'God' is Impossible

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by SciWriter, May 2, 2011.

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  1. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    The Failures of Biblical Revelation
    (Stenger)

    The Bible's record of prophecy is a miserable failure, for example:
    Ezekiel 29,30:

    The land of Egypt will be laid waste by Nebuchadnezzar, and all its people killed and rivers dried up. It will remain uninhabited for forty years.

    Um, this did not happen.

    If the Bible is the product of human beings rather than a Divine Author, we can easily explain its historical, scientific and moral inaccuracies. It’s too bad that it didn’t have an explicit prophecy of somethings like man’s landing on the moon. Just one thing like this would have really been something awesome, but, again, the facts will never fail in the disproof of God the Theity.

    Instead, biblical prophecy is either vague, wrong, coincidence, a matter of ordinary prediction, or it can be more-simply explained as written after the fact.

    Science and religion do have one thing in common: they are about the same reality, but religion is massively disconfirmed here, the disproofs going on here ever more and more. There is even a massive amount of evidence that prayer doesn't work, disconfirming the hypothesis that there is a God who answers prayer.

    All in all, the universe is ever as we would expect it to be if there were no God.

    Getting back to the Bible, “our conscience determines how we read what we regard as a sacred text…

    “In all these cases, believers clearly read the Bible to find support for moral principles that they have already developed from some other source. Only a few lunatics nowadays take seriously the Bible's support for genocide or slavery.

    “I hope I have make clear that while I wish people were less gullible, less willing to believe in the most preposterous supernatural notions, I still have high regard for the basic decency of most human beings. Many people are good. But they are not good because of religion. They are good despite religion.”

    The Bible is indeed a mixed bag, containing some wisdom, common to humanity at that time, and much cruelty and ignorance, also typical of people at that time. The Bible is not uniquely wise. For laws that govern civil society, we might prefer Solomon to Moses. Humankind’s holy books are what one would expect if they were products of human culture.”
     
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  3. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    The Moral Argument Against God’s Existence.
    (Intro)

    Dr. Victor Stenger argues effectively that the human moral sense is common to atheists and theists and is as we would expect it to be if it resulted from natural causes, the advantages of cooperation, and social evolution, i.e., it is as we would expect it to be if God had nothing to do with it. If God existed, we would expect theists to be more moral than atheists. There is no evidence for the greater morality of theists. To quote Dr. Stenger, "The very fact that humans have a common moral conscience can be taken as evidence against the existence of God."

    In his last chapter, Dr. Stenger discusses whether America is a theocracy or is founded, as the Declaration of Independence says, on the consent of the governed, and he discusses the meaning of life. Both his discussions are important and nicely cap his book. He writes, "God is not necessary for someone to find fulfillment in contemplation or social activity. Ethical philosopher Peter Singer emphasizes that "[we] can live a meaningful life by working towards goals that are objectively worthwhile." One of the ways he suggests is quite simple, namely, to work to reduce avoidable suffering. This, he claims, is an objectively worthwhile goal that can provide inner meaning, and furthermore, can be done whether or not God exists." He also quotes Kai Nielsen to great effect: "A man who says, 'If God is dead nothing matters,' is a spoilt child who has never looked at his fellow man with compassion."

    Dr. Stenger's learning is vast and he expresses his thoughts with enormous clarity, making them accessible to a large audience. He is a master communicator. One will not find a better book on the scientific evidence for atheism.
     
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  5. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    It isn't necessary either to give fulfillment in contemplation (of what?) any kind of name, but we name things for a reason.

    I believe what I know about the subject, nominally "God", allows me to consider that the nomination is entirely irrelevant. Does God exist? The word exists but it's just a word (like tomato).

    The great big in-your-face issue here, at least with most of the people wanting to identify themselves as being in the for or against team, is the word itself and its history.

    What I experience is independent of the question" does God exist"? I could ask "which one"? If I ask myself "do I experience God", then I guess my answer would be: "I don't know, do you?". I've said several times that I don't need to give it a name, and this doesn't seem to make any difference.

