Fine tuning News

Good and bad arguments for fine-tuning?

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Dr Sheldon
Rob Sheldon

Canadian cosmologist Don Page has written, “In summary, I think the evidence from fine tuning is ambiguous, since the probabilities depend on the models.”

Some have questioned this, and I asked physicist Rob Sheldon who writes to say,

Don Page is exactly correct. Many, though not all, of these fine-tuning arguments have no way to measure the domain, and without that, specifying the range doesn’t turn it into fine tuning.

Let us suppose that your name is Robert Green, and you Google your name and find out that there are exactly 256 Robert Greens in the phone book. Is this evidence of fine tuning or not?

You know the range–256–but you don’t know the domain–the number of potential Robert Greens in the universe. Now suppose your name were Englebert Humperdinck, and you discovered there’s another one in the phone book. Would that be fine tuning? Let us further suppose that this EH was listed as living in a house that you moved out of 15 years ago, would that remove the fine tuning? So you see, it really does matter how big the domain is, how big is the pool of potential-EH minus defined-EH.

In the same way, when someone tells you that the proton mass to electron mass ratio must be accurate to 3 parts per thousand or else life is impossible, is that fine tuning or not? IF it is 3 parts per million for every other physical constant, then this one might not be so finely tuned after all. But wait, parts-per-million of what? It has to be compared to something, and by their nature, physical constants are in different units which makes it hard to intercompare them.

Now when the expansion energy of the universe (kinetic energy) equals the gravitational potential energy of the universe to one part in 10^60, that is measured in the same energy units. That’s clearly fine tuning or a law, but not an accident. So there are valid examples of fine tuning, which may turn
into some deep physical insight in the future, but for the moment can only be described as not-coincidence. But there are more invalid fine tuning examples being advertised than there are valid ones, which was Don Page’s point.

Thoughts?

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126 Replies to “Good and bad arguments for fine-tuning?

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    News

    I suggest first focus on what has to be in place to found a cosmos that supports C-Chemisry, aqueous medium cell based life, especially what goes into water and its astonishing properties. From the roots of physics on up. BTW don’t overlook the information content involved, there is a whole physics of information linked to the generally understood forces and stochastic phenomena of molecules . . . lucky noise and/or reaction kinetics in warm ponds, volcano vents under the sea or comet cores etc is not a plausible source for FSCO/I.

    Next, I suggest the 101 here, as a backgrounder:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....inference/

    (Maybe here on too, which starts with basic astronomy in a nutshell.)

    Third, glance at Collins, especially (yes, 80 pp):

    http://commonsenseatheism.com/.....gument.pdf

    Luke Barnes too (yes, 76 pp):

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxi.....4647v1.pdf

    That I think will give some context.

    Let me add that if there are superlaws that force the physics to the sort of exactitude detected that itself speaks to higher order fine tuning. (It is not so easy to get rid of this issue, especially in a world where we do not experience a Boltzmann Brain type cosmos.)

    Also, John Leslie:

    One striking thing about the fine tuning is that a force strength or a particle mass often appears to require accurate tuning for several reasons at once. Look at electromagnetism. Electromagnetism seems to require tuning for there to be any clear-cut distinction between matter and radiation; for stars to burn neither too fast nor too slowly for life’s requirements; for protons to be stable; for complex chemistry to be possible; for chemical changes not to be extremely sluggish; and for carbon synthesis inside stars (carbon being quite probably crucial to life). Universes all obeying the same fundamental laws could still differ in the strengths of their physical forces, as was explained earlier, and random variations in electromagnetism from universe to universe might then ensure that it took on any particular strength sooner or later. Yet how could they possibly account for the fact that the same one strength satisfied many potentially conflicting requirements, each of them a requirement for impressively accurate tuning? [Our Place in the Cosmos, 1998]

    And again:

    . . . the need for such explanations does not depend on any estimate of how many universes would be observer-permitting, out of the entire field of possible universes. Claiming that our universe is ‘fine tuned for observers’, we base our claim on how life’s evolution would apparently have been rendered utterly impossible by comparatively minor alterations in physical force strengths, elementary particle masses and so forth. There is no need for us to ask whether very great alterations in these affairs would have rendered it fully possible once more, let alone whether physical worlds conforming to very different laws could have been observer-permitting without being in any way fine tuned. Here it can be useful to think of a fly on a wall, surrounded by an empty region. A bullet hits the fly Two explanations suggest themselves. Perhaps many bullets are hitting the wall or perhaps a marksman fired the bullet. There is no need to ask whether distant areas of the wall, or other quite different walls, are covered with flies so that more or less any bullet striking there would have hit one. The important point is that the local area contains just the one fly.

    KF

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this quote from the article in the OP:

    “On the issue of whether our universe had a beginning, besides not believing that this is at all relevant to the issue of whether or not God exists, I agreed almost entirely with Sean’s points rather than yours, Bill, on this issue. We simply do not know whether or not our universe had a beginning, but there are certainly models, such as Sean’s with Jennifer Chen (hep-th/0410270 and gr-qc/0505037), that do not have a beginning.”

    That claim is simply disingenuous to the empirical evidence we now have in hand. The evidences we now have from cosmology, physics, and mathematics all strongly favor a definite beginning for this universe in the finite past:

    Evidences For The Big Bang – Michael Strauss – video (4:50 minute mark)
    https://vimeo.com/9195703

    Evidence Supporting the Big Bang
    http://www.astronomynotes.com/cosmolgy/s7.htm

    International team strengthens Big Bang Theory Jun 06, 2013
    Excerpt: The fundamental observations that corroborate the Big Bang are the cosmic microwave radiation and the chemical abundances of the light elements described in the Big Bang nucleosynthesis theory.
    “The predictions of Big Bang nucleosynthesis have been one of the main successes of the standard Big Bang model,” said lead author Lind. “Our findings remove much of the stark tension between 6Li and 7Li abundances in stars and standard BBN, even opening up the door for a full reconciliation. This further consolidates a model resting heavily on the pillars of the cosmic microwave background and the expanding Universe.”
    http://phys.org/news/2013-06-i......html#nwlt

    “Every solution to the equations of general relativity guarantees the existence of a singular boundary for space and time in the past.”
    (Hawking, Penrose, Ellis) – 1970

    Big Bang Theory – An Overview of the main evidence
    Excerpt: Steven Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose turned their attention to the Theory of Relativity and its implications regarding our notions of time. In 1968 and 1970, they published papers in which they extended Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity to include measurements of time and space.1, 2 According to their calculations, time and space had a finite beginning that corresponded to the origin of matter and energy.”3
    Steven W. Hawking, George F.R. Ellis, “The Cosmic Black-Body Radiation and the Existence of Singularities in our Universe,” Astrophysical Journal, 152, (1968) pp. 25-36.
    Steven W. Hawking, Roger Penrose, “The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, series A, 314 (1970) pp. 529-548.

    “When this paper was published (referring to the circa 1970 Hawking, Penrose paper) we could only prove General Relativity’s reliability to 1% precision, today we can prove it to 15 places of decimal.”
    Hugh Ross PhD. Astrophysics – quote taken from 8:40 mark of the following link
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF1xSErF_f4

    Mathematics of Eternity Prove The Universe Must Have Had A Beginning – April 2012
    Excerpt: Cosmologists use the mathematical properties of eternity to show that although universe may last forever, it must have had a beginning.,,, They go on to show that cyclical universes and universes of eternal inflation both expand in this way. So they cannot be eternal in the past and must therefore have had a beginning. “Although inflation may be eternal in the future, it cannot be extended indefinitely to the past,” they say.
    They treat the emergent model of the universe differently, showing that although it may seem stable from a classical point of view, it is unstable from a quantum mechanical point of view. “A simple emergent universe model…cannot escape quantum collapse,” they say.
    The conclusion is inescapable. “None of these scenarios can actually be past-eternal,” say Mithani and Vilenkin.
    Since the observational evidence is that our universe is expanding, then it must also have been born in the past. A profound conclusion (albeit the same one that lead to the idea of the big bang in the first place).
    http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/27793/

    “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.” –
    Alexander Vilenkin – Cosmologist – Tufts University – paper delivered at atheist Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday party (paper was characterized as ‘Worst Birthday Present Ever’)
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....beginning/

    “The prediction of the standard model that the universe began to exist remains today as secure as ever—indeed, more secure, in light of the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem and that prediction’s corroboration by the repeated and often imaginative attempts to falsify it. The person who believes that the universe began to exist remains solidly and comfortably within mainstream science.”
    – William Lane Craig
    http://www.reasonablefaith.org.....38;id=6115

    “It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can long longer hide behind the possibility of a past eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.”
    Alexander Vilenkin – Many Worlds In One – Pg. 176

    Of note to Carroll’s model in particular:

    The Universe Is Not Eternal – Johanan Raatz – March 1, 2014
    Excerpt: One thing known for certain about quantum gravity is something called the holographic principle. Precisely put, the holographic principle tells us that the entropy of a region of space (measured in terms of information) is directly proportional to a quarter of its surface area. The volume of this region is then actually a hologram of this information on its surface.
    Except this tells us something interesting about the universe as well. Entropy, or the amount of disorder present, always increases with time. In fact not only is this law inviolate, it is also how the flow of time is defined. Without entropy, there is no way to discern forwards and backwards in time.
    But if the holographic principle links the universe’s entropy and its horizon area then going back in time, all of space-time eventually vanishes to nothing at zero entropy. Thus Carroll’s argument is unsound. We already have enough knowledge about what happens beyond the BVG theorem that Craig cites. The universe is not eternal but created.
    It is interesting to note that this also undermines claims made by atheists like Hawking and Krauss that the universe could have fluctuated into existence from nothing. Their argument rests on the assumption that there was a pre-existent zero-point field or ZPF. The only trouble is that the physics of a ZPF requires a space-time to exist in. No space-time means no zero-point field, and without a zero-point field, the universe can not spontaneously fluctuate into existence.
    http://blog.proofdirectory.org.....t-eternal/

    as to this quote from the article in the OP:

    “I myself have also favored a bounce model in which there is something like a quantum superposition of semiclassical spacetimes (though I don’t really think quantum theory gives probabilities for histories, just for sentient experiences), in most of which the universe contracts from past infinite time and then has a bounce to expand forever. In as much as these spacetimes are approximately classical throughout, there is a time in each that goes from minus infinity to plus infinity.”

    He may personally favor bounce models but the empirical evidence itself says otherwise.

