Re: [asa] Critique of anthropic principle

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Mon Apr 21 2008 - 12:32:39 EDT

MessageComments on just a few of the claims that were note.

"2. If the universe is fine-tuned for life, why is life such an extremely rare part of it?

"Fine-tuned for life" and "fine-tuned for lots of life (or any particular amount of life) are 2 different claims.

"6. Intelligent design is not a logical conclusion of fine tuning."

This is correct. It's a mistake to use fine-tuning as a natural theology "proof" of God independent of revelation. It's a different matter to believe in a creator & then to point to fine-tuning to further illumine that belief.

Also under 6, "The scarcity of life and multi-billion-year delay in it appearing argue against life being a motive."

I already showed (under 2) that the first claim is unwarranted. The second is also since "fine-tuning" need not imply "fast fine-tuning." & the critic has failed to note that some of the anthropic "coincidences" take into account the "multi-billion year delay" in the form of the value of the Hubble parameter.

"7. In fact, the anthropic principle is an argument against an omnipotent creator. If God can do anything, he could create life in a universe whose conditions do not allow for it."

This is just confused. If God is omnipotent (in the popular "able to do anything" sense) then God can choose to create life by giving the universe the properties needed for life to evolve. Omnipotence (either in the popular or the technical senses) doesn't require that God do all possible things.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Jon Tandy
  To: ASA List
  Sent: Monday, April 21, 2008 10:55 AM
  Subject: [asa] Critique of anthropic principle

  The anthropic principle, and alternately the site, are regularly thrown out on this list in response to various questions. So I thought I would post what has to say about the anthropic principle, to get some feedback. I have some thoughts on some of these [which are bracketed below in red], but I'm curious how others would respond to these critiques of the anthropic principle, since this is widely held to be a significant evidence for a theistic view.

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Received on Mon Apr 21 12:35:31 2008

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