# The fallacy of fine tuning the anthropic universe

A_Nony_Mouse
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The fallacy of fine tuning the anthropic universe

There are many ways this is wrong. The usual claim of believers is to introduce very large numbers as probabilities. Let me show you how easy it is to have very large numbers.

You exist because a particular sperm met a particular egg. By the most recent studies at least 10 million, 10^7 sperm trying to be the first to the egg -- ignoring the 100 million or so others which are also produced.

That means the odds against you existing in the simplest case is ten million to one.

But wait! There's more! A Ronco toaster-broiler oven!

You father and mother are also the product of those same odds. So the odds against them just being your parents is 10^14 to 1. But they also had parents at 10^14 each or 10^56 just to produce your parents who produced you at 10^7 to 1 for 10^63 just to get you from your grandparents. If we go back to eight great-grandparents we get 10^14*8 + 10^7 just to get to you. That gets us to 10^129 to 1 against you just looking at grandparents.

As life is an unbroken chain by definition and just for moder humans at a minimum of 100,000 years old and 5 generations per century that is 2000 generations and I leave the math to the intersted student. It is a very big number far larger than any anthropic universe nonsense claim.

And the odds against you are this trivially small only if we ignore all sexual reproduction back to the beginning of sexual reproduction as well as everything that made ejaculation exactly when it was so that a different sperm did not get to the egg first.

And then start multiplying ALL the other reproductions had to go as they did as a female Julius Caesar or Napoleon makes a huge change in history.

Are the anthropic principle odds impressive? No. In comparison to you existing they are almost a certainty.

All of this means playing games to produce big numbers should only result in being impressed by the person's ability to produce big numbers not rational arguments.

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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As usual, you're an

As usual, you're an idiot.

The point to make here is that out of those 10^7 sperm, all 10^7 were human sperm that would result in a human. So there's nothing spectacular in the result that with 10^7 sperm, you get a human. I can't even believe you thought this was a decent argument.

The only way this would be a good point is if out of all those 10^7, only a single one could have produced a person.

Now I'll note that the odds 10^7 are trillions times trillions times trillions times trillions of times better than the odds Penrose gave for the entropy conditions necessary in the early universe: 10^10^123.

Learn some science buddy. Use that mouse brain once in a while.

jeffreyalex
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Interestingly enough, I've

Interestingly enough, I've seen Victor Stenger also try to make this exact point.

Zaq
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But out of those 10^7, only

But out of those 10^7, only a single one could have produced the precise person that came about.

The problem with these kinds of arguments is that people confuse macrostates with microstates.  The odds of the air molecules in my office being in the particular configuration they're currently occupying is insanely small.  But the odds of them being in a functionally equivalent configuration, one with all the same macrovariables, is pretty damn close to 1.

I once did a demonstration in a debate.  I wrote the numbers 1 through 20 on little slips of paper, threw them into the air, and regathered them in a random order.  A particular sequence resulted, and I explained that the probability of obtaining that particular sequence was less than one in 10^18.  Yet nobody seemed keen to try and argue that we'd just witnessed a miracle.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.

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Probabilities are

Probabilities are interesting but the fact that the incompetent "design" we see in the universe does more to disprove the fine-tuning argument than anything else out there.

"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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Zaq wrote:But out of those

Zaq wrote:

But out of those 10^7, only a single one could have produced the precise person that came about.

The problem with these kinds of arguments is that people confuse macrostates with microstates.  The odds of the air molecules in my office being in the particular configuration they're currently occupying is insanely small.  But the odds of them being in a functionally equivalent configuration, one with all the same macrovariables, is pretty damn close to 1.

I once did a demonstration in a debate.  I wrote the numbers 1 through 20 on little slips of paper, threw them into the air, and regathered them in a random order.  A particular sequence resulted, and I explained that the probability of obtaining that particular sequence was less than one in 10^18.  Yet nobody seemed keen to try and argue that we'd just witnessed a miracle.

This is exactly what I addressed. Let me do it more clearly, again.

The chance of a unique person being born are 1 out of 10^7. That means the chance of ANY unique person being born (including me, yes) are 10^7. And as such, it is not surprising that a unique person will result—because if a person will result, he will necessarily be a unique person.

Now, that is important, and the main point: the odds with regards of any one person versus another are equal. So I can imagine an alteration in your example, which would make it hold better. You would have to predict not the chances of a unique person, but a specific unique person (meaning identify the characteristics in question, not just 'uniqueness', because 'uniqueness' is a given). If you'd predicted I would be 6'4", green eyed, blonde haired, with 120,473 hairs on my head, etc. then we could talk. But then any person with a brain would be shocked if you'd predicted correctly, and rightly so.

Imagine a bag of 100 pennies, each with a number on it. The chance of picking a unique penny are 1 out of 100. The chance of picking another unique penny are also 1 out of 100. Now imagine there is a bag of pennies and only penny #49 will result in me getting five dollars. The chances of me getting the penny that will result in the prize are 1 out of 100. The chance of me getting a penny that will not result in a prize is 99 out of 100 (EVEN THOUGH, the chance of whichever penny you draw is still only 1 out of 100).

1) So we are not asking what are the chances of one unique universe compared to another unique universe. If we were, your example would be valid.

2) We are asking what are the chances of a universe capable of sustaining life compared to the chances of a universe not capable.

The first example leads to a probability ration of 1:1 (the chance of a unique universe compared to the chances of another unique universe).

The second leads to a comparison ratio of 1:10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000^10

(Note that that number is raised to the 10 power!).

This is basic probability, and I'm not going to say any more about it. Any intelligent person who understands probability and who will read this thread thus far, will see

your example for what it is—fallacious and a smokescreen. If you cannot see that yourself, I don't know what to tell you. I'm sorry you're that limited.

Zaq
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jeffreyalex wrote:1) So we

jeffreyalex wrote:

1) So we are not asking what are the chances of one unique universe compared to another unique universe. If we were, your example would be valid.

2) We are asking what are the chances of a universe capable of sustaining life compared to the chances of a universe not capable.

The first example leads to a probability ration of 1:1 (the chance of a unique universe compared to the chances of another unique universe).

The second leads to a comparison ratio of 1:10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000^10

(Note that that number is raised to the 10 power!).

This is basic probability, and I'm not going to say any more about it. Any intelligent person who understands probability and who will read this thread thus far, will see

your example for what it is—fallacious and a smokescreen. If you cannot see that yourself, I don't know what to tell you. I'm sorry you're that limited.

Where did you pull that number from?  A hat?

Seriously, what mathematics and/or physics leads you to conclude that only one out of every 10^1300 possible universes can sustain life?  (Also, did you mean that number to be something like the 10^10^123?  You don't seem to have placed parenthases there, which sucks because that opperation isn't associative.  Did you mean that Penrose calculated the odds to be 10^(10^123) or (10^10)^123 = 10^1230?  Either way, your number works out to (10^130)^10 = 10^1300, which makes me suspect you meant the latter?)

It sounds like you may have missed my point.  I'm not talking about comparing particular configurations to other particular configurations.  That's a silly excercise.  No, I'm talking about confusing the odds of having particular macrostate parameters with the odds of having a particular configuration.  A particular set of macrostate parameters can come about from any of a large number of microstates.  If there are 10^1300 possible configurations of the early universe, and 10^1299.99 of them would develop life, then the odds of life coming about are way bigger than 1 in 10^1300.  This is, as you put it, basic probability.

From what I know about cosmology, the early universe is assumed to be in thermodynamic equilibrium before inflation, which means that the early universe macrostate has a probability very near one.  This would put the probability of the universe developing life at very near one, even though the odds of our particular configuration is incredibly small.

EDIT:  In the future, let's refrain from writing out 130 zeros.  It tends to stretch the screen.  Just use 10^1300 to represent that number.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.

jeffreyalex
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I expanded the zeroes for

I expanded the zeroes for dramatic effect. The number is meant to be 10^10^123.

I'm not a physicist so I can't speak to those details. I definitely can speak to the fact that the example you gave of plucking numbers out of the air and the original example

of sperm are not analogous to the fine-tuning argument.

As far as whose word I'll take, I'll stick with Krauss, Hawking, Penrose, Ellis, Rees, Davies, Linde, Weinberg, and others.

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jeffreyalex wrote:I expanded

jeffreyalex wrote:

I expanded the zeroes for dramatic effect. The number is meant to be 10^10^123.

I'm not a physicist so I can't speak to those details. I definitely can speak to the fact that the example you gave of plucking numbers out of the air and the original example

of sperm are not analogous to the fine-tuning argument.

As far as whose word I'll take, I'll stick with Krauss, Hawking, Penrose, Ellis, Rees, Davies, Linde, Weinberg, and others.

