Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

The Anthropic principle

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

Laws exist only as concepts. Things that exist move according to their own nature and if many things have the same nature than we may find laws that in a sence govern those things.

 

There is no entity that we could call chaos. Also the Universe was less disorderely in the past than it is now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Entertainment.

 

I don't watch television as it's inane, inert, and passive. The virtual world of interactive public television is much more interesting place to visit.

 

 

  If you can't respect us enough to take us seriously then don't post here. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Laws exist only as concepts. Things that exist move according to their own nature and if many things have the same nature than we may find laws that in a sence govern those things.

 

There is no entity that we could call chaos. Also the Universe was less disorderely in the past than it is now.

I agree with first part of the post in the sense, "nature to be commanded must first be understood", but what do you mean by the second part? Disorderly in what context?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"he'll just arbitrarily state that God engineered it to be that way." -Nicky

"They were either designed or they came from random chaos." -Moralist

You choose design, aka god.

 

"his arbitrary opinions are just as valid as your logic, because he has a right to them." -Nicky

"That choice is a completely open one, and everyone freely chooses for themselves." -Moralist

In other words, reason is not your basis of choice. Choices like this, as you describe, are arbitrary. It doesn't matter what you choose apparently, because the question is open, meaning it is entirely up to a personal choice based on... nothing. For whatever reason, this appears like valid reasoning to you.

 

You've ceded that you post for entertainment, so I suppose there is actual hard proof now that you really have no interest in discussing Objectivism, or even coming up with reasoned though. Reasoned thought and entertainment aren't mutually exclusive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Laws exist only as concepts. Things that exist move according to their own nature and if many things have the same nature than we may find laws that in a sence govern those things.

 

There is no entity that we could call chaos. Also the Universe was less disorderely in the past than it is now.

The physical processes of turbulence in water and air are chaotic.  They are extremely sensitive to initial and boundary condition.

 

Please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaotic_dynamical_system

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't bother. He already made it clear that he rejects reason as the means of acquiring knowledge. Whatever evidence you provide, he'll just reply with the arbitrary assertion that God's behind it.

If you prove to him that evolution is a natural phenomenon, he'll just arbitrarily state that God engineered it to be that way. If you challenge that, he'll just conflate rights with reason and reply that his arbitrary opinions are just as valid as your logic, because he has a right to them.

 

:confused:  It's hard to believe that's even possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 You posit only two choices for explanation of physical laws, based on a 'coming out of chaos'(~), could you define chaos? And provide an example of 'when' it was?

There is likely a better word than chaos as all matter follows specific physical laws regardless of its form. Maybe "unformed" is better to reflect the time before the formation of stars and planets.

 

For example, the relationship between an electron and a proton in hydrogen atoms conforms to exactly the same physical law no matter where in the universe they are observed. This is amazing consistent uniformity when you consider the vastness of the universe. This is proof of a literally universal law governing the electron/proton relationship found in the most common element in the universe. Physical law makes the uniform template for all hydrogen atoms possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is likely a better word than chaos as all matter follows specific physical laws regardless of its form. Maybe "unformed" is better to reflect the time before the formation of stars and planets.

 

For example, the relationship between an electron and a proton in hydrogen atoms conforms to exactly the same physical law no matter where in the universe they are observed. This is amazing consistent uniformity when you consider the vastness of the universe. This is proof of a literally universal law governing the electron/proton relationship found in the most common element in the universe. Physical law makes the uniform template for all hydrogen atoms possible.

Actually, you have it reversed, the recognition of the workings of the hydrogen atom, is what gives raise to the understanding of the  relationship between a hydrogen atom and the universe(the ultimate context, remember no contradictions).

Edited by tadmjones
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Understanding the laws which govern matter does not create those laws.

Though Daniel already made my point, perhaps understanding what a "law of science" is and how it comes about might help.

