Tuesday, December 05, 2006

ID on a Grand Scale

For years, ID folks like Hugh Ross have been championing the "Anthropic Principle," which states, in somewhat simplified terms, that the universe is tweaked in such a way to make life possible and that if certain parameters (such as the age of the universe, the electromagnetic and gravitational forces) were a hair off, life would not exist. The Constant is the force that drives the universal expansion. As the story notes:

Quantum physics predicts the cosmological constant should be far larger than what is actually seen: roughly 10 to the 120th power larger, a number represented by 1 with 120 zeroes behind it. By comparison, [Steven] Weinberg's original estimate was off just by roughly a hundredfold, and refined versions of this argument claim greater accuracy, suggesting anthropic reasoning could provide answers quantum physics currently cannot.

Others are not convinced.

However, theoretical physicist Glenn Starkman of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and cosmologist Roberto Trotta at Oxford University in England take issue with how anthropic reasoning predicts the cosmological constant.

"The specifications used to allow life are rather arbitrary and can lead to very different expected values for fundamental constants," Starkman told SPACE.com.

Seems to me that you still have the other 28 dimensionless variables to deal with, though.

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