Our Finely Tuned Universe

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Our Finely Tuned Universe

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Compelling Evidence for Design “The seemingly miraculous concurrence of numerical values that nature has assigned to her fundamental constants must remain the most compelling evidence for an element of cosmic design.” -- Paul Davies

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The Ultimate Mystery “Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of Nature. And it is because in the last analysis we ourselves are part of the mystery we are trying to solve.” – Max Planck

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God’s Ordinary Works… “God never wrought miracles to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it.” – Francis Bacon

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Without Excuse For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. -- Romans 1:20

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Fine Tuning: The Anthropic Principle The surprising ways in which the entire universe seems to be specifically calibrated to support life in general and human life in particular.

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The God Hypothesis The gravitational field constant is known to possess the same value at all places of the universe at all times. But this is the very same value that is necessary for the existence of human life, and the same thing can be said for the remainder of nature’s fundamental constants as well. ...

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The God Hypothesis So in this sense, the entire universe does indeed “cater” to the needs of humanity after all, insofar as it is permeated with the very same structural specifications that are necessary for human existence. Michael A. Corey, “The God Hypothesis”, p. 46

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Life as we know it... A striking feature of the new cosmological theories is that even a small change in the physical constants would have resulted in an uninhabitable universe. ...

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Life as we know it... Among the many possible universes, ours is one of the few in which arbitrary parameters are right for the existence of anything resembling organic life. Thus Carr and Rees conclude that the possibility of life as we know it “depends on the value of a few basic constants” and is “remarkably sensitive to them.” Ted Peters, “Cosmos as Creation”, p. 130

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The LORD that created the heavens Jeremiah 51:15 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding. Isaiah 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

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Universe Machine “If we could play God, and select values for nature’s fundamental constants at a whim by twiddling a set of knobs, we would find that almost all knob settings would render the universe uninhabitable.”

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Nova: The Elegant Universe

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Universal Precision “What exactly in nature sets the values of these twenty constants so precisely?”

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Level of Accuracy Level of Accuracy:

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Two prominent scientists say the alien search is likely to fail. Drawing on new findings in astronomy, geology and paleontology, the two argue that humans might be alone, at least in the stellar neighbourhood, and perhaps in the entire cosmos. They say modern science is showing that Earth’s composition and stability are extraordinarily rare. Most everywhere else, the radiation levels are too high, the right chemical elements too rare in abundance, the hospitable planets too few in number. “People say the sun is a typical star,” he said in an interview. “That’s not true.” “Almost all environments in the universe are terrible for life. It’s only garden of Eden places like Earth where it can exist.”

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I don’t think there is anything out there at all except ourselves,” British paleontologist Simon Conway Morris told and international conference on the study of extraterrestrial life… It is time to “tone down expectations,” said Dan McClesse, a Mars program scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory… The discovery of 34 planets orbiting distant stars is turning out to be frustrating. None of these could harbour life. Their peculiar orbits also make it unlikely that Earthlike planets could form or survive in their neighbourhood… Despite the current slump, scientists have by no means given up hope of finding extraterrestrial life. Many think it is most likely to consist of one-celled microbes resembling Earthly bacteria.

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Isaiah 45:12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

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A Larger Power at Work If the evolution of intelligence is so extremely improbable that it probably cannot be found anywhere else in the entire visible universe, then by all accounts it shouldn’t exist here either.

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A Larger Power at Work But it obviously does exist here. Accordingly, there almost certainly had to have been some type of larger Power at work in the universe that would have enabled us to come into existence in the face of such overwhelming odds to the contrary.

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A Miracle This is why it can be said that the sudden appearance of these life-supporting values is tantamount to a miracle. The emergence of the “right” fundamental parameters is a miracle because such a finely-tuned orchestration toward a highly complex end product is inherently incompatible with random processes.

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A “Supercalculating” Designer The stupendous degree of fine-tuning that instantly existed between these fundamental parameters reveals a miraculous level of micro-engineering that is simply inconceivable in the absence of a “supercalculating” Designer. Michael A. Corey, “The God Hypothesis”

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Unique Conditions for Life If we modify the value of one of the fundamental constants, something invariably goes wrong, leading to a universe that is inhospitable to life as we know it.

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Unique Conditions for Life When we adjust a second constant in an attempt to fix the problem(s), the result, generally, is to create three new problems for every one that we “solve.” The conditions in our universe really do seem to be uniquely suitable for life forms like ourselves, and perhaps even for any form of organic complexity. Gribbin and Rees, “Cosmic Coincidences”, p. 269

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Very Unusual Coincidences We can see how the conditions for our own existence are dependent upon the values taken by the constants. At first one might imagine that a change in the value of a constant would simply shift the size of everything a little, but that there would still exist stars and atoms. ...

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Very Unusual Coincidences However, this turns out to be too naïve a view. It becomes apparent that there exist a number of very unusual coincidences regarding the values of particular combinations of the constants of Nature which are necessary conditions for our own existence. John D. Barrow, “Theories of Everything”, pp. 94,95

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The Glory of God Psalm 19 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun

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Seven Essential Prerequisites There must be an adequate supply of the elements which comprise our bodies, such as carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, phosphorus, and calcium. There must be little or no risk of contamination by other poisonous chemicals, such as would be found in an atmosphere containing methane or ammonia. The climatic temperature must remain within the narrow range of 5 to 40 degrees Celsius, which is a mere 2% of the temperature range found within the solar system as a whole. A stable supply of free energy must exist, which in our case is provided by the Sun. Gravity must be strong enough to keep the atmosphere from escaping into space, but it must also be weak enough to enable us to move freely about on the Earth’s surface. A protective screen must exist to filter out the Sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, which in our case is provided by a layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere. A magnetic field must exist in order to prevent cosmic subatomic particles from raining on the Earth.

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Persuasive Evidence If nature is so “clever” it can exploit mechanisms that amaze us with their ingenuity, is that not persuasive evidence for the existence of intelligent design behind the physical universe? If the world’s finest minds can unravel only with difficulty the deeper workings of nature, how could it be supposed that those workings are merely a mindless accident, a product of blind chance?

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Persuasive Evidence Though science may be able to explain the world, we still have to explain science. The laws which enable the universe to come into being spontaneously seem themselves to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design. If physics is the product of design, the universe must have a purpose, and the evidence of modern physics suggests strongly to me that the purpose includes us. Paul Davies, Superforce, p. 243

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A Supernatural Agency As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency – or rather, Agency – must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?

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A Supernatural Agency Do we not see in its harmony, a harmony so perfectly fitted to our needs, evidence of what one religious writer has called “a preserving, a continuing, an intending mind; a Wisdom, Power, and Goodness far exceeding the limits of our thoughts?” George Greenstein, The Symbiotic Universe, p.27

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Pure Mathematics “The universe appears to have been designed by a pure mathematician.” - James Jeans “The astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world.” - Robert Jastrow

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Enormous Odds “The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like the Big Bang are enormous. I think there are clearly religious implications.” John Boslough, Stephen Hawking’s Universe, p. 121

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They're here… Nature has been kinder to us than we had any right to expect. As we look out into the universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked together to our benefit, it almost seems as if the universe must in some sense have known that we were coming. Freeman Dyson, “Energy in the Universe”

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Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

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Psalm 8 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

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Summary: Scientists have discovered certain fundamental constants that appear to be finely tuned for our world to exist the way it currently does and to support life. The entire universe seems to be specifically calibrated to support life in general and human life in particular.

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