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Main Discussion Zone => General Religious Discussion => Topic started by: Foxy Freedom on September 24, 2013, 09:47:27 AM

Title: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on September 24, 2013, 09:47:27 AM
Two more facts for your Christian friend to dismiss.

Christians like to say that something cannot come from nothing so god did it.

In fact something is trying to come from nothing ALL the time. It is part of the basic structure of the universe that it does that. Around black holes particles are actually successful in coming into existence.

Christians are quite fond of this word - nothing - and they like to say what it means and what it's implications are. With each new scientific discovery Christians like to change their definition of what the beginning was and what nothing was. No air, no space, no time etc. Some early definitions of nothing came about through Greek and Roman philosophy and that led to the dramatic opening of the bible translated into English as - in the beginning god created heaven and earth.

It might come as a surprise to some that the full stop was not originally there. The exact translation of the original which should be in your bible as a footnote is, - when god began to create heaven and earth, everything was watery chaos...(the last two words are a paraphrase of a long sentence). The bible actually says that everything was a watery chaos before god did anything then later god separated the waters into heaven and earth etc.

This should also give an idea of the meaning of the flood story of Noah. The original chaos of the universe is being allowed back to destroy everything.

So when your Christian friend says everything cannot come from nothing, remind him 1) it does and 2) the bible does not say the universe came from nothing.

No doubt the next excuse will be that the original waters were their way of saying quantum fluctuations because they look like rippling water.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Jonny-UK on September 26, 2013, 01:47:31 PM

In fact something is trying to come from nothing ALL the time. It is part of the basic structure of the universe that it does that. Around black holes particles are actually successful in coming into existence.

This is not quite true. Matter can be formed from energy but it takes a large amount of energy to create subatomic particles.
If I recall correctly this matter is a matter and anti matter pair that can collide back together to return to energy.
I think that when this happens near to a black hole, one particle falls into the black hole but the other escapes appearing to be emitted from the black hole.
As far as i recall this is all in line with E=MC squared.
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawkings is a great read on this sort of subject.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on September 26, 2013, 02:06:13 PM
Jonny,

I was trying to keep it simple for religious visitors. The energy of formation is actually zero and occurs everywhere is space. The gravity of the black hole only separates the particles so they cannot get back together. The formation of the universe worked in exactly the same way. The energy needed to create it was zero. No one had to do anything.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Jonny-UK on September 26, 2013, 02:20:52 PM
Sorry FoxyFreedom,
I see what you are getting at now, e=mc2 remained balanced so hence no extra input from any magical source  ;)
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: screwtape on October 05, 2013, 03:40:52 PM
It might come as a surprise to some that the full stop was not originally there. The exact translation of the original which should be in your bible as a footnote is, - when god began to create heaven and earth, everything was watery chaos...(the last two words are a paraphrase of a long sentence). The bible actually says that everything was a watery chaos before god did anything then later god separated the waters into heaven and earth etc.

I've heard this before.  It's good stuff.  Can you point me to any references on it?
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 05, 2013, 04:49:16 PM
I think there is a discussion of this sentence on YouTube by Yale university, Old Testament studies part 1 or 2.

The only first hand proof is a knowledge of Hebrew. In Hebrew the difference between linked sentences and independent sentences is grammatical. You cannot add a full stop as in the English translation. Most bibles are honest enough to give literal translations in the footnotes.

The idea of water being the original substance also appears in the Babylonian creation stories.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Add Homonym on October 05, 2013, 09:05:14 PM
What do you think the importance of it is? I can't see it changing anything, even if true. The statement "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." is immediately followed by another statement about Earth, which makes the period look right. If you are debating Hebrew grammar, there is probably a typo somewhere, which is disputed. There seems to be controversial typos everywhere. If you take the first sentence as a dramatic summary, then the next ones explain how God did it.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 05, 2013, 09:59:46 PM
The point is that it is made to look right in English but it is not. It is only in a translation that you can add the full stop and make the next part look like an explanation because the religious people who translated it into English wanted it to look like that.

The correct translation is that everything began as water before god did anything.

Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 06, 2013, 12:33:00 AM
An easy way to see where god does something is by the position of the word "let". Everything before the first "let" already existed.

It is similar to an ancient Egyptian creation myth where a god comes out of the water and to Babylonian myths about the separation of the waters. The idea of water as the original substance was common in the area at the time.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 06, 2013, 07:54:36 AM
I have found the exact reference in the Yale University lectures. The sentence is discussed from 28:30.  The lecturer describes the structure of the sentence and shows how it means that god imposed order on pre-existing material. The whole video is worth watching for the context of other religions in the area.

http://youtu.be/ANUD8IK12ms (http://youtu.be/ANUD8IK12ms)

I have also looked at some modern Hebrew bibles online. Some do have a full stop but it is just religious people seeing what they want to see after the original meaning has been overtaken by superior knowledge.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Add Homonym on October 06, 2013, 09:16:33 AM
When I was trying to see your point of view, I noticed in the Hebrew that chaos and abyss were the same word "theum" and "theu". The sentences don't make much sense, until you are told that Theum is Tiamat, the Babylonian Chaos and Water god. That's not immediately obvious. I dunno if we can convince the average Christian to interpret the mess, prior to "let", in the correct way; but pointing out that Theum = Tiamat, is a brain slicer.

Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 09, 2013, 08:20:38 PM
I am new to this site, and upfront I will let you know I am a Christian.  I am sure some of you are licking your chops.  That being said, I do not profess to know it all...like some do.  I always go back to a quote from a pseudo-theologian..."To believe greatly is to doubt greatly."  I am going to jump in here and get my feet wet.  Foxy, you are correct about what you are saying about Genesis 1:1...A good translation would read something like..."When God began to create the heavens (better translated sky waters) and land, the land was chaotically empty..."  I am not going to defend that this speaks to God creating out of nothingness.  What I do want to know is how you define "nothing"?  Webster defines it as "not anything; not a thing."  Is that a reasonable meaning?
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Fiji on October 10, 2013, 03:44:16 AM
^^ If you indeed want to go by "not anything; not a thing." then Genesis goes out the window. Genesis 1:1 doesn't say that god created something from nothing.
In the Ancient Hebrew creation myth, you have a bunch of chaos which their god of choice then sorts out. This idea of jumbled mess + god = world appears in many creation stories.
IIRC, the Nordic and Aboriginal myths diverge here. In Norse myth, "in the beginning", to borrow a phrase, there was ice and that began to melt ... essentially going from order to chaos.[1]
To the aboriginals, vast stretches of water had no meaning, to them, the world solidified from a dreamlike state.
To pacific islanders, watery expanses were nothing particularly mysterious. Their creation myths speak of an "expanse", an original intelligence and some unarranged matter.

So, there's nothing really astounding about the Ancient Hebrew creation myth. They used elements of what was around them (ie. the Mediterranean, as desert dwellers, that must have seemed quite daunting), combined them with pre-existing stories from older cultures near them, et voila, Genesis.
 1. which neatly explains the origins of Viking Metal ;)
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 09:35:50 AM
Fiji--As i said, i would not argue creation out of nothing out of Genesis 1.  As you have noted the Genesis account has elements of other creation stories.  I would like to begin the discussion here on the definition of nothing.  Foxy has stated that Christians like to "say what it means and what its implications are."  I am trying to come to a common definition, so we can be on the same page.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 10:01:43 AM
I am new to this site, and upfront I will let you know I am a Christian.  I am sure some of you are licking your chops.  That being said, I do not profess to know it all...like some do.  I always go back to a quote from a pseudo-theologian..."To believe greatly is to doubt greatly."  I am going to jump in here and get my feet wet.  Foxy, you are correct about what you are saying about Genesis 1:1...A good translation would read something like..."When God began to create the heavens (better translated sky waters) and land, the land was chaotically empty..."  I am not going to defend that this speaks to God creating out of nothingness.  What I do want to know is how you define "nothing"?  Webster defines it as "not anything; not a thing."  Is that a reasonable meaning?

Hello randyjp,

The idea of nothing has changed over time because people have had different ideas about concepts or things which are "not". This is what leads to confusion. It depends on what you call a thing, what discoveries are made, or what definitions you use about "things".

 The dictionary definition can be taken as a literal definition - not a "thing" in the sense of not an object or matter. It is the true meaning of the word "nothing".

I hope you watched the video about the creation story. It is very interesting. When you compare the Genesis account with other creation stories of the time, it is clear that water existed before god did anything in all the stories. In Genesis the list of actions of god are all defined by the word "let", a description of the event, and a naming of the result. The chaos of water has none of these.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 10:29:52 AM
Foxy--you made 2 points in your opening statement...Point 1- christians mistranslate, or misuse what is in Genesis 1.  It really does not speak to creation out of nothing. (My paraphrase of your point.). I am no disputing this point.  Point  2-  (and this is where i take exception). You state "Christians are quite fond of this word- nothing- and they like to say what it means and its implications."  What is YOUR definition of the word "nothing?"
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 10:35:35 AM
I accept the dictionary definition- not a "thing" not an object or matter.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 11:49:00 AM
Before I continue my train of thought I want to be clear about something.  One of the things that has me really irritated by some folks on this site is the label given to ALL Christians.  I have read posts that label all Christians as illogical, delusional, wishful...on and on it goes.  There are some of us who think of our Christianity very logically, fact based.  It would be as though I labeled atheists as immoral.  One size fits all works no better for Christians than it does for atheists.  To carry on a debate about the issue of "In the beginning was...WHAT?" based on Genesis is not going to fly here.  I know that.  The place of the Bible as a premise for debate or argument is not going to be agreed on.  I realize logic and fact is what is called for on this site. Now moving on....
Having defined nothing as "not a 'thing' not an object or matter" ( I guess thing in quotes means it is qualified), then isn't it really people like Lawrence Krauss, when talking about "nothing," like to say "what it means and its implication"?
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 12:19:05 PM
The ordinary definition includes the scientific definition of Krauss which is a refinement of the idea not a contradiction of it. The scientific definition is based on the evidence as it is found, not what we choose it to be.

Scientific definitions have always become more exact through discovery. An easier example is the discovery that air was a thing in the 17th century. This meant that nothing was a lack of air from that time.

I could say that nothing means pink elephants but it would not be based on evidence. That is the way Every Christian, I have ever met, thinks.

Another example is the word "theory" which has a more exact meaning in science than in everyday life.

Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 12:23:55 PM
My understanding of Krauss' definition of nothing (and I am not a quantum physicist, so my understanding could be wrong) is something like empty space or a quantum vacuum.  Is that the case?  And if I am off base...please explain.  I would really like to understand.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Graybeard on October 10, 2013, 12:30:33 PM
It might come as a surprise to some that the full stop was not originally there. The exact translation of the original which should be in your bible as a footnote is, - when god began to create heaven and earth, everything was watery chaos...(the last two words are a paraphrase of a long sentence). The bible actually says that everything was a watery chaos before god did anything then later god separated the waters into heaven and earth etc.

I've heard this before.  It's good stuff.  Can you point me to any references on it?

Genesis 1

Young's Literal Translation (YLT) http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1&version=YLT

"1 In the beginning of God's preparing the heavens and the earth --

2 the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness [is] on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters,"
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Jag on October 10, 2013, 12:33:15 PM
Another example is the word "theory" which has a more exact meaning in science than in everyday life.

Grrrrrr. One of my biggest pet peeves, that. It probably irritates absolutely everyone, but I often stop people and ask "do you mean theory in the scientific way, or in the "police procedural" tv drama way?", complete with air quotes.

The world could do with a whole lot more of "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: jdawg70 on October 10, 2013, 12:34:12 PM
Before I continue my train of thought I want to be clear about something.  One of the things that has me really irritated by some folks on this site is the label given to ALL Christians.  I have read posts that label all Christians as illogical, delusional, wishful...on and on it goes.
Assuming that one can label all Christians as having the shared, common belief that there exists an entity in reality that is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, and has any involvement in humanity, then I'm sorry to say that I'm in the camp that would label all Christians to be illogical, delusional, and wishful - at least with regards to the question of the existence of said entity.  The only justifications I have seen to accept the claim of this entity's existence all fall under either illogical argumentation or delusional/wishful thinking.
Quote
There are some of us who think of our Christianity very logically, fact based.
And that may very well be the case.  Present some of these facts and explain some of the logic and we'll go from there.
Quote
It would be as though I labeled atheists as immoral.  One size fits all works no better for Christians than it does for atheists.
I'd say anyone who believes that an omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving entity exists is delusional, illogical, or wishful.  I believe that is something that is shared by all Christians.  Ergo, I think all Christians are delusional, illogical, or wishful - at least in regards to the existence of said entity.

The reason that it is inappropriate to label all atheists as immoral is because there isn't a shared basis of worldview that all atheists share that imply immorality.  Unless, of course, you believe that a lack in belief in the existence of god makes someone immoral.  Then we'd probably have the argument over whether a lack in belief in the existence of god necessarily implies immorality.  Likewise, I've now made the claim that belief in an omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving entity is delusional, illogical, or wishful.  If that belief is not shared amongst all Christians, then it would be inappropriate for me to label all Christians as being delusional, illogical, or wishful (at least in regards to the existence of said entity).  If I am wrong that belief in an omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving entity is delusional, illogical, or wishful, then it would be inappropriate for me to label all Christians as being delusional, illogical, or wishful (at least in regards to the existence of said entity).

I'm guessing the point of contention will be the latter, but I'd like to make sure about that because a label like 'Christian' is a very tricky thing.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 12:39:11 PM
Krauss definition is even more fundamental than that. No space at all. No time. No universe.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: screwtape on October 10, 2013, 12:59:46 PM
I have read posts that label all Christians as illogical, delusional, wishful...on and on it goes.  There are some of us who think of our Christianity very logically, fact based.

I do not recall speaking with any xians who don't think that.  And that belief - that xianity is logical and fact based - is just one of their delusions.

 
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 01:08:51 PM
So according to Krauss, what happens in this no universe to create something out of nothing?
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 01:23:27 PM
No action is necessary. It is impossible to prevent universes from continually forming.

It is important to add that the "something" did not appear until later in the history of our universe. As the universe expanded matter condensed from energy.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 01:41:57 PM
No action is necessary. It is impossible to prevent universes from continually forming.

So, according to Krauss, something just spontaneously emerges from nothing?

Quote
It is important to add that the "something" did not appear until later in the history of our universe. As the universe expanded matter condensed from energy.
If the universe existed...then something already existed...unless the universe is nothing.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 01:47:36 PM
Yes Universes spontaneously emerge.

Matter was created within our universe from energy. Energy is not a thing.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 02:28:53 PM
Assuming that one can label all Christians as having the shared, common belief that there exists an entity in reality that is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, and has any involvement in humanity, then I'm sorry to say that I'm in the camp that would label all Christians to be illogical, delusional, and wishful - at least with regards to the question of the existence of said entity.  The only justifications I have seen to accept the claim of this entity's existence all fall under either illogical argumentation or delusional/wishful thinking.

Your assumptions about Christians and your justification for it implies you have heard ALL Christians make ALL illogical or delusional arguments.  It would be more precise to say the Christians you have encountered have not given you any logical or non-delusional arguments to believe in God.
 
Quote
There are some of us who think of our Christianity very logically, fact based.
Quote
And that may very well be the case.  Present some of these facts and explain some of the logic and we'll go from there.

Fact: The universe had a beginning.  It is more probable or logical to think someone or something outside the universe caused its beginning then to think it just spontaneously began...that nothing can produce something.  No field of science would deny the Law of Causality except physicists when it comes to the issue of cosmology.