First, a genus/differentia definition:

1. Genus: a scientific law is a type of statement. (as an aside, the most important thing you need to know about statements is that they are made by people, not rocks or imaginary deities)

2. Differentia: scientific laws are the result of a scientific process. They start out as hypotheses and postulates, which are then verified (through observation and experiments) and become laws if and until there is nothing found to contradict them.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_science

AGAIN: a scientific law is a STATEMENT which expresses scientists' knowledge of the physical world. They are nothing more, and they do nothing more (they most certainly DO NOT govern anything-scientific laws were created long after the things you're claiming they're "governing" have been around).

What you are doing is, instead of understanding that process of how laws of science are FORMULATED (to understand why they have value), you assign a mystical quality to them as a substitute for that process. "Law of science", when used this way (not as a statement made by scientists, but as some mystical abstraction found in some unmentioned place somewhere), becomes a stolen concept, of no use or value to anyone.

Edited by Nicky
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Though Daniel already made my point, perhaps understanding what a "law of science" is and how it comes about might help.

First, a genus/differentia definition:

1. Genus: a scientific law is a type of statement. (as an aside, the most important thing you need to know about statements is that they are made by people, not rocks or imaginary deities)

2. Differentia: scientific laws are the result of a scientific process. They start out as hypotheses and postulates, which are then verified (through observation and experiments) and become laws if and until there is nothing found to contradict them.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_science

AGAIN: a scientific law is a STATEMENT which expresses scientists' knowledge of the physical world. They are nothing more, and they do nothing more (they most certainly DO NOT govern anything-scientific laws were created long after the things you're claiming they're "governing" have been around).

What you are doing is, instead of understanding that process of how laws of science are FORMULATED (to understand why they have value), you assign a mystical quality to them as a substitute for that process. "Law of science", when used this way (not as a statement made by scientists, but as some mystical abstraction found in some unmentioned place somewhere), becomes a stolen concept, of no use or value to anyone.

How does genus-differential  produce the mathematical laws of physics?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually, you have it reversed, the recognition of the workings of the hydrogen atom, is what gives raise to the understanding of the  relationship between a hydrogen atom and the universe(the ultimate context, remember no contradictions).

Understanding the order of physical laws does not create them.

Science only discovers the order of physical laws which already exist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 I agree with first part of the post in the sense, "nature to be commanded must first be understood", but what do you mean by the second part? Disorderly in what context?

 

In the context of entropy. The Universe moves towards disorder instead of order. Therfore the Universe was less chaotic in the past than it is now. Of course that may not how it seems at first due to the laws of physicsm but that is how it is. Chaos may be an attribute of an entity, but not an entity on its own. That's my point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the context of entropy. The Universe moves towards disorder instead of order. Therfore the Universe was less chaotic in the past than it is now. Of course that may not how it seems at first due to the laws of physicsm but that is how it is. Chaos may be an attribute of an entity, but not an entity on its own. That's my point.

Chaotic ,being an attribute , makes no sense in this context. 'The Universe' is not an entity. Do you mean, in understanding the maths that try and descibe the conditions in the past can be called 'chaotic' or disorderly? Although this would imply a standard.  

 

I started on this line because creation theories seem to be based on some vague idea of 'coming out of chaos'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only meaning I can attribute to the word chaos is dissorder and since the beginning of the Universe was the context the only thing I could possibly think of is entropy.

 

The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems spontaneously evolve towards thermodynamic equilibrium—the state of maximum entropy. Equivalently, perpetual motion machines of the second kind are impossible.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_and_disorder_%28physics%29

 

Well whether the Universe was more chaotic or less doesn't really matter in the end.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chaotic ,being an attribute , makes no sense in this context. 'The Universe' is not an entity. Do you mean, in understanding the maths that try and descibe the conditions in the past can be called 'chaotic' or disorderly? Although this would imply a standard.  

 

I started on this line because creation theories seem to be based on some vague idea of 'coming out of chaos'.

