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Atheist Community of Austin
Considering Deism

I've been an atheist for a few years, and not once had I found a solid argument for the existence of an intelligent creator. However, about a week ago, I found myself in debate across the internet and I found what appeared to be a very logical reason to believe in God, or at least an intelligent creator. I looked it up to see if there were any criticisms, but I failed to find any. Anyhow, this is the problem: If the laws of physics were even slightly different, The Universe would be sterile. (eg. If neutrons weren't slightly heavier than Protons, all the protons would have decayed into neutrons, meaning no atoms, no chemistry and no life.) We can do this check on other laws of physics and see that they are just right for life to exist. I challenged this point with criticisms amounting to all of my knowledge, and still couldn't find an answer to the problem. I then searched the internet and couldn't find an answer. We couldn't assume the Multiverse theory because it's merely speculation, and the spontaneous Universe creating itself hypothesis wouldn't explain the overwhelming odds that it was just right for life. So this argument is basically pointing out that it is highly likely that an intelligent designer could have set up the conditions of the Universe, so that life may have a chance to exist. I'm searching for refutations, but I think that this is a strong argument pointing towards deism. All I ask for is a second opinion on this subject, as I haven't found one on the internet so far.

http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Fine-tuning_argument

This didn't answer the question. I understand the problem with this argument - Yes, there are billions of planets and solar systems, and it took 14 billion years, but that's irrelevant. My position is the following: A being, who may or may not have all the features of the monotheistic God, set about the conditions (Laws of physics) which would allow life to come about at some point in the Universe, and possibly on several planets, not just Earth. As I said, it may or may not have the features of the monotheistic God. It wouldn't have to be omnipotent, or omniscient, or omnibenevolent, etc.

I suggest you read the web page again. It's all about the fine tuning argument.

To assume that only a god can create the laws of nature and the constants we observe is nothing more than begging the question. The right question is: why is the law of gravity (or whatever) the way it is. Not WHO did it. You're assuming a who, therefore "god" must be the answer.

The study of the laws of nature is being actively pursued by physicists, but I have yet to hear a theologist make a single contribution.

Don said: "The study of the laws of nature is being actively pursued by physicists, but I have yet to hear a theologist make a single contribution."

Some theologians happen to be physicists (Lemaitre). But he made his contribution to the big bang theory as a physicists, not as a theologian - with that I agree. You imply that theology is useless, but you use a faulty logic. Consider this: "Ben Franklin, a politician, has made significant research explaining physics of hurricanes and thunderstorms. Therefore, politics made a significant contribution to meteorology." How does that sound?

Theologians are not supposed to make contribution to science, just as poets are not expected to find a cure for cancer. But one can be a medical doctor and a poet, just like one can be a politician and a physicist. Theologians who think theology contributes to science, perhaps, know not what they are doing.

I agree with your general comment. If we try to understand how a computer works, "engineer created it" does not answer the question. We can still do the research and find out how and why it works. Our understanding of how a computer works, however, does not answer the question who created computer or whether there was a creator at all. It's a whole different question, as you mentioned. The possibilities are open.

Again, I agree with you that the fine-tuning argument is not at all an argument for existence of God. It proves neither existence nor non-existence of creator. It simply proves that the universe is fine-tuned for our existence :).

AG said, "Don said: "The study of the laws of nature is being actively pursued by physicists, but I have yet to hear a theologist make a single contribution."

Most of us know what that meant. It means the field of theology nor theologians (that are not scientists) have not produced a single theory about the laws of nature or physics. They would have to be scientists to explain the origin of the Universe or life in the Universe. Scientists have determined that there was no moment of creation or a moment when the universe just came into existence completely formed. The universe is not an instantaneously created object we know that the universe evolved. It wasn't created by a Creator.

AG said, "Some theologians happen to be physicists (Lemaitre). But he made his contribution to the big bang theory as a physicists, not as a theologian - with that I agree. You imply that theology is useless, but you use a faulty logic. Consider this: "Ben Franklin, a politician, has made significant research explaining physics of hurricanes and thunderstorms. Therefore, politics made a significant contribution to meteorology." How does that sound?"

That sounds like something a really stupid two-year-old would say. Don's "thoughts" concerning theology - I think - there is no information or answers concerning the laws of physics or nature in (theology) or the subject. It doesn't matter what other interests someone pursues only science has something to do with a scientific theory. So, only scientists can criticize scientific theories.

