HOW GREAT THOU ART

 

We have a natural curiosity. We want to know about the universe and our place in it. We want to know where it came from and why it is the way it is. In the Bible, Paul said to “Test everything. Hold on to the good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). The Bible encourages exploration of the truth.

With use of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field telescope astronomers have calculated that there are 200 billion galaxies in the observable universe. These 200 billion galaxies contain, on average about 200 billion stars each. So the total number of stars in these galaxies adds up to about 40 billion trillion – and that’s without the estimated 10 billion trillion stars contained in the unobserved dwarf galaxies. Somewhere around 50 billion trillion stars make their home in the observable universe. (Ross, 2008 ).

That number is difficult for us to imagine! Furthermore astrophysicist tells us that the universe must be as large as it is or human life would not be possible.

We should stand in reverence of a God so immense to make all that and call it the work of his fingers!

Psalm 147 tells us “He counts the number of the stars, He calls them all by name. “Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth. And my right hand has stretched out the heavens: when I call to them, they stand up together” (Isaiah 48:13)

The universe is so finely tuned to support life that it is impossible to believe that all the numerous coincidences could have happened without a divine intelligence. Most scientists believe that the universe was brought into existence intentionally for the sake of producing mankind.

Ross, (2008) explains that the mass of the universe is fine-tuned to provide two life-essential features simultaneously: (1) the just-right amounts and diversity of elements, and (2) the just-right expansion rates throughout cosmic history so that certain types of stars and planets form at the just-right times and in the just-right locations. Fine-tuning to provide two life-essential characteristics at once hints louder than a whisper at purposeful design. So does the degree of fine-tuning.

This degree of fine-tuning is so great that it is as if right after the universe’s beginning someone could have destroyed the possibility of life within it by subtracting a single dime’s mass from the whole of the observable universe or adding a single dime’s mass to it.

Dr. David D. Deutsch, Institute of Mathematics, Oxford University writes “The really amazing thing is not that life on Earth is balanced on a knife-edge, but that the entire universe is balanced on a knife- edge, and would be total chaos if any of the natural ‘constants’ were off even slightly. You see, “David adds, “even if you dismiss man as a chance happening, the fact remains that the universe seems unreasonably suited to the existence of life – almost contrived- you might say a “put-up job.” (The Fine Tuning of the Universe, Science and Medicine Journal)

How does what science tells us fit with what the bible tells us about creation?

Astronomers, astrophysicist and most scientists agree that the age of the universe is 13.73 billion years old. That seems like a long time but that represents the minimum time necessary to prepare a home for humans. The universe did not contain the variety and concentrations of elements necessary to make planets and advanced life possible until after three generations of stars formed, burned and scattered their ashes into the space between the stars. The creation of the heavy elements and radioactive isotopes took at least 9 billion years of heavy-element manufacture in solar furnaces. That’s how long it would have taken, to provide for a heavy-metal-rich planet such as Earth. And slightly more than 4.5 billion years ago, just as that essential abundance first became available, Earth’s solar system developed. Timing was perfect for a life inhabitable solar system to form 9.2 billion years after the beginning of the universe – no sooner, and no later. Human arrival and survival on the scene depended on the Sun’s having reached a particular degree of brightness. This level was not reached until the Sun was about 4.5 billion years old.

The earth at 4.5 billion years, with various forms of life, including humans, formed gradually over time. So what about the creation accounts in Genesis that holds that the earth was created in six days.

One of the most accepted theories is called the day-age theory that attempts to reconcile this view by believing that the creation “days” were not ordinary 24-hour days, but actually lasted for long periods of time (as day-age implies, the “days” each lasted an age). The Genesis account is then reconciled with the age of the earth. The theory is said to be built on the understanding that the Hebrew word yom is also used to refer to a time period, with a beginning and an end and not necessarily that of a 24-hour day.

Life did not appear by accident but it suggests a supernatural agent formed different life forms in incremental stages, and day-age planets were not even possible in the universe until several generations of stars had created the necessary heavy elements.

It is beyond our ability to even imagine a God that could create a vast universe with a thought and his word. Our creator planned every detail – a universe of 50 billion trillion stars, plus a hundred times more matter. He fine- tuned every minute detail for human existence to mind-boggling precision. He did this because of the great love he has for us. HOW GREAT THOU ART!

The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms–this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men. Albert Einstein

References

Ross, Hugh, (2008) “Why the Universe is the Way It Is”, Baker Books

Steinman M, Schroeder G, The Fine Tuning of the Universe, 2000 Science and Medicine, accessed@ www.aish.com , April 7, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

By carol

Carol Ann Bailey EdD, Retired Associate Vice Chancellor, Regional Programs Assistant Professor, Director of Center for Rural Health, Retired, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

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