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Christian physicist argues against fine tuning of the universe

In favour of the multiverse. Something you don’t see every day.

Here.

Preliminary Inconclusive Hint of Evidence Against Optimal Fine Tuning of the Cosmological Constant for Maximizing the Fraction of Baryons Becoming Life

Don N. Page

(Submitted on 12 Jan 2011 (v1), last revised 28 Jan 2011 (this version, v2))

The effective coupling `constants’ of physics, especially the cosmological constant, are observed to have highly biophilic values. If this is not a hugely improbable accident, or a consequence of some mysterious logical necessity or of some simple principle of physics, it might be explained as a consequence either of an observership selection principle within a multiverse of many sets of effective coupling constants, or else of some biophilic principle that fine tunes the constants of physics to optimize life. Here a very preliminary inconclusive hint of evidence is presented against the hypothesis of optimal fine tuning of the cosmological constant by a biophilic principle that would maximize the fraction of baryons that form living organisms or observers.

Thoughts?

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15 Responses to Christian physicist argues against fine tuning of the universe

  1. Does anybody else think that the word “biophilic” is one of those words used to make the speaker feel smart at the expense of others?

  2. 2
    CentralScrutinizer

    Show me this multiverse. Then I will shut my mouth.

  3. 3
    CentralScrutinizer

    “or else of some biophilic principle that fine tunes the constants of physics to optimize life.”

    And while you’re at it, show me this “biophilic principle.”

    That would be a hoot.

  4. I’m dismayed by the gratuitous biophobia being expressed here.

  5. Heck, a hint’s tenuous enough, but ‘preliminary’?

    It sounds a little like (here’s one for you, Collin – well, polysyllabic humour, I hope) the periphrastic demurrals of the evolutionists: ‘They could have then blah-blahed; in which case it might have been possible for them to blah blah. And so, it is clear now how at least one species of flea evolved in to the elephant that we know today’

  6. From the link:

    However, here we are examining the alternative hypothesis from the fourth view, that a biophilic principle optimally ?ne tunes ? to the value that maximizes the fraction of baryons that develop into life.

    And what is this ‘fourth view’?

    Here it is:

    A fourth view is that there is some principle the ?xes the constants of physics as they are in order that life would occur in the universe, perhaps in some maximal way.

    IOW, this ‘analysis’ makes sense only when you start with the hypothesis that ‘life’ should exist in “some maximal way.” But what evidence do we have for this assumption? None. SETI is still looking for ETs. And Christian/Jewish creation stories make no claim as to there being life all over the universe. In fact, I think that if we understand the significance of the Paschal Mystery and the Mystery of the Incarnation, then such an assumption appears contradictory.

    Finally, Einstein threw out the cosmological constant. While there might be ‘evidence’ of a cosmological constant now, we should be very careful not to assume that we really know if such a ‘constant’ truly exists, and, if it does exist, of what it consists.

    Bottom line: This paper represents one physicists opinion, the product of his musings. And, at best, it is but a weak argument against ‘fine tuning.’

  7. H’mm:

    The effective coupling `constants’ of physics, especially the cosmological constant, are observed to have highly biophilic values. If this is not a hugely improbable accident, or a consequence of some mysterious logical necessity or of some simple principle of physics, it might be explained as a consequence either of an observership selection principle within a multiverse of many sets of effective coupling constants, or else of some biophilic principle that fine tunes the constants of physics to optimize life. Here a very preliminary inconclusive hint of evidence is presented against the hypothesis of optimal fine tuning of the cosmological constant by a biophilic principle that would maximize the fraction of baryons that form living organisms or observers.

    H’mm: partly, let us suggest promoting the level of fine tuning one level. A super-law or cluster of such that forces the cosmos to such an optimum is plainly fine tuned.

    Similarly, we are back at the cosmos bakery problem. To get a multiverse that cooks up subcosmi like ours — apart from being non empirical [= metaphysical] speculation — we have to have something that gets us to the right set of ingredients and processes.

    Once we see the lone fly on a big patch of wall swatted by a bullet, tack-driving tuning of the rifle and a marksman capable of using that capacity are indicated. Neither is easy to achieve.

    KF

  8. I guess I’m biased. I can’t get past this verse and it’s implications:

    Romans 1:18-20 “18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

    How would a multiverse reveal God’s existence, power, and wisdom in such a clear way so that people are without excuse?

    Nature clearly was created with the intention to reveal God’s glory, power, and wisdom. That is why I have trouble with theistic evolution and certainly with the multiverse idea. These things rob God of the glory that belongs to Him.

  9. @tiguy:
    As a true Christian, who lives by Jesus’ word every day, I believe the multiverse reveals Gods greatness. Soon Jesus will destory false religions and goverments, rule the earth, and the true Christians will raise from the dead and gain immortality. They will literally have all the time in the world to explore gods creation. Meaning… one universe is not enough for an infinite amount of time of exploration.

    God is clearly speaking of “godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness”. He is not talking about theistic evolutionists, nor true Christians.

    Tobi

  10. Tobi,

    I have no doubt that there are true Christians who believe in the multiverse. In the future, yes, it could reveal God’s glory when we see these universes(if they do indeed exist), but they remain hidden and even unproven. So they cannot reveal His glory to us now.

    I guess it doesn’t make much sense to me to believe in something that is unproven and unprovable as opposed to the clear teaching of God’s Word?

    My problem is that there is no evidence for the multiverse and the hypothesis can never be verified so must be taken by faith. It is an interpretation of findings based on evolutionary thinking.

    Plus, the Bible tells us that God’s existence, power, wisdom, and hence His glory is made plain by the things that have been created. This fact is the basis for the next statement that says therefore we are without excuse so God has to be referring to the seen universe, not the unknowable part of it. So the multiverse steals God’s glory by claiming that the fine-tuning of the universe happened by dumb luck as opposed to God’s purposeful design.

