Creation’s Scientific Comeback
British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle coined the expression the “big bang” as an attempt to ridicule the creation event, the up-and-coming challenger to his “steady state” hypothesis”. For whatever reasons perhaps because of its simplicity, the term stuck. The “bang” represents an extremely powerful, yet carefully planned and controlled release of matter, energy, space, and time with the strict confines of a very carefully designed and fine-tuned cosmos. The power and care of this explosion exceeds human potential for design by multiple orders of magnitude.
Before Einstein in the early 1900s, Darwin was being accepted by the scientific community at an ever increasing rate. Since then the battleship called macroevolution has been rocked by many scientific explosions below the water-line. “Today it can be said that no theory in physics has ever been tested in so many contexts and so rigorously as general relativity,” notes astronomer Dr. Hugh Ross.
Einstein’s equations clearly indicated that the universe had a beginning, but he flinched and introduced a “fudge factor”. At the time all physicists and astronomers thought the universe was infinitely in a steady state. Therefore, against his better judgement and to please his fellow physicists he introduced a cosmological constant into his equations to conform to the steady state model. Einstein admitted that the “fudge factor” was the biggest blunder of his career. Stephen Hawking says, “proof of the beginning of time may rank as the most theologically significant theorem of all time.
The fact that the universe had a finite beginning panicked the Darwinists. In the physical sciences evolution is typically defined as change taking place with respect to time. The dice of chance would have to be thrown an infinite number of times to explain the assembly of intelligent life. For Darwinists, finite time was the enemy of the plot.
Einstein’s Theory of Relativity revealed to science an extraordinary, and seemingly unnatural fact: the rate at which time passes is not the same at all places. Extraordinary to science but not to the book of Psalms: “A thousand years in your sight are as a day that passes, as a watch in the night.” (Ps.90:4). Changes in gravity and changes in velocity at which we travel actually change the rate at which time flows. During the past few decades, the relativity of time has been verified thousands of times. Huge changes in gravity (G) or velocity (V) are required to produce easily measurable changes in the flow of time and that is why it was never noticed before Einstein. Now that the atomic, cesium clocks can keep time to a precision better than one millionth of a second per year, these changes in the flow of time can be noticed and measured.
Only if we view events across a boundary, looking from one location to another location that has different (G) or (V), can we observe this effect. This means that the duration between ticks of a clock (and beats of a heart, and even the time to ripen an orange) in high-G (or high-V) environments is actually longer than the duration between ticks in low-G (or low-V) environments. These differences in time’s passage are known as time dilation.
If we were Moon people where gravity is lower than on Earth, our clocks would tick a bit faster than identical clocks on Earth. Our astronauts found this to be true. On the Sun watches would tick slower because gravity is higher. There are literally millions of locations in the cosmos (especially near the infinite gravity of a black hole) where a clock, if we could place one there, would tick so slowly that 14 billion Earth years would pass while it recorded only 6 twenty-four-hour days. So finding an equality between the six days of Genesis and the 14 billion Earth years is not a problem to peer reviewed physics and was never a problem with the Creator. Time dilation is in agreement with experiment and observation, but does any human being truly understand it? Maybe that is why Einstein was always so humble when faced with the mind of God.
The solar eclipse expedition led by Arthur Eddington in 1919 confirmed one aspect of Einstein’s theory – gravity bends light. At the time newspapers in England shouted that Einstein is right and the universe had a beginning – there is a God. Because Eddington was an English astronomer the New York Times sided with American scientists in razzing Einstein and Eddington as being naïve and gullible.
Dr. Hugh Ross is a modern astronomer who knows that Einstein was right. Dr. Ross capitalizes Chance, because he knows that Chance is Darwin’s God. Hugh Ross earned a B.S.C. in physics from the University of British Columbia and an M.S.C. and a Ph.D in astronomy from the University of Toronto. For several years he continued his research on Quasars and galaxies at the California Institute of Technology. Over the years Dr. Ross has given several hundred lectures, seminars, and courses on the wonders of the cosmos.
Dr. Ross has come into contact with many physicists and astronomers during his lecture tours and was not surprised at the number of astronomers who believe that science points toward a designed universe. Eddington and Einstein are no longer naïve and gullible. In fact, Dr. Ross says, “the discovery of the degree of design in the universe is having a profound theological impact on astronomers.” This is today, but what happened between 1915 and 1950?