    Refutation of Bouncing (Oscillating) Universe – Michael Strauss – video (12:00 minute mark)
    https://vimeo.com/9195703

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is the paper that Dr. Strauss used to refute the conjecture of a ‘bouncing’ universe:

    Evidence For Flat Universe – Boomerang Project
    http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Art.....-flat.html
    http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Art.....megal3.gif
    updated boomerang – picture
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....bined1.gif

    At the 3:44 minute mark of the following video, Dr. Gordon states this in regards to the ‘bouncing’ universe model:

    “If there were a pre big bang state, and you had some bounces then that (1 in 10^10^120 initial entropy) fine tuning gets even finer as you go backwards. If you can imagine such a thing.”
    Dr. Bruce Gordon – The Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory and The Multiverse – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ff_sNyGNSko

    as to this quote from the article in the OP:

    Sean, at one point your referred to some naive estimate of the very low probability of the flatness of the universe, but then you said that we now know the probability of flatness is very near unity. This is indeed true, as Stephen Hawking and I showed long ago (“How Probable Is Inflation?” Nuclear Physics B298, 789-809, 1988) when we used the canonical measure for classical universes, but one could get other probabilities by using other measures from other models.
    In summary, I think the evidence from fine tuning is ambiguous, since the probabilities depend on the models. Whether or not the universe had a beginning also is ambiguous,

    The only thing that is truly ambiguous is when he tries to invoke the now discredited inflation model to try to ‘explain away’ why the universe is as ‘flat and round’ as it is.

    Inflation, besides being empirically embarrassed in the cosmic dust incident, also suffers the embarrassing difficulty of winding up in epistemological failure.

    Why converge? – Jun 22, 2015
    Excerpt: “The biggest thing that helped was the BICEP measurement,” he says. “Inflationists came out of the woodwork and said, yay, we were right…then they realised they’d forgotten about dust.” This led people to the realisation, he says, that even though hundreds or thousands of people are working on an idea, it may still be wrong. This episode “made people aware we need to be more objective about what we’re doing,”
    http://blog.physicsworld.com/2.....-converge/

    Cosmic inflation is dead, long live cosmic inflation – 25 September 2014
    Excerpt: (Inflation) theory, the most widely held of cosmological ideas about the growth of our universe after the big bang, explains a number of mysteries, including why the universe is surprisingly flat and so smoothly distributed, or homogeneous.,,,
    Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University, who helped develop inflationary theory but is now scathing of it, says this is potentially a blow for the theory, but that it pales in significance with inflation’s other problems.
    Meet the multiverse
    Steinhardt says the idea that inflationary theory produces any observable predictions at all – even those potentially tested by BICEP2 – is based on a simplification of the theory that simply does not hold true.
    “The deeper problem is that once inflation starts, it doesn’t end the way these simplistic calculations suggest,” he says. “Instead, due to quantum physics it leads to a multiverse where the universe breaks up into an infinite number of patches. The patches explore all conceivable properties as you go from patch to patch. So that means it doesn’t make any sense to say what inflation predicts, except to say it predicts everything. If it’s physically possible, then it happens in the multiverse someplace
    Steinhardt says the point of inflation was to explain a remarkably simple universe. “So the last thing in the world you should be doing is introducing a multiverse of possibilities to explain such a simple thing,” he says. “I think it’s telling us in the clearest possible terms that we should be able to understand this and when we understand it it’s going to come in a model that is extremely simple and compelling. And we thought inflation was it – but it isn’t.”
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....CajrGl0y00

    In further regards to his claim that the ‘evidence from fine tuning is ambiguous, since the probabilities depend on the models’ and his use of the discredited inflation model to try to say that example of fine tuning in particular is ‘ambiguous’, I would also like to add that the evidence for the fine tuning of the ‘flatness’ and ’roundness’ of the universe is far less ambiguous than he apparently would like to hold.

    The reason that I hold that the evidence for the ‘flatness’ fine tuning example that he used is far less ambiguous than he holds is that the very nature of geometric ‘flatness’, (and also of ’roundness’), severely constrains the competeing models that can be used to successfully address those particular examples of fine tuning.

    To put it plainly, there are a virtual infinity of shapes that can exist compared to the flat and round shapes that we actually do observe for the universe.

    Moreover, there is certainly nothing inherent within naturalism itself that would compel, or favor, any particular shape over any other particular shape.

    Therefore, when flatness and roundness are appropriately modeled in that proper context (i.e. modeled as to, given naturalism, what the shapes could have been compared to what they actually are), then there is nothing ambiguous whatsoever to the fine-tuning example of ‘flatness’, (and roundness), that he himself used.

    Of supplemental note: In my mind, I know for a fact what ‘flat’ is like.
    Yet, besides not being able to account for the flatness of the universe, materialists have no way to account for why I can intuitively grasp what flat is like with my mind, (much less can they account for my conscious mind in the first place).

    To borrow from C.S. Lewis’s quote from his argument for objective morality:

    “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”
    – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

    And as with the straight line of objective morality, so the same puzzle exists for why the universe is flat instead of ‘crooked’:

    supplemental notes:

    “The Universe today is actually very close to the most unlikely state of all, absolute flatness. And that means it must have been born in an even flatter state, as Dicke and Peebles, two of the Princeton astronomers involved in the discovery of the 3 K background radiation, pointed out in 1979. Finding the Universe in a state of even approximate flatness today is even less likely than finding a perfectly sharpened pencil balancing on its point for millions of years, for, as Dicke and Peebles pointed out, any deviation of the Universe from flatness in the Big Bang would have grown, and grown markedly, as the Universe expanded and aged. Like the pencil balanced on its point and given the tiniest nudges, the Universe soon shifts away from perfect flatness.”
    ~ John Gribbin, In Search of the Big Bang

    Job 38:4-5
    “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.
    Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?

    Illustration of the ’roundness’ of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR)
    http://new-universe.org/zenpho.....rams47.jpg

    The Cosmic Background Radiation
    Excerpt: These fluctuations are extremely small, representing deviations from the average of only about 1/100,000 of the average temperature of the observed background radiation. The highly isotropic nature of the cosmic background radiation indicates that the early stages of the Universe were almost completely uniform. This raises two problems for (a naturalistic understanding of) the big bang theory.
    First, when we look at the microwave background coming from widely separated parts of the sky it can be shown that these regions are too separated to have been able to communicate with each other even with signals traveling at light velocity. Thus, how did they know to have almost exactly the same temperature? This general problem is called the horizon problem.
    Second, the present Universe is homogenous and isotropic, but only on very large scales. For scales the size of superclusters and smaller the luminous matter in the universe is quite lumpy, as illustrated in the following figure. ,,, Thus, the discovery of small deviations from smoothness (anisotopies) in the cosmic microwave background is welcome, for it provides at least the possibility for the seeds around which structure formed in the later Universe. However, as we shall see, we are still far from a quantitative understanding of how this came to be.
    http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/ast.....y/cbr.html

    Proverbs 8:26-27
    While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primeval dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep,

    Job 26:10
    He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.

  4. 4
    Mapou says:

    The slightest change in the mass or charge of the electron would be disastrous, IMO.

  5. 5
    Carpathian says:

    The fine-tuning argument is a terrible argument for ID.

    Look at a simple transistor in a circuit.

    It’s biased by some resistors to conduct a certain amount of current which leaves parts of the circuit with voltages very close to what a “designer” intended.

    Now look at another board with the same circuitry.

    The voltages are very close, but don’t exactly match.

    About neither board could you say: “If I changed the value of the resistor by a very small amount, it would no longer work”.

    We have evidence that shows that conclusion about the boards to be wrong, but we don’t have another universe to compare ours with that had values that were slightly different.

  6. 6
    daveS says:

    Let us suppose that your name is Robert Green, and you Google your name and find out that there are exactly 256 Robert Greens in the phone book. Is this evidence of fine tuning or not?

    I thought I understood fine-tuning, but this Robert Green/Englebert Humperdinck example is confusing me. Exactly what is (possibly) fine-tuned in the above?

    Does Sheldon have in mind something like the following? Say my name is Robert Green and I show up for my first day of college, and find that my roommate’s name is also Robert Green. I might suspect that someone had “fine-tuned” the room assignments so as to put us together. If my (and my roommate’s) names were Englebert Humperdinck, then my suspicion would be stronger. Of course, if it turns out that roommates were assigned alphabetically, then that’s all out the window.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    So Carp, using a intelligently designed electrical circuit that man has made to argue against intelligent design does not strike you as being odd in the least bit?

    Perhaps your case for atheism would be far more convincing if you could perhaps use an example of an ‘unintelligently designed’ power circuit from life?

    Then again perhaps that tactic would backfire on you, and would not convey your intended atheistic message, since the power systems in life are found to be far more efficient than man made circuits?
    i.e. Compared to what is in life, man’s intelligently designed power circuits are the ones that appear to be ‘unintelligently designed’. 🙂

    Your Motor/Generators Are 100% Efficient – October 2011
    Excerpt: ATP synthase astounds again. The molecular machine that generates almost all the ATP (molecular “energy pellets”) for all life was examined by Japanese scientists for its thermodynamic efficiency. By applying and measuring load on the top part that synthesizes ATP, they were able to determine that one cannot do better at getting work out of a motor,,, The article was edited by noted Harvard expert on the bacterial flagellum, Howard Berg.
    http://crev.info/content/11101.....generators

    What’s quantum physics got to do with biology? – June 2012
    Excerpt: certain bacteria can capture 95% of the light that hits them and turn it into useful energy. Solar panels also convert light from the Sun into energy—but they aren’t nearly as good at it. The very best solar panels ever tested in a lab (i.e., not the ones actually available for sale and installation on your house) were able to convert about 34% of the light that hit them into electricity.,, Why can’t we use the Sun’s energy as effectively as bacteria can? The secret may be that the bacteria are using quantum physics to transmit energy.
    http://boingboing.net/2012/06/.....ology.html

    Uncovering Quantum Secret in Photosynthesis – June 20, 2013
    Excerpt: Photosynthetic organisms, such as plants and some bacteria, have mastered this process: In less than a couple of trillionths of a second, 95 percent of the sunlight they absorb is whisked away to drive the metabolic reactions that provide them with energy. The efficiency of photovoltaic cells currently on the market is around 20 percent.,,,
    Van Hulst and his group have evaluated the energy transport pathways of separate individual but chemically identical, antenna proteins, and have shown that each protein uses a distinct pathway. The most surprising discovery was that the transport paths within single proteins can vary over time due to changes in the environmental conditions, apparently adapting for optimal efficiency. “These results show that coherence, a genuine quantum effect of superposition of states, is responsible for maintaining high levels of transport efficiency in biological systems, even while they adapt their energy transport pathways due to environmental influences” says van Hulst.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142932.htm

    The Puzzle of Perfection, Thirty Years On – July 31, 2015
    Excerpt: The authors of the first paper, published in PNAS, seem hesitant to use the word “perfect” in their description of ATP synthase, the machine that generates energy currency for most cellular processes in all living things (see our animation of this amazing machine here). They use “near-perfect” in the title and throughout the paper:
    “ATP synthase produces most of the ATP in respiratory and photosynthetic cells. It is a rotary motor enzyme and its catalytic portion F1-ATPase hydrolyzes ATP to drive rotation of the central ? subunit. Efficiency of chemomechanical energy conversion by this motor is always near-perfect under different ATP hydrolysis energy (?GATP) conditions.”
    Any deviation from perfection, however, could be due to experimental error. In their graph, the error bars transverse the slope for 100 percent efficiency (that is, for conversion of chemical energy to mechanical work). It may well be as close to perfect as is physically possible. What’s even more striking is that this “near-perfect” level of efficiency is maintained throughout a “broad range” of operation conditions.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....98171.html

