Author Topic: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?  (Read 1684 times)

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Offline Chronos

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Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« on: May 28, 2012, 06:01:29 AM »
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 07:30:57 AM by Chronos »
John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline jetson

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Re: Why is out universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2012, 07:20:39 AM »
Wow.

All of that spectacular possibility, and so many humans find it comforting to look to the Bible for answers.  Sad.

Offline Nick

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Re: Why is out universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2012, 07:26:56 AM »
I thought it was luck of the draw.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline Poseidon

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2012, 04:38:15 PM »
Brian Greene has done two very readable books; The Elegant Universe and The Fabric Of The Cosmos. Good stuff by an author with outstanding academic credentials.

Offline cowpar2

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2012, 06:32:56 PM »
Universe literally means "one sentence"
uni=one
verse=sentence

Just a fun-fact, no real rhyme or reason.
WHAT??!!??  A DARWIN??!!??
How could this be...?

Offline inveni0

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2012, 08:21:55 PM »
He's an excellent speaker, though a lot of his descriptions were a little too generalized.  It made me wonder about the nature of the audience.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2012, 07:26:28 AM »
Universe literally means "one sentence"
uni=one
verse=sentence

Just a fun-fact, no real rhyme or reason.
No.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=universe&searchmode=none
Quote
universe
1580s, "the whole world, cosmos," from O.Fr. univers (12c.), from L. universum "the universe," noun use of neut. of adj. universus "all together," lit. "turned into one," from unus "one" (see one) + versus, pp. of vertere "to turn" (see versus). Properly a loan-translation of Gk. to holon "the universe," noun use of neut. of adj. holos "whole" (see safe (adj.)).
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline oogabooga

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2012, 07:35:56 AM »
But cosmos and cosmetics share the same root. As a woman I do find that kind of cool.  ;D
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2012, 09:27:48 AM »
Great video.  For no particular reason, this video made me think of my daughter and the questions she asks. 

My 5 year old asks questions constantly.  Some astute.  Some mundane.  And I try to understand what she really wants to know when she asks the questions.  Often, they come out of nowhere, and my unrehearsed answers are as unsatisfying because the question that I think she is asking is not really what she wants the answer to.   Or maybe it is just because I fail to direct her to the right set of questions. 

A few weeks ago, we had the following conversation. 

Mommy, what is planet earth made of?

Well honey, (deep breath) planet earth is made of matter, that has been moving away from the center of the universe since the big bang.  You know about the big bang, right?  At first earth was a big fiery ball made of stuff like lava, and then it cooled down and became like a big rock on the outside with the lava on the inside.  And you know that it is orbiting the sun, like the other planets in the solar system.  And when the earth cooled down, water formed, and in the water single celled life forms…

Mommy?  What is “matter?”

Umm.. matter is the stuff that everything is made out of.  (She frowns at this unsatisfying answer.  Then she shifts gears.)

Mommy?  What is the sun made out of? 

Well, ummm, the sun is made of the matter from the beginning of the universe too.  And it is hot and burning all the time and it is sort of like lava, and there is plasma…

What is plasma?

Ummm.  Plasma is sort of like lava and…

Mommy, what are lamps made out of?

Lamp?  Honey, lamps are made by people.  Usually in factories.  The earth and the sun are part of nature. 

I KNOW about factories and nature.  So what are lamps made of?

Well, lamps give off light, like the sun gives off light, but the light from lamps comes from the little filament inside of the light bulbs and when you turn on the electricity…

I KNOW all about light bulbs.  I want to know about the lamp.  This part of the lamp (she taps on the lampshade).

Honey, that is a lamp shade.  The light comes from the light bulb and makes the lamp shade look bright.  But the lamp shade is made of, umm, fabric and ah, plastic, and look, there is a little metal up here.  But the light bulb…

Mommy?  Can I have an ice cream after dinner?

Ok honey. 

And can I play on your computer now?

Oh. (Feeling both relief and disappointment that this particular conversation had come to an end.)  Ok. 

And as I set her up to go to pbskids.org , I felt like that should have been a better conversation.  Was the whole conversation a mommy-fail? I knew that my answers were leading her to ask the wrong questions. 

How often do scientists’ observations lead them to ask the wrong next question?    We trust our scientists to ask the right questions.  But how often do they get distracted by some minutia contained within their own observations, and become obsessed with the components that make up a lamp shade, rather than the nature of light, and the possibility that the inflationary nature of the universe may eventually cause our neighboring galaxies to move so far away from us at such a fast speed, that they will be impossible to observe by astronomers in the far far far future?   And how often are we trapped outside of the window of potential observation, which might allow us to see the other galaxies or the other multiverses? 

Offline screwtape

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2012, 09:31:29 AM »
godammit!  I meant to give cowpar a -1 and instead gave him a +1.  goddammit!
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Offline cowpar2

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2012, 09:44:14 AM »
Versus my also mean:
a turn, a rhyme, a dance, an opposition, a measure of land, even a row....
and why would you -1 me anyways? I just told you what I thought,
Is thinking not allowed here (even if i was wrong)?
WHAT??!!??  A DARWIN??!!??
How could this be...?

