Is The Universe Fine-Tuned For Life?

Thomistic Bent

cosmic fine tuningAstrophysicist Hugh Ross and his organization Reasons To Believe have done quite a bit of research into how the world around us is structured to support life. The basic idea is that life, and specifically intelligent life, could not exist if factors in the world around us were different. Ross has compiled several hundred factors, all of which must be within a very close range of tolerance for human life to survive. Ross’ basic list can be found here. A few of them are:

  • The distance of our sun from the center of the galaxy: if too great, not enough elements to make a rocky planet; if too close, the density of our planets would be too great.
  • Mass of the sun: if too great, luminosity would change too quickly; if too small, distance of earth to sun would be too small, tidal forces would not support life.
  • Color of the sun: if too red or too blue, photosynthesis would be insufficient for life.
  • Distance of earth from the sun: if too great or too close, temperatures would not allow water to support life.
  • Tilt of earth’s axis: if too great, temperature changes would be too great; if too small, temperature changes would be too small.
  • Rotation speed of earth: if too long, day/night temperature differences would be too great; if too short, winds would be too great.
  • Magnetic field of earth: if too great, electromagnetic storms would be too great and solar radiation reaching earth would be too small; if too weak, atmosphere would not be sufficiently protected from solar radiation.
  • Carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the atmosphere: If too great or small, life would not survive.

Ross goes on to list many other factors, such as water vapor in the atmosphere, rate of heat loss, seismic activity, volcanic activity, gravity of the moon, size, mass, and position of Jupiter, atmospheric pressure, and many more…


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