So, for example, we can figure out what would happen if we decrease or increase the force of gravity, and we discover that alterations beyond a certain range would result either in large-scale objects ceasing to stick together or else collapsing. If you were to place another large rock atop this spire, you would expect it would topple over and either fall or roll down one side, coming to rest down in the valley below. So the big bang was not a chaotic explosion. If [+] you were to find another large rock balanced atop this one, that would be an example of unstable equilibrium, a phenomenon that you wouldn't expect to find naturally. If we extrapolate this back to a very early time say, one nanosecond after the hot Big Bang we find that not only do these two sides have to balance, but they have to balance to an extraordinary precision. Infinity is required but unprovable. If that probability is small, then the system is finely tuned. To each possible outcome in this sample space, we assign a value: How specified is this particular outcome? This occurred about 100,000 years after the origin. Marks: One of the things I really like about your theory is including all possible successes. When we do encounter this unexpected kind of balance, we call it a system in unstable equilibrium. I think your intuitions on this matter are basically correct, Ken. The quantum fluctuations that occur during inflation get stretched across the Universe, and when [+] inflation ends, they become density fluctuations. Im in the middle of an undergrad program in Physics, and so Im familiar with many fundamental constants of the universe, but not exactly with the extent of their tuning.. This leads, over time, to the large-scale structure in the Universe today, as well as the fluctuations in temperature observed in the CMB. When it comes to the Universe as a whole, only gravitation matters. Dismantling Evolution: Building the Case for Intelligent Design. That second condition is what separates a non-scientific argument from a scientific one. Collins, Robin. the laws of physics as they are known, there are still fundamental constants required to determine exactly how our Universe behaves and evolves. This is trickier, but a simple rule of thumb is to take the range to be as wide as we can see that such values are possible. The Universe is electrically neutral, with one electron to cancel out the charge of every proton in the Universe, and the nuclear forces are extremely short-range, failing to extend beyond the scale of an atomic nucleus. However, it isn't merely a coincidence, but rather a consequence of the underlying geology and erosion processes that gave rise to the structure we see today. In this case, the specificity function is binary as well: 1 if the protein functions, and 0 if it does not.
Rather it is the individual constant that is fine-tuned, that is to say, in order for the universe to be life-permitting the constant must fall into a very narrow life-permitting range in comparison to the range of values it could have assumed. We can begin by looking at the fundamental constants that underlie the universe. The Teleological Argument. In Philosophy of Religion: Contemporary Issues, Paul Copan and Chad V. Meister, eds. Youre right that detractors of design have been forced to resort to the extraordinary Many Worlds Hypothesis in an effort to explain away fine-tuning. Whenever we run into an unexplained phenomenon, where two seemingly unrelated physical quantities match up either perfectly or almost perfectly, it's our duty to seek out an explanation. Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis, https://episodes.castos.com/mindmatters/Mind-Matters-Episode-151-Hossjer-Diaz.mp3, Using statistical methods to model the fine-tuning of molecular machines and systems, Active Information Requirements for Fixation on the Wright-Fisher Model of Population Genetics, Apocalypticism, Dystopia, and the Singularity, Applied Intelligence, Problem Solving, and Innovation, Natural Human, Animal, and Organismic Intelligence, Why Computers Will Never Understand What They are Doing. How to Rigorously Define Fine-tuning. Philosophia Christi 7 (December, 2005): 382-407. This flatness, when applied to the observable Universe, will create a balance between the observed expansion rate and the total amount of energy present in a given volume of space.
Now, before I reveal my number to you and you reveal your number to me, let me tell you what we're going to do. Quite a large number of fundamental constants are required to describe reality as we know it, and science cannot yet explain why they have the values that they do. curved space appearing flat. The cosmic space energy density. Inflation would stretch the Universe flat, yielding an energy density that matched the expansion rate, and then when inflation ended, the Big Bang's initial conditions would be set up. Beliefnet is a lifestyle website providing feature editorial content around the topics of inspiration, spirituality, health, wellness, love and family, news and entertainment. In order to calculate the probability of a constants being such that it leads to a life-supporting universe, we need to calculate the ratio between the range of life-permitting values and the range of values it might have, whether life-permitting or not. Was the universe created for life forms to live in? Famous atheist scientists have favored panspermia because there is no plausible purely natural explanation for life on Earth that would make it unnecessary. (2002). Marks: What the Big Bang teaches us about nothing. We could apply that in cosmology. Still, understanding why this value takes on the particular one it does is a fine-tuning question that most scientists assume has a physically-motivated answer. One option the worst option, if you ask me is to claim that there are a near-infinite number of possible outcomes, and a near-infinite number of possible Universes that contain those outcomes. That is, if you think of an outcome being generated randomly by chance, you have a certain distribution on it. The frequentist approach assesses the probability of future events but the Bayesian approach assesses the probability of events that have already occurred. Is life from outer space a viable science hypothesis?
