بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
God and Design
The Teleological Argument and Modern Science
By: Neil A. Manson
إعداد: أ. مصطفى نصر قديح
· The design argument is one of three main arguments for the existence of God; the others are the ontological argument and the cosmological argument. Unlike the ontological argument, the design argument and the cosmological argument are a posteriori. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p25]
· The best version of the design argument, in my opinion, uses an inferential idea that probabilists call the likelihood principle (LP). This can be illustrated by way of Paley’s (1802) example of the watch on the heath. Paley describes an observation that he claims discriminates between two hypotheses:
(W) O1: the watch has features G1…Gn.
W1: the watch was created by an intelligent designer.
W2: the watch was produced by a mindless chance process.
Paley’s idea is that O1 would be unsurprising if W1 were true, but would be very surprising if W2 were true. This is supposed to show that O1 favors W1 over W2; O1 supports W1 more than it supports W2. Surprise is a matter of degree; it can be captured by the concept of conditional probability. The probability of observation (O) given hypothesis (H)—Pr(O|H)—represents how unsurprising O would be if H were true. LP says that comparing such conditional probabilities is the way to decide what the direction is in which the evidence points:
(LP) Observation O supports hypothesis H1 more than it supports hypothesis H2 if and only if Pr(O|H1)>Pr(O|H2). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p26-27]
· The basic format is to compare two hypotheses as possible explanations of a single observation: (E) O2: the vertebrate eye has features F1…Fn.
E1: the vertebrate eye was created by an intelligent designer.
E2: the vertebrate eye was produced by a mindless chance process.
We do not hesitate to conclude that the observations strongly favor Design over Chance in the case of argument (W); Paley claims that precisely the same conclusion should be drawn in the case of the propositions assembled in (E). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p27]
· Suppose I catch 50 fish from a lake, and you want to use my observations O to test two hypotheses:
O: All the fish I caught were more than ten inches long.
F1: All the fish in the lake are more than ten inches long.
F2: Only half the fish in the lake are more than ten inches long.
You might think that LP says that F1 is better supported, since (1) Pr(O|F1)>Pr(O|F2).
However, you then discover how I caught my fish:
(A1) I caught the 50 fish by using a net that (because of the size of its
holes) can’t catch fish smaller than ten inches long.
This leads you to replace the analysis provided by (1) with the following:
(2) Pr(O|F1 & A1)=Pr(O|F2 & A1)=1.
Furthermore, you now realize that your first assessment, (1), was based on the erroneous assumption that (A0) The fish I caught were a random sample from the fish in the lake.
Instead of (1), you should have written Pr(O|F1 & A0)>Pr(O|F2 & A0).
This inequality is true; the problem, however, is that (A0) is false. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p41-42]
· One version of the cosmic design argument begins with the observation that our universe is “fine-tuned.” That is, the values of various physical constants are such as to permit life to exist, and, if they had been even slightly different, life would have been impossible. I’ll abbreviate this fact by saying that “the constants are right.” A design argument can now be constructed, one that claims that the constants being right should be explained by postulating the existence of an intelligent designer, one who wanted life to exist and who arranged the Universe so that this would occur (Swinburne 1990a). As with Paley’s organismic design argument, we can represent the reasoning in this cosmic design argument as the assertion of a likelihood inequality:
(3) Pr(constants are right|Design)>Pr(constants are right|Chance).
However, there is a problem with (3) that resembles the problem with (1).
Consider the fact that (A3) We exist, and if we exist the constants must be right. We need to take (A3) into account; instead of (3), we should have said:
(4) Pr(constants are right|Design & A3) = Pr(constants are right|Chance & A3)=1.0.
That is, given (A3), the constants must be right, regardless of whether the Universe was produced by intelligent design or by chance. Proposition (4) reflects the fact that our observation that the constants are right is subject to an OSE. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p42]
· Ironically, one of the staunchest defenders of the reality of the laws of physics is the US physicist Steven Weinberg, a sort of apologetic atheist who, though able to wax lyrical about the mathematical elegance of nature, nevertheless felt compelled to pen the notorious words: “The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.” . [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p149][Paul Davies:The appearance of design in physics and cosmology]
· If there is a meaning or purpose to existence, as I believe there is, we are wrong to dwell too much on the originating event. The Big Bang is sometimes referred to as “the creation,” but in truth nature has never ceased to be creative. This ongoing creativity, which manifests itself in the spontaneous emergence of novelty and complexity, and in the organization of physical systems, is permitted through, or guided by, the underlying mathematical laws that scientists are so busy discovering. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p150] [Paul Davies :The appearance of design in physics and cosmology]
Ch3: THE DESIGN INFERENCE, Old wine in new wineskins . by: Robert O’Connor
· “Intelligent design” turns on the claim that specific, scientifically determined phenomena cannot be explained by appeal to any natural processes, and their extraordinary improbability rules out appeal to chance. As Behe insists, “since intelligent agents are the only entities known to be able to construct irreducibly complex systems, the biochemical systems are better explained as the result of deliberate intelligent design” (2000a:156). In so far as ID focuses on specific local phenomena (e.g. molecular machines, DNA sequencing) rather than such global phenomena as the very presence of life in the Universe or the natural processes by which life came to be, one might label them “local design arguments,” or LDA, to distinguish them from their apparently suspect “global” counterparts (GDA). LDA claim to establish intelligent agency from within science. They are deemed superior to GDA in so far as they trade on the indisputable, scientifically established function of these phenomena, rather than such speculative metaphysical claims as regarding the overall purpose of the cosmos. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p65]
· In sum, Dembski says: There exists a reliable criterion for detecting design strictly from observational features of the world. This criterion belongs to probability and complexity theory, not to metaphysics and theology…. When applied to the complex information-rich structures of biology, it detects design. In particular we can say with the weight of science behind us that the complexity-specification criterion shows Michael Behe’s irreducibly complex biochemical systems to be designed. (1998b:22). Thus, anyone subscribing to the standards of evidence adopted by science cannot, on pain of inconsistency, reject the inference to intelligent agency. LDA constitute “in-principle arguments for why undirected natural causes (i.e., chance, necessity or some combination of the two) cannot produce irreducible and specified complexity” (Dembski 1999:276–7). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p66]
· Dembski introduces the Law of Conservation of Information or LCI. It is this law that appears to have been violated by the appearance of natural phenomena exhibiting irreducible or specified complexity. LCI does not function as a first-order law or regularity by which to describe some causal power, force, liability, process, or relation. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p73]
· What exactly is LCI? Dembski defines the Law of Conservation of Information in the following terms: (1) The CSI in a closed system of natural causes remains constant or decreases. (2) CSI cannot be generated spontaneously, originate endogenously or organize itself….(3) The CSI in a closed system of natural causes either has been in the system eternally or was at some point added exogenously (implying that the system, though now closed, was not always closed). (4) In particular any closed system of natural causes that is also of finite duration received whatever CSI it contains before it became a closed system. (1999:170). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p73]
· the identification of a local increase in CSI requires a commitment to a particularly contentious philo sophical interpretation of scientific inquiry. Second, even if one is willing to grant that if science has not yet discerned the natural pathway then it does not exist, I have argued that the mere presence of a local increase in CSI does not establish the immediate activity of an intentional, intelligent causal agent. Dembski insists that “the principal characteristic of intelligent agency is directed contingency, what we call choice” (1998a:62). In the end, then, even if these information-rich systems do not underwrite a “rigorous, scientifically demonstrable” argument for design, they do support explanation in terms of the intentional and transcendent choice of a personal agent. Therefore, inferring design does constitute an intelligent choice, that is, a rationally warranted, philosophically viable interpretation of certain remarkable empirical phenomena. As such, affirming design retains this central feature of intelligence: even though appeal to design is not necessary in order to account for these phenomena, it constitutes an empirically informed, discriminating choice. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p82]
Ch4: GOD BY DESIGN? – by: Jan Narveson
· According to the cosmological argument, the material world, in general, is temporal, in which respect it is a series of events, going back in time. How far, then? On the one hand, says the argument, nothing comes from nothing: events have beginnings, and in order to have them, something or other must bring it about that they do so begin. For all theoretically relevant purposes, this amounts to the claim that every event has a cause (in the usual sense of the term, which is the Aristotelian “efficient” type, as distinct from “formal,” “final,” and “material” causes). The argument then proceeds to invoke a premise to the effect that trains of causes cannot go on forever, and so it concludes that there must have been a “first” cause. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p88]
· The “fine-tuning” thesis has it that, for example, the human species requires a combination of conditions whose antecedent probability (however you compute that!) is astronomically small, making it a cosmic accident that there are people. From this it is inferred that the existence of people must be due to divine intervention, divine fine-timing, after all. This is perhaps the most remarkable of all of these arguments, for it evidently implies that the Deity prefers vastly improbable ways of bringing about intended results (the existence of people) to the much more plausible ones that presumably He could also have done at the drop of the divine hat. Why on Earth would He behave like that? And that’s just the trouble. The lack of answers to this question is matched by the lack of good answers to any other question of this general type that you can ask. Bodiless minded super-creators are a category that is way, way out of control. To all questions, there is but one general answer: “Who are we to understand the mysterious ways of the Deity?” A good point, in its way—but one that utterly undermines the project of design arguments, since we no longer know what is to count as “evidence” for or against any such hypothesis. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p99]
Ch5: THE ARGUMENT TO GOD FROM FINETUNING REASSESSED. by: Richard Swinburne
· A posteriori arguments for the existence of God can be arranged in an order by the generality of their premises. The cosmological argument argues from the fact that there is a universe at all; one form of argument from design argues from the operation of laws of nature (i.e. that all the constituents of the Universe behave in a law-like way), and another form of argument from design argues from the laws and boundary conditions of the Universe being such as to lead to the evolution of humans, claiming that rather special laws and boundary conditions are required if the Universe is to be human-lifeevolving. The normal way in which this latter is expressed is to claim that the constants and variables of those laws and boundary conditions have to lie within very narrow limits in order to be human-lifeevolving. This argument is therefore called the argument from fine-tuning. There are, then, many other arguments that begin from narrower premises. The arguments are, I believe, cumulative. That is, the existence of a universe raises the probability of the existence of God above its intrinsic probability, its probability on zero contingent evidence. The operation of laws of nature raises it a bit more, and so on. Counter-evidence, e.g. from the existence of evil, might lower that probability. I have argued elsewhere that the total evidence (i.e. everything we—theists and atheists—agree that we know about the Universe) makes the existence of God more probable than not. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p106]
· By the “boundary conditions” I mean, if the Universe began a finite time ago, its initial conditions, such as the density of mass-energy and the initial velocity of its expansion at the instant of the Big Bang. If the Universe has lasted for an infinite time, I mean those overall features of the Universe not determined by the laws that characterize it at all periods of time—e.g. perhaps the total quantity of its matter-energy. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p106]
· An argument from fine-tuning will be a strong argument to the extent to which it is not too improbable that there should be such fine-tuning if there is a God, but very improbable that it should exist if there is no God. In attempting to compare these probabilities, I shall, for the sake of simplicity of exposition, assume that the only God up for consideration is the traditional theistic one. I shall not consider the possibility of evil gods or lesser gods, my reason being one for which I have argued elsewhere—that hypotheses that such beings exist are more complicated hypotheses than the hypothesis of the existence of the God of traditional theism, and so have lower prior probabilities than the latter. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p108]
· while it is significantly probable that there would be a universe fine-tuned for the occurrence of human bodies or “particle-bodies” if there is a God, it is not at all probable that there would be such a universe if there is not a God. Hence “fine-tuning” (in the sense in which I have defined it) contributes significantly to a cumulative case for the existence of God. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p121]
Ch7: THE APPEARANCE OF DESIGN IN PHYSICS AND COSMOLOGY. by:Paul Davies
· An essential element of this belief system is that the Universe does not have to be as it is; it could have been otherwise. Einstein once said that the thing that most interested him is whether God had any choice in his creation. According to the Judeo-Islamic-Christian tradition, the answer is a resounding “yes.”. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p148].
