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Re: Our Condensed Differences

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Posted by Harvey on January 21, 2002 18:11:03 UTC

Hi Luis,

***H: "I'm [not] sure ... why you have a problem in finding explanations for reasonable problems that exist. Asking 'why' is a perfectly suitable question and one in which fuels science." L: You have misunderstood what I said. I should ask you to again read my previous posts. I do not "have a problem in finding explanations for reasonable problems that exist," nor have I even hinted at this. Indeed, the assertion, "asking 'why' is a perfectly suitable question and one in which fuels science" could easily be included in my opinions on this matter.***

Okay, let me rephrase my objection. I'm not sure why you have a problem in insisting that we go beyond just opening the door to an inquiry of a cause-effect relationship. That is, the coincidences seen in the physical constants absolutely require the strong anthropic principle in some form otherwise we must throw out reason in cosmology. Would you agree?

***H: "Until a relationship is established they must remain coincidences." L: Interesting -- your wording reveals the difference in our opinions. To paraphrase what you have said here, if I may, regardless what they actually are (coincidences or not), they "must remain coincidences" until we've shown that they are not.***

No. These coincidences require us to abandon a scientific understanding of cosmology 'prior' to the big bang until they are explained. If they are never explained by science, then our cosmology will remain vastly incomplete. Without science we can have a very reasonable perspective, but this 'reasonable perspective' cannot qualify as justified scientific knowledge. Therefore they remain coincidences until this justified scientific knowledge is obtainable.

***In other words, if we do not know a thing, it is better to define it and be wrong than it is to tell ourselves that we cannot define it and withhold judgment until such time that we know more about it.***

It is one thing to say that we lack justified scientific knowledge, it is another to say we lack a reasonable perspective. We can lack justified scientific knowledge and still hold reasonable views such as the strong anthropic principle must be correct in some form. By analyzing this principle we can determine the most reasonable view - especially if some of the views are without merit. Fortunately a number of views are without merit, so this can be done to a surprising extent. This process adds a great deal to our perspective and given our current knowledge it appears to me that theism has a very strong case.

Warm regards, Harv

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