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Why wouldn't God exist?

Does God exist?  

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  1. 1. Does God exist?

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It always struck me as odd, this "fine tuning" argument. I have no problems accepting the idea that something fine tuned the universe - there's no way of testing this, and there's no reason to accept (or not accept) it at all. It is just irrelevant, honestly.

 

But even *if* something fine-tuned the universe, then what? Our universe quite obviously doesn't support human life (you need special equipment to live only a few kilometers above ground), has an abundance of black holes and radiation, has lots of quirks and weirdness in it (the biology of the human being is only one of them), that the conclusion seems to be that whoever fine-tuned out universe was either incompetent, or didn't care much for humans, or was purposefully malicious.

 

Even looking just at the human physiology makes this clear - the fact that our waste management system is the same tubing as our procreation system is either a huge practical joke on behalf of the designer, or a tremendous blunder. It causes so many potential problems that it is quite hard to define it as a proper design.

 

 

So even if we do claim that things were fine tuned, I don't quite see how it helps us any.

 

~moo

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There is not enough data to go beyond this point. We could continue to argue metaphysically, but I have no interest in that so I stop where the evidence exceeds our current reach.

There's not even enough data to get to the first few picoseconds of the existence of the universe. Why bother going further?

 

Yes I can see you don't. A designer is favored because we observe things that are fine tuned and note that in every case where the cause is known, design is at the root of it while at the same time we never observe physical principles causing fine tuning. Perhaps this will change one day. For now it is a sound rationale.

 

No, it isn't. This is inductive reasoning.

 

The question whether inductive references are justified, or under what conditions, is known as
the problem of induction.

 

...

 

My own view is that the various difficulties of inductive logic here sketched are insurmountable. So also, I fear, are those inherent in the doctrine so widely current today, that inductive inference, although not 'strictly valid',
can attain some degree of 'reliability' or of 'probability'.

 

...

 

In short, like every other form of inductive logic, the logic of probable inference, or 'probability logic', leads either to an infinite regress, or to the doctrine of
apriorism.

 

From Karl Popper's work The Logic of Scientific Discovery, the foundation work for the philosophy of science.

 

You cannot base your hypothesis on the idea that "all we've seen so far has been designed" because that is an inductive argument, and there is no valid principle of induction that we can use to declare your conclusion valid. Hume also makes this point:

 

It is impossible, therefore, that any arguments from experience can prove this resemblance of the past to the future; since all these arguments are founded on the supposition of that resemblance.
Let the course of things be allowed hitherto ever so regular; that alone, without some new argument or inference, proves not that, for the future, it will continue so.
In vain do you pretend to have learned the nature of bodies from your past experience.

 

From An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, another classic philosophical work. Emphasis mine.

 

Unless you propose a logical principle that denies the possibility of a tuning principle, a purposeful agent cannot be favored over a physical principle.

 

Again you make a valid point. I agree, but since we have no information about unknown principles we have no way to factor them in.

Unknown principles are no different from unknown purposeful agents.

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A designer is favored because we observe things that are fine tuned and note that in every case where the cause is known, design is at the root of it while at the same time we never observe physical principles causing fine tuning. Perhaps this will change one day. For now it is a sound rationale.

 

False. In every case we have observed something to be fine-tuned, and the cause is known, the cause is physical principles. The sideways stability of an airplane, for example, is due simply to the angle of its wings, combined with the physical principles of aerodynamics and geometry/mechanics of solid objects. That all the airplanes we know about are designed by humans does not change the fact that the "fine tuned" stability of their shape has always existed and always will, and is due to physical principles that have existed since time immemorial -- not from anything humans or any known intelligent agent may have done.

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False. In every case we have observed something to be fine-tuned, and the cause is known, the cause is physical principles. The sideways stability of an airplane, for example, is due simply to the angle of its wings, combined with the physical principles of aerodynamics and geometry/mechanics of solid objects. That all the airplanes we know about are designed by humans does not change the fact that the "fine tuned" stability of their shape has always existed and always will, and is due to physical principles that have existed since time immemorial -- not from anything humans or any known intelligent agent may have done.

 

What a bunch of nonsense. The wing is functional only because it is the shape it is, and the shape is due to design. the physical principles did not develop a blueprint and then direct that it should be built a particular way. Your argument is laughable, interesting approach though I have to say.

