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Custom Universe - Has the universe been fine tuned for us?

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  • #16
    Fine tuning appears to be real. This fine tuning is almost beyond question because of the large number of independent interlinked instances.

    For biological life to evolve the basic structure of the universe has to enable stable complex chemical compounds with a lot of specific properties that allow vastly complex carbon-based organisms to arise (no other element can take carbon's place in biology). A short list of just some of the physics requirements include:

    Neutron mass approximately equal to proton mass
    Proton charge exactly = Electron charge
    Strong nuclear force exactly = present value
    Primordial escape velocity exactly = Primordial expansion velocity
    Cosmological constant approximately equal to 0
    Weak nuclear force exactly = present value
    Carbon nucleus energy exactly = the present value

    Of course this is only limited fine tuning in that the vast bulk of the universe is still very hostile to life. But still the big question is why the fine tuning that exists. It seems to me there are at least three main possibilities with different pros and cons and degrees of plausibility:

    1. It is an anthropic phenomenon. Existence is a Multiverse of an infinity of separate isolated subuniverses all with varying properties, with no beginning and no ending in time and no requirement for a creator. In order for us to exist we happen to inhabit one having just the right characteristics.

    2. The physical universe is a virtual reality simulation being conducted by higher beings in a higher reality. This would make multiverse concepts pointless since there would be no way we could know real "physical reality". The only things we really could know or be sure of would be the laws of logic and mathematics and that we somehow exist as sentient entities. "Fine tuning" would simply be the choice of parameters of the programmers. Of course with this possibility there would be no end to it -
    the higher reality could be a yet higher level simulation created by yet higher level beings, on ad infinitum.

    3. A Creator had us in mind.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by nbtruthman View Post
      ...
      It seems to me there are at least three main possibilities with different pros and cons and degrees of plausibility:

      1. It is an anthropic phenomenon. Existence is a Multiverse of an infinity of separate isolated subuniverses all with varying properties, with no beginning and no ending in time and no requirement for a creator. In order for us to exist we happen to inhabit one having just the right characteristics.

      2. The physical universe is a virtual reality simulation being conducted by higher beings in a higher reality. This would make multiverse concepts pointless since there would be no way we could know real "physical reality". The only things we really could know or be sure of would be the laws of logic and mathematics and that we somehow exist as sentient entities. "Fine tuning" would simply be the choice of parameters of the programmers. Of course with this possibility there would be no end to it -
      the higher reality could be a yet higher level simulation created by yet higher level beings, on ad infinitum.

      3. A Creator had us in mind.
      I see it as a combination of 2 and 3 (without the need for the "higher beings" or programmers): mind is the creator and reality exists in mind and is, therefore, virtual. There is no external reality. Mind explores a multitude of different ways to express itself and physical reality is just one of them.

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      • #18
        I saw an interesting comment on this on Peter Woit's blog. He points out that it really isn't possible to sample a reasonable number of other universes (so to speak) and simulate them to see if they have any equivalent of our chemistry - i.e. some process with lots of complexity.

        All that is clear is that if the constants had different values, our kind of life could not exist.

        For example, there are SF stories in which the beings are made of complex knots of plasma!

        David

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Kamarling View Post
          I see it as a combination of 2 and 3 (without the need for the "higher beings" or programmers): mind is the creator and reality exists in mind and is, therefore, virtual. There is no external reality. Mind explores a multitude of different ways to express itself and physical reality is just one of them.

          This seems to be a form of option 3, in which "mind" is the uncreated Creator of all things. You describe it as a being having intentionality (desire to express itself) and very great or infinite intelligence (in order to design the universe with us in it). This creator Mind is then the source of the observed fine tuning. This option is of course vehemently scoffed at by atheist materialists, who usually resort to some version of option 1.

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