What the Big Bang Explains—What It Doesn’t

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Explore the Big Bang Theory’s insights and limitations in “What the Big Bang Explains—What It Doesn’t.” This article offers a comprehensive overview of what the theory explains about our universe’s origin and the questions it leaves unanswered. A must-read for astronomy enthusiasts and those curious about the cosmic mysteries that continue to intrigue scientists.

The Morning Miracle: Sun’s Transformation

Every morning is like a miracle. Inside the core of the sun, hydrogen atoms fuse into helium at extremely high temperatures, producing powerful X-rays and gamma rays. If the sun were see-through, these rays would reach its surface in a matter of seconds. But the rays begin to bounce between closely packed atoms, gradually losing energy. Days, weeks, even centuries go by. After thousands of years, the once lethal radiation reaches the sun’s surface as a gentle yellow light. This light provides the perfect warmth for our planet.

The Night’s Spectacle: Stars’ Diversity

Nighttime is miraculous as well. Other stars twinkle at us from far away, displaying a variety of colors, sizes, temperatures, and densities. Some stars are enormous supergiants, while others are tiny white dwarfs. Some stars will continue their existence for billions of years, while others are about to explode in a supernova, momentarily outshining whole galaxies.

Myths and Reality: From Legends to the Big Bang

Throughout history, people have used different ways to describe the universe. Primitive societies spoke of mythical creatures battling gods and various animals or plants. During the Age of Reason, these myths were replaced by mathematical calculations and laws of physics.

But today’s generation, living in the atomic age, has chosen a new symbol for creation: the explosion, reminiscent of the 20th century’s most iconic invention—the bomb. This cosmic explosion, known as the big bang, has become the modern explanation for the universe’s origin, replacing ancient myths and even Newton’s machine-like universe.


A Blend of Science and Wonder

Understanding our universe requires a blend of scientific reasoning and a sense of wonder. The big bang theory explains how the universe began, but it doesn’t diminish the miraculous nature of the morning sun or the nightly spectacle of the stars. As we continue to explore and learn, we must also appreciate the beauty and complexity of our universe.

The Big Bang Theory: What It Claims to Explain

The most accepted explanation for the creation of the universe is known as the Big Bang theory. This theory argues that roughly 15 to 20 billion years ago, there was nothing: no universe, no empty space, no time, and no matter. All that existed was an infinitely small and dense point called a singularity. This singularity then exploded, and in the first tiny fraction of a second, the infant universe expanded at a rate faster than the speed of light.

In the first minutes following the Big Bang, nuclear fusion occurred universally. This fusion explains the concentrations of hydrogen, helium, and some lithium we observe in space. After around 300,000 years, the universe cooled down to just below the temperature of the sun. This cooling allowed electrons to form orbits around atoms, resulting in a flash of light or photons. We can still measure this flash today as universal background radiation at a temperature of 2.7 Kelvin. The discovery of this radiation in the 1960s lent credibility to the Big Bang theory. Furthermore, the theory seems to explain why the universe is expanding, with galaxies moving away from each other at high speeds.

The Kelvin scale is a temperature scale based on the concept of absolute zero. Absolute zero is the temperature at which all molecular motion ceases. It is the coldest possible temperature, and it is equal to -273.15 degrees Celsius. The Kelvin scale is named after Lord Kelvin, a Scottish physicist who developed it in the 19th century. The scale is based on the Celsius scale, but with the zero point shifted so that it is at absolute zero. This means that the Kelvin scale is an absolute scale, while the Celsius scale is a relative scale. The freezing point of water on the Kelvin scale is 273.15 K, and the boiling point of water is 373.15 K. This means that the difference between the freezing point and boiling point of water is 100 K, just like on the Celsius scale. The Kelvin scale is used in scientific measurements because it is an absolute scale. This means that it is not affected by the ambient temperature, like the Celsius scale can be. The Kelvin scale is also used in many engineering applications, such as the design of refrigerators and air conditioners.

Doubts and Challenges to the Big Bang Theory

Despite the Big Bang theory’s apparent success in explaining many aspects of the universe, it has its critics. One criticism can be traced back to the ancient astronomer Ptolemy. He explained planetary motion with a complex system of circles within circles called epicycles. Though his model seemed to work, it eventually became too complicated to account for new data, leading to its abandonment for simpler models like Copernicus’ heliocentric system.

