The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life?


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Customer Reviews

What is the probability that somewhere in outerspace or a distant galaxy is a floating computer that was fromed by the Big Bang? In otherwords what is man trying to do puting laws and order where there is no meaning for existance. We might as well be rocks which ask no questions because whatever the answer to its origin is it will be so meaningless to its existance. If there is no God then you are wasting your time asking where life came from. I'm sorry but you have totally misunderstood the principle behind Occam's Razor. Occam's Razor only stated that if two theories are equally good at predicting then you should choose the simpler one.

In other words - shave off the bells and whistles with Occam's Razor. You have mader the common mistake of turning this principle on its head - you have said the universe must be simple because the theory that predicts it must be simple. That does a disservice to Occam, who would never have believed that the universe was simple he was about as devout a Christian as you can get. Also, in the theory that there are multiple universes some of which may be far older than ours and which exist in other dimensions that may be concurrent with our own there would indeed be plenty of room for a pan-dimensional intelligence capable of manipulating matter as we perceive it in our rather complex and peculiar universe.

In fact that fits rather nicely with philosophy since the universe that "god" first appeared in may be much simpler than the one he created - no gravity, no electro magnetism, no periodic table etc. The answer to life the universe and everything could be in this article - but I couldn't be bothered to read more than the first line - summary anyone?

Your analogy is apt sir; however, if the hat fits the head and the spectacles fit the nose not by accident, but rather by careful design and production techniques, how much so the complex machinery called the universe. The astonishment is not that this particular universe is fine-tuned for life being a cause of ponderous wonder, but that that one could presume that you could have a design and purpose without a willful designer.

It would astonish me to no end if a hat or a spectacle were to myseriously appear out of random events and fit my anatomy snuggly. Therein lies the astonishment behind the claim that Goldilock somehow finds a porridge right fonr consumption in every way and yet has no chef. It seems to me that Paul Davies is falling into exactly the same trap as the intelligent design people - namely a lack of imagination. His argument goes alongs the lines:.

This is the only way I can imagine life forming. These universe needs these parameters to fit my imagination. The universe has these parameters Therefore the universe was designed. I cann't imagine X being the result of natural selction. X exists in nature Therefore evolution is wrong. The universe is only 10billion years old, or about million lifetimes. That's not long is it really? Not a lot of time to go from a single point of energy to the development of a creature with a brain so powerful it dwarfs the entire capability of the internet.

Bit of overkill perhaps? It's a funny old 10 dimensional universe we live in. This allows them to believe that the physics means that the universe was created for life, rather than the other way round, which is quite obviously going to be the actual case. The idea of this universe being specifically designed for life is, of course, the basis of the Bible. Modern ideas of parallel universes take the idea a little further. However there is an alternative way of looking at these ideas.

We may not be living in one of a series of universes that just happen to have the right conditions for matter, stars and life to form. Nor are we living in a universe that has just the right balance between cosmic expansion, gravity and atomic forces. We may be living in a tiny, tiny part of the only universe where the time, the place and the conditions just happen to be right for all those things to happen.

There may be many other parts of the universe where they were not right in the past and may never be right in the future and hence life or even matter itself will not form. Although the universe may be infinitely large, matter may not last forever and may eventually decay back to its original components.

Hence the mathematical probability of infinite parallel universes becomes impossible and the idea for this universe being the only one comes full circle. Those who consider the fine tuning issue to be irrelevant seem to be saying that those who think otherwise have little imagination. I would say its actually a broader kind of imagination. The nay sayers can only think in terms of this universe, and not in terms of an eternal being. And so they keep repeating the strawman nonsense "then who created God".

The reality of the situation is that two things seem to be fairly fundamental aspects of this universe - time and finite space. At some stage even if you want to follow speculative theories about the big bang being the other side of a black hole, or imploding virtual particles, or colliding branes etc , you have to have both time and space originating from something that is neither spacial nor temporal.

Now this doesn't necessarily mean the time and space of this universe. They could possible have originated in other universes or more credibly in extra dimensions. But at some stage there had to be some form of 'energy' or 'potential' that was not present in either time or space. To call that 'energy' a brane is to jump on the "then what created the brane" roundabout. Its certainly not scientific to claim this eternal being as the current hypothesis. The whole idea of science is never to accept any solution that says "God did it".

But science must realise the epistemological consequence of this and realise that its also unscientific to claim there is no eternal being behind it all. The fact so many claim to know otherwise with certainty shows that they are not following science and its process - but the cult of scientism. And if there is only one finite universe, then the physics takes on drastically different meaning, because the AP becomes a cosmological principle.

A literal anthropic constraint on the forces explains why the forces can't be unified, which defines a theory of everything, so anthropic relevance rides heavily on which cosmological model is actually ultimately proven to be in effect. The arrogance of scientists astounds me. They don't know anything much about anything yet some claim to almost have the complete String theory of everything.

No scientist can create any new matter nor destroy any, yet it exists. They themselves are made of matter and therefore a subset of the universe. Surely more humility is required. Nor do they know anything about what goes on in the zone between the plank length 1. This is a huge unchartered space if the fundamental building blocks of the universe are of plank size. What percentage of total knowledge do the scientists possess? They don't know. Speculations like the Goldilocks Enigma are likely pointless.

The true answer is unreachable, we simply don't know. So why bother wasting time keep looking. Science can never provide full knowledge nor is it a belief, it's use lies in practical applications. No, you don't know that, but your automatic reaction is to reject investigatable possibilities out of hand, because you think that the mere idea is arrogant.

What if life is cumulatively required by the physics over a vast area of the universe, like black holes, to make real, massive particles from vacuum energy? Have you honestly investigated the physics enough to know that the "Goldilocks Enigma" changes the equation in the above paper, since it erroneously extends the mediocrity principle instead? Do you know that this combination makes pin-point testable predictions about where life will and will-not be found in the universe, so you can either verify or disprove your assertions that we don't know enough without throwing it out because you misinterpret the need for a specialized tool as "human arrogance".

Questions like "why are the laws of nature as they are? It is useful to stand back and consider what kind of question is being asked, and what sort of approach is appropriate to finding an answer. It is ill-advised to go looking for "evidence" of something that is either necessarily true or necessarily false. It is equally ill-advised to try to reason a priori about something that is a matter of empirical fact. For example, "Occam's razor" has been frequently invoked as a possible guiding principle for addressing these questions.

The Goldilocks enigma : why is the universe just right for life? / Paul Davies - Details - Trove

But is this appropriate? Ockham's original principle was directed at the area of ontology - a quite different sphere of explanation from the scientific one. Whether or not it is a good principle, it is easy to see that it might give false results if applied to empirical disciplines. For example: we might consider some empirical fact e.

The true explanation might involve a huge number of entities. So, before applying rules of thumb like Ockham's, we ought if we want to claim to be taken seriously to have at least some ground for suspecting that they are appropriate to the matter at hand. It is easy to be dazzled by the linguistic similarity of questions whose answers lie in quite different realms. For example: "Why can a diamond scratch glass, while a piece of lead cannot? One kind of "why" question is a question about goals: "Why?

