Profound Fortuitous Interdependencies

One always - ALWAYS reads and hears about the intellectualism and wisdom of skeptics - atheists who deny what has been so obvious to so many for so long.

Disagree with these atheist (or agnostic) pontificators, and you are summarily relegated to eternal ignorance. It is a most unscientific and unenlightening pretense, this atheism. Atheists are always invoking the Holy Bible, especially when nobody else does. You don’t believe in a “Flat Earth”? No worries. Atheists will pretend you do. It’s consummately dishonest, but then again, atheism operates on dishonesty.

Profound Fortuitous Interdependencies - a phrase I originated - abound.

An example. The profoundly important atmosphere on which every human depends contains ~19% oxygen, one of the most reactive elements in the periodic table. Moreover it exists in the most reactive phase, gaseous.
How is it that most elements are bound up into compounds, while one of the more reactive exists wholesale, for breathing, and for fire, and for combustion in internal engines? Well, this is because of the oxygen cycle.

It is no mere coincidence that animals inspire oxygen and expire carbon dioxide while plants do much the opposite. Nor is it a mere product of evolution any more than is the fact that chemical reactions are 100% reversible at the molecular level.

Then we have the profoundly immense deposits of natural gas (under pressure, no less!) and crude oil, generously distributed all over the world. In virtually perfect containers! At a depth readily accessible to humans! For use in combustion engines, in conjunction with … oxygen.

However, without the perfect combustion rate, there could be no internal combustion engines. And without the profoundly differentiated elements we call metals, no pistons, no cylinders, etc. Metals have the unusual properties of extremely high thermal conductivity, permitting cooling. They have extraordinary high tensile strength, and abrasion resistance, which is further minimized by… the properties of oil. Then there’s the property of high electrical conductivity that metals have but not gases and not things like wood, and plastic, and glass or stones, or…

Well we’re not remotely through yet. Because metals must be in sufficient concentration to be recoverable. There are millions of tons of gold in the oceans, but it is not economical to separate it out. Were there not lots and lots of iron ore and aluminum ore near the surface in concentrated veins, … no motors. No engines.

While the foregoing Profound Fortuitous Interdependencies are necessary, they are not sufficient. Not by a long shot.

Why is it that some matter is opaque, and some is quite transparent. Take water, for example. And air. If we couldn’t see, we could hardly operate cars, or aircraft. I’m not sure life as we know it would be possible without sight.
But sight depends on the fact that light propagates through a vacuum with near perfection. But it also propagates through air ALSO with near perfection. Oh and water. And glass. And plastic. Why? Do you think that the properties of matter evolved to be so? Not any more than the extraordinarily fine tuning of the gravitational constant, and the weak nuclear force and the strong nuclear force and the electrostatic force and the electron/proton charge ratio and the electron/proton mass ratio, and perhaps twenty to forty other finely tuned physical constants.

Why is the velocity of light so profoundly large while the velocity of sound is precisely the opposite? What good “luck” ! Our ears discern differences of perhaps a ten-thousandth of a second in time between hearing at one ear and the other, thus giving us directionality and stereophonic sound.

Moreover, the ears perform a Fourier analysis such that one wave function is broken down into its discrete elements so that your ear breaks down a combination of wavelengths into a cello and a drum and a flute and a cough behind you. If your eye did this, it would break down white light into component parts and we would be immeasurably the poorer.

How fast does your computer download information? One gig? wow.
Your optic nerve transmits information to your brain at four gigabaud.

Your eye can detect a single photon of energy - the smallest amount of energy in the universe.

If you have ever seen a schematic of a complex electronic device, it is a maze of lines crossing each other, with nodes and switches. Similarly a diagram of a living cell has much the same structure. However a living cell, unlike an electronic device can (A) feed itself, (B) heal itself, © modify itself, (D) duplicate itself and the electrical thingies can do none of these.

More to the point, while we can reproduce the electronic machine, we cannot, even with the schematics of a cell, synthesize one from laboratory reagents.

I could go on at very great length on countless other Profound Fortuitous Interdependencies, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I get home. And miles to go before I get home.

You’re right: if the world were different, it would be different.

Yeah, I remember the first time I read a Josh McDowell book, too.

Oh! Oh! I did a semi-related one of these before!

