Anthropic Universe Theory Explained


No matter how one may believe the universe came into existence, there is a consideration to its existence. It has been proposed that the observations made about the universe must be compatible with the sapient life and the consciousness that is making the observations. This is the foundation of the anthropic universe theory.

This definition makes it possible to explain why there is a repetitive pattern within the universe which offers the fundamental constraints at all levels of existence to support life. Instead of life formation being a “fluke” or done through happenstance, the narrow ranges of life that are compatible with the universe form because there must be compatibility between the universe and the life it supports.

There Are Two Different Variations of the Anthropic Universe Theory

When looking at the universe through the lens of the anthropic theory, there are two possible outcomes.

  • The Strong Anthropic Universe Theory.
  • The Weak Anthropic Universe Theory.

The principles of the strong theory were first introduced by John Barrow and Frank Tipler. Their idea is that the universe is “strongly compelled” to construct itself in a way that encourages the formation of conscious and sapient life.

Those who support the anthropic universe theory, but may disagree with the idea that the universe compels itself to form life, tend to follow a line of thinking that is proposed by Brandon Carter. In the weak version of this theory, the universe would “tune” itself toward the life that has formed within its structures. By have those with consciousness observe the universe, it can then reflect the “tuned” information.

Can an Anthropic Universe Exist Within a Multiverse?

In the anthropic universe theory, only a universe that is capable of supporting life would be able to form life. When considering the idea of a multiverse or alternative/parallel dimensions, it could be possible to have a universe that is completely devoid of life. Does this mean an anthropic principle would not apply in such a structure?

The answer to that depends on what could be observed about the structures of a multiverse or an alternative or parallel dimension. If there is life within those structures, by definition, it would still be anthropic, but tuned to that consciousness instead of our consciousness.

Then, if life in our universe would can observe those structures, the weak principle may apply. That structure would potentially begin to “fine-tune” itself based on the observations from our side, even though we may not be living within that structure.

Is There Observational Evidence of the Anthropic Universe Theory?

John Leslie has suggested that the strong version of the anthropic universe theory should have these predictive qualities.

  • That life with a non-carbon chemistry will be discovered.
  • The theories for how multiple universes form will be numerous.
  • Evidence that the universe tunes itself will continue to accumulate.
  • Galaxy formation studies will confirm its sensitivity to universal expansion.
  • Physical theory will keep evolving to support a probability outcome instead of a deterministic outcome.

The only possible option for observing direct evidence of the weak version of the anthropic universe theory would be to have an opportunity to view a universe that did not include human life, but contained another form of life.

How Anthropic Universe Theory Principles Affect Time

Now, we recognize two dimensions: spatial and temporal. Since 1920 and the work of Paul Ehrenfest, we know that if just one time dimension and more than 3 spatial dimensions exist, then any orbit in the universe would be unstable. This work was expanded in 1963 to include the orbits that electrons have around a nucleus.

That is why the idea of an anthropic universe has merit. Without a universe’s ability to tune itself to the needs of life, that life would be unable to exist. The instability within the basic orbits of electrons would make the universe incapable of sustaining anything.

When all philosophical ideas are included, the idea of an Omega Point may also emerge. These are fixed points in time where the universe evolves or tunes itself to specific events. The initial work on Omega Points was focused on religious events, such as the coming of Christ, but could include any major event that could modify the universe.

The formation of life, for example, would be an Omega Point. In the anthropic universe theory, these fixed points help to “anchor” the universe to the tuning that is required for supporting life in an ongoing manner.

The anthropic universe theory proposes that the structure of our reality has predetermined life. This life may then work with the structures of the universe as it develops to maintain a harmonious existence. In essence, we are here because of the universe and the universe is here because of us.