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The Universe – Seven Requirements to Sustain Life

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The Universe

Seven Requirements to Sustain Life

Before evolutionists can attempt to “prove” the theory of evolution as fact, they must begin with the idea of a pre-existing, stable, biologically-favorable universe. But can such a tailor-made environment evolve from blind chance? Or was it actually the result of careful, creative forethought?

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Evolutionists’ assumptions of a creation without a Creator should not go unchallenged. Mathematical probabilities alone disprove the mere existence of matter coming about by random chance. Even the existence of a universe containing biological life prohibits any possibility of countless intricate balances occurring by chance.

Yet, evolution ignores the overwhelming probabilities prohibiting the existence of this creation by random chance.

This article will focus only upon seven of the numerous, very specific conditions required in order for matter to exist in a form that is favorable to sustain life. Once we proceed beyond the rudimentary existence of matter, numerous other hurdles would still have to be accounted for. 

Thus, this article will not begin to address such remaining factors as the orbits of the earth and moon, the precise tilt of the earth, issues of temperature, pressure, composition of the atmosphere and its filtration of radiation, the continuous water cycle and numerous other requirements for biological life to thrive.

The following seven requirements are usually expressed in highly technical terms. While diligent effort has been made to relay this information in more understandable terms, the concepts may be relatively complicated. Where a technical term appears, it is because no equivalent term exists that could be substituted without missing the point.

Requirement 1: Neutron Mass ≈ Proton Mass

The sun is made up mostly of hydrogen and helium. At the sun’s core, hydrogen is converted to helium through a nuclear reaction, releasing energy. In this process, when two protons collide, one of the protons changes into a neutron. The two bond together, forming a new particle, known as a deuteron, consisting of one proton and one neutron.

The instantaneous change of a proton into a neutron is possible because the mass of both particles are nearly the same. The particle of greater mass will generally transform into a particle of lesser mass by giving up a tiny percentage of its mass during the collision. A neutron is about one part in 1,000 greater in mass than a proton—nearly identical. Thus, the formation of deuterons in the sun’s core would never take place if the neutron mass was significantly greater or less than the proton. In short, deuterons would not form unless the relative mass of each particle was within 0.1 percent of the other.

Stars are able to produce nuclear energy through the formation of deuterons. Without this critical process, no star would produce enough sustained energy to support life on any planet orbiting around it. Deuterons are vital to sustaining the sun’s thermonuclear reaction, which provides sufficient energy to sustain life on earth.

The lifetime of a neutron, when outside of the nucleus, is about 15 minutes, in which it decays into a proton and an electron. If a neutron were only 0.998 of its actual size, free protons (particles that are not part of a nucleus) would then decay into neutrons—and atoms simply would not exist! In such a case, free protons would decay into neutrons, and—since the nucleus of a hydrogen atom is simply a free proton—hydrogen could not exist!

Thus, a relative mass change of even the slightest proportions between neutrons and protons would eliminate hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe. Consider: Without hydrogen, water (H2O)—the basic solvent for all biological life—would not exist. In short, if the relative mass of protons vs. neutrons deviated beyond 0.001 percent—life could not exist!

Is it logical to believe that such mathematical precision could evolve over a long period of time? Or that it could come about instantaneously without forethought of planning?

Consider how such slim possibilities greatly undermine the assumptions that evolutionists merely take for granted.

Requirement 2: Proton Charge = Electron Charge

Scientists have been able to measure and compare the relative proton and electron charge within atoms, and have established that these charges can only differ by less than one part in 1,000,000,000,000,000 (one quadrillion). Therefore, since the charge of the electron is of equal magnitude to the charge of the proton, atoms tend to maintain a neutral charge.

However, if one of these charged particles differed by only one part in 1,000,000,000 (one billion), then an atom would no longer be electrically neutral. If the proton charge were greater, atoms would be electrically positive. If the electron charge were greater, then atoms would become electrically negative. In such cases, atoms would no longer be neutral, but would possess a definite charge—positive or negative. Since like charges repel, in such a case there would be repulsion between atoms of elements—and solid matter could not exist!

