Author Topic: Natural Explanation Vs Magical  (Read 9929 times)

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Offline eh!

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #232 on: April 05, 2014, 06:18:43 PM »
Foxy yr analysis of gravity without mentioning mass makes you seem a bit superficial in yr scientific knowledge.
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #233 on: April 05, 2014, 06:22:32 PM »
Foxy i would also like to see you go outside the universe to verify yr claim that clocks don't work there, pack a big lunch, you might be gone a while.
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #234 on: April 05, 2014, 07:30:38 PM »
Although I agree that what you have stated above is against what we call 'established laws' or 'natural laws', I think that both atheists and theists alike come upon an impasse with established laws when we consider the (ultimate) origin.  Whether we think of the origin as being sudden or eternal (perhaps those two are ultimately the same), we come across something that either came about without a cause or always existed without a cause. 

This is where established laws (or natural laws as they are often called) can no longer help us.

Non causality is not against the laws of physics. It is well established by experiment and takes no faith at all. You are underestimating what is known millionths of a second after the Big Bang.


I'm guessing that you have never done those experiments.  So you are trusting that others have done such experiments.

Now let's talk about falsifiability.  Let's hear from Krauss and Weiner the test we can undertake to see whether it was the first 3 seconds or the first millionth of a second or the first hour, whatever.

Can we do the falsifiability test ?  Or should we just have faith in the clever men who talk with authority and publish each others books.

You have doubts when you hear about a 7 day creation.  So let's see the same scepticism applied elsewhere.

You can do exactly the "falsifiability test" you propose. Just take a course in physics and do it. What is stopping you from taking a course in physics, and getting a Nobel Prize for proving everyone else wrong? The results of this kind of science are not secret. Anyone can attempt to falsify it and make their own ideas famous. Scientists are trying to falsify each other's work all the time. The great thing about science is that no one has to have faith or trust in anyone else's work.

Quote
So you are trusting that others have done such experiments.

This makes you look like a stupid conspiracy theorist. Do you really think that scientists are just making stuff up to fool people?

Quote
should we just have faith in the clever men who talk with authority and publish each others books.

How do you feel when you read this sentence you wrote? Can you see how talking about faith has made you sound bitter and resentful? Can you see how it has reduced your thinking abilities in order to protect your belief system?
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #235 on: April 05, 2014, 07:39:17 PM »
I'm sorry, are we talking about clocks? Seems what you're implying, since only clocks work in the universe nothing exists outside of it.

-Nam

Nam,

This is stuff you can use. Read up about it on websites that can explain it better than I can. They will tell you why there is no god waving a magic wand outside the universe.
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Offline Nam

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #236 on: April 05, 2014, 07:50:25 PM »
I'm sorry, are we talking about clocks? Seems what you're implying, since only clocks work in the universe nothing exists outside of it.

-Nam

Nam,

This is stuff you can use. Read up about it on websites that can explain it better than I can. They will tell you why there is no god waving a magic wand outside the universe.

There you go changing the subject again: I never mentioned "god".

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #237 on: April 05, 2014, 08:08:25 PM »
This makes you look like a stupid conspiracy theorist. Do you really think that scientists are just making stuff up to fool people?

I think what he is saying is that (1) String Theory is a hypothesis, not a theory, and (2) that non causal particles still arrive in the universe as particles, not whales, looking at flower pots.

http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0007558/

I notice that someone has made an entry for the Whale on imdb.
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #238 on: April 05, 2014, 09:10:56 PM »
This makes you look like a stupid conspiracy theorist. Do you really think that scientists are just making stuff up to fool people?

I think what he is saying is that (1) String Theory is a hypothesis, not a theory, and (2) that non causal particles still arrive in the universe as particles, not whales, looking at flower pots.

http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0007558/

I notice that someone has made an entry for the Whale on imdb.

He is attempting to discredit Krauss and Weinberg in his own mind so that he can ignore the evidence. It is the usual mental shutdown which theists do when they feel threatened.

