Feed on Posts or Comments 22 October 2014

Science Thomas on 23 Oct 2009 12:14 am

Understanding the origin of the universe

46 Responses to “Understanding the origin of the universe”

  1. on 23 Oct 2009 at 12:27 pm 1.chip E said …

    Atheist have many problems with the origins of the universe, because most have no idea what to do with it. Should they believe all of the theories? Believe part of them? Ignore it? If abiogenesis were to exist, it would be a great example of nature sowing confusion, because the interpretation of what to do with origins is all over the map.

  2. on 23 Oct 2009 at 2:06 pm 2.The Big Blue Frog said …

    I watched this over on the RD site. Well worth the hour of messing around with YouTube buffering problems that my work firewall inflicts on me.

  3. on 23 Oct 2009 at 2:19 pm 3.BossManJack said …

    Chip, abiogenesis is unrelated to the origins of the universe, just life. And its been demonstrated in labs, so … now what?

  4. on 23 Oct 2009 at 5:04 pm 4.chip E said …

    Sure Boss, and ET has been studied in Roswell. There is no standard for origins (including life). Most rely upon some framework depicted by the Oparin-Haldane hypothesis. Its a tough one for those who believes all this just arose by natural means less any intelligent guidance.

    Abiogenesis in a lab would mean intelligence directing the process. More evidence that intelligence is a required component.

  5. on 24 Oct 2009 at 2:34 pm 5.AntiRoss said …

    Well chip, I guess your mind is made up then.
    I, for one, have no problem embracing the idea of abiogenesis through purely natural means, without guidance. It doesn’t confuse me in the slightest.
    Nor do I sit in the corner whimpering when trying to grasp the various ideas of the origins of the universe. I do think that the idea of a “creator” at the very outset of it all, is silly though, if not outright infantile.
    You’re pretty dismissive of these ideas. Is it because, maybe, you were brought up to believe myth as fact?

  6. on 24 Oct 2009 at 4:22 pm 6.Satcomguy said …

    An excellent video – I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    Chip, it seems to me that the reason that the intelligence had to drive the experiments (as all experiments are driven) was not to “steer” the process but to recreate the conditions necessary to test the hypotheses. I’m sure if it were just a question of throwing the required molecules in a dish and leaving them to sit on a table for a while, researchers would have done just that. But the recreation of environments/conditions that no longer exist naturally on Earth seems to be a necessity – not a fudging of the experimental conditions.

  7. on 24 Oct 2009 at 5:27 pm 7.chip E said …

    “You’re pretty dismissive of these ideas. Is it because, maybe, you were brought up to believe myth as fact?”

    It is more due to some good ol common sense. Science has been my life for 30 years so why would I dismiss it? It is a great tool. You might try adding some good ol’ common sense to your tool box. Science not one time has ever contradicted the existence of the creator, and it will not. The only myth here is that creation has no creator. That even sounds silly just to type it out.

  8. on 25 Oct 2009 at 2:01 pm 8.AntiRoss said …

    Ha! If your comments weren’t dismissive of anything that doesn’t involve a creator then you sure fooled me.
    It was primitive people that searched for explanations of things that they didn’t understand, or things they feared.
    They assigned spirits to everything – rivers, trees, ancestors, enemies they’d killed, etc.
    Eventually they gave more and more power to these spirits, resulting in a multitude of gods. Then competing gods. Gods of different stripes.
    Competing humans claimed supremacy of their own version, of their own god, trying to gain both political power and credibility. The old testament is simply stories made up by a people trying to define their own place in the world. And the new one is mostly a reworking of the old one – and for a similar purpose.

    Nothing in your bible is true. None of it is based in fact or real history.
    And yet you claim to use “good ol’ common sense” to ultimately decide that the creator myth is a fact.
    Hope you kept your receipt for that particular tool.

  9. on 25 Oct 2009 at 8:05 pm 9.Chip E said …

    Anti your rant has taken you on some tangent in the Twilight Zone! You do have supporting evidence that nothing in the Bible is true? When you use a word like nothing you have gone and lost any credibility you might have been attempting to gain. So many facts in the Bible have been proven true through archeology I could not even begin to list them here. You see to be a pretty dismissive individual so I doubt you could ever consider science outside you own set of precepts.

  10. on 27 Oct 2009 at 6:52 pm 10.AntiRoss said …

    A tangent eh, chip?
    Like commenting on abiogenesis in a thread concerning the beginning of the universe maybe?
    The point was that your creator was made up, and your so-called common sense cannot come to grips with that.
    (I’ll grant that the word “nothing” was slightly inaccurate, but a lot more close to the truth than most Christians are aware. I think you’d be shocked at just how little of it is true).
    Since you seem to be incapable of even imagining your creator not meddling in the above subjects, your “common sense” is not sufficiently developed to be accusing others of not having any.

  11. on 27 Oct 2009 at 7:46 pm 11.chip E said …

    “Like commenting on abiogenesis in a thread concerning the beginning of the universe maybe?”

    Nah, more like silly comments about the Bible having nothing true on a origins thread. Origins and abiogenesis have quite a bit in common.

    You make the claim that a creator is made up. I felt sure you would make that claim. Since you make the claim, you can now prove it and put this entire debate to rest.

    Go!

  12. on 27 Oct 2009 at 8:24 pm 12.AntiRoss said …

    You’re probably well aware that one cannot prove a negative.
    I have been fascinated with the history of religion since the first time I read the bible.
    My assertion that there is no creator is through deduction after a hell of a lot of study. That probably sounds elitist, but I don’t claim expertise – only time spent.
    And it will not be proof for you, but the development of religious beliefs and traditions out of simple spirituality, fear, curiosity and superstition is an obvious one. Modern religions all have their precedents from long before the texts of the old testament.
    Monotheism was made up like everything else.
    That’s about all I can offer at this level of discussion. No enough for you I’m sure.
    But, try to imagine other possibilities than just what you were brought up to believe.

