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Caleb

Why wouldn't God exist?

Does God exist?  

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  1. 1. Does God exist?

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I'll rephrase for you.

 

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. It's quite likely that both X and Y are sets with infinite members. We can further break down Y into three groups: Za, the universes in which life is possible but unlikely; Zb, the universes in which life is possible, but not particularly likely or unlikely; and Zc, the universes in which life is possible and likely. The only real candidate for fine tuning for life would be Zc.

 

The VAST majority of the universe is nothingness. A large portion of the infinitesimal part left is made of black holes and superheated plasma. Even the deadly vaccuum of space is filled with killer radiation. The part of the universe that contains life is so small as to be nearly irrelevant. Even much of our little pale blue dot is hostile towards life. We are most definitely NOT a universe contained within Zc.

 

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.

 

Also, you've still not responded to the point brought up several times that the only observed 'fine tuning' in our universe is easily explained by simple principles. Not only that, but also the point that life is fine tuned for its environment rather than the environment being fine tuned for life. The puddle fits the hole-not vice versa.

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Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.'

- Douglas Adams

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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.

You will have to demonstrate why making an appeal to an unknown and potentially non-existant designer is superior to an inductive argument supported by evidence.

 

Surely you realize that it is nearly impossible to prove a negative.

False. This is exactly what science does.

 

If P, then Q

Not Q

Therefore not P

 

That's the basis of falsifiability.

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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.

fine tuning is not a fact, it's an extrapolation based off of erroneous assumptions.

 

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 are being tricked by your own refusal to understand perfectly explainable, unguided material properties that have been proven to occur at multiple levels -_-

 

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.
fine tuned systems are an illusion and an indicator of an individual's ignorance of basic principles

 

I've no issue with the odds, but I note that natural processes have never produced fine tuned systems of multiple variables.
false. please offer some evidence of what you suggest.

 

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.

they are better supported because they provide viable models, and require fewer assumptions. A creator has neither.

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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.

Again, you claim this. SHOW US. Put up or shut up.

 

 

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.

How many times do I have to tell you about natural selection?

 

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.

We don't have to pretend; our universe is OBVIOUSLY not fine tuned for life.

 

 

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

So, life doesn't exist? How about snowflakes?

 

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.
Pot, meet kettle.
Design is actually better supported.

How? You've not come even close to supporting this assertion.

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I'll rephrase for you.

 

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. It's quite likely that both X and Y are sets with infinite members.

 

Nonsense. You have no basis to presume any degree of likelihood with regard to numbers of universes or the set of workable combinations. Pure unsupported speculation. You just made this up.

 

We can further break down Y into three groups: Za, the universes in which life is possible but unlikely; Zb, the universes in which life is possible, but not particularly likely or unlikely; and Zc, the universes in which life is possible and likely. The only real candidate for fine tuning for life would be Zc.

 

You are stretching imagination to the breaking point.

 

The VAST majority of the universe is nothingness. A large portion of the infinitesimal part left is made of black holes and superheated plasma. Even the deadly vaccuum of space is filled with killer radiation. The part of the universe that contains life is so small as to be nearly irrelevant. Even much of our little pale blue dot is hostile towards life. We are most definitely NOT a universe contained within Zc.

 

Indeed we are located in reality. Zc is located in the imagination of your mind.

 

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 make this claim. Please refrain from mischaracterizing my argument.

 

Also, you've still not responded to the point brought up several times that the only observed 'fine tuning' in our universe is easily explained by simple principles. Not only that, but also the point that life is fine tuned for its environment rather than the environment being fine tuned for life. The puddle fits the hole-not vice versa.

 

Needs no response. Your description is factually incorrect. The reality of fine tuning has been known for more than 30 years. The dispute is how this fine tuning came to be. You can argue as Cap'n does that the cause is some unknown physical principle and I can accept that, but it makes you appear willfully ignorant to argue that the constants are not fine tuned.

 

- Douglas Adams

 

Terrible analogy. Your previous arguments were much more sound.

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So, your response is basically 'Nuh uh! LALALALALALALALA!!!!!!'? Could you please provide something more substantiative?

 

I don't make this claim. Please refrain from mischaracterizing my argument.
Really? You're NOT claiming fine tuning? Please make up your mind.

 

You are stretching imagination to the breaking point.

Really' date=' how so?

 

Nonsense. You have no basis to presume any degree of likelihood with regard to numbers of universes or the set of workable combinations. Pure unsupported speculation. You just made this up.
Sounds a bit like you're talking about the fine tuning argument here.

 

Needs no response. Your description is factually incorrect.
If it's so factually incorrect' date=' it should be no problem for you to provide a counterexample.

