In the past, each of my posts critiquing Prof Dave Hogsette’s E-mails to a Young Seeker has centered around four of five chapters, or fictional email exchanges between Prof Dave and a college student who does not exist. This post was meant to be split up into two, but a) I really hate reading this book and I am ready to be done with it, and b) splitting it up where I originally intended to would have been very awkward, because it didn’t turn out to be a good stopping point. What this means is that this post includes eight “exchanges”, although most of them are insanely repetitive, so I will try to be brief.
The exchanges are:
Exchange 10: Isn’t it irrational to believe in miracles these days?
Exchange 11: But, the resurrection of Christ is just a myth, right?
Exchange 12: The reliability of the New Testament makes sense to me, but why should we trust the reliability of the Old Testament? That just seems too far-fetched
Exchange 13: I’m having a difficult time understanding the Christian notions of sin and salvation
Exchange 14: What about those who never hear about Christ?
Exchange 15: With all this sin in the world caused by us, does that mean God failed and let his world get out of control?
Exchange 16: For free will to be actual, isn’t God required to be a manipulative tester of wills?
Exchange 17: Can you explain original sin? Why am I responsible for Adam’s sin? Why was Jesus sacrificed?
Exchange 10 is little more than Exchange 9, regarding whether or not the New Testament is a myth. Again, Prof Dave emphasizes his belief that the New Testament is historical nonfiction because it’s written like nonfiction: it looks true, it feels true, so it must be true. Imagine if he would apply such blind belief to something that is at least true, like evolution, before seeing the wealth of evidence for it!
Prof Dave goes on to say that if one claims to be a naturalist but does not believe in miracles, then they are fooling themselves because by his definition, the beginning of the universe is a miracle. Here’s the difference, though, between the “miracle” of the big bang creating a world like ours, and the miracle of, say, a virgin giving birth: if you have a large enough sample size, anything that is possible becomes more and more probable. A big bang resulting in one tiny planet of billions was possible, and given enough time, the chances of this possibility to become reality become infinitely more likely. And with billions of billions of planets, the chance that one could sustain life becomes more likely. The thing with virgin births in humans is that they’re not possible. So the more human women you have doesn’t make asexual reproduction more likely. Zero times zero is still zero, Prof Dave.
In Exchange 11, Prof Dave gives the seeker alternate theories to the idea that Jesus really rose from the dead, refuting them one by one (these five well-known theories are listed here, much better than Prof Dave did, I might add). I know that some people believe that Jesus did exist and that he did die on a cross, but they don’t accept that he rose, which would point towards the veracity of the New Testament record of his life. What I don’t understand is, how many people really believe this? How many people actually think that Jesus merely swooned, or that the apostles made the whole thing up? I’m skeptical as to whether a Jesus figure existed at all, that any of the apostles even existed at all, and if so, whether the New Testament got any of it right. So I’m not concerned with these details. (I’ve later come to believe that the historical Jesus did exist, but that the gospels were not entirely accurate, especially about the resurrection. He was likely buried in a mass grave.)
Exchange 12 is nothing more than a repetition of every chapter I read for my last post on this book. Prof Dave explains that the Old Testament is true because Jesus refers to it (and we know Jesus is God because the New Testament feels true), and because the Old Testament writers also say that the Old Testament is true. My favorite part of this exchange is when Prof Dave spends far longer than anyone should ever have to spend, explaining why his logic is not circular (because God, that’s why!).
Exchange 13 begins with the seeker being enraged that God would send people to hell. Prof Dave explains his passionate belief in total depravity and the fact that everyone alive truly deserves nothing more than to burn in hell for all eternity, but if you just accept Jesus as your master and savior, then you get a free pass to heaven.
The fictional devil’s advocate then asks, “What about the serial killer…” (explaining what this hypothetical serial killer did in very unnecessary detail) “…who kills people all their life and repents on their death bed? Why would they go to heaven instead of someone who isn’t religious but is a good person?” Prof Dave explains that, first of all, being a Christian makes you a good person, and if you truly believe, then you won’t do really bad things. Then he explains that according to the bible, blasphemy (of which I am very guilty!) is the very worst sin, far worse than murder (which I myself have only committed to bugs). This is why atheists burn in hell and murderers and rapists who do so in the name of God are saved. Simple!
In Exchange 14, the student asks about the salvation, or lack thereof, for people who have never heard of Jesus. Stumped, Prof Dave spends several pages avoiding the question before giving two answers: “You know what, I really don’t know why God does what he does,” and “If God knew that a certain person, upon hearing about Jesus, really would become a Christian, then he would find a way to tell them—like in a dream or a vision!” He also cautioned the seeker to just not worry about it, because the seeker himself had heard of Jesus and had the opportunity to submit to him, and for those people who are never reached, it’s between them and God. So don’t worry about these innocent people burning in hell for no reason, because you will be in heaven!
Exchanges 15, 16, and 17 all revolve around the same theme: sin, free will, Adam and Eve, and good and evil. Just as in every other exchange in the book, Prof Dave’s positions on these topics are extremely cumulative. It reminds me of someone stacking toy blocks one on top of another until the tower is really high, but it barely has any foundation and with one wrong move the entire thing could fall because it was never sturdy enough from the start. Prof Dave’s whole argument here is a logical progression of suppositions.