Way to not answer the question - where did you get the number from?

You also don't need to name drop to lend authority to your made up stuff.

"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:

I expanded the zeroes for dramatic effect. The number is meant to be 10^10^123.

I'm not a physicist so I can't speak to those details. I definitely can speak to the fact that the example you gave of plucking numbers out of the air and the original example

of sperm are not analogous to the fine-tuning argument.

As far as whose word I'll take, I'll stick with Krauss, Hawking, Penrose, Ellis, Rees, Davies, Linde, Weinberg, and others.

Way to not answer the question - where did you get the number from?

You also don't need to name drop to lend authority to your made up stuff.

The number is from Roger Penrose, a calculation of the odds of the universe's low entropy condition obtaining.

Regarding those names, they're leading physicists, all of whom have observed the same remarkable fact, that the universe appears incredibly suitable to life. With regard to the rest of the thread: I've collected some material for me to read, and I've also emailed a physicist asking him to comment. So, when I have that response, I will let you know what it says.

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jeffreyalex wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

I expanded the zeroes for dramatic effect. The number is meant to be 10^10^123.

I'm not a physicist so I can't speak to those details. I definitely can speak to the fact that the example you gave of plucking numbers out of the air and the original example

of sperm are not analogous to the fine-tuning argument.

As far as whose word I'll take, I'll stick with Krauss, Hawking, Penrose, Ellis, Rees, Davies, Linde, Weinberg, and others.

Way to not answer the question - where did you get the number from?

You also don't need to name drop to lend authority to your made up stuff.

The number is from Roger Penrose, a calculation of the odds of the universe's low entropy condition obtaining.

Regarding those names, they're leading physicists, all of whom have observed the same remarkable fact, that the universe appears incredibly suitable to life. With regard to the rest of the thread: I've collected some material for me to read, and I've also emailed a physicist asking him to comment. So, when I have that response, I will let you know what it says.

Link or book/paper please or I have to assume the numbers are made up and you just name-dropped to cover you tail.

So the universe appears incredibly suited to life. It's just the space in the universe that's so damned inhospitable.

"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

Zaq
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Please learn how to properly cite things.  "Penrose said it" is not a citation.  "Penrose said it in this paper, published here," is a citation.

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.

jeffreyalex
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Steven Weinberg in

Steven Weinberg writes in Scientific American:

"Life as we know it would be impossible if any of several physical quantities had slightly different values"

Isaac Newton in The Mathematical Principles:

“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”

Christian de Guve in A Guided Tour of the Living Cell:

“If you equate the probability of the birth of a bacteria cell to chance assembly of its atoms, eternity will not suffice to produce one… Faced with the enormous sum of lucky draws behind the success of the evolutionary game, one may legitimately wonder to what extent this success is actually written into the fabric of the universe.”

“Amazing fine tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word ‘miraculous’ without taking a stand as to the ontological status of the word.”

- George Ellis (British astrophysicist) Ellis, G.F.R. 1993. The Anthropic Principle: Laws and Environments. The Anthropic Principle, F. Bertola and U.Curi, ed. New York, Cambridge University Press, p. 30

Fred Hoyle says:

"A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question."

(Hoyle, F. 1982. The Universe: Past and Present Reflections. Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics: 20:16.)

Robert Jastrow says:

"For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."

Jastrow, R. 1978. God and the Astronomers. New York, W.W. Norton, p. 116.

Frank Tipler writes:

"When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics."

Tipler, F.J. 1994. The Physics of Immortality, York, Doubleday, Preface.

"The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. ... The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life."

Stephen Hawking in a Brief History of Time, pg.125.

Paul Davies and Tipler have together written a whole book about this called The Cosmological Anthropic Principle.

Martin Rees has written about fine-tuning. For example, in his book Just Six Numbers.

John Polkinghorne writes:

“When you realize that the laws of nature must be incredibly finely tuned to produce the universe we see, that conspires to plant the idea that the universe did not just happen, but that there must be a purpose behind it.”

1. (John Polkinghorne, Cambridge University physicist, "Science Finds God," Newsweek, 20 July, 1998)

Einstein has written:

The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.”

“Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”

"In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views."

"The fanatical atheists," Einstein said in correspondence, "are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who—in their grudge against traditional religion as the opium of the masses_cannot hear the music of the spheres.

Isaacson, Walter (2007). "Einstein and Faith" Time 169 (April 5): 47.

Jammer, Max (2002).Einstein and Religion, Princeton: Princeton University Press, pg. 97.

And finally, the Penrose number comes from a passage in his book The Emperor’s New Mind:

“This figure will give us an estimate of the total phase-space volume V available

to the Creator, since this entropy should represent the logarithm of the volume of

the (easily) largest compartment. Since 10^123 is the logarithm of the volume, the

volume must be the exponential of 10^123, i.e.

V = 10^10^123.

in natural units! (Some perceptive readers may feel that I should have used the

figure e^10^123, but for numbers of this size, the a and the 10 are essentially

interchangeable!) How big was the original phase-space volume W that the Creator

had to aim for in order to provide a universe compatible with the second law of

thermodynamics and with what we now observe? It does not much matter whether

we take the value

W = 10^10^101 or W = 10^10^88

given by the galactic black holes or by the background radiation, respectively, or a

much smaller (and, in fact, more appropriate) figure which would have been the

actual figure at the big bang. Either way, the ratio of V to W will be, closely

V/W = 10^10^123.

This now tells us how precise the Creator's aim must have been: namely to an

accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.”

A_Nony_Mouse
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.

jeffreyalex wrote:
As usual, you're an idiot.

The point to make here is that out of those 10^7 sperm, all 10^7 were human sperm that would result in a human. So there's nothing spectacular in the result that with 10^7 sperm, you get a human. I can't even believe you thought this was a decent argument.

The only way this would be a good point is if out of all those 10^7, only a single one could have produced a person.

Now I'll note that the odds 10^7 are trillions times trillions times trillions times trillions of times better than the odds Penrose gave for the entropy conditions necessary in the early universe: 10^10^123.

Learn some science buddy. Use that mouse brain once in a while.

You do not understand statistics either. What shame but not surprising.

Only 1 in 10,000,000 can make. A particular person is produced by only a single sperm. Different sperm result in different people. You are aware of that are you not? The chance of a particular person being the result are clearly no greater than 1 in 10 million.

To spell out the large number fallacy, only a universe which does have exactly the right constants could observe it has exactly the right constants. The odds are immaterial, just as immaterial as the odds against you existing.

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.

A_Nony_Mouse
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jeffreyalex wrote:Steven

jeffreyalex wrote:

Steven Weinberg writes in Scientific American:

"Life as we know it would be impossible if any of several physical quantities had slightly different values"

Isaac Newton in The Mathematical Principles:

“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”

Christian de Guve in A Guided Tour of the Living Cell:

“If you equate the probability of the birth of a bacteria cell to chance assembly of its atoms, eternity will not suffice to produce one… Faced with the enormous sum of lucky draws behind the success of the evolutionary game, one may legitimately wonder to what extent this success is actually written into the fabric of the universe.”

...

In science opinions are still just opinions no matter how famous the person who issues it.

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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A_Nony_Mouse

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
As usual, you're an idiot.

The point to make here is that out of those 10^7 sperm, all 10^7 were human sperm that would result in a human. So there's nothing spectacular in the result that with 10^7 sperm, you get a human. I can't even believe you thought this was a decent argument.

The only way this would be a good point is if out of all those 10^7, only a single one could have produced a person.

Now I'll note that the odds 10^7 are trillions times trillions times trillions times trillions of times better than the odds Penrose gave for the entropy conditions necessary in the early universe: 10^10^123.

Learn some science buddy. Use that mouse brain once in a while.

You do not understand statistics either. What shame but not surprising.

Only 1 in 10,000,000 can make. A particular person is produced by only a single sperm. Different sperm result in different people. You are aware of that are you not? The chance of a particular person being the result are clearly no greater than 1 in 10 million.

To spell out the large number fallacy, only a universe which does have exactly the right constants could observe it has exactly the right constants. The odds are immaterial, just as immaterial as the odds against you existing.

Every sperm will produce a unique human being. Imagine you had 5000 green marbles (in this case 'green' stands in place of 'unique', all the marbles are green just as all people are unique) in a box. If you choose one out, the chances of you getting a green marble are 1 out of 1. It is certain.

Imagine you had 4,999 green marbles, and 1 red. The chances of you getting a red marble from your draw are not 1:1, but 1:5000.

