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Ben Masada

A Proof That God Exists

365 posts in this topic

A story. A long time ago there was a tribe living in a valley. After a long time they began to wonder how they and everything in the valley came to be. Their greatest thinkers decided there must be a god who created everything. After another long age, some people began to ask "Where is this god? why can we not see him?" Their priests said "But look around you, here is the evidence of god". Most were satified with that answer, but some said "Yes, very well, we accept that, but were is god, why can we not see him?" The priests quickly replied "Take them away and execute the unbelievers!". Ages past by and some people became brave and again asked the question "Where is god?". "Well, as you ask" replied the chief priest, "God lives just outside the valley, and stop asking questions, or...." Many were satified that they now knew where god lived, but some were skeptical and wanted to travel outside the valley and see if there really was a god. Again long ages past, customs changed, the tribe had become large and needed more room. So, eventually they explored outside their valley, expecting to see god of course, but all they saw was a large plain stretching into the distance. "We don't see god" they wailed, "Oh priests were is god? is he dead?" Then, years after the great purge of heretics and "Lucifarians" :rolleyes: A brave few again asked the question "Where is god?" They cowered expecting a great smiting, but the priests told them that god lived just beyond the distant mountains, and again told them to stop asking these questions. Millenia past and the tribe had expanded all the way to the distant mountains and still needed more room. So, a great expedition set out to cross the mountains. Joyfuly they set out, ready to accept the hardships because they knew when they got over the mountains they would see God. Oh dear, another dissapointment. True they found a land of milk and honey, but they didn't see God. The same arguments and bloodshed occured, but again the priests prevailed as they convinced everybody that God lived over the shores of the great sea they had discovered. Great ages past and they eventually crossed the sea, but again found no god. This time the priests told them he lived above the clouds. But by now people were getting a bit suspicious and fed up with being told god lived just over the next hill or river or sea. There were wars, but eventually peace returned, though the tribe had changed. Now there were those who did not believe this god ever existed, and those who still believed, though after so much bloodshed they had seen it better to live in peace. Then the great day when the tribes greatest thinkers invented a device to see beyond the clouds and into space. Oh dear, still no God. "But he is just beyond space" Said the priests, oh please believe us, this time it's the truth, honestly. But by now they had no power and everybody pointed at the priests and went "Ha, ha".

And when we see beyond this universe and still see no god, what then, perhaps he's just over the next hill, surely :whistle:

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Posted (edited)

You of course mean 'believed by some scientists', not just 'admitted by scientists'; you seem to want to smash together scientific opinions and theological ones. To call this 1st cause 'God' is misleading; I asked before why what you call the 'designer' needs to be an entity or a being at all, why can it not be yet another natural process we do not understand, as it historically has always turned out to be? I believe you essentially dodged these questions when I asked them previously and let me know that it's all up to me and the choices I make from this 'evidence', essentially a sermon.

Again, you are heavily indulging in 'God of the gaps' reasoning here, which is why I'm sure Hawking is not 'uncomfortable' despite your assertions. You could just as easily put up a chart concerning the diversity of life circa the bronze age and just label the diversity of life arising from natural processes, 'improbable', which is of course at best unknown and at worst blatantly incorrect. If you think the existence of one universe is 'improbable', then who has calculated these probabilities? What are the range of values that these supposedly 'fine-tuned' parameters of the universe can have, and what is the probability of them having any specific value? Can they even have different values, and how do they interrelate, are they independent? Are there answers to these questions (I don't believe there are) or do you think these are irrelevant questions?

God and the supernatural have been offered up as explanations for aspects of this universe for millenia now, and have had to retreat nearly every single time. Now though we've finally got some good evidence that is best explained by God? Not only do I not think that is good scientific reasoning, I personally don't think it's particularly good theological reasoning either.

Admitted by scientists, don't put words in my mouth. Naturally you would prefer believe, which would mean that the results would be biased and skewed, which they are not.

As I said, that it is my position, that this 1st cause is indeed God, and there is evidence for that in the universe itself, all those random coincidences cannot be random and that is another thing admitted by scientists, which is exactly what makes them uncomfortable with the whole thing.

You seem to believe that you can get around that, but I'm afraid I'm going to burst your bubble on that. Deny it all you want, the evidence is there for a 1st cause and that that 1st cause must be something that is external to the creation of the universe itself. You have a choice, either accept the multiverse, or accept that someone (NOT SOMETHING) created the universe.

