VIII The Anthropic Principle: Evidence that there is a God
•n The anthropic principle: An answer to the question why? Why is the universe we live in the way it is? Answer: The laws of nature are what they are and the fundamental constants which underlie them have the values they have by design; in order that advanced life forms, such as humans, can exist in the universe.
Anthropo = human
The proposal is that the universe is indeed human-centric
It seems that perhaps Aristotle was right all along. The earth may not be the physical center of the universe, but we humans are the purpose-the metaphysical center-of the universe.
Aristotle (earth the center) → Copernicus (sun the center) → Herschel (sun not the center) → Hubble (billions of galaxies) We were appearing less and less significant.
First we were the center of the universe and did not move. Then we were moving around the sun. Then the sun moves through the universe. Then became a tiny rocky planet moving around a medium-sized star in a backwater area of one of hundreds of billions of galaxies. We became, seemingly, totally insiginificant.
Now, suddenly, science is telling us we are indeed at the "center" of the universe!!! (not the physical, but the metaphysical center)
Note: This is not a scientific statement. It cannot be tested by experiment and it is irrefutable-it cannot be disproved by experiment.
It is a philosophical statement. It is metaphysics, not physics. But, we will see it is in fantastically dramatic agreement with the data.
WAP Weak Anthropic Principle. The properties of the universe must be extremely precisely fine-tuned so that galaxies, stars, planets, life, and especially advanced self-conscious beings can exist. In fact, the universe has these necessary finely tuned properties.
SAP Strong Anthropic Principle. WAP is true and this is not a coincidence. It must be because there exists a purposeful designer who intentionally created the universe we live in so that we could experience it.
WAP without SAP essentially requires the multiverse idea.
This may explain why Anthony Flew (arguably the most eminent atheist of the second half of the 20th century) became a deist.
1. Fine tuning of universal constants.
Balance of electrons and protons 1/1040
Strong Nuclear force 1/20
Weak Nuclear force 1/20
Many other properties of the universe are "fine tuned."
Just these four, the probability of the universe having the correct value of gravity, atomic particles, strong and weak nuclear forces is smaller than 1/10100
100 billion stars in 100 billion galaxies = 1×1080 protons, neutrons and electrons in universe.
Like picking the right electron out of 1020 universes at random!!!
Fred Hoyle: "… a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology."
2. Fine tuning of galaxy design, of solar system and, specifically of the earth.
Without supernovae, there would be no heavy elements, but if a supernovae occurred within 1000 light years of the earth, all life would be wiped out.
Right kind of galaxy (barred spiral) Produces stars throughout its lifetime
Right place in the right kind of galaxy. At center or even in an "arm" of the spiral galaxy, too much radiation and too many supernovae. Too far from center, not enough heavier elements.
A "goldilocks" star
Binary, trinary cannot have rocky planets.
Red giants, white dwarfs, blue, red, some too hot, some too cold. A very tiny fraction of all stars are of the right size and temperature.
Solar system design. Early in evolution of a solar system, earth struck by many meteors and asteroids which deliver water, organic matter. Later, gas giants provide gravitational shielding so that the earth does not get struck by large asteroids.
Tilt of the planet essential to weather. A little more or less and life would not be supported.
Having a large moon absolutely essential.
Lots of water, lots of iron, lots of uranium (as we will see)
A planetary tilt is also essential. Without it, energy is not well distributed.
3. Anthropic properties of the elements.
Right liquid temperature range
Right solvent properties
Right specific heat (heat-absorbing ability)
Solid floats on liquid
The liquid decreases in density from 4 0C to 0 0C Coincidence?
Forms four bonds " 3-dimensional molecules
Forms long chains of atoms and therefore large molecules
C-C bond the goldilocks strength.
Required for fusion, for energy to drive earth system
Required for rapid metabolism
Required for ozone layer (O3)
Required for earth’s magnetic field to protect against solar "wind"
Required to maintain plate tectonics
Therefore required for earth to have an atmosphere and for soil to be fertile
Required to push evolution along
4. Evidence for creation of life.
a. Anthropic principle and evolution.
DNA contains coded information which determines what protein is made by that "gene." Who created the code? Would random events result in the production of a recognizable code?
The code is EXTREMELY stable (luckily) but not absolutely stable (luckily) so that a very gradual evolution can allow species to adapt over time to changes.
DNA makes protein, but protein makes DNA chicken and egg?
The second law of thermodynamics allows for order to be created spontaneously, but not large, delicate, information-containing molecules.
5. A discussion of information. The universe can create order, but not information.
Human genome: 3 billion bp
Simplest bacteria: 100 million bp
Model simplest life form: 50 million bp = information in 10 large novels
What "natural" random process can create a 50 million long sequence of sensible information which is sufficient to contain all info for a living thing?
Like throwing a bag of 50 million letters in the air and having them fall to earth, producing a written document which makes sense.
And do not forget, the DNA has to make the protein which makes the DNA
•n Sagan says of the E. coli bacterium:
•n Information content = 1012 bits.
•n Equivalent to 100 million pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
The privemal chemical soup argument: (Urey/Miller for example)
The soup which makes amino acids definitely does not make carbohydrates or lipids.
It is questionable if any soup can make nucleotides.
The earth chemistry which makes proteins by accident cannot make the other components of life.
This is not a God-of-the-gap argument. It is a God-of-the-infinitely wide chasm argument!!!
6. A discussion of the design of the human brain. Our brain is a God-experiencing instrument of the highest order.
Materialists/monists will declare with great confidence that religious experience is an epiphenomen created by brain wiring and chemistry.
Love is the right blend of dopamine and norepinephrine in the right location in the brain.
Materialists: Our ability to experience religious feelings is an accident of human evolution. The "soul" is ruled out by neuroscience.
I say, the human brain is an incredibly, amazingly well designed God-experiencing machine.
If you were to design a physical entity to contain the wiring and chemical makeup to allow a physical being to experience being "in the image of God," you could not improve on the human brain.