Geraint F. Lewis and Luke A. Barnes

A Fortunate Universe

Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos

Cambridge University Press 2016

New Books in ScienceNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books in Science, Technology, and SocietyNew Books Network November 13, 2018 Zachary Ardern

If the universe was even slightly different in some of its fundamental physical properties, life could not exist – such is the claim of...

If the universe was even slightly different in some of its fundamental physical properties, life could not exist – such is the claim of ‘fine tuning’ of the universe for life. The topic of fine tuning has received attention from physicists, philosophers and the popular press. In A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos (Cambridge University Press, 2016), Geraint Lewis (Professor of Astrophysics, Sydney Institute of Astronomy, the University of Sydney) and Luke Barnes (John Templeton Fellow, Astronomy, University of Western Sydney) explain clearly what fine tuning is and give examples from across physics based on recent research, with many memorable analogies and pictures. They respond to many common objections to the scientific claim of fine tuning, and helpfully discuss what it might mean for physics and our concept of the world more broadly, comparing possible solutions to the issues raised by fine tuning, including a naturalistic multiverse hypothesis and theism. The book is technically precise in both the science and philosophy of fine tuning, and written in an accessible entertaining way, guaranteeing that it will be of interest to a wide audience. Check out the book’s website here, and Twitter feed here.

For more, discussions between the authors relating to the book and similar topics can be found at ‘Alas Lewis & Barnes’.


Zachary Ardern is a postdoctoral researcher in microbial evolution, with additional interests in the philosophy of biology and the science-religion discussion.