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Chayanov



Posts: 289
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,12:16   

Look at our own planet. It's not even designed for us, since the vast majority of it is uninhabitable without taking special precautions, being underwater and all. We can't even drink most of that water since it's too salty for us. We also can't live in volcanoes, or under the ice sheets, or at the tops of the highest mountains. If this planet is designed for life, it's designed for bacteria, and humans are part of the means for giving bacteria a place to live. All worship the Great Bacterium God!

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Help! Marxist literary critics are following me!

  
didymos



Posts: 1826
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,12:18   

Quote (FloydLee @ Nov. 04 2009,05:07)
   
Quote
Admit Ross doesn't follow your idiosyncratic interpretive "principles"

You know, it sounds like you're completely unfamiliar with what OEC Dr. Hugh Ross has written.  So tell me....what do you think of THIS?
       
Quote
1.  The Bible must be taken literally unless the context indicates otherwise.

2.  The Bible is inerrant in all disciplines of scholarship.

3.  The universe was both transcendentally and supernaturally created.

4.  Naturalism cannot explain the origin of life.

5.  Naturalism cannot entirely explain the history of life, nor can theistic evolution.

6.  Naturalism cannot entirely explain the geophysical history of the earth.

7.  Naturalism cannot explain entirely the astrophysical history of the universe and solar system.

8.  Genesis 1 is both factual and chronological in its content. It describes God’s "very good" creation in the space of six days.

9.   Adam and Eve were a literal couple created by God just thousands of years ago.  

10.  All human beings owe their descent to Adam and Eve.


---Dr. Hugh Ross, "Ten Similarities", Jan.23, 2001

Now, he's still an OEC and such, but this IS what Hugh Ross wrote. So, you agree with him?

FloydLee

How soon we forget:
   
Quote (didymos @ Nov. 03 2009,16:14)

See Floyd, you have two options here:

1.  Admit that:

       
Quote (didymos @ Nov. 02 2009,21:53)

The context there in Genesis is apparently so ambiguous one can still be "literal" and arrive at one of two ages....which only differ by a measly 4.5 or so billion fucking years.


and still be within the "rules" of  biblical "literalism".

2.  Admit Ross doesn't follow your idiosyncratic interpretive "principles", demonstrating that you've either deliberately misrepresented him in order to cash in on his "authority" or that you're a moron who fails to notice the obvious problems with citing an OEC in an attempt to shore up your YEC views of Genesis.  Or both, of course.


Looks like it's option number one then.  To be fair, the part about admitting being a YEC moron who cites an OEC really should have been classified as option number three, with a note to the effect that it is entirely compatible with both options one and two, much like Christianity and Evolution being compatible.  I apologize for that oversight.

ETA:  Just to explain things a bit more clearly, Option Two is actually still quite available for the taking.  "How's that work?" you might wonder.  OK, Floyd, here's the deal: you really need to read for comprehension.  Note what I actually wrote:  Admit Ross doesn't follow those principles.  Not "professes to follow" or somesuch equivalent.  IOW, it's quite possible that you, Floyd Lee, personally explain his OEC beliefs as a failure to follow those principles in actual deed instead of merely word.  How else do you explain the very marked difference of opinion between people such as yourself and people such as Ross?  It's hard to say it's just simple error, especially on the part of someone like Ross who's devoted countless hours to the OEC cause.  Well, not hard to say, literally, but hard to get away with as an argument.  Take that tack and you're stuck trying to explain what has prevented him from noticing what should be so, so clear.  But that's neither here nor there, because by throwing up that quote, you're tacitly vouching for his adherence to said principles in both word and deed, and that means that the context of Genesis is apparently so ambiguous that YECs and OECs both can adhere to the same laundry list of exegetical rules in good conscience, good practice,and all sincerity, and yet still fail to agree on what the word 'day' actually means in context.  

Oh, and just so you know, I had no doubt about what Ross's ideas in that area are.  That was my whole fucking point, which I would have thought was sufficiently dead obvious given how much time has been spent on the subject of interpreting scripture and your ridiculous "incompatibilities" on this thread.  In the interest of fairness, after all your antics here, I really ought to have known the result would be something like this.

(re-edited for clarity)

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I wouldn't be bothered reading about the selfish gene because it has never been identified. -- Denyse O'Leary, professional moron
Again "how much". I don't think that's a good way to be quantitative.-- gpuccio

  
Chayanov



Posts: 289
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,12:20   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Nov. 04 2009,12:09)
 
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 04 2009,11:58)
You have to have a transparent atmosphere in the visible part of the spectrum —and that permits astronomy.

Do you think it is possible that the "visible part of the spectrum" is so-named because we (the wonderful entities focusing on how wonderful it is that we are here in this wonderful situation) have photoreceptors that work with the light that makes it through our atmosphere?

Do you think it is possible that organisms on other planets with other atmospheres admitting other wavelengths might have photoreceptors that work at those wavelengths?

Sheesh.

Wait, you mean if we could see different wavelengths then we would have a completely different definition of "visible"? But then that means the fine-tuning argument isn't an argument at all.

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Help! Marxist literary critics are following me!

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,12:23   

Quote (FloydLee @ Nov. 04 2009,10:51)
     
Quote
Even the points you try to raise "how earth is precisely positioned...for life, but also to allow us to find answers to the greatest mysteries of the universe" relies on argumentam ad ignorantiam to make a claim that is preassumed and subjective.