· Some scientists have tried to argue that if only we knew enough about the laws of physics, if we were to discover a final theory that united all the fundamental forces and particles of nature into a single mathematical scheme, then we would find that this superlaw, or theory of everything, would describe the only logically consistent world. In other words, the nature of the physical world would be entirely a consequence of logical and mathematical necessity. There would be no choice about it. I think this is demonstrably wrong. There is not a shred of evidence that the Universe is logically necessary. Indeed, as a theoretical physicist I find it rather easy to imagine alternative universes that are logically consistent, and therefore equal contenders for reality. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p148].
· Nobody asks where the laws come from—at least they don’t in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith the existence of a law-like order in nature that is at least in part comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p148].
· Where do the laws of physics come from? And why those laws rather than some other set? Most especially: Why a set of laws that drives the searing, featureless gases coughed out of the Big Bang towards life and consciousness and intelligence and cultural activities such as religion, art, mathematics, and science? [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p150].
· Now the laws of which I speak have the status of timeless eternal truths, in contrast to the physical states of the Universe that change with time, and bring forth the genuinely new. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p150].
· You might be tempted to suppose that any old rag-bag of laws would produce a complex universe of some sort, with attendant inhabitants convinced of their own specialness. Not so. It turns out that randomly selected laws lead almost inevitably either to unrelieved chaos or boring and uneventful simplicity. Our own universe is poised exquisitely between these unpalatable alternatives, offering a potent mix of freedom and discipline, a sort of restrained creativity. The laws do not tie down physical systems so rigidly that they can accomplish little, nor are they a recipe for cosmic anarchy. Instead, they encourage matter and energy to develop along pathways of evolution that lead to novel variety, what Freeman Dyson has called the principle of maximum diversity: that in some sense we live in the most interesting possible universe. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p152].
· If we could twiddle a knob and change the existing laws, even very slightly, the chances are that the Universe as we know it would fall apart, descending into chaos. Certainly the existence of life as we know it, and even of less elaborate systems such as stable stars, would be threatened by just the tiniest change in the strengths of the fundamental forces, for example. The laws that characterize our actual universe, as opposed to an infinite number of alternative possible universes, seem almost contrived—fine-tuned some commentators have claimed—so that life and consciousness may emerge. To quote Dyson again: it is almost as if “the universe knew we were coming.” I can’t prove to you that that is design, but whatever it is it is certainly very clever! [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p152].
· To me, the contrived nature of physical existence is just too fantastic for me to take on board as simply “given.” It points forcefully to a deeper underlying meaning to existence. Some call it purpose, some design. These loaded words, which derive from human categories, capture only imperfectly what it is that the Universe is about. But that it is about something, I have absolutely no doubt. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p152].
8: DESIGN AND THE ANTHROPIC FINETUNING OF THE UNIVERSE. by: William Lane Craig
· Widely thought to have been demolished by Hume and Darwin, the teleological argument for God’s existence came roaring back into prominence during the latter half of the last century. Defenders of the argument earlier in the same century appealed to what F.R.Tennant called “wider teleology,” which emphasizes the necessary conditions for the existence and evolution of intelligent life, rather than specific instances of purposive design. Unfortunately, they could speak of this wider teleology for the most part only in generalities, for example, “the thickness of the earth’s crust, the quantity of water, the amount of carbon dioxide,” and so forth, but could furnish few details to describe this alleged teleology (Tennant 1935, vol. 2:87). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p155].
· In recent years, however, the scientific community has been stunned by its discovery of how complex and sensitive a nexus of conditions must be given in order for the Universe to permit the origin and evolution of intelligent life. The Universe appears, in fact, to have been incredibly fine-tuned from the moment of its inception for the production of intelligent life. In the various fields of physics and astrophysics, classical cosmology, quantum mechanics, and biochemistry various discoveries have repeatedly disclosed that the existence of intelligent, carbon-based life depends upon a delicate balance of physical and cosmological quantities, such that were any one of these quantities to be slightly altered, the balance would be destroyed and life would not exist. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p155].
· For example, the values of the various forces of nature appear to be fine-tuned for the existence of intelligent life. The world is conditioned principally by the values of the fundamental constants α (the fine structure constant, or electromagnetic interaction), mp/me (proton to electron mass ratio), αG (gravitation), αw (the weak force), and αs (the strong force). When one assigns different values to these constants or forces, one discovers that the number of observable universes, that is to say, universes capable of supporting intelligent life, is very small. Just a slight variation in any one of these values would render life impossible. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p155-156].
· For example, if αs were increased by as much as 1 percent, nuclear resonance levels would be so altered that almost all carbon would be burned into oxygen; an increase of 2 percent would preclude formation of protons out of quarks, preventing the existence of atoms. Furthermore, weakening αs by as much as 5 percent would unbind deuteron, which is essential to stellar nucleo-synthesis, leading to a universe composed only of hydrogen. It has been estimated that αs must be within 0.8 and 1.2 times its actual strength or all elements of atomic weight greater than 4 would not have formed. Or again, if αw had been appreciably stronger, then the Big Bang’s nuclear burning would have proceeded past helium to iron, making fusion-powered stars impossible. But if it had been much weaker, then we would have had a universe entirely of helium. Or again, if αG had been a little greater, all stars would have been red dwarfs, which are too cold to support life-bearing planets. If it had been a little smaller, the universe would have been composed exclusively of blue giants, which burn too briefly for life to develop. According to Davies, changes in either αG or electromagnetism by only one part in 1040 would have spelled disaster for stars like the Sun. Moreover, the fact that life can develop on a planet orbiting a star at the right distance depends on the close proximity of the spectral temperature of starlight to the molecular binding energy. Were it greatly to exceed this value, living organisms would be sterilized or destroyed; but, were it far below this value, then the photochemical reactions necessary to life would proceed too slowly for life to exist. Or again, atmospheric composition, upon which life depends, is constrained by planetary mass. But planetary mass is the inevitable consequence of electromagnetic and gravitational interactions. And there simply is no physical theory that can explain the numerical values of α and mp/me that determine electromagnetic interaction. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p156].
· Several of these same constants play a crucial role in determining the temporal phases of the development of the Universe and thus control features of the Universe essential to life. For example, αG and mp/me constrain (1) the mainsequence stellar lifetime, (2) the time before which the expansion dynamics of the expanding Universe are determined by radiation rather than matter, (3) the time after which the Universe is cool enough for atoms and molecules to form, (4) the time necessary for protons to decay, and (5) the Planck time. Furthermore, a fine balance must exist between the gravitational and weak interactions. If the balance were upset in one direction, the Universe would have been 100 percent helium in its early phase, which would have made it impossible for life to exist now. If the balance were tipped in the other direction, then it would not have been possible for neutrinos to blast the envelopes of supernovae into space and so distribute the heavy elements essential to life. Moreover, the difference between the masses of the neutron and the proton is also part of a very delicate coincidence that is crucial to a lifesupporting environment. This difference prevents protons from decaying into neutrons, which, if it were to happen, would make life impossible. This ratio is also balanced with the electron mass, for, if the neutron mass failed to exceed the proton mass by a little more than the electron mass, then atoms would simply collapse. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p156-157].
· Considerations of classical cosmology also serve to highlight a new parameter, S, the entropy per baryon in the Universe. The total observed entropy of the Universe is 1088. Since there are around 1080 baryons in the Universe, the observed entropy per baryon, which is about 109, must be regarded as extremely small. Unless S were<1011, galaxies would not have been able to form, making planetary life impossible. In a collapsing Universe the total entropy would be 10123 near the end. Comparison of the total observed entropy of 1088 with a possible 10123 reveals how incredibly small 1088 is compared to what it might have been. Thus, the structure of the Big Bang must have been severely constrained in order for thermodynamics as we know it to have arisen. Not only so, but S is itself a consequence of the baryon asymmetry in the Universe, which arises from the inexplicable, built-in asymmetry of quarks over anti-quarks prior to 10–6 seconds after the Big Bang. Penrose calculates that the odds of the special low-entropy condition having arisen sheerly by chance in the absence of any constraining principles is at least as small as about one part in 101,000B(3/2) where B is the present baryon number of the Universe ~1080. Thus, aiming at a manifold whose points represent the various possible initial configurations of the Universe, “the accuracy of the Creator’s aim” would have to have been one part in 1010(123) in order for our universe to exist. Penrose comments, “I cannot even recall seeing anything else in physics whose accuracy is known to approach, even remotely, a figure like one part in 1010(123)” (1981:249). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p157].
· In investigating the initial conditions of the Big Bang, one also confronts two arbitrary parameters governing the expansion of the Universe: Ω0, related to the density of the Universe, and H0, related to the speed of the expansion. Observations indicate that at 10–43 seconds after the Big Bang the Universe was expanding at a fantastically special rate of speed with a total density close to the critical value on the borderline between recollapse and everlasting expansion. Hawking (1988:123) estimates that even a decrease of one part in a million million when the temperature of the Universe was 1010 degrees would have resulted in the Universe’s recollapse long ago; a similar increase would have precluded the galaxies from condensing out of the expanding matter. At the Planck time, 10–43 seconds after the Big Bang, the density of the Universe must have apparently been within about one part in 1060 of the critical density at which space is flat. This results in the so-called “flatness problem”: Why is the Universe expanding at just such a rate that space is Euclidean rather than curved? A second problem that arises is the “homogeneity problem.” There is a very narrow range of initial conditions that must obtain if galaxies are to form later. If the initial inhomogeneity ratio were>10–2, then non-uniformities would condense prematurely into black holes before the stars form. But if the ratio were<10–5, inhomogeneities would be insufficient to condense into galaxies. Because matter in the Universe is clumped into galaxies, which is a necessary condition of life, the initial inhomogeneity ratio appears to be incredibly fine-tuned. Third, there is the “isotropy problem.” The temperature of the Universe is amazing in its isotropy: it varies by only about one part in 100,000 over the whole of the sky. But, at very early stages of the Universe, the different regions of the Universe were causally disjointed, since light beams could not travel fast enough to connect the rapidly receding regions. How then did these unconnected regions all happen to possess the same temperature and radiation density? [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p157-158].
· Contemporary cosmologists believe that they have found an answer to these three problems—or at least seem certain that they are on the right track—in inflationary models of the early universe. According to this proposed adjustment to the standard Big Bang cosmology, the very early universe briefly underwent an exponentially rapid inflation of space faster than the speed of light. This inflationary epoch resulted in the nearly flat curvature of space, pushed inhomogeneities beyond our horizon, and served to bury us far within a single region of space-time whose parts were causally connected at preinflationary times. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p158].
· Inflationary scenarios—by 1997 Alan Guth could count over fifty versions (Guth, 1997)—have, however, been plagued by difficulties. The original “old inflationary model” and its successor the “new inflationary model” are now dead. As Earman and Mosterin have shown in their recent survey of inflationary cosmology, even the newest inflationary scenarios like Linde’s do not “overcome the glaring deficiencies of the original versions of inflationary cosmology” (Earman and Mosterin 1999:36). They write: Proponents of inflationary cosmology originally charged that the standard big bang model was beset by problems which inflation could cure in a natural and straightforward way. But (a) results showing that inflation is likely to occur under generic conditions in the Universe were not forthcoming, (b) cosmic no-hair theorems showing that inflation is effective in ironing out generic nonuniformities were not forthcoming (and by our reckoning are probably not true), and (c) in the straightforward version of inflationary cosmology where an inflationary era is inserted into a hot big bang model, the presence of enough inflation to solve the monopole, horizon, and uniformity problems in an open FRW [FriedmannRobertson-Walker] universe (k=–1, Ω<1) and to explain the origin of density perturbations is difficult to reconcile with a low value of Ω0…. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p158].
· In sum, inflationary cosmologists have never delivered on their original promises. The newer models to which they have been driven depart radically from the original goal of improving the standard big bang model by means of a straightforward modification. And the link to concrete theories of elementary particle physics that initially made inflationary cosmology so exciting has been severed. The idea that was “too good to be wrong” has led to models that an impartial observer might well find contrived or fanciful or both. (Earman and Mosterin 1999:36, 38). In addition they note that inflationary cosmology has not enjoyed any successful empirical predictions: either the predictions tend to be falsified by the evidence or else new models are constructed to be compatible with the evidence, so that the predictions become non-predictions. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p158-159].
· Inflationary cosmology is, in a way, eloquent testimony to the fact that the fine-tuning of the Universe for intelligent life does cry out for explanation and cannot remain a brute fact. Earman and Mosterin contend that the motivation for inflationary theory lies not in alleged empirical inadequacies of standard Big Bang cosmology, but rather in dissatisfaction with the style of explanation in the standard model: “the explanation given by the standard big bang model is found wanting because it must rely on special initial conditions” (1999:23). The standard model’s explanation of the flatness, homogeneity, and isotropy of the Universe is rejected by inflationary theorists as “not a good or satisfying explanation because it must rely on highly special initial conditions” (Earman and Mosterin 1999:19). Given this dissatisfaction, interest in inflationary cosmology will continue unabated. They conclude: Despite the lack of empirical successes, the unkept promises, and the increasingly contrived and speculative character of the models, the inflationary juggernaut has not lost steam. The reasons are complicated, but we suspect that the main one is simply the sense among theorists that inflationary cosmology, if not the only game in town, is the only one around to provide computationally tractable models for treating a variety of issues in cosmology. We would predict that unless and until another, equally tractable game is found, the popularity of inflationary cosmology will persist even in the face of conceptual and empirical anomalies…. Whatever the fate of inflationary cosmology, philosophers interested in scientific explanation should be drawn to a case where, ostensibly, a major program of scientific research was launched not because the standard big bang model proved empirically inadequate, nor because it could not offer explanations of phenomena in its intended domain of application, but because the explanations were deemed to be unsatisfying. The demands of inflationary cosmologists were for explanations that use a common cause mechanism and are robust in the sense of being insensitive to initial conditions. (Earman and Mosterin 1999:45–6) [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p158].
· The defender of the teleological argument sympathizes with inflationary theorists’ dissatisfaction with the explanations afforded by standard Big Bang cosmology in so far as they might be thought to require us to regard the special initial conditions as explanatory stopping points. The difference between them is that whereas the inflationary theorist seeks to modify the standard model in hopes of defining a common cause mechanism that obviates the necessity of special initial conditions, the design theorist will attempt to provide a causal explanation of the special conditions themselves, not indeed a scientific explanation in terms of natural laws and further conditions, but a personal explanation in terms of an agent and his volitions. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p160].
· At the end of the day, it is important to realize that the inflationary Ansatz has failed to arrive at explanations that, even if accepted, are insensitive to highly special initial conditions. In other words, inflationary scenarios seem to require the same sort of fine-tuning that theorists had hoped these models had eliminated. This problem becomes most acute with respect to the value of the cosmological constant Λ, which may be analyzed as consisting of two components, bare Λ, which was the term introduced by Einstein into his gravitational field equations, and quantum Λ, which signifies the energy density of the true vacuum or of the false vacuum in inflationary scenarios. The total cosmological constant Λ, is usually taken to be zero. But this requires that the energy density of the true vacuum be tuned to zero by hand; there is no understanding of why this value should be so low. Worse, inflation requires that Λ, was once quite large, though zero today; this assumption is without any physical justification. Moreover, in order to proceed appropriately, inflation requires that bare Λ, and quantum Λ cancel each other out with an enormously precise though inexplicable accuracy. Λ change in the strengths of either αG or αw by as little as one part in 10100 would destroy this cancellation on which our lives depend. If, in line with recent tests indicating an acceleration of the cosmic expansion, bare Λ >0, then yet another fine-tuning problem unsolved by inflation arises. The density parameter Ω can be analyzed as consisting of two components, ΩM, or the contribution of matter to the density parameter, and Ω or the contribution of the cosmological constant to the parameter. If Λ > 0, then in order to arrive at a present value of ΩΛ, on the order of 1, the ratio Ω /ΩM must have been exquisitely small in the very early universe, a ratio that is unconstrained by inflationary cosmology. There will also be other physical quantities unconstrained by inflationary scenarios. For example, the value of S seems to be wholly unrelated to Ω0, H0, or inflationary scenarios. Thus, fine-tuning is far from eliminated even if inflationary cosmology were embraced. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p160].
· The discovery of cosmic fine-tuning has led many scientists to conclude that such a delicate balance cannot be dismissed as coincidence but cries out for explanation. In a sense more easy to discern than to articulate, this finetuning of the Universe seems to manifest the presence of a designing intelligence. John Leslie, the philosopher who has most occupied himself with these matters, can speak here only informally of the need for what he calls a “tidy explanation.” A tidy explanation is one that not only explains a certain situation but also reveals in doing so that there is something to be explained. Leslie provides a whole retinue of charming illustrations of tidy explanations at work. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p161].
· Leslie believes that design similarly supplies a tidy explanation of the finetuning of the Universe for intelligent life. He concludes: The moral must now be plain. Our universe’s elements do not carry labels announcing whether they are in need of explanation. A chief (or the only?) reason for thinking that something stands in such need, that is, for justifiable reluctance to dismiss it as how things just happen to be, is that one in fact glimpses some tidy way in which it might be explained. (Leslie 1989:10) The strength of Leslie’s reasoning is that in everyday life we do intuitively see the need for and employ tidy explanations for various situations. We may not be able to articulate why such an explanation is called for, but we sense it clearly. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p161].
· Less formally, the teleological argument will look like this: (1) One learns that the physical constants and quantities given in the Big Bang possess certain values. (2) Examining the circumstances under which the Big Bang occurred, one finds that there is no theory that would render physically necessary the values of all the constants and quantities, so they must be attributed to sheer accident. (3) One discovers that the values of the constants and quantities are fantastically fine-tuned for the existence of intelligent, carbon-based life. (4) The probability of each value and of all the values together occurring by chance is vanishingly small. (5) There is only one universe; it is illicit in the absence of evidence to multiply one’s probabilistic resources (i.e. postulate a World Ensemble of universes) simply to avert the design inference. (6) Given that the Universe has occurred only once, the probability that the constants and quantities all possess the values they do remains vanishingly small. (7) This probability is well within the bounds needed to eliminate chance. (8) One has physical information concerning the necessary conditions for intelligent, carbon-based life (e.g. a certain temperature range, the existence of certain elements, certain gravitational and electromagnetic forces, etc.). (9) This information about the finely tuned conditions requisite for a lifepermitting universe is independent of the pattern discerned in step (3). (10) One is ‘warranted in inferring’ that the physical constants and quantities given in the Big Bang are not the result of chance. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p164-165].
· even if the laws of nature were necessary, one would still have to supply initial conditions. As Paul Davies states: Even if the laws of physics were unique, it doesn’t follow that the physical universe itself is unique…the laws of physics must be augmented by cosmic initial conditions…. There is nothing in present ideas about “laws of initial conditions” remotely to suggest that their consistency with the laws of physics would imply uniqueness. Far from it…. It seems, then, that the physical universe does not have to be the way it is: it could have been otherwise. (1992:169) [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p166].
· Finally, if there is a single, physically possible universe, then the existence of this incredibly complex world-machine might be itself powerful evidence that a designer exists. Some theorists call the hypothesis that the Universe must be life permitting “the strong anthropic principle,” and it is often taken as indicative of God’s existence. As physicists Barrow and Tipler write, “The Strong Anthropic Principle…has strong teleological overtones. This type of notion was extensively discussed in past centuries and was bound up with the question of evidence for a Deity” (1986:28). Thus, the alternative of physical necessity is not very plausible to begin with and is perhaps indicative of design. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p166].
· John Barrow (1988) provides the following illustration that makes quite clear the sense in which our life-permitting universe is improbable. Take a sheet of paper and place upon it a red dot. That dot represents our universe. Now alter slightly one or more of the finely tuned constants and physical quantities that have been the focus of our attention. As a result we have a description of another universe, which we may represent as a new dot in the proximity of the first. If that new set of constants and quantities describes a life-permitting universe, make it a red dot; if it describes a universe that is life-prohibiting, make it a blue dot. Now repeat the procedure arbitrarily many times until the sheet is filled with dots. What one winds up with is a sea of blue with only a few pinpoints of red. That is the sense in which it is overwhelmingly improbable that the Universe should be life-permitting. There are simply vastly more life-prohibiting universes in our local area of possible universes than there are life-permitting universes. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p167].
· Barrow and Tipler contend that the anthropic principle has “far-reaching implications” (1986:2). The implication is that we ought not to be surprised at observing the Universe to be as it is and that therefore no explanation of its finetuning need be sought. Thus they say: “No one should be surprised to find the universe to be as large as it is” (Barrow and Tipler 1986:18).