    Spectacular Discovery Reveals Power Grid in Muscle Cells; Design Implications Are Profound – August 4, 2015
    Excerpt: We knew about ATP synthase — that rotary engine that uses proton flow to create “batteries” of energy-packed ATP molecules. Those motors in the mitochondria are arranged along folds (cristae) in the mitochondrial membranes to maximize their output.
    Now researchers have learned that the mitochondria themselves are connected by electrical wires in a vast intracellular network. This allows us to see, for the first time, another level in the hierarchy of design in the cell.,,,
    “Robert Balaban and colleagues explore whether the mitochondria themselves — as well as actually generating the energy — also have a role in its distribution. They find that they do, by forming a conductive pathway throughout the cell in the form of a proton-motive force. Throughout this network, the mitochondrial protein localization seems to be varied, allowing optimized generation and utilization of the mitochondrial membrane potential. This energy distribution network, which depends on conduction rather than diffusion, is potentially extremely rapid, thereby enabling muscle to respond almost instantaneously to new energy demands.”,,,
    “The researchers used 3D electron microscopy as well as super-resolution optical imaging techniques to show that most of the mitochondria form highly connected networks in a way that resembles electrical transmission lines in a municipal power grid.”,,,
    “Structurally, the mitochondria are arranged in such a way that permits the flow of potential energy in the form of the mitochondrial membrane voltage throughout the cell to power ATP production and subsequent muscle contraction, or movement,” Dr. Balaban explained. Mitochondria located on the edges of the muscle cell near blood vessels and oxygen supply are optimized for generating the mitochondrial membrane voltage, while the interconnected mitochondria deep in the muscle are optimized for using the voltage to produce ATP, Balaban added.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....98271.html

  8. 8
    Carpathian says:

    bornagain77:

    So Carp, using a intelligently designed electrical circuit to argue against intelligent design does not strike you as odd in the least?

    It was necessary to use an intelligently designed circuit to make my point.

    My point here was not to say that the universe was not designed, it was to show that the fine-tuning argument itself was bad.

    On each board you could make the case that even a small difference in currents or voltages would be disastrous, but we find that not to be the case since we have empirical evidence from the other boards that show that within limits, the relationship between all the values are stable but different.

    We can’t say that about the universe because we only have one example, but there is no evidence to suggest that if the universe had slightly different values, it could not also find a stable state that supports life.

  9. 9
    ppolish says:

    “The slightest change in the mass or charge of the electron would be disastrous, IMO.”

    Susskind agrees, Mapou. He pegs the number of fine tuned parameters at a couple dozen.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ata_player

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Carpathian, actually, although you are right that most of the constants can vary by a few, or several, percentage points without disasterous consequences, there are a few constants that are so extremely fine tuned that they almost defy comprehension.

    For example, there is the 1 in 10^120 cosmological constant that is balanced on a razor’s edge of a razor’s edge, etc…

    At the 8:15 minute mark of the following video, Dawkins is set straight by Weinberg himself on the ‘problem’ of the 1 in 10^120 Cosmological Constant:

    Quote:
    “I don’t think one should underestimate the fix we are in. That in the end we will not be able to explain the world. That we will have some set of laws of nature (that) we will not be able to derive them on the grounds simply of mathematical consistency. Because we can already think of mathematically consistent laws that don’t describe the world as we know it. And we will always be left with a question ‘why are the laws nature what they are rather than some other laws?’. And I don’t see any way out of that.
    The fact that the constants of nature are suitable for life, which is clearly true, we observe,,,”
    (Weinberg then comments on the multiverse conjecture of atheists)
    “No one has constructed a theory in which that is true. I mean,, the (multiverse) theory would be speculative, but we don’t even have a theory in which that speculation is mathematically realized. But it is a possibility.”
    Steven Weinberg – as stated to Richard Dawkins at the 8:15 minute mark of the following video

    Leonard Susskind – Richard Dawkins and Steven Weinberg – 1 in 10^120 – Cosmological Constant points to intelligent design – video
    https://youtu.be/z4E_bT4ecgk?t=495

    What is the cosmological constant paradox, and what is its significance? David H. Bailey – 1 Jan 2015
    Excerpt: Curiously, this observation is in accord with a prediction made by physicist Steven Weinberg in 1987, who argued from basic principles that the cosmological constant must be zero to within one part in roughly 10^120, or else the universe either would have dispersed too fast for stars and galaxies to have formed, or else would have recollapsed upon itself long ago [Susskind2005, pg. 80-82].,,,
    In short, the recent discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe and the implied slightly positive value of the cosmological constant constitutes, in the words of physicist Leonard Susskind (who is an atheist), a “cataclysm,” a “stunning reversal of fortunes” [Susskind2005, pg., 22, 154]. It is literally shaking the entire field of theoretical physics, astronomy and cosmology to its foundations.,,,
    http://www.sciencemeetsreligio.....nstant.php

    Hugh Ross PhD. – Scientific Evidence For Cosmological Constant (1 in 10^120 Expansion Of The Universe)
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4347218/

    (Commenting on the 1 in 10^120 fine tuning of the expansion of the universe),

    “Hugh Ross states an analogy that does not even come close to describing the precarious nature of this cosmic balance [between too fast and too slow] would be a billion pencils all simultaneously positioned upright on their sharpened points on a smooth glass surface with no vertical supports.”
    Eric Metaxas – Miracles – page 49

    Here are the verses from the Bible which Dr. Ross listed, which were written well over 2000 years before the discovery of the finely tuned expansion of the universe, that speak of God ‘Stretching out the Heavens’; Job 9:8; Isaiah 40:22; Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 48:13; Zechariah 12:1; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 45:12; Isaiah 51:13; Jeremiah 51:15; Jeremiah 10:12. The following verse is my favorite out of the group of verses:

    Job 9:8
    He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.

    The Truman Show – Truman walking on water – screenshot picture
    http://gaowsh.files.wordpress......0-pm-2.jpg

    Here is the paper by the atheist scientists that Dr. Ross mentioned:

    Disturbing Implications of a Cosmological Constant – Dyson, Kleban, Susskind (each are self proclaimed atheists) – 2002
    Excerpt: “Arranging the universe as we think it is arranged would have required a miracle.,,,”
    “The question then is whether the origin of the universe can be a naturally occurring fluctuation, or must it be due to an external agent which starts the system out in a specific low entropy state?”
    page 19: “A unknown agent [external to time and space] intervened [in cosmic history] for reasons of its own.,,,”
    Page 21 “The only reasonable conclusion is that we don’t live in a universe with a true cosmological constant”.
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/0208013.pdf

    Here are the 9 lines of evidence that Dr. Ross mentioned which came out shortly after the preceding paper was listed as a preprint on the Los Alamos’s website. Evidences which made Dyson, Kleban and Susskind pull their paper from consideration,,,

    Accumulating Evidence for Dark Energy and Supernatural Design – 2011
    Excerpt: I (Hugh Ross) often refer to nine different lines of observational evidence that establish dark energy’s reality and dominance in my talks. These nine are:
    1.radial velocities of type Ia supernovae;
    2.WMAP of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR);
    3.ground-based measures of the CMBR;
    4.Sloan Digital Sky Survey of galaxies and galaxy clusters;
    5.Two-Degree Field Survey of galaxies;
    6.gravitational lens measurements of distant galaxies and quasars;
    7.distributions of radio galaxies;
    8.galaxy velocity distributions; and
    9.x-ray emissions from galaxy clusters.

    In the last several years, astronomers have added seven additional lines of observational evidence confirming the reality of the finely tuned cosmological constant, bringing the total to sixteen. These seven are:

    10.Lyman-alpha forest measurements;
    11.polarization measures of the cosmic microwave background radiation;
    12.stellar ages;
    13.cosmic inhomogeneities;
    14.gamma-ray bursts;
    15.evolution of galaxy clustering; and
    16.galaxy cluster angular size measurements.
    http://www.reasons.org/article.....y-articles

    Besides the evidence that Dr. Ross listed for the 1 in 10^120 finely tuned expansion of the universe, this following paper clearly indicates, contrary to what Dyson, Kleban, Susskind wanted to believe, that we do live in universe with a ‘true cosmological constant’. A cosmological constant that is not reducible to a materialistic basis. Thus, the atheistic astrophysicists are at a complete loss to explain why the universe expands in such a finely tuned way, whereas Theists are vindicated once again in their beliefs that the universal constants are truly transcendent of any possible materialistic explanation!

    Dark energy alternatives to Einstein are running out of room – January 9, 2013
    Excerpt: Last month, a group of European astronomers, using a massive radio telescope in Germany, made the most accurate measurement of the proton-to-electron mass ratio ever accomplished and found that there has been no change in the ratio to one part in 10 million at a time when the universe was about half its current age, around 7 billion years ago. When Thompson put this new measurement into his calculations, he found that it excluded almost all of the dark energy models using the commonly expected values or parameters.
    If the parameter space or range of values is equated to a football field, then almost the whole field is out of bounds except for a single 2-inch by 2-inch patch at one corner of the field. In fact, most of the allowed values are not even on the field. “In effect, the dark energy theories have been playing on the wrong field,” Thompson said. “The 2-inch square does contain the area that corresponds to no change in the fundamental constants, (a ‘true cosmological constant’), and that is exactly where Einstein stands.”
    http://phys.org/news/2013-01-d.....-room.html

    As well, there is the 1 in 1 in 10^60 constant that Dr. Sheldon alluded to which cannot vary in the slightest.

    To clearly illustrate the stunning, incomprehensible, degree of fine-tuning we are dealing with in the universe, Dr. Ross has used the illustration of adding or subtracting a single dime’s worth of mass in the observable universe, during the Big Bang, would have been enough of a change in the mass density of the universe to make life impossible in this universe. This word picture he uses, with the dime, helps to demonstrate a number used to quantify that fine-tuning of mass for the universe, namely 1 part in 10^60 for mass density. Compared to the total mass of the observable universe, 1 part in 10^60 works out to about a tenth part of a dime, if not smaller.

    Where Is the Cosmic Density Fine-Tuning? – Hugh Ross
    http://www.reasons.org/where-c.....ine-tuning

  11. 11
    ppolish says:

    Nima Arkani Hamed discusses Dark Energy / Cosmological Constant. And like Susskind, proposes a Multiverse as an explanation:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O65G0-3qGcM

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Actually, the 1 in 10 to the 60th for the fine-tuning of the mass density for the universe is more closely approximated to equal just 1 grain of sand instead of a tenth of a dime!

