The Cosmological Constant

The cosmological constant is the term for the energy density of empty space. Or as I refer to it: the space between space. Listen to what Steven Weinberg (atheist and Nobel-winning physicist) says about the cosmological constant, "If large and positive, the cosmological constant would act as a repulsive force that increases with distance, a force that would prevent matter from clumping together in the early universe, the process that was the first step in forming galaxies and starts and planets and people. If large and negative, the cosmological constant would act as an attractive force increasing with distance, a force that would almost immediately reverse the expansion of the universe and cause it to recollapse."

In fact it turns out that this amazing building block in outer space is actually quite small and precise. Listen to what Robin Collins, PHD says about it, "the fine-tuning has conservatively been estimated to be at least one part in a hundred million billion billion billion billion billion. That would be a ten followed by fifty-three zeroes. That's inconceivably precise."

So what can we take from this? To me (and also to a great many fascinated physicists) this means that this measurement of empty space is so astoundingly perfect for the creation and maintenance of the universe, that it demands an answer. I used to think - and this is extremely embarrassing to admit - that this fact, and others like it, were simply coincidental. That they didn't prove anything. They just existed, and we got lucky with our universe... LUCKY!!

This is just one example of what I believe to be an implementation of God's great complexity of design. If this constant were off by even a little, life as we know it wouldn't exist. I see no other explanation for this, other than 'we just got lucky' or 'it is what it is.' If you are a physicist reading this blog posting, please feel free to comment as to what other explanations may suffice. At any rate, whether this is an example of the supernatural or not (and I strongly urge the reader to realize that it is), we can all stand in amazement at the universe we live in. The more we seem to discover, the greater the questions that result.

This subject has often been termed the Cosmological Constant Problem, because it seems to demand a fine-tuning in place of a natural or evolved pattern. In other words, there is no known natural way that we can get this tiny measurement in cosmology from partical physics alone. Insert God, however, and you have an answer.



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