I'm yer Huckleberry. Blowmedown.
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01-03-2014, 12:44 AM
I'm yer Huckleberry. Blowmedown.
Lay it down, brother. I'll put the kettle on, what should we discuss?

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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01-03-2014, 03:28 PM
RE: I'm yer Huckleberry. Blowmedown.
(01-03-2014 12:44 AM)evenheathen Wrote:  Lay it down, brother. I'll put the kettle on, what should we discuss?

Lets us discuss whether or not it appears the Universe is the product of an intellect.

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01-03-2014, 03:52 PM
RE: I'm yer Huckleberry. Blowmedown.
Righto. I don't think it does. Big Grin

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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04-03-2014, 08:02 PM (This post was last modified: 04-03-2014 08:13 PM by Heywood Jahblome.)
RE: I'm yer Huckleberry. Blowmedown.
To start my case that the universe appears to be the product of a intellect I would like to bring up the fine tuning problem. The fine tuning problem is this: There are about couple of dozen physical constants of the universe teetering on a knife edge....which if you changed anyone just a little bit we would not have an emergent universe(or at the very least a much less emergent universe). For instance if gravity were a little stronger the universe would exist as simple black hole. If gravity were a little weaker matter would not clump to form more complex structures.

The observance of this fact of reality cries out for an explanation. There really are just 2 credible explanations.

A) The Universe was fined tuned for emergent complexity by an intellect.
B) All possible universes exists and our Universe is just one of them.

At this point I ask you why should one favor B over A?

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04-03-2014, 09:20 PM
RE: I'm yer Huckleberry. Blowmedown.
Ah, the fine tuning argument. This is an oldie but a goodie. In my mind you are missing a third option.

C. The universe is what it is, and can only be what it is.

Quote:For instance if gravity were a little stronger the universe would exist as simple black hole.

Sure, and perhaps it did exist as a black hole in some other state or universe until something changed and the big bang occurred and here we are. Given that we don't know what the situation of our universe until a split second after the bang happened, we are in no position to say what conditions were present at or before it.

I agree that all of the elements of the universe being exactly what they are seems extremely unlikely, given the odds that any of it could be different. But let's put that into perspective.

Take a deck of cards and shuffle it, do you know what the odds are that they will end up in whatever order you shuffled them into?

More than 8 x 10^67.

This is significant because it makes the chances of that shuffle significantly high that it is the first time it's ever been done in history. Consider that for a second.....of all of the card shuffles ever done by every person since cards were invented, there's a good chance it was the first time they have ever been shuffled into that order.

Now those odds seem baffling, yet there it is. http://www.math.hmc.edu/funfacts/ffiles/10002.4-6.shtml

The odds of the universe coming together with all of the elements being what they are would be huge...astronomical, yet here it is.

No need for an intellect. No need for all possible universes.

The only need we have to have for this universe to exist......is for this universe to exist.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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04-03-2014, 10:14 PM
RE: I'm yer Huckleberry. Blowmedown.
(04-03-2014 09:20 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Ah, the fine tuning argument. This is an oldie but a goodie. In my mind you are missing a third option.

C. The universe is what it is, and can only be what it is.

The problem with this option is there is no reason to think this is true with our current physics. Our current physics allows for many different models of the universe which are coherent. If we consider only what we observe and only what our current physics tells us, there is simply no room for your option C. Further, cutting edge physics....like string theory....also suggest the possibility the universe could have been different. The amount of possible kinds of universes that could exist in string theory exceeds the total number of atoms in the observable universe.

(04-03-2014 09:20 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Sure, and perhaps it did exist as a black hole in some other state or universe until something changed and the big bang occurred and here we are. Given that we don't know what the situation of our universe until a split second after the bang happened, we are in no position to say what conditions were present at or before it.

I agree that we are ignorant of the conditions of the Universe at the moment of the big bang.

(04-03-2014 09:20 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  I agree that all of the elements of the universe being exactly what they are seems extremely unlikely, given the odds that any of it could be different. But let's put that into perspective.

Take a deck of cards and shuffle it, do you know what the odds are that they will end up in whatever order you shuffled them into?

