Points to Ponder

Rev. Darin Phillips gives his take on the movie Guardians of the Galaxy

I recently saw the movie Guardians of the Galaxy.

If you’ve seen this latest offering from Marvel Studios, you will have likely enjoyed a few laughs and walked out singing, “…I’m hooked on a feeling…”. This film, oddly enough, did lead me to ponder a few more serious ideas. In the movie, we begin on planet Earth but quickly move to a number of different planets in far-away galaxies. All of the planets have the same gravitational force, the speed of light is uniform and inertia and momentum obey the same laws that we have on Earth. Setting aside the imaginary worlds of a sci-fi movie for a minute, the fact that human life on planet Earth is entirely dependent on “cosmic constants” is a fascinating feature of our cosmic existence.

The famous physicist Stephen Hawking noted, “The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. … The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life.”

Let me give you a few specific examples: The strength of the force binding nucleons into nuclei, is 0.07. If it were 0.06, only hydrogen could exist, and complex chemistry (which is required for life) would be impossible. The gravitational force on earth is 9.78m/s2. If it were any stronger, we couldn’t move; if it were any weaker, we’d all be taking 10m jumps in between steps.

It appears that at least 15 different physical forces have been finely tuned to allow plant, animal and human life on planet Earth possible. In his book The Reason for God, Tim Keller calls it the “cosmic welcome mat.”

If you are reading this article and you are unsure if there truly is a God of love who stands behind the creation of this planet and the cosmos, then I would challenge you to ponder this “cosmic welcome mat” that has been laid out for us. If there is no God to explain such fine tuning of these 15 physical forces, why should we find this to be the case? If you do believe in God but have kept him at arm’s length, I challenge you to consider that the very fact that he created a perfectly fine-tuned planet for us to live should open the door to the possibility that he loves us and wants to get to know us personally.

“Star Lord” and his four companions are highly entertaining “guardians of the galaxy,” but in reality, I take my confidence and faith in the real “Lord of the Stars,” who sets and guards the universe in such a way that life is truly possible.