Fine tuning Intelligent Design

Fine tuning of the universe: “Who Ya Gonna Believe Me or Your Own Eyes?”

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This is the first post in a series from Steve Meyer’s chapter in The Comprehensive Guide to Science and Faith: Exploring the Ultimate Questions About Life and the Cosmos (2021):

Since the 1950s and 1960s, physicists have discovered that the laws and constants of physics and the initial conditions of the universe have been finely tuned to make life in the universe (and even basic chemistry) possible. To many physicists, this discovery has suggested the activity of a fine-tuner or super-intellect — i.e., an actual designing intelligence. Yet other physicists now argue that the fine-tuning of the physical parameters of the universe manifests the appearance, but not the reality, of design. For example, physicist Lawrence Krauss has argued that cosmological fine-tuning does not provide evidence of intelligent design, but instead, “the illusion of intelligent design.”

Stephen C. Meyer, “What Is the Evidence for Intelligent Design and What Are Its Theistic Implications?” at Evolution News and Science Today (March 23, 2022)

So Larry Krauss argues “cosmological fine-tuning does not provide evidence of intelligent design, but instead, ‘the illusion of intelligent design.’” Isn’t that a misuse of the concept of illusion?

Doesn’t it amount to saying, Who Ya Gonna Believe Me or Your Own Eyes?

If cosmologists must insist that fine-tuning of our universe can be explained by an infinity of flopped universes out there (and ours just happens to work), whatever is going on, it’s not science.

Meyer is the author of The Return of the God Hypothesis.

You may also wish to read: Jordan Peterson’s reflections on Twitter on reading Steve Meyer’s Return of the God Hypothesis

21 Replies to “Fine tuning of the universe: “Who Ya Gonna Believe Me or Your Own Eyes?”

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Why does this not surprise me? Live not by lies. KF

  2. 2
    martin_r says:

    So Larry Krauss argues “cosmological fine-tuning does not provide evidence of intelligent design, but instead, ‘the illusion of intelligent design.’”

    larry krauss… who else.. always the same Darwinian clowns … dawkins, coyne, krauss …

    Some with biologists … i am an engineer, when a biologist, natural science graduate claims, that design in biology is only an illusion, i can only laugh in his face (or advice him to see a doctor). I know what i see … unless, that smart biologist goes to his lab and create life from scratch by unguided process … but of course, that will NEVER happen, because:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkWmy37nmsM

  3. 3
    awstar says:

    the fine-tuning of the physical parameters of the universe manifests the appearance, but not the reality, of design

    Lawrence Krauss has argued that cosmological fine-tuning does not provide evidence of intelligent design, but instead, “the illusion of intelligent design.”

    What do these others “show” as evidence that fine-tuning is truly an “illusion” and not a real “manifestation” of intelligent design? Or are their arguments just the “illusion” of their intelligence?

  4. 4
    asauber says:

    So when is design real and when is it a mirage?

    Andrew

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    As to: “Lawrence Krauss has argued that cosmological fine-tuning does not provide evidence of intelligent design, but instead, “the illusion of intelligent design.”

    This claim from Lawrence Krauss that the fine-tuning of the universe is merely “the illusion of intelligent design” is an interesting claim for a Darwinian materialist to make.

    The reason why this claim is interesting is because, given the reductive materialistic presuppositions of Krauss’s Darwinian worldview, Lawrence Krauss himself does not really exist as a real person but Krauss himself becomes merely a ‘neuronal illusion’.

    The Brain: The Mystery of Consciousness – Monday, Jan. 29, 2007
    Part II THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL
    Another startling conclusion from the science of consciousness is that the intuitive feeling we have that there’s an executive “I” that sits in a control room of our brain, scanning the screens of the senses and pushing the buttons of the muscles, is an illusion.
    – Steven Pinker – Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University
    http://www.academia.edu/279485.....sciousness

    Sam Harris: “The self is an illusion.”
    – Michael Egnor Demolishes the Myth of Materialism (Science Uprising EP1) – video
    https://youtu.be/Fv3c7DWuqpM?t=267

    The Consciousness Deniers – Galen Strawson – March 13, 2018
    Excerpt: What is the silliest claim ever made? The competition is fierce, but I think the answer is easy. Some people have denied the existence of consciousness: conscious experience, the subjective character of experience, the “what-it-is-like” of experience.,,,
    Who are the Deniers?,,, Few have been fully explicit in their denial, but among those who have been, we find Brian Farrell, Paul Feyerabend, Richard Rorty, and the generally admirable Daniel Dennett.,,,
    http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2.....s-deniers/

    The reason why atheists are forced to, embarrassingly, claim that they do not really exist as real persons, but that they are merely ‘neuronal illusions’, is because the entire concept of personhood is an abstract, immaterial, concept that simply is not reducible to the ‘bottom up’ materialistic explanations of Darwinists.

