October 30, 2021
Ask an honest cosmologist or astronomer and they will tell you that the universe has at least the appearance of being fine-tuned.
This means that when you look at the precision of many aspects of our universe, as well as our planet Earth in particular, you begin to see all the different characteristics about it that seem to be perfectly calibrated in order for us, as humans, to live.
If even ONE of these dials were off by a small percentage, life as we know it would never have come to exist.
Much of the information below is taken from the book (pictured below) God's Crime Scene, by: J. Warner Wallace (a FANTASTIC book - pgs. 52-60).
Now in order to understand how UNLIKELY these numbers are, we will be using scientific notation to demonstrate the possibilities.
Let's do a quick review (skip ahead to the next section if a review is not required).
Scientific notation is stated using powers of 10.
So if I want to say 100, I can say 100, or I can say 102 (10x10).
If I want to say 1000, I can say 1000, or I can say 103 (10x10x10).
We are going to be dealing with very TINY numbers.
So if you had 100 black marbles in a bag (and one of those marbles was marked with a white dot) and you were going to choose one marble randomly from the bag, the chances of you choosing the marble with the white dot would be 1 in 100, or a chance of 1 in 102 (10x10) of finding a specific marble.
Now if you wanted to make it even MORE difficult to find that marble, you could add in another 900 black marbles into the bag.
Here you have 1000 (103 (10x10x10)) marbles, so your chances of finding that black marble with the white dot are MUCH smaller.
Now your chances are only 1 in 103 (10x10x10) or 1 in 1000.
So if I write that your chances were 1 in 104 (10x10x10x10) that would equal what?
1 in 104 (10x10x10x10) would be the same as saying that your chances of finding that specific marble was 1 in 10,000, and so on.
Now the numbers we are going to be looking at are much MUCH smaller.
We will be looking at numbers not of 104 but numbers like 1040.
This is a 1 followed by 40 zeroes -
So if you had that many marbles in an ENORMOUS bag, and had only ONE chance to pull out that specific marble, how do you think you would do?
Those are the extremely TINY possibilities that we will be looking at.
To put these small numbers in perspective, there are only about 1080 atoms in the entire known universe.
So as you are reading these numbers, just think to yourself, if that number (like 1 in 1 in 1040 was off by just a little bit, life as we know it WOULD NOT EXIST.
The ratio of electrons to protons (both in their number and mass) must be precariously balanced.
If the value of of this ratio changed more than 1 in 1037, the universe as we know it would not exist today.
If the ratio between the electromagnetic force and gravity was altered more than 1 in 1040, the universe would suffer a similar fate.
If the expansion rate of the universe deviated by more than 1 in 1037, or the mass density of the universe varied more than 1 in 1059, there wouldn’t be a single habitable galaxy or planet in the universe.
The Milky Way galaxy is an elegant spiral (you can see this pictured below), while the vast majority of galaxies (about 95%) are elliptical or irregular.
If our galaxy were larger and irregular (rather than spiral), its nucleus would release destructive radiation (and matter) harmful to the existence of life.
The Milky Way is large and sparse enough to prevent gravitational disruption from (and collisions with) other solar systems, yet small and dense enough to allow star formation from gas infusion.
Our proximity to the spiral arm of the galaxy protects us from the core radiation at the center of the Milky Way.
If we were farther from the core, there wouldn’t be enough heavy elements to make terrestrial planets.
If we were closer, the radiation would be too severe and the gravitational influence of the numerous stars would be too strong.
Our star (the sun) produces triatomic hydrogen at just the right quantity to create the essential molecules necessary to form planets.
The color of our sun (not too red and not too blue) allows for photosynthesis.
The sun is also bright and warm enough to allow carbon-based life-forms to exist.
Also, multiple-star arrangements cause a number of problems related to gravitational forces, tide-cycles and overheating.
The sun (age-wise) burns without extreme fluctuations and contains just the right amount of heavy elements.
If our sun were any more massive, it would burn too rapidly and too erratically; any less massive, and a number of gravitational problems, would result.
Thus Earth would have to be much closer to remain in orbit, and the impact on our climate, tides and rotation would be devastating.
Jupiter helps “clean out” the solar system. Pictured below is a comparison between its size and our planet Earth.
Its incredible gravitational field redirects asteroids and cosmic debris, making the entire system more habitable.
If Earth were very slightly more distant from – or slightly closer to – the sun, a stable water cycle would be impossible.
If Earth rotated slower, our days would be too hot and our nights too cool to support life; shorter and the wind speeds would be too extreme.
If Earth’s gravity were stronger, our atmosphere would contain too much methane and ammonia.
If our planet’s gravity were weaker, Earth wouldn’t be able to retain enough water.
Earth's atmosphere has a finely calibrated ratio of oxygen to nitrogen – just enough CO2 and adequate water vapor levels to promote advanced life, allow photosynthesis (without an excessive greenhouse effect), and provide sufficient rainfall.
A thicker Earth’s crust would negatively impact the quantity of oxygen in our atmosphere.
A thinner crust would result in excessive volcanic activity and unstable tectonic plates.
Earth’s crust allows limited seismic activity, resulting in nutrient recycling and CO2 release without destroying all life on the planet.
Without a large moon, the axis of our planet would likely have wobbled dramatically - perhaps as much as 90 degrees.
Without the moon, there would be no moonbeams, no month.
This is just 8 of the specific parameters needed for the universe and life on this planet to exist.
There are over 200 of these "Anthropic Constants".
If just one of these was off by a little, life would not exist.
You think that all happened by chance?
Here is a great video by Dr. William Lane Craig, from ReasonableFaith.org that goes over some of this amazing fine-tuning.
To a greater understanding of how science points to God, check out our blog post:
Science Points to God - 11 Reasons That Prove It
So which of the above Anthropic Constants surprised you the most? Was it the expansion rate or the size of Jupiter? Let us know in the comments section below.
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