When America was being born everyone served in Washington, we were going through a revolution, Benjamin Franklin was America's first ambassador to France and he was a learned scientist and inventor, Benjamin Franklin was a man of many talents and interests. I'm sure most people are capable of determining that scientists, doctors, politicians and many other professionals often have other interests. However, that has nothing what-so-ever to do with any scientific theory. Maybe you still don't know how science works?

Every scientific discovery concerning the origin of the Universe and life was due to the study of science not theology. Furthermore, George Lemaitre studied math and science at Cambridge University, where one of his professors, Arthur Eddington, was the director of the observatory.

What George Lemaitre discovered, Einstein had recognized almost fifteen years earlier. In 1915, Albert Einstein had concluded that the universe could not be static because of calculations based on his recently-discovered theory of relativity (thus anticipating the conclusions of Lemaitre).

After Russian physicist Alexandra Friedman produced computations showing that the structure of the universe was not static but even a tiny impulse might be sufficient to cause the whole structure to expand or contract according to Einstein's Theory of Relativity around 1922, George Lemaitre recognize what Friedman's work meant.

George Lemaitre a Belgian astronomer (based on Friedman's computations) decided that the universe had a beginning and that it was expanding as a result of something that had triggered it. We now know what that something was - the energy and momentum of a virtual particle, quantum fluctuations Lemaitre stated that the rate of radiation (CMB) could be used as a measure of the aftermath of that "something". So, it wasn't one person doing it all, it was many very talented scientists (many of them agnostics or atheists) ..and Hubble's observation showed the celestial bodies were moving away from us. Later on Hubble made another discovery; the stars weren't just racing away from Earth; they were racing away from each other as well. Hubble concluded a universe where everything is moving away from everything else is a universe that is constantly expanding. If the universe was expanding (getting bigger) as time passed, then in the past the universe was smaller; and as we looked back in time everything would be getting smaller until it came together from different directions or converged at a single point. The finding from this model was that at some time all the matter in the universe was compacted in a single point that had zero volume because of its immense gravitational force. Our universe came into being as the result of a burst of energy at this point that had zero volume. This burst is known as the Big Bang and this has repeatedly been confirmed by observational evidence.

AG said, "Theologians are not supposed to make contribution to science, just as poets are not expected to find a cure for cancer. But one can be a medical doctor and a poet, just like one can be a politician and a physicist. Theologians who think theology contributes to science, perhaps, know not what they are doing.

That's just a jumbled up bunch of gobbledegook that means nothing. Nobody said a theologian couldn't make a contribution to science, but they do have to know what is and is not a scientific theory. What Don's saying is about the "subject" of theology making a contribution to science or someone who has only studied theology and not science would not be able to make a contribution. All anyone has to do is read Genesis to know the answer to that one.

AG said, "I agree with your general comment. If we try to understand how a computer works, "engineer created it" does not answer the question. We can still do the research and find out how and why it works. Our understanding of how a computer works, however, does not answer the question who created computer or whether there was a creator at all. It's a whole different question, as you mentioned. The possibilities are open.

No, there is no analogy since understanding how a computer works does indicate that it was man-made. This is a really childish analogy one of your lowest. We know that computers do not occur naturally, they are well understood system and an example of intelligent design. We can determine the difference in something that occurs naturally and man-made objects, even if apologists can't. We understand nature and natural causes but there is no proof of anything that was designed. Who made a computer is very easy to determine but we all know the Universe and life in the Universe was not created or intelligently designed. And it sure wasn't created in a day.

AG said, "Again, I agree with you that the fine-tuning argument is not at all an argument for existence of God. It proves neither existence nor non-existence of creator. It simply proves that the universe is fine-tuned for our existence :).

No, the fine tuning argument has been proven false. There would be a need for a "fine tuning" sky fairy if it was true.

Some people did theorize that only universes with laws of physics that are "fine tuned" could support life. If things were even a fraction different from our universe there would be no intelligent life. That would mean that our physical laws might be explained "anthropically," meaning if they were not as they are there would be no life otherwise to observe them. But MIT physics professor Robert Jaffe and his collaborators decided to test this anthropic explanation. So, they tested whether universes with different physical laws could support life. The MIT physicists have showed that universes quite different from ours still have elements similar to carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and could therefore evolve life forms quite similar to us, even when the masses of elementary particles called quarks are dramatically altered.