    As M. Anthony Mills explains, according to the presuppositions of reductive materialism, “you do not exist. For you are not a material constituent postulated by any of our most fundamental physical theories;”,,,

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: Barr rightly observes that scientific atheists often unwittingly assume not just metaphysical naturalism but an even more controversial philosophical position: reductive materialism, which says all that exists is or is reducible to the material constituents postulated by our most fundamental physical theories.
    As Barr points out, this implies not only that God does not exist — because God is not material — but that you do not exist. For you are not a material constituent postulated by any of our most fundamental physical theories; at best, you are an aggregate of those constituents, arranged in a particular way. Not just you, but tables, chairs, countries, countrymen, symphonies, jokes, legal contracts, moral judgments, and acts of courage or cowardice — all of these must be fully explicable in terms of those more fundamental, material constituents.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

    And as Dr. Dennis Bonnette explains, “every single atom that was in the universe, that has now become part of your living body, is still what is was originally. It hasn’t undergone what metaphysicians call a ‘substantial change’. So you aren’t Richard Dawkins. You are just carbon and neon and sulfur and oxygen and all these individual atoms still.”

    Atheistic Materialism – Does Richard Dawkins Exist? Dr. Dennis Bonnette – video 37:51 minute mark
    Quote: “It turns out that if every part of you, down to sub-atomic parts, are still what they were when they weren’t in you, in other words every ion,,, every single atom that was in the universe, that has now become part of your living body, is still what is was originally. It hasn’t undergone what metaphysicians call a ‘substantial change’. So you aren’t Richard Dawkins. You are just carbon and neon and sulfur and oxygen and all these individual atoms still.
    You can spout a philosophy that says scientific materialism, but there aren’t any scientific materialists to pronounce it.,,, That’s why I think they find it kind of embarrassing to talk that way. Nobody wants to stand up there and say, “You know, I’m not really here”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCnzq2yTCg&t=37m51s

    In short, the ultimate definition of what is ‘real’ for reductive materialists turns out to be atoms and particles themselves. Everything else that is immaterial, especially including the abstract, immaterial, concept of ‘personhood’, becomes, by default, illusory to that primary definition of reality of atoms and particles.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    This presupposition that the ultimate definition of reality must be based in atoms and particles puts the reductive materialist in a fairly severe bind as far as ever offering a complete, and coherent, explanation of reality.

    First off, there are many ‘immaterial’ things, (immaterial things that humans resolutely hold to be undeniably “real”), that simply are not reducible to materialistic explanations.

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist (who believes Darwinian evolution to be true) is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris, Coyne), who has unreliable, (i.e. illusory), beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. the illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who also must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the hopelessness of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is simply too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft). Who, since beauty cannot be grounded within his materialistic worldview, must also hold beauty itself to be illusory (Darwin).
    Bottom line, nothing that is truly important is truly real in the atheist’s materialistic worldview, least of all, beauty, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    April 18, 2021 – Defense of each claim
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/philosopher-mary-midgeley-1919-2018-on-scientism/#comment-728595

    As Dr. Michael Egnor further explains, “Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts.,,, Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,”

    The Fundamental Difference Between Humans and Nonhuman Animals – Michael Egnor – November 5, 2015
    Excerpt: Human beings have mental powers that include the material mental powers of animals but in addition entail a profoundly different kind of thinking. Human beings think abstractly, and nonhuman animals do not. Human beings have the power to contemplate universals, which are concepts that have no material instantiation. Human beings think about mathematics, literature, art, language, justice, mercy, and an endless library of abstract concepts. Human beings are rational animals.
    Human rationality is not merely a highly evolved kind of animal perception. Human rationality is qualitatively different — ontologically different — from animal perception. Human rationality is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals themselves are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,
    It is in our ability to think abstractly that we differ from apes. It is a radical difference — an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference.
    We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses. Our difference is a metaphysical chasm.,,,
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/11/the_fundamental_2/