Or again: “on Anthropic grounds, we should expect to observe a world possessing precisely three spatial dimensions” (Barrow and Tipler 1986: 247). Or again: We should emphasize once again that the enormous improbability of the evolution of intelligent life in general and Homo sapiens in particular does not mean we should be amazed we exist at all….Only if an intelligent species does evolve is it p ssible for its members to ask how probable it is for an intelligent species to evolve. (Barrow and Tipler 1986:566). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p168-169].
· If the probability at stake in the teleological argument is epistemic probability (which is a measure of the degree to which we may rationally expect some proposition to be true), then Barrow and Tipler’s statements may be taken as the claim that the fine-tuning of the Universe is not, despite appearances, really improbable after all. If this is their claim, then it is based on confusion. They have confused the true claim: (1) if observers who have evolved within a universe observe its fundamental constants and quantities, it is highly probable that they will observe them to be fine-tuned to their existence with the false claim (2) it is highly probable that a universe exists that is finely tuned for the existence of observers who have evolved within it. An observer who has evolved within a universe should regard it as highly probable that he will find the basic conditions of that universe fine-tuned for his existence; but he should not infer that it is therefore highly probable that such a fine-tuned universe exists. It is true that (3) we should not be surprised that we do not observe that the fundamental features of the Universe are not fine-tuned for our own existence. For if the fundamental features of the Universe were not fine-tuned for our existence, we should not be here to notice it. Hence, it is not surprising that we do not observe such features. But it does not follow that (4) [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p169].
· we should not be surprised that we do observe that the fundamental features of the Universe are fine-tuned for our existence. This can be clearly seen by means of another illustration borrowed from John Leslie (1989:13–14). Suppose you are dragged before a firing squad of 100 trained marksmen, all of them with rifles aimed at your heart, to be executed. The command is given; you hear the deafening sound of the guns. And you observe that you are still alive, that all of the 100 marksmen missed! Now while it is true that (5) you should not be surprised that you do not observe that you are dead, nonetheless it is equally true that. (6) you should be surprised that you do observe that you are alive. Since the firing squad’s missing you altogether is extremely improbable, the surprise expressed in (6) is wholly appropriate, though you are not surprised that you do not observe that you are dead, since if you were dead you could not observe it. Similarly, while we should not be surprised that we do not observe that the fundamental features of the Universe are not fine-tuned for our existence, it is nevertheless true that (7) we should be surprised that we do observe that the fundamental features of the Universe are fine-tuned for our existence, in view of the enormous improbability that the Universe should possess such features. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p169].
· نقد فرضية العوالم المتعددة.
· for the Many-Worlds Hypothesis is essentially an effort on the part of partisans of the chance hypothesis to multiply the probabilistic resources in order to reduce the improbability of the occurrence of finetuning. The very fact that detractors of design have to resort to such a remarkable hypothesis underlines the point that cosmic fine-tuning is not explicable in terms of physical necessity alone or in terms of sheer chance in the absence of a World Ensemble. The Many-Worlds Hypothesis is a sort of backhanded compliment to the design hypothesis in its recognition that finetuning cries out for explanation. But is the Many-Worlds Hypothesis as plausible as the design hypothesis? [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p170-171].
· It seems not. In the first place, it needs to be recognized that the Many-Worlds Hypothesis is no more scientific, and no less metaphysical, than the hypothesis of a Cosmic Designer. As the scientist-theologian John Polkinghorne says, “People try to trick out a ‘many universe’ account in sort of pseudo-scientific terms, but that is pseudo-science. It is a metaphysical guess that there might be many universes with different laws and circumstances” (1995:6). But as a metaphysical hypothesis, the Many-Worlds Hypothesis is arguably inferior to the design hypothesis because the design hypothesis is simpler. According to Ockham’s razor, we should not multiply causes beyond what is necessary to explain the effect. But it is simpler to postulate one Cosmic Designer to explain our universe than to postulate the infinitely bloated and contrived ontology of the Many-Worlds Hypothesis. Only if the Many-Worlds theorist could show that there exists a single, comparably simple mechanism for generating a World Ensemble of randomly varied universes would he be able to elude this difficulty. But no one has been able to identify such a mechanism. Therefore, the design hypothesis is to be preferred. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p171].
· Second, there is no known way for generating a World Ensemble. No one has been able to explain how or why such a collection of universes should exist. Moreover, those attempts that have been made require fine-tuning themselves. For example, although some cosmologists appeal to inflationary theories of the Universe to generate a World Ensemble, we have seen that inflation itself requires fine-tuning. As Robert Brandenburger of Brown University writes, “The field which drives inflation…is expected to generate an unacceptably large cosmological constant which must be tuned to zero by hand. This is a problem which plagues all inflationary universe models.”8 [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p171].
· Third, there is no evidence for the existence of a World Ensemble apart from the concept of fine-tuning itself. But fine-tuning is equally evidence for a Cosmic Designer. Indeed, the hypothesis of a Cosmic Designer is again the better explanation because we have independent evidence of the existence of such a Designer in the form of the other arguments for the existence of God. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p171].
· Fourth, the Many-Worlds Hypothesis faces a severe challenge from biological evolutionary theory.9 First, a bit of background. The nineteenth-century physicist Ludwig Boltzmann proposed a sort of Many-Worlds Hypothesis in order to explain why we do not find the Universe in a state of “heat death” or thermodynamic equilibrium (1964:446–8). Boltzmann hy-pothesized that the Universe as a whole does, in fact, exist in an equilibrium state, but that over time fluctuations in the energy level occur here and there throughout the Universe, so that by chance alone there will be isolated regions where disequilibrium exists. Boltzmann referred to these isolated regions as “worlds.” We should not be surprised to see our world in a highly improbable disequilibrium state, he maintained, since in the ensemble of all worlds there must exist by chance alone certain worlds in disequilibrium, and ours just happens to be one of these. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p171-172].
· The problem with Boltzmann’s daring Many-Worlds Hypothesis was that if our world were merely a fluctuation in a sea of diffuse energy, then it is overwhelmingly more probable that we should be observing a much tinier region of disequilibrium than we do. In order for us to exist, a smaller fluctuation, even one that produced our world instantaneously by an enormous accident, is inestimably more probable than a progressive decline in entropy to fashion the world we see. In fact, Boltzmann’s hypothesis, if adopted, would force us to regard the past as illusory, everything having the mere appearance of age, and the stars and planets as illusory, mere “pictures” as it were, since that sort of world is vastly more probable given a state of overall equilibrium than a world with genuine, temporally and spatially distant events. Therefore, Boltzmann’s Many- Worlds Hypothesis has been universally rejected by the scientific community, and the present disequilibrium is usually taken to be just a result of the initial lowentropy condition mysteriously obtaining at the beginning of the Universe. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p172].
· Now a precisely parallel problem attends the Many-Worlds Hypothesis as an explanation of fine-tuning. According to the prevailing theory of biological evolution, intelligent life like ourselves, if it evolves at all, will do so as late in the lifetime of the Sun as possible. The less the time span available for the mechanisms of genetic mutation and natural selection to function, the lower the probability of intelligent life’s evolving. Given the complexity of the human organism, it is overwhelmingly more probable that human beings will evolve late in the lifetime of the Sun rather than early. In fact Barrow and Tipler (1986:561–5) list ten steps in the evolution of Homo sapiens each of which is so improbable that before it would occur the Sun would have ceased to be a main-sequence star and incinerated the Earth! Hence, if our universe is but one member of a World Ensemble, then it is overwhelmingly more probable that we should be observing a very old Sun rather than a relatively young one. If we are products of biological evolution, we should find ourselves in a world in which we evolve much later in the lifetime of our star. (This is the analogue to its being overwhelmingly more probable, according to the Boltzmann hypothesis, that we should exist in a smaller region of disequilibrium.) [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p172].
· In fact, adopting the Many- Worlds Hypothesis to explain away fine-tuning also results in a strange sort of illusionism: it is far more probable that all our astronomical, geological, and biological estimates of age are wrong, that we really do exist very late in the lifetime of the Sun and that the Sun and the Earth’s appearance of youth is a massive illusion. (This is the analogue of it’s being far more probable, according to the Boltzmann hypothesis, that all the evidence of the old age of our universe is illusory.) Thus, the Many-Worlds Hypothesis is no more successful in explaining cosmic fine-tuning than it was in explaining cosmic disequilibrium. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p172-173].
· The error made by the Many-Worlds Hypothesis is that it multiplies one’s probabilistic resources without warrant. If we are allowed to do that, then it seems that anything can be explained away.10 For example, a card player who gets four aces every time he deals could explain this away by saying, “there are an infinite number of universes with poker games going on in them, and therefore in some of them someone always by chance gets four aces every time he deals, and— lucky me!—I just happen to be in one of those universes.” This sort of arbitrary multiplying of one’s probabilistic resources would render rational conduct impossible. Thus, the Many-Worlds Hypothesis collapses and along with it the alternative of chance that it sought to rescue. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p173].
· It seems to me that the teleological argument for a Designer of the cosmos based on the fine-tuning of the initial state of the Universe is thus both a sound and persuasive argument It can be formulated as follows: (1) The fine-tuning of the initial state of the Universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design. (2) It is not due to physical necessity or chance. (3) Therefore, it is due to design. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p175].
· Perhaps the most widely discussed argument from design in the last thirty years has been that based on the fine-tuning of the cosmos for life. The literature presenting the evidence for fine-tuning is fairly extensive, with books by theoretical physicist Paul Davies (1982), physicists John Barrow and Frank Tipler (1986), astrophysicist Martin Rees (2000), and philosopher John Leslie (1989) being some of the most prominent. Yet despite this abundance of literature, several leading scientists are still skeptical of the purported evidence of fine-tuning. Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg, for instance, says that he is “not impressed with these supposed instances of fine-tuning” (1999:46). Other physicists, such as MIT’s astrophysicist Alan Guth, have presented similar reservations.2 As explicated in the Appendix, there is some basis for this skepticism. The arguments for some of the most widely cited cases of purported fine-tuning are highly problematic. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p178].
· The inference to design or many universes typically involves two steps. First, the claim is made that it is very coincidental, or surprising, for some parameter of physics to fall within the life-permitting range (instead of somewhere else in the theoretically “possible” range R) under the non-design, non-many-universe hypothesis, but not surprising or coincidental under the design or many-universe hypothesis. Then a general rule of confirmation is implicitly or explicitly invoked, according to which if a body of evidence E is highly surprising or coincidental under hypothesis H2, but not under hypothesis H1, then that body of evidence E confirms H1 over H2: that is, E gives us significant reason to prefer H1 over H2. 4 The surprisingness or coincidental character of the values of the parameters of physics, however, would still remain if their actual values were merely optimal for the evolution of intelligent life, and thus the soundness of the above inference would be unaffected. Furthermore, this optimality criterion largely avoids the objections based on the possibilities of non-carbon-based lifeforms. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p179].
