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The Moon and the Anthrorpic Principle

  1. Feb 23, 2005 #1


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    1)If our moon did not exist in the precise configuration it has now would intelligent life have failed to evolve on earth?

    (There might have been slight differences but I feel the absence of a moon would not have prevented intelligent life evolving on this earth.)

    2)The Anthrorpic principle says that the universal physical constants are so finely tuned that were it even infinitesimally different life as we know it would not exist. Therefore,by default, a concerned Creator must exist to tune these constants to the values they presently occupy so that intelligent life mat be made possible.

    3)The moon's rotation on its axis is so finely tuned to that of the earth's that only one face of the moon can be seen at any time.

    4)But if this fine tuning of the moon's rotation in relation to the earth makes no significant difference to the emergence of sentient life then all other apparent fine tunings of the universal constants are also just as accidental and have no correlation with some deliberate act on the part of anyone to create an intelligent life.

    How do you react to these statements?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2005 #2

    Andrew Mason

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    I think that misses the point of the Anthropic principle and evolution. Intelligent life can only ask this question if the conditions on the place where the intelligent life is asking the question support the evolution of intelligent life. So the fact that the question is being asked on earth MEANS that the conditions here support the evolution of intelligent life.

    It is not a question of 'fine tuning' or good luck. The moon is locked into synchronous rotation due to tidal torques between earth and moon. This is a perfectly natural occurence. Most moons of planets have synchronous rotation.

    The answer to your first question is not so easy. We don't know how the moon was formed or whether it had a role in setting the conditions which gave rise to the origin of life.

  4. Feb 23, 2005 #3


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    No one knows. We don't yet know exactly how life formed on this planet.
    False. There are other possibilities besides a Creator: there may also be some physical mechanism that drives the parameters to those we observe, or there may be many millions of universes, and we naturally live in one that happens to have the right parameters.
    This is no surprise; tidal locking occurs many other places in the solar system, also. It's well-understood.
    The tidal locking of the Moon is neither an accident nor the deliberate act of a Creator; it's just the result of gravitation. It's also an enormous leap of (il)logic to say that the tidal locking of the Moon has anything to do with the parameters of our particular universe. At best, it's a weak argument; at worst, it's a non-sequitur.

    - Warren
  5. Feb 23, 2005 #4
    A good arguement is, if we didn't exist because the conditions were not right, we wouldn't be here today to argue the case for/against a creator.

    So in any coincidental universe that we existed within, we would have the question "Were we created by a higher power?"
    If we didn't exist we couldn't argue there was a creator.

    So this discussion is quite futile on the road to determining should there be or not be a creator.

    -Also, this thread should be in the philosophy forum?
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