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What a bunch of nonsense. The wing is functional only because it is the shape it is, and the shape is due to design. the physical principles did not develop a blueprint and then direct that it should be built a particular way. Your argument is laughable, interesting approach though I have to say.

 

And that shape would be stable at any point in time, regardless of whether humans exist. We just had to notice.

 

Please also remember rule 1.a of the religion forum.

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Unknown principles are no different from unknown purposeful agents.

 

Discovery of unknown principles have thus far never accounted for known markers of design (including for example fine tuning). However unknown purposeful agents have (Stonehenge for example). In that sense they are quite different.

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What a bunch of nonsense. The wing is functional only because it is the shape it is, and the shape is due to design. the physical principles did not develop a blueprint and then direct that it should be built a particular way. Your argument is laughable, interesting approach though I have to say.

 

And yet it seems much more likely than the notion that the same shape would not have been functional before humans made the first airplanes, wouldn't you say? It's functionality has nothing to do with design, humans, nor intelligence -- although its actual existence might. We discovered a shape suited for flight, which has always been suited for flight and always will be, and we went about actually building it. It is not our design that makes it work, but the physical principles that have always exited. That we just so happen to design things to work given our knowledge of the physical principles, doesn't make it our design rather than the physical principles that make it work.

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Discovery of unknown principles have thus far never accounted for known markers of design (including for example fine tuning). However unknown purposeful agents have (Stonehenge for example). In that sense they are quite different.

 

There are numerous examples of self-organizing complex systems in nature -- particularly in chemistry. Were you to examine a self-organizing microscopic structure without understanding, you would presume it was designed -- until you learned how it works.

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Discovery of unknown principles have thus far never accounted for known markers of design (including for example fine tuning).

 

What are these markers?

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There are numerous examples of self-organizing complex systems in nature -- particularly in chemistry. Were you to examine a self-organizing microscopic structure without understanding, you would presume it was designed -- until you learned how it works.

 

 

It's alive! It's ... alive! :D

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There are numerous examples of self-organizing complex systems in nature -- particularly in chemistry. Were you to examine a self-organizing microscopic structure without understanding, you would presume it was designed -- until you learned how it works.

 

I disagree. Clear markers for designs involve non-repeating patterns of complex and diverse components that are well fitted and where the components involve a high degree of contingency. The configurations and make-up of the configurations are in a very large set of alternated possible configurations. In addition, the actual configuration is coherent and have specific identifiable function that is identifiable and independent of the system itself.

 

While designers also make simpler systems that lack these clear markers, we know of no case where physical principles derive the system I described.

 

Edit: there have been a number of posts that I have not responded to every item. I generally won't if the topic has already been addressed or if the issue is not particularly revealing to the topic or I think it is obviously without merit. If you feel strongly that I failed to address a key point, raise it again.

Edited by cypress
to add footnote

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I don't argue that a creator is a necessity. I have stated there is evidence that the universe and life in it was intentionally created.

Actually you did the quote is (emphasis mine): "However, contrary to your assertion, there actually is a fair amount of evidence that indicates the necessity of a creator for both the universe and life in it."

 

Yes, you are arguing for the necessity of a creator.

 

False. You provided some just so stories supported by a host of assumptions, some of which are wrong. I pointed out a couple errors previously.

And backed up by references to the Nobel Prize winning Scientist who developed those theories. So they are not just stories, they are "stories" with direct, repeatable evidence to support them.

 

You have claimed evidence to support your "stories" of a "necessary" creator, but have not provided any.

 

So, if we are going to use rational argument here, then a story with supporting evidence is far better than one without it, don't you think?

 

Actually I know you think that because that was supposedly your counter argument against me: that there was no supporting evidence. But I provided it and if you choose to ignore it, then that does not make me wrong.

 

True that there are references for the presence of research. Not true that the research validates your claims.

The existence of such research projects do not support my claims, but the results of that research project would. As the research projects do support my claims (as my claims are based on the results of that research).

 

Turing machines are designed.

No. the Turing Machine is an abstract description of how mathematical functions can be combined into algorithms. Specifically how one set of symbols are translated into another set given a set of rules.

 

Yes, you can make a physical Turing Machine (your computer is a rather special one - it being a universal Turing machine), however, the physical structure of such a machine is irrelevant: If the system has a certain set of properties, then it qualifies as a Turing machine as the Turing machine is the lable3 given to systems with those properties.