    Bang for the Buck: What the BICEP2 Consortium’s Discovery Means – Rob Sheldon – March 19, 2014
    Excerpt: “But the inflationary claim is more spectacular because it was even more unexpected. Inflation was Alan Guth’s attempt to explain why the early universe after the Big Bang was so very “flat,”which is to say, why the force of the explosion matched the force of gravity to one part in 10 to the 60. To put this in perspective, there are about 10 to the 80 protons in the visible universe, so 10 to the 20 protons, about one grain of sand, would have unbalanced the Big Bang, causing it either to recollapse into a black hole, or to expand so fast as to never form stars and galaxies. One grain of sand more, one grain less and we would not be here.”
    Rob Sheldon – Physicist
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....83451.html

    Sand is made up of Silica this has the formula SiO2
    silicon weighs 28 atomic units
    Oxygen weighs 16 atomic units
    so each SiO2 weighs 60 atomic units

    there are 6.023 x 10^23 atomic units in a gram. that is 6 with 23 zeros after it.

    so there would be 6.023 x 10^23 / 60 = 1x 10^22 SiO2s in a gram
    so
    3 x 10^22 atoms in a gram

    Say a grain of sand is 1mm across it has a volume of 0.001cm3
    1cm3 of sand weighs about 2.6g

    so a grain of sand will
    weigh 0.0026g

    so to find the number of atoms in a grain of sand we multiply the number of atoms per gram by the number of grams:

    3 x 10^22 x 0.0026g = 7.8 x 10^19 atoms = 1 grain of sand
    http://www.thenakedscientists......topic=6447

    thus

    10^79 – atoms in the universe
    minus
    10^60 – fine tuning of mass density
    equals
    10^19 – or equals one grain of sand
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-394591

    As well, there is also the 1 in 10^40 gravitational constant that is also balanced on a razor’s edge:

    Finely Tuned Gravity (1 in 10^40 tolerance; which is just one inch of tolerance allowed on a imaginary ruler stretching across the diameter of the entire universe) – (27:32 minute mark) video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ajqH4y8G0MI#t=1652

    At the 4:45 minute mark of the following video, Dr. Bruce comments that varying the gravitational constant by just one inch, on that imaginary ruler that stretched across the entire universe in the preceding video, would either increase or decrease our weight by a trillion fold:

    Contemporary Physics and God Part 2 Dr Bruce Gordon – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ff_sNyGNSko

    Moreover, the constants appear to be interrelated in an ‘irreducibly complex’ manner:

    “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

  13. 13
    Carpathian says:

    bornagain77:

    Carpathian, actually, although you are right that most of the constants can vary by a few, or several, percentage points without disasterous consequences, there are a few constants that are so extremely fine tuned that they almost defy comprehension.

    The point of using an electronic circuit as an example is to show the codependency of the values.

    Using ohm’s law you can see that on any board, no values could be anything other that what they are.

    The reason they assume the values they do is because of their relationship to the other values.

    The universal values are also due to relationships.

    They cannot have any other value.

    People are comparing these values as if they were discreet, but they are not.

    They are a system of constants and thus cannot be anything but the value they are.

    One would not look at an electronic circuit and treat voltage, current and resistance separately.

    They must be treated as a system.

  14. 14
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: The fine-tuning argument is a terrible argument for ID.

    How much time did you spend fine tuning your MagicWeasel program to give you the results you wanted?

  15. 15
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    How much time did you spend fine tuning your MagicWeasel program to give you the results you wanted?

    A lot less time than the designer of the universe spent “fine-tuning” his design.

    Unless the designer is someone who can just snap their fingers and say, “Let there be light”.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    Carp proclaims

    “A lot less time than the designer of the universe spent “fine-tuning” his design.”

    And there you have it folks. Carp, if he could possibly create a universe, knows without a doubt that he could create a universe better than God did it.

    Arrogance, thy name is Carp!

    But Carp, before you go out and try your hand at creating universes, (since you find this one so sub par to your own tastes in engineering), let me give you a small inkling as to how far man’s efforts at fine-tuning fall short of the 1 in 10^120 cosmological constant:

    For comparing resistors, we have this level of accuracy:

    Team improves the world’s most accurate instrument for resistance measurement – April 10, 2013
    Excerpt: The CCC’s is accurate to better than 1 part in 10^9. Using the optically isolated current sources, the resistance bridge can make comparisons between resistors with an accuracy and repeatability of better than 10^-8.
    http://phys.org/news/2013-04-t.....tance.html

    Thus, the best accuracy of 1 in a billion achieved by man in this instance, (1 in a billion is considered excellent in the electronics and engineering world by the way), falls short of the 1 in 10^120 cosmological constant by 1 in 10^111 orders of magnitude.

    To call that a shortfall is to insult the word shortfall. 1 in 10^9 is not even on the same planet as 1 in 10^120 is!

    Moreover, the most accurate instrument ever built by man is, the last time I checked, 1 part in 10^22 for a gravity wave detector, which falls short of the cosmological constant by 1 in 10^98 orders of magnitude.

    It seems they may have bumped the accuracy up an order of magnitude to 1 in 10^23

    “Our sensitivity is designed to improve by a factor of 10 to 20,”
    http://phys.org/news/2015-05-g.....years.html

    which still falls short of the cosmological constant by 1 in 10^97 orders of magnitude

    Let’s just say that you may have a bit more work cut out for yourself in figuring out how to create a universe suitable for life than you have imagined.
    i.e.

    “A lot less time than the designer of the universe spent “fine-tuning” his design.”

    i.e. perhaps if you work late into the evenings, and put in a little overtime, you can overcome these difficulties in attaining a 1 in 10^120 level of accuracy. 🙂

    Moreover, as if the 1 in 10^120 cosmological constant was not bad enough for you to try to imitate, 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 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)

    “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.

    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.

    Not only is that level of accuracy far beyond our abilities to imitate, I simply cannot even fathom how to properly illustrate just how short man falls in ever trying to imitate the accuracy of it.

    The accuracy simply is astonishing.

    “Some people … still maintain that since science has provided us with so many answers the day will soon arrive when we will be able to understand even the creation of the fundamental laws of nature without a Divine intent. They challenge science to prove the existence of God. But must we really light a candle to see the sun?”
    — Wernher von Braun, rocket pioneer, 1972 – genius behind Apollo program

  17. 17
    Mung says:

    Apparently fine tuning and ID are not as incompatible as first claimed. But we can count on Carpathian to keep trying!

  18. 18
    JimFit says:

    Lets not forget that not even an inflation Multiverse can explain the Fine Tuning of the Cosmological Constant!

    ” but one thing is for sure: it can no longer be argued that the multiverse hypothesis predicts the cosmological constant in any testable or falsifiable way. ”

    http://blankonthemap.blogspot......gical.html

  19. 19
    JimFit says:

    Carpathian

    On each board you could make the case that even a small difference in currents or voltages would be disastrous, but we find that not to be the case since we have empirical evidence from the other boards that show that within limits, the relationship between all the values are stable but different.

    We can’t say that about the universe because we only have one example, but there is no evidence to suggest that if the universe had slightly different values, it could not also find a stable state that supports life.

    Theoretical Physicists can *formulate* models describing other ways our universe could have been, and when they do, they find that life-permitting universes are very rare in the set of possible universes.

    Martin Rees makes this point quite well so I’ll quote him: “Any universe hospitable to life … has to be ‘adjusted’ in a particular way. The prerequisites for any life of the kind we know about — long-lived stable stars, stable atoms such as carbon, oxygen and silicon, able to combine into complex molecules, etc — are sensitive to the physical laws and to the size, expansion rate and contents of the universe. Indeed, even for the most open-minded science ?ction writer, ‘life’ or ‘intelligence’ requires the emergence of some generic complex structures: it can’t exist in a homogeneous universe, not in a universe containing only a few dozen particles. Many recipes would lead to stillborn universes with no atoms, no chemistry, and no planets; or to universes too short-lived or too empty to allow anything to evolve beyond sterile uniformity.”

    “How much tuning is allowable?” Here’s an example: http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/9908247 . A change in the strong force of 0.4% and stars produce oxygen or carbon but not both. That may not make life impossible, but it does make it much more difficult. If the proton were heavier my 0.1%, then there were be no hydrogen in the universe, and thus no long-lived stars.

    “In short: “If you don’t want God, you’d? better have a multiverse” (Bernard Carr). “If you discovered a really impressive fine-tuning … I think you’d really be left with only two explanations: a benevolent designer or a multiverse” (Steven Weinberg).

  20. 20
    JimFit says:

    No Carpathian, the constants are NOT RELATED and cannot be explained by physical necessity, Fine-tuning is about changing the laws of nature i.e. changing what is physically possible and/or necessary. i suggest you to read the answers on these questions, A and B.

    A. An unknown physical process sets the constants/initial conditions to be in the life-permitting range.

    B. A deeper understanding of physical laws reveals that many/most/all the constants are related.

    https://letterstonature.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/is-that-really-necessary-a-fine-tuned-critique-of-william-lane-craig-part-2/

  21. 21

    Paul Davies wrote an entire book thinking it was fine-tuning. And a bunch of atheists are explicitly embracing the multiverse to get around the issue. Why would they do this if the evidence was ambiguous?

  22. 22
    ppolish says:

    All these exquisitely fine tuned parameters and beautiful physical laws. Exquisite. Beautiful. To bring about meaninglessness:) Seriously, how does one believe that!

  23. 23
    Mung says:

    ppolish, well, first you begin by rejecting the possibility of existence of God as foolishness. And then you say, “there is no god.”

  24. 24
    ppolish says:

    Mung, I can understand an Atheist’s rejection of God. But to consider life meaningless stumps me. Doesn’t Susan Blackmore understand just a tiny tiny bit how much fine tuning and how many physical laws are required just for her big toe?

  25. 25
    ppolish says:

    Although on further reflection, I would also find life meaningless without a God. So that is how an Atheist feels…

  26. 26
    Zachriel says:

    JimFit: the constants are NOT RELATED and cannot be explained by physical necessity

    There’s no known relationship. That does not mean that the constants can’t be related somehow. The essay you quote does not contend the ‘constants are NOT RELATED’, only that it still leaves unanswered questions. “There is not a shred of evidence that the universe is logically necessary,” is not the same claim as that the constants may not be related.

  27. 27
    JimFit says:

    Zachriel

    Yes you are right that its not the same but i can’t find a reason to believe that the constants are related since even theories fail to establish a proof for that claim, Carpathian is an atheist, he tries to explain the Universe with physical necessity, my reply to him was to show him that the universe is not logically necessary.

  28. 28
    Zachriel says:

    JimFit: you are right that its not the same but i can’t find a reason to believe that the constants are related since even theories fail to establish a proof for that claim

    If history is a guide, many coincidences in nature have underlying explanations, such as the equivalence of the gravitational and inertial masses.

    JimFit: Carpathian is an atheist, he tries to explain the Universe with physical necessity, my reply to him was to show him that the universe is not logically necessary.

    Not sure either position can be supported definitively, at least from a scientific perspective.

  29. 29
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel #28,

    What about the problem of sign/representation?

    Fundamentally, there are two things here:

    (1) signs and their referents may be objectively scientifically identified in nature. Both living organisms (all without exception) and communication systems created by human or animal intelligence can be classified as symbolically controlled systems.

    (2) between a sign (a physical object) and its referent (also a physical object or effect) there is no necessary law-like physical causal relationship. Equally well in a communication system another object could have been chosen as a representation of the same referent without breaking any physical law.

