The information below has been documented (among other places) in a book titled “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist” by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek. It describes something called the Anthropic Principle, which basically describes how the universe seems to be specifically designed for life as we know it today.
Scientists say that there are 122 known anthropic constants. If any one of these were to vary beyond a very small margin, life would be impossible. Taken this information, it seems even less likely that, as atheists say, nothing turned itself into everything. Perhaps the universe looks so designed because it’s beginnings are due to a designer. That takes a lot less faith to believe than to believe that this was all an accident.
Here are the details as documented…
Scientists are now finding that the universe in which we live is like a diamond studded Rolex, except the universe is even more precisely designed than the watch. In fact, the universe is specifically tweaked to enable life on earth. A planet with scores of improbable and inter-dependent life-supporting conditions that make it a tiny oasis in a vast and hostile universe….
These highly precise and interdependent environmental conditions (which are called “Anthropic Constants”) make up what is known as the “Anthropic Principle.” “Anthropic” comes from the Greek word that means “human” or “man”. The “Anthropic Principal” is just a fancy title for the mounting evidence that has many scientists believing that the universe is extremely fine-tuned (designed) to support human life here on earth.
It’s not that there are just a few broadly defined constants that may have resulted by chance. No, there are more than 100 very narrowly defined constants that strongly point to an intelligent Designer.
Astrophysicist Hugh Ross has calculated the probability that these and other constants (122 in all) would exist today for any planet in the universe by chance (i.e., without Divine design). Assuming there are 10^22 planets in the universe (a very large number: 1 with 22 zeros following it), his answer is shocking; one chance in 10^138, that’s one chance in one with 138 zeros after it. There are only about 10^70 atoms in the entire universe.
In effect, there is zero chance that any planet in the universe would have the life-supporting conditions we have, unless there is an intelligent Designer behind it all.
Here are fifteen of them.
Anthropic Constant 1: Oxygen Level
On earth, oxygen comprises 21 percent of the atmosphere. That precise figure is an Anthropic Constant that makes life on earth possible. If oxygen were 25% fires would erupt spontaneously, if it were 15%, human beings would suffocate.
Anthropic Constant 2: Atmospheric Transparency
If the atmosphere were less transparent, not enough solar radiation would reach the earth’s surface. If it were more transparent we would be bombarded with far too much solar radiation down here. (In addition to atmospheric transparency, the atmospheric composition of precise levels of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and ozone are in themselves anthropic constants).
Anthropic Constant 3: Moon-Earth Gravitational Interaction
If the interaction were greater than it currently is, tidal effects on the oceans, atmosphere, and rotational period would be too severe. If it were less, orbital changes would cause climatic instabilities. In either event, life on earth would be impossible.
Anthropic Constant 4: Carbon Dioxide Level
If the CO2 level were [significantly] higher than it is now, a runaway greenhouse effect would develop (we’d all burn up). If the level were [significantly] lower than it is now, plants would not be able to maintain efficient photosynthesis (we’d all suffocate).
Anthropic Constant 5: Gravity
If the gravitational force were altered by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent, our sun would not exist, and, therefore neither would we. Talk about precision.
Anthropic Constant 6: Centrifugal Force
If the centrifugal force of planetary movements did not precisely balance the gravitational forces, nothing could be held in orbit around the sun.
Anthropic Constant 7: Rate Of Expansion
If the universe had expanded at a rate one millionth more slowly than it did, expansion would have stopped and the universe would have collapsed on itself before any stars had formed. If it had expanded faster, then no galaxies would have formed.
Anthropic Constant 8: Speed Of Light
Any of the laws of physics can be described as a function of the velocity of light (now defined to be 299,792,458 meters per second). Even a slight variation in the speed of light would alter the other constants and preclude the possibility of life on earth.
Anthropic Constant 9: Water Vapor Levels
If water vapor levels in the atmosphere were greater than they are now, a runaway greenhouse effect would cause temperatures to rise too high for human life. If they were less, an insufficient greenhouse effect would make the earth to cold to support human life.
Anthropic Constant 10: Jupiter
If Jupiter were not in its current orbit, the earth would be bombarded with space material. Jupiter’s gravitational field acts as a cosmic vacuum cleaner, attracting asteroids and comets that might otherwise strike earth.
Anthropic Constant 11: The Earth’s Crust
If the thickness of the earth’s crust were greater, too much oxygen would be transferred to the crust to support life. If it were thinner, volcanic and tectonic activity would make life impossible.
Anthropic Constant 12: The Earth’s Rotation
If the rotation of the earth took longer than 24 hours, temperature differences would be too great between night and day. If the rotation period were shorter, atmospheric wind velocities would be to great.
Anthropic Constant 13: Axis Tilt
The 23-degree axis tilt of the earth is just right. If the tilt were altered slightly, surface temperatures would be too extreme on earth.
Anthropic Constant 14: Atmospheric Discharge
If the atmospheric discharge (lightning) rate were greater, there would be too much fire destruction; if it were less there would be too little nitrogen in the soil.
Anthropic Constant 15: Seismic Activity
If there were more seismic activity, much more life would be lost; if there were less, nutrients on the ocean floors and in river runoff would not be cycled back to the continents through tectonic uplift. (Yes, even earthquakes are necessary to sustain life as we know it.)