Your example is relevant in comparing the chances of one (yes, unique) given universe to ANY other (unique) universe. What's relevant is the set of life-sustaining universe to the set of non-life-sustaining universes.

jeffreyalex
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And I have received a response regarding Zaq's argument above:

"...The analogy with fine-tuning is a good one. If we are considering the initial conditions of the universe, then we group together those microstates which contain or evolve into states that contain intelligent life. I.e. construct the "intelligent-life-macrostate" and see how big it is. If we are considering the parameters of the universe, then we can do a similar thing - we're dealing with a parameter space, and asking what sets of parameters will permit the existence of life.

So far so good. But now the poster goes wrong.

"If there are, say, 10^1000 possible configurations of the early universe, and 10^999.99 of them would develop life, then the odds of life coming about are way bigger than 1 in 10^1000. [that's fine] From what I know about cosmology, the early universe is assumed to be in thermodynamic equilibrium before inflation, which means that the early universe macrostate has a probability very near one. This would put the probability of the universe developing life at very near one, even though the odds of our particular configuration are incredibly small."

A few responses:
* In the early universe, the matter is in thermal equilibrium but the gravitational field is not. The probability of an isotropic and homogeneous early universe is ridiculously small. The big bang is very special. This is what Penrose has been arguing for years, e.g. chapter 27 of " The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe". For a slightly lower level discussion, see the interview between Sean Carroll and Stephen Colbert (about 2 minutes in):
com/cosmicvariance/2010/03/10/report-from-colbert/

* An early universe which out of gravitational thermal equilibrium (so to speak) is necessary for life but not sufficient. The universe could be very similar to ours in its early stages, but then expand too fast and so not form galaxies, stars, planets and life.

* Even if a life-permitting initial condition is probable, it doesn't follow that "the probability of the universe developing life" is small. [S]he's only dealt with one aspect of cosmic initial conditions. [S]he hasn't touched parameter space. See, for example, figure 2 of my paper."

Here is a link to the paper:

Atheistextremist
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I still

jeffreyalex wrote:

Your example is relevant in comparing the chances of one (yes, unique) given universe to ANY other (unique) universe. What's relevant is the set of life-sustaining universe to the set of non-life-sustaining universes.

wonder what life is, Jeff, according to your argument. Is it bacteria? Viruses? A star? A galaxy? Us? What is the objective definition of life that might apply in the first instance?

What is a life sustaining universe? Is it a universe with one planet containing life? There are 125 billion galaxies in the universe, 400 billion stars in the Milky Way and 4 trillion planets in our galaxy alone. What are the odds of life developing once in such a universe, with so many varied environments over huge periods of time?

And what are the chances, in an environment rich with energy and devoid of life, of DNA becoming life? Under perfect circumstances does it always happen? How can we know? How can we avoid the bias of anthropocentric projection? Life has evolved once in this huge universe that we know of. And it seems to have evolved in a random, messy bottom-to-top sort of way.

Something else, Jeff. Why do you feel the need to embrace a necessarily supernatural answer to this question when the context and perspective needed for a clear understanding are not available to us?

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

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jeffreyalex

jeffreyalex wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
As usual, you're an idiot.

The point to make here is that out of those 10^7 sperm, all 10^7 were human sperm that would result in a human. So there's nothing spectacular in the result that with 10^7 sperm, you get a human. I can't even believe you thought this was a decent argument.

The only way this would be a good point is if out of all those 10^7, only a single one could have produced a person.

Now I'll note that the odds 10^7 are trillions times trillions times trillions times trillions of times better than the odds Penrose gave for the entropy conditions necessary in the early universe: 10^10^123.

Learn some science buddy. Use that mouse brain once in a while.

You do not understand statistics either. What shame but not surprising.

Only 1 in 10,000,000 can make. A particular person is produced by only a single sperm. Different sperm result in different people. You are aware of that are you not? The chance of a particular person being the result are clearly no greater than 1 in 10 million.

To spell out the large number fallacy, only a universe which does have exactly the right constants could observe it has exactly the right constants. The odds are immaterial, just as immaterial as the odds against you existing.

Every sperm will produce a unique human being. Imagine you had 5000 green marbles (in this case 'green' stands in place of 'unique', all the marbles are green just as all people are unique) in a box. If you choose one out, the chances of you getting a green marble are 1 out of 1. It is certain.

Imagine you had 4,999 green marbles, and 1 red. The chances of you getting a red marble from your draw are not 1:1, but 1:5000.

Your example is relevant in comparing the chances of one (yes, unique) given universe to ANY other (unique) universe. What's relevant is the set of life-sustaining universe to the set of non-life-sustaining universes.

Unless the 4999 green marbles are in a box and the red one is already in your hand.

Life is like that. When someone argues "What are the chances of life happening?" the response is generally along the lines of "Since it happened - 1:1"

"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:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
As usual, you're an idiot.

The point to make here is that out of those 10^7 sperm, all 10^7 were human sperm that would result in a human. So there's nothing spectacular in the result that with 10^7 sperm, you get a human. I can't even believe you thought this was a decent argument.

The only way this would be a good point is if out of all those 10^7, only a single one could have produced a person.

Now I'll note that the odds 10^7 are trillions times trillions times trillions times trillions of times better than the odds Penrose gave for the entropy conditions necessary in the early universe: 10^10^123.

Learn some science buddy. Use that mouse brain once in a while.

You do not understand statistics either. What shame but not surprising.

Only 1 in 10,000,000 can make. A particular person is produced by only a single sperm. Different sperm result in different people. You are aware of that are you not? The chance of a particular person being the result are clearly no greater than 1 in 10 million.

To spell out the large number fallacy, only a universe which does have exactly the right constants could observe it has exactly the right constants. The odds are immaterial, just as immaterial as the odds against you existing.

Every sperm will produce a unique human being. Imagine you had 5000 green marbles (in this case 'green' stands in place of 'unique', all the marbles are green just as all people are unique) in a box. If you choose one out, the chances of you getting a green marble are 1 out of 1. It is certain.

Imagine you had 4,999 green marbles, and 1 red. The chances of you getting a red marble from your draw are not 1:1, but 1:5000.

Your example is relevant in comparing the chances of one (yes, unique) given universe to ANY other (unique) universe. What's relevant is the set of life-sustaining universe to the set of non-life-sustaining universes.

Unless the 4999 green marbles are in a box and the red one is already in your hand.

Life is like that. When someone argues "What are the chances of life happening?" the response is generally along the lines of "Since it happened - 1:1"

Except that's not the answer. The chances of my winning the lottery don't become 1 once I've won.

jeffreyalex
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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

Your example is relevant in comparing the chances of one (yes, unique) given universe to ANY other (unique) universe. What's relevant is the set of life-sustaining universe to the set of non-life-sustaining universes.

wonder what life is, Jeff, according to your argument. Is it bacteria? Viruses? A star? A galaxy? Us? What is the objective definition of life that might apply in the first instance?

What is a life sustaining universe? Is it a universe with one planet containing life? There are 125 billion galaxies in the universe, 400 billion stars in the Milky Way and 4 trillion planets in our galaxy alone. What are the odds of life developing once in such a universe, with so many varied environments over huge periods of time?

And what are the chances, in an environment rich with energy and devoid of life, of DNA becoming life? Under perfect circumstances does it always happen? How can we know? How can we avoid the bias of anthropocentric projection? Life has evolved once in this huge universe that we know of. And it seems to have evolved in a random, messy bottom-to-top sort of way.

Something else, Jeff. Why do you feel the need to embrace a necessarily supernatural answer to this question when the context and perspective needed for a clear understanding are not available to us?

I responded to your question about life. I would define life (for the sake of this argument) as a collocation of matter, which reproduces itself, is goal-oriented, takes in food for energy to sustain itself, and is conscious.

A life sustaining universe would be, for example, a universe in which heavy elements could form.

I don't feel a need to embrace a supernatural answer; I just don't care either way. If you recall, all I was defending is "Belief in god is not irrational", not "there is beyond doubt a supernatural creator."

With regard to 'appeals to authority', you say it as if it's a bad thing that I would appeal to numerous leading physicists to tell us something about physics. In my defense, though, I'll point out that I studied totally different things in college. However, having become interested in physics over the last several years, I'm back in college, taking physics course, with a plan of going to graduate school. I want to follow logic and reason where they'll lead, even if it takes 80,000 dollars in student loans.

A_Nony_Mouse
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.

jeffreyalex wrote:

Imagine you had 4,999 green marbles, and 1 red. The chances of you getting a red marble from your draw are not 1:1, but 1:5000.

Your example is relevant in comparing the chances of one (yes, unique) given universe to ANY other (unique) universe. What's relevant is the set of life-sustaining universe to the set of non-life-sustaining universes.

One does not have to imagine you do not understand statistics as you do not.

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.

Joker
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jeffreyalex wrote: I

jeffreyalex wrote:

I responded to your question about life. I would define life (for the sake of this argument) as a collocation of matter, which reproduces itself, is goal-oriented, takes in food for energy to sustain itself, and is conscious.