Even though the Earth had a beginning as revealed in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in 1915, the lure of Darwinism proved to be too strong. Although many scientists had a vague idea that a self duplicating cell such as a bacteria was too complex to organize itself by Chance, they were overwhelmed by the evolutionary thesis.
In the first half of the twentieth century, the many branches of biology did not communicate with each other. From the 1920s to the 1950s, leaders of the fields organized a series of interdisciplinary meetings to combine their views into a theory of evolution based on Darwinian principles. The result has been called “evolutionary synthesis”, and the theory called neo-Darwinism.
One branch of science was not invited to the meetings, and for good reason: it did not exist. The beginning of modern biochemistry came only after neo-Darwinism had officially launched. Thus, just as the infinite, steady state universe had to be reinterpreted after religious implications of an abrupt beginning of the cosmos, so too neo-Darwinism must be reconsidered in light of advances in biochemistry and microbiology. Up to this time, the scientific disciplines that were part of the evolutionary synthesis were all non-moleculars.
It was once expected, as Darwin did, that the basis of life would be exceedingly simple. Science has made enormous progress in our understanding of how the chemistry of life works, but the elegance and complexity of biological systems at the molecular level has paralyzed neo-Darwinism. The mathematics of statistics and probability show that Chance doesn’t have a chance.
Francis Crick used simple statistical combinatorials to calculate the odds of getting the exact sequence correct for a small protein with 200 amino acids as 1 chance in 10260. The number of atoms in the universe, 1080, is a very small bit compared to this number. When Yale physicist Harold Morowitz calculated the probability of assembling one bacteria by chance as 1 in 10100,000,000,000 all hope of Chance was lost in a finite Earth of limited chance. A penny is vanishingly close to zero on the monetary value scale compared to the world’s gross product. Likewise, 1051, the number of atoms in the Earth, is vanishingly close to zero as compared to Morowitz’s number of 10100,000,000,000.
At the time of Darwin, scientist Ernst Haeckel thought that a cell was a “homogeneous globule of protoplasm”. He was wrong; scientists have shown that cells are complex structures. But it is much, much more than complexity. A pile of sand is complex, in that one could never duplicate that pile grain for grain. However, if you kick the pile of sand and rearrange the grains it is still a perfectly good pile of sand. The molecular machines in the cell have specified complexity – rearranging the some trillion atoms in any way would kill the cell. This is also true for the parts of the cell: the hundred thousand protein, RNA, and DNA molecules and the cells “master factories”.
Just like a house has a kitchen, laundry room, bedroom, and bathroom, a cell has specialized areas partitioned off for discreet tasks. These factories include the nucleous (where DNA resides), the mitochondria (which produce the cell’s energy), the ribosomes (which produce proteins), the Golgi apparatus (a way station for proteins being transported elsewhere), the lysosome (the cell’s garbage disposal unit), and the peroxisome (which helps metabolize fats). Counting membranes and interior spaces, there are more than 20 different sections in a cell.
Detailing the master plan for just one of these factories of a cell would take a book. I will briefly note that a ribosome is a spherical body or factory within a living cell that is the site of protein synthesis. A ribosome is an extremely complex globular factory composed of an aggregate of some 70 proteins and three chains of RNA. I once asked a chemist how much paper it would take to draw up a detailed master plan for the construction of one ribosome. He said that I could not provide him with enough paper or man-power, because it requires the precise manufacture, fit, and integration of at least 73 protein and RNA molecules. The amino acid building blocks for the proteins and the nucleotide building blocks for the RNA molecules must be accounted for. These building blocks must be made, stored, and shipped to the proper site. The transportation system is very complicated and shipments of the building blocks would have to be sorted, pushed, pulled, hauled, and escorted by the chaperone molecules to their exact destinations. The ribosome is a factory with a complex assembly line that produces proteins. The 15,000 ribosomes in each cell produce an average of two thousand new proteins every second. These 70 proteins and RNA molecules in each ribosome must “talk” to each other so the operation runs smoothly. This takes information in the form of decoding systems, memory banks for information storage and retrieval, elegant control systems regulating automated assembly of parts, error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilized for quality control. A just-in-time delivery system of proteins is necessary for organisms survival and the exact details are almost endless.
