Fine-tuning of physical constants

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TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
"The best argument theists

"The best argument theists have put forward IMO is that if the value of a couple of physical constants would be just slightly off, our universe (and more specifically 'life') would not exist. I think that claim is true."

Who is to say why there is a universe? You may prefer there to be an explanation as to why you have universe A rather then universe B, but you are left with the fact that you cannot logically prove that there must be some explanation, the universe could just be.

How do you know if the constants were slightly different that life would not form? This cannot be said as we can only go by what we have and what we know.

The_Quieter's picture
The 'fine tuning' argument

The 'fine tuning' argument always comes down to the same thing.

It's a puddle saying that the hole it exists in fits it perfectly and therefore the hole must have been specially created for it.

The universe is the hole and everything else is the puddle. The puddle fits the hole, not the hole fits the puddle.

Dave Matson's picture
Changing a single constant

Changing a single constant might make life improbable, but what if that change is part of several changes? We just don't know enough about the possible combinations. Nor do we know enough about life itself. What may be fatal to earthly life might work for some other version of life. I've also heard it said that some of these "fine adjustments" can vary much more than is let on without undue harm. Finally, nobody has ruled out the multiverse. Granted that it is speculation, but it appears serious enough to attract the attention of some Nobel Laureates. The whole fine-tuning argument is more like a sieve in that there are leaks all over the place. Until those leaks are reasonably plugged up, I just don't see a serious argument.

TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
Of course, but equally if you

Of course, but equally if you adjusted any of the constants you could also improve the chances of life occurring.

The fact is that we privilege what we think we know and experience.

In my opinion it would make more sense if the entropy of the early universe was orders of magnitude higher in order to be able to produce a series of events that lead to the emergence of life.

Furthermore, As I've said before when we go back in time and understand, each phenomena or stumbling block is always explained by natural occurrences, when have we ever hit a stumbling block that can only be answered by proposing a deity?

Muashkis's picture
"The fact is that we

"The fact is that we privilege what we think we know and experience."

As expected, you know where to point out the Bias :) This is what prevents people from understanding QM, and it's various interpretations in the first place. But one despite which I still don't bite the many worlds. I'm most likely affected by the bias too, which bugs me. This is why I can't await actual experiments to get devised, so I could get some clarity on this matter.

"Of course, but equally if you adjusted any of the constants you could also improve the chances of life occurring."

I might use this one in the future.

"In my opinion it would make more sense if the entropy of the early universe was orders of magnitude higher in order to be able to produce a series of events that lead to the emergence of life."

Sorry, you lost me a bit here, would you mind rephrasing?

The last comment speaks my mind exactly, with the exception that I don't thing invoking a deity is an answer to anything. It just makes an even bigger mess.

TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
Indeed, We literally have no

Indeed, We literally have no idea what the universe or life for that matter would be like if the parameters were different,
and it echoes another point of contention when people say "something cannot come from nothing".
This is yet another point of I disagree with, in which we literally have no understanding or comprehension of what this could mean.

I can understand your bias against Multiverse, Perhaps it may be easier to considering it as not being a theory, but rather that it is the consequence of other theories that postulate different laws of physics such as inflation.
Even string theory posits different low energy laws of physics that permit a whole host of parameters that allow multiverses.
And as you say, if these experiments come to fruition then this could really open up a wonderful number of possibilities.

Either way, The multiverse has far more evidence to support it then that of any deity.

My apologies, some text was missing, So I understand why my comment may have lost you.

It should have read, "In my opinion it would make more sense under fine tuning if the entropy of the early universe was orders of magnitude higher in order to be able to produce a series of events that lead to the emergence of life".

My reasoning for this is that the universe began or at least the arrow of time begins from a very low point of entropy, and it didn't need to be that low in order for life to exist. Life as we know it has evolved from a higher point of entropy.
Therefore, it would make more sense for a 'god' to start it all off at a higher rate of entropy, why so low? Very unnecessary.

Muashkis's picture
"Either way, The multiverse

"Either way, The multiverse has far more evidence to support it then that of any deity."

Totally agreed. And your correction + added elaboration is completely sound. I back your point.

Not sure if we need more experiments/data to formulate better theories. I think we need the improved/better theories first anyway, if we want to prove/disprove, or at least to talk more sensibly about multiverses. But siding with more conservative views is undeniably mostly just my bias.

arakish's picture
And here is another

And here is another disagreement. I have studied the String and M hypotheses. Notice I do not call them by that "t" word. They are hypotheses pure and simple.

IMHHO, there is only one universe. We are in it. For better or for worse. Until I am shown hard empirical evidence of "other" universes or dimensions, there shall only be one. String Hypothesis is the one they get the multiverse thing from. M Hypothesis says there is something like 11 dimensions.

