Fine-timing Solar system habitability

At Evolution News: Intelligent Design and Planetary Timing

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David Coppedge writes:

Yesterday I considered the matter of timing as evidence of design. Michael Denton’s book The Miracle of Man pulls together an astounding collection of requirements for complex life that are fulfilled ideally on Earth. Some of these, like plate tectonics, have a timing component; one paper calculates the onset of plate tectonics at 700 million years ago out of the planet’s consensus lifetime of 4.5 billion years. Another temporal factor is a magnetic field, which according to measurements over 160 years, is decreasing in strength. Even if its polarity reverses from time to time and is generated by an internal dynamo as most geophysicists believe, the second law of thermodynamics guarantees that it must lose energy to heat and eventually weaken. Indeed, some of the other moons and planets (like Mars) appear to have lost their magnetic fields. Without the protection of a magnetic field, our atmosphere and life itself would be severely threatened.

Photo: Geysers on Enceladus, via NASA.

All in the Timing

Some of the “coincidences” discussed by Denton, like the nature of water, rely on laws of nature and do not have temporal dimensions, but others might. Earth’s atmospheric density and composition, ozone layer, hydrologic cycle, and availability of key minerals at the surface are satisfactory now, but when did they first become optimal? How long can they persist? When was the Earth ready to open shop, and how long can life on Earth take these perfections for granted?

Dynamical perturbations to Earth’s orbit could also affect habitability. Some scientists calculate cyclical changes in eccentricity, obliquity, and precession that could have affected past climate (NASA). A sufficiently extreme perturbation could render Earth inhospitable, as apparently has affected some exoplanets observed to have wildly eccentric orbits, likely due to a gravitational disturbance from a nearby gas giant. Astrophysicists also tell us that many stars go through periods of extreme flare activity, which could destroy Earth’s atmosphere and life. And eventually, they say, our star will balloon outward as a red giant and burn up the Earth. They assure us that we have several billions of years before that happens, but it does point out that our “continuously habitable zone” is a temporary blessing.

Our Solar System

A bizarre twist on the moon’s origin appeared this month from NASA. According to computer simulations at the Ames Research Center, researchers posit that the moon could have formed by a collision in a matter of hours! The collision theory has been the leading contender for the moon’s origin for years, but to consider the moon forming that fast should raise eyebrows. They say the lucky collision occurred billions of years ago. It already seemed like special pleading to expect a lucky strike from just the right sized impactor, with just the right composition, coming in at just the right angle and velocity to create our unique moon. But to have it occur on one lucky day exactly long enough before human beings appeared on the Earth observing perfect solar eclipses — now there’s a screenplay that’s hard to swallow.

I remember in 2008 asking a well-known planetary scientist about his attempt to extend the lifetime of Saturn’s rings. He admitted to me that his motivation was philosophical. If the rings were as young as some other scientists were deducing from Cassini data, it would imply that humans live at a special time when the beautiful rings are visible. That conclusion made him feel uncomfortable and motivated his attempt to extend the lifetime of the rings by proposing that they were denser than believed at the time. Unfortunately, later measurements in 2016 disconfirmed his proposal (JPL). But even if his proposal had been confirmed, Cassini witnessed ephemeral rings such as the E-ring (formed by Enceladus) and the F and G rings, as well as other short-lived phenomena like ring rainpropellers, and shepherd moon perturbations that could not persist for billions of years. These temporary phenomena have given planetary scientists a wealth of opportunities to learn about the dynamics and composition of ring particles. 

The Case of Enceladus

Enceladus is an especially fascinating case. Nearly 100 geysers of water ice are currently jetting out of its south pole at supersonic speed, creating the vast E-ring between Mimas and Titan. The particles are subjected to enormous forces from Saturn and its magnetic field. If the geysers stopped, the E-ring would dissipate within a few tens of years. So why do they exist now when scientists can watch the dynamic changes in the geysers and the E-ring? Enceladus is not alone in this regard. Jupiter has thin “gossamer” rings composed of smoke-size particles. Both Uranus and Neptune also have sparse rings. Planetary rings are temporary phenomena that humans are privileged to observe and learn from at a time they can use telescopes and launch spacecraft to observe them. While the temporal brevity of these phenomena does not in itself prove design, it adds to the number of solar system coincidences that seem to be fortuitously timed for scientific discovery.