More than 8 x 10^67.

This is significant because it makes the chances of that shuffle significantly high that it is the first time it's ever been done in history. Consider that for a second.....of all of the card shuffles ever done by every person since cards were invented, there's a good chance it was the first time they have ever been shuffled into that order.

Now those odds seem baffling, yet there it is. http://www.math.hmc.edu/funfacts/ffiles/10002.4-6.shtml

The odds of the universe coming together with all of the elements being what they are would be huge...astronomical, yet here it is.

No need for an intellect. No need for all possible universes.

The only need we have to have for this universe to exist......is for this universe to exist.

Of all the possible universes, very few allow for much, if any emergent complexity. Consider your card shuffling analogy, relatively few shuffles allow one to draw a royal flush, or 4 of a kind. The creation of the universe it seems is like the shuffling of a pack of cards...some shuffles are special in that they have to potential to produce a monster hand. The universe was dealt a monster hand which suggest either many hands were dealt or there was a mechanic fixing the deck. The number of special universes in which emergent complexity can occur is so small in relation to the number of possible universes that it is simply too much of a stretch to think that one hand was dealt randomly and by blind luck it was a monster hand.

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04-03-2014, 10:43 PM
RE: I'm yer Huckleberry. Blowmedown.
(04-03-2014 10:14 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  The problem with this option is there is no reason to think this is true with our current physics. Our current physics allows for many different models of the universe which are coherent. If we consider only what we observe and only what our current physics tells us, there is simply no room for your option C.

Okay, my option C is the only absolutely true option there is, not counting theoretics. The universe is what it is, and couldn't possibly be something different because it's not different, it is what it is. This is obvious.

(04-03-2014 10:14 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Further, cutting edge physics....like string theory....also suggest the possibility the universe could have been different. The amount of possible kinds of universes that could exist in string theory exceeds the total number of atoms in the observable universe.

Yes, so I suppose to be honest to your first set of options, B suits me just fine, given that the known perameters to how many possible kinds of universes could exist is innumerable. Not that all possible universes exist, but that they could.

We happen to live in one of them. No intellect needed.

(04-03-2014 10:14 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  The number of special universes in which emergent complexity can occur is so small in relation to the number of possible universes that it is simply too much of a stretch to think that one hand was dealt randomly and by blind luck it was a monster hand.

Again I will refer to the card shuffling odds. This is an argument from incredulity. You yourself say that the number of possible universes that could theoretically exist exceed the number of atoms in the observable universe. The number of "special universes" in which emergent complexity can occur would be so astoundingly large (even given the small ratio of possible complex universes) that you and I would still never be able to wrap our heads around it.

Let's face it, the possibilities (even the possibilities of things we'll never understand within our own universe) are so numerous that to limit our thinking to A. or B. is extremely simpleminded.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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05-03-2014, 09:42 PM
RE: I'm yer Huckleberry. Blowmedown.
(04-03-2014 10:43 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Let's face it, the possibilities (even the possibilities of things we'll never understand within our own universe) are so numerous that to limit our thinking to A. or B. is extremely simpleminded.

We did consider:
C) its simply a brute fact that for some unknown reason the universe can only logically exist in this one form (which just happens to allow for emergent complexity)

and

D)it was blind luck that this long shot(the odds of which is another number you and I would have difficulty getting our mind around) came in.

Its true there might be and E F G...and so on. If you know what those are please share and we can discuss them. From my perspective it seems we are stuck forming a world view with these 4 options.....2 of which I think we can discredit to a very large degree for reasons already stated in this discussion.

(04-03-2014 10:43 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Yes, so I suppose to be honest to your first set of options, B suits me just fine, given that the known perameters to how many possible kinds of universes could exist is innumerable. Not that all possible universes exist, but that they could.

We happen to live in one of them. No intellect needed.

Option A and option B share something in common. Both require a transcendent creator. In A that creator is intelligent by definition. In B the creator need not necessarily be intelligent. It could be some mechanistic universe generator. Would you agree that there very good reasons for a person to believe a transcendent creator(not necessarily an intelligent one) exists?

