The twelve Pages of Mysterious Universe Examined

The philosophical views expressed in these twelve pages are not of Sir James Jeans himself. He only has discussed them as the conceivable probabilities ammoniating from the particular situations of science against the inadequacy of its established facts hitherto diverse. These probabilities, however, are exactly in line with the philosophical and doctrinal trends of ancient Greek Atomism, and are not merely presumable probabilities but rather are the viewers maintained by a goodly number of orthodox among the scientists with the entire mankind at their heels. None, however, could have discussed the present potentialities and the future probabilities of the present science better than Sir James Jeans. Nor the short-comings and the limitations thereof could have been exposed in a better way. It is the best and the most realistic picture I have so far seen drawn by anyone, in this modern age. Look, however, particularly for the doctrinal link between this particular philosophy and ancient Greek atomism in the following sections.

SECTION (i)

THE TWELVE PAGES OF “THE MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE”

                 “A few stars are known which are hardly bigger than the earth, but the majority are so large that hundreds of thousands of earths could be packed inside each and leave room to spare. Here and there we come upon a giant star large enough to contain millions of millions of earths. And the total number of stars in the Universe is probably something like the total number of grains of sand on all the seashores of the world. Such is the littleness of our home in space, when measured up against the total substance of the Universe.

          This vast multitude of stars are wandering about in space. Some form groups and journey in company but the majority are solitary travellers. And they travel in a universe so spacious, that it is an event of almost unimaginable rarity for a star to come anywhere near to another star. For the most part each voyages in splendid isolation, like a ship on an empty ocean. In a scale model in which the stars are ships, the average ship will be well over a million miles from its nearest neighbour, whence it is easy to understand why a ship seldom finds another within hailing distance.

We believe nevertheless, that some two thousand million years ago this rare event took place and that a second star wandering blindly through space happened to come within hailing distance of the sun. Just as the sun and moon raise tides on the earth, so this second star must have raised tides on the surface of the sun. But they would be very different from the puny tides which the small mass of the moon raises in our oceans; a huge tidal wave must have travelled over the surface of the sun, ultimately forming a mountain of prodigious height, which would rise ever higher and higher as the cause of the disturbance came nearer and nearer. And, before the second star began to recede its tidal pull had become so powerful that this mountain was torn to pieces and threw off small fragments of itself, much as the crest of a wave throws off spray. These small fragments have been circulating around their parent sun ever since. They are the planets great and small of which our earth is one.

The sun and other stars we see in the sky are all intensely hot —far too hot for life to be able to obtain or retain a footing on them. So also no doubt were the ejected fragments when they were first thrown off. Gradually they cooled until now they have but little intrinsic heat left, their warmth being derived almost entirely from the Radiation which the sun pours down on them. In course of time we know not how, when or why, one of these cooling fragments gave birth to life. It started in simple organisms whose vital capacities consisted little beyond reproduction and death. But from these humble beginnings emerged a stream of life which, advancing through ever greater and greater complexity, has culminated in beings whose lives are largely centred in their emotions and ambitions, their aesthetic appreciations, and religions in which their highest hopes and noblest aspirations lie enshrined.

Although we cannot speak with any certainty, it seems most likely that humanity came into existence in some such way as this. Standing on our microscopic fragment of a grain of sand, we attempt to discover the nature and purpose of the universe which surrounds our home in space, and time. Our first impression is something akin to terror. We find the universe terrifying because of its fast meaningless distances, terrifying because of its inconceivable long vistas of time which dwarf human history to the twinkling of an eye, terrifying because of extreme loneliness, and because of the material insignificance of our home in space — a millionth part of a grain of sand out of all the sea-sand in the world. But above all else we find the universe terrifying, because it appears to be indifferent to life like our own; emotion, ambition and achievement, art and religion all seem equally foreign to its plan. Perhaps indeed we ought to say it appears to be actually hostile to life like our own. For the most part, empty space is so cold that all life in it would be frozen, most of the matter in space is so hot as to make life on it impossible, space is traversed, and astronomical bodies continually bombarded by radiation of a variety of kinds, much of which is inimical to, or even destructive of life.

Into such a universe we have stumbled, if not exactly by mistake, at least as a result of what may properly be described as an accident. The use of such a word need not imply any surprise that our earth exists, for accident will happen, and if the universe goes on for long enough every conceivable accident is likely to happen in time. It was, I think, Huxley who said that six monkeys set to strum unintelligently on typewriters for millions of millions of years, would be bound in time to write all the books in British Museum. If we examined the last page which a particular monkey had typed and found that it had chanced in its blind strumming, to type a Shakespeare Sonnet, we should rightly regard the occurrence as a remarkable accident, but if we looked through all the millions of pages which the monkeys had turned off in untold millions of years, we might be sure of finding a Shakespeare Sonnet somewhere among them, the product of blind play of chance. In the same way, millions of millions of stars wandering blindly through space for millions of millions of years are bound to meet with that special kind of accident which calls planetary system into being. Yet calculation shows that the number of these can at most be very small in comparison with the total number of stars in the sky’ planetary systems must be exceedingly rare objects in space.

This rarity of planetary systems is important, because so far as we can see, life of the kind we know on earth could only originate on planets like the earth. It needs suitable physical conditions for its appearance, the most important of which is a temperature of which substances can exist in the liquid state. The stars themselves are disqualified by being too hot. We may think of them as a vast collection of fires scattered throughout space, providing warmth in a climate which is at most some four degrees above absolute zero— about 484 degrees of frost on our Fahrenheit scale — and is, even lower in the vast stretches of space which lie out beyond the Milky Way. Away from the fires there is this unimaginable cold of hundreds of degrees of frost; close up to them there is a temperature of thousands of degrees, at which all solids melt, all liquids boil.

Life can only exist inside a narrow temperate zone which surrounds each of these fires at a very definite distance. Outside these zones life would be frozen; inside, it would be shrivelled up. At a rough computation, these zones within which life is possible, all added together, constitute less than a thousand million millionth part of the whole of space. And even inside them, life must be of very rare occurrence for it is so unusual an accident for suns to throw off planets as our own sun has done. That probably only about one star in 100,000 has a planet revolving round it in the small zone in which life is possible.

