Goldilocks’ universe: it’s just right!
What’s the best explanation for the fine-tuning of the universe?
by William Lane Craig and Sean McDowell
Imagine you are hiking through the mountains and discover an abandoned cabin. As you approach the cabin, you notice something unusual. The refrigerator is filled with your favorite food, the temperature is set to your liking, your favorite song is playing in the background, and all the books, DVDs, and video games you like are sitting by the TV. What would you conclude? Since there are so many things just right for you, you would likely be convinced that you were an expected guest.
In the past few decades, scientists have begun to realize that this scenario mirrors the universe as a whole. The universe seems to have been crafted uniquely for us. Physicist Freeman J. Dyson put it this way:
As we look out into the universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked to our benefit, it almost seems as if the universe must in some sense have known that we were coming.
Like Goldilocks’ porridge, the universe seems to be “just right” for our existence.
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A universe just right for life
When I (Sean) was in college, some of my friends and I got a full-sized water balloon launcher. We thought it would be funny to hit cars with water balloons as they pulled up to the stop sign across the parking lot from our dorm. Sounds like harmless fun, right? Typically we missed, but one day we launched a water balloon way up into the air, and it came crashing down right on a car’s windshield … and cracked it. Needless to say, our water-balloon-launching days came to an immediate end (and so did our bank accounts!).
But just think for a minute about how many things we needed to get right to hit our target. The weight had to be just right. Less weight and it would go too far; more weight and it would not go far enough. If the angle of the launcher were different, the balloon would have landed elsewhere. And we also needed to compensate for the wind. So many factors had to be just right…
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