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  Topic: The DI's latest martyr:  Guillermo Gonzalez< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
heddle



Posts: 124
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 21 2007,08:13   

Steve s,
   
Quote
I seem to remember David Heddle claiming that Cosmological ID wasn't a probabalistic argument. Gonzales must not have gotten the memo.

Well, you know how much respect I garner in the ID community!

Anyway, it (cosmological ID) most certainly is not a probabilistic argument (although five years ago I too thought it was), as a simple argument demonstrates. That is: The best thing that could happen to CID is if all the constants were found to have not a tiny probability but the largest possible: unity, i.e. if they are found to be derivable from a fundamental theory. That would be a serious blow to the multiverse explanations of fine tuning, such as the superstring landscape or cosmological evolution, explanations that rely on the fact that there is no fundamental theory, and that the constants are either a random draw or evolve toward a species of universe good at producing black holes. A fundamental theory deriving constants would mean the fine tuning was built in the fabric of spacetime. I'd take that.

Not only did Gonzalez not get that memo, he didn’t get the one where I suggested that the main argument from The Privileged Planet is at least slightly anti-ID (in fact, in personal correspondence he disagreed with me on this point). I still think I’m right. The PP argues that observability is correlated with habitability, making arguments like: a large moon is necessary for complex life because it (produces cleansing tides, stabilizes the orbit, facilitates seasons, …) and it also helps with observability (eclipses). And our location in Sagan’s galactic backwater is necessary because (low radiation, stability of the sun’s galactic orbit..) and it also helps with observability (a dark nighttime sky.) In other words, they argue that observability rides on the coattails of habitability. (Which, by the way, in and of itself is clearly a premise worthy of study—if Gonzalez had stayed in the closet that premise, whether or not it proves to be correct, would not have been regarded as pseudo-science.) To me however, a purer ID statement would be that God made the earth habitable and as a bonus and as a tiebreaker in the debate with naturalists, he made it a good observatory, too.  

In other words, if the PP is wrong and obervability is not correlated with habitability, then we have a second prong (the first being fine tuning) on the CID side of the debate.

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Mysticism is a rational enterprise. Religion is not. The mystic has recognized something about the nature of consciousness prior to thought, and this recognition is susceptible to rational discussion. The mystic has reason for what he believes, and these reasons are empirical. --Sam Harris

  
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