Proposition 1 - Fine tuning

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Tin-man's picture
@Random Re: "...miniscule

@Random Re: "...miniscule speck within the sky..."

Yeah, I grew up watching Nova with one of my uncles. Carl Sagan was "Da Man." (Thinking back, it's kinda funny now, considering how religious my family was. lol) Still, everything about space and all the amazing things in the universe totally captured my attention. The sheer vastness of the universe completely boggles the mind. I don't even remotely pretend to understand it all, but I love it nonetheless. *grin*

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I appreciate asking for

I appreciate asking for clarity rather than adopting the least charitable interpretation lol.

I don't think the statement "the universe tunes itself" invokes consciousness. A spinning gyroscope balances itself, and it has no "mind" or "intentionality" to do so.

So how does the universe do anything? By means of its laws and limitations. How does the universe produce life? Through the production of galaxies pulled together by gravity. Through the fusion of atoms into bigger and heavier elements. Through the bonds that unite them into molecules.

The golden rule of the universe is achieving balance and homeostasis at the lowest energy state. Somewhere, in the universe's path to achieving that, it passes through the critical point at which life can exist. Thus, it slowly tunes itself for life, and perhaps only to tune itself out.

Is it the way I speak? The Christian label that hovers over me? I don't understand why my materialistic statements, are turned spiritual by people.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Breezy - Is it the way I

Breezy - Is it the way I speak?

Pretty much, because you are using the phrase fine tuning in a totally different way that it is used in physics. For example:

Breezy - Somewhere, in the universe's path to achieving that, it passes through the critical point at which life can exist. Thus, it slowly tunes itself for life...

That is time evolution, not fine tuning.

Fine tuning would be more like: the universe was started with using f=mv but that didn't work so then f=ma was tried. It is a change or permutation of the space of the fundamental laws themselves. Kind of like what Hollywood calls a "reboot".

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Well I'm not a physicist

Well I'm not a physicist writing physics paper, neither are most members here, so I do expect a certain level of tolerance and understanding.

Not sure what you mean by time evolution. But I don't think fine tuning is similar to a rebooting or changing process. The idea of tuning implies adjusting what you already have. Guitars are tuned for instance, and the strings remain the same, they're just tightened or loosened until the proper note comes out.

Your scenario of fine tuning sounds more like "evolution." A gene (f=mv) is produced and passed down, natural selection kills it off, now another gene (f=ma) develops and passes down, etc.

Nyarlathotep's picture
John 6IX Breezy - Not sure

John 6IX Breezy - Not sure what you mean by time evolution.

Time evolution is the process of updating a state to a new state after a certain amount of time has passed. That is totally different than fine tuning. Remember what you said:

John 6IX Breezy - The golden rule of the universe is achieving balance and homeostasis at the lowest energy state. Somewhere, in the universe's path to achieving that, it passes through the critical point at which life can exist. Thus, it slowly tunes itself for life...

That is time evolution.
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Your scenario of fine tuning sounds more like "evolution."

No John. Fine tuning is not a time evolution. It is a permutation of the possible laws, to formulate all of existence. You change the rules, wipe the slate clean and start over. Or restated: you start your system in state X, then apply evolution laws and calculate the new state Y at time t. If you then want to fine tune the system you dispose of this system, change the time evolution laws themselves, then start your system over in state X and then see what happens. Fine tuning necessarily involves a reboot or at the very least a (new) start. You don't fine tune existing systems (that would mean changing the evolution laws on the fly, which would violate the principle of relativity at the very least).
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By repeatedly using the phrase fine tuning you drag all these (and many more) assumptions into the mix; and they don't mesh with what you are saying. I submit this is why you get so many objections/disagree votes.

My advice; if you want to discuss new concepts, don't use the name of old concepts or you will confuse the shit out of your audience.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Fine then. Buy I find

Fine then. But I do find something interesting with your physical description of fine tuning (mine was different).

What then do you think is the case?

