Monday, 2 April 2012

Our incredible universe!

“You know what blows me away about our known universe. It’s how it’s so ideally suited for life as we know it. For example, if the protons in an atom were just 0.2 more massive than they actually are, they would be unstable and decay into smaller particles. Atoms would not exist and neither would we! If gravity were just slightly more powerful, the consequences would be nearly as grave. It would cause stars to run through their fuel at a fraction of the time and sputter out before life as we know it had a chance to evolve. In other words, the universe is life-friendly. Too many coincidences to be mere accidents according to many scientists.”


  1. Something to ponder. If gravity were heavier we would certainly be on all fours.

    Bet your students love you, you are so thought provoking.

  2. Gravity is not my friend at this stage of life. It keeps pulling my butt and boobs closer to my feet! ;-D

    Ever read John Polkinghorn's books? He was instrumental in developing the Quantum Physics theory and then chose to leave his mathematics chair at Cambridge to become an Anglican priest because of what he determined was a definite hand of Creation in the universe. (He lectured at my son's college last year and blew them all away at the age of about 86. Looks like the old guy in "Up"!)


  3. I see you teach English but do you have a science background! Interesting stuff. Personally I believe science doesn't work alone.

  4. Wow, thanks for all the wonderful comments!

  5. The key phrase in your post is "life AS WE KNOW IT"(emphasis added). We think the universe is life-friendly because we live in it. Yet we have only one example of life in this universe, let alone possible life in other possible universes. Who is to say what life in another universe--or even in other parts of our universe--might look like? Creatures from another universe (and all our science and mathematics indicate that others are possible)might consider life in ours to be completely impossible.For my part, I'll continue to celebrate the ineffable and thrilling idea that life AS WE KNOW IT is so wonderfully improbable. That, to me, makes it far more precious and valuable.

  6. Ah, a multi-universe thinker! Great answer, Nikki. I too am amazed that fragile life developed like it has and how impossible it is to believe that it has not developed elsewhere and differently. Maybe just a milimeter away from our world.

    I worry that our precious world has not even reached the first level of civilization and could still be effected by social unrest until Technology is advanced enough to protect us from ourselves as we reach for level 2.