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Author Topic:   The Anthropic Principal - Cosmology
Tusko
Member (Idle past 13 days)
Posts: 605
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 6 of 69 (389603)
03-14-2007 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by bebotx1
03-14-2007 8:44 AM


The anthropic principle isn't, at least to my limited understanding, an attempt to explain why life has occurred on this planet. Rather, it is a way of addressing a related issue; namely, that our very existence itself can muddy the waters when considering matters pertaining to the existence of life on this planet. To me, it seems a pretty sensible way of considering human origins while denying any particular necessity that the very unlikelyness of our existence have a bearing on spiritual questions.

Humans can see patterns in porridge. While it is true that a million-to-one shot can seem spiritually significant to those for whom it comes through, the fact remains that million-to-one shots happen all the time.

I'd argue that a supernatural entity isn't particularly helpful when it comes to explaining our presence on this planet. I don't think it’s any more satisfying or profound than a simple matter of probability. In a universe as vast as this, it is almost inevitable that life, complex life, even sentient life is going to happen occasionally. (It is probably best that we leave aside the problem that we don't have any idea of the probability that intelligent life will arise on a given planet. Who knows? It could be much more or less likely than we predict. Let’s just call it pretty damn unlikely.)

Regardless of this, it can't be denied that when sentient life does occur, it’s going to feel pretty bloody pleased with itself (and/or with whatever deities it happens to revere at the time). However, those societies which are sufficiently advanced to recognise the stellar unlikelyness of their own genesis should also be in a position to recognise that in and of itself, this low probability can't have any bearing on the existence of supernatural, omnipotent entities like Allah or Crom, just as no supernatural entity is needed to explain why my dad's friend won the national lottery. It's just down to chance. The principal difference is that we are in a better position to scrutinise a lottery win than the birth of life on this planet.

Edited by Tusko, : No reason given.

Edited by Tusko, : whoops fixed italics


This message is a reply to:
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Tusko
Member (Idle past 13 days)
Posts: 605
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 27 of 69 (389782)
03-15-2007 1:40 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by bebotx1
03-15-2007 1:28 PM


Re: God-did-it doesn't help
You might postulate the whole she-bang was intentionally created with a purpose and it is exactly as it was designed to be. On similar grounds you could also:

1)postulate the whole shebang was created with a purpose but it isn't exactly what it was designed to be (magician's apprentice/demiurge style explanation)

2)postulate the whole shebang was created without a purpose. (Hume's infinite spider)

3)postulate the whole shebang has existed forever and as a consequence wasn't created.

Can you discard any of these posibilities out of hand - or rather, is there any pressing reason to favour the explanation you offer?


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 Message 30 by bebotx1, posted 03-15-2007 1:59 PM Tusko has not yet responded
 Message 33 by cavediver, posted 03-15-2007 2:16 PM Tusko has responded

  
Tusko
Member (Idle past 13 days)
Posts: 605
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 64 of 69 (389862)
03-16-2007 8:58 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by cavediver
03-15-2007 2:16 PM


Re: God-did-it doesn't help
Thats interesting - I know its off topic but if you can spare the time I'd love you to explain this to me.

I MEANT your fourth option:

The Universe can be temporally infinite and not be created

But I obviously SAID something else... I just can't work out what!


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 Message 33 by cavediver, posted 03-15-2007 2:16 PM cavediver has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by cavediver, posted 03-16-2007 9:25 AM Tusko has responded

  
Tusko
Member (Idle past 13 days)
Posts: 605
From: London, UK
Joined: 10-01-2004


Message 68 of 69 (389872)
03-16-2007 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 66 by cavediver
03-16-2007 9:25 AM


Re: God-did-it doesn't help
Gotcha!

Yes - the ability to make infinite universes certainly beats Spore.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by cavediver, posted 03-16-2007 9:25 AM cavediver has not yet responded

  
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