You should be able to see the signs of mental shutdown in his sentence about it. He wrote "Weiner" instead of Weinberg, and the word "whatever" with the random timing shows his emotional reaction. The whole of his post shows that he has turned off his brain. I am always amazed at the way theists are able to prevent information getting through to their brains. This is why it is difficult to tell how intelligent a theist really is, because they could be in shutdown mode when they are talking to you.

Let's hear from Krauss and Weiner the test we can undertake to see whether it was the first 3 seconds or the first millionth of a second or the first hour, whatever.
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Online Ron Jeremy

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #239 on: April 06, 2014, 03:03:18 AM »
We seem to be getting away from my original question, perhaps I can rephrase it?

Why do theists refuse to accept a scientific explanation of the universe, an explanation based on the scientific method, a method that has worked for hundreds of years to explain reality, a method of systematic observation, measurement, and experiment and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses. A method that theists will readily accept in all areas EXCEPT when it comes to the origins of the universe. The reason cited by theists is that although the rest of our world doesn't need magic to explain it, suddenly when it comes to universe formation we DO need magic. What is this based on?

Why do theists think that when it comes to universe formation, suddenly science isn't good enough, cannot be relied on, instead they think it more reliable to use an explanation from 'faith';  Faith - An Absence Of Knowledge. Guesswork.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #240 on: April 06, 2014, 04:09:56 AM »
Why do theists refuse to accept a scientific explanation of the universe,

Because there is no scientific explanation of the universe. We haven't unified GR with QM, and we are clueless about dark matter. Physicists are divided on whether we can use Godel's Incompleteness Theorem as a basis to know if physics can ever be complete. Lee Smolin says that String Theory is a dead end, and that the laws of the universe get more and more cryptic as you burrow into the "onion".

Random discussion
http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=6733


"People say to me, 'Are you looking for the ultimate laws of physics?' No, I'm not. I'm just looking to find out more about the world, and if it turns out there is a simple ultimate law that explains everything, so be it. That would be very nice to discover. If it turns out it's like an onion with millions of layers, and we're sick and tired of looking at layers, then that's the way it is....My interest in science is to simply find out more about the world, and the more I find out the better it is. I like to find out."   -- Richard Feynman

The objective of science is not to delete God, but to progress in a way that assumes no magical illogical forces, unless there obviously are.
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Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #241 on: April 06, 2014, 04:34:40 AM »
Because there is no scientific explanation of the universe.

That sounds like a theist excuse. Keep typing on your computer and tell me that science doesn't understand the universe. It is not a matter of no scientific explanation, it is a matter of having a more detailed scientific explanation. That is what Feynman is talking about.

There are two reasons theists don't accept science. 1) theists tell the universe what it is like instead of asking it. 2) science is difficult. This second reason applies to both theists and atheists.
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Online Ron Jeremy

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #242 on: April 06, 2014, 04:56:14 AM »
Fair point AH, science doesn't know for sure how the universe started. Yet.
However I think that no matter how far down that road we go, theists will always place 'god' at the end. Until science explains that particular point, then 'god' will be moved back a step. Remember, until fairly recently 'god' was sitting at a place only 6000 years ago, and he still does to a great many. God keeps getting moved back as science sheds light on our origins. Should science be able to explain how the universe started, theists will shift god back beyond the start of the universe to whatever was there before. And when that is explained, god will up sticks and move again. And this is the point of my question; why will theists never accept a natural explanation? As far as I'm aware, the vast majority of theists see god as causing the universe to start. If this is shown not to be the case, will theists put the god explanation down and accept science from then on? I seriously doubt it. They will simply move god.
Why do theists prefer the universe's origin to be 'An Absence Of Knowledge' instead of knowledge?
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #243 on: April 06, 2014, 07:19:33 AM »
You can see that the issue is not one of knowledge when you explain elementary science to a theist. When you first explain something, a theist might follow what you are saying and agree with it. If you talk to the same theist half an hour later, he or she will have blocked out of their mind what you said earlier and set up a psychological barrier to avoid understanding the same evidence again. Theists don't care about the gigantically huge mountains of knowledge which science has to offer. Theists tell the universe how it has got to be. They do the same with the bible. They tell the bible how it has got to be, so you end up with thousands of different sects all at each other's throats, each saying the others believe in fake gods or demons. The answer is psychological.
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Online Ron Jeremy

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #244 on: April 06, 2014, 07:46:10 AM »
I think Foxy this is what I'm trying to get at.
Use science to explain how a rocket motor works. Theist accepts science.
Use science to explain how electricity is generated. Theist accepts science.
Use science to explain how the tides work. Theist accepts science.
Use science to explain how the universe was formed. Theist will not accept a scientific explanation.
Use science to explain how aircraft fly. Theist accepts science.
Use science to explain how magnetism works. Theist accepts science.
Use science to explain how clouds form. Theist accepts science.