Quote
It would be as though I labeled atheists as immoral.  One size fits all works no better for Christians than it does for atheists.
Quote
The reason that it is inappropriate to label all atheists as immoral is because there isn't a shared basis of worldview that all atheists share that imply immorality.  Unless, of course, you believe that a lack in belief in the existence of god makes someone immoral.  Then we'd probably have the argument over whether a lack in belief in the existence of god necessarily implies immorality.  Likewise, I've now made the claim that belief in an omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving entity is delusional, illogical, or wishful.  If that belief is not shared amongst all Christians, then it would be inappropriate for me to label all Christians as being delusional, illogical, or wishful (at least in regards to the existence of said entity).  If I am wrong that belief in an omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving entity is delusional, illogical, or wishful, then it would be inappropriate for me to label all Christians as being delusional, illogical, or wishful (at least in regards to the existence of said entity).
I'm guessing the point of contention will be the latter, but I'd like to make sure about that because a label like 'Christian' is a very tricky thing.

Yes, you are correct my, our, point of contention would be around the latter.  In terms of atheists, I do not believe they are immoral.  I guess what I really believe is that they are unreasonable.  Logic and science is never going to prove either for or against the existence of God conclusively.  However, belief should be based on evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.  And even when such evidence has been presented, atheists still doubt.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 02:29:50 PM
So where and when did this energy exist?

I mean..I am thinking about this site and its name.  You claiming that this energy exists outside of time and space would be like me claiming an amputee's leg has grown back...it just exists outside of this time and space.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Truth OT on October 10, 2013, 02:33:36 PM
Nothing seems in my mind to be no more than a concept that is impossible to replicate in reality. In other words, without using "qualifiers", there is no such thing as nothing.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Truth OT on October 10, 2013, 02:37:45 PM
@Randyjp - Is an omnimax God a necessary ingredient for Christianity? I was under the impression that Christianity was Christ-centric and rested upon Jesus of Nazareth being God's 'son' and God's anointed one selected by God to rule as king of the mythical everlasting Kingdom of (the) Heaven(s).
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 02:40:28 PM
Nothing seems in my mind to be no more than a concept that is impossible to replicate in reality. In other words, without using "qualifiers", there is no such thing as nothing.
Truth I would agree with you to a point.  Nothing exists only in that there is something.  Without something there is not nothing.  Just like darkness.  We only know darkness because there is an absence of light.  If there was no light, there would be no darkness.  But we can still replicate darkness.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 02:43:51 PM
So where and when did this energy exist?

I mean..I am thinking about this site and its name.  You claiming that this energy exists outside of time and space would be like me claiming an amputee's leg has grown back...it just exists outside of this time and space.

The early universe was entirely energy. There is nothing magical about it. You have probably heard of the equation e=mc2 which tells you the ratio in which energy forms matter and matter forms energy.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 02:45:14 PM
@Randyjp - Is an omnimax God a necessary ingredient for Christianity? I was under the impression that Christianity was Christ-centric and rested upon Jesus of Nazareth being God's 'son' and God's anointed one selected by God to rule as king of the mythical everlasting Kingdom of (the) Heaven(s).

If by "omnimax" you mean, all knowing, all present, all powerful.  The answer is yes He/she being omnimax is a necessary ingredient for Christianity.  A Christian worldview sees all of history- both pre and post Christ- as God's unfolding story of His/her relationship with humanity.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 02:47:08 PM

The early universe was entirely energy. There is nothing magical about it. You have probably heard of the equation e=mc2 which tells you the ratio in which energy forms matter and matter forms energy.


So what you are telling me, is this energy that created the universe out of nothing already existed in the universe?  And my understanding of the theory of General Relativity it proves there has to be a beginning to the universe.  That at one point there was no time or matter or space, and then "BIG BANG" there was.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Nam on October 10, 2013, 02:48:30 PM
Hey, man. Go to the test area and figure out how everything works.

-Nam
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Truth OT on October 10, 2013, 02:57:36 PM
If by "omnimax" you mean, all knowing, all present, all powerful.  The answer is yes He/she being omnimax is a necessary ingredient for Christianity.  A Christian worldview sees all of history- both pre and post Christ- as God's unfolding story of His/her relationship with humanity.

Great. Having a clear defensible or falsifiable at least somewhat concrete definition of God is a good starting point that will allow us to put possible reality of a God-being to the test.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: screwtape on October 10, 2013, 02:59:14 PM
So where and when did this energy exist?

It could be argued energy does not exist in that way.  A roller coaster at the top of the track has potential energy.  Where does it exist?  In the cars?  In the track?  In the gravity?  None of those.

When it goes down that first drop, the potential energy is converted to kinetic energy - the car, which has mass, also now has speed.  Where is the energy now?  In speed?  How can it be in speed?  In the car? 

As many people do, especially theists, you are combining words and ideas to form incoherent questions.  "Where does energy exist?" is kind of like asking "where is algebra?" or "what color is laughter?" or "What size is burglary?"  Just because you can put the words together in that combination does not mean they are meaningful.

Energy is an abstract concept we use to help us make predictions about how bodies move.  It is part of our map of reality.  And remember, the map is not the territory.  Just because it exists as an idea does not mean it is an object that exists in a place.

You claiming that this energy exists outside of time and space...

Nope.

Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Graybeard on October 10, 2013, 02:59:17 PM
Truth I would agree with you to a point.  Nothing exists only in that there is something.  Without something there is not nothing.  Just like darkness.  We only know darkness because there is an absence of light.  If there was no light, there would be no darkness. 
This line of thought seems to rest on a Zoroastrian concept: to everything there is an opposite. This is, of course, wrong. If you do not believe me, complete the following sentence: "Without strawberry jelly there would be no ................." (PS you cannot repeat "strawberry jelly." but if there were a word for "a lack of strawberry jelly", you would be able to use that word - there isn't so you can't. This does not mean that there is never a lack of strawberry jelly - as I found out tonight when I went to the cupboard.)

