Having a bad day? Feeling unlucky? After reading this you might feel differently because things could be a lot worse…

Our universe:

If…

…there were just two dimensions plus a time dimension, or four dimensions plus a time dimension life could not exist. Life can only exist in three dimensions plus a time dimension.

…the strong nuclear force was slightly altered the nuclei essential for life could not exist because hydrogen would not exist.

…the weak nuclear force was slightly altered there would be no heavy elements (or too many heavy elements) emitted by stars. Life would not exist.

…the gravitational force was slightly higher stars would burn too hot, if slightly lower, stars would never ignite, and thus no life would be possible.

…the electromagnetic force constant was slightly different no chemicals could bond and thus no life could exist.

…the ratio of electromagnetic force to gravitational force was slightly altered stars would be either too massive or too large and life could not exist.

… the ratio of proton mass to electron mass was slightly different chemicals would not bond and life would be impossible.

…the ratio of protons to electrons was slightly different galaxy, star and planet formation could not occur and life could not exist.

…the expansion rate of the universe was slightly slower it would collapse in on itself immediately, if slightly faster galaxies would never form, and thus no life.

…the entropy level was slightly different galaxy formation could not occur, and neither would life.

… the mass density of the universe was slightly different stars would burn too rapidly and life could not exist.

… the velocity of light was slightly different stars would be either too bright, or not bright at all, preventing life from existing.

…if the uniformity of radiation was smoother stars and galaxies could not form. If coarser, the universe would be empty space. Either way, no life.

…the decay rate of protons was slightly different radiation levels would be so high it would eradicate all life, but if too low, allow for no matter in the universe.

…the energy level ration between carbon and oxygen atoms was slightly different there would not be enough oxygen and carbon in the universe to support life.

…the ground state energy level for Helium was slightly different there wouldn’t be any carbon or oxygen, and therefore no life.

…the decay rate of Beryllium was slower stars would catastrophically explode. If faster, no chemistry for life would be possible.

… the mass excess of the neutron over the proton was slightly different heavy elements would not be possible and stars would collapse in on themselves. Again, no life possible…

…the polarity of water was greater heat generated by evaporation would kill all life, but if lower all water would be frozen and kill all life.

…the amount of supernova eruptions were occurring too frequently life would be exterminated, but if not at all heavy elements would not be present.

…the amount of white dwarf binaries in the universe were any less we wouldn’t have enough fluorine for life chemistry. If any more, planetary orbits would be disrupted and life would be exterminated.

…the ratio of exotic to ordinary matter was just slightly off the universe would collapse in on itself.

…if the amount of dark matter in the universe was slightly different, galaxies, stars, and planets could not have formed, and thus no life.

Max Tegmark, associate professor of physics at MIT states, “Our universe appears surprisingly fine-tuned for life in the sense that if you tweaked many of our constants of nature by just a tiny amount, life as we know it would be impossible.”[1] Another physics professor at MIT, Alan Lightman, writes, “…according to various calculations, if the values of some of the fundamental parameters of our universe were a little larger or a little smaller, life could not have arisen… The strengths of the basic forces and certain other fundamental parameters in our universe appear to be ‘fine-tuned’ to allow the existence of life.”[2]

The Planet Earth:

If…

…earth was in an elliptical galaxy or an irregular galaxy the lack of heavy elements and radiation exposure would prevent any life from existing. Life can only exist on a planet in a spiral galaxy, which is the kind we’re in (obviously).

…the earth was in one of the spiral arms of our galaxy the amount of radiation and supernova explosions would kill all life. Yet Earth lies in the peaceful openness between our galaxies’ spiral arms.

…the earth was too far away from the center of the galaxy there would be no heavy elements to form life. If too close to the center radiation and disruption in planetary orbit would kill all life.

…there were more than one star in our solar system our orbit would be disrupted enough to prevent life from existing.

… the sun we orbit were any larger it burn too rapidly and burn up all life. But if any smaller the rotational and tidal periods of earth would be drastically altered and there would not be enough UV radiation to allow plants to create sugars and oxygen.

… the sun burned a different color (more red, blue, ect.) plants could not photosynthesize.

… the surface gravity of earth was just minutely altered the atmosphere would contain either too many gases poisoning life, or too little gases and we’d lose our protection from deadly radiation.

…the earth was closer to the sun we’d be too hot. Farther and we’d be too cold. A change as much as 2% would kill all life.

…the orbital eccentricity was greater, seasonal changes would be too extreme for life to withstand.

…the axial tilt was slightly changed, surfaces temperatures would be too high for life.

… the earth rotated faster atmospheric wind velocities would be catastrophically violent, if slower, temperature differences would be too great.

… the earth’s magnetic field were stronger, electromagnetic storms would be catastrophic, but if too weak, solar radiation would eradicate all life.

…the earth’s crust were too thick too much oxygen would enter the crust killing life, if too thin, volcanic activity would kill all life.

… the albedo of earth was slightly different we’d either start a runaway heat up or runaway cool down which would kill most life forms.

…there were more asteroids and comets in the solar system, constant collisions would kill most life.

