The Atheist Test. Are you certain you are an atheist?

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FishNChips007's picture
The Atheist Test. Are you certain you are an atheist?

Are you certain that you are in fact, an atheist? If so, please answer the following questions honestly.

1) Exactly how many grains of sand are present on just one (you choose which) of Hawaii's islands?

2) Exactly how many hairs can be found on the back of an adult male Tibetan yak?

If you could not answer either one, or both of these questions accuratley, then you must admit that infotmation exists, of which you are unaware.

That being said, it is then possible, that in the realm of knowledge you have not currently acquired, or have become ignorant to, there is evidence for the existence of God.

To say there is no God is an absolute statement. In order to make an absolute statement, one must have absolute knowledge, otherwise known as, omniscience.

Allow me to illustrate:

In order for me to say, "There is no gold in Indonesia," I would have to have absolute knowledge, I would have to know that within all the dust, all the earth, every rock and in every tooth in every mouth there is not even a single fleck of gold.

On the other hand, in order for me to say, "There is gold in Indonesia," all I need to be able to truthfully make that statement is to have found one tiny fleck of gold. I would not need to know everything in order to make that statement.

Last question:

Are you still an atheist, or are you now a theist?

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Whitefire13's picture
@Fish&Chips... good thread

@Fish&Chips... good thread starter.

For me;
1. No clue
2. No idea
...completely concede that there are many things I have absolutely no knowledge about.

I’ve never been an atheist who says “there is absolutely no god”. That’s a claim I wouldn’t want the burden of. I withhold belief, which brings me to...

“...it is then possible... there is evidence for the existence of God.”

This however is a claim that has not been evidenced to my standard (which is similar to a judge in a court of law).

Admitting I’m a human that has to learn, doesn’t bring me to a belief in god.

Still an atheist.

FishNChips007's picture
Thanks for your reply! Bonus

Thanks for your reply! Bonus question: If you don't say "there is absolutely no God," does that mean you are open to the possibility that there is?

Did you know that if there was just a slight variation, and I mean tinier than nano, in the ratio between the strong nuclear force and the electromagnetic force, then no stars could have formed at all. This, paired with all the other odd-defying supposed coincidences which were perfectly placed in order for life to exist should substantial.

In other words, If you look out on any building, how do you know there was a builder? Even if the building was built 100 plus years ago and you have no other evidence of the life of the builder, you know the builder exists because of the building itself. Likewise, if you look at a painting, the painting itself is evidence that there was a painter, regardless of what you know, or don't know, about said painter.

So, building is to builder as painting is to painter, as creation is to: ?

Back to the top of the bonus question, if you don't make the absolute statement, "there is no God," are you open to the possibility, however slight you may believe that to be, that there is?

If so, you are not an atheist, but rather, an agnostic, simply meaning, you do not know weather or not there is a God.

Whitefire13's picture
@Fish&Chips

@Fish&Chips

...” does that mean you are open to the possibility that there is?”

I’m open at about a .01% for maybe something unexplainable that might be reckon’d a god - don’t really know though because nothing like that has been evidenced in this universe. I’m at a 0% for any god described by man.

...eg of universe forming “ This, paired with all the other odd-defying supposed coincidences ...”

It is mind blowing. Here’s putting it in perspective- you can think of all the sperm ejaculated and a woman’s monthly cycle. Now it’s only that “one sperm and egg” that made “you” (otherwise someone else would be here). If your dad had (excuse the crudeness) jacked off early morning “you’d be nonexistent”. Follow this back to grandparents, etc... fuck, you shouldn’t be here. Do you know what the odds are for your very existence by a natural sex act?!?! It’s crazy. Yet you are here. So is the universe.

... “If you look out on any building, how do you know there was a builder?”

Read of course the whole paragraph ;)
But, from what I understand, I could look at the building and say “Hey, this is proof that there is a greater invisible building making buildings in its image...”

I don’t get much into labels. “Agnostic” maayyybbbeee with the whole I don’t know (.01% something) ... atheist fully when it comes to man’s idea of god or “knowing” this “something”.

Edited to add - I copy/pasted near where you copy pasted at bottom (which will soon not be the bottom...oh, fuck)

Sheldon's picture
FishNChips007 "If so, you are

FishNChips007 "If so, you are not an atheist, but rather, an agnostic, simply meaning, you do not know weather or not there is a God."

That's a lie. they are not mutually exclusive, I am both an atheist and an agnostic.

So you're still holding an empty bag, and the burden of proof remains yours.

What's more your argument is hypocritical, since you disbelieve plenty of things, including deities, that are unfalsifiable. For example do you believe invisible mermaids are real, if not can you prove they are not? And all I have done is use your own argument, so it either evidences literally every unfalsifiable claim, or it's nonsense.

Calilasseia's picture
Did you know that if there

Did you know that if there was just a slight variation, and I mean tinier than nano, in the ratio between the strong nuclear force and the electromagnetic force, then no stars could have formed at all.

Wrong. Oh wait, I've seen the "fine tuning" bullshit from your ilk before, and I know it's bullshit, courtesy of some interesting scientific papers in my collection. Enjoy the following roller coaster ride ...

