I have read, yet again, that there are 4 crucial numbers (more probably ratios) which define our universe; and that, were one of those numbers to be different, this universe would not exist. Does this mean that these numbers made the universe what it is? Or, more realistically, that the numbers (and possibly many other features or factors) are simply descriptors of the universe that we think we know? That is, another universe will or must have different numbers defining it; as well as have different characteristics, eg. being silicone- rather than carbon-based.
This distinction seems to me to be significant. For, I have read that there may be universal laws, inherent in nature, which determine many of the salient attributes of life. Such laws were said to explain, for instance, the formation of ice crystals, or how a seed grows into a tree. That is, that these laws exist outside the phenomena being determined.
However, the laws of nature (as distinct from the ‘natural law’ of a Christian sect) ‘merely refer to the regularities which scientists observe, describe and model. They have no objective existence’ (Sheldrake). Sheldrake’s contribution to this issue is thus: ‘ … the possibility that the regularities of nature are more like habits than products of transcendent laws!’
As one who believes (therefore without proof) that there has to be a Creator of the Cosmos (for all its wondrous features), I prefer the simplest possible belief: that our Creator set up a simple mechanism capable of change, and adapting as appropriate, where even the laws of evolution can evolve. Occam’s Razor (the simplest explanation is best) applies.