RE: [asa] Stars May Not Be So Fine Tuned After All

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Wed Jul 30 2008 - 18:23:50 EDT

If I am not wrong, a designer need not be a Creator, but certainly a Creator is a Designer and if you can create then you must be intelligent. Therefore, a Creator must be an Intelligent Designer.

 

Moorad

________________________________

From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu on behalf of Rich Blinne
Sent: Wed 7/30/2008 4:56 PM
To: ASA
Subject: [asa] Stars May Not Be So Fine Tuned After All

During our debates concerning intelligent design I have mentioned that I found the fine tuning argument portion of ID attractive. Yet, I gave a caveat given the history of such arguments it's best to hold on to such things lightly. An upcoming paper by Fred Adams in the J. Cosmol. Astropart. Phys. (Preprint here: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0807/0807.3697v1.pdf) makes the argument that at least for stars our Universe may not be so rare after all, underscoring my hesitancy with the argument. Fred Adams limits himself to looking at three parameters, G, the gravitational constant, alpha, the fine structure constant, and C, a composite parameter that determines nuclear reaction rates. It turns out that roughly one fourth of the parameter space could support stellar formation. Adams also looks at unconventional stars that might extend possibilities beyond normal bounds:

"In situations where C = 0, or where the values of the other parameters conspire to disallow stars (see Fig. 5), other types of stellar objects could,
in principle, fill the role played by stars in our universe. This section briefly explores this possibility with three examples: black holes that generate energy through Hawking evaporation (4.1), degenerate dark matter stars that generate energy via annihilation (4.2), and degenerate baryonic matter stars that generate energy by capturing dark matter particles which then annihilate (4.3)."

This is certainly is not the last word but shows there may well be an equivalent of the whole God of the gaps problem in cosmological ID that is found in biological ID. On the other hand, this paper is limited to the issue of stellar formation and does not deal with the whole issue of producing life. Again Adams:

"Finally, we note that this paper has focused on the question of whether or not stars can exist in universe with alternate values of the relevant parameters. An important and more global question is whether or not these universes could also support life of some kind. Of course, such questions are made difficult by our current lack of an a priori theory of life. Nonetheless, some basic requirements can be identified (with reasonable certainty): In addition to energy sources (provided by stars), there will be additional constraints to provide the right mix of chemical elements (e.g., carbon in our universe) and a universal solvent (e.g., water). These additional requirements will place additional constraints on the allowed region(s) of parameter space."

Note specifically the comment concerning the lack of an a priori theory of life. Regardless of whether the Universe really is fine tuned or not determining how much so is fraught with post hoc reasoning and any "odds" put forth should be taken with a grain -- no, a shaker -- of salt.

Rich Blinne
Member ASA

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Received on Wed Jul 30 18:24:34 2008

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