Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Sometimes physicists really have to work at ignoring fine-tuning


Now this is working really hard:

To understand what’s fishy about the observable Higgs mass being so low, first you must know that it is actually the sum of two inputs: the bare Higgs mass (which we don’t know) plus contributions from all the other Standard Model particles, contributions collectively known as “quantum corrections.”

The second number in the equation is an enormous negative, coming in around minus 1018 GeV. Compared to that, the result of the equation, 125 GeV, is extremely small, close to zero. That means the first number, the bare Higgs mass, must be almost the opposite, to so nearly cancel it out. To some physicists, this is an unacceptably strange coincidence.

Or it could be that it’s not the bare Higgs mass doing the heavy lifting here; it could be that there are additional contributions to the quantum corrections that physicists don’t know about.

Either way, many particle physicists aren’t comfortable with this situation. There’s no known underlying reason for these almost exact cancellations, and insisting that “it is the way it is” is unsatisfying.

Madeleine O’Keefe, “Fine-tuning versus naturalness” at Symmetry

In general, we are informed, physicists want nothing in their theories that seems “contrived.” One physicist quoted puts her faith in supersymmetry and others dream of a final theory in which fine-tuning disappears.

Prediction: It’ll get worse. The no-fine-tuning theories will get crazier. The war on math, will intervene to create a welcome distraction.

See also: What becomes of science when the evidence does not matter?

From the article:
After all, coincidences happen.
Right. For the guy who gets a straight flush 5 times in a row. The dealer just says "coincidences happen"? Some of these scientists don't see anything to wonder about with coincidences of fine tuning. And there's another problem with nihilism. It destroys the sense of wonder and appreciation we should have when we observe nature. Silver Asiatic
Truthfreedom, You raised a very good point. I believe that God provides the solution for the “death” problem. Natural science can’t resolve it. PaoloV
BA77, I like your comment, specially quoting the founders of modern science to contrast it with the seemingly confused attitude displayed by some current scientists. PaoloV
BA 77
Exactly why would they be ‘bothered’ by that particular prospect? I’m not bothered, irritated, or annoyed, by that prospect at all. In fact, it seems very ‘natural’ to me that knowing that the universe, and even our very own lives, may very well have a much higher purpose should be a source of great joy and wonder for us!
These people are curious. They say life is "purposeless" because we are all going to die. Which implies life is valuable, because if it not were true, why should they feel saddened knowing it is going to end? A "purposeless" universe gave rise to the concept of "purpose". According to them, it "just-happened". Theirs is intellectual laziness. Truthfreedom
as to this comment from the article:
“In general, what we want from our theories—and in some way, our universe—is that nothing seems too contrived,”
con·trived adjective deliberately created rather than arising naturally or spontaneously.
So it bothers them that the universe seems to be 'deliberately created'? That is a very interesting thing for them to be 'bothered' by. Exactly why would they be 'bothered' by that particular prospect? I'm not bothered, irritated, or annoyed, by that prospect at all. In fact, it seems very 'natural' to me that knowing that the universe, and even our very own lives, may very well have a much higher purpose should be a source of great joy and wonder for us! If anything is to be considered 'unnatural' in all this, it is people being irritated, annoyed, and/or 'bothered' by the prospect that this universe, and even their very own lives, may have a higher purpose, and, on the other hand, supposedly being 'comforted' by the prospect that the universe, and therefore their very own lives, have no real purpose or meaning whatsoever. For crying out loud, why in blue blazes would a person, as a starting presupposition in science, prefer a purposeless existence that is devoid of any true hope for his life, over a purposeful existence that is potentially full of hope for his very own life? Is nihilistic death really to be preferred over eternal life as a starting presupposition in science in how we are supposedly allowed evaluate our scientific theories? That's completely absurd!
ni·hil·ism noun ,,, the belief that life is meaningless. ni·hil·ism Definition of nihilism 1a: a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless
The Christian founders of modern science would have strongly protested such unwarranted nihilistic presuppositions for how we now are apparently 'suppose' to evaluate our current scientific theories!
“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of His dominion He is wont to be called Lord God.” (Newton 1687,Principia) “When I reflect on so many profoundly marvellous things that persons have grasped, sought, and done, I recognize even more clearly that human intelligence is a work of God, and one of the most excellent.” (Galileo, as cited in Caputo 2000, 85). “To know the mighty works of God, to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power, to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful working of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance cannot be more gratifying than knowledge.” (Copernicus, as cited in Neff 1952, 191-192; and in Hubbard 1905, v) “Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature, it befits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our minds, but rather, above all else, of the glory of God.” (Kepler, as cited in Morris 1982, 11; see also Graves 1996, 51). “It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion. For while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them, confederate and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity.” (Bacon 1875, 64). “And thus I very clearly see that the certitude and truth of all science depends on the knowledge alone of the true God, insomuch that, before I knew him, I could have no perfect knowledge of any other thing. And now that I know him, I possess the means of acquiring a perfect knowledge respecting innumerable matters, as well relative to God himself and other intellectual objects as to corporeal nature.” (Descartes 1901, Meditation V). “The book of nature which we have to read is written by the finger of God.” (Faraday, as cited in Seeger 1983, 101). “I think men of science as well as other men need to learn from Christ, and I think Christians whose minds are scientific are bound to study science that their view of the glory of God may be as extensive as their being is capable of.” (Maxwell, as cited in Campbell and Garnett 1882, 404-405) - James_Clerk_Maxwell “Overpoweringly strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie all around us; and if ever perplexities, whether metaphysical or scientific, turn us away from them for a time, they come back upon us with irresistible force, showing to us through Nature the influence of a free will, and teaching us that all living things depend on one ever-acting Creator and Ruler.” (Kelvin 1871; see also Seeger 1985a, 100-101) “When with bold telescopes I survey the old and newly discovered stars and planets, when with excellent microscopes I discern the unimitable subtility of nature’s curious workmanship; and when, in a word, by the help of anatomical knives, and the light of chemical furnaces, I study the book of nature, I find myself often times reduced to exclaim with the Psalmist, ‘How manifold are Thy works, O Lord! In wisdom hast Thou made them all!’ ” (Boyle, as cited in Woodall 1997, 32) “The examination of the bodies of animals has always been my delight, and I have thought that we might thence not only obtain an insight into the lighter mysteries of nature, but there perceive a kind of image or reflection of the omnipotent Creator Himself.” (Harvey, as cited in Keynes 1966, 330) “There is for a free man no occupation more worth and delightful than to contemplate the beauteous works of nature and honor the infinite wisdom and goodness of God.” (Ray, as cited in Graves 1996, 66; see also Yahya 2002) “The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. Science brings men nearer to God.” (Pasteur, as cited in Lamont 1995; see also Tiner 1990, 75) http://www.academia.edu/2739607/Scientific_GOD_Journal
Indeed, I am quite sure that the Christian founders of modern science would have preferred hope and life over nihilism and death as a starting presupposition in science! In fact, as the quotes illustrate, it appears that hope and life was very much a integral part of their starting presuppositions in science. bornagain77

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