In 1966 Carl Sagan announced that there are only two important criteria for a planet to support life, which meant that a septillion planets (1 with 24 zeros) were capable of supporting life in the universe. Now researchers have learned that there are over 200 parameters required to support life, which has reduced the odds of a single planet (ours, for instance) being able to support life to less than zero, suggesting that we shouldn’t be here.
The odds against life in the universe are astonishing. Yet, there is life here on earth. Did all those parameters happen by accident? “At what point is it fair to admit that science suggests that we cannot be the result of random forces?” wrote a Wall Street Journal columnist. “Doesn’t assuming that an intelligence created these perfect conditions require far less faith than believing that a life-sustaining Earth just happened to beat the inconceivable odds to come into being?”
But that’s not all. The fine-tuning necessary for life to exist on a planet is nothing compared with the fine-tuning required for the universe itself to exist at all. Alter any one tiny value and the universe could not exist, stars could not have been formed. The odds against the universe existing are so “heart-stoppingly astronomical” that the idea that it ‘just happened’ defies common sense. It’s like tossing a coin and having it come up heads 10 quintillion times in a row.”
Even Fred Hoyle, the astronomer who coined the term “big bang,” said that his atheism was “greatly shaken” by the astronomical odds. He later wrote that “a common-sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology… The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”
Theoretical physicist Paul Davies has said that “the appearance of design is overwhelming” and Oxford professor Dr. John Lennox has said “the more we get to know about our universe, the more the hypothesis that there is a Creator… gains in credibility as the best explanation of why we are here.”
“The greatest miracle of all time, without any close seconds, is the universe. It is the miracle of all miracles, one that ineluctably points with the combined brightness of every star to something—or Someone—beyond itself.”
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1