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Description of your first forum.

Postby dadman » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:19 am

Editor’s note: This lecture was selected not in spite of being more than 10 years old, but because it is more than 10 years old. Virtually every statement and inference given in this speech has been reinforced and further validated during the last decade by measurements from the COBE Satellite, the Hubble Telescope, and advances in physics and astronomy.

The hallmark of a truly reliable scientific theory is that it is thoroughly testable, scientifically falsifiable, and makes accurate predictions. Dr. Ross’s origins model has stood the test of time for nearly two decades, literally receiving further validation on a monthly basis as physics and astronomy journals publish new papers. I believe you’ll enjoy this ground-breaking information from Hugh Ross.

___________________________ Dr Hugh Ross - page 1 2

New Scientific Evidence for the Existence of God

“The Discovery of the Century” - Stephen Hawking

I want to take you back to almost two years ago, April 23, 1992. On that day, a discovery was announced that, in the words of the British physicist Steven Hawking, “…is the discovery of the century, if not of all time.” This is remarkable because Steven Hawking has a reputation for understatement.

Michael Turner, from the University of Chicago, says the significance of this discovery cannot be overstated. They have found the Holy Grail of cosmology. As to how holy of a grail we’re talking about, George Smoot, who led the team of 30 American astrophysicists who made the discovery said, “What we have found is evidence of the birth of the Universe. It’s like looking at God.”

Frederick Burnham, a science historian, said in response to this discovery, “The idea that God created the Universe is a more respectable hypothesis today than at any time in the last 100 years.”

The reason I’m starting with these quotes is because anything that is being called ‘The greatest discovery of the century’ and anything that makes belief in God more credible that it’s ever been before, is something that every Christian should be apprised of and equipped to share with his friends at home, in the neighborhood and at work.

The Day They Found 90% of the Universe

Now, what exactly was it that these astronomers discovered? They found 90% of the universe. Any day that you find 90% of the universe is a red-letter day. What they essentially found was a new kind of matter. For a couple of years, physicists have suspected that the universe must have a different kind of matter.

Ordinary matter is the stuff that we’re used to. Electrons, protons, neutrons, everything we see here on planet Earth is made up of ordinary matter. Ordinary matter is a property that strongly interacts with radiation, so it’s rather easy for astronomers to detect the stuff.

But we found the problem, which was this: In 1990, the cosmic background explorer satellite proved that the universe is extremely entropic. In fact, the universe has a specific entropy measure of 1,000,000,000. Entropy measures the efficiency with which a system radiates heat and light, and the inefficiency in which it performs work.

The universe is by far the most entropic system in all existence. To give you a point of comparison, a burning candle has a specific entropy of two. A burning candle is something we realize is very efficient in making heat and light, and very inefficient in performing work. The universe is far more entropic than a candle, by many orders of magnitude.

But it led to a problem. If the universe has that high a degree of entropy and all matter strongly interacts with radiation, and the radiation left over from the creation event measures to be incredibly smooth, then the matter likewise should be that smoothly distributed. But it isn’t.

As you look at the galaxies and clusters of galaxies, rather than being smoothly distributed like the radiation form the creation event, it’s clumpy. Astronomers wanted to know why. We have proof that the universe was created in a hot, big, bang due to the incredible entropy, but how do we explain the galaxies?

The discovery of exotic matter explains the clustering of the galaxies. Exotic matter does not strongly interact with radiation, and because it doesn’t, it can clump independent of the radiation. Since it doesn’t really matter in gravity whether the matter is exotic or ordinary, the laws of physics still apply.

Two massive objects will attract one another under the law of gravity, and if one of those massive objects is made of ordinary matter and the other is made of exotic matter, they will still attract.

Once exotic matter clumps, it can draw ordinary matter to it, and hence we can have the universe we see today. The radiation from the creation event is still very smoothly distributed, but the galaxies and clusters of galaxies are clumped.

April 23, 1992 was the first detection an astronomer made of this type of matter. Since that time, there have been seven other independent detections of this exotic matter. If you’re interested, you can read all about it in my book, The Creator and the Cosmos , which was published a few months ago.

In this back issue, we describe the set of discoveries that established the existence of exotic matter which led to the conclusions from the scientific community that we now have conclusive proof that the universe was indeed created, and that’s why we say that we’re looking at the face of God.

