LETTER Bouncing atoms and amino acids

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The Independent Online
From Fr Dominic Kirkham Sir: Peter Atkins'S failure to find any meaning or purpose to our universe ("A desolate place to look for answers", 27 December) is indeed depressing: fortunately, it is also wrong. The reason for this is his exclusive belief thatthe Second Law of Thermodynamics is the great liberator of the human spirit which alone "illuminates our understanding". This rather antiquated 19th-century view is defective by virtue of omission of any mention of what is now known as the Cosmogenetic Principle.

The most cursory glance at our environment shows it to be a highly ordered universe - not just a chaotic mess - which is the product of large-scale, form-producing forces: for the atoms in the universe randomly to bounce together to produce amino acids would take over 100 times more than the 15 billion years of known existence. The complementary Cosmological Principle (proposed in 1931 by Einstein, that every point in space is alike) indicates further that such self-organising dynamics that fashioned our amino acids will be present in every other galaxy.

Yours sincerely, Dominic Kirkham Canons Regular of Premontre Corpus Christi Priory Manchester 27 December

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