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Quotes About Anthropic Principle

Quotes tagged as "anthropic-principle" (showing 1-6 of 6)
Paul      Davies
“Scientists are slowly waking up to an inconvenient truth - the universe looks suspiciously like a fix. The issue concerns the very laws of nature themselves. For 40 years, physicists and cosmologists have been quietly collecting examples of all too convenient "coincidences" and special features in the underlying laws of the universe that seem to be necessary in order for life, and hence conscious beings, to exist. Change any one of them and the consequences would be lethal. Fred Hoyle, the distinguished cosmologist, once said it was as if "a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics".

To see the problem, imagine playing God with the cosmos. Before you is a designer machine that lets you tinker with the basics of physics. Twiddle this knob and you make all electrons a bit lighter, twiddle that one and you make gravity a bit stronger, and so on. It happens that you need to set thirtysomething knobs to fully describe the world about us. The crucial point is that some of those metaphorical knobs must be tuned very precisely, or the universe would be sterile.

Example: neutrons are just a tad heavier than protons. If it were the other way around, atoms couldn't exist, because all the protons in the universe would have decayed into neutrons shortly after the big bang. No protons, then no atomic nucleuses and no atoms. No atoms, no chemistry, no life. Like Baby Bear's porridge in the story of Goldilocks, the universe seems to be just right for life.”
Paul Davies

Robert J. Sawyer
“It is either coincidence piled on top of coincidence," said Hollus, "or it is deliberate design.”
Robert J. Sawyer, Calculating God

“In the discoveries of science the harmony of the spheres is also now the harmony of life. And as the eerie illumination of science penetrates evermore deeply into the order of nature, the cosmos appears increasingly to be a vast system finely tuned to generate life and organisms of biology very similar, perhaps identical, to ourselves. All the evidence available in the biological sciences supports the core proposition of traditional natural theology - that the cosmos is a specially designed whole with life and mankind as a fundamental goal and purpose, a whole in which all facets of reality, from the size of galaxies to the thermal capacity of water, have their meaning and explanation in this central fact.

Four centuries after the scientific revolution apparently destroyed irretrievably man's special place in the universe, banished Aristotle, and rendered teleological speculation obsolete, the relentless stream of discovery has turned dramatically in favor of teleology and design, and the doctrine of the microcosm is reborn. As I hope the evidence presented in this book has shown, science, which has been for centuries the great ally of atheism and skepticism, has become at last, in the final days of the second millennium, what Newton and many of its early advocates had so fervently wished - the "defender of the anthropocentric faith.”
Michael Denton, Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe

“To get our universe, with all of its potential for complexities or any kind of potential for any kind of life-form, everything has to be precisely defined on this knife edge of improbability…. [Y]ou have to see the hands of a creator who set the parameters to be just so because the creator was interested in something a little more complicated than random particles.”
Francis Collins

“According to the anthropic principle proponents, if the universal constants (e.g. gravitation, the strong force, etc.) were just a nose-hair off, the universe as we know it would not exist; stars wouldn't form and there would be no life and no us. That supposedly makes our universe truly special. To demonstrate just how ridiculous this fine-tuning argument is, consider the fact that no measurement in physics is perfect. All of them are approximations and have margins of error. That means the universal constants, that make our universe what it is, have some wiggle room. Within that wiggle room are an infinite quantity of real numbers. Each of those real numbers could represent constants that could make a universe like ours. Since there are an infinite number of potential constants within that wiggle room, there are an infinite number of potential universes, like ours, that could have existed in lieu of ours. Thus, there is really nothing special about our universe.”
G.M. Jackson, Debunking Darwin's God: A Case Against BioLogos and Theistic Evolution

Richard Dawkins
“It is a strange fact, incidentally, that religious apologists love the anthropic principle. For some reason that makes no sense at all, they think it supports their case. Precisely the opposite is true. The anthropic principle, like natural selection, is an alternative to the design hypothesis. It provides a rational, design-free explanation for the fact that we find ourselves in a situation propitious to our existence.”
Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

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