Evolution News

32 Replies to “At Evolution News: Intelligent Design and Planetary Timing

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Isn’t this just an extended version of Douglas Addams’s “puddle” metaphor?

    Yes, we just happen to be around to witness the astronomical phenomena described above, which is great.

    We weren’t around, however, to witness the giant impacts such as the The Chicxulub Event 65 million years ago, which is probably just as well as we wouldn’t be around to talk about it today. Living in a solar-system-sized shooting gallery doesn’t seem to be good evidence of something designed for the benefit of humanity.

  2. 2
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 1,

    I think I’ll put a download of your comments in for the 2022 Repetitive Comments Award.

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    Do I get a plaque as well?

  4. 4
    Blastus says:

    Severely writes @1:

    “Living in a solar-system-sized shooting gallery doesn’t seem to be good evidence of something designed for the benefit of humanity.”

    But living in the shooting gallery for millennia (don’t forget the constant bombardment of radiation – Mars no longer has a magnetic barrier) and surviving to write about this verdant planet might itself be seen as substantial evidence of design.

  5. 5
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 3,

    Well, I think competition will be tight. You and Chuckdarwin. But the winners will appear in the November issue of the Journal for the Study of Repetitive Comments.

  6. 6
    chuckdarwin says:

    I always liked Lawrence Krauss’ comments regarding “fine tuning.” I’m paraphrasing, but he said that it’s no coincidence that our legs were designed just exactly long enough to reach the ground ……. 😉

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    Chuckdarwin @ 6
    LOL Nice one!

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    CD & Sev, utterly unserious and strawmannish, and you know it. But then, all of this attempt at clever but actually only strawman tactic dismissiveness boils down to a backhanded admission you have no cogent answer on the merits. KF

    O]PS, John Leslie put his finger on the matters:

    “One striking thing about the fine tuning is that a force strength or a particle mass often appears to require accurate tuning for several reasons at once. Look at electromagnetism. Electromagnetism seems to require tuning for there to be any clear-cut distinction between matter and radiation; for stars to burn neither too fast nor too slowly for life’s requirements; for protons to be stable; for complex chemistry to be possible; for chemical changes not to be extremely sluggish; and for carbon synthesis inside stars (carbon being quite probably crucial to life). Universes all obeying the same fundamental laws could still differ in the strengths of their physical forces, as was explained earlier, and random variations in electromagnetism from universe to universe might then ensure that it took on any particular strength sooner or later. Yet how could they possibly account for the fact that the same one strength satisfied many potentially conflicting requirements, each of them a requirement for impressively accurate tuning?” [Our Place in the Cosmos, The Royal Institute of Philosophy, 1998 (courtesy Wayback Machine) Emphases added.]

    AND:

    “. . . the need for such explanations does not depend on any estimate of how many universes would be observer-permitting, out of the entire field of possible universes. Claiming that our universe is ‘fine tuned for observers’, we base our claim on how life’s evolution would apparently have been rendered utterly impossible by comparatively minor alterations in physical force strengths, elementary particle masses and so forth. There is no need for us to ask whether very great alterations in these affairs would have rendered it fully possible once more, let alone whether physical worlds conforming to very different laws could have been observer-permitting without being in any way fine tuned. Here it can be useful to think of a fly on a wall, surrounded by an empty region. A bullet hits the fly Two explanations suggest themselves. Perhaps many bullets are hitting the wall or perhaps a marksman fired the bullet. There is no need to ask whether distant areas of the wall, or other quite different walls, are covered with flies so that more or less any bullet striking there would have hit one. The important point is that the local area contains just the one fly.” [Emphasis his.]

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, oh how amazing our legs are just long enough to reach the ground fails in two distinct ways. First, human legs vary a LOT and still work, even before we get to animal legs. Then, this is similar to oh the puddle fits the hole, an appeal to undisclosed super laws that force circumstances to be as they are so the fine tuning is not fine tuned. But oops, if there is a forcing law that sets a raft of parameters, circumstances and laws to be just so, that is serious fine tuning at the next, cosmos “bakery” building level.

