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Old 07-11-2013, 03:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post
In answer to this particular question, I don't think the universe is finely tuned for life. Seems to be far from it. It has taken an unbelievably long amount of time for us to get to this point. After our own little earths formation, roughly 4.5 billion years ago, there was a wait of a billion years before even the simplest biomolecules emerged on this planet. Then there was another really long wait, doing not much, until multicellular organisms (still with no physical components) appeared roughly 700 million years ago. Another million years go by before the start of the Cambrian explosion and eventually leading to where we are today. Between then and now there have been mass extinctions in which nearly everything on earth was wiped out: 250 million years ago (ending the Paleozoic era) and 65 million years ago which as we know marked the end of the dinosaurs. In relation to the length of time most scientists believe the universe has existed, 'life' as we know it has been around for a very short time, and humanity itself, just the blink of an eye. And all this because we happen to live in the habitable zone within our solar system.
The next nearest earth-like planet in a habitable zone is estimated to be at least 6.4 light years away. That's quite a long way.
And we are here for a finite amount of time. Life will have died on this planet long before our sun dies. So I think of it more like the opposite. The universe seems to be on the whole extremely hostile and unhabitable.
Well, you are mixing up two very different ideas. While we understand much of the randomness behind the creation of life and its subsequent evolution into what it is today .. not much is known about the emergence of these precise universe's physical constants. I mean, we do not know why the value of pi is 3.14159265359 and the speed of light is 299 792 458 m/s. Are these values accidents as well?

Like I had said earlier, scientists believe that these physical constants are so finely-tuned that even infinitesimal deviations could have caused the Universe to collapse --- and there would be NOTHING. So, are you suggesting that these physical constants evolved or changed as well? Were there many incorrect values of the speed of light before the right one came along and took part in the BIG BANG? Doesn't make a lot of sense ... does it?
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
Well, you are mixing up two very different ideas. While we understand much of the randomness behind the creation of life and its subsequent evolution into what it is today .. not much is known about the emergence of these precise universe's physical constants. I mean, we do not know why the value of pi is 3.14159265359 and the speed of light is 299 792 458 m/s. Are these values accidents as well?

Like I had said earlier, scientists believe that these physical constants are so finely-tuned that even infinitesimal deviations could have caused the Universe to collapse --- and there would be NOTHING. So, are you suggesting that these physical constants evolved or changed as well? Were there many incorrect values of the speed of light before the right one came along and took part in the BIG BANG? Doesn't make a lot of sense ... does it?
Well coincidentally enough, I have just started reading the book "Why does E = mc2" by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw. Chapter 2 deals specifically with the Speed of Light which I've just finished.
I'm not suggesting that physical constants evolved. I accept the speed of light as a physical law of nature that is what it is. As to the Big Bang - you are talking to the wrong person here - I have always found the big bang a difficult concept to accept as its is so at odds with all the physical laws of nature - and prefer Roger Penroses cyclical model of the universe - but really I'm open to any better suggestions if anybody ever comes up with a better one. No you are right. It doesn't make a lot of sense.

I may come back to this thread after I have either: finished the book and / or my head implodes when I give up on the maths - whichever comes first (I'm guessing the latter).
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
Well, you are mixing up two very different ideas. While we understand much of the randomness behind the creation of life and its subsequent evolution into what it is today .. not much is known about the emergence of these precise universe's physical constants. I mean, we do not know why the value of pi is 3.14159265359 and the speed of light is 299 792 458 m/s. Are these values accidents as well?

Like I had said earlier, scientists believe that these physical constants are so finely-tuned that even infinitesimal deviations could have caused the Universe to collapse --- and there would be NOTHING. So, are you suggesting that these physical constants evolved or changed as well? Were there many incorrect values of the speed of light before the right one came along and took part in the BIG BANG? Doesn't make a lot of sense ... does it?
What doesn't make sense to humans is not necessarily wrong. What is wrong is to answer all problems with 'Goddunit'. Or rather to start with that answer and just look around for problems we haven't answers to yet and suggest that we should pop 'God' in there as a substitute for an answer.

