Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Not Fine Tuned?

Contrary to a common argument that a small increase in the strength of the strong force would lead to destruction of all hydrogen in the big bang due to binding of the diproton and the dineutron with a catastrophic impact on life as we know it, we show that there is range of strong force coupling constant for which substantial amounts of hydrogen remain. The reason is that an increase in strong force strength leads to tighter binding of the deuteron, permitting nucleosynthesis to occur earlier in the big bang at higher temperature than in the standard big bang. Photodestruction of the less tightly bound diproton and dineutron delays their production to after the bulk of nucleosynthesis is complete. The decay of the diproton can, however, lead to relatively large abundances of deuterium.

Big Bang Nucleosynthesis: The Strong Force meets the Weak Anthropic Principle

Boost the strong force and you’ll eventually keep diprotons together but there’s a comfortable range in which they’ll decay as they do today, leaving plenty of hydrogen for star formation, along with a surplus of deuterium. Of course there would be some changes in the synthesis of other atoms but within a certain range, chemistry that makes life possible would go on. The same should apply to a universe with a weaker strong force. There may be less heavier atoms but there could still be the kind of chemistry which allows for stars and ultimately, some sort of life, even if it’s not the kind of life that currently exists. If there’s a range in which chemistry bound to result in organisms like us can happen, it would indicate that the universe is not so much fine tuned for us as we’re really an outcome of a number of possible chemical processes.

Anthropic Principle Takes Another Hit

h/t to Attero Ignorantiam: Think Freely


  1. "They’re not a fine tuned machine that allows us to exist. Instead, we’re just a product of how things played out when the physical laws of the universe we occupy today took shape."

    Like a puddle in a pothole. The puddle observes the pothole, and says "Wow! This pothole fits me just right. It fits perfectly. It was made just for me."

    No, you self-absorbed idiot. You fit the pothole, not the other way round.

    Wow! Says the apologist, this universe fits life just right. No, you idiot, you evolved here. Of course it fits.

    Also, ever noticed how intelligent design arguments are also arguments against fine tuning arguments?

    If the universe is so fine tuned for life, what then the need for further intervention? Or if a creator had to muck around a bit to get life rolling, then the universe was not so fine tuned was it?

    So which is it,asshat?

  2. Obviously the creationists want it both ways, but it won't fly.

    Nothing makes sense on the theistic hypothesis, yet the apologists continue to insist we can make sense of nothing without their invisible god.


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