· A change in a parameter that decreased the likelihood of carbon-based intelligent life-forms would clearly be less optimal for intelligent life unless it resulted in a compensating increase in the likelihood of other kinds of intelligent life, such as those based on silicon or liquids other than water. But this is highly unlikely, given the well-known difficulties involved in the existence of any kind of alternative to carbon-based life. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p179].
· Second, all we actually need to show is that a parameter falls near the edge of the life-permitting region, not that the life-permitting region is small compared to some non-arbitrarily defined region R. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p179-180].
· The basic reason we only need evidence for one-sided fine-tuning is that it still seems highly coincidental for a parameter to fall very near the edge of the life-permitting region (instead of somewhere else in the comparison region R) under the non-design, non-many-universes hypothesis.5 However, it does not seem highly coincidental under the joint hypothesis of design and two-sided finetuning (or many universes and two-sided fine-tuning). The reason for this is that the existence of two-sided fine-tuning implies that all life-permitting values are near the edge (since the life-permitting region is so small), and the design hypothesis renders it not coincidental that the parameter is in the life-permitting region. So, taken together, these two hypotheses remove the coincidence of a parameter falling near the edge of the life-permitting region. Thus, by the rule of inference mentioned above, the existence of one-sided fine-tuning confirms the joint hypothesis of design and two-sided fine-tuning over the non-design, nonmany-universes hypothesis. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p180].
· It is worth noting that these explanations of one-sided fine-tuning (design and two-sided fine-tuning, and many universes and two-sided fine-tuning) are at least in part testable, since they lead us to expect the existence of two-sided finetuning in those cases in which there is a significant degree of one-sided finetuning. This distinction between one- and two-sided fine-tuning will be very important, since in some of the most important cases of fine-tuning, we only have well-developed arguments for one-sided fine-tuning. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p180].
The cosmological constant
· The smallness of the cosmological constant is widely regarded as the single greatest problem confronting current physics and cosmology The cosmological constant, Λ, is a term in Einstein’s equation that, when positive, acts as a repulsive force, causing space to expand and, when negative, acts as an attractive force, causing space to contract. Apart from some sort of extraordinarily precise fine-tuning or new physical principle, today’s theories of fundamental physics and cosmology lead one to expect that the vacuum that is, the state of space-time free of ordinary matter fields—has an extraordinarily large energy density. This energy density in turn acts as an effective cosmological constant, thus leading one to expect an extraordinarily large effective cosmological constant, one so large that it would, if positive, cause space to expand at such an enormous rate that almost every object in the Universe would fly apart, and would, if negative, cause the Universe to collapse almost instantaneously back in on itself. This would clearly make the evolution of intelligent life impossible. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p180-181].
· Although each field contributes in a different way to the total vacuum energy, for the purposes of illustration we will look at just two examples. As our first example, consider the inflation field of inflationary cosmology. Inflationary Universe models postulate that the inflation field had an enormously high energy density in the first 10–35 to 10–37 seconds of our universe (Guth 1997:185), causing space to expand by a factor of around 1060. By about 10–35 seconds or so, however, the value of the inflation field fell to a relatively small value corresponding to a local minimum of energy of the inflation field. Since the initial energy density was anywhere from 1053 Λmax to 10123 Λmax, depending on the inflationary model under consideration, theoretically the local minimum of the inflation field could be anything from zero to 1053 Λmax, or even Λ(see Sahni and Starobinsky 1999: section 7.0; Rees 2000:154).7 The fact that it is less than Λmax, therefore, suggests a high degree of fine-tuning, to at least one part in 1053. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p181].
· To account for the near-zero value of the cosmological constant one could hypothesize some unknown physical principle or mechanism which requires that the cosmological constant be zero. One problem with this hypothesis is that recent cosmological evidence from distant supernovae strongly indicates that the effective cosmological constant is not exactly zero (Sahni and Starobinsky 1999; Krauss 1999). Thus the principle or mechanism could not simply be one which specifies that the cosmological constant must be zero, but would have to be one that specified that it be less than some small upper bound. This hypothesis, however, seems to simply relocate the cosmological constant problem to that of explaining why this upper bound is less than Λmax instead of being much, much larger.10 [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p182].
· Second, current inflationary cosmologies require that the effective cosmological constant be relatively large at very early epochs in the Universe, since it is a large cosmological constant that drives inflation. Thus any mechanism that forces it to be zero or near-zero now must allow for it to be large in early epochs. Accordingly, if there is a physical principle that accounts for the smallness of the cosmological constant, it must be (1) attuned to the contributions of every particle to the vacuum energy, (2) only operative in the later stages of the evolution of the cosmos (assuming inflationary cosmology is correct), and (3) something that drives the cosmological constant extraordinarily close to zero, but not exactly zero, which would itself seem to require fine-tuning. Given these constraints on such a principle, it seems that, if such a principle exists, it would have to be “well-designed” (or “fine-tuned”) to yield a lifepermitting cosmos. Thus, such a mechanism would most likely simply reintroduce the issue of design at a different level.11 These difficulties confronting finding a physical principle or mechanism for forcing the cosmological constant to be near-zero have led many cosmologists, most notably Steven Weinberg, to search reluctantly for an anthropic manyuniverses explanation for its apparent fine-tuning (Weinberg 1987, 1996). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p182].
The strong and electromagnetic forces
· The strong force is the force that keeps the nucleons—that is, the protons and neutrons—together in an atom. The effect on the stability of the atom of decreasing the strong force is straightforward, since the stability of elements depends on the strong force being strong enough to overcome the electromagnetic repulsion between the protons in a nucleus. A 50 percent decrease in the strength of the strong force, for instance, would undercut the stability of all elements essential for carbon-based life, with a slightly larger decrease eliminating all elements except hydrogen (Barrow and Tipler 1986:326–7). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p182].
· Another effect of decreasing the strength of the strong force is that it would throw off the balance between the rates of production of carbon and oxygen in stars, as discussed immediately below. This would have severe life-inhibiting consequences. Although various life-inhibiting effects are claimed for increasing the strength of the strong force, the arguments are not nearly as strong or well developed, except for the one below involving the existence of carbon and oxygen. Furthermore, the argument most commonly cited—namely, that it would cause the binding of the diproton, which would in turn result in an all-helium universe -appears faulty (see the section entitled “The strong force” in the Appendix). At present, therefore, we have a solid argument that a de-crease in the strength of the strong force would be life-forbidding, along with a significant and well-developed argument for two-sided fine-tuning based on the joint production of carbon and oxygen in stars, as explicated in the next section. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p182].
· Now the forces in nature can be thought of as spanning a range of G0 to 1040G0, at least in one widely used dimensionless measure of the strengths of these forces (Barrow and Tipler 1986:293–5). (Here, G0 denotes the strength of gravity, with 1040G0 being the strength of the strong force.) If we let the theoretically possible range R of force strengths in nature be the total range of force strengths, then it follows that the degree of one-sided fine-tuning of the strong force is insignificant, being about one part in two by the formula given in note 5. Of course, one might think that it is likely that the theoretically possible range is much larger than given above, hence making the one-sided fine-tuning much more significant. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p183].
· Finally, around a fourteen-fold increase in the electromagnetic force would have the same effect on the stability of elements as a 50 percent decrease in the strong force (Barrow and Tipler 1986:327). Now in the dimensionless units mentioned above, the strength of the electromagnetic force is considered to have a value of approximately 1037G0, and hence the upper bound of the life permitting region is approximately 14×1037G0. Consequently, as shown in note 5, this yields a one-sided fine-tuning of approximately one part in a hundred or less. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p183].
Carbon production in stars
· The first significantly discussed, and probably most famous, case of finetuning involves the production of carbon and oxygen in stars. Since both carbon and oxygen play crucial roles in life-processes, the conditions for complex, multicellular life would be much less optimal without the presence of these two elements in sufficient quantities. (For a fairly complete presentation of the reasons for this, see Michael Denton 1998: Chs 5 and 6.) Yet a reasonable abundance of both carbon and oxygen appears to require a fairly precise adjustment of the strong nuclear force, as we will now see. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p183-184].
· Carbon and oxygen are produced by the processes of nuclear synthesis in stars via a delicately arranged process. At first, a star burns hydrogen to form helium. Eventually, when enough hydrogen is burnt, the star contracts, thereby increasing the core temperature of the star until helium ignition takes place, which results in helium being converted to carbon and oxygen. This process occurs by helium nuclei colliding first to form beryllium 8 (8Be), which is a metastable nuclei with a half-life of 10–17 seconds. During 8Be’s short lifespan, it can capture another helium nucleus to form carbon 12. Some of the carbon 12 that is formed is then burnt to oxygen 16 by collisions with other helium nuclei. Helium burning in stars thus involves two simultaneous reactions: (1) the carbon-producing reaction chain, 4He+4He → 8Be, 8Be+4He → 12C, and (2) the oxygen-producing reaction, 12C+4He → 16O. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p184].
· Now in order for appreciable amounts of both carbon and oxygen to be formed, the rates of these two processes must be well adjusted. If, for example, one were drastically to increase the rate of carbon production—say by a thousand-fold—without increasing the rate of oxygen production, most of the helium would be burnt to carbon before significant quantities of it had a chance to combine with carbon to form oxygen. On the other hand, if one decreased the rate of carbon synthesis by a thousand-fold, very little carbon would be produced, since most of the carbon would be burnt to oxygen before it could accumulate in significant quantities. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p184].
· Astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle was the first to notice that this process involved several coincidences that allowed for this balance between the rate of synthesis of carbon and that of oxygen: namely, the precise position of the 0+ nuclear “resonance” states in carbon, the opportune positioning of a resonance state in oxygen, and the fact that 8Be has an anomalously long lifetime of 10–17 seconds as compared to the 4He+4He collision time of 10–21 seconds (Barrow and Tipler 1986:252). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p184].
· Among other factors, the position of these resonance states, along with the lifetime of 8Be, is dependent on the strengths of the strong nuclear force and the electromagnetic force. A quantitative treatment of the effect of changes in either the strong force or the electromagnetic force on the amount of carbon and oxygen produced in stars has been performed by three astrophysicists—H. Oberhummer, A.Csótó, and H.Schlattl (Oberhummer et al. 2000a). Using the latest stellar evolution codes, they calculated the effects on the production of carbon and oxygen in stars of a small decrease, and a small increase, in the strength of either the strong force or the electromagnetic force. Their codes took. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p184].
· into account the effect of changes in the strength of the strong force and the electromagnetic force on the relevant resonance levels of both carbon and oxygen, along with the effect of a change in temperature of helium ignition. They also examined a wide variety of different types of stars in which carbon and oxygen are produced. Based on this analysis, the authors conclude that [A] change of more than 0.5% in the strength of the strong interaction or more than 4% in the strength of the Coulomb [electromagnetic] force would destroy either nearly all C or all O in every star. This implies that irrespective of stellar evolution the contribution of each star to the abundance of C or O in the ISM [interstellar medium] would be negligible. Therefore, for the above cases the creation of carbon-based life in our universe would be strongly disfavored. (Oberhummer et al. 2000a:90) … The exact amount by which the production of either carbon or oxygen would be reduced by changes in these forces is thirty- to a thousand-fold, depending on the stellar evolution code used and the type of star examined (Oberhummer et al. 2000a: 88). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p185].
