ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 18th October 2017, 11:50 AM   #281
MikeG
Now. Do it now.
 
MikeG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 20,344
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
....... "We exist - therefore the probability that the constants would be what they are is unity".

There are two problems with this statement.

Do we exist purely as physical beings, or do we exist purely in the mind of a Cosmic Intelligence?

If there is doubt, then the probability cannot be unity.........
Why would an astrophysicist even consider this stuff? There is no evidence to support it. Scientists deal in reality.
__________________
The Conservatives want to keep wogs out and march boldly back to the 1950s when Britain still had an Empire and blacks, women, poofs and Irish knew their place. The Don That's what we've sunk to here.
MikeG is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2017, 12:11 PM   #282
Donn
Philosopher
 
Donn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: In my head.
Posts: 7,670
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
The discussion opposing fine tuning so far is that "We exist - therefore the probability that the constants would be what they are is unity".

There are two problems with this statement.

Do we exist purely as physical beings, or do we exist purely in the mind of a Cosmic Intelligence?

If there is doubt, then the probability cannot be unity.
Whatever the variables, the die is cast. Unity it is.

Quote:
The second problem is that in science everything has a cause.
This is false. Wrong. Untrue. The pucky of the bull. The drol from the bok.

Quote:
When the constants came into being, why did they have "just the right values". Not just one constant but many?
They voted to frustrate you. It worked.

Quote:
Keep in mind two problems. Firstly, dark energy and dark matter, what are they apart from scientific fantasy? The unicorns of science.
They have more clothing than the Father and the Son.

Quote:
Secondly, atheist science is so worried about the fine tuning that it has invented another fantasy, namely gazillions of universes so that the law of large numbers can be used in argument.
You poor benighted soul.

Quote:
So how fanciful is my Cosmic Intelligence compared to the fantasies mentioned? At least I have some personal evidence. Atheists only have desperate musings.
Your personal evidence is so cute. Give it a hug. No one else cares.

Quote:
As for the fall-back retort of "No-one can Know therefore you cannot Know" is another meaningless fall-back defense. We are talking about probability of one hypothesis versus another for the Ultimate Reality. You say I have NO evidence. Rubbish, I have evidence, but not the evidence atheists are prepared to accept.
Yep. Your evidence is ever dense.
__________________
"If I hadn't believed it with my own mind, I would never have seen it." - thanks sackett
"If you stand on a piece of paper, you are indeed closer to the moon." - MRC_Hans
"I was a believer. Until I saw it." - Magrat
Donn is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2017, 12:12 PM   #283
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 14,514
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post

The second problem is that in science everything has a cause. When the constants came into being, why did they have "just the right values". Not just one constant but many?
You seem to have a huge misunderstanding of the law of causality. It says for every effect there must be a cause. Not that every piece of matter requires a creator. In fact, there is EVERY reason to believe that all the matter and energy in the universe is a constant and has ALWAYS existed and the form of the universe is just the result of that interaction between that matter and energy.

As Laplace said 'Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là'
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume

Last edited by acbytesla; 18th October 2017 at 12:24 PM.
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2017, 12:24 PM   #284
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 14,514
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
As for the fall-back retort of "No-one can Know therefore you cannot Know" is another meaningless fall-back defense. We are talking about probability of one hypothesis versus another for the Ultimate Reality. You say I have NO evidence. Rubbish, I have evidence, but not the evidence atheists are prepared to accept.
The problem of course of your silly silly position is that your evidence comes out of your ass. And it doesn't just fail to prove the existence of a creator it stinks.

Personally, it would matter little to me if you posited some deistic creator as the first cause. I'd disagree but it would be harmless and benign. No, it has to be a creator that has caused and continues to cause the world great misery.
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2017, 01:58 PM   #285
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 78,837
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
You would be wrong then. Post hoc analysis of calculating odds is always flawed. The odds of a specific event occurring that did happen is ALWAYS 100 percent. If you calculate the odds against life occurring in some random unknown spot in the universe to be very high you would be right. But the earth is not a random spot. It is the winning lottery ticket and just like in the lottery the odds of life and that the winning ticket is the winning ticket is ALWAYS 100 percent.
You said "...If you wanted to say that earth at this moment in time is fine tuned for life, I agree,..." That is what I was disagreeing with. If you look at the earth in its entirety from its outermost atmosphere to its core the volume of the earth that is compatible with life is insignificant. If the earth is meant to be fine tuned for life I hope someone has kept hold of the receipt from Magrathea!
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2017, 02:05 PM   #286
Trebuchet
Penultimate Amazing
 
