On face value we are just an intelligent chimpanzee living on a smallish rock orbiting an unremarkable 40 billion year old star. Maybe we all being too hasty in writing our species off. Have you ever considered yourself the centre of the universe? There is a wealth of evidence suggesting that the universe is finely tuned for human existence, so actually there may be some truth in this thinking.
Science teaches us that the laws of physics are ridiculusly fine tuned for us being here. The electro-magnetic force has a value that is so perfectly set, allowing stars to bind to protons and neutrons creating carbon, the building blocks of all life. Nuclear force binds neutorns and protons, even if this bond were minutely stronger the whole world would be made of hydrogen, if weaker, there would be no hydrogen at all – in each case we would not exist. Even the amount of empty space seems perfectly set to allow intelligent life to flourish. All told there are a total of 12 parameters that have been identified as being just right for life to exist.
Why is the Universe so perfect? Some theorists consider that it could not have been other wise. Such reasoning has given rise to several different answers known as ‘anthropic principles’. One end of the spectrum points to us being the centre of the Universe in as much as there must have been, from a theological perspective, a divine creator or from a more scientific standpoint, some fundamental feature of the cosmos that drives it towards intelligent life.
Another anthropic principle states that the Universe only exists because we do, is there a possibility that since we are around to experience and observe the Universe, it simply has to allow for our existence?
So what does this all mean to us? As humans we create meaning around our experiences, is it our perception of the universe which determines the way we see it? Maybe the universe has no intrinsic meaning, if this was the case we therefore have a responsibility to create our own universe. Having ‘free will’ allows experience to be a choice created by each individual person on their journey through life. I would suggest that everyone and everything has no meaning outside of what we assign it.
The pursuit of my universe is to find happiness in life experiences – what’s the meaning of yours?
Information cited from Stephen Hawking’s ‘The Grand Design’, New Scientist and Discover Magazine.