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Very Weak Anthropic Principle: Is the Principle going, going gone?

Friends tell me that British theistic evolutionist Denis Alexander of the Faraday Institute spoke at Baylor University recently on the “Very Weak Anthropic Principle.”

I’ve heard of the Anthropic Principle, which essentially means that the universe appears fine-tuned for intelligent life.

I’ve also heard of the Weak Anthropic Principle, namely,

The weak anthropic principle states that the ways that the universe might be observed to be is limited by the fact that observation requires the existence of observers. It is impossible to observe a universe that does not permit the existence of observers; only a universe that permits the existence of observers could be observed.

So what’s the Very Weak Anthropic Principle, I wonder? The observers are a buzz of neurons that have evolved in such a way that they imagine that a self exists and is observing? Or?

Anyway, if neo-Darwinists take Dr. Alexander seriously, won’t he get rolled no matter what he says – if it isn’t strict materialist Darwinism? Anyone remember Michael Reiss?

Would appreciate hearing from anyone who was there. I am not picking up much on the ‘Net.

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2 Responses to Very Weak Anthropic Principle: Is the Principle going, going gone?

  1. “In contrast to statements such as: “Evolution is not a process that was designed to produce us” [Daniel Dennett], it is argued that current biological data render that strong claim less plausible. In fact the data are at least reasonably consistent with the opposite being the case.”

    ID proponents, what you see here is – apparently – a TE willing to do exactly what you’ve been asking of TEs: Identifying design in nature, particularly evolution. I hope you’re ready to defend him if he’s really doing this, because if he’s making the move he seems to, O’Leary is right that there’s going to be a backlash.

  2. As someone else has said, theistic evolution is all about politics.

    Alexander is not seriously going to make an actual design argument: he will only hint at it and never deliver, as in his book “Creation and Evolution: do we have to choose?”

    Even if he did, the ‘establishment’ would not do anything about it (even if they could) because he has been doing such a great job of keeping ID out of theistic discourse in Britain. They would rather his softened, vague form, than something more robust.

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