Let's take a look at two relevant scientific papers, shall we? Namely:

Stars In Other Universes: Stellar Structure With Different Fundamental Constants by Fred C. Adams, Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, Issue 08, 1-29 (August 2008) [Full paper downloadable from here]

A Universe Without Weak Interactions by Roni Harnik, Graham D. Kribs and Gilad Perez, Physical Review D, 74(3): 035006 (2006) [Full paper downloadable from here]

Let's take a look at these papers, shall we?

First, the Adams paper ...

Abstract. Motivated by the possible existence of other universes, with possible variations in the laws of physics, this paper explores the parameter space of fundamental constants that allows for the existence of stars. To make this problem tractable, we develop a semi-analytical stellar structure model that allows for physical understanding of these stars with unconventional parameters, as well as a means to survey the relevant parameter space. In this work, the most important quantities that determine stellar properties—and are allowed to vary—are the gravitational constant G, the fine structure constant α, and a composite parameter C that determines nuclear reaction rates. Working within this model, we delineate the portion of parameter space that allows for the existence of stars. Our main finding is that a sizable fraction of the parameter space (roughly one fourth) provides the values necessary for stellar objects to operate through sustained nuclear fusion. As a result, the set of parameters necessary to support stars are not particularly rare. In addition, we briefly consider the possibility that unconventional stars (e.g., black holes, dark matter stars) play the role filled by stars in our universe and constrain the allowed parameter space.

In more detail, we have:

1. Introduction

The current picture of inflationary cosmology allows for, and even predicts, the existence of an infinite number of space-time regions sometimes called pocket universes [1, 2, 3]. In many scenarios, these separate universes could potentially have different versions of the laws of physics, e.g., different values for the fundamental constants of nature. Motivated by this possibility, this paper considers the question of whether or not these hypothetical universes can support stars, i.e., long-lived hydrostatically supported stellar bodies that generate energy through (generalized) nuclear processes. Toward this end, this paper develops a simplified stellar model that allows for an exploration of stellar structure with different values of the fundamental parameters that determine stellar properties. We then use this model to delineate the parameter space that allows for the existence of stars.

A little later on, Adams states thus:

Unlike many previous efforts, this paper constrains only the particular constants of nature that determine the characteristics of stars. Furthermore, as shown below, stellar structure depends on relatively few constants, some of them composite, rather than on large numbers of more fundamental parameters. More specifically, the most important quantities that directly determine stellar structure are the gravitational constant G, the fine structure constant α, and a composite parameter C that determines nuclear reaction rates. This latter parameter thus depends in a complicated manner on the strong and weak nuclear forces, as well as the particle masses. We thus perform our analysis in terms of this (α,G, C) parameter space.

Then we start to get into the meat of the paper:

As is well known, and as we re-derive below, both the minimum stellar mass and the maximum stellar mass have the same dependence on fundamental constants that carry dimensions [11]. More specifically, both the minimum and maximum mass can be written in terms of the fundamental stellar mass scale M0 defined according to

M0 = α(G)^−3/2 = (hc/G)^3/2m(p)^-2 ≅ 3.7 × 10^33g ≅ 1.85M(sun), (1)

where α(G) is the gravitational fine structure constant,

α[sub]G[/sub] = Gm(p)^2/hc ≅ 6 × 10^-39 (2)

where m(p) is the mass of the proton. As expected, the mass scale can be written as a dimensionless quantity (α(G)^−3/2) times the proton mass; the approximate value of the exponent (-3/2) in this relation is derived below. The mass scale M0 determines the allowed range of masses in any universe.

In conventional star formation, our Galaxy (and others) produces stars with masses in the approximate range 0.08 ≤ M(*)/M(sun) ≤ 100, which corresponds to the range 0.04 ≤ M(*)/M0 ≤ 50. One of the key questions of star formation theory is to understand, in detail, how and why galaxies produce a particular spectrum of stellar masses (the stellar initial mass function, or IMF) over this range [12]. Given the relative rarity of high mass stars, the vast majority of the stellar population lies within a factor of ~ 10 of the fundamental mass scale M0. For completeness we note that the star formation process does not involve thermonuclear fusion, so that the mass scale of the hydrogen burning limit (at 0.08 M(sun)) does not enter into the process. As a result, many objects with somewhat smaller masses – brown dwarfs – are also produced. One of the objectives of this paper is to understand how the range of possible stellar masses changes with differing values of the fundamental constants of nature.

The author then moves on to this:

2. Stellar Structure Models

In general, the construction of stellar structure models requires the specification and solution of four coupled differential equations, i.e., force balance (hydrostatic equilibrium), conservation of mass, heat transport, and energy generation. This set of equations is augmented by an equation of state, the form of the stellar opacity, and the nuclear reaction rates. In this section we construct a polytropic model of stellar structure. The goal is to make the model detailed enough to capture the essential physics and simple enough to allow (mostly) analytic results, which in turn show how different values of the fundamental constants affect the results. Throughout this treatment, we
will begin with standard results from stellar structure theory [11, 13, 14] and generalize to allow for different stellar input parameters.

