Cosmology Intelligent Design

Well, if the universe is actually a fractal, how can we not live in a designed universe?

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The obvious deduction no one wants to deduce:

People have been working to measure the fractal dimension of the Universe for more than three decades now, attempting to decipher whether it can be well described by one simple fractal parameter or whether multiple ones are required. The nearby Universe is not a good place to measure this, as dark energy has already reared its head for the past 6 billion years.

But if we look at objects that are at a redshift of ~2 or greater, we’re looking back in time to an era where dark energy was insignificant: the perfect laboratory for studying just what type of self-similar properties the Universe had. With a new generation of ground-based and space-based observatories coming online over the next few years, we’ll finally get the comparison between theory and observation that we’ve always wanted. The Universe isn’t a true fractal, but even in the realms where it’s only approximately a fractal, there are still some compelling cosmic lessons just waiting to be learned.

Ethan Siegel, “Is the universe actually a fractal?” at Big Think (December 28, 2021)

22 Replies to “Well, if the universe is actually a fractal, how can we not live in a designed universe?

  1. 1
    Viola Lee says:

    Because fractals occur naturally such as the common example of a coastline.

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    Why bother? What in the fuck will be learn or gain by improving the decimal points of yet another idiotic meaningless number? Jesus.

  3. 3
    AndyClue says:

    @Viola Lee

    Because fractals occur naturally such as the common example of a coastline.

    And if nature is designed, then the coastlines are designed.

  4. 4
    JVL says:

    Polistra: Why bother? What in the fuck will be learn or gain by improving the decimal points of yet another idiotic meaningless number? Jesus.

    What if the universe has fractal dimension?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal_dimension

    A fractal dimension is an index for characterizing fractal patterns or sets by quantifying their complexity as a ratio of the change in detail to the change in scale.[5]:?1? Several types of fractal dimension can be measured theoretically and empirically (see Fig. 2).[3][9] Fractal dimensions are used to characterize a broad spectrum of objects ranging from the abstract[1][3] to practical phenomena, including turbulence,[5]:?97–104? river networks,:?246–247? urban growth,[10][11] human physiology,[12][13] medicine,[9] and market trends.[14] The essential idea of fractional or fractal dimensions has a long history in mathematics that can be traced back to the 1600s,[5]:?19?[15] but the terms fractal and fractal dimension were coined by mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot in 1975.

    Of related interest:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractional_calculus

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    As the preceding comments make clear, atheists here on UD want to believe that it is no big deal that ‘immaterial’ mathematics should even be applicable to the universe in the first place.

    Yet this complacency on their part is for them to willfully, even criminally, ignore the fact that the applicability of mathematics to the universe is to be considered, by all rights, a ‘miracle’.

    Eugene Wigner, (a giant in Quantum Mechanics), after rightly questioning the ability of natural selection to produce our ‘reasoning power’, stated that “It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here,” and, “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.”

    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

    Likewise, Albert Einstein himself held the ‘comprehensibility of the world’ to be a ‘miracle’. Einstein even went so far as to chastise ‘professional atheists’ in the process of calling it a miracle!

    On the Rational Order of the World: a Letter to Maurice Solovine – Albert Einstein – March 30, 1952
    Excerpt: “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.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”
    -Albert Einstein
    http://inters.org/Einstein-Letter-Solovine

    Perhaps the atheists here on UD, (who personally want to believe that it is no big deal that ‘immaterial’ mathematics should be applicable to the universe in the first place), will not mind too much if I take Eugene Wigner’s and Einstein’s word over their’s that the applicability of mathematics to the universe is to be considered, by all rights, a ‘miracle’ instead of no big deal? 🙂

    Supplemental notes:

