Guide to the Cosmos
Making the Wonders of our Universe

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Robert L. Piccioni, Ph.D.

Can Life be Merely an Accident?


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Life is the most remarkable wonder in the universe.

Modern science has discovered that Life is the most remarkable phenomenon in our universe and that the requirements for any form of Life are extremely demanding, these include: a viable universe; special atoms; a suitable habitat, perhaps like Earth; and a genetic code, perhaps like our DNA.

Einstein wanted to know whether the laws of nature would allow a universe very different from ours. We now know is the answer is: Yes, there are 20 variable parameters, “knobs”, that set the overall state of the universe. Science says each knob has a wide range of possible values, but only in a very narrow range on each knob can Life exist.

Why is our universe like it is? Our universe is defined by 20 parameters, each having an array of possible values.

The odds of the universe's expansion rate having the right value is extremetly small.

A “knob” called C sets the ratio of the universe’s expansion rate to its energy. C had to have the right value to 50 decimal digits. The odds of that are as unlikely as drawing one card from each of 29 decks and finding each of the 29 cards is the A♠ — I wouldn’t bet on it!

Earth is not just the best of 8 planets, but probably one in a billion. It’s in the right place in the galaxy, has the right orbit around the right star, has a huge magnetic field that shields our atmosphere, is protect by a big brother, Jupiter, and our seasons are maintained by a little sister, our Moon.

13 reasons why Earth is special.

How special is a genetic code?

We are defined by 3 billion base-pairs in our DNA. All human DNA is 99.9% the same, and the odds of randomly matching our DNA is as unlikely as drawing the A♠ one billion times in a row. The odds of accidentally matching the DNA of even the simplest life form is as unlikely as drawing the A♠ 119,000 times in a row.