Author Topic: A fine tuned universe.  (Read 13815 times)

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Offline nihilanth

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #145 on: October 07, 2008, 09:58:45 AM »
Now now. I can respect Dawkins even though I dissagree with him.

Hitchens however, get's on my nerves.

I'm with you on that one.

A lot of Atheists say he's an idiot and that his book "the God delusion" should be burnt. But he just wants everyone to be like him and believe what he believes. What if God DOES exist, then he's doomed.

So he has a touch of arrogance in thinking he us totally right. However throw the right answer to one of his questions at him  and he would definately think about it. My biblical immortality FACT would give him something to think about. His only danger is that He is succeding in drawing people away from thinking about the existence of God.

Hitchens however, is so arrogant and smug and well, I just don't like him. He would probably ignore anything, no matter how reasonable it may be, scoff at you and fire a smart remark at you to boot.
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Offline Shakaib

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #146 on: October 07, 2008, 10:17:21 AM »
Now now. I can respect Dawkins even though I dissagree with him.

Hitchens however, get's on my nerves.

I'm with you on that one.

A lot of Atheists say he's an idiot and that his book "the God delusion" should be burnt. But he just wants everyone to be like him and believe what he believes. What if God DOES exist, then he's doomed.

So he has a touch of arrogance in thinking he us totally right. However throw the right answer to one of his questions at him  and he would definately think about it. My biblical immortality FACT would give him something to think about. His only danger is that He is succeding in drawing people away from thinking about the existence of God.

Hitchens however, is so arrogant and smug and well, I just don't like him. He would probably ignore anything, no matter how reasonable it may be, scoff at you and fire a smart remark at you to boot.

Hmm.. yeh. Dawkins thinks that religion has created wars but wars (most of the time) are happening because of "People Power". Power, people want power. If there were no religions, wars would still happen. That's for sure.

Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #147 on: October 07, 2008, 10:27:54 AM »
A lot of Atheists say he's an idiot and that his book "the God delusion" should be burnt.

Heh. I wouldn't go that far. Dawkins is pretty on the ball as far as biology is concerned, so he's certainly no "idiot", and while TGD ain't the greatest masterpiece of all time by any stretch, it did serve as a springboard for more people to get involved in the whole "culture war" discussion and get thinking about such things, which is IMO no bad thing.

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But he just wants everyone to be like him and believe what he believes.

If you say so. Alternatively, maybe he (and Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, Ibn Warraq et al) just managed to get their ideas published and promoted because at least on some level, it's in tune with the zeitgeist of the age.

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What if God DOES exist, then he's doomed.

From the point of view of many non-theists, that's a pretty outlier "what if".
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Offline Shakaib

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #148 on: October 07, 2008, 10:32:34 AM »
A lot of Atheists say he's an idiot and that his book "the God delusion" should be burnt.

Heh. I wouldn't go that far. Dawkins is pretty on the ball as far as biology is concerned, so he's certainly no "idiot", and while TGD ain't the greatest masterpiece of all time by any stretch, it did serve as a springboard for more people to get involved in the whole "culture war" discussion and get thinking about such things, which is IMO no bad thing.

Quote
But he just wants everyone to be like him and believe what he believes.

If you say so. Alternatively, maybe he (and Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, Ibn Warraq et al) just managed to get their ideas published and promoted because at least on some level, it's in tune with the zeitgeist of the age.

Quote
What if God DOES exist, then he's doomed.

From the point of view of many non-theists, that's a pretty outlier "what if".

He's intelligent, but he doesn't use his intelligence for the most obvious things. He says Straight-forward "There is no creator", how does he know, where's his proof. I emailed him and he didn't reply.

Offline nihilanth

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #149 on: October 07, 2008, 10:37:34 AM »
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And for the record, nihilanth, although I cannot speak for others it is remiss of you to make the blanket assertion that people here 'idolize' the likes of Dawkins and Hitchens. I was a non-theist long before I'd heard of either of them. Dawkins is okay, knows his biology, but TGD wasn't the best material I've read on the subject of God. (Indeed, I'd argue that some of the posts on this forum and its predecessor have been of better quality.) As for Hitchens, he's not really on my radar. Where I come from is simply this: it's the ideas that are relevant, not the people who came up with them. (And I wouldn't say that Dawkins came up with anything particularly new in TGD.)

That is a fair answer. It does seem that way for some of those here. They certainly seem to idolize them.

If you are a non-theist because you have your reasons, then fine. But know this, I am a theist for my reasons as well.



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Offline nihilanth

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #150 on: October 07, 2008, 10:38:27 AM »
A lot of Atheists say he's an idiot and that his book "the God delusion" should be burnt.

