From  the  book


By  Bernard  Haisch


A major new body of evidence has accumulated in the past two decades. We have seen in Chapter 3 how modern discoveries in astrophysics have led to the conclusion that we live in a universe surprisingly finely tuned for the existence and evolution of life. In addition to the 10 key coincidences leading to a "just right" universe, there are around 30 or so other constants—such as the masses of fundamental particles—which may or may not also be critical. We don't know, for example, why the six quarks have a range in mass so that the heaviest is about 60,000 times more massive than the lightest. Are these values also critical to the origin of life? No one knows, but the fine-tuning could be even more extensive than we currently recognize. That is speculation, of course.

But for the fortuitous values of the 10 key properties of the Universe on page 207 the facts are not in dispute. It is an issue in need of an explanation. As George Ellis, a prominent cosmologist and co-author of research articles with Stephen Hawking writes:

What is clear is that life, as we know it, would not be possible if there were very small changes to either physics or the expanding universe that we see around us. There are many aspects of physics, which, if they were different, would prevent any life at all existing.... We are now realizing that the universe is a very extraordinary place, in the sense that it is fine tuned so that life will exist. (The Dialogue: Where It Stands Today and Why It Matters)

Apart from the dead-end explanation that it is just a lucky accident, you have to either invoke statistics or a creator to make sense of this. Naturally, mainstream science favors the argument that our universe can have properties just right for life without that fact implying a creator or anything special...and this is logically possible if there are huge numbers of other different universes we can never observe. With enough hypothetical universes, a "just right" mix of properties becomes statistically inevitable. So if you are willing to believe in the existence of vast numbers of undetectable universes, you can accept that explanation. The numbers required are huge though: Anywhere from one followed by 500 zeroes to perhaps even an infinite number.

Is this reasonable? Is it a reasonable price to pay to avoid an intelligent creator? It's a judgment call. No-nonsense mathematician, writer, and debunker Martin Gardner wrote a column for Scientific American for 25 years and was one of the founding members of the arch-skeptic Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, that is CSICOP. He did not buy the multiverse solution. In his book Are Universes Thicker Than Blackberries he writes.

There is not the slightest shred of reliable evidence that there is any universe other than the one we are in. No multiverse theory has so far provided a prediction that can be tested.... Surely the conjecture that there is just one universe and its Creator is infinitely simpler and easier to believe than that there are countless billions upon billions of worlds, constantly increasing in number and created by nobody. I can only marvel at the low state to which today's philosophy of science has fallen.

There is no way to test the multiverse hypothesis. This is ruled out even in principle because with different laws of physics in different universes—the key hypothesis—there is no possibility of any observation. So it is not a scientifically provable theory. Thus belief in a multiverse is a faith, no matter how you dress it up in scientific language and mathematics.

Also as Ellis points out:

The multiverse theory just postpones the problem; the issue of ultimate causality remains….it just pushes the final question back one stage further. Where did the laws triggering and sustaining a multiverse come from?

Consciousness and Free Will

The Perennial Philosophy is based on the concept that consciousness is what has created the dream-like reality of a world of matter and energy. At the moment mainstream science rejects this concept, seeking to explain—more precisely to "explain away"—consciousness as a byproduct of brain chemistry. Consciousness is assumed to somehow emerge out of matter if matter gets organized to a sufficient level of complexity in a brain. But the fact of the matter is that science does not know what consciousness is.

Most physicists are blissfully unaware that the creation of physical reality by consciousness is already built into quantum physics and has received validation by rigorous and ingenious experiments involving the Bell inequality and now the even more significant Leggett inequality. The Trojan Horse of creative consciousness has already been brought into the Troy of physics.

Consciousness is of course intimately connected with free will. Most people believe that their actions are a result of their own decisions. Our legal system, the law, certainly makes that assumption. If you pull the trigger no jury is going to find you innocent based on the argument that "my atoms conspired to make me do it."

Obviously there are factors that influence what you do. If you grow up in a crime-ridden ghetto, chances are your actions will be negatively influenced by that. That's not the issue. Free will is deciding to lift your arm or scratch your head or read this book and knowing that it was your own free choice. Who could doubt that?

The physics of Newton could. In fact the physics of Newton implied that you have absolutely no free will. The "my atoms conspired to make me do it" defense is precisely what the physics of Newton demanded. To be clear, Newton himself never claimed such a thing, but the logic of Newtonian physics did. In that view everything in the Universe is made of particles, single atoms, and atoms bound together into molecules. The argument goes as follows. At any given instant of time the position and motion of each atom or molecule precisely leads to the position and motion the next instant. Think of the Universe and everything in it (us included) as a giant billiard table. Once the balls are put in motion, the rest is fully predictable from the point of view of Newtonian physics.

