Monday, March 24, 2008

The Man In The Sky - Part VI

The 'cosmological argument' or the 'first cause argument' is very popular among the theists. In this article we shall discuss a little about it.

The 'first-cause' argument has the following form:-
a) Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
b) The universe began to exist.
c) Therefore, the universe had a cause.
d) That cause is God.

However, this theory has a serious problem. It is itself stated in it that everything must have a cause, then God (the first cause) must also have a cause, and that cause also must have a cause, which leads to a non-ending series of causes. It is totally farcical.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Man In The Sky - Part V

One of the most popular arguments in favour of the existence of a God is the argument from design. The proponents of it say that all the complexities of the universe only point to one one thing, that the universe was designed by a intelligent being - God.

This type of argument is what the atheists call the 'Gods of the Gaps' argument. It means that God resides in the gaps of our current knowledge. For example, when mankind knew not what caused lightning, they thought it to be the work of God, but as soon as science discovered the real cause we were made enlightened by it and god had to run away from the lightning - several kilometers away.

Although there are variations, the basic argument can be stated as follows:

  1. X is too complex, orderly, adaptive, apparently purposeful, or beautiful to have occurred randomly or accidentally.
  2. Therefore, X must have been created by a sentient, intelligent, wise, or purposeful being.
  3. God is that sentient, intelligent, wise, or purposeful being.
  4. Therefore, God exists.

The argument from design places gods in the shrinking gaps of the well supported theory of evolution (, which explains the development of the species without the need of an intelligent designer.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Man In The Sky - Part IV

In this part we shall talk about the 'Anthropic Argument' that which the theist forward as a proof for the existence of God.

They say that the universe is designed by some divine hand to support and sustain life. If a single constant had been diffirent it would have been otherwise.

Say, someone sees a man sitting on a cushion and marvels at the fact that the cushion is made in exactly the right way to accomodate the man. However, it is not the cushion that took the right shape to accomodate the man but the man that forced the cushion to accomodate him.

Similarly, it is not that the universe was tailor-made for life, but it was life that forced the universe to accomodate it, and this was not made possible in six days but billions and billions of years, and still today, life continues to adapt to the everchanging demands of sustainability.

Those needing a more scholarly explanation of the fact may find this article entitled 'Anthropic Design' by Victor J. Stenger, published in the Skeptical Inquirer Vol. 23, No. 4, July/August 1999.


1. Introduction
2. Poking Out of the Noise
3. Interpreting the Coincidences
4. The Natural Scenario

1. Introduction

Claims that scientists have uncovered supernatural purpose to the universe have been widely reported recently in the media. The so-called anthropic coincidences, in which the constants of nature seem to be extraordinarily fine-tuned for the production of life, are taken as evidence. However, no such interpretation can be found in scientific literature. All we currently know from fundamental physics and cosmology remains consistent with a universe that evolved by purely natural processes.

2. Poking out of the Noise

For about a decade now, an increasing number of scientists and theologians have been asserting, in popular articles and books, that they can detect a signal of cosmic purpose poking its head out of the noisy data of physics and cosmology (see, for example, Swinburne 1990, Ellis 1993, Ross 1995). This claim has been widely reported in the media (see, for example, Begley 1998, Easterbrook 1998), perhaps misleading lay people into thinking that some kind of new scientific consensus is developing in support of supernatural beliefs. In fact, none of this purported evidence can be found in the pages of scientific journals, which continue to operate within a framework in which all physical phenomena are assumed natural.

As the argument goes, the data are said to reveal a universe that is exquisitely fine-tuned for the production of life. This precise balancing act is claimed to be a highly unlikely result of mindless chance. An intelligent, purposeful, and indeed personal Creator must have made things the way they are.

As cosmologist and Quaker George Ellis explains it: "The symmetries and delicate balances we observe require an extraordinary coherence of conditions and cooperation of laws and effects, suggesting that in some sense they have been purposefully designed" (Ellis 1993: 97). Others have been less restrained in insisting that God is now required by the data and that this God must be the God of the Christian Bible (see, for example, Ross 1995).

The fine-tuning argument is based on the fact that earthly life is very sensitive to the values of several fundamental physical constants. Making the tiniest change in any of these, and life as we know it would not exist. The delicate connections between physical constants and life are called the anthropic coincidences (Carter 1974, Barrow and Tipler 1986). The name is a misnomer. Human life is not singled out in any special way. At most, the coincidences show that the production of carbon and the other elements that make earthly life possible required a sensitive balance of physical parameters.

For example, if the gravitational attraction between protons in stars had not been many orders of magnitude weaker than their electrical repulsion, stars would have collapsed long before nuclear processes could build up the chemical periodic table from the original hydrogen and deuterium. Furthermore, the element-synthesizing reactions in stars depend sensitively on the properties and abundances of deuterium and helium produced in the early universe. Deuterium would not exist if the neutron-proton mass difference were just slightly displaced from its actual value; neutrons, unstable in a free state, were stored in deuterium for their later use in building the elements.