Just for this reason it seems incredible that the universe, can have been designed primarily to produce life like our own; had it been so surely we might have expected to find a better proportion between the magnitude of the mechanism and the amount of the product. At first glance at least, life seems to be an utterly unimportant by-product; we living things are somehow off the main line.

We do not know whether suitable physical conditions are sufficient in themselves to produce life. One school of thought holds that as the earth gradually cooled, it was natural, and indeed almost inevitable, that life should come. Another holds that after one accident had brought the earth into being, a second was necessary to produce life. The material constituents of a living body are perfectly ordinary chemical atoms — carbon such as we find in soot or lamp-black; hydrogen and oxygen, such as we find in water; nitrogen, such as forms the greater part of the atmosphere; and so on. Every kind of atom necessary for life must have existed on the new-born earth. At intervals a group of atoms might happen to arrange themselves in the way in which they are arranged in the living cell—indeed, given sufficient time, they would be certain to do so, just as certain as the six monkeys would be certain, given sufficient time, to type off a Shakespeare sonnet. But would they then be a living cell? In other words, is a living cell merely a group of ordinary atoms arranged in some non-ordinary way, or is it something more? Is it merely atoms or is it atoms plus life? Or, to put it in another way, could a sufficiently skilful chemist create life out of the necessary atoms, as a boy can create a machine out of “Meccano” and then make it go? We do not know the answer, when it comes it will give us some indication whether other worlds in space are inhabited like ours, and so must have the greatest influence on or interpretation of the meaning of life — it may well reproduce a greater revolution of thought than Galileo’s Astronomy or Darwin’s Biology.

We do, however, know that while living matter consists of quite ordinary atoms, it consists in the main of atoms which have a special capacity for coagulating into extraordinary large bunches or “Molecules”.

Most atoms do not possess this property. The atoms of Hydrogen and Oxygen, for instance may combine to form molecules of Hydrogen, (H 2 or H3) of oxygen or Ozone (O 2 or O 3), of water (H 2 O), or of Hydrogen Peroxide (H 2 O 2) but none of these compounds contains more than four atoms. The addition of Nitrogen does not greatly change the situation; the compounds of Hydrogen, Nitrogen and Oxygen all contain comparatively few atoms. But the further addition of Carbon completely transforms the picture; the atoms of Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Carbon combine to form molecules containing hundreds, thousands and even tens of thousands of atoms. It is of such molecules that living bodies are mainly formed. Until a century ago it was commonly supposed that some “vital force” was necessary to produce these and other substances which entered into the composition of the living body. Then Wholer produced Urea CO (NH2)2 which is a typical animal product, in his laboratory, by the ordinary processes of chemical synthesis, and other constituents of the living body followed in due course. Today one phenomenon after another which was at one time attributed to “vital force” is being traced to the action of the ordinary processes of Physics and Chemistry. Although the problem is still far from solution, it is becoming increasingly likely that what specially distinguishes the matter of living bodies is the presence not of a “vital force” but of the quite common place element Carbon, always in connection with other atoms with which it forms exceptionally large molecules. If this is so, life exists in the universe only because the Carbon atom possesses certain exceptional properties. Perhaps Carbon is rather noteworthy chemically as forming a sort of transition between the metals and non-metals, but so far nothing in the physical constitution of the Carbon atom is known to account for its very special capacity for binding other atoms together. The Carbon atom consists of six electrons revolving around the appropriate central nucleus, like six planets revolving around a central sun; it appears to differ from its two nearest neighbours in the table of chemical atoms, the atoms of Boron and Nitrogen, only in having one electron more than the former and one electron fewer than the latter. Yet this slight difference must account in the last resort for all the difference between life and absence of life. No doubt the reason why the six electron atom possess these remarkable properties resides somewhere in the ultimate laws of nature, but mathematical physics hasn’t yet fathomed it.

Other similar cases are known to Chemistry. Magnetic phenomenon appear in a tremendous degree in Iron and in a lesser degree in its neighbours Nickel and Cobalt. The atoms of these elements have 26,27 and 28 electrons respectively. The magnetic properties of all other atoms are almost negligible in compassion. Somehow, then, although again, mathematical physics has not yet unravelled how, magnetism depends on the peculiar properties of the 26, 27 and 28 electron atoms, especially the first. Radio-activity provides a third instance, being confined, with insignificant exceptions, to atoms having from 83 to 92 electrons; again we do not know why.

Thus Chemistry can only tell us to place life in the same category as magnetism and radio-activity. The Universe is built so as to operate according to certain laws. As a consequence of these laws, atoms having certain definite numbers of electrons, namely 6, 26 to 28 and 83 to 92, have certain special properties, which show themselves in the phenomena of life, magnetism and Radio-activity respectively. An Omnipotent Creator, subject to no limitations whatever, would not have been restricted to the laws which prevail in the present Universe; He might have elected to build the inverse to conform to anyone of innumerable other sets of Laws. If some other set of laws had been chosen, other special atoms might have had other special properties associated with them. We cannot say what, but it seems a priori unlikely that either radioactivity or magnetism or life would have figured amongst them. Chemistry suggests that, like magnetism and radioactivity, life may merely be an accidental consequence, of the special set of laws by which the present universe is governed.

Again the word “Accidental” may be challenged. For what if the Creator of the universe selected one special set of laws just because they led to the appearance of life? What if this were his way of Creating life? So long as we think of the Creator as a magnified man-like being, activated by feelings and interests like our own, the challenge cannot be met, except perhaps by the remark, that when a Creator has once been postulated, no argument can add much to what has already been assumed. If however we dismiss every trace of anthropomorphism from our minds there remains no reason for supposing that the present laws were specially selected in order to produce life. They are just as likely, for instance, to have been selected in order to produce magnetism or radioactivity indeed more likely, since to all appearance physics plays an incomparably greater part in the universe than Biology. Viewed from a strictly material stand-point, the utter insignificance of life would seem to go far towards dispelling any idea that it forms a special interest of the great architect of the Universe.