It starts with the idea that all humans are depraved and deserve hellfire in Exchange 13. Pairing this baseless idea with the one that says God gave humans free will so that we could choose to love him in Exchanges 15 and 16, Prof Dave attempts to refute the idea that the loving god is the one supposedly sending people to hell. It’s only logical, he says, that if you do not choose to love God, and you choose to be without him, then you will eventually be truly without him in hell. There are several logical progressions like this throughout these chapters, trying to justify paradoxes in Christianity and in God’s character with “if this is this way, then this must be that way, which can only be this way if that were like that” until the reader and the writer alike are so turned around that one doesn’t even know what question to ask to refute it.
I find this apologetic tactic fascinating because it implies that the seemingly infinite Christian god is bound by the rules of logic. For example, by the logic here, there is no way to avoid innocent people spending eternity in hell for the mere fact that they were not Christians. What I find interesting is that God himself knows no way—or doesn’t care to enforce it—around this logic. And he had no way of avoiding the temptation of Adam and Eve, even though he made them perfect, yet somehow they were capable of making a real, consequential, moral choice, which they made wrong, which necessitated Jesus to die on the cross, which is still not enough unless everyone acknowledges this and worships him. This brings me to a variation of the age-old question. In Prof Dave’s world, did God make laws of logic so rigid that not he himself could even break them? Even if breaking them would save the great majority of every human ever from undeservedly burning in eternal hellfire?
Prof Dave, and your seeker friend, is this really the god that you want to worship? This god who is either weak, malevolent, or careless?
I would like to note that if this were not already bad enough, that Prof Dave has a terrible habit of beginning sentences with conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so) followed directly by a comma (like he did in the title of Exchange 11). On top of everything else, this drove me absolutely insane while reading—every one of the 47 times he did it in the exchanges mentioned in this post. The irony here was heavy, considering that I discovered this book via my editing class at college, where I also spent a good deal of my time editing another book written by Prof Dave (about karate, of all things). After long enough editing that book, I had to give up fixing his conjunction problems because there were too many. The greatest irony of all, however, is that Prof Dave’s main career is being an English professor.
28 thoughts on “Reading My Professor’s Apologetics Book: Part 4”
Much of the book seems to be in defense of a form of (fundamental or denominational) Christianity. It is interesting that he askes himself questions and then avoids answering them. Love that irony.
I once heard my scriptural literature professor, an otherwise very objective and brilliant woman, explain that she could not personally reconcile herself with the idea that humans have no souls (i.e. no free will) because she could not bring herself to “absolve everyone like that”. Points for bluntness, Kathy Lundeen, but not even remotely an argument (admittedly it was not intended to be). What really got me though was the fact that she, like everyone who subscribes to the notion of free will, seemed to think that the problem of determinism can be solved by the supposed existence of the soul. They always seem to forget that they then have to explain why so much of the human experience seems to run in the same predictable cycles as everything else in physics-dominated nature. More importantly, they would have to explain where the soul’s decisions come from (they cannot be entirely self-generated, because they are dependent for their existence on God like everything else in this theory, and they cannot be entirely random, otherwise we would again not be accountable for our decisions). In other words, it seems to me that even in a world with souls, we would still have no truly “free” will, because our souls would still be acted upon by determinism.
What a slog. The state of modern apologetics is quite dire as a vastly greater number of people are picking apart their lame arguments.
With regard to “Prof Dave explains that the Old Testament is true because Jesus refers to it” Actually Jesus refers to it incorrectly from time to time, but if one thinks about it, if the character Jesus is fictional, would the author of that fiction be able to quote scripture accurately? Would the author not have copies of the texts being quoted at hand (or memorized)? How is this a criterion for anything?
Plus in Mathew the character Jesus says that not one jot or tittle of scripture is to be changed and that he is here to fulfill it, not overthrow it. Now many apologists “explain” the fact that Christians ignore all of the 605 commandments of the OT by saying that Jesus supersedes all of that, that that was the deal with the Jews, completely ignoring Mathew.
So if the OT is true but it has been superseded, why mention it at all? Why hammer away with the Ten Commandments and ignore the other 595? These are good questions, but not addressed by most apologists.
This is an argument that I often hear from Christians.
Perhaps they have never heard of literary allusion. Or perhaps they believe that Jesus was as dumb as a rock, and incapable of using literary allusion.
To me, the smartest thing you can do, CA, is close the book, donate it to your mother who will probably love it, and go pick up a good science fiction classic, such as Little Fussy, by H. Beam Piper, or Monument, by Lloyd Biggle Jr. They are much more rewarding, and life-affirming. Your “Prof Dave” is not worth wasting time on, IMO.
rawgod says it all
But i’m in ewe of your patient for being able to read through a book like that
Just wondering if you could clarify this;
“Here’s the difference, though, between the “miracle” of the big bang creating a world like ours, and the miracle of, say, a virgin giving birth: if you have a large enough sample size, anything that is possible becomes more and more probable. A big bang resulting in one tiny planet of billions was possible, and given enough time, the chances of this possibility to become reality become infinitely more likely. And with billions of billions of planets, the chance that one could sustain life becomes more likely.”
No disrespect, but it makes precisely zero sense. Why is it “possible” that the Big Bang would have happened at all without a miracle? And given the fact that the odds of fine-tuning are vastly lower than the number of available planets, any lottery comparison seems to provide the opposite conclusion — it’s unwinnable by any coherent measurement.