Trebuchet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Great Northwet
Posts: 13,692
Earth is not fine-tuned for life, other than being the only place in the solar system hospitable to liquid water. Earthly life is fine-tuned to the Earth, having evolved for that.
__________________
Cum catapultae proscribeantur tum soli proscripti catapultas habeant.
Trebuchet is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2017, 02:16 PM   #287
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 14,514
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
You said "...If you wanted to say that earth at this moment in time is fine tuned for life, I agree,..." That is what I was disagreeing with. If you look at the earth in its entirety from its outermost atmosphere to its core the volume of the earth that is compatible with life is insignificant. If the earth is meant to be fine tuned for life I hope someone has kept hold of the receipt from Magrathea!
I never said the earth as a whole is 'fine tuned' for life. The planet at one time had conditions that made life appear as well as conditions that have allowed life to flourish. I wouldn't use the term 'fine tuned' either as that suggests agency that made those conditions occur. There is also no doubt that the earth has conditions that are both conducive and hostile to life almost simultaneously. Such as fires in forests leading to new life in the oceans and even necessary for certain trees to reproduce.

All I've said is statistically speaking the odds of life occurring on this planet is 100 percent because we know it did. Just as I can tell you who won yesterday's sporting events.
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2017, 03:33 PM   #288
Fast Eddie B
Illuminator
 
Fast Eddie B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Mineral Bluff, GA
Posts: 4,606
Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Earth is not fine-tuned for life, other than being the only place in the solar system hospitable to liquid water.
I thought liquid water was being discovered on the moons of various planets.

Found this: “As of December 2015, the confirmed liquid water in the Solar System outside Earth is 25-50 times the volume of Earth's water (1.3 billion cubic kilometers)”.

Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extr...l_liquid_water
__________________
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that...I will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” - President Donald J. Trump, January 20, 2017.
"And it's, frankly, disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write. And people should look into it." - President Donald J. Trump, October 11, 2017.

Last edited by Fast Eddie B; 18th October 2017 at 03:37 PM.
Fast Eddie B is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2017, 04:45 PM   #289
Thor 2
Master Poster
 
Thor 2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Brisbane, Aust.
Posts: 2,933
Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
I thought liquid water was being discovered on the moons of various planets.

Found this: “As of December 2015, the confirmed liquid water in the Solar System outside Earth is 25-50 times the volume of Earth's water (1.3 billion cubic kilometers)”.

Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extr...l_liquid_water


Very interesting Fast Eddie. Some of those places may be very cold so for the water to remain liquid it has to be under considerable pressure. Water expands when it becomes ice and can be kept liquid at low temperatures if kept under pressure.

We have examples of life existing in water under very high pressure here on Earth so maybe this has occurred elsewhere also. On the other hand if those planets and moons have hot cores maybe the water is not so cold also.

If intelligent life exists in some of those places they may be pondering how wonderful it is the environment was so finely tuned to suit them.
__________________
There are billions of gods. One or more in the mind of every theist.
Thor 2 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2017, 05:19 PM   #290
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 14,514
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Very interesting Fast Eddie. Some of those places may be very cold so for the water to remain liquid it has to be under considerable pressure. Water expands when it becomes ice and can be kept liquid at low temperatures if kept under pressure.

We have examples of life existing in water under very high pressure here on Earth so maybe this has occurred elsewhere also. On the other hand if those planets and moons have hot cores maybe the water is not so cold also.

If intelligent life exists in some of those places they may be pondering how wonderful it is the environment was so finely tuned to suit them.
I'm of the belief that pretty much every planet within the habitable distance from a star had life at some time during the life of the planet. Now, maybe there is a reason that this doesn't occur. But it is amazing all the places on this planet that life is found on this planet. Many in places that people previously thought was inhabitable. There isn't even an answer that maybe even some of these life forms didn't result from abiogenesis and not from some form of biological reproduction. We simply don't know enough about the procesz of abiogenesis to answer this question.
__________________
“ A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ”
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2017, 09:19 PM   #291
I Am The Scum
Illuminator
 
I Am The Scum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3,105
Originally Posted by turingtest View Post
Great. The high likelihood of "constants [that] are right for life" is evidence for a designer if you assume the designer that the constants are evidence for.
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Obviously this is a tautology. But huh?
I think I can clarify Turingtest's point and build on it.

