Been re-reading a number of “anthropic” pieces – prompted subconsciously I suspect by the death of Christopher Hitchens raising the god vs rationality debate in my mind again. And looking back at the Paxman / Hitchens interview from a year ago; Paxman suggesting that Hitchens own anti-theistic atheism is so dogmatic, it too is (was, sadly) a religion.
The seminal work on anthropic factors in science is Brandon Carter 1973. This quote sums up the dogmatic angle:
Copernicus taught us a very sound lesson that we must not assume gratuitously that we occupy a privileged central position in the Universe. Unfortunately there has been a strong (not always subconscious) tendency to extend this to a most questionable dogma to the effect that our situation cannot be privileged in any sense.
There ARE things weird about our position in the Universe that deserve explanation, rather than just being blown-off as self-centred anthropic delusions. See the Larry Kraus quote here. The reason to extract the Carter quote above is so I can throw it back at anti-anthropic arguments of that kind.
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