The fine tuning argument is basically the idea that some prime mover/god/deity/whatever caused the conditions of the universe to exist exactly as they appear. Currently, as far as we can tell, the laws of physics came about as time and space stratified as they expanded in the inflationary period at the 'beginning' of time. It's in quotes because time isn't linear.
It used to be believed that whatever the conditions of the early Universe, that given enough time and a little bit of luck, intelligent life would inevitably occur somewhere.It also used to be believed that gods were required to create rain or lightning, or to cause crops to grow, or all sorts of other things people at the time didn't understand. It used to be believed that the universe was comprised of aether, and that it was in a steady state. What I'm saying is, it doesn't really matter what we believe, it matters what the evidence shows.
This belief is even professed today by the news media; whenever water is discovered on some astronomical object such as Mars or Europa – one of the major moons of Jupiter, report speculate that where there is water, life is sure to eventually erupt like spring flowers after a rainfall.The news media are not scientists, and they don't publish peer-reviewed journals. Also, the claim is generally that these would be good places to start looking for life outside of our planet within our solar system. I'm not familiar with anyone claiming that life is definitely going to happen. Too bad they don't actually have any citations in their article, I could have fun responding to them as well.
|This table appears in the original article. Twice.|
With no citation. Let's see where it's from.
As a result of discoveries over the past fifty years or so, we now understand that such optimism was not well placed; in fact, the opposite is true.No, the opposite isn't true either. We can't claim for certain that life will or will not exist in those places. They do resemble places on our own planet where life currently exists though, as well as places on our planet where life probably first start existing, like the vents at the bottom of the ocean. They would surely kill us, what with all the heat and pressure and so on, but we aren't the only form of life. Neither are flowers, as the article alluded to earlier.
Physicists have been stunned to discover how many samples of delicate balance initial conditions have to be for the existence of intelligent life anywhere at all in the cosmos.First off, we don't actually know how much the laws could be different and support life. Second, life is life, we don't need to qualify it with 'intelligent' or any other thing. It's hard enough to define as it is, after all. It's entirely possible that the laws of physics could have simply changed at the time the singularity inflated, and that there was plenty of life in the universe before it, with completely different rules.
Saying it's fine-tuned is a bit like looking at two halves of a broken rock. Go out, find a rock, and break it. Let's see if I can do that now.
|Look at those pretty layers|
|Might be some old dead thing was once trapped in that bit|
Of course not. You can clearly understand, I think, how this line of reasoning fails. The bits of rock fit together because they happen to have broken there. In fact, it would be weirder if they didn't fit back together nicely. Even as complex as those fractures are, you can understand why they fit together perfectly even though no one caused it to be that way.
The delicate balance of initial conditions has come to be known as “fine-tuning” of the universe for life.The term 'fine tuning' only seems to exist in philosophy, really. We know that as the universe expanded in time, the various forces came out of it, almost exactly like how the rock cracked when I tapped it. It happened relatively quick, just like tapping the rock, and the forces fit together as though they broke off in the way they did from the beginning. You can even understand how the hammer isn't necessary in this example, sometimes rocks just crack. Sometimes a universe just inflates, maybe. Maybe something did, in fact, tap ours, but we would never know. It also wouldn't mean that it tuned anything by doing so, because the apparent constants can just form spontaneously and ours just happens to support life.
We have, over these fifty years, come to understand that the Universe is adjusted for the existence of intelligent life with such a complexity and delicacy that defy human comprehension.If it defies human comprehension, then how are you certain that it is definitely tuned? You mean that humans can't comprehend it and that's how you comprehend it? Are you not human, by chance?
Although, I think most humans can comprehend the analogy I gave up there. I even gave you pictures.
Several of these factors are adjusted with far more precision – trillions of trillions of trillions more precision – than anything that is remotely possible by humans today.See that rock I just broke? See how precise the crack is, to land exactly between the pieces that formed? Do you understand how I don't actually have to put the crack there for it to end up existing there? It's at least as precise as this article claims. I was so good I only put the crack exactly where the crack formed, and not anywhere else.
But why is this so?Reasons.
How did it come to be that the Universe is so finely adjusted for the emergence of intelligent life – and indeed, is so finely adjusted for the existence of matter as to be nearly miraculous.It isn't. We just happen to exist in this one because we can.
It appears to be important because it suits your narrative, nothing more.
Why this is Important
When physicists say the Universe is finely adjusted for the emergence of life, they mean without these adjustments there could be no life.Sometimes they just use it as a turn-of-phrase, though. Yes, there are physicists who think the variables had to be tuned. They are generally in the minority though, and don't generally give compelling arguments or evidence. Kinda like this article, in a way. Most of the fine-tuning people won't even go so far as to say that ours is the only possible one, especially the scientist ones, because they understand that we don't have another universe to compare it to, for example. We simply can't assert whether or not ours is the only kind of universe in which life can arise. I wish he'd quit saying 'intelligent.' Life is life, get over it.
Let's presume that our constants are the absolutely only ones that could produce life, though. It still doesn't mean ours was tuned. It just means we happen to exist in a universe that has these constants.