 

The reality of fine tuning has been known for more than 30 years. The dispute is how this fine tuning came to be. You can argue as Cap'n does that the cause is some unknown physical principle and I can accept that, but it makes you appear willfully ignorant to argue that the constants are not fine tuned.
Then perhaps you could link to a few papers doing calculations on the 20-dimensional space X and whether our universe lies withing Za, Zb, or Zc. As it stands, you're going to have to provide a lot more to convince anyone that this extremely hostile universe is fine tuned for life.

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This discussion is going nowhere quickly, yet for all its speed it's completely unexciting. Its like a game of cold potato, with neither side wanting any substance to get in the way of the denials.

 

Why wouldn't some clarification and depth help this thread continue to exist? Perhaps some explanations that go past single sentences would generate some spice.

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Nonsense. You have no basis to presume any degree of likelihood with regard to numbers of universes or the set of workable combinations. Pure unsupported speculation. You just made this up.

And on what basis does FT presume any degree of liklihood with regard to numbers of possible universes or workable combinations? You know' date=' we probably shouldn't limit ourself to the 20-dimensional space.

 

In fact, we should include in our consideration all the different constants that happen to be zero in our universe. Now our 20-dimensional field of possible universes is expanded to an infinite-dimensional field of possible universes!

 

You are stretching imagination to the breaking point. Indeed we are located in reality. Zc is located in the imagination of your mind.

Are you denying the possibility that universes other than our own could have been manifest rather than our universe? If so, you're denying FT as FT relies upon the possibility of other universes. If there is only one possible note, the string doesn't need tuning.

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This discussion is going nowhere quickly, yet for all its speed it's completely unexciting. Its like a game of cold potato, with neither side wanting any substance to get in the way of the denials.

 

Why wouldn't some clarification and depth help this thread continue to exist? Perhaps some explanations that go past single sentences would generate some spice.

 

 

Ok good points. I'll add some detail in the future. Perhaps you might indicate where you would like some detail.

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Ok good points. I'll add some detail in the future. Perhaps you might indicate where you would like some detail.

Start with post #106.

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And on what basis does FT presume any degree of liklihood with regard to numbers of possible universes or workable combinations? You know, we probably shouldn't limit ourself to the 20-dimensional space.

 

In fact, we should include in our consideration all the different constants that happen to be zero in our universe. Now our 20-dimensional field of possible universes is expanded to an infinite-dimensional field of possible universes!

 

Occams razor trims away at these superfluous additional constants you wish to add. I would propose you stick to sound scientific principles in your arguments so as to maintain some credibility.

 

You continue to argue that the physical constants are not fine tuned and I have avoided a detailed discussion demonstrating mostely because, in the world of cosmology, fine tuning is a forgone conclusion. Iinstead the concentration is on answering why and how the universe was fine tuned. Let's start with an easy example to limit the controversy. Let's start with the fact that the observable universe is both homogenous and that the gravitational field is very nearly flat. The initial low entropy state of the universe (according to Roger Penrose in "The Road to Reality") is fine tuned to 1 part in 10(10123). this value is necessary to account for the two conditions I mentioned and these two conditions are in turn required to have allowed for a universe that had a lifespan long enough to allow for three states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) and also provide the ability for matter to form stars and planets. Can we all agree these are basic conditions required for life?

 

 

Are you denying the possibility that universes other than our own could have been manifest rather than our universe? If so, you're denying FT as FT relies upon the possibility of other universes. If there is only one possible note, the string doesn't need tuning.

 

Again I should advise you to use sound principles in your questions. The existence of our universe is causally adequate. It is self evident that we exist. The existence of any universe other than ours is pure speculation. There is no scientific reason to postulate it, only metaphysical reasons. Furthermore there is a huge epistemological cost in proposing infinite universes. Once we permit inflationary cosmology as a possible explanation for anything (as you are doing) it destroys scientific reasoning about everything. It does so because now you can explain the origin of all events no matter how improbable by reference to chance because of the infinite probabilistic resources it purports to generate. With your model in place we must allow that an exquisitely designed machine could have just as likely have been produced by the quantum fluctuations as by a human. But it is worse, it implies that we regard explanations that are extremely improbable as more likely than explanations that we normally accept because the events that explain these improbable outcomes as likely to occur as normal events.

 

This is simply nonsensical.

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Occams razor trims away at these superfluous additional constants you wish to add.

How so?

 

I would propose you stick to sound scientific principles in your arguments so as to maintain some credibility.
Me? YOU'RE claiming fine tuning and providing NO supporting evidence. It's a fact that our universe is absolutely hostile towards life.