A life sustaining universe would be, for example, a universe in which heavy elements could form.

I don't feel a need to embrace a supernatural answer; I just don't care either way. If you recall, all I was defending is "Belief in god is not irrational", not "there is beyond doubt a supernatural creator."

With regard to 'appeals to authority', you say it as if it's a bad thing that I would appeal to numerous leading physicists to tell us something about physics. In my defense, though, I'll point out that I studied totally different things in college. However, having become interested in physics over the last several years, I'm back in college, taking physics course, with a plan of going to graduate school. I want to follow logic and reason where they'll lead, even if it takes 80,000 dollars in student loans.

The problem is that you don't seem to be using the quotes as a defense argument, IE "In book X this person points out these things" or something similar, IE citing sources. Instead you seem to be making general claims, that your position is reinforced by something from a book but never giving a proper quote. It's also important to note that the opinions of the person are different than their work in their fields of science. For example, a person who is a genius with computers could easily be quoted or cited when a discussion about computers comes up, but it doesn't render his opinions outside of that area any more valid than they would be on their own merits. What you seem to be doing is using the experts names totemically, trying to invoke them as if to ward off criticism.

jeffreyalex
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Joker wrote:jeffreyalex

Joker wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

I responded to your question about life. I would define life (for the sake of this argument) as a collocation of matter, which reproduces itself, is goal-oriented, takes in food for energy to sustain itself, and is conscious.

A life sustaining universe would be, for example, a universe in which heavy elements could form.

I don't feel a need to embrace a supernatural answer; I just don't care either way. If you recall, all I was defending is "Belief in god is not irrational", not "there is beyond doubt a supernatural creator."

With regard to 'appeals to authority', you say it as if it's a bad thing that I would appeal to numerous leading physicists to tell us something about physics. In my defense, though, I'll point out that I studied totally different things in college. However, having become interested in physics over the last several years, I'm back in college, taking physics course, with a plan of going to graduate school. I want to follow logic and reason where they'll lead, even if it takes 80,000 dollars in student loans.

The problem is that you don't seem to be using the quotes as a defense argument, IE "In book X this person points out these things" or something similar, IE citing sources. Instead you seem to be making general claims, that your position is reinforced by something from a book but never giving a proper quote. It's also important to note that the opinions of the person are different than their work in their fields of science. For example, a person who is a genius with computers could easily be quoted or cited when a discussion about computers comes up, but it doesn't render his opinions outside of that area any more valid than they would be on their own merits. What you seem to be doing is using the experts names totemically, trying to invoke them as if to ward off criticism.

In this case, I wanted to support a premiss—namely "the universe appears to be very finely tuned". I quoted physicists such as Hawking (Brief History of Time), Penrose (The Emperor's New Mind and The Road to Reality), Tipler and Davies who wrote the classic The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Rees (Just Six Numbers), Ellis, and others. If those aren't good sources then I don't know what a good source is.

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jeffreyalex wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
As usual, you're an idiot.

The point to make here is that out of those 10^7 sperm, all 10^7 were human sperm that would result in a human. So there's nothing spectacular in the result that with 10^7 sperm, you get a human. I can't even believe you thought this was a decent argument.

The only way this would be a good point is if out of all those 10^7, only a single one could have produced a person.

Now I'll note that the odds 10^7 are trillions times trillions times trillions times trillions of times better than the odds Penrose gave for the entropy conditions necessary in the early universe: 10^10^123.

Learn some science buddy. Use that mouse brain once in a while.

You do not understand statistics either. What shame but not surprising.

Only 1 in 10,000,000 can make. A particular person is produced by only a single sperm. Different sperm result in different people. You are aware of that are you not? The chance of a particular person being the result are clearly no greater than 1 in 10 million.

To spell out the large number fallacy, only a universe which does have exactly the right constants could observe it has exactly the right constants. The odds are immaterial, just as immaterial as the odds against you existing.

Every sperm will produce a unique human being. Imagine you had 5000 green marbles (in this case 'green' stands in place of 'unique', all the marbles are green just as all people are unique) in a box. If you choose one out, the chances of you getting a green marble are 1 out of 1. It is certain.

Imagine you had 4,999 green marbles, and 1 red. The chances of you getting a red marble from your draw are not 1:1, but 1:5000.

Your example is relevant in comparing the chances of one (yes, unique) given universe to ANY other (unique) universe. What's relevant is the set of life-sustaining universe to the set of non-life-sustaining universes.

Unless the 4999 green marbles are in a box and the red one is already in your hand.

Life is like that. When someone argues "What are the chances of life happening?" the response is generally along the lines of "Since it happened - 1:1"

Except that's not the answer. The chances of my winning the lottery don't become 1 once I've won.

The odds of you winning that particular lottery became 1:1 after you won.

Your winning that lottery does not affect future lotteries.

As we only have the one universe that we know of the chances of life in this universe are 1:1.

"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:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
As usual, you're an idiot.

The point to make here is that out of those 10^7 sperm, all 10^7 were human sperm that would result in a human. So there's nothing spectacular in the result that with 10^7 sperm, you get a human. I can't even believe you thought this was a decent argument.

The only way this would be a good point is if out of all those 10^7, only a single one could have produced a person.

Now I'll note that the odds 10^7 are trillions times trillions times trillions times trillions of times better than the odds Penrose gave for the entropy conditions necessary in the early universe: 10^10^123.

Learn some science buddy. Use that mouse brain once in a while.

You do not understand statistics either. What shame but not surprising.

Only 1 in 10,000,000 can make. A particular person is produced by only a single sperm. Different sperm result in different people. You are aware of that are you not? The chance of a particular person being the result are clearly no greater than 1 in 10 million.

To spell out the large number fallacy, only a universe which does have exactly the right constants could observe it has exactly the right constants. The odds are immaterial, just as immaterial as the odds against you existing.

Every sperm will produce a unique human being. Imagine you had 5000 green marbles (in this case 'green' stands in place of 'unique', all the marbles are green just as all people are unique) in a box. If you choose one out, the chances of you getting a green marble are 1 out of 1. It is certain.

Imagine you had 4,999 green marbles, and 1 red. The chances of you getting a red marble from your draw are not 1:1, but 1:5000.

Your example is relevant in comparing the chances of one (yes, unique) given universe to ANY other (unique) universe. What's relevant is the set of life-sustaining universe to the set of non-life-sustaining universes.

Unless the 4999 green marbles are in a box and the red one is already in your hand.

Life is like that. When someone argues "What are the chances of life happening?" the response is generally along the lines of "Since it happened - 1:1"

Except that's not the answer. The chances of my winning the lottery don't become 1 once I've won.

The odds of you winning that particular lottery became 1:1 after you won.

Your winning that lottery does not affect future lotteries.

As we only have the one universe that we know of the chances of life in this universe are 1:1.

JC, everyone knows that my chances of winning the lottery don't become 1:1 after I've won. They were 1 in a million, period.

There are no "chances" of life in the universe at this moment, that's just a fact.

ProzacDeathWish
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jeffreyalex wrote:  I

jeffreyalex wrote:

I would define life (for the sake of this argument) as a collocation of matter, which reproduces itself, is goal-oriented, takes in food for energy to sustain itself, and is conscious.

Plants are an example of a living, reproducing organism yet there's no reason to believe they are conscious much less self aware.

Atheistextremist
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Yeah

jeffreyalex wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

Your example is relevant in comparing the chances of one (yes, unique) given universe to ANY other (unique) universe. What's relevant is the set of life-sustaining universe to the set of non-life-sustaining universes.

wonder what life is, Jeff, according to your argument. Is it bacteria? Viruses? A star? A galaxy? Us? What is the objective definition of life that might apply in the first instance?

What is a life sustaining universe? Is it a universe with one planet containing life? There are 125 billion galaxies in the universe, 400 billion stars in the Milky Way and 4 trillion planets in our galaxy alone. What are the odds of life developing once in such a universe, with so many varied environments over huge periods of time?

And what are the chances, in an environment rich with energy and devoid of life, of DNA becoming life? Under perfect circumstances does it always happen? How can we know? How can we avoid the bias of anthropocentric projection? Life has evolved once in this huge universe that we know of. And it seems to have evolved in a random, messy bottom-to-top sort of way.

Something else, Jeff. Why do you feel the need to embrace a necessarily supernatural answer to this question when the context and perspective needed for a clear understanding are not available to us?

I responded to your question about life. I would define life (for the sake of this argument) as a collocation of matter, which reproduces itself, is goal-oriented, takes in food for energy to sustain itself, and is conscious.

A life sustaining universe would be, for example, a universe in which heavy elements could form.