Professor Fred Hoyle compared the modern Big Bang theorists to the Ptolemaic cosmologists. He stated in his book “The Intelligent Universe” that they were patching up contradictions in the Big Bang theory, making it more complex. He expressed concern that the theory might be on shaky ground, like Ptolemy’s system of epicycles.

A 1990 article in The New Scientist magazine expressed similar doubts, suggesting that the Big Bang model might be overly reliant on speculation and assumptions. It called for more honesty about the speculative nature of the theory.

Astrology astronomy earth moon space big bang solar system planet creation. Elements of this image furnished by NASA.

An Ongoing Debate

The Big Bang theory remains the most widely accepted explanation for the origin of the universe, but it’s not without critics. New data and observations continue to pour in, contributing to an ongoing debate among scientists. Whether the Big Bang theory will endure or eventually be replaced by a simpler, more elegant explanation remains a fascinating question in the study of cosmology.

Challenges to the Big Bang Theory: Recent Discoveries

A significant challenge to the Big Bang theory has arisen from the corrected optics of the Hubble Space Telescope, leading to new measurements of distances to other galaxies. These findings have created problems for proponents of the theory.

Conflict in Age Estimation

Astronomer Wendy Freedman and her team utilized the Hubble Space Telescope to measure the distance to a galaxy in the Virgo constellation. Her measurements suggest that the universe is expanding at a quicker pace and therefore might be younger than previously believed. According to a report in Scientific American magazine, this could imply a cosmic age of as little as eight billion years. While eight billion years seems like a long time, it’s only about half the currently estimated age of the universe. This creates a unique problem, as other data indicates that certain stars might be at least 14 billion years old. If Freedman’s numbers are correct, some stars would be older than the universe itself, as explained by the Big Bang theory!

The Milky Way’s giant gas bubbles have been spotted in visible light | Science News

Mysteries of Cosmic Structure

Another problem for the Big Bang theory is the increasing evidence of large “bubbles” in the universe that are 100 million light-years in size, containing galaxies on the outside and voids inside. Margaret Geller, John Huchra, and others at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have discovered a massive wall of galaxies stretching 500 million light-years across the northern sky. Meanwhile, a group of astronomers known as the Seven Samurai has found evidence of a different cosmic structure, referred to as the Great Attractor, near the southern constellations of Hydra and Centaurus. Additionally, astronomers Marc Postman and Tod Lauer believe that something even larger must exist beyond Orion, causing hundreds of galaxies, including ours, to move in that direction like rafts on a “river in space.”

Galaxy-Size Bubbles Discovered Towering Over the Milky Way | Quanta Magazine

The universe is so vast that it is impractical to measure distances in miles or kilometers. A more convenient unit of measurement is the light-year, which is the distance that light travels in one year. Light travels at a speed of about 186,000 miles per second, so a light-year is equal to 5,880,000,000,000 miles (9,460,000,000,000 kilometers). To put this into perspective, the distance from the Earth to the Moon is about 238,900 miles (384,400 kilometers). This means that light could travel from the Earth to the Moon in about 1.3 seconds. The distance from the Earth to the Sun is about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers). This means that light could travel from the Earth to the Sun in about 8 minutes. A light-year is a truly enormous distance. It is the distance that light travels in one year, which is about 31,536,000 seconds. This means that a light-year is equal to about 6 trillion miles (9.5 trillion kilometers). The nearest star to the Earth is Proxima Centauri, which is about 4.2 light-years away. This means that it would take light about 4.2 years to travel from Proxima Centauri to the Earth. The Milky Way galaxy is about 100,000 light-years across. This means that it would take light about 100,000 years to travel from one side of the Milky Way galaxy to the other. The universe is believed to be about 13.8 billion years old. This means that the light from the most distant objects in the universe has taken billions of years to reach us. The light-year is a convenient unit of measurement for the vast distances in the universe. It is a reminder of just how big and mysterious the universe is.

Cosmologists, who believe the blast from the Big Bang was extremely smooth and uniform according to the background radiation it supposedly left behind, find these structures puzzling. How could such a smooth beginning lead to the formation of these massive and intricate structures? Scientific American acknowledges the problem, stating that the “latest crop of walls and attractors intensifies the mystery of how so much structure could have formed within the 15-billion-year age of the universe.” The problem becomes even more perplexing as researchers like Freedman continue to reduce the estimated age of the cosmos.

