The Fine-Tuning Argument: The Worst Argument for Theism

Blog of Reason

New Member
Discussion thread for the blog entry "The Fine-Tuning Argument: The Worst Argument for Theism" by he_who_is_nobody.

Permalink: http://blog.leagueofreason.org.uk/reason/the-fine-tuning-argument-the-worst-argument-for-theism/
 

thenexttodie

New Member
"First, when employing this argument, the theist is making the underlying assumption that the fine-tuning we see in the universe is the only possible way the universe could exist that would permit life. No justification for this is ever given, beyond the fact that if the fine-tuning were different, then things would be different; "


No, if the fine-tuning was different, then basically nothing in this universe would exist. It's not just about life. Major fail.
 

Dragan Glas

Active Member
Greetings,
thenexttodie said:
"First, when employing this argument, the theist is making the underlying assumption that the fine-tuning we see in the universe is the only possible way the universe could exist that would permit life. No justification for this is ever given, beyond the fact that if the fine-tuning were different, then things would be different; "


No, if the fine-tuning was different, then basically nothing in this universe would exist. It's not just about life. Major fail.
That's not the case.

This is a common misconception of creationists.

It's not "all-or-nothing" - it works more like an equaliser: changing the values of parameters up or down simply shifts the values of the others, so you get different universes as a result.

Kindest regards,

James
 

thenexttodie

New Member
quote="thenexttodie"]"First, when employing this argument, the theist is making the underlying assumption that the fine-tuning we see in the universe is the only possible way the universe could exist that would permit life. No justification for this is ever given, beyond the fact that if the fine-tuning were different, then things would be different; "


No, if the fine-tuning was different, then basically nothing in this universe would exist. It's not just about life. Major fail.[/quote]
Dragan Glas said:
That's not the case.
Actually it is the case.
Dragan Glas said:
This is a common misconception of creationists.
Nope. When scientists talk about the universe being "fine tuned for life"
they mostly talking about the universe being fine tuned for existence of matter, elements and stars.


Dragan Glas said:
It's not "all-or-nothing" - it works more like an equaliser: changing the values of parameters up or down simply shifts the values of the others, so you get different universes as a result.

What you would get in this universe would be a lack of matter, elements and stars.
 

Dragan Glas

Active Member
Greetings,
thenexttodie said:
thenexttodie said:
"First, when employing this argument, the theist is making the underlying assumption that the fine-tuning we see in the universe is the only possible way the universe could exist that would permit life. No justification for this is ever given, beyond the fact that if the fine-tuning were different, then things would be different; "


No, if the fine-tuning was different, then basically nothing in this universe would exist. It's not just about life. Major fail.
Dragan Glas said:
That's not the case.
Actually it is the case.
Dragan Glas said:
This is a common misconception of creationists.
Nope. When scientists talk about the universe being "fine tuned for life"
they mostly talking about the universe being fine tuned for existence of matter, elements and stars.


Dragan Glas said:
It's not "all-or-nothing" - it works more like an equaliser: changing the values of parameters up or down simply shifts the values of the others, so you get different universes as a result.

What you would get in this universe would be a lack of matter, elements and stars.
This is completely wrong.

Would you kindly show from where you get this idea?

Kindest regards,

James
 

he_who_is_nobody

Active Member
Dragan Glas said:
Greetings,
thenexttodie said:
"First, when employing this argument, the theist is making the underlying assumption that the fine-tuning we see in the universe is the only possible way the universe could exist that would permit life. No justification for this is ever given, beyond the fact that if the fine-tuning were different, then things would be different; "


No, if the fine-tuning was different, then basically nothing in this universe would exist. It's not just about life. Major fail.
That's not the case.

This is a common misconception of creationists.

It's not "all-or-nothing" - it works more like an equaliser: changing the values of parameters up or down simply shifts the values of the others, so you get different universes as a result.

