VIDEO: Jon Rittenhouse’s BB ST 450 course lecture on Scientism

Ran across this Biola video lecture (in course BB ST 450) on scientism in a thread from a few months back, HT BA77 as usual.

I think it is well worth pondering:

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YouTube Direkt

So, thoughts? END

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6 Responses to VIDEO: Jon Rittenhouse’s BB ST 450 course lecture on Scientism

  1. F/N: Scientism — roughly, the notion that “science” captures and.or delimits objectivity, rationality and knowledge — is a pivotal issue, not only in debates over signs of design in the natural world (the key ID question) but much more broadly in the midst of a worldviews clash driven ideological conflict that rends our civilisation. KF

  2. Morning kf, I have to re-watch that video this morning if I get the time. As well kf, if you are interested in helping, I need some ‘math’ help from you if you can spare the time. My problem is this. I just watched this video this morning,,

    Understanding Intelligent Design – Sean McDowell – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Do14SJ9RY4A

    ,,, where at the 23:50 minute mark in the video, Sean McDowell makes reference to this quote by Roger Penrose:

    “if we combined all the laws that must be fine-tuned, we couldn’t even write that number in full, since it would require more zeroes than the number of elementary particles in the universe.”
    - Roger Penrose

    In which, unlike Penrose’s number of 1 in 10^10^123 for the initial entropy of the universe, Roger Penrose apparently combines the fine-tuning of all the constants together into one calculation in order, I believe, to derive another that cannot be written down in its entirety. Thus kf, can you tell me, number 1, approximately what that number is as of now (since I know they keep refining as more accurate measurements are made)? and number 2, can you give me just a rough entry level overview as to how the number may be derived? Thanks in advance for any light you may shed.

    A few related notes;

    “The ‘accuracy of the Creator’s aim’ would have had to be in 10^10^123″
    Hawking, S. and Penrose, R., The Nature of Space and Time, Princeton, Princeton University Press (1996), 34, 35.

    The fact that the finely tuned constants are not ‘stand alone entities’, but instead form a ‘irreducibly complex web’, is noted in the following quotes:

    “If we modify the value of one of the fundamental constants, something invariably goes wrong, leading to a universe that is inhospitable to life as we know it. When we adjust a second constant in an attempt to fix the problem(s), the result, generally, is to create three new problems for every one that we “solve.” The conditions in our universe really do seem to be uniquely suitable for life forms like ourselves, and perhaps even for any form of organic complexity.”
    Gribbin and Rees, “Cosmic Coincidences”, p. 269

    Astrobiology research is revealing the high specificity and interdependence of the local parameters required for a habitable environment. These two features of the universe make it unlikely that environments significantly different from ours will be as habitable. At the same time, physicists and cosmologists have discovered that a change in a global parameter can have multiple local effects. Therefore, the high specificity and interdependence of local tuning and the multiple effects of global tuning together make it unlikely that our tiny island of habitability is part of an archipelago. Our universe is a small target indeed.
    Astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez – P. 625, The Nature of Nature

    Among Darwin Advocates, Premature Celebration over Abundance of Habitable Planets – September 2011
    Excerpt: Today, such processes as planet formation details, tidal forces, plate tectonics, magnetic field evolution, and planet-planet, planet-comet, and planet-asteroid gravitational interactions are found to be relevant to habitability.,,, What’s more, not only are more requirements for habitability being discovered, but they are often found to be interdependent, forming a (irreducibly) complex “web.” This means that if a planetary system is found not to satisfy one of the habitability requirements, it may not be possible to compensate for this deficit by adjusting a different parameter in the system. – Guillermo Gonzalez
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....50871.html

    Thanks again in advance for any help you can give.

  3. Thanks for re-listing the video kf, I had forgotten how good Dr. Rittenhouse is in this lecture.

  4. BA: I dunno, a number like 10^10^123 — 1 followed by 10^123 0s — does involve more 0s than the 10^80 or so particles of the observed cosmos. KF

  5. Thanks kf, here’s what I found on the topic:

    But can we really estimate the mathematical probability of all this occurring by chance?

    Mathematical probability can be calculated as the number of possible successful outcomes divided by the total number of possible outcomes. If we assume that all values within the possible range of a constant are equally likely (a big assumption, but not unreasonable), this calculation becomes the range of values which leads to a universe that can produce life divided by the total possible range of values.

    Some argue that it is impossible to do such a calculation, because we have no idea about the possible ranges. Some go further and argue that the whole concept of probability is meaningless when dealing with a (presumed) once only event.

    However others believe it can be done. Physicist and philosopher Robin Collins has developed a method to undertake such a calculation, and made estimates for six instances of apparent fine-tuning. Others, including Smolin (see above) have also attempted this. However all these probability estimates are dwarfed by Penrose’s calculation, and Penrose’s stature as a mathematician and cosmologist must lend credence to his estimate.

    So we can conclude that it is highly unlikely that the universe has taken its form by chance alone.
    http://www.is-there-a-god.info.....acts.shtml

    Guess I have to take a closer look at these:

    Is It True? Fine-Tuning the Universe – Robin Collins at Pepperdine – 2013 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj_fLi_K7jA

    The Teleological Argument: An Exploration of the Fine-Tuning of the Universe – ROBIN COLLINS
    http://commonsenseatheism.com/.....gument.pdf

    Robin Collins – website
    http://home.messiah.edu/~rcoll.....ing/ft.htm

  6. ‘So we can conclude that it is highly unlikely that the universe has taken its form by chance alone.’

    Sounds comical enunciating it as blandly as that, doesn’t it? What the partisans of scientism have reduced you guys to, eh! Spelling out kindergarten implications for the benefit of atheist scientism’s finest!

    Having grown up an agnostic adolescent, the temptation to pepper the point with expletives for emphasis, and to release pent-up outrage would, I fear, have been almost have been overwhelming.

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