Re: SciAm article "Fate of Life in the Universe"

Robert J. Bradbury (
Wed, 20 Oct 1999 12:23:35 -0700 (PDT)

On 20 Oct 1999, Anders Sandberg wrote:

> writes:
> > Frank Tipler and David Deutsch both take an aggressive and (to me)
> > puzzling approach to these issues. They claim on philosophical grounds
> > that the universe MUST be such that life can exist (and grow) forever.
> [snip]
> I find their approach puzzling, essentially they are putting the horse
> behind the cart. It is almost like one of those medieval proofs of
> God's existence.

Well, if you go back through Dyson's arguments about how "rigged" some of the physical constants are it is easy to see how Tipler would start thinking to make the evolution of the fit a non-random design. It would be very interesting to explore the range of values for these variables and determine the relative probability for universes that are essentially similar to ours but have "slightly" variant properties to determine if ours is "optimal" among the variants.

I find it just too convenient that big stars like to spit out lots of carbon and carbon just "happens" to be both good for building wet nanotech *and* dry nanotech. Why isn't the hardest material "boron" or something that is *really* scarce? One could argue that common universes could be structured to allow the evolution of wet nanotech but dry nanotech would be very resource limited! Instead we have a playing field that seems optimal for both random and directed evolution of complexity.