15 votes

Earth's Moon and Sun

"The moon is roughly 240,000 miles away from the Earth and has a diameter of 2,160 miles. The Sun is 93 million miles away from the Earth and has a diameter of 864,000 miles. That's quite a distance and yet from our vantage point these two bodies appear THE EXACT SAME SIZE IN THE SKY. Notice that in order for this celestial harmony to happen, not two, but THREE heavenly bodies (Sun, Moon and Earth) need to be the exact distances away from one another. I ask you, men and women of rationale and reason, what is this more evidence of? Harmony, proportion, design, blueprints, an underlying intelligence OR is it more evidence of randomness, chaos, no intelligence, no design, or no blueprints? The Sun is 400 times larger than the Moon. That's pretty damn simple math. Not only is such a celestial marriage strong evidence for design in our solar system, but it is evidence of SIMPLE design. Can you multiply? Well, then congratulations, you have the intelligence and capability to understand universal construction." - Claudia Pavonis

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And also the moon

is the largest moon when compared to the size of its associated planet. The moon is 27% as large as earth.

a coincidence and nothing

a coincidence and nothing more. It's easy to point out similarities between things and ignore everything in our universe that isn't the same size or geometrically appealing. Confirmation Bias.

In book of Enoch,

In book of Enoch, it said both the Sun and the moon have the same size in the Sky. How is it that the Moon and the Sun are the same size in the sky? That is why We can have a total eclipse of the Sun and the Moon just perfectly covers the Sun. Amazing Enoch observation.

A true flower can not blossom without sunlight and a true man can not live without love.

what do you mean they appear

what do you mean they appear exactly the same size? is that a fact?

I was about to upload this as a funny parody,

but then I realized you guys are serious.

There is nothing special about the Sun and Moon appearing to be the same size. It's only special because we made it special. Why isn't Jupiter the same size as well? Why isn't Saturn the same size as Jupiter? Why isn't a year 360 days long, so that it would correspond to exactly 12 revolutions of the moon? This is just silly apophenia, akin to seeing the Virgin Mary on a piece of toast.

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

As arguments go it reminds me more of this

"Behold the atheist's nightmare!"

http://youtu.be/2z-OLG0KyR4

This is actually an argument

This is actually an argument for evolution. Plants are smarter than we think and have evolved in a way to make us want to eat them. If a banana tastes good, fits in our hand and is easy to eat. Us humans are more likely to carry them around and spread the seeds. It also makes us have a vested interest in making sure the banana plants are healthy and well tended. Conversely, that is also why we cry when we cut onions- the plant releases a compound that mixes with tears creating sulfuric acid to make us stop hurting it. Here is a great movie on the subject:

We all share this eternally evolving present moment- The past and future only exist as inconsequential mental fabrications.

hahaha, that's classic

It begs the question: if homosexuality is a sin, why didn't got give us square bungholes?

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

I tend to agree that the moon

I tend to agree that the moon and sun size is not a profound argument, although the comparison with other planets is not really apples to apples. After all, the moon and the sun are the only two bodies which appear to revolve around the Earth daily and on split shifts, as it were, so that their apparent sameness of size is of a different order of coincidence than if saturn and Jupiter appeared the same size. After all, many stars appear the same size, but no one has claimed that as a coincidence, because there are so many stars and they don't have so much else in apparent common as the Sun and Moon.

It's one thing to belittle the moon/sun coincidence, but if their similarity is taken as symbolic of the general, overall cosmological fine tuning, you are faced with a more difficult set if issues, and the coincidence response becomes more tenuous. If you propose the evolutionary model as the explanation, arguing "of course we observe fine tuned parameters, we could not observe them if they were not present" - that will only take you so far.

The reason the many-worlds or multiverse has to be posited is because for the evolutionary explanation requires that selection has something to work on. If there was only one universe, and it just happened to support life, where the billions of other possible combinations of parameters would arguably not have supported any life, then it would indeed be astonishing good fortune for the universe to just have been that lucky strike. Only with an endless succession or number of parallel universes does the coincidence or selection bias explanation become plausible.

Finally, while the banana video is indeed funny, I tend to find this one a bit more in line with my comedic palette.

So you reject

the weak anthropic principle?