The idea behind ID is that if we imagine a powerful being that wants X, then X becomes very likely. The problem is, why should we imagine that such a being would want X? Couldn't we imagine anything else for its desires? What if we imagine that the being would want to prevent X? Doesn't this mean that the being most certainly does not exist?

At this point, it becomes pretty clear that the concept of the powerful being is not increasing our understanding of the natural world one bit. It is merely taking something that is known to be true, and saying "Maybe God did that." And you can apply it anywhere. What are the odds that a coin toss will come up heads? 50/50? If God were responsible, it'd be 100%. So now God is the arbiter of coin tosses. What about the 9/11 terror attacks? They would have been certain to succeed if God was assisting, so we must conclude that God was assisting.

Given all of the above, the vacuous nature of ID should be obvious.
I Am The Scum is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2017, 09:40 PM   #292
Lukraak_Sisser
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,989
Lets go with the fine tuning / chances argument and apply it to something else.

Now, PartSkeptic, you will of course agree that if I drop a glass on a hard surface that it will shatter into many shards.
These shards will have seemingly random shapes that, if fitted together correctly will form a glass.
And the odds of all those shards forming into EXACTLY those shapes is astronomically low.
But, they have formed.

By your logic the universe is therefore fine-tuned to form exactly those shards and the breaking of the glass is guided by a cosmic intelligence, as the chance of them forming as they did randomly is just too low.

Now, if I drop a glass again, by your logic I should get the same shards.

Yet, if I do, I get a completely different, equally unlikely set of shards.


If your logic falls apart on something as simple as that, why do you feel you can apply it to life?
Lukraak_Sisser is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 12:30 AM   #293
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 9,838
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Very interesting Fast Eddie. Some of those places may be very cold so for the water to remain liquid it has to be under considerable pressure. Water expands when it becomes ice and can be kept liquid at low temperatures if kept under pressure.

We have examples of life existing in water under very high pressure here on Earth so maybe this has occurred elsewhere also. On the other hand if those planets and moons have hot cores maybe the water is not so cold also.

If intelligent life exists in some of those places they may be pondering how wonderful it is the environment was so finely tuned to suit them.
The large icy moons of the gas giants are subject to tidal forces that heat their centres, resulting in an ocean of liquid water between their rocky cores and a thick layer of ice. These oceans are reckoned by many astrobiologists to be the best prospects for finding extraterrestrial life in the solar system.
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
Pixel42 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 02:35 AM   #294
PartSkeptic
Master Poster
 
PartSkeptic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: South Africa
Posts: 2,352
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Why would an astrophysicist even consider this stuff? There is no evidence to support it. Scientists deal in reality.
The ordinary scientists deal in reality with a small "r".

The great scientists like Einstein dealt with reality and philosophical musings about the deeper nature of Reality.

Since proof of what the Ultimate Reality is beyond scientific measurement and test, it lies to humans to use their brains to hypothesize what Ultimate Reality might be, and how logical their hypothesis is. The one with the best fit should be what rational people accept until a better model comes about.

Small "r" reality may never explain the mysteries of the human mind and it's ability to grasp concepts almost beyond imagination. It is unlikely to measure or test the many supernatural events. The scope by definition is limited. If you wish to live in the comfort of an artificially limited reality that is your choice.

And what about Lawrence Krauss who speculates on what the Ultimate Reality might be, but limits himself to the laws of physics? Do you consider him to be a scientist?
__________________
**Agnostic theist. God/Satan/Angels/Demons may not exist - but I choose to think the probability is that they do. By personal experience.**
PartSkeptic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 02:45 AM   #295
PartSkeptic
Master Poster
 
PartSkeptic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: South Africa
Posts: 2,352
Originally Posted by Donn View Post
Whatever the variables, the die is cast. Unity it is.
Who cast the die?

Originally Posted by Donn View Post
This is false. Wrong. Untrue. The pucky of the bull. The drol from the bok.
Give me just one example a scientific event without a cause.

Originally Posted by Donn View Post
They voted to frustrate you. It worked.
Who is they?

Originally Posted by Donn View Post
They have more clothing than the Father and the Son.
Why do unicorns have clothing? Give me proof.

Originally Posted by Donn View Post
You poor benighted soul.
Huh???

