Made Just For You
John walks into his bedroom on his tenth birthday and hey presto! The first thing that catches his eye is a new easy chair that’s just the right size for him. He looks around and is elated to sees a brand new jacket that fits him exactly. Also there are shoes and stockings that are just perfect for him. To his great surprise and pleasure, he finds several new items, which are all, so to speak, tailor-made for him.
What does he conclude on seeing all this?
“That’s elementary, my dear Watson. It’s a birthday surprise arranged by his father.”
The arrangement of John’s room is an example of an acausal phenomenon. That is, knowing the effect that one wants in advance, all the causes are adjusted to produce that effect. Acausal systems clearly need an intelligence, which understands the effect desired and then arranges the factors involved so that the effect is achieved. In the above example, the effect desired was to surprise and elate John with various birthday gifts and the intelligence that arranged them was his father’s.
The Tables Have Turned
Acausal phenomena are unfamiliar to modern scientific thought, which mostly studies causal phenomena, wherein a cause produces an effect. The general agreement among the scientists till a few decades ago was that the design of life on earth was a result of aimless causal processes. Thus they seemed to have explained away the need of an intelligent designer for the universe.
But in the last few decades the tables have turned dramatically. So much so that astronomer George Greenstein noted in his book The Symbiotic Universe, “As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency – or, rather, Agency – must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?”
What are the scientific investigations which have prompted many eminent scientists to make statements similar to these?
The Anthropic Principle
This counter-revolution began with the postulation of the Anthropic Principle by Brandon Carter in 1973. The Anthropic Principle, in its simplest form, states that we can observe in the universe only those things that are conducive to our existence as observers. It means that the entire universe, the solar system, the earth, its geology, weather, flora and fauna are all designed to make our existence possible.
On a freezing cold night, John runs trembling into his bedroom and shuts the door. To his amazement, he finds that his room is warm, cozy and fresh. On further observation, he realizes that his room has been sealed from all sides with a special material in order to be 100% cold-proof. He also notes that a room heater is the cause of the warmth. Moreover, he also sees an oxygen cylinder, which accounts for the fresh air.
Let us now see something quite similar in nature: the four remarkable properties of water, which preserve aquatic life in the water bodies throughout the long winters.
- Water has maximum density at 4 degrees centigrade. Consequently, ice has a lower density than water. During the frigid winters, ice remains on the surface, thus preventing the entire water body from freezing. This is similar to the cold-proof covering around John’s room.
- Water also absorbs vast quantities of oxygen at low temperatures, which is utilized by the aquatic life under the ice sheet. This is akin to the oxygen cylinder in John’s room.
- And water also releases large quantities of heat as it freezes, which achieves an effect similar to the heater in John’s room.
The arrangement of John’s room on that winter night was obviously an acausal event. Similarly the arrangement of the water bodies in winter is also an acausal event.
The same principle of benevolent design applies to all our life’s necessities – air, water, food, heat, light etc.
Could all this be happening by chance? Let’s consider the chances for the chance theory through an analogy.
Suppose I am playing a dice game with my life at stake. If the dice gives a ‘6’, I live, else I die. I roll the dice and it gives ‘6’. “Good luck saved you”, you will say. If I get ‘6’ five successive times, you will start smelling something fishy. If I get ‘6’ a 1,000 successive times, you will be practically sure that the dice has been designed to always fall six.
This is exactly what we see in the universe. Everything in the universe has to have a particular value for our existence to be possible and everything has exactly that value. Everything – right from the rate at which the universe expands after the big bang, the percentage of the nuclear fusion energy on the sun which is converted into starlight, the distance of the sun from the earth, the delicate ecological balance on the earth, the anomalous behavior of water…. the list goes on and on.
A Universe Designed For Life
The philosophical implications of the anthropic principle shake the very foundation of mechanistic science. British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle in his book The Intelligent Universe comments, “Such properties seem to run through the fabric of the natural world like a thread of happy coincidences. But there are so many odd coincidences essential to life that some explanation seems required to account for them.”
The explanation required is obvious. The universe we live in has been designed, with the express purpose of enabling our existence here. Although atheists try to do elaborate word jugglery to evade the evidence proving the existence of a benevolent designer, the theories they come up with – like parallel universes – are just flights of imagination. They are science fiction, not science.
Therefore in marketing language, it could be confidently said that the universe is “made just for you” – made by your benevolent father, God.
No wonder Noble Laureate chemist Christian B. Anfinsen declared, ““I think only an idiot can be an atheist.”