What if the fundamental constants of nature had values other than the ones they do?
What would happen in a hypothetical universe in which the fundamental constants of nature had other values?
There is nothing mathematically wrong with these hypothetical universes. But there is one thing that they almost always lack — life. Or, indeed, anything remotely resembling life. Or even the complexity upon which life relies to store information, gather nutrients, and reproduce. A universe that has just small tweaks in the fundamental constants might not have any of the chemical bonds that give us molecules, so say farewell to DNA, and also to rocks, water, and planets. Other tweaks could make the formation of stars or even atoms impossible. And with some values for the physical constants, the universe would have flickered out of existence in a fraction of a second. That the constants are all arranged in what is, mathematically speaking, the very improbable combination that makes our grand, complex, life-bearing universe possible is what physicists mean when they talk about the “fine-tuning” of the universe for life.Luke A. Barnes, “The Fune-Tuning of Nature’s Laws” at The New Atlantis
A good deal of effort goes into explaining away the fine-tuning of our universe and our Earth for life. But note the intellectually disastrous theses that are casually accepted as alternatives. For example, one alternative, the multiverse, is science’s assisted suicide; if we must consider an infinity of universes whose very existence cannot beverified, we have simply come to an end of thinking. Another dodge is that we merely evolved to see the universe as fine-tuned but it really isn’t. The very existence of the person making such a case is evidence that his case isn’t true.
What if we just accepted the fact that the universe is fine-tuned for life and for exploration? The way we accept the significance of 1/137. For what project would that be a problem? If we had that out in the open, we might have a clearer picture of the purpose of cosmological research.
See also: Should We Call The Pauli Exclusion Principle Quantum Fine-Tuning?
Rob Sheldon: Researchers Showed That The Carbon State Of The Universe IS Fine-Tuned
Shedding light on water’s weird, life-friendly qualities
What becomes of science when the evidence does not matter?
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