The Best empirical evidence of God

Hello,

I have seen one of absolutely best empirical evidence, which you may knows as fine tuning argument, but before you think it is old, I have something new into it.

In recent academic paper, Man Ho Chan answers almost all traditional objections to it, systematically compare different hypothesis with mathematical analysis, and shows that theistic explanation is best.

And if you think, this is just some other paper, it is very comprehensive paper with more than 120 references, which is reviewed and approved by reputable University. It is somewhat long, but worth it.

Here’s direct link to paper:

https://repository.hkbu.edu.hk/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1447&=&context=etd_oa&=&sei-redir=1

The best empirical evidence may comes from something which is all around us, like the way nature behaves, and as evidence suggest, probably nature being directed by God because of which life, DNA, and Universe all such as it.

Let me know your thoughts on it.

Welcome, @mahadev. It looks interesting, but long. Can you summarize this?

Thanks.
Sincerely,

Randy

PS–I’m curious as to your handle choice. “Mahadev”–“Great-devotion?” :slight_smile:

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Thank you so much for appreciation.

Actually summary author has given in the paper.

As per paper:

We have discussed all major available hypotheses that can provide explanation of the fine-tuning phenomena. In fact, there are some other types of multiverse hypotheses, such as oscillating universe. However, the general features of these theories have already been involved in the discussions above. The NG and generated multiverse hypotheses basically have already covered most of the essential features of the other hypotheses, such as the total number of universes, the origin of multiverse and the nature of multiverse (see Tegmark’s taxonomy). In particular, since dark energy will dominate the cosmological energy density in the future, it is nearly impossible to have oscillating universe.

Among the available hypotheses, the chance-alone hypothesis, super-law explanation, and observation selection effect are not able to give a satisfactory explanation of the fine-tuning phenomena. Therefore, most of our discussions focus on the God hypothesis and the two multiverse hypotheses. By using the confirmation principle, we conclude that the God hypothesis has the largest value of P(T|E). On the other hand, by using another principle, inference to the best explanation, we still get the same conclusion. Therefore, we can conclude that the theistic worldview can offer the best explanation of the fine-tuning phenomena.

Source: https://repository.hkbu.edu.hk/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1447&context=etd_oa

In short, author has used mathematical analysis and systematic comparison of different hypothesis, and shows that data strongly prefer theistic worldview.

As author concludes:

To conclude, after a comprehensive study of the fine-tuning arguments, the fine-tuning phenomena strongly support the theistic worldview.

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I like this rebuttal for the self-selection argument against fine-tuning:

Hello,

Author has answered observer selection effect in the paper.

As paper:

Unless the required knowledge or
experience are totally subjective, it is not reasonable to separate the viewpoints from different persons. Based on our evaluation of the fine-tuning phenomena, the discussion so far is objective. Therefore, there is no difference between the “bystander” and the “observer”. Since the bystander does not have any observational selection effect, similarly, the observer should also not be subject to any observational selection effect either. This view can be justified by using an example. Human beings were evolved through biological evolution many years ago. Strictly speaking, we are observers of the evolution. If observational selection effect exists, all evolution biologists suffer from their “blindspots” and all of their observations are biased. This view is obviously wrong. Biologists can objectively study evolution and the related mechanisms. We can understand how evolution occurs and investigate the processes. We do not say due to the observational selection effect, the evolution of human beings is not very special and we need not seek any special explanation. Similarly, we still need to seek a special explanation for the fine-tuning phenomena.

Therefore, the anthropic principle can only show the consistency between the observed life-permitting conditions and our existence, but not the explanation of fine-tuning. Also, it is not justified why the viewpoints from a bystander and an observer are radically different. Based on the above arguments, the anthropic principle and the observational selection effect cannot provide a viable explanation for the fine-
tuning.

Richard Dawkins (in the blind watchmaker) said it already:

Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.

Soooooooo close Richard and yet you missed it.