Unresolved Questions

These discoveries present significant questions that the Big Bang theory struggles to answer. The conflicting age estimations and unexplained cosmic structures are major challenges to the theory’s credibility. The ongoing research and debate among astronomers and cosmologists are likely to continue to shape our understanding of the universe and its origins.

How to Interpret the Bible-1

We Are Missing Some Fundamental Element

Margaret Geller’s complex three-dimensional maps of thousands of tangled and clumped galaxies have changed how scientists view the universe. She doesn’t claim to fully understand what she’s looking at. She feels that something is missing in our understanding of how this structure works, especially since gravity can’t explain everything.

Geller goes further, saying, “We don’t really know how to create such a large structure with the Big Bang.” Trying to picture the entire universe from current maps is challenging, like trying to imagine the entire world by only looking at Rhode Island. Geller believes that someday we might find a more obvious way to understand the structure.

This raises the question of what caused the big bang. Andrei Linde, one of the theory’s originators, admits the problem of explaining the existence of the big bang itself. How could everything appear from nothing? This question remains a major obstacle in modern cosmology. An article in Discover magazine says that “no reasonable cosmologist would claim that the Big Bang is the ultimate theory.”

Did It Really Have a Beginning?

The stunning vastness and awe-inspiring beauty of the universe has often led people to ponder its origins. Has the universe always been here, or did it have a beginning? A shift in the scientific community’s thinking has occurred over time, leading many to believe in the concept of a definite beginning for the universe. According to U.S.News & World Report in 1997, most astrophysicists now conclude that the universe started with a big bang, propelling matter outward.

Robert Jastrow, professor of astronomy and geology at Columbia University, reflects on how the idea of the universe’s sudden birth has moved from mere speculation to scientific acceptance. But is this idea really a proven fact? Let’s consider the historical evidence that has led to this conclusion.

Evidence of a Beginning

In 1916, Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity presented the idea that the universe is either expanding or contracting. This notion contradicted the prevailing belief in a static universe. Einstein initially introduced a “cosmological constant” to make his theory align with the then accepted view, but later abandoned it as his ‘greatest blunder.’

Evidence that the universe is expanding came into focus in the 1920s with the installation of the huge 100-inch [254 cm] telescope on Mount Wilson in California. This discovery, spearheaded by Edwin Hubble, revealed that galaxies are moving away from us at a rate proportionate to their distance.

Further investigations into what was known as nebulas led to the identification of galaxies beyond our own Milky Way. Now it is estimated that the universe contains between 50 billion and 125 billion galaxies.

Hubble’s research also demonstrated that galaxies are receding from us, a phenomenon measured through the process of redshift. This evidence has given credence to the concept that the universe is expanding in a structured manner, leading scientists to the conclusion of a singular point of origin.

In his book “Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays,” physicist Stephen Hawking confirmed that the evidence points to the universe having had a beginning.

However, not all agreed with this conclusion. Fred Hoyle, among others, argued against the big bang theory. He demanded evidence of a preserved trace of the event, such as some faint afterglow in space.

The New York Times reported in 1998 that the search for background radiation led to its discovery by astronomers Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, essentially confirming the big bang theory.

Yet, questions remained. The Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite, launched in November 1989, revealed slight irregularities in the radiation signal that were critical to galaxy formation. Professor Block referred to these findings as “monumental.”

Implications of the Evidence

What can we infer from the evidence that the universe had a beginning? Some scientists and researchers have referred to the big bang as a “moment of creation.” Others, like COBE team leader George Smoot, find the evidence akin to “looking at God.”

Many have long trusted the simple statement in Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” However, this belief is not universally shared, and some scientists actively seek alternatives to the concept of a created universe.

Ultimately, the questions linger: Did the universe come into existence by itself? Was it a random occurrence, or was there an intelligent Creator behind it? The evidence points towards a definite beginning, and for many, the idea of a Creator seems a reasonable conclusion.

The Dilemma of Universe Creation: Chance or Intelligent Design?

Many scientists resist the notion that the universe was created by an intelligent Creator, often speculating that it simply came into existence on its own. This idea, however, remains unexplained. Even Scientific American acknowledged in January 1999 that the big bang theory does not fully explain the universe’s origin. Therefore, another theory would be required to describe the original creation of the universe.

Is it reasonable to think the universe created itself? Physicist Charles H. Townes questioned this idea, pointing out that science alone leaves the question of origin unanswered.