On April 24, 1992, I was on the radio with three other physicists to discuss this discovery. A couple of the gentlemen were from George Smoot’s team, but the one that I was most curious about was Geoffrey Burbridge, who I had as a professor while I attended the University of Toronto, and who I knew to be an atheist.

Physicists Join “The First Church of Christ of the Big Bang”

I was wondering how Geoffery was going to respond to the news of this discovery. The first words out of his mouth were a complaint, and they were that as a result of this discovery, his peers in physics and astronomy were rushing off to join the First Church of Christ of the Big Bang.

What encouraged me about Jeffrey’s statement was that even Jeffrey, as an atheist, recognized the equation, Big Bang = Jesus Christ. If you prove the Big Bang, you prove Jesus Christ. I want to briefly explain to you how that follows and I want to reveal something to you that leads to that.

Why Big Bang = Jesus Christ

It’s something that’s probably more beautiful than anything that you’ve ever seen living here in Illinois . Or for that matter California or where I grew up, British Colombia, which I think is the most beautiful place in the world.

I want to show you something that far transcends the beauty of even the scenery that we see on this planet Earth. [Shows Einstein's singularity equation.] But, then what could possibly transcend the beauty of equations of physics? For those of you who are starting to break out into a cold sweat, this will be gone in less than a minute and I’ll never show you another one again.

I thought that you might be curious of the equation that convinced Albert Einstein that God exists, that God created the universe. This equation falls under the theory of general relativity. For those of you who have a background in calculus, you’ll recognize this term here as an expression for acceleration.

What Einstein had done was to drive the equation for the acceleration of the entire universe. On the other side of the equation, you see four physical constants. I don’t really have to explain them to you, except to point out that they all have positive values.

Four well-known physical constants with positive values, yet there’s a minus sign in front. That immediately tells us that the entire universe experiences negative acceleration. The universe is decelerating. That was a tremendous challenge to the theology of his day because in the 200 years previous to Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, academic scientific society was operating on the premise that the universe was static.

Belief in a Static Universe Led to Darwinian Evolution

That was really what fostered the birth of Darwinian evolution, the idea that the universe is static, infinitely old and infinitely large. Static, in that it maintained the conditions essential for elements to assemble themselves into living systems, as Emanuel Kant reasoned, long before Charles Darwin came up with a theory.

Emanuel Kant longed to come up with a theory of biological evolution but he didn’t have the biological data to develop it. Nevertheless, he laid the philosophical foundation that if the universe is infinitely old and infinitely large and static, maintaining the ideal chemical situation for life chemistry to proceed, then one can posit that the dice of chance is thrown an infinite number of times and in an infinite variety of ways.

If you have infinite throws at the dice of chance, then any matter of complexity would be conceivable – even something as complicated as a German philosopher. But this equation challenged that very notion by saying that the universe is not static; it decelerates.

Einstein was well aware that the term for pressure (P) in the universe is rather tiny compared to the term for mass density (represented by the Greek letter Rho ). It’s divided by a huge number – the velocity of light squared. You’ve got this extremely small number divided by a huge number. This means that for all intents and purposes, we can ignore that “3P/C²” relative to the density. We can drop that term out, and then we have something much simpler to solve.

Proof that the Universe is Not Static, but Expanding

It’s still a non-linear differential equation, so it’s not all that easy. But Einstein was able to perceive and demonstrate that, according to this equation, the universe not only decelerates, it positively expands. Hence, the Big Bang. How so? Normally, I demonstrate this for audiences by bringing a grenade, but they no longer let you take grenades on airplanes.

I only do that demonstration when I’m on TV or in California, so you’re just going to have to pretend that I’ve got a grenade here in front of me. If I were to pull the pin from the grenade, you’d feel a few effects. One being that the pieces of the grenade would expand outward from the pin. That’s positive expansion.

Those outwardly expanding pieces of the grenade would inevitably bump into obstacles into this room. When they collide with those obstacles, they slow down. That’s deceleration. After a grenade has exploded, a physicist could make measurements of the positions and the velocities of the pieces of shrapnel, and through the equation Velocity = Distance/Time, he could calculate the moment that the pin was pulled on the grenade.

We can do the same thing with the galaxies in the universe. We can measure their positions and their velocities and calculate the moment that the “pin” was pulled on the entire universe.

As Einstein pointed out, the significance is that the universe has this moment of pin pulling. It has a beginning. Through the principle of positive fact, if the universe has a beginning, it must have a beginner, hence the existence of God.

To his dying day, Einstein held to his belief that as the result of the verification of his theory of General Relativity, God exists. (Good book on Einstein’s extensive discussions of religion and theology: Einstein and Religion: Physics and Theology by Max Jammer -Ed ) God created the universe and God is intelligent. Today, we don’t deny that God is personal. Einstein died too soon.

If he had lived to the late 1980's, he’d have seen direct scientific proof for the personality of the creator. But he acknowledged as a result of the confirmations of his equations and his theory that God is transcendent. That God exists, he is intelligent, he is creative and he is responsible for the universe.

But he didn’t know the details of that transcendence. The details of that transcendence had to equate to a deeper solution of those equations of General Relativity. They are non-linear, which means they’re hard to solve.

Stephen Hawking and Friends Solve The Equation

By 1970, three British astrophysicists had combined to produce a deeper solution of the equations of General Relativity. They culminated the paper, The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology, published in 1970. You should all go get it – its exciting reading.

It closes with the Space-Time theorem of General Relativity, which states that if the universe is governed by the equations of General Relativity, not only are we faced with an ultimate origin, we are all of the matter in the universe, and all of the energy in the universe. But we’re faced with a coincident ultimate origin for even the dimensions of length, width, height and time.

Even Time Itself Was Created

As Steven Hawking, one of the three authors, boasted many years thereafter, we proved that time was created. We proved that time has a beginning. But through his contacts with certain Christians like his wife Jane, who’s an Anglican, as a friend of mine from Cal Tech, Don Page, who had daily Bible studies with Steven and Jane Hawking while he was doing research pointed out, if you prove that time has a beginning, that it was created, it eliminates all theological possibilities but Jesus Christ.

Of all world religions, only Judeo-Christian theology says Time has a beginning

Why? Because if you were to open up the Holy books of the religions of the world, only one of them would describe God as a being that creates the universe independent of time, space, matter and energy.

The other Holy books describe God as creating within time. The Bible states that God creates independent of time. That’s the difference.

Some verses that you might be familiar with: The first verse which states, “In the Beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth…” The Hebrew words for heavens and Earth literally refer to the entire physical cosmos of matter, energy space and time. The universe.

Hebrews 11:3 makes it more specific stating, “The universe that we detect was made from that which we cannot detect.” We can make detections within matter, energy, length, width, height and time, but not beyond.

Eight places in the Bible tell us that God created time. I’ll give you two examples: 2 Timothy 1:9 which states, “The Grace of God that we now experience was put into effect before the beginning of time” and Titus 1:2 which states, “The hope that we have in Jesus Christ was given to us before the beginning of time.”

The three things that the Apostle Paul was saying in those two verses were that time is beginning, that God created the time dimension of our universe and, most importantly, that God has the capacity to operate through cause and effect before the time dimension of our universe even exists.

Your friendly neighborhood physicist will tell you that time is defined as that dimension or realm in which cause and effect phenomena take place. What the Apostle Paul is telling us in these two places and in the six other portions of Scripture, is that we are confined to a single dimension of time.

In fact it’s worse than that. We’re confined to half of a line of time. Time, for us, is a line that goes forward only. Have you ever noticed that you cannot stop or reverse the arrow of time? No matter what you do, it just keeps going forward in one direction.

Any entity confined to half of the line of time, must have a beginning and must be created. I can walk home tonight, and that’s it. It’s the simplest, most rigorous proof of the existence of God.

We’re confined, and the entire universe is confined to half of the line of time. Therefore, the universe must be created and we must be created. But God is not so confined.

When I present this evidence to atheists, their most frequent response is the same one I got from both of my sons when they were three years of age. It’s, “If God created us, then who created God?”

God: Not Confined by Time

My sons and the atheists are assuming that God is confined to time in the same way that we are. But the Bible and the equations of General Relativity tell us that the entity that brought the universe into existence is not confined in time like we are, or the way that the universe is.

God can move and operate in at least two dimensions of time. In two dimensions of time, time becomes a plane, like a sheet of paper, length and width. In a plane, you can have as many lines as you want and as many directions as you want.

It would be possible for God to dwell on a time line running through a sheet of paper that’s infinitely long, and that never crosses or touches the timeline of our universe. As such, God would have no beginning, no end and he would not be created. Sound familiar?

Why the God of Modern Physics Matches the God of the Bible

Both John Chapter One and Colossians Chapter One make that claim about God; He has no beginning, no end and He is not created. The Bible is the only Holy book that makes that statement about God.

