DESIGN AND THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE by Hugh Ross, Ph.D.
Dr. Hugh Ross earned a BS in physics from the University of British Columbia
and an MS and PhD in astronomy from the University of Toronto.? For several
years he continued his research on quasars and galaxies as a post-doctoral fellow
at the California Institute of Technology.
Human existence is possible because the constants of physics and the parameters
for the universe and for planet Earth lie within certain highly restricted ranges.
John Wheeler and others interpret these amazing "coincidences" as proof that
human existence somehow determines the design of the universe. Drawing an illogical parallel
with delayed-choice experiments in quantum mechanics, they say that observations
by humans influence the design of the universe, not only now, but back to the
beginning. Such versions of what is called the "anthropic principle" reflect current
philosophical and religious leanings towards the deification of man. They produce
no evidence to support the notion that man’s present acts can influence past
events. Furthermore, their analogies with quantum mechanics break down on this
point. The "coincidental" values of the constants of physics and the parameters
of the universe point, rather, to a designer who transcends the dimensions and
limits of the physical universe.
Now that the limits and parameters of the universe can be calculated, and some
even directly measured, astronomers and physicists have begun to recognize a
connection between these limits and parameters and the existence of life. It
is impossible to imagine a universe containing life in which any one of the fundamental
constants of physics or any one of the fundamental parameters of the universe
is different, even slightly so, in one way or another.
?From this recognition arises the anthropic principle?everything about the universe
tends toward man, toward making life possible and sustaining it. The first popularizer
of the principle American physicist John Wheeler, describes it in this way,
"A life-giving factor lies at the centre of the whole machinery and design of the
Of course, design in the natural world has been acknowledged since the beginning
of recorded history. Divine design is the message of each of the several hundred
creation accounts that form the basis of the world’s religions.2, 3 The idea
that the natural world was designed especially for mankind is the very bedrock of the
Greek, as well as of the Judeo-Christian world view. Western philosophers of
the post-Roman era went so far as to formalize a discipline called teleology?the
study of the evidence for overall design and purpose in nature. Teleology attracted
such luminaries as Augustine, Maimonides, Aquinas, Newton and Paley, all of
whom gave it much of their life’s work.
?Dirac and Dicke’s coincidences
One of the first to recognize that design may also apply to the gross features
of the universe was American physicist Robert Dicke. In 1961 he noted that life
is possible in the universe only because of the special relationships among
certain cosmological parameters4 (relationships researched by British physicist Paul Dirac
twenty-four years earlier5).
?Dirac noted that the number of baryons (protons plus neutrons) in the universe
is the square of the gravitational constant as well as the square of the age
of the universe (both expressed as dimensionless numbers). Dicke discerned that
a slight change in either of these relationships life could exist. Stars of the
right type for sustaining life supportable planets only can occur during a certain
range of ages for the universe. Similarly, stars of the right type only can
form for a narrow range of values of the gravitational constant.
?the universe as a fit habitat
In recent years these and other parameters for the universe have been more sharply
defined and analyzed. Now, nearly two dozen coincidences evincing design have
?1. The gravitational coupling constant?i.e., the force of gravity, determines
what? kinds of stars are possible in the universe. If the gravitational force
were slightly? stronger, star formation would proceed more efficiently and all
Stars would be more? massive than our sun by at least 1.4 times. These large stars
are important in that they? alone manufacture elements heavier than iron, and
they alone disperse elements heavier? than beryllium to the interstellar medium.
Such elements are essential for the formation? of planets as well as of living
things in any form. However, these Stars burn too rapidly? and too unevenly
to maintain life-supporting conditions on surrounding planets. Stars as? small
as our sun are necessary for that.
?On the other hand, if the gravitational force were slightly weaker, all stars
would? have less than 0.8 times the mass of the sun. Though such stars burn
long and evenly? enough to maintain life-supporting planets, no heavy elements
essential for building such? planets or life would exist.
?2. The strong nuclear force coupling constant holds together the particles
in the? nucleus of an atom. If the strong nuclear force were slightly weaker,
multi-proton nuclei? would not hold together. Hydrogen would be the only element
in the universe.