Originally Posted by Donn View Post
Your personal evidence is so cute. Give it a hug. No one else cares.
You think so?

Originally Posted by Donn View Post
Yep. Your evidence is ever dense.
Your final insult?

Your whole post is sarcastic - the defense of someone who has nothing of value to contribute. Perhaps you should do everyone a favor and find another thread, especially since you do not care what I have to contribute.
__________________
**Agnostic theist. God/Satan/Angels/Demons may not exist - but I choose to think the probability is that they do. By personal experience.**
PartSkeptic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 02:49 AM   #296
PartSkeptic
Master Poster
 
PartSkeptic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: South Africa
Posts: 2,352
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
(snip)In fact, there is EVERY reason to believe that all the matter and energy in the universe is a constant and has ALWAYS existed(snip)
That is old world scientific thinking that got a real jolt when it turned out the the Big Bang happened. Atheists were thrown into turmoil by a "creation-type" event.

EVERY? Why I have I not come across one reason for your belief?

ALWAYS? Define always. Some say time did not exist before the Big Bang.
__________________
**Agnostic theist. God/Satan/Angels/Demons may not exist - but I choose to think the probability is that they do. By personal experience.**
PartSkeptic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 02:58 AM   #297
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,737
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
No argument from authority. I just want principle so I can be precise.
The principle seems to be that once the event has already happened, it's safe to say that it already happened. Marvelling at how amazing it is that it happened, especially based on highly questionable calculations, puts one in great danger of invoking the Texas sharpshooter fallacy even at the best of times. Just think about how low the chances were that that bullet hit that exact spot!

Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
Douglas Adams. He of Puddle-Hole Thinking notoriety. His argument implies a probability of 1:1 but where does he argue that? And thinking puddles - the ultimate in anthropomorphics!
No. The argument itself has little to do with probability directly and so does not actually properly imply a probability of 1:1, especially not beforehand. Probability can be applied to it, yes, but such misses the more specific focus. There are a couple quite valid and relevant points that can be taken from it, but not that. Similarly, the thinking puddles point is only really worth an eyeroll and can be simply dismissed out of hand (generally along with the one using it) if it's being used to try to undermine the validity of the actual points that the argument addresses.

If you want an example of simple and easy valid use of the analogy, it's validly used to point out that for us to be alive, our universe didn't necessarily have to be fine-tuned for our existence, but rather, that we could easily be the thing that's been "fine-tuned" (not necessarily by an actual intelligence or designer) to live in our universe. Of more importance to you, likely, the possibility of an intelligent designer is unfalsifiable, regardless, though, and the puddle analogy wasn't designed to claim otherwise. It was, however, designed to highlight a couple of the biggest conceptual flaws in arguments like the one that you seem to be trying to push. As Wudang already quoted from your later link -

Quote:
We could not possibly have existed in conditions that are incompatible with the existence of observers.
This point alone is sufficient to make the entire prior probability argument (in pretty much all its forms) moot and inconclusive. A side note to that is that if we did exist in conditions that were incompatible with the existence of observers, that would be evidence of outside interference.


Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Ahhh, the butterfly effect. I'd agree with this. That said, the game never stops. Play enough poker games a Royal Flush is dealt at some time. Personally, I don't believe life is rare in the universe. Clearly, this seems to be the only planet at this speck of geological time that seems to have life. But even our vast solar system is but a microscopic point in the universe. There is a vast amount of matter and energy in the universe constantly reacting to their conditions.
...Intelligent life, at least, for our solar system. There's a pretty decent chance that Europa's got life, though, apparently.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.

Last edited by Aridas; 19th October 2017 at 03:09 AM.
Aridas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 03:01 AM   #298
PartSkeptic
Master Poster
 
PartSkeptic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: South Africa
Posts: 2,352
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
The problem of course of your silly silly position is that your evidence comes out of your ass. And it doesn't just fail to prove the existence of a creator it stinks.

Personally, it would matter little to me if you posited some deistic creator as the first cause. I'd disagree but it would be harmless and benign. No, it has to be a creator that has caused and continues to cause the world great misery.
You continue to insult me with rude ad hominems that contribute nothing to the debate. Do you have some sort of anal/excrement fixation?

You prefer a deistic creator because you can attack it better using the argument of perfection. Using the argument of perfection is useless against my hypothesis that the Ultimate Creator is neither good nor evil and has created two opposing super-entities - God and Satan.

