Scientists and philosophers cannot answer Jim Holt’s question in his best selling book, “Why Does the World Exist?”

Philosopher, Jim Holt, published his book, Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story, in 2012. The book reached the LA Times bestseller list. This is not a surpise since so many people seem to not know! In his novel, Holt embarks on a quest to reach the answer to the question posed in his title. To achieve this, he interviews several famous scientists, philosophers, and one theologian. It’s obvious within the novel that Holt is serious about his personal mission to find the answer. Additionally, he admits to having a bad taste in his mouth regarding religion and the creation view, but he also ackowledges,however, that it must be considered as an option in answering and explaining what caused the creation of the universe and all things in it. Fast forward to the end of the book and after all of his efforts in fact-finding, he discovers that there is no answer. There is no scientific proof that answers the question: Why does the world exist?

What is particularly interesting about this book are the several opposing opinions and conjectures given by the various scientists and philosophers that Holt interviews. None of them think the same way about the universe, nor are they in unison scientifically or philosophically, with their ideas on how the universe got here; how we got here. We’re talking about heavy hitters in the scientific arena like Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins. Holt even refers back to famous logicians in their own personal journeys to obtain this answer; people like Bertrand Russel and Ludwig Wittgenstein. What is clear is that there is and has been a huge drive within us as humans to  seek and know the answer to this question. What is also clear is that these experts within the field of science and philosophy are completely unable to explain exactly why the universe is here and why we exist. They are also unable to stand in unison on an explanation, which differs greatly from the unity of the creation belief. Given the vast amount of scientific resources and thinkers that we have, how can this be so? One would think or hope that, by now, we should have a scientific explanation for this, but, we just don’t. Scientists do not have the answer via the scientific method. They only have conjectures or guesses and several different ones at that!

This fact does a couple of things; it validates the limitations of science, the scientific method and deductive reasoning, while simultaneously validating the possibility of a Creator God. This places humankind in a sort of dilemma. It is impossible to deny the existence a Creator God by using science as a foundation and a platform since science has no way of explaining or proving otherwise. The dilemma is that the door is wide open to the Creator God explanation as a fact. Where scientific method fails, reason and logic can overcome. By simply viewing our world and everything in it, it is common knowledge that most things we see are created by something or someone. Art pieces are created by artists. Buildings are created by architects and engineers. Practically everything we see is a creation. If humankind, by its nature is creative, it makes logical sense that humankind, made in God’s image, would be endowed with the same aspects. It makes logical sense that everything we see; mountains, oceans, animals, humans, and the universe are a creation and design with an imprint of a Creator. And what blatantly and contrastingly stands out about science is that science does not create anything; it discovers things that are already there. Science didn’t create gravity or the law of gravity. Science discovered that gravity just is. It was pre-existing. Similarly, biology, can only study and discover what already occurs within living organisms. It never created the biological functions themselves.

Science is a means by which we can see God the Creator and discover how He works. And because of this; because of Him, we can find our purpose and cause. We can find that there is an answer to the question: Why does the world exist?


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