?If this force were slightly stronger, not only would hydrogen be rare in the
universe,? but the supply of the various life-essential elements heavier than
iron (elements? resulting from the fission of very heavy elements) would be
insufficient. Either way, life? would be impossible.a
3. The weak nuclear force coupling constant affects the behavior of leptons.
Leptons? form a whole class of elementary particles (e.g. neutrinos, electrons,
and photons) that? do not participate in strong nuclear reactions. The most
familiar weak interaction effect? is radioactivity, in particular, the beta decay reaction:
neutron ? proton + electron + neutrino
?The availability of neutrons as the universe cools through temperatures appropriate
for? nuclear fusion determines the amount of helium produced during the first
few minutes of? the big bang. If the weak nuclear force coupling constant were
slightly larger, neutrons? would decay more readily, and therefore would be less
available. Hence, little or no? helium would be produced from the big bang.
Without the necessary helium, heavy elements? sufficient for the constructing
of life would not be made by the nuclear furnaces inside? stars. On the other
hand, if this constant were slightly smaller, the big bang would burn? most
or all of the hydrogen into helium, with a subsequent over-abundance of heavy?
elements made by stars, and again life would not be possible.
?A second, possibly more delicate, balance occurs for supernovae. It appears
that an? outward surge of neutrinos determines whether or not a supernova is
able to eject its? heavy elements into outer space. If the weak nuclear force
coupling constant were slightly? larger, neutrinos would pass through a supernova’s
envelop without disturbing it. Hence,? the heavy elements produced by the supernova
would remain in the core. If the constant? were slightly smaller, the neutrinos
would not be capable of blowing away the envelop. Again, the heavy elements essential
for life would remain trapped forever within the cores? of supernovae.
?4. The electromagnetic coupling constant binds electron
s to protons in atoms.
The? characteristics of the orbits of electrons about atoms determines to what
degree atoms? will bond together to form molecules. If the electromagnetic coupling
constant were? slightly smaller, no electrons would be held in orbits about nuclei.
If it were slightly? larger, an atom could not "share" an electron orbit with
other atoms. Either? way, molecules, and hence life, would be impossible.
?5. The ratio of electron to proton mass also determines the characteristics
of (he? orbits of electrons about nuclei. A proton is 1836 times more massive
than an electron. if? the electron to proton mass ratio were slightly larger
or slightly smaller, again,? molecules would not form, and life would be impossible.
?6. The age of the universe governs what kinds of stars exist. It takes about
three? billion years for the first stars to form. It takes another ten or twelve
billion years? for supernovae to spew out enough heavy elements to make possible
stars like our sun,? stars capable of spawning rocky planets. Yet another few
billion years is necessary for? solar-type stars to stabilize sufficiently to
support advanced life on any of its planets.? Hence, if the universe were just
a couple of billion years younger, no environment? suitable for life would exist.
However, if the universe were about ten (or more) billion? years older than
it is, there would be no solar-type stars in a stable burning phase in? the
right part of a galaxy. In other words, the window of time during which life is?
possible in the universe is relatively narrow.
?7. The expansion rate of the universe determines what kinds of stars, if any,
form in? the universe. If the rate of expansion were slightly less, the whole
universe would have? recollapsed before any solar-type stars could have settled
into a stable burning phase. If? the universe were expanding slightly more rapidly,
no galaxies (and hence no stars) would? condense from the general expansion.
How critical is this expansion rate? According to? Alan Guth,6 it? must be fine-tuned
to an accuracy of one part in 1055.? Guth, however, suggests that his inflationary
model, given certain values for the four? fundamental forces of physics, may
provide a natural explanation for the critical? expansion rate.
?8. The entropy level of the universe affects the condensation of massive systems.