My hypothesis fits the facts better than a deistic creator.

With regard to misery, the anti-deistic stance can be equated to "Without God, everything is permitted." On what do you base your high-horse moral stance?
__________________
**Agnostic theist. God/Satan/Angels/Demons may not exist - but I choose to think the probability is that they do. By personal experience.**
PartSkeptic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 03:07 AM   #299
Fast Eddie B
Illuminator
 
Fast Eddie B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Mineral Bluff, GA
Posts: 4,606
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post

My hypothesis fits the facts better than a deistic creator.
Can you think of any experiment or observation that would falsify your hypothesis?

Asking on behalf of Karl Popper
__________________
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that...I will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” - President Donald J. Trump, January 20, 2017.
"And it's, frankly, disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write. And people should look into it." - President Donald J. Trump, October 11, 2017.
Fast Eddie B is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 03:18 AM   #300
PartSkeptic
Master Poster
 
PartSkeptic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: South Africa
Posts: 2,352
With regard to the planets and water and localized fitness for life, such discussions are irrelevant to the "fact" that if the cosmological constant was slightly different, the galaxies and the planets probably would not have formed.

Science cannot answer why the constants are what they are. Science can say that all these constants are remarkably well balanced for life to evolve.

Science also says that it is almost "unnatural" for such precision to occur by chance especially if the universe is a one-time entity.

It is a philosophical discussion as to what came "before" physics with its constants.

The ancient Greeks used observation and logic to deduce some remarkably accurate observations about the universe. We now have many more observations to go further.

So far many here are saying that while remarkable, it is what it is.

And the possibility of a "Matrix-like" Ultimate Intelligence is discounted, although science is starting to accept this a possibility. Atheists still cling to the notion that the "Matrix-like" Ultimate Intelligence MUST be a futuristic super-computer, rather than accept the possibility of something more the "supernatural".
__________________
**Agnostic theist. God/Satan/Angels/Demons may not exist - but I choose to think the probability is that they do. By personal experience.**
PartSkeptic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 03:28 AM   #301
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 9,838
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
Science cannot answer why the constants are what they are. Science can say that all these constants are remarkably well balanced for life to evolve.
On the contrary, science says there is nothing at all remarkable about the constants being in the range they need to be for us to exist and observe the values.

Quote:
So far many here are saying that while remarkable, it is what it is.
No that is not what many here are saying, it's what you persist in hearing because you are not listening to what is actually being said.
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
Pixel42 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 03:34 AM   #302
PartSkeptic
Master Poster
 
PartSkeptic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: South Africa
Posts: 2,352
Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
Can you think of any experiment or observation that would falsify your hypothesis?

Asking on behalf of Karl Popper

No. It is accepted that most hypotheses of what "caused" or "came before" the Big Bang are unlikely to be falsified.

One is left having to use "best fit" to available facts. Fine tuning is one available fact. The emergence of highly intelligent life-forms is another fact. On Earth, the balance of nature and it's beauty and functionality is another fact.

If one rejects anecdotal evidence for the existence of the supernatural, then one can use that stance to reject any hypothesis that invokes something other than "scientific" method.
__________________
**Agnostic theist. God/Satan/Angels/Demons may not exist - but I choose to think the probability is that they do. By personal experience.**
PartSkeptic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 03:38 AM   #303
MikeG
Now. Do it now.
 
MikeG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 20,344
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
.........If one rejects anecdotal evidence for the existence of the supernatural, then one can use that stance to reject any hypothesis that invokes something other than "scientific" method.
Indeed so. However, one would need some knowledge of the scientific method first before one was in a position to reject anything on the basis of it (the scientific method).
__________________
The Conservatives want to keep wogs out and march boldly back to the 1950s when Britain still had an Empire and blacks, women, poofs and Irish knew their place. The Don That's what we've sunk to here.
MikeG is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 03:39 AM   #304
MikeG
Now. Do it now.
 
MikeG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 20,344
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
......the anti-deistic stance can be equated to "Without God, everything is permitted.".......
Straw alert. Straw alert.
__________________
The Conservatives want to keep wogs out and march boldly back to the 1950s when Britain still had an Empire and blacks, women, poofs and Irish knew their place. The Don That's what we've sunk to here.
MikeG is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 03:47 AM   #305
Dave Rogers
Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles
 
Dave Rogers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD
Posts: 25,079
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
With regard to the planets and water and localized fitness for life, such discussions are irrelevant to the "fact" that if the cosmological constant was slightly different, the galaxies and the planets probably would not have formed.
And intelligent magnetohydrodynamic persistent structures in the resulting plasma would be speculating over how, had the cosmological constant been slightly different, the matter in the universe would have collapsed into dense, rigid blocks that could not possibly support life as they knew it.

