Why Is the Big Bang Evidence That God Created the Universe? – Program 4
| October 11, 2013 |
|By: Dr. Hugh Ross, Dr. Fuz Rana, Ken Samples; ©2002|
|The anthropic principle refers to the astonishing series of factors that make life on earth possible. But who or what is responsible for this fine tuning?|
Evidence for the Fine Tuning of the Earth and the Galaxy Surrounding the Earth, Without Which It Would Be Impossible for Any Kind of Life to Exist
- 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’re talking about some fascinating stuff. We’re talking about the evidence, the scientific evidence for the fine tuning of the earth and the galaxy surrounding the earth. Without that fine tuning, life would be impossible. It couldn’t exist anywhere on earth. This is called the anthropic principle. And my guests are Dr. Hugh Ross, who is an astronomer and astrophysicist; Dr. Fuz Rana, who received his Ph.D. in chemistry; and professor and theologian Ken Samples. Guys, we’re glad that you’re here.
- Hugh, we’re talking about the place that the earth has in our little solar system here, and let’s start and do a quick review here. We’ve got the big bang has now been established as a scientific fact. Again, what does that say? What does it show? Bring us down the process here.
- Ross: Well, the big bang shows us that there’s this transcendent event that brings the universe into existence; that there is some causal agent beyond matter, energy, space and time that creates the universe, created it a finite time ago. And then, from that moment of a beginning, we have this very carefully designed expansion of the universe and the design of 50 other characteristics of the universe that make it possible for life to exist in the universe. And as you go from the universe as a whole and narrow in on the earth and narrow in on life and human life, we see that the evidence for design exponentially increases. For example, 51 characteristics we know of so far in the universe that must be fine tuned for life to be possible. When we narrow in on planet earth, 202 characteristics we know of so far that must be fine tuned to make life possible on our planet.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. Let’s go over that one more time. Visualize for a moment a period at the end of a sentence. Make that a hundred times smaller than the period on the page, okay? You’re saying, and the astronomers are saying, that the whole universe, which is billions and billions of light years long. How many light years long is the universe?
- Ross: Well, the universe is 13.7 billion years old, which means its extent in terms of the observable universe is in excess of 12 billion light years.
- Ankerberg: Okay, so all of those, all of the material inside of those light years goes back and narrows to a point that’s smaller than a period at the end of sentence.
- Ross: The universe arose from an infinitesimal volume with near infinite temperate and has been expanding and cooling since that moment.
- Ankerberg: And Einstein, even before you guys came up with the evidence, he, through mathematics and his theory of general relativity, speculated it would be like a grenade going off. You have the pin and the core, and all of a sudden the stuff goes out from the center.
- Ross: That’s more than speculation, John. Once you establish that general relativity is correct – and today we know that it has more evidence in its support than any other principle of physics – if you solve those equations, it tells you that the universe had a beginning and the universe has been expanding from that beginning.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. And in your book, Creator and the Cosmos, you go through all of those experiments that the scientists did. And when they got to the bottom line, they said they had reached the holy grail of cosmology, right?
- Ross: Right. Right.
- Ankerberg: And that’s where everybody started saying, “Okay, now, if the universe hasn’t always been here, it had a start, there had to be a Starter.”
- Ross: Right.
- Ankerberg: Who was the starter or what was the starter? And what have they come up with?
- Ross: We know the Starter must be an agent outside of matter, energy, space and time.
- Ankerberg: Why?
- Ross: Well, because when you look at the equations of general relativity, it yields what are called the space/time theorems of general relativity. If the universe contains mass – and of course, we know that it does – and if the universe is governed by the equations of general relativity – and now general relativity is the best established principle in physics – these theorems tell us there must exist a Causal Agent responsible for bringing the universe into existence, and that causal Agent did so independent, outside, of matter, energy space, and time.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. Even Stephen Hawking at Cambridge and some of the guys came up with their theory that time itself had to start at that moment.
- Ross: Well, when he was interviewed by the Reader’s Digest editors, he said, “We proved that time has a beginning. We proved that time was created. Likewise, space.”
