Our universe is a collection of material condensed by ‘gravity, formed through processes that created galaxies, stars, planets, molecules, atoms, and nuclei. The universe is made, of material held together by nuclear and electromagnetic forces that result in the existence of simple atoms and complex human beings. The universe looks like it was made for life and scientists have strained to find homey metaphors to help lay people appreciate just how remarkable this is!
Tony Hewish, a Nobel Prize-winning astronomer, says the accuracy of just one of the forces involved is comparable to getting the mix of flour and sugar right to within one grain of sugar in a cake ten times the mass of the sun. Or it’s the equivalent of getting a hole in one in golf when the distance between the tee and the hole is thirteen times the distance between Earth and Pluto.
Fred Hoyle, who we saw above, called the universe a “put up job”. Freeman Dyson, another great scientist who had the soul of a poet put it like this in his biography Disturbing the Universe: “The more I examine the universe and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming.” Agnostics, skeptics, deists, and orthodox Christians have all looked at this state of affairs and concluded that there is “Something Else” going on, in addition to what science has discovered.
John Polkinghorne, mathematical physicist
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