In 1973, physicist Brandon Carter introduced the idea of the anthropic principle. While there are many variations of the principle, they mostly hinge on the idea that there are many universes and that physical laws can vary from one universe to another. In some universes, the physical laws are hospitable to life as we know, but in some universes they’re not. In seeking an answer to why the laws we observe have their particular form, anthropic reason replies that there is no first principles explanation — the laws can and do vary from universe to universe. We see our laws we do because had they been different they’d be incompatible with life, and so we wouldn’t be here to observe them. Do you find this convincing? Circular? Do you think anthropic reasoning has a place in scientific thinking?
I resented accepting the anthropic reasoning for a long time. However, having noticed that there is an undeniable logic to it, I’ve come to accept it as a “last resort”, if other explanations fail and the anthropic reasoning makes sense.
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