  13. on 27 Oct 2009 at 10:38 pm 13.chip E said …

    “try to imagine other possibilities than just what you were brought up to believe.”

    You as well Antiross, you as well. Although I was not “raised” with these beliefs. I came to the conclusion through great study. Your assumptions, as you made numerous times on this post are erroneous and quite likely you make the same assumption about everyone you meet who doesn’t believe like you. The fact you arrived at atheism doesn’t necessarily prove you are correct.

    The term elitist does seem to fit your preconceptions of others. You studied and other do not……hmmmm? Attempting to trivialize the beliefs of others as childish gains you nothing other than contempt.

    Of course I knew you could not prove a creator does not exist. Therefore, stop the ridiculous claim until you can. I recognize plenty of proof although I would never expect you to see it as such.

  14. on 28 Oct 2009 at 6:51 pm 14.Kilre said …

    Chip, based upon the huge number of deities made up by humans to explain all manner of phenomena, both “extant” today and forgotten as societies changed through time, the onus is not on anyone claiming there are no gods to provide proof positive, or negative, but on the believers of those god(s). The probabilistic chance of your god being the right one, as well, is less than zero to begin with, so you are left standing on one leg.

    “The only myth here is that creation has no creator.”

    By assuming anything beyond that which we know through our current understanding of the way the universe works, especially bringing an intelligence to bear on the problem of how the universe started, you are going outside science and into the realm of fantasy, i.e. gods.

    The naturalistic explanations that we have for life, the universe, and everything, at this point in time, are all explanations that don’t require the intervention of a divine, or otherwise, being. Assuming such a being is coming to a conclusion that is not supported wholly by the evidence.

    “Of course I knew you could not prove a creator does not exist.”

    The burden of proof is on you and believers like you. It is not on those that don’t break Occam’s razor.

    “Science not one time has ever contradicted the existence of the creator, and it will not.”

    Science all the time contradicts the existence of a creator god, or gods as the case in many cultures is/was. That you take scientific knowledge and then come to conclusions that are not supported by the data is dishonest, to say the least. “It looks created, therefore god”.

    “So many facts in the Bible have been proven true through archeology I could not even begin to list them here.”

    Nonsense. There are indeed places in the Bible that exist in the real world, yes we’ve excavated them and such, yet no archaeological record exists for the supernatural claims in the Bible. And no, just because we’ve dug up cities referenced in the Bible, does not mean that, as a corollary, the people also spoke to burning bushes. That would require more evidence than old buildings, like books and sources other than the Bible, and at this time we don’t have those to draw upon. Any extra claims beyond “we have Biblical towns and locations” is not supported by the evidence.

  15. on 28 Oct 2009 at 8:35 pm 15.AntiRoss said …

    “You studied and other do not……hmmmm?” – Well chip, just trying to make the point that many vocal religious people often seem know little about their own history. They assume it all to be true without apparent question.
    For example, Ben, if I remember correctly, thinks that the gospels were written by the apostles. There are probably people here that think that the flood is a true story, that unquestioningly believe the exodus story, or think that Jesus fed thousands with loaves and fishes and Rome didn’t notice. These opinions are justifiably worthy of derision. Let’s have some evidence please.
    Kilre’s excellent points should be enough for you to seriously contemplate, but, if not, then I’ll kick the ball back in your court: Your god is imaginary.

  16. on 28 Oct 2009 at 9:23 pm 16.Xenon said …

    “The burden of proof is on you and believers like you. It is not on those that don’t break Occam’s razor.”
    Actually it would be on AntiRoss since he made the claim. Occam’s razor contrary to atheist dogma is on the side of a God. God is one assumption while origins without God has a whole plethora of assumptions that still answer no questions.

    “you are going outside science and into the realm of fantasy”
    Go outside the realm of science is not necessarily fantasy. In 1900 space travel was sci-fi but today it is reality. You reach too far here. Science does not begin to have an answer for all the questions in life.

    “no archaeological record exists for the supernatural claims in the Bible”
    That is just plain ridiculous. There is nothing in the archeological record of the first single cell organism ever existing but science tell us it did. Lack of archeological evidence proves nothing.
    If you do a little research indeed many places in the Bible which were thought to myths at one time have now been proven true by archeology. You lose here.

  17. on 28 Oct 2009 at 9:58 pm 17.Chip E said …

    “Your god is imaginary

    Well then would you please prove it? Nobody wants hear about your assumptions about what people on this blog believe. We realize you are studious and everyone different from you is delusional. Just work with us here. Nobody has made claims about a flood or any other event. This is your attempt at stalling. Stop using Kilre as your mouthpiece. You made a claim stick with the subject. Prove your assertion.

    Go!

  18. on 28 Oct 2009 at 11:35 pm 18.Kilre said …

    “If you do a little research indeed many places in the Bible which were thought to myths at one time have now been proven true by archeology.”

    Does not refute:

    “yet no archaeological record exists for the supernatural claims in the Bible.”

    Try again.

    “Go[ing] outside the realm of science is not necessarily fantasy. In 1900 space travel was sci-fi but today it is reality. You reach too far here. Science does not begin to have an answer for all the questions in life.”

    Indeed, science may run across things that are completely without an answer or explanation, but those situations would still not posit a supernatural intelligence hiding behind a curtain somewhere beyond time and space, as many theists claim and have claimed for some time.

    I will grant the point that things appear sometimes to be outside of the grasp of modern technology, and that these things seem impossible to earlier cultures whereas later cultures look back and laugh.