Why is the formation of the universe different? Why does that have to have a magical explanation?

Theists; if I told you that aircraft wings do not generate lift, but instead use magic, would you accept that? If I told you clouds were formed by magic, would you accept that? If I told you the oceanic tides were controlled by magic, would you accept that? If not, why not?
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #245 on: April 06, 2014, 08:02:25 AM »
Because there is no scientific explanation of the universe.
That sounds like a theist excuse. Keep typing on your computer and tell me that science doesn't understand the universe.

OK, I've been wanting to get off this planet for a while, but I'm trapped in its pathetic gravity well. I would like to go to one of the stars nearer the centre of the milky way. Please supply the schematics for an anti-gravity device and a way to travel through space without using a propellant.
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #246 on: April 06, 2014, 08:24:09 AM »
OK, I've been wanting to get off this planet for a while, but I'm trapped in its pathetic gravity well. I would like to go to one of the stars nearer the centre of the milky way. Please supply the schematics for an anti-gravity device and a way to travel through space without using a propellant.

That is a MAJOR misunderstanding of how science works. Technology uses the laws of the universe, it does not violate them.
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #247 on: April 06, 2014, 08:29:42 AM »
OK, I've been wanting to get off this planet for a while, but I'm trapped in its pathetic gravity well. I would like to go to one of the stars nearer the centre of the milky way. Please supply the schematics for an anti-gravity device and a way to travel through space without using a propellant.

That is a MAJOR misunderstanding of how science works. Technology uses the laws of the universe, it does not violate them.

You are implying it can't be done, though. How do you know it can't be done?
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #248 on: April 06, 2014, 08:31:22 AM »
I think Foxy this is what I'm trying to get at.
Use science to explain how a rocket motor works. Theist accepts science.
Use science to explain how electricity is generated. Theist accepts science.
Use science to explain how the tides work. Theist accepts science.
Use science to explain how the universe was formed. Theist will not accept a scientific explanation.
Use science to explain how aircraft fly. Theist accepts science.
Use science to explain how magnetism works. Theist accepts science.
Use science to explain how clouds form. Theist accepts science.

Why is the formation of the universe different? Why does that have to have a magical explanation?

Theists; if I told you that aircraft wings do not generate lift, but instead use magic, would you accept that? If I told you clouds were formed by magic, would you accept that? If I told you the oceanic tides were controlled by magic, would you accept that? If not, why not?

Not always. What about evolution, radioactivity, tree ring dating etc. There was even that nut case who said the craters on the moon were the result of Satan's battle in heaven.
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Online Ron Jeremy

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #249 on: April 06, 2014, 08:47:32 AM »
Yes, I know creationists won't accept those things either, but for clarity I focused on just one item.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #250 on: April 06, 2014, 08:56:01 AM »

You can do exactly the "falsifiability test" you propose. Just take a course in physics and do it. What is stopping you from taking a course in physics, and getting a Nobel Prize for proving everyone else wrong? The results of this kind of science are not secret. Anyone can attempt to falsify it and make their own ideas famous. Scientists are trying to falsify each other's work all the time. The great thing about science is that no one has to have faith or trust in anyone else's work.


[I made a stupid mistake with Weinberg's name.  Despite the way it may look it was not intentional.  I was not trying to mock him.]

So you have acknowledged falsifiability and yet you quote Krauss and Weinberg's theories with apparent certainty.  You have been telling us in your posts what happened in the first 3 minutes.  You do not mention the word theory or model.  You are telling us what we should believe.  Just like a bible literalist does.