Dave
__________________
Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
Dave Rogers is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 03:49 AM   #306
PartSkeptic
Master Poster
 
PartSkeptic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: South Africa
Posts: 2,352
Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
Lets go with the fine tuning / chances argument and apply it to something else.

Now, PartSkeptic, you will of course agree that if I drop a glass on a hard surface that it will shatter into many shards.
These shards will have seemingly random shapes that, if fitted together correctly will form a glass.
And the odds of all those shards forming into EXACTLY those shapes is astronomically low.
But, they have formed.

By your logic the universe is therefore fine-tuned to form exactly those shards and the breaking of the glass is guided by a cosmic intelligence, as the chance of them forming as they did randomly is just too low.

Now, if I drop a glass again, by your logic I should get the same shards.

Yet, if I do, I get a completely different, equally unlikely set of shards.


If your logic falls apart on something as simple as that, why do you feel you can apply it to life?
Science says that if all the initial conditions for an event are exactly the same, the same result will be obtained. Given Heisenberg's uncertainty principle this only applies to macroscopic events, and to do this with a glass breaking it almost impossible, in practice, to get everything exactly the same.

What the fine-tuning argument says that if the initial conditions are just right (a glass formed with the right internal stresses) and the glass is dropped just so, then the shards produced could be amazing shapes that would not otherwise be seen in gazillions of glass dropping experiments. That is what is "remarkable".

Pixel42 would say that no matter what shapes resulted they are unremarkable and droll and ordinary because if only one glass is ever dropped then there is nothing to compare it with. I disagree because if the shapes seem to be "designed" rather than a random shattering then one infers that the glass and the dropping were in fact "engineered".
__________________
**Agnostic theist. God/Satan/Angels/Demons may not exist - but I choose to think the probability is that they do. By personal experience.**
PartSkeptic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 04:00 AM   #307
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 9,838
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
What the fine-tuning argument says that if the initial conditions are just right (a glass formed with the right internal stresses) and the glass is dropped just so, then the shards produced could be amazing shapes that would not otherwise be seen in gazillions of glass dropping experiments. That is what is "remarkable".

Pixel42 would say that no matter what shapes resulted they are unremarkable and droll and ordinary because if only one glass is ever dropped then there is nothing to compare it with.
No, that is not my point at all.

Someone earlier posted that picture that looks like either a duck or a rabbit, depending on how you look at it. You are in the position of someone who can only see the duck. We can tell you that there is also a rabbit if you look at it a different way, but we can't help you any more than that.
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
Pixel42 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 04:06 AM   #308
PartSkeptic
Master Poster
 
PartSkeptic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: South Africa
Posts: 2,352
Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
And intelligent magnetohydrodynamic persistent structures in the resulting plasma would be speculating over how, had the cosmological constant been slightly different, the matter in the universe would have collapsed into dense, rigid blocks that could not possibly support life as they knew it.

Dave

Nice try.

Look at the sequence of the formation of the galaxies, stars and planets to form the elements, then the sequence of events to form a habitable planet that accumulates enough bio-diversity for human life to form, then the sequence of terra-forming to give us oil and coal. Then water and carbon is versatile enough to be able to form life and increase in complexity. Evolution would drive such life forms to survive better with intelligence.

You need to show at least some evidence that a swirling "hydrogen plasma" can "evolve" and have the minimum basic attributes of "life" - even if "engineered".

The sequence has to be "just right" to get human intelligence. Any random catastrophe can break the chain. In this regard we have gazillions of examples where the chain has not been "remarkable enough" to cause intelligent life forms. The fall back argument is then the law of large numbers saying humans are the result of at least one super-remarkable sequence.

And this does not involve any universal constant except to say any initial difference would not allow the formation of elements and the galaxies to follow the course they have.
__________________
**Agnostic theist. God/Satan/Angels/Demons may not exist - but I choose to think the probability is that they do. By personal experience.**
PartSkeptic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 04:09 AM   #309
PartSkeptic
Master Poster
 
PartSkeptic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: South Africa
Posts: 2,352
Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
No, that is not my point at all.