Without the precise adjustments which are in place today, there would be no possibility of life for there would be no possibility of matter; there could be no stars, no galaxies, no planets – and no matter.Do you have another universe with just one constant slightly modified to prove this? Neither do I. therefore I can't say, and neither can you, that one tiny change would result in an inability for life to form. It may be that slightly different rules just produce slightly different criteria for life, and wildly different rules produce life the likes of which we wouldn't understand.
For example, the Universe might have come into existence through the Big Bang explosion – and then almost immediately just collapsed back upon itself; or the Universe might have flung apart before any matter could coalesce into solid objects such as stars or planets.This might have happened any number of times, actually. The way the early universe formed in the inflation, we can't actually see the CMB and stuff beyond a certain point. We know mathematically how the laws separated out in some cases, but beyond the earliest point we can view, we can't see any more. It's entirely possible that it was actually a massive time/space flux before that, that acted exactly as was just described or something.
To be clear, it is not that some other form of life-form might have arisen without the precise fine-tuning in existence today such as in a fanciful Star Trek episode; there would have been no matter from which life might have arisen.Except that most of the life forms are biological and could exist within the constraints of this set of laws of physics in the star trek universe. I don't think you quite understand this point.
It turns out that the production of matter, the “elements” with which we are all so familiar such as carbon, oxygen, iron and uranium, requires accurate adjustment of multiple constants of nature, and it also turns out that these constants of nature do not have to be their current value.Fair enough, it is what it is because that's how it is and it doesn't necessarily have to be this way. We can't say for sure that it can be any other way, but it's true it doesn't have to be as it is. That rock up there, it could've broken along different lines, or fewer lines, or whatever. It doesn't mean the rock can't break unless it forms exactly on those cracks, though. It doesn't mean that if it cracked on other lines, it would suddenly become a rhinoceros, either.
Two Kinds of Fine Tuning
There are two kinds of fine-tuning,Or there's not...
Forces of nature. The first type of fine-tuning involves the constant of nature such as those holding the nucleus of an atom together, the gravitational constant, or the speed of light. A “constant” is a law of nature that appears in mathematical equations that stand for unchanging quantities.These are based upon observations, mind you. The speed of light is C, for example. Traveling faster than the speed of light is potentially the same as moving backward in time, for example, and photons do this all the time.
|See this thing right here?|
The laws of nature do not determine the values of these constants.Well, you're wrong. The constants describe the laws, more or less. Even if they change, or if they are different in other universes, those are still their laws, with their constants, one being related to the other. Exactly like if the rock cracked differently, the crack (let's pretend it's a constant) still describes the bounds of the pieces of the rock (let's pretend it's the laws). They do actually determine one another because that's how constants and laws work, even if they're different from ours.
There potentially could be other universes governed by the same laws of nature even though these constants have very different values.Correct. Or they could be completely different laws with the same constants. Either way, one will determine the other. The dark matter that affects how things work in our universe might well be the exact opposite laws (anti-gravity where we have gravity) yet have the same constants, for example.
Depending upon these constants, universes governed by the same laws of nature would look very differentCorrect. Although, you wouldn't be able to look at it, because light probably wouldn't work the same, etc. It's very hard to think how different universes might act because we probably will be fundamentally unable to ever observe one in any meaningful way, even with advanced technology etc.
Arbitrary quantities. In addition to physical constants, there are certain arbitrary quantities that are present initial conditions of the Universe upon which the laws of nature operate. Because these quantities are arbitrary, they are also not determined by the laws of nature.I can't make sense of this statement. Let's see if it gets any clearer.
An example of an “arbitrary quantity” would be the amount of thermodynamic disorder (or “entropy”) in the early universe. It is just given in the initial big bang as an initial condition and then the laws of nature take over and determine how the universe would then develop. If these initial conditions had been different, then the laws again the Universe would look very different. If there had been less order or more order in the initial big bang conditions, then our Universe would not be able to have intelligent life – or even any life at all.So it's basically the first argument turned inside-out? If the rock was larger or smaller, then it couldn't possibly be a rock? A bigger rock with different cracks couldn't possibly form?
Also, ignoring how this doesn't make any sense, unless they've got another universe to reference, they can't say whether or not any given configuration of laws/constants can lead to life, and then to intelligent life. It's like Douglas Adams described here...
It's a bit like saying that only one puddle can ever exist because other puddles are different, and therefore this specific puddle is the only one that could ever have slime or whatever grow in it. It's very silly.
Another example of an “arbitrary quantity” might be the rate of expansion (“inflation”) of the early Universe. Too much inflation and the Universe would fly apart; too little and the Universe would eventually collapse back into a hugely dense mass of plasma; either way, no life could exist."Might be..." See, that's the problem. You can't say 'it has to be exactly the way I think it is because this or that might have happened if it wasn't.' Aliens might have probed my brain, you see, so it's a good thing aliens don't exist, otherwise it means that my brain would be probed, therefore aliens might not exist, especially if there's only ten aliens. If there were twenty aliens, that would just be too many for some reason, so there can only be ten aliens because there were none...
You can see how this reasoning falls apart, I hope. Cracks under pressure, as it were...
Several examples of fine tuning, an estimation of their precision, and their importance are provided here.No, they aren't. That table up there is just showing us the values of several constants, as well as our certainty to how correct they are in this universe.
Anyway, that's where I'm gonna leave it. Time to start on my next video! Thanks for tuning in!!