    So is all this discussion really just about how everyone feels about naming something, whether the name should be A or B, whether A or B means what it should, and so on. IOW, a big waste of time discussing what a word is supposed to mean?

    Just "big headache".
     
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  7. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    We experience being, as a part of being alive, and God is said to be the live Being that created everything.
     
  8. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    Do Our Values/Laws/Morals
    Come From God and/or Religion?

    (Stenger)

    The religions of the world have lain claim to the role of arbiters of human behavior. Their leaders continually decry the moral decay they allege to see in society. They insist they have the right to tell the rest of us what is right and what is wrong because they have a special pipeline to the place where right and wrong are defined—the mind of God.

    * According to Phillip Johnson of the Discovery Institute, nonbelievers think humans came from monkeys, and this is the source of many of the evils of modern society including homosexuality, abortion, pornography, divorce, and genocide—as if the world had none of these before Darwin came along.

    However common may be the view that religion is the source of moral behavior, what do the data say? There is no evidence that nonbelievers commit crimes or other antisocial acts in greater proportion than believers. Indeed, some studies indicate the opposite. Six of the seven states with the highest crime rates are in the Bible Belt. 80% of the prison population are Christians. Nontheists comprise about 0.2 percent. So, it is not the godless that fill prisons.

    A child's risk of sexual abuse by a family member increases as the family's religious denomination becomes more conservative, that is, when the teachings of scriptures and other doctrines are taken more literally. Similarly, the probability of wife abuse increases with the rigidity of a church's teachings pertaining to the gender roles and hierarchy. And what of the Catholic clergy’s sexual abuse of children? It speaks for itself.

    Even observers from the Christian side have expressed dismay that the current dominance of evangelical Christianity in America has not translated into a strengthening of the nation's moral character, nor the characters of evangelical Christians themselves. In an article last year in Christianity Today, theologian Ronald Sider noted that "survey after survey [demonstrates] that evangelical Christians are as likely to embrace lifestyles every bit as hedonistic, materialistic, self-centered, and sexually immoral as the world in general." Divorce is more common among "born-again" Christians than in the general American population. White evangelicals are the most likely people to object to neighbors of another race. Evangelical youth are only slightly less promiscuous than that of their nonevangelical peers.

    *We are not saying in this post how humans ought to behave. Rather we are observing how they do behave.

    Preachers tell us that any universal moral standards can only come from one source—their particular God. Otherwise standards would be relative, depending on culture and differing across cultures and individuals. However, the majority of human beings from all cultures and all religions or no religion agree on a common set of moral standards.

    Universal norms exist. As anthropologist Solomon Asch has noted, "We do not know of societies in which bravery is despised and cowardice held up to honor, in which generosity is considered a vice and ingratitude a virtue."

    While we live in a society of law, much of what we do is not constrained by law but performed voluntarily. For example, we have many opportunities to cheat and steal in situations where the chance of being caught is negligible, yet most of us do not cheat and steal. While the Golden Rule is not usually obeyed to the letter, we generally do not try to harm others. Indeed, we are sympathetic when we see a person or animal in distress and take action to provide relief. We stop at auto accidents and render aid. We call the police when we witness a crime. We take care of children, aged parents, and others less fortunate than us. We willingly take on risky jobs, such as in the military or public safety, for the protection of the community.

    That stealing from members of your own community is immoral requires no divine revelation. It is revealed by a moment's reflection on the type of society that would exist if everyone stole from one another. If lying were considered a virtue instead of truth telling, communication would become impossible. Mothers have loved their children since before mammals walked the Earth?—for obvious evolutionary reasons. The only precepts unique to religions are those telling us to not to question their dogma.
    Moral disagreements can be very pronounced—especially within specific religious communities, where the same scriptural readings are even often used to justify contradictory actions.