What I’ve done for you in these few minutes is to establish the doctrine of the independent transcendence of the Creator. But we can go beyond this abstract, rigorous proof of the existence of the God of the Bible. It’s Jesus Christ because we proved that the Creator must be an independent, transcendent being.

What I’ve discovered, even on the University campus, is that audiences much prefer tangible proof for the existence of God, to the abstract proof of the existence of God.

Today we have that, thanks to the efforts of astronomers in measuring the universe. Ours is the only generation of man that has ever lived to witness the measuring of the universe. This wasn’t the case 15 years ago.

Measuring The Universe

Ours is a privileged generation because we have seen the measuring of the universe. The theological significance is that if you can measure the universe, you are measuring the creation. If you can measure the creation, you are measuring the Creator himself. Not all of his characteristics, of course, but many that are theologically significant.

What we’ve discovered in measuring the universe is that the third assumption of Emanuel Kant; that we have infinite time, the universe is static and that we have an infinite supply of building blocks for life isn’t true.

We proved that the universe isn’t static, that time isn’t infinite. It’s finite. The age of the universe is only 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 seconds (10 to the 18th power).

We also discovered that we do not have an infinite supply of building blocks. In fact, we discovered that it takes exquisite design to get any building blocks at all. Molecules, without which, life is impossible.

Atoms must be able to assemble in the molecules in order to gain sufficient complexity for life chemistry to proceed. That applies to any conceivable kind of life.

The Extreme Precision of Physical Constants

Unless the force electromagnetism takes on a particular value, molecules won’t happen. Take the nucleus of an atom. There’s an electron orbiting that nucleus. If the force electromagnetism is too weak, the electron will not orbit the nucleus.

Electromagnetism

There won’t be sufficient electromagnetic pull to keep that electron orbiting the nucleus. If electrons cannot orbit nuclei, then electrons cannot be shared so that nuclei can come together to form molecules. Without molecules, we have no life.

If the force electromagnetism is too strong, the nuclei will hang onto their electrons with such strength that the electrons will not be shared with adjoining nuclei and again, molecules will never form. Unless the force electromagnetism is fine-tuned to a particular value, the universe will have no molecules and no life.

Strong Nuclear Force

We also have a problem in getting the right atoms. Now take a neutron and a proton. Protons and neutrons are held together in the nucleus of an atom by the strong nuclear force, which is the strongest of the four forces of physics.

If the nuclear force is too strong, the protons and neutrons in the universe will find themselves stuck to other protons and neutrons, which means we have a universe devoid of Hydrogen.

Hydrogen is the element composed of the bachelor proton. Without Hydrogen, there’s no life chemistry. It’s impossible to conceive of life chemistry without Hydrogen.

On the other hand, if we make the nuclear force slightly weaker, none of the protons and neutrons will stick together. All of the protons and neutrons will be bachelors, in which case the only element that would exist in the universe would be Hydrogen, and it’s impossible to make life if all we’ve got is Hydrogen.

How sensitive must this strong nuclear force be designed for life to exist? It’s so sensitive that if we were to make this force 3/10 of 1% stronger or 2% weaker, life would be impossible at any time in the universe.

Mass of the Proton and Neutron

We also have a problem with the protons and the neutrons themselves. The neutron is 0.138% more massive than the proton. Because of this, it takes a little more energy for the universe to make neutrons, as compared to protons. That’s why in the universe of today we have seven times as many protons as neutrons.

If the neutron were 1/10th of 1% less massive than what we observe, then the universe would make so many neutrons that all of the matter in the universe would very quickly collapse into neutron stars and black holes, and life would be impossible.

If we made the neutron 1/10th of 1% more massive than what we observe, then the universe would make so few neutrons, that there wouldn’t be enough neutrons to make Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, etc. These are the elements that are essential for life. So, we must delicately balance that mass to within 1/10 th of 1%, or life is impossible.

Electrons

With electrons we see an even more sense of the balance. In order for life to exist in the universe, the force of gravity must be 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 40th power) times weaker than the force of electromagnetism. It’s essential that the force of gravity be incredibly weak compared to the other three forces of physics.

Gravity

Yet planets, stars and galaxies will not form unless gravity is dominant in the universe, so the universe must be set up in such a way that the other forces of physics cancel out and leave gravity, the weakest of the forces, dominant.

