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Author Topic: Could the universe have been an act of an intelligent designer /chance  (Read 42661 times)

Offline Alan McDougall

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Hi,

Maybe this topic has been discussed before on the forum, but can there be a case for intelligent design for the universe?

Example, the exactitude of the fundamental constants and if even one differed minutely we would simple have never come into existence

Or the argument against Intelligent Design that there might have been an infinitely of big bangs creating and infinity of different universes and one of them just happen to be just right for life. Like Goldilocks's, not too hot not too cold but just right, but just right due to some accident of blind chance

Alan


 

Offline LeeE

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From a purely physics point of view, the idea is plausible; the universe exists, which means it works.  Although I only have a hobbiest interest in it, Geology also seems to have a certain elegance and consistency about it, so that too seems plausible.

Biology is a complete joke though; everything works, but only just, and certainly not forever.  There's just no evidence of intelligent design when it comes to biology.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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LeeE

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Biology is a complete joke though; everything works, but only just, and certainly not forever.  There's just no evidence of intelligent design when it comes to biology

Thanks for the response. Yes many things biological don't make good sense. Why has the ID made our earthly existence dependant on "Eat or be eaten"? Surly god could have made a better way of allowing us to absorb energy to sustain life.Make up something like walking solar panels  :D

However, when we look at the unimaginable complexity of the human brain, or any brain for that matter this might suggest an ID

Alan
« Last Edit: 06/03/2009 05:24:01 by Alan McDougall »
 

Offline BenV

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However, when we look at the unimaginable complexity of the human brain, or any brain for that matter this might suggest an ID

Alan
But then we look at the failure rate of the damn thing and it's obvious that no design nor intelligence has gone into it.

I think you are looking at things in the wrong way - it's not a case of "the laws of physics are such so that we can exist", but "Because the laws of physics are such, we can exist".

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Example, the exactitude of the fundamental constants and if even one differed minutely we would simple have never come into existence
And if they were any different, we wouldnt exist to discuss them.  This doesn't matter on a universal scale though, so it's very human-centric to assume everything exists so we can.

I think the idea of an intelligent designer is a nice bedtime story to make people feel comforted and more important than they are in the big scheme of things.
 

Offline Vern

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When thinking of ID I always end up with the question of: how did the intelligent designer come to exist; and what is the purpose of the design.

There was a science fiction story that explained it; I forget the name of it; but essentially, the intelligent designers were robots doing an experiment to try and determine how their own intelligent designers came to be. Their experiment is attempting to determine whether carbon-based life forms could evolve to become capable of making intelligent robots.

But then if it is true; why do we need the intelligent robots?
« Last Edit: 06/03/2009 13:32:25 by Vern »
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Vern



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When thinking of ID I always end up with the question of: how did the intelligent designer come to exist; and what is the purpose of the design.

There was a science fiction story that explained it; I forget the name of it; but essentially, the intelligent designers were robots doing an experiment to try and determine how their own intelligent designers came to be. Their experiment is attempting to determine whether carbon-based life forms could evolve to become capable of making intelligent robots.

It it a matter of turtles all the way down or infinite regression, But there might be an "uncaused cause" The big bang seems to defy the laws of thermodynamics, we are supposed to believe that the big bang had no cause,

But our universe needs this cause and effect, or entropy in order to sustain itself

Alan
« Last Edit: 06/03/2009 17:10:03 by Alan McDougall »
 

Offline Vern

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I'm not a big fan of the Big Bang theory. But I don't have a dog in that hunt and so don't worry about it much. I suspect that some other concept will eventually gain favor when we realize how much we are bending nature's laws.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Vern


While I agree that ID is not science in any sense, the opposite belief that the universe just popping into existence out of nowhere, cannot be proved by empirical scientific method

If the universe is infinite and eternal there is is no possibilty of proving this as a fact

Albert Einstein once quoted "An intelligence of such superiority that compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection`.

Einstein also said that he saw no reason for not believing in an ID


The brilliant Fred Hoyle said something very similar , they both made these and other similar quotes from a position of skeptical atheist

Alan
 

Offline Vern

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The concept of Intelligent Design implies that some designer contemplated humanity and produced mechanisms to bring it into being. But looking out into the universe, humanity seems to be so insignificant that it is hard to imagine such a humongous design just to create a human habitat.

It doesn't seem to be a very efficient use of matter and energy. :)   
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Vern


 

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The concept of Intelligent Design implies that some designer contemplated humanity and produced mechanisms to bring it into being. But looking out into the universe, humanity seems to be so insignificant that it is hard to imagine such a humongous design just to create a human habitat.

