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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The "Just Right" Status of the Gravitational Force

"For thousands of years, careful thinkers have recognized that we live in a world that is very well suited for the existence of life. This realization has been confirmed in recent years by the plethora of scientific discoveries pertaining to the "just right" status of the entire cosmos with respect to the existence of living organisms.

"The strength of the gravitational force, which is one of nature's most fundamental building blocks, provides a good case in point. The numerical value that is associated with the gravitational constant, g, is 6.67 times 10 to the 11th power, and this value appears to have remained rock steady from the birth of the universe to the present day. However, the most remarkable thing about the gravitational constant isn't its fixed nature as such, but rather its perfect fit for the needs of life. For had the strength of the gravitational force been even slightly different, the universe would have been "stillborn," and we wouldn't be here to discuss the fact. This is all the more remarkable because the gravitational constant could conceivably have occupied an infinite number of possible values. Yet, out of this endless sea of possible strengths, nature ended up choosing the only one that happens to be "just right" for the needs of life.

"This "just right" status is now known to apply to all of nature's fundamental constants, and not just to the strength of gravity. Indeed, this could very well turn out to be the single most perplexing conundrum in all of modern science. For whereas scientists and philosophers have long been aware of the fact that we live in a "just right" world and universe, they have nevertheless been at a total loss to explain why this might be so." -Excerpt from The God Hypothesis, by Michael A. Corey