 

So, Turing machines are no more "designed" than PI or the square root of 2. It is just the physical implementation can be (but doesn't have to be) designed.

 

I completely agree that evolution can and does proceed uninhibited when a designer is behind it. Genetic engineers are proving this regularly these days. Take away the designer and you need a different source of information and molecular ordering.

Ok, here is a really simple thought experiment (you can do this for real if you want though).

 

The one thing is you are going to have to be the "engine" because I have simplified this in order to make the point. It is perfectly conceivable that such a system could exist naturally, but to get such an explicit example would require a contrived (but perfectly feasible to occur without any outside set-up).

 

1) Take a bunch of drinking straws (or bits of string will do), around 10 will do for now.

 

2) Randomly cut them to different lengths (you could start them all off at deterministic lengths, but randomness will do here for simplicity's sake).

 

3) Find the shortest straw and throw it out (in terms of evolution this is selection). There are ways that this can occur without human intervention.

 

4) Using one randomly selected from remaining straws cut a fresh straw to a similar but not necessarily identical length (in terms of evolution this is reproduction with inheritance and variation).

 

5) Repeat steps 3,4 and 5 until you can no longer cut the straws (ie they are the full length of a fresh straw).

 

For selection in natural systems this can be thought of in terms of the old joke: How fast do you have to run to avoid being eaten by a lion? -> Faster than the slowest guy (because the lion will catch the slowest guy and not need to keep chasing you). The lengths of the straws can be an analogy to the speed of the runners (maybe because they have longer legs).

 

So in a natural system all you need a lion to chase and eat slow runners and for the fast runners to breed (with variation and inheritance) and you will get Natural evolution without the need for any designer. Wow, I just disproved your counter argument: that evolution can not exist without a designer behind it.

 

Slow runners get eaten by lions, faster runners breed and pass on their faster running, as there are less slow runners in the population (the have all been eaten by the lions), and the fast runners are passing on the genetics that give them fast running ability, the population as a whole ends up evolving to be faster runners.

 

Now, I have had people try counter arguments against this and I will pre-empt the most common ones:

 

1) The lion and the prey could have a designer.

Ok, yes, they could have, but as your argument was that evolution could not occur without a designer, lets just, for the sake of argument here, assume that it is possible that lions and prey can exist without a designer.

 

If, under this assumption the results of the situation remain unchanged, then a designer is not necessary. A brief thought shows that in no part of the lion/prey situation requires a designer to step in and intervene, then if lions and prey can exist without a designer then a designer is not necessary for the lion/prey system to produce evolution.

 

Again, this does not say that a designer does not exist, just that the existence or non existence of a designer is totally irrelevant to evolution. As your argument was that evolution could not occur without a designer, then this proves your argument false.

 

Therefore: Evolution does not need a designer.

 

If evolution made use of some naturally derived turing machine I would tend to agree with you.

As a Turing Machine is just the translation of one set of symbols into another set of symbols according to a set of rules, then does DNA show the properties of a Turing machine.

 

DNA is transcribed into RNA. However as RNA has a different set of bases, then this constitutes a different set of "Symbols"

 

So, here is the first Turing machine: DNA to RNA

 

RNA is then transcribed into proteins. Now, proteins are a completely different set of symbols and it takes more complex rules than for DNA to RNA, but there is an exact set of rules that can be used to perform this, so here again is a perfectly good natural Turing Machine (number 2)

 

As evolution acts on the information on the DNA, then changes to the DNA result in changes to the organism. Then the change in genetic code from one organism constitutes as a change in symbols (as the ordering of the symbols is also considered a translation in terms of Turing machines).

 

This means that the variation (one of the key processes of evolution) is demonstrably a Turing machine (along with many other biological processes).

 

Since your question was about if evolution used any Turing Machines, then Yes, Evolution itself is a Turing machine (not necessarily a universal Turing machine, but it could be).

 

Actually, according to Turing Machine theory, any true Turing Machine can be emulated by a Universal Turing Machine. So, if evolution is really a Turing machine, then a Universal Turing Machine must be able to emulate it. in other words, can evolution exist on a computer (computers are implementation of the Universal Turing machine specification).

 

As I have personally implemented evolution on a computer, and I know of hundreds of other examples (from aircraft design, circuit board design, car design, traffic routing, the routing of data packets in networks, the design of factory layouts, etc, etc etc - pretty much most technology now days has had some part of it developed by evolutionary processes running on computers) then I know that computers certainly can implement evolution. This proves that evolution must be a Turing machine as any algorithm implemented on a Universal Turing Machine must be able to be implemented on a Turing Machine (even if that Turing machine has to be a Universal Turing machine).