But are we really so insignificant? Einstein also remarked that what is really incomprehensible about humanity, is that we can comprehend so much

You mind can expand into infinity and try to comprehend all existence

The greatest as yet unexplainable enigma is the "Existence of Existence"

When I try to comprehend even my own existence it becomes a revelation of awesome truth

Alan
 

Offline latebind

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If a designer has designed a race of people that can destroy a planet and its life in a few centuries than he wouldnt be a very good designer.




 

Offline Alan McDougall

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latebind

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If a designer has designed a race of people that can destroy a planet and its life in a few centuries than he wouldnt be a very good designer.

Humans are really just puny little naked apes. We simply cannot destroy the earth and if we are not careful she might brush us off her shoulder or crush us with a mighty earthquake.


Of course there remains the free will factor in the equation, withhout it we would have been just robots to this infinite intellect.

Alan

Alan
 

Offline Vern

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Quote from: Alan McDugall
But are we really so insignificant? Einstein also remarked that what is really incomprehensible about humanity, is that we can comprehend so much
Yes; we can really comprehend a lot of real things. And we can comprehend many more things that might not be real. We have no way other than our own feelings to determine which comprehensions are real and which are not.

I suspect that most of us just accept as real that which someone we trust tells us is real.
 

lyner

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How sure can we be that we do have 'true' freewill? I know we might feel too uneasy to accept that we may not have it but can we prove that we have it. Moreover, what do we actually mean be free will and is it relevant?
 

Offline _Stefan_

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Postulating a designer is useless. It explains absolutely nothing. You then have an infinite regression consisting of questions like "who created the designer?", "what are the properties of the designer?", "how does the designer work?", "how does the designer create?". It does not help our understanding of the universe to say "goddidit".
 

Offline Bored chemist

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"Humans are really just puny little naked apes. We simply cannot destroy the earth "
We seem to be having a jolly good try.

Incidentally, has anyone ever considered the possibillity of "stupid design" ie that there is a "creator" but He's just not very good at this sort of thing. That's why the world is in a bit of a mess and why there are so many cockups with the design of humans- for example, the blood vessels feeding out retina are in the way of the light  that the retina is there to sense.
There are plenty of other examples.
 

Offline latebind

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Anything that we cannot understand will seem to be something magical/supernatural.

Once we understand physics fully(if we dont go extinct in the next few centuries) we will have no need for supernatural speculation.

This does not mean we will disprove god, but it does mean we will have an explanation for everything that we cannot understand now.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Bored chemist


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Incidentally, has anyone ever considered the possibillity of "stupid design" ie that there is a "creator" but He's just not very good at this sort of thing. That's why the world is in a bit of a mess and why there are so many cockups with the design of humans- for example, the blood vessels feeding out retina are in the way of the light  that the retina is there to sense.
There are plenty of other examples.

Yes I have for example why design the rabbit's digestive system in a way that it must eat its own faeces to survive.

I think that evolution or an ID is experimenting, rather than stupidly designing.

Stefan_

 

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Postulating a designer is useless. It explains absolutely nothing. You then have an infinite regression consisting of questions like "who created the designer?", "what are the properties of the designer?", "how does the designer work?", "how does the designer create?". It does not help our understanding of the universe to say "goddidit".

I like to think that somewhere out there in the vastness of the universe there is/are intelligences far more advanced than we are. There might be beings so advanced compared to humanity that for all tends and proposes they would be undisguisedly to us from out best concept of god

Who created the designer, we must come to a place in out understanding that we have to admit there are mysteries out there in the universe that even the best human mind would never comprehend

What about irreducible complexity, maybe the eye, this amazing biological instruments really seems to me that it was a design be someone

A cockroach is hugely hugely more complex than mans most complex machine, namely the space shuttle

 Vern

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I suspect that most of us just accept as real that which someone we trust tells us is real.

Our perception on really is very limited we only really observe what we have been programmed by evolution to observe to survive

Stefan_
 

Offline _Stefan_

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Incidentally, has anyone ever considered the possibillity of "stupid design" ie that there is a "creator" but He's just not very good at this sort of thing. That's why the world is in a bit of a mess and why there are so many cockups with the design of humans- for example, the blood vessels feeding out retina are in the way of the light  that the retina is there to sense.
There are plenty of other examples.
Why postulate a stupid designer when its actions are indistinguishable from natural, undirected processes, which we are increasingly being able to understand? Occam's Razor, anyone?
 

I like to think that somewhere out there in the vastness of the universe there is/are intelligences far more advanced than we are. There might be beings so advanced compared to humanity that for all tends and proposes they would be undisguisedly to us from out best concept of god
It would seem unlikely that there is not another vastly intelligent species somewhere else in the universe, simply because of how large and old and full of planets and stars it is. However, those intelligent species would have evolved too, during a span of time after the universe formed.