It’s necessary for the universe to be electrically neutral. The numbers of the positively charged particles must be equivalent to the numbers of negatively charged particles or else electromagnetism will dominate gravity, and stars, galaxies and planets will never form. If they don’t form, then clearly life is impossible.

The numbers of electrons must equal the numbers of protons to better than one part of 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 37 th power). That number is so large that it’s difficult for laymen to get a handle on it. So I compare that number with another very large number – the national debt.

The National Debt

The national debt stands at $5,000,000,000,000. One way to visualize this is to imagine we cover one square mile of land with dimes piles 17 inches high. We can pay off the entire national debt with a pile of dimes 17 inches high in one square mile.

That’s truly a lot of dimes. Out national debt problem is serious. But to get 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, we would have to cover the entire North American continent with dimes, but 17 inches high won’t do.

We’d have to cover the entire North American continent from here all the way to the moon. That’s a 250,000-mile high pile of dimes covering 10,000,000 square miles, and you’d have to do that with a billion North American continents from here all the way to the moon. That is one chance in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 37 th power).

To give you an idea, imagine that in those piles of billions of dimes, there’s one dime colored red. If you were to randomly shuffle your way through those billions of dimes blindfolded, and you choose one dime, the odds that you would pick up that one red dime is one chance in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 .

God’s Fine-Tuning vs. Man’s Fine-Tuning

Another way of looking at this incredible fine-tuning of the universe in this one characteristic is to compare it with the very best that we humans have achieved. It’s not built yet, but towards the end of this year, a machine will come online at Cal Tech. This machine will have the capacity to make measurements to within one part in 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 23rd power). The best machine man has ever designed.

But the very best machine that man has ever designed, with all of our money, technology and education, falls one hundred trillion times short of the level of fine-tuning that we see in just this one characteristic of the universe.

Purposefully, I didn’t choose the best example. In my book, The Creator and the Cosmos, I describe two other characteristics of the universe that are much more fine-tuned than the balance of electrons to protons. Some of these characteristics reveal more than what I’ve described here.

If the universe is fine-tuned in one part to the 10 to the 37th power, one part in 10 to the 40th power and one part in 10 to the 55th power on three different characteristics, then that tells us that God must be personal; that He’s not only transcendent, he’s personal!

God: 100 Trillion Trillion Times More Precise than Man

Why do we say this? Because only a person is capable of fine-tuning to the degree that we’ve observed, and that person must be orders of magnitude more intelligent and creative than we human beings. One hundred trillion times more intelligent and creative than we human beings, just based on that one characteristic. But he’s also creative and loving.

Earth: An Insignificant Speck?

When I was a young man, questioning the holy books of the religions of the world, I knew God must exist because of the Big Bang. There’s a beginning, there must be a beginner. But I doubted that God was personal and caring because I felt that planet Earth was just an insignificant speck in the eyes of a God that created a hundred trillion stars. What could we matter to such an awesome God?

Mass of the Universe

Astronomers have discovered that the total mass of the universe acts as a catalyst for nuclear fusion and the more massive the universe is, the more efficiently nuclear fusion operates in the cosmos. If the universe is too massive, the mass density too great, then very quickly all the matter in the universe is converted from Hydrogen into elements heavier than iron, which would render life impossible because the universe would be devoid of Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen, etc.

If the universe has too little mass, then fusion would work so inefficiently that all that the universe would ever produce would be Hydrogen, or Hydrogen plus a small amount of Helium. But there again, the Carbon and Oxygen we need for life would be missing.

What does this tell me about the Creator? That God so loved the human race that he went to the expense of building one hundred billion stars and carefully shaped and crafted those hundred billion trillion stars for the entire age of the universe, so that for this brief moment in time, we could have a nice place to live.

It’s the same logic that my five and eight year old sons use on me. They measure my love for them by how much money I spend on the gifts that I buy for them. We can use the same kind of logic to draw the conclusion that the God who created the universe must love we human beings very much, given how much he spent on our behalf.

We live in a Special Solar System, Too

We can extend this argument of design from the universe to the solar system itself. When we look at the solar system, we discover that we have a heavenly body problem. It’s not that easy to get the right galaxy.

Life can only happen on late born stars. If it’s a first or second-generation star, then life is impossible because you don’t yet have the heavy elements necessary for life chemistry. There’s a narrow window of time in the history of the universe when life can happen.

