Cosmology provides strong evidence for God’s existence. The basic cosmological argument for God involves three simple questions:
1) Was there a beginning to time, space, and matter/energy? The evidence says there was.
2) Was the beginning caused or uncaused? Taking the position it was uncaused violates scientific conservation laws.
3) If it was caused, what or who was the causer? The evidence is that the cause can not be blind, mechanistic chance. Logic suggests that the cause was an intelligence, in other words, God.
As more data becomes available to support intelligence as the cause of planet Earth, the cosmological argument for God becomes stronger. If we define life as that which can breathe, move, respond to outside stimuli, and reproduce, what is necessary for life to exist? Astronomers now talk about the habitable zone (HZ) of stars. This is the zone around stars where the temperature on a planet would allow water to exist in the liquid state on the surface.
Recent discoveries have shown that M-class dwarf stars are the most common and longest-lived stars. The problem with these stars is that their HZ is very close to the star, so tidal forces would lock the rotation of any planet so its same side would always face the parent star. One side of the planet would be constantly hot while the other would be cold. Also, M-class stars would bombard these planets with stellar flares causing massive radiation levels that would eliminate any possibility of life. Other star types create various problems for a life-supporting planet.
Astronomers have determined there is a galactic habitable zone (GHZ) in addition to the star’s habitable zone. A star must be far from the galactic center to have a planet with life on it. The high star density near the core of a galaxy exposes the star system to deadly supernovae and gamma-ray bursts. Mass distribution within a galaxy is also an issue because, near the galaxy’s core, mass concentrations cause gravitational instability.
The basic cosmological argument for God is now supported by a vast number of parameters that must be within precise limits to allow life to exist in a planetary system. Having a large moon is essential to the survival of life on a planet. Likewise, having a shield against incoming cosmic bodies is critical. A body the size of Comet Hale Bopp hitting planet Earth would have sterilized it, killing even microbes that might be present. The Earth’s shield is the arrangement of the Jovian planets. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune preventing objects like Hale Bopp from reaching Earth.
The more we look at the cosmos, the unique qualities of our planet reinforce the cosmological argument for God. Proverbs 8 personifies Wisdom speaking of God’s creative power and design. As we learn more about the cosmos, the stronger the evidence becomes that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
— John N. Clayton © 2023
Reference: “Is Earth the Only Goldilocks Planet?” by Klaus R. Brasch in Astronomy Magazine for July 2023, pages 18-23.