Cosmos & Einstein:
Lecturer at UCLA, Dr. Robert Piccioni, discussed the extraordinary odds required to form a universe by chance, and also covered the numerous contributions of Albert Einstein beyond the Theory of Relativity. The fact that there is so much order in our universe is absolutely astonishing– there are about 20 different major properties of the universe that could have been different, he noted. “Each of these [properties] is like a knob on the oven. You can turn the knob to more or less any value you want, and you’d get a universe that meets all the laws of physics…but none of those universes would be capable of supporting life. Only if the knobs are tuned to almost exactly the right value do you get a universe that has any chance at all of supporting life,” he said. Further, the claim that all of life could have happened by random chance is “t he most absurd thing that science has ever said,” he commented. Back in his day, many of Einstein’s ideas were questionable when he first proposed them. But in today’s academic climate, he might not have even gotten them published, Piccioni remarked. Yet Einstein’s contributions to physics were so influential, he continued, that the following products and technologies all depend on his discoveries in one way or another: television, CDs, DVDs, GPS, solar cells, computers, telephones, laser printers, nuclear weapons, barcode scanners, digital electronics (plus many others). Einstein lacked certain credentials (he didn’t have a PhD) and was turned down by many universities, but without his contributions we could be somewhere between 20-50 years behind in various technologies, and even more in the field of physics, Piccioni pointed out.