In this second part of the discussion in Dallas Conference On Science and Faith (2021), philosopher Steve Meyer Discusses the methods used by the pioneering astronomer Fred Hoyle (1915-2001) Dealing with the fact that looks like the universe refine for life. Howell widely cited The comment on the topic was “The logical interpretation of the facts indicates that the super-mind has converged with physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth talking about in nature.” That was a troubling thought for Hoyle, who was a well-known atheist, and he certainly sought ways to overcome it. How was the fare?
Dr. Mayer, author of the book The return of the God hypothesis (Harper One, 2021), reflecting Hoyle’s struggle. (A sample of the book is over here.) This is the second of four parts of the hadith text. part One over here. Tom Gilson he is a mediator Audio notation:
Stephen C. Mayer: Now, Sir Fred Hoyle, a British astronomer and astrophysicist, has discovered some of the most important fine-tuning parameters. Early in his career, Hoyle was a staunch atheist. In fact, it was Quoted saying That is, “Religion is nothing but a desperate attempt to find a way out of the truly appalling situation in which we find ourselves.” [Harper’s Magazine, 1951] He went on to say that people didn’t like him because he took away hope by saying things like that.
Anyway, Hoyle has been working on theories on how to do it carbon formed. And he was struck by a great mystery, which is, Why is there so much carbon in the universe? He realized that carbon is very important, because carbon is made of long chain-like molecules that are essential for the existence of any life form. Without carbon there is no possibility of life.
He started thinking about the different ways carbon could be formed. He was working on stellar nuclear structure, and how the elements larger than helium and hydrogen might form in stars as they burn. And faced a mystery. Physicists thought the way to build heavier elements was to add what they called nucleons – neutrons or protons – one nucleus at a time.
So if there is a file helium An atom has two neutrons and two protons. To get to carbon, which has six neutrons and six protons, the idea [was] You will add one neutron and one proton at a time, gradually accumulating into a heavier chemical element. The problem is that there is something called 5-nucleon crack, Which is just a way of saying that when you add one nucleus to a helium atom – be it a proton or a neutron – the atom is unstable. It has a small vanishing half-life.
You can think of it as a kind of ladder where you miss the steps. You can get helium from hydrogen. But getting past helium to anything heavier is impossible because when you add one nucleus, this chemical state is unstable and instantly disappears.
Another theory was that maybe three helium molecules all collide at once to form carbon [molecule]. Helium has an atomic weight of four. And if you have three of them, you get 12; That would be six neutrons, six protons – that would be good to go. But the odds of three helium atoms colliding at once were, again, very small.
So Hoyle and other scientists were puzzled: “How can we get carbon to form at all? And how do we explain the amazing abundance of carbon in the universe that makes life possible?”
Now, what he eventually suggested was that helium would combine with a heavier element known as berylliumwhich has an atomic weight of eight. And this was possible because you can get two helium to make beryllium, then you can make beryllium and one helium and then get to carbon.
But there was a problem with that, too. When beryllium-8 and helium-4 combine, resulting in a carbon molecule that has an energy level above Standard carbon, the carbon we see around us. In fact, he had a file resonance level From 7.65 MEV (Megaelectronvolts). That was fair who – which More active than ordinary carbon. So Hoyle assigned a friend at Caltech, a physicist named Willie Fowler And asked him if he would do some experiments to see if there was a file [natural] A form of carbon that has this higher level of resonance.
Found that there. But then, when Hoyle began to think about this, he realized that a lot of things would have to be precisely inside stars to produce carbon at this resonance. In particular, for beryllium and helium to combine, they must reach speeds high enough to overcome their repulsive electromagnetic forces. But the stars must be hot enough to generate those critical velocities. But this will only happen if the force of gravity as you pull the atoms together – to overcome those electromagnetic forces – is just right during the stellar nuclear synthesis process. If the gravitational attraction is very weak inside stars, the temperature will not rise enough for the atoms to combine to obtain this high level of energy. But if the force of gravity is too strong, then nucleosynthesis will happen very quickly, and the stars will burn very quickly. And we’ll never have stable planetary systems in which to live.
So it was a mystery. It appears that in order for carbon to form, the gravitational forces must be very finely tuned and must be perfectly balanced with the electromagnetic forces. And it turns out that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
There was a whole set of so-called cosmic coincidence, in which everything must be absolutely correct to explain what is necessary for life. Just to produce carbon, here are five of these cosmic coincidences:
1. The force of gravity (what physicists [call] force constant) that determines the exact gravitational force must be exactly true. If it were larger, the stars would be very hot and would burn very quickly and unevenly. If the gravitational force were constant and the gravitational force was smaller, the stars would remain so cold that nuclear fusion would never ignite. Thus there will be no production of heavy elements.
2. The electromagnetic force constant must be precisely balanced. If it were larger, then chemical bonding would not occur, and elements more massive than 1 boron would be too unstable for fission. If it is smaller, it will not be enough to produce a chemical bond. And so he went.
3. and 4. The other fundamental forces of physics, the so-called strong nuclear force and weak nuclear force, must be precisely balanced. If any of these forces are too large or too small by very small fractions, there is no potential for stable elements to form. Basic life chemistry would be impossible and we would not have a world that would allow life.
5. Above all, it turns out that the basic units of matter, the quarks, of which protons and neutrons are made, must have very precise masses in order for the right nuclear reactions to occur that would produce the right elements, such as carbon and oxygen, which are necessary for a life-giving universe. In the case of mass quarks, there are up and down quarks. Nine separate sets of criteria must be met simultaneously to make life’s basic chemistry possible.
When Howell began to think about all this, it occurred to him that we live in some kind of Goldilocks universe, where everything was just fine. The forces weren’t too strong, nor were they too weak. The crowds weren’t too big, and they weren’t too small. And he began to rethink his powerful, atheist materialistic view of the world…
next one: How accurate was our universe’s debut? Mind manipulates.
Here’s the first part: If DNA is a language, Who is the speaker? Philosopher Steve Meyer talks about the importance of the Francis Crick sequencing hypothesis, which showed that DNA is the language of life. What kind of speaker can utter a language that produces living things? Is it variability in a multiverse or intelligence that lies beyond nature?
You may also like to read: Life is so wonderful He’s creepy. A mathematician who uses statistical methods to model the fine-tuning of machines and molecular systems in cells reflects… Each single cell is like a city that cannot function without a complex network of services that must all work together to sustain life.