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author:: [[lee smolin]] author:: [[Leonard Susskind]] topic:: [[../../www/anthropic principle]]

Smolin vs Susskind - The Anthropic Principle

Introduction by John Brockman

The [[Anthropic Principle]] (AP) cannot yield any falsifiable predictions, and therefore cannot be a part of science – [[lee smolin]]

Paper by [[lee smolin]] - "Scientific alternatives to the anthropic principle" hep-th/0407213

Smolin argues that AP is superfluous, not necessary in the chains of reasoning in which it is used.

We start with a theory of structure formation that tells us "Too large positive Lambda interferes with galaxy formation". We do observe that galaxies have formed. Therefore we predict that the cosmological constant could not have been too large. This is correct reasoning, and it agrees with observation … …the mention of the anthropic principe [or the [[../../www/principle of mediocrity]], or life] plays absolutely no role in the argument.

Susskind paper on Smolin's theory of cosmic natural selection: [[../Notes/Cosmic Natural Selection]]

One of the deepest lessons we have learned over the past decade is that [[q.there is no fundamental difference etween elementary particles and black holes]].

[[Black hole]]s do not loose information

Smolin's theory of cosmic natural selection argues that we live in the fittest of all possible universes – [[../../www/Leonard Susskind]]

Unfortunately I am unable to follow Susskind's arguments as they are too.. technical? theoretical? Adamavanced for me…

Smolin's email response to Susskind's criticisms:

  • the principle of mediocrity by Garriga and Vilenkin #to/research #cosmology

The mediocrity principle cannot yield falsifiable predictions because it depends on the definition of the ensemble within which our civilization is taken to be typical, as well as on assumptions about the probability distribution. I establish this by general argument as well as by reference to specific examples, including [[Weinberg]]'s use of it.

I do believe it is important to insist on falsifiability, because it alone preents we theorists from keeping theories alive indefinitely, by freely adjusting them to match data.

The CNS ([[../Notes/Cosmic Natural Selection]]) idea was invented, not for itself, but to give an existence proof that shows that the anthropic principle can be replaced by a falsifiable theory, that explains everything the AP claims to.

…the conditions for life are common – essentially because some of the conditions life requires, such as plentiful carbon, also boost the formation of stars massive enough to become black holes.

Original file: [[../tickler-2020-08]] Source:: The Universe -

Smolin vs Susskind - The Anthropic Principle