Friday, November 8, 2013

Fred Hoyle, Carbon, and Cosmological Fine-Tuning

Life as we know it requires carbon. But carbon is somewhat miraculous, given the precise features of the cosmos necessary for its existence.

In this video, theoretical physicist John Polkinghorne describes the search for the origins of carbon in our universe, and how the discovery led astronomer Fred Hoyle to reject chance as an explanation for cosmological fine-tuning. Hoyle eventually wrote:
A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question. (Fred Hoyle, "The Universe: Past and Present Reflections")

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