As Robert Marks, Ola Hssjer, and Daniel Daz discuss, some prominent atheists/agnostics have chosen to substitute advanced extraterrestrials for God. When we do find the proverbial boulder balanced in unstable equilibrium, we talk about there being a fine-tuning problem. (2005). Through articles and podcasts, it explores issues, challenges, and controversies relating to human and artificial intelligence from a perspective that values the unique capabilities of human beings.
On the one hand, we have the expansion rate that the Universe had initially, close to the Big Bang. The sample space is a collection of all possible outputs of the algorithm. My number was 651,229. Marks . In science, when faced with a coincidence that we cannot easily explain, the idea that we can blame it on the initial conditions of our physical system is akin to giving up on science. We talk about in physics, for example, a theory of everything. Collins, Robin. Whenever we encounter a finely-tuned physical situation, there are good reasons to seek a physically-motivated explanation for it. You have some general abstract objects, and you model things from different areas of applications in a similar way. Additionally, since R could be any number from 0 to infinity, it would seem as though the probability of it containing four would be some constant k in infinity, and a constant over infinity is, of course, zero. In our observed Universe, a cosmic acceleration is caused by some type of dark energy, which is hitherto unexplained. Collins, Robin. Thats a more important thing. recollapsed already; if it had just a slightly lower density (and negative curvature), it would have expanded much faster and become much larger. But if that's the case, we'd hate to simply take that assumption at face value. Thats another example of a specificity function. Can Tracking Daily Activity Patterns Help Predict Dementia? I think thats an important part of the beauty of mathematics that seemingly unrelated features in cosmology and biology and in algorithmic theory, and so on could be modeled in a very similar way using similar concepts. The constants of the universe gravitational constant, entropy, and cosmological constant must be finely tuned for life to exist. Our Universe appears perfectly spatially flat, with the initial total energy density and the initial expansion rate balancing one another to at least some 20+ significant digits. Background radiation (as discussed in the previous chapter) originated on the surface of last scattering, when the temperature of the universe had dropped adequately so that the radiation would no longer interact with the back-ground gas. Hume, Fine-Tuning and the Who Designed God? Objection, in In Defense of Natural Theology: A Post-Humean Assessment, James Sennett and Douglas Groothius, eds., pp. The Forbes Worlds Most Influential CMOs List: 2022, New Dark Skies Camping Map Helps You Plan A Stargazing Trip (But Dont Forget About The Moon), Adventurer Chris McCandless Of Into The Wild Fame Was Victim Of Freak Hydrological Event, Study Suggests, A New Map Is Out That Could Change The Way We Look At The Night Sky Forever, Earth Is Safe. Marks, Ola Hssjer, and Daniel Daz on the fine tuning of the universe for life: Ours is a finely tuned and No Free Lunch universe. And, indeed, that does seem to be the case. Then, we're going to compare what we get with what we actually expect, and this is going to teach us about fine-tuning. That will give us an idea of the range of strength of the gravitational force that is compatible with physical life forms. Id commend to you the work of Robin Collins, who is probably the best thinker working on these questions. Googles Most Ambitious Project to Date: Reshaping Your Thinking, Neuroscientists: We hear when we are asleep but we dont listen. How Bayesian statistics could help break a deadlock: Bayesian statistics are used, for example, in spam filter technology, identifying probable spam by examining vast masses of previous messages. Likewise, physicists have calculated that the value of the cosmological constant (see page 201) must be exact to 1 part in 10120. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Evidence for Fine-tuning. In God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science, Neil Manson, ed. The smaller the value R, the less likely it is the R contains the number four. Doesnt this suggest that there is yet another governing law ABOVE the multiverse that says each universe within it must have values A, B, and C, and that each value must then be different? Get Dr. Craig's newsletter and keep up with RF news and events. It seems this should be more obvious otherwise. Thats a surprisingly popular thesis, considering how hard it is to account for life without assuming a creator. Now this recourse to the World Ensemble will be in vain if it turns out that the mechanism that generates the World Ensemble must itself be fine-tuned, for then one has only kicked the problem upstairs. The Universe really is finely tuned, and our existence is all the proof we need. In the face of a grab bag of ideas like creation by ETs or countless universes (some run by cats), why does the idea of a Creator seem far out? While the nuclear and electromagnetic forces that exist between particles are many, many orders of magnitude stronger than the gravitational force, they cannot compete on the largest cosmic scales. Marks. Mind Matters features original news and analysis at the intersection of artificial and natural intelligence.