The? universe contains 100,000,000 photons for every baryon. This makes the
universe extremely? entropic, i.e. a very efficient radiator and a very poor
engine. If the entropy level for? the universe were slightly larger, no galactic
systems would form (and therefore no? stars). If the entropy level were slightly
smaller, the galactic systems that formed would? effectively trap radiation
and prevent any fragmentation of the Systems into stars Either? way the universe
would be devoid of stars and, thus, of life. (Some models for the? universe
relate this coincidence to a dependence of entropy upon the gravitational? coupling
?9. The mass of the universe (actually mass + energy, since E = mc2)? determines
how much nuclear burning takes place as the universe cools from the hot big?
bang. If the mass were slightly larger, too much deuterium (hydrogen atoms with
nuclei? containing both a proton and a neutron) would form during the cooling of the
big bang.? Deuterium is a powerful catalyst for subsequent nuclear burning in
Stars. This extra? deuterium would cause stars to burn much too rapidly to sustain
life on any possible? planet.
?On the other hand, if the mass of the universe were slightly smaller, no helium
would? be generated during the cooling of the big bang. Without helium, stars
cannot produce the? heavy elements necessary for life. Thus, we see a reason
why the universe is as big as it? is. If it were any smaller (or larger), not
even one planet like the earth would be? possible.
?10. The uniformity of the universe determines its stellar components. Our universe
has? a high degree of uniformity. Such uniformity is considered to arise most
probably from a? brief period of inflationary expansion near the time of the
origin of the universe. if the inflation (or some other mechanism) had not smoothed
the universe to the degree we see,? the universe would have developed into a
plethora of black holes separated by virtually? empty space.
?On the other had, if the universe were smoothed beyond this degree, stars,
star? clusters, and galaxies may never have formed at all. Either way, the resultant
universe? would be incapable of supporting life.
?11. The stability of the proton affects the quantity of matter in the universe
and also? the radiation level as it pertains to higher life forms. Each proton
contains three? quarks. Through the agency of other particles (called bosons)
quarks decay into? antiquarks, pions, and positive electrons. Currently in our
universe this decay process? occurs on the average of only once per proton per
1032? years.b? If that rate were greater, the biological consequences for large
animals and man would be? catastrophic, for the proton decays would deliver lethal doses
?On the other hand, if the proton were more stable (less easily formed and less
likely? to decay), less matter would have emerged from events occurring in the
first split second? of the universe’s existence. There would be insufficient
matter in the universe for life? to be possible.
?12. The fine structure constants relate directly to each of the four fundamental
forces? of physics (gravitational, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak
nuclear). Compared to? the coupling constants, the fine structure constants
typically yield stricter design? constraints for the universe. For example, the
electromagnetic fine structure constant? affects the opacity of stellar material.
(Opacity is the degree to which a material? permits radiant energy to pass through).
In star formation, gravity pulls material? together while thermal motions tend
to pull it apart. An increase in the opacity of this? material will limit the
effect of thermal motions. Hence, smaller clumps of material will be able to
overcome the resistance of the thermal motions. If the electromagnetic fine?
structure constant were slightly larger, all stars would be less than 0.7 times
the mass? of the sun. If the electromagnetic fine structure constant were slightly
smaller, all? stars would be more than 1.8 times the mass of the sun.
?13. The velocity of light can be expressed in a variety of ways as a function
of any? one of the fundamental forces of physics or as a function of one of
the fine structure? constants. Hence, in the case of this constant, too, the
slightest change, up or down,? would negate any possibility for life in the universe.
?14. The 8Be, 12C, and? 16O nuclear energy levels affect the manufacture and?
abundance of elements essential to life. Atomic nuclei exist in various discrete
energy? levels. A transition from one level to another occurs through the emission
or capture of a? photon that possesses precisely the energy difference between
the two levels. The first? coincidence here is that 8Be decays in just 10-15
seconds. Because 8Be is so? highly unstable, it slows down the fusion process.
If it were more stable, fusion of? heavier elements would proceed so readily that
catastrophic stellar explosions would? result. Such explosions would prevent
the formation of many heavy elements essential for? life
. On the other hand,
if 8Be were even more unstable,? element production beyond 8Be would not occur.
