That is, randomness can operate only within non-random parameters, according to an interesting post at American Thinker:
According to physicalist science, each property of the universe, each constant, was determined at random.
Amazingly, the values of these constants have to be, collectively, and in some cases individually, within such a tiny range, that they have been compared to the ratio of one grain of sand to all the beaches on earth. Not even the most ardent physicalists claim that our universe resulted from those odds being overcome in one try. Instead, they propose a multi-universe, with uncountable numbers of universes, which correspond to so many rolls of the dice, that eventually, our universe has to result.
But wait. Would not the multi-verse itself have to have parameters? Would not those also, have to fall within narrow ranges? And what principle of physics defines how many constants there are? What defines what ranges those parameters must have? What law of nature decides what the laws of nature must be? (That would be circular causation!) What governs the dice?
In other words, we come back to the reality that dice do not design and manufacture themselves. They require planning and purpose, intelligent design.Robert Arvay, “A simple proof of intelligent design” at American Thinker
27 Replies to “An argument for the necessity of design in the universe”
My understanding is that nobody knows how this universe or the parameters which define it came about.
One problem with the design argument is that no one knows – and ID proponents appear not to care – how and why this putative designer accomplished their designs.
The other problem is that it simply pushes the question of origins back one step because we can then ask what are the origins of the designer and their powers. Did the parameters that define the designer come about at random or were they the work of yet another preceding designer?
Old, tired arguments. No, there isn’t an infinite regress. That, in a way, is the point Arvay wants to make: randomness cannot continue limitlessly. The “multiverse” is a true infinite regress, not a Creator.
And it’s interesting that you admit to the ignorance of science. That there is a Creator is a much more sensible answer than just throwing up your hands and saying there just isn’t any answer. Yes, there is an answer: Creation and a Creator Who has ‘chosen’ the parameters of our parameter space.
What gets me is the use of the word “naturalism”. Everything in my mind is supernatural. The big bang – it was very orderly in the beginning, and it is still orderly – this is not supposed to happen – in fact we have LOST Entropy and moved to a state of higher order. Even the microwave background radiation is orderly – an orderly explosion? No such thing..
Light is supernatural, what is natural is dark, the absence of. Same with heat and energy, what is “natural” is absolute zero, and expended energy…. life is supernatural, as no life is so much simpler and closer to nothing which = natural.. Naturally there is nothing – in a very real way you can’t argue this away. Not just something rather than nothing, highly complex information rich systems…again, from an explosion of energy? Never going to happen…
Really the ONLY thing naturalism consist of are things that we consistently observe and measure. This does not mean it is natural, it is only normalized for our minds to understand… But do we really “know” what gravity or “light” are? Why they have the properties they have? If you can’t explain why these forces are there and how they got there, you are not explaining anything…
Umm, what the intelligent designer did is well above our knowledge and ability. It’s like asking an Amazon tribe that has never seen technology to explain how an iPhone came to be.
That’s only a “problem” in your diminutive point of view. We study what we can observe. And since we can only observe the design that is where we focus our investigations.
Seversky at #1,
When scientists or theorists invoke the “unknown”, they mean something in particular, not general. In the words of linguist Saussure, words hold their meaning by what they exclude as well as what they include. So to be “unknown” is obviously not what it is to be “known”. Now part of the unwritten definition of “known” is that which can be expressed in mathematics as a formula or a law. But here’s the tricky part, “unknown” is still analyzed as mathematical, but inexpressible as a formula.
But what if math isn’t even correct? What if 2+2=5 in some multiverse? Would that be “unknown”?
No, that would be “impossible”, because the unknown is required to also be mathematical. So here’s the cheat. The word “Random” has a very distinct mathematical meaning–which colloquially we call “rolling the dice”. Writing a computer program that generates “truly random” numbers is exquisitely difficult, and as a consequence computer science sorts call them “pseudo-random” numbers, with some caveats about how “they are random enough”. Why is it so hard? Because computers are deterministic machines, intelligently designed, and it is really, really hard for them to behave as unintelligent beasties. In fact, several companies have used a physical process–like hiss on an amplifier converted to digital form–to generate better random numbers.
So then, in this multiverse, there must be a process that generates random values of physical constants, but how? And why? What if the multiverse uses a different type of mathematics–will it still be random? And if not, how would we know? And why should the math be fixed but the physics be variable? And the questions just keep getting worse from there.