You pretend that we know it is true because some scientific journals have published the papers and some other cosmologists have said that they like the theory/model.  You admit that it may at some point be falsified and yet you present it to us as certainty.

Why are you, Krauss and Weinberg allowed to be dogmatic like that ?   Who is in the Allowable Dogma Club ?

For what it's worth Wikipedia has this to say -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_the_universe

Very early universe

All ideas concerning the very early universe (cosmogony) are speculative. No accelerator experiments have yet probed energies of sufficient magnitude to provide any experimental insight into the behaviour of matter at the energy levels that prevailed during this period. Proposed scenarios differ radically. Some examples are the Hartle–Hawking initial state, string landscape, brane inflation, string gas cosmology, and the ekpyrotic universe. Some of these are mutually compatible, while others are not.


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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #251 on: April 06, 2014, 09:03:14 AM »
For what it's worth Wikipedia has this to say -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_the_universe

Very early universe

All ideas concerning the very early universe (cosmogony) are speculative. No accelerator experiments have yet probed energies of sufficient magnitude to provide any experimental insight into the behaviour of matter at the energy levels that prevailed during this period. Proposed scenarios differ radically. Some examples are the Hartle–Hawking initial state, string landscape, brane inflation, string gas cosmology, and the ekpyrotic universe. Some of these are mutually compatible, while others are not.


Yeah, I know. I just put that into wikipedia.
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #252 on: April 06, 2014, 09:03:54 AM »
OK, I've been wanting to get off this planet for a while, but I'm trapped in its pathetic gravity well. I would like to go to one of the stars nearer the centre of the milky way. Please supply the schematics for an anti-gravity device and a way to travel through space without using a propellant.

That is a MAJOR misunderstanding of how science works. Technology uses the laws of the universe, it does not violate them.

You are implying it can't be done, though. How do you know it can't be done?

Are you asking about technology or science? Technological applications are not the same as understanding how the universe works. Some things cannot be done because of technology, and other things cannot be done because the universe works the way it does.
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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #253 on: April 06, 2014, 09:32:53 AM »
Are you asking about technology or science? Technological applications are not the same as understanding how the universe works. Some things cannot be done because of technology, and other things cannot be done because the universe works the way it does.

No, I'm saying that sci-fi is based upon the idea that we know jack shit about how physics really works, and that we will know much more in the future.

Here's a review, where Lee Smolin is reviewed by someone else who reckons he is right to point out that we know jack shit, but he believes in another type of jack shit.
http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=5769
Humans, in general, don't waste any opportunity to be unfathomably stupid - Dr Cynical.

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #254 on: April 06, 2014, 09:57:14 AM »

You can do exactly the "falsifiability test" you propose. Just take a course in physics and do it. What is stopping you from taking a course in physics, and getting a Nobel Prize for proving everyone else wrong? The results of this kind of science are not secret. Anyone can attempt to falsify it and make their own ideas famous. Scientists are trying to falsify each other's work all the time. The great thing about science is that no one has to have faith or trust in anyone else's work.


[I made a stupid mistake with Weinberg's name.  Despite the way it may look it was not intentional.  I was not trying to mock him.]

So you have acknowledged falsifiability and yet you quote Krauss and Weinberg's theories with apparent certainty.  You have been telling us in your posts what happened in the first 3 minutes.  You do not mention the word theory or model.  You are telling us what we should believe.  Just like a bible literalist does.

You pretend that we know it is true because some scientific journals have published the papers and some other cosmologists have said that they like the theory/model.  You admit that it may at some point be falsified and yet you present it to us as certainty.

Why are you, Krauss and Weinberg allowed to be dogmatic like that ?   Who is in the Allowable Dogma Club ?

For what it's worth Wikipedia has this to say -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_the_universe

Very early universe

All ideas concerning the very early universe (cosmogony) are speculative. No accelerator experiments have yet probed energies of sufficient magnitude to provide any experimental insight into the behaviour of matter at the energy levels that prevailed during this period. Proposed scenarios differ radically. Some examples are the Hartle–Hawking initial state, string landscape, brane inflation, string gas cosmology, and the ekpyrotic universe. Some of these are mutually compatible, while others are not.