Do you even know what the term "God of the Gaps" refers to? You use it so liberally but within the incorrect context. As for Hawking, I don't reaaly care if he is comfortable or not, He has a keen intellect but much to be desired in other areas as can be seen from his statement that Philosophy is dead.

We each exist for but a short time, and in that time explore but a small part of the whole universe. But humans are a curious species. We wonder, we seek answers. Living in this vast world that is by turns kind and cruel, and gazing at the immense heavens above, people have always asked a multitude of questions: How can we understand the world in which we find ourselves? How does the universe behave? What is the nature of reality? Where did all this come from? Did the universe need a creator? Most of us do not spend most of our time worrying about these questions, but almost all of us worry about them some of the time.

Traditionally these are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead. Philosophy has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics. Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge,

S. HAWKING – L. MLODINOW, The Grand Design, 5.

I indicated the sentence that proclaims the death of philosophy while at the same time Hawking raises philosophical problems. Is not it contradictory? Is not it a bit presumptuous to say that only science provides knowledge and is the ONLY bearer of truth? We see how necessary the need for dialogue between philosophy (theology), science is, without insults or death claims.

His responses actually remind me of another person who has much the same approach, namely you. You really need to chill out.

The improbability of this universe rising up exactly as it is has indeed been calculated.

Stephen Hawking has estimated that if the rate of the universe's expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have re-collapsed into a hot fireball.

P.C.W. Davies has calculated that the odds against the initial conditions being suitable for later star formation (without which planets could not exist) is one followed by a thousand billion billion zeroes, at least.

John Barrow and Frank Tipler estimate that a change in the strength of gravity or of the weak force by only one part in 10100 would have prevented a life-permitting universe. There are around 50 such quantities and constants present in the Big Bang which must be fine-tuned in this way if the universe is to permit life. And it's not just each quantity that must be exquisitely finetuned; their ratios to one another must be also finely-tuned. So improbability is multiplied by improbability.

If two events are statistically independent, then the probability of both happening equals the product of the probabilities of each one happening independently. For example, if the chance of rain in Moscow on a particular day in the future is 0.4 and the chance of an earthquake in San Francisco on that same day is 0.00003, then the chance of both happening on that day is 0.4 × 0.00003 = 0.000012.

Now do the math for approximately 50 different improbabilites happening. While the answer is not zero, the result is so improbable, that it might as well be called impossible. The only out you have, the only get out of jail free card you have, is the multiverse.

You barrage of questions above indicates you have not done your homework, the least you could have sone is researched the cosmological constant and the fine tuning of the universe for yourself.

I posted this earlier but I will do so again for your benefit....

Fine Tuning Parameters for the Universe

  1. strong nuclear force constant
    if larger: no hydrogen would form; atomic nuclei for most life-essential elements would be unstable; thus, no life chemistry
    if smaller: no elements heavier than hydrogen would form: again, no life chemistry
  2. weak nuclear force constant
    if larger: too much hydrogen would convert to helium in big bang; hence, stars would convert too much matter into heavy elements making life chemistry impossible
    if smaller: too little helium would be produced from big bang; hence, stars would convert too little matter into heavy elements making life chemistry impossible
  3. gravitational force constant
    if larger: stars would be too hot and would burn too rapidly and too unevenly for life chemistry
    if smaller: stars would be too cool to ignite nuclear fusion; thus, many of the elements needed for life chemistry would never form
  4. electromagnetic force constant
    if greater: chemical bonding would be disrupted; elements more massive than boron would be unstable to fission
    if lesser: chemical bonding would be insufficient for life chemistry
  5. ratio of electromagnetic force constant to gravitational force constant
    if larger: all stars would be at least 40% more massive than the sun; hence, stellar burning would be too brief and too uneven for life support
    if smaller: all stars would be at least 20% less massive than the sun, thus incapable of producing heavy elements
  6. ratio of electron to proton mass
    if larger: chemical bonding would be insufficient for life chemistry
    if smaller: same as above
  7. ratio of number of protons to number of electrons
    if larger: electromagnetism would dominate gravity, preventing galaxy, star, and planet formation
    if smaller: same as above
  8. expansion rate of the universe
    if larger: no galaxies would form
    if smaller: universe would collapse, even before stars formed
  9. entropy level of the universe
    if larger: stars would not form within proto-galaxies
    if smaller: no proto-galaxies would form
  10. mass density of the universe
    if larger: overabundance of deuterium from big bang would cause stars to burn rapidly, too rapidly for life to form
    if smaller: insufficient helium from big bang would result in a shortage of heavy elements
  11. velocity of light
    if faster: stars would be too luminous for life support if slower: stars would be insufficiently luminous for life support
  12. age of the universe
    if older: no solar-type stars in a stable burning phase would exist in the right (for life) part of the galaxy
    if younger: solar-type stars in a stable burning phase would not yet have formed
  13. initial uniformity of radiation
    if more uniform: stars, star clusters, and galaxies would not have formed
    if less uniform: universe by now would be mostly black holes and empty space
  14. average distance between galaxies
    if larger: star formation late enough in the history of the universe would be hampered by lack of material
    if smaller: gravitational tug-of-wars would destabilize the sun's orbit
  15. density of galaxy cluster
    if denser: galaxy collisions and mergers would disrupt the sun's orbit
    if less dense: star formation late enough in the history of the universe would be hampered by lack of material
  16. average distance between stars
    if larger: heavy element density would be too sparse for rocky planets to form
    if smaller: planetary orbits would be too unstable for life
  17. fine structure constant (describing the fine-structure splitting of spectral lines) if larger: all stars would be at least 30% less massive than the sun
    if larger than 0.06: matter would be unstable in large magnetic fields
    if smaller: all stars would be at least 80% more massive than the sun
  18. decay rate of protons
    if greater: life would be exterminated by the release of radiation
    if smaller: universe would contain insufficient matter for life
  19. 12C to 16O nuclear energy level ratio
    if larger: universe would contain insufficient oxygen for life
    if smaller: universe would contain insufficient carbon for life
  20. ground state energy level for 4He
    if larger: universe would contain insufficient carbon and oxygen for life
    if smaller: same as above
  21. decay rate of 8Be
    if slower: heavy element fusion would generate catastrophic explosions in all the stars
    if faster: no element heavier than beryllium would form; thus, no life chemistry
  22. ratio of neutron mass to proton mass
    if higher: neutron decay would yield too few neutrons for the formation of many life-essential elements
    if lower: neutron decay would produce so many neutrons as to collapse all stars into neutron stars or black holes
  23. initial excess of nucleons over anti-nucleons
    if greater: radiation would prohibit planet formation
    if lesser: matter would be insufficient for galaxy or star formation
  24. polarity of the water molecule
    if greater: heat of fusion and vaporization would be too high for life
    if smaller: heat of fusion and vaporization would be too low for life; liquid water would not work as a solvent for life chemistry; ice would not float, and a runaway freeze-up would result
  25. supernovae eruptions
    if too close, too frequent, or too late: radiation would exterminate life on the planet
    if too distant, too infrequent, or too soon: heavy elements would be too sparse for rocky planets to form
  26. white dwarf binaries
    if too few: insufficient fluorine would exist for life chemistry
    if too many: planetary orbits would be too unstable for life
    if formed too soon: insufficient fluorine production
    if formed too late: fluorine would arrive too late for life chemistry
  27. ratio of exotic matter mass to ordinary matter mass
    if larger: universe would collapse before solar-type stars could form
    if smaller: no galaxies would form
  28. number of effective dimensions in the early universe
    if larger: quantum mechanics, gravity, and relativity could not coexist; thus, life would be impossible
    if smaller: same result
  29. number of effective dimensions in the present universe
    if smaller: electron, planet, and star orbits would become unstable
    if larger: same result
  30. mass of the neutrino
    if smaller: galaxy clusters, galaxies, and stars would not form
    if larger: galaxy clusters and galaxies would be too dense
  31. big bang ripples
    if smaller: galaxies would not form; universe would expand too rapidly
    if larger: galaxies/galaxy clusters would be too dense for life; black holes would dominate; universe would collapse before life-site could form
  32. size of the relativistic dilation factor
    if smaller: certain life-essential chemical reactions will not function properly
    if larger: same result
  33. uncertainty magnitude in the Heisenberg uncertainty principle
    if smaller: oxygen transport to body cells would be too small and certain life-essential elements would be unstable
    if larger: oxygen transport to body cells would be too great and certain life-essential elements would be unstable
  34. cosmological constant
    if larger: universe would expand too quickly to form solar-type stars

I will even add the video you ignored ealier since they are quite clear there on the odds of this happening naturally.