This is why the author asked the question “What governs the dice?” Because the very idea of randomness requires a sophistication far beyond us and our present supercomputers. But if we rely on physics–like the hiss–to supply the randomness of physics, we are becoming incoherent. No matter how you slice it, a multiverse is as incoherent as the idea that we lack consciousness.
Thank you for that Robert Sheldon. #5
This is only a problem because you neglect logic of being and import for the roots of reality. Start with nothing as non-being so if there ever “was” such it would forever obtain. We need an independent root of reality. Such cannot plausibly be an infinite quasiphysical regress because of issues of transfinite traversal of the integer mileposts in R* — a supertask.
We need a finitely remote, independent — necessary — being root of reality and source of worlds.
Mix in that there are existing creatures that are not only sufficiently free as to have credible minds but also are inescapably morally governed; starting with first duties of reason.
What sort of reality root can bridge the IS-OUGHT gap?
We are looking for the inherently good and utterly wise, with power to build universes.
Q: How did the universe come about?
ET: God did it.
Q: How did God do it?
ET: Who cares. His abilities are well beyond our capability to understand.
It’s a good thing that some very smart people didn’t stop examining things that were ascribed to God. Our lives are much better for it.
Wow. It isn’t who cares. It is just that it will obviously take some time to flesh out the “how” because it is way above our knowledge and capabilities. What we can do, Reaper, is study the DESIGN so we can understand it. THAT is what ID is all about- the detection AND study of intelligent design in nature. We study it so we can understand it. We want to understand it because we want to know how it works. That way we can properly maintain and repair it.
And as I said yesterday: Because we don’t even know what is required I say its stupid to think that we can determine how someone else did something that we cannot. But, if it helps, imagine a laboratory with the capability of cranking out living organisms using techniques not unlike those used by Craig Venter’s lab. Or large scale CRISPR, even.
That said, Dr. Russel Humphreys has put together a nice little narrative as to how God might have produced the universe from a Biblical perspective- it’s called “Starlight and Time”.
It’s a good thing that only a lunatic on an agenda would contrive that from what I posted. There is a HUGE difference between trying to figure out how God did something we are not able to and studying what God did so we can understand it.
Then maybe you should be clearer in what you are saying.
Don’t blame me that your poor choice of words is being misinterpreted.
So, to be clear, we MAY be capable of understanding God’s abilities and capabilities? And, if that is the case, why are there no efforts being made to do so?
The initial entropy of the universe blows even that comparison of ‘the ratio of one grain of sand to all the beaches on earth’ out of the water.
Dr. Bruce Gordon, commenting on the initial entropy of the universe, states, “that fraction turns out to be,, 1 over 10 to the 10 to the 123rd power. Let me just emphasize how big that denominator is so you can gain a real appreciation for how small that probability is. So there are 10^80th baryons in the universe. Protons and neutrons. No suppose we put a zero on every one of those. OK, how many zeros is that? That is 10^80th zeros. This number has 10^123rd zeros. OK, so you would need a hundred million, trillion, trillion, trillion, universes our size, with zero on every proton and neutron in all of those universes just to write out this number. That is how fine tuned the initial entropy of our universe is. And if there were a pre-Big Bang state and you had some bounces, then that fine tuning (for entropy) gets even finer as you go backwards if you can even imagine such a thing.”
This extreme fine-tuning of the initial entropy of the universe creates some fairly embarrassing problems for atheistic naturalists.
As Dr. William Lane Craig explains, “If our universe were but one member of a multiverse of randomly ordered worlds, then it is vastly more probable that we should be observing a much smaller universe. For example, the odds of our solar system’s being formed instantly by the random collision of particles is about 1 in 10^10(60), a vast number, but inconceivably smaller than 1 in 10^10(123). (Penrose calls it “utter chicken feed” by comparison [The Road to Reality (Knopf, 2005), pp. 762-5]). Or again, if our universe is but one member of a multiverse, then we ought to be observing highly extraordinary events, like horses’ popping into and out of existence by random collisions, or perpetual motion machines, since these are vastly more probable than all of nature’s constants and quantities’ falling by chance into the virtually infinitesimal life-permitting range. Observable universes like those strange worlds are simply much more plenteous in the ensemble of universes than worlds like ours and, therefore, ought to be observed by us if the universe were but a random member of a multiverse of worlds. Since we do not have such observations, that fact strongly disconfirms the multiverse hypothesis. On naturalism, at least, it is therefore highly probable that there is no multiverse. — Penrose puts it bluntly “these world ensemble hypothesis are worse than useless in explaining the anthropic fine-tuning of the universe”.
