Do You Know How Lucky You Are to Live on Earth?
The factors that make life possible came together so beautifully, even materialists have trouble knowing why we’re here.
There are many observational facts about our universe, such as electrons weighing almost nothing, while some of their quark cousins are thousands of times more massive. And gravity being incredibly weak compared to the immense forces that hold atomic nuclei together.
Why is our universe built this way? We just don’t know….
Our universe appears to balance on a knife-edge of stability. But why?
For peace of mind, he escapes into the multiverse hypothesis.
Some seek solace in a creator, an omnipotent being that finely-tuned the properties of the universe to allow us to be here. But the move from the scientific into the supernatural leaves many uncomfortable.
There is, however, another possible solution, one guided by the murky and confused musings at the edge of science. Super-strings or M-theory (or whatever these will evolve into) suggest that the fundamental properties of the universe are not unique, but are somehow chosen by some cosmic roll of the dice when it was born.
This gives us a possible explanation of the seemingly special properties of the universe in which we live.
As others have pointed out, though, that’s no solution. In a multiverse, anything not only can happen, but eventually does happen (5/17/14). That spells the death of science, because it collapses into the ultimate Stuff Happens Law. It also dodges the question of where the multiverse came from, and relies on trusting in things that could never be observed even in principle.
Earth, specifically, is remarkably beneficial for humans. Sarah Scoles in New Scientist writes that “earth’s composition might be unusual for a planet with life,” according to a team led by Vardan Adibekyan of the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal. Their survey of exoplanets showed that few in habitable zones around other stars have the heavy elements like iron needed for life. They believe the number of favorable planets increases with time, but did we just luck out?
Roberto Trotta, on New Scientist, looks for a “sister world” to not feel so alone. He apparently feels uneasy if the universe is “all-there-is” and we are it as far as sentient beings go. He casts a wistful eye at Kepler 452b, the latest candidate earth-like exoplanet, but realizes it’s probably all rock. It’s too hot, and most likely has no water. “This reminds us just how hard it is to find a good world to live on,” he sighs. He trusts that the student-people (i.e., scientists) “hope to spot a world that is just like ours.” Why would that help? “Soon, we might feel less alone in the All-There-Is.” To the Saganesque materialist, the cosmos is all there is, ever was, and ever will be. But not everyone is a materialist.
Two very interesting podcasts by design advocates make a compelling case for Earth being designed for life.
- Doug Axe on ID the Future constructs a design argument from lignin, the third most abundant biopolymer on Earth.
- Michael Denton describes multiple coincidences from the sun, Earth’s atmosphere, photosynthesis and oxygen that make not only plant life possible, but human life, too (ID the Future).
It would seem, given this evidence, that the onus should be on materialists to explain why the universe and Earth were not designed. “Luck” is hardly a scientific explanation.
Listen to the podcasts numbered above. They’re really, really interesting and unexpected from a materialist point of view, especially Denton’s. Got evidence? The power of empirical evidence is on the side of creationists. Don’t let materialists intimidate you. Fight back with facts like these. Memorize a few of the points to use as conversation starters.
Intelligent design evidence is powerful, but it can only take one so far. Why is the universe so well designed? Who designed it? Can we know the Creator who designed quarks, electrons, oxygen, iron, stars, planets, and atmospheres, and arranged them on a world that permits the beneficial interactions between photosynthesis, lignin, plants, animals and human beings?
“Some seek solace in a creator” Lewis says, but that leaves “many” (speak for yourself, Geraint) “uncomfortable.” He flees from the light to the darkness, because it makes him “uncomfortable.” But there’s little solace in darkness. There’s little comfort in nonsense like “stuff happens.” He kids himself thinking that science is an escape from the “supernatural.” He believes in reason and truth, doesn’t he? Those are immaterial and eternal, therefore supernatural. Everyone is a supernaturalist.
Maybe he should reason that there’s solace in a creator because there really is a Creator who promises solace—and delivers. “Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” Jesus said. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29). This same Jesus is identified by three different New Testament authors as the Creator (John in John 1:1-3, Paul in Colossians 1:16-18, and the anonymous author of Hebrews 1:1-2). Recounting one of Francis Schaeffer’s book titles, “He is there, and He is not silent.” We can listen. We can come to the light.
Exercise: Solace is an uncommon word. It was used by Joseph Scriven (a man who suffered many sorrows in life) in his uplifting hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, inspired by Jesus’ promise quoted above. Click the link, listen, and sing along. Thou wilt find a “solace” there—especially when contemplating how a mighty, omnipotent Creator can be tender and loving to his humble creatures (John 3:16).