Fitness Of The Cosmos For Life

Biochemistry and Fine-Tuning

This highly interdisciplinary book highlights many of the ways in which chemistry plays a crucial role in making life an evolutionary possibility in the universe. Cosmologists and particle physicists have often explored how the observed laws and constants of nature lie within a narrow range that allows complexity and life to evolve and adapt. Here, these anthropic considerations are diversified in a host of new ways to identify the most sensitive features of biochemistry and astrobi-ology. Celebrating the classic 1913 work of Lawrence J. Henderson, The Fitness of the Environment, this book looks at the delicate balance between chemistry and the ambient conditions in the universe that permit complex chemical networks and structures to exist. It will appeal to scientists, academics, and others working in a range of disciplines.

John d. Barrow is Professor of Mathematical Sciences in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Millennium Mathematics Project. He is the author of The Artful Universe Expanded (Oxford University Press, 2005) and The Infinite Book: A Short Guide to the Boundless, Timeless and Endless (Cape, 2005), as well as co-editor of Science and Ultimate Reality: Quantum Theory, Cosmology and Complexity (Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Simon Conway Morris is Professor of Evolutionary Palaeobiology at the Earth Sciences Department, University of Cambridge. He is the author of Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe (Cambridge University Press, 2003).

Stephen j. Freeland is Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His research focuses on the evolution of the genetic code.

Charles l. Harper, jr.isanastrophysicist and planetary scientist and serves as Senior Vice President of the John Templeton Foundation. He is co-editor of

Science and Ultimate Reality: Quantum Theory, Cosmology and Complexity (Cambridge University Press, 2004); Visions of Discovery: New Light on Physics, Cosmology, and Consciousness (forthcoming from Cambridge University Press).

Cambridge Astrobiology

Series Editors

Bruce Jakosky, Alan Boss, Frances Westall, Daniel Prieur and Charles Cockell

Books in the series

1. Planet Formation: Theory, Observations, and Experiments Edited by Hubert Klahr and Wolfgang Brandner

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