In the context of the thread, these are not questions that have stumped us, as 'we don't know' is a perfectly good answer.
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
Well, you are mixing up two very different ideas. While we understand much of the randomness behind the creation of life and its subsequent evolution into what it is today .. not much is known about the emergence of these precise universe's physical constants. I mean, we do not know why the value of pi is 3.14159265359 and the speed of light is 299 792 458 m/s. Are these values accidents as well?

Like I had said earlier, scientists believe that these physical constants are so finely-tuned that even infinitesimal deviations could have caused the Universe to collapse --- and there would be NOTHING. So, are you suggesting that these physical constants evolved or changed as well? Were there many incorrect values of the speed of light before the right one came along and took part in the BIG BANG? Doesn't make a lot of sense ... does it?
I hear this argument, but I don't really know how true it is. Why would the universe collapse if pi=4.76? So what if the speed of light were to be only 197,000,000 m/s? All that I have ever seen is the bald assertion by theists, asking me to take it on faith that it is true, which inevitably leads to the saying therefore god!

But even granting its truth, so what? We only need one universe, and that is the one we inhabit. If the universal laws were such that it precluded life, or even existence, problem solved, we would not be here to argue about it.

None of this says anything about god though.
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:58 AM
 
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I have lots of unanswered questions. It's just that religions don't have any good answers. Their attempts usually come down to "god did it, it is a mystery, don't ask" when you peel away all of the grand poetic pronouncements. That's not an answer, that's an attempt to avoid the question in the first place.

Religion is for emotional comfort, not knowledge or truth.
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Originally Posted by KCfromNC View Post
I have lots of unanswered questions. It's just that religions don't have any good answers. Their attempts usually come down to "god did it, it is a mystery, don't ask" when you peel away all of the grand poetic pronouncements. That's not an answer, that's an attempt to avoid the question in the first place.

Religion is for emotional comfort, not knowledge or truth.
Seems like this is being responded to just over what questions have stumped the atheist, mostly because the theist will answer as above.
However, there was a question posted on the Christianity board a few weeks ago that was glossed over, skirted and side-tracked with no answers attempted...certainly none given....not even the usual ones .
Is it fair to say it is one that 'stumped' them?

Why must Animals Suffer?
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:31 AM
 
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In the context of the thread, evidence for an intelligent creator through the anthropic principle with especial reference to universal constants is not really a stumper.

It is a good argument - one of the better ones in the theist armoury - and there are objections to the various points.

How could something come from nothing? It makes more sense than a complex intelligence that didn't come from anywhere.

How is it that the universe is arranged just so life could evolve? Universal constants seem to constantly be changing and are not so constant as was thought, nor are the carbon building blocks so dependent on a constant as was thought.

How is the universe for finely tuned as to look intelligently designed? In fact it isn't. It is a car -crash in constant progress. The fact is that anything that isn't stable will cease to exist and anything that works (give or take a few elements so unstable as not to last very long at all) will rub along together or cease to be. It really is a case of 'We are here'.

How could it be chance that the earth is just right for life to emerge? as remarked earlier, it was right for life to start, though we can't rule out life starting under totally different condition, when we think of the extremes under which earthly bioforms can survive, but it required a moon to crash into us, a comet perhaps to crash onto us providing the water, several extinctions to allow mammals to dominate and for climate change to force us out of the trees and start walking. We have evolved to fit the conditions rather than the conditions being arranged to suit us. That said, we have been lucky.

That still leaves a lot of unanswered questions and a case for an intelligent mind behind it all. The point is that 'we don't know' is the answer and perhaps wwhen we do, a Mind will be probable or perhaps not. so far the answers haven't really supported intelligent design though the Believers try to make everything from DNA to String Theory look like it is evidence for God.

This is either wrong (Finding intelligent codes in DNA, Fibionachi or Bioforms is as wrong - headed and delusionary as the hoary old fallacy of finding hidden messages in the Bible, Shakespeare or Moby dick) or pretending that 'God' explains the as yet unexplained. This is jumping the gun and trying to argue that, where we can't come up with a plausible non - God explanation (or even where we can - eg. Abiogenesis) then God has to be the preferred default answer. This is false reasoning.