Because based on that, I assume you only have two options. Either the universe came to be, with precisely the right laws and framework that would eventually lead to life, no tuning occurred. Or the universe does have reboot life cycles, and each life cycle may bring new laws, therefore tuning occurs. These reboots then happen multiple times until we get to the cycle we are in now, life appears, then may disappear in the next cycle.

I've definitely heard notions of universal life cycles before, not to mention the multiverse is basically the same concept.

So do you agree with that, and if so are you in favor of your own physical definition of tuning?

Or do you instead agree with the first option, and if so, do you think that precision was purely accidental and extremely convenient? Or do you invoke some type of "precognition/designer"

Or is there a third option?

Nyarlathotep's picture
John 6IX Breezy - Because

John 6IX Breezy - Because based on that, I assume you only have two options. Either the universe came to be, with precisely the right laws and framework that would eventually lead to life, no tuning occurred. Or the universe does have reboot life cycles...Or is there a third option?

Third option: presumably there is a volume of phase space of possible laws where life is possible and a volume where it is not possible. Clearly we started in a volume where it is possible. With the interesting question of what is the ratio of the volumes? Well no one knows the answer to that.

Aposteriori Unum's picture
"No. I haven't told you what

"No. I haven't told you what I believe, nor do I care enough about my own beliefs to bring them up. What matters is my response to the OP. I'll gladly repeat it for you: Tuning comes first. Life second"

So you never said you believe in god or that you deny evolution?

Sheldon's picture
"Larry the white moth doesn't

"Larry the white moth doesn't change to black in order to survive in Industrial London. "

That's not how evolution works. Over time those who are best suited to their environments with camouflage are more likely to live long enough to pass on their genes, and over time those genes become dominant. A sudden change in environment over a few decades could be catastrophic as the speed of change outstrips evolution. This is a well known phenomena as well, Dawkins mentions it in at least one of his books on evolution, and it in no way poses any problems for the scientific fact of species evolution.

Why do you keep dishonestly ignoring the vast timescales involved, even after it's been explained to you repeatedly?

"Larry dies. Larry's son however, which was randomly born black, lives. Larry's son didn't adapt, he was just born lucky. "

You really don't have even a basic grasp of evolution. We're back to the analogy of Spanish and French evolving from Latin, but at no point did a Latin speaking parent give birth to a Spanish or French speaking child. Small changes, over immense timescales add up to much bigger changes including speciation.

"Good, because not only could I probably give and explain those details better, they are also irrelevant to my argument."

So much better you are completely at odds with the entire scientific world, a few bat shit crazy creationists aside, whose latest dishonest trick is to finance their own journals because their superstitious pseudoscience can't pass muster, and get properly peer reviewed by real scientists in credible worthy scientific journals.

If your grasp of the topic is so good why are you wrong in your conclusion, and at odds with science?

Tin-man's picture
@John Re: "You can't

@John Re: "You can't logically say the first living thing adapted to the universe in order to live..."

True that. I totally agree it makes no sense to say something "living" simply "appeared" one day and then had to quickly adapt to the conditions around it. Never implied otherwise. (Not intentionally, at least.) What does make sense to me, however, is that living things developed as a result of the conditions at the time. Then, as those living things grew and advanced, their presence had an effect on the surroundings, causing changes in the surroundings that over time caused new and more advanced organisms to develop and so on and so on. Conversely, trying to say the Earth was tailor-made for Man, and then one day Man was suddenly just tossed down from the sky from some magical "petri dish" already fully grown and fully functional seems - quite frankly- rather absurd.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
I agree, living things do

I agree, living things do change their environment and affect it. Primarily because living things need to consume the environment, and produce waste. All of which seems antagonistic to the individual. If you leave me in a sealed room, eventually I'll consume all the oxygen.

The part I disagree with is this: "...caused new and more advanced organisms to develop." Breathing out all the oxygen in a room doesn't cause anything to develop. Instead I better hope that my children, for whatever reason, are born breathing CO2 instead of oxygen. Its a game of luck, not adaptation. Though I do think us humans, are the first living things capable of truly "adapting." We don't do so by changing our DNA. We do so by creating the right technology to keep us alive.

