The tip of the iceberg of fine tuning

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At https://mindmatters.ai/2022/08/has-a-sup...s-physics/.

Fine tuning is real, and astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle (who started as an atheist) had to think again when he discovered the most significant aspect or parameter of fine tuning, the nucleosynthesis of carbon (essential to life) in stars. The following is just the tip of the iceberg of the entire picture of fine tuning of the laws of physics that has been elucidated over the years.

Quote:It looked like, in order to form carbon, the gravitational forces must be extremely finely tuned and they must be balanced just right with the electromagnetic forces. And this turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg.

There was a whole suite of these so-called cosmic coincidences, where everything had to be just right to explain what was necessary to life. Just to produce carbon, here are five of these cosmic coincidences:

1. The gravitational force (what physicists [call] the force constant) that determines the exact strength of gravitation had to be just right. If it were larger, stars would be too hot and they would burn up too quickly and too unevenly. If the gravitational force constant and the force of gravity were smaller, stars would remain so cool that nuclear fusion would never ignite. And hence there’d never be any heavy element production.

2. The electromagnetic force constant also had to be delicately balanced. If it was larger, the chemical bonding wouldn’t occur, and elements more massive than boron1 would be too unstable for fission. If smaller, it would be insufficient to produce chemical bonding. And so it went.

3. and 4. The other fundamental forces of physics, the so-called strong nuclear force and weak nuclear force also had to be delicately balanced. If either of these forces were too large or too small by very small fractions, there would be no possibility forming stable elements. The basic chemistry of life would be impossible and we would not have a life permitting universe.

5. On top of all of that, it turns out that the fundamental units of matter, quarks, which make up the protons and neutrons, had to have very precise masses in order for the right nuclear reactions to occur that would produce the right elements, such as carbon and oxygen that are necessary for a life-permitting universe. And in the case of the mass of the quarks, there are up quarks and down quarks. Nine separate sets of criteria must be met simultaneously to make the basic chemistry of life possible.

As Hoyle began to reflect on all this, it occurred to him that we lived in a kind of Goldilocks universe, where everything was just right. The forces were not too strong, not too weak. The masses were not too large, not too small. And he started to rethink his staunch materialist atheist worldview…
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I think those lucky coincidences are very interesting, but I suppose I could imagine several metaphysical explanations.

Stephen Meyer thinks that Yahweh did it. I think most of us would morph that into the idea that the god that people sometimes meet in NDE's, or in other ways, created the universe. However it could be that life used to be lived in the astral plane - with no material support. From that point of view We (collectively) may have decided to create the universe(s) as an interesting project.

If We put the project on another time line, We could iterate the process many times to get it just right - we wouldn't need to have infinite intelligence - a concept that I find possibly meaningless.

I also wonder if there is a radically different way of looking at the problem that would get rid of the coincidences. For example, if I stand on the floor, it is true to say that the floor exerts a force on me that holds me up,  which is beautifully balanced by the gravitational force pulling me down - but there is an equilibrium, but no coincidence.
(This post was last modified: 2022-08-23, 11:58 AM by David001. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2022-08-23, 11:55 AM)David001 Wrote: I think those lucky coincidences are very interesting, but I suppose I could imagine several metaphysical explanations.

Stephen Meyer thinks that Yahweh did it. I think most of us would morph that into the idea that the god that people sometimes meet in NDE's, or in other ways, created the universe. However it could be that life used to be lived in the astral plane - with no material support. From that point of view We (collectively) may have decided to create the universe(s) as an interesting project.

If We put the project on another time line, We could iterate the process many times to get it just right - we wouldn't need to have infinite intelligence - a concept that I find possibly meaningless.

I also wonder if there is a radically different way of looking at the problem that would get rid of the coincidences. For example, if I stand on the floor, it is true to say that the floor exerts a force on me that holds me up,  which is beautifully balanced by the gravitational force pulling me down - but there is an equilibrium, but no coincidence.

Interesting. I have myself wondered if the creative act constituting the Big Bang may have been accomplished by powerful spiritual beings akin to the Catholic archangels, but not the Creator directly. These beings would be extremely intelligent and powerful, but certainly not infinitely so. In fact, that was the teaching of the talented psychic channeler Ron Scolastico, whose works I was interested in for quite a while.  

I tend to be skeptical that "we", or us humans, in any form, would have had the capacity to create our physical reality. Anyway, powerful spiritual beings of this sort would supposedly be the very intelligent but certainly not infinitely intelligent agents responsible for the major progress of evolution, the brilliant and innovative jumps in adaptive complexity that have been fundamentally beyond the capability of the Darwinistic unguided purposeless semi-random walk process. Hence the obvious imperfectness of the process as recorded by the fossil record, despite it having required millions or at least thousands of separate creative outside interventions. And hence the what appears to be obvious predilection of the intelligent outside agents responsible, for originating highly aesthetically beautiful designs, quirky and ingeneous, as if the output of different personalities.

Imputing the absolutely necessary creative agency or agencies to spiritual beings, or even to ourselves, only "kicks the can down the road" so to speak, still ultimately requiring there to have been an original creative force of some incomprehensibly powerful and intelligent nature, that created this finely and intricately organized system itself along with spiritual beings to inhabit it.   

If I understand your standing on the floor example correctly, it would seem to me it is certainly not a coincidence, but an example of the fine tuned design of the laws of physics (gravity, gravitational force and the gravitational constant), and the logically self-consistent process of designing living beings to adapt to these physical forces in such a way that their lives are enabled and even enhanced. That the acting and opposing forces balance perfectly is an even more basic requirement of fine tuning, basic to the needs of living beings, and even more basic in the fabric of fundamental logic. 

It seems to me that it ultimately still boils down to intelligently generated fine tuning of our reality, albeit probably by multiple spiritual beings of different natures, not the Deity directly. No eternal existence whether by "cyclic inflation" or any other deterministic mechanism. In fact I understand that Steinhardt, inventor of cosmic inflation theory, himself found that his system did not allow an eternal repeating "big bounce" process, because of entropic and other factors. Just perhaps a very much longer process than our 14 billion year cycle, but it still must have had a beginning in some sort of creative event of outside intervention.
(This post was last modified: 2022-08-23, 03:22 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 2 times in total.)
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