Is it REALLY just a coincidence?

#21
I think it's a coincidence, but we could speculate about cosmic life forms that are based not on the electromagnetic force, but in the gravitacional and strong and weak nuclear forces... like some science-fiction writers have imagined.



Well, what I can say is that it is unlikely that ET be a bipedal primate, because if we are so is due to a multitude of variations which does not have to share ET.
I can accept the possibility it's a coincidence and I agree on the potentiality that life could exist in exotic forms.



My best answer would be, I cannot state with any certainty ET would or would not be a bipedal primate. I don't know.

But, I would offer as fact that bilateral bipedal symmetry morphology has evolved more than once on Earth in very different species. It's called convergent evolution. And offer as speculation that bilateral bipedal morphology, IMO, is and would be an efficient body configuration, combined with a durable epidermal layer, allows for a wide range of locomotion in a varied environments. But, more importantly, it's a design that frees the upper appendages for grasping and tool manipulation.

Why Shermer felt a need to add "primate" to the equation, IMO, is irrelevant and comes across as an amateurish and feeble attempt to Straw-Man the argument.
 
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#22
So wait. You are saying that I would have a valid point only if at the moment of the big bang, the temperature was 70f? I guess what would add further credibility to my pie in the sky idea would be if at the same moment, a couch materialised, a pair of slippers, a nice cold beer, cable television, an iPad etc, and since it didn't happen this way, the universe couldn't have possibly been designed to accomodate life. Duh, silly me. Your logic is flawless steve001.

However, here are a quick couple of quotes just to open this up a tad:

"The more I examine the universe, and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the Universe in some sense must have known we were coming." — Freeman Dyson

"A bottom-up approach to cosmology either requires one to postulate an initial state of the Universe that is carefully fine-tuned — as if prescribed by an outside agency — or it requires one to invoke the notion of eternal inflation, a mighty speculative notion to the generation of many different Universes, which prevents one from predicting what a typical observer would see." — Stephen Hawking and Thomas Hertog

“.... I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 Mev energy level in the nucleus of Carbon 12 to the 7.12 Mev level in Oxygen 16. if you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? Following the above argument, I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.” Sir Fred Hoyle, Cambridge Astrophysicist

“Scientists are slowly waking up to an inconvenient truth – the universe looks suspiciously like a fix. The issue concerns the very laws of nature themselves. For 40 years, physicists and cosmologists have been quietly collecting examples of all too convenient “coincidences” and special features in the underlying laws of the universe that seem to be necessary in order for life, and hence conscious beings, to exist. Change any one of them and the consequences would be lethal. The crucial point is that some of those metaphorical knobs (of which there are 40) must be tuned very precisely, or the universe would be sterile. Example: neutrons are just a tad heavier than protons. If it were the other way around, atoms couldn’t exist, because all the protons in the universe would have decayed into neutrons shortly after the big bang. No protons, then no atomic nucleus and no atoms. No atoms, no chemistry, no life.” Prof. Paul Davies (Physicist and Philosopher)

So, although I may be a dreamer and a fantacist by your reckoning, it's nice to know I am not alone. One or two reasonably well respected minds might not think this altogether ridiculous it seems, how disconcerting eh?
So wait. You are saying that I would have a valid point only if at the moment of the big bang, the temperature was 70f? I guess what would add further credibility to my pie in the sky idea would be if at the same moment, a couch materialised, a pair of slippers, a nice cold beer, cable television, an iPad etc, and since it didn't happen this way, the universe couldn't have possibly been designed to accomodate life. Duh, silly me. Your logic is flawless steve001.