    What’s more, the multiplicity of equilibrium states is the key physical condition to make communication a real possibility. Without it, there is no room for choosing, prescribing an object to be a representation of a given referent. Instead there is only room for necessity of the physical laws, which precludes such a system from being able to transfer information.

    The problem of sign is a clear indication that physical necessity and chance are not enough to explain information processing that occurs in nature. The problem of sign cannot be resolved by physics alone. Information has a lot more to it than entropy. It has meaning. In information processing systems physicality is harnessed, utilized to achieve prescribed utility. Prescription therefore causally precedes physicality.

    The problem of sign to be adequately scientifically addressed requires recourse to choice contingent causation.

    There is a lot of reason to assert by induction from known intelligently created information processing systems (both human and animal) that this is also true for the biological systems themselves because they have an identifiable semiotic core similar to information processing systems created by humans or animals. So the hypothesis is to claim that biological decision support systems are also a result of choice contingent causation.

    Anyone who wants to disprove the validity of this hypothetical inference, which is the essence of ID, from known information processing systems to the plausible intelligent origin of biological systems, must demonstrate that intelligence can be reduced to chance and necessity; in other words, they must demonstrate that intelligence is indeed an emergent property of inanimate matter. Until such time as it is clearly and unambiguously demonstrated, ID stands as a valid scientific hypothesis in the strictest sense.

  30. 30
    Carpathian says:

    bornagain77:

    And there you have it folks. Carp, if he could possibly create a universe, knows without a doubt that he could create a universe better than God did it.

    How do you get that from what I said?

    The universe is billions and billions of times more complex than any computer program.

    That’s why I would spend less time on my program than anyone would creating a universe.

    It amazes me how quickly the ID side will focus on the people on the other side of the debate and drop the actual topic being debated.

  31. 31
    Carpathian says:

    bornagain77,

    Unless of course….

    Unless the designer is someone who can just snap their fingers and say, “Let there be light”.

  32. 32
    Carpathian says:

    bornagain77:

    Moreover, the most accurate instrument ever built by man is, the last time I checked, 1 part in 10^22 for a gravity wave detector, which falls short of the cosmological constant by 1 in 10^98 orders of magnitude.

    Do you understand the difference between measuring something’s value as opposed to that measurement’s relationship to other measured values?

    Your ability to measure a voltage in a circuit has nothing to do with its state ( provided you understand that the impedance of your probes are a load on the point that is being measured, meaning it’s a different value when you are measuring it than when you are not).

    The better you measuring equipment, the closer you’ll get to the real values, but that has nothing to do with the relationships of those values (again taking into account the impedance of your probes).

    The fact that you can measure something with great accuracy does not affect how that measured something relates to other values ( again taking into account the change your measuring equipment will force onto that relationship).

    Our argument is about the relationship of values, not the measurement of values.

    If I put a probe with a 10M impedance at a few points in a system, I will get different measurements than if I used a 100K probe, but the relationships of those measurements should remain the same, ( provided the loading of the probes is taken into account for each measurement).

  33. 33
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: The problem of sign is a clear indication that physical necessity and chance are not enough to explain information processing that occurs in nature.

    Are we missing something? Thought the question was cosmic fine-tuning.

  34. 34
    JimFit says:

    Zachriel

    Not sure either position can be supported definitively, at least from a scientific perspective.

    The beginning of everything physical has been scientifically established, this fact destroys physical necessity as an ultimate explanation.

  35. 35
    Zachriel says:

    Jim Fit: The beginning of everything physical has been scientifically established, this fact destroys physical necessity as an ultimate explanation.

    A Gap argument.

    If you mean the Big Bang, philosophy hasn’t stopped cosmologists from exploring its causes and effects. Just because current understanding of physics breaks down at the singularity doesn’t mean physics can never understand it.

  36. 36
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel,

    “Thought the question was cosmic fine-tuning.”

    Yes, but you cannot claim that the laws of nature are enough to explain their own existence. You, guys, seem to be advocating for naturalism everywhere on this blog, is that not right?

    The problem is that naturalism cannot address the question of origins. This is shown by biosemiosis, i.e. the use of material symbol systems in living nature. Taken more broadly, this also relates to fine-tuning (the anthropic principle). Because it concerns the properties of proteins, hence the properties of carbon.

  37. 37
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: but you cannot claim that the laws of nature are enough to explain their own existence.

    Did we? Oh my.

    Actually, we stated “Not sure either position can be supported definitively, at least from a scientific perspective.”

    EugeneS: Taken more broadly, this also relates to fine-tuning (the anthropic principle). Because it concerns the properties of proteins, hence the properties of carbon.

    You have the inference wrong, though. Given the existence of masses, hypothesis inverse square law. Given the properties of carbon and water, hypothesis abiogenesis.

  38. 38
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel 37,

    Nope. It it you guys who gets it wrong. Biosemiosis is evidence against naturalistic models. Naturalistic models are complete bluff.

    However, what I was saying is that tuning was necessary even for a computer program to work, let alone such complex things as living systems.

    You cannot get away with your naturalistic claims anymore in the face of evidence against them. Life as symbolically controlled matter requires choice contingent causation. Your reductionist case has been debunked by the progress of science.

  39. 39
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: Biosemiosis is evidence against naturalistic models.

    Well, that’s your claim.

    EugeneS: However, what I was saying is that tuning was necessary even for a computer program to work, let alone such complex things as living systems.

    Or perhaps the universe is fine-tuned for carbon and water to naturally form life, a.k.a. abiogenesis.

    EugeneS: Life as symbolically controlled matter requires choice contingent causation.

    Synonyms are not an argument.

  40. 40
    JimFit says:

    Zachriel

    If you mean the Big Bang, philosophy hasn’t stopped cosmologists from exploring its causes and effects. Just because current understanding of physics breaks down at the singularity doesn’t mean physics can never understand it.

    That’s the infinity of the gaps argument, you wish that there will be always a physical cause when the Universe (everything physical including space and time) did had a sudden beginning, if there was nothing physical how can you draw physical causes? Its illogical..

    A TOE won’t explain literally everything. In particular, the initial conditions (or, more generally, boundary conditions) of the universe are a worry. Here’s a quote from John Wheeler that should keep cosmologists awake at night:

    “Never has physics come up with a way to tell with what initial conditions the universe was started off. On nothing is physics clearer than what is not physics: equation of motion, yes; initial position and velocity of the object which follows that equation of motion, no. (At Home in the Universe)”

    Even if the equations that describe our universe are unique, containing no free parameters, it doesn’t follow that the solution to the equation, and thus the universe itself, is unique. For example:

    “The equations of [string theory] have no adjustable constants, but their solutions, describing different vacuum states, are characterised by several hundred parameters-the sizes of compact dimensions, the locations of the branes, and so on. (Alex Vilenkin, “Many Worlds in One”)

  41. 41
    EugeneS says:

    Zahriel,

    To state that a hypothesis about the most plausible origin of symbolically controlled living systems is synonymous to making statements regarding the structural organization of those systems is incorrect.

    Biosemiosis, i.e. the processing of signs in living nature, is an objective reality, an observation, not a hypothesis. However, people can hypothesize about the origin of living systems.

    Behind the phrase ‘life is symbolically controlled matter’ there is a great deal of research, which establishes exactly what it says on the tin. How can it be synonymous to hypothetical statements about the origin of those systems?! Think of it yourselves.

    ID claims that for a symbolically controlled system to come about is only possible via choice contingent causation by analogy to semiotic systems created by human or animal intelligence (also taking into consideration the sheer absence of observations of such systems ever appearing other than by intelligent causation).

    How exactly, is a different matter. One hypothetical possibility is to create a local environment in order to steer events towards that particular goal. If you want to brand that abiogenesis, that is fine by me. But this ‘abiogenesis’ must be a goal-directed process (never mind the tautology) controlled by intelligent decision making.

    What is generally called ‘abiogenesis’, however, is a different thing altogether because it assumes at the outset that no such intelligent causation was necessary. That is grossly wrong because it is in conflict with scientific evidence.

    To accept that one needs intellectual honesty and courage. Sometimes it is too much to ask for…

  42. 42
    Carpathian says:

    EugeneS:

    ID claims that for a symbolically controlled system to come about is only possible via choice contingent causation by analogy to semiotic systems created by human or animal intelligence (also taking into consideration the sheer absence of observations of such systems ever appearing other than by intelligent causation).

    Systems are not controlled by symbols.

    They are controlled by matter or energy, ( e.g. chemical interaction or electrical charges), while the symbolism comes from the observer.

    You can test this by changing the symbols in a system and watching to see if its operation changes.

  43. 43
    Upright BiPed says:

    facepalm

    facepalm

    facepalm

    (learn to think, Carp, read a book)

  44. 44
  45. 45
    Carpathian says:

    Upright BiPed,

    A symbol is what we apply to something in order to reference it.

    For instance, I might apply a label to a switch entitled, “Living Room”.

    If I change the label to “Kitchen”, the function of the switch has not changed.

    “Symbols” don’t control things, matter/energy does.

    There is no evidence to suggest that the DNA “code” was put there by an intelligent agent.

    The symbols we use for that “code” in no way affect the operation of the DNA “code”.

    The symbolic “code” came from us, not from an intelligent agent.

    The operation of the DNA “code” is due to chemistry, not symbols.

  46. 46
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    There is no evidence to suggest that the DNA “code” was put there by an intelligent agent.

    Why did you put the word code in scare quotes? Are you admitting that you don’t know that the genetic code is a real code?

    The evidence the genetic code was put there by an intelligent agent is that only intelligent agents can produce codes. The genetic code is not reducible to matter and energy. That means it is NOT due to chemistry. Your ignorance is not an argument.

  47. 47
    Upright BiPed says:

    That’s right Carp. Don’t learn anything. Stay on point.

    You carelessly say things like “symbols don’t control anything, only matter and energy does”. The fact that symbols are instantiated in matter and energy doesn’t even cross your mind. Good for you. Stay ignorant.

  48. 48
    Carpathian says:

    Upright BiPed,

    Thanks for the links.

    I’ll go and take a look at them.

  49. 49
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    The evidence the genetic code was put there by an intelligent agent is that only intelligent agents can produce codes.

    We, human intelligent agents, are responsible for the “code”.

    God may have put the chemistry there, but the “code” is ours.

    You may be right that an intelligent agent put the chemistry there, but the “code” was applied by us.

    There is no evidence however, that that chemistry was put there by an intelligent agent.

    Taking man-made symbols and claiming that therefore, something intelligent like man must have put the chemistry there that relates to our symbolism, is a terrible argument.

  50. 50
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    We, human intelligent agents, are responsible for the “code”.

    We uncovered it and translated it. We did not invent it. The genetic code exists regardless of us. Obviously you are just a clueless dolt.

    mRNA codons REPRESENT the amino acids. That is a FACT and has NOTHING to do with us.

    You are either a complete moron or an insipid troll.

  51. 51
    EugeneS says:

    Carpathian,

    “The operation of the DNA “code” is due to chemistry, not symbols.”