    This does not apply to gods, however. Gods have always existed outside of technology. They were the thunder and lightning, the rumble in the ground, the sun moving through the sky, not the advances in toolmaking nor the steady progression of society.

    “There is nothing in the archeological record of the first single cell organism ever existing but science tell[s] us it did.”

    Archaeology deals with ancient humans and their remains. Of course there would be no record of the first cells in archaeology, as that field of study goes back roughly a few thousand to a few hundred thousand, and to the earliest stone tools a million or more years ago in Africa.

    Additionally, I highly doubt that there would be a “first” organism. A “first” population maybe, definitely a “first” collection of RNA or DNA, but a “first”, singular, organism seems implausible.

    This line of studying life’s origins on Earth, however, is much more intellectually satisfying and honest than stating “intelligence did it” and ignoring that the evidence thus far does not support any such presuppositions.

    “Actually it would be on AntiRoss since he made the claim.”

    I think not. From the top of the page, Chip said:

    “Abiogenesis in a lab would mean intelligence directing the process. More evidence that intelligence is a required component.”

    Sounds like admission of an intelligent designer to me. Evidence is required.

  19. on 28 Oct 2009 at 11:38 pm 19.Kilre said …

    “Occam’s razor contrary to atheist dogma is on the side of a God.”

    I didn’t know atheists had dogma. Tell me more.

    Occam’s razor states that we should make as few assumptions as possible. If you want to get down to the literal translation, entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity, it would still weigh more in favor of a naturalistic, non-theistic, universe. Gods in any experiment are assumptions that are extraneous to the normal machinations; if the experiments perform fine without the physical interactions of supernatural beings there should be no logical reason to invoke them.

    Ockham himself thought that you couldn’t find god through reason, and instead sought revealed knowledge, which is outside of evidential proceedings. Through faith alone, and not through any sort of science, could his god be found. In that way, yes, the original usage of Occam’s razor would be simplicity on the side of faith; I quote:

    “The original principle seems to have been invoked within the context of a belief in the notion that perfection is simplicity itself…To atheists, positing God and a supernatural realm is to posit pluralities unnecessarily.”

    http://www.skepdic.com/occam.html

    It is a useful way of looking at the world without needlessly adding baggage that does not follow from the evidence, though I will admit it would not help much while one is in a lab doing tests, as you would have to still consider a few more alternatives than you would if you were not; yet, this would still not be a good time to insert a god, in which case, Occam’s razor is a mildly useful tool.

    “God is one assumption while origins without God has a whole plethora of assumptions that still answer no questions.”

    Aside from the hundreds, or thousands, of other creation myths out there that you just brushed away to make your God feel special, why do you need an immediate answer one way or another about life’s origins?

    There could be indeed a multitude of ways that life could have arisen on Earth, and yet you admit here you cling to a single view that is much more implausible than anything non-supernatural could come up with, even given seeding from passing comets or, *gasp*, aliens. A skeptic would wait for the evidence to come in and not make unwarranted assumptions until then.

    You would actually have to talk to scientists that specialize in abiogenesis theories to get anything further, or search a respectable source for published, peer-reviewed research on the subject, to learn much more. I highly doubt that Wikipedia or some random site on the web will help you if you have more questions.

    On the subject of “your god is imaginary”, I would think that the recent flood of research on the human brain and the genome would have put some of this argument to rest. For one, our brains are highly susceptible to chemical imbalances that cause us to see or do wacky things.

    Look up “The Neural Correlates of Religious and Nonreligious Belief” on PLoS ONE, and an article on NPR called “Is This Your Brain On God?”.

    And check out the book, 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God.

  20. on 28 Oct 2009 at 11:51 pm 20.Denis Loubet said …

    Regarding Occam’s razor, the word god is a container for an infinite number of unnecessary additional entities. Just because it’s one word doesn’t mean it’s only one simple assumption. For a god to have created the universe by design would necessitate that the god be more complex than the universe itself, invalidating any claim to the razor.

  21. on 29 Oct 2009 at 2:20 am 21.Lou said …

    “I would think that the recent flood of research on the human brain and the genome would have put some of this argument to rest.”

    You haven’t read “The Language of God” by Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the human genome project have you Kilre? If you had, you would realize God is the architect of the genome according to Collins.

    It is also not wise to post a definition from the skeptics website to support your opinion. Would you accept a definition from a Christian website?

  22. on 29 Oct 2009 at 2:51 am 22.Kilre said …

    “You haven’t read “The Language of God” by Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the human genome project have you Kilre? If you had, you would realize God is the architect of the genome according to Collins.”

    According to Collins, who also thinks that a frozen waterfall is a sign from a god. I would also call into question Collins’ expertise in the matter of neuroscience, since he is a geneticist.

    Collins saying that he thinks the genome is the work of (a) god is quite simply laughable. He has no evidence to point to any god, especially not his god. He’s assuming more than what is given by the evidence, which is that evolution brought about changes from a common ancestor. What exactly that common ancestor arose from is not currently known at this time, if you’re intellectually honest enough to say you don’t know.

    In short, I’m calling Collins’ bias into question on this matter.

    “It is also not wise to post a definition from the skeptics website to support your opinion. Would you accept a definition from a Christian website?”

    I just looked it up from a Xian site. The definitions from the page I linked and http://www.learnthebible.org/Occam%27s%20Razor.htm match, which was what I expected.

    From learnthebible, “In its most basic form, Occam’s Razor states that the simplest proof of a doctrine or principle is the best one. Why use extensive proofs of a doctrine if a simple one did the job?”

    From skepdic, “The original principle seems to have been invoked within the context of a belief in the notion that perfection is simplicity itself. This seems to be a metaphysical bias which we share with the medievals and the ancient Greeks. For, like them, most of our disputes are not about this principle but about what counts as necessary.”