The reason the many-worlds or multiverse has to be posited is because for the evolutionary explanation requires that selection has something to work on. If there was only one universe, and it just happened to support life, where the billions of other possible combinations of parameters would arguably not have supported any life, then it would indeed be astonishing good fortune for the universe to just have been that lucky strike. Only with an endless succession or number of parallel universes does the coincidence or selection bias explanation become plausible.

I don't get the probability argument here. Us being here to observe the universe, and the universe being conducive to the formation of intelligent life, are not independent variables. No matter how improbable it might be that a universe would be conducive to the formation of intelligent life, the odds of us finding ourselves in a universe conducive to the formation of beings like us is 1.0. That's just as true if we're in the only universe that ever is or was or will be, or if our universe is one among multitudes.

I completely agree that the

I completely agree that the odds of us being in a universe in which we can be is 100%. The probability is not about that fact, it's about what explains the fact. I think the reason you don't get the probability argument here is because you've assumed the naturalistic explanation a priori, or have ruled out the candidacy or possibility of other, non naturalistic, non material explanations.

Surely if naturalism is a given, then our presence in a universe we can inhabit, no matter how seemingly improbable, is simply the given fact and isn't a surprise. This is betrayed in your own language, "conducive to the formation of intelligent life." This statement appears to assume a natural, unintended formation of intelligence from unintelligent random material, with no precursor, and it simply assumes the primacy of matter over mind. Matter is the fundamental thing, mind the contingent product of material interactions. But you have simply assumed this, at least in the foregoing statements, you have not demonstrated it.

You perhaps do not feel the need to demonstrate it, so confident are you in the simple assumption.

Start instead from a neutral premise, where we do not assume anything about the primacy of matter, the contingency of mind, where we do not simply assume naturalism, and where we consider the possibility of non naturalistic explanations. In such an open field of explanations, the presence of intelligent life in a single universe, where there is only a single universe, where a trillion trillion other possibilities existed -- and we don't assume the many worlds -- is probably better explained by a fundamental intelligence or mind at the bottom of reality, rather than minds being the "lottery ticket" lucky draw of a single material universe.

If we don't rule out a priori non naturalistic explanations, then a single universe that has intelligence is not automatically assumed to be a coincidence, but could be taken as an indication that the nature of the reality we live in might not be material but, could be mental.

I have seen no good reasons to rule out the possibility, certainty nothing in naturalism cries our as particularly rational or satisfactory to the intellect, or logically superior to some other model. Sure, physical observations don't provide us much reason to infer any non physical reality. But why should they? Assuming we should find spiritual or mental realities by studying the physical world is just an audacious assumption than only physical things are real.

That may be a true conclusion, but I haven't seen any good reasons so far to believe so. If you limit all evidence to physical evidence, and rule 'out of court' both reason and the conclusions of deduction, or any other source of knowledge besides empirical science, you are stuck in the untenable position of only believing what can be scientifically verified.

That excludes logic, math, intuition, the senses, belief in the external world, past, presence, future, other minds, and the reliability of our cognitive faculties, none of which can be proven scientifically.

It seems more of a fad than a truth that we only accept material and physical explanations for reality, and sadly it seems like a pretty vulgar and modern fad at that. It took me a while to drop it and realize this, but I have never felt more ignorant and more free than when I'm backhanding a conceited atheist with such simplicities of logic and almost obvious points that dizzy them so... the don't even realize it could smack them, let alone see it coming.

A lot of that went over my head

but my point was simpler (right or wrong).

P(A|B) = 1
where A = "the universe is one that allows for intelligent life"
and B = "we exist"

And this is the case independent of whether this might be the only universe or one of many, whether it's a likely sort of universe or not, whether we were created by some being "outside" the universe or formed with nothing more than physics to explain it, etc.

The fact that we're observing a universe that is such that our existence is possible doesn't differentiate between these explanations, because it couldn't have been any other way no matter which explanation is true, given that we're here. Therefore, the fact that we're here and that the universe is such that we can exist doesn't argue in favor of any of these explanations over the others. It doesn't make the multiverse a better explanation, nor does it make a creator a better explanation, or any of the others, because it's implied by every explanation.

There's only one sort of marble that we're able to pick from the jar, whether it's the only marble in the jar, or one of many in a jar full of identical marbles, or a common sort of marble in a jar with many varieties, or the only one of its kind in a jar with infinitely many others, etc. So the fact that we picked that sort of marble doesn't tell you anything at all about what else might be in the jar. P(A|B) = 1.