?The second coincidence is that 12C happens to have a? nuclear energy level
very slightly above the sum of the energy levels for 8Be? and 4He. Anything
other than this precise nuclear energy? level for 12C would guarantee insufficient
carbon? production for life.
?The third coincidence is that 16O has exactly the? right nuclear energy level
either to prevent all the carbon from turning into oxygen or to? facilitate
sufficient production of 16O for life. Fred? Hoyle, who discovered these coincidences
in 1953, concluded that "a superintellect? has monkeyed with physics, as well as
with chemistry and biology."10
15. The distance between stars affects the orbits and even the existence of
planets.? The average distance between stars in our part of the galaxy is about
30 trillion miles.? If this distance were slightly smaller, the gravitational
interaction between stars would? be so strong as to destabilize planetary orbits.
this destabilization would create extreme? temperature variations on the planet.
If this distance were slightly larger, the heavy? element debris thrown out
by supernovae would be so thinly distributed that rocky planets? like earth would
never form. The average distance between stars is just right to make? possible
a planetary system such as our own.
?16. The rate of luminosity increase for stars affects the temperature conditions
on? surrounding planets. Small stars, like the sun, settle into a stable burning
phase once? the hydrogen fusion process ignites within their core. However,
during this stable burning? phase such stars undergo a very gradual increase in
their luminosity. This gradual? increase is perfectly suitable for the gradual
introduction of life forms, in a sequence? from primitive to advanced, upon
a planet. If the rate of increase were slightly greater,? a runaway green house
effectc would be fell sometime? between the introduction of the primitive and
the introduction of the advanced life forms.? If the rate of increase were slightly
smaller, a runaway freezingd of? the oceans and lakes would occur. Either way,
the planet’s temperature would become too? extreme for advanced life or even
for the long-term survival of primitive life.
This list of sensitive constants is by no means complete. And yet it demonstrates
why a growing number of physicists and astronomers have become convinced that
the universe was not only divinely brought into existence but also divinely
designed. American astronomer George Greenstein expresses his thoughts:
?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
the earth as a fit habitat
It is not just the universe that bears evidence for design. The earth itself
reveals such evidence. Frank Drake, Carl Sagan, and Iosef Shklovsky were among
the first astronomers to concede this point when they attempted to estimate
the number planets in the universe with environments favorable for the support
of life. In the early 1960’s they recognized that only a certain kind of star
with a planet just the right distance from that star would provide the necessary
conditions for life.12 On this basis they made some rather optimistic estimates
for the probability of finding life elsewhere in the universe. Shklovsky and
Sagan, for example, claimed that 0.001 percent of all stars could have a planet
upon which advanced life resides.13
While their analysis was a step in the right direction, it overestimated the
range of permissible star types and the range of permissible planetary distances.
It also ignored many other significant factors. A sample of parameters sensitive
for the support of life on a planet are listed in Table 1.
?Table 1: Evidence for the design of the sun-earth-moon system14 – 31
The following parameters cannot exceed certain limits without disturbing the
earth’s capacity to support life. Some of these parameters are more narrowly
confining than others. For example, the first parameter would eliminate only
half the stars from candidacy for life-supporting Systems, whereas parameters five,
seven, and eight would each eliminate more than ninety-nine in a hundred star-planet
systems. Not only must the parameters for life support fall within a certain
restrictive range, but they must remain relatively constant over time. And we
know that several, such as parameters fourteen through nineteen, are subject
to potentially catastrophic fluctuation. In addition to the parameters listed
here, there are others, such as the eccentricity of a planet’s orbit, that have
an upper (or a lower) limit only.