    I made sure that the definition was viable no matter where it came from before I added it to my points.

  23. on 29 Oct 2009 at 2:06 pm 23.chip E said …

    ‘god is a container for an infinite number of unnecessary additional entities”

    I only believe in one. Multiples are not required.

    “god be more complex than the universe itself, invalidating any claim to the razor.”

    That would be like claiming a Harley Davidson cannot have a creator because the creator is more complex and violates OR. If s complex entity is required, then it does not violate OR. I see no logical alternative to a creator.

    Francis Collins is biased! Just as I suspected, a scientist who believes in God is not a real scientist while an atheist would be. No bias with you is there Kilre?

    The razor does fit the simplicity of an all powerful creator over no real explanation in a naturalistic realm. To even be a possibility with razor, you must have a legitimate possibility. The natural realm offers none.

  24. on 29 Oct 2009 at 3:19 pm 24.Kilre said …

    “I only believe in one. Multiples are not required.”

    Wherein you reveal your bias. You should always be open to the possibility of there being one, more, or no gods based upon the evidence.

    “That would be like claiming a Harley Davidson cannot have a creator because the creator is more complex and violates OR.”

    A human being is not as complex as any god would have to be, were they to exist. Analogy is flawed.

    “Francis Collins is biased! Just as I suspected, a scientist who believes in God is not a real scientist while an atheist would be. No bias with you is there Kilre?”

    Francis Collins does excellent science, when he leaves gods out of the lab; which he does, every time. I’ve got no problems with how he does his research.

    It’s when he writes his opinions about his research, after he has done the work, that his bias comes through. He is drawing unwarranted assumptions. As are you.

    “The razor does fit the simplicity of an all powerful creator over no real explanation in a naturalistic realm.”

    An all powerful creator god is incredibly complex. You have to explain how it came to be in existence, first, because supposedly it created the rest of the universe. You then have to explain everything about its nature that allows it to violate the natural laws, and how those violations permit such a being to not only influence the universe, but set the natural laws that we have to act by and it does not.

    “To even be a possibility with razor, you must have a legitimate possibility. The natural realm offers none.”

    You have not demonstrated yet that your creator, out of the hundreds of thousands, is a legitimate explanation for anything, and thus far, not only has there been a dearth of physical evidence for your, or any, gods, but any evidence for one god can potentially be evidence for another, and is often the case with the major world religions anyway.

  25. on 29 Oct 2009 at 4:19 pm 25.Chip E said …

    “Wherein you reveal your bias.”

    Of course I am. Some of us just admit it but so are you, if you were honest.

    “A human being is not as complex as any god would have to be, were they to exist. Analogy is flawed.”

    Actually no, my HD is not nearly as complex as a human being. Analogy is correct.

    “It’s when he writes his opinions about his research, after he has done the work, that his bias comes through.”

    Incorrect again. He goes where the evidence leads; a term possibly coined by Anthony Flew. Just because you don’t recognize the conclusions does not necessarily mean they are incorrect.

    “You have to explain how it came to be in existence, first, because supposedly it created the rest of the universe.”

    No I don’t. All I must do is make the claim we don’t know but one day we will. That is science in process and the same argument science makes.

    “You have not demonstrated yet that your creator, out of the hundreds of thousands, is a legitimate explanation for anything,”

    Again there is only one. He may have different names depending on who you are speaking with just as I am sure you have other names than Kilre? Please! I’m not attempting to prove the existence to you. You are biased and wouldn’t acknowledge any evidence presented. You, like so many, would claim it has a natural explanation and that we just don’t know what at the moment. You have not demonstrated anything other than I don’t know.

    Why don’t you take the AntiRoass challenge. He boldly claimed there was no creator..Prove it.

    Go!

  26. on 29 Oct 2009 at 4:48 pm 26.Kilre said …

    Chip, need I remind you, that it was you who first posted that there was an intelligence behind the order to the universe, and when AntiRoss called you on it, you pushed the burden of proof on him.

    Comment number 4, above. Before then, why yes, you had not stated anything concrete, and neither had anyone else.

    I don’t need to prove anything to you, nor does anyone else here. It is you that must prove to us that the supposed order in this universe, and life, is the result of a creator god, your god, and not any other god.

    “Actually no, my HD is not nearly as complex as a human being. Analogy is correct.”

    You compared your intelligent designer to a human being. Explain.

    “Of course I am. Some of us just admit it but so are you, if you were honest.”

    The only bias I have shown in this line of questioning is that I do not respect those that posit gods where there has been no real demonstration of any. And the fact that you dismiss other gods leads me to believe you are more close minded than I ever will be.

    Additionally, science is not a tool used to reinforce personal biases. It is used to find out how the world around us works, often against our presuppositions, and bias should be left out of the equations. You write that you know all about science, and so you too should recognize that the entire process of the scientific method and the peer-review process tries its best to do away with bias and come to conclusions that result from the evidence alone, and not from outside opinionated influences.

    We come to naturalistic conclusions when all bias is removed from the process. And yes, if a god or gods are somehow, somewhere, proven to exist, then yes, they will at that time be natural beings as well. And I see nothing wrong with that. What I do see wrong is clinging to a supernatural explanation for anything before the evidence has come in, and definitively shown it to be true.

    The only correct answer for gods, any gods–even gods you don’t acknowledge and yet at some time everyone thought existed–at this point in time is, “we don’t know”.

    “Incorrect again. He goes where the evidence leads; a term possibly coined by Anthony Flew. Just because you don’t recognize the conclusions does not necessarily mean they are incorrect.”

    If the evidence available to Collins is the same available to other scientists, why don’t they all come to the same conclusions?

    “No I don’t. All I must do is make the claim we don’t know but one day we will. That is science in process and the same argument science makes.”