2.1. Hydrostatic Equilibrium Structures

In this case, we will use a polytropic equation of state and thereby replace the force balance and mass conservation equations with the Lane-Emden equation. The equation of state thus takes the form

P=Kρ^Γ where Γ = 1+1/n (3)

where the second equation defines the polytropic index n. Note that low mass stars and degenerate stars have polytropic index n = 3/2, whereas high mass stars, with substantial radiation pressure in their interiors, have index n → 3. As a result, the index is slowly varying over the range of possible stellar masses. Following standard methods [15, 11, 13, 14], we define

ξ ≡ r/R, ρ = ρ(c)f^n, and

R^2 = KΓ/((Γ-1)4πGρ(c)^(2-Γ)) (4)

so that the dimensionless equation for the hydrostatic structure of the star becomes

d/dξ(ξ^2 df/dξ) + ξ^2f^n = 0 (5)

Here, the parameter ρ(c) is the central density (in physical units) so that f(ξ)^n is the dimensionless density distribution. For a given polytropic index n (or a given Γ), equation (5) thus specifies the density profile up to the constants ρ(c) and R. Note that once the density is determined, the pressure is specified via the equation of state (3). Further, in the stellar regime, the star obeys the ideal gas law so that temperature is given by T=P/(Rρ), with R = k/; the function f(ξ) thus represents the dimensionless temperature profile of the star. Integration of equation (5) outwards, subject to the boundary conditions f=1 and df/dξ=0 at ξ=0, then determines the position of the outer boundary of the star, i.e., the value ξ, where f(ξ)=0. As a result, the stellar radius is given by:

R(*) = Rξ (6)

The physical structure of the star is thus specified up to the constants ρ(c) and R. These parameters are not independent for a given stellar mass; instead, they are related via the constraint

M(*) = 4πR^3ρ(c) ∫[0 to ξ]* ξ^2f(ξ)^n dξ ≡ 4πR^3ρ(c)μ(0) (7)

where the final equality defines the dimensionless quantity μ(0), which is of order unity, and depends only on the polytropic index n.

Quite a lot of work there just in the first couple of pages, I think you'll agree.

I'll skip the section on nuclear reactions, primarily because I'm not a trained nuclear physicist, and some of the material presented is beyond my scope to comment upon in depth, but anyone who is a trained nuclear physicist, is hereby invited to comment in some detail upon this. :)

Moving on, we have:

3. Constraints on the Existence of Stars

Using the stellar structure model developed in the previous section, we now explore the range of possible stellar masses in universes with varying value of the stellar parameters. First, we find the minimum stellar mass required for a star to overcome quantum mechanical degeneracy pressure (§3.1) and then find the maximum stellar mass as limited by radiation pressure (§3.2). These two limits are then combined to find the allowed range of stellar masses, which can vanish when the required nuclear burning temperatures becomes too high (§3.3). Another constraint on stellar parameters arises from the requirement that stable nuclear burning configurations exist (§3.4). We delineate (in §3.5) the range of parameters for which these two considerations provide the limiting constraints on stellar masses and then find the region of parameter space that allows the existence of stars. Finally, we consider the constraints implied by the Eddington luminosity (§3.6) and show that they are comparable to those considered in the previous subsections.

Moving on past a lot of calculations, we have this:

Figure 5 shows the resulting allowed region of parameter space for the existence of stars. Here we are working in the (α,G) plane, where we scale the parameters by their values in our universe, and the results are presented on a logarithmic scale. For a given nuclear burning constant C, Figure 5 shows the portion of the plane that allows for stars to successfully achieve sustained nuclear reactions. Curves are given for three values of C: the value for p-p burning in our universe (solid curve), 100 times larger than this value (dashed curve), and 100 times smaller (dotted curve). The region of the diagram that allows for the existence of stars is the area below the curves.

Figure 5 provides an assessment of how “fine-tuned” the stellar parameters must be in order to support the existence of stars. First we note that our universe, with its location in this parameter space marked by the open triangle, does not lie near the boundary between universes with stars and those without. Specifically, the values of α, G, and/or C can change by more than two orders of magnitude in any direction (and by larger factors in some directions) and still allow for stars to function. This finding can be stated another way: Within the parameter space shown, which spans 10 orders of magnitude in both α and G, about one fourth of the space supports the existence of stars.

Much of the rest of the paper consists of technical discussions on the effects of various other parameters, such as the Eddington luminosity (which determines the maximum rate of energy liberation of the star, and sets a lower bound upon stellar lifetime), along with some in-depth discussion on unconventional stellar objects in other universes, and the likely physics affecting these. We can move directly on to the conclusion, viz:

5. Conclusion

In this paper, we have developed a simple stellar structure model (§2) to explore the possibility that stars can exist in universes with different values for the fundamental parameters that determine stellar properties. This paper focuses on the parameter space given by the variables (G, α, C), i.e., the gravitational constant, the fine structure constant, and a composite parameter that determines nuclear fusion rates. The main result of this work is a determination of the region of this parameter space for which bona fide stars can exist (§3). Roughly one fourth of this parameter space allows for the existence of “ordinary” stars (see Figure 5). In this sense, we conclude that universes with stars are not especially rare (contrary to previous claims), even if the fundamental constants can vary substantially in other regions of space-time (e.g., other pocket universes in the multiverse). Another way to view this result is to note that the variables (G, α, C) can vary by orders of magnitude from their measured values and still allow for the existence of stars.

That on its own drives a tank battalion through the idea that the universe is "fine-tuned". However, it's even better than that, viz:

For universes where no nuclear reactions are possible, we have shown that unconventional stellar objects can fill the role played by stars in our universe, i.e., the role of generating energy (§4). For example, if the gravitational constant G and the fine structure constant α are smaller than their usual values, black holes can provide viable energy sources (Figure 6). In fact, all universes can support the existence of stars, provided that the definition of a star is interpreted broadly. For example, degenerate stellar objects, such as white dwarfs and neutron stars, are supported by degeneracy pressure, which requires only that quantum mechanics is operational. Although such stars do not experience thermonuclear fusion, they often have energy sources, including dark matter capture and annihilation, residual cooling, pycnonuclear reactions, and proton decay. Dark matter particles can also (in principle) form degenerate stellar objects (see §4).

