Like us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter





Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 56

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    38,185
    vCash
    1500

    The Evidence Against Evolution Part 3: A Fine-Tuned Universe

    First, again, the rules for these threads:

    1. Stay on topic. I will have threads for various other evidences for and against - the fossil record, genetic evidence, biogeography, irreducible complexity, etc. Please keep the discussion of those subjects to the threads they belong in. Too often discussion gets bogged down by simply switching from subject to subject, and I hope to avoid this by splitting each bit of evidence up.

    2. Leave religion out of it. This is a scientific topic, and I'd like to keep it as such. I also don't want threads getting deleted because people can't control themselves.

    3. Try to avoid logical fallacies. I'm going to try to do it when presenting these arguments, I'd like others to do the same, whether agreeing or disagreeing with what I've presented. If it is the truth you are interested in, as opposed to simply your belief being confirmed, then you should want this as well.

    4. If you have a suggestion for other lines of evidence, please feel free to toss them in here or on my wall. Let's just try not to run off on a tangent about them when someone brings them up.

    5. Keep it civil. People are going to disagree with you. If you can't handle that, it's probably best you call and cancel your internet service now.
    Visit my Blog.



    "Glad the GOP finally came out with an Obamacare alternative. Can't wait to see their alternative to the Iraq War." - @LOLGOP

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    38,185
    vCash
    1500
    This is only partially about evolution - since obviously the universe has more factors at play than simply The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection - but it does factor into the argument against the TOE, and so I feel it should be addressed.

    The idea behind a fine-tuned universe is basically this:

    The fundamental forces - gravity, the strong and weak nuclear force, and electromagnetism - are all "tuned" to the perfect degree that they not only allow for life, but are "tailor-made" for it (a quote taken from John Gribbin and Martin Rees).

    Stephen Hawking has even commented on this: "The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. ... The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life."

    Alvin Plantinga lays out the argument from a more theistic position: "One reaction to these apparent enormous coincidences is to see them as substantiating the theistic claim that the Universe has been created by a personal God and as offering the material for a properly restrained theistic argument—hence the fine-tuning argument. It's as if there are a large number of dials that have to be tuned to within extremely narrow limits for life to be possible in our Universe. It is extremely unlikely that this should happen by chance, but much more likely that this should happen, if there is such a person as God."

    We're obviously not going to get into the God part of it, so let's ignore that. His claim, then, comes down to this: It is extremely unlikely that everything happened by chance.


    There are a number of arguments against this.

    First, "extremely unlikely" doesn't mean impossible, and given a long enough time scale, even "extremely unlikely" can turn into pretty damn likely.

    A number of physicists have also proposed possible arguments against this, including top-down cosmology, the bubble universe theory, inflationary cosmology. Google is your friend if you'd like to read more about these, because they don't really affect evolution and so I'm not going to go into all of them here.

    From an evolutionary perspective, fine-turning just seems hopelessly naive and basically a gaps argument. If, for example, we find life on one of Jupiter's moons, living in a methane environment, then fine-tuning for evolution is out the window. Life evolved on Earth to by oxygen-consuming because that was the environment, but life may very well not need that kind of environment to evolve.

    Far too often, we are stuck thinking in terms that we know. When we imagine aliens, they generally have a head, torso, two arms, two legs, two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. But, we don't have to look far at all to find life on Earth that is nothing like that. Check out a jellyfish sometime. No head really, no specialized digestive system, no circulatory system, no central nervous system... they're entirely alien, except for the fact that they evolved here.




    In the end, the "fine-tuned universe" strikes me as little more than creationism, pushed back. We used to think an intelligent entity created all life, and then we discovered evolution. The door was shut to the intelligent entity creating life in that way, so we just push the theory out into the cosmos. Maybe it didn't create life directly, but it made sure everything was ready for life to show up. It's dangerously close to an Argument from Ignorance. And there's simply not enough evidence in favor of it for us to accept it.
    Visit my Blog.



    "Glad the GOP finally came out with an Obamacare alternative. Can't wait to see their alternative to the Iraq War." - @LOLGOP

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Baltimore now, but born and raised on the south side of Chicago.
    Posts
    8,440
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by natepro View Post

    In the end, the "fine-tuned universe" strikes me as little more than creationism, pushed back. We used to think an intelligent entity created all life, and then we discovered evolution. The door was shut to the intelligent entity creating life in that way, so we just push the theory out into the cosmos. Maybe it didn't create life directly, but it made sure everything was ready for life to show up. It's dangerously close to an Argument from Ignorance. And there's simply not enough evidence in favor of it for us to accept it.
    I wrote some interesting stuff here... Then I realized the thread would get deleted if I did.
    Last edited by flips333; 11-08-2012 at 10:18 AM. Reason: The Topic that Shall Not be Named.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Bi-Winning. I win here and I win there.
    Posts
    7,466
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by natepro View Post
    This is only partially about evolution - since obviously the universe has more factors at play than simply The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection - but it does factor into the argument against the TOE, and so I feel it should be addressed.
    I would say it has nothing to do with evolution. The origin of the universe or multiverse is so much more important than the minimal things we observe here on earth.
    The idea behind a fine-tuned universe is basically this:

    The fundamental forces - gravity, the strong and weak nuclear force, and electromagnetism - are all "tuned" to the perfect degree that they not only allow for life, but are "tailor-made" for it (a quote taken from John Gribbin and Martin Rees).