I don't feel a need to embrace a supernatural answer; I just don't care either way. If you recall, all I was defending is "Belief in god is not irrational", not "there is beyond doubt a supernatural creator."

With regard to 'appeals to authority', you say it as if it's a bad thing that I would appeal to numerous leading physicists to tell us something about physics. In my defense, though, I'll point out that I studied totally different things in college. However, having become interested in physics over the last several years, I'm back in college, taking physics course, with a plan of going to graduate school. I want to follow logic and reason where they'll lead, even if it takes 80,000 dollars in student loans.

I wasn't really convinced by your earlier definition and am still not. Goal orientation and consciousness both seem to imply anthro mental capabilities and are the product of life rather than a defining characteristic of it.

I prefer something a bit broader - life needs energy, produces waste, grows and responds to environmental pressures, reproduces and passes on beneficial traits to offspring and so can slowly adapt itself to a changing environment.

But I wonder if it's right to start by looking at organisms in their advanced state of evolution when we consider the potential for life.

Maybe we should wonder what the chances of an energy rich and carbon-based environment are in the universe. The chances of this are obviously far higher.

Once started, life is self sustaining and self developing and there must have been some point of ignition, some quality of environment that provided the necessary biochemistry required.

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

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jeffreyalex wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:
As usual, you're an idiot.

The point to make here is that out of those 10^7 sperm, all 10^7 were human sperm that would result in a human. So there's nothing spectacular in the result that with 10^7 sperm, you get a human. I can't even believe you thought this was a decent argument.

The only way this would be a good point is if out of all those 10^7, only a single one could have produced a person.

Now I'll note that the odds 10^7 are trillions times trillions times trillions times trillions of times better than the odds Penrose gave for the entropy conditions necessary in the early universe: 10^10^123.

Learn some science buddy. Use that mouse brain once in a while.

You do not understand statistics either. What shame but not surprising.

Only 1 in 10,000,000 can make. A particular person is produced by only a single sperm. Different sperm result in different people. You are aware of that are you not? The chance of a particular person being the result are clearly no greater than 1 in 10 million.

To spell out the large number fallacy, only a universe which does have exactly the right constants could observe it has exactly the right constants. The odds are immaterial, just as immaterial as the odds against you existing.

Every sperm will produce a unique human being. Imagine you had 5000 green marbles (in this case 'green' stands in place of 'unique', all the marbles are green just as all people are unique) in a box. If you choose one out, the chances of you getting a green marble are 1 out of 1. It is certain.

Imagine you had 4,999 green marbles, and 1 red. The chances of you getting a red marble from your draw are not 1:1, but 1:5000.

Your example is relevant in comparing the chances of one (yes, unique) given universe to ANY other (unique) universe. What's relevant is the set of life-sustaining universe to the set of non-life-sustaining universes.

Unless the 4999 green marbles are in a box and the red one is already in your hand.

Life is like that. When someone argues "What are the chances of life happening?" the response is generally along the lines of "Since it happened - 1:1"

Except that's not the answer. The chances of my winning the lottery don't become 1 once I've won.

The odds of you winning that particular lottery became 1:1 after you won.

Your winning that lottery does not affect future lotteries.

As we only have the one universe that we know of the chances of life in this universe are 1:1.

JC, everyone knows that my chances of winning the lottery don't become 1:1 after I've won. They were 1 in a million, period.

There are no "chances" of life in the universe at this moment, that's just a fact.

If you won the chances of you winning are 100%.

Your logic goes something like this:

me: You just won the lottery!

you: No I didn't. It's impossible for me to win the lottery.

me: But you won - here's the proof.

you: No it's impossible!

As for the "chances" of life in the universe. I will agree with you up to this point. Natural selection has nothing to do with chance. If there was a fine-tuning God he did it on a whim - how much more random can you get?

"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

Teralek
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The only way to dismiss

The only way to dismiss Universe fine tunning caused by an intentional First Cause is to reach the following conclusions: (if Big Bang theory is correct)

1. There is a non-caused, eternal and "non local" mechanism that creates Universes in a larger Cosmos.

OR

2. There is an eternal mechanism which in infinite regression and progression creates Universes in a larger Cosmos.

OR

3. These laws for the Universe, force relations and simpleness is the only possible way to make a Universe. But this will beg the question: why.

We don't know. We should praise our ignorance in this subject to acertain our wisdom.

Since this is an open discussion a skeptic will abstain his opinion. This will be an open question for a long long time...

I'm not a hard skeptic though.

Joker
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Teralek wrote:The only way

Teralek wrote:

The only way to dismiss Universe fine tunning caused by an intentional First Cause is to reach the following conclusions: (if Big Bang theory is correct)

1. There is a non-caused, eternal and "non local" mechanism that creates Universes in a larger Cosmos.

OR

2. There is an eternal mechanism which in infinite regression and progression creates Universes in a larger Cosmos.

OR

3. These laws for the Universe, force relations and simpleness is the only possible way to make a Universe. But this will beg the question: why.

We don't know. We should praise our ignorance in this subject to acertain our wisdom.

Since this is an open discussion a skeptic will abstain his opinion. This will be an open question for a long long time...

I'm not a hard skeptic though.

Not necessarily, there is also the basic concept of the null hypothesis. IE if we assume that the fine tuning argument is correct we could then sit down and work out what a non fine tuned universe would look like. This would also necessitate an explanation of what fine tuning is and what constants are necessary.

Joker
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jeffreyalex wrote:JC,

jeffreyalex wrote:

JC, everyone knows that my chances of winning the lottery don't become 1:1 after I've won. They were 1 in a million, period.

There are no "chances" of life in the universe at this moment, that's just a fact.

Actually... the odds aren't all that bad. The thing is you look at large numbers, there is the issue of statistical thermodynamics, IE all possible organizations of matter are very improbable but matter must still exist in a state. There is another thing too, people talk about odds being a million to 1, or maybe 10 million to 1. Let's say that there's a global epidemic that is fatal to 1 in 10 million people (similar odds to a million to 1). Assuming that the numbers are exactly perfect, which they admittedly aren't, you'd still have about 7,000 deaths worldwide mathematically. (I could be off, if I am I apologize). Similarly, let's say that there is are set odds of planets producing life, given that there are trillions upon trillions upon trillions of planets out there the idea that a few could support life isn't exactly a shocking statement.  Your points about the lottery also aren't all that accurate, a lottery win might be unlikely, but people still do win. The problem is that long odds don't mean that it can't happen, you in fact would seem to be arguing that in order for someone to win the lottery the people in charge would have to rig it for any of the winners.

Teralek
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Joker wrote:Teralek

Joker wrote:

Teralek wrote:

The only way to dismiss Universe fine tunning caused by an intentional First Cause is to reach the following conclusions: (if Big Bang theory is correct)

1. There is a non-caused, eternal and "non local" mechanism that creates Universes in a larger Cosmos.

OR

2. There is an eternal mechanism which in infinite regression and progression creates Universes in a larger Cosmos.

OR

3. These laws for the Universe, force relations and simpleness is the only possible way to make a Universe. But this will beg the question: why.

We don't know. We should praise our ignorance in this subject to acertain our wisdom.

Since this is an open discussion a skeptic will abstain his opinion. This will be an open question for a long long time...

I'm not a hard skeptic though.

Not necessarily, there is also the basic concept of the null hypothesis. IE if we assume that the fine tuning argument is correct we could then sit down and work out what a non fine tuned universe would look like. This would also necessitate an explanation of what fine tuning is and what constants are necessary.

I guess there could me more exotic theories. But I'd say ID has AT LEAST as much credit as any other theory. Saying otherwise it would be biased.

Some, like Rich Terrell, are arguing for ID completely outside the sphere of religious pundits. The argument goes to say that we live in some kind of Matrix. The evidence is that our world is made of "pixels": matter, time and space is quantized. Also he advocates that the Quantum superposition is another part of the evidence. Evidence we might expect from a super advanced computer simulation reality. He makes some sense actually!

The fine tunning (all constants and relations) has been explained by many scientists. Hubert Reeves is one of my favorite popular science writers, he has some writing about this.

I would say that a non ID Universe would be incapable of observing itself and it would be unintelligible.

Teralek
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Another "evidence" for ID

Another "evidence" for ID (digital simulation):

jeffreyalex
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Joker wrote:jeffreyalex

Joker wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

JC, everyone knows that my chances of winning the lottery don't become 1:1 after I've won. They were 1 in a million, period.

There are no "chances" of life in the universe at this moment, that's just a fact.

