Could the fine-tuning of the universe be attributed to chance? After all, odds-makers know that even long shots can eventually win at the racetrack. And, against heavy odds, lotteries are eventually won by someone. So, what are the odds against human life existing by chance from a random explosion in cosmic history?
For human life to be possible from a big bang defies the laws of probability. One astronomer calculates the odds at less than 1 chance in a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion.¹ It would be far easier for a blind-folded person—in one try—to discover one specially marked grain of sand out of all the beaches of the world.
Another example of how unlikely it would be for a random big bang to produce life is one person winning over a thousand consecutive mega-million dollar lotteries after purchasing only a single ticket for each.
What would be your reaction to such news? Impossible—unless it was fixed by someone behind the scenes, which is what everyone would think. And that is what many scientists are concluding—Someone behind the scenes designed and created the universe.
Scientists who believe in God may have expected such fine-tuning, but atheists and agnostics are unable to explain the remarkable “coincidences.” Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, an agnostic, writes, “The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.”²
This new understanding of how miraculous human life is in our universe led the agnostic astronomer George Greenstein to ask, “Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon the scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being?”³
However, as an agnostic, Greenstein maintains his faith in science, rather than a Creator, to ultimately explain our origins.4
Astronomer Robert Jastrow, an agnostic, explains why some scientists are reluctant to accept a transcendent Creator,
There is a kind of religion in science; it is the religion of a person who believes there is order and harmony in the Universe…This religious faith of the scientist is violated by the discovery that the world had a beginning under conditions in which the known laws of physics are not valid, and as a product of forces or circumstances we cannot discover. When that happens, the scientist has lost control. If he really examined the implications, he would be traumatized.5
It is understandable why scientists like Greenstein and Hawking seek other explanations rather than attribute our finely-tuned universe to a Creator. Hawking speculates that other unseen (and unprovable) universes may exist, increasing the odds that one of them (ours) is perfectly fine-tuned for life. However, since his proposal is speculative, and outside of verification, it can hardly be called “scientific.” Although he is also an agnostic, British astrophysicist Paul Davies dismisses Hawking’s idea as too speculative. He writes, “Such a belief must rest on faith rather than observation.”6
Although Hawking continues leading the charge to explore purely scientific explanations for our origins, other scientists, including many agnostics, have acknowledged what appears to be overwhelming evidence for a Creator. British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle wrote,
“A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.”7
Although Einstein wasn’t religious, and didn’t believe in a personal God, he called the genius behind the universe “an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.”8
Atheist Christopher Hitchens, who spent much of his life writing and debating against God, was most perplexed by the fact that life couldn’t exist if things were different by just “one degree or one hair.”9
There is for me powerful evidence that there is something 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.10
The above post was excerpted from the Y-Jesus article Has Science Discovered God?
¹ Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2001), 198.
² Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1990), 125.
³ George Greenstein, The Symbiotic Universe (New York: William Morrow, 1988), 27.
4 Ibid., 189.
5 Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers (London: W. W. Norton, 1992), 105.
6 Paul Davies, God and the New Physics (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983), 174.
7 Fred Hoyle, “Let there be Light,” Engineering and Science (November 1981).
8 Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions—The World As I See It (New York: Bonanza, 1931), 40.
10 Paul Davies, The Cosmic Blueprint (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988), 203.