There has been a media reaction concerning Bill O’ Reilly’s recent defense of Christianity. I did not see the segment on O’ Reilly, so I cannot speak to the the total context of the comment. But I have seen replays of a certain section, and have heard those sympathetic to an atheistic worldview use it to show, in their mind, the stupidity of the Theist argument for God.
The comment came during a discussion with the American Atheist Group President David Silverstein. O’ Reilly stated “I’ll tell you why [religion is] not a scam, in my opinion. Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that. You can’t explain why the tide goes in.”
The remark from the cable newscast I was watching was a snarky, “the moon.” The idea was that once again there was a simple explanation for this so-called proof of God.
Now to be honest I’m not sure if I want Bill O’ Reilly defending theism or the Christian faith for me. And I will agree that O’ Reilly’s formation of the argument was clumsy, but it principle it was a good argument.
You see from a natural perspective the moon controls the tides. It does so very efficiently. However, the argument from the tides could be made, by taking it a step further. First, one could have asked does the efficient nature of the moon controlling the tides, give evidence to design? If so, then who is the designer? Then you have the foundation of the teleological argument (read more about it here).
You also could ask , where did the moon come from? Then you have the beginning of the Cosmological argument (read more about it here).
From a negative perspective you could ask, how does such an important function come into existence when one believes that all we see was created out of chaos? Does it make sense to believe chaos produced such efficient systems?
So, although O’ Reilly did not formulate the argument as best as they could it still stands. The tides, as does all Creation, teaches us about God.