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Copernican Principle (Earth is ordinary) fails to predict?

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Dr Sheldon
Rob Sheldon

Further to the claim that “our sun is just a typical star,”a friend wondered what this paragraph in Chas A. Egan’s “Dark Energy, Anthropic Selection Effects, Entropy and Life” means:

It is with great esteem that we remember these pioneers of modern science, who taught us that observational evidence trumps philosophical aesthetics. However, upon pedantic inspection, the Copernican idea leads to untrue predictions. For example, if we did occupy a mediocre vantage point then the density of our immediate environment would be ~10^-30 g cm^-3 However the density of our actual environment is g cm ^ 3>. A napkin calculation considering the density and size of collapsed objects suggest the chance of us living in an environment as dense or denser by pure chance is around 1 in ~10^30 —a significant signal.

Physicist Rob Sheldon offers a translation, and it turns on the Copernican Principle, popularized by Carl Sagan among others:

The Copernican principle suggests that we are not finely tuned, but everything around us is quite average: average sun, average planet, average moon, average solar system, average galaxy, average universe. You get the point.

If you take the mass of the universe (about 100 billion galaxies worth of matter) and divide by the size of the universe (13.7 billion light years in radius) then the average density of the universe is about one proton per liter. Now the air you are breathing is about 10^24 protons/liter (treating oxygen as 16 protons), and the water you are drinking is another 10000 times more dense than that. So in reality, we don’t live in an average density spot in the universe.

But it is worse than that. For our spot to be so dense, the amount of empty space in the universe must be 10^30 more frequent. So we not only live in an unusually dense spot, but also in a very specific location.

So right off the bat, the Copernican principle fails on matter, space and density. So why should we believe it on anything else? Isn’t what is being claimed “we are very average after we have controlled for the non-average variables”, which is right up there with “you are 99% chimpanzee after we remove the non-chimp parts”.

See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (cosmology).

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Requiem for a Media Hoax http://magisterialfundies.blogspot.ca/2014/05/youtube-link-now-up-principle-under.html Youtube link of full interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvR7pMqAEso The Principle website: http://www.theprinciplemovie.com/ ServusDei
"The Principle" Fights Back! See It Live! Livestream.com The link above takes you to the actual site of the show, which will go live Wed May, 28 2014 8:00 PM EDT! Update concerning The Principle movie The Principle website: Here ServusDei
related note: podcast - In no ordinary presentation, Dr. Easterbrook (Professor Emeritus of Geology at Western Washington University) bombards the committee with an overwhelming arsenal of data and observations contrary to the theory of anthropogenic global warming. As the Internet jargon goes, this is a "must listen." http://themindrenewed.com/episodes/268-ep007 bornagain77
The Cold Trap: How It Works - Michael Denton - May 10, 2014 Excerpt: As water vapor ascends in the atmosphere, it cools and condenses out, forming clouds and rain and snow and falling back to the Earth. This process becomes very intense at the so-called tropopause (17-10 km above sea level) where air temperatures reach -80°C and all remaining water in the atmosphere is frozen out. The air in the layer of the atmosphere above the troposphere in the stratosphere (extending up to 50 km above mean sea level) is absolutely dry, containing oxygen, nitrogen, some CO and the other atmospheric gases, but virtually no H2O molecules.,,, ,,,above 80-100 km, atoms and molecules are subject to intense ionizing radiation. If water ascended to this level it would be photo-dissociated into hydrogen and oxygen and, the hydrogen being very light, lost into space. Over a relatively short geological period all the water and oceans would be evaporated and the world uninhabitable.,,, Oxygen, having a boiling point of -183°C, has no such problems ascending through the tropopause cold trap into the stratosphere. As it does, it becomes subject to more and more intense ionizing radiation. However this leads,, to the formation of ozone (O3). This forms a protective layer in the atmosphere above the tropopause, perfectly placed just above the cold trap and preventing any ionizing radiation in the far UV region from reaching the H2O molecules at the tropopause and in the troposphere below. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/05/the_cold_trap_h085441.html bornagain77
VunderGuy, #32: Yes, it answers your question, but it's not the answer you were looking for. With the red shift being attributed to spatial inflation, and the acceleration of this inflation by hypothetical "dark energy," it's only natural for cosmologists to extrapolate back in time to when it supposedly all began, 13.8 billion years ago. Maybe it didn't begin as a singularity (or at least within Planck length). Maybe it all started with a fluffy, pink Easter bunny---one wouldn't be able to tell from the CMB. #33 You'll need to ditch the word "pure." Photons don't have a rest mass, but they do have momentum as if they did. Conversely, matter that's composed of atoms have electron shells and subshells at different energy levels---unless it's in the fourth state of matter called . . . #34 More of a thumb suck, really. It's pure speculation without any experimentation or tangible evidence. #35 No. -Q Querius
@Querius #32: Cute, but it doesn't answer my question. #33: No, I meant an extra-qualifier between pure and matter or energy. Something to dictate was TYPE of pure matter or energy you're talking about. #34: So, it's more a thought experiment if anything, right? #35: Are you talking about the O-mega constant? VunderGuy
LOL. Why are you plastering me with questions, VunderGuy? #32 - Ok.
In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. - John 1:1
The LORD wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent. - Psalm 104:2
#33 "Pure" is already a qualifier. Did you read up on plasma? #34 Hawking recognized the problems with entropy, quantum fluctuations requiring time, and the interdependency of time, space, and mass. So he wrote a science fantasy book compatible with his philosophy. He solved his problem with the beginning of time by defining "beginning" out of existence, and imagined universes that spawn other universes continually like the bubbling water in his tea kettle. #35 Sure, but first tell me the minimum value of Pi in curved space. -Q Querius
@Querius Also, how does something that is spatially infinite have a beginning like the proposed euclidean geometry to solve the flatness problem of the universe? VunderGuy
@Querius "In theoretical physics, the Hartle–Hawking state, named after James Hartle and Stephen Hawking, is a proposal concerning the state of the universe prior to the Planck epoch. Hartle–Hawking is essentially a no-boundary proposal that the universe is infinitely finite: that there was no time before the Big Bang because time did not exist before the formation of spacetime associated with the Big Bang and subsequent expansion of the universe in space and time. Hartle and Hawking suggest that if we could travel backward in time toward the beginning of the universe, we would note that quite near what might have otherwise been the beginning, time gives way to space such that at first there is only space and no time. Beginnings are entities that have to do with time; because time did not exist before the Big Bang, the concept of a beginning of the universe is meaningless. According to the Hartle–Hawking proposal, the universe has no origin as we would understand it: the universe was a singularity in both space and time, pre-Big Bang. Thus, the Hartle–Hawking state universe has no beginning, but it is not the steady state universe of Hoyle; it simply has no initial boundaries in time nor space.[1]" So... what? VunderGuy
@Querius So, in other words, saying something is 'Pure Energy' without a qualifier is indeed like saying something is 'Pure Mass' without a qualifier? VunderGuy
@Querius Also, could you please describe big bang models that do not involve a singularity, such as Hawking's model? VunderGuy
VunderGuy, Here, check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_%28cosmology%29 Einstein's famous equation, e=mc^2 describes the relationship between mass (matter) and energy. The way that it's derived (from f=ma) includes increases in mass with increases in velocity. You might also be interested in looking into the role of plasma in the universe. -Q Querius
Speaking of physics, isn't saying that something is made out of 'Pure Energy' sort of like saying something is made of 'Pure Matter' in terms of weirdness? VunderGuy
@Querius WHICH inflation theory? VunderGuy
Is Earth's Apparent Design for Life Simply the "Most Severe Case of Observational Bias in the History of Science"? - Michael Denton - May 9, 2014 http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/05/is_earths_appar085391.html bornagain77
Actually, Piotr, your typographical error was the beginning of the evolution of a new and profound new thought. You must embrace it. It's nothing to be ashamed about. ;-) bornagain77 wrote:
Indeed, instead of eating us, time after time these different types of microbial life are found to be helping us in essential ways that have nothing to do with their ability to successfully reproduce,,,
Indeed! The problem with Darwinism is that it consistently fails to predict anything new. Other than that it's a wonderful theory. The dynamically evolving "theory of evolution" also doesn't predict anything, but rather simply accommodates any new data---a sort of intellectual amoeba. And by the way, lukebarnes, with the inflation theory, EVERY point in the universe is the center of the universe. Think about it. -Q Querius
you would have got away to say
... you would have got away with saying... There should be an "Edit" button somewhere. Piotr
How can we calculate the probability of life existing elsewhere in the universe when the only example we have is Earth and we (i.e., scientists) don’t even know how life arose on it? How did pseudoscience become mainstream science?
A few decades ago you would have got away to say the same thing about the existence of other planetary systems. None were known an no-one had the foggiest idea how to look for them. I remember talk about the absolute uniqueness of the Solar system. We had only one example of such a thing, right? There were people who frowned when that uniqueness was questioned, as if absence of evidence were evidence of absence. Drake's "educated guess" that 0.2-0.5 od stars had planets was ridiculed as "idle speculation" or "science fiction" (it was actually too conservative; it now seems that nearly all stars have planets). Then the first exoplanet was discovered, new planet-hunting methods were developed -- and, as of now, 1000+ planetary systems have been confirmed. We are learning fast about their typology and distribution. So now the same sceptics or their similarly minded successors are moving the goalposts: "All right, there may be billions of billions of planets, but we know only one example of a planet with life." That's true, but the presence of life is extremely difficult to detect at interstellar distances. To be honest, no-one has the foggiest idea how to look for it... Doesn't it sound familiar? Piotr
That’s a huge difference in numbers of galaxies, sir! 100 billion to 500 billion? But no matter. Take the 500 billion figure.
Galaxies, especially very distant ones, are not so easy to count (one reason is that our own Milky Way contains a lot of stuff that blocks the view), so there are naturally different estimates. But it isn't a huge difference -- it's less than an order of magnitude.
Joe said there were 15 conditions that had to be met.
Based on what? Anyway, Joe said that 11 conditions were necesserary for metazoans. It's irrelevant. The Earth wasn't fit for metazoans when life developed here.