The molecular data on some proteins indicate the protein hemoglobin has 574 amino acid building blocks, serum albumin 550 building blocks, and immunoglobulin G 1,320 building blocks. Probably near the upper limit of size is the protein apolipoprotein B, a cholesterol-tranport protein with 4,536 amino acid building blocks. Wow! All shapes, all sizes, all bonding and folding patterns produced by cell ribosomes in an endless chain of thousands of unique proteins. They simply will not work unless everything is just right – our every breath depends on it.
Perfection! Perfection! Perfection! Our space program looks rather mundane in comparison to protein synthesis. Some scientists claim that protein synthesis may be the most complex process in the world.
While there is not the remotest chance that natural conditions and the physical laws of lifeless atoms will spawn a ribosome or a whole cell that has many other complex factories (such as 2,500 mitochondria for energy production), there is also not the remotest chance that the natural conditions of the cosmos will spawn a planet capable of sustaining intelligent life. Say what! Didn’t Carl Sagan proclaim back in the 1970’s that there might be billions of planets capable of sustaining intelligent life. He did, but he was wrong. Since the 1970’s astrophysics has taken a dramatic about face. The fine-tuning involved for the support of life in the cosmos is well beyond the probabilistic resources of the cosmos itself. You should be skeptical! But listen to what the physicists and the astronomers are saying now. The following quotations will be given without editing.
Astronomer Hugh Ross writes: “The list of design characteristics for our solar system grows longer with every year of research. What were 2 parameters in 1966 grew to 8 by the end of the 1960’s, to 23 by the end of the 1970’s, to 30 by the end of the 1980’s, to the current list of 128”. These parameters must be fine-tuned for the support of physical life. Atheist astronomer Fred Hoyle reluctantly concludes that “ a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology”. British astrophysicist Paul Davies moved from promoting atheism to conceding that “the law of physics seem themselves to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design”. Davies further testifies: “There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all….It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the universe…. The impression of design is overwhelming”. Astronomer George Greenstein, in his book The Symbiotic Universe, expressed these thoughts: “As we survey all the evidence, the thought instantly arises that some supernatural agency – or rather Agency – must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being?”
Tony Rothman, a theoretical physicist, in a popular article on the anthropic principle (the idea that the universe possesses narrowly defined characteristics that permit the possibility of a habitat for humans) concluded his essay with these words: “The medieval theologian who gazed at the night sky through the eyes of Aristotle and saw angels moving the spheres in harmony has become the modern cosmologist who gazes at the same sky through the eyes of Einstein and sees the hand of God.” Physicist Freeman Dyson concluded, “The problem here is to try to formulate some statement of the ultimate purpose of the universe. In other words, the problem is to read the mind of God.” Vera Kista Kowsky, MIT physicist and past president of the Association of Women in Science, commented, “The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine.” Arno Penzias, who shared the Nobel Prize for Physics, remarked: “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe that was created out of nothing. One with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying plan.”
Stephen Hawking himself concedes: “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.” Perhaps astrophysicist Robert Jastron, a self-proclaimed agnostic, best described what has happened to his colleagues as they have measured the cosmos: “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.”
Why this change of heart among astronomers during the last 40 years? They measured the universe and found the following parameters of the earth, its moon, its star, and its galaxy that must have values falling within narrowly defined ranges for life of any kind to exist. They are: galaxy cluster type, galaxy size, galaxy type, galaxy location, parent star (sun) distance from center of galaxy, parent star distance from closest spiral arm, parent star birth date, parent star age, parent star mass, parent star metallicity, parent star color, earth’s surface gravity, earth’s distance from the parent star, inclination of orbit, orbit eccentricity, axial tilt, rate of change of axial tilt, rotation period, rate of change of rotation period, planet age, magnetic field, thickness of crust, oxygen to nitrogen ratio, carbon dioxide level, water vapor level, ozone level, oceans-to-continents ratio, soil mineralization, gravitational interaction with moon, Jupiter distance, atmospheric pressure, iron quantity, quantity of soil sulfur, gravitational force constant, expansion rate of the universe, velocity of light, total mass density of the universe, space energy density of the universe – on and on the list would go until we reach 128 parameters that must be fine-tuned for life. The chance that 10 of these parameters would come together at one place in the galaxy would be a miracle of Biblical proportions. The probability that all 128 parameters would be met would take unlimited miracles of Chance. Thus, according to physicists, there is less than 1 chance in 10144 (trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion) that even one such planet like the earth would occur anywhere in the universe. These are the minimum odds because new parameters are being found monthly by astronomers.