However, here are a quick couple of quotes just to open this up a tad:

"The more I examine the universe, and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the Universe in some sense must have known we were coming." — Freeman Dyson

"A bottom-up approach to cosmology either requires one to postulate an initial state of the Universe that is carefully fine-tuned — as if prescribed by an outside agency — or it requires one to invoke the notion of eternal inflation, a mighty speculative notion to the generation of many different Universes, which prevents one from predicting what a typical observer would see." — Stephen Hawking and Thomas Hertog

“.... I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 Mev energy level in the nucleus of Carbon 12 to the 7.12 Mev level in Oxygen 16. if you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? Following the above argument, I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.” Sir Fred Hoyle, Cambridge Astrophysicist

“Scientists are slowly waking up to an inconvenient truth – the universe looks suspiciously like a fix. The issue concerns the very laws of nature themselves. For 40 years, physicists and cosmologists have been quietly collecting examples of all too convenient “coincidences” and special features in the underlying laws of the universe that seem to be necessary in order for life, and hence conscious beings, to exist. Change any one of them and the consequences would be lethal. The crucial point is that some of those metaphorical knobs (of which there are 40) must be tuned very precisely, or the universe would be sterile. Example: neutrons are just a tad heavier than protons. If it were the other way around, atoms couldn’t exist, because all the protons in the universe would have decayed into neutrons shortly after the big bang. No protons, then no atomic nucleus and no atoms. No atoms, no chemistry, no life.” Prof. Paul Davies (Physicist and Philosopher)

So, although I may be a dreamer and a fantacist by your reckoning, it's nice to know I am not alone. One or two reasonably well respected minds might not think this altogether ridiculous it seems, how disconcerting eh?
All smart people, but when it comes to this they are no smarter than anyone else why certain physical parameters are what they are.
We both see dots, but where we depart is here; I choose not to connect them too assuage a personal metaphysical perspective. I just accept them as they are until something more compelling would cause me to reaccessed my position. What you say isn't pie in the sky, but state it like this - If I am right, then I am right and that's wrong.
Take the time to read book "The Five Ages of the Universe" and apply that to your metaphysics. You might look at your metaphysics and come away with a different perspective. Here's a brief graphical presentation of the heat death of the universe.
 
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#24
All smart people, but when it comes to this they are no smarter than anyone else why certain physical parameters are what they are.
This is a highly dubious assumption, which clearly is not the case. These 'smart people' are far better positioned to both explore and investigate why the parameters are as they are than most others. I think what you may in fact mean, is that they are no better positioned than anyone to categorically determine whether these parameters are by design or not, which remains anyones guess (although I believe we can choose to connect the dots, and attempt a so called educated guess rather than pretend we are utterly in the dark, which I don't believe we are).

We both see dots, but where we depart is here; I choose not to connect them too assuage a personal metaphysical perspective. I just accept them as they are until something more compelling would cause me to reaccessed my position. What you say isn't pie in the sky, but state it like this - If I am right, then I am right and that's wrong.
It is not about assuaging a preferred metaphysic, it is about seeing what is really there right in front of our noses, and neither undermining nor over emphasising its value. If it is supportive of a particular metaphysic, so be it. I understand why for instance you wouldn't want to join those dots as it would pose a challenge to metaphysical interpretation which sees the universe and our place in it as a random chance occurrence with no real meaning or purpose behind it other than one we impose upon it. I think that is just as blinkered as looking only for evidence of a creator, and ignoring any data which challenges such a hypothesis.

Take the time to read book "The Five Ages of the Universe" and apply that to your metaphysics. You might look at your metaphysics and come away with a different perspective. Here's a brief graphical presentation of the heat death of the universe.
I think I understand where you are going with this. Because the time scales are so vast, and human life on earth so brief, how can one possibly assert that the universe was finely tuned to facilitate our coming into being? To me, the time scales involved do not bear much relevance to the question. I might argue for example rather egotistically, that the whole universe from big bang to now was finely tuned in such a way as to ensure that I was born and would live around 80 years on earth before I popped my clogs. Was I wrong? No, I can assert with some confidence that this was the case, as this was what has happened. The only reason the universe exists is because there are observers registering its existence, acknowledging its past, and attempting to predict its future. When the observers go, so does the universe effectively.