Or it could be so blindingly obvious it need not be stated, as there are no unicorns, and that is why there is no opposite to unicorns.

You probably mean "without <insert concept> there would be no word for it's opposite. Of course, there being a word for something does not necessarily mean that it exists.

Let us look at "We only know darkness because there is an absence of light." Isn't it better to say, "Darkness is an absence of light"? This is just the same but does not sound so profound. Thus "We only know darkness because there is an absence of light." are just the words of someone who is trying to appear profound.

The thing is we don't have words for concepts that we do not have. That is the real reason.

Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 03:10:55 PM

The early universe was entirely energy. There is nothing magical about it. You have probably heard of the equation e=mc2 which tells you the ratio in which energy forms matter and matter forms energy.


So what you are telling me, is this energy that created the universe out of nothing already existed in the universe?  And my understanding of the theory of General Relativity it proves there has to be a beginning to the universe.  That at one point there was no time or matter or space, and then "BIG BANG" there was.

The Big Bang WAS the beginning and there was no time, matter or space before that. There was no "before". The energy of the expanding universe condensed matter from energy in the ratio E=mc2.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 03:16:47 PM
Truth I would agree with you to a point.  Nothing exists only in that there is something.  Without something there is not nothing.  Just like darkness.  We only know darkness because there is an absence of light.  If there was no light, there would be no darkness. 
This line of thought seems to rest on a Zoroastrian concept: to everything there is an opposite. This is, of course, wrong. If you do not believe me, complete the following sentence: "Without strawberry jelly there would be no ................." (PS you cannot repeat "strawberry jelly." but if there were a word for "a lack of strawberry jelly", you would be able to use that word - there isn't so you can't. This does not mean that there is never a lack of strawberry jelly - as I found out tonight when I went to the cupboard.)

Graybeard, aren't you just talking about semantics when you say you can't use a term like "not Strawberry jelly".  If I decided to begin using the word plaglomeata as a word that meant "not Strawberry jelly" and I got enough other people to use that word for a long enough period of time, it would then be an acceptable word and would fit into your completion.  For everything there is an opposite.  In fact there are more than one opposite.  Everything has a myriad of things it is not.  There is no way you can define darkness without doing so in relation to light.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: screwtape on October 10, 2013, 03:20:17 PM
For everything there is an opposite. 

Nope.  What is the opposite of "of"?  Or Adjective?  Or Compound fracture?  That is nonsense.  The idea of opposites is for children.

In fact there are more than one opposite.

That kind of goes against what an opposite is, doesn't it?


Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Nam on October 10, 2013, 03:23:20 PM
^shhhh...you'll hurt his brain.

;)

-Nam
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 03:27:46 PM

Fact: The universe had a beginning.  It is more probable or logical to think someone or something outside the universe caused its beginning then to think it just spontaneously began...that nothing can produce something.  No field of science would deny the Law of Causality except physicists when it comes to the issue of cosmology.


Whatever you think is likely or logical from daily experience is WRONG. Experiments show that the universe does not work according to daily experience. Even something as simple as light reflected from a pool of water shows non causality in nature.

This is the essential difference between a person of faith and person of reason.

Nature through experiments forces a person of reason to accept the way it is.

A person of faith forces nature to accept the way he says it is.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: William on October 10, 2013, 03:38:08 PM
The Big Bang WAS the beginning and there was no time, matter or space before that. There was no "before".

I honestly didn't know that was a settled question.
I was under the impression that we do not currently have a way to detect anything beyond the Big Bang.
Is there physics that says conclusively there wasn't a collapsing universe other side the Big Bang? (Like a wave passing through zero from negative to positive.)
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 03:43:03 PM

In fact there are more than one opposite.
That kind of goes against what an opposite is, doesn't it?

Not really...here is the first definition of opposite: situated, placed, or lying face to face with something else or each other, or in corresponding positions with relation to an intervening line, space, or thing: opposite ends of a room.

There are infinite number of positions on an intervening line or space between the two ends
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 03:50:58 PM
The Big Bang WAS the beginning and there was no time, matter or space before that. There was no "before".

I honestly didn't know that was a settled question.
I was under the impression that we do not currently have a way to detect anything beyond the Big Bang.
Is there physics that says conclusively there wasn't a collapsing universe other side the Big Bang? (Like a wave passing through zero from negative to positive.)

The collapsing universe was modelled mathematically on a computer but the ever accelerating expansion of our universe shows that the idea of pulsating universes was not plausible. There are ways to directly test ideas of colliding and collapsing universes.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Jag on October 10, 2013, 03:51:53 PM
Ooh, oohooh! This is one of my favorite concepts to explain. Randyjp, I'm going to have to make some assumptions about your understanding of what the BBT says, and in turn, I'll ask that you accept that my offered explanation assumes no god exists. I'm not even going to ask you to agree or disagree, I'm just going to ask you to consider this as a possibility (keeping in mind that I DO assume no gods exist). You seem reasonably intelligent so here it is:
Key points:
   1. Time is a concept, an idea, an abstract. It doesn’t exist in the way people often speak of it; for instance, no one ever “ran out of time”. At worst, one could run out of life, but time continues to pass, regardless of any individual’s participation, or lack thereof. It’s not an actual thing; it’s a way of explaining other things.
   2. Earth is a planet in the Milky Way galaxy, which is one galaxy of many (no, seriously, MANY) in the universe. For this conversation, we’re not going to include such theories as the multiverse – this one is enough for now.
With me so far? I'm assuming that none of that is controversial to you, and I’m sure that others who are far better equipped to dig into the fine points will correct any errors I make.