So let's think this through

So let's think this through together.

Suppose you're out in a space ship, a trillion light years away from any star and any galaxy. The odds of any signal reaching you are one in a trillion trillion.

You receive a signal, and after reading it, you decide it isn't something that went out a trillion trillion times, but is one of a kind and is a message that refers specifically to you. This is analogous to their only being one universe.

Now, in order to be reading that message, it had to reach you. You wouldn't be reading it if it hadn't.

Do you assume the message was intended for you, or do you say "Since I only could have read it if it reached me, the odds are the same that it reached me coincidentally rather that deliberately, even if it was the only message of its kind."

You have two options for explanation. Assuming the message was one of a kind, are both explanations equally likely?

Too different an example

The probability of receiving a signal, given that I'm in that space ship in that spot, is very low. So it's a jar of marbles with trillions of red marbles, and only one blue marble, and I draw the blue marble. Unless I'm misreading your example you've assumed something about the contents of the jar, but the question is whether we can conclude anything about the contents of the jar from the fact that we drew a blue marble.

In the universe-conducive-to-life question, we know that the only kind of marble we can draw from the jar, no matter what's in there, is a blue marble. The key point is that the selection isn't random. The variables aren't independent. Any probability argument has to take into account that the probability of us drawing a blue marble, given that we're here, no matter what is in the jar, = 1.0.

And since the question is whether the fact that we drew a blue marble justifies a preference for one hypothesis about what's in the jar over another, you can't start by assuming things about what's in the jar. For example, when you say (in the other comment) "If I could only grab blue marbles, and blue marbles only occurred once out of a trillion ..." or "If there is just one world, and it could have been a trillion ways ...". Those assumptions are doing all the work in your argument.

Does it even make sense to talk about the odds of a particular universe existing? What does "could have been a trillion ways" mean, if there really is just this one universe? We can make probabilistic arguments based on empirical evidence (do it lots of times and count), or things we think we understand well enough to analyze or simulate. The formation of universes isn't any of those things. Probabilistic arguments about meta-universe questions, i.e. a singleton universe vs a multi-verse, or naturalism vs supernatural, seem even more likely to me to be meaningless.

I'm not a dyed-in-the-wool naturalist, BTW, or even a committed naturalist in some respects. I enjoy a lot of your posts because in a lot of ways I'm sympathetic with your point of view on these sorts of things (although much less compelled to spend mental cycles trying to figure it all out). I'm rejecting the argument, not taking a position for or against the conclusion.

If X is true for every possible hypothesis, then knowing that X is true can't help you distinguish between the hypotheses. In every hypothesis you could dream up to explain how we got here, we drew a blue marble. Maybe there are other arguments for preferring one hypothesis over another, but the fact that we drew a blue marble doesn't differentiate between any of them, because it's true of all of them.

As long as I'm rolling up all my replies into one, thanks for pointing me back to that thread about natural law. Having read back through it, I still don't remember writing any of it. Strange. I was probably drunk. It probably makes more sense than what I wrote this evening, drinking only tea.

By drawing the blue marble,

By drawing the blue marble, you can conclude there was a blue marble.

I already agreed above that the probability of us existing in a world where we can exist is 100%, regardless of any other factors.

My assumption that the odds of grabbing the blue marble are low or that there is only one marble are easily defended. I don't know them to be certainly true, but I am not irrational to think so based on our overall background knowledge.

In the first place, there is no reason to assume there are other universes. That is a metaphysical assumption that can't ever be accessed by science, and so we have no reason to invoke many universes except as a metaphysical explanation for some facs about the actual world, namely its extraordinary fine tuning.

As for the fine tuning, it is simply a fact that if the conditions that permit us to exist were altered in any number of ways by a slight degree, the conditions that permit life could not exist.

So that fine tuning can be explained by purpose or chance.

The possible answers to the quandary are:

1-The metaphysical powerball machine, endlessly churning out universes at random, necessary in itself and timeless. It is Godlike (necessary in itself, timeless) but not god (not personal or purposeful).

2-The classically defined concept of God, as timeless, necessarily existing consciousness which terminates the infinite regress of causes.

3-An infinite regress of natural causes, all contingent and none necessary in themselves, into eternity.

4-Some other explanation that isn't conceivable to our subjective and unreliable cognitive equipment.

5-The universe popped into existence out of absolute Nothing.

Do you know of any others?