 

Agreed, but our information ends in our realm so it is fruitless to speculate if the fine tuner was caused or not.

This it is also equally fruitless to speculate, (or more so, postualte) the existence of a designer that exist outside the system of the universe.

 

So according to this argument, it is only worthwhile to postulate a designer that exists within this universe, but then Cap'n Refsmmat augment still stands: Who created that designer (or is it turtles all the way down).

 

This leaves you with 3 choices:

1) Accept that it is worthwhile speculating about external entities and conditions (which means you have to respond to Cap'n Refsmmat argument).

 

2) Accept that external entities and conditions are meaningless, which means you have to talk about designer in this universe, but then you still have to respond to Cap'n Refsmmat argument.

 

In either of these cases, you have to respond to Cap'n Refsmmat argument.

 

3) Accept that your argument is flawed and a creator is not necessary or required and there is no logical argument for a creator.

 

Nor do I, however if fine tuning was a result of a simple physical principle, then we should be able to derive examples using physical principles alone of mimicking designed systems. Looking for this example seems like a reasonable thing to do.

You know what: they have looked for them and found them. We call them the Physical Laws and the people looking for them Scientists. :doh:

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I disagree. Clear markers for designs involve non-repeating patterns of complex and diverse components that are well fitted and where the components involve a high degree of contingency. The configurations and make-up of the configurations are in a very large set of alternated possible configurations. In addition, the actual configuration is coherent and have specific identifiable function that is identifiable and independent of the system itself.

 

While designers also make simpler systems that lack these clear markers, we know of no case where physical principles derive the system I described.

 

Is there any reason physical principles cannot derive such a system? Otherwise, this is an inductive argument again, and that doesn't work.

 

The design argument also fails if one does not grant a soul to humans; if we are deterministic organisms following physical laws, than anything we design is a result of applied physical laws.

 

There are also numerous self-organizing systems that appear in Conway's Game of Life, which is based on simple physical principles. Since it is difficult to predict the outcomes in the Game of Life, most of these systems appear from random dot-placing. Not design.

 

But I shouldn't have to point this out, since you're using the inductive argument instead of giving reasons why physical laws cannot create design.

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Edit: there have been a number of posts that I have not responded to every item. I generally won't if the topic has already been addressed or if the issue is not particularly revealing to the topic or I think it is obviously without merit. If you feel strongly that I failed to address a key point, raise it again.

 

It ignores the possibility of multiple changes offsetting each other. We can take the set of all possible universes and make it into a 20-dimensional space, X, in which each universe varies from the adjacent universe by one quantum of a given constant. Surely there's a region of this space, Y, in which life is most assuredly possible. How many universes are in Y and how many are only in X? What's the ratio of the two?

 

What about life as we DON'T know it? What about other possible self-replicating systems? If we take other forms of life other than our Earthly carbon-based type, Y grows even more. And let's not forget that as of this momet, we only have one data point to work with; we don't know what is required for life. Y could be HUGE! In fact, it's likely that Y is infinite.

 

The VAST majority of the universe is nothingness. A large portion of the infinitesimal part left is made of black holes and superheated plasma. The part of the universe that contains life is so small as to be nearly irrelevant. To claim that the whole of our unbelievably large universe was designed to bring about self-replicating molecules on our pale blue dot is quite frankly absurd and the epitome of arrogance. If the universe were fine tuned for life, shouldn't we see it everywhere? Surely such universes where there IS life everywhere are contained within Y. With the mind-boggling size and sheer inhospitableness of our universe toward life, why one would claim THIS universe to be finely tuned for life is beyond me. Let's take the subset of Y, we'll call it Z, that has more life than our own universe. What makes our universe more finely tuned than one contained in Z?

 

It's far more reasonable to claim that the universe is fine tuned for the existence of black holes. After all, there are billions upon billions of them taking up unimaginably more mass than all known life put together.

 

_________________________________________________________________

 

Either the Fine Tuner has governing forces, or it doesn't. Either way, as I've shown, it is an immense problem for FT; it's turtles all the way down, or it's necessary randomness. You pick.

 

The only observed fine tuning is quite happily explained by natural principles. Natural selection quite exquisitely fine tunes life for its environment.

