Fine tuning Intelligent Design

No need for a fine tuner for fine-tuned universe?

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From philosopher Hans Halvorson at Nautilus blog:

This new fine-tuning design argument claims the imprimatur of physics, and is presented in quantitatively precise terms: among the set of all possible universes, the percentage that could sustain life is so small that the human mind cannot imagine it. By all rights, our universe shouldn’t have existed. What wonder that our universe has given birth to life, especially intelligent life. It seems the only explanation for this wildly improbable outcome is the supposition that there is a Designer.

There’s a deep problem lurking in the background of the fine-tuning argument, which rests on two factual claims. One is that a life-conducive universe exists. And the second is that this kind of universe is improbable.* It’s the second fact that is responsible for the resurrection of the design argument, and fine-tuning advocates are so focused on using it as a premise that they’ve failed to see that it needs explanation. That is, why is it the case that it’s unlikely for an arbitrary universe to be conducive to life? It’s not plausible to write it off as a brute necessity, because it’s not obvious that this had to be the case, nor could it have been discovered by pure reason alone. The reason to believe the second fact is because it is a prediction of our best physical theory.

But even if we do find the much-needed explanation, it will be disastrous for the fine-tuning argument, because it would disconfirm God’s existence. After all, a benevolent God would want to create the physical laws so that life-conducive universes would be overwhelmingly likely. More.

But that’s a ridiculous objection. We believe our universe to be fine-tuned on the basis of evidence for the fine-tuning. We know of no other universes to compare it with. There is no way of evaluating the question of whether it would be more benevolent to create more universes as we have no idea what the ramifications would be, from a divine perspective.

Is this the best argument against fine-tuning available, this side of crackpot cosmology?

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

and

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20 Replies to “No need for a fine tuner for fine-tuned universe?

  1. 1
    bFast says:

    “After all, a benevolent God would want to create the physical laws so that life-conducive universes would be overwhelmingly likely.”
    This reminds me of the theistic evolution argument, that it is possible to consider that a god could produce a law set and a big bang that would inevitably produce life without intervention. Therefore to suggest that God did intervene is to suggest him to be less that the imagined uber-god. So theistic evolutionists believe in a greater god than those who believe in an intervening God.

    All well and good, but God could intervene. What if God wanted to intervene? Lets get past what some mythical god could have done and find out what really happened!

  2. 2
    Jon Garvey says:

    Let’s unpack that.

    If a benevolent human artisan creates the most intricate, precise, beautiful and unique artifact possible, then it is overwhelmingly likely, because he takes extreme care to make sure it actually gets made.

    It’s only unlikely if there were some obscure virtue in masterpieces appearing spontaneously whilst the artist watches TV and hopes the materials will come together.

    Fine-tuning is a question of probability versus design, not probability as part of design.

  3. 3
    awstar says:

    After all, a benevolent God would want to create the physical laws so that life-conducive universes would be overwhelmingly likely.

    I’m glad someone knows for sure what a benevolent God would want. Did he come to this understanding through science? or is this a religious belief?

  4. 4
    vjtorley says:

    “After all, a benevolent God would want to create the physical laws so that life-conducive universes would be overwhelmingly likely.”

    That only follows if God’s sole objective is to maximize the likelihood of the cosmos generating life – something which, I might point out, He has no need to do, as He knows which way the chips will fall.

    But if God has a second objective – namely, to reveal His existence to the sapient beings who come into existence in the cosmos He creates – then making a finely tuned cosmos would be a very smart way for Him to leave a calling card.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Philosopher Hans Halvorson starts his argument out as such:

    “Bad ideas die hard, and then sometimes they come back to life. One such bad idea is the so-called design argument that goes something like this: “Behold the human eye: It is perfectly adapted to seeing the things we need to see, like predators or potential mates. It looks almost like the eye was designed by some master craftsman. In fact, the most reasonable conclusion is that it was designed, and therefore that there is a Designer, whom we might as well call God.”
    It wasn’t always obvious that this argument is bad. Back in the days before Darwin discovered evolution we didn’t have a good scientific explanation for the adaptations of biological species. And for lack of a better explanation, why not God?”

    The ignorance displayed by the learned professor in these first few sentences is breath-taking.

    If anything, today, due to advances in our knowledge, the supposed evolution of the eye is even more ‘absurd’ than Darwin himself freely admitted in his day:

    “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.”
    – Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle For Life (New York: The Modern Library, 1993), p. 227.

    “The eye to this day gives me a cold shudder,”
    – C. Darwin to Asa Gray, a Professor of Natural History at Harvard – 1860

    To be sure, Darwin tried to counter the absurdity, and the cold shudder, he felt about the eye by making up a vague just so story about how the eye could have have possibly come about by unguided material processes.