    For example, consider the opposing interpretations of the commandment against killing found within the Christian community. Conservative Protestants interpret this commandment as prohibiting abortion, stem-cell research, and removing life-support systems from the incurable, among other actions. However, they do not view capital punishment as prohibited, pointing to the biblical prescription of an eye for an eye. Catholics and liberal Protestants, on the other hand, generally interpret the commandment as forbidding capital punishment. But Catholics oppose while liberals allow abortion, the removal of life-support, and stem-cell research. In all these cases, the Bible is evidently ambiguous. So how do Christians decide what is right or wrong? While they may look at the Bible, how they interpret what they read must depend on ideas that they have already developed from some other source.

    The Judeo-Christian and Islamic scriptures contain many passages that teach noble ideals, which the human race has done well to adopt as norms of behavior and, where appropriate, to codify into law. But without exception these principles developed in earlier cultures and history indicates that they were adopted by—rather than learned from—religion. While it is fine that religions preach moral precepts, they have no basis to claim that these precepts were authored by their particular deity, or, indeed, any deity at all.
    Perhaps the primary principle upon which to live a moral life is the Golden Rule:
    *
    Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.
    *
    In our Christian-dominated society in the West, most people wrongly assume that this was an original teaching of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount. For some reason, their preachers, who surely know better, perpetuate this falsehood. Jesus himself made no such claim. Indeed, the phrase "love thy neighbor as thyself" appears in Leviticus 19:18, written a thousand years or so before Christ.

    Furthermore, the Golden Rule is not the exclusive property of a small desert tribe with a high opinion of itself. Here are some other, independent sources showing that the Golden Rule was already a widespread teaching well before Jesus:
    *
    — In The Doctrine of the Mean 13, written about 500 BCE, Confucius says, "What you do not want others to do to you, do not do to others."

    — Isocrates (c. 375 BCE) said, "Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you by others."

    — The Hindu Mahabharata, written around 150 BCE, teaches, "This is the sum of all true righteousness: deal with others as thou wouldst thyself be dealt by."
    *
    So these are not uniquely Theist sentiments.

    The call to "love your enemies" also has ancient roots, but not in the Old Testament:
    *
    — I treat those who are good with goodness. And I also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. I am honest with those who are honest. And I am also honest with those who are dishonest. Thus honesty is attained. (Taoism. Tao Te Ching 49)

    — Conquer anger by love. Conquer evil by good. Conquer the stingy by giving. Conquer the liar by truth. (Buddhism. Dhammapada 223)
    *
    *In fact, no original moral concept of any significance can be found in the New Testament. As early twentieth century historian and former Franciscan monk Joseph McCabe noted,
    The sentiments attributed to Christ are . . . were familiar in the Jewish schools, and to all the Pharisees, long before the time of Christ, as they were familiar in all the civilizations of the earth—Egyptian, Babylonian, and Persian, Greek and Hindu.

    *As with the Bible, the Qur'an contains many sentiments that most of us would classify as commendable. It tells Muslims to be kind to their parents, not to steal from orphans, not to lend money at excess interest, to help the needy, and not to kill their children unless it is necessary.

    Again, these are not original moral principles, but repetitions of common ideals that arose during the gradual evolution of human societies, as they become more civilized, developed rational thinking processes, and discovered how to live together in greater harmony.

    Not only personal behavior but also societal behavior is supposedly regulated by God. But, once again, we can find no evidence for this in practice. One of the prevailing myths in modern America is that the nation was founded on "Christian principles." However, the Constitution is a secular document that contains no reference to God, Jesus, Christianity, salvation or any other religious teaching. Most of the early presidents were not fervent Christians and based their commitments to freedom, democracy, and justice on Enlightenment philosophy rather than biblical sources.

    Nowhere in the Bible can you discover the principles upon which modern democracies and justice systems are founded. Only three of the Ten Commandments are codified into modern law, and those rules—against killing, stealing, and bearing false witness—predate the time of Moses.

    The Bible was widely used to justify the practice of slavery prior to the Civil War. Both the Old and New Testaments do not forbid slavery but actually regulate its practice. While Christians in the South held onto their slaves as long as they could, secular humanist Richard Randolph of Virginia began freeing his in 1791.
    The Old Testament not only condones slavery, but regulates it (Exod 21:2 and 21:4)

    Jesus never disavowed slavery and St. Paul reaffirmed it (Titus 2:9).
    Prior to the US Civil War, the Bible was widely used to justify slavery in the United States. You can look it up.