The thin line of tolerance of this electrical charge is extremely intricate. What is the probability that the charge of these particles would be almost identical, if the universe occurred by chance—without any design from an intelligent mind?

Requirement 3: Strong Nuclear Force

The force that binds the particles of the atomic nucleus together is called the strong nuclear force. If the strong nuclear force were only about three percent stronger, then all the hydrogen in the universe would have long since been transformed into helium! Such an increased force would cause two protons to form a helium nucleus lacking a neutron (diproton). Since the strong nuclear force is not quite strong enough to bring about this reaction, we have hydrogen in abundance, so vital for an environment favorable for life—providing for water, and energy for the sun. Stars fueled exclusively by helium would be relatively short-lived, and may even explode during their formation process.

If the strong nuclear force were about five percent stronger, diprotons would form in the sun’s core, making the thermonuclear reactions many millions of times more efficient. This would cause its thermonuclear fuel to be used up in a short span of time, relatively speaking.

Now suppose the strong nuclear force was reduced to a hundredth of its normal strength—then what? Protons would repel each other in the nucleus. Hence, no elements could exist other than hydrogen, which has only one proton!

Now suppose that the strong nuclear force was reduced by one-third of its normal capacity. In such a case, there could exist a number of elements. All these elements, including carbon and oxygen, would be unstable, with relatively short lifetimes. If planets existed under such conditions, they would be extremely radioactive due to the continuous decay of unstable elements.

If the strong nuclear force were reduced by only five percent, then deuterons could not exist. Remember that deuterons are crucial for the sustained nuclear reaction of the sun. The strong nuclear force, as the other requirements thus covered, has to fall within a relatively narrow range in order for a favorably balanced universe to sustain life.

Again, what is the probability that the universe came into existence by random chance?

Stop and think about the careful creative forethought that has to precede even the existence of matter, since blind chance could never have come up with the exact combination of such infinite possibilities.

Requirement 4: Epsilon Constant ≈ Gravitational Fine Structure

Concerning the universe, if the epsilon constant (factor pertaining to gravitational forces) deviated only slightly in one direction in relation to gravitational fine structure, all stars would be red dwarfs. (Dwarf stars—generally, white dwarfs—are the remaining cores of stars that have essentially completed their life cycles. After the remaining nuclear fuel is expended, these cores eventually become dark cinders.)

If the epsilon constant deviated in the other direction, all stars would intensify into blue giants—huge stars with energy levels of enormous intensity. As an example, of two stars in the neighborhood of our sun, Rigel, a blue giant, is over five times hotter than Betelgeuse, a red supergiant in the later stages of its life cycle that will eventually collapse into a white dwarf.

Although the definition of these two forces is beyond the scope of this article, a summary of these definitions will serve to show how intricate these ranges truly are.  The epsilon constant is defined as the fine structure constant to the twelfth power, multiplied by the electron/proton mass ratio to the fourth power. The value of the epsilon constant in the universe is expressed as 2.0e-39 (0.00000000000000000000000 0000000000000002). This is an extremely delicate force that has to be maintained without even the slightest deviation—else the universe could not exist in a stable condition. The value of the gravitational fine structure force is 5.9e-39. This force, relative to the epsilon constant, is equally critical for the stability of the universe. On a calibrated instrument one kilometer long, the tolerance of the range of this force could be no wider than one millimeter.

The pressures needed for life to exist on earth would become enormously complicated if our sun were a blue giant. The intensity of the radiation would be such that the earth would have to be removed far beyond Pluto’s current location in relation to the sun. Such an orbit would impose a host of unbalanced conditions hostile for biological life to continue. For example, in such an orbit, a year would exceed a decade!

On the other hand, if our sun were a red dwarf, the earth would have to be much closer to it than Mercury is currently located. Many of the same problems that have made Mercury hostile for life would exist on Earth—only much worse. At such a close distance, a red dwarf’s gravitational forces would virtually prevent the earth from rotating. The side facing it would overheat, while the dark side would lose most of its heat, resulting in a temperature differential that would quickly dissipate the gases in the atmosphere.

