Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Roger Penrose on cosmic purpose

[Roger Penrose] I’m not sure that the word “purpose” one might use in connection with the universe or the laws of physics is quite the same as the way we use the word in a personal sense: when we intend to do something. But there is a certain sense in which I would say that the universe has a purpose. It’s not just there by chance.

Some people take the view that the universe is simply there and it runs along–it’s a bit as though it just sort of computes, and we happen by accident to find ourselves in this thing. I don’t think that’s a very fruitful or helpful way of looking at the universe. I think there is something much deeper about it, about its existence, which we have very little inkling of at the moment.

S. Hawking & G. Stone, eds. Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time: A Reader’s Companion (Bantam Books 1992), 142.

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