    The Bible also contains many examples of killings performed under God’s orders.

    As for laws, the Code of Hammurabi (c. 1780 BCE0 represents a significantly historical step in the development of laws of justice, containing not merely 10 but 282 detailed ‘commandments’. These would be much better to display on courthouse steps.

    Another good set would be the laws of Solon, to whom we owe much more that to the crude rules of the Hebrews.

    Adolph Hitler's Catholicism did not stop him from killing six million Jews and, in fact, may have contributed to his twisted vision.
    The Old Testament is filled with atrocities committed in the name of God. These are rarely mentioned in Sunday school, but anyone can pick up a Bible and read them for herself. I will just mention one of the worst:

    *Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. (Numbers 31:17-18 RSV)

    *Most Christians dismiss this and other biblical carnage as anachronistic and imagine they were eliminated with the coming of Jesus. However, in the New Testament Jesus frequently reaffirms the laws of the prophets, saying he came not to abolish them but to fulfill them. The theist may respond that the above quotation is not a law but merely the report of an event, but the stories of the Bible are supposed to provide guides to proper behavior.

    The history of Christendom abounds with violence sanctioned by the Church and thereby defined as divinely inspired ‘good’.
    The Koran is as bloodthirsty as the Old Testament. Of course, no one of conscience today would think it moral to kill everyone captured in battle, saving only the virgin girls for their pleasure. Few modern Christians take the commands of the Bible literally. While they claim to appeal to scriptures and the teachings of the great founders and leaders of their faiths, they pick and choose what to follow—guided by some personal inner light. And this is the same inner light that guides nonbelievers.

    As George Bernard Shaw said, "No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says. He is always convinced that it says what he means." Christians draw Jesus Christ in their own image. Every time a theologian reinterprets Moses, Jesus, or Mohammed, he further reinforces the point we are trying to make: We humans decide what is good by standards that have not been handed down by God. But if human morals and values do not arise out of divine command, then where do they come from? They come from our common humanity.

    A considerable literature exists on the natural (biological, cultural, evolutionary) origins of morality. Darwin saw the evolutionary advantage of cooperation and altruism. Modern thinkers have elaborated on this observation, showing in detail how our moral sense can have arisen naturally during the development of modern humanity.

    We can even see signs of moral, or proto-moral behavior in animals. Vampire bats share food. Apes and monkeys comfort members of their group who are upset and work together to get food. Dolphins push sick members of a pod to the surface to get air. Whales will put themselves in harm's way to help a wounded member of their group. Elephants try their best to save injured members of their families.

    In these examples we glimpse the beginnings of the morality that advanced to higher levels with human evolution. You may call animal morality instinctive, built into the genes of animals by biological evolution. But when we include cultural evolution as well, we have a plausible mechanism for the development of human morality—by Darwinian selection.

    It seems likely that this is where we humans have learned our sense of right and wrong. We have taught it to ourselves. Just as God has been found superfluous in the physical and biological sciences, modern research is driving the supernatural out of our understanding of morals and values.
    Morals and values come from humanity itself. Human and societal behaviors look just as they can be expected to look if there is no God.

    Many people are good. But they are not good because of religion. They are good despite religion...

    Religion at least partially accounts for the large cultural differences and mistrust that divide racially similar groups, like Israelis and Palestinians or Indians and Pakistanis, who might otherwise live together in harmony or even as a single people. Not every war in history has been over religion, but religion has done little to ameliorate the conditions that led to war in those cases. We just have to look back half a century and witness the role played by the Catholic Church in aiding Nazi Germany. For example, the German Church opened its genealogical records to the Third Reich so that a person's Jewish ancestry could be traced. Not a single German Catholic, including Adolf Hitler, was excommunicated for committing crimes against humanity. And Hitler often claimed that he was serving God. In Mein Kampf he says, 'Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.'"

