The Anthropic Principle

The Anthropic Principle says that the universe is fine-tuned for the existence and evolution of man specifically as the end goal. I prefer anthropocentric because that’s a little more descriptive.

The primary evidence for this theory is the incredible precision of (what we believe to be) universal constants. The order of magnitude of these parameters is mindbogglingly small, and reasonably so: it’s likely that any deviation whatsoever from these parameters means the world would have evolved completely differently, and since it didn’t, it must have been directed.

This argument is used by both the ID and the full-on atheist camp. The ID says that god (not the the God of the Bible specifically), or a higher intelligence guided this process and fine-tuned those parameters accordingly. The other guys say it was the attempt of the universe to become self-aware, resulting in man as a cognitive being. How you can attempt to become self-aware without being so first is beyond me, but I won’t really address that here.


Do I believe the anthropic principle? Yes and no.

Yes, but not in the way it’s stated. I don’t hold with half-assery when it comes to God and Scripture. “An intelligent being,” vague at best, is not the author of the Universe. The Triune God of the Bible is. The universe was created for man to grow to maturity in and exercise dominion over as a representative of God. It is for us. We were not made to fit it (as Darwinism would say).

And no, because it depends on evidential arguments from a neutral standpoint, a position that is not only impossible, it is built on an anti-Trinity foundation, which is in itself untenable.


The most common defense from the atheist camp is that this is a “prime example of confirmation bias.” You have already decided what your conclusion is. Now you’re just looking for evidence to support it. And if you look hard enough and twist facts ever so subtlety, you can find that evidence.

This is perfectly true. The error (and many Christians do this too) is that they then assume that there is a neutral position from which to judge evidence for God, and evidence for Scientism. This is false. There is no neutrality. Once you take this stance, you’ve already placed yourself in opposition to God and asked him to prove himself to you (which he has absolutely no obligation to do). They have a confirmation bias as well, only theirs is internally inconsistent (really, a topic for another time, so don’t ask now). While they claim to be open to all possibilities, they refuse to accept any possible explanations that require God. How’s that for unbiased?


I won’t take the time to prove that the atheist approach is ridiculous. I don’t need to. What I’d like to do is show that it’s unwise for us to take this Anthropic Principle at face value. We cannot build on their foundations. Does evidence support God? The heavens declare his handiwork. It’s a silly question. He is apparent in every aspect of the universe.

So why do we feel the need to take the path that the atheist has decreed? To engage in a fight on his turf means at best ignoring that God exists, and at worst refuting it. Don’t couch the debate in his terms. That path should not be an option for us. Yes, the evidence is there. But proving to him on his terms, an approach Christians seem to think is most appropriate, requires that we deny God before we’ve even started. We think “if we just show him this principle, or this fossil, or this phenomena, then he’ll believe.” No. His presupposition is that God doesn’t exist. Therefore, that is not an option for him in any case for an explanation.


Aside from that, the Anthropic Principle is weak. Incredibly weak. It assumes evolution, and thus immediately cedes the debate and invalidates itself. It’s not good enough. At BEST, it indicates (not conclusively) that there is an “intelligence” behind the universe. Allah? Yahweh? Baal? I dunno. Any argument we use must be in terms of the Trinity – we can’t use the block argument (as Bahnsen said), as if an argument was a bunch of Legos. “Now that we have the ID block, we can add the Trinity block, maybe.” It’s like purposefully teaching an inaccurate theology. That’s not good at all.

Christians cannot accept evolutionary theory because if it’s true, then God is a liar. It is completely incompatible with Christian faith. I’ve had theistic evolutionists tell me that they’ll believe Creation if the broad scientific community agrees that it’s true. Well, I know who your god is then, and it’s not Yahweh.


In conclusion, admitting the Anthropic Principle as it is commonly understood is exactly the same as saying “yea, you’re right, but maybe in your infinite wisdom you can see maybe a designer?” It’s not a proof of anything. It falls into the same common trap of thinking there is a neutral stance, where the truth of God is up for debate. It’s not.


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