Offline Quesi

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2012, 09:46:25 AM »
godammit!  I meant to give cowpar a -1 and instead gave him a +1.  goddammit!

I think that god moved your hand to the plus 1.  Let it stand.  He's new and could use at least one little darwin. 

And I actually liked his answer. Even though Greybeard provided evidence to the contrary, it was a damn good guess.  And one I might have given if I found myself taking an exam on the etymology of the word universe. 

Offline screwtape

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2012, 09:48:21 AM »
and why would you -1 me anyways? I just told you what I thought,
Is thinking not allowed here (even if i was wrong)?

Thinking is encouraged.  However, as Graybeard pointed out, you weren't actually doing any.  Had you done about 10 seconds of research you would have found out you were completely wrong.  The -1 was for being lazy.
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Offline cowpar2

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2012, 10:50:24 AM »
Thinking is encouraged.  However, as Graybeard pointed out, you weren't actually doing any.  Had you done about 10 seconds of research you would have found out you were completely wrong.  The -1 was for being lazy.
Lazy!?
I put a lot of thought into that!
Besides, one can see the correlation between verse and sentence.
Verse as in a poem, or epic, or even a nursery rhyme, which is all totally logical.
Verse (in my opinion) mean the completeness of something (anything), especially when it has opposing forces.
I said sentence because "verse" is most commonly used as a "complete" thought:
with both a subject and a predicate (what it is and what it's doing).

As you can see, my thoughts were completely logical,
methinks you are just looking to pick on me, no?
WHAT??!!??  A DARWIN??!!??
How could this be...?

Offline screwtape

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2012, 11:06:02 AM »
Lazy!?

yes, lazy.

I put a lot of thought into that!

1. No you didn't.  Be honest.
2. Even if you did, you were still wrong.
3. Effort does not always mean thinking.  It often means looking something up. In this case, it would have taken you less than a minute with google to double check your thinking before you posted.  Instead, you just posted what you thought as if it were fact, and you were wrong.  Those are the breaks.

Besides, one can see the correlation between verse and sentence.

I agree it seems that way.  But that is not the etymology of the word.

Verse as in a poem, or epic, or even a nursery rhyme, which is all totally logical.

...but wrong

Verse (in my opinion) mean the completeness of something (anything),

opinions are fine, but they are no substitute for facts.  In this case, your opinion is superceded by facts. 

I said sentence because "verse" is most commonly used as a "complete" thought:
with both a subject and a predicate (what it is and what it's doing).

? what on earth...? 

As you can see, my thoughts were completely logical,

...yet wrong.

methinks you are just looking to pick on me, no?

No.  To show no ill will, I'll drop it. 
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Offline Bad Pear

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2012, 11:10:58 AM »
Universe literally means "the college by the river"
uni=A shorthand for "university"[1]
verse=A river in the North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany[2]

Just a fun-fact, no real rhyme or reason.

Quote
methinks you are just looking to pick on me, no?
I am just looking to pick on you.  :laugh:

Okay, we can move on. Cool video Chronos.
 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uni
 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verse
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2012, 11:13:05 AM »
godammit!  I meant to give cowpar a -1 and instead gave him a +1.  goddammit!

Sadly, the universe must remained in equilibrium, so you had no choice.  :(
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2012, 11:31:06 AM »
godammit!  I meant to give cowpar a -1 and instead gave him a +1.  goddammit!

Sadly, the universe must remained in equilibrium, so you had no choice.  :(

Happily, the multiverse must not remain in equilibrium, so he had a choice.  :-)

(Just trying to keep everything balanced out.)
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Offline Bad Pear

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2012, 11:33:24 AM »
(Just trying to keep everything balanced out.)

Balanced? As in <dramatic pause> at equilibrium?

<rimshot>
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2012, 12:12:51 PM »

Happily, the multiverse must not remain in equilibrium, so he had a choice.  :-)

(Just trying to keep everything balanced out.)

Happily, the multiverse must not remain in energy, so he had a choice.  :-) Because the terms are interchangable.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline cowpar2

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2012, 12:23:21 PM »
You guys don't know how hard I'm laughing my butt off right now! ^^
lol...
WHAT??!!??  A DARWIN??!!??
How could this be...?

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2012, 03:39:54 PM »
I just told you what I thought,
I think that is the main problem with your posts.
Quote
Is thinking not allowed here (even if i was wrong)?
On the contrary, thinking is compulsory, try it.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2012, 05:16:16 PM »
Thinking is encouraged.  However, as Graybeard pointed out, you weren't actually doing any.  Had you done about 10 seconds of research you would have found out you were completely wrong.  The -1 was for being lazy.
Lazy!?
I put a lot of thought into that!
Besides, one can see the correlation between verse and sentence.
Verse as in a poem, or epic, or even a nursery rhyme, which is all totally logical.
Verse (in my opinion) mean the completeness of something (anything), especially when it has opposing forces.
I said sentence because "verse" is most commonly used as a "complete" thought:
with both a subject and a predicate (what it is and what it's doing).