Heh. I wouldn't go that far. Dawkins is pretty on the ball as far as biology is concerned, so he's certainly no "idiot", and while TGD ain't the greatest masterpiece of all time by any stretch, it did serve as a springboard for more people to get involved in the whole "culture war" discussion and get thinking about such things, which is IMO no bad thing.

Quote
But he just wants everyone to be like him and believe what he believes.

If you say so. Alternatively, maybe he (and Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, Ibn Warraq et al) just managed to get their ideas published and promoted because at least on some level, it's in tune with the zeitgeist of the age.

Quote
What if God DOES exist, then he's doomed.

From the point of view of many non-theists, that's a pretty outlier "what if".

He's intelligent, but he doesn't use his intelligence for the most obvious things. He says Straight-forward "There is no creator", how does he know, where's his proof. I emailed him and he didn't reply.

He probably gets a million emails a day man.
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Offline Shakaib

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #151 on: October 07, 2008, 10:41:19 AM »
Oh, I forgot, yeh he probably does get thousands of emails. But then what's the point having one if you can't reply (to most of them)?? I guess he has his reasons.

Offline nihilanth

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #152 on: October 07, 2008, 10:44:29 AM »
Oh, I forgot, yeh he probably does get thousands of emails. But then what's the point having one if you can't reply (to most of them)?? I guess he has his reasons.

Shakaib, I am a Christian. I bet you and I could very well disagree on a lot of things, except the One God of course.

What do you think of that?
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Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #153 on: October 07, 2008, 10:47:34 AM »
He's intelligent, but he doesn't use his intelligence for the most obvious things. He says Straight-forward "There is no creator", how does he know, where's his proof.

IMO, the question is quite possibly a category error. Is there such thing as a "proof" that could even be applied to such a question? I know there are a few people who seem to think so, but they're generally right on the fringe. What we can do is take a look at the claims made by a lot of belief-systems and determine whether we think they're really all that plausible. Most of the time, I put it to you, we come up with precisely the same answers as any theist - "nah, doesn't seem likely". (Rationales for "nah, doesn't seem likely" may vary from person to person.) The only difference of opinion occurs when we turn to examine the specific belief-system to which the theist in question adheres.

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I emailed him and he didn't reply. {...} Oh, I forgot, yeh he probably does get thousands of emails. But then what's the point having one if you can't reply (to most of them)?? I guess he has his reasons.

I imagine he also gets thousands of emails with variations on the theme of "where's your proof", and probably feels that he's answered that adequately already.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #154 on: October 07, 2008, 11:33:39 AM »
The Universe is very finely tuned, this shows BIG evidence of God, and whoever thinks the Universe didn't require a creator seriously needs to... think.

That's the problem Shakaib. They refuse to even comtemplate the possibility. Their closed mindedness and their inability to think for themselves blinds them.

The whole idea of this forum is based on a book that somebody else thought up of. Also, I have yet to see one of these atheistic individuals  ever dissagree with anybody like Dawkins or Hitchens, because those men are the gods of these folks. Their idols. They do not beleive in God, so they turn to men and idolize them.

The irony is uncanny.



please show how the univers is "fine-tuned".  Tuning generally means "2 a: to bring into harmony : attune b: to adjust for precise functioning —often used with up<tune up an engine> c: to make more precise, intense, or effective".  One would then infer that to be "finely" tuned for humanity, the great bulk of it should be friendly to humanity, to allow it to exist within its environmental parameters with no additional assistance.  We find that not to be the case.   
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Offline Cycle4Fun

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #155 on: October 07, 2008, 12:03:03 PM »
This thread is ultimately about a puddle.  Because the hole in which the puddle exists must have been there before the puddle, the puddle concludes that the hole was designed for the puddle.

In the same way nihilanth, and other theists believe the universe must have a creator because the universe would be different if some constants had different values.

puddle = theists
hole = universe
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Offline MadBunny

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #156 on: October 07, 2008, 02:51:14 PM »
In response to reply 132.


Taken whole from: http://udel.edu/~mcdonald/oldmousetrap.html
http://udel.edu/~mcdonald/mousetrap.html





A five-part mousetrap. This is a snap mousetrap, shown ready to catch a mouse. It has five main parts: a hammer, which kills the mouse; a spring, which snaps the hammer down on to the mouse; a hold-down bar, which holds the hammer in the cocked position; a catch, which holds the end of the hold-down bar and releases it when the mouse jiggles the catch; and a platform, to which everything else is attached. (The bait is not one of the "irreducible" parts of the mousetrap, since an unbaited trap will catch the occasional mouse that stumbles into the catch.)




