Friday, December 4, 2009

Anthropic Coincidence, Part 2 of 2

Here are several more conditions necessary for the emergence of complex, intelligent life, taken from this web site. I do not necessarily understand all of them, but here they are, in case you do. Or you can just skim or even skip this list and go to the comments at the end of this post.

The Big-bang

• The explosive-force of the big-bang had to be fine-tuned to match the strength of gravity to one part in 10000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000.

• This is one part in 10^60. The number 10^60 = 1 followed by 60 zeros.

• This precision is the same as the odds of a random shot (bullet from a gun) hitting a one-inch target from a distance of 20 billion light-years.

• Epistemic probability: 0.00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00001
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Density-of-matter in the Big-bang

• In the big-bang, the density-of-matter in the universe after Planck time (fraction of a second after the big-bang) had to be matched to the critical-density to better than one part in 10000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000.

• This is one part in 10^50, which is 1 followed by 50 zeros.

• Epistemic probability: 0.00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00001
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The inflationary Big-bang

• In the inflationary big-bang, the cosmological constant and a particular force need to be fine-tuned for galaxies and planets to form.

• The net result is a situation with an epistemic-probability of one part in 10^81, which is 1 followed by 81 zeros.

• Epistemic probability: 0.00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 1
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Lambda in the inflationary Big-bang

• In the inflationary big-bang, bare-lambda and quantum-lambda (two components of the cosmological constant) had to be fine-tuned to cancel each other to better than one part in 10000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000, for galaxies and planets to form.

• This is one part in 10^50, which is 1 followed by 50 zeros.

• Epistemic probability: 0.00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00001
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The Strong Force

• The strong-force (which binds particles in atomic nuclei) had to be balanced with the weak-nuclear-force to about one part in 10000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000.

• This is one part in 10^60, which is 1 followed by 60 zeros.

• Epistemic probability: 0.00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00001
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Gravity

• The force of gravity had to be tuned to one part in 10000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000, for stars capable of supporting-life to exist (based on balancing electromagnetic forces with gravitational forces).

• This is one part in 10^40, which is 1 followed by 40 zeros.

• Epistemic probability: 0.00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00001
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Electrons & Protons

• The number of electrons had to be matched to the number of protons to one part in 10000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00, for formation of stars and planets.

• This is one part in 10^37, which is 1 followed by 37 zeros.

• Epistemic probability: 0.00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 01
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Carbon Resonance

• A nuclear resonance had to be created for formation of carbon (via alpha particle collision with Beryllium-8) and then tuned to close to a specific energy, to enable a brief window of opportunity for formation of carbon.

• Without this, there would be negligible carbon in the universe.

• Carbon is the only element designed to be capable of forming the long molecular-chains necessary for the complexity required by life (silicon for instance forms much shorter and less versatile chains that are not specified-complex enough).
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Oxygen Resonance

• A nuclear resonance for formation of oxygen had to be tuned to prevent complete cannibalization of carbon (via alpha-particle collision with carbon, resulting in oxygen).

• If the oxygen-resonance were half a percent higher, there would be negligible carbon in the universe and on earth. Carbon is the only element designed to be capable of forming the long molecular-chains necessary for the complexity required by life.
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Particle masses

• Proton, neutron and electron masses had to be fine-tuned to enable life.

• For instance, free neutrons decay to form protons. If the proton mass were slightly higher, the opposite would happen, resulting in a universe full of neutronium.

• There would be no elements (no hydrogen, oxygen, carbon) and no way to create the molecular-complexity required for life.
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Weak Nuclear Force

• The weak-nuclear force had to be fine-tuned to enable life.

• Slightly stronger, and no helium or heavier elements would form. And there would be no means to create the molecular-complexity required for life.

• Slightly weaker, and no hydrogen would remain (to provide fuel for steady-burning stars needed as sources of energy for life).

• Also, supernova explosions would not be able to disperse the medium-to-heavy elements created in stars.

• Elements such as carbon (for molecular chains basic to life), iron (for hemoglobin), copper and other elements used in life-forms were originally created in stars, then dispersed by supernova explosions, to finally reach/coalesce into earth…
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Dimensions

• The number of dimensions in our universe had to be fine-tuned to enable life.

• The topological, and physical laws of the universe need more than two spatial-dimensions, and less than five extended-dimensions for stability and the complexity required for life…

• This requirement is met in our universe, with 3 extended spatial-dimensions and 1 temporal dimension.
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Carbon chemistry

• Lee Smolin (a world-class physicist and a leader in quantum gravity) estimates that if the physical constants of the universe were chosen randomly, the epistemic-probability of ending up with a world with carbon chemistry is less than one part in 10^220.

• This epistemic-probability is one part in: 10000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 0.

