Until about 1979, physicists thought that the laws of physics were just what they were, without rhyme or reason, and life arose taking advantage of whatever laws it found, building ordered, self-reproducing structures with the available tools.
But in that year, Bernard Carr and Martin Rees published an influential paper that consolidated some earlier ideas to put the Anthropic Principle on the map. They made a case that physical laws capable of supporting life were very special. “It’s as though the Universe knew we were coming.”
I was an astrophysics student, and I read the paper of Rees and Carr with great excitement when it came out. But it was only yesterday that I learned that Carr has had another role, as VP of the Society for Psychical Research.
The number of people in the world who find their path to mysticism through physics is small, but I am especially intrigued, and eager to learn from them.