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05-03-2014, 11:46 PM
RE: I'm yer Huckleberry. Blowmedown.
(05-03-2014 09:42 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Its true there might be and E F G...and so on. If you know what those are please share and we can discuss them.

Of course I don't know what those may be. No one does. But the possibility of them existing means that there's no reason that one needs to posit an intellect as one of the only possibilities for existence without knowing more about it.

(05-03-2014 09:42 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Option A and option B share something in common. Both require a transcendent creator. In A that creator is intelligent by definition. In B the creator need not necessarily be intelligent. It could be some mechanistic universe generator.

No that's stupid. Why does B require a transcendent creator? Why does the universe require a creator?

"Some mechanistic universe generator" could very well be a multiverse, which could be eternal for all we know. We don't know, so positing an intellect is simple minded.

(05-03-2014 09:42 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Would you agree that there very good reasons for a person to believe a transcendent creator(not necessarily an intelligent one) exists?

You haven't come up with anything new under the sun here, just the same ole' special pleading and "well I can't imagine anything being different than how I think about things" argument.

Time and time again we have discovered that what we know is balls out different than what we expected. You have a very narrow view of what you expect, I think this is because of a bias towards what you would like to believe.

There are absolutely no "good" reasons for a person to believe a transcendent creator exists. There are very human reasons to think such a thing, but no realistic ones.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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06-03-2014, 11:54 AM
RE: I'm yer Huckleberry. Blowmedown.
(05-03-2014 11:46 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  
(05-03-2014 09:42 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Its true there might be and E F G...and so on. If you know what those are please share and we can discuss them.

Of course I don't know what those may be. No one does. But the possibility of them existing means that there's no reason that one needs to posit an intellect as one of the only possibilities for existence without knowing more about it.

To posit something is to assume as fact or to put forth as a basis for an argument. I have not posited the existence of an intellect responsible for the production of the universe. I listed it as a possibility. In order to even have this discussion it has to be listed as a possibility because this discussion is about whether or not that possibility being true is plausible or likely. Remember we are discussing "whether or not it appears the Universe is the product of an intellect."

Further, I think you make an error in claiming that the possibility of options you cannot even describe because you don't know what they may be gives you a basis to reject a possibility that you can describe...that you have some understanding, albeit incomplete, of what it may be. You understand what an intellect is don't you? I'm sure you do.

(05-03-2014 11:46 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  
(05-03-2014 09:42 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Option A and option B share something in common. Both require a transcendent creator. In A that creator is intelligent by definition. In B the creator need not necessarily be intelligent. It could be some mechanistic universe generator.

No that's stupid. Why does B require a transcendent creator? Why does the universe require a creator?

"Some mechanistic universe generator" could very well be a multiverse, which could be eternal for all we know. We don't know, so positing an intellect is simple minded.

Again, I haven't posited an intellect. I listed it as a possibility because it explains the fine tuning we observe. I also listed a multiverse as a possibility because it also explains the fine tuning we observe. Now consider for a multiverse to exist, sub universes have to exist and those sub universes have to be generated or created.

Perhaps you take offense to the word "creator" because of its theistic connotations. How about this instead. Would you agree there are very good reasons to believe in a transcendent reality?

(05-03-2014 11:46 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  You haven't come up with anything new under the sun here, just the same ole' special pleading and "well I can't imagine anything being different than how I think about things" argument.

Time and time again we have discovered that what we know is balls out different than what we expected. You have a very narrow view of what you expect, I think this is because of a bias towards what you would like to believe.

There are absolutely no "good" reasons for a person to believe a transcendent creator exists. There are very human reasons to think such a thing, but no realistic ones.

The bolded portion is true of the atheist as well as anyone else. You do not expect reality to look like it is the product of an intellect. You may find that after some thought and discussion you find your previous bias to be balls out wrong.

I haven't even begun to argue that it is likely the universe is the result of an intellect. What I am trying to do by pointing out the fine tuning problem is show that it is a reasonable possibility because it explains curious observations. The multiverse is also a reasonable possibility because it explains curious observations. Brute fact not so much....the science doesn't support it. Blind luck...so unlikely it can be dismissed.

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