· One hitch in the above calculation is that no detailed calculations have been performed on the effect of further increases or decreases in the strong and electromagnetic forces that go far beyond the 0.5 and 4 percent changes, respectively, presented by Oberhummer et al. For instance, if the strong nuclear force were decreased sufficiently, new carbon resonances might come into play, thereby possibly allowing for new pathways to become available for carbon or oxygen formation. In fact, an additional 10 percent decrease or increase would likely bring such a new resonance of carbon into play. A 10 percent increase could also open up another path-way to carbon production during Big Bang nucleosynthesis via 5He or 5Li, both of which would become bound. Apart from detailed calculations, it is difficult to say what the abundance ratio would be if such resonances or alternative pathways came into play (Oberhummer et al. 2000b). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p185].
· We can say, however, that decreases or increases from 0.5 to 10 percent would magnify the disparities in the oxygen/carbon ratios by magnifying the relevant disparities in the rate of carbon synthesis and oxygen synthesis. Thus we have a small island of life-permitting values with a width of 1 percent, with a distance of 10 percent between it and the next nearest possible, though not likely, life-permitting island. This would leave a two-sided fine-tuning of one part in ten for the strong force (or similarly for the electromagnetic force), which is significant without being enormous: for example, if one had six independent cases of one-in-ten two-sided fine-tuning, one would have a total two-sided fine-tuning of one part in a million. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p185].
· Another hitch is the amount of carbon, or oxygen, actually needed for intelligent life to evolve. Even very small amounts of carbon or oxygen in the interstellar medium could, as a remote possibility, become concentrated in sufficient quantities to allow for complex life to evolve, though the existence of intelligent life would almost certainly be much less likely under this scenario. So it seems one can conclude with significant confidence that such changes in the strong nuclear force would make intelligent life much less likely, and thus that in our universe the strong interaction is optimized (or close to being optimized) for carbon-based life, giving an abundance ratio of carbon to oxygen of the same order (C:O about 1:2). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p186].
· Overall, therefore, I conclude that the argument for the fine-tuning of the strong force and the electromagnetic force for carbon and oxygen production, though not straightforward, seems to be on fairly solid ground because of the detailed calculations that have been performed. Nonetheless, more work needs to be done on the two “hitches” cited above to make it completely solid. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p186].
The proton I neutron mass difference
· The neutron is slightly heavier than the proton by about 1.293 MeV If the mass of the neutron were increased by another 1.4 MeV—that is, by one part in 700 of its actual mass of about 938 MeV—then one of the key steps by which stars burn their hydrogen to helium could not occur. The main process by which hydrogen is burnt to helium in stars is proton-proton collision, in which two protons form a coupled system, the diproton, while flashing past each other. During that time, the two-proton system can undergo a decay via the weak force to form a deuteron, which is a nucleus containing one proton and one neutron. The conversion takes place by the emission of a positron and an electron neutrino: p+p → deuteron + positron + electron neutrino + 0.42 MeV of energy.12 [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p186].
· About 1.0 MeV more energy is then released by positron/electron annihilation, making a total energy release of 1.42 MeV. This process can occur because the deuteron is less massive than two protons, even though the neutron itself is more massive. The reason is that the binding energy of the strong force between the proton and neutron in the deuteron is approximately 2.2 MeV, thus overcompensating by about 1 MeV for the greater mass of the neutron. If the neutron’s mass were increased by around 1.42 MeV, however, then neither this reaction nor any other reaction leading to deuterium could proceed, because those reactions would become endothermic instead of exothermic (that is, they would absorb energy instead of producing it). Since it is only via the production of deuterium that hydrogen can be burnt to helium, it follows that (apart from a remote possibility considered in note 13), if the mass of the neutron were increased beyond 1.4 MeV, stars could not exist.13 [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p186].
· On the other hand, a small decrease in the neutron mass of around 0.5 to 0.7 MeV would result in nearly equal numbers of protons and neutrons in the early stages of the Big Bang, since neutrons would move from being energetically disfavored to being energetically favored (Hogan 1999: equation 19; Barrow and Tipler 1986:400). The protons and neutrons would then combine to form deuterium and tritium, which would in turn fuse via the strong force to form 4He, resulting in an almost all-helium universe. This would have severe life-inhibiting consequences, since helium stars have a lifetime of at most 300 million years and are much less stable than hydrogen-burning stars, thus providing much less time and stability for the evolution of beings of comparable intelligence to ourselves. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p187].
· A decrease in the neutron mass beyond 0.8 MeV, however, would result in neutrons becoming energetically favored, along with free protons being converted to neutrons, and hence an initially all-neutron universe (Hogan 1999: equation 20; Barrow and Tipler 1986:400). Contrary to what Barrow and Tipler argue, however, it is unclear to what extent, if any, this would have life-inhibiting effects (see the section entitled “The proton/neutron mass difference” in the Appendix). So the above argument establishes a one-sided fine-tuning of the neutron/ proton mass difference. Since the maximum life-permitting mass difference is 1.4 MeV, and the mass of the neutron is in the order of 1,000 MeV, by the formula presented in note 5 the degree of one-sided fine-tuning relative to the neutron mass is at least one part in 700, or less, given that the lower bound of the total theoretically possible range of variation in the neutron mass, R, is in the order of the neutron mass itself—that is, 1,000 MeV. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p187].
· Another plausible lower bound of the theoretically possible range R is given by the range of quark masses. According to the Standard Model of particle physics, the proton is composed of two up quarks and one down quark (uud), whereas the neutron is composed of one up quark and two down quarks (udd). Thus we could define the neutron and proton in terms of their quark constituents. The reason the neutron is heavier than the proton is that the down quark has a mass of l0MeV, which is 4 MeV more than the mass of the up quark. This overcompensates by about 1.3 MeV for the 2.7 MeV contribution of the electric charge of the proton to its mass. (Most of the mass of the proton and neutron, however, is due to gluon exchange between the quarks (Hogan 1999: section IIIA).) The quark masses range from 6 MeV for the up quark to 180,000 MeV for the top quark (Peacock 1999:216). Thus a 1.42 MeV increase in the neutron mass —which would correspond to a 1.42 MeV increase in the down quark mass—is only a mere one part in 126,000 of the total range of quark masses, resulting in a lower bound for one-sided fine-tuning of about one part in 126,000 of the range of quark masses. Furthermore, since the down quark mass must be greater than zero, its total life-permitting range is 0 to 11.4 MeV, providing a total two-sided fine-tuning of about one part in 18,000 of the range of quark masses. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p187].
The weak force
· One of the major arguments for the fine-tuning of the weak force begins by considering the nuclear dynamics of the early stages of the Big Bang. Because of the very high temperature and mass/energy density during the first seconds, neutrons and protons readily converted via the weak force into each other through interactions with electrons, positrons, neutrinos, and anti-neutrinos. The rate of this interconversion was dependent on, among other things, the temperature, the mass/energy density, the mass difference between the proton and neutron, and the strength of the weak force. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p188].
· Because the neutron is slightly heavier than the proton, at thermal equilibrium the number of neutrons will always be less than the number of protons: that is, the ratio of neutrons to protons will always be less than one. This ratio will depend on the equilibrium temperature, via what is known as the Maxwell- Boltzmann distribution. The result is that the higher the temperature (that is, the more energy available to convert protons into neutrons), the closer the ratio will be to one, since the difference in rest mass between the neutron and proton becomes less and less significant as the energy available for interconversion becomes greater. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p188].
· As the Universe expands, however, the density of photons, electrons, positrons, and neutrinos needed to bring about this interconversion between protons and neutrons rapidly diminishes. This means that at some point in the Big Bang expansion, the rate of interconversion becomes effectively zero, and hence the interconversion is effectively shut off. If one were to imagine suddenly shutting off the interaction at some point, one could see that the ratio of neutrons to protons would be frozen at or near the equilibrium value for the temperature at which the interaction was shut off. The temperature at which such a shut-off effectively occurs is known as the freeze-out temperature, Tf. It determines the ratio of neutrons to protons. The higher the Tf, the closer the ratio will be to one. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p188].
· Since the interconversion between protons and neutrons proceeds via the weak force, it is highly dependent on the strength of the weak force. The stronger the weak force, the greater the rate of interconversion at any given temperature and density. Thus, an increase in the weak force will allow this interaction to be nonnegligible at lower temperatures, and hence cause the freeze-out temperature to decrease. Conversely, a decrease in the weak force will cause the freeze-out temperature to increase. Using the fact that the freeze-out temperature Tf is proportional to gw(-2/3), where gw is the weak-force coupling constant (Davies 1982:63), it follows that a thirty-fold decrease in the weak force would cause the freeze-out temperature to increase by a factor of ten. This would in turn cause the neutron/proton ratio to become 0.9 (Davies 1982:64). Thus almost all of the protons would quickly combine with neutrons to form deuterium and tritium, which, as in the case of the hydrogen bomb, would almost immediately fuse to form 4He during the very early stages of the Big Bang. Consequently, stars would be composed almost entirely of helium. As is well known, helium stars have a maximum lifetime of around only 300 million years and are much less stable than hydrogen-burning stars such as the Sun. This would make conditions much, much less optimal for the evolution of intelligent life. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p188-189].
· Thus we have a good case for a one-sided fine-tuning of the weak force. Although there are some reasons to think that a significant increase in the weak force might have intelligent-life-inhibiting effects, they are currently not nearly as convincing. Finally, since, in the dimensionless units mentioned in the section above, the weak force has a strength of about 1031G0, relative to the total range of forces (see the section above), this one-sided fine-tuning of the weak force is quite impressive, being around one part in 109 of the total range of forces.14 [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p189].
· The main way in which significantly increasing the strength of gravity would have an intelligent-life-inhibiting effect has to do with the strength of a planet’s gravitational pull. If we increased the strength of gravity on Earth a billion-fold, for instance, the force of gravity would be so great that any land-based organism anywhere near the size of human beings would be crushed. (The strength of materials depends on the electromagnetic force via the fine-structure constant, which would not be affected by a change in gravity.) As Martin Rees notes, “In an imaginary strong gravity world, even insects would need thick legs to support them, and no animals could get much larger” (Rees 2000:30). Of course, organisms that exist in water would experience a severely diminished gravitational force if the density of the organism were very close to that of water. It is unlikely, however, that technologically advanced organisms such as ourselves could evolve in a water-based environment given that the overall density of the organism would need to be very close to that of water. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p189].
· Furthermore, even if aquatic organisms did evolve, such a drastic increase in gravity would still present a problem: any difference in density between various parts of the organism, or between the organism and the surrounding water, would be amplified a billion-fold from what it would be in our world. This would create enormous gravitational differentials. For example, if the liquid inside the organism were one part in a thousand less salty than the surrounding ocean, it would experience a gravitational pull of around a million times the equivalent force on Earth of a land-based organism of the same mass. This would certainly preclude the possibility of bones or cartilage. Inserting air pockets into the cartilage or bone to compensate would cause the organism to be crushed under an enormous pressure of about 1,500,000 kilograms per square centimeter (or about 5,000,000 pounds per square inch) a mere one centimeter below the surface. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p189].