There are a number of other things here that have less than viable logic.
Can you show that the universe if fine tuned
And that the odds are are vastly lower than the number of available planets
Can you show that the universe is fine tuned
That’s frighteningly easy, dear Jonathan. Usually a google search or a quick scan in the local library gets you resources that detail entire slews of constants that are finely tuned, i.e. the exist within such narrow ranges that allow life. Just as a note first, though, you can go through a much fuller read from this article in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy;
Here’s one example from the article;
The probability of the gravitational constant is something like 1 in 10^34. How many planets exist? Well, I think the estimated number of galaxies is 100 billion, but since I’m feeling generous today let’s say there’s 100 quadrillion, and each galaxy has a billion planets (another astronomical exaggeration) — or 1 in 10^26 planets. In other words, given two astronomical exaggerations and just the gravity constant alone, the probability of life is still 1 in 10^8 (or 1 in 100000000). Just add one more constant to this list, like the expansion rate of the universe (1 in 10^55) and the probability of life against the number of planets blows up to 1 in 10^63. Add two or three more constants to this, and say goodbye. So the probability that life would be housed in a planet on sheer chance is virtually non-existent.
How did you arrive at this value
How do you ascribe probability when we don’t know the possible values in a set
How did you know that they are 10^34 possible values of the gravitational constant
How do we ascribe probabilities to sets of possible physical constants? Are they all supposed to be equally likely? Or are some more likely than others?
Your argument assumes that the values of the various constants supposedly required for the universe to be capable of supporting life could, in fact, have possibly been different than what they actually are. It’s not “fine tuning” if there were no other options available. ( The multiverse hypothesis says that the physical constants could be different. But until evidence arises it still a hypothesis ).
How do you arrive at the conclusion, that a change in the gravitational constant will only affect the gravitational constant.
How do you arrive at the premise that it is only this exact value of the gravitational constant that is capable of sustaining life
How do you arrive at the premise that it is only this set of constants that can sustain life
For a universe that is supposedly “finely tuned” to support life, it seems awfully strange that the vast majority of said universe is not, in fact, capable of sustaining life. Even here on Earth, there are plenty of regions totally inhospitable to life. And what about all the other planets in the solar system? And the vast emptiness of interstellar space? What about planets near supernovas and black holes?
What makes life so special. Why don’t you argue that the universe is fine tuned for Jupiter’s red spot to exist or for saturn to have ring
Now live has evolved to exist in the current universe we are in, a universe with galaxies, stars and planets.
So if galaxies, stars and planets.were not formed. Can you tell me with certainty that what ever structures would have existed would not have the ability to support some form of life ( maybe not the forms of life we are familiar with )
Sure the life forms around us may require galaxies, stars and planets to exist. But those are the life forms that exist in a universe with those structures available
How can you tell that galaxies, stars and planets are a requirements for all forms of life to exist
“How did you arrive at this value
How do you ascribe probability when we don’t know the possible values in a set”
The first question should be maddeningly obvious. I never came up with the value of the gravitational constant. Physicists did. The second question is just, apparently, nonsense. Calculating the constants is specifically based on how wide it appears the set can be.
Anyways, your entire comment is a ridiculous gish gallop, so I’ll only answer the few that I want and you can bring back up your tsunami of weird questions later that I haven’t yet answered in the remainder of this response.
“How do you arrive at the conclusion, that a change in the gravitational constant will only affect the gravitational constant.”
This is because my brain functions properly. There is no magical superforce in the universe that, were one constant to change, the measurement of the other would also change. The speed of light is wholly unaffected by the “amount of gravity”. The strong force is wholly unaffected by the weak force. If you learned your physics, you’d know constants aren’t physical things, they’re just numbers representing for how powerful a certain set of interacting particles are.
“How do you arrive at the premise that it is only this exact value of the gravitational constant that is capable of sustaining life.”
Once more — I don’t do that, physicists do. If you increased/decreased the gravitational constant by a minute level, stars would actually be too cold to go supernova, and thus would never form the heavier elements essential for life. If it was substantially weaker, stars would not even form. If slightly stronger, stars would have been stable but so small that their lifetimes would be very short. How do I know this? Keep reading.
Since a ton of your questions are based on “HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS IS THE CASE???” — all of these can be answered by simply .. referring you to the link I gave you earlier from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
It contains extensive citations of the sources and calculations made for finely tuned each constant it mentions, and has an extensive bibliography at the bottom of the page. So there’s absolutely zero trouble for you checking this all out yourself.
P.S. When I say “slightly” stronger/weaker, I mean “slightly” in the sense of a near inconceivably minuscule change. I’ll answer one more thing, because I at least consider it more reasonable than everything else you asked.
“Now live has evolved to exist in the current universe we are in, a universe with galaxies, stars and planets.
So if galaxies, stars and planets.were not formed. Can you tell me with certainty that what ever structures would have existed would not have the ability to support some form of life ( maybe not the forms of life we are familiar with )”
I can answer this with absolute certainty. One of the constants, for examples, governs whether or not any element other than hydrogen would exist. So if only hydrogen exists, then the mere conception of life is flat impossible. There is no possible way for hydrogen atoms to arrange themselves for life to exist. So, if this constant were different, we can say with absolute certainty that life could not exist under any conceivable condition. Another one — if the Higgs mass were a bit different, space would either collapse or protons wouldn’t come together to form atoms. Life couldn’t exist under these conditions even if you lived in unicorn land.