But, back to the issue. The only reason you think abiogenesis could occur on another planet is that you think life evolved by totally natural processes here on earth. Taking that as a given, then you reason there should be more life out there somewhere.
I do happen to think so, but why should it be the only possible reason? You could be a creationist or believe in some other form of ID, and still accept the possibility that the designer's activity isn't limited to one planet in one galaxy. Would it make you feel small and insecure if there were life elsewhere in the Universe? Piotr
"(Phys.org)—Solar systems with life-bearing planets may be rare if they are dependent on the presence of asteroid belts of just the right mass, according to a study by Rebecca Martin, a NASA Sagan Fellow from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and astronomer Mario Livio of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md." "They suggest that the size and location of an asteroid belt, shaped by the evolution of the sun's protoplanetary disk and by the gravitational influence of a nearby giant Jupiter-like planet, may determine whether complex life will evolve on an Earth-like planet..."
11/01/12. ref - Asteroid belts of just the right size are friendly to life, http://phys.org/news/2012-11-asteroid-belts-size-friendly-life.html tjguy
Piotr says:
"And there are an estimated 100-500 billion galaxies in the observable Universe, and that means billions of billions of Earth-like planets. Even if the necessary conditions for the origin of life are still more specific, it’s hard to imagine that the Earth is the only planet that meets them."
That's a huge difference in numbers of galaxies, sir! 100 billion to 500 billion? But no matter. Take the 500 billion figure. And we'll give you your billions and billions of earth like planets - although this is simply speculation at this point. And even if there are this many planets, that number is vastly reduced by all the different conditions that are required for life - at least 11 of them. The chances of of any planet meeting all 11 are extremely low. (Joe said there were 15 conditions that had to be met.) But perhaps some of these planets meet all of these conditions. Does that make it likely that life evolved there in your mind? Do you think life evolving on our planet was a fluke or do you think it is an easy problem to overcome as long as all the conditions for life are met? (I realize personal belief doesn't indicate reality all the time, but I'm interested in what you believe at this point.) But, back to the issue. The only reason you think abiogenesis could occur on another planet is that you think life evolved by totally natural processes here on earth. Taking that as a given, then you reason there should be more life out there somewhere. Fine. If life did evolve by totally natural processes here, then you could be right, but unfortunately, this is simply a matter of faith at this point. We really don't know the answer to that question. And right now, the evidence seems to point against that. And, if life did NOT evolve here, but was created, then it really doesn't matter how many billions of galaxies or planets exist out there. Life still won't emerge from chemicals all on it's own. tjguy
The fact that there is life on Earth makes it very special indeed. Mapou
How can we calculate the probability of life existing elsewhere in the universe when the only example we have is Earth and we (i.e., scientists) don't even know how life arose on it? How did pseudoscience become mainstream science? Mapou
If life exists only on Earth, that would either be extremely lucky - or designed. If life is abundant in the Universe, then we can rule out luck. But not design. Same with a multiverse. ppolish
"We don’t live in the Star Trek universe." HERESY! BAN THIS PERSON! Mung
Indeed Piotr why don't bacteria eat us instead of helping us eat? Richard Dawkins interview with a 'Darwinian' physician goes off track - video Excerpt: "I am amazed, Richard, that what we call metazoans, multi-celled organisms, have actually been able to evolve, and the reason [for amazement] is that bacteria and viruses replicate so quickly -- a few hours sometimes, they can reproduce themselves -- that they can evolve very, very quickly. And we're stuck with twenty years at least between generations. How is it that we resist infection when they can evolve so quickly to find ways around our defenses?" http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/07/video_to_dawkin062031.html i.e. Since successful reproduction is all that really matters on a neo-Darwinian view of things, how can anything but successful reproduction be realistically 'selected' for? Any other function besides reproduction, such as sight, hearing, thinking, etc.., would be highly superfluous to the primary criteria of successfully reproducing, and should, on a Darwinian view, be discarded as so much excess baggage since it would slow down successful reproduction. But that is not what we find: Doubting Darwin: Algae Findings Surprise Scientists - April 28, 2014 Excerpt: One of Charles Darwin's hypotheses posits that closely related species will compete for food and other resources more strongly with one another than with distant relatives, because they occupy similar ecological niches. Most biologists long have accepted this to be true. Thus, three researchers were more than a little shaken to find that their experiments on fresh water green algae failed to support Darwin's theory — at least in one case. One of Charles Darwin's hypotheses posits that closely related species will compete for food and other resources more strongly with one another than with distant relatives, because they occupy similar ecological niches. Most biologists long have accepted this to be true. Thus, three researchers were more than a little shaken to find that their experiments on fresh water green algae failed to support Darwin's theory — at least in one case. "It was completely unexpected," says Bradley Cardinale, associate professor in the University of Michigan's school of natural resources & environment. "When we saw the results, we said 'this can't be."' We sat there banging our heads against the wall. Darwin's hypothesis has been with us for so long, how can it not be right?" The researchers ,,,— were so