An interesting article byJonathan Borwein and David H. Bailey on why science needs philosophy.
When renowned scientists now talk seriously about millions of multiverses, the old question “are we alone?” gets a whole new meaning.
Our ever-expanding universe is incomprehensibly large – and its rate of growth is apparently accelerating – but if so it’s actually in a very delicate balance.
It’s then incredible that the universe exists at all. Let us explain.
While I totally agree that science does need philosophy (actually I think science is a philosophy so I see them as inextricably intertwined), I’ve never been able to see the problem in the “fine tuning problem”.
Yes, the probability of the universe having the correct constants to produce the universe we have is incredibly infinitesimal. So what? If I toss a group of dice 100 times, recording every result, the probability of the resulting sequence, no matter what it is, will be extremely low, but would that say that my dice tossing was “fine tuned” to produce the result?
The universe is fine tuned to produce the universe we have. If it wasn’t, we’d have a radically different universe. (I have no faith in the calculations that claim there’d be nothing, far too many variables.)
Would life exist in those other universes? I think it’s short sighted to even ask that question. The correct one is whether there would be complex and dynamic patterns that might function similarly to life. I suspect we’d be surprised by how often there would be.
The universe isn’t fine tuned for us. If you were magically instantly transported to a random location in our universe, in all but the most infinitesimal fraction of locations, you would die instantly. Even saying the Earth is fine tuned for us ignores the fact that most of us wouldn’t live long if we were magically transported to most locations on the planet.
The fact is that we are fine tuned to our environment, which makes sense since we evolved in it. We’re fine tuned to select portions of Earth’s biosphere. And our core mechanisms are fine tuned to the universe to some extent, again because we evolved here.
I haven’t read or heard anything that makes me feel I need to invert that relationship as the fine turning arguments keep doing. But maybe I’m missing something?