2012 : WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DEEP, ELEGANT, OR BEAUTIFUL EXPLANATION?

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Psychologist, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Author, The Cognitive Brain

The Anthropic Principle 

Why does the universe appear to us as it does? Why are the observations and measurements of the physical properties of our world compatible with our own existence in space-time? The anthropic principle explains this as a natural consequence of the fact that only in a universe that includes our kind of world could we live to observe, measure, and formulate theories about the universe we live in. But like any good explanation, it highlights other serious questions that are implicit in its own answer. Notice that the anthropic explanation hinges on the fundamental concept of our living existence in space-time. So how are we able to even begin to think about our existence in space-time to pose the anthropic principle? Here I must stop before I violate the stricture of discussing one's own explanation in response to this Edge question.