I think that postulating the godlike bu not God powerball machine that creates exponential trillions of universes to hit one with life is arguably more complex than the conscious first cause, which requires only one universe and is a mind instead of a physical plane of existence. The unexplained, uncaused, necessarily existing physical plane (powerball machine) that has the property of creating endless universes but is not conscious is a blindfolded card shuffling and dealing God, or sort of God.

It is debatable, it depends on whether you think consciousness is only and always a material phenomenon, and thus is more complex than the necessarily existing super powerball machine plane of reality. It is not a settled debate.

I lean toward the unknown answer, not concealable to our mental equipment, as seeming most likely. This would allow absurdities like something from nothing or actual infinite or God for that matter simply by abandoning confidence that our incredulity at such things is well founded or corresponding to actual truth. On naturalism an evolution, it is certainly plausible our minds would not be suited to wrap around things it wasn't evolved for.

But I think people are well within their rational rights to think the single purposeful cause and termination of the infinite regress is preferable or superior to the multiverse, the something from nothing, and so on.

Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly

You talk about the odds of grabbing the blue marble being low, but nothing about our understanding of probability makes that kind of analysis possible. It's not just that our brains might not be capable of grasping the truth about such things (which is definitely relevant to the question though). It's that what we think we know about probability, and how to evaluate probabilities (in the technical sense rather than the gut feel sense), doesn't give us a way of applying it to this question. So is it really just a statement about gut feelings, dressed up in the language of probability?

BTW the notion of other universes doesn't just pop up out of some discomfort about metaphysics, does it? This article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse) discusses a few relevant scientific theories -- cyclic universe, M-theory (whatever that is), black hole cosmology. And that links to this:
http://phys.org/news/2010-12-scientists-evidence-universes.html
which I won't pretend to understand, but the title seems relevant. So I'm not sure that it's true that "we have no reason to invoke many universes except as a metaphysical explanation". That's not been the context in which I've seen the notion of multiple universes pop up before.

If you are contending that we

If you are contending that we can't estimate the probability of life permitting conditions against other possible conditions that aren't life permitting, then it follows that those odds might be even worse than we assume rather than better. We just can't make that estimation. If we just can't know the odds, then we have to make no assumptions either way.

We have to just remain silent on probability, in that case, and deal in other forms of non probabilistic arguments for deciding between the range of possible answers laid out in my previous comment.

Your references for different physical theories of the multiverse, while perhaps interesting reading, lack true value to the non expert, since it would just be a lay persons opinion, when there is no consensus theory to appeal to.

More like

If you are contending that we can't estimate the probability of life permitting conditions against other possible conditions that aren't life permitting,

I'm contending that we don't even know whether probability is applicable to the question at all. Maybe it does make sense to ask "what are the odds" that our universe is the way it is, but we don't know enough about universe formation or creation (or the lack thereof if this is the only universe that is or was or ever will be) to answer the question. But universe formation/creation/whatever might not even be sufficiently like those mundane things for which causality and probability do apply, for our understanding of probability to be applicable.

We have to just remain silent on probability, in that case, and deal in other forms of non probabilistic arguments for deciding between the range of possible answers laid out in my previous comment.

I wouldn't know where to begin. Lead the way!

Your references for different physical theories of the multiverse, while perhaps interesting reading, lack true value to the non expert, since it would just be a lay persons opinion, when there is no consensus theory to appeal to.

It was only to suggest that the notion of multiverses doesn't (only) emerge from attempts at metaphysical explanation as you had said.

Guess we're all done then. I

Guess we're all done then. I drink to your health.

dualism is so over

No one has ever put forth a satisfactory answer to the problem of causal interaction. Perhaps you will be the one, BILL3. Go for it :)


http://youtu.be/YlGqN3AKOsA

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

I'm not sure what you're

I'm not sure what you're trying to say. I don't watch these videos that every half wit posts when unable to compose their own thoughts, so I can only respond to your words. You said that no one has proposed an answer to the problem of causal interaction, to your satisfaction, or in order to produce a consensus, presumably.

Why is causal interaction my problem? Interactionism is only one of many subsets of dualism. From wiki it is a type of dualism. It can be distinguished from competing dualist theories of epiphenomenalism (which admits causation, but views it as unidirectional rather than bidirectional), pre-established harmony, and occasionalism (which both deny causation, while seeking to explain the appearance of causation by other means).

