life is random........

Discussion in 'The Sanctuary' started by TheBigPayback, Jul 22, 2011.

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  1. x calibur

    x calibur

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    Indeed it is.

    yes, it would have its structure, just like how the jumbled bridge hand still has 13 cards with its particular numbers and suits. but the royal flush is a distinct and much more uncommon possibility than the jumbles.

    also, I see life as different from physical phenomena. it operates in a different way and has very different requirements.

    I see what you're saying. clearly, evolution wasn't a linear path, it branched out various ways until we happened to come about. I don't think that humans were destined to take the form that we did. You can clearly see evolution "trying out" different paths, notably in the cambrian explosion.

    I state that the universe was designed with the intention of the development of life. not necessarily us, though - there are vast numbers of species on earth, and exobiology is a big unknown. there could be aliens who are just as significant as sentient life.

    of all the possibilities of the universal structure that grew out of the big bang, ours is very notable. it seems to be that the large majority of potential universes would be inhospitable to any form of life as far as can be imagined. how could a hydrogen gas universe lead to more complex structures, when there's only hydrogen and maybe some helium? and how could a black hole universe lead to stable resources and complex structures? and I could go on like this. If the matter/antimatter collision happened differently, there may have been very small amounts of matter available, spread over a vast domain. you could just tweak something like atomic forces or electric forces slightly, and most results would give you a ridiculous universe that would not have stable planets with resources. a different vacuum could have totally different chemistry that may not be compatible with life.

    I don't see any reason why the universe HAD to turn out this way, out of all the other possibilites. but it did. stars are long lived, and as we've recently found out, often form planets. stellar fusion and novas create heavy elements that can combine and react. carbon works very well as a building block of life.

    As I see it, there are a huge number of possible iterations incompatible with any sort of life, and a much smaller number that are. the fact that we beat such long odds to get the royal flush hand suggests an intelligence to me.
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  2. x calibur

    x calibur

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    yes, but you're still thinking in-universe. I'm referring to the vast array of iterations the universe could've taken. meaning different amounts of matter and dark matter/energy, or antimatter instead of matter, different physical constants (gravity, atomic force, etc), different chemistry, and so on. as I was saying to Riz, it seems that most physical possibilities wouldn't allow for life.
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  3. reggie_jax

    reggie_jax rapper noyd

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    Victor Stenger "The Anthropic Coincidences: A Natural Explanation" 1999
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  4. x calibur

    x calibur

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    that's what I addressed with the bridge analogy. any combination of 13 cards has a very slight chance of happening. yet, the jumbled combinations are far more likely than a "royal flush" with a complex pattern. I see most physical possibilities as being like that card jumble. and this universe, being balanced on the narrow window for life, being the royal flush.

    I've tried to avoid anthropomorphic bias here. I see life as a whole (all earth life and exobiology) to be a distinct phenomenon. If you were creating a universe from scratch (like an apple pie lolz) it would be easy to set the physical parameters all different ways. but it would be difficult to balance it for complex structures, relative stability, and life.

    to apply the coin analogy, the universe is like a complex pattern of heads and tails across 1000 flips or whatever number you use. but you say that this has more to do with what results WE place value on. I've tried to avoid this by emphasizing all life, including alien life, and not just the human species. I also look at the universe objectively - just look at Nimrod in my sig asking, "you think the sun gives a shit nigga?". clearly the sun is indifferent to us, as is the rest of the universe. the physical possibilities of a universe run across all kinds of exotic extremes, most of them incompatible with complex structures. since the universe is indifferent to the life within it, I have to ask why, out of all the possibilities described by physics and cosmology, it had to take this one? That is where the architect, beyond time and space, steps in.

    like I was saying before, this is relative. life seems minuscule compared to the size of stars, galaxies, and filaments. yet there is great diversity and numbers in life on just one planet, with many other possibilities out there. stars burn for a long time and supply energy, planets take a stable form with many elements available, and so on. magnetospheres hold off the worst of the gamma rays. and events in the universe are not powerful enough to cause serious disruption to most life in a galaxy. clearly, life has a very comfortable window of existence on at least one planet, and possibly many others. most other physical possibilities of the big bang would not allow for even this.
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  5. x calibur

    x calibur

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    an interesting link. I'll have to investigate things further. He seems to argue that there are a larger number of possible universes with long-lived stars and heavy elements, which are needed for life. but as I see it, there are so many possible sets of laws as well as outcomes within our own set of laws that are seemingly incompatible with life. unfortunately the monkey god seems to be offline. if the window of life is larger, I may have to revise my arguments. but what of possible vacuums? or different ratios of dark matter/energy? what if long lived stars that formed heavy elements in the alternative universes did not have common planetary formation processes, or were hostile to stable planets?

