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07/08/2013 01:46:40 PM · #226
Cory, all options one through four are not testable in the scientific sense (#4 is, in a manner, testable), yet they are our only options (despite Shannon).
07/08/2013 02:24:11 PM · #227
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Can you explain an inverse gambler's fallacy for the uninitiated among us?

Sure... somebody tosses a bunch of dice into a room. You walk in and see that the numbers are all sixes or happen to match your SS#. The inverse Gambler's Fallacy would be making the assumption that the dice must have been planted that way simply because of the improbability that those numbers came up when in reality ANY set of numbers would be equally improbable (and one of those equally unlikely sets of numbers was absolutely certain to occur). If some alternate settings of the universe were equally likely, then whatever constants emerged should be no more surprising than a random hand from a deck of cards. That our particular set is conducive to life in rare niches is fortunate, but need not be planned.

The fine tuning argument assumes that changing one constant wouldn't be compensated by another and that life couldn't have evolved under other conditions... neither of which are necessarily true. Suppose we find life on Europa or another star system that's based on silicon or doesn't require water? We don't definitively know what conditions are necessary for life or whether it's even possible for the universe to be any other way. Perhaps some other configuration of the universe is possible in theory, but impossible in reality. We don't know, so fine tuning cannot be assumed. You may be giving us four options to explain why the earth is flat.

Message edited by author 2013-07-08 15:50:27.
07/08/2013 02:30:11 PM · #228
So you are a #4 guy...
07/08/2013 03:08:51 PM · #229
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

So you are a #4 guy...


Except that you insist that the reasons why it is not unlikely are 'as of yet undiscovered'.

Which, of course, we've gone through. Given the nature of the problem, unlikely is actually unlikely - in fact, the probability is actually =1, since it is pretty inescapable that we only know of one universe, and it does seem to have been created as it is.

Surely, you at least have a rudimentary understanding of feedback mechanisms, and the way they balance out things on a cosmological scale. Take any number of examples of this that we have measured (one example is the complex feedback mechanisms that are in play within the atmospheric cycle of our planet).

The biggest problem that we, as scientists, face is the fact that we are looking at only a VERY limited data set - we can only see now, and we can only see what we can see/measure/observe from our position, and with our limited senses.

Unlikely? Not at all! Fine-tuned? No more than the hole the puddle finds itself in.
07/08/2013 03:19:44 PM · #230
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

So you are a #4 guy...

I'm a #5 guy: Fine-tuning is a laughable fallacy, and no reason is necessary to explain a flawed premise. If you can't get that through your skull, then YOU pick:

1) The flat earth is highly unlikely, but an active entity (ie. God) has ensured that it is so, so that ships don't have to sail uphill.
2) The flat earth is highly unlikely, but just by luck the combination that exists supports ship navigation.
3) The flat earth is highly unlikely, but there are such a vast number of other shapes that it is not unlikely that at least one of them is flat.
4) There are as yet undiscovered reasons why the apparent flat earth is not highly unlikely.
07/08/2013 03:30:52 PM · #231
I love your hubris. I guess you had best start writing some letters to various scientific entities because they are under the impression it actually IS a problem...
07/08/2013 03:47:44 PM · #232
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

I love your hubris. I guess you had best start writing some letters to various scientific entities because they are under the impression it actually IS a problem...

I'll try to get to them when I'm done writing to various scientific entities studying UFOs, ghosts and precognition. Busy, busy.

Message edited by author 2013-07-08 15:48:03.
07/08/2013 03:54:34 PM · #233
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

I love your hubris. I guess you had best start writing some letters to various scientific entities because they are under the impression it actually IS a problem...


I think that sounds like a good idea.

I'll start the writing.

Would you please be so kind as to point out the reputable scientific entities/institutions who have been so foolish as to claim that this problem results in a god? I would like to soundly thrash them for their irresponsibility.

Thanks for your help, I appreciate it, as I was completely unaware that any reputable scientific institutions had taken this evidence as an indication of god.

Message edited by author 2013-07-08 15:55:05.
07/08/2013 04:24:57 PM · #234
Originally posted by Cory:

Would you please be so kind as to point out the reputable scientific entities/institutions who have been so foolish as to claim that this problem results in a god? I would like to soundly thrash them for their irresponsibility.


I never said they did. They tend to be #3 people (or maybe #4 people). Shannon doesn't even think it's a real issue. In fact, it's "laughable" to think it is (according to him). That's why I thought it would be good for him to alert these entities before they get egg on their face.

If you want an example of an individual who would qualify per above, I recommend reading up onJohn Polkinghorne. He was a quantum physicist who became an Anglican priest. He is well written and you might gain insight into Christian scientists through his books.

Here's his quote on the whole problem (he actually quotes Dyson), "The more I examine the universe and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming" and suggests there is a wide consensus amongst physicists that either there are a very large number of other universes in the Multiverse or that "there is just one universe which is the way it is in its anthropic fruitfulness because it is the expression of the purposive design of a Creator, who has endowed it with the finely tuned potentialty for life.""

He's a #1 guy (as am I), but allows for #3 (which I allow for as well).
07/08/2013 06:42:44 PM · #235
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

.... and suggests there is a wide consensus amongst physicists that either there are a very large number of other universes in the Multiverse or that "there is just one universe which is the way it is in its anthropic fruitfulness because it is the expression of the purposive design of a Creator, who has endowed it with the finely tuned potentialty for life.""


Complete and utter bullshit.

Wide consensus huh?

I suppose worded like that, there is a wide consensus among people that the sun sets, or murder is ok.

wide consensus.. I see why you come to the conclusions you do, reading trash like that.

Again, I'm concerned that you didn't immediately spot that fallacy.
07/08/2013 07:13:22 PM · #236
Originally posted by Cory:

Complete and utter bullshit.

"I find Polkinghorne’s theology altogether too narrow for my taste. I have no use for a theology that claims to know the answers to deep questions but bases its arguments on the beliefs of a single tribe." -Dyson

Message edited by author 2013-07-08 19:14:44.
07/08/2013 07:20:26 PM · #237
Ad hominem, your honor.

Edit: sorry guys. I can't handle you both at once. Too much grief for too little payoff.

Message edited by author 2013-07-08 19:27:07.
07/08/2013 07:31:47 PM · #238
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Ad hominem, your honor.

Edit: sorry guys. I can't handle you both at once. Too much grief for too little payoff.


? No ad hominem.

That's not fair.

I was very careful to word my posts such that you are not at all the subject.

Yes, there is a fallacy, and yes, it does seem strange that you would walk past it.

Sorry if you see that as a personal and direct attack.

ETA: I'll take a break since you've requested it.

You and Shannon can play for a while, I'll go do something else.

Message edited by author 2013-07-08 19:36:29.
07/08/2013 08:12:19 PM · #239
Originally posted by Cory:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Ad hominem, your honor.


? No ad hominem.

IMO the 'bullshit' piece wasn't ad hominem, but "I'm concerned that you didn't immediately spot that fallacy" was borderline. Although I'd like to know which part was perceived as such.
07/08/2013 08:16:43 PM · #240
Originally posted by JH:

Originally posted by Cory:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Ad hominem, your honor.


? No ad hominem.

IMO the 'bullshit' piece wasn't ad hominem, but "I'm concerned that you didn't immediately spot that fallacy" was borderline. Although I'd like to know which part was perceived as such.


Fair enough.

It's just that he is quite quick to point out any fallacies that others commit, so there is an element of genuine surprise that he wouldn't have spotted what I think is a rather glaring problem with the quote he posted.

Message edited by author 2013-07-08 20:18:22.
07/08/2013 11:09:06 PM · #241
Just to be clear, I didn't think someone was ad hominem attacking me. I was saying the quote by Dyson on Polkinghorne was ad hominem. In essence Dyson was saying he didn't care for Polkinghorne's Christianity. That's ok (Dyson is welcome to his opinion), but it has nothing to do with the accuracy or inaccuracy of Polkinghorne's quote on fine tuning and the universe. (And, BTW, I don't disagree with you about the phrase "widespread agreement". It IS a bit broad in its claim. That was the least important part and I mainly was giving a quote from someone who fit you request for a scientist who believed the fine tuning pointed to God.)
07/08/2013 11:22:06 PM · #242
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by Shannon:

A god can never answer the question of ultimate origin because it always leaves something without an origin: the god.

ALL origin stories are going to wind up with something without an origin. No? This isn't fatal to the rationality of the concept. We are ALWAYS going to wind up with some first cause.

Oops... I missed this other baseless assumption. Not everything has an origin in the finite sense (a mobius strip or a path on a sphere, for example). While it's popular to speculate on an original cause for the universe (and required for religion), there cannot be causality without time. Any purported creator is inescapably shackled to the existence of time since there can't be a "before and after" without time to define the event. The Bible's own story of creation describes a progression of events over a period of time, not outside it. Thus, a creator must work within time... and if time exists, then so does space-time and no assembly is required.
07/08/2013 11:32:22 PM · #243
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

I was saying the quote by Dyson on Polkinghorne was ad hominem.

After all these years it's astounding that you still don't have even a basic grasp of fallacy. An ad hominem is an argument based solely upon who made the claim, and Dyson didn't do that at all. He specifically objected to "a theology that claims to know the answers to deep questions but bases its arguments on the beliefs of a single tribe." The same objection would hold no matter who made the claim.
07/09/2013 12:03:03 AM · #244
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

I was saying the quote by Dyson on Polkinghorne was ad hominem.

After all these years it's astounding that you still don't have even a basic grasp of fallacy. An ad hominem is an argument based solely upon who made the claim, and Dyson didn't do that at all. He specifically objected to "a theology that claims to know the answers to deep questions but bases its arguments on the beliefs of a single tribe." The same objection would hold no matter who made the claim.

It's still ad hominem whether it's directed at an individual or a tribe. Or shall I direct my attention to the "tribe" of scientists that, while perhaps not claiming to "know" the answers to certain deep questions, nevertheless feels that it knows enough to categorically debunk the approach of certain other tribes.

Because, Shannon, if you're honest you'll admit that we see this all the time out in the big world, and in our little world here as well, where individuals categorically refuse to listen to or attempt to comprehend the arguments of those who believe in God. Even more offensive is how those individuals often stoop to belittling the other side, as if somehow this proves their superiority in the debate.
07/09/2013 12:21:55 AM · #245
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

It's still ad hominem whether it's directed at an individual or a tribe.

If that's an ad hominem, then all religions are guilty of it since each claims exclusivity to truth and rejects others for who they are. However I read it as rejecting claims of knowledge based on belief, with the "single tribe" only further narrowing what amount to opinions. To continue Dyson's quote, "I am a practicing Christian but not a believing Christian. To me, to worship God means to recognize that mind and intelligence are woven into the fabric of our universe in a way that altogether surpasses our comprehension. When I listen to Polkinghorne describing the afterlife, I think of God answering Job out of the whirlwind, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?… Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding…. Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? Or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?”

In other words, he has no need for claims of specific knowledge that turn out to be mere personal conviction with no way of knowing anything. That we would favor one particular group's baseless opinion over another only compounds the offense. This has nothing at all to do with WHO makes the claim, therefore it's not an ad hominem.
07/09/2013 12:29:49 AM · #246
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

I was saying the quote by Dyson on Polkinghorne was ad hominem.

After all these years it's astounding that you still don't have even a basic grasp of fallacy. An ad hominem is an argument based solely upon who made the claim, and Dyson didn't do that at all. He specifically objected to "a theology that claims to know the answers to deep questions but bases its arguments on the beliefs of a single tribe." The same objection would hold no matter who made the claim.

It's still ad hominem whether it's directed at an individual or a tribe. Or shall I direct my attention to the "tribe" of scientists that, while perhaps not claiming to "know" the answers to certain deep questions, nevertheless feels that it knows enough to categorically debunk the approach of certain other tribes.

Because, Shannon, if you're honest you'll admit that we see this all the time out in the big world, and in our little world here as well, where individuals categorically refuse to listen to or attempt to comprehend the arguments of those who believe in God. Even more offensive is how those individuals often stoop to belittling the other side, as if somehow this proves their superiority in the debate.


OK, I swore to leave Jason alone. You're fair game brother. :D

I admit, I am guilty, from time to time, of what you claim above.

However, to put this in terms that the religious can understand, for the tribe of Science, the sin of claiming knowledge, without having said knowledge, is a violation of all we hold sacred. It is not entirely dissimilar from those who are offended when the Quran is burned, or those who are offended by the forced marriage and sexual use of girls who are effectively still children, or any one of a thousand things the ADL has come out against.

Yet, we are subjected to it everyday, and when we object, we are told that we are being intolerant bastards.
01/14/2014 05:21:57 AM · #247
Interesting, let me think about this one :)
03/22/2014 12:08:45 PM · #248
We may "know" the Earth is spherical

It's more of an oblate spheroid. Science has told us this.

Message edited by author 2014-03-22 12:08:51.
04/29/2014 11:56:46 AM · #249
Originally posted by johnnyphoto:

if evolution is the true explanation for the origin of life


It's not. ToE has nothing to do with the origins of life.

edit: Sorry if this has already been addressed. Late to the party here. :-/ Like really really late.

Message edited by author 2014-04-29 12:00:28.
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