Home » Cosmology, Fine tuning, ID Foundations, Video » VIDEO: Dr Guillermo Gonzalez surveys and briefly, simply explains several fine tuning cases behind the cosmological design inference

VIDEO: Dr Guillermo Gonzalez surveys and briefly, simply explains several fine tuning cases behind the cosmological design inference

Dr Gonzalez — the Astrophysicist half of the Privileged Planet team — recently presented this lecture in which he surveys and briefly, simply explains several key fine tuning cases:

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Again, useful food for thought. END

PS: For more on fine tuning, cf VJT’s recent post on a new form of the inference here, and an introductory one from some time ago, here. (Note, onward linked materials.)

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23 Responses to VIDEO: Dr Guillermo Gonzalez surveys and briefly, simply explains several fine tuning cases behind the cosmological design inference

  1. Good find KF! :) ,,, I was just wondering what I could watch this morning.

  2. BBA77, coming from you, that is a high compliment, thanks! I trust we will all take some time and get out the popcorn and a notepad and pencil. KF

  3. The universe generating machine has always struck me as a extremely extravagant concession to materialists/naturalists. I mean since science has proven that all space-time, matter-energy, came into being at the beginning of the universe, (Vilenkin, Hawking, Penrose, Ellis, LaMaitre) just where is this ‘random’ universe generating machine suppose to be located? This conjecture is much like the “we live in a computer simulation” conjecture that Lewis Wolpert tried to get pass William Lane Craig here:

    Is God No Better Than A Special Computer? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xinwkb_b4k4

    i.e. It is simply nonsensical to appeal to an imaginary material object (a ‘special’ computer), which can have no basis in a transcendent reality, to explain the transcendent origin of the entire space-time, material, universe. It is much more prudent, logically and scientifically, to search for transcendent entities that would have the power to create the universe. And those transcendent entities that we know of are consciousness and information. In fact photons (and atoms) are shown to reduce to ‘quantum information’ in teleportation experiments, and, along with other evidences from quantum mechanics, give us proof for a “Logos” (John1:1) universe:

    Quantum Evidence for a Theistic (Logos) Universe
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1agaJIWjPWHs5vtMx5SkpaMPbantoP471k0lNBUXg0Xo/edit

    ,,,whereas consciousness is also shown to precede the entire space-time, material, universe by the following:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect):
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit

    The Quantum Zeno Effect was a particularly interesting experiment to find out about,,,

    Quantum Zeno effect
    Excerpt: The quantum Zeno effect is,,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_Zeno_effect

    The reason why I am fascinated with this “Zeno” effect in Quantum Mechanics is, for one thing, that Entropy (which includes the decay of particles) is, by a wide, wide, margin as Dr. Gonzalez made crystal clear in the video, the most finely tuned of all initial conditions of the Big Bang:

    According to esteemed British mathematical physicist Roger Penrose (1931-present), the odds of one particular individual constant, the ‘original phase-space volume’ of the universe, required such precision that the “Creator’s aim must have been to an accuracy of 1 part in 10^10^123”. This number is gargantuan. If this number were written out in its entirety, 1 with 10^123 zeros to the right, it could not be written on a piece of paper the size of the entire visible universe, even if a number were written down on each sub-atomic particle in the entire universe, since the universe only has 10^80 sub-atomic particles in it.

    Roger Penrose discusses initial entropy of the universe. – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhGdVMBk6Zo

    The Physics of the Small and Large: What is the Bridge Between Them? Roger Penrose
    Excerpt: “The time-asymmetry is fundamentally connected to with the Second Law of Thermodynamics: indeed, the extraordinarily special nature (to a greater precision than about 1 in 10^10^123, in terms of phase-space volume) can be identified as the “source” of the Second Law (Entropy).”

    How special was the big bang? – Roger Penrose
    Excerpt: This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.
    (from the Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose, pp 339-345 – 1989)

    For another thing, it is interesting to note just how foundational entropy is in its explanatory power of what happens in the universe:

    Shining Light on Dark Energy – October 21, 2012
    Excerpt: It (Entropy) explains time; it explains every possible action in the universe;,,
    Even gravity, Vedral argued, can be expressed as a consequence of the law of entropy. ,,,
    The principles of thermodynamics are at their roots all to do with information theory. Information theory is simply an embodiment of how we interact with the universe —,,,

    Evolution is a Fact, Just Like Gravity is a Fact! UhOh! – January 2010
    Excerpt: The results of this paper suggest gravity arises as an entropic force, once space and time themselves have emerged.

