### Two God Arguments illustrate Mind as the Basis of Reality

On Metacrock's blog right now I'm discussing physicalism and answering the attack upon belief  in God that is based upon the attack upon spirit as a viable concept. God has to be spirit not only because the Bible says so but because God created the physical world. That means God is not a product of the physical world, which is contingent upon his creative action, Thus God must be fundamentally different from the physical world. I have no direct way to prove spirit exists but we can link it to mind. There is a link between spirit and mind at a couple of points. First because German philosophers assume so (hey you can;t go wrong) [1] and because while we are focusing on breath as the meaning of pnuma ("spirit" in Greek) we often forget "mind" is also part of that  meaning. (see caveat)[2]

Thus I am presenting different kinds of arguments liking God with mind. Of course I can't prove God is mind, we have to make logical arguments on that but we can make a safe assumption that if God is real then God is mind, and thus mind can exist independent of the physical. The major atheist argument  is that we have no example of mind without brain, thus no basis for God. I say that argument can only  apply to mind as it is found in biological organism. It does not preclude  higher forms of mind that transcends physical existence.

(1) If God Exists God exists as non physical mind.

(2) We have rational warrant for  belief in God

(3) Therefore we have rational warrant [3]  for belief that mind  can transcend the physical.

We can easily see atheists coming against this argument by saying since we have no example of mind apart from brain we don't have rational warrant for belief. I will now resent two God arguments that offer warrant for belief specifically in terms that also necessitate God as mind.
These are not the only two arguments I can make on this point but they are two of the most convenient, because I already use them.

Argument I. Fine Tuning:

Simon Frederic exclains the basis of the argument:

Philosophical debates in which “fine-tuning” appears are often about the universe’s fine-tuning for life: according to many physicists, the fact that the universe is able to support life depends delicately on various of its fundamental characteristics, notably on the form of the laws of nature, on the values of some constants of nature, and on aspects of the universe’s conditions in its very early stages. Various reactions to the universe’s fine-tuning for life have been proposed: that it is a lucky coincidence which we have to accept as a primitive given; that it will be avoided by future best theories of fundamental physics; that the universe was created by some divine designer who established life-friendly conditions; and that fine-tuning for life indicates the existence of multiple other universes with conditions very different from those in our own universe. [4]
Three examples  https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fine-tuning/

*The strength of gravity,

when measured against the strength of electromagnetism, seems fine-tuned for life (Rees 2000: ch. 3; Uzan 2011: sect. 4; Lewis & Barnes 2016: ch. 4). If gravity had been absent or substantially weaker, galaxies, stars and planets would not have formed in the first place. Had it been only slightly weaker (and/or electromagnetism slightly stronger), main sequence stars such as the sun would have been significantly colder and would not explode in supernovae, which are the main source of many heavier elements (Carr & Rees 1979). [5]
*The strength of the strong nuclear force,

when measured against that of electromagnetism, seems fine-tuned for life (Rees 2000: ch. 4; Lewis & Barnes 2016: ch. 4). Had it been stronger by more than about $50\phantom{\rule{thinmathspace}{0ex}}\mathrm{%}$, almost all hydrogen would have been burned in the very early universe (MacDonald & Mullan 2009). [6]

