Home » Intelligent Design » The Multiverse Gods, final part

The Multiverse Gods, final part

BeatriceWe’ve been looking at Victor Stenger’s claim that fine-tuning is a fallacy. In part one, we looked at the two fundamental metaphysical theories of the universe–materialist and theist–recognizing how materialists have been losing ground by being forced to admit to a creation, making multiverse-theory a rear-guard action covering their retreat, which attempts to turn the unwanted creator into an impersonal force.

In part two, we discussed the Widow’s Mite fallacy where Stenger uses physical units for a metaphysical property, which like Jesus’ disciples, mistakes a physical quantity for a metaphysical one. The most obvious difference between the two is that physical quantities have units, whereas metaphysical ones are unitless. But in addition, metaphysical quantities are percentages, integrals, they involve a comparison of areas or volumes, as in Bayesian hypothesis testing we are making a ratio of the range to the domain of a fit variable.

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39 Responses to The Multiverse Gods, final part

  1. 1

    Many on here are using the supernatural as a strawman tactic. However, are very uni-verse is the product of supernatural origin, and the supernatural origin is recognized by mainstream science.

    Supernatural:

    (of a manifestation or event) Attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature

    – a supernatural being

    Unnaturally or extraordinarily great

    – a woman of supernatural beauty

    How did the universe originate:

    “There was only one Big Bang singularity, and it contained the whole Universe.”

    http://www.physlink.com/educat...../ae649.cfm

    So what is a the definition of a singularity:
    sin·gu·lar·i·ty

    singularities, plural

    The state, fact, quality, or condition of being singular
    – he believed in the singularity of all cultures

    A peculiarity or odd trait

    A point at which a function takes an infinite value, esp. in space-time when
    matter is infinitely dense, as at the center of a black hole

    A point in the future (often set at or around 2030 A.D.) beyond which overwhelming technical changes (esp. the development of superhuman artificial intelligence) make reliable predictions impossible

    Was the singularity of nature?

    “In short then, a singularity represents an infinity and we generally don’t think nature is infinite.”

    If it is not of nature, then it is some force beyond the scientific understanding of the laws of nature.[see above]

    http://www.physlink.com/educat...../ae251.cfm

    If nature is not infinite, and the beginning of the universe [the singularity] was infinite then the beginning of the universe was not of nature. And supernatural is defined as “some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature,” then the beginning of the universe is scientifically definable, and can be recognized as supernatural.

  2. From the article:

    Even before infinite time, will it not become smart enough that it is indistinguishable from the Biblical God? And could not such a super-intelligent being use the same physics of 11-dimensions to make as many “special” universes as it wanted, including ours? And would not this planned creation of universes be ever-so-much more likely than the Boltzmann brain version of our universe? Therefore doesn’t multiverse-theory necessarily make a planned and purposeful creation not just probable but necessary?

    And there we have it. Fantastic post, Rob Sheldon. I think you can go a lot further with this than you do, but man, you went far enough as is.

  3. Dr. Sheldon, simply poetic!

  4. Rob Sheldon, I always look forward to your posts. This one is no exception and is perhaps on of your pinnacle contributions.
    Thank you again!

  5. 5
    CannuckianYankee

    Yes, Dr. Sheldon, your insight has applications throughout this blog in the ongoing discussions, so thanks.

  6. But in addition, metaphysical quantities are percentages, integrals, they involve a comparison of areas or volumes, as in Bayesian hypothesis testing we are making a ratio of the range to the domain of a fit variable.

    I don’t follow this, can you explain, please.

  7. 7
    Elizabeth Liddle

    I have to say, Robert Sheldon, I simply do not understand your last two articles at all.

    You seem, oddly to me, to be rubbishing traditional frequentist statistics (“We were taught to show restraint in our extra parameters with some gobbledy-gook about an F-test”), and recommending Bayesian approaches instead.

    Well, I’m all for Bayesian approaches, but they too come with problems, not least being the determination of your priors.