    In fact, entropy is also the primary reason why our physical bodies grow old and die,,,

    Genetic Entropy and The Mystery Of the Genome – Dr. John Sanford – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwCu4rh7kUk

    Notes from John Sanford’s preceding video:

    *3 new mutations every time a cell divides in your body
    * Average cell of 15 year old has up to 6000 mutations
    *Average cell of 60 year old has 40,000 mutations
    Reproductive cells are ‘designed’ so that, early on in development, they are ‘set aside’ and thus they do not accumulate mutations as the rest of the cells of our bodies do. Regardless of this protective barrier against the accumulation of slightly detrimental mutations still we find that,,,
    *60-175 mutations are passed on to each new generation.

    This following video brings the point personally home to us about the effects of genetic entropy:

    Ageing Process – 80 years in 40 seconds – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSdxYmGro_Y

    And yet, to repeat the paper,,,

    Quantum Zeno effect
    Excerpt: The quantum Zeno effect is,,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.

    This is just fascinating! Why in blue blazes should conscious observation put a freeze on entropic decay, unless consciousness was/is more foundational to reality than entropy is? And seeing as to how entropy is VERY foundational to reality, I think the implications are fairly obvious:

    Verse and Music:

    Romans 8:18-21
    I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

    Phillips, Craig & Dean – When The Stars Burn Down – Worship Video with lyrics
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPuxnQ_vZqY

    Supplemental note:

    Scientific Evidence That Mind Effects Matter – Random Number Generators – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4198007

    I once asked a evolutionist, after showing him the preceding experiment, “Since you ultimately believe that the ‘god of random chance/chaos’ produced everything we see around us, what in the world is my mind doing pushing your god around?”

  4. Is this the Big I Big D version of the Fine-Tuning Argument or the small i small d version, or some un-natural freak-of-nature amalgam?

  5. Hi kairosfocus,

    Thanks very much for embedding this highly informative video, which puts some scientific “meat on the bone,” explaining fine-tuning in a rigorous but readily comprehensible fashion, and rebutting the standard objections. I could see at once that Dr. Gonzalez is an excellent expositor, and his explanation was presented in a limpid style. Thank you once again.

  6. VJT: The more I see of GG for myself, the less and less I am impressed about those who so shabbily expelled him. And, I did not start with a high estimation of that lot. Any serious school worth its salt with a hot rod researcher like that, who had already published an observational astronomy textbook with was it Oxford, and who teaches like that, should have bent over backwards to hold on to him, and maybe to set about building on his strengths. This confirms me in my view of the inherent incompetence of rabid ideologues, similar to that of yesmen. For shame! KF

  7. Mung:

    As usual, you have pegged a key issue in a backhanded way.

    GG, here — in a better world, he would have been presenting in a public lecture series “made for TV” with proper media support instead of the amateurish circumstances we see — was speaking where he could.

    He is speaking to the trans-natural side of design theory, cosmological design inferences on identified fine tuning cases.

    When we speak to origins of our observed cosmos and its physics, we are speaking to things that are beyond nature, in a context where evident design points to a skilled, enormously powerful and knowledgeable architect and builder of a whole world.

    No wonder — and on some of the very same ground — lifelong agnostic, Sir Fred Hoyle came right out and spoke of put-up jobs, super intellects monkeying with physics and there being no blind forces in nature worth speaking of.

    Where also — to the chagrin of those who try to lump us all into a 6,000 year prooftext-quoting frame of thought, it is the very timeline and circumstances of uniformitarian analysis that are speaking to design. (BTW, is it Humphreys of ICR who has a model of a 15 BY cosmos with an earth with a frozen time yielding 15 kY? That speaks to me on balance of evidence.)

    15 BY and even a multiverse provide no escape — just try out the Boltzmann Brain point for size on that.

    That, BTW, is why the pivotal issues are OO Cosmos and OO life, setting the context for a sober re-evaluation of OO body plans.

    And BTW, yesterday marked five months since the 6,000 word essay challenge was issued, with no serious submissions to date. (I need to update that thread! Maybe Petrushka will have a submission ready soon?)

    I think that is saying something.

    KF

  8. BA77,

    If God is observing the universe, then it does not decay. The
    the Fall of man must have, therefore, separated the universe from God in such a way as to make Him not “observe” it in the same way He did prior to the fall.