Sometimes the meaning of "why" can be ambiguous. For example: "Why does the ermine's fur turn white in winter? Another involves the purpose of the change, in terms of its benefit to the animal. These two different senses of the question involve two quite different explanation frameworks.

Obviously, answers to any question might be wrong. But could an answer be worse than wrong - could it be "illegal"? Yes, clearly, if a question is misunderstood. For example, if the person asking the question about the ermine's coat was expecting a physiological explanation, then an answer in terms of survival tactics will simply miss the mark.

This is the classic fallacy of ignoratio elenchi - the right answer to the wrong question. An answer might equally miss the point of the question entirely - as when we answer the question "What is the meaning of life? For example, if I ask "Why is Mrs Thatcher a man? Likewise, if I ask: "how many people would have to agree that two plus two is five before they changed the rules of arithmetic?

Earlier in this discussion we have seen people comparing the question "why is the material universe such that it supports 'life'? What mistake is the puddle making when it asks this question? Clearly, it isn't making a factual mistake. The laws of nature require that the earth does indeed fit the puddle's contours.

Is the puddle being stupid because the answer is "obvious"? If I have been locked in prison for twenty years, the sudden opening of the door will be blindingly obvious. But does that make it stupid or somehow "illegal" to ask "why is the door open"? If the puddle were asking "does the earth fit my contours? A more serious critique of the puddle's question is that it is implicitly mistaking the effect and the cause: it is asking "why does the earth fit me? Is the former not? Does the question "why does the world support life? Without wishing to sound blunt or critical, the questions of why are pointless at the moment from a scientific point of view.

Leave the speculation and philosophy to the philosophers and religions of the world. How is where science should concentrate and always has, but then again I think this book is aimed at the 'popular science' market rather than the serious student of the way things are, and so seeks to create an interest or curiosity in what he has to say. Religion and Science do need to have a certain dialogue at the moment but only as far as to agree that they stay out of each others business.

Science should stick to looking at the universe and the way it functions and religion can look at the unanswerable questions and matters of belief that cannot be proved or disproved. Whist the philosophers can tell us it's pointless to do either! On a serious note this kind of speculation and loose-thinking is weakening the standing of science in our society, if we're not careful evolution will be banned from our schools and gravity will be a myth! To do that you need a very complex universe and the probability of complex universes is vanishingly small.

For example, assume that the universe was born without gravity - could some sort of intellectual awareness develop in such a universe? Do you need gravity to make such a computer? In fact you don't need much at all. Or you could have two dimensions of a 10 dimensional string universe with a high intellect using minimal complexity in structure overlayed with 4 dimensions of the same universe with a highly complex structure in it.

And the enormous two dimensional intellect might have created the complexity inside the three dimensional universe and pop in and out between the two generally spreading confusion and solving [1] in the process. Just a hypothesis. Hats are ideally suited to the shape of heads because the shape of heads constrained the evolution of hats. You may then extract a further analogy, if you wish, following Paley, and say: "Since the hat has a designer, life must also have a designer". But to this I would reply: "The place of the designer in human artefacts is taken in organic matter by the genome.

And the genome is the product of environmental pressures. Earth is uniquely positioned to support life. There are no signs of life on similar size and temperate planets. Perhaps the controlling force is one that we have never expected - until now. Why is the BBC publishing extracts from this book? It doesn't seem to offer anything beyond ordinary popular science. Science is very good at describing things. However, a description is not an explanation. This is the fundamental divide between religion and science. Just to prove the existence of a Big Bang or a Big Bounce will not tell you anything about why it happened.

Or of course, it may not have happened at all. Scientific method is never conclusive, new evidence can always upset a firmly held thesis. So even as a description, science is not perfect. Which is why it should not rest as an conclusive explanation either. I'd argue that we're paying too much attention to Goldilocks and not enough attention to the porridge. The porridge may appear to be 'just right', but it doesn't care whether Goldilocks eats it, or Baby Bear eats it, or whether it gets eaten at all, or indeed whether it ever got made in the first place.

Life may think it has some sort of special relationship with the universe, but the universe simply regards life as just another variety of coagulated matter and treats it accordingly. In effect not solid particles but electrical particles of energy like the string theory. Therefore by definition all perceived reality is a hologram or picture projection of images. We are indeed living in a virtual reality world. Probably Gods dream. Vic: "Earth is uniquely positioned to support life. Yes vic, and nor would I expect it.

Even the Darwinists have only proposed abiogenesis to have happened once. The Earth is remarkably well suited to organic life, and yet with all the different locations and environments on earth, and with a dynamic in the seas and the atmosphere, it appears that it only happened once here.

The probability that it ever happened on an inhospitable planet like Mars, for instance, is correspondingly smaller. The puddle might indeed gasp at its good fortune. The planet it finds itself on is not a perfect geometric shape - it has bumps and hollows. It has gravity, and quite a lot of gravity, it has an atmosphere creating pressure that allows the water to condense. It might go on to realise that it is fortunate that the chemistry of water allows the individual water molecule to coalesce when in close proximity, and that the molecule itself its built of two varieties of atom that fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

It might wonder what an atom is and marvel at its strange properties. Come the winter part of the puddle might freeze. The frozen water will be less dense than the liquid water and will remain on the surface. And his friend the tadpole would reply "I don't know either, but I'm bloody grateful!

I haven't read all the replies so I apologise if this has been voiced before. It seems to me that there is no such special thing as 'life'. It's simply another arrangement of particles which produces certain effects. Particles arranged one way produce a tree, another way a rock, a third way a star, a fourth way a human being. It so happens that the particle and force arrangemnts in our universe allow our particular arrangement to exist and so here we are asking the question.

But there's nothing special about our particle arrangment, it just happens to give rise to us. Seems obvious really. Something about the meaningless of a universe with an absent God. Personally I only bettered the erudite Mr. Levin by about 11 pages. Journalist Tom Woolf made a similar point in his chilling essay-sorry,but your soul just died.

As a practising Christian I am afraid that all of these theories have rather a remote relevance. However,I am enjoying the book as an intellectual exercise,and though I may never finish this book,have made it as far as Actually, the Goldilocks Enigma predicts that life will not be found on either, Mars nor Venus because Earth represents the balance of these extreme opposite runaway tendencies.

Think about it, and then figure out why you can use this to make other testable predictions about where life will and will not be found in the universe. I like your ideas. One day scientists will get to see inside the atom, and when they do they will see it has lines of C-code and "Copyright Microsoft" at the bottom.

That's why we have earthquakes and tidal waves - the operating system is full of bugs! Without a breath, who could pose the question? Without a breath, what have you got? Without a breath, where is the universe? Embedded in your breath, is everything you could ever possibly need.

Goldilocks - Known Universe

There is nothing bad. It is an ocean of answers. Your potential is there. Everything is there, it is good, it is good, and it is good, and it is good, and it is good. If it's endless, how can that be? Perhaps the universe is not meant to hold life, which could explain why various forms of its survival is so hard or short lived on the big timescale of things?

I then ask myself - why? Why do the challenges of life seem like an endless challenge? Leaving me to again wonder if perhaps life itself was really not meant to be, thus leaving us to make the most of it the best way we can. If there is someone playing with the buttons of the universe — why?