- Ankerberg: Well, we’re not trying to explain it here. I’m just simply saying that you, as astrophysicists and astronomers, have proved from the scientific information, evidence – and I mean, there’s a ton of it and you put it all in the book – that the universe did have a start. And that there was a transcendent cause that brought all this into existence.
- Ross: Correct.
- Ankerberg: Okay? And at that point, when we postulate, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” [Gen. 1:1] it sounds like we’re talking the same thing.
- Ross: It’s the same thing. Correct.
- Ankerberg: Alright. Go to the next spot. But people say, if when you pull the pin on a grenade and Einstein says it’s all going to explode, the stuff that’s exploding is our universe, and that should be chaos. But we don’t find chaos. What do we find?
- Ross: Exquisite design. The greatest design that we see in all the sciences is in this big bang expansion. The design is so extreme that it forces you to the conclusion that this Transcendent Causal Agent must be trillions and trillions and trillions, etc., of times more intelligent, more knowledgeable, more creative, more powerful and more caring and loving than we human beings. This is a Personal Being.
- Ankerberg: Now, you say it exponentially increases in terms of when we get to earth. In other words, the loving kindness or the protection of earth, or the special placement of earth shows that earth is special; it’s unique. And in fact, astronomers think that’s the only place where life shows up, period. Is that right?
- Ross: Right. If you’re going to apply, I mean, there are some scientists who are speculating that maybe the Creator…
- Ankerberg: We’ll get to the speculation, but right now, there’s real good reasons why they think it’s only here on planet earth.
- Ross: One chance in 10217 of finding even one planet like earth with the conditions to support life.
- Ankerberg: Now, with all of that as just kind of background, let’s get to one of our main illustrations and that is, one of these finely tuned characteristics everybody that’s listening right now is familiar, and that’s the moon.
- Ross: Right.
- Ankerberg: Okay? You have put together this video, this documentary about a journey through space back to the creation event itself. And we’re going to show a clip of it right now where you talk about how the moon came into existence and how it is fine tuned so we can have life here on earth. This is absolutely fascinating, folks. Watch this right now.
[*** Excerpt from Journey Toward Creation ***]
- Our moon has long mystified astronomers. It is so large relative to earth that the earth and moon together are often classified as a double planet system. But studies of gravity show that no such double planet can form out of a single gas and dust cloud so close to a star as we are to the sun. The moon must have formed later through some unusual process. Moon exploration enabled us to confirm that lunar rocks differ chemically from earth rocks. Through study of lunar rocks’ radioactive decay, researchers discovered that the moon is, in fact, nearly 100 million years younger than the earth.
- In the 1990s a theory explaining the moon’s existence gained wide acceptance in the scientific community. According to this theory, an object the size of Mars crashed into the newly forming earth about four and a half billion years ago. It struck at high speed, more than 200,000 miles per hour. Most of the object’s mass was absorbed by the earth, but this collision also sent up a huge cloud of dust and rocky fragments all around the earth. In time, gravity pulled those fragments together into one solid body, the moon. The earth, meanwhile, lost its entire atmosphere and a new, much thinner one began to form from gases released by earth’s crustal material. Such a collision may seem a disaster, but it proved just the opposite. It set in motion certain alterations to earth’s features that eventually made this planet a uniquely suitable site for life.
- The odds against a collision benefiting the eventual support of human life are staggering. A planet colliding with the earth would need to be the right size, moving at the right velocity, striking at the right angle, made of the right materials, and occurring at the right time in the development of planet earth. If any one of these factors were off by just a few percent, the earth would be barren today.
- Unless that impact had occurred, earth’s atmosphere would be much heavier than it is, even heavier than that of our neighboring planet, Venus. Venus’ thick carbon dioxide filled atmosphere would mean instant death for all possible life. The extra mass earth gained from the collision, along with its atmospheric revision, meant that water could exist on earth in all three states: ice, liquid, and vapor – and in huge supply, a supply absolutely essential for an efficient, consistent water cycle. And that water cycle is essential for life, both for its existence and survivability.
