Converging and Convincing Proof of God: The Improbability of it All
This probability of the existence of a world capable of sustaining biological life is so improbable as to render the probability virtually nil, especially in a universe that is only 13.7 billion years old according to science. This suggests some sort of intelligent, supernatural intervention had to intervene to even out the odds, to wit, God.
It was Newton's view that the universe had existed for an infinite amount of time, and that it encompassed an infinite amount of space and infinite amount of interacting content. Now that scientists have empirical evidence that the universe is not infinite, but rather limited in historical time, one of the most significant arguments that science had against creation has suffered a serious blow.
The issue has to do with the improbability of it all. For everything to have fit together to result in life as we know it is highly improbable. An event that is highly improbable becomes possible, perhaps even likely, if the time during which the improbable act might occur is infinite.
If I have one chance in a million to win the lottery on any given day, it is very unlikely that I will win if I only play a day. However, if I have a one chance in a million to win the lottery on any given day, and I have the chance to play for one hundred million days, it becomes probable that I will win at least once during the span of those hundred million days.
For the same reason, belief that the universe existed for an infinite time allowed for the most highly improbable events to be argued as possible, even probable.
The Big Bang theory--which limited the age of the universe to 13.7 billion years--changed the probability of it all.
To be sure, there is still a long time for highly improbable events to occur. According to Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., given the 13.7 billion years, the total possibilities for interaction of mass energy expressed in minimum units of mass and time is 10 to the 120th power. This, of course, is a huge number, one even unimaginable to us, but it is far, far less than the infinity that Newton and until recently the majority of other scientists thought we had to play the probability game.
Now, the odds against a low-energy universe emerging from the Big Bang (the kind of universe we enjoy, i.e., an anthropic universe) is, according to the Penrose number, 10 to the 10 to the 123rd power.
Compared to the Penrose number, the number 10 to the 120th power is an infinitesimally small number, which means that there is an extreme improbability of our sort of universe arising out of mere chance. In short, it appears that maybe something, or perhaps even Someone, in the famous words of the British astrophysicist Fred Hoyle, has "has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology," and indeed all of existence. There is, it would appear, Mind and Act behind it all.
This is not the proper venue to go over the specifics involved in calculating probabilities. For those interested in the more technical aspects of this, Robert J. Spitzer, S.J.'s book New Proofs for the Existence of God published by Eerdman's is recommended. Briefly, it has to do with an assembly of the improbabilities of a whole lot of improbable requirements that had to be in place for our universe to be the kind of universe that it is.
In those equations that physicists use to describe the physical world, there are what we call universal constants. These are fixed constants based upon the kind of world that we live in, and these fixed constants (which are dimensionless or dimensioned numbers) are what determine the interrelationship between space, time, and energy.
Some examples of these universal constants include the "Planck minimums" of space and time, the speed of light, the gravitational attraction constant, the weak force coupling constant, the strong force coupling constant, and a whole slew of others (Spitzer identifies 20 such universal constants of space and time, energy, individuation, and large-scale and fine-structure constants, though there are more than that).
If these constants fall outside of a very narrow range, what Spitzer says is a "closed range," there would be no universe as we know it. However, the range of possible values that these fixed constants could be is quite a broad, almost infinitely variable range, an "open range," ...
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