Where is the evidence for God? (continued)

  • Science has widely accepted the laws of thermodynamics, but we are asked to ignore them when they point to a Creator:
    • The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can be changed only in form or function. This means that neither the universe nor the laws of physics can explain the existence of energy. The most reasonable explanation is that an agency outside of the laws of physics and apart from the Universe, provides this energy.
    • The second law of thermodynamics involves “entropy,” which is more-or-less a measure of chaos. It states that the natural trend of all systems is to go into disorder. An outside force is needed to keep it in order. Who is providing this force?
    • Also, if the universe were infinitely old, it would now be in a state of total chaos. Since it is not, the universe must have a finite age, and therefore a beginning. This makes it reasonable to consider the universe an effect, thereby requiring a cause.
  • Mathematics tells us to give more weight to the higher probability. Penrose calculated the probability of our specific Universe coming into being randomly from all possible outcomes of the Big Bang as 1 in 1010123. (See Part 2) (https://www.reddit.com/r/ReasonableFaith/comments/1tufxe/roger_penroses_1010123_calculation_for_entropy)

Nevertheless, some scientists want us to consider this high improbability  as the most likely possibility. Alan Lightman considers this universe a lucky draw; an accidental universe. (https://bigthink.com/videos/alan-lightman-the-universe-is-an-accident)

  • Fine-tuning in the Universe

Sir Martin Rees —Royal Society Research Professor at Cambridge University holding the title of Astronomer Royal and an international leader in cosmology— tells us in his 2001 book Just Six Numbers, the Deep Forces that Shape the Universe that there are six numbers that precisely control our Universe.  (https://physics.mst.edu/media/academic/physics/documents/Just6num.pdf)

Any change in these numbers could be catastrophic and end the Universe as we know it. Rees poses the question:

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“Suppose…. that you were the intended victim of a firing squad and every bullet missed you, wouldn’t you be inclined to wonder if something special had been arranged on your behalf.” (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/jun/08/just-six-numbers-martin-rees-review, last para.)

It is God Who sustains the heavens and the earth lest they cease [to function]. (Quran 35:41)

Just to give an idea of the precise settings of the “cosmic constants“:

  • If the strong nuclear force were slightly more powerful, then there would be no hydrogen, an essential element of life.

If it were slightly weaker, then hydrogen would be the only element in existence. If it were smaller, stars would never burn at all and heavy elements would not be produced.

It is inconceivable that complex life could come from hydrogen alone.

  • If the weak nuclear force were slightly different, then there would be

either not enough helium to generate heavy elements in stars,

or stars would burn out too quickly and supernova explosions could not scatter heavy elements across the universe.

  • If the electromagnetic force were slightly stronger or weaker, atomic bonds, and thus complex molecules, could not form.
  • If the value of the gravitational constant were slightly larger, one consequence would be that stars would become too hot and burn out too quickly.

(https://evolutionnews.org/2017/11/ids-top-six-the-fine-tuning-of-the-universe/)

How finely-tuned must these constants be to yield a life-friendly universe? How much room for variation is there in the six constants to maintain the balance of our universe?

  • Gravitational constant: 1 part in 1034
  • Electromagnetic force versus the force of gravity: 1 part in 1037
  • Cosmological constant: 1 part in 10120
  • Mass density of the universe: 1 part in 1059
  • Expansion rate of the universe: 1 part in 1055
  • Initial entropy: 1 part in 1010123

Who can keep a number like the cosmological constant finely tuned to the accuracy of 1 part in 10120 parts, i.e. one part in a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion parts? Is it reasonable to assume that anything is fine-tuned to 120 decimal places by accident?

We will show them Our signs on the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. (Quran 41:53)

Sir Fred Hoyle, FRS (1915-2001) was an English astronomer who formulated the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis. According to him:

A common-sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintendent has monkeyed with the physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce within stars. (http://www.geraldschroeder.com/FineTuning.aspx, First section)

Michael Turner, the widely quoted astrophysicist at the University of Chicago, describes the fine-tuning of the universe with a simile:

“The precision is as if one could throw a dart across the entire universe and hit a bulls eye one millimeter in diameter on the other side.” (http://www.geraldschroeder.com/FineTuning.aspx,  Second section)

Who is holding these numbers exactly right, continuously, without randomness or variation — if not a Creator and Sustainer?

Verily, all things We created in proportion and measure. (Quran 54:49)

…To be continued in Part 12

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Dr. Raida Jarrar

Dr. Raida Jarrar is a Palestinian American who holds a Doctorate of Engineering from Cleveland State University. Following a career of over twenty-five years in the fields of engineering and aviation IT, she worked as a volunteer at one of the largest Islamic centers in the Middle East, where she interacted with visitors of different religious backgrounds and diverse cultures. The series she writes for Al-Jumuah analyzes and encapsulates her discussions with the atheist visitors, presented in a question and answer format for clarity and ease of reference. The answers are sourced from research, discussions with colleagues and mentors, and personal thoughts. Dr. Jarrar also volunteers as a translator for Islamic content and hosts the Aslamt youtube channel, which is dedicated to answering common questions about faith. https://youtube.com/@aslamt9462

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