    Yet, to point out the blatantly obvious, making up a vague ‘just so story’ for how the eye could have possibly ‘evolved’ does not equate to a actual good scientific explanation for how the eye actually did come about. Not in the least.

    To be sure, the just so stories of today’s Darwinists have grown more sophisticated in there make-up than Darwin’s orginal story was, but that does not make their imaginary ‘just so stories’ any more scientific than Darwin’s original just so stories were.

    Here is a classic from David Berlinski, circa 2003, in which he, with characteristic wit, took apart Nilsson & Pelger’s ‘just so story’ on eye evolution

    Berlinski–A Scientific Scandal Part I From Commentary – 2003
    http://wsarch.ucr.edu/wsnmail/2003/msg00560.html

    Berlinski–A Scientific Scandal Part II From Commentary – 2003
    Excerpt: In “A Scientific Scandal,” I observed that Dan-E. Nilsson and Susanne Pelger’s paper, “A Pessimistic Estimate of the Time Required for an Eye to Evolve,” was a critic’s smorgasbord. There are so many things wrong with it that even the finickiest of eaters could leave the table well-satisfied and ready for a round of Alka-Seltzer.
    http://wsarch.ucr.edu/wsnmail/2003/msg00561.html

    As mentioned previously, if anything, today, due to advances in our knowledge, the supposed evolution of the eye is even more ‘absurd’ than Darwin himself freely admitted in his day:

    First off, the fossil record for the supposed evolution of the eye is thoroughly non-Darwinian in what it reveals.

    “The reason evolutionary biologists believe in “40 known independent eye evolutions” isn’t because they’ve reconstructed those evolutionary pathways, but because eyes don’t assume a treelike pattern on the famous Darwinian “tree of life.” Darwinists are accordingly forced, again and again, to invoke convergent “independent” evolution of eyes to explain why eyes are distributed in such a non-tree-like fashion.
    This is hardly evidence against ID. In fact the appearance of eyes within widely disparate groups speaks eloquently of common design. Eyes are a problem, all right — for Darwinism.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....83441.html

    Trilobites suddenly appeared in the Cambrian (lowest fossil-bearing) stratum with no record of ancestry. The trilobite eye is made of optically transparent calcium carbonate. Paleontologist Niles Eldredge observed, “These lenses–technically termed aspherical, aplanatic lenses–optimize both light collecting and image formation better than any lens ever conceived. We can be justifiably amazed that these trilobites, very early in the history of life on earth, hit upon the best possible lens that optical physics has ever been able to formulate” [Eld76].

    “The design of the trilobite’s eye lens could well qualify for a patent disclosure” [Lev93p58].,,,

    Complex Arthropod Eyes Found in Early Cambrian – June 2011
    Excerpt: Complex eyes with modern optics from an unknown arthropod, more complex than trilobite eyes, have been discovered in early Cambrian strata from southern Australia.,,, Here we report exceptionally preserved fossil eyes from the Early Cambrian (~515 million years ago) Emu Bay Shale of South Australia, revealing that some of the earliest arthropods possessed highly advanced compound eyes, each with over 3,000 large ommatidial lenses and a specialized ‘bright zone’. These are the oldest non-biomineralized eyes known in such detail, with preservation quality exceeding that found in the Burgess Shale and Chengjiang deposits. Non-biomineralized eyes of similar complexity are otherwise unknown until about 85 million years later. The arrangement and size of the lenses indicate that these eyes belonged to an active predator that was capable of seeing in low light. The eyes are more complex than those known from contemporaneous trilobites and are as advanced as those of many living forms. They provide further evidence that the Cambrian explosion involved rapid innovation in fine-scale anatomy as well as gross morphology,
    http://crev.info/content/11062.....y_cambrian

    500 million-year-old super predator had remarkable vision – Dec 07, 2011
    Excerpt: The fossils represent compound eyes – the multi-faceted variety seen in arthropods such as flies, crabs and kin – and are amongst the largest to have ever existed, with each eye up to 3 cm in length and containing over 16,000 lenses. The number of lenses and other aspects of their optical design suggest that Anomalocaris would have seen its world with exceptional clarity whilst hunting in well-lit waters. Only a few arthropods, such as modern predatory dragonflies, have similar resolution.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....ision.html

    Secondly, the complexity of the eye is simply amazing. Certainly far beyond what Darwin imagined it to be:

    Could the eye have evolved by natural selection in a geological blink? March 18, 2013
    Excerpt: Let us return to the question, how do we see? Although to Darwin the primary event of vision was a black box, through the efforts of many biochemists an answer to the question of sight is at hand. When light strikes the retina a photon is absorbed by an organic molecule called 11-cis-retinal, causing it to rearrange within picoseconds to trans-retinal. The change in shape of retinal forces a corresponding change in shape of the protein, rhodopsin, to which it is tightly bound. As a consequence of the protein’s metamorphosis, the behavior of the protein changes in a very specific way. The altered protein can now interact with another protein called transducin. Before associating with rhodopsin, transducin is tightly bound to a small organic molecule called GDP, but when it binds to rhodopsin the GDP dissociates itself from transducin and a molecule called GTP, which is closely related to, but critically different from, GDP, binds to transducin.
    The exchange of GTP for GDP in the transducinrhodopsin complex alters its behavior. GTP-transducinrhodopsin binds to a protein called phosphodiesterase, located in the inner membrane of the cell. When bound by rhodopsin and its entourage, the phosphodiesterase acquires the ability to chemically cleave a molecule called cGMP. Initially there are a lot of cGMP molecules in the cell, but the action of the phosphodiesterase lowers the concentration of cGMP. Activating the phosphodiesterase can be likened to pulling the plug in a bathtub, lowering the level of water.
    A second membrane protein which binds cGMP, called an ion channel, can be thought of as a special gateway regulating the number of sodium ions in the cell. The ion channel normally allows sodium ions to flow into the cell, while a separate protein actively pumps them out again. The dual action of the ion channel and pump proteins keeps the level of sodium ions in the cell within a narrow range. When the concentration of cGMP is reduced from its normal value through cleavage by the phosphodiesterase, many channels close, resulting in a reduced cellular concentration of positively charged sodium ions. This causes an imbalance of charges across the cell membrane which, finally, causes a current to be transmitted down the optic nerve to the brain: the result, when interpreted by the brain, is vision.
    If the biochemistry of vision were limited to the reactions listed above, the cell would quickly deplete its supply of 11-cis-retinal and cGMP while also becoming depleted of sodium ions. Thus a system is required to limit the signal that is generated and restore the cell to its original state; there are several mechanisms which do this. Normally, in the dark, the ion channel, in addition to sodium ions, also allows calcium ions to enter the cell; calcium is pumped back out by a different protein in order to maintain a constant intracellular calcium concentration. However, when cGMP levels fall, shutting down the ion channel and decreasing the sodium ion concentration, calcium ion concentration is also decreased. The phosphodiesterase enzyme, which destroys cGMP, is greatly slowed down at lower calcium concentration. Additionally, a protein called guanylate cyclase begins to resynthesize cGMP when calcium levels start to fall. Meanwhile, while all of this is going on, metarhodopsin II is chemically modified by an enzyme called rhodopsin kinase, which places a phosphate group on its substrate. The modified rhodopsin is then bound by a protein dubbed arrestin, which prevents the rhodopsin from further activating transducin. Thus the cell contains mechanisms to limit the amplified signal started by a single photon.
    Trans-retinal eventually falls off of the rhodopsin molecule and must be reconverted to 11-cis-retinal and again bound by opsin to regenerate rhodopsin for another visual cycle. To accomplish this trans-retinal is first chemically modified by an enzyme to transretinol, a form containing two more hydrogen atoms. A second enzyme then isomerizes the molecule to 11-cis-retinol. Finally, a third enzyme removes the previously added hydrogen atoms to form 11-cis-retinal, and the cycle is complete.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....cal-blink/

    That Darwinists have no real clue how Darwinian processes produced the eye is revealed in the following article:

    Study suggests humans can detect even the smallest units of light – July 21, 2016
    Excerpt: Research,, has shown that humans can detect the presence of a single photon, the smallest measurable unit of light. Previous studies had established that human subjects acclimated to the dark were capable only of reporting flashes of five to seven photons.,,,
    it is remarkable: a photon, the smallest physical entity with quantum properties of which light consists, is interacting with a biological system consisting of billions of cells, all in a warm and wet environment,” says Vaziri. “The response that the photon generates survives all the way to the level of our awareness despite the ubiquitous background noise. Any man-made detector would need to be cooled and isolated from noise to behave the same way.”,,,
    The gathered data from more than 30,000 trials demonstrated that humans can indeed detect a single photon incident on their eye with a probability significantly above chance.
    “What we want to know next is how does a biological system achieve such sensitivity? How does it achieve this in the presence of noise?
    http://phys.org/news/2016-07-humans-smallest.html

    Moreover, even if Darwinists had a clue how unguided material processes could possibly produce such jaw dropping sophistication in the eye, they still would have no clue as to what is actually ‘seeing’ in the human body.

