By John Hick

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But that prior causative activity likewise presupposes a cause; and that, one prior to it; and so on. The regress must either be infinite or must terminate in an 'unmoved mover', an original source of change, whose activity does not presuppose a yet prior mover but who (or which) possesses intrinsically the power to produce change. Aquinas rules out the idea of an infinite regress and is thus able to conclude that there must be 'some first cause of change not itself being changed by anything, and this is what everybody understands by God'.

If on the other hand the present expansion was preceded by a contraction, and so on back in an infinite series of expansions and contractions, then the ultimate character of the universe as a pulsating system does not at all resemble a random state out of which order has randomly emerged. Or if on the other hand the rival 'steady state' theory should be correct, with its corollary of the continuous coming into existence of millions of hydrogen atoms every second to compensate for the attenuation of the universe by expansion, we are again faced with an ultimate system, and a system subject to a mysterious process of repair, rather than with randomness.

Here, however, is the important point which it is easy to overlook; namely, that if, upon seeing from the train window a group of stones arranged as described, you were to conclude that you were entering Wales, and if your sole reason for thinking this, whether it was in fact good evidence or not, was that the stones were so arranged, then you could not, consistently with that, suppose that the arrangement of the stones was accidental. You would, in fact, be presupposing that they were arranged that way by an intelligent and purposeful being or beings, for the purpose of conveying a certain message having nothing to do with the stones themselves.

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