Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Anthropic refers to anything that relates to the existence of mankind in space. The Anthropic Principle or the Anthropic Cosmological Principle is, thus, an attempt to give explanation of the existence of mankind. The Anthropic Principle was given by the cosmologist Brandon Carter in the year 1974 and was criticised for being highly theological and unscientific, and also for the lack of any data to back it. There are two versions of this principle, i.e. the Strong Anthropic Principle (SAP) and the Weak Anthropic Principle (WAP). 

According to WAP, the conditions of the universe are adequate to allow life to exist. These conditions, or the so-called anthropic coincidences, are a part of the structural design of the universe. If the conditions were not met, we wouldn’t be here. Hence, our existence on Earth is a result of some sort of anthropic bias that selected conditions favourable for our existence.

The SAP draws from Copernican principles, and is much more controversial than the WAP as it shows adherence to Creationism. According to SAP, a universe without existence of intelligent creatures, like humans, is not possible. The universe must have what it takes to make existence of humans possible. It was in the design of the Universe to make existence of mankind possible.

Over the years, different scientists have drawn different takes on this principle.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial