Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Do Recent Findings Disprove the Fine Tuning Argument?

 photo glls_zpsde619f54.jpg

God is not subject empirical proof. No loss of a God arguemnt spells out disproof of God. The fine tuning argument (FT) is only indirect and probabilistic anyway. So having one less indirect warrant for belief is not so bad when we have at least 51 others to choose from [1] Nevertheless the FT is a fine argument and it is very defensible. It's loss I would feel keenly. Recent findings by NASA show there may be at least 40,000 to 8 Billion earth like planets. in the Milky way. Does that put the kibosh on the FT? O God not the "kibosh!"  I argue that it does not.

The FT says that there are target levels that have to be reached for the universe could not bear life. The odds of these being reached are so high that it clearly seems the presents of life is the result of some pre determined "fix." One can see my own version of the FT here.

According to the argument an earth like planet bearing life that is capable of evolving to a state advanced enough to go off planet should be extremely rare. Finding 40 billion of them would definitely put a crimp in the argument, to say the least. New search by NASA seems to have done just that. The actual research was done by Geoffrey Marcy of the University of California, Berkeley, who supervised Mr.Erick Petigura’s research and was a co-author of the paper along with Andrew Howard of the University of Hawaii.[2] We can say as a result that one in five, or so, stars like our own sun should have an earth like planet orbiting it. That's pretty staggering when you look up at the sky at night count out five stars and say "there's a good chance that right up there where I counted someone may be looking back at me!"

 The astronomers looked at data from the Kepler spacecraft, which observed more than 150,000 stars in a small patch of the sky. For four years it observed these stars every 30 minutes, looking for telltale dips in their brightnesses. The idea is that if a star has a planet (or planets), and we happen to see the orbit of this planet edge-on, then we’ll see a small drop in the star brightness every time the planet transits (passes directly in front of) the star.[3]

 They use light from the stars which is altered slightly by the gravitational pull of the planets. That's how they estimate that it's there and what size it is. That would also give location so they can discuss temperature. In this sample 3000 earth like stars were detected. They extrapolated from there. Overall they found 900 planets and 600 of them were earth like. [4] One estimate as high as 40 billion in whole galaxy.[5]

The definition of earth-like planet used:

By Earth-like, I mean planets roughly the size of Earth, and which are also roughly the same temperature as Earth. So we can ignore frigid iceballs far from their stars, boiling lava planets too close in, and giant and dinky planets. We want to know about potentially habitable planets, where life as we know it has a shot at getting a toe (or pseudopod) hold.[6]
 They sought planets 1-2 times the radios of earth, estimated by the extent to which the light is altered by gravity. Even larger sized planets than that can have similar gravity but the larger the planet the less clear that conditions would be like those of our own world.[7]

The new research puts the estimate at 22% of stars have earth-like planets.[8] That certainly like a disproof of the FT since it makes life bearing planets common. The problem is as has been hinted at we can't say these are life bearing. Earth like Just means size and tempature. As has been been seen size can vary and fool us. Temperature is very important to know  too.

 The temperature of the planet is important, of course, and depends on how much light the planets gets from its star. As a range, they looked for planets that received no more than four times the light the Earth receives from the Sun, and no less than 0.25 times as much. That should bracket the warm and cool edges of the “habitable zone”, where water can exist. This range may in fact be much broader; a planet can be much farther from its star and still have liquid water (see Enceladus as an example), but they wanted to be conservative.[9]
 Another crucial issue is how many have water? Water is essential for life, some think it's very rare. we don't really know. There are many caveats.

*We don't the masses of the Planets We don't know if they are solid rocks. balls of ice or balls of gas.

Estimates on number are uncertain:

 Also, the number is more uncertain than it might have been because Kepler’s pointing system failed before it could complete its prime survey. As a result, Mr. Petigura and his colleagues had to extrapolate from planets slightly larger than Earth and with slightly smaller, tighter orbits. For the purposes of his analysis “Earth-size” was anything from one to two times the diameter of the Earth, and Earth-like orbits were between 400 and 200 days.(--Overbye).
 So far none of them is exactly analogous

 Dr. Batalha said, “We don’t yet have any planet candidates that are exact analogues of the Earth in terms of size, orbit or star type.”[10]

 So there is still quite a way to go before we count out the FT. I would say it's taken a bloody nose but not a knock out.


[1] I have two God arguments lists. One has 42 arguments. the other has 10 more.

[2] Dennis Overbye, "Far Off Planets Like Earth Dot the Galaxy," space and Cosmos, NY Times. Nov 4, 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/05/science/cosmic-census-finds-billions-of-planets-that-could-be-like-earth.html?_r=0
 accessed 11/9/13.
Erick Petigura is only a graduate student working with two professors.

[3] Phil Plait "The sky may be filled with Earth like Planets,"Slate, nov 4 2013 on line copy:
 accessed 11/9/13.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Dennis Overbye,Op Cit.

[6] Plait, Op Cit.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Overbye, Op Cit

[9] Plait, Op Cit.

[10] Ibid.


Jesse said...

Hello Joseph,

I know that this comment is not relevant to your article. So please forgive me. But I was wondering whether or not you discuss theological matters such as the atonement? I see that you provide a lot scientific commentary--similar to me.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

yes U talk a lot about theology, you can see a buhch of those posts on the navigation bar at the top of the blog body (stand alone pages). Look especially user the category of God,

I have a apologetic website (theology page).

Anonymous said...

All I had to do was to read Joe's first paragraph of his article on Hell and that tells me he is a false teacher. I don't believe Hell is "torture" because God doesn't torture, but Jesus described a very painful eternity.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Anonymous said...
All I had to do was to read Joe's first paragraph of his article on Hell and that tells me he is a false teacher. I don't believe Hell is "torture" because God doesn't torture, but Jesus described a very painful eternity.

OT says false prophet leads one to other Gods and what is prophesied doesn't come to pass,It doesn't say misinterpreting passages makes you a false teacher, I may bbe a crapy teacher doesn;t make me a false teacher.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

that you think God tortures people says more about you than me and it's not flattering,