A trivial analogy may exhibit the situation in a clearer light. An un-imaginative sailor accustomed to tying knots might think it would be impossible to cross the ocean if tying knots were impossible. Now the capacity for tying knots is limited to space of three dimensions, no knot can be tied in a space of 1,2,4,5 or any other number of dimensions. From this fact our unimaginative sailor might reason that a beneficent Creator must have had sailors under his special patronage; and have chosen that space should have three dimensions in order that tying knots and crossing the ocean should be possibilities in the universe he had created —in brief space, was of three dimensions, so that there could be sailors. This and the argument outlined above seem to be much on a level, because life as a whole and the tying knots are pretty much on a level in that neither of them forms more than an utterly insignificant fraction of the total activity of the materiel universe.

So much for the surprising manner in which so far as science can at present inform us, we came into being. And our bewilderment is only increased when we attempt to pass from our origins to an understanding of the purpose of our existence or to force the destiny which fate has in store for our race.

Life of the kind we know can only exist under suitable conditions of light and heat. We only exist ourselves because the earth receives exactly the right amount of radiation from the sun; upset the balance in either direction of excess or defect and life must disappear from the earth. And the essence of the situation is that the balance is very easily upset.

Primitive man living in the temperate zone of the earth, must have watched the ice-age, descending on his home with something like terror; each year the glaciers came farther down into the valleys; each winter the sun seemed less able to provide the warmth needed for life. To him as to us the universe must have seemed hostile to life.

We of these later days, living in the narrow temperate zone surrounding our sun and peering into the far future, see an ice-age of a different kind threatening us. Just as Tantalus standing in a lake so deep that he only just escaped drowning, was yet destined to die of thirst, so it is the tragedy of our race that it is probably destined to die of cold, while the greater part of the substance of the universe still remains too hot for life to obtain a footing. The sun, having no extraneous supply of heat, must necessarily emit ever less and less of its life-giving radiation, and as it does so, the temperate zone of space, within which alone life can exist, must close in around it. To remain a possible abode of life, our earth would need to move in ever nearer and nearer to the dying sun. Yet, science tells us that, so far from its moving inwards inexorable dynamical laws are even now driving it, ever farther away from the sun into the outer cold and darkness. And, so far as we can see, they must continue to do so until life is frozen off the earth, unless indeed some celestial collision or cataclysm intervenes to destroy life even earlier by a more speedy death. This prospective fate is not peculiar to our earth, other suns must die like our own, and any life there may be on other planets must meet the same inglorious end.

Physics tells the same story, as Astronomy, for independently of all astronomical considerations the general physical principle known as the second law of thermodynamics predicts that there can be but one end, to the universe ———- a “Heat-Death” in which the total energy of the universe is uniformly distributed, and all the substance of the universe is at the same temperature. This temperature is going to be so low as to make life impossible. It matters little by what particular road this final state is reached; all roads lead to Rome, and the end of the journey cannot be other than universal death.

Is this, then, all that life amounts to — to stumble, almost by mistake, into a universe which was clearly not designed for life, and which, to all appearance, is either totally indifferent or definitely hostile to it, to stay clinging onto a fragment of a grain of sand until we are frozen off, to strut our tiny hour on our tiny stage with the knowledge that our aspirations are all doomed to final frustration, and that our achievements must perish with our race, leaving the universe as though we had never been?

Astronomy suggests the question, but it is, I think, mainly to physics that we must turn for an answer. For, Astronomy can tell us of the present arrangement of the universe, of the vastness and vacuity of space, and of our own insignificance therein, it can even tell us some thing as to the nature of the changes produced by the passage of time. But we must probe deep into the fundamental nature of things before we can expect to find the answer to our question. And this is not the province of Astronomy, rather we shall find that our quest takes us right into the heart of modern physical science”.

(The Mysterious Universe page 1 to 12)

SECTION (ii)

THE ENDEAVOUR OF THE PHILOSOPHERS

IN THESE TWELVE PAGES : AN ECHO OF

THE ANCIENT GREEK ATOMISM.

          Modern science has during its three centuries of constant struggle made a number of discoveries. As established facts and as hypotheses, and our philosopher has placed his interpretations on them. Yet out of various probable lines of interpretations, the philosopher has assumed a line that evidently appears as the echo of the doctrinal implications of early Greek atomism, implications that are basically atheistic and exact antithesis of the doctrines of revealed religion.

          Science has discovered that:-

(a)      “Our home, this earth is incredibly small in comparison to the unimaginably vast-universe-around it.

(b)      Life could exist only in zones that are utterly insignificant against the immensely vast regions of the universe incapable of producing life.

(c)      Life can only exist on the planets like earth and such planets are a rarity.

          From these facts our philosopher has argued that this universe could not have been designed primarily to produce life like our own. Had it been so, a better proportion between the magnitude of the mechanism and the amount of the product could have been expected. “At first glance at least”, he says, “Life appeared as unimportant by-product. We living things are somehow off the main line”, he thought.

              Although the early Greek Atomists did not hint at this point, yet the line of the argument of our philosopher follows the same tract. The point of the insignificance of earth and life upon it will deprive man of his position of special honour on earth and in the creation, and will throw away life from its position of honour in the sight of the creator, and will thus strike at the doctrine of trial, purpose, resurrection and all the religious doctrines. It has to be observed that religion itself has assigned a very low place to the life in this world. But it has done so against the eternal life of the next world for which the sacrifice of this transient life is desirable. But what a difference exits between the two similar approaches to the same question. Our philosopher approaches to the same question. Our philosopher and the religion both regard this life insignificant. Yet our philosopher strikes at the very root of religion by calling the life insignificant, while religion strikes at the root of atheism by calling this life insignificant.

          Science has discovered that physics played an incomparably greater part in the universe than biology. From this our philosopher has inferred that unless the Creator were not a magnified man-like being activated by feelings and interests like our own, it were hard to believe that life could form a special interest of the great architect of the universe judging from the utter insignificance of life. If then life were so-insignificant in the sight of the Creator, all the doctrinal structure of revealed religion, man’s vicegerency, trial, purpose, resurrection would  stumble down and disappear a sailor who is capable of forming a link between the process of tying the knots and the design of the Creator of the universe is in the sight of our philosopher a fellow totally devoid of the faculty of imaginations, while monkeys a strumming on a type-writer unintelligibly were likely to work wonders. Plato or Aristotle would have wondered at such a philosophy appearing in an age in which man’s knowledge were regarded to have reached its utmost pinnacles.

