In this episode, Dan and Todd discuss the idea that the universe is in some sense “fine tuned” for our existence – that fundamental constants of physics all seem to have values that lie within narrow ranges that are required for the sort of complex life that we represent to arise.
Below are a few relevant and informative links to resources that discuss fine-tuning, with a mostly favorable bent. Many of the themes we discussed in the podcast episode were inspired by these and other resources, and in any case they go into much more detail than what we could cover.
Cosmologist Luke Barnes, who blogs at http://letterstonature.wordpress.com has several very well written articles therein. See in particular this post in which Barnes replies to Victor Stenger’s criticisms of fine tuning (be sure to read the original article and Stenger’s original reply, both linked in the first paragraph of the post).
Barnes has also co-written an excellent and accessible book on the subject with colleague Geraint Lewis entitled “A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos“.
Here’s a well-written and measured take on fine tuning by John Polkinghorne.