AFTER gazing at the stars on a clear, dark night, we come inside, chilly and blinking, our minds spinning with vast beauty and a multitude of queries.
Why is the universe here? Where did it come from? Where is it going? These are the questions that many try to answer.
After five years of research into cosmology, which carried him to scientific conferences and research centers all over the globe, science writer
Dennis Overbye described a conversation with world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking: "In the end what I wanted to know from Hawking is what I have
always wanted to know from Hawking: Where we go when we die."
Although tinged with irony, these words reveal much about our age. The queries are not so much on the stars themselves and the theories and
conflicting views of the cosmologists that study them. People today still hunger for answers to the basic questions that have haunted mankind for
millenniums: Why are we here? Is there a God? Where do we go when we die? Where are the answers to these questions? Are they to be found in the
Another science writer, John Boslough, observed that as people have left religion, scientists such as cosmologists have become "the perfect
priesthood for a secular age. They, not religious leaders, were the ones who would now reveal all the secrets of the universe bit by precious bit, not
in the guise of spiritual epiphany but in the form of equations obscure to all but the anointed." But will they reveal all the secrets of the
universe and answer all the questions that have haunted mankind for ages?
What are the cosmologists revealing now? Most espouse some version of the big bang "theology," which has become the secular religion of our time,
even as they quibble incessantly over the details. "Yet," Boslough noted, "in the context of new and contradictory observations, the big bang
theory begins to appear more and more like an overly simplistic model in search of a creation event. By the early 1990s the big bang model was . . .
increasingly unable to answer the most fundamental questions." He added that "more than a few theorists have expressed the opinion that it would not
even last out the 1990s."
Perhaps some of the current cosmological guesswork will turn out to be correct, perhaps not—just as perhaps there really are planets coalescing in
the ghostly glow of Orion's nebula, perhaps not. The undeniable fact is that no one on this earth really knows for sure. Theories abound, but honest
observers echo Margaret Geller's astute observation that despite the glib talk, something fundamental seems to be missing in science's current
understanding of the cosmos.
Missing—The Willingness to Face Unpalatable Facts
Most scientists—and this includes most cosmologists—subscribe to the theory of evolution. They find talk unpalatable that gives intelligence and
purpose a role in creation, and they shudder at the mere mention of God as Creator. They refuse even to consider such heresy. Psalm 10:4 speaks
disparagingly of the supercilious person who "makes no search; all his ideas are: 'There is no God.'" His creative deity is Chance. But as
knowledge increases and chance and also coincidence collapse under the growing load, the scientist begins to turn more and more to such no-no's as
intelligence and design. Consider the following examples:
"A component has evidently been missing from cosmological studies. The origin of the Universe, like the solution of the Rubik cube, requires an
intelligence," wrote astrophysicist Fred Hoyle in his book The Intelligent Universe, page 189.
"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."—Disturbing the Universe, by Freeman Dyson, page 250.
"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?"—Cosmic
Coincidences, by John Gribbin and Martin Rees, pages xiv, 4.
Fred Hoyle also comments on these properties, on page 220 of his book quoted above: "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."
"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."—The Anthropic Cosmological Principle," by John Barrow and Frank Tipler, page vii.
Has Anybody Seen My Missing Mass?
The Andromeda galaxy, like all spiral galaxies, rotates majestically in space as if it were a giant hurricane. Astronomers can calculate the rate of
rotation for many galaxies from the light spectra, and when they do, they discover something puzzling. The rotation rates seem to be impossible! All
spiral galaxies seem to rotate too fast. They behave as if the visible stars of the galaxy were embedded in a much larger halo of dark matter,
invisible to the telescope. "We do not know the forms of the dark matter," admits astronomer James Kaler. Cosmologists estimate that 90 percent of
the missing mass is unaccounted for. They are frantic to find it, either in the form of massive neutrinos or some unknown but superabundant type of
If you locate the missing mass, be sure to let your local cosmologist know right away!
[edit on 8-1-2010 by l neXus l]