Fine tuning

Particle physicist: Why anti-fine-tuning claims fail

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Dr Michael G Strauss From experimental particle physicist Dr Michael G Strauss at his blog:

Barnes goes on to show that Stenger commits the logical fallacy of equivocation. He uses the word invariant (invariance) in LN1 and LN2 as if they mean the same thing, but, actually, they mean two very different things. The invariance in LN1 means the physical laws are the same while that in LN2 is a more technical term with a very distinct meaning of being symmetric. By using the word “invariant” when the appropriate term is “symmetric” Stenger sets up a false equivalence, and without that equivalence his whole argument is destroyed. His conclusion in LN3 does not logically follow. I believe this is why many scientists have indicated that Stenger’s book does not, at all, refute the fine-tuning in the universe.

Stenger dismisses fine-tuning with technical language that sounds convincing but simply hides the fine-tuning behind rhetoric. More.

When naturalists can’t argue with evidence, they can try obfuscating it (Stenger). Or else pretend that evidence does not matter. Or that, best of all, the human mind did not evolve so as to be able to evaluate evidence correctly.

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

and

What becomes of science when the evidence does not matter?

8 Replies to “Particle physicist: Why anti-fine-tuning claims fail

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    There appears to be little doubt concerning the observation that if the values of certain fundamental physical constants varied by even a small amount this universe could not exist. The problem lies in calling it fine-tuning which carries the implication of a Fine Tuner who not only “tuned” the constants to make it possible for this universe to exist but also made it possible for life to exist. While this is a possibility it is not necessarily the only possibility just because it aligns with the religious beliefs of scientists like Dr Strauss. I also wonder if Dr Strauss has subjected his religious beliefs to the same rigorous logical scrutiny as he applied to Dr Stenger’s arguments.

  2. 2
    anthropic says:

    Seversky: I also wonder if Dr Strauss has subjected his religious beliefs to the same rigorous logical scrutiny as he applied to Dr Stenger’s arguments.
    —————————————————-

    Well, yes. If you read his blog about the age of the Earth, it is clear that he is willing to change his beliefs on the basis of logic and evidence.

    A pity that more materialists don’t follow his example when confronted with the obvious implications of fine tuning, free will, complex specified information, etc, etc…

  3. 3
    chris haynes says:

    Yes, the term “Fine Tuning” implies a Fine Tuner. However, the term was chosen by our Top Physicists, not forced upon them by Creationists. “Goldilocks Enigma” might have been more apt. If so, next time Physicists should choose their language more carefully.

    Anyhow, you note the Fine Tuner is not the only explanation. But what other explanation is there? The infinite multiverse seems to be the current favorite among our Top Physicists. That’s where “anything that can happen will happen infinitely many times”, as Dr Alan Guth has pointed out. In other words, the best alternative to Creationism that our Top Physicists can offer has Donald Trump winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, infinitely many times. As well as Sarah Palin winning the Nobel Prize in Physics, infinitely many times.

    Yourself, do have a different alternative in mind, or do you join our Top Physicists, and fly with President Trump and Governor Palin and all those Nobel prizes?

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, the bottom line is not terminology, it is that our cosmos — per its cosmology — sits at an operating point deeply isolated in the evident config space of possibilities. Starting with things like, oh, play with a few parameters and fundamental particles change properties in radical ways that undermine a cosmos like this one; i.e. we are looking at the broad front progress of particle physics here, and it is exactly a high energy particle physicist speaking. Or, one that burns up too fast, or one without enough H, or one that does not balance C and O, or, or, or. In some cases, we see that the same value is constrained multiple ways, if we are to get to such an op point. And so forth. And it matters not that for all we know we could conceive of other zones of possibilities where we have carpets of “flies,” to use John Leslie’s metaphor. We are looking at a str5etch of mathematical wall with a lone fly, and splat, swatted by a bullet. best explanation is marksman, with a tack-driver of a rifle, itself a bit of serious fine tuning. And, FYI, fine tuning or tight resonances are quite familiar phenomena, so that the terms used are not arbitrary. They are natural ones. KF

  5. 5

    ch @ 3: “…you note the Fine Tuner is not the only explanation. But what other explanation is there?”

    Great question. I think Seversky will appeal to the multiverse theory. It will be interesting to see his response.

  6. 6
    J-Mac says:

    While this is a possibility it is not necessarily the only possibility just because it aligns with the religious beliefs of scientists like Dr Strauss.

    What other possibilities? How about changing the fine-tuning? Is that a possibility?

    I’ve said it before; the founder of the idea of multiverse had been rejected by scientists for a long time because there is no evidence for it at all until the evidence of fine-tuning and that the universe having the beginning became readily available…

    So, instead of acknowledging the obvious, physicists turned into multiverse for the lack of better fairy-tale…

  7. 7
    EricMH says:

    Also, the multiverse means nothing is predictable, so science doesn’t work. The fact that science works means there is no multiverse.

  8. 8
    es58 says:

    There would also be infinite number of times that seversky was the pope, leader of isis and every other religion, even perhaps all at the same time. Not to mention the times he shares those positions with rvb8, pindi or both of them. Let me know if this starts getting absurd
    :O

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