According to the laws of physics, the universe should have annihilated itself as soon as it came into existence.
Evolutionary scientists who adhere to the Big Bang theory argue that only energy existed in the beginning, then, as the universe expanded, some of the energy transformed into matter. When energy converts to matter, the reaction always creates an equal amount of antimatter, particles with a charge opposite their counterpart. So, for example, a proton of matter has a positive charge and a proton of antimatter, an antiproton, has a negative charge. But, since opposites attract, if equal amounts of matter and antimatter existed in the very beginning, they would have obliterated each other.
Earlier this year, scientists for the first time developed a way to measure antimatter, a discovery they hoped would enable future researchers to solve the mystery of how the universe survived.
Experts think some difference, some asymmetry, between matter and antimatter must exist that protected the two from a fatal attraction in the beginning. They have checked out numerous possibilities so far, including shape and mass, but found no differences. In the latest study, researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, or CERN) in Switzerland investigated magnetism and, once again, came up empty-handed.
“All of our observations find a complete symmetry between matter and antimatter, which is why the universe should not actually exist,” Christian Smorra, author of the CERN study, told the Independent of London.
But the enigma doesn’t surprise Brian Miller, research coordinator for the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. It is just another example of the razor-edge fine-tuning all around us that points to the existence of a creator, he told me.
“The fact that all the details are just right for life when almost any other set of laws of physics would have produced a universe that couldn’t support life strongly suggests that there is a creator who designed those laws specifically with life in mind,” Miller said. —J.B.