Someone earlier posted that picture that looks like either a duck or a rabbit, depending on how you look at it. You are in the position of someone who can only see the duck. We can tell you that there is also a rabbit if you look at it a different way, but we can't help you any more than that.
Funny, but that is my position. That you (and others) have fixed beliefs and cannot see other possibilities.
__________________
**Agnostic theist. God/Satan/Angels/Demons may not exist - but I choose to think the probability is that they do. By personal experience.**
PartSkeptic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 04:17 AM   #310
Dave Rogers
Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles
 
Dave Rogers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD
Posts: 25,079
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
You need to show at least some evidence [...]
No. No, I don't. You are the one arguing from design. You are the one claiming that no other possible set of universal constants could have produced structures suitable to be described as 'life'. You, therefore, are the one who needs to support this claim with evidence.

At this point, no doubt, you'll say something along the lines of "But you're asking me to prove a negative." That is in fact true; but that's the problem with the reasoning behind your claim.

Dave
__________________
Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
Dave Rogers is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 04:17 AM   #311
Fast Eddie B
Illuminator
 
Fast Eddie B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Mineral Bluff, GA
Posts: 4,606
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
The sequence has to be "just right" to get human intelligence.
I suppose. And it was.

But if you were an intelligent lizard or insect or silicon-based creature, you’d be marveling that “The sequence has to be "just right" to get lizard (or insect or silicon-based) intelligence.”

And be equally wrong in your thinking.
__________________
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that...I will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” - President Donald J. Trump, January 20, 2017.
"And it's, frankly, disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write. And people should look into it." - President Donald J. Trump, October 11, 2017.
Fast Eddie B is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 04:18 AM   #312
PartSkeptic
Master Poster
 
PartSkeptic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: South Africa
Posts: 2,352
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Straw alert. Straw alert.
Read the book by Julian Baggini entitled "Without God, is Everything Permitted."

He does a nice job. But he does a slick job of arguing that there is no God despite acknowledging that religion and the possible existence of God have contributed to "good" moral teachings. Ultimately he demonstrates that relative morality is actually no morality. He "hopes" that good is an intrinsic part of humans.
__________________
**Agnostic theist. God/Satan/Angels/Demons may not exist - but I choose to think the probability is that they do. By personal experience.**
PartSkeptic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 04:19 AM   #313
Meadmaker
Penultimate Amazing
 
Meadmaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 17,049
When considering the "fine tuning" variation of the argument from design I think there's an important consideration that often leads people to error.

The various equations and formulas, and the constants that are used in those formulas, that we call "laws of nature" are just descriptions. They aren't causes. We observe and measure the universe, and we come up with these descriptions, and we express them as mathematical relationships that include constants such as the gravitational constant, or the speed of light, which is itself a consequence of two other constants, the magnetic and electric permeability of free space, and all those other constants that are found in our physics textbooks.

Because we have those numbers, we have a strong tendency to try and imagine what would happen if those numbers are different, but that is confusing cause and effect. The numbers are a description of the universe. If the universe were different, then we would need different equations that used different numbers. We can't just imagine tweaking the numbers and seeing what sort of universe there would be, because all of those numbers are as they are because the universe is as it is. If we have the atoms and particles and photons that we have, they are described by these numbers. If the numbers were different, then the universe wouldn't be described by them. Atoms wouldn't hold together. Matter and energy wouldn't interact as they do. The equations we use wouldn't be the same equations.

Because we use these numbers to describe the world, it is psychologically simple to imagine if the numbers were different, and we realize, in that case, that the universe simply wouldn't "work". At that point, we might begin to thank our lucky stars that those numbers are exactly what they are, and we might even be tempted to assign some sort of "probability" to those numbers being what they are, but such an exercise is meaningless. If the universe didn't work the way it did, the numbers and the equations that use them wouldn't be useful.

James Maxwell came up with a set of four equations that describe electromagnetism, and the elements in those four equations have elements that can be related to each other using two constants, for electric and magnetic permeability. What is the probability that those four equations would be useful to describe the universe? The question borders on the nonsensical. However, the "fine tuning" variation of the argument from design asks us what is the probability that those constants would be what they are. That question is equally nonsensical, but it doesn't "feel" quite as nonsensical.

