Thursday, 10 March 2016

The deep mystery of existence. 5. Life is from outside space-time

Every form of biological life, known or imaginable, depends partly on the arrangement of chemical elements in countless ways into hierarchically ordered goal-oriented systems, interacting in an astronomically large number of ways to create the Earth's biosphere of which humans are a part and in which they play a central role (e.g. by being aware that the biosphere exists and that they are meant to be stewards of it). Moreover, the latest biomolecular research indicates that the protein molecules (amino acids etc.) out of which life is formed are finely tuned to fold themselves into the 'building blocks' of life; so this propensity must have been embodied in the original creation design along with the finely tuned physical constants (i.e. laws of physics) also needed for life to be possible.

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In 1954 Fred Hoyle calculated that for this miraculous phenomenon of life to be possible a certain kind of nuclear reaction would have had to have occurred inside stars billions of years ago. He even forecast
the energy of the reaction – 7.6 million electron volts. He calculated that it would have only a small chance of occurring but without it carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and most other elements could never been produced in stars or anywhere else for that matter. Astronomers then searched for the gamma rays which would show the existence of this reaction, subsequently named the ‘Hoyle state’, and they found it within 5 years. 

This had a profound effect on Hoyle, who became convinced that the universe and the life in it was not just a chance throwing together of matter and energy. He did not believe in God and so was opposed to the idea of a created universe (subsequent observations have proved with growing accuracy that the universe was indeed created, as stated in Genesis 1.1 and John 1:1) : the only alternative for him was an eternal infinite universe which had a kind of mind. 

Hoyle was right in stating that the universe has a teleological nature. However, it is now accepted by most cosmologists that the universe is not infinite and eternal. It emerged from outside of space-time and indeed space-time only came into being as it emerged, i.e. during the Big Bang. So in a sense it emerged from the mind of God and its teleological properties can be seen as a means by which the Creator guides, permeates and holds in being the whole creation, including evolution of some kind. The creation and ongoing involvement of the God in the created order is now easier to imagine than it was before modern physics and cosmology. Life was dependent on these early stellar reactions and on the way the atomic output of these cosmic factories formed the protein molecules which assembled,  folded and arranged themselves into ultra-sophisticated systems that thrived under the right conditions – conditions which are very probably unique to Earth, judging by observations of the 1000 or so exoplanets detected to date and the specifically life-friendly nature of these conditions which modern science is revealing.

So where and when was life created? Where does all this information and intelligence come from? There can, it seems to me, be only one answer. Order cannot emerge from chaos. The ultra-sophisticated purposeful complexities of viruses, bacteria, plants and animals must have been designed before the universe exploded into existence. In essence, living systems, ranging from bacteria to mammals,  were created from outside the universe, not within it. 

Whether life formed early in the history of the earth, say 4 billion years ago, or only  few thousand years ago (I don’t believe that, incidentally) its real origin resides outside our reality, in the mind or being of the Creator, who is also able to exert ongoing influence on it. Life is not just extraterrestrial: it is supernatural. 

Life comes from a timeless and spaceless 'place', and it seems not surprising that life at some level should return ‘there’ in some form when it has finished ‘here’, having undergone a learning process. ‘There’ is the place of eternal life.

 See also

Our perception of existence, ancient and modern

Links to all parts of
Deep Mystery of Existence

John Sears