Can you cite the physicists who published works that said that they are 10^34 possible values for the gravitational constant. By the way what you wrote was probability of the gravitational constant is something like 1 in 10^34. You never said that you were stating the value of the gravitational constant. You were stating a probability, and can you reference me to any scholarly work in physics that state that probability of the gravitational constant is something like 1 in 10^34, these implies that your sample size is 10^34
No where in the article you link was it ever stated that they are 10^34 possible values for the gravitational constant. So can you tell me your source for that value
You cited a theologian who didn’t even give how physicists arrive at the range of possible values for the gravitational constant
That is my question. How did you know that the set containing all the possible values for the gravitational constants contains 10^34 elements
Can you cited a work of any physicists who said that they are 10^34 possible values for the gravitational constant
You stated how wide it appears the set can be
Can you cite a physics work that states how wide the set can be
WLC article you even cited did not even say anything about the range of values the gravitational constant can be
I will ask again cite a work in physics that have stated that they are 10^34 possible values for the gravitational constant
If you knew your physics, you would know that what you just said only holds true after the quark epoch when all 4 forces had taken their present form
What you are saying is a hypothetical situation that the gravitational constant was different, so any potential change in the any of the 4 forces would have happened before the end of the quark epoch of the big bang. Before that at different stages some of the 4 stages were together
During the Planck epoch, the strong force, weak force, electromagnetism and gravitational forces were one combined force. So any potential change in the value of the gravitational constant would have to occured during the grand unification epoch when gravity separated from the electrostrong interaction
So my question is if gravitational force had taken a different amount from the mother force, it would affect the values of the remaining 3 forces
Based on how these 4 forces were between the Planck and quark epoch I don’t see why you are not considering that the gravitational constant couldn’t change without affecting the remaining 3 forces and the consequences of varying more than one parameter at a time
Like I have said the gravitational constants could not have been the only force that would have changed. They would have been an affect among the other 3 forces. So you need to account for this
I don’t know of any physicist who claim that out of your supposed 10^34 possible values for the gravitational force, it is only in one that life can exist. At the very most you can say that the life forms in a universe were the gravitational constant is 6.67408 × 10-11 m3 kg-1 s-2 would not exist in another. Does not mean that among “all the possible values” of the gravitational constant a different form of life wouldn’t exist.
From what you said When I say “slightly” stronger/weaker, I mean “slightly” in the sense of a near inconceivably minuscule change
This means you have only look at the effects of a very small range of your supposed 10^34 possible values of the gravitational constant. You haven’t check the structures that can form in all your possible values of the gravitational constant
I don’t know of any physicist who takes your attitude in saying that in all the 10^34 possible values of the gravitational constant, it is only in 1 that life can exist
Show me one physicist who take you stance. You won’t find any simple because we do not have the technology to find out how the universe will turn out in all 10^34 scenarios
For one we don’t know the structures that can form in all possible values of these 4 forces. The only thing we can say is that in some of them the structures we know off may not exist, that is all
I dare you to mention one physicist who say that with absolute certainty in all possible values of the weak,strong, electromagnetic and gravitational forces no form of life can exist, even this article doesn’t say that
Based on are current level of technology, there is no way to carry out any experiment to show that in all possible values of the gravitational constant but one life does not exist. Mention one physicist who know this makes the claim that you are making. It is unscientific to say that without experiments that we know with absolute certainty that life can not exist in any other condition
I have to correct myself a bit after getting into a conversation with a physics professor earlier today. No, it is not the case that exact probabilities for the constants can be calculated — what is being calculated is the fact that if the constants very slightly, in either direction, life ceases. That seems to deal with virtually everything you write.
You keep asking like a crazy pigeon what the “sources” are for this — and I keep pointing you to the SEP (stanford encyclopedia of philosophy article). No amount of your repetition is going to change this answer. And by the way, Craig is primarily a philosopher, also a theologian and historian.
“You haven’t check the structures that can form in all your possible values of the gravitational constant”
Actually, I did. I specifically told you what would happen if the constant is slightly changed in either direction. Did you miss that part of my comment?
“I dare you to mention one physicist who say that with absolute certainty in all possible values of the weak,strong, electromagnetic and gravitational forces no form of life can exist, even this article doesn’t say that”
Rigged question, there’s no such thing as “absolute certainty” in science because the predominant philosophical position in the scientific method, as articulated by guys like Karl Popper, is fallibilism — a hypothesis can’t be proven, but it can be falsified. So, all I need to do is point to physicists who say that the evidence suggests that the universe is finely tuned for life. And the SEP article mentions tons of them and provides a bibliography with multiple popular level and technical level overviews of the fine tuning data.
“Based on are current level of technology, there is no way to carry out any experiment to show that in all possible values of the gravitational constant but one life does not exist.”
There is. What the heck are you talking about? And it’s not “but one”. It’s a certain small range. This simply goes to show how little you understand this topic.
“What makes life on earth different from Jupiter’s red spot to exist or for saturn ring”
What does this even mean?
This was the exact words you said
Any one who read what you said will see that you are giving an exact probability
Probability of an event happening = Number of ways it can happen / Total number of outcomes.
You said that the current value of gravitational constant ca happen in 1 way, therefore based on what you said the total number of possible outcomes of the gravitational constant is 10^34.
