Why Is the Big Bang Evidence That God Created the Universe? – Program 3
| October 11, 2013 |
|By: Dr. Hugh Ross, Dr. Fuz Rana, Ken Samples; ©2002|
|There is amazing evidence that our universe is uniquely fine-tuned for human life on this earth.|
Scientific Evidence That Reveals the Universe and Earth Have been Especially Designed to Accommodate Life on Earth
- Announcer: Today on the John Ankerberg Show why are astronomers talking about God? Does the big bang theory prove that a transcendent causal agent brought all matter, energy, space and time into existence? Our concept of the universe and how it originated shapes our entire worldview. If the universe has always existed and is nothing more than an accident then human life has no meaning. But, if the universe had a beginning and is created than the creator is the source of life who establishes purpose and meaning. What does the scientific evidence reveal? Do the words “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” accurately describe what science has discovered? My guests today are astrophysicist and astronomer Dr. Hugh Ross who received his PH.D in astronomy from the University of Toronto and did post doctoral research at Cal-Tech on Quasars, Mr. Fazale Rana who received his PH.D in chemistry at Ohio University, and Philosopher and Theologian Kenneth Samples of Biola University. We invite you to join us.
- Ankerberg: Welcome. We have just an absolutely fascinating program today. The scientific evidence: what does it reveal about the universe? First of all, it tells us this universe hasn’t always been there. And then it says that out of the big bang came a universe that is so finely tuned, that it must show a Creator, it does show a Creator. And my guests are Dr. Hugh Ross, astronomer and astrophysicist; Dr. Fuz Rana who received his Ph.D. in chemistry; and philosopher and theologian Ken Samples. Guys, I’m glad that you’re here. We’re going to start off again, for the folks that have missed the first two programs: What is the big bang theory? Why is it a scientific fact? Why is it established? What is it?
- Ross: Okay, the big bang is the concept of the universe’s beginning, a beginning of matter, energy, space and time. Time itself has a beginning. And this took place only 13.7 billion years ago, with the universe expanding from its infinitesimally small volume to its present condition; but expanding in a highly controlled fashion, exquisitely designed in hundreds of different ways so that it is able to have a place like earth where life can exist, and human life in particular.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, I love it. If you put a dot, a period, at the end of a sentence and then go a hundred times smaller than that dot, and even smaller than that, but out of that dot came everything in the universe.
- Ross: Right.
- Ankerberg: Okay? That’s what you’re saying.
- Ross: Right.
- Ankerberg: We’re going to show in some of the video clips that the fine tuning of the stuff that has come out of this explosion is also mind blowing. We call that the anthropic principle. What’s the anthropic principle?
- Ross: The idea that the universe has been designed to make possible the existence of human life.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, it is so hard to get your mind around what we’re saying, because what you’re really saying is that with all the stuff that is out there – all the stars, all the planets – that earth has been put into just the right spot so life could exist. And possibly, most likely, that’s the only place that life exists. So, all of this creation, all of this fine tuning was done just so that man could live on this speck of dust called earth.
- Ross: If the mass of the universe were very slightly larger or smaller, there would be no possibility for earth or life on the earth. In fact, the mass must be fine tuned to within one part in a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion.
- Ankerberg: Alright, there has been one objection to the fact of saying that out of the big bang we can posit that there’s a transcendent Creator, a cause that we would say is “God,” and that line of reasoning goes is that, Hey, out of that first second there could have been many, many universes, multi-universes that were created, any one of which…. Well, you explain the theory. What is the “multiverse” theory?
- Ross: Well, it grows out of the concession that we see overwhelming evidence in the characteristics of the universe that makes life possible in the universe. But those who do not want to go down a theistic or a Christian path would argue that if we have an infinite number of universes, and all those universes have different physical characteristics, then we could possibly conclude that our universe has the “just right” characteristics for life and human beings by pure chance.
- Now, when you make that appeal, that is a metaphysical appeal; and that’s because Einstein’s equations of general relativity tell us that once you got observers in universe A, the space-time envelope of that universe cannot overlap the space-time envelope of any other possibly existing universe.
- Ankerberg: Alright, so what you’re saying is, okay, we’ve got our universe, and it’s been here, what? 13.7 billion years, our universe? And out of that, the evolutionists, the scientists, would say, “There’s not enough time for life to originate by chance in 13.7 billion years, so we need another spot.” And they’re saying in that first second of the big bang, that through mathematics and so on, other things that you scientists know that are really hard to explain….