    To quote William Dembski:

    The approach to design detection that I propose eliminates chance hypotheses when the
    probability of matching a suitable pattern (i.e., specification) on the basis of these chance hypotheses is small and yet an event matching the pattern still happens (i.e., the arrow lands in a small target). This eliminative approach to statistical rationality, as epitomized in Fisher’s approach to significance testing, is the one most widely employed in scientific applications. Nevertheless, there is an alternative approach to statistical rationality that is at odds with this eliminative approach. This is the Bayesian approach, which is essentially comparative rather than eliminative, comparing the probability of an event conditional on a chance hypothesis to its probability conditional on a design hypothesis, and preferring the hypothesis that confers the greater probability. I’ve argued at length elsewhere that Bayesian methods are inadequate for drawing design inferences.48 Among the reasons I’ve given is the need to assess prior probabilities in employing these methods, the concomitant problem of rationally grounding these priors, and the lack of empirical grounding in estimating probabilities conditional on design hypotheses.

    http://www.designinference.com.....cation.pdf

    The problem with Fisherian statistics is not that you can fit as many parameters as you want (you can’t – you lose a degree of freedom for each one, and the supply of degrees of freedom is finite), but because specifying the null adequately is often question-beggingly difficult.

    The good thing about Bayesian approaches is that your competing hypotheses are much more explicit.

    And then, about those “unitless quantities”: yes they are literally meta-physical in the sense that they are a way of describing the relationship between quantities rather than the quantities themselves, but – so what? We use unitless quantities in quantitative analyses the whole time, as well as normalized quantities, which are also meta-physical, in the same sense: standard deviations for instance. What relevance does this have to your argument?

    You write:

    Let me recap the multiverse-theory logic again. In order to explain a most unusual distribution of matter and energy in our own universe, we hypothesize an infinite array of universes arranged as on a giant bingo card in the Grand Casino, where every possible solution is available somewhere. It is a theory that says everyone’s a winner, and therefore none are special. But if the destination isn’t so special any more, than the journey is. In such a reality, we have merely traded our special position for speciality of speed, traded x for dx/dt, replaced first order with second order. We’ve allowed all modes to exist, and therefore the fastest growing mode dominates.

    And what is the fastest growing mode? Boltzmann brains are an example of a mode that is more probable than intact humans popping out of the void, but it isn’t the fastest growing mode. If energy is the limited resource, then energy-gobbling modes will be the fastest. If information is a limited resource, then information sequestering modes will be the fastest. If the Grand Casino were an African savannah, then these modes would be the predators, and naive eco-sensitive conservationists the prey. If indeed the multiverse-theory be correct, then the vast array of worlds would be dominated by the Destroyers, the Devourers, the Shiva of universes, finding ever more ruthless ways to consume our energy, our matter, our information into the Great 11-dimensional Borg.

    You seem to be conveying the picture of an infinite field of non-contingent events in which monkeys typing Shakespeare must occur in one of them, and even Shakespeare writing Shakespeare must occur in one of them. And even Shakepeare typing Shakespeare, I guess.

    But that is a strawman. What at least one version of multiverse theory does is to propose that there are large numbers (perhaps an infinite number) of universes each with an arbitrary set of parameters (randomly drawn from some celestial distribution), and in only a tiny subset of those will the parameters be such that heavy elements form, and that only in this tiny subset is life possible, and with life, intelligent lifeforms capable of asking the question: “is ours the only universe?”

    That is quite different from the idea that there are universes that don’t have laws governing contingencies, and that bizarre things like brains without bodies will occur with greater probability that brains with bodies.

    Your prose is exhilarating to read, but it’s not making any scientific sense at all to me!

  8. Elizabeth: ‘but it’s not making any scientific sense at all to me!’

    HA HA HA,,, Thanks for the laugh!!!

  9. 9
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Glad to have amused you, ba77 :)

    However, when science doesn’t make sense to a scientist, it’s occasionally worth checking whether it makes sense at all :)

    Just sayin’

    :p

  10. Elizabeth, you are NO scientist!!!

  11. 11
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Well, luckily my PhD examiner didn’t agree :)

    But it’s true that I was originally a musician.

  12. 12
    CannuckianYankee

    Lizzie,

    If you had stayed a musician we could have even more to talk about. :)

  13. 13
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Oh I’m still happy to talk about music! I still do the odd gig.

    I play viola da gamba. How about you?

    (I even did a fair bit of playing in Cannuckistan, as we lived in Vancouver BC for 7 years :))

  14. 14
    CannuckianYankee

    Lizzie, (OT)

    Vancouver is my hometown of sorts. Viola da Gamba – is that sort of like a cello? I have a recording of Yo-Yo ma playing one.