On top of the fact that Boltzmann Brains, via the initial 1 in 10^10^123 entropy of the universe, refutes naturalism as a coherent explanation for the initial entropy of our universe, entropy and how it relate to quantum mechanics, also empirically refutes naturalism as a rational explanation for the initial 1 in 10^10^123 entropy of our universe.
One line of empirical evidence is the Quantum Zeno effect.
An old entry in wikipedia described the Quantum Zeno effect as such “an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.”
Likewise, the present day entry on wikipedia about the Quantum Zeno effect also provocatively states that “a system can’t change while you are watching it”
Atheistic materialists have tried to get around the Quantum Zeno effect by postulating that interactions with the environment are sufficient to explain the Quantum Zeno effect.
Yet, the following interaction-free measurement of the Quantum Zeno effect demonstrated that the presence of the Quantum Zeno effect can be detected without interacting with a single atom.
In short, the quantum zeno effect, regardless of how atheistic materialists may feel about it, is experimentally shown to be a real effect that is not reducible to any possible materialistic explanation.
Moreover, on top of the Quantum Zeno effect demonstrating that the ‘observer’ must somehow have a intimate relationship with entropy in that “an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay’,,, on top of that fact, in 2011 researchers “show that when the bits to be deleted are quantum-mechanically entangled with the state of an observer, then the observer could even withdraw heat from the system while deleting the bits. Entanglement links the observer’s state to that of the computer in such a way that they know more about the memory than is possible in classical physics.,,,
In measuring entropy, one should bear in mind that an object does not have a certain amount of entropy per se, instead an object’s entropy is always dependent on the observer.”
Likewise, in the following 2010 experimental realization of Maxwell’s demon thought experiment, it was demonstrated that knowledge of a particle’s location and/or position converts information into energy.
And as the following 2017 article states: James Clerk Maxwell (said), “The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge.”,,,
quantum information theory,,, describes the spread of information through quantum systems.,,,
Fifteen years ago, “we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system,” he said. “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
Again to repeat that last sentence, “Now in (quantum) information theory, we wouldn’t say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system.”,,,
This statement is just fascinating! Why in blue blazes should the finely tuned entropic actions of the universe, entropic actions which also happen to explain time itself,,,,
,,, why in blue blazes should the finely tuned entropic actions of the universe even care if I am consciously observing them unless ‘conscious observation’ really is more foundational to reality than the finely tuned 1 in 10^10^123 entropy of the universe is? To state the blatantly obvious, this finding of entropy being “a property of an observer who describes a system.” is very friendly to a Mind First, and/or to a Theistic view of reality which holds that it is the Mind of God who is “describing the universe” and is thus behind the initial 1 in 10^10^123 initial entropy of the universe.
Moreover, Christianity predicted God to be behind the initial entropy of the universe. For instance, Romans chapter 8: verses 20 and 21 itself states, “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
Thus atheistic naturalism is refuted as an explanation for the creation of the universe by mathematics, via Boltzmann Brains, and is also refuted by quantum mechanics, via the Quantum Zeno Effect and experimental realization of the Maxwell Demon thought experiment.
As well this line of evidence from thermodynamics, i.e. quantum information theory, also plays out in the Darwinism vs. Intelligent Design debate in molecular biology.
Thus, the Intelligent Design advocate, due to these recent advances in quantum mechanics and quantum information theory in particular, as far as empirical science itself is concerned, is presently sitting in a very good position as far as validating his contention that is must be the Mind of God behind the creation of the universe as well as God being behind the creation of all life on earth.
Or perhaps you need to stop saying things that don’t follow from what I post.
It is your fault and now you are trying to blame me for your bias.
Sir Isaac Newton and many others, saw science as a way of understanding God’s Creation. We know what God/ the Designer(s) is capable of by what we have observed. And guess what? We know that the ancients were capable of building giant structures because we have them to study! We know they were capable of designing and building the Antikythera mechanism because we found one.
And we still don’t know who designed it nor who built it nor how they did it.
And Newton was a total vindictive jerk.
Ignoring the poor grammar, no we don’t. We know what people claim he is capable of.
Agreed. And how many of them were Christians? The pyramids?
Again, yup. Is anyone suggesting that any “designer” other than a human one did this? No?
Let me jump out on a limb. Human, human, and through processes that humans are capable of. How does this relate to the flagellum? It doesn’t? Good boy.
And you are a willfully ignorant troll.
Yes, we do.
Not the point but you don’t have anything to explain it. The point is we know what intelligent designers are capable of by what they have left behind for us to find and study.