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What pleasures would they get from it? Are the answers really out there somewhere or just held within each one of us, as we are every bit part of the universe? A literal anthropic constraint on the forces indicates that traits or characteristics are inherently evolved toward higher orders of the same basic structure. Given the following, which isn't even a scientific stretch, since Wheeler proved that number 1 is theoretically plausible, and nobody that can honestly read the writing on the wall is going to dispute number 2 :.

I find it increasingly unnerving that more and more science is putting humans on the brink of extinction. New diseases rapidly spread by the technology of high-speed travel, ever superior weaponry, exploding populations from the growth of unsustainable modern agriculture and of course global warming. If there is a God there would be a delicious irony in seeing mankind brought to its knees by the products of its earliest invention - fire.

At the same time there is an added irony in that we have known about global warming for some 20 years or so and are doing precious little about it. It requires belief you see - belief that what someone else is telling you might be true even though there is little evidence to support it. To do something about global warming people have to counter their belief that material gain is the route to happiness on the basis. They show little sign of adopting such beliefs. They require "evidence" they can see with their own eyes - they don't want to have "faith" that the science is right.

By the time such evidence exists it will be too late. If there is a God, he must be laughing his socks off at the irony of it all. It is also worrying that increasingly scientists are claiming that the keys to the universe are within reach. Douglas Adam's stated in the hitch-hikers guide that "If anyone ever discovers why something as bizarre and inexplicable as the universe exists, it will at once dissappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable".

If the worlds scientists find that the keys of the universe have God's fingerprints on them, perhaps that's when Douglas Adams' prophesy will come true. After all, God's experiment in "faith" will have come to an end at that point. Could it be that when we think we are doing science we are unknowingly exploring the architecture of our own minds?

According to James Q; " "The place of the designer in human artefacts is taken in organic matter by the genome. Maybe you did not fully understand my argument, so kindly allow me re-state my position by substituting a phrase with one from your statement above thus:. It would astonish me to no end if a hat or a spectacle were to myseriously appear out of "environmental pressures" and fit my anatomy snuggly. The point sir, is this; you wish to suggest that design and purpose can originate from that which is purposeless and undesigned.

That, to me, is fallacious and even "unscientific". Your suggestion that a human artefact- which is infinitely simpler than the most basic cell composition - needs an intelligent designer, while the more complex constructs we observe in the Universe all arise from random "pressures" stretches my intellect into the realm of the ridiculous. Are hermaphrodites not "superior" from a purely survival viewpoint?

And which one evolved first: the Man or the Woman? How does being asleep and defenceless enahance survival? Is a thing not most vulnerable as it sleeps? The simplest life form is more complicated than a hat. Therefore the simplest life form has a designer. It's true that hats are subject to environmental pressures the whims of Homo sapiens.

It's even true that their design is subject to environmental pressures the shape of Homo sapiens. However, there the analogy ends. Hats do not have a genome. They do not produce little hats, which produce even more little hats. They do not repair themselves, on the basis of information which they themselves contain.

They do not grow, replicate, and die. That's why they're entirely dependent on an outside agent i. Living organisms, on the other hand, do have genomes. They do grow, replicate, and die. There is therefore no need for an outside agent: the genome in living organisms is the equivalent of the designer and manufacturer in human artefacts. Of course, the relative success of a particular genome in terms of offspring will depend on environmental pressures; just as the relative success of a hat design will depend on suitability and changing fashions.

But I think that's where we came in. It not perfect for life. Look at all the wasted planets with no life at all? Why does the sun give you cancer? It is what it is. Accept it. I'm really glad that the early organisms didn't put the eye somewhere "sensible" like at the end of the limbs where it could be manouevered into different positions. Similarly it is very convenient from an engineering point-of-view that all the major input and output devices are close to the brain. You would have expected them to be wherever and the processing to be right where the sensor is.

One huge brain controlling the whole thing is quite bizarre really. The sun would give you rather more cancer if there wasn't enough atmosphere between you and it - organic chemistry doesn't react too kindly to ionising radiation. Too much air and we would all fry - organic chemistry doesn't enjoy very high temperatures. In engineering terms it is not perfect - it is "fit for purpose".

You're a clever man James Q - how do you make a baby from a genome? Can I make a genome that will make a hat? I'm an engineer I'd like to know - we could make a lot of money. Think of it - hats that would produce baby hats. And each hat would grow with you. He then ignores the obvious and imagines fantastic fantasies of how it all came to be. Scientists like that one because it offers them the best chance of the ToE.

Plenty of room for a god in there and precious little room for a scientific explanation. Scientists don't like this much, especially evolutionists. This is because the steps between stable evolutions require mutations to combine together to make useful functions. If this relies on chance then from one end of evolution to the other you end up with a highly improbable sequence of events. Hence the ID proponents get a shot at squeezing god in there as a designer. Problem with that approach is that one of the possibilities in an infinite number of universes is the existence of god, and the possiblity of an intelligent designer in a relatively simple universe is higher than intelligent life in a complex many layered universe.

Therefore the possibility that god created this complex universe from within his own simple universe is higher than the chance of it creating itself at random, i. Given enough time software engineers might design a computer game where the computer generated characters have self-awareness and perceive themselves to be real and in a real universe. So that's the problem with god - when science squeezes him out of one part of the universe he pops up somewhere else - the cheeky monkey. Had another thought about this anthropic principle.

It equally applies to an idea I had years ago about the "convenient toolbox". As an electronics engineer I am always struck by the way the elements have very different behaviour even though they are made of just three different parts. It is as if you can build a nuclear power station just using Lego. Without coal the industrial revolution could never have happened. Coal is an enormous store of solar energy compressed to a high density and held underground. How lucky is that? The same goes for oil, used not just for transportation but for plastics, insecticides and fetilizers.

Much of the science of the last hundred years was driven by the discovery of the properties of radiactive isotopes. We are just lucky that these radioactive isotopes are not too plentiful and usually are underground - but not a long way underground or we would never have found them.

If earth was too radioactive we would never have evolved. Electronics uses a plethora of bizarre elements: silicon, carbon, phosphorous, indium, gallium, arsenic, germanium, gold, aluminium, silver. Some of these elements are crucial for the development of electronics. Without these tools we would never have got further than the ancient Greeks in understanding our universe.

However, the most bizarre thing for me are fossils. Somehow T-Rex died, his bones stayed together in one place, his bones were then buried in rock, the bones decayed but were replaced by another rock injected into the cavity, then all the rock appears on the surface in a convenient location for scientists to discover it, all still fairly intact. Someones having a laugh aren't they? Some of the key fossils would have been rare as hens teeth when they were alive but scientists seem to have found pretty much all of them 10s of millions of years later.

If Inspector Morse had seen evidence like that he would have said "No Lewis, it's too obvious. Someone planted that evidence. They wanted to make use believe we know about our own past. Take those fossils down to forensics and see if they can find gods fingerprints". Ever get the feeling you are the victim of some elaborate practical joke? Phil, there is an entropic interpretaton of the anthropic principle which notes that we are environmentally enabled to within the practical limitations of human capabilities.