          Our philosopher has discovered this universe as indifferent to life, so that emotion, ambition, and achievement, art and religion all were foreign to its plan. For the most part empty space was very cold, and most of the matter was extremely hot. Space was traversed, and astronomical bodies constantly bombarded by radiation of a variety of kinds much of which is probably inimical to, or even destructive of life. And so our philosophy has regarded the universe as actively hostile to life like our own. He has neglected the religious doctrines of man’s trial, this world according to religion being a house of trial full of afflictions. Our philosopher, however, has regretted the mistake of man’s stumbling into such a universe. How dearly it has to be wished, that the philosopher and the scientist were half as enthusiastic in describing the horrors of atomic war and atomic radiations.

  1. Our philosopher has regarded the appearance of life on earth as accidental. If monkeys strumming unintelligently on typewriters infinitely could accidentally produce a book, why the millions of millions of stars wandering blindly in space for millions of millions of years could not meet with every kind of accident including a kind which calls planetary system into being, and is fit for producing  life. How our philosopher has come to such a conclusion is known only to himself, for, science has hitherto made no discovery in the light of which the accidental nature of the appearance of life could be confirmed. No, but perhaps it is by the force of habit that our philosopher has hit upon a conclusion which at once carries away with it  the entire galaxy of the religious doctrines, design, purpose, trial, divine government of the world, purpose, trial divine government of the world, resurrection, judgement and life in heaven, and is a reflection of the fortuitous concourse of atoms.

          Our philosopher has spoken against the evidence of science, after science has shown that atoms are arranged in a living cell in a particular manner and according to a fixed design. Yet our philosopher has suspected, that it is in a blind play of chance that the atoms might have found themselves arranged in a manner in which they are arranged in a living cell. Here the old idea of the fortuitous concourse of atoms evidently appears at play.

  1. The only point in which our philosopher has differed from the views of ancient atomism is that of the destructibility of the universe and has anticipated the end of life through either heat-death or some celestial collision or cataclysm. But here too he has regarded the event as final. Nothing of the resurrection is said or alluded to. In fact science could give no guidance in this matter. Yet it is fundamental doctrine of religion.
  2. As far as the question of the purpose of man’s existence is concerned, our philosopher has experienced nothing but increased bewilderment. How it is wished that Sir James Jeans had after writing his “The Mysterious Universe” in 1930, written a “ A manifest Threat to the Mysterious Universe”, in 1945, alluding to the atomic threat. What a picture would Sir James Jeans have drawn of this most burning topic due to his great ability and particular talent.
  3. As far as the Quran is concerned, it will be seen to stand in direct opposition to these philosophic views of our philosopher. It denies accidental nature of creation and asserts a complete design and full control of the Creator, and ascribes a particular purpose to man’s existence, and teaches resurrection, and assigns a special place to earth in creation, and declares man as a creature that maintains a place of special interest in the sight of the Creator of this creation.

SECTION-(iii)

THE TWELVE PAGES REVIEWED IN THE LIGHT OF DOCTRINAL IMPLICATIONS OF ANCIENT ATOMISM

              We will here show the apparent link between the doctrinal implications of the ancient atomism and the philosophy produced in these twelve pages. We will quote the twelve pages and observe that, firstly, life has been proved as unworthy of special interest of the Creator because of its comparative material insignificance, and secondly, the creation of earth and life has been given out as of accidental nature without any evidence, and thirdly nothing but bewilderment has been confessed in respect of the purpose of man’s existence, without any effort, and fourthly the end of this life has been regarded as final without so much as a mention of resurrection or the life in heaven. The limitations of science, however, have been clearly exposed.

          Any one who has read about the doctrinal implications of ancient atomism, will at once observe that just as the ancient atomism by the dint of its doctrine of the fortuitous concourse of atoms had negated the design, plan, purpose, divine government and consequently the doctrine of resurrection and the life in the other world, this our philosopher in these twelve pages has followed the same line, for, by declaring the creation of earth and life as accidental, and by assessing the life as unworthy of creator’s special interest, and by confessing bewilderment only in the case of the purpose of man’s existence, and by declaring the end of life on earth as final without in any way the mention of resurrection or the life in heaven, he has negated the design, plan, purpose, divine government, resurrection and all to prove the existence of the link between the mind of the ancient atomism and that of this present modern atomism.

          Life too insignificant to be worthy of Creator’s special interest:-

          The insignificance of earth in comparison to the total substance of the universe, and the meagreness of life against the total activity in the universe has been given to show that life could not be worthy of a special interest of the grand architect of the universe .Read:-

          We have arranged the passages of 12 pages in a manner so as to produce every individual topic in its separate continuity.

(a)      “A few stars are known which are hardly bigger than the earth, but the majority are so large that hundreds of thousands of earths could be packed inside each and leave room to spare. Here and there we come upon a giant star large enough to contain millions of millions of earths. And the total number of stars in the Universe is probably something like the total number of the grains of sand on all the seashores of the world. Such is the littleness of our home in space, when measured up against the total substance of the Universe.

                   (The Mysterious Universe page 1)

(b)      “Millions of millions of stars wandering blindly through space for millions of millions of years are bound to meet with every kind of accident; a limited number are bound to meet with the special kind of accident which calls planetary systems into being. Yet calculation shows that the number of these can at most be very small in comparison with the total number of stars in the sky; planetary systems must be exceedingly rare objects in space. This rarity of planetary systems is important, because so far as we can see, life of the kind we know on earth could only originate on planets like the earth. It needs suitable physical conditions for its appearance, the most important of which is a temperature at which substances can exist in the liquid state”.

                   (The Mysterious Universe page 4)

(c)      “The stars themselves are disqualified by being far too hot. We may think of them as a vast collection of fires scattered throughout space, providing warmth in a climate which is at most some four degrees above absolute zero— about 484 degrees of frost on our Fahrenheit scale — and is, even lower in the vast stretches of space which lie out beyond the Milky Way. Away from the fires there is this unimaginable cold of hundreds of degrees of frost; close up to them there is a temperature of thousands of degrees, at which all solids melt, all liquid boil.