    I have always wondered about people supporting the myth that Hitler was an atheist. I guess they HAVE to say this, because they have to believe that someone so heinous would have to NOT believe in a god. But I have read several quotes where he says he is a Christian and doing the work of the Lord.

    Now you might ask, what about all the undeniable good that is done by religious charitable institutions–helping the poor and caring for the afflicted?...Much of the time and money spent by Christian charities, including that now provided by federal and state governments as part of 'faith-based initiatives,' goes to proselytizing rather than solving the problems they were set up to solve. The money would be put to better use in providing services other than worship services.

    I am reminded of an incident from a few months ago when the Pope visited somewhere in Africa, I think. He was questioned about some starving kids and the Pope said that he was more worried about saving these people's souls than feeding their bodies...

    So even though science is a valuable tool available to most of humanity, only a tiny few find it a source of inspiration and even fewer a source of comfort. Religion, on the other hand, is supposed to provide comfort for all. However, religions comfort is not all that it is cracked up to be. In a recent study, psychologists found that highly religious Protestants exhibit more symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder that the less religious or nonreligious. The promise of life after death carries with it the dread that the afterworld will be spent somewhere than in the bosom of God.

    (Other notes: Even in modern times we see world leaders asserting divine authority for their actions, and people falling for it:
    President Bush consulted with a “Higher Father” about invading Iraq and also said, [It is] “God’s gift to every human being in the world.”

    And then there is Supreme Court Justice Scalia, “Government is the ‘minister of God’, with powers to ‘revenge’” etc.)

    So, in summary, religion/God was not only not the source of law (but for itself), but an opposite hazard to progress.

    Far from providing us meaningful goals, religions prescribe tribal values: amity for our tribe; enmity for other tribes (us vs. them); mind-closing faith; abject worship of authority.

    Thank science, for it helps us control our own lives. Divine Right does not.
     
  9. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Mere polemics, of the same stripe one wishes to "warn against" . . .

    Ho hum.
    (nice paragraph spacing, but)
     
  10. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, ho-hum, for we are in this rather superfluous section, but it may still provide some insight:


    The Crux of the Disproof of God the Theity

    Presenting here is an ongoing argument based on modern physics and cosmology against the existence of a God who created the universe and then manages it. It can be summarized as follows:
    *
    1.*Hypothesize a God who is the highly intelligent and powerful supernatural creator of the physical universe.

    2.*We can reasonably expect that empirical evidence should exist for a purposeful and supernatural creation of this cosmos, such as the observed violation of one or more laws of physics.

    3. No empirical evidence for a purposeful creation of the cosmos can be found. No universal laws of physics were violated at the origin of the universe in which we reside.

    4.*Modern cosmology indicates that the initial state of our universe was one of maximum chaos so that it contains no trace of a creator.

    5. Scientists can provide plausible, purely natural scenarios based in well-established cosmological theories that show how our universe may have arisen out of an initial state of nothingness.

    6.*We can conclude well beyond any and all reasonable doubt that a God who is the highly intelligent and powerful supernatural creator of the physical universe does not exist.
    *
    From a modern scientific perspective, what are the empirical and theoretical implications of a supernatural creation? We need to seek evidence that the universe (1) had an origin and (2) that origin cannot have happened naturally. One sign of a supernatural creation would be a direct empirical confirmation that a miracle was necessary in order to bring the universe into existence. That is, cosmological data should either show evidence for one or more violations of well-established laws of nature or the theories that successfully describe those data should require some causal ingredient that cannot be understood in purely material or natural terms.

    Let us, though, give the God hypothesis every benefit of the doubt and keep open the possibility of a miraculous origin for inexplicable events and unlikely coincidences, examining any such occurrences on an individual basis. If even with the loosest definition of a miracle none is observed to occur, then we will have obtained strong support for the case against the existence of a God who directs miraculous events.
     
  11. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    Yet you were the one who dismissed a logical but opposing view as nonsensical without being able to convincingly demonstrate why. In view of that fact I feel that my response was appropriate.

