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  1. #1
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    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.
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  2. #2
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    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.
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    "Glad the GOP finally came out with an Obamacare alternative. Can't wait to see their alternative to the Iraq War." - @LOLGOP

  3. #3
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    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.
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  4. #4
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    So, I'm guessing you didn't actually read any of the thread then?
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  5. #5
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    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 09:12 AM.

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

  6. #6
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    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 09:18 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.

  7. #7
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    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.
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    "Glad the GOP finally came out with an Obamacare alternative. Can't wait to see their alternative to the Iraq War." - @LOLGOP

  8. #8
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    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
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    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.
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    "Glad the GOP finally came out with an Obamacare alternative. Can't wait to see their alternative to the Iraq War." - @LOLGOP

  10. #10
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    This has nothing to do with evolution.

  11. #11
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    Which was addressed in literally the first sentence of the second post.
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    "Glad the GOP finally came out with an Obamacare alternative. Can't wait to see their alternative to the Iraq War." - @LOLGOP

  12. #12
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    What I meant was that it doesn't really factor into the TOE debate. This has more to do with abiogenesis/BBT than evolution really.

  13. #13
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    But it is used by IC proponents and people trying to argue against evolution, which is why I wanted to address it.
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    "Glad the GOP finally came out with an Obamacare alternative. Can't wait to see their alternative to the Iraq War." - @LOLGOP

  14. #14
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjaGktVQdNg

    This thread reminds me of this....starting at about 41:45 or so.

    Pure Sex.

    you have fun with your properly evaluated medical studies....i'll believe my garbage. you believe yours.

  15. #15
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    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.


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