577 Replies to “Fine tuning of the universe

  1. 1
    Box says:

    How do the materialists on this forum explain the fine tuning of the universe? Are they all multi-universalists?
    BTW this is a very well-made video.

  2. 2
    Zachriel says:

    DrCraigVideos: The constants and quantities are not determined by the laws of nature.

    It’s an amazing coincidence that the velocity of the magnetic force is exactly the same as the velocity of light. It’s an amazing coincidence that inertial mass is exactly the same as gravitational mass.

    By the way, the cosmic expansion rate has a plausible explanation, so that casts doubt on the entire argument.

    DrCraigVideos: The constants and quantities are not determined by the laws of nature.

    Rather, the constants are not determined by *known* laws of nature.

    DrCraigVideos: There’s no scientific evidence for the existence of the multiverse.

    That’s why it’s called speculation. However, it is consistent with certain theories of cosmic formation that include the Big Bang.

    DrCraigVideos: A single observer.

    That one makes no sense at all.

    Box: How do the materialists on this forum explain the fine tuning of the universe?

    Can’t speak for materialists, but the scientific answer is we don’t know and we can only speculate at this time. No, you can’t default to design as a scientific claim. ETA: You can speculate, though. It’s a pretty big gap.

  3. 3
    Evolve says:

    The fine tuning argument is flawed because it assumes upfront that the universe must absolutely come into existence in its current form.

    This is like saying that Paul must absolutely win the lottery…after he actually won it. The odds of Paul winning are very slim, about 1 in several hundred million. But there’s no point in claiming that this can’t happen by chance because there was no requirement that a certain Mr. Paul win the lottery in the first place. Anybody or nobody could have won it.

    It’s the same with the universe. There’s no requirement that a universe supporting life come into existence. Any other universe or no other universe would have been just fine. Therefore the astronomically low odds associated with it are pointless and meaningless.

    It’s unfortunate that creationists, including some scientists, fail to grasp this simple point.

  4. 4
    Joe says:

    The fine tuning argument is flawed because it assumes upfront that the universe must absolutely come into existence in its current form.

    Cuz you say so? Really?

    There’s no requirement that a universe supporting life come into existence.

    We don’t know that.

    Any other universe or no other universe would have been just fine.

    How do you know?

  5. 5
    Joe says:

    No, you can’t default to design as a scientific claim.

    And another person who doesn’t understand what the word “default” means. It’s as if willful ignorance is a requirement to be an anti-IDist.

  6. 6
    Joe says:

    It’s an amazing coincidence that the velocity of the magnetic force is exactly the same as the velocity of light. It’s an amazing coincidence that inertial mass is exactly the same as gravitational mass.

    All science so far!

    By the way, the cosmic expansion rate has a plausible explanation, so that casts doubt on the entire argument.

    Cuz you say so! More science.

    Rather, the constants are not determined by *known* laws of nature.

    And a promissory note? But still no science.

    That’s why it’s called speculation. However, it is consistent with certain theories of cosmic formation that include the Big Bang.

    The big bang and certain theories of cosmic formation are consistent with the Bible. Just sayin’…

  7. 7
    Box says:

    Zachriel: the cosmic expansion rate has a plausible explanation, so that casts doubt on the entire argument.

    Please elaborate. Are you referring to dark matter? And how does this cast doubt ‘on the entire argument’?

    Zachriel: the constants are not determined by *known* laws of nature.

    The laws of nature depend on the constants, so it is a matter of principle that they cannot determine the constants.

    Zachriel on the ‘single observer’: That one makes no sense at all.

    ‘Boltzman brain’ here and here

    Box: How do the materialists on this forum explain the fine tuning of the universe?

    Zachriel: the scientific answer is we don’t know and we can only speculate at this time.

    Not a single clue, right?

    Zachriel: No, you can’t default to design as a scientific claim.

    Surely you are mistaken. True science doesn’t rule out design. If the fine tuning cannot be explained by natural law or by chance then design is the only scientific explanation.

  8. 8
    ppolish says:

    Zach/Evolve, the Scientific Consensus states fine tuning is obviously real and that it is awesomely spectacular. Are you two seriously fine tuning deniers? Wow.

    Btw, chance is ruled out. Scientific consensus is that fine tuning happening by chance is laughable. Silly talk. Still can’t believe you 2 are deniers.

  9. 9
    Me_Think says:

    There is the small problem of explaining where the blueprint of ‘design’ was discussed, finalized and calculated (I wonder what software was used) and how it was implemented by the design team. Which dimension was used as a base for launching the spectacular universe ?

  10. 10
    jazzcat says:

    Zachriel:

    I’m looking at your post and from the looks of it, the words seem finely tuned for a purpose. The specific arrangement of characters suggest purpose and foresight. Currently your post cannot be explained by chance because it is most likely beyond the probabilistic resources of the entire universe, and no known law of necessity can explain it either. However because your post cannot be explained by any “known” law but could (hypothetically) be explained by further investigation into an “unknown” law I’m going to conclude that there is not enough evidence that you are intelligent.

    Evolve:
    The fine-tuning argument does not state that, “the universe must exist.” I would argue that, “the universe does not need to exist,” is consistent with the theistic belief that God created the universe not because he had to but because he chose to.

    Regarding your lottery analogy, lets add some additional information as a thought experiment. If Paul wins the lottery not once, not twice, but 100 times in a row without missing the jackpot combination once, what would you conclude about the nature of Paul or the nature of the lottery? What if Paul predicts the final jackpot combination 100 times in a row and the numbers from each jackpot combination are completely different from one another?

  11. 11
    Box says:

    Me_Think #9,
    Your questions are well beyond the realm of science. However inferring design as best explanation is not.

  12. 12
    Zachriel says:

    jazzcat: Currently your post cannot be explained by chance because it is most likely beyond the probabilistic resources of the entire universe, and no known law of necessity can explain it either.

    Generally, there is significant evidence that most blog posts are the result of design. Most are a peculiar species of ape that likes to communicate by words.

  13. 13
    Mung says:

    You just can’t reason with people who are committed to being unreasonable. just sayin.

  14. 14
    ppolish says:

    MeThink, Leonard Susskind uses the term “blueprint” quite often when trying to explain the fine tuning.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ata_player

    Note that “Lenny’s Landscape” is borrowed from the NeoDarwinists. Doesn’t Leonard realize terms like blueprints are frowned upon in Evo Science?

    Btw, many Scientists don’t like going the Multiverse route. But they are forced that way to avoid the God explanation. That is, God is more plausible than Chance by many orders of magnitude. Chance is silly talk lol.

  15. 15
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Are you referring to dark matter?

    No. Cosmic inflation has been proposed to explain the flatness of space, and there is significant empirical support.

    Box: And how does this cast doubt ‘on the entire argument’?

    They really didn’t argue against necessity, but sort of just handwaved in the general direction. In any case, it is possible that the universal constants are due to an underlying relationship, such as the equivalence of magnetic and electrical forces explains the apparent coincidences of those phenomena.

    Box: The laws of nature depend on the constants, so it is a matter of principle that they cannot determine the constants.

    That doesn’t mean there are not other laws that unify these constants. Newton didn’t have an explanation for why the inertial and gravitational masses were the same. It was left as an incredible case of fine-tuning until Einstein explained the equivalence.

    Box: Not a single clue, right?

    Sure there are clues. The flatness of space can plausibly be explained by inflation, and there may be other symmetries we are yet unaware of. In addition, the multiverse is consistent with Big Bang theories generally, though is highly speculative at this time. On the other hand, design adds nothing at all to the explanation. It’s a classic designer of the gaps.

    Box: True science doesn’t rule out design.

    No. It just doesn’t default to design if we don’t have another explanation. Speculate all you like, but unless you have specific evidence, it’s just that, speculation.

  16. 16
    jazzcat says:

    Zachriel @12

    “Generally, there is significant evidence that most blog posts are the result of design. Most are a peculiar species of ape that likes to communicate by words.”

    What evidence would this be? Why are you defaulting to design explanations. No “known” laws can account for the sequence specificity or fine-tuning words to suit a purpose or convey a message or function, but some other “undiscovered” law could in the future, so I’m going to remain skeptical that your post was the result of an intelligent design as you do with the fine-tuning of the universe. To quote you @15, “that doesn’t mean there are not other laws that unify…” the words in your post.

  17. 17
    Me_Think says:

    Box @ 11,
    The only designer we conclusively know can design is humans. If you mean humans created universe, then the question arises – how ? We know our capability and it is beyond human capability.
    If you mean someone else designed the universe then we need some conclusive proof that, that ‘some one’ can design things, failing which, we can’t infer design.

  18. 18
    Me_Think says:

    ppolish @ 14,
    Please refer to comment 17 .Scientists go the multiverse way because of reason cited in comment # 17

  19. 19
    Zachriel says:

    jazzcat: What evidence would this be?

    Shh. We’ll try to get close to one in its natural subterranean habitat.
    http://cdn.theatlantic.com/sta.....cheeto.jpg

  20. 20
    ppolish says:

    MeThink, Scientists are going the multiverse way to explain the design of the Universe. A design that can not be explained as an accident. God or the Multiverse can explain the design. Both are unprovable, either must be taken on faith, but Occam points to God. Brother Occam knew his science:)

  21. 21
    Me_Think says:

    ppolish @ 20
    God is not defined and we have no model. There are thousands (or may be hundreds atleast) of Gods as understood by various religious sect, and they all differ in capabilities ( some Gods have specific influence for specific tasks in some religion). Occam would point to a more plausible multiverse, as we already have a ‘working’ model.

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    Ev, Passing by for a moment. I hope you understand that lotteries have to be designed carefully to be winnable. On cosmological fine-tuning as evidence pointing to design of the observed cosmos, here may be a helpful 101 with onward briefings. If not for you, then at least for those willing to actually look at and consider evidence and argument. KF

  23. 23
    ppolish says:

    Hundreds or thousands of gods are far far fewer than the proposed multiverses lol. Occam knew his own rule better than you.

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, we hav no reason to infer that humans exhaust the field of possible intelligent designers. Second, in any other context you would readily allow evidence that passes the first hurdle of high contingency [default no 1 being natural law giving rise to low contingency regularities], then is beyond the reasonable reach of chance as it fits with functionally specific complex organisation well beyond the reach of plausible resources [i.e. default no 2 for high contingency is chance] provides support for the other empirically warranted cuse of high contingency, design. How do I know this? I’d wager a good sum that you hardly ever encounter the people you interact with through this blog but readily infer to designed messages rather than lucky noise on the grounds of the evident FSCO/I. The most credible reason you object to the design inference on evident fine tuning of the observed cosmos, and the FSCO/I in life forms that fit in with that fine tuning (as in why should the first four abundant elements in the cosmos get us to stars, the periodic table, water and organic chem, with another close by that gives us proteins: H, He, O, C with N) is not that you have shown a designer impossible, but that you object to a candidate designer, so you are willing to infer to chance miracles. I suggest you reconsider. KF

  25. 25
    Me_Think says:

    ppolish @ 23
    You forgot the part about ‘model’ (not idols by the way 🙂 ). There is no evidence beyond human made images and texts. There is no evidence of God before humans came along.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N:

    1: A superlaw forcing the constants and laws of the observed cosmos to the fine tuned values would actually be strong evidence of fine tuning in itself, just ask, where did such a law come from?

    2: Likewise, it would seem that evidence relating to the origins of the cosmos and the circumstances thereof would be evidence pointing beyond the origin of man. In this case to rather powerful and highly intelligent unified design. With logic already telling us that somewhere there must be a necessary being. (It there were ever an utter nothing, there would forever thereafter be nothing as non-being can have no causal powers.)

    3: Nor should that evidence that points to the reality of God from after the existence of man be dismissed as of no account. Never mind, that historical evidence is not scientific evidence.

    KF

  27. 27
    jazzcat says:

    Zachriel

    You did not answer my questions. What is this “significant evidence” that a blog post is the result of intelligent design? Posting a picture says nothing. When you say that a blog post is the result of design, are you not “defaulting to design?” Should I remain skeptical that you are intelligent due to “insufficient information?”

  28. 28
    Zachriel says:

    jazzcat: What is this “significant evidence” that a blog post is the result of intelligent design? Posting a picture says nothing.

    Are you questioning the causal link between the blogger and the blog? We tried to show you, but you made too much noise and scared him. He’s probably hiding behind the sofa to avoid his mother telling him to get a job.

    Or are you questioning whether the primate in question is intelligent? The primate wields tools, including the parent’s automotive conveyance for the delivery of foodstuffs, primarily Cheetos.

  29. 29
    Box says:

    Zachriel,

    Your attempts are incoherent, since there is no escape from the duty to account for the fine tuning of the universe.

    Let’s suppose that there is a unknown natural cause X that produces the constants. It takes only a moment of reflection to realize that this cause X must be fine tuned beyond comprehension.

    This reminds me of the concept of ‘conservation of information’, only in this case it is the fine tuning that must be accounted for.

  30. 30
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Your attempts are incoherent, since there is no escape from the duty to account for the fine tuning of the universe.

    We can presume there is a reason, if that is what you mean.

    Box: It takes only a moment of reflection that this cause X must be fine tuned beyond comprehension.

    Yes, the placid lake is so flat, so very flat. It has to be design!

  31. 31
    Andre says:

    Zachriel

    With such faulty reasoning, no wonder you can’t see the wood for the trees. Man am I glad I left materialism, it is by far the most idiotic view of the universe, even worse than flat earthers.

  32. 32
    ppolish says:

    Zach, the tuning in fine tuning is a verb. An action verb. It is not called placid tuning for a reason. It is very very fine. Unimaginably fine. Awesomely fine. Spectacular.

  33. 33
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: It is not called placid tuning for a reason. It is very very fine. Unimaginably fine. Awesomely fine. Spectacular.

    Yes, we understand the concept. Is the placid lake tuned to be extraordinarily flat, or is that a result of some underlying symmetry?

  34. 34
    jazzcat says:

    Zachriel @28

    “Are you questioning the causal link between the blogger and the blog?”

    “Or are you questioning whether the primate in question is intelligent?”

    A causal link?? That’s exactly what ID theory involves. We know from experience that intelligent agents produce certain things that can be distinguished from chance occurrences and from deterministic laws of necessity. When we find these certain things we infer that an intelligent agent played a role because of the CAUSAL link between the two.

    You’re inferring intelligent design as the best explanation for the information in the blogposts using the same logic ID theorists use. Your refutation logic (appealing to some undiscovered law of necessity) would necessarily refute a design inference in reading blogposts.

    I was using your “logic” against you. When ID theorists point to you the link between design and fine-tuning parameters or the link between design and CSI, you resort to logical fallacies that destroy any chance of knowledge about anything. Your “logic” to refute “fine-tuning is best explained by intelligence” involves remaining skeptical because there could be some underlying law that forces the fine-tuning to be what it is, in other words a necessary cause. Since I could just as well invoke an unknown law of necessity yet to be discovered I would logically have to remain skeptical that you are intelligent. I would also have to largely remain skeptical that you know anything because your knowledge could be the result of yet to be discovered laws of necessity.

  35. 35
    Zachriel says:

    jazzcat: You’re inferring intelligent design as the best explanation for the information in the blogposts using the same logic ID theorists use.

    You have followed the train of causation back to the designer? You have explored its habitat? You have actually discovered him by tiptoeing into his lair?

    Shh. If we’re quiet, we might be able to get close to him while he’s feeding.
    http://cdn.theatlantic.com/sta.....cheeto.jpg

  36. 36
    Zachriel says:

    jazzcat: Your “logic” to refute “fine-tuning is best explained by intelligence” involves remaining skeptical because there could be some underlying law that forces the fine-tuning to be what it is, in other words a necessary cause.

    We’re not saying design is ruled out, only that it is not the “best explanation” as it doesn’t involve any entailments. It’s an argument from ignorance. It’s no different in kind from previous arguments from gaps in human knowledge.

  37. 37
    jazzcat says:

    Zachriel @35

    I haven’t explored your habitat, I haven’t actually discovered you tiptoeing into your lair. I don’t know what your real name is, who you are, what you are. I don’t know the mechanism of how you arrange your blogposts before posting. I don’t know if your account comprises one intelligent agent or many.

    All I know about you is that your blogposts are most likely the result of intelligent design. I derive this information from the cause/effect structure of the world.

    You IGNORE the causal link when the issue of CSI or fine-tuning comes up. You are quite literally being UNreasonable.

    If I used your logic, then I could NOT reasonably infer that your blogposts are best explained by an intelligent agent. In which case there is no point in further conversation.

  38. 38
    Zachriel says:

    jazzcat: I haven’t explored your habitat, I haven’t actually discovered you tiptoeing into your lair. I don’t know what your real name is, who you are, what you are.

    We don’t have catalog every lion in the wild to have some idea concerning the characteristics of lions. The same with bloggers. We don’t have to examine each and every blogger to have some good idea about the characteristics of bloggers.

  39. 39
    jazzcat says:

    Zachriel @38

    “We don’t have catalog every lion in the wild to have some idea concerning the characteristics of lions. The same with bloggers. We don’t have to examine each and every blogger to have some good idea about the characteristics of bloggers.”

    In other words, determining WHO the designer is is IRRELEVANT to a design inference from observable effects.

  40. 40
    Box says:

    WRT Zachriel, I refuse to rule out that we are dealing with an alien – or a whole bunch of them. Irrespective from what they are, I can infer intelligence as a cause for the posts ‘they’ produce.

  41. 41
    Mung says:

    Some bright “critic” said: The only designer we conclusively know can design is humans.

    Well, yeah. That’s why we consider design to be an inference from what we know. Your point?

  42. 42
    Zachriel says:

    jazzcat: In other words, determining WHO the designer is is IRRELEVANT to a design inference from observable effects.

    Thought we resolved that. Most bloggers are a species of primate, known for their propensity for Cheetos. Did you want more specifics? Four-chamber heart, bellows lungs, eukaryote cell structure, clogged arteries, atrophied spine, orange lips.

  43. 43
    jazzcat says:

    Zachriel @42

    “Thought we already resolved that.” You haven’t. Earlier @36 you said, “We’re not saying design is ruled out, only that it is not the “best explanation” as it doesn’t involve any entailments.” You say ID cannot be the best explanation because it does not have entailments. I say entailments are “IRRELEVANT to a design inference from observable effects.”

    So do you agree that ID CAN be the BEST explanation even if there are NO entailments??

  44. 44
    Evolve says:

    Jazzcat @ 10

    ///The fine-tuning argument does not state that, “the universe must exist.”///

    It does not state that, but it assumes that. It calculates the probability of our “current universe” coming into existence by chance, which means it assumes that this is the only outcome possible.

    Going back to my analogy, if you assume that only Paul can win the jackpot (after he wins it), then the probability seems insurmountable (1 in several hundred million). But if you realize that anybody/nobody could have won it and that the eventual winner came about by sheer chance, then the insurmountable probability turns out to be meaningless because you’re bound to get some result or the other, all of which have an equally insurmountable probability.

    Similarly, there could have been an infinite number of possible values for the cosmological constants. Each one of those values have astronomically low probabilities. But by sheer chance the cosmological constants ended up in their current values. What followed (stars, galaxies, life etc) were mere consequences of the way the universe ended up being.
    Now, creationists are looking at it after-the-fact and pointlessly asking how did those constants attain such precise values to make life possible!

    ///I would argue that, “the universe does not need to exist,” is consistent with the theistic belief that God created the universe not because he had to but because he chose to. ///

    Is there anything that’s not consistent with a theistic belief?

    ///If Paul wins the lottery not once, not twice, but 100 times in a row without missing the jackpot combination once, what would you conclude about the nature of Paul or the nature of the lottery?///

    Paul winning the lottery 100 times is a repetition of the same thing, the same phenomenon. But the various cosmological constants are different values associated with different phenomena.

  45. 45
    ppolish says:

    “Is the placid lake tuned to be extraordinarily flat, or is that a result of some underlying symmetry?”

    It sure seems to be tuned. Fine tuned. That’s why it’s such a problem for many scientists. It is the “fine tuning problem”, the “naturalness problem”

    It is a problem because tuning requires a tuner. An unnatural tuner. One way to avoid a tuner is to posit that pretty much everything and anything happens. And then argue that a fine tune is inevitable, couldn’t not happen. Many scientists have a problem accepting that. There is a “scientific method” crisis going on these days. Very interesting times:)

  46. 46
    Zachriel says:

    jazzcat: So do you agree that ID CAN be the BEST explanation even if there are NO entailments??

    Scientific support requires entailments.

  47. 47
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: It sure seems to be tuned. Fine tuned. That’s why it’s such a problem for many scientists.

    Really? Thought the extraordinary flatness of the placid lake was due to gravity and the liquidity of water.

  48. 48
    Box says:

    Zachriel: Yes, the placid lake is so flat, so very flat. It has to be design!

    Indeed, in case of the placid lake we can point to natural law as a cause. Good find! However, everyone should comprehend that there cannot be an endless regression in causes.
    For instance, in case of natural law itself and the fundamental constants of the universe we cannot invoke on an underlying natural cause – and even if we could that natural law must be fine tuned by definition.

  49. 49
    jazzcat says:

    Zachriel @46

    “Scientific support requires entailments.”

    First of all, I disagree with your philosophical assertion. There is no rule in science that says, “scientific support requires entailments.” Entailments can be inferred ONLY AFTER a design inference yields a positive result.
    Second of all, is “intelligence,” not an entailment?

  50. 50
    ppolish says:

    “Really? Thought the extraordinary flatness of the placid lake was due to gravity and the liquidity of water.”

    It is due to that. Do you realize how fine tuned gravity and H2O are? That is the fine tuning problem.

    At least physicists are smart enough to recognize the problem. EvoBio still has not admitted to the ID problem. Still in denial there:)

  51. 51
    jazzcat says:

    Evolve @44

    I disagree that the fine-tuning argument “assumes the universe must exist.”

    ID theorists (I guess creationists too?) calculate probabilities whether or not there are multiple universes. I liken the case to poker. Technically any 5-card hand is just as probable of being drawn from a deck as any other. But only a royal flush will win every time, a specific 5-card hand. To say that the odds of getting a royal flush are small involves more then just probabilities. It involves small probabilities PLUS a specification of winning a hand. Same thing with the lottery, many number combinations are possible, but only one gets you the jackpot money. From the cosmological argument, the parameters can take literally infinite values but only a very very very….very small set of constants produces a life-habitable universe.

    I asked you what you would think of the lottery or Paul if he won the jackpot 100 times in a row. Would you conclude chance? Or would you rightly conclude that either the lottery is set up so Paul can win or Paul is cheating and has foreknowledge of the numbers?

    “Is there anything that’s not consistent with a theistic belief?” Tons of things, an eternal universe would be one. Consult a theologian for more 🙂

  52. 52
    AVS says:

    Just a quick question for the fine-tuners; what, in your opinion, is the single, best example of this fine-tuning?

  53. 53
    JDH says:

    Zach @2

    DrCraigVideos: There’s no scientific evidence for the existence of the multiverse.

    That’s why it’s called speculation. However, it is consistent with certain theories of cosmic formation that include the Big Bang.

    So correct me if I am wrong. You place your faith, and you can not deny it is faith, in something because it is possible, but never can be observed. How is this not religion?

    I would rather place my faith in the man who (according to the martyrs who observed the events and died because they wouldn’t recant) rose from the dead.

    This despite the fact that I am a Ph.D. in Physics.

  54. 54
    ppolish says:

    AVS, watch that vid by Atheist physicist Susskind I posted. Cosmological Constant is by far the finest tuned of the fine tuning.

    Btw, you had best jump on the multiverse bandwagon – as Susskind shows it really is the only way to escape the fine tuning. All the cool kids will be multiversers before too long:)

  55. 55
    Andre says:

    And if the multi verse is true, then everything is true, bet you our friends have not really thought about that too much

  56. 56
    AVS says:

    Sorry, my Adobe doesn’t seem to be working. Can’t watch youtube videos.

    If you could just give me (in your opinion) the single, best example of fine-tuning, that would be great!

  57. 57
    ppolish says:

    Cosmological Constant is the finest of the fine tuned per physicists. There are a dozen or so other extremely fine tuned parameters – but the Cosmo Constant is the big kahuna. Actually, it is so very small. Point 000000000
    00000000000000000000000000000000000
    00000000000000000000000000000000
    000000000000000000000000000000000
    0000000000002

    If I missed a zero or added one oops – no universe.

  58. 58
    AVS says:

    Interesting, I’m not familiar with the cosmological constant. Does it have units? Could you sum up in your own words what it is, what it means, and maybe how they discovered it? What is so important about it and why does it have to be so precise?

  59. 59
    mike1962 says:

    AVS: Just a quick question for the fine-tuners…

    Are you implying that you deny the fined-tuned nature of the universe?

    what, in your opinion, is the single, best example of this fine-tuning?

    Some astonishing effects (due to steller action) would be the periodic table in general and the carbon atom in particular. But there’s really too many things for me to pick just a “single” one. Sorry.

  60. 60
    AVS says:

    What exactly do you think the universe is fine-tuned for, Mike?
    How is the periodic table an example of fine tuning? It’s simply a list of each element and the physical properties of that element due to it’s atomic structure, is it not?
    Carbon is just one of these elements, with it’s own distinct properties due to the number of shells and the number of electrons in its valence shell, no?

  61. 61
    mike1962 says:

    What exactly do you think the universe is fine-tuned for, Mike?

    Life.

    How is the periodic table an example of fine tuning?

    It’s the result of steller action that is the result of the values of gravity, electrons, protons, all the subatomic particles, quantum interactions, etc.

    It’s simply a list of each element and the physical properties of that element due to it’s atomic structure, is it not?

    I would have to object to the “simply” part due to the manner in which they arise from steller evolution, and what sorts of things that can be produced from their innumerable combinations once they exist.

    Carbon is just one of these elements, with it’s own distinct properties due to the number of shells and the number of electrons in its valence shell, no?

    I would have to object to the “just one” in the sense that of it not being special. Carbon has wonderous properties. I suggest you go learn about it.

  62. 62
    AVS says:

    The universe is fine-tuned for life huh?
    Do you realize that the vast majority of life as we know it is dependent on oxygen? And that the vast majority of the universe is completely depleted of oxygen? In fact it’s completely depleted of any matter at all? Not only that but the temperature of the vast majority of the universe approaches absolute zero (that’s as cold as you can get). Life cannot exist in the majority of the universe, Mikey. Don’t you think that fact is at odds with the statement that “the universe is fine-tuned for life”?
    So as you say, the periodic table must be fine tuned for life then, right? Again, don’t you think it’s odd that life only requires a fraction of the elements on that table? Yes how the different elements came about is complex, but the elements themselves are not fine tuned for anything, they are merely all the possible, basic configurations of protons, electrons and neutrons known.
    Yes, carbon has wondrous properties, I am aware of many of them and their importance for life. Nitrogen has some wondrous properties, so does oxygen and hydrogen. And when these atoms combine they form molecules with even more wondrous properties that drive the formation of life.

    I fear you simply don’t know what you are talking about.

  63. 63
    mike1962 says:

    AVS: Do you realize that the vast majority of life as we know it is dependent on oxygen?

    Yes

    And that the vast majority of the universe is completely depleted of oxygen?

    Interesting that so much of it is here for us.

    In fact it’s completely depleted of any matter at all?

    Right.

    Not only that but the temperature of the vast majority of the universe approaches absolute zero (that’s as cold as you can get). Life cannot exist in the majority of the universe, Mikey.

    Right. Earth is a special place universe the fine-tuned universe. (There may be more, but we don’t know of any yet.)

    And you can call me Mike.

    Don’t you think that fact is at odds with the statement that “the universe is fine-tuned for life”?

    No. My brother’s machine shop is a mess, but small areas of it have exquisit productions due to his efforts.

    So as you say, the periodic table must be fine tuned for life then, right?

    Right.

    Again, don’t you think it’s odd that life only requires a fraction of the elements on that table?

    No.

    Yes [sic] how the different elements came about is complex, but the elements themselves are not fine tuned for anything, they are merely all the possible, basic configurations of protons, electrons and neutrons known.

    And the nature of their relationships allow them to be used in forming exquisite things.

    Yes, carbon has wondrous properties, I am aware of many of them and their importance for life.

    Excellent.

    Nitrogen has some wondrous properties, so does oxygen and hydrogen.

    Yes they do. Which is why I said before there are examples “too many to mention.”

    And when these atoms combine they form molecules with even more wondrous properties that drive the formation of life.

    They are involved in it, yes.

    I fear you simply don’t know what you are talking about.

    I admit that’s possible. Although I have no idea why you think so.

    Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the exchange.

  64. 64
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: Do you realize how fine tuned gravity and H2O are?

    The tuning of gravity doesn’t explain the extraordinary flatness of a lake of liquid.

    ppolish: At least physicists are smart enough to recognize the problem.

    We’re aware of the question. The example shows why an appeal to design is not warranted without specific evidence.

    Zachriel: That’s why it’s called speculation. However, it is consistent with certain theories of cosmic formation that include the Big Bang.

    JDH: So correct me if I am wrong. You place your faith, and you can not deny it is faith, in something because it is possible, but never can be observed.

    You’re wrong.

  65. 65
    Joe says:

    It is fine-tuned to allow for the existence of living organisms. Specifically it was fined tuned for scientific observation/ discovery and thus for scientific observers.

    What is the alternative? This just happened and we just happened to emerge from the cosmic dust? What predictions are borne from that?

    Your fear is misplaced as it is clear that you don’t know what you are talking about

  66. 66
    AVS says:

    I did enjoy the exchange Mikey, just another example of an IDer talking out of their rear-end about something that goes way over their head.

    Toodaloo!

  67. 67
    ppolish says:

    AVS, this is Physics not EvoBio, the “Appearance of Fine Tuning” does not cut it.

    Some physicists use the Anthropic Argument, but that is generally viewed as a cop out. Wussy “Science”.

  68. 68
    AVS says:

    I’m not sure exactly what you’re referring to when you say “the appearance of fine-tuning.”
    Everything I’ve said pertains to the supposed fine-tuning of the universe for life, as Mikey put it. But I disagree. In fact, I think the universe is far from fine-tuned for life. Life has come about in only a the smallest fraction of the universe; how could the universe be so perfectly fine tuned for life, and yet we only see life here on Earth?

    Unless you are arguing that there is tons of life existing in the universe that we aren’t aware of?
    Or do you think the universe is fine-tuned for something else?

  69. 69
    AVS says:

    Did you see comment #58 by the way, PP? I’m still curious about the cosmological constant; care to enlighten me?

  70. 70
    ppolish says:

    It’s not “supposed” fine tuning for life, AVS, it’s scientifically calculated/documented/accepted but still a mystery fine tuning for life.

    Rewatch the excellent vid in original post and get access to YouTube and have Leonard Susskind explain the cosmological constant to you.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ata_player

  71. 71
    AVS says:

    So what in your opinion is the single most important piece of scientifically calculated/documented/accepted evidence for fine-tuning that you understand? Do you understand any off it or are you just repeating things you’ve heard and then pointing people to youtube videos when they specifically ask you a question?

    I just want to get it straight. =)

  72. 72
    ppolish says:

    AVS, c’mon, I have answered your question a couple of times. The cosmological constant is not a difficult concept to fathom. “It’s like anti-gravity” as Leonard explains. He explains it very well, he’s a good explainer. If you watch the vid you will understand the Cosmo Constant and might feel silly for trying to make me regurgitate for you. Don’t make me regurgitate please. You are a big bird lol.

  73. 73
    AVS says:

    If it’s not a difficult concept to fathom then you should have no problem concisely explaining it to me. And you’ll get to show off how intelligent you are in the process. A win-win for you, no?

  74. 74
    Mung says:

    AVS: What exactly do you think the universe is fine-tuned for?

    Isn’t it obvious? The universe is fine-tuned for fine-tuning.

  75. 75
    Mung says:

    AVS: I’m not sure exactly what you’re referring to when you say “the appearance of fine-tuning.”

    I bet you are confused as well when Dawkins writes about “the appearance of design.”

  76. 76
    AVS says:

    Thanks for the comic relief Mungy.
    Let us know when you have something intelligent to say, thanks!

  77. 77
    ppolish says:

    AVS, we are all winners in the Cosmo Constant game:) Think of the Cosmo Constant as a repulsive force, an anti-gravity if you will, that enabled stars and galaxys and local clusters and superclusters etc to form. Change the cosmological constant by the tiniest of tiny bits and the Universe would have collapsed upon itself or would have flown apart depending it you made it stronger or weaker by the tiniest of tiny decimal points. The Cosmo Constant sits on a knife edge so incredibly sharp I’m afraid I may cut myself even talking about it.

  78. 78
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: Change the cosmological constant by the tiniest of tiny bits and the Universe would have collapsed upon itself or would have flown apart depending it you made it stronger or weaker by the tiniest of tiny decimal points.

    The cosmological constant can vary and there still be galaxies of stars with planets. It has to have a small absolute value, but there’s nothing inherently fine tuned about that.

  79. 79
    ppolish says:

    Nothing inherently fine tuned about the cosmological constant, Zach? I bet most physicists would disagree with you.

    Look, I realize Fine Tuning and Intelligent Design are just different ways of stating the same core idea. But physicists try to discover natural explanations. They don’t try to deny its existence.

  80. 80
    Box says:

    W L Craig: The cosmological constant which drives the inflation of the universe and is responsible for the recently discovered acceleration of the universe’s expansion is inexplicably fine-tuned to around one part in 10^120.

    Zachriel: The cosmological constant can vary and there still be galaxies of stars with planets. It has to have a small absolute value, but there’s nothing inherently fine tuned about that.

    Sure. If you say so.

  81. 81
    AVS says:

    It’s my understanding that the universe is constantly expanding, if the cosmological constant was a little larger, wouldn’t that just mean the universe would just “fly apart” at a slightly faster rate?
    Physicists saying the constant is fine-tuned, doesn’t simply mean that they always find it at “one part in 10^120” does it?
    You are sure they mean that anything other than “one part in 10^120” would result in the end of the universe, correct?

    If the cosmological constant is a force driving the universe apart at a specific rate, I don’t see why the “tiniest of tiny” changes to the constant would have such an effect as to destroy the universe. The “tiniest of tiny changes” I assume would simply change the rate at which the universe is expanding. Larger changes, no doubt, would result in collapse/obliteration of the universe as you say.

    But I don’t know much in the way of astrophysics so feel free to correct me.

  82. 82
    Zachriel says:

    Box: W L Craig

    Is Craig a physicist, because you seem to be making an appeal to authority?

    Craig says the cosmological constant is fine-tuned to one part in 10^120, which would mean 10^-122 ± 10^-242. That is almost certainly not his claim. What he may have meant was that it is very close to zero, perhaps 10^-122 ±10^-120, which would be ±10,000%; or maybe 10^-122 ±10^-122, which would be ±100%.

    See Barrow & Shaw, The Value of the Cosmological Constant, General Relativity and Gravitation 2011.

    Z: The cosmological constant can vary and there still be galaxies of stars with planets. It has to have a small absolute value, but there’s nothing inherently fine tuned about that.

    See Page, Evidence Against Fine Tuning for Life, arXiv:1101.2444 2011, who finds that the maximum biophilic value for the cosmological constant is between zero and -3.5 * 10^-122. Notice the sign is opposite that of the observed value.

  83. 83
    Box says:

    AVS: If the cosmological constant is a force driving the universe apart at a specific rate, I don’t see why the “tiniest of tiny” changes to the constant would have such an effect as to destroy the universe.

    Indeed it is counter-intuitive. However, a change by one part in 10^120 would dramatically alter the expansion rate of the universe – resulting in either a fast crunch or a (too) fast expansion.

  84. 84
    Mung says:

    My dear AVS. You consistently act as if others OUGHT to conform to your subjective morality. You and keiths could be twins.

    At least as far back as 1913 Lawrence Joseph Henderson wrote The Fitness of the Environment: An Inquiry Into the Biological Significance of the Properties of Matter

    There’s nothing particularly new about fine-tuning. But each new generation inevitably spawns ignorant people who think the facts can be conformed to their own preferences.

  85. 85
    AVS says:

    As much as I would love to continue arguing, I simply don’t know much about this topic. Definitely not enough to tell facts from bluffing. Thanks for the info and I’ll leave you guys with Zachriel.

  86. 86
    AVS says:

    Mungy, I think you should cool off a little, I’m simply playing the part of Dionisio and asking questions about something I know little of. I certainly do not feel anyone ought to conform to anything they don’t want to.

    What do you think is the best piece of evidence for fine-tuning besides the cosmological constant Mungy?
    Care to weigh-in? I just can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

  87. 87
    Mung says:

    AVS:

    Mungy, I think you should cool off a little, I’m simply playing the part of Dionisio and asking questions about something I know little of.

    That’s just fine when you restrict yourself to questions.

    But you said:

    Let us know when you have something intelligent to say, thanks!

    Not a question. Judgmental. Very judgmental. Thou shalt not judge!

    Of course, if you’re an atheist, it’s hard to know whether there’s any relevant difference.

  88. 88
    Mung says:

    AVS:

    What do you think is the best piece of evidence for fine-tuning besides the cosmological constant Mungy?
    Care to weigh-in? I just can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

    What do you mean by fine-tuning?

  89. 89
    AVS says:

    Thou shalt not judge huh? Is that a new commandment?

    As to “what do you mean by fine-tuning,” well as Dio says, it’s quite obvious that my interlocutors are not interested in having a serious conversation. =)

    As always, let me know when you have something intelligent to say Mungy!
    <3

  90. 90
    tjguy says:

    Evolve @ 3

    The fine tuning argument is flawed because it assumes upfront that the universe must absolutely come into existence in its current form.

    Personally I think your argument is flawed because it assumes it all happened by chance, which is exactly what we are trying to determine.

    This is like saying that Paul must absolutely win the lottery…after he actually won it. The odds of Paul winning are very slim, about 1 in several hundred million. But there’s no point in claiming that this can’t happen by chance because there was no requirement that a certain Mr. Paul win the lottery in the first place. Anybody or nobody could have won it.

    Right. You really think we are here because we won the lottery? Sure. That is one interpretation of the data. We can never show that it is impossible because you can’t prove a negative. We can’t run an experiment to show that it is impossible. We can show that it is extremely improbably, but that’s as far as we can get. If, in spite of the evidence, you still choose to place your faith in blind chance, that is your prerogative, but your belief about the origin of the universe is not one that can be backed up or even tested with the scientific method.

    It’s the same with the universe. There’s no requirement that a universe supporting life come into existence. Any other universe or no other universe would have been just fine. Therefore the astronomically low odds associated with it are pointless and meaningless.

    Assuming it evolved by blind chance, yes, you could say that. Again, if you want to believe in Chance, go for it, but don’t call it science. Call it faith in blind chance.

    It’s unfortunate that creationists, including some scientists, fail to grasp this simple point.

    Actually, I think it is unfortunate that Materialists fail to grasp the faith aspect of their own beliefs about untestable unobservable unrepeatable unverifiable history.

  91. 91
    ppolish says:

    Tjguy, you will be very very hard pressed to find a physicist that believes the fine tuning is due to chance or accident or oops. That is strictly a EvoBio thing. Physicists have a better grasp of impossible. Better grasp of the maths.

  92. 92
    tjguy says:

    Zachriel @ 2

    By the way, the cosmic expansion rate has a plausible explanation, so that casts doubt on the entire argument.

    Interesting. How can you test this?

    It may sound plausible, but many things have sounded plausible in the past and later on proven not to be true. So my question is this: How do you KNOW it really is “plausible?” Plausible to who? What are the assumptions that have to be accepted to make this argument sound plausible? Is this still science when we have to determine what to believe based on the subjectivity of whether something sounds plausible or not?

    DrCraigVideos: The constants and quantities are not determined by the laws of nature.

    Rather, the constants are not determined by *known* laws of nature.

    So now you are appealing to as of yet unknown laws to support your beliefs about the origin of the universe.

    Fine, but we are clearly outside the realm of science here. As it stands now, based on what we do know, any rational person would have to say there IS evidence of design.

    Your appeal to as of yet unknown laws that may or may not exist is not unlike us appealing to an invisible Deity to explain the design and fine tuning.

    But what this answer shows us is that basically there is no evidence, no amount of design that could ever convince you that there is a Creator.

    Why? Because you could never prove that God is the only explanation. There could always be a future still unknown answer so to me, that is basically a cop out.

    At what point are you willing to concede the argument?

    Box: How do the materialists on this forum explain the fine tuning of the universe?

    Can’t speak for materialists,

    So you are not a Materialist? You believe that immaterial things can and do exist? Interesting!

    but the “scientific” answer(based on Materialism) is we don’t know and we can only speculate at this time. No, you can’t default to design as a scientific claim.

    And neither can you default to “unknown laws” as a scientific claim!

    ETA: You can speculate, though. It’s a pretty big gap.

    Yes, we can both speculate. We are dealing with history here so basically that is all that we can do since the Scientific Method is of very little use here.

    And, we can use reason too, which seems a bit better than speculation.

    What cause best explains the evidence/data?

    Blind chance?

    Creator?

    Other?

    I know which one gets my vote.

    Why is your appeal to unknown laws any better or more scientific than our appeal to an intelligent source of some type?

    Why is it that you disallow the Creator option and automatically assume it has to be blind chance?

    Why are all possible answers EXCEPT GOD permitted?

    None of them can be tested so why not allow them all – especially in light of what we DO KNOW about design, information, etc.

    Why disallow what seems to many people to be the most logical answer?

    Why is your unscientific and untestable answer permitted but our “unscientific/untestable” answer is not?

  93. 93
    Box says:

    AVS, how about this?

    Transcript:

    Consider gravity, for example. The force of gravity is determined by the gravitational constant. If this constant varied by just one in 10^60 parts, none of us would exist. To understand how exceedingly narrow this life-permitting range is, imagine a dial divided into 10^60 increments. To get a handle on how many tiny points on the dial this is, compare it to the number of cells in your body (10^14) or the number of seconds that have ticked by since time began (10^20). If the gravitational constant had been out of tune by just one of these infinitesimally small increments, the universe would either have expanded and thinned out so rapidly that no stars could form and life couldn’t exist, or it would have collapsed back on itself with the same result: no stars, no planets, no life.

  94. 94
    bornagain77 says:

    A little something to brighten the Christian Theist’s evening, and sadden the atheist’s evening.

    Christians Now Outnumber Communists in China – 12/29/14
    Excerpt: Though the Chinese Communist Party is the largest explicitly atheist organization in the world, with 85 million official members, it is now overshadowed by an estimated 100 million Christians in China.,,,
    “By my calculations China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon,” said Fenggang Yang, a professor of sociology at Purdue University
    http://www.breitbart.com/natio.....-in-china/

  95. 95
    AVS says:

    I can copy and paste too, Box:

    “As I complained earlier, this claim is not sourced, making it somewhat difficult to address. However, I do find it somewhat funny that the video decided to use the Gravitational constant as one of its primary examples, especially considering the fact that it might not actually even be a constant. Back in 2002, Mikhail Gershteyn et al published a paper which seemed to show that measurements for G varied by orientation. Still, even if it is a constant, the idea that a variance of 1 part in 10^{60} would be devastating is fairly dubious. For example, the value for G listed by the video varies from the measurements found by Terry Quinn et al last year by more than 1 part in 500. To put that in perspective, that is more than 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times larger than the discrepancy which the video says would lead to the destruction of the universe. In point of fact, we have never known G to anywhere near the accuracy of 1 part in 10^{60}, nor any other constant.”