uncomfortable with their results that they spent the next several months trying to disprove their own work. But the research held up.,,, The scientists did not set out to disprove Darwin, but, in fact, to learn more about the genetic and ecological uniqueness of fresh water green algae so they could provide conservationists with useful data for decision-making. "We went into it assuming Darwin to be right, and expecting to come up with some real numbers for conservationists," Cardinale says. "When we started coming up with numbers that showed he wasn't right, we were completely baffled.",,, Darwin "was obsessed with competition," Cardinale says. "He assumed the whole world was composed of species competing with each other, but we found that one-third of the species of algae we studied actually like each other. They don't grow as well unless you put them with another species. It may be that nature has a heck of a lot more mutualisms than we ever expected. "Maybe species are co-evolving," he adds. "Maybe they are evolving together so they are more productive as a team than they are individually. We found that more than one-third of the time, that they like to be together. Maybe Darwin's presumption that the world may be dominated by competition is wrong." http://www.livescience.com/45205-data-dont-back-up-darwin-in-algae-study-nsf-bts.html Indeed, instead of eating us, time after time these different types of microbial life are found to be helping us in essential ways that have nothing to do with their ability to successfully reproduce,,, NIH Human Microbiome Project defines normal bacterial makeup of the body – June 13, 2012 Excerpt: Microbes inhabit just about every part of the human body, living on the skin, in the gut, and up the nose. Sometimes they cause sickness, but most of the time, microorganisms live in harmony with their human hosts, providing vital functions essential for human survival. http://www.nih.gov/news/health/jun2012/nhgri-13.htm bornagain77
Piotr, and how is the 'terraforming' of the earth for higher life by the complex bio-geochemical processes bacteria are involved in conducive to Atheistic evolutionary thought? i.e Why should bacteria care about us at all? The Microbial Engines That Drive Earth’s Biogeochemical Cycles - Falkowski 2008 Excerpt: Microbial life can easily live without us; we, however, cannot survive without the global catalysis and environmental transformations it provides. - Paul G. Falkowski - Professor Geological Sciences - Rutgers http://www.genetics.iastate.edu/delong1.pdf Engineering and Science Magazine - Caltech - March 2010 Excerpt: “Without these microbes, the planet would run out of biologically available nitrogen in less than a month,” Realizations like this are stimulating a flourishing field of “geobiology” – the study of relationships between life and the earth. One member of the Caltech team commented, “If all bacteria and archaea just stopped functioning, life on Earth would come to an abrupt halt.” Microbes are key players in earth’s nutrient cycles. Dr. Orphan added, “...every fifth breath you take, thank a microbe.” http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev201003.htm#20100316a bornagain77
Piotr- you don't know if the earth is the only place for metazoans. You have no idea if metazoans originated here either. That said,unguided evolution cannot explain metazoans. And again if we are talking about earth-like planets then they have to have all of the criteria, not just one. Joe
Joe @13 But Metazoa are a clade of terrestial organisms. They originated on Earth and don't occur anywhere else in the Universe, so who cares how many planets are metazoan-friendly? By the way, the Earth itself was completely unsuitable for metazoans at the beginning of life and for the next two billion years or so. It was the Oxygen Catastrophe, brought about by photosynthesising cyanobacteria, that slowly prepared the stage for the earliest animals (and at the same time made the Earth a hostile place for most of its early anaerobic life). Piotr
Joe, what makes you think extraterrestrial life-forms would be metazoans?
That doesn't follow from what I said. I said there are many factors required to get a habitable planet for metazoans. Joe
"what makes you think extraterrestrial life-forms would be metazoans? We don’t live in the Star Trek universe." Since we do not live in a materialistic universe, but in a Theistic universe, what makes you think that 'extraterrestrial life' would have to be composed of material atoms?
“I was in a body, and the only way that I can describe it was a body of energy, or of light. And this body had a form. It had a head, it had arms and it had legs. And it was like it was made out of light. And it was everything that was me. All of my memories, my consciousness, everything.”,,, “And then this vehicle formed itself around me. Vehicle is the only thing, or tube, or something, but it was a mode of transportation that’s for sure! And it formed around me. And there was no one in it with me. I was in it alone. But I knew there were other people ahead of me and behind me. What they were doing I don’t know, but there were people ahead of me and people behind me, but I was alone in my particular conveyance. And I could see out of it. And it went at a tremendously, horrifically, rapid rate of speed. But it wasn’t unpleasant. It was beautiful in fact. I was reclining in this thing, I wasn’t sitting straight up, but I wasn’t lying down either. I was sitting back. And it was just so fast. I can’t even begin to tell you where it went or whatever it was just fast!" – Vicki Noratuk – Blind since birth - Near Death Experience testimony https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e65KhcCS5-Y The NDE and the Tunnel - Kevin Williams' research conclusions Excerpt: "I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn't walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn't really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different - the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven." Barbara Springer - Near Death Experience - The Tunnel - video https://vimeo.com/79072924
John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."
Piotr, There are at least 15 factors required to get a habitable planet- habitable for metazoans. That means ther would be very few earth-like planets.