Quote
You are telling us what we should believe.  Just like a bible literalist does.

Why are you so desperate to pretend that science is a religion? And that Krauss is dogmatic?

You should look at the time after the Big Bang when these theories are speculative and when they have good evidence. You are not talking about seconds after the Big Bang, you are talking about less than millionths of a second.

If you look back at my previous posts you will see that I have not been dogmatic at all. I especially mentioned how claims for a god can be fitted in, and the limits of knowledge, or have you forgotten that? Krauss is also the opposite of dogmatic. He shows that universes can come into existence without cause and that his ideas are totally workable. Do you agree that Krauss' ideas are a possible mechanism for the beginning of the universe?


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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #255 on: April 06, 2014, 09:58:53 AM »
Are you asking about technology or science? Technological applications are not the same as understanding how the universe works. Some things cannot be done because of technology, and other things cannot be done because the universe works the way it does.

No, I'm saying that sci-fi is based upon the idea that we know jack shit about how physics really works, and that we will know much more in the future.

Here's a review, where Lee Smolin is reviewed by someone else who reckons he is right to point out that we know jack shit, but he believes in another type of jack shit.
http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=5769

Magic is based on the same idea.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #256 on: April 06, 2014, 11:05:54 AM »
Why are you, Krauss and Weinberg allowed to be dogmatic like that ?   Who is in the Allowable Dogma Club ?
The answer to that is in the quote by Douglas Adams: “All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.”

As far as postulating a deity, or any other practitioner of magic, is concerned, the sole argument by theists is "You don't know for certain if <insert point of scientific contention.>"

This then leads to two revelations:
1. The theist claim this <insert point of scientific contention> as the works of their god.
2. The theist therefore worships ignorance. -> "We do not know for certain, and therefore we can credit my deity with doing it."

This attitude is neither sensible nor helpful.

Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline median

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #257 on: April 06, 2014, 11:13:10 AM »

You can do exactly the "falsifiability test" you propose. Just take a course in physics and do it. What is stopping you from taking a course in physics, and getting a Nobel Prize for proving everyone else wrong? The results of this kind of science are not secret. Anyone can attempt to falsify it and make their own ideas famous. Scientists are trying to falsify each other's work all the time. The great thing about science is that no one has to have faith or trust in anyone else's work.


[I made a stupid mistake with Weinberg's name.  Despite the way it may look it was not intentional.  I was not trying to mock him.]

So you have acknowledged falsifiability and yet you quote Krauss and Weinberg's theories with apparent certainty.  You have been telling us in your posts what happened in the first 3 minutes.  You do not mention the word theory or model.  You are telling us what we should believe.  Just like a bible literalist does.

You pretend that we know it is true because some scientific journals have published the papers and some other cosmologists have said that they like the theory/model.  You admit that it may at some point be falsified and yet you present it to us as certainty.

Why are you, Krauss and Weinberg allowed to be dogmatic like that ?   Who is in the Allowable Dogma Club ?

For what it's worth Wikipedia has this to say -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_the_universe

Very early universe

All ideas concerning the very early universe (cosmogony) are speculative. No accelerator experiments have yet probed energies of sufficient magnitude to provide any experimental insight into the behaviour of matter at the energy levels that prevailed during this period. Proposed scenarios differ radically. Some examples are the Hartle–Hawking initial state, string landscape, brane inflation, string gas cosmology, and the ekpyrotic universe. Some of these are mutually compatible, while others are not.


This is a total red herring. You need to pay more attention b/c no one is saying what you think they are saying. See, in science things are held tentatively. This is NOT so with your religious/magic assumptions. You hold them tightly with conviction, starting with them as your conclusion and then attempting to work backwards. The two approaches to knowledge are fundamentally different and that is the issue. We do not "believe" things that science has discovered (i.e. - faith). We accept the evidence as the best explanation right now, or, we hold a loosely held tentative understanding (i.e. - maybe it's "X"), or, we admit ignorance on the subject. But you aren't doing that with your belief in Jesus, your belief in a God, your belief in an eternal soul, or any of that are you? You hold your beliefs about those things very closely and tightly, and attempt to defend them against all criticism or demonstration of error or irrationality. These methods are not alike.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline PhilosoB

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #258 on: April 06, 2014, 12:56:22 PM »
Science has demonstrated itself to be extremely useful in revealing the natural world. Any thoughtful theist is not opposed to science. What I am opposed to is the philosophical assumptions or extrapolations that are made and declared scientific, primarily, naturalism.