  96. 96
    Andre says:

    AVS

    “As I complained earlier, this claim is not sourced, making it somewhat difficult to address. However, I do find it somewhat funny that the video decided to use the Gravitational constant as one of its primary examples, especially considering the fact that it might not actually even be a constant.

    Firstly, its a presentation not a peer reviewed paper so if you’re actually interested in the source to verify (test everything)a simple search will do…..

  97. 97
    AVS says:

    I searched for evidence that supports the statement, “If this constant varied by just one in 10^60 parts, none of us would exist.” couldn’t seem to find anything. Let me know if you do, Andre.

    And was there a secondly and thirdly to go along with that “firstly” or what?
    You didn’t forget to take your meds did you?

  98. 98
    HeKS says:

    AVS,

    Luke Barnes wrote a very good paper on the Fine-Tuning of the universe (The Fine-Tuning of the Universe for Intelligent Life) which doubled as a response to Victor Stenger’s attempts to dismiss the fine-tuning. I thought it might be helpful for you if I paste in here some of what Barnes said about the Cosmological Constant:

    The cosmological constant problem is described in the textbook of Burgess & Moore (2006) as “arguably the most severe theoretical problem in high-energy physics today, as measured by both the di fference between observations and theoretical predictions, and by the lack of convincing theoretical ideas which address it”. A well-understood and well-tested theory of fundamental physics (Quantum Field Theory | QFT) predicts contributions to the vacuum energy of the universe that are  10120 times greater than the observed total value. Stenger’s reply is guided by the following principle:

    Any calculation that disagrees with the data by 50 or 120 orders of magnitude is simply wrong and should not be taken seriously. We just have to await the correct calculation. [Foft 219]

    This seems indistinguishable from reasoning that the calculation must be wrong since otherwise the cosmological constant would have to be fi ne-tuned. One could not hope for a more perfect example of begging the question. More importantly, there is a misunderstanding in Stenger’s account of the cosmological constant problem. The problem is not that physicists have made an incorrect prediction. We can use the term dark energy for any form of energy that causes the expansion of the universe to accelerate, including a “bare” cosmological constant (see Barnes et al., 2005, for an introduction to dark energy). Cosmological observations constrain the total dark energy. QFT allows us to calculate a number of contributions to the total dark energy from matter fi elds in the universe. Each of these contributions turns out to be 10^120 times larger than the total. There is no direct theory-vs.-observation contradiction as one is calculating and measuring di fferent things. The fi ne-tuning problem is that these diff erent independent contributions, including perhaps some that we don’t know about, manage to cancel each other to such an alarming, life-permitting degree….

    After dealing with Stenger’s individual attempts to explain away the Cosmological Constant, which ends with an appeal to the Multiverse, Barnes finishes with this:

    [A]n appeal to the multiverse is motivated by and dependent on the fi ne-tuning of the cosmological constant. Those who defend the multiverse solution to the cosmological constant problem are quite clear that they do so because they have judged other solutions to have failed. Examples abound:

    – There is not a single natural solution to the cosmological constant problem. … [With the discovery that  > 0] The cosmological constant problem became suddenly harder, as one could no longer hope for a deep symmetry setting it to zero. (Arkani-Hamed et al., 2005)

    - Throughout the years many people . . . have tried to explain why the cosmological constant is small or zero. The overwhelming consensus is that these attempts have not been successful. (Susskind, 2005, pg. 357)

    - No concrete, viable theory predicting  = 0 was known by 1998 [when the acceleration of the universe was discovered] and none has been found since. (Bousso, 2008)

    - There is no known symmetry to explains why the cosmological constant is either zero or of order the observed dark energy. (Hall & Nomura, 2008)

    - As of now, the only viable resolution of [the cosmological constant problem] is provided by the anthropic [HeKS -> i.e. multiverse] approach. (Vilenkin, 2010)

    See also Peacock (2007) and Linde & Vanchurin (2010), quoted above, and Susskind (2003).

    Conclusion: There are a number of excellent reviews of the cosmological constant in the scienti c literature (Weinberg, 1989; Carroll, 2001; Vilenkin, 2003; Polchinski, 2006; Durrer & Maartens, 2007; Padmanabhan, 2007; Bousso, 2008). In none will you find Stenger’s particular brand of dismissiveness. The calculations are known to be correct in other contexts and so are taken very seriously. Supersymmetry won’t help. The problem cannot be defi ned away.
    The most plausible small-vacuum-selecting mechanisms don’t work in a universe that contains matter. Particle physics is blind to the absolute value of the vacuum energy. The cosmological constant problem is not a problem only at the Planck scale and thus quantum gravity is unlikely to provide a solution. Quintessence and the infaton fi eld are just more fi elds whose vacuum state must be sternly commanded not to gravitate, or else mutually balanced to an alarming degree.

    There is, of course, a solution to the cosmological problem. There is some reason – some physical reason – why the large contributions to the vacuum energy of the universe don’t make it life-prohibiting. We don’t currently know what that reason is, but scientifi c papers continue to be published that propose new solutions to the cosmological constant problem (e.g. Shaw & Barrow, 2011). The point is this: however many ways there are of producing a life-permitting universe, there are vastly many more ways of making a life-prohibiting one. By the time we discover how our universe solves the cosmological constant problem, we will have compiled a rather long list of ways to blow a universe to smithereens, or quickly crush it into oblivion. Amidst the possible universes, life-permitting ones are exceedingly rare. This is fi ne-tuning par excellence.

    I’d also like to suggest a correction to a misunderstanding you seem to have regarding fine-tuning. The fine-tuning of the universe is not denied by the fact that we don’t find life abounding everywhere in the universe. The fine-tuning of the universe is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the existence of intelligent life. Were the universe not fine-tuned for life, it would be impossible for life to exist anywhere. That further amazing conditions are required for life to exist in any given local spot in the universe, like those we have here, does not undercut the amazing fine-tuning of the universe itself, since if it weren’t the fine-tuning of the universe it would be impossible to have those other conditions we have here … like a planet for example, or the sun, to name a few obvious ones.

    Also, just so you’re aware, Barnes provides a small sampling of well-known scientists who accept that the fine-tuning is very real and cannot be dismissed:

    Barrow, Carr, Carter, Davies, Dawkins, Deutsch, Ellis, Greene, Guth, Harrison, Hawking, Linde, Page, Penrose, Polkinghorne, Rees, Sandage, Smolin, Susskind, Tegmark, Tipler, Vilenkin, Weinberg, Wheeler, Wilczek

    It really is not for nothing that the multiverse has become all the rage in recent years. It’s also not for nothing that cosmologist Bernard Carr, in a 2008 article in Discover Magazine, said:

    “If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.”

    He is not alone in making comments like this.

    Andrei Linde also points out just how crucial the idea of the multiverse is for those who are determined to have a non-theistic, ‘scientific’ explanation for fine-tuning. He says:

    “We don’t have any alternative explanation for the dark energy; we don’t have any alternative explanation for the smallness of the mass of the electron; we don’t have any alternative explanation for many properties of particles.”

    And those cases he mentions are really just a few examples. There have been some different estimates about the number of fine-tuned parameters, but I’ve seen it estimated that there are between 30 and nearly 100 of them.

    Take care,
    HeKS

  99. 99
    Zachriel says:

    tjguy: How can you test this?

    Cosmic inflation predicts the the statistical distribution of temperature anisotropies of the cosmic background radiation. Observations generally support cosmic inflation, but results from the Planck spacecraft do constrain the theory considerably. See Astronomy and Astrophysics, which published a special feature describing the data gathered by Planck in November 2014.

    tjguy: So now you are appealing to as of yet unknown laws to support your beliefs about the origin of the universe.

    Um, no. We’re merely pointing out that simply assuming design because you don’t have another explanation is a well-known fallacy.

    tjguy: And neither can you default to “unknown laws” as a scientific claim!

    That’s correct. You can hypothesize new laws, and search for evidence. You can hypothesize design, and search for evidence. But unless the hypothesis has entailments of some sort, then you don’t have scientific evidence of the hypothesis.

    tjguy: I know which one gets my vote.

    At this point, no one has proposed any scientific hypothesis of cosmic design that has any testable entailments. However, hypotheses have been tested which have shown why other constants have the appearance of fine-tuning, such as the equivalence of gravitational and inertial masses, or the apparent flatness of space.

  100. 100
    Zachriel says:

    Box: However, a change by one part in 10^120 would dramatically alter the expansion rate of the universe – resulting in either a fast crunch or a (too) fast expansion.

    As the observed cosmological constant is 10^-122, one part in 10^120 would be 10^-122 ± 10^-242. That can’t be right, as measurements are not that precise. Perhaps you mean 10^-122 ± 10^-122, which is ± 100%. Is that what you mean by fine-tuning?

    See Barrow & Shaw, The Value of the Cosmological Constant, General Relativity and Gravitation 2011.

  101. 101
    bornagain77 says:

    ‘Amazing fine-tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word “miraculous” without taking a stand as to the ontological status of that word.’
    – George Ellis – He co-authored The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time with University of Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking, published in 1973, and is considered one of the world’s leading theorists in cosmology.

    Astrophysicist Hugh Ross PhD. – Scientific Evidence For Cosmological Constant (1 in 10^120 Expansion Of The Universe)
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4347218/

    Here is the paper from the atheistic astrophysicists, that Dr. Ross referenced in the preceding video, that speaks of the ‘disturbing implications’ of the finely tuned expanding universe (1 in 10^120 cosmological constant):

    Disturbing Implications of a Cosmological Constant – Dyson, Kleban, Susskind (each are self proclaimed atheists) – 2002
    Excerpt: “Arranging the universe as we think it is arranged would have required a miracle.,,,”
    “A external agent [external to time and space] intervened in cosmic history for reasons of its own.,,,”
    Page 21 “The only reasonable conclusion is that we don’t live in a universe with a true cosmological constant”.
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/0208013.pdf

    Here are the 9 lines of evidence that Dr. Ross mentioned in the preceding video which came out shortly after the preceding paper was listed as a preprint on the Los Alamos’s website. Evidences which made Dyson, Kleban and Susskind pull their paper, suggesting that we do not live in a universe with a ‘true cosmological constant’, from consideration,,,

    Accumulating Evidence for Dark Energy and Supernatural Design – 2011
    Excerpt: I (Hugh Ross) often refer to nine different lines of observational evidence that establish dark energy’s reality and dominance in my talks. These nine are:
    1.radial velocities of type Ia supernovae;
    2.WMAP of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR);
    3.ground-based measures of the CMBR;
    4.Sloan Digital Sky Survey of galaxies and galaxy clusters;
    5.Two-Degree Field Survey of galaxies;
    6.gravitational lens measurements of distant galaxies and quasars;
    7.distributions of radio galaxies;
    8.galaxy velocity distributions; and
    9.x-ray emissions from galaxy clusters.

    In the last several years, astronomers have added seven additional lines of observational evidence confirming the reality of the finely tuned cosmological constant, bringing the total to sixteen. These seven are:

    10.Lyman-alpha forest measurements;
    11.polarization measures of the cosmic microwave background radiation;
    12.stellar ages;
    13.cosmic inhomogeneities;
    14.gamma-ray bursts;
    15.evolution of galaxy clustering; and
    16.galaxy cluster angular size measurements.
    http://www.reasons.org/article.....y-articles

    Besides the evidence that Dr. Ross listed for the reality of the 1 in 10^120 finely tuned expansion of the universe, this following paper clearly indicates that we do live in universe with a ‘true cosmological constant’. A cosmological constant that is not reducible to a materialistic basis. Thus, atheistic astrophysicists are, once again, at a complete loss to explain why the universe expands in such a finely tuned way, whereas Theists are vindicated once again in their belief that the universal constants are truly transcendent of any possible materialistic explanation!

    Unchanging universal constant rules out materialistic theories for Dark Energy:
    Dark energy alternatives to Einstein are running out of room – January 9, 2013
    Excerpt: Last month, a group of European astronomers, using a massive radio telescope in Germany, made the most accurate measurement of the proton-to-electron mass ratio ever accomplished and found that there has been no change in the ratio to one part in 10 million at a time when the universe was about half its current age, around 7 billion years ago. When Thompson put this new measurement into his calculations, he found that it excluded almost all of the dark energy models using the commonly expected values or parameters.
    If the parameter space or range of values is equated to a football field, then almost the whole field is out of bounds except for a single 2-inch by 2-inch patch at one corner of the field. In fact, most of the allowed values are not even on the field. “In effect, the dark energy theories have been playing on the wrong field,” Thompson said. “The 2-inch square does contain the area that corresponds to no change in the fundamental constants, (a ‘true cosmological constant’), and that is exactly where Einstein stands.”
    http://phys.org/news/2013-01-d.....-room.html

    Also of note, in the following paper it was recently found that the proton-electron mass ratio does not vary in strong gravitational fields either. Thus, once again. backing up the claim that the cosmological constant in a ‘true’ constant which is not reducible to any possible materialistic explanation.

    Physical constant is constant even in strong gravitational fields – Sep 19, 2014
    Excerpt: An international team of physicists has shown that the mass ratio between protons and electrons is the same in weak and in very strong gravitational fields.,,,
    The idea that the laws of physics and its fundamental constants do not depend on local circumstances is called the equivalence principle. This principle is a cornerstone to Einstein’s theory of general relativity.,,,
    The researchers compared the proton-electron mass ratio near the surface of a white dwarf star to the mass ratio in a laboratory on Earth. White dwarfs stars, which are in a late stage of their life cycle, have collapsed to less than 1% of their original size. The gravitational field at the surface of these stars is therefore much larger than that on earth, by a factor of 10,000. The physicists concluded that even these strong gravitational conditions, the proton-electron mass ratio is the same within a margin of 0.005%. In both cases, the proton mass is 1836.152672 times as big as the electron mass.,,,
    per PhysOrg

    Eric Metaxas quotes Hugh Ross in his new book ‘Miracles’ on the fine tuning of the Cosmological constant:

    (Commenting on the 1 in 10^120 fine tuning of the expansion of the universe), “Hugh Ross states an analogy that does not even come close to describing the precarious nature of this cosmic balance [between too fast and too slow] would be a billion pencils all simultaneously positioned upright on their sharpened points on a smooth glass surface with no vertical supports.”
    Eric Metaxas – Miracles – page 49

    Here are the verses in the Bible Dr. Ross listed, which were written well over 2000 years before the discovery of the finely tuned expansion of the universe by ‘Dark Energy’, that speak of God ‘Stretching out the Heavens’; Job 9:8; Isaiah 40:22; Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 48:13; Zechariah 12:1; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 45:12; Isaiah 51:13; Jeremiah 51:15; Jeremiah 10:12.
    As a Christian, the following verse is my favorite out of the group of verses Dr. Ross listed since it supports my belief that Jesus actually did walk on water:

    Job 9:8
    He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.

    The Truman Show – Truman walking on water – screenshot picture
    http://gaowsh.files.wordpress......0-pm-2.jpg

    It should be emphasized that atheistic materialism never predicted the constants to be unvarying in the first place, (in fact atheistic materialism presupposes chaos at the base of reality), yet Theism does predict invariance of the constants:

    Psalm 119:89-91
    Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven. Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created. Your regulations remain true to this day, for everything serves your plans.

    Stronger and More Comprehensive Tests Affirm the Universe’s Unchanging Physics – July 1, 2013 By Dr. Hugh Ross
    Excerpt: For thousands of years, the Bible has been on record stating that the physical laws governing the universe do not vary. For example, Jeremiah 33:25, God declares that he “established the fixed laws of heaven and earth” (NIV, 1984).,,,
    Laboratory measurements have established that variations any greater than four parts per hundred quadrillion (less than 4 x 10-17) per year cannot exist in the fine structure constant, which undergirds several of the physical laws.,,,
    ,,they confirmed with 99 percent certainty that possible variations in the fine structure must be less than two parts per 10 quadrillion per year over the past 10 billion years. This limit is about a thousand times more constraining than the one I described in More Than a Theory.
    – Per Reasons dot Org

    In fact, modern science was born out of that ‘faith’ that the physical laws governing the universe do not vary:

    “C. S. Lewis put it this way: “Men became scientific because they expected law in nature and they expected law in nature because they believed in a lawgiver.””
    John Lennox – Not the God of the Gaps, But the Whole Show – Aug. 2012

    According to the materialistic philosophy, there are no apparent reasons why the value of each transcendent universal constant could not have varied from what they actually are. In fact, the presumption of materialism expects a fairly large amount of flexibility, indeed chaos, in the underlying constants for the universe. This a-priori assumption within materialism, that we should find variance in the constants, is born out by the ‘surprise’ that scientists of the materialistic persuasion express every time we find no variance in the constants.
    Moreover, most atheists do not seem to realize that if the universal constants were actually found to have even a small variance in them, as they presuppose they should vary, then that would destroy our ability to practice science rationally.
    Even a small variance in the constants would undermine our ability to mathematically model the universe in a reliable fashion. In the following article, please note the chaos would ensue if just a very small variance were have to been found in just one of the universal constants:

    Scientists Question Nature’s Fundamental Laws – Michael Schirber – 2006
    Excerpt: “There is absolutely no reason these constants should be constant,” says astronomer Michael Murphy of the University of Cambridge. “These are famous numbers in physics, but we have no real reason for why they are what they are.”
    The observed differences are small-roughly a few parts in a million-but the implications are huge (if they hold up): The laws of physics would have to be rewritten, not to mention we might need to make room for six more spatial dimensions than the three that we are used to.”,,,
    The speed of light, for instance, might be measured one day with a ruler and a clock. If the next day the same measurement gave a different answer, no one could tell if the speed of light changed, the ruler length changed, or the clock ticking changed.

    http://www.space.com/2613-scie.....-laws.html

    Einstein himself expressed wonder at the ‘epistemological miracle’ that we should, merely by taking thought, reliably model the world with mathematics when, according to materialistic premises, we should not be able to do so:

    “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.”
    Albert Einstein – Letters to Solovine – New York, Philosophical Library, 1987

    Mathematics and Physics – A Happy Coincidence? – William Lane Craig – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF25AA4dgGg

    1. If God did not exist the applicability of mathematics would be a happy coincidence.
    2. The applicability of mathematics is not a happy coincidence.
    3. Therefore, God exists.

    also of note to Einstein and the invariance of constants

    “Recent experiments have confirmed, to within one part in one hundred million billion (10^17), that the speed of light does not change when an observer is in motion.”
    Douglas Ell – “Counting To God” – pg. 41 – 2014

    Also of note, our ability to do mathematics, and accurately model the universe with mathematics, is, besides proof for Theism, also proof that we have a mind that is not reducible to the brain:

    “Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection from the mind of God. That mankind shares in it is because man is an image of God.”
    – Johannes Kepler

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    “Either mathematics is too big for the human mind or the human mind is more than a machine.”
    – Kurt Gödel

    Verse and Music:

    Isaiah 1:18
    Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

    Paul Baloche – He Is Risen
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kbbxraBjy8

  102. 102
    Zachriel says:

    bornagain77 (quoting): “A external agent [external to time and space] intervened in cosmic history for reasons of its own

    Can’t find the quote in the linked paper.

  103. 103
    Zachriel says:

    Zachriel: Can’t find the quote in the linked paper.

    There is only one quote with the word “external”, a sentence which ends with a question mark.

    The question then is whether the origin of the universe can be a naturally occurring fluctuation, or must it be due to an external agent which starts the system out in a specific low entropy state?

    They continue,

    Another possibility is an unknown agent intervened in the evolution, and for reasons of its own restarted the universe in the state of low entropy characterizing inflation. However, even this does not rid the theory of the pesky recurrences.

    It is also possible that we are missing some important feature that picks out, or weights disproportionally, the recurrences which go through a conventional evolution, beginning with an inflationary era. However, we have no idea what this feature would be.

  104. 104
    bornagain77 says:

    Another fact about the expansion of the universe that argues very strongly for Theism is the WAY in which the universe expands. The universe does not expand ‘normally’. The universe, instead of expanding from a central point in space, is expanding everywhere. i.e. Every 3-Dimensional point in space is central in the finely-tuned expansion of the universe!

    “There is no centre of the universe! According to the standard theories of cosmology, the universe started with a “Big Bang” about 14 thousand million years ago and has been expanding ever since. Yet there is no centre to the expansion; it is the same everywhere. The Big Bang should not be visualized as an ordinary explosion. The universe is not expanding out from a centre into space; rather, the whole universe is expanding and it is doing so equally at all places, as far as we can tell.”
    Philip Gibbs – Where is the centre of the universe?:
    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/.....entre.html

    Thus from a 3-dimensional (3D) perspective, any particular 3D spot in the universe is to be considered just as ‘center of the universe’ as any other particular spot in the universe is to be considered ‘center of the universe’. This centrality found for any 3D place in the universe is because the universe is a 4D expanding hypersphere, analogous in 3D to the surface of an expanding balloon. All points on the surface are moving away from each other, and every point is central, no matter where you live in the universe.
    In regards to trying to understand this counterintuitive finding, it is helpful to note that ‘higher dimensional’ mathematics was developed by Reimann, (who was a devout Christian),, and that that development in higher dimensional mathematics was necesary before Einstein could elucidate the 4-D spacetime of General Relativity, (or even before Quantum Mechanics could be elucidated);

    The Mathematics Of Higher Dimensionality – Gauss & Riemann
    https://vimeo.com/98188985

    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,
    per Dartmouth edu

    I find the best way to get this ‘centrality of each 3-D point in 4-D space-time’ concept across is to visualize it first hand. Thus I reference the first few minutes of this following video to clearly get this ‘centrality of every place in the universe’ concept across:

    Centrality of The Earth Within The 4-Dimensional Space-Time of General Relativity – video
    https://vimeo.com/98189061

    It is also interesting to note that higher dimensions, such as these higher dimensions from which our universe is sustained and upon which it is founded, would be invisible to our 3-Dimensional sight:

    Dr Quantum Flatland
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6206QWGh3s

    Verse:

    2 Corinthians 4:18
    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

    As to establishing that an ‘unknown agent’, external to space and time, ‘for reasons of its own’, i.e. God, not only created this universe but sustains this universe in its continued existence, quantum mechanics is far better at establishing that Theistic fact than General Relativity is.
    Because of advances in Quantum Mechanics, the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even a central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    A Short Survey Of Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uLcJUgLm1vwFyjwcbwuYP0bK6k8mXy-of990HudzduI/edit

    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.

    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.

    Psalm 115:2-3
    Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

    Moreover, from a slightly different angle, ‘Life’, with a capital L, is found to be central to the universe in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides a very credible, empirically backed, reconciliation to the most profound enigma in modern science. Namely the unification of General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics/Special Relativity (Quantum Electrodynamics) into a ‘Theory of Everything’:

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life (Jesus Christ) – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

    As would be expected if General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics/Special Relativity (QED) were truly unified in the resurrection of Christ from death, the image on the shroud is found to be formed by a quantum process. The image was not formed by a ‘classical’ process:

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/journals/i.....802004/271

    Of Related Note: As would be predicted in Theism, two very different ‘eternities’ are revealed by modern physics. A very ordered eternity in special relativity and a very destructive eternity in general relativity:

    Special Relativity, General Relativity, Heaven and Hell
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_4cQ7MXq8bLkoFLYW0kq3Xq-Hkc3c7r-gTk0DYJQFSg/edit

    “Einstein’s equation predicts that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”
    Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476

    Verse:

    Matthew 16:26
    And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

    The following site is also very interesting to the topic of ‘centrality in the universe’;

    The Scale of The Universe – Part 2 – interactive graph (recently updated in 2012 with cool features)
    http://htwins.net/scale2/scale.....olor=white

    The preceding interactive graph and video 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.

  105. 105
    Zachriel says:

    bornagain77: The universe, instead of expanding from a central point in space, is expanding everywhere. i.e. Every 3-Dimensional point in space is central in the finely-tuned expansion of the universe!

    That’s because it is space-time that is expanding. It’s no different from as a sphere expands, no point on the sphere is different from any other point in terms of being the center of the expansion.

    You might want to address our previous comment.

  106. 106
    bornagain77 says:

    ‘We’ might want to consider the fact that I consider the plurality of you not worth the trouble of discussing anything with since I have written you off as a troll.

  107. 107
    Zachriel says:

    bornagain77: not worth the trouble of discussing anything

    You misquoted the article, and thereby misrepresented its contents. The presumption was that this was inadvertent, and that you would correct the record. Was the presumption in error?

  108. 108
    ppolish says:

    Those who deny the reality of fine tuning are probably trollish, maybe just being contrary for “fun”, or maybe lazy with their brain.

    The equations and constants listed in the OP video revealing the fine tuning are a spectacular testament to Science and the Scientists who uncovered them. I’m guessing mostly Theist Scientists.

    Some Atheist Scientists are choosing to leave the fine tuning behind and board the metaphysical train to the Multiverse. The fine tuning deniers here at UD should jump on that bandwagon. You will seem less trollish/contrary/dense. Just saying.

  109. 109
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: The equations and constants listed in the OP video revealing the fine tuning are a spectacular testament to Science and the Scientists who uncovered them.

    The video also pointed out three different possible scenarios, but argued incorrectly when discounting two of them.

  110. 110
    JDH says:

    I’m not sure exactly what you’re referring to when you say “the appearance of fine-tuning.”
    Everything I’ve said pertains to the supposed fine-tuning of the universe for life, as Mikey put it. But I disagree. In fact, I think the universe is far from fine-tuned for life. Life has come about in only a the smallest fraction of the universe; how could the universe be so perfectly fine tuned for life, and yet we only see life here on Earth?

    Unless you are arguing that there is tons of life existing in the universe that we aren’t aware of?

    Or do you think the universe is fine-tuned for something else?

    Actually AVS, I partially agree with you. The universe is not fine-tuned just for life. According to scientific investigation it is fine-tuned to proclaim the truth of ID.

    Just think about it AVS. Please take off your ideological blindfold and think.

    If you wanted to proclaim through observation of nature alone that there was a creator this is probably the best way to do it.

    1. Fine-tune the constants so that life is possible. Make it so that the fine-tuning of the constants alone is enough to make skeptics admit that the evidence for design in the constants alone is overwhelming.

    2. Yet even with the constants fine-tuned so that the possibility of life exists, make it so that life is so hard to occur naturally, that life could only reasonably occur with divine intervention.

    3. Make it possible where you position the one planet you instill with life has means to scientifically investigate the creation.

    4. Enable the life forms on this planet to have a will and a freedom of choice so that after they investigate these things, they can choose to believe.

    The problem is even after all this there still exist people who willfully blind their eyes to the evidence to proclaim their message of unbelief. And they still don’t get the irony of the fact that they willfully choose to disbelieve. They don’t get that by proclaiming that they have made a choice to disbelieve in a creator, they are defeating their own argument. (Free will is not an illusion, it is the only reason that despite the overwhelming evidence, you can still choose to by irrational faith disbelieve )

    “The heavens declare the glory of God…”

  111. 111
    ppolish says:

    Zachriel, if you deny fine tuning, it makes little sense to debate it’s creation. Are you ready to accept the fine tuning of this here Universe?:)

  112. 112
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: if you deny fine tuning, it makes little sense to debate it’s creation. Are you ready to accept the fine tuning of this here Universe?:)

    Is a placid lake “fine-tuned” because its surface is extraordinarily flat?

  113. 113
    ppolish says:

    Zach, if your lake is an imaginary lake, who knows. If your lake is an actual Earth lake, yes it is incredibly fine tuned. Do you deny an actual Earth lake is the result of fine tuning. If your answer “yes” and I can read between lines lol, I’ll just wish you a Happy New Year and leave it at that.

  114. 114
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: Do you deny an actual Earth lake is the result of fine tuning.

    This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.

    — Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

  115. 115
    Joe says:

    Zachriel is dense. Water is evidence for fine-tuning which means the puddle wouldn’t exist without intelligent design. Zachriel doesn’t understand its position cannot account for water.

  116. 116
    ppolish says:

    Oh no, the Waking Puddle Gambit. Not as bad as Vogon Poetry, but still pretty bad.

  117. 117
    tjguy says:

    Zachriel @ 103

    tjguy: How can you test this?

    Cosmic inflation predicts the the statistical distribution of temperature anisotropies of the cosmic background radiation. Observations generally support cosmic inflation, but results from the Planck spacecraft do constrain the theory considerably. See Astronomy and Astrophysics, which published a special feature describing the data gathered by Planck in November 2014.

    I do understand that there is some data that can be used to support the Big Bang model and inflation, however, that is not testing the data. This is only a model and it cannot really be tested in the actual meaning of the word. This is the problem with historical science. Models can work nicely on a computer, but that doesn’t mean they are accurate. They depend on so many parameters, subjective data inputs, etc. that simply finding a model that seems to work is almost meaningless because we don’t know if that is what really happened or not. And as you said, there are MANY constraints on the model. The more constraints, the less credible in my book. The more constraints, the stronger the case for design.

    tjguy: So now you are appealing to as of yet unknown laws to support your beliefs about the origin of the universe.

    Um, no. We’re merely pointing out that simply assuming design because you don’t have another explanation is a well-known fallacy.

    So again I ask: “How much evidence does it take to allow for the Design hypothesis to be accepted?”

    It doesn’t mean that the design hypothesis is proven, true, but you have to admit that based on what we do know, it points towards design at this point.

    So, why not base our ideas on what we do know at this point as opposed to what may or may not be discovered in the future?

    What we do know at this point could easily be seen as evidence for the design hypothesis, could it not? IF the universe was designed, like the ID hypothesis says, wouldn’t this type of data fit with that hypothesis?

    It is certainly not conclusive, but that is ONE POSSIBLE interpretation of the data is it not?

    If not, why not? (Worldview answers that eliminate immaterial causes a priori don’t count here.)

    See, if we play your game, then we would not be able to make any hard and fast statements/interpretations about the past because you never know what we might find in the future. But that’s not how science works. We start with what we know currently and work from there. If and when new information comes to light that casts doubt on our ideas, then we change them.

    But it seems that you don’t like what the current data show so you don’t want us to make any conclusions at this time but wait for evidence that you hope will support your worldview.

    You are welcome to place your faith in future scientific discoveries to uphold your current views and explain the data, but you have no right to claim that we cannot use that same data to support our views.

    Materialists take the data and plug it into their paradigm in such a way as to try and make it makes sense. IDers do the same and the data on fine tuning fits quite nicely in that paradigm. Neither of us can prove it or run an experiment to show it is true, but we can show that it fits nicely in the ID paradigm.

    tjguy: And neither can you default to “unknown laws” as a scientific claim!

    That’s correct. You can hypothesize new laws, and search for evidence. You can hypothesize design, and search for evidence. But unless the hypothesis has entailments of some sort, then you don’t have scientific evidence of the hypothesis.

    This is how the Materialists deal with ID. The claim is that God, if He exists, is outside of the Magisterium of science so it cannot be tested for. Therefore ID is not scientific. But in saying that, you are admitting that even if some intelligence did design the universe for life, we would not be able to test for that. That means that science is limited in what it can determine. There have to be other avenues to the truth since science cannot deal with anything untestable or immaterial.

    If this is true, then science may not ever be able to arrive at the real answer because of it’s limits. If the universe is designed, in seeking for a natural explanation, you could easily go on searching for a million years and will still not come up with a good theory or else sim;y a false theory.

    What this means is that according to your definition of science, there might not be a scientific explanation for everything. So if there is a Creator and if He used any miraculous powers in creating the universe, then science would not be able to determine this. That is a distinct possibility that you must face.

    tjguy: I know which one gets my vote.

    At this point, no one has proposed any scientific hypothesis of cosmic design that has any testable entailments. However, hypotheses have been tested which have shown why other constants have the appearance of fine-tuning, such as the equivalence of gravitational and inertial masses, or the apparent flatness of space.

    Right, and if you are going to hold out for a scientific explanation defined by your terms, you might have to wait for an eternity and never find an answer. Does one exist?

    No one knows. You hope it does and you tend to believe that it does. Fine. Everyone is welcome to their own beliefs. But many of us look at the evidence and arrive at a different conclusion. We think it is very possible, given the data, that a truly scientific explanation might not exist.(again, I’m using “scientific” in the materialist sense of the word where only natural forces are permissible to explain things.)

    ID is NOT anti-science. We are not against future research. We are just willing to allow the design hypothesis to be a part of science, even if the designer happens to be a supernatural Being.

    So, you say: “We just don’t know, so we shouldn’t jump to any conclusions. Let’s keep looking for a natural explanation.”

    Fine. We say: “We don’t know for sure, but what we do know sure does seem to indicate intelligent design, so that is where we are right now. If further information comes along that challenges that interpretation, then so be it, but until then, the data points to design. A supernatural designer is not out of the question given the data.”

  118. 118
    ppolish says:

    “A supernatural designer is not out of the question given the data.”

    That is so true Tjguy. Although I think it is an understatement – supernatural design is on the short list of explanations given the scientific evidence against accident or necessity.

    Many think it comes down to God and/or Multiverse. Some wild ideas like computer simulation are out there on the fringe, but the God and/or Multiverse is where the action & science is.

    God Design already explains the fine tuning. Multiverse may someday explain the fine tuning, but even then will still be downstream from God Design:)

  119. 119
    Zachriel says:

    tjguy: This is only a model and it cannot really be tested in the actual meaning of the word.

    That’s exactly the meaning of the word.

    tjguy: So again I ask: “How much evidence does it take to allow for the Design hypothesis to be accepted?”

    Confirmation of specific and distinguishing empirical entailments.

    tjguy: It is certainly not conclusive, but that is ONE POSSIBLE interpretation of the data is it not?

    One can always interpret design, but that doesn’t give it scientific credibility. That requires the testing of entailments.

    tjguy: What this means is that according to your definition of science, there might not be a scientific explanation for everything.

    Of course. If we don’t have a good scientific explanation, then we don’t have a good scientific explanation.

    tjguy: So, you say: “We just don’t know, so we shouldn’t jump to any conclusions. Let’s keep looking for a natural explanation.”

    Any scientific hypothesis is fine, but that requires testable entailments.

  120. 120
    Joe says:

    Intelligent Design posits testable entailments. OTOH the alternatives do not appear to be able to do so.

  121. 121
    ppolish says:

    “Learn something new every day” for me is many times a result of reading a BA77 post or other UD contributors:)

    But today I learned that “Dark Energy” is another way of expressing the Cosmological Constant. Did not know that.

    Also, besides the “Cosmological Constant Problem” there is a “Coincidence Problem”

    “The cosmological constant is not diluted as the universe expands, whereas the density of matter drops in inverse proportion to the volume. This means that there is only a fleeting moment of cosmological time during which the matter density will be of comparable magnitude to the vacuum energy density. Many argue that to be living in that moment is too unlikely to be coincidence. This has been called the coincidence problem, and has motivated theories beyond the cosmological constant with more general forms of dark energy that may change with time.”

    http://www.scholarpedia.org/ar.....#carroll04

  122. 122
    Mung says:

    Earlier we mentioned the book by Lawrence J. Henderson.

    Of course, it’s not just the universe that is finely tuned for life, and there are more recent treatments.

    For example:

    Water and Life: The Unique Properties of H2O

    Physical life is simply miraculous. Period. We only think it common because we appear to be surround by it. It appears to be ubiquitous. But it isn’t. Not by a long shot. Life is special, and so are we.

    Happy New Year

  123. 123
    hrun0815 says:

    Intelligent Design posits testable entailments. OTOH the alternatives do not appear to be able to do so.

    And I’m sure in 2015 Joe will list some of those testable entailments. And then in the following years the ID community will do some science and actually test them.

    Hahaha. Happy New Year. Hope it’s filled with this much laughter.

  124. 124
  125. 125
    Box says:

    AVS, Evolve, Me_Think and Zachriel seems to deny the reality of a fine-tuned universe. None of them argues in favor of a multiverse; probably because it is not testable – and for our materialists friends ‘non-testability’ equals ‘non-existence’.

    On testability: without consciousness no science (or whatever) but is consciousness testable by the blunt instruments of science? Size, weight, mechanism? And how about reason?

    Back to the reality of fine-tuning:

    Eric Metaxas – The Wall Street Journal

    Today there are more than 200 known parameters necessary for a planet to support life — every single one of which must be perfectly met, or the whole thing falls apart. Without a massive planet like Jupiter nearby, whose gravity will draw away asteroids, a thousand times as many would hit Earth’s surface. The odds against life in the universe are simply astonishing.

    Yet here we are, not only existing, but talking about existing. What can account for it? Can every one of those many parameters have been perfect by accident? At what point is it fair to admit that science suggests that we cannot be the result of random forces? Doesn’t assuming that an intelligence created these perfect conditions require far less faith than believing that a life-sustaining Earth just happened to beat the inconceivable odds to come into being?

    There’s more. The fine-tuning necessary for life to exist on a planet is nothing compared with the fine-tuning required for the universe to exist at all. For example, astrophysicists now know that the values of the four fundamental forces — gravity, the electromagnetic force, and the “strong” and “weak” nuclear forces — were determined less than one millionth of a second after the big bang. Alter any one value and the universe could not exist. For instance, if the ratio between the nuclear strong force and the electromagnetic force had been off by the tiniest fraction of the tiniest fraction — by even one part in 100,000,000,000,000,000 — then no stars could have ever formed at all. Feel free to gulp.

    Multiply that single parameter by all the other necessary conditions, and the odds against the universe existing are so heart-stoppingly astronomical that the notion that it all “just happened” defies common sense. It would be like tossing a coin and having it come up heads 10 quintillion times in a row. Really?

  126. 126
    Zachriel says:

    Box: AVS, Evolve, Me_Think and Zachriel seems to deny the reality of a fine-tuned universe.

    We made a specific objection to the cosmological constant “tuning” above, which you ignored; as well as more general objections.

  127. 127
    Andre says:

    Zach

    Keep you head in the sand, there is no such thing as an honest materialist. Why? Because if truth was your persuit you’d know by the evidence that materialism does not fit this universe.

    You are dishonest, not to others but to yourself by denying what is true, I don’t even have to enquire if God will punish you, you’re punishing yourself.

    Keep up the denial.

  128. 128
    Zachriel says:

    Andre: Keep you head in the sand,

    Not an ostrich.

    Andre: there is no such thing as an honest materialist.

    Not a materialist.

    Andre: Keep up the denial.

    Not an argument.

  129. 129
    Joe says:

    hrun:

    And I’m sure in 2015 Joe will list some of those testable entailments.

    I did in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006.2005, 2004

    And then in the following years the ID community will do some science and actually test them.

    We already have.

    OTOH your position still has nothing and obviously that bothers you.

  130. 130
    Joe says:

    LoL! Does Zachriel think that ostriches bury their heads in the sand? Really??

  131. 131
    Box says:

    Joe:

    Water is evidence for fine-tuning which means the puddle wouldn’t exist without intelligent design. Zachriel doesn’t understand its position cannot account for water.

    Very well put. We are talking about the prerequisites for a puddle to exist: space, time, elements, natural laws and so forth.

  132. 132
    hrun0815 says:

    I did in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006.2005, 2004

    and

    We already have.

    Let me make yet another prediction:

    You are unwilling to point out any such entailments in response to this post nor will you want to list the scientific tests of these entailments.

    Let me guess: you are not here to teach us, you do not want to do my bidding, I can just find it myself with Google, …

    Nah. But I’m sure you’ll find some other snarky excuse.

  133. 133
    Joe says:

    hrun- With respect to fine tuning it is all laid out in “The Privileged Planet” and I will gladly go over them, again.

    With respect to biology ID is based on three premises and the inference that follows (DeWolf et al., Darwinism, Design and Public Education, pg. 92):

    1) High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.

    2) Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.

    3) Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.

    4) Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.

    Those are the core concepts of ID and to falsify Intelligent Design all one has to do is demonstrate that natural selection can produce irreducibly complex biological systems. Each one is being tested every day and they all still hold.

  134. 134
    hrun0815 says:

    Each one is being tested every day and they all still hold.

    Well done, Joe. That actually made me smile instead of groan.

  135. 135
    wgbutler says:

    Zachriel,

    Why do you suppose Leonard Susskind thinks the cosmological constant is extremely fine tuned and can’t possibly be the result of chance?

    see here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXi_YaDO9ZI

    Also, you keep saying that you are not a materialist. Would you please clarify? Do you think there is more to reality than matter and energy? If so, what?

  136. 136
    Joe says:

    Whatever hrun, I know that you cannot intelligently respond to what I posted and that makes me smile.

  137. 137
    Me_Think says:

    wgbutler @ 135

    Why do you suppose Leonard Susskind thinks the cosmological constant is extremely fine tuned and can’t possibly be the result of chance?

    Are you sure it is not a part of an interview, and he was not going to rant about his String theory landscape ? He is the guy who thinks there are many patches of ‘landscape’, each with own constants and Earth is just one patch of the landscape ! He is also the ‘Holographic principle’ guy.

  138. 138
    Box says:

    Me_Think #137, you seem to be confused. Susskind’s ideas on string theory are irrelevant to the assessment that the cosmological constant is extremely fine tuned and can’t possibly be the result of chance. This assessment – to my surprise disputed by all materialists in this thread – is basic knowledge; one of several factors on which string theory landscape is founded.

  139. 139
    Zachriel says:

    wgbutler: Why do you suppose Leonard Susskind thinks the cosmological constant is extremely fine tuned and can’t possibly be the result of chance?

    Because it has a very small absolute value. However, if it were fine-tuned in the sense of being set by an external agent, then we would expect it to be at the optimal level, which evidence indicates it may not be.

    It’s clear scientists are still very uncertain as to the meaning of the cosmological constant. They haven’t even been able to calculate the energy of the vacuum with any accuracy.

  140. 140
    Me_Think says:

    Box @ 138,
    String theory landscape posits 10^100 vacuas, each with different constants.Although it is argued as support for anthropic principle, essentially, it is just a principle of chance (that some of those vacuas will support life).
    How does it support the notion that universe evolved so it can be observed by intelligent observers? It is, at best, a philosophical argument.

  141. 141
    wgbutler says:

    Zachriel,

    And don’t forget about this:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-susskind/

    “If, for some unforeseen reason, the landscape turns out to be inconsistent – maybe for mathematical reasons, or because it disagrees with observation – I am pretty sure that physicists will go on searching for natural explanations of the world. But I have to say that if that happens, as things stand now we will be in a very awkward position. Without any explanation of nature’s fine-tunings we will be hard pressed to answer the ID critics. One might argue that the hope that a mathematically unique solution will emerge is as faith-based as ID.”

    Is Susskind completely off base here? What do you know that he doesn’t?

    Also, again I ask that you add some clarity to your “not a materialist” remarks.

  142. 142
    Zachriel says:

    wgbutler: Is Susskind completely off base here?

    Whenever there is a gap in scientific understanding, creationists will insert their preferred metaphysical paste. It doesn’t constitute a valid scientific claim.

    wgbutler: Also, again I ask that you add some clarity to your “not a materialist” remarks.

    A couple of millennia ago or so, philosophical discussions were refreshing.

  143. 143
    Box says:

    Zachriel: Whenever there is a gap in scientific understanding, creationists will insert their preferred metaphysical paste. It doesn’t constitute a valid scientific claim.

    There are – as there has always been – principle gaps in scientific understanding. To name but a few: the origin of matter and energy, the cosmological constants, natural laws. And of course the principle gaps at the very foundation of science: consciousness and reason.
    And yes Zachriel, these questions might be pushed back one or two steps, but there is no infinite regress in natural causes – a refreshingly simple philosophical truth, which materialists are unable to grasp.

