We are “fine-tuned”

Phillip Plait, in his new book, Death from the Skies! makes a very succinct comment about life, evolution and fine-tuning:

Earth seems marvellously tuned to support life, but that’s an illusion: we are the ones who are in fact tuned by evolution, as are all the other forms of life on, below, and above the Earth’s surface. As the Earth has changed over the eons, so has life. It seems almost inevitable that, once life first got its start on Earth, it would flourish.”

This is surely a much better attitude than the one usually pushed at us by those who cling to magical answers and ancient myths. Surely its the ultimate in narcissism to believe that the whole entire universe is “fine-tuned” just to ensure the existence on our species.

Much simpler to see us as being “fine-tuned,” by our very evolution and development, to fit into an existing universe.

By the way Death from the Skies! is a great read.

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6 responses to “We are “fine-tuned”

  1. The Earth is “fine-tuned” for bugs. It’s perfect for them.
    Do the maths.
    We humans are the ‘Johnny-come-latelys’.


  2. Who was it that said “God had an inordinate preference for beetles”?

    I often wonder what the bug and bacterial religions have to say about the special place of their species in the grand design of the universe.


  3. Well, the Egyptians worshipped the scarab beetle, e.g. http://godofinsects.com/museum/thumbnails.php?fid=99

    Interesting, too, that some early Christians took this up in their own way, then later revoked it (see article; I’m assuming that they have their story straight).


  4. The Bad Astronomer is a most excellent person & I really really like that quote! πŸ™‚


  5. J. B. S. Haldane. I think Dawkins quoted it in The God Delusion.


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