    You claimed an intelligence. You also claim you do know, and that an intelligence did it. Hypocrite.

    “Again there is only one. He may have different names depending on who you are speaking with just as I am sure you have other names than Kilre? Please! I’m not attempting to prove the existence to you. You are biased and wouldn’t acknowledge any evidence presented. You, like so many, would claim it has a natural explanation and that we just don’t know what at the moment. You have not demonstrated anything other than I don’t know.”

    Actually, if you had a research paper that was peer-reviewed and ready to read, I would sit my ass down and read it. And if your proposed intelligence behind the origins of the universe were to be proven real, science would undoubtedly be rewritten, and we would all benefit from the knowledge. You say you know science, and that it proves your creator: well, you must have done some research on the subject and have some evidence to show for it. Do post it. Or link to it.

    But yes, if your evidence is along the lines of, “it looks designed, therefore god” of course I’m going to call bull shit.

    And what is wrong with saying “I don’t know”? Is there a taboo with admitting things you don’t know? Is there something bad about not assuming more than the evidence shows?

    We don’t know how the universe formed. We don’t know exactly how life came about, though we have several good educated guesses. We don’t know many things.

    But considering that we don’t know, you should not be making the claim that an intelligence, that is only recognized by a non-majority of the world’s population, made the universe. That is intellectually dishonest.

  27. on 29 Oct 2009 at 6:24 pm 27.Denis Loubet said …

    Sigh. The container labeled god contains an infinite number of additional unnecessary assumptions in the form of the god’s qualities. Is the god supposedly good? Is it wise? Is it omniscient? etc. All these qualities, down to the subtlest of divine opinions regarding aardvarks, constitute additional unnecessary entities.

    This is exactly what the razor is there to excise.

  28. on 29 Oct 2009 at 7:15 pm 28.Xenon said …

    Chip your approach is good, but you are dealing with individuals who are as acknowledged biased against any God. God could speak to them directly and they would explain it away with as some sort of quantum quark.

    I really laughed at the peer review paper and scientist all reviewing the same evidence. They disagree on origins like politicians disagree on policy. Somebody a few posts up brought up cosmic dust and ET. Should K have challenged that?

    Don’t expect any attempt at proving God is non-existent. They cannot therefore they change the subject. I would enjoy watching the process though.

    Leave it with this. When you know K, how origins came about and you have a peer reviewed paper to back it up, I’ll certainly will change my opinion on God. Until then, its the best explanation we have. Just think, you’ll change science forever! :)

  29. on 29 Oct 2009 at 9:02 pm 29.AntiRoss said …

    I have faith…
    …faith that we will continue to gather more and more compelling and undeniable evidence that mankind created god. And that will go a long way to taking even more wind out of the sails of those who claim the opposite. At least those that can see that important aspects of their religion’s history are fiction. 
    And chip, do you not wonder where your own certainty comes from? Or at least why you’re so certain?
    If, …if it is true that a believer believes an article of faith in exactly the same way that they believe a fact, ( http://www.newsweek.com/id/216551 )   then one must be able to take a step back and look for evidence of their belief. And definitely the source of their belief. (A real world source, that is – and hopefully it’s not a frozen waterfall).        

  30. on 29 Oct 2009 at 9:42 pm 30.Kilre said …

    “Chip your approach is good, but you are dealing with individuals who are as acknowledged biased against any God. God could speak to them directly and they would explain it away with as some sort of quantum quark.”

    And you’re biased for god. Strangely not multiple gods, just one singular god.

    “I really laughed at the peer review paper and scientist all reviewing the same evidence.”

    The same scientific processes that got humans to the moon and cures diseases, and created the internet, go by the same peer-reviewed research venues. If you don’t like the fact that people rely on others to make sure that their educated guesses aren’t plagued by bias or are an incorrect conclusion, you can stop logging into the internet.

    “Somebody a few posts up brought up cosmic dust and ET. Should K have challenged that?”

    I don’t see why I should have; the ET as put forward in the argument earlier was a hyperbolic statement meant to make a point, and if Chip was positing it as though it were truth, which at this point I doubt, I would ask for evidence for that, too.

    And, in a stunning return, you got it wrong on cosmic dust, as you did on archaeology. Congratulations, you’re ignorant.

    “When you know K, how origins came about and you have a peer reviewed paper to back it up, I’ll certainly will change my opinion on God. Until then, its the best explanation we have. Just think, you’ll change science forever!”

    You have no idea how science works, nor any appreciation for the scientific advancements that have improved society and our lives. Go get an education, in critical thinking preferably.

  31. on 29 Oct 2009 at 10:35 pm 31.Chip E said …

    It seems neither of you is willing to take the challenge. I do understand, it is beyond the ability .

    You two might want to consider, just the possibility, that since you don’t know how origins began, God just might be the answer. Science is pointing more towards God the more we discover and learn the complexities of life. It is an incredible time for mankind as we see the creators handiwork from the edges of universe to DNA.

    Open your eyes, realize life consist of much more than observable science. I too will consider other options when you provide some. Until you have something you really have nothing to add here.

    Kilre, just for you. If you somehow want to sell your cohorts that observable science that puts a man on the moon or a car on the road is the same animal as origins, save it for someone who is a little more gullible. Put the book down, get out of your parents basement.

  32. on 29 Oct 2009 at 10:53 pm 32.Kilre said …

    At this point chip, no matter what I say or bring forward, you will claim victory in the argument.

    When you claim “Science is pointing more towards God the more we discover and learn the complexities of life.” you’ve started with a goal in mind and reached out to suffuse your claim with evidence dragged unwillingly into line behind. In short, you are going against the scientific method, which you claimed earlier to revere. Disgusting.

    I can’t argue against such presuppositions.

