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Pause for thought - Origins of the universe

Updated: Mar 18, 2020

Nick Ropkins shares thoughts from a video which debates the origins of the universe:

The Fine-Tuning of the Universe – Accident or Design?

Most scientists believe that the universe is ‘Fine-Tuned’ for life. This means that there are several factors in the way the universe works that appear to be set extremely precisely so that if just one of them was changed to the most miniscule degree, there would be no life at all in the universe.

There are many constants and quantities:

Speed of light, Gravitational constant, Planck’s constant, Planck Mass-Energy, Mass of Electron, Proton, Neutron, Mass of Up, Down, Strange Quark, Ratio of Electron to Proton Mass, Gravitational Coupling Constant, Cosmological Constant, Hubble Constant, Higgs Vacuum Expectation Value

These numbers determine the structure of our universe – from galaxies and stars to atoms and subatomic particles.

To give you some idea of the degree of ‘fine-tuning’ we can look at the gravitational constant. If this varied by 1 in 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000, life would not be possible in the universe.

Another example is the expansion rate of the universe which is driven by the cosmological constant. If this varied by 1 in 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000, life would not be possible in the universe.

A final example is the mass and energy of the early universe. If this varied by 1 part in 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 (and so many more zero’s that I could not fit them on the page), life would not be possible in the universe.

These are just three of the constants. If you put all of these together, the chance of the universe having any life at all is so extremely mind-bogglingly small, it makes your mind boggle.

There seems to be 3 possible explanations:

  1. NECESSITY: That these numbers are like they are because they need to be. There’s no evidence for this. The numbers are not determined by the laws of nature and could have been different.

  2. LUCK: These numbers are like they are because of chance – but as the numbers above suggest, the probabilities involved are just so ridiculously small that this is beyond chance. (Some scientists try to keep this idea alive by suggesting that there is a universe generator – that keeps ‘churning out’ universes to such a degree that eventually there are some that permit life – the idea of the multiverse. However there is no scientific evidence for this multiverse – it cannot be detected, measured, observed, or proved).

  3. GOD - These numbers are like they are because of design. This is the best explanation for the fine-tuning and for the complexity of life in the universe. God created it.

What do some scientists say?

“A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics....and that there are no blind forces in nature. The number one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question”.

- Fred Hoyle, Astrophysicist and cosmologist.

“Wherever physicists look, they see examples of fine tuning”.

- Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal of Great Britain.

“The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life”.

- Stephen Hawking, Theoretical Physicist and cosmologist.

“There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the universe. The impression of design is overwhelming”.

- Paul Davies, agnostic physicist

What does the Bible say?
“The heavens declare the glory of God. The skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.” – Psalm 19:1-2

Gateway Church Ashford, is a church in Ashford, Kent, and is part of the New Frontiers movement and within the Catalyst Network sphere.


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