Astronomy

Anthropic principle

Anthropic principle

In 1974, physicist Brandon Carter raised a disturbing idea: the conditions that govern the Universe will always be those that allow intelligent life. Otherwise, we would not be here to observe it. Life is the measure of all things. This argument is known as the anthropic principle.

Other scientists went even further. For them, the Universe is designed to necessarily produce intelligent life. It evolves until it becomes aware of itself. It is the strong version of the anthropic principle, as opposed to the weak version of Carter. For the strong anthropic principle, life is the purpose of the Universe.

All the parameters of the Cosmos are designed for life. If they were just a little different, life would not be possible. The mass and electric charge of the elementary particles, the intensity of the four elementary forces of nature (strong and weak nuclear force, electromagnetism and gravity), the amount of matter and energy in the universe ... Absolutely everything keeps the exact parameter and necessary for life. Otherwise, other models of the universe would be possible, but never life.

Strong nuclear energy holds atoms together. If it were minimally higher, the nuclear reactions inside the stars would have ended all the light elements, such as hydrogen, oxygen or carbon. While, if it were slightly smaller, the protons could not fuse, and the Cosmos would only have oxygen.

The weak nuclear force is responsible for the radioactive decay of atoms. If it were older, the neutrons would disintegrate rapidly and heavy elements such as calcium or iron could not form. But if it were smaller, there would be too many neutrons floating through space and there would be no light elements, such as hydrogen.

Electromagnetism is responsible for the interactions between atoms. If it were larger, the atoms would not exchange their electrons and there would be no chemical reactions. But if it were less, electrons would escape atoms and the Universe would be a sea of ​​loose particles, without stable chemical elements.

Finally, gravity is just that necessary to allow the expansion of the Universe and the formation of galaxies, stars and planets.

The same happens with the quantity of matter and the rest of natural laws. With less matter, gravity could not act and the Universe would be very scattered. But an excess of matter would "weigh" too much, gravity would be extreme and the Universe would die.

Everything is interconnected so that we live today. The Universe needed billions of years to manufacture the chemical elements that compose us. Each ray of the Sun that warms us today has crossed 150 million km until it reaches us. 8 minutes ago he left the Sun. But before, he formed in the internal nuclear mergers thousands of years ago.

Perhaps so much time and empty space in the Cosmos is necessary for us to be here today. If intelligent life is the purpose or consequence of the Universe, it is something that escapes the limits of science.

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