A four-part mousetrap. The first step in reducing the complexity of a mousetrap is to remove the catch. The hold-down bar is then bent a little so that it will catch on the end of the hammer that protrudes out from the spring; this end of the hammer might need a little filing to make the action nice and delicate. I've made one of these by modifying a regular mousetrap, and just like the five-part mousetrap, it snaps with mouse-killing force when I jiggle the bait with a pencil



A three-part mousetrap. The next step is to remove the hold-down bar and bend the hammer so that one end is resting right at the edge of the platform, holding the hammer up in the cocked position. This is not as good a mousetrap as the four-part mousetrap. It is difficult to put the hammer exactly on the edge of the base, so a mouse-sized jiggle will cause it to snap. When it does snap the hammer hits the floor and sends the trap flying, possibly tossing the mouse to safety. But I've made one by modifying a regular mousetrap, and it snaps just as hard as a five-part trap.




A two-part mousetrap. The next step is to remove the hammer and bend the straight part of the spring to resemble the hammer of the three-part mousetrap. When I made one of these, I didn't straighten any coils, so the gap is just big enough for a mouse's paw or tail. A mouse would have to be pretty unlucky to get caught by this trap. If you could straighten out a few coils of the spring (which is easier said than done--mousetrap springs are pretty tough), you could make a two-part trap that was basically the same as the three-part trap.




A one-part mousetrap. I can think of at least a couple ways to make a one-part mousetrap from the two-part mousetrap. One would be to remove the spring and spread glue on the platform; you'd then have one of those barbaric glue traps that holds the mouse in place until it dies of thirst. The other way would be to straighten out a few coils of each end of the spring. One straight piece of the wire would then be bent so the end points up; the other piece of wire would come across and rest delicately on the upraised point. I don't have the wire-bending skills to make one of these, but if I did, I think the unlucky mouse that was standing under the top wire when it jiggled the trap would be just as dead as if it were killed by the much more complex five-part mousetrap.




So clearly we can see that even the ubiquitous mousetrap, so cleverly designed for what it does can still operate with less peices.

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Offline velkyn

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #157 on: October 08, 2008, 11:10:15 AM »
nice work, MB^^^^^^^^^^^
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Offline xphobe

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #158 on: October 08, 2008, 09:48:25 PM »
Of course, playing Devil's Advocate here for a moment (or is it God's Advocate in this case?  Hard to tell...)

An IDer such as Behe would say that you are not only removing parts but reconfiguring the entire apparatus, and that is unfair.  Each trap with ever more parts must lead "step-by-excruciatingly-tedious-Darwinian-step" to the next, with each step in between functioning incrementally better.

That's what Behe said in his rebuttal.  But he ignored the fact, which Velkyn made several posts ago, that each step doesn't have to be a mousetrap.  A device with fewer parts might be some kind of paper clip or musical instrument, perfectly suited to that task.  Only with the addition of that crucial part does it become a perfect mousetrap.  It may no longer be good at holding papers or making music, but that no longer matters.  NOW it is a mousetrap!

Behe made another curious mistake in his rebuttal.  He said that although intelligence is permitted in the design of the first mechanism, because the analogy has to start somewhere, in order to be a valid refutation of ID there could be no intelligence guiding the design at any other point along the "evolution" of the mousetrap.

Behe's mistake here is subtle, and it is repeated often by the ID crowd.  We are illustrating a point with an analogy.  Intelligence in our mousetrap analogy is itself an analogy for the blind pressures that drive natural selection. 

Let me see if I can explain this, using not an analogy but an actual example of natural selection.   A lion has intelligence.  It can anticipate a gazelle's moves and dodges.  It can lie in wait.  It can attempt surprise.  And the gazelle that can't outrun or outdoge the lion ends up as lunch.  So the lion's intelligence is driving the evolution of the gazelle.  But it would be an error to say that the lion is the gazelle's intelligent designer.  The lion's intelligence is merely another selective pressure, as blind in a sense as earthquakes or climate change.

To sum it up, in case I've bored you all to death by now, Behe is an intellectually dishonest scoundrel, and too careless with his ideas to have earned the right to call himself a scientist.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #159 on: October 09, 2008, 10:55:36 AM »
not bored at all.  Intelligence is also the "selective pressure" in dog breeding, etc. 

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Offline Davedave

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #160 on: October 09, 2008, 04:00:35 PM »
xphobe,

If you'd like a nifty example of the first point you made, I would suggest the wings of the beetle.  Beetle wings developed from hard external plates of armor.  The armor was moveable and as it grew larger to protect more area of the beetle, eventually, it became suitable for flight.

Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #161 on: October 09, 2008, 11:30:38 PM »
This thread is ultimately about a puddle.  Because the hole in which the puddle exists must have been there before the puddle, the puddle concludes that the hole was designed for the puddle.