So:
If we can agree that black holes exist (an assumption of agreement here), and function as described by science - very generally: given enough time they absorb whatever is in their path - then follow that as far as it can take you.

Given enough time (and yes, I do take for granted that the universe is at least billions of years old), even black holes will be sucked in to other black holes.  Eventually, all matter that exists in the entirety of the universe gets sucked into a single immeasurably dense/intensely pressurized/mind-bendingly squished teenytinydot.
Can you guess what would happen next?

A big frickin’ bang, that’s what.

This universe is not the first universe created by a "big bang", it's just the current universe.The problem with trying to insist on a beginning is that it's all built on a concept - time -  that only exists to allow us to communicate about things related to it, like “yesterday”, or “next month” or “in ten years”. Or “many millions of years ago”. Or “one hundred twenty seven light years away”.

Without humans to come up with the concept of "time" in the first place, "beginning" is rendered meaningless. The "beginning" described by the Big Bang Theory is an explanation that fits the empirical evidence we've amassed to date, and the extra bit that I pointed out above fits as well and invalidates the entire idea of beginning.

I also want to be very clear that in no way am I presenting this as a fact. It's an alternative explanation that addresses your question, without the inclusion of a god. Nothing more, but also nothing less.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 03:53:17 PM

The Big Bang WAS the beginning and there was no time, matter or space before that. There was no "before". The energy of the expanding universe condensed matter from energy in the ratio E=mc2.

Foxy...I agree with you.  There was no before before the Big Bang.  But what you are saying does not support what you are saying.  I will give you energy is not matter.  But to any reasonable person when you say universe, you are talking about space.  And if you are saying that energy expanding that universe (space) before (time) to create the Big Bang, then you are telling me space and time existed in nothingness.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Nam on October 10, 2013, 03:58:50 PM
If you're going to state something as a fact please provide evidence otherwise write as an opinion which clearly it is.

-Nam
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 04:06:06 PM
Jag--
  So our universe could have been created out of a black hole in another universe, and that universe is created out of another universe... and on and on....  It is my understanding that multiple universes are at this point nothing but fanciful story lines for movies.  Am I wrong about that?  And even if I am not, each universe has a beginning, and will have an end (Second Law of Thermodynamics).  So at some point you have to wrestle with what began the first universe.  And to say it was created out of energy in that universe you are back to the same problem I have pointed out.

By the way, have I been illogical or delusional in all of this I have presented?
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 04:11:37 PM

Whatever you think is likely or logical from daily experience is WRONG. Experiments show that the universe does not work according to daily experience. Even something as simple as light reflected from a pool of water shows non causality in nature.

But isn't that exactly the atheist argument against God's existence??? God doesn't exist because it would be unlikely and illogical compared to daily experience.  You are telling me the universe is not logical according to daily experience....hmmmm

So if an atheist thinks it is likely and logical that God does not exist from daily experience it is wrong?? Or are you only saying that about Monotheists?
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 04:16:50 PM
If you're going to state something as a fact please provide evidence otherwise write as an opinion which clearly it is.

-Nam

What are you referring to?
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 04:17:07 PM

The Big Bang WAS the beginning and there was no time, matter or space before that. There was no "before". The energy of the expanding universe condensed matter from energy in the ratio E=mc2.

Foxy...I agree with you.  There was no before before the Big Bang.  But what you are saying does not support what you are saying.  I will give you energy is not matter.  But to any reasonable person when you say universe, you are talking about space.  And if you are saying that energy expanding that universe (space) before (time) to create the Big Bang, then you are telling me space and time existed in nothingness.

Space and time are a product of the universe. They cannot exist without it. It is the universe which brings space and time into being.



Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 04:23:45 PM
Space and time are a product of the universe. They cannot exist without it. It is the universe which brings space and time into being.

I agree, space and time exists because the universe exists.  But science has proven that the universe has not always existed.  So what brought the universe into existence?  And don't say energy in the universe. Cause that is not logical.. Of course if we throw out logic, the universe can be created with energy in the universe.  But if we throw out logic then believing in a God can not be illogical.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 04:25:01 PM

Whatever you think is likely or logical from daily experience is WRONG. Experiments show that the universe does not work according to daily experience. Even something as simple as light reflected from a pool of water shows non causality in nature.

But isn't that exactly the atheist argument against God's existence??? God doesn't exist because it would be unlikely and illogical compared to daily experience.  You are telling me the universe is not logical according to daily experience....hmmmm

No, the reason not to believe in a god is that there is no evidence to support it. It also depends on your definition of god.

Experiments show how nature works.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Nam on October 10, 2013, 04:26:34 PM
Believing in something one can not show any empirical evidence for is always illogical.

-Nam
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 04:29:27 PM
Space and time are a product of the universe. They cannot exist without it. It is the universe which brings space and time into being.