    In other words, although a person may equip a computer with a camera, no one in his right mind would ever claim that there is a conscious person within the computer that is able to ‘see’ the images from the camera.

    i.e. It takes a conscious person to actually ‘see’ an image

    Along that line:

    Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their NDEs. 21 of these people had had an NDE (Near Death Experience) while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth. (of note: The deaf can also hear during NDEs)
    – Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experiences in the Blind: A Study of Apparent Eyeless Vision Kenneth Ring, Ph.D. Sharon Cooper, M.A.University of Connecticut

    Verse and Quote:

    Matthew 15:14
    “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”

    “There Are None So Blind As Those Who Will Not See”

    • According to the ‘Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings’ this proverb has been traced back to 1546 (John Heywood), and resembles the Biblical verse Jeremiah 5:21 (‘Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not’).

  7. 7
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Halvorson says this:

    Let me put my cards on the table. I believe that our universe is the creation of an omnipotent being. And I agree with John Glenn who said, “Looking at the Earth from this vantage point, looking at this kind of creation and to not believe in God, to me, is impossible.” But the attempt to parlay this sense of wonder into a scientific proof is fraught with danger.

    His mistake is thinking that fine-tuning arguments merely evoke a sense of wonder and not a design argument from scientific observation.

    Then he says this:

    Similarly, the fine-tuning argument rests on an interesting discovery of physical cosmology that the odds were strongly stacked against life. But if God exists, then the odds didn’t have to be stacked this way. These bad odds could themselves be taken as evidence against the existence of God.

    I shouldn’t be surprised that a contemporary philosopher does not even understand the basics of the design argument.
    The bad odds tell us that chance cannot be the cause – only God could be. Twisting the improbable origin of the universe into an argument against the existence of God is absurd. All he’s left with is it was a lucky chance occurrence, and that has already been discounted.

  8. 8
    mw says:

    Hello vjtorley @ 4: “But if God has a second objective – namely, to reveal His existence to the sapient beings who come into existence in the cosmos He creates – then making a finely tuned cosmos would be a very smart way for Him to leave a calling card.” ______________________________________________________________________

    Surely, there is nothing smarter than people seeing God witnessing publicly, accompanied by the sound of trumpets (Exod 19:16-20), flashes of lightning, smoke, darkness of cloud, not to mention the fear of God in the Israelites (v18), and a shaking Mountain—that he created in six days, and in plain speech (Num 12:3-9), and devoid of other circumstantial days.

    Fine tuning figures, are they the result of evolution, or the result of fine tuning of a mature cosmos in six days? How do we test such against a supernatural smart God?

    His Calling Card; two stone tablets, plus, a backup book placed next to the ark and carried with fear and utmost respect after what they saw at Sinai, and from then on, daily for forty years. Divine law given through an intelligently designed statement by the Almighty which He wrote and testified to. Him being untuned to taking a long time for anything.

    Alternatively, it may seem, blindness and deafness are factors at Sinai; the witness statement of the Judaeo-Christian God folly, a primitive God. Still, there can only be one divine truth, perhaps it is the Big Bang Theory which is primitive next to Sinai? One day we will be finely tuned with His judgment. What are the odds on a divine law being unclear, wrong, or inaccurate when establishing a way to live for sapient beings?

  9. 9
    awstar says:

    VJT at #4

    But if God has a second objective – namely, to reveal His existence to the sapient beings who come into existence in the cosmos He creates – then making a finely tuned cosmos would be a very smart way for Him to leave a calling card.

    He left something more clear than a calling card. He used language. — a phenomenon that big bang cosmologists and Darwinian evolutionists cannot explain.

    Isaiah 45:18-23. For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

    They’ll all come around eventually, but will it be too late for them?

  10. 10
    Origenes says:

    Hans Halvorson gets everything wrong. Unreadable nonsense.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Origenes, don’t blame Hans Halvorson. After all everything ‘he’, (whatever ‘he’ means in evolution), is seeing with his evolved eyes is merely an illusion in the first place. So it is no wonder that ‘he’ calls the design ‘he’ sees in nature untrustworthy and potentially illusory. Given evolutionary premises, ‘he’ simply can’t trust anything ‘he’ sees.

    In the following video and article, Donald Hoffman has, through numerous computer simulations of population genetics, proved that if Darwinian evolution were actually true then ALL of our perceptions of reality would be illusory.