No where in the article you linked was that ever stated. Since you use that article as your reference. Can you quote directly from it where it ever stated that they are 10^34 possible values for the gravitational constant or the probability is 1 in 10^34
If what you are saying is that the exact probabilities for the constants can not be calculated then where did you produce the 1 in 10^34 you used earlier ( you can check your previous comments ). Then all you supposed calculations you did here is nonsense. Can you show a source because the article you linked doesn’t have it that state based on experiments that the value of the gravitational constant could be different. I can tell you that there is none. All the postulations of possibilities of different values to the fundamental constants are still hypotheses
Like I said earlier even if the gravitational constant were different, why did you make the assumption that all the other 3 forces would remain unchanged
How is that a rigged question. You were the one who made this statement
You can refer to your previous comment to reread what you said
And I asked you to refer to a physicist that claims with “absolute certainty”, even the article you linked never claimed with “absolute certainty” like you did
If they did quote directly and place it here
Can you show me the experiment that shows all the outcomes of the universe in all the 10^34 possible values for the gravitational constant you said. Because the article you link does not have any such information
Can you show me a single experiment where the value of the gravitational constant was different. You said there is, then provide the source
You only state for a small set of changes. You had said that they were 10^34 possible values for the gravitational constant and this article you linked
Doesn’t account for all the 10^34 possible outcomes you stated, it only accounts for a small range
You never stated the structures that would form in all 10^34 scenarios, you only said that hydrogen would not be formed, how is that you stating all the structures that would be formed
There is no physicist who claim to have check the structures that can form in all your 10^34 possible values of the gravitational constant. Even the article you linked made no such claim. I am guessing you are the only one in the planet who know that there are 10^34 possible values for the gravitational constant and have seen the outcome in all scenarios
Even in the article you linked, for most of the physical constants the mentioned. They never stated that in all possible values ( something you did ), but rather the talked about some magnitude different
“This was the exact words you said”
Don’t respond with something so utterly ignorant in your next comment. I specifically wrote in my last comment that I revised this point of mine after taking with a physics professor. Gosh, trying to get people like you to read turns out to be a hefty task. Your comment moronically goes on to ask where the article says that the gravitational constant is 1 in 10^34 — even though I never said this was in the SEP article, and once more, I told you that I no longer accept these probabilities. In my sheer amazement at how little you can read, I have to chuckle a little.
“Like I said earlier even if the gravitational constant were different, why did you make the assumption that all the other 3 forces would remain unchanged”
And I explained that. I pointed out that it would take a genuine quackard to think that the other constants would shift if one constant shifted. The constants are simply independent of each other and there isn’t a magical background force connecting them all so that if one changed, the others would change.
“You never stated the structures that would form in all 10^34 scenarios, you only said that hydrogen would not be formed, how is that you stating all the structures that would be formed”
This is where your comment drivels into sheer incoherence. The 10^34 had nothing to do with hydrogen, and the result of hydrogen is a product of shifting of just one of the constants — the strong force. Of course, this crazy semantics, ignoring what I write and borderline dishonesty about my claims is the last thing you have since I’ve reduced all your responses to fine-tuning into a silly little heap of nonsense.
In my previous comments, when I asked where you got that value, this was your response
This is you saying that you got does information from the SEP article. If you no longer accept that probabilities, then you should write a comment saying that all those your initial calculations are wrong
Like I said earlier you would know that what you just said only holds true after the quark epoch when all 4 forces had taken their present form
You are just saying that after the pizza was divided, if I reduce the size of one it won’t affect the other, that would be correct. But for the gravitational constant to be different, the change had to occur when the gravitational force separated from the remaining three forces
Carry out more research on the epochs of the big bang
Consider Electroweak interaction,in particle physics
Above the unification energy, on the order of 246 GeV they electromagnetic and weak forces would merge into a single electroweak force. Thus, if the universe is hot enough (approximately 1015 K, a temperature exceeded until shortly after the Big Bang), then the electromagnetic force and weak force merge into a combined electroweak force, during the quark epoch when the electroweak force separated into 2 ( electromagnetic and weak forces ), if one of this force was greater than what it currently is, it would make the other force lesser than it value. So a change in one would have affected the other when they seperated. This is the same thing that would have happened to the gravitational force when it seperated during the grand unification epoch
In a paper referenced in the SEP article you linked. Harnik, Roni, Graham D. Kribs, and Gilad Perez, 2006, “A universe without weak interactions”, Physical Review D, 74(3): 035006. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.74.035006
They refer to four papers where it is shown that a very narrow range of αW is allowed for a universe to have our kind of life. However, each analysis fixed all parameters except αw. Harnik et al. found that they could produce livable universes by varying other parameters over a wide range.
The significance of the strong force in forming hydrogen is in overcoming the electrical repulsion of protons. It has been found that hydrogen can still be formed in a wide range of the strong force when the electromagnetic strength is also varied
Like i said earlier it hasn’t been established empirically in physics, that if one of the fundamental forces had changed during the big bang, they others would remain unchanged. Based on our current knowledge, it is the reverse that is plausible, as these forces are not independent as you paint them to be at the unification energy. You can read more about minimum supersymmetric standard model
You can also check out this paper
D. I. Kazakov, “Beyond the Standard Model (in Search of Supersymmetry),” paper presented at the European School of High Energy Physics, Caramulo, Portugal, August-September 2000.
