A Universe Designed

March 26, 2017
a-universe-designed

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Topic Notes

Introduction to the Teleological Argument.

A proof for the existence of God

It is a part of the Cumulative Case for Christianity.

William Lane Craig said, “The ancient Greek philosophers were impressed with the order that pervades the cosmos, and many of them ascribed that order to the work of an intelligent mind who fashioned the universe.”

Aristotle and Plato (not Christians, but genius philosophers) believed in God or gods.
They said there was some kind of INTELLIGENT MIND who designed the Universe.
Their examples: Order of the motion of stars; the intelligibility and order of the cosmos

The Teleological Argument – Probably the oldest and most popular

  1. All designs imply a designer.
  2. There is a great design in the universe.
  3. Therefore, there must be a Great Designer of the universe.

Examples of design:

  • A watch
  • A guitar
  • A car

Complexity and Specificity matter.

William Paley and the Watch.

William Lane Craig: “Nothing, Aquinas reasons, that lacks consciousness tends toward a goal unless it is under the direction of someone with consciousness and intelligence. For example, the arrow does not tend toward the bull’s eye unless it is aimed by the archer. Therefore, everything in nature must be directed towards its goal by someone with intelligence, and this we call ‘God'”

Romans 1:20 – General Revelation

Is there great design in the Universe?

  1. The earth is exactly the correct distance from the sun to support human life, neither too far to be too cold or too near to be too hot.
  2. The frequency of sun spots also falls within the acceptable ranges needed for human life. Less sunspots would result in earth becoming too cold for habitation, while more sunspots would result in it becoming too hot.

Robert Jastrow, an astrophysicist and was the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has said: ‘Now we see how the astronomical evidence supports the biblical view of the origin of the world …. The essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same. Consider the enormousness of the problem: Science has proved that the universe exploded into being at a certain moment. It asks what cause produced this effect? Who or what put the matter and energy into the Universe? And science cannot answer these questions…’

Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer, SETI INSTITUTE: “The bottom line actually, when people ask ‘why do you think that they’re (aliens) out there’ is that the Universe is extraordinarily rich, extraordinarily vast… so unless there is something very very special, miraculous if you will… extraordinarily unusual about [earth], then what happened here must have happened many times.”

Balance that equation: There is the number of stars, the number of trials if you will. But the other side is the factors. It takes a lot of factors to have a habitable planet in a planetary system.”

  1. The chemical properties of water are exquisitely suited for carbon-based life
  2. There is a small habitable zone for the Earth. If the Earth was 5% closer to the sun we would have runaway greenhouse effects: 900 F. If it were 20% farther, carbon-dioxide clouds would form, initiating a cycle of ice and cold that sterilized Mars.
  3. The presence of liquid water is a necessary condition for life, but it’s not a sufficient condition.” Meaning: “the recipe for life is much more complex than just add water

Other things to consider:

  1. Plate tectonics makes possible the carbon cycle, which is essential to our planet’s habitability.
    • Plate tectonics makes possible the carbon cycle, which is essential to our planet’s habitability.
  2. An atmosphere of oxygen and nitrogen; ensures a temperate climate, protection from radiation, etc.
    • Mercury – no atmosphere. 800°F.
    • Venus – Carbon Dioxide. 870°F (due to thick atmosphere).
    • Earth – Nitrogen, Oxygen. 57°F.
    • Mars – Carbon Dioxide. -50°F.
    • Jupiter – Hydrogen, Helium
    • Saturn – Hydrogen, Helium
    • Uranus – Hydrogen, Helium
    • Neptune – Hydrogen, Helium

    Only OUR atmosphere is survivable

  3. A large moon; stabilizes our axis and climate.
    • Our Moon stabilizes Earth’s axis at “23.5 degrees, and it varies from 22.1 to 24.5 degrees over several thousand years… to stabilize effectively, the Moon’s mass must be a substantial fraction of Earth’s mass
  4. The uncommon mass of the Sun
    • Stars range in mass from about one-twelfth to 100 times the Sun’s mass. Given only this information, one might conclude that the Sun is on the low end of the observed mass range. However, it is not. In fact, the Sun is among the 4 to 8% most massive stars in the galaxy. The frequency with which stars occur in each mass bin (also called the stellar mass function) varies widely. In other words, how does the number of low mass stars compare to high mass stars? Well, like almost everything else in nature, low mass members of the group are more numerous than the bigger ones.
  5. Our Solar System is in the Galactic Habitable Zone
    • the spiral arms are dangerous places. Supernovae and star formation exist there. The Earth exists precisely between the Sagittarius and Perseus arms of the Milky Way.
    • Not only is this needed for life, it is also the best place in the galaxy for astronomical discoveries. It gives us perfect views of the skies, to study the structure of the Milky Way and universe.

Other things to mention: Gravity, strong and weak nuclear forces, etc are all finely calibrated for life. Wipe out one of those principles, wipe out one of those laws… no life.

Bible Contradiction

Jesus did / did not show love for his enemies.
Luke 6:27 vs Luke 19:26-27

Links

Fine Tuning for Intelligent Physical Life by Hugh Ross, Reasons to Believe

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