 

In the infinite field of possible universes, ours most certainly does not fall into one(Zc) which could legitamately claim fine tuning.

 

You continue to argue that the physical constants are not fine tuned and I have avoided a detailed discussion demonstrating mostely because, in the world of cosmology, fine tuning is a forgone conclusion.
It is? Bring the papers; let's see this consensus. I've yet to find ANY paper examining such a field of possible universes.

 

Iinstead the concentration is on answering why and how the universe was fine tuned.
Let's see some papers on this too. You know, for credibility's sake.

 

Let's start with an easy example to limit the controversy. Let's start with the fact that the observable universe is both homogenous and that the gravitational field is very nearly flat. The initial low entropy state of the universe (according to Roger Penrose in "The Road to Reality") is fine tuned to 1 part in 10(10123). this value is necessary to account for the two conditions I mentioned and these two conditions are in turn required to have allowed for a universe that had a lifespan long enough to allow for three states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) and also provide the ability for matter to form stars and planets. Can we all agree these are basic conditions required for life?

1)As I've demonstrated, there are literally an infinite number of possible universes capable of harboring life. Many much more capable than our own.

2)A roll of the dice is a roll of the dice. Even if it was unlikely, which it most assuredly is not, that in no way implies intent.

 

 

Again I should advise you to use sound principles in your questions.
That's great advice. If I fail to do so, you should let me know. Now, what brought this up?

 

The existence of any universe other than ours is pure speculation.
Your point?

 

There is no scientific reason to postulate it, only metaphysical reasons.
There are brane theorists out there that quite firmly disagree with you on this point.

 

In any case, I'm not aware of anyone porporting a multiverse in this thread. I surely don't know why you're quoting me here, as I most certainly did no such thing.

 

I'm merely talking about the field of POSSIBLE universes. You know, the thing FT requires to discuss to have any credibility? As I said before, it is nonsense to speak of tuning a string when there's only one possible note.

 

With your model in place we must allow that an exquisitely designed machine could have just as likely have been produced by the quantum fluctuations as by a human.

No. Being designed implies a mind behind the end product. Wording fail. Also, our universe is incredibly simple. All observed complexity is exquisitely explained by simple processes. In fact, the so called 'Irreducible Complexity' porported by the ID crowd is a prediction of evolution.

 

 

You're about a hop skip and a jump away from sharing the company of forfues and pioneer on my mental ignore list. IF YOU MISREPRESENT ME AGAIN, I WILL REPORT YOUR POST.

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How so?

 

Me? YOU'RE claiming fine tuning and providing NO supporting evidence. It's a fact that our universe is absolutely hostile towards life.

 

In the infinite field of possible universes, ours most certainly does not fall into one(Zc) which could legitamately claim fine tuning.

 

It is? Bring the papers; let's see this consensus. I've yet to find ANY paper examining such a field of possible universes.

 

Let's see some papers on this too. You know, for credibility's sake.

 

I provided references to two extensive writings on the subject from Penrose and also Hawking and Page. I also offer Fred Hoyle and his writings as well. In contrast, you have no way to substantiate your presumption that there are any "possible universes" beyond the one we exist through random processes and no way to demonstrate your claim of near certainty regarding where ours might fall into these imagined random universes.

 

 

1)As I've demonstrated, there are literally an infinite number of possible universes capable of harboring life. Many much more capable than our own.

2)A roll of the dice is a roll of the dice. Even if it was unlikely, which it most assuredly is not, that in no way implies intent.

 

Imagining existence of alternate universes is not a demonstration that there is any possibility that other imagined configurations might be capable of harboring life. Imagination is nice but it does not demonstrate any real possibility.

 

 

Your point?

 

Your speculations cannot substitute for evidence.

 

In any case, I'm not aware of anyone porporting a multiverse in this thread. I surely don't know why you're quoting me here, as I most certainly did no such thing.

 

I'm merely talking about the field of POSSIBLE universes. You know, the thing FT requires to discuss to have any credibility? As I said before, it is nonsense to speak of tuning a string when there's only one possible note.

 

You have suggested that there are an infinite number of configurations of universes possible by random processes. If they are not actualized then it is without substance.

 

No. Being designed implies a mind behind the end product. Wording fail. Also, our universe is incredibly simple. All observed complexity is exquisitely explained by simple processes.

 

False, most of our world remains unexplained.

 

In fact, the so called 'Irreducible Complexity' porported by the ID crowd is a prediction of evolution.

