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Are you made of carbon?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 1

What are you made of?

Yes indeed! Carbon is required to make  people,  as well as every other living thing on earth.   We all share the same genes, from flatworms and mosses, up through all plants and animals to man.  We have in common a long string of carbon atoms to which are attached the four nucleotides which make up our genes.   And carbon is the only element which is suitable for this particular purpose, and carbon could only be present if a great many other ‘coincidences’ happened in precise sequence, with  accurate timing, and in very specific relationship to each other.

Our whole universe is a miracle of  series upon series of very finely-tuned happenings. In fact, it is highly improbable that you and I should have come into existence at all.

When the Big Bang happened, space was formed, and time.  Out of an infinitely concentrated dot of electromagnetic forces and matter, at immense densities and  temperatures, an expansion took place.  Right here the phenomenal accuracy starts:  if the expansion rate was changed by one part in ten to the power of fifty five, you would not be here.

Here also the questions arise: what or who made it expand, and why?  Accident, or design?  Do arbitrary initial conditions at the Big Bang give rise to a suitable habitat for man after fifteen billion years of expansion, or was it designed for the main purpose of providing a suitable environment for  sentient beings  with consciousness,   after 13.6 billion years ofdevelopment?

          There has been much argument amongst scientists and theologians about this question, which is referred to as the ‘Anthropic Principle’.  Overall, even the most confirmed agnostics seem to come to the conclusion  that there simply has not been enough time for all the events to take place in a random manner and by chance  to come together in exactly the right way for the next phase of specific organization to take place.

  Mathematicians like Stephen Hawking  finds that: “the conditions necessary for the development  of intelligent life will be met only in certain regions that are limited in space and time.”  

 Freeman Dyson concluded, “the universe looks as if it knew we were coming.”

Carbon was not created in the Big Bang. It was only synthesized much later in the earliest stars, then scattered when these stars exploded as supernova… a process that still continues today. The ‘cooking time’ for carbon  depends on the mass of a star, but averages at billion years or so. 

          Thus, said Dicke, it  would be impossible to observe a universe younger than the shortest-lived stars, because the very elements the observer was composed of wouldn’t exist.   If the universe was much older, most stars would have collapsed into white dwarfs, neutron stars or black holes, rendering our type of life impossible for many reasons.

Boltzmann suggested that the orderly world is a stupendously rare fluctuation in an overwhelmingly more prevalent chaotic state. A fluctuation of this kind would take ten to the power of ten to the power of eighty years to eventuate, at the very least.

However, physicists like Joseph Silk has said that the anthropic principle is one of the more remarkable swindles in physics.  In his words, ’the anthropic logic is either immensely subtle, by arguing that we, via our mere existence, control the cosmos, or we are being unabashedly naïve and ignoring any possible future predictions in physics. This would be an extreme expression of our ignorance.’

Hawking came up with the theory of multiple universes (all possible universes), which would incorporate most ‘future predictions’.  However, even he said, ‘the remarkable fact is that all these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life… take this as evidence  of a divine purpose‘

Paul Davies states,  the Creator did not aim the cosmic pin at random, but did so with finely computed precision, with the express purpose of selecting a universe  that would be suitable for our kind of habitation.’

It  seems that God is a very good mathematician indeed, and designed  a habitat for carbon persons  like you and I, even if it took  13.6 billion years, according to our concept of time!

Indeed, when all the physicists and mathematicians had laboriously climbed to the very top of the mountain, they found the theologians already there, in profound and heated discussion.  

The argument?

Accident, or design! For it is well known that carbon is required to make theologians  too!

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Comments

Jul 17, 2012 4:02pm
petran007
Wonderful and thought provoking. I wish more and more people asked the questions you have so well covered off in your article. Keep up the great work.
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