Cutting to the chase, the position and motion of every particle on Earth one hundred million years ago when the dinosaurs roamed the planet leads inexorably to what you did this morning after breakfast. In fact, in the materialist reductionist view of consciousness your very thoughts are just electro-chemical actions of atoms and molecules in your brain. Thus not only did your actions result completely from ancient history, in principle all the way back to the Big Bang, but so did your thoughts. In this view the Universe is a giant machine, or more precisely an ensemble of machines— such as us—mindlessly grinding away with everything from day one forward totally predictable and impossible to alter including our every thought and emotion.

Surely this is the ultimate bleak view of reality and human nature. It can't get any worse than that. But for over two centuries from the time of Newton onward, this was the logical conclusion to be drawn from physics. Now in practice human beings can hold inconsistent contradictory beliefs and still go about their everyday business. So, even people knowledgeable enough about physics to comprehend the gloomy implications of pure Newtonian physics lived day to day lives as if none of this were true. I am unaware of any attempt to ever do away with criminal law on the basis that no one can bear any responsibility for preordained, inescapable actions on their part. The closest one might come to this is the radical behaviorism psychology of B.F. Skinner with his "Operant Conditioning Chamber" to train birds and rodents to get the food pellets.

With the coming of quantum mechanics and with it the intrinsic imprecision of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle the doors of the bleak causal prison were thrown open. It is no longer possible, even in principle, to precisely predict what will happen from one instant to the next. This alone would be sufficient cause for philosophical rejoicing. But we now know from quantum experiments like those measuring the Bell and the Leggett inequalities that somehow it is consciousness that tells matter what to do, not the other way around. It is a total reversal of the Newtonian view. Yes, Newtonian physics is sufficiently precise to guide a spacecraft from launch at Cape Canaveral to touchdown at a specific location on Mars. No quantum mechanics is directly involved, not even relativity theory is really necessary. But Newtonian physics is no longer king at the fundamental level. That clears the way for free will theoretically, and the recent quantum measurements confirm free will experimentally.

Quantum mechanics rather definitively tells us that at that level consciousness creates reality. Our own experience of consciousness is the pinnacle of unmediated direct knowledge. And the mystical experience of those fortunate enough to have had it takes them to a knowledge beyond words that our consciousness is in reality the very same as the consciousness of a universal creative intelligence. And still the diehard reductionist materialists deny it.

In his book A Mind So Rare cognitive neuroscientist Merlin Donald parodies this view:

Consciousness is an illusion and we do not exist in any meaningful way. 

But, they apologize at great length, this daunting fact does not matter. Life will go on as always, meaningless algorithm after meaningless algorithm, and we can all return to our lives as if nothing has happened. This is like telling you your real parents were not the ones you grew to know and love but Jack the Ripper and Elsa, She-Wolf of the SS. But not to worry.... The practical consequences of this deterministic crusade are terrible indeed. There is no sound biological or ideological basis for selfhood, willpower, freedom or responsibility. The notion of the conscious life as a vacuum leaves us with an idea of the self that is arbitrary, relative, and much worse, totally empty because it is not really a conscious self, at least not in any important way……….

It is one thing—and a correct one, I believe—to see physics leading to chemistry leading to biochemistry leading to molecular biology leading to cells resulting in ever more complex life-forms. It is quite another to assume that this same chain leads to the emergence of consciousness. 

Consciousness is not a material thing like blood and bones. Consciousness is something every human being knows he/she has at a level that is innate and personal and completely undeniably certain. But amazingly outspoken scientists make claims such as "Consciousness is an illusion and we do not exist in any meaningful sense." (Dennett via George Ellis)

A mechanistic explanation of organisms and bodies is fine, from atoms to molecules to cells to organisms. But for reductionism to be correct—for all causation to be from the bottom up—you would have to believe that somehow your decision to go see Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" or a Rolling Stones concert can be traced back to the atomic level.

Can  a  Smart  Person Believe   in  God?

This is the provocative title of a book by Michael Guillen, theoretical physicist and former science correspondent for ABC News (along with numerous other credentials, he actually has a PhD in three disciplines: physics, mathematics and astronomy, from Cornell). His answer is, of course, yes, and naturally I concur.