Edited by Jor-el

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Posted (edited)

The M-Theory allows for the possibility of other universes.

How? Explain the process so that we ignorant folk can understand it.

What theory is this called? The big bang theory doesn't address other universes.

Is english your native language?

The big bang as we know the theory is embedded within a new larger hypothesis called the multiverse. Nothing else about the big bang changes by adding this extra dimension. That people forget that it is non-testable at all is highly convenient, and makes for great "science".

Is this when you start back peddling? You stated your position of God being the creator is supported by science. Now you're being asked to support it, or you can continue to dodge.

No, that is your interpretation of my words even though I do admit to that belief, but that is not what I have been defending in this thread.

I am defending that the universe HAD a 1st cause and that this 1st cause is external to the universe and designed this universe with a purpose, the end result of which is us and other lifeforms. The fine tuning of the universe and the golden ratio support quite clearly the hand of intentional and intelligent design. Now what I add to this is that I believe this external 1st cause to be God. You can reject that if you want, that last part is merely my belief, what you cannot reject is the facts I laid out without invoking a multiverse.

I think it is quite clear you're twisting science to support your unscientific position. Scientific papers have criteria to meet.

You have rejected and ignored all 3 scientific papers I have linked to on this thread, even when you know those papers are genuine and written by respected scientists of the field. I think this tells us more about you than about me.

The request is quite straightforeword, it seems you've wasted much of your post rambling which I've ignored.

I actually hoped for the contrary but was not in the least surprised at the response.

Edited by Jor-el

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Perhaps only a mere look at everything + a bit of a logical htinking prompts the fact that there must be a God.

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Now do the math for approximately 50 different improbabilites happening.

OK. Let's see, step 1. You mentioned,

If two events are statistically independent, then the probability of both happening equals the product of the probabilities of each one happening independently.

Yes, I've heard that this is how indpendent probabilities combine. Now, the reason why these fifty events are probabilistically independent of each other is ... where?

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Naturally you would prefer believe, which would mean that the results would be biased and skewed, which they are not.

Ah, so you are telepathic now, you know what I would 'prefer' (while you of course are entirely unbiased and are merely going where the evidence takes you, no preconceptions at all...). And no that does not logically follow: if some scientists just believe currently that God is the explanation for how the universe began/how something came from 'nothing', it doesn't mean they are biased are skewed, I don't know where you're getting that from. It just means they currently don't have enough data or information to conclude that, which is accurate, and many religious scientists do admit as much.

You seem to believe that you can get around that, but I'm afraid I'm going to burst your bubble on that. Deny it all you want, the evidence is there for a 1st cause and that that 1st cause must be something that is external to the creation of the universe itself. You have a choice, either accept the multiverse, or accept that someone (NOT SOMETHING) created the universe.

You're definitely not going to burst my bubble just with assertions, like 'NOT SOMETHING', with no other explanation as to why it has to be 'somebody', nor your false dichotomies. Here's what I asked you several days ago:

I do have a better answer than God, namely, it was created by something that has the capability to, accepting your hypothesis, create something from nothing. What kind of information, evidence, rational argumentation, or studies do we have about what can create universes from nothing? Absolutely zilch. Yes, I agree that a being that you have defined as having the power to create something from nothing could have created the universe from nothing, so? I can equally define many other beings and non-beings as being able to do the same thing which would have equal argumentation and evidential value, if any, as long as I am as equally unburdened as you are by any responsibility to show that said being/non-being actually exists.

As I said before, you responded to this essentially with a sermon about the choice is mine whether I believe. Now maybe you thought I was mocking you, fair enough, but I'm not, I'm entirely serious. What information do we have about how universes are created? What do we know specifically about 'nothing'? I was under the impression that very question was currently the subject of rather lively debate. Or do you just think these questions are entirely irrelevant, and no expertise or knowledge is needed concerning this before assenting to the statement, and I'll admit this may not be a totally accurate paraphrase of your position, 'since the current thinking is that the universe may have come from 'nothing', the best answer is that God created the universe'. Let me just assert as a contrast for comparison, 'the best answer is that the universe was caused by a Universal Non-sentient Creation Force'. In response, you should say, 'LG, there's no good evidence that any UNCF exists', and I can equally say, 'Jor-El, there's no good evidence that any god exists either'.

Do you even know what the term "God of the Gaps" refers to? You use it so liberally but within the incorrect context.