  10. 10
    AaronS1978 says:

    Oh jeesy creesy captain free lunch anthropic principle strikes again. Two good things about Krauss

    1.) I no longer have to put up with him at ASU
    2.) he admitted his atheistic beliefs were effectively religious.

    Number 2 was the first time I respected him

  11. 11
    chuckdarwin says:

    You know, KF, one of my favorite Lou Reed songs is “Strawman.” Perhaps a coincidence, or perhaps just simply kismet. I suppose it’s anyone’s guess……….

  12. 12
    Sir Giles says:

    It is amusing when ID proponents jump on the [mis]use of terms such as “fine tuned” and “code” and “design” by scientists as further proof of the intelligent design of the universe and life.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    as to: “it’s no coincidence that our legs were designed just exactly long enough to reach the ground”

    So I guess, just as the ‘science’ of atheists turns out to not really be science, the humor of atheists apparently turns out to not really be humorous.

    CD’s humorless ‘humor’ is a play off of the atheist’s falsely assumed “principle of mediocrity”. i.e. “the idea that scientists should assume that nothing is special about humanity’s situation”

    Copernican principle
    Excerpt: In physical cosmology, the Copernican principle, is an alternative name of the mediocrity principle,,, stating that humans (the Earth, or the Solar system) are not privileged observers of the universe.[1]
    Named for Copernican heliocentrism, it is a working assumption that arises from a modified cosmological extension of Copernicus’s argument of a moving Earth.[2] In some sense, it is equivalent to the mediocrity principle.
    – per wikipedia

    Carl Sagan coined the term ‘principle of mediocrity’ to refer to the idea that scientists should assume that nothing is special about humanity’s situation
    https://books.google.com/books?id=rR5BCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA187#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Mediocrity principle
    Excerpt: The (Mediocrity) principle has been taken to suggest that there is nothing very unusual about the evolution of the Solar System, Earth’s history, the evolution of biological complexity, human evolution, or any one nation. It is a heuristic in the vein of the Copernican principle, and is sometimes used as a philosophical statement about the place of humanity. The idea is to assume mediocrity, rather than starting with the assumption that a phenomenon is special, privileged, exceptional, or even superior.[2][3]
    – per wikipedia

    And, via their belief in the principle of mediocrity, there has been no shortage of atheist’s denigrating mankind.

    For instance, the late Hawking referred to mankind as ‘chemical scum’.

    “The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies. We are so insignificant that I can’t believe the whole universe exists for our benefit.,,,”
    – Stephen Hawking – 1995 TV show, Reality on the Rocks: Beyond Our Ken,

    And yet it turns out that man is not nearly as insignificant in this universe as atheists have falsely presupposed with their ‘principle of mediocrity’.

    For instance, although the fine-tuning of the laws of physics to allow for life is amazing in and of itself,

    The Fine-Tuning of Nature’s Laws – Luke A. Barnes – Fall 2015
    Excerpt: However, we can calculate all the ways the universe could be disastrously ill-suited for life if the masses of these particles were different. For example, if the down quark’s mass were 2.6 x 10^-26 grams or more, then adios, periodic table! There would be just one chemical element and no chemical compounds, in stark contrast to the approximately 60 million known chemical compounds in our universe.
    With even smaller adjustments to these masses, we can make universes in which the only stable element is hydrogen-like. Once again, kiss your chemistry textbook goodbye, as we would be left with one type of atom and one chemical reaction. If the up quark weighed 2.4 x 10^-26 grams, things would be even worse — a universe of only neutrons, with no elements, no atoms, and no chemistry whatsoever.
    ,,, Compared to the range of possible masses that the particles described by the Standard Model could have, the range that avoids these kinds of complexity-obliterating disasters is extremely small. Imagine a huge chalkboard, with each point on the board representing a possible value for the up and down quark masses. If we wanted to color the parts of the board that support the chemistry that underpins life, and have our handiwork visible to the human eye, the chalkboard would have to be about ten light years (a hundred trillion kilometers) high.,,,
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....tures-laws

    ,,, although the fine-tuning of the laws of physics to allow for life is amazing in and of itself, there is an additional level of fine-tuning on top of that that is of benefit to mankind in particular.

    For instance, Robin Collins, building off the work of Gonzalez’s ‘privileged planet principle’, predicted and confirmed that the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) is such “as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers.”