 

Indeed, we see simple processes creating complexity all the time-from snowflakes to evolution.

 

Recently, it's been shown that all of the complexity of the universe very well could have stemmed from the elegant simplicity of the E8 Lie Group.

qQ7IqIA1Aeo

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Hey.

This thing is defective. I tried to vote twice and it wouldn't let me.

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Actually you did the quote is (emphasis mine): "However, contrary to your assertion, there actually is a fair amount of evidence that indicates the necessity of a creator for both the universe and life in it."

 

Yes, you are arguing for the necessity of a creator.

 

Ok, I stand corrected. I think it is a fine point and perhaps I could have worded my intent better which was to point out that there is evidence that indicates the universe and life in was the product of intent. The evidence makes use of an exclusionary filter in that relies on the principle of uniformity and thus tentatively rules out natural causes that have not ever been observed to generate the observed characteristic and in that sense inductively implicates design.

 

So, if we are going to use rational argument here, then a story with supporting evidence is far better than one without it, don't you think?

 

Indeed. Perhaps we will have to disagree on this point. I see your claims as just so stories as contrasted with factual events. I say this because it requires that we speculate as to what might have happened. It is not supported by realistic experiment.

 

So, Turing machines are no more "designed" than PI or the square root of 2. It is just the physical implementation can be (but doesn't have to be) designed.

 

Your example and all examples like it have information smuggled into the system and this smuggled information is the reason the examples work. One of several sources of smuggled information is that design of your example predefines the target (the full size straw) and guarantees that the target will be achieved. It is front loaded with information by a designer, namely you. If evolution works in the fashion of your example,then natural selection is front loaded with information to guarantee a desired outcome.

 

You will need to devise an example that is not front loaded with information or demonstrate that natural processes generate coherent structured information.

 

As a Turing Machine is just the translation of one set of symbols into another set of symbols according to a set of rules, then does DNA show the properties of a Turing machine.

 

DNA is transcribed into RNA. However as RNA has a different set of bases, then this constitutes a different set of "Symbols"

 

So, here is the first Turing machine: DNA to RNA

 

Yes, The code is independent of the material and structure. Coded systems on neutral carriers are generally considered markers of design. We currently know of no natural processes that generate coherent encoded information. biological systems have an unknown origin. to claim that they are an example of natural process presupposes they were not a product of design and it would be a tautology. there is no need to discuss the balance of your example.

 

As I have personally implemented evolution on a computer, and I know of hundreds of other examples (from aircraft design, circuit board design, car design, traffic routing, the routing of data packets in networks, the design of factory layouts, etc, etc etc - pretty much most technology now days has had some part of it developed by evolutionary processes running on computers) then I know that computers certainly can implement evolution. This proves that evolution must be a Turing machine as any algorithm implemented on a Universal Turing Machine must be able to be implemented on a Turing Machine (even if that Turing machine has to be a Universal Turing machine).

 

Yes, I have looked at a number of evolutionary algorithms and each one of them imports information and design into them. They all are aided by the designer.

 

So according to this argument, it is only worthwhile to postulate a designer that exists within this universe, but then Cap'n Refsmmat augment still stands: Who created that designer (or is it turtles all the way down).

 

No, it is fruitless to speculate about the character of a designer at all at this point. It is sufficient to observe the results and note that only design presently accounts for many of the characteristics of this universe and life in it. Discussions of evolution are interesting and there are many elements of it that are only accounted for by invoking design but since evolution first requires life, I need only cite the attributes present in biological systems and absent from inanimate chemical systems to show that the at least life from non-life exhibits characteristics only found in systems known to be designed.

 

This leaves you with 3 choices:

 

1) Accept that it is worthwhile speculating about external entities and conditions (which means you have to respond to Cap'n Refsmmat argument).

 

Since there is no way to validate this I don't see the utility.

 

2) Accept that external entities and conditions are meaningless, which means you have to talk about designer in this universe, but then you still have to respond to Cap'n Refsmmat argument.

 

Or I could simply note that the universe exhibits characteristics of design and further that its cause transcends the universe and is therefore out of reach to us.

 

3) Accept that your argument is flawed and a creator is not necessary or required and there is no logical argument for a creator.

 

So long as the universe contains properties that are found in designed systems and not accounted for by natural processes, it is silly to pretend that we know a creator is not necessary or that making a metaphysical argument favoring one is somehow illogical.