Even this thread's title reveals this philosophical slant, as if to say, if you don't accept completely natural explanations then you must be a science-denying faith-based mystic who believes in magic. Hardly the starting point for an open and constructive dialogue.

The issue is, as least for myself, not science itself; it is the assumption that science proves naturalism (the philosophy that everything is part of the spatiotemporal universe) and therefore, everything is reducible to being detected by our senses and defined by scientific theories. The goal of science is to explain the happenings of the natural world. Restricting the natural world to only natural explanations is to impose a philosophical framework over science that science itself does not entail.

The imposition of naturalism upon science, in fact, restricts science to only look in one direction regards of how much evidence may indicate otherwise. For instance, if, upon looking up at the moon, we observed a set of beach houses on the edge of the Sea of Tranquility. Certainly, no one would accept a purely naturalistic explanation for how those houses got there. We would rightfully detect the obviousness of intelligent design. In fact, many sciences use design detection and to force only naturalistic explanations would be nonsensical (paleontology, forensic sciences, SETI).

While many eyes roll instinctively at the mention of intelligent design, my point is not to provide  the case for ID. Rather, the intention is to illustrate that it is not science that discards intelligent design from being possible. Remember, the purpose of science is to examine what happens in the natural world. Nothing intrinsic to that statement makes design an anti-scientific possibility just as paleontology is not anti-scientific for using design to make discoveries. If intelligent design is being discarded as being anti-scientific or 'magical', it is on the basis of a naturalistic philosophy, not because of science.

Offline median

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #259 on: April 06, 2014, 01:27:01 PM »
Science has demonstrated itself to be extremely useful in revealing the natural world. Any thoughtful theist is not opposed to science. What I am opposed to is the philosophical assumptions or extrapolations that are made and declared scientific, primarily, naturalism.

Even this thread's title reveals this philosophical slant, as if to say, if you don't accept completely natural explanations then you must be a science-denying faith-based mystic who believes in magic. Hardly the starting point for an open and constructive dialogue.

The issue is, as least for myself, not science itself; it is the assumption that science proves naturalism (the philosophy that everything is part of the spatiotemporal universe) and therefore, everything is reducible to being detected by our senses and defined by scientific theories. The goal of science is to explain the happenings of the natural world. Restricting the natural world to only natural explanations is to impose a philosophical framework over science that science itself does not entail.

The imposition of naturalism upon science, in fact, restricts science to only look in one direction regards of how much evidence may indicate otherwise. For instance, if, upon looking up at the moon, we observed a set of beach houses on the edge of the Sea of Tranquility. Certainly, no one would accept a purely naturalistic explanation for how those houses got there. We would rightfully detect the obviousness of intelligent design. In fact, many sciences use design detection and to force only naturalistic explanations would be nonsensical (paleontology, forensic sciences, SETI).

While many eyes roll instinctively at the mention of intelligent design, my point is not to provide  the case for ID. Rather, the intention is to illustrate that it is not science that discards intelligent design from being possible. Remember, the purpose of science is to examine what happens in the natural world. Nothing intrinsic to that statement makes design an anti-scientific possibility just as paleontology is not anti-scientific for using design to make discoveries. If intelligent design is being discarded as being anti-scientific or 'magical', it is on the basis of a naturalistic philosophy, not because of science.

You say sciences goal is to explain the natural world. By what non-natural method do you plan on doing this? Have you even demonstrated a reliable method for separating fact from fiction with is NOT natural? All this objection really sounds like is, "Well, I don't like the idea that nature (matter/energy) may be all there is. So, I want to bring in supernaturalism as a replacement for my ignorance." Sorry, that doesn't fly in science. It is unreliable.