Maybe I am, but I'll never know unless you actually provide an argument. Yes, I'm quite familiar with God of the gaps: there is a gap in our understanding of nature, therefore the cause is God or the supernatural. Like, 'we don't know how the universe can come from 'nothing', therefore the best answer is that God caused it'. I wouldn't use it so liberally if you'd either alter your argument (or clarify if I've misread you) or provide an argument explaining why it's not fallacious.

Is not it a bit presumptuous to say that only science provides knowledge and is the ONLY bearer of truth? We see how necessary the need for dialogue between philosophy (theology), science is, without insults or death claims.

Who said that only science provides knowledge, yes that's a bit presumptious, but Hawking didn't say that. I certainly think that the methods of science, rationality, empiricism, skepticism are the best ways at determining the truth. And maybe you bring up a more interesting topic there, concerning 'we see how necessary the need for dialogue between theology and science is'. I guess I don't see what you're talking about there, why is it necessary? Again, there are plenty of religious scientists who are not being prevented from doing research or developing theories using any methodology they'd like. It is simply not the case that 'based on what we know about the creation of the universe, the best answer is that God caused it, but there are too many non-religious scientists who are biased and just can't bring themselves to 'admit' it despite the compelling evidence'. And many religious scientists do literally admit that is not the case.

You really need to chill out.

Ha, I'm quite chill, thanks for your concern. What exactly do I need to chill out, daring to disagree with you?

The improbability of this universe rising up exactly as it is has indeed been calculated.

And the probability was?

Stephen Hawking has estimated that if the rate of the universe's expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have re-collapsed into a hot fireball.

What is the probability that the rate of the universe's expansion could actually have been smaller? How do we know?

P.C.W. Davies has calculated that the odds against the initial conditions being suitable for later star formation (without which planets could not exist) is one followed by a thousand billion billion zeroes, at least.

How does Davies know how other universes with other values will behave? I agree, if things were different, things would be different. Davies knows enough about 'life' to say whether it is possible in other universes? Don't confuse 'life in this universe' with 'life', our knowledge of what life is and the conditions under which it is possible given certain values of universal constants is based on a sample size of 1. And we don't even know how life in this universe arose. You do realize that 'science' is not determined by a few scientists theorizing, it relies on consensus and rightly so.

John Barrow and Frank Tipler estimate that a change in the strength of gravity or of the weak force by only one part in 10100 would have prevented a life-permitting universe. There are around 50 such quantities and constants present in the Big Bang which must be fine-tuned in this way if the universe is to permit life. And it's not just each quantity that must be exquisitely finetuned; their ratios to one another must be also finely-tuned. So improbability is multiplied by improbability.

If two events are statistically independent, then the probability of both happening equals the product of the probabilities of each one happening independently. For example, if the chance of rain in Moscow on a particular day in the future is 0.4 and the chance of an earthquake in San Francisco on that same day is 0.00003, then the chance of both happening on that day is 0.4 × 0.00003 = 0.000012.

Now do the math for approximately 50 different improbabilites happening. While the answer is not zero, the result is so improbable, that it might as well be called impossible. The only out you have, the only get out of jail free card you have, is the multiverse.

What is the probability that the strength of gravity or the weak force can vary at all? Has someone come up with a probability distribution, based on what exactly? How do you know that any of these values are independent from each other, that is highly dubious. Why aren't the questions I'm asking relevant? They seem like pretty basic questions that need answers in order to start calculating probablities. I'm not pointing that just at you, yes I'm aware of the fine-tuning argument as best as I can understand it and there are many religious scientists who do make 'an argument' that it points to God and I'd be interested in any answer, even if it's that these questions don't require answers because we know 'x'.

You barrage of questions above indicates you have not done your homework, the least you could have sone is researched the cosmological constant and the fine tuning of the universe for yourself.

Your avoidance of my questions indicates that you do not have an answer for them or don't find them relevant, you could clarify. I question how much you've researched given that you seem to ignore that there is considerable criticism and debate concerning the 'fine-tuning, therefore God' argument, one would never know it from your 'barrage' of 'forceful' language.

I posted this earlier but I will do so again for your benefit....

It's unnecessary but thank you anyway, I did see it the previous time you posted it. Again, what is the probability of any of these constants being a different value? Are we analyzing what the probability is of rolling two dice and getting an 8, or the probability of getting a 20? How do we know?

I will even add the video you ignored ealier since they are quite clear there on the odds of this happening naturally.

