Are Cosmic and Planetary Fine-Tuning Constant?

A Fortunate Universe, aaas, catastrophes, Children of Light, cosmic fine-tuning, fusion, Geraint Lewis, Guillermo Gonzalez, habitability, heavy elements, Jay Richards, law of gravity, Luke A. Barnes, Michael Denton, Michael R. Wilczynska, natural constants, Paul Dirac, photosynthesis, physicists, Physics, Earth & Space, planetary fine-tuning, Science Advances, stars, The Privileged Planet, The Wonder of Water
Since Paul Dirac first wrote about the subject of cosmic coincidences in 1937, many physicists have marveled at the specific values of natural constants, such as G, the constant in the law of gravity (6.673×10-11 N m2 kg-2) — an extremely low number. This is an empirical value measured carefully in labs under controlled conditions; it is not derived from equations. One could imagine it taking a different value.  But it is balanced between two catastrophes. If stronger, stars would burn hotter, and photosynthesis would be impossible, and life, if it could exist at all under the crush of gravity, would have to take refuge underground. If gravity were weaker, opposite problems ensue: stars would be unable to start fusion and form heavy elements, and would slowly burn out by…
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Are the Laws of the Universe “Inevitable”?

Adam Falkowski, Albert Einstein, beauty of nature, Big Bang, black holes, CEA Saclay, Daniel Baumann, Institute of Theoretical Physics, Laurentiu Rodina, laws of the universe, mathematics, metric tensor, Natalie Wolchover, Nobel Prize, Paul Dirac, physics, Physics, Earth & Space, Quanta Magazine, quantum mechanics, Shakespearean sonnet, Sistine Chapel, Steven Weinberg, theory of gravity, University of Amsterdam
Natalie Wolchover at Quanta Magazine has a thoughtful but misguided essay on the “inevitability” of the laws of nature. She writes: Compared to the unsolved mysteries of the universe, far less gets said about one of the most profound facts to have crystallized in physics over the past half-century: To an astonishing degree, nature is the way it is because it couldn’t be any different. “There’s just no freedom in the laws of physics that we have,” said Daniel Baumann, a theoretical physicist at the University of Amsterdam. She cites Baumann to describe the incredible interlocked intricacy of physical laws: [L]aws essentially dictate one another through their mutual consistency — that nature “pulls itself up by its own bootstraps.” The idea turns out to explain a huge amount about the universe.…
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