Fine Tuning

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Fine Tuning

Postby Chris Hyland » Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:08 pm

I've never debated with creationists on fine-tuning so I need some help. At CreationEvolutionDesign there is a post about Fred Hoyle and the 'fine tuning' of the ratios of carbon and nitrogen in the universe. Fred says:
From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 Mev energy level in the nucleus of 12C to the 7.12 Mev level in 16O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? Following the above argument, I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.
I'm not going to argue wether or not this is a good philosophical argument, as a scientific argument though it's missing something.

A - Some constants have to be at a particular value for life to exist.
B
C - Therefore the constants are the result of a 'super-intelligence'.

Can someone tell me what B is supposed to be?
Chris Hyland
 
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Fine Tuning

Postby Scott » Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:55 am

Hi Chris,
I suspect that they would turn your syllogism on its head something like this:

A - Physical constants consistent with life can only be set by a "super intelligence".
B - The Universe exhibits such constants.
C - Therefore the Universe was created (or at least organized) by a "super intelligence".

They might try to obfuscate about the fact that "A" is a bald (and unsupported) assertion and that is, of course, the rub.  It goes to the issue of ultimate causes, which cannot be examined by science and which are the very stuff on which faiths are founded.
Your version of "A" is much better scientifically because it is fact based and exposes the difficulty of coming up with a tenable "B" that would lead to "C".  Creationists aren't concerned with facts, but with polemics in support of their cause.  They dearly want to declare your "C" (or my "A") to be true by fiat, thus eliminating the need to support their claims with facts and coherent explanations (theories in the scientific sense).  That is the reason for their appeal to "common sense".  In this case, what they are talking about is the ignorant notion that anything that is complex or even merely coincidental can't have come about through natural means.  As an example from their own rhetoric, what makes the energy levels between carbon and oxygen "remarkable"?  Who is to say that it isn't A) to be expected given the nature of physics even if we don't entirely understand why (and perhaps physicists can weigh in on this) or B) merely a cosmic coincidence arising from the big bang or other processes after that?  The word "remarkable" is in this case employed as a polemical device.  It is an assumption in the statement for which no justification is offered.

Scott



On 4-Apr-07, at 3:08 PM, Chris Hyland wrote:
I've never debated with creationists on fine-tuning so I need some help. At CreationEvolutionDesign there is a post about Fred Hoyle and the 'fine tuning' of the ratios of carbon and nitrogen in the universe. Fred says:Quote:From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 Mev energy level in the nucleus of 12C to the 7.12 Mev level in 16O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? Following the above argument, I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.I'm not going to argue wether or not this is a good philosophical argument, as a scientific argument though it's missing something.A - Some constants have to be at a particular value for life to exist.BC - Therefore the constants are the result of a 'super-intelligence'.Can someone tell me what B is supposed to be?
Scott
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:03 pm


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