Scientists agree that neither a blue giant nor a red dwarf can support life on an orbiting planet. Yet, the exact balance of the epsilon constant relative to the gravitational fine structure force is required for biological life to exist. The slightest deviation in one direction or the other would cause all the stars in the universe to quickly develop into either blue giants or red dwarfs.

What are the chances that an un-designed, random universe would somehow “find” this thin, hairline range of tolerance and never deviate from such an intricate balance?

Requirement 5: Primordial Escape Velocity = Primordial Expansion Velocity

Consider the primordial expansion velocity, the speed at which the universe has to expand in order to escape the inward pull of the gravity of all the universe. The primordial escape velocity (essentially the cumulative gravitational force of the universe) is the opposite force, which is precisely equal to the primordial expansion velocity.

If the primordial expansion velocity had been only one part in a million greater than the primordial escape velocity, the universe would have expanded so rapidly that matter could not have formed together into galaxies!

On the other hand, if the primordial expansion velocity had been only one part in a million less than the primordial escape velocity, then the matter of the universe would have formed into black holes instead of galaxies. In such a case, there would be no stars radiating energy to supply heat and light.

What are the chances that these two intricate forces could balance each other with precisely equal values in an un-designed, random universe?

Requirement 6: The Cosmological Constant ≈ 0

The cosmological constant is somewhat related to the primordial escape velocity. The expanding universe is inhibited by the cumulative force of gravity from all the galaxies. This force is analogous to the propulsion of a rocket, which must overcome earth’s gravity, which would otherwise hold it back. The force of gravity that inhibits the expansion of the universe is such that this force decreases as distance increases. Imagine such a force with opposite characteristics, in that it increases with distance, causing the universe to expand more rapidly. This opposite force is called the cosmological constant.

The value of the cosmological constant is very close to zero. To express the actual value of this constant, it would be written as less than 0.000000000000000000000000000000001 per square meter. Suppose this cosmological constant were to increase to the level of 0.0001 per square meter. In this case, a distortion of spacetime would take place over any distance more than a few kilometers. Under these conditions, one who traveled more than a few kilometers would not be able to return to his place of origin.

If the value of the cosmological constant were decreased from 0.0001 to only 0.0000000001, then the distortion of spacetime would not take effect until one traveled about one-tenth of the distance to the sun. Even with this “slightly improved” level, planets would not be able to have suitable orbits around stars. It is not necessary to understand the concept of spacetime, but rather to appreciate the precision of the cosmological constant in order for the universe to exist as we know it.

Scientists indicate that there would exist only a very few stars if a different cosmological constant permitted a different rate of expansion to occur. The optimum rate of expansion that did occur allowed for the formation of the maximum range of stars in all the myriads of galaxies. As mentioned in the previous section, a faster rate of expansion would have prevented the formation of stars. A slower rate would have caused matter to form into black holes instead of galaxies. (Black holes are theorized to be the result of the runaway collapse of very massive stars. Not even light can escape the crushing gravity of tiny black holes—usually only about five miles in diameter.)

The correct level of the cosmological constant incorporated 32 zeros in this minute number that approaches the value of zero. If the extremely delicate force only had less than 30 zeros, then the expansion of the universe would have been explosive, allowing no stars to form. Had this number been decreased to more than 34 zeros, then the expansion would have been overcome by gravity, resulting in an inevitable collapse of the universe. This very sensitive and intricate force had to stabilize at an optimal value very close to zero in order for the universe to form.

The probability is virtually nil that such an optimum value could have been established by random chance!

Again, do not worry if you do not fully grasp these technical concepts. Our goal is to help you appreciate how this could never have happened apart from the careful planning of a Creator and Designer.

Requirement 7: Weak Nuclear Force

The weak nuclear force allows a proton to change into a neutron at the optimum rate. If this force were only slightly smaller, then all of the hydrogen in the universe would have long since been changed into helium. As covered earlier, hydrogen is an essential part of the water molecule—and water is essential for all biological life.

