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Cosmos and Anthropos Hardcover – August 1, 1993

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Hardcover, August 1, 1993
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"An excellent work...the book is a model of erudition, great analytical clarity, and splendid stylistic elegance. Everyone interested in science, philosophy, religion, and theology will find this book truly rewarding."
—Choice

About the Author

Errol E. Harris (Ambleside, Cumbria, England) is John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy (Emeritus) at Northwestern University, and the author of Fundamentals of Philosophy, Spinoza's Philosophy: An Outline, The Substance of Spinoza, The Foundations of Metaphysics in Science, Hypothesis and Perception, Cosmos and Anthropos: A Philosophical Interpretation of the Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Cosmos and Theos: Ethical and Theological Implications of the Anthropic Cosmological Principle, and One World or None: Prescription for Survival.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Humanity Books (August 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573925985
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573925983
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,998,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roman Nies on February 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Scientists found out that there seems to be a link between the large number coincidences and the type of the universe that could be expected to support observers. Seen in this light the problem of the large size of these numbers now has a ready explanation. There is a single large dimensionless number which is statistical in origin. This is the number of particles in the Universe. The age of the universe now is not random but is conditioned by biological factors.
Life is built upon elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. These heavy elements are synthesized in the late stages of stellar evolution and are spread through the universe by supernovae explosions which follow the main sequence evolution of stars.
Only universes of roughly the main sequence stellar age could produce the heavy elements, like carbon, upon which life is based. Only those universes could evolve "observers". There needs to be made an anthropic suggestion at a time when the cosmic microwave background radiation was undiscovered and the steady state universe remained a viable cosmological alternative to the Big Bang theory.
So there is a first example of a "weak" anthropic principle, that the observation of certain a priori remarkable features of the universe`s structure are necessary for our own existence. Having gone so far, it is inevitable that some would look at the existence of these features from another angle, one reminiscent of the traditional Design arguments that the Universe either must give rise to life or that it is specially engineered to supprt it. Carter gave the name "strong Anthropic Principle" to the idea that the universe must be cognizable and admit the creation of observers within it at some stage.
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