- Ross: Well, they actually have to appeal to different physics to make it work.
- Ankerberg: Okay.
- Ross: If you stick with the physics we have, you’ve got a universe. A multiverse is an appeal to a fundamental….
- Ankerberg: So you’re stuck. If you have the physics that we have, you’re stuck. You have to postulate a new physics, new quantum mechanics?
- Ross: Well, they postulate a breakdown or an alternative to the physics we see very early in cosmic history structured in such a way that you would get this multiverse, this infinite number of universes with possibly different physical characteristics.
- Ankerberg: Alright, so they’re postulating a hypothetical set of universes out there, and because we don’t have enough time in our universe to have evolution occur to create life on earth, they’re saying, somehow, in one of these other universes, what?
- Ross: Well, one of these other universes, it’s like you’d have all different physical characteristics. But if you got an infinite number of universes, there’s going to be some of those universes with the just-right physical characteristics, and if that “some” is large enough, maybe you can explain these extreme mathematical improbabilities without invoking a personal Divine Being to structure this life. That’s the basic appeal.
- Ankerberg: Okay. And what’s the problem with all of this?
- Ross: Well, the first problem is, it is a metaphysical appeal; it’s not something that flows out of the physics of the universe we see.
- Ankerberg: So the scientists are saying it’s not scientific?
- Ross: You’re appealing to something beyond the physics to make this work. The more fundamental problem is it’s a form of the gambler’s fallacy. And a good way to illustrate that would be to flip a coin. I’ve got a quarter here. I flip it. What if I were to flip it 100,000 times and it came up heads all 100,000 times? You’d probably conclude that the coin has been purposed to always come out heads. But someone committing the gambler’s fallacy would speculate that maybe there’s an infinite number of quarters, and if you’ve got enough people flipping them 100,000 consecutive times each, one by pure chance would come up with heads 100,000 consecutive times; therefore, the coin is fair.
- Now, that’s basically what the multiverse people are doing. They’re speculating along those lines. And my challenge to them would be, well, before you bet on the 100,001st flip of the quarter, wouldn’t it be a good idea to pick up the quarter and examine both sides? If you see heads on both sides, then don’t bet on tails. Keep your money.
- Now, people say, “Can we really do that with the universe?” I argue that we can. We can examine the universe in greater detail. We’re doing that every day. And if in examining it in greater detail we see that the evidence for design gets stronger rather than weaker, then that tells us that Someone has purposed that the universe take on those characteristics.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re going to go to a video clip and we’re going to show them what you’re talking about. And this is one of the video clips that I love the most. If we could take the gambler’s idea for a moment: if you had three dice and you said, “I’m going to roll them and I want each one of them to come up on a six, okay? And let’s say you did it once, you’d say, “Well, that’s pretty lucky.” You say, “Can I do it again?” You say, “Most likely not.” You roll them again and you get them again. You say, “Can I do it again?” And you do it ten times in a row, you start saying, “Hey, I think that’s fixed, because you can’t do that.” If I said, “Do you want to see me do it 200 times in a row,” each one of those dice always coming up on a six, you would say it’s fixed. Now you are saying there’s more than 200 anthropic laws, principles, about our galaxy concerning life that are true. Any one of them, if they were not true, would throw all the other 199 off and we would not have life on planet earth. And I want to show them one that just blew my mind when I saw it. It’s on your video. Let’s take a look.
[*** Excerpt from Journey Toward Creation ***]
- Even if the just-right planetary system were to form from the just-right elements of dead stars, there is another critical factor to consider: the life support planet must be positioned at the just-right location within the galaxy. Near the center of our galaxy conditions are too congested, with billions of stars in a relatively small volume. Gravitational tug of wars make the survival of life-supportable planets impossible, and the radiation there is intense, far too intense for life.
- Toward the outer edges of our galaxy, the stellar population becomes too sparse for planet building. The heavy elements generated by supernovae and white dwarf binaries are too few and far between – not enough building material to make planets. At almost any distance from our galactic center conditions within the spiral arms prevent planet formation.
- Amazingly, our particular solar system resides at the perfect location, in-between spiral arms – neither too close to the center nor too close to the outer edge. Our just right location not only permits our existence, but it also allows us to see and explore our region of space. No wall of high-rises, no big dust clouds block our view.
