Our Complex Cosmos | Beyond the Stars
We often use the word ‘cosmos’ as a single name used to identify the existence of all matter.Every atom, asteroid, planet, galaxy, and even space itself.But, in addition to simply referring to the existence of all space and matter, the word cosmos is used because it describes the observed order and design in nature.The ancient Greeks as far back as the 6th century BCused their word for order–cosmos–to describe what they observed in the world around them.If ancient cultures prior to the understanding of electricity, magnetism, radiation, optics, subatomic interactions, or even the equations of gravity could make and conclude that order and function existed, then how much more should our generation appreciate the functional complexity of the Universe?You see, our universe does not exist as a chaotic collection of space and matter.Rather, the ordering of our cosmos can be seen from the very fabric of space-time itself.The physical laws that govern matter supply the foundation of functionality that we observe.From the beginning of time, mankind has explored, slowly constructed a detailed understanding of the physical world so that we can construct experiments, forecast expectations, and successfully predict results.But our mathematical expressions and the formulas are mere descriptions for how the laws naturally operate on their own.Our scientific investigations only reveal what order and function the cosmos inherently has.The functional laws of the universe exist, whether we can describe them, whether we can write them down, or whether we even know about them at all.Now when we observe nature, we’re not observing the physical laws themselves.Rather, we observe the functionality of our cosmos through the diversity of its complex structures.Along with space itself, matter fills the cosmos forming a breathtaking array of complex structures.From subatomic particles to spiral galaxies, from the trillions of cells that compose the human body,to the seething plasmas that power the stars, complex order is found at every cosmic scale.Take for instance the simple periodic table of the elements.This singular chart is mankind’s expression of the orderly sequence of elements that form the building blocks of our material world.Each element has a unique identity in its nuclear structure and fundamental characteristics.The periodic table uses both periodicity and related groupings to visualize the comparisons and the contrasts among all the elements.For instance, the number of protons in an atom–called the atomic number–is a unique property for each element.And it forms an increasing sequence from left to right and from top to bottom.The overall structure of the periodic table includes horizontal rows called periods, which are arranged to identify the highest energy level of the element’s outer electrons.The vertical columns are groups or families and they help to identify elements that have similar chemical properties.In fact, the orderliness of our cosmos is so well displayed in the periodic table that when early scientists were developing its structure from all the elements that they knew at their time, they found gaps in sequences where obviously an element should exist. These gaps in the ordered sequences led to numerous discoveries of elements which had not been known before.Had these new elements always existed? Absolutely. But until we identified the ordered structuring of matter, we could not correctly identify and describe the elements.The periodic table has elements that are the building blocks for the host of complex structures in our cosmos. Yet these complex structures in turn are participants in an equally inspiring set of complex interactions where cosmic laws exert their influence through the forces of nature.Here is where the complex nature of the cosmos has both confounded and astounded humanity.As much as we would like it, physical laws do not obey human whims.We’re subject to their processes and governed by their operation.No matter what branch of scientific study, what scale of the experiment,or what object of observation, the complex matter being observed is influenced by a host of physical laws and principles.So in our scientific experiments, while we struggle in confining the matter painstakingly restricting its contamination and seeking to establish boundary conditions,we must acknowledge that without the regular and ordered functionality of the laws of our cosmos, the complexity we see would merely be chaos.No scientific understanding could be obtained, let alone even initiated,if the regular repeatable and restricting laws were not present and functioning.If the origin of matter and energy– let alone the construction of complex structures–can not emanate from the matter or energy itself and if humanity doesn’t control it– let alone establish the cosmic law–What does the presence of both law and matter, function and complexity demand?The evidence leads to an intelligent Creator of such power and magnificence that the beauty of the cosmos in all its order and functional in comparison to Him.