“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
In 1965, two Bell Laboratory scientists, Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias, discovered a blanket of microwave radiation in the center of the universe. This indicates that the universe was very dense and hot in its center at a time in the distant past. From this point, the universe seems to be expanding outwardly. This seems to confirm the “big-bang” theory.
Some scientists began to say that since we knew that the universe began with a bang, God was no longer needed to account for its origin. However, these scientists spoke too soon. During our generation, further results from the field of astrophysics have revealed that in order for intelligent life to exist in the universe, the universe must be fine-tuned and balanced with an incredible precision. There are factors referred to as “cosmic constants” that must be precisely what they are or intelligent life would not be possible. If these varied slightly, our universe would be “life-prohibiting” rather than “life-permitting.”
Some examples of cosmic constants concern planet/star relationships. If a planet is too close to its sun, the planet will be too warm for a stable water system to support life. If too far, the planet will be too cold for a stable water system to support life. The age and size of the parent star as well as its position in the galaxy are likewise crucial. Another example of a cosmic constant concerns the expansion rate of the universe. Current scientific data indicates that the universe is expanding from its center. It is the rate of the expansion that is of interest. If the universe was expanding any faster, galaxies could not form. Therefore, planet/star relationships would not be possible. If the universe was expanding any slower, the gravitational pull from the big-bang would have caused the universe to cease expanding and then reverse its direction until it collapsed on itself. This “big-crunch” would have occurred prior to star formation. The amount of variation in this expansion rate required to render the universe as life-prohibiting is simply amazing. One percent is represented as 10-2 (or within two decimal places of 1; 0.01). One one-millionth of one percent is represented as 10-8 (or within eight decimal places of 1; 0.00000001). The amount of variation of the expansion rate of the universe needed to render it as life-prohibiting is around 10-55! This number is so small that the variation in the total weight of the earth produced by removing a single human hair is gigantic in comparison. Keep in mind that the expansion rate is only one cosmic constant. There are more than 50, half of which require the same precision!(1)
Cosmic constants provide the strong appearance that the universe was designed with life in mind. The prominent astronomer and former atheist, Fred Hoyle, concludes that “a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology.”(2) Similarly, Paul Davies, a prominent physicist moved from promoting atheism in 1983 to conceding in 1984 that “the laws [of physics] . . . seem themselves to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design,”(3) to conceding one year later that there “is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all. The impression of design is overwhelming.”(4) Robert Jastrow, Founder-Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies refers to cosmic constants as “the most theistic result ever to come out of science.”(5)
Isn’t it interesting that the big bang, if it occurred, points to a Creator of the universe? The bumper sticker is correct: “God spoke and Bang! it happened.” Oh, the infinite wisdom of Christ! The apostle Paul wrote of Jesus being the Creator and Sustainer of the universe:\
“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible . . . All things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17, NIV)
1. For a listing and explanation of all of the cosmic constants, see the chapter by Hugh Ross, “Astronomical Evidences For A Personal, Transcendent God” in The Creation Hypothesis. J. P. Moreland, ed. (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1994), p. 160-169. The citations that follow are in Ross’ chapter.
2. Fred Hoyle. “The Universe: Past and Present Reflections” in Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysics 20, 1982, p. 16.
3. Paul Davies. Superforce: The Search for a Grand Unified Theory of Nature (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984), p. 243.
4. Paul Davies. The Cosmic Blueprint: New Discoveries in Nature’s Creative Ability to Order the Universe (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988), p. 203.
5. Varghese, Roy Abraham, ed. The Intellectuals Speak Out About God (Chicago: Regnery Gateway, Inc., 1984), p. 22.