We can't talk about probability in such cases. The question has no meaning. The equations and the constants therein are what they are because the universe is as it is. If the universe were different, there would be different equations, not just different constants.
Meadmaker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 04:20 AM   #314
Dave Rogers
Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles
 
Dave Rogers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD
Posts: 25,079
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
Read the book by Julian Baggini entitled "Without God, is Everything Permitted."
In other words, you'll see MikeG's strawman and raise him an appeal to authority.

Dave
__________________
Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
Dave Rogers is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 04:21 AM   #315
Fast Eddie B
Illuminator
 
Fast Eddie B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Mineral Bluff, GA
Posts: 4,606
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
Read the book by Julian Baggini entitled "Without God, is Everything Permitted."
No thanks.

But I think the fact that atheists are underrepresented in prison populations puts the lie to that thesis.
__________________
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that...I will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” - President Donald J. Trump, January 20, 2017.
"And it's, frankly, disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write. And people should look into it." - President Donald J. Trump, October 11, 2017.
Fast Eddie B is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 04:24 AM   #316
PartSkeptic
Master Poster
 
PartSkeptic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: South Africa
Posts: 2,352
Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
I suppose. And it was.

But if you were an intelligent lizard or insect or silicon-based creature, you’d be marveling that “The sequence has to be "just right" to get lizard (or insect or silicon-based) intelligence.”

And be equally wrong in your thinking.

A lizard (or any other creature) lacks all the attributes needed to evolve intelligence. Humans are supremely adaptable, versatile, able to use the environment. Lizards are able to survive and procreate and not much else

Silicon is very limited in chemical properties. Organic chemistry has a huge branch all to itself.

Do a thought experiment on the possibility that anything different from a carbon based human could evolve high intelligence and it would fail very quickly.
__________________
**Agnostic theist. God/Satan/Angels/Demons may not exist - but I choose to think the probability is that they do. By personal experience.**
PartSkeptic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 04:34 AM   #317
PartSkeptic
Master Poster
 
PartSkeptic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: South Africa
Posts: 2,352
Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
In other words, you'll see MikeG's strawman and raise him an appeal to authority.

Dave

No. It is a reference work.

He will get a well-written logical analysis of the subject that will make him better informed. He does not have to accept everything that is said. I did not. He can use his own intelligence to determine if the arguments have validity.

Clearly I feel that the trend away from a fear of the possibility of judgment in the afterlife may very well result in the situation that everything is permitted and society will tear itself apart.

In China, the strict rules against corruption and crime are enabling them to rise dramatically. If they relax to permit "Western capitalism" with it's lack of restraint then they may also have chaos.
__________________
**Agnostic theist. God/Satan/Angels/Demons may not exist - but I choose to think the probability is that they do. By personal experience.**
PartSkeptic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 04:47 AM   #318
Dave Rogers
Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles
 
Dave Rogers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD
Posts: 25,079
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
Clearly I feel that the trend away from a fear of the possibility of judgment in the afterlife may very well result in the situation that everything is permitted and society will tear itself apart.

In China, the strict rules against corruption and crime are enabling them to rise dramatically. If they relax to permit "Western capitalism" with it's lack of restraint then they may also have chaos.
And yet it's Western capitalism, not the explicitly atheist Chinese communist system and its population that recently polled as 61% 'convinced atheist,' that's strongly informed by Christianity and its explicit promise of judgment in the afterlife. Strange.

Dave
__________________
Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
Dave Rogers is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 04:49 AM   #319
Fast Eddie B
Illuminator
 
Fast Eddie B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Mineral Bluff, GA
Posts: 4,606
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
A lizard (or any other creature) lacks all the attributes needed to evolve intelligence.
Demonstrably untrue, in that humans and lizards share a common ancestor.

It just so happens that it was a mammalian branch that sprung from that common ancestor that ultimately resulted in human-level intelligence.

Are you opining that intelligence equal to ours was only possible in the path actually taken? That seems to require a lot of hubris.
__________________
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that...I will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” - President Donald J. Trump, January 20, 2017.
"And it's, frankly, disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write. And people should look into it." - President Donald J. Trump, October 11, 2017.
Fast Eddie B is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 04:58 AM   #320
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 9,838
Originally Posted by PartSkeptic View Post
Funny, but that is my position. That you (and others) have fixed beliefs and cannot see other possibilities.
It's not a matter of belief. You simply do not get my point. And as long as you assume that there is no point to get, you never will.
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
Pixel42 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:28 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.