    And although the reductive materialist may be all too willing, in the name of ‘science’, to cast all that is immaterial, and truly important, by the wayside, and dogmatically hold that atoms and particles are the only things that are to be considered ‘real’ in the universe, the irony in all this is that science itself could care less what the reductive materialist wants to believe beforehand, and has now shown us that atoms themselves do not even exist until they are ‘measured’.

    Specifically, in the following Delayed Choice Experiment, that was done with atoms instead of photons, it was proven that, “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,”

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    Likewise, the following violation of Leggett’s inequality, (which falsified ‘realism’), stressed “the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it.”

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    These findings from quantum mechanics, (findings which directly falsify the reductive materialist’s presupposition that atoms and particles are the ultimate definition of reality), really should not be all that surprising for us to find out.

    Namely, for anything to even be ‘real’ for us in the first place we first must be conscious of it. Simply put,. If we were not first conscious then nothing can be real for us. PERIOD!

    No less than Max Planck, Erwin Schroedinger, and Eugene Wigner have all made this point clear in regards to the, obvious, primacy that consciousness must play in any definition of reality that we may put forth.

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    – Max Planck (1858–1947), one of the primary founders of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    – Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.

    “The principal argument against materialism is not that illustrated in the last two sections: that it is incompatible with quantum theory. The principal argument is that thought processes and consciousness are the primary concepts, that our knowledge of the external world is the content of our consciousness and that the consciousness, therefore, cannot be denied. On the contrary, logically, the external world could be denied—though it is not very practical to do so. In the words of Niels Bohr, “The word consciousness, applied to ourselves as well as to others, is indispensable when dealing with the human situation.” In view of all this, one may well wonder how materialism, the doctrine that “life could be explained by sophisticated combinations of physical and chemical laws,” could so long be accepted by the majority of scientists.”
    – Eugene Wigner, Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, pp 167-177.

    Thus in conclusion, Lawrence Krauss may firmly believe that he is more than qualified to differentiate what is real from what is illusory, (and declare that fine-tuning is merely “the illusion of intelligent design.”), but alas, in so far as Krauss himself toes the reductive materialistic presuppositions of Darwinian evolution, Krauss himself becomes merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ and thus has, by default, rendered all his opinions on what may be considered real and what may be considered illusory completely worthless.

    As Ross Douthat asked Jerry Coyne, “but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit?”

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession (by Coyne) that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) Prometheus cannot be at once unbound and unreal; the human will cannot be simultaneously triumphant and imaginary.
    https://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/06/the-confidence-of-jerry-coyne/?mcubz=3

    Darwinists, in their rejection of the reality, and primacy, of the immaterial conscious mind, simply have no basis from which to differentiate what is real from what is illusory.

    And as David Bentley Hart succinctly explained, “Simply enough, you cannot suffer the illusion that you are conscious because illusions are possible only for conscious minds. This is so incandescently obvious that it is almost embarrassing to have to state it.”

    The Illusionist – Daniel Dennett’s latest book marks five decades of majestic failure to explain consciousness. – 2017
    Excerpt: “Simply enough, you cannot suffer the illusion that you are conscious because illusions are possible only for conscious minds. This is so incandescently obvious that it is almost embarrassing to have to state it.”
    – David Bentley Hart
    https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-illusionist

    Verse:

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, it is worse, atoms are composite and particles contingent, they cannot be ultimate. We hammered out why endless past years cannot be traversed year by year to now, we have a finite past once we understand time as thermodynamically constrained causal succession. KF

  8. 8
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    it is worse, atoms are composite and particles contingent, they cannot be ultimate

    Yes, reductionist physics cannot be the correct model for reality, either from a QM perspective or materialist.
    It’s for that reason:

    Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It

    That cannot be correct – physics cannot tell us that “reality does not exist” unless one believes that physics can determine what reality is or isn’t.

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality

    Again, that’s false. Quantum physics requires reality in order to function. Reality includes living beings, like humans – which are not reducible to physics.

