Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jan 13, 2023 / 16:00 pm (CNA).
The universe we live in is “fine-tuned,” scientifically speaking, to make it perfect for life — so much so that the odds of our universe appearing due to random chance are the same as the odds of a monkey, banging indiscriminately on a typewriter, creating the entire corpus of Shakespeare.
So says Father Robert Spitzer, who explains that the universe is “enormously improbable … it’s almost impossible to explain how this could have happened by pure chance” without invoking the idea of an intelligent Creator.
Moreover, Spitzer says he believes scientific arguments for God’s existence are starting to win over even professional scientists.
“Young scientists are more open to God than ever before,” the Jesuit priest asserted.
Spitzer, the popular host of the EWTN show “Father Spitzer’s Universe,” delivered Friday’s keynote address for the opening of the Wonder Conference, organized by the Catholic media apostolate Word on Fire, which kicked off today in Grapevine, Texas.
Citing a Pew Research study, Spitzer said that despite the many young people leaving organized religion, young scientists are, on the whole, becoming more likely to say they believe in God, or at least a higher power.
In the survey Spitzer cited, two-thirds of scientists aged 35 and younger declared themselves believers in God or a higher transcendent power. Overall, 51% of all scientists surveyed believe in God, a figure that is “trending upwards, not down,” Spitzer said.
Spitzer also noted that in recent years, several prominent atheist scientists on the world stage — such as Richard Dawkins — are now claiming to be agnostic. The reason for this, Spitzer believes, is that “evidence is starting to emerge” about God’s existence, buoyed by scientific discovery.
“God is being very, very crafty here. And he’s slowly lifting the veil,” Spitzer said.
“Science is pointing to a Creator … I think this has been awaiting discovery for many, many years,” Spitzer told the in-person crowd and those watching online.
Spitzer went on to provide evidence for his claim in the form of “factoids” about the “fine-tuning” of the universe, which he said provided evidence that the universe was designed by a higher intelligence, and not assembled in a random fashion by natural forces.
For example, scientists can measure the “entropy,” or level of disorder, in the universe. The level of entropy in our universe is extremely low — any higher, and life could never have developed, Spitzer said.
The odds against a “low entropy” universe, like we have, are the ones mentioned above with the monkey and typewriters example — so unlikely as to be utterly absurd. There are dozens of other examples of certain cosmological constants appearing to be “fine-tuned” in this way, the priest said.
Putting it all together, our universe is “enormously improbable.” We live in an “incredibly difficult to explain, perfectly-designed-for-life universe,” he reiterated.
Physicists’ main God-less explanation at the moment, Spitzer said, is called fractal multiverse theory, which was conceived of in 2006. That theory posits that there are an infinite number of eternal “bubble” universes, not just one universe. Thus, with an infinite number of universes to play with, anything that is possible can and will happen — even the design of our own universe.
But this theory does not explain where these infinite universes came from, Spitzer said. For cosmologists, there is now “no escape. They must confront the problem of a beginning.”
There is really only “one explanation left … that we have a Creator,” Spitzer said. And through Catholicism, mankind can “encounter the God who created that universe,” he concluded.
The inaugural Wonder Conference, taking place at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is billed as an “opportunity to engage with theologians and other experts on important issues at the intersection of the Catholic faith and secular culture.” The conference features talks from both religious scholars and scientists, as well as from Bishop Robert Barron of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota, the founder and face of Word on Fire.
“A perceived incompatibility between faith and science has led to a rise in the number of religiously unaffiliated. This perception runs counter to the experience of the Catholic tradition, which conveys the beautiful harmony between faith and science,” the website for the conference says.
Prospective attendees can join the virtual sessions of the Wonder Conference by signing up to join the Word on Fire Institute here. A monthly $27 membership fee applies.