Invited Talk delivered at the Varenna Conference, Origin of Intelligent Life in the Universe, 30th September 1998, Varenna. (astro-ph/9811461)
For a PDF version of the article, click here.
For a Postscript version of the article, click here.


John D. Barrow

Astronomy Centre
University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QJ, U.K.

Abstract. We discuss some of the cosmological constraints on the evolution and persistence of life in the Universe and in hypothetical universes other than our own. We highlight the role played by the age and size of the universe, and discuss the interplay between the main-sequence stellar lifetime and the biological evolution time scale. The consequences of different versions of the inflationary universe scenario are described in the light of limits on the possible variation in the values of the constants of Nature.

Table of Contents