*The difference between the masses of the two lightest quarks—the up- and down-quark—seems fine-tuned for life
(Carr & Rees 1979; Hogan 2000: sect. 4; Hogan 2007). Small changes in this difference would drastically affect the stability properties of the proton and neutron, which are bound states of these quarks, or lead to a much simpler and less complex universe where bound states of quarks other than the proton and neutron dominate.[7]
there are many such examples. Everyone of the target levels must be hit at just the right space; there are hundreds.That makes  the odds against a life bearing universe astronomicul, as Physicist Howard A Smith tells us:
The first result — the anthropic principle — has been accepted by physicists for 43 years. The universe, far from being a collection of random accidents, appears to be stupendously perfect and fine-tuned for life. The strengths of the four forces that operate in the universe — gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear interactions (the latter two dominate only at the level of atoms) — for example, have values critically suited for life, and were they even a few percent different, we would not be here. The most extreme example is the big bang creation: Even an infinitesimal change to its explosive expansion value would preclude life. The frequent response from physicists offers a speculative solution: an infinite number of universes — we are just living in the one with the right value. But modern philosophers such as Thomas Nagel and pioneering quantum physicists such as John Wheeler have argued instead that intelligent beings must somehow be the directed goal of such a curiously fine-tuned cosmos.[8]
The major objection to fine tuning argument is the possibility of a multiverse. The argument is that none of these forces and examples really prove design because given infinite chances there will eventually be a universe that gets it right, we just happen to be it. Now scientists theorize that there are billions or even an infinite set of alternate universes arising all the time. That gives us the infinite chances. I have several answers to this argument that I explore on The religious a priori my apologetic website. One can fund my complete three page argument on that site, I urge the reader to look it over.[9] Of course, the basic answer to Multiverse is that there is no empirical evidence for it and if atheists really mean anything when they claim to be empiricists then they have to hold to that standard and can't rule out FTA on the basis of a possibility not backed up by empirical observation.

The point is  that the need for precise settings of the target levels indicates the work of mind in the process. We need not imagine a great architect  in the sky making specific calculations but it certifiably seems that will, volition, goals and knowledge would be involved at some level imn creation,

Sources on argument I (Argument II is presented after the  sources of I.).

[1] Karl Froeb, "Meaning of Geist." Philosophy of Spirit/Mind. (Geist). Website (2006).

It all goes back to Hegel:
Geist' is a German word which has all the meanings of the English words: spirit, mind, soul and the French word, esprit.German language makes no distinction between spirit and mind: for both, Germans use the same word, 'Geist'. While 'Geist' is usually translated either as spirit or mind (e.g. Philosophy of Spirit, Phenomenology of Mind), the English reader is perhaps well-advised to think of 'Geist' as both together, e.g. Spirit/Mind....According to Hegel's, SCIENCE OF LOGIC, the goal of Spirit is Freedom (see System, Part 1.3.1 on the Concept or Notion or 'Begriff').

[2] "Life, Soul, Mind, Heart, Spirit," Christ's Words In Greek, (no date)

http://christswords.com/content/life-soul-mind-heart-and-spirit
(accessed 3/ 25/18)
"The self of our conscious awareness (pnuema) that is bigger than our identity survives, but earthly identity, our relationships, and all we have done is lost to us.
caveat:  Understanding the link is very complex the reader should pour over the article.

[3] Joseph Hinman. "On Rational Warramt, Metacrock's Blog, (feb 6,2018).
http://metacrock.blogspot.com/2018/02/on-rational-warrant.html
(accessed 3/25/18)

[4] Simon Friederich,  "Fine-Tuning", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.),

(accessed 3/25/18)

[5] Ibid

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fine-tuning/
(accessed 3/25/18)

[6] Ibid

[7] Ibid
[8]  (Nov. 25,2016) (accessed 3/25/18)

Howard A. Smith is a lecturer in the Harvard University Department of Astronomy and a senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

[9]
http://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/2015/10/fine-tuning-argument-part-1.html

Argument II from natural law

If you recall last time I posted a prolegomena to an argument from laws of nature. In other words, an argument for existence of God based upon laws of physics and nature. That article was just thinking getting ready to make such an argument, Here I am making it. I encourage the reader to go back and read the article fist if you haven't already. The point is two fold:  the folks on Secular Outpost were so dubious of any such argument  and the presentation that set them off so deserved their ire (designed by Campus Crusade for Christ) [1], that I felt like I had to try to (a) prove to the atheists there is a potential argument there and show my fellow Christians how to find it, at to offer  direction in which to move.

