Since 1964 when Penzias and Wilson discovered the remnant microwave background from the 'big bang,' a converging understanding of the creation of the universe has been stable now for decades. Although small perturbations in this understanding occasionally occur as new information unfolds, these new findings are eventually understood in the context of the big bang theory. No theory appears on the horizon to supplant the big bang theory and most practicing astronomers and physicists currently accept it.
This book will briefly review the two thousand years of science that culminated in the big bang theory. It will then examine the evidence that supports a famous statement by acclaimed British physicist Stephen Hawking:
The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like the Big Bang are enormous... I think there are clearly religious implications whenever you start to discuss the origins of the universe. There must be religious overtones. But I think most scientists prefer to shy away from the religious side of it.
To examine this statement, I will discuss the unique nature of the physical constants and laws in our universe and their suitability to allow the creation of the cosmos. It will be shown that if these physical constants and laws were only slightly different there would be no matter at all, let alone life. As examples of the fine-tuning of these laws and constants, among others, our examination will include the formation of the elements from primordial hydrogen. In this analysis, I will review in some detail the creation of carbon, oxygen, and iron and show that were the physical laws and constants only slightly different, no elements with higher atomic masses than hydrogen would have been created.
The four fundamental forces of nature (gravitational, electrical, strong nuclear and weak nuclear) will also be presented, again arriving at the same conclusion...if they were only slightly different, the cosmos and life would not exist. From the tiny hydrogen atom to the mightiest galaxy, the universe cries out to us that it is designed.