life is random........

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

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  1. reggie_jax

    reggie_jax rapper noyd

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    i'm not asking for hard data, though. a lot of the relevant data is likely already available. i'm just asking for the basis on which the data should be interpreted to determine if the hypothesis is true or false. in other words, if there is a way to distinguish which designs (as in which possible universal parameters) are more in need of a designer, then i'd like to see the objective basis on which we can make that distinction. that's not all or nothing. it's the next logical step, as far as i can see.
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  2. Radium

    Radium f k

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    so you want to somehow quantize versions of universes that we dont know about
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  3. reggie_jax

    reggie_jax rapper noyd

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    no. well, maybe. i don't know what you mean by quantize.

    basically this entire argument is derived from the probabilities of our own universal constants (vs the hypothetical alternatives that could have arisen). so i don't think that the need for a distinction in this case is out of reach nor uncalled for.
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  4. Radium

    Radium f k

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    dont worry about that i just use that word as a way to sound cool

    again though, if youre truly asking to compare known universal constants to other not known universal constants that might/might not exist then you should also ask for a time machine. you need one to travel into the distant future when we might actually have some better data to draw conclusions from about that
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  5. reggie_jax

    reggie_jax rapper noyd

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    i don't need a time machine. the argument for design based on fine-tuning (i.e. the hypothesis we're discussing right now) necessarily factors in those hypothetical alternatives to its arguments based on the probability of our own universal parameters. that is where the speculation (which as far as we know is perfectly sound) that if x was different then the universe would be different in such-and-such way comes from. scientists are already speculating on these hypothetical alternatives without the help of a time machine.
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  6. Radium

    Radium f k

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    if you mean to compare other universes to this universe please explain how you could effectively do that
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  7. reggie_jax

    reggie_jax rapper noyd

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    not sure what ur asking. how do scientists compare the results of hypothetical alternatives with our own universe, or how do i propose we discern a distinction between designed and non-designed universes?

    if it's the former, then the way scientists do this is they create mathematical models of other universes based on our own physics except with altered constants or properties. this assumes that the other universe was born in basically the same way as our own, which ultimately could be false but again you aren't comparing actual universes but hypothetical alternatives. in other words, when our universe was born certain constants emerged. it's basically a hypothetical scenario of what if x had a different value in a given equation.

    if you're asking how i propose we determine whether a certain set of parameters prompts the design conclusion, then i don't know. that's why the logic is unconvincing to me.
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  8. Radium

    Radium f k

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    what we know comes from what we've observed. based on that, this universe has shown a precedent for creating life. we know that this precedent could very easily be knocked out of wack just by slight changes. a very symphonic set of events had to come together and fall into place for this precedent that are observing to happen.

    but then again, maybe any number of type of universes could have created some kind of life. maybe this universe is not that special after all.

    thus the ability for a universe to create life is an open ended question: there could ultimately be any number of ways that can happen.

    so that question, becauyse of the limited info we have at this time, cant realistically be answered. we cant just go down a list with checks and knock off boxes for something that is potentially infinite in its scope

    it sounds like this is what youre asking for. you re asking basically for - with the knowledge we have right now about the nature of not just this universe but all of reality on the whole - a wild goose chase.

    we have to go with what we know and work from that. youre right for wanting to ask for what youre asking for but youre wrong to jump way out to that at this time.

    to me it seems like a continuation of the same all or nothing thinking that atheism works on
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  9. reggie_jax

    reggie_jax rapper noyd

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    either i haven't expressed myself properly or you just don't get what i'm saying. i'm not at all asking for you to quantize (yea im using your word) which universes could or couldn't produce life. i'm willing to accept x-cali's probability arguments for what they are, but i'm asking for the missing piece to that puzzle. in other words, its admittedly unlikely that this universe with these particular properties and parameters would have arisen from 'chance' out of all the possible universes. but as i've pointed out that statement would apply to any particular universe. now for this piece of info to actually lend credence to the design hypothesis, we necessarily need to specify why it is that this universe prompts the conclusion of design over the hypothetical alternatives. otherwise we are just marveling over the fact that our own existence was an improbable result of chance, while any possible result of chance would have necessarily been improbable in this case.
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  10. Radium

    Radium f k

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    i think based on what we know about universes (by looking at this one) the conditions for life are more intricate and delicate than conditions for non life.

    you can argue that any universe can be categorized as intricate or delicately put together and just as remarkable.

    but a big hitch in that is that we dont know about those universes. we only know about this one.

    this universe seems to be very intricately set up - because we can see how easily slight changes to it would completely alter it into being no longer conducive towards life. we can even do this in part by looking at parts of the universe which already arent.