Two types of thermonuclear reactions take place in any star in the production of energy. The first reaction (discussed in Requirement 1) involves the formation of a deuteron as two protons collide, producing one proton and one neutron bound together.

The second reaction occurs when a deuteron collides with a proton, producing a light helium nucleus with an emission of energy. Unless the weak nuclear force existed at the specified magnitude as occurs in the universe, deuterons would never form in the first reaction. The rate of transformation into deuterons is actually a very small percentage of the collisions involving two protons. Yet this restrained rate of reaction—caused by the strong nuclear force relative to the weak nuclear force—is what allows the sun’s thermonuclear reaction to be maintained at a favorable and sustainable rate.

If the value of this weak nuclear force were only slightly diminished, the energy-producing thermonuclear reactions of stars would simply cease! If this value were slightly increased, then the reactions would greatly intensify, burning up all available fuel in a relatively short time, by cosmic standards.

By being at an optimum level with respect to the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force allows the sustained reactions of the sun and stars to occur at a rate favorable for biological life!

What Are the Probabilities?

Universe Analyzer, a software program popular on engineering campuses a few years back, helped in calculating the mathematical probability of an un-designed universe meeting the seven requirements for the existence of life. Some of the information in this article was condensed and summarized from this program.

This software demonstrated how remote the probabilities were for all of these requirements to be met purely by random chance. One demonstration featured a total of 2,129 separate universe models. These models give a realistic picture of what the chances would be, given various requirements being met by random chance. Below is the list as to how many requirements were met.

• Models meeting 1 of the 7 requirements—404

• Models meeting 2 of the 7 requirements—8

• Models meeting 3 of the 7 requirements—0

• Models meeting 4 of the 7 requirements—0

• Models meeting 5 of the 7 requirements—0

• Models meeting 6 of the 7 requirements—0

• Models meeting 7 of the 7 requirements—0

Notice that of the 2,129 separate universe models, only 404 met at least one requirement by random chance. (The only requirements for which the random number generation program were able to qualify were requirements 1, 3, 4 and 7.)

Of the 2,129 models, only eight met two of the necessary requirements. Not a single model was able to meet three or more. The program user could alter the parameters to differ from the forces and constants found in the universe and score a higher probability than the demonstration covered. The point is this: Given the constants, forces and other parameters in the known universe, the probability of these seven requirements being met by chance would be nil for millions upon millions of separate models conducted continually across time!

A few decades ago, Harlow Shapley, a noted astronomer, made an interesting admission that still defines the predicament that evolutionists have always faced: “We appear, therefore, to be rather helpless with regard to explaining the origin of the universe. But once it is set going, we can do a little better at interpretation” (The Evolution of Life, Vol. 1).

Once evolution is allowed the assumption of an orderly universe favorable for life, they “do a little better” in explaining how life might have evolved. However, the origin of such a universe can never be assumed—it simply could not have occurred without detailed, creative forethought.

The Great Designer

There is an intelligent mind behind the origin of the universe. And this Personage unabashedly states that He had a purpose for doing so, proclaiming His power, authority and sovereignty to carry out His will. Isaiah 45:12 states, “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even My hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” Then, in verse 18, He continues, “For thus says the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He has established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.”

One method by which we can prove the existence of this Being is to recognize that any and all hypotheses for the existence of a creation without a Creator have been overwhelmingly flawed—in every case!

The One who brought the creation together asserts that He “stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in” (Isa. 40:22). Then, in verse 26, He declares, “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who has created these things, that brings out their host by number: He calls them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one fails.” To those whose minds are receptive, God leaves no doubt as being the Author of the entire creation. Those who prefer alternate theories He leaves to their own devices—for now.

At a future time when God reveals Himself to the world in general, mankind will understand who this Creator is and why their minds were previously closed to accept and submit to His ways. Yet, those who seek to learn of Him now, and prove His existence, stand to gain more than just the understanding of the origin of the universe. That is only the starting point. It opens up possibilities so transcendent that it answers questions mankind has not yet begun to ask!

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