  15. 15
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Yes, it’s sort of like a cello, except that it comes in different sizes (also called “viol”), but the main solo instrument is the bass, which is approximately cello-sized. But they are usually a different shape, and have six (sometimes five or seven) strings, and frets, and the bow-hold is different. I can’t remember whether Yo-yo Ma plays one ever.

    If you ever saw the movie “Tous les matin du monde” that was about gamba players (the sound track was recorded by my teacher, Jordi Savall).

    We lived near UBC – 12th and Alma.

  16. 16

    “What at least one version of multiverse theory does…”

    That is the problem. There are seemingly endless versions. With the multiverses, string theories etc being sustained solely on mathematics, the constants can be (and are in fact) routinely tweaked to fit with whatever observations happen to be made within the c-boundary. Therfore the theory(s) are rigged/tweaked and thus remain seemingly unfalsifiable.

    String theory originally predicted a negative cosmological constant. But then came dark energy, Einsteins infamous Lambda, and with it a cosmological constant with a value close to 1, and guess what…the string theorists tweaked the math to incorporate the positive value. Presto. And on and on it goes.

  17. of note; ‘string theory’ was recently dealt another empirical setback;

    Integral challenges physics beyond Einstein – June 30, 2011
    Excerpt: However, Integral’s observations are about 10,000 times more accurate than any previous and show that any quantum graininess must be at a level of 10-48 m or smaller.,,, “This is a very important result in fundamental physics and will rule out some string theories and quantum loop gravity theories,” says Dr Laurent.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....stein.html

  18. 18
    Elizabeth Liddle

    junkdnaforlife:

    That is the problem. There are seemingly endless versions. With the multiverses, string theories etc being sustained solely on mathematics, the constants can be (and are in fact) routinely tweaked to fit with whatever observations happen to be made within the c-boundary. Therfore the theory(s) are rigged/tweaked and thus remain seemingly unfalsifiable.

    Well, not really. Some multiverse theories seem untestable at present, but others are. But they are not all “versions” of the same theory, to be tweaked to fit. Many of them differ radically.

    The can’t all be right, but one of them may be. Certainly the one that says that the knowable universe is a small subset of the whole, is pretty widely accepted (it’s hard to see, given what we now know, how it couldn’t be true).

    String theory originally predicted a negative cosmological constant. But then came dark energy, Einsteins infamous Lambda, and with it a cosmological constant with a value close to 1, and guess what…the string theorists tweaked the math to incorporate the positive value. Presto. And on and on it goes.

    String theory predicted a negative cosmological constant?

    Are you sure? The most frequent criticism of string theory is that it makes no testable predictions!

    Do you have a source for that?

  19. Elizabeth,
    I’m not sure where your confusion lies, because everything you said was a restatement of the post.

    a) Dembski may be happy with the F-test, but then he is debating people who take “random” very seriously. So there is no need to establish the Bayesian prior of “random distribution” since that is the one thing everyone is agreed on. In those happy circumstances, using Fisher statistics is simpler and neater.

    However, being explicit about your priors is not a bad thing at all. In fact, most of my problems with Darwinian theory is about hiding the conclusions in the assumptions. Bayes would spot that immediately, which is a good reason for going to Bayesian statistics.

    b) After telling me that my grand casino has no causality, you turn around and say that multiverse theory assumes infinite universes. Isn’t that just what I had said? It is the assumption of states of being that is a first order assumption. Causality is in the 2nd order terms. But if all 1st order states are permissable, then it is the 2nd order that is going to be the dominant discriminant.

    But we are quibbling with details when there are far worse assumptions going into its construction.

  20. Elizabeth Liddle:

    The problem with Fisherian statistics is … specifying the null adequately is often question-beggingly difficult.

    Let’s see if this comes up again in the tennis ball thread as an issue for Dembki’s specification as the pattern that signifies intelligence.

    You’re not going to accuse Dembski of begging the question are you?

  21. Elizabeth, you seem to be privy to some sort of solid empirical proof for multiverses that nobody is for you state;

    ‘Some multiverse theories seem untestable at present, but others are. But they are not all “versions” of the same theory, to be tweaked to fit. Many of them differ radically.

    The can’t all be right, but one of them may be. Certainly the one that says that the knowable universe is a small subset of the whole, is pretty widely accepted (it’s hard to see, given what we now know, how it couldn’t be true).’

