Category: scientific reasoning

The Anthropic Principle Is What Scientists Use…

The Anthropic Principle Is What Scientists Use When They’ve Given Up On Science

“There can be no doubt that the Universe is governed by laws, constants, and observable properties, and that this very same Universe did, in fact, give rise to us. But that does not necessitate the Universe was required to have the exact properties it does in order to admit our existence, nor does it imply that a Universe that were different in some fundamental way would be an impossibility for observers. Most importantly, we cannot use the Anthropic Principle to learn why the Universe is the way we see it, as opposed to any other way.

The Anthropic Principle may be a remarkable starting point, allowing us to place constraints on the Universe’s properties owing to the fact of our existence, but that is not a scientific solution in and of itself. Our goal in science, remember, is to understand how the Universe arrived at its current properties through natural processes. If we replace scientific inquiry with anthropic arguments, we’ll never get there. The multiverse may be real, but the Anthropic Principle cannot scientifically explain why our Universe’s properties are what they are.”

It shouldn’t be a controversial statement to note the fact that we exist in the Universe, and that therefore the laws of physics and the phenomena in the Universe need to behave in a way that makes our existence possible. But sometimes, what starts off as a correct and innocuous statement gets applied in an extremely unscientific way, and that leads to a number of not-necessarily-correct conclusions being drawn by scientists who are unknowingly fooling themselves.

Don’t you get fooled; learn the difference between a good use and a real abuse of the Anthropic Principle. Otherwise, you might accidentally give up on science.