Monday, October 20, 2014

A Bit Too Perfect - Getting My Geek On

I've always found this fascinating. The forces of the universe are balanced to an unbelievable degree. Does this speak of "Intelligent Design"? I don't know. But, if it doesn't, it almost certainly means that there are an infinite number of universes - and that we just happened to be born in one in which physical forces are balanced to an unimaginably precise degree.

For instance, if these three parameters weren't met, life could not exist:

Gravitational forces, one second after the Big Bang, must have been balanced to one part in 1015. That's 10 followed by 15 zeroes, or one in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000.

The "cosmological constant" - the rate at which space expands or contracts - must be exactly one part in 10120. That's 10 followed by 120 zeroes! And, no, I'm not typing that.

The distribution of energy/mass (remember, Einstein says that the two are the same thing: E=MC2) after the Big Bang must have been precisely one part in 1010123

That's 10 billion - followed by 123 zeroes.

So there's your choice: either there are an infinite number of universes (as string theory, et al predicts) and we are mind-boggingly, incredibly, amazingly lucky to have been born into just the right one, or something out there designed this little slice of heaven that we inhabit.

I kind of lean towards the latter. Because believing that those numbers are just a coincidence takes an amazing amount of, shall we say, faith.

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