 

Predictions are not observations. At this time there is no known process other than design capable of generating systems that meet the strict definition of Irreducible Complexity, just as there is no known process other than design capable of fine tuning systems. Both of these sytes require a substantial amount of coherent information in order to derive them in the first place and likewise, only intelligence is known to generate information. I look forward to a demonstration that other processes are able to generate these systems.

Edited by cypress

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I provided references to two extensive writings on the subject from Penrose and also Hawking and Page. I also offer Fred Hoyle and his writings as well. In contrast, you have no way to substantiate your presumption that there are any "possible universes" beyond the one we exist through random processes and no way to demonstrate your claim of near certainty regarding where ours might fall into these imagined random universes.

 

 

 

 

Imagining existence of alternate universes is not a demonstration that there is any possibility that other imagined configurations might be capable of harboring life. Imagination is nice but it does not demonstrate any real possibility.

 

 

 

 

Your speculations cannot substitute for evidence.

 

 

 

You have suggested that there are an infinite number of configurations of universes possible by random processes. If they are not actualized then it is without substance.

One has to wonder if you even know what it is for which you are arguing. Do you even know the idea behind ID? The possibilites are essential for ID. The whole premise is, 'IF the universe were this way, then life as we know it would not exist.' The possibility field as I have presented it is a VITAL component of the FT hypothesis.

 

Let's say I have a guitar. I want to tune it, but it has no way to change the tension of the strings or their size. In what way can I tune it if there are no other possible notes? Tuning requires possibility. Hence the field of possible universes.

 

However, no proponent I am aware of has done any calculations on variation of multiple constants. You have not provided ANY resources of such; pretending your examples of 'if this ONE constant changes...' is the same is intellectually dishonest. You might as well claim that examining a 2-D sphere consisting of an infinite number of points for topological features is exactly the same as examining a favorable 0-D section consisting of two points and claiming that it proves whatever topological hypothesis to which you subscribe.

 

The fact remains that the field of possible universe exists in an infinite-dimensional space(where each dimension is a constant). In this field X, there necessarily exists a subset, Y, in which life exists(there's life in this universe, right?). If you deny this, you deny FT as well; this is an essential aspect of the FT conjecture. A simple use of logic will let us break the subset Y into three components: Ya, the set of universes in which life is possible but improbable; Yb, the set of universes in which life is possible but not especially likely or unlikely; and Yc, the set of universes in which life is possible and every likely. In Ya, life would be rare. In Yc, life would be quite abundant. In Yb, the amount of life would be somewhere in between. With what aspect of this concept do you disagree? The fact remains that the overwhelming majority of our universe(and even our little haven for life) is absolutely hostile toward life. This fact easily places our universe in Ya. What support do you have for the idea that such a universe is fine tuned?

 

Furthermore, the leap between improbability and design has yet to be made; even if our universe is incredibly improbable(which, based on the above described field of possible universes, I highly doubt), you've yet to show how this in any way implies fine tuning. A roll of the dice is a roll of the dice; Given fair dice, even the most improbable possibilites are exemplified given a sufficient number of rolls. Take, for example, a snowflake. It is formed in an environment extremely hostile to it; the formation of any one snowflake is extremely unlikely(too much wind or too little and the snowflake will not be formed), yet we see them everywhere.

 

Feel free to take some time to figure out what your position actually is.

 

Predictions are not observations. At this time there is no known process other than design capable of generating systems that meet the strict definition of Irreducible Complexity, just as there is no known process other than design capable of fine tuning systems. Both of these sytes require a substantial amount of coherent information in order to derive them in the first place and likewise, only intelligence is known to generate information. I look forward to a demonstration that other processes are able to generate these systems.

As with the doubt about whether you even know what the FT conjecture entails, I'm also beginning to doubt if you know anything at all about evolution or even science generally. With posts like this and the 'you can\'t prove a negative' post, my doubt grows. Both prediction and 'proving a negative' are vital aspects of science.

 

PS1->TT1->EE1->PS2

 

Given a Problem Situation(PS), we come up with Tentative Theories(TT) which we then subject to Error Elimination(EE) via testing predictions. How do we test predictions? We can't do it by proving the positive:

 

If P, then Q

Q, therefore P

 

Is a logical fallacy known as affirming the consequent. The reason that it works is that there could be any number of reasons for Q aside from P. If we see Q exemplified, it could be because P is true, but it could also be due to a different reason and P happens to be false.

 

We test our tentative theories by proving the negative.

