Why is the Universe so big if it is just us?

(Timothy Loraditch) #1

If we are the only residents in the universe why is it so big? I mean it’s really really big!

Why is the creation vs. evolution argument such a deterrent to the Christian faith?
(Claire N Streb) #2

@tfloraditch, You are so right! I saw a movie once and they kept saying that it seems like an awful waste of space. This sounds like one of those questions that we won’t know the answer to until we get to heaven. If we think of a beautiful green meadow that the Lord has made, a tiny ant or mouse might be asking a similar question. How can we possibly know why God made the universe? Maybe for us to ask questions. Maybe for us to observe and praise His awesome power and wonderful creativity. Psalm 19:1 says that “the heavens declare the glory of God , and the firmament shows His handiwork.” Now as for “If we are the only residents” hmmmmm. :slightly_smiling_face:

(Stephen Wuest) #3

Why do we landscape our yards with trees and flowers and grass? Why are our yards much bigger than just a chair to sit in?

As Chesterton said, maybe God has a lot of fun creating. Maybe God doesn’t care much about what people think the size of his universe should be.

(Timothy Loraditch) #4

I agree but I think there is a bigger reason

(Timothy Loraditch) #5

I think God wants us to ask these questions now and is willing to answer them if we seek him for an answer now

(SeanO) #6

@tfloraditch I think both @clairestreb and @Stephen_Wuest made good points. I think if we look at the Bible we see that creation shouts God’s glory and that may be a hint as to the reason for its vastness. So that we can comprehend something of the splendor of God by considering the works of His hands.

  • to help us comprehend God’s glory
  • because God as Creator delights in creating

Psalms 8:3- 5- When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.

Psalms 19:1-4 - The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.

Romans 1:20 - For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

(Carson Weitnauer) #7

Hi @tfloraditch,

I think this is a really interesting question. According to an article in Forbes by astrophysicist Ethan Siegel, the currently observable universe “contains an estimated two trillion galaxies in various stages of evolutionary development”!

Further, we are going to constantly be seeing new ones:

This fact carries with it a huge implication for the Universe: over time, galaxies that were once too distant to be revealed to us will spontaneously come into view. It may have been 13.8 billion years since the Big Bang occurred, but with the expansion of the Universe, there are objects as far away as 46.1 billion light-years whose light is just reaching us.

This means that, “There are an additional 2.7 trillion galaxies waiting to show us their light, on top of the 2 trillion we can already access.”

So… the universe is unimaginably huge. Why is this?

In an article for Salvo Magazine, Hugh Ross links this observation to complaints:

In his book, God: The Failed Hypothesis, Victor Stenger says, “If God created the universe as a special place for humanity, he seems to have wasted an awfully large amount of space.” Stephen Hawking, in the best-selling science book of all time, A Brief History of Time, shares Stenger’s view: “Our solar system certainly is a prerequisite for our existence. . . . But there does not seem to be any need for all these other galaxies.”

However, Hugh goes on to explain that the size of the universe is necessary for human life - or any kind of life - to exist. As he writes, “the universe must be as massive as it is in order for human life, or any kind of life, to be possible within it.”

The two reasons he mentions are:

  1. The production of life-essential elements
  2. The rate of cosmic expansion

The cosmic mass has to be precisely fine-tuned in order for our universe to have the right elements and expand at the proper speed in order for life to exist.

What could explain such careful engineering? I think Hugh Ross suggests a brilliant answer:

It tells us that the Creator of the universe considered humans to be of such value that he willingly and meticulously crafted a universe of fifty billion trillion stars, and a hundred times more mass besides, just to produce an appropriate planet to be their home. Such benevolent preparation permits us to live and thrive on a pale blue dot where we can discover our eternal significance and destiny.

(Timothy Loraditch) #8

@CarsonWeitnauer This gets a little closer to where my head is at. All the rest are certainly true but in God’s economy, to say the universe is only there to display God’s glory seems valid but incomplete.

Gen 1:14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years;

One of the significant facts about the size of the universe is that since stars are so far away they don’t change position in relation to us as much as something close like the moon. This allows us to mark longer spans of time. The moon can mark months, but the stars mark seasons and years because of their distance.

Time is also very complicated. I used to think it was a shared concept like a ruler dividing the the day into 24 equal segments, but it’s not. Time is altered by gravity and speed. It’s not really a thing. What it actually is is hard to define.

Some how I think that the size of the universe is vital to make it all work. It sounds like Huge Ross’s article might be helpful. Thanks!

(Carson Weitnauer) #9

Hi @tfloraditch,

I’m glad I could point you in the direction of Hugh Ross. I consider him a mentor and a friend; we meet up in a small group environment twice a year. I would recommend looking into some of his books. On this question, you might particularly enjoy Why the Universe Is the Way It Is:

(Matt Western) #10

Hi @tfloraditch, i always enjoy your posts, and in particular in thinking about what exactly is time as opposed to what is the eternal state…

I vaguely recall that it may have been John Lennox that stated that man is about halfway between the size of the universe, and the size of the atom. I couldn’t find this reference at all that John Lennox mentioned it, but I did find this article suggesting it to be the case.

What do you think about the idea that a human’s relative size is about halfway between the size of an atom and the size of the universe? (assuming that this is actually correct of course, and noting that i’ve just used the term ‘atom’ as a non-scientific person for the smallest thing I know about)

If this were the case, then it may be an indicator that we are not so insignificant after all compared to the size of the universe.

Also as you said in previous post, time is relative depending on size. This was quite interestingly explored in the movie Ant-Man where he shrinks so infinitely small that he loses all concept of time, and he loses all human contact and is at risk of being alone forever - lost from his love ones, and lost from human contact.

(Cameron Kufner) #11

I used to think the same exact thing. I highly recommend reading the following books by Dr. Hugh Ross

:black_small_square:The Creator And The Cosmos
:black_small_square:Why The Universe Is The Way It Is
:black_small_square: Improbable Planet

I’ll also leave a link to a great interview with Hugh Ross done by Pat Robertson.

Scientists have only recently been discovering that the universe is so fine-tuned for the existence of life on Earth that it looks as if everything in the universe was created to allow for the existence of life here on planet earth. As if that was the purpose to creation. Lawrence Krauss, a very belligerent and devout atheist, does not even deny this fact.

Hope this helps. God bless!