    One is certainly making a decision when they decide to dismiss an opposing viewpoint out of hand instead of exploring it. In that moment, when you cling to your faith instead of allowing yourself to be openly exposed to an idea that might undermine it, you've made a choice. I'll freely admit that I do this myself often. But equally as often I make a decision to entertain a possibility instead of rejecting it, and that is one of the ways in which I learn and grow.
     
  12. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Sweets, I am ten times the atheist you could ever be.
     
  13. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    I have absolutely no idea how to interpret that.
     
  14. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    It means that I am saying that I know more about atheism and can be more of an atheist than you ever could.
     
  15. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    Good for you. My own atheism is simply a by-product of acquiring knowledge, experience and perspective. It has never been a goal of mine to become a better one. Besides, I'm not even a true atheist anyway.
     
  16. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    Useless response. High school.
     
  17. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    Actually, elementary school.
     
  18. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    Was There a Fine-Tuning of the Universe?

    Inflation theory says that whatever particular state the primeval fireball was in, if we can even call a chaos to be ‘tuning’, was, at any rate, all smoothed out during the rapid exponential expansion at the beginning, this also leading to a flat universe.

    The three-degree blackbody radiation was found, and named the CMBR. It comes to us from all directions. Nonuniformities in the radiation were noted, those that formed the galaxies after inflation. So, then, inflation translates the random violence of a quantum event into a universe of clumpy matter, the clumpiness being inherent in the quantum foam.

    We do know at least that the expansion of the universe is now accelerating. However; the rapid inflation idea is still just a theory, so we will have to show other proof that there was no fine tuning. If inflation turns out to be so, then that is fine. The facts will always accumulate when one is on the right track.

    What about multiverses of universes in which the laws come out different, some universes being fine and others flopping—even being inert? Sure, probably, but we’ve only seen one universe. So, for our disproofs, we can’t just make things up, so, let’s leave that one brewing.

    Let us now never even mind that the estimate for the probability for a divine design is much lower than for such a simple thing as a universe. Let’s just say that highly unlikely events in our vast universe happen just about every day.

    In ‘Candide’, by Voltaire, Dr. Pangloss proclaims:

    “It is demonstrable that things cannot be otherwise that as they are; for as all things ave been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end. Observe, for instance, the nose is formed for spectacles, therefore we wear spectacles. The legs are designed for stockings, accordingly we wear stockings. Stones were made to be hewn and to construct castles, therefore My Lord has a magnificent castle; for the greatest baron in the province ought to be the best lodged. Swine were intended to be eaten, therefore we eat pork all the year round: and they, who assert that everything is right, do not express themselves correctly; they should say that everything is best.”

    So goes the tone, as well, of some new books on Intelligent Design. Is the universe fine-tuned, with life and even humanity in mind? Well, it doesn’t seem that God made it easy for life to evolve.

    The lack of fine-tuning will be elaborated on in more detail.
     
  19. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    The Waste

    Why is most of the universe not congenial to life? Even on Earth life needed a lot of luck over billions upon billions of years. It could be all gone in a day, and many times it almost was.

    Our universe does not match the description in Genesis. If God created the universe as a special place for humanity, he seems to have wasted an awfully large amount of space where humanity will never make an appearance.

    He wasted a lot of time, too, Instead of six days, he took nine billion years to make Earth, another billions years or so to make life, and then another four billion years to make humanity. We have now walked on Earth for less than one-hundredth of one percent of Earth’s history.

    And why would an infinitely powerful God eve need six days? Couldn’t it have been done in an instant? And why would he even have to rest when he was all done?

    To say more about the waste, 96% of the mass of the universe is not even of the type of matter associated with life, but is referred to as dark energy or dark matter.

    Energy is wasted, too. Of all the energy emitted by the sun, only two photons in a billion are used to warm Earth, the rest radiating away uselessly into space. God was not environmentally green.

    The universe looks very much like it was produced with no attention whatsoever paid to humanity.