    Chemistry is utilized in living systems in order to gain utility. Chemistry is not all there is to life. Life is chemistry + information processing (i.e. logic). Information is a logical notion, not physical.

    Chemistry is also utilized at the chemical factory. But there is much more to the chemical factory than chemistry, mate. It is the control, the flow of matter on the factory floor to produce utility.

    Similarly, the codon table is a table of rules, not chemical laws. The codon table cannot be reduced to the laws of nature because it is indifferent to them. The laws of nature just support the choices that are reflected by the table. The logic has been instantiated into physicality. Another codon could have been chosen to represent the same amino acid. The logic of life is objective. Life exists irrespective of our ideas about it, it is objective reality. Life could have existed without man.

    The chemical laws can just be reduced to the 4 basic types of physical interaction. Control can’t. Rules can’t. Logic can’t.

    You are saying that television is just particles moving. Yes, they are moving indeed. BUT… Particles move everywhere else in nature, including outside of television systems. What really makes television television is control circuitry which is in its essence symbolic. This immediately sets it apart conceptually from things that can be observed in non-living matter.

    Symbols can be identified irrespective of our subjective opinions. DNA is code in the strict objective sense of this term.

    The good news is that the team behind the nickname ‘Zachriel’ have left the thread. That does them credit in a sense, I suppose.

  52. 52
    computerist says:

    It doesn’t matter what the medium of transfer is (electrical or chemical based or both), code is still code.

  53. 53
    Zachriel says:

    JimFit: That’s the infinity of the gaps argument …

    As we’re not making a claim about any physical origin of the Big Bang, that doesn’t apply. Rather, we are just pointing out that there is a Gap, and you are inserting your preferred metaphysical paste.

    JimFit: A TOE won’t explain literally everything.

    Perhaps not, but it may explain the Big Bang, rendering your Gap argument vacuous.

    EugeneS: ID claims that for a symbolically controlled system to come about is only possible via choice contingent causation

    Yes, that’s the claim.

    EugeneS: One hypothetical possibility is to create a local environment in order to steer events towards that particular goal.

    At this point, it’s scientifically indistinguishable from the statement, “given the properties of carbon and water, abiogenesis”.

    There’s no scientific evidence of steering.

  54. 54
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel #53,

    Well, yes, that is a claim. However, it is a claim well supported empirically.

    The contrary claim that intelligence is not necessary to produce information processing systems is vacuous, to borrow the term from yourselves.

    I don’t know whether or not there is scientific evidence for steering as regards the fine-tuning of physical constants (I guess there is but I don’t know the subject well enough to make claims), but as regards life the plausibility of steering is well grounded.

    Obviously, we can’t state with certainty about life (and therefore ID is essentially a hypothesis) because the appearance of life is a singular event in natural history. Nonetheless, the ID hypothesis is very insightful and well empirically supported.

    Again, to prove it wrong your camp needs to unambiguously demonstrate that intelligent causation is unnecessary to explain how life started. So far, there is exactly zilch in your baggage. All purported evidence is ambiguous.

    What your camp needs is a clear demonstration that control, logic, rules can emerge from physicality without recourse to intelligence.

  55. 55
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: However, it is a claim well supported empirically.

    Propose a clear hypothesis and entailments. What test do we run to determine “a symbolically controlled system to come about is only possible via choice contingent causation”? (We’re assuming choice means the actions of an intelligent external agent.)

  56. 56
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel is oblivious to the fact that evolutionism doesn’t have any clear hypotheses nor entailments.

    What test do we run to determine “a symbolically controlled system to come about is only possible via choice contingent causation”?

    We can use our observations and experiences to determine that.

  57. 57
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel #55,

    Hypothesis: living organisms have an intelligent origin.

    Evidence in support of this hypothesis is two-fold:

    1. Direct evidence: Communication systems known to have been created by man or animals share semiosis with biological systems themselves. Semiosis is coding/decoding of information by way of utilizing material symbol systems. All biological systems without exception have a semiotic core. For their replication and functioning they heavily rely on programmed and processed instructions. These instructions are the means by which biological systems are capable of decision making and learning (i.e. they are capable of intelligent behaviour).

    2. Indirect evidence: absolutely zero known reported cases of semiotic systems arising as a result of exclusively non-intelligent causation (chance and necessity).

    Predictions: if the hypothesis is true, it is reasonable to expect that more evidence will be provided in support of that claim in future. This was already so in the case of the empirically falsified junk DNA evolutionist hypothesis. What was thought of as junk non-functional DNA by some evolutionary biologists was subsequently experimentally found to be in fact functional. In line with that evidence, it is predicted that more functions will be identified in non-DNA coding regions in future.

    Overall, more levels of functional complexity and reliance on coded instructions will be discovered in biological systems as a result of future research.

  58. 58
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: Hypothesis: living organisms have an intelligent origin…

    EugeneS: if the hypothesis is true, it is reasonable to expect that more evidence will be provided in support of that claim in future similar to the empirically falsified junk DNA evolutionist hypothesis.

    That’s not a scientific entailment. You have to point to something specific we can measure or observe.

    For instance, given Newtonian Mechanics, if the Earth rotates, then it should bulge at the center, which means the gravitational force should be somewhat less near the equator compared to the higher latitudes, which means that the pendulum should be retarded (slowed) at St. Helena compared to Greenwich.

  59. 59
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel,

    You engage in a ‘no true Scotsman’ tactic.

    I gave you specific enough predictions: new regulatory non-protein coding parts of DNA will be identified in future, more reliance on code, more (measurable) functional complexity in organismal organization will be revealed. If that is not specific, you don’t know what you are talking about, folks.

  60. 60
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    You have to point to something specific we can measure or observe.

    Irreducible complexity is such a property- it can be observed and measured. So is information- see Crick.

  61. 61
    Zachriel says:

    Your original claim was that “a symbolically controlled system to come about is only possible via choice contingent causation.” That would require somehow eliminating all other possible causes. But let’s continue with your modified claim that “living organisms have an intelligent origin.”

    EugeneS: I gave you specific enough predictions: new regulatory non-protein coding parts of DNA will be identified in future, more reliance on code, more (measurable) functional complexity in organismal organization will be revealed.

    Not specific. Not entailed. That’s like saying, Zachriel’s Vaunted Theory of Gravity will lead to new discoveries about stars and galaxies. A scientific prediction is a specific empirical observation.

  62. 62
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    That would require somehow eliminating all other possible causes.

    We have via observations and experiences. All of our knowledge says that codes only come from intelligent agencies.

    Also EugeneS’ prediction is more specific and entailed than anything evolutionism has to offer. Your demented and twisted analogy of what he posted just exposes your desperation.

  63. 63
    Carpathian says:

    EugeneS,

    Taking man-made symbols and claiming that therefore, something intelligent like man must have put the chemistry there that relates to our symbolism, is a terrible argument, and also circular.

    I could take a 1K resistor and paint new stripes on it so that it appears to be a 22K resistor.

    If measured, a meter would still show 1K.

    Symbols come from us, not from the physical world.

    If ID is trying to make a claim that the DNA “code” was put into cells, find some evidence that shows that to be the case.

    The following is not evidence.

    1. Direct evidence: Communication systems known to have been created by man or animals share semiosis with biological systems themselves. Semiosis is coding/decoding of information by way of utilizing material symbol systems. All biological systems without exception have a semiotic core. For their replication and functioning they heavily rely on programmed and processed instructions. These instructions are the means by which biological systems are capable of decision making and learning (i.e. they are capable of intelligent behaviour).

    2. Indirect evidence: absolutely zero known reported cases of semiotic systems arising as a result of exclusively non-intelligent causation (chance and necessity).

    Semiosis, according to its founder, leads to this: “In this way, Peirce has outlined a process of development of a sign which encompasses all kinds of learning processes – “the mind is a sign developing according to the laws of inference.”

    Here is a link to understand what Peirce meant by semiosis: http://home.mira.net/~andy/works/semiosis.htm .

    Semiosis does not help the concept of ID but also does nothing to negate it.

    To Peirce, everything , including the mind, was a sign.

  64. 64
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian, you are hopeless. mRNA codons REPRESENT the amino acids, they do not become amino acids via some physio-chemical process. That means mRNAs are SYMBOLs for amino acids. There isn’t any physio-chemical connection between the two. There aren’t any physio-chemical laws that determine which codon represents which amino acid.

    Once you get beyond third grade you may start to grasp some of what I just posted.

  65. 65
    Mung says:

    Carpathian @ 63:

    I could take a 1K resistor and paint new stripes on it so that it appears to be a 22K resistor. If measured, a meter would still show 1K. Symbols come from us, not from the physical world.

    It’s as if you think no measurement was ever made in the world until humans came along. Is that really what you believe?

  66. 66
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: Here is a link to understand what Peirce meant by semiosis.

    And? Not all biosemioticians are Peircean.

    See also:
    Peircean Semiotic Indeterminacy and Its Relevance for Biosemiotics

    … I explain how Peirce would go about identifying the immediate object of a sign lacking both a minded utterer and a minded interpreter—an identification that must be possible if any biosign is indeterminate.

  67. 67
    EugeneS says:

    Virgil,

    “Carpathian, you are hopeless.”

    Yes, hopeless indeed. They are acting like capricious little children. Biosemiotics is an established field of study in biology. They are acting as if it had not existed.

  68. 68
    EugeneS says:

    It’s absolutely pointless talking to people who have chosen to act like little children. I can’t even rely on their ability to count. Zachriel is (are?) pretending that saying ‘the number of identified regulatory functions in non-coding DNA will grow over time’ is not specific. Carpathian demands that only engineering a living cell from scratch will prove ID right. Is it not capricious?

    Though I am not a biologist, even I can see that the case for ID will only grow stronger over time as new functions in non-protein coding DNA are identified.

    From Wiki (Non-Coding DNA):

    The international Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project uncovered, by direct biochemical approaches, that at least 80% of human genomic DNA has biochemical activity.

    Other studies on plants have discovered crucial functions in portions noncoding DNA that were previously thought to be negligible and have added a new layer to the understanding of gene regulation.

    All of this newly discovered regulatory functionality was originally thought to be non-existent by evolutionists. It was in line with the vague evolutionary narrative of ‘trial and error’ to suppose that there should be a genetic scrap yard. This hypothesis has already been falsified.

  69. 69
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: Zachriel is (are?) pretending that saying ‘the number of identified regulatory functions in non-coding DNA will grow over time’ is not specific.

    It’s general, not specific. Nor is it properly entailed, much less uniquely entailed.

  70. 70
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel: It’s general, not specific. Nor is it properly entailed, much less uniquely entailed.

    Do you agree that the junk DNA hypothesis has been debunked?

  71. 71
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: Do you agree that the junk DNA hypothesis has been debunked?

    Some DNA is clearly junk.

  72. 72
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel: Some DNA is clearly junk.

    This is not specific. This is general. That’s like saying, Zachriel’s Vaunted Theory of Gravity will lead to new discoveries about stars and galaxies.

    Be specific. How much was thought to be junk originally, and how much of that has been proven to be not junk, and still how much of that is now believed to be non-junk.