I feel a rather apt video moment coming on:
I think you'll like this one steve001.
Nice Richard Feynman quote at the end which I am inclined to agree with :D

 
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#25
appears to be a logical and rational forum, but a fair mind one;
Ouch. No need to belittle a forum. Though you are anthropomorphizing a website. Kidding aside, if the owners, admins and/or most posters here want to constrain to logical and rational, then I'd like to know so I can go post elsewhere. Logical and rationality - like a Phillips screwdriver - have their place but they are a small part of awareness and very limited (and limiting) approaches. Approaches that the materialists/physicalists have elevated to a level of near-divinity.

BTW .Even Spock and Tuvok had to go beyond. ;)
 
F

Frank Matera

#27
Hi Frank Matera...thank for your response. I can accept the opinion it is a complete coincidence, but I find it very difficult to accept the statement "In fact I am not even sure the images are that much alike at all unless other people are seeing something I am not?". Not to be rude, but that comes across disingenuously. Except for the color, these images are almost identical.

I'm curious, why do you think these images are not similar and what do you see as being different or not alike, besides the color?
Nothing disingenuous about it. I just think these images look nothing alike to my eye. I honestly can't see where the "identical" comes from.

The differences my eyes are seeing which I have numbered in the photo below are:
  1. The color although that is irrelevant
  2. The universe has 6 quite clear "branches" almost in a uniform starfish pattern. The brain cell doesn't have any uniformity to it at all. In fact all of it's "branches" are completely random in their direction. The patterns just do not match.
  3. The brain cell has 2 larger blobs both on the top and bottom of the picture. There are no blobs at all in the universe picture.
And these are just from looking at the basic structure of the 2 photos. There are many more things which are not the same.

So when I say they are nothing alike... it's because you have to do pattern matching. Not all humans for instance look alike... but nearly all have the same "structure". 2 arms, 2 legs, head, torso, spine, bipedal etc. You can have 2 completely different species but still see a connection eg: monkeys and humans. You can't though say humans and fish look the same because structurally they are not.

It's the same with this photo. The patterns just don't match.



 
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#30
This is a highly dubious assumption, which clearly is not the case. These 'smart people' are far better positioned to both explore and investigate why the parameters are as they are than most others. I think what you may in fact mean, is that they are no better positioned than anyone to categorically determine whether these parameters are by design or not, which remains anyones guess (although I believe we can choose to connect the dots, and attempt a so called educated guess rather than pretend we are utterly in the dark, which I don't believe we are).


It is not about assuaging a preferred metaphysic, it is about seeing what is really there right in front of our noses, and neither undermining nor over emphasising its value. If it is supportive of a particular metaphysic, so be it. I understand why for instance you wouldn't want to join those dots as it would pose a challenge to metaphysical interpretation which sees the universe and our place in it as a random chance occurrence with no real meaning or purpose behind it other than one we impose upon it. I think that is just as blinkered as looking only for evidence of a creator, and ignoring any data which challenges such a hypothesis.


I think I understand where you are going with this. Because the time scales are so vast, and human life on earth so brief, how can one possibly assert that the universe was finely tuned to facilitate our coming into being? To me, the time scales involved do not bear much relevance to the question. I might argue for example rather egotistically, that the whole universe from big bang to now was finely tuned in such a way as to ensure that I was born and would live around 80 years on earth before I popped my clogs. Was I wrong? No, I can assert with some confidence that this was the case, as this was what has happened. The only reason the universe exists is because there are observers registering its existence, acknowledging its past, and attempting to predict its future. When the observers go, so does the universe effectively.

I feel a rather apt video moment coming on:
I think you'll like this one steve001.
Nice Richard Feynman quote at the end which I am inclined to agree with :D

Know you don't know where I am going with this. That's why I suggest you read the book " The Five Ages of the Universe" The far distance in time of the universes evolution if correct is very interesting. It's also known as the Heat Death
 
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#31
I made typographical correction. This is the way it should read.
No, and you aren't amusing for continually doing that to people's posts. Coincidence is the new unprovable stand-in for "Why did that happen? I don't know." because people don't like admitting they don't know, and they never really have.
 