Secondly, your example of 'houses on the moon' is a false analogy because it assumptions that the way we recognize design is just by our intuitions (or just by looking at it and saying, "Aha! Design!") but that is not how design is recognized at all. We contrast design with nature (that which is not designed by us). This design argument of yours is based in a logical fallacy (the argument from incredulity). We recognize human design because we have lots of examples of it, not because we just-look-at-it and say it's designed. I'm sorry, an argument from ignorance based in incredulity is not a sufficient justification for inserting supernatural explanations. The fact of the matter is, when we do not understand something about the reality in which we now find ourselves we do not have license to just jump to supernatural or "non-natural" explanations - b/c attempting to answer mysteries by even bigger mysteries moves the conversation nowhere. These attempts are non-answers and have no explanatory power.

Lastly, we aren't talking about what is merely (logically) possible. Science deals with what is actually demonstrable. You can posit all of the things you think are "possible" all day long and that won't do one iota to change what is actually known or demonstrable. For all you know, magic pink flying alien unicorns could be living on the back side of Pluto. So what! Just because you think something is possible doesn't mean it is actually science. If you think your hypothesis is science, then the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate it. And in case you haven't noticed, the scientific community at large (as well the courts and the legal system) have shown quite conclusively that ID is NOT science. In fact, Michael Behe himself admitted (under oath) that his personal definition of science would have to include astrology (and witchcraft etc) as science! FAIL.

This conspiracy theorist nonsense from you guys only serves to discredit you further and further. You're just trying to smuggle in your argument from ignorance fallacies (with magic) and it's not science in any way shape or form - never has been and never will be, b/c claiming magic, invisible mystery beings, or supernatural causes does absolutely nothing to further the enterprise of knowledge.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 01:49:24 PM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Ataraxia

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Re: Natural Explanation Vs Magical
« Reply #260 on: April 06, 2014, 01:37:14 PM »
Science has demonstrated itself to be extremely useful in revealing the natural world. Any thoughtful theist is not opposed to science. What I am opposed to is the philosophical assumptions or extrapolations that are made and declared scientific, primarily, naturalism.

Even this thread's title reveals this philosophical slant, as if to say, if you don't accept completely natural explanations then you must be a science-denying faith-based mystic who believes in magic. Hardly the starting point for an open and constructive dialogue.

The issue is, as least for myself, not science itself; it is the assumption that science proves naturalism (the philosophy that everything is part of the spatiotemporal universe) and therefore, everything is reducible to being detected by our senses and defined by scientific theories. The goal of science is to explain the happenings of the natural world. Restricting the natural world to only natural explanations is to impose a philosophical framework over science that science itself does not entail.

The imposition of naturalism upon science, in fact, restricts science to only look in one direction regards of how much evidence may indicate otherwise. For instance, if, upon looking up at the moon, we observed a set of beach houses on the edge of the Sea of Tranquility. Certainly, no one would accept a purely naturalistic explanation for how those houses got there. We would rightfully detect the obviousness of intelligent design. In fact, many sciences use design detection and to force only naturalistic explanations would be nonsensical (paleontology, forensic sciences, SETI).

While many eyes roll instinctively at the mention of intelligent design, my point is not to provide  the case for ID. Rather, the intention is to illustrate that it is not science that discards intelligent design from being possible. Remember, the purpose of science is to examine what happens in the natural world. Nothing intrinsic to that statement makes design an anti-scientific possibility just as paleontology is not anti-scientific for using design to make discoveries. If intelligent design is being discarded as being anti-scientific or 'magical', it is on the basis of a naturalistic philosophy, not because of science.

While I agree that some do misuse science for philosophical naturalism when all science does is use methodological naturalism, I'm sick to the back teeth of theists jumping all over this instead of getting off their fucking arses and providing an alternative method for falsifying supernatural claims. Yeah, that's right, this includes you. Yes, you have a point but all you are doing is exacerbating the issue. Why not put an end to all of this philosophical naturalism and provide your alternative methods which will falsify it?

And the natural world is restricted to natural explanations..... by definition. This does not eliminate some external influence to nature. All it means is that we perceive what has been changed in nature, not it being changed. We are plugged into the matrix and we cannot see the computer whiz kid sat in front of his screens altering the scrolling green code.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 01:43:13 PM by Ataraxia »
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