    Realism cannot be falsified by physics.
    For example, in my own view – Thomistic-Realism, God holds-together created reality through forms which are inaccessible to physical science. Physics cannot refute that in the same way that science cannot refute the realism which is at the foundation of human rationality.
    If we get rid of realism, we get rid of human reason.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Silver Asiatic, you do realize that when they say “Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It”, and that “Quantum physics says goodbye to reality”, they are talking about the ‘reality’ of material particles do you not?

    Of course reality must be based in something. The entire point of my posts was, and is, simply to show that, as far as science and common sense are concerned, (and contrary to what Darwinian materialists believe), it is not the material particles in which our definition of reality must be based.

    For the Christian this falsification of ‘material realism’ should not be surprising. Christians have always held that our ultimate definition of reality must be God, or more specifically, must be the Mind of God.

    Should Quantum Anomalies Make Us Rethink Reality?
    Inexplicable lab results may be telling us we’re on the cusp of a new scientific paradigm
    By Bernardo Kastrup on April 19, 2018
    Excerpt: ,, according to the current paradigm, (materialism and/or physicalism), the properties of an object should exist and have definite values even when the object is not being observed: the moon should exist and have whatever weight, shape, size and color it has even when nobody is looking at it. Moreover, a mere act of observation should not change the values of these properties. Operationally, all this is captured in the notion of “non-contextuality”: ,,,
    since Alain Aspect’s seminal experiments in 1981–82, these predictions (of Quantum Mechanics) have been repeatedly confirmed, with potential experimental loopholes closed one by one. 1998 was a particularly fruitful year, with two remarkable experiments performed in Switzerland and Austria. In 2011 and 2015, new experiments again challenged non-contextuality. Commenting on this, physicist Anton Zeilinger has been quoted as saying that “there is no sense in assuming that what we do not measure [that is, observe] about a system has [an independent] reality.” Finally, Dutch researchers successfully performed a test closing all remaining potential loopholes, which was considered by Nature the “toughest test yet.”,,,
    It turns out, however, that some predictions of QM are incompatible with non-contextuality even for a large and important class of non-local theories. Experimental results reported in 2007 and 2010 have confirmed these predictions. To reconcile these results with the current paradigm would require a profoundly counterintuitive redefinition of what we call “objectivity.” And since contemporary culture has come to associate objectivity with reality itself, the science press felt compelled to report on this by pronouncing, “Quantum physics says goodbye to reality.”
    The tension between the anomalies and the current paradigm can only be tolerated by ignoring the anomalies. This has been possible so far because the anomalies are only observed in laboratories. Yet we know that they are there, for their existence has been confirmed beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, when we believe that we see objects and events outside and independent of mind, we are wrong in at least some essential sense. A new paradigm is needed to accommodate and make sense of the anomalies; one wherein mind itself is understood to be the essence—cognitively but also physically—of what we perceive when we look at the world around ourselves.
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/should-quantum-anomalies-make-us-rethink-reality/

  10. 10
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77

    “Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It”, and that “Quantum physics says goodbye to reality”, they are talking about the ‘reality’ of material particles do you not?

    But that’s not what they said. “Reality doesn’t exist” is not the same as saying “material particles do not exist” – far from it. “Goodbye to reality” is what it is. That’s a sweeping statement that is not only false but a lot of people believe it for exactly what it says. I’m afraid you argue for this yourself and you therefore will end up with no reality, which is insane.

    For the Christian this falsification of ‘material realism’ should not be surprising. Christians have always held that our ultimate definition of reality must be God, or more specifically, must be the Mind of God.

    Jesus told St. Thomas to touch His hands and put his hand into the wound in His side – for a very important reason. The denial of “material realism” would mean that there is no material world at all. That God really did not create “the heavens and the earth” as the Bible says.
    Most importantly, if our own material bodies “do not exist unless we’re looking at them”, then there is no resurrection from the dead. The resurrection is for real, material bodies – the material world that God created.
    Physics does not describe reality – but only that which is physical within reality.