    Stephen Hawking has even commented on this: "The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. ... The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life."
    Its much more than these four main forces, and its much more than them just being "fine tuned" Also, I hate that its being pushed to solely be identified as a tuning for life. Its about tuning for all matter as we know it. Without these forces and without them being "fine tuned" this universe would not exist whatsoever. Let alone life.

    There are many forces that I could go over and give their values but that would take so long.
    But there are a couple that I deem are very important and should be looked at.

    The electromagnetic force is a good one. Without it and some of its sub forces, atoms would never bond, stars would never form, explode, and then rise up to become humans.

    If you know anything about electricity, you would know that two positively charged objects repel each other. Why doesn't this happen with an atom in its nucleus? The strong nuclear force keeps protons from flying away from each other.

    The principle of quantization dictates that electrons must occupy a fixed orbital. Meaning this force prevents electrons from either flying away or crashing into the protons and neutrons.

    Pauli exclusion principle dictates many factors of quantum mechanics but one of them gives atoms its hard shell. Without this, all matter would collapse in on itself.

    These forces are real. They dictate how the smallest of objects behave. These facts should not be glossed over. Without even one of these forces, nothing would exist.

    As you stated, gravity, strong force, weak force, and electromagnetism all have values that all scientist agree, have to have a precise value for anything to be here. The values are astronomically precise for each force. But one of the forces not mentioned much is the cosmological constant. This dictates the precise amount of mass and energy in the universe. For the universe to be present, the cosmological constant needs to be precisely accurate one part in 10 to the 120th power. There is not enough space in the universe to write how many zeroes that is.


    Alvin Plantinga lays out the argument from a more theistic position: "One reaction to these apparent enormous coincidences is to see them as substantiating the theistic claim that the Universe has been created by a personal God and as offering the material for a properly restrained theistic argument—hence the fine-tuning argument. It's as if there are a large number of dials that have to be tuned to within extremely narrow limits for life to be possible in our Universe. It is extremely unlikely that this should happen by chance, but much more likely that this should happen, if there is such a person as God."

    We're obviously not going to get into the God part of it, so let's ignore that. His claim, then, comes down to this: It is extremely unlikely that everything happened by chance.
    Maybe you and others hear or see the word God and automatically apply a negative connotation to it. But lets not think of a possible "being" that might be able to create such a thing as a universe as what we mere humans would define as a God. I would not put it out of the realm of possibility of something or some one messing around and building a biosphere of his/her/its own.


    First, "extremely unlikely" doesn't mean impossible, and given a long enough time scale, even "extremely unlikely" can turn into pretty damn likely.
    The problem with the "give it enough time" argument is that it doesn't work like evolution. These forces, constants, and values of the forces had to be exactly precise as soon as the universe banged into existence.

    A number of physicists have also proposed possible arguments against this, including top-down cosmology, the bubble universe theory, inflationary cosmology. Google is your friend if you'd like to read more about these, because they don't really affect evolution and so I'm not going to go into all of them here.
    The fact that theories are coming up to try to explain why that constants are so miraculously fine tuned should tell you something. It has even caused scientist to go against all science by conjuring up solutions that are no different from a person of earth creating a god to explain life. Bubble universe, multiverse and the others cannot be tested, or observed. Much like a humans creation of a god.

    From an evolutionary perspective, fine-turning just seems hopelessly naive and basically a gaps argument.
    This statement comes off as naïve. Measuring the constants, forces, and their values is science. It can be tested and debunked if it was not true. Scientist are the ones that observed this. Not the pope or any other religious leader making up these numbers to try to create a "gaps argument".
    If, for example, we find life on one of Jupiter's moons, living in a methane environment, then fine-tuning for evolution is out the window. Life evolved on Earth to by oxygen-consuming because that was the environment, but life may very well not need that kind of environment to evolve.
    Uh, I don't think that the fine tuned universe for life theory only applies to earth. I think it dictates that life can form anywhere in the universe.