                   (The Mysterious Universe page 4)

(d)      “Life can only exist inside a narrow temperate zone which surrounds each of these fires at a very definite distance. Outside these zones life would be frozen; inside, it would be shrivelled up. At a rough computation, these zones within which life is possible, all added together, constitute less than a thousand million millionth part of the whole of space. And even inside them, life must be of very rare occurrence for it is so unusual an accident for suns to throw off planets as our own sun has done, that probably only about one star in 100,000 has a planet revolving around it in the small zone in which life is possible”.

                   (The Mysterious Universe page 4-5)

(e)      “Just for this reason it seems incredible that the universe can have been designed primarily to produce life like our own; had it been so, surely we might have expected to find a better proportion between the magnitude of the mechanism and the amount of the product. At first glance at least, life seems to be an utterly unimportant by-product; we living things are somehow off the main line”.

                   (The Mysterious Universe page 5)

(f)       “If however we dismiss every trace of anthropomorphism from our minds, there remains no reason for supposing that the present laws were specially selected in order to produce life. They are just as likely, for instance, to have been selected in order to produce magnetism or radioactivity———– indeed more likely, since to all appearances physics plays an incomparably greater part in the universe than Biology. Viewed from a strictly material stand-point, the utter insignificance of life would seem to go far towards dispelling any idea that it forms a special interest of the great architect of the Universe”.

                   (The Mysterious Universe page 9)

          “The Creation of earth and the appearance of the life only accidental:-

  1. All the force is spent to prove the creation of earth and life as of a nature only accidental. The implications of such a view evidently are a denial of design, purpose, divine government, and consequently the resurrection and the life in heaven to show clearly the link extant between the mind of the ancient atomism and the modern atomism. Read the Mysterious Universe:-

(a)      “This vast multitude of stars are wandering about in space. A few form groups which journey in company, but the majority are solitary travellers. And they travel through a universe so spacious, that it is an event of almost unimaginable rarity for a star to come anywhere near to another star. For the most part each voyages in splendid isolation, like a ship on an empty ocean. In a scale model in which the stars are ships, the average ship will be well over a million miles from its nearest neighbour, whence it is easy to understand why a ship seldom finds another within hailing distance”.

           (The Mysterious Universe page 1)

(b)      “We believe, nevertheless, that some two thousand million years ago this rare event took place and that a second star, wandering blindly through space happened to come within hailing distance of the sun. Just as the sun and the moon raise tides on the earth; so this second star must have raised tides on the surface of the sun. But they would be very different from the puny tides which the small mass of the moon raises in our oceans; a huge tidal wave must have travelled over the surface of the sun, ultimately forming a mountain of prodigious height, which would rise ever higher and higher as the cause of the disturbance came nearer and nearer. And, before the second star began to recede its tidal pull had become so powerful that this mountain was torn to pieces and threw off small fragments of itself, much as the crest of a wave throws off spray. These small fragments have been circulating around their parent sun ever since. These are the planets great and small of which our earth is one”.

           (The Mysterious Universe page 1-2)

(c)      “Into such a universe we have stumbled, if not exactly by mistake, at least as a result of what may properly be described as an accident. The use of such a word need not imply any surprise that our earth exists, for accident will happen, and if the universe goes on for long enough every conceivable accident is likely to happen in time. It was, I think, Huxley who said that six monkeys set to strum unintelligently on typewriters for millions of millions of years, would be bound in time to write all the books in British Museum. If we examined the last page which a particular monkey had typed and found that it had chanced in its blind strumming, to type a Shakespeare Sonnet, we should rightly regard the occurrence as a remarkable accident, but if we looked through all the millions of pages which the monkeys had turned off in untold millions of years, we might be sure of finding a Shakespeare Sonnet somewhere amongst them, the product of blind play of chance. In the same way, millions of millions of stars wandering blindly through space for millions of millions of years are bound to meet with that special kind of accident which calls planetary system into being. Yet calculation shows that the number of these can at most be very small in comparison with the total number of stars in the sky; planetary systems must be exceedingly rare objects in space”.

           (The Mysterious Universe page 3-4)

The Philosopher says:-

“Into such a universe we have stumbled, if not exactly by mistake, at least as a result of what may properly be described as an accident”.

The Quran says :-

“I made them not to witness the creation of heavens and the earth, nor their own creation; nor choose I misleaders for my helpers”.

                              (Quran 18 X51)

(d)      “We do not know whether suitable physical conditions are sufficient in themselves to produce life. One school of thought holds that as the earth gradually cooled, it was natural, and indeed  inevitable, that life should come. Another holds that after one accident had brought the earth into being, a second was necessary to produce life. The material constituents of a living body are perfectly ordinary chemical atoms — carbon such as we find in soot or lamp-black; hydrogen and oxygen, such as we find in water; nitrogen, such as forms the greater part of the atmosphere; and so on. Every kind of atom necessary for life must have existed on the new-born earth. At intervals a group of atoms might happen to arrange themselves in the way in which they are arranged in the living cell. Indeed, given sufficient time, they would be certain to do so, just as certain as the six monkeys would be certain, given sufficient time, to type off a Shakespeare sonnet. But would they then be a living cell? In other words, is a living cell merely a group of ordinary atoms arranged in some non-ordinary way, or is it something more? Is it merely atoms or is it atoms plus life? Or, to put it in another way, could a sufficiently skilful chemist create life out of the necessary atoms, as a boy can create a machine out of “Meccano” and then make it go? We do not know the answer, when it comes it will give us some indication whether other worlds in space are inhabited like ours, and so must have the greatest influence on or interpretation of the meaning of life — it may well produce a greater revolution of thought than Galileo’s Astronomy or Darwin’s Biology”.

           (The Mysterious Universe page 5-6)

And what after all was the revolution brought about by Galileo’s astronomy other than a tospsyturvification of the universe is man’s mind, and the topsyturvification of man’s mind in the universe, both in incessant rotation sans peace, sans rest, sans, sans, sans all. And what Darwin’s philosophy has done except dimming the thought of nobility in man’s mind, and as consequence changing this mankind into herds of wisdomized beasts indeed very selfish, inconsiderate, and ungrateful. And now only remains for someone to declare that life being merely the arrangement of atoms in a particular manner, it was possible to create life. That indeed will be the crowning glory and indeed the highest pinnacle of Bacon’s philosophy of man’s dominion over nature as man’s right and as man’s purpose. The birth of life will thus be given out as of a nature accidental. God’s thought will be excluded. His religion neglected. That indeed will be a great day but perhaps nearing the end and a painful one, for it is God himself who lays an exclusive claim to the dominion, while man’s claim to dominion irrespective of God’s dominion did envisage the destruction of mankind. The Quran says:-

“Have they not considered the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and what things Allah hath created, and that it may be that their own term draweth nigh? In what fact after this will they believe?