One might ask, what does Jupiter’s distance and the total mass density of the universe have to do with life? It turns out that if Jupiter’s distance is greater, too many asteroid and comet collisions would occur on Earth, because Jupiter’s big size and large gravity sucks in space junk before they can approach Earth. If Jupiter’s distance is a little bit less, Earth’s orbit would be too unstable to permit life. Furthermore, the total mass density of neutrons and protons of the universe, as large as it is, focuses on the needs of humans. The density translates into about a hundred-billion-trillion stars for our universe. If this density is a little too big it will cause the stars to burn much too quickly for any of them to support a planet with life. If the density is too small the heavier elements necessary for life (such as iron) will not form in the stars. “What this means is that the approximately hundred-billion-trillion stars in our universe – no more no less – are needed for life to be possible in the universe”, writes astronomer Dr. Hugh Ross. The Designer invested heavily in living creatures.
Just as the infinite steady state universe theory died a very slow death among physicists, so too Carl Sagan’s idea of billions of planets with life still attracts astronomers who ignore the new measurements. Just recently a newspaper headline noted a study: “8.8 billion earth-sized, just-right planets in our galaxy”. Of course, earth-sized planets are hundreds of light-years away and lost in the light of their parent stars and cannot be seen. Very large Jupiter sized planets can barely be seen and are much more likely to be noticed from a tiny reduction in the parent star’s brightness when the planet crosses it. A small, earth-sized planet’s effects on the parent star would be vanishingly small.
A skeptic would say that it would be nice to see some specific data in the form of observations, measurements, and experiments to support the claim for billions of just-right planets. The problem is that there are none! How can there be? They cannot be directly observed or measured, but there are 128 observations and experiments made by scientists to find just-right conditions for a planet that we can see. The findings also raise a blaring question, if we aren’t alone, why is there a deafening silence in our Milky Way Galaxy from other advanced civilizations? As for the millions of dollars spent by the U.S. government on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, former Senator William Proxmire may have said it best, “We would be far wiser to have spent the money looking for intelligent life in Washington”.
The sun is some four hundred times farther from the Earth than the moon, but it is also four hundred times larger. As a result, both bodies appear the exact same size in the sky. Amazing! This fact allows for a total solar eclipse. Glorious! Astronomer Brunier says that the sight of a total eclipse is “so staggering, so ethereal, and so enchanting that tears come to everyone’s eyes”. It’s hard to exaggerate the significance of the scientific insights afforded by a total eclipse such as the discovery of the nature of the sun’s atmosphere, testing general relativity, and timing of the Earth’s rotation. Is there a system anywhere else in the universe so perfectly in unison?
The Designer created the Earth and its Moon to function as one system – double planet as it were. They are a perfect match. Even if the universe contains 10 billion trillion planets (1022), we would not expect one by Chance alone to end up with the perfect surface gravity, surface temperature, atmospheric composition, atmospheric pressure, crustal iron abundance, tectonics, volcanism, rotation rate, ratio of decline in rotation rate, and stable rotation axis tilt necessary for the support of life. The above wonders are the result of a miracle; the exact synchronization of the Earth and its Moon.
Physicist Lawrence Krauss points to the astonishing degree of fine-tuning at the exact moment of creation to obtain the stars and planets necessary for physical life. At the exact moment of creation the value of the mass density must be fine-tuned to better than one part in 1060 and the value of the space energy density to better than one part in 10120 (1080 equals the number of atoms in the Universe). This is the most profound design evidence uncovered in the cosmos by physicists.
The design in nature’s move toward life might be pure Chance. It would be something like winning a lottery for which a billion people had purchased tickets. A miracle? Not really – someone had to win and you were the lucky person. A bit of scrutiny reveals the shortcoming of this analogy. You see, if you win the lottery this week and then again next week, and then again the third week, chances are that before you collect your third weeks winnings, you will be on your way to jail for having rigged the results. The probability of winning three in a row, or three in a lifetime, is so small as to be negligible. Yet, this is child’s play compared to the lottery of the Universe.
With the Universe ready for life, 128 parameters must be fine-tuned to a precision that is beyond comprehension. As the parameters continue to increase, more and more astronomers are abandoning Chance in favor of Extreme Design.
Most of the scientific information in this paper was collected bit by bit from hundreds of books I have read. I am indebted to the biologists, chemists, physicists, astronomers, mathematicians and scientists that are responsible for the insights expressed here.