Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Privileged Planet

Twice this week, and again tonight, I've had ocassion to recommend The Privileged Planet by astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez and philosopher Jay Richards. It's a wonderful read, a must for anyone interested in the philosophy of science. Its primary thesis (which is backed by a wealth of evidence and examples) is that our place in the universe is designed as an optimal compromise between habitability and detectability. The authors go beyond the anthropic principle (that the cosmos is designed with human life as its goal) to show that human discovery (about aspects at every scale of the universe) is another design goal of our universe.

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