Understanding the Universe’s Existence

It’s now accepted that the universe came into existence at some point. But can the laws of the universe help us understand how?

“Two Sides of the Same Coin”: Matter and Energy

Scientific American noted that matter is a form of energy, as expressed in Einstein’s equation E=mc2. This relationship between matter and energy can explain tremendous transformations, such as why a small bomb can destroy a city.

The theory also suggests that energy can be turned into matter, possibly explaining the formation of the material universe. However, science doesn’t provide a satisfying answer to the origin of the matter and energy needed for such a transformation. The Bible, however, speaks of God’s abundant energy and power, which could be used to create the universe.

An Orderly Beginning

Unlike the chaos caused by the uncontrolled conversion of matter into energy in a nuclear bomb, the universe is harmonious and beautiful. This orderly condition, including the incredible variety of life on earth, indicates intelligent direction and control.

Newsweek magazine once drew parallels between scientific discoveries about the universe’s creation and the Bible’s account of Genesis, highlighting the incredibly balanced forces at play in the universe.

The Reluctance to Believe in a Creator

Some scientists admit that the universe’s highly ordered condition points to an Organizer but still resist this conclusion due to their atheistic beliefs. Even when the evidence seems overwhelming, they cling to their scientifically religious orthodoxy.

However, some, like physicist Fred Hoyle, later in life, have admitted that the facts suggest a “superintellect” at work in nature. Historical figures like Sir Isaac Newton also saw evidence of an intelligent and powerful Being in the workings of the universe.

Spaceflight as Evidence of Order

The laws of planetary motion described by Kepler and Newton’s laws of motion have enabled space travel, as humans can accurately predict the position of celestial bodies. Such predictability is evidence of order and consistency in the universe.

People like astronaut John Glenn and space scientist Dr. Wernher von Braun have expressed awe at the universe’s order, seeing it as evidence of a Creator’s hand.

The Master Mathematician Behind the Universe

Famous physicist P.A.M. Dirac described the universe’s construction as the work of a highly skilled mathematician, referring to God.

Created by Whom?

Just as we wouldn’t assume a beautiful chalet and garden appeared by themselves, it’s unreasonable to think our complex universe did the same. The Bible identifies this Creator as Jehovah and praises Him for creating all things.

Jehovah has revealed not only His name but also His purpose for the earth in His written Word, which Jesus Christ affirmed as truth. While science may explain how we exist, God’s Word answers the question of why, providing a purpose and meaning to our existence.

Now let’s go outside and marvel at the beautiful and mysterious starry sky.

So Mysterious, yet So Beautiful

This time of year, the night sky dazzles with splendor. Look for Orion, a constellation that’s visible from Alaska to South Africa. Recently, astronomers used the repaired Hubble Space Telescope to see even more in these constellations.

Orion’s sword’s middle star is actually the Orion Nebula, an area of great interest for astronomers. It’s a place where new stars are being born. The Hubble telescope revealed what seems to be the first solar systems in the making.

From Maternity Ward to Stellar Graveyard

Orion appears to confront another constellation, Taurus. Here you’ll find the Crab Nebula, which might be the grave site of a violently destroyed star. Chinese astronomers recorded a bright star here in 1054 that shone during the daytime for weeks. This supernova’s explosion still sends debris through space at astonishing speeds.

The next time you gaze up at the night sky, remember that you’re looking at a graveyard. The Milky Way is studded with dead stars, from black holes to neutron stars to dim white dwarfs. Often, these stellar corpses reveal little about their past. But once in a while, they provide clues to how they—and any planets they once hosted—lived and died.—https://www.science.org/

The Hubble telescope has given us new information about the Crab Nebula, surprising astronomers. Understanding this area is crucial for measuring the distance to other galaxies, a topic of much debate.

Beyond Taurus, you can see the Andromeda galaxy. It’s a breathtaking spiral much like our galaxy but even larger. Recent mapping projects like Geller’s have raised serious questions for the big bang theory. These discoveries have led to questions about the nature and origin of the universe.

James Webb Space Telescope Excursion

What is the James Webb Space Telescope?

The James Webb Space Telescope is a space-based infrared observatory. It orbits the Sun, approximately 1 million miles away from Earth, with a mission to discover the earliest galaxies formed in the universe and to observe stars as they form planetary systems.

About the Webb Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope – often referred to as JWST or Webb – stands as NASA’s largest and most potent space science telescope. This premier observatory comes with a large infrared telescope, featuring an approximately 6.5-meter primary mirror.

