I'm really having trouble with understanding your argument, Mike. As far as I can see, however staggeringly unlikely the chances that a universe that is just like ours might exist, I can't see that this has any bearing whatsoever on whether there is an intelligent creator behind it. Universes like this might actually be ten a penny, springing into existence by themselves all the time, but our particular one was created by intelligence - or conversely, it might be so statistically improbable that you'd get a hernia just thinking about it, but ours arose naturalistically anyway.
This message has been edited by Tusko, 11-19-2005 08:57 AM
I suggest all referrals to me read the Great Debate between me and NWR. this thread is for everyone else, so I won't get involved.
Universes like this might actually be ten a penny, springing into existence by themselves all the time, but our particular one was created by intelligence
This assumes it's hypothetic; that there are many universes. We must buy into the fact that there are multiple universes, in order for you to be correct.
As far as I know, there is only one. If they are popping up everywhere, my thoughts were that "everywhere" and everything is equated with "the universe". Nothing else has been found, and is therefore speculation.
If we are sticking to facts, then conjecture won't allow us to conclude anything but rather we shall go around in circles claiming vacuous truths.
Suggesting hypothetical possibilities is useless, Imho. My dad does it all of the time. He said "I must close the window incase a firework comes through it". Entirely possible, entirely vacuous. :)
I could have dinner with aliens, and attend mass on future mars, pending invention of a time machine next week.
I can't see that this has any bearing whatsoever on whether there is an intelligent creator behind it
That's because maybe, you're not looking at examples/instances in the universe, which would require thought IMHO. Like my example of a moon-satellite being a heater, would cook us, and a big distance between the sun and earth, would require a vacuum to radiate heat. These instances, require thought IMHO, or are best described as having "thought" cause these instances to be possible.
Chance seems to be a none-answer to me. God doesn't play dice. And if he does, then mike is only saying that he knows the variables involved.
Even a chaotic -none-system is allowable because of the arrangement of fine-tuning.
Think about it like this; A calendar has gaps, and it seems a waste of space, but it is useful in another indirect way. So chance itself requires a designer, as chance is of this universe, evidentially. :)
So....I won't get involved in this thread. I just hope you read this so you can understand that even if I am wrong, I have my reasons for thinking this way.
I'll concede that there might be life that we haven't yet observed, but it isn't really relevant to the point I was trying to make. Without the observation of a Universe teeming (sp?) with life, the conclusion of fine-tuning for life is not warrented, and sort of ridiculous.
I've never quite felt the force of the anthropic principle: if fundamental characteristics of the universe were different, any life that evolved within it would be different also. One assumes that different life, by necessity, would evolve senses that permit the apprehension of its different universe in order to survive. Should conditions favor the evolution of intelligence, those senses honed by survival requirements would likely enable the apprehension of a universe beyond the bounds of brute survival. The universe seems peculiarly suited to our evolution because it is the universe in which we evolved.
Fine tuning exists but does not necessarily imply a tuner
When we talk of the universe being fine-tuned, we are usually referring to the values of the fundemental constants. The fine-tuning is that which allows things like:
- the universe to expand at a rate slow enough such that matter can gravitationally clump but not so slow that the universe recollapses before life has chance to appear.
- heavy elements (as in > Lithium) to exist by virtue of Be/He/C resonance
Another conundrum was "why is the universe so very very flat?"
It doesn't have such an immediate application to the possibility/inevitability of life, but was still very mysterious until inflation provided a mechanism to naturally produce this fine tuning.
However, I don't have any confidence that a similar mechanism will be found for the points above... the flatness problem is relatively very very simple.
All fine-tuning problems can be circumvented by postulating that our universe is just one of an infinite number of universes. This is entirely plausible in a string/M-theory enhanced cosmologial scenario. However, many do not buy into this, mainly because it is not that aesthetic, and seems a bit of a cheat ;)
Hi Omniv. If the constants were not much different from what they are, there wouldn't be time for life to evolve, or there wouldn't be any heavy elements out of which to create life. It is to this that the AP refers.
Ringo,responding to Wiz writes: Those properties of matter would still be there even if we weren't here.
But who would be around to prove it? And if nobody were around, how can there be facts without observers? The old "If a tree falls in the forest...." philosophy.
"If a tree falls in the forest and there's nobody there, does it make a sound?"
The real question there is, "What is the nature of 'sound'?" Is it the vibrations in the air caused by the falling tree? Or is it the vibrations striking the observer's eardrum and causing a perception in his/her brain?
My point was that the vibrations will still be there whether there is an observer or not. Properties exist, with or without observers, with or without anybody to "prove" them, with or without anybody to call them "facts".
(The other question which has intrigued the philosophers of the ages is: "How many 'Ringoisms' does it take to make me a character worthy of inclusion in robinrohan's play?) :D
People who think they have all the answers usually don't understand the questions.
Thanks, cavediver. I do appreciate that fundamental part of the AP, but I still don't see the problem or feel the force :)
If the constants were sufficiently different that life lacked necessary ingredients or adequate time to arise, there would be no life to remark upon its absence.
If the constants were changed just enough to produce markedly different sorts of life, those life forms would probably also find it remarkable that the universe is so precisely what was required for their emergence.
Having only one universe to observe, it is difficult to see much significance in life noticing it to be so just-so. Since we can't replay the Big Bang with tweaks, I'm also a bit leery of the assertion that no life could develop under slightly different constants, wary of limits on what forms or states life can take, and wary of accepting that the impact on life's possibility is thoroughly understood: while our own existence may be ruled out, might not the emergence of life be affected in unpredicted ways, some possibly benign?
If dramatic differences in original conditions are required to create significantly different constants, one might speculate that our constants are generic universe constants. If the required differences are minute, it makes our just-so universe more striking. How little the constants need vary to preclude us seems less interesting than how much original conditions need vary to yield those changes.
And I simply have no notion of how great the changes in original conditions would have to be (though I strongly intuit that I am about to learn :)).
Still, I've had extraordinarily good luck and extraordinarily bad luck. How probable was it that our universe be just-so? Just probable enough, apparently. I can feel extraordinarily lucky to have my companion constants without seeking any larger metaphysical or spiritual significance in my good fortune. Merely to gaze into the night-time sky fills me with as much wonder as I can contain--sometimes a little more.