    ,,,Please Elizabeth, do lay out this solid empirical confirmation for multiverses.,,,

    notes,,,

    Hawking gave the game away for his ‘omnipotent’ claims for M-theory with this quote that he gave in response to a question from Larry King at the beginning of a interview King had with Hawking about his book:

    Larry King: “If you could time travel would you go forward or backward?”

    Stephen Hawking: “I would go forward and find if M-theory is indeed the theory of everything.”

    Larry King and others; “Quietly laugh”

    So here we have Hawking making sweeping claims with a theory that, by his own admission, is not even shown to be a complete ‘theory of everything’ in the first place. Further critiques of Hawking’s ‘omnipotent’ M-theory, by leading experts in the field, can be found on the following site, as well the video of the interview between King and Hawking:

    Barr on Hawking – Barry Arrington – September 2010
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-363544

    This following quote, in critique of Hawking’s book, is from Roger Penrose who worked closely with Stephen Hawking in the 1970′s and 80′s:

    ‘What is referred to as M-theory isn’t even a theory. It’s a collection of ideas, hopes, aspirations. It’s not even a theory and I think the book is a bit misleading in that respect. It gives you the impression that here is this new theory which is going to explain everything. It is nothing of the sort. It is not even a theory and certainly has no observational (evidence),,, I think the book suffers rather more strongly than many (other books). It’s not a uncommon thing in popular descriptions of science to latch onto some idea, particularly things to do with string theory, which have absolutely no support from observations.,,, They are very far from any kind of observational (testability). Yes, they (the ideas of M-theory) are hardly science.” – Roger Penrose – former close colleague of Stephen Hawking – in critique of Hawking’s new book ‘The Grand Design’ the exact quote in the following video clip:

    Roger Penrose Debunks Stephen Hawking’s New Book ‘The Grand Design’ – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5278793/

    further note:

    Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law:
    Peter Woit, a PhD. in theoretical physics and a lecturer in mathematics at Columbia, points out—again and again—that string theory, despite its two decades of dominance, is just a hunch aspiring to be a theory. It hasn’t predicted anything, as theories are required to do, and its practitioners have become so desperate, says Woit, that they’re willing to redefine what doing science means in order to justify their labors.
    http://www.amazon.com/Not-Even.....0465092756

    Here is Professor Peter Woit’s blog where he has been fairly busy showing the failure of string theory to pass any of the experimental tests that have been proposed and put to any of its predictions:

    String Theory Fails Another Test, the “Supertest”
    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~.....ss/?p=3338

    Integral challenges physics beyond Einstein – June 30, 2011
    Excerpt: However, Integral’s observations are about 10,000 times more accurate than any previous and show that any quantum graininess must be at a level of 10-48 m or smaller.,,, “This is a very important result in fundamental physics and will rule out some string theories and quantum loop gravity theories,” says Dr Laurent.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....stein.html

    etc.. etc.. etc…

    And despite the spectacular failure of materialists to produce actual evidence for any of their multiverse conjectures, the Theist actually can produce evidence for ‘higher dimensions’;

    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1deoy-hayxoEu5ffIMEK7gEmJIlq_bCA0-CcifoAu6iM

  22. 22
    Elizabeth Liddle

    No, I didn’t claim there was “solid empirical proof”. I said that some multiverse theories presented testable hypotheses.

    One is being tested in the LHC. I don’t know the result.

    Even if it supports the theory, it won’t be “solid empirical proof”, merely support for that theory.

    The thing is, ba77, that scientific methodology is a quirky thing, and it’s easy, if you don’t have that particular training, to misunderstand what scientific claims, hypotheses, theories, etc actually are. And it’s not helped by the fact that other (equally valuable training) has different standards of proof (law, for instance) and even different uses for the same words.

    Nor is it helped (IMO) by people like Richard Dawkins who come along and claim that science proves there is no God (well, not quite, but almost).

    Science is always provisional. We don’t actually “prove” things in science at all, we just make models, and we try to make our models incrementally less wrong. The absolutely sine qua non for a good scientist is the preparedness to face the possibility that her hypothesis is false.

    In fact, the best scientists I know are those who spend the next seven years after having found evidence for a theory trying to demonstrate that the theory is wrong! I know a few.

    Science isn’t about being right. It’s just about being less wrong than you were before.

