Here’s a fact: From the Big Bang to your birth on earth, this universe did not miss a beat.
Somehow, every twist and turn of physics, chemistry, biology, earth making and life’s evolution twisted and turned your way. When and wherever events hit a crossroads over 13.7 billion years, they took the road that led to you.
You can know it’s true … because here you are, alive to know it.
An apparently random, wild sequence ran right along to the place you stand at this very moment. You find yourself self-aware, a result of every falling domino that fell so precisely as to give rise to your birth. One misstep, one zig in place of a zag, one essential event of nature other than it was … and there’d be no “story of you” to tell, no you to hear it.
There are amazing coincidences, seeming accidents and chance conditions interconnected in the most startling ways, flukes, fortuities and lucky breaks, level upon irreplaceable level, stretching as far as time itself. So many events, seemingly, need not have occurred, but nonetheless did occur for our world, this galaxy, this universe, all that’s necessary for your life to be.
The book presents a most personal-to-you twist on the Anthropic Principle:
Never once in the history of this universe did a single atom spin or sputter, split or splice in a way to prevent your being, not one if it was crucial to your being. What is more, every required atom, without a falter if indispensable to you, spun and sputtered, split and spliced precisely when and how needed for you to be a product down-the-line … all as shown by your living at history’s current end. Thus, a method for prediction and experimentation about the nature of our universe is presented: Can the very fact of our lives serve as the basis for precise hypotheses concerning the fundamental structure of this universe, the nature of stars and galaxies, the history of our planet, the path and mechanism of evolution … hypotheses that are testable, falsifiable? Can we predict with certainty those physical properties that must have been just what is necessary for our births, and not of any nature to have foreclosed that outcome? Such a method of anthropic prediction goes against the grain of modern science and its vision of human life as a just-happened-to-happen effect. Instead, here is a method of prediction and experimentation, concerning the most fundamental properties of the universe, based on little else than the fact that the experimenter exists.
In a closing chapter, a range of ideas are offered for how this universe turned out so personally right: These stretch from proposals now considered by science such as aspects of String Theory, Quantum Mechanics and a diverse ‘Multiverse,’ to ideas with an Eastern or Western religious bent, to others that seem pure science fiction. Pros and cons are weighed, and new perspectives offered.