The idea is supported by time-line of human existence since we leapt from apes to harness fire, and beyond Other scientists, like, James Kay, Eric Schneider, Dorion Sagan, and Scott Sampson, think that this is to satisfy sharp energy gradients per the second law of thermodynamics, but the magnitude of the anthropic physics indicates that this effect would have to be universally affective, so there has to be something else that we do that makes this true, if the hypothesis is correct.

Surely this theory is a load of pap? Life is not inherently efficient. Photons arrive from the earth and are orderly in that they are travelling in one particular direction and at high velocity - they have high energy but low entropy disorder. They reach a plant and photoreactive chemicals turn the energy from the photons into energy the plant uses to build more complex molecules.

If the plant was burnt it would be clear that not all the energy from the photons has been extracted by photosynthesis and the energy wasted must have caused an increase in entropy. There is nothing special about this process - you could equally have a solar cell constructed to turn photon energy into electrical energy and then use the electrical energy to perform electro-plating i.

Clearly the second law of thermodynamics holds. If the authors are trying to claim that plant life was forced to evolve to make best use of the available energy i. It seems that whilst traditional scientists would say that plant life could evolve because there was energy present to allow it to evolve, these scientists are saying that plant life HAD to evolve because the need to efficiently use the energy demanded it.

I think that is a rather perverse view. I think that it's your interpretation that's perverse, but hey, I've only been studying this for the last four years, so you're probably right. I once read a comment by a mathematician dice-man. At the time I thought it was very blasphemous but now have decided to take him out of context to explain a very good point about the universe, impossibilities, and God Jehovah :. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Chance and without him was not anything made that was made.

In Chance was life and the life was the light of men. Please feel free to enlighten me with the details of your four years of study. Clearly 20 or so lines of text were not sufficient to get your ides across. Seems pretty speculative stuff to me Island. But then you are not alone. Most cosmology is based on obervations of a known universe that is the flotsam and jetsom of the big bang - all the "good stuff" has dissappeared over the event horizon, never to be seen by humans again.

Similarly we can only detect sub-atomic particles if we happen to look for them because they fit our theories. We can't observe them directly as EM waves can't get down past the sub-atomic level. Seems to me these questions can't be answered - unless we try and use our theories to create our own "big bang" sometime in the future.

But then - maybe someone got there before us? Island - "non-accidental occurrence doesn't imply god! Where are they? In the end it doesn't matter. Let's just try to all enjoy our lifes with respect for each other and the environment we life in. And honestly I think it's about time we start doing this or all our GREAT questions, theories and hypotheses will die with us eventually. If we can do that, we can spend all day thinking and brainstorming about these questions.

Its like saying: Why cant humans live underwater? Why cant humans live in space without the presence of a gravitational field?? Why do people never ask: Why dont humans have wings? If we did have wings, WOW! It must have been perfect. Even if you explain why our universe can allow life, you still have to explain how life spontaneously came to be, which no one is close to doing today.

And even if you explain that, you still have to explain the evolutionary mechanisms that through random mutations turned a cell into a being who can correctly explain how the universe and life came to be. This has not been done. And even if you explain that, you still have to explain why - what's the evolutionary advantage of knowing these things? And even if you explain that, what's the chance that random evolution would make us understand this correctly?

And if you manage to prove all this, you have proven that we are all biological robots with no free will, and there is no meaning to life. Do you belive this? Well, let's consider this statement: there is an all-powerful creator of the universe with some benign interest in us. If that statement is true: then the phenomena of the universe must provide the most truthful, incorruptible communication we could receive from such a being; in which case we surely should co-operate and do our utmost to understand the universe through unprejudiced research.

If that statement is false: then we have to be able to rely upon our own resources; in which case we surely should co-operate and do our utmost to understand the universe through unprejudiced research. Paul Davies relies on the existence of Chance but there is no such thing. Neil Golightly wrote: "As an atheist, I'm not in favour of this one when there are answers that don't posit divine intervention. I suppose that comment is very good. Because it is really so , we are not here because it is right. Re: the puddle waking up in the hole. That misses the point. The questions is how did the hole happen when the likelihood of the hole is so remote.

The puddle waking up is a remote outcome as the result of another remote outcome, that would have been just as remote if the puddle was there or not. As an article of faith I am attracted to the strong anthropic principle for no other reason than it suits my optimism. Michelangelo once postulated that the angel was always in the marble, he merely removed the excess stone to uncover it. Davis had offered several examples in which he argues that the angel may be there or not, and has expressed a preference for it being there.

I share his optimism. In both our cases it is an expression of faith not necessarily a religious faith in the untestable philosophies that all of the explained theories are in his work. The Goldilocks Enigma is a philosophical work not a scientific work. Or is it some form of scientist heresy for a scientist to engage in a philosophical exercise?

If it is then scientists had better remember where they came from. Are we seeking patterns where there are none? We are too trained to recognize things and look for systematic explanations. How can we possibly seek for evidence that disproofs this hypothesis? A theory hold only if we can construct productive counterargument and prove it false, otherwise it is simply talk that can not be even put in the same category as science.

The Goldilocks Enigma has been solved. A paper "Resolving the Goldilocks Enigma" is on the Philica. It is obvious that most people that commented did not read the book, or even the book description. When Davies asks, "Why the universe is perfect for life? He cites Rees' "Just Six Numbers":. In addition, he shows how, if these numbers were only slightly different, stars and galaxies would not form, complex chemistry would not be possible, and life could not evolve. This raises the interesting philosophical question, Why? Of course, this idea spawns some very radical theories such as the multiverse theory there are an infinite number of universes with tweaked laws of physics, and we just live in that habitable one.

Paul Davies thinks this explanation is not enough, not only because the multiverse theory is unprovable, but because it attempts to explain how our universe works through forces outside our universe, something that many scientists and people on this board call religious people irrational for for doing that same thing. He says that using Occams Razor, intelligent design seems more rational and less dogmatic that the multiverse theory.

Paul Davies, is not some simple quack. He is admired by many people in the field of science and even atheist Richard Dawkins Dawkins expresses respect for him in 'The God Delusion'. Even then, he is skeptical of intelligent design, and gives his own theory which doesn't need a God or a multiverse. He doesn't believe that, as people are declaring on this commentary board, that God made the the universe just right for human life. He simply gives arguments for and against intelligent design and the multiverse theory, and believes his own theory to be superior. Get your facts straight.

TUU9vx A number of universities have awarded her honorary degrees, and she earned a prestigious job on the staff of Detroit congressman John Conyers. In Roxanne Brown noted: "Thirty-two years after she attracted international attention for sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Mrs.

Parks's ardent devotion to human rights still burns brightly, like a well-tended torch that ignites her spirit and calls her to service whenever she is needed. If humans all die tomorrow, in say some horrific nuclear war, then this neural activity that holds these concepts as significant will die with us. So these conclusions do not exist beyond us however much we somehow feel they must do. Nature itself does not necessarily correspond to the fragmented models of relationships we create in our minds - nature is I feel one - it is to the nth degree a whole entity in which we are transitory phenomena in the wash of that wholeness.