  11. 11
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77 quoting Kastrup:

    To reconcile these results with the current paradigm would require a profoundly counterintuitive redefinition of what we call “objectivity.” And since contemporary culture has come to associate objectivity with reality itself,

    A few big problems here: Objectivity is another word for “empiricism” which is the foundation of materialist-scientism. That worldview is falsified without any need for QM.
    He says contemporary culture associates objectivity (empiricism) with reality. But contemporary culture is wrong – no need for QM to show that. But Kastrup instead thinks it’s correct and then says that “Physics says goodbye to reality”.

    But as I said, physics cannot do that. Physics does not tell us what reality is. Nor does biology. Nor does mathematics. Reality is something much more than science can show.
    So no, physics does not say goodbye to reality. In fact, physics requires reality (human life and intelligence which is not a product of physics) to exist.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    SA, I usually respect your comments very much. Your comments are often very insightful and informative. And I usually enjoy reading them very much. So for the world of me I cannot understand why you, a Christian Theist, are having such a hard time accepting the falsification of material realism by quantum mechanics.

    It is not hard to understand. They, i.e. reductive materialists, (and/or Darwinian materialists), expected the base definition of reality to be material particles. Yet, quantum mechanics has repeatedly shown that the base definition of reality cannot possibly be reduced to material particles. There is an irreducible subjective element to ‘reality’ that prevents ‘reality’ from ever being defined in purely materialistic terms.

    For crying out loud SA, you, as a Christian Theist who holds the Mind of God to be ultimate base of all reality, i.e. as THE creator and sustainer of all material reality, should be among the very first to understand the significance of what these experiments from quantum mechanics are revealing to us about ‘reality’.

    The Mental Universe – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things.,,, Physicists shy away from the truth because the truth is so alien to everyday physics. A common way to evade the mental universe is to invoke “decoherence” – the notion that “the physical environment” is sufficient to create reality, independent of the human mind. Yet the idea that any irreversible act of amplification is necessary to collapse the wave function is known to be wrong: in “Renninger-type” experiments, the wave function is collapsed simply by your human mind seeing nothing. The universe is entirely mental,,,, The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/436029a

    Verse:

    Colossians 1:17
    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

  13. 13
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA77

    Thank you and likewise me for all of your great posts and the knowledge you share.
    I think in this case, we’re just not connecting on the terminology.
    Yes, as a Christian Theist I hold that God is the ultimate foundation of all reality, so that definitely makes sense.
    I think it’s different to say that “materialism is not the ultimate base of all reality” and “there is no material world at all”.
    That’s where it gets confusing. My own body, for example, persists over time. Otherwise, I would pop in and out of existence.
    But yes, I fully agree with you that materialism is not supported by the experimental data.
    Thanks

  14. 14
    zweston says:

    “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” – Orwell, 1984

  15. 15
    tjguy says:

    “So Larry Krauss argues “cosmological fine-tuning does not provide evidence of intelligent design, but instead, ‘the illusion of intelligent design.’”

    So his opinion/belief counts as “science”? Since when?

    Truth be told, neither side can “prove” their belief about the origin of the universe and it’s finely tuned laws to enable life etc. This is beyond the reach of experimental science, so in the end, everyone has to make their own decision about what to believe.

    It comes down to looking at the evidence and deciding which conclusion makes most sense. For theists, the design argument makes most sense. For scientists who are bound to methodological naturalism, they don’t have much choice in the matter. If they want to remain faithful to “science”, then they are forced to believe what Krauss believes, whether it makes sense or not. It seems their faith is always up to the challenge and able to accommodate any and every inconvenient piece of data that doesn’t fit their worldview.

    It’s an inconvenient but unavoidable truth that even scientists, Krauss included, have great faith!

  16. 16
    zweston says:

    TJ, that’s what my goal is when discussing with skeptics…we all operate on faith!

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    SA & BA77, I note:

    Objectivity is another word for “empiricism” which is the foundation of materialist-scientism.