“What luck,” said the puddle, “that this hole in the ground is just the right shape to fit me”.

Frederik Pohl, Beyond the Blue Event Horizon

Yeah. Clearly the universe has evolved to surround humans in the most useful way, since we were here before the rest of the universe.

And that part about a circuit and a cell… Could we have a picture? I’ve seen lots of circuits and lots of cells and never the twain shall meet.

To sleep, perchance to dream.

Just imagine all those worlds where the poor people have to live with non-transparent, unbreathable air, poisonous food, no structural materials or easy energy sources, and brains and sensory apparatus that *
just doesn’t work - I bet that’s really quite intolerable - makes you wonder why they bother.

And what about all those others where people simply don’t exist? - that must really suck, just sitting there wishing you existed. “Het do we exist yet?”/“No, not yet”/“Damn, not again!”

Welcome to the boards. :slight_smile:

Do you have a cite for that? As a site dedicated to ‘fighting ignorance’, we like to see proof where possible.

Did you use the phrase before these people did?

Where did DNA come from, ultimately? Who made these wonderful "rules and laws of nature’ that they should be so convenient, and stable, and perfectly reproducible? Why, it all originated with the Big Bang.
Either that was "an accident’ of nature, or else it was designed. If it was not designed by our Creator, then someone needs to explain whence came energy and matter and organization, and the Profound Fortuitous Interdependencies that surround us, from the beauty of sight, which derives from the beauty of light, and countless other "coincidences’ that are not encoded in DNA, to the beauty of a newborn baby, whose tooth enamel and cornea both originated from one single, replicating cell.
Our Creator made this universe for us to observe and learn from, but also to each other and him, and certainly not to deny his part in this magnificent work we call the cosmos.,1413,207%7E24945%7E2882967,00.html

Ecclesiastes 1:7 All rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence rivers come, thither they return again.
The cyclical nature of nature encompasses us. The water cycle is described only with utmost brevity in Ecclesiastes. Today we understand (considerably better than did Biblical authors) the evaporation of water. Beyond this, we can see and describe cycles of carbon, and nitrogen, and oxygen, and hydrogen. We are able to comprehend the nature of energy, and the conservation of not only energy, but also of matter itself. More complex by far is the transformation of matter into energy, which gives us sunlight continuously. Why should all these things be? And why so reliably? Why are chemical reactions so wonderfully and perfectly reversible? Why? For the same reason that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. For that reason. These Profound Fortuitous Interdependencies did not just fall into place with Megaluck over Megatime, as some scientists posit, their fingers crossed.

I gather that you believe this:

  • because conditions here on Earth are within narrow parameters for life to exist, this proves that God created the Earth.

The problem I have with that is that if things were different, we wouldn’t be here.

Also, why did God create the Moon?
Do you think there is life on the Moon, or did God make a mistake?

After all this time I have found something I want for a sig! Can I have it Mangtout? That could be Lewis Carrol or Terry Pratchett!

When I casually read the beginning of the OP, mentionning how surprising it was that we found convenient gas deposit, metals, glass, etc… I honestly believed the OP was a parody, and that he would state at the end of his post that the word has obviously been created by a superior intelligence to allow the existence of His ultimate creation, the race intended to reign on His perfect creation : the SUV.

The puddle/hole concept is not original (although I don’t know where I got it from) - the exact wording here is mine though. Feel free to use it for your sig, but please don’t credit me with authorship.

Actually, it looks like we have to thank Douglas Adams for the parable of the puddle.

Not sure why I’m responding to this, but what the hell. Our form of life and our society exploit oxygen, iron, oil, etc., *because * they are readily available. The don’t exist *in order that * we be able to exploit them. If conditions in the world were different, no doubt a different type of life would have evolved. If you can refute this, then we’ll talk.

If we had the ability to sense objects by the way they deform the Earth’s magnetic field, no doubt MirabileAuditu would be exclaiming that it was wonderful a)that we were able to sense magnetism and b)that the Earth has a magnetic field. But we don’t have that ability, despite it being possible.

If we had the inherent ability to see x-rays, MirabileAuditu would probably be exclaiming how convenient it was that a)x rays pass through most objects, b)x rays exist and c)isn’t it amazing that we can see inside solid objects. But we don’t have that ability, despite it being possible.