Webb’s mission encompasses studying every aspect of the universe’s history. It aims to explore from the first luminescent glows following the big bang to the formation of solar systems capable of sustaining life on Earth-like planets and even the evolution of our solar system. The JWST continues and builds upon the legacy of the Hubble Space Telescope’s findings.

Webb was launched on December 25, 2021, using an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, located on the northeastern coast of South America. ESA (European Space Agency) supplied the Ariane 5.

Webb’s First Deep Field, taken by Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam), is a composite made from images at different wavelengths, totaling 12.5 hours – achieving depths at infrared wavelengths beyond the Hubble Space Telescope’s deepest fields, which took weeks. The image shows the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago. Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI

On January 8, 2022, the Webb team completely unfolded the telescope’s 21-foot, gold-coated primary mirror, marking the final stage of all significant spacecraft deployments to prepare for scientific operations.

Gregory L. Robinson, Webb’s program director at NASA Headquarters, described this achievement as “historic,” recognizing it as NASA’s first attempt to perform such a complex sequence of unfolding an observatory in space.

On January 24, 2022, the mission team fired Webb’s thrusters and positioned the telescope into an orbit around the Sun at the second Lagrange point (L2), its final destination, nearly 1 million miles from Earth.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson welcomed Webb, expressing excitement about uncovering the universe’s mysteries and anticipating Webb’s new views during the summer.

Webb’s strategic location ensures a broad cosmic view and maintains optimal cold temperatures for its optics and scientific instruments to perform optimally.

On July 11, 2022, President Joe Biden showcased the first full-color image from Webb, displaying the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the distant universe. Named Webb’s First Deep Field, it illustrates galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, filled with thousands of galaxies, including some of the faintest objects ever seen in the infrared.

On July 12, 2022, additional images were revealed, demonstrating the capabilities of all four of Webb’s cutting-edge scientific instruments:

  • SMACS 0723: Webb’s deep and sharp infrared image of the distant universe, captured in just 12.5 hours, provides insights into the most remote galaxies ever detected.

  • WASP-96b (spectrum): Webb’s analysis of this hot, puffy exoplanet reveals the clear presence of water, haze, and clouds that previous studies missed.

  • Southern Ring Nebula: Webb’s infrared capabilities unveil a second dying star within this planetary nebula, offering insights into the life cycle of stars.

  • Stephan’s Quintet: Webb’s observations of this group of galaxies uncover details about star formation and disturbances in the galaxies’ gas.

  • Carina Nebula: Webb’s view of the “Cosmic Cliffs” reveals the earliest and rapid stages of star formation that were previously obscured, allowing for the study of newly forming stars and the materials that create them.


Designed by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the Extremely Large Telescope (which is due to be completed in 2027) also holds extremely lofty goals. These include discovering Earth-like planets and searching for life beyond the Solar System. Due to its significant mirror surface area of 10,527 square feet (978 square meters), the ELT will be able to collect 100,000,000 times more light than the human eye. The telescope will be encased in a huge, 262-foot (80-meter) tall rotating dome, which will weigh approximately 6,000 tonnes. The strong foundations for this telescope were completed at the beginning of 2022.

Location: The ELT is being constructed in the Atacama Desert in Chile. This location is known for its clear skies and low humidity, making it an excellent place for astronomical observations.

Type: The ELT is categorized as an optical-infrared telescope. This means it will be able to observe light in both the optical (visible) and infrared parts of the spectrum. Infrared observations can be especially valuable in astronomy as they allow scientists to see through dust and clouds that can obstruct visible light.

Diameter: The primary mirror of the ELT will be 128 feet (39.3 meters) in diameter. This large size is significant as it will allow the telescope to collect more light, thus enabling the observation of fainter objects.

Completion Date: The ELT is projected to be completed in 2027.

Purpose and Goals: The Extremely Large Telescope’s ambitious goals include the discovery of Earth-like planets and the search for extraterrestrial life beyond our Solar System. By exploring these areas, the ELT could contribute significantly to our understanding of the universe and our place within it.

Mirror Surface and Light Collection: With a mirror surface area of 10,527 square feet (978 square meters), the ELT will have an exceptional ability to collect light—100,000,000 times more than the human eye. This will enable highly detailed and sensitive observations.