I watched the first minute and then clicked it off when they listed pi as fine-tuned number; yes, if pi was at all different we wouldn't have circles, or something. *eyeroll* Would you like me to link the 50 minute video from Victor Stenger arguing why the fine-tuning argument is absurd? And then you post a refutation of the refutation, ad infinitum? I'm not big on argument via youtube myself, but again thanks for taking the time to provide it.

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In a way the responses to the orginal post amuse me...as every person who posts a response tries to reason something that they can't comprehend..or comprehend something that is not reasonable to them. I doubt you will ever find, ever, on this forum anything but opinions..and the expression of self. So the greater question..is who created 'self'? Did you? Do you have complete control over your own existance..and if so, you can also know the day of your death, and all that happens in between? What is the purpose of your life? ...there will always be more questions than answers..and answers are, for the most part, dictated by a belief or an education...an idea that one subscribes to as being the 'only' Truth..also becomes a 'belief'..and, consequently, an opinion. Or an 'expressed' opinion. Religion is based on FAITH..Science is based on FACT. These opposing views will always create arguments..between believers of Faith..and believers of Science. The belief in Science..and that what it tells us..that it's words are without fault, proven and stable, the defining of an event. But is Science really that? How many times in the past, or present for that matter, has Science had to change it's postion based on it's (or a persons view of something..that is preached as the ONLY truth)..current knowledge? How many times in history?

To say that Science is absolute..is to relegate yourself to a life that is defined by the understandings of the 'interpretations' of life, or it's creation, bases wholly on the understanding of Man. ...of course..if you look around you..I'm sure you will see just how MANKIND has treated one another..and has 'Understood' science and then spend billions of dollars devising ways to deystroy..'mankind'...bit hypocrytical don't you think? Or maybe that's just my opinion.

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By logic alone god had to be created by something else and you cannot give proof or something just by faith also for something to be absolute truth it has to be accepted by every single human so by all of that you cannot say that god exists or that he created the universe

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Posted (edited)

Is english your native language?

The big bang as we know the theory is embedded within a new larger hypothesis called the multiverse. Nothing else about the big bang changes by adding this extra dimension. That people forget that it is non-testable at all is highly convenient, and makes for great "science".

Are you daft? The Big bang doesn't address other universes, so tell me this theory that forbids the existence of other universes.
You have rejected and ignored all 3 scientific papers I have linked to on this thread, even when you know those papers are genuine and written by respected scientists of the field. I think this tells us more about you than about me.

Face it, you haven't posted a scientific paper and I don't see it changing. You're blowing hot air. Edited by Rlyeh

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The list of "coincidences" that make our existence possible is well taken. I've seen calculations that make the perfection of our universe for our existence unbelievably unlikely if taken as a chance event.

A similar argument was once made about the earth and the conditions seemingly designed for us to be able to live here. You don't hear that argment much any more because we now know the universe is teeming with planets and many of them are indeed earth-like.

The same approach can be taken to the conditions of the universe at large. If nature is constantly throwing off cosmoses (it is better here to change the vocabulary and keep "universe" as meaning "all there is" and adopt "cosmos" for the particular "universe" we observe), each cosmos with different, somewhat randomly set physical characteristics, then here and there, no matter how unlikely, one will happen that can sustain us.

Another possibility is that the characteristics of the cosmos are not really as random as we tend to assume, but are fixed by only a few random variables, the others being determined therefrom by connections we don't yet understand. That sort of thing would greatly improve the odds from what seems so wildly unlikely to merely a few coin tosses.

The third possibility is some sort of actual design -- by superbeings in another cosmos who delierately set in motion cosmoses that will sustain life. I dare say we would do as much, and the technology to set off a "big bang" may not be all that outrageous -- just a certain tweaking of noral random quantum fluctuations (of course the new big bang would be in a new set of dimensions, so it would not harm those doing it).

Finally, it may be said that the tremendous odds against our existence are evidence that we live in a simulation.

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Posted (edited)

I'd just like to emphasize a point in Liquid Gardens' presentation, before it gets lost in the shuffle.

I watched the first minute and then clicked it off when they listed pi as fine-tuned number; yes, if pi was at all different we wouldn't have circles, or something.

What pi's fine-tunedness illustrates is that some fine-tunedness is necessary, and not in the least "probabilistic." Pi cannot be any other value than what it is, exactly what it is, not even "a little bit" different from what it is exactly.