Tin-man's picture
@John Re: "Breathing out all

@John Re: "Breathing out all the oxygen in a room doesn't cause anything to develop. Instead I better hope that my children, for whatever reason, are born breathing CO2 instead of oxygen."

Let me start by saying that I am in no way, shape, or form an expert on any of this. What little I know comes from watching a few science shows, reading a few books, and some vague memories of high school science class. Anything else basically just comes from common sense and reasoning. In other words, my knowledge in this area is rudimentary, at best. Be that as it may, even at a most basic level, I do not see how you (as a fully developed human being) sealed in an empty room can even remotely compare to the conditions such as they were when life first started developing on Earth. Yes, the Earth is a "sealed" ecosystem (Even though it can be "contaminated" by debris from space via meteors, and by various radiation. But that is beside the point.), but it was also a highly complex mixture of chemicals and compounds within an ever-changing system. With that system being ever-changing due to the interactions of those highly complex chemicals and compounds. That is what I meant by simple organisms gradually causing the development of increasingly more complex organisms. Therefore, your analogy of being sealed in an empty room seems a tad bit "off base".

Like I said, I am aware that this is an extremely basic way of explaining this. I am pretty sure there are a couple of "heavyweights" out there who can elaborate and fill in the gaps on it, but overall this is the general concept. Hope it makes sense.

Qu@si's picture
The first living things on

The first living things on Earth, single-celled micro-organisms or microbes lacking a cell nucleus or cell membrane known as prokaryotes, seem to have first appeared on Earth almost four billion years ago, just a few hundred million years after the formation of the Earth itself.

The first oxygen-dependent life on land may have been bacteria that "eat" pyrite, also known as fool's gold. Similar bacteria still exist at mining waste sites, where pyrite has been discarded creating highly acidic conditions. Above, a modern-day acidic drainage at an abandoned copper mine.

i just googled it

Diotrephes's picture
John 61X,

John 61X,

Do you really think that you could have survived in Earth's atmosphere of 200 million years ago?

Sheldon's picture
"Only the earth was adapted

"Only the earth was adapted for us, and even then man was specifically placed in Eden. "

Not true, we have been adapted to the earth, slowly over massive timescales. Eden is just a superstitious myth.

"However if we take the universe as a whole, then it's laws must allow for life, or be adapted to it, otherwise it never would have developed."

life hasn't developed in the universe as a whole, so your clam is demonstrably wrong. The laws you refer to are just human concepts created by us to help us understand how the universe works.

"Life doesn't adapt to the universe,"

True, life has adapted to the earth."

"The universe produced life,"

No it didn't, the earth produced life under a very specific set of conditions, and that life adapted and evolved under environmental pressures through natural selection, all the evidence we have confirms this.

" It's laws must first permit life before it can emerge and survive."

Again the vast majority of the universe is entirely hostile to life, the vast size and age allowed for countless random variation, and we know of only one planet where those random variations produced an environment that allowed life to emerged, and that life evolved and adapted to the planet, not the other way around. Life suits it's environment perfectly because life that does this is better at reproducing, and those characteristics thrive.

Qu@si's picture
"even then man was

"even then man was specifically placed in Eden"

universe has nothing to do with eden and religion bruh. stop it

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Show me you comprehend my

Show me you comprehend my comment and I'll stop.

Qu@si's picture
"I'll stop."

"I'll stop."

no you wont, yup i understand that you're giving an example of man is for eden.

but how do you know these?. where is eden exactly located anyway? can you show me?

chimp3's picture
I do not find this idea of

I do not find this idea of fine tuning strange, mystical, or requiring intelligent design. Just the way things are.