    Far too often, we are stuck thinking in terms that we know. When we imagine aliens, they generally have a head, torso, two arms, two legs, two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. But, we don't have to look far at all to find life on Earth that is nothing like that. Check out a jellyfish sometime. No head really, no specialized digestive system, no circulatory system, no central nervous system... they're entirely alien, except for the fact that they evolved here.
    For not going off subject being the number one rule of your thread, you sure do go off topic a lot to bring up evolution. That might be why not one person in this thread replied to the thread topic and reverted back to simple biology.



    In the end, the "fine-tuned universe" strikes me as little more than creationism, pushed back. We used to think an intelligent entity created all life, and then we discovered evolution. The door was shut to the intelligent entity creating life in that way, so we just push the theory out into the cosmos
    .
    Once again, evolution proved only religious books of earth wrong (not hard to do)
    Maybe it didn't create life directly, but it made sure everything was ready for life to show up. It's dangerously close to an Argument from Ignorance. And there's simply not enough evidence in favor of it for us to accept it.
    Like I said, the study of physics and its laws is the evidence for a precisely tuned universe. Its a science that has been confirmed by many. That is the creationist evidence. Its funny because some scientist have gone the way of the layman and started hypothesizing things even more non testable than evidence for a creator.
    Last edited by DODGERS&LAKERS; 12-04-2015 at 03:49 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    11,091
    vCash
    1500
    you thinking the universe is "too fined tuned" or "too complicated" for evolution to be real is not "evidence," it's your opinion. and no matter how much you think your opinion is true, it cannot be passed off as "evidence." you should really understand the meaning of "evidence" and "prove" before you start a thread.

    if you are against evolution, provide evidence...not opinion...against evolution. if you want to convince people that creationism is true, provide evidence...not opinion...that prove it's real. if you're able to do all that...disprove evolution and prove creationism, revolutionizing science as we know it in the process...i guarantee you, a nobel prize will be waiting for you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Baltimore now, but born and raised on the south side of Chicago.
    Posts
    8,440
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by FOBolous View Post
    you thinking the universe is "too fined tuned" or "too complicated" for evolution to be real is not "evidence," it's your opinion. and no matter how much you think your opinion is true, it cannot be passed off as "evidence." you should really understand the meaning of "evidence" and "prove" before you start a thread.

    if you are against evolution, provide evidence...not opinion...against evolution. if you want to convince people that creationism is true, provide evidence...not opinion...that prove it's real. if you're able to do all that...disprove evolution and prove creationism, revolutionizing science as we know it in the process...i guarantee you, a nobel prize will be waiting for you.
    Wow. This is an excellent example of how we, as educated persons who believe in science, end up shooting ourselves in the foot in this argument by looking like complete *******s. And forcing retrenched positions. Can we talk about that?

    Dear lord I wish I had the time to do a PSD lecture series. It could be a big teleconference. I will call it "How all us educated *******s actually help ignorant people believe what they do."

    (at times this is especially true for you Nate... I remember arguing with you about the subject that shall not be named just because someone needed to for a different angle. though this set of threads is an excellent example of your trying to understand and discuss in a way that doesn't just make you sound like a tool...it makes you sound open for change and eager for viewpoints. In order to actually change minds that's exactly what you have to do. Come to hard and you just entrench views. I don't do this often but an emoticon for you: )
    Last edited by flips333; 11-08-2012 at 10:12 AM.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    38,185
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by flips333 View Post
    Wow. This is an excellent example of how we, as educated persons who believe in science, end up shooting ourselves in the foot in this argument by looking like complete *******s. And forcing retrenched positions. Can we talk about that?

    Dear lord I wish I had the time to do a PSD lecture series. It could be a big teleconference. I will call it "How all us educated *******s actually help ignorant people believe what they do."

    (at times this is especially true for you Nate... I remember arguing with you about the subject that shall not be named just because someone needed to for a different angle. though this set of threads is an excellent example of your trying to understand and discuss in a way that doesn't just make you sound like a tool...it makes you sound open for change and eager for viewpoints. In order to actually change minds that's exactly what you have to do. Come to hard and you just entrench views. I don't do this often but an emoticon for you: )
    I've read this a couple times.. and I honestly can't tell if this is a compliment, or not.
    Visit my Blog.



    "Glad the GOP finally came out with an Obamacare alternative. Can't wait to see their alternative to the Iraq War." - @LOLGOP

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Baltimore now, but born and raised on the south side of Chicago.
    Posts
    8,440
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by natepro View Post
    I've read this a couple times.. and I honestly can't tell if this is a compliment, or not.
    Wasn't being sarcastic. Basically I'm saying you can be a real dick about this **** sometimes... but i think that with these threads you are making, you show a greater maturity about this than most people are capable on either side.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    38,185
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by flips333 View Post
    Wasn't being sarcastic. Basically I'm saying you can be a real dick about this **** sometimes... but i think that with these threads you are making, you show a greater maturity about this than most people are capable on either side.
    I didn't think you were being sarcastic, I just wasn't sure how to read it.

