Ice Cream and the Universe

A young boy was tasting a new flavor of ice cream that contained some of the most amazing tasty bits of flavor he had ever enjoyed. “How did you make this,” Johnny asked the vendor.

An college physics student standing nearby replied, “Oh we shouldn’t ask how the ice cream was created. Ice creme simply must be this way or we wouldn’t be here to enjoy it.” This is the approach that many physicists take in explaining the universe today.

When asking why the universe began in precisely the manner that it did—within very specific and controlled limits—which allowed life to exist, according to some physicists, no explanation is required. Citing the anthropic principle, scientists today state: “the universe simply must be this way or we wouldn’t be here to discuss it.”

The anthropic principle does not preclude us from asking why the universe develop in this manner—since all the scientific data suggests that a vastly different universe should have resulted.

Why did the origin of the universe contain slightly higher quantities of matter than antimatter?

Matter: baryons
Antimatter: photons

When existing in equal quantities, matter and antimatter annihilate each other. Because there was a slightly larger amount of matter over antimatter at the beginning of the universe, enough matter was left over to become baryons—the material particles of our universe and a large amount of light energy photons that became the cosmic background radiation that can be measured today—revealing the age of the universe.

The problem with this reality is that it does not answer the more important question of why there was a slightly more matter than antimatter. If we want to ignore the implications of such a question we could take the non-theist approach and declare that it must simply be this way or we would not be here to discuss the issue. An inquisitive person wants to know why things are the way they are—not simply that they are.

The reality is that there should have been equal numbers of matter and antimatter—resulting in a universe of full of photons and nothing else. No stars, no planets, no life.[1]

There is modern proverb which describes the manner in which a person can overcome an obstacle, as nothing more than “mind over matter.”

In the case of the universe, it was a little more matter over antimatter—which allowed the universe to exist. What is truly incredible is the amount of matter which was required, in greater ratio to antimatter, is just 1 part in 10 billion. Three minutes after the initial expansion of the universe, just 1 light atomic nuclei survived in every 10 billion photons—which could be heated into heavier elements one million years later and form stars.

Nobel prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg describes this as an event which science cannot explain, nor do physicists know why this condition existed during the initial three minutes of the universe.[2] The fact that scientists have observed this characteristic of the initial universe and cannot explain how or why it happened in purely naturalistic terms—we can postulate with equal confidence that intelligence could have been a factor in the manner in which the universe formed.

The universe not only began at a specific moment—when there had been no universe in the eternal past, it began in a specific manner which allowed life to be possible—against all certainty that it could not form in this manner.

If the universe were ice-cream, then we would have to accept that the proper ratio of ice, milk, sugar, and the correct temperature required to freeze the mixture, were all happenstance. Of course the events required to cause a slightly larger ratio of matter (1 in 10 billion), is immensely more complicated an unlikely than ice cream forming by itself.

The Universe Began With An Extraordinary Low Rate Of Entropy

Scientists define entropy as the amount of disorder in a system—which is available for work, in this case—the universe. Scientists are perplexed by the fact that the universe began with such a high potential for order, rather than disorder.

If we accept that the universe began as a strictly random event, it is impossible that “the emerging cosmic material would be in thermodynamic equilibrium at maximum entropy with zero disorder.”[3]

In other words, since the universe came into existence suddenly—for no apparent reason, it is not possible that the resulting matter which came from this event, should exist in a great state of order. Given the elements which were present at the moment the universe commenced, there should have been mass disorder—with an unlikely chance of anything ever coming from this disorder that could possibly allow for life, billions of years later. There must be an intelligence involved in this event—causing the low state of entropy, or it could not occur on its own accord.

In using our ice cream analogy, it would be tantamount to a person suddenly opening the freezer door of a new refrigerator that was still in the box from the factory, and there was a half gallon of strawberry ice-cream within—fully formed and frozen.

Even this delicious analogy is lacking, for the chance that the universe would begin with an extreme low state of entropy is equal to 1 in 10 to 10 to the 123rd power.[4]

Sir Roger Penrose determined that the presence of an extremely low level of entropy at the Big Bang, is indicative of engineering, rather than random fortuity.

