Author Topic: If not God, then how did the universe start?  (Read 3372 times)

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Offline Hatter23

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Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #58 on: August 15, 2012, 03:32:33 PM »
Come on lets be logical,
God created the universe.
How did he do it? Now that ones up to science :)

Occams razor out the unneeded supernatural agent and you might be able to approach logic.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline Dante

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Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #59 on: August 15, 2012, 04:02:37 PM »
Come on lets be logical,

Yes, let's! Great idea!

Quote
God created the universe. How did he do it?

Wait, what? How is that logical?

Quote
Now that ones up to science :)

All things that require explanation are up to science, since there's nothing else capable of accurately explaining anything.
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #60 on: August 15, 2012, 04:42:46 PM »
How does saying "god created the universe" add any information if people still have to figure everything out with science?  None of the important stuff people have needed to know about the universe has turned up in any of the special books the gods supposedly gave us. We still have to figure out how god did it.

You could say that "the universe created the universe" or "the giant magic puppy dog created the universe" and you would be in the exact same position. I feel like we should just start agreeing with religious people and say, yes, god created the universe, feel better now?  And pat their heads and move on to the science we need to do.  &)

Looks like god doesn't know how he did it either.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline inveni0

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Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #61 on: August 15, 2012, 04:54:53 PM »
Is it possible?  That depend on your definition of the universe.  If you define it as the extent of reality that our telescopes can see, then yes, it's possible.  BUT, if you define it as ALL existence, then no, a being could not create everything, as this creature would first have to create itself.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #62 on: August 15, 2012, 05:20:37 PM »
Aliens created Mount Everest.  They did it by using plate tectonics to collide India with Asia.

Want proof?  India is colliding with Asia.  This did create the Himalayas.  What more proof do you need?
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Offline magicmiles

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Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #63 on: August 15, 2012, 05:32:27 PM »
I have started a thread in 'Science' which continues the discussion started here.
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Offline Seppuku

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Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #64 on: August 16, 2012, 04:57:04 AM »
I would say HAL's response is pretty spot on.

"I don't know."

As for the all the unknown possibilities, well, they're unknown. I accept them as a possibility because I do not have the evidence to suggest otherwise. As for probability, I'd consider many of them to be incredibly low, because 1) they have no basis with the support of evidence (like in the case of God) and 2) because the claims require for our understanding of science (which is substantiated) to be wrong or to be distorted by some entity (hence the term 'supernatural). As for an 'uncaused causer' in the cosmological argument, it tries to fit itself more into our scientific understanding of the universe, but merely tries to fill in a gap in our knowledge, but is not based on knowledge. Generally I view the alternative 'deity' arguments to mainly be God of the gaps. Generally we maintain if we don't know, then simply, we don't know. :) It's something very difficult to know. Science itself is progressive, it is able to explain a lot and is able to go into a lot of depth before it starts treating certain claims as fact, but the universe is a huge and incredibly complex thing, to fully explain it is a massive job. Yes, there are many unknowns, but that doesn't justify any speculative arguments. :)

Yes, I could speculate other possibilities, but they would be that, speculations. Generally I don't try to base my own beliefs on anything speculative, even on a mundane level (like how a car engine works).
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 05:29:45 AM by Seppuku »
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Offline Astreja

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Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #65 on: August 18, 2012, 12:25:11 AM »
God created the universe.

Prove it.  You may not use your personal testimony, the Bible or any philosophical argument.  I want to see actual physical data.
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Offline jetson

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Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #66 on: August 18, 2012, 10:10:38 AM »
God created the universe.

Prove it.  You may not use your personal testimony, the Bible or any philosophical argument.  I want to see actual physical data.

Bwu ha ha ha ha ha... ;D

How long have we been asking for that?

Offline kcrady

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Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #67 on: August 18, 2012, 03:51:51 PM »
OK, thanks for your responses. There seems to be consensus amongst you that the origin of the universe is as yet unexplained.