  144. 144
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    Whenever there is a gap in scientific understanding, creationists will insert their preferred metaphysical paste. It doesn’t constitute a valid scientific claim.

    I say,

    Godel would probably call them axioms instead of gaps and he would remind us that every consistent system will have them.

    Science will press up against the “gaps” it might even rearrange them from time to time but the gaps will remain….. forever.

    peace

  145. 145
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: Godel would probably call them axioms instead of gaps and he would remind us that every consistent system will have them.

    In science, as opposed to mathematics, axioms are proposed in order to test their empirical entailments; otherwise, they are scientifically vacuous.

    fifthmonarchyman: Science will press up against the “gaps” it might even rearrange them from time to time but the gaps will remain….. forever.

    Yeah. Every time science fills one gap, it makes two more.

    Science is necessarily always going to be incomplete.

  146. 146
    Joe says:

    Strawman alert:

    Because it has a very small absolute value. However, if it were fine-tuned in the sense of being set by an external agent, then we would expect it to be at the optimal level…

    So everything designed by external/ intelligent agencies is fine-tuned to an optimal level? BWAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

  147. 147
    Joe says:

    Own goal alert:

    In science, as opposed to mathematics, axioms are proposed in order to test their empirical entailments; otherwise, they are scientifically vacuous.

    Which is why unguided evolution is scientifically vacuous.

  148. 148
    ppolish says:

    Zach, it is only very recently that the extent of the fine tuning has been discovered. It is no longer a god-in-the-gaps but now an atheist-in-the-gaps and a god-at-the-core or a multiverse-at-the-core.

    “God caused an earthquake” changed to “Plate Tectonics caused earthquake” changed to “Plate Tectonics are the result of incredible fine tuning”.

    The fine tuning needs to be explained, unscientific to deny/ignore. Science is currently having a very tough time.

  149. 149
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: it is only very recently that the extent of the fine tuning has been discovered.

    The fine-tuning argument has been around since time immemorial.

  150. 150
    Mung says:

    Zachriel: In science, as opposed to mathematics, axioms are proposed in order to test their empirical entailments; otherwise, they are scientifically vacuous.

    Unlike mathematical axioms which can be totally mathematically vacuous. Got it.

  151. 151
    ppolish says:

    Zach, yes the Ancients sensed the fine tuning. Called it God.

    But only very recently has the fine tuning been quantified. The discovery of the rate of Universe expansion in 1998 really got the ball rolling. Fine tuned Higgs more recently. The Ancients were on the right track. Causing a crisis in Cosmology these days, darn Ancients

  152. 152
    Zachriel says:

    Z: In science, as opposed to mathematics …

    Mung: Unlike mathematical axioms which can be totally mathematically vacuous.

    In mathematics, the deductions are the end-point; in science, just the beginning.

  153. 153
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: But only very recently has the fine tuning been quantified.

    The modern fine-tuning argument, like previous gap arguments, relies upon human ignorance.

  154. 154
    wgbutler says:

    Zachriel,


    Whenever there is a gap in scientific understanding, creationists will insert their preferred metaphysical paste. It doesn’t constitute a valid scientific claim.

    Do you consider Susskind to be a creationist? Last I checked he was an atheist.

    So again I ask, was he completely off base with his concession about being hard pressed to respond to Intelligent Design advocates if string theory turned out to be incorrect?

    BTW, do you consider Christopher Hitchens to be a creationist too?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9TMwfkDwIY&list=PLP4PWG_bj5wbRDYMlFgxRB-gzrb4xxs3c&index=34

  155. 155
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    like previous gap arguments

    I say,

    Can you provide a synopsis (with links) of previous gap arguments from renowned theistic philosophers that have been abandoned as human knowledge increased?

    I’m looking for the arguments of the scholarly elite not folk beliefs of the average joe in the pew.

    Thanks in advance
    peace

  156. 156
    Zachriel says:

    wgbutler: Do you consider Susskind to be a creationist?

    Susskind speculates. Creationists make unsupported claims.

    wgbutler: So again I ask, was he completely off base with his concession about being hard pressed to respond to Intelligent Design advocates if string theory turned out to be incorrect?

    It doesn’t matter. Whenever there is a gap in scientific understanding — which is always — , creationists will insert their preferred metaphysical paste. It still doesn’t constitute a valid scientific claim.

    What you have with the fine-tuning problem is unanswered questions. There may be an underlying symmetry as yet undiscovered. No one knows.

  157. 157
    Joe says:

    And some projection thrown in:

    The modern fine-tuning argument, like previous gap arguments, relies upon human ignorance.

    The anti-ID positions rely on human ignorance. The fine tuning argument is based on the same science as forensics, archaeology, SETI and all design-centric venues, ie our knowledge of cause and effect relationships.

    Here’s to Zachriel, continually making unsupported claims.

  158. 158
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: Can you provide a synopsis (with links) of previous gap arguments from renowned theistic philosophers that have been abandoned as human knowledge increased?

    It’s called the teleological argument, an argument which has permeated Western religious and philosophical thought for millennia.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleological_argument

  159. 159
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    What you have with the fine-tuning problem is unanswered questions. There may be an underlying symmetry as yet undiscovered. No one knows.

    I say,

    For many questions we will never…ever…know.

    To hold out hope that science will eventually come to the rescue and explain it all is the epitome of an unscientific stand,

    The scientific approach would be to offer an alternative hypothesis for the variables in question and test it.

    Instead you offer a hope that someday you will figure it out in the bye and bye.

    peace

  160. 160
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: For many questions we will never…ever…know.

    We’ll never know what stars are made of. — Auguste Comte

    fifthmonarchyman: To hold out hope that science will eventually come to the rescue and explain it all is the epitome of an unscientific stand

    Have no idea if the problem will be solved. However, the discovery of the problem is fairly recent, and there have been a number of interesting discoveries made while trying to unravel the secret. Meanwhile, that just means we shall remain ignorant.

    fifthmonarchyman: The scientific approach would be to offer an alternative hypothesis for the variables in question and test it.

    Sure. Go for it!

  161. 161
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    @Zac

    Do you honestly think “what are the stars made of?” is the same kind of question as “why do the physical constants occur in the fortuitous ranges that they do?” ?

    Zac says,

    Sure. Go for it!

    I say,

    already did

    quote”

    “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.”

    end quote:
    Fred Hoyle

    your turn!!!

    peace

  162. 162
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: your turn!!!

    You haven’t finished your turn yet. The scientific approach would be to offer an alternative hypothesis for the variables in question and test it.

  163. 163
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    It’s called the teleological argument, an argument which has permeated Western religious and philosophical thought for millennia.

    I say,

    Apparently you misunderstood me.

    I know about the teleological argument and the criticisms of it.

    I looking for a synopsis (with links) of previous gap arguments from renowned theistic philosophers that have been abandoned as human knowledge increased?

    Thanks in advance

    peace

  164. 164
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    ZAc says

    You haven’t finished your turn yet.

    I say,

    Do you honestly think you need to wait for our side to finish before you can even offer a competing hypothesis?

    You say

    The scientific approach would be to offer an alternative hypothesis for the variables in question and test it.

    I say,

    That is what my side is doing,

    The evolution of the universe itself and it’s discovery is the test.

    The anthropic Principle has yielded lots of valuable unexpected insights. That trend will continue.

    The closer we look the more the universe will seem like a put up job.

    If on the other hand we find that the the requirements for the intelligent life of discovery are not as stringent as we believe it will make the hypothesis less likely.

    But that in itself will not make your position any more likely

    You need to offer an hypothesis of your own not just a promissory note.

    peace

  165. 165
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: I looking for a synopsis (with links) of previous gap arguments from renowned theistic philosophers that have been abandoned as human knowledge increased?

    Philosophers rarely abandon their beliefs. They just age out. Few now consider the Earth to be the center of the physical universe, for instance.

    fifthmonarchyman: Do you honestly think you need to wait for our side to finish before you can even offer a competing hypothesis?

    Huh? There are many speculative hypotheses, but none that are testable as yet. That’s why the so-called fine-tuning of the the physical parameters is considered an open question at this time.

    fifthmonarchyman: The evolution of the universe itself and it’s discovery is the test.

    Oh gee whiz. A valid scientific hypothesis needs to entail specific and distinguishing empirical consequences. Waving your hands at the sky and marveling is not a scientific hypothesis.

  166. 166
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    Few now consider the Earth to be the center of the physical universe.

    I say

    Was the position of the earth ever part of a gap argument made by a renowned theistic philosopher? Links please

    Zac says,

    There are many speculative hypotheses, but none that are testable as yet.

    I say,

    what part of “The evolution of the universe itself and it’s discovery is the test.” was unclear to you?

    You say

    That’s why the so-called fine-tuning of the the physical parameters is considered an open question at this time.

    I say,

    It will remain a “open question”/axiom till the universe ends and the test is completed.

    or until your side comes up with a competing hypothesis to explain fine-tuining.

    We are waiting

    you say,

    A valid scientific hypothesis needs to entail specific and distinguishing empirical consequences.

    I say

    I agree that is why our hypothesis offers them

    what part of “The anthropic Principle has yielded lots of valuable unexpected insights. That trend will continue.The closer we look the more the universe will seem like a put up job.” is unclear to you?

    You say

    Waving your hands at the sky and marveling is not a scientific hypothesis.

    I say,

    agreed,

    Placing your hope in anthropomorphized “science” to some day explain it all is not a scientific hypothesis. In fact it is the opposite of science it’s blind faith.

    peace

  167. 167
    Mung says:

    Zachriel: In mathematics, the deductions are the end-point; in science, just the beginning.

    In mathematics, the axioms are not the deductions.

    And there are no demonstrations in science.

  168. 168
    wgbutler says:

    Zachriel,

    I guess I’m not sure what to say. The fine tuning of the universe for life is non-controversial and conceded by most top rank atheistic physicists, including but not limited to: Stephen Hawking, Leonard Susskind, Martin Rees, Paul Davies, and Fred Hoyle. Only a few atheist diehards like Lawrence Krauss even try to argue that the universe is not all that fine tuned, and no educated person on the subject takes them seriously.

    Is your point that the universe is not really all that fine tuned? Nothing to see here, move along?

    Or are you instead saying that you have blind faith that the universe was not tuned by a mind and someday science will find a naturalistic explanation for the tuning? If so, what are your arguments for that position?

    Denying the fine tuning just makes you look ignorant. No offence, but I give the opinions of Leonard Susskind and Martin Rees more credibility than some random guy on an Internet forum.

    BTW, here is a GREAT podcast to listen to from astronomer Luke Barnes on the fine tuning of the laws and constants of physics:

    http://ia902708.us.archive.org.....Barnes.mp3

  169. 169
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: Was the position of the earth ever part of a gap argument made by a renowned theistic philosopher?

    Most of them, at least in the West.

    fifthmonarchyman: what part of “The evolution of the universe itself and it’s discovery is the test.” was unclear to you?

    What part of “Waving your hands at the sky and marveling is not a scientific hypothesis” was unclear to you?

    fifthmonarchyman: It will remain a “open question”/axiom till the universe ends and the test is completed. or until your side comes up with a competing hypothesis to explain fine-tuining.

    Then it remains an open question. Thank you for admitting there are no entailments for your claim that can be tested.

    fifthmonarchyman: what part of “The anthropic Principle has yielded lots of valuable unexpected insights

    Sure, like geocentrism.

    fifthmonarchyman: The closer we look the more the universe will seem like a put up job.” is unclear to you?

    That’s your claim, but one without scientific merit as you have already indicated there is no way to test it short of waiting for the end of the universe.

    fifthmonarchyman: Placing your hope in anthropomorphized “science” to some day explain it all is not a scientific hypothesis.

    We’re not saying whether science will or will not find a scientific explanation. Only that speculation, in-and-of-itself, doesn’t constitute scientific evidence.

    Mung: In mathematics, the axioms are not the deductions.

    That is correct. In mathematics, we have axiom, deduction. In science, we have hypothesis or axioms, deduction of entailments, then observation of entailments.

    wgbutler: Is your point that the universe is not really all that fine tuned?

    We’ve made several points. One, that the so-called fine-tuning of the cosmological constant is not optimal*. That this is a very new area of science with a lot of uncertainty; in particular, they haven’t been able to properly account for vacuum energy. That there may be some underlying symmetry that explains the so-called fine-tuning. That there may be multiverses. These latter may have testable entailments, but are still very speculative. That there could be design, but this is seemingly contradicted by the non-optimal cosmological constant, and no one has any idea how to test such a proposition.

    * See Page, Evidence Against Fine Tuning for Life, arXiv:1101.2444 2011, who finds that the maximum biophilic value for the cosmological constant is between zero and -3.5 * 10^-122. Notice the sign is opposite that of the observed value.

  170. 170
    ppolish says:

    Lots of incredible Science in the first 10 minutes of the pad cast Wgbutler. Lot of genius level thinking leading to incredible knowledge and discoveries. But no waking puddles or wizened fish. Zach will not be impressed.

  171. 171
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    Most of them, at least in the West.

    I say,

    link please.

    again, Keep in mind I’m not asking if philosophers believed the earth was the center of the universe.

    I’m asking for evidence that renowned theistic philosophers claimed that the earth’s position somehow was evidence for the existence of God. in other words a gap argument.

    By the way given relativity where exactly is the center of the universe?

    You say,

    What part of “Waving your hands at the sky and marveling is not a scientific hypothesis” was unclear to you?

    I say,

    The part where that action was attributed to me for some reason because I said The evolution of the universe itself and it’s discovery is the test.

    you say,

    We’re not saying whether science will or will not find a scientific explanation. Only that speculation, in-and-of-itself, doesn’t constitute scientific evidence.

    I say,

    Are you claiming

    1) That the universe is fine-tuned for intelligent life is speculation?.,,,

    or

    2) That anytime we are exploring implications of empirical observations we are merely speculating?

    If you mean number (2) would you agree that exploring the implications of the apparent nested hierarchy in biology is merely speculation? If not why not?

    Peace

  172. 172
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: I’m asking for evidence that renowned theistic philosophers claimed that the earth’s position somehow was evidence for the existence of God.

    Yes, most of them, at least in the West. That’s the issue for which Inquisition tried Galileo; he called into question this basic assumption.

    fifthmonarchyman: By the way given relativity where exactly is the center of the universe?

    No place on the surface of an expanding sphere is the center.

    fifthmonarchyman: The part where that action was attributed to me for some reason because I said The evolution of the universe itself and it’s discovery is the test.

    As you already admitted, you can’t provide a scientific test entailed in your hypothesis.

    fifthmonarchyman: 1) That the universe is fine-tuned for intelligent life is speculation?

    Yes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    fifthmonarchyman: 2) That anytime we are exploring implications of empirical observations we are merely speculating?

    You haven’t provided any entailments concerning the speculation, other than pointing at the sky and exclaiming “The universe!”

  173. 173
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    That’s the issue for which Inquisition tried Galileo; he called into question this basic assumption.

    I say,

    So, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

    I’m not asking abut what people believed in the middle ages I’m asking about gap arguments.

    This will be the last time I ask. If I don’t see a link with a argument for God’s existence based on the position of the earth I will assume you are bluffing yet again.

    you say,

    No place on the surface of an expanding sphere is the center.

    I say

    From here:

    http://www.universetoday.com/1.....-universe/

    quote:

    Imagine you’re standing in a dark room holding a candle. You can see out into a sphere around you. You’re at the center of your observable space. And if I’m in a different location, I’ll have a different observable sphere. This is why we say that everyone is at the center of their own personal observable Universe.

    and

    No matter how you think about it and break it down, you’re at the center of everything. And so am I.

    end quote:

    Me before:

    [Are you claiming] That the universe is fine-tuned for intelligent life is speculation?

    you before;

    Yes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    Me now

    I’m not sure how I can have an intelligent discussion with someone who discounts the most profound observation of modern science as speculation.

    peace

  174. 174
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: So, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

    It shows that Medieval Christians tied geocentrism to their anthropocentric notions of creation: God created the world for mankind, and put the Earth in the center of His creation. It’s hard to imagine you’re arguing this point.

    fifthmonarchyman: Imagine you’re standing in a dark room holding a candle. You can see out into a sphere around you. You’re at the center of your observable space. And if I’m in a different location, I’ll have a different observable sphere. This is why we say that everyone is at the center of their own personal observable Universe.

    Which means there is no objective center.

    fifthmonarchyman: I’m not sure how I can have an intelligent discussion with someone who discounts the most profound observation of modern science as speculation.

    We’re not sure how we can have an intelligent discussion with someone who discounts the most profound observation of modern science as speculation.

    See how unproductive your statement was. You are assuming what you have to show, which is that the universe is fine-tuned for intelligent life. As most scientists reject your claim, it is certainly not something that should simply be accepted as proven, which is what you seem to be suggesting.

    Indeed, you don’t appear capable of supporting your claim. We’ve made several points. 1) The so-called fine-tuning of the cosmological constant is not optimal. 2) This is a very new area of science with a lot of uncertainty; in particular, they haven’t been able to properly account for vacuum energy. 3) There may be some underlying symmetry that explains the so-called fine-tuning. 4) There may be multiverses. Symmetries and multiverses may have testable entailments, but are still very speculative at this time. 5) There could be design, but this is seemingly contradicted by the non-optimal cosmological constant, and no one has any idea how to test such a proposition. 6) The designer itself would have to be ‘fine-tuned’, so it merely pushes back the problem to an unevidenced entity.

  175. 175
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    ZAc says,

    It’s hard to imagine you’re arguing this point.

    I say,

    It’s not hard to see why you are trying to change the subject from a point I’m actually arguing (gap arguments) to an irrelevant red herring(beliefs of the medievals)

    You say,

    Which means there is no objective center.

    I say,

    If there is an objective point of view then by definition there is an objective center of the universe.

    you say,

    You are assuming what you have to show, which is that the universe is fine-tuned for intelligent life.

    I say,

    That the universe is fine-tuned for intelligent life is not controversial.

    If anyone of the phyiscal constants were slightly different the only intelligent life we know of in the vast universe would not exist.

    The question is why do these constants have the values they do.

    you say,

    Indeed, you don’t appear capable of supporting your claim.

    I say,

    You are confounding the simple observation of fine-tuning with a claim as to it’s cause.

    An honest open person could admit the obvious observation with out accepting my causal explanation for it.

    You do appear to be such a person

    you say,

    As most scientists reject your claim

    I say

    please link to a scientist who thinks we could exist with dramatically different physical constants.

    peace

  176. 176
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: It’s not hard to see why you are trying to change the subject from a point I’m actually arguing (gap arguments) to an irrelevant red herring(beliefs of the medievals)

    Beliefs of medieval scholars is an example of what you asked about. God made the Earth the center of his universe. The ‘fact’ that the Earth is the center of the universe is proof of the existence of God. That’s medieval cosmology.

    fifthmonarchyman: If there is an objective point of view then by definition there is an objective center of the universe.

    An ‘objective point-of-view’ is an abstraction, not a point in space.

    fifthmonarchyman: That the universe is fine-tuned for intelligent life is not controversial.

    We raised a number of objections.

    fifthmonarchyman: You are confounding the simple observation of fine-tuning with a claim as to it’s cause.

    Some of our objections confound the notion of fine-tuning. For instance, if there is an underlying symmetry that determines the constant values, then it is no more fine-tuned than the surface of a placid lake is fine-tuned to be extraordinarily flat.

    fifthmonarchyman: please link to a scientist who thinks we could exist with dramatically different physical constants.

    As many scientists entertain the possibility of multiverses, the constants are then just a matter of happenstance and the anthropic principle, not fine-tuning.

  177. 177
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: It’s not hard to see why you are trying to change the subject from a point I’m actually arguing (gap arguments) to an irrelevant red herring(beliefs of the medievals)

    Beliefs of medieval scholars is an example of what you asked about. God made the Earth the center of his universe. The ‘fact’ that the Earth is the center of the universe is proof of the existence of God. That’s medieval cosmology.

    fifthmonarchyman: If there is an objective point of view then by definition there is an objective center of the universe.

    An ‘objective point-of-view’ is an abstraction, not a point in space.

    fifthmonarchyman: That the universe is fine-tuned for intelligent life is not controversial.

    We raised a number of common objections.

    fifthmonarchyman: You are confounding the simple observation of fine-tuning with a claim as to it’s cause.

    Some of our objections confound the notion of fine-tuning. For instance, if there is an underlying symmetry that determines the constant values, then it is no more fine-tuned than the surface of a placid lake is fine-tuned to be extraordinarily flat.

    fifthmonarchyman: please link to a scientist who thinks we could exist with dramatically different physical constants.

    As many scientists entertain the possibility of multiverses, the constants are then just a matter of happenstance and the anthropic principle, not fine-tuning.

  178. 178
    Box says:

    Zachriel #169: See Page, Evidence Against Fine Tuning for Life, arXiv:1101.2444 2011, (…)

    Interestingly Zachriel refers to a paper of the Christian cosmologist Don Page – conveniently leaving out his name. Stephen Hawking, Leonard Susskind (a ‘creationist’ according to Zachriel; see post #142), Martin Rees, Paul Davies, and Fred Hoyle are all discarded in favor of the Christian cosmologist Don Page.

    I wonder what Zachriel’s opinion is on Don Page’s paper “A Theological Argument for an Everett Multiverse”.

    I also wonder what would have happened if Don Page was arguing for fine-tuning and Stephen Hawking, Leonard Susskind, Martin Rees, Paul Davies, and Fred Hoyle were not.

  179. 179
    Me_Think says:

    fifthmonarchyman @ 175

    That the universe is fine-tuned for intelligent life is not controversial.

    How does that follow ? Plants ,microbes existed far earlier than man, so Earth is actually fine-tuned for the earliest organisms. There is more matter in universe than us, so why do you think universe is not fine-tuned for matter formation but fine-tuned for intelligent life formation?

  180. 180
    Zachriel says:

    Zachriel: See Page, Evidence Against Fine Tuning for Life, arXiv:1101.2444 2011

    Box: Interestingly Zachriel refers to a paper of the Christian cosmologist Don Page – conveniently leaving out his name.

    His name is Page, as in “See Page“.

    Box: I also wonder what would have happened if Don Page was arguing for fine-tuning and Stephen Hawking, Leonard Susskind, Martin Rees, Paul Davies, and Fred Hoyle were not.

    We cited Page because he provide scientific information concerning the cosmological constant, not for his theological beliefs.

  181. 181
    bornagain77 says:

    Box at 177, excellent,

    ,,,of related note to exposing hucksters who try to sucker people

    Shell Game Exposed – video
    http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/82219626/

  182. 182
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    zac said,

    The ‘fact’ that the Earth is the center of the universe is proof of the existence of God.

    I say

    You provided no example of a renowned theistic philosopher who ever argued this despite repeated requests. You are bluffing

    you say,

    An ‘objective point-of-view’ is an abstraction, not a point in space.

    I say,

    If an observer inside the universe was quantumly entangled with an objective reference point outside of the universe his point of view would be objective by definition

    check it out

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1310.4691

    me think_says

    why do you think universe is not fine-tuned for matter formation but fine-tuned for intelligent life formation?

    I say,

    Because matter can’t discover the phyiscal constants or contemplate their significance.

    It takes intelligent life to ponder the necessary prerequisites of it’s existence .

    The temperature in my refrigerator is not fine-tuned for the milk it is fine-tuned for me. just the way I like it.

    peace

  183. 183
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: You provided no example of a renowned theistic philosopher who ever argued this despite repeated requests.

    The Inquisition, a tribunal of the Church, found that Holy Scripture says the Earth is at the center of the physical universe with Heaven above, God being the Prime Mover. The medieval model of the universe is best exemplified in Dante’s “Divine Comedy”.

    fifthmonarchyman: If an observer inside the universe was quantumly entangled with an objective reference point outside of the universe his point of view would be objective by definition

    You included your conclusion in your argument.

  184. 184
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    The Inquisition, a tribunal of the Church, found that Holy Scripture says……

    The medieval model of the universe is best exemplified in Dante’s “Divine Comedy”.

    I say,

    The Inquisition and “Divine Comedy” are not a gap (teleological) arguments
    You are bluffing

    Zac says

    You included your conclusion in your argument.

    I say,

    It wasn’t an argument. It was an obvious observation.

    peace

  185. 185
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: “Divine Comedy” is not a gap (teleological) argument

    Divine Comedy is a poetical description of medieval cosmology, which is based on the supposition of a God-ordained, man-centered universe.

    fifthmonarchyman: if an observer inside the universe was quantumly entangled with an objective reference point outside of the universe his point of view would be objective by definition

    If an observer inside the universe was quantumly entangled with a fizzbin reference point outside of the universe his point of view would be fizzbin.

  186. 186
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    Divine Comedy is a poetical description of medieval cosmology

    I say,

    for probably the forth and last time the issue is not about the beliefs of the Medievals. It’s about previous gap arguments from renowned theistic philosophers that have been abandoned as human knowledge increased

    You have nothing so you are bluffing

    I say,

    If an observer inside the universe was quantumly entangled with a fizzbin reference point outside of the universe his point of view would be fizzbin.

    I say

    correct, if fizzbin exists his point of view would be fizzbin by definition.

    Now if you want to argue that objectivity is like fizzbin in that it is meaningless or does not exist go for it.

    good luck with that

    peace

  187. 187
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: for probably the forth and last time the issue is not about the beliefs of the Medievals. It’s about previous gap arguments from renowned theistic philosophers that have been abandoned as human knowledge increased

    The classical planets trace complex movements across the skies, movements that determine the course of days, seasons, even the rise and fall of kings and empires. The planets appear to revolve around people and their concerns, so the conclusion is that the universe is God-ordained and man-centered. Geocentrism is such a classic, it’s hard to believe it requires elaboration. The Inquisition made it a matter of religious law.

    fifthmonarchyman: if fizzbin exists his point of view would be fizzbin by definition.

    Not by definition, but perhaps by implication. Any attribute can be substituted with as much or as little meaning.

  188. 188
    Box says:

    Zachriel: We cited Page because he provide scientific information concerning the cosmological constant, not for his theological beliefs.

    Only the truth matters, right Zachriel? I like that. So you put your faith in Christian cosmologist D.N.Page and discard Steven Weinberg, Stephen Hawking, Leonard Susskind, Martin Rees, Paul Davies, and Fred Hoyle because somehow Don Page’s research convinced you that he (D.Page) is right and the others are wrong. What was it? What convinced you?

    You may want to check this out.

    excerpt:

    VJTorley:

    Professor Page’s latest paper undercuts the view that the universe is optimal, but it doesn’t undercut fine-tuning. The evidence for fine-tuning remains compelling.

  189. 189
    JimFit says:

    Let me start by saying that Science is neutral on questions about existence, Atheists think that Science will somehow please their nihilistic desires and prove that the Universe is an accident (whatever that means) but this doesn’t work in reality. Opposite to what atheists believe Science truly studies if there was intention behind an event or not, Criminology for example can look at a lifeless body and prove if the victim was killed due to accident or intention. As a Theist i support that the Universe is due to intention and not chance because it is the only logical conclusion, it follows cause and effect. Chance is a philosophical view of things that doesn’t work in science, the apple didn’t fell on Newtons head because there are lots of apples aka due to chance but due to gravity. Atheists miss that before science there was intention to do science, therefor our consciousness precedes science and for that reason i believe that intention precedes the Physical World and therefor it was intended to be created and yes the Universe began to exist so it follows the definition of the creation.. Atheists also miss that an Eternal Universe ultimately destroys Science, when an atheist say AHA YOU USE GOD OF THE GAPS ARGUMENT all he says is this THE UNIVERSE MUST BE ETERNAL AND THEREFOR UNKNOWN! You can’t use infinity of the Universe as a counter argument to God especially when God is transcendent and doesn’t involve to the Physical World which the Bible proclaims as understandable to humans because they are the Images of God (equal to Him in understanding). Theists don’t fill the gaps with God, they just fill the gaps with a cause that links to the Ultimate Cause.

    Multiverses can’t save the atheists because they demand a beginning.

    The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem states that any universe, which has, on average, a rate of expansion greater 1 that system had to have a finite beginning. This would apply in any multiverse scenario as well.

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/gr-qc/0110012v2.pdf

    You can’t escape the Ultimate cause, Multiverses also would need a Universal Fine Tuned Constant to create Universes and not etc kitties.

    The Fine Tuning is not due to chance or physical necessity.

    Physical Necessity?

    Consider the first alternative, physical necessity.

    This alternative seems extraordinarily implausible because the constants and quantities are independent of the laws of nature. The laws of nature are consistent with a wide range of values for these constants and quantities. For example, the most promising candidate for a Theory of Everything (T.O.E.) to date, super-string theory or M-Theory, allows a “cosmic landscape” of around 10500 different universes governed by the present laws of nature, so that it does nothing to render the observed values of the constants and quantities physically necessary.

    Chance?

    So what about the second alternative, that the fine-tuning is due to chance? The problem with this alternative is that the odds against the universe’s being life-permitting are so incomprehensibly great that they cannot be reasonably faced. In order to rescue the alternative of chance, its proponents have therefore been forced to adopt the hypothesis that there exists a sort of World Ensemble or multiverse of randomly ordered universes of which our universe is but a part. Now comes the key move: since observers can exist only in finely tuned worlds, of course we observe our universe to be fine-tuned!

    So this explanation of fine-tuning relies on (i) the existence of a specific type of World Ensemble and (ii) an observer self-selection effect. Now this explanation, wholly apart from objections to (i), faces a very formidable objection to (ii), namely, the Boltzmann Brain problem. In order to be observable the entire universe need not be fine-tuned for our existence. Indeed, it is vastly more probable that a random fluctuation of mass-energy would yield a universe dominated by Boltzmann Brain observers than one dominated by ordinary observers like ourselves. In other words, the observer self-selection effect is explanatorily vacuous. As Robin Collins has noted, what needs to be explained is not just intelligent life, but embodied, interactive, intelligent agents like ourselves.[21] Appeal to an observer self-selection effect accomplishes nothing because there’s no reason whatever to think that most observable worlds or the most probable observable worlds are worlds in which that kind of observer exists. Indeed, the opposite appears to be true: most observable worlds will be Boltzmann Brain worlds.

    Since we presumably are not Boltzmann Brains, that fact strongly disconfirms a naturalistic World Ensemble or multiverse hypothesis.

    YOU CAN’T HAVE INFINITE PAST CAUSES AND THEREFOR AN EXPLANATION OF AN EXPLANATION OF THE CONSTANTS CANNOT GO AD INFINITY, you can’t escape the Ultimate cause!

    David E. White argues that the notion of an infinite causal regress providing a proper explanation is fallacious. Furthermore Demea states that even if the succession of causes is infinite, the whole chain still requires a cause.To explain this, suppose there exists a causal chain of infinite contingent beings. If one asks the question, “Why are there any contingent beings at all?”, it won’t help to be told that “There are contingent beings because other contingent beings caused them.” That answer would just presuppose additional contingent beings. An adequate explanation of why some contingent beings exist would invoke a different sort of being, a necessary being that is not contingent. A response might suppose each individual is contingent but the infinite chain as a whole is not; or the whole infinite causal chain to be its own cause.

    Does Inflation solve the Fine Tuning?

    The historical pattern has been than when fine-tuning is suppressed at one point, it only gets transferred somewhere else, rather like the stubborn bump in the carpet. For example, appeal to an inflationary era in the early universe to explain the fine-tuning of the universe’s expansion rate merely shifts the fine-tuning to the primordial inflaton field and the coupling parameter linked to the density fluctuations that eventually became our galaxies.

    Does Lottery Machine solve the Fine Tuning?

    No. The lottery machine only draws numbers, lets suppose that the physical reality is the numbers in the chamber of the lottery machine, since everything physical began (according to the BVG Theorem) the Lottery machine can’t draw something non physical aka letters or hieroglyphics but only numbers (something physical). Therefor this paradigm made by the Atheists is illogical.

    Atheists Scientists that agree with the Fine Tuning of the Universe

    Let’s play pick the odd one out of these non-theist scientists.

    Wilczek: life appears to depend upon delicate coincidences that we have not been able to explain. The broad outlines of that situation have been apparent for many decades. When less was known, it seemed reasonable to hope that better understanding of symmetry and dynamics would clear things up. Now that hope seems much less reasonable. The happy coincidences between life’s requirements and nature’s choices of parameter values might be just a series of flukes, but one could be forgiven for beginning to suspect that something deeper is at work.

    Hawking: “Most of the fundamental constants in our theories appear fine-tuned in the sense that if they were altered by only modest amounts, the universe would be qualitatively different, and in many cases unsuitable for the development of life. … The emergence of the complex structures capable of supporting intelligent observers seems to be very fragile. The laws of nature form a system that is extremely fine-tuned, and very little in physical law can be altered without destroying the possibility of the development of life as we know it.”

    Rees: Any universe hospitable to life – what we might call a biophilic universe – has to be ‘adjusted’ in a particular way. The prerequisites for any life of the kind we know about — long-lived stable stars, stable atoms such as carbon, oxygen and silicon, able to combine into complex molecules, etc — are sensitive to the physical laws and to the size, expansion rate and contents of the universe. Indeed, even for the most open-minded science ?ction writer, ‘life’ or ‘intelligence’ requires the emergence of some generic complex structures: it can’t exist in a homogeneous universe, not in a universe containing only a few dozen particles. Many recipes would lead to stillborn universes with no atoms, no chemistry, and no planets; or to universes too short-lived or too empty to allow anything to evolve beyond sterile uniformity.

    Linde: the existence of an amazingly strong correlation between our own properties and the values of many parameters of our world, such as the masses and charges of electron and proton, the value of the gravitational constant, the amplitude of spontaneous symmetry breaking in the electroweak theory, the value of the vacuum energy, and the dimensionality of our world, is an experimental fact requiring an explanation.

    Susskind: The Laws of Physics … are almost always deadly. In a sense the laws of nature are like East Coast weather: tremendously variable, almost always awful, but on rare occasions, perfectly lovely. … [O]ur own universe is an extraordinary place that appears to be fantastically well designed for our own existence. This specialness is not something that we can attribute to lucky accidents, which is far too unlikely. The apparent coincidences cry out for an explanation.

    Guth: in the multiverse, life will evolve only in very rare regions where the local laws of physics just happen to have the properties needed for life, giving a simple explanation for why the observed universe appears to have just the right properties for the evolution of life. The incredibly small value of the cosmological constant is a telling example of a feature that seems to be needed for life, but for which an explanation from fundamental physics is painfully lacking.

    Smolin: Our universe is much more complex than most universes with the same laws but different values of the parameters of those laws. In particular, it has a complex astrophysics, including galaxies and long lived stars, and a complex chemistry, including carbon chemistry. These necessary conditions for life are present in our universe as a consequence of the complexity which is made possible by the special values of the parameters.

    Victor Stenger: The most commonly cited examples of apparent fine-tuning can be readily explained by the application of a little well-established physics and cosmology. . . . [S]ome form of life would have occurred in most universes that could be described by the same physical models as ours, with parameters whose ranges varied over ranges consistent with those models. … . My case against fine-tuning will not rely on speculations beyond well-established physics nor on the existence of multiple universes.

  190. 190
    Me_Think says:

    fifthmonarchyman @ 181

    Because matter can’t discover the phyiscal constants or contemplate their significance.
    It takes intelligent life to ponder the necessary prerequisites of it’s existence .
    The temperature in my refrigerator is not fine-tuned for the milk it is fine-tuned for me. just the way I like it.

    The temperature in the fridge is fine-tuned to ensure milk or whatever is inside doesn’t spoil. If you like your milk hot, your fridge is not going to fine-tune for that.
    Universe is not fine-tuned for pondering. Universe is fine tuned for matter creation, not intelligent life.

  191. 191
    Me_Think says:

    JimFit @ 188,

    Atheists miss that before science there was intention to do science, therefor our consciousness precedes science and for that reason i believe that intention precedes the Physical World

    Why is intention specific to scientists? If we are all fine-tuned, we all should have intention to do science. If intention precedes physical world, it would mean you don’t need the brain for intention, any other body part would do. You think brain has no part in intention ?

    The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem states that any universe, which has, on average, a rate of expansion greater 1 that system had to have a finite beginning. This would apply in any multiverse scenario as well

    BVG Theorem paper shows inflation alone is not sufficient to provide a complete description of the Universe, and some new physics is necessary in order to determine the correct conditions at the boundary. It doesn’t talk of a finite beginning.
    I haven’t found a satisfactory answer to where and how a Single designer can design and launch an entire universe.

  192. 192
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Mark Frank says

    The temperature in the fridge is fine-tuned to ensure milk or whatever is inside doesn’t spoil.

    I say,

    Sure If I want it not to spoil you are correct.

    On the other hand if for example I’m doing an experiment on raw verses pasteurized milk I might fine-tune the temperature to ensure the growth of bacteria

    You say

    If you like your milk hot, your fridge is not going to fine-tune for that.

    I say

    Sure it is, check it out

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

    I have a thermostat and a Home Depot down the road to make any modifications I need. I’m in charge not the produce.

    You say

    Universe is not fine-tuned for pondering. Universe is fine tuned for matter creation, not intelligent life.

    I say,

    Matter creation is only important because it is important to the intelligent life who ponder it.

    That is the point

    peace

  193. 193
    Mark Frank says:

    #191 5MM

    Mark Frank says …

    You have the wrong person – I never contributed to this thread (until now)

  194. 194
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Sorry Mark I mistook Me_think for you

    peace

  195. 195
    Me_Think says:

    fifthmonarchyman @ 191

    If you like your milk hot, your fridge is not going to fine-tune for that.

    Sure it is, check it out

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

    I have a thermostat and a Home Depot down the road to make any modifications I need. I’m in charge not the produce.

    That is customization, not fine-tuning. Fine tuning is akin to configuring a system [edited for clarity].

    Universe is not fine-tuned for pondering. Universe is fine tuned for matter creation, not intelligent life.
    Matter creation is only important because it is important to the intelligent life who ponder it.

    Even when we didn’t exist, universe was ‘fine-tuned’ [ I believe Dinosaurs were not pondering about cosmological constant and omega of universe]

  196. 196
    JimFit says:

    You_Think you said

    Why is intention specific to scientists? If we are all fine-tuned, we all should have intention to do science.

    I just pointed out that science happen because we had the intention to understand the Universe, some people choose science, some chose ignorance but they won happiness. If you take 2 brains you will see that their wiring is different, you create your brain!

    If intention precedes physical world, it would mean you don’t need the brain for intention, any other body part would do. You think brain has no part in intention ?

    This is exactly what i am saying because there are brainless organisms with consciousness and intention

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lls27hu03yw

    The brain provides you the way to express intention,the buttons, if the brain was as the whole the intention device then the brain when traumatized would affect intention but that doesn’t happen, intention stays intact. There are people that have traumatized their brain after an accident and they fight their own brain, its the people who suffer from change in personality..It is when they start to cry or get angry without an obvious reason and they know that it is a product of their brain and they have the intention to rewrite their brain wiring to fix these. Have you seen the movie A Beautiful Mind ? It is based on a real event, this man had the intention to heal himself from hallucinations that his brain produced and he did it.

    You can watch these videos for more info. They provide scientific peer reviewed papers to support their claims

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C5pq7W5yRM

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBsI_ay8K70&index=2&list=UU5qDet6sa6rODi7t6wfpg8g

    BVG Theorem paper shows inflation alone is not sufficient to provide a complete description of the Universe, and some new physics is necessary in order to determine the correct conditions at the boundary. It doesn’t talk of a finite beginning.

    Haven’t you tired to use the same argument when
    Vilenkin disagrees with you?

    Vilenkin pulls no punches: “It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning” (p. 176).

    In this video he analyzes why the Universe began

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXCQelhKJ7A

    Also from Villenkin :

    “The question of whether or not the universe had a beginning assumes a classical spacetime, in which the notions of time and causality can be defined. On very small time and length scales, quantum fluctuations in the structure of spacetime could be so large that these classical concepts become totally inapplicable. Then we do not really have a language to describe what is happening, because all our physics concepts are deeply rooted in the concepts of space and time. This is what I mean when I say that we do not even know what the right questions are.”

    NOT EVEN QUANTUM FLUCTUATIONS CAN BE ETERNAL!

    I haven’t found a satisfactory answer to where and how a Single designer can design and launch an entire universe.

    If intention isn’t needed then the Universe popped out of Nothingness assembled itself through Randomness and we are here due to luck. Please provide me peer reviewed papers about Randomness Nothingness and Luck. The problem with random cosmic mistakes (atheists) is that they try to think a murder as an accident. CLEARLY there must be intention before the Universe began because the Universe by definition is Finite and therefor can’t have a physical cause. Even if there are causes that we don’t know yet they can’t extent to infinity, YOU CAN’T ESCAPE THE ULTIMATE CAUSE!

    How do you create a Universe? Do you create it by building each planet separately? No you don’t. You set the conditions, the values if you like and the Universe unfolds, you don’t have to build each tree, each human, each flower and so on…An omniscience God knows what He has to do before it happens to have a result. Humans do the same, they can find something that happened in the past or will it happen in the Future without actually observe it, if you have knowledge you are powerful, God is powerful because He is omniscience and so on..

    Science has show that the observer truly affects the result and that shows that consciousness preceeds materialism. If you want a proof about a timeless spaceless and immaterial thing you must look at yourself because your consciousness is transcendent.

    Quantum Enigma
    Observation in Quantum Mechanics and the ‘Collapse of the Wavefunction’

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1961ZPhy..161..454J

    http://journals.aps.org/pr/abs.....Rev.47.777

    http://philoscience.unibe.ch/d.....964epr.pdf

    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....6866a.html

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvMx1baJwpA

    http://link.springer.com/artic.....6096313729

    http://arxiv.org/abs/0704.2529

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/ar.....to-reality

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nttB3Wze3Y8

    http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/9903047

    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....ly-web.htm

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1106.4481

    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....ke-it.html

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiNJRh2fxY8

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1206.6578

    http://www.nature.com/news/200.....416-9.html

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1207.5294

    http://www.pnas.org/content/108/4/1256.abstract

    http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR07/Event/57254

    http://www.nature.com/nnano/jo.....12.34.html

    http://www.livescience.com/192.....cules.html

    http://arxiv.org/abs/0909.1469

    http://www.nature.com/news/201.....1.210.html

    http://www.wired.com/2009/09/quantum-entanglement/

    http://www.nature.com/news/201.....0.130.html

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/pap.....1.0337.pdf

  197. 197
    Zachriel says:

    Box: So you put your faith in Christian cosmologist D.N.Page and discard Steven Weinberg, Stephen Hawking, Leonard Susskind, Martin Rees, Paul Davies, and Fred Hoyle because somehow Don Page’s research convinced you that he (D.Page) is right and the others are wrong.

    Huh? Do they contest Page’s results? That the cosmological constant is not optimal for life?

    Box (quoting): Professor Page’s latest paper undercuts the view that the universe is optimal, but it doesn’t undercut fine-tuning. The evidence for fine-tuning remains compelling.

    It doesn’t answer the one objection, much less the others. Sure, the universe could be fine-tuned, or the apparent tuning could be due to other causes. While no one has an inkling how to test, the latter has often led to scientific advances.

    It isn’t necessary to point to fine-tuning to make the gap argument. The fundamental metaphysical question is why there is something rather than nothing.

