Have you heard of the ‘fine-tuning constant’?
It’s the thing that makes suns possible…
It characterises the strength of the force between electrically charged particles. As such, it governs—among other things—the energy levels of an atom formed from negatively charged electrons and a positive nucleus.
If it were a mere 4% bigger or smaller than it is, stars would not be able to sustain the nuclear reactions that synthesise carbon and oxygen. One consequence would be that squishy, carbon-based life would not exist.
“Suspiciously convenient?” I hear you think. (yes, I can hear you think…)
Well, you wouldn’t be the first, Very Respectable Christian Scientists have pointed to the fine-tuning constant as evidence for an intelligent designer. But now, Other Scientists, who also happen to be working in Australia, aren’t sure that the fine-tuning constant is really all that constant.
Good grief! We can’t even rely on the laws of physics anymore. It was bad enough when Pluto stopped being a planet. A body could be excused for laying abed of the morning paralysed with anxiety about the future (except that we can’t even rely on the coupling constant to stop us spinning off into space).
What will keep us together?
Where will we find our constancy?