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Creation / Evolution
  • Origins Debate
  • Universe is Finite and Designed for Life

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Creation / Evolution

What can we really know about origins of the universe and life?

Ray Bohlin

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being (John 1:1-3).

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18).

Today, science confirms these simple words to a higher degree than at any other time in human history.

  1. Yet the origins debate is clouded in confusion.

    The meanings of such common words as evolution and science are often distorted to the advantage of a particular point of view. In regards to science it is helpful to distinguish between what has been called operation science and origin science.{1}

    1. Operation Science

      Operation science is the usual kind of science where we can perform an experiment and repeat it over and over again to confirm the initial result. Gravity is a "fact" because apples continue to fall from trees. No one has ever observed an apple fall up.

    2. Origin Science

      Origin science, however, involves events that occurred once in the past; we are unable to repeat the event. All we can do is assemble what evidence we have for the event (i.e., the appearance of humans on this planet) and construct a plausible scenario or hypothesis. That humans evolved from ape-like ancestors is a hypothesis that attempts to explain the evidence from paleontology, biochemistry, genetics, morphology, etc. It is not and never can be a fact of science.

  2. The universe is finite and designed for life.

    1. The unique physics (universal coincidences) of the universe make life possible.{2}

      1. If the four coupling constants-gravitational, strong nuclear, weak nuclear, and electromagnetic-were slightly larger or smaller, the particles, atoms, and molecules necessary for life would not exist, and there would be no suns "our" size that could support life.

      2. The ratio of electron to proton mass allows for life's necessary molecules.

      3. If the speed of light were faster or slower, all the fine structure constants would be altered, making life impossible.

      4. The Be, C, and 0 nuclear energy levels are just right to allow the formation of heavier elements.

      5. "A superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology" (Fred Hoyle).

    2. The interrelationship of the earth, sun, and moon have been designed to support life.{3}

      1. If the mass of the sun were much larger, the sun would burn too rapidly. If its mass were much less, the earth would need to be closer in proximity to it, which would disrupt the rotation of the earth.

      2. If the earth were closer to the sun, the temperatures would be too warm for a stable water cycle. If the earth were farther away, the earth would be too coot for a stable water cycle.

      3. Other factors are just right for sustaining life on earth, such as the thickness of the crust, the earth's rotational period, the gravitational interaction with the moon, the earth's magnetic field, the earth's axial tilt, the oxygen-to-nitrogen ratio, the levels of carbon dioxide, water vapor, and ozone, and many others.

      4. Astronomer Hugh Ross concludes in his book The Fingerprint of God, concerning the uniqueness of the earth, that 'not even one planet would be expected, by natural processes alone, to possess the necessary conditions to sustain life.{4}

    3. A "Just Right" Universe.{5}

      1. Christian astronomer Hugh Ross estimates that the probability of one planet, suitable for life, arising by natural processes is one chance in 10-42.

      2. The most generous estimate for the maximum number of planets in the universe is 1022,

      3. Multiplying the probability of a planet suitable for life times the total number of planets gives the expected number of planets suitable for life: 10-42 X 1022 = 10-20 . A number far less than 1!!

      4. "As we survey 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?"(George Greenstein){6}

      5. "If we need an atheist for a debate, I go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn't much use" (Robert Griffiths). {7}

      6. From all this we learn that God loves and cares for us a great deal. This entire universe has been constructed in just such a way as to allow you and me to not only exist but to exist in style.

    4. The Big Bang theory , if true, holds tremendous implications concerning the existence of God.

      1. "The universe began as a particle that was infinitely dense and occupied no space." {8}

      2. Some find the concept of a beginning quite compelling:

        It is simpler to postulate creation ex nihilo - Divine will constituting Nature from nothingness (Edmund Whitaker). {9}

        As to the first cause of the universe, in the context of expansion, that is left for the reader to insert, but our picture is incomplete with Him (Edward Milne){10}

      3. Yet others are repulsed by the notion of a beginning.

        The notion of a beginning is repugnant to me...I simply do not believe that the present order of things started off with a bang... the expanding universe is preposterous...incredible... it leaves me cold (Arthur Eddington){11}

        It is such a strange cannot really be true (Allan Sandage){12}

        Their rejection of the Big Bang theory resides in their philosophical objection that the universe is not infinitely old. If the universe did not always exist, then something non-material or spiritual must be eternal. In reality, it is the conclusion that the universe owes its existence to an eternal spiritual entity that the cosmologists find strange, incredible, and preposterous.

      4. Scientists now find themselves in essential agreement with Genesis 1:1

        For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries (Robert Jastrow).{13}

        In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1)

        At present there is no valid scientific argument that can refute the truth contained in the verse of the Bible. Modern science has come full circle to the validity of the theistic world view that spawned its existence in the first place. (See the outline on Science and World View in the Notebook.)

      5. Some scientists, however, will always try to push God to the meaningless periphery of the universe.

        The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be (Carl Sagan) {14}

        But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end: it would simply be. What place, then, for a creator? (Stephen Hawking){15}

        The late astronomer Carl Sagan and the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking are among the many investigators who have searched for a way to explain the universe apart from God. Their world view does not contain room for God or at least the God of the Bible. Mankind will continue to search for a way to explain the universe apart from the Creator.

      6. Stephen Hawking even suggests the possibility that the formulation of a unified theory of physics may even explain the "why" of the universe. But science cannot answer these questions, and it may not be wise even to make the attempt.

        If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason-for then we would know the mind of God (Stephen Hawking).{16}

        You surely shall not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (The Serpent to Eve in the Garden of Eden, Gen. 3:4-5).

        Thinking the thoughts of God after Him, as Newton said, is entirely different from "knowing the mind of God."

      7. Now we can see that God is both eternal and omnipotent since He is the Creator of the universe. He is self-existent, not the universe.He called the universe into existence, the universe did not imagine God. Surprisingly, we have learned that God is eternal, omnipotent, and loving from a careful study of cosmology, astronomy, and physics. He has made himself known.

1998 Probe Ministries
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