# Nony's "Fallacy"

jeffreyalex
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Nony's "Fallacy"

In a recent thread, A_Nony_Mouse suggests that we should not at all be impressed by the fine-tuning of the universe. He suggests that it's easy to produce big numbers, and he uses an example:

If there are 10^7 sperm cells 'racing' to fertilize an egg, the chance of any sperm cell fertilizing the egg is 1:10^7. But here you are, despite the odds! Nony says we should not be     so impressed by this, and so we should not be impressed by the small chances of a life-prohibiting universe either.

This is a flawed argument.

Any given sperm cell would result in a unique human being. Any number of possible constants would result in a unique universe.

It is certain that a unique human being will be born. The chances of a unique human being (given that the egg was fertilized and carried to term) are 1:1. The chances of unique possible human being A (me, say) are 1:10^7, as are the chances of unique possible human being B. So my chances versus the chances of another possible unique human being are not 1:10^7, but rather 1:1.

Similarly, the chances of the unique set of universal constants A obtaining may be equal to the chances of unique set B obtaining. But that is not what we're talking about in the fine-tuning argument. This is where Nony's analogy ends.

Here, a simple example will make the point:

If you have 10,000 different pennies in a bag, and you draw one penny, are you surprised? No, and rightfully so. Given that there is a penny draw, you will necessarily draw a unique penny. Yes, the chances of that penny being drawn are 1/10,000, but so are the chances of any and all the other pennies.

Now, imagine you have 10,000 pennies in a bag, with only one painted blue. You reach in and draw the blue penny, are you surprised? Yes, and rightfully so. What is the difference? The penny had a 1/10,000 just like any other penny, it seems nothing has changed. This is not the case, however. Here, we are not comparing any unique penny to any other unique penny. Here, the comparison is between a blue penny and non-blue pennies. So, in the first case, the chance of a unique penny being drawn is 1, it is certain. All the pennies are unique in the first example, whichever you draw will be unique and that's not impressive. In this second case, however, the chance of drawing the blue penny is 1:10,000.

(Uniqueness is a feature of all pennies in both examples, and so any penny drawn will be unique; blueness is a feature of only a single (unique) penny, and it is BLUENESS that we are asking about in the second example).

The fine-tuning argument does not seek to say the chance of any unique universe with its constants existing is 1: 10^n. That wouldn't say much, at all. It would be the equivalent of the first penny example and of Nony's sperm-cell example.

Fine-tuning compares life-permitting universes to non-life-permitting universes. This scenario is the equivalent of the second (blue) penny example. It is not equivalent to Nony's example.

Disregarding other aspects of this argument, it should at least be admitted that Nony's analogy is fallacious and misleading. It does not hold.

latincanuck
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Here is the issue with the

Here is the issue with the whole fine tuning argument. What are all the possible conditions for life to arise? What are all the possible configurations that allows life to occur. Here is the answer, WE DON'T KNOW AT ALL. Knowing this the fine tuning argument is really bunk. If you change the so called constants how are each other one affected. Since these constants occurred at micro seconds after the big bang (if not sooner) then how do each one affect the other? If you cannot answer these basic questions then the whole fine tuning argument is really a mute discussion. Here is another question how much variation can we have with these constants between each other, not just changing one, but changing all of them that allows life to occur, not life as we know it, but life in general in any possible form?

As you can see the whole fine tuning argument really is bunk at this point since we can't provide the more basic answer in regards to life and exactly how these constants are affected. Even worse for your argument is that physicist have tried to figure out at what changes to gravitational constants, fine structure constant and composite parameter that determine nuclear reaction rates due stars not form, by changing those figures by a factor up to 100 either way, around 25 percent of the time it could possibly form a star, which gives life a large enough window to happen, would it be like us? Nope but life could possibly occur.

Ktulu
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I don't think Nony is

I don't think Nony is arguing that "a human" is unique.  The analogy would be that "a universe" is created with any set of your "fine tuned" constants.  You're suffering from the Captain Hindsight syndrome.  Using your analogy, if you have a bag, that you don't know the contents of save that they are coins, you reach in and pull out a blue penny.  If you're equating pennies with universal constant sets, you have no idea what a penny looks like.  The only set that you have is the one you pulled out.  So you can assume the following:

- all pennies are blue, you pulled out one of them.

- the bag is full of various coloured pennies, you randomly pulled out of a blue one.

- the bag is full of copper pennies, with one special blue penny, and some dude with white beard and taste for human virgins magiced that penny in your hand.

Now, you can obviously continue pulling pennies out of the bag to test your theories, in this analogy, simply observe different configuration of universal constants.  Without dropping any names (hemhemOchamhemhem, sorry, had to clear my throat), you tell me which hypothesis seems most reasonable moving forward?

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc

jeffreyalex
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Ktulu wrote:I don't think

Ktulu wrote:

I don't think Nony is arguing that "a human" is unique.  The analogy would be that "a universe" is created with any set of your "fine tuned" constants.  You're suffering from the Captain Hindsight syndrome.  Using your analogy, if you have a bag, that you don't know the contents of save that they are coins, you reach in and pull out a blue penny.  If you're equating pennies with universal constant sets, you have no idea what a penny looks like.  The only set that you have is the one you pulled out.  So you can assume the following:

- all pennies are blue, you pulled out one of them.

- the bag is full of various coloured pennies, you randomly pulled out of a blue one.

- the bag is full of copper pennies, with one special blue penny, and some dude with white beard and taste for human virgins magiced that penny in your hand.

Now, you can obviously continue pulling pennies out of the bag to test your theories, in this analogy, simply observe different configuration of universal constants.  Without dropping any names (hemhemOchamhemhem, sorry, had to clear my throat), you tell me which hypothesis seems most reasonable moving forward?

But I am not assuming that only one penny is blue. In my example, I know that only one penny is blue.

Similarly, physicists know what would happen if a certain force were stronger: stars might have very short lives; heavy elements would not exist; etc..

You offer three possibilities, which I've translated to the analogous instance of the universal constants:

1) They all produce life-permitting universes.

2) Some of them produce life-permitting universes.

3) One produces a life-permitting universe.

Now, (1) is simply not true.

(2) and (3) are basically the same claim, in that they reduce to a probability less than one. The question is, What probability? 1 out of a thousand? or 10 out of ten thousand (which reduces to 1 out of a thousand)? The probability is x:n, where x is a vastly smaller number than n.

Given the state of science, it appears that the universe is finely tuned to allow for life, the probability of a life-permitting set of constants is absolutely tiny. This is reported by leading physicists atheist and theist, alike.

Thus, based on the evidence it is reasonable to hold that a) the constants are tuned to life and b) the set of sets of constants which would not permit life contains an incomprehensibly larger number of elements than the set of sets of constants which would permit life.

jeffreyalex
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latincanuck wrote:Here is

latincanuck wrote:

Here is the issue with the whole fine tuning argument. What are all the possible conditions for life to arise? What are all the possible configurations that allows life to occur. Here is the answer, WE DON'T KNOW AT ALL. Knowing this the fine tuning argument is really bunk. If you change the so called constants how are each other one affected. Since these constants occurred at micro seconds after the big bang (if not sooner) then how do each one affect the other? If you cannot answer these basic questions then the whole fine tuning argument is really a mute discussion. Here is another question how much variation can we have with these constants between each other, not just changing one, but changing all of them that allows life to occur, not life as we know it, but life in general in any possible form?

As you can see the whole fine tuning argument really is bunk at this point since we can't provide the more basic answer in regards to life and exactly how these constants are affected. Even worse for your argument is that physicist have tried to figure out at what changes to gravitational constants, fine structure constant and composite parameter that determine nuclear reaction rates due stars not form, by changing those figures by a factor up to 100 either way, around 25 percent of the time it could possibly form a star, which gives life a large enough window to happen, would it be like us? Nope but life could possibly occur.

A condition that permits for life would be, for example, the possibility of heavy elements forming. All your "basic" questions have straightforward answers, some of which I've given elsewhere on the forum. For example, "If one constant is changed how are the others affected?" The others are not affected, they are fundamental and independent of each other.

Your point is taken. Weinberg spoke of one particular constant and said it had to be tuned to a rather low degree: 1:5. That's not really very shocking. But there are more than one constant and others are terrifically finely tuned. Not only that, but they must line up, multiplying the improbability.

"The most impressive case of fine-tuning for life is that of the cosmological constant. The cosmological constant is a term in Einstein's equation of general relativity that, when positive, acts as a repulsive force, causing space to expand and, when negative, acts as an attractive force, causing space to contract. If it were too large, space would expand so rapidly that galaxies and stars could not form, and if too small, the universe would collapse before life could evolve. In today's physics, it is taken to correspond to the energy density of empty space. The fine-tuning for life of the cosmological constant is estimated to be at leastone part in 10^53, that is, one part in a one hundred million, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion. To get an idea of how precise this is, it would be like throwing a dart at the surface of the earth from outer space, and hitting a bull's-eye one trillionth of a trillionth of an inch in diameter, less than the size of an atom! Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, a critic of fine-tuning, himself admits that the fine-tuning of the cosmological constant is highly impressive (2001, p. 67; also, see Collins, 2003)."

Weinberg, Steven (September/October 2001). "A Designer Universe?" Reprinted in Skeptical Inquirer. Originally published in the New York Review of Books, October 21, 1999.

Collins, Robin (2003). "The Evidence for Fine-Tuning," in God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science, ed. Neil Manson. New York, NY: Routledge.

Beyond Saving
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jeffreyalex wrote:A

jeffreyalex wrote:

A condition that permits for life would be, for example, the possibility of heavy elements forming. All your "basic" questions have straightforward answers, some of which I've given elsewhere on the forum. For example, "If one constant is changed how are the others affected?" The others are not affected, they are fundamental and independent of each other.

Your point is taken. Weinberg spoke of one particular constant and said it had to be tuned to a rather low degree: 1:5. That's not really very shocking. But there are more than one constant and others are terrifically finely tuned. Not only that, but they must line up, multiplying the improbability.

"The most impressive case of fine-tuning for life is that of the cosmological constant. The cosmological constant is a term in Einstein's equation of general relativity that, when positive, acts as a repulsive force, causing space to expand and, when negative, acts as an attractive force, causing space to contract. If it were too large, space would expand so rapidly that galaxies and stars could not form, and if too small, the universe would collapse before life could evolve. In today's physics, it is taken to correspond to the energy density of empty space. The fine-tuning for life of the cosmological constant is estimated to be at leastone part in 10^53, that is, one part in a one hundred million, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion. To get an idea of how precise this is, it would be like throwing a dart at the surface of the earth from outer space, and hitting a bull's-eye one trillionth of a trillionth of an inch in diameter, less than the size of an atom! Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, a critic of fine-tuning, himself admits that the fine-tuning of the cosmological constant is highly impressive (2001, p. 67; also, see Collins, 2003)."

Weinberg, Steven (September/October 2001). "A Designer Universe?" Reprinted in Skeptical Inquirer. Originally published in the New York Review of Books, October 21, 1999.

Collins, Robin (2003). "The Evidence for Fine-Tuning," in God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science, ed. Neil Manson. New York, NY: Routledge.

Yet if someone was able to build a nano robot that was one trillionth of a trillionth of an inch in diameter with the sole purpose of detecting when it got hit by a raindrop and suspended it in the air would you be surprised when eventually it gets hit straight on by a raindrop?

All your analogies are assuming there is one dart (or penny), that it is thrown once and that there is one target (i.e. our form of life is the only possible one, which I think is hardly a given). We have evidence that other universes do exist so there is obviously more than one dart, maybe more darts than we can imagine and possibly more than 10^57 or whatever other impressive number you want to pull out of thin air. Time, as near as we can tell is infinite so the assumption the dart is only thrown once is also highly questionable. At best you can make the case that our universe won the lottery but when you have many people buying lottery tickets every day for infinite days it isn't a surprise that someone will eventually win no matter how bad the odds are.

You remind me of those idiots at the poker table who start accusing people of cheating when improbable events like quads over quads happen. Yes, in any given hand it is extremely unlikely, but given enough hands dealt over enough time it will happen. What is surprising at the micro level is inevitable at the macro level and hardly a surprise at all.