In his book, “Cycles of Time, An Extraordinary New View of the Universe,” Dr. Penrose describes the existence of low entropy as an essential precursor to life—from the first moments the universe began.

“The entire fabric of life on Earth requires the maintaining of a profound and subtle organization, which undoubtedly involves entropy being kept at a low level.”[5]

“Let us return to the basic question that we have been trying to address in this part, namely the issue of how our universe happened to come about with a Big Bang that was so extraordinarily special—yet special in what appears to have been a very peculiar way where, with regard to gravity, its entropy was enormously low in comparison with what it might have been, but the entropy was close to maximum in every other respect.”[6]

Dr. Penrose illustrates the high degree of impossibility in which the universe was likely to begin with extremely low entropy by calculating the results of the present universe in reverse—back to the moment the Big Bang began, revealing that the actual level of entropy should have been very high.

“We can get some appreciation of this if we imagine the time-reversed context of a collapsing universe, since this collapse, if taken in accordance with the Second Law, ought to lead us to a singular state of genuinely high entropy.”[7]

In fact, the chances that the precise universe we observe—which began with extremely low entropy—was so astronomically remote, it could not have occurred by chance. In the words of Dr. Penrose, the existence of this condition requires an completely new theoretical explanation.

“The probability of finding ourselves in a universe of such a degree of specialness, if it had come about just by chance, has the utterly absurdly tiny value of around 1 in 10, to the 10th, to the 124th power, irrespective of inflation. This is the kind of figure that needs some completely different kind of theoretical explanation!”[8]

The way in which the early universe began under such a low level of entropy, is one of the most puzzling and important questions of science and mathematics today. Described as “aimed with incredible precision,” this defines the origin of the universe as having a supernatural beginning rather than by natural phenomenon.

“That picture would have our collapsing pre-Big-Bang phase somehow ‘aimed’ with incredible precision at such a very special ultimate state, of the same extraordinary degree of specialness that we appear to find in our actual Big Bang.”[9]

To accept that the universe began on its own—with no cause and all the precise elements necessary for its formation and continued development for over 13 billion years, so that human life is possible on earth—has no comparable analogy.

In order to understand the impossibility of such events taking place by accident, we would have to imagine that a planet could also exist somewhere in the universe that is made entirely of ice cream.

When we begin asking the really important questions of science and physics, “why these things are the way they are,” we find that these experts are so puzzled by what they have observed empirically, they freely admit that there is no rational explanation. The occurrence of these precise events that were necessary to cause the universe that we have, are so far beyond the possibility of change, to accept that the universe occurred by accident, is equal to imagining and entire galaxy of a trillion stars, with a billion planets made entirely of ice cream.

A Universe From Nothing

A Creation event is the most logical and natural explanation for how the universe came into existence. Theoretical Physicists who describe the universe coming from nothing, for no reason, with no purpose—have left us without an adequate explanation for the origin of the Cosmos.

It is interesting that the Hebrew word for created in Genesis chapter 1, is bara, which is descriptive of a creation from non existent materials.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Scientists today admit that before the universe began—there was no matter, no space, no time—nothing.

“We have very good evidence that there was a Big Bang, so the universe as we know it almost certainly started some 14 billion years ago. But was that the absolute beginning, or was there something before it?” asks Alexander Vilenkin, a cosmologist at Tufts University near Boston. It seems like the kind of question that can never be truly answered because every time someone proposes a solution, someone else can keep asking the annoying question: What happened before that?” The universe had a distinct beginning …before our universe there was nothing, nothing at all, not even time itself.”[10] —Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin

There is no example anywhere in the universe where anything of machine complexity, came into existence by itself. Anything of extreme technical complexity exists by the conception, design, and engineering of intelligent beings. These things are carefully and methodically designed and built for a specific purpose. The earth exists as a unique dwelling for advanced life forms by a narrow and specific system of conditions which came into being by design—not by chance.

Luck or Providence?

According to many scientists, all of the requirements for life which have existed since the beginning of the universe, are simply lucky breaks that took place as random occurrences. When we carefully examine what is required to allow for human life on the earth, we are stunned by how many important elements had to come together, over billions of years, in order to make life possible.