?1. number of star companions
?if more than one: tidal interactions would disrupt planetary orbits
if less than one: not enough heat produced for life
2. parent star birth date
?if more recent: star would not yet have reached stable burning phase
if less recent: stellar system would not yet contain enough heavy elements
3. parent star age
?if older: luminosity of star would not he sufficiently stable
if younger: luminosity of star would not be sufficiently stable
4. parent star distance from center of galaxy
?if greater: not enough heavy elements to make rocky planets
if less: stellar density and radiation would he too great
5. parent star mass
?if greater: luminosity output from the star would not be sufficiently stable
if less: range of distances appropriate for life would be too narrow; tidal?
forces would disrupt the rotational period for a planet of the right distance
6. parent star color
?if redder: insufficient photosynthetic response
if bluer: insufficient photosynthetic response
7. surface gravity
?if stronger: planet’s atmosphere would retain huge amounts of ammonia and methane
if weaker: planet’s atmosphere would lose too much water
8. distance from parent star
?if farther away: too cool for a stable water cycle
if closer: too warm for a stable water cycle
9. thickness of crust
?if thicker: too much oxygen would he transferred from the atmosphere to the
if thinner: volcanic and tectonic activity would be too great
10. rotation period
?if longer: diurnal temperature differences would he too great
if shorter: atmospheric wind velocities would he too great
11. gravitational interaction with a moon
?if greater: tidal effects on the oceans, atmosphere, and rotational period
would? he too severe
if less: earth’s orbital obliquity would change too much causing climatic? instabilities
12. magnetic field
?if stronger: electromagnetic storms would be too severe
if weaker: no protection from solar wind particles
13. axial tilt
?if greater: surface temperature differences would be too great
if less: surface temperature differences would he too great
14. albedo (ratio of reflected light to total amount falling on surface)
?if greater: runaway ice age would de
if less: runaway greenhouse effect would develop
15. oxygen to nitrogen ratio in atmosphere
?if larger: life functions would proceed too quickly
if smaller: life functions would proceed too slowly
16. carbon dioxide and water vapor levels in atmosphere
?if greater: runaway greenhouse effect would develop
if less: insufficient greenhouse effect
17. ozone level in atmosphere
?if greater: surface temperatures would become too low
if less: surface temperatures would he too high; too much uv radiation at surface
18. atmospheric electric discharge rate
?if greater: too much fire destruction
if less: too little nitrogen fixing in the soil
19. seismic activity
?if greater: destruction of too many life-forms
if less: nutrients on ocean floors would not be uplifted
About a dozen other parameters, such as atmospheric chemical composition, currently
are being researched for their sensitivity in the support of life. However,
the nineteen listed in Table 1 in themselves lead safely to the conclusion that
much fewer than a trillionth of a trillionth of a percent of all stars will have
a planet capable of sustaining life. Considering that the universe contains
only about a trillion galaxies, each averaging a hundred billion stars,e we
can see that not even one planet would be expected, by natural processes alone,
to possess the necessary conditions to sustain life.f No wonder Robert Rood
and James Trefil14 and others have surmised that intelligent physical life exists
only on the earth. It seems abundantly clear that the earth, too, in addition
to the universe, has experienced divine design.
?man the Creator?
The growing evidence of design would seem to provide further convincing support
for the belief that the Creator-God of the Bible formed the universe and the
earth. Even Paul Davies concedes that "the impression of design is overwhelrung."32
There must exist a designer. Yet, for whatever reasons, a few astrophysicists still
battle the conclusion. Perhaps the designer is not God. But, if the designer
is not God, who is? The alternative, some suggest, is man himself.
?The evidence proffered for man as the creator comes from an analogy to delayed
choice experiments in quantum mechanics. In such experiments it appears that
the observer can influence the outcome of quantum mechanical events. With every
quantum particle there is an associated wave. This wave represents the probability
of finding the particle at a particular point in space. Before the particle
is detected there is no specific knowledge of its location?only a probability
of where it might be. But, once the particle has been detected, its exact location
is known. in this sense, the act of observation is said by some to give reality
to the particle. What is true for a quantum particle, they continue, may be
true for the universe at large.
?American physicist John Wheeler sees the universe as a gigantic feed-back loop.
?The Universe [capitalized in the original] starts small at the big bang, grows
in size,? gives rise to life and observers and observing equipment. The observing
equipment, in? turn, through the elementary quantum processes that terminate
on it, takes part in giving tangible "reality" to events that occurred long before
there was any life? anywhere.33
In other words, the universe creates man, but man through his observations of
the universe brings the universe into real existence. George Greenstein is more
direct in positing that "the universe brought forth life in order to exist …
that the very cosmos does not exist unless observed."34 Here we find a reflection
of the question debated in freshmen philosophy classes across the land:
?If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to see it or hear it, does
it really fall?