Of course, there are some caveats with respect to this, but in the main, these are of a fairly technical nature, and do not adversely affect the above conclusions. In short, vary the so-called "fine-tuned" constants over a wide range of values, and star formation of the sort we observe in the universe remains intact within 25% of that parameter space.

But it gets even better than this. Now it's time for the Harnik et al paper:

Abstract

A universe without weak interactions is constructed that undergoes big-bang nucleosynthesis, matter domination, structure formation, and star formation. The stars in this universe are able to burn for billions of years, synthesize elements up to iron, and undergo supernova explosions, dispersing heavy elements into the interstellar medium. These definitive claims are supported by a detailed analysis where this hypothetical "Weakless Universe" is matched to our Universe by simultaneously adjusting Standard Model and cosmological parameters. For instance, chemistry and nuclear physics are essentially unchanged. The apparent habitability of the Weakless Universe suggests that the anthropic principle does not determine the scale of electroweak breaking, or even require that it be smaller than the Planck scale, so long as technically natural parameters may be suitably adjusted. Whether the multi-parameter adjustment is realized or probable is dependent on the ultraviolet completion, such as the string landscape. Considering a similar analysis for the cosmological constant, however, we argue that no adjustments of other parameters are able to allow the cosmological constant to raise up even remotely close to the Planck scale while obtaining macroscopic structure. The fine-tuning problems associated with the electroweak breaking scale and the cosmological constant therefore appear to be qualitatively different from the perspective of obtaining a habitable universe.

As part of the preamble, I point everyone to this:

We do not engage in discussion of the likelihood of doing simultaneous tunings of parameters nor the outcome of statistical ensembles of parameters. These questions are left up to the ultraviolet completion, such as the string landscape, which is outside of the scope of effective field theory. Instead, we are interested in "running the universe forward" from a time after inflation and baryogenesis through billions of years of evolution. We will exploit the knowledge of our Universe as far as possible, adjusting Standard Model and cosmological parameters so that the relevant micro- and macro-physical outcomes match as closely as possible. We emphasize that this is really a practical matter, not one of principle, since any significant relaxation of the "follow our Universe" program would be faced with horrendously complicated calculations. Put another way, there is probably a wide range of habitable universes with parameters and structures that look nothing like our Universe. For us, it is enough to find one habitable Weakless Universe about which we can make the most concrete statements, hence matching to our Universe as closely as possible.

We define a habitable universe as one having big-bang nucleosynthesis, large-scale structure, star formation, stellar burning through fusion for long lifetimes (billions of years) and plausible means to generate and disperse heavy elements into the interstellar medium. As a consequence, we will demand ordinary chemistry and basic nuclear physics be largely unchanged from our Universe so that matching to our Universe is as straightforward as possible. We are not aware of insurmountable obstacles extending our analysis to planet formation, habitable planets, and the generation of carbon-based life. Nevertheless, these questions are beyond the scope of this paper, and we do not consider them further.

Finally, we should emphasize from the outset that this paper represents a purely theoretical exercise. There are no (even in principle) experimental predictions. The purpose of our paper is to provide a specific, concrete counter-example to anthropic selection of a small electroweak breaking scale.

This paper involves a fairly in-depth knowledge of particle physics, and the physics of various intricate quantum actions, so I'll spare everyone the spectacle of my trying to comment on a field about which I do not possess sufficient knowledge (a lesson that some supernaturalists would do well to learn). However, I shall point everyone to one paragraph of interest:

At BBN [Big Bang Nucleosynthesis] the visible matter can be described by two parameters, the ratio of the visible baryon abundance to photons η(b) and the ratio of protons to neutron abundance. We take

η(b) ≅ 4 × 10^-12 ≅ 10^-2 T(b) (7)

where we emphasize that this corresponds to just the baryon asymmetry in protons and neutrons, not hyperons. This is taken to be about two orders of magnitude smaller than in our Universe. This judicious parameter adjustment allows the Weakless Universe to have a hydrogen-to-helium ratio the same as our Universe without strong sensitivity to the ratio of the proton to neutron abundance. Hence, the first galaxies and stars are formed of roughly the same material as in our Universe. Moreover, the lower helium abundance that results from the lower baryon asymmetry occurs simultaneous with a substantially increased abundance of deuterium. The much increased deuterium abundance allows stars in the Weakless Universe to ignite through proton-deuterium fusion, explained in detail in Sec. 12.

Later on, after a large amount of technical discussions relating to particle generation and relative abundances thereof, we have this:

7 Chemistry

In the post-BBN phase of the Universe, the main players in our Universe are electromagnetism and gravity. Both of the these forces are unchanged in the Weakless Universe. The elemental abundances of the Weakless Universe have also been matched to our Universe (and are chemically indistinguishable, aside from the irrelevant tiny abundance of lithium). Chemistry in the Weakless Universe is virtually indistinguishable from that of our Universe. The only differences are the higher fraction of deuterium as hydrogen and the absence of atomic parity-violating interactions.

