Mold and Michio Kaku
Does anyone "get" Michio Kaku? I don't. I used to -- used to listen to him on NPR where he sounded like a real scientist talking in lay terms about interesting physics -- rare on the radio in those days. After he became popular on TV, though, I began to be a bit more skeptical as he seemed too much the eager cheerleader for seemingly every exotic new theory out there. I get his FB feed and today he talked in cozy terms about the Anthropic prinicple, i.e., the universe fine-tuned for the purpose of supporting life.
That's backwards -- take mold, for example. It doesn't grow everywhere, but with the right warm, dark, moist conditions, it flourishes. I imagine certain molds require VERY precise conditions and are fatally sensitive to minor environmental changes. Driving the California desert landscape, I see cactus species that exist only in a narrow elevation bandwidth. We don't say that the reason those conditions occur is so that mold or cactus can have a place to grow -- rather, we say that those species of life are a by-product when certain conditions occur in just the right propportions. So, I don't really get the Anthropic principle OR Michio Kaku. It isn't that the Earth and the solar system are situated purposefully just so life will have a planet on which to exist -- it is that when celestial bodies happen to end up situated in a certian way, then life is a consequence. Of a billion star systems with a billion slightly different star/planet relationships, we can vouch for one. Odds are, there are more similar to ours, but it isn't at all remarkable that life flourishes in the star/planet relationship-spectrum only where it can, and does not where it cannot -- where else would one expect to find living things, if not in an environment conducive to their existence?
Everything that happens, happens somehow.