Dome and Weight: The telescope will be housed within a vast rotating dome that stands 262 feet (80 meters) tall. The dome itself will weigh approximately 6,000 tonnes, requiring strong foundations that were completed at the beginning of 2022. The rotating function of the dome will allow the telescope to be aligned with different parts of the sky.

Overall Significance: The ELT represents one of the most ambitious astronomical projects of our time. Its large size, coupled with its advanced capabilities in both optical and infrared observations, positions it to make potentially groundbreaking discoveries in areas such as planetary science and the search for life in the universe.

End of Excursion

How Do They Know How Far It Is?

When astronomers say the Andromeda galaxy is two million light-years away, it’s an educated guess. Direct measurements are only possible for very close stars. Beyond that, estimations can vary widely. Disagreements about distances are not uncommon.

Supernovas, Pulsars, and Black Holes

The Crab Nebula hosts a strange object, a pulsar, which is a dead star’s compressed core. It spins incredibly fast and sends out radio waves. Scientists describe this as highly compressed matter.

Further compressing matter can lead to a black hole, a point where gravity is so strong that not even light can escape. These are believed to exist but are still unproven.

Are Those Colors Real?

If you’ve looked at the night sky through a telescope, you might have missed the vibrant colors seen in photos. That’s because the human eye can’t directly see these colors in galaxies or nebulae. But the colors in photos are real, captured through long time exposures and carefully adjusted to reproduce them accurately.

The wonders of space continue to intrigue us, from the birth of stars to the nature of galaxies. As we explore and learn more, we come closer to understanding the beautiful and complex universe around us. Yet, some mysteries and questions remain, fascinating astronomers and ordinary stargazers alike.

‘Something Is Missing’—What?

A Night Under the Stars

Have you ever looked up at the stars on a clear night, only to come back inside with your mind racing with questions? You might wonder why the universe is here, where it came from, and where it’s going. These are big questions that people, including scientists, have tried to answer.

A Journey into Cosmology

After spending five years researching cosmology and visiting research centers and conferences around the world, science writer Dennis Overbye talked about a conversation with famous physicist Stephen Hawking. What he really wanted to ask Hawking was where we go when we die.

This question, although a bit ironic, shows a lot about our time. The questions aren’t just about the stars or the different theories that scientists have about them. People today still want answers to the age-old questions that have been on our minds for thousands of years: Why are we here? Is there a God? Where do we go when we die? Could the answers be in the stars?

The Rise of a Secular Priesthood

Another science writer, John Boslough, noted that as people have moved away from religion, scientists, like cosmologists, have become like priests for a non-religious age. They are the ones who are now revealing the secrets of the universe, not through spiritual experiences but through complicated mathematical equations. But can they really reveal all the universe’s secrets and answer these age-old questions?

The Big Bang and Current Views

Most cosmologists believe in some form of the big bang theory. This has become like a non-religious belief system in our time, even though there are many disagreements about the details. John Boslough noted that, with new and conflicting information, the big bang theory seems more and more like a simple idea trying to explain the creation of everything. By the early 1990s, it was becoming less and less able to answer the most basic questions, and some scientists thought it might not even last through the decade.

The Unknown Universe

Maybe some current guesses about the universe will turn out to be right, or maybe not. The same goes for ideas about planets forming in places like Orion’s nebula. The truth is, nobody on earth really knows for sure. There are plenty of theories, but people like Margaret Geller have pointed out that something fundamental seems to be missing in our current understanding of the universe. Her wise observation highlights that, despite all the talk and research, there’s still something missing in science’s explanation of the cosmos.

Missing—The Willingness to Face Unpalatable Facts

Resistance to the Idea of Intelligent Design

Most scientists, including cosmologists, hold to the theory of evolution. They find it distasteful to consider intelligence or purpose in creation and strongly reject the idea of God as Creator. This attitude leads them to dismiss any opposing views as heretical. Psalm 10:4 highlights the arrogance of those who refuse to seek the truth, proclaiming, “There is no God.” Their creative deity becomes Chance. But as knowledge grows, the concepts of chance and coincidence begin to crumble, and scientists increasingly turn to ideas once considered taboo, like intelligence and design.

Examples of a Shift in Thinking

Consider the following statements from notable scientists:

  • Astrophysicist Fred Hoyle, in his book The Intelligent Universe, page 189, said: “A component has evidently been missing from cosmological studies. The origin of the Universe, like the solution of the Rubik cube, requires an intelligence.”