 

If P, then Q

Not Q, therefore not P

 

We perform our Error Elimination testing by setting up situations P, based on predictions produced by our Tentative Theory, and observe to see whether or not Q is exemplified. If Q is not exemplified, then we know our TT is wrong or at least not entirely correct; it needs replaces or refined. How do we know if it it needs replaced or refined? Well, many sciences have the great fortune of having a very precise mathematical underpinning such that we can predict Q accurately(and with a known allowable margin of error for the TT) based on the P from the TT. We can quantitatively see if we are close or orders of magnitude off the mark. This one test alone, however, is not sufficient to provide absolute validity for our TT as there is no viable method of induction; we must continue to test or TT and eliminate options to raise our confidence in our TT.

 

Theories such as Evolution and Relativity have been so accurately and exhaustively tested that it is absurd to think that they are flat out wrong. However, there's always room for refinement.

 

As has been pointed our to you previously, Evolution quite exquisitely explains fine tuning of life-it's just that you've got it backward; life is fine tuned for the environment instead of the environment being fine tuned for life. See the puddle-hole analogy used ad nausium. It is a very simple concept and is really the essence of evolution.

 

As for Irreducible complexity(IC), as I stated in the previous post, it is a prediction of evolution. So, we have our P. You appear to already accept the Q. As for your claim that evolution is incapable of producing such things, even Behe(you know, the guy who decided based on personal incredulity that this prediction of evolution is actually somehow a problem for the theory) disagrees with you. He not only admitted that IC features can evolve, he even made an estimate for the time needed!

 

As with improbability, there is no known link between complexity and design. Simple processes produce complexity all the time. Again we look at the snowflake. It is irreducibly complex(it requires two or more parts working together to exist); if any one structural element of a snowflake is removed, the structural integrity is terminally compromised. Yet we know that they are formed by simple processes. Are all snowflakes designed? In the world of evolution, we somewhat recently have the case of an IC feature evolving in a laboratory setting in the case of the Lenski experiment.

 

As for 'information', mutations provide all the genetic information we need. There are various mutations which increase gross genetic matter(such as in Downs Syndrome where a whole chromosome is duplicated) and there are mutations which change around genetic matter. Combining the two quite easily gives any increase in information one could ever wish for.

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One has to wonder if you even know what it is for which you are arguing. Do you even know the idea behind ID? The possibilites are essential for ID. The whole premise is, 'IF the universe were this way, then life as we know it would not exist.' The possibility field as I have presented it is a VITAL component of the FT hypothesis.

 

Let's say I have a guitar. I want to tune it, but it has no way to change the tension of the strings or their size. In what way can I tune it if there are no other possible notes? Tuning requires possibility. Hence the field of possible universes.

 

Possibilities or choices by intentional contingent actions are vital as you say to a fine tuning argument, however while these possibilities may be in play, one cannot assume the same is true for random natural causes and this is the distinction. I am questioning the presumption that there exists a natural mechanism capable of generating the appearance of fine tuning. I do so because thus far in the 1000's of years of documented history, we have not yet seen any observable demonstration where known natural processes generate a fine tuned system.

 

However, no proponent I am aware of has done any calculations on variation of multiple constants. You have not provided ANY resources of such; pretending your examples of 'if this ONE constant changes...' is the same is intellectually dishonest. You might as well claim that examining a 2-D sphere consisting of an infinite number of points for topological features is exactly the same as examining a favorable 0-D section consisting of two points and claiming that it proves whatever topological hypothesis to which you subscribe.

 

I have provided references and writings that i can only assume you have no intention of reviewing. The subject is complex and drawn out, and does not lend itself to this format. I urge the interested person to review Penrose and Hoyle's writings.

 

 

The fact remains that the field of possible universe exists in an infinite-dimensional space(where each dimension is a constant). In this field X, there necessarily exists a subset, Y, in which life exists(there's life in this universe, right?). If you deny this, you deny FT as well; this is an essential aspect of the FT conjecture. A simple use of logic will let us break the subset Y into three components: Ya, the set of universes in which life is possible but improbable; Yb, the set of universes in which life is possible but not especially likely or unlikely; and Yc, the set of universes in which life is possible and every likely. In Ya, life would be rare. In Yc, life would be quite abundant. In Yb, the amount of life would be somewhere in between. With what aspect of this concept do you disagree? The fact remains that the overwhelming majority of our universe(and even our little haven for life) is absolutely hostile toward life. This fact easily places our universe in Ya. What support do you have for the idea that such a universe is fine tuned?

 

Your description may work very well for random processes but we don't know if random processes are capable of generating universes or varying the constants. The fine tuning argument notes that designers are often capable of setting parameters over a large range of values. I have no problem with the general analysis but I note that we have no basis for speculating on the distribution between the Y's and therefore I don't find the model very revealing or particularly useful.

