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What is the Meaning of Life and Why are we here? (Part 1)

Justin Gallagher



What is the Meaning of Life and Why are we Here? Most if not all of you readers thought of the number 42. Well even though we can thank Douglas Adams for that one in his novel, "The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy†the answer is not that simple. Some would claim the answer to these questions is that there is a God. One who chose to create the universe the way it is. It is reasonable to ask who or what created the universe, but if the answer is that “God chose toâ€, then the question has merely been deflected to that of who created God. In this view, it is accepted that some entity exists which needs no creator, and that entity is called God. Personally, I feel that the reason we are here is very simple.

Everything, the meaning of life and why we are here, is nothing more than the laws of physics at work.

As discovered throughout time. The sun, the moon, and the planets are governed by fixed laws rather than being subject to the arbitrary whims and caprices of gods and demons. At first the existence of such laws became apparent only in early civilizations. The behavior of things on earth is so complicated and subject to so many influences that early civilizations were unable to discern any clear patterns or laws governing these phenomena. Gradually, however, new laws were discovered in areas other than astronomy, and this led to the idea of scientific determinism: There must be a complete set of laws that, given the state of the universe at a specific time, would specify how the universe would develop from that time forward. These laws should hold everywhere and at all times; otherwise they wouldn't be laws. There could be no exceptions or miracles. Gods or demons couldn't intervene in the running of the universe. At the time that scientific determinism was first proposed, Newton’s laws of motion and gravity were the only laws known. We have described how these laws were extended by Einstein in his general theory of relativity, and how other laws were discovered to govern other aspects of the universe. The laws of nature tell us how the universe behaves, but they don’t answer the why?

Life's Improbability

How could the apparently miraculous design of living forms appear without intervention by a supreme being?

This can be shown, as part of M-theory, by what is known to today’s sciences as the multiverse theory. It states that there are billions upon trillions of other universes. To visualize all the universes, we can describe them as a line. A line stretching in both directions endlessly. Any point on the line would be a universe with certain values to the fundamental laws, such as strength of the strong nuclear force, and the gravitational constant. Some points will create a universe that, just after creation, will destroy itself, falling back into a single point. Others will not have a strong enough binding force and never create any large mass objects and just expand faster and faster indefinitely. If you pick two points at random, the universes you pick would seem very differently. However, by picking two points close to each other you see that they fundamental laws are very similar with only the slightest variation between each. This represents how the multiverse concept explains the fine-tuning of physical law without the need for a benevolent creator who made the universe for our benefit. If you keep going down the line of infinite universes, you will eventually get a universe that can sustain itself. Then a little farther, you will find one that can support galaxies, then stars, then solar systems with orbiting planets. Just a tiny fraction father you will find one that can support life.

This is a video Stephen Hawking did for his series Into the Universe. It helps to describe this idea.


Tune in to part 2


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