[extropy-chat] The Personal Anthropic Principle

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Thu Mar 2 08:49:48 UTC 2006

On 3/2/06, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at tsoft.com> wrote:
> Why, I can explain all sorts of things with the PAP or NAP!
> But their very silliness should serve as an additional warning
> against anthropic principles.

Our solar system contains one star, eight planets and an indeterminately
large number of moons, asteroids, Kuiper belt objects etc. Of all these
objects, how is it that we were lucky enough to find ourselves on just the
one, the third planet from the sun, where conditions are suitable for life?

Two possible answers:

1. There is no explanation, it's just a thing to contemplate and marvel at.

2. Of course we find ourselves living on an object where conditions are
suitable for life, however small a percentage of the total such objects may
be - we couldn't have evolved in a place where they aren't!

Do you really think the first answer is better than the second?

- Russell
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