WHY WE ARE HERE

Physically, each of us is a part of the Universe. Our bodies are built of the same atoms as the bodies of the farthest stars currently rushing from us and being already at a distance of some 46 billion light years away. Those primeval atoms were formed when a few minutes after the Big Bang (14 billion years ago) the “quark soup” of the early Universe cooled down to below 2 trillion degrees. The Big Bang nucleosynthesis shut down after another twenty minutes due to the rapid drop of temperature and density of the expanding Universe. The result is approximately 300 sextillion stars grouped in galaxies, with our Milky Way being one of more than 100 billion such galaxies.

The contents of the cosmos is made of dark energy (72%), dark matter (23%) and the ordinary matter (“atoms”). The latter makes up only 5% of the cosmic contents. Visible stars account for less than 10% of the ordinary matter.

Distances are also mind-boggling. At the planetarium of an American town of Peoria (Illinois) a scale model of the solar system was built. The 10-cm model of the Earth was located at the distance of 119 meters from the Sun, which, in turn, was 12 meters across. Mars was seven blocks away from the Earth, and Pluto, as small as a ping pong ball, was 64 km (40 miles) away from Peoria. With that scale, the closest star Proxima Centauri should be placed as far as the Moon. If measured by how long it takes the light to reach celestial objects, the Earth is 1.3 light-seconds from the Moon, it is 8 light-minutes from the Sun and 4.24 light-years (l/y) away from Proxima Centauri. Compare it with the diameter of our Milky Way, which is 120,000 l/y (but that number may be even as large as 180,000 l/y if you take into account dark matter), or with the distance to our “neighbor”, the Andromeda Galaxy – 2.5 million l/y. At present, the Universe is estimated to be about 91 billion l/y across.

Do I believe in the Big Bang, in the invisible dark energy, or in the 20-minutes of the nucleosynthesis , during which the building elements of the Universe were made? My answer is: I do. But what is even more important for me is that the Universe is fine-tuned for Man to live in it. Quite a number of conditions that allow life in Universe lie within a very narrow range. For example, if gravitational force were only slightly larger, stars would be too hot and would burn too rapidly for life chemistry. If gravitation were a bit smaller, stars would be too cool to ignite nuclear fusion, and consequently, the elements needed for life chemistry would never form. The same is true with the expansion rate of the Universe: if the expansion were quicker, no galaxies would form, if it were slower, the Universe would collapse even before stars formed. There are a number of other fundamental parameters which are finely tuned for LIFE (as we understand it) to exist. For example, the maximum permissible deviation for the ratio “electrons::protons” (critical for building atoms) is 1: 1037. This degree of fine-tuning is difficult to imagine. Dr. Hugh Ross gives an example of this parameter in his book The Creator and the Cosmos:

One part in 1037 is such an incredibly sensitive balance that it is hard to visualize. The following analogy might help: Cover the entire North American continent in dimes all the way up to the moon, a height of about 239,000 miles (In comparison, the money to pay for the U.S. federal government debt would cover one square mile less than two feet deep with dimes). Next, pile dimes from here to the moon on a billion other continents the same size as North America. Paint one dime red and mix it into the billions of piles of dimes. Blindfold a friend and ask him to pick out one dime. The odds that he will pick the red dime are one in 1037. (p. 115)

Here are some more quotes taken from the following sources: http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/designun.html 

http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/quotes.html

http://www.finetuneduniverse.com/

Arno Penzias (Nobel prize in physics): “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which 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 (one might say ‘supernatural’) plan.”

Vera Kistiakowsky (MIT physicist): “The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine.”

Robert Jastrow (self-proclaimed agnostic): “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.”

Stephen Hawking (British astrophysicist): “Then we shall… be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we would know the mind of God.”

Werner von Braun (Pioneer rocket engineer) “I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science.”

Frank Tipler (Professor of Mathematical Physics): “From the perspective of the latest physical theories, Christianity is not a mere religion, but an experimentally testable science.”

I do not know the answer to the second part of Stephen Hawking’s question (see above) why the universe exists – at least on that scale of magnitude and massiveness we observe. As for the first part concerning the purpose of my existence, I think the following may be said:

I was brought into this world 1/ to know the Creator, 2/ to understand His design and feel the beauty of it, 3/ to be thankful for this opportunity of understanding, 4/ to grow in my knowledge of Him – spiritually and morally…

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