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#4223
Karen Chaffee
Participant

Hi, Ursula, thanks for the link!  That is interesting.    I had read about the anthropic principle years ago, but I forgot about it.   I just tried to read the wiki article.  It  is quite related to this forum discussion, in that it links consciousness and the beginning of the universe, which is when the structure of the universe was decided.  I see it is philosophy.  Is it considered science?  Wow, I can’t see any mechanism for it to occur, however.  And it would be very interesting to know how that could occur.
 
For those who haven’t read the article, the strong form (the one that would apply here) says that the universe would have to evolve to accommodate consciousness, so it is not surprising that it did.  That makes my head spin.
 
For the weak form,  we can imagine there are gadzillions of universes, and only those that have consciousness are observed and studied by its inhabitants, and those of course would have to accommodate consciousness.  I had read about this recently, I think in Brian Greene’s book (and forgot that it is called the weak anthropic principle) and I guess I dismissed it .  Although, there is no reason to.  It does explain things.
 
Perhaps this is why when I ask physicists if they have explanations for how atoms occur, they tend to dismiss me, because it seems I am eluding to the anthropic principle, and I can see why they would say, ‘we don’t discuss that.”  Because without a mechanism, it is not very satisfying.  
 
Look, here I am with my public speculations, which are probably nonsense, and boring, but, when Bohr noticed a mathematical pattern in the photons absorbed by the hydrogen atom, he assumed it indicated something about the hidden structure of the hydrogen atom.  
 
So we look  these atoms and their exact energy levels, and I wonder if it indicates something about the hidden structure of our universe.  I mean, why do we have these atoms?  I am a chemist and I study these atoms and the energy differences between them are so precise and intricate and improbable and you’d think there is a reason. Like I said, maybe a process that requires an energy storage form of precise value.  When I google words to this effect, I don’t find anything.   
 
The strong anthropic  principle is very interesting, but without a reason for why it occurs, it is just a matter of faith.  I wish there was a reason.  But I am just not going to give up on the idea there are too many coincidences (unless you buy into the weak anthropic principle, which of course explains everything and maybe it is right.)  
 
Perhaps there is not that much light between me and the people who have faith in the universe, like the Muslims.  Because I just think it is too much coincidence, when you really study it.   But I also think someday scientists will understand why.   Hey, Duane, you got me twisted up like a pretzel!
Thanks Ursula, that does clear some things up.