To strong and weak Anthropic Principles add a frail: Cosmology Check

c: the observer must allow that both accurate and inaccurate observations exist, including the possibility that abstractions may be mis-characterized as observations -- called also frail anthropic principle

Two jokes from Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klein's book "Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar..." (2007) capture the evidence -- with a smile.

One goes like this:

Holmes and Watson are on a camping trip. In the middle of the night Holmes wakes up and gives Dr. Watson a nudge. "Watson," he says, "look up in the sky and tell me what you see."

"I see millions of stars, Holmes," says Watson.

"And what do you conclude from that, Watson?"

Watson thinks for a moment. "Well," he says, "astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and perhaps billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meterologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I see that God is all-powerful, and we are small and insignificant. Uh, what does it tell you, Holmes?"

"Watson, you idiot. Someone has stolen our tent!"

The other goes like this:

A man tries on a made-to-order suit and says to the tailor, “I need this sleeve taken in! It’s two inches too long!”

The tailor says, “No, just bend your elbow like this. See, it pulls up the sleeve.”

The man says, “Well, okay, but now look at the collar! When I bend my elbow, the collar goes halfway up the back of my head.”

The tailor says, “So? Raise your head up and back. Perfect.”

The man says, “But now the left shoulder is three inches lower than the right one!”

The tailor says, “No problem. Bend at the waist way over to the left and it evens out.”

The man leaves the store wearing the suit, his right elbow crooked and sticking out, his head up and back, all the while leaning down to the left. The only way he can walk is with a herky-jerky, spastic gait.

Just then, two passersby notice him.

Says the first: “Look at that poor crippled guy, My heart goes out to him.”

Says the second: “Yeah, but his tailor must be a genius! That suit fits him perfectly!”

Jokes aside, I quite sincerely assert that acceptance of a frail anthropic principle will mark a critical advance for the philosophical treatments present in modern cosmology.

Nothing is beyond the scope of healing, even strange creatures such as the anthropic principle. All aspects of theory and principle can be rejoindered, even joyously, to emergent truths if we are honest about the humble place of humanity in "it all."

Anthropic Principle

: either of two principles in cosmology:

a : conditions that are observed in the universe must allow the observer to exist —called also weak anthropic principle

b : the universe must have properties that make inevitable the existence of intelligent life —called also strong anthropic principle

--from Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Copyright Michelle Kathryn McGee 2013-14. All rights reserved. Last updated Oct 7, 2014.