The bad argument on the website was purely a "god of the gaps" argument:

How is it that we can identify laws of nature that never change? Why is the universe so orderly, so reliable?"The greatest scientists have been struck by how strange this is. There is no logical necessity for a universe that obeys rules, let alone one that abides by the rules of mathematics. This astonishment springs from the recognition that the universe doesn't have to behave this way. It is easy to imagine a universe in which conditions change unpredictably from instant to instant, or even a universe in which things pop in and out of existence."[2]
The only rational upon which the argument turns is the mystery concerning how laws work. That is a God of the gaps argument by definition, textbook. My arguments begins by stating a rational that, while it may hard to prove, is at least not a gap in knowledge, at least not only a gap. The problem with gaps is that they close up. Yet if we can demonstrate that mind is a more solid basis for the seeming law-like regularity of the universe that night make for a better explanation.[3]The argument:

1) mind is the most efficient and dependable source of ordering we know,

(2) Random ordering is usually inefficient and the odds are against it's dependability.

(3) The Universe Displays a Law-like efficiency and dependability in the workings of it's natural machinations.

(4) Such efficiency and dependability is indicative of mind as ordering principle (from 1,3), therefore, it is logical to assume mind as the best explanation for the dependability of the universe..

(5) A mind that orders the universe fits the major job description for God, Thus mind is the best explanation, assuming the choices are mind vs random chance.

Notice I said nothing about law implying a law giver. The rational for mind is not based upon analogies to law. This does raise the one real sticking point, premises 1-2. Can we prove that mind is the best explanation for law-like regularity? I'm going to assume that it's pretty obvious that (P3) universe displays like-like efficiency. Also I don't think it will be such a struggle to prove 4-5 linking a mind that orders the universe with God. Therefore I wont bother to argue those here. Thus I will concern myself primarily with P's 1-2.

Certain schools of philosophy hold that an inference to the best explanation is a valid argument. That is if one amid a variety of explanations has a more significant likelihood of coming true, and is more in line with prevailing theory and serves to explain more of the data then that hypothesis can be warranted as "the best explanation,"[4Ratzsch goes on to quote Peter Lipton: "According to Inference to the Best Explanation … [g]iven our data and our background beliefs, we infer what would if true, provide the best of the competing explanations we can generate of those data (so long as the best is good enough for us to make any inference at all)."[5]

That complexity and efficacy are indicative of mind as an organizing principle might be hard or impossible to pull off but it makes sense on one level. Through complexity and fitedness one might deduce purpose or telos, and mind might be indicted in that sense.
All the richness and diversity of matter and energy we observe today has emerged since the beginning in a long and complicated sequence of self- organizing physical processes. The laws of physics not only permit a universe to originate spontaneously, but they encourage it to organize and complexify itself to the point where conscious beings emerge who can look back on the great cosmic drama and reflect on what it all means."

...The laws that characterize our actual universe, as opposed to an infinite number of alternative possible universes, seem almost contrived-fine-tuned, some commentators have claimed-so that life and consciousness may emerge. To quote Dyson again: it is almost as if "the universe knew we were coming." I cannot prove to you that this is design, but whatever it is it is certainly very clever][6]
Now the secularist skeptic might argue evolution demonstrates an organizing principle producing great complexity and in mindless fashion, While that might be the case the problem is evolution is surely the product of the law-like regularity and not it's cause. Presumably then we need laws to make evolutionary processes work and so we have not explained anything. even so the skeptic can always fall back on the fact that we don't have a world that we know is or is not designed by a mind to which we compare our own world. Even though P1 might make sense there is no way to prove it. Not having an undesigned universe to compare may mean that we can't prove the existence of God by the argument here advanced, It does not necessarily mean the argument is not a good one. If we forget about proof and talk about warrant: it may not be proof but it is probably the best explanation and that may warrant belief.
In arguments of this type, superior explanatory virtues of a theory are taken as constituting decisive epistemic support for theory acceptability, warranted belief of the theory, and likely truth of the theory. There are, of course, multitudes of purported explanatory, epistemic virtues, including the incomplete list a couple paragraphs back (and lists of such have evolved over time). Assessing hypotheses in terms of such virtues is frequently contentious, depending, as it does, on perceptions of ill-defined characteristics, differences in background conceptual stances, and the like. Still, in general we frequently manage rough and ready resolutions...[7]

The argument does turn on the premise of a design argument but it could be considered more than that. Hawking ascribes the origin of the universe to the laws of physics, particularly gravity He certainly seems to indicate that they are more than just descriptions of what happens. Yet he makes no attempt to explain where these laws come from. In the sense mind offers a more complete explanation it could be the "best."

