We Have The Answer! I Repeat: We Have The Answer!
Notify the media! Call a conference of Astrophysicists.. or er.. Theoretical physi.. I mean.. just call some scientists who know stuff about planets and stuff!
Wait.. hold on.. no.
I’ve just been told what it is and it appears to be quite.. how shall I put this.. dumb beyond comprehension.
I read this to the end only to be disappointed that the answer which the author kept teasing he had to the question of why the universe’s constants are so finely tuned was so terribly unsatisfying:
In short, the reason we see the values that we see is that, if they were very different, we wouldn’t be around to see them.
Why does light travel at a specific speed, or why do the universal constants hold the seemingly arbitrary values they do? Well, after about 3 thousand words, the answer, apparently, is that this is what we observe because had they been different, nobody would be around to observe them! — nobody would be alive to observe them, essentially.
Thanks for that, Mr. Scientist! You sure answered the hell out of that one.
This would be like surviving a nuclear bomb exploding in your face, only to be told that you shouldn’t wonder how you survived — it would be ridiculous, in fact, to ask why you survived — because if you didn’t, oh yesiree bob, you wouldn’t be around to be curious how you did! So strike that from your list of curiosities, you apparently should.
It’s clear that the universal constants can only be the way they are because they were either designed or just happen by chance to be that way. The problem with the latter is that given the unbelievably large spectrum of possibilities, it’s more probable that a chimp banging its fist on a typewriter will be, by chance, churning out lines from Shakespeare.
Of course, to avoid the rut of having God as a hypothesis (as most are keen on doing) some people have ingeniously come up with the theory of the multiverse, where — get this! — everything that can possibly happen has happened and will for all practical purposes happen again (and again.. ad infinitum) in one of the infinite universes that exist. And of course that merely puts the problem a step back since we can still ask how the devil this large ensemble of infinite universes came to be, but lets not get ahead of ourselves.
But if you can forget those annoying little details and believe that a universe within that large ensemble of infinite universes exists where another me had typed this very piece, only this time while standing on my head, then goodluck with that. Surely — surely! — that’s an easier swallow.