    Donald Hoffman: Do we see reality as it is? – Video – 9:59 minute mark
    Quote: “,,,evolution is a mathematically precise theory. We can use the equations of evolution to check this out. We can have various organisms in artificial worlds compete and see which survive and which thrive, which sensory systems or more fit. A key notion in those equations is fitness.,,, fitness does depend on reality as it is, yes.,,, Fitness is not the same thing as reality as it is, and it is fitness, and not reality as it is, that figures centrally in the equations of evolution. So, in my lab, we have run hundreds of thousands of evolutionary game simulations with lots of different randomly chosen worlds and organisms that compete for resources in those worlds. Some of the organisms see all of the reality. Others see just part of the reality. And some see none of the reality. Only fitness. Who wins? Well I hate to break it to you but perception of reality goes extinct. In almost every simulation, organisms that see none of reality, but are just tuned to fitness, drive to extinction that perceive reality as it is. So the bottom line is, evolution does not favor veridical, or accurate perceptions. Those (accurate) perceptions of reality go extinct. Now this is a bit stunning. How can it be that not seeing the world accurately gives us a survival advantage?”
    https://youtu.be/oYp5XuGYqqY?t=601

    The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality – April 2016
    The cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman uses evolutionary game theory to show that our perceptions of an independent reality must be illusions.
    Excerpt: “The classic argument is that those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage over those who saw less accurately and thus were more likely to pass on their genes that coded for those more accurate perceptions, so after thousands of generations we can be quite confident that we’re the offspring of those who saw accurately, and so we see accurately. That sounds very plausible. But I think it is utterly false. It misunderstands the fundamental fact about evolution, which is that it’s about fitness functions — mathematical functions that describe how well a given strategy achieves the goals of survival and reproduction. The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised that says: According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never.”
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160421-the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality/

    Although Hoffman tried to limit his results to just our visual perceptions, as Plantinga had pointed out years before Hoffman came along, there is no reason why the results do not also extend to undermining our cognitive faculties as well:

    The Case Against Reality – May 13, 2016
    Excerpt: Hoffman seems to come to a conclusion similar to the one Alvin Plantinga argues in ch. 10 of Where the Conflict Really Lies: we should not expect — in the absence of further argument — that creatures formed by a naturalistic evolutionary process would have veridical perceptions.,,,
    First, even if Hoffman’s argument were restricted to visual perception, and not to our cognitive faculties more generally (e.g., memory, introspection, a priori rational insight, testimonial belief, inferential reasoning, etc.), the conclusion that our visual perceptions would be wholly unreliable given natural selection would be sufficient for Plantinga’s conclusion of self-defeat. After all, reliance upon the veridicality of our visual perceptions was and always will be crucial for any scientific argument for the truth of evolution. So if these perceptions cannot be trusted, we have little reason to think evolutionary theory is true.
    Second, it’s not clear that Hoffman’s application of evolutionary game theory is only specially applicable to visual perception, rather than being relevant for our cognitive faculties generally. If “we find that veridical perceptions can be driven to extinction by non-veridical strategies that are tuned to utility rather than objective reality” (2010, p. 504, my emphasis), then why wouldn’t veridical cognitive faculties (more generally) be driven to extinction by non-veridical strategies that are tuned to utility rather than objective reality? After all, evolutionary theory purports to be the true account of the formation of all of our cognitive faculties, not just our faculty of visual perception. If evolutionary game theory proves that “true perception generally goes extinct” when “animals that perceive the truth compete with others that sacrifice truth for speed and energy-efficiency” (2008), why wouldn’t there be a similar sacrifice with respect to other cognitive faculties? In fact, Hoffman regards the following theorem as now proven: “According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness” (Atlantic interview). But then wouldn’t it also be the case that an organism that cognizes reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that cognizes none of reality but is just tuned to fitness? On the evolutionary story, every cognitive faculty we have was produced by a process that was tuned to fitness (rather than tuned to some other value, such as truth).
    http://www.gregwelty.com/2016/.....t-reality/

    Thus, in what should be needless to say, a worldview that undermines the scientific method itself by holding all our observations of reality, and cognitive faculties, are illusory is NOT a worldview that can be firmly grounded within the scientific method!

    Steps of the Scientific Method
    Observation/Research
    Hypothesis
    Prediction
    Experimentation
    Conclusion
    http://www.sciencemadesimple.c.....ethod.html

    Why Evolutionary Theory Cannot Survive Itself – Nancy Pearcey – March 8, 2015
    Excerpt: Steven Pinker writes, “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” The upshot is that survival is no guarantee of truth. If survival is the only standard, we can never know which ideas are true and which are adaptive but false.
    To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion — and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.
    So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.,,,
    Of course, the atheist pursuing his research has no choice but to rely on rationality, just as everyone else does. The point is that he has no philosophical basis for doing so. Only those who affirm a rational Creator have a basis for trusting human rationality.
    The reason so few atheists and materialists seem to recognize the problem is that, like Darwin, they apply their skepticism selectively. They apply it to undercut only ideas they reject, especially ideas about God. They make a tacit exception for their own worldview commitments.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....94171.html

    Moreover, completely contrary to what Hoffman found for Darwinian theory, it turns out that accurate perception, i.e. conscious observation, far from being unreliable and illusory, is experimentally found to be far more integral to reality, i.e. far more reliable of reality, than the math of population genetics predicted. In the following experiment, it was found that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.