However, it isn't merely a coincidence, but rather a consequence of the underlying geology and erosion processes that gave rise to the structure we see today. We talked about proteins as being fine tuned. Sure, it would be far more energetically favorable to find the heavy mass at the bottom of the valley rather than at the top of the spire.
Now we can define fine tuning using these three components. In the case of the energy balance of the Universe, where the expansion rate appears to match up with the total energy density perfectly, an idea like cosmic inflation is the perfect theoretical candidate. Then the third part is a null distribution. This rock formation, known as Balanced Rock in Arches National Park, appears to be in unstable [+] equilibrium, as though someone stacked it there and balanced it perfectly, long ago. Here's the science of why. Here are all of the instalments, in order, of the discussion between Robert J. The string landscape might be a fascinating idea that's full of theoretical potential, but it cannot [+] explain why the value of such a finely-tuned parameter like the cosmological constant, the initial expansion rate, or the total energy density have the values that they do. God, Design, and Fine-Tuning. In God Matters: Readings in the Philosophy of Religion, Raymond Martin and Christopher Bernard, eds. Then the value of the function will be binary: Either this value of the constant-of-nature outcome corresponds to a universe that permits life or not. New York: Longman Press. Could you explain the specificity function at as a high a level as you possibly can, so that we can understand whats going on here about your general theory? How would we know? If you make a bowl of alphabet soup and the letters arrange themselves and say, good morning, that is specified. The fact that our Universe has such a perfect balance between the expansion rate and the energy density today, yesterday, and billions of years ago is a clue that our Universe really is finely tuned. A much more stable position is for the ball to be down somewhere at the bottom of the valley. In an infinity of universes, countless ones are run by cats Daniel Daz notes that most of the talk about the multiverse started to appear once it was realized that there was fine-tuning in nature.Robert J. It would seem to me that we could calculate the probability of A being four if we knew that A had to be a number between 1 and 10. But we could also have a more refined [calculation], like the number of parts it consists of, and so on. Life is so wonderfully finely tuned that its frightening! When you have two large numbers, in general, and take their difference, the difference will be of [+] the same order of magnitude as the original numbers in question. (2005). Dont those laws themselves include constants and boundary conditions which must be fine-tuned in order for the multiverse to exist? It will be interesting to hear their reply! But if A must be between 1 and 10 (lets call this range R), then that range itself must be finely tuned. Then we compare that range with the range of values that the constant could have assumed. My question is, how is it possible to calculate the probability of a constant being such that it leads to a life-supporting universe? Marks II , Daniel Andrs Daz-Pachn, Ola Hssjer, Robert J. Am I right in that interpretation? It's far better, from a scientific point of view, to attempt to come up with a reason for why this coincidence might occur. A more meaningful thing to do is to ask, what is the probability of anything, which is meaningful coming up and floating in your soup. There's an apparent fine-tuning issue here, but there may be an underlying physical cause. When you subtract it from your number, whatever it is, here are some things that we expect. And then we call the target, life permitting interval. Imagine that you came upon a thin, tall, rocky spire here on planet Earth. It's possible, of course, that the Universe really was born this way: with a perfect balance between all the stuff in it and the initial expansion rate. Something, if such a formation were to exist, would very likely have caused this unlikely configuration. To each possible outcome, you assign a number that tells you how specified that particular outcome was. Currently, panspermia has been rated as plausible but not convincing. Marks, Hssjer, and Diaz discuss the issues. Ive heard for example, that if you make a bowl of alphabet soup and the letters arrange themselves and say, good morning, that is specified. Our universe survived a firing squad and its just an accident? Whenever we encounter a finely-tuned physical situation, there are good reasons to seek a physically-motivated explanation for it. If you picked two random billionaires off of the Forbes billionaires list, you'd expect the difference between their net worths would be at least in the hundreds of millions of dollars; finding that the two values were almost identical would be quite a surprise. Can there be a general theory for fine-tuning? Volcanic activity: Necessary for spreading of soil nutrients. Mathematician Ola Hssjer and biostatistician Daniel Daz explain to Walter Bradley Center director Robert J. How would we know? There's only a very, very small chance that the difference will be a 3-digit number or fewer. Bernoulli is right and Keynes is Wrong. So when your teachers or classmates pull the multiverse out of the bag, just ask them, Isnt the multiverse itself describable by specific physical laws? If the purpose is to generate various organisms, not only a protein or a protein complex, but a whole organism or population, or to generate a species with organisms, what is the biological fitness of each organism? Marks the way Life is so finely tuned that it is frightening, Put