The existing relative abundances of hydrogen and helium also implies a close balance of the relative strengths of the gravitational and weak nuclear forces. A slightly stronger weak force and the universe would be 100 percent hydrogen as all neutrons decayed away before assembling into deuterium and helium. A slightly weaker weak force and we would have a universe that is 100 percent helium; in that case neutrons would not have decayed and left the excess of protons that formed hydrogen. Neither of these extremes would have allowed for the existence of stars and life, as we know it, based on carbon chemistry. Barrow and Tipler (1986) list many other such "coincidences," some remarkable, others somewhat strained.

The interpretation of the anthropic coincidences in terms of purposeful design should be recognized as yet another variant of the ancient argument from design that has appeared in many different forms over the ages. The anthropic design argument asks: how can the universe possibly have obtained the unique set of physical constants it has, so exquisitely fine-tuned for life as they are, except by purposeful design--design with life and perhaps humanity in mind?

This argument, however, has at least one fatal flaw. It makes the wholly unwarranted assumption that only one type of life is possible --the particular form of carbon-based life we have here on earth. Even if this is an unlikely result of chance, some form of life could still be a likely result. It is like arguing that a particular card hand is so improbable that it must have been foreordained.

Based on recent studies in the sciences of complexity and "Artificial Life" computer simulations, sufficient complexity and long life appear to be primary conditions for a universe to contain some form of reproducing, evolving structures. This can happen with a wide range of physical parameters, as has been demonstrated (Stenger 1995). The fine-tuners have no basis in current knowledge for assuming that life is impossible except for a very narrow, improbable range of parameters.

Amusingly, the new cosmic creationists contradict the traditional design argument of the biological creationists, that the universe is so uncongenial to life that life could not have evolved naturally. The new creationists now tell us that the universe is so congenial to life that the universe could not have evolved naturally.

Since all scientific explanations until now have been natural, then it would seem that the first step, before asserting purposeful design, is to seek a natural explanation for the anthropic coincidences. Such a quest would avoid the invocation of supernatural agency until it is absolutely required by the data.

4. The natural Scenario

For almost two decades, the inflationary big bang has been the standard model of cosmology (Guth 1981, 1997; Linde 1987, 1990, 1994). We keep hearing, again from the unreliable popular media, that the big bang being is in trouble and the inflationary model is dead. In fact, no viable substitute has been proposed that has near the equivalent explanatory power.

The inflationary big bang offers a plausible, natural scenario for the uncaused origin and evolution of the universe, including the formation of order and structure--without the violation of any laws of physics. These laws themselves are now understood far more deeply than before, and we are beginning to grasp how they too could have come about naturally. The natural scenario I will describe here has not yet risen to the exalted status of a scientific theory. However, the fact that it is consistent will all current knowledge and cannot be ruled out at this time, demonstrates that no rational basis exists for introducing the added hypothesis of supernatural creation. Such a hypothesis is simply not required by the data.

According to the proposed natural scenario, by means of a random quantum fluctuation the universe "tunneled" from pure vacuum ("nothing") to what is called a false vacuum, a region of space that contains no matter or radiation but is not quite nothing. The space inside a bubble of false vacuum is curved, or warped, and a small amount of energy is stored in that curvature, like the potential energy of a strung bow. This ostensible violation of energy conservation is allowed by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle for sufficiently small time intervals.

The bubble then inflated exponentially and the universe grew by many orders of magnitude in a tiny fraction of a second. (For a not-too-technical discussion and original references, see Stenger 1990). As the bubble expanded, its curvature energy transformed (naturally) into matter and radiation. Inflation stopped, and the more linear big bang expansion we now experience commenced. As the universe cooled, its structure spontaneously froze out--just as formless water vapor freezes into snowflakes whose unique and complex patterns arise from a combination of symmetry and randomness.

In our universe, the first galaxies began to assemble after about a billion years, eventually evolving into stable systems where stars could live out their lives and populate the interstellar medium with the complex chemical elements such as carbon needed for the formation of life.

So how did our universe happen to be so "fine-tuned" as to produce wonderful, self-important carbon structures? As I explained above, we have no reason to assume that ours is the only possible form of life and life of some sort could have happened whatever form the universe took--however the crystals on the arm of the snowflake happened to get arranged by chance.

