Our Universe and the Faith to Deny God
by Chris Price
Our Universe: The universe is remarkable; teeming with quasars and quarks, planets and parasites, forces and fields; it remains a mind blowing, category exploding, and significance shrinking reality. Then there is our pale blue dot of a planet, adrift in an endless ocean of black; seemingly small and inconsequential.
Yet, our world is also an extraordinary place with its wide variety of breathtaking beauty, awe-inspiring artistry and tremendous cruelty. And here we find ourselves, conscious of our surroundings, naturally curious, and possessing what seems to be an insatiable desire to understand our environment. And it may be argued that science, more than any other human discipline, has aided us in our quest for knowledge and truth about our material universe.
But can science act as signpost directing us towards the existence of a supernatural creator? Many philosophers and physicists have begun to think that, in certain instances, this may very well be the case. In this brief article we will examine one such instance involving the fine-tuning of the universe.
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Fine-Tuning: In his essay, Evidence for Fine-Tuning, Robin Collins presents 6 cases of fine-tuning that are widely accepted by physicists. When the laws of nature, or the various forces operating in the cosmos (i.e. the Strong and Weak Nuclear Forces, or the Electromagnetic Force), are expressed by mathematical equations you find in them certain symbols that stand for unchanging quantities called constants, which are, for the most part, astoundingly fine-tuned for life.
Throughout the course of Collins brief article he discusses both one-sided and two-sided examples of fine-tuning. For example, the gravitational constant involves two-sided fine-tuning to the degree of one part in 10 to the 36th power. This represents a staggering number larger then the approximate amount of seconds that have passed since the inception of the universe, which is somewhere around 10 to the 17th power (that is, the number 10 with 17 zeros after it). For those who, like myself, have difficulty comprehending the magnitude of these numbers consider these helpful analogies:
For example, Collins suggests that the precision of the gravitational constant is akin to a ruler stretching across the entire breadth of the universe broken down in to one-inch increments. Now, even if you adjusted the gravitational force one inch in either direction no life would be possible. The Gravitational constant, therefore, is an incredible example of two-sided fine-tuning, equivalent to throwing a dart from outer space and hitting a target on earth the size of an atom…