  198. 198
    Box says:

    Zachriel:
    Huh? Do they contest Page’s results? That the cosmological constant is not optimal for life?

    So, because Steven Weinberg, Stephen Hawking, Leonard Susskind, Martin Rees, Paul Davies, and Fred Hoyle did not explicitly address D.N.Page’s claim that the cosmological constant ought to be slightly negative in an optimally designed universe, you assume that they agree with D.N.Page?

    In his technical paper D.N.Page states:

    I personally think it might be a theological mistake to look for fine tuning as a sign of the existence of God. I am reminded of the exchange between Jesus and the religious authorities recorded in the Gospel of Matthew 12:38-41: “Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, ‘Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.’ But He answered and said to them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.’” In other words, I regard the death and resurrection of Jesus as the sign given to us that He is indeed the Son of God and Savior He claimed to be, rather than needing signs from fine tuning.

    Steven Weinberg, Stephen Hawking, Leonard Susskind, Martin Rees, Paul Davies, and Fred Hoyle didn’t explicitly address this statement either. Are we to assume that they agree with D.N.Page on this as well?

    Zachriel: Sure, the universe could be fine-tuned, or the apparent tuning could be due to other causes.

    False dichotomy. The universe is fine-tuned for life. The cause for fine-tuning cannot change that fact.

  199. 199
    Zachriel says:

    Box: So, because Steven Weinberg, Stephen Hawking, Leonard Susskind, Martin Rees, Paul Davies, and Fred Hoyle did not explicitly address D.N.Page’s claim that the cosmological constant ought to be slightly negative in an optimally designed universe, you assume that they agree with D.N.Page?

    We asked if there was disagreement. Did you have contrary evidence?

    Box: The universe is fine-tuned for life. The cause for fine-tuning cannot change that fact.

    Well, the placid lake is extraordinarily flat, if that is what you mean. But we probably wouldn’t call it ‘fine-tuned’.

  200. 200
    Me_Think says:

    JimFit @ 195

    This is exactly what i am saying because there are brainless organisms with consciousness and intention

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lls27hu03yw

    The brain provides you the way to express intention,the buttons, if the brain was as the whole the intention device then the brain when traumatized would affect intention but that doesn’t happen, intention stays intact.

    It means intention is an emergent property of brain, so it can’t exist in isolation, that is also the reason people in same situation don’t have the same intention.

    Haven’t you tired to use the same argument when
    Vilenkin disagrees with you?

    Vilenkin pulls no punches: “It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning” (p. 176).

    The current consensus is that universe emerged from singularity with low entropy. The only possible explanation is an earlier universe ‘Big Crunched’. If that is the case, BVG theory goes for a toss. BVG theorem takes the average expansion rate into consideration in a classical system, which breaks down at singularity, so you can see why BVG is the wrong mathematical construct for a expanding universe emerging out of a singularity.

    An omniscience God knows what He has to do before it happens. Humans do the same, they can find something that happen in the past or will it happen in the Future without actually observe it, if you have knowledge you are powerful, God is powerful because He is omniscience and so on..

    That’s just parceling off the unexplainable to an unknown variable.

  201. 201
    Box says:

    Zachriel: We asked if there was disagreement. Did you have contrary evidence?

    Steven Weinberg, Stephen Hawking, Leonard Susskind, Martin Rees, Paul Davies, and Fred Hoyle seem to ignore D.N.Page’s claims regarding the cosmological constant and regarding Jesus being the Son of God. That is all the contrary evidence one needs.
    If you make the positive claim that Steven Weinberg, Stephen Hawking, Leonard Susskind, Martin Rees, Paul Davies, and Fred Hoyle agree with D.N.Page that Jesus is indeed the Son of God and/or that the cosmological constant ought to be slightly negative in an optimally designed universe, then you must provide evidence.

    Zachriel:
    Well, the placid lake is extraordinarily flat, if that is what you mean. But we probably wouldn’t call it ‘fine-tuned’.

    When we address fine-tuning we are not just talking about ‘flatness’. Instead we are talking about the prerequisites of any placid lake to exist. So, no that’s not what I mean – I’m aiming at a more fundamental level.

  202. 202
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Steven Weinberg, Stephen Hawking, Leonard Susskind, Martin Rees, Paul Davies, and Fred Hoyle seem to ignore D.N.Page’s claims regarding the cosmological constant and regarding Jesus being the Son of God.

    So we have Page saying his calculation shows that the cosmological constant is not optimal. We have no other evidence to consider on that question.

    Z: 2) This is a very new area of science with a lot of uncertainty

    Box: When we address fine-tuning we are not just talking about ‘flatness’.

    It’s an analogy. Not knowing the reason the lake is flat, we might think it is ‘fine-tuned’ to be that way rather than simply the result of a simple underlying principle.

  203. 203
    JimFit says:

    It means intention is an emergent property of brain, so it can’t exist in isolation, that is also the reason people in same situation don’t have the same intention.

    How is that? There are BRAINLESS ORGANISMS WITH INTENTION! Your whole argument is destroyed by slime molds, they even luck a nervous system.

    The current consensus is that universe emerged from singularity with low entropy. The only possible explanation is an earlier universe ‘Big Crunched’. If that is the case, BVG theory goes for a toss. BVG theorem takes the average expansion rate into consideration in a classical system, which breaks down at singularity, so you can see why BVG is the wrong mathematical construct for a expanding universe emerging out of a singularity.

    The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem proves that classical spacetime, under a single, very general condition, cannot be extended to past infinity but must reach a boundary at some time in the finite past. Now either there was something on the other side of that boundary or not. If not, then that boundary just is the beginning of the universe. If there was something on the other side, then it will be a quantum region described by the yet to be discovered theory of quantum gravity. In that case, Vilenkin says, it will be the beginning of the universe. Either way the universe began to exist.

    Vilenkin is blunt about the implications:

    It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176).

    Some current cosmological speculation is based upon attempts to craft models based upon possible exceptions to the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin condition that the universe has on average been in a state of cosmic expansion. In his article Jim provides the following chart of possibilities:

    4 exception conditions to Borde-Guth-Vilenkin singularity theorum

    The first case involves an infinite contraction prior to the singularity, followed by our current expansion. The second case postulates an unstable initial state followed by an inflationary expansion. The third case imagines a contraction followed by a super-expansion fueled by ‘dark’ energy, with the universe breaking into a multiverse. The fourth case postulates two mirror-image, inflationary expansions, where the arrows of time point away from the cosmological singularity. Jim shows that these highly speculative models are all either in contradiction to observational cosmology or else wind up implying the very beginning of the universe they sought to avert.

    The other alternative to the Hawking-Penrose theorems that has been vigorously pursued is Quantum Gravity models. Jim provides the following chart of such models:

    The first class of models postulates an eternal vacuum space in which our universe originates via a quantum fluctuation. It was found that these models could not avoid the beginning of the vacuum space itself and so implied the absolute beginning of spacetime. These models did not outlive the early 1980s.

    The second class, string theoretical models, have been all the rage lately. They are based upon an alternative to the standard model of particle physics which construes the building blocks of matter to be, not pointlike particles, but one dimensional strings of energy. Jim discusses three types of string cosmological models:

    The first of these string cosmologies, Ekpyrotic cyclic models, is subject to the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem and so is admitted to involve a beginning of the universe. The second group, Pre-Big Bang models, cannot be extended into the infinite past if they are taken to be realistic descriptions of the universe. The third group, the string landscape models, feature the popular multiverse scenario. They are also subject to the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem and so imply a beginning of the universe. Thus, string cosmological models do not serve to avert the prediction of the standard model that the universe began to exist.

    The third class of Quantum Gravity models, Loop Quantum Gravity theories, features versions of a cyclical universe, expanding and contracting. These models do not require an eternal past, and trying to extend them to past infinity is hard to square with the Second Law of Thermodynamics and seems to be ruled out by the accumulation of dark energy, which would in time bring an end to the cycling behavior.

    Finally, fourth, the Semi-classical Quantum Gravity models include the famous Hartle-Hawking model and Vilenkin’s own theory:

    These models feature an absolute beginning of the universe, even if the universe does not come into being at a singular point. Thus, Quantum Gravity models no more avoid the universe’s beginning than do purported Eternal Inflationary models.

  204. 204
    Box says:

    Zachriel: So we have Page saying his calculation shows that the cosmological constant is not optimal. We have no other evidence to consider on that question.

    Is this how it works? I will remember that for future reference.

    BTW in fact we have Don Page admitting that his initial assumption, that in a fine-tuned universe the fraction of baryons that form living beings should be maximized, may be mistaken. This is crucial to his assessment that the cosmological constant may be sub-optimal by a tiny tiny fraction. IOW Don Page isn’t sure about his conclusions.
    What we also have is that fine-tuning is not contested at all.

    VJTorley:
    Professor Page’s latest paper undercuts the view that the universe is optimal, but it doesn’t undercut fine-tuning. The evidence for fine-tuning remains compelling. (…)

    To put the whole matter in perspective, it should be pointed out that the argument really hinges on whether God should have designed a universe with a very, very, tiny negative value for the cosmological constant, or a very, very, tiny positive value. Think of the values we’re talking about here: 3 x 10^(-122) is 3 divided by 1 followed by 122 zeroes. That’s a very small fraction. It’s perfectly legitimate to ask why the universe has such a low value for the cosmological constant. Why isn’t it 3, or 300, or 3 trillion, or 3 with 122 zeroes after it (3 x 10^122)?

    Zachriel (on his placid lake): It’s an analogy.

    Sure, I know. And I’m trying to explain to you why your analogy fails big time. In your analogy an existing spacetime matter/energy context (a universe) is assumed – the very thing that needs to be explained by fine-tuning.

  205. 205
    Me_Think says:

    JimFit @ 203

    How is that? There are BRAINLESS ORGANISMS WITH INTENTION! Your whole argument is destroyed by slime molds, they even luck a nervous system.

    Heh, the mold is controlled by light. In the Tokyo experiment, light was used to represent the mountains and rivers, which the slime mold avoided as it is photo-phobic.In case of maze, it was the obstruction and it takes 120 hours to cross the maze petridish. If that is your definition of intention, then you are right!

    If there was something on the other side, then it will be a quantum region described by the yet to be discovered theory of quantum gravity. In that case, Vilenkin says, it will be the beginning of the universe. Either way the universe began to exist.

    No, that would be continuation of the Big Crunched universe because the low entropy was a continution of the earlier crunch. For the beginning, the entropy can’t be extraordinarily low ( that is infact one of the puzzle of singularity). BVG theorem is classical, it can’t be extended into the QM realm at singularity.
    If you want to argue about beginning with some other theory, then it a separate argument.

  206. 206
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Is this how it works? I will remember that for future reference.

    Yes, it turns out that some evidence is better than no evidence, though it is tentative in this case.

    Box: This is crucial to his assessment that the cosmological constant may be sub-optimal by a tiny tiny fraction.

    Assuming the accuracy of Page’s analysis, it would seem that a simian living at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away, has access to information about the structure of the cosmos that eluded the reputed designer.

    Box (quoting): It’s perfectly legitimate to ask why the universe has such a low value for the cosmological constant. Why isn’t it 3, or 300, or 3 trillion, or 3 with 122 zeroes after it (3 x 10^122)?

    Yes, it’s an important question in cosmology.

    Box: In your analogy an existing spacetime matter/energy context (a universe) is assumed – the very thing that needs to be explained by fine-tuning.

    Then you’re ignoring the analogy and treating it as a literal. For instance, Newton merely assumed that gravitational and inertial masses were equivalent. He had no explanation. It turns out that it is due to an underlying principle. Similarly with the cosmological constant if it is due to some underlying principle. No one knows.

  207. 207
    JimFit says:

    Heh, the mold is controlled by light. In the Tokyo experiment, light was used to represent the mountains and rivers, which the slime mold avoided as it is photo-phobic.In case of maze, it was the obstruction and it takes 120 hours to cross the maze petridish. If that is your definition of intention, then you are right!

    No it isn’t controlled by light but by the fear of light. I can do the same with humans, control them due to a phobia they have but they will still have consciousness and intention.

    Brainless slime mold makes decisions like humans

    http://blogs.discovermagazine......ke-humans/

    No, that would be continuation of the Big Crunched universe because the low entropy was a continution of the earlier crunch. For the beginning, the entropy can’t be extraordinarily low ( that is infact one of the puzzle of singularity). BVG theorem is classical, it can’t be extended into the QM realm at singularity.
    If you want to argue about beginning with some other theory, then it a separate argument.

    Big Crunch isn’t supported anymore, the Universe will expand forever.

    The Standard Model was based on the assumptions of homogeneity and isotropy. Some cosmologists speculated that by denying homogeneity and isotropy, one might be able to craft an Oscillating Model of the universe.If the internal gravitational pull of the mass of the universe were able to overcome the force of its expansion, then the expansion could be reversed into a cosmic contraction, a Big Crunch. If the universe were not homogeneous and isotropic, then the collapsing universe might not coalesce at a point, but the material contents of the universe might pass each other by, so that the universe would appear to bounce back from the contraction into a new expansion phase. If this process of expansion and contraction could be repeated indefinitely, then an absolute beginning of the universe might be avoided

    Such a theory is extraordinarily speculative, but again there were metaphysical motivations for adopting this model.24 The prospects of the Oscillating Model were severely dimmed in 1970, however, by Penrose and Hawking’s formulation of the Singularity Theorems which bear their names. The theorems disclosed that under very generalized conditions an initial cosmological singularity is inevitable, even for inhomogeneous and non-isotropic universes. Reflecting on the impact of this discovery, Hawking notes that the Hawking-Penrose Singularity Theorems “led to the abandonment of attempts (mainly by the Russians) to argue that there was a previous contracting phase and a non-singular bounce into expansion. Instead almost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big bang.”

    Despite the fact that the termini of a closed universe must be singularities and that no space-time trajectory can be extended through a singularity, the Oscillating Model exhibited a stubborn persistence. Three further strikes were lodged against it. First, there are no known physics which would cause a collapsing universe to bounce back to a new expansion. Second, the observational evidence indicates that the mean mass density of the universe is insufficient to generate enough gravitational attraction to halt and reverse the expansion. Third, since entropy is conserved from cycle to cycle in such a model, which has the effect of generating larger and longer oscillations with each successive cycle, the thermodynamic properties of an Oscillating Model imply the very beginning its proponents sought to avoid .

    Oscillating Model with Entropy Increase

    Oscillating Model with Entropy Increase. Due to the conservation of entropy each successive oscillation has a larger radius and longer expansion time.

    Although these difficulties were well-known, proponents of the Oscillating Model tenaciously clung to it until a new alternative to the Standard Model emerged during the 1970s.29 The theory drew its life from its avoidance of an absolute beginning of the universe; but once other models became available claiming to offer the same benefit, the Oscillating Model sank under the weight of its own deficiencies.

  208. 208
    Box says:

    Zachriel: Then you’re ignoring the analogy and treating it as a literal.

    No I’m pointing out that it is inappropriate. Allow me to offer an analogy to your placid lake analogy. When discussing how science can not explain the origin of life, it would be equally inappropriate to offer as an analogy: “Well, there was a time when science could not explain the origin of an embryo.”
    Why would it be inappropriate? Because the ‘analogy’ already assumes what needs to be explained: life. The analogy fails because it is about a fundamentally different problem.

    Zachriel: For instance, Newton merely assumed that gravitational and inertial masses were equivalent. He had no explanation. It turns out that it is due to an underlying principle. Similarly with the cosmological constant if it is due to some underlying principle. No one knows.

    Nope, you fail to recognize that the fundamental constants of the universe cannot have an underlying principle X within the universe – and even if we were to suppose that there is such a X, then that X cannot have an underlying principle within the universe. You seem to be looking for the “Unmoved Natural Cause” of all natural causes and you don’t realize that it doesn’t make any sense.

    fifthmonarchyman #144:
    Godel would probably call them axioms instead of gaps and he would remind us that every consistent system will have them.

    Science will press up against the “gaps” it might even rearrange them from time to time but the gaps will remain….. forever.

    One needs to look for an underlying principle outside this universe. Outside the realm of empirical science. Multiversum or God.

  209. 209
    Me_Think says:

    JimFit @ 207
    Sorry gotta go, so have to be brief –

    No it isn’t controlled by light but by the fear of light. I can do the same with humans, control them due to a phobia they have but they will still have consciousness and intention.

    Phobia is fear, an emotion. You think brainless slime mold has emotion ? Is a creation magazine your source of science ?

    Big Crunch isn’t supported anymore, the Universe will expand forever.

    True, the present iteration has a omega of 1, so it will expand. How do you know the earlier iteration (that led to singularity) was not with a omega greater than 1 ? (It had to be > 1 to lead to Big Crunch).
    I will also state that I am not averse to the idea of universe having a beginning, just that I don’t believe classical model’s can explain whether or not there was a beginning.
    Before you suggest Hawking said a beginning of universe means God created universe, I will point out that there is no such scientific postulate, it is his personal opinion.

  210. 210
    Zachriel says:

    Box: When discussing how science can not explain the origin of life, it would be equally inappropriate to offer as an analogy: “Well, there was a time when science could not explain the origin of an embryo.”

    First, that’s not an analogy, but an instance of an unknown that became knowable. And yes, it would be appropriate to point out that science has discovered knowledge about what was once unknown. It doesn’t constitute proof, but it does constitute an example. The response would be to show why the origin of life is different in kind from the origin of an embryo.

    Box: Why would it be inappropriate? Because the ‘analogy’ already assumes what needs to be explained: life.

    Um, no. That makes no sense. The argument clearly intended by “Well, there was a time when science could not explain the origin of an embryo.” is that unknowns can become known through the scientific method.

    Box: Nope, you fail to recognize that the fundamental constants of the universe cannot have an underlying principle X within the universe

    There is no reason that the constants considered fundamental today may not be due to some underlying principle or symmetry.

  211. 211
    Box says:

    Zachriel: First, that’s not an analogy,

    Exactly my point. Simularly, your ‘placid lake’ is not an analogy.

    Zachriel: The argument clearly intended by “Well, there was a time when science could not explain the origin of an embryo.” is that unknowns can become known through the scientific method.

    Surely not. The ‘analogy’ pertains to ‘origin of life’ and ‘origin of embryo’. The latter is within the context of life and therefore not appropriate. Simularly your placid lake is within the context of a stable universe and therefore not appropriate.

    Zachriel: There is no reason that the constants considered fundamental today may not be due to some underlying principle or symmetry.

    I have already explained the deep seeded problem with this idea in #208

  212. 212
    Zachriel says:

    Box: The ‘analogy’ pertains to ‘origin of life’ and ‘origin of embryo’.

    That’s not how it reads, but it’s your example. Based on your reading, the primary difference is the origin of the embryo can be directly studied, while the origin of life cannot. That doesn’t mean science can’t address the origin of life, but can make the evidence much more difficult to uncover.

    Box: Simularly your placid lake is within the context of a stable universe and therefore not appropriate.

    That still makes no sense. If someone naïvely claims that placid lakes are fine-tuned, they are overlooking the possibility that the extraordinary flatness may be due to an underlying principle or symmetry.

    Box: Nope, you fail to recognize that the fundamental constants of the universe cannot have an underlying principle X within the universe – and even if we were to suppose that there is such a X, then that X cannot have an underlying principle within the universe.

    If there is symmetry or principle that explains the cosmological constant, then pointing to the cosmological constant as an example of fine-tuning is not scientifically warranted.

    Sure, there’s always the question of why there is something rather than nothing, and science may never have an answer to every question, but thereby declaring design is not scientifically warranted. It just remains mysterious.

  213. 213
    Box says:

    Zachriel: Based on your reading, the primary difference is the origin of the embryo can be directly studied, while the origin of life cannot.

    That was not my point. The origin of the embryo is within the context of life (the parents). The origin of life itself is not within the context of life. Therefor the analogy fails. Simularly your ‘placid lake analogy’ is within the context of a stable universe, the fundamental constants are not, and therefore your analogy also fails.

    Zachriel: That still makes no sense. If someone naïvely claims that placid lakes are fine-tuned, they are overlooking the possibility that the extraordinary flatness may be due to an underlying principle or symmetry.

    It makes perfect sense. The placid lake is an inappropriate analogy, because in the case of the fundamental constants of the universe there is no simple underlying principle available to overlook.
    Similarly, if one asks ‘why there is something rather than nothing’ it would be inappropriate to offer the ‘analogy’: “there was a time when science couldn’t explain thunder” – which already assumes a context of something.

    You are arguing that the question about the fine-tuning of the fundamental constants may be pushed back one level to an underlying principle X. I don’t find that very interesting. Again and again I have pointed out that it doesn’t make the fine-tuning go away.

    Zachriel: If there is symmetry or principle that explains the cosmological constant, then pointing to the cosmological constant as an example of fine-tuning is not scientifically warranted.

    Of course. We would have discovered a underlying principle X that is incredibly fine-tuned in order to produce all the incredibly fine-tuned fundamental constants. So what? How does it change the fundamental problem of fine-tuning? It still needs an explanation.

  214. 214
    Zachriel says:

    Box: The origin of the embryo is within the context of life (the parents).

    It’s also within the context of planetary formation and the formation of primordial matter, but when we determine that egg and sperm make embryo, then we say that’s where embryos come from. We don’t have to solve every problem back to the Big Bang to make progress.

    Box: The placid lake is an inappropriate analogy, because in the case of the fundamental constants of the universe there is no simple underlying principle available to overlook.

    At least that’s a comprehensible objection. However, that has not been demonstrated scientifically.

    Box: You are arguing that the question about the fine-tuning of the fundamental constants may be pushed back one level to an underlying principle X. I don’t find that very interesting.

    That’s what design does: design posits an entity that itself has to be specific and highly improbable. Nor is that our position. Rather, if you have two or several constants, it’s possible they could be unified into fewer constants or none.

    Box: We would have discovered a underlying principle X that is incredibly fine-tuned in order to produce all the incredibly fine-tuned fundamental constants.

    You are assuming the underlying explanation requires fine-tuning. Like the surface of a placid lake.

  215. 215
    Box says:

    Zachriel: You are assuming the underlying explanation requires fine-tuning.

    Here you show just how muddled your thinking is. The universe is fine-tuned for life, Zachriel. There is no discussion about it. This ‘problem’ does not go away when there is an underlying natural principle X. If principle X exists it is fine-tuned as well.

    Zachriel: Like the surface of a placid lake.

    Again this inappropriate analogy. The surface of a placid lake is determined by natural law. Are you suggesting that the hypothetical underlying principle X – the underlying principle of the fundamental constants of the universe – is also determined by natural law? Don’t you understand how muddled your line of reasoning is? How inappropriate your placid lake “analogy” is at this point?

  216. 216
    Zachriel says:

    Box: There is no discussion about it. This ‘problem’ does not go away when there is an underlying natural principle X.

    As you keep insisting without evidence or argument.

    Box: Are you suggesting that the hypothetical underlying principle X – the underlying principle of the fundamental constants of the universe – is also determined by natural law?

    Not insisting: merely leaving open the possibility that the so-called tuning is due to some underlying symmetry or principle.

  217. 217
    Box says:

    Zachriel,

    Box: Are you suggesting that the hypothetical underlying principle X – the underlying principle of the fundamental constants of the universe – is also determined by natural law?

    Zachriel: Not insisting: merely leaving open the possibility that the so-called tuning is due to some underlying symmetry or principle.

    Yes? To repeat my question: “Are you suggesting that the hypothetical underlying principle X – the underlying principle of the fundamental constants of the universe – is also determined by natural law?”

  218. 218
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Are you suggesting that the hypothetical underlying principle X – the underlying principle of the fundamental constants of the universe – is also determined by natural law?

    It is certainly possible that the current physical laws and the physical constants are explained by more fundamental relationships.

  219. 219
    Box says:

    Box: Are you suggesting that the hypothetical underlying principle X – the underlying principle of the fundamental constants of the universe – is also determined by natural law?

    Zachriel: It is certainly possible that the current physical laws and the physical constants are explained by more fundamental relationships.

    To repeat my question: Are you suggesting that the hypothetical underlying principle X – the more fundamental relationship(s) – is also determined by natural law?

  220. 220
    Zachriel says:

    To repeat our answer, it is certainly possible that the current physical laws and the physical constants are explained by more fundamental relationships.

  221. 221
    Box says:

    Zachriel: To repeat our answer, it is certainly possible that the current physical laws and the physical constants are explained by more fundamental relationships.

    Thank you. However my question is not about “the current physical laws and the physical constants”. My question is about the hypothetical “more fundamental relationships”. My question is:

    Are you suggesting that the hypothetical underlying principle X – the more fundamental relationship(s) – is also determined by natural law?

  222. 222
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Me_think says,

    Even when we didn’t exist, universe was ‘fine-tuned’ [ I believe Dinosaurs were not pondering about cosmological constant and omega of universe]

    I say,

    Just like the universe my refrigerator was fine-tuned while it set empty long before it ever contained anything.

    However just like the universe my refrigerator was fine-tuned with the needs of intelligent life (the eventual owner) in mind.

    My refrigerator it turns out is a reasonably good environment for the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes but it was not fine-tuned for microorganisms it was fine-tuned with an eye toward the intelligent life who could ponder it’s utility.

    peace

  223. 223
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Are you suggesting that the hypothetical underlying principle X – the more fundamental relationship(s) – is also determined by natural law?

    A fundamental relationship is a natural law.

  224. 224
    Me_Think says:

    fifthmonarchyman @ 222,

    My refrigerator it turns out is a reasonably good environment for the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes but it was not fine-tuned for microorganisms it was fine-tuned with an eye toward the intelligent life who could ponder it’s utility.

    Listeria monocytogenes can survive in any temperatures from 0 to 40 C – refrigerator is just one environment, so there is of-course no question of fine tuning. Your refrigerator can store your shoes, clothes, garage tools too when it is switched off. Obviously it’s not fine tuned for that! So, strangely, refrigerator seems to be wrong analogy for fine tuned universe. The universe accommodates us too, it’s not fine tuned for us.

  225. 225
    Box says:

    Zachriel: A fundamental relationship is a natural law.

    Ok, so I can paraphrase your claim like this: “it is certainly possible that current physical laws and the physical constants are explained by more fundamental natural law(s)“.

    Now to repeat my question: Are you suggesting that the hypothetical more fundamental natural law(s) are also determined by natural law?
    IOW what is your concept of reality? Is it natural laws all the way down? And does that in your opinion circumvent fine-tuning?

  226. 226
    mike1962 says:

    Zachriel: To repeat our answer

    Who is “our?”

    Is “Zachriel” a group?

    Does Zachriel have multiple personalities?

    Does Zachriel think himself/herself/itself royalty?

    Does Zachriel have a mouse in his/her/its pocket?

    What gives?

    “We” are curious.

  227. 227
    Box says:

    A.Rosenberg in his book “THE ATHEIST’S GUIDE TO REALITY” doesn’t make any sense at all. Instead of offering a coherent concept of reality he complains about wishful thinkers and theologians who keep asking questions.

    The multiverse theory seems to provide an opportunity seized upon by wishful thinkers, theologians, and their fellow travelers among the physicists and philosophers. First they ask, “If our universe is just one of many in a multiverse, where did the multiverse come from? And where did the multiverse’s cause come from, and where did its cause come from?” And so on, ad infinitum. Once they have convinced themselves and others that this series of questions has no stopping point in physics, they play what they imagine is a trump card, a question whose only answer they think has to be the God hypothesis.
    It is certainly true that if physics has to move back farther and farther in the regress from universe to multiverse to something that gave rise to the multiverse, to something even more basic than that, it will never reach any point labeled “last stop, all off” (or rather “starting point” for all destinations). By the same token, if it has to move down to smaller and more fundamental components of reality than even fermions or bosons, it won’t ever know whether it has reached the “basement level” of reality. At this point, the theologians and mystery-mongering physicists play their trump card. It doesn’t matter whether there are infinite regresses in these two lines of inquiry or finite ones. Either way, they insist, physics can’t answer the question, Why is there anything at all? or as the question is famously put, Why is there something rather than nothing?
    Physics, especially quantum physics, shows that the correct answer to this question is: No reason, no reason at all. Things could have turned out differently. There could have been nothing at all. Our universe is just one of those random events that “sometimes” occur and at other “times” don’t (“times” in quotes because quantum cosmology is going to eventually explain time, along with space, as a feature generated by the multiverse). The same goes for fermions and bosons. Their existence is just the way the cookie of quantum randomness crumbled. The fundamental constituents of matter and fields could have turned out differently. They could have been the antimatter versions of these particles. There could have been nothing at all.

    [A.Rosenberg, chapter 2]

    I find it rather amusing that Rosenberg holds that “No reason, no reason at all” is an answer to the question “Why is there something rather than nothing?”
    The question mr. Rosenberg pertains to a cause – not a reason.

  228. 228
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Are you suggesting that the hypothetical more fundamental natural law(s) are also determined by natural law?

    It is certainly possible that the laws which are now considered fundamental may be the expression of more fundamental and simpler laws.

    Box: Is it natural laws all the way down? And does that in your opinion circumvent fine-tuning?

    No one knows. It is just one possibility. Science is largely a history of replacing multiple complex laws with simpler relationships. Examples include the unification of magnetic and electrical forces, and the unification of matter and energy. As for the cosmological constant, the calculations of vacuum energy are so far off as to put into question any firm conclusion. There’s still a lot to learn.

  229. 229
    Zachriel says:

    OFF-TOPIC
    ——————

    mike1962: “We” are curious.

    A number of theories have been proposed concerning our use of nosism. If Zachriel were legion,

    committee
    ultimate expression of internet group think
    hive
    commune of pedants
    group of poseurs
    weird cult
    collective pseudonym like Bourbaki
    five people
    collective
    tri-unity
    imaginary playmates
    being of more than one mind
    royalty
    the Z-team, a team of Zachriels
    schizophrenic
    someone with a tapeworm
    best friend is a pooka
    dissociative identity disorder
    a bizzare pseudo-world affectation
    gaggle of grad students
    Jovian clique
    a group of concerned citizens
    got a mouse in your pocket?
    fellow at a Darwin institute
    gang of Z

    Your hypotheses have already been included.

  230. 230
    Box says:

    Zachriel,

    Box:

    Is it natural laws all the way down?

    Zachriel:

    No one knows. It is just one possibility.

    How is ‘natural laws all the way down’ a possibility? How can there be an infinite regress of natural laws? What would that look like? At first glance this concept of reality seems to be absurd, explain to me why it is not.

  231. 231
    Zachriel says:

    Box: How is ‘natural laws all the way down’ a possibility?

    No, that is not our position. Rather, if the current laws are explainable by a simpler relationship, then there is no so-called fine-tuning argument. We are still left with the question of why there is something rather than nothing, why there is this simpler relationship, but even that may have an explanation. No one knows.

  232. 232
    Box says:

    Zachriel,

    Box: How is ‘natural laws all the way down’ a possibility?

    Zachriel: No, that is not our position. Rather, if the current laws are explainable by a simpler relationship, then there is no so-called fine-tuning argument.

    “No so-called fine-tuning argument”?? Why on earth do you think so? It baffles me that you do. If there is a simpler relationship X which explains the current fundamental constants of the universe (which fine-tune the universe), then X fine-tunes the universe. All you can possibly accomplish is pushing back the cause of fine-tuning one level.
    From a philosophical perspective this is completely irrelevant.

    Zachriel: We are still left with the question of why there is something rather than nothing, why there is this simpler relationship, but even that may have an explanation.

    Ok, if that simpler relationship X is explainable by Y, what would that explanation Y be?

  233. 233
    Zachriel says:

    Box: If there is a simpler relationship X which explains the current fundamental constants of the universe (which fine-tune the universe), then X fine-tunes the universe.

    The ‘fine-tuning’ argument depends on the independence and improbability of the variable. If the variable is not independent, but dependent on a simple relationship, then it is not consistent with the ‘fine-tuning’ argument.

  234. 234
    Box says:

    Zachriel: The ‘fine-tuning’ argument depends on the independence and improbability of the variable. If the variable is not independent, but dependent on a simple relationship, then it is not consistent with the ‘fine-tuning’ argument.

    I know. Everyone knows … However, that’s why I stated:

    (…) then X [the simple relationship] fine-tunes the universe. All you can possibly accomplish is pushing back the cause of fine-tuning one level.
    From a philosophical perspective this is completely irrelevant.


    Also answer this:

    Ok, if that simpler relationship X is explainable by Y, what would that explanation Y be?

  235. 235
    Box says:

    There was a time that materialism made some sense. The time that there were atoms (“uncuttables”) and the universe had no Big Bang.
    Now it’s just non-sense. It’s the multiverse on the one hand and strings on the other. The whole materialistic concept has become incoherent; see Rosenberg post #227

  236. 236
    Zachriel says:

    Box: then X [the simple relationship] fine-tunes the universe.

    It wouldn’t be considered ‘fine-tuning’. If we don’t know the reason the placid lake is extraordinarily flat, we might think it was ‘fine-tuned’, but once we understand it is the result of gravity and the properties of liquidity, then we no longer say it is ‘fine-tuned’. We say “Aha!”

    Box: Ok, if that simpler relationship X is explainable by Y, what would that explanation Y be?

    We don’t even have X; while X, whatever it might be, may not require another explanation. It may be self-fulfilling, akin to vacuum energy. No one knows.

  237. 237
    Box says:

    Zachriel: We don’t even have X; while X, whatever it might be, may not require another explanation. It may be self-fulfilling

    So, X is “uncaused”. Is it eternal or does it come into existence from nothing?

    Finally we are getting to the core of the materialistic concept of reality.

  238. 238
    Zachriel says:

    Box: So, X is “uncaused”.

    No one knows if there is an X; or if there is an X, whether it can be discovered by mortal humans; or if discovered by humans, whether it is truly fundamental.

  239. 239
    Box says:

    Zachriel: No one knows if there is an X; or if there is an X, whether it can be discovered by mortal humans; or if discovered by humans, whether it is truly fundamental.

    Yes, I know all that. What I’m interested in is the materialist concept of reality. So let’s assume that X exists and let’s also assume that it is truly fundamental. If so, is X “uncaused”? And if so, is it eternal or does it come into existence from nothing?

  240. 240
    Box says:

    For ever gone those good ol’ days, when a materialist was allowed to make some sense and say: “Those atoms are the foundation of reality. They are indivisible and eternal. They are the foundation of reality as we know it”.

    Nowadays a materialist is forced to utter incoherent lines like “the regress from universe to multiverse to something that gave rise to the multiverse, to something even more basic than that, it will never reach any point labeled ‘last stop, all off’ (or rather ‘starting point’ for all destinations)”, “whatever it might be, may not require another explanation”, “no one knows” and “it may be self-fulfilling”.

  241. 241
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Yes, I know all that. What I’m interested in is the materialist concept of reality. So let’s assume that X exists and let’s also assume that it is truly fundamental. If so, is X “uncaused”?

    If X is truly fundamental, then it has to explain its own existence. Whether such a principle is discoverable is not certain. Some materialists would presumably believe such a principle exists, even if not discoverable. Other materialists might accept an infinite regression of universes. You might want to ask a materialist, though.

    Box: And if so, is it eternal or does it come into existence from nothing?

    One suggestion is that nothingness is inherently unstable, something akin to vacuum energy. This is just speculation, of course.

    Box: “no one knows”

    That is the correct response when one doesn’t know.

  242. 242
    JimFit says:

    Phobia is fear, an emotion. You think brainless slime mold has emotion ? Is a creation magazine your source of science ?

    You said that they suffer from photophobia not me. Light was used in the experiement not to control this single cell organism but to make it create a decision.

    I suppose Scientific American is a creationist site

    http://www.scientificamerican......ime-molds/

    Nova Science as well

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lls27hu03yw

    Consciousness exists in brainless organisms and that is a fact that you must accept.

    True, the present iteration has a omega of 1, so it will expand. How do you know the earlier iteration (that led to singularity) was not with a omega greater than 1 ? (It had to be > 1 to lead to Big Crunch).
    I will also state that I am not averse to the idea of universe having a beginning, just that I don’t believe classical model’s can explain whether or not there was a beginning.

    Okay, how do you know that there was a Universe before our Universe to begin with. Your answer is full of assumptions and i give you facts, you didn’t even read my answer where i analyze the flaws of your scenario. To have a Universe the rate of the universe’s expansion one second after the Big Bang must be one part in a hundred thousand million million or else the universe will collapse into a fireball.If you have this value the Universe expands for ever, you can’t change the value and have the omega greater than one! There is one recipe to have a Universe and that recipe demands a Universe that expands forever.

    Before you suggest Hawking said a beginning of universe means God created universe, I will point out that there is no such scientific postulate, it is his personal opinion.

    There is no scientific evidence that chance exist, at least intention is part of some Sciences, chance is not! The Fine Tuning of the Universe points to intention, there is no randomness, no chance, no accidents. The Universe is Fine Tuned, Homogeneous and Finite. Lets go again to the original question , is the Universe due to chance, physical necessity or intention? In case you say that Science doesn’t involve with intention i can point to Criminology or Archeology or even the Climate change to prove you wrong. You can’t escape the Ultimate cause, since the Universe began the cause must be transcendent. Quantum Physics won’t save you, Quantum fluctuations are not strong enough to be past eternal and quantum vacuum began together with space, quantum vacuum = space and not nothing!

    I really don’t understand the Atheists, you say that a Mind isn’t needed “before” as the Ultimate cause to cause the Universe when your counter evidence is based on the Minds of the Scientists, isn’t that a little hypocritical?

    Finally, an Eternal Universe is a Universe of the gaps, it can’t be known ever because there will be always a gap before the before, a Finite Universe can be known. What troubles the atheists is the nature of God, this is the trap you all fell, WE ARE THE IMAGES OF GOD NOT SOMETHING DIFFERENT FROM GOD! We choose to be perfect like God and therefor equal in understanding. Christianity comes with a very special message, that God created us due to His unconditional love, He didn’t had a purpose, eternity is purposeless, He just created us because He loves us, WE HAVE THE PURPOSE TO BECAME PERFECT LIKE GOD AND THEREFOR ETERNAL! The Golden balance doesn’t demand quantity in your nature to succeed it, the nature of the golden balance gives you eternal nature and not the other way around. Don’t think of God as something mystical and unknown.

  243. 243
    Mapou says:

    Zachriel:

    A number of theories have been proposed concerning our use of nosism. If Zachriel were legion,

    committee
    ultimate expression of internet group think
    hive
    commune of pedants
    group of poseurs
    weird cult
    collective pseudonym like Bourbaki
    five people
    collective
    tri-unity
    imaginary playmates
    being of more than one mind
    royalty
    the Z-team, a team of Zachriels
    schizophrenic
    someone with a tapeworm
    best friend is a pooka
    dissociative identity disorder
    a bizzare pseudo-world affectation
    gaggle of grad students
    Jovian clique
    a group of concerned citizens
    got a mouse in your pocket?
    fellow at a Darwin institute
    gang of Z

    Your hypotheses have already been included.

    I personally choose schizophrenic, dissociative identity disorder, autistic and demon possessed. All 4 concurrently. 😀

  244. 244
    Box says:

    Zachriel: If X is truly fundamental, then it has to explain its own existence.

    Which doesn’t make sense under materialism. Nothing can cause its own existence.

    Zachriel: Whether such a principle is discoverable is not certain.

    You mean whether such a self-explaining principle can exist is uncertain.

    Zachriel: Some materialists would presumably believe such a principle exists, even if not discoverable.

    Oh really? Can you provide a quote?

    Zachriel: Other materialists might accept an infinite regression of universes.

    In which case a set of infinite universes needs an explanation. So that didn’t help much …


    To wrap it all up: materialism is totally incoherent.

  245. 245
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Nothing can cause its own existence.

    That’s not necessarily the case.

    Box: You mean whether such a self-explaining principle can exist is uncertain.

    It might not exist. It might exist, but be undiscoverable.

    Box: Can you provide a quote?

    It’s called the “Theory of Everything”.

    Box: In which case a set of infinite universes needs an explanation.

    But may be undiscoverable, an endless quest.

  246. 246
    Box says:

    Zachriel,

    Box: Nothing can cause its own existence.

    Zachriel: That’s not necessarily the case.

    Why is that not necessarily the case?

  247. 247
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Why is that not necessarily the case?

    Would think the burden would be on you who asserted the strong positive, rather than our qualified negative.

    As we mentioned above, there is the example of vacuum particles, and while space is not nothingness, it is suggestive of possibilities.

  248. 248
    Box says:

    Zachriel,

    In order for X to cause its own existence, X has to exist before X exists.

  249. 249
    Zachriel says:

    Box: In order for X to cause its own existence, X has to exist before X exists.

    Temporal order may not matter when there is no time. It’s been suggested by physicists that nothingness is unstable.

  250. 250
    Zachriel says:

    Think of it this way. When the periodic table was discovered, and the early experiments with the atom were done, no one envisioned that the quantum realm could be so strange. The reason for the so-called fine-tuning may be even stranger, something beyond ordinary comprehension. No one knows.

  251. 251
    Box says:

    Zachriel, the “before”, in #248, obviously concerns a logical or explanatory priority, not a chronological priority.

    Edit: To be a cause, an object must exist, so how can it cause its existence?

  252. 252
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    It’s been suggested by physicists that nothingness is unstable

    I say

    Instability is something!!!! Use your head man.

    To say that nothingness is unstable is to say that “nothing is something”.

    pure logical nonsense

    This just proves that being a physicist does not necessarily make one the brightest bulb in the pack

    zac says,

    The reason for the so-called fine-tuning may be even stranger, something beyond ordinary comprehension.

    I say

    If the reason is beyond logic it is not just beyond ordinary comprehension it’s beyond any comprehension period.

    peace

  253. 253
    Zachriel says:

    Box: the “before”, in #248, obviously concerns a logical or explanatory priority, not a chronological priority.

    With quantum and relativity theories as examples, you simply can’t draw any firm conclusions without evidence.

    fifthmonarchyman: Use your head man. To say that nothingness is unstable is to say that “nothing is something”.

    It’s no different than saying a quantum vacuum is full of particles.

    fifthmonarchyman: If the reason is beyond logic it is not just beyond ordinary comprehension it’s beyond any comprehension period.

    Use your head man. Quantum and relativity theories are well beyond ordinary comprehension. And they would be considered far more ordinary than the Big Bang singularity.

  254. 254
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    It’s no different than saying the vacuum is full of particles.

    I say,

    No one thinks a quantum vacuum is nothing. So there is a huge difference

    You are confusing a relative vacuum with absolute nothingness.

    If you trying to say that nothingness is like the quantum vacuum all you have done is move back a step.

    Where did the vacuum come from?

    If you are saying that there is no such thing as absolute nothingness that is another kettle of fish.

    Clear thinking can be your friend.

    what do you mean to imply by “nothingness is unstable”

    peace

  255. 255
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac said,

    Quantum and relativity theories are well beyond ordinary comprehension. And they would be considered far more ordinary than the Big Bang singularity.

    I say

    I have nothing against strangeness and paradox it’s logical impossibilities that bug me.

    If the impossible can happen then anything is possible. Not only possible but probable

    peace

  256. 256
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: No one thinks a quantum vacuum is nothing.

    No, it’s an otherwise empty volume.

    fifthmonarchyman: what do you mean to imply by “nothingness is unstable”

    No one knows exactly. It’s just a conjecture analogous to the quantum vacuum.

  257. 257
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    No one knows exactly.