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X

latincanuck
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jeffreyalex wrote: A

jeffreyalex wrote:

A condition that permits for life would be, for example, the possibility of heavy elements forming. All your "basic" questions have straightforward answers, some of which I've given elsewhere on the forum. For example, "If one constant is changed how are the others affected?" The others are not affected, they are fundamental and independent of each other.

let me explain the issue with your statement, what are all the possible condition that life can arise from? You haven't answered it, because you can't, so to claim that these universal constants are the only possible way for which life can arise is false right off the bat. If stars can form 25 percent of the time with different constants, then there is a possibility that life can arise as well with varying those constants. Now to say that the others are not affected, well again, those constants started at the beginning of our universe. So the condition which created them would have to change some what, with that change it could most likely affect the other constants. That right there is the weakness in your argument, assuming that changing one cannot and would not change the others.

Quote:

Your point is taken. Weinberg spoke of one particular constant and said it had to be tuned to a rather low degree: 1:5. That's not really very shocking. But there are more than one constant and others are terrifically finely tuned. Not only that, but they must line up, multiplying the improbability.

"The most impressive case of fine-tuning for life is that of the cosmological constant. The cosmological constant is a term in Einstein's equation of general relativity that, when positive, acts as a repulsive force, causing space to expand and, when negative, acts as an attractive force, causing space to contract. If it were too large, space would expand so rapidly that galaxies and stars could not form, and if too small, the universe would collapse before life could evolve. In today's physics, it is taken to correspond to the energy density of empty space. The fine-tuning for life of the cosmological constant is estimated to be at leastone part in 10^53, that is, one part in a one hundred million, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion. To get an idea of how precise this is, it would be like throwing a dart at the surface of the earth from outer space, and hitting a bull's-eye one trillionth of a trillionth of an inch in diameter, less than the size of an atom! Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, a critic of fine-tuning, himself admits that the fine-tuning of the cosmological constant is highly impressive (2001, p. 67; also, see Collins, 2003)."

Weinberg, Steven (September/October 2001). "A Designer Universe?" Reprinted in Skeptical Inquirer. Originally published in the New York Review of Books, October 21, 1999.

Collins, Robin (2003). "The Evidence for Fine-Tuning," in God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science, ed. Neil Manson. New York, NY: Routledge.

Yet these arguments it doesn't account for all the possibilities, only a few of them, it doesn't account that changing one of them in reality would change the rest as the constants were set at the beginning of the universe not before it came to be, as such the conditions that universe started at would have to change, which means the others most likely would change, that is the fallacy in your argument.

jeffreyalex
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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

A condition that permits for life would be, for example, the possibility of heavy elements forming. All your "basic" questions have straightforward answers, some of which I've given elsewhere on the forum. For example, "If one constant is changed how are the others affected?" The others are not affected, they are fundamental and independent of each other.

Your point is taken. Weinberg spoke of one particular constant and said it had to be tuned to a rather low degree: 1:5. That's not really very shocking. But there are more than one constant and others are terrifically finely tuned. Not only that, but they must line up, multiplying the improbability.

"The most impressive case of fine-tuning for life is that of the cosmological constant. The cosmological constant is a term in Einstein's equation of general relativity that, when positive, acts as a repulsive force, causing space to expand and, when negative, acts as an attractive force, causing space to contract. If it were too large, space would expand so rapidly that galaxies and stars could not form, and if too small, the universe would collapse before life could evolve. In today's physics, it is taken to correspond to the energy density of empty space. The fine-tuning for life of the cosmological constant is estimated to be at leastone part in 10^53, that is, one part in a one hundred million, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion. To get an idea of how precise this is, it would be like throwing a dart at the surface of the earth from outer space, and hitting a bull's-eye one trillionth of a trillionth of an inch in diameter, less than the size of an atom! Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, a critic of fine-tuning, himself admits that the fine-tuning of the cosmological constant is highly impressive (2001, p. 67; also, see Collins, 2003)."

Weinberg, Steven (September/October 2001). "A Designer Universe?" Reprinted in Skeptical Inquirer. Originally published in the New York Review of Books, October 21, 1999.

Collins, Robin (2003). "The Evidence for Fine-Tuning," in God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science, ed. Neil Manson. New York, NY: Routledge.

Yet if someone was able to build a nano robot that was one trillionth of a trillionth of an inch in diameter with the sole purpose of detecting when it got hit by a raindrop and suspended it in the air would you be surprised when eventually it gets hit straight on by a raindrop?

All your analogies are assuming there is one dart (or penny), that it is thrown once and that there is one target (i.e. our form of life is the only possible one, which I think is hardly a given). We have evidence that other universes do exist so there is obviously more than one dart, maybe more darts than we can imagine and possibly more than 10^57 or whatever other impressive number you want to pull out of thin air. Time, as near as we can tell is infinite so the assumption the dart is only thrown once is also highly questionable. At best you can make the case that our universe won the lottery but when you have many people buying lottery tickets every day for infinite days it isn't a surprise that someone will eventually win no matter how bad the odds are.

You remind me of those idiots at the poker table who start accusing people of cheating when improbable events like quads over quads happen. Yes, in any given hand it is extremely unlikely, but given enough hands dealt over enough time it will happen. What is surprising at the micro level is inevitable at the macro level and hardly a surprise at all.

Multiple universes are not a mainstream theory. We do not have evidence for multiple universes. Multiple universes were initially postulated precisely to try to explain why we observe such incredible fine-tuning.  Multiple universe theories are based on hypothetical physics and even their leading proponents recognize the serious flaws facing such theories.

If there were multiple universes, however, I would see that fact as a good candidate for a defeater to the fine-tuning argument.

You mention that you doubt that our species is the only possible form of life. That's fine. Although it seems unlikely that non-carbon based life is possible, who knows? What we can say for sure, is that if a universe collapses in on itself it won't sustain life (cosmological constant). If there are no heavy elements in a universe, it will not permit life (nuclear force, for example). If the gravitational force was very strong there would be no life. The point is that we're not talking just about the requirements for our species

I don't play poker myself, but I think I get what you're saying. Given enough hands (and mmaannnyyy hands of poker are played everyday all over the world) eventually a 'quad over quad' will be dealt. This is analogous to your point about multiple universes.

As I admitted, I think multiple universes could possibly explain apparent tuning. If there are a trillion trillion trillion etc universes each with randomly set constants, well, eventually we'd get a pair that permits life, the argument goes.

However, there is no evidence for multiple universes. Multiple universes is a colossally complex hypothesis to explain fine tuning. Furthermore, and I'm just noting this, even if there are an infinite number of universes, it would still not be the case that a life permitting universe should/must occur. Take this example: there is an infinite amount of numbers in the series of even integers—even given that infinite set of numbers, it should be obvious you will never pick a number with the property of 'oddness'.

jeffreyalex
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latincanuck

latincanuck wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

A condition that permits for life would be, for example, the possibility of heavy elements forming. All your "basic" questions have straightforward answers, some of which I've given elsewhere on the forum. For example, "If one constant is changed how are the others affected?" The others are not affected, they are fundamental and independent of each other.

let me explain the issue with your statement, what are all the possible condition that life can arise from? You haven't answered it, because you can't, so to claim that these universal constants are the only possible way for which life can arise is false right off the bat. If stars can form 25 percent of the time with different constants, then there is a possibility that life can arise as well with varying those constants. Now to say that the others are not affected, well again, those constants started at the beginning of our universe. So the condition which created them would have to change some what, with that change it could most likely affect the other constants. That right there is the weakness in your argument, assuming that changing one cannot and would not change the others.

Quote:

Your point is taken. Weinberg spoke of one particular constant and said it had to be tuned to a rather low degree: 1:5. That's not really very shocking. But there are more than one constant and others are terrifically finely tuned. Not only that, but they must line up, multiplying the improbability.

"The most impressive case of fine-tuning for life is that of the cosmological constant. The cosmological constant is a term in Einstein's equation of general relativity that, when positive, acts as a repulsive force, causing space to expand and, when negative, acts as an attractive force, causing space to contract. If it were too large, space would expand so rapidly that galaxies and stars could not form, and if too small, the universe would collapse before life could evolve. In today's physics, it is taken to correspond to the energy density of empty space. The fine-tuning for life of the cosmological constant is estimated to be at leastone part in 10^53, that is, one part in a one hundred million, billion, billion, billion, billion, billion. To get an idea of how precise this is, it would be like throwing a dart at the surface of the earth from outer space, and hitting a bull's-eye one trillionth of a trillionth of an inch in diameter, less than the size of an atom! Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, a critic of fine-tuning, himself admits that the fine-tuning of the cosmological constant is highly impressive (2001, p. 67; also, see Collins, 2003)."

Weinberg, Steven (September/October 2001). "A Designer Universe?" Reprinted in Skeptical Inquirer. Originally published in the New York Review of Books, October 21, 1999.

Collins, Robin (2003). "The Evidence for Fine-Tuning," in God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science, ed. Neil Manson. New York, NY: Routledge.

Yet these arguments it doesn't account for all the possibilities, only a few of them, it doesn't account that changing one of them in reality would change the rest as the constants were set at the beginning of the universe not before it came to be, as such the conditions that universe started at would have to change, which means the others most likely would change, that is the fallacy in your argument.

As I see it, you haven't made any point here.

I imagine you would admit that for a universe to permit life, that universe would have to not collapse in on itself—that requires a finely tuned cosmological constant. Penrose tells us that the low-entropy condition of the early universe had to be precise to an incredible degree of 1 in 10^10^123.

I'm not sure what example you're talking about, and until you provide a source I'm not taking it seriously. Although even if the point is factually true, it doesn't scratch the argument, at all.

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So by your logic then people

So by your logic then people that win the lottery should believe that a supernatural being caused them to win the lottery? And everyone that looses should just suppose that was expected and no god intervened to cause them to loose. God only causes extremely high probability events but not low ones, right? Or sometimes moderately probable events like your team winning the Superbowl.

There are 100 Billion stars in our typical galaxy each with probably at least few rocky planets and moons where life could arise. There are trillions of galaxies just that we can know about perhaps a lot more. There could be trillions or perhaps an infinite number of universes similar to our own. How high does the number of places where life could evolve have to be before we could say it was no longer highly improbable?

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latincanuck
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jeffreyalex wrote:As I see

jeffreyalex wrote:

As I see it, you haven't made any point here.

I imagine you would admit that for a universe to permit life, that universe would have to not collapse in on itself—that requires a finely tuned cosmological constant. Penrose tells us that the low-entropy condition of the early universe had to be precise to an incredible degree of 1 in 10^10^123.

I'm not sure what example you're talking about, and until you provide a source I'm not taking it seriously. Although even if the point is factually true, it doesn't scratch the argument, at all.

As I see here you don't actually follow physics here, but a bunch of creationists and ID'ers only. Victor Stenger, Fred Adams are actual physicist that have shown the problems with the fine tuned argument as , heck Stenger even wrote a web program that allows you to play with some of the constants http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/Cosmo/monkey.html go and have fun to see what results in a star and what doesn't. In the end you can put up all the extreme numbers you like, however we don't know every single possible outcome and how everything is interacting, in any case those numbers may not be possible to completely change and as such with a multiverse theory, it's just a matter of time before life is possible.

Ktulu
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jeffreyalex wrote:But I am

jeffreyalex wrote:

But I am not assuming that only one penny is blue. In my example, I know that only one penny is blue.

Similarly, physicists know what would happen if a certain force were stronger: stars might have very short lives; heavy elements would not exist; etc..

You offer three possibilities, which I've translated to the analogous instance of the universal constants:

1) They all produce life-permitting universes.

2) Some of them produce life-permitting universes.

3) One produces a life-permitting universe.

Now, (1) is simply not true.

(2) and (3) are basically the same claim, in that they reduce to a probability less than one. The question is, What probability? 1 out of a thousand? or 10 out of ten thousand (which reduces to 1 out of a thousand)? The probability is x:n, where x is a vastly smaller number than n.

Given the state of science, it appears that the universe is finely tuned to allow for life, the probability of a life-permitting set of constants is absolutely tiny. This is reported by leading physicists atheist and theist, alike.