    I do not doubt that many have been led to think like this. However, such is a gross error, a mis-definition that fails to properly assess the spectrum: subjective > objective > absolute, especially as regards truth. I suspect, too, object-IVITY is partly being erroneously conflated with objectiv-ISM in a sense that I believe is held to be characteristic of Ms Ayn Rand. Where, objectivity comes from objective, here in Collins English Dictionary we may see:

    objective (?b?d??kt?v)
    adj
    1. (Philosophy) existing independently of perception or an individual’s conceptions: are there objective moral values?.
    2. undistorted by emotion or personal bias
    3. of or relating to actual and external phenomena as opposed to thoughts, feelings, etc
    4. (Medicine) med (of disease symptoms) perceptible to persons other than the individual affected

    I suggest (again) that it is advisable to start with our error proneness, while recognising that in some cases after due diligence we may form well warranted arguments and views that can be held as knowledge in the weak, common sense found in science etc. Such, implies, well-warranted, credibly true [so reliable] belief, though obviously, it is subject to onward correction on further evidence or argument. Where, we cannot attain adequacy of warrant, that current state of the art becomes itself a secondary knowledge, known unknowns. Of course, Mr Rumsfeld was also correct regarding unknown unknowns, topics on which we have radical ignorance, sometimes without awareness.

    In particular, materialistic reductionism as an account of the mind-body-external world problem fails. Similarly, philosophies usually termed idealism, which seek to eliminate recognition of physical entities ranging from particles and atoms to the macro scale entities we encounter in every day life, also fail. Likewise, simulationism by which we are caught up in a modern form of Plato’s Cave grand delusion also fail. These, by undermining and reducing to alleged delusion major faculties or findings of our senses and reason thus ending in discredit of the very reason used to develop the views.

    None of this implies that atoms or particles are hard little solid marbles, blue or yellowish white etc. The results of quantum theory bring the micro scale to wave-particle duality, Heisenberg-Einstein uncertainties of position-momentum and energy-time, probability smearing out etc. We even have the whimsical wavicle. Contact forces with solid bodies turn out to be field interactions, especially the so called London forces. Likewise, general quantum weirdness exists. However, there is still a correspondence principle that as things scale up, there is a conformity to classical expectations, which after all have been well supported for large relatively slow moving bodies. And yes, part of the weirdness is the role of observers and how they interact with situations, e.g. if you look for particles, that’s what you will see and likewise for waves. But, too, look for, includes action of instrumental detectors. In a notorious case, a cat in a box with a radioactive event triggerable release of poison, is held to be in a superposed state of alive and dead. This thought exercise draws out the issue of uncertainty and observer triggered resolution.

    Some tend to turn such into inference that the macro scale view is delusional, is an exposed error. Instead, it seems better to see it as exploring the substructure that helps to constitute the macro world. As in economics, macro phenomena can be as real as the micro scale events and circumstances that undergird them.

    We may subjectively accurately perceive reality, but are error prone. Due diligence leads to objective knowledge. In turn such may approximate the absolute: truth, the whole relevant truth, undiluted and untainted.

    Pardon a bit of compressed exposition.

    KF

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    kf, I am not saying, and I have not said, that an objective ‘outside’ world does not exist. I am merely saying that, according to quantum mechanics, the objective ‘outside’ world that we perceive is not composed of atoms and particles as the ultimate substratum of ‘reality’, (as reductive materialists had originally, and falsely, presupposed). But ‘reality’ is instead reducible to information and how our conscious minds interacts with this ‘outside’ information. i.e. I hold that “reality’ is ‘information theoretic’ in its foundational essence!

    Specifically I hold that energy and mass both reduce to information, with consciousness, and free will, playing an integral role in how we perceive this ‘outside’ information.

    As leading experimentalist Anton Zeilinger states in the following video, “what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”

    “The Kochen-Speckter Theorem talks about properties of one system only. So we know that we cannot assume – to put it precisely, we know that it is wrong to assume that the features of a system, which we observe in a measurement exist prior to measurement. Not always. I mean in certain cases. So in a sense, what we perceive as reality now depends on our earlier decision what to measure. Which is a very, very, deep message about the nature of reality and our part in the whole universe. We are not just passive observers.”
    Anton Zeilinger –
    Quantum Physics Debunks Materialism – video (7:17 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4C5pq7W5yRM#t=437

    And I am in agreement with no less than Vedral, Wheeler, and Zeilinger, (not to mention John !:!), when I say that the definition of ‘reality’, i.e. the ultimate definition of the ‘outside’ objective world, is now found to be ‘information theoretic’ in its foundational essence.