When the temperature of the universe was above 3 × 1016 GeV, the single force has a strength αU = 1/25, it was from a difference in the force strengths any of the 4 fundamental forces, would have to have resulted from a change in the strength of the single force which would have affected the other particles
Developments in supersymmetry are highly promising it will have demonstrated that the strengths of the strong, electromagnetic, and weak interactions are fixed by a single parameter, αU, plus whatever parameters are missing
“In my previous comments, when I asked where you got that value, this was your response”
Thanks for misrepresenting me. Let’s go over what I wrote again;
You keep asking like a crazy pigeon what the “sources” are for this — and I keep pointing you to the SEP (stanford encyclopedia of philosophy article).
^Indeed, I never said the source for the number, I was specifically talking about the source for the fine-tuning argument itself. That is, the evidence for it, the finely tuned constants, the physicists who go over it, etc.
“Like I said earlier you would know that what you just said only holds true after the quark epoch when all 4 forces had taken their present form”
Actually, it doesn’t at all. There are a lot more constants than the four fources. Ever heard of light? Even more strangely about this ‘response’, the quark epoch ends in something like 1 in 10^-6 seconds after the universe began, and for all practicalities, this objection is irrelevant anyways. Before the quark epoch finished, life clearly was impossible.
“You are just saying that after the pizza was divided, if I reduce the size of one it won’t affect the other, that would be correct. But for the gravitational constant to be different, the change had to occur when the gravitational force separated from the remaining three forces”
That’s … kind of true and kind of wrong. You’re mangling things up. The four forces have a specific ‘level’ of temperature at which they merge. These levels are independent of each other, and the existence of the weak force doesn’t increase or decrease the level for the strong force at all. It’s hard to see what on planet Earth you’re talking about — you can blabber on about supersymmetry, but the fact is literally the opposite of your claim. There are no “developments” in supersymmetry anymore, that model was complete decades ago, and the theory took a massive blow in 2016 from the results of the LHC.
You go on to write a bunch of stuff I already know from reading Brian Greene, but fail to explain any of its relevance. Quite frankly, from what I can tell, you hopelessly shoot yourself in the foot if you think the changing parameters of the constants are simply those exhibited in the early universe — because none of those conditions was comprehensibly habitable for life. The next thing you say is just, well, incomprehensible yet again;
“Entities that are peculiar to and characteristic of their environment are exactly what you would expect from non-intelligent, natural processes. Intelligent design could produce either outcome: inhabitants that are well-fitted to their environment or inhabitants that are not (as in zoos). Non-intelligent processes could only produce the former.
Thus, the fact that the universe appears to be “fine tuned” to produce its inhabitants is what is expected in a universe that arouse from only natural”
Well, animals are by definition outfitted for the environment of the zoo they’re going to be placed in, but I’ve already answered this and it’s a sheer mystery why you’re propping it up again. The idea that life evolved for the constants, rather than the constants formed to allow life, is essentially debunked. Under changes of certain constants, there is no comprehensive possibility that life could form. I already explained a change in the strong force disallows elements besides hydrogen to form, a change in the Higgs boson makes can make space collapse in on itself. Please show me, under those scenarios, how life is going to form to be characteristic of their “environment.”
Given the fact that you’re just throwing out every objection you’ve read online, I’ll respond to one more thing for now.
“As far as we know, intelligent life occurs in only one million-billion-billion-billionth of the universe around us. The near absence of life is hardly what is expected in a universe “fine tuned” for the sole purpose of hosting life, if the universe was “fine tuned” for life, life should be more abundant than it is”
This is just blatantly ridiculous of a response, in fact, the worst response ever made to fine-tuning in human history, because it’s a sheer strawman of the greatest source. Fine-tuning says that the universe exists so that life is possible, not widespread. Is life in this universe possible? Obviously. And that’s all fine-tuning is about. The sheer absurdity of this response is something I’ve never imagined. “Humans can’t survive in the vacuum of space or inside a star, therefore the universe isn’t finely tuned.” Ridiculous. Are the constants in the proper place they need to be for life to exist, and would life cease if they changed by a small amount? Yes. Then the universe is finely-tuned for life.
I never said life existed during the quark epoch. What I stated was that any change in the four fundamental forces had to happen before the end of the quark epoch
Take a look at the two academic papers I mentioned
How were the constants formed to allow life. The constants existed and the entities that could develop within them did develop. If life could not develop or space collapse on itself how does that make the universe improper in anyway
You can read
Harnik, Roni, Graham D. Kribs, and Gilad Perez, 2006, “A universe without weak interactions”, Physical Review D, 74(3): 035006. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.74.035006
They refer to four papers where it is shown that a very narrow range of αW is allowed for a universe to have our kind of life. However, each analysis fixed all parameters except αw. Harnik et al. found that they could produce livable universes by varying other parameters over a wide range.
How does the universe exist for the sole purpose for life to exist. What makes the existence of life nothing more than a cosmic accident in the same way Jupiter red spots are. The fact that life exist in an insignificant portion of the universe, debunks your statement that the purpose for the universe existence is so life is possible. The existence of life is nothing more than a cosmological accident
So what is life doesn’t exist. How does that matter to the universe
“I never said life existed during the quark epoch. What I stated was that any change in the four fundamental forces had to happen before the end of the quark epoch”
Ummm … Yes. But the fact that life couldn’t exist before it is relevant anyways. But what I don’t see the relevance of is, well, any relevance at all to what the quark epoch has to do with questioning fine-tuning.
