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Science and the Grand Designer
By Rod Robison
Christian Parents and grandparents have an obligation and privilege to tell their children that God, not chance, created the heavens and the earth. After all, that knowledge is foundational to all Christianity stands for. We believe that fact because the Bible states it clearly. But it is also vital to our children's education to help them understand that the findings of science increasingly support the Biblical cosmology of a Grand Designer. And, in order for us to pass this vital information on to them in a form they can understand, we must be informed ourselves.
In the article Message From Space Points Scientists to Creator, we took a look at a radical shift that has taken place in the past century within the scientific community. Prior to the 1920s, almost all astronomers and astrophysicists held to a model of the Universe called the "steady state." That model, which had been held for centuries, stated that the Universe had no beginning, as opposed to the Bible's assertion that the Universe had a beginning. The natural conclusion that the steady state theory led the scientific community to was "no beginning, therefore no need for a Creator."
However, massive evidence produced by advancing technologies in the past century have shaken the steady state theory to its core. So much so that there no longer remains many astronomers or astrophysicists holding to that theory. Virtually all assert that the Universe had a beginning at some specific point in history.
Of course, these new discoveries beg the question, "If there was a beginning then who started it all?" And, as scientists dig deeper into the mysteries of the Universe they are not only faced with that question, but also with the mounting evidence that whoever did create it put an unimaginable amount of care, design, and balance into the Creation. Now more than ever before in history scientists find themselves face to face with the Grand Designer.
Here are just a few of the myriad of evidences that the Universe didn't just happen by chance:
The carbon atom, necessary for life as we know it, should either not exist or be too rare for the existence of life. According to Sir Fred Hoyle, one of the world's leading astrophysicists, the complex series of atomic reactions necessary for the formation of carbon are so unlikely to have occurred by chance that when he calculated them his own atheism was greatly shaken.
The ratio of the weight of the proton to the electron is so finely balanced that had it been much different there would be no Universe and no life. Theoretical physicist Steven Hawking says of this balance, "The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life."
There are four fundamental forces in nature: gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. The strength of each balances with the others to make life possible. Physicist Richard Morris writes in his book The Fate of the Universe, "Every one of these forces must have just the right strength if there is to be any possibility of life...It is almost as though the universe had been consciously designed...."
The gravitational force within our Sun balances perfectly with the outward thrust of the electromagnetic force which allows it to radiate energy. Edward Kolb of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory stated in Newsweek magazine, "It turns out that 'constants of nature,' such as the strength of gravity, have exactly the values that allow stars and planets to form....The universe, it seems, is fine-tuned to let life and consciousness flower."
Astronomer Hugh Ross, in his book Creator and the Cosmos, lists twenty-five of the many parameters for the universe, which he says "must have values falling within narrowly defined ranges for life of any kind to exist."
In their research of the conditions necessary for human life, mathematician Frank Tipler and astronomer John Barrow, calculated how long it might take for ten of these critical conditions to come together by non-theistic explanations. They concluded in their classic book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, that, even given tens of billions of years, there would not be enough time for the development of human beings by purely natural means. There must have been an intelligence behind the creation of intelligent life.
Princeton physicist Freeman Dyson writes in his book Disturbing the Universe, "The more I examine the universe and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming."
Compared to any known place in the universe, Earth is uniquely suited for life. Robert Jastrow, the founder of NASA's Goddard Institute and currently head of the Mt. Wilson Observatory, quotes NASA astronomer John O'Keefe in his book God and the Astronomers: "...to the astronomer, the earth is a very sheltered and protected place...the thought 'God loves these people' cannot be resisted. If the Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the Universe was created for man to live in."
Fred Heeren writes in his book Show Me God, "The more physicists learn about the universe, the more they come to appreciate how impossible it would be for all of the right conditions for life to come together in our universe by chance."
In The Fingerprint of God, astronomer Hugh Ross concludes, "...the evidence for a universe designed, initiated, shaped, and sustained exactly as the Bible describes, by God, continues to mount."
A few days ago I had the opportunity to talk with a couple of astronomers in Tucson, Arizona, a hub of astronomical activity. We discussed the evidence for a Creator, especially in light of the finely balanced Universe we see around us. Dean Koenig, who owns "Starizona," a popular astronomy store in Tucson, said, "The more precisely man examines the world around him the more order he sees. Viewing a simple leaf under a microscope reveals not chaos but still more order. So also is a view of the heavens. Turning the telescope into the depths of space reveals planets orbiting stars, stars orbiting other stars, globular clusters of stars orbiting within a galaxy of stars, and still further galaxies orbiting other galaxies. Order is the foundation of Creation and the finger print of our Creator God."
Also discussing the Designer issue with us was Thomas Bopp. You may recognize the name. He was the co-discoverer of Comet Hale-Bopp, which graced our skies a few years ago. Here's what he had to say about the evidence for a finely tuned Universe that he has observed in his studies: "The mathematical probability of the Universe coming about by chance is so large that I can't personally help but see there is evidence of a Creator, especially as I view the order and balance of the Universe. The parameters for life are so rare that, even given the number of galaxies in the Universe, for all these conditions to take place in even one place in the Universe is so remote mathematically that it's almost beyond belief."
I asked him to tell me about the night he made his amazing discovery. "Just before I discovered the comet," he said, "I was standing there looking up at the sky and said, 'Thank you God for your Creation.' I almost choked up from the beauty of it all. Ten minutes later I noticed a little fuzzy object in the view finder, and the rest, as they say, is history."
The Bible states that the evidence for the Creator is all around us. None of us has an excuse for missing the obvious. The Apostle Paul addressed the issue with these words from Romans 1:20, "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so they are without excuse."
Perhaps King David had been up late at night, sitting on the roof of his palace, doing a little stargazing when he penned these words in Psalm 14:1, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'"
Quotes not directly referenced in this article are from the book, Show Me God by Fred Heeren, published by Searchlight Publications. Do yourself and those non-Christians you come in contact with a favor by reading this book. It is available from Books-A-Million .
Amazing Facts from God's Heavenly Creation
On a clear night, away from city lights, if you stayed up all night, you could see as many as 5500 stars. All of them are from our Milky Way galaxy which is made up of about 200 billion stars, give or take a billion. The reason you can only see a small fraction of the stars in our galaxy is because your eyes are not sensitive enough to register their light. Only with a pair of binoculars or a telescope can you see more than a few thousand. With a very powerful telescope you could see billions of galaxies, each made up of billions of stars.
The planet Jupiter, which can be seen as one of the brightest objects in the night sky part of the year, acts as a giant "vacuum cleaner" in our solar system. Jupiter's tremendous gravitational pull "sucks" in cosmic debris, such as asteroids, clearing the path for our planet. In 1994 Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashed into the Jovian surface in a dazzling display of explosions each many more times powerful than a nuclear bomb. During the month of October, Jupiter can be viewed just after sunset in the southern sky.
For centuries, scientists believed that the Universe and all that is within it would always exist and was basically unchangeable. This was in conflict with the Bible's statements in Isaiah 51:6 and elsewhere that the "...heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment...." Psalm 102:25&26 states that God created the heavens at a particular point in time but that they will "wear out like a garment." The idea that the universe will not wear out has been disregarded by science based in part on the second law of thermodynamics which states that the universe is in a process of going from order to disorder and is, in fact, wearing out.
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The above article was posted on this Web site May 26, 2000.
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