This is a tautology. 2 3 4 We all agree that the universe has survivable properties, and we all agree that we are here to observe it. By definition, we could not survive if the universe did not have survivable properties. But such reasoning is circular and does not answer the question: Why does the universe seem so finely tuned for life?
A way to avoid a tautology is by using the metaphysical anthropic principle.
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Dawkins, R. (2004). The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Calle, C. I. (2009). The Universe: Order Without Design. Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books.
ReMine, W. J. (1993). The Biotic Message: Evolution Versus Message Theory. Saint Paul, Minn.: St. Paul Science.
- Dawkins, 2004, p. 2: “This is the ‘anthropic’ notion that the very laws of physics themselves, or the fundamental constants of the universe, are a carefully tuned put-up job, calculated to bring humanity eventually into existence. It is not necessarily founded on vanity. It doesn’t have to mean that the universe was deliberately made in order that we should exist. It need mean only that we are here, and we could not be in a universe that lacked the capability of producing us. As physicists have pointed out, it is no accident that we see stars in our sky, for stars are a necessary part of any universe capable of generating us. Again, this does not imply that stars exist in order to make us. It is just that without stars there would be no atoms heavier than lithium in the periodic table, and a chemistry of only three elements is too impoverished to support life. Seeing is the kind of activity that can go on only in the kind of universe where what you see is stars.” ↩
- Calle, 2009, p. 174: “The problem is that, while this argument is reasonable [the anthropic argument], we don’t learn anything from it and, superficially, it even appears to be trivial, bordering on being a tautology. However, some physicists think that a more careful examination would show that applying this reasoning to the multiverse could have profound implications. Only a tiny fraction of all the pocket universes in the multiverse have our right cosmological constant that makes possible the evolution of life. Our universe is one of those and life arose here.” ↩
- Calle, 2009, p. 175: “But Weinberg arrived at his conclusion with some reluctance. ‘If such a cosmological constant is confirmed by observation,’ he wrote in 1992, ‘it will be reasonable to infer that our own existence plays an important part in explaining why the universe is the way it is.’ But he added: ‘I hope that this is not the case. As a theoretical physicist, I would like to see us able to make precise predictions, not vague statements that certain constants have to be in a range that is more or less favorable to life.'” ↩
- ReMine, 1993, p. 61: “The tautological anthropic principle: The universe has survivable (and observable) properties because we survive (and observe).” ↩