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Talk:Anthropic principle

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Actually, the anthropic principle is used more often by atheists to show counter the argument that we must have been designed into the universe. Stated that way, it says that, "of course the universe happens to support life like ours...we're here, aren't we?"

The problematic assumptions, aside from the teleologic nature of the argument, is that if any one or two parameters were changed, there would be know life. That is a pretty fucking big assumption.--PalMD-If it looks like a donut, eat it 01:49, 25 November 2007 (EST)

This article really states the idea incorrectly, and I'd love to change it. Any comments?--PalMD-If it looks like a donut, eat it 10:02, 25 November 2007 (EST)
I think you should. I'm not happy with it either.--Bobbing up 10:07, 25 November 2007 (EST)
Dawkins uses it in The God Delusion, although it's not his strongest argument. I guess i'll work on it.--PalMD-If it looks like a donut, eat it 10:10, 25 November 2007 (EST)
Yeah, this is a totally bizarre article. The anthropic principle is discussed as if it were a fine-tuning apologetic, when the most common form of anthropic reasoning is as a counter-apologetic to fine tuning. The 'anthropic principle' is itself somewhat confusing because anthropic argumentation comes in two major types; it's not really a single principle, or mental tool, that people are using. In many other places on the wiki bayesian probability is used to help clarify the topic, and in this case I think that a similar approach would be useful to define the idea(s) behind the anthropic principle.
The short and skinny of it is that the anthropic principle connects the fact that we are observing with the probability or possibility of observation. The relevant fact of observation and the relevant landscape of possible realities vary from use to use in their precise definition, as does the degree of knowledge which we suppose to have about the background landscape. For example, if we imagine that we know the 'raw' or prior probabilities for different types of universes, the anthropic principle produces a posterior distribution where universes without observers have probability zero. If someone argues hazily that the universe is fine-tuned based on a hazy argument that the probability of Special Beings Like All of Us Humans is low, then the anthropic principle is invoked as an anti-teologic argument, a way of shutting down the fine-tuning argument as not even wrong; we don't have epistemic access to the 'prior' probability distribution that generated the universe, only the 'posterior' distribution which is conditioned on the fact that we exist to observe. In general, probabilistic arguments about the cosmos as a whole are fairly suspect to begin with because we only have one entire cosmos to refer to. It is the way it is and we don't really have any concrete evidence that it could be otherwise, much less the sort of evidence that could tell us the relative probability of one cosmos over another. Shirtsleeves (talk) 22:41, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Weak and Strong[edit]

Does anybody know the actual difference between the weak and strong anthropic principles? Every time I've read it, they either look the same or they've been compressed into unnecessarily wordy pseudo-intellectual soundbites that make no sense. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 12:56, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

  • The weak anthropic principle says that we're on Earth now because it and the current time period are suitable for intelligent life. In other words, Earth seems so improbably rare among all the places in the universe because it is: we are observing the universe from a point (or one of the points) where intelligent life can exist. The strong anthropic principle applies the same argument to the universe itself, hypothesizing that it is one of many universes with different laws, in most of which, quite possibly, intelligent life doesn't exist. While the weak principle is just common sense, the strong one is unprovable and unfalsifiable. - LucidFox (talk) 05:57, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Fine-tuned to something else[edit]

Well, talking to someone that defends the idea of a fine-tuned universe, he did indeed agree that the universe is not fine-tuned to human life, but it could be fine tuned to some other type of life, possibly from the same dimension/whatever as god. Then it all gets back to the fact that he's just pushing the answer back to "nobody can understand that" territory: "It's fine tuned to something, it's just only that this something is beyond human comprehension". That's some sort of goddidit or conversation stopper, right? --200.181.88.171 (talk) 04:50, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

This reminds me of something I read a while ago, which proposed that the universe was fine-tuned for the production of black holes. It was operating on a model where black holes triggered inflationary events that led to the formation of other universes. By way of evolutionary pressure, the total population of universes would be dominated by ones with physical laws that efficiently produce large numbers of black holes, which (at the level of investigation described) also makes them suitable for life as we know it. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 22:00, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

String Theory[edit]

Hey guys, the Anthropic Principle got his name because as a principle(like principle of minimum action or similar principles of physics) it is controversial because no one knows if it could be applied to the string theory landscape to pick out a single set of solution that give us the current standard model of particle physics + quantum gravity. For example: The cosmological constant is believed to be small but none zero, so if one assumes that it should have the value that humans can life in this universe, one can calculate the value(this has been done by weinberg, but I don't know much about it), then this an application of this principle. Maybe this should be in the article.