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

    Apparently science itself could care less if atheists are forced to believe, because of the mathematics of population genetics, that all their observations of reality are illusory!

    Of supplemental note: It is interesting to note that all these ‘illusory’ perceptions that atheists are having about what they see in life always seems to be ‘illusions of design’ that they are seeing in life:

    “Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.”
    Richard Dawkins – “The Blind Watchmaker” – 1986 – page 21
    quoted from this video – Michael Behe – Life Reeks Of Design – 2010 – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdh-YcNYThY

    living organisms “appear to have been carefully and artfully designed”
    Richard C. Lewontin – Adaptation,” Scientific American, and Scientific American book ‘Evolution’ (September 1978)

    “This appearance of purposefulness is pervasive in nature…. Accounting for this apparent purposefulness is a basic problem for any system of philosophy or of science.”
    George Gaylord Simpson – “The Problem of Plan and Purpose in Nature” – 1947

    “The real core of Darwinism,,,, the ‘design’ of the natural theologian, by natural means.”
    Ernst Mayr

    “Darwin’s theory of natural selection accounts for the ‘design’ of organisms, and for their wondrous diversity, as the result of natural processes,”
    Francisco J. Ayala – Darwin’s greatest discovery: Design without designer – May 2007

    Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA, seems to have been particularly haunted by seeing the ‘illusion of design’ everywhere he looked in molecular biology:

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – p. 138 (1990)

    “Organisms appear as if they had been designed to perform in an astonishingly efficient way, and the human mind therefore finds it hard to accept that there need be no Designer to achieve this”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – p. 30

    Illusory perceptions producing illusions of design. Let the insanity of what atheists are claiming sink in for a minute.

    And to top it all off, atheists also claim that we are not real persons but that we are merely ‘neuronal illusions’.

    The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – Ross Douthat – January 6, 2014
    Excerpt: But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession (by Coyne) that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.) Prometheus cannot be at once unbound and unreal; the human will cannot be simultaneously triumphant and imaginary.
    http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.c.....oyne/?_r=0

    Thus we have illusory perceptions producing illusions of design for neuronal illusions.

    Hippies on LSD could not ‘escape from reality’ as much as Darwinian theory itself has escaped from reality!

    Whereas back in the real world, in the following video, after demonstrating through the mathematics of population genetics that Natural Selection is grossly inadequate as a designer substitute, Dr. Richard Sternberg states:

    “Darwinism provided an explanation for the appearance of design, and argued that there is no Designer — or, if you will, the designer is natural selection. If that’s out of the way — if that (natural selection) just does not explain the evidence — then the flip side of that is, well, things appear designed because they (really) are designed.”
    Richard Sternberg –
    Whale Evolution vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg and Paul Nelson – (excerpted from Living Waters documentary by Illustra Media)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0csd3M4bc0Q

    Thus in conclusion, either the design we see in life is really real or else everything that we hold as being real in reality is an illusion.

    Verses:

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

    2 Peter 1:16
    For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

  12. 12
    Origenes says:

    Bornagain77: … don’t blame Hans Halvorson. After all everything ‘he’, (whatever ‘he’ means in evolution), is seeing with his evolved eyes is merely an illusion in the first place. So it is no wonder that ‘he’ calls the design ‘he’ sees in nature untrustworthy and potentially illusory. Given evolutionary premises, ‘he’ simply can’t trust anything ‘he’ sees.

    Given materialism, how does one ground ‘observation’? If there is no person who observes, then such an attempt falls at the first hurdle. Moreover, if there is no aboutness, then there can be no internalized picture about the external world.

    … how one chunk of stuff—the Paris neurons—can be about another chunk of stuff—Paris. …
    What we need is a clump of matter, in this case the Paris neurons, that by the very arrangement of its synapses points at, indicates, singles out, picks out, identifies (and here we just start piling up more and more synonyms for “being about”) another clump of matter outside the brain. But there is no such physical stuff.
    Physics has ruled out the existence of clumps of matter of the required sort. There are just fermions and bosons and combinations of them. None of that stuff is just, all by itself, about any other stuff. There is nothing in the whole universe—including, of course, all the neurons in your brain—that just by its nature or composition can do this job of being about some other clump of matter.

    [Rosenberg, ‘The Atheist’s Guide To Reality’, Ch.8]

  13. 13
    Dionisio says:

    Origenes @12:

    Given materialism, how does one ground ‘observation’? If there is no person who observes, then such an attempt falls at the first hurdle. Moreover, if there is no aboutness, then there can be no internalized picture about the external world.

