More to life than life? 1

October 20, 2006

I'm looking forward to reading The Goldilocks Enigma (Features, October 13), but I do hope that Paul Davies gives as much attention to the porridge as he does to Goldilocks. However "just right" the universe seems to be for life, in general it appears far better suited to non-living matter, as any of the rocks in my garden will attest. After all, they existed in a stable form long before I did and will continue to do so long after I have decomposed.

One could certainly "tune out" life by twiddling the cosmic knobs, but one could also eliminate any number of other phenomena, such as the physical and chemical processes that create rocks, by simply choosing a different set of knobs. Ultimately, just as the porridge doesn't care whether it's "just right" for baby bears or juvenile squatters, the universe imposes the same rules on living organisms as on any other dollops of matter. We delude ourselves as to the importance of life but, then again, it's all we've got.

Roger Thomas
Amersham

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