“If we need an atheist for a debate, I go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn’t much use.”
– Robert Griffiths, physicist and winner of the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics
Quote from Evolution is Dead!
Note: The following are not all exact quotes. Some have been paraphrased.
“The most amazing thing to me is existence itself. How is it that inanimate matter can organize itself to contemplate itself?”
“Can a person be a scientist and a Christian? Yes. As I said before, the world is too complicated in all its parts and interconnections to be due to chance alone.”
“God is the explanation for the miracle of existence.”
– Allan Sandage, cosmologist and Nobel Prize winner
See also Leadership U.
“Not in the center of the galaxy, not in a globular cluster, not near an active gamma ray source, not in a multiple-star system, or near a pulsar, or near stars too small, too large, or soon to go supernova.”
– Peter Ward, professor of Biology and of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington, and David Brownlee, astronomer and biologist in their book ‘Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe’
Learn more about the multiple fine-tuned parameters that are required to support life on Earth: Rare Earth hypothesis
Right area of the galaxy, suitable star, Jupiter’s gravitational influence, Earth’s size, large Moon, plate tectonics, chemistry of the atmosphere = probability of 1 in 10,000,000,000 to 1 in 1,000,000,000,000
“Would you not say to yourself, “Some super-calculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule.” Of course you would…”
“A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.”
“I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce within stars. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”
“If one proceeds directly and straightforwardly in this matter, without being deflected by a fear of incurring the wrath of scientific opinion, one arrives at the conclusion that biomaterials with their amazing measure or order must be the outcome of intelligent design. No other possibility I have been able to think of…”
“The notion that not only the biopolymer but the operating program of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial organic soup here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order.”
“The random emergence of even the simplest cell is comparable to the likelihood that a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.”
“The chance of obtaining even a single functioning protein by chance combination of amino acids to a solar system full of blind men solving Rubik’s Cube simultaneously.”
– Fred Hoyle, astronomer and proposer of the Steady State Theory, and an atheist (for now…) who is forced by logic to support the existence of an Intelligent Designer
“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
“Consider the enormity of the problem. Science has proven that the universe exploded into being at a certain moment. It asks, what cause produced the effect? Who or what put the matter and energy in the universe? Was the universe created out of nothing, or was it gathered together out of pre existing materials? And science cannot answer these questions.”
– Robert Jastrow, astronomer, physicist, cosmologist, First chairman of NASA’s Lunar Exploration Committee, Founding director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Director Emeritus of Mount Wilson Observatory, and an agnostic (for now…)
I would add to his second quote: If the Big Bang theory and atheism are both correct, then the Universe was created out of nothing, because of nothing, for the purpose of nothing.
Think about it, what could possibly have caused all time and space and matter and energy to exist rather than continue not existing for infinity?
We shall now move on to the principle of the fine tuned universe – how the universe’s parameters are so perfectly, so fragilely set to just the right values to support life, that it is unfathomable that it all happened by chance.
“If you change a little bit the laws of nature, or you change a little bit the constants of nature — like the charge on the electron — then the way the universe develops is so changed, it is very likely that intelligent life would not have been able to develop.”
– Rr. Dennis Scania, Head of Cambridge University Observatories
“If we nudge one of these constants just a few percent in one direction, stars burn out within a million years of their formation, and there is no time for evolution. If we nudge it a few percent in the other direction, then no elements heavier than helium form. No carbon, no life. Not even any chemistry. No complexity at all.”
“If anyone claims not to be surprised by the special features that the universe has, he is hiding his head in the sand. These special features ARE surprising and unlikely.”
– David D. Deutsch, physicist at Oxford University, and an atheist (for now…)
“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, 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’.”
– Paul Davies, professor of theoretical physics at Adelaide University and chairman of SETI
“How surprising it is that the laws of nature and the initial conditions of the universe should allow for the existence of beings who could observe it. Life as we know it would be impossible if any one of several physical quantities had slightly different values.”
“One constant does seem to require an incredible fine-tuning — The existence of life of any kind seems to require a cancellation between different contributions to the vacuum energy, accurate to about 120 decimal places.”
Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize in Physics winner for combining electromagnetism and the weak force into the electroweak force, and an agnostic (for now…)
“The precision is as if one could throw a dart across the entire universe and hit a bulls eye one millimeter in diameter on the other side.”
– Michael Turner, astrophysicist at the University of Chicago and Fermilab, coiner of the term ‘dark energy’
“It’s an accuracy of one part out of ten to the power of ten to the power of 123. This is an extraordinary figure. One could not possibly even write the number down in full, in our ordinary denary (power of ten) notation: it would be one followed by ten to the power of 123 successive zeros! (That is a million billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion zeros.)
Even if we were to write a zero on each separate proton and on each separate neutron in the entire universe — and we could throw in all the other particles as well for good measure — we should fall far short of writing down the figure needed. The precision needed to set the universe on its course is to be in no way inferior to all that extraordinary precision that we have already become accustomed to in the superb dynamical equations (Newton’s, Maxwell’s, Einstein’s) which govern the behavior of things from moment to moment.”
– Roger Penrose, Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford
“To my mind, there must be at the bottom of it all, not an utterly simple equation, but an utterly simple IDEA. And to me that idea, when we finally discover it, will be so compelling, and so inevitable, so beautiful, we will all say to each other, “How could it have ever been otherwise?”
– John Archibald Wheeler, theoretical physicist and coiner of the term ‘black hole’
“The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers (i.e. the constants of physics) seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life. For example, if the electric charge of the electron had been only slightly different, stars would have been unable to burn hydrogen and helium, or else they would not have exploded. It seems clear that there are relatively few ranges of values for the numbers (for the constants) that would allow for development of any form of intelligent life. Most sets of values would give rise to universes that, although they might be very beautiful, would contain no one able to wonder at that beauty.”
– Stephen Hawking, probably the most well-known theoretical physicist in the public eye, and an agnostic (for now…)
Most of the above quotes on fine tuned universe and more from Gerald Schroeder.
And for the parameters for each of the fine-tuned settings of the universe:
God and Science: Evidence for the Fine Tuning of the Universe
As a biologist, I am often in awe of the logical and mathematical prowess of physicists. They simply have an understanding of incredibly complex abstract concepts that my classically trained mind cannot grasp.
I’m no astrophysics genius. I can’t even wrap my mind around how Einstein’s relativistic gravity caused by the bending of space-time works, I have to stick with Newton’s gravty as a force.
But all these people I quoted above study science at the very highest echelons of understanding, of logic, of scientific experimentation.
They are smarter than me. They know whether something is possible or impossible, even on a quantum physics level where reality gets all screwy. So I trust that they know what they’re talking about.
And they say: “Based on the empirical evidence, to not have a God who created our universe is just impossible.”
But from my biologist’s viewpoint, I must say that I can agree with them completely, just on the basis of the Irreducible Complexity and Intelligent Design of the amazingly improbable phenomena called life.