    Professors Roger Penrose and David Chalmers may have the answer to your question: The hard problem of consciousness. You may want to ask them and then share their answer with everybody else here. 🙂
    Here’s a hint:

    One spring morning in Tucson, Arizona, in 1994, an unknown philosopher named David Chalmers got up to give a talk on consciousness, by which he meant the feeling of being inside your head, looking out – or, to use the kind of language that might give a neuroscientist an aneurysm, of having a soul. Though he didn’t realise it at the time, the young Australian academic was about to ignite a war between philosophers and scientists, by drawing attention to a central mystery of human life – perhaps the central mystery of human life – and revealing how embarrassingly far they were from solving it.
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jan/21/-sp-why-cant-worlds-greatest-minds-solve-mystery-consciousness

    Are they between a rock and a hard place? 🙂

  14. 14
    Dionisio says:

    vjtorley @4

    But if God has a second objective – namely, to reveal His existence to the sapient beings who come into existence in the cosmos He creates – then making a finely tuned cosmos would be a very smart way for Him to leave a calling card.

    Interesting metaphor.

  15. 15
    Origenes says:

    Dionisio, to be frank, I find Chalmer’s writings utterly uninteresting. He seems to hold that, from a naturalistic point of view, there are easy and hard problems wrt consciousness. So what?
    In short, I’m unimpressed — the more important point is that his beloved naturalism doesn’t make sense at all ; e.g. see #11.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Dr. Cornelius Hunter, one of my favorite critics of Darwinian evolution, now has a channel on Youtube:

    Dr. Cornelius Hunter – The Science Contradicts The Theory – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTIlHEn9hXs
    Here is his a blog:
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/

  17. 17
    Dionisio says:

    Origenes @15:

    Did you notice these two sentences in my comment @13? They were hints:

    You may want to ask them and then share their answer with everybody else here. 🙂

    Are they between a rock and a hard place? 🙂

    They represent how far the highly educated academic thinkers of this world can reach when trying to understand the ultimate reality in their materialistic terms.

    But Chalmers kept a whole Ted Talk auditorium literally hypnotized with his worldly description of the mystery in eastern philosophical terms.

    No questions asked.

    Welcome to this world! Spiritually lost and blind.

    It’s sad. Pathetically depressing, isn’t it?

  18. 18
    mw says:

    Fine tuning no more indicates fine tuning over 13.8 billion years or six days. It just indicates fine tuning, the rest you have to believe without fine tuning a commandment to suit the Big Bang Theory.

    In Judaeo-Christian terms, the Holy Trinity through Yahweh the Father made a major public announcement at Sinai. In Genesis, the Holy Spirit fine tuned what plain speech, no-nonsense, no riddle “day” means in that context (Num 123-9); a day being bounded by “evening and morning.”

    Equally important, sacrificed each morning and evening an unblemished lamb (Exod 19:30). Comparatively, if six days does not mean six days, Yahweh has blemished the Ten Commandments and his divine laws.

    In addition, sacrificed were two unblemished lambs on the sabbath morning and evening (Num 28:9). God was fine tuning us to believe exactly his word, joining six-day creation to Christ/Himself/God as worthy to be sacrificed for: the truth.

    If God publicly stands in his divine court at Sinai, testifying he created in six days, sealed in stone, you do not expect him later to come back with further evidence to undermine his first witness statement, and not even attached to a divine law!

    Still, on secondary circumstantial evidence, Hugh Ross teaches the Almighty needed 13.8 billion years to fine tune the universe. Against any plain reading of scripture, the Big Bang Theory is not gas tight. For some dissent against the view of fellow Christian Hugh Ross see http://creation.com/search?q=hugh+ross

  19. 19

    BA77 @ 16: Love the video. Thank you.

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    A few more notes on the eye that Hans Halvorson and other Daewinists hold to be a happenstance product of evolution:

    How the origin of the human eye is best explained through intelligent design – 2017
    Excerpt: The human eye consists of over two million working parts making it second only to the brain in complexity.,,,
    ,,, Every time we change where we’re looking, our eye (and retina) is changing everything else to compensate: focus & light intensity are constantly adjusting to ensure that our eyesight is as good it can be. Man has made his own cameras… it took intelligent people to design and build them. The human eye is better than the best human made camera. How is the emergence of eyes best explained, evolution, or design ?!
    http://reasonandscience.heaven.....ent-design

    Neurons in the human eye are organized for error correction – Nov. 2016
    Cells that send visual signals to the brain act collectively to suppress noise and improve accuracy
    – per science daily

    The Vision Cascade is Initiated Not by Isomerization but by Force Field Dynamics – July 2011
    Excerpt: ‘In addition to designing the opsin protein, evolution must now design the electric field surrounding the chromophore, and how it responds to photon interaction. And while it is busy with that task, it must also specify the correct amino acids at the correct locations within the opsin, that will be influenced by the chromophore’s dynamic electric field.’
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....ot-by.html