Kindest regards,

James

Beyond what you pointed out, the rest of the paragraph that thenexttodie quoted addresses his objection perfectly:
he_who_is_nobody said:
First, when employing this argument, the theist is making the underlying assumption that the fine-tuning we see in the universe is the only possible way the universe could exist that would permit life. No justification for this is ever given, beyond the fact that if the fine-tuning were different, then things would be different; an example of a counterfactual conditional. Simply because things would be different does not mean that life or a universe could not exist. They may not be as we see them today, but that alone does not mean that the possibility for life and a universe are dependent on the fine-tuning of the universe as we know it. This is an unjustified claim built into the argument that should be challenged. Beyond that, the theist also has not shown that the fine-tuning of our universe could be anything different. It could just as easily be that all possible universes have the same fine-tuning.

[Emphasis on what was left out.]

I love it when the objections are already addressed. Makes my job easy. In addition, this is not the first time thenexttodie has left out what I said and failed to make a point with it.
 

thenexttodie

New Member
Dragan Glas said:
This is completely wrong.

Would you kindly show from where you get this idea?

Kindest regards,

James

Scientists. Secular scientists. Any scientist who is envolved in this field, can confirm this. Are there none on this forum?
 

thenexttodie

New Member
he_who_is_nobody said:
First, when employing this argument, the theist is making the underlying assumption that the fine-tuning we see in the universe is the only possible way the universe could exist that would permit life. No justification for this is ever given, beyond the fact that if the fine-tuning were different, then things would be different; an example of a counterfactual conditional. Simply because things would be different does not mean that life or a universe could not exist. They may not be as we see them today, but that alone does not mean that the possibility for life and a universe are dependent on the fine-tuning of the universe as we know it. This is an unjustified claim built into the argument that should be challenged. Beyond that, the theist also has not shown that the fine-tuning of our universe could be anything different. It could just as easily be that all possible universes have the same fine-tuning.

[Emphasis on what was left out.]

To me, you're almost starting to sound like a creationist.

I think you, for the most part, are confusing what would happen in this real universe, with what could happen in an imaginary universe.
 
thenexttodie said:
Dragan Glas said:
This is completely wrong.

Would you kindly show from where you get this idea?

Kindest regards,

James

Scientists. Secular scientists. Any scientist who is envolved in this field, can confirm this. Are there none on this forum?

I think we had one who was at least familiar with cosmology. Pretty sure he was banned
 

Dragan Glas

Active Member
Greetings,
thenexttodie said:
Dragan Glas said:
This is completely wrong.

Would you kindly show from where you get this idea?

Kindest regards,

James

Scientists. Secular scientists. Any scientist who is envolved in this field, can confirm this. Are there none on this forum?
I was actually looking for citations rather than your claim that "scientists .... can confirm this".

Give us actual quotes with links.

Kindest regards,

James
 

thenexttodie

New Member
Dragan Glas said:
This is completely wrong.

Would you kindly show from where you get this idea?

Kindest regards,

James

thenexttodie said:
[Scientists. Secular scientists. Any scientist who is envolved in this field, can confirm this. Are there none on this forum?

itsdemtitans said:
I think we had one who was at least familiar with cosmology. Pretty sure he was banned

Well, maybe they should un-ban him and put him on double secret probation instead!
 

Dragan Glas

Active Member
Greetings,
thenexttodie said:
Dragan Glas said:
This is completely wrong.

Would you kindly show from where you get this idea?

Kindest regards,

James

thenexttodie said:
[Scientists. Secular scientists. Any scientist who is envolved in this field, can confirm this. Are there none on this forum?

itsdemtitans said:
I think we had one who was at least familiar with cosmology. Pretty sure he was banned

Well, maybe they should un-ban him and put him on double secret probation instead!
Doesn't answer my question - cite sources for your claim.

Kindest regards,

James
 

he_who_is_nobody

Active Member
itsdemtitans said:

 

thenexttodie

New Member
Dragan Glas said:
Doesn't answer my question - cite sources for your claim.

Kindest regards,

James

Paul Steinhardt, in an interview published in Scientific American, 12.1.2014.

