The Fingerprints of God
In their quest to find evidence of self-starting evolutionary life, scientists have found fingerprints all over the universe—the fingerprints of God. Fine-tuned laws govern the universe and solar system all for the purpose of permitting life to flourish on the Earth. Earth is a habitable home for man because of intelligent design.
Parameters for Life on Earth
Scientists actually identified over 188 parameters within our solar system and 38 parameters elsewhere in the universe. Each of these parameters is so exacting that they could not happen by chance. For example:
If the strong nuclear force were decreased as little as two percent, multi-proton nuclei would not hold together. Hydrogen would be the only element in the universe because the hydrogen atom has only one proton and no neutrons in its nucleus.
If the strong nuclear force were increased as little as two percent, protons and neutrons would attach to many other protons and neutrons. There would be no hydrogen—only other heavy elements. Life chemistry cannot exist without hydrogen, yet it needs more elements than hydrogen.
If the gravitational force were decreased,
stars would be so cool that nuclear fusion, the burning mechanism in the core of stars, would not ignite.
If the gravitational force were increased, stars would be too hot and burn up quickly and unevenly.
If the mass density—the approximately hundred billion trillion stars of the universe—was
decreased, the universe would contain only hydrogen and helium.
If the mass density of the universe was increased,
the universe would contain only elements heavier than iron. The carbon, oxygen and nitrogen necessary for life are only possible in a vast universe with billions of stars.
If the electromagnetic force were increased or decreased, there would be insufficient molecular bonding. Unless the number of electrons is equivalent to the number of protons to an accuracy of one part in
1040 or better, electromagnetism in the universe would have so overcome gravitational forces that galaxies, stars and planets could never have come into existence.
One part in
1040 has been illustrated as follows:
Cover the entire North American continent with dimes stacked up to the moon (230,000 miles). Make a million other piles of dimes of equal size. Paint one dime red and hide it in the billion piles. The odds that a blindfolded person would pick the red dime are one in 1040. This is only one of the delicately balanced parameters that is necessary to allow life on the planet earth.(1)
Additional Parameters for
Life on Earth
Earth’s location in the universe is unique. Nearly all the galaxies of the right age, size and type for supporting life reside in globular clusters (spherical systems with over 100,000 stars). Although they contain millions of stars, the stars are too metal-poor to have inner planets as large as Earth and they contain giant stars too hot to sustain life and too close to one another for planetary orbits.
Instead of residing in a globular cluster, the Milky Way is in a sparsely populated section of the universe with no gravitational tugs from neighboring galaxies. This inactivity has been a major factor in stabilizing our galaxy and the orbit of our sun and has minimized Earth’s exposure to radiation.
Earth’s position in our galaxy is a “window seat” view of the universe.
If our solar system were any closer to the center of the Milky Way, Earth would encounter deadly X-rays and collide with thousands of comets and asteroids. Densely packed neighboring stars would pull Earth’s orbit out of its life sustaining zone. If located farther from the center of our galaxy, our solar system would contain fewer than sufficient heavy elements for the formation of a life-supporting planet.
Our solar system is isolated safely between two spiral arms of the Milky Way.(2) Inside the spiral arms, the star densities are high enough to disrupt the orbits of planets like Earth. Super giant stars residing
inside the spiral arms would expose Earth-like planets to radiation intense enough to damage the planet’s atmospheric layers. The spiral arms are loaded with gas and dust, which would block our view of everything. But Earth’s position
between the spiral arms permits us to see other parts of our galaxy and several hundred billion other galaxies in the universe. Earth sits safely on a “window seat” that provides a clear view of the universe.
The Sun’s orbital position protects planet Earth. Our Sun deviates little from its circular orbit around the center of the Milky Way or from the plane of our galaxy’s disk.(3) The other stars in our galaxy exhibit large deviations from their orbital paths in up and down, back and forth, and side to side random motions. The Sun’s slight orbital deviations of just 13.4 kilometers per second keep our solar system from getting too close to the spiral arms(4-5) and protect us from the deadly radiation from our galaxy’s nucleus and cataclysmic deaths of nearby stars. Our Sun appears to be an average star. However, to be capable of having a planet suited to life as we know it, scientists currently believe that the sun could be no more than 17% smaller or 10% larger.
Earth occupies a uniquely favored orbital and planetary position. Earth’s planetary orbit is stable, not disrupted by giant neighboring planets. If Earth were only a half of a percent closer to the sun, we would experience a run-away greenhouse effect. If as little as four percent closer to the sun, oceans never would have condensed and Earth’s climate would have moved toward the inhospitable hothouse of Venus. If it were only one percent farther from the sun, Earth would become a frozen ice planet like Mars and the outer planets, and atmospheric greenhouse gases would become denser. Lungs could not function under higher air pressures than those found at Earth’s surface.(6)
Earth is just the right distance from the Sun for complex life and ensures that water remains liquid near the surface, not vaporizing or freezing into ice—yet far enough away to avoid tidal lock.
The Moon affects the survival of life on Earth in three ways: Lunar tides, stabilizing the tilt of Earth’s axis, and slowing down Earth’s rate of rotation.(7) The Moon’s gravitational pull on Earth regulates ocean tides, causing the sea waters to be cleansed and their nutrients replenished.