Actually... the odds aren't all that bad. The thing is you look at large numbers, there is the issue of statistical thermodynamics, IE all possible organizations of matter are very improbable but matter must still exist in a state. There is another thing too, people talk about odds being a million to 1, or maybe 10 million to 1. Let's say that there's a global epidemic that is fatal to 1 in 10 million people (similar odds to a million to 1). Assuming that the numbers are exactly perfect, which they admittedly aren't, you'd still have about 7,000 deaths worldwide mathematically. (I could be off, if I am I apologize). Similarly, let's say that there is are set odds of planets producing life, given that there are trillions upon trillions upon trillions of planets out there the idea that a few could support life isn't exactly a shocking statement.  Your points about the lottery also aren't all that accurate, a lottery win might be unlikely, but people still do win. The problem is that long odds don't mean that it can't happen, you in fact would seem to be arguing that in order for someone to win the lottery the people in charge would have to rig it for any of the winners.

I agree with your point that we live in a big universe (relative to the size of a tiny planet) and that there are probably a tremendous number of planets on which life could have developed. But the fine-tuning point is with regard to constants which would permit, for example, planets to exist, at all. In other words, the conditions for life could come about in no part of the universe on no possible planet if those constants had different values.

Agreed, matter, if it exists, must exist in a state. But it is tremendously more likely to exist in a state that's not a talking thinking mathematically reasoning person, or any form of life. But even so, as mentioned above, we aren't talking about that. We are talking about the mathematical constants that allow matter to be such, in the first place, that it could produce life.

Regarding the lottery and epidemics, I'm not sure the point you wanted to make. But observe that the chances of the lottery being won are not low, at all. Assuming a 6 digit win where you can choose from 1 - 60, the chances of choosing the correct number are 1 in 50,000,000. However, given that 25,000,000 different guesses are made by the lottery playing folks, the chance that there will be a win are very good.

What we see is that in this lottery the chance of a win in that drawing are 1 out of 2 (because half of the possible combinations have been played).

Anyway, I just got back from a trip, which is why I didn't respond sooner. Sorry about that. But one thing I learned is that these conversations can go on and on. I don't really think I'm going to convince anyone of anything by continuing to make the same points. However, I would like a sense of closure for this particular topic. For that reason I'd like to summarize below:

I find, based on reading articles and books written by both physicists and philosophers, that it seems to be the case that the universe's constants are valued such that they permit life, despite the most impossible odds.

It is reasonable to hold that the proposition "The Universe's constants are fine-tuned to permit life" is true.

It is reasonable to hold that this is due to either chance or design.

And, again, based on what I've learned, I hold that the chance is so small, equal to my choosing one particular atom out of all the atoms in the universe, as to warrant being called a virtual impossibility.

Joker
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Teralek wrote:Joker

Teralek wrote:

Joker wrote:

Teralek wrote:

The only way to dismiss Universe fine tunning caused by an intentional First Cause is to reach the following conclusions: (if Big Bang theory is correct)

1. There is a non-caused, eternal and "non local" mechanism that creates Universes in a larger Cosmos.

OR

2. There is an eternal mechanism which in infinite regression and progression creates Universes in a larger Cosmos.

OR

3. These laws for the Universe, force relations and simpleness is the only possible way to make a Universe. But this will beg the question: why.

We don't know. We should praise our ignorance in this subject to acertain our wisdom.

Since this is an open discussion a skeptic will abstain his opinion. This will be an open question for a long long time...

I'm not a hard skeptic though.

Not necessarily, there is also the basic concept of the null hypothesis. IE if we assume that the fine tuning argument is correct we could then sit down and work out what a non fine tuned universe would look like. This would also necessitate an explanation of what fine tuning is and what constants are necessary.

I guess there could me more exotic theories. But I'd say ID has AT LEAST as much credit as any other theory. Saying otherwise it would be biased.

Some, like Rich Terrell, are arguing for ID completely outside the sphere of religious pundits. The argument goes to say that we live in some kind of Matrix. The evidence is that our world is made of "pixels": matter, time and space is quantized. Also he advocates that the Quantum superposition is another part of the evidence. Evidence we might expect from a super advanced computer simulation reality. He makes some sense actually!

The fine tunning (all constants and relations) has been explained by many scientists. Hubert Reeves is one of my favorite popular science writers, he has some writing about this.

I would say that a non ID Universe would be incapable of observing itself and it would be unintelligible.

ID isn't a theory, there have been no experiments to prove ID, there are no hypotheses nor are there any null hypotheses being tested as counters. ID is someone trying to claim their religious beliefs are correct by going 'well all of this sure LOOKS designed', even if the skill of the designer would be called into question looking at the average body

Joker
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jeffreyalex wrote:Joker

jeffreyalex wrote:

Joker wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

JC, everyone knows that my chances of winning the lottery don't become 1:1 after I've won. They were 1 in a million, period.

There are no "chances" of life in the universe at this moment, that's just a fact.

Actually... the odds aren't all that bad. The thing is you look at large numbers, there is the issue of statistical thermodynamics, IE all possible organizations of matter are very improbable but matter must still exist in a state. There is another thing too, people talk about odds being a million to 1, or maybe 10 million to 1. Let's say that there's a global epidemic that is fatal to 1 in 10 million people (similar odds to a million to 1). Assuming that the numbers are exactly perfect, which they admittedly aren't, you'd still have about 7,000 deaths worldwide mathematically. (I could be off, if I am I apologize). Similarly, let's say that there is are set odds of planets producing life, given that there are trillions upon trillions upon trillions of planets out there the idea that a few could support life isn't exactly a shocking statement.  Your points about the lottery also aren't all that accurate, a lottery win might be unlikely, but people still do win. The problem is that long odds don't mean that it can't happen, you in fact would seem to be arguing that in order for someone to win the lottery the people in charge would have to rig it for any of the winners.

I agree with your point that we live in a big universe (relative to the size of a tiny planet) and that there are probably a tremendous number of planets on which life could have developed. But the fine-tuning point is with regard to constants which would permit, for example, planets to exist, at all. In other words, the conditions for life could come about in no part of the universe on no possible planet if those constants had different values.

Agreed, matter, if it exists, must exist in a state. But it is tremendously more likely to exist in a state that's not a talking thinking mathematically reasoning person, or any form of life. But even so, as mentioned above, we aren't talking about that. We are talking about the mathematical constants that allow matter to be such, in the first place, that it could produce life.

Regarding the lottery and epidemics, I'm not sure the point you wanted to make. But observe that the chances of the lottery being won are not low, at all. Assuming a 6 digit win where you can choose from 1 - 60, the chances of choosing the correct number are 1 in 50,000,000. However, given that 25,000,000 different guesses are made by the lottery playing folks, the chance that there will be a win are very good.

What we see is that in this lottery the chance of a win in that drawing are 1 out of 2 (because half of the possible combinations have been played).

Anyway, I just got back from a trip, which is why I didn't respond sooner. Sorry about that. But one thing I learned is that these conversations can go on and on. I don't really think I'm going to convince anyone of anything by continuing to make the same points. However, I would like a sense of closure for this particular topic. For that reason I'd like to summarize below:

I find, based on reading articles and books written by both physicists and philosophers, that it seems to be the case that the universe's constants are valued such that they permit life, despite the most impossible odds.

It is reasonable to hold that the proposition "The Universe's constants are fine-tuned to permit life" is true.

It is reasonable to hold that this is due to either chance or design.

And, again, based on what I've learned, I hold that the chance is so small, equal to my choosing one particular atom out of all the atoms in the universe, as to warrant being called a virtual impossibility.

YOu were the one that used the Lottery analogy first of all. Second, philosphers have no place in science, and if you're going to say 'well what about planets' some of it is a simple matter of gravity and probabilty. And again, what is the null hypothesis for your fine tuning argument, what would a non fine tuned universe look like and what sort of things require fine tuning? Why do you think that this universe is fine tuned?

jeffreyalex
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Joker wrote:jeffreyalex

Joker wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

Joker wrote:

jeffreyalex wrote:

JC, everyone knows that my chances of winning the lottery don't become 1:1 after I've won. They were 1 in a million, period.

There are no "chances" of life in the universe at this moment, that's just a fact.

Actually... the odds aren't all that bad. The thing is you look at large numbers, there is the issue of statistical thermodynamics, IE all possible organizations of matter are very improbable but matter must still exist in a state. There is another thing too, people talk about odds being a million to 1, or maybe 10 million to 1. Let's say that there's a global epidemic that is fatal to 1 in 10 million people (similar odds to a million to 1). Assuming that the numbers are exactly perfect, which they admittedly aren't, you'd still have about 7,000 deaths worldwide mathematically. (I could be off, if I am I apologize). Similarly, let's say that there is are set odds of planets producing life, given that there are trillions upon trillions upon trillions of planets out there the idea that a few could support life isn't exactly a shocking statement.  Your points about the lottery also aren't all that accurate, a lottery win might be unlikely, but people still do win. The problem is that long odds don't mean that it can't happen, you in fact would seem to be arguing that in order for someone to win the lottery the people in charge would have to rig it for any of the winners.