· The above argument assumes that the planet on which intelligent life formed would be Earth-sized. Could intelligent life comparable to ourselves develop on a much smaller planet? The answer appears to be “no.” A planet with a gravitational pull of a thousand times that of Earth—which would itself make the existence of organisms of our brain size very improbable—would have a diameter of about forty feet (or twelve meters). This is certainly not large enough to sustain the sort of large-scale ecosystem necessary for carbon-based organisms of comparable intelligence to human beings to evolve.15 [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p190].
· Finally, as shown in the section entitled ‘Gravity’ in the Appendix, stars with lifetimes of more than a billion years (as compared to our Sun’s lifetime of 10 billion years) could not exist if gravity were increased by more than a factor of 3,000. This would have significant intelligent-life-inhibiting consequences. Of course, an increase in the strength of gravity by a factor of 3,000 is significant, but compared to the total range of strengths of the forces in nature (which span a range of 0 to 1040G0 as we saw above), this still amounts to a onesided fine-tuning of approximately one part in 1036. On the other hand, if the strength of gravity were zero (or negative, making gravity repulsive), no stars or other solid bodies could exist. Accordingly, the intelligent-life-permitting values of the gravitational force are restricted to at least the range 0 to 3×103G0, which is one part in 1036 of the total range of forces. This means that there is a twosided fine-tuning of gravity of at least one part in 1036. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p190].
· One might wonder what effect the development of some Grand Unified Theory that explains the above cases of fine-tuning would have on the case for design or many universes. Even if such a theory were developed, it would still be a huge coincidence that the Grand Unified Theory implied just those values of these parameters of physics that are life-permitting, instead of some other values. As astrophysicists Bernard Carr and Martin Rees note, “even if all apparently anthropic coincidences could be explained [in terms of some Grand Unified Theory], it would still be remarkable that the relationships dictated by physical theory happened also to be those propitious for life” (1979:612). It is very unlikely, therefore, that these cases of fine-tuning and others like them will lose their significance with the further development of science. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p190-191].
Appendix: seriously problematic claims in the literature
The strong force
· The most commonly cited problematic assertion in the literature concerns the effect of increasing the strength of the strong force. This assertion goes back to various (perhaps misinterpreted) statements of Freeman Dyson in his Scientific American article “Energy in the Universe” (1971:56) and is repeated in various forms by the most prominent writers on the subject (Barrow and Tipler 1986: 321–2; Davies 1982:70–1; Rees 2000:48–9; Leslie 1989:34). The argument begins with the claim that, since the diproton is unbound by a mere 93 KeV, an increase of the strong force by a few percent would be sufficient to cause it to be bound (Barrow and Tipler 1986:321). Then it is claimed that, because of this, all the hydrogen would have been burnt to helium in the Big Bang, and hence no long-lived stable stars would exist. According to Barrow and Tipler, for example, if the diproton were bound, “all the hydrogen in the Universe would be burnt to He2 during the early stages of the Big Bang and no hydrogen compounds or long-lived stable stars would exist today” (1986:322). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p191].
· The first problem with this line of reasoning is that 2He (that is, the diproton) would be unstable, and would decay relatively quickly to deuterium (heavy hydrogen) via the weak force. So, the binding of the diproton would not have resulted in an almost all-2He universe. On the other hand, one might ask whether the resulting deuterium and any remaining 1H and 2He could fuse via the strong force ultimately to form 4He, thus resulting in an all-helium universe, as Davies seems to suggest.The problem with this latter suggestion is that none of these authors present, or reference, any calculations of the half-life of the diproton. Preliminary calculations by nuclear physicist Richard Jones at the University of Connecticut yield a lower bound for the half-life of around 13,000 seconds, with the actual half-life estimated to be within one or two orders of magnitude of this figure (private communication). As Barrow and Tipler note, however, there is only a short window of time of approximately 500 seconds when the temperature and density of the Big Bang are high enough for significant deuterium to be converted to 4He (1986:398). Since only a small proportion of diprotons would have been able decay in 500 seconds, little deuterium would have been formed to convert to 4He. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p191-192].
· Of course, most of these diprotons would eventually decay to form deuterium, resulting in predominantly deuterium stars. Stars that burnt deuterium instead of hydrogen would be considerably different from ours. Preliminary calculations performed by astrophysicist Helmut Schlattl using the latest stellar evolution codes show that deuterium stars with the same mass as the Sun would have lifetimes of around 300 million years, instead of the Sun’s 10 billion years (private communication). This would seriously hamper the evolution of intelligent life. On the other hand, a deuterium star with a 10 billion-year lifetime would have a mass of 4 percent that of the Sun, and a luminosity of 7 percent that of the Sun, with a similar surface temperature (private communication). This would require that any planet containing carbon-based life be about four times closer to its Sun than we are to ours. It is unclear whether such a star would be as conducive to life. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p192].
· In discussing a strong-gravity world in which gravity is a million times stronger, Martin Rees claims that : The number of atoms needed to make a star (a gravitationally bound fusion reactor) would be a billion times less in this imagined universe…. Heat would leak more quickly from these “mini-stars”: in this hypothetical strong-gravity world, stellar lifetimes would be a million times shorter. Instead of living for ten billion years, a typical star would live for about 10, 000 years. A mini-Sun would burn faster, and would have exhausted its energy before even the first steps in organic evolution had got under way (Rees 2000:30–1). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p192].
The proton/neutron mass difference
· Barrow and Tipler (and others) have argued that a small decrease in the neutron mass relative to the proton would also eliminate the possibility of life. Specifically, they argue that if the difference between the neutron mass and the proton mass were less than the mass of the electron, then protons would spontaneously convert to neutrons by the weak force via electron capture. Thus, they claim, the Universe would simply consist of neutrons, which in turn [W]ould lead to a World in which stars and planets could not exist. These structures, if formed, would decay into neutrons by pe– [that is, protonelectron] annihilation. Without electrostatic forces to support them, solid bodies would collapse rapidly into neutron stars…or black holes…if that were to happen no atoms would ever have formed and we would not be here to know it. (Barrow and Tipler 1986:400). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p194].
CH14: THE CHANCE OF THE GAPS. by: William Dembski
· Statistical reasoning must be capable of eliminating chance when the probability of events gets too small. If not, chance can be invoked to explain anything. Scientists rightly resist invoking the supernatural in scientific explanations for fear of committing a God-of-the-gaps fallacy (the fallacy of using God as a stopgap for ignorance). Yet without some restriction on the use of chance, scientists are in danger of committing a logically equivalent fallacy—one we may call the chance-of-the-gaps fallacy. Chance, like God, can become a stopgap for ignorance. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p251].
· Highly improbable, independently patterned events are said to exhibit specified complexity. The term “specified complexity” has been around since 1973 when Leslie Orgel introduced it in connection with origins-of-life research: “Living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals such as granite fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; mixtures of random polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity” (1973:189). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p251].
· More recently, Paul Davies has also used the term in connection with the origin of life: “Living organisms are mysterious not for their complexity per se, but for their tightly specified complexity” (1999:112). Events are specified if they exhibit an independently given pattern (cf. the target fixed on the wall). Events are complex to the degree that they are improbable. The identification of complexity with improbability here is straightforward. Imagine a combination lock. The more possibilities on the lock, the more complex the mechanism, and correspondingly the more improbable that it can be opened by chance. Note that the “complexity” in “specified complexity” has a particular probabilistic meaning and is not meant to exhaust the concept of complexity; Seth Lloyd, for instance, records dozens of types of complexity (Horgan 1996:303, note 11). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p251-252].
Universal probability bounds
· In the observable universe, probabilistic resources come in very limited supplies. Within the known physical universe it is estimated that there are around 1080 elementary particles. Moreover, the properties of matter are such that transitions from one physical state to another cannot occur at a rate faster than 1045 times per second. This frequency corresponds to the Planck time, which constitutes the smallest physically meaningful unit of time (Halliday and Resnick 1988:544). Finally, the Universe itself is about a billion times younger than 1025 seconds (assuming the Universe is between 10 and 20 billion years old). If we now assume that any specification of an event within the known physical universe requires at least one elementary particle to specify it and cannot be generated any faster than the Planck time, then these cosmological constraints imply that the total number of specified events throughout cosmic history cannot exceed 1080×1045×1025=10150. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p253].
· It follows that any specified event of probability less than 1 in 10150 will remain improbable even after all conceivable probabilistic resources from the observable universe have been factored in. A probability of 1 in 10150 is therefore a universal probability bound. A universal probability bound is impervious to all available probabilistic resources that may be brought against it. Indeed, all the probabilistic resources in the known physical world cannot conspire to render remotely probable an event whose probability is less than this universal probability bound. The universal probability bound of 1 in 10150 is the most conservative in the literature. The French mathematician Emile Borel proposed 1 in 1050 as a universal probability bound below which chance could definitively be precluded (i.e. any specified event as improbable as this could never be attributed to chance) (Borel 1962:28; Knobloch 1987:228). Cryptographers assess the security of cryptosystems in terms of a brute-force attack that employs as many probabilistic resources as are available in the Universe to break a cryptosystem by chance. In its report on the role of cryptography in securing the information society, the National Research Council set 1 in 1094 as its universal probability bound for ensuring the security of cryptosystems against chancebased attacks (Dam and Lin 1996:380, note 17).4 Such levels of improbability are easily attained by real physical systems. It follows that if such systems are also specified and if specified complexity is a reliable empirical marker of intelligence, then these systems are designed. . [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p254].
· Implicit in a universal probability bound such as 10–150 is that the Universe is too small a place to generate specified complexity by sheer exhaustion of possibilities. Stuart Kauffman (2000) develops this theme at length in his book Investigations. In one of his examples (and there are many like it throughout the book), he considers the number of possible proteins of length 200 (i.e. 20200 or approximately 10260) and the maximum number of pairwise collisions of particles throughout the history of the Universe (he estimates 10193 total collisions supposing the reaction rate for collisions can be measured in femtoseconds). Kauffman concludes: “The known universe has not had time since the big bang to create all possible proteins of length 200 [even] once.” To emphasize this point, he notes: “It would take at least 10 to the 67th times the current lifetime of the universe for the universe to manage to make all possible proteins of length 200 at least once” (Kaufmann 2000:144). . [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p254].
