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Fine Tuning of the Universe

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Introduction

Just like we can study and analyze intelligently designed objects such as a mobile or a computer and safely conclude that an intelligent mind built it, we can study the universe and identify if there is proof of intelligent design. Would you be surprised to discover that scientists have found incredible proof of the fine-tuning and intelligent design in our universe?

Scientists who study the universe to understand how it works are called physicists. They analyze its different features and properties and work towards comprehending the big picture.

Physicists have measured data from the observable universe and found that the laws of nature are extraordinarily fine-tuned for supporting life. These laws apply not only to the earth but also to the entire cosmos. Incredibly the laws behave the same no matter which part of the universe we consider.

For example, the mass of an electron is the same in every part of the universe. Also, its mass is always 2000 times smaller than the mass of the proton.

To Physicists, this doesn’t make logical sense. Why does the Universe have a uniform design and fine-tuning built into its very fabric? Why does it have universal laws and forces which act the same no matter where we look. Why is their intelligent design and order to our Universe?

These are some of the questions that Physicists grapple with daily.

From the past 100-200 years, there have been incredible leaps in scientific discoveries. Innovative technology has enabled us to understand our Universe like never before. New laws and forces which govern our Universe have been discovered.

Quantum Physics and the theory of relativity have helped us to understand how our universe works both on the microscopic and interstellar levels. From all of this, a pattern of incredible order, design, and fine-tuning seems to emerge.

Fine Tuning

moon-fine-tuning

Fine-tuning, as it applies to the universe, is the idea that conditions essential for life to exist in the universe can occur only when certain universal physical constants and forces lie within a very narrow range of values. If any of them were to differ slightly, then our universe would be unlikely to be conducive to the establishment of life.

This idea of fine-tuning is widely accepted in the scientific community and has caused colossal upheaval. Many physicists are struggling to find pertinent answers to life’s difficult questions because they are looking at the scientific data and interpreting it with an atheistic worldview.

Due to this, they are unable to harmonize the fact that our Universe exhibits qualities of intelligent design and fine-tuning with the assumptions of random chance and luck.

Fundamental Building blocks of the Universe Show Fine Tuning

particles fine tuning

Since the early 20th century, physicists have been making remarkable discoveries that have given us an exquisite insight into the inner workings of our universe.

The Standard Model of Particle Physics is a scientific theory that describes how our universe works. This theory was formulated in the early 1970s but ever since has been improved upon with the discovery of new particles, the latest being the “God Particle” or the Higgs Boson, which was detected in 2012.

The Standard Model specifies that there are 16 fundamental particles in the universe. These are usually divided into the following two broad groups:

Fermions – These particles are the building blocks of matter.

Bosons – These particles are the carriers of the fundamental forces of the universe.

According to physicists, we can make some sense of the world around us now that we are aware of most of the fundamental particles of the universe and the forces that act upon them.

The Fundamental Forces of the Universe Show Fine Tuning

There are four fundamental forces of nature: Strong Nuclear Force, Weak Nuclear Force, Electromagnetic Force, and Gravity.

These forces interact with matter such as atoms at the quantum level and also at the macroscopic level such as planets and stars. These interactions are essential for molecules to come together to form larger forms of matter.

They are also necessary for the formation of all the elements of nature, such as hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. They are also required for the generation of heat and light. Gravity allows planets to orbit around stars.

These forces are crucial for life to exist in the universe. But the story doesn’t stop there, Physicists have discovered that the magnitude of these forces can only deviate from their current values by a small range or else the universe cannot exist in its current form.

It appears that these fundamental forces were fine-tuned to have precise values, just like how we fine-tune our radios to listen to specific radio stations.

It does not look possible that this incredible fine-tuning could have occurred without an intelligent designer.

Have a read of the following unique and astounding evidence of fine-tuning of the fundamental forces.

Examples of Fine-Tuning In Our Universe – Intelligent Design

The strength of the weak nuclear force

The weak nuclear force governs the rate of radioactive decay of neutrons, and as the strong nuclear force, it acts over small distances within atoms.

If it was stronger than observed, then matter in the universe would be quickly converted into heavy elements leading to very less hydrogen and helium, which are essential fuels for stars.

If it were much weaker, matter in the universe would remain in the form of just the lightest elements, primarily hydrogen and helium. There would be (for example) virtually no oxygen, carbon, or nitrogen, which are essential for life.

The strength of the electromagnetic force

If in electromagnetism the forces acted opposite of their current behavior, e.g., like charges attracted and opposites repelled, then there would be no atoms.