 

Furthermore, the leap between improbability and design has yet to be made; even if our universe is incredibly improbable(which, based on the above described field of possible universes, I highly doubt), you've yet to show how this in any way implies fine tuning. A roll of the dice is a roll of the dice; Given fair dice, even the most improbable possibilites are exemplified given a sufficient number of rolls. Take, for example, a snowflake. It is formed in an environment extremely hostile to it; the formation of any one snowflake is extremely unlikely(too much wind or too little and the snowflake will not be formed), yet we see them everywhere.

 

Fine tuning is a reality regardless of the process by which it occurred. It makes sense to discuss how and why fine tuning occurred but the fact of fine tuning is so well established I find it uninteresting to discussed if it is fine tuned. I provided two good examples in the initial entropy and gravitational flatness of the universe and saw nobody objecting to them. Your example of snowflakes is hopelessly flawed, snowflakes form deterministically from physical processes. They are not improbable (since the are destined to form) and they form in an environment that guarantees they will form not an environment hostile to formation.

 

Feel free to take some time to figure out what your position actually is.

 

As with the doubt about whether you even know what the FT conjecture entails, I'm also beginning to doubt if you know anything at all about evolution or even science generally. With posts like this and the 'you can\'t prove a negative' post, my doubt grows. Both prediction and 'proving a negative' are vital aspects of science.

 

I find that when people run out of substance they begin to personal attacks.

 

We test our tentative theories by proving the negative.

 

If P, then Q

Not Q, therefore not P

 

We perform our Error Elimination testing by setting up situations P, based on predictions produced by our Tentative Theory, and observe to see whether or not Q is exemplified. If Q is not exemplified, then we know our TT is wrong or at least not entirely correct; it needs replaces or refined. How do we know if it it needs replaced or refined? Well, many sciences have the great fortune of having a very precise mathematical underpinning such that we can predict Q accurately(and with a known allowable margin of error for the TT) based on the P from the TT. We can quantitatively see if we are close or orders of magnitude off the mark. This one test alone, however, is not sufficient to provide absolute validity for our TT as there is no viable method of induction; we must continue to test or TT and eliminate options to raise our confidence in our TT.

 

This is a special case of negation because it states that P is necessary and sufficient to produce Q. In the general case it is not true that all conditions are known.

 

Theories such as Evolution and Relativity have been so accurately and exhaustively tested that it is absurd to think that they are flat out wrong. However, there's always room for refinement.

 

I don't dispute either for what they do explain, but I question both for what they don't explain. Surely you are not implying I think they are flat out wrong.

 

As has been pointed our to you previously, Evolution quite exquisitely explains fine tuning of life-it's just that you've got it backward; life is fine tuned for the environment instead of the environment being fine tuned for life. See the puddle-hole analogy used ad nausium. It is a very simple concept and is really the essence of evolution.

 

It is an elegant narrative but evolution does not "explain" fine tuning because the theory even now lacks causal adequacy. There is as yet no identified process that is known and observed to generate the attributes that the narrative assigns to evolution. The evidence is based on observed similarities but these similarities do not explain how the similarities occur and more importantly how the differences came to be.

 

As for Irreducible complexity(IC), as I stated in the previous post, it is a prediction of evolution. So, we have our P. You appear to already accept the Q. As for your claim that evolution is incapable of producing such things, even Behe(you know, the guy who decided based on personal incredulity that this prediction of evolution is actually somehow a problem for the theory) disagrees with you. He not only admitted that IC features can evolve, he even made an estimate for the time needed!

 

If you have an issue with that tread you should raise it there. Individual binding sites and controls can in theory be generated by random error and selection but the time required for this process far exceeds (by a factor of ten) the amount of time available by geological measures. When you consider that thousands of these small changes are required to generate novel form and function, the argument falls apart completely. Nice try.

 

As with improbability, there is no known link between complexity and design. Simple processes produce complexity all the time. Again we look at the snowflake. It is irreducibly complex(it requires two or more parts working together to exist); if any one structural element of a snowflake is removed, the structural integrity is terminally compromised.

 

Sorry no it is not. You are changing the definition. A snowflake split in half is now two snowflakes and performs the same primary function as before.

 

Yet we know that they are formed by simple processes. Are all snowflakes designed? In the world of evolution, we somewhat recently have the case of an IC feature evolving in a laboratory setting in the case of the Lenski experiment.

 

Take this example to the other thread if you wish to discuss IC more. This feature also does not meet the definition of IC.

 

As for 'information', mutations provide all the genetic information we need. There are various mutations which increase gross genetic matter(such as in Downs Syndrome where a whole chromosome is duplicated) and there are mutations which change around genetic matter.