    In the same way, why no, I can’t disprove your god; by the same token, neither can you disprove invisible pink unicorns, or the flying spaghetti monster, or the teacup orbiting between Earth and Mars. Faith-based entities are things that can never be proven with science.

    Trumpet your victory.

  33. on 30 Oct 2009 at 12:15 pm 33.Xenon said …

    “Faith-based entities are things that can never be proven with science.”

    You must quite the sad life if you only believe in what science can prove. You might want to read “What We Believe but Cannot Prove: Today’s Leading Thinkers on Science” by John Brockman. Even what we think has been proven is not absolute. If you still hold your posture after this read you might want to take a stab at proving love or thought does not exist.

    Science cannot make these claims because it uses the inductive method, not the deductive method. It has limits on what it is capable of proving and it does not cover all of reality.

  34. on 30 Oct 2009 at 12:56 pm 34.Kilre said …

    “You must quite the sad life if you only believe in what science can prove.”

    Thank you for assuming wrongly. I hardly see the problem in not believing in things that aren’t real.

    This has no bearing on whether or not I am happy or sad; in fact the natural world is full of wonder, though, according to your responses thus far, you would not see it but for the god in your eye.

    “You might want to read “What We Believe but Cannot Prove: Today’s Leading Thinkers on Science” by John Brockman.”

    And you might still want to read the book I mentioned above as well, if you haven’t already, as well as The God Delusion, Why Evolution is True, and Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon.

    “Even what we think has been proven is not absolute.”

    DUH. Um, they’re the best possible guesses, and why yes, they are contingent upon the fact that they can be false. Unlike your god.

    “If you still hold your posture after this read you might want to take a stab at proving love or thought does not exist.”

    Thoughts are chemical signals in the brain; this has been proven time and again, and mentioned two studies above that dealt with that, but you’re not one to read that kind of thing are you?

    Love is most likely an evolutionarily developed attraction to keep the species reproducing, that has largely backfired in a society bent on “sex-without-reproduction”, i.e. pleasure.

    “Science cannot make these claims because it uses the inductive method, not the deductive method.”

    Wrong. It uses both.

    http://www.freeinquiry.com/intro-to-sci.html

    “If the hypothesis fails the test, it must be rejected and either abandoned or modified. Most hypotheses are modified by scientists who don’t like to simply throw out an idea they think is correct and in which they have already invested a great deal of time or effort. Nevertheless, a modified hypothesis must be tested again. If the hypothesis passes the further tests, it is considered to be a corroborated hypothesis, and can now be published. A corroborated hypothesis is one that has passed its tests, i.e., one whose predictions have been verified. Now other scientists test the hypothesis. If further corroborated by subsequent tests, it becomes highly corroborated and is now considered to be reliable knowledge. By the way, the technical name for this part of the scientific method is the “hypothetico-deductive method,” so named because one deduces the results of the predictions of the hypothesis and tests these deductions. Inductive reasoning, the alternative to deductive reasoning, was used earlier to help formulate the hypothesis. Both of these types of reasoning are therefore used in science, and both must be used logically.”

    Hat trick!

    “It has limits on what it is capable of proving and it does not cover all of reality.”

    I see nothing wrong with this. Science has progressed so much since the dark ages, when we could barely be able to see beyond our own planet: we’ve discovered genes; distant galaxies; how our sun, and other stars, works; how our own planet has changed over time; how our brain affects our bodies. I could go on, but I can see I’m wasting your time.

    The point is, science is always progressing. You can label its discoveries as proof of your god, falsely, but religion has been unable to come up with testable, falsifiable hypotheses for hundreds of years now. I hardly expect the real religions to keep up with the ingenuity of humans.

  35. on 30 Oct 2009 at 2:07 pm 35.Xenon said …

    *sigh* let me help you out. Science is primarily an inductive endeavor.

    http://www.batesville.k12.in.us/Physics/PhyNet/AboutScience/Inductive.html

    Read the book and stop wasting out time. You have not proved love or thought because you point to a functioning organ. A functioning brain is not the proof of thought. Assuming love is a process of evolution is also not proof, it is an exercise of faith. Why not God?

    At least you admit science is limited in determining reality. That is the 1st step in your healing. Yes we have discovered much but I would surmise barely scratched the surface. We cannot even travel to our nearest planet! Get well.

  36. on 30 Oct 2009 at 4:09 pm 36.AntiRoss said …

    chip!?
    “Until you have something you really have nothing to add here.”
    I think that you have just succumbed to Danth’s Law.
    Awesome.

  37. on 30 Oct 2009 at 4:15 pm 37.AntiRoss said …

    Why not God?
    Because god is unnecessary.
    As every day goes by the evidence for natural processes rolls in.
    Your god is out of a job.
    Except maybe his ever pressing work at healing amputees.
    Chip, however, seems to think that complexity means goddidit. And that it is an “incredible time for mankind”.
    That’s just naive. Or do we need to list the horrors of reality. Nice f’n design God. You fail god school, buddy.
    Xenon, an equally hard nut to crack, feels sad for us, while championing mystical explanations for everything.
    Well, we haven’t won you over.
    Maybe you should pray for us or something, that always works out well.

  38. on 30 Oct 2009 at 4:42 pm 38.Kilre said …

    “A functioning brain is not the proof of thought.”

    Prove it. Where is some research to back this claim up? I pointed the way to actual research linking thoughts and brain activity; now put up or shut up.

    “Assuming love is a process of evolution is also not proof, it is an exercise of faith.”

    If you say love is contingent upon a supernatural force outside the body, you know what I’m going say. Bulllllllllll ssshhhit. That’s more of a faith statement than relying upon the explanation that it is all chemicals bouncing around in our bodies; at least chemicals have a physical and testable attribute. Your god does not.

