Finely Tuned

I'm sitting on my back deck on a beautiful Spring morning, with a cool breeze gently nudging me. The birds are energetic. Having quite a conversation. Or debate? Flirting? Turf war between the robins and finches? I don't know, but they all sound lovely.

Scientists talk about "fine-tuning." You know, how the conditions for life to exist on this planet have to be "just so." Just a couple of miles more distant from the sun and Earth would be a big ice cube. A few miles closer and we'd have a mass of molten lava. It "just so" happens we are perfectly aligned in the cosmos. Astronomers and astrophysicists aren't the only ones to notice this. Biologists see how the tiniest details of life have to be "just so." All the intricate parts of a single cell have to work in tandem. Just a little out of whack, and it just doesn't work at all.

You don't have to be an expert at all to see this fine-tuning. It's obvious, and it's everywhere if you have the eyes to look. Or ears to hear.

My ears are hearing it right now. Alfred Hitchcock once made a movie in which all the birds mysteriously and suddenly decided they didn't like humans. So they attacked them. The results were pretty horrifying. As Hitchcock rightly imagined, we'd be utterly helpless. I propose a different movie. How about if all the birds sounded like fingernails scraping a chalkboard? Or what if they sounded like pigs grunting? Or maybe just an incessant ring, like constant Tinitus in our ears? Or a mechanical sound: scraping, beeping, honking like a horn? Or maybe lets just pretend they sang horribly out of tune.

Stop right now and listen. To the birds. You don't normally do that because you take their song for granted. Listen to the ones singing and chirping right now. Imagine that sound was something horrible. What would life be like?

It wouldn't be "like" anything, because life wouldn't exist. We'd all have long ago gone stark raving mad. It "just so" happens that the background soundtrack to our lives is also finely tuned.

The birds sing the praise of their Creator, and their voices are worthy for the task.

Brian Mattson