His comment about the universe being "accidental" just shows
how little our language and common understanding incorporates
all of the knowledge we do have.
One major question would be such:
Is there any such thing as an "accident?" If the universe
(no matter how many dimensions or what it is composed of)
is set on ONE solitary physical course, then the concept of
an accident(meaning something happened that wouldn't
"normally" happen) COULDN'T occur at all. EVERYTHING
would be an outworking of the physical plant we find ourselves
in...(e.g. every event which occurs is based on some
physical process which was initially set in motion when the
universe (or multiverse, if you will) began.
This of course raises questions about our belief, that
we can understand "NATURE" at it's core, since our very
thoughts could be considered as outworkings of the
physical processes initially set in motion when the universe
(or multiverse, if you will) began.
"I think, therefore I AM....er....do I really think?", would be
the edited version of that famous philosophical statement.......
"our universe is not accidental"
What does he mean, I wonder. Does he mean that the universe was created by some intelligence? Or that it was fated to exi[s]t?
I don't think Steinhardt is a theist, so his use of the words 'not accidental' is a bit odd. But consider his second paragraph:
Historically, most physicists have shared this point-of-view. For centuries, most of us have believed that the universe is governed by a simple set of physical laws that are the same everywhere and that these laws derive from a simple unified theory.
What he's worked up about is the Anthropic Principle and its apparent consequence that our universe is just one among a truly vast number of universes, all the others of which are unobservable. Steinhardt says, with good reason, that this is not science.