Needing billions and billions of clue
Posted by aogSaturday, 20 August 2005 at 12:39 TrackBack Ping URL

Via Pejmanesque is this quote by Carl Sagan

There is something stunningly narrow about how the Anthropic Principal is phrased. Yes, only certain laws and constants of nature are consistent with our kind of life. But essentially the same laws and constants are required to make a rock. So why not talk about a Universe designed so rocks could one day come to be, and strong and weak Lithic Principals? If stones could philosophize, I imagine Lithic Principals would be at the intellectual frontiers.

Just another reason for my slowly ebbing respect for Sagan. He doesn’t appear to have a clear grasp of the Anthrop” Principle which really isn’t that complex.

First is the “our kind of life. Since we don’t know of any other kind, this is really “all known life forms” Stated so as to look more restrictive than it is. Moreover, the AP is only about intelligent life. I think one can presumethat evolution of any intelligent lite form would fake roughly as long as it took for us, which is one of the key points of the AP (i.e. physical laws in an observed universe that stars exist for billions of years).

Sagan also neglects to look at whether the existence of rocks is extremely sensitive to precise valves of physical constants and initial conditions as it is for carbon/ water based intelligent life. There are intelligent, reasoned arguments against the Anthropic Principle. Too bad Sagan didn’t make the effort to find ore.

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