1. "preassumed."  

Refuted.  No evidence of any pre-assumptions in the book itself.  Their hypothesis starts with observations and data, not assumptions.

FALSE You have not demonstrated any such thing by pointing to Gonzalez' book and claiming there is no presumptive conclusion present from the beginning of Gonzalez' career.

Long before Gonzalez published "The Priviliged Planet" he was using the same arguments to conclude "Goddidit" http://www.reasons.org/resourc....niverse It is reasonable to assume that he knew of his own publications, the conclusions in those publications such as "Facts for Faith" magazine and even if he didn't state so in "The Priviliged Planet," that he had arrived at the "Fine Tuning" argument as a result of his culturally-derived preconceptions which led to his "conclusions" :
 
Quote
"Why would the Creator make the universe so measurable? What’s the point of allowing humans to measure the characteristics of the universe? To those who hold a Christian worldview, the answer is clear. In fact, the Bible explicitly states it: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse (Romans 1:19-20).” -- Guillermo Gonzales, writing in "Facts for Faith" magazine, long before publishing "Priviliged Planet"  



   
Quote (FloydLee @ Nov. 04 2009,10:51)
2.  "subjective."

Refuted.  Fine tuning cosmo and planetary situations have been empirically observed.  Many many times, btw.  
They're just going off what has been observed already, and were themselves careful to distinguish between well-observed phenomena, less-well-observed, reasonably theoretical, and speculative.

FALSE The issue is not whether "fine tuning" parameters merely exist, the issue is what conclusions Gonzalez arrives at while ignoring the fallacies, illogic and his own willingness to discard equally-viable conclusions in favor of his culturally-derived preconceptions.

In an earlier post, I mentioned several cosmological arguments that are equally-viable as Gonzalez' preferred "Goddidit" : Multiverse, Holographic, concious Universe...and there are others, such as a Time-Reversal proposal that Gonzalez doesn't even touch on before (apparently) rejecting as improbable... in regard to which, you might want to read Eliot Sober's criticism of Gonzalez-type claims:
 
Quote
" if the hypothesis of mindless chance processes entailed that it is impossible that organisms exhibit delicate adaptations, then a quick application of modus tollens would sweep that hypothesis from the field. However much design theorists might yearn for an argument of this kind, there apparently are none to be had...
If modus tollens cannot be pressed into service, perhaps there is a probabilistic version of modus tollens that can achieve the same result. Is there a Law of Improbability that begins with the premiss that Pr(O * H) is very low and concludes that H should be rejected? There is no such principle (Royall 1997, ch. 3). The fact that you won the lottery does not, by itself, show that there is something wrong with the conjunctive hypothesis that the lottery was fair and a million tickets were sold and you bought just one ticket. And if we randomly drop a very sharp pin onto a line that is 1000 miles long, the probability of its landing where it does is negligible; however, that outcome does not falsify the hypothesis that the pin was dropped at random.
The fact that there is no probabilistic modus tollens has great significance for understanding the design argument. The logic of this problem is essentially comparative. To evaluate the design hypothesis, we must know what it predicts and compare this with the predictions made by other hypotheses. The design hypothesis cannot win by default.  The fact that an observation would be very improbable if it arose by chance is not enough to refute the chance hypothesis. One must show that the design hypothesis confers on the observation a higher probability, and even then the conclusion will merely be that the observation favors the design hypothesis."
Eliot Sober "the Design Argument" http://74.125.155.132/scholar....n


   
Quote (FloydLee @ Nov. 04 2009,10:51)
3.  "argumentum ad ignorantium."

Hardly.  We humans ARE astonishingly well-placed for the huge astronomical discoveries we make.  That's not ignorance, that's what we know scientifically.  Taken together with all the other fine tuning facts, one could rationally infer design instead of accident.

Check out this one little co-inky-dink, one of many:
         
Quote
"Thanks to its large, angular size, the Moon occults many stars along its path.  In this way, the Earth-Moon system acts like a giant telescope, allowing astronomers to resolve objects normally to small or close together to measure from the ground.

A slow angular speed of a moon across its host planet's sky, like our own, allows for more detailed measurements.  This method works best with a large moon without an atmosphere--which produces a crisp, knife-edge sharp edge on its limb--orbiting far from its host planet (but not too far, because the smaller a moon is, the fewer stars it occults over a month.) [

---pg 110

No wonder Earth is called the privileged planet!!

FloydLee

FALSE The argumentum ad ignoratiam aspect of the fine tuning argument for deistic design doesn't mean what you seem to think it means. Here are some arguments from ignorance (and subjectivity) examples which you have never addressed:
     
Quote (JohnW @ Nov. 02 2009,16:22)
     
Quote (FloydLee @ Nov. 02 2009,14:07)
And in their book, Gonzalez and Richards specifically write about how to Falsify their ID hypothesis.
 
         
Quote
"The most decisive way to falsify our argument as a whole would be to find a distant and very different environment, which, while quite hostile to life, nevertheless offers a superior platform for making as many diverse scientific discoveries as does our local environment.

I went through this earlier, but here it is again for you to ignore a second time:

1.  How do we define "diverse scientific discoveries"?
2.  Can we count them?  If so, show us your list.
3.  How do we define "distant and very different environment"?
4.  How do we count the "diverse scientific discoveries" we haven't made, but which could be made elsewhere?