You've gotten these answers before and you either didn't read or understand them - you're just carrying on as if they were never answered because you're proselytizing after everything that disputes what you believe.

Thank you, I was positive that the Atheist community would have an answer to this - if it did then I probably would have heard more about it. Thank you for helping me to understand.

John Said: If the laws of physics were even slightly different, The Universe would be sterile. (eg. If neutrons weren't slightly heavier than Protons, all the protons would have decayed into neutrons, meaning no atoms, no chemistry and no life.)

John, The above statement is totally false. First, I will modify it into a true statement:

If the physical and chemical processes of the Universe would vary over time, then the Universe would be sterile. This is because the evolution of dead chemicals into living chemicals takes a long time. If there would be a shift in the way that chemical processes naturally happen in the Universe, then the long, complicated chain of evolution would get broken. Life might then begin again under new conditions of chemistry, but any additional shift in nature would again kill off developing life. An intelligent creator is not necessary, only a longstanding consistency in the way that nature does her chemistry.

There is a logical falsehood in the message that you have posted. The message assumes that scientists who study atoms and subatomic particles are so knowledgeable, that they can predict what type of chemistry can or cannot arise from the tiny particles and the tiny energy quanta which they study. Scientists cannot do this, their ability to infer chemistry from their present understanding of particles and energy is very limited.

Scientists are not able to create oddball particles that are just slightly different in the way that your message suggests. Even if they could, creating massive amounts of them would be necessary to carry out extensive chemical experiments. Would such atoms be poisonous to us or dangerous in other ways? What kind of test tube would be appropriate for holding a sample of oddball matter, an oddball test tube, or an old-fashioned Natural Universe type of test tube?

Whether or not an alternate universe with different chemical properties could support life is a question which is not yet answered. Oddball matter is not available to experiment with.

Life here on Earth has evolved to make use of matter and energy which is available here on Earth. Life did not necessarily need tailor-made matter and energy in order to evolve and thrive.

(A) Matter and energy may have been custom-made by a clever Creator just so life can come into being.

(B) Matter and energy might exist without any mindful or clever Creator, and then it turned out that matter and energy (as we know it) was suited for ancient abiogenesis which is supported by observed and experimental evidence.

There are big gaps in the expertise of present-day scientists. Your deism statement ignores these gaps.

When scientists reach forward towards more knowledge, and then they notice the frontiers of their knowledge, this is just the frontier of their knowledge. To assert that such a frontier is the beginning of a self-conscious God is to create a Frankenstein monster.

The science of the ancients included a self-conscious God. Modern science stands upon the observation and experimentation done by human beings. To graft those two types of science together creates a bizarre and preposterous monster. No God is needed. - - - He only clutters up the laboratory.

Chuck Johnson said, "John, The above statement is totally false. First, I will modify it into a true statement: If the physical and chemical processes of the Universe would vary over time, then the Universe would be sterile. This is because the evolution of dead chemicals into living chemicals takes a long time. If there would be a shift in the way that chemical processes naturally happen in the Universe, then the long, complicated chain of evolution would get broken. Life might then begin again under new conditions of chemistry, but any additional shift in nature would again kill off developing life. An intelligent creator is not necessary, only a longstanding consistency in the way that nature does her chemistry."

Your revision of what "John" said serves no purpose; it's not what John said. You are saying something totally different now, so now we can deal with what you are saying. I think you should work on your understanding of physics and evolution before presenting your next theory since you clearly haven't got a clue. There have been five major extinction events in the Earth's history, which biologists refer to as "The Big Five". The Ordovician-Silurian, Late Devonian, Permian-Triassic, Late Triassic, Cretaceous-Tertiary, all five extinctions happened before humans evolved, and all were associated with climate change. The most recent extinction event, the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) extinction, is the one most studied. It's the event that killed the dinosaurs. Scientists are quite sure that the trigger for this extinction was an asteroid that crashed into the planet, leaving a crater near the present-day Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

The largest extinction in the Earth's history, the Permian-Triassic extinction, occurred about 250 million years ago, right before the time of the dinosaurs. Up to 95% of all species on Earth were killed in this event, and life in the oceans was particularly hard-hit. It took 100 million years for the remaining species to recover from this extinction, known as "The Great Dying".