Thus, based on the evidence it is reasonable to hold that a) the constants are tuned to life and b) the set of sets of constants which would not permit life contains an incomprehensibly larger number of elements than the set of sets of constants which would permit life.

Actually, it's all speculation.  I did a bit of research (emphasis on a bit, if you knew my schedule.... ), as far as I can tell, the only experiment that suggests that the constants are able to change, was the one performed by Dr Webb.  Over a few years he measured a to have been increasing marginally (the value is irrelevant but it was something of the nature of 0.0006%).  The only other team to attempt the measurement in 2004 failed due to flawed data.  Dr. Webb's team attempted the measurement again and this time got the opposite results.

Bottom line is, at this particular point in time, we do not know that the physical constants can have different values.  If you have definitive results to the contrary, I would actually like to read about them.  Also, even if they gradually change let's say with time, we cannot know that the change itself is not a constant.  Meaning that the universe's constants CONSTANTLY change.  To say that the universal constants CAN be different is pure speculation.

It seems as though they could be, but we do not know that. So, in the above analogy, number 1 still stands because they would all have the same constants.  This hypothesis is much more likely then a magical being in my opinion.

Number 2 is the most likely explanation because it makes the least amount of assumptions.  When considering an infinite amount of value sets for the constants, the "correct" set will have an infinite amount of occurrences.

Number 3 holds the least weight because it makes the most assumptions, most untested and unrealistic.

Assumption A.  the current set of constants is infinitesimal.  Regardless of how high the improbability, it is not infinitesimal.

Assumption B.  ABSOLUTELY no other set of constants can possibly support life.

Assumption C.  EVEN IF A and B are correct, there is an actual being out there of sorts, dictating the values.

Assumption D.  This extra-universal being actually interacts with us on a personal level (WTF? lol)

To sum it up, in order for the fine tuned argument to hold any water, you have to show that the constants CAN have different values.  Please do that before we continue.

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc

Atheistextremist
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Thank gaia for Jeff

All this is so much more entertaining that the decapitation of the banal arguments of JesusLovesYou...

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck

Ktulu
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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

All this is so much more entertaining that the decapitation of the banal arguments of JesusLovesYou...

Ya, I hear you.  Through all this I just want to say that I do enjoy the arguments that he brings up.  I respect intelligence, regardless of the side of the debate

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc

jeffreyalex
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EXC wrote:

So by your logic then people that win the lottery should believe that a supernatural being caused them to win the lottery? And everyone that looses should just suppose that was expected and no god intervened to cause them to loose. God only causes extremely high probability events but not low ones, right? Or sometimes moderately probable events like your team winning the Superbowl.

There are 100 Billion stars in our typical galaxy each with probably at least few rocky planets and moons where life could arise. There are trillions of galaxies just that we can know about perhaps a lot more. There could be trillions or perhaps an infinite number of universes similar to our own. How high does the number of places where life could evolve have to be before we could say it was no longer highly improbable?

If there are 50,000,000 possible number combos in a state lottery, and 20,000,000 people played, the chances of a win are 2/5. That's not impressive or comparable in any way whatever. It would be impressive, however, if you won a million times in a row.

I'll repeat this again, we're not talking about the chances of life arising in a life-suiting universe. We're talking about the chances of a life-permitting universe.

jeffreyalex
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latincanuck

latincanuck wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

As I see it, you haven't made any point here.

I imagine you would admit that for a universe to permit life, that universe would have to not collapse in on itself—that requires a finely tuned cosmological constant. Penrose tells us that the low-entropy condition of the early universe had to be precise to an incredible degree of 1 in 10^10^123.

I'm not sure what example you're talking about, and until you provide a source I'm not taking it seriously. Although even if the point is factually true, it doesn't scratch the argument, at all.

As I see here you don't actually follow physics here, but a bunch of creationists and ID'ers only. Victor Stenger, Fred Adams are actual physicist that have shown the problems with the fine tuned argument as , heck Stenger even wrote a web program that allows you to play with some of the constants http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/Cosmo/monkey.html go and have fun to see what results in a star and what doesn't. In the end you can put up all the extreme numbers you like, however we don't know every single possible outcome and how everything is interacting, in any case those numbers may not be possible to completely change and as such with a multiverse theory, it's just a matter of time before life is possible.

Stephen Hawking, Roger Penrose, Steven Weinberg, Paul Davies, Martin Rees, and others whom I have quoted and cited elsewhere on the forum are the world's leading physicists; they are not IDers.

Victor Stenger wrote a whole book seeking to explain away observed fine-tuning. I had the misfortune of being recommended it only a few weeks back. The parts I could understand were riddled with equivocation and fallacious arguments. The parts I couldn't understand (due to the complex physics and math I'm not familiar with) I researched to my best ability. In another thread I posted a nearly 70 page peer-reviewed scholarly article which explains Stenger's points, and shows them to be false through and through. I contacted the physicist who wrote the article for further elaboration.

You keep saying we don't know this or that. Actually, we know that a universe that collapses in on itself is not conducive to life. We know that a lack of heavy elements does not permit life. We know enough to say that the universe appears finely-tuned for life, and that is why the physicists above, and countless others, tell us that this is so.

jeffreyalex
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Ktulu wrote:jeffreyalex

Ktulu wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

But I am not assuming that only one penny is blue. In my example, I know that only one penny is blue.

Similarly, physicists know what would happen if a certain force were stronger: stars might have very short lives; heavy elements would not exist; etc..

You offer three possibilities, which I've translated to the analogous instance of the universal constants:

1) They all produce life-permitting universes.

2) Some of them produce life-permitting universes.

3) One produces a life-permitting universe.

Now, (1) is simply not true.

(2) and (3) are basically the same claim, in that they reduce to a probability less than one. The question is, What probability? 1 out of a thousand? or 10 out of ten thousand (which reduces to 1 out of a thousand)? The probability is x:n, where x is a vastly smaller number than n.

Given the state of science, it appears that the universe is finely tuned to allow for life, the probability of a life-permitting set of constants is absolutely tiny. This is reported by leading physicists atheist and theist, alike.

Thus, based on the evidence it is reasonable to hold that a) the constants are tuned to life and b) the set of sets of constants which would not permit life contains an incomprehensibly larger number of elements than the set of sets of constants which would permit life.

Actually, it's all speculation.  I did a bit of research (emphasis on a bit, if you knew my schedule.... ), as far as I can tell, the only experiment that suggests that the constants are able to change, was the one performed by Dr Webb.  Over a few years he measured a to have been increasing marginally (the value is irrelevant but it was something of the nature of 0.0006%).  The only other team to attempt the measurement in 2004 failed due to flawed data.  Dr. Webb's team attempted the measurement again and this time got the opposite results.

Bottom line is, at this particular point in time, we do not know that the physical constants can have different values.  If you have definitive results to the contrary, I would actually like to read about them.  Also, even if they gradually change let's say with time, we cannot know that the change itself is not a constant.  Meaning that the universe's constants CONSTANTLY change.  To say that the universal constants CAN be different is pure speculation.

It seems as though they could be, but we do not know that. So, in the above analogy, number 1 still stands because they would all have the same constants.  This hypothesis is much more likely then a magical being in my opinion.

Number 2 is the most likely explanation because it makes the least amount of assumptions.  When considering an infinite amount of value sets for the constants, the "correct" set will have an infinite amount of occurrences.

Number 3 holds the least weight because it makes the most assumptions, most untested and unrealistic.

Assumption A.  the current set of constants is infinitesimal.  Regardless of how high the improbability, it is not infinitesimal.

Assumption B.  ABSOLUTELY no other set of constants can possibly support life.

Assumption C.  EVEN IF A and B are correct, there is an actual being out there of sorts, dictating the values.

Assumption D.  This extra-universal being actually interacts with us on a personal level (WTF? lol)

To sum it up, in order for the fine tuned argument to hold any water, you have to show that the constants CAN have different values.  Please do that before we continue.

In all the literature I've read it has said that there is no reason that the constants must be what they are—they present as totally arbitrary values in the fundamental laws of nature. If there is a cause, a physical mechanism or law, which necessitates/d that these constants be what they are, what then? We have the equally uncanny situation that there exists a law which requires the constants to be suited to life.

So, even if they must be what they are due to some unknown X, it still remains that the necessitated constants are the ones that permit life.

As I said (2) and (3) are really the same. It doesn't matter if there are 1 in a trillion possible ConstantSets that permit life or 15 in a trillion. The point is that the group of life permitting CS's is very tiny in relation to the group of non-life-permitting CS's.

So, if the universe is finely tuned for intelligent life then the fine-tuning is caused by either physical necessity, chance, or a designer.

It does not appear to be caused by physical necessity, and even if it were, all the same, the question is just pushed back a drop.
It does not appear to be caused by chance, as the chance is astronomically small. That leaves design.

Now it only remains to be argued whether it is more reasonable to accept staggeringly small odds or a designer.

Here I will mention your alleged assumptions A - D.

A) It actually is infinitesimal. Fine-tuning such as Penrose suggests in chapter 27 of The Road to Reality is improbable to a degree that is absolutely bewildering—a 1 followed by more 0's than there are particles in the observable universe.

B) Other sets may well support life, it's not necessarily one set. It's the ratio of life-supporting sets to all others that is infinitesimal.

C) This is not an assumption, this is what the argument seeks to show.

D) This argument doesn't show or assume that at all. It may well be a totally deistic non-intervening intelligent designer.

So, as you said, to sum it up, there is no reason that suggests the constants must be what they are, and that is the overall consensus today. However, as I've pointed out, it is not even necessary that they can be actually different. We can still model what would be possible or impossible if they were, and make fundamentally the same point: it's uncanny that there is some principle which necessitates life-sustaining constants.

jeffreyalex
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Atheistextremist wrote:All

Atheistextremist wrote:

All this is so much more entertaining that the decapitation of the banal arguments of JesusLovesYou...

Well, this just warms my heart.

latincanuck
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like I said and I will say

like I said and I will say again, your argument only changes 1 constant not all of them, that's is the issue with most of fine tuned arguments. Change one but what if we change all of them or some of them. Even worse it seems you ignore Hawking in The Grand Design which he states " Far from being a once-in-a-million event that could only be accounted for by extraordinary serendipity or a divine hand, the Big Bang was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics, Hawking says." then he goes on in regards to multiverse theory Given enough universes, sooner or later one of them is bound, by chance alone, to take life-permitting values.

Or Weinberg that stated the following. " am not terribly impressed by the examples of fine-tuning of constants of nature that have been presented. To be a little bit more precise about the case of carbon, the energy levels of carbon, which is the most notorious example that’s always cited, there is an energy level that is 7.65 MeV above the ground state of carbon. If it was .06 of an MeV higher, then carbon production would be greatly diminished and there would be much less chance of life forming. That looks like a 1% fine-tuning of the constants of nature ... However, as has been realized subsequently after this ‘fine-tuning’ was pointed out, you should really measure the energy level not above the ground state of carbon but above the state of the nucleus Beryllium 8 (8Be) plus a helium nucleus ... In other words, the fine-tuning is not 1% but it’s something like 25%. So, it’s not very impressive fine-tuning at all"

yup time to update your data.

 the beauty of science it changes as new data is found. Hawkings and Weinberg are just 2 examples of you using out dated data and not bothering to look at what they have said recently, or have said at all in regards to the fine tuned universe argument....it seems they don't agree with you at all.

jeffreyalex
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latincanuck wrote:like I

latincanuck wrote:

like I said and I will say again, your argument only changes 1 constant not all of them, that's is the issue with most of fine tuned arguments. Change one but what if we change all of them or some of them. Even worse it seems you ignore Hawking in The Grand Design which he states " Far from being a once-in-a-million event that could only be accounted for by extraordinary serendipity or a divine hand, the Big Bang was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics, Hawking says." then he goes on in regards to multiverse theory Given enough universes, sooner or later one of them is bound, by chance alone, to take life-permitting values.