[*** end excerpt ***]
- Ankerberg: Alright, Hugh, it’s got to be more than we’re just “lucky,” that we’re in just the right place in our solar system. And it’s got to be more than we’re just lucky that we have a bird’s eye view to the whole universe to see what’s happened. Why should people even care that they can see all of this?
- Ross: Well, the fact that we can see it means we’re able to discover all of this design; we’re able to discover the existence of God. If it wasn’t for the fact that our star was between two spiral arms and that our Milky Way galaxy was in a very sparsely populated part of the universe, we wouldn’t even be able to see the cosmic background radiation that so powerfully testifies of the Creator God of the Bible as the Creator of the universe. So, the universe is designed to provide a home for us to exist, but that design also gives us the best possible opportunity to see the universe and to see the handiwork of the Creator that made our existence possible.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re talking about the scientific evidence that reveals the universe and the earth were designed so that life could exist on earth. And we’ve just looked at a segment that says that the earth has been placed in the exact right place in our solar system and the universe so that life could exist. Now we’re going to look at something else: that our earth has been placed in a galaxy with lengthy spiral arms. We have to be in a spiral galaxy. What is a spiral galaxy and what is the length of one of these spiral galaxies that we’re going to be looking at.
- Ross: Well, typically about 100,000 or more light years across.
- Ankerberg: 100,000 light years. I don’t want to convert that into miles, but I mean, light years across is what we’re going to look at. And what is a spiral galaxy?
- Ross: Well, it’s the spiral structures that people are familiar with, but what they’re probably not familiar with is only six percent of the galaxies in our universe are spiral galaxies. The rest of them are these ellipsoidal or irregular type galaxies.
- Ankerberg: And we have to have planet earth in one of those, so that cuts down on the number of spots where you could find a planet with life on it.
- Ross: Right. It has to be a “just right” kind of spiral galaxy, too.
- Ankerberg: By the way, what is a spiral? Is it a star? Is it a gas?
- Ross: Yeah, these spiral arms are structures of gas, dust and fairly new-formed stars. That’s where a lot of the stars in our galaxy exist is along spiral arms.
- Ankerberg: Alright, folks, let’s look at the clip. Why is it that any planet that is to have life on it must exist in one of these galaxies with lengthy spiral arms? Let’s look at the clip.
[*** Excerpt from Journey Toward Creation ***]
- Our first stop beyond the Milky Way is the Andromeda Galaxy, slightly more than two million light years from earth. That means we’re looking at Andromeda as it appeared a little more than two million years ago. Andromeda resembles the Milky Way in structure, but it’s about twice as big. Together, our galaxy and Andromeda account for nearly 7/8ths the total mass of the small galaxy cluster in which we reside, a cluster colorfully named the Local Group.
- The vast majority of galaxies reside in dense clusters, and these clusters must be ruled out as possible life sites. Gravitational tug-of-wars among these tightly packed galaxies render them unfit for life.
- Fortunately, our Local Group is not a dense cluster. Also, it is located in the extreme outskirts of another cluster, the Virgo Cluster, safe from the gravitational wars.
- On our way to the Virgo Cluster, we pass by several beautiful galaxies. In the south polar group, about eight million light years ago, we meet with NGC-300, with its lengthy spiral arms. We can see them extending all the way out from the nucleus. Only six percent of the galaxies in the universe are spirals like our own, and only spiral galaxies can contain planets in stable orbits about their stars. This one design characteristic alone significantly restricts the number of potential sites for life.
- Just slightly farther along we see NGC-253, a spiral seen edge on. The nucleus is unusually small with no central bulge visible.
- M81, about eleven million light years away, has a huge central bulge and rather thin, regular spiral arms. Even the size of a galaxy’s bulge must be fine tuned in order to sustain life. If the bulge is too large, then a planet like earth will be blasted by deadly radiation. If the bulge is too small, then not enough planet-making gas and dust gets funneled to the zone in the galaxy where life support planets would need to reside.
[*** end excerpt ***]
- Ankerberg: The stuff we’re watching is just so mind-blowing you can hardly pull it in. In a moment we’re going to look at a clip that talks about the ten billion trillion stars in the universe, why they’re all necessary or life couldn’t exist! But Ken, when you were looking at this thing about the spiral galaxies, what struck you?
- Samples: Well, when you look at this complexity, order, fine tuning, you recognize that all of this is necessary for the emergence of human life, you’re profoundly moved that God, standing behind all of this, intended this for our very purpose.
- Ankerberg: Hugh, what in the world is this thing of the size of the galaxy’s bulge must be fine tuned, otherwise we wouldn’t have life?