This is because the structure of an atom consists of electrons, protons, and neutrons which require a fine balance of attraction and repulsion between them. Otherwise, they would gather in undifferentiated lumps of matter having no uniform structure and balance.

If the electromagnetic force were higher, electrons would have too much energy, and atom stability would be affected. Life would be impossible since chemicals essential for life, such as carbon and oxygen, would not bond together.

If the electromagnetic force was lower, the atomic bonds could not form. Thus, the complex molecules for life chemistry would not be possible.

The strength of gravity

Of the four fundamental forces in the universe, gravity is the weakest. Gravity is weaker by a factor of 10 to the power of 40 to the strong nuclear force. In other words, the strong nuclear force is thousand billion, billion, billion, billion – times stronger than gravity.

Gravity is the most common of the forces observed, and even though it is the weakest, it is the most wide-reaching of the four. It is the force that operates and influences large objects such as planets and stars.

Do you think that its just pure chance that the force of gravity is so weak?

For instance, if we increased the strength of gravity on Earth by a billionfold, the force of gravity would be so great that any land-based organism anywhere near the size of human beings would be crushed.

If it were stronger or weaker by just one part out of 10 100 (that’s a 1 with one hundred zeros after it!), the universe would not and could not support intelligent life.

If the force of gravity were slightly stronger, then massive stars would attract other stars and planets. The result would be that our Universe would get sucked into one massive black hole.

If the force of gravity were slightly weaker than it currently is, then planets would drift away from stars. For, e.,g. Earth would drift away from the sun, thus making life impossible.

Physical Constants

scientist working

A marvelous aspect of our universe is that its underlying physical properties are measurable and are based on what is known as the physical constants.

Physical constants are the measurable physical properties of the universe. Matter and forces of nature are governed by laws, and these are, in turn, dependant on one or more of these constants.

The remarkable thing about them is that their values are constant through time, i.e., their values have been the same in the past and the same every time they are measured.

The laws of nature are represented by equations and all these equations have a physical constant associated with them.

For e.g. the famous equation of Einstein, E= mc2, specifies that mass and energy are related and that all mass can be converted into huge amounts of energy directly proportional to the square of the speed of light.

The speed of light is a physical constant of the universe. Its value has been measured innumerable times from the past 100 years and its value has always been the same.

Secrets Unlocked Fact

Physical constants cannot be calculated from theory. They have to be measured and their values have to be noted down by conducting experiments.

 

The fine-tuning of the universal constants points to an intelligent designer

As of today, there are about 25 dimensionless physical constants of which 15 are the masses of the fundamental particles. And there are about 30 more physical constants which have units, some of the most popular being the speed of light in vacuum c, the Planck constant h, the gravitational constant G, the electric constant ε0 and the elementary charge of an electron e.

Physicists have found that these constants have the right set of values to support intelligent life in this universe. If these values deviated even by a slight amount, then life would not be possible.

The Fine Structure Constant

The fine structure constant, denoted as α, describes how electromagnetic radiation affects charged particles.

Its value is 1/137. It can also be expressed as a ratio of three other fundamental constants of nature:
the electric charge of the electron, e; the speed of light, c; and Planck’s constant.
α quantifies the distance between the spectral lines of the hydrogen atom.

The spectral lines are kind of like the fingerprints or DNA of an atom. This number is so unique that it has baffled scientists.

if the constant was bigger, atoms would decay faster. And according to British physicist Laurence Eaves explains that if the fine structure constant was a different value, “physics, chemistry, biochemistry would be totally different – and we might not be around to talk about it. Paul Davies, Regents Professor of Physics at Arizona State University

If α to change by 4%, stellar fusion would not produce carbon, so that carbon-based life would be impossible. If α were greater than 0.1, stellar fusion would be impossible, and no place in the universe would be warm enough for life as we know it. John David Barrow, English cosmologist, theoretical physicist, and mathematician

If alpha were bigger than it really is, we should not be able to distinguish matter from ether [the vacuum, nothingness], and our task to disentangle the natural laws would be hopelessly difficult. The fact however that alpha has just its value 1/137 is certainly no chance but itself a law of nature. It is clear that the explanation of this number must be the central problem of natural philosophy.
Max Born, a German-Jewish physicist and mathematician who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics

Quotes from famous Scientists

In a BBC documentary, titled The Anthropic Principle, scientists made the following observations