 

A copy machine does not generate new information, it only duplicates it. No net increase. Mutations generate very small amounts of new information occasionally but only within the bounds of the probabilistic resources available. There exist no examples of large amounts of (>500 bits) of coherent information generated by random processes. Perhaps you can show where I am wrong.

 

Combining the two quite easily gives any increase in information one could ever wish for.

 

Citation for this please. I will state now that you are wrong and you cannot offer any example of any system that does not use imported information or design to demonstrate your claim.

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A copy machine does not generate new information, it only duplicates it. No net increase. Mutations generate very small amounts of new information occasionally but only within the bounds of the probabilistic resources available. There exist no examples of large amounts of (>500 bits) of coherent information generated by random processes. Perhaps you can show where I am wrong.

Just curious -- why >500 bits? is that an arbitrary distinction or is there some meaning there?

 

Citation for this please. I will state now that you are wrong and you cannot offer any example of any system that does not use imported information or design to demonstrate your claim.

Also curious -- by excluding "imported information," do you mean that any example system cannot have some "repository" of information already available to it? For example, a cell with already-meaningful DNA, using that DNA and random mutation/duplication/whatever to generate new information.

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If God didn't exist everyone wouldn't be different. I exist and so does everyone reading this thread; we all have our own souls and we are the hosts to our own bodies. What exactly made the choice for yours and my soul to be in the body? The sperm? In that case what put our soul into the sperm. If you like to be scientific, critical and take it even further to the chemicals, then what put our soul into the most primitive chemical?

 

I don't believe in the image of God taught in schools, I believe you have to look back to see God, not forwards or 'up in the sky'. Clearly science is unable to answer this question, and it's a question that will always be here; whether it was thought of years ago or not, eventually someone would have thought of it. It's an inevitable belief that was to arise at some point in life - the fact that it was brought up years ago makes it that whole lot more believable.

 

If you're a full fledged Atheist and you think "Not Possible," then you aren't giving it enough thought. You have an image of God stuck in your head and you believe it can't exist. If you are Agnostic and you think "Maybe," then I can't blame you; there isn't enough proof to make a solid decision; however, that's only because you're taught against it - you're taught sciences in school, and in religious classes you're told a story, probably nothing like the original.

 

If I told you Jesus Christ is a metaphor for the Sun, you wouldn't believe me. If I told you the God mentioned in the bible was nothing like the one taught in school, I would get flamed by the big names on this board. That alone shows the power of education. The illuminati is everywhere - if the true image of God was taught it would disrupt their way of life. If the image of God wasn't 'A man in the clouds', not only would the government lose control over a large amount of people, they would also lose the power of 'Faith'.

 

Faith is a strong word and it's evil in my eyes. People who believe in God are wary, and they have to put faith into their belief and ignore the lies and deciet all around them. A man goes to the moon, "No God up here," is the quote that sweeps the nation. A critical move, which made scientists believe they were victorious; that's because God isn't in the clouds. God created us, he didn't do that from the future, he did that from the past. The creator, therefore God happened. Keyword: Happened.

 

I really hope anyone reading this thread who believes in God can ignore all of the senseless replies from evil educators trying to keep you imprisoned with the academa virus. Sure, it's a nice way to live, it works, but it's not at all the promised land. I feel sorry for the children born into this world unknowing, being poisoned with disgusting education, teaching them to ignore the most obvious factors of life. When you die, your soul is back with God, and seeing as God is made of opposites, you're either on his good side, or his bad side - that doesn't mean you should go ahead and pray daily or follow routine, it just means you should know God, and live knowing.

 

If the universe was created from time and light being possible at the same time; what exactly made the connection? Science can't answer this question, I can. God did.

Edited by Klaplunk

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Just curious -- why >500 bits? is that an arbitrary distinction or is there some meaning there?

 

It is somewhat arbitrary. Still a small number by our standards but also something completely out of reach to random processes.

 

 

Also curious -- by excluding "imported information," do you mean that any example system cannot have some "repository" of information already available to it? For example, a cell with already-meaningful DNA, using that DNA and random mutation/duplication/whatever to generate new information.

 

Generally I would make the distinction at active use of the existing information, not simply the existence of it. I did mean to exclude processes that import information directly as part of the process of generating new coherent information. Most Evolutionary algorithms sneak in new active information by virtue of the design and execution of the code. The challenge for biological systems is to explain how the information got there in the first place but even existing biological systems with pre-existing information don't seem to generate new information beyond the rate of a blind search. Perhaps you know of a process that does generate new information efficiently.

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It is somewhat arbitrary. Still a small number by our standards but also something completely out of reach to random processes.