Here are a larger number of points that were made 6 days ago regarding the 'fine tuning = supernatural deistic design" that you also failed to address:

   
Quote
The "fine-tuning" argument or Strong Anthropic Principle (SAP) has some major problems when applied to "inferences for god". It also contains a large number of fallacies that disqualify it as a valid scientific hypothesis -- especially one that provides evidential support for deities (which is what you're supposed to be supporting, Flody.)

1.) Tautology. These anthropocentric arguments always come down to statements that at least imply circular conclusions : " My god exists, therefore whatever we find proves it --heads I win, tails you lose"

If we manage to explore our universe and find no life anywhere, what should we conclude? That this is evidence for a loving God who crafted life on Earth despite the fact that this universe is otherwise very inhospitable to life? What if we find life everywhere we go? Gonzales would simply then conclude that this same god created a universe where life can thrive, and therefore must also exist! -- "Heads I win, tails you lose."

They ignore the obvious illogic of their claims...Would it surprise you to find yourself living in a universe that cannot sustain life? I know it would surprise me. Since we are, in fact, alive, it should come as no surprise at all to us that we inhabit a universe that can sustain life, but what does a “life-sustaining universe"  mean? Does it mean  a “universe identical to this one-- the universe is fine-tuned to be just like this universe?" That's a neat tautology. All of us are fundamentally ignorant about the parameter space in which something we would be willing to call life can occur. Thus Gonzales is also guilty of Argumentam ad Ignorantiam

Gonzales et al. simply have assumed their conclusions BEFORE evidence is in, and more importantly, according to what actual choices are available, whatever evidence is found, it will be claimed by Gonzales or some other creonut to tautologically provide support for the conclusions they have already arrived at.

Importantly, also, what the fine-tuning argument for God also does not do is to show that life is in any way favored, supported, or designed for anything except to die out as the universe slowly runs out of energy.

People, scientists and theists, often argue as if fine-tuning did show a concern for life, when life will in fact still face all of the problems that everything in this universe faces. One would have to show that life is some sort of "goal" or "preferred outcome" even to suggest that a single universe with life is "unusual" in any way. Creationists/IDists only assume that life is a meaningful outcome, while we have no excuse to suppose that it is meaningful in a cosmic sense (as opposed to our own sense), however likely or unlikely it may be. The fact of the matter is, we have a sample set of *ONE* universe that happens to contain life so far as we know. We have *ONE* planet on which life exists so far as we know.

We have NO IDEA how many other possible universes there are--multiverses have been mentioned here, but I also like Steinhardt and Turok's "cyclic" model, which is at least theoretically testable via gravity waves. ( see: P.J. Steinhardt and N. Turok: "Why the Cosmological Constant is Small and Positive." Science.312, May 26, 2006. ) We DO know that 180 or so likely planets have been tentatively discovered, though. But NO ONE knows what the "odds " really are. It has also been demonstrated repeatedly that life on Earth tends to evolve to fit the environment available. [i]It has never been demonstrated that the parameters for the environment were put in place first BY A SUPERNATURAL GOD [i/] (not an alien, Flody!!) with the preconceived "idea" or "plan" that life would exist there later.

2.) Post hoc ergo propter hoc, also known as "coincidental correlation" or "false cause," is a fallacy which assumes or asserts that if one event happens ( the development of life) *after* another ( the emergence of the Universe and its "fine tuning" ), then the one must be causally linked to the other.

An analogy: Imagine a 10,000-person "russian roulette" game, with pairs of people facing off in a "round-robin"-style competition. Winners are paired randomly against winners until there are only two left. Should the last person standing alive conclude that he or she is favored by God? Because "fine-tuning" seems to exist, can I reasonably conclude that life is causally linked to it? Or that chance favored it? Or that God caused it to be so?

3.) God of the Gaps -- see :"Is There Anything Wrong with 'God of the Gaps' Reasoning?" (International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion 52: 129-142, 2002). A place you can plug God in, if you so wish, is before the Big Bang. You can also claim that this is where God did his "fine-tuning" , but, fundamentally, the god of the gaps argument is the logical fallacy of the argumentum ad ignorantium : basing a conclusion on a lack of information or understanding. The mere fact that we do cannot explain something is not a valid justification to rely upon something else, even more mysterious, as an "explanation." Such a tactic is also risky here because, as science progresses the "gaps" in scientific explanation grow smaller.

The theist who uses this to rationalize their beliefs may find that, at some point, there simply isn't enough room for their god anymore. In the past, it was common to point to lightning, thunder, earthquakes or other mysteries in nature and attribute them to some god. Unfortunately, even today many people think of God primarily as the explanation for things they don't understand. To define God in those terms, especially when Christians base their apologetics on the existence of such gaps, is a major error.

--------------------------------------
More importantly, Gonzales et al. are not distinguishing what YOU claim to be supporting, Flody. Read their statements and they have no way of distinguishing between "deities" and "extraterrestrials" capable of seeding a planet. This, along with the other fallacies and logical errors cited by myself and others, disqualify it as an actual scientific hypothesis that could provide support for Gods -- such as what YOU are nominally SUPPOSED to be trying to support, Flody.

If Gonzales can't show how to distinguish Gods and aliens, then how does this support your view, Flody? How does it make it a scientific program to research supernatural deities?

Given all the logical lapses, holes, and sheer ridiculous fallacy-mongering of Gonzales, it is perfectly obvious to point out that his nattering does NOT constitute a valid scientific research program FOR THE INVESTIGATION OF SUPERNATURAL DEITIES (which is what you were supposed to be showing, stupid).