Stephen Hawking wrote a book, The Grand Design. in which he argued that gravity accounts for the existence of everything else:

If the total energy of the universe must always remain zero, and it costs energy to create a body, how can a whole universe be created from nothing? That is why there must be a law like gravity. Because gravity is attractive, gravitational energy is negative….Bodies such as stars or black holes cannot just appear out of nothing. But a whole universe can….Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing in the manner described in Chapter 6. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.[8]

Edger Anders discusses the problem with this approach:

So gravity is God. Unfortunately the authors have no time to tell us who created gravity (earlier they rule out God because no one could explain who created him). Nor can they tell us why matter and gravity should pop out of nothing, except to argue that ‘nothing’ undergoes quantum fluctuations. However, this requires that (like gravity) the laws of quantum mechanics pre-existed the universe and that ‘nothing’ possesses the properties of normal space, which is part of the created order and cannot be its antecedent.[9]

Were I involved in a debate ageist a seasoned great thinker or some professional philosopher this is not the argument I  would use. I think it is a valid warrant for belief, the best explanation for law-like regularity.

Main supporting evidence: Laws of Physics,k beyond descriptoveprescroptovedochotomy

this is a chapter for a book I'm working on. It;s in three parts but supports thsi argument real well,

Be sure and read Metacrock's blog on Mind Physiclaism

Sources Arg. II

Laws of physics: beyond prescriptive/descriptive Dichotomy

Sources II

[1] Bradly Bowen, Adamson's Cru [de] Arguments for God part 1, Secular Outpost, (April 25, 2016) blog URL:
accessed April 28, 2016

On line resource, URL: http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html
She sites fn 11:Dinesh D'Souza, What's So Great about Christianity; (Regnery Publishing, Inc, 2007, chapter

[3] I recently posted on criteria by which to judge best explanation.

[4] Ratzsch, Del and Koperski, Jeffrey, "Teleological Arguments for God's Existence", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2016 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = .

[5] Peter Lipton, Inference to the Best Explanation. 1st Edition. London: Routledge (1991, 58): quoted in Ratzsch, Ibid.

[6] ."Paul Davies, "Physics and the Mind o God; Templeton Award Address, First Things ON LINE URL

Paul Davies is Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Adelaide in Australia and the twenty-fifth recipient of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, which he received on May 3, 1995 at Westminster Abbey. His books include The Mind of God, God and New Physics, The Cosmic Blueprint, Superforce, and Other Worlds.

[7] Ratzsch, Ibid.

[8] Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, The Grand Design, New York: Bantum Books, 2010. 180

[9] Edgar Andres, “Review: the Grand Design,” Challies'.com, Tim Challies, on line reouce, URL:
http://www.challies.com/book-reviews/the-grand-design acessed 10/4/15
Andres is Emeritus professor University of London. Physicist and an expert on large molecules. Born 1932

Anonymous said…
Both arguments can summed up as: Here is something that science cannot yet explain, but theology can, therefore God. They are no different to saying Zeus causes lightning, before science could explain it. The Zeus theory made sense back then; it was perfectly reasonable, given the knowledge of the time. Just as your explain makes sense now. But both are god-of-the-gaps.

Joe: Argument I. Fine Tuning:

A major argument against fine-tuning is that so much of the universe is not fit for life. Of the eight planets, numerous moons, asteroids, etc. in our solar system, exactly one is suitable for life, and only over an extremely thin layer of its surface. The vast majority of the solar system is vacuum, which is not suitable for life.