    And based on the figures, make a conclusion.

    BTW, as regards specificity and TOE see here: https://youtu.be/VHeSaUq-Hl8

  73. 73
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: How much was thought to be junk originally, and how much of that has been proven to be not junk, and still how much of that is now believed to be non-junk.

    The amount of junk DNA has been subject to dispute for decades; however, a substantial portion of the genome probably has little or no phenotypic effect.

  74. 74
    wd400 says:

    Saying ‘the number of identified regulatory functions in non-coding DNA will grow over time’ is both not specific and not a a test of the idea of junk DNA.

    I think most of the human genome is junk, I think there is no doubt that the number of identified regulatory functions in non-coding DNA will grow. Pretending that is a meaningful statement is as silly as News’ old “earlier than previously thought” series from the fossil record.

  75. 75
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel,

    Be specific.

    I am not asking about phenotypic effect. It is a different thing altogether. In human genome only 2% of DNA is protein coding. However, whether DNA is functional is a different thing.

  76. 76
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian @ 63: I could take a 1K resistor and paint new stripes on it so that it appears to be a 22K resistor. If measured, a meter would still show 1K. Symbols come from us, not from the physical world.

    Mung: It’s as if you think no measurement was ever made in the world until humans came along. Is that really what you believe?

    I believe what I said, not what you said.

    The sentences should be easy to parse.

    The colored stripes on the resistor will read 1K at one read and 22K on the read after the symbol has been modified.

    Colored stripes indicating 1K: actual resistance = 1K

    Colored stripes indicating 22K: actual resistance = 1K

    Regardless of the symbol, the chemistry is what determines the resistor value.

    Language is a symbolic system, chemistry isn’t.

    The cell is driven by chemistry, not symbols.

  77. 77
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    The cell is driven by chemistry, not symbols.

    And yet codons are symbols for amino acids as there isn’t any physio-chemical connection that determines the codon/ amino acid pairings.

  78. 78
    Virgil Cain says:

    wd400:

    I think most of the human genome is junk,…

    When you come up with a way to test that idea please let us know.

  79. 79
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain,

    “A codon is a sequence of three DNA or RNA nucleotides that corresponds with a specific amino acid or stop signal during protein synthesis. DNA and RNA molecules are written in a language of four nucleotides; meanwhile, the language of proteins includes 20 amino acids.”

    Nucleotides are organic molecules that serve as the monomers, or subunits, of nucleic acids like DNA and RNA. The building blocks of nucleic acids, nucleotides are composed of a nitrogenous base, a five-carbon sugar (ribose or deoxyribose), and at least one phosphate group.”

    Cells are chemical systems.

    Simply because we have come up with symbols for a cell’s components does not suddenly make those components some sort of indirect reference to the actual chemistry instead of being the chemicals themselves.

  80. 80
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian- Cells are chemical systems like computers are electrical systems.

    Also we did NOT come up with the symbols. We observed them. As we have told you the codons do not become the amino acids. There isn’t any physio-chemical connection.

    A codon is a sequence of three DNA or RNA nucleotides that corresponds with a specific amino acid or stop signal during protein synthesis.

    Symbols!

  81. 81
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Symbols!

    Yes, but they are symbolic only to us.

    i.e., the interaction is chemical unlike a computer which is truly symbolic.

    In a computers’ RAM, the data is symbolic as there is no distinction between 0 and 1 as they are used as symbols in further processing.

    In a cell, there is a distinction in the effect of those chemicals.

    To say they are “codes” put there by an intelligent agent might actually be true, but the fact that this process works as it does in no way indicates the presence of an intelligent agent’s intentions.

    It is not good enough to look at something, break down it’s process as being “code-like” in operation and then conclude from that that there was a “code-giver”.

    I don’t understand why ID doesn’t put its it’s own theory to a test.

    See if it is possible to orchestrate the makeup of an ecosystem from top-down.

    I see no effort in criticizing ID from the ID side, which is what you would expect from any scientific theory.

  82. 82
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Yes, but they are symbolic only to us.

    Wrong! They are symbolic within the system. Codons REPRESENT amino acids. The codons act exactly as symbols act. The genetic code is a real code and you are a real moron.

    Look, you are obviously ignorant with respect to biology. You are equally ignorant with respect to science. ID is put to the test every day and every day it passes.

    i.e., the interaction is chemical

    No, it isn’t.

  83. 83
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    You are equally ignorant with respect to science. ID is put to the test every day and every day it passes.

    Biological ID is not being put to the test every day.

    It has never been tested by the ID side at all.

    Biological ID is the kind of ID this site is concerned with.

    Building 747’s is not biological ID.

    If your claim is true, that biological ID has been tested, show me where I can look that up.

    It doesn’t exist since IDists, i.e biological IDists, have done anything they can to avoid the question.

    Saying “aliens” did it does not prove that it can be done by “aliens”.

  84. 84
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: I am not asking about phenotypic effect.

    Of course you are. If it has no phenotypic effect, then it’s not functional. It doesn’t matter if it codes for proteins, or regulates other genes, or has some other function.

  85. 85
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Biological ID is not being put to the test every day.

    Of course it is as every day someone could actually step forward and demonstrate life can arise and diversify via purely materialistic processes. However no one can. The intelligent design criteria has been met.

    If your claim is true, that biological ID has been tested, show me where I can look that up.

    You are too willfully ignorant to look anything up.

  86. 86
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Wrong! They are symbolic within the system. Codons REPRESENT amino acids. The codons act exactly as symbols act. The genetic code is a real code and you are a real moron.

    A D/A converter is “symbol” driven, i.e. its output voltage is based on a numeric “symbol” read on its input.

    A voltage divider also can generate a voltage dependent on the resistors used, but it is not “symbol” driven. The output of the voltage divider is based on the chemical composition of the resistors.

    Biology in operation is equivalent to the voltage divider, i.e. the output is based on a chemical configuration.

    If I am wrong, you should be able to show me the chemical equivalent of the D/A converter where a “symbolic” input generates an output.

    If you can’t show me a “symbol” driven component in biology, then biology is not symbol driven.

  87. 87
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Of course it is as every day someone could actually step forward and demonstrate life can arise and diversify via purely materialistic processes. However no one can. The intelligent design criteria has been met.

    That’s a terribly unscientific argument.

    IDists are making the biological ID argument and should have to build a case why it is so without regard to other explanations.

    Why should biological ID be the only assumption in science that doesn’t have to stand on its own evidence?

    If “Darwninism” can be ruled out because of its “improbability”, then the same should apply to biological ID.

    Show how it is possible to design, roll out, repair, etc., biological organisms with a top-down system like biological ID.

  88. 88
    Mung says:

    How did the subject of this thread get changed from good and bad arguments for fine-tuning to bad arguments against ID?

  89. 89
    Mung says:

    Carpathian; If you can’t show me a “symbol” driven component in biology, then biology is not symbol driven.

    Logic Fail.

    Carpathian; If you can’t show me a “symbol” driven component in biology, then biology is not symbol driven.

    So it’s sign driven then.

    Do you have any intent whatsoever to actually educate yourself on the subject?

  90. 90
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Biology in operation is equivalent to the voltage divider, i.e. the output is based on a chemical configuration.

    Voltage dividers have voltage in and voltage out. With biology we have nucleotides in and amino acids out. Ribosomes are genetic compilers.

    AGAIN the codons are the symbols that REPRESENT the amino acids.

  91. 91
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    That’s a terribly unscientific argument.

    Only someone who is scientifically illiterate would say that and here you are.

    IDists are making the biological ID argument and should have to build a case why it is so without regard to other explanations.

    That isn’t how science works. Science mandates that lesser explanations be explored first- parsimony.

    Why should biological ID be the only assumption in science that doesn’t have to stand on its own evidence?

    It does stand on its own evidence.

    If “Darwninism” can be ruled out because of its “improbability”, then the same should apply to biological ID.

    Darwinism is ruled out due to lack of supporting evidence, lack of models and lack of testability. Your position has absolutely nothing. And we can tell that hurts.

  92. 92
    mike1962 says:

    Virgil Cain: Voltage dividers have voltage in and voltage out. With biology we have nucleotides in and amino acids out. Ribosomes are genetic compilers. AGAIN the codons are the symbols that REPRESENT the amino acids.

    Well put. But you can shout this at a brick wall and the brick wall will never agree with you.

  93. 93
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Voltage dividers have voltage in and voltage out. With biology we have nucleotides in and amino acids out. Ribosomes are genetic compilers.

    The resistances in a voltage divider are a result of the chemical makeup of the resistors .

    The resistors and the actual resistances they provide, are not symbolic.

    A D/A converter on the other hand, accepts a symbolic/numerical/binary value as an input.

    AGAIN the codons are the symbols that REPRESENT the amino acids.

    They are “symbolic” only to us, the intelligent agents who “symbolized” them.

    Show me another intelligent agent who had anything to do with those “symbols”.

  94. 94
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Voltage dividers have voltage in and voltage out. With biology we have nucleotides in and amino acids out.

    Using that sort of simplistic logic I could compare a bathtub to a nuclear generating plant, i.e. water in and water out.

    ID has a tradition of never providing details about any of their claims and we see that in this sort of response from you.

  95. 95
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    The resistances in a voltage divider are a result of the chemical makeup of the resistors .

    So what?

    The resistors and the actual resistances they provide, are not symbolic.

    So what?

    AGAIN the codons are the symbols that REPRESENT the amino acids.

    They are “symbolic” only to us, the intelligent agents who “symbolized” them.

    Only ignorance says things like that. Codons represent amino acids. That is a scientific fact. The codons are symbols within the system. We only recognized them as that.

    Perhaps this isn’t covered in your third grade curriculum but it is covered in the higher grades.

  96. 96
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain,

    Map, territory…..

  97. 97
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Using that sort of simplistic logic I could compare a bathtub to a nuclear generating plant, i.e. water in and water out.

    You are the simpleton here. However if you used that bathtub water to power a turbine, which you could during both the filling and draining, then you may be able to make such a comparison.

    ID has a tradition of never providing details about any of their claims

    Nice projection as yours is devoid of details. OTOH ID has said, in detail, what the design criteria is and how to reach a design inference. Yours doesn’t even have a methodology.

  98. 98
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian,

    Willfully ignorant…

  99. 99
    Virgil Cain says:

    Genetic code:

    There are 64 possible permutations, or combinations, of three-letter nucleotide sequences that can be made from the four nucleotides. Of these 64 codons, 61 represent amino acids, and three are stop signals.

  100. 100
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Nice projection as yours is devoid of details. OTOH ID has said, in detail, what the design criteria is and how to reach a design inference. Yours doesn’t even have a methodology.

    Then show me some ID “details” that would be required in order for a “designer” to introduce a new organism into an ecosystem.

    1)How do you calculate the amount of available calories in an ecosystem before you add another organism that needs to get energy from that ecosystem?

    2) What is the effect of that new organism on the distribution of energy in that ecosystem?