Scientists have found an explanation for the "Great Dying" through research (greenhouse gases). In the late Permian, a huge expanse of active volcanoes existed in what is now Siberia. They covered 4 million square kilometers. These volcanoes pumped out massive quantities of carbon dioxide increasing the average temperature of the planet, as the warming continued ice and permafrost melted, releasing methane that was frozen. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is much more powerful than carbon dioxide, it traps many more times the heat per molecule. The warming became much more severe. When the planet warms a lot in a relatively short period of time, a particularly condition can develop in the oceans, known as anoxia. This is the explanation for the "Great Dying" and it was due to a chemical reaction. The Permian-Triassic extinction wasn't the only time anoxia developed. It may have been a factor in the Late Triassic extinction, and other smaller extinctions. Scientists know that a warm planet is less favorable to life than a cold one

However, "John's" original topic was pertaining to the "fine tuning" argument or Intelligent Design/Creation. What "John" is heading for is the idea that an intelligence was behind the Creation event or it would have gone terribly wrong. That's really all John is saying.

"John Said: If the laws of physics were even slightly different, The Universe would be sterile. (eg. If neutrons weren't slightly heavier than Protons, all the protons would have decayed into neutrons, meaning no atoms, no chemistry and no life.)"

It's the idea that if things were just a little different nothing would exist. That is what was believed for a long time. There are many special qualities to the Earth (proper mass, distance from Sun for liquid water, position in Galaxy for heavy elements from nearby supernova explosion). But, none of these characteristics are unique to the Earth. There may exists hundreds to thousands of solar systems with similar characteristics where life would be possible, if not inevitable, "the 1992 discovery of a planet orbiting another star other than the Sun demonstrates that the universe may have indeed risen from chaos, rather than God's hand. That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions - the single Sun, the lucky combination of Earth-Sun distance and solar mass, far less remarkable, and far less compelling evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings." Stephen Hawking

Chuck Johnson said, "There is a logical falsehood in the message that you have posted. The message assumes that scientists who study atoms and subatomic particles are so knowledgeable, that they can predict what type of chemistry can or cannot arise from the tiny particles and the tiny energy quanta which they study. Scientists cannot do this, their ability to infer chemistry from their present understanding of particles and energy is very limited."

No, John's statement was about the "fine tuning" argument; it's about was a creator necessary for the universe and life in the universe to exist? First let's answer "John's" claims.

All the laws of Nature have particular constants associated with them, the gravitational constant, the speed of light, the electric charge, the mass of the electron, Planck's constant from quantum mechanics. Some are derived from physical laws (the speed of light, for example, comes from Maxwell's equations). However, for most, their values are arbitrary. The laws would still operate if the constants had different values, although the resulting interactions would be radically different.

Using the framework of quantum field theory, which we have no reason to doubt, we can classify the kinds of new particles and forces that could conceivably exist, and go look for them. The Higgs Boson is a perfect example of something that scientists knew existed and have just recently found.

Chuck Johnson said, "Scientists are not able to create oddball particles that are just slightly different in the way that your message suggests. Even if they could, creating massive amounts of them would be necessary to carry out extensive chemical experiments. Would such atoms be poisonous to us or dangerous in other ways? What kind of test tube would be appropriate for holding a sample of oddball matter, an oddball test tube, or an old-fashioned Natural Universe type of test tube?"

Some people did theorize that only universes with laws of physics that are "fine tuned" could support life. If things were even a fraction different from our universe there would be no intelligent life. That would mean that our physical laws might be explained "anthropically," meaning if they were not as they are there would be no life otherwise to observe them. But MIT physics professor Robert Jaffe and his collaborators decided to test this anthropic explanation. So, they tested whether universes with different physical laws could support life. The MIT physicists have showed that universes quite different from ours still have elements similar to carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and could therefore evolve life forms quite similar to us, even when the masses of elementary particles called quarks are dramatically altered.

Chuck Johnson said, "Whether or not an alternate universe with different chemical properties could support life is a question which is not yet answered. Oddball matter is not available to experiment with."

The multi-verse argument supports a particular conclusion about a known object (the universe) that isn't imaginary or supernatural. Therefore, any conclusion about it (no matter how far out) would never be comparable to a conclusion about a (supernatural being) or an (undetectable by any scientific means)Designer's existence.