Maintaining this similarity between the Universes relies on having only one stable charged lepton: the electron. The presence of muons or taus (with masses as observed in our Universe) would allow for various exotic chemical properties and nuclear reaction rates. For instance, the Coulomb barrier would be far smaller for atoms with orbiting muons or taus, allowing dense-packed molecules and fusion at extremely low temperatures. Though this could be an interesting universe [4] it does not match our Universe and so we choose to remove muons and taus from the Weakless Universe.

Other more benign effects occur if the heavier quarks (c; b; t) were present in the Weakless Universe. Given that individual quark number is conserved, the lightest baryons carrying a heavy quark are stable. This means in addition to protons, neutrons, and Λ[0] hyperons, there would be several new stable baryons including Λ[+](c) , Λ[0](b) and Λ[+](t). [5] If these exotic stable baryons were in significant abundance in the Weakless Universe, there would be numerous anomalously heavy isotopes of hydrogen (and heavier elements). These are not obviously an impediment to successful BBN or star formation, but it would change the details of stellar nucleosynthesis reactions in ways that we are not able to easily calculate. Again, following our program of matching to our Universe as closely as possible, we eliminate this problem by insisting that the Weakless Universe is devoid of these heavy quarks.

After an in-depth discussion of such topics as matter domination, density perturbations, dark matter candidates, the stability of light and heavy elements (along with exotic isotopes of the former), star formation, stellar nucelosynthesis, stellar lifetimes, supernovae, and the population of the interstellar medium with heavy elements, we reach this:

15 A Natural Value of the Cosmological Constant?

We have shown that even with electroweak breaking at the Planck scale, a habitable universe can result so long as we are able to adjust technically natural parameters. It would be interesting to perform the same procedure for the cosmological constant (CC). Here our goal is far more modest than in our previous discussion: we simply wish to examine whether large scale structure and complex macroscopic systems can result if the cosmological constant is pushed to the Planck scale while we freely adjust other parameters. Performing a thorough analysis of this question is beyond the scope of this work. We will instead simply sketch some of the issues by examining simplified toy models. We find an upper bound on the CC from two qualitative requirements: that density perturbations grow, and that complex macroscopic systems consist of a large number of particles.

In order for structure to be formed in our Universe, a period of matter domination is vital to allow for linear growth of density perturbations. Matter domination is cutoff by CC domination, which is just the Weinberg bound on the anthropic size of the cosmological constant. Naively we could raise δρ/ρ up to order one, so that the bound on the cosmological constant relaxes to

ρ(Λ) ≅ T(eq)^4. (37)

But even this modest gain (about 10 orders of magnitude of 120) is much too optimistic. For Universes qualitatively similar to ours, Refs. [4, 6] found other astrophysical constraints limit the size of density perturbations (and place constraints on other parameters, such as the baryon density) such that the largest relaxation of the CC is closer to about 3 orders of magnitude of 120. Hence, even varying multiple cosmological parameters simultaneously, this appears to be as far as one can go without radically changing the Standard Model itself.

However, as the authors themselves state earlier, the cosmological constant is an unnatural parameter of the relevant effective field theories, and is therefore possibly itself a derived parameter, arising from as yet uninvestigated more fundamental natural parameters.

On to the conclusion:

16 Discussion

In this paper we have constructed a Universe without weak interactions that undergoes BBN, matter domination, structure formation, star formation, long periods of stellar burning, stellar nucleosynthesis up to iron, star destruction by supernovae, and and dispersal of heavy elements into the interstellar medium. These properties of the Weakless Universe were shown by a detailed analysis that matched to our Universe as closely as possible by arbitrarily adjusting Standard Model and cosmological parameters. The Weakless Universe therefore provides a simple explicit counter-example to anthropic selection of a small electroweak breaking scale, so long as we are allowed to simultaneously adjust technically natural parameters relative to our observed Universe. As an aside, we are unaware of any obstruction to obtain a "partial Weakless Universe" in which v < v(bar) < M(Pl) while allowing analogous adjustments of technically natural parameters.

This hypothetical universe is a counter-example to anthropic selection of the electroweak scale in the context of an effective field theory, where we are free to imagine arbitrary adjustments in technically natural parameters. An ultraviolet completion, however, may or may not permit these parameter adjustments, and as a result the Weakless Universe may or may not be "accessible". This requires detailed knowledge of the ensemble of universes that are predicted. String theory indeed appears to contain a huge number of vacua, a "landscape" [27, 28, 29, 30], in which some parameters adjust from one vacuum to another. Furthermore, only a specific set of parameters vary in the field theory landscapes considered in [31]. In its most celebrated form, the string landscape provides a potential anthropic rationale for the size of the cosmological constant [3]. However, reliable model-independent correlations between the size of the CC and other parameters is lacking, and so we have no way to know yet whether the variation of parameters discussed here is realized on the string landscape.

So, the authors provide a demonstration that it is possible for one of the four fundamental forces of the universe to be omitted, namely the weak nuclear force, and still produce a habitable universe. I think that more or less wraps it up for "fine tuning", don't you?

Let's make this short and sweet, so that even a pedlar of apologetics can understand this. It's possible to vary so-called "fine-tuned" constants over a wide range, and still produce working stars such as the ones we observe today, with practically identical nucleosynthesis of chemical elements in place, and it is ALSO possible to REMOVE THE WEAK NUCLEAR FORCE ALTOGETHER FROM THE UNIVERSE, and still produce a habitable universe differing only from our own in subtle details.