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I really like the article overall and think the author did a good job aiming to tackle a complex topic. I have a few comments with the paper.

  1. A Bayesian analysis regarding fine-tuning seems nonsensical to me. I’m a physicist and have no idea how one can begin to assign prior probability to a multiverse or God or anything in between. How does one assign a probability to various physical theories? How does one assign a probability to God? While I think that Bayesian analyses can be done well, I don’t think they are useful with regards to fine-tuning or God. I say that as a Christian who has faith in God.
  2. Section 3 represents a pretty up-to-date understanding of fine-tuning, but unfortunately is a bit misleading. It’s not the fault of the author, but for example, it references Rees’ calculation which is valid given certain assumptions (though it entirely imaginary in the first place). Section 3.3 as well is a typical understanding of the flatness of the universe, but the entire thing is misguided.
  3. Overall, the whole section defining fine-tuning is also missing the mark. We don’t actually know the initial probability distributions for any of the things discussed and so it is entirely meaningless to talk about how small of a parameter space we occupy when we don’t even know the possible bounds.
  4. Statements like this from p. 58 “Therefore, these global episodes should be
    under some fine-tuned conditions such that the events appeared at the right time and gave out the right
    amount of power” are completely unfounded. Those would be unsubstantiated claims that reviewers should have called the author on.
  5. I can try to read on, but it’s clear to me that the author, while aiming to do very thorough research, has been misled by other well meaning authors to try and make fine-tuning an apologetics argument. I commend the author for doing a thorough job but overall, there are a number of problems that could have been addressed with different reviewers.
2 Likes

Your questions are good. But if we check paper deeply, I think author has almost addressed it in it.

Regarding

  1. It is right question, but author has taken it in good way. First author has shown that prior probability of God is non zero. And after author has shown that prior probability of God is more than that of multiverse based on principles, as in chapter 6 in details. After comparison, author has also shows:

Therefore, based on the simplicity and the compatibility of the hypotheses with background knowledge, we conclude that P(God) is the best among all the available hypotheses, and P(NG multiverse) ≈ P(generated multiverse) are very small compared with P(God). Since P(FT|God) = 0.5, P(FT|NG multiverse) = 1 and P(FT|generated multiverse) ≈ P(FT), by using the strength value of a theory S(T,E) = P(E|T)P(T) defined in equation (2.4), we get S(God, FT) = 0.5P(God), S(NG multiverse, FT) = P(NG multiverse), and S(generated multiverse, FT) ≈ P(FT)P(generated multiverse). As discussed above, we can safely assign P(God) > 2P(NG multiverse) and P(God) > 2P(generated multiverse). Since P(FT) < 1,
we can get
S(God, FT) > S(multiverse, FT), (6.4)
where “multiverse” stands for either NG multiverse or generated multiverse. Based on the confirmation principle, the God hypothesis is the best explanation of the fine-tuning phenomena.

2) Author says that even if inflation model is correct, it will not solve problem.

As author says:

In other words, the fine-tuning problem of matter content still exists and cannot be addressed by the inflation model alone.

And I also find same:

Although inflationary theory is regarded as having had much success, and the evidence for it is compelling, it is not universally accepted: cosmologists recognize that there are still gaps in the theory and are open to the possibility that future observations will disprove it. In particular, in the absence of any firm evidence for what the field driving inflation should be, many different versions of the theory have been proposed. Many of these contain parameters or initial conditions which themselves require fine-tuning in much the way that the early density does without inflation.

Despite this ongoing work, inflation remains by far the dominant explanation for the flatness problem.

Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatness_problem

However it may not significantly affects conclusion of author:

To conclude, the existence of stars and anthropic elements are highly dependent on the 5 fine-tuned values N, ε, Ω, λ and Q (and also the dimension D). If one of the parameters change slightly, says, 10 times larger, no life would exist.