Joe, what makes you think extraterrestrial life-forms would be metazoans? We don't live in the Star Trek universe. Piotr
As well there is also the 'Anthropic Inequality' which gives weight to the belief that humans are not as insignificant as atheists believe we are. Dr. Ross points out that the extremely long amount of time it took to prepare a suitable place for humans to exist in this universe, for the relatively short period of time that we can exist on this planet, is actually a point of evidence that argues strongly for Theism:
Anthropic Principle: A Precise Plan for Humanity By Hugh Ross Excerpt: Brandon Carter, the British mathematician who coined the term “anthropic principle” (1974), noted the strange inequity of a universe that spends about 15 billion years “preparing” for the existence of a creature that has the potential to survive no more than 10 million years (optimistically).,, Carter and (later) astrophysicists John Barrow and Frank Tipler demonstrated that the inequality exists for virtually any conceivable intelligent species under any conceivable life-support conditions. Roughly 15 billion years represents a minimum preparation time for advanced life: 11 billion toward formation of a stable planetary system, one with the right chemical and physical conditions for primitive life, and four billion more years toward preparation of a planet within that system, one richly layered with the biodeposits necessary for civilized intelligent life. Even this long time and convergence of “just right” conditions reflect miraculous efficiency. Moreover the physical and biological conditions necessary to support an intelligent civilized species do not last indefinitely. They are subject to continuous change: the Sun continues to brighten, Earth’s rotation period lengthens, Earth’s plate tectonic activity declines, and Earth’s atmospheric composition varies. In just 10 million years or less, Earth will lose its ability to sustain human life. In fact, this estimate of the human habitability time window may be grossly optimistic. In all likelihood, a nearby supernova eruption, a climatic perturbation, a social or environmental upheaval, or the genetic accumulation of negative mutations will doom the species to extinction sometime sooner than twenty thousand years from now. http://christiangodblog.blogspot.com/2006_12_01_archive.html
As a Christian, I like the metaphor of 'preparing for a wedding' that Dr. Ross uses in the following video to illustrate the disparity that 'The Anthropic Inequality' presents in terms of time:
Hugh Ross - The Anthropic Principle and The Anthropic Inequality - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8494065/
Moreover, the foundation of the universe itself, much contrary to Dawkins' assertion of 'blind, pitiless, indifference',,,
"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference." Richard Dawkins
,,, instead the foundation of the universe reveals a universe that 'seems to care':
The Galileo Affair and Life/Consciousness as the true "Center of the Universe" Except: I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its 'uncertain' 3D state is centered on each individual conscious observer in the universe, whereas, 4D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism, Christian Theism in particular, offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe. [15] https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BHAcvrc913SgnPcDohwkPnN4kMJ9EDX-JJSkjc4AXmA/edit
Psalm 33:13-15 The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.
Related notes:
The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences - Eugene Wigner - 1960 Excerpt: We now have, in physics, two theories of great power and interest: the theory of quantum phenomena and the theory of relativity.,,, The two theories operate with different mathematical concepts: the four dimensional Riemann space and the infinite dimensional Hilbert space, http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc/MathDrama/reading/Wigner.html Dr. Quantum in Flatland - 3D in a 2D world – video http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/9395/Dr_Quantum_Flatland_Explanation_3D_in_a_2D_world/ The Mathematics Of Higher Dimensionality – Gauss and Riemann – video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6199520/
Of related interest:
The Scale of The Universe - Part 2 - interactive graph (recently updated in 2012 with cool features) http://htwins.net/scale2/scale2.swf?bordercolor=white
The preceding interactive graph points out that the smallest scale visible to the human eye (as well as a human egg) is at 10^-4 meters, which 'just so happens' to be directly in the exponential center of all possible sizes of our physical reality (not just ‘nearly’ in the exponential center!). i.e. 10^-4 is, exponentially, right in the middle of 10^-35 meters, which is the smallest possible unit of length, which is Planck length, and 10^27 meters, which is the largest possible unit of 'observable' length since space-time was created in the Big Bang, which is the diameter of the universe. This is very interesting for, as far as I can tell, the limits to human vision (as well as the size of the human egg) could have, theoretically, been at very different positions than directly in the exponential middle; All in all, I would have to say we have come a long way from Drake, Sagan, and Dawkins' simplistic notions that man is insignificant in the universe: Verse and Music:
Isaiah 45:18-19 For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘seek me in vain’; I, the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.” How Great Is Our God (World Edition) [feat. Chris Tomlin] - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg5qDljEw7Q&feature=c4-overview&list=UU--bRDxn5YWEiqs3p8zzvlw
And when one factors in the supposed naturalistic origin of life, the probabilities explode into gargantuan proportions:
Does the Probability for ETI = 1? Excerpt: In another book I wrote with Fuz, Who Was Adam?, we describe calculations done by evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala and by astrophysicists John Barrow, Brandon Carter, and Frank Tipler for the probability that a bacterium would evolve under ideal natural conditions—given the presumption that the mechanisms for natural biological evolution are both effective and rapid. They determine that probability to be no more than 10-24,000,000. The bottom line is that rather than the probability for extraterrestrial intelligent life being 1 as Aczel claims, very conservatively from a naturalistic perspective it is much less than 10^500 + 22 -1054 -100,000,000,000 -24,000,000. That is, it is less than 10-100,024,000,532. In longhand notation it would be 0.00 … 001 with 100,024,000,531 zeros (100 billion, 24 million, 5 hundred and thirty-one zeros) between the decimal point and the 1. That longhand notation of the probability would fill over 20,000 complete Bibles. http://www.reasons.org/does-probability-eti-1