    “Why not God?”

    Because you haven’t proven yet that it is your god doing anything, and not some other god. You’ve only stated, with gusto I might add, that it is your god, and that we should believe you; not on the evidence, but on faith.

    So I turn it around: Why not chemicals?

    As well, Xenon, the page you linked refuted your claims. I wish you’d read what you link. And what I link. I quote from your link:

    “On the previous page, you learned that although mathematics is deductive in nature – that is, logical proof is the only acceptable evidence of truth – the process of mathematics is not entirely deductive. It is also true that although science is inductive by nature – observations are the only acceptable evidence of truth – the process of science can be deductive!”

  39. on 30 Oct 2009 at 4:59 pm 39.Xenon said …

    “It is also true that although science is inductive by nature”

    *sigh*, thanks Kilre I know. Moving on….

    “A functioning brain is not the proof of thought.”

    Ha Ha I don’t have to, you do. You claim chemicals reacting in the brain prove thought does exist. Really? Prove it. It proves the brain is functioning, not thought. You do know the difference….right? How do you prove something you can’t see unless you rely on a person telling you they are having a thought? But then, what does that look like? Do you believe individuals when they claim to have a mind to mind conversation with God?

    “at least chemicals have a physical and testable attribute. Your god does not.’

    Don’t lose faith in the chemicals now! Once again, chemicals in the body do not prove love exists. I thought you knew something about science but you are continuing to disappoint.

  40. on 30 Oct 2009 at 5:13 pm 40.Kilre said …

    “the process of science can be deductive!”

    Woooooosh. Either find studies that 100% back you up or you have no proof, nor argument.

    It’s clear you didn’t look at the pages I linked above. I can see further discussion is pointless.

    “How do you prove something you can’t see unless you rely on a person telling you they are having a thought?”

    Ah, that’s how you can tell your god is correct. Secondhand, unverifiable information. Gotcha.

    Additionally, um, we have these machines, you know, that can see into the brain and watch activity. You really should keep up on neuroscience.

    Lastly, how is the brain functioning normally any different from thought processing? Answer me that, and give me an example of a time when the brain was not functioning and yet thought persisted–and no anecdotal stories, either.

    “Do you believe individuals when they claim to have a mind to mind conversation with God?”

    There are claims like that from every world religion, not just your own, and if you looked at the studies I posted above they also discuss this. Richard Dawkins covers this in The God Delusion as well.

    I can conclude that it is all in your head.

    “Don’t lose faith in the chemicals now!”

    Why should I have “faith in the chemicals”? Are you implying that our bodies are not chemically based? Faith is a position that doesn’t rely on good evidence.

    “Once again, chemicals in the body do not prove love exists.”

    Once again, god outside the body does not prove love exists.

    “I thought you knew something about science but you are continuing to disappoint.”

    And you thought archaeology had something to do with abiogenesis, you thought someone mentioned cosmic dust, and you thought that science doesn’t use both inductive and deductive reasoning. You also think that a supernatural being is responsible for everything. I can see we’re evenly matched in inanities.

  41. on 30 Oct 2009 at 5:54 pm 41.Chip E said …

    Good news here. God has been proven on the brain. I think when speaking of proving thought exist K is thinking of a thought bubble.
    On proving love, he justifies his inability by essentially stating “God doesn’t explain it”. Anyhow, seeing God in the brain was only a matter of time.

    http://www.livescience.com/culture/090309-brain-religion.html

    Have fun.

  42. on 30 Oct 2009 at 6:24 pm 42.AntiRoss said …

    Very funny chip.
    Good article, though.

  43. on 30 Oct 2009 at 9:28 pm 43.Denis Loubet said …

    Physical changes in the brain result in alteration of thoughts. It can be done subtly with chemicals or unsubtly with head trauma. The right electrode in the right place can make you think of a flower, or remember a scene, or have an emotional experience.

    Why would there be this direct correspondence unless the brain was the substrate upon which thinking and experience occur?

    If god is in the brain, it’s a trained one that we can make jump through hoops.

    God just seems to get smaller and more pathetic every day.

  44. on 01 Nov 2009 at 4:58 pm 44.VeridicusX said …

    @Xenon

    “Why not God?”

    Because we have no valid evidence or necessity for the conjecture.
    If we have what in this case is an unnecessary conjecture without any evidence, what we have is a wild conjecture.

    There are a potentially infinite amount of wild conjectures, so the chance of your particular god conjecture being correct tends to zero.
    lim 0=1/inf.
    The chance of your particular god conjecture being incorrect tends to one.
    lim 1=1-(1/inf).

    @Chip E

    “Your god is imaginary”

    Well then would you please prove it?

    Challenge accepted.

    If we conjecture a spontaneously or eternally existing creator god, the fundamental properties of that creator god must exist without the intervention of any entity, because they exist in that creator and it didn’t create them.

    It follows that modality – what is possible, probable, necessary and contingent – exists without the intervention of any entity.

    Which is to say, every metaphysically and logically possible world exists without the intervention of any entity – including this one.

    In agreement with that logical argument we have these physical facts:

    Whether or not the Universe “had a beginning”, in particular, whether or not spacetime “had a beginning”…

    1) There is no time when the Universe has not existed.
    2) The Universe has existed for all time.
    3) There is no before the Universe when a cause could exist.
    4) Causation is a property of the Universe.

    Creator gods are therefore impossible.

  45. on 09 Dec 2009 at 5:52 pm 45.jocax said …

    The Jocaxian Nothingness [Nada Jocaxiano]
    João Carlos Holland de Barcellos
    translated by Debora Policastro

    The “Jocaxian Nothingness” (JN) is the “Nothingness” that exists. It is a physical system devoid not only of physical elements and physical laws, but also of rules of any kind.