If we have no reason to assume ours is the only life form, we also have no reason to assume that ours is the only universe. Many universes can exist, with all possible combinations of physical laws and constants. In that case, we just happen to be in the particular one that was suited for the evolution of our form of life. When cosmologists refer to the anthropic principle, this is all they usually mean. Since we live in this universe, we can assume it possesses qualities suitable for our existence. Humans evolved eyes sensitive to the region of electromagnetic spectrum from red to violet because the atmosphere is transparent in that range. Yet some would have us think that the causal action was the opposite, that the atmosphere of the earth was designed to be transparent from red to violet because human eyes are sensitive in that range. Stronger versions of the anthropic principle, which assert that the universe is somehow actually required to produce intelligent "information-processing systems" (Barrow and Tipler 1986), are not taken seriously by most scientists or philosophers.

The existence of many universes is consistent with all we know about physics and cosmology (Smith 1990, Smolin 1992, 1997, Linde 1994, Tegmark 1997). Some theologians and scientists dismiss the notion as a gross violation of Occam's razor(see, for example, Swinburne 1990). It is not. No new hypothesis is needed to consider multiple universes. In fact, it takes an added hypothesis to rule them out-- a super law of nature that says only one universe can exist. But we know of no such law, so we would violate Occam's razor to insist on only one universe. Another way to express this is with lines from T. H. White's The Once and Future King: "Everything not forbidden is compulsory."

The hundred billion galaxies of our visible universe, each with a hundred billion stars, is but a grain of sand on the Sahara that exists beyond our horizon, grown out of that single, original bubble of false vacuum. An endless number of such bubbles can very well exist, each itself nothing but a grain of sand on the Sahara of all existence. On such a Sahara, nothing is too improbable to have happened by chance.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Man In The Sky - Part III

We have already seen in the last part of this essay that a God cannot be all-knowing, for, if he is all-knowing he cannot be all-powerful.

An example will make all this clear.

Let us suppose that there is an all-knowing God. That means that before he created the earth he knew all about its future. That means he also knew my future.

Lets us again suppose that before the creation of the earth God was having a conversation with one of his angel:-

Angel - Lord, Master of Man, can you tell me what will your servant, Parvez Ahmed do on the 21st of March, 2008.

God - Oh, such a simple question - he will be going out with his girlfriend.

Now what does this imply? It implies that my future is fixed, because if He is all-knowing then there does not remain the question of choice for anyone or anything. All becomes predestined as like a train traveling on a track.

However my mother suddenly falls ill on the 21st of March, and instead of going out with my girlfriend, I decide to take my mother to the hospital. But that will be impossible for God will become a liar and the future, if it is known from a previous period becomes fixed because you already know everything - there is no scope for change.

So, now it is proved that if a being as an All-Knowing God exists at all; he is terribly locked by his own All-Knowing power by which he is rendered powerless - meaning he is not All-Powerful.

So, God is not All-Powerful if he exists at all.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Man in the Sky - Part II

The Almighty - He is All-Knowing, All-Powerful, All-Perfect, All-Evil (Oh! sorry), all-etc.

In this part of our blasphemous essay we will dwell on His All-Knowing aspect. May the Lord turn me back on the right path (but he can't as he will be contradicted by He himself and because He is tied by his All-Knowing aspect. I pray for him.)


If the Lord Almighty knows everything - the past, the present, the future, the inside and the outside, then what need is there for such a Mighty Man to setup such a silly screenplay on earth when he knows everything.

Can an examiner be considered sound in judgement who knows the past, the present, the future, the inside and the outside of his examinees, and besides knowing all these he sets up an unnessecary time-wasting examination. Is he not inane?

If the High Man knows everything, then he certainly knows what I shall do in my lifetime. This means that everything is predetermined and in noway can I change my fate. That is to say that actually I am not my own master but He that with beautiful-bodied angels sits in the sky, and whatever I do is actually his will. Then, how can I change anything - change the so-powerful God's will. My life - I can't change anything; I only go on the predestined path prepared by Him. Then, what is my fault in all these - all are His doings.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Man in the Sky - Part I

Religion is at the bottom of the dirt - Zeitgeist: The Movie.

  • Christian - 'My religion is the only true one - and all others - ha! - the dust of the devil.'
  • Muslim - 'There is only one God, Allah - and those, they are totally rubbish.'
  • Jew - 'We are the children of God... you have only copied our religion... our's is the only true one.'
  • Hindu - 'Shiva created the universe... the hindu religion is the most oldest and sacred, the only true path for the whole world.'

Now, studied scholars and brothers of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and others - save my mind! I am puzzled - totally puzzled in this labyrinthine world of yours and by the inanity of the world religions, by their conflicting sayings and surmises. Please, tell me who is correct and who is incorrect? Please, tell me whose religion is the true one? Please, tell me who is the real God? Please, tell me which High Book really came from the sky? Please, tell me who is the real God that sits in the sky and manoeuvres us in this hellish game on earth? Lastly, please tell me, what is His purpose behind all this - what will he get if we go to either heaven or hell - what will he get?

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