I agree with your point that we live in a big universe (relative to the size of a tiny planet) and that there are probably a tremendous number of planets on which life could have developed. But the fine-tuning point is with regard to constants which would permit, for example, planets to exist, at all. In other words, the conditions for life could come about in no part of the universe on no possible planet if those constants had different values.

Agreed, matter, if it exists, must exist in a state. But it is tremendously more likely to exist in a state that's not a talking thinking mathematically reasoning person, or any form of life. But even so, as mentioned above, we aren't talking about that. We are talking about the mathematical constants that allow matter to be such, in the first place, that it could produce life.

Regarding the lottery and epidemics, I'm not sure the point you wanted to make. But observe that the chances of the lottery being won are not low, at all. Assuming a 6 digit win where you can choose from 1 - 60, the chances of choosing the correct number are 1 in 50,000,000. However, given that 25,000,000 different guesses are made by the lottery playing folks, the chance that there will be a win are very good.

What we see is that in this lottery the chance of a win in that drawing are 1 out of 2 (because half of the possible combinations have been played).

Anyway, I just got back from a trip, which is why I didn't respond sooner. Sorry about that. But one thing I learned is that these conversations can go on and on. I don't really think I'm going to convince anyone of anything by continuing to make the same points. However, I would like a sense of closure for this particular topic. For that reason I'd like to summarize below:

I find, based on reading articles and books written by both physicists and philosophers, that it seems to be the case that the universe's constants are valued such that they permit life, despite the most impossible odds.

It is reasonable to hold that the proposition "The Universe's constants are fine-tuned to permit life" is true.

It is reasonable to hold that this is due to either chance or design.

And, again, based on what I've learned, I hold that the chance is so small, equal to my choosing one particular atom out of all the atoms in the universe, as to warrant being called a virtual impossibility.

YOu were the one that used the Lottery analogy first of all. Second, philosphers have no place in science, and if you're going to say 'well what about planets' some of it is a simple matter of gravity and probabilty. And again, what is the null hypothesis for your fine tuning argument, what would a non fine tuned universe look like and what sort of things require fine tuning? Why do you think that this universe is fine tuned?

For example, if the nuclear force (a constant) had a different value hydrogen would fuse into diprotons. If other constants were different stars would have life spans too short to allow for life to arise. If other constants were different the universe would have collapsed in on itself soon after the big bang.

Teralek
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Joker wrote:ID isn't a

Joker wrote:

ID isn't a theory, there have been no experiments to prove ID, there are no hypotheses nor are there any null hypotheses being tested as counters. ID is someone trying to claim their religious beliefs are correct by going 'well all of this sure LOOKS designed', even if the skill of the designer would be called into question looking at the average body

Not true. There are plenty of hypothesis out there for a "simulated reality" Universe. They are actually gaining some strength given recent developments in the holographic principle consequence of the Black hole information paradox. And other facts about quantum mechanics and some developments in string theory.

All of which you completely ignored from my last post, by stop reading after the first sentence, and started talking about religion AGAIN. Raphael Bousso or Rich Terrell have nothing to do with religion. Nor we have to worship the programmer if it turns out we are a simulation.

Many of you should have figured by now that I'm not like the other people around here.

Vastet
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Every time anyone suggests

Every time anyone suggests that the universe is finely tuned, they've admitted they know little to nothing about logic, or at the very least have failed to apply logic to their position.

Less than 0.0000000000000000000000000001% of the universe as observed is hospitable to life as we know and define it. That is hardly a marker of fine tuning. Instead, it is evidence that life is what was fine tuned, not the universe.
Since we already have an observed mechanism for the fine tuning of life (evolution), and do not have a mechanism for the fine tuning of the universe, it is pretty ridiculous to assume it was the universe that was finely tuned.

Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Teralek
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Vastet wrote:Every time

Vastet wrote:
Every time anyone suggests that the universe is finely tuned, they've admitted they know little to nothing about logic, or at the very least have failed to apply logic to their position. Less than 0.0000000000000000000000000001% of the universe as observed is hospitable to life as we know and define it. That is hardly a marker of fine tuning. Instead, it is evidence that life is what was fine tuned, not the universe. Since we already have an observed mechanism for the fine tuning of life (evolution), and do not have a mechanism for the fine tuning of the universe, it is pretty ridiculous to assume it was the universe that was finely tuned.

Vastlet, that does not mean anything... it is not ridiculous and to be fair, when it comes to the metaphysics of reality, fined tuned or not fined tuned... anything is valid. Because as you quite well said: "we  do not have a mechanism for the fine tuning of the universe" nor an Originator for ANY equation or constant in the Universe.

The Universe is tuned for the chemistry of complex molecules, this is clear as daylight. Only chemistry of complex molecules can allow life. And these are extremely narrow ranges.

For the sake of the argument:

"There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life".[2] However he continues "...the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires".[2] He also states that "... 'anthropic' reasoning fails to distinguish between minimally biophilic universes, in which life is permitted, but only marginally possible, and optimally biophilic universes, in which life flourishes because biogenesis occurs frequently ..." Paul Davies PhD

"If, for example, the strong nuclear force were 2% stronger than it is (i.e., if the coupling constant representing its strength were 2% larger), while the other constants were left unchanged, diprotons would be stable and hydrogen would fuse into them instead of deuterium and helium. This would drastically alter the physics of stars, and presumably preclude the existence of life similar to what we observe on Earth. The existence of the di-proton would short-circuit the slow fusion of hydrogen into deuterium. Hydrogen would fuse so easily that it is likely that all of the Universe's hydrogen would be consumed in the first few minutes after the Big Bang."

"The current standard model of particle physics has 25 freely adjustable parameters with an additional parameter, the cosmological constant, for gravitation. " These constants have no explanation, they came out of the blue.

"The ripples in the universe left over from the original ‘Big Bang’ singularity (often referred to as CMB, or cosmic background radiation) are detectable at one part in 10^5 (100,000). If this factor were even slightly smaller, the cosmos would exist exclusively as a collection of gas — stars, planets and galaxies would not exist. Conversely, if this factor were increased slightly, the universe would consist only of large black holes."

"The sun derives its ‘fuel’ from fusing hydrogen atoms together. When two hydrogen atoms fuse, 0.7% of the mass of the hydrogen atoms is converted into energy. If the amount of matter converted were slightly smaller — say, 0.6% instead of 0.7% — a proton would not be able to bond to a neutron and the universe would consist only of hydrogen. Without the presence of heavy elements, planets would not form and hence no life would be possible. Conversely, if the amount of matter converted were increased to 0.8% instead of 0.7%, fusion would occur so rapidly that no hydrogen would remain."

"The ratio of electrons to protons must be finely balanced to a degree of one part in 10^37. If this fundamental constant were to be any larger or smaller than this, the electromagnetism would dominate gravity — preventing the formation of galaxies, stars and planets."

"The ratio of the electromagnetic force to gravity must be finely balanced to a degree of one part in 10^40. If this value were to be increased slightly, all stars would be at least 40% more massive than our Sun. This would mean that stellar burning would be too brief and too uneven to support complex life. If this value were to be decreased slightly, all stars would be at least 20% less massive than the sun. This would render them incapable of producing heavy elements."

"The rate at which the universe expands must be finely tuned to one part in 10^55. If the universe expanded too fast, matter would expand too quickly for the formation of stars, planets and galaxies. If the universe expanded too slowly, the universe would quickly collapse"

This one is a bit more technical but is one of the most amazing: "Carbon has resonance of 7.6 million electron-volts, if it was any different, there would be no carbon in the Universe" there is this good paper about this: philsci-archive.pitt.edu/5332/1/3alphaphil.pdf

If you change any force slightly something destructive will happen

Vastet
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Teralek wrote:Vastlet, that

Teralek wrote:
Vastlet, that does not mean anything...

Correct. It means EVERYTHING.

Metaphysics is an inherently broken term that doesn't refer to anything.

Quote:
Because as you quite well said: "we  do not have a mechanism for the fine tuning of the universe" nor an Originator for ANY equation or constant in the Universe.

We don't need an 'originator' to see that the universe is and observe what it is and how it behaves.

We don't even know there WAS an 'originator'. Unless you've been hiding something perhaps? A Nobel prize, fame, and fortune await you if you have.

Quote:
he Universe is tuned for the chemistry of complex molecules, this is clear as daylight.

More backwards and flawed logic. Chemicals have evolved as life has. And will continue to. The mechanism has been observed.

Still nothing for the universe.

ITT: People who haven't the slightest idea what they are talking about, and a few educated atheists banging their heads against the wall in complete disbelief.

Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Joker
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Teralek wrote:Joker wrote:ID

Teralek wrote:

Joker wrote:

ID isn't a theory, there have been no experiments to prove ID, there are no hypotheses nor are there any null hypotheses being tested as counters. ID is someone trying to claim their religious beliefs are correct by going 'well all of this sure LOOKS designed', even if the skill of the designer would be called into question looking at the average body

Not true. There are plenty of hypothesis out there for a "simulated reality" Universe. They are actually gaining some strength given recent developments in the holographic principle consequence of the Black hole information paradox. And other facts about quantum mechanics and some developments in string theory.

All of which you completely ignored from my last post, by stop reading after the first sentence, and started talking about religion AGAIN. Raphael Bousso or Rich Terrell have nothing to do with religion. Nor we have to worship the programmer if it turns out we are a simulation.

Many of you should have figured by now that I'm not like the other people around here.

Which of these alleged hypotheses have been tested in a lab? Where are the peer reviewed articles on them? If you're going to claim legitimacy then your ideas have to run the gauntlet of peer review, something that ID seems to have a rather hard time doing. Also, while some of the ideas they put forward might be very compelling, it doesn't mean that they're accurate if they can't bring anything other than supposition to the party.

Joker
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jeffreyalex wrote:Joker

jeffreyalex wrote:

Joker wrote:

YOu were the one that used the Lottery analogy first of all. Second, philosphers have no place in science, and if you're going to say 'well what about planets' some of it is a simple matter of gravity and probabilty. And again, what is the null hypothesis for your fine tuning argument, what would a non fine tuned universe look like and what sort of things require fine tuning? Why do you think that this universe is fine tuned?

For example, if the nuclear force (a constant) had a different value hydrogen would fuse into diprotons. If other constants were different stars would have life spans too short to allow for life to arise. If other constants were different the universe would have collapsed in on itself soon after the big bang.

Well, not necessarily, the thing is that some of the constants changes might mean that life couldn't arise, others would just mean that life might arise but it would be different, say silicon based rather than carbon. Life as it exists required various things, yes, but it doesn't mean that someone arranged it. The problem of the fine tuning argument is that you seem to believe that everything was made just so, even though we can handle variables a fair amount AND the universe itself is still fairly hostile to life. If you want to claim that the universe was made by another being, what would it look like, what key differences would it have? What would ultimately necessitate the differences. IE would a universe have to be unable to form ANY life for you to consider it not fine tuned? Would life have to be easier or harder to occur? Would you require more or less elaborate physical principles?

Teralek
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quake.stanford.edu/~bai/finet

quake.stanford.edu/~bai/finetuning.pdf

home.olemiss.edu/~namanson/This%20Universe.pdf

And these 2 are enough, I have more to do than spend my time looking this for you. My arguments were not refuted. I only heard empty claims and strawmans.

I admit there are not many people doing a complete and impartial study about this because the religious pundits don't loose a chance to spoil an honest argument.

I don't intend to prove anything, I only want to open your mind because it seems quite close sometimes. If you think science is finished and we know all these stuff, we talk in this forum, with certainty, we should not invest in science anymore.

You cant make the Big Bang in a lab so I guess the BB is also speculation... It's true that ID can't be proven but it's an hypothesis "A hypothesis (from Greek ὑπόθεσις; plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon". Philosophy can make hypothesis. Not just the CERN. We can make hypothesis from observations. I just told you what those observations are. The hypothesis fits the observations, although it cant be proven. Actually the BB is the prevailing cosmological model that explains the early development of the Universe, so it's not a fact. Not that dissimilar from an ID hypothesis.

I rest my case. No matter what I say, you say it's illogical. So be it. It's illogical for me to continue.

I guess when a ton load of physicists say the universe is fine tuned they are also being illogical.

Praise the rationality of RSS which stands above all else!

Vastet
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.pdf files require a PC to

Which should not be taken as a suggestion that I think there is any evidence in those links, because I already know for a fact there is not.

I've kept up with scientific discoveries for 20 years. If anything had ever been discovered to back up your claims, I'd already know about it.

Finally, cars didn't exist two hundred years ago. Yet, if we used your logic (as you apply it to studies on the big bang), we'd be forced to conclude they cannot and will not ever exist. Despite the fact they exist. Are you seriously going to try and defend this garbage?

Good luck if so. But don't waste your time with it here. We know better.

Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

Joker
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Teralek

Teralek wrote:

quake.stanford.edu/~bai/finetuning.pdf

home.olemiss.edu/~namanson/This%20Universe.pdf

And these 2 are enough, I have more to do than spend my time looking this for you. My arguments were not refuted. I only heard empty claims and strawmans.

I admit there are not many people doing a complete and impartial study about this because the religious pundits don't loose a chance to spoil an honest argument.

I don't intend to prove anything, I only want to open your mind because it seems quite close sometimes. If you think science is finished and we know all these stuff, we talk in this forum, with certainty, we should not invest in science anymore.

You cant make the Big Bang in a lab so I guess the BB is also speculation... It's true that ID can't be proven but it's an hypothesis "A hypothesis (from Greek ὑπόθεσις; plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon". Philosophy can make hypothesis. Not just the CERN. We can make hypothesis from observations. I just told you what those observations are. The hypothesis fits the observations, although it cant be proven. Actually the BB is the prevailing cosmological model that explains the early development of the Universe, so it's not a fact. Not that dissimilar from an ID hypothesis.

I rest my case. No matter what I say, you say it's illogical. So be it. It's illogical for me to continue.

I guess when a ton load of physicists say the universe is fine tuned they are also being illogical.

Praise the rationality of RSS which stands above all else!

Do you think you're being cute or clever? We have proof for the big bang, we see shift of stars moving away from a central point, radio telescopes can sense the static of the big bang. The Big Bang Theory is called a theory because it's supported by exteranal evidence and experiment. If you want ID to be considered viable then it has to run the gauntlet of peer review, which it hasn't been able to do. That isn't a strawman, I never claimed you held a position that you did not, if you feel that I did, show me where and I'll either correct myself or clarify a point. The issue is that in science a hypothesis is just speculation UNTIL there is evidence that substantiates it and can be replicated consistently by experiement and analysis.

Teralek
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Just a little bit of

Just a little bit of education for those in need. There seems to be a lot of education lacking in here... on some people:

"A hypothesis attempts to answer questions by putting forth a plausible explanation that has yet to be rigorously tested. A theory, on the other hand, has already undergone extensive testing by various scientists and is generally accepted as being an accurate explanation of an observation. This doesn’t mean the theory is correct; only that current testing has not yet been able to disprove it, and the evidence as it is understood, appears to support it."

"A straw man is a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.[1] To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man&quot, and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position."

Yes I should know better than to argue with stubborn, all knowing people.

I'm about to leave anyway. Only to come back in 2013. I'll miss our discussions.

harleysportster
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Teralek wrote:

I'm about to leave anyway. Only to come back in 2013. I'll miss our discussions.

Gonna miss having you.

We might not always see eye to eye, but when is that a necessary prerequisite for enjoyable conversations ?

Hell, if I want someone to agree with me all of the time, I just need to look in the mirror and talk to myself.

Hope you come back sooner than 2013.

BTW. If you see anything that changes your mind about the Fermi Paradox, get it on film and let me know. I want to SEE a UFO. ( Just don't want to get abducted and experimented on)

“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

Teralek
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harleysportster

harleysportster wrote:

Teralek wrote:

I'm about to leave anyway. Only to come back in 2013. I'll miss our discussions.

Gonna miss having you.

We might not always see eye to eye, but when is that a necessary prerequisite for enjoyable conversations ?

Hell, if I want someone to agree with me all of the time, I just need to look in the mirror and talk to myself.

Hope you come back sooner than 2013.

BTW. If you see anything that changes your mind about the Fermi Paradox, get it on film and let me know. I want to SEE a UFO. ( Just don't want to get abducted and experimented on)

Yes, I'll miss people here too. Even when they are incapable of understanding and refuting some of the things I say. On some subjects I actually don't want people to agree with me. Only to acknowledge a possibility.

But discussions here always make me think and research, that's always a good thing. I don't judge you. Many like to defend their positions passionatly.

Believe me there is nothing I want more than change my opinion about the Fermi paradox! I'm going to take my camera with me in this journey! Although I doubt I'll see anything... my opinion about the Fermi paradox has not changed much. There are a number of factors explaining it. I added a few more to the list after that thread.

Teralek
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harleysportster wrote:Hope

harleysportster wrote:

Hope you come back sooner than 2013.

Don't get your hopes too high. You see, I'm due to be on a cruise ship for 9 months... But maybe I'll see you if you live in the NE coast of the US! LOL