    Keep It Simple – Ed Feser – April 2020
    Excerpt: Mathematics appears to describe a realm of entities with quasi-­divine attributes. The series of natural numbers is infinite. That one and one equal two and two and two equal four could not have been otherwise. Such mathematical truths never begin being true or cease being true; they hold eternally and immutably. The lines, planes, and figures studied by the geometer have a kind of perfection that the objects of our ­experience lack. Mathematical objects seem immaterial and known by pure reason rather than through the senses. Given the centrality of mathematics to scientific explanation, it seems in some way to be a cause of the natural world and its order.
    How can the mathematical realm be so apparently godlike? The traditional answer, originating in Neoplatonic philosophy and Augustinian theology, is that our knowledge of the mathematical realm is precisely knowledge, albeit inchoate, of the divine mind. Mathematical truths exhibit infinity, necessity, eternity, immutability, perfection, and immateriality because they are God’s thoughts, and they have such explanatory power in scientific theorizing because they are part of the blueprint implemented by God in creating the world. For some thinkers in this tradition, mathematics thus provides the starting point for an argument for the existence of God qua supreme intellect.
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2020/04/keep-it-simple

    What can science teach us about the mind of the maker of the universe? In particular, what can we learn from the remarkable correspondence between mathematics and the natural world?
    – Melissa Cain Travis on Science and the Mind of the Maker (Dallas Science & Faith Conference 2021)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k6IZh7LSMA

    God and Mathematics – Dr Craig – short animated video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJBOiZXkKu8

    Shoot, besides ‘immaterial’ mathematics, atheistic naturalism can’t even ground basic logic

    Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
    Excerpt: Furthermore, the very framework of Clark’s argument — logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame.
    The strength of Clark’s defense of naturalism is that it is an attempt to present naturalism’s tenets clearly and logically. That is its weakness as well, because it exposes naturalism to scrutiny, and naturalism cannot withstand even minimal scrutiny. Even to define naturalism is to refute it.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/

    Which, needless to say, pretty much undermines any and all claims from the atheists here on UD, and elsewhere, that they are even capable of making logically coherent arguments in the first place. 🙂

    Verse and Quote:

    John 1:1
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”

    What is the Logos?
    Logos is a Greek word literally translated as “word, speech, or utterance.” However, in Greek philosophy, Logos refers to divine reason or the power that puts sense into the world making order instead of chaos.,,,
    In the Gospel of John, John writes “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John appealed to his readers by saying in essence, “You’ve been thinking, talking, and writing about the Word (divine reason) for centuries and now I will tell you who He is.”
    https://www.compellingtruth.org/what-is-the-Logos.html

  6. 6
    JVL says:

    Bornagain77: As the preceding comments make clear, atheists here on UD want to believe that it is no big deal that ‘immaterial’ mathematics should even be applicable to the universe in the first place.

    How is wondering if the universe has fractal dimension a comment on the applicability of mathematics?

    Yet this complacency on their part is for them to willfully, even criminally, ignore the fact that the applicability of mathematics to the universe is to be considered, by all rights, a ‘miracle’.

    Yes but there are other opinions.

    I’ve been mulling over how to respond to you on another thread, not wanting to just give a knee jerk reaction. I figured you deserved a more thoughtful, considered response. But I’m wondering why I should bother responding to you at all.

    It’s really clear you don’t actually understand mathematics beyond arithmetic and algebra. Maybe you took a calc class once but I’m quite sure you never took number theory, set theory, graph theory, multi-variable calc, diff eq, linear algebra, abstract algebra, proper stats, complex variables, control theory, ant those are just some undergraduate classes. Which means you sling around quotes about something you don’t actually understand yourself. Which means you only trawl for quotes that uphold your theological views and ignore those that are contrary. You think you are presenting a clear, objective view but if you had actually studied mathematics you would realise that you’re not doing that. Maybe you do know that in which case you’re not a fool but a knave. Maybe you’re a bit of both.

    I also am realising that you are not in any way interested in a dialogue or an honest exchange of views. Saying that those who disagree with you are borderline criminal is just ludicrous and highly insulting.