    So, if the evolutionists are right, if it happened by pure chance, how then can we see God’s glory in His creation?

    How then can we know that God exists through nature if all we see is the result of chance?

    How can God say that unbelievers are without excuse for rejecting Him if there is no evidence of His creating hand available for them to see?

    The multiverse is just man’s idea to try and explain our universe without resorting to God. Evolutionists are willing to believe in unseen millions of universes, but not an unseen God. However, an unseen God whose creative acts are visible makes far more sense of what we see than Chance.

  11. 11

    Hi tiguy!

    but they remain hidden and even unproven. So they cannot reveal His glory to us now.

    I agree. I’m not arguing that the existence of multiverses is a scientific fact. I’m arguing against your implications of a multiverse.

    I guess it doesn’t make much sense to me to believe in something that is unproven and unprovable as opposed to the clear teaching of God’s Word?

    God’s word as revealed by the bible is limited in it’s details. I think it’s ok to hypothise about the details as long as they stay within the broader limits of the bible.

    It is an interpretation of findings based on evolutionary thinking.

    I don’t regard evolutionary thinking as “bad”, as long as it doesn’t contradict god’s word. They may even be right for the wrong reasons.

    So, if the evolutionists are right, if it happened by pure chance, how then can we see God’s glory in His creation?

    The evolutionists are wrong: It didn’t happened by pure chance. A multiverse is greater than a universe. Therefore the being who created the multiverse must be greater (or queal) than the one created a universe. An atheist will have more problems explaining the multiverse than a universe.

    How can God say that unbelievers are without excuse for rejecting Him if there is no evidence of His creating hand available for them to see?

    Again read the bible quote carefully. God is not talking about unbelievers, but about “people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.”
    Some of them may be unbelievers, some of them may be Christians. However most of people who do not acceppt God’s word are indeed WITH excuse: Satan ist the one manipulating people so they reject God’s word. They are not doing it intenionally. I believe that most people who are alive today will have the chance to receive immortality in God’s kingdom with Jesus as the right hand of God.

    so let me recapitulate:
    1. I agree with yout that the existense of multiverses is a belief.
    2. Multiverses do not contradict the bible.
    3. I don’t agree with you that the existence of multiverses diminishes God’s glory.
    4. I think you have misread Röm 1:18-20

    Tobi

  12. If the “multiverse” is considered to contain an infinite number of universes I have some really bad news for the proponents. If a universe is physical we can count it. If we can count it, there are not an infinite number of them. It is impossible for there to be an infinite number of any physical thing.

    If the “multiverse” is considered to be just a big number of universes then we have other issues. Where are they? How could we, even in principle, ever connect with them? From where did they originate? What pops universes out of nothing?

    The “multiverse” is nonsense, as is anything that denies reason. In this case, the law of identity – infinite is not finite.

  13. tjguy,

    Jonah 1:7 “Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.”

    1 Samuel 14:42 “Saul said, “Cast the lot between me and Jonathan my son.” And Jonathan was taken.”

    Acts 1:26 “26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.”

    chance not an enemy of God.

    sergio

  14. True, there were times when believers used the lot to determine God’s will. The jonah example is one of unbelievers, however God did graciously guide them accordingly.

    Saul used the lot, but not everything Saul did was really correct and something that we should model.

    The disciples use of the lot though is different. They clearly trusted God to lead them through this process. They did not believe it was random chance, but rather that God would control the outcome.

    Proverbs 16:33 “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”

  15. Tobi said:

    “1. I agree with yout that the existense of multiverses is a belief.”

    Good. Therefore at this point, there is no reason to even consider it.

    “2. Multiverses do not contradict the bible.”

    strictly speaking, I would agree, but neither does the existence of a flying spaghetti monster.

    “3. I don’t agree with you that the existence of multiverses diminishes God’s glory.”

    OK, I’ll agree with you here. Just because we can’t see the multivers(if it does exist) doesn’t mean that it does not bring God’s glory. Whether or not we can see it is irrelevant. People use evolution to try and steal God’s glory from Him and they will use the multiverse idea in the same way, but true, if the multiverse does indeed exist, obviously it does not diminish His glory. I just have grave doubts about that and don’t want to encourage that kind of belief because people do use it to justify the fine-tuning of the universe.

    “4. I think you have misread Röm 1:18-20

    “Again read the bible quote carefully. God is not talking about unbelievers, but about “people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.”

    Tobi, this passage clearly is talking about unbelievers. God does not reveal his wrath against believers any more. We are forgiven. The cross was where God’s anger against our sin was revealed and fully spent. His justice was satisfied so that He can forgive us.

    The wrath of God is revealed against what? “all the godlessness and wickedness of people who suppress the truth”.

    True Christians believe in God and are not godless people.
    Are there some people who think they are believers but are Christians in name only and live in a godless and wicked manner? Perhaps, but they are not Christians so this passage clearly refers to unbelievers.

    It is important to note what truth is being suppressed here.
    It is God’s “eternal power and divine nature”
    Believers have no problem with these facts, but unbelievers and atheists do.

    How is this truth revealed?

    – through the things that have been made – in other words, through God’s creation. This testimony has been available since the creation of the world.

    Tobi, doesn’t this imply that we are able to look at creation and actually see the evidence Paul is referring to?

    True, Satan deceives people, but that doesn’t excuse anyone. Regardless of Satan’s influence, God still says that we are all without excuse. The evidence is there for all to see. Psalm 19 says that the voice of the heavens and the skies that give testimony to God’s glory “goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”
    Everyone sees it and therefore God holds us responsible.

    Tobi, some people do intentionally reject the truth simply because the don’t want to believe.

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