    I say,

    So you say these things even though you don’t know what you mean to imply by them. ok then

    let’s take this one step at a time.

    Logically can true absolute nothingness be unstable?

    yes or no please

    peace

  258. 258
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: So you say these things even though you don’t know what you mean to imply by them.

    They are conjectures.

    fifthmonarchyman: Logically can true absolute nothingness be unstable?

    It’s like asking if a perfect vacuum is unstable. It is. Is nothingness unstable? No one knows.

  259. 259
    Box says:

    Box: To be a cause, an object must exist, so how can it cause its existence?

    Zachriel: With quantum and relativity theories as examples, you simply can’t draw any firm conclusions without evidence.

    How so? Do they prove that X can be the cause of its own existence?

  260. 260
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    zac says,

    Is nothingness unstable? No one knows.

    I say,

    If fact we do know definitionaly

    1)nothing is nothing

    2)instability is something

    3)Therefore nothingness is not unstable.

    This is very simple stuff

    You say,

    It’s like asking if a perfect vacuum is unstable.

    I say,

    A quantum vacuum is not a perfect vacuum. It contains potentialities at least.

    if a perfect vacuum was unstable literally anything could happen at anytime for no reason at all and your beloved science would be impossible.

    Do you honestly want to go down that road?

    peace

  261. 261
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: A quantum vacuum is not a perfect vacuum. It contains potentialities at least.

    A perfect vacuum is unstable. It’s possible that the absence of time and space is also unstable.

  262. 262
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac said,

    A perfect vacuum is unstable.

    I say,

    That was the sound of the abandonment of logic and the embracing of the irrational.

    from here

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_state

    quote:

    According to present-day understanding of what is called the vacuum state or the quantum vacuum, it is “by no means a simple empty space”,and again: “it is a mistake to think of any physical vacuum as some absolutely empty void.”According to quantum mechanics, the vacuum state is not truly empty but instead contains fleeting electromagnetic waves and particles that pop into and out of existence.

    end quote:

    you can have him Box

    peace

  263. 263
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: That was the sound of the abandonment of logic and the embracing of the irrational.

    Observe empty space. Due to the uncertainty principle, there will be some uncertainty about the energy within that space, especially over short times-scales, called quantum fluctuations. Empty space, therefore, is actually seething with quantum fluctuations. This can result in short violations of the conservation of energy.

    Sorry that reality doesn’t conform to your preconceptions.

  264. 264
    Box says:

    FFM: That was the sound of the abandonment of logic and the embracing of the irrational.

    Very well put. Without God there is no coherent concept of reality.

    BTW space is not nothing

  265. 265
    Me_Think says:

    JimFit @ 242

    You said that they suffer from photophobia not me. Light was used in the experiement not to control this single cell organism but to make it create a decision

    Ha, I see what got you confused. Do you think since oil is hydrophobic, it emotionally fears water ?
    Light was used to create barriers (used to represent mountains and rivers in the map) in Tokyo experiment.

    Consciousness exists in brainless organisms and that is a fact that you must accept.

    When I throw a ball, it follows a path that has the least difference between Kinetic and potential energy. Does it mean the ball is conscious and making decision of which path to follow ?

    Okay, how do you know that there was a Universe before our Universe to begin with. Your answer is full of assumptions and i give you facts, you didn’t even read my answer where i analyze the flaws of your scenario. To have a Universe the rate of the universe’s expansion one second after the Big Bang must be one part in a hundred thousand million million or else the universe will collapse into a fireball

    Big crunch of ‘earlier’ universe leading to singularity of BigBang of our universe is a hypothesis. Do you have a better one explaining both singularity and low entropy ?

    There is no scientific evidence that chance exist, at least intention is part of some Sciences, chance is not!

    So the whole field of probability is make-believe ?

    WE ARE THE IMAGES OF GOD NOT SOMETHING DIFFERENT FROM GOD! We choose to be perfect like God and therefor equal in understanding. Christianity comes with a very special message, that God created us due to His unconditional love, He didn’t had a purpose, eternity is purposeless, He just created us because He loves us, WE HAVE THE PURPOSE TO BECAME PERFECT LIKE GOD AND THEREFOR ETERNAL!

    I have no problem with that, who am I to discourage you from seeking solace in whatever you believe in?

  266. 266
    Me_Think says:

    fifthmonarchyman @ 262

    That was the sound of the abandonment of logic and the embracing of the irrational.

    That doesn’t follow from Zac’s comment. I am sure he meant the same thing that you quoted from wiki. (Edit: now proved by his comment #263)

  267. 267
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    @Me_think

    You seem like a nice enough guy. I’m sure we could have a few laughs at the local tractor pull/fish fry.

    But surely you understand the difference between a PERFECT vacuum and veritable particle zoo we are talking about when it comes to QM.

    Regardless, even if this is simply a case of miscommunication it does not follow that the quantum vacuum is in any way analogous to nothingness as Zac seems to be implying.

    lets cut to the chase

    Do you agree that we can’t know if nothingness is unstable?

    peace

  268. 268
    Box says:

    Excellent commentary by Edward Feser on “nothingness”.

    Excerpt:

    So what’s the point of all this ado about nothing? You know what the point is: To try to show that physics alone can explain the existence of the universe. Hence the key line of the piece: “Perhaps the big bang was just nothingness doing what comes naturally.” But read in a straightforward way, this is just nonsense, for reasons of the sort already given: If this so-called “nothingness” has a “nature” and “does” things, then it isn’t really “nothingness” at all that we’re talking about. And of course, the article and the physicists it quotes don’t really mean “nothingness” in a straightforward way in the first place. They mean a “roiling broth” governed by the laws of quantum theory, entropy, etc. and that not only isn’t nothing, but just is part of the universe and therefore just is part of the explanandum and therefore does nothing whatsoever to explain that explanandum.

    You might as well say: “Let me explain how this whole house is held up by nothing. Consider the floor, which is what I really mean by ‘nothing.’ Now, the rest of the house is held up by the floor. Thus, I’ve explained how the whole house is held up by nothing!” Well, no you haven’t. You’ve “explained” at most how part of the house is held up by another part, but you’ve left unexplained how the floor itself is held up, and thus (since the floor is itself part of the house) you haven’t really explained at all how the house as a whole is held up, either by “nothing” or by anything else. Furthermore, you’ve made what is really just sheer muddleheadedness sound profound by using “nothing” in an eccentric way.

    The “scientific” “explanations” of the origin of the universe from “nothing” one keeps hearing in recent years are really no less stupid than this “explanation” of the house. They aren’t serious physics, they aren’t serious philosophy, they aren’t serious anything except seriously bad arguments, textbook instances of the fallacy of equivocation.

  269. 269
    Mapou says:

    Here’s my take on it. Everything physical must come from nothing out of logical necessity. Why? It’s because this is the only ontology of substance that does not lead to an infinite regress. You no longer have to ask, what is X made of, ad eternam. Everything is made of nothing.

    How can everything come from nothing? Well, the only way one can get something from ‘nothing’ is by dividing ‘nothing’ into opposite pairs such that positive things balance out negative things. In other words, everything in the universe must sum up to zero. This is why we live in a Yin-yang universe. Zero is ONE, the true loneliest number, and everything is ONE. The conservation of ‘nothing’ is the mother of all conservation principles. Nature automatically attempts to correct any violation to the conservation of nothing. Change/motion is nature’s way of correcting violations.

    ‘Nothing’ is stable and can only be separated by a creative force. This is where the Yin-yang nature of reality comes out in its full glory. One the one hand we must have the physical realm where things can be created and annihilated. On the other hand, we must have a creative realm with the ability to create and destroy. It’s a realm where nothing can be created nor destroyed. In that realm, things just are.

    There is more to this hypothesis but this is neither the place nor the time for it. Just saying.

  270. 270
    Me_Think says:

    fifthmonarchyman @ 267

    Regardless, even if this is simply a case of miscommunication it does not follow that the quantum vacuum is in any way analogous to nothingness as Zac seems to be implying.

    Zac does say empty space is seething with quantum fluctuations (# 263)

    Do you agree that we can’t know if nothingness is unstable?

    If by nothingness you mean empty space as in QM, then of course it is unstable, that’s the reason you have fluctuations. The ‘potential well’ is unstable. Without instability,there can be no quantum fluctuation.
    p.s: I am a nice guy and believe everyone is nice enough 🙂

  271. 271
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    me before

    it does not follow that the quantum vacuum is in any way analogous to nothingness.

    me_thinks

    If by nothingness you mean empty space as in QM,

    Me now

    Pass the duct tape. Me noggin she is fixing to blow

    😉

    Peace

  272. 272
    Me_Think says:

    fifthmonarchyman @ 271,

    Pass the duct tape. Me noggin she is fixing to blow

    I really can’t be sure if by nothingness you mean empty space, till you confirm, because the standard definition of nothingness is absence of anything (it could mean absence of even quantum fluctuations), zac certainly didn’t mean nothingness in the traditional sense, as qualified by his comments later.

  273. 273
    mike1962 says:

    Me_Think: zac certainly didn’t mean nothingness in the traditional sense, as qualified by his comments later.”

    “They” shouldn’t use the term “nothing” in an eccentric way when it actually means something. It confuses people. What does confusing people accomplish except to confuse them?

    Something that has attributes and properties, such as the quantum “foam” has no business being called “nothing.” Ever.

    To generalize that: something should never be called nothing.

    Now, for our musical interlude…

    “Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could”

    –The Sound of Music

  274. 274
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: Regardless, even if this is simply a case of miscommunication it does not follow that the quantum vacuum is in any way analogous to nothingness as Zac seems to be implying.

    The perfect vacuum is an abstraction, like Einstein chasing a beam of light on his snow sled. However, in physical reality, the vacuum is unstable.

    fifthmonarchyman: Do you agree that we can’t know if nothingness is unstable?

    That is correct at this point. Whether it can be discovered, or even if it is a viable question, is not known at this time. That’s why it is called speculation.

    Box (quoting): The “scientific” “explanations” of the origin of the universe from “nothing” one keeps hearing in recent years are really no less stupid than this “explanation” of the house.

    It’s a thought-experiment, not an explanation. There is no theory of everthing.

    fifthmonarchyman: shouldn’t use the term “nothing” in an eccentric way when it actually means something.

    vacuum, a space absolutely devoid of matter

    When we consider the classical vacuum in light of quantum theory, it is unstable. We are using nothingness in the same sense. Is the absence of space and time stable, or must it necessarily collapse into something? No one knows. It’s a thought-experiment, just like considering the classical vacuum in light of quantum theory.

  275. 275
    Zachriel says:

    Keep in mind that the classical vacuum was once thought to be preposterous by fuddy duddies. Then, when the classical vacuum was discovered, quantum fluctuations were thought to be preposterous by still more fuddy duddies.

    Just because we have found no solution to the fine-tuning problem doesn’t mean fine-tuning isn’t due to some underlying natural principle. Claiming such a principle can’t exist is just your inner-fuddy duddy talking.

  276. 276
    Box says:

    Zachriel:

    We are using nothingness in the same sense. Is the absence of space and time stable, or must it necessarily collapse into something? No one knows. It’s a thought-experiment, just like considering the classical vacuum in light of quantum theory.

    Let’s end the thought-experiment right now. “Nothingness” is the non-existence of anything. Is a “quantum vacuum” nothing? No, it’s a quantum vacuum. Can “nothing” be unstable? No, because in order for something to be unstable it must exist and when something exist it is not nothing.

    Mapou,

    Can nothing be divided into parts? No, because nothing is not something that has parts. Maybe “Mapou’s nothing” can be divided, but that means that “Mapou’s nothing” is not really nothing.

  277. 277
    Me_Think says:

    mike1962 @ 273

    Something that has attributes and properties, such as the quantum “foam” has no business being called “nothing.” Ever.

    Quantum foam is about universe structure at Planck scale. It depends on Quantum gravity, which is still a speculation, and will remain so till we find gravitons

  278. 278
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Can nothing be divided into parts?

    If you observe empty space, it may very well divide into a particle and its anti-particle.

    Box: Let’s end the thought-experiment right now.

    Can little Albert really chase a beam of light? Let’s end the thought-experiment right now. Or it’s to bed without your supper!

  279. 279
    Box says:

    Zachriel,

    Box: Can nothing be divided into parts?

    Zachriel: If you observe empty space, it may very well divide into a particle and its anti-particle.

    Irrelevant, since we all know that empty space is not nothing.

  280. 280
    Me_Think says:

    Box @ 276

    Let’s end the thought-experiment right now. “Nothingness” is the non-existence of anything. Is a “quantum vacuum” nothing?

    ‘Empty space’, ‘nothing’ is synonymous with vacuum space in popular press. Lawrence Krauss popularized ‘Nothing’ in his book ‘A universe from nothing’, so when talking about quantum fluctuations, ‘nothing’ is still widely used.

  281. 281
    mike1962 says:

    Lawrence Krauss popularized ‘Nothing’ in his book ‘A universe from nothing’

    And by doing so was misleading and caused confusion.

    Which we deem “not good.”

  282. 282
    Me_Think says:

    mike1962 @ 281,

    And by doing so was misleading and caused confusion.
    Which we deem “not good.”

    ..Not in the mind of his target audience. He has been using ‘Nothing’ in all his talks and seminars even before the publication of his book (see YouTube). He continues to use ‘Nothing’ and ‘Empty space’.

  283. 283
    Joe says:

    Just because we have found no solution to the fine-tuning problem doesn’t mean fine-tuning isn’t due to some underlying natural principle.

    Your emotions are not science.

  284. 284
    Box says:

    Me_Think #280,

    Feser on Krauss’ “A Universe from Nothing”, excerpt:

    When people ask how something could arise from nothing, they don’t mean “How could something arise from almost nothing?” They mean “How could something arise from nothing?” That is to say, from the absence of anything whatsoever — including the absence of space (empty or otherwise), laws of physics, or anything else. And Krauss has absolutely nothing to say about that, (…)

    So, “nothing,” Krauss finally acknowledges, is “the absence of something.” So far so good. He’s acquired some knowledge of English over the last few months. Unfortunately, he still hasn’t taken that remedial logic course. For we are also told that nothing is a “physical quantity” which can be studied through “empirical” means. All of which entails that the absence of something is a physical quantity which can be studied through empirical means. Wrap your mind around that.

  285. 285
    Me_Think says:

    Box @ 284
    Feser is a Philosopher. Apparently every philosopher hates Krauss (because he hates them!) 🙂 , so it’s not surprising that they demean Kruass.
    You should see Kruass’s YouTube videos if you want to understand what he means by Universe from Nothing. They are worth watching.

  286. 286
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Irrelevant, since we all know that empty space is not nothing.

    Keep in mind that the classical vacuum was once thought to be preposterous by fuddy duddies. Then, when the classical vacuum was discovered, quantum fluctuations were thought to be preposterous by still more fuddy duddies.

    Just because we have found no solution to the fine-tuning problem doesn’t mean fine-tuning isn’t due to some underlying natural principle. Claiming such a principle can’t exist is just your inner-fuddy duddy talking.

  287. 287
    mike1962 says:

    me_think: Not in the mind of his target audience

    I’m part of his target audience and I was misled at first.

    I think the stupid part of his brain – or his publisher’s – choose that title.

    At any rate, regardless of his target audience, why would anyone want to use an eccentric definition of a word in a book… especially one written for the popular press? It only can cause confusion. What benefit is there?

    We have deemed it… jackassery.

  288. 288
    Zachriel says:

    mike1962: At any rate, regardless of his target audience, why would anyone want to use a eccentric definition of a word?

    It’s not that difficult a thought-experiment. Imagine a perfect classical vacuum. Now imagine observing that vacuum from the perspective of quantum theory. What would you see?

    Imagine you are riding a beam of light. Now observe a stationary clock. What would you see?

  289. 289
    Me_Think says:

    mike1962 @ 287

    I’m part of his target audience and I was misled at first. At any rate, regardless of his target audience, why would anyone want to use a eccentric definition of a word? It only can cause confusion. What benefit is there?

    It is a book for non-technical people interested in cosmology. I guess it is more approachable title than something like ‘Universe from Quantum fluctuation’, and of-course the title garnered attention for better press coverage and promotion. After all, the book was written for selling. The subject matter is close enough to the title so it is not misleading at all.

  290. 290
    Mapou says:

    Zachriel:

    Claiming such a principle can’t exist is just your inner-fuddy duddy talking.

    Says the chief fuddy duddy.

  291. 291
    JimFit says:

    Ha, I see what got you confused. Do you think since oil is hydrophobic, it emotionally fears water ?
    Light was used to create barriers (used to represent mountains and rivers in the map) in Tokyo experiment.

    Yes ok, please read again.

    http://www.scientificamerican......ime-molds/

    When I throw a ball, it follows a path that has the least difference between Kinetic and potential energy. Does it mean the ball is conscious and making decision of which path to follow ?

    Does the ball makes decisions? Because slime molds make.

    http://www.scientificamerican......ime-molds/

    Big crunch of ‘earlier’ universe leading to singularity of BigBang of our universe is a hypothesis. Do you have a better one explaining both singularity and low entropy ?

    Something physical before the Singularity can’t exist, to have a Universe this Universe must expand for ever.
    And you still have the problem of infinite causes, you still have the problem of the beginning of the Multiverses.. You don’t seem to understand that, there is always the Ultimate cause that precedes even the Multiverses, since the Universe began (time and space) the cause is by definition transcendent. You seem to think that a transcendent cause is unscientific when eternal past causes can’t happen and by definition are unknown! The other scenario is something from Nothing, it is too fallacious. Something Random can’t be determined or determine anything and for that reason the true state of randomness is described only in a state of nothingness and since the Universe is deterministic you can’t use Nothingness as a cause, Randomness is the opposite of Determinism.

    Let’s grant for the sake of argument that the singularity was a real physical state. The claim seems to be that since the initial cosmological singularity is a boundary point to spacetime rather than a point of spacetime, therefore there was no time at which God could have created the singularity.

    But this conclusion follows only if we equate time with physical measures of time. This reductionistic view is clearly wrong. A sequence of mental events alone is sufficient to generate relations of earlier and later, wholly in the absence of any physical events. So if God were counting down to creation, “. . . , 3, 2, 1, Let there be light!” God would exist in time even if He were not in physical time (that is, the physical measure that stands for time in the General Theory of Relativity). So there could be a time at which God created the initial cosmological singularity, even if that moment is not in physical time. Such an appeal to metaphysics is not illicit because Hawking is making a metaphysical claim that God cannot create the universe because the singularity is not in physical time, a reductionistic move which no theist should accept.

    In any case, even if we do accept this reductionistic move, all that follows is that God did not create the universe at a time. We can still say that God’s creating the universe was coincident with the singularity (that is, they occur together at the boundary of spacetime), and by creating the singularity God created the universe.

    So the whole field of probability is make-believe ?

    There is always a cause, the definition of chance is different when we talk about probabilities, there are a lot of unknown factors. Chance is subjective. Lets say that in a railway there is 20% chance to have an accident,it doesn’t say WHY there are accidents, if we find the factors we can erase the accidents to 0%.

    I have no problem with that, who am I to discourage you from seeking solace in whatever you believe in?

    I know that your belief that you are a random cosmic mistake that nothingness spewed is unshakable, it is proven that atheists suffer more from manic depression because they are masochists and think of their lives as purposeless (when they are not), i just said it to understand what God is. Most of Atheists rebel to God because they think He is unreachable. Others think that natural sciences can’t study God and therefor He can’t be the Ultimate cause, but even if we map the whole brain we still cannot predict a decision, what we see is the end result of a decision but that doesn’t make the mind of a scientist something mystical. It is like the laws and the constants of the Universe, we can study them by looking at matter, it doesn’t bother us that they don’t exist in a physical reality as separate entities.

  292. 292
    Mapou says:

    Box:

    Mapou,

    Can nothing be divided into parts? No, because nothing is not something that has parts. Maybe “Mapou’s nothing” can be divided, but that means that “Mapou’s nothing” is not really nothing.

    Well, zero can be divided into a huge number of positive and negative parts/numbers. As long as the sum is zero, everything is cool. Maybe ‘parts’ is not the right word but it remains that zero is the sum of all those parts. Likewise, we can say that ‘nothing’ is the sum of all things.

    Like I said, “everything from nothing” is the only ontology of substance that does not lead to an infinite regress. Once you accept it, you no longer have to ask ad eternam what is a given substance made of. If the answer is particles, then you have to ask what are those particles made of. It goes on forever. This is not acceptable.

    Maybe you have a different explanation that gets rid of the infinite regress? If so, let’s hear it. I’ll wait.

  293. 293
    JimFit says:

    1) QM events that we observe in a laboratory take place a vacuum that is there, not absolute nothing as was the case with the big bang. 2) QM events could not occur without a field present, they are not uncaused. 3) Virtual particles exist only temporarily, inversely proportional to their mass. The universe has been here for 13.7 billion years, not a fraction of a second.
    Even radioactive decay is unpredictable, but it is not something coming out of nothing without a cause. Sub-atomic physics takes place in space. But the beginning of the universe was out of nothing.

    Let’s take a look at two of the speculations that sound scientific, but aren’t confirmed by any research. The first is quantum mechanics (i.e. – vacuum fluctuation model). It argues that the universe is an event without a cause, because there is an unobservable hyper-universe that spawned our universe. The second is a response to the fine-tuning. It argues that there are an infinite number of unobservable universes that are not fine-tuned, and we just happen to be in the fine-tuned one.
    Notice that both responses are theoretical speculations that take refuge in unobservable entities in order to escape the good experimental science that proves that there is a Creator and Designer. It’s atheism-of-the-gaps!
    Vacuum fluctuation:
    – offered as a response to the big bang
    – what can QM do: explain how particles appear in a vacuum when the vacuum is sparked
    – speculation is that this same process may explain the origin of the universe
    – in order to test it, our universe would have to be contained within a larger universe, with similar laws of physics
    – but there is no evidence that this unobservable hyper-universe exists
    Chaotic inflationary model:
    – offered as a response to the fine-tuning
    – speculates that inflation may cause other universes to come into being, with different constants
    – no experimental verification has been offered
    – no evidence of any of these other universes
    So, what we have here is a clear cut case of logical arguments and evidence for theism, vs atheist faith and wish-fulfillment. All the data we have today is for theism, but all the untestable speculating is on the part of the atheists, who have faith and hope that the progress of science will overturn what we know and replace it with the what atheists hope for. (And I haven’t even talked about the origin of life and molecular machines, etc.!)

    quantum mechanics is not going to save the atheist here. In QM, virtual particles come into being in a vacuum. The vacuum is sparked by a scientist. The particles exist for a period of time inversely proportional to their mass. But in the case of the big bang, there is no vacuum – there’s nothing. There is no scientist – there’s nothing. And the universe is far too massive to last 14 billion years as a virtual particle.
    Secondly, atheists will say that the big bang is speculative physics that could change at any moment. But the trend is in favor of an absolute beginning out of nothing. We have had a string of solid, recent scientific discoveries that point in a definite direction, as follows:
    Einstein’s theory of general relativity, and the scientific confirmation of its accuracy
    the cosmic microwave background radiation
    red-shifting of light from galaxies moving away from us
    radioactive element abundance predictions
    helium/hydrogen abundance predictions
    star formation and stellar life-cycle theories
    the second law of thermodynamics applied to nuclear fusion inside stars

    The central point to be made here is that the quantum mechanical vacuum on which they depend for their existence is emphatically not nothing. The dynamical properties of vacuous space arise out of its interaction with matter and radiation fields, in the absence of which “this dynamism of empty space is but a formal abstraction lacking physical reality.
    (See Robert Weingard, “Do Virtual Particles Exist?’ in Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association, 2 vols., ed. Peter Asquith and Thomas Nichols (East Lansing, Mich.: Philosophy of Science association 1982), I: 235-242.)

    The quantum vacuum is a sea of fluctuating energy which gives rise to virtual particles. Thus, virtual particles can hardly be said to arise without a cause. So this is where they both come and go.

    Some atheists apparently think that cosmological models in which the universe originates via a spontaneous fluctuation from the primordial vacuum are distinct from models in which the universe does not violate the mass-energy conservation law because the sum total of its positive and negative energy is zero. But this is just confused: these are the same models, all presupposing the existence of the quantum mechanical vacuum which spawns the universe.

    Thus, these models do not subvert the causal premiss. Moreover, while these models merited scientific discussion when Davies wrote God and the New Physics back in the early 1980’s, they are today widely rejected and no longer at the center of interest

    (Alexander W. Stern, “Space, Field, and Ether in Contemporary Physics,” Science 116 (1952): 493. Stern is even willing to speak of the quantum vacuum as a sort of ether.)?

  294. 294
    mike1962 says:

    Zachriel: It’s not that difficult a thought-experiment. Imagine a perfect classical vacuum.

    We cannot imagine that. Can you?

    Now imagine observing that vacuum from the perspective of quantum theory. What would you see?

    Hell if we know.

    But we doubt it would be nothing.

    At any rate, we are not against thought experiments. Just against eccentric verbal jackassery. Especially on such a scale by such a person.

  295. 295
    mike1962 says:

    Me_Think: It is a book for non-technical people interested in cosmology. I guess it is more approachable title than something like ‘Universe from Quantum fluctuation’

    That title would not have been misleading.

    The subject matter is close enough to the title so it is not misleading at all.

    We disagree. We’ve seen plenty of jackass statements out there in the press about the universe popping into existence from “nothing” based on that jackassery of that title, no doubt misleading a gullible and/or misinformed public.

  296. 296
    Zachriel says:

    mike1962: We cannot imagine that. Can you?

    Sure. It’s much easier to imagine a classical vacuum than a quantum vacuum.

    mike1962: Hell if we know.

    There are quantum fluctuations, including the spontaneous formation of particles.

  297. 297
    mike1962 says:

    Zachriel: Sure

    Thou art amazing. O Zachriel. We can’t imagine either kind.

    To us they are merely abstract mathematical concepts.

    Canst thou draw us a picture of what thou seest in thine imagination?

    Even a blank piece of paper is not nothing.

    So that’s no good.

  298. 298
    Me_Think says:

    JimFit @ 291

    Yes ok, please read again.

    I have read it earlier too. I have no idea how you manage to equate simple chemo-reception and pressure differential taxis as consciousness ! You don’t need elaborate mazes. Just put the slime mold plasmodium in a chamber, surround the chamber with various concentration of attractants like glucose, galactose, phosphates, pyrophosphates, ATP, c-AMP, and the other part of agar base by various forms of repellents like inorganic salts, sucrose, fructose. You will see the plasmodium moving towards the attractants. It first encircles all attractants then the ‘arm’ were higher concentration of the attractant was found swells into a tube.Swelling causes a pressure differential, cytoplasm flows to that end. Since the body mass is limited, the other arms of plasmodium withdraws from less concentrated attractants.
    If there is a barrier of say light but higher concentrate of attractant, the concentration has to be more than the repellent property of the attractant to help plasmodium taxis (movement). It is no different than putting a piece of paper in a vessel of water and adding a small piece of soap near the paper. the paper will move away as the surface tension of place were soap was added decreases. Does it mean paper has consciousness or does it mean, it is simple physical change in surface tension ?

    Does the ball makes decisions? Because slime molds make.

    That is the question I am asking ! There are various paths the ball could have followed, but it follows the path of least difference in kinetic and potential energy, so is it making a decision ?

    In any case, even if we do accept this reductionistic move, all that follows is that God did not create the universe at a time. We can still say that God’s creating the universe was coincident with the singularity (that is, they occur together at the boundary of spacetime), and by creating the singularity God created the universe.

    You could say that is a philosophical argument, yes.

    I know that your belief that you are a random cosmic mistake that nothingness spewed is unshakable, it is proven that atheists suffer more from manic depression because they are masochists and think of their lives as purposeless (when they are not), i just said it to understand what God is.

    Are your atheist friends maniacs ?

  299. 299
    Me_Think says:

    mike1962 @ 297

    Thou art amazing. O Zachriel. We can’t imagine either kind.

    To us they are merely abstract mathematical concepts.

    Canst thou draw us a picture of what thou seest in thine imagination?

    Even a blank piece of paper is not nothing.

    So that’s no good.

    Have you either read the book or seen the YouTube lectures ? Do you still not understand the simple Feynman diagram for Positron-Electron pair?

  300. 300
    mike1962 says:

    Me_Think: Have you either read the book or seen the YouTube lectures ? Do you still not understand the simple Feynman diagram for Positron-Electron pair?

    That’s entirely beside our point.

  301. 301
    Me_Think says:

    300
    mike1962 @ 300

    That’s entirely beside our point.

    If you are arguing about Empty Space, don’t you need to know what Empty space is?, and how it is a ‘maelstrom of particles popping into and out of existence’ ?

  302. 302
    mike1962 says:

    Me_Think: If you are arguing about Empty Space, don’t you need to know what Empty space is?

    The title of his book is not A Universe from Empty Space. It’s A Universe from Nothing.

  303. 303
    Me_Think says:

    mike1962 @ 302

    The title of his book is not A Universe from Empty Space. It’s A Universe from Nothing.

    Yes, of-course, but both terms are synonymous in the book. You seem to think ‘Nothing’ and ‘Empty Space’ are quantum mechanically different. Care to elaborate?

  304. 304
    Zachriel says:

    mike1962: We can’t imagine either kind.

    Sorry for your luck. They have maths for that.

  305. 305
    Box says:

    Me_Think: Feser is a Philosopher. Apparently every philosopher hates Krauss (because he hates them!) 🙂 , so it’s not surprising that they demean Krauss.

    So, deep down Feser fully agrees with Krauss that ‘nothing’ equals ‘almost nothing’, but blinded by his hatred for Krauss (because Krauss hates Feser) he refuses to admit this?
    Well, pardon me, but that explanation doesn’t make any sense to me.

  306. 306
    kairosfocus says:

    MT:

    You seem to think ‘Nothing’ and ‘Empty Space’ [–> a quantum vacuum, actually . . . ] are quantum mechanically different. Care to elaborate?

    Nothing, properly denotes non-being, as in, to get an idea, what’s in THE empty set. Or you can try Ari’s what rocks dream of.

    Space is not nothing.

    To speak of it as if it were, is a fundamental confusion of categories.

    And, out there, there is an astonishing video exchange on that when Dawkins publicly blundered in a discussion with Rowan Williams.

    This is one take: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v34QjYPuiEA

    This is not mere hair-splitting.

    Non-being has no causal powers and if there ever was an utter nothing, that is precisely what would forever obtain.

    That is, we see here a fundamental issue: that there is a fundamental necessary being at the causal root of our world, in light of the modes of being/non-being, impossible (think: square circles), possible, contingent [and its subset, actual], necessary.

    Thence, the focal issue is, what can we come to know about that root of being?

    KF

  307. 307
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: what’s in THE empty set.

    Great example. Like the invention of zero, the empty set once defied people’s common notions. They’re abstractions! Similarly, the abstraction of the classical vacuum is a volume devoid of energy or matter, while the abstraction of the quantum nothingness is also devoid of space and time.

    The last is a half-baked idea, but then again, sometimes half-baked ideas might become fully baked. No way to know at this point.

  308. 308
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, you are substituting a space with very low pressure, for nothing. Non-being. Notice, Ari’s example: that which rocks dream of. Where the contrast being/non-being is very important for us to have a sufficient understanding of the roots of being and therefore origins. Where also, there are philosophical issues that underlie any proposed physical or mathematical framework. And the “nothing” as put up in recent years by advocates, is not non-being; which is highly material to the worldview level issues at stake. KF

  309. 309
    mike1962 says:

    Zachriel: They have maths for that.

    Hence our statment: To us they are merely abstract mathematical concepts.

    But if you can imagine those “empty” spaces, thou art special indeed.

  310. 310
    Me_Think says:

    Box@ 305

    So, deep down Feser fully agrees with Krauss that ‘nothing’ equals ‘almost nothing’, but blinded by his hatred for Krauss (because Krauss hates Feser) he refuses to admit this?

    No. There is a more fundamental reason – Feser has no idea what Krauss is refering too, as abundently clear by his comments :

    This is, of course, a summary of the argument of Krauss’s book. And the problem with it, as everybody on the planet knows except for Krauss himself and the very hackiest of his fellow New Atheist hacks, is that empty space governed by quantum mechanics (or any other laws of physics, or even just the laws of physics by themselves) is not nothing, and not even an “example” of nothing

    The summary of Kruass book is how electron can form positron – electron pair and virtual particles can pop up in empty space/ nothing, and how the concept of dark energy was arrived at.

    Your couch has length, width, depth, mass, etc. and can be seen and touched. And it turns out that the absence of your couch has length, width, depth, mass, etc. and can be seen and touched. Does the absence of a couch look different from the absence of a cat? Do they weigh the same? And how many absences can you fit in one room? Don’t scoff! It’s sciiieeeeence!

    Huh ? Hasn’t the philosopher heard about how virtual particles are responsible for most of your mass, and that of everything that is visible in the universe ?

  311. 311
    Me_Think says:

    KF @ 306

    Nothing, properly denotes non-being, as in, to get an idea, what’s in THE empty set. Or you can try Ari’s what rocks dream of.
    Space is not nothing.
    To speak of it as if it were, is a fundamental confusion of categories.
    And, out there, there is an astonishing video exchange on that when Dawkins publicly blundered in a discussion with Rowan Williams.

    A physicist who is a proponent of empty space, nothing and dark energy is more qualified to define what nothing means in context of cosmology, than a cleric or a lay person or a person who’s expertise lies elsewhere.

  312. 312
    Box says:

    Me_Think: A physicist who is a proponent of empty space, nothing and dark energy is more qualified to define what nothing means in context of cosmology, than a cleric or a lay person or a person who’s expertise lies elsewhere.

    “Nothing” means the exact same thing in the context of cosmology as in every other context: the absence of anything whatsoever. No cosmologist has the right to redefine “nothing” into something else, like “empty space governed by quantum mechanics” or whatever.

  313. 313
    Me_Think says:

    “Nothing” means the exact same thing in the context of cosmology as in every other context: the absence of anything whatsoever.

    No,it does not mean the same thing. You can search for ‘Nothing’ and ‘Nothing cosmology’. You will get two different search results – one referring to Nothing in general use and another referring to Nothing as used in cosmology.

  314. 314
    Silver Asiatic says:

    A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing – Lawrence M. Krauss

    What he meant was:

    “A Universe from Something: Why We Cannot Explain the Origin of Something from Nothing”

  315. 315
    Mapou says:

    SA:

    “A Universe from Something: Why We Cannot Explain the Origin of Something from Nothing”

    It can be explained if you assume that reality consists of two opposite and complementary realms: a physical realm where physical objects (the universe) can be created and destroyed; and a spiritual realm that comprise various entities including the creative powers and where nothing can be created or destroyed. I believe the creative powers created the physical universe.

    The reason that you need two realms is that no entity can create itself out of nothing. So you have to have two complementary realms to make it work logically. There must be a transcendental creative force, not a force that was created but one that just is.

  316. 316
    Box says:

    SA #314,

    “A Universe from Something: Why We Cannot Explain the Origin of Something from Nothing.”

    Feser:

    So what’s the point of all this ado about nothing? You know what the point is: To try to show that physics alone can explain the existence of the universe.

  317. 317
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Box 316

    Feser: So what’s the point of all this ado about nothing? You know what the point is: To try to show that physics alone can explain the existence of the universe.

    Other great books to look forward to:

    A Universe from Nothing: How Physical Laws Shaped the Universe Before Physical Laws Ever Existed

    A Universe from Nothing: How Science Investigates the Immaterial to Explain the Origin of the Material Universe

  318. 318
    zfan says:

    Me_Think #313

    No,it does not mean the same thing. You can search for ‘Nothing’ and ‘Nothing cosmology’. You will get two different search results – one referring to Nothing in general use and another referring to Nothing as used in cosmology.

    Nothing cosmology is simply called that to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It couldn’t be called something cosmology now could it?

  319. 319
    Mapou says:

    Box 316

    Feser: So what’s the point of all this ado about nothing? You know what the point is: To try to show that physics alone can explain the existence of the universe.

    So you ID and creationist types are jumping on the anti-ex-nihilo bandwagon just because the other camp is for it? You are making the same mistakes that they make when they automatically come out against anything your camp believes in. You have not thought it through and neither has the materialist camp. You are both throwing the baby out with the bathwater, which is deplorable.

    On the one hand, the anti-ex-nihilo camp cannot explain how anything can be created (it leads to an infinite regress), and on the other hand, the ex-nihilo camp cannot show that anything can be created ex-nihilo (nothing can create itself). It’s depressing and frustrating at the same time.

  320. 320
    Box says:

    Mapou,

    Feser holds that he can provide a solution to the problem; see for instance here.

    Excerpt:

    And that, I submit, is the reason why the stupid “Everything has a cause” argument – a complete fabrication, an urban legend, something no philosopher has ever defended – perpetually haunts the debate over the cosmological argument. It gives atheists an easy target, and a way rhetorically to make even their most sophisticated opponents seem silly and not worth bothering with. It‘s a slimy debating trick, nothing more – a shameless exercise in what I have elsewhere called “meta-sophistry.”
    “What defenders of the cosmological argument do say is that what comes into existence has a cause, or that what is contingent has a cause.”

  321. 321
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: Z, you are substituting a space with very low pressure, for nothing. Non-being.

    Or an empty set. As we said, it was a good example.

    People have resisted the notion of zero, classical vacuums, empty sets, space-time, quantum vacuums, each in their turn.

    mike1962: Hence our statment: To us they are merely abstract mathematical concepts.

    A lot of modern physics, including quantum theory, is like that.

  322. 322
    mike1962 says:

    Zachriel: A lot of modern physics, including quantum theory, is like that.

    None of them describe “empty space” or “nothingness” in the sense Krausse’s jackasserish book title implies.

  323. 323
    Mapou says:

    Box @320, I fully agree with the Cosmological Argument and Feser’s explanation. However, it does not solve the problem of infinite regress that I mentioned earlier, nor does it refute my claim that physical entities must by necessity be created ex-nihilo.

    For that to happen there must necessarily exist two complementary nihili (realms), one physical and one spiritual. The former is where caused entities are created or destroyed and the latter is where uncaused entities exist. There is no other explanation, in my view.

    PS. I am not a member of any organized religion but I like Feser’s writing style, clear, easy to read and to the point.

  324. 324
    Mapou says:

    Zachriel:

    mike1962: Hence our statment: To us they are merely abstract mathematical concepts.

    A lot of modern physics, including quantum theory, is like that.

    Which is why its fundamental assumptions are most assuredly wrong. Abstract math constructs explain nothing. In fact, it is the math that is in dire need of a physical explanation.

  325. 325
    Box says:

    Mapou: I fully agree with the Cosmological Argument and Feser’s explanation. However, it does not solve the problem of infinite regress that I mentioned earlier,(…)

    Feser argues that God must necessarily exist, cannot fail to exist. Therefore God is uncaused, so ‘infinite’ causal regress ends with God.

    Feser on the cosmological argument:

    What it seeks to show is that if there is to be an ultimate explanation of things, then there must be a cause of everything else which not only happens to exist, but which could not even in principle have failed to exist.

    Mapou: I am not a member of any organized religion but I like Feser’s writing style, clear, easy to read and to the point.

    Same here.

  326. 326
    Zachriel says:

    Mapou: Abstract math constructs explain nothing.

    Newtonian mechanics is largely an abstraction. It starts with a few axioms, which, along with the calculus of the infinitesimal, can predict a vast array of empirical phenomena.

  327. 327
    Mapou says:

    Box @325, No, I was not talking about infinite causal regress. You must have missed my argument above. I was talking about infinite composition regress. It is a direct argument against the claim that no physical thing comes from nothing and that every physical thing is made of something.

    IOW, if someone asks, what is iron made of? The answer might be molecules. The questioner will then ask, what are molecules made of? If the answer is particles, the questioner will ask about the composition of particles. It can go on forever, resulting in an infinite regress. So the obvious solution to this conundrum is to do away with the doctrine that every physical thing is made of something and to accept the reality that every physical thing is made of nothing.

  328. 328
    Box says:

    Mapou,

    Those are materialistic concerns. Why not postulate that God is the cause of energy and matter?

  329. 329
    Mapou says:

    Zachriel:

    Mapou: Abstract math constructs explain nothing.

    Newtonian mechanics is largely an abstraction. It starts with a few axioms, which, along with the calculus of the infinitesimal, can predict a vast array of empirical phenomena.

    Why bring Newtonian mechanics into the argument? You seem to assume that I am one of those who defend Newton against modern physics. You are wrong. Newton started the bad custom of using abstract descriptive math as a sufficient form of science. Newton explained nothing, something that he willingly admitted. He had no idea why things move (he ascribed inertial motion to God) or by what interactions one object could cause another to accelerate. Newton’s law only “explained” that accelerated motion is caused by a force. He could not explain the cause of inertial motion and simply observed that it happened.

  330. 330
    Mapou says:

    Box @328,

    You’re not addressing my argument, Box. Our discussion seems to have an air of futility about it. Thanks for your input.

  331. 331
    Box says:

    Mapou, feel free to end our discussion. I’m puzzled by the naturalistic character of your argument. Usually a theist holds that God created and upholds energy and matter. IOW energy and matter have no independent existence distinct from God. Like thoughts have no independent existence from a thinker.
    You seem to be asking “what is matter on its own?”
    In #328 I’m merely expressing my amazement. Such a question is not very theistic. It’s like asking “what are dreams on their own, without a dreamer”?

  332. 332
    Me_Think says:

    Box @ 328

    Those are materialistic concerns. Why not postulate that God is the cause of energy and matter?.

    God creates and maintains everything from His chamber in nth dimension. I am not sure what those stupid scientists are doing day in and day out.

  333. 333
    JimFit says:

    I have read it earlier too. I have no idea how you manage to equate simple chemo-reception and pressure differential taxis as consciousness ! You don’t need elaborate mazes. Just put the slime mold plasmodium in a chamber, surround the chamber with various concentration of attractants like glucose, galactose, phosphates, pyrophosphates, ATP, c-AMP, and the other part of agar base by various forms of repellents like inorganic salts, sucrose, fructose. You will see the plasmodium moving towards the attractants. It first encircles all attractants then the ‘arm’ were higher concentration of the attractant was found swells into a tube.Swelling causes a pressure differential, cytoplasm flows to that end. Since the body mass is limited, the other arms of plasmodium withdraws from less concentrated attractants.
    If there is a barrier of say light but higher concentrate of attractant, the concentration has to be more than the repellent property of the attractant to help plasmodium taxis (movement). It is no different than putting a piece of paper in a vessel of water and adding a small piece of soap near the paper. the paper will move away as the surface tension of place were soap was added decreases. Does it mean paper has consciousness or does it mean, it is simple physical change in surface tension?

    Scientists have long since discovered that you can run simple decision-making experiments with Physarum by presenting it with several food sources and seeing how it behaves. Typically, the plasmodium touches all the potential meals and then either decides to move towards one, or splits itself among many.

    Latty and Beekman did one such test using two food sources – one containing 3% oatmeal and covered in darkness (known as 3D), and another with 5% oatmeal that was brightly lit (5L). Bright light easily damages Physarum, so it had to choose between a heftier but more irritating food source, and a smaller but more pleasant one. With no clear winner, it’s not surprising that the slime mould had no preference – it oozed towards each option just as often as the other.