    This is also an argument for a creator: If existence depends on observation, who observed the Big Bang? Surely not humans or animals. The Observer of the Big Bang is God.

  9. Yes Collin, one can get into some fairly deep, nuanced, theological considerations, with little empirical resolution to those considerations, fairly quickly. But, IMO, on a basic scientific level, Penrose’s initial Entropy (1 in 10^10^123) and the Quantum Zeno Effect work together very effectively to establish, empirically, that the basic Theistic contention, of consciousness preceding material reality (Particularly the Mind of God), is indeed correct, and is indeed the source of the extreme fine tuning of the initial Entropy of the universe.

    I would like to touch on one more thing. Dr. Gonzalez pointed out the epistemological failure that results from the multiverse that renders science untrustworthy (Boltzmann’s Brain). But Dr. Gonzalez also has another piece of evidence from his work on the Privileged Planet Principle that fits into the epistemological narrative.

    The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole.
    – Jay Richards

    Privileged Planet – Observability Correlation – Gonzalez and Richards – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5424431

    In the following video and article, it is pointed out that our ability to observe the entire history of the universe is ‘very short’:

    We Live At The Right Time In Cosmic History – Hugh Ross – video
    http://vimeo.com/31940671

    The End Of Cosmology? – Lawrence M. Krauss and Robert J. Scherrer
    Excerpt: We are led inexorably to a very strange conclusion. The window during which intelligent observers can deduce the true nature of our expanding universe might be very short indeed.
    http://genesis1.asu.edu/0308046.pdf

    And as Dr. Gonzalez stated in the video in the OP, ‘but there’s more’. Not only is the universe ‘suspiciously’ set up for us to make foundational scientific discoveries, and to be able to ‘observe’ the entire history of the universe, but ‘the universe’ is also, as somewhat pointed out before, ‘suspiciously’ centered on each individual observer in the universe:

    The Galileo Affair and the true “Center of the Universe”
    Excerpt: I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3D state is centered on each individual conscious observer in the universe, whereas, 4D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism, Christian Theism in particular, offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe. [15]

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BHAcvrc913SgnPcDohwkPnN4kMJ9EDX-JJSkjc4AXmA/edit

    Of related note,,,I don’t know exactly where Richard Dawkins got his evidence for this following quote:

    “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference.”
    ? Richard Dawkins

    But, after watching Dr. Gonzalez’s video, that quote from Dawkins is so far out of line with what we now know about the universe as to almost be ‘not even wrong’.

    Supplemental note:

    Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Be Able To Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer – video – (Notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/32145998

    Music and Verse:

    Carrie Underwood with Vince Gill – How Great thou Art – Standing Ovation!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLLMzr3PFgk

    Psalms 19:1-2
    ,,,The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
    Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

  10. One of the fine-tuning values is the original entropy of the universe, also known as the Penrose number. But since the universe was only created 6000 years ago we know that must be wrong. No YEC should be using fine-tuning arguments.

    The book by Gonzales and Richards, The Privileged Planet, is no friend to the YEC. I still have yet to see any YEC here take that book seriously and address it’s arguments.

  11. Mung:

    One of the fine-tuning values is the original entropy of the universe, also known as the Penrose number. But since the universe was only created 6000 years ago we know that must be wrong. No YEC should be using fine-tuning arguments.

    Science advances through self-criticism, not by criticizing non-scientists. The fact that so many evolutionists have chosen young-earth creationists as their targets for ridicule tells me that science is not their primary concerns. They are just as clueless as those that they criticize.

  12. Mung:

    I hear you, though there are of course at least two YEC responses: (i) the for-argument, where one shows that even if X were so, then “architect-ing” of the cosmos is still credible, and (ii) something like the Humphreys argument of an old cosmos, frozen time, young earth model.

    A third is indeed to reject — per scripture-interpretation grounds — the design approach as a variant on old earth theistic evolutionary thought, which is I think (not 100% sure) near to the “[Semi-?]official view” of one or two of the major YEC groups.

    We may well argue one way or another on whether such are valid approaches, but they are options open to YEC advocates.

    What I find interesting about the design argument — setting aside the YEC issues — is how robust it is against age, multiverse etc speculations, it is almost as if someone wanted to make sure that the cosmos would “speak” to us, whether looked at with an appreciative eye or analysed scientifically and/or mathematically and/or philosophically.

