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The Fine-Tuned Universe and the Multiverse ?
Posted: 29 January 2010 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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George - 29 January 2010 01:25 PM

Okay, forget crystals. I still think it is a valid argument but have it your way. You have mentioned that consciousness points to a fine tuned universe. What about mutant babies who are born with some kind of a neurological disease that will prevent them from developing a conscious brain?


“A baby born with birth defects, if they live, is at least an example of life, so fine tuning argument applies regardless.  Apparently you’re confusing it with the argument from design and applying the (lame) argument from design imperfections to argue against design per se.”

http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewreply/85298/

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Posted: 29 January 2010 02:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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When Andromeda smashes into Milky Way after which there will be no more babies with either conscious or unconscious brain, will our universe still be a fine tuned one?

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Posted: 29 January 2010 04:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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Bryan, if we find evidence of other life in the universe, where would that leave your argument?
If I want to fine tune my television I turn a knob which adjusts and focuse the bandwidth. How does one fine tune the universe? A magical knob to balance and focus universal chemical distribution specifically for earth, which itself was still being fine tuned (any knobs here?). Sounds like an Alice in Wonderland scenario..
You assert that the universe is fine tuned for human life, not life in general. So how was it possible for all this other life to develop?
The problem with “fine tuned” is the fact that the universe is not finely tuned, or at least the results are not expressive of fine tuning (I defer to George’s examples). On the other hand evolution is a process of trial and error, creating different evolutionary paths in the process, some viable, some not.
Life began as a lucky (perhaps inevitable) combination of chemicals in a rather violent environment, causing those chemicals to combine in a particular way. Evolution did the rest. What is so magical about it?  Awesome, majestic, wonderous, yes, but magical? Hmmm.

[ Edited: 29 January 2010 04:51 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 29 January 2010 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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I am not sure about this notion of multiple universes. Gets a little too vague for me and I prefer to think that “what you see is what you get”. If there are multiple universes, could that not be explained through relativity? They are all the same universe, viewed from different relative viewpoints, of which we are able to see only one limited aspect (3 dimensional).  Just a question.

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Posted: 29 January 2010 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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Once upon a time there were two men, Bryan and George, who decided to grow their own gardens.

Bryan knew a thing or two about gardening and George knew a little less. They both grew beautiful gardens full of red tulips until one night a rabbit came and ate all of George’s tulips. “That’s because your garden wasn’t fine tuned,” told him Bryan the next morning, “you forgot to build a fence around it.” George responded that Bryan’s garden didn’t seem so fine tuned either since some of the tulips suffered from some kind of fungus disease. “As long as some of the flowers stay alive or even the sick ones make it through the summer,” responded Bryan, “this garden is indeed fine tuned.” Little did Bryan know, however, that the now very hungry rabbit would eventually find his way through his fence and eat all of his tulips, even the ones with the fungus.

One garden, though, made it through the summer without any problems. It was the garden of their neighbour, a fellow called God. His garden was, well, a heaven on Earth. Indeed, God fine tuned his garden to a perfection, with his tulips immune to any sort of danger. It was a beautiful garden and it stayed that way forever. Of course it did, it was after all a fine tuned garden.

[ Edited: 29 January 2010 05:26 PM by George ]
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Posted: 29 January 2010 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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Write4U - 29 January 2010 05:03 PM

I am not sure about this notion of multiple universes. Gets a little too vague for me and I prefer to think that “what you see is what you get”. If there are multiple universes, could that not be explained through relativity? They are all the same universe, viewed from different relative viewpoints, of which we are able to see only one limited aspect (3 dimensional).  Just a question.

I don’t think we could ever understand other dimensions, any more than something that existed in 2 dimensions could fathom us.  The multi-verse theory is indeed interesting and I’ve read a few science-for-the-laymen books about it, but I do not know how it could ever be proven.

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Posted: 29 January 2010 07:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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I just recalled a medical program on PBS which described an astounding phenomenon which may be pertinent to the topic of “tuning”.
Medical researchers found that if a human heart is removed from an adult donor and placed in a life supporting medium (petrie dish) it continues to beat, an astounding fact to be sure. But it gets weirder. When we place the heart from an infant in a petrie dish it also continues to beat on its own but faster as infant hearts do. But when we now place the two dishes in close proximity (but still completely separated of each other, it was observed that the infant heart adjusted its rate to MATCH that of the adult!! The video showed the process of change right in front of my eyes. It was a profoundly moving experience.
Aside from the fact that this is truly an amazing phenomenon, it also raises the question which heart was causal for this change from disharmony to perfect harmony. Is there a “tuning” principle involved here? Did the infant heart tune itself to match the adult’s, or did the adult heart cause the infant heart to change its rate to match? On a fundamental level could this have something to do with “Love”? We cite the heart often as an indicator of attraction, joining, or break up.

