As a relatively recent arrival here at TSZ, I am somewhat intrigued to still see the Fine-Tuning Argument in regular rotation. It appears often in comments, but the two most recent OP’s that I have come across dedicated to the topic are Mung’s ‘The Wonder of Water‘ and RobC’s ‘The Big Numbers Game‘.
That I find the Fine-Tuning Argument completely unconvincing will not come as a surprise to anyone who has read any of my comments on TSZ. But I think it is worth taking a moment to explain why that is as my reasoning differs slightly from that of others whose comments I have seen. In a comment on the ‘Wonder of Water’ thread, Joe Felsenstein comes closest while referring to the ability of the Schrodinger Wave Equation to model all of the properties that we see expressed in Chemistry:
“If Michael Denton’s Intelligent Designer wants to fine-tune properties of water she has to do it by tinkering with the SWE. Which would mess up a lot else.”
It is a little known fact that scientists who argue that the paleontological record of life is hundreds of millions of years old, when confronted with astrophysical facts, must eventually rely heavily on the hypothesis of finely tuned, large scale global warming. The problem is known as the Faith Young Sun Paradox. A few claim they have solved the paradox, but many remain skeptical of the solutions. But one fact remains, it is an acknowledged scientific paradox. And beyond this paradox, the question of Solar System evolution on the whole has some theological implications.
Astrophysicists concluded that when the sun was young, it was not as bright as it is now. As the sun ages it creates more and more heat, eventually incinerating the Earth before the sun eventually burns out. This is due to the change in products and reactants in the nuclear fusion process that powers the sun. This nuclear evolution of the sun will drive the evolution of the solar system, unless Jesus returns…
I’ve written a genetic algorithm, which I have posted below, which implements single-step selection.
The relevant line for single-step selection is line 38:
fitness == 28 ? fitness : 0
- Have I successfully coded a genetic algorithm?
Is this a version of the Weasel program?
Does it demonstrate the power of cumulative selection?
The big numbers game: Fine Tuning
Creationist fine tuning claims are incomprehensible. I know certain physicists argue for cosmological fine tuning (I’m not sold, for reasons I may discuss later). I believe the claims we’ve seen lately are far removed from any serious claim of fine tuning, and reflect a lack of comprehension of physics or basic math by those that use them.
Here’s a typical claim: “The force of gravity is determined by the gravitational constant. If this constant varied by just one in 10^60 parts, none of us would exist.” (1). You will find this claim repeated in the UD comments section, and even their own glossary of definitions (2-5). Creationists love it, because the big numbers, to them, mean impossible, therefore God. Right?
But wait. Humans have only measured the gravitational constant “big G” to parts per million accuracy (with variations between measurement methods at hundreds of parts per million (6)). So, using Chem 101 terminology, the statement above says that we know a constant to about 6 significant figures, but if the value was different at the digit 54 decimal past the frontier of human understanding, we’d be hosed. Where did this precise value come from? What math-a-magics creates precision from fine air?