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    I have something to say to the religionist who feels atheists never say anything positive: You are an intelligent human being. Your life is valuable for its own sake. You are not second-class in the universe, deriving meaning and purpose from some other mind. You are not inherently evil--you are inherently human, possessing the positive rational potential to help make this a world of morality, peace and joy. Trust yourself.
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    The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
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How To Build A Cell


Since I was in the midst of writing a series about the non-fine tuning of the universe I decided to read a somewhat academic book from some advocates of fine tuning. Instead of the obvious apologetics of William Lane Craig and Dinesh D’Souza, I picked up a copy of Fitness Of The Cosmos For Life: Biochemistry And Fine-Tuning by John Barrow, Simon Conway Morris, Stephen Freeland and Charles Harper. The forward was written by George M. Whitesides who is a Chemistry professor at Harvard and that is the reason I am writing this. Continue reading

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More Fine Tuning Foolishness


Today I want to write about the ratio of electrons to protons in the universe and the expansion rate of the universe. The ratio of protons to electrons is a value that creationist/apologist (oddly an actual PhD in astronomy) Hugh Ross says that if it were smaller there would be to little chemical binding and if it were larger, electromagnetism would dominate gravity preventing star and galaxy formation (which he claims is impossible since electromagnetism is stronger than gravity by a factor of 1037 which I showed to be false in  my last article which you can read here). The expansion rate of the universe is a favorite of both William Lane Craig and Dinesh D’Souza. Hugh Ross claims there could be no galaxy formation if this value were larger and if it were smaller the universe would collapse. Craig and D’Souza both used a quote from Stephen Hawking out of context and then they intentionally ignored his own explanation which appeared a mere seven pages later. The misused quote from A Brief History Of Time was

If the rate of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have re-collapsed before it ever reached its present size.

and the explanation they ignored that was written in the same book a mere seven pages later

The rate of expansion of the universe would automatically become very close to the critical rate determined the energy density of the universe. This could then explain why the rate of expansion is so very close to the critical rate, without having to assume that the initial rate of expansion was very carefully chosen.

It is clear neither value was fine tuned and I will attempt to explain after a little digression. Continue reading