Too Small a Sample Size -- Only One Universe This objection is one first pressed by David Hume. Hume argues that we cannot draw any conclusions about the causes of a thing until we have observed many tokens of the same type. I can conclude that this egg was probably laid by a chicken only on the basis of many observations of chickens laying eggs in the past. Since we can observe only one universe, we cannot possibly be in a position to draw any conclusions about what sort of thing may have caused it. Right away, we should concede that our situation is not an optimal one. If we could somehow observe 30 or 50 universes, each on the scale of our own, each taking very different sets of values for the fundamental constants, and yet each being structured so as to make life possible, then we would be in an optimal position to draw the conclusion that some kind of creator or designer has been at work. The question remains, however, just how far from optimal is our actual situation? If we had to rely on only one feature of the universe, or on only two or three, we might well be in
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PHI PHI2010 taught by Professor Jorgerigol during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.