    Right now, what is exercising my mind in the background, is the concept of mathematical ordering of the cosmos as a sign of rational mind behind it.

    You will recall where I recently started with the empty set {} and then constructed the natural numbers by successively equating {} = 0, {0} = 1, {0, 1} = 2, etc. This of course already brings to bear infinity. We can then define operations and mappings so we have addition, subtraction, equality etc. Then, I moved to the reals by using a Baire-like construction that exploits the properties of decimal fractions [WLOG] by defining ordered points in the interval [0, 1] through a countably infinite tree with ten branches at each forking node in succession 0.abc . . . Such allows us to fill up the continuum between 0 and 1, which is all we need to extend to any continuum.

    After that, I had used the i operator concept (where i*i*x = -1 so we see sqrt -1 playing an important role) to get us to space (and BTW, to angles and rotation in time too, implicitly using the series expansion definitions of e^x, cos x and sin x, where x can in turn be generated as w*t, w angular velocity and t, time). Once we have an interval [0, 1], where it can also be shown that there is some continuous function on a proposed space S that will map points in [0,1] to its points, S is continuous too and is pathwise connected. The space of points (x, i*x) is obviously such as r*e^i*q can span it, r being the magnitude of the vector where r is in [0,1]. In addition, it is possible to iteratively define a Peano space filling curve that in effect allows a moving point — here comes kinematics, the study of motion without regard to forces — to fill it by continuously touring all points in the space. By identifying an orthogonal set of unit vectors i, j, k, and by bringing on board vectors and matrices as usually defined, we are at 3-d space and we are also at kinematics in time long since. For dynamics, we only need to move from points and images to inertial properties and forces across space and time thus momentum and energy. Along the way, calculus enters and gives tools to analyse — or to define — dynamics in the continuum. By this time, we are in familiar territory and can keep going to all of maths and physics in space-time domains.

    This would fit in with the effectiveness of mathematics in physical science, as if the world is ordered mathematically in a unified way, then it would follow the logical consequences of those underlying principles and consequent dynamics.

    That is, we have here a frame that is at least suggestive of an ordering frame for physical reality: logical, mathematical mind. (And BTW, I find a unifying view of mathematics and moving onwards to physical dynamics helps fill my urge to find coherent unity. I therefore find it satisfying and motivating of explorations. Much moreso than the actual isolated and rather utilitarian way in which I was actually exposed to such things way back. In effect I am reviewing and back-filling, connecting dots etc. I wonder if that failure of unifying vision is a part of the problem we have with Math? And with science? Etc?)

    That brings me back to a scripturally based theological point (yes!), as we may see some interesting and empirically testable assertions in Jn 1, Col 1 and Heb 1, i.e. points where three of those heavily packed brief phil statements I recently talked about crop up — I cite AMP:

    Jn 1:1 In the beginning [before all time] was the Word ([a --> NB: Word is LOGOS, meaning, communication, rationality himself . . . ]Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God [b]Himself.

    2 He was present originally with God.

    3 All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being. [--> Notice the implied contrast of contingent vs necessary being, and so creation is the zone of the contingent that has a beginning. By contrast, mathematical reality as above is mental and logical, and insofar as it denotes necessary truth and implications of such, is beginningless, held eternally in the mind of God]

    4 In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men.

    5 And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it]. [--> this brings out the moral ordering of the world and the true balance of power]

    Col 1:15 [Now] He is the [o]exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation.

    16 For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him.

    17 And He Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together).

    Heb 1:1 In many separate revelations [[a]each of which set forth a portion of the Truth] and in different ways God spoke of old to [our] forefathers in and by the prophets,

    2 [But] in [b]the last of these days He has spoken to us in [the person of a] Son [--> Word/Logos again], Whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things, also by and through Whom He created the worlds and the reaches of space and the ages of time [He made, produced, built, operated, and arranged them in order].

    3 He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the [c]out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. [--> Definition of natural law in the perspective of "thinking God's (creative and sustaining, ordering) thoughts after him"!] When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high,

    4 [Taking a place and rank by which] He Himself became as much superior to angels as the glorious Name (title) which He has inherited is different from and more excellent than theirs.