You see we see the world beyond us and are puzzle at it because we are humans seeing us and nature in this divided up funny way but nature knows nothing of this dividing up business - nature just IS - it a whole integrated state not necessarily even in time - it just IS. Now a cheetah on the Serengeti Plain or a monkey up a tree in the forest is not puzzled about why there is anything at all - he or she just is - is just one with the universe with out the need to question it - it just IS and I suspect inherently knows or assumes this.

May be if we can just realise this dividing up stuff pattern searching part of our frontal lobe has evolved to aid the survival of us a rather physically weak monkey be set by the problem of surviving in a hostile world.. So to conclude my thesis : The problem is with us humans who locked in their over developed brain think that the why type questioning can go on infinitely like the child who has learned to keep asking why. Talk about Newsnight is a blog from the BBC's flagship news and current affairs programme.

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B. The Unique Universe

Talk about Newsnight Book club. At PM on 09 Oct , Martin Liddament wrote: If we heard a raindrop ask the question, "why is it that the cloud was formed just right to create me? At PM on 09 Oct , Douglas Adams wrote: Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it?

At PM on 09 Oct , Timothy Dicks wrote: This is a perfect example of a loaded question and depressing coming from a scientific viewpoint. At PM on 09 Oct , Ian Kemmish wrote: One of the published extracts contains the key - we don't actually know if all of the "fundamental" parameters are independent. At PM on 09 Oct , Jay wrote: I personally think the human race is getting a little bit ahead of itself concerning these issues. At PM on 09 Oct , anne elk wrote: In the interview, Mr Davies summarises by saying the universe must be 'about' something. There's no other form of information.

Information is 'about' causal spectrotemporal relationships. At PM on 09 Oct , Charles Lucy wrote: Only in a universe which "worked" could such questions be asked; so why is it so amzing that the tuning is correct? At PM on 09 Oct , Shaun wrote: I believe that in a different Universe with other laws of physics life may evolve in different ways. At PM on 09 Oct , Andrew Campbell wrote: Paul Davies has studied for years and come to the conclusion that the universe is so finely tuned that it is able to sustain life Final thoughts:- Maybe we are simply asking this question because we are in the Universe that habours life, or maybe there is just one universe that must have these rules, and evolved just like biology states in Darwins theory of evolution.

Qur'an, That Day We will fold up heaven like folding up the pages of a book. Qur'an, Do those who disbelieve not see that the heavens and the earth were sewn together and then We unstitched them and that We made from water every living thing? Qur'an, Everything in the heavens and everything on the earth and everything in between them and everything under the ground belongs to Him. Qur'an, We did not create heaven and earth and everything in between them as a game.

Qur'an, Do you not see how He created seven heavens in layers? Qur'an, He to Whom the kingdom of the heavens and the earth belongs. Qur'an, Then He turned to heaven when it was smoke. At PM on 09 Oct , anon astron wrote: The universe must exist as one which develops life otherwise the question cannot be posed! At PM on 09 Oct , brian Wicker wrote: Paul davies is right to think of the universe as a co-ordinated whole that lacks an over all designer.

At PM on 09 Oct , ken wrote: The meaning of the universe, whether there is or isn't one, can only ever be understood by the subjective one doing the understanding. At PM on 09 Oct , Phill Firmin wrote: When we consider all the evidence from all the angles, including the historical records of the ancients, we can but arrive at one conclusion; there must be a creator God. At PM on 09 Oct , Chris Mvere wrote: Its interesting to note how when even scientific evidence points towards unity and order in the universe a lot of people get upset because it sounds familiar, like religion has been saying all along.

At AM on 10 Oct , Tom McMaster wrote: An 'intellegent' tadpole might conclude that things are 'just right' in the pond where it happens to have found itself - and of course, it is!. Tom McMaster. At AM on 10 Oct , Chris Mvere wrote: The "bad" thing about their being a grand plan within the existance of the universe is that we may have to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.

At AM on 10 Oct , Hamish wrote: Davis is on the right track for a 'final' theory of everything when, from memory of the interview on Newsnight he said something like "the universe is a universe that somehow is capable of talking about itself". At AM on 10 Oct , roger wrote: What Paul is saying is nothing new, it all does sound very mind boggling and raises more questions than it answers, but it has ALL been discovered and wrote many centuries before with much greater proofs. At AM on 10 Oct , Mike wrote: i beleive we were put here for a reason, though we dont need to know that reason because we were put here for the fact that what ever sent us here already knew and put us here for that reason.

Take this for example. At AM on 10 Oct , Mike wrote: we are the truth. At AM on 10 Oct , A wrote: fossils prove that we hadnt evolved from monkeys. At AM on 10 Oct , Mike wrote: im not satying that. At AM on 10 Oct , Alex Bunker wrote: Paul Davies falls for what I like to refer to as "the original conceit" that lies at the heart of all western religion, and shoehorns it into something that is sold as a scientific worldview: that the universe is made for, and all about, us humans. John Pen. At AM on 10 Oct , Andrew Daw wrote: But suppose that there were almost immoveable barriers to to developing a universal explanatory theory.

At AM on 10 Oct , Chris Green, Southampton UK wrote: Its funny how the principle of parsimony is the only way of interpreting evidence in an unbiased way, apart from when the use of that principle would point toward the existence of a creator. At AM on 10 Oct , David Jones wrote: It seems to me that Paul Davies is NOT saying that the world was made for us, but that if the conditions were slightly different everything from the Earth and the solar system to the fundamental laws of nature then we could not exist in our current form - and it is worth asking why this should be.

At AM on 10 Oct , Carlo Superbio wrote: I am amused by the so called enigma nearly as much as the comments from the participants above. At AM on 10 Oct , Suzanne Barry wrote: Advances in technology have allowed us to be able to view the earth and the universe at a different scale from our ancestors, which is why we are able to observe the earth in relation to the other planets in our solar system and wonder about the possibility of other life outside of it. At PM on 10 Oct , James Q wrote: If the parameters had been different, the results would have been different.

It's as simple as that. At PM on 10 Oct , Nick Gypps wrote: If our universe is the 'lottery winner' of the multiverse, then where did this universe-generating mutiverse come from? The ironic thing too is that science is supposed to be about evaluating the evidence. It's not supposed to be about whether you like the answer or not. But when the scientific answer is "God did it" then apparently that can be ignored.

Colin Baker. At PM on 10 Oct , Alex Lindsay wrote: When there's an almost infinite array of stars and galaxies in a concoction we call a Universe such as ours it can't be beyond ALL probablilty that somewhere might be, coincidentally, the right ingredients to produce a string of DNA from this unfathomable soup. At PM on 10 Oct , Simon Adams wrote: As usual the fundamentalist religious and the fundamentalist believers in scientism all show how well they can miss the point completely.

So which is closest in terms of Occams Razor; - Believing in a creator God that is in some ways in our image i. At PM on 10 Oct , James Q wrote: Life on earth is ideally suited to earthly conditions because those conditions constrained the evolution of life on earth. We might as well be astonished that hats fit heads and spectacles fit noses.

At PM on 10 Oct , Austin Amadasun wrote: Is it rather not interesting to read Martin Liddament and Douglas Adam paraphrase the anthropic principle by giving consiousness to a raindrop and a water puddle respectively? The debate is about Life - and why those items you have listed above do NOT ask those questions. Is this postion based enough on logic and reason for the contributors?