The physical cosmos is a closed thermodynamic system

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to clarify the terminology a bit, the term chaos or chaotic does not mean random or disordered when used in the scientific/technical sense.   In the scientific use of the term chaotic system are sensitive to initial condition.  Here is a portion of the wiki article on chaotic dynamics:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Sensitivity to initial conditions means that each point in such a system is arbitrarily closely approximated by other points with significantly different future trajectories. Thus, an arbitrarily small perturbation of the current trajectory may lead to significantly different future behaviour. However, it has been shown that the last two properties in the list above actually imply sensitivity to initial conditions[9][10] and if attention is restricted tointervals, the second property implies the other two[11] (an alternative, and in general weaker, definition of chaos uses only the first two properties in the above list).[12] It is interesting that the most practically significant condition, that of sensitivity to initial conditions, is actually redundant in the definition, being implied by two (or for intervals, one) purely topological conditions, which are therefore of greater interest to mathematicians.

Sensitivity to initial conditions is popularly known as the "butterfly effect", so called because of the title of a paper given by Edward Lorenz in 1972 to theAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. entitled Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas? The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale phenomena. Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different.

A consequence of sensitivity to initial conditions is that if we start with only a finite amount of information about the system (as is usually the case in practice), then beyond a certain time the system will no longer be predictable. This is most familiar in the case of weather, which is generally predictable only about a week ahead.[13]

The Lyapunov exponent characterises the extent of the sensitivity to initial conditions. Quantitatively, two trajectories in phase space with initial separation cef6eb327c3267188747f8b3630029de.png diverge

9e5be4e8871a13affdad28bf9cbc5351.png

where λ is the Lyapunov exponent. The rate of separation can be different for different orientations of the initial separation vector. Thus, there is a whole spectrum of Lyapunov exponents — the number of them is equal to the number of dimensions of the phase space. It is common to just refer to the largest one, i.e. to the Maximal Lyapunov exponent (MLE), because it determines the overall predictability of the system. A positive MLE is usually taken as an indication that the system is chaotic.

There are also measure-theoretic mathematical conditions (discussed in ergodic theory) such as mixing or being a K-system which relate to sensitivity of initial conditions and chaos.[4]

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

There are deterministic chaotic system which cannot be predicted because we cannot specify the initial condition of the system to infinite precision.

The convective behavior of the atmosphere  is deterministic and can be described by non-linear differential equations. There is nothing random or "mixed up" about the convective motion of air driven by solar heat  yet the dynamics of the system are chaotic simply because of the sensitivity of the outcome to initial conditions.

 

ruveyn1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

. . . creation theories seem to be based on some vague idea of 'coming out of chaos'.

 

So is abiogenesis.

 

The differences are:

 

1) Creation scenarios have some evidence in their favor, while abiogenesis scenarios have none.

 

2) Creation scenarios do not violate physical law to be plausible, while abiogenesis scenarios must invoke a violation of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics at some point.

 

3) Creation scenarios are mathematically plausible, while abiogenesis scenarios must always rely on a mathematical miracle to be plausible. If one rejects mathematical miracles, then one will, ipso facto, reject abiogenesis scenarios.

 

Lest there be any confusion, I mean by the term "abiogenesis" any theory, hypothesis, or scenario that relies exclusively on matter, energy, and unguided natural law — stochastic or deterministic — to explain the appearance of life in an early universe that presumably did not already start off with life as an element of its initial conditions.  "Chemical evolution" is a suitable substitute for the term "abiogenesis," as is the phrase "biochemical predestination." Thus, in this context, "abiogenesis," "chemical evolution," and "biochemical predestination," all mean the same thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok. In your view, a Dell computer was designed... while a living biocomputer with a duadrillion connections isn't.  

Entropy, which is a measure of disorder, homogeny and chaos, must increase over time.  This is standard physics and well-documented.

Moralist's argument, if he were to say it explicitly, would be based on this fact:

 

1: Entropy increases over time and its opposite, complexity, decreases over time.

2: A Dell computer couldn't have been created accidentally; it was created by a human brain, with infinitely greater complexity.  In the same way and for the same reasons, the human brain (which, for its complexity, has vanishingly miniscule entropy) must have been designed by something even more complex, in order to preserve 1.

 

But it's also a well-documented fact that biological life is the one and only thing known to man which openly defies entropy.

Living things ingest raw matter (which basically has no structure to it, at all), take what is useful and assimilate it into their own bodies.