3) Author has done works specially to avoid this problem. Especially author has defined several parameters from which we can know whether fine tuning is serious or not and how much of it without knowing actual parameters space or actual probability as in section 3.6.2

Therefore, it is not very useful in defining the
problem by using the probability defined in equation (3.5). In other words, the actual value of P is not important. The most important is how to assess whether fine-tuning problem is serious or not (the degree of seriousness). Therefore, Holder suggests that the probability should be regarded as quantifying the rational degree of belief rather than proportions in an ensemble. Suppose a value S is defined to measure the “seriousness of the fine-tuning problem” (S is large means that the fine-tuning problem is very serious). It is obvious to note that S is large when A is small and vice versa. Let’s suggest an
intuitive relation
S ∝
1
A
. (3.6)
This relation depends on A, but not Aw. The proportionality constant can be any arbitrary number as the value S is arbitrary. If the life-permitting range is small, then we have small A and large S. Therefore, it is possible for us to distinguish the coarse-tuning and fine-tuning by comparing their respective values of S.
Moreover, one can define a ratio R, which is defined as the ratio of possible variance Δ𝜀 (the variation of the life-permitting range) to the mean measured value ε0:
R =
Δe
e0
. (3.7)
For example, for our universe, Δe = 0.001 and e0 = 0.007 for life-permitting. Therefore, the ratio is R = 0.142. We know that S would be large if R is small. We can now relate the probability of getting the fine-tuned value by using R such that P ∝ R. Although we do not have the actual value of P, we can qualitatively describe the fine-tuning problem by using the value of R. Therefore, when we say that the probability (rational degree of belief) of getting the life-permitting range is small, that means the variable range is small, and thus the ratio R is small too. In general, we can have the following relation:
P ∝ R ∝
1
S
∝ A . (3.8)
From the above relation, it is not necessary for us to consider the Aw and the actual value of P. More importantly, instead, we should consider how small the variance of the anthropic value is.

And author has given reason for why we can assume that principles of indifference can applies in section 3.6.3.

4) Author has given some reason for these statements:

Another crucial episode happened in the best-known period in late Cretaceous during which the extinction of dinosaurs occurred. It is widely accepted that this extinction is caused by a huge asteroid impact. There may be some massive volcano eruptions which further enhance the effect. We now notice that this extinction event facilitate the start of mammals, which leads to the development of human beings later. Without the extinction of the dinosaurs, mammals would not be the dominant forces in the nature and human beings may probably not be developed through evolution.
These two crucial episodes require some global events such as massive meteorite impact or volcano eruptions. The probability of these global events depends on many factors, such as the size of the meteorite, the thickness of our atmosphere and the size of the Earth. Statistics show that the approximate frequency (probability) of meteorite impact depends on the size of meteorite (or the energy given out by the meteorite). The frequency is about one time in one to ten million years for the global catastrophe caused by meteorite impact.213 Therefore, the number of possible global events is not so small compared with the long life history (few billion years). However, the massive meteorite impact that makes dinosaurs extinct occurred at a right time with a right amount of power. If it is somewhat larger in power, all organisms in the Earth might be dead. If the power is much smaller, the extinction would not be occurred and human beings would not be able to appear. In fact, statistics show that the frequency of meteorite impact is dependent on the size (power) of the meteorite. Therefore, these global episodes should be under some fine-tuned conditions such that the events appeared at the right time and gave out the right amount of power.

5) It is right that there can be influence of other author, but I think author has provided sufficient references for claims and also has PhD in astrophysics and PhD in philosophy which may make it less likely to be.

Warm regards :pray:

Thanks for the reply @mahadev. Unfortunately though, the calculation of God vs. multiverse is entirely made up on the author’s behalf. Besides making up a prior probability of God, one would actually need a comprehensive scientific model to evaluate. But there just simply isn’t one. If we are talking about the fine tuning of physical constants we wound need a comprehensive model describing what ranges of parameters they could take (we don’t). The closest thing to this is probably the string theory landscape combined with something like eternal inflation models that produce a sufficiently large multiverse landscape. However, you can’t really compare the probability of this being true with God just snapping his fingers and boom physical constants - God making the physical constants is even less defined than the string theory landscape.