Nyarlathotep's picture
fine tuning arguments are

fine tuning arguments are just god of the gaps with a thin coat of cheap paint

David Killens's picture
I would like to get back to

I would like to get back to the topic that was derailed by he who bends reality to suit his dogma.

The universe is generally hostile to life. 99.99% of all the known universe will kill any life immediately. If you were transported 10,000 miles in any direction, you would die.

So how can one postulate that the universe was tuned for life when so much of the universe is lethal to any life?

Thus it is more logical to assume with a reasonable degree of certainty that the universe is hostile to life, and what "life" has appeared required specific circumstances, maybe even a lot of luck, for life to start and flourish. From that human beings evolved.

The human body is a generalist design. We can not swim underwater like all the fish, we are not the fastest runners, nor have the best eyes, smell, hearing, you name it. But because it was of our brains and their development our bodies became the "jack of all trades, master of none". Our bodies allow us to grasp, run, climb mountains, and swim. None of those abilities are spectacular, but it allows us to go anywhere, investigate anything and be able to survive in almost any corner of this globe.

But anatomically, if we had been designed, it was a horrible design. Mantis shrimp have superior eye design. Dogs have better hearing and the ability to smell. Some animals even have additional senses, such as the ability to sense magnetic fields. You would think that a designer would incorporate these features into the human body.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
"The universe is generally

"The universe is generally hostile to life. 99.99% of all the known universe will kill any life immediately. If you were transported 10,000 miles in any direction, you would die."

It is precisely because this point is true, that we know life isn't tuned to the universe. If it were, I could go to Venus right now and be "adapted" to it. Instead, it is the universe which gives us bubbles (earth) that are tuned for life.

Fine tuning comes first. Life second

David Killens's picture
I agree there are places and

I agree there are places and conditions (bubbles) in the universe where life can come into being. But I respectfully disagree on the logic, IMO you are putting the cart before the horse.

"Life" is an opportunist, it hangs on as best it can. In a few instances of the history of this planet, there were a few times when life could have been obliterated. But it hung on, not because some guy in the clouds decided not to push the "Delete" button. If some diety had decided to create life on this planet, that entity would not have made it so freaking difficult.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
Perhaps life is opportunistic

Perhaps life is opportunistic. But think of it this way. I can inoculate a petri dish all day long with E.coli, but unless the dish has agar and nutrients, nothing will grow.

Unless the universe first gives us agar (the proper environment) life will not emerge. We need a universe tuned with pockets of "agar" before life can exist.

Do you not think the universe caused life?

David Killens's picture
I do not think the universe

I do not think the universe caused life. The universe is generally hostile to life, but because of ONLY physical processes, was life able to form.

No deity decided to pre-install any components.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐʏ's picture
At those physical processes

Are those physical processes distinct from the universe then?

Algebe's picture
"Fine tuning comes first.

"Fine tuning comes first. Life second"

It's reciprocal. Certain conditions allowed life to form, and life tweaked the conditions.

Chemical reactions occur when various substances are brought together in an energetic environment, such as the early Earth. One day some of those reactions became self-replicating, drawing in some chemicals as food and eliminating them as waste, thereby changing the environment. In a way that is not yet known, these increasingly complex chemical reactions evolved into life in the form of bacteria.

The first bacteria on Earth were anaerobic. About two billion years ago, some of these bacteria mutated into algae and photosynthesis began. The oxygen produced as waste killed most of the anaerobic bacteria and created our atmosphere. Before that, the Earth would have been as uninhabitable as Venus or Mercury for human beings.

Sheldon's picture
Good grief you are

Good grief you are relentlessly saying one thing and insisting it means the opposite.

The universe simply isn't fine tuned for life, otherwise it would be ubiquitous, and not just have emerged under a very specific set of circumstances on earth.

Now demonstrate one shred of evidence that anything supernatural exist?

Aposteriori Unum's picture
I second that challenge.

I second that challenge.

@Sheldon glad to have you back on the battlefield. It's been an interesting one for sure.

Aposteriori Unum's picture
I second that challenge.

Hoorah

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