At PM on 10 Oct , David wrote: Asking why "the universe seems 'just right' for life" is like asking "why is the Earth-Moon system just right for total eclipses". At PM on 10 Oct , island wrote: Oh brother At PM on 10 Oct , Hillbilly I have been talking about this for about 5 years, to great abuse from the scientific community. If we have the technology to do one at the point of our own destruction Why Not?

At PM on 10 Oct , Craig wrote: Tired of the "it's so perfect it must have been designed argument". If we can reach a point where we can create a big bang - with the use of human technology, then the logical answer is "it is highly likely that we created the big bang that created us, and we are the result of a man made big bang".. At PM on 10 Oct , tony wrote: nick gypps: So you are here How long have we had electric light? At PM on 10 Oct , W J Doherty wrote: How can an experienced scientist ask us to jump in advance of any actual results to what he prejudges to be the facts about the origin of life?

At PM on 10 Oct , Dan Lofting wrote: Whatever the arguments for or against the theory,I thought it impressive that Newsnight presented such a complex puzzle in so clear a manner. At AM on 11 Oct , Chris Yeldham wrote: This sounds like the 'back to front' classroom science currently under public scrutiny, and is another example of arrogant dogmatism usually associated with religion. At AM on 11 Oct , andy wrote: another nut, we have found one planet with life, and that is us.

At AM on 11 Oct , john atkinson wrote: I would like to point out that the truth about this universe is so utterly simple even a small child can understand it. At AM on 11 Oct , Gouranga Dasanudas wrote: "The mental speculator may fly through the sky of speculation with the velocity of the mind or the wind for thousands of millions of years, and still he will find the Universe inconceivable. At AM on 11 Oct , John wrote: Scientific law is normally developed from hypothesis following rigorous testing during the intervening theory stage; with the testing being carried out using the tools and observations available to the testers.

At PM on 11 Oct , James Q wrote: "Is it theoretically possible that this took place through a series of lifeless, impersonal, undirected and ultimately meaningless random processes? At PM on 11 Oct , Dale wrote: If the universe was created by a god "God" , then it follows there must be something much bigger "outside" the universe - otherwise pity poor old God squeezed into an environment smaller than himself.

At PM on 11 Oct , AHamlin wrote: The answer to life the universe and everything could be in this article - but I couldn't be bothered to read more than the first line - summary anyone? According to James Q: We might as well be astonished that hats fit heads and spectacles fit noses. Sir, is it not the case that these are purpose-built items shaped for their specific use? At PM on 11 Oct , Neil Broderick wrote: It seems to me that Paul Davies is falling into exactly the same trap as the intelligent design people - namely a lack of imagination.

His argument goes alongs the lines: This is the only way I can imagine life forming. In both cases a more plausable conclusion would be "I need a better imagination" Paul Davies' latest book is not science it is meaningless speculation. At PM on 11 Oct , phil hoy wrote: The universe is only 10billion years old, or about million lifetimes. At PM on 11 Oct , island wrote: The "lack of imagination" At PM on 11 Oct , Alan Giles wrote: The idea of this universe being specifically designed for life is, of course, the basis of the Bible.

At PM on 11 Oct , Simon Adams wrote: Those who consider the fine tuning issue to be irrelevant seem to be saying that those who think otherwise have little imagination. At PM on 11 Oct , island wrote: And if there is only one finite universe, then the physics takes on drastically different meaning, because the AP becomes a cosmological principle.

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Did you know that the physics isn't restricted to one earth-planet? At AM on 12 Oct , cpks wrote: Questions like "why are the laws of nature as they are? More important: can a question ever be "illegal"? If life is not an accidental byproduct, then it's miraculous. If consciousness plays a direct role in shaping the physical world, then wow. Davies catalogues a number of fascinating examples of how perfectly the universe is situated to allow us to walk around, marvel at the clouds, construct theories, build businesses, and waste our time on celebrity gossip.

While comprehensive, I don't think the book is going to change anyone's opinion. A skeptic is still going to go, so what, and resort to the gap solution belief that we'll figure out all these questions soon enough. The gap solution belief is the opposite of the God of the gap theory. Rant: How the debate dissolved into a shouting match The quantum universe is weird.

Physics currently holds that the observer effects the observed, that particles are better described as waves, and that the future is uncertain. When you ask that powerful question, "why" you find it's turtles all the way down that's a science joke , until you find your super turtle - the answer or the uberturtle as Nietzsche might have said that's a philosophy joke. The chain of causality leads to 3 possible options.

GOD 2. TOE 3. Usually God is tangled into religions, but that is not a necessary relationship. To draw an analogy, we believe in freedom and different governments protect it, but we would never say blank country is freedom. So it is with God and religion. Toe: Option two is to say there exists a theory of everything TOE and that science will discover it soon enough. This relies on a confidence in our ability to figure things out. It's like a sign at a bar that reads "Free beer tomorrow. You cannot "prove it" using empirical methods ironic since science prides itself on exactly that point but its advocates believe we'll get there.

The deity in this system are the "laws" of nature.

The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life? by Paul Davies

Wtf: Option three is to say, WTF mate, there is no reason anything exists, chaos rules! It's not so much an answer to the question as it is a way of saying this isn't a question, now step out of my sunlight and let me live in my barrel. It's the cynical response, impossible to argue against in the same way it's impossible to disprove a solipsist.

Try it on for a bit, but, this is a solution that in my mind is best discarded with the rest of your college posters. There's a phrase that's hard to say, "I'm sorry. Our intelligence and our methods of figuring things out are insufficient. It's an eternal mystery, which is either fascinating or infuriating. Here's the problem.

The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe just Right for Life?

The discourse around this debate, like the discourse around any idea nowadays, has become a shouting match and name calling battle. That's not a healthy starting point for any debate. As a man who has lived on all sides of this debate grew up in a radical Catholic sect, spent several years a chest thumping atheist, have settled into a kind of pantheism meets wonder and awe at the universal flux I see the fundamental problem as complete confidence in our own perspective, a lack of respect for the opposing camp's starting position, and a refusal to admit the built-in assumptions in any position.

Yes, TOE and science involve belief and assumptions, but that's ok. Yes, God cannot be captured in an equation, but that's ok. It doesn't mean someone is a cold blooded spreadsheet the caricature of a scientist or a delusional idiot the caricature of a religious believer. Davies is one of many scientists who acknowledges the divine. He demonstrates its possible to both know and understand the scientific method our best invention for figuring things out but also recognizes its limitations.

Quotes John Archibald Wheeler's style was distinctive. He was the master of the thought experiment, taking an accepted idea and extrapolating it to the ultimate extreme, to see if and when it would break down…Not content with simply applying the laws of quantum mechanics, he wanted to know where they came from: 'How come the quantum? In his beliefs and attitudes, Wheeler represented a large section of the scientific community: committed wholeheartedly to the scientific method of inquiry, but not afraid to tackle deep philosophical questions; not conventionally religious but inspired by a reverence for nature and a deep sense that human beings are part of a grand scheme which we glimpse only incompletely; bold enough to follow the laws of physics wherever they lead, but no so arrogant as to think we have all the answers.