    These contexts are of course historically quite important in Christian theology and in civilisations shaped by such. Indeed, we see here outlined the philosophical theology that shaped the mindset that propelled the scientific revolution by giving confidence that there was an intelligible, coherently rational natural order made and sustained by God, c 1200 – 1700 and which in accordance with our creation mandate, we were commissioned to explore, discover and use for good. Unfortunately, too often, we have abused that order on the one hand to do evil, and on the other, have too often turned the very order into an improper substitute for the creator who stands behind it.

    It is against that backdrop that we run into a key pair of texts:

    Ps 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows and proclaims His handiwork.

    2 Day after day pours forth speech, and night after night shows forth knowledge.

    3 There is no speech nor spoken word [from the stars]; their voice is not heard.

    4 Yet their voice [in evidence] goes out through all the earth, their sayings to the end of the world . . .

    Rom 1:19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them.

    20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],

    21 Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and [c]godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.

    22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].

    23 And by them the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beasts and reptiles.

    24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their [own] hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin],

    25 Because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever! Amen (so be it).

    Now, I find in these an echo of the line of thought I have been exploring, and also some pretty bold, empirically testable claims and implications. We had better believe — on evident track record — that if the evidence had come up that the cosmos is a chaos instead, this would have been cast in the teeth of theists, loud and long.

    Instead, we find an ordered, mathematically coherent system of reality of amazing beauty. The reaction? Stridency, or insistence, to dismiss the idea that even possibly, there lies behind reality an ordering highly mathematical-logical mind.

    Ooops, I raised another issue there, didn’t I.

    God, plainly, is a serious candidate to be a necessary being, and the NB that would be foundational to reality — indeed, inter alia the eternal mind in which eternal necessary truths reside eternally. Especially mathematical ones, of course.

    But that brings up a challenge, that there is a logic of contingency vs necessity of being. Contingent beings [CB's] possibly may not exist, i.e there are possible worlds in which they would not be. Thus, they depend on external enabling causal factors [XEF's], think of these as “on/off switches” that must be on or the CB cannot begin or be sustained; e.g. the four factors for a fire highlighted through the fire tetrahedron: fuel, heat, oxidiser, chain reaction.

    A genuine NB, on the other hand, has no XEF’s, so it would have no beginning and no possibility of ending.

    It would be eternal.

    So, if we consider a candidate NB (CNB), the issue is whether it is genuine or not: that is, it either exists in all possible worlds (GNB), or it is IMPOSSIBLE (IB), it can exist in no possible world. For example there is no possible world (PW) in which 3 + 2 = 5 will fail, not even a world empty of material objects. (That is guaranteed by the force of the cascade from the empty set up, mental constructs can create a mathematical universe!)

    Likewise, there is no possible world in which 2 + 3 = 6, or the like; such is an IB.

    This brings us to a significant challenge that faces those who would deny or dismiss the reality of God.

    As God is indeed a serious CNB, we have the choice: GNB or IB. Or as has been put elsewhere, if a candidate necessary being is possible, it will be actual. That is, if it can feasibly exist in at least one possible world, it is not impossible and by virtue of the logic, it will not only be in one possible world but all possible worlds, including the actual one.

    So, to deny or dismiss God is to imply — one may not be aware of this, of course — that one holds God to be IMPOSSIBLE.

    That is a serious logical-metaphysical commitment indeed.

    And, on track record of the objectors, one that many such are very reluctant to take up. Indeed, in part he rhetorical tack of projecting an imagined unique burden of proof on theism, and assuming that in default of absolute deductively valid and sound proof they can rest comfortable on the default assumption that God does not exist, is patently fallacious.

    I say this, as invariably, we have worldviews that trace to core beliefs as a cluster, about reality, ourselves in it etc. On the “every tub must stand on its own bottom” principle my Grandpa was so fond of, each worldview faces the same challenge of being reasonable and coherent, matching well to and explaining the world as we experience it. So, playing at rhetorical default games in a worldviews foundation context — and I here assert that every worldview has a foundation of some sort (as can be seen from the implications of the abstract chain of warrant A –> B –> C –> . . . entered into once we ask in succession, why accept A, B, C . . . once we also accept that infinite regress is impossible for the finite and fallible such as we are) — is a fallacy.

    I think some serious re-thinking on worldviews is in order.

    KF

  13. F/N: I have decided to headline the just above, here. Thanks. KF

  14. Mung,

    I, first off, wish to say that I appreciate your frequent, often rye, comments here on UD. Your sense of humour has brought many a smile to my face and chuckle to my heart. Thank you.

    On occasion, you, as well as some other id proponents, make a comment that is, I think, in some way derisive of those who hold to a YEC view in their theology. The posting in #11 above is one such case. Since I hold to such a view, I have taken umbrage. While it is true that many, indeed most, probably, YECist have a shallow and incoherent understanding of the issues surrounding the scientific aspects of the evolution vs id and old creation vs young creation, some do not. By the same token, I have seen many an id proponent and evolution proponent that hardly seems to have a clue. My conclusions are based on a broad investigation and a critical analysis of ALL the data that I have uncovered. I readily admit that my modus operandi is not purely scientific, as some would define it. From my perspective, though, I think I have assessed the ‘theological facts’ as well as the ‘scientific facts’ critically and therefore scientificly.

    [Caution: I believe in the God as revealed in the errant Judeo-Christian Scriptures and Jesus Christ as my Savior. I say this so that you may have some perspective on what is foundational to my views on origins questions. Do not, from that confession of faith, draw any conclusions about my other beliiefs. They will almost certainly be wrong as I am most unorthodox!]

    Allow me to use your reference to the Penrose Number as a launch pad to make a couple of points. As a YECist I do not view the fine tuning argument as particularly strong. I think that some (most?) examples of fine tuning are particular weak from a YEC perspective. The Penrose Number is a particular case in point. It assumes that the Big Bang happened in the way and time frame that the materialists think it did. The YECist, obviously, must conclude that it did not occur at all or , if it did, in some other way so as to accommodate a young earth. I cannot in a few words do justice to my own thoughts on the conondrum. However, I do think it is valid to use fine tuning with respect to meeting the materialist on his own terms. That is, to show that his position from his perspective has some inherent problems. Hopefully, he can be persuaded to reassess his core beliefs in the whole question of purely a natural processes only reality vs an intelligent agent affected one. However, I do not think that fine tuning arguments do very much to adjudicate between old creation vs young creation. Things like the distance from the earth from center of the galaxy being just so in order for there to be enough time for (supposedly guided) evolution to produce humans leave me unimpressed. After all, we have to be somewhere and there are a lot of places where we would be safe enough for 10,000 years but this one serves well. Or the resonance energies of beryllium/carbon/oxygen/neon nuclei so that the population III stars can generate the metals in the correct ratios. Now, I do think the reconance energies of beryllium/carbon/oxygen/neon nuclei are important, indeed critical, but because the process that brought the metals into existance, though not via population III star, was dependent upon those very same values.

    A second point regarding the Penrose Number. It is derived from the entropy requirements of the Big Bang which comes out of the recessoinal velocity of galaxies which is derived from an assumption applied to their observed redshifts. The assumed redshift-velocity connection is just that- assumed. There is no direct observation of the movement of galaxies as a function of redshift. Indeed, a direct observation of galaxy displacement over the “life span” of the whole human race is not likely. I do readily grant that it is a reasonable assumption and quite proper to build a hypothesis upon it. However, the truth value of any conclusions derived is founded on the truth of the assumptions at its base. Question. Is there any evidence that the assumption that the redshift is not due to the velocity of the galaxies? (I recognise there is some minor redshift that is due to the gravity wells of the galaxies.) Although it is never mentioned in the popular science literature or PBS documentaries at all and only rarely addressed in the technical science literature, it turns out there is. The ‘concensus’ opinion of astronomers has dismissed the evidence and expelled the observer (sound familiar?) but I have inquired into it and agree that there are several sets of observations that are problematic for the redshift->velocity->Big Bang(->13.5BY) line of thought. If you wish to follow up on any of this, begin by looking into the career of Halton C. Arp. I will not attempt to make his case for him. You are quite capable of running along the trail if you are interested. I am just pointing out that my scepticism about the Big Bang is not without some scientific justification.

    If you look more closely at some of the rational of some of the more thoughtful and inquiring YECists, you may become a tad less condescending. You may, in the end, conclude the YECist positon is entirely untenable but honest evalution must be made against a good case, not a poor one. You may find that this particular YECist has been thoughtful about his position and has good reasons for believing as he does. Please, do not be so dimissive of all of us. Some of us are simply questioning more of the assumptions at the base of the ‘scientific’ edifice than you are and making the most of ALL the data at our disposal.

    Looking forward to the next smile,

    Stephen

  15. Mung @ 11

    One of the fine-tuning values is the original entropy of the universe, also known as the Penrose number. But since the universe was only created 6000 years ago we know that must be wrong. No YEC should be using fine-tuning arguments.

