Skip to main content
No. of Recommendations: 0
A well-done 8 min video on the fine-tuning argument for a creator, courtesy your friends at DI

https://youtu.be/WR51OrawqIg
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
The fine-tuning argument is an example of the logical fallacy "argument from incredulity". As are most (if not all) "odds" arguments. The likelihood of something is not indicative of the truth of something.

But I'll watch it later today (probably) just so I can keep up on arguments and fallacies being employed by religionists. I haven't really seen a new argument in quite a while (I often have lectures and debates running while I'm working at my desk). But maybe someone came up with a new one.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
The fine-tuning argument is an example of the logical fallacy "argument from incredulity"

It could be, depending on how it is constructed. However, the fine-tuning problem has been recognized by science for decades now, a problem the multiverse idea was proposed to solve.

The fine-tuning of the universe is a fact. How it came to be is another question.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
It was a very professional video, but nothing new in it. Just a smoother presentation of the same fallacies.

The fine-tuning of the universe is a fact.

I would quibble with the phrasing of that statement because "fine-tuning" implies a "fine-tuner". That's assuming the conclusion. But, to the best of my knowledge, the values of various physical constants do need to be what they are. I'm less certain that there was any way they could be something else, and as we have a sample-size of "one" in terms of universes we can study, it's probably not anything we can determine.

I can tell you that when I was in grad school, studying physics (as opposed to "philosophy of science"), this wasn't a burning question. A quick check shows the dates of articles refuting "fine-tuning" go back to at least the mid-90s, so it's not like this is a new apologetic (and neither are the refutations).

The multiverse is kinda fun to think about, but I don't think it can go anywhere because it presents nothing that can be falsified. Even if "the math works", can we be certain "math" as we understand it would work in a universe with different parameters? Fun to think about, but probably a dead-end scientifically speaking.

1poorguy

(I would also note something I've been thinking about...I'll bet arguments like these don't influence anyone to believe. That is, you don't believe because you heard Kalam and said "wow, that's a killer argument and I just have to believe now".) (And Kalam is fallacious too, BTW.)
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
The fine-tuning of the universe is a fact.

I would quibble with the phrasing of that statement because "fine-tuning" implies a "fine-tuner".


I would say that "fine-tuning" is poorly defined.

I heard one physicist say that he can't understand what people mean when they argue that certain parameters in the universe are finely-tuned given that the upper boundary of some of those parameters is infinite.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

I would say that "fine-tuning" is poorly defined.


This definition from Wikipedia seems sufficiently defined to me:

The fine-tuned universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can occur only when certain universal dimensionless physical constants lie within a very narrow range of values, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different, the Universe would be unlikely to be conducive to the establishment and development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity, or life as it is understood.


I heard one physicist say that he can't understand what people mean when they argue that certain parameters in the universe are finely-tuned given that the upper boundary of some of those parameters is infinite.


Which ones are those? Obviously when a scientist is talking about a fine-tuned parameter, he's not talking about one with infinite limits
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
This definition from Wikipedia seems sufficiently defined to me

Yes, I've read that, and it seems incomplete to me as well.

The fine-tuned universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life as we know it in the Universe can occur perhaps only when certain universal dimensionless physical constants lie within a very narrow or very wide range of values, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly or greatly different, the Universe would be unlikely to be conducive to the establishment and development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity, or life as it is understood.

I'm no scientist, but it seems to me like looking at a card hand in a poker game, seeing a Royal Flush, and concluding that the dealer is feeding me a 'finely tuned' hand.

It also strikes me as curious that the argument states that the universe was carefully designed (by whom?) to be conducive to life, and yet life in the universe is vanishingly rare.

The argument seems unfalsifiable. If we found life on Mars and the Moon and everywhere we looked in the Universe, then Creationists would say that's proof that the Universe is designed for life. If we found life only on Earth, Creationists say that's proof that the Universe is designed for life. If life was not found anywhere, including on Earth, then no one would be arguing that the Universe is designed for life--but that's only because there's no life to make the argument.

I heard one physicist say that he can't understand what people mean when they argue that certain parameters in the universe are finely-tuned given that the upper boundary of some of those parameters is infinite.

Which ones are those? Obviously when a scientist is talking about a fine-tuned parameter, he's not talking about one with infinite limits


Sorry, I don't recall that he even said, and I only saw it in passing in a video somewhere. Forget I mentioned it.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
The argument seems unfalsifiable. If we found life on Mars and the Moon and everywhere we looked in the Universe, then Creationists would say that's proof that the Universe is designed for life. If we found life only on Earth, Creationists say that's proof that the Universe is designed for life.

Falsifiable? Sure it is. There seem to be 3 options to explain why the parameters of the universe are such that they permit advanced life (ie humans) anywhere at all:

1. Chance - we just lucked out
2. Necessity - there are no other ways for the parameters to be, they have to be what they are
3. Design

If you show that it is 1 or 2, then 3 is out. However, if you rule out the first two, the 3rd seems very plausible. I think the first two can be ruled out. Do you know of a 4th option?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
You can't rule out #1. Chance is what it is. This would lead to the anthropic principle that you wouldn't be here to ask the question if it hadn't worked out this way.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
You can't rule out #1. Chance is what it is.