Game Over for "fine tuning".

Cognostic's picture
@C: Like Peanut says --

@C: Like Peanut says -- "Neeeeaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrr"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A38YO3f2Bv4

qilin's picture
Why should I be a theist? Is

Why should I be a theist? Is there anybody anywhere who has found a tiny speck of deity - verifiable? Millions of guys have tried to prove the existence of millions of different gods in vain - mostly in disagreement with each other! If I were to become a theist, which one should I choose?

Nyarlathotep's picture
FishNChips007 - To say there

FishNChips007 - To say there is no God is an absolute statement.

Boiler plate apologists, yet ANOTHER attempt to define atheists out of existence. You have any idea how many times we've seen that here? More than a 100 for sure.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
That being said, it is then

That being said, it is then possible, that in the realm of knowledge you have not currently acquired, or have become ignorant to, there is evidence for the existence of God.

Absolutely agreed.. Please show me the evidence that I have either missed or ignored for the god you think exists.

Waiting,

CyberLN's picture
Funny...

Funny...

NewSkeptic's picture
I don't know, I don't know.

I don't know, I don't know. Oh what a zinger, oh my God, what irrefutable logic, I must be a theist since there is knowledge I don't know.

Simply brilliant, Nobel Prize brilliant if you ask me.

Now, since everyone is a theist, please point me to the correct God or Gods.

Tin-Man's picture
Re: OP (Before reading any

Re: OP (Before reading any other responses.)

Oh, boy! A test!... *clapping excitedly*... I LOVE tests! Even better, a pop quiz! Those are even BESTESTER! What better way to prove my cerebral superiority to all these lame-brains around here?... *briskly rubbing hands together*... Here we go...

"1) Exactly how many grains of sand are present on just one (you choose which) of Hawaii's islands?"

Aw, hell, that's EASY! Just basic math... *rolling eyes*... And I thought this was gonna be a challenge... *disappointed sigh*... Oh, well, I'm already here. Might as well go ahead and skin this Fish.

I'm choosing O'ahu. (Basically, because I like how it sounds.) That island has an area of 597 square miles with a circumference of 112 miles. Now, there are 9807 grains of sand in a single cubic inch. That gives us 16,946,496 grains per cubic foot. (Oh, do you have ANY idea how tedious it is to count that many tiny little grains of sand?) Anyway... So, the next thing we need to do is calculate the total square footage of the beaches surroundin-.... *look of realization*.... *suspicious tone*.... Heeeeeey.... I just realized something. You are trying to trick us, aren't you? Dirty pool, ol' boy... *sly grin*... But I'm not falling for it. Nice try, though, you scoundrel. Funny how you failed to mention if it is high tide or low tide. And what season, as that affects the tide heights. And did you want the number of grains just on the surface, or did you mean the total number down to a foot deep, or three feet or all the way down to the solid foundation? Uh-huh... Thought you were being slick, huh?... *chuckle*... Well, hate to disappoint, but you will have to go find yourself another dupe. This dupe here ain't taking your bait today... *smug grin*... *arms folded across chest*...

Oh, and as for your yak question, same thing. What size is the yak? What specific area are you determining to be its back. What time of the year is it? (To account for shedding or extra hair growth.) What is the health of the yak? Mange or any other skin conditions? No offense, but you should really work on your test questions a bit.

(Okay, now to go see what others have said. I really doubt anybody else fell for your little trap, though.... Well, maybe Cog did. He has a thing for Tibetan yaks.)

doG's picture
@shineyversionofjackhaley

@shineyversionofjackhaley

"Well, maybe Cog did. He has a thing for Tibetan yaks".

Yup...he likes riding them hard and fast, and then eating them...ewwww.

FishNChips007's picture
Tin-Man!

Tin-Man!

Though we disagree, I like your style. Your sense of humor really made me smile, except for Cog's Tibetan yak thing.

Tin-Man's picture
@FNC Re: "Your sense of

@FNC Re: "Your sense of humor really made me smile, except for Cog's Tibetan yak thing."

Yeah, I'm still quite concerned about the poor little yak myself... *sad sigh*...

doG's picture
@lackofreasonNchips007

@lackofreasonNchips007

"On the other hand, in order for me to say, "There is gold in Indonesia," all I need to be able to truthfully make that statement is to have found one tiny fleck of gold. I would not need to know everything in order to make that statement."

...and your fleck of gold is?

You will need clear demonstrable objective evidence of your version of a god's existence...oh, and please please please make sure that you know the functional difference between subjective and objective evidence...otherwise you will be flushed down with the rest of the shit floating in the sea of delusion.

(doG gets his label maker out, and starts typing out the word delusionist in place of the word apologist, just in case).

Oh dear non-existent lord, I can feel a bible quote stirring...KJV...joy.

Cognostic's picture
1) Exactly how many grains of

@FishNChips007: Where did you go to school? Seventh grade algebra is all you need to solve the questions you asked.

1) Exactly how many grains of sand are present on just one (you choose which) of Hawaii's islands?
The big island has exactly one-sextillion, one hundred billion, nine-hundred-thirty seven million, twenty-seven-hundred thousand, two hundred and seventy six. point three, grains of sand on it. PROVE ME WRONG!

