THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE
Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking cites the term “anthropic principle” when attempting to explain why the universe is so exquisitely fine-tuned for life. Hawking writes, “it seems clear that there are relatively few ranges of values for the number that would allow the development of any form of intelligent life. …One can take this either as evidence of a divine purpose in Creation and the choice of the laws of science or as support for the strong anthropic principle.”18 Hawking has advocated the strong anthropic principle solution of many universes in order to avoid the conclusion of a designer.
The anthropic principle is a fancy term for stating the obvious about the fine-tuning of the universe, i.e., if all the conditions in the universe weren’t perfect for human life to exist, we wouldn’t be here to ask the question of why it is so finely-tuned for life. What sounds like circular reasoning has led to a revival of the argument from design, which had lost its intellectual respectability among many scientists after Darwin.
One aspect of the anthropic principle is that it asserts that our place in the universe is special. This contradicts the general trend of science since Copernicus; that there is nothing special about Earth. (the Copernican principle) Many materialists who dislike the implications, squirm when discussing the anthropic principle, and it remains a controversial topic. But thus far, no scientist has been able to refute the fine-tuning evidence that supports its premise, and many believe it is simply a commonsensical way of saying life on Earth is special.