If we were equipped with enormous skin gasbags, populated by hydrogen-producing symbiotic bacteria, MirabileAuditu would probably be finding it remarkable that a)hydrogen is more buoyant than air, b)that we had hydrogen gasbags, enabling us to fly and c)that hydrogen exists. But we can’t fly, because we have no hydrogen gasbags, despite there being nothing in the laws of physics to prevent it.

If we had trilateral body-symmetry instead of bilateral, MirabileAuditu would probably think that three was just the right number of arms. If our atmosphere was transparent, say, only in the ultraviolet, MirabileAuditu would be marvelling at how useful it was that we didn’t have eyes that could only operate in the infrared. And so on.

It’s all just an exercise in hubris.

Welcome, Mirabile Auditu, from this hopefully less pompous and dismissive atheist (who, incidentally, was once a theist who saw God on occasion). You present quite a smorgasbord of improbably tasty morsels - I don’t think one debate thread can really do justice to all of these cosmic coincidences.

However, I would hope that avoiding a charge of dishonesty or anti-science does not remove my right of reply in toto. The current responses to the predicaments you present (which are by no means fine-tuned themselves yet! This is the very challenge of the millennium) fall into three categories:

  1. Replication, variation and selection makes seemingly vastly improbable configurations probable. This is the entire crux of evolution, that over billions of years of copy, vary, select, repeat, highly ordered systems actually become statistically feasible. Light sensitive cells do become eyes given the incremental benefits such intermediate forms of “eye” confer on the seer. The same can be said of cognitive function, from the few million neuraons of teh honey bee to the overwhelmingly computaionally intractable system in a human skull. (And, incidentally, the baud rate for human cognition is nowhere near 4 Gb/s, else I could remember a digital photo in perfect detail once per second - try looking at a phone book page and see how many ‘pixels’ you really do store! Evolution make do with efficient filtering instead.) If it were evolutionarily advantageous to Fourier transform light and sound, we would have done so.

  2. Intelligent design - wait, I don’t mean Him upstairs! I mean human design, as in the internal combustion engine and the like. The point about human ingenuity is, again, that it seeks the best solution from the available options. If oil had not had the correct properties, we would have sought another means of propulsion instead. Yes, it might well have retarded “progress” by being stcuk in the steam age for so much longer, but so might we have missed out on something even more practical by similar misfortune.

  3. ‘Fundamental’ properties are diffferent in other regions of the universe. This is the main point of M Theory, itself only a speculative model at this stage (but still, I think, protoscientific rather than pseudoscientific.) If we merely live in a region of the universe having 3 dimensions of space and one of time, perhaps the full spread of properties might be found in those regions of other dimensionality, which all meet at the (misleadingly monickered, IMO) Big Bang, the singularity which has never not existed.

However, even given these modes of explanation, I agree that there is still the odd phenomenon like the resonances of carbon which are not quite accounted for. Then again, life is not ubiquitous in the universe - perhaps we again missed out on something which would have made it more so.

I hope my reply does not give you cause to impugn my honesty.

Well, I’m not sure what ‘four gigbaud’ is, I assume you meant four gigabits. In any case comparing the data rate of the optic nerve (the numbers I googled for the optic nerve throughput were a lot lower than 4 gigabit) with what we can do with computers probably right now ain’t the best comparison. Why? Because they are already talking about 1 terabit (and higher) ethernet.


Why is the velocity of light so profoundly large while the velocity of sound is precisely the opposite? What good “luck” ! Our ears discern differences of perhaps a ten-thousandth of a second in time between hearing at one ear and the other, thus giving us directionality and stereophonic sound.

ACK, I meant to hit preview and I hit post :frowning:

To continue:

Wouldn’t it be better to assume* that we adapted to our environment (evolution) than to think that our environment was created just for us? That our ears work the way they do due to environment we evolved in instead of the environment working the way it does because god gave us ears?


*Assuming you accept Occam’s Razor, that the simpler explanation is usually true.

I thought I recalled your saying that you had seen drug induced hallucinations. Wherefore is it now that you had seen God?

That isn’t Ockham’s Razor. It is simpler to solve 16/64 by cancelling out the 6s than by factoring the numerator and denominator.