    Well, there is no fingerprint of God, actually, just hopes and wishes that there will be. This is not terrible; it’s just that we search for truth. Truth is what can ultimately help the human race, not myth. Meanwhile, we are investigating every area and finding none. The good thing, though, about the theists saying there should, will, and must be a fingerprint is that this verifies the approach of the disproof of God that finds none. Note that just one fingerprint is needed to show God. One measly one. That’s all, but, still, there are none.

    It is really that humanity has been fine-tuned to the earth and the universe; evolution by natural selection has shown us that.
     
  20. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    The ‘Fine-Tuned Constants’

    For fine-tuning, only ‘dimensionless’ numbers that do not depend on the system of units are meaningful. This may come as a shock to some IDers who just throw ideas about.


    Three Biggies

    So, what about a beautiful photon of light that travels from the heart of an atom to the far reaches of the universe and to forever and beyond, much unslowed by gravity, in its self-generating wave? Is any of this fine-tuned? No, but it’s still a marvelous happening…

    So, for example the following ‘constants’ are irrelevant and arbitrary since they simply define the system of units being used:

    The speed of light, c,
    Planck’s constant, h, and
    Newton’s gravitational constant, G.

    These heavy constants ‘fall’, but there are more medium and lower ‘tunes’ to play than these huge crashing notes.

    Also, in general, note that if an inflationary universe becomes so, a multiverse gets seen, or a totally different kind of life is discovered in space, then we will just replace all this individual fine-tuning analysis with one line that says that then

    “Showing no fine-tuning is a now a piece of cake.”


    The Little Bambino

    So, how tiny is the elusive neutrino that has been found?

    Well, what about the mass of neutrinos? Well, if neutrinos were ten times more massive, say 5x10**-34 instead of 5x10**-35, then there would be ten times fewer of them in the cosmos, so, the gravitational effect would thus be unchanged.

    More to come…
     
  21. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    The Fine Structure ‘Constant’

    The fine structure constant, ‘a’, a dimensionless parameter which depends on the value of the unit electrical charge, that is, on the magnitude of an electron, ‘e’, determines the strength of the electromagnetic force. Is ‘a’ fine-tuned?

    Well, ‘a’ is not even a constant, for it varies with energy and must have changed very rapidly during the first moments of the big bang when the temperature changed by many orders of magnitude, along with the strengths of the other elementary forces.

    So, ‘a’ began with its natural value, that of the ground-state from which it and the universe arose. That symmetry, and that of the other forces of the ground-state, was extremely unstable, and, so, as the universe cooled, a process known as spontaneous symmetry breaking resulted in the forces separating and operating at the much lower energies we see today that they evolved to. So, they were not fine-tuned.


    Necessary Stars

    Only four parameters are needed to specify the broad features of the universe as it exists today; the masses of the electron and proton and the current strengths of the electromagnetic and strong interactions.

    The minimum lifetime of a typical star depends on the first three, named above. Varying them randomly in a range of ten orders of magnitude around their present values shows that over half the stars will still have lifetimes exceeding ten billion years. So, there can still be long-lived stars and certainly the universe is not fine-tuned for this characteristic.

    Furthurmore, physicist Anthony Auire has independently examined the universes that result when six cosmological parameters are simultaneously varied by orders of magnitude, and found he could construct cosmologies in which stars, planets, ad intelligent life could arise. Others have done it, too, one in Japan.


    Carbon

    What about that the production of carbon may need a nuclear energy level of 7.65 million electron-volts to form? Well, this actually hinges on the radioactive state of a carbon nucleus formed out of three helium nuclei, which has over a 20% range to work with without being too high. Stephen Weinberg has noted that this “is not such a close call after all”.

    In short, no fine-tuning is necessary for the production of carbon, oxygen and the other basic elements of life. They are in fact the elements that are among the easiest to form by common nuclear reactions.

    Also, complex, carbon-based molecules that occur in living matter can be readily produced by chemical reactions involving simpler substances. This is just another example of how simplicity can beget complexity, contrary to the claims of creationists.
     
  22. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

    Messages:
    5,502
    uhh.. yeah...

    Mod Note;

    Clearly, time to put this one to rest as well...

     
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