As you can see, my thoughts were completely logical,
methinks you are just looking to pick on me, no?
Listen up, cowper. The next time you have an idea, look up the main concepts before you start posting about them. Then at least we will have something to push against. As it is, we are like those mimes who pretend to be walking in a strong gale. Only there is not really any wind blowing. You, or rather, your communication here, is the lack of wind blowing. Even mimes get bored with that after a while.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline oogabooga

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2012, 03:18:13 AM »
Lazy!?
I put a lot of thought into that!
You may have put thought into what you wrote, but just thinking about stuff doesn't mean you have actually put any work in it. Your opinion does not a fact make, especially if you can't substantiate it. This is a debate forum and you can't have a debate without proving your point. Otherwise we'd all just throw our opinions around and leave it at that.

Quote
Besides, one can see the correlation between verse and sentence.
Verse as in a poem, or epic, or even a nursery rhyme, which is all totally logical.
Verse (in my opinion) mean the completeness of something (anything), especially when it has opposing forces.
I said sentence because "verse" is most commonly used as a "complete" thought:
with both a subject and a predicate (what it is and what it's doing).
Of course there is a correlation between verse and sentence - in modern language, specifically in modern English. But a verse in the way you use it is just a part of something, not a whole. An entire poem consists of many verses, so the term doesn't imply any kind of completeness in the way you're trying to use it. Therefore your train of thought resulted in something that is anything but 'totally logical'.

Anyway, the 'verse' in 'universe' is not derived from a part of a poem, but from 'vertere', which means 'turning, winding' and does not imply any 'opposing forces'.

I do suggest you look it up - here and here.
[/quote]

If we consider the fact that only some languages use that 'correlation', your opinion suddenly becomes completely useless. Let me point out a few examples:
German: verse = Vers; universe = Weltraum
Slovenian: verse = verz; universe = vesolje
Serbian: verse = stih; universe = svemir

I could go on. How do you propose using such an argument in another language?

You can't use language to prove a point. Language is an agreed-upon set of signs/sounds, used to communicate certain ideas. Such sets change over time and are not even remotely universal (no pun intended - or maybe it was)


Quote
As you can see, my thoughts were completely logical,
methinks you are just looking to pick on me, no?
As you can see, your thoughts were not completely logical - we could claim they were logically flawed, to say the least. Nobody is just trying to pick on you, but you have to expect people won't agree with you if you're going to use such sloppy logic. In my opinion pointing out your mistakes doesn't even begin to imply picking on you.
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2012, 05:53:36 AM »
I can't view the video in the original post because Youtube is blocked in China, but I'll reply to the topic.

Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
It isn't.

Most stars are too far away for humans to reach.
Of the reachable stars, most don't have planets.
Of the stars that do have planets, most of those planets can't support life.
Of the planets that can support life, much of the planet's surface is inhospitable.
Of the hospitable parts of a planet, most of the vegetation is inedible and many of the animals are hostile.
Our main source of heat and light causes sunburn, heatstroke, dehydration, and cancer.

So assuming we can overcome gravity, bear the rigors of space flight, and avoid disease and natural disasters, we can only eat a few things and live in a few places on a few planets of a few stars of this perfect universe that God built just for us.

And this is intelligent design.

I would rather be an atheist and marvel at how lucky we are to exist at all than to be a Christian and be forced to conclude that my God is a fucking moron.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2012, 05:58:33 AM by joebbowers »
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Offline jetson

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2012, 07:48:50 AM »

I would rather be an atheist and marvel at how lucky we are to exist at all than to be a Christian and be forced to conclude that my God is a fucking moron.

LOL

Offline screwtape

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2012, 09:27:43 AM »
Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
It isn't.
...

You are being nit-picky, you silly atheist.  The universe being fine tuned for life doesn't mean those things.  It means the universe is "well organized", it has physical laws, the physical constants are just right for the universe to even exist (how unlikely is that?!), and other little things like ice being less dense than liquid water. 
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2012, 09:53:13 AM »
We live on a planet where 70% of it is better suited for fish and whales. Virtually every square foot of land is subject to some combination of earthquakes, volcanos, hurricanes, tornados, drought, desertification, untenable heat and/or humidity, cold, wind and now, as a bonus, pollution.

People can't stand each other, lots of animals are willing to eat us, diseases abound, we need ant spray and now bedbugs love us more than ever. Trees and rocks fall on our heads, sinkholes open under our homes, snakes and spiders bite us, cancer destroys us and birth defects are rampant.

And some of us are able to distort reality well enough to define the above as perfectly tuned.

Now if you are a subcutaneous parasitic worm, you might have a better argument. Let me know and I will edit my response.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline jetson

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Re: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2012, 11:57:06 AM »
hee hee...he said subcutaneous...hee hee   ;D