    But things changed when Latty and Beekman added a third option into the mix – a food source containing 1% oatmeal and shrouded in shadow (1D). This third alternative is clearly the inferior one, and Physarum had little time for it. However, its presence changed the mould’s attitude toward the previous two options. Now, 80% of the plasmodia headed towards the 3D source, while around 20% chose the brightly-lit 5L one.

    These results strongly suggest that, like humans, Physarum doesn’t attach any intrinsic value to the options that are available to it. Instead, it compares its alternatives. Add something new into the mix, and its decisions change. The presence of the 1D option made the 3D one more attractive by comparison, even though the 3D and 5L alternatives were fundamentally unchanged.

    That is the question I am asking ! There are various paths the ball could have followed, but it follows the path of least difference in kinetic and potential energy, so is it making a decision ?

    That’s not what the article says. Proof that you didn’t read it – didn’t understand it – didn’t want to understand it.

    You could say that is a philosophical argument, yes.

    The Ultimate cause is not a philosophical argument. Something from Nothing can’t happen because Nothing is the absence of everything and therefor the existence of pure randomness and randomness by definition can’t determine something, space began so quantum physics won’t save you, the only reasonable answer is a transcendent cause. For me God is Everything and the Universe is something subjective to His will. The rest you discuss here are quantum woos.

  334. 334
    JimFit says:

    Contrary to what some people might think little progress has been made in the area. Krauss to answer the question uses Hatrle’s Hawking good old ‘No boundary proposal’ and Vilenkin’s tunneling wave function which by the way don’t agree with each other. These proposals however are 30 years old and not much have been found since. In fact spontaneous creation of a Universe from nothing (no space-time) is poorly understood and these proposals are semiclassical approximations.

  335. 335
    Me_Think says:

    JimFit @ 333

    But things changed when Latty and Beekman added a third option into the mix – a food source containing 1% oatmeal and shrouded in shadow (1D). This third alternative is clearly the inferior one, and Physarum had little time for it. However, its presence changed the mould’s attitude toward the previous two options. Now, 80% of the plasmodia headed towards the 3D source, while around 20% chose the brightly-lit 5L one.

    What you need to understand is all those attarctants are oozing their chemical through the agar base. The differential chemical gradation is what pushes the cytoplasm towards the strongest concentrate. Adding 1-D to the mix just changes the gradation in agar base, so it is a basic chemo reception, the taxis aided by pressure differential. I would be impressed if the slime mold can ‘think’ with out the agar base to guide chemical response.Light is a repellent. If I decrease the wave length of the light, the 5L will become more attractive as the light sensitivity will decrease.

  336. 336
    Mapou says:

    Box:

    Mapou, feel free to end our discussion.

    I think it should come to an end if no new lesson or understanding comes out of it.

    I’m puzzled by the naturalistic character of your argument. Usually a theist holds that God created and upholds energy and matter. IOW energy and matter have no independent existence distinct from God. Like thoughts have no independent existence from a thinker.

    I am a truthist first and a theist second. IMO, whether or not God sustains or maintains creation is irrelevant to the composition of matter. It does not make the problem go away. In fact, lately I am beginning to lean toward the hypothesis that matter is constantly being created, destroyed and recreated over and over.

    You seem to be asking “what is matter on its own?”

    Certainly. Why should this question be forbidden? A similar and equally important question is what is God made of?

    In #328 I’m merely expressing my amazement. Such a question is not very theistic. It’s like asking “what are dreams on their own, without a dreamer”?

    Funny you should say this since I am probably the world’s most hard core dualist. In fact, since opposites are of the same nature (made of the same thing) by virtue of being opposites, truly understanding the fundamental nature of one side should reveal the nature of the other. In turn, this knowledge will help us to understand (both from a theist’s and a scientist’s point of view) how our spirits interface with our brains to give us consciousness. I’m just searching.

  337. 337
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, you are still in effect substituting a low-pressure space for a proper nothing — non-being, by trying to list categorically distinct things in a context where the main issue is to correct just that confusion, cf. the video here. The material issue is that non-being has no causal powers, and if there ever were an utter nothing, thereafter that would forever obtain. So, if something now is, something must always have been, with adequate causal power to account for what we see. That points to necessary being at the causal root of reality. Where our observed cosmos is full of strong signs of fine tuning to support C-Chemistry, aqueous medium, cell based life in a terrestrial planet environment; pointing to design as at minimum, a serious candidate explanation — even, in the face of multiverse speculations. Cf my recent post here, and particularly Sir Fred Hoyle’s remarks. KF

    PS: The null set is not nothing. I specifically pointed instead to the membership. As in, the empty set is that set that collects nothing and has no entities/members in it whatsoever. In effect, what is nothing is what’s inside it. Ari’s classical remark that nothing is what rocks dream of is an apt balance to give the force of the point.

  338. 338
    kairosfocus says:

    MT, you have inappropriately appealed to authority dressed up in a lab coat. The proper meaning of nothing as non-being is not in doubt (we are not in a 1984 newspeak world here . . . ), nor is the relevant causal logic as I just again outlined to Z. In simple, direct words: Krauss inappropriately re-labelled a quantum vacuum as “nothing” to promote the notion that he had pulled a cosmos fine tuned for life out of a non-existent hat. There is a second level of discussion on quantum vacuum and fluctuations leading to a multiverse of sub-cosmi [and, nope that is not a good explanation for an observed cosmos sitting at a locally deeply isolated operating point . . . cf the lone fly on part of a long wall swotted by a bullet vs a bullet hitting another part carpeted by flies, per John Leslie], but that is secondary to the primary matter. When we can see progress on what nothing, non-being is, then we can be able to set the context of understanding impossible vs possible, contingent (incl. actualised) and necessary being, with linked cause-effect issues. Then, we can speak to the physics of a fine-tuned cosmos. KF

  339. 339
    Me_Think says:

    kairosfocus @ 338

    MT, you have inappropriately appealed to authority dressed up in a lab coat. The proper meaning of nothing as non-being is not in doubt (we are not in a 1984 newspeak world here . . . ), nor is the relevant causal logic as I just again outlined to Z. In simple, direct words: Krauss inappropriately re-labelled a quantum vacuum as “nothing”

    I am not appealing to authority. In the context of cosmology, that’s how ‘Nothing’ is used, just like in chemistry ‘Solution’ is not equivalent to lay person’s meaning of ‘Solution’, and Gabriel horn in maths is not equal to Gabriel’s horn in Bible.

  340. 340
    Me_Think says:

    JimFit @ 334

    In fact spontaneous creation of a Universe from nothing (no space-time) is poorly understood and these proposals are semiclassical approximations

    No. The cosmological constant of a vacuum bubble can be written entirely as a Quantum term :
    Cosmological const (Capital Lambda) = 3 lambda *(3/4)^2
    for Capital Lambda = 3H^2

  341. 341
    Zachriel says:

    Mapou: Why bring Newtonian mechanics into the argument?

    Because you said “Abstract math constructs explain nothing,” when Newtonian mechanics is abstract math that explains a lot.

    Mapou: Newton’s law only “explained” that accelerated motion is caused by a force.

    Force, such as universal gravitation, causes acceleration, yes. Identifying a cause is a scientific explanation.

    kairosfocus: Z, you are still in effect substituting a low-pressure space for a proper nothing

    We’re drawing an analogy, not an equivalence. Nor are we claiming that quantum nothingness is unstable. We’re merely presenting it as a possibility, a conjecture, while you are the one claiming it is an impossibility.

  342. 342
    Box says:

    Mapou,

    Box: You seem to be asking “what is matter on its own?”

    Mapou: Certainly. Why should this question be forbidden?

    I was arguing for an ontological distinction between things that do not have independent existence – like thoughts, dreams and energy and matter – and things that have independent existence – like God. In the context of this ontological concept it doesn’t make sense to ask “what is a thought on its own?”, because a thought derives its existence from something ‘external’ to it – a thinker.
    Similarly, if the existence of matter is being sustained by God – if matter derives its existence from God – it doesn’t make sense to ask “what is matter on its own?”

    Mapou: In fact, since opposites are of the same nature (made of the same thing) by virtue of being opposites, truly understanding the fundamental nature of one side should reveal the nature of the other.

    Can you elaborate on this? Particularly, on how being “made of the same thing” doesn’t contradict dualism. If all things are “made of the same thing”, why are you not a monist?

  343. 343
    Box says:

    Me_Think: God creates and maintains everything from His chamber in nth dimension. I am not sure what those stupid scientists are doing day in and day out.

    Day in day out naturalistic scientists are trying to extract a universe from nothing.

  344. 344
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Day in day out naturalistic scientist are trying to extract a universe from nothing.

    If you speculate that maybe God made the universe, but we have no idea how to scientifically test this claim; or speculate that perhaps quantum nothingness is unstable based on solutions to string theory, and that this might be testable in principle, then sure. If the claim is that the so-called fine-tuning of the cosmological constant is significant scientific evidence of a designer, then no.

  345. 345
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    me_Think says

    In the context of cosmology, that’s how ‘Nothing’ is used,

    I say,

    There seems to be a strong pattern here.

    Why do Infinity,nothing,evolution and all these other terms have special idiosyncratic meanings in academia so that the unwashed masses are confused and often mislead by their usage?

    Ever heard of Gnosticism?

    If you don’t mean “Nothing” in this context why not coin your own term instead of using the term in general use.

    Do you remember the grief I got from your side when I was explaining my game because I was using standard definitions instead of official sciencey ones for terms like non-computable and Irreducibly Complex?

    Why is that?

    For the life of me I don’t know why you would want to use obscure and specialized language for explanation when common English would work just as well.

    I think this tendency to use special definitions is part of the communication problem between the scientific establishment and the public.

    Clarity is the gateway to understanding. Don’t use misleading language and complain when people are mislead.

    peace

  346. 346
    Joe says:

    If you speculate that maybe God made the universe, but we have no idea how to scientifically test this claim;

    We can test the claim the universe was intelligently designed or not.

  347. 347
    kairosfocus says:

    5th, Nothing is being used incorrectly, period. Maybe, it started as a way around “quantum vacuum with fluctuations” or the like, but if so it was a poor choice. It has now been used in a rhetorical misrepresentation that pretends to pull a cosmos out of a non-existent hat. KF

  348. 348
    kairosfocus says:

    Z (and M-T), the same applies. A quantum vacuum is not non-being. Long before we get to whether chance fluctuations in such can credibly account for our cosmos, and on what actual base of observations. KF

  349. 349
    kairosfocus says:

    Onlookers, see the problem, in a case where the matter is plainly conclusive? What does this tell us about what happens when we have to go to the empirical world and resort to mere inductive inference? See one reason for so many debates in and around UD? KF

  350. 350
    Me_Think says:

    fifthmonarchyman @ 345

    I think this tendency to use special definitions is part of the communication problem between the scientific establishment and the public.

    Every field has their own words and meanings, some words overlap. Even office terms differ – what about your office? Aren’t there terms that are exclusive to your office or your field of work ?

  351. 351
    Box says:

    Me_Think #350

    Why not term the universe “nothing”? That would solve the explanation problem immediately.

  352. 352
    kairosfocus says:

    M-T: Nope, that is not proper technical use of a term, that is misleading labelling. Something — a quantum vacuum, is NOT the same as nothing, non-being. Period. No excuses can save it. KF

  353. 353
    Me_Think says:

    Box @ 351

    Why not term the universe “nothing”? That would solve the explanation problem immediately.

    Then what would be multiverse ? multi-nothing ? 🙂

  354. 354
    Me_Think says:

    KF @ 352

    Nope, that is not proper technical use of a term, that is misleading labelling. Something — a quantum vacuum, is NOT the same as nothing, non-being. Period. No excuses can save it

    As I said earlier, a ‘solution’ in chemistry is not equivalent to ‘solution’ of layman, ‘Gabriel’s horn’ in maths is not ‘Gabriel horn’ of Bible, so a ‘Nothing’ of cosmology need not be layman’s nothing. Every word has to be understood in the context it is being used in.

  355. 355
    Box says:

    Me_think #353

    “A Universe from Multi-Nothing”, would make a great book title.

  356. 356
    kairosfocus says:

    MT, Sorry, but I must insist. And the previously linked vid clip:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v34QjYPuiEA

    . . . will help bring out why that point is crucial. Nothing, non being is simply categorically distinct from something, and that includes any form of space, including a quantum vacuum. Not least, as non-being has no causal powers and if there were an utter nothing, nothing would always obtain. As that is not the case there always was something, raising the issue of necessary being at the causal root of reality. KF

  357. 357
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Me_Think

    God creates and maintains everything from His chamber in nth dimension. I am not sure what those stupid scientists are doing day in and day out.

    They’re analyzing the material composition of nothingness?

  358. 358
    Me_Think says:

    Silver Asiatic @ 357,

    They’re analyzing the material composition of nothingness?

    Exactly! There is so much going on there at quantum level.

  359. 359
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Me_Think

    “analyzing the material composition of nothingness” – Exactly!

    There are at least a few problems here:

    1. Science-alone cannot determine what nothingness is or what the term should indicate.
    2. If nothingness has a material composition, then it is not nothing. That should be obvious.
    3. If nothingness does not have a material composition, then it is immaterial. Science cannot analyze the material composition of the immaterial. Science could, perhaps, analyze what immaterial entities are, but only if you’re willing to:
    a. Admit that immaterial entities exist and can be analyzed scientifically
    b. Define science as extending beyond physical/material constructs

    Agreed?

  360. 360
    Me_Think says:

    And the previously linked vid clip:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v34QjYPuiEA

    . . . will help bring out why that point is crucial.

    The vid shows a gathering of laypersons and panelists who are not physicists. They make fun of Dawkins’ use of ‘nothing’. It is clearly a setting where the meaning of Nothing is normal dictionary meaning, and no one has a clue about it’s meaning in cosmological context. As I said, meaning of words should be interpreted in the context in which it is used. If this was a setting of Astronomy fan club or a little bit knowledgeable (in astronomy) audience, no one would protest about the use of ‘nothing’.
    IDers feel the concept of Universe from Nothing is somehow deliberately chosen to demean their Universe from God concept, and that’s the main reason for so much opposition to the word ‘Nothing’. I don’t see any IDer protesting use of “solution’ in Chemistry.

  361. 361
    Me_Think says:

    Silver Asiatic @ 359

    1. Science-alone cannot determine what nothingness is or what the term should indicate.

    That’s the whole point. Science can determine what word to use in scientific context. Again, a ‘Solution’ in chemistry is not a ‘Solution’ of a layman, a ‘Nothing’ of cosmology need not be ‘Nothing’ of layman.
    Nothing has enough virtual particles for analysis but no radiation and space-time, that’s the reason nothing can be analyzed ‘materialistically’, yet in physical terms it has no coordinates (because of Heisenberg uncertainty principle – can you pin down the co-ordinate of an electron and electron-positron pair?). For a scientist, it is clear Nothing is true nothing. A normal meaning of nothing at least has a coordinate where nothing exists, a Quantum nothing doesn’t. So Quantum Nothing is the true nothing!

  362. 362
    Box says:

    Maybe we can reach some agreement here.
    If science stubbornly insists on using the term “nothing” for a quantum vacuum then I demand the introduction of the new term “really nothing” for the absence of anything.
    Second I want science to explain the existence of “nothing” – that is a quantum vacuum – from “really nothing”.

  363. 363
    kairosfocus says:

    Box, there is utterly no scientific need to speak of a quantum vacuum as nothing. Period. KF

  364. 364
    kairosfocus says:

    M-T: Nothing, repeat, is non-being. Which has no causal properties, and if there ever were an utter nothing, there would forever be just that. To call a quantum vacuum nothing is an abuse, period. If you are speaking to physicists, quantum vacuum will do, with the relevant math and symbols. If a lay audience, a simple description that space is not nothing will suffice. The only result of such a category confusion between nothing and something is just that. Confusion. As Dawkins inadvertently showed. KF

  365. 365
    Axel says:

    ‘A normal meaning of nothing at least has a coordinate where nothing exists, a Quantum nothing doesn’t.’

    Wrong, Me_Think.

    A normal meaning of nothing possesses nothing. Even its meaning, context-specific or otherwise, is not proper to it. Nothing at all is proper to it – in a negative sense and a positive sense. If it is located within coordinates, they will be an external, factitious, man-made construct.

  366. 366
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: My commnt on the same confusion when it last surfaced:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....stent-hat/

    Something is not nothing, period. KF

  367. 367
    zfan says:

    Me_think has pure denial of something that is so evident and it shouldn’t surprise anyone. How else can you posture something from nothing?

    Apparently it is now up to the scientific community to develop new meanings of philosophical basics and fundamentals.

  368. 368
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: Why do Infinity, nothing, evolution and all these other terms have special idiosyncratic meanings in academia so that the unwashed masses are confused and often mislead by their usage?

    Terms are often given precise meanings when they become subject to study. Nowadays, gravity means the attractive force due to mass, but it used to mean heavy or serious. Other times new terms are coined, such as natural selection. Latin is often used to avoid the use of common words. Confusion might be avoided by using a prefix, such as classical vacuum. Other times, you might have to ask.

    fifthmonarchyman: Do you remember the grief I got from your side when I was explaining my game because I was using standard definitions instead of official sciencey ones for terms like non-computable and Irreducibly Complex?

    Yes, that was very confusing.

    fifthmonarchyman: Why is that?

    Because you were having a discussion of mathematics, using specialized terms that were coined for specific purposes in mathematics, but then using them in a different manner.

    fifthmonarchyman: For the life of me I don’t know why you would want to use obscure and specialized language for explanation when common English would work just as well.

    Precise definitions are essential for precise communications, mathematics especially. But terminology is specific to a field of study. A derivative means one thing in mathematics, another in finance.

    fifthmonarchyman: I think this tendency to use special definitions is part of the communication problem between the scientific establishment and the public.

    Yes, of course. But someone good at science may not be good at communicating. They are quite different skill-sets.

    kairosfocus: A quantum vacuum is not non-being.

    True. However, we can say that a classical vacuum is unstable because of quantum fluctuations, even though a classical vacuum is just an abstraction. Similarly, the absence of matter, energy, space and time, often termed “nothingness”, may also be unstable. No one knows. It’s conjectural.

  369. 369
    Mapou says:

    Box:

    I was arguing for an ontological distinction between things that do not have independent existence – like thoughts, dreams and energy and matter – and things that have independent existence – like God.

    Even here I must disagree. I believe that God has a physical body or even many bodies. Sure, it is not made of the same type of matter as our bodies but, IMO, it is necessarily physical. This is true because motion/change only exists in the physical realm. In the spiritual realm, there can be no change/motion. Spirits cannot change and are neither created nor destroyed. Since the Judeo-Christian God that I believe in exists in a certain location in the universe and can move about, it necessarily follows that he has a physical body.

    In the context of this ontological concept it doesn’t make sense to ask “what is a thought on its own?”, because a thought derives its existence from something ‘external’ to it – a thinker.

    Again, I have to disagree. I believe that both thought and thinker are interdependent by virtue of being opposites. Neither can exist without the other. So to say that thought derives its existence from something else is not correct. Both are required simultaneously in order for thinking to exist.

    Similarly, if the existence of matter is being sustained by God – if matter derives its existence from God – it doesn’t make sense to ask “what is matter on its own?”

    I am having problems with your analogies. This is like saying that a building cannot exist separately from its architect. To cause something to come into existence does not mean that the created entity does not have a separate existence from the creator. I have been thinking about the idea that calls for God continually maintaining physical matter in existence and I have not yet made up my mind. It is possible that every particle of matter immediately disappears after being created and must be recreated at every instant. But it does not mean that the created entity and the creative power do not have separate existences/substances.

    Mapou: In fact, since opposites are of the same nature (made of the same thing) by virtue of being opposites, truly understanding the fundamental nature of one side should reveal the nature of the other.

    Can you elaborate on this? Particularly, on how being “made of the same thing” doesn’t contradict dualism. If all things are “made of the same thing”, why are you not a monist?

    Maybe I should have said “made of the same type of thing”. Opposites are necessarily of the same nature. Knowing one is enough to knowing the other. So what type of thing are spiritual and physical entities made of? IMO, they are both made of nothing. And I, as a hardcore dualist, cannot accept the possibility of one realm existing without its opposite. This is why I believe there must be two types of nothingness. They are both a type of ‘nothing’ in nature, but they are opposites and they are both governed by duality. Every particle or property in the universe must be accompanied by an equal and opposite particle or property in the same universe.

    While the physical realm is self-balancing (this why there is change/motion), the spiritual realm is not (because it cannot change). This is why conscious spirits must be tested. Those who do not pass the test are eventually incapacitated by God.

  370. 370
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Me_think says

    Aren’t there terms that are exclusive to your office or your field of work ?

    I say,

    Yes down at the salt mine we use a vocabulary that is specialized and obscure.

    However If I was going to talk to a general audience about what I do I would speak in good old American.

    If you can’t explain your idea at the Walmart using everyday plain language that Bubba can understand you don’t understand it yourself.

    peace

  371. 371
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: If you can’t explain your idea at the Walmart using everyday plain language that Bubba can understand you don’t understand it yourself.

    Which is why everyone understands quantum mechanics. Learned it from the bartender down the block. It’s that easy!

  372. 372
    Axel says:

    With very rare exceptions, it seems the more simple a truth is, the more difficult it is for atheists to understand it.

    In terms of logic:
    ‘Something’ is not ‘nothing’, could scarcely be simpler.’

    (One cavil: ‘something’ and ‘nothing’ could have been monosyllabic.)

    In terms of illogicality (but, nevertheless, reality), paradoxes could not be simpler to understand. They are as completely, mysterious and repugnant to reason as oxymorons, but just happen to be true.

    So, as if to the manner born, atheists invoke another concept that is alien to their thinking, ‘intuition’. Einstein lauded the intuition over the analytical intelligence, and they hoped some of his magic might rub off onto them, if they – however illogically – did so, so they co-opted beauty, elegance, Einstein’s stated criterion for selecting his hypotheses.

    However, the truth is that, like the triumphalist, self-referential, inward-looking, sclerotic, legalistic, Tridentine Catholic church, (which, however, Vatican II has rather successfully managed to reform, in some measure), the church of atheism is similarly inward-looking, self-referential, narcissistic, and obdurately triumphalist.

    None so blind as those that will not see. The diatribe Jesus delivered to the scribes and Pharisees, when they claimed to be sons of Abraham, might equally be delivered to them.

    ‘”Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, `We have Abraham for our father,’ for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up sons to Abraham.” Luke 3:8

    They are so convinced they are sons of science – no, don’t laugh – locking onto atheism as their a priori, basic hypothesis, they have closed their minds to the open-ended endeavour of true science, a far as empirical science can take one, that is. They were left behind, with the advent of quantum mechanics and its proliferating paradoxes; and at the macro level, by the Big Bang and and cosmic fine-tuning.

    If, as Shakespeare put it, our lives are like a stage play, theirs is like a mime act, infuriatingly pedestrian and one-dimensional.

  373. 373
    Zachriel says:

    Axel: ‘Something’ is not ‘nothing’, could scarcely be simpler.’

    No, but perhaps quantum nothingness (no matter, energy, space, or time) is unstable.

  374. 374
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    No, but perhaps quantum nothingness (not matter, energy, space, or time) is unstable.

    I say,

    See the irrationality on display here.

    We put the spooky science word “quantum” in front of a perfectly clearly defined term and somehow we think the meaning warps 180 degrees.

    Is that really the road we want to go down.
    As a joke perhaps we should start using the phrase “quantum intelligent” to refer to folks who say things like.

    “perhaps quantum nothingness is unstable”

    peace

  375. 375
    Axel says:

    Zac @373

    Pardon me, but I’ll pass on that, Zac. Who know what ‘no thing’ might be capable of being? Instability sounds as plausible as any other property it might possess – or might not, as the case may be, Zac.

    Perhaps it’s a multiworld kind of thing, with infinite properties…. or none. …. or both

  376. 376
    Axel says:

    ‘3
    EvolveDecember 30, 2014 at 9:37 am

    The fine tuning argument is flawed because it assumes upfront that the universe must absolutely come into existence in its current form.

    This is like saying that Paul must absolutely win the lottery…after he actually won it. The odds of Paul winning are very slim, about 1 in several hundred million. But there’s no point in claiming that this can’t happen by chance because there was no requirement that a certain Mr. Paul win the lottery in the first place. Anybody or nobody could have won it.’

    It’s the same with the universe. There’s no requirement that a universe supporting life come into existence. Any other universe or no other universe would have been just fine. Therefore the astronomically low odds associated with it are pointless and meaningless.

    It’s unfortunate that creationists, including some scientists, fail to grasp this simple point.’

    William Lane Craig demolishes that argument on a YouTube video-clip, Evolve. If I had the time I’d look for it.

  377. 377
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: The other vid, from 1 1/2 years ago:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9H2bxHIBfg

    There’s even more there. KF

  378. 378
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Perhaps quantum nothingness is an infinite buzzing hologram of awesomeness wrapped in a hard candy shell
    😉
    peace

  379. 379
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: We put the spooky science word “quantum” in front of a perfectly clearly defined term and somehow we think the meaning warps 180 degrees.

    Spooky is a fair description, as we can see when we consider the classical vacuum. In any case, it’s just a conjecture.

    Axel: the astronomically low odds associated with it are pointless and meaningless.

    It’s called the inverse gambler’s fallacy.

  380. 380
    Zachriel says:

    Axel: Instability sounds as plausible as any other property it might possess

    It’s proposed to be analogous to the instability of the classical vacuum.

  381. 381
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, BTW, a quantum vacuum with fluctuations and virtual particles popping up in the energy-time uncertainty window, etc must be spatially extensive. Again, it is not nothing — non-being. KF

    PS: Maybe, some will accept this from Wiki on vacuums, as obviously this is not one of those “suspect” design thinkers:

    In quantum field theory, the vacuum state (also called the vacuum) is the quantum state with the lowest possible energy. Generally, it contains no physical particles. Zero-point field is sometimes used as a synonym for the vacuum state of an individual quantized field.

    According to present-day understanding of what is called the vacuum state or the quantum vacuum, it is “by no means a simple empty space”,[1] and again: “it is a mistake to think of any physical vacuum as some absolutely empty void.”[2] According to quantum mechanics, the vacuum state is not truly empty but instead contains fleeting electromagnetic waves and particles that pop into and out of existence.

    And this on fluctuations:

    In quantum physics, a quantum fluctuation (or quantum vacuum fluctuation or vacuum fluctuation) is the temporary change in the amount of energy in a point in space,[1] as explained in Werner Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.

    According to one formulation of the principle, energy and time can be related by the relation[2]

    Delta E /Delta t ~ {h / 4 pi}

    That means that conservation of energy can appear to be violated, but only for small values of t (time). This allows the creation of particle-antiparticle pairs of virtual particles. The effects of these particles are measurable, for example, in the effective charge of the electron, different from its “naked” charge.

    In the modern view, energy is always conserved, but the eigenstates of the Hamiltonian (energy observable) are not the same as (i.e. the Hamiltonian does not commute with) the particle number operators . . .

  382. 382
    Axel says:

    #378 fifthmonarchyman aka candyman

    ‘Perhaps quantum nothingness is an infinite buzzing hologram of awesomeness wrapped in a hard candy shell 😉
    peace’

    Wow! Just wow! fifthmonarchyman! There’s imagination, and there’s imagination, but ‘hard candy shell’? Maybe with the name of a seaside resort running through the holographic ‘gubbins’ inside the shell, like an English stick of rock an’ all?

    I liked the ‘Bubba at Walmart!’ too. Wonderful, excellent stuff !

  383. 383
    Axel says:

    ‘It’s proposed to be analogous to the instability of the classical vacuum.’

    I should think so ! Little thinggies popping into existence and then vanishing ?

  384. 384
    Axel says:

    I think it would make more sense to call the classical vacuum: nothing but somethings.

  385. 385
    Me_Think says:

    fifthmonarchyman @ 378, Axel 383,

    Perhaps quantum nothingness is an infinite buzzing hologram of awesomeness wrapped in a hard candy shell 😉

    I should think so ! Little thinggies popping into existence and then vanishing ?

    Bubba 1 at walmart,
    Yes. It does look like candy – when you see the model snapshot of virtual particles in Hydrogen atom ( remember the bubbly picture made famous by Krauss ? )

    Bubba 2 at walmart,
    When electron moves at relativistic speed, an electron -positron pair is created and gets annihilated in a time span too short to measure (close to Plank time), so for a brief period, there are 3 particles in Nothing or Quantum Vacuum. So yes, Little thinggies do pop into existence and then vanish. In fact when you incorporate these thinggies in Dirac’s equation, even the Fine Structure of Hydrogen spectrum – the additional small splittings between levels,which was a long unsolved mystery, gets resolved.

  386. 386
    Box says:

    More Feser on Krauss’ nothing:

    Krauss: And what we’ve learned over the last hundred years is that nothing is much more complicated than we would’ve imagined otherwise.

    So, “nothing” is complicated. That implies that it has diverse parts, elements, aspects, or some such. At the very least, a part or aspect A that is distinct from a part or aspect B. But if A is different from B, then there must be something about it by virtue of which it is different. In which case it isn’t true to say that there is nothing. Indeed, Krauss goes on to describe “a kind of nothing” that might seem a “void” or an “infinite empty space,” when in fact “due to the laws of quantum mechanics and relativity, we now know that empty space is a boiling bubbling brew of virtual particles that are popping in and out of existence at every moment.” Hence “nothing” is really “full of stuff.”

    Well, somebody’s sure full of stuff here, but it isn’t “nothing.” Because “stuff,” “space,” laws,” “particles,” and the like are each something. In which case, what could it possibly mean to describe these things as aspects of “nothing”? Have you ever heard such self-contradictory gibberish before? Of course you have, because you’ve read Lawrence Krauss before.
    (…)
    For as Krauss himself says at pp. 176-77 of A Universe from Nothing, a multiverse might exist “in the form of a landscape of universes existing in a host of extra dimensions,” or it might instead take “the form of a possibly infinitely replicating set of universes in a three-dimensional space.” It would be governed by “the general principle that anything that is not forbidden is allowed.” Though “we don’t currently have a fundamental theory that explains the detailed character of the landscape of a multiverse,” to make progress in such theorizing “we generally assume that certain properties, like quantum mechanics, permeate all possibilities.” And it could turn out that there are “millions of layers” of laws.

    Needless to say, “extra dimensions,” “three-dimensional space,” “general principles,” “the detailed character of a landscape,” “properties,” “quantum mechanics,” and “millions of layers of laws” are not nothing, but a whole helluva lot of something.

  387. 387
    Box says:

    Mapou: In the spiritual realm, there can be no change/motion. Spirits cannot change (…).

    This is totally alien to what I hold to be basic knowledge. Thanks for your input.

  388. 388
    Mung says:

    If nothing is so complicated, what does that do to the New Atheist argument that their view is more parsimonious than the “creationist” position because God is complex.

    For all they know, “nothing” is more complex than God.

  389. 389
    Mapou says:

    A thorough investigation of the causality of motion forcibly leads to the conclusion that the so-called “vacuum of space” is actually a 4-dimensional plenum. It is an immense, crystal-like lattice of energetic particles, wall-to-wall particles, comprising orders of magnitude more energy than ordinary matter. The primary purpose of the lattice is to sustain motion. IOW, no lattice = no motion.

    One day soon, we will learn how to tap into the vacuum lattice for extremely fast propulsion and practically unlimited energy production. Just saying.

  390. 390
    Me_Think says:

    Mung @ 388
    Nothing is simple, it’s representation is even more simpler. Philosophers make it complicated by playing on semantics since they are clueless about Quantum Nothing, and confusing simple concepts is how they make their living.

  391. 391
    Mapou says:

    Box:

    This is totally alien to what I hold to be basic knowledge. Thanks for your input.

    Likewise.

  392. 392
    JimFit says:

    No. The cosmological constant of a vacuum bubble can be written entirely as a Quantum term :
    Cosmological const (Capital Lambda) = 3 lambda *(3/4)^2 for Capital Lambda = 3H^2

    That’s irrelevant with what i said. A vacuum is space.

    What you need to understand is all those attarctants are oozing their chemical through the agar base. The differential chemical gradation is what pushes the cytoplasm towards the strongest concentrate. Adding 1-D to the mix just changes the gradation in agar base, so it is a basic chemo reception, the taxis aided by pressure differential. I would be impressed if the slime mold can ‘think’ with out the agar base to guide chemical response.Light is a repellent. If I decrease the wave length of the light, the 5L will become more attractive as the light sensitivity will decrease.

    No, you pulled that out of your imagination. Nowhere in the article suggests that agar base guided its decision. Nerveless something just reacts to the environment without thinking doesn’t have memory, doesn’t need a memory, but slime molds have memory!

    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....gence.html

    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....-food.html

  393. 393
    Me_Think says:

    JimFit @ 392

    No, you pulled that out of your imagination. Nowhere in the article suggests that agar base guided its decision

    What do you think agar base is ? Are you saying attractants chemicals don’t diffuse through agar base ?!

    Nerveless something just reacts to the environment without thinking doesn’t have memory, doesn’t need a memory, but slime molds have memory!

    No the ‘memory’ is the slime which it leaves behind when it withdraws from the attractants. In fact if the slime is pre-applied, Slime mold avoids those areas, so it is just a chemical reaction to the slime, which is it’s ‘memory’.

  394. 394
    Me_Think says:

    Mung @ 388
    …Waiting for you to point out the obvious so I can play semantic game.

  395. 395
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Axel says.

    Maybe with the name of a seaside resort running through the holographic ‘gubbins’ inside the shell, like an English stick of rock an’ all?

    I say

    yeah all that and a bag of chips,
    perhaps 😉

    Me_think says

    there are 3 particles in Nothing or Quantum Vacuum.

    Bubba says,

    What are you talking about? Nothing does not have anything in it.

    I can understand a vacuum with particles appearing and disappearing because there is such thing an imperfect partial vacuum.

    Heck Ive even seen a partial vacuum in the tubes of old TVs. What’s in those tubes is not nothing.

    Nothing is completely different than the partial vacuums that exist in our world.

    You can’t have partial imperfect Nothing. That don’t even make sense

    peace

  396. 396
    Me_Think says:

    fifthmonarchyman @ 395

    there are 3 particles in Nothing or Quantum Vacuum.

    Bubba says,

    What are you talking about? Nothing does not have anything in it.

    I can understand a vacuum with particles appearing and disappearing because there is such thing an imperfect partial vacuum.

    Bubba 1,
    Traditional Nothing doesn’t preclude air molecule ! When you say ‘there is nothing in the Honey Nut Cheerios box’, you don’t mean there is no molecules.
    How did you miss the “time span too short to measure (close to Plank time), so for a brief period” bit ?

  397. 397
    Mung says:

    Everyone knows that Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’

    So why do people think that Nothin’ plus nothin’ leaves somethin’

    You gotta have somethin’ if you wanna be with me

  398. 398
    Mapou says:

    FMM:

    Nothing does not have anything in it.

    On the contrary. Nothing has everything that exists in it. It suffices that all existing things come in opposite pairs, positive and negative. I call it Hyper Symmetry but it’s just good old Yin-yang duality. This is analogous to zero being the sum of a huge set of numbers, as long as they all add up to zero. The conservation of zero/nothing is the mother of all conservation principles.

  399. 399
    mike1962 says:

    Mapou: Yin-yang duality

    How do the yin and yang “know” about “each other?”

    It would seem that they would have to be “part of” a single unified ontology, and thus not actually “separate.” Differentiated, yes, separate, no.

    When you get down to it,

    It’s All One.

  400. 400
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Me_Think says

    Traditional Nothing doesn’t preclude air molecule ! When you say ‘there is nothing in the Honey Nut Cheerios box’, you don’t mean there is no molecules.

    I say,

    When Bubba says there is nothing in his Honey Nut Cheerios box what he means is there is nothing of interest in the Honey Nut Cheerios box.

    It’s the same concept as when he says there is nothing in that old fishing hole when everyone knows there is lots of dirty water and garbage in it.

    Or when he says there is nothing in his change drawer when everyone knows that there is ten years worth of dust and lint in there.

    What Bubba means is that you won’t find anything he can use to buy beer in his change drawer.

    Now if by the “nothingness” you are explaining you meant nothing of interest then you might get Bubba to follow you.

    But in the case of the universe you are claiming that everything interesting was is in the nothingness.

    You won’t get Bubba to buy that no matter how hard you try.

    peace

  401. 401
    Mapou says:

    Mike1962:

    When you get down to it,

    It’s All One.

    Certainly. If you are going to have unity, you must have things to unite. This is why zero is ONE, neither positive nor negative. Zero is the sum of the lefts and the rights, the ups and the downs, the positives and the negatives, the yins and the Yangs.

    Yin and Yang are ONE. This is the secret to understanding reality, IMO.

  402. 402
    Me_Think says:

    fifthmonarchyman @ 400

    You won’t get Bubba to buy that no matter how hard you try.

    You think ? Just tip him and he will swear up and down that nothing of cosmology is the real nothing !
    When a person is not interested in something, no matter how hard you try, he will understand nothing 🙂

  403. 403
    Me_Think says:

    Mung @ 397

    Everyone knows that Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’
    So why do people think that Nothin’ plus nothin’ leaves somethin’

    Traditional Nothing - Nothing > Billion because traditional nothing has billions of air molecules, millions of microbes etc.

  404. 404
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Feser nailing the key point, on a Krauss interview with Australian TV. I add a parenthesis or emphasis or two in the Krauss clip within the clip:

    about 27 minutes in, where a questioner asks Krauss to explain how the universe could arise from nothing. Krauss answers:

    [E]mpty space [–> oopsie!!], which for many people is a good first example of nothing, is actually unstable. Quantum mechanics will allow particles to suddenly pop out of nothing and it doesn’t violate any laws of physics. Just the known laws of quantum mechanics and relativity can produce 400 billion galaxies each containing 100 billion stars [–> reification, mere laws can have no causal force in themselves . . . ] and then beyond that it turns out when you apply quantum mechanics to gravity, space itself can arise from nothing, as can time. [–> reification on steroids; contrast, In the beginning was the LOGOS, and the concept that same upholds all things by the word of his power, i.e. words, decrees, laws only take force from who stands behind them . . . as in, K has inadvertently given away the game: In the beginning . . . God said . . . ] It seems impossible but it’s completely possible and what is amazing to me is to be asked what would be the characteristics of a universe that came from nothing by laws of physics. It would be precisely the characteristics of the universe we measure.

    This is, of course, a summary of the argument of Krauss’s book. And the problem with it, as everybody on the planet knows except for Krauss himself and the very hackiest of his fellow New Atheist hacks, is that empty space governed by quantum mechanics (or any other laws of physics, or even just the laws of physics by themselves) is not nothing, and not even an “example” of nothing (whatever an “example of nothing” means), but something. And it remains something rather than nothing even if it is a “good first approximation” to nothing (which is what Krauss presumably meant by “good first example”). When people ask how something could arise from nothing, they don’t mean “How could something arise from almost nothing?” They mean “How could something arise from nothing?” That is to say, from the absence of anything whatsoever — including the absence of space (empty or otherwise), laws of physics, or anything else. And Krauss has absolutely nothing to say about that, despite it’s being, you know, the question he was asked, and the question he pretended to be answering in his book. (Krauss has the brass later in the show to accuse a fellow panelist of a “bait and switch”!) . . .

    In short, just remember, nothing, proper is non-being. Anything else standing in to claim the title is a case of not the real McCoy.

    KF

  405. 405
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 2: David Albert (philosopher with a background in physics) in his critical review of Krauss:

    . . . there is, as it happens, an interesting difference between relativistic quantum field theories and every previous serious candidate for a fundamental physical theory of the world. Every previous such theory counted material particles among the concrete, fundamental, eternally persisting elementary physical stuff of the world — and relativistic quantum field theories, interestingly and emphatically and unprecedentedly, do not. According to relativistic quantum field theories, particles are to be understood, rather, as specific arrangements of the fields. Certain ­arrangements of the fields, for instance, correspond to there being 14 particles in the universe, and certain other arrangements correspond to there being 276 particles, and certain other arrangements correspond to there being an infinite number of particles, and certain other arrangements correspond to there being no particles at all. And those last arrangements are referred to, in the jargon of quantum field theories, for obvious reasons, as “vacuum” states. Krauss seems to be thinking that these vacuum states amount to the relativistic-­quantum-field-theoretical version of there not being any physical stuff at all. And he has an argument — or thinks he does — that the laws of relativistic quantum field theories entail that vacuum states are unstable. And that, in a nutshell, is the account he proposes of why there should be something rather than nothing.

    But that’s just not right. Relativistic-quantum-field-theoretical vacuum states — no less than giraffes or refrigerators or solar systems — are particular arrangements of elementary physical stuff. The true relativistic-quantum-field-­theoretical equivalent to there not being any physical stuff at all isn’t this or that particular arrangement of the fields — what it is (obviously, and ineluctably, and on the contrary) is the simple absence of the fields! The fact that some arrangements of fields happen to correspond to the existence of particles and some don’t is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that some of the possible arrangements of my fingers happen to correspond to the existence of a fist and some don’t. And the fact that particles can pop in and out of existence, over time, as those fields rearrange themselves, is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that fists can pop in and out of existence, over time, as my fingers rearrange themselves. And none of these poppings — if you look at them aright — amount to anything even remotely in the neighborhood of a creation from nothing.

    Again, nothing is non-being. Anything standing in for non-being is something, not nothing.

    Fallacy of equivocation, anyone?

    And, onlookers, if it takes so much to hammer home a patent even trivial point in responding to the Darwinist objectors to design thought we tend to see, what does that tell us about matters where we deal with inference to best explanation regarding traces from an unobserved remote past of origins?

    As in, fallacies of selective hyperskepticism, here we come.

    KF

  406. 406
    Me_Think says:

    kairosfocus @ 405

    Again, nothing is non-being. Anything standing in for non-being is something, not nothing.
    Fallacy of equivocation, anyone?

    Again, a ‘solution’ in chemistry is not equivalent to ‘solution’ of layman, ‘Gabriel’s horn’ in maths is not ‘Gabriel horn’ of Bible, so a ‘Nothing’ of cosmology need not be layman’s nothing. Every word has to be understood in the context it is being used in.

  407. 407
    kairosfocus says:

    MT: This is a case where — as I took time to lay out — the non-standard use manifestly creates confusion, arguably reflects confusion at root, and should be abandoned. There is utterly no good reason to keep it up. KF

  408. 408
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Perhaps, this further from Feser may help spark some reconsideration:

    Consider, then, his very first sentence — wherein, after urging us to be “careful” in our thinking he immediately flings carefulness violently to the ground and starts pummeling it. Krauss asserts:

    [N]othing is a physical concept because it’s the absence of something, and something is a physical concept.

    The trouble with this, of course, is that “something” is not a physical concept. “Something” is what Scholastic philosophers call a transcendental, a notion that applies to every kind of being whatsoever, whether physical or non-physical — to tables and chairs, rocks and trees, animals and people, substances and accidents, numbers, universals, and other abstract objects, souls, angels, and God. Of course, Krauss doesn’t believe in some of these things, but that’s not to the point. Whether or not numbers, universals, souls, angels or God actually exist, none of them would be physical if they existed. But each would still be a “something” if it existed. So the concept of “something” is broader than the concept “physical,” and would remain so even if it turned out that the only things that actually exist are physical.