    The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability – Robin Collins – March 22, 2014
    The most dramatic confirmation of the discoverability/livability optimality thesis (DLO) is the dependence of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) on the baryon to photon ratio.,,,
    …the intensity of CMB depends on the photon to baryon ratio, (??b), which is the ratio of the average number of photons per unit volume of space to the average number of baryons (protons plus neutrons) per unit volume. At present this ratio is approximately a billion to one (10^9) , but it could be anywhere from one to infinity; it traces back to the degree of asymmetry in matter and anti – matter right after the beginning of the universe – for approximately every billion particles of antimatter, there was a billion and one particles of matter.,,,
    The only livability effect this ratio has is on whether or not galaxies can form that have near – optimally livability zones. As long as this condition is met, the value of this ratio has no further effects on livability. Hence, the DLO predicts that within this range, the value of this ratio will be such as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers.
    According to my calculations – which have been verified by three other physicists — to within the margin of error of the experimentally determined parameters (~20%), the value of the photon to baryon ratio is such that it maximizes the CMB. This is shown in Figure 1 below. (pg. 13)
    It is easy to see that this prediction could have been disconfirmed. In fact, when I first made the calculations in the fall of 2011, I made a mistake and thought I had refuted this thesis since those calculations showed the intensity of the CMB maximizes at a value different than the photon – baryon ratio in our universe. So, not only does the DLO lead us to expect this ratio, but it provides an ultimate explanation for why it has this value,,, This is a case of a teleological thesis serving both a predictive and an ultimate explanatory role.,,,
    http://home.messiah.edu/~rcoll.....osting.pdf

    Moreover, we ‘just so happen’ to “Live At The Right Time In Cosmic History to see the Cosmic Background Radiation”:

    We Live At The Right Time In Cosmic History to see the Cosmic Background Radiation – Hugh Ross – video (7:12 minute mark)
    https://youtu.be/MxOGeqVOsvc?t=431

    On top of the fine-tuning of the CMBR being such “as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers”, Dr. Michael Denton has a fairly recently published a book, (May 2022), in which he found an additional level of fine-tuning that is of benefit for mankind in particular. Specifically Denton found that “nature was also strikingly prearranged, as it were, for our unique technological journey from fire making, to metallurgy, to the advanced technology of our current civilization. Long before man made the first fire, long before the first metal was smelted from its ore, nature was already prepared and fit for our technological journey from the Stone Age to the present.”

    How We Moved Beyond Darwin to the Miracle of Man – Michael Denton – May 11, 2022
    Concluding paragraph: “The more I examine the universe and study the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known that we were coming.”
    And it is not only our biological design which was mysteriously foreseen in the fabric of nature. As The Miracle of Man shows, nature was also strikingly prearranged, as it were, for our unique technological journey from fire making, to metallurgy, to the advanced technology of our current civilization. Long before man made the first fire, long before the first metal was smelted from its ore, nature was already prepared and fit for our technological journey from the Stone Age to the present.”
    https://evolutionnews.org/2022/05/how-we-moved-beyond-darwin-to-the-miracle-of-man/

    The Miracle of Man: Extraordinary “Coincidences” All the Way Down –
    – June 9, 2022
    Excerpt: On a new episode of ID the Future, Miracle of Man author and biologist Michael Denton continues his conversation with host Eric Anderson. Here Denton offers a review of several more anthropic “coincidences” in chemistry, biochemistry, and Earth sciences that are fine tuned to allow air-breathing, bipedal, technology-developing terrestrial creatures like ourselves to exist and thrive. The fine tuning, what Denton calls anthropic prior fitness, would seem to require foresight and planning on literally a cosmic scale.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2022/06/the-miracle-of-man-extraordinary-coincidences-all-the-way-down/

    On top of that, in the following video physicist Neil Turok states that we live in the middle, or at the geometric mean, between the largest scale in physics and the smallest scale in physics:

