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Michael Denton: The laws of nature are uniquely fine-tuned

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At Evolution News & Views, Michael Denton, author of Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis (2016), offers,

Natural Life: Cosmological Fine-Tuning as an Argument for Structuralism

After being in the cold for most of the past 150 years, overshadowed by the “cult of the artifact,” the traditional notion that life is an integral part of the natural order has found renewed support in the revelation of 20th-century physics and cosmology that the laws of nature are uniquely fine-tuned to a remarkable degree to generate environmental conditions ideal for life as it exists on earth.

The 20th-century cosmological evidence that the universe is fine-tuned for life is based on the observation that if the various fundamental forces and constants which determine the structure of the cosmos and the properties of its constituents did not have precisely the values they do, there would be no stars, no supernovae, no planets, no atoms, and certainly no life.

Michael Denton 2If the laws of nature are, for whatever reason, fine-tuned to generate environmental conditions ideally suited to the forms of life that exist on earth, so fine-tuned that, as Davies confesses, “the impression of design is over-whelming,” it certainly is not so outrageous to envisage that they might be also biologically fine-tuned to generate the grand hierarchy of forms themselves.

Lawrence Henderson implies in his 1913 classic The Fitness of the Environment that at least the basic biochemical design of life is immanent in the properties of matter and not an artifact of time and chance as Darwinism implies. More.

See also: Biology of the Baroque: Released today on YouTube (a visual introduction to Dention’s approach)


Copernicus, you are not going to believe who is using your name. Or how.

Book holding its own, as of 1:00 pm EST:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,738 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

And don’t miss the inimitable Charley Horse at Amazon, whose glue factory is where old Darwinism goes to die: Hasn’t read the book, doesn’t intend to, and will never be short of an opinion anyway.

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Preacher J-Mac: If Denton is not a preacher, he has 2 choices What do you mean if he's not a preacher. I just told you he's not a preacher. And we can see which of the two choices you made, preacher man. Mung
Mung, If Denton is not a preacher, he has 2 choices; 1. become a preacher 2. provide scientific evidence for his claims Which one do you think suits Denton best? J-Mac
Collin, If Denton is not religious, he'd better become one, unless obviously he has scientific proof to back up his theory. I know he doesn't, that's why he writes books instead of papers just like Larry Moran. If he doesn't have any scientific evidence to back up his claims, how much different is he from Darwinists or from the supporters of the modern evolutionary theory that Larry Moran has been promoting? They all more or less base their beliefs on faith, since there is no evidence as to what the mechanism (s) of evolution is and making claims without scientific evidence is easy these days. All one has to do is post it on his/her blog or write a book. J-Mac
Is that what Denton is actually preaching? Denton is not a preacher. Mung
There is a difference between the fine tuning of the universe and an hypothesized fine tuning of nature for biology. We can follow the logic of the initial conditions of the universe, the origin of the four basic forces and the subsequent creation of stars/galaxies and other phenomena. If one takes a course in cosmology, the descriptions of how stars are born and die, how the elements were created and then new stars arise and planets and solar systems arise all make sense. There is no sense to be made from anything on how a cell arose from even the most eclectic mixture of elements and geological conditions and the four basic forces. Nor is there any sense to how multi-celled organisms originated and how all the novelties of the various phyla arose. Denton says there are millions of these novelties and no explanation as to how they arose. So I am a few chapters into Denton's new book and have no idea how he is going to pull a rabbit out of the hat. All he is doing is undermining Darwinism or as he says functionalism or adaptation as the driving force behind novelties. He is implying there are some magical forces out there determining what is possible and what we see is a product of these unknown forces. jerry
J-Mac, That's a good question. Whenever someone asserts an "evolutionary creation" point of view, I want to ask them some of the questions you are asking. But if I recall correctly, Denton is not actually religious. Collin
So, according to Denton, the bible words: "And God created...(whatever)" would actually mean: "And God fine tuned the laws of nature and they lead to the origin of the first self-replicating molecule... Then the fine tuned laws of nature led to the evolution of prokaryotic cell... Then the fine tuned laws of nature led to the evolution of prokaryotic cell into eukariotic cell... And so on, and so forth, until we arrive on the scene of the world...Thanks to the fine tuned laws of nature according to Denton...Right? Is that what Denton is actually preaching? J-Mac
Marcello Barbieri is right in claiming that most molecular machines in living organisms are true artifacts because they are "manufactured" by the cell "from without". The molecular machines are parts of a whole, they don´t have their own good, they serve a function for the sake of the whole. The organism instead is not an artifact because he has a good of his own, an immanent teleology. Marcello Barbieri: The Organic Codes (Cambridge University Press 2003) Anaxagoras
The cult of the artifact. I liked that. But on the other hand Marcello Barbieri writes that life is artifact-making. http://cosmosandhistory.org/index.php/journal/article/view/99/198 Mung

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