Perhaps no realm of inquiry is as fraught with fantastic speculation as the origin of the universe. Theories of how it could have come about naturally have regularly been proposed and discarded as new evidence surfaces. Ongoing studies seem to have merely widened the gap in understanding how it began—or even how it currently works.
For example, astronomers have observed that the earth has hundreds of parameters fine-tuned for life. This “anthropic principle” most reasonably implies that a wise Creator deliberately created them for this purpose. In order to avoid this inference, so-called string theorists invoked the idea of a “multiverse.” They speculated that an infinite number of universes exists, one of which contains the life-friendly earth.1 However, real science shows only this one universe.2
Some researchers have attempted to explain that life—the evolution of which would directly oppose the laws of nature—came about through various scenarios that would be right at home in the realm of science fiction. One researcher, in true comic book fashion, entertained the idea that heavy radiation bombardment on a distant planet jumpstarted life.3 But science clearly shows that radiation kills!
And life is not the only thing that researchers have a hard time explaining from a naturalistic perspective. Even fundamental aspects of the universe are very difficult to explain—such as why electrons don’t collapse down into their atomic nuclei, and why or how electrons apparently inhabit discrete energy levels inside atoms. Thus, researchers use the phrase “quantum mechanics” in place of a realistic and transferrable explanation for these mysterious observations. University of Minnesota physics professor James Kakalios told Scientific American recently that quantum mechanics “has weird ideas and it can be confusing.”4 But if it is so confusing that physicists can’t explain it to non-physicists, then do they truly understand it themselves?
Gravity is also supposedly another fundamental property of the universe, but there is no consensus on why or how it works, or how it might relate to quantum physics. One researcher proposed the idea that gravity is not an independent force, but is an after-effect of the standard laws of thermodynamics.5 His ideas have not yet been worked into standard physics texts, and they may never get that far, which shows that considerable doubt and debate reign over the nature of even something as basic a force as gravity….
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