This of course just means that these Cosmic origins questions, while we can't answer them, are not atheist -stumpers. They are not evidence that requires evaluation as the are not evidence at all -either way.

That is of course nothing to do with the main beef of atheism which is with the very checkable god - claims made by the various religions and their Holy Books, and there hasn't been much to stump me there.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 07-13-2013 at 07:57 AM..
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Hyrule
8,398 posts, read 9,898,680 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
Well, you are mixing up two very different ideas. While we understand much of the randomness behind the creation of life and its subsequent evolution into what it is today .. not much is known about the emergence of these precise universe's physical constants. I mean, we do not know why the value of pi is 3.14159265359 and the speed of light is 299 792 458 m/s. Are these values accidents as well?

Like I had said earlier, scientists believe that these physical constants are so finely-tuned that even infinitesimal deviations could have caused the Universe to collapse --- and there would be NOTHING. So, are you suggesting that these physical constants evolved or changed as well? Were there many incorrect values of the speed of light before the right one came along and took part in the BIG BANG? Doesn't make a lot of sense ... does it?
Odds are difficult to understand. People do win the lottery and that is essentially how I view earth. A lottery winner. There might have been one prior, there might be one in the future but for now, we are on the winner. I consider myself lucky.

Now, does a God run the casino of life? Chicken or the egg? Who knows, not enough evidence to condemn or judge. That's the point. Belief is just a thought, what people think happens and for what reason.

It includes all form of life, including aliens, demons, angles or Gods. We just can't help it. Our imaginations serve good purpose and enable us to invent, but they also form delusional thinking enabling us to believe in just about anything we tell ourselves to be true enough times. Especially if it's been done before.

Religion is a perfect example of this, so is idol worship. Tell yourself enough times that Brad Pit looks at you in a special way, convince yourself that stalking him is necessary. The human mind is an amazing device, but it has it's flaws. You can't justify the flaws if you are Theists but you can certainly justify the flaws with science. So you have Theists coming up with justifying phrases like, "meant to be" "it's a plan" "our God works in mysterious ways" etc.

Last edited by PoppySead; 07-13-2013 at 08:30 AM..
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
Well, you are mixing up two very different ideas. While we understand much of the randomness behind the creation of life and its subsequent evolution into what it is today .. not much is known about the emergence of these precise universe's physical constants. I mean,, we do not know why the value of pi is 3.14159265359 and the speed of light is 299 792 458 m/s. Are these values accidents as well?

Like I had said earlier, scientists believe that these physical constants are so finely-tuned that even infinitesimal deviations could have caused the Universe to collapse --- and there would be NOTHING. So, e you suggesting that these physical constants evolved or changed as well? Were there many incorrect values of the speed of light before the right one came along and took part in the BIG BANG? Doesn't make a lot of sense ... does it?
I have to be honest with you. I don'tsee this as an argument at all. You see, what IF there were many "incorrect" values that resulted in a non viable (with respect to our form of life) universes? As I see it, in that case, they would not be proper for life, and we would therefore not be there, wondering why that universe was fine-tuned for us to evolve in it.

In that same thread, so what if earth appears fine tuned for our form of life? Of course it is! If it was even slightly different, life would have evolved differently, and we would not be here marveling at how this planet is somehow perfect for us. There are billions of stars and billions upon billions of planets around those stars. Of those, all we have discovered appear to be very hostile to earth life, BUT, all are a little different from each other, just the same . The fact that we hit the cosmic dice and got a world fit for out kind of life is not, to me, impressive in the slightest, as a simple analysis of probabilities suggests that such a thing was pretty much inevitable at some point in time, on at least one planet, in one star system, in one galaxy, in one universe among possibly infinite.
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:36 PM
 
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I think that's right. The anthropic principle has a point of course, but it can be overdone by overlooking the wiggle room, the life-forms meeting the conditions half way and the possibility that other alternatives could have worked just as well.
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