    I’m not here just to attack and demean those who disagree with me; part of me wants to reply to you in kind basing my responses purely on my metaphysical (or lack thereof) view. But I think I will just ignore you in the future.

    There is absolutely no point in answering your queries or trying to explain my thoughts. You are convinced you are right and those you disagree with you are wrong. You don’t share views or have a congenial debate. You just attack and belittle and demean everyone you think is your enemy. What happened to love your neighbour as yourself?

    I’d appreciate it if you ceased following me around from thread to thread being rude and snarky. I know what you think and I’m not going to feed your anger anymore.

  7. 7
    Joe Schooner says:

    I also am realising that you are not in any way interested in a dialogue or an honest exchange of views.

    It took you long enough to realize this. 🙂

  8. 8
    Viola Lee says:

    Re 3: Slartibartfast

  9. 9
    doubter says:

    JVL@6

    Kind of empty ridicule without any backup or substantiation. We of course are supposed to dutifully assume that your claimed exotic expertise in much more advanced math than us ordinary stiffs understand invalidates the conclusions of the great figures in science quoted by BA77, such as Albert Einstein and Eugene Wigner. Why were they so abysmally wrong? After all, they only created relativity and much of quantum mechanics. It would be interesting to learn in at least a little detail how you respond specifically to their thoughts and conclusions regarding the surprising mathematical grounding of the Universe. Supposedly you know so much more advanced math than they ever did, and can easily debunk their unfounded “woo” opinions.

    We are waiting, and I guess will do so indefinitely based on your having essentially and conveniently signed off on the discussion without furnishing any backup for your views.

  10. 10
    Viola Lee says:

    I think the main point here is that BA’s post starting with “Atheists here on UD want to believe that it is no big deal that ‘immaterial’ mathematics should even be applicable to the universe in the first place” was not relevant to the OP or JVL’s (or my) remark. We could all agree that it is a miracle, pointing to design, that mathematics describes the world, and still be interested in, and want to study, to what extent fractal properties appear in the structure of the universe, as they do in numerous other fields.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    “We could all agree that it is a miracle, pointing to design,,,,”

    Huh??? Atheists believe in miracles???

    Miracle
    1. : an unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/miracle

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Doubter at 9, that was an extremely well stated reply to JVL. I read it twice and it became better with the second reading. 🙂

  13. 13
    Viola Lee says:

    My point is that atheism or theism is not relevant here. What I could have said was this:

    “Irrespective of our philosophical ideas about the ways and reasons that mathematics describes the world, we can all be interested in, and want to study, to what extent fractal properties appear in the structure of the universe, as they do in numerous other fields.”

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    VL 10: “We could all agree that it is a miracle, pointing to design,,,,”
    VL 13: “My point is that atheism or theism is not relevant here.,,,”

    So we can’t just all agree that it is a miracle pointing to design??? 🙂

  15. 15
    JVL says:

    Doubter: Kind of empty ridicule without any backup or substantiation. We of course are supposed to dutifully assume that your claimed exotic expertise in much more advanced math than us ordinary stiffs understand invalidates the conclusions of the great figures in science quoted by BA77, such as Albert Einstein and Eugene Wigner. Why were they so abysmally wrong? After all, they only created relativity and much of quantum mechanics. It would be interesting to learn in at least a little detail how you respond specifically to their thoughts and conclusions regarding the surprising mathematical grounding of the Universe. Supposedly you know so much more advanced math than they ever did, and can easily debunk their unfounded “woo” opinions.

    Well, I don’t necessarily take everything that Einstein or Wigner says as being gospel truth. Do you? Even if they got something right (based on decades of other physicists examining and testing their ideas) that doesn’t mean they were right about other things.

    You seem to thing or imply that if I trust Einstein on relativity then I must trust him on everything else. But I don’t. I allow myself to take a critical look at every thing.

    I have learned how to step through the mathematics of general relativity. I have seen how it has been verified over and over and over again. Where is the ‘proof’ of the universe being designed? Show me the equations. Show me the derivations. Show me the physics. It can be done with relativity.

