The age is the universe is estimated to be 13.8 billion years old, and this is calculated by its expansion rate and working backwards, and studying star clusters which cosmologists use as clocks they can determine how old they are by how much mass they contain and how brightly they burn. The larger the mass, the faster the star will burn through its fuel source, and with our Sun having roughly enough fuel to last 9 billion years, cosmologists have searched for star clusters with a smaller mass, that burn much dimmer, and have been burning for much longer than our Sun. Obviously the universe can’t be younger than what’s within it, and using the Hubble constant which is the rate of expansion, they are able to put a limit on its age.
“To determine the density and composition of the universe, scientists rely on missions such as NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) and The European Space Agency’s Planck spacecraft. By measuring the thermal radiation left over from the Big Bang, missions such as these are able to determine the density, composition and expansion rate of the universe. The leftover radiation is known as the cosmic microwave background, and both WMAP and Planck have mapped it.” – Source.
Quantum mechanics is the study of matter at a sub atomic scale, which is as small as things can get, and many astrophysicists are confident that the universe went from the size of an electron to a vast size almost instantly, in an unimaginable release of energy, but what they can’t agree on is why it happened, and what was there before the birth of our universe? Scientists claim that the current diameter of the universe is approximately 93 billion light years, which is an incomprehensible size for us to understand. There are hundreds of billions of stars in just our galaxy alone, and many galaxies forming superclusters, and each star will have satellites orbiting it. The likelihood of at least one planet being the correct distance from its star to harbour life, and provide it with the resources it needs are extremely probable and mathematically possible.
“By our best estimates there are around 100 billion stars in the Milky Way and at least 140 billion galaxies across the Universe. If galaxies were frozen peas, there would be enough to fill an auditorium the size of the Royal Albert Hall” – Douglas Adams
Many theists deny this, and claim there had to be a divine influence, and creationists completely disregard this theory as they believe the Earth to have been created by their god Literally just thousands of years ago, which is a completely irrational and absurd claim considering the abundance of evidence that proves that this isn’t the case at all. The big question here comes in two parts. The first question is who created god? Theists will tell you that he’s always existed, but astrophysicists suggest that time began when the universe arose from an unstable singularity, but was that actually the start of time, or has the universe died, been born again, died and been born again for an infinite time? The second question is what was god doing before he created the universe and all within it? These are questions that theists cannot answer, and they just give you opinions of what they think, rather than answers based on evidence.
There are also theories that our universe is part of a multiverse, and where ours ends, another begins. So did god make them all, if they are genuinely there, or are there other gods ruling their domain? Many theists arrogantly assume that we are alone, and we are a special and unique creation made by ‘insert your god here’, but what if they’re wrong, and the universe is literally full of life? There are many things about the universe that scientists either can’t answer, or don’t understand, and considering we are so young, and we’ve only scratched the surface of space exploration, then how can anyone be sure we are alone?
There are theories about life on Earth that involve life in primitive form arriving at out planet on a meteor, and it survived, and spread, and evolved into what we have now. Many theists have scoffed at this theory as they claim it’s ludicrous, but it’s no more ludicrous than the idea that god created everything in existence in just 6 days. Theists are adamant that we as a species are made in God’s image, and we are at the centre of the universe. This primitive ideology which is based on geocentrism has been destroyed by heliocentrism, as we know that planets orbit stars as stars are of a significantly greater mass. So if there’s a divine creator, why did he create a universe of such magnitude, but only put life on one tiny blue dot in a random corner of a galaxy? It’s illogical and makes absolutely no sense to me. Look at it this way – god is an artist, and we are his first project. If you go by the accounts in Genesis, he killed everyone off except Noah’s family as humanity had become evil and he regretted his creation, which implies he made a mistake, or his work was unfinished, and life on Earth was at the beta stage.