• Epistemic Probability: 0.0000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 1
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Cosmological Flatness

• Lee Smolin (physicist) estimates the epistemic-probability for the "equivalent-temperature" of the universe being such as to enable cosmological flatness, to be one part in 10^32.
• Epistemic Probability: 0.00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 01
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Quantum Gravity & Cosmological Flatness

• Looking at Quantum Gravity and what it would take to obtain Flat Euclidean 3D space upto cosmological scales (as observed in our universe) …
• Calculating the epistemic probability of this occurring by random chance, using spin-networks from Roger Penrose, applied to quantum gravity by Lee Smolin and co-scientists. The number of predicted spin-network nodes in our universe would be at least 10^180. And allowing a 10% deviation from cosmological flatness, we end up with an epistemic-probability of less than one part in 10^(10^180).

• This is one part in 10^(10^180), which is 10 followed by 10^180 zeros.

• Epistemic Probability: 0.0000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 00000 … … … … … 00001

• If I were to write this number out, as 0.0000 0000 …, with all of its zeros, we would need a computer hard-drive much larger than the size of our entire universe, just to hold all of the zeros that I would have to write out.
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The big-bang (reprise)

• The big-bang had to result in a universe with relatively low-entropy (a high degree of thermodynamic-order), which could then proceed to increase in entropy with time, thus enabling formation of galaxies, stars, planets and ultimately enabling life to function once it was created.

• In 1989 Roger Penrose (a world-class mathematician) calculated the precision required to create our universe with the necessary thermodynamic-order and to send it on its way (to develop in a manner compatible with life). His calculated precision was one part in 10^(10^123).

END OF LIST

Now these lists I’ve shared with you are by no means exhaustive. There are lots more factors. If you combine all the probabilities, you get a probability of it all happening that is incomprehensibly small.

Can we get from this type of data to God? Yes and no.

What we can’t get to from here is the Christian God, the Holy Trinity, the good God, the Only Lover of Mankind. We can’t arrive at that from here because Christian theology doesn't work that way. Christian theology begins and ends with Jesus Christ; it arises from the lived encounter His followers have with Jesus, from the beginning of His earthly ministry down to today. So we mustn’t make too much of an argument from Anthropic Coincidence.

Nevertheless, as St. Paul writes, "what may be known of God is manifest in them [the unrighteous], for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world the invisible things of Him are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, namely His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20) That much we can get to: we can understand that God (some sort of God) exists and has eternal power.

Atheists have some remarkable ways of trying to get around this, of denying that the universe is fine-tuned (designed intentionally) for life. One way they seek to avoid this conclusion is to theorize that not all life must necessarily be anything like what we know as life. Perhaps there is such a thing, for example, as silicon-based life, rather than carbon-based. Computer chips, after all, are silicon. Could they evolve to intelligent life forms? (I told you this was remarkable stuff!) Or could the Web morph into a living being?

Or perhaps life somewhere is made of something else altogether other than chemicals, other than molecules. (Such as what? Angels?)

Ultimately fatal to the design argument is the unwarranted assumption that only one type of life is possible--a chemistry-based life such as we have here on earth. This would not exist except for the narrow range of parameters in our universe … We have no basis for ruling out other forms of matter than molecules in the universe as building blocks of complex systems. From TalkReason.

But of course these argument fail to address the known data, shifting instead to daydreams. If you don’t like the data, invent some imaginary data. But we’re not speaking of anybody’s fantasy. The debate concerns life as we know it.

Another “out” atheists like, the most common one apparently, is to speculate that our universe is actually one of many. Perhaps in other universes, the laws of nature don't hold. And what's a "law of nature" anyway?

Prior to these recent developments, the physicist's conception of the laws of nature was pretty much that of most lay people: those laws were assumed to be rules for the behavior of matter and energy that are part of the very structure of the universe, laid out at the creation. However, in the past several decades we have gradually come to understand that what we call "laws of physics" are basically our own descriptions of certain symmetries observed in nature and the way in which these symmetries, in some cases, happen to be broken.

Yup, "laws of nature" don't always hold, as the Orthodox will readily agree. But other universes, operating on different principles?

Even if the same laws of physics hold true in every universe, say atheists, maybe there are so many universes that, however small the chances, the conditions for life were bound to be right, eventually, just by chance, in at least one of them. And our universe, unsurprisingly, is merely that one. This is really the only way to go (so far as I can see)if you want to insist this universe is random.

Of course there is not a shred, not an iota, of evidence for all these hypothetical other universes, or even for just one of them. Much less for universes with different "laws of nature." Suddenly, scientists become highly unscientific! Suddenly, they've left science behind altogether.

Once we do that, then frankly, it seems not only easier, but also more reasonable, more intelligent, even more nearly scientific, just to believe in God.

1 comments:

Quienes Somos said...

((27-16)+(12-1))÷ 0.33 x 10^-13=

= 6.67 x 10^-11 Gravedad