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Is there any reason physical principles cannot derive such a system? Otherwise, this is an inductive argument again, and that doesn't work.

 

You will have to demonstrate why making an appeal to an unknown and potentially non-existent physical principle is superior to an inductive argument supported by evidence. If induction does not work pure speculation can't be better.

 

The design argument also fails if one does not grant a soul to humans; if we are deterministic organisms following physical laws, than anything we design is a result of applied physical laws.

 

More speculation. It's interesting but you are adding more holes to the counter argument than to the design argument.

 

There are also numerous self-organizing systems that appear in Conway's Game of Life, which is based on simple physical principles. Since it is difficult to predict the outcomes in the Game of Life, most of these systems appear from random dot-placing. Not design.

 

But the game itself is designed with the purpose to demonstrate a point. The game imports design into it.

 

But I shouldn't have to point this out, since you're using the inductive argument instead of giving reasons why physical laws cannot create design.

 

Surely you realize that it is nearly impossible to prove a negative. In such cases induction is a valid method of making an inference to a best available conclusion. A large part of this inference notes that our uniform experience is that physical laws generate combinations of causal modes that are either necessity (deterministic) or chance. We note that these modes thus far have never mimicked the clear markers of purposed design for example the encoded information present in software systems or the coherent well fitted functional components present in engineered systems, or the fine tuned behavior of multiples of independent variables. Perhaps this will change some day. Perhaps a physical principle will emerge and at that time we will reevaluate the inference.

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This has become pointless. What it's boiled down to, is that you are basing your claims / conclusions on alleged evidence that none of us have ever, indeed, no mainstream scientists have had the privilege to encounter. Now, if we could re-examine the whole concept with respect to this evidence, we may very well change our minds and begin agreeing with you whole-brainedly. So the answer is simple; share some of this evidence you keep talking about with us :)

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It ignores the possibility of multiple changes offsetting each other. We can take the set of all possible universes and make it into a 20-dimensional space, X, in which each universe varies from the adjacent universe by one quantum of a given constant. Surely there's a region of this space, Y, in which life is most assuredly possible. How many universes are in Y and how many are only in X? What's the ratio of the two?

 

Very small, vanishingly small. So small I don't choose to take the time to demonstrate it to you. If you disagree, perhaps you are willing to take the time to show that it is not very small. If my answer is not satisfactory I apologize for that. Even if you were able to overcome this small number, the number of additional issues that must be addressed including the need for a universe generator and a mechanism to vary the physical constants make this scenario one I am not interested enough to pursue. Maybe another reader will take up this discussion.

 

 

What about life as we DON'T know it? What about other possible self-replicating systems? If we take other forms of life other than our Earthly carbon-based type, Y grows even more. And let's not forget that as of this momet, we only have one data point to work with; we don't know what is required for life. Y could be HUGE! In fact, it's likely that Y is infinite.

 

If it is true we don't know what is required for life, then we have no basis to speculate on this number. On the basis of what we know and can predict, it is one.

 

To claim that the whole of our unbelievably large universe was designed to bring about self-replicating molecules on our pale blue dot is quite frankly absurd and the epitome of arrogance.

 

I don't see that I have made that claim. I do note that the constants are fine tuned for life. I do not claim to know the purpose of a presumed creator.

 

If the universe were fine tuned for life, shouldn't we see it everywhere?

 

No, abundance of life everywhere is not a necessary conclusion.

 

Surely such universes where there IS life everywhere are contained within Y.

 

We can't be so confident of that.

 

With the mind-boggling size and sheer inhospitableness of our universe toward life, why one would claim THIS universe to be finely tuned for life is beyond me.

 

We can say it because it is. Whether or not you choose to see intent behind the reality of it is for you to work out.

 

Let's take the subset of Y, we'll call it Z, that has more life than our own universe. What makes our universe more finely tuned than one contained in Z?

 

It would depend on the value of Z among other things. We don't have enough data to say.

 

It's far more reasonable to claim that the universe is fine tuned for the existence of black holes. After all, there are billions upon billions of them taking up unimaginably more mass than all known life put together.

 

It would only be more reasonable if the degree of variation of the constants allowed to support black holes is less than the variability allowable to support life. I don't see how the quantity of the outcome makes any difference to the evaluation but as a side note there are an estimated 10^36 or so organism that have ever existed on this earth. How many black holes have ever existed?