2) Exactly how many hairs can be found on the back of an adult male Tibetan yak?

Don't you have a question that can't be answered? There are exactly two hundred and forty six billion hairs on the back of an adult male Tibetan yak.
One billion 26 more than a domestic yak. Domestic yak do not need to endure the harsh climate. PROVE ME WRONG!

I answered both questions just fine thank you. Can you prove any of my answers wrong. And if you could prove them wrong, HOW WOULD YOU DO IT? Wouldn't you actually find a way to count them JUST AS I HAVE?

You said "there is evidence for the existence of God." Glad to look at your evidence. Can I count it like the grains of sand on a Hawaiian beach? Can I pull it and count it like I can on the back of a Tibetan yak?

Do you have any sort of evidence at all that supports your idea of a god and resembles the accuracy of counting the hairs on the back of a yak or the sand on a Hawaiian beach? Please Share.

RE: "To say there is no God is an absolute statement. " That would be correct. I didn't say that. I asked for evidence of your God that is comparable to counting yak hair or grains of sand, both of which we agree EXIST. If you can not, what you have given me is one more failed argument for the existence of god that I can toss on the pile of billions of other failed arguments for the existence of gods and from that massive pile I can make two assertions. 1. It sure seems like your god does not exist. 2. I still have no good reason to believe in God or gods.

So if you want to prove your God exists, we need one tiny little flake of real evidence. Do you think you can produce that? You might actually get a Nobel Prize if you can. Not sure it would make a lot of difference thought. Your God is a murdering bastard. Satan knew there was a god and still chose not to follow the asshole as he embarked on his murderous spree of mankind. Doesn't that make Satan more moral than your God? Just curious.

Since all you have done is blather nonsense, I guess I am still an atheist. Let me know if you ever find that little bit of god that you can share. Then we can talk again.

Tin-Man's picture
@Fishydude

@Fishydude

See? I told you Cog would fall for it. I feel rather bad for that yak, too. I hate to imagine what else Cog was doing as he counted all those hairs. Poor yak.... Poooooor little yak... *shaking head sadly*...

Cognostic's picture
Come on! He didn't need all

Come on! He didn't need all that fur and because of a recent exchange with a bowling pin, I DID. I knitted it all into socks! He he he ....

Attachments

Attach Image/Video?: 

Yes
Whitefire13's picture
Snicker ****Cog said “sex” **

Snicker ****Cog said “sex” ***

one-sextillion

Algebe's picture
FishNChips007 Exactly how

FishNChips007 Exactly how many grains of sand are present on just one (you choose which) of Hawaii's islands?

I'm not sure about the exact number, but it's probably smaller than the number of stars in the universe.

The point is that while I haven't counted sand on beaches or hairs on yaks, I can be absolutely sure that sand grains and hairs actually exist in those two locations.

Now tell me exact number of gods that exist anywhere. Please name them as you count them off to avoid counting them twice.

"There is no gold in Indonesia"

On this I can speak with some authority. I once invested in a mining fund that bought a gold mine in Indonesia on the basis of test results showing high-grade ore. We later found out that the sellers had seeded the samples. So yes, there is gold in Indonesia, and some of it used to belong to me.

Irrelevant footnote: When New Zealanders say "FishNChips" it actually sounds like "fashion chaps". And the "7" in "007" sounds like "sivvin".

cranky47's picture
@Algebe

@Algebe

Very old joke.

I was in New Zealand on business, many years ago. I went to the receptionist at the hotel and asked to use the fax machine. She handed me a vibrator.

Algebe's picture
@cranky47: She handed me a

@cranky47: She handed me a vibrator.

Were you wearing thongs at the time?

NewSkeptic's picture
looks like yet another drive

looks like yet another drive by.

cranky47's picture
@Fish and chips

@FishNchips007

"Are you certain that you are in fact, an atheist? If so, please answer the following questions honestly.'

From whence did you get the quaint notion that a person 'should' answer a question just because you ask?

To humour you,I'll answer;

The first two dumb ass questions have nothing to do with atheism. I don't claim to know everything, I'm an atheist, not a christian . . However, I'm sure you know the answers so please enlighten us. If you are unable to do so, it means you are not a true believer. (following your logic) . .

"That being said, it is then possible, that in the realm of knowledge you have not currently acquired, or have become ignorant to, there is evidence for the existence of God.

Lame attempt at shifting the burden of proof. I don't know. I don't have to know. I'm not the one making the claim. Up to you to provide the proof, not to me.

"That being said, it is then possible, that in the realm of knowledge you have not currently acquired, or have become ignorant to, there is evidence for the existence of God."

Another attempt to shift the burden of proof. I have no idea. I disbelieve on the basis that as far as I know, nobody in recorded history has proved the existence of any god, not just yours. I have complete confidence that such news will be almost instantly be available world wide the instant such proof is discovered. I have no obligation to go looking.

I call myself an agnostic atheist, like many of our members . That means I do not believe because I have never seen any proof. However, I do not claim to know.--Atheism is about non belief without proof. Religion is about faith, belief without proof or knowledge.

"To say there is no God is an absolute statement. In order to make an absolute statement, one must have absolute knowledge, otherwise known as, omniscience."

Wrong. A person making the claim "There is no god" attracts a the burden of proof because he has made an affirmative CLAIM .Nothing to do with absolutes. This opinion is a common one, but not everyone agrees.
.