    cosmology is a frontier science in many ways. as more research is done, the situation will become clearer.

    pretty good find though, and definitely relevant.

    as far as the anthropic principles mentioned-

    I don't believe that it must have had those properties, rather that an intelligence made it that way, considering the improbability.

    mostly agree, although I would put life in general instead of observers.

    disagree. this is absurd to me. it's like saying that a tree falling in a forest doesn't make a noise if no one hears it. but of course it does, just like the earth existed before we lived on it.

    Agree that this is highly probable IF the universe is random and not designed.

    this is not saying much. it's basically saying that our existence needs to be supported by the universe before we can observe it. also, life may not all be carbon-based. there may be exotic observers whose understanding is equally valid.

    ridiculous. there's nothing preventing the destruction of life, as extinction events have demonstrated. it doesn't have to come into existence, rather, the parameters were set for it.

    my Principle is this:

    Physical existence is indifferent to life. The improbability of it taking a form that supports life strongly suggests an intelligent designer that favors life. If there is no designer, then the "ocean multiverse" is the most probable situation.
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  6. reggie_jax

    reggie_jax rapper noyd

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    here's what you seem to be missing: any one specific jumbled pattern is not more likely than a royal flush. it's only because we consider the royal flush to be a 'good hand' that we consider it less likely. we have an inherent bias for that hand in the same way we have a bias for the parameters of a universe that allows for complex chemical structures (and consequently, us).

    the point i am trying to make is that there is a need in this discussion for us to distinguish between improbability and what we humans consider surprising. the two are not necessarily linked, and the one might work to pollute the other and vice versa.



    even accounting for other possible forms of life does not erase the type of bias that we are currently dealing with. in expressing a preference for any type of life to arise, we can tie this preference to the fact that we are alive. in expressing a preference that complex chemical structures come into existence, we can hence tie this to the fact that those structures are needed for any type of life to arise(which is ultimately tied to the preference we have for life via us being part of that equation).

    basically what i am trying to express is the question of whether or not there is an actual 'design' that we can conclude would be more likely to have a designer based on any objective criteria whatsoever. for if we are to accept anything as evidence of a designer, we must first specify what qualifies as evidence. is the mathematically improbable more likely to be designed? i think i have shown why that assumption is not valid and not even really the basis for why we consider the universe to be designed, or analogously why we consider the royal flush to be a good hand.

    thus any argument for design in our case seems based on an inherent bias towards our own existence. we can accept without delay that any other hypothetical universe may be equally improbable to ours, but we cannot accept that our own existence is so improbable and yet that 'random chance' somehow led to it.

    it is indeed relative how much life might be in the universe, though i think that even given the most generous theory for life in the universe, we can safely conclude that life has not existed for most of the universe's history up until now and we can probably assume that it will likely die out long before the universe does.

    i think given these facts it doesn't make it impossible that the universe was designed specifically to host life, but it does put such an assumption into perspective. it also helps paint a picture of the bias we have in how important life actually is in our universe.
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  7. reggie_jax

    reggie_jax rapper noyd

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    yea i noticed the site was down after i posted it. i tried googling for it but all i could find was this paper which gives the equations he used:

    http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/Cosmo/MonkeyGod.pdf
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  8. x calibur

    x calibur

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    Bias is definitely an issue here, and one that I've tried to avoid. I view life as something that can exist within narrow constraints as compared to the range of physical possibilities. while all hands are equally improbable, there is the issue of patterns. basically, that it's much more likely to be randomly dealt a jumbled hand than it is to be randomly dealt the royal flush. I place the jumbled hands and the royal flush into two categories: one is much larger, one is much narrower.

    you would argue that this is bias at work. and that complex structures and life are equally improbable as an exotic universe where life couldn't develop. but, although you say that my argument is biased towards life, I can't help but see life as something unusual.

    Looking at the universe, there are all kinds of possibilities allowed by just our set of physics. Extending this to other sets of physical laws, you can conceive of all kinds of exotic universes. Life requires elements to work as building blocks, a relatively stable environment to develop, and a host of other factors. It is hard to imagine life in a universe where heavier elements are not fused, and/or planets do not exist. A universe flooded with hard gamma radiation would not be very conducive to life either. and there are so many other possibilities, some of which I described in previous posts.

