Why Do We Have So Much (Cosmic) Stuff?

Why Do We Have So Much (Cosmic) Stuff?

They say the top three most stressful life events are death, divorce, and….moving. Recent experience tells me why the latter makes the list.

Friends and family stressed their muscles lifting heavy boxes, while I stressed my nerves over the thought of unpacking the seemingly endless piles of stuff. A space heater, several garden gnomes, and a long-forgotten George Foreman Grill flashed back at me like the strobe light from last Halloween. And the message was clear: Do we really need all this stuff?

Others wonder the same thing when taking inventory of the universe.

Astronomers estimate there are somewhere between 200 and 400 billion stars in our galaxy alone. And there are perhaps a hundred billion trillion or a trillion trillion stars in the observable universe. These numbers alone seem ridiculously huge, and yet stars together with galaxies, gas clouds, planets, and burnt out extinct stars account for 0.27 of the cosmic “stuff” in the universe. (Darkness represents the remaining 99.73 percent.)

It’s no wonder, then, that skeptics question why an all-powerful God would create a universe filled with so much stuff. If His goal was to provide humanity with a home, couldn’t He have made do with less?

Let’s consider for a moment the importance of the “stuff” He created.

Here’s what the evidence says.

In Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, astronomer Hugh Ross explains that the amount of cosmic mass must be extraordinarily fine-tuned (one part in 1060) for life to exist. In fact, he says, “the degree of fine-tuning is so great that it’s as if right after the universe’s beginning someone could have destroyed the possibility of life within it by subtracting a single dime’s mass…” One reason is that mass impacts the expansion rate, which also must be highly fine-tuned for life to be possible.

In If God Made the Universe… Hugh lists uranium and thorium abundances among the many cosmic features that must exist at just-right levels and times or we wouldn’t be here to discover them. Or, as another scientist put it briefly, “It’s as if the universe knew we were coming.”

We are living at a unique time and place to witness the whole history of cosmic creation. And this is the amazing message it reveals: “Given the vast quantity of time and resources involved in creating a cosmic home for humanity…only one conclusion makes sense: The Creator of the cosmos places an extremely high value on and has a purpose for human beings.”


– Sandra