Why God Exists | Fine-tuning, Beauty, and Discoverability

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Why God Exists | Fine-tuning, Beauty, and Discoverability (2018)

Dustin Crummet

Quote:These thoughts illustrate my general sense of the state of multiverse-based replies to fine-tuning. Some multiverse theories face powerful independent objections, and so are unlikely to be true. Meanwhile, others may well be true, but the most plausible of these themselves require a form of fine-tuning. A multiverse theory like the latter might be true, but if so, it, too, might provide evidence for theism. Further, note that naturalistic multiverse hypotheses don’t seem to provide a ready explanation for the other two pieces of data to which I’ll appeal, for reasons we’ll see.

Quote:This is confirmed by Steven Weinberg, an atheist and Nobel-prize winning physicist, when he writes that “mathematical structures that confessedly are developed by mathematicians because they seek a sort of beauty are often found later to be extraordinarily valuable by the physicist,” and even that “we are beginning to suspect that” the appearance of beauty in our fundamental physical theories “is not merely an accident, that there is a beauty in these laws that mirrors something that is built into the structure of the universe at a very deep level.” (As an atheist, Weinberg thinks the “uncanny” implications of this can ultimately be explained away, but nonetheless does “have to admit that sometimes nature seems more beautiful than strictly necessary.”) [1]

Quote:The discoverability of the universe is made even more striking by work from Robin Collins, who suggests that it, too, requires a particular kind of fine-tuning. So, for instance, Collins calculates that the baryon to photon ratio could have had any one of a wide range values without compromising the ability of the universe to support life, but that, within this range, it is finely-tuned to maximize the intensity of the cosmic microwave background radiation–the feature of the universe which allowed us to discover the Big Bang. Collins’ work is cutting-edge, and the evidence of fine-tuning for discoverability is not yet as well-established as that for fine-tuning for life. But it is nonetheless intriguing.

Not completely convincing for me but interesting arguments.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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  • Kamarling
(2023-05-21, 01:14 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Why God Exists | Fine-tuning, Beauty, and Discoverability (2018)

Dustin Crummet




Not completely convincing for me but interesting arguments.

The value and validity of the notion that beauty is important in finding valuable new physics theories is being questioned now. From Eric Hadin, Canceled Science: What Some Atheists Don’t Want You to See:

Quote:"In a recent critique of mathematical beauty as a guide to understanding nature, physicist Sabine Hossenfelder laments that this approach has failed to bear fruit in modern theoretical physics. She asks, “Why should the laws of nature care what I find beautiful?” Why indeed? And yet it has often been so—a mystery inexplicable within the confines of naturalism.
................................
Hossenfelder is correct that something is amiss in contemporary theoretical physics. But the problem is narrower than an appeal to beauty. The failure to make significant progress on the standard model of particle physics may stem from a misguided concept of beauty. In the last few decades, naturalism’s aversion to design has led to the assumption that evidence of fine-tuning in physical constants is “ugly.” The naturalist prefers to find a universe devoid of any distinctiveness that would seem to reflect a designer’s act of choice."

A deep discussion of beauty in science:  https://inters.org/scientific-beauty-wonder-everywhere .

Hossenfelder's comment “Why should the laws of nature care what I find beautiful?” reveals the fixed materialist mindset in which it isn't for a moment considered that the answer to this question and mystery could be that a superintelligence created the laws of physics and that this powerful being is closely related to humans.
(This post was last modified: 2023-05-21, 05:13 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2023-05-21, 05:12 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: The value and validity of the notion that beauty is important in finding valuable new physics theories is being questioned now. From Eric Hadin, Canceled Science: What Some Atheists Don’t Want You to See:


A deep discussion of beauty in science:  https://inters.org/scientific-beauty-wonder-everywhere .

Hossenfelder's comment “Why should the laws of nature care what I find beautiful?” reveals the fixed materialist mindset in which it isn't for a moment considered that the answer to this question and mystery could be that a superintelligence created the laws of physics and that this powerful being is closely related to humans.

I don't think the key here is beauty in itself, but rather the mathematical pursuit of beauty that leads to efficacious maths used in the STEM fields.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(2023-05-21, 07:55 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: I don't think the key here is beauty in itself, but rather the mathematical pursuit of beauty that leads to efficacious maths used in the STEM fields.