Look back at all my posts on this matter -- I was asking you to show a valid scientific research program for the investigation of deities, and you post up crap , which --even if evidence is actually found for life being artificial on this planet -- cannot distinguish between "intelligent aliens from the planet Glurrgh " and "supernatural deities." You haven't presented any research program for the investigation of supernatural deities at all, dumb-ass

Those can be compacted down to this set:
1.) Tautology.
2.) Argumentam ad Ignorantiam
3.) Assumed conclusions
4.) Post hoc ergo propter hoc
5.) God of the Gaps
6.) Improper use of "falsification"
7.) Purely subjective criteria for "falsification"
8.) Gonzalez' claims don't constitute a valid scientific research program FOR THE INVESTIGATION OF SUPERNATURAL DEITIES and cannot distinguish Gods from "Aliens from the planet Glurrgh"


Again, Floaty, I'll remind you that the large post I made was given to you SIX DAYS ago, and that you stated clearly that you were going to address the concerns therein.

So far, you have failed to do so, just as Gonzalez ignores these issues which are obviously not original to me -- they've been around a long, long time. But Gonzalez ignores them in favor of his preconceived, ad ignorantiam subjective conclusions

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AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,12:27   

Quote (Chayanov @ Nov. 04 2009,12:20)
Wait, you mean if we could see different wavelengths then we would have a completely different definition of "visible"? But then that means the fine-tuning argument isn't an argument at all.

Birds (some of which can see in the UV and detect polarized light) would have a different definition of visible.

Pit vipers, which use infrared, have a different definition of visible.

Astronomy using X-rays or microwaves or lots of other wavelengths is still possible, and would make it possible to engage in Gonzalez-esque navel gazing on planets where the atmosphere blocked "visible" light.

So yeah, it's not an argument at all. It's question-begging apologetics, per usual.

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Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,12:50   

Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 04 2009,12:25)
Quote (rossum @ Nov. 04 2009,10:55)
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 04 2009,08:16)
Or, more mundanely, the ability of our universe to produce rocks appears to rest on a razor's edge.

The universe is better tuned for rocks than it is for us.  The greatest part of the universe is interstellar and intergalactic space which in extremely inhospitable for us but hospitable for rocks.  Rocks can survive in the cold and anoxic conditions that occupy 99.99% of the universe, while we cannot.

We are merely an an unintended consequence of a universe designed to be hospitable for rocks.

rossum

Maybe. But the point is that any universe that can produce life must be able to produce rocks. And our universe, it would (at least at the moment) appear, just barely produces rocks. That gives it a shot at supporting life. Whether life is improbable in such a universe I couldn't say--but without the rocks, there will be no life.

all right heddle you don't know that any universe producing life must produce rocks.  there are probably forms of life that don't resemble anything anyone has ever seen.  but rocks don't have anything to do with it.

you could restate that as anything.  "bollocks".  any universe capable of producing life must also be capable of producing bollocks.  i decided.  

THAT'S ID SCEINCE BOYS AND RICH

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,12:52   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Nov. 04 2009,13:09)
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 04 2009,11:58)
You have to have a transparent atmosphere in the visible part of the spectrum —and that permits astronomy.

Do you think it is possible that the "visible part of the spectrum" is so-named because we (the wonderful entities focusing on how wonderful it is that we are here in this wonderful situation) have photoreceptors that work with the light that makes it through our atmosphere?

Do you think it is possible that organisms on other planets with other atmospheres admitting other wavelengths might have photoreceptors that work at those wavelengths?

Sheesh.

the puddle remains amazed at the fit of it's hole.

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
didymos



Posts: 1826
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,12:52   

Quote (Doc Bill @ Nov. 04 2009,07:16)
Then, FL, you agree with Gonzalez that the universe is 13.7 billion years old.

Yes?

He seems to like him some Hugh Ross too, so one wonders if  he agrees with both of them on that matter.  Especially since Hugh Ross is apparently an A-number-one literalist by Floyd's standards.

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I wouldn't be bothered reading about the selfish gene because it has never been identified. -- Denyse O'Leary, professional moron
Again "how much". I don't think that's a good way to be quantitative.-- gpuccio

  
dheddle



Posts: 530
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,13:10   

Quote (Chayanov @ Nov. 04 2009,12:20)
   
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Nov. 04 2009,12:09)
     
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 04 2009,11:58)
You have to have a transparent atmosphere in the visible part of the spectrum —and that permits astronomy.

Do you think it is possible that the "visible part of the spectrum" is so-named because we (the wonderful entities focusing on how wonderful it is that we are here in this wonderful situation) have photoreceptors that work with the light that makes it through our atmosphere?

Do you think it is possible that organisms on other planets with other atmospheres admitting other wavelengths might have photoreceptors that work at those wavelengths?

Sheesh.

Wait, you mean if we could see different wavelengths then we would have a completely different definition of "visible"? But then that means the fine-tuning argument isn't an argument at all.

Come on. No it is not possible. The reason is Carbon chemistry. First of all there are, at first glance, three facts in play here.

1) The sun has a peak wavelength.
2) The atmosphere is narrowly transparent
3) Our eyes are sensitive to certain wavelengths.