The multi-verse theory is that in the very early Universe, moments after the Big Bang, the inflation era. Our old view of the Universe was one of Newtonian expansion, at less than the speed of light. We know that, because of symmetry breaking at the GUT (Grand Unified Theory) unification point, space-time and matter separated and a tremendous amount of energy was released. This energy produced an overpressure that was applied not to the particles of matter, but to space-time itself. Basically, the particles stood still as the space between them expanded at an exponential rate. The universe expanded faster than the speed of light - space-time itself expanded, so there is no violation of special relativity, our horizon only sees a small piece of what was the total universe from the Big Bang. Our universe is a bubble on the larger Universe. However, those other bubbles are outside our horizon and we will never be able to communicate with those other bubble universes.

Why try to explain the universe's existence with an unknown (undetectable by any means) that we cannot know exists supernatural being? This is an argument from ignorance. We already know that a universe can exist, and that makes it possible for many universes to exist, but we don't know that a supernatural being can exist. Not even one.

Chuck Johnson said, "Life here on Earth has evolved to make use of matter and energy which is available here on Earth. Life did not necessarily need tailor-made matter and energy in order to evolve and thrive.

(A) Matter and energy may have been custom-made by a clever Creator just so life can come into being.

(B) Matter and energy might exist without any mindful or clever Creator, and then it turned out that matter and energy (as we know it) was suited for ancient abiogenesis which is supported by observed and experimental evidence."

The experiment of Miller and Urey's describe the process of abiogenesis and supports it. There's a lot more information on this in recent modern science books and articles.

Chuck Johnson said, "There are big gaps in the expertise of present-day scientists. Your deism statement ignores these gaps."

The apologists think that there are big gaps in anything the scientists know. I think that there are big gaps in the understanding of what scientists know. Nothing was presented by you that explains anything?

There is absolutely no reason to believe that "nothing would be here if God didn't exist" and it's not a theory, it's Christian apologetic.

Chuck Johnson said, "When scientists reach forward towards more knowledge, and then they notice the frontiers of their knowledge, this is just the frontier of their knowledge. To assert that such a frontier is the beginning of a self-conscious God is to create a Frankenstein monster."

It's pretty hard to prove anything about something with absolutely no evidence what-so-ever of it's existence or what or where it even is.

Chuck Johnson said, "The science of the ancients included a self-conscious God. Modern science stands upon the observation and experimentation done by human beings. To graft those two types of science together creates a bizarre and preposterous monster. No God is needed. - - - He only clutters up the laboratory."

That peculiar meaningless statement does nothing to establish what actually was the cause of the existence of the universe or life in the universe. "The science of the ancients included a self-conscious God." The ancients first worshiped the sun god and that evolved into the worship of the sun/son of god. There is plenty of proof of that.

Scientists discovered and have observed evolution-taking place. Scientists have observed replicating chemical chains forming from non-replicating chains. The universe and life in the universe evolved and continues to evolve.

There are natural causes that explain the existence of the universe and life in the universe that are preferable to supernatural explanations/claims that do not present any evidence and explain nothing. The theories that involve natural causes have stood the test of time, and there is no reason to resort to supernatural causes.

The original topic was about the fine-tuning argument that is one of the main arguments for God's existence. This argument contends that neither life nor the universe could exist without an extremely fine-tuned set of initial conditions that didn't just happen or didn't happen spontaneously. The apologists reasoned that the universe had to have been designed.

The universe was designed by a Designer so that the universe and life in the universe could evolve, even though this does not explain - what is the Designer - where is it - and why did it stop designing.

Why is it more reasonable to believe that an undetectable "Being" or Designer is responsible for the constants of nature or absolute quantities than the scientific explanations?

I see. Thank you for your insight and pointing out the flaw in this statement. I didn't take into account the problem of there being no second sample. Once again, thank you.

This reply was to Church Johnson oops! I meant Chuck. But guess what? You need to put his name on it because it looks like you are answering me. I know it was meant for Chuck not me since mine and yours were posted on Oct. 1 and they were not put on the board for several days after.

However, maybe you should read my reply to Chuck and see if you still think there is any kind of an answer involved in those Hare-um Scare-um ramblings.

