August 31, 2013
"THE PHYSICS DEPARTMENT IS THE WRONG PLACE TO LOOK FOR ATHEISTS, TRY THE BIOLOGY DEPARTMENT":
Four Reasons You Shouldn't Exist : Physics says you're an impurity in an otherwise beautiful universe. (Dave Goldberg, Aug. 29, 2013, Slate)
If only we'd burned Copernicus at the stake. Posted by Orrin Judd at August 31, 2013 9:33 AMYou're almost unfathomably lucky to exist, in almost every conceivable way. Don't take it the wrong way. You, me, and even the most calming manatee are nothing but impurities in an otherwise beautifully simple universe.We're lucky life began on Earth at all, of course, and that something as complex as humans evolved. It was improbable that your parents met each other and conceived you at just the right instant, and their parents and their parents and so on back to time immemorial. This is science's way of reminding you to be grateful for what you have.But even so, I have news for you: It's worse than you think. Much worse.Your existence wasn't just predicated on amorousness and luck of your ancestors, but on an almost absurdly finely tuned universe. Had the universe opted to turn up the strength of the electromagnetic force by even a small factor, poof! Suddenly stars wouldn't be able to produce any heavy elements, much less the giant wet rock we're standing on. Worse, if the universe were only minutely denser than the one we inhabit, it would have collapsed before it began.