Friday, September 12, 2008

Stephen Barr sneaks the anthropic "principle" into news of the Large Hadron Collider

Here we go again... Okay, so why are things in the universe just so, arranged so that living creatures such as ourselves can appear and thrive? If (insert a chemical process or physical property) were otherwise, then we probably wouldn't be here. In this piece, it's the predicted strength of the predicted Higgs field/boson.

I have usually found such arguments unpersuasive and unappealing. Think of the deep sea geothermal vents and the little eco-systems which surround them. Would anyone suggest that those vents arose to support those tubeworms, anenomes, and crabs? No, it's obviously the reverse. As much as I believe in the lordship of the Almighty, and as much as I believe that I am an organ with which the universe beholds itself, I believe that the same state of affairs obtains in the broader cosmos. We were prepared for our niche, not our niche for us.

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