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This has become pointless. What it's boiled down to, is that you are basing your claims / conclusions on alleged evidence that none of us have ever, indeed, no mainstream scientists have had the privilege to encounter. Now, if we could re-examine the whole concept with respect to this evidence, we may very well change our minds and begin agreeing with you whole-brainedly. So the answer is simple; share some of this evidence you keep talking about with us :)

 

I have predominately discussed fine tuning as one example of this evidence which you and some others have apriori rejected. I see no reason to add more examples, it would only allow the discussion to become more disjointed. It would be far more reasonable to accept that the universe is fine tuned and fine tuning is an attribute of designed activity though there may be another unknown explanation. Were you and others to do this we could proceed. I do find Cap'n's viewpoint to be a reasonable position that I could accept.

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You will have to demonstrate why making an appeal to an unknown and potentially non-existent physical principle is superior to an inductive argument supported by evidence. If induction does not work pure speculation can't be better.

The purposeful agent in question is also unknown and potentially non-existent. We are speculating either way. Induction, as a principle, holds no logical water whatsoever, so "that's what we see in other systems" is does not raise the purposeful agent option from speculation to "a good idea."

 

But the game itself is designed with the purpose to demonstrate a point. The game imports design into it.

Conway's design goal was to build a system that could make copies of itself using simple rules. Most of the emergent systems that appear in the Game of Life don't do that at all.

 

Surely you realize that it is nearly impossible to prove a negative. In such cases induction is a valid method of making an inference to a best available conclusion. A large part of this inference notes that our uniform experience is that physical laws generate combinations of causal modes that are either necessity (deterministic) or chance. We note that these modes thus far have never mimicked the clear markers of purposed design for example the encoded information present in software systems or the coherent well fitted functional components present in engineered systems, or the fine tuned behavior of multiples of independent variables. Perhaps this will change some day. Perhaps a physical principle will emerge and at that time we will reevaluate the inference.

 

I don't think you understood my quote of Karl Popper correctly. Induction does not even give us a probability of our conclusion being correct. It tells us nothing except "this is what we've observed in the past." One cannot create conclusions about the future with induction.

 

In the scientific method, the problem is not proving a negative; the problem is proving a positive. Any scientific hypothesis we create ("all systems that look like x are designed") should be testable; we can then falsify that hypothesis if it fails the test. However, we can never prove the hypothesis to be true. We have no way of knowing that it applies in every possible situation at every possible time, because we cannot test it under every possible condition.

 

So we have two hypotheses: "All objects exhibiting characteristics of design are designed," and "Physical principles can result in characteristics of design." The first hypothesis can be falsified with one counterexample; the second can be falsified if it is mathematically or physically proven to be impossible.

 

I see no reason to favor the first hypothesis.

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I don't see that I have made that claim. I do note that the constants are fine tuned for life. I do not claim to know the purpose of a presumed creator.
maybe I'm niggling, but "fine tuned FOR life" presumes the intent of making the universe for life...

 

No, abundance of life everywhere is not a necessary conclusion.
But the existence of one world that does harbor life on a tiny proportion of its overall mass, where even most environments on that world are hostile to non-native life, in a universe overwhelmingly hostile to life is sufficient to claim fine tuning?

 

We can say it because it is. Whether or not you choose to see intent behind the reality of it is for you to work out.
But it's not... you have to be delusionally optimistic to look out in space, or even on the surface of the earth, and think "wow, this place is made with life in mind". The odds are prohibitively against us as far as we can tell... vacuum, cold, heat, radiation, insufficient resources...

 

It would only be more reasonable if the degree of variation of the constants allowed to support black holes is less than the variability allowable to support life. I don't see how the quantity of the outcome makes any difference to the evaluation but as a side note there are an estimated 10^36 or so organism that have ever existed on this earth. How many black holes have ever existed?
Kind've different ideas... life is a bunch of replicants. who... replicate. Every blackhole on the otherhand has to start from scratch. Hundreds of billions of stars in a galaxy (trillions in some,) hundreds of billions galaxies, at least, many or most with a central supermassive blackhole. It's more intellectually honest to rate the comparison by regarding individual abiogenic events against individual blackholes. Which would put the ratio of blackholes to life in the countless billions to 1.