Now the fact that all three coincide is remarkable. Of course evolution is a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why our eyes are sensitive to the peak of the sun’s spectrum. But (as far as I know) there is no strong evolutionary argument as to why the atmosphere must be (narrowly) transparent at the same wavelengths. (Not much UV or IR gets through.) That seems to be luck. Furthermore chemistry is chemistry, and (if Louis the chemist is around he can correct me) it is also true that the energy levels of many carbon molecules—which would be the same anywhere—have much overlap with what we call visible light—enabling, for example, photosynthesis.

In other words, if our atmosphere was transparent to UV and not visible light would there be a viable replacement for photosynthesis? Would our eyes have evolved to be sensitive to UV and ignore the sun’s peak wavelengths? Or would we still have evolved to be sensitive to the sun’s peak—but would have had an opaque sky? (and therefore no astronomy.) The answer is none of the above—most likely we wouldn’t be here. So the PP result stands—again in a sort of common sense way. Complex life probably requires the coincidence of an atmosphere transparent at the peak of its sun’s emission, and probably that has to be in what we call visible light. At least that is a serious and obvious advantage, and as a consequence it enables Astronomy.

Try not to have a hair-trigger reaction that Gonzalez and Richards must be wrong. If you think about it with an open mind you might conclude that their argument has merit without it demanding support for ID. At least I have come to believe that, independent of ID, their argument that habitability and observability are correlated is correct.

Erasmus, FCD

Quote
you could restate that as anything.  "bollocks".  any universe capable of producing life must also be capable of producing bollocks.  i decided.  


No, rocks are indeed the key. Because rocks require heavy elements. Heavy elements are created in stars. So a universe that creates rocks is a universe that first created stars that synthesized the heavy elements in the rocks. Rocks are a sign that your universe has heavy elements and stars. You cannot have any kind of life without heavy elements. When examining other universes for life--first look for rocks. They should be a ubiquitous precursor.

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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

   
JohnW



Posts: 2312
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,13:23   

Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 04 2009,11:10)
Quote (Chayanov @ Nov. 04 2009,12:20)
   
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Nov. 04 2009,12:09)
       
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 04 2009,11:58)
You have to have a transparent atmosphere in the visible part of the spectrum —and that permits astronomy.

Do you think it is possible that the "visible part of the spectrum" is so-named because we (the wonderful entities focusing on how wonderful it is that we are here in this wonderful situation) have photoreceptors that work with the light that makes it through our atmosphere?

Do you think it is possible that organisms on other planets with other atmospheres admitting other wavelengths might have photoreceptors that work at those wavelengths?

Sheesh.

Wait, you mean if we could see different wavelengths then we would have a completely different definition of "visible"? But then that means the fine-tuning argument isn't an argument at all.

Come on. No it is not possible. The reason is Carbon chemistry. First of all there are, at first glance, three facts in play here.

1) The sun has a peak wavelength.
2) The atmosphere is narrowly transparent
3) Our eyes are sensitive to certain wavelengths.

Now the fact that all three coincide is remarkable. Of course evolution is a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why our eyes are sensitive to the peak of the sun’s spectrum. But (as far as I know) there is no strong evolutionary argument as to why the atmosphere must be (narrowly) transparent at the same wavelengths. (Not much UV or IR gets through.) That seems to be luck. Furthermore chemistry is chemistry, and (if Louis the chemist is around he can correct me) it is also true that the energy levels of many carbon molecules—which would be the same anywhere—have much overlap with what we call visible light—enabling, for example, photosynthesis.

In other words, if our atmosphere was transparent to UV and not visible light would there be a viable replacement for photosynthesis? Would our eyes have evolved to be sensitive to UV and ignore the sun’s peak wavelengths? Or would we still have evolved to be sensitive to the sun’s peak—but would have had an opaque sky? (and therefore no astronomy.) The answer is none of the above—most likely we wouldn’t be here. So the PP result stands—again in a sort of common sense way. Complex life probably requires the coincidence of an atmosphere transparent at the peak of its sun’s emission, and probably that has to be in what we call visible light. At least that is a serious and obvious advantage, and as a consequence it enables Astronomy.

The three don't need to coincide.  A planet orbiting a red dwarf (with a peak in the infra-red) at a much closer distance would work just fine*.  As long as enough radiation gets to the surface for photosynthesis to take place, it doesn't really matter how much gets absorbed or reflected at other wavelengths.  So the position of the radiation peak doen't really matter.


* A planet orbiting a blue/UV star at a greater distance would also work, although they tend to have other problems (like going supernova in a couple of million years) making them unsuitable for life.

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Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it.
- Robert Byers

  
OgreMkV



Posts: 3350
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,13:28   

I disagree with most of this Heddle.  Because there are alternatives for all of the above.

IR is heat, so a lot of that energy gets through the atmosphere.  Some UV definitely gets through otherwise, I wouldn't need SPF 4000.  

There's no inherent (i.e. biochemical) reason that I can think of for organisms not to be able to detect radio or even microwaves.  The atmosphere is transparent to all of these.

In fact, evolution predicts that organisms should evolve sensors for visible light because of the utiltity advantage of visible light.  However, bees do see UV and not red light.

But would we be here if not for the sun's specific spectrum.  We probably wouldn't be, but that doesn't automatically exclude any intelligent for of life evolving in our stead.  Squid and Octopi are very intelligent, excellent problem solvers, equally dexterous when compared to humans, have better vision than we do, and even communicate in colors.  