If the universe is too old or too young, life is impossible. Only spiral galaxies produce stars late enough in their history that they can take advantage of the elements that are essential for life history, and only 6% of the galaxies in our universe are spiral galaxies. Of those 6%, you must go with galaxies that produce all of the elements that are essential for life. It’s not that easy.

Besides Hydrogen and Helium, the other elements are made in the cores of super giant stars. Super giant stars burn up quickly; they’re gone in a just a few million years. When they go through the final stages of burning up their fuel, they explode ashes into outer space, and future generations of stars will absorb those ashes.

Births & Deaths of Multiple Stars Required to have Metals in Earth’s Crust

When those stars go through their burning phase, they will take that heavy element ash material. This time when they explode, they make a whole bunch of material, capable of forming rocky planets and supporting life chemistry.

But we want these supernovae exploding early in the history of the galaxy. We don’t want them going off now. If the star Cereus goes Super Nova, we’re in serious trouble because it’s only eight light years away. It would exterminate life on our planet.

We observe in our galaxy that there was a burst of Super Nova explosions early in its history, but it tapered off to where it isn’t a threat to life that is now in existence. The Super Nova explosions took place in the right quantity and in the right locations so that life could happen here on Earth.

What does location have to do with it? Life is impossible in the center of our galaxy, or in the heel of our galaxy. It’s only possible at a distance 2/3 from the center of our galaxy.

Mormon Astronomy – Accurate or not?

That’s why I’m not a Mormon. Mormons tell us that life originated on a master planet right smack at the center of our galaxy. That’s probably also why I’ve never met a Mormon astronomer.

The stars at the center of our galaxy are jammed so tightly together that the mutual gravity would destroy the planetary orbits. Moreover, their synchrotron radiation would be destructive to life molecules. But we don’t want to be too far away from the center, either. If we get too far away, then there aren’t enough heavy elements from the exploded remains of supernovae to enable life chemistry to proceed.

There’s one life essential element that the supernovae do not make, however, and that’s Fluorine. Fluorine is made only on the surfaces of white dwarf binaries. A white dwarf is a burned out star. It’s like a cinder in a fireplace, just glowing.

Orbiting this white dwarf is a star that hasn’t yet exhausted its nuclear fuel. It’s an ordinary star, like our Sun. The white dwarf has enough mass relative to the ordinary star orbiting around it that it is capable of pulling mass off of the surface of the ordinary star and dragging it down so that it falls on its surface. When that material falls on the surface of the while dwarf, it ignites some very interesting nuclear reactions that produce Fluorine.

We need a white dwarf binary whose gravitational interactions between the white dwarf and the ordinary star are such that a strong enough stellar wind is sent from the white dwarf to blast the Fluorine beyond the gravitational pull of both stars, putting it into outer space, so that future generations of stars can absorb it. Then we have enough Fluorine for life chemistry.

A Trillion Galaxies – but as far as physicists know, only ours can support life

Two American astrophysicists concluded about a year ago that rare indeed is the galaxy that has the right number of this special kind white dwarf binary pair in the right location, occurring at the right time, so that life can exist today. The universe contains a trillion galaxies. But ours may be the only one that has the necessary conditions for life to exist.

The right star is needed. We can’t have a star any bigger than our Sun. The bigger the star, the more rapidly and erratically it burns its fuel. Our Sun is just small enough to keep a stable enough flame for a sufficient period of time to make life possible. If it were any bigger, we couldn’t have life on planet Earth. If it were any smaller, we’d be in trouble, too.

Smaller stars are even more stable than our star, the Sun, but they don’t burn as hot. In order to keep our planet at the right temperature necessary to sustain life, we’d have to bring the planet closer to the star.

Tidal Forces

The physicists in the audience realize that when you bring a planet closer to its star, the tidal interaction between the star and the planet goes up to the inverse fourth power to the distance separating them. For those of you who are not physicists, that means that all you have to do is bring that planet ever so much closer to the star, and the tidal forces could be strong enough to break the rotational period.

That’s what happened to Mercury and Venus. Those planets are too close to the Sun; so close that their rotational periods have been broken, from several hours to several months.

Earth is just barely far enough away to avoid that breaking. We have a rotation period of once every 24 hours. If we wait much longer, it will be every 26 or 28 hours, because the Earth’s rotation rate is slowing down.

Going back in history, we can measure the time when the Earth was rotating every 20 hours. When the Earth was rotating once every 20 hours, human life was not possible. If it rotates once every 28 hours, human life will not be possible. It can only happen at 24 hours.
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