Over the last forty years, scientists have uncovered evidence that if the Universe had been forged with even slightly different properties, life as we know it - and life as we can imagine it - would be impossible. Join us on a journey through how we understand the Universe, from its most basic particles and forces, to planets, stars and galaxies, and back through cosmic history to the birth of the cosmos. Conflicting notions about our place in the Universe are defined, defended and critiqued from scientific, philosophical and religious viewpoints. The authors' engaging and witty style addresses what fine-tuning might mean for the future of physics and the search for the ultimate laws of nature. Tackling difficult questions and providing thought-provoking answers, this volumes challenges us to consider our place in the cosmos, regardless of our initial convictions.
Geraint F. Lewis is a Professor of Astrophysics at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy, University of Sydney. He undertook his undergraduate education at the University of London before gaining a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge. Professor Lewis is an internationally recognised astrophysicist, and has published more than two hundred papers in a diverse range of fields, including gravitational lensing, galactic cannibalism, cosmology and large-scale structure. As well as being an accomplished lecturer, he regularly engages in public outreach through public speaking, articles in the popular press, and social media. Luke A. Barnes is a postdoctoral researcher at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy, University of Sydney. His university medal from the University of Sydney helped him earn a scholarship to complete a Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge. He has published papers in the field of galaxy formation and on the fine-tuning of the Universe for life. He has been invited to speak at the 2011 and 2015 St Thomas Summer Seminars in Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology, the University of California Summer School for the Philosophy of Cosmology, and numerous public lectures.
Foreword Brian Schmidt; Preface; 1. A conversation on fine-tuning; 2. I'm only human!; 3. Can you feel the force?; 4. Energy and entropy; 5. The Universe is expanding; 6. All bets are off!; 7. A dozen (or so) reactions to fine-tuning; 8. A conversation continued; Further reading; References; Index.