?Quantum mechanics merely shows us that in the micro world of particle physics
man is limited in his ability to measure quantum effects. Since quantum entities
at any moment have the potential or possibility of behaving either as particles
or waves, it is impossible, for example, to accurately measure both the position
and the momentum of a quantum entity (the Heisenberg uncertainty principle).
By choosing to determine the position of the entity the human observer has thereby
lost information about its momentum.
?It is not that the observer gives "reality" to the entity, but rather the observer
chooses what aspect of the reality of the entity he wishes to discern. It is
not that the Heisenberg uncertainty principle disproves the principle of causality,
but simply that the causality is hidden from human investigation. The cause of the
quantum effect is not lacking, nor is it mysteriously linked to the human observation
of the effect after the fact.g
This misapplication of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is but one defect
in but one version of the new "observer-as-creator" propositions derived from
quantum physics. Some other flaws are summarized here:
?Quantum mechanical limitations apply only to micro, not macro, systems. The
relative? uncertainty approaches zero as the number of quantum particles in
the system increases.? Therefore, what is true for a quantum particle would
not be true for the universe at? large.
?The time separation between a quantum event and its observed result is always
a? relatively short one (at least for the analogies under discussion). A multi-billion
year? time separation far from fits the picture.
?The arrow of time has never been observed to reverse, nor do we see any traces
of a? reversal beyond the scope of our observations. Time and causality move
inexorably forward.? Therefore, to suggest that human activity now somehow can
affect events billions of years? in the past is nothing short of absurd.
?Intelligence, or personality, is not a factor in the observation of quantum
mechanical? events. Photographic plates, for example, are perfectly capable
of performing? observations.
?Both relativity and the gauge theory of quantum mechanics, now established
beyond? reasonable question by experimental evidence,37 state that the? correct
description of nature is that in which the human observer is irrelevant.
Science has yet to produce a shred of evidence to support the notion that man
created his universe.
?universe becoming God?
In The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, British astronomer John Barrow and
American mathematical physicist Frank Tipler,38 begin by reviewing evidences
for design of the universe, then go on to address several radical versions of
the anthropic principle, including Wheeler’s feed-back loop connection between mankind
and the universe. Referring to such theories as PAP (participatory anthropic
principle), they propose, instead, FAP (final anthropic principle).
?In their FAP, the life that is now in the universe (and, according to PAP,
created the universe) will continue to evolve until it reaches a state of totality
that they call the Omega Point. At the Omega Point
?Life will have gained control of all matter and forces not only in a single
universe,? but in all universes whose existence is logically possible; life
will have spread into all? spatial regions in all universes which could logically
exist, and will have stored an? infinite amount of
information including all bits
of knowledge which it is logically? possible to know.39
In a footnote they declare that "the totality of life at the Omega Point is
omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient!"40 Let me translate: the universe created
man, man created the universe, and together the universe and man in the end
will become the Almighty transcendent Creator. Martin Gardner gives this evaluation
of their idea:
?What should one make of this quartet of WAP, SAP, PAP, and FAP? In my not so
humble? opinion I think the last principle is best called CRAP, the Completely
Ridiculous? Anthropic Principle.41
In their persistent rejection of an eternal transcendent Creator, cosmologists
seem to be resorting to more and more absurd alternatives. An exhortation from
the Bible is appropriate, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow
and deceptive philosophy."42
It is clear that man is too limited to have created the universe. But, it is
also evident that the universe is too limited to have created man. The universe
contains no more than 1080 baryonsh and has been in existence for no more than
?Compared to the inorganic systems comprising the universe, biological systems
are enormously complex. The genome (complete set of chromosomes necessary for
reproduction) of an E. coli bacterium has the equivalent of about two million
nucleotides. A single human cell contains the equivalent of about six billion nucleotides.