Then we have to consider the huge mass of life that has never seen the sun and do not depend on the sun for photosynthesis.  Consider the food web of a black smoker with chemosynthetic bacteria as a replacement for plants.

We also need to consider those organisms that use sound as a primary sensory system rather than any form of EM radiation.  And those that use scent as a primary sensory system.

Again, we could, of course, be in a cleverly designed simulation run on a universe sized quantum computer.  However, there is no way for us to tell the difference between these competing hypotheses (multi-verse, bubble universe, simulation, intelligent design).  There is some discussion (from legitimate scientists) that all of these hypotheses are not science because we (currently) have no way to tell.  

In my opinion, some areas of 'non-science' like M-theory are rapidlly getting to the point where they will become 'real science' with testable differences and falsifiability.  If we say, "Oh, design", then what do we say when we actually discover the science... or do we just not do the science?

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Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
Doc Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,13:48   

One little nit pick.

When we (the sane posters) refer to "life evolving" or "life arising" or simply "life" we should take the time to add

"as we know it"

just so we don't assume that life as we know it is the only kind of life possible in the universe.  Considering the ingenuity of extremeophiles at harvesting energy we would be presumptuous to assume that carbon, water, etc are essential to life.

  
sledgehammer



Posts: 531
Joined: Sep. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,13:49   

Reasons the universe and our location in it is poorly suited for humans and human scientific discovery.
Counterpoint to “The Privileged Planet”

What a waste!

1. The universe is far too vast for humans to travel to even a tiny fraction of it.  
2. Distances between planets and solar systems are far too large for us to navigate.
3. The universal speed limit, c, is far too low to make exploration practical.
4. Normal visible matter constitutes a tiny fraction of the total mass-energy. The rest, dark matter and dark energy are of no value to us.
5. Antimatter is very hard to come by, needlessly restricting our technology .

Earth sucks!

1. Our sun is unstable and using up fuel way too fast, spraying high energy particles and harmful radiation at us to no good end.
2. Gravity is far too strong to suit us.  Makes reaching orbit very expensive, ruins our knees far too soon, and makes bridges and tall building much too difficult to engineer.
3. There’s not enough oxygen to be able to exploit all the available topography.
4. Water is far too opaque and heavy to allow us to use the 70% of available surface area.

Humans are weak!

1. We don’t live nearly long enough to allow us to achieve our full potential.
2. We can’t see but a very small fraction of the useful electromagnetic spectrum.
3. We can’t hardly even lift our own weight.
4. We can’t last even a measly week without water.
5. Some of us can’t seem to use even a small fraction of the brains we were born with.

I could go on and on ...

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The majority of the stupid is invincible and guaranteed for all time. The terror of their tyranny is alleviated by their lack of consistency. -A. Einstein  (H/T, JAD)
If evolution is true, you could not know that it's true because your brain is nothing but chemicals. ?Think about that. -K. Hovind

  
dheddle



Posts: 530
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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,14:10   

John W,

As you point out, the problems with big stars include (but are not limited to) the fact that they don’t live long enough. (Nor are they as luminosity stable.)

What you forgot to point out is that in the case of Red Dwarf stars, we would have to be close enough (for the existence of liquid water)  that we would phase lock (like Mercury)—almost certainly rendering the planet sterile. Not to mention that the energy flux would be much less, and at wavelengths not particularly synergistic with carbon Chemistry.

OgreMkV

   
Quote
IR is heat, so a lot of that energy gets through the atmosphere.  Some UV definitely gets through otherwise, I wouldn't need SPF 4000.  



I didn’t invent that argument, it is established fact.




The fact that only a little UV gets through and yet it is still highly destructive to organic molecules strengthens my case: if the atmosphere was as transparent to UV as it is to visible, you would need SPF 4 trillion. And that is not a threat to our kind of life but any kind of life. Again, that is why visible is not just what we happen to call visible because of chauvinism. The visible part of the spectrum works well with carbon chemistry without destroying it as UV would or interacting too weakly such as IR does.

I sort of find the resistance to the PP argument strange. After all there are ~10^22 planets in the observable universe. If life is rare, then any planet supporting life is indeed privileged—and yet because of such big numbers there needn’t be any theological significance to our planet being privileged. It appears to me that the mere possibility (personally I believe it is true) that our planet possesses a rare confluence and that this might be co-opted for theological purposes should play no role in the scientific discussion.

Doc Bill,

 
Quote
just so we don't assume that life as we know it is the only kind of life possible in the universe.  Considering the ingenuity of extremeophiles at harvesting energy we would be presumptuous to assume that carbon, water, etc are essential to life.


Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe extremophiles are carbon based. I disagree with your view. Life requires complex molecules to store information. Nothing comes close to carbon in its ability to form complex molecules. And water and carbon (and visible light) work well together, in addition to water being nature's great solvent. It is reasonable to believe (and I think many biochemists do) that any complex life will be carbon based and will almost certainly require the rather unique properties of liquid water.

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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

   
JohnW



Posts: 2312
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,14:12   

Regardless of whether the universe is "tuned for" or "tuned against" intelligent life, we need to remember that it's all (almost) baseless speculation.  We can say that, if various constants were slightly different, life as we know it would be impossible.  But we have no idea what the constraints on those constants might be, or what the relationships between them might be.

For all we know, the values we observe might be the only ones possible.  And even if they are highly variable, we can't rule out other kinds of life until we can determine what sorts of complexity other combinations of values might allow.  (Could we describe organic chemistry if we were given quark and electron properties?)