    “So we can go from 10 to the plus 25 to 10 to the minus 35. Now where are we? Well the size of a living cell is about 10 to the minus 5. Which is halfway between the two. In mathematical terms, we say it is the geometric mean. We live in the middle between the largest scale in physics,,, and the tiniest scale [in physics].”
    – Neil Turok as quoted at the 14:40 minute mark
    The Astonishing Simplicity of Everything – Neil Turok Public Lecture – video (12:00 minute mark, we live in the geometric mean, i.e. the middle, of the universe)
    https://youtu.be/f1x9lgX8GaE?t=715

    And here is a picture that gets his point across very clearly:

    The Scale: 10^-35m to 10^-5m to 10^25m – picture
    http://www.timeone.ca/wp-conte.....-scale.jpg

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, Dr. William Demski (and company), in the following graph, give a more precise figure, (than Dr. Turok’s figure), of 8.8 x 10^26 M for the observable universe’s diameter, and 1.6 x 10^-35 for the Planck length which is the smallest length possible.

    Magnifying the Universe
    https://academicinfluence.com/ie/mtu/

    Dr. Dembski’s more precise interactive graph points out that the smallest scale visible to the human eye (as well as the size of a human egg) is at 10^-4 meters, which ‘just so happens’ to be directly in the exponential center, and/or geometric mean, of all possible sizes of our physical reality. This is very interesting for the limits to human vision (as well as the size of the human egg) could have, theoretically, been at very different positions rather than directly in the exponential middle and/or the geometric mean. Needless to say, this empirical finding directly challenges, if not directly refutes, the assumption behind the Copernican Principle and/or the Principle of Mediocrity.

    On top of all that, another thing that directly challenges the atheist’s principle of mediocrity is the fact that both the universe and life are found to be ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational essence,

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

    And yet, out of millions of species on earth, only man, and man alone, uniquely has the capacity to understand and create information. In 2014, an impressive who’s who list of leading ‘Darwinian’ experts in the area of language research, authored a paper in which they specifically stated that they have “essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,”

    Leading Evolutionary Scientists Admit We Have No Evolutionary Explanation of Human Language – December 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,
    (Marc Hauser, Charles Yang, Robert Berwick, Ian Tattersall, Michael J. Ryan, Jeffrey Watumull, Noam Chomsky and Richard C. Lewontin, “The mystery of language evolution,” Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 5:401 (May 7, 2014).)
    Casey Luskin added: “It’s difficult to imagine much stronger words from a more prestigious collection of experts.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92141.html

    It is hard to imagine a more convincing scientific proof that we are ‘made in the image of God’, than finding that both the universe and life itself are ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis, and that we, of all the creatures on earth, uniquely possess an ability to understand and create information, and have come to ‘master the planet’, not via brute force as is presupposed in Darwinian thought, but precisely because of our ability to infuse immaterial information into material substrates

    “Speech is 95 percent plus of what lifts man above animal! Physically, man is a sad case. His teeth, including his incisors, which he calls eyeteeth, are baby-size and can barely penetrate the skin of a too-green apple. His claws can’t do anything but scratch him where he itches. His stringy-ligament body makes him a weakling compared to all the animals his size. Animals his size? In hand-to-paw, hand-to-claw, or hand-to-incisor combat, any animal his size would have him for lunch. Yet man owns or controls them all, every animal that exists, thanks to his superpower: speech.”
    – Tom Wolfe, in the introduction to his book, The Kingdom of Speech

    Of course, a more convincing proof that we are made in the image of God could be if God Himself became a man, walked on water, healed the sick, raised the dead, and then defeated death itself on a cross.

    And that just so happens to be precisely the proof that is claimed within Christianity.

    Minimal Facts vs. Maximal Data Approaches to the Resurrection: A Conversation with Dr. Lydia McGrew
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUt3r3dXBr4

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-TL4QOCiis

    Of course there is a lot more scientific evidence that could be referenced that overturns the Copernican Principle, and/or the principle of mediocrity, but suffice it for now to say the the atheist’s falsely assumed principle of mediocrity has been directly challenged, if not directly falsified, by recent advances in empirical science. i.e. We are not nearly as insignificant as Hawking had falsely presupposed with his ‘the human race is just a chemical scum’ quote.

    Isaiah 45:18-19
    For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘seek me in vain’; I, the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”

  15. 15
    AaronS1978 says:

    I find it amusing when people so repulsed by ID frequently use terms like designed, fine tuned, and code to describe the natural environment that they claim happened by chance, coincidence, and luck.