Xiii Attempts to gain useful information about the world through magic, mysticism and secret mathematical codes mostly led nowhere. But about years ago, the greatest magician who ever lived finally stumbled on the key to the universe - a cosmic code that would open the floodgates of knowledge. This was Isaac Newton - mystic, theologian, and alchemist - and in spite of his mystical leanings, he did more than anyone to change the age of magic into the age of science.

They though that by exposing the patterns woven into the process of nature they truly were glimpsing the mind of God. But I want to stop right there and ask the question, why The fact that the physical world conforms to mathematical laws led Galileo to make a famous remark. And this language is mathematics. Physicists became so familiar with the laws that somewhere along the way the laws themselves - as opposed to the events they describe - became promoted to reality. The God of scholarly theology is cast in the role of a wise Cosmic Architect whose existence is manifested through the rational order of the cosmos, an order that is in fact revealed by science.

On the largest scale of size there is order and uniformity. This infinite red shift, clearly, is a fundamental limit: we could not see beyond in space or this moment in time. Cosmologists refer to this limit as a horizon. The moment of the big bang, in this simplified and idealized picture, is a horizon in space beyond which we can never see, even in principle, however powerful our instrument and ignoring the opacity of the material.

And that, as we shall see later, is yet another one of those 'coincidences' that is needed for a life-permitting universe…. Wave-particle duality is a basic feature. Which aspect - wave or particle - depends on the type of experiment or observation performed. It is not possible to say in general whether a photon or an electron is "really" a wave or a particle, because it can behave like both. Closely related to this vagueness is a central tenant of quantum mechanics called Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. This forbids a quantum object from possessing a full set of familiar physical attributes at any given time.

Augustine's considered answer to what God was doing before creating the universe was that 'the world was made with time and not in time. There is one aspect that often gets left off the list of observed properties, and this is the fact that there are observers to observe them. A factor of ten would suffice to preclude life: if space contained ten times as much dark energy as it actually does, the universe would fly apart too fast for galaxies to form. A factor of ten is a pretty close call. The first is that biological organisms are a product of Darwinian evolution…the second key quality is autonomy.

If you throw a dead bird into the air, it will follow a simple geometrical path and land a predictable spot. But if you throw a live bird into the air, it is impossible to know how it will move or where it will land…the third distinctive property of living systems is how they handle information.

A few physicists saw this as evidence for consciousness playing a direct role in the physical world at the quantum level. Most physicists, however, rejected that view. We are together, the universe and us. The moment you say that the universe exists without any observers, I cannot make any sense out of that. I cannot imagine a consistent theory of everything that ignores consciousness. In the absence of observers, our universe is dead. Conventional science assumes a linear logical sequence: cosmos - life - mind. Wheeler suggested closing this chain into a loop: cosmos - life - mind - cosmos.

He expressed the essential idea with characteristic economy of prose: "Physics gives rise to observer-participancy; observer-participancy gives rise to information; information gives rise to physics. Jun 25, Johan Haneveld rated it it was amazing. A couple of years ago a friend of mine told me about this book and some of the ideas involved in it. I was intrigued and my ideas about the universe and Gods purpose this book is at best agnostic, but I am a theist changed consequently. My friend explained that this book put forth the theory that in accordance with quantum mechanics the observer of the universe a future universe wide intelligence?

This implies that the arrow of time is not unidirectional, going from the past to the future in a deterministic and thus fatalistic way, but the arrow of time points to the future, meaning it's direction is determined by what is going to be and how to get there, not by what was. The deterministic view is kept by materialist scientists as well as fundamentalist christians and both views to me led to a loss of hope in life.

In both views we left a perfect state and all is going down hill since then. If all is determined to go to the drains the heat death of the universe or hell and there is no room for choice, then why live? But if there is a 'telos' in the universe, something we are travelling towards, something that will be accomplished, then we gain meaning, and hope. This is a more 'open' view, but I believe that God is working towards a future, that is promised, and our lives can be taken up in that, if we allow him to.

We can work with him, but even if we don't, he's making it so. Yes, humanity failed, but this was not a 'fall' from a perfect state, but a failure to achieve a destiny, and God has promised that this destiny will be fulfilled anyway. Not Genesis is our goal, but Revelation. Yes, I use a scientific text or popular science anyway to inform my theological speculation, but I think as christians we ought to do that more often anyway, as I think Gods creation says more about him than we often think it does.

Why did God make this world using a process of laws distilling from the symmetry of the big bang? Why the long epochs of gasses slowly congealing into galaxies, why the long road? This book also asks questions of theists and their explanations of why this universe is the way it is - questions that made me think: the notion of God is not rationally to be understood, from a rational point of view it is quite absurd even. If God is eternal, not created, and there is nothing outside of him: how can that be?

How could he think? How could he decide to create? But and this is a big but the scientific or rational explanations for why the universe is the way it is being a place conducive to intelligent life are also absurd and require a leap of faith as big as believing in a creator. The reason to believe in God then is not based on a rational explanation, but the deciding factor in choosing an explanation to me is based on the revelation of God in Christ. As to the nature of God and creation, I think they are more intricately involved in each other than is often accounted for for if there is not space and time outside of the cosmos, where is God?

That is not a question that can be asked. So God must be everywhere. As Paul said: In him we live, move and have our being. This is not all speculation though! Especially the first half of the book is a very involving and to me understandable explanation of current idea's on cosmology, particle physics and the big bang.

Even without a lot of prior knowledge I gained a lot of insight from this e. I was inspired by this summary of the respective fields, and the search for unification in theories, and will read more on this subject. Oh, and I liked his references to SF-authors and stories in the text. Definitely recommended for people who want their minds blown. We live in a strange universe, that is for sure, and whatever ultimate theory you accept, the fact that we exist and that we are able to understand our universe a bit , is shown to be a marvel, something to be in awe of.

A book that accomplishes this wonder about our world and our existence does something good to ones soul. View 1 comment. Mar 23, Murray rated it liked it Shelves: philosophy , science , non-fiction. This is a fine book, and I can recommend it to anyone who enjoys pondering the imponderable.

If you want to read about the most important existential question we humans have asked through the ages, written by one our most creative minds, this is a book for you. However I have several recommendations to make before you begin: 1. Do not expect a definite answer to the question posed in the title. No one, not even someone as brilliant as Professor Davies has that answer. Except of course people who adhere to the Intelligent Design Theory—but why should they waste their time on the other alternatives explored in this book?

Likewise, if you are an absolute atheist you might not like the book either. You need to have an open mind, so a confused agnostic like myself will find the possibilities intriguing. Consider starting at the Afterword at the end of the book. For those of you who still wish to embark on this journey through time and space, be prepared.

But minds far better than mine, unconstrained by normal human experience, are at work at this while I am writing this review. Inflation we find out is more than something government does with our money. Galaxies and black holes dot the landscape. Will the universe fly apart or collapse? Dark matter and energy lurks sinisterly in the background with that solution. And what are galaxies but aggregates of quarks and neutrinos, tiny little things that go bump in the night?