Or Weinberg that stated the following. " am not terribly impressed by the examples of fine-tuning of constants of nature that have been presented. To be a little bit more precise about the case of carbon, the energy levels of carbon, which is the most notorious example that’s always cited, there is an energy level that is 7.65 MeV above the ground state of carbon. If it was .06 of an MeV higher, then carbon production would be greatly diminished and there would be much less chance of life forming. That looks like a 1% fine-tuning of the constants of nature ... However, as has been realized subsequently after this ‘fine-tuning’ was pointed out, you should really measure the energy level not above the ground state of carbon but above the state of the nucleus Beryllium 8 (8Be) plus a helium nucleus ... In other words, the fine-tuning is not 1% but it’s something like 25%. So, it’s not very impressive fine-tuning at all"

yup time to update your data.

 the beauty of science it changes as new data is found. Hawkings and Weinberg are just 2 examples of you using out dated data and not bothering to look at what they have said recently, or have said at all in regards to the fine tuned universe argument....it seems they don't agree with you at all.

I am familiar with both those quotes. With regard to Hawking, I love him as an expositor of science, but he is not a philosopher. John Lennox wrote a whole book in response to The Grand Design, tearing down the arguments in it completely.

I will note that the quote you gave expresses an opinion, as we do not know much about the universe pre-Big Bang. At any rate, the quote does not regard the constants of the natural laws.

As an example of mistaken reasoning, take what you brought up: infinite multiple universes. Infinite universes do not necessitate that our universe should exist. The set of even integers is infinite, but even given such an infinite set it is obvious you will never draw an odd integer from it.

And again, multiple universe theories are not supported by the physics and evidence we have.

By the way, before you get excited about how you have the latest scientific data you should know that's an old quote from Weinberg, based on old data. He is responding to a point made by Hoyle with regard to carbon and oxygen. This is one of the first instances of "fine-tuning" observed and not a very impressive instance. Even so:

1) The coincidence Hoyle observed was with regard to carbon AND oxygen. Barrow and Tipler:

"Hoyle realized that this remarkable chain of coincidences – the unusual longevity of beryllium, the existence of an advantageous resonance level in C12 and the non-existence of a disadvantageous level in O16 – were necessary, and remarkably fine-tuned, conditions for our own existence and indeed the existence of any carbon-based life in the Universe."

2) Weinberg seemed to have bad information. The number 25% is an error, based on research from 1989. In 2000, a Science article titled 'Stellar Production Rates of Carbon and Its Abundance in the Universe':

"We conclude that a change of more than 0.5% in the strength of the strong interaction or more than 4% change in the strength ofthe Coulomb force would destroy either nearly all C or all O in every star. This implies that irrespective of stellar evolution the contribution of each star to the abundance of C or O in the ISM would be negligible. Therefore, for the above cases the creation of carbon based life in our universe would be strongly disfavored.

3) This is only one of the first discovered, very unimpressive, instances of fine-tuning.

latincanuck
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I will simply state this,

I will simply state this, you used these people for your argument yet they don't believe in a fine tuned universe, on the contrary, that's my point.

jeffreyalex
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latincanuck wrote:I will

latincanuck wrote:

I will simply state this, you used these people for your argument yet they don't believe in a fine tuned universe, on the contrary, that's my point.

Well, then you have no point, as I've been saying.

If you ask me why I'm standing up, and I tell you it's because x, y, and z, I am at once admitting that I am, IN FACT, standing up. So:

To the contrary, Stephen Hawking suggests something as unfounded as infinite universes BECAUSE he ACKNOWLEDGES and wants to GET AWAY FROM the extraordinary observed fine-tuning of our universe.

Similarly, if you read Weinberg, he admits fine-tuning. He tries to play it down, but really fails. But IN ORDER TO PLAY DOWN FINE TUNING, he must FIRST ADMIT that the FINE TUNING IS THERE to be observed.

Anyway, let this be the end of our exchange.

latincanuck
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Hawkings goes where the data

Hawkings goes where the data leads him to there is no fine tuning here, that's the reality of it, it may seem on the surface but as we study the universe more and more we find that it is not true, hawkings, weinberg and so many other scientists disagree with fine tuning especially as we have learned more about the universe. Martin Rees book nuclear efficiency regarding synthesis of helium from protons and neutron in stars the mass of the original particles and final nuclear differs – 0.007. He defines this as the “nuclear efficiency,” and the value of this depends on the forces holding nuclei together determines how long stars can exist. However all this stands if you only change 1 of the numbers. But since one of the numbers changed why can't the others change as well at the beginning, oh wait if we do that calculation we find that the change in which say we change 2 of those numbers then the final nuclear differs can go from .01 to . 00006 which is now a huge change. Simply changing 1 of them and stating that universe could not form is only partially true, the reality is if you change one then there is no reason whatsoever the others could not have changed to form a stable universe capable of having life adapt to that universe, just as we have adapted to our universe....not the other way around.

jeffreyalex
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latincanuck wrote:Hawkings

latincanuck wrote:

Hawkings goes where the data leads him to there is no fine tuning here, that's the reality of it, it may seem on the surface but as we study the universe more and more we find that it is not true, hawkings, weinberg and so many other scientists disagree with fine tuning especially as we have learned more about the universe. Martin Rees book nuclear efficiency regarding synthesis of helium from protons and neutron in stars the mass of the original particles and final nuclear differs – 0.007. He defines this as the “nuclear efficiency,” and the value of this depends on the forces holding nuclei together determines how long stars can exist. However all this stands if you only change 1 of the numbers. But since one of the numbers changed why can't the others change as well at the beginning, oh wait if we do that calculation we find that the change in which say we change 2 of those numbers then the final nuclear differs can go from .01 to . 00006 which is now a huge change. Simply changing 1 of them and stating that universe could not form is only partially true, the reality is if you change one then there is no reason whatsoever the others could not have changed to form a stable universe capable of having life adapt to that universe, just as we have adapted to our universe....not the other way around.

This has been addressed elsewhere, as well. I'll repeat and sum up shortly below.

Imagine you have two constants, A and B, with possible values of 1 - 100. In your universe, A = 1, and only if B = 18 would the universe be "stable" for life. What are the chances?

1/100 * 1/100.

But, now imagine like you suggest, every value of A can be paired with some value of B to produce a "stable" universe: If A = 8, B could equal 18; if A is 56, B could be 83—and you still get a "stable" universe.

This changes nothing. Given any possible A, you still need a certain B, and the chances are still small, but not as small: A is given, the chance of a matching B is 1/100.

If there were three constants, the first would be given, the second would have a 1/100 chance, and a properly matching third constant would give us a 1/10000 chance.

Now, here I gave you way more than you can have. There are NOT three constants, but dozens. The values of those constants are all required to be precise to far more decimal places and have far greater possible ranges than my example's 1 - 100. I even granted that given ANY value of the first constant, there is some workable value for all the others.

With regard to Hawking being led to where the evidence leads, uh, okay? There is no evidence for multiple universes. There are hypothetical models based on hypothetical physics which suggest there may be multiple universes. Universes are causally separate, so there can be no observational evidence of another universe. Hawking suggests multiple universes BECAUSE he wants to offer a response to observed fine-tuning, as I already pointed out.

Again, he does not deny finely tuned constants. He acknowledges them, and is apparently so bothered by the odds that he suggests something as complicated and untestable as an infinite number of universes.

Joker
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jeffreyalex

jeffreyalex wrote:

latincanuck wrote:

Hawkings goes where the data leads him to there is no fine tuning here, that's the reality of it, it may seem on the surface but as we study the universe more and more we find that it is not true, hawkings, weinberg and so many other scientists disagree with fine tuning especially as we have learned more about the universe. Martin Rees book nuclear efficiency regarding synthesis of helium from protons and neutron in stars the mass of the original particles and final nuclear differs – 0.007. He defines this as the “nuclear efficiency,” and the value of this depends on the forces holding nuclei together determines how long stars can exist. However all this stands if you only change 1 of the numbers. But since one of the numbers changed why can't the others change as well at the beginning, oh wait if we do that calculation we find that the change in which say we change 2 of those numbers then the final nuclear differs can go from .01 to . 00006 which is now a huge change. Simply changing 1 of them and stating that universe could not form is only partially true, the reality is if you change one then there is no reason whatsoever the others could not have changed to form a stable universe capable of having life adapt to that universe, just as we have adapted to our universe....not the other way around.

This has been addressed elsewhere, as well. I'll repeat and sum up shortly below.

Imagine you have two constants, A and B, with possible values of 1 - 100. In your universe, A = 1, and only if B = 18 would the universe be "stable" for life. What are the chances?

1/100 * 1/100.

But, now imagine like you suggest, every value of A can be paired with some value of B to produce a "stable" universe: If A = 8, B could equal 18; if A is 56, B could be 83—and you still get a "stable" universe.

This changes nothing. Given any possible A, you still need a certain B, and the chances are still small, but not as small: A is given, the chance of a matching B is 1/100.

If there were three constants, the first would be given, the second would have a 1/100 chance, and a properly matching third constant would give us a 1/10000 chance.

Now, here I gave you way more than you can have. There are NOT three constants, but dozens. The values of those constants are all required to be precise to far more decimal places and have far greater possible ranges than my example's 1 - 100. I even granted that given ANY value of the first constant, there is some workable value for all the others.

With regard to Hawking being led to where the evidence leads, uh, okay? There is no evidence for multiple universes. There are hypothetical models based on hypothetical physics which suggest there may be multiple universes. Universes are causally separate, so there can be no observational evidence of another universe. Hawking suggests multiple universes BECAUSE he wants to offer a response to observed fine-tuning, as I already pointed out.

Again, he does not deny finely tuned constants. He acknowledges them, and is apparently so bothered by the odds that he suggests something as complicated and untestable as an infinite number of universes.

Part of the issue here is that you're playing with a LOT of unknowns in this. Life might be a lot more resilient than we think, or at least there might be enough time for life to form on a world. Let me try it like this, let's say that a universe has only a 1 in 10 billion chance of forming life on a planet, and then only 1 in 10 billion of THAT would produce intellgient life we'd still have millions, billions of planets out there that could produce life, maybe not all at the same time, maybe not even close enough to ever find each other, but they could exist with or without a fine tuner, the law of averages just coming into effect. Also, consider highly ordered structures like crystals, do you assume we need a crystal making god for each and every mineral format? The other issue is that in some cases force constants wouldn't necessarily change what's needed for life, it might not be life like what we're used to, but there could still easily be life.

A_Nony_Mouse
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.

jeffreyalex wrote:

In a recent thread, A_Nony_Mouse suggests that we should not at all be impressed by the fine-tuning of the universe. He suggests that it's easy to produce big numbers, and he uses an example:

...

So far as I am aware there is no disagreement with the fact you do not understand statistics. Nor is there any question you are incapable of understanding you do not understand statistics.

You have a conclusion and you twist something you call probability into supporting that conclusion.

That said, please explain why the number 3 is exactly 3 and not 2.9999999 or 3.00000001.

If you disagree please give the real value of 3 +/- the range of possible values for 3.

No matter what you answer it does lead to a much more interesting discussion which will be beyond your ability to comprehend.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

jeffreyalex
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Joker wrote:jeffreyalex

Joker wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

latincanuck wrote:

Hawkings goes where the data leads him to there is no fine tuning here, that's the reality of it, it may seem on the surface but as we study the universe more and more we find that it is not true, hawkings, weinberg and so many other scientists disagree with fine tuning especially as we have learned more about the universe. Martin Rees book nuclear efficiency regarding synthesis of helium from protons and neutron in stars the mass of the original particles and final nuclear differs – 0.007. He defines this as the “nuclear efficiency,” and the value of this depends on the forces holding nuclei together determines how long stars can exist. However all this stands if you only change 1 of the numbers. But since one of the numbers changed why can't the others change as well at the beginning, oh wait if we do that calculation we find that the change in which say we change 2 of those numbers then the final nuclear differs can go from .01 to . 00006 which is now a huge change. Simply changing 1 of them and stating that universe could not form is only partially true, the reality is if you change one then there is no reason whatsoever the others could not have changed to form a stable universe capable of having life adapt to that universe, just as we have adapted to our universe....not the other way around.

This has been addressed elsewhere, as well. I'll repeat and sum up shortly below.

Imagine you have two constants, A and B, with possible values of 1 - 100. In your universe, A = 1, and only if B = 18 would the universe be "stable" for life. What are the chances?

