While staring out into the night sky on a clear night in the middle of a countryside unblemished by the city lights, it's easy to feel insignificant.
The sky is littered with thousands of stars, each millions of miles away from earth. And yet every Star that can be seen from earth is confined to a very small part of one galaxy.
That one galaxy is a part of a cluster of over 50 galaxies known as the Local Group. The Local Group, in turn, is just one of hundreds of galaxy clusters that make up the Virgo Supercluster. And within our universe, it is estimated that there are over 10 million superclusters!
Whew! Got all that?
It's no wonder that the Psalmist wrote,
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him? -Psalms 8:3-4 ESV
Is it true, then, that we're just the chance byproducts of a random evolutionary process on a very average planet?
If so, then Stephen Hawking is right and everything about our existence is ultimately insignificant.
Do you believe that?
I hope not.
The Bible says you are significant!
In fact, it says we are made in the very image of God, the pinnacle of creation:
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness… (Genesis 1:26 NIV)
In Psalms 139:13-14, we are told God knows each of us before we are even born!
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
We also see in Ephesians 2:10 that we are God's handiwork, imbued with a purpose.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The Bible tells quite the opposite story that Stephen Hawking and many other atheists would have you believe.
Most remarkably, science seems to agree with the Bible!
Scientists used to believe that given enough time and chances, life forms would eventually evolve. But beginning around 50 years ago, a string of remarkable discoveries has shown this to be quite wrong.
It turns out that the initial starting conditions of our universe such as the laws of physics, are actually “fine-tuned” in such a way as to make life possible.
If these constants were changed by even a hair’s breadth, life could not exist.
Dr. William Lane Craig, theologian and philosopher writes,
We’ve come to discover that the universe is fine-tuned for the existence of intelligent life with a complexity and delicacy that literally defy human comprehension.
Here is a quick example and illustration to help you get an idea of just how precise the fine-tuning is:
There is a balance needed between the number of electrons and protons in the universe.
If this ratio were different by so much as just 1 part in 10 to the 37th power, life would not be possible.
How long are those odds?
Here’s a mental picture to help you out.
Astrophysicist Hugh Ross offers the following analogy in his book The Creator and the Cosmos:
Cover the entire North American continent in dimes all the way up to the moon, a height of about 239,000 miles (In comparison, the money to pay for the U.S. federal government debt would cover one square mile less than two feet deep with dimes.). Next, pile dimes from here to the moon on a billion other continents the same size as North America. Paint one dime red and mix it into the billions of piles of dimes. Blindfold a friend and ask him to pick out one dime. The odds that he will pick the red dime are one in 10^37.
That's just one example!
There are dozens more examples like the one I just mentioned, each with odds just as astronomical. Alter any one of those numbers even slightly, and life of any kind could not exist in the universe.
And it's not just the foundational laws of physics that are finely calibrated for life. The earth, the solar system, and even the Milky Way Galaxy are all fine-tuned in different ways to allow for life.
Hugh Ross brilliantly sums it up:
The ideal place for any kind of life as we know it turns out to be a solar system like ours, within a galaxy like the Milky Way, within a supercluster of galaxies like the Virgo supercluster, within a super-supercluster like the Laniakea super-supercluster. In other words, we happen to live in the best, perhaps the one and only, neighborhood that allows not only for physical life's existence, but also for its enduring survival.
So is your life just a cosmic accident?
I think we can safely answer that with a resounding “NO!”
From the laws of physics to the features of our very planet, the universe seems undoubtedly designed with you in mind.
So the next time you stare off into the heavens on a clear, starry night, don’t feel insignificant.
Take that time to Praise God!
God designed the universe to be the way it is so you could live and have a relationship with him.
In fact, he wants a relationship with you so much, Jesus died for you.
You’re no accident.
You’re uniquely designed, cared for, and loved by the God of the universe.
I'll take that over chemical scum every day.
Matt has studied Christian theology, philosophy, and apologetics on his own for several years now. He is passionate about sharing the evidence for the truth of Christianity and answering the objections of today's post-Christian culture. He hopes to someday earn a formal education in ministry and/or apologetics. Matt lives in Wyoming, Michigan with his wife Sara and Son Ezekiel!