Tuesday, 20 June 2017

PAUL DAVIES - THE FINE-TUNING PROBLEM !

The following is the abbreviated version of a  topic currently featured in V.H. Ironside, Behold! I Teach You Superman (see below):


             What follows is not an aberration! It is the basis of our current concept of Positivism. That said, in this climate of what is, in effect, spiritual sterility, we should  be thinking of the cumulative information-processing network that is the Universe,  less as an irreversible physical formula, perhaps, than as a new version of the doctrine of cosmic Supersanity. Which is to say, that it cannot be accessed by any rational laws of physics. Physics is a distinct, accurate discipline because the main ingredients of a proposition are limited to material logic. Supersanity  demands of its scheme of things something else besides this hard, bright light of concepts and propositions, namely a certain indeterminacy that might also be called Supersensibility. With the added reservation, of course, that while George Berkeley, the epistemologist, held that there is only mind and mental events, the contemporary physicist, inevitably, is concerned
wholly with the measurable properties of movement in space. He is convinced that every problem, no matter how complex, can be brought into material focus, when all we’re  actually left with is a material analogy that cannot eliminate the discrepancies to which it is applied. The less so, when human and cosmic history are treated as two separate entities, and the essential necessity of identifying the beginning of consciousness with the beginning of time is neglected as a matter of scientific convention. Time is the process of thinking. Indeed, it is a matter of some indifference whether we mentally parallel the beginning with ‘consciousness’ or with ‘causality’, blended to form a unity it is with either one of them that the ‘Continuum’ first emerges as a verifiable anthropomorphous entity. For the simple truth is that Paul Davies could not have stated his own ‘scientific neglect’ more plainly when he said  that the human mind is only “a by-product of this vast informational process, a by-product with the curious capability of being able to understand, at least in part, the principles on which the process runs.[1]
The fine-tuning problem....

            An acute observation.  And its moderation is obvious. Here, the physicist is clearly more interested in observing the Universe rather than himself, remaining a spectator instead of being a participator. Nor would  I question his competence. Indeed, from what we know of the so-called “fine-tuning problem”, it is a necessary presumption that if the laws of physics didn’t precisely have the functions they do have, or if the underlying physical parameters were to have been only slightly different (and the virtual continuum of more basic particles only marginally dissimilar), then the universe we observe today could not possibly exist. And it has to be added that the “Fine-tuning Problem”, if nothing else, sets a very high bar for accomplishment. Which brings me to my central premise: No one has yet proved theoretically that an anthropocentric view of reality, in which everything is created, controlled and, finally, determined by intelligence and information must also be fine-tuned in this way. Chaotic systems are both deterministic and unpredictable. And that’s the problem with quantum mechanics, all things are possible, but no randomness is involved. Everything is cause and effect. Including histories that are absurd by classical standards. So forget the non-existent “fine-tuning evolution”. This may seem like evidence of design, but, as far as I can see, it is pretty much mainstream, deep in the heart of quantum mechanics. And I, for one, would start from the opposite end. Which begs the eternal question: Why put the chicken before the egg?






[1] Paul Davies/John Gribbin, The Matter Myth. Opus cit. p. 302

VH Ironside is the author of  the fabled The Willers of the Will, first published in 1996, now out of print!

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