former is a personal choice, while the latter is a truth claim.

          When you try and make arguments against the existence of God (like dawkins does) you are making truth claims, not merely expressing your opinion.

          Belief against is still a belief. Atheism is the worldview that God definitely doesn’t exist, and therefore the worldview must explain the universe without God if they want to attempt to explain it at all. You must explain abiogenesis, order from chaos, something from nothing, etc., and the answer “Well, it definitely wasn’t God!” is not a proper explanation.

          The burden of proof is on you to show how a purely natural universe void of God can even exist, because that is a claim that you believe is true.

          We as Christians don’t accept naturalism, and therefore we accept God. You as atheists don’t accept God, and therefore you must accept naturalism. Otherwise you can have no say in the matter.

      2. Atheism on its own is not a worldview. But you can have it as part of your worldview that consists of several ideologies.

        The prefix “a” means to be without the thing that comes after. Someone that’s asexual is someone without sexuality, not someone who believe that sexuality doesn’t exist. Same with atheism. If you don’t believe in any gods, you are an atheist.

        1. Ok so you just said someone without a sexuality is asexual so wouldn’t that mean someone without a god is an atheist? I assume you meant someone who doesn’t “have” any god is an a-theist since someone who doesn’t “have” a sexuality us an a-sexual. The God I believe in said there would be some who don’t believe. I used to argue with atheists until I realized they are just playing their role. It’s just not their time to know this “God” so many people seem to believe in all over the world. I truly love them all and have gained more respect for atheists than for people who say they know God and live lives contrary to what they should according to the scriptures they quote (myself included). Some people have to be blinded in order for the world to go the way it was planned. Please don’t think I’m trying to offend you. You are who you are, and you can’t fake it. I get that. Much respect and compassion to all atheists from a believer in the word of God. The God I believe in is the only one who can make you know the truth, not another human, not even your own self. That is the true God, not manmade, and you will know it has to be someone who is ALIVE other than yourself or another human when you begin to realize the truth. This message is specifically for you, Flip. Seek truth and don’t give up. Love u so much! (Even though u think I’m lying) 🙂

    2. To ProphetAtheist: Even is atheism is rejection of the claim God exists due to lack of evidence, there are still implications regarding what atheists must believe to replace God. Here’s two articles I wrote on what atheists must believe.
      Part 1:
      Part 2:

      To Reasonable Theology: I think it would be appropriate to change some of the wording in the article to be more reasonable. I think you greatly overused the word impossible, especially considering that we have scientific theories on how these things can happen. I think something out of nothing is the only impossible instance you gave, where as the others are just extremely unlikely based on physical laws and chance. However, you might consider adding the miracle the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics being contradictory in creation (not in evolution which is unfortunately something that is often insisted upon by Christians). If an atheists wants to deny that the universe was created, then the 2nd law of thermodynamics would say that we would have run out of energy an infinite amount of time in the past. If they insist that the universe had a beginning, then they are rejecting the 1st law of thermodynamics which says that energy cannot be created (or destroyed).

      1. According to Laurence Krauss, Something from nothing is not at all impossible. We have Richard Feynman to thank for that. He postulated that particles come into and out of existence. And the energy discrepancy in the hydrogen atom was shown to be (mathematically) perfectly accounted for.
        Krauss went further, and showed that, in all probability, the universe has zero energy – and this fits perfectly with ” A Universe from Nothing.”

    3. An self-described atheist once told me that he did not believe God exists because “there is no evidence for it.” I asked, What about the universe? Does the universe count as evidence? Because if the answer is no, then the atheist is asking for evidence greater than the universe! And I’d like to know what that would be.

      Which is why atheism is actually simple rejectionism. Every atheist (self described) I have conversed with (and there have been a lot) has a very specific atheism. Their idea and understanding of God is always conceptually very, very small.

      Aldous Huxley, author of the dystopia novel, Brave New World, said that he rejected Christianity because he simply did not want it to be true.

      I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; and consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption.

      Huxley went on to say that the main reason he and his friends rejected Christianity was that “it interfered with our sexual freedom.”

      That’s the case in every atheist, without exception, whom I have conversed with at length. Inevitably we get to the point where they tell me they just want to live their lives without some god telling them what they may or may not do.

      But that’s not atheism, for they have made themselves Supreme Beings.

      No, I have never met an atheist yet. They just want (and actively believe in) a god other than that proclaimed by historical Christianity.

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