- Ross: Well, if the bulge is too big, that would generate deadly radiation radiating throughout the whole of the galaxy. So you don’t want the bulge to be too large. But if it’s not large enough, there won’t be enough injection of heavy elements into that “just right” zone, namely, halfway out from the center to the halo where the planet earth would have to exist for life to be possible.
- Ankerberg: Unbelievable! Now, everybody, when you look at night at the stars up there, okay, just think of this: There are ten billion trillion stars out there! The question is, did God overdo it? I mean, why do we need all ten billion trillion stars out there? Just for us to look at them? No! The astronomers are saying, what? – they’re absolutely necessary.
- Ross: Necessary. If we’d gotten a little bit more, little bit less, life wouldn’t be possible.
- Ankerberg: Alright, let’s look at this video clip that talks about why all of these stars are necessary, and why, if you had just a few more, you’d be in trouble. If you had a few less, you’d be in trouble. Watch this.
[*** Excerpt from Journey Toward Creation ***]
- Millions of galaxy clusters fill the universe, each containing thousands of galaxies, adding up to ten billion trillion stars. That’s ten with 21 zeroes after it. To try to get a handle on this colossal number consider this: if ten billion trillion dimes were stacked on top of each other, a line of dimes would make 125 trips to Alpha Centauri and back.
- As vast and innumerable as all these galaxies and stars may seem, and as tiny and insignificant as they make us feel, this enormity is essential to life’s existence. In order for the universe to sustain even one life support planet, each one of these ten billion trillion stars is a necessity. If the number of stars in the observable universe were any greater or any fewer, life would be impossible.
- If there were fewer stars in the observable cosmos, nuclear fusion would be so inefficient that the only elements to form would be hydrogen and helium. With more stars in the universe, all the elements would be heavier than iron. No carbon, no nitrogen, no oxygen. Only in a cosmos with the finely tuned mass of ours can the life-essential elements be produced. So it turns out, the vast reaches of the cosmos are not a big waste of space, energy, matter and time.
[*** end excerpt ***]
- Ankerberg: If you’d like documentation on what you’re seeing, The Creator and the Cosmos, by Hugh Ross, gives you a lot more of the scientific background on what you’re seeing. But, Hugh, this is a massive amount of scientific evidence that shows that God has fine tuned the universe. And my question is, when atheists actually see this evidence, does it cause them to believe in God?
- Ross: Either that, or it causes them to look at this as “extremely disturbing.” There have been papers published with titles like “The Disturbing Implications of a Cosmological Constant.” That’s the term that’s got the greatest design evidence in it of all. And it’s so disturbing that a lot of them are thinking there’s got to be something wrong with the physics and the astronomy we’re looking at. But the more we learn about the universe, the more we’re finding that this indeed is an accurate picture of the universe, the evidence gets stronger and stronger. As time goes by, I believe it will continue to get stronger and, therefore, really does point to this transcendent Agent who is a personal Being.
- Ankerberg: Yeah, let’s pick up that last part. The fact is, they’ll say that it is a transcendent “cause,” but how do we get to “God,” and what else does this tell us about God? Is He personal?
- Ross: Well, for example, a God that creates ten billion trillion stars in the observable universe so we can have a nice place to live at this time in the universe, that shows a God that has a lot of care and concern for humanity. Only a being that is able to fine tune to better than one part in 10120, that’s orders of magnitude greater than the level of design we human beings are capable of. I argue in The Creator and the Cosmos that given this fine tuning that we can measure, this transcendent causal agent must be ten trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion times at a minimum more intelligent, more knowledgeable, more creative, more powerful and more caring than we human beings. Which of the gods of the religions of the world manifests that great of a degree of care and concern and power and fine tuning in these cosmic characteristics? It really does narrow you in on the Judeo-Christian God.
- Ankerberg: We’re going to spend three whole programs looking at and comparing the biblical record with the scientific record and seeing how those come out.
- Next week, we’re going to narrow it down. We started with the big bang; we started with the fine tuning of the universe; then, the universe and earth. Now we’re going to get down to the fine tuning of earth itself and what’s happening around it. And the moon, so that when people look at the moon, we’re going to have an illustration for them that’s almost miraculous – and that’s not us saying that. That’s what some of the scientists are saying, because that’s been fine tuned so that life could exist here. Folks, you don’t want to miss it. I hope you’ll join us next week.