I agree, space and time exists because the universe exists.  But science has proven that the universe has not always existed.  So what brought the universe into existence?  And don't say energy in the universe. Cause that is not logical.. Of course if we throw out logic, the universe can be created with energy in the universe.  But if we throw out logic then believing in a God can not be illogical.

I answered this before. It is spontaneous. Quantum fluctuations always are spontaneous.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: jdawg70 on October 10, 2013, 04:34:37 PM
Your assumptions about Christians and your justification for it implies you have heard ALL Christians make ALL illogical or delusional arguments.  It would be more precise to say the Christians you have encountered have not given you any logical or non-delusional arguments to believe in God.
I'll readily admit that I'm extrapolating a bit.  But, from my perspective, Christianity has had, what, at least 50 generations worth of people talking about the existence of god and all of those claims and arguments seem to fall under the illogical category for me.  I don't think it's too big of a stretch to extrapolate to a generality there.
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Fact: The universe had a beginning.  It is more probable or logical to think someone or something outside the universe caused its beginning then to think it just spontaneously began...that nothing can produce something.  No field of science would deny the Law of Causality except physicists when it comes to the issue of cosmology.
The universe had a beginning:  Yes, I'll agree to that, assuming that 'universe' and 'sum total of reality' are not necessarily the same thing.  The evidence certainly points to that.
It is more probable or logical to think someone:  This requires some justification.  Use of the word 'someone' sneaks in a hell of a lot of baggage into the claim.
or something outside the universe caused its beginning then to think it just spontaneously began: Disregarding the 'someone' aspect, I'd be inclined to agree with you - well, at least it intuitively makes sense so I won't readily dismiss this.
No field of science would deny the Law of Causality except physicists when it comes to the issue of cosmology.:  Well, nuclear physicists tend to have to deny causality to some degree.  Radioactive decay and what not.  But you can't really have a problem with denying causality, can you?  What caused god?

"Well, god has no cause.  He did not begin to exist.  He has just always existed."

Of course that doesn't really work.  One has just as much evidence and data to suggest that the sum total of reality did not begin to exist.  The sum total of reality has just always existed.  Unless you've got something to suggest that the sum total of reality had a beginning of some kind.  If you want to claim that the beginning of the universe is synonymous with the beginning of reality, then you've shot yourself in the epistemological foot as you've just placed god outside of reality - making him 'not real'.

But for simplicity I'll just go ahead and concede that 'the sum total of reality' had a beginning.  At this point, all that has been established is that 'something' caused reality to exist.  There is still a pretty large gap to cross from this 'something' to 'omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving entity that has involvement with humanity'.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Truth OT on October 10, 2013, 04:39:02 PM
Jag--
  So our universe could have been created out of a black hole in another universe, and that universe is created out of another universe... and on and on....  It is my understanding that multiple universes are at this point nothing but fanciful story lines for movies.  Am I wrong about that?  And even if I am not, each universe has a beginning, and will have an end (Second Law of Thermodynamics).  So at some point you have to wrestle with what began the first universe.  And to say it was created out of energy in that universe you are back to the same problem I have pointed out.

By the way, have I been illogical or delusional in all of this I have presented?

It's my understanding that there is some degree of viability with regards the multiverse hypothesis in the scientific community so it can't be flat out dismissed as ficticious.

The concept of beginning is I think a stumbling block for many believers as the tendency is to equate the beginning with only 2 possibilities: 1) God did it or 2) something came from nothing. Limiting the beginning to only these as possibilities is fallous.

Possibility 1 has so many holes in it starting with being able to discover the identity of this singular god. The second possibility ignores the concept that the universe may not be an expanding 14 billion year old cosmos that started with a singularity that began expanding (an old static universe has not been disproven). Additional, it seems to gloss over the idea that the singularity was not 'nothing'.

If there was truly a beginning all we can say for certain is that SOMETHING or SOMETHINGS capable of causing the universe acted or was acted upon. We do not know the nature of the SOMETHINGS or if that or those SOMETHINGS acted purposefully or were even capable of thought.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 04:43:29 PM
"Well, god has no cause.  He did not begin to exist.  He has just always existed."

Of course that doesn't really work.  One has just as much evidence and data to suggest that the sum total of reality did not begin to exist.  The sum total of reality has just always existed.  Unless you've got something to suggest that the sum total of reality had a beginning of some kind.  If you want to claim that the beginning of the universe is synonymous with the beginning of reality, then you've shot yourself in the epistemological foot as you've just placed god outside of reality - making him 'not real'.

But for simplicity I'll just go ahead and concede that 'the sum total of reality' had a beginning.  At this point, all that has been established is that 'something' caused reality to exist.  There is still a pretty large gap to cross from this 'something' to 'omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving entity that has involvement with humanity'.

Isn't that what e=mc2 proved?? The universe thus reality had a beginning?  And yes I would agree to jump from something to the God of Christian is a jump without more discussion.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Nam on October 10, 2013, 04:44:02 PM
Nothing isn't actually nothing. Labeling it as such is nonsensical.

-Nam
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: jdawg70 on October 10, 2013, 04:48:22 PM
And even if I am not, each universe has a beginning, and will have an end (Second Law of Thermodynamics).  So at some point you have to wrestle with what began the first universe.  And to say it was created out of energy in that universe you are back to the same problem I have pointed out.
Why assume a first universe?

"Well, god has no cause.  He did not begin to exist.  He has just always existed."