    The book by Gonzales and Richards, The Privileged Planet, is no friend to the YEC. I still have yet to see any YEC here take that book seriously and address it’s arguments.

    As a YEC, I see no problem with the use of it in principle. Why? Because the fine tuning argument conclusion isn’t one regarding age. The conclusion is about cause (i.e. it only concludes with design inference). Yes, it’s true that the assumptions for many fine tuning arguments are that the universe actually is old (measured in years observed on Earth). But those assumptions only come from those that are not YEC – so far as I’m aware.

    So, for all intents, the argument of fine tuning with parameters that assume deep time, are useful tools to refute evolutionists on their own old earth necessity. And to prove design.

    It’s not true that that assumption is correct though. Because you end up with design inference if the earth is old or young.

    And if the universe were 6000 years old (Earth Time), then one doesn’t need to worry that some of those fine tuning argument don’t work in it. Because a young earth would with little doubt prove YEC.

    So, for now, YEC can simply enjoy observing the idea that God appears to be using evolutionist worldviews against their own theories. Reminiscent of how Message Theory applies to the pattern of life and resists evolutionists explanations.

  16. Well, I was going to say that a YEC can still use fine tuning arguments, and for the same reasons already addressed very well above. So, I’ll just say I third the motion as a YEC. Fine tuning arguments: good to disprove the naturalistic assumptions of the atheist; useless to prove YEC.

  17. Mung @ 11

    One of the fine-tuning values is the original entropy of the universe, also known as the Penrose number. But since the universe was only created 6000 years ago we know that must be wrong. No YEC should be using fine-tuning arguments.

    The book by Gonzales and Richards, The Privileged Planet, is no friend to the YEC. I still have yet to see any YEC here take that book seriously and address it’s arguments.

    YEC’s do not accept the Big Bang as an acceptable scientific explanation for how the universe was formed. There are too many problems with the theory. It has some explanatory power, but it needs so many special conditions to uphold it that it’s credibility suffers. Evolutionists MUST absolutely have billions of years for their argument to work, so there in their eyes, there is no possibility at all of that not being true. This means they are pretty much forced to accept the Big Bang warts and all. I have pointed out numerous times that there are even many atheists and secularists who have trouble with the Big Bang as the website cosmologystatement.org states. So it is not just YECs who see scientific problems with it.

    But the fine-tuning argument – You are right in that a YEC cannot use all of the points of the OEC fine tuning argument. Some depend on the Big Bang. Those we would reject. But there are still many points of the fine tuning argument that are not dependent on the Big Bang and are therefore applicable to our position. And as Brent pointed out, even the pieces that don’t fit the YEC puzzle can still be used to show that the Big Bang doesn’t add up.

    The difference between the YEC and the OEC is that based on the fine tuning argument, YECs completely throw out the Big Bang believing it contradicts Scripture. OECs, on the other hand, add God to the mix to save the Big Bang, thinking they can find a way to match Scripture with it.

    Here are some of the fine-tuning arguments that YECs can use taken from creation.com

    Strong evidence for a Designer comes from the fine-tuning of the universal constants and the solar system, e.g.

    * The electromagnetic coupling constant binds electrons to protons in atoms. If it was smaller, fewer electrons could be held. If it was larger, electrons would be held too tightly to bond with other atoms.

    * Ratio of electron to proton mass (1:1836). Again, if this was larger or smaller, molecules could not form.

    * Carbon and oxygen nuclei have finely tuned energy levels.

    * Electromagnetic and gravitational forces are finely tuned, so the right kind of star can be stable.

    * Our sun is the right colour. If it was redder or bluer, photosynthetic response would be weaker.

    * Our sun is also the right mass. If it was larger, its brightness would change too quickly and there would be too much high energy radiation. If it was smaller, the range of planetary distances able to support life would be too narrow; the right distance would be so close to the star that tidal forces would disrupt the planet’s rotational period. UV radiation would also be inadequate for photosynthesis.

    * The earth’s distance from the sun is crucial for a stable water cycle. Too far away, and most water would freeze; too close and most water would boil.

    * The earth’s gravity, axial tilt, rotation period, magnetic field, crust thickness, oxygen/nitrogen ratio, carbon dioxide, water vapour and ozone levels are just right.

    As God tells us through the prophet Isaiah in 45:18,

    “For thus says the Lord,(he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, HE FORMED IT TO BE INHABITED! ): “I am the Lord, and there is no other.”