Of course, I may be wrong now days since I ain't read up on them in about ten or more years. On my first delving, I treated those hypotheses like I do the God Hypothesis. Hogwash. Horse hoowhee. Bullshit.

Now, I shall be the first to admit I love a good yarn (read Sci-Fi story) about other dimensions and/or universes. But it does not mean I believe in them. The same goes for Time Travel.


TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
Don't worry I completely

Don't worry I completely understand why you feel that way.

The difference however is that we can model and test these theories,
They are well grounded theories in describing the physical universe that we observe.
And by they I do refer mainly to theories such as eternal inflation and others of a similar nature.

When we compare the evidences between these theories and say the 'god' theory,
one is observable and testable, however, the other is not.
For the multiverse, all we need is to find certain laws of low energy physics and the model is well on its way.

For god, there is no testable way, and theologians are doing all they can to ensure this be the case.

It seems strange that one 'thing' can answer so much and yet have nothing to scientifically support it.

arakish's picture
For the multiverse, all we

For the multiverse, all we need is to find certain laws of low energy physics and the model is well on its way.

And the evidence is still non-existent. Remember: No evidence = No existence.

And they are not theories. They are hypotheses. Just because the scientists call them theories does not make them theories. For me, they shall forever be bullshit hypotheses. In fact, I just downloaded a load of information regarding these HYPOTHESES and plan on spending quite a time reading it.

However, with my initial scans, I am seeing nothing has changed in those hypotheses in the 10 to 15 years I ain't read up on them. And I am guessing the only reason why is we still have no proof beyond the idea.

That is why I called my "Something From Nothing" idea as nothing more than an idea. A hypothesis. And one that I am probably the only person here on Earth to even think on it. The only way I could actually prove that hypothesis is literally live forever. And if not forever, at a few trillion years.

Want to know the reason scientists called them String and M theories? It is simpler to say. Like us SENClanders, we are just lazy speakers. Theories is only two syllables. Hypothesis is four. The principle us SENClanders hold against the Northeners (Yankees, if you prefer) is, "Why should I use a bunch of multi-syllabic words to say something in 50 syllables when I can say the same exact thing in just 8 syllables? And make it sound worse." Today's scientist have been forced into lazy speech due to the influence of the Absolutists forcefully retarding so many persons mental faculties. To reach them, we have to dumb it down. Thus, we tend to use words that do not have as many syllables.


TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
Sure and I say "all we need

Sure and I say "all we need to do" in the concept of that it is the simplest way, and the science leans in that direction.

Yes I know they are theories, Hence my quote above in which I clearly stated that one should not think of the multiverse as a theory, but as a consequence of theories. However, it is thoroughly grounded and isn't all that controversial.

I use the theory term as many know of these subjects as such, and thus it is easier to converse when calling them as such.

Something from nothing is a well established subject, you have physicists such as Lawrence Krauss, that have touched on it.
If your thinking is parallel to his then my only concern is that by merely observing the virtual particle, you are unwittingly privileging it.
And the position of it is not the essence of it.

Muashkis's picture
I also don't mind these

I also don't mind these hypothesis being coined as theories. For one, it's indeed easier to use and understand, especially for the most relevant target audience. The other reason is them being based on existing theories. They are attempts at expanding the predictive nature of our current models, so although I too might not completely align with them, I don't mind them called theories.

In the end, I'm only happy reasonable people are pursuing the ideas. Shame hardly any of them have come up with models possible to test through experiments, or have and the experiments themselves are impossible. Be it technology or other difficulties, like time as arakish stated. But I guess we are all equally impatient of them succeeding at either providing some or no evidence. Both results work for us.

toto974's picture
TheBlindWatchMaker (or

TheBlindWatchMaker (or Azazoth?), for the concept of Multiverse, i will just say "wait and see!. I am a little biased with this idea because it would be like having a literal infinity (maybe not, but you would have a lot of space). Or we could have only one Universe, but it would be eternal.

Regardless of not jumping to conclusions and throwing "god did it" like believers do, i like this two possibilities because, like all atheists and skeptics, i don't like the idea of a personal god.

TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
Hi, Not sure who Azazoth is?

Hi, Not sure who Azazoth is? Well I have to agree with you, I think we will find either a unified law of physics or we will discover multiverse.

But I'm open to all manner of possibilities.

toto974's picture
Azazoth is an entity from The

Azazoth is an entity from The Chtullu mythos .It is described as the blind idiot god who created the Universe. I thought of that when i first saw your pseudonym, no offense for sure.

I juts hope that we will have a major breakthrough in my lifetime!

Bill Kilpatrick's picture
I'm talking "mountains tumble

I'm talking "mountains tumble into the sea" type change. Stars coming into being and disappearing - the universe is in a constant, perpetual state of change.


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