Of note: As far as scientific calculations are concerned, determining how close a probability is to zero, only Penrose's 1 in 10^10^123 calculation, for the initial phase-space (Entropy) of the universe, is closer to zero, as far as I have personally seen. And while, from a probabilistic point of view, that certainly turns the Drake Equation on its head, there is another point that Gonzalez and Richards drew out in their book to make the case that man is not as insignificant as atheists believe we are. That point is the correlation of habitability and observability
The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole. - Jay Richards Privileged Planet - Habitability/Observability Correlation - Gonzalez and Richards - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5424431 The Privileged Planet - The Correlation Of Habitability and Observability “The same narrow circumstances that allow us to exist also provide us with the best over all conditions for making scientific discoveries.” “The one place that has observers is the one place that also has perfect solar eclipses.” “There is a final, even more bizarre twist. Because of Moon-induced tides, the Moon is gradually receding from Earth at 3.82 centimeters per year. In ten million years will seem noticeably smaller. At the same time, the Sun’s apparent girth has been swelling by six centimeters per year for ages, as is normal in stellar evolution. These two processes, working together, should end total solar eclipses in about 250 million years, a mere 5 percent of the age of the Earth. This relatively small window of opportunity also happens to coincide with the existence of intelligent life. Put another way, the most habitable place in the Solar System yields the best view of solar eclipses just when observers can best appreciate them.” - Guillermo Gonzalez - Astronomer Privileged Planet pg 28
of related 'observability correlation' interest;
We Live At The Right Time In Cosmic History (To see the Cosmic Background Radiation) - Hugh Ross - video http://vimeo.com/31940671
Dr. Robin Collins recently released a paper (pre-print I believe) that extended the observability/habitability correlation to the fine-tuning argument for, among other things, the Cosmic Background Radiation being fit for observers like us:
The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability - Robin Collins - March 22, 2014 Excerpt: The most dramatic confirmation of the discoverability/livability optimality thesis (DLO) is the dependence of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) on the baryon to photon ratio.,,, ...the intensity of CMB depends on the photon to baryon ratio, (??b), which is the ratio of the average number of photons per unit volume of space to the average number of baryons (protons plus neutrons) per unit volume. At present this ratio is approximately a billion to one (10^9) , but it could beanywhere from one to infinity; it traces back to the degree of asymmetry in matter and anti - matter right after the beginning of the universe – for approximately every billion particles of antimatter, there was a billion and one particles of matter.,,, The only livability effect this ratio has is on whether or not galaxies can form that have near - optimally livability zones. As long as this condition is met, the value of this ratio has no further effects on livability. Hence, the DLO predicts that within this range, the value of this ratio will be such as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers. According to my calculations – which have been verified by three other physicists -- to within the margin of error of the experimentally determined parameters (~20%), the value of the photon to baryon ratio is such that it maximizes the CMB. This is shown in Figure 1 below. (pg. 13) It is easy to see that this prediction could have been disconfirmed. In fact, when I first made the calculations in the fall of 2011, I made a mistake and thought I had refuted this thesis since those calculations showed the intensity of the CMB maximizes at a value different than the photon - baryon ratio in our universe. So, not only does the DLO lead us to expect this ratio, but it provides an ultimate explanation for why it has this value,,, This is a case of a teleological thesis serving both a predictive and an ultimate explanatory role.,,, http://home.messiah.edu/~rcollins/Fine-tuning/Greer-Heard%20Forum%20paper%20draft%20for%20posting.pdf
Dr. Michael Denton extended the fine-tuning argument of chemistry towards humans in this paper from last year:
The Place of Life and Man in Nature: Defending the Anthropocentric Thesis - Michael J. Denton - February 25, 2013 Summary (page 11) Many of the properties of the key members of Henderson’s vital ensemble —water, oxygen, CO2, HCO3 —are in several instances fit specifically for warm-blooded, air-breathing organisms such as ourselves. These include the thermal properties of water, its low viscosity, the gaseous nature of oxygen and CO2 at ambient temperatures, the inertness of oxygen at ambient temperatures, and the bicarbonate buffer, with its anomalous pKa value and the elegant means of acid-base regulation it provides for air-breathing organisms. Some of their properties are irrelevant to other classes of organisms or even maladaptive. It is very hard to believe there could be a similar suite of fitness for advanced carbon-based life forms. If carbon-based life is all there is, as seems likely, then the design of any active complex terrestrial being would have to closely resemble our own. Indeed the suite of properties of water, oxygen, and CO2 together impose such severe constraints on the design and functioning of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems that their design, even down to the details of capillary and alveolar structure can be inferred from first principles. For complex beings of high metabolic rate, the designs actualized in complex Terran forms are all that can be. There are no alternative physiological designs in the domain of carbon-based life that can achieve the high metabolic activity manifest in man and other higher organisms. http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2013.1/BIO-C.2013.1
As well, there are geometric considerations that overturn the notion that the earth, and therefore humans, are insignificant. Radio Astronomy reveals a privileged position for Earth in relation to the quasar and radio galaxy distributions in the universe:
Why is the solar system cosmically aligned? BY Dragan Huterer - 2007 The solar system seems to line up with the largest cosmic features. Is this mere coincidence or a signpost to deeper insights? Caption under figure on page 43: ODD ALIGNMENTS hide within the multipoles of the cosmic microwave background. In this combination of the quadrupole and octopole, a plane bisects the sphere between the largest warm and cool lobes. The ecliptic — the plane of Earth’s orbit projected onto the celestial sphere — is aligned parallel to the plane between the lobes. http://www-personal.umich.edu/~huterer/PRESS/CMB_Huterer.pdf
Of note: The preceding article was written before the Planck data (with WMPA & COBE data), but the multipoles were subsequently actually verified by Planck.
