Monday, February 16, 2015

Anthropic Principle or a mere Tautology?

A couple years ago, I began to hear more and more references toward this redundant concept many folks call the "Anthropic Principle." Don't get me wrong, it is a cool subject to ponder and study when you first hear about it, but then it becomes abundantly clear that it is more or less "stating the obvious" and would be considered a tautology by many, I'm sure. If for some reason you don't know the basic definition for a tautology, it is a needless repetition of an idea, statement or word.

The Anthropic Principle is chiefly divided into two concepts: 1) The Strong Anthropic Principle (SAP). 2) The Weak Anthropic Principle (WAP). Without going into detail about each one (I'll provide a couple resource links in a moment), the primary premise behind these principles is that the Universe must be fine-tuned for the observer for it to exist and/or that the age of the Universe must be compatible with the conscious life that observes it. They try to answer questions that many scientists and physicists can't answer, by simply blaming everything on this tautology. Seriously, if there wasn't conscious/intelligent life to question the very Universe they live in, nothing would exist as far as we know, so what is actually the point of the Anthropic Principle?

Before I go any further, if you need a couple resources for this subject, go here:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle
perpendicularity.org/blog/2012/01/02/anthropic-principle/

Anyway, quotes like these, is what helps fuel the Anthropic Principle: "As we look out into the Universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked together to our benefit, it almost seems as if the Universe must in some sense have known that we were coming." -F. Dyson

I must say, not all scientists and physicists, for example, are very pleased with this particular argument that is often used to "answer" questions with these principles that are simply stating the obvious. Although the Anthropic Principle does not say that the Universe was created to benefit mankind and/or the observers (they say that so they won't take any additional ridicule, in my opinion), it does give us, the observers, a special role in the Cosmos. To many people, that is just a bunch of subjective hogwash. To me, I like the idea that the Universe is a divine platform for all conscious life, but to constantly smack a label on it and keep calling it the "Anthropic Principle," is an utter tautology in my book; cheers!

Image Credit: It is in the Public Domain because it was solely created by NASA.

---End of Post "Anthropic Principle or a mere Tautology?"

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