So I posted an article titled ‘inflation never solved the flatness problem’ that you might have missed.

But even with this - you need to know the prior probability distribution in order to truly know if a problem is ‘very-serious’ or not. And at the end of the day, all that this really could mean for a physicist is that it highlights areas that we need new Physics.

And again you need to actually know what the bounds of the particular parameter are and what underlying mechanism gave us the original conditions of the particular parameter.

Regarding my charge of unsubstantiated claims:

You replied:

Entirely speculative but possibly true. He can’t know this nor can anybody. And then he goes on to argue from an unknown probability distribution that the meteorite was at just the right power at just the right time. Also something that he has no idea about.

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Hello,

Thank you for your reply. I have try to find out, and I think problem can be solved.

First, calculations of God and multiverse is based on principles which author has covered in chapter 2.

For example, if hypothesis has large number of ad-hoc assumptions, it decrease prior probability of hypothesis because of probability of each assumptions and so on. Author has covered such principles and why should it should followed given in details.

As writes,

How do we know that we should choose a simple theory rather than a complicated theory? In view of the criteria above, a theory is simple if it is based on a few assumptions, a few kinds of entities and a few properties of entities. Therefore, theory T1 is simpler than T2 if the assumptions needed in T2 is more than that in T1 or the theory T1 involves less entities or properties of entities than that of T2. Keeping other factors constant, a simpler theory means a higher prior probability of the theory because each assumption in the theory would reduce the probability. For example, a theory T has N independent assumptions A1, A2, …, AN. Then prior probability that the theory T is true is P(T|A1, A2, … , AN), which is
P(T|A1,A2, … , AN) = P(T) × ∏iP(Ai)
where P(Ai) is the probability that the ith assumption is true. A multiplication of these probabilities further decreases the prior probability P(T). Therefore, fewer assumptions make a theory more probable

Likewise author has given reasons for why other principles should applied and why it makes theory less probable or more.

Other is prior distribution of probability.

But for it, author has given why is it reasonable to assume principle of indifference in prior distribution:

This principle can be applied in cosmology to determine some relations between different fundamental constants. These relations indicate that the probabilities of getting these fundamental constants are dependent on each other. Therefore, if it is true, the Principle of Indifference may not be a good approximation to the problem. However, we still do not have enough knowledge to determine the exact probabilistic density distribution f and many of the derived distributions are highly model-dependent.115 Holder states that the measures derived from Jaynes’s principle are not unique. There is an inherent ambiguity.116
Therefore, the Principle of Indifference is the most intuitive and basic one that is based on our prior knowledge. For example, we often assign a uniform probability for a die that looks perfectly normal (even if it is loaded).117 Similarly, it is always possible that the “cosmological dice” may be loaded. However, according to our general beliefs that our universe is isotropic and homogeneous, it is reasonable for us to assume that the Principle of Indifference applies.

And if we find some new physics by which we find there is some “Super-laws” which fixes constants and values, there is also problems and it can’t solve, like of string theory which author explains:

Therefore, it has been suggested that if we can obtain the M-theory, we might be able to derive the observed fundamental constants from this “super-law” (M-theory). In other words, the values of the fundamental constants might not be contingent, but “decided” by natural laws.
However, based on the current scientific evidence, the string theory is not yet confirmed by experiment. Even for its supporting theory, the supersymmetry theory, is not favored by Large Hadron Collider experiments.262 In fact, the string theory is still developing. We do not have any idea how the fundamental constants can be derived from the string theory. According to the DN-model in scientific explanation, since the string theory does not have any empirical content to explain the observed fundamental constants,
it should not be qualified to become an explanation.
Furthermore, even if string theory is true and it really explains the fine-tuning phenomena, we still need to ask why we have such a super-law such that many physical constants are fine-tuned. It is because the super-law must involve some particular content (in specific mathematical forms) so that the physical
constants must be those observed values. In other words, the super-law should also be fine-tuned in such a way that we can get all those fine-tuned constants. Therefore, invoking super-law to explain the fine-tuning phenomena is just moving the need for explanation to an upper level. In view of this, Flew points out that “the important point is not merely that there are regularities in nature, but that these regularities are mathematically precise, universal, and tied together… The question we should ask is how nature came packaged in this fashion.”263 Also, Davis thinks that a threefold-question should be asked: “Where do the laws of physics come from? Why is that we have these laws instead of some other set? How is that we have a set of laws that drives featureless gases to life,
consciousness and intelligence?”264 It means that the existence of any precise laws definitely requires an explanation, unless we accept that the existence of the super-law is a brute fact. At least, the existence of a supernatural being might be able to provide an explanation to the existence of natural laws. We should not simply accept that the existence of the super-law is a brute fact.Besides, the initial conditions should be independent of the super-law. Therefore, the super-law cannot “control” the initial conditions such that it is fine-tuned for life. As mentioned in previous chapters, many initial conditions are fine-tuned for the existence of life. Lewis had already pointed out that natural laws are more or less like the rule of addition.265 Natural laws tell you that if you save $1,000 a month, you will
have $3,000 after three months. Natural laws cannot guarantee you have $3,000 in the bank if you did not deposit any money. The actions (put money into the bank) together with the laws (addition rule) enableyour money to accumulate correctly.266 Similarly, initial conditions together with natural laws enable our universe to be created.267 All the natural laws require initial conditions such as specifying the initial entropy, the initial (primordial) quantum fluctuations, and the initial inflation field. Natural laws, including the string theory, cannot generate these conditions. Therefore, the explanation of the fine-tuned constants and conditions cannot be addressed by natural super-law itself. Science can only push this problem to a more fundamental level, but can never fully address this issue. In fact, it is quite easy for us to confuse the terms “cause” and “agency”. Natural laws can tell you the cause of an event, given that all initial conditions are known. However, natural laws will not tell you who or what makes the laws (the agency).268 For example, natural laws can tell you how a steam engine works, but not who makes the steam engine.269 Similarly, natural laws can only tell you “how” but not “who” or “why”.270 Therefore, it is hopeless to invoke natural laws to explain the fine-tuned fundamental constants and conditions.

And statement author has given for which he also gives reason which seems reasonable for why it should be:

However, the massive meteorite impact that makes dinosaurs extinct occurred at a right time with a right amount of power. If it is somewhat larger in power, all organisms in the Earth might be dead. If the power is much smaller, the extinction would not be occurred and human beings would not be able to appear. In fact, statistics show that the frequency of meteorite impact is dependent on the size (power) of the meteorite.

https://repository.hkbu.edu.hk/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1447&context=etd_oa

And if inflation doesn’t solve problem, fine tuning and other remains, which won’t affect conclusion of author:

To conclude, the existence of stars and anthropic elements are highly dependent on the 5 fine-tuned values N, ε, Ω, λ and Q (and also the dimension D). If one of the parameters change slightly, says, 10 times larger, no life would exist.

:pray::pray:

I wrote on this a bit here:

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@mahadev, Welcome and that you for the reference of this interesting paper.

It is somewhat outside my field, but as far as I can see I am basic agreement with it.

The problem I have with projects like this is that it does not solve anything as far as I can see. For some reason we Christians confuse acknowledging the existence of God with following Jesus Christ, which of course it does not.

I find it very ironic that now that we know much about the Beginning the universe and the Big Bang theory that confirms the Creation and the Creator, that we have at the same time many in the church trying to model a Church which is the opposite of that of Jesus.

We do not need a church created in the image of white America, regardless of how attractive that image may be.

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Selection of, if any, independent physical constants in the infinite eternal multiverse will create infinite sapience supporting universes. Order does not imply meaning.

The only vaguely empirical evidence for God is the early letters of Paul.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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