The Most Abused Principle in all of Science — Starts With A Bang! — Medium

How the mis-application of the Anthropic Principle has led factions of scientists away from the search for a natural, physical explanation of our Universe, and why that’s bad for everyone.

via The Most Abused Principle in all of Science — Starts With A Bang! — Medium.

Ethan Siegel, at his new home at Medium, takes on the Anthropic principle.   I think I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I’m not particularly impressed with the Anthropic Principle or any fine tuning arguments.  The universe is fine tuned to produce…the universe we have.

But Siegel does identify some real scientific appearances of fine tuning, and tells why invoking multiverses and other explanations is simply giving up on the scientific quest for an explanation.

On a related note, I’m currently reading a book with a related but broader theme, ‘Farewell to Reality: How Modern Physics Has Betrayed the Search for Scientific Truth‘, by Jim Baggott, which I hope to be able to report on sometime soon.

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4 Responses to The Most Abused Principle in all of Science — Starts With A Bang! — Medium

  1. Ignostic Atheist says:

    Would it be fair to claim that the Anthropic Principle is at the root of theistic claims that atheists have faith in science?


    • That’s an interesting question. My experience is that apologists find the AP an attractive argument for evidence that some one must be doing the fine tuning. Of course, like all god of the gaps arguments, it will only hold until/unless a natural explanation is found.

      I suspect the faith in science argument is really just a desire to establish epistemological equivalence between theists and atheists. It’s an understandable motivation, albeit a futile one, but that’s my atheism talking 🙂


  2. Steve Morris says:

    Yes, you can’t simply say, we don’t know why the “fundamental” constants of nature have the values they have, therefore they could have been some other value instead. We have to look deeper and find out why they are the values they are. If, later, we find out that other values are possible, we have to explain the mechanism for how they are selected.


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