Two galaxies similar to our own Milky Way collide in space. The collision would be catastrophic for any inhabitants of either of these galaxies:
Fortunately, contrary to popular conceptions about the existence of life in space and even the opinions of many scientists, there is reason to believe that of all the billions of galaxies in the universe and all the trillions of stars in those galaxies, sentient life probably exists near only one - our sun.
Some scoff at this notion. The universe is so incredibly vast and there are so many stars that some of them have to have planets like earth, they reason. But books like Ward and Brownlee's Rare Earth make a good case for the absolute uniqueness of earth as a suitable environment for higher life forms.
It may well be that no other galaxy, no other star, no other planet possesses the characteristics necessary to permit life to emerge and perdure. The entire universe in all of it's vastness may exist just so that we, the inhabitants of this tiny speck orbiting an average star, can. In other words, it's possible that the universe has to be as big as it is and as full of matter as it is in order for life to exist anywhere in it.
Assume that the conventional figure of about 14 billion years for the age of the universe is correct, and assume, too, that scientists pretty much correct about how stars are formed. Suppose further that the universe did, in fact, originate in a Big Bang.
Following this initial creation event the universe would have expanded rapidly. During that expansion stars were formed, lived for millions or billions of years, and then exploded like this star did:
While it lived the star was producing in its core many of the elements necessary for life. When it finally exploded many other elements were formed as well and all of them were spewed into space. Eventually, about 4.5 billion years ago, a small portion of this debris coalesced to form the earth and the rest of the planets in our solar system.
The whole time this process was going on the cosmos was expanding. Thus, life could arise on earth only after the necessary elements had been formed and only after billions of years of cosmic history had elapsed. The universe then, if this scenario is correct, has to be as old as it is, and thus as big as it is, in order for us to be here at all.
God could, of course, have created the universe complete in an instant, but if He chose to do it the way scientists think He did, what an extraordinarily extravagant act of creation He undertook just to eventually produce a world suitable for us to live in.
And what astonishing power and brilliance it must have taken.RLC