If the Earth was his first project, and considering we became a regret, then surely an artist wishes to improve on their work, and I know there’s a saying that called ‘the difficult second album’, but the only way for a career to continue is to keep creating, so if this is a logical viewpoint then surely he’s created life elsewhere? This is all hypothetical of course, as it’s pretty much an impossibility that any divine influence is responsible for the universe and all that’s within it. In my opinion, we have to be extremely naive and ignorant to think we are alone, and the question we should be asking is what stage of development is other life in the universe?
(CHNOPS) is an acronym for carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulphur, and it’s our understanding that these are the key components for life as we know it. Add to these chemical ingredients are the correct temperatures which requires the planet to be the correct distance from a star for water to remain a liquid, and the mass of the planet creating sufficient gravity so that life isn’t crushed, or allowed to float away. So as you can see, there are a lot of variables, but that doesn’t mean that it’s an impossibility. Abiogenesis is something that’s frequently argued about and the phrase life can’t come from non life is thrown about, but is that true? Carbon could be the answer as to how life arises from non organic compounds, and it’s in abundance and every organic compound and most minerals contain carbon in some percentage. What we need to understand is the evolution of chemicals came long before the birth and evolution of life.
The late heavy bombardment which astrophysicists believe happened around 4 billion years ago, was a theory that suggests that a large number of comets and asteroids impacted the first four planets, and their surrounding moons, and the evidence is shown by the surface of the Moon and Mars, and the Apollo missions landed at craters they thought to be a result of collisions. The collision with Earth would have significantly raised the temperature and sterilised the planet, giving life a clean starting point. As it cooled an atmosphere would have formed, and we’d have the earliest form of greenhouse effect where the gases were significantly different than they are today, which was experimented with in the Miller-Urey experiment.
“In 1969, a meteor struck near Murchinson, Australia. Analysis of the meteorite fragments revealed the presence of a variety of organic molecules including amino acids, pyrimidines, and molecules resembling fatty acids. Initially, there were even serious proposals that the organic material was biogenic in origin, but consensus was soon reached that abiotic chemical synthesis was the most plausible explanation.” – Source
Astrobiology is the study of potential life in an extra terrestrial capacity. Scientists are aware of at least twenty planets that are of a similar mass to our Earth that are within the habitable zone of a star, and one of the ones that’s peaked the interest of NASA the most is Proxima B, that orbits the star, Proxima Centurie. The closest that we can currently search with relative ease is Mars, where NASA has sent both the Curiosity and Opportunity rovers which are gathering rock samples to attempt to discover evidence for life in areas they believe were once lakes. There are traces of water on Mars in the form of ice, and astrophysicists think that before the late heavy bombardment it was a wrestle between Earth and a Mars as to which planet would dominate the ideal location, and Mars lost.
“Around 13.8 billion years ago, all the matter in the Universe emerged from a single, minute point, or singularity, in a violent burst. This expanded at an astonishingly high rate and temperature, doubling in size every 10-34 seconds, creating space as it rapidly inflated. Within a tiny fraction of a second gravity and all the other forces were formed. Energy changed into particles of matter and antimatter, which largely destroyed each other. But luckily for us some matter survived. Protons and neutrons started to form within the first second; within minutes these protons and neutrons could fuse and form hydrogen and helium nuclei. After 300,000 years, nuclei could finally capture electrons to form atoms, filling the Universe with clouds of hydrogen and helium gas. After around 380,000 years it left behind a bath of photons – the Cosmic Microwave Background that Penzias and Wilson accidentally detected. Within this were tiny ripples of matter that were stretched to enormous sizes during inflation, and in turn these became the seeds for the galaxies and galactic clusters we see today.” – Source
I don’t think it would create the destruction of religion, but I’m sure many Christians would have no choice but to question the validity of the claims of the Bible, especially the alleged words of god. If it’s discovered in my life time I’d love to be a fly on the wall when Ken Ham and the rest of his disingenuous AIG foundation have no choice but to accept it. But no doubt they’d see it as a perversion and another example of the pseudoscience of the secular atheist scientists who wish to destroy Christianity, and his incredulity would overcome any reason or logic that may exist within his polluted brain.