The Big Question 18: Was the Universe Designed?
Sep 15, 2021 121
“Was the Universe designed?”
Sometimes you hear the question of whether the natural world of planet earth was designed. I believe it was.
But the question of whether the universe was designed is an even bigger question.
I guess when you talk about things like “the big bang” and when you consider all those asteroids, stars, and galaxies flying around and crashing into each other, it’s only natural that your first thought would be that no, there’s just too much chaos out there, and it couldn’t have been designed.
I suggest, however, that we need to look a little bit deeper than that. You see, the universe consists of dozens of physical constants that are so finely tuned that if any one of them varied to the unimaginably slightest degree, life wouldn’t be possible anywhere in the universe, let alone on planet earth.
To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, let’s look at one of these constants: the gravitational constant. If the value of the gravitational constant were slightly larger, stars would become too hot and burn out too quickly. If it were smaller, stars would never burn at all.
Here’s another one: if the electromagnetic force were only slightly stronger or weaker, bonds could not form between atoms, everything would fly apart, and nothing could exist. The possible deviation is only 1 in 10-40. That’s one in ten with 40 zero’s after it.
Was the Universe designed or not?
Roger Penrose is a British mathematician, and he was a close friend of Stephen Hawking. He calculated the Initial Entropy conditions of the universe at the moment of the Big Bang that would have been required to support life in any shape or form. So what is the probability of such a universe coming into existence? The answer is 1 in 10 to the minus 123. Roger Penrose spoke about how small this number is:
“Even if we were to write a 0 on each separate proton and on each separate neutron in the entire universe – and we could throw in all the other particles for good measure – we would fall far short of writing down the figure needed.”
Again, to put this in perspective, mathematicians draw the line in probability and say that 1 in 10 to the minus 50 is a mathematical impossibility. That means that it is impossible that the universe supportive of life could have come into existence through sheer chance.
Charles Townes, who won the Nobel prize in physics has said,
“Intelligent design, as one sees it from a scientific point of view, seems to be quite real. This is a very special universe: it’s remarkable that it came out just this way. If the laws of physics weren’t just the way they are, we couldn’t be here at all.”
So, whichever way you look at it, was the Universe designed or not, there must have been a mind behind the existence of the universe. And I, for one, am pretty glad about that.