When any organism excretes, it definitely more-than compensates for the lowered entropy and ends up raising the entropy of the environment just slightly.  But inside the body of any biological organism, entropy DECREASES over time as complexity INCREASES.

In light of this, it makes perfect sense that a Dell computer could never have spontaneously been assembled in nature while a human being could have.

 

In fact, if 2 were true (ignoring the anti-entropy of increasingly complex life) then wouldn't all life evolve downwards, away from fitness and towards any random thing?  The history of animal and plant husbandry speaks for itself; evolution happens.  If it couldn't possibly give rise to humanity then, logically, we could expect everything to eventually devolve into single-celled organisms and, in the distant future, raw proteins.

But I'm guessing that's not scheduled until sometime after Jesus II: Return of the Jesus.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Entropy, which is a measure of disorder, homogeny and chaos, must increase over time.  This is standard physics and well-documented.

Moralist's argument, if he were to say it explicitly, would be based on this fact:

 

1: Entropy increases over time and its opposite, complexity, decreases over time.

2: A Dell computer couldn't have been created accidentally; it was created by a human brain, with infinitely greater complexity.  In the same way and for the same reasons, the human brain (which, for its complexity, has vanishingly miniscule entropy) must have been designed by something even more complex, in order to preserve 1.

 

But it's also a well-documented fact that biological life is the one and only thing known to man which openly defies entropy.

Living things ingest raw matter (which basically has no structure to it, at all), take what is useful and assimilate it into their own bodies.

When any organism excretes, it definitely more-than compensates for the lowered entropy and ends up raising the entropy of the environment just slightly.  But inside the body of any biological organism, entropy DECREASES over time as complexity INCREASES.

In light of this, it makes perfect sense that a Dell computer could never have spontaneously been assembled in nature while a human being could have.

 

In fact, if 2 were true (ignoring the anti-entropy of increasingly complex life) then wouldn't all life evolve downwards, away from fitness and towards any random thing?  The history of animal and plant husbandry speaks for itself; evolution happens.  If it couldn't possibly give rise to humanity then, logically, we could expect everything to eventually devolve into single-celled organisms and, in the distant future, raw proteins.

But I'm guessing that's not scheduled until sometime after Jesus II: Return of the Jesus.

 

 

>>>But it's also a well-documented fact that biological life is the one and only thing known to man which openly defies entropy.

 

Biological life, and, of course, the things designed by biological life with intelligence: brick walls, novels, Dell computers, etc. Those things also defy entropy.

 

There are natural non-biological phenomena that also openly defy entropy: stellar nuclear-synthesis of carbon, for example, by means of a "double resonance" process. Fred Hoyle discovered the process and claimed that stars must therefore be designed "machines" for the purpose of creating carbon, the fundamental building block of life. Hoyle was an atheist.

 

>>>Living things ingest raw matter 

 

Raw or cooked. True.

 

>>>(which basically has no structure to it, at all), 

 

Everything has structure, including raw matter. In fact, raw matter has MORE structure than cooked matter, since cooking would tend to increase the entropy of the matter.

 

>>>take what is useful and assimilate it into their own bodies.

 

True.

 

>>When any organism excretes, it definitely more-than compensates for the lowered entropy and ends up raising the entropy of the environment just slightly.

 

True.

 

>>>But inside the body of any biological organism, entropy DECREASES over time as complexity INCREASES.

 

True.

 

>>In light of this, it makes perfect sense that a Dell computer could never have spontaneously been assembled in nature while a human being could have.

 

Non sequitur. In the production of a Dell computer, the human engineers and manufacturers also raise the entropy of the environment slightly (waste products due to the process of industrial production and manufacturing); ergo, you must also admit that a Dell computer could, in principle, have appeared by an unguided, non-intelligent, non-teleological process, such as a tornado in a junkyard. However, even you admit, in principle, that a Dell computer could have appeared by such means, are you also willing to admit that the instruction manual on how to operate the Dell computer could have come about in such a manner — you know, the tornado whips through an ink factor and paper factory, and just happens to create ink spots in the shape of letters, which just happen to align themselves into intelligible English words and sentences? And these ink spots actually "map to", or make reference to, the Dell computer, which was formed by some other tornado in some other junkyard? It's a bit far-fetched, no?