  • Freeman Dyson wrote on page 250 of Disturbing the Universe: “The more I examine the universe and study the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known that we were coming.”

  • In Cosmic Coincidences by John Gribbin and Martin Rees, pages xiv, 4: “What features of the Universe were essential for the emergence of creatures such as ourselves, and is it through coincidence, or for some deeper reason, that our Universe has these features?… Is there some deeper plan that ensures that the Universe is tailor-made for humankind?”

  • Fred Hoyle, again on page 220 of his earlier quoted book, commented: “Such properties seem to run through the fabric of the natural world like a thread of happy accidents. But there are so many of these odd coincidences essential to life that some explanation seems required to account for them.”

  • From The Anthropic Cosmological Principle by John Barrow and Frank Tipler, page vii: “It is not only that man is adapted to the universe. The universe is adapted to man. Imagine a universe in which one or another of the fundamental dimensionless constants of physics is altered by a few percent one way or the other? Man could never come into being in such a universe. That is the central point of the anthropic principle. According to this principle, a life-giving factor lies at the centre of the whole machinery and design of the world.”

A Growing Acknowledgment of Design

These statements reflect a growing willingness among some scientists to acknowledge that there may be intelligence and purpose behind the universe’s design. They hint at an acceptance of what was once considered unthinkable—that the universe may indeed be “tailor-made” for human existence. The rejection of mere chance and the exploration of intelligent design in the cosmos signify a profound shift in thinking, challenging long-held beliefs and opening new avenues of inquiry.


God, Design, and the Constants of Physics

The Fine-Tuned Constants of the Universe

What are the fundamental constants of physics that must be just right for life to exist? A report in The Orange County Register on January 8, 1995, identified some of these constants, emphasizing how precisely they must be tuned. It stated: “The quantitative values of many basic physical constants defining the universe—for example, the charge of an electron, or the fixed velocity of light, or the ratio of the strengths of fundamental forces in nature—are incredibly exact, some to 120 decimal places. Any tiny variation—a nanosecond here, an angstrom there—and the universe might well have been lifeless and barren.”

The report’s author then dared to suggest something often considered unthinkable: “It seems more reasonable to assume that some mysterious bias lurks within the process, perhaps in the action of an intelligent and intentional power who fine-tuned the universe in preparation for our arrival.”

The Complexity of Constants

George Greenstein, a professor of astronomy and cosmology, provided an extensive list of these physical constants in his book The Symbiotic Universe. These constants are so finely tuned that even the slightest deviation would have rendered atoms, stars, and the universe impossible. They are complex and may not be understood by all, but astrophysicists recognize their importance.

Greenstein described his reaction to these discoveries as overwhelming: “So many coincidences! The more I read, the more I became convinced that such ‘coincidences’ could hardly have happened by chance.” However, he also described intense discomfort with the idea of a Supreme Being, to the point of physically squirming, before eventually rejecting the notion, stating: “God is not an explanation.” His resistance seemed based more on personal feelings than reason.

A Listing of Some of the Physical Constants Necessary for Life to Exist

The following are examples of the physical constants essential for life:

  • The charges of electron and proton must be equal and opposite.
  • The neutron must outweigh the proton by a tiny percent.
  • There must be a match between the temperature of the sun and the absorptive properties of chlorophyll for photosynthesis to occur.
  • If the strong force were slightly weaker, the sun could not generate energy by nuclear reactions; if stronger, the fuel would be violently unstable.
  • Without specific resonances between nuclei in red giant stars, no element beyond helium could have been formed.
  • If space were less than three dimensions, the blood flow and nervous system would be impossible; if more than three, planets could not orbit the sun stably.—The Symbiotic Universe, pages 256-7.

Has Anybody Seen My Missing Mass?

A perplexing mystery in astronomy involves the rotation of spiral galaxies, like the Andromeda galaxy. These galaxies rotate as if they were giant hurricanes. When astronomers calculate their rotation rates, they find something puzzling: the rates seem impossible! It’s as if the galaxies were embedded in a large halo of dark matter, invisible to telescopes.

“We do not know the forms of the dark matter,” confesses astronomer James Kaler. An estimated 90 percent of this missing mass is unaccounted for. Scientists are frantically searching for it, possibly in the form of massive neutrinos or an unknown type of matter.

A Universe Designed for Life?

