Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A table to ponder...

1 Cosmological fine tuning is the virtually undisputed scientific observation that the ability of the universe to produce galaxies, stars, heavy elements, and rocky planets rests on something of a razor’s edge.

2 This is the often misapplied analogy from Douglas Adams that, in effect, any sentient creature would, through chauvinism, declare his environment to be “just right.” It’s applicability rests on a large number argument. If there are many places where life could arise, then those places where is does will consider themselves privileged and fortunate when in fact they are mundane. However, if there is but one universe then it is foolishness to apply the puddle analogy to the existence of life. That doesn't stop people from trying, and with misplaced smugness to boot. The puddle analogy may be applicable to the existence of earth-like planets, but that relies not just on the fact that there are many planets, but also that the probability of a habitable planet does not compensate via its minuteness. In fact, nobody knows.

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