    And so, I find it really strange that the universe, with its wide potential, happened to balance itself correctly for life. I'll draw an ASCII diagram:

    ...............................l............................
    lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

    the parameters of life are represented by the single line at the top, while the range of possible configurations of the universe are shown by the many lines at the bottom. (ignore the dots) you can argue that each of the lines are equally improbable, so what's special about the universe choosing the line of life? yet, out of all the possibilities without life, it chose the narrow window that did allow it. given the current understanding of physics and cosmology, I don't see why this happened. it COULD'VE happened randomly, but this is very unlikely.

    the universe has no preference for life, it is indifferent to it. life must adapt and evolve to the conditions. so, I don't see why random chance would lead to a configuration that would allow any sort of life, when there is so much room for configurations without life.

    that is why I state that intelligent design is the most likely explanation. Improbability is not proof of this, but it does lend credence.


    It does put things into perspective. life has struggled to survive, and has had to rebound from extinction events even on an ideal (or close to ideal) planet like earth. there are vast stretches of empty space. burning hot or cryogenically cold planets are unfriendly to life, except maybe extremophiles. neutron stars, pulsars, magnetars and black holes are downright hostile to any conceivable life.

    in spite of all this, the same physical laws that allow for the strange wilderness of space also permit the existence of vast diversity and numbers of life here, and possibly elsewhere. With all the exoplanets being found just in the nearby neighborhood of this galaxy, there is still a huge potential for life in this universe.

    aside from that, it's difficult to comment. depending on perspective, life seems like a fragile mote, from another, a vast and flourishing phenomenon.
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  9. x calibur

    x calibur

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    I read that, and I see how he got one hypothetical universe with long-lived stars. but there's so much else that goes into it, and it is extremely difficult to accurately model hypothetic, exotic universes. We still have much to learn about our own.

    further research is needed, which could end up altering my theistic views. But until then, my arguments are not in disagreement with science.


    eta: I realize I was pretty wordy in this thread. I don't mean to flood you with long posts, it's just difficult to be concise sometimes when dealing with topics like this.
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  10. Riz

    Riz Well-Known Member

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    reggie's making the same points I would so I won't waste either of our time by repeating them, x. I'll let the rest of the discussion play out as an interested observer.

    STOP BEING SO BLEAK BEFORE I SLAP YOU WITH A FISH.
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  11. Radium

    Radium f k

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    the universe seems to be pathologically deranged, a danger to huimself and to others.
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  12. reggie_jax

    reggie_jax rapper noyd

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    i just want to say that i'm not pointing out the bias as something that only you are guilty of or some sort of knock against you. my argument is primarily that as human beings this bias is ingrained in our thinking and there's really no escaping it. the only real modification we can try to make is to knowingly factor in the bias to our conclusions. so when you say that you're putting the royal flush into one category and every other hand into another category, obviously the royal flush seems unlikely. that is precisely the type of reasoning that leads us to find our own universe so unlikely and ultimately what i have been trying to point out.

    as for your response, i'm not really seeing much i disagree with except for your conclusions. i mean i know where you're coming from, the probabilities can be mind boggling. but without the presupposition that our universe is the one that is necessarily favored by design, any argument for design based on probability is merely theatrical. it can't be counted as scientific evidence for the design hypothesis unless we can specify which type of evidence is necessarily derived from design and which type negates design, from an objective standard.

    so far the only qualifier i can detect for what separates an improbable universe with life from an improbable universe without life is that design naturally favors life. the reasons for this assumption are no doubt tied to our own role in this grand equation. this leads me to believe that no such objective criterion for design exists.
    indeed..
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  13. reggie_jax

    reggie_jax rapper noyd

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    its not a problem. in all honesty this is the most interesting and challenging science based case for design that i have encountered since i've been on here. like i'm used to encountering people who try to disprove evolution or argue that life could never arise through natural processes. it's easy for me to write that kind of shit off. but this is quite a bit more tricky because it deals with much harder questions and ultimately our view points only seem to differ at the conclusion.
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  14. x calibur

    x calibur

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    I can definitely see the issue. I'm trapped within human limitations, which makes it difficult to see things outside that frame of reference. I can make an attempt, though.

