I must have passed over the Anthropic Principle quite some time ago, because it leaves me unmoved. The reason to mention it is the debate about physical fundamentals of the universe and the recurring intelligent design debate, where I have also gone beyond debate to peremtory dismissal.
I got a combative comment on my report about the quantum information developments at BCS / CASYS below. “Crap”, to quote the comment in fact. The anonymous commenter “Island” runs a web-site called “Anthropic-Principle.Org“, and a blog called “Uncommon Ascent” with the URL “evolutionarydesign” under blogspot.
Also picked up via a Google / Technorati cross-hit a link to a blog by Melbourne student Will G with some extended Christian reasoning on the subject that Island liked. It includes this erroneous application of Occam
1. The universe has the appearance of design
2. There are no simpler explanations of design with evidential support
3. I am justified in believing the universe is designed
Very simple (not), except the absence of any explanation of the existence of the design itself, or any agent behind use of the verb “designed”. Just moved the “first cause” problem.
Unfortunately neither can I take seriosuly anyone who dismissess neo-darwinism with the rhetorical summary “where everything somehow happens this way for no good reason”. Of course Darwinism supplies plenty of “good reasons” and “explanations” – just not a teleological design from any intelligence higher than nature itself, with any pre-planned outcomes.
Anyway Wikipedia restored my belief that weak or strong the Anthropic Principle is just a truism that can explain nothing. Anyway, Island’s case on a brief read looks like “evolutionary design” – where design exists in nature itself, and the natural laws in this universe, but to me that design is a recipe for possible processes not a blue-print for an outcome of intelligent humans with any further pre-ordained destinies. With that spin, I wouldn’t argue against design. Design = Physics = Evolution in fact.
I might actually largely agree with Island.
Choose your metaphor for the fundamental existence of a universe containing these particular laws of physics.