Awestruck by Nature!

SCIENTIFIC research has provided many insights into the workings of the universe, or cosmos. Mankind now has a better understanding of it​—from the tiniest building blocks of matter to the vast expanses of space. Even so, what remains to be learned is mind-boggling.

Here on earth, we occupy a minuscule part of the vast universe. Yet, in our terrestrial home, we are awestruck by nature’s great complexity and beauty​—a splendid flower, a breathtaking panorama, the spectacular plumage of a bird, a butterfly’s wings, a fiery sunset, or the smile of a loved one.

Many people have found sufficient evidence in the physical universe to believe in the existence of an intelligent First Cause. The laws of physics, they say, seem to have been fine-tuned to support life. If the universe were set up just slightly differently, life would be impossible. Still, life, in all its fantastic diversity, is all around us.

Cosmologist Paul Davies writes: “As the cosmic drama unfolds, it looks as if there is a script​—a coherent scheme of things . . . Nature is not an arbitrary juxtaposition of events but the manifestation of ingeniously interweaving mathematical laws.” Some scientists agree with Davies. Others do not.

For instance, Nobel laureate physicist Steven Weinberg, proclaimed: “The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it seems pointless.” Ironically, Weinberg also stated that “sometimes nature seems more beautiful than strictly necessary. . . . It is almost irresistible to imagine that all this beauty was somehow laid on for our benefit.”

Which is it? If there is fine-tuning, then must there not also be a Master Tuner​—a Designer, a Creator—​with a purpose? Is there some purpose to our life and to our universe? Or are we here merely as a result of unguided and directionless physical processes? The following articles address these questions.