Entropy is a measure of disorder. If you pour cream into your coffee, the cream will never remove itself to make the coffee black again. This is because the entropy (disorder) of the system (the coffee with cream) tends to increase over time. As a rule, systems tend to become more disordered.

The universe we live in is a place of amazingly low entropy, if that was not true we would not be alive. Every star, planet, rock, tree, living creature, every human being, everything in the universe that is more ordered than the diffuse interstellar gas clouds that surround us, is an example of a system with low entropy. For our universe to have the extremely low entropy it has required at the “starting point” the selection of a single low entropy universe from a virtually infinite number of possible high entropy universes.

Sir Roger Penrose, a noted British mathematician who along with Stephen Hawking established how singularities form in black holes, concludes that: “There is a certain sense in which I would say the universe has a purpose. It’s not there just somehow by chance. Some people take the view that the universe is simply there and it runs along, and we happen by accident to find ourselves in this thing. I don’t think that’s a very fruitful or helpful way of looking at the universe, I think that there is something much deeper about it, about its existence, which we have very little inkling of at the moment.”

To be more exact, in his book "The Emperor's New Mind", Penrose calculated that the universe we live in required the selection of one out of 10 raised to the 10th power raised to the 123rd power of all possible universes! This is a deceptively large number, which in fact cannot be written. If you tried to write it out by writing the number "1" on a piece of paper, you would have to write a 0 on every single atom in the universe just to approach the number of zeros that follow the one, even then you would not be close to writing out the entire number" To be more exact, in his book “The Emperor’s New Mind”, Penrose calculated that the universe we live in required the selection of one out of 10 raised to the 10th power raised to the 123rd power of all possible universes! This is a deceptively large number, which in fact cannot be written. If you tried to write it out by writing the number “1” on a piece of paper, you would have to write a 0 on every single atom in the universe just to approach the number of zeros that follow the one, even then you would not be close to writing out the entire number” (see www.ws5.com/Penrose).

If this interpretation of modern cosmology is as solid as it seems, it means that the chance that our universe was created at random is as close to impossible as we can get! Note that the popular argument that the odds are more favorable for spontaneous creation of living organisms is not relevant. Creation of the low entropy universe in which life could evolve is fundamentally different to spontaneous creation of life in that universe. It is the odds against the random creation of our universe that approach infinity, not the probabilities of spontaneous creation of life in our universe.

Many find comfort in believing that even if science has not yet discovered what they are, every physical event from creation onward evolved according to a set of absolute physical laws. The mathematically precise physical structure of the universe, the tiny place we have in the incredible vastness of space, the biologic characteristics we share with animals, etc., all may be interpreted as evidence of a purely mechanistic process that governs our lives.

Yet if we consider the complexity of that which we observe, the initial extraordinarily low entropy of our universe, matter which should not have survived antimatter, the mystery of consciousness, and if we are honest with ourselves, we cannot escape the intuitive feeling that there is an “order” in the chaos which cannot be explained by science. Even if the odds against the random selection of our low entropy universe out of all possible universes are not quite as impossible as they seem, we simply cannot ignore the intuitive feeling that the odds are almost infinitely against the spontaneous creation and existence of everything around us.

No matter how strongly we may feel that life is the result of physical processes only, if we are objective we should conclude that it intuitively seems impossible that a random physical process could create the almost infinitely complex, yet extremely well ordered, low entropy, universe in which we live. Anyone who takes the time to try to visualize billions of stars bursting out of a pinhead faces a mystery which, at the very least, leaves us with the possibility, however slight, that the observable physical universe is not “all there is”.

Even if science eventually finds an answer to what appears to be an unanswerable question, “how” was the physical universe created, the ultimate question “why” does the universe exist will remain. “Just because it does”, as well as other anthropomorphic explanations, seem less than satisfying answers. What all this tells us is that we have no real objective idea at all what the true nature of our life is, or what the possibilities are for our continued existence after death.