[*** end excerpt ***]
- Ankerberg: Hugh, are there any other design characteristics that have been built into the moon in its relationship with the earth?
- Ross: Well, John, there’s enough to fill a whole book. For example, having this large moon orbiting a small planet works to stabilize the rotation axis of planet earth. The other planets, the rotation axes flip back and forth. Earth remains stable, maintaining the necessary climate for life. The large gravity of the moon exerted on the earth sets up the “just right” tides to maximize the biomass of the planet, especially in conjunction with the tidal effects of the sun. The sun and moon work together to idealize these tides. And then the earth/moon system acts as a way to break up the resonances that are generated by the big gas giant planets. If it wasn’t for the moon, you would get unstable planetary disturbances going on that would move the inner planets out of the positions and therefore disturb the earth’s capacity to support life. Those are three.
- Ankerberg: Guys, we’re looking at this fascinating information about how earth has been placed in the solar system in the right spot; the moon has been placed in the right place to help us in terms of life developing on earth. Now we want to show how the solar system has been designed so that we have planets that are actually protecting us. And we want to talk about Jupiter. We are going to look at the video clip in a moment, but introduce Jupiter to us and why is it significant?
- Ross: Well, actually, the position and the mass and the orbit of every solar system planet plays a critical role in life of planet earth, Jupiter the most significant. It’s the most massive of the planets, and it’s close enough to the sun and massive enough, that it’s able to protect the earth from taking too many hits from comets and asteroids.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re got to show them this. It’s easier to watch this and then we’ll comment on it. This comes from Hugh’s documentary, the video documentary called, Journey Toward Creation. It’s a journey through space back to the creation event, and one of the things is, we look at the planets. Take a look at this.
[*** Excerpt from Journey Toward Creation ***]
- Jupiter is 40 light minutes away from earth. That means it takes light from Jupiter 40 minutes to reach the earth. Jupiter is such a colossus that it outweighs by two and a half times all the other planets in our solar system combined. The giant red spot we see as we look at the top of Jupiter’s dense atmospheric layers shows a 2,000-mile per hour hurricane raging for centuries. To give some perspective, that spot is four earth diameters across.
- Researchers in the 1990s sought to probe Jupiter’s many mysteries, such as the degree to which light penetrates those thick clouds and whether the planet has a rocky core or just super-dense frozen gases. In the course of their investigation, they discovered evidence of Jupiter’s importance to earth life. Jupiter is positioned and dimensioned to shield earth from collisions. The planet’s nearness and mass typically deflect comets and asteroids that are moving on a collision course with earth. Occasionally, Jupiter itself takes the hit, as in the 1994 encounter with comet Shoemaker-Levy. Though each fragment of Shoemaker-Levy was smaller than Manhattan Island, 21 of them raised fireballs more than 10,000 miles high and made earth-sized bruises in Jupiter’s atmosphere.
- Any planet capable of sustaining life needs a just-right-sized Jupiter standing guard to shield it from life-ending asteroid and comet impacts. Jupiter’s size and position are important to earth life for yet another reason. If Jupiter were any larger than it is, or any closer to earth, its gravity would wreak deadly havoc on earth’s orbit. Jupiter is a just-right-sized protector in a just-right location.
[*** end excerpt ***]
- Ankerberg: Hugh, when I listen to what you were saying there, Jupiter is just the right size protector in just the right location. Everything is “just right, just right, just right” here. When you astronomers see everything is “just right” out there, what do you make of this?
- Ross: Well, my peers call this the “Goldilocks principle,” that everywhere we look in science, everything is “just right” for life. I mean, even the orbit of Jupiter is “just right.” Its eccentricity is just right. And we just see this everywhere – hundreds of characteristics that are lining up to be perfectly fine tuned to make life possible.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. The overall thing that we’re saying here is that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” [Gen. 1:1] has a whole lot more meaning when you study astronomy and astrophysics and you realize all the fine tuning that goes into the universe.
- Ross: Right.
