May 29th, 2013
My Master’s thesis is now available for download.
Degree: Master of Arts
Chair: W. David Beck
Primary Subject Area: Philosophy; Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics; Religion, General; Physics, Theory; Physics, General
Keywords: cosmology, fine-tuning, information, multiverse, philosophy of science, quantum
Disciplines: Astrophysics and Astronomy | Cosmology, Relativity, and Gravity | Philosophy | Philosophy of Science | Quantum Physics | Religion
Abstract: The multiverse hypothesis (the view that there is not just one world or universe in existence, bur rather that there are many) is the leading alternative to the competing fine-tuning hypothesis (the laws of physics and constants are fine-tuned for the existence of life).
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April 26th, 2013
The Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem states that any universe, which has, on average, a rate of expansion greater 0 that system had to have a finite beginning. This would apply in any multiverse scenario as well. There are four exceptions to the theorem.*
1. First Exception: Initial Contraction (Havg<0) … (The average rate of the Hubble expansion is less than zero)
- Main Problem: Another problem this raises is that this requires acausal fine-tuning. Any attempt to explain the fine-tuning apart from a fine-tuner is left bereft of any explanation.
2. Second Exception: Asymptotically static (Havg=O)
- Main Problem: The exception is that it does not allow for an expanding or evolutionary universe. This model cannot be true. The best evidence and empirical observations indicate that the universe is not static; rather, it is expanding and evolving. This might have been a great model under Newton but not since Einstein’s field equation concerning the energy-momentum of the universe.
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April 8th, 2013
Physical constants are the values of certain spacetime, energy, and natural laws that have a set parameter that determine the structure and function of a life-permitting universe. Constants will vary in value from universe to universe in multiverse scenarios. When I refer to ‘constants’ here I mean what we presently observe as being constant. For example, the value of gravity may vary from universe to universe. The following are this universe’s constants and their values.
Constants of Space and Time.
- Planck length (the minimum interval of space), lp = 1.62 x 10-33 cm.
- Planck time (the minimum interval of time), tp = 5.39 x 10-44 sec.
- Planck’s constant (this determines the minimum unit of energy emission), h = 6.6 x 10-34 joule seconds.
- Velocity of light, c = 300,000 km/sec.
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April 6th, 2013
The fine-tuning argument argues that when physics and the laws of nature are expressed mathematically their values are ever so balanced in a way that permits the existence of life. I’m merely arguing that the universe is finely tuned for the essential building blocks and environments that life requires.
- Given the fine-tuning evidence, a life permitting universe (LPU) is very, very unlikely under the non-existence of a fine-tuner (~FT): that is, P(LPU|~FT & k) ≪ 1.
- Given the fine-tuning evidence, LPU is not unlikely under FT (Fine-Tuner): that is, ~P(LPU|FT & k) ≪ 1.
- Therefore, LPU strongly supports FT over ~FT.
Defense of 1: Given the fine-tuning evidence, a life-permitting universe is very, very unlikely under the non-existence of a fine-tuner.
So what are some of the evidences for fine-tuning?
- Roger Penrose calculates that the odds of the special low entropy condition having come about by chance in the absence of any constraining principles is at least as small as about one in 1010^123.
- Strong Nuclear Force (Strong nuclear force coupling constant, gs = 15)
- +, No hydrogen, an essential element of life
- -, Only hydrogen
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April 5th, 2013
The following argument is an abductive Thomistic cosmological argument from contingency, which I presented at my recent Ratio Christi debate.
- There are contingent constituents to the universe.
- Given the contingent constituents of the universe, the existence of the universe (U) is very, very unlikely under the hypothesis that these constituents are themselves uncaused or self-caused (~Cu): that is, P(U|~Cu & k) ≪ 1.
- Given the contingent constituents of the universe, the existence of the universe is not unlikely under the hypothesis of a first uncaused cause (Cu): that is, ~P(U|Cu & k) ≪ 1.
- Therefore, U strongly supports Cu over ~Cu.
The constituents of the universe include galaxies, planets, stars, cars, humans, leptons, bosons, and other particles. For the constituents of the universe to be uncaused that would mean it is metaphysically necessary. For something to be metaphysically necessary that means that it could not have failed to exist—it exists in every possible world.
For something to be self-caused it must be simultaneously antecedent to itself to produce itself as its own effect. But this contradictory. This would be akin to the ultimate bootstrapping trick.
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March 22nd, 2013
I’ve been waiting for new Planck data to come in for a while now and I’ve been very excited about this. First we had COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) that gave us the first images of the cosmic microwave background radiation approximately 380,000 years after the big bang when light became visible. This discovery led George Smoot and John Mather to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics (2006).
Then we had the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Prove (WMAP) satellite, which provided a much clearer and more defined resolution revealing a much more precise picture of the early universe.
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March 18th, 2013
My name is Chad Gross and I am the director of Truthbomb Apologetics. Brian Auten of Apologetics315 recommended that I email you with a question that I have.
My question deals with gravity and whether or not it is immaterial. It seems to me that gravity is not composed of matter and/or energy; therefore, it is immaterial. However, when interacting with an unbeliever on the topic on this post and he said the following:
“Without mass there would be no gravity, right? It’s true that gravity itself isn’t made of atoms, but you must admit that the material world is more than just particles. Einstein showed that matter and energy are equivalent and can transform into each other. When I talk about something being material, therefore, I’m thinking of both matter and energy.
It’s true again that gravity might not be a form of energy, since it’s just a force. Maybe gravity arises due to the nature of space and time. But without matter, there would be no space and time. So I think it’s uncontroversial to consider the physical forces to be “material.”
When I think of things that are not material, I’m thinking of spirit, or soul. God isn’t made of matter or energy, and God would still exist even without any matter or energy, right?”
Now, I realize gravity is not immaterial in the same way that moral judgments, mathematics, logic, etc. Here is my reply to him:
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