    No atheist philosopher would disagree with me about that much, because it’s really just an obvious conceptual point. But since Krauss and his fans have an extremely tenuous grasp of philosophy — or, indeed, of the obvious — I suppose it is worth adding that even if it were a matter of controversy whether “something” is a physical concept, Krauss’s “argument” here would simply have begged the question against one side of that controversy, rather than refuted it. For obviously, Krauss’s critics would not agree that “something is a physical concept.” Hence, confidently to assert this as a premise intended to convince someone who doesn’t already agree with him is just to commit a textbook fallacy of circular reasoning.

    Dutifully fulfilling his solemn pledge to give his readers “A fallacy in every sentence!”, Krauss goes on to say:

    And what we’ve learned over the last hundred years is that nothing is much more complicated than we would’ve imagined otherwise.

    So, “nothing” is complicated. That implies that it has diverse parts, elements, aspects, or some such. At the very least, a part or aspect A that is distinct from a part or aspect B. But if A is different from B, then there must be something about it by virtue of which it is different. In which case it isn’t true to say that there is nothing. Indeed, Krauss goes on to describe “a kind of nothing” that might seem a “void” or an “infinite empty space,” when in fact “due to the laws of quantum mechanics and relativity, we now know that empty space is a boiling bubbling brew of virtual particles that are popping in and out of existence at every moment.” Hence “nothing” is really “full of stuff.”

    Well, somebody’s sure full of stuff here, but it isn’t “nothing.” Because “stuff,” “space,” laws,” “particles,” and the like are each something. In which case, what could it possibly mean to describe these things as aspects of “nothing”? Have you ever heard such self-contradictory gibberish before? Of course you have, because you’ve read Lawrence Krauss before.

    But, plainly, if someone insists on clinging to an absurdity on whatever excuse, we can only note that sad fact and draw the due conclusion for ourselves.

  409. 409
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Feser gives an example that just possibly might help to understand the difference between a declarative, lab coat clad context and the implied meta issues that have come in because, unannounced one has slipped over into philosophical issues:

    Recently we had the wood floors in one of the rooms of our house redone. Naturally we had to empty the room before work could start. Suppose that when the wood floor guy showed up to begin, everything had been moved out except for one large bookcase. Annoyed, he asks me why I didn’t empty the room as I had agreed to do. Suppose I haughtily replied:

    No beds, no floor rugs, no chairs, no lamps, no bookcases [–> note, plural!]. That’s a pretty good definition of an empty room.

    My wood floor guy would no doubt reply: “No it’s not, dumbass. You have, by your own admission, still got one bookcase in there. Therefore it’s not empty. I thought you taught logic?”

    Of course, the room might be close enough to “empty” for some purposes. We might even speak loosely of there being “nothing” in it. That’s fine for most everyday contexts, where we needn’t always use terms precisely. But of course, it’s not good enough for every context, as the wood floor example shows. And it certainly isn’t good enough for philosophical and scientific contexts, where we need precision. Krauss, a prominent physicist whose work drips with contempt for the philosophers and theologians he regards as sloppy thinkers, and who urges us to be “careful” in our use of language, can’t see what the wood floor guy can.

    The reason, of course, is that the wood floor guy doesn’t have a vested interest in denying the obvious . . .

    Of course, I have an underlying reason.

    We need to understand the mentality we are up against.

    That’s going to be important when we take up the mocking dismissal of a humble, practical everyday example of FSCO/I and what its known cause is.

    Let’s remember the debates over ever so many comments on the subject of what nothing is, in the teeth of every good reason to see why non-being no-thing is the simple, obvious and relevant sense.

    In short, amazing though it is to have to say it: something is not the same as nothing.

    KF

  410. 410
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Me_Think says

    Again, a ‘solution’ in chemistry is not equivalent to ‘solution’ of layman

    I say

    It I look up ‘solution’ in the dictionary the chemistry definition is the secound definition right there for me to see. No confusion here

    Me_think says,

    ‘Gabriel’s horn’ in maths is not ‘Gabriel horn’ of Bible

    I say

    If I Google ‘Gabriel’s horn’ the mathematical definition is right there for me to see no confusion here

    Me_Think says

    ‘Nothing’ of cosmology need not be layman’s nothing.

    I say

    Google “nothing” and you get nothing about a different special definition that is supposedly used in cosmology.

    If you want to be extra thorough and Google “Nothing/cosmology” you get stuff about Kruss’s book and related discussions with philosophers and theologians about the impossibility of getting something from nothing.

    It seems there is no ‘Nothing’ of cosmology there is just the regular nothing that a few people are trying to redefine for some reason.

    peace

  411. 411
    Me_Think says:

    fifthmonarchyman @ 410

    Google “nothing” and you get nothing about a different special definition that is supposedly used in cosmology.

    If you want to be extra thorough and Google “Nothing/cosmology” you get stuff about Kruss’s book and related discussions with philosophers and theologians about the impossibility of getting something from nothing.

    Nothing in cosmology is a new term. It takes years for a word to get into dictionary. You need to search ‘Nothing Cosmology’ – see how many links you get.
    See how many external dictionary links you get when you search for decades old FSCO/I or dFSCI

  412. 412
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Me_think says

    You need to search ‘Nothing Cosmology’ – see how many links you get.

    I say

    like I said I already did

    I found no specialized conversations among cosmologists about nothing.

    Just discussions about Kruss’s book and related discussions with philosophers and theologians about the impossibility of getting something from nothing.

    Can you point me to technical discussion where “nothing” is being used by cosmologists to connote a special in-house concept?

    Peace

  413. 413
    Me_Think says:

    KF @ 407

    This is a case where — as I took time to lay out — the non-standard use manifestly creates confusion, arguably reflects confusion at root, and should be abandoned. There is utterly no good reason to keep it up

    If you could persuade Krauss and the cosmologists to do so, we have no problem, but till it exists in realms of cosmology, it will be used by who ever talks about Quantum Vacuum.

  414. 414
    Box says:

    Me_Think,

    Is there an effort to explain “nothing” in physics and/or cosmology? Such an effort is obviously important now that “nothing” has become something.
    Or do physicists and cosmologists hold that “nothing” doesn’t need an explanation? In that case they would be reverting to the layman’s definition of nothing, don’t you think?

  415. 415
    kairosfocus says:

    MT, apparently you have not caught up on how FSCO/I is at root a summary description of something put on the table in 1973 and 1979 by those Bible thumping Fundy IDists — NOT — Orgel and Wicken. Where the subset, digitally coded functionally specific complex info, dFSCI for short is an obvious descriptive term that refers to something as common as the ASCII coded text in this post and in DNA strings in the cells of your body. And so your attempted analogy or comparison or turnabout manifestly fails . . . though thanks for telling us how significant it will be to again address the FSCO/I issue. Back on this side-track, it remains the case, that something is not nothing, non-being. And underneath, it is still unaddressed, that a locally extremely fine tuned operating point, even through a multiverse speculation, arguably points to design as best explanation. KF

  416. 416
    Me_Think says:

    fifthmonarchyman @ 412

    Just discussions about Kruss’s book and related discussions with philosophers and theologians about the impossibility of getting something from nothing.

    You didn’t find caltech link ? astro ucla link ? arxiv ?
    You expect physicist to discuss in terms of nothing (which is an accessible term) introduced recently in 2012 and popularized only in 2013 ?, as opposed to dFSCI used for decades ? 🙂
    Here’s a whole lot of technical details discussion on ‘Nothing’ . See inside, don’t complain ‘Nothing’ is not there in title (Yes there is 1 errant link which has nothing to do with ‘Nothing’,but it might interest you) :
    Nothing links

  417. 417
    Axel says:

    Is it not characteristic of atheist activists, stumbling into science, that they void the very word, ‘void’ of meaning…. and then appropriate its synonyms, ‘vacuum’ and ‘nothing’, only to invest them with a new and wholly contrary meaning !

    Like the words, ‘selection’, in ‘natural selection’, using, ‘Nature’ to cover what is manifestly a belief in animist spirits.

  418. 418
    Me_Think says:

    Box @ 414

    Is there an effort to explain “nothing” in physics and/or cosmology? Such an effort is obviously important now that “nothing” has become something.

    You need to see various YouTube videos, read article and go to conferences to understand Nothing in context of cosmology. Most physicist (unlike Krauss) are apparently introvert so you don’t find them seeking publicity.

  419. 419
    kairosfocus says:

    MT, show us a case of non-being (a real nothing) in any of those papers procceding to act and creating a cosmos. You will find, guaranteed, that the variables relate to an antecedent state, typically a quantum vacuum with fluctuations. It therefore remains an apt corrective to highlight that something is not nothing, non-being. To speak of something as though it were nothing, then is a plain error, a categorical one. Moreover, were we to start with nothing material, no space, time, energy, matter, states of same etc, and presto something pops up at a zero point on the power of an equation and associated laws, we are seeing a switcheroo, as those eqns and variables invariably refer to somethings, quantities that take definite values. Indeed, inadvertently, one may then be pointing to the calling of a cosmos into existence ex nihilo, from no prior material-spatial entity (where I note that on the whole one sees a quantum vacuum as a proposed antecedent spatial reality in the models being discussed by especially Krauss). By whom, is then a very appropriate challenge, with a very familiar shadow on the doorstep. KF

  420. 420
    Me_Think says:

    KF @ 414

    MT, apparently you have not caught up on how FSCO/I is at root a summary description of something put on the table in 1973 and 1979 by those Bible thumping Fundy IDists — NOT — Orgel and Wicken. Where the subset, digitally coded functionally specific complex info, dFSCI for short is an obvious descriptive term that refers to something as common as the ASCII coded text in this post and in DNA strings in the cells of your body. And so your attempted analogy or comparison or turnabout manifestly fails . . . though thanks for telling us how significant it will be to again address the FSCO/I

    Not every IDist is Bible thumping. I draw comparison between search terms – one decades old, another recently popularized- to highlight the simple fact that just because you don’t find a term it doesnt mean it loses it’s meaning in the context in which it is proposed and used within a field of study.

  421. 421
    Me_Think says:

    kairosfocus @ 419
    Traditional Nothing does not excludes air molecules and microbes – it is not really Nothing ! A Quantum nothing is devoid of all those, so in a sense it is more ‘true Nothing’ than traditional nothing.

  422. 422
    kairosfocus says:

    MT, pardon me but nothing in a serious context means non-being. Yes, we may loosely speak of nothing in my wallet meaning no cash, but that is a contextual loose phrasing. We are not merely looking at a value goes to zero point for a variable here, we are speaking of the origin of the cosmos, and the question on the table cannot be properly resolved by loosely labelling an initial value or by calling a quantum vacuum nothing to one’s convenience, rhetorical and otherwise. Nothingness in the proper sense is highly material. KF

    PS: I see you have still picked up on a descriptive summary phrase turned into an abbreviation as though it were parallel. It isn’t, and why so may easily be seen from Wicken, 1979:

    ‘Organized’ systems are to be carefully distinguished from ‘ordered’ systems. Neither kind of system is ‘random,’ but whereas ordered systems are generated according to simple algorithms [[i.e. “simple” force laws acting on objects starting from arbitrary and common- place initial conditions] and therefore lack complexity, organized systems must be assembled element by element according to an [[originally . . . ] external ‘wiring diagram’ with a high information content . . . Organization, then, is functional complexity and carries information. It is non-random by design or by selection, rather than by the a priori necessity of crystallographic ‘order.’ [“The Generation of Complexity in Evolution: A Thermodynamic and Information-Theoretical Discussion,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, 77 (April 1979): p. 353, of pp. 349-65. ]

    The highlighted alone would justify the phrase, functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information, FSCO/I for short without going on to Orgel. A phrase that I frequently explain on using. The subset, digitally coded functionally specific information, dFSCI, more commonly used by GP in and around UD, is directly self-explanatory by comparison with text or DNA code etc.

    For completeness, as you obviously did not follow the link or take its substance on board if you did, I clip Orgel:

    . . . In brief, living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals are usually taken as the prototypes of simple well-specified structures, because they consist of a very large number of identical molecules packed together in a uniform way. Lumps of granite or random mixtures of polymers are examples of structures that are complex but not specified. The crystals fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; the mixtures of polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity . . . .

    [HT, Mung, fr. p. 190 & 196:] These vague idea can be made more precise by introducing the idea of information. Roughly speaking, the information content of a structure is the minimum number of instructions needed to specify the structure. [–> this is of course equivalent to the string of yes/no questions required to specify the relevant “wiring diagram” for the set of functional states, T, in the much larger space of possible clumped or scattered configurations, W, as Dembski would go on to define in NFL in 2002] One can see intuitively that many instructions are needed to specify a complex structure. [–> so if the q’s to be answered are Y/N, the chain length is an information measure that indicates complexity in bits . . . ] On the other hand a simple repeating structure can be specified in rather few instructions. [–> do once and repeat over and over in a loop . . . ] Complex but random structures, by definition, need hardly be specified at all . . . . Paley was right to emphasize the need for special explanations of the existence of objects with high information content, for they cannot be formed in nonevolutionary, inorganic processes. [The Origins of Life (John Wiley, 1973), p. 189, p. 190, p. 196. ]

    PPS: At least, you are not swallowing the “Creationists in cheap tuxedos” talking point.

  423. 423
    Box says:

    Me_Think

    Me_Think: you need to see various YouTube videos, read article and go to conferences to understand Nothing in context of cosmology.

    Whatever “nothing” in the context of cosmology is – whatever something “nothing” is – I want to know if there is an effort to explain this “nothing” in physics and/or cosmology. And I want “nothing” to be explained from “true nothing” – as you term it in #421.

  424. 424
    Me_Think says:

    Box @ 423,

    I want to know if there is an effort to explain this “nothing” in physics and/or cosmology.

    If you mean has there been public meetings to teach layman what ‘Nothing’ is, then AFAIK, there hasn’t been any and there won’t be any- why do you think Physicists have to go around teaching layman what ‘Nothing’ means ?
    If you are interested in the subject, you have to seek knowledge from whatever source is accessible to you.

  425. 425
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: a quantum vacuum with fluctuations and virtual particles popping up in the energy-time uncertainty window, etc must be spatially extensive.

    Of course. No one has said otherwise. Quantum theory implies that the classical vacuum is unstable.

    fifthmonarchyman: I can understand a vacuum with particles appearing and disappearing because there is such thing an imperfect partial vacuum.

    That’s not the question. Quantum fluctuations occur even in a perfect classical vacuum.

    Box: Is there an effort to explain “nothing” in physics and/or cosmology? Such an effort is obviously important now that “nothing” has become something.

    It’s still a half-baked idea, a thought-experiment of a sort, certainly not a complete scientific theory. However, dismissing it out-of-hand is like dismissing zero or the vacuum.

    Box: Or do physicists and cosmologists hold that “nothing” doesn’t need an explanation?

    The conjecture is that nothingness is inherently unstable, so you won’t find nothingness; just like the classical vacuum is unstable, so you won’t find a classical vacuum.

    kairosfocus: Moreover, were we to start with nothing material, no space, time, energy, matter, states of same etc, and presto something pops up at a zero point on the power of an equation and associated laws, we are seeing a switcheroo, as those eqns and variables invariably refer to somethings, quantities that take definite values.

    No one is claiming to have filled the gap (why there is something rather than nothing) with a scientific explanation. It’s speculation. This is contrary to ID, which inaccurately claims to have provided a valid scientific explanation.

  426. 426
    Me_Think says:

    KF @ 422,

    We are not merely looking at a value goes to zero point for a variable here, we are speaking of the origin of the cosmos, and the question on the table cannot be properly resolved by loosely labelling an initial value or by calling a quantum vacuum nothing to one’s convenience, rhetorical and otherwise.

    There is no need to fret. Just like ‘God’s particle’ is a popular term for Higgs Boson, ‘Nothing’ is a popular term of Quantum vacuum. Most research papers still continue to use ‘Quantum Vacuum. I don’t see it being replaced completely with ‘Nothing’ ,except in general books on cosmology and public forums lectures, non-specialized seminars and philosophical discussions.

  427. 427
    kairosfocus says:

    Z: A spatially extensive construct is clearly not an example of non-being; i.e. it is not a proper nothing. It is astonishing that this has had to be pointed out over and over and over again and still there is resistance to simply acknowledging what should be patent to all. Second, your dig at design theory — presumably for the thought crime of pointing out that complex fine tuned arrangements of aspects, facets or components that attains a functional operating point is a sign of design per the logic of inference to best explanation, is groundless. KF

  428. 428
    kairosfocus says:

    MT, Nothing is being misused, and in a rhetorically convenient way. KF

  429. 429
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: A spatially extensive construct is clearly not an example of non-being

    That’s right, though people would have once said so. The notion of nothingness has changed in the light of quantum and relativity theories.

    kairosfocus: It is astonishing that this has had to be pointed out over and over and over again and still there is resistance to simply acknowledging what should be patent to all.

    No, it isn’t necessary to point it out over and over and over again.

    kairosfocus: your dig at design theory — presumably for the thought crime of pointing out that complex fine tuned arrangements of aspects, facets or components that attains a functional operating point is a sign of design per the logic of inference to best explanation, is groundless.

    We’re pointing out that a speculative thought-experiment about the absence of matter, energy, space and time, is of a different order than ID, which declares that it is not mere speculation, but a definitive, albeit scientifically baseless, claim.

  430. 430
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    @Me_Think

    Surely you understand our gripe here don’t you? The fact is probably the most important question in the universe is

    Why is there something rather than nothing?

    Krauss claims to answer that question with talk of Quantum Mechanics. That is a dodge. It’s worse than a dodge it’s a deliberate attempt to muddy the waters.

    It would be like me answering my wife’s question “do you love me?” by pointing to my medical test results.

    Check out this amazon review of the book to understand the shell game that is going on

    quote:

    “With characteristic wit, eloquence and clarity Lawrence Krauss gives a wonderfully illuminating account of how science deals with one of the biggest questions of all: how the universe’s existence could arise from nothing. It is a question that philosophy and theology get themselves into muddle over, but that science can offer real answers to, as Krauss’s lucid explanation shows. Here is the triumph of physics over metaphysics, reason and enquiry over obfuscation and myth, made plain for all to see: Krauss gives us a treat as well as an education in fascinating style.”
    –A. C. Grayling, author of The Good Book

    end quote:

    How on earth can you defend such tripe?

    peace

  431. 431
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: How on earth can you defended such tripe?

    Another review:

    “In this clear and crisply written book, Lawrence Krauss outlines the compelling evidence that our complex cosmos has evolved from a hot, dense state and how this progress has emboldened theorists to develop fascinating speculations about how things really began.”
    — Martin Rees, author of Our Final Hour

    Evidence uncovered by scientists concerning the evolution of the cosmos is hardly tripe. Krauss engages in speculation, but it is speculation that is of some interest to these very same scientists.

  432. 432
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    Krauss engages in speculation, but it is speculation that is of some interest to these very same scientists.

    I say,

    The folks I hang with are interested in speculation about who will win the Superbowl But we don’t tell outsiders that we have discovered it in the data we look at every day.

    peace

  433. 433
    Me_Think says:

    fifthmonarchyman @ 430

    Surely you understand our gripe here don’t you? The fact is probably the most important question in the universe is Why is there something rather than nothing?
    Krauss claims to answer that question with talk of Quantum Mechanics. That is a dodge. It’s worse than a dodge it’s a deliberate attempt to muddy the waters.

    You really think a book which has an overall popularity ranking of #11,183 is going to some how jeopardize a philosophical argument? It is a popular book only in cosmology (rank #4)- the audience is completely different. I don’t see how it will muddy the water if Philosophers don’t get swayed by Krauss’s argument

  434. 434
    Axel says:

    ‘No one has said otherwise. Quantum theory implies that the classical vacuum is unstable.’

    Zack, I would say, the word, ‘vacuum’ has been found to be a misnomer, and adopted intact, for its convenience to atheists’ fantasies. Punctuations by evanescent particles simply changes the word into its antonym – if that be only ‘non-vacuum’. Moreover, as far as anyone knows, vacuums have never possessed a pristine state of stability.

    When the word, ‘vacuum’ was first applied it was held to have a single meaning in physics, the same meaning as that held by the rest of the world.

    Atheist science may not be up to changing paradigms, but it is adept at transmuting words perceived by its leading ‘lights’ to possess base implications, into their antonyms of pure gold from their own atheistic perspective: a kind of verbal alchemy.

  435. 435
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: But we don’t tell outsiders that we have discovered it in the data we look at every day.

    That’s right, it’s speculation by experts in the field. That’s quite different than having data to support the claim, or to dismiss the speculation out-of-hand.

    That brings us back to our original points.

    1) The so-called fine-tuning of the cosmological constant is not optimal.
    2) This is a very new area of science with a lot of uncertainty; in particular, they haven’t been able to properly account for vacuum energy.
    3) There may be some underlying symmetry that explains the so-called fine-tuning, a hypothesis which may be subject to empirical verification.
    4) There may be multiverses. While still highly speculative, multiverses may be subject to empirical testing.
    5) There could be design, but this is seemingly contradicted by the non-optimal cosmological constant, and no one has any idea how to test such a proposition.
    6) The designer itself would have to be ‘fine-tuned’, so it merely pushes back the problem to an unevidenced entity.

  436. 436
    Zachriel says:

    Axel: ‘vacuum’ has been found to be a misnomer, and adopted intact, for its convenience to atheists’ fantasies.

    The classical vacuum is an abstraction. For a long time, it was rejected because it was believed that nature abhors a vacuum. This view was false, and nearly perfect classical vacuums exist in nature, or can be created artificially.

    Axel: When the word, ‘vacuum’ was first applied it was held to have a single meaning in physics, the same meaning as that held by the rest of the world.

    The meaning has changed over time. For instance, Descartes rejected the existence of the vacuum on a priori grounds arguing that space is defined by bodies, and without bodies, there is no space, hence no vacuum is possible. The notion changed with thermodynamics, again with relativity, and yet again with quantum mechanics.

  437. 437
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    That’s right, it’s speculation by experts in the field.

    I say,

    Krauss is not an expert in the field of “something from nothing”.

    Or apparently basic logic for that mater

    peace

  438. 438
    Axel says:

    ‘This view was false, and nearly perfect classical vacuums exist in nature, or can be created artificially.’

    Surely, you realise a miss is as good as a mile, here, Zac.
    Try, ‘almost empty space’.

    ‘The meaning has changed over time. For instance, Descartes rejected the existence of the vacuum on a priori grounds arguing that space is defined by bodies, and without bodies, there is no space, hence no vacuum is possible. The notion changed with thermodynamics, again with relativity, and yet again with quantum mechanics.’

    It’s been found there is no such thing as a pure vacuum, so whatever the ways in which the concept changed, the changes must, ipso facto, have been perversely conceived.

  439. 439
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: Krauss is not an expert in the field of “something from nothing”.

    He’s an expert in cosmology and theoretical physics, including the origin of the universe.

    fifthmonarchyman: Or apparently basic logic for that mater

    Claiming a foremost theoretical physicists is overlooking basic logic is not reasonable. While his hypothesis is certainly subject to criticism, dismissing it out-of-hand is not a valid argument.

    Axel: It’s been found there is no such thing as a pure vacuum, so whatever the ways in which the concept changed, the changes must, ipso facto, have been perversely conceived.

    Good. So you now agree that the concept of the vacuum has changed.

    There is no reason we cannot consider the classical vacuum as an abstraction, so there is no problem with the conception.

  440. 440
    Box says:

    Zachriel: Claiming a foremost theoretical physicists is overlooking basic logic is not reasonable. While his hypothesis is certainly subject to criticism, dismissing it out-of-hand is not a valid argument.

    You must have overlooked all the quotations of Feser in this thread. It has been argued again and again that Krauss is overlooking basic logic. In short: ‘something’ is not ‘nothing’.
    You are welcome to explain why this is not basic logic.

  441. 441
    Zachriel says:

    Box: In short: ‘something’ is not ‘nothing’. You are welcome to explain why this is not basic logic.

    That is not the claim, as pointed out above.

  442. 442
    CharlieM says:

    The cosmologist’s ‘nothing’ is bad news. Bad news, that is, for materialists. It is obvious that this ‘nothing’ has to be qualified. Its actual meaning is ‘nothing material’. In other words the physical universe cannot be said to have the source of its existence in anything material.

    Of course it is good news for those who believe in the spirit. To say that matter comes from Spirit, Logos, Word (or some other equivalent concept) is fully consistent with the latest understanding of cosmology. This view is that matter comes into existence from something that is not itself matter. Matter can be thought of as condensed spirit.

  443. 443
    Mapou says:

    CharlieM,

    You are mistaken, IMO. If the material universe comes from spirit, then it would be spirit. It isn’t. Rather, it is more correct to say that the material universe was caused to exist by spirits with creative powers. There should be no doubt as to there being a distinction between matter and spirit. In fact, they are opposites.

  444. 444
    Box says:

    Zachriel #441: That is not the claim, as pointed out above.

    You are mistaken, because that is exactly the claim. Krauss claims that ‘something’ is ‘nothing’; see #386.

  445. 445
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Krauss claims that ‘something’ is not ‘nothing’; see #386.

    Krauss said “And what we’ve learned over the last hundred years is that nothing is much more complicated than we would’ve imagined otherwise.” As he is discussing the last century, that refers to the vacuum, which is, indeed, much more complicated than originally envisioned. Who would have thought that empty space could be so complicated!

    You still don’t get it. The claim isn’t that nothingness is something, rather that nothingness is unstable, and therefore can’t exist — just like the classical vacuum can’t exist.

  446. 446
    Box says:

    Zachriel: Krauss said “And what we’ve learned over the last hundred years is that nothing is much more complicated than we would’ve imagined otherwise,” which is correct. As he is referring to the last century, that refers to the vacuum, which is, indeed, much more complicated than originally envisioned.

    Yes, Krauss claims that the vacuum – which is obviously something – is nothing. By claiming this he overlooks basic logic, which informs us that ‘something’ is not ‘nothing’.
    See? It is really that simple.

  447. 447
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Yes, Krauss claims that the vacuum – which is obviously something – is nothing. By claiming this he overlooks basic logic, which informs us that ‘something’ is not ‘nothing’.

    Arguing that a foremost theoretical physicist doesn’t understand the vacuum just isn’t reasonable. Read this sentence again: Who would have thought that empty space could be so complicated!

  448. 448
    Mapou says:

    The fact that the vacuum allows or facilitates the transmission of EM radiation is proof that it is not nothing. It has properties, which means that it is full of wall-to-wall energetic particles.

    The concept of empty space is a bankrupt concept. This is something that German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz understood centuries ago. Leibniz wrote:

    Space is nothing else but an order of the existence of things, observed as existing together; and therefore the fiction of a material universe, moving forward in an empty space cannot be admitted.

    In effect, Leibniz believed that the position of an object is not the property of an extrinsic space but an intrinsic property of the object. These existential properties, taken together, form an abstract order that he called space. I fully agree with Leibniz on this issue. Space (distance) is an abstraction, a perceptual illusion arising from the way the brain internally organizes its model of the world.

    Once you realize that, in the physical universe, there exist only particles (i.e., physical entities), their properties and their interactions, then you are halfway there. And, if you also understand the fundamental yin-yang duality of reality, then you have all you need to eventually understand it all. It just comes to you, slowly at first, but it gets better and then you reach a point where you never look back.

  449. 449
    Mapou says:

    Zachriel:

    Arguing that a foremost theoretical physicist doesn’t understand the vacuum just isn’t reasonable.

    What are you talking about? Physicists are the most clueless ones of them all. Describing the vacuum is not the same as understanding the vacuum. Not even close.

    In fact, if physicists understood the vacuum, they would understand what causes a body in inertial motion to remain in motion, as if by magic. Physicists believe in voodoo magic. And we all remember the FTL neutrino fiasco of 2011. It was embarrassing.

  450. 450
    Box says:

    Zachriel: Arguing that a foremost theoretical physicist doesn’t understand the vacuum just isn’t reasonable.

    I’m not arguing that Krauss doesn’t understand the vacuum. I’m arguing that he overlooks basic logic when he terms the vacuum ‘nothing’.
    By his own admission the vacuum is complicated, unstable and governed by laws. So we must conclude that Krauss is aware of the fact that the vacuum is something.
    However that doesn’t stop him from terming the vacuum ‘nothing’. That is obviously wrong. Many have pointed it out to him.

  451. 451
    Zachriel says:

    Box: I’m not arguing that Krauss doesn’t understand the vacuum. I’m arguing that he overlooks basic logic when he terms the vacuum ‘nothing’.

    No, he’s explain how classical views of the nothing of the vacuum turned out to cloak a much deeper truth, one that went to the very foundations of the physical world.

    Box: However that doesn’t stop him from terming the vacuum ‘nothing’.

    Because the classical vacuum is a space filled with nothing. Consideration of the classical vacuum led to new insights: the classical vacuum is not stable!

  452. 452
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac said,

    Claiming a foremost theoretical physicists is overlooking basic logic is not reasonable.

    I say,

    Why? Is there a magic physics shield of protection that protects it’s foremost experts from logical error?

    I’m becoming more and more convinced that these folks are considered to be the equivalent of High priests by the adherents of Scientism

    Peace

  453. 453
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: Is there a magic physics shield of protection that protects it’s foremost experts from logical error?

    No, but it’s reasonable to assume that someone who deals with quantum mechanics for a scientific profession would know the elementary facts. Certainly, that would be the presumption, and no one has presented any argument to the contrary. Rather, they just don’t like how he has used the term ‘nothing’ to refer to historical views of the vacuum, and how scientific consideration of this nothingness led to discoveries of vacuum energy which seem to control the fate of the universe.

  454. 454
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Mapou claims,

    If the material universe comes from spirit, then it would be spirit.

    I say,

    Why?

    quote:

    By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath (Spirit) of his mouth all their host.
    (Psa 33:6)

    and

    The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath (Spirit) of the Almighty gives me life.
    (Job 33:4)

    and

    When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.
    (Psa 104:30)

    end quote:

    peace

  455. 455
    Box says:

    Zachriel: No, he’s explain how classical views of the nothing of the vacuum turned out to cloak a much deeper truth, one that went to the very foundations of the physical world.

    What do you mean by “the classical views of the nothing of the vacuum”? Do you think that Leibniz was referring to the “nothing of the vacuum” when he asked “why is there something rather than nothing?
    Even if there was a classical view that equated nothing with the vacuum, which I doubt very much, then it was up to Krauss to simply inform us that the vacuum is NOT nothing – that the classical view “nothing = vacuum” is incorrect. It was not up to Krauss to inform us that nothing is something.

  456. 456
    Mapou says:

    The reason that materialists have conflated ‘vacuum’ with ‘nothing’ is, at is core, political, i.e., dishonest. They want to be able to say, as time travel believer, Stephen Hawking, has done on several occasions, “look, matter is spontaneously created from nothing, therefore there is no need to have a creator.” It’s a rather gutless and unsophisticated stance to take, IMO. It’s offensive in that it insults the intelligence of others. Its stupidity borders on the sub-human. 😀

  457. 457
    Zachriel says:

    Box: What do you mean by “the classical views of the nothing of the vacuum”?

    vacuum, an empty space

    Vacuum is space that is devoid of matter. The word stems from the Latin adjective vacuus for “vacant” or “void”.

    Box: it was up to Krauss to simply inform us that the vacuum is NOT nothing – that the classical view “nothing = vacuum” is incorrect.

    Which he does. Furthermore, he discusses how philosophers use the term, and whether or not removing space and time is sufficient to render it nothingness in the philosophical sense. He considers all of this, then argues that science has changed the playing field by operationalizing the abstract concept of nothingness.

  458. 458
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says.

    No, but it’s reasonable to assume that someone who deals with quantum mechanics for a scientific profession would know the elementary facts.

    I say,

    Again why? Often otherwise smart folks believe things that are just plain goofy. This especially evident when their most treasured beliefs are at stake

    check it out

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-deception

    peace

  459. 459
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: Again why?

    Because experts are more likely to be correct about matters within their field of expertise than non-experts, especially when there is a consensus in the field (in this case, vacuum energy) and the expert is expressing that consensus.

  460. 460
    Box says:

    Zachriel:

    Box: Even if there was a classical view that equated nothing with the vacuum, which I doubt very much, then it was up to Krauss to simply inform us that the vacuum is NOT nothing – that the classical view “nothing = vacuum” is incorrect. It was not up to Krauss to inform us that nothing is something.

    Zachriel: Which he does.

    Indeed. And that was a stupid mistake by Krauss. Everyone knows that something is not nothing.

    Kairosfocus #409: In short, amazing though it is to have to say it: something is not the same as nothing.

  461. 461
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Indeed.

    Krauss discusses the nature of the vacuum, including quantum fluctuations. Furthermore, he discusses how philosophers use the term, and whether or not removing space and time is sufficient to render it nothingness in the philosophical sense. He considers all of this, then argues that science has changed the playing field by operationalizing the abstract concept of nothingness.

  462. 462
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    ZAc said,

    Because experts are more likely to be correct about matters within their field of expertise than non-experts

    I say.

    Vacuum energy is not nothing, neither is the quantum vacuum.

    So something from nothing is not in Krauss’ field of expertise.

    In fact his comments show he knows next to nothing about the subject.

    Again your inability to grant that Scientists are not infallible about everything is very telling. Just imagine what you sound like to others.

    You can have the last word

    Peace

  463. 463
    Box says:

    Zachriel: Furthermore, he discusses how philosophers use the term.

    Something went wrong there, because philosophers have to explain the meaning of nothing to Krauss again and again.

    It’s very simple actually: nothing is the “absence of anything whatsoever”including a quantum vacuum. Not much to discuss here.
    Krauss should have adopted that definition of nothing.

  464. 464
    velikovskys says:

    Ffm
    So something from nothing is not in Krauss’ field of expertise.

    In fact his comments show he knows next to nothing about the subject.

    What are your qualifications to make that judgement ?

    Mapou claims,

    If the material universe comes from spirit, then it would be spirit.

    I say,

    Why?

    quote:

    By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath (Spirit) of his mouth all their host.
    (Psa 33:6)

    and

    The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath (Spirit) of the Almighty gives me life.

    I thought you believed it was necessary for the Spiit to become Incarnate in order to create the material world.

  465. 465
    CharlieM says:

    Mapou @ 443:

    You are mistaken, IMO. If the material universe comes from spirit, then it would be spirit. It isn’t. Rather, it is more correct to say that the material universe was caused to exist by spirits with creative powers. There should be no doubt as to there being a distinction between matter and spirit. In fact, they are opposites.

    Mapou, your logic doesn’t hold up. If a liquid comes from a gas, then we don’t say that it is a gas.

    I never said that there is no distinction between matter and spirit. Matter is to spirit as ice crystals are to the water from which they form. In areas such as the voids in space and within atoms there may be no physical substance, but IMO we would be wrong to say that there is no spirit.

  466. 466
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    velikovskys asks

    What are your qualifications to make that judgement ?

    I say,

    I know that something is not nothing.

    you say,

    I thought you believed it was necessary for the Spiit to become Incarnate in order to create the material world.

    I say,

    well

    I believe that incarnation and creation are intimately related. In fact I believe that the incarnation is a major perhaps a primary reason for the creation.

    I would be willing to entertain an argument that incarnation is necessary for creation.

    That seems to be a far cry from claiming as Mapou does “that If the material universe comes from spirit, then it would be spirit.”

    peace

  467. 467
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: So something from nothing is not in Krauss’ field of expertise.

    He discusses exactly what he means by nothingness in context of the history of the concept, in relation to quantum mechanics, and in relation to the speculation about the singularity.

    fifthmonarchyman: In fact his comments show he knows next to nothing about the subject.

    Heh. Sure. Krauss doesn’t understand the quantum vacuum.

    Box: Something went wrong there, because philosophers have to explain the meaning of nothing to Krauss again and again.

    Krauss discusses their views in his book, including how science has operationalized the concept.

    Box: It’s very simple actually: nothing is the “absence of anything whatsoever” – including a quantum vacuum. Not much to discuss here.

    In this case, he’s talking about no matter, energy, space or time. The Big Bang implies a singularity where time and space come into being.

    fifthmonarchyman: I know that something is not nothing.

    That’s not the hypothesis.

  468. 468
    Box says:

    Zachriel: Krauss discusses their views in his book, including how science has operationalized the concept.

    Yes indeed. And that is testimonial to Krauss’ misunderstanding. Obviously one cannot operationalize the “absence of anything whatsoever”. What it all boils down to is this: something is not nothing.

  469. 469
    Box says:

    Feser:

    Lawrence Krauss’s book A Universe from Nothing managed something few thought possible — to outdo Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion in sheer intellectual frivolousness. Nor was my First Things review of the book by any means the only one to call attention to its painfully evident foibles. Many commentators with no theological ax to grind — such as David Albert, Massimo Pigliucci, Brian Leiter, and even New Atheist featherweight Jerry Coyne — slammed Krauss’s amateurish foray into philosophy.

    Here’s some take-to-the-bank advice to would-be atheist provocateurs: When even Jerry Coyne thinks your attempt at atheist apologetics “mediocre,” it’s time to throw in the towel. Causa finita est. Game over. Shut the hell up already.

  470. 470
    Mapou says:

    CharlieM @465:

    Mapou @ 443:

    You are mistaken, IMO. If the material universe comes from spirit, then it would be spirit. It isn’t. Rather, it is more correct to say that the material universe was caused to exist by spirits with creative powers. There should be no doubt as to there being a distinction between matter and spirit. In fact, they are opposites.

    Mapou, your logic doesn’t hold up. If a liquid comes from a gas, then we don’t say that it is a gas.

    I never said that there is no distinction between matter and spirit. Matter is to spirit as ice crystals are to the water from which they form. In areas such as the voids in space and within atoms there may be no physical substance, but IMO we would be wrong to say that there is no spirit.

    Your worldview is so different from mine, I see no point in continuing this discussion. Hopefully, we’ll talk again in the future. I mean, you’re talking about “voids in space and within atoms” but I don’t even believe in the existence of such things.

  471. 471
    kairosfocus says:

    Okay,

    The basic point is made: nothing, is just that. No-thing, non-being.

    Including, not a spatial field with vacuum energy and quantum fluctuations, with a reasonable argument pointing to a huge energy density. Or even, taking the alternative low density route, energy is still energy and space is still space.

    Obviously, such is something, not nothing.

    But it is obvious that we are seeing scientism, the assumption that all serious knowledge comes dressed in a lab coat. Hence, the disinclination to listen to philosophers and others who listen to them (even if we may have the right to the lab coat and may also glow faintly blue-green in the dark).

    Net result is, one most easily slips over into a less than thought-through philosophical — esp. metaphysical, epistemological and logical — view when one traipses in blindly.

    But, blind scientism so easily leads to clinging to the absurd.

    So, again, let us remind ourselves that the notion that “science is the only begetter of truth” etc is an ill-informed philosophical claim and is self-refuting.

    In that context, let us therefore see that regardless of how rhetorically convenient it may seem to re-label a hypothetical quantum vacuum spatial domain as “nothing” by virtue of the fact that we are discussing something (even something with spatial extension) it is just that, something.

    Nothing, again, is non-being, and error dressed up in a lab coat is still error.

    Amazing, that this has to be hammered home so hard, over and over again.

    KF

  472. 472
    Zachriel says:

    Box: And that is testimonial to Krauss’ misunderstanding. Obviously one cannot operationalize the “absence of anything whatsoever”.

    That is your claim, but simply handwaving in the general direction of ‘obvious’ isn’t support for that claim.

    Box: What it all boils down to is this: something is not nothing.

    And again, that is not the hypothesis Krauss proposes.

    kairosfocus: Or even, taking the alternative low density route, energy is still energy and space is still space.

    Yes, the conception of nothingness has changed over time. The nothingness in question is when there is no matter, energy, space or time.

  473. 473
    Box says:

    Box: What it all boils down to is this: something is not nothing.

    Zachriel: And again, that is not the hypothesis Krauss proposes.

    And again, ‘something is nothing’ is the hypothesis Krauss proposes.

  474. 474
    Zachriel says:

    Box: And again, ‘something is nothing’ is the hypothesis Krauss proposes.

    The hypothesis is that the absence of matter, energy, space and time is unstable, hence, something. This is analogous to previous notions of nothingness, the absence of matter and energy is unstable, hence something.

  475. 475
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    The nothingness in question is when there is no matter, energy, space or time.

    I say

    The 4 steps to insanity

    1) Define nothing as everything but X
    2) Acknowledge the obvious fact that X has a cause
    3) Claim that X was caused by nothing
    4) Claim special profound incite because you are an expert in X

    peace

    PS
    Substitute “this ham sandwich” for X to get an idea of the stupidity going on here

  476. 476
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: The 4 steps to insanity

    That’s hardly insanity. You might consider it conflation. However, if someone were to show that the absence of matter, energy, space and time was unstable, that would be a significant finding, and would have a bearing on the origin of the Big Bang singularity. It’s just speculation, of course, and the reality is probably even stranger than that.

    fifthmonarchyman: 1) Define nothing as everything but X

    What would you prefer to call the abstraction entailing the absence of matter, energy, space and time?

  477. 477
    Box says:

    Zachriel: The nothingness in question is when there is no matter, energy, space or time.

    Nothing is not just the absence of A,B and C. Nothing is the absence of anything whatsoever.

  478. 478
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says

    What would you prefer to call the abstraction entailing the absence of matter, energy, space and time?

    I say

    Why not coin a new term like the potentiality.

    or why not go back to an old one like the aether

    I can think of no term that would be as misleading as “nothingness”

    peace

  479. 479
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: Why not coin a new term like the potentiality.

    Those terms don’t seem to describe the situation. For instance, we don’t call the classical vacuum the potentiality or the aether.

    fifthmonarchyman: I can think of no term that would be as misleading as “nothingness”

    Can you tell us what remains if there is no matter, energy, space or time?

  480. 480
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says

    Can you tell us what remains if there is no matter, energy, space or time?

    I say,

    spoken like a true materialist.
    You always complain when you are labeled a materialist why not prove you are not one by answering your own question.

    If you can’t you should rightly question your worldview

    peace

  481. 481
    DavidD says:

    fifthmonarchyman says,
    “You always complain when you are labeled a materialist why not prove you are not one by answering your own question.”

    Seems to me someone once mentioned he is a theistic evolutionist, so I’m not sure if that qualifies as materialist or maybe not.

  482. 482
    Box says:

    Feser on Kuhn’s criticism of Krauss:

    Having for the sake of argument described a scenario in which not even space-time or mass-energy exist but the laws of quantum mechanics do — he calls this “the physicists’ Nothing,” and it is essentially what Krauss and Hawking have in mind in their accounts — Kuhn writes:

    What physicists contemplate — the sudden emergence or “tunneling” of universes from “Nothing” — is fascinating and indeed may be cosmogenic, but the tunneling process or capacity is not Nothing. The Nothing of physicists is thick with the complete set of the laws of physics, and so between the physicists’ Nothing and Real Nothing lies a vast, unbridgeable gulf.

    Moreover, Kuhn does not regard the fundamental laws of physics, whatever they turn out to be, as a plausible terminus of explanation. For to be that, they would have to be either logically necessary or an inexplicable brute fact, and neither supposition is credible. Writes Kuhn:

    I doubt I could ever get over the odd idea that something so intricate, so involved, so organized and so accessible as the laws of physics would be the ultimate brute fact.