“Take a look at the two academic papers I mentioned”
Sorry for missing those, your comments are some sort of gish gallop at this point.
“They refer to four papers where it is shown that a very narrow range of αW is allowed for a universe to have our kind of life. However, each analysis fixed all parameters except αw. Harnik et al. found that they could produce livable universes by varying other parameters over a wide range.”
This is called selective quoting. If you managed to read the entire SEP article, you’ll realize that the author specifically quotes of Stenger quoting this specific possibility of varying multiple parameters at once in order to make the universe livable, and then the SEP article points out that Barnes has already addressed this possibility.
So, what now?
“How were the constants formed to allow life. The constants existed and the entities that could develop within them did develop. If life could not develop or space collapse on itself how does that make the universe improper in anyway”
Shifting of goal posts? No one used the word “improper”, please keep the word out of this discussion. It looks like you’ve forgotten the entire proposition of fine-tuning here. The fact is that with different constants, life couldn’t form. The constants exist within the narrow range required of them to allow life to exist. How do we explain that? It’s seems to be exactly what you’d expect on the monotheistic religions.
“How does the universe exist for the sole purpose for life to exist. What makes the existence of life nothing more than a cosmic accident in the same way Jupiter red spots are.”
Why would YHWH be as interested in creating a red spot as life? That answers the question to why life is more significant. You could look at many elements of the universe and say “wowza, this wouldn’t form under different constants!” But the only one that has importance is humanity, because we’re actually conscious and have developed systems of believing in God. So of course we’d be more important to God than the red spot. By the way, to completely flip your argument against you, Jupiter is actually required for life to exist on Earth. This is because Jupiter’s enormous gravitational field attracts the vast majority of asteroids in the solar system, without which, Earth would be constantly bombarded and life couldn’t exist. So it looks like no matter how you look at this, I win.
“The fact that life exist in an insignificant portion of the universe, debunks your statement that the purpose for the universe existence is so life is possible.”
Sorry bucko, but I responded to this earlier. You either ignored my response, downplayed it, or were simply blissfully unaware as you read right past it. The only thing this debunks is the claim that “most of the universe exists to house life”. It’s a complete strawman against fine-tuning, since fine-tuning concerns the possibility, rather than the abundance of life.
The quark epoch has a lot to do. You have been saying what if the strong, weak, electromagnetic or gravitational constants were different. We know passed on our level of physics that these 4 forces were set before the end of the quark epoch. So if any of them were to change it had to have happened before the end of the quark epoch. It hasn’t even been shown in physics that these constants could be different, The multiverse theory is the main hypothesis ( though still a hypothesis it is compatible with the cosmological theory of inflation and general relativity. It is also an outcome of string theory, which posits at least 10^500 possible universes. ) in physics that is positing that those constants could vary. If our universe, is found to be one of many universes, then the fact that the constants in this universe can support life is not surprising.
You are trying to make humanity have a cosmic importance. From the sheer size of the universe, humans and even earth do not matter
Also, earth is important for Jupiter to be in its current position. So without planet earth they would have been a change in the solar system which would prevent the red spot in Jupiter to be as we know it
You need to provide evidence that it was Yahweh that created life. You are simply placing more significance to life than Jupiter red spot or Saturn ring. But the truth of the matter is, life on earth is no way more important than Jupiter red spot from the universe level. If we were to compress the size of the universe, to be the size of an average human being, earth would be smaller than the size of a cell in the body. It is idiotic to even say that your entire body exist so that one particular cell would form
Read the Hernik paper I reference, it found that life can exist in not just one set of the physical constants but in a variety of sets ( not in all but in more than one )
“The quark epoch has a lot to do. You have been saying what if the strong, weak, electromagnetic or gravitational constants were different. We know passed on our level of physics that these 4 forces were set before the end of the quark epoch. So if any of them were to change it had to have happened before the end of the quark epoch. It hasn’t even been shown in physics that these constants could be different, ”
Actually, none of them can change at all. There’s a specific temperature when the forces merge. Since you’re having an amazing amount of trouble articulating why this is relevant at all, I’ll assume that you’re trying to string something that simply isn’t valid.
“The multiverse theory is the main hypothesis ( though still a hypothesis it is compatible with the cosmological theory of inflation and general relativity. It is also an outcome of string theory, which posits at least 10^500 possible universes. ) in physics that is positing that those constants could vary.”
The multiverse hypothesis isn’t the “main” hypothesis in any conceivable way. At all. This is, once again, something you completely make up. Anyways, this is simply another argument I can flip against you — the multiverse also solves nothing. The assumption is that if there’s an infinite number of universes, all with different constants, it’s inevitable to get a universe like ours. But what. Why should I believe that if the multiverse existed, ther would be an infinite number of them? Why not, say, just two universes? Or three? Or four? Or eight? If there were only eight or eighty or eight hundred universes, the odds are still stacked hopelessly against life. But let’s just imagine that there would be an infinite number of universes if a multiverse existed. Ok. Why should I believe they all have different constants? If a multiverse existed, why would all the universes have different constants to begin with? Many people, trying to argue against the fine-tuning argument, have proposed that the constants couldn’t have been different at all (not that this defeats fine-tuning). So once again, a second problem arises that’s impossible to get around. If there were an infinite number of universes, why should I believe in the specific models that propose they all have different constants? If all the universes had the exact same constants, than the odds of life would be indistinguishable from having one universe. So the multiverse simply solves nothing.