Volume of the solar system: 1e+40 cubic meters
Habitable volume of Earth: 5e+16 cublic meters

Percentage habitable: 0.0000000000000000000005%

So when you say it is fine-tuned for life, we need to keep in mind that it is not that well fine-tuned.

Joe: Of course, the basic answer to Multiverse is that there is no empirical evidence for it and if atheists really mean anything when they claim to be empiricists then they have to hold to that standard and can't rule out FTA on the basis of a possibility not backed up by empirical observation.

So we have no evidence for either God or the multiverse. Which then do we go for? Neither! We conclude that we do not know.

Pix
Anonymous said…
Joe: Argument II from natural law

Is this arguing that God is actively involved in ensuring everything acts in accordance with the laws, and, for example, the Moon only stays in its eliptical orbit because God is there making it do so? I will call this the Active God Hypothesis (AGH).

Or is this arguing that God created the laws in the first place, but once created, the universe proceeded to run smooth following the laws with no further intervention from God required (ignoring what he may have done with regards to mankind)? I will call this the God's Clockwork Universe Hypothesis (GCUH).

I ask, because I think the argument conflates the two, and yet they are very different claims.

Joe: 1) mind is the most efficient and dependable source of ordering we know,

This is a good example of that confusion. Do we see ordering because God is there, creating the order? Under the AGH, God builds each snowflake, for example. But mind is not the most efficient and dependable source of ordering. Look at the ordering in a salt crystal; natural laws are far more reliable that the human mind, which is easily distracted (and remember, we are discussing the most reliable ordering that we know).

The alternative is that we see ordering because of the natural laws, which maybe were put in place by God (GCUH), but that would cause ordering either way, and so this would fail as a differentiating argument.

Joe: (2) Random ordering is usually inefficient and the odds are against it's dependability.

What even is "random ordering"?

Joe: (3) The Universe Displays a Law-like efficiency and dependability in the workings of it's natural machinations.

As with (1), we have to question if that dependability is because God is there behind the scenes, building each snowflake, keeping the moon in orbit.

Again, I think the "Law-like efficiency and dependability" indicates there are laws behind it, not a mind actively doing it.

Joe: Now the secularist skeptic might argue evolution demonstrates an organizing principle producing great complexity and in mindless fashion, While that might be the case the problem is evolution is surely the product of the law-like regularity and not it's cause.

And now the argument has flipped to God creating the laws, and setting the universe going (GCUH). Which is it, Joe?

Joe: Even though P1 might make sense there is no way to prove it.

You cannot blog without doing this, can you? You set the bar low for your hypothesis ("an inference to the best explanation is a valid argument"), but for the competition, you demand proof.

Joe: Yet he makes no attempt to explain where these laws come from.

The scientific position is that we do not know. Hence Hawking's position. It is the difference between evidence-led research, and fitting the evidence to your beliefs.

Pix
Joe Hinman said…
Anonymous said...
Both arguments can summed up as: Here is something that science cannot yet explain, but theology can, therefore God. They are no different to saying Zeus causes lightning, before science could explain it. The Zeus theory made sense back then; it was perfectly reasonable, given the knowledge of the time. Just as your explain makes sense now. But both are god-of-the-gaps.

God of the gaps (GOG) is not a logical fallacy like violating law of excluded middle. There's no reasom why God isn't a valid answer especially when you don't have one. The only danger is if the gaps is closed by further knowledge. But that's not going to happen, all you are are really saying you reject answers that aren't based upon faith in your ideological answer.

The idea that such a huge number of occurrences could hit the exact mark needed really is the basis for any logical consideration of a fixed game, is justification for acceptence of the argument unless you overturn that idea then you not answered the argument.

Joe: Argument I. Fine Tuning:

A major argument against fine-tuning is that so much of the universe is not fit for life. Of the eight planets, numerous moons, asteroids, etc. in our solar system, exactly one is suitable for life, and only over an extremely thin layer of its surface. The vast majority of the solar system is vacuum, which is not suitable for life.

