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Materialists: How can we get the universe to play out of tune?

Evolution News and Views

Overheard: Fine-tuning annoys us; we must show it isn’t true. So we have tried three strategies: Denial, nonsense, and the Copernican Principle, which was by far the best.

So shove off, Kopernik. We are using your name, because it sells, not your ideas.

A third, far more effective, response has been to develop the “Copernican” Principle (though Copernicus would have rejected it), sometimes called the Principle of Mediocrity: Scientists must assume—as a principle—that our planet is mediocre. At present, there is no way of knowing if that is true. It is a guiding assertion.

Media star astronomer Carl Sagan (1934-1996) dramatized the Principle in Pale Blue Dot:

You might imagine an uncharitable extraterrestrial observer looking down on our species over all that time — with us excitedly chattering, “The Universe is created for us! We’re at the center! Everything pays homage to us!” — and concluding that our pretensions are amusing, our aspirations pathetic, that this must be the planet of the idiots. (p. 12)

People don’t want to be thought idiots. The Principle sold. As a BBC writer riffs, “Far from being unique, many now regard Earth as an ordinary lump of space rock and believe that life ‘out there’ is almost inevitable.”

But mark what follows: More

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2 Responses to Materialists: How can we get the universe to play out of tune?

  1. Ordinary lump of space rock, indeed!
    Apart from the fact that our universe is in the right type of environment, safe distance from murderous asteroids etc ,our universe is so finely tuned that if either the ‘Dark Matter’(70%) or the ‘Matter’ (30%)was off by +- 3% , we would not have formed at all. The fine balance and an ‘Omega’ of 1 is why our universe exists. No amount of probability theorem is going to explain our existence. Physicists and cosmologists know that people are getting annoyed of ‘the unbelievers’ habit of coming up with more and more absurd theories and profound insights like ‘The universe was there forever so it exists’!

  2. OT: Japanese Telco Smashes (Quantum) Entanglement Distance Record – October 29, 2013
    Excerpt: Last year, for example, a Chinese team claimed the distance record for teleporting photons over a distance of 97 kilometre only to find a European team smash the record just a few months later.
    Today, a Japanese team goes even further. Takahiro Inagaki and a few pals at the NTT Basic Research Laboratories in Kanagawa say they’ve distributed entangled photons over a distance of 300 kilometres.
    http://www.technologyreview.co.....ce-record/

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