Moreover, unlike inorganic systems, the sequence in which the individual components
are assembled is critical for the survival of biological systems. Also, only
amino acids with left handed configurations can be used in protein synthesis,
the amino acids can be joined only by peptide bonds, each amino acid first must
be activated by a specific enzyme, and multiple special enzymes (enzymes themselves
are enormously complex sequence-critical molecules) are required to bind messenger RNA to
ribosomes before protein synthesis can begin or end.
?The bottom line is that the universe is at least ten billion orders of magnitude
(a factor of 1010,000,000,000 times) too small or too young for life to have
assembled itself by natural processes.i These kinds of calculations have been
done by researchers, both non-theists and theists, in a variety of disciplines.43-58
Invoking other universes cannot solve the problem. All such models require that
the additional universes remain totally out of contact with one another, that
is, their space-time manifolds cannot overlap. The only explanation left to
us to tell how living organisms received their highly complex and ordered configurations
is that an intelligent, transcendent Creator personally infused this information.
?An intelligent, transcendent Creator must have brought the universe into existence.
An intelligent, transcendent Creator must have designed the universe. An intelligent,
transcendent Creator must have designed planet Earth. An intelligent, transcendent
Creator must have designed life.
?a. The strong nuclear force is actually much more delicately balanced. An increase
as small as two percent means that protons would never form from quarks (particles
that form the building blocks of baryons and mesons). A similar decrease means
that certain heavy elements essential for life would be unstable.
?b. Direct observations of proton decay have yet to be confirmed. Experiments
simply reveal that the average proton lifetime must exceed 1032 years.9 However,
if the average proton lifetime exceeds about 1034 years, than there would be
no physical means for generating the matter that is observed in the universe.
?c. An example of the greenhouse effect is a locked car parked in the sun. Visible
light from the sun passes easily through the windows of the car, is absorbed
by the interior, and reradiated as infrared light. But, the windows will not
permit the passage of infrared radiation. Hence, heat accumulates in the car’s interior.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere works like the windows of a car. The early
earth had much more carbon dioxide in its atmosphere. However, the first plants
extracted this carbon dioxide and released oxygen. Hence, the increase in the sun’s
luminosity was balanced off by the decrease in the greenhouse effect caused
by the lessened amount of carbon dioxide In the atmosphere.
?d. A runaway freezing would occur because snow and ice reflect better than
other materials on the surface of the earth. Less solar energy is absorbed thereby
lowering the surface temperature which in turn creates more snow and ice.
?e. The average number of planets per star is still largely unknown. The latest
research suggests that only bachelor stars with characteristics similar to those
of the sun may possess planets. Regardless, all researchers agree that the figure
is certainly much less than one planet per star.
?f. The assumption is that all life is based on carbon. Silicon and boron at
one time were considered candidates for alternate life chemistries. However,
silicon can sustain amino acid chains no more than a hundred such molecules
long. Boron allows a little more complexity but has the disadvantage of not being
very abundant in the universe.
?g. One can easily get the impression from the physics literature that the Copenhagen
interpretation of quantum mechanics is the only accepted philosophical explanation
of what is going on in the micro world. According to this school of thought,
"1) There is no reality in the absence of observation; 2) Observation creates reality."
In addition to the Copenhagen interpretation physicist Nick Herbert outlines
and critiques six different philosophical models for interpreting quantum events.35
Physicist and theologian Stanley Jaki outlines yet an eighth model.36 While a
clear philosophical understanding of quantum reality is not yet agreed upon.
physicists do agree on the results one expects from quantum events.
?h. Baryons are protons and other fundamental particles, such as neutrons, that
decay into protons.
?i. A common rebuttal is that not all amino acids in organic molecules must
be strictly sequenced. One can destroy or randomly replace about 1 amino acid
out of 100 without doing damage to the function of the molecule. This is vital
since life necessarily exists in a sequence?disrupting radiation environment. However,
this is equivalent to writing a computer program that will tolerate the destruction
of 1 statement of code out of