- Ankerberg: Let’s go to the next one. And this is mind-blowing again, folks. Wait till you see this next clip. We’re going to look at the asteroids that have been placed beyond Pluto to keep another planet, Neptune, in position, which in turn protects the earth.
- Ross: Right.
- Ankerberg: And then, there’s a belt out there – wait until they see this thing – of all the comets. And from time to time God lets a few of those comets roll through and they replenish water on the earth. And they have to do it in relationship to the sun’s luminosity, and the luminosity is increasing, so that’s got to be “just right.” This goes way off the charts. Folks, you’ve got to watch this thing.
[*** Excerpt from Journey Toward Creation ***]
- These four gas giants – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – travel in unique, almost circular orbits on a horizontal plane around the sun. This stands in stark contrast to gas giants so far discovered outside our solar system which either orbit too close to their stars, or have elliptical and/or non-horizontal orbits. Even a slight deviation from their appointed paths would be catastrophic for life on earth.
- Traveling out almost six light hours from earth we come to Pluto and its companion, Charon. Pluto is the smallest planet in our solar system, smaller than our moon, made mostly of ice. Pluto’s moon, Charon, is less than half Pluto’s size. Beyond these frozen outposts lie other tiny bodies orbiting the sun.
- Now we reach the last stop before departing our solar system – a vast area of asteroids and comets. The inner ring is called the Kuiper Belt. The density and positions of these asteroids act as a stabilizing force for the orbit of Neptune. Without a finely tuned gravitational tug from these space rocks, Neptune’s orbit would be erratic, potentially catastrophic for our tiny planet. At the outer edge of our solar system orbiting the sun up to two light years away lies a vast area of over 100 billion comets known as the Oort Cloud. Occasionally, some of these comets are disturbed just enough by the gas giant planets to be pulled out of their orbit and hurdled toward the inner solar system, including the earth, replenishing our water supply and delivering other vital nutrients.
[*** end excerpt ***]
- Ankerberg: Hugh, watching that, it’s unbelievable. But let’s also touch on that thing of the comets supplying water, and the sun’s luminosity. What’s that all about?
- Ross: Well, as the sun gets older and older, it gets brighter and brighter, which means it’s necessary that the Creator create just the right life forms at just the right time in just the right sequence, diversity, and abundance so that the atmosphere of the earth is compensating perfectly for the increase in the solar luminosity. It’s called “the faint sun paradox” that really explains why the fossil record looks the way that it does.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. What you’re saying is that the sun is now shining on us, what, 35% more brightly than it was at the beginning of earth?
- Ross: Seventeen percent brighter. But life can only tolerate about a 1% change, and therefore it’s necessary that you create just the right life forms so that those life forms remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere at just the right rate, and transform them into bio-deposits in the crust of the earth. Those bio-deposits give us resources for human civilization.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. And so you needed a certain amount of water supply back then, and if the sun was too hot, it would have burned off. If it wasn’t hot enough it would have been in ice. And then that luminosity has been changing all this time and the comets have been coming at different rates, and the biomass has been changing at different rates – and it’s all been perfect.
- Ross: And you want to balance the water, and you want to compensate for the increase of the solar luminosity, and you do that through creating just the right life.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. These are the anthropic principles, the laws that the astronomers and the astrophysicists are finding in the universe that show us that it has been finely tuned – God did create. Next, we are going to the topic of life on earth. Okay? Did it arise through naturalistic, evolutionary means? And Fuz, tell us where we’re going with that next week.
- Rana: Well, just like the astronomy where astronomers are now discovering overwhelming evidence for a creation event to bring the universe into existence, and design in the universe, when we look at life, instead of what we see in textbooks that indicates life emerged through natural means, what scientists are discovering is exactly the opposite – that there has to be a supernatural fingerprint accountable for life’s emergence.
- Ankerberg: Yes. Next week, we’re going to show some video clips, too, that brought up something that I didn’t even know about, and that was the fact that the scientists now have come to the conclusion there was no prebiotic soup. Now, neighbors, if there was no prebiotic soup, then how did life originate to where we’re at? That’s what we’re going to talk about, so please join us.