The precise tuning of physical constants, the seemingly intentional design behind the universe, and the mysteries still hidden in the cosmos, all point to questions that science alone may not fully answer. The idea of a Supreme Being or intentional design may be uncomfortable for some, but it is a concept that continues to provoke thought and challenge conventional scientific beliefs. Whether or not one chooses to accept the idea of intelligent design, the universe’s complexity and precision certainly inspire awe and wonder.

A Natural Human Need

Appreciating the Work of Scientists

We should never undermine the hard work and dedication of sincere scientists, including cosmologists. Jehovah’s Witnesses, in particular, value their discoveries concerning creation, as these discoveries unveil the true power, wisdom, and love of Jehovah, the true God. Romans 1:20 confirms this by stating, “His invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable.”

The Innate Desire to Understand

Scientists’ inquiries and labors are not just about curiosity; they are part of a natural human response to a need that is as fundamental to humanity as the need for food, shelter, and clothing. This need is to understand answers to specific questions regarding our future and the very purpose of life. Ecclesiastes 3:11 explains this by saying, “God has set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

The Never-Ending Pursuit of Knowledge

This unending pursuit of knowledge isn’t negative; it means that humans will never know everything but will also never run out of new things to explore and learn. Ecclesiastes 8:17 describes this condition: “I saw all the work of the true God, how mankind are not able to find out the work that has been done under the sun; however much mankind keep working hard to seek, yet they do not find out. And even if they should say they are wise enough to know, they would be unable to find out.”

God as an Incentive, Not a Barrier

Some scientists argue that viewing God as a “solution” to a problem hampers further research. However, recognizing Jehovah as the Creator of the heavens and the earth can lead to more fascinating details to explore and mysterious aspects of creation to understand. It’s like having a green light to embark on a delightful adventure of discovery and learning!

An Invitation to Explore

Isaiah 40:26 invites us to “Raise your eyes high up and see.” We have looked up in this discussion, identifying the “something missing” that has baffled cosmologists and locating the fundamental answers to recurring questions that have occupied human minds throughout history. This insight isn’t an endpoint; rather, it opens up new avenues of exploration and a deeper appreciation of Jehovah’s creation, embracing the endless wonder and complexity of the universe.

The Answers Are Found in a Book

Ignoring the Answers

The answers to the profound questions of life and the universe have always been there, yet many people have chosen to ignore them. Much like the religious leaders during Jesus’ time, individuals have often closed their eyes and hearts to answers that don’t align with their theories or lifestyle choices (Matthew 13:14, 15). Jehovah has provided us with the knowledge of the origin of the universe, the formation of the earth, and the purpose of humanity. He has instructed us to nurture the earth and care for all its creatures, explained what happens after death, and outlined the path to eternal life on earth.

Finding Answers in Scripture

If you’re eager to discover these truths in the language of God’s inspired Word, please consider reading these Scriptures: Genesis 1:1, 26-28; 2:15; Proverbs 12:10; Matthew 10:29; Isaiah 11:6-9; 45:18; Genesis 3:19; Psalm 146:4; Ecclesiastes 9:5; Acts 24:15; John 5:28, 29; 17:3; Psalm 37:10, 11; Revelation 21:3-5. Reading these with family, neighbors, or friends can lead to an engaging and enlightening conversation.

An Invitation to Know the Creator

Are you fascinated by the universe’s mysteries and beauty? Why not deepen your understanding of Jehovah, the One who created it? While the inanimate heavens don’t respond to our curiosity, Jehovah, our Creator, cares for those who seek to know Him and His creations. The global invitation is clear: “‘Come!’ And let anyone hearing say: ‘Come!’ And let anyone thirsting come; let anyone that wishes take life’s water free.” (Revelation 22:17).

A Heartwarming Invitation from Jehovah

This call from Jehovah is more than just inviting; it reveals a universe created with purpose and intelligence, not through a mindless explosion. Jehovah had you in mind from the beginning, and His infinite energy is always controlled and available to support His servants (Isaiah 40:28-31). Embracing the opportunity to know Him brings a reward as boundless as the universe itself.

Celebrating the Glory of God

Jehovah’s creation is a constant testament to His glory. Psalm 19:1 beautifully sums it up: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” This reflection is not just an observation; it’s an invitation to connect with the Creator, to understand His plans and purposes, and to find our place within His grand design. By turning to His Word, we can begin to grasp the profound truths that have been available to us all along.

About the Author

EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 220+ books. In addition, Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).




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