October 28th, 2013
The following are a list of podcasts that I’ve been following and listening to that have been quite helpful in my philosophical, scientific, and theological studies. The criteria for consideration are based on 1) quality of content, 2) accurate presentation of the material, 3) constructive and respectful criticism of opposing views, 4) frequency of podcast release, and 5) a broad range of topics/issues discussed.
Aside from my ‘official’ list I have my own podcast: Eavesdropping: Eavesdropping provides a conversational, informal podcast that is sometimes a monologue or dialogue with guests concerning various topics including philosophy, theology, science, contemporary events, and random meanderings of a philosopher. The primary focuses are philosophy of science, multiverse scenarios, and Molinism.
#1. Unbelievable? – Hosted by Justin Brierly with Premier Christian Radio. Unbelievable? is a UK-based public radio program, which airs every Saturday afternoon with an occasional podcast posting mid-week. Justin brings in several leading scholars in theological and philosophical matters and they debate and dialogue particular issues ranging from ethics, comparative religions, the existence of God, science, doctrinal differences, and current events.
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July 22nd, 2013
“The Origin of Everything: Much Ado About Nothing” is a talk by physical chemist Peter Atkins on the boundaries between science and philosophy when it comes to examining the origins of the universe and nothingness.
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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