What’s the big deal about this number?
Dear CRI Partner:
Before I tell you what the truly big deal is about the number on the envelope, let me ever-so-briefly share a bit of background.
I’ll then tell you why this staggering number matters in more ways than one.
At an address to the American Humanist Association, Bill “The Science Guy” Nye spoke to an audience that greeted his disturbing proclamation with laughter and hearty applause:
“I’m insignificant… I am just another speck of sand. And the Earth really in the cosmic structure of things is another speck. And the sun is an unremarkable star. Nothing special about the sun. The sun is another speck. And the galaxy another speck. I’m a speck on a speck orbiting a speck among other specks among still other specks in the middle of specklessness. I suck!”
While I would need to write an entire book to unpack the myriad ways in which Nye’s comment is misguided, let me share just a few “lowlights” that make his perspective troubling.
Regarding insignificance, I’ll grant Nye’s assertion that in a universe 93 billion light years vast, the portion of cosmic space we occupy is quantitatively insignificant. Indeed humbling to say the least.
But is any human being made in the image of God “insignificant”? Is there absolutely nothing special about God’s handiwork in creation? Really?
Would not that same reasoning, carried to its logical extreme, justify the Holocaust, the killing fields of Cambodia, or the massacre of as many as 1,000,000 Rwandans in the Rwandan Genocide? Or excuse the 1.2 million abortions performed annually in the United States? Or dismiss as insignificant the mass shootings and murders that have become almost routine on our campuses and places of business?
While he clearly isn’t consciously making these connections, here’s my beef with Nye and legions of other secular humanists who are so carelessly polluting the aspiring scientific minds of adoring American youth as well as millions of unthinking adults…
To begin with, Nye equates the unrivalled, jaw-dropping marvel of the human body and brain to “just another speck of sand.” Wow. Let me see if I get this…
The most astonishingly complex, intricate, and stunningly wondrous configuration of organic matter in the known universe (the human brain), that is the seat of the miracle of human consciousness, is comparable to a speck of sand?
The philosophies of Plato and Descartes, the theologies of Augustine and Aquinas, the music of Bach and Beethoven, the physics of Einstein and Bohr, all derived from nothing more significant than a grain of inert matter?
While the temptation to go on a “righteous rant” is nearly overpowering here, let me instead simply share why the staggering number above is so important:
If the energy of the Big Bang were different by ONE part of 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 (that’s the number 1 followed by 120 zeros), there would be no life anywhere in our universe!
In fact, Michael Turner, the widely quoted astrophysicist at the University of Chicago and Fermilab, once commented on the fine-tuning of the universe with a simile:
“The precision is as if one could throw a dart across the entire universe and hit a bullseye one millimeter in diameter on the other side.”
Even Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate and high energy physicist who is himself an avowed skeptic, has commented, “Life as we know it would be impossible if any one of several physical quantities had slightly different values.”
I earlier mentioned that the number above is important in more ways than one. You see, it’s not simply that life viewed abstractly would be impossible. It’s that I wouldn’t be here to write you this letter, and you wouldn’t be here to read it!
What’s my point? Quite simply that, far from being “insignificant” and a “speck of dust,” we are indeed a remarkably privileged species.
While I can’t begin here to unpack the extraordinary number of “coincidences” that have resulted in human life on this planet, I do want to send you a wonderful new DVD by that title, Privileged Species: How the Cosmos Is Designed for Human Life.
A 33-minute documentary by the Discovery Institute, Privileged Species explores growing evidence from physics, chemistry, biology, and related fields that our universe was designed for large multicellular beings like you and me.
Addressing questions like, “Are humans the accidental products of a blind and uncaring universe? Or are they the beneficiaries of a cosmic order that was planned beforehand to help them flourish?” This DVD features geneticist and author Dr. Michael Denton. Far from being “insignificant,” Denton argues that human life appears to be the intended outcome of exquisitely fine-tuned parameters in the physics and chemistry of our universe.
Very succinctly, I’d like you to have Privileged Species for two reasons:
First, it’s an enjoyable and persuasive high-quality presentation that can be shared with family and Christian friends who will welcome the assurance that scientific discoveries (not merely theological conjecture) point overwhelmingly to an ultra-fine- tuned universe that is the handiwork of a “Super Intellect.”
What’s more, given Dr. Denton’s impeccable scientific credentials, Privileged Species can be confidently shared with skeptics who might continue to labor unknowingly under the discredited and increasingly indefensible notion that human beings are merely an accident of blind chance in a pitiless universe.
Second, Privileged Species is just ONE illustration of the type of information and resources that CRI labors to share with friends like you who want to intelligently and persuasively counter the flimsy nonsense dispensed daily by the likes of secular humanists and even scientists like Bill Nye.
Let me encourage you to take a moment and make your gift online today to help strengthen and sustain CRI’s many outreaches. Just as soon as I receive your response, your copy of Privileged Species will be on its way to you.
May you have a prosperous and fruitful New Year, and may you be encouraged by knowing that lives are being transformed because of your partnership!
…because Life and Truth matter…
P.S. A professor of theology once noted, “Heresy advances only as orthodoxy retreats.” Likewise, the patent nonsense of even “scientific” celebrities advances only as unthinking and unequipped Christians retreat under secularism’s relentless advance. I’m confident that Privileged Species will provide you with a winsome and thought-provoking apologetics tool that you can share with “friend and foe” alike in your stand for life and truth!