1/100 * 1/100.

But, now imagine like you suggest, every value of A can be paired with some value of B to produce a "stable" universe: If A = 8, B could equal 18; if A is 56, B could be 83—and you still get a "stable" universe.

This changes nothing. Given any possible A, you still need a certain B, and the chances are still small, but not as small: A is given, the chance of a matching B is 1/100.

If there were three constants, the first would be given, the second would have a 1/100 chance, and a properly matching third constant would give us a 1/10000 chance.

Now, here I gave you way more than you can have. There are NOT three constants, but dozens. The values of those constants are all required to be precise to far more decimal places and have far greater possible ranges than my example's 1 - 100. I even granted that given ANY value of the first constant, there is some workable value for all the others.

With regard to Hawking being led to where the evidence leads, uh, okay? There is no evidence for multiple universes. There are hypothetical models based on hypothetical physics which suggest there may be multiple universes. Universes are causally separate, so there can be no observational evidence of another universe. Hawking suggests multiple universes BECAUSE he wants to offer a response to observed fine-tuning, as I already pointed out.

Again, he does not deny finely tuned constants. He acknowledges them, and is apparently so bothered by the odds that he suggests something as complicated and untestable as an infinite number of universes.

Part of the issue here is that you're playing with a LOT of unknowns in this. Life might be a lot more resilient than we think, or at least there might be enough time for life to form on a world. Let me try it like this, let's say that a universe has only a 1 in 10 billion chance of forming life on a planet, and then only 1 in 10 billion of THAT would produce intellgient life we'd still have millions, billions of planets out there that could produce life, maybe not all at the same time, maybe not even close enough to ever find each other, but they could exist with or without a fine tuner, the law of averages just coming into effect. Also, consider highly ordered structures like crystals, do you assume we need a crystal making god for each and every mineral format? The other issue is that in some cases force constants wouldn't necessarily change what's needed for life, it might not be life like what we're used to, but there could still easily be life.

This has already been addressed. In a universe with no heavy elements there will be no life. In a universe where the gravitational force is greatly stronger, no life. In a universe that is pushed apart and cools to near absolute zero shortly after it's beginning, no life. In a universe that collapses in on itself, no life.

It's not a question about local conditions in this universe.

jeffreyalex
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A_Nony_Mouse

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

In a recent thread, A_Nony_Mouse suggests that we should not at all be impressed by the fine-tuning of the universe. He suggests that it's easy to produce big numbers, and he uses an example:

...

So far as I am aware there is no disagreement with the fact you do not understand statistics. Nor is there any question you are incapable of understanding you do not understand statistics.

You have a conclusion and you twist something you call probability into supporting that conclusion.

That said, please explain why the number 3 is exactly 3 and not 2.9999999 or 3.00000001.

If you disagree please give the real value of 3 +/- the range of possible values for 3.

No matter what you answer it does lead to a much more interesting discussion which will be beyond your ability to comprehend.

Nony, go fly a kite. You haven't made a single valid point in the entire time I've been on this forum. You repeat that I don't know statistics and ask me why apples aren't oranges.

Make a point, make an argument, give a legitimate response, or move on, cause you're just embarrassing yourself.

For the last time, if I say that 2 + 2 = 4, and you respond that I don't know arithmetic and am therefore wrong, you're an idiot. That's how simple it is.

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I'm wondering why you, or

I'm wondering why you, or anyone, treats life as the de facto condition for fine-tuning.  There's nothing particularly special about life; it's simply a set of chemical reactions.

A universe of different constants would have different chemical reactions, none of which might qualify as "life".  However, you've not justified why "life" is the sine qua non criterion by which universes should be evaluated.

Is it any less meaningful to argue that the universe is fine-tuned for black holes or zinc oxide?

There are no theists on operating tables.

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Brian37
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jeffreyalex wrote:  In a

jeffreyalex wrote:

In a recent thread, A_Nony_Mouse suggests that we should not at all be impressed by the fine-tuning of the universe. He suggests that it's easy to produce big numbers, and he uses an example:

If there are 10^7 sperm cells 'racing' to fertilize an egg, the chance of any sperm cell fertilizing the egg is 1:10^7. But here you are, despite the odds! Nony says we should not be     so impressed by this, and so we should not be impressed by the small chances of a life-prohibiting universe either.

This is a flawed argument.

Any given sperm cell would result in a unique human being. Any number of possible constants would result in a unique universe.

It is certain that a unique human being will be born. The chances of a unique human being (given that the egg was fertilized and carried to term) are 1:1. The chances of unique possible human being A (me, say) are 1:10^7, as are the chances of unique possible human being B. So my chances versus the chances of another possible unique human being are not 1:10^7, but rather 1:1.

Similarly, the chances of the unique set of universal constants A obtaining may be equal to the chances of unique set B obtaining. But that is not what we're talking about in the fine-tuning argument. This is where Nony's analogy ends.

Here, a simple example will make the point:

If you have 10,000 different pennies in a bag, and you draw one penny, are you surprised? No, and rightfully so. Given that there is a penny draw, you will necessarily draw a unique penny. Yes, the chances of that penny being drawn are 1/10,000, but so are the chances of any and all the other pennies.

Now, imagine you have 10,000 pennies in a bag, with only one painted blue. You reach in and draw the blue penny, are you surprised? Yes, and rightfully so. What is the difference? The penny had a 1/10,000 just like any other penny, it seems nothing has changed. This is not the case, however. Here, we are not comparing any unique penny to any other unique penny. Here, the comparison is between a blue penny and non-blue pennies. So, in the first case, the chance of a unique penny being drawn is 1, it is certain. All the pennies are unique in the first example, whichever you draw will be unique and that's not impressive. In this second case, however, the chance of drawing the blue penny is 1:10,000.

(Uniqueness is a feature of all pennies in both examples, and so any penny drawn will be unique; blueness is a feature of only a single (unique) penny, and it is BLUENESS that we are asking about in the second example).

The fine-tuning argument does not seek to say the chance of any unique universe with its constants existing is 1: 10^n. That wouldn't say much, at all. It would be the equivalent of the first penny example and of Nony's sperm-cell example.

Fine-tuning compares life-permitting universes to non-life-permitting universes. This scenario is the equivalent of the second (blue) penny example. It is not equivalent to Nony's example.

Disregarding other aspects of this argument, it should at least be admitted that Nony's analogy is fallacious and misleading. It does not hold.

Hell has frozen over. Noony has some real issues on other issues that drive me nuts. BUT, he is dead right on the bullshit of "fine tuning".

The theist likes to say "the odds being against you must mean a god because it happened". But when you skip the god part, ANYTHING material that manifests into something else ALWAYS takes more input with very low output.

The mistake of "fine tuning" is that they observe "abundance" and forget the input to that "abundance" which vastly outnumbers the output.

So if they want to postulate a god doing the HIGH INPUT low output, this is an inept fuck whom I would not hire to run a factory. I would never advise any factory owner to hire a god with the output we see.

Most planets in the universe DO NOT support life, just like out of the 7 billion people living, NOT including the attempts the current living make, or dead prior, EACH MALE produces MILLIONS PER LOAD only for one to meet one egg.

They bring up "fine tuning" as a way to surpass the comic book they ultimately are trying to lead you to, which is always their sect and their particular religion.

If you want to see how STUPID "fine tuning" is as an argument, ask them if they would accept Allah or Vishnu or a Mormon if those people argued "fine tuning".

If "fine tuning" means a god exists, they are still stuck with "which one".

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Beyond Saving
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jeffreyalex wrote:This has

jeffreyalex wrote:

This has already been addressed. In a universe with no heavy elements there will be no life.

How do  you know that?

jeffreyalex wrote:

In a universe where the gravitational force is greatly stronger, no life.

How do you know that?

jeffreyalex wrote:

In a universe that is pushed apart and cools to near absolute zero shortly after it's beginning, no life. In a universe that collapses in on itself, no life.

It's not a question about local conditions in this universe.

And yet if that universe collapses on itself do you have evidence that a new universe will not emerge? You strike me as someone in ancient Europe assuring everyone that the world is flat simply because what you can see is flat. The reality is that we have an extremely limited perspective given our current inability to travel quickly enough through space to do any meaningful research. We are sitting on the shore with the best telescope we can create, but even that isn't enough to tell us what is on the other side of the ocean. Where the ancient European might be forgiven lacking history to learn from, a few thousand years down the road we ought to have learned enough by now to realize how limited the perspective we have right now might be compared to what we might have in the future.

If history is any indication, what appears to be a "miracle" of improbable things happening will probably become something that is explained in a highschool textbook in the future when we learn to understand it. The consistent flaw of all theists overtime is the inability to simply admit that we don't know yet. Instead of asking "why is this?, how is that?" they declare that a deity must have done it and any other hypothesis is impossible- until someone manages to prove a hypothesis to the point that only the most brainwashed of the willfully blind can ignore it. Then they simply pick a new thing that we do not yet know.

As far as this issue is concerned I am content with "we don't fucking know, lets try to find out" There are probably dozens of possible explanations, and it is extremely likely that the real explanation is something we haven't even conceived of yet. Maybe there are infinite universes, maybe there is only one universe at a time and when one collapses another emerges, maybe our universe is the only possible universe, maybe its creation was statistically unlikely just like it is statistically unlikely that every event in my life leading me up to me typing this post happening exactly as it did is unlikely. So what? All those events did happen to me, I am writing this post and it is extremely likely that this universe does indeed exist.

Ironic that you assume that our particular universe is statistically unlikely when you don't even know if any other universe is a possibility. Perhaps a life supporting universe is the only possible universe for reasons we do not understand. Our universe is the only one we have had the opportunity to test and analyze thus far, perhaps the probability of it being created was near 100% just like the probability of it raining here sometime this year is 100%. All you are doing is making impressive numbers up by selectively choosing which assumptions you are going to  make and which you dismiss out of hand because they lower the odds and declaring, therefore- deity. We don't know what the probability of our universe forming was and you pretending to know by making a series of baseless assumptions is absurd.

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X

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jeffreyalex wrote:EXC

jeffreyalex wrote:

EXC wrote:

So by your logic then people that win the lottery should believe that a supernatural being caused them to win the lottery? And everyone that looses should just suppose that was expected and no god intervened to cause them to loose. God only causes extremely high probability events but not low ones, right? Or sometimes moderately probable events like your team winning the Superbowl.

There are 100 Billion stars in our typical galaxy each with probably at least few rocky planets and moons where life could arise. There are trillions of galaxies just that we can know about perhaps a lot more. There could be trillions or perhaps an infinite number of universes similar to our own. How high does the number of places where life could evolve have to be before we could say it was no longer highly improbable?

If there are 50,000,000 possible number combos in a state lottery, and 20,000,000 people played, the chances of a win are 2/5. That's not impressive or comparable in any way whatever. It would be impressive, however, if you won a million times in a row.

I'll repeat this again, we're not talking about the chances of life arising in a life-suiting universe. We're talking about the chances of a life-permitting universe.

Except as I've shown earlier, your logic says that the person who won the lottery couldn't have won it because of the astronomical odds of his winning the lottery.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin

jeffreyalex
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Brian37 wrote:jeffreyalex

Brian37 wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

In a recent thread, A_Nony_Mouse suggests that we should not at all be impressed by the fine-tuning of the universe. He suggests that it's easy to produce big numbers, and he uses an example:

If there are 10^7 sperm cells 'racing' to fertilize an egg, the chance of any sperm cell fertilizing the egg is 1:10^7. But here you are, despite the odds! Nony says we should not be     so impressed by this, and so we should not be impressed by the small chances of a life-prohibiting universe either.

This is a flawed argument.

Any given sperm cell would result in a unique human being. Any number of possible constants would result in a unique universe.

It is certain that a unique human being will be born. The chances of a unique human being (given that the egg was fertilized and carried to term) are 1:1. The chances of unique possible human being A (me, say) are 1:10^7, as are the chances of unique possible human being B. So my chances versus the chances of another possible unique human being are not 1:10^7, but rather 1:1.