another way, the billions of cells in our bodies are each like a city. I have an ongoing project now with Daniel [Diaz], where we elaborate on this idea more. If the Universe had just a slightly higher matter density (red), it would be closed and have [+] recollapsed already; if it had just a slightly lower density (and negative curvature), it would have expanded much faster and become much larger. We're going to take my number, once we reveal it, and we're going to subtract it from your number. If we go back to cosmology, for each possible universe, we could look at a specific constant of nature. If we talk about population genetics. Daniel Daz and Ola Hssjer continue their discussion of the fine tuning of the universal constants of nature with Robert J. Then, because we have constructed a distribution for randomly generated outcomes, we can talk about the probability of ending up in that target of highly specified outcomes. Robert J. Perhaps the outcome truly is a coincidence, but that should only be a conclusion we reach if we cannot find any other scientific explanation. Ola Hssjer sees the beauty of mathematics in the fact that seemingly unrelated features in cosmology and biology can be modeled using similar concepts. Or when we talk about a protein, we have a certain amino acid sequence that folds to a protein. Is It Better To Lease Or Buy A Car In Summer 2022? If you know what your Universe is made of and how quickly it starts expanding initially, you can predict how it will evolve with time, including what its fate will be. An algorithm for generating the universe is, how would you describe that as a theory or a model of by which the universe came into creation? Ill include a list of references at the end of this answer. Fine-tuning is an easy concept to understand in principle. There's a better-than-average chance that the difference will yield a negative number, but around a 1-in-3 chance we get a positive number. 175-199. We can imagine a great variety of possible Universes that could have existed, yet even if we enforce [+] the laws of physics as they are known, there are still fundamental constants required to determine exactly how our Universe behaves and evolves. Shortly before the cosmological constant was discovered, astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss noted that its addition to the big-bang model "would involve the most extreme fine-tuning problem known in physics." The range itself is not fine-tuned. It occurs in biology, chemistry, and physics and cosmology, the specific area of physics. Our Universe appears perfectly spatially flat, with the initial total energy density and the initial expansion rate balancing one another to at least some 20+ significant digits. that any two randomly numbers will be extremely close to one another are very small, while the odds that the difference between any two numbers will not only be large. You may opt-out by. In addition, inflation also makes additional predictions that could be experimentally or observationally measured, putting the scenario to therigorous scientific test we require. First, we need to have a target. Robert J. When you take stock of what's in the Universe on the largest scales, only one force matters: gravitation. Quite a large number of fundamental constants are required to describe reality as we know it, and science cannot yet explain why they have the values that they do. Could advanced aliens have fine-tuned Earth for life? but also a 5-digit number, are quite good. We need a sample space of possible outcomes. Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence, Walter BradleyCenter for Natural and Artificial Intelligence, Daniel Andrs Daz-Pachn and Robert J. Measuring the various properties of the various layers of stone, and experimenting on how they erode when subject to simulated environmental conditions, is the critical next-level test. If that probability is small, then the structure is fine tuned. The Big Bang, on its own, offers no explanation as to why the initial expansion rate at the moment of the Universe's birth balances the total energy density so perfectly, leaving no room for spatial curvature at all and a perfectly flat Universe. but also a 5-digit number, are quite good. A life-permitting interval makes it all possible but is that really an accident? That gives us the target, the function, or the subset of all highly specified outcomes. Marks points out that even 10 to the 1000th power of universes would only permit 3,322 different paths. You may also wish to read: No Free Lunches: Robert J. Only in those Universes where our existence is possible can we exist, and therefore it's not surprising that we exist in a Universe that has the properties that we observe. New predictions like these are essential for demonstrating the validity of a proposed fine-tuning mechanism. Ola Hssjer: If the universe was randomly generated, the different constants of nature could have different possible values with different probabilities. The question is, is there a general theory, a general way that we can look at fine tuning across all of these disciplines? But every once in a while, nature surprises us. On the other hand, if some pre-existing phase of the Universe created these initial conditions while also making additional predictions, we'd have something of enormous scientific importance. Yet not only has our Universe neither recollapsed nor failed to yield atoms, but even today, some 13.8 billion years after the Big Bang, those two sides of the equation appear to be perfectly in balance. You could choose anything you want, so go ahead, do it. explain why the value of such a finely-tuned parameter like the cosmological constant, the initial expansion rate, or the total energy density have the values that they do.