We have seen that it is well established now that numerous properties of our Universe together constitute a very special ensemble conducive to the origin and evolution of life. The only rational escape from an intelligence behind this fact is by dreaming up the existence of vast numbers of other unseen universes. There is really no further justification for it than that. If that is what you want to believe, fine, but it does make it your faith. And recall Occam's razor: The simplest explanation is most likely to be the correct one. One intelligence versus vast numbers, or even an infinity, of other universes...the God explanation strikes me as simpler.

It is possible that the rejection of God by mainstream scientists has been overstated. An article in Nature cited by Guillen showed that about 40 percent of American physical scientists believe in a personal God. And as Guillen correctly points out, there are then surely scientists who believe in a nonpersonal God as well. While the total percentage is about half what it is for the population in general, it is far from a total rejection. The strident atheists who grab the public limelight are not representative of all scientists. And they are not acting scientifically in any event, because they are asserting iron-clad belief in something that cannot be proven: that there is no God. That is certainly a matter of faith………

A  Purpose

There is no doubt that science does a superb job of explaining the workings of nature. But I maintain that the human experience cannot be captured in the same way by science. No scientific experiment can discern good from evil, nor what is beautiful. Writing about the objective investigation of science Schroedinger said:

It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. (Nature and the Greeks, 1951)

Drawn by the appeal of symmetry (which scientists love), I am tempted to write "And on the other hand, there is no doubt that religion has done a superb job of...." But this side is a lot murkier. There are no generally accepted laws and theories by which to understand God, nothing corresponding to the laws of mechanics and electromagnetism or the General Theory of Relativity on the side of religion. Institutional religions disagree with each other. Sometimes, alas, they even hate each other.

The key is not in finding the true religion from the host of pretenders (though clearly some are better than others). The key is to understand our own nature. Remember: "Thou art that." Your essence (Atman or soul or Christ within) is the same as God's. The simple recognition of that opens the door to a spiritual perspective that does not need the trappings and dogmas of organized religion. Our origin and ultimate destiny are straightforward. Like a cup full of water from the ocean, there is no difference between the contents of the cup (us) and the ocean (God). And when this creation comes to an end, the water in the cup is poured back into the ocean. But in the meantime we are on a free will trip living an adventure in physical reality. We even have the freedom to do things that are destructive, although that is not such a good idea ……..


The evidence for this lies in the mystical experiences of mankind whose insights are captured in the Perennial Philosophy. But the evidence is also inside our own consciousness. The experiencing of reality in a meaningful way requires a certain amount of forgetfulness about what we truly are. For most of us in a given lifetime that forgetfulness is almost complete. Add to that the religious misinterpretations about who we are and what God is, or on the other hand the simplistic "you are nothing but a pack of neurons" explanation, and it becomes very difficult to access the deepest truth within our own consciousness: "Thou art that."


I believe that we live in a purpose-guided Universe governed by the laws of science. There is no conflict between a Universe of matter and forces and a Universe of purpose, because the purpose is what went into the laws………..

The 10 Critical Properties of the Universe

Ratio of the gravitational to the electric (Coulomb) force

Stronger gravity would result in smaller stars with shorter lifetimes and crowded galaxies; weaker would result in far fewer stars.

Strength of the nuclear force powering stars

Ten percent change either way could prevent star formation.

Average density



Deviation of one part in a million billion immediately after the Big Bang could change evolution of the Universe.

Ratio of ordinary matter to dark matter

Cannot be radically different for galaxies to form but in principle could have been vastly different.

Not too large strength of dark energy

A minor increase would have blown the Universe into runaway expansion.

Quantum dumpiness in the moments after the Big Bang

Factor often either way makes the difference between a Universe of black holes or an almost empty Universe.

Just right

Both are essential to life, but as

conditions for

Fred Hoyle discovered, a lucky

formation of

energy resonance lets carbon

carbon and

form inside stars, but fortuitously


an analogous resonance does

not occur for oxygen, otherwise

carbon would be destroyed.


Boiling point is unusually high,

properties of

hence remains a liquid in critical

water compared to

range for biological structures.

other liquids

Also the unusual property of being

less dense when frozen.

Fact that the

If it were the other way around

neutron is slightly

the proton would not be stable and

heavier than the

there would be no atoms.


Minute imbalance

Why were there 30,000,001

of matter over

particles of matter for every


30,000,000 particles of anti-matter

in the Big Bang? Had here been

perfect balance there would be no

stable matter.