    Reversal of cortical information flow during visual imagery as compared to visual perception – 2014
    • We studied bottom-up and top-down connections during visual perception and imagery.
    • A cortical occipito-parieto-frontal network was modeled from high-density EEG data.
    • Our approach used both state-space Granger causality and dynamic causal modeling.
    • Parieto-occipital directed connectivity reversed during imagery versus perception.
    • This is the first quantitative demonstration of theorized connectivity reversal.
    The role of bottom-up and top-down connections during visual perception and the formation of mental images was examined by analyzing high-density EEG recordings of brain activity using two state-of-the-art methods for assessing the directionality of cortical signal flow: state-space Granger causality and dynamic causal modeling.
    We quantified the directionality of signal flow in an occipito-parieto-frontal cortical network during perception of movie clips versus mental replay of the movies and free visual imagery.
    Both Granger causality and dynamic causal modeling analyses revealed an increased top-down signal flow in parieto-occipital cortices during mental imagery as compared to visual perception.
    These results are the first direct demonstration of a reversal of the predominant direction of cortical signal flow during mental imagery as compared to perception.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/s.....1914004662

    Eye Cells as Light Pipes – article accompanied by video and graph – 2010
    Simulations suggest that a set of cells in the eye can act like optical fibers to guide light through obscuring layers to the cells that detect light.
    http://physics.aps.org/story/v25/st15

    Retinal Glial Cells Enhance Human Vision Acuity A. M. Labin and E. N. Ribak
    Physical Review Letters, 104, 158102 (April 2010)
    Excerpt: The retina is revealed as an optimal structure designed for improving the sharpness of images.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20482021

    Guiding Light
    Retinal glial cells acting as optical fibers shuttle longer wavelengths of light to individual cones.
    By Jyoti Madhusoodanan | October 1, 2014
    Excerpt: They found that Müller cells struck with white light concentrated wavelengths in the green-red spectrum—a range overlapping greatly with the absorbance spectra of two types of cone cells, and, to a lesser degree, with a third cone type—while blue-violet light leaked out, diffusing through the retina to activate rods.
    The Müller cells’ maximal light concentration occurred in the green-yellow part of the light spectrum at a wavelength of 560 nm, which happens to be the wavelength one cone cell type is most sensitive to. “The next question was, if they’re guiding mainly green light, where are they directing it?” asks Labin.
    Zooming in on guinea pig retinas under a confocal microscope, the researchers found that each Müller cell was coupled to an individual cone photoreceptor, and that nearly 90 percent of all cone cells were linked to Müller cells. The optical-fiber effect could increase the number of photons reaching a single cone cell nearly 11-fold at its peak concentrating power, but had only a minimal effect on the light reaching rod cells.
    “How optimal light guidance is matched to the absorption spectra of the cone photoreceptors is very surprising,
    http://www.the-scientist.com/?.....ing-Light/

    William Bialek: More Perfect Than We Imagined – March 23, 2013
    Excerpt: photoreceptor cells that carpet the retinal tissue of the eye and respond to light, are not just good or great or phabulous at their job. They are not merely exceptionally impressive by the standards of biology, with whatever slop and wiggle room the animate category implies. Photoreceptors operate at the outermost boundary allowed by the laws of physics, which means they are as good as they can be, period. Each one is designed to detect and respond to single photons of light — the smallest possible packages in which light comes wrapped.
    “Light is quantized, and you can’t count half a photon,” said William Bialek, a professor of physics and integrative genomics at Princeton University. “This is as far as it goes.” …
    Scientists have identified and mathematically anatomized an array of cases where optimization has left its fastidious mark, among them;,, the precision response in a fruit fly embryo to contouring molecules that help distinguish tail from head;,,, In each instance, biophysicists have calculated, the system couldn’t get faster, more sensitive or more efficient without first relocating to an alternate universe with alternate physical constants.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....an-we.html

    The brain performs visual search near optimally
    Excerpt: “Visual search is an important task for the brain. Surprisingly, even in a complex task like detecting an object in a scene with distracters, we find that people’s performance is near optimal. That means that the brain manages to do the best possible job given the available information,” said Dr. Wei Ji Ma
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....mally.html

    There is a biological computer in the retina which processes and compresses the information from those millions of light sensitive cells before sending it to the visual cortex where the complex stream of information is then decompressed. While today’s digital hardware is extremely impressive, it is clear that the human retina’s real-time performance goes unchallenged.

    Optimized hardware compression, The eyes have it. – February 2011
    Excerpt: the human visual processing system is “the best compression algorithm around”.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....s-have-it/

    Gullible, thy name is Darwinist

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