"Having circles" is not an optional feature of universes. Maybe in some universes, there would be nobody around to think about circles, or maybe there are thinkers, but circles don't interest them enough to think about them. No matter, pi is woven into the fabric of existence whether it is recognized or not, and whether circles are realized or not.

Einstein, who was a deist, believed in what appeared to him to be a mind or spirit distinct from the material universe itself. He recognized the issue of not knowing how much and what kinds of orderliness are necessary, to be a difficulty for his deist beliefs.

What really interested me is whether God could make the world differently, that

is, whether the requirement of logical simplicity leaves any freedom.

~ reported by Ernst G. Straus, in Carl Seelig (ed.), Helle Zeit—Dunkle Zeit: In

Memoriam Albert Einstein (Europa Verlag, Zuürich, 1956), p.72

The inference from natural order to God depends on natural order being contingent rather than necessary or inevitable. Otherwise, you might argue the existence of God from the rich orderliness of number theory, when in fact, all of it is simply tautological.

Since it could not be other than it is, nobody could have placed the orderliness there. The margin of freedom, a choice for some entity to have made, is crucial for natural theology to discern a maker distinct from Nature itself. The urgency of this problem would plausibly have been especially apparent to a Spinozan like Einstein.

Source for quotation, cite and discussion:

http://uncertaintist...-irreligion.pdf

Edited by eight bits
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I kinda wonder sometimes whey God didn't bury His message in all the unneeded decimals of a number like pi. He seems to have preferred randomness.

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I kinda wonder sometimes whey God didn't bury His message in all the unneeded decimals of a number like pi. He seems to have preferred randomness.

I'm not sure how that would work, it's humans that invented the formula and computed the value.

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Pi is a pure number. We compute its value but we don't have any control over what the next digit will be. God, on the other hand, could easily have buried elaborate messages in it -- endless possible messages -- for us to find. A circle would still be a circle as far as we could possibly tell (twenty or so digits of pi is all that is needed to calculate the diameter of the known universe to an accuracy less than that of the diameter of a neutron). The millions and billions of digits of pi beyond that are nothing more than an interesting exercise in calculating power and a good test for randomness -- but it doesn't have to be random -- God could have put his Word in it in a way no one could mess with.

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The list of "coincidences" that make our existence possible is well taken. I've seen calculations that make the perfection of our universe for our existence unbelievably unlikely if taken as a chance event.

In order for things to be 'coincidences', we have to have some information about what the other options are, and I'm not sure which of the 'fine-tuned' constants could have other values and how we know. I haven't had much luck finding answers to my questions, and that may be just because of limitations in my scientific understanding and expertise. To me, there seems to be a big fat assumption in the fine-tuning argument: the fine-tuned constants can have other values and the value that they currently have is improbable in some way. I don't know what the basis for that assumption is. Are there areas in our universe where these constants have different values, do we know if any of them are variable at all?

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What pi's fine-tunedness illustrates is that some fine-tunedness is necessary, and not in the least "probabilistic." Pi cannot be any other value than what it is, exactly what it is, not even "a little bit" different from what it is exactly.

Thanks for link 8, I'll check that out when work is not interrupting important stuff. Question though, in what way is pi 'fine-tuned'. Would we say pi was fine tuned if it simply had the value of 3? Would it be fine-tuned if it was not a constant at all? Is the Pythagorean theorem fine-tuned?

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Frank

A circle would still be a circle as far as we could possibly tell (twenty or so digits of pi is all that is needed to calculate the diameter of the known universe to an accuracy less than that of the diameter of a neutron).

OK, I'll bite. What has that to do with our knowledge of the decimal expansion of pi to several orders of magnitude more than twenty digits?

I anticipate that I'll regret asking, but take your best shot. I feel lucky today.

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Posted (edited)

What interesting and learned posts here, such fascinating numbers, such convolutions. So, somebody please remind me, which end of a boiled egg goes uppermost in the cup, the pointy end or the broad end? And in all this static I may have missed the bit were it was discovered exactly how many angels fit on the head of a pin....

Edited by Atentutankh-pasheri

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LG

Question though, in what way is pi 'fine-tuned'. Would we say pi was fine tuned if it simply had the value of 3? Would it be fine-tuned if it was not a constant at all? Is the Pythagorean theorem fine-tuned?

You mentioned that you had encountered it as a "fine tuning" example in one of the apologists' YouTube videos. But it isn't "fine tuned;" it isn't tuned at all.