                              (Quran 7 x 185)

 This is very good verse of the Quran for the consideration of a humanity nearing the atomic annihilation as a result of their endeavouring to attain dominion over the nature.

(e)      “We do, however, know that while living matter consists of quite ordinary atoms, it consists in the main of atoms which have a special capacity for coagulating into extra-ordinary large bunches or Molecules.

Most atoms do not possess this property. The atoms of Hydrogen and Oxygen, for instance may combine to form molecules of Hydrogen, (H 2 or H3) of  oxygen or Ozone (O 2 or O3 )  of water  (H2 O), or of Hydrogen Peroxide (H 2O2) but none of these compounds contains more than four atoms. The addition of Nitrogen does not greatly change the situation; the compounds of Hydrogen, Nitrogen and Oxygen all contain comparatively few atoms. But the further addition of Carbon completely transforms the picture; the atoms of Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Carbon combine to form molecules containing hundreds, thousands and even tens of thousands of atoms. It is of such molecules that living bodies are mainly formed. Until a century ago it was commonly supposed that some “vital force” was necessary to produce these and other substances which entered into the composition of the living body. Then Wholer produced Urea CO (NH2)2 which is a typical animal product, in his laboratory, by the ordinary processes of chemical synthesis, and other constituents of the living body followed in due course. Today one phenomenon after another which was at one time attributed to “vital force” is being traced to the action of the ordinary processes of Physics and Chemistry. Although the problem is still far from solution, it is becoming increasingly likely that what specially distinguishes the matter of living bodies is the presence not of a “vital force” but of the quite common place element Carbon, always in conjunction with other atoms with which it forms exceptionally large molecules”.

 (The Mysterious Universe page 6-7)

  • “If this is so, life exists in the universe only because the Carbon possesses certain exceptional properties. Perhaps Carbon is rather noteworthy chemically as forming a sort of transition between the metals and non-metals, but so far nothing in the physical constitution of the Carbon atom is known to account for its very special capacity for binding other atoms together. The Carbon atom consists of six electrons revolving around the appropriate central nucleus, like six planets revolving around a central sun; it appears to differ from its two nearest neighbours in the table of chemical elements, the atoms of Boron and Nitrogen, only in having one electron more than the former and one electron fewer than the latter. Yet this slight difference must account in the last resort for all the difference between life and absence of life. No doubt the reason why the six electron atom possesses these remarkable properties resides somewhere in the ultimate laws of nature, but mathematical physics hasn’t yet fathomed it”.

(The Mysterious Universe page 7)

  • “Other similar cases are known to Chemistry. Magnetic phenomenon appear in a tremendous degree in Iron and in a lesser degree in its neighbours, Nickel and Cobalt. The atoms of these elements have 26, 27 and 28 electrons respectively. The magnetic properties of all other atoms are almost negligible in comparison. Somehow, then, although again, mathematical physics has not yet unravelled how, magnetisms depends on the peculiar properties of the 26, 27 and 28 electron atoms, especially the first, radio-activity provides a third instance, being confined, with insignificant exceptions, to atoms having from 83 to 92 electrons; again we do not know why”.

       (The Mysterious Universe page 7-8)

(h)     “Thus Chemistry can only tell us to place life in the same category as magnetism and radio-activity. The Universe is built so as to operate according to certain laws. As a consequence of these laws, atoms having certain definite numbers of electrons, namely 6, 26 to 28 and 83 to 92, have certain special properties, which show themselves in the phenomena of life, magnetism and Radio-activity respectively. An Omnipotent Creator, subject to no limitations whatever, would not have been restricted to the laws which prevail in the present Universe; He might have elected to build the inverse to conform to anyone of innumerable other sets of Laws. If some other set of laws had been chosen, other special atoms might have had other special properties associated with them. We cannot say what, but it seems a priori unlikely that either radioactivity or magnetism or life would have figured amongst them. Chemistry suggests that, like magnetism and radioactivity, life may merely be an accidental consequence, of the special set of laws by which the present universe is governed”.

           (The Mysterious Universe page 8)

(i)       “Again the word “Accidental” may be challenged. For what if the Creator of the universe selected one special set of laws just because they led to the appearance of life? What if this were His way of Creating life? So long as we think of the Creator as a magnified man-like being, activated by feelings and interests like our own, the challenge cannot be met, except perhaps by the remark, that when a Creator has once been postulated, no argument can add much to what has already been assumed. If however we dismiss every trace of anthropomorphism from our minds there remains no reason for supposing that the present laws were specially selected in order to produce life. They are just as likely, for instance, to have been selected in order to produce magnetism or radioactivity indeed more likely, since to all appearance physics plays an incomparably greater part in the universe than Biology. Viewed from a strictly material stand-point, the utter insignificance of life would seem to go far towards dispelling any idea that it forms a special interest of the great architect of the Universe”.

           (The Mysterious Universe page 8-9)

They insist so much on accidental, for, this is the only way to exclude God’s religion from the scene.

(j)       “A trivial analogy may exhibit the situation in a clearer light. An un-imaginative sailor accustomed to tying knots might think it would be impossible to cross the ocean if tying knots were impossible. Now the capacity for tying knots is limited to space of three dimensions, no knot can be tied in a space of 1, 2, 4, 5 or any other number of dimensions. From this fact our unimaginative sailor might reason that a beneficent Creator must have had sailors under his special patronage; and have chosen that space should have three dimensions in order that tying knots and crossing the ocean should be possibilities in the universe. He had created—-in brief space was of three dimensions, so that there could be sailors. This and the argument outlined above seem to be much on a level, because life as a whole and the tying knots are pretty much on a level in that neither of them forms more than an utterly insignificant fraction of the total activity of the materiel universe”.

