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Arguments Against the Anthropic Principle (Anthropic Principle 5)

As has been said, all versions of the Anthropic Principle (except the Weak Anthropic Principle) are highly controversial. They are by no means the only theories that claim to explain the anthropic coincidences. Among the other proposed cosmologies are the Many Worlds and the Baby Universes, both of which are often used as arguments against the validity of the Anthropic Principle and it’s many variations.

The Many Worlds cosmology states that every time a quantum event occurs, such as a superposed particle collapsing to a (somewhat) definite location, the Universe splits into many, one for each possible location of the particle. In each new universe, the particle is in just one of the possibilities, but all the new universes together contain within them all the possible locations of the particle.

Considering how many quantum events there have been since the beginning of the Universe, the number of branch-universes would be staggeringly immense. It is by virtue of this huge number, and the fact that these universes embody all possible outcomes for every quantum event that has ever occurred, that the proponents of this theory claim to have a more scientific alternative than the Anthropic Principle. With all possibilities existing, it is only logical that such an improbable, though definitely possible, Universe would exist.


The Baby Universes theory is even more outlandish than the aforementioned idea of multiple, undetectable universes. It’s basic premise is that black holes create baby universes, and that there is a sort of natural selection, evolution if you will, going on in which the universes that can produce more black holes win out over those that don’t, thus propagating their physical laws (or laws very similar, as no offspring is exactly like a parent). According to this theory, all the matter and energy that a black hole swallows somehow “bounces back” under conditions very like our Big Bang, only perpendicular to our space-time, creating a baby universe whose physical laws are very similar to that of it’s parent, our Universe. Those who use this theory as an argument against the Anthropic Principle say that instead of our Universe being tailor-made for humanity, it’s geared toward the production of black holes, and humans are a sort of parasite in the greater organism of the Universe.

These are some very intriguing ideas. They may have more truth to them than the various Anthropic Principles, and they may not. The fact is, all of these arguments are theories based on theories based on theories, and completely untestable, at least at our current technology level. Quite a lot like the more controversial Strong and Final Anthropic Principles. In the end, I suppose, it’s just a matter of personal preference which theory, the God hypothesis or one of the Many Worlds cosmologies, you choose to believe in, for now.

Source: Physics SFSU

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This entry was posted on May 16, 2015 by in General, Physics and tagged , , .

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