Check out "anthropic principle". The coincidence is as miraculous as you living in your particular house and not in any of the billions other houses on Earth :) If the laws, Earth's orbit, etc. were not exactly right, we would not be here to observe them. But since we are here, we cannot observe anything else but the Universe where it is possible for us to exist. Flip the cause and effect, and the puzzle disappears: "We are here, therefore the universe we observe has conditions just right for us to exist".

You are talking of the laws in "observable universe". Apparently, we cannot see anything but "observable universe". And for the universe to be "observable", we must be able to "observe" it - we must exist in it.

This argument does not prove anything about existence or non-existence of a creator. It does not exclude the existence of "non-observable" universe(s) or non-observable "creators". The possibilities are open.

AG said, "Check out "anthropic principle". The coincidence is as miraculous as you living in your particular house and not in any of the billions other houses on Earth :) If the laws, Earth's orbit, etc. were not exactly right, we would not be here to observe them. But since we are here, we cannot observe anything else but the Universe where it is possible for us to exist. Flip the cause and effect, and the puzzle disappears: "We are here, therefore the universe we observe has conditions just right for us to exist"."

Isaac Newton thought there was a fine tuned nature to the physical laws in our universe and he believed God created and conserved order in the universe. He believed that a creator designed it specifically for the existence of human life. The discovery of other solar systems outside our own in 1992 proved that our world was not so uniquely designed and that human life could exist throughout the universe. Your comment is an argument without evidence. Where is the evidence for the sky fairy that fine tuned the universe for life? This isn't (and never has been) an argument about science; it's about religion, in fact, it's about the creation story in Genesis. I'll try to explain this in a way that you will hopefully understand why your argument fails. You say there is evidence that points to "fine tuning" of the universe without proving the universe is "fine tuned". Just assume a sky fairy exists that created the world and then fine tuned it for life. First you have to prove it.

"The 1992 discovery of a planet orbiting another star other than the Sun demonstrates that the universe may have indeed risen from chaos, rather than God's hand. That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions - the single Sun, the lucky combination of Earth-Sun distance and solar mass, far less remarkable, and far less compelling evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings." Stephen Hawking

Some people did theorize that only universes with laws of physics that are "fine tuned" could support life. If things were even a fraction different from our universe there would be no intelligent life. That would mean that our physical laws might be explained "anthropically," meaning if they were not as they are there would be no life otherwise to observe them. But MIT physics professor Robert Jaffe and his collaborators decided to test this anthropic explanation. So, they tested whether universes with different physical laws could support life. The MIT physicists have showed that universes quite different from ours still have elements similar to carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and could therefore evolve life forms quite similar to us, even when the masses of elementary particles called quarks are dramatically altered.

They also claim that a complex system can only arise out of something with high intelligence. So, the universe and life can only have arisen out of something even more intelligent and complex; it's nothing more than Intelligent Design. There is no reason why the physical universe cannot be it's own first cause. As we know from both everyday experience and highly structured scientific observations, complex systems develop from simpler systems all the time in nature (with not even low intelligence required.) Life can evolve from bacteria. And our relatively complex universe could have arisen out of the simplest and most mindless of thing of all - a quantum vacuum fluctuation.

The "god did it" explanation does nothing to establish what actually was the cause of the existence of the universe or life in the universe. Scientists discovered and have observed evolution-taking place. Scientists have observed replicating chemical chains forming from non-replicating chains. Scientists have found the answers that have unlocked many of the mysteries of the universe and life in the universe. "God-did-it" or "it's just a mystery" answers nothing. The universe evolved and continues to evolve.

There are naturalistic explanations for the existence of the universe and life in the universe that are preferable to supernatural explanations that do not explain anything. The theories that involve natural causes have stood the test of time, and there is no reason to resort to supernatural causes.

AG said, "This argument does not prove anything about existence or non-existence of a creator. It does not exclude the existence of "non-observable" universe(s) or non-observable "creators". The possibilities are open."

Why try to explain life or the universe's existence with a supernatural being when not even one has ever been proven to exist? This is an argument from ignorance. We already know that a universe can exist, and that makes it possible for many universes to exist, but we don't know that a supernatural being can exist. Not even one.

Linda, you are preaching to the choir. I said that "This argument [fine-tuning of the universe] does not prove anything about existence or non-existence of a creator." My comment is not an argument from ignorance. It's a statement of ignorance. It's an impartial statement of the obvious and even trivial: "we observe what we observe." Any conclusions we draw from these observations exist only in our mind, unless we observe these conclusions. And we cannot observe God, absence of God, "nothing" or alternative universes.

