TITLE

Perspectives on Current Issues Is �Anthropic Selection� Science?

AUTHOR(S)
Larson, Ronald G.
PUB. DATE
March 2007
SOURCE
Physics in Perspective;Mar2007, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p58
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
I argue that there are strong reasons for resisting as a principle of science the concept of �anthropic selection.� This concept asserts that the existence of �observers� in a universe can be used as a condition that selects physical laws and constants necessary for intelligent life from different laws or physical constants prevailing in a vast number of other universes, to thereby explain why the properties of our universe are conducive to intelligent life. My reasons for limiting �anthropic selection� to the realm of speculation rather than permitting it to creep into mainstream science include our inability to estimate the probabilities of emergence of �observers� in a universe, the lack of testability through direct observation of the assumed high variability of the constants of nature, the lack of a clear definition of an �observer,� and the arbitrariness in how and to what questions anthropic selection is applied.
ACCESSION #
24151777

 

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