You have a problem. Like most of the apologists we get here you seem to believe that an arrogant, purblind ignorance will ensure you win any argument.

"On the other hand, in order for me to say, "There is gold in Indonesia," all I need to be able to truthfully make that statement is to have found one tiny fleck of gold" Mkay. That has exactly what to do with proof for the existence of god? . Therefore god? Nup, non sequitur.

All that is actually happening is that the hole you are digging for yourself just keeps getting deeper.

There are only five arguments for the existence of god as far as I know. . You have not yet invented a new one. Oh, just to finish off; I do not accept that god can be argued into or out of existence. For me, it's simple. To the believer I say "put up or shut up"

Hey, I have a novel idea. Perhaps you might like to familiarise yourself with common logical fallacies and a couple of other things. . Thus armed you may begin to look a bit less ignorant and a bit less arrogant .Some links below for your convenience.

((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((())))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

BURDEN OF PROOF

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burden_of_proof_(philosophy)

LOCICAL FALLACIES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

FIVE CLAIMS FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD (St Thomas Aquinas)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Ways_(Aquinas)

Sheldon's picture
FishNChips007

FishNChips007

Atheism is a lack or absence of belief, it is not a claim no deities exist.

I am an atheist, and no matter how many theists try to dishonestly misrepresent the meaning of this as a claim, it remains the lack or absence of belief in any deity or deities, and I no more need to have absolute knowledge no diety exists to disbelieve your claim a deity exists, than you need absolute knowledge to disbelieve invisible garden fairies exist. Indeed absolute knowledge is an epistemological impossibility, and only theists claim it exists.

What objective evidence can you demonstrate for any deity?

I see I'm late to the party again and responding to someone already banned...

Grinseed's picture
@Sheldon

@Sheldon

You aren't late, FishNChips is apparently still here.

Sheldon's picture
Grinseed "You aren't late,

Grinseed "You aren't late, FishNChips is apparently still here."

Yeah so I see, not sure what happened, I clicked on the username, and then when it wouldn't let me access it I assumed the account had been locked. So now all I have to do is wait for him to hive an honest response to my response now. I am not holding my breath, as all the theists who I have seen lie like this, and define atheism as a claim, never ever recant the lie when it is exposed.

Have they read the ninth commandment do you think?

Grinseed's picture
Of course I have no idea how

Of course I have no idea how many grains of sands or Yak hairs there are anywhere, but neither do you. When it comes to objective knowledge you are as ignorant as I am and that's not intended as an insult, it's a fact.

You claim I don't have knowledge about everything in the physical universe.

I wholeheartedly agree. “The more I learn, the more I realise how much I don't know.” - Albert Einstein.

You then infer that because I lack knowledge about everything in the physical universe I can make no claims about the existence of a god.

I agree.
But I am not making any such claims. Theists are, and I admit for valid reasons, I reject the theist claim to the existence of their god. Without objective verifiable evidence, its always only a claim.

Even if it could be proved that Cog is absolutely correct about the number of Yak hairs, why would that be a reason to accept his belief in a paranormal omnipotent banana god? (Heads up - incoming)

I am very certain you can't answer the questions you posed either. So how does that support your presumptuous claim to the special knowledge that your "God" exists when there is less evidence supporting it, than there is for the existence of sand, gold or Yak hair?

So far I am still an atheist.
I did warn you in my reply to your very first posts not to assume we are a bunch of ignorant godless pagans primed for conversion by simple Sunday School tactics. Good luck. I do hope you stay.

Mutorc S&#039;yriah's picture
@ FishNChips007

@ FishNChips007

The Atheist Test. Are you certain you are an atheist?
Are you certain that you are in fact, an atheist?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yes I am.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

@ FishNChips007

If so, please answer the following questions honestly.
1) Exactly how many grains of sand are present on just one (you choose which) of Hawaii's islands?
2) Exactly how many hairs can be found on the back of an adult male Tibetan yak?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1) I have no idea.
2) I have no idea.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

@ FishNChips007

If you could not answer either one, or both of these questions accurately, then you must admit that information exists, of which you are unaware.
That being said, it is then possible, that in the realm of knowledge you have not currently acquired, or have become ignorant to, there is evidence for the existence of God.
To say there is no God is an absolute statement. In order to make an absolute statement, one must have absolute knowledge, otherwise known as, omniscience.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I did not say that there is no "God". I said that I am sure that I am an atheist. That means that I am not convinced that there is/are any god or gods.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

@ FishNChips007

Blah, blah, blah . . . Indonesia…
Last question:
Are you still an atheist, or are you now a theist?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yeah, I'm still an atheist. All the talk of sand, hairs and gold in Indonesia did nothing to convince me that there is a god or any gods at all. Whatever this god might be, it seems to be as well hidden as the COUNT-UP of sand grains on an Hawaiian beach, the NUMBER VALUE of hairs on a yaks back, or an almost impossible EXAMINATION of all the dust, the earth, rocks and teeth in Indonesia.

And on the latter, it would take a person so much time, that the observable dust, the earth, rocks and teeth in Indonesia would almost certainly change.

The post seems to be a VERY SILLY argument to convince anybody with a critical mind, that your version of god exists, FishNChips007.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cheers from Mutorc :-}

P.S. I am an AGNOSTIC atheist: not a theist but without proof of no god, just no evidence to accept that there is one in fact.

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