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Are Science and Christianity Compatible?

Chapter 4: Finely-Tuned for Life

It was difficult enough for materialists to accept the evidence for a one-time creation event. But more startling discoveries about our universe were to follow.

Scientists calculated that for life to exist, each of nature's laws had to be precisely fine-tuned. In other words, gravity and the other forces of nature had to measure within very narrow parameters or our universe couldn't exist. Had the force that led to creation been weaker, gravity would have pulled all matter back into a "big crunch." Had it been stronger, stars and galaxies couldn't have formed.

Likewise, our solar system and planet also need to be just right for life to exist. For example, we all realize that without an atmosphere of oxygen, none of us would be able to breathe. And without oxygen, water couldn't exist. Without water there would be no rainfall for our crops. Other elements such as hydrogen, nitrogen, sodium, carbon, calcium, and phosphorus are also essential for life.

The size and nature of our planet, sun, and moon also need to be just right. And there are dozens of other conditions that needed to be exquisitely fine-tuned or we wouldn't be here to think about it. 5

Those scientists who believed in God may have expected such fine-tuning, but those who had no faith were unable to explain the remarkable "coincidences." Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, an agnostic, writes:

"The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life." 6

Scientists evaluated the probability of whether such remarkable fine-tuning could have been accidental. Oddsmakers know that even long-shots can eventually win at the racetrack. So, just how long are the odds against life existing by chance? According to most scientists, the odds of us being here by chance is impossible.

Cosmologists compared the odds against life occurring by accident with those of shooting an arrow from Earth at a small target on the planet Pluto and hitting the bulls-eye. Imagine the engineering required if such a feat were even possible. Such odds would be comparable with winning over a hundred Powerball lotteries after purchasing only one ticket for each. Impossible---unless the outcome was fixed by someone behind the scenes. And that is what many scientists are concluding---Someone behind the scenes designed and created the universe.

These incredible odds are far beyond anything mere chance and time could accomplish. This new understanding of our universe led scientists like astronomer George Greenstein to ask:

"Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon the scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being?" 7

Some materialists have tried to explain away the fine-tuning of the universe as luck. However, others have been more open to realism. Sir Fred Hoyle, a committed agnostic, was stunned by the evidence for a Creator, remarking:

"A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature." 8

Einstein came to the same conclusion. Although he wasn't religious, and didn't believe in a personal God, Einstein pondered the genius behind the universe, calling it "an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection." 9

Scientists continue their quest for an explanation as to what was behind the creation of the universe. But the deeper they dig, the more in awe they are of the unexplainable origin of our universe and its remarkable fine-tuning.

Next: Chapter 5: DNA: The Language of Life | Previous: Chapter 3 | Table of Contents | References

2007 B&L Publications. This article is a supplement to Y-Jesus magazine by Bright Media Foundation & B&L Publications: Larry Chapman, Chief Editor.

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