Existence of God

Universal Constants

Another concept that reflects an intelligent designer of the universe is the precision of the universal constants. A physical constant is a fixed number or parameter that applies to the entire universe, such as gravity or the speed of light. These constants make life posssible in the universe. If these constants were too high or too low, life would not be possible. The universe would just be a bunch of black holes. The following is a list of examples.

1. The relationship among the gravitational constant (G = 6.67 x 10-11), the weak force coupling constant (gw = 1.43 x 10-62), and the cosmological constant (Λ > 10-53, SI units). If either G or gw were off by one part in 1050 then the expansion of the universe would be explosive and galaxies could never have been formed.

2. The strong force coupling constant (gs = 15). If gs were greater than 15.3, there would have been no hydrogen in the universe. If gs were less than 14.7, hydrogen would be the ONLY element, thus there would be no carbon which is the building block of life. In both cases, life would not be possible.

3. The relationship between the mass of a proton (mp = 1.6726 x 10-27 kg), the mass of a neutron (mn = 1.6749 x 10-27 kg), the mass of an electron (me = 9.11 x 10-31 kg), G, and gw. If the ratio between these five were slightly off, again there would have been no hydrogen, or no elements heavier than hydrogen, and life would not be possible.

4. The relationship between the electromagnetic constant (ά = 7.30 x 10-3, SI units), G, mp, and me. If ά were slighly stronger, or if G was slightly weaker, or if the electron was slighly less massive, then all the stars in the universe would be red dwarfs, which cannot sustain life. The closest star to the Earth, Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf star. If the opposite of any of these constants were true, then all the stars in the universe would be blue giants, which also cannot sustain life.

5. The relationship between gw and the carbon atom. All life in this universe is made from carbon, so without carbon bonding, life would not be possible. Carbon bonding requires a lot of heat which can only be provided by a supernova (an exlposion of a big star). Supernova explosions would not be possible if gw was slightly off.

6. The nuclear magnetic resonsance of carbon, beryllium, helium, and oxygen happen to match. Fred Hoyle discovered this in 1954. Without this resonsance, there would not be enough carbon in the universe to support life.

Note that the first five of these examples are taken from Paul Davies’ book on The Accidental Universe written in 1982. Davies later says this:

“the numerical coincidences [necessary for an anthropic universe] could be regarded as evidence of design. The delicate fine-tunning in the values of the constants, necessary so that the various different branches of physics can dovetail so felicitously, might be attributed to God. It is hard to resist the impression that the present structure of the universe, apparently so sensitive to minor alterations in the numbers, has been rather carefully thought out. Such a conclusion can, of course, only be subjective. In the end it boils down to the question of belief. Is it easier to believe in a cosmic designer than the multiplicity of universes necessary for the weak anthropic principle to work?” – Davies, God and the New Physics, 1983.

In other words, is it easier to believe in God who designed this complex universe whose physics we can barely understand, or that by some astronomical improbability the universe came into existence by chance?


Above is likely the brightest supernova in recorded human history, which could be seen from Earth in 1006 AD. This is now known as the SN 1006 supernova remnant. Image: NASA, ESA, Zolt Levay (STScI)

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