controversial cosmological principle that the observable universe, as it is,
must be compatible with our powers of observation, or else we would not be able
to observe it. Exponents of the principle
will often point out that the universe appears to be fine tuned,or delicately
balanced in its basic physical processes, to allow for the existence of
carbon-based life. Although there are
many versions of the principle, usually one can distinguish between (a) the
Weak Anthropic Principle, which affirms simply that the existence of human life
itself implies that nature must be consistent with having evolved carbon-based
life, and (b) the Strong Anthropic Principle, which is concerned with the possibility
of alternative universes, yet goes on to state metaphysically that our
observable universe must be the only kind of universe capable of evolving
human-like creatures as observers.
small range of possible values for the universal constants (such as the mass of
an electron) are consistent with the presence of life as we know it. The
significance of such apparent fine-tuning of the universal constants is
disputed by those who regard it as trivial and those who argue from it to the
necessity of life in the universe.
Contributed by: CTNS
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