I know of the anthropic principle, and mentioned it to the person I was originally debating with, however he did point out that it's simply not good enough if the Universe is defined as "all that exists" - so that the laws of physics would have to be applied to everything that we know, and therefore there can only be a single set of laws. One might argue back with the Multiverse theory, but since it is currently mere speculation and we have no evidence for it, again it is not good enough. However, the anthropic principle is irrelevant as the Chuck & Don have cleared this point up anyway. Thanks anyway.

John,

I know that what you posted was meant for AG since you posted yours on the same day as I posted mine and it wasn't put on the board for several days. I'm going to put an answer to your post anyway and include one for AG. Since it's pretty much all the same thing.

The James Webb Telescope's ability to look farther into space than ever before will bring newborn galaxies into view and reveal the story of the formation of the first stars and galaxies in the Universe. Because it takes time for light to travel, we see more and more distant regions of the universe as they were in the successively greater past. Scientists are using all of these tools to solve the "mystery" about the origins and development of our Universe. Scientists can trace the galaxy back to the Big Bang and they know how particles and forces came to be.

Random fluctuations can produce matter and energy out of nothingness because of the laws of physics.

All the planets in our observable Universe have the same laws of physics. Yes, but, most modern astrophysicists, physicists or cosmologists do think there are different Universes within a multiverse that are called parallel universes and these universes can have completely different laws of physics. We already know that a universe can exist, and that makes it possible for many universes to exist, but we don't know that a supernatural being can exist. Not even one.

The Encyclopedia of Science - Multiverse - M-theory

A multiverse of a somewhat different kind has been envisaged within the 11-dimensional extension of string theory known as M-theory. In M-theory our universe and others are created by collisions between membranes in an 11-dimensional space. Unlike the universes in the "quantum multiverse", these universes can have completely different laws of physics - anything may be possible.

String landscape

Another proposal for a multiverse in string theory has received considerable attention lately. It is called the string landscape and asserts that, roughly speaking, there are a very large number of ways to go from ten dimensional string theory down to the four-dimensional low-energy world we see, and each one of these corresponds to a radically different Universe.

Never say "we will never know," the Large Hadron Collider at Cern will be used to study String theory. If gravity is not weaker than the other forces but has been diluted by extra dimensions of space the new collider could produce black holes or bounce particles into other dimensions and that would give physicists a chance to study string theory and quantum gravity in the lab.

Some people did theorize that only Universes with laws of physics that are "fine tuned" could support life. If things were even a fraction different from our universe there would be no intelligent life. That would mean that our physical laws might be explained "anthropically," meaning if they were not as they are there would be no life otherwise to observe them. But MIT physics professor Robert Jaffe and his collaborators decided to test this anthropic explanation. So, they tested whether universes with different physical laws could support life. The MIT physicists have showed that universes quite different from ours still have elements similar to carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and could therefore evolve life forms quite similar to us, even when the masses of elementary particles called quarks are dramatically altered.

I do not believe that anyone wrote anything that remotely suggested that the anthropic principle has been disproved.

"The 1992 discovery of a planet orbiting another star other than the Sun demonstrates that the universe may have indeed risen from chaos, rather than God's hand. That makes the coincidences of our planetary conditions - the single Sun, the lucky combination of Earth-Sun distance and solar mass, far less remarkable, and far less compelling evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings." Stephen Hawking

Neither AG nor Church got anything right and I can see from what AG posted that he thinks he is on the same page - even though AG can't prove god exists - and he thinks that's like we can't prove multiverses exist - it's not - because of all the information above and- we can prove a Universe can exist and we do have the technology and theories in place to falsify multiverse theory eventually. We haven't got any theory about god or the supernatural and the supernatural has failed every controlled scientific test it's ever been given. It's an argument form ignorance.

There is no way to ever falsify a god theory without evidence. The fact that a Universe exists is evidence. AG doesn't get why a theory about something we know can exist is not the same as a god theory, which is about something that we do not know exists - not even one.

It doesn't matter how many times AG is told something that proves him wrong he will still keep writing as if he wasn't wrong. Maybe he doesn't know? OOOOH! That's scary!

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