Talk:Anthropic principle

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Assessment comment

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Anthropic principle/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

I would like to propose a Misanthropic Principle: that any random selection of universal constants will produce beings whose evolutionary adaptation enforces strong pattern recognition, causing them to perceive patterns where none exist. Laurence white 17:17, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

For laymen: Cite recent article mentioning anthropic principle

I suggest a small addition, for the benefit of readers unfamiliar with physics, to Wikipedia's article entitled Anthropic Principle. Add a one-sentence summary and reference to an article by Stephen Weinberg, "Physics: What We Do and Don't Know," The New York Review of Books, vol. 60 (Nov. 7, 2013), which is posted online. A Wikipedia contributor familiar with the subject of the article would be better able than I am to make this addition. I will add a similar comment to the Comments section of the Wikipedia article on Multiverse. NedF (talk) 21:39, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Last edited at 21:39, 26 January 2014 (UTC). Substituted at 16:09, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

Triverse Theory

Suggest section on the triverse theory that the moment of creation triggered the genesis of a universe with forces in it that destroy all other universes, simultaneous with a universe that can preserve all other universes, leading to a universe, our own, which teeters on the edge of destruction. 86.143.214.19 (talk) 11:51, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

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Overlinks - January 2017

@173.48.60.68: We seem to be at odds over what constitutes overlinking. I generally try to go by the following guidance at WP:REPEATLINK

Generally, a link should appear only once in an article, but if helpful for readers, a link may be repeated in infoboxes, tables, image captions, footnotes, hatnotes, and at the first occurrence after the lead.

That seems like a generous enough standard, but there's always the "if helpful for readers" loophole.  —jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 21:48, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

We probably see things more in common than at odds.
Duplicate linking in lists is permissible if it significantly aids the reader. This is most often the case when the list is presenting information that could just as aptly be formatted in a table, and is expected to be parsed for particular bits of data, not read from top to bottom. If the list is normal article prose that happens to be formatted as a list, treat it as normal article prose.
Too many links can make the lead hard to read. In technical articles that use uncommon terms, a higher-than-usual link density in the lead section may be necessary. In such cases, try to provide an informal explanation in the lead, avoiding using too many technical terms until later in the article...
My concern is that when readers come upon "fundamental physical constants", they are misled to the dimensionful physical constants. I was not happy that Fundamental physical constant was turned into a disambig page and the title changed to Dimensionless physical constant. Whether the reader starts at the top or quickly scrolls down to the latter sections where "fundamental physical constants" are mentioned, it should be trivial (like one click) for them to see exactly what we mean. This is a "fundamental" topic and it's really just about the dimensionless "fundamental" parameters that are the same for us or for the aliens on the planet Zog that have totally different units of measure (and therefore have a totally different numerical value for, say, the speed of light). 173.48.60.68 (talk) 22:29, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
I'm willing to go along with you, but you may be giving the "dimensionless" aspect of these physical constants a bit more reverence or mystery than they deserve. The other constants describe properties of the universe, too, so a different universe might not even have a specific constant that corresponds to the dimensionless physical constants if the underlying physics are allowed to vary in arbitrary ways. Perturbing the values of the dimensionless physical constants is one way to propose alternate universes with physics related and as consistent as ours, but not the only way things could be different.  —jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 22:57, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
The AP is about "fundamental constants" and not at all about what system of units some culture in the Universe might be using. It's pretty much the 26 fundamental constants itemized by John Baez, give or take a couple (discoveries in physics may introduce new fundamental constants and theoretical development may combine constants reducing the number). Because nondimensionalization can be applied to all equations describing or modeling physical interaction having dimension, that converts each equation into one that relates only dimensionless numbers. Probably easiest to think about it with Planck units where every mass is expressed as a ratio to the Planck mass, every time quantity relative to the Planck time, and same for length and for charge. Then there is no c to vary nor ħ to vary nor G nor ε0 to vary. They're gone from equations and your entire description of physical interaction in the Universe is using only dimensionless quantities. There is a reference to a pair of Michael Duff papers regarding this in at least a few of these WP articles. John D. Barrow has also written about this sorta thing in his book on the subject: The Constants of Nature. 96.237.136.210 (talk) 04:47, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
One more thing. If I remember correctly, some of these links occurred within quotes. I remember reading somewhere that linking within quotes is undesirable. It represents a kind of "putting words in the mouth" of the person being quoted.  —jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 23:01, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
I looked methodically through the article and no place in a quote is fundamental physical constants or dimensionless physical constants linked. There is one place where (dimensionful) physical constant is linked and several places where "physical constant" is mentioned without the qualifier and two of those are in a Penrose quote. 96.237.136.210 (talk) 04:50, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps you missed the Weinberg quote?
In any case, your writing about this strikes me as having a component of advocacy or ownership of this topic. I am not so committed to Wikipedia principles that I would wish to dispute this issue with you any further. I was merely trying to apply my understanding of the MOS regarding disambiguation and overlinking, but I don't claim to be an expert in every topic and sometimes get it wrong. Thanks for your explanation and for your contributions.  —jmcgnh(talk) (contribs) 05:55, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
In fact, I did miss it. I was searching for the string "physical constant" and that did not hit on "constants of nature" (and the phrase was piped to dimensionless physical constant). I fixed it. This dimensionless vs. dimensionful debate about what really makes a universal constant "fundamental" is about two decades old. There used to be lots of discussion about it in some blogs and USENET (like sci.physics.research). I think it's pretty close to settled now. 96.237.136.210 (talk) 20:30, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

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