Who created the designer, we must come to a place in out understanding that we have to admit there are mysteries out there in the universe that even the best human mind would never comprehend
Don't be so defeatist. There's no way to decide that before long term, vigorous scientific investigation of those mysteries. This also seems like a god of the gaps argument, which is illogical. And the origin of the universe itself is mysterious - but how can it possibly help to explain it using another mystery (god)???

What about irreducible complexity, maybe the eye, this amazing biological instruments really seems to me that it was a design be someone

A cockroach is hugely hugely more complex than mans most complex machine, namely the space shuttle

Irreducible complexity is absolutely not an argument against evolution by natural processes; it's an argument from ignorance. Consider this irreducibly complex analogy:
Take 1 chair, and place 1 book on the seat. Then place a large dish on the book, and a mug filled with hot coffee onto the dish.
Now remove the chair without destroying the structure. Of course everything else will fall and be ruined.
So the structure depends on everything being in the right place. But it was built simply enough. It's just that the components of the structure developed a dependance to each other. That's what evolution does.

And we already know how the eye evolved.
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Once we understand physics fully(if we dont go extinct in the next few centuries) we will have no need for supernatural speculation.
Dunno. Maybe we'll get to the point where we can show that it's impossible to make any further progress in physics, without ever reaching a convincing end.

And even if not, we can never know we've got physics right. It's like the black swan; just because things fell down yesterday and the day before and for the last 3 billion years, perhaps tomorrow they will fall up, and we'll be amazed.

It's happened before in physics; plenty of times, well not gravity swapping, but you know what I mean.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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"Why postulate a stupid designer when its actions are indistinguishable from natural, undirected processes, which we are increasingly being able to understand?"
To satirise those who keep on about an inteligent designer which, as a theory, has even more problems than a stupid designer.

Also why do people insist on saying things like "Anything that we cannot understand will seem to be something magical/supernatural. "?
It isn't true, if it were then nobody would ever have tried to understand anything- they would just have said "it's magic" nd given up.
Also, I don't really undersand how this computer works in any detail- but I don't assume it's magic.
 

Offline latebind

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Also why do people insist on saying things like "Anything that we cannot understand will seem to be something magical/supernatural. "?
It isn't true, if it were then nobody would ever have tried to understand anything- they would just have said "it's magic" nd given up.
Also, I don't really undersand how this computer works in any detail- but I don't assume it's magic.

This is a well known fact. If you research it you will find out why. But the essence is that humans need an explanation for everything, and what we cannot explain we categorize as magical/supernatural (sometimes with devastating effects).

You can see this in history, so many examples. Witches, wizards, rain gods, sun gods.

People were even killed for being suspected witches, and this is because no-one understood how the world really worked, and they suspected witches of being behind negative events, and so they killed them.

In Europe when the black plague was devastating everybody, no-one knew what a virus was, so they had no explanation for the way the plague spread and killed so many. They unfortunately linked this to other reasons and killed so many innocent people who were thought to be behind this conspiracy.

Here is a quote from wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death#Consequences

Europeans turned to astrological forces, earthquakes, and the poisoning of wells by Jews as possible reasons for the plague's emergence. No one in the fourteenth century considered rat control a way to ward off the plague, and people began to believe only God's anger could produce such horrific displays. There were many attacks against Jewish communities. In August of 1349, the Jewish communities of Mainz and Cologne were exterminated. In February of that same year, Christians murdered two thousand Jews in Strasbourg.

.......

Some Christians targeted "various groups such as Jews, friars, foreigners, beggars, pilgrims",lepers and Roma, thinking that they were to blame for the crisis. Lepers, and other individuals with skin diseases such as acne or psoriasis, were singled out and exterminated throughout Europe

History has many examples of this trait we have. So to deny the fact that humans have this flaw is to deny the existence of humanity.
« Last Edit: 08/03/2009 13:53:01 by latebind »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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"This is a well known fact."
It isn't a fact at all. I have already pointed out that it isn't true and given a counter example.
What might have been believed a hundred years ago or whatever isn't relevant.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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_Stefan


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And we already know how the eye evolved.

Do we really? How did it evolve by blind chance?  ???

Really good comments guys!

Alan
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Even very crummy eyes are very useful to have, and better eyes are more useful, and there's known examples in the animal kingdom with higher and higher efficiencies. There's no mystery at all.

Even bacteria can see light, and the molecular mechanisms to do that are really simple. Adding extra structures to determine direction is straightforward, and easily created by random variations, and would be kept.

Evolution is not simply blind chance, anymore than a man stumbling around in the dark is simply blind chance when he eventually finds a light switch; he'll find it eventually.
 

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