    I have no idea how good multiverse theories are (I am neither a cosmologist nor a theoretical physicists) but I’m interested in what the evidence turns out to be. Not because I have a dog in the hunt, but, well, because it’s interesting.

    But if anyone thinks the existence or otherwise of God hangs on the result, then they are doing bad theology IMO, whether they are atheists of theists :)

  23. To throw this out there…

    One of those “multiverse hypotheses” is Max Tegmark’s ultimate ensemble: “All structures that exist mathematically also exist physically.” And, that’s it. Every universe for which there is a possible hypothetical mathematical description is actual. And Tegmark claims this is testable, in part because his theory predicts that physics will uncover mathematical regularities in nature.

    Of course, Davies points out that – at least for Tegmark’s hypothesis – that our universe could be simulated. Or simulated within a simulation. Or simulated within a simulation within a simulation within… etc. Nested unto infinity. Martin Rees also openly speculated about this, and I believe his speculations were based on different multiverse theories other than Tegmark’s (after all, if you vary the initial conditions and the laws and there are infinite chances…) Davies also noted that not only was it possible for our universe to be simulated, but given that simulated universes would seem to outnumber the ‘real’ one, we should conclude we’re in a simulation.

    Mind you, given Tegmark’s hypothesis, things are wilder than that. Universes with full-blown gods abound, creating universes in ways other than simulation-wise. And if the multiverse is infinite and enough of the parameters are alterable, it seems various conclusions like these may well naturally follow as well for someone willing to go beyond science and start affirming that the multiverse is true, etc.

    Like I said, I think Rob Sheldon could have gone a lot further than he did with this post. I don’t think people properly appreciate once we start throwing around infinities with enough variables.

  24. Elizabeth as long as you are making speculations and conjectures this is all fine and well, but this is not what you implied;

    ‘The can’t all be right, but one of them may be. Certainly the one that says that the knowable universe is a small subset of the whole, is pretty widely accepted (it’s hard to see, given what we now know, how it couldn’t be true).’

    You, being a ‘scientist’, simply are not justified in making that leap to multiverses with no empirical support whatsoever, whereas, as I have pointed out to you before, the Theist is far more justified in making his claim for the ‘higher eternal dimension’ being an ‘verifiable’ part of reality;

    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1deoy-hayxoEu5ffIMEK7gEmJIlq_bCA0-CcifoAu6iM

  25. 25
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Well, how else, ba77, would you account for the fact that at the observed rate of expansion, some parts of the universe must already be further away from us than light can ever cross to us?

    That could all be wrong, I guess, but it seems to follow from current observations.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F....._expansion

  26. Well, how else, ba77, would you account for the fact that at the observed rate of expansion, some parts of the universe must already be further away from us than light can ever cross to us?

    Because the mere suggestion and inference that there may be something, full stop, beyond our observable universe is not in and of itself multiverse hypothesis. I can only see a certain amount of interstate 80 when I drive. It does not follow that therefore I can reasonably conclude I-80 is infinite, or long enough to make a googolplex seem like a small number.

  27. The problem with Fisherian statistics is not that you can fit as many parameters as you want (you can’t – you lose a degree of freedom for each one, and the supply of degrees of freedom is finite), but because specifying the null adequately is often question-beggingly difficult.

    The good thing about Bayesian approaches is that your competing hypotheses are much more explicit.

    I think you’re being unfair to the poor frequentists and fiducialists. Historically, the null/alternative hypothesis approach was formalised by Neyman and Pearson, rather than Fisher (although he did have a hand in it). I think part of the reason is technical: it’s easier to compare nested models, so the H0/H1 approach is easier in practice.

    But nowadays there are alternative approaches to compare models (e.g. based on stats like AIC), so we might be able to do away with silly nulls.

    Sorry, it’s a bit of a hobby-horse of mine.

