Programme 6 - The anthropic principle | Science & Belief

Programme 6 - The anthropic principle

Programme 6 - The anthropic principle

For School discussion groups: Science_and_Belief__Teachers_Notes_.pdf
For Church discussion groups: Science_and_Belief_Church_Notes.pdf

This programme equips learners to consider and respond to these questions:
• Why is the universe friendly to life?
• Was it deliberately designed like that, or is it just a part of a much larger multiverse picture?

We are observers of our own universe: are we a miracle, or are we a blip? One young commentator suggests that the only purpose of life is the one we make up for ourselves. The ‘great balls of fire’ in the universe of a hundred billion galaxies make any human being feel like an atom in an ocean.

But, strangely, we can observe this vastness. This particular universe is one that is watched, by us, from inside. It’s as if a character in a novel talked back to the author.

Is the universe homely or hostile? Russell Stannard outlines the rather user-friendly conditions for evolving life which the universe has thrown up. There’s no proof here of course, but anyone might interpret the observations we make of the universe: the universe is life friendly, and fine- tuned for life. That’s the anthropic principle. But is it an anthropic principle or an anthropic chance?

Back to ‘Science & Belief: The Big Issues

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