A Large Scale Pattern from Optical Quasar Polarization Vectors - 2013 http://arxiv.org/pdf/1311.6118.pdf Testing the Dipole Modulation Model in CMBR - 2013 http://arxiv.org/pdf/1308.0924.pdf Is there a violation of the Copernican principle in radio sky? - Ashok K. Singal - May 17, 2013 Abstract: Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) observations from the WMAP satellite have shown some unexpected anisotropies (directionally dependent observations), which surprisingly seem to be aligned with the ecliptic\cite {20,16,15}. The latest data from the Planck satellite have confirmed the presence of these anisotropies\cite {17}. Here we report even larger anisotropies in the sky distributions of powerful extended quasars and some other sub-classes of radio galaxies in the 3CRR catalogue, one of the oldest and most intensively studies sample of strong radio sources\cite{21,22,3}. The anisotropies lie about a plane passing through the two equinoxes and the north celestial pole (NCP). We can rule out at a 99.995% confidence level the hypothesis that these asymmetries are merely due to statistical fluctuations. Further, even the distribution of observed radio sizes of quasars and radio galaxies show large systematic differences between these two sky regions. The redshift distribution appear to be very similar in both regions of sky for all sources, which rules out any local effects to be the cause of these anomalies. Two pertinent questions then arise. First, why should there be such large anisotropies present in the sky distribution of some of the most distant discrete sources implying inhomogeneities in the universe at very large scales (covering a fraction of the universe)? What is intriguing even further is why such anisotropies should lie about a great circle decided purely by the orientation of earth's rotation axis and/or the axis of its revolution around the sun? It looks as if these axes have a preferential placement in the larger scheme of things, implying an apparent breakdown of the Copernican principle or its more generalization, cosmological principle, upon which all modern cosmological theories are based upon. http://arxiv.org/pdf/1305.4134.pdf
I have to agree with Piotr. When I was younger, I would look out on the immensity of the universe,, the sheer grandeur of it all, and,, besides inspiring a sense of awe in me, the immensity of the universe would make me feel quite insignificant indeed,,,
The Biggest Stars in the Universe - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bcz4vGvoxQA George Smoot: The design of the universe – (2008) video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c64Aia4XE1Y Psalm 8: 3-4 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?
Thus when Piotr, Sagan, Dawkins, and other atheists, appeal to the immensity of the universe, and to a very simplistic notion of probabilities, to say we are insignificant, then, to someone not armed with sufficient knowledge, their argument will appear to be somewhat reasonable.,,, In other words, although the argument that God's greatness is reflected by the immensity of the universe,,,
Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. "You could fit 262 trillion earths inside (the star of) Betelgeuse. If the Earth were a golfball that would be enough to fill up the Superdome (football stadium) with golfballs,,, 3000 times!!! When I heard that as a teenager that stumped me right there because most of my praying had been advising God, correcting God, suggesting things to God, drawing diagrams for God, reviewing things with God, counseling God." - Louie Giglio Louie Giglio - How Great Is Our God - Part 2 - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfNiZrt5FjU
,,,on the other hand, the argument that man is insignificant gains traction,,,
Psalm 8: 3-4 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?