  28. Of related interest:

    It was in dealing with ‘speculative infinities’, such as the ‘speculative infinities’ that we have with the multiverse and many-world models of the materialists, that Godel came up with his famous incompleteness theorem;

    Georg Cantor – The Mathematics Of Infinity – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4572335
    entire video: BBC-Dangerous Knowledge (Part 1-10)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cw-zNRNcF90

    As you can see, somewhat from the preceding video, mathematics cannot be held to be ‘true’ unless an assumption for a highest transcendent infinity is held to be true. A highest infinity which Cantor, and even Godel, held to be God. Thus this following formal proof, which was referred to at the end of the preceding video, shows that math cannot be held to be consistently true unless the highest infinity of God is held to be consistently true as a starting assumption:

    Gödel’s Incompleteness: The #1 Mathematical Breakthrough of the 20th Century
    Excerpt: Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem says:
    “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle – something you have to assume to be true but cannot prove “mathematically” to be true.”
    http://www.cosmicfingerprints......pleteness/

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
    http://www.faqs.org/periodical.....27241.html

    This following site is a easy to use, and understand, interactive website that takes the user through what is termed ‘Presuppositional apologetics’. The website clearly shows that our use of the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality cannot be accounted for unless we believe in a God who guarantees our perceptions and reasoning are trustworthy in the first place.

    Proof That God Exists – easy to use interactive website
    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/index.php

    =====================

    Which is consistent with the fact, pointed out by Dr. Sheldon in his article, that the multiverse dissolves into absurdity:

    Dr. Bruce Gordon – The Absurdity Of The Multiverse & Materialism in General – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5318486/

    i.e. The Multiverse Gods, final part – Robert Sheldon – June 2011
    Excerpt: And so in our long journey through the purgatory of multiverse-theory, we discover as we previously discovered for materialism, there are two solutions, and only two. Either William Lane Craig is correct and multiverse-theory is just another ontological proof a personal Creator, or we follow Nietzsche into the dark nihilism of the loss of reason. Heaven or hell, there are no other solutions.
    http://procrustes.blogtownhall.....part.thtml

    Mandy Moore – Only Hope – music video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ofeDruIwTM

  29. 29

    Liz:

    “The CC poses a problem for all of physics, but the situation appeared better for sting theory. String theory could not explain why the CC was zero, but at least it explained why it was not a positive number. One of the few things we could conclude from string theories then known was that the CC could only be zero or negative.”

    Lee Smolin, Trouble with Physics pg. 153.

    However, none of the founders of string theory ruled out the possibility that there could be a positive CC. But regardless, he continues:

    “You can image the surprise in 1998 when the observations of supernova began to show that the expansion of the universe was accelerating, meaning that the CC had to be a positive number. This was a genuine crisis, because there appeared to be a clear disagreement between observation and a prediction of string theory.”

    Further:

    “I don’t know how to get d-sitter space, from string theory or M-theory.” Edward Witten pg. 154

    Smolin writes further:

    “If a theory is believed deeply enough, by a large group of experts they will go to ever more extreme measures to save it.” pg. 154 Trouble with physics.

    Refreshingly candid.

    String theory can output a small positive CC, but these models are highly fine tuned. And the ideological drive is to erode the fine tune argument.

  30. …some parts of the universe must already be further away from us than light can ever cross to us?

    We know the universe is expanding because light from some parts of it hasn’t reached us yet?

  31. It does not follow that therefore I can reasonably conclude I-80 is infinite…

    I can assure you that I-80 is close enough to infinite that the difference is negligible.

  32. 32

    L. Susskind, one of the founders, and leading proponents of contemporary multiverse/stringy theoretical landscape models, says this about the multi-verse, faith, and ID”

    “If, for some unforeseen reason, the landscape turns out to be inconsistent – maybe for mathematical reasons, or because it disagrees with observation – I am pretty sure that physicists will go on searching for natural explanations of the world. But I have to say that if that happens, as things stand now we will be in a very awkward position. Without any explanation of nature’s fine-tunings we will be hard pressed to answer the ID critics. One might argue that the hope that a mathematically unique solution will emerge is as faith-based as ID.”

    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~.....ess/?p=312

  33. 33
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Mung:

    We know the universe is expanding because light from some parts of it hasn’t reached us yet?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.....n_of_space

  34. Elizabeth Liddle; as nullasalus clearly pointed out, you cannot extrapolate the expansion of this particular 4-D space-time we live in to be evidence for the existence of other multiverses.

  35. correction; to be evidence for the existence of other universes or even multiverses.

  36. 36
    Elizabeth Liddle

    ba77: what I’m saying is that we can (and it seems we must) infer that this space time universe we can observe is a very small subset of the whole universe, so we have no way of knowing whether the way this bit is tuned is the same way as other bits are tuned.