“You are trying to make humanity have a cosmic importance. From the sheer size of the universe, humans and even earth do not matter”
This is simply a non-sequitur. “Big universe, therefore small thing not matter.” I’m not even going to try to write out your argument in premise/conclusion form given how bungled it would look.
“You need to provide evidence that it was Yahweh that created life.”
No, I don’t. All I need to prove is that on Christianity, life clearly has more cosmic significance than a red spot. And that’s mind bogglingly easy. Which debunks your proposition that they have equal cosmic significance. Besides, I debunked the very comparison in my last comment anyways by showing that Jupiter is actually required for fine-tuning.
“Read the Hernik paper I reference, it found that life can exist in not just one set of the physical constants but in a variety of sets ( not in all but in more than one )”
Actually, it doesn’t find that at all since Barnes debunked this proposition. I’ve clearly cornered you, quoting outdated information isn’t going to let you slip out.
Tegmark, Max, Anthony Aguirre, Martin J. Rees, and Frank Wilczek, 2006, “Dimensionless constants, cosmology, and other dark matters”, Physical Review D, 73(2)
Barnes, Luke A., 2012, “The fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life”, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 29(4): 529–564
Selectively quoting, as I noted earlier, isn’t going to help you.
Sorry, I provided the wrong Stenger quote. Here’s the quote where he mentions multiple parameters at once and Barnes addresses it;
What makes life on earth different from Jupiter’s red spot to exist or for saturn ring
Entities that are peculiar to and characteristic of their environment are exactly what you would expect from non-intelligent, natural processes. Intelligent design could produce either outcome: inhabitants that are well-fitted to their environment or inhabitants that are not (as in zoos). Non-intelligent processes could only produce the former.
Thus, the fact that the universe appears to be “fine tuned” to produce its inhabitants is what is expected in a universe that arouse from only natural
As far as we know, intelligent life occurs in only one million-billion-billion-billionth of the universe around us. The near absence of life is hardly what is expected in a universe “fine tuned” for the sole purpose of hosting life, if the universe was “fine tuned” for life, life should be more abundant than it is
So even if life could not exist in certain physical conditions, so what. How is a universe without life improper in some way.
Even if the fundamental forces had turned out different. So what? The things present in that universe would still be specific to that universe In the same way, if you throw one dice a thousand times you create a highly improbable number (with a likelihood of only 1-in-61000, which is 1-in-10778). Would you argue that the universe had to have been fine-tuned to produce the number you’ve just got? Nope, there could simply have been some other number. The outcome would only be remarkable if there was something special about that number.
What makes life on earth more important than the red spot on jupiter from the universe perspective
If your case that the universe was made for life had any merit, then picking a random cubic mile of the universe should have more probability of having life. That is not the case, based on our current knowledge, the vast majority of the universe is lifeless, so it is more probable, that the universe was “fine tuned” to not support life
The occurrence of things for which their environment was NOT “just right” would be a far better indicator of intelligent intervention. For example, a lion can not exist naturally in the eco system of a zoo, the presence of a lion in the zoo is a sign of intelligent intervention ( human intervention ). But the presence of a lion in the savannah is not a sign of human intervention ( though humans could put them there ) because the savannah is the natural habitat of a lion, the place they are most adapted for, the place the occur naturally and the place that is most conducive for them
In the same way if we found ourselves in a universe that was not suited to creating us then that would be far better evidence for intelligent intervention
Isn’t it obvious that the things that come to be in a universe will be things that are highly characteristic of that universe? Things fitting exactly to their environment is exactly what you expect in a NON-intelligent situation — in the same way that puddles of water fitting their hole is the obvious consequence of a non-intelligent process like gravity.
Your argument assumes that the values of the various constants supposedly required for the universe to be capable of supporting life could, in fact, have possibly been different than what they actually are.
Because I can conceive in my head that it I can get 7 from a single throw of a standard dice doesn’t make it possible.
So other than you conceiving in your head that the gravitational constant could be different, can you show me what evidence that suggest that the gravitational constant could be actually different. The article you linked didn’t say anything about that
“…if you just accept Jesus as your master and savior…”
Prof. Dave must have forgotten this verse: “I no longer call you servants but friends.” (John 15:15)
“Prof Dave explains that, first of all, being a Christian makes you a good person…”
Prof. Dave must have forgotten these verses:
“Woe to the man by whom He is betrayed. It would be better for him if he had not been born.” (Matthew 26:24)
“Judas went out and hanged himself.” (Matthew 27:5)
“Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
“Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan.'” (Matthew 16:23)
The parable of the sower: Matthew 13:1 — 23.
“…if you truly believe, then you won’t do really bad things.”
Prof. Dave must have forgotten this verse: “I do not understand my own actions. What I hate to do, I do. And what I want to do, I don’t do.” (Romans 7:15)
“So don’t worry about these innocent people burning in hell for no reason, because you will be in heaven!”
Prof. Dave must have forgotten these verses:
“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” (Matthew 25:31 — 40)
I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.
I’ve had literal headaches talking to people who are otherwise rational about the loving nature of god and this notion of “having the free will to love him” caper. It’s reminiscent of films about psychopaths who lock people in their basements and judge their actions, as if they could be anything but reactive in that situation.