I'd like to disagree a bit here.  In this kind of discussion, I like to make a distinction between the concept of "Universe" (capital U, no "the") as the sum of all things that exist (including any gods, "supernatural" realms and whatnot, if they exist), and "the Cosmos"--that which emerged from the Big Bang.  Universe, in whatever form or forms it may manifest, is eternally existent, and cannot not exist.  Any kind of statement or argument, even an attempt to deny Existence, ultimately and logically depends on Existence (Universe).  If you have gods setting dials and pushing the big red button on a Big Bang O' Matic, those gods must first exist.  So, however we might want to go around the mulberry bush, we're forced to agree that Universe exists necessarily, disagreeing only on its contents (whether any "gods" are included or not).  So, in the case of Universe, there is no such thing as an "origin."  The concept does not apply.

Now, when we're talking about the Cosmos, we don't know exactly how and why the Big Bang happened or what exists beyond its boundary (e.g. Branes as in M-Theory, other Cosmoses as in Lee Smolin's fecund cosmoses theory, or something else).  We can model Cosmic evolution going back to about 10-43 seconds after the Big Bang, which is an extremely tiny patch of terra incognita.  If you want to write "Here Be Dragons" on that part of the map, you have to use a really, really, reeeeaaaally tiny typeface.  It's just not much of a cave of ignorance in which to hide a god.

I'd like to now ask another question: do you personally consider it possible that there is some type of intelligence (not necessarily the God of the bible) behind the universe? Or are you completely certain that whatever set everything in motion was un-intelligent?

If by "intelligence" you mean the sort manifested by a sapient person (comparable to a human or greater), I'm going to have to say no.  "Intelligence" of that sort is high up on the ontological pyramid, not the base.  "Intelligence" is far more complex than non-intelligence.  In order for "intelligence" to exist, it has to work somehow.  Eyes see by absorbing certain wavelengths of light and turning them into neural impulses, ears hear by capturing sonic vibrations so that they move an eardrum, the various cortices of a brain (or elements of some brain-equivalent, like a computer, a "spiritual holo-matrix" or whatever you might want to postulate) carry out the different functions of consciousness and cognition, and so on.  This process is so complex, we don't really know how it works yet.

The "how-it-works" is ontologically prior to the intelligence.  If there was no "how-it-works," the intelligence would not work.  There would be no way for it to be awake instead of asleep or dead, Yahweh rather than Wonder Woman, sane rather than insane, and so on.  You can't have tensor calculus if "2+2=4" does not work.  This applies with equal force whether the intelligence is in our Cosmos or some other, "supernatural" or otherwise.  "How-it-works" is the principle of natural regularity, what we sometimes mistakenly call "the laws of physics."  It is not "law" (a prescription of how things ought to behave), but a description of how they do behave.

There cannot be an intelligence without natural regularity (otherwise, it would not have a nature or retain a "regular" identity as anyone in particular), but there can be natural regularity without intelligence.[1]  Being so complex and intricate, intelligence represents a highly-improbable arrangement of interrelated component parts.  There is only one, particular arrangement of neurons that can result in the person we here refer to as "magicmiles."  A Star Trek transporter accident that randomized his molecules would be far, far, far more likely to produce a dead lump of goo, or in a highly unlikely circumstance, a different individual, than to return our "magicmiles" to us.  There's only one "magicmiles," vs. seven billion other humans (and many more billions of possible humans), but exponentially more possible lifeless arrangements of the "few gallons of water and $35.00 worth of chemicals" that make up "magicmiles'" body.

Since natural regularity is ontologically prior to and simpler than intelligence, and any particular intelligence is a highly-improbable arrangement of component parts, it follows then, that intelligence must arise from something simpler than itself via a process consistent with natural regularity.  Fortunately, we know what this process is and how it works: evolution by natural selection.  "Evolution by natural selection" and the processes of cosmic evolution that are prior to it are examples of: more natural regularity.  So, in our quest for an ontological starting point, we arrive at the Principle of Natural Regularity (or "Principle" as such, if you want to boil it down further).  From this, all the other stuff--logic, mathematics, the observable behavior of entities in reality, even intelligence--derives.  "Principle," as manifest in the behavior of whatever should turn out to be the simplest, most fundamental sort of "stuff" (probably Lawrence Krauss's "nothing," i.e., the spacetime manifold) represents an irreducible, metaphysically necessary ontological starting point that actually works as a basis for explanation, rather than being perched high atop a pyramid of improbability and explanation, as "intelligence" does.  Trying to use "intelligence" as a starting point is like proposing that a Boeing 747 is the explanation for aluminum, titanium, and electronic circuitry.
 1. General relativity and Newtonian mechanics work just as well in lifeless solar systems as in ours.
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Offline Mrjason

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Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #68 on: February 28, 2013, 08:02:52 AM »
There are quite a lot of theories about the origins of the universe. Most are extrapolations of established scientific theory. Some are unsupported fantasy.