Similarly, the chances of the unique set of universal constants A obtaining may be equal to the chances of unique set B obtaining. But that is not what we're talking about in the fine-tuning argument. This is where Nony's analogy ends.

Here, a simple example will make the point:

If you have 10,000 different pennies in a bag, and you draw one penny, are you surprised? No, and rightfully so. Given that there is a penny draw, you will necessarily draw a unique penny. Yes, the chances of that penny being drawn are 1/10,000, but so are the chances of any and all the other pennies.

Now, imagine you have 10,000 pennies in a bag, with only one painted blue. You reach in and draw the blue penny, are you surprised? Yes, and rightfully so. What is the difference? The penny had a 1/10,000 just like any other penny, it seems nothing has changed. This is not the case, however. Here, we are not comparing any unique penny to any other unique penny. Here, the comparison is between a blue penny and non-blue pennies. So, in the first case, the chance of a unique penny being drawn is 1, it is certain. All the pennies are unique in the first example, whichever you draw will be unique and that's not impressive. In this second case, however, the chance of drawing the blue penny is 1:10,000.

(Uniqueness is a feature of all pennies in both examples, and so any penny drawn will be unique; blueness is a feature of only a single (unique) penny, and it is BLUENESS that we are asking about in the second example).

The fine-tuning argument does not seek to say the chance of any unique universe with its constants existing is 1: 10^n. That wouldn't say much, at all. It would be the equivalent of the first penny example and of Nony's sperm-cell example.

Fine-tuning compares life-permitting universes to non-life-permitting universes. This scenario is the equivalent of the second (blue) penny example. It is not equivalent to Nony's example.

Disregarding other aspects of this argument, it should at least be admitted that Nony's analogy is fallacious and misleading. It does not hold.

Hell has frozen over. Noony has some real issues on other issues that drive me nuts. BUT, he is dead right on the bullshit of "fine tuning".

The theist likes to say "the odds being against you must mean a god because it happened". But when you skip the god part, ANYTHING material that manifests into something else ALWAYS takes more input with very low output.

The mistake of "fine tuning" is that they observe "abundance" and forget the input to that "abundance" which vastly outnumbers the output.

So if they want to postulate a god doing the HIGH INPUT low output, this is an inept fuck whom I would not hire to run a factory. I would never advise any factory owner to hire a god with the output we see.

Most planets in the universe DO NOT support life, just like out of the 7 billion people living, NOT including the attempts the current living make, or dead prior, EACH MALE produces MILLIONS PER LOAD only for one to meet one egg.

They bring up "fine tuning" as a way to surpass the comic book they ultimately are trying to lead you to, which is always their sect and their particular religion.

If you want to see how STUPID "fine tuning" is as an argument, ask them if they would accept Allah or Vishnu or a Mormon if those people argued "fine tuning".

If "fine tuning" means a god exists, they are still stuck with "which one".

But I agree with you that "a god exists" doesn't lead to "this particular god (Jesus, Yahweh, Allah, and so on) exists". That's not an argument I made.

The response "but life isn't all over the place" isn't a response, at all—it doesn't touch either premise of the FTA. I think that's so obvious that it doesn't even need elaboration. I think it's really peculiar that you'd apply input output criteria to God, as if he's an economist or an entrepreneur with a profit motive.

jeffreyalex
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jeffreyalex wrote:

EXC wrote:

So by your logic then people that win the lottery should believe that a supernatural being caused them to win the lottery? And everyone that looses should just suppose that was expected and no god intervened to cause them to loose. God only causes extremely high probability events but not low ones, right? Or sometimes moderately probable events like your team winning the Superbowl.

There are 100 Billion stars in our typical galaxy each with probably at least few rocky planets and moons where life could arise. There are trillions of galaxies just that we can know about perhaps a lot more. There could be trillions or perhaps an infinite number of universes similar to our own. How high does the number of places where life could evolve have to be before we could say it was no longer highly improbable?

If there are 50,000,000 possible number combos in a state lottery, and 20,000,000 people played, the chances of a win are 2/5. That's not impressive or comparable in any way whatever. It would be impressive, however, if you won a million times in a row.

I'll repeat this again, we're not talking about the chances of life arising in a life-suiting universe. We're talking about the chances of a life-permitting universe.

Except as I've shown earlier, your logic says that the person who won the lottery couldn't have won it because of the astronomical odds of his winning the lottery.

Except you didn't show any such thing. I believe I responded that if there are a million combinations possible and 500,000 combinations are played, the chances of a win are 1:2. If no one wins that draw, someone will almost certainly win the next draw. IF there were only a single person playing one single lottery ticket and they won, THAT would be quite stunning, especially if they won a billion times in a row.

For these same reasons, I admit that if there are multiple universe that may explain the fine-tuning for life of one universe. If I play every single lottery combination I will win without a doubt. If I play 99% of the possible combinations, I will win with near certainty. If universes exist with endless combinations of constants, it seems likely that one would have the right constants to support life.

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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

This has already been addressed. In a universe with no heavy elements there will be no life.

How do  you know that?

jeffreyalex wrote:

In a universe where the gravitational force is greatly stronger, no life.

How do you know that?

jeffreyalex wrote:

In a universe that is pushed apart and cools to near absolute zero shortly after it's beginning, no life. In a universe that collapses in on itself, no life.

It's not a question about local conditions in this universe.

And yet if that universe collapses on itself do you have evidence that a new universe will not emerge? You strike me as someone in ancient Europe assuring everyone that the world is flat simply because what you can see is flat. The reality is that we have an extremely limited perspective given our current inability to travel quickly enough through space to do any meaningful research. We are sitting on the shore with the best telescope we can create, but even that isn't enough to tell us what is on the other side of the ocean. Where the ancient European might be forgiven lacking history to learn from, a few thousand years down the road we ought to have learned enough by now to realize how limited the perspective we have right now might be compared to what we might have in the future.

If history is any indication, what appears to be a "miracle" of improbable things happening will probably become something that is explained in a highschool textbook in the future when we learn to understand it. The consistent flaw of all theists overtime is the inability to simply admit that we don't know yet. Instead of asking "why is this?, how is that?" they declare that a deity must have done it and any other hypothesis is impossible- until someone manages to prove a hypothesis to the point that only the most brainwashed of the willfully blind can ignore it. Then they simply pick a new thing that we do not yet know.

As far as this issue is concerned I am content with "we don't fucking know, lets try to find out" There are probably dozens of possible explanations, and it is extremely likely that the real explanation is something we haven't even conceived of yet. Maybe there are infinite universes, maybe there is only one universe at a time and when one collapses another emerges, maybe our universe is the only possible universe, maybe its creation was statistically unlikely just like it is statistically unlikely that every event in my life leading me up to me typing this post happening exactly as it did is unlikely. So what? All those events did happen to me, I am writing this post and it is extremely likely that this universe does indeed exist.

Ironic that you assume that our particular universe is statistically unlikely when you don't even know if any other universe is a possibility. Perhaps a life supporting universe is the only possible universe for reasons we do not understand. Our universe is the only one we have had the opportunity to test and analyze thus far, perhaps the probability of it being created was near 100% just like the probability of it raining here sometime this year is 100%. All you are doing is making impressive numbers up by selectively choosing which assumptions you are going to  make and which you dismiss out of hand because they lower the odds and declaring, therefore- deity. We don't know what the probability of our universe forming was and you pretending to know by making a series of baseless assumptions is absurd.

I don't see any of what you said as a challenge to the fine-tuning argument. We are not in the same place today, scientifically, as we were 3,000 years ago. Then we couldn't figure out rain; now we have ideas about the universe going back to nearly its very beginning and about its constituents down to the most fundamental particles (of course, who knows, maybe there are even more fundamental things). Regardless, inquiry works by seeking an explanation for what we observe and know today, not what we might find in another century or two. Finally, there may well be questions science won't ever and simply can't answer. I believe science cannot tell us what caused the universe/s to exist, for example. Anyway, choose a FTA premise and attack it if you like. We don't need a speech about how noble it is to accept that you don't know something.

"The fine-tuning of the universe is due to physical necessity, chance, or design."

There appears to be no physical necessity—the constants are independent of the laws of nature. Even if there was a physical mechanism/law that made these constants necessary, it only pushes the question back a step: I see a painting hanging on an endless wall and think "What are the chances? Why is the painting hanging in THIS VERY SPOT?!?!?" I remove the painting and find a screw in the wall. "AHA, it's hanging here because that's where the screw is..."

It could be chance, and the chance is infinitesimal. We would not accept odds like these as reasonable under any other circumstance. They seem to be so small as to not even be humanly comprehensible.

That leaves design.

As I've repeated twelve times, now: if there were multiple or infinite or near infinite universe, I would regard that as a possible defeater for the FTA.

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jeffreyalex wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

EXC wrote:

So by your logic then people that win the lottery should believe that a supernatural being caused them to win the lottery? And everyone that looses should just suppose that was expected and no god intervened to cause them to loose. God only causes extremely high probability events but not low ones, right? Or sometimes moderately probable events like your team winning the Superbowl.

There are 100 Billion stars in our typical galaxy each with probably at least few rocky planets and moons where life could arise. There are trillions of galaxies just that we can know about perhaps a lot more. There could be trillions or perhaps an infinite number of universes similar to our own. How high does the number of places where life could evolve have to be before we could say it was no longer highly improbable?

If there are 50,000,000 possible number combos in a state lottery, and 20,000,000 people played, the chances of a win are 2/5. That's not impressive or comparable in any way whatever. It would be impressive, however, if you won a million times in a row.

I'll repeat this again, we're not talking about the chances of life arising in a life-suiting universe. We're talking about the chances of a life-permitting universe.

Except as I've shown earlier, your logic says that the person who won the lottery couldn't have won it because of the astronomical odds of his winning the lottery.

Except you didn't show any such thing. I believe I responded that if there are a million combinations possible and 500,000 combinations are played, the chances of a win are 1:2. If no one wins that draw, someone will almost certainly win the next draw. IF there were only a single person playing one single lottery ticket and they won, THAT would be quite stunning, especially if they won a billion times in a row.

For these same reasons, I admit that if there are multiple universe that may explain the fine-tuning for life of one universe. If I play every single lottery combination I will win without a doubt. If I play 99% of the possible combinations, I will win with near certainty. If universes exist with endless combinations of constants, it seems likely that one would have the right constants to support life.

No you insisted that a person's chances of winning a lottery after he/she won it couldn't possibly be 1:1 but they would still be astronomical. Do you not read what you type?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin

jeffreyalex
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jeffreyalex wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

EXC wrote:

So by your logic then people that win the lottery should believe that a supernatural being caused them to win the lottery? And everyone that looses should just suppose that was expected and no god intervened to cause them to loose. God only causes extremely high probability events but not low ones, right? Or sometimes moderately probable events like your team winning the Superbowl.

There are 100 Billion stars in our typical galaxy each with probably at least few rocky planets and moons where life could arise. There are trillions of galaxies just that we can know about perhaps a lot more. There could be trillions or perhaps an infinite number of universes similar to our own. How high does the number of places where life could evolve have to be before we could say it was no longer highly improbable?

If there are 50,000,000 possible number combos in a state lottery, and 20,000,000 people played, the chances of a win are 2/5. That's not impressive or comparable in any way whatever. It would be impressive, however, if you won a million times in a row.

I'll repeat this again, we're not talking about the chances of life arising in a life-suiting universe. We're talking about the chances of a life-permitting universe.

Except as I've shown earlier, your logic says that the person who won the lottery couldn't have won it because of the astronomical odds of his winning the lottery.

Except you didn't show any such thing. I believe I responded that if there are a million combinations possible and 500,000 combinations are played, the chances of a win are 1:2. If no one wins that draw, someone will almost certainly win the next draw. IF there were only a single person playing one single lottery ticket and they won, THAT would be quite stunning, especially if they won a billion times in a row.

For these same reasons, I admit that if there are multiple universe that may explain the fine-tuning for life of one universe. If I play every single lottery combination I will win without a doubt. If I play 99% of the possible combinations, I will win with near certainty. If universes exist with endless combinations of constants, it seems likely that one would have the right constants to support life.

No you insisted that a person's chances of winning a lottery after he/she won it couldn't possibly be 1:1 but they would still be astronomical. Do you not read what you type?

