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The Anthropic Principle Is What Scientists Use When They’ve Given Up On Science

15 Mar 2019, 14:01 UTC
The Anthropic Principle Is What Scientists Use When They’ve Given Up On Science
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Human beings can exist on our world today because of the ingredients and rules that make up the Universe. If things were too different, intelligent observers of any type would be impossible. (VANIARAPOSO / PIXABAY)Yes, life exists in our Universe. No, that statement doesn’t equal science.Imagine you’ve encountered a natural phenomenon you want to understand better, but don’t have the tools to do so. Perhaps you’re curious why the fundamental constants have the values that they do, or how old the Earth is, or whether there are undiscovered states of matter out there. Under normal circumstances, you’d conduct your inquiry scientifically: by making measurements and observations that ask the Universe questions about itself. You’d gather data, get results, and draw conclusions based on what you found.But sometimes, you don’t know how to conduct the experiments or gather the observations you’d need. Sometimes, you can only resort to the most basic of assumptions: that however the Universe may behave, it behaved in a way that allowed it to give rise to intelligent observers like us. This line of thinking is known as the Anthropic Principle. While it can serve as a useful starting point, it’s no substitute for actual science.The galaxy ...

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