by Graham Phillips | The laws of physics are balanced on a razor’s edge in order for life to exist. In the past hundred years astronomers, cosmologists, physicists and mathematicians have discovered over thirty physical laws and constants at play in the cosmos that are fine tuned to such an infinitesimally small degree it has led many to consider the existence of a ‘Fine-Tuner’.
Take the fine tuning of the force of gravity; imagine a ruler divided up into 1inch increments and then stretched right the way across the universe, a distance of some 14 billion light years. The ruler represents the possible range for the force of gravity. The setting for the force of gravity in our universe is but a 1inch measurement on this super-long ruler. If this setting were changed by just 1inch in the entire expanse of the universe the effects upon life would be catastrophic.
Or the cosmological constant; the speed at which space is expanding. If this constant were a fraction faster no planets or stars could form, if it were a fraction slower all matter would collapse in on itself. Physicists have determined that this constant is fine tuned to 1 part in a 100 million, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion! Such precision is comparable to travelling hundreds of miles into space, throwing a dart back down to earth and hitting a target smaller than the size of a single atom.
These are just two of many finely tuned laws and constants. Others include; strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force, electromagnetic force, entropy level, mass density of the universe, the velocity of light, the age of the universe, the decay of the proton and many, many more. Moreover, all of these laws and constants must be fine-tuned to their very specific range in tandem to create a life-permitting equilibrium, for if just one of these out of the thirty were off by a fraction, life could not exist. Perhaps the only reasonable response to the remarkable evidence of fine tuning in the universe is that there is a Fine-Tuner.
Here are some quotes from leading scientists in relevant fields on this subject:
Fred Hoyle, Astronomer
“A superintellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with the chemistry and biology.”
Paul Davies, Physicist
“The laws (of physics) seem themselves to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design…There is for me powerful evidence that something is going on behind it all…It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe…The impression of design is overwhelming.”
George Greenstein, Astronomer
“As we survey all 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? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?”
Tony Rothman, Theoretical Physicist
“The medieval theologian who gazed at the night sky through the eyes of Aristotle and saw angels moving in spheres in harmony has become the modern cosmologist who gazes at the same sky through the eyes of Einstein and sees the hand of God not in angels but in the constants of nature…When confronted with the order and beauty of the universe and the strange coincidences of nature, it’s very tempting to take the leap of faith from science into religion. I am sure many physicists want to. I only wish they would admit it.”
Bernard Carr, Cosmologist
“One would have to conclude either that the features of the universe invoked in support of Anthropic Principle (the idea that the universe possesses narrowly defined characteristics so as to permit human life) are only coincidences or that the universe was indeed tailor-made for life. I will leave it to the theologians to ascertain the identity of the tailor!”
Vera Kistiakowsky, MIT Physicist
“The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine”
Arno Penzias, Nobel Prize winning Physicist
“Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying (one might say ‘supernatural’) plan”
Alexander Polyakov, Theoretician
“We know that nature is described by the best of all possible mathematics because God created it. So there is a chance that the best of all possible mathematics will be created out of physicists’ attempts to describe nature.”
Roger Penrose, Mathematician
“I would say the universe has a purpose. It’s not there just somehow by chance.”
George Ellis, Mathematician
“Amazing fine tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realisation of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word ‘miraculous’ without taking a stand as to the ontological statement of that word”
Edward Harrison, Cosmologist
“Here is the cosmological proof of the existence of God – the design argument of Paley – updated and refurbished. The fine tuning of the universe provides prima facie evidence of deistic design. Take your choice: blind chance that requires multitudes of universes or design that requires only one…Many scientists, when they admit their views, incline toward the teleological or design argument”
Allan Sandage, Astronomer and winner of the Crafoord prize in astronomy
“I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organising principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.”
Robert Griffiths, Physicist, winner of the Heinemann prize in mathematical physics
“If we need an atheist for a debate, I go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn’t much use.”
Robert Jastrow, Astrophysicist
“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.”
The radical fine tuning in our universe; laws and constants balanced on a razor blade the width of an atom certainly seem to point us to a grand Designer behind the cosmos. Some, in an attempt to avoid this logical inference, have raised the question of whether our universe is the only one. That perhaps there are hundreds, even millions of other independent universes in existence, each with its own set of laws and constants. The reason we observe a finely tuned universe, they postulate, is simply that we inhabit the one inhabitable universe in a range of millions of others. The problem with this theory is that it doesn’t really help reduce the ridiculous improbability of this kind of fine tuning occurring in any universe. You would need trillions and trillions and trillions and trillions of universes with individual settings for laws and constants just to get one with anything like the accuracy of fine tuning ours has, and if one of these could support life it would be extremely unlikely to support conscious observers, let alone a whole race of them. Equally, how are all these universes being generated? What or rather Who is the Generator? Also, multiverse theory is unobservable, so is merely a theoretical escape hatch for those wishing to avoid the conclusion that there is a Grand Designer who has fiddled with the settings in our universe.
“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
The Creator and the Cosmos – Hugh Ross, Ph. D.
On Guard – Dr. William Lane Craig
The Case for a Creator – Lee Strobel