The size and distance of the moon are just right to stabilize Earth’s axis tilt at an angle of 23.5 degrees and keeps the axis from wandering between the gravitational pulls of the Sun and Jupiter.(8) Earth’s tilt angle is a critical factor in maintaining mild climates and regulating the amount of sunlight on the polar and equatorial regions.
The planet Mercury, whose axis angle is nearly perpendicular and who is the closest planet to the Sun, has an extremely hot surface at the horizon and extremely frozen surfaces at the poles. In contrast, the planet Uranus has a 90-degree tilt with one pole exposed to the sunlight for half a year, while the other pole remains in darkness.
The Moon is nearly a third the size of Earth. All the other planets in the solar system have moons which are trivial in weight compared to their mother planet. Not so for the Earth. Our Earth-Moon system has very strongly influenced the magnetic field of the Earth making it one hundred times larger than it should be. This magnetism wraps the Earth in an invisible shield that deflects many of the life-threatening particles streaming from the Sun.
Jupiter shields Earth’s life. Jupiter is ten times the size of Earth and 318 times more massive. Jupiter has maintained a stable orbit around the Sun, balancing gravitationally with the other planets. If Jupiter’s orbit were not stable, gravitational disturbances would spin the planets out of the solar system, escaping the gravitational hold of the Sun. A life-bearing planet ejected into space would have no heat source for warmth and no sunlight energy for photosynthesis.
If Jupiter were farther from Earth or less massive than it is, Earth would be so blasted by asteroid and comet collisions that life could not survive. Like a sentinel, Jupiter purges stray bodies from our solar system. If Jupiter were any closer to Earth or more massive than it is, Jupiter’s gravity would pull Earth outside the zone of habitability and stability.
The Remarkable Planet Earth. Earth’s atmosphere is the right temperature, composition and pressure for plant and animal life. The atmosphere has the right amount of oxygen for photosynthesis, and just enough carbon dioxide and other gases to preserve life.
Oxygen is the most abundant element in the whole Earth (45% by weight and 85% by volume). But in the atmosphere, it is a highly reactive gas that would exist only at trace levels in the atmosphere of a terrestrial planet devoid of life.(9)
Earth’s three ozone layers are perfectly balanced. In the mesosphere (outer layer), the right amount of ozone is needed to regulate life-essential chemical reactions and chemical circulation. In the stratosphere (middle layer), too little ozone would allow too much ultraviolet radiation to get through to Earth’s surface, resulting in the death of many plant and animal species. Too much ozone would diminish the amount of UV radiation reaching Earth’s surface, disturbing nutrient production for plants and vitamin production for animals. In the troposphere (nearest layer), a minimum ozone level is needed to cleanse the atmosphere of natural pollutants. Too much ozone in the troposphere would disrupt animal respiration.(10)
Conclusion: The miraculous parameters for life on earth are fine-tuned into the laws that govern not only our solar system, but also the universe. Not long ago astrophysicist Carl Sagan estimated there were millions of planets in our galaxy capable of sustaining life. But the 188 parameters for life on earth renders Sagan’s estimates sheer speculation. Thus, Professor Ben Zuckerman, an evolutionist at UCLA, countered that Earth is unique in our entire galaxy.(11)
Peter Ward, Professor of Geological Sciences at University of Washington, and Donald Brownlee, Professor of Astronomy at University of Washington and chief scientist of NASA’s Stardust mission, in their highly acclaimed book
Rare Earth have concluded that animal life on Earth is rare in the universe. “Almost all environments in the universe are terrible for life. It’s only Garden of Eden places like Earth where it can exist.”(12) In fact, Earth might well be the only place animal life does exist.
In 1974 Brandon Carter, the British mathematician, coined the term “anthropic principle.” The anthropic principle says that the universe appears “designed” for the sake of human life. All cosmology is
pointing to this direction. (13)
1. James S. Trefil, The Moment of Creation (New York: Collier Books, MacMillan, 1983), 127-137.
2. Ray White III and William C. Keel, “Direct Measurement of the Optical Depth in a Spiral Galaxy,”
Nature 359 (1992), 129-130.
3. Guillermo Gonzales, “Is the Sun Anomalous?” Astronomy & Geophysics, 1999.
4. Walter Dehnen and James J. Binney, “Local Stellar Kinematics from Hipparcos Data,”
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 298 (1998), 387-394.
5. O. Bienayme, Astronomy and Astrophysics 341 (1999), 86.
6. Michael Denton, Nature’s Destiny (New York: The Free Press, 1998), 127-131.
7. Peter D. Ward and Donald Brownlee, Rare Earth (New York: Copernicus, Springer-Verlag, 2000), xxviii, xxvii, 222-6.
8. Ibid., 36-40.
9. Ibid., 245.
10. Paul Crutzen and Mark Lawrence, “Ozone Clouds over the Atlantic,”
Nature 388 (1997), 625.
11. J. Achenbach, “Life Beyond Earth,” National Geographic, Jan. 2000, 29.
12. New York Times, February 8, 2001, F1
13. Brandon Carter, Large Number Coincidences and the Anthropic Principle in Cosmology (Boston, MA: Dordrecht-Holland, D. Reidel, 1974), 291-298.