The Anthropic principle
Person 1: HEY! You!
Person 2: Me?
Person 1: Yes you. You’re a star.
Person 2: Aww thank you, that so kind of you to say that
Person 1: No, you are literally just stardust, a big heap of stardust.
Not my best intro, but yes you are actually a star. Every single part of you was once part of a star. You're just a very highly complex pile of stardust that has the power to colonize the planet and wipe out other species. We couldn’t just appear out of nowhere, so the supernova and then the Big Bang had to happen for complex species like us to form. The elements started to develop as different molecules were being exposed to different kinds or circumstances. Soon the earth produces all the resources it needs to make living things and does so. Now note that we aren’t actually going to talk about how we are made of stars, but today we will cover the anthropic principle.
Now, what is the Anthropic principle and why were we talking about stars. Well, the events starting from the supernova were called anthropic events. What is this new word … anthropic. Anthropic reasoning reflects on the idea that the explanation given should be more tailored to your thoughts, specialties, professions, or even actions. “The anthropic principle says the kind of observer you are is likely to condition the kind of conditions that you observe” (coursera.com). This definition is spot on, because we perceive the world only the way we know it. Our place in the universe is not special. Humans have experienced this principle first-hand, when we thought that the sun revolved around the earth. At that point in time, our point of view was from the earth. We now know that this is not true and the earth revolves around the sun. This mistake was made because we gave special treatment to the earth. Now our vantage point is the milky way, so we cannot make the same mistake with our current point of view. But we also know that the universe is infinite. Sooooo… that means there will never be an actual center or a vantage point that we can use to determine the scale of certain things in the universe. This means we can’t jump to this conclusion of the anthropic principle just yet. We need to take some steps before we reach this claim. Again the uniqueness and unknowability of the universe puts us back at square one. In the next blog, we will explore more theories about “our” universe. ;)