Further, interaction is only problem if you assume physical explanation. Since that is not necessarily the assumption of the dualist, it is jot a problem for the dualist.

The problem of interaction in general transcends mind body dualism, and plagues also the physicalist or materialist. How any thing can cause any other thing to do anything is a problem.

Also, I have never argued dualism! You seem to have mistaken the mind/matter language to be referring to mind body dualism, whereas it was in reference to the bigger issue of whether matter or mind is fundamental to reality, and the other contingent. This really has nothing to do with how mind and body, if separate, would interact.

different people find different things annoying

You find videos in comments annoying (though this was a short humorous video that actually made fun of my own comment). I find long, winded comments annoying. Whatever. We'll keep annoying each other :)

Ok, epiphenomenalism is really a type of monism. Occasionalism still suffers from the problem of causal interaction. If God is causing everything, and if God is not physical in nature, how is he affecting physical matter? So yes, all dualistic philosophies suffer from the problem of causal interaction.

If you don't assume physical explanation, the only other possibility is mental monism (aka idealism). As for the supposed problem of causation for physical monism, the problem here is not HOW one thing can cause another thing to do something, but rather proving causation vs. just correlation. This is the problem of induction. It is a different problem. It is a problem of generalization from instances to a class.

You are either arguing for dualism or for mental monism. Do you take as your position that mind and matter are somehow metaphysically distinct? In positing the question of whether mind or matter is fundamental to reality, you must either take this position or the position that only one or the other is metaphysically real. Come now, do you want to be known as an idealist? That goes against the very core of the carefully crafted image you have created for yourself on the Daily Paul.

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

Not at all. When you dream at

Not at all. When you dream at night you think you're interacting with physical objects, but you're not.

The senses and instruments which tell you everything is physical could be entirely illusory renderings of an underlying non physical reality.

Even if all men and animals were actually just robots of physical interactions, they might still be the little dream or simulation of a mind that had no physical properties or rules.

Thanks

for stating the obvious, which apparently flies over some people's heads.

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus

Don't worry Ed, I have as

Don't worry Ed, I have as much as doggydogworld can handle. If there's anyone on here than can persuade me of my own folly, it's doggy. I remember how deftly he handled the "natural rights" team in that debate, it was all I could do to sit back and watch. That being said, I still feel I can handle doggy with time to spare. We shall see.

I don't remember

what "natural rights" discussion you're talking about, but I appreciate the kind words!

I'm sticking to the marble story. Suppose that you reach into a jar of marbles and draw one out, but for some reason the only kind of marble you are physically capable of grasping is a blue one. It doesn't matter what else is in the jar, you'll pick a blue marble if there is one, or else come up empty.

So suppose you've drawn a blue marble. Even if for some reason you think that blue marbles are extremely improbable, the fact that you picked a blue marble doesn't tell you anything about what else might be in the jar. It could be that there was exactly one marble in the jar, and it was blue. Or there could be an infinite number of blue marbles. Or an infinite number of red marbles plus one blue. The marbles could have been randomly generated by some unknown process, or it could be that there was only one blue marble and it was specially crafted just for you by an intelligent marble creator.

The fact that you picked a blue marble doesn't make one hypothesis more likely than any other.

I disagree.If I could only

I disagree.

This is similar to the example of the man who is standing before a firing squad of 1,000,000 highly trained sharpshooters. They all fire, and he takes a breath, and opens his eyes and is still alive. They all missed. For him to still be alive, they all had to miss; he wouldn't be if they all hit. But he is still correct to assume they missed deliberately rather than by chance.

If I could only grab blue marbles, and blue marbles only occurred once out of a trillion trillion trillions, and I grabbed a blue marble on the first try, I'd lean toward the blue marble being placed deliberately rather than being a lucky draw.

If there is just one world, and if it could have been a trillion ways, but turned out to be the one way that could support living, thinking beings, then the odds against that universe existing are overwhelming. Unless you start with the assumption of naturalism being true, and rule out competing views, then the order in the universe does seem purposeful.

If the field of explanations is open, and one possible explanation is "all the correct conditions came together due to good luck," and another possible explanation is "no luck was involved; these conditions exist because they were intended to exist," the latter is much more likely.

Even if you're a dyed in the wool naturalist, you are better off explaining the fine tuning as created, and simply appealing to chance to explain the popping of the creator into existence.

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