Argument for God: Design
Updated: Aug 30, 2021
By Luke Lancaster
There universe has some very intriguing aspects to it. It seems to have been designed just right for human life to exist. If things were changed by a hair, then humans would not exist. There are also universal constants which enable the universe to sustain life, and they seem to be fine-tuned by a Creator. To suggest that the universe came about by chance would be akin to suggesting that a fully assembled and functioning airplane was created by a tornado running through a junkyard. Read on to see for yourself.
2nd law of thermodynamics
This law is not a universal constant, but it points to an incredible amount of fine-tuning. It states that entropy increases over time. Entropy refers to the amount of disorder, so a low entry point means that everything is incredibly ordered, whereas a high entropy point means that everything is incredibly disordered. The 2nd law of thermodynamics states that entropy increases over time, for isolated organized states almost always move toward disorganized states. Material processes flow in that one direction. This is significant because the universe was unbelievably fine-tuned to an incredibly low entropy point before the Big Bang. The universe was organized to unthinkable levels. Such a reality cannot be explained from simple chance and indicates a Divine designer. Here are some analogies to grasp this.
Imagine seeing a video recording of a pool table with a triangular shape of balls. If somebody used a pool stick to break up the triangular shape, then the organization would decrease. The pool balls would go everywhere. If this video recording was put on rewind, then it would appear to people that the pool balls assembled on their own. They would be moving from a state of disorganization to a state of organization. If somebody only saw the video recording, would they assume the balls were at first organized together and broken apart, or that the balls were disorganized and were assembled? Most would imagine that the balls moved in one direction: from organization to disorganization.
Consider two other analogies. The first is carbonation within a can of Coca-Cola. When the can is opened and left open, the carbonation or fizziness decreases over time. The drink becomes flat. The organization within the can moves towards disorganization. The can of Coca-Cola would not increase in carbonation due to the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Or consider a cup of hot coffee. The warmth of the coffee will eventually become disordered and exit the coffee. This is due to entropy, which moves towards an equilibrium. The warmth in the cup of coffee dissipates into the cooler atmosphere until the coffee is the same temperature as the air surrounding it. Due to the 2nd law of thermodynamics, the heat would not increase within the cup of coffee by its own power. Rather, it would decrease.
This second law of thermodynamics, applied to the universe, would suggest that the universe is moving from a highly organized state towards a disorganized state. Currently, humanity exists. Yet the universe is moving towards a day when humanity will not exist. The heat from the sun and stars will burn out one day and humanity will freeze. The universe will no longer be suitable for human life. How did the universe get so organized in the first place, though? To take up the analogies, who assembled and hit the pool balls? Who carbonated the Coca-Cola? Who heated up the cup of coffee? According to scientist Roger Penrose, the odds for the Big Bang to have a low enough entropy level for life to form are 10^10^123 to 1 against. This indicates how it is nearly impossible to imagine how the universe became so perfectly organized in the beginning to sustain human life. The chances of entropy becoming low enough for the possibility of life forming are insane, trillions of trillions of trillions to one. All matter was tightly compacted together in a near perfect fashion.
Here are a few examples of how the universe is like a radio that has been tuned just right for human life.
Everybody experiences this invisible force that pulls people towards the ground. Yet, this force is very weak compared to the other forces in the universe. For instance, the nuclear force that holds protons and neutrons together in the nucleus of an atom is the strongest. That force is unbelievably stronger than gravity. If gravity were increased a smidgen on earth, 1 part in 10^60, or .0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001, then humans could not exist. The universe would either: expand too fast and not allow the formation of stars (like the sun); or the universe would collapse and, yet again, not allow star formation. If the sun does not exist, then humans do not exist. So, who set gravity up to the most perfect amount?
Strong Nuclear Force:
Chemistry states that the smallest form of matter is the atom. This atom is invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen underneath a microscope. Within the atom is the nucleus, which consists of protons and neutrons. Protons want to push away from each other like positive sides to a magnet, so what holds the protons together? The invisible, strong nuclear force. If this force were a hair higher, then the element hydrogen would not exist. If there is no hydrogen, then there is no H20 (water). Humanity could not exist without water, so the strong nuclear force is at just the right amount. If the strong nuclear force coupling constant were just a hair lower, then the element carbon would not exist. Carbon is necessary for life to exist, so the strong nuclear force is perfectly tuned for humanity to exist. Is the perfect strong nuclear force coupling constant just a coincidence? Probably not.
Mass of the Atom:
Within the atom are protons, neutrons, and electrons. Consider how perfectly it was designed. If the mass of the neutron was increased a hair, something crazy would happen. According to philosopher Robin Collins, an increase in size would cause “nuclear fusion in stars” to stop, and “there would be no energy source for life” (Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator, 134). If the mass of a proton or electron were slightly larger or smaller at the Big Bang, then humanity would not exist. Is it not rather odd, then, that the atom was tuned to just the right size?
Other fine-tuning examples
Consider a few other examples of fine-tuning. If the earth were closer to the sun, it would be too hot for life. If the earth were farther away from the sun, it would be too cold for life. If the axial tilt of the earth were off slightly, life would not exist. If the earth rotated more or less than 24 hours a day, humans would not exist. If the earth were closer to the moon, humans would not exist. If the moon were larger or smaller than the earth, humans might not exist.
This argument has been summarized by physicist-priest Robert Spitzer in New Proofs for the Existence of God:
1. “The values of the universal constants controlling the interrelationship among space, time, and energy in the universe must fall within a very narrow, closed range in order to allow any life form to develop.
2. But the possible values that these universal constants could have had that would have disallowed any life form from developing are astronomically higher (falling within a virtually open range).
3. Therefore, the odds against an anthropic condition occurring are astronomically high, making any life form (or universal condition allowing a life form) exceedingly improbably. This makes it highly, highly unlikely that the conditions for life in the universe occurred by pure chance, which begs for an explanation (cause) – physical or metaphysical” (p. 50).
As seen, the fine-tuning of the universe is unbelievable. There are over twenty of these constants in the universe, and they all have been perfectly fine tuned to the most perfect amount for life to exist. This is all insanely unlikely to have occurred by chance. The Big Bang itself is insanely unlikely to have occurred, as Stephen Hawking put it in his book, A Brief History of Time, “If the rate of expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, it would have recollapsed before it reached its present size.” Christianity suggests that God is the reason for the creation of the universe and all of the uniquely designed characteristics of it. God designed the world and formed creation according to Genesis 1:1. This belief is the most likely explanation of reality. To suggest that such low entropy within the universe came about by chance is extremely unlikely.