Sunday, April 26, 2015

Fine-tuning of the Universe


Fred Hoyle (British astrophysicist): "A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question."

Roger Penrose (mathematician and author): "I would say the universe has a purpose. It's not there just somehow by chance."

Arthur Eddington (astrophysicist): "The idea of a universal mind or Logos would be, I think, a fairly plausible inference from the present state of scientific theory."

Frank Tipler (Professor of Mathematical Physics): "When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics." Note: Tipler since has actually converted to Christianity, hence his latest book, The Physics Of Christianity.

Paul Davies (British astrophysicist): "There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all....It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature's numbers to make the Universe....The impression of design is overwhelming".

Alan Sandage (winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy): "I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing."

Michael Turner, astrophysicist at the University of Chicago and Fermilab: "The precision is as if one could throw a dart across the entire universe and hit a bulls eye one millimeter in diameter on the other side."

Paul Davies, professor of theoretical physics at Adelaide University: "The really amazing thing is not that life on Earth is balanced on a knife-edge, but that the entire universe is balanced on a knife-edge and would be total chaos if any of the natural 'constants' were off even slightly."

Roger Penrose, the Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, writes that the likelihood of the universe having usable energy (low entropy) at its creation is "one part out of ten to the power of ten to the power of 123." That is "a million billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion zeros."

Steven Weinberg, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, and an anti-religious agnostic, notes that "the existence of life of any kind seems to require a cancellation between different contributions to the vacuum energy, accurate to about 120 decimal places. This means that if the energies of the Big Bang were, in arbitrary units, not: 10000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000
­0000000000, but instead: 1000000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000000000000000001, there would be no life of any sort in the entire universe."