A circle isn't a physical object, it is an ideal planar figure that comprises all the points on the plane which are equidistant from one designated point, the center. Pi is the ratio of the ideal figure's circumference to the figure's diameter. That ratio is identical for all planes, centers and diameters. That ratio cannot be expressed as the ratio of any two natural numbers, hence its decimal expansion neither terminates nor repeats.

All these things are necessary facts about that kind of ideal object. They cannot be otherwise than they are. God did not "fine tune" them, because God cannot change them. He might forbid us from thinking about circles, or he might avoid things that are close to circles in his own mighty work, but there is no circle with any different pi.

So, there is no answer to your questions about pi. It cannot be 3, it cannot be variable. Similarly, the Pythagorean Theorem cannot be different than it is. It can be misapplied (as it was when the state of Vermont was surveyed long ago by the lowest bidder...) but what it says, including that the exponents are exactly 2, not just "precisely" 2, cannot be other than what it is.

The physical things are much harder to know about. We also get surprises. The exponents in the inverse square law of gravitation, which relate force to distance, were long thought to be exactly two. Well, maybe they are, but "distance" itself turns out to be a labile quanitity. So it is that Mercury traces out a rosette instead of a single ellipse as it orbits the Sun, not because the "right exponent" of distance in the law of gravitational force isn't 2, but because Mercury travels through a space warped by the nearby solar mass.

What if, then, there actually is a "Theory of Everything," and what we see as fifty, or whatever, different constants are all fifty distinct manifestations of the same one thing? It happened before with electricity and magnetism - it used to be thought that changing either can "cause" the other to "appear." Now we know that they are more profitably viewed as two measurable aspects of one underlying thing.

Maxwell (or at least his typical reader) was surprised when he calculated that the speed at which a moving electric field would induce a magnetic field whose change would induce an electric field which would induce... in a self-sustaining push-me-pull-you was "coincidentally" the speed of light. Now we know that there was nothing coincidental about it.

The speed of light is not independent of the constants in the laws governing electricity and magnetism. Who knew? What other physical constants aren't indpendent of each other? Who knows?

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Pi is a pure number. We compute its value but we don't have any control over what the next digit will be. God, on the other hand, could easily have buried elaborate messages in it -- endless possible messages -- for us to find. A circle would still be a circle as far as we could possibly tell (twenty or so digits of pi is all that is needed to calculate the diameter of the known universe to an accuracy less than that of the diameter of a neutron). The millions and billions of digits of pi beyond that are nothing more than an interesting exercise in calculating power and a good test for randomness -- but it doesn't have to be random -- God could have put his Word in it in a way no one could mess with.

Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to it's diameter in mathematics, even God would have little control over it.

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Eight Bits: Your points about how some of the constants we think are random may not be but instead derived from other constants is well taken. It would mean that the very laws of physics are what they are because this is what they must be. To me this would be a far more profound indication of design than what is being proposed (a largely chance line-up). The second possibility allows for a multi-cosmos type of explanation, the former just cries for design.

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Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to it's diameter in mathematics, even God would have little control over it.

What the digits of pi are beyond some arbitrary figure -- make it as high as you like -- are not relevant to us. God is said to be omnipotent; He could make them anything He wants. It would have no effect.

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You mentioned that you had encountered it as a "fine tuning" example in one of the apologists' YouTube videos. But it isn't "fine tuned;" it isn't tuned at all.

Thanks for the clarification that you don't view pi as being fine-tuned, I agree. The only thing I might disagree with in your post is concerning how God cannot change pi, that does not seem logical to me even though I can't comprehend such a thing. It seems to presuppose that there is some greater reality with laws and rules that God dwells in, and that he is somehow constrained by, when I don't know how he can be. If we say that if God is to create a circle the ratio of the of the circumference to the diameter must be pi, where did that 'rule' come from if not God? If it just 'is', then that 'is-ness' had to come from somewhere (under a framework where God actually exists and is the ultimate creator of course).

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Posted (edited)

What the digits of pi are beyond some arbitrary figure -- make it as high as you like -- are not relevant to us. God is said to be omnipotent; He could make them anything He wants. It would have no effect.

What has this got to do with anything? This isn't relevant to God either. You seem to be under the impression God created mathematics.

Not even God can make a square circle.

Edited by Rlyeh

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If God can't make a square circle then he isn't "God," but only some god.

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