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The Fine-Tuned Universe

"It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us"--Stephen Hawking (TTE:107).

Last Updated: October 6, 2005


Astronomy Picture of the Day

Conclusions Reached by Some Scientists:

Paul Davies wrote:

  • "I belong to the group of scientists who do not subscribe to a conventional religion but nevertheless deny that the universe is a purposeless accident. Through my scientific work I have come to believe more and more strongly that the physical universe is put together with an ingenuity so astonishing that I cannot accept it merely as a brute fact. There must, it seems to me, be a deeper level of explanation. Whether one wishes to call that deeper level 'God' is a matter of taste and definition" (TMG:16).
  • "I cannot believe that our existence in this universe is a mere quirk of fate, an accident of history, an incidental blip in the great cosmic drama. Our involvement is too intimate. The physical species Homo may count for nothing, but the existence of mind in some organism on some planet in the universe is surely a fact of fundamental significance. Through conscious beings the universe has generated self-awareness. This can be no trivial detail, no minor byproduct of mindless, purposeless forces. We are truly meant to be here" (TMG:232).

Stephen Hawking wrote:

  • “…This picture of a universe that started off very hot and cooled as it expanded is in agreement with all the observational evidence that we have today. Nevertheless, it leaves a number of important questions unanswered. First, why was the early universe so hot? Second, why is the universe so uniform on a large scale-why does it look the same at all points of space and in all directions? (TTE:103-104)
  • Third, why did the universe start out with so nearly the critical rate of expansion to just avoid recollapse? If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have recollapsed before it ever reached its present size. On the other hand, if the expansion rate at one second had been larger by the same amount, the universe would have expanded so much that it would be effectively empty now (TTE:104).
  • Fourth, despite the fact that the universe is so uniform and homogenous on a large scale, it contains local lumps such as stars and galaxies. These are thought to have developed from small differences in the density of the early universe from one region to another (TTE:104).
  • These are essential prerequisites for the development of intelligent life, at least as we know it. Thus, these regions would not contain any beings to observe that they were different (TTE:106).
  • When one considers cosmology, one has to take into account the selection principle that we live in a region of the universe that is suitable for intelligent life. This fairly obvious and elementary consideration is sometimes called the anthropic principle (TTE:106).

 

 

Conclusions Reached by

Some Scientists:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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