Until we can start estimating probabilities, we've got nothing to work with.  And we're a long, long way from the point where we can do that.

We do know one probability with exact precision, though: the conditional probability that intelligent life is possible in the universe, given that the universe contains intelligent life.

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Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it.
- Robert Byers

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3601
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,14:18   

Regardless of whether our sun is particularly suited to support life, there is some reason to believe our sun is one of many similar stars formed at the same time in the same cluster.

But suppose we are unique as sentient beings. What can be concluded by the winner of lotto? That it was predestined?

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”let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”

Pat Robertson

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,14:31   

Quote (sledgehammer @ Nov. 04 2009,13:49)
Reasons the universe and our location in it is poorly suited for humans and human scientific discovery.
Counterpoint to “The Privileged Planet”

[snip list]

I could go on and on ...

I'm sure many people are aware that there's a lot of s-f devoted to the notion that Earth, far from being priviliged in any cosmic sense, is "really" a prison planet for weak, puny beings such as ourselves that are nonetheless virally capable of exporting our violent madness elsewhere.

We're a long ways away from even the nearest Proxima Centauri, much less a nice habitable planet (terraforming notwithstanding). We're unsuited for space-travel, we're  pretty fragile compared to lots of other critters we already know of, and we lack the ability to go very far during our own lives, anyway.

Yep, the Priviliged Planet is a Galactic insane asylum.  

PROVE ME WRONG, FLOATY!

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AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
JohnW



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,14:31   

Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 04 2009,12:10)
I sort of find the resistance to the PP argument strange. After all there are ~10^22 planets in the observable universe. If life is rare, then any planet supporting life is indeed privileged—and yet because of such big numbers there needn’t be any theological significance to our planet being privileged. It appears to me that the mere possibility (personally I believe it is true) that our planet possesses a rare confluence and that this might be co-opted for theological purposes should play no role in the scientific discussion.

I actually agree with this, dheddle.  Life does appear to be rare, based on what we've observed*.  It's the theological speculation arising from that fact which I have issues with.  I don't think "life can only arise in circumstances in which life can arise" tells us anything either way about the existence of a creator, never mind what the creator's intentions might have been.


* The usual caveat about all science being provisional applies here.  In this case, it's a twenty-foot-tall, forty-ton caveat.  With knobs on.

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Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it.
- Robert Byers

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,14:57   

Quote (JohnW @ Nov. 04 2009,14:31)
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 04 2009,12:10)
I sort of find the resistance to the PP argument strange. After all there are ~10^22 planets in the observable universe. If life is rare, then any planet supporting life is indeed privileged—and yet because of such big numbers there needn’t be any theological significance to our planet being privileged. It appears to me that the mere possibility (personally I believe it is true) that our planet possesses a rare confluence and that this might be co-opted for theological purposes should play no role in the scientific discussion.

I actually agree with this, dheddle.  Life does appear to be rare, based on what we've observed*.  It's the theological speculation arising from that fact which I have issues with.  I don't think "life can only arise in circumstances in which life can arise" tells us anything either way about the existence of a creator, never mind what the creator's intentions might have been.


* The usual caveat about all science being provisional applies here.  In this case, it's a twenty-foot-tall, forty-ton caveat.  With knobs on.

Agreed, also.

I should apologize to Mr. Heddle for poking at him at Pharyngula long ago -- I wasn't sure it was him, anyway, if he even recalls. Mr. Heddle appears reasonable in most of his arguments, except for Nascar and such. By the way, Mr. Heddle, I ran across a hot nascar babe for your delectation:  


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AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,15:02   

what if "bollocks" are a form of life that doesn't require heavy metals?  hell, nobody knows if such things as exist.  i don't presume to know such things anyway and i strongly suspect anyone that claims to know such things is full of it.  you don't know what you don't know, which is a more succint way of dismissing all this idle speculation about these panglossities

ETA HAR HAR HAR THATS UR WIFE

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You're obviously illiterate as hell. Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
JohnW



Posts: 2312
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,15:08   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Nov. 04 2009,12:57)
I should apologize to Mr. Heddle for poking at him at Pharyngula long ago -- I wasn't sure it was him, anyway, if he even recalls. Mr. Heddle appears reasonable in most of his arguments, except for Nascar and such. By the way, Mr. Heddle, I ran across a hot nascar babe for your delectation:  

I didn't know Sarah Palin had tattoos.

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Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it.
- Robert Byers

  
dheddle



Posts: 530
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,15:14   

Quote (JohnW @ Nov. 04 2009,15:08)
 
Quote (deadman_932 @ Nov. 04 2009,12:57)
I should apologize to Mr. Heddle for poking at him at Pharyngula long ago -- I wasn't sure it was him, anyway, if he even recalls. Mr. Heddle appears reasonable in most of his arguments, except for Nascar and such. By the way, Mr. Heddle, I ran across a hot nascar babe for your delectation:  

I didn't know Sarah Palin had tattoos.

She's a Jeff Gordon fan. What do you expect? I'm pretty sure she is an, um, associate of Mr. Richard Hughes.

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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

   
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,15:23   

I didn't think that Mr. TaHugs "associated" with females at all. Live and learn! Also, hawt!

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AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,15:24   

Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 04 2009,13:23)
Come on. No it is not possible. The reason is Carbon chemistry.

This is all still question-begging. We have the biology we have because of the conditions that pertain on this planet, not the other way around.

