Our universe is stunningly precise and orderly. It exhibits
"a level of order…that is more profound and more beautiful in its symmetries than anything we dared imagine only a few years ago" (Kaufmann, 79),
as one astronomer put it.
Lincoln Barnett, former editor of Life Magazine, characterized the material world as possessing "functional harmony," noting that it is this
"mathematical orthodoxy of the Universe that enables theorists like Einstein to predict and discover natural laws, simply by the solution of equations" (22).
Indeed, in this inconceivably immense cosmos, order — not chaos — reigns supreme.
The Bible speaks of the "ordinances" of the material world (cf. Job 38.33; Jer. 31.35-36; 33.25), a concept evincing regularity and organization. To writers of the sacred volume, these "ordinances" teach "the lesson of Order—great, magnificent, and immutable" (Orr, 301).
This precision in nature points irresistibly to the existence of a supernatural Creator (cf. Rm. 1.19-20; Heb. 3.4), and testifies to his "glory" (Ps. 19.1; Rev. 4.11), his "skillful" craftsmanship (Ps. 139.14-16), his "wisdom" and intelligence (Ps. 104.24; 136.5; Prov. 3.19-20), and his interest in sustaining human life (Ps. 8.3-4).
British astrophysicist, George Ellis, suggested that the well-ordered complexity of the cosmos is only made possible through some "amazing fine tuning" (30).
NASA astronomer, John O'Keefe, observed:
"If the Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate that the universe was created for man to live in" (Heeran, 200).
Isaiah likewise proclaims that the earth was formed "to be inhabited" (45.18). This world is perfectly suited to sustain life!
Consider just a few examples of such "exacting precision."
First, the earth rotates at about 1,000 miles per hour at the equator (Tabak, 27). It is tilted at about 23.5 degrees. These conditions provide us with day and night, as well as balanced seasons conducive for the growth of food.
With no spin, half the earth would be too hot for suitable farmland; while the other half would be too cold. Even reducing this rate by half, or doubling it, would make it very
"difficult or impossible to grow enough food to feed the Earth's population" (Butt, et al., 17).
With no tilt, "solar radiation would not change through the year and there would be no seasons" (Ruddiman, 121). If the Earth were tilted at 90˚, seasonal extremes would occur, for
"the poles would alternate seasonally between conditions of day-long darkness and day-long direct overhead Sun" (ibid).
As it is, conditions are just right for life as we know it.
Second, the moon is orbiting the earth at a rate of about 2,000 miles per hour, at an average distance of just over 200 thousand miles away. These features contribute greatly to the ebb and flow of the tides, which "have created pools considered essential for complex biological systems to arise" (Brunner, 1). Without the moon's gravitational influence, "life itself may not have been possible" (ibid).
Furthermore, the moon
"acts as an anchor, limiting excursions in the Earth's rotation axis and keeping the climate relatively stable" (Lang, 195).
Without the moon's stabilizing influence on the Earth, "dramatic changes in climate" would ensue, and the equatorial tropics could be plunged
"permanently in cold winter snows, and the poles would be alternately pointed almost directly at or away from the Sun over the course of a single year. Such wide climate changes might be hostile to many forms of life on Earth" (ibid).
Instead, the moon is perfectly sized, perfectly located, and maintains a perfect orbital speed to keep life on Earth viable.
Third, the earth is approximately 93 million miles away from the sun (Daniels, 94). This distance fits perfectly in the "habitable zone," which inhibits the oceans from either boiling away or freezing over permanently (Ward, et al., 16-20).
Fourth, the earth is orbiting the sun at roughly 70,000 miles per hour, traveling a distance of about 600 million miles every year. In its elliptical journey, it deviates from a straight line by only one-ninth of an inch every 18 miles. Increase that to one-tenth of an inch, and the Earth would freeze; decrease that to one-eighth of an inch, and the Earth would be incinerated (Science Digest, 124).
Fifth, the sun itself (along with our entire solar system) is also traveling in a "circuit" around the Galaxy at around 600 thousand miles per hour, a rate which would take 200 million years to complete (cf. Psalm 19.5-6).
As such, it is in just the right location within our spiral galaxy — not too close to the center, and right in between two of the galaxy's more densely packed arms. Ward and Brownlee call this the "Galactic Habitable Zone" (28).
There are many other factors which demonstrate the "exacting precision" and "functional harmony" of the cosmos. Indeed, it is just right for human life.
Its irreducibly complex, well-ordered character cannot be attributed to an accident. Rather, it was perfectly designed for our existence. Only an intelligent, non-material designer could have so stunningly fashioned our stellar universe.
Barnett, Lincoln. The Universe and Dr. Einstein. New York: Mentor, 1959. Brunner, Bernd. Moon: A Brief History. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010. Butt, Kyle and Eric Lyons. Truth Be Told: Exposing the Myth of Evolution. Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press, Inc., 2005. Daniels, Patricia. The New Solar System: Ice Worlds, Moons, & Planets Redefined. Washington D.C.: National Geographic, n.d. Ellis, G.F.R. "The Anthropic Principle: Laws and Environments," The Anthropic Principle. New York, Cambridge University Press, 1993. Heeren, F. Show Me God. Wheeling, IL: Searchlight Publications, 1995. Kaufmann, William. Science Digest. April, 1981. Lang, Kenneth R. The Cambridge Guide to the Solar System, 2nd Edition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Orr, James (ed.). "Astronomy: The Heavenly Bodies," The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Volume I. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1986. Ruddiman, William F. Earth's Climate: Past and Future, 2nd Edition. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2008. Science Digest, January/February, 1981. Tabak, John. Mathematics and the Laws of Nature: Developing the Language of Science. New York: Facts On File, Inc.: 2004. Ward, Peter D. and Donald Brownlee. Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is So Uncommon in the Universe. New York: Copernicus, 2000.