  37. Actually Elizabeth you are not justified in the least to presuppose variance in the transcendent, and yes ‘eternal’, constants that govern this universe. And that have governed this universe since its extremely finely tuned inception. Just because you can imagine the constants might vary in some part of the universe beyond the ‘light horizon’ of our vision is not ‘scientific’. Primarily you are not justified in this conjecture of yours because, one, you have no ‘proof’ that the ‘transcendent information constants’ arise from any variant material basis,,,

    Stability of Coulomb Systems in a Magnetic Field – Charles Fefferman
    Excerpt of Abstract: I study N electrons and M protons in a magnetic field. It is shown that the total energy per particle is bounded below by a constant independent of M and N, provided the fine structure constant is small. Here, the total energy includes the energy of the magnetic field.
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/2367659?cookieSet=1

    Testing Creation Using the Proton to Electron Mass Ratio
    Excerpt: The bottom line is that the electron to proton mass ratio unquestionably joins the growing list of fundamental constants in physics demonstrated to be constant over the history of the universe.,,,
    http://www.reasons.org/Testing.....nMassRatio

    etc.. etc…

    ,,,or, two, you have no proof that any of the ‘transcendent information constants’ have varied one iota since the creation of the universe,,,

    Latest Test of Physical Constants Affirms Biblical Claim – Hugh Ross – September 2010
    Excerpt: The team’s measurements on two quasars (Q0458- 020 and Q2337-011, at redshifts = 1.561 and 1.361, respectively) indicated that all three fundamental physical constants have varied by no more than two parts per quadrillion per year over the last ten billion years—a measurement fifteen times more precise, and thus more restrictive, than any previous determination. The team’s findings add to the list of fundamental forces in physics demonstrated to be exceptionally constant over the universe’s history. This confirmation testifies of the Bible’s capacity to predict accurately a future scientific discovery far in advance. Among the holy books that undergird the religions of the world, the Bible stands alone in proclaiming that the laws governing the universe are fixed, or constant.
    http://www.reasons.org/files/e.....010-03.pdf

    ,,,i.e. speculation and conjecture is all fine and well Elizabeth, but for a ‘scientist’, the brass tax comes down to what you can actually show sufficient warrant for through solid empirics.

    further note:

    Of interest to the unchanging nature of the transcendent universal ‘information’ constants which govern this universe, it should be noted that the four primary forces/constants of the universe (gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak nuclear forces) are said to be ‘mediated at the speed of light’ by mass-less ‘mediator bosons’, yet the speed of light constant is shown to be transcendent of any underlying material basis in the first place.

    GRBs Expand Astronomers’ Toolbox – Nov. 2009
    Excerpt: a detailed analysis of the GRB (Gamma Ray Burst) in question demonstrated that photons of all energies arrived at essentially the same time. Consequently, these results falsify any quantum gravity models requiring the simplest form of a frothy space.
    http://www.reasons.org/GRBsExp.....ersToolbox

    ,,,I would like to point out that since time, as we understand it, comes to a complete stop at the speed of light this gives these four fundamental universal constants the characteristic of being timeless, and thus unchanging, as far as the temporal mass of this universe is concerned. In other words, we should not a-prori expect that which is timeless in nature to ever change in value. i.e. There is no warrant for materialists to presuppose variance of the ‘transcendent information constants’ of this universe!!!

    =====================

    Systematic Search for Expressions of Dimensionless Constants using the NIST database of Physical Constants
    Excerpt: The National Institute of Standards and Technology lists 325 constants on their website as ‘Fundamental Physical Constants’. Among the 325 physical constants listed, 79 are unitless in nature (usually by defining a ratio). This produces a list of 246 physical constants with some unit dependence. These 246 physical constants can be further grouped into a smaller set when expressed in standard SI base units.,,,
    http://www.mit.edu/~mi22295/co.....tants.html

    Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.
    Galileo Galilei

    =======================

    Heather Williams – Hallelujah – Lyrics
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX2uM0L3Y1A

  38. Yes, Elizabeth Liddle rejects uniformitarianism.

    We cannot infer from what we observe, to that which we do not observe.

    Three cheers for anti-science!

  39. I have 2 comments from the 1st of July in moderation. If they (and this!) ever see the light of day, could Robert and Elizabeth at least look at them? I have them at 6 and 27, but YMMV.

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