Are smaller numbers within reach to random processes? I'm trying to understand why there must be a boundary here.

 

Generally I would make the distinction at active use of the existing information, not simply the existence of it. I did mean to exclude processes that import information directly as part of the process of generating new coherent information. Most Evolutionary algorithms sneak in new active information by virtue of the design and execution of the code. The challenge for biological systems is to explain how the information got there in the first place but even existing biological systems with pre-existing information don't seem to generate new information beyond the rate of a blind search. Perhaps you know of a process that does generate new information efficiently.

 

Why is efficiency a constraint? Surely all that matters is if information generation can happen at all, because the timescales involved here are absolutely immense.

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Are smaller numbers within reach to random processes? I'm trying to understand why there must be a boundary here.

 

Information theory has information entropy measured based on the the degree of order and thus the number of possibilities ruled out by the information provided. Thus the amount of information generated by random processes such as a blind search would be based on the resources available to it and that in turn would indicate what numbers are in reach.

 

 

Why is efficiency a constraint? Surely all that matters is if information generation can happen at all, because the timescales involved here are absolutely immense.

 

Given the amount of information required, even billions of billions of years are not close to the timescales one would need by random processes. Information generation requires a much more efficient process.

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There is a trend among "creation scientists" to try to cite "information theory" as evidence against evolution. Just a few months ago we had someone here (impersonating a real biologist, who we informed and last we heard was exploring legal options) arguing this at great length. Largely these objections are based on misapplication of theory, shifting definitions of "information" as it applies to biology, and an apparent lack of understanding of how evolution is supposed to work. Do not be fooled by this.

 

Basically, information is added whenever any change occurs. This is different than it would be in the case of trying to transmit a specific signal, in which case any change would represent loss and conversion to "noise." In genetics, however, change is simply change.

 

Simple sequence: ABCD

Copying: ABCDABCD

Mutation: DEFGHIJK

 

Sequence DEFGHIJK contains more information than sequence ABCD.

 

TalkOrigins has a whole series on this:

 

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/information/infotheory.html

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It's also worth noting that evolutionary processes work in parallel; millions of different organisms (or puddles of chemicals, or whatever) can be mutating and naturally selecting beneficial attributes simultaneously. Combine this with billions of years of timespan and you're going somewhere.

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Given the amount of information required, even billions of billions of years are not close to the timescales one would need by random processes. Information generation requires a much more efficient process.

 

Good thing evolution is not a random process then! (Hint: one of the parts that is not random is natural selection). Oh, and information is very easy to generate. What's harder is to generate useful information.

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It's also worth noting that evolutionary processes work in parallel; millions of different organisms (or puddles of chemicals, or whatever) can be mutating and naturally selecting beneficial attributes simultaneously. Combine this with billions of years of timespan and you're going somewhere.

 

It's not clear we are "going" anywhere or not. Your words are easy to write but without clear demonstration that this is true they are empty. I have looked very hard for an example of a known (documented as opposed to presumed) contiguous evolutionary pathway of greater than three stepwise mutations where each step has selectable advantage. Can you offer an example to demonstrate that your narrative is correct?

 

Good thing evolution is not a random process then! (Hint: one of the parts that is not random is natural selection).

 

Yes and I offer the same challenge to you as I did to Cap'n.

 

Oh, and information is very easy to generate. What's harder is to generate useful information.

 

Yes, I specified the kind of information (coherent, useful) earlier in the thread.

 

Attempt to discredit snipped out ...

Do not be fooled by this.

... nonsense conflating communication and data transmission theory with coherent useful information snipped also.....

 

I don't see anything in the post worthy of a long reply as I have already clarified the kind of information we are discussing. Information entropy is an area of acute attention these days. It is now generally agreed that the search for the explanation of life from non-life is esntially a search to explain the information content of biological systems.

 

As an additional note, we've quickly moved past fine tuning and the inability to demonstrate that any other than mind can and do fine tune. We discussed many reasons why random processes don't cause fine tuned systems and into the inability of random processes to generate coherent encoded information. Random mutation was suggested but then rejected in favor of mutation (a random process) along with selection (a deterministic process).

 

I will assume that most here accept that physical constants are fine tuned though some dispute how they came to be that way. I will assume that most here agree random process alone don't generate fine tune systems and don't generate coherent information. If these assumptions are correct we can examine deterministic mechanisms. I have asked Cap'n and Skeptic for a known observed case of natural selection driving an evolutionary pathway greater than three contiguous steps (no steps skipped, each documented) because while I accept the narrative, I question if it actually occurred the way the narrative describes. I suspect there are other processes involved.

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