    I would add that it is crucial to emphasize that the point by no means rests on mere intuition. For one thing, physicists themselves, including Krauss and Hawking, do not treat the laws of physics as if they were either logically necessary or a brute fact. For they regard such laws as empirically testable, which would make no sense if they were logically necessary (i.e. the sort of thing the denial of which would entail a contradiction). If they can in principle be falsified, then they are not necessary.

    edit: Laws must relate to something. Hence there is something other than laws present in the ‘physicists’ Nothing’. By their own admission something unstable and complicated.

  483. 483
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    zac says

    we don’t call the classical vacuum the potentiality or the aether.

    I say

    The vaccum was thought to contain aether and it certainly contains potentiality

    I’m not wedded to these terms you could call it flubber if you like just don’t call it nothing because it is not nothing

    peace

  484. 484
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, I repeat, simply: a quantum vacuum hosting fluctuations etc is not non-being. KF

  485. 485
    velikovskys says:

    FFM:

    velikovskys asks

    What are your qualifications to make that judgement ?

    I say,

    I know that something is not nothing.

    “So something from nothing is not in Krauss’ field of expertise.
    In fact his comments show he knows next to nothing about the subject.”

    What do you know about how “something comes from nothing” to be so sure that Krauss is mistaken scientifically about the origin of the universe? After all that is the only area that his scientific expertise is relevant.

    As for Incarnation perhaps I misunderstood your view, Thought you believed it was necessary for the spirit to become part of that which it creates in order to create that which it creates, that nothing has to be something before something can be created from nothing.

  486. 486
    Mapou says:

    KF:

    The basic point is made: nothing, is just that. No-thing, non-being.

    As a dualist, I have to disagree with this definition. If nothing is the true opposite of something, then it must exist by logical necessity. Since this is equally unacceptable, I must conclude that our concept of nothing is flawed. In my view, NOTHING is EVERYTHING and vice versa. ONENESS is NOTHINGNESS. This is why zero, unlike all other numbers, is neither positive nor negative but both. It is the sum of everything positive positive and negative.

    At the Zen master said to the hot dog vendor, “Make me one with everything.” 😀

    Regarding the so-called quantum fluctuations of the vacuum, it is important to understand that there are no plausible hypotheses in mainstream physics to explain the fluctuations. The materialist/atheist is fervently and religiously hoping that fluctuations are proof of matter being spontaneously created out of nothing but the evidence does not support their wishful thinking. Causality is not something that you can mess with and go home to brag about.

    There are strong reasons to suppose that we live in a 4-dimensional “spatial” universe and that our entire visible 3-d universe of ordinary matter is moving at c in one the 4 dimensions. We can only see a miniscule and fleeting 3-d slice of the vacuum at every instant. In other words, we are continually experiencing the appearance and immediate disappearance of a succession of 3-d vacuum slices at every instantaneous Planck time. The fluctuations are simply the result of our sudden collision with particles that are already in the 4-d vacuum. Just saying.

  487. 487
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: spoken like a true materialist.

    It was a question.

    Box (quoting third-hand criticism): For one thing, physicists themselves, including Krauss and Hawking, do not treat the laws of physics as if they were either logically necessary

    That’s the question which physicists are trying to answer. The Big Bang suggests a state beyond matter, energy, space and time. Study of the singularity may or may not yield to scientific inquiry.

    In any case, you have apparently abandoned the fine-tuning argument, so that is something.

    fifthmonarchyman: The vaccum was thought to contain aether …

    But it doesn’t, of course.

    fifthmonarchyman: … and it certainly contains potentiality

    Even in classical physics, an enclosed vacuum is not so simple as it can transmit electromagnetic radiation.

    fifthmonarchyman: I’m not wedded to these terms you could call it flubber if you like just don’t call it nothing because it is not nothing

    The term nothingness is probably already established, though once it is better understood, it might be modified appropriately, perhaps as the ‘nothingness of the singularity’.

    kairosfocus: I repeat, simply: a quantum vacuum hosting fluctuations etc is not non-being.

    So you keep repeating and repeating and repeating, and no one contests.

    The original conception of the vacuum was that it was nothingness. The idea that space and time could be bent or even not exist was not something people grasped before relativity theory.

  488. 488
    velikovskys says:

    Ffm.

    If “something” includes the immaterial then is “nothing” even possible?

    Once one imagines the abstraction of nothing it becomes an immaterial enity, it no longer is nothing.

  489. 489
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    velikovskys says.

    If “something” includes the immaterial then is “nothing” even possible?

    I say,

    That is a good philosophical question. It is those sorts of good philosophical questions that Krauss is trying to make invalid by his misleading redefinition.

    peace

  490. 490
    Box says:

    Zachriel: That’s the question which physicists are trying to answer.

    Nope, the fact that physicists do not treat the laws of physics as if they were logically necessary is an observation.

    Zachriel: The Big Bang suggests a state beyond matter, energy, space and time.

    Yep, and it sure ain’t nothing.

    Zachriel: In any case, you have apparently abandoned the fine-tuning argument, so that is something.

    I did no such thing.

  491. 491
    Zachriel says:

    Box: the fact that physicists do not treat the laws of physics as if they were logically necessary is an observation.

    Of course they do. However, it is an open topic in physics whether they are manifestations and logical consequence of some underlying symmetry or principle.

    Box: it sure ain’t nothing.

    That’s your claim, but at this point no one understands the singularity.

    Box: I did no such thing.

    If the physical constants are due to some underlying symmetry or principle, then the so-called fine-tuning may only be apparent.

  492. 492
    Box says:

    Zachriel: However, it is an open topic in physics whether they are manifestations and logical consequence of some underlying symmetry or principle.

    So what? For any level there might always be a deeper one, are we supposed to treat such speculation as fact?

    Zachriel: That’s your claim, but at this point no one understands the singularity.

    Yep, that’s my claim. I claim that ‘nothing’ cannot give rise to ‘something’. You don’t agree, which is incoherent.

    Zachriel: If the physical constants are due to some underlying symmetry or principle, then the so-called fine-tuning may only be apparent.

    Nope, we went over that before. If that were the case then the lower level is responsible for the fine-tuning of the universe and therefore fine-tuned itself.

  493. 493
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    velikovskys says.

    I Thought you believed it was necessary for the spirit to become part of that which it creates in order to create that which it creates,

    I say

    That sounds a lot like speculations I’ve made in the past in other places. I would not say those speculations reach the level of belief though.

    you say,

    that nothing has to be something before something can be created from nothing.

    I say,

    Of course you know that Spirit is not nothing, It’s just not material.

    The union of the spiritual with the material is profound mystery. In fact I would say it’s one of the top 3 or 4 mysteries that there are.

    peace

  494. 494
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    zac says

    If the physical constants are due to some underlying symmetry or principle, then the so-called fine-tuning may only be apparent.

    I say

    How does that follow? Reducing phyiscal constants to underlying principles does not render fine-tuning “only apparent”

    It just moves the focus of the fine-tuning from constants to underlying principles

  495. 495
    Zachriel says:

    Box: For any level there might always be a deeper one, are we supposed to treat such speculation as fact?

    No. No one knows.

    Box: I claim that ‘nothing’ cannot give rise to ‘something’.

    That’s not necessarily the case. No one knows.

    Box: If that were the case then the lower level is responsible for the fine-tuning of the universe and therefore fine-tuned itself.

    Not if the lower level is simple. The process of unification in physics has led to simplification, for instance, electricity and magnetism are manifestations of a single force.

    fifthmonarchyman: Reducing phyiscal constants to underlying principles does not render fine-tuning “only apparent”

    The underlying principle may be simpler, for instance, gravitational and inertial masses are the same. Before Einstein, this symmetry was unexplained, just a brute fact. Now, it is known to be a manifestation of a single underlying principle.

  496. 496
    Box says:

    Zachriel,

    Box: I claim that ‘nothing’ cannot give rise to ‘something’.

    Zachriel: That’s not necessarily the case. No one knows.

    It is irrational to hold that nothing can give rise to something. The idea that whatever comes into existence must have a cause is foundational to science. The believe that things pop into existence without a cause is not scientific.
    But if that is the road you must take, who am I to stop you?

    Zachriel: Not if the lower level is simple.

    Yes, especially if the lower level is simple.

  497. 497
    Zachriel says:

    Box: The idea that whatever comes into existence must have a cause is foundational to science.

    The concept is that nothingness is intrinsically unstable.

  498. 498
    Mapou says:

    Zachriel:

    The concept is that nothingness is intrinsically unstable.

    And a stupid concept it is, in the pseudoscientific, not-even-wrong category. Calling it “grasping at straws” would not do it justice. This is the kind of superstitious stuff that ancient primitive societies used to pull right out of their asteroid orifices, thus ensuring the continued stagnation of their inferior cultures.

    PS. ahaha…AHAHA…ahahaha…

  499. 499
    Box says:

    Zachriel: The concept is that nothingness is intrinsically unstable.

    In order to have intrinsically instability, there has to be something that is intrinsically unstable – therefore nothing is not a candidate for whatever is intrinsically unstable. And what Mapou says in post #498.

  500. 500
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    zac says

    The concept is that nothingness is intrinsically unstable.

    I say.

    If I was to claim that non-material reality was pregnant with potentiality my claim has exactly the same scientific merit as Krauss.

    The difference is that his claim is logically nonsensical and mine is not

    peace

  501. 501
    kairosfocus says:

    Z:

    The original conception of the vacuum was that it was nothingness.

    If you had said, a region of space ideally with nothing material in it (atoms, molecules etc), but with properties such as a definite permeability and permitivity that would pass light and other EM waves at the implied speed of light “in vacuo,” c, yes.

    But by obvious definition space is not nothing and here, it has physical, measurable constraining properties.

    Again, not non-being.

    So no, the vacuum is not nothing in the realm of classical thought.

    KF

  502. 502
    Box says:

    Off-topic //

    FMM: The union of the spiritual with the material is profound mystery. In fact I would say it’s one of the top 3 or 4 mysteries that there are.

    I hold that one key to the solution is the concept that everything is ultimately spiritual. Quantum mechanics provides us with several clues supportive of this view.

  503. 503
    velikovskys says:

    FFM:

    That sounds a lot like speculations I’ve made in the past in other places. I would not say those speculations reach the level of belief though.

    Then I am glad I asked,it all seemed a bit circular to me

    Of course you know that Spirit is not nothing, It’s just not material.

    Never claimed it was, but since it is no longer your position that a Spirit must Incarnate to create the material world , my question is moot.

    The union of the spiritual with the material is profound mystery. In fact I would say it’s one of the top 3 or 4 mysteries that there are.

    Without that knowledge, one can only assume that the immaterial can effect the material world while we have evidence every time we hit our thumb with a hammer that the physical world can effect the material world.

    I would be curious what the other 3 mysteries are.

  504. 504
    Mapou says:

    Box:

    I hold that one key to the solution is the concept that everything is ultimately spiritual. Quantum mechanics provides us with several clues supportive of this view.

    It’s amazing that we, as a species, are so divided in our understanding of the provenance of reality and especially of consciousness. Box seems to prefer an almost monadist ontology. Others, including me, confess to one of several dualist philosophies. Still others suspiciously gravitate toward an unknowable, self-creating singularity, the cold and uncaring mother of us all. It’s depressing. As Kuhn would say, a paradigm shift is in order. The status quo is unbearable. Personally, I call for a new “grand order” or, as the French would say, “le grand ordre”.

  505. 505
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    way way way way off topic

    velikovskys says

    I would be curious what the other 3 mysteries are.

    I say

    big 4 not necessarily in order and not necessarily comprehensive

    1) Trinity (Matthew 28:19)
    2) Incarnation (John:1)
    3) Hypostatic union (Hebrews 1:3)
    4) Grace/Gospel (Ephesians:3)

    I find these mysteries to be strangely related and strangely relevant to creation, empirical science and knowledge in general.

    Being as communion an all that

    But perhaps that is just me

    peace

  506. 506
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    you say.

    but since it is no longer your position that a Spirit must Incarnate to create the material world ,

    I say,

    Not sure that was ever my position. I might have speculated that Incarnation is necessary for a aspatial–atemporal Being to act in time and space.

    I still lean pretty heavily in that direction

    peace

  507. 507
    Zachriel says:

    Mapou: This is the kind of superstitious stuff that ancient primitive societies used

    You’re confusing a mythological *claim* with scientific speculation.

    Box: In order to have intrinsically instability, there has to be something that is intrinsically unstable –

    Yes, that is your claim.

    It is possible that a better understanding of the absence of matter, energy, space and time will mean that the apparent fine-tuning is due to some underlying symmetry, even if it is not *absolutely* nothing.

    kairosfocus: the vacuum is not nothing in the realm of classical thought.

    Correct again and again and again! Though at one time, people thought the vacuum was the quintessential nothingness. But what did they know?!

  508. 508
    Box says:

    Zachriel,

    At one time, people thought that the earth is flat. Science didn’t inform us that ‘flat is round’. Science informed us that we were wrong thinking that the earth was flat.

    Zachriel: at one time, people thought the vacuum was the quintessential nothingness.

    Science shouldn’t inform us that ‘nothing is unstable and complicated’. Science should inform us that we were wrong thinking that the vacuum is nothing.

  509. 509
    Mapou says:

    Box:

    Science shouldn’t inform us that ‘nothing is unstable and complicated’. Science should inform us that we were wrong thinking that the vacuum is nothing.

    And we all know why science is hesitant to accept that the vacuum is something and not nothing. First, they are already on record for saying during the last century that space is a void (they had to counter the religious leaning “aether people” by all means). Second, science has been invaded by imposters, gutless posers who are ready to sacrifice the sanctity and glory of science at the altar of their stupid political agenda and their deeply religious worldview. You know, it would not be so bad if those pretenders did not go around clumsily pretending to be secular. Too bad that their religions creed oozes from every pore of their beings wherever they go. But soon, the very thing that they have tried so hard to illegitimately claim as their own and no one else’s, that very thing will be snatched from their desperate and power-hungry fingers. And the usurpers shall be thrown out to the curb.

    I, for one, will watch the whole thing unfold with a smirk on my face, a beer in one hand and a bag of Cheetos in the other.

    ahahaha…AHAHAHA…ahahaha…

  510. 510
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Ari, in Physics (~ nature), from the MIT Classics Library:

    >> . . . Belief in the existence of the infinite comes mainly from five considerations:

    (1) From the nature of time-for it is infinite.

    (2) From the division of magnitudes-for the mathematicians also use the notion of the infinite.

    (3) If coming to be and passing away do not give out, it is only because that from which things come to be is infinite.

    (4) Because the limited always finds its limit in something, so that there must be no limit, if everything is always limited by something different from itself.

    (5) Most of all, a reason which is peculiarly appropriate and presents the difficulty that is felt by everybody-not only number but also mathematical magnitudes and what is outside the heaven are supposed to be infinite because they never give out in our thought.

    The last fact (that what is outside is infinite) leads people to suppose that body also is infinite, and that there is an infinite number of worlds. Why should there be body in one part of the void rather than in another? Grant only that mass is anywhere and it follows that it must be everywhere. Also, if void and place are infinite, there must be infinite body too, for in the case of eternal things what may be must be. But the problem of the infinite is difficult: many contradictions result whether we suppose it to exist or not to exist. If it exists, we have still to ask how it exists; as a substance or as the essential attribute of some entity? Or in neither way, yet none the less is there something which is infinite or some things which are infinitely many? . . . .

    Further, the typical locomotions of the elementary natural bodies-namely, fire, earth, and the like-show not only that place is something, but also that it exerts a certain influence. Each is carried to its own place, if it is not hindered, the one up, the other down. Now these are regions or kinds of place-up and down and the rest of the six directions. Nor do such distinctions (up and down and right and left, &c.) hold only in relation to us. To us they are not always the same but change with the direction in which we are turned: that is why the same thing may be both right and left, up and down, before and behind. But in nature each is distinct, taken apart by itself. It is not every chance direction which is ‘up’, but where fire and what is light are carried; similarly, too, ‘down’ is not any chance direction but where what has weight and what is made of earth are carried-the implication being that these places do not differ merely in relative position, but also as possessing distinct potencies. This is made plain also by the objects studied by mathematics. Though they have no real place, they nevertheless, in respect of their position relatively to us, have a right and left as attributes ascribed to them only in consequence of their relative position, not having by nature these various characteristics. Again, the theory that the void exists involves the existence of place: for one would define void as place bereft of body . . . >>

    In short, the view of the void as very extensive empty space is ancient.

    Where, space (empty of bodies or not) is not nothing; non-being.

    KF

  511. 511
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Me_Think

    Science can determine what word to use in scientific context.

    What scientific observations and tests are used to determine what the correct word is and what it means? Where is the empirical evidence to support it?

  512. 512
    Me_Think says:

    SA @ 511,

    What scientific observations and tests are used to determine what the correct word is and what it means? Where is the empirical evidence to support it?

    Some times it starts with an insult – like Big Bang, which was an insult. Hoyle insulted Lemaitre’s idea by calling it Big Bang. Higgs particle was never meant to be God Particle or even Higgs particle. In fact many physicists informally called it Goddamn particle, because it is hard to find. It is generally left to the scientists and media to play out and popularize a name. Scientists generally suck at Christening their inventions/ discoveries. If you feel it is not right, you can’t do much about it.

  513. 513
    Zachriel says:

    Box: At one time, people thought that the earth is flat. Science didn’t inform us that ‘flat is round’. Science informed us that we were wrong thinking that the earth was flat.

    And yet we still call a vacuum a vacuum.

    Box: Science shouldn’t inform us that ‘nothing is unstable and complicated’. Science should inform us that we were wrong thinking that the vacuum is nothing.

    In fact, a perfect vacuum is unstable. That’s why we might say there is no such thing as a vacuum in fact. However, we have redefined the vacuum to mean, well, a space without ordinary particles, or sometimes to mean the abstraction of a perfect vacuum.

    The question is whether nothingness (defined as the absence of matter, energy, space and time) is unstable, hence a state that doesn’t exist in fact.

  514. 514
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Me_Think

    Ok, but that’s not a scientific endeavor. There’s no observation, no hypothesis/theory, no testing, no validations.

    Naming something is not empirical science. The name could be anything at all. There’s no way to prove, empirically that the name is correct.

    If you think that we can use science to determine the correct name for something or the correct meaning of a term, then that’s a radically different idea of what science is.

  515. 515
    Me_Think says:

    Silver Asiatic @ 514

    Ok, but that’s not a scientific endeavor. There’s no observation, no hypothesis/theory, no testing, no validations.

    Note that it is not the case with Chemistry and Biology, which has established system of classification and nomenclature.

    Naming something is not empirical science. The name could be anything at all. There’s no way to prove, empirically that the name is correct.

    If a terminology becomes prevalent in a particular field, that name sticks. No name can be ‘proven’ to be correct. How can you prove that your or your friends’ names are ‘correct’ ?

  516. 516
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: Naming something is not empirical science.

    Of course not. It’s convention.

    In scholarly fields, special words or meanings are often used to distinguish between ordinary language and the meaning intended within a field. Sometimes, new terms are coined, such as natural selection. Latin is often used to avoid to avoid overlap with more common words. Confusion might be avoided by using an adjective, such as quantum vacuum. Other times, ad hoc terms are adopted, which may or may not become the standard term due to historical happenstance.

  517. 517
    Zachriel says:

    Returning to the original comment at issue:

    Me_Think: Science can determine what word to use in scientific context.

    Science here presumably means the scientific community. So, {the scientific community} determines what word to use in a scientific context. Terminology is usually specific to the individual field of study.

  518. 518
    kairosfocus says:

    Z & MT: Not when the term used is then used in misleading and ill-founded ways and/or reflects a core misunderstanding. KF

  519. 519
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: Not when the term used is then used in misleading and ill-founded ways and/or reflects a core misunderstanding.

    Scientific terms often have meanings outside their fields of use; for instance, charm or technicolor in physics. In the case of “nothingness”, Krauss defines it as the absence of matter, energy, space and time.

  520. 520
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Zachriel

    Science here presumably means the scientific community.

    Interesting definition of the term ‘science’. I won’t bother asking what the scientific community is and who determines it, but the scientific community does not use science to determine the correct meaning or application of terms.

    Assigning meaninig to terms is non-scientific. So the scientific community uses non-science to establish its own parameters.

  521. 521
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Silver Asiatic @ 514
    Ok, but that’s not a scientific endeavor. There’s no observation, no hypothesis/theory, no testing, no validations.

    Me_Think Note that it is not the case with Chemistry and Biology, which has established system of classification and nomenclature.

    You’re saying that Chemistry and Biology have a system where there is observation and testing of nomenclature? Where is the evidence for this? What observations and tests are used to determine the correct meaning of a term? Where, precisely, are terms observed empirically?

    SA: Naming something is not empirical science. The name could be anything at all. There’s no way to prove, empirically that the name is correct.

    MT: If a terminology becomes prevalent in a particular field, that name sticks. No name can be ‘proven’ to be correct.

    The ‘sticking’ of a name is non-science. Show me the science that establishes what terms should mean. Where is the observable, testable evidence?

    How can you prove that your or your friends’ names are ‘correct’ ?

    You’re the one that said you can establish terms via science. What lab tests can you do on terminology?

    Maybe what you should say is that there is a non-scientific means of establishing terms.

  522. 522
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: Assigning meaninig to terms is non-scientific. So the scientific community uses non-science to establish its own parameters.

    You seem to be conflating the name with the thing being named. When Darwin proposed natural selection as a mechanism of adaptation, he could have called it Fred, but he wanted a term that was parallel to artificial selection.

    Silver Asiatic: said you can establish terms via science

    The term science as used above is reasonably read to refer to scientists and their naming conventions.

  523. 523
    Me_Think says:

    Silver Asiatic
    I trust Zac’s answers are good enough for you. Again, there is nothing that we can do if ‘Nothing’ sticks around in cosmology.
    I repeat, ‘Solution’ of chemistry is not equal to layman’s Solution, Gabriel’s horn in Maths is not Bible’s Gabriel Horn, but they are around for ages and they will stay whether we like it or not.

  524. 524
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Me_Think

    I trust Zac’s answers are good enough for you.

    You mean Zac’s answers to questions I posed to you and which you avoided for the most part? It’s ‘good enough’ to show me how you defend your own opinion, but not much more than that.

    Playing games with the definition of terms is a very common tactic. We see it very clearly with the redefinition of the term ‘nothing’.

    I see it also with the term ‘scientific community’ – used for arguments that point to an ambiguous authority.

    It’s very obvious with the term ‘evolution’, or ‘theory of evolution’. Even the term ‘science’ here had to be redefined.

    Beyond that, when you claim that ‘science establishes’ terminology, it’s evidence that you’re unaware of the dependency science has on philosophical constructs.

    There’s nothing new with this — only the same old obfuscation and game-playing that we see every day.

  525. 525
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Zac

    You seem to be conflating the name with the thing being named. When Darwin proposed natural selection as a mechanism of adaptation, he could have called it Fred, but he wanted a term that was parallel to artificial selection.

    Yes, he could have called ‘natural selection’, “Creation by God”. Science cannot tell us why that would have been better or worse. Darwin used something other than science to make that decision.

  526. 526
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Silver Asiatic: said you can establish terms via science

    The term science as used above is reasonably read to refer to scientists and their naming conventions.

    Since you’re answering for Me_Think, is he willing to admit that scientists do not use science to establish naming conventions? If scientists do not use science to establish naming conventions, what intellectual discipline does Me_Think think they use?

  527. 527
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: It’s ‘good enough’ to show me how you defend your own opinion, but not much more than that.

    The response was meant to show that a fair reading of “science” was as scientists or the scientific community. The meaning was clear, or could have been easily clarified. It certainly wasn’t playing with definitions, but a standard use of colloquial English.

    Silver Asiatic: I see it also with the term ‘scientific community’ – used for arguments that point to an ambiguous authority.

    There’s nothing ambiguous about it. Scholars use terms or jargon specific to their fields.

    Silver Asiatic: Yes, he could have called ‘natural selection’, “Creation by God”.

    That term was already in use for a different conception of origins.

  528. 528
    Box says:

    Zachriel,

    Box: At one time, people thought that the earth is flat. Science didn’t inform us that ‘flat is round’. Science informed us that we were wrong thinking that the earth was flat.

    Zachriel: And yet we still call a vacuum a vacuum.

    And we still call the earth the earth. However we do not call flat “round”. Which is the point I’m making and you were not able to grasp.

    Box: at one time, people incorrectly thought the vacuum was nothingness. Science should inform us that the vacuum is unstable and complicated. Science shouldn’t inform us that ‘nothing is unstable and complicated’. Science should inform us that we were wrong thinking that the vacuum is nothing.

    We still call a vacuum a vacuum, but it’s Krauss suggestion to change the meaning of nothing (nothing is “unstable and complicated”) – in effect nothing is something.

    IOW the discovery that the earth is round didn’t change the meaning of ‘flat’, however the discovery that the vacuum is not nothing did change the meaning of ‘nothing’.

    Got it this time?

  529. 529
    Zachriel says:

    Box: And we still call the earth the earth. However we do not call flat “round”. Which is the point I’m making and you were not able to grasp.

    We understood the point. We provided a counter-example. We still call it the vacuum, the void.

    Box: We still call a vacuum a vacuum, but it’s Krauss suggestion to change the meaning of nothing (nothing is “unstable and complicated”) – in effect nothing is something.

    Krauss defines nothingness as the absence of matter, energy, space and time. He discusses whether it meets the philosophical view of nothingness, but is more concerned with whether such a state is stable or not.

  530. 530
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, the relevant usage — esp. by Krauss, et al — is OUTSIDE any scientific community and in a context where the difference from non-being is so material that the discussion pivots on fallacies of equivocation. And, it is still inappropriate to term something nothing, even in scientific contexts. That’s not a shrug your shoulders misnomer such as terming standard current based on positive carriers or the like. It is materially misleading and corrupting of the proper meaning, non-being. KF

  531. 531
    velikovskys says:

    FFM:
    way way way way off topic

    velikovskys says ” how can it be off topic when the topic is ” nothing” ?

  532. 532
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: And, it is still inappropriate to term something nothing, even in scientific contexts.

    The limits of Kraussian nothingness is not determined as it is still a tentative idea, not even a proper hypothesis. It does entail the absence of matter, energy, space and time, perhaps even physical laws.

  533. 533
    Box says:

    Zachriel: We understood the point. We provided a counter-example. We still call it the vacuum, the void.

    How is that a counterexample? A counter-example of what? I provided a counter-example: science corrected people’s concept of a flat earth, instead of screwing the meaning of flat.

  534. 534
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, Krauss’ fallacy is certainly making the rhetorical rounds. KF

  535. 535
    Zachriel says:

    Box: I provided a counter-example: science corrected people’s concept of a flat earth, instead of screwing the meaning of flat.

    You provided an example where the definitions of the descriptions didn’t change, suggesting that the definitions never change. We provided a counterexample where sometimes the words are kept, but given new meanings. So we call the absence of ordinary matter and energy to be a vacuum, literally a void, even though we know it’s full of stars quantum fluctuations.

    The argument seems to be that it isn’t “true” nothingness. But that has yet to be determined.

  536. 536
    Box says:

    Zachriel: You provided an example where the definitions of the descriptions didn’t change, suggesting that the definitions never change.

    Utter nonsense!

    After the discovery that the earth is round, the definition of the earth changes. The definition of flat does not change.
    After the discovery of light being curved by gravity the definition of the trajectory of light wrt to gravity changes. The definition of a straight line does not change.
    After the discovery that the vacuum is full of stars quantum fluctuations the definition of the vacuum should change. The definition of nothing should not change.

  537. 537
    Mapou says:

    Box:

    Utter nonsense!

    You know you’re arguing with a sociopath, don’t you? Only do it if it’s fun.

  538. 538
    Zachriel says:

    Box: After the discovery that the vacuum is full of stars quantum fluctuations the definition of the vacuum should change.

    And yet vacuum is just another word for void.

  539. 539
    Box says:

    And hogwash is just another word for gibberish. So what?

  540. 540
    Zachriel says:

    Box: And hogwash is just another word for gibberish.

    So you’re saying that the word vacuum should be banished?

  541. 541
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac said,

    When Darwin proposed natural selection as a mechanism of adaptation, he could have called it Fred

    I say,

    Just think how the world would be different if Darwin would have used “arbitrary transformation” instead of random mutation and “divine choice” instead of natural selection.

    peace

  542. 542
    Box says:

    Zachriel, you never made much sense in this thread or any other, but lately you seem determined to outdo yourself in sheer unintelligibility.

    You can have the last word.

  543. 543
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: Just think how the world would be different if Darwin would have used “arbitrary transformation” instead of random mutation and “divine choice” instead of natural selection.

    “Arbitrary transformation” would not encapsulate the concept of natural selection.

  544. 544
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    ZAc says

    “Arbitrary transformation” would not encapsulate the concept of natural selection.

    I say,

    Apparently that is not an important consideration in scientific maters after all “Nothing” does not in anyway encapsulate the concept of the universe sans the materiel and you are not bothered by that.

    Peace

  545. 545
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: Apparently that is not an important consideration in scientific maters after all “Nothing” does not in anyway encapsulate the concept of the universe sans the materiel and you are not bothered by that.

    A universe without matter, energy, space or time may well be described as nothingness. If it also lacks physical laws, then even more so.

  546. 546
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    All,

    This thread has been very beneficial.

    It clearly shows the lengths that folk will go to avoid ever questioning their heroes or their presuppositions. It long ago reached the point of piling on. It’s becoming boring now

    For a possible explanation of the amazing logical disconnect we are seeing here in otherwise intelligent people check this out

    http://arstechnica.com/science.....f-reality/

    peace

  547. 547
    Me_Think says:

    fifthmonarchyman @ 546,

    It’s becoming boring now

    We too feel the same way. We are tired of explaining that Nothing of cosmology (no space-time, radiation, matter) conveys the meaning aptly in context of cosmology. ‘Nothing’ has improved our understanding of universe’s composition (from matter dominated to Dark energy dominated) and even helped us calculate the Cosmic Jerk (point when universe turned from deceleration to acceleration) – do I sense another ‘Jerky’ argument coming my way ?, Oh well..

  548. 548
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: For a possible explanation of the amazing logical disconnect we are seeing here in otherwise intelligent people check this out
    http://arstechnica.com/science.....f-reality/

    {The poll} asked “Is there general agreement among scientists that humans have evolved over time, or not?” (This phrasing generally makes it easier for people to accept the reality of evolution, since it’s not asking about their personal beliefs.)

    Is that the part you wanted us to read?

  549. 549
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    Is that the part you wanted us to read?

    I say,

    The whole thing was informative IMO.

    Do you honestly think that my side in this debate disagrees with that statement?

    If you do that explains a lot,

    peace

  550. 550
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: Do you honestly think that my side in this debate disagrees with that statement?

    That sugar-coating makes it easier for people to accept the reality of evolution?

  551. 551
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Zac

    The response was meant to show that a fair reading of “science” was as scientists or the scientific community. The meaning was clear, or could have been easily clarified. It certainly wasn’t playing with definitions, but a standard use of colloquial English.

    You might consider letting Me_Think speak for himself rather than answer questions I posed to him.

    Silver Asiatic: Yes, he could have called ‘natural selection’, “Creation by God”.

    That term was already in use for a different conception of origins.

    Science already was using the term “Creation by God” for a conception of origins?

    The point you are avoiding is that there is a non-scientific process used to establish terminology.

    As you debate the meaning of the term ‘nothing’, you’re not using any science to defend your position. You seem to be creating arbitrary rules for definitions (a term was ‘already used’). You have shown no scientific procedures used to establish terms (could have been called ‘Fred’, although the term ‘Fred’ is already used for other purposes).

    Your response is game-playing and bluffing. I think others can see it quite clearly.

  552. 552
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Zac said,

    When Darwin proposed natural selection as a mechanism of adaptation, he could have called it Fred

    Zac then said:

    “Arbitrary transformation” would not encapsulate the concept of natural selection.

    Fred is ok, but arbitrary transformation is not.

    There’s a classic example of obfuscation and double-speak. It’s agenda-driven, linguistic-engineering which is the basic stuff of all propaganda.

    Nothing new here at all.

  553. 553
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Me_Think

    We are tired of explaining that Nothing of cosmology (no space-time, radiation, matter) conveys the meaning aptly in context of cosmology.

    You simply claim or assert this. When asked for evidence you didn’t respond.

  554. 554
    Me_Think says:

    SA

    You might consider letting Me_Think speak for himself rather than answer questions I posed to him.

    This is an open forum, if a person understands your question, he can answer.If it is wrong, I will correct it. As it stands, Zac’s answer is right. Thanks Zac.

    You simply claim or assert this. When asked for evidence you didn’t respond.

    If you want to know the physics and math of how virtual particles are created in Nothing, please read Kruass’ papers. If you want a layman’s overview read his books.

  555. 555
    Me_Think says:

    SA,

    The point you are avoiding is that there is a non-scientific process used to establish terminology.

    We have no idea what you are driving at. Did you not understand my comment @ 512:

    Some times it starts with an insult – like Big Bang, which was an insult. Hoyle insulted Lemaitre’s idea by calling it Big Bang. Higgs particle was never meant to be God Particle or even Higgs particle. In fact many physicists informally called it Goddamn particle, because it is hard to find. It is generally left to the scientists and media to play out and popularize a name. Scientists generally suck at Christening their inventions/ discoveries. If you feel it is not right, you can’t do much about it.

  556. 556
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Me_Think: We are tired of explaining that Nothing of cosmology (no space-time, radiation, matter) conveys the meaning aptly in context of cosmology.

    You claim that “Nothing” is “Nothing of cosmology” and it means what you said.

    SA: You simply claim or assert this. When asked for evidence you didn’t respond.

    You should be able to see, that you simply claimed something about the meaning of the term. You gave no scientific evidence to support that. When asked for evidence that the term ‘nothing’ means what you asserted, you said:

    Me_Think: If you want to know the physics and math of how virtual particles are created in Nothing, please read Kruass’ papers. If you want a layman’s overview read his books.

    You avoided the point.

    SA: The point you are avoiding is that there is a non-scientific process used to establish terminology.

    And that’s what I said.

    Me_Think: We have no idea what you are driving at.

    I can accept this. You don’t understand.

  557. 557
    Me_Think says:

    SA,

    When asked for evidence that the term ‘nothing’ means what you asserted, you said:

    Me_Think: If you want to know the physics and math of how virtual particles are created in Nothing, please read Kruass’ papers. If you want a layman’s overview read his books.

    Krauss introduced and popularized the term ‘Nothing’ in cosmology, so of course, if you want to understand why ‘nothing’ is ‘nothing’ in cosmology, you have to either read his papers or book or take what I say to be true.

  558. 558
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Krauss introduced and popularized the term ‘Nothing’ in cosmology, so of course, if you want to understand why ‘nothing’ is ‘nothing’ in cosmology, you have to either read his papers or book or take what I say to be true.

    You can’t give any evidence why the term should mean what Krauss claims it means. But you’re also seeming to claim that he has scientific evidence in his papers that indicate that the term should mean what he claims.

    There is no such scientific evidence.

  559. 559
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: You might consider letting Me_Think speak for himself rather than answer questions I posed to him.

    Our answering doesn’t prevent his answering. As the question concerned a fair reading of a phrase, it was reasonable to answer.

    Silver Asiatic: The point you are avoiding is that there is a non-scientific process used to establish terminology.

    You apparently haven’t read our comments even though you are responding to them.

    Silver Asiatic: Naming something is not empirical science.

    Zachriel: Of course not. It’s convention.

    In scholarly fields, special words or meanings are often used to distinguish between ordinary language and the meaning intended within a field. Sometimes, new terms are coined, such as natural selection. Latin is often used to avoid to avoid overlap with more common words. Confusion might be avoided by using an adjective, such as quantum vacuum. Other times, ad hoc terms are adopted, which may or may not become the standard term due to historical happenstance.

    Silver Asiatic: Fred is ok, but arbitrary transformation is not.

    You could call it 22065231, but people generally prefer something that relates somehow to the topic.

    Silver Asiatic: You simply claim or assert this.

    Kraussian nothingness is defined as the absence of matter, energy, space and time, and perhaps even physical laws. We know that because Krauss defines it so. He chose the word nothing because the word most closely resembles his meaning. If it would help, just use the adjective, as in Kraussian nothingness.

  560. 560
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Silver Asiatic: The point you [Me_Think] are avoiding is that there is a non-scientific process used to establish terminology.

    Zac: You apparently haven’t read our [my, Zac’s] comments even though you are responding to them.

    You apparently can’t distinguish between something directed to Me_Think and something directed to you.

    Silver Asiatic: Fred is ok, but arbitrary transformation is not.

    You could call it 22065231, but people generally prefer something that relates somehow to the topic.

    If terminology is assigned based on what people generally prefer, then the question of what ‘nothing’ means, proposed by Me_Think is insoluble.

    Silver Asiatic: You simply claim or assert this.

    Zac: We know that because Krauss defines it so.

    As I said, it’s a game of redefining terms. You denied this, but you reveal it to be just that.

    If it would help, just use the adjective, as in Kraussian nothingness.

    In this case, it is creating new terms to replace the one under discussion, ‘nothingness’. This is how the game is played.

  561. 561
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: As I said, it’s a game of redefining terms.

    Or rather, providing a more precise definition in place of a vague one.

    Silver Asiatic: In this case, it is creating new terms to replace the one under discussion, ‘nothingness’.

    Or rather, providing a more precise definition in place of a vague one. We do this in order to more clearly communicate. Did you have something to offer besides an argument over semantics?

  562. 562
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Zac

    Did you have something to offer besides an argument over semantics?

    It’s an argument about the meaning of the term ‘nothingness’. You already stated that you have no scientific support for the redefinition of the term, so there’s nothing more for either you or Me_Think to say except (quoting ‘Them’): “take what I say to be true”.

    I understand quite well what you’re doing.

  563. 563
    Me_Think says:

    SA @ 562,
    It has been clearly stated that ‘Nothing’ in cosmology was defined and popularized by Kruass and he means ‘ no space-time, matter or energy’. What more do you want?
    You have been stating in other threads that : By definition, God is being or existence itself
    How do you know ? Where is the proof. What is the meaning of ‘existence itself’ ? Where is it defined scientifically?

  564. 564
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: It’s an argument about the meaning of the term ‘nothingness’.

    The first definition in Merriam-Webster is “empty space”. The scientific concept of empty space, a.k.a. the vacuum, differs from the popular conception. In any case, nothingness, as discussed in cosmology, has a specific meaning.

  565. 565
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Zac

    The first definition in Merriam-Webster is “empty space”.

    If your science is dependent on the authority of Merriam-Webster that tells us a lot. There’s a non-science agenda driving your conclusions.

    Of course, you’re still playing games. The first definition is 1a below.

    From Merriam-Webster.com

    Full Definition of NOTHINGNESS
    1: the quality or state of being nothing: as
    a : nonexistence
    b : utter insignificance
    c : death
    2
    : something insignificant or valueless
    3
    : void, emptiness

  566. 566
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Me_Think

    It has been clearly stated that ‘Nothing’ in cosmology was defined and popularized by Kruass and he means ‘ no space-time, matter or energy’. What more do you want?

    Give some scientific evidence to support that re-definition of the term ‘nothing’. Failing that, explain why your (Krauss’) definition is the correct meaning of ‘nothing’.

  567. 567
    Me_Think says:

    SA @ 566,

    Give some scientific evidence to support that re-definition of the term ‘nothing’. Failing that, explain why your (Krauss’) definition is the correct meaning of ‘nothing’.

    There is no ‘re-definition’. It has already been explained why nothing in cosmology is ‘nothing’.

  568. 568
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It is a characteristic of things that have a philosophical tinge that what they mean is a significant issue above and beyond how some folks may use the term. In this context it is quite plain that there is no good reason to abandon the meaning of nothing, non-being. If you want a term to identify a quantum vacuum with fluctuations, get your own term. In a pinch an acrostic set of initials will do, as it did for radar and laser or even ascii or QWERTY: QVWF or whatever. KF

    PS: MT a scroll up will show that there has been a problem of confusing mis-use of a term that properly denotes non-being, and that Mr Krauss’ popularisation served no good end.

  569. 569
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    In this context it is quite plain that there is no good reason to abandon the meaning of nothing, non-being.

    That’s right. What we’ve seen in this discussion is very clear on this key point.

    If you want a term to identify a quantum vacuum with fluctuations, get your own term.

    Exactly. It’s fascinating to see how the redefinition of the term ‘nothing’ is claimed to add more clarity when it is clearly an attempt to smuggle new entities into the state of non-existence. This is a classic propaganda technique. Note the resistance to the use of an entirely new term. Instead, it will be insisted that the term ‘nothing’ should be retained, but with various modifiers (Kraussian, cosmological, etc).

    a In a pinch an acrostic set of initials will do, as it did for radar and laser or even ascii or QWERTY: QVWF or whatever. KF

    If we were talking about objective, unbiased science, that would be non-controversial and easily accepted. An entirely new term which omits the use of ‘nothing’ would obviously add more clarity. But that proposal is not accepted for obvious reasons.

    PS: MT a scroll up will show that there has been a problem of confusing mis-use of a term that properly denotes non-being, and that Mr Krauss’ popularisation served no good end.

    “No good end” a generous way to characterize what has been going on with this linguistic game.

  570. 570
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: The first definition is 1a below.

    noth·ing·ness noun \-n?s\ : empty space

    http://www.merriam-webster.com.....othingness

    Silver Asiatic: Give some scientific evidence to support that re-definition of the term ‘nothing’.

    As pointed out previously, definitions aren’t determined by the scientific method, but by convention and usage. Terms for specific scientific concepts may be used for communications, and sometimes those terms may have other, more general meanings. For instance, gravity originally mean heavy or serious, but was coopted by scientists to refer to the force of attraction between masses.

  571. 571
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: An entirely new term which omits the use of ‘nothing’ would obviously add more clarity.

    What is the distinction between the cosmological concept of the absence of matter, energy, space, time, and even physical laws, and nothingness as you construe it?

  572. 572
    Box says:

    Krauss:

    (…) the simplest version of nothing, namely empty space. For the moment, I will assume space exists, with nothing at all in it, and that the laws of physics also exist. Once again, I realise that in the revised versions of nothingness that those who wish to continually redefine the word so that no scientific definition is practical, this version of nothing doesn’t cut the mustard.
    [page 149]

    “Those who wish to continually redefine the word (…)”??

  573. 573
    Silver Asiatic says:

    As pointed out previously

    Hi Me_Think. No, you didn’t point that out at all.

  574. 574
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Box

    “Those who wish to continually redefine the word (…)”??

    … expose their agenda.

  575. 575
    Silver Asiatic says:

    What is the distinction between the cosmological concept of the absence of matter, energy, space, time, and even physical laws, and nothingness as you construe it?

    This has been explained several times already in this thread. Which of those posts didn’t you understand?

    Nothingness = non-being

    kairosfocus: I repeat, simply: a quantum vacuum hosting fluctuations etc is not non-being.

  576. 576
    Zachriel says:

    Zachriel #570: As pointed out previously, definitions aren’t determined by the scientific method, but by convention and usage. Terms for specific scientific concepts may be used for communications, and sometimes those terms may have other, more general meanings. For instance, gravity originally mean heavy or serious, but was coopted by scientists to refer to the force of attraction between masses.

    Silver Asiatic: No, you didn’t point that out at all.

    #368, #516, #522, #559.

  577. 577
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: Nothingness = non-being

    That’s not an answer. What is the distinction between the cosmological concept of the absence of matter, energy, space, time, and even physical laws, and nothingness as you construe it?

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