Paul Davies: "The Universe Looks Suspiciously Like a Fix"
Paul Davies recently had this to say:
Scientists are slowly waking up to an inconvenient truth - the universe looks suspiciously like a fix. The issue concerns the very laws of nature themselves. For 40 years, physicists and cosmologists have been quietly collecting examples of all too convenient "coincidences" and special features in the underlying laws of the universe that seem to be necessary in order for life, and hence conscious beings, to exist. Change any one of them and the consequences would be lethal. Fred Hoyle, the distinguished cosmologist, once said it was as if "a super- intellect has monkeyed with physics".
To see the problem, imagine playing God with the cosmos. Before you is a designer machine that lets you tinker with the basics of physics. Twiddle this knob and you make all electrons a bit lighter, twiddle that one and you make gravity a bit stronger, and so on. It happens that you need to set thirtysomething knobs to fully describe the world about us. The crucial point is that some of those metaphorical knobs must be tuned very precisely, or the universe would be sterile.
He then goes on to conclude that intelligent design is not the proper explanation. But go read the article to see if you think his alternative explanation is plausible.
Also ask yourself some more questions: Is his explanation a full explanation, or does it just move the big questions back a little bit? Does his explanation just raise new and bigger questions?
Which parts of his essay are "science" and which parts are philosophical speculation? Is his philosophical speculation more scientific than intelligent design? More plausible?
Other posts on Paul Davies can be found here and here and here.