    I see life as an emergent phenomenon. There is hydrogen and helium from the big bang (or their equivalent in an exotic universe). After that, stars can forge heavier elements. with heavier elements, and several other needs met, life can develop as a continuously changing energy exchange system. Life appears to be an advanced and delicate structure, that could even objectively be placed in a separate category.

    as far as scientific proof, it is hard to calculate things without more knowledge of cosmology, which is a frontier field in many ways. However, I can use scientific understanding to back a philosophical viewpoint - namely that the state of the universe is best explained by intelligent design. you say that this is based on a life-centric/human centric bias, but I can argue for the notability of life scientifically (as in the above paragraph).


    A few years back, I got heavily into these issues. I saw God debates going on, and I wanted to try to get to the bottom of it. I did a fair amount of research before finally coming up with my brand of theism. And I was careful to keep it consistent with scientific understanding.

    lol @ disproving evolution or claiming life is a miracle. there are way too many arguments based on emotion and irrational belief, which is not limited to religious matters either. I always thought that the amount of strawmen would lead atheists to a more extreme view, without considering the more valid arguments that could be made.
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  15. Radium

    Radium f k

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    i have seen this blind watchmaker vs divine watchmaker argument before and whoever arguing the blind watchmaker stance seemed to always have knights odds on the other guy. this is the first time i honestly saw blind watchmaker get beat

    i give you stupid credit ive never seen it argued this effectively before.

    though actually reggie is ultimately right

    only that his answer is ultimately just a non answer. a non answeer is perfectly good - nothing wrong with it - but when there is another plausible and feasible answer on the table it then is forcibly pushed into playing a back up to that. thats how science works. the current, most feasible answer has to always take precedence. it could never go forward by hanging its hat only on non answers.

    i have to give you credit for putting this together. very good work. you arent right, but you put out a very feasible argument. so it has to be given a fair amount of respect as a way to interpret the universe, for now at least.
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  16. reggie_jax

    reggie_jax rapper noyd

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    you can objectively put life in another category from non-life.. but what you need to do is show why design favors life to come into existence, that is the missing part of your argument. we have established that there are more possible universes without life than with life, what we haven't established is what it is about life that necessitates design over those other possibilities. that is what is needed to make the arguments which hinge on the probability of a universe with life actually relevant.

    if the notability of life is that it is a complex and delicate system then there are any number of phenomena we can point to which don't involve life that also meet that criteria. my thinking is that life holds a special place in our own vision of design because we have a long history of considering ourselves to be the apex of that design.






    correct me if i'm wrong here but it seems to me like your view falls more in line with a sort of deistic god rather than the traditional theism. that is, a god that set the initial parameters and then allowed the universe to unfold without interference.
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  17. reggie_jax

    reggie_jax rapper noyd

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    science is about creating models which make the fewest assumptions while describing natural phenomena to the highest degree of accuracy. assuming the existence of god could indeed make conceptualizing certain mind boggling aspects of our current models come a lot easier to us, but what science is about is improving on the model, not just making it easier for us to picture in our minds. if the god argument can improve on the model in a quantifiable way and, just as importantly, if it is in some way testable or falsifiable, then it can make a welcome addition to our current model of physics.

    but i'm sort of curious... why don't you think he's right?
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  18. Radium

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    ha dont be so demanding. youre jumping the gun - we arent near at test stage yet. we are at hypothesis stage and that is what x was doing.

    your non answer is ok but it must be weighed w other answers that can be created and put on this table at the stage we are at thus far. this is the only thing we can do for this subject right now.

    x's answer was very plausible and thus must be considered w some seriousness at least. i hope that you can do that going forward. a big part of science is the ability to add new things to your current view. you dont have to latch onto it but you must now acknowledge the feasibility that it contains as a way to explain the universe so far. its not hogwash.

    it not right though because its not definite so you couldnt say ah this is true for sure but you guys already went over that
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  19. reggie_jax

    reggie_jax rapper noyd

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    i'm not jumping the gun. a hypothesis by definition has to be testable or falsifiable in one way or another. i've yet to see how we can distinguish between a designed universe and a non-designed universe in any quantifiable way, and hence that is the issue i'm currently addressing.
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  20. Radium

    Radium f k

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    if youre asking for hard data on how the universe works for sure then youre going to have to wait a while. youre right to ask, but at this time, you have to know yorue asking way for too much. if its some kind of all or nothing game for you then youre going to stay stuck at the non answer stage for a long time.
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