Many physicists have calculated that even small alterations of the laws of nature would make life impossible. In other words, the universe is uniquely suited for life, or at least life as we understand it.
What do we know?
We aren’t sure how to confirm why the laws of nature exists as they do, but there are three possibilities:
First, the universe was created intentionally and fine-tuned to support life. However, this is a religious, not a scientific, view.
Second, it may not be possible to alter a given law of nature, as that would have consequences elsewhere. If the laws of nature are interrelated, a universe with other laws and constants could also be fit for life, as long as that universe existed for the several billion years needed for life to evolve.
Third, a plethora of universes exist –possibly 10 raised to the 500th power — each with individual laws of nature. If they last long enough, life could potentially originate in a few of them.
Can we get an answer?
Even if a theory of everything were successfully established, it would probably not solve the problem, Thus it is doubtful whether science as we know it can predict or provide the answer.
The statement above appears in a recent edition of “Science Illustrated”, a periodical I found on the magazine rack at my local supermarket. This is one of a number of periodicals aimed at the general public with the intent of informing us on the current state of science. I have no problem with that, lay people need a man in the street presentation of things scientific.
However, articles like this one fail the smell test and fall into the category of pseudo-science propaganda. The author seemingly sets out to offer the reader with three possibilities to answer the question, but immediately and arbitrarily discards the first answer with the statement “ … the universe was created intentionally and fine-tuned to support life. However, this is a religious, not a scientific, view.”
The fundamental purpose and goal of science should be to discover truth, thus truth exists in a higher plane than the methods we use to discover it. When a possible path to truth is cast aside only because it is a “religious view”, then truth may forever be lost if indeed truth is on the path discarded, and this is what the writer of this article has done; in the name of science.
The third possibility presented can easily be set on the shelf, or discarded like the “religious view”, because it can’t be answered by any kind of observation or scientific method. A plethora of universes exists only in the minds of those making up this “just so” speculative story, let alone the numbers involved and the circular argument that billions of years will one day create life somewhere.
So this leaves the second possibility. But the writer seems confused at this point and cleverly combines the first and the third possibility to create another possibility that is not distinct from the other two and thus not a possibility at all.
So I’m left with the dilemma of having thrown out all three of the possible answers to the question “Are The Laws Of Nature Accidental?” and this seems to be the writers conclusion as well. So what’s the point of the article if not to throw God and His act of creation into the trash heap?
However, if I revisit the three given possibilities, in particular the first answer, and if I don’t discard it, then it seems to fit best with reality, and thus has the best chance of being the truth I seek.
So please, publishers of these popular periodicals, please present the complete picture, both sides of this Evolution/Creation/Intelligent Design debate. And please, you lay readers of such articles, buyer beware/
You can read more of my thinking on this topic at: