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The finely tuned universe arguement is done..


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Showing 126-150 of 153 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2010, 1:33:07 PM PST
In their case, neither?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2010, 1:41:37 PM PST
Celeborn, that really isn't what J Black and RR said. They said he had no new evidence, or in fact any evidence, to replace our ignorance of the origin of the universe. In other words, Davies took a philosophical position that others may agree with or disagree with, but not a scientific position supported by real evidence.

Science indeed does not yet and may (probably) never have "all the answers".
But it's unreasonable to expect scientific support for a claim not based on scientific evidence.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2010, 2:03:34 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 6, 2010, 2:11:32 PM PST
Gary S. Hurd says:
Celeborn's question/response, "Is the argument done? So much for Paul Davies." He later concluded (by no evidence I could see) that Davies was still very much 'in the game,' so to speak.

Davies is best known for his popular discussions of the so-called anthropic principle. I think his most popular book was 1983, "God and the New Physics" (New York: Simon and Shuster/Touchstone).

Good counter arguments are given in ;

Hawkings, Stephen
1988 "A Brief History of Time" Bantam Books

Susskind, Leonard
2005 "The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design" New York: Little and Brown Publishers

My colleague, physicist Victor J. Stenger wrote a paper directly addressing the creationist version of the anthropic principle, "Is the Universe Fine-tuned for Us?" in Matt Young, and Taner Edis (Editors), "Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism" (2004 Rutgers University Press).

For full-on creationist examples of the argument see either,

Gonzales, Guillermo Jay W. Richards
2004 "The Privileged Planet" Regnery Publishing Inc.

McGrath
2009 "A Fine-Tuned Universe" Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press

One of my favorite short arguments is:

"On November 2nd, 2000, Douglas Adams visited Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he gave a talk about the book he co-authored with Mark Carwardine, entitled "Last Chance To See". Alas, for members of the audience, it was also the last chance to see the witty and ingenious man who stood behind the books we respected and loved.

On that day, Mr. Adams concluded his talk with a brilliant metaphor. He compared a human being to a puddle that wakes up one morning, looks around and says, "What a nice hole in the ground - it's made just for me ! Look at how nicely it's indentations fit my beautiful curves, and the depth and the radius are just right...". And as the puddle carried on in its self-centered pleasure, the sun kept shining on it until there was not a trace of it left. Then, Mr. Adams asked us to remember the story and never reduce ourselves to the level of that puddle, for that will give us many more "chances to see."
http://web.mit.edu/aramis/www/dna/dna.htm

So, get out of the mud.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2010, 2:33:32 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 6, 2010, 2:34:45 PM PST
Customer says:
RR says, "The question is what mechanisms can "sculpt" or "design"? In biology, we already know that natural selection does that. The problem with asserting intelligence is the question of what sculpted the intelligence?

So, we come to the obvious question: can and in what way may the concept of natural selection be extended to non-biological processes, since we're not dealing with the idea of passing on "heritable traits" of a universe in anything like a biological fashion?

What a lot of people do is create a false dilemma. They insist that the fine tuning of the universe cannot come from "brute force" or purely random combinations, therefore it must be an intelligent mechanism. This simply makes intelligence a placeholder for ignorance."

--------

The common IDers do this, they imagine a supernatural solution because they assume no one will ever explain all the mysteries they have. We might never explain all of them, but to give up -- and conjure up a supernatural world influencing this one seems to me to be really backward and COUNTERPRODUCTIVE, the exact opposite of what we should strive for. We should strive for simplicity and reducibility and self-similarity. MY ID ideas do that.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2010, 2:38:15 PM PST
Customer says:
Gary, whew, that gave me a tingle. I had not heard that one..

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2010, 2:44:42 PM PST
RR says:
Celeborn,
"Then I suppose they still stand."

Then I suppose they are an argument from ignorance.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2010, 6:58:50 PM PST
Don Jennings says:
Gary Hurd //My colleague, physicist Victor J. Stenger wrote a paper directly addressing the creationist version of the anthropic principle, "Is the Universe Fine-tuned for Us?" ....//

No kidding! I like Stenger. I saw a lecture by him at Cal Tech about 6 mos. or a year ago. He was showing a plausible way that the Universe could come from a previous seed universe via a quantum process -- thus not needing a "cause." He was frank in saying that his conjecture was unsupported -- but better supported than that of Craig (I'm not sure he used Craig explicitly ---)

Clear writer, clear thinker.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2010, 7:32:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 6, 2010, 7:33:39 PM PST
Gary S. Hurd says:
Yeah Don, Vic wrote a very good chapter for Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism.

My chapter managed to get used in the Dover ID creationism trial in 2005. I was thrilled.

BTW, I am not hyping our book with a financial advantage- I got nothing from Rutgers Uni Press. (Word to the wise when looking for a publisher).

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2010, 2:28:08 AM PST
Gary: So, get out of the mud.

An excellent informative post, Gary. Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2010, 9:06:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 7, 2010, 9:07:33 AM PST
Customer says:
I think we put on prejudicial blinders when we let Creationists restrict and proscribe our scientific curiosity around/about intelligent design. Even if universe design wasn't a reality in the past and wasn't foundational for our being here, it might be in the future, stemming from the fact that OUR universe is naturally favorable for the evolution of intelligent designers.

1. There's the 'curiosity' about how and why ours would be the only universe. And if there's more than one, wouldn't there be almost an infinite number? Some younger - but many many more much older and more populated with sentients (because our universe is so young, see below).

2. This universe has only just flashed on, and we're already here! BUT there AREN't intelligences showing up in our physical or temporal horizons every year clashing with our survival future. If this universe was tweaked for optimum sentient evolution (with the goal of nurturing the succession of further generations of intelligently fashioned universes) it has turned out very very well. They succeeded, at least in our infant universe..

'gotta run to church right now,

Posted on Feb 8, 2010, 10:15:15 AM PST
Celeborn says:
I don't see why you guys bring in ID. Gary, you are not up to date. Davies has published several books since the one you mention. He is NOT an Intelligent Design proponent. He makes this very clear. Have you read his book The Goldlock Dilemma? If not, you have no business discussing what you have not read. In it, he gives an astrophysicist's view of the matter of how the universe can be so perfectly tuned for life, when only a tiny bit of difference would make life impossible. You do not disagree with this concept, do you? Most scientists accept it but have different theories about how it happened. In this book, he examines all of these theories then gives his own. He spends an entire chapter refuting Intelligent Design. Or didn't you know that?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2010, 3:54:31 PM PST
John Donohue says:
Celeborn <<I don't see why you guys bring in ID. Gary, you are not up to date. Davies has published several books since the one you mention. He is NOT an Intelligent Design proponent.>>

I have been rereading this thread Celeborn -- OK, let's drop ID. Why do you care whether the universe if "fine tuned"? What do you think we should be learning from this "argument."

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2010, 10:47:19 PM PST
Fairly obviously, the life which occurs is fine tuned to the universe in which it exists. No need to asert design as a prerequisite for life.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2010, 11:28:13 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 26, 2011, 2:18:58 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2010, 12:10:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 9, 2010, 12:12:58 PM PST
Customer says:
In reply to an earlier post on Feb. 8, 2010 10:47 PM PST
R. M. Williams says:
Fairly obviously, the life which occurs is fine tuned to the universe in which it exists. No need to asert design as a prerequisite for life.

----------
For me, ID is more specifically about whether or not a universe is tweaked so that a resulting intelligence has the capacity to develop the technology to design new universes AND then devotes the effort and the resources to do it. Therefore, life is, and even we humans might be, irrelevant in ID.

In other words, if we and other sentients fail, then they fail, and there was no intelligent design, in this universe.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2010, 12:37:25 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 26, 2011, 2:19:02 PM PDT]

Posted on Feb 10, 2010, 10:37:54 AM PST
Celeborn says:
Okay. You drop ID. I don't know that I am going to learn anything by staying on this thread. I found Davies book, The Goldilocks Enoigma fascinating. I did not start this thread. I entered it hoping to see an intelligent and informed discussion of what scientists are saying about the "finely tuned universe." What do they think is the reason it is so finely tuned? But all I found was some ID bashing, when one doesn't have to be an IDer to be interested in the subject.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2010, 2:35:38 PM PST
Don Jennings says:
Celeborn //I did not start this thread. I entered it hoping to see an intelligent and informed discussion of what scientists are saying about the "finely tuned universe."//

I think people DID tell you what they thought. The original post linked to a SciAm article that demonstrated that the so-called "fine tuned" parameters can vary quite a bit and you get some kind of universe with life in it. There are also reasonable theories that there exists a "landscape" of universes (Leonard Susskind) and only those of a certain type produce life -- but there are many types. Another is the idea that is nearly mainstream that the so-called "Big Bang" was not the beginning of everything but an expansion of some type from an underlying Ueber-Universe -- this idea has been explored by many physicists.

But note, that when physicists attack this problem they come up with real hypotheses that have a hope of producing testable predictions some day. Moreover, the physicists are the first to acknowledge that they are poking at something that could be explained in many, many ways and the sad fact is that we do not know WHAT to make of the many parameters that go into the recipe that makes our Universe what it is.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2010, 3:05:59 PM PST
Arthur Dent says:
Celeborn--I said what I thought back on about page 3. Maybe you missed it. To summarize, I said, "This has always seemed like a goofy argument to me-an interesting speculation, no doubt, but how is it an argument? Our universe is what it is. We are doing pretty well to figure out exactly what it *is* without speculating about what it *isn't*. We do know that life exists on earth, so it seems obvious that conditions on earth are suitable to support life, even more or less intelligent life. If the strong force or the weak force were a little stronger or weaker, we would not exist, but then, it would not be our universe either. So what?" I don't think your question as to why the unvierse is so finely tuned is amenable to a scientific answer.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2010, 6:52:54 PM PST
Well, machines can be the observer in QM ( unless you're really insistent about the consciousness causes collapse notion), and that isn't a necessary conclusion anyway.

Also, one needn't reject the anthropic principle as a way of rejecting ID. ID can be rejected without rejecting anthropic, and acceptance of the anthropic principle isn't mandatory. But I think the only inpossible combination is accepting ID and rejecting Anthropic, unless it's the FSM.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2010, 10:07:32 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 26, 2011, 2:19:13 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2010, 1:01:09 PM PST
"... 1 strand of thought requires ... " Exactly, one of several. And it may be that the only way this can be resolved without conscious thought is if very capable, but unconscious, computers work it out among themselves and don't tell us their conclusion. ( I thought quantum computers would just be more efficient, if achievable for practical use, but I wouldn't argue it. ) This gets beyond physics and I tend to prefer Feynman's "shut up and calculate." People have gone mad, mad!

Posted on Feb 12, 2010, 7:17:51 AM PST
Celeborn says:
What I get on this thread is that real scientists do not care whether the universe is fine tuned or not. Paul Davies is a very distingusihed astrophysicist. Why should he be concerned enough to write a book about it, covering what other scientists (who are presumably concerned) have to say about it? Isn't it a waste of time for real scientists such as these to be concerned? Why are they? Maybe you could find out if you read his book. Or don't you read astrophysics?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2010, 8:39:47 AM PST
Jack Shandy says:
-What I get on this thread is that real scientists do not care whether the universe is fine tuned or not.

Maybe because it is scientifically a non-issue? It's a nice philosophical issue maybe, but why would it be anything else? Astrophysicists can be interested in philosophy too, of course, so they can write books about the subject, as long as there are interested buyers.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 12, 2010, 12:30:48 PM PST
Customer says:
Actually, Celeborn, the saying is, "be careful what you wish for".

If we were to find indisputable evidence of intelligent design anywhere around us, I'm confident that the scientific conclusion would be that the 'designer' had evolved, just like we have. BUT it would solve some current mysteries about how this universe turned out to be favorable for us, AND it would put to rest forever the silly theologies about our need for supernatural beings going around doing this and that, and coming back to rescue us and teleport us away, etc. etc..

At that point, would the silly human religions which have sprung up to 'explain' our existence and our 'special-ness' die away utterly? What do you think?
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Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  26
Total posts:  153
Initial post:  Dec 17, 2009
Latest post:  Feb 13, 2010

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