Friday, August 19, 2005

The Anthropic Principle

The anthropic principle works as follows.
The earth and its potential to support life rely upon a huge number of variables such as the existence of a reasonable sized star in the vicinity and the size of its orbit etc.
They are so unlikely that there is a good argument they should never occur in a single universe and worse yet it is amazing the universe obeys rules that permit life in itself.

the Anthropic Principle solves this problem by arguing that we should expect to be surprised by this because no matter how rare the rules are that allow humans to exist every human that ever exists will be faces with the same odd set of surprising rules. I.e. that
"What we observe about in the universe is restricted by the requirement of our existence as observers"
One could also try to tack the slightly religious interpretation of quantum mechanics onto this and say that the universe exists in order to create an observer that will make that universe's wave function collapse (i.e. to make it real).

The solutions that do not deal with the Anthropic Principle in an at least semi mystical way must use other unobserved and potentially unobservable theories such as multiple universes, rather similar to all the other arguments in this "pure logic" bases set I have covered in recent posts.

So does the observer (or even a "final observer") collapse the wave function? Or is pure luck? Or infinite universes? Most importantly on what do you base your oppinion and do oyu apply similar logic to for example the previous posts?


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