  101. 101
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain,

    ID has said that “Darwinism” is improbable and thus rule it out as an explanation for biological diversity.

    The same thing holds true for biological ID as anyone who has thought about have to admit.

    The amount of information required to add a single species is so massive that it is highly improbable that biological ID is a good explanation for biological diversity.

    Prove me wrong by actually sitting down at a desk and coming up with some numbers.

    I ask anyone to actually try it.

  102. 102
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    ID has said that “Darwinism” is improbable and thus rule it out as an explanation for biological diversity.

    AGAIN, there isn’t any evidence to support natural selection and drift producing anything, let alone the diversity of life.

    The amount of information required to add a single species is so massive …

    How did you determine that? And how does that relate to ID?

  103. 103
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Then show me some ID “details” that would be required in order for a “designer” to introduce a new organism into an ecosystem.

    Obviously you cannot read nor learn. You are willfully ignorant.

  104. 104
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian: ID has said that “Darwinism” is improbable and thus rule it out as an explanation for biological diversity.

    Virgil Cain: AGAIN, there isn’t any evidence to support natural selection and drift producing anything, let alone the diversity of life.

    I see a trend here.

    I ask you for positive details about biological ID and you give me negative details about “Darwinism”.

    Why when you have an opportunity to show the strength of ID , you instead try to focus on the weakness of “Darwinism” ?

    Show me answers that could be taught in a school.

  105. 105
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian: Then show me some ID “details” that would be required in order for a “designer” to introduce a new organism into an ecosystem.

    Virgil Cain: Obviously you cannot read nor learn. You are willfully ignorant.

    You make it sound like ID has the required detailed methodology to introduce a new organism into an ecosystem.

    Could you please point me to that work?

  106. 106
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    You make it sound like ID has the required detailed methodology to introduce a new organism into an ecosystem.

    And yet I never said anything about that. What I said a first grader could understand. What is your problem?

    I see a trend here.

    Yes, your inability to follow along and your ability to hump strawmen has become a boring trend.

    I ask you for positive details about biological ID and you give me negative details about “Darwinism”.

    Not true. I was responding to your trope about what ID claims. Positive details for ID are in the detection of intelligent design. It just so happens that science requires that before reaching a design inference necessity and chance explanations have to be eliminated first.

    That means even if Darwinism and its variants didn’t exist ID would still have to contend with other explanations just as archaeology has to contend with geology.

    ID has said, in detail, what the design criteria is and how to reach a design inference. Yours doesn’t even have a methodology.

  107. 107
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    The amount of information required to add a single species is so massive …

    How did you determine that? And how does that relate to ID?

  108. 108
    Virgil Cain says:

    Section 5.5Amino Acids Are Encoded by Groups of Three Bases Starting from a Fixed Point:

    1. Three nucleotides encode an amino acid. Proteins are built from a basic set of 20 amino acids, but there are only four bases. Simple calculations show that a minimum of three bases is required to encode at least 20 amino acids. Genetic experiments showed that an amino acid is in fact encoded by a group of three bases, or codon.

  109. 109
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian: The amount of information required to add a single species is so massive …

    Virgil Cain: How did you determine that? And how does that relate to ID?

    The fact you don’t have the answer to that is a good indication that no IDist has ever actually worked out the logistics of biological ID.

    It has to do with whether ID is more or less probable than “Darwinism”.

    How after so many years of claiming that biological ID actually happened, has no one on your side looked into the mechanisms required to do it?

    If tomorrow, “Darwinism” was pulled from science classes, what would biological ID proponents replace it with?

    After many years of reading this blog, I have never seen an IDist rise to the occasion and show a replacement for “Darwinism”.

  110. 110
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Positive details for ID are in the detection of intelligent design. It just so happens that science requires that before reaching a design inference necessity and chance explanations have to be eliminated first.

    But I can eliminate ID just as you have eliminated “Darwinism”.

    IDists present arguments that “Darwinism” is improbable, and I have presented arguments that ID is improbable.

    If “Darwinism” can be discounted due to improbability, then so can biological ID.

    Agreed?

  111. 111
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    The fact you don’t have the answer to that…

    An answer for your strawman? Seriously?

    It has to do with whether ID is more or less probable than “Darwinism”.

    That is your opinion.

    How after so many years of claiming that biological ID actually happened, has no one on your side looked into the mechanisms required to do it?

    Because it is beyond our capability. We can’t even figure out how Stonehenge was built.

    If tomorrow, “Darwinism” was pulled from science classes, what would biological ID proponents replace it with?

    Intelligent Design and the view that organisms were designed to evolve and evolved by design.

  112. 112
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    But I can eliminate ID just as you have eliminated “Darwinism”.

    You could eliminate design but you would have to show that necessity and chance were up to the task. And you can’t do that. Heck, you are so dim that you don’t even understand the genetic code.

    IDists present arguments that “Darwinism” is improbable,

    No, moron. ID has observed that darwinism has nothing and doesn’t even deserve a seat at the table for probability discussions.

  113. 113
    Virgil Cain says:

    Darwinism and its variants can be discounted because they cannot be tested. The design inference can be tested.

  114. 114
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Darwinism and its variants can be discounted because they cannot be tested. The design inference can be tested.

    Show me the test.

    Saying X must have been designed because Y is highly improbable is not the same as testing your conclusion.

    If biological ID cannot be performed by the limited intelligence of its proponents then why do you think that same limited intelligence can render a verdict on whether it has been done?

    It’s not enough to say to engineering students that bridges are very difficult to design and then leave it at that.

    Your side lacks the exact thing you claim renders our side’s argument as invalid, and that is the details.

    I predict no IDist will ever attempt to look into the logistics of biological ID.

    Any serious effort at solving the logistical problems of biological ID will cause that IDist to abandon ID as an explanation for life as it appears today.

  115. 115
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    Show me the test.

    The criteria for inferring design in biology is, as Michael J. Behe, Professor of Biochemistry at Leheigh University, puts it in his book Darwin ‘ s Black Box: “Our ability to be confident of the design of the cilium or intracellular transport rests on the same principles to be confident of the design of anything: the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components.”

    So if nature, operating freely cannot account for it AND it meets that criteria, some agency is required and we infer design (or at least agency involvement).

    ID is based on three premises and the inference that follows (DeWolf et al., Darwinism, Design and Public Education, pg. 92):

    1) High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.

    2) Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.

    3) Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.

    4) Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.

    There you have it- to falsify Intelligent Design all one has to do is demonstrate that natural selection can produce irreducibly complex biological systems.

    I predict Carpathian will choke on that.

  116. 116
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    There you have it- to falsify Intelligent Design all one has to do is demonstrate that natural selection can produce irreducibly complex biological systems.

    I predict Carpathian will choke on that.

    And all the evidence that fills books of evolutionary theory demonstrates that non-intelligent agent evolution happened.

    On the other hand there is no evidence of biological ID.

    There have been no attempts to demonstrate that biological ID is even possible.

    That should have been the first steps proponents of biological ID should have taken.

    If you truly believe something, see if it’s possible.

    You have claimed that humans don’t have the capacity to perform biological ID, so why would anyone believe we have the capacity to even recognize it?

  117. 117
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    And all the evidence that fills books of evolutionary theory demonstrates that non-intelligent agent evolution happened.

    There isn’t any way to test that claim. No one can model unguided evolution. It doesn’t produce any predictions. IOW you are just a gullible fool.

    On the other hand there is no evidence of biological ID.

    Living organisms are evidence for ID. So is the genetic code, ATP synthase, bacterial flagella, cilia, etc.

    You have claimed that humans don’t have the capacity to perform biological ID, so why would anyone believe we have the capacity to even recognize it?

    I just told you how we can recognize it.

  118. 118
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    I just told you how we can recognize it.

    The problem is our abilities which is a point you brought up.

    For example, how would a five year child judge restored vintage automobiles at a car show?

    The sentence might read something like this; “That’s the best one because it looks like a firetruck”.

    The child doesn’t have the capacity to understand what he is judging.

    In the same way, if we don’t know how to go about the process of designing biological ID, why would our limited abilities be up to the task of recognizing it?

    You can’t claim we’re capable in one case and not the other.

  119. 119
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    The problem is our abilities which is a point you brought up.

    That is inherent in all of science.

    For example, how would a five year child judge restored vintage automobiles at a car show?

    Why would anyone allow a five year old to judge anything?

    In the same way, if we don’t know how to go about the process of designing biological ID, why would our limited abilities be up to the task of recognizing it?

    I just told you how we recognize it.

    You can’t claim we’re capable in one case and not the other.

    I. Just. Did.

    Are you saying that only people capable of murder can determine if a murder occurred? No one seems to be capable of producing Stonehenge…

  120. 120
    Mung says:

    I have no idea why scientists are trying to create life in the lab. They would not recognize it if they saw it.

  121. 121
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian: For example, how would a five year child judge restored vintage automobiles at a car show?

    Virgil Cain: Why would anyone allow a five year old to judge anything?

    They wouldn’t, which is why I brought up the example .

    It is an example since it never actually happened .

    Sometimes when trying to get across a “concept” or idea, one party may present a virtual scenario to help describe the point they are trying to make.

    Hopefully the other party, in this case you, is sophisticated enough to get the meaning embedded in the message.

    So read the following as if it were not “literally” true.

    To any intelligence that could create life, we are much less intelligent than a five year old is as compared to an adult human.

    In no way does this mean a five year old alien could create life.

    It also doesn’t mean aliens are children at the age of five.

    It also does not mean that I have somehow calculated the age at which the aliens you brought up as possibly being the designers of life on Earth, become adults.

    It does however beg the question, if life on Earth was too complex to have arisen without an intelligent agent’s hands-on “creation”, why is it possible for the aliens to have arisen without an intelligent agent’s “engineering”?

    That leads to this:

    If the aliens also were the result of an intelligent agent, why even bring them up?

  122. 122
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian- You are a confused mess. You don’t understand ID. You don’t understand science. And you think your ignorance is a valid argument.

    If the aliens also were the result of an intelligent agent, why even bring them up?

    I have already answered that. Obviously you just love to be willfully ignorant.

  123. 123
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Carpathian: If the aliens also were the result of an intelligent agent, why even bring them up?

    Virgil Cain: I have already answered that. Obviously you just love to be willfully ignorant.

    You haven’t answered the question but I’ll do it for you.

    The “first designer”, i.e. the first intelligent agent, had to be God.

    ID however wants to isolate itself from God so that it doesn’t look like Creationism.

    It’s not working.

  124. 124
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian:

    You haven’t answered the question

    Yes, I have. I told you many times before that the aliens would be the PROXIMATE cause. We couldn’t say anything about them until we could study them.

    You are just too stupid to grasp that.

    The “first designer”, i.e. the first intelligent agent, had to be God.

    Wrong.

    ID however wants to isolate itself from God so that it doesn’t look like Creationism.

    Wrong again. For one SCIENCE doesn’t give a hoot if God was/ is the designer. Newton understood science as a way of uncovering God’s handiwork.

  125. 125
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain,

    It’s not working.

  126. 126
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian,

    YOU are the issue.

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