    And I know I can be a dick. I suppose it's a combination of frustration at some of the asinine things I see, and just how sarcastic I am normally.

    But, yeah.. as I said initially, I want this to be a process, of gradually breaking down one idea, and then of showing the support for the other.
    Visit my Blog.



    "Glad the GOP finally came out with an Obamacare alternative. Can't wait to see their alternative to the Iraq War." - @LOLGOP

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Kris Medlen's Bed
    Posts
    10,209
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by FOBolous View Post
    you thinking the universe is "too fined tuned" or "too complicated" for evolution to be real is not "evidence," it's your opinion. and no matter how much you think your opinion is true, it cannot be passed off as "evidence." you should really understand the meaning of "evidence" and "prove" before you start a thread.

    if you are against evolution, provide evidence...not opinion...against evolution. if you want to convince people that creationism is true, provide evidence...not opinion...that prove it's real. if you're able to do all that...disprove evolution and prove creationism, revolutionizing science as we know it in the process...i guarantee you, a nobel prize will be waiting for you.
    Wheres your evidence that this wasn't "fine tuned" by a higher being? Even evidence that our environment was composed randomly? If there was 100% evidence to disprove either creationism or evolution then there would be no reason to discuss it anymore. It's different views and opinions all trying to figure out why and how we got here.


    The Cult of Gattis

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    38,185
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by ATL#22 View Post
    Wheres your evidence that this wasn't "fine tuned" by a higher being? Even evidence that our environment was composed randomly? If there was 100% evidence to disprove either creationism or evolution then there would be no reason to discuss it anymore. It's different views and opinions all trying to figure out why and how we got here.
    You don't seem to understand how evidence to support a claim works.

    If you would like to claim that the universe is "fine-tuned" for life, then it is on you to prove that, not on others to disprove it.

    There isn't, quite obviously, evidence that disproves evolution, which is why it's still a scientific theory. It is falsifiable, unlike ID or creationism, which is part of what makes it a scientific theory. There are things that would absolutely prove evolution false. And we have yet to find a single one of them. It's not as if no one has been looking, either.
    Visit my Blog.



    "Glad the GOP finally came out with an Obamacare alternative. Can't wait to see their alternative to the Iraq War." - @LOLGOP

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Baltimore now, but born and raised on the south side of Chicago.
    Posts
    8,440
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by natepro View Post
    You don't seem to understand how evidence to support a claim works.

    If you would like to claim that the universe is "fine-tuned" for life, then it is on you to prove that, not on others to disprove it.

    There isn't, quite obviously, evidence that disproves evolution, which is why it's still a scientific theory. It is falsifiable, unlike ID or creationism, which is part of what makes it a scientific theory. There are things that would absolutely prove evolution false. And we have yet to find a single one of them. It's not as if no one has been looking, either.
    I just taught this falsifiable bit to my students when it came to semantic networks. Their little minds were blown by the idea that a scientific theory that is too flexible, that can not be challenged would actually be a bad model. I didn't think to mention ID... Probably would have made the class devolve into Chaos.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Shakedown Street, Japan
    Posts
    30,382
    vCash
    1500
    Quote Originally Posted by natepro View Post
    You don't seem to understand how evidence to support a claim works.

    If you would like to claim that the universe is "fine-tuned" for life, then it is on you to prove that, not on others to disprove it.

    There isn't, quite obviously, evidence that disproves evolution, which is why it's still a scientific theory. It is falsifiable, unlike ID or creationism, which is part of what makes it a scientific theory. There are things that would absolutely prove evolution false. And we have yet to find a single one of them. It's not as if no one has been looking, either.
    Agreed 100%.

    That said, however, there are plenty of examples in nature of things that, if they were "designed" by some intelligent being, were either designed very badly, or randomly in very strange, inexplicable ways. Like the axial tilt of Uranus being nearly parallel to the plane of the solar system while that of all the other planets is roughly perpendicular (Uranus and Venus also having retrograde rotations). Or atavism (my personal favorite). Or the fact that somewhere in the neighborhood of 99.9% of all animal species that ever lived have gone extinct.

    As you point out, the existence of a "designer" isn't a falsifiable hypothesis, and people can rationalize away examples like these. But if there is a designer, it has a pretty twisted mind.

    I mean, don't even get me started on parasites.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    38,185
    vCash
    1500
    So, I'm guessing you didn't actually read any of the thread then?
    Visit my Blog.



    "Glad the GOP finally came out with an Obamacare alternative. Can't wait to see their alternative to the Iraq War." - @LOLGOP

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    4,837
    vCash
    1500
    This has nothing to do with evolution.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •