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September 23, 2014

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The video states that the physical constants "have been independently balanced," but why couldn't all the constants be related to each other?

Suppose all the physical constants are derived from just one value, such as the Planck constant. In that case, the values would just be what they are.

There couldn't be any fine tuning in that case, because fine tuning only refers to the values of the constants in relation to each other, but if they are all derived from one root value, then their relative values would be the same no matter what.

"Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, "This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, may have been made to have me in it!" This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise." - Douglas Adams

While I appreciate the intent of this video, and it's creative approach, I think it's not wise to list necessity, chance and design as possible explanations.

Explanations have to exist as real things that can take action. Explanations - whatever form they take - must be capable of causing an effect of some kind. None of these things exist in that sense. Saying 'necessity' caused this fine-tuned universe to exist makes no sense to me. What is a necessity?

Francis,

Imagine a puddle ...

And yet fading as a puddle can be, the simple scientific notion of the water cycle, evaporation, condensation, precipitation, distribution, is simple proof that puddles (while not sentient creatures pining over their own existence) are appreciated in a fine-tuned universe. - Douglas Adams' thought hijacked and extended down a brighter avenue of thought.

And while the sceptic denounces any objective worth of life, the existence of morality, beauty and rationality with their mouths, they move from moment to moment living out and affirming these truths by their actions, every single day. No excuse.

Design, by necessity with a schmaltz of chance for smooth effect. It wouldn't fly if it was all up to law or luck.

Suppose all the physical constants are derived from just one value, such as the Planck constant. In that case, the values would just be what they are.
Do you have any reason for thinking that this might be the case?

I doubt very much that it is.

But even if it were the case, that would just show how very finely tuned the Planck constant is.

And in any case, the fact of fine tuning is really beside the case. The fact that there is a universe that is tunable at all, finely or otherwise, really settles the question of design.

Someone says, "Look! I found a radio and it's tuned in perfectly to the only radio station, a feat of tuning that would be difficult to pull off even for a master radio tuner. It would have been impossible for that radio to just have been tuned in by chance."

Someone else says, "Well what if there were infinitely many radios so many that virtually every frequency is tuned in on one of them. Don't be so surprised then, at one of the radios that happens to be tuned in that it is so tuned."

Does it strike no one as obvious that you've got a designer on your hands by the time you say "Look! I found a radio"?

I'm not sure what is more incoherent, talk of puddles or schmaltzy necessity.

If you guys have a point, I do wish that you'd make it.

No, it doesn't matter what the Planck constant is, if all the other constants are derived from it. The Planck constant can just be whatever it happens to be, so it's not a question of any fine-tuning in that case.

If everything else is derived from the Planck constant, then there would be no independent way to measure the Planck constant. It would just exist.

"The fact that there is a universe that is tunable at all, finely or otherwise, really settles the question of design"

How so?

@John Moore and Wisdom Lover
I think John (correct me if I am wrong) is just using Planck's constant as a 'for example'. Actually, just Planck's constant would not be enough - you need at least three constants with appropriate dimensions to define the length scale, the distance scale and the mass scale: (Planck length, Planck mass, and Planck time - see http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/Cosmo/PlanckScale.pdf) For that we need Planck's constant, the speed of light, and the gravitational constant.

However, suppose a fundamental physical theory can be constructed that can 'generate' all of the constants of QFT's standard model, and manages to unify QFT and GR to boot. That does not eliminate the fine tuning issue, it just moves it to another, more fundamental level. You'd be left with the particular values of that theory's free parameters *and* the specific relationships that generate all of the other coupling constants, as WisdomLover pointed out. Even if the theory had no free parameters at all, one would still have to consider that generating functions of the other coupling constants had precisely the forms that generated *exactly* the precise values that get used in QFT or GR, and so on up the line.

A good example, I think, is the electromagnetic fine structure constant (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-structure_constant for details). It's value is actually derived from other constants (Planck's, speed of light, the fundamental charge of the electron, and the dielectric permittivity of free space) - gosh, does anyone know how to put math symbols and equations in here :) ?. But, that did not arise out of thin air, it follows from quantum electrodynamics (essentially relativistic quantum mechanics).

Whenever fine tuning is discussed, it seems that most people think it is all about the values of the constants, but there is much more - one also has to consider the mathematical structure of the physical theories in which those constants appear - where did that come from?

ack - that should read "length scale, mass scale and time scale. :)

an even better reference to Planck units

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_units

"one also has to consider the mathematical structure of the physical theories in which those constants appear - where did that come from?"

Right. That's what I was saying about the fact of a tunable universe.

TGS's question "How so?" suggests that he wants to deny the impact of that.

@John, I think Victoria has already comprehensively answered this.

However, I still want to make sure that I have your idea right in my mind, and I haven't missed anything.

You speculate that all constants may be derived from a single constant (e.g. Planck constant), right? Pretending that is the case, there would have to be a set of ratios between the Planck constant and the other constants, right? But what I can't get my head around is wouldn't these ratios just be constants in themselves? If you adjusted any of the ratios by the tiniest amount, the whole thing still falls apart.

So, I'm confused as to what it actually solves (unless I've misunderstood things).

No, it doesn't matter what the Planck constant is, if all the other constants are derived from it. The Planck constant can just be whatever it happens to be, so it's not a question of any fine-tuning in that case.

If everything else is derived from the Planck constant, then there would be no independent way to measure the Planck constant. It would just exist.

This seriously makes no sense.

I'm not sure how to even begin.

Suppose that everything derives from the Planck Constant. So let's suppose that

  1. The speed of light is 22/7 times the Planck Constant
  2. The Gravitational constant is eleventy-one times the Planck Constant
  3. The permittivity of free space is one billion times the Planck Constant
  4. All the other fundamental constants are equal to the Planck Constant times 17
Now apparently it doesn't matter what the Planck Constant is. It is whatever it is, say 42, and apparently the X-Ray Crystal Density measurements can't be used to measure it.

Now everything is fine....though it needn't be finely tuned!

John, confine Arithmancy discussions to Hogwarts.

I think there is a misunderstanding of what it means for a theory to have free parameters. A free parameter is one whose value is not determined by the theoretical model, and must be put in by hand, as it were, in order to fit the theory to experimental data. It could also mean that the value of the free parameter has to be determined by experiment, if possible. The point is, a free parameter is always subject to tuning, since its value is not determined by theory.

A theory with no free parameters at all can still be thought of as fine-tuned, because of the specific form of the mathematical structure of the theory (I think Max Tegmark makes this case - check out his web site and his mathematical universes hypothesis). Of all the viable mathematical models one could construct for a universe, only some of them would result in universes similar enough to ours. You'd still be left with explaining how our universe got its specific mathematical structure (and those generating functions for the physical constants, assuming no free parameters are needed). Brute fact? Multiverse? (that just pushes the argument back to the multiverse's mathematical structure, ad infinitum). Design?
As a Biblical Christian Theist, Design is my inference to the best explanation :)

"A free parameter is one whose value is not determined by the theoretical model, and must be put in by hand, as it were, in order to fit the theory to experimental data. It could also mean that the value of the free parameter has to be determined by experiment, if possible. The point is, a free parameter is always subject to tuning, since its value is not determined by theory."

I get that.

I wonder how many free parameters there really are. Probably a lot more than we think, it's just that for most of them, their values happen to be 1 or 0.

@WisdomLover
I didn't mean you, in particular :)

these are the free parameters in current QFT
http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/constants.html and http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/constants_table.pdf

or, for a list of all the physical constants
http://web.mit.edu/birge/Public/formulas/phys-const.pdf

There is a bit of arbitrariness in choosing which subset of all the constants one wants to consider as the free ones that the others are derived from. For example, the speed of light has been set to its current value by convention, even though it can be expressed in terms of the dielectric permittivity of free space, and the magnetic permeability of free space (if one writes Maxwell's equations in SI units).

There are a lot, and currently, there is no established theory more fundamental than QFT and GR. String theory can in principle calculate the coupling constants and masses of the fundamental particles ande fields, but it still has free parameters (at least 5 - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_units#sthash.x7aE4UR0.dpuf again).


I don't know why John thinks that Planck's constant could not be determined experimentally anyway. Surely he must realize that it had to be determined that way in the first place.

http://iopscience.iop.org/0034-4885/76/1/016101/pdf/0034-4885_76_1_016101.pdf

oh, sorry, John, I just re-read your comment - you said, no independent way to measure it.

But, if the constants of the hypothetical theory are indeed free parameters, then the values have to be determined either directly or indirectly from experimental data - there is just no way around that.

The fine structure constant is a good example, again. Even though it is derivable from other constants, it can be determined independently of those constants, by measuring the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon (see https://pdg.web.cern.ch/pdg/2012/reviews/rpp2012-rev-g-2-muon-anom-mag-moment.pdf or http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic1146665.files/III-3-AnomalousMagneticMoment.pdf) - QFT / QED has a perturbation expansion calculation of the mm in powers of alpha (the fine structure constant) - one can independently measure the mm, and infer alpha from theory http://www.riken.jp/lab-www/theory/colloquium/kinoshita.pdf

The point is that there are certain constants in the fundamental equations of physics, and no law of nature establishes what those constants are.

True, you could choose your units so that all or most of those constants are equal to unity...e.g. if you give time and distance in years and lightyears, then c = 1.

Now c=1, but the once constant length of the lightyear and the duration of the year become variables in your system, you can't define them, as we currently do, in terms of numbers of transitional periods in cesium atoms, because as soon as you do that, c won't be fixed at 1 anymore.

It's the simple logic of the equations...you need so many pieces of information to 'complete' the system.

@WisdomLover
The point is that there are certain constants in the fundamental equations of physics, and no law of nature establishes what those constants are. - See more at: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2014/09/a-finely-tuned-universe-necessity-chance-or-design.html?cid=6a00d83451d2ba69e201b7c6e782a3970b#comment-form

Exactly! :)

I find it amusing that apparently the designer is so limited by this set of constants and whose creative potential is restricted to tweaking a set of parameters.

And then the best that appears is an almost inconceivably large void of nothingness, dotted by balls of plasma/hot gas.

Hardly fine tuned for life....... more like finely tuned for black holes.

Attempting to turn off italics

Hope that worked.

One more time

Victoria had ended her comment with an extra italics tag...she hadn't just forgotten her closing one. (So what she really missed was that pesky slash in the closing tag.)

Hope that fixed it.

I find it amusing that apparently the designer is so limited by this set of constants and whose creative potential is restricted to tweaking a set of parameters.
Who said anything about God being limited to anything? That, TGS, is your fever dream.

Also I take it from your amusement that you think you could do sooo much better. You could have come up with a different set of regular laws discoverable and capable of being relied upon by the limited beings in the universe you purposed to create. A system of nature that would have supported life and wouldn't have needed all that troublesome tuning.

Knock yourself out O great one!

As for this:

And then the best that appears is an almost inconceivably large void of nothingness, dotted by balls of plasma/hot gas.

Hardly fine tuned for life....... more like finely tuned for black holes.

I'd have said "for heat death" at the end there.

And then I'd think to myself "Welcome to a world designed for life, but living under the sentence of death."

@TGS
Then you really don't seem to grasp the significance of the physics behind the fine-tuning argument. As I said, it is much more than just the values of constants being set to such precise values, with very narrow PDF's defining the suitable ranges for a universe with the characteristics of ours.
Given the laws of physics as we have them, the size, age and matter distribution of the universe is ideally suited to the development and sustainability of organic, carbon-based life as we know it, anyway.
That you can write what you have suggests to me that you understand neither the fine-tuning argument nor the Christian viewpoint of God as Creator.

It is also the mathematical structure and form(s) of the laws of physics, which describe the properties and dynamics of space-time, particles and fields, which are also just right, as well as expressed by just a small number of integrative and unifying principles.
Consider two fundamental principles that are essential to modern physics - the fact that the dynamics of a system can be expressed by a Lagrangian subject to the principle of least action, and requiring that action to be a Lorentz invariant scalar quantity - there are only two forms of the Lagrangian that will correctly describe the dynamics of particles interacting with a potential 'field', for example - one way leads to electromagnetism, and ultimately Quantum Field Theory, the other to General Relativity.

God's creative potential and wisdom are expressed in the elegance and simplicity of the principles He used to specify the kind of physical universe that would suit His purposes.

From a Biblical viewpoint, the idea that the universe has been deliberately designed in such a way as to make life as we know it possible, perhaps even inevitable, is completely expected.

"Who said anything about God being limited to anything? That, TGS, is your fever dream"

If that isn't the case, then why are you banging on about the universe being finely tuned? You cant have it both ways!

"Also I take it from your amusement that you think you could do sooo much better"

Nope - nice go at poisoning the well tho'.

"A system of nature that would have supported life and wouldn't have needed all that troublesome tuning"

There you go - confirming the point I make above! Whats the point of the fine tuning if your chosen brand of deity is under no such constraints because it is omnipotent?!

Thanks, WisdomLover :)
Nice to see you are on top of things!

@WisdomLover
That's what I get for letting my fingernails grow long :) Typo's!

If that isn't the case, then why are you banging on about the universe being finely tuned? You cant have it both ways!
Do you understand the difference between the following two sentences?
  1. The universe shows signs of being designed by an intelligent creator, because the laws that govern the universe are so finely tuned.
  2. The Creator of the Universe is limited, because all He can do is tweak parameters in the laws that govern the Universe.
Because I do.

I affirm the first, so I 'bang on' about fine tuning because I think it shows that the Universe is designed. I don't think it says anything about the worlds God could have made, but didn't (which is what would be relevant to the question of Omnipotence).

Unless what you mean is this:

Why couldn't God have made the world governed by all the same laws that it has, but with the constants all set to 10, and still had it support life? Isn't that a limit in His so called Omnipotence?

And the answer is "Yes, in the same way that the fact that God cannot make a circle with four equal straight sides and four equal right angles is a limit in His so-called Omnipotence"

Now this

you think you could do sooo much better"
Nope - nice go at poisoning the well tho'.
Well, I don't want to start a forum on informal logic here, but I don't think you know what the fallacy of poisoning the well is.

But I will ask this: Whence the amusement?

Aren't you amused because theists believe such silly things? Like that the universe we have with the laws it has is the best God could come up with? (Something no Christian theist claims by the bye.)

But to find that belief silly, don't you have to have a pretty good idea of how it could be better?

So once again, knock yourself out.

Finally this

There you go - confirming the point I make above! Whats the point of the fine tuning if your chosen brand of deity is under no such constraints because it is omnipotent?!
What point that you made above? You mean the point, claimed by no one except you, that God is limited?

Once again, the point of fine-tuning is that it shows evidence of an Intelligent Creator, not that it displays God's Omnipotence or that it fails to display God's Omnipotence. The point is that you can't get along with a comprehensive view of the world that includes only matter in the void.

Or is your point that you don't see why God should have to make a system of regular laws that limited beings can comprehend, at least if they work really hard at it? Why not just make incomprehensible laws?

Is it too much to say that He might have chosen to put us, limited as we are, in a comprehensible rather than an incomprehensible world for our sake? He decided to make us, and not only that, to make us and make the world He would put us in such that we'd be able to get along.

We might suppose that God is the sort of individual who puts birds in an aquarium and fish in an aviary.

But isn't it at least possible that He's the sort of being that puts birds in an aviary and fish in an aquarium? And that He put us in an environment that suits us?

Isn't that a reasonable possibility? Or is that just another item of amusement?

But why not put the bird in the aquarium but then arrange things so that the bird could get along there? You might ask.

OK. How? Should the birds be given gills instead of lungs, and scales instead of feathers? Or should the aquarium be emptied of water and have the glass perforated so air can get through? Or what?

When you change things so that the bird can live in the aquarium, you either change things so you don't have a bird anymore, or so that you don't have an aquarium anymore, or so that you don't have either. And one thing that even God 'cannot do' is make an aquarium that is not an aquarium or a bird that is not a bird. (Not that that's really any limit at all...as Lewis said, putting "God can" in front of nonsense doesn't turn it into sense.)

Wisdom Lover

"I 'bang on' about fine tuning because I think it shows that the Universe is designed"

And I disagree.

"the point of fine-tuning is that it shows evidence of an Intelligent Creator"

I disagree.

The rest of your post is simply confusion about the point I'm making and semantics

Fine tuning implies a strict set of physical laws. Yes or no?

If yes, then how is God not limited in this universe?
If no then what on earth are you arguing about?

Victoria

"Given the laws of physics as we have them, the size, age and matter distribution of the universe is ideally suited to the development and sustainability of organic, carbon-based life as we know it, anyway."

Ideally suited? Excuse me? How do you arrive at that conclusion? In what way is the universe IDEALLY SUITED for 'life as we know it'? This is a rose tinted view of the facts.

"That you can write what you have suggests to me that you understand neither the fine-tuning argument nor the Christian viewpoint of God as Creator"

Why what did I miss?

BTW, I understand the physics just fine thanks ;)

@TGS
Yes, ideally suited - that is the fine-tuning argument, condensed down to its essence. That's why I suggested that you missed the point. The fine tuning argument is all about setting up the characteristics of a universe suitable for at least one type of life to evolve and flourish somewhere - since our planet is the only place we know of where our type (collectively, our biosphere) is found, naturally we focus on the constraints needed for our own biosphere.


You have the argument backwards, I think, in respect to the supposed limitations of God; yes, fine tuning does imply a suitable set of properties and dynamics for a particular physical universe ( mathematical structure, values of fundamental constants and initial conditions) with desired characteristics, but that neither limits God's omniscience nor His omnipotence - He can design and implement any self-consistent set of those things, and I'll wager that He is not bothered about Godel's incompleteness theorems, either. His omniscience gives God the ability to pick exactly the right set that will produce a universe in accordance with His larger, eternal purposes, and His omnipotence gives God the ability to command such a universe to be born, evolve, be suitable for the kinds of living things that He wants (perhaps even produce them - I'm cool with that), and ultimately, living beings that He can imprint His image upon. Currently, human beings are the only such beings we know about, but that does not preclude God having done the same throughout the universe.

God is free to author as many stories as He chooses - the Bible tells our story, it's our drama, one where we get to freely contribute to the plot, and there is no reason why it should include other stories that may be unfolding elsewhere.

BTW - glad you understand the physics :) Are you a physicist too? I'm always happy to interact with a fellow professional.

@TGS
Here is a typical Christian perspective on fine tuning:
Bio-Logos' Fine Tuning.

Also, fellow physicist Luke Barnes has had a lot to say about fine tuning here. AFAIK, Luke is not a Theist, at least not yet.

Hi Victoria

Im not a physicist - I got a degree in natural Sciences many moons ago but I keep my hand in.

You've got the fine tuning thing wrong. The universe is not fine tuned for life. Your God is an incompetent designer if it takes that volume of universe to create this insignificant volume of life. Seriously, life is so rare in the Universe it's astonishing.

We arose because the laws of physics permitted our existence, and the relevant, physically permitted historical events took place. That does not mean we need a God to explain it.

In fact, invoking God merely removes the problem one further. But I assume you provide a pass for God that you refuse to for the Universe - God is your brute fact.

Have you read Stenger's book?

Victoria

Good reads for you in return:

Stars In Other Universes: Stellar Structure With Different Fundamental Constants by Fred C. Adams, Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, Issue 08, 1-29 (August 2008)

A Universe Without Weak Interactions by Roni Harnik, Graham D. Kribs and Gilad Perez, Physical Review D, 74(3): 035006 (2006)

@TGS
I guess that is where we part company, then :) I am a Christian for reasons that transcend physics. I accept fine tuning because I am convinced on other grounds of the existence of the Trinitarian God of the Bible (but's that another discussion, eh? )

Again, it is you who has the interpretation of fine tuning backwards - the proper way to state it is "What is the set { mathematical structures, fundamental constants, initial conditions } that make life as we know it possible? How constrained is that set, i.e., how much variation can it tolerate and still result in a universe that can support our particular biosphere?"

Incompetent? I think not :) God's design for the universe accomplishes at least one of His purposes - namely to produce us - right on target, even after 13.7+ GYrs - for that long, His creation has carried out His commands to achieve the purposes He had planned for it. Sure, He planned it so that life could exist - where is the requirement that it must exist ubiquitously?

"I am a Christian for reasons that transcend physics"

Glad to hear it - if you are using physics to justify your belief in God, something is wrong.

"What is the set { mathematical structures, fundamental constants, initial conditions } that make life as we know it possible? How constrained is that set, i.e., how much variation can it tolerate and still result in a universe that can support our particular biosphere?""

Well thats the point. We only know of one set. Its tricky to run experiments where we vary the conditions because we are necessarily constrained.

"God's design for the universe accomplishes at least one of His purposes - namely to produce us - right on target, even after 13.7+ GYrs"

1. At least you arent a YEC
2. How do you know that was one of his purposes? From the bible?!?
3. Design -the universe is better designed for black holes. The universe is overwhelmingly hostile to life. So is the earth. I appreciate your loyalty, but really, it distorts your view of the facts.

Lastly - Im not anti god - I just dont buy into the arguments that persuade you. The probability of life in this universe is now 1 - its you that has the argument the wrong way round. You and Wisdom Lover may not appreciate Adams's WAP Puddle, but I do.

@TGS
Thanks for the links, BTW - I found the first one online and will work through it as time permits. Looks interesting.

Victoria

You are welcome. By the way, if you have points to come back at me with, please do. I'm interested in learning, but I get a lot of snarky comments here.

Ive invited everyone to www.rationslskepticism.org but people here arent interested in learning as much as group therapy to reinforce their existing choices. A shame.

@TGS
I'll try to keep the snark to a minimum :)

(Found the other paper online also - you have to love arxiv.org and Google's search engine, don't you :) )

Victoria

Absolutely!

Fine tuning implies a strict set of physical laws. Yes or no?

If yes, then how is God not limited in this universe?
If no then what on earth are you arguing about?

This is an absurd dichotomy. The fact that a designer designs something in a specific way does not imply any limitation at all in the designer.

So the answer is "Yes, fine tuning implies a strict set of physical laws."

But that fact, pretty obviously, implies no limitation on God at all, because, you see, He decrees the laws and they only work at all through His constant enforcement. The laws aren't limits creation places on God, they're limits that God places on creation.

"But that fact, pretty obviously, implies no limitation on God at all, because, you see, He decrees the laws and they only work at all through His constant enforcement. The laws aren't limits creation places on God, they're limits that God places on creation"

Then, by that rationale, ANY set of constants or laws would be interpreted as the work of the designer. Whether wide or constrained, it matters not.
In other words, by explaining everything, you explain nothing. You aren't bringing anything to the party.
Life exists, therefore God. Would a lack of life imply no god? Of course not! So we really havent learnt anything.

TGS,

"....ANY set of constants...."

Not any.

Only those which - on perception - reflect that peculiar nature which we all intuit when we see it, namely, design.


Life alone in such a big bad universe is quite in favor of something that rises above the level of accidental.

You as much as said so yourself with all that stuff about black holes and life-less-ness filling it all up.


You can't have it both ways, you know.

scblhrm

Im glad you've arrived. Please can you cut and paste a load of wibble about Love's Triune etc etc to truly kill conversation off.

"Life alone in such a big bad universe is quite in favor of something that rises above the level of accidental"

What? I dont understand this? Are you suggesting that the LACK of life in the universe implies design?

"You as much as said so yourself with all that stuff about black holes and life-less-ness filling it all up" If you think the universe is fine tuned for life, show working as to how you arrive at that conclusion. Hint: saying its fine tuned because there IS life isnt really telling us anything.

TGS,


You seem to want to be able to assign God's psychology to Him based on His creations other than Life.


How anthropomorphic of you. As if the whole show is all about you, us.


Life on Earth? Well sure - given, as you say, all the black holes that should be here instead.

But the rest?

Well, Physics has its problems for you. Deductive reasoning and all that as Hume touched on, and others since. Not that ontological pluralism's absurdity is of any concern to you, even if it is very concerning for any assertion you may make about physics.


But your hubris evident in the bit about black holes as such must somehow translate to God's psychology was nonsense. Also nonsense is that there seems to be a thread of this in your thinking: Man's perception of "size" equates to "value". "Little bits of life in a BIG universe......" or something like that.


Okay.


Large rocks are more valuable - meaningful - evidence-laden - more proof-producing - than the human mind.


And: A tree is more meaningful than a child.

"I hope that you do not think I am suggesting that God made the spiral nebulae solely or chiefly in order to give me the experience of awe and bewilderment. I have not the faintest idea why He made them; on the whole, I think it would be rather surprising if I had. As far as I understand the matter, Christianity is not wedded to an anthropocentric view of the universe as a whole. The first chapters of Genesis, no doubt, give the story of creation in the form of a folk-tale…….. and if you take them alone you might get that impression. But it is not confirmed by the Bible as a whole. There are few places in literature where we are more sternly warned against making man the measure of all things than in the book of Job: "Can you draw out leviathan with a hook? Will he make a covenant with you? Will you make him your servant? Where were you when I laid the earth's foundations?" In Paul's writing the powers of the skies seem usually to be hostile to man…….. In the parable, it was the one lost sheep that the shepherd went in search of: it was not the only sheep in the flock, and we are not told that it was the most valuable - in so far as the most desperately in need has, while the need lasts, a peculiar value in the eyes of Love...." (C.S. Lewis)

TGS,

You asserted black holes as evidence against design.

Prescribing God's psychology is a bit anthropomorphic.

TGS,

If: Black Hole = Evidence against

Then: Life = Evidence for

You can't have it both ways you know.

Also, the troubling bit about your man-centered prescription for what the Universe ought to contain.


Playing God are we?


"[The universe] may be full of life that needs no redemption. It may be full of life that has been redeemed. It may be full of things quite other than life which satisfy the Divine Wisdom in fashions one cannot conceive. We are in no position to draw up maps of God's psychology, and prescribe limits to His interests. We would not do so even for a man whom we knew to be greater than ourselves. The doctrines that God is Love and that He delights in men are positive doctrines, not limiting doctrines. He is not less than this. What more He may be, we do not know; we know only that He must be more than we can conceive." (CS Lewis)

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