A Fortunate Universe

Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos

Geraint F. Lewis and Luke A. Barnes

Lewis and Barnes are Ph.D. Cosmologists at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy in Australia. Geraint Lewis is a Cambridge Ph.D. and is a senior professor of astrophysics. Luke Barnes was a postdoctoral researcher at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy after having completed a degree at the Institute and then a Ph. D from Cambridge. So Lewis taught Barnes during his undergraduate study at the Institute, and they make several jokes about that in the course of the book.

The book is easy reading for the most part, proceeding casually with sections depicted as conversations between the two authors, and with multiple quips and jokes almost like they were having a casual conversation at the pub. But the further you read, the more you realize that they both have high-level competence in astrophysics and cosmology. They don't back away from any subject like inflation or the action of the Higgs field, so it is a wide-ranging investigation of the evidence for fine-tuning in the universe.

Ch 1: A Conversation on Fine-Tuning

Ch 2: I'm Only Human!

Ch 3: Can You Feel the Force?

Ch 4: Energy and Entropy

Ch 5: The Universe Is Expanding

Ch 6: All Bets Are Off!

Ch 7: A Dozen (or So) Reactions to Fine-Tuning

p290 Ch 8: A Conversation Continued

p290 The authors return to dialogue mode for a far-ranging discussion that continues to the end of the book on pg 357. Having presented extensive discussion for the evidence of fine-tuning, this conversation can perhaps be seen as an effort to digest and summarize.

p292 The Lady Gaga Defense

p293 More Physics Please

p297 The Multiverse

p323 The G Word

p323 After proceeding for over 300pages with a treatment that could be characterized as casual, naturalistic and secular, we come to this section which presents a high level philosophical defense of the "God hypothesis" as Meyer would characterize it. It is very well done, and one presumes that this is mainly Luke Barnes' effort. Near the end of it,(p348) Geraint Lewis backs away from the God hypothesis and discusses simulation scenarios. Finally, on p353, Geraint Lewis says "I think I still stick with the multiverse."

"Fine tuning suggests that, at the deepest level that physics has reached, the Universe is well put-together... The whole system seems well thought out, something that someone planned and created." 323,320

Cited by Meyer on pg139 of Return of the God Hypothesis.

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