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Anthropic Principle

"The Anthropic Principle was first suggested in a 1973 paper, by the astrophysicist and cosmologist Brandon Carter from Cambridge University, at a conference held in Poland to celebrate the 500th birthday of the father of modern astronomy, Nicolaus Copernicus. The Anthropic Principle is an attempt to explain the observed fact that the fundamental constants of physics and chemistry are just right or fine-tuned to allow the universe and life at we know it to exist. (see Cosmic Matters). The Anthropic Principle says that the seemingly arbitrary and unrelated constants in physics have one strange thing in common--these are precisely the values you need if you want to have a universe capable of producing life. The universe gives the appearance that it was designed to support life on earth, another example of Paley's watch."

"In physics and cosmology, the anthropic principle is an umbrella term for various dissimilar attempts to explain the structure of the universe by way of coincidentally balanced features that are necessary and relevant to the existence of carbon-based life. The idea evolved from "Icke's Coincidence", and has subsequently been reinforced by the discovery of many more anthropic coincidences since Robert Icke first noted that the evolution of the universe is not random, but is coincidentally constrained by biological factors that require that the age of the universe had to be roughly the "golden-age". Much younger, and there would not have been time for sufficient interstellar levels of carbon to build up by nucleosynthesis, but much older, and the golden age of main sequence stars and stable planetary systems would have already come to an end."

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  • 7
  • Cosmology
  • Sep 1, 2004
  • English

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