    “The most fundamental definition of reality is not matter or energy, but information–and it is the processing of information that lies at the root of all physical, biological, economic, and social phenomena.”
    Vlatko Vedral – Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and CQT (Centre for Quantum Technologies) at the National University of Singapore, and a Fellow of Wolfson College

    “it from bit” Every “it”— every particle, every field of force, even the space-time continuum itself derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely—even if in some contexts indirectly—from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes-or-no questions, binary choices, bits. “It from bit” symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has a bottom—a very deep bottom, in most instances, an immaterial source and explanation, that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment—evoked responses, in short all matter and all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe.”
    – Princeton University physicist John Wheeler (1911–2008) (Wheeler, John A. (1990), “Information, physics, quantum: The search for links”, in W. Zurek, Complexity, Entropy, and the Physics of Information (Redwood City, California: Addison-Wesley))

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.”
    Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum mechanics:
    http://www.metanexus.net/archi.....linger.pdf

    In the following video at the 48:24 mark Zeilinger states that “It is operationally impossible to separate Reality and Information” and he goes on to note at the 49:45 mark the Theological significance of “In the Beginning was the Word” John 1:1

    48:24 mark: “It is operationally impossible to separate Reality and Information”
    49:45 mark: “In the Beginning was the Word” John 1:1
    Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3ZPWW5NOrw

    Verse:

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men.

    Of supplemental note to the ‘uncertainty principle’ and information.

    Quantum physics just got less complicated – Dec. 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner,,, found that ‘wave-particle duality’ is simply the quantum ‘uncertainty principle’ in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one.,,,
    “The connection between uncertainty and wave-particle duality comes out very naturally when you consider them as questions about what information you can gain about a system. Our result highlights the power of thinking about physics from the perspective of information,”,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2014-12-q.....cated.html

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, I hear you. Regrettably, there seem to be others we must bear in mind who come perilously close to such. I suggest, macro and micro levels are both valid, similar to economics. As for ultimate reality, some seem to have problems with logical reasoning (perhaps failing to grasp that math is an extension and further application of logic applied to an aspect of being, structure and quantity). Notwithstanding, it is pretty clear our causal-thermodynamic time order cannot be infinite in the past. That leads to necessary being as root reality, so the real debate is its character. Obviously, not composite so not material, and more. Some objectors then want to play the scorn “Religion” card, not realising this is philosophy we are facing. Big, hard questions that have no easy, sound answers. KF

  20. 20
    William J Murray says:

    Well, there ARE easy answers. They are just answers most people reject, for one reason or another. What becomes hard is when one rejects the easy, simple answer, add a whole bunch of other unnecessary stuff, which then results in a complicated mess they have to Rube Goldberg back together.

  21. 21
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    I do not doubt that many have been led to think like this. However, such is a gross error, a mis-definition that fails to properly assess the spectrum: subjective > objective > absolute, especially as regards truth. I suspect, too, object-IVITY is partly being erroneously conflated with objectiv-ISM in a sense that I believe is held to be characteristic of Ms Ayn Rand.

    I fully agree. I was just rephrasing Kastrup’s thought as he looked at objective. It can be an external world built entirely of matter or physical entities.

    But as you point out, logic is an objective system. We know of objective values.

    Similarly, philosophies usually termed idealism, which seek to eliminate recognition of physical entities ranging from particles and atoms to the macro scale entities we encounter in every day life, also fail.

    Agreed. That’s my argument also. The very same trust that is given to science in it’s explanations of physical reality (because it’s a faith-based process at the core) is the trust we have that our knowledge of the external world is true (and it therefore exists and perdures over time).

    Some tend to turn such into inference that the macro scale view is delusional, is an exposed error. Instead, it seems better to see it as exploring the substructure that helps to constitute the macro world. As in economics, macro phenomena can be as real as the micro scale events and circumstances that undergird them.

    Yes, I used the examples of classical western philosophy of forms and substances that are the architecture of reality and which hold matter together even at the sub-atomic level. At the macro level, forms are of each individual item with substances of each that we identify. These persist in time and to say “nothing exists unless you’re looking at it” would be incorrect. We can see that things exist and they show change over time (trees growing) even if nobody is looking at them.

    We may subjectively accurately perceive reality, but are error prone. Due diligence leads to objective knowledge. In turn such may approximate the absolute: truth, the whole relevant truth, undiluted and untainted.

    Pardon a bit of compressed exposition.

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