We know the universe is expanding. This fact has been established through observation and the analysis of the observations that have been made.

A pedant would cite this established fact in dismissing the ascertation that God created the universe. – The universe is a work in progress therefore it has not been created, it is still being created.

A reasonable response to this is that God was the architect of the big bang thereby starting the process.
In the beginning...He said “let there be entropy, thermonuclear fission, possibly abiogenisis, but definitely evolution.”

An extreme pedant would say that if He hasn’t finished creating the universe why has God taken the day off? Are you suggesting that God is a supernatural pikey who has started our universe extension, been paid (in adoration), but then left without completing the project?

No.

A number of alternative explanations of the “cause of causes” have been proffered. The one that I, as a non-physicist, find most accessable is given by Professor Hawking in his Brief History of Time.

Hawking suggests that the universe is finite but without boundaries.
Think of circumnavigating the globe. You can start at one point on earth and, given enough time and access to vehicles, you can return to your starting point without ever changing direction or indeed falling off.
The finite but without boundaries universe is, in principle, the same concept.

So, we know that the universe is expanding. If we accept that the universe could well be finite then at some point in existence there will be what Hawking describes as a “big crunch”. A big bang in reverse, giving rise to another big bang. And so the cycle repeats.

If not God, then how did the universe start?

Hawking sums this up better than I ever could

One could say: 'The boundary condition of the universe is that it has no boundary.' The universe would be completely self-contained and not affected by anything outside itself. It would neither be created nor destroyed. It would just BE. [Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1988), p. 136.]

I find this more plausible than a supernatural being, whos origins are unknown, started the universe for reasons unknown.

I have chosen this topic as my entrance to this forum as the “cause of causes” debate highlights the ignorance through apathy approach of ascribing anything that is difficult to understand to a supernatural being.

We can’t know for certain what caused the universe to exist but we can at least try to find out. The Russels Teapot approach of Faith denies us the chance to reach our potential. And that is a real shame.

Offline Tero

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Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #69 on: February 28, 2013, 01:25:51 PM »
It's some sort of boom crunch cycle, forever.

It's not really a why or how question worth losing sleep over.

The more basic question is How is it that there is something instead of nothing? That might be worth consuming some whisky over, somewhere in a college dorm room. Bring buckets for hangover.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #70 on: February 28, 2013, 05:43:50 PM »
If not god, then how did the universe start? I got it:

It was started (if indeed it has not always existed) by something other than god.

There. Happy now? :D
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #71 on: February 28, 2013, 06:13:38 PM »
“Science knows it doesn’t know everything, otherwise, it would stop. Just because science doesn’t know everything, it doesn’t mean that you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairytale most appeals to you.” Dara O'Briain
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline shnozzola

Re: If not God, then how did the universe start?
« Reply #72 on: February 28, 2013, 06:43:29 PM »
There are quite a lot of theories ............

Hello Mrjason,
    I agree that the universe just is, and has always been, and will always be.

    How about this idea?  We consider "our"  bigbang the start of the universe that we see.  But with now having learned that everything is expanding faster and faster, Lawrence Krauss surmises in the video above that there will be a time in the future when the galaxies a human saw in the past will have moved so far out, that future humans will not be able to see those stars.    Maybe the universe that a future human sees will be the expanded combined galaxies of now, with new big bangs from unstable dark matter having started what the future human considers the galaxies of that time.  We're obviously talking million more years. 

   Earth's total time of existence and its evolution, leading to our ability to contemplate this, have no reason to expect a start of anything.  The accepted idea of only one big bang, along with a theory of some sort of god, had us  looking for a start, or a cycle.

   Once you study the natural positive and negative charges that run so much of the micro world, from electrons and protons to plant roots absorbing nutrients, there is no such thing as "spontaneously generated life", as theists claim that atheists claim.  It is a natural (and beautiful) unbelievably slow experimentation that builds a minute step at a time.  Much more cool than a god.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 06:45:43 PM by shnozzola »
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