No, you've misunderstood me. Let me lay this out again.

If 10,000 winning combos exist, and 10,000 combos are played, a win is certain.

If 10,000 winning combos exist, and 6,000 combos are played, a win is likely. <This one is analogous to, say, the NY Mega-millions lottery.

If 10,000 winning combos exist, and only 1 is played, a win is very improbable. <This one is analogous to the fine-tuning of the universe, except the number isn't 10,000.

If you want to try again to prove that my logic leads to the conclusion that no one can win the lottery, feel free to do so. You won't succeed because the logic doesn't lead to that conclusion.

The chance of a win is the ratio of possible outcomes to the number of possible outcomes played. That's usually a pretty high ratio.

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jeffreyalex wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

EXC wrote:

So by your logic then people that win the lottery should believe that a supernatural being caused them to win the lottery? And everyone that looses should just suppose that was expected and no god intervened to cause them to loose. God only causes extremely high probability events but not low ones, right? Or sometimes moderately probable events like your team winning the Superbowl.

There are 100 Billion stars in our typical galaxy each with probably at least few rocky planets and moons where life could arise. There are trillions of galaxies just that we can know about perhaps a lot more. There could be trillions or perhaps an infinite number of universes similar to our own. How high does the number of places where life could evolve have to be before we could say it was no longer highly improbable?

If there are 50,000,000 possible number combos in a state lottery, and 20,000,000 people played, the chances of a win are 2/5. That's not impressive or comparable in any way whatever. It would be impressive, however, if you won a million times in a row.

I'll repeat this again, we're not talking about the chances of life arising in a life-suiting universe. We're talking about the chances of a life-permitting universe.

Except as I've shown earlier, your logic says that the person who won the lottery couldn't have won it because of the astronomical odds of his winning the lottery.

Except you didn't show any such thing. I believe I responded that if there are a million combinations possible and 500,000 combinations are played, the chances of a win are 1:2. If no one wins that draw, someone will almost certainly win the next draw. IF there were only a single person playing one single lottery ticket and they won, THAT would be quite stunning, especially if they won a billion times in a row.

For these same reasons, I admit that if there are multiple universe that may explain the fine-tuning for life of one universe. If I play every single lottery combination I will win without a doubt. If I play 99% of the possible combinations, I will win with near certainty. If universes exist with endless combinations of constants, it seems likely that one would have the right constants to support life.

No you insisted that a person's chances of winning a lottery after he/she won it couldn't possibly be 1:1 but they would still be astronomical. Do you not read what you type?

No, you've misunderstood me. Let me lay this out again.

If 10,000 winning combos exist, and 10,000 combos are played, a win is certain.

If 10,000 winning combos exist, and 6,000 combos are played, a win is likely. <This one is analogous to, say, the NY Mega-millions lottery.

If 10,000 winning combos exist, and only 1 is played, a win is very improbable. <This one is analogous to the fine-tuning of the universe, except the number isn't 10,000.

If you want to try again to prove that my logic leads to the conclusion that no one can win the lottery, feel free to do so. You won't succeed because the logic doesn't lead to that conclusion.

The chance of a win is the ratio of possible outcomes to the number of possible outcomes played. That's usually a pretty high ratio.

Which is an entirely different argument than you originally made with me.

Your original argument was based on the question "What are the odds of a life permitting universe evolving?" My response was "Since it happened - 1:1"

You keep insisting that the odds are astronomical without a creator even though that's how it happened (since there is nothing to support the contrary view).

You keep insisting that the odds of winning are astronomical after the winner has won.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin

jeffreyalex
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jeffreyalex wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

EXC wrote:

So by your logic then people that win the lottery should believe that a supernatural being caused them to win the lottery? And everyone that looses should just suppose that was expected and no god intervened to cause them to loose. God only causes extremely high probability events but not low ones, right? Or sometimes moderately probable events like your team winning the Superbowl.

There are 100 Billion stars in our typical galaxy each with probably at least few rocky planets and moons where life could arise. There are trillions of galaxies just that we can know about perhaps a lot more. There could be trillions or perhaps an infinite number of universes similar to our own. How high does the number of places where life could evolve have to be before we could say it was no longer highly improbable?

If there are 50,000,000 possible number combos in a state lottery, and 20,000,000 people played, the chances of a win are 2/5. That's not impressive or comparable in any way whatever. It would be impressive, however, if you won a million times in a row.

I'll repeat this again, we're not talking about the chances of life arising in a life-suiting universe. We're talking about the chances of a life-permitting universe.

Except as I've shown earlier, your logic says that the person who won the lottery couldn't have won it because of the astronomical odds of his winning the lottery.

Except you didn't show any such thing. I believe I responded that if there are a million combinations possible and 500,000 combinations are played, the chances of a win are 1:2. If no one wins that draw, someone will almost certainly win the next draw. IF there were only a single person playing one single lottery ticket and they won, THAT would be quite stunning, especially if they won a billion times in a row.

For these same reasons, I admit that if there are multiple universe that may explain the fine-tuning for life of one universe. If I play every single lottery combination I will win without a doubt. If I play 99% of the possible combinations, I will win with near certainty. If universes exist with endless combinations of constants, it seems likely that one would have the right constants to support life.

No you insisted that a person's chances of winning a lottery after he/she won it couldn't possibly be 1:1 but they would still be astronomical. Do you not read what you type?

No, you've misunderstood me. Let me lay this out again.

If 10,000 winning combos exist, and 10,000 combos are played, a win is certain.

If 10,000 winning combos exist, and 6,000 combos are played, a win is likely. <This one is analogous to, say, the NY Mega-millions lottery.

If 10,000 winning combos exist, and only 1 is played, a win is very improbable. <This one is analogous to the fine-tuning of the universe, except the number isn't 10,000.

If you want to try again to prove that my logic leads to the conclusion that no one can win the lottery, feel free to do so. You won't succeed because the logic doesn't lead to that conclusion.

The chance of a win is the ratio of possible outcomes to the number of possible outcomes played. That's usually a pretty high ratio.

Which is an entirely different argument than you originally made with me.

Your original argument was based on the question "What are the odds of a life permitting universe evolving?" My response was "Since it happened - 1:1"

You keep insisting that the odds are astronomical without a creator even though that's how it happened (since there is nothing to support the contrary view).

You keep insisting that the odds of winning are astronomical after the winner has won.

The chances were astronomical, even after the winner won. (Just like a car WAS blue, even if it's NOW red). That's why people are so amazed to hear that their friend won the lottery. they don't say "yes, the chance that he has one the lottery is 1:1". You're making absolutely no point there.

If you draw a raffle ticket and win the prize, come home to your mama, and she says "Oh my, now what were the chances?" you might say "oh they were pretty good mama—they only sold three tickets" or "the odds were slim—they sold 500 tickets, and i only had two of them". You do not say "there were no chances, it was certain". No, you got lucky. How lucky? 1:250 lucky, in the last case. Those are acceptable odds, though remember a win was guaranteed, at least for one ticket holder.

JC, really, don't stick with this response, it's completely wrong and backwards and misses the point. I'm not responding to this point anymore, because it's completely self-evident how confused it is.

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I know I shouldn't get involved in this

jeffreyalex wrote:

The chances were astronomical, even after the winner won. (Just like a car WAS blue, even if it's NOW red). That's why people are so amazed to hear that their friend won the lottery. they don't say "yes, the chance that he has one the lottery is 1:1". You're making absolutely no point there.

If you draw a raffle ticket and win the prize, come home to your mama, and she says "Oh my, now what were the chances?" you might say "oh they were pretty good mama—they only sold three tickets" or "the odds were slim—they sold 500 tickets, and i only had two of them". You do not say "there were no chances, it was certain". No, you got lucky. How lucky? 1:250 lucky, in the last case. Those are acceptable odds, though remember a win was guaranteed, at least for one ticket holder.

JC, really, don't stick with this response, it's completely wrong and backwards and misses the point. I'm not responding to this point anymore, because it's completely self-evident how confused it is.

Before the raffle win the probability was 1/250 (assuming it is random), after the raffle win the probability of winning was 1.

Once you've won, you've won; the probability of not having won is 0, unless one can go backwards and forwards in time.

Another way of looking at it:

The probability of throwing 3 heads in a row [on throws a,b & c] is 1/8.

Throw a - You throw a head and now the probability of 3 in a row is 1/4.

Throw b - Another head and three in a row is 1/2.

Throw c - Another head and the probability of 3 in a row in throws a, b & c is 1.

jeffreyalex
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x wrote:jeffreyalex

x wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

The chances were astronomical, even after the winner won. (Just like a car WAS blue, even if it's NOW red). That's why people are so amazed to hear that their friend won the lottery. they don't say "yes, the chance that he has one the lottery is 1:1". You're making absolutely no point there.

If you draw a raffle ticket and win the prize, come home to your mama, and she says "Oh my, now what were the chances?" you might say "oh they were pretty good mama—they only sold three tickets" or "the odds were slim—they sold 500 tickets, and i only had two of them". You do not say "there were no chances, it was certain". No, you got lucky. How lucky? 1:250 lucky, in the last case. Those are acceptable odds, though remember a win was guaranteed, at least for one ticket holder.

JC, really, don't stick with this response, it's completely wrong and backwards and misses the point. I'm not responding to this point anymore, because it's completely self-evident how confused it is.

Before the raffle win the probability was 1/250, after the raffle win the probability of winning was 1.

Once you've won, you've won; the probability of not having won is 0, unless one can go backwards and forwards in time.

Another way of looking at it:

The probability of throwing 3 heads in a row [on throws a,b & c] is 1/8.

Throw a - You throw a head and now the probability of 3 in a row is 1/4.

Throw b - Another head and three in a row is 1/2.

Throw c - Another head and the probability of 3 in a row in throws a, b & c is 1.

Of course. I more or less agree with that. I would just say it stops making sense to talk about the probability of something that has already happened. It makes sense to talk about what the probability of it happening was. What WAS the probability of event A, B, or C? What IS the probability of such an event occurring in the future?

You could extend your example to 10 throws or a hundred throws. And if you were to actually land 100 heads in a row, you would be surprised. Properly surprised. Calling the chances of the 100-head tosses existence one after it's been tossed doesn't reach back in time and make the odds of the 100-head toss 1:1 from the start.

The problem is with how JC thinks this applies to the universe. We're not asking What IS the chance that our universe exists NOW? We know it exists. We are asking What WERE its odds? and whether those are odds we should accept.

jeffreyalex
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x wrote:jeffreyalex

x wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

The chances were astronomical, even after the winner won. (Just like a car WAS blue, even if it's NOW red). That's why people are so amazed to hear that their friend won the lottery. they don't say "yes, the chance that he has one the lottery is 1:1". You're making absolutely no point there.

If you draw a raffle ticket and win the prize, come home to your mama, and she says "Oh my, now what were the chances?" you might say "oh they were pretty good mama—they only sold three tickets" or "the odds were slim—they sold 500 tickets, and i only had two of them". You do not say "there were no chances, it was certain". No, you got lucky. How lucky? 1:250 lucky, in the last case. Those are acceptable odds, though remember a win was guaranteed, at least for one ticket holder.

JC, really, don't stick with this response, it's completely wrong and backwards and misses the point. I'm not responding to this point anymore, because it's completely self-evident how confused it is.

Before the raffle win the probability was 1/250, after the raffle win the probability of winning was 1.

Once you've won, you've won; the probability of not having won is 0, unless one can go backwards and forwards in time.

Another way of looking at it:

The probability of throwing 3 heads in a row [on throws a,b & c] is 1/8.

Throw a - You throw a head and now the probability of 3 in a row is 1/4.

Throw b - Another head and three in a row is 1/2.

Throw c - Another head and the probability of 3 in a row in throws a, b & c is 1.

Of course. I more or less agree with that. I would just say it stops making sense to talk about the probability of something that has already happened. It makes sense to talk about what the probability of it happening was. What WAS the probability of event A, B, or C? What IS the probability of such an event occurring in the future?

You could extend your example to 10 throws or a hundred throws. And if you were to actually land 100 heads in a row, you would be surprised. Properly surprised. Calling the chances of the 100-head tosses existence one after it's been tossed doesn't reach back in time and make the odds of the 100-head toss 1:1 from the start.

