Reading the Lenny Susskind / Lee Smolin anthropic principle debate at The Edge, I noticed Susskind opens with this no-win disclaimer …
The problem is that the easiest ideas to explain, which sound convincing to a general audience, are not always the best ideas.
One thought on “Bad Ideas Win”
The esotaric vs the uneducated:
“This is the same fallacy involved in Hoyle’s argument about carbon. He reasoned simply from an observation that carbon is plentiful in our universe to a prediction that, as it must have been formed in stars, there must be a resonance at a particular energy. This was correct and the resonance was observed. But he fallaciously attributed the argument to the existence of life…”
Taken alone, he might MAYBE have a point, but certainly not when Hoyle’s single example is compounded by the fact that all of the anthropic coincidences have similar balance points, and all of them point directly at carbon-based life.
It is this fact that many “anthropically friendly balance points” occur in dramatic contrast to any practical model of turbulance driven structuring that we’ve ever been able to derive, which indicates that carbon-based life is somehow “specially” relevant to the physical structuring of our universe.
Lee, you should actually study the physics for a while before you dissect one coincidence and then pretend to know that this means something.
Lenny, you should ease up on the booze…