Greets— Unsigned, by: 192․168․1․42 / talk / contribs

Even buddhists joining in[edit]

http://seanrobsville.blogspot.it/2009/10/participatory-anthropic-principle.html

It seems that buddhism too likes this principle. What do you think about these insights?Gianga23 (talk) 14:32, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Template: Wikipedia Article[edit]

This article looks like it needs serious work. On first glance a few parts of it are basically nonsensical. If I had the time and will to go through and try to revise everything, I would, but most I can do is offer up a summary of the problems I see and strongly recommend that the "you should go to wikipedia instead" tag (http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Template:Wikipedia_article) be added. I'd do it myself, but a consensus is necessary. As of now, the reader's knowledge on the subject will be worse off from reading this article than it would be if they hadn't looked here. Honestly, right now I'd really like to just delete this article entirely so that at least people won't have to be absolutely confused and mislead by it. There's some good stuff in this article, but all of its serious issues overshadow the good:

The article seems to have a problem differentiating between tautological and teleological. This isn't a "teleologic [sic]" argument at all.

The Anthropic Principle means many, many different things based on which philosopher (and which philosopher's version of the principle) you're talking about. This should at least be mentioned. Right now the article seems to be doing a good job of going with the most common usage, but it'd be useful for readers to know that their AP may not be their neighbor's AP. When I reference the AP from now on, it'll be the AP that is used to argue against intelligent design, which seems to be the focus of this article. These are basically Carter's Weak and Strong APs.

The AP isn't a strawman. It is considered a bad argument by some atheists, but it isn't a strawman at all.

The Copernican Principle subheading says "the anthropic principle conclusion that the universe is here just for us." The AP doesn't imply that the universe is here for us. It only indicates that humans may live in exceptional places or universes, but only because humans require exceptional conditions to live. I don't know if the quoted sentence is implying that this is a common or rational conclusion, but it isn't clear.

The Biocentricism subheading says "the anthropic principle has not proven its claim that our Universe is special." This is mindboggling to read. The AP doesn't claim that our universe is special aside from the fact that it supports life. The AP doesn't even claim that life is special or that it isn't relatively common in the multiverse. [edit] After further examination of this article, it looks like its creators thought the AP was solely an argument for intelligent design. It's even still categorized as such. This explains all of the mindboggling flip-flopping that goes on throughout the article.

Honestly, I'm just going to post the "go to Wikipedia" tag myself. This article is a misleading mess that should just metaphorically be happy I'm not totally undoing most of it. --174.27.203.107 (talk) 07:31, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Well, my edit has been removed. I guess it's just policy, but I think it's obvious that it's a huge detriment to readers not to have that tag up and to allow this article to exist. The fact that this article has been allowed to stay in such a state for literally years is shocking to me. Serious editors of this site should be ashamed of this. Like, that biocentrism subsection? As my last good deed for this site, I'm going to edit away some of the terrible sections, at least. 174.27.203.107 (talk) 09:53, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

'Twas I who reverted your edit 'cause that's not how we do things here. I don't have any ideas on your comments: its not my bag & you might well be right. Might I suggest that you allow a time (say 24 hours at least) for those who know about the subject to read your comments before acting unilaterally. Scream!! (talk) 10:42, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

I totally understand reverting the previous edits, because I'm sure it was against policy. But if anyone seriously knew or cared about this article, it would've either been completely overhauled, or at least deleted, years ago. I don't know if my recent edit has been too drastic for this site's policy, but it was severely necessary. If you look back in the very-early previews of the article's history you'll see that the editors explicitly thought that AP is an argument for ID. As you can see in the version before I started editing, that idea had been reversed (sort of almost correctly) in the lede, but remained throughout the rest. It was terrible and contradictory, so if you must revert it, then fine, but it really is a huge disservice to have such a low-quality article on this otherwise okay site. --174.27.203.107 (talk) 11:39, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

I think the article looks good, but it really only explores the anthropic principle as is used by Creationists, with some references to atheist rebuttals. It'd be better served with an explanation of the principle in general, & a section both for apologetic uses of it & atheist criticisms.184.5.173.224 (talk) 23:38, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Neds halp[edit]

The anthropic principle is an important concept for us skeptics to cover! That being said, though — this article currently needs a dose of thisWikipedia's W.svg (for starters). Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:29, 18 January 2017 (UTC)