The Accidental Universe
Published Sep 1982
One of the great questions of existence is why the universe is the way it is. Starting in the 1950s, physicists began to notice lots of curious ‘coincidences’ and special features about the physical world that made it unusually suited to spawn life. What is the source of this bio-friendliness? Is it just an accident, or is there a deeper explanation? The term ‘athropic principle’ was applied to this set of ideas and it became very controversial. I tackled the topic for the first time in this book, giving a simple introduction to the various oddities of physics and cosmology that make it look as if the universe is rigged in favour of life. The topic grew in importance (and gained more notoriety) in the decades that followed, so I revisited it in more depth in my later book The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life?