Described as “fine tuning,” what actually has taken place is elegant engineering—with extreme precision. The Creator of the universe has ordered specific events so that one planet could support life in a remote corner of the Universe.[11]

Why A Universe At All?

One of the baffling questions in the study of the initial moments of the Big Bang, is why we have a universe which is clearly designed for life, instead of one which would make life impossible. Given the parameters which were present during the first moments of expansion, a vastly different universe would be expected. The fine-tuning of the universe which existed at the beginning of the Big Bang, was so essential for life that even the basic element of carbon—of which all human beings are made—would not exist, had the universe began by any other process.

“It has been frequently argued that there are many curious coincidences in the relations between the constants of Nature upon which life on Earth seems to depend…One of the most striking of such apparent coincidences was revealed with William Fowler’s confirmation of Fred Hoyle’s remarkable prediction of the existence of a particular energy level of carbon which, had it not existed, would have meant that the production of heavy elements in stars would not have been able to proceed beyond carbon, leaving the planets devoid of nitrogen, oxygen, chlorine, sodium, sulphur, and numerous other elements.”[12] —Roger Penrose

This indicates that all of the “coincidences” of the origin of the universe were actually designed, engineered, and constructed in the precise manner necessary for life on earth, billions of years later.

In concluding his estimation of how the universe began, Dr. Penrose moves towards the “miraculous” as the most reasonable explanation for the unique and precise early state the Big Bang.

“If we do not assume the Second Law, or that the universe originated in some extraordinarily special initial state, or something else of this general nature, then we cannot use the ‘improbability’ of the existence of life as a premise for a derivation of a Second Law that is operative at times earlier than the present. No matter how curious and non-intuitive it may seem, the production of life would (if we do not make a prior assumption of the Second Law) be far less probable to come about by natural means—be it by natural selection or any by other seemingly ‘natural’ process—than by a ‘miraculous’ creation simply out of random collisions of the constituent particles!”[13]

Since a state of extremely low entropy at the beginning of the Big Bang was a primary component in the formation of the early universe—this stands as empirical evidence for design. This initial low entropy most certainly did not happen by chance; as the natural state of the initial universe should have exhibited a very high degree of disorder. The fact that the universe began by a great deal of organization—controlled to exact a specific result that would permit life billions of years later, demands an intelligent source.

We should remember that the specific type of universe which developed during the hundred trillion-trillion-trillionth of a second in the initial expansion of the universe, was critically controlled by forces unknown to scientists today.[14] From this point and continuing for almost 14 billion years, the expansion of the universe has been continually ordered in such a way that life would be possible in one specific Galaxy, one Solar System, one planet. At the formation of earth, this design continued in directing the absolute necessary constants of the Solar System and earth, which would allow human life to dwell upon its surface and prosper.

The universe and ice cream, exist and are possible because someone conceived of their reality, then created and assembled all the necessary ingredients and caused the correct conditions to be present to allow for their existence. We are able to enjoy both today, because of a creator.

Now isn’t that much easier to accept than the unprovable theory that everything in the universe came into being by themselves and an Intelligent Being or a Creator is not necessary. I cannot speak for other people, but for me—I must accept truth, based on the evidence. All the empirical evidence which is available today—demands an intelligent Creator, for both ice cream and the universe.

The Universe And Ice Creme Do not Exist By Accident.

[1] Nobel Prize winner, Physicist, Steven Weinburg, Weinberg, The First Three Minutes: A Modern View Of The Origin Of The Universe.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Paul Davies, “God and the New Physics,” (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1983), page 168.
[4] Roger Penrose, The Road to Reality, The Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.
[5] Penrose, Roger (2011-09-06). Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe (p. 77). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
[6] Ibid. page 122
[7] Ibid, page 123
[8] Ibid, page 127
[9] Ibid, page 143
[11] Davies, Paul. 1983. God and the New Physics. London, J M Dent & Sons
[12] Ibid, page 171
[13] Penrose, Roger (2011-09-06). Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe (Kindle Locations 902-910). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
[14] “The Inflationary Universe: the quest for a new Theory of Cosmic Origins, New York, Perseus Publishing, 1998

Categories: Agnostics and Skeptics, Empirical Evidence for God, Origin of the Universe, The Creation of the Universe

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