  18. One possible Fine-Tuning argument pertaining to constants etc… that I’ve pondered some time, but have not yet seen anyone discuss on, regards ranges. It’s compelling to argue fine-tuning by showing that gravity is required to be tuned to one part in ten to the forty, or the phase space tuning is one part in ten to the ridiculous… but those look at what it is tuned to, not what they possibly could have been. Granted, what I’m looking at might not even be knowable, but that doesn’t mean we can’t consider the two cases and make an extra interesting inference about design.
    __________________________________________________________

    Case(1): The actual range [lo to hi] of what any fine-tuned constant (C) could possibly have been are finite.
    Graphically: (-?)&lt———-[lo---(C)---hi]————-&gt(+?)

    Case(2): The actual range [lo to hi] of what any fine-tuned constant (C) could possibly have been are infinite.
    Graphically: (-?/lo)&lt—————(C)——————-&gt(+?/hi)
    __________________________________________________________

    Logically:
    One of these cases must be true.
    Both cases can not be true.
    .
    .
    .
    IF, True (1), False (2):
    The restraints of the range are hyper-tuned. And the constant is finely tuned within it. This is essentially the same as if Case(2) (see below).

    IF, True (2), False (1):
    We find a infinitesimally hyper-tuned constant. Finding ANY fine tuned constant in this case would certainly require an inference of intentionality.
    .
    .
    .
    Thoughts?

  19. JGuy,

    This is addressed in New Proofs for the Existence of God

  20. My graphicals didn’t come out as planned..second attempt:

    Case(1): The actual range [lo to hi] of what any fine-tuned constant [C] could possibly have been are finite.
    Graphically: (-infinity)—————[lo---[C]—hi]——————(+infinity)

    Case(2): The actual range [lo to hi] of what any fine-tuned constant [C] could possibly have been are infinite.
    Graphically: (-infinity / lo)—————-[C]——————(+infinity / hi)

  21. Thanks Mung.

  22. JG: Fine tuning also obtains locally, as John Leslie’s lone fly on a patch of wall story brings out. Even if further along, there are zones carpeted with the critters so that a bullet will strike a fly if it hits anywhere, in the otherwise empty patch, if our fly is swatted by a bullet, then we face the issue of a skilled marksman with a tack-driving rifle. Which is itself no mean feat. In short once we see evidence of an isolated operating point and that we are sitting there, that becomes interesting. It hen becomes robust even if one envisions a super law that forces the outcome, as then the issue is, where does that come from, and so forth. Where also, it is implicit that a fly on a wall is a natural target of interest to a marksman. KF

  23. Seeing the Extraordinary in the Ordinary – April 15, 2011
    Excerpt: Truth be told, we don’t really understand the “laws” of nature. Yes, nature operates according to a design that we have come to accept as normal. But while this makes life more predictable and, therefore, comfortable, it doesn’t necessarily make it any more understandable. When we know, for instance, that the sun will rise tomorrow morning, we feel a sense of order and control; but we still have no idea as to why nature was created this way. Just because we label something “natural” doesn’t mean that we understand it any better than we understand a “miracle.”
    The difference between a miracle and an act of nature is only in frequency. Imagine that the sun were to rise only once in our lifetime. Everyone would rush to see it, proclaiming it the most miraculous event they had ever witnessed. But since we experience a sunrise every day, we see it as just another ordinary part of our lives.
    We dismiss it as a “natural” unexceptional event, though in truth it is simply a miracle repeating itself again and again.
    This is an inherent human trait – we become so accustomed to something that, no matter how extraordinary it may be, we take it for granted. We constantly need a new rush of excitement to arouse our interest.
    http://www.algemeiner.com/2011.....-ordinary/

    Sarah McLachlan – Ordinary Miracle – music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqZE4ZDnAkQ

    Beatles- Here Comes The Sun – music
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj1AesMfIf8

    Extreme Fine Tuning of Light for Life and Scientific Discovery – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/7715887

    Fine Tuning Of Universal Constants, Particularly Light – Walter Bradley – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4491552

    Fine Tuning Of Light to the Atmosphere, to Biological Life, and to Water – graphs
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?doc.....aGh4MmdnOQ

    Michael Denton: Remarkable Coincidences in Photosynthesis – podcast
    http://www.idthefuture.com/201....._coin.html

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