LoL! “Human” is a what, not a who, followed by vague question-begging.
KNOWLEDGE of cause-and-effect relationships. You don’t have anything to explain its existence and ID does.
I am pretty sure that not one of the pyramids was Christian.
I just wrote a comment on this very subject, from a biological perspective, in a different thread. This line of understanding can be fairly derived from the work of Peirce, Turing, von Neumann, Crick, Hoagland, Brenner, Zamecnik, Nirenberg, Pattee, and others.
NOTE: Reaper, I hope you’ll attempt to step up your commenting a bit.
Why? You haven’t demonstrated so far that you are someone worth responding to. Maybe if you pick up your game..,
Nope. Just taking my mother’s advice. “Respect is earned, not given.” Come back when you have earned it. There’s no rush. I know I certainly won’t be waiting. In the interim, feel free to try to have an intellectual discussion with ET. You two seem to be perfect for each other. If you two are interested in a SSM, I know an officiate you can use.
Apparently it doesn’t matter to you that your comment in #20 is incoherent. And both your comments in #18 and #20 betray a clear (if sophomoric) desire to portray strength and run away. Not to worry, no one is stopping you.
UB, did you want ET’s number in Mass? You two have so much in common it would be a shame if you two didn’t spend some quality time together. 🙂
RP, UB is quite right. I suggest you ponder SETI and say Sci Fi literature to see just how bizarre are talking points that try to lock down inductive reasoning on evidence of intelligence to human intelligence. To see just how bizarre, try the logic of being linked necessary being core of mathematics, as a case where we see universal principles of intelligible nature that relate to any intelligence in any possible world. That is how powerful intelligence is, here literally beyond universal. KF
There is order in the universe that was created by something with far greater intelligence than we possess. All equations already exist and must have originated from something. There are absolutes that do exist in the universe and absolutes are not random. Pi is seen everywhere and there’s nothing random about it. All the evidence of a great intellect behind the very creation of the universe is there and there and can be witnessed.
The fact that we can recognize the order and find the equations that already exist shows just how unique we are. Rats do not see the order of the trap and many have had their necks snapped. We can see the mechanism of the trap and know how it works, but rats never will. Our intellect is clearly superior to that of the rat and our intelligence is little better when it comes to understanding the intelligence that created the universe and all the laws that exist.
Some time ago on another thread I wrote:
Or in terms of the principle of sufficient reason: If the universe is contingent (it had a beginning in space and time) then it lacks a sufficient reason for its own existence. Invoking the so-called multiverse does not solve this problem because a collection of contingent things, even a larger or infinite collection of contingent things is not sufficient to explain its own existence. That was Leibniz’s point in his argument refuting an infinite regress.
Also notice that for the atheist to argue that only contingent things exist he must smuggle in, or coopt, some theological concepts: infinite being, eternality and transcendence. For example, invoking the multiverse is an attempt to bring in an outside “transcendent” cause. Furthermore, it’s a purely metaphysical argument that is neither self-evidently true nor scientifically provable. Even if we are someday in the far distant future we are able to create artificial wormholes, as Kip Thorne suggest in his book, Black Holes & Time Warps, which he argues could theoretically tunnel through into another universe, how would we know that we are really in another universe? How could we ever know that there are an infinite number of other universes? In other words, are we supposed to accept (believe) the idea of the multiverse on faith? So then it appears that the claim that atheistic naturalism/materialism is more reasonable than theism is just so much pretension and posturing.
Furthermore, none of this explains why we as a species are “hardwired” to ask these kind of questions? Why do we feel so compelled to explain our own existence?
OK, so Reaper is a willfully ignorant troll who couldn’t form a coherent argument if its life depended on it. Reaper fits in perfectly with the cowardly evoTARD minions who think there belligerence is an argument.
We know that Reaper will never earn any respect from anyone besides another evoTARD.
ET @ 26
You could have just as easily called him a typical Darwinist. None of them have any evidence to actually support their claims and they never will. It isn’t about science and they don’t really care that evolution does not hold up to scientific scrutiny. It’s a cult mindset and nothing else matters to them. They have their talking points and their anger, but nothing to prove evolution exists at all.
They ignore the lack of evidence while attacking those who point to actual science. Not one has ever shown a single positive mutation to have been witnessed by anyone. No matter what they throw at fruit flies and E. coli, they cannot get the expected results. They cannot explain the complexity of the single celled organism, which Darwin believed had to be simple to make it work.