John Wiley

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In existographies, John P. Wiley Jr. (1936-2004) was an American science editor and columnist, specializing in the in the physical and natural sciences, in the publications such as: Physics Today, in 1968, Natural History, from 1969 to 1971, and for the Smithsonian Magazine, from 1973 to 2001.

Overview

In Dec 1995, Wiley, in his Smithsonian Magazine article “Phenomena, Comments & Notes: Today’s physics allow outrageous possibilities: faster-than-light travel across the galaxy, or even our learning to make new universes to specification”, attempted to summarize Edward Harrison's Mar 1995 article "The Natural Selection of Universes Containing Intelligent Life", as follows:

“The history of the universe has been summed up thusly: Hydrogen is a light, odorless gas, which, given enough time, turns into people.’ When our universe began, it consisted mostly of hydrogen. That gas condensed into galaxies of stars, in whose cores heat and pressure fused atoms into heavier elements, including those necessary for life. Some of those stars exploded, spewing the heavier elements out into space. New stars and planets formed, including our own. On one of those planets, life appeared. Harrison contends that none of it could have happened unless all the physical constants (the speed of light, the charge and mass of the electron, and similar numbers) were just right. Reviewing the work of a long line of cosmologists, Harrison sums up what has come to be known as the Anthropic Principle: the Universe is the way it is because we exist. He explains: ’In a universe containing luminous stars and chemical elements essential for the existence of organic life, the physical constants are necessarily precisely adjusted (or finely tuned). Slight deviations from the observed values could result in a starless and lifeless universe’.”
— John Wiley (1995), “Phenomena, Comments, and Notes” [1]

Now, while the second, of the two above quoted segments, does indeed come from the published writings of Harrison, the first does not. In fact, the so-called "Hydrogen, given time, turns into people", however, is not found in any form in Harrison's 1995 article, nor any of his other works, and is not found on the Internet, Google Books, nor Google scholar prior to Dec 1995. The "hydrogen, given time, turns into people" quote, therefore seems to be the brainchild of Wiley, possibly inspired in some secular way by Harrison's article. If Harrison would have been asked to give a truncated quote of this form, it would have been something like: "hydrogen, given time, fine tuning, and the creative natural selection work, done by the intelligence of god, turns into humans", or something along these lines.

Beliefs

Given Wiley's favorable take on Edward Harrison's "creatively-fine tuned cosmic evolution" model (1995), Wiley would seem to be classified, baring exact references to stated beliefs, as an scientific agnostic, leaning to the theistic side of the fence.

Education

In 1958, Wiley obtained a BS in something, then served in the US Navey Reserver, and obtained a job as reporter for the Middleton Record in New York. [2]

Quotes

Quotes | By

The following are quotes by Wiley:

“The whole universe may be a single hologram: The information about all of it is encapsulated in every part of it.”
— John Wiley (1993), Natural High (pg. #) [3]
Hydrogen is a light, odorless gas, which, given enough time, turns into people.”
— John Wiley (1995), “Phenomena, Comments, and Notes”, Smithsonian Magazine, Dec [1]

End matter

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Wiley, John P. (1995). “Phenomena, Comments & Notes: Today’s physics allow outrageous possibilities: faster-than-light travel across the galaxy, or even our learning to make new universes to specification” (WB), Smithsonian Magazine, Dec.
  2. John P. Wiley Jr – Encyclopedia.com.
  3. Wiley, John. (1993). Natural High (pg. #) (abs). UPNE.

External links

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