#33
No, and you aren't amusing for continually doing that to people's posts. Coincidence is the new unprovable stand-in for "Why did that happen? I don't know." because people don't like admitting they don't know, and they never really have.
This is true, I wish I had the mental fortitude to say "I don't know" more, but the voices keep giving me answers to everything.
 
#34
No, and you aren't amusing for continually doing that to people's posts. Coincidence is the new unprovable stand-in for "Why did that happen? I don't know." because people don't like admitting they don't know, and they never really have.
His original post still stands, so what's the problem. I edit frequently. Sometimes by not addressing every sentence or thought. You probably do too. Your welcome to edit any post of mine as you see fit.
The scientists don't give answers when they have inadequate information. Yet the metaphysical community always have an answer for everything. See what I mean.
Bridging the Chasm between Two Cultures
By
Karla McLaren

A former leader in the New Age culture—author of nine titles on auras, chakras, “energy,” and so on—chronicles her difficult and painful transition to skepticism. She thanks the skeptical community and agonizes over how the messages of scientific and critical thinking could be made more effective in communicating with her former New Age colleagues.
I've been studying the conflict between the skeptical community and the metaphysical/new age community for a few decades now, and I think I've finally discovered the central issue that makes communication so difficult. It is not merely, as many surmise, a conflict between fact-based viewpoints and faith-based viewpoints. Nor is it simply a conflict between rationality and credulity. No, it’s a full-on clash of cultures that makes real communication improbable at best.


I know this firsthand, because as a former member of the New Age culture, I struggled for years to decipher the language, the rules, the attitudes, and the expectations of the skeptical culture. Yet for a great while, all I could hear from the skeptical culture was noise-and confusing noise at that.

I'm not really sure how to introduce myself, except perhaps with this paraphrase: “I have seen the enemy, and she is me.” I'm an author and healer (or I was, actually) in the metaphysical culture. I wrote about energy and chakras, auras, healing, the different kinds of psychic skills . . . the whole shebang. I've traveled throughout the states doing book tours, seminars, and workshops. I've appeared at all the top New Age venues, such as the Omega Institute, Naropa University, and the Whole Life Expo (which I call the Hell Life Expo, but that’s another story). My books have been translated into five languages, and I've even had a title in the One Spirit Book Club.



http://www.csicop.org/si/show/bridging_the_chasm_between_two_cultures/
 
#38
His original post still stands, so what's the problem. I edit frequently.
It's standard literary and internet etiquette not to attribute a modified quote to the original author within a quote block, except for minor contextual clarifications which are contained within brackets. If you are snarking about what someone says, you don't put it in a quote block.

The scientists don't give answers when they have inadequate information. Yet the metaphysical community always have an answer for everything. See what I mean.
The scientists don't give answers when they have inadequate information (unless they do, as Haruhi quoted.) Yet the skeptical community always have an answer for everything. (e.g. subconscious did it, law of large numbers, cold reading despite blinding conditions, unproven fraud, nobody did our challenge which is evidence of absence, evidence of positive doesn't matter because we decided it wasn't science, ...)

This is a useless line of argument which will mirror indefinitely, and people joining CSI has nothing really to do with the OP.
 
#39
It's standard literary and internet etiquette not to attribute a modified quote to the original author within a quote block, except for minor contextual clarifications which are contained within brackets. If you are snarking about what someone says, you don't put it in a quote block.
On another big site I'm a member of the accepted way to do that kind of thing is to modify it in a quote box, but to put the modified part in bold and under the quote box write "FYP" (fixes your post). This makes it very clear that edits have been made to the original.
 
#40
The far distance in time of the universes evolution if correct is very interesting. It's also known as the Heat Death
You might want to check out Roger Penrose's Conformal Cyclical Cosmology model. It puts an even more interesting spin on the Universe's demise. No need to worry about Heat Death there. Point being, I wouldn't get too wrapped up on any of the theories on how the Universe will end. We just don't know at this point.
 
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