[ Edited: 29 January 2010 07:58 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 29 January 2010 07:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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Write4U - 29 January 2010 07:22 PM

I just recalled a medical program on PBS which described an astounding phenomenon which may be pertinent to the topic of “tuning”.
Medical researchers found that if a human heart is removed from an adult donor and placed in a life supporting medium (petrie dish) it continues to beat, an astounding fact to be sure. But it gets weirder. When we place the heart from an infant in a petrie dish it also continues to beat on its own but faster as infant hearts do. But when we now place the two dishes in proximity of each other, it was observed that the infant heart adjusted its rate to MATCH that of the adult!! The video showed the process of change right in front of my eyes. It was a profoundly moving experience.
Aside from the fact that this is truly an amazing phenomenon, it also raises the question which heart was causal for this change from disharmony to perfect harmony. Is there a “tuning” principle involved here? Did the infant heart tune itself to match the adult’s, or did the adult heart cause the infant heart to change its rate to match? On a fundamental level could this have something to do with “Love”? We cite the heart often as an indicator of attraction, joining, or break up.

I don’t know whether or not this is accurate information, but I do know that the heartbeat is regulated by electrical stimulation produced by a group of cells within the heart itself. It has nothing to do with love, attraction, joining or breaking up. It has to do with electricity. (See HERE). The cells within a heart naturally find a common rhythm between themselves; if they can’t, what happens is called “fibrillation” and it is very dangerous. So it makes some intuitive sense that hearts put next to one another might become synchronized due to a transfer of electrical stimulation.

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Posted: 29 January 2010 08:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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dougsmith - 29 January 2010 07:56 PM
Write4U - 29 January 2010 07:22 PM

I just recalled a medical program on PBS which described an astounding phenomenon which may be pertinent to the topic of “tuning”.
Medical researchers found that if a human heart is removed from an adult donor and placed in a life supporting medium (petrie dish) it continues to beat, an astounding fact to be sure. But it gets weirder. When we place the heart from an infant in a petrie dish it also continues to beat on its own but faster as infant hearts do. But when we now place the two dishes in proximity of each other, it was observed that the infant heart adjusted its rate to MATCH that of the adult!! The video showed the process of change right in front of my eyes. It was a profoundly moving experience.
Aside from the fact that this is truly an amazing phenomenon, it also raises the question which heart was causal for this change from disharmony to perfect harmony. Is there a “tuning” principle involved here? Did the infant heart tune itself to match the adult’s, or did the adult heart cause the infant heart to change its rate to match? On a fundamental level could this have something to do with “Love”? We cite the heart often as an indicator of attraction, joining, or break up.

I don’t know whether or not this is accurate information, but I do know that the heartbeat is regulated by electrical stimulation produced by a group of cells within the heart itself. It has nothing to do with love, attraction, joining or breaking up. It has to do with electricity. (See HERE). The cells within a heart naturally find a common rhythm between themselves; if they can’t, what happens is called “fibrillation” and it is very dangerous. So it makes some intuitive sense that hearts put next to one another might become synchronized due to a transfer of electrical stimulation.

An electro/magnetic field around a person? An Aura?
The point is was trying to make is not that love causes a heart to beat. The point was that the very action of harmonizing two hearts in separate persons may have a psychological impact translated as love. Why do we cite “heart” more than “brain” in our descriptions of attraction? What causes us the associate our hearts with the emotion of love? If the transfer of an electrical stimulation is true, it affects the only organ that has a rhythm, the heart. Intuitively I feel there must be a connection here.

[ Edited: 29 January 2010 08:12 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 29 January 2010 08:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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Write4U - 29 January 2010 08:00 PM

An electro/magnetic field around a person? An Aura?

If by “aura” you mean an electromagnetic field, then you aren’t talking about the auras that people refer to when they standardly talk about aural colors, manipulating auras, and the like. (And the word certainly wouldn’t be capitalized). So no, it’s not an “Aura”. Everything electrically charged has an electromagnetic field around it, including appliances, animals, the planets, the sun, etc.