You remind me of that scene from Dumb and Dumber, "So you're telling me there's a chance!" You mentioned the fallacy of argument from incredulity. I think there must be a corollary to that, the fallacy of argument from baseless credulity.

At some point the odds must lead to the conclusion that it is impossible. Otherwise it's just "materialism of the gaps".
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
You remind me of that scene from Dumb and Dumber, "So you're telling me there's a chance!" You mentioned the fallacy of argument from incredulity. I think there must be a corollary to that, the fallacy of argument from baseless credulity.

At some point the odds must lead to the conclusion that it is impossible. Otherwise it's just "materialism of the gaps".


The odds of design being true are at least as long. We have countless observations of designers, none of whom have ever been observed tuning the constants.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
1. Chance - we just lucked out
2. Necessity - there are no other ways for the parameters to be, they have to be what they are
3. Design


Also, since design is produced by necessity (and possibly some chance), this is a weird way of listing options.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
The odds of design being true are at least as long.

I don't know how you'd calculate the odds of a designer, care to expand on that? But I'll take it. All I've ever wanted to do here was argue that it is reasonable to believe in a creator. If you think the odds of chance and God are the same, then they are equally plausible.

We have countless observations of designers, none of whom have ever been observed tuning the constants.

Designers tweak and tune variables all the time to accomplish their end goals. You just haven't observed one powerful enough to do that with cosmological constants.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
If you think the odds of chance and God are the same...

Ah, that's a foundational question.

Pete
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Actually, no.

The odds that a universe could exist that would allow us to survive is 1.00. Because we're living in it now.

Note that most of this universe is actually exceedingly hostile to our form of life. Even on our own planet we could not survive in most places without considerable technological assistance. Venture out into the solar system and it's instant death just about everywhere. Go beyond that and it's not any better (there may be habitable planets out there somewhere...probably are given the vastness of just this galaxy). The amount of this universe that would not kill us instantly is vanishingly small.

Is there "a chance" there's a deity? Sure. I'd put it right up with the chance that there's a teapot orbiting Saturn right now. I cannot disprove either claim, but neither do I have reason to believe either claim. Without a reason to believe the claim it is irrational to believe it. The burden of proof is on the one making the claim, and that isn't me. If you make the extraordinary claim that there's a teapot orbiting Saturn, or that there's a deity *somewhere*, you will need to bring extraordinary evidence.

Of course, this is trespassing a bit on our discussion on the other board. But that's OK. Wanted to get a reply in before I have to disappear for a while.

1poorguy
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
I don't know how you'd calculate the odds of a designer, care to expand on that?

Heh. WAG methodology (wild ass guess.) I haven't watched the video - give me text and I can read it but I have no patience for watching a video argument.

We have countless observations of designers, none of whom have ever been observed tuning the constants.

> Designers tweak and tune variables all the time to accomplish their end goals.

So? The constants aren't considered variables because they've never been observed to vary.

This whole argument is silly. It's like the 'why is there something instead of nothing' nonsense. You cannot answer the question, because any answer would be a something and require re-asking the question. Similary, repeatedly asking 'what is the underlying foundation that explains this brute fact' must end without an answer. Any answer would prompt re-asking the question with the new underlying foundation as the brute fact that needs explanation.

Every designer we have observed cannot change the fundamental constants. Every designer we have observed exists in a framework of laws and fundamental constants that allow for the designer's continued existence. Every design process we've observed is a process of necessity or a process of necessity and chance. So a designer isn't an alternative to chance or necessity - it's just a label for some of the instances where chance and necessity occur. Adding in a designer would add in the designer's framework of laws and fundamental constants that would require re-asking the question, producing an infinite regress.

All of the preceding paragraph, in my opinion, work against the idea that the best explanation for the fundamental constants being what they are instead of other values we can imagine is a designer choosing those constants' values.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
This whole argument is silly.

Pretty sure all the prominent scientists and philosophers over the past decades that have taken it seriously would disagree with you
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
However, the fine-tuning problem has been recognized by science for decades now, a problem the multiverse idea was proposed to solve.

Since the best evidence right now is that the multiverse is real, "fine-tuning" isn't an issue. If the number of universes approaches infinity then having at least one capable of evolving intelligent life is a near certainty.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2019/03/15/this...
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Since the best evidence right now is that the multiverse is real, "fine-tuning" isn't an issue.

I dispute this, as do many cosmologists. It is one of many competing models. But for the sake of argument, assume it is true. You've merely pushed the problem back a step. Now you need a fine-tuned mechanism for generating universes. Back to square one it seems.

If the number of universes approaches infinity then having at least one capable of evolving intelligent life is a near certainty.

So would the likelyhood of some God-like intelligence existing in one of them to create everything. Back to square one again.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
You've merely pushed the problem back a step. Now you need a fine-tuned mechanism for generating universes. Back to square one it seems.

It is curious that you seem unable to recognize that your "Unknown Intelligent Designer" proposition suffers from the same issue. One can always ask where did It come from?

One possibility is that the multiverse has always existed. Another possibility is that an intelligence always existed who then created the multiverse. Which is the simpler explanation?

So would the likelyhood of some God-like intelligence existing in one of them to create everything. Back to square one again.

At least such a hypothesis has the potential to be considered scientific. Variants of this idea has been proposed by actual scientists. For example, the universe as a computer simulation:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulation_hypothesis
Print the post Back To Top