 

>>>In fact, if 2 were true (ignoring the anti-entropy of increasingly complex life) then wouldn't all life evolve downwards, away from fitness and towards any random thing?

 

Yes. It's called "genetic entropy" and there are books written about it. Living things are biologically less "fit" now than they were in the past. What's preserving them is human intelligence; i.e., human intelligent design, purposefulness, and goal-directedness.

 

>>>The history of animal and plant husbandry speaks for itself; evolution happens.

 

If you're talking about the fossil record, most of it shows stasis over long periods of time, punctuated by sudden appearances (geologically speaking) of new architectural body plans for new biological entities with no smooth, slow, incremental lineage of precursors. This is not what Darwin had in mind by his use of the term "evolution."

 

Overall, the fossil record does not comport with the story told by Darwinian evolution. Traditionally, evolutionists ducked the issue entirely by claiming that the fossil record must be "incomplete"; i.e., the smooth, incremental mutations between one species and another are there, but they are lost due to erosion, natural disasters, etc. This is the same as a forensic scientist claiming "There is evidence that Mr. X committed the crime, but we just don't know where it is." That excuse might be convincing for one unsolved crime, but for many of them? I don't think so. In any case, findings such as the Burgess Shale and the so-called Cambrian Explosion simply do not fit the Darwinian story of where diverse species came from.

 

>>> If it couldn't possibly give rise to humanity then, logically, we could expect everything to eventually devolve into single-celled organisms and, in the distant future, raw proteins.

 

Unless, of course, there is a constant sustaining force that maintains an overall state of low entropy between living things and their environment. A real "Maxwell's Demon."

 

The clincher is our increasing knowledge of informational storage molecules like DNA. DNA uses a 4-symbol chemical code to store information about amino acids and protein synthesis. Sorry, but codes — which are ARBITRARY mappings, or assignments, of one alphabet (or "domain") onto some other alphabet (or "co-domain") are linguistic conventions always done by minds with alternatives and choices, not by random processes or deterministic processes (i.e., "Let a dot, either in sound or in ink, stand for the English letter 'e'". That's an arbitrary mapping done by a mind we happen to know about, Samuel Morse. "Let the chemical triplet cytosine-guanine-adenine [CGA] stand for, or map to, the amino acid arginine." That's also an arbitrary mapping. There's no chemical necessity for CGA to map to arginine because the codon triplet, CGA, NEVER AT ANY TIME COMES INTO PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH THE AMINO ACID. It simply represents, "stands for," or "maps to" the amino acid when it is "understood" or "read" or "decoded" (whichever linguistic term you prefer) by the ribosome, in exactly the same way that the sound "d i t" or a small dot of ink maps to the letter "e" in Morse Code.

 

The Genetic Code is obviously a designed code.

 

Additionally, recent research published in the journal "Nature" by the ENCODE research group shows that over 80% of DNA has function and is transcribed, even though only a small percentage of DNA maps onto amino acids. The ENCODE group claims that they expect 100% of the DNA molecule to be functional, though most of the function has to do with things other than coding for amino acids and protein synthesis. This means that one key support of the Darwinian story — "junk DNA" — has been disproven and needs to be thrown out.

 

Finally, a company called Agilent has successfully used the nucleotide sequences in strands of DNA to map onto things other than amino acids; e.g., to map onto binary codes in computers, which, in turn, map onto pixels. Agilent has recently used DNA to store pixel information for JPEG images, and using ordinary DNA sequencing technology, decoded the DNA strands to reproduce the JPEG images with 100% fidelity.

 

"DNA Storage" is expensive now but will come down in price as the technology improves. Apparently, 1/3rd of a teaspoon of DNA (1 gram) can easily store 1 petabyte (1,000 terabytes) of data. DNA, therefore, is obviously a molecular-sized version of a Dell-computer hard-drive. If the latter is conceded to have been designed by intelligence, then so must the former.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...