If you change a little bit the laws of nature, or you change a little bit the constants of nature – like the charge on the electron – then the way the universe develops is so changed, it is very likely that intelligent life would not have been able to develop.
Dr. Dennis Scania, head of Cambridge University Observatories

If we nudge one of these constants just a few percent in one direction, stars burn out within a million years of their formation, and there is no time for evolution. If we nudge it a few percent in the other direction, then no elements heavier than helium form. No carbon, no life. Not even any chemistry. No complexity at all. Dr. David D. Deutsch, Institute of Mathematics, Oxford University

The really amazing thing is not that life on Earth is balanced on a knife-edge, but that the entire universe is balanced on a knife-edge, and would be total chaos if any of the natural constants were off even slightly.
You see even if you dismiss man as a chance happening, the fact remains that the universe seems unreasonably suited to the existence of life—almost contrived—you might say a put-up jobDr. Paul Davies, noted author and professor of theoretical physics at Adelaide University

The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life…For example, if the electric charge of the electron had been only slightly different, stars would have been unable to burn hydrogen and helium, or else they would not have exploded. It seems clear that there are relatively few ranges of values for the numbers (for the constants) that would allow for development of any form of intelligent life. Most sets of values would give rise to universes that, although they might be very beautiful, would contain no one able to wonder at that beauty.Stephen Hawking - perhaps the world's most famous cosmologist


The laws of nature form a system that is extremely fine-tuned, and very little in physical law can be altered without destroying the possibility of the development of life as we know it. Were it not for a series of startling coincidences in the precise details of physical law, it seems, humans and similar life-forms would never have come into being.
Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design, pgs. 160-161 (2012)

The more I examine the universe, and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the Universe in some sense must have known we were coming.
Freeman Dyson - Physicist - Disturbing the Universe, New York: Harper & Row, 1979, p. 250

A commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.
Astronomer Fred Hoyle, The Universe: Past and Present Reflections, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics 20, pg. 16 (1982)

Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly-improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.
Nobel laureate Arno Penzias, co-discoverer of the cosmic background radiation

Here is the cosmological proof of the existence of God – the design argument of Paley – updated and refurbished. The fine-tuning of the universe provides prima facie evidence of deistic design.
Edward Robert Harrison, British astronomer and cosmologist

How is it that common elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen happened to have just the kind of atomic structure that they needed to make the molecules upon which life depends? It is almost as though the universe had been consciously designed.
Richard Morris - The Fate of the Universe, New York: Playboy Press, 1982, p. 28

We are, by astronomical standards, a pampered, cosseted, cherished group of creatures.. .. If the Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in.
John Aloysius O'Keefe III (1916–2000) was an expert in planetary science and astrogeology at NASA

Conclusion

milky way - intelligent design

Scientists are increasingly accepting that the laws and constants of nature are so “finely-tuned” that it is becoming impossible to attribute this remarkable design to mere chance or random process. Although scientists are wary of the concept of a divine being like God, the scientific community is now becoming more open to the idea that this universe looks intelligently designed.

Extensive evidence of fine-tuning has been found to have been intelligently designed into the very fabric of our universe. Its as if someone made sure that the properties of our universe are just right to support life. Every law, particle of matter, and force of nature follows incredible order and uniformity.

The Values of Physical Constants are set on a knife’s edge. A minor change in any one of the 30 plus constants would make life impossible.

The universe is crying out to let us know that an intelligent designer made it. Yet we have an awful lot of skeptics who would rather take an incredible leap of faith and believe Darwinian Evolution and pure chance rather than come to accept the fact that there is a God who made the universe and all life.

I would say the universe has a purpose. It’s not there just somehow by chance.
Roger Penrose (mathematician and author) - Penrose, R. 1992. A Brief History of Time (movie). Burbank, CA, Paramount Pictures, Inc.

For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.

Then we shall be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we would know the mind of God.
Stephen Hawking - A Brief History of Time. p. 175

When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics.
Frank Tipler - American mathematical physicist and cosmologist - The Physics Of Immortality, New York, Doubleday, 1994.

It seems to me that when confronted with the marvels of life and the universe, one must ask why and not just how. The only possible answers are religious. . . . I find a need for God in the universe and in my own life.
Arthur L. Schawlow (Professor of Physics at Stanford University, 1981 Nobel Prize in physics)
Margenau, H. and R. A. Varghese, eds. Cosmos, Bios, Theos: Scientists Reflect on Science, God, and the Origins of the Universe, Life, and Homo Sapiens

If you are an atheist who does not believe there is scientific proof for God, Please read the article

Science Proves The Existence Of God

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