That is only an arbitrary criterion, Who says every bit of the universe has to bear life? We talking about any life it doesn't have to be teaming.

Volume of the solar system: 1e+40 cubic meters
Habitable volume of Earth: 5e+16 cublic meters

Percentage habitable: 0.0000000000000000000005%

So when you say it is fine-tuned for life, we need to keep in mind that it is not that well fine-tuned.

you are missing the concept. Universal constants apply thorough out the universe but the life that cones into being doesn't have to emerge in every nook and carny of the universe,

Joe: Of course, the basic answer to Multiverse is that there is no empirical evidence for it and if atheists really mean anything when they claim to be empiricists then they have to hold to that standard and can't rule out FTA on the basis of a possibility not backed up by empirical observation.

So we have no evidence for either God or the multiverse. Which then do we go for? Neither! We conclude that we do not know.

You are begging the question,I just gave you evidence for God and you have no valid argent against it

Joe Hinman said…
Anonymous said...
Joe: Argument II from natural law

PxIs this arguing that God is actively involved in ensuring everything acts in accordance with the laws, and, for example, the Moon only stays in its eliptical orbit because God is there making it do so? I will call this the Active God Hypothesis (AGH).

Or is this arguing that God created the laws in the first place, but once created, the universe proceeded to run smooth following the laws with no further intervention from God required (ignoring what he may have done with regards to mankind)? I will call this the God's Clockwork Universe Hypothesis (GCUH).

I ask, because I think the argument conflates the two, and yet they are very different claims.

Mostly the latter,I allow from some special intervetion but not much.

Joe: 1) mind is the most efficient and dependable source of ordering we know,

PxThis is a good example of that confusion. Do we see ordering because God is there, creating the order? Under the AGH, God builds each snowflake, for example. But mind is not the most efficient and dependable source of ordering. Look at the ordering in a salt crystal; natural laws are far more reliable that the human mind, which is easily distracted (and remember, we are discussing the most reliable ordering that we know).

you are the one who is trying to play off of both models, look at this it depends mainly upon the former model which I deny using except in limited staleness, so your argument's premise is wrong,

You have not said anything that proves that crystals are better examples of order than some human scheme,but I did at least hint at criteria for that,

ok look at DNA. Natural chance ordering is ineffective because it can't correct for mistakes without producing frail form s like cancer and retardation, But DNA recombinance could screen out such things because it;s purposeful.

The alternative is that we see ordering because of the natural laws, which maybe were put in place by God (GCUH), but that would cause ordering either way, and so this would fail as a differentiating argument.

Not sure what you mean by either way, But you have no explanation for natural law,

Joe: (2) Random ordering is usually inefficient and the odds are against it's dependability.

PxWhat even is "random ordering"?

Obvious, random chance

Joe Hinman said…
Joe: (3) The Universe Displays a Law-like efficiency and dependability in the workings of it's natural machinations.

As with (1), we have to question if that dependability is because God is there behind the scenes, building each snowflake, keeping the moon in orbit.

that's a straw man argumemt,i don't see why God would hyave to go one snow flake at a time,

PxAgain, I think the "Law-like efficiency and dependability" indicates there are laws behind it, not a mind actively doing it.

you can';t account for laws apart from mind,law itself is evidence of mind

Joe: Now the secularist skeptic might argue evolution demonstrates an organizing principle producing great complexity and in mindless fashion, While that might be the case the problem is evolution is surely the product of the law-like regularity and not it's cause.

PxAnd now the argument has flipped to God creating the laws, and setting the universe going (GCUH). Which is it, Joe?

there's no flip that's what it was all along, remember it began by comparing a bad version to a good version of the argument? you are arguimg against the bad version.

you started asking me which model i go by then proceeded to assume the former

Joe: Even though P1 might make sense there is no way to prove it.

PxYou cannot blog without doing this, can you? You set the bar low for your hypothesis ("an inference to the best explanation is a valid argument"), but for the competition, you demand proof.

there is nothing invalid about an abductive argument,,you could argue that I can't demonstrate what is 'best" as in best explanation. But I demeans of argument to prove the claim made, that only reasonable. You can't prove absolutely that God exists or does not exist,notice I don't claim that,I never claim to prove God exists.

