One of the most striking discoveries of modern science has been that the laws and constants of physics unexpectedly conspire in extraordinary ways to make the universe suitable for life. Put another way, about fifty different factors had to be dialed in with incredible precision in order for life of any kind to survive. If even one of these areas had been off to even the slightest degree then, well, we wouldn’t have been around to know about it!
But how did these factors get so dialed in? By chance? The odds against that are absolutely astronomical!
Physicist Robin Collins gave an example of just one of these areas, the cosmological constant, which represents the energy density of empty space.
“There’s no way we can really comprehend it,” he explained. “The fine tuning has conservatively been estimated to be at least one part in a hundred million billion billion billion billion billion billion. That as a number:
That’s incredibly precise.
“Let’s say you were way out in space and going to throw a dart at random toward the Earth. It would be like successfully hitting a bull’s eye that’s one trillionth of a trillionth of an inch in diameter. That’s less than the size of one solitary atom.”
Breathtaking is a word that comes to mind. This — just one of about fifty examples — pointed convincingly to the divine. “Fine-tuner.” The evidence is so powerful, in fact, that it was instrumental in helping Harvard – educated professor Patrick Glynn, a spiritual skeptic, abandon his agnosticism. And is compelling information we can share with our friends too!
A commonsense interpretation of the facts suggest that a super – intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The number one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.
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
From galaxies and stars, down to atoms and subatomic particles, the very structure of our universe is determined by these numbers:
* Speed of Light: c=299,792,458 m s-1
* Gravitational Constant: G=6.673 x 10-11 m3 kg-1 s-2
* Planck’s Constant: 1.05457148 x 10-34 m2 kg s-2
* Planck Mass-Energy: 1.2209 x 1022 MeV
* Mass of Electron, Proton, Neutron: 0.511; 938.3; 939.6 MeV
* Mass of Up, Down, Strange Quark: 2.4; 4.8; 104 MeV (Approx.)
* Ratio of Electron to Proton Mass: (1836.15)-1
* Gravitational Coupling Constant: 5.9 x 10-39
* Cosmological Constant: (2.3 x 10-3 eV)
* Hubble Constant: 71 km/s/Mpc (today)
* Higgs Vacuum Expectation Value: 246.2 GeV
These are the fundamental constants and quantities of the universe. Scientists have come to the shocking realization that each of these numbers have been carefully dialed to an astonishingly precise value – a value that falls within an exceedingly narrow, life-permitting range. If any one of these numbers were altered by even a hair’s breadth, no physical, interactive life of any kind could exist anywhere. There’d be no stars, no life, no planets, no chemistry.