I’m curious as to how you would define beauty
Is it objective or purely subjective?
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  • Sciborg_S_Patel
(2023-05-22, 04:34 PM)Larry Wrote: I’m curious as to how you would define beauty
Is it objective or purely subjective?

Ah I've had a similar discussion many times with friends who majored in the arts! It seems unfair to say there is a pure, clear hierarchy of works that is "good" versus "bad"...OTOH I've seen people take a video game that is mostly about killing monsters with a questionable plot and say it's one of the great works of modern literature...

So I think it's the same with Beauty - I recently was in a discussion with a neuroscientist who did feel that pursuing elegance in science has yielded fruit and so should be continued as a practice. And as someone who did a lot of mathematical proofs while in school I do think there's something to the idea that mathematics has some kind of inherent, Platonic Beauty...but OTOH I know people who did maths who had less love for the subject so is it really something objective...especially when you consider others who just hated maths and never saw the point of proofs...

So a long way of saying I don't know. Big Grin
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2023-05-22, 05:30 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel. Edited 1 time in total.)
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  • Typoz
(2023-05-22, 05:25 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Ah I've had a similar discussion many times with friends who majored in the arts! It seems unfair to say there is a pure, clear hierarchy of works that is "good" versus "bad"...OTOH I've seen people take a video game that is mostly about killing monsters with a questionable plot and say it's one of the great works of modern literature...

So I think it's the same with Beauty - I recently was in a discussion with a neuroscientist who did feel that pursuing elegance in science has yielded fruit and so should be continued as a practice. And as someone who did a lot of mathematical proofs while in school I do think there's something to the idea that mathematics has some kind of inherent, Platonic Beauty...but OTOH I know people who did maths who had less love for the subject so is it really something objective...especially when you consider others who just hated maths and never saw the point of proofs...

So a long way of saying I don't know. Big Grin
Maybe there is an ultimate source of creativity in the universe  and when we percieve something in a way or from a perspective that evokes that deeper source (jung refered to as the numinosum or the numinous), that quality (beauty) pours forth into our consciousness
"So a long way of saying I don't know. Smile"   me too
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(2023-05-22, 05:57 PM)Larry Wrote: Maybe there is an ultimate source of creativity in the universe  and when we percieve something in a way or from a perspective that evokes that deeper source (jung refered to as the numinosum or the numinous), that quality (beauty) pours forth into our consciousness
"So a long way of saying I don't know. Smile"   me too

This makes me think of the visceral power of the stage play, that IMO can surpass even the highest CGI budgeted movie (though I enjoy those too!).

I recall a play partly about a young woman who suffered from mental illness, which was symbolized by blue cloth and lighting meant to symbolize drowning - even decades later while the plot escapes me and the visuals are fuzzy I can remember the actress expressing the character's desperate cry, emoting frustrated anger while also being a cry for relief.

Just haunting in that numinous way you mention...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2023-05-22, 08:37 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2023-05-22, 08:36 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: This makes me think of the visceral power of the stage play, that IMO can surpass even the highest CGI budgeted movie (though I enjoy those too!).

I recall a play partly about a young woman who suffered from mental illness, which was symbolized by blue cloth and lighting meant to symbolize drowning - even decades later while the plot escapes me and the visuals are fuzzy I can remember the actress expressing the character's desperate cry, emoting frustrated anger while also being a cry for relief.

Just haunting in that numinous way you mention...

Yes!   It's interesting how a talented actor in the right setting can invoke a connection at the archetypal level which can have such a profound effect. Even if they are depicting profound suffering or psychopathology it has a liberating effect and sense of awe from the audience.
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(2023-05-22, 09:36 PM)Larry Wrote: Yes!   It's interesting how a talented actor in the right setting can invoke a connection at the archetypal level which can have such a profound effect. Even if they are depicting profound suffering or psychopathology it has a liberating effect and sense of awe from the audience.

I'd highly recommend the first season of the show Slings and Arrows about a fictional Canadian Shakespeare center.

I felt it did a good job trying to communicate the magic of the stage.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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