 

I have predominately discussed fine tuning as one example of this evidence which you and some others have apriori rejected. I see no reason to add more examples, it would only allow the discussion to become more disjointed. It would be far more reasonable to accept that the universe is fine tuned and fine tuning is an attribute of designed activity though there may be another unknown explanation. Were you and others to do this we could proceed. I do find Cap'n's viewpoint to be a reasonable position that I could accept.
You have not given any indicators of design. you quoted a few preliminary stats for things that aren't even yet understood so CAN'T be reduced to true odds, AND fail to take into account the basic inevitabilities of complex, dynamic physical / chemical / evolutionary principles. What you have said amounts to "I don't like the odds," based on figures that don't take into account how the universe works, then make a leap of faith and assume it must have been created by a hypothetical being while rejecting other hypothetical, more parsimonious alternatives on the basis that THEY don't have support, while even if what you you claimed was true, they'd be sufficient solutions to the odds-dilemma.

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Very small, vanishingly small.

Show me.

 

I don't see that I have made that claim. I do note that the constants are fine tuned for life. I do not claim to know the purpose of a presumed creator.

Is it fine tuned for life or not? Make up your mind.

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The purposeful agent in question is also unknown and potentially non-existent. We are speculating either way. Induction, as a principle, holds no logical water whatsoever, so "that's what we see in other systems" is does not raise the purposeful agent option from speculation to "a good idea."

 

The evidence is not in question and the evidence provides a basis to speculate about the cause. A first step is to look for events and circumstances that are similar to the evidence in question and then examine the known causes for those events. If known causes are found for similar events then it is indeed inferior to speculate on unknown causes. We know that intelligence is capable of fine tuning parameters and therefore it is not necessary to go on a fishing expedition speculating about unknown causes.

 

So we have two hypotheses: "All objects exhibiting characteristics of design are designed," and "Physical principles can result in characteristics of design." The first hypothesis can be falsified with one counterexample; the second can be falsified if it is mathematically or physically proven to be impossible.

 

No it is not possible to falsify an uncharacterized physical principle because you have no means to indicate how it should or should not behave. You have no yardstick to measure the undefined principle.

 

I see no reason to favor the first hypothesis.

 

I have provided two reasons in this response. One is that the first hypothesis is supported by noting that designers fine tune parameters and the second is that one cannot falsify undefined and unknown physical principles.

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maybe I'm niggling, but "fine tuned FOR life" presumes the intent of making the universe for life...

 

But the existence of one world that does harbor life on a tiny proportion of its overall mass, where even most environments on that world are hostile to non-native life, in a universe overwhelmingly hostile to life is sufficient to claim fine tuning?

 

You might be niggling, to say something is fined tuned so that it supports life is a statement of fact that does not explicitly speak to the intent of the tuning. The fact of fine tuning does not depend on how pervasive life is.

 

But it's not... you have to be delusionally optimistic to look out in space, or even on the surface of the earth, and think "wow, this place is made with life in mind". The odds are prohibitively against us as far as we can tell... vacuum, cold, heat, radiation, insufficient resources...

 

Probability figures into chance events while design either succeeds or fails depending on the fitness of the design. You are making an argument against chance and in favor of design.

 

You have not given any indicators of design. you quoted a few preliminary stats for things that aren't even yet understood so CAN'T be reduced to true odds, AND fail to take into account the basic inevitabilities of complex, dynamic physical / chemical / evolutionary principles.

 

Fine tuned systems are one indicator of design and are sufficient to describe all of chemistry and its behavior. Multivariable calculus is sufficient to inform us that the subset of workable ratios of interacting but independent dimensions is small relative to the complete set of discrete possibilities. Designers are known to generate fine tuned systems but if you can show how natural processes actually do (not can, or might) generate fine tuning then we can say that fine tuning only gives the appearance of design since other modes do as well. If you prefer Cap'n approach and say instead we don't know why it is so, fine, but we should not pretend the constants don't conspire to produce life.

 

 

What you have said amounts to "I don't like the odds," based on figures that don't take into account how the universe works,

 

I've no issue with the odds, but I note that natural processes have never produced fine tuned systems of multiple variables.

 

then make a leap of faith and assume it must have been created by a hypothetical being while rejecting other hypothetical, more parsimonious alternatives on the basis that THEY don't have support, while even if what you you claimed was true, they'd be sufficient solutions to the odds-dilemma.

 

There is no basis to claim alternatives are more parsimonious because you have no way to asses an idea that enjoys no evidence against an idea that observes that design does produce fine tuning. Design is actually better supported.

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