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Anthropic principle

  1. Nov 5, 2003 #1
    What is Anthropic principle? And does it have to do anything with science?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 5, 2003 #2


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    The anthropic principle is the idea that the constants of the uiniverse are the way they are because these are the constants that allow us (as in any form of intelligent life that may ask this question) to exist. There are a variety of explanations to this, ranging from many universes, to god, or to ghost realities and so on.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2003
  4. Nov 5, 2003 #3
    To add to FZ+'s post, there are actually two, different, Anthropic Principles. One is the Strong Anthropic Principle, which says what FZ+ said: The Universe if fine-tuned for the purpose of producing lifeforms like man.

    The Weak Anthropic Principle, OTOH, just states that if the Universe were any different, we wouldn't be here to question it, therefore the Universe that we live in is the way it is because, if it weren't, it wouldn't be the Universe that we live in.

    The distinction may appear hazy, but I've only given a basic summary of the principles.
  5. Nov 5, 2003 #4


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    The difference of the Strong vs. Weak A.P. is a question of world view. Something like this...
    "Is the universe here for us, or are we here because of the universe?"

    I suppose this is more of a philosophical question than one of astronomy, but it comes up so often in cosmology discussions, that I suppose we can discuss it in this forum too.
  6. Nov 5, 2003 #5
    Yeah...I like your way of stating the distinction better :smile:. I was trying to get across much the same point.

    Anyway, as to whether it relates to science at all: In truth, it doesn't relate to science until taken for granted philosophically. So, if one believes in the Strong Anthropic Principle (for example), they can apply it in their study of science, but neither of the Anthropic Principles are inherently scientific.
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