    In order to understand and intuit JN as an “existent nothingness”, we can mentally build it as follows: we withdraw all the matter, energy and the field they generate from the universe. Then we can withdraw dark energy and dark matter. What is left is something that is not the nonexistent. Let us continue our mental experiment and suppress elements of the universe: now, we withdraw physical laws and spatial dimensions. If we do not forget to withdraw anything, what is left is a JN: an existent nothingness.

    JN is different from the Nothingness we generally think of. The commonly believed nothingness, which we might call “Trivial Nothingness” to distinguish it from the JN, is something from which nothing can arise, that is, the “Trivial Nothing” follows a rule: “Nothing can happen”. Thus, the “Trivial Nothingness”, the nothingness people generally think of when talking about “nothingness”, is not the simpler possible nothingness, it has at least one restriction rule.

    Jocax did not define the JN as something in which nothing exists. Such definition is dubious and contains some contradictions as: “If in the nothingness nothing exists, then, nothingness itself does not exist”. No. First, Jocax defined what it means to exist: “Something exists when its properties are fulfilled within reality”. Therefore, JN has been defined as something that:

    1- Has no physical elements of any kind (particles, energy, space, etc.)

    2- Has no laws (no rules of any kind).

    Being so, JN could have physically existed. JN is a construction that differs from the “trivial nothingness” since it does not contain the rule “Nothing can happen”. That way, Jocax liberates his JN from semantic paradoxes like: “If it exists, then it does not exist” and claims that this nothingness is SOMETHING that could have existed. That is, JN is the simpler possible physical structure, something like the minimal state of nature. And also the natural candidate for the origin of the universe.

    We must not confuse the definition of the NJ with rules to be followed. It is only the declaration of a state. If nature is in the state defined by conditions 1 and 2 above, we say it is a “Jocaxian-Nothingness”. The state of a system is something that can change, differently from the rule that must be followed by the system (otherwise it would not be a rule). For example, the state “has no physical elements”; it is a state, not a rule because, occasionally this state may change. If it was a rule it could not change (unless another rule eliminated the first one).

    Being free of any elements, JN does not presume the existence of any existing thing but its own and, by the “Occam’s Razor”, it must be the simpler state possible of nature, therefore with no need for explanations about its origin. JN, of course, does not currently exist, but may have existed in a distant past. That is, JN would be the universe itself – defined as a set of all existing things – in its minimal state. Thus we can also say the Universe (being a JN) has always existed.

    JN, as well as everything that can be understood by means of logic, must follow the tautology: “it may or may NOT happen”. This tautology – absolute logical truth – as we shall see, has also a semantic value in JN: it allows things to happen (or not).

    We cannot say that events in the JN must necessarily occur. Eventually, it is possible that nothing really happens, that is, JN may continue “indefinitely” (time does not exist in a JN) without changing its initial state and with no occurrences. But there is a possibility that random phenomena can derive from this absolute nothingness. This conclusion comes logically from the analysis of a system without premises: as JN, by definition, does not have laws, it can be shaped as a logical system without premises.

    We shall interrupt a little in order to open up an explanatory digression. We are dealing with two types of “Jocaxian-Nothingness”: the physical object named “JN”, which was the universe in its minimal state with the properties described above; and the theory which analyses this object, the JN-Theory. The JN-Theory, the theory about the JN-object (this text), uses logical rules to help us understand the JN-Object. But JN-object itself does not follow logical rules, once there are no laws it must obey. Nevertheless, I do not believe we will let possibilities to JN-object escape if we analyze it according to classic logic. However, we must be aware that this logical analysis (JN-Theory) could maybe limit some potentiality of JN-Object.

    Within a system without premises, we cannot conclude that something cannot happen. There are no laws from which we can draw this conclusion. That is, there is no prohibition for anything to happen. If there is no prohibition for anything to happen, then, eventually, something may happen. That is, the tautological logics remain true in a system without premises: “something happens or not”. If something occasionally happens, this something must not obey rules and, therefore, would be totally random and unpredictable.

    We call the first JN randomizations Schizo-Creations. This schizo-creations, once they come from something without laws, are totally random and, if we could watch them, they would seem completely “schizophrenic”. Of course with the first randomizations, JN is no longer the original JN as now it owns something, that is, the JN transforms. Because JN is not limited by any laws, it may eventually also generate laws, to which its elements – now itself – would have to obey.

    Let us show how the random generation of laws can produce a logical universe: suppose laws are generated randomly in a sequence. If a new law is generated and does not conflict with the others, all of them remain undamaged in the set of generated laws. However, if a law that conflicts with other laws previously generated appears, it replaces (kills) the previous laws that are inconsistent with it, since it must be obeyed (until a newer law opposes to it). Thus, in a true “natural selection” of laws, only a little set of laws compatible to each other would last. That answers a fundamental philosophical question about our universe: “Why does the universe follow logical rules?”

    Thereby, the Jocaxian Nothingness is the natural candidate for the origin of the our cosmo, since it is the simpler possible state nature could present: a state of such simplicity there would not be the need to explain its existence. And, by logical consequence of this state, anything could be (or not) randomized, even our physical laws and elementary particles.

  46. on 10 Dec 2009 at 12:16 am 46.chris said …

    When Jesus walked the earth he did what was called miracales, and this was seen by many. At the same time he was accused of blasphemy. When this happened some didnt believe it and because so he was crucified. If it wasnt believable at that time. Why would it be believable that his father and ours (God) could do the unthinkable, create the heavens, earth, hell,& beyond the reach of the universe. You could try and try to grasp why and reason, but some things in life wont and cant be explained. Instead of asking we search, instead of understanding we complicate reasons with logic. Why cant we see the forest, because the trees are in our way.

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