    since these are the only examples we can go by (we cant go by other universes), we can see t hat to create life there had to be a very sophisticated level of cooperation between things to fully come together and make this phenomena occur.

    i think that strongly suggests design more than it suggests indifference. a strong suggestion of indifference would be a universe with only very basic interactions occuring in it. that would actually demonstrate a precedent for a lack of design. but thats not happening here.

    but this is only suggested

    suggestion isnt proof. i dont know how you would get your proof like i said without having access to more knowledge than we have right now.
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  11. reggie_jax

    reggie_jax rapper noyd

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    i agree that we can't really answer this question without more knowledge. i don't really think its a matter of a lack of knowledge about the universe, though. i think its a lack of knowledge as to the nature of 'design' and what that means. that is the aspect of the theory that we are assuming, that is the aspect which is being very vaguely described, and hence that is the part that needs the most improvement.

    your ideas for what indicate design seem to mirror x-cali's: in that you acknowledge that complexity in itself or intricacy in itself is not enough, but rather the fact that life has emerged and life is a fragile phenomena indicates design.

    now let me propose a couple of ideas that maybe will move this discussion along onto the next phase. we obviously can't define the signs of design as merely the exact intricate balance that our own universe has which allows for life in some sectors of said universe. you can see why that is more of a self fulfilling prophecy rather than a scientific prediction, right? that said, isolating any one of those aspects might lead to a more tangible distinction. for instance we could conclude that life is the indicator, or that complexity is the indicator, or that fragility is the indicator. if we are willing to agree on any one of these, then obviously there will still be work left to be done in establishing exactly how they relate to design. but putting that aside for the moment, we can stipulate that if our universe were to show the optimal level in any of these areas above any alternative then that would seem to be a good basis for an argument for design. following from that, if we could conceive of any mathematical alternative which also managed to produce life, or achieved a higher level of complexity, or was inherently more fragile, then we would have to throw that version of the argument for design out the window.
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  12. Radium

    Radium f k

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    ya thas was big thing i was trying to get at too though. ultimately, as of right now, we cant base conclusions about this universe from alter universes that might/might not exist.

    if youre trying to escape universe bias, you cant. at least not yet

    you cant because, by fact, we dont have enough info to abstract what other universes might be like

    i thought it was very important for my argument to establish that because i believe that when looking at this universe exclusively (and not some other abstract universes that we dont know about) it shows a precedent towards complexity/whatever

    this is a precedent that would wildly contradict any lack of design as we would understand/define it.

    at least it suggests that.

    now if this universe (again i heavily stress this is all we can really observe and thus make conclusions about right now) was lacking in any signs of complexity the way we would understand/define it

    then it would show for another a precedent: one for a lack of design

    at least it would suggest that.

    ultimately, i dont believe we can escape this reasoning.

    these are only suggestions!!

    these are not proofs by any stretch. its very important to not try to drive all the way home with a grand slam for that!! this isnt the all or nothing game!!

    at this current stage i believe we only know enough to create suggestions eg maybe x is more true than y, or whatever

    i think in atheism its very important to have absolute answers about things all the way - with atheism itself being an expression of absolutism.

    but its important to be able to admit that there might be many other possible answers all on the table, at least at the stage we are at. we have to be ready to admit that.

    i think anything that exists can probably be considered designed if you wanted under some reasoning. youre right to talk about bias towards uh ourselves as being highly designed. that is a bias - its true

    but i think our level of design is so much more than what we would understand as a lack of design that it must suggest - bias or no bias - moreso towards design than moreso towards lack of design.

    i dont understand how to escape that reasoning/bias. it would mean redefining the way we see reality.

    mind you, this is not a basis for the argument for design so much as its the suggestion towards it

    again i stress, its not an all or nothing thing
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  13. Riz

    Riz Well-Known Member

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    There is one other point that (I think) hasn't been raised yet.

    I can't explain this very well but... the reason evolution of life exists is simply because it works. Any other variation would be nonsensical and paradoxical (the weakest pass on their genes or something to that effect). I would argue that the universe as a whole works in the same way. A universe that is highly unstable wouldn't last very long and so "dies off" and can't survive. A universe that is more stable would not only last a lot longer, it would also by its very nature be more suitable for developing life at some point.

    Looking at it this way, the odds of life are dramatically decreased.

    It's interesting though how you almost certainly wouldn't have called reggie bleak even though we said the same thing.
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  14. Riz

    Riz Well-Known Member

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    Evolution shows us that complex things can be non-designed. If the universe contained life from the instant it was formed then there'd be a much stronger argument for design.

    Also, how are we defining complexity? Why is a slug more complex than a star or a black hole or hydrogen gas? In the end, everything is just matter organised in different ways.
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  15. Riz

    Riz Well-Known Member

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    A couple of other points...

    We can discuss the probability of different universes all we want, but the real chance event was something making a copy of itself that began the process of the evolution of life. A universe with the "right conditions" is necessary but not sufficient by itself for the development of complex life as we know it.

    This suggests to me that life is a consequence of the universe being ordered the way it is, but not the reason for it being that way.

    For me (more agnostic than atheist), there will never be an answer to it. Whether the ultimate cause of our universe was God or something less supernatural (I don't like that term), there seems to be only two conclusions: 'Something' has either always been here, or it came from 'nothing'. Either of those conclusions blow my mind and seem incomprehensible to me.

    I know that people will argue that God exists outside of time, but seeing as we're trapped within time, I don't see how we can really comprehend otherwise. So I definitely don't need certainty. But if we can propose a reasonable argument for how life could develop without being designed... then there's no reason to add a designer into the equation. It doesn't rule out the possibility of a designer, just the necessity of one.
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  16. x calibur

    x calibur

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    Pardon me, I'm back. First reply: (more to come)

    clearly, it's easy to be ego-centric when dealing with the universe. but I do see life as something unique. what other phenomena can compare to it? It is in flux, not static; it exchanges energy and can act as a transducer; it is highly complex.

    the reason I say that this suggests design is because of its contrast with the universe and its possibilities. I discussed previously how stuff like neutron stars and black holes are hostile and alien to any sort of life. Looking at the entire range of possibilities permitted by just our physics, most outcomes would not be hospitable to life as far as we can conceive. from the black hole universe to the hydrogen gas universe, the extremes run very far. life seems to exist almost in spite of cosmology and physics, and yet it is here in abundance.

    referring back to an earlier statement - if there are multiple universes across time, any universe that ended in a big freeze or big rip would need someone to push a restart button. the universe in that case wouldn't be able to reset itself for another big bang. the existence of other universes next to ours is challenged by the continuous expansion of our own universe.

    so, if there have been many universes before this one, that by itself suggests a designer.

    as far as criteria, I'd say that complexity and stability can be used. in particular, an ordered universe that houses fragile and complex structures, that exists almost in spite of the range of physical possibilities is a strong indicator of a designer, which is the case with our universe.

    I'll tie this in with a more mundane example. studying the south american deserts, you may find some patterns and shapes created by natural processes. but archaeologists have also found huge patterned glyphs carved out of the rock. one could argue that these drawings came from an unlikely natural, random process. but the consensus is that given the complexity, fragility, and order, that they were man-made. they were designed. (Nazca Lines - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    given that a random creation of the universe could've ended up in so many different ways, I find it notable that it ended up in a way so consistent with design. I gave the previous example as a precedent and example to processes of intelligent design as compared to random events. (although it is very rough, given that human intelligence cannot approach an intelligence beyond time and space)

    As I said, these discussions border on philosophy due to the testability being out of our reach. Even the nature of the Big Bang is not agreed upon. Whatever gave rise to the big bang, or existed before it, is something that simply can't be accessed. The designer exists beyond space and time. The physical dimensions can be carefully experimented on, even with thought experiments for difficult issues. But concepts about the nature of the universe and what might lie beyond it is consigned to philosophy structured by science.


    that would be correct.
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  17. x calibur

    x calibur

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    I suppose. but things are still murky when constructing other possible universes. Figuring out how they would unfold to the point of what quantity and quality of life (or other structure of comparable complexity and fragility) they would support, is beyond our ability.

    Even if we could come up with viable alternate universes, there is still the issue that the odds are stacked against a random universe taking on these characteristics, as far as we can see. We also haven't finished exploring our own universe and the life it may contain.


    an evolution of the universe? maybe so, but there is our current understanding and how it relates to multiverse ideas. In the previous post, I mentioned other universes in time as well as "space", and how cosmology argues against that. The universe evolving from unstable to stable would be particularly prone to getting "stuck" in a big freeze or big rip, which would need some sort of higher power to continue the cycle of universe evolution.


    As I said before, our work on this universe is still very unfinished. It is clear that life got started on earth fairly early in its history. The existence of life in the universe, and how far the history of life stretches back as compared to the age of the universe, are largely unanswered questions.


    A slug is definitely more complex than hydrogen or stars. you must consider the prerequisites. The Big Bang creates hydrogen and helium as the first building blocks. These are forged into heaver elements by stars, so heavier elements have another step in their creation. Life is an ordered combination of (mostly) heavier elements. It is complex, working as an energy exchanger, transducer, and can change and adapt. A cloud of hydrogen gas simply doesn't have these properties. A star might have some of them, but not all. Clearly, the properties of life and the process of its development set it apart from other phenomena.
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  18. x calibur

    x calibur

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    The origins of life are yet another unanswered question.

    Certainly the universe isn't ordered around an arbitrary form of life, as many lifeforms have evolved and gone extinct on this planet. Then life is a consequence of the universe, and possibly an intended one.


    you could create arguments for a universe that allows life, and the formation of life, without a designer. many have done so. but in comparison to the range of outcomes of a random universe, along with other evidence, our situation is consistent with a designer.



    This post leads to another important point I'd like to introduce. It is clear that the universe is ~13.7 billion years old. It had a finite beginning. Somehow, the universe began with the big bang, expanding from an infinitesimally small size of enormous energy density into the universe we know today. If there was no existence before that, how did the seed of energy come to be? One explanation that makes sense is that there was some force that exists beyond time and space that created our time and space. This would be the designer/architect/God we argue about. Being beyond time and space, it wouldn't be subject to our restrictions, and it would be without beginning or end as we understand. This at least illustrates a cause and effect that is more sensible than something from nothing.
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  19. x calibur

    x calibur

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    word, appreciated. and the bolded part is all I can ask for.

    those posts should cover the recent discussion, although I'm sure there's more to be ironed out.
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  20. reggie_jax

    reggie_jax rapper noyd

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    it's here in abundance on one planet that we know of which happens to be very hospitable towards life. the fact that most of the universe seems so hostile towards life seems to go against the argument that life is the intended purpose of the universe, rather than support it.

    it does give us an objective reason to consider life as something special, but when you factor in the sheer size of the universe and the number of planetary bodies involved, the fact that life exists here on this one planet in spite of the hostilities exhibited elsewhere seems to have certain implications for the design in question. namely that it either does not prioritize life in the same way that we do, or that it is without design at all.

    you know it occurs to me that in considering all the possible criteria for design we might have missed a crucial one - efficiency. if life were the ultimate goal then why is all this 'filler' even necessary? even if the filler might play a crucial role in our own form of life, isn't the fact that so many random events and trial and error need to occur an indication that there is not a higher agency at work, rather than a suggestion that there must be one simply because those trial and errors did eventually lead to something as amazing as life?



    i don't see how you can really make either one of those statements. as for a big freeze or big rip requiring someone to push the restart button, that seems to assume that it would necessarily be one universe that was recycling itself big bang to big crunch style. if you consider eternal inflation theory, the most popular model of a multiverse, where the idea is that our own universe is a bubble formed in the larger background space then i can't see why after the universe were to die another bubble couldn't have formed or even why other universes haven't formed in other portions of that background space already. saying that the fact that our universe is expanding indicates that there aren't other universes out there seems to place some sort of arbitrary limit on how much 'space' just might be out there. if anything it's only evidence that we haven't collided with any other universe yet. though i'd say even that is not conclusive.
    First evidence of other universes that exist alongside our own 'discovered' | Mail Online

    but following from the your logic, would the fact that our universe is seemingly destined to die in one of the above ways not be a fatal blow against the argument for design? if the priority is to allow for the eventual arisal of life then what is the sense in creating a universe that will eventually expand to the point of the disintegration of that life and of all the matter that makes it possible, or a universe that collapses back in onto itself in a big crunch scenario, or a universe where the fabric of space is stretched to the point of 'ripping' which destroys said universe and everything that inhabits it?

    which is of course specifically tailored to our own universe and the unlikely emergence of life in small sectors of said universe. does design shape the universe, or does our universe shape design?

    using stability as a criteria for design only lends credence to the argument for the time being since the universe still (at this point) supports life. ultimately it would mean our current cosmological models for the projected future of the universe indicate a lack of design, as i have pointed to above.

    but is it complexity that makes them seem man made, or is it that the thing looks sorta like rough drawing of a monkey? surely they're not any more complex than lets say the grand canyon, another pattern that was etched into the southwest desert by natural forces. they clearly resemble human based art/symbols so the conclusion that they're man made is not much of a stretch. it is like if god etched the grand canyon to spell out 'god was here' in a human based language.





    true, and it is my position that as things stand right now any conclusion on the existence or non-existence of god requires some sort of philosophical leap. but if god does factor into the science then i don't necessarily see why it can never be confirmed or denied.
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