…the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were too high there would be a catastrophic greenhouse effect, if too low, plants could not photosynthesize.

…there were too much water vapor in the atmosphere a runaway greenhouse effect would kill all life, if too little there would not be enough rainfall to support life on land.

…the atmospheric discharge of electricity (lightning) were too high fires would reach catastrophic levels, but if too low, there would not be enough nitrogen in the atmosphere to support life.

…the ozone level in our atmosphere were too high surface temperatures would be freezing, and if too low, radiation would kill all life.

…the moon were too close, tidal forces would catastrophically sweep over the earth surface, and if too far, create instabilities in earth’s climate.

Cosmologist Dr. Hugh Ross claims that all the factors required for life to exist in the universe and on earth happening by chance is one in ten to the forty-second power (1 x 1042).[3] Physicist Roger Penrose calculates it out to be one in ten to the one-hundred and twenty-third power (1 x 10123)![4]

Biological Life:

But we’re not even done yet… you can have all the ingredients for life, but still not have life. What caused life to first appear? How did it first come about on its own? We have still never observed life come from non-life (Law of Biogenesis). Yet, life exists!

Oxygen is poisonous gas that oxidizes organic and inorganic material on earth. The first life form would have to have a protective membrane immediately from the very beginning.[5] Biochemist Dr. Michael Denton notes, “What we have is sort of a ‘Catch 22’ situation. If we have oxygen we have no organic compounds, but if we don’t have oxygen we have none either.”[6] Water would likewise kill any exposed polypeptides required for life through hydrolysis, if it wasn’t already protected. What are the odds that first life forms would automatically have protective membranes to guard against oxidization and hydrolysis?

Now take into consideration reproduction. The first life would have to be capable of reproduction or else we wouldn’t be here. The odds of life generating from non-life is already difficult to postulate, but to then propose it coincidentally was capable of reproducing is philosophically astounding. What are the odds of that?

Molecular Biophysicist Harold Morowitz calculates that the odds of a single living cell developing on its own is one in ten to the one-hundredth billion power (1 x 10100,000,000,000)![7] Astronomer Michael Hart calculates the odds at one in ten to the three thousandth power (1 x 103,000).[8] Materials scientist Dr. Walter Bradley and chemist Dr. Charles Thaxton calculate the odds of life forming from non-life as five in ten to the one hundred and ninety-first power (4.9 x 10191).[9] Astronomer Sir Frederick Hoyle and professor of applied math and astronomy Chandra Wickramasinghe calculate the odds as one in ten to the forty thousandth power (1 x 1040,000).[10] No matter which one you pick… these are all really bad odds!

Ok, so now you have life, but out of the millions of life forms on this planet, only one (humans), are capable of intellectual thought, art, reason, science, ect.

Ok, so now you’re a human, life can still suck depending on where you live. And if you’re reading this, you’re probably living inAmerica, a relatively wealthy country with immense civil rights. A country that by shear citizenship, puts you in the top percentile of wealthiest people on earth. Your odds of being born inAmerica, one in twenty two.

So let us rewind. What are the odds that you live in a great country, are a human, are alive, on a planet that supports life, in a galaxy that supports a planet that supports life, in a universe that supports life? The odds are not good at all. In fact, the odds are so bad you are technically defying all odds by simply reading this. So it is kind of hard to have a bad day when technically you shouldn’t exist!

Our existence alone is testimony to a God that created us, and loves us. Psalms 8:3-4 says, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (NIV).

So have a blessed day, because you are definitely blessed!


[1] Tegmark, M., (July 2011) “The Multiverse Strikes Back,” http://www.scientificamerican.com

[2] Lightman, A.P., (December 2011) “The Accidental Universe; Science’s Crisis of Faith,” http://www.harpers.org

[3] Ross, H., (1994) The Creator and the Cosmos,  Navpress Publishing Group:Colorado Springs,CO, pp.134.

[4] Luskin, C., (April 2010) “Penrose on Cosmic Fine Tuning,” http://www.evolutionnews.org

[5] Ward, P. & Brownlee, D., (2000) Rare Earth, Copernicus,New York: NY, pp. 245.

[6] Denton, M., (1985) Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Alder & Alder:Bethesda,MD, pp. 261.

[7] Shapiro , R., (1986) Origins: A Skeptic’s Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth, Summit Books, New York, NY, pp. 128.

[8] Hart, M.H., (1990) “Atmospheric Evolution, the Drake Equation, and DNA: Sparse Life in an Infinite Universe,” Physical Cosmology and Philosophy, Macmillan,New York, NY, pp. 263-264.

[9] Thaxton, C., Bradley, W., & Olsen, R., (1984) The Mystery of Life’s Origins: Reassessing Current Theories, Philosophical Library:New York,NY, pp. 66.

[10] Hoyle, F. & Wickramasinghe, C., (1984) Evolution from Space, Simon & Schuster:New York,NY, pp. 176.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Noel says:

    Great educational post! This is a great reminder of how special life truly is. I wonder how an Atheist would respond to this post. Your words surely serve as evidence of an intelligent design. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s