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Posted: 29 January 2010 08:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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dougsmith - 29 January 2010 08:09 PM
Write4U - 29 January 2010 08:00 PM

An electro/magnetic field around a person? An Aura?

If by “aura” you mean an electromagnetic field, then you aren’t talking about the auras that people refer to when they standardly talk about aural colors, manipulating auras, and the like. (And the word certainly wouldn’t be capitalized). So no, it’s not an “Aura”. Everything electrically charged has an electromagnetic field around it, including appliances, animals, the planets, the sun, etc.

Sorry, that was tongue in cheek. wink

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Posted: 29 January 2010 09:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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George - 29 January 2010 02:14 PM

When Andromeda smashes into Milky Way after which there will be no more babies with either conscious or unconscious brain, will our universe still be a fine tuned one?

With respect to its capacity to produce and support living organisms, of course.  Our own universe may ultimately experience entropy.  That will not erase the past.

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Posted: 29 January 2010 10:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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Write4U - 29 January 2010 04:18 PM

Bryan, if we find evidence of other life in the universe, where would that leave your argument?

Essentially untouched.

Don’t forget that the main thrust of the argument relies on the setting of the original cosmological constants.  There is, of course, an additional fine-tuning argument associated with the makeup of the earth and its relative position in the solar system.  But none of that is even possible without our unlikely set of cosmological constants.

You assert that the universe is fine tuned for human life, not life in general. So how was it possible for all this other life to develop?

I don’t recall where I asserted that the universe is fine tuned for human life rather than life in general.  Refresh my memory?

The problem with “fine tuned” is the fact that the universe is not finely tuned, or at least the results are not expressive of fine tuning (I defer to George’s examples).

Deferring to George in this was a poor strategy.

On the other hand evolution is a process of trial and error, creating different evolutionary paths in the process, some viable, some not.

How would a universe of quartz crystals affect your argument?  smile

Life began as a lucky (perhaps inevitable) combination of chemicals in a rather violent environment, causing those chemicals to combine in a particular way. Evolution did the rest. What is so magical about it?  Awesome, majestic, wonderous, yes, but magical? Hmmm.

I don’t recall introducing the term “magical” nor any concept that would be fairly paraphrased using that term.  I’ve talked solely in terms of probabilities.  If you think that dropping a bag of pennies on the floor and having all of them come up heads is “magical” only then are you using the term fairly.

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Posted: 29 January 2010 10:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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Bryan - 29 January 2010 10:08 PM

There is, of course, an additional fine-tuning argument associated with the makeup of the earth and its relative position in the solar system.  But none of that is even possible without our unlikely set of cosmological constants.

`
You consistently refer to ‘our unlikely set of cosmological constants’, but the bottom line is this:  that we simply don’t know whether or not this set of cosmological constants IS ‘unlikely’. 

For all we know, it could be that the big bang couldn’t have happened any other way and the ensuing results are a product of that.

For all we know, a billion other universes could have existed and then died before us that had the same ‘cosmological constants’.

For all we know, the big bang could have happened another way, which would have resulted in a very different pattern of ‘emerging life’ throughout the universe.

Until we gain further knowledge about the above things, we have no way to justify the assertion that our universe is ‘fine-tuned’ (suggesting a ‘tuner’).

Got anything else?

`

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Posted: 29 January 2010 10:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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Bryan - 29 January 2010 10:08 PM

I’ve talked solely in terms of probabilities.  If you think that dropping a bag of pennies on the floor and having all of them come up heads is “magical” only then are you using the term fairly.

`
It would be helpful to the discussion if you ceased offering analogies that presuppose what the ‘probabilities’ of the given situation are.

If we were to gain new knowledge that revealed those pennies were weighted in a way that would cause them to always come up heads, it wouldn’t be so ‘magical’ then, would it?

For all we know, your ‘firing squad’ analogy doesn’t accurately represent reality and the probabilities involved ~ say the analogy would be more accurate if you included the detail that the firing squad was 3 miles away from the person they’re aiming at…...it wouldn’t be so amazing that they all missed the target then, would it?

That’s the problem with these analogies you’re offering…......they ‘sound’ persuasive on their own, but you’re making sweeping presumptions regarding their relation to reality.

`

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