"From the very beginning, even as I was writing my first paper on inflation in 1982, I was concerned that the inflationary picture only works if you finely tune the constants that control the inflationary period. Andy Albrecht and I (and, independently, Andrei Linde) had just discovered the way of having an extended period of inflation end in a graceful exit to a universe filled with hot matter and radiation, the paradigm for all inflationary models since. But the exit came at a cost — fine-tuning. The whole point of inflation was to get rid of fine-tuning – to explain features of the original big bang model that must be fine-tuned to match observations. The fact that we had to introduce one fine-tuning to remove another was worrisome. This problem has never been resolved."

Notice how the word "Life" is not mentioned anywhere in the above quote.

I think that when you are talking about an equalizer here

Dragon Glas "It's not "all-or-nothing" - it works more like an equaliser: changing the values of parameters up or down simply shifts the values of the others, so you get different universes as a result."

What you are really talking about is substituting one fine tuning for another, without evening knowing it.
 

Dragan Glas

Active Member
Greetings,
thenexttodie said:
Dragan Glas said:
Doesn't answer my question - cite sources for your claim.

Kindest regards,

James

Paul Steinhardt, in an interview published in Scientific American, 12.1.2014.

"From the very beginning, even as I was writing my first paper on inflation in 1982, I was concerned that the inflationary picture only works if you finely tune the constants that control the inflationary period. Andy Albrecht and I (and, independently, Andrei Linde) had just discovered the way of having an extended period of inflation end in a graceful exit to a universe filled with hot matter and radiation, the paradigm for all inflationary models since. But the exit came at a cost — fine-tuning. The whole point of inflation was to get rid of fine-tuning – to explain features of the original big bang model that must be fine-tuned to match observations. The fact that we had to introduce one fine-tuning to remove another was worrisome. This problem has never been resolved."
The quote and interview is found here.

It should be noted that he supports an alternative to the Inflation model: the Steinhardt-Turok "Cyclic Universe" model.
thenexttodie said:
Notice how the word "Life" is not mentioned anywhere in the above quote.
Again, you've completely missed the point.

Theists/creationists use "fine-tuning" exclusively in regard to life - that the universe exists for the purpose of life. Scientists don't.

You appear to be confusing a number of things as has been pointed out by several of us:

1) As noted above, scientists and theists/creationists use the term differently;
2) Theists/creationists assume that it's an "either-or" situation - it's not.
thenexttodie said:
I think that when you are talking about an equalizer here

Dragon Glas "It's not "all-or-nothing" - it works more like an equaliser: changing the values of parameters up or down simply shifts the values of the others, so you get different universes as a result."

What you are really talking about is substituting one fine tuning for another, without evening knowing it.
The difference is HWIN and I are using the term as it's used in science - creationists are misusing it.

Kindest regards,

James
 

thenexttodie

New Member
Dragan Glas said:
.

It should be noted that he supports an alternative to the Inflation model: the Steinhardt-Turok "Cyclic Universe" model.

He can support whichever model he wants.

Dragan Glas said:
.Again, you've completely missed the point.

Theists/creationists use "fine-tuning" exclusively in regard to life - that the universe exists for the purpose of life. Scientists don't.

You appear to be confusing a number of things as has been pointed out by several of us:

1) As noted above, scientists and theists/creationists use the term differently;
2) Theists/creationists assume that it's an "either-or" situation - it's not.
thenexttodie said:
I think that when you are talking about an equalizer here

Dragon Glas "It's not "all-or-nothing" - it works more like an equaliser: changing the values of parameters up or down simply shifts the values of the others, so you get different universes as a result."

What you are really talking about is substituting one fine tuning for another, without evening knowing it.

Dragan Glas said:
.The difference is HWIN and I are using the term as it's used in science - creationists are misusing it.

Kindest regards,

James

Well you wouldn't expect an Atheist to say the universe is fined tuned for life because that would imply the existence of God, or at least the exiestence of a purpose
Laurence Krauss will say from time to time, something like, "You can't use science to show a purpose." Yet he basically admits this as being a restraint he willfully chooses to impose upon himself when he says science cannot be used to prove God does not exist. Neither sentiment has been proven useful or even accurate, yet he is willfully constrained by both.

I see no reason why Creationists should hold themselves to these same constraints.
We certainly can deduce purpose through observation. I just recently figured out the purpose of the 4 stones which someone buried next to my apple tree.
 
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