Joe: Yet he makes no attempt to explain where these laws come from.

The scientific position is that we do not know. Hence Hawking's position. It is the difference between evidence-led research, and fitting the evidence to your beliefs.

True,since can't even ask the question, you have to become a philosopher to hold such a discussion on that question. But this is an apologetics sight not a science sight,
im-skeptical said…
Re: Fine Tuning argument

Yet another poor theistic argument, as I explain here.
Joe Hinman said…
Skep your argumet is hogwash ..You claim it;s arguing from ignorance but most physicists agree it's true.

I still don't know what atheists think they are saying when they go "God did it." Yeas God is the most likely answer so what's the problem? The rational for the argument is not based upon a gap in knowledge.

you are just saying nature did it.
Joe Hinman said…
first line of my quote by Smith:"the anthropic principle — has been accepted by physicists for 43 years."

Howard A. Smith, "Humanity is cosmically Special. here;s how we know," Washington Post (Nov. 25,2016)

"The first result — the anthropic principle — has been accepted by physicists for 43 years. The universe, far from being a collection of random accidents, appears to be stupendously perfect and fine-tuned for life. The strengths of the four forces that operate in the universe — gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear interactions (the latter two dominate only at the level of atoms) — for example, have values critically suited for life, and were they even a few percent different, we would not be here. The most extreme example is the big bang creation: Even an infinitesimal change to its explosive expansion value would preclude life. The frequent response from physicists offers a speculative solution: an infinite number of universes — we are just living in the one with the right value. But modern philosophers such as Thomas Nagel and pioneering quantum physicists such as John Wheeler have argued instead that intelligent beings must somehow be the directed goal of such a curiously fine-tuned cosmos."
im-skeptical said…
most physicists agree it's true
- No. Most physicists don't.
JBsptfn said…
Skep, which physicists say that it isn't true? You never said that here or on your site.
im-skeptical said…
In order to estimate the probability that a given universe could sustain life, one needs at least two pieces of information: first, the number of possible universe configurations; and second, the number of such configurations that are conducive to the development of life, however one may define it.3 Since neither of these quantities is known, no discussion of fine-tuning can begin without a frank acknowledgement that the key premise of the fine-tuning argument is entirely speculative. - Jérémie Harris & Edouard Harris

Show me a physicist who disagrees with this statement, and I'll show you a liar.
JBsptfn said…
Right. There was someone who had something interesting to say in the comments section of that article:

Tollense: "Quote@ Bryan ( May 4, 2016 at 6:02 am)
Rees’ and Hawking’s multiverse hypothesis is an admission of the power of the anthropic/fine-tuned hypothesis, as well as an attempt at circumventing it. Bryan, you ‘get’ this. You also understand that the multiverse hypothesis is “implausible speculation”. The principal persuasive power or attraction of the multiverse hypothesis is that it averts the necessity of God, a Creator or a Designer for those a priori prejudiced against said God. It is a desperate, fear-based hypothesis.

The article by Jérémie Harris & Edouard Harris is a sophomoric (literally, at the graduate level) effort full of strawman positions, knocked down, mostly irrelevant to the power of the anthropic/fine-tuned hypothesis. Their first argument, about inexact quantification, is specious. One does not need to know the exact mass of a black hole to accurately assess that its gravitation is destructive many orders-of-magnitude beyond the durability of atomic matter, maybe even baryonic matter. Even the absolute scale markers of the laws of physics can be ‘fuzzy’ absolutes. E.g., Heisenberg’s uncertainty relation, delta-x * delta-p >= h (or delta-t * delta-E >= h) is fuzzy in length-scale since it depends upon how much momentum uncertainty we are willing to tolerate, yet still establishes an absolute size (length) at which quantum mechanical phenomena become non-ignorable. Thus fuzzy absolutes are another kind of non-quantifiability that nonetheless give meaningful, reliable, absolute knowledge. One can march right down the line of Harris & Harris strawmen and dismiss them all.