  16. 16
    relatd says:

    “I don’t believe in an afterlife, so I don’t have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse.”

    Isaac Asimov

  17. 17
    relatd says:

    It is a little puzzling that otherwise brilliant men either reject God or have not taken the time to understand Him. The harm caused to persons who are told that human beings, and even the Earth, are nothing special. Just byproducts of natural forces. Imagine telling your son or daughter that they are just the happenstance result of a process that never had them in mind. A cold, impersonal idea. Intelligent Design presents the exact opposite. And that is why it is feared.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/28478

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Pardon a need to cross thread a key insight on fine tuning, as there has been a multi thread exchange:

    In physics, particularly in statistical mechanics, we base many of our calculations on the assumption of metric transitivity, which asserts that a system’s trajectory will eventually [–> given “enough time and search resources”] explore the entirety of its state space – thus everything that is phys-ically possible will eventually happen. It should then be trivially true that one could choose an arbitrary “final state” (e.g., a living organism) and “explain” it by evolving the system backwards in time choosing an appropriate state at some ’start’ time t_0 (fine-tuning the initial state). In the case of a chaotic system the initial state must be specified to arbitrarily high precision. But this account amounts to no more than saying that the world is as it is because it was as it was, and our current narrative therefore scarcely constitutes an explanation in the true scientific sense.

    We are left in a bit of a conundrum with respect to the problem of specifying the initial conditions necessary to explain our world. A key point is that if we require specialness in our initial state (such that we observe the current state of the world and not any other state) metric transitivity cannot hold true, as it blurs any dependency on initial conditions – that is, it makes little sense for us to single out any particular state as special by calling it the ’initial’ state. If we instead relax the assumption of metric transitivity (which seems more realistic for many real world physical systems – including life), then our phase space will consist of isolated pocket regions and it is not necessarily possible to get to any other physically possible state (see e.g. Fig. 1 for a cellular automata example).

    [–> or, there may not be “enough” time and/or resources for the relevant exploration, i.e. we see the 500 – 1,000 bit complexity threshold at work vs 10^57 – 10^80 atoms with fast rxn rates at about 10^-13 to 10^-15 s leading to inability to explore more than a vanishingly small fraction on the gamut of Sol system or observed cosmos . . . the only actually, credibly observed cosmos]

    Thus the initial state must be tuned to be in the region of phase space in which we find ourselves [–> notice, fine tuning], and there are regions of the configuration space our physical universe would be excluded from accessing, even if those states may be equally consistent and permissible under the microscopic laws of physics (starting from a different initial state). Thus according to the standard picture, we require special initial conditions to explain the complexity of the world, but also have a sense that we should not be on a particularly special trajectory to get here (or anywhere else) as it would be a sign of fine–tuning of the initial conditions. [ –> notice, the “loading”] Stated most simply, a potential problem with the way we currently formulate physics is that you can’t necessarily get everywhere from anywhere (see Walker [31] for discussion). [“The “Hard Problem” of Life,” June 23, 2016, a discussion by Sara Imari Walker and Paul C.W. Davies at Arxiv.]

    more on the anthropic principle from Lewis and Barnes https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/hitchhikers-guide-authors-puddle-argument-against-fine-tuning-and-a-response/#comment-729507

    Notice, the islands in phase space issue.

    KF

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, it is highly significant that without soundly addressing what is the consensus of experts, you hope to use a dismissive talking point to push the coded algorithms in the cell off the table, as just one example. Of course there is a currently active thread that has a significant comparison by Lehninger and Heirs, but oh so conveniently, this is not that thread: https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/lfp-62-the-systems-and-systems-engineering-perspective-a-first-step-to-understanding-design-in-of-our-world/ . It becomes obvious that you are driven by ideology threatened by the general and utterly uncontroversial, even obvious, architecture of cells observation that the genetic code is just that, a code and that we see in protein synthesis algorithms. In short, you are little more than a desperate, fringe ideologue trying to make the worse appear the better case by use of shoddy, repeatedly corrected fallacy driven arguments. KF

    PS, here is a summary statement from Lehninger et al:

    “The information in DNA is encoded in its linear (one-dimensional) sequence of deoxyribonucleotide subunits . . . . A linear sequence of deoxyribonucleotides in DNA codes (through an intermediary, RNA) for the production of a protein with a corresponding linear sequence of amino acids . . . Although the final shape of the folded protein is dictated by its amino acid sequence, the folding of many proteins is aided by “molecular chaperones” . . . The precise three-dimensional structure, or native conformation, of the protein is crucial to its function.” [Principles of Biochemistry, 8th Edn, 2021, pp 194 – 5. Now authored by Nelson, Cox et al, Lehninger having passed on in 1986. Attempts to rhetorically pretend on claimed superior knowledge of Biochemistry, that D/RNA does not contain coded information expressing algorithms using string data structures, collapse. We now have to address the implications of language, goal directed stepwise processes and underlying sophisticated polymer chemistry and molecular nanotech in the heart of cellular metabolism and replication.]

    See https://uncommondescent.com/darwinist-debaterhetorical-tactics/protein-synthesis-what-frequent-objector-af-cannot-acknowledge/

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Our latest crop of objectors would be well advised to heed some remarks by Nobel equivalent/comparable Prize holding astrophysicist (and life-long agnostic) Sir Fred Hoyle:

    >>[Sir Fred Hoyle, In a talk at Caltech c 1981 (nb. this longstanding UD post):] From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 MeV energy level in the nucleus of 12 C to the 7.12 MeV level in 16 O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. [==> with H, C and O give us water and organic Chem, N gets us to amino acids, and of course He accesses the rest of the periodic table; H, He, O and C are the four most abundant elements in the cosmos and in our galaxy N is nearby; elemental abundance is a fine tuning issue and this is the first key fine tuning issue here discussed by one of its two discoverers . . . the shabbiness of SG’s supercilious talking point just above stands exposed.] Another put-up job? . . . I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has “monkeyed” with the physics as well as the chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. [F. Hoyle, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20 (1982): 16.]>>

    . . . also, in the same talk at Caltech:

    >>The big problem in biology, as I see it, is to understand the origin of the information carried by the explicit structures of biomolecules. The issue isn’t so much the rather crude fact that a protein consists of a chain of amino acids linked together in a certain way, but that the explicit ordering of the amino acids endows the chain with remarkable properties, which other orderings wouldn’t give. The case of the enzymes is well known . . . If amino acids were linked at random, there would be a vast number of arrange-ments that would be useless in serving the pur-poses of a living cell. When you consider that a typical enzyme has a chain of perhaps 200 links and that there are 20 possibilities for each link,it’s easy to see that the number of useless arrangements is enormous, more than the number of atoms in all the galaxies visible in the largest telescopes. [ –> 20^200 = 1.6 * 10^260] This is for one enzyme, and there are upwards of 2000 of them, mainly serving very different purposes. So how did the situation get to where we find it to be? This is, as I see it, the biological problem – the information problem . . . .

    I was constantly plagued by the thought that the number of ways in which even a single enzyme could be wrongly constructed was greater than the number of all the atoms in the universe. So try as I would, I couldn’t convince myself that even the whole universe would be sufficient to find life by random processes – by what are called the blind forces of nature . . . . By far the simplest way to arrive at the correct sequences of amino acids in the enzymes would be by thought, not by random processes . . . .

    Now imagine yourself as a superintellect working through possibilities in polymer chemistry. Would you not be astonished that polymers based on the carbon atom turned out in your calculations to have the remarkable properties of the enzymes and other biomolecules? Would you not be bowled over in surprise to find that a living cell was a feasible construct? Would you not say to yourself, in whatever language supercalculating intellects use: Some supercalculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. Of course you would, and if you were a sensible superintellect you would conclude that the carbon atom is a fix. >>

    . . . and again:

    >> I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the [–> nuclear synthesis] consequences they produce within stars. [“The Universe: Past and Present Reflections.” Engineering and Science, November, 1981. pp. 8–12]>>

    KF

    PS, Leslie helps:

    “One striking thing about the fine tuning is that a force strength or a particle mass often appears to require accurate tuning for several reasons at once. Look at electromagnetism. Electromagnetism seems to require tuning for there to be any clear-cut distinction between matter and radiation; for stars to burn neither too fast nor too slowly for life’s requirements; for protons to be stable; for complex chemistry to be possible; for chemical changes not to be extremely sluggish; and for carbon synthesis inside stars (carbon being quite probably crucial to life). Universes all obeying the same fundamental laws could still differ in the strengths of their physical forces, as was explained earlier, and random variations in electromagnetism from universe to universe might then ensure that it took on any particular strength sooner or later. Yet how could they possibly account for the fact that the same one strength satisfied many potentially conflicting requirements, each of them a requirement for impressively accurate tuning?” [Our Place in the Cosmos, The Royal Institute of Philosophy, 1998 (courtesy Wayback Machine) Emphases added.]

    AND:

    “. . . the need for such explanations does not depend on any estimate of how many universes would be observer-permitting, out of the entire field of possible universes. Claiming that our universe is ‘fine tuned for observers’, we base our claim on how life’s evolution would apparently have been rendered utterly impossible by comparatively minor alterations in physical force strengths, elementary particle masses and so forth. There is no need for us to ask whether very great alterations in these affairs would have rendered it fully possible once more, let alone whether physical worlds conforming to very different laws could have been observer-permitting without being in any way fine tuned. Here it can be useful to think of a fly on a wall, surrounded by an empty region. A bullet hits the fly Two explanations suggest themselves. Perhaps many bullets are hitting the wall or perhaps a marksman fired the bullet. There is no need to ask whether distant areas of the wall, or other quite different walls, are covered with flies so that more or less any bullet striking there would have hit one. The important point is that the local area contains just the one fly.” [Emphasis his.]

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    SG, I predict, you will not substantially, cogently address Walker, Davies, Leslie, Lehninger and heirs or Hoyle. Please, please, please, prove me wrong ____________ KF

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Just uploaded yesterday

    Does Darwinian Theory Need to be Replaced? A (top-ten) Chemist and Oxford Mathematician discuss Neo-Darwinism
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_ad3Qrkyn8

  23. 23
    Alan Fox says:

    Please, please, please, prove me wrong…

    Most claims about reality are non-disprovable. I challenge KF to prove me wrong.

  24. 24
    chuckdarwin says:

    AF/23
    Not only are they not disprovable, no one can even agree on what constitutes “reality” in the first instance. It’s like eavesdropping on a bunch of college sophomores who are taking their first philosophy class thinking that they have hit on something profound………

  25. 25
    jerry says:

    Is the sun rising in the morning reality?

    I know, I know, I know, it’s due to the Earth’s rotation. I’m writing this as the sun is in my eyes. It sure hurts when I stare at it. But that’s not real!

    Will my hair be shorter after the haircut later today? I guess I will pay $25 for nothing. Is the $25 real?

    Bridges going up, airplanes flying across country, Walmarts selling things to eat, ChuckDarwin making another stupid comment must just be a mirage.

    Aside: how does ChuckDarwin know those sophomore philosophy students are real and what they say is real? Notice how he has to appeal to reality to show reality doesn’t exist.

    Ironic comment of year contention or just plain stupid comment of the year. Another mirror for Chuck’s wall so he can see award winner.

    Most claims about reality are non-disprovable.

    Not true.

    Nearly every claim anti ID people make can be shown to be not real. The only thing real is the stating of the claim, not the substance of the claim.

  26. 26
    Alan Fox says:

    Jerry, you are the master of the non sequitur. 🙂

  27. 27
    relatd says:

    CD at 24,

    You are another member of the ‘fly in the ointment team’ deployed here. Stupid comments. Non-sequitur comments. You are the foot that trips up others trying to say valuable things. Why is that? Could it be that you don’t want ID to become popular? Is that it?

  28. 28
    chuckdarwin says:

    Related/27
    If it’s not too much of an imposition, I would prefer my assignation with the team to be “gadfly in the ointment.”

  29. 29
    relatd says:

    CD at 28,

    Gadfly. Consider it done…

  30. 30
    jerry says:

    master of the non sequitur

    Perfect example of projection!!!

    Does a non sequitur of a non sequitur give us a sequitur?

  31. 31
    relatd says:

    Jerry at 30,

    I think it’s called a double sequitur 🙂

  32. 32
    AaronS1978 says:

    “Most claims about reality are non-disprovable.“

    The world is flat…….

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