The problem is with how JC thinks this applies to the universe. We're not asking What IS the chance that our universe exists NOW? We know it exists. We are asking What WERE its odds? and whether those are odds we should accept.

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Narrowing it down

jeffreyalex wrote:
We're not asking What IS the chance that our universe exists NOW? We know it exists. We are asking What WERE its odds? and whether those are odds we should accept.

OK.

Since physics doesn't yet know exactly what happened at the big bang, the question would seem to be undecided.

So, to me, we don't know 'what WERE its odds' and therefore the whole fine-tuning argument is meaningless.

I suppose I'd better go off and do some reading.

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Oh

Here is the issue with the whole fine tuning argument. What are all the possible conditions for life to arise? What are all the possible configurations that allows life to occur. Here is the answer, WE DON'T KNOW AT ALL. Knowing this the fine tuning argument is really bunk.

I should have read this first.

Beyond Saving
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jeffreyalex wrote:No, you've

jeffreyalex wrote:

No, you've misunderstood me. Let me lay this out again.

If 10,000 winning combos exist, and 10,000 combos are played, a win is certain.

If 10,000 winning combos exist, and 6,000 combos are played, a win is likely. <This one is analogous to, say, the NY Mega-millions lottery.

If 10,000 winning combos exist, and only 1 is played, a win is very improbable. <This one is analogous to the fine-tuning of the universe, except the number isn't 10,000.

If you want to try again to prove that my logic leads to the conclusion that no one can win the lottery, feel free to do so. You won't succeed because the logic doesn't lead to that conclusion.

The chance of a win is the ratio of possible outcomes to the number of possible outcomes played. That's usually a pretty high ratio.

Except in your OP you are arguing very specifically about the odds of a particular type of universe which is how you dismiss Nony's entire argument about the sperm because any unique human somehow doesn't count. As far as I can tell, nowhere have you argued that the creation of a unique universe was improbable, only the creation of our specific universe or one close enough to it to permit some form of life. So the correct analogy isn't whether some person will win the lottery, it is whether a particular person (or someone extremely similar to a particular person, say that person or someone in their immediate family) is going to win the lottery.

Among all of this, you have been unable to provide any evidence that the big numbers you come up with apply to all life permitting universes. You have provided no evidence about how many potential universes are life permitting compared to the number of potential universes that are not. Indeed, you have ignored the argument entirely despite at least three people bringing it up. Nor have you attempted to address the possibility that the universe might change over time or collapse and a new universe may emerge. Essentially nullifying odds because while one particular person does not have a good chance of winning a big lottery, if they buy tickets every day and live forever, eventually they will win no matter how bad the odds are.

The whole structure of your argument relies on there being only one formation in which a universe permits life (or at least very few compared to a multitude of formations that do not), that only one universe is ever created, and that the universe never changes. All these are assumptions that have very little basis and even if all of these assumptions are true all that follows is we are extremely lucky. The conclusion of "wow fantastic odds, must be an intelligent creator" is a huge leap. The odds of some creator powerful enough to create a universe are far worse than the odds of our particular universe being created. The odds of that creator being anything like any of the gods described in modern religions are near 0.

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X

jeffreyalex
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x wrote:jeffreyalex

x wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
We're not asking What IS the chance that our universe exists NOW? We know it exists. We are asking What WERE its odds? and whether those are odds we should accept.

OK.

Since physics doesn't yet know exactly what happened at the big bang, the question would seem to be undecided.

So, to me, we don't know 'what WERE its odds' and therefore the whole fine-tuning argument is meaningless.

I suppose I'd better go off and do some reading.

We know that universal constants exist. We know that if constant X was valued at a number that was off by more than 1 part in trillions there would be no possibility for life (for example the cosmological constant or the low entropy condition of the early universe). This has nothing to do with what happened at the big bang.

If scientists discover that the big bangs conditions physically necessitated these constants it would make no difference. It would just push the question back with the equally stunning and uncanny fact that physics NECESSITATES the existence of life permitting constants and can produce no other constants.

You may have read my painting analogy. If you see an endless wall with one single painting hanging, you might ask "what are the chances the painting should hang here?" Then you take the painting down to find a screw in the wall. You don't exclaim "oh that's where the screw is! It had to hang here." It's a non-answer.

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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

No, you've misunderstood me. Let me lay this out again.

If 10,000 winning combos exist, and 10,000 combos are played, a win is certain.

If 10,000 winning combos exist, and 6,000 combos are played, a win is likely. <This one is analogous to, say, the NY Mega-millions lottery.

If 10,000 winning combos exist, and only 1 is played, a win is very improbable. <This one is analogous to the fine-tuning of the universe, except the number isn't 10,000.

If you want to try again to prove that my logic leads to the conclusion that no one can win the lottery, feel free to do so. You won't succeed because the logic doesn't lead to that conclusion.

The chance of a win is the ratio of possible outcomes to the number of possible outcomes played. That's usually a pretty high ratio.

As far as I can tell, nowhere have you argued that the creation of a unique universe was improbable, only the creation of our specific universe or one close enough to it to permit some form of life.

Among all of this, you have been unable to provide any evidence that the big numbers you come up with apply to all life permitting universes. You have provided no evidence about how many potential universes are life permitting compared to the number of potential universes that are not. Indeed, you have ignored the argument entirely despite at least three people bringing it up. Nor have you attempted to address the possibility that the universe might change over time or collapse and a new universe may emerge.

The whole structure of your argument relies on there being only one formation in which a universe permits life (or at least very few compared to a multitude of formations that do not), that only one universe is ever created, and that the universe never changes. All these are assumptions that have very little basis and even if all of these assumptions are true all that follows is we are extremely lucky. The conclusion of "wow fantastic odds, must be an intelligent creator" is a huge leap. The odds of some creator powerful enough to create a universe are far worse than the odds of our particular universe being created. The odds of that creator being anything like any of the gods described in modern religions are near 0.

Quite right. The probability of a unique universe, if a universe is being created, is 1:1. The probability of a unique person, if a person is being born, is 1:1.

If Nony told us that for the world not to vanish out of existence we need the baby who will be born exactly one year from this very moment to be 6'5", brown haired, green eyed, 185 lbs by his 18th birthday, named Ronald, with 123, 097 hairs on his head, with a third nipple, one ear, and a birthmark configuration shaped like a bunny on his inner left thigh... and then that exact child came to be born, we would regard it as nothing short of a miracle. Either that, or Nony has some serious supernatural abilities.

As far as the rest, read a book. Read Barrow and Tippler's The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, for example.

The set of life permitting universes is miniscule to the set of possible universes. I don't get this atheism of the gaps. One minutes it's "science science science", and the next it's "we don't really know anything, so you can't use science cause...".

And I have admitted countless times, that if there are multiple universe, that would serve as a defeater to the FTA.

Finally, you have no basis for assigning odds to the existence of God. The question you bring up is important though. If we're faced with a choice between odds like 1:10^100 and the existence of a creator God, which are we reasonable to choose. That's an interesting question, but don't delude yourself into thinking that your a saint of Reason for having no trouble accepting odds like those.

Beyond Saving
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jeffreyalex wrote:If Nony

jeffreyalex wrote:

If Nony told us that for the world not to vanish out of existence we need the baby who will be born exactly one year from this very moment to be 6'5", brown haired, green eyed, 185 lbs by his 18th birthday, named Ronald, with 123, 097 hairs on his head, with a third nipple, one ear, and a birthmark configuration shaped like a bunny on his inner left thigh... and then that exact child came to be born, we would regard it as nothing short of a miracle. Either that, or Nony has some serious supernatural abilities.

If he predicted it before hand sure, but no one predicted the creation of the universe before it happened so far as we know. If you are looking at Ronald on his 18th birthday counting the number of hairs on his head and crawling between his thighs you would be an extremely odd and creepy person but it would hardly be a miracle or supernatural. We are observing the universe after it has already been created not predicting that it will be created.

jeffreyalex wrote:

The set of life permitting universes is miniscule to the set of possible universes. I don't get this atheism of the gaps. One minutes it's "science science science", and the next it's "we don't really know anything, so you can't use science cause...".

How do you know it is miniscule? 100% of the universes we can prove exist support life and since your theory relies heavily on there only being one universe, ever, it is absurd to declare you know the set of possible universes. Using that logic a person being born with two legs would be extremely improbable because they could have been born with 3,4,5,6,7,8,9...100,000,000 legs etc. Obviously we know that the opposite is true, being born with two legs is common and anything else is the rarity. So while in the abstract if you knew nothing about the human reproductive process you might conclude a human baby could be born with 100 tiny legs, I would bet my money on two legs every day of the week. We simply don't know enough about how universes are created or have a large enough sample size to draw a reasonable conclusion to the number or possible universes. And even if you can determine that there are trillions of different possible universes it does not necessarily follow that they all have an equal probability of existing. People have been born with between one and six legs, that does not mean there is only a one in six chance of a particular baby being born with two legs.

I never said we couldn't use science. The scientific method is the logical way to go about trying to answer the unanswered questions. It is important for us to recognize that our perspective is currently extremely limited and when coming up with hypothesis to test I think it is important to take into account those limitations and try to find ways around them.

jeffreyalex wrote:

Finally, you have no basis for assigning odds to the existence of God. The question you bring up is important though. If we're faced with a choice between odds like 1:10^100 and the existence of a creator God, which are we reasonable to choose. That's an interesting question, but don't delude yourself into thinking that your a saint of Reason for having no trouble accepting odds like those.

You have no basis for assigning odds to the creation of our universe. I don't consider myself a saint of anything, my point all along is that your assigning of odds is absurd because you don't have enough information to properly estimate the odds. But if you are going to make up odds and pull them out of your ass I don't see your objection to me pulling odds out of my ass for the alternative you suggest. Seems like you are trying in vain to have it both ways.

I simply accept what we have proof exists- our universe which even if the odds were against its creation it exists anyway. To insist that the universe must have been created by some deity which we have absolutely zero evidence of is the modern day equivalent of believing that thunder is created by deities fighting in the clouds. And as the scientists do their thing I am confident that in 20-30 years we will know a lot more and in 1000 years people will consider us extremely ignorant. The great thing about science is that it continues to question and seek answers rather than simply declaring something improbable and making up a deity to explain it.

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X

latincanuck
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I will simply restate this,

I will simply restate this, we don't know all the possible forms in which life can arise, your constant harping about changing 1 constant would result a universe that is unfriendly to life (so far this universe isn't 100 percent life friendly) however what ever occurred at the beginning of this universe if the conditions changed in which 1 constant changed chances are the others would be affected, how were those constants set? Science doesn't know yet other than they are physical properties of this universe. So let say those constants say double well we have a stable universe. There is NO reason whatsoever to believe that if the conditions changed that only 1 constant would be affected, it's absurd to believe that period. The fact that scientists have played with constants that allow suns to form and have found many configurations that allow stable suns to occur starts to throw your argument out. You keep on simply stating changing 1 constant, but never address if they all change. Also can you tell me all the possible life forms that could occur?

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Beyond Saving wrote: You

Beyond Saving wrote:

You have no basis for assigning odds to the creation of our universe. I don't consider myself a saint of anything, my point all along is that your assigning of odds is absurd because you don't have enough information to properly estimate the odds. But if you are going to make up odds and pull them out of your ass I don't see your objection to me pulling odds out of my ass for the alternative you suggest. Seems like you are trying in vain to have it both ways.

I simply accept what we have proof exists- our universe which even if the odds were against its creation it exists anyway. To insist that the universe must have been created by some deity which we have absolutely zero evidence of is the modern day equivalent of believing that thunder is created by deities fighting in the clouds. And as the scientists do their thing I am confident that in 20-30 years we will know a lot more and in 1000 years people will consider us extremely ignorant. The great thing about science is that it continues to question and seek answers rather than simply declaring something improbable and making up a deity to explain it.

I agree Beyond.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno

harleysportster
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Beyond Saving wrote: You

Double post. Damnit. Why does that keep happening ? Must be something wrong with my computer. Second time that's happened this morning.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno