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Part 21 Additional evidence for the design of the universe

Design of the Universe Reveals God

In my previous post I gave a few evidences for the design in the universe.  Scientists have discovered over 100 factors in the universe that if there is one small change, life on earth is impossible.  In my final posting for this series I will share a few more.

  • The sun must be the right color.  Photosynthesis depends on a star that is roughly yellow in color.  Photosynthesis is most effective with a sun that has a surface temperature of 5400°, like our sun.  Stars a little bluer or a little redder won’t fuel photosynthesis so you won’t get plants for animals to eat.
  • Solar luminosity must be precise.  The earth is very delicately balanced between a runaway greenhouse (Venus) and a runaway freeze-up (Mars).  If we are talking about Venus then we have a greenhouse problem.  If you increase the temperature slightly, more water vapor is released into the atmosphere.  This increases the greenhouse effect, increasing the temperature causing more water vapor to be released.  On the other hand, if we are talking about a planet like Mars the issue is freezing up.  The lower the temperature the more ice forms.  Ice reflects the sun’s radiation, continuing to lower the temperature, causing more ice to form, reflecting more radiation, causing more freeze-up.  Life is impossible on Venus and Mars.  However, what we find in the relationship between the sun and the earth is this incredible balance between too hot and too cold.  Here’s how the balance works.  The sun gets hotter as it ages.  Over 3.8 billion years ago when life was allegedly introduced to this earth it lowered the earth’s temperature. Earth’s atmosphere is changed as a result of the introduction of life.  The decreasing temperature caused by life being introduced in growing stages of complexity, exactly counterbalances the increase in luminosity of the sun. The sun gets hotter and hotter, but the earth gets cooler and cooler.  A decrease in CO2 and water vapor means a decrease in temperature, the opposite of a greenhouse effect.  Again we see what appears to be incredible design.
  • The earth’s rotation period must be right.  If you slow it down, the nights and days are too long, creating temperature extremes.  If you speed it up (Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus are all rapid rotators), wind storms would be extreme (1000 mph. on Jupiter).
  • The tilt of our axis must be precise.  The earth’s axis is tilted 23°.  If it was straight up and down the equator would be hotter and the poles colder, disrupting the climate.  A greater tilt would expose the pole to the sun all the time (like Neptune).[1]

What are the chances natural processes could produce even one planet in the entire universe capable of producing life?  There are two parts to this problem.  First, you have the problem of getting the right planet so that life is possible (remember over 100 factors have to be perfect), and second you have the problem of life assembling by chance (life coming from non-life).  Harold Morowitz did the calculations on the simplest possible living system.  He concluded there was less than 1 chance in 10138,000to have the perfect planet for life and for life to come from non-life.  In other words it is statistically impossible for life to arise from chance.  If it’s statistically impossible that life could have happened by chance, it is statistically certain it was the result of intelligent design, because there are only two options.

Could you present Kalaam Cosmological argument, similar to how I did it with my son and his girlfriend, drawing it up on a napkin?  Start by thinking of Genesis 1:1; “In the beginningGod created the heavens and the earth.”  Either the universe had a beginning or it was eternal.  Science says it had a beginning evidenced by the big bang and 2nd law of thermodynamics; the Bible agrees.  Secondly, was the beginning cause or uncaused?  Uncaused means the universe came into existence from nothing.  The only reasonable answer is it was caused, and the Bible agrees “…God created.”  Finally, was the cause personal or impersonal?  A first cause cannot be impersonal; it has to be personal.  All thoughts, mind, reasoning, must come from a personal creator.  Again the Bible aligns with science and states God is the personal creator.

Finally, you can point to all the obvious design of the universe.  A person has to exercise incredible faith to believe the earth was positioned perfectly for life exist and that life could arrive from non-life; the odds against that position are incredible.  Point out how the sun has to be the right age for the perfect temperature, it has to be yellow, the rotation of the earth has to be perfect, and the tilt has to be perfect.  Mention there are over 100 factors that have to be flawless in order for life to exist on earth.  The case for God is logical, reasonable, and easily the odds on favorite.  To not believe in God is to exercise irrational blind faith.

My hope is this series has first and foremost strengthened your faith, that we have the evidence for our beliefs.  I have used these arguments and they stand up in the real world.  If someone disagrees with you, they have to present counter arguments. Science continues to struggle with answers to the problem of the origin of life and the origin of the universe.  If you do share with a non-Christian, just remember the Holy Spirit loves to use good arguments to drive people to their knees.  Lovingly present the truth and let God worry about the results.

Recommended Resources:

  • Craig, WL, “Reasonable Faith,” Crossway Books, 1984
  • Ross, Hugh, “The Creator and the Cosmos,” NavPress, 1993
  • Gregory Koukl “ABC-Why I’m Not an Evolutionist” 1999 www.str.org

[1] Gregory Koukl “ABC-Why I’m Not an Evolutionist” 1999 www.str.org

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Tom Wright August 6, 2010, 9:13 pm

    Steve;
    You give an equation for the statistical chances for live to have evolved naturally in the universe and then state it is statistically impossible for that to have happened?
    Also, what did you think of the NG article?
    Hope to ride with you soon….

  • Steve August 10, 2010, 6:35 am

    Tom,
    Statistical probability has to reach a limit of absurdity. The chances are so small that life occurred by accident that with such high odds mathematicians say it is statistically impossible.

    I haven’t had time to read the article.

    Steve

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