           (The Mysterious Universe page 9-10)

We are at a loss to decide where the sailor in question or the philosopher who should produce a philosophy such as this is more unimaginative. What, it may be wondered, our philosopher has there to falsify the sailor’s notion in question, except by calling him an unimaginative, and that indeed by violating the sense of the English word Imagination which means mental faculty forming images of external objects, not present to the sense, and creative faculty of mind. It is this sailor in question that has formed up an imaginative link between the knots he ties and the mind of the Creator of the universe, as against this philosopher who can see nothing beyond the Accident of the accidental nature of earth’s creation, and has nothing but bewilderment in the purpose of man’s existence. Which of these two is more un-imaginative. Damned in one’s sight might appear both the science as it has been shown and the philosophy which has been evolved from it.

(3)     PURPOSE OF MAN’S EXISTENCE:

“MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE”:-

(a)      “The sun and the stars we see in the sky are all intensely hot —for too hot for life to be able to obtain or retain a footing on them. So also no doubt were the ejected fragments of the sun when they were first thrown off. Gradually they cooled until now they have but little intrinsic heat left, their warmth being derived almost entirely from the Radiation which the sun pours down on them. In course of time, we know not how when or why, one of these cooling fragments gave birth to life. It started in simple organisms whose vital capacities consisted of little beyond reproduction and death. But from these humble beginnings emerged a stream of life which, advancing through ever greater and greater complexity has culminated in beings whose lives are largely centered in their emotions and ambitions, their aesthetic appreciations, and religions in which their highest hopes and noblest aspirations lie enshrined”.

           (The Mysterious Universe page 2)

(b)     “Although we cannot speak with any certainty, it seems most likely that humanity came into existence in some such way as this. Standing on our microscopic fragment of a grain of sand, we attempt to discover the nature and purpose of the universe which surrounds our home in space, and time. Our first impression is something akin to terror. We find the universe terrifying because of its fast meaningless distances, terrifying because of its inconceivable long vistas of time which dwarf human history to the twinkling of an eye, terrifying because of our extreme loneliness, and because of the material insignificance of our home in space — a millionth part of a grain of sand out of all the sea-sand in the world. But above all else we find the universe terrifying, because it appears to be indifferent to life like our own; emotion, ambition and achievement, art and religion all seem equally foreign to its plan. Perhaps indeed we ought to say it appears to be actively hostile to life like our own. For the most part, empty space is so cold that all life in it would be frozen, most of the matter in space is so hot as to make life on it impossible, space is traversed, and astronomical bodies continually bombarded by radiation of a variety of kinds, much of which is probably inimical to, or even destructive of life. Into such a universe we have stumbled, if not exactly by mistake, at least as the result of what may properly be described as an accident”.

           (The Mysterious Universe page 2-3)

(c)      “So much for the surprising manner, in which so far science can at present inform us, we came into being. And our bewilderment is only increased when we attempt to pass from our origins to an understanding of the purpose of our existence or to foresee the destiny which fate has in store for our race”.

           (The Mysterious Universe page 10)

 (4)    THE END OF LIFE:- “MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE” :-

(a)      “Primitive man living in the temperate zone of the earth, must have watched the ice-age, descending on his home with something like terror; each year the glaciers came farther down into other valleys; each winter the sun seemed less able to provide the warmth needed for life. To him as to us the universe must have seemed hostile to life”.

           (The Mysterious Universe page 10)

(b)      “We of these later days, living in the narrow temperate zone surrounding our sun and peering into the far future, see an ice-age of a different kind threatening us. Just as Tantalus standing in a lake so deep that he only just escaped drowning, was yet destined to die of thirst, so it is the tragedy of our race that it is probably destined to die of cold, while the greater part of the substance of the universe still remains too hot for life to obtain a footing. The sun, having no extraneous supply of heat, must necessarily emit ever less and less of its life-giving radiation. And as it does so, the temperate zone of space, within which alone life can exist, must close in around it. To remain a possible abode of life, our earth would need to move in ever nearer and nearer to the dying sun. Yet, science tells us that, so far from its moving inwards inexorable dynamical laws are even now driving it, farther away from the sun to the outer cold and darkness. And, so far as we can see, they must continue to do so until life is frozen off the earth, unless indeed some celestial collision or cataclysm intervenes to destroy life even earlier by a more speedy death. This prospective fate is not peculiar to our earth, other suns must die like our own, and any life there may be on other planets must meet the same inglorious end”.

(The Mysterious Universe page 10-11)

(c)      “Physics tells the same story, as Astronomy, for independently of all astronomical considerations the general physical principle known as the second law of thermodynamics predicts that there can be but one end, to the universe——– a “Heat Death” in which the total energy of the universe is uniformly distributed, and all the substance of the universe is at the same temperature. This temperature is going to be so low as to make life impossible. It matters little by what particular road this final state is reached; all roads lead to Rome, and the end of the journey cannot be other than universal death”.

           (The Mysterious Universe page 11)

(d)      “Is this, then, all that life amounts to — to stumble, almost by mistake, into a universe which was clearly not designed for life, and which, to all appearance, is either totally indifferent or definitely hostile to it, to stay clinging onto a fragment of a grain of sand until we are frozen off, to strut our tiny hour on our tiny stage with the knowledge that our aspirations are all doomed to final frustration, and that our achievements must perish with our race, leaving the universe as though we had never been?”

(The Mysterious Universe page 11-12)

(e)      “Astronomy suggests the question, but it is, I think, mainly to physics that we must turn for an answer. For Astronomy can tell us of the present arrangement of the universe, of the vastness and vacuity of space, and of our own insignificance therein, it can even tell us some thing as to the nature of the changes produced by the passage of time. But we must probe deep into the fundamental nature of things before we can expect to find the answer to our question. And this is not the province of Astronomy, rather we shall find that our quest takes us right into the heart of modern physical science”.

           (The Mysterious Universe page 12)

 (5)    OUR SUMMARY AND REVIEW OF THE TWELVE PAGES.

(I)       What is known:-

(a)      The sky is of too vast an extent.

(b)      The distances between the stars are very great.

(c)      Stars being balls of fire are disqualified for life due to their intense heat.

(d)      Planetary systems are rarer.

(e)      Suitable physical conditions are necessary for the appearance of life.

(f)       Life of the kind we know can exist under suitable physical conditions of light and heat.

(g)      Life exists because the earth receives exactly the right amount of radiation from the sun. Upsetting this balance meant the disappearance of life from earth.

