It certainly takes at least as much faith to deny God’s role in creation as it does to believe it, and apologist Mark Mittelberg suggests it does take more: “The evidence for a creator is actually much more compelling than for a universe without one,” he writes. There’s no denying the universe in which we exist is incredibly fine-tuned for life. How so?
For organic life to exist, several fundamental constants of physics must exist simultaneously and in very, very narrow ranges. The odds of this configuration happening by chance are almost nil. Again, Francis Collins explains: “When you look from the perspective of a scientist at the universe, it looks as if it knew we were coming. There are 15 constants–the gravitational constant, various constants about the strong and weak nuclear force, etc.–that have precise values. If any one of these constants was off by even one part in a million, or in some cases, by one part in a million million, the universe could not have actually come to the point where we see it. Matter would not have been able to coalesce, there would have been no galaxy, stars, planets or people.”
The idea that such a finely tuned universe as ours could happen by chance, through random mutation of matter seems extremely unlikely. Stephen Hawking concurs: “The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like the Big Bang are enormous. It would be very difficult to explain why the universe would have begun in just this way except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.”
The size of our planet for example, is perfect. Its size and corresponding gravity holds a thin layer of particular gases only extending 50 miles above the Earth’s surface. If the Earth were smaller, such an atmosphere would be impossible. If it were larger, its atmosphere would become inhospitable for plant, animal and human life. The Earth’s distance from the sun is optimal. Any further away and we would freeze. Any closer by even a fractional amount and we would burn up. Likewise the Earth’s rotational speed around the sun and the tilt of its axis allow its entire surface to be properly warmed and cooled each day. And even our moon is the perfect size and distance from the Earth to exercise the correct gravitational pull upon tides and ocean waters. Speaking of water, the precise chemical balance of this universal solvent enables us to live in an environment of fluctuating temperature change while keeping our bodies at a constant 98.6 degrees. And water’s unique surface tension allows it to flow upward against gravity in plants, bringing life-giving sustenance to the tops of even the tallest trees–and the fact that it freezes from the top down–and floats–means fish can live in it even during winter.
The Earth is indeed a wonder, but man is perhaps the biggest wonder of all creation. The human brain processes vast amounts of input–more than a million messages a second. The human eye can distinguish among 7 million colors, focus automatically, and handle 1.5 million visual clues–simultaneously! And the DNA code inside each human cell operates much like a computer program, with four chemicals abbreviated as letters A, T, G and C combining in precise, ordered sequences of 3 billion letters. Natural, biological causes are completely lacking as an explanation for such precise, programmed information is involved. Where there is design, there must be intent. The heavens, the earth, and even our own bodies are declaring the glory of God from the telescope to the microscope, but many can still be blinded from seeing it.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
“I see an orderly, beautiful universe in which nearly all physical phenomena can be understood from a few simple mathematical equations. I see a universe that, had it been constructed slightly differently, would never have given birth to stars and planets, let alone bacteria and people. And there is no good scientific reason for why the universe should not have been different.” ~ Nobel Prize-winning physicist William Phillips, as quoted by Rebecca McLaughlin, Confronting Christianity
“I realized that to stay an atheist, I would have to believe that nothing produces everything, non-life produces life, randomness produces fine-tuning, chaos produces information, unconsciousness produces consciousness, and non-reason produces reason. Those leaps of faith were simple too big for me to make…” Christian apologist and former atheist Lee Strobel