In the same way nihilanth, and other theists believe the universe must have a creator because the universe would be different if some constants had different values.

puddle = theists
hole = universe

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Offline xphobe

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #162 on: October 10, 2008, 08:05:13 AM »
xphobe,

If you'd like a nifty example of the first point you made, I would suggest the wings of the beetle.  Beetle wings developed from hard external plates of armor.  The armor was moveable and as it grew larger to protect more area of the beetle, eventually, it became suitable for flight.

According to this genetic study, "the wings of pterygote insects are derived from epipod gills, or alternatively, have coopted a molecular pathway that first arose in epipods", but your point is still valid: they could have had a different function originally.

http://pharyngula.org/index/weblog/comments/flap_those_gills_and_fly/
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Offline Davedave

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #163 on: October 10, 2008, 10:04:13 AM »
That's for the larger group of winged insects.  I was referring to a more immediate history of development for just the Coleoptera.  The musculature varies among Pterygota, indicating divergent evolutionary paths.  Some insects fly with a paired muscle set, others with just one muscle that pulls and relaxes.  On the ones with paired flight muscles, some have developed a novel mechanism for contraction that triggers when stretched, so that as the other muscle pulls the wing into one position, that act alone actually causes the opposing muscle to contract, thus pulling the wing back very much faster than you could even with autonomic nervous control.  On our scale, you can get a rough idea of which insects those are by the pitch of the sound they make while flying.  High frequency wing action -> higher pitched sound.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2008, 10:07:22 AM by Davedave »

Offline Shakaib

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #164 on: October 10, 2008, 10:34:53 AM »
The Universe is finely tuned. Everything is in perfect order, includung our solar system.

Online Azdgari

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #165 on: October 10, 2008, 10:36:29 AM »
By what standard is it in perfect order?
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Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #166 on: October 10, 2008, 10:36:33 AM »
The Universe is finely tuned. Everything is in perfect order, includung our solar system.

Tell that to comet Shoemaker-Levy.
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Offline Shakaib

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #167 on: October 10, 2008, 10:52:34 AM »
By what standard is it in perfect order?

Oh, I'm guessing the Earth is a little too far from the Sun, isn't it? Life wouldn't exist then. The Earth's position was NOT put there by ridiculous "Chance" and silly mistakes.

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #168 on: October 10, 2008, 11:00:48 AM »
Actually, the Earth's orbit around is an elipse, causing the Earth's distance from the sun to vary by about 5 million killometres at different points in its orbit.  Not perfect.

More importantly, you're making a hole-designed-for-the-puddle argument.  Are you familiar with this?
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Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #169 on: October 10, 2008, 11:01:29 AM »
By what standard is it in perfect order?

Oh, I'm guessing the Earth is a little too far from the Sun, isn't it? Life wouldn't exist then. The Earth's position was NOT put there by ridiculous "Chance" and silly mistakes.

"Chance" and silly mistakes? Where on earth do you get the idea that a naturalistic universe would be determined by such?
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Offline Shakaib

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #170 on: October 10, 2008, 11:05:53 AM »
By what standard is it in perfect order?

Oh, I'm guessing the Earth is a little too far from the Sun, isn't it? Life wouldn't exist then. The Earth's position was NOT put there by ridiculous "Chance" and silly mistakes.

"Chance" and silly mistakes? Where on earth do you get the idea that a naturalistic universe would be determined by such?

zzz.

Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #171 on: October 10, 2008, 11:08:05 AM »
"Chance" and silly mistakes? Where on earth do you get the idea that a naturalistic universe would be determined by such?
zzz.

Oh, so you're just going to make an unwarranted assertion and not back it up? Yeah, that's the kind of intellectual dishonesty we've come to expect around here.
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Offline Shakaib

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #172 on: October 10, 2008, 11:10:49 AM »
"Chance" and silly mistakes? Where on earth do you get the idea that a naturalistic universe would be determined by such?
zzz.

Oh, so you're just going to make an unwarranted assertion and not back it up? Yeah, that's the kind of intellectual dishonesty we've come to expect around here.

No dishonesty, I typed in "zzz" first (and then pressed post). Then I typed in (as an edit):

"Don't you believe that the Universe formed by chance, or is it something else now?"

Then my Computer crashed!!

Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: A fine tuned universe.
« Reply #173 on: October 10, 2008, 11:15:13 AM »
No dishonesty, I typed in "zzz" first (and then pressed post). Then I typed in (as an edit):

"Don't you believe that the Universe formed by chance, or is it something else now?"

Then my Computer crashed!!

Ok fair enough, I'll retract that comment.

I have no idea what started the universe off in the first place. However, as far as can be determined, since that 'beginning' (or a few Planck instants after the 'beginning') it appears to have functioned entirely according to natural processes, of which we have varying degrees of understanding. Natural processes may be highly complex when you have a lot of parameters, but highly complex isn't the same as random. I'm not convinced that true randomness really exists on a large scale.
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