Not so divine

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In his Dec. 28 letter “God’s Divine Plan,” William Clarke makes a curious attempt to buttress his Bible infused world view by invoking the anthropic principle. On the surface, the argument appears to be a level-headed appeal to reason and modern scientific fact: the existence of carbon-based life requires several fundamental constants of physics to be fine-tuned to favorable values. A few minuscule changes here and there and the very structure of the universe would prohibit the existence of life, or, at the very least, life as we know it.

So far, so good, but let us pursue this argument a bit further. Nowadays, inflation is a well-established concept in cosmology, and it may very well have produced a multiverse, a vast collection of so-called pocket-universes, where each segment has its own particular selection of values for the fundamental parameters. Many and perhaps even most of these pocket-universes will be dreary places that do not support intelligent life. And yet, by random choice, some of these universes have the right properties to enable life. Obviously, we happen to sit in one of the pro-life universes. Sadly, there is not a shred of evidence that mankind occupies a “special place” in any conceivable meaning of the word. And nowhere is there an omniscient creator in sight.


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