  16. 16
    Viola Lee says:

    Hmmm, BA. I do believe that you are not making an effort to, or are incapable of, understanding what I am saying, so I’ll write it off as a fruitless discussion.

  17. 17
    hoosfoos says:

    I wonder if anyone else sees the humor in atheists/materialists complaints that their words aren’t taking seriously? Writing as if their words are meaningful, yet espousing a worldview that assumes life has no meaning is not a good starting point for a conversation. It seems to me that noisy atheists simply provide a template for commenters to guide onlookers who would like to understand the apparent meaning in the universe.

  18. 18
    Viola Lee says:

    Hi Hoosfoos. I am not a materialist. This knee-jerk ideological dichotomy does a lot to preclude meaningful discussion here.

  19. 19
    Joe Schooner says:

    Hi Hoosfoos. I am not a materialist. This knee-jerk ideological dichotomy does a lot to preclude meaningful discussion here.

    It appears that anyone who disagrees with anything SB, KF, BA77, LCD (and a couple others) have to say about mathematics, politics, morality, religious interpretations or numerous other subjects, is labeled an atheist/materialist:evolutionist, and their arguments dismissed. Although the inanity of this approach can be entertaining, it does not lead to any constructive discussion.

  20. 20
    Viola Lee says:

    The most egregious part is the ideological meme that people who are not theists have absolutely no access to meaning or understanding. It’s sad, in my opinion, and continually enlightens me as to how dichotomously divisive some people’s world view is, rather than recognizing our common humanity and making room for the different views we all have, especially about the big mysteries of existence that have perennially puzzled mankind.

  21. 21
    doubter says:

    JVL@15

    I have learned how to step through the mathematics of general relativity. I have seen how it has been verified over and over and over again. Where is the ‘proof’ of the universe being designed? Show me the equations. Show me the derivations. Show me the physics. It can be done with relativity.

    Much research has established that there was an absolute beginning to the Universe in the Big Bang approximately 13.8 billion years ago, and much research has established that the laws of nature are exceedingly fine tuned to produce a Universe that can nurture life and an environment that can in at least one instance nurture human beings. The exact mathematical structure and setting of these laws’ various constants determined if our universe even contained any protons, atoms, molecules, or any life, period.

    Since what came before the Big Bang is fundamentally undefinable through science, in fact where “before the Big Bang” is probably a nonsense phrase since this point in spacetime defines when both came into existence in a singularity, insisting on a mathematical derivation of the creation of spacetime event from some mathematical theory such as General Relativity, is extremely naive.

    Why? By definition, before there was material reality as we know it through physics, there was either absolutely nothing, or there was something not definable through current physics since a singularity is undefinable. In either case there is no descriptive mathematical theory covering it, and therefore no possible way of mathematically deriving anything or proving anything (much less “intelligent origin”) from it. In fact, in the case of absolutely nothing, this can have no causal efficacy whatsoever.

    The only known or conceivable source of the massive amounts of organized, mathematically structured information that came into existence (such as that defining material existence, and the exceedingly complex organizations of matter constituting life) is some form of intelligence. The origin of all this appears to have been be an act of intelligent creation.

    This conclusion has of course been challenged by materialist atheists who see their house of cards collapsing, but only through convoluted and excessively complicated strategems such as the multiverse, which massively violates the good old principle of parsimony, and is totally unscientific since these postulated other universes are totally unobservable. But even before these reasons for rejection, the multiverse strategem is invalid as an argument against design because the concept only kicks the can down the road so to speak – the concept necessarily presupposes some sort of meta-cosmos that must necessarily still have some sort of governing principles and laws and overall complex structure that fostered the formation of the infinitude of multiverses. To borrow a phrase, there’s just no free lunch.

  22. 22
    Viola Lee says:

    Very well-written and refreshing post, Doubter. I agree with a lot, but not of all, of what you wrote, but I appreciate how well you have articulated the big issues.

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