A problem with ‘god’

Real Clear Science reprises an old argument: Does the size of the universe prove god doesn’t exist?

The short answer is … No. The immensity of the universe does not prove there was no Creator. The argument poses reasonable questions, however.

If God is human-oriented, wouldn’t you expect him to create a universe in which humans feature prominently? You’d expect humans to occupy most of the universe, existing across time. Yet that isn’t the kind of universe we live in. Humans are very small, and space, as Douglas Adams once put it, “is big, really really big”.

Scientists estimate that the observable universe, the part of it we can see, is around 93 billion light years across. The whole universe is at least 250 times as large as the observable universe.

What the size of the universe proves is the vanity of those goatherders who wrote the Old Testament. We are immeasurably small relative to the universe, and late arrivals, too. The notion that the universe exists for our benefit, and to enable us to praise the universe’s creator, is vain and childish.

Think of it this way: Halley’s Comet passes within the observable range of the earth once every 74– to 79-years. It is nothing but a colossal snowball transiting millions of miles of cold, dark, empty, space. Between appearances millions of people are born, and a very great many of them die without ever seeing the comet. Of those people who are alive each time the comet comes around, a very great many won’t bother to go outside to look for it.

Would a reasonable god bother to calculate all the variables necessary to launch such a spectacle as Halley’s Comet, and make certain the universe is big enough to accommodate it? And what, in the first place, could possibly be the point, since bazillions of people will come and go without the possibility of even seeing the comet?

The devout will simply do some hand-waving about His Mysterious Purposes and be content, but the rest of us are quite within our rights to think He went to a lot of needless bother to create us and our trivial li’l planet, and to give-up on humanity so easily after Adam and Eve were tricked by a talking snake into stealing a bad piece of fruit.

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