Is carbon chemistry the only way to get biology? Maybe, and it certainly is the only way that we get the biology that we observe. But isn't it also possible that other types of chemistry are capable of supporting entities that reproduce, reduce entropy in a local manner, and all of the other things that we associate with life?  The answer to that is "I don't know, and neither do you". But to say "No it is not possible" is, IMHO, hubris.

The point is that we have things we call "living", and a spectra we call "visible", because we evolved on this planet. To say that the planet was perfectly made for us is ass-backward, and is, as others are fond of saying, equivalent to saying that the depression in the asphalt was perfectly made for that puddle of water.

I don't have a hair-trigger reaction that Gonzalez and Richards must be wrong; thanks for that vote of confidence. I do have an ability to look at the arguments, and find them remarkably unconvincing. Their use of these unconvincing arguments to advance a theological agenda does nothing to convince me further.

And based on a sample size of 1, I find it remarkable that you would buy the argument that habitability and observability are correlated. Look up the roots of that verb "correlate". Don't you need more than one observation to correlate with another?

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Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Amadan



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,15:30   

Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Nov. 04 2009,15:02)
what if "bollocks" are a form of life that doesn't require heavy metals?  

Well, I dunno, BUT

Heavy Metal is a form of life that requires this bollocks:



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"People are always looking for natural selection to generate random mutations" - Densye  4-4-2011
JoeG BTW dumbass- some variations help ensure reproductive fitness so they cannot be random wrt it.

   
Robin



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,15:32   

Quote (sledgehammer @ Nov. 04 2009,13:49)

Quote
2. We can’t see but a very small fraction of the useful electromagnetic spectrum.


And most of us really poorly at that thanks largely to the invention of text that allows us to read silly things like bibles...

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed.  Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
JohnW



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,15:34   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Nov. 04 2009,13:24)
Quote (JohnW @ Nov. 04 2009,13:23)
Come on. No it is not possible. The reason is Carbon chemistry.

For the record: dheddle, not me.

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Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it.
- Robert Byers

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2779
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,15:37   

Quote (JohnW @ Nov. 04 2009,15:34)
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Nov. 04 2009,13:24)
Quote (JohnW @ Nov. 04 2009,13:23)
Come on. No it is not possible. The reason is Carbon chemistry.

For the record: dheddle, not me.

thanks for the catch. I've editated the original to make this correction.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Chayanov



Posts: 289
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,15:49   

Quote
I don't have a hair-trigger reaction that Gonzalez and Richards must be wrong; thanks for that vote of confidence. I do have an ability to look at the arguments, and find them remarkably unconvincing. Their use of these unconvincing arguments to advance a theological agenda does nothing to convince me further.


Well, gee, if you were just open-minded enough you'd accept their baseless assertions and speculation on the face of it. There's certainly no room for discussion or debate on this topic whatsoever, since everyone else is in perfect agreement with it. What kind of scientist are you?

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Help! Marxist literary critics are following me!

  
dheddle



Posts: 530
Joined: Sep. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 04 2009,16:31   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Nov. 04 2009,15:24)
   
Quote (dheddle @ Nov. 04 2009,13:23)
Come on. No it is not possible. The reason is Carbon chemistry.

This is all still question-begging. We have the biology we have because of the conditions that pertain on this planet, not the other way around.

Is carbon chemistry the only way to get biology? Maybe, and it certainly is the only way that we get the biology that we observe. But isn't it also possible that other types of chemistry are capable of supporting entities that reproduce, reduce entropy in a local manner, and all of the other things that we associate with life?  The answer to that is "I don't know, and neither do you". But to say "No it is not possible" is, IMHO, hubris.

The point is that we have things we call "living", and a spectra we call "visible", because we evolved on this planet. To say that the planet was perfectly made for us is ass-backward, and is, as others are fond of saying, equivalent to saying that the depression in the asphalt was perfectly made for that puddle of water.

I don't have a hair-trigger reaction that Gonzalez and Richards must be wrong; thanks for that vote of confidence. I do have an ability to look at the arguments, and find them remarkably unconvincing. Their use of these unconvincing arguments to advance a theological agenda does nothing to convince me further.

And based on a sample size of 1, I find it remarkable that you would buy the argument that habitability and observability are correlated. Look up the roots of that verb "correlate". Don't you need more than one observation to correlate with another?

Not a sample size of 1 is sufficient. Correlated means mutually or reciprocally related. In that sense it doesn't require statistics.

Now, fair enough, we are not talking science here--but whether or not their arguments are reasonable.

I think they are common sense.

For example we are in a low density part of the galaxy. Right away that tells you that it is probably necessary to be in a low density part of the galaxy--since by a pick-a-star-at-random draw we would expect to find ourselves in a  high density part. But it doesn't take much to figure out that high density regions are indeed inhospitable. More ambient radiation. More orbital perturbations. More life-extinguishing supernovae, etc.

So habitability places us in a low density region. But a low density region allows us to see outside of our galaxy. It permits cosmology. In high density regions of the Milky way we could not do cosmology.

In this example, trivially I would argue, habitibility is correlated with observability.

How is that argument wrong? If they are simply wrong--then tell me how the argument I just made is manifestly wrong.

The only thing that I can see that makes it controversial is that they then throw in their theological implications. But if you ignore those I would argue that their claims are, at a minimum, reasonable speculation. And I would argue that their view would be non-controversial without the ID connotation.

EDIT: typo

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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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