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McDowell-Dembski Tag Team

Sean McDowell and I did a tag team event in Southern California this weekend. For a description and audio, go here.

The focus was on our book Understanding Intelligent Design.

Rules for Radicals

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10 Responses to McDowell-Dembski Tag Team

  1. I was there and brought my entire family, as well as a family friend. It was a terrific evening. It really is too bad that students in the public schools are forbidden to be exposed to Dembski’s dangerous idea that there is scientifically detectable design in the universe and living systems. This could lead to catastrophic consequences, like some students becoming intellectually unfulfilled atheists.

  2. Bill I listened to the entire piece. I noticed at one point that you brought up Bishop Sheen.

    A great character he was. He tells a joke in this video that I love…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

    It’s about the old man who won the lottery.

    Also for what it is worth I wanted you to know that I thought you were at your best here Bill. I don’t know about the other guy but as far as your effort, I mean you really were relaxed and yet allowed yourself to delve into the specifics involved in the theory of ID. When you are generous in your time and the richness of your explanations like you were here, everyone is the better for it. ID needs more performances like this. Great job Bill.

  3. Gil,

    This could lead to catastrophic consequences, like some students becoming intellectually unfulfilled atheists.

    Or worse still an intellectually fulfilled Christian!

  4. It would be even more useful to the larger ID community if these talks were videoed and made available for all to see :-(

  5. The first speaker (Mr McDowell?) mentions the fine-tuning of gravity required for life: equivalent to one inch in the diameter of the universe stronger or weaker and life wouldn’t have been possible. Does anyone have a source for this claim? I’ve seen and heard it made several times, but haven’t seen anyone refer to a paper in any astronomy, physics or math journal backing it up.

  6. Reg, one of the numbers I found for gravity’s fine tuning is 1 part in 10^40.

    Inches per mile: 6.336*10^4
    Miles per light year: ~5.878*10^12
    Light years across universe: 1.56*10^11.

    Inches across universe:
    (9.3*10^10) *
    (5.879*10^12) *
    (6.336*10^4) = ~5.81*10^28

    This is actually not even close to 1 part in 10^40. In terms of inches, the fine tuning would be to 1 part in ~1.72*10^11
    of an inch. So McDowell’s assertion regarding moving the constant 1 inch to the right or left is entirely correct, even dramatically understated.

    Any corrections to my math are welcome and appreciated.

  7. The above should read:

    Inches across universe:
    (1.56*10^11) *
    (5.879*10^12) *
    (6.336*10^4) = ~5.81*10^28

    I had replaced a 93 billion light year estimate with 156 billion without updating that text. The result is the same.

  8. Hey Apollos ; Can you do the math on the comment that “One Teaspoon of matter, more or less would have rendered life impossible in this universe?

    Here’s the video that quotes the number 10^60:

    Overwhelming Evidence For God From Physics Part 3 of 4

    http://www.godtube.com/view_vi.....28c81d6a71

  9. bornagain77,

    Assuming that the cosmological constant is tuned to 1 part in 10^60, then the ‘ruler’ is at another scale entirely.

    Inches across universe: ~5.81*10^28
    CC fine tuning: 1.0*10^60

    McDowell’s analogy suggested that if a ruler were the diameter of the universe, gravity’s fine tuning (10^-40) would be accurate to +/- 1 inch. This is even understated by about 172,000,000,000.

    Using the same analogy for the cosmological constant, tuned to 1 part in 10^60, we would need a ruler of a length such that every inch on our first ruler was stretched again to the diameter of the universe. Even then you could make another 296 divisions in the resulting inch.

    10^60 / 5.81*10^28 = 1.72*10^31
    1.72*10^31 / 5.81*10^28 = 296

    As for applying the mass of the universe to the cosmological constant, it’s beyond me. One of the numbers I found for mass in the universe is ~1.6*10^60 kilograms. A teaspoon of matter, even something heavy like gold or platinum, wouldn’t be more than around 100 grams per teaspoon. You would need 16 teaspoons to equal 1 part in 1.6*10^60.

    However I’m fairly certain that the relation of universal mass to the cosmological constant’s fine tuning isn’t 1:1. Perhaps somebody with some physics and cosmology ‘pimp-daddyness’ can give you a better answer. The Friedmann equations speak about a critical density, but I’ve no idea how to interpret them.

  10. Thanks for the input Apollos, This is the second time I’ve heard the mass of the universe being extremely fine tuned. The first was by Dr. Hugh Ross, and now by Dr. Michael Strauss. Maybe I’ll look the book up he quotes in the video. I’m fairly certain that they arrive at the number by “mass density” calculations for the Big Bang for Dr. Strauss refers to the the Gravity constant to validate the fine tuning of the “overall mass” parameter.
    Speaking of Gravity, did you see the video clip where they “found” Dark matter stripped of all its physical matter?

    http://video.google.com/videos.....#038;aq=f#

    Myself, I believe they are barking up the wrong tree by postulating Dark Matter,,,I believe Gravity will be found to have a “information basis” since information is found to be its own unique entity with dominion over energy in quantum teleportation experiments.

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