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Journey Toward Creation

A few years ago I came across a video called 'Journey Toward Creation' featuring Dr. Hugh Ross.  It is a look at the conditions required for the formation of a planet capable of supporting life, including the requirements for the solar system in which the planet exists, the galaxy in which the solar system exists, and the universe in which the galaxy exists.  The below is a summary of the video from notes I took while watching it.

This notation is on the cover:

"When Carl Sagan and other astronomers in the early 60s began to hypothesize about the potential for finding another planet like Earth, excitement was high because the known parameters needed for life were very few - a small rocky planet located at a specific distance from a star of a particular mass.  But beginning in the 1990s greater precision in astronomers's ability to measure the universe has yielded a staggering list of complex requirements needed to facilitate life on any planet."

"This video explores the astronomical evidence for a universe that is meticulously fine-tuned for the benefit of human life."

Over the first 8 billion years after the big bang, expansion slowed (mass density dominated).  After that, expansion increased in speed (space energy density dominated).  If either density was different by the tiniest amount then life could not exist anywhere in the universe.

Needs for a planet to support life:

It's star must be a bachelor, or single, star.  Dual stars do not allow planetary orbits that allow the presence of life. Only 2% of stars in our galaxy even have planets of any kind.

Its star must be a certain size.  Too small and any planet close enough to be warm enough would be wracked by tidal forces.  Too large and it would not have a long enough stable phase of hydrogen burning (about 5 billion years) for life to form on any orbiting planet.

Its star must be a spiral galaxy because only spiral galaxies can have planets with stable orbits, and therefor could sustain life. Only 6% of galaxies are spiral galaxies

There must be stars in the galaxy that produce flourine - an essential element for life.  Only a few indicate that flourine is produced there.  Besides flourine, other elements essential to life are oxygen, carbon, potassium, sulfur, nitrogen, iron and phosphorus, and there are others.

Our planet must be big enough to hold an atmosphere, and must have had sufficient early volcanism to produce enough water on the surface.

Our planet must have been struck by an object large enough (scientists believe Earth was struck by an object roughly the size of Mars about 4 billion years ago), of a particular content, at a particular speed, striking at the right angle, and at a particular time in Earth's development.  This cast off the existing atmosphere and caused a new, thinner, one to form.  Too thick an atmosphere cannot support life.  The additional mass added to the earth, combined with the new atmosphere, allowed water to exist in all three forms on Earth - essential for life to exist.  If any of the variables in this collision had been off by even a little bit, earth could not have supported life.

Our planet must have a moon massive enough and close enough to produce tides sufficient to make tidal pools where life might originate, but not daily tidal waves.

The planets in the solar system must be particularly arranged, and possess particular orbits, to allow life on any planet in the system:


Other planets in the solar system near our planet must have nearly circular horizontal orbits that do not de-stabilize our planet or present a danger to it.


There must be no other planet in orbit around the same star that is big enough to alter the planet's orbit.

Even if a planet has formed that has all the above characteristics, it must also be in a particular location within its galaxy.  Near the center of the galaxy it is too congested - gravitation tugs-of-war and intense radiation would make supporting life impossible. Toward the outer edges, the star population is too sparse for planet building, with too few white dwarf binaries, and a lack of heavy elements from supernovae for building.

Other Considerations:

Our galaxy and Andromeda combined account for nearly 7/8 of the total mass of the small galaxy cluster where we reside.  In other words, it is a sparse cluster.  The vast majorities of galaxies reside in dense clusters, which must be ruled out as being fit for life.

Science has speculated in the past that life could have arisen from a 'pre-biotic soup' over billions of years.  Current scientific evidence shows, however, that life arose much more quickly than that and that there is no evidence for a 'pre-biotic soup'.  All carbonaceous material analyzed comes after life already existed, in other words from the decay of already existing life.

200 design characteristics are required to support life, before even considering the requirements for life to arise from non-life.  Science hasn't catalogued any system with even one of these yet.  150 planets have been spotted since 1995 - not one is Earth-like.

In order for the universe to sustain even one life-supporting planet, the number of stars must be exactly what it is - any more or fewer stars would make life impossible.  Fewer stars would mean that nuclear fusion would be so inefficient that the only elements to form would be hydrogen and helium.  More stars would mean that all the elements would be heavier than iron - no carbon, no nitrogen, no oxygen.  Only in a finely-tuned universe can the elements of life be produced.

We need a just right planet, with a just right sun, placed in a just right location, of a just right spiral galaxy, with a just right mass and a just right sized bulge - the possibility of a planet finding itself in this highly unlikely position seems downright miraculous.

The above is only a tiny part of what is presented in the video.  I highly recommend watching it.

Quotes Referenced:

Physicist Paul Davies, professor of natural philosophy in the Australian Centre for Astrobiology of Macquarie University (former athiest):


"The laws of physics...seem themselves to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design."


"There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all...It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature's numbers to make the universe..the impression of design is overwhelming."


Astronomer Dr. George Greenstein, professor of astronomy at Amherst College (from his book "The Symbiotic Universe"):


"As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently arises that some supernatural agency--or rather Agency--must be involved.  Is it possible that suddenly, without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific proof of the existence of a Supreme Being?  Was it God who stepped in and so providentially crafted the cosmos for our benefit?"


Theoretical physicist Tony Rothman, professor of physics at Bryn Mawr College:


"When confronted with the order and beauty of the universe and the strange coincidences of nature it's very tempting to take the leap of faith from science into religion."


Dr. Arno Penzias, retired vice president and chief scientist at Lucent Technologies, Bell Labs Innovations (he shared the Nobel Prize in physics in 1978 for the discovery of the cosmic background radiation):


"Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of 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."


Dr. Stephen Hawking, Lucasian professor at Cambridge University:


"It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us."


The Creator of the universe must be the Master of all space, time, matter and energy.  Must be powerful enough to create space-time conventions at will, and to exquisitly fine tune an untold number of cosmic characteristics.  More than 200 have been uncovered so far.  The probability of all these known parameters randomly coming together would be 1 chance in 10 to the 215th power - a probability so incredibly tiny that statistially speaking it's impossible.  This probablility is becoming even more remote with each new scientific discovery.

Such a high degree of design demonstrates that the Creator must be a personal being with an amazing creativity, wisdom, power, care and love to a degree far beyond human capability.  He has fine tuned the Milky Way galaxy, the solar system and planet Earth so that spiritual life can be fused with physical life in this one small place, for one brief span on our timeline.

The universe is optimized and fine tuned to a degree that indicates that its Creator desires to be intimately involved in His creation.  It is not accidental, random or coincidental.

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