How Everything Began
The New Garb of Faith
Many scientists today propose the big bang theory – or some modified version of it – to explain the origin of the universe and, thus try to do away with the need for a designer.
According to the big bang theory, in the beginning (or before the beginning, if you will), all matter in the universe was concentrated into a single point (known as a singularity) at an extremely high temperature, and then it exploded with tremendous force. From an expanding superheated cloud of sub-atomic particles, atoms gradually formed, then stars, galaxies, planets and finally life.
The big bang theory, though mind-grabbing and widely-publicized, literally collapses when confronted with one gnawing question: where did the singularity come from? Here the atheists find the tables turned, for they face the same problem as the religionists whom they taunt with the question, `Where did God come from?’ Just as the religionists answer that God is the cause of all causes, the scientists now have to bare their faith in their ”god” – a mathematically indescribable, physically unrealizable point of infinite density and temperature, of infinitesimal size, existing before all conceptions of time and space – as the cause of all causes. Thus, the atheists stand exposed for committing the same unforgivable, intellectual crime that they charge the religionists with – making physically unverifiable, supernatural claims.
Atheists, despite all their condemnation of faith, can’t do away with faith; they simply give it a new garb.
An open-minded thinker now has to choose between two options about the origin of everything – a dead, insentient, unintelligent singularity or a living, thinking, intelligent designer. Neither of these is `scientific’ in the sense in which the term is presently used, for both of them take us beyond the realm of space and time, where science cannot prove anything.
What does common sense say?
All our practical experience shows that an intelligent living person can easily create a variety of things; a carpenter makes a bureau; a civil engineer makes a skyscraper; an automobile engineer makes a Mercedes Benz. There is absolutely no experience of the raw materials aligning by themselves into useful products. Just imagine what would happen to the unemployment rate worldwide if that happened!
The choice then is not between rational science and blind faith, but between blind faith garbing itself as science on one side and common sense misrepresented as blind faith on the other.
Checkmated by Finetuning
But even if, for argument’s sake, we accept the big bang cosmology to be true, that is, we grant that the origin and development of the universe are to be explained solely in terms of the interactions of matter and energy, still these interactions have to be so precisely adjusted as to require an intelligent designer. Indeed, so many are the parameters – the values of physical constants and ratios of natural forces – that need to have precise values that this phenomenon has been called as the ‘fine-tuning’ of the universe.
Consider the following examples of fine-tuning within our solar system, as explained by Dr Hugh Ross in the presentation Where did the Universe Come from? :
If the force electromagnetism is weaker than what it is, there won’t be sufficient electromagnetic pull to keep electrons orbiting the nucleus. If electrons cannot orbit nuclei, then electrons cannot be shared so that nuclei can come together to form molecules. Without molecules, we have no life.
If the force electromagnetism is stronger than what it is, the nuclei will hang onto their electrons with such strength that the electrons will not be shared with adjoining nuclei and again, molecules will never form. Unless the force electromagnetism is fine-tuned to a particular value, the universe will have no molecules and no life.
2. Strong Nuclear Force
The force that holds the protons and neutrons together in the nucleus of an atom is called the strong nuclear force, which is the strongest of the four forces of physics.
If the nuclear force is too strong, the protons and neutrons in the universe will find themselves stuck to other protons and neutrons, which means we have a universe devoid of hydrogen. Hydrogen is the element composed of the bachelor proton. It’s impossible to conceive of life chemistry without Hydrogen.
On the other hand, if we make the nuclear force slightly weaker, none of the protons and neutrons will stick together. All of the protons and neutrons will be bachelors, in which case the only element that would exist in the universe would be Hydrogen, and it’s impossible to make life if all we’ve got is Hydrogen.
The value of this nuclear strong force has to be so sensitively adjusted that if it were 3/10th of 1% stronger or 2% weaker, life would be impossible at any time in the universe.
3. Mass of the Proton and Neutron
The neutron is 0.138% more massive than the proton. Because of this, it takes a little more energy for the universe to make neutrons, as compared to protons. That’s why in the universe of today we have seven times as many protons as neutrons.
If the neutron were 1/10th of 1% less massive than what we observe, then the universe would make so many neutrons that all of the matter in the universe would very quickly collapse into neutron stars and black holes, and life would be impossible.
If the neutron were 1/10th of 1% more massive than what we observe, then the universe would make so few neutrons, that there wouldn’t be enough neutrons to make Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, etc., without which there can be no life.
Gravity is the weakest among the four forces of physics. But for gravity to act on the cosmic level, the universe must be electrically neutral. That requires the numbers of the positively charged particles to be equivalent to the numbers of negatively charged particles. Else electromagnetism will dominate gravity, and stars, galaxies and planets will never form. If they don’t form, then clearly life is impossible.
The numbers of electrons must equal the numbers of protons to better than one part of 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 37th power). To get an idea of this number, suppose we covered the entire North American continent from here all the way to the moon with dimes. That’s a 250,000-mile high pile of dimes covering 10,000,000 square miles, and you’d have to do that with a billion North American continents from here all the way to the moon. That is one chance in
10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 37th power).
Now, imagine that in those piles of billions of dimes, there’s one dime colored red. If you were to randomly shuffle your way through those billions of dimes blindfolded, and you choose one dime, the odds that you would pick up that one red dime is one chance in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. And that’s how accurately the number of electrons and protons must be balanced.
There are many more examples of such fine tuning, which, along with their implications, are well-explained in Human Devolution by Micheal Cremo. (He also explains lucidly the Vedic understanding of ‘how everything began?’)
For the sake of brevity, we will just give three more examples of precise arrangements in our solar system:
1. Speed of Earth’s Rotation
If the earth rotates too quickly, we will have too many storms like tornadoes and hurricanes. If it rotates too slowly, it will be too cold at night and too hot during the day.
2. The Right Size Moon
The Earth’s moon system is that of a small planet being orbited by a huge, single moon. That huge, single moon has the effect of stabilizing the rotation axis of planet Earth to 23½ degrees. That’s the ideal tilt for life on planet Earth.
The axis on planet Mars moves through a tilt from zero to 60 degrees and flips back and forth. If that were to happen on Earth, life would be impossible. Thanks to the Moon, it’s held stable at 23 ½ degrees.
3. The Position of Jupiter:
It takes a super massive planet like Jupiter, located where it is, to act as a shield, guarding the Earth from cosmic collisions. We don’t want a comet colliding with Earth every week. Thanks to Jupiter, that doesn’t happen.
Over a 100 examples of such ‘fine-tuning’ (micro-precise arrangement of factors) have been documented in the technical literature and summarized in books like The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (1986). And more are constantly being discovered.
Where Does the Finetuning Come From?
Atheists try to explain away the fine tuning by invoking the multiple universe theory, saying that we just happen to be in the universe where everything is suitable for our existence. But parallel universes are intrinsically unproven and unprovable. They fit better the realm of science fiction than science. Sir Martin Rees, the astronomer royal of Great Britain, admits in his book Just Six Numbers that the multiple universe theory is simply “speculative”.
All other attempts to explain the fine tuning including the grand unified theory suffer the same crippling drawback; they are simply unproven and unprovable.
To summarize the answer to the question ‘how everything began?’ let’s hear what Nobel Laureate physicist Arthur Compton has to say, “For me, faith begins with the realization that a supreme intelligence brought the universe into being and created man. It is not difficult for me to have this faith, for an orderly, intelligent universe testifies to the greatest statement ever uttered: ‘In the beginning, God…’”