The universe of choice

Our universe supports life because of some rather remarkable coincidences. If the values of the physical constants that govern the fundamental forces and interactions in our universe were just a bit different, then life (or at least, life as we know it) would be impossible. I devoted a previous column (“The ‘Real World’ and The Standard Model”, Analog, May 1996) to a discussion of some of the consequences of tinkering with some of the physical constants, but let me give some further examples here.
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