(h)     The material constituents of a living body are perfectly ordinary chemical atoms.

(i)       Living body consists of quite ordinary atoms, but it consists in the main of atoms which have a special capacity for coagulating into extra-ordinary large bunches or “Molecules”.

(j)       The presence of life on earth may be attributed to carbon atom for its special property of binding other atoms together.

(k)      Chemistry places life in the same category as magnetism and radio-activity.

(l)       Universe is built so as to operate according to certain laws.

(m)     The Creator of the universe is Omnipotent.

(n)     Physics plays incomparably greater part in the universe than Biology.

  • The end of life on earth will be through “Heat-death”.
  • WHAT IS NOT KNOWN:-
  • It is not known, how when or why the earth gave birth to life.

(b) It is not known whether suitable physical conditions are   sufficient in themselves to produce life. One school of thought holds that when one accident had brought the earth into being, another was necessary to produce life.

(c)      The reason why the six electron atom (Carbon) possesses the remarkable property that of binding other atoms together has not yet been fathomed by the mathematical physics. Nor has the mathematical physics as yet unravelled how magnetism depended on the peculiar properties, of the 26, 27 or 28 electron atoms. The same may be said of Radio-activity. This is a kind of a reason which resides somewhere in the ultimate laws of nature.

  • Whether the Creator of this universe is a magnified

man-like being, or whether He is free from every anthropomorphic trace has not been decided.

(III)    WHAT IS GUESSED:

 (a)     The creation of earth as a result of the eruption of the surface of the sun caused by the tidal pull of a star wandering blindly through space and approaching the sun.

  • Accidental nature of the appearance of life on earth.
  • Idea that the universe could not have been designed primarily to produce life, since extreme variance appeared between the magnitude of the mechanism (the universe) and the amount of product ( that is life)

AUTHOR’S REMARKS

Thanks to the unique ingenuity of Sir James jeans, that after a careful perusal of these twelve wonder pages, the universe settles before our eye to a clear, transparent, bubble universe. Therein I have noticed the term Accidental used in connection with natural phenomena; e.g, the creation of earth or the appearance of life on earth. I have strained my eyes indeed very hard in the realm of natural phenomena, yet have failed to descry the least trace of a possibility of accident in the zone of natural phenomena. The name of the accidental phenomenon does not simply exist in the long list of the natural phenomena. Set rules, set processes, inexorable and infailing, prefixed and pre-determined is the unalterable rule in the world of the laws that govern this universe. Both the factors, namely, the loss of control and the faulty system or substance which characterize the phenomenon of accident are absent in the province of natural phenomena. The term accident or accidental thus is a misnomer in any discussion connected with the functioning of the natural phenomena. The process as a result of which the earth came into being, or life on it appeared, could not have been called as accident or accidental.

It is indeed difficult to understand why scientific describer of the scientific facts should choose such unhappy term as accidental while describing the function of natural phenomena, and so should appear to insist on the use of such a word, while he could easily have avoided it: and he has used the word no doubt in contradiction to the rules of science, for, he used this word without a scientific proof to support the view. The reason simply is the inherent influence of the atheistic aspect of the philosophy of ancient atomism in the mind of our philosopher. The influence may also be traced to the traditional science-religion conflict which has always been there despite all the universal, constant and emphatic assertions to the contrary. And thus unfortunately but quite naturally a clear link between the atheistic doctrinal implications of the ancient atomism and the present state of modern atomism may be observed as established in colours that are quite vivid. The logical and scientific consequence of atomism may also be seen as the atomic hell now fast approaching with a deafening din and a maddening clamour. Inexorable sequence of inexorable laws. The end of the journey of atomism cannot be other than the atomic hell of atomic bombs and atomic radiations.

                  SECTION (IV)

DOCTRINAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE THEORY OF ANCIENT GREEK ATOMISM.

Lucippus the originator, and Democritus the developer and introducer of the atomic theory were both atheists. Its odious association with the name of these founders of atomism offered a great set-back to the theory. Apart from the atheism of its founders, the theory is in fact the mother of atheism. It implies negation of design, plan, purpose, resurrection, judgment, trial, and divine government of the world. Its atheistic nature was not unknown to the people of those times in which it was advanced. The sect of Epicureans adopted this theory purely and purposely for its atheistic aspect. Plato, Aristotle and all the great contemporary thinkers of Greece opposed and condemned such a theory. Their influence being considerable, their opposition proved to be an effective check on atomism. Yet it was reserved for a scripture namely the Quran to describe the modern atomism and to give it out as the cause, and to infer from it the appearance of atomic hell that is the atomic bombs and atomic radiations, describing the characteristics of atomic phenomenon, and warning the mankind against such a danger at a time that is  in 7th century A.D. when neither a trace of ancient atomism existed in the world, nor there was any apparent possibility of its revival in the world in any successive age.

The views of early Greek atomism were:-

          “Atoms move about in all directions in a fortuitous concourse in an otherwise empty space”. This notion implies a negation of design, divine Government of the world, purpose of creation, trial of man on earth. These negations further imply the negation of the necessity of resurrection, judgment and life in heaven.

*     “Atoms are indivisible and indestructible”. This view implies the eternity of this materiel universe, and hence excludes any possibility of resurrection.

*     “The motions of atoms persists until checked presumably in collision with another atom since the theory denies any other cause”. This again appears to be an attempt to refute the idea of divine agency, since Aristotle’s view was that the hand of divine power was necessary to push the things to keep them in motion.

*     “Atoms and space are all that exists “. This is a denial of the existence of any spiritual or divine agency in the creation.

*       “The things we touch and see are made by the arrangement of atoms in groups”. Scientifically this view indeed bears some truth. But the philosophic intent behind it appears to be of the negation of any spiritual or divine controlling agency. The arrangement of atoms that move in a fortuitous concourse without any design or control has to be taken as accidental which implies a negation of any designing or controlling authority.

        “There are different kinds of atoms, distinguished by difference of shapes, but individual atoms are too small to be noticed by the sense”.

This view is scientific

and is correct, and may be taken as a beginning of the scientific research of the material universe. But surely a science based exclusively on the purpose of material benefit as the objet of man’s life on earth is liable to end in material explosion.

 

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