20 Facts About Anthropic principle


Anthropic principle, known as the "observation selection effect", is the hypothesis, first proposed in 1957 by Robert Dicke, that there is a restrictive lower bound on how statistically probable our observations of the universe are, because observations could only happen in a universe capable of developing intelligent life.

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Proponents of the anthropic principle argue that it explains why this universe has the age and the fundamental physical constants necessary to accommodate conscious life, since if either had been different, we would not have been around to make observations.

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Anthropic principle reasoning is often used to deal with the notion that the universe seems to be finely tuned for the existence of life.

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The anthropic principle states that this is a necessity, because if life were impossible, no living entity would be there to observe it, and thus would not be known.

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Anthropic principle has given rise to some confusion and controversy, partly because the phrase has been applied to several distinct ideas.

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All versions of the Anthropic principle have been accused of discouraging the search for a deeper physical understanding of the universe.

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Stronger variants of the anthropic principle are not tautologies and thus make claims considered controversial by some and that are contingent upon empirical verification.

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The strong Anthropic principle then becomes an example of a selection effect, exactly analogous to the weak Anthropic principle.

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Since Carter's 1973 paper, the term anthropic principle has been extended to cover a number of ideas that differ in important ways from his.

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For Bostrom, Carter's anthropic principle just warns us to make allowance for anthropic bias—that is, the bias created by anthropic selection effects —the necessity for observers to exist in order to get a result.

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One thing that would not count as evidence for the Anthropic Principle is evidence that the Earth or the Solar System occupied a privileged position in the universe, in violation of the Copernican principle, unless there was some reason to think that that position was a necessary condition for our existence as observers.

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Anthropic principle is said to have reasoned, from the prevalence on Earth of life forms whose chemistry was based on carbon-12 nuclei, that there must be an undiscovered resonance in the carbon-12 nucleus facilitating its synthesis in stellar interiors via the triple-alpha process.

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Anthropic principle then calculated the energy of this undiscovered resonance to be 7.

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Anthropic principle called this an "anthropic myth, " saying that Hoyle and others made an after-the-fact connection between carbon and life decades after the discovery of the resonance.

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Anthropic principle emphasized that initial conditions that made possible a thermodynamic arrow of time in a universe with a Big Bang origin, must include the assumption that at the initial singularity, the entropy of the universe was low and therefore extremely improbable.

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William Sims Bainbridge disagreed with de Chardin's optimism about a future Omega Point at the end of history, arguing that logically we are trapped at the Omicron Point, in the middle of the Greek alphabet rather than advancing to the end, because the universe does not need to have any characteristics that would support our further technical progress, if the Anthropic principle merely requires it to be suitable for our evolution to this point.

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Book begins with an extensive review of many topics in the history of ideas the authors deem relevant to the anthropic principle, because the authors believe that principle has important antecedents in the notions of teleology and intelligent design.

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Carter has frequently regretted his own choice of the word "anthropic", because it conveys the misleading impression that the principle involves humans specifically, rather than intelligent observers in general.

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Some applications of the anthropic principle have been criticized as an argument by lack of imagination, for tacitly assuming that carbon compounds and water are the only possible chemistry of life .

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Anthropic principle puts forth his fecund universes theory, which assumes universes have "offspring" through the creation of black holes whose offspring universes have values of physical constants that depend on those of the mother universe.

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