In another case, H&H’s objection to varying one parameter at a time misses that varying all the parameters simultaneously would bolster the fine-tuning argument, not weaken it. The cosmological constants in question are not such that, if you vary one, you can compensate for it by varying the others – Rees and Hawking would have pounced on that. All of the H&H arguments are weak like this, one way or another.

Anthropocentric bias does not invalidate a fine-tuning hypothesis. The mere existence of the universe as it is argues for fine tuning, even if humans had never existed. We still need a God, a Creator or a Designer, just to have a physics instantiated in space, time, matter, energy and ‘dark’ versions thereof. The anthropocentric piece is merely thrown in on top, to explain another datum (people). Most ‘fine-tunists’ would admit sub-human, non-human, alt-intelligent, etc. life as consistent with the bare hypothesis.

Harris & Harris flunk the English Lit. course and the Philosophy/Logic curriculum. Nice try, but submit another draft to the teaching assistant for grading. Let’s hope their Ph.D. dissertations are more tightly reasoned."Quote
Joe Hinman said…

Blogger im-skeptical said...
most physicists agree it's true
- No. Most physicists don't.

world famous physicists like martin Reese ad Howard Smioth say you are wrong,who should I believe? wow what a dilemma, who knows more physicists or or the incomparable Skepie?"
Anonymous said…
Martin Rees: I'm interested in some fundamental questions about the uniqueness of physical laws. I've always been impressed by so called 'fine tuning arguments' ­ that our universe seems to be rather special, and the laws have an unusual character to allow such a complex cosmos to develop. How this happened is a genuine mystery, since you could easily imagine a set of laws that would lead to a sterile or a stillborn universe. The most natural answer to the mystery would be if our Big Bang weren't the only one—if there were many universes, and the different universes ended up governed by different laws, some which allow structures and eventually life to evolve. I'm attracted to these cosmological models that allow not just one Big Bang but many.

Sounds to me as though Rees finds the multiverse a more likely explanation.

Pix
im-skeptical said…
Jbshfu3rh,
The peanut gallery speaks. The comment you cited is from some theistic sophist who doesn't know what he's talking about. He speaks of compensating for one constant by varying another to "compensate up for it". That's not the issue. The problem is that physics may not ALLOW for constants to vary INDEPENDENTLY. It could very well be that case that they are ALL interdependent, and there is only ONE configuration that is even possible. The FACT is that NOBODY KNOWS. Nice try, but I am well aware that YOU don't have the FIRST CLUE about science, so go back to the peanut gallery.

world famous physicists like martin Reese ad Howard Smioth say you are wrong,who should I believe? wow what a dilemma, who knows more physicists or or the incomparable Skepie?"
- One thing's for sure: It isn't you. And you are ducking the issue. I don't care how many big names you look up on Google. What I'm saying is a FACT. NOBODY KNOWS how many possible configurations there are. Go ahead and ask that question to any physicist you like.
monarchshorestz said…
God is active throughout our lives at all times.
Joe Hinman said…
monarchshorestz said...
God is active throughout our lives at all times.

3/27/2018 10:01:00 AM Delete

>>>agreed
JBsptfn said…
Skep: Quote"Jbshfu3rh,
The peanut gallery speaks. The comment you cited is from some theistic sophist who doesn't know what he's talking about. He speaks of compensating for one constant by varying another to "compensate up for it". That's not the issue. The problem is that physics may not ALLOW for constants to vary INDEPENDENTLY. It could very well be that case that they are ALL interdependent, and there is only ONE configuration that is even possible. The FACT is that NOBODY KNOWS. Nice try, but I am well aware that YOU don't have the FIRST CLUE about science, so go back to the peanut gallery."Quote

That's funny, because a lot of people on different blogs (Crude, Feser, Martin, etc..) think that you belong in the peanut gallery.
im-skeptical said…
That's nice. And you still don't have a clue.