On 23-May-00, Russell Standish wrote:
>> The Anthropic principle has been discussed numerous times before. There are 
>> many versions going around. I just want to make a point which I think is 
>> crucial.
>> First let me state some of these principles quoted from Barrow and Tipler
>> Weak Anthropic Principle (WAP): The observed values of all physical and
>> cosmological quantities are not equally probable but they take on values
>> restricted by the requirement that there exist sites where carbon-based life
>> can evolve and the requirement that Universe be old enough for it to have
>> already done so.
>> [Barrow and Tipler are not explicit, but this principle implies the requires
>> the existence of conscious observers.]
>> Strong Anthropic Principle (SAP): The Universe must have those properties
>> which allow life to develop within it at some stage in its history. [The
>> emphasis here is on the world "must" which implies that the Universe is the
>> way it is by design.. at least this is the way most people interpret this.
>> This version implies the existence of a creator. Its religious connotations
>> makes it unscientific]
> It may be commonly interpreted this way, but I would disagree that it
> should be. In my Occam paper I mention that the SAP implies either a
> Divine creator, or a Plenitude (ensemble). I vaguely remember someone
> raising a third possible implication, although for the life of me I
> can't remember what.
> The WAP is simply a consistency statement, that should be true
> regardless of what you believe. I think it is quite true to say that
> assuming an ensemble explanation (pick your favourite Plenitude here),
> the SAP and the WAP are one and the same thing. Therefore I go on to
> use the AP without qualification.
> As for the following two APs, I think you have adequately dealt them
> enough damage in order for us to ignore them.
I completely agreed with what George wrote and I thought is a good summary. It
seems to me that an ensemble theory implies that there must be a universe with
"us" or "I" in it only if it is known that such a universe is possible.  I
don't think we know that such a universe is possible, except for the fact that
we seem to be in one.  This is another application of the WAP.  So I don't
think that ensemble theory, absent some argument for life from first
principles, adds any more necessity to the universe than already provided by
the WAP.

Brent Meeker

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