This book is as much a philosophical treatise as a book of pure science. Davies takes on Platonic idealism amongst many other ideas. Do the laws of physics really exist? Are they the same in all universes, or all regions of ours? Towards the end of the book Davies gently probes the prejudices of all believers and non-believers. Davies can wax arcane and lost me in several areas. Not explicit enough for me. The book is not for everybody. You will have to invest more mental resources in this if you wish to get something out of it. Apr 16, Jafar rated it really liked it. Why is the universe just right for life?

Forget all the evolution vs. There are far more basic questions to ask regarding life. Like: why are the laws of physics such that they allow formation of galaxies and stars and planets? If you think that the bacteri Why is the universe just right for life? Imagine where life would be without carbon. There are so many constants and parameters in physics that seem to be finely tweaked to be just right for the appearance of complex, stable matter and eventually life. Try explaining that!

A lot of the book is pop-science physics to make you understand how the laws and constants of physics seem to be fixed to support life. The question then is: why is that so? Davies shows that there are serious problems with all of these explanations. Then the book gets really speculative. There are parts of this book regarding simulated universes that make Matrix tame and boring by comparison.

He leans toward an explanation that is teleological but self-contained: a self-explanatory universe that is destined to create life and intelligent beings able to explain it. And how is that possible? Something to do with backward causations and loops in time. Do I understand any of this? Heck, no, but physics is the best thing to get your mind off the banality of daily life. Nov 19, David rated it it was amazing.

In this book, Paul Davies, a well-known physicist and cosmologist, presents a detailed examination of the many ways in which the universe seems remarkably well-suited for the rise of intelligent life -- namely us. Davies goes far beyond the usual and rather tired examples of the earth being the right distance from the sun, etc, and instead looks at the fundamental laws and constants of physics.

Why are they what they are? Could they have been different? How much different? One of the most remar In this book, Paul Davies, a well-known physicist and cosmologist, presents a detailed examination of the many ways in which the universe seems remarkably well-suited for the rise of intelligent life -- namely us. This is roughly orders of magnitude in error! Physicists have long presumed that there must be some yet-unknown principle that forces cancellation of these terms to zero. Such hopes were dashed a few years ago when it was discovered that the universe's expansion is accelerating, which implies that the average density of the universe is slightly nonzero.

This means that the components of the energy density mentioned above cancel out to digits, but then fail to cancel out at the th digit! We just happen to be in an extremely hospitable item among this ensemble, because if it weren't well we wouldn't be here discussing this issue. Needless to say, appeals such as this to an "anthropic principle" has generated huge controversy among physicists and cosmologists.

Davies discusses all of this and then concludes that none of the currently proposed "solutions" make much sense -- the multiverse solution utterly violates Occam's razor; talk of a divine "creator" invariably raises the question of who created the creator; and talk of a universe that masterminds its own conscious life is just a bit too weird. So what is it? Read Davies' very interesting book and decide for yourself. Jun 19, Robert Day rated it it was amazing. Why is my office just right for working in? My favourite theory is that the definition of the office is not just confined to the walls, floor, ceiling, desks, chairs and computers, but also the people sitting on those chairs, at those desks, tap-tapping away at those computers.

Without light there would be no sight; without people there would be no office. We are conscious beings and are in the office because the office needed to be conscious of itself. Then there's all sorts of interesting stuff ab Why is my office just right for working in? Then there's all sorts of interesting stuff about the various theories of what office furniture is made up of. I think it's made of string - even the bits that look like wood.

The wood pattern is just painted on - duh! Of course actually, you can forget all that stuff. We're really all just living in software in a big computer somewhere - or more likely on a smartphone. That's why we have to sleep - because the app is updated overnight. Woe betide you if you wake during a dream and then can't tell whether your dream is really the reality of an update to the stringy bits and bytes you're really made of. Woe betide you if you think that all of us sitting around discussing the nature of reality achieves anything more than having fun whilst passing time.

Oh, and that's another thing - time doesn't really exist either - it's just a figment of the conscious nature of the things that strings are made from in the mad mind of a semi-conscious smartphone updating overnight in a dream whilst the gods sing la-la-la-la-la with their fingers in their ears. This book is a masterpiece and the author is a genius. I love it. Jan 09, A Reader rated it really liked it. When mind and cosmos will be one. The primary purpose of Paul Davies in Goldilocks Enigma is to appeal to scientific inquiry and reason in order to address the big questions of existence.

Why does theoretical physics work? Why is nature shadowed by the mathematical reality? Is a theory of everything possible? How did the universe begin? And most the most important: Why is the universe fit for life? Davies analyses the ideas and the developments of theoretical physics the last fifty years and and examin When mind and cosmos will be one. Davies analyses the ideas and the developments of theoretical physics the last fifty years and and examines current state of cosmology and fundamental physics.

The Goldilocks Enigma is a fascinating and challenging book to read. It is not an easy reading but I enjoying it a great deal. If you are interested in the big questions of existence this book is a must read. I was disappointed by the book. A lot of material in the book was too technical for the average reader; I found the going tough despite having taken college physics so I wonder how those who have not take physics will cope.

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The author explored ways in which the universe we life in and the one in which he wrote his book is perfect for life. Feb 04, Arthur Sgalia rated it really liked it. I suspect this is about as readable a book as can be written on this excruciatingly complex subject. I needed about 15 more IQ points than are available to fully grasp it.

Jan 04, Anu rated it it was amazing. Very comprehensive and excellent book. Apr 30, G. Reader rated it it was ok. You have to be extremely good to write about this subject without sounding like an idiot. Well Paul, you were brave to try. May 25, Dr G rated it liked it. At various places on the face of the earth there are people who call themselves Cosmologists. They carry out vast mathematical gymnastics which mean - and can mean - absolutely nothing to most of us and, on the basis of these weird mental contortions, they devise systems consistent with their mathematics and which they say describe the universe and its history.

The rest of us are left to try to understand what their explanations mean; we certainly cannot understand what their mathematics mean. The At various places on the face of the earth there are people who call themselves Cosmologists. There are some problems with cosmology. The first is a problem of belief and faith. Frankly, for me, believing what they describe is no different from believing what a holy book written some thousand of years years ago describes. Yet I, somewhat uncritically, accept the scientists over the ancient prophets. According to Paul Davies, "Our sun is one among hundreds of billions of stars that make up the Milky Way galaxy, and the Milky Way is in turn just one among hundreds of billions of galaxies scattered through space to the limits of our instruments.

The farthest galaxies imaged in the Hubble Space Telescope are over 10 billion light years away. Try to digest any of that and make sense of it and a glass or more of wine could be necessary. Then there there is the problem that we are dealing with concepts which really do not relate to anything in our experience - or my understanding: There was then an extremely hot and dense, ionized, opaque, expanding gas suffused with heat radiation.

Over , years, this cooled to a few thousand degrees, and then the gas de-ionized into atoms. One microsecond post-BB, the universe expanded to double. After 1 sec, it dropped back to one trillionth of that rate.

The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life? The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life?
The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life? The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life?
The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life? The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life?
The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life? The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life?
The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life? The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life?
The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life? The Goldilocks Enigma: Why is the Universe Just Right for Life?

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