As mentioned previously, there appear to be two main sides to the Atheist's argument for man's insignificance. First is a very simplistic notion of probabilities to their argument, and the second side is the immensity of the universe. As to the atheist's simplistic notion of probabilities, this was perhaps best summarized by Carl Sagan with the 'Drake Equation':
Carl Sagan - Cosmos - Drake Equation - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlikCebQSlY
Sagan, using very 'back of the envelope' calculations for the Drake Equation, came up with 1 billion habitable planets in our Milky Way galaxy alone. Astronomer Frank Drake himself (1930-present) proposed, in 1961, advanced life should be fairly common in the universe. Using his rather crude equation, he, like Sagan, plugged in some rather optimistic numbers and reasoned that ten worlds with advanced life should be in our Milky Way galaxy alone. At the time, this worked out to roughly one trillion worlds with advanced life throughout the entire universe. Much to the disappointment of Star Trek fans, the avalanche of recent scientific evidence has found the probability of finding another planet with the ability to host advanced life in this universe is not nearly as likely as astronomer Frank Drake had originally predicted. The main trouble with the 'Drake Equation' is, as Sagan admitted, we are dealing with several unknown factors. And as our knowledge has increased, the unknowns in the 'Drake Equation' have come back to haunt the atheist. The first hint, that I'm aware of, that the probabilities are not nearly as favorable for atheists as atheists imagine them to be, was elucidated in the book 'Rare Earth' by Ward and Brownlee:
"If some god-like being could be given the opportunity to plan a sequence of events with the expressed goal of duplicating our 'Garden of Eden', that power would face a formidable task. With the best of intentions but limited by natural laws and materials it is unlikely that Earth could ever be truly replicated. Too many processes in its formation involve sheer luck. Earth-like planets could certainly be made, but each would differ in critical ways. This is well illustrated by the fantastic variety of planets and satellites (moons) that formed in our solar system. They all started with similar building materials, but the final products are vastly different from each other . . . . The physical events that led to the formation and evolution of the physical Earth required an intricate set of nearly irreproducible circumstances." Peter B. Ward and Donald Brownlee, Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe (New York: Copernicus, 2000) Compositions of Extrasolar Planets - July 2010 Excerpt: ,,,the presumption that extrasolar terrestrial planets will consistently manifest Earth-like chemical compositions is incorrect. Instead, the simulations revealed “a wide variety of resulting planetary compositions. http://www.reasons.org/compositions-extrasolar-planets
This argument was further extended by Gonzalez and Richards in their book and documentary 'Privileged Planet':
The Privileged Planet - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnWyPIzTOTw A Privileged Understanding of The Privileged Planet? Excerpt: In fact, in the book (Privileged Planet), a revised Drake equation (see Appendix A, on p. 337) is proposed to include additional factors that are now considered to contribute to the likelihood of civilized life existing in the universe. In the book, some of the particular factors are specifically discussed and shown that the actual probability is much smaller than 10% (p. 340-341). Since there is still much being learned in this area of cosmology, it is likely that many of the factors will be substantially less than 10%, and additional factors may need to be added. http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1403
Dr. Hugh Ross, and his team, using currently available data, implement a much more extreme refinement of the Drake Equation here:
Linked from Appendix C from Dr. Ross's book, 'Why the Universe Is the Way It Is'; Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. 10^-1333 dependency factors estimate approx. 10^324 longevity requirements estimate approx. 10^45 Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. 10^-1054 Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe approx. 10^22 Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^1032 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles. http://www.reasons.org/files/compendium/compendium_part3.pdf Hugh Ross - Evidence For Intelligent Design Is Everywhere (10^-1054) - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4347236
Piotr, There are at least 15 factors required to get a habitable planet- habitable for metazoans. That means ther would be very few earth-like planets. Being in a habitable zone is just one required factor. Joe
So we not only live in an unusually dense spot, but also in a very specific location. We are already in a position to estimate the number of "dense spots" of the type we call planets in the Milky Way. The lower estimate is about 100 billion; the higher, about 10 trillion. Even if the odds are rather low (say, 1/1000) that a randomly selected planet is roughly Earth-sized and located in its star's (and its galaxy's) "habitable zone", it still means that there are millions, if not billions, of sufficiently "specific" locations in our Galaxy alone. And there are an estimated 100-500 billion galaxies in the observable Universe, and that means billions of billions of Earth-like planets. Even if the necessary conditions for the origin of life are still more specific, it's hard to imagine that the Earth is the only planet that meets them. Piotr
Someday somewhere the Big Bang will be invisible to observers. Those cosmologists will have interesting theories based on their evidence:) ppolish
Even the radius of the visible part of the Universe is much larger "at present" (about 46 billion light years in the comoving frame of reference) because the space through which the light of the most distant galaxies has travelled has kept expanding since. The size of the invisible part is anybody's guess (but way larger than the observable part; that's for sure). Piotr
Isn't the radius of the Universe much larger than 13.7 billion light years? What we observe is limited by time not space right? ppolish
Wrong again. The Copernican Principle states that on large scales, the universe is not at the centre of the universe. Given that we observe that the universe is isotropic (looks the same in all directions), either we are at the one special place in the universe from which it appears isotropic, or else it looks isotropic from all points and is hence homogeneous (is the same at all places). The Copernican principle takes the second option - we're more likely to observe isotropy if the universe is homogeneous. The principle, and the homogeneity it implies, apply only on very large scales. We no longer need to assume the principle in cosmology, since we have observed the scale above which the universe is homogeneous: 70 Mpc (http://arxiv.org/pdf/1205.6812v2.pdf). It has nothing to do with our planet, star or galaxy being special or not. It is ludicrous to suppose that in the last 90 years of modern cosmology, no one noticed that some parts of the universe are more dense than average. The copernican principle only ever applied to large scales, and so does not "fail on matter, space and density". Moreover, it is not an attempt to explain away fine-tuning. It is an assumption about this universe that has been confirmed by observation. The homogeneity of the universe is an extremely good case of fine-tuning - it indicates that the early universe was in an extremely low entropy state. Penrose calculates that universes like ours occupy one part in 10^10^123 of phase space. Please learn some cosmology. Edward Harrison's cosmology textbook is a great place to start. (Also, water is 1,000 times more dense than air.) lukebarnes
Did Miko?aj Kopernik really write this principle that was named after him? Dionisio

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