Re: The Next Century's Great Discovery

Eric Watt Forste (
Mon, 28 Jul 1997 14:16:59 -0700

Perry Metzger writes:
> For years now, we have built up this large coherent body of equations
> and constants that give us answers to physics questions. What I want
> to know is -- why *these* equations? Why *these* constants?

Hmm... perhaps I'm dull, but I thought that Darrow and Tipler had
built up a fairly convincing explanatory answer to these questions
not be very satisfying to learn that these things are the way they
are because of a selection effect (I think the Anthropic Principle
dovetails quite beautifully with the Many Worlds interpretation,
though), but even if I wasn't rock-bottom convinced (and I wasn't),
these questions became far less interesting to me after I had read
the book.

(There's also a neat little chart on the web, pointed out here
recently by Steve Witham, at
that makes things a bit more concrete. "The figure below illustrates
how little one needs to change some aspects of our world to make
it hostile to life...")

(Note: just because I like the Anthropic Principle doesn't mean I
entirely approve of Tipler's more recent plucking at Tommaso Aquino's
laurels. I can't imagine why Tipler's going into competition with
a rationalizer of witchburning.)

Eric Watt Forste ++ Q: What is the meaning of life? ++ A: You're soaking in it!