The Universe Looks Like a Fine-Tuned Fix
“Scripture and Tradition never cease to teach and celebrate this fundamental truth: ‘The world was made for the glory of God.’” (CCC 293)
Cosmologist Fred Hoyle, a contemporary of Father George Lemaître — the Catholic priest who discovered and identified the Big Bang — was an atheist until his studies of the universe made him realize there are far too many “coincidences” everywhere he looked. The realization prompted him to say, “It was as if a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics.” After a lifelong pas de deux with materialistic atheism, Hoyle came to believe in God. He died in August 2001 and has certainly come to meet the Creator he theorized.
Interestingly, it was Hoyle who first derisively named Father Lemaître’s “Cosmic Egg” the “Big Bang Theory.” But the yolk was on him as the name “Big Bang” stuck. And now we have a generally delightful — subsequently canceled — CBS television comedy named after Father Lemaître’s theory of universal expansion.
And the fact is, Hoyle was right: There is far too much proof for even the most closed-minded person to deny that God exists.
Many other scientists have been astonished to find that certain elements, structures, aspects, configurations, processes, occurrences and developments ever occurred in the first place. These researchers’ shock and awe at these incredible complexities has led them all to calculate the odds of any of these aspects of every happening.
One scientist described one situation as being a one-in-10-quadrillion shot (i.e., 10,000 trillion) chance while another had a one-in-septillion (i.e., 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) chance of occurring.
It’s simply impossible that the universe brought itself into existence despite the very laws of science declaring only the opposite could be true and so fine-tuned itself — by accident — so that it could, in 13.6 billion years’ time, then initiate the only cognitively-capable, sentient mind in the known universe whose mind “coincidently” meshes perfectly with the very laws of mathematics and logic that led to the universe’s initial foundation 13.6 billion years ago.
There are other such impossible impossibilities in creating a universe from literally nothing, but the most devastating blow against atheist sensibilities might be Oxford University Roger Penrose’s 1989 book, The Emperor’s New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics, where he wrote that the odds of the initial low entropy state of the early universe obtaining by chance alone was 1 in 10^10^123.
This number is so inconceivably tiny, that if it were to written out in decimal form, it would require 3.28 x 10^80 zeros — just slightly short of a centillion (i.e., a googol’s worth). There are more atoms in the entire universe than there is space on the entire internet to write out this number in its numerical form.
But this is merely the initial salvo. There are 125 such impossibilities that had to happened in a precise orderly sequence to bring about sentient homo sapiens. That means we need to multiply the first figure with 900 zeros with the above unwieldy number with nearly 100 zeros to come to with a new figure of 1 followed by 90,000 zeros. And, as a mathematician colleague of mine once told me, “After the third decimal point, it’s effectively impossible.”
This number is more than devastatingly “inconvenient” for atheists. But as Ven. Fulton Sheen often pointed out, atheism is not the objective and clear-minded scientific assessment that God doesn’t exist. Rather, it’s the deep-rooted desire and fervent hope that he doesn’t exist. If science presumes upon God’s non-existence, then atheists have to explain why it is that the Catholic Church has always been so adamant to defend and promote it.
Consider if the situation were reversed and atheists could show, to the same mesmerizingly impossible degree that the universe had to have manifestly started without the assistance of a Creator, they would roundly and rightly laugh at theists who “denied science.”
It is mathematically certain that God exists, no matter who fears the truth of this fact. The numbers don’t lie.
- cosmic fine-tuning
- big bang