· Kauffman even has a name for numbers that are so big that they are beyond the reach of operations performable by and within the Universe—he refers to them as transfinite. For instance, in discussing a small discrete dynamical system whose dynamics are nonetheless so complicated that they cannot be computed, he writes: “There is a sense in which the computations are transfinite—not infinite, but so vastly large that they cannot be carried out by any computational system in the universe” (Kaufmann 2000:138). He justifies such proscriptive claims in exactly the same terms that I justified the universal probability bound a moment ago. Thus, for justification he looks to the Planck time, the Planck length, the radius of the Universe, the number of particles in the Universe, and the rate at which particles can change states.6 Kauffman’s idea of transfinite numbers is insightful, but the actual term is infelicitous because it already has currency within mathematics, where transfinite numbers are by definition infinite (in fact, the transfinite numbers of transfinite arithmetic can assume any infinite cardinality whatsoever). I therefore propose to call such numbers hyperfinite numbers. . [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p254-255].
· Kauffman often writes about the Universe being unable to exhaust some set of possibilities. Yet at other times he puts an adjective in front of the word ‘universe’, claiming it is the known universe that is unable to exhaust some set of possibilities. Is there a difference between the Universe (no adjective in front) and the known or observable universe (adjective in front)? To be sure, there is no empirical difference. Our best scientific observations tell us that the world surrounding us appears quite limited. Indeed, the size, duration, and composition of the known universe are such that 10150 is a hyperfinite number. For instance, if the Universe were a giant computer, it could perform no more than this number of operations (quantum computation, by exploiting superposition of quantum states, enriches the operations performable by an ordinary computer but cannot change their number). If the Universe were devoted entirely to generating specifications, this number would set an upper bound. If cryptographers confine themselves to bruteforce methods on ordinary computers to test cryptographic keys, the number of keys they can test will always be less than this number. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p255].
· The inflationary fallacy therefore has a crass and a nuanced form. The crass form can be expressed as follows: (1) Alternatives to chance are for whatever reason unacceptable for explaining some event—call that event X. (2) With the probabilistic resources available in the known universe, chance is not a reasonable explanation of X. (3) If probabilistic resources could be expanded, then chance would be a reasonable explanation of X. (4) Let there be more probabilistic resources. (5) So, chance is now a reasonable explanation of X. The problem with this argument is Premise 4 (the “fiat” premise), which creates probabilistic resources ex nihilo simply to ensure that chance becomes a reasonable explanation. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p257].
· The more nuanced form of the inflationary fallacy is on the surface less objectionable; it can be expressed as follows: (1) There is an important problem, call it Y, that admits a solution as soon as one is willing to posit some entity, process, or stuff outside the known universe. Call whatever this is that resides outside the known universe Z. (2) Though not confirmed by any independent evidence, Z is also not inconsistent with any empirical data. (3) With the probabilistic resources available in the known universe, chance is not a reasonable explanation of some event—call the event X. (4) But when Z is added to the known universe, probabilistic resources are vastly increased and now suffice to account for X by chance. (5) So, chance is now a reasonable explanation of X. This nuanced form of the inflationary fallacy appears in various guises and has gained widespread currency. It purports to solve some problem of general interest and importance by introducing some factor Z, which we will call an inflation. By definition, an inflation will be some entity, process, or stuff outside the known universe that in addition to solving some problem also has associated with it numerous probabilistic resources as a byproduct. These resources in turn help to shore up chance when otherwise chance would seem unreasonable in explaining some event. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p257].
Four widely discussed inflatons
· I want next, therefore, to consider four inflations that purport to resolve important problems and that have gained wide currency. The inflations I will consider are these: the bubble universes of Alan Guth’s inflationary cosmology (Guth 1997), the many worlds of Hugh Everett’s interpretation of quantum mechanics (Everett 1957), the self-reproducing black holes of Lee Smolin’s cosmological natural selection (Smolin 1997), and the possible worlds of David Lewis’s extreme modal realist metaphysics (Lewis 1986). My choice of proposals, though selective, is representative of the forms that the inflationary fallacy takes. While I readily admit that these inflations propose solutions to important problems, I will argue that the costs of these solutions outweigh their benefits. In general, inflations that inflate probabilistic resources, so that what was unattributable to chance within the known universe now becomes attributable to chance after all, are highly problematic and create more difficulties than they solve. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p258].
· Let us start with Alan Guth’s inflationary cosmology. Inflationary cosmology posits a very brief period of hyper-rapid expansion of space just after the Big Bang. Though consistent with general relativity, such expansion is not required. What’s more, the expansion has now stopped (at least as far as we can tell within the known universe). Guth introduced inflation to solve such problems in cosmology as the flatness, horizon, and magnetic monopole problems. In standard Big Bang cosmology the first two of these problems seem to require considerable fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the Universe whereas the third seems unresolvable if standard Big Bang cosmology is combined with Grand Unified Theories. Inflationary cosmology offers to resolve these problems in one fell swoop. In so doing, however, the known universe becomes a bubble universe within a vast sea of other bubble universes, and the actual universe then constitutes the sea that contains these bubble universes. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p258].
· Next let us consider Hugh Everett’s interpretation of quantum mechanics. Everett’s many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics proposes a radical solution to what in quantum mechanics is known as the measurement problem. The state function of a quantum mechanical system corresponds to a probability distribution that upon measurement assumes a definite value. The problem is that any physical system whatsoever can be conceived as a quantum mechanical system described by a state function. Now what happens when the physical system in question is taken to be the entire Universe? Most physical systems one considers are proper subsets of the Universe and thus admit observers who are outside the system and who can therefore measure the system and, as it were, collapse the state function. But when the Universe as a whole is taken as the physical system in question, where is the observer to collapse the state function? Everett’s solution is to suppose that the state function does not collapse but rather splits into all different possible values that the state function could assume (mathematically this is very appealing—especially to quantum cosmologists—because it eliminates any break in dynamics resulting from statefunction collapse). In effect, all possible quantum histories get lived out. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p258].
· Next let us consider Lee Smolin’s cosmological natural selection of selfreproducing black holes. Smolin’s self-reproducing black holes constitute perhaps the most ambitious of the inflatons we will consider. Smolin haracterizes his project as explaining how the laws of physics have come to take the form they do, but in fact he is presenting a full-blown cosmogony in which Darwinian selection becomes the mechanism by which universes are generated and flourish. According to Smolin, quantum effects preclude singularities at which time stops. Consequently, time does not stop in a black hole but rather “bounces” in a new direction, producing a region of space-time inaccessible to ours except at the moment of its origination. Moreover, Smolin contends that during a “bounce” the laws of nature change their parameters but not their general form. Consequently, the formation of black holes follows an evolutionary algorithm in which parameters get continually tightened to maximize the production of black holes. Within Smolin’s scheme the known universe is but one among innumerable products of black holes that have formed by this process and that in turn generate other black holes. Cosmological natural selection accounts not only for the generation of universes but also for their finetuning and the possibility of such structures as life. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p259].
· Finally, let us consider the possible worlds of David Lewis’s extreme modal realist metaphysics. Lewis, unlike Guth, Everett, and Smolin, is not a scientist but a philosopher and in particular a metaphysician. For Lewis any logically possible world is as real as our world, which he calls the actual world. It is logically possible for a world to consist entirely of a giant tangerine. It is logically possible that the laws of physics might have been different, not only in their parameters but also in their basic form. It is logically possible that instead of turning to mathematics I might have become a rock-and-roll singer. For each of these logical possibilities Lewis contends that there are worlds as real as ours in which those possibilities are actualized. The only difference between those worlds and ours is that we happen to inhabit our world—that is what makes our world the actual world. Lewis’s view is known as extreme modal realism. Modal realism asserts that logical possibilities are in some sense real (perhaps as abstractions in a mathematical space). Extreme modal realism emphasizes that logical possibilities are real in exactly the same way that the world we inhabit is real. Why does Lewis hold this view? According to him, possible worlds are indispensable for making sense of certain key philosophical problems, notably the analysis of counterfactual conditionals. What’s more, he finds that all attempts to confer on possible worlds a status different from that of the actual world are incoherent (he refers to these disparagingly as ersatz possible worlds and finds them poor substitutes for his full-blown possible worlds). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p259-260].
· I have provided only the briefest summary of the views of Alan Guth, Hugh Everett, Lee Smolin, and David Lewis. The problems these thinkers raise are important, and the solutions they propose need to be taken seriously. Moreover, except for David Lewis’s possible worlds, which are purely metaphysical, the other three inflations considered make contact with empirical data. Lee Smolin even contends that his theory of cosmological natural selection has testable consequences—he even runs through several possible tests. The unifying theme in Smolin’s tests is that varying the parameters for the laws of physics should tend to decrease the rate at which black holes are formed in the known universe. It is a consequence of Smolin’s theory that, for most universes generated by black holes, the parameters of the laws of physics should be optimally set to facilitate the formation of black holes. We ourselves are therefore highly likely to be in a universe where black hole formation is optimal. My own view is that our understanding of physics needs to proceed considerably further before we can establish convincingly that ours is a universe that optimally facilitates the formation of black holes. But even if this could be established now, it would not constitute independent evidence that a black hole is capable of generating a new universe. Smolin’s theory, in positing that black holes generate universes, would explain why we are in a universe that optimally facilitates the formation of black holes. But it is not as though we would ever have independent evidence for Smolin’s theory, say by looking inside a black hole and seeing whether there is a universe in it. Of all the objects in space (stars, planets, comets, etc.) black holes divulge the least amount of information about themselves. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p260].
· Each of the four inflations considered here possesses explanatory power in the sense that each explains certain relevant data and thereby solves some problem of general interest and importance. These data are said to confirm or provide epistemic support for an inflation in so far as it adequately explains the relevant data and does not conflict with other recognized data. What’s more, in so far as an inflation does not adequately explain the relevant data, it lacks explanatory power and is disconfirmed. In general, therefore, explanatory power entails testability in the weak sense that, if a claim fails adequately to explain certain relevant data, it is to be rejected (thus failing the test). [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p260].
· Nevertheless, even though the four inflations considered here each possesses explanatory power, none of them possesses independent evidence for its existence. Independent evidence is by definition evidence that helps establish a claim apart from any appeal to the claim’s explanatory power. The demand for independent evidence is neither frivolous nor tendentious. Instead, it is a necessary constraint on theory construction so that theory construction does not degenerate into total free-play of the mind. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p260-261].
· The problem with the four inflations considered above is that none of them admits independent evidence. The only thing that confirms them is their ability to explain certain data or resolve certain problems. With regard to inflationary cosmology, we have no direct experience of hyper-rapid inflation nor have we observed any process that could reasonably be extrapolated to hyper-rapid inflation. With regard to the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, we always experience exactly one world and have no direct access to alternate parallel worlds. If there is any access at all to these worlds, it is indirect and circumstantial. Indeed, to claim that quantum interference signals the influence of parallel worlds is to impose a highly speculative interpretation on the data of quantum mechanics that is far from compelling. With regard to black hole formation, there is no way for anybody on the outside to get inside a black hole, determine that there actually is a universe inside there, and then emerge intact to report as much. With regard to possible worlds, they are completely causally separate from each other—other possible worlds never were and never can be accessible to us, either directly or indirectly. [Neil A. Manson: God and Design (The Teleological Argument and Modern Science), Routledge 2003, p261-262].
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