Of course that doesn't really work.  One has just as much evidence and data to suggest that the sum total of reality did not begin to exist.  The sum total of reality has just always existed.  Unless you've got something to suggest that the sum total of reality had a beginning of some kind.  If you want to claim that the beginning of the universe is synonymous with the beginning of reality, then you've shot yourself in the epistemological foot as you've just placed god outside of reality - making him 'not real'.

But for simplicity I'll just go ahead and concede that 'the sum total of reality' had a beginning.  At this point, all that has been established is that 'something' caused reality to exist.  There is still a pretty large gap to cross from this 'something' to 'omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving entity that has involvement with humanity'.

Isn't that what e=mc2 proved?? The universe thus reality had a beginning?  And yes I would agree to jump from something to the God of Christian is a jump without more discussion.
But if 'the universe having a beginning' = 'reality having a beginning', again, you've just placed god outside of reality.  As in, not part of reality.  As in, not real.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Jag on October 10, 2013, 04:49:30 PM
Jag--
  So our universe could have been created out of a black hole in another universe, and that universe is created out of another universe... and on and on.... 
Almost, but not quite. I'm saying that given enough time (billions of years), EVERYTHING will be pulled into a single black hole and the whole process starts all over again.
Quote
It is my understanding that multiple universes are at this point nothing but fanciful story lines for movies.  Am I wrong about that? 
I also very specifically stated that I am NOT discussing the multiverse concept, which I understand to include simultaneous universes. I'm saying this explains how this one could have come into being, absent a god and including what we know about physics.
Quote
And even if I am not, each universe has a beginning, and will have an end (Second Law of Thermodynamics).  So at some point you have to wrestle with what began the first universe.  And to say it was created out of energy in that universe you are back to the same problem I have pointed out.
I understand what you are saying, but there comes a point where the science starts to be beyond my ability to articulate - some of the concepts involved are only fuzzily understood by me. I also know why this will not be a satisfying response to you. I know this is annoying as he!! to some people, but I don't feel a need to have an explanation of everything - I'm not smart enough to understand it even if one was available to me. I just can't make myself buy into the idea of a deity that has any actual involvement with humans - I see no evidence to make that explanation fit and a lot of evidence to say it doesn't fit at all. The only god I can make any possible sense of is an absolutely absent one, and if that's the case, why bother?
Quote
By the way, have I been illogical or delusional in all of this I have presented?
...no? I'm not sure why you are asking though, and I admit that I haven't read every word you've posted. Plus you're asking my opinion, which is entirely subjective. Just because I don't think you've been either or those things yet doesn't mean you won't become so in the future or that I haven't missed something relevant, or even that other people might not have different opinions, so I wouldn't get too excited about me.

Ain't it fun talking to people who will argue about anything at all if given half a chance?
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 04:55:03 PM

If there was truly a beginning all we can say for certain is that SOMETHING or SOMETHINGS capable of causing the universe acted or was acted upon. We do not know the nature of the SOMETHINGS or if that or those SOMETHINGS acted purposefully or were even capable of thought.

Yeah...but...if something or someone (I realize you have not bit on this) had the power to create the universe...wouldn't that something/someone be omnipotent?  And that someone/something would have to be outside of space and time in order to create space and time, then it/him/her would be definition be omnipresent and omniscient.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 04:58:27 PM
Nothing isn't actually nothing. Labeling it as such is nonsensical.

-Nam

Oh but Nam..that is EXACTLY what Foxy said about Christians at the very beginning of this discussion.  She said we like to say what nothing means and what its implication are.  Now you are telling a Christian what nothing means.    You are moving away from the agreed upon definition. 

Why can you say nothing isn't actually nothing and I have to accept that???
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 04:58:56 PM

If there was truly a beginning all we can say for certain is that SOMETHING or SOMETHINGS capable of causing the universe acted or was acted upon. We do not know the nature of the SOMETHINGS or if that or those SOMETHINGS acted purposefully or were even capable of thought.

Yeah...but...if something or someone (I realize you have not bit on this) had the power to create the universe...wouldn't that something/someone be omnipotent?  And that someone/something would have to be outside of space and time in order to create space and time, then it/him/her would be definition be omnipresent and omniscient.

No the universe needs no energy for its formation.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Nam on October 10, 2013, 05:01:16 PM
Nothing isn't actually nothing. Labeling it as such is nonsensical.

-Nam

Oh but Nam..that is EXACTLY what Foxy said about Christians at the very beginning of this discussion.  She said we like to say what nothing means and what its implication are.  Now you are telling a Christian what nothing means.    You are moving away from the agreed upon definition. 

Why can you say nothing isn't actually nothing and I have to accept that???

You don't.

-Nam
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 05:07:08 PM

I answered this before. It is spontaneous. Quantum fluctuations always are spontaneous.

Just because something is spontaneous doesn't mean it comes from nothing. Now we are talking about another something...quantum fluctuations. 
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: jdawg70 on October 10, 2013, 05:10:38 PM
Almost, but not quite. I'm saying that given enough time (billions of years), EVERYTHING will be pulled into a single black hole and the whole process starts all over again.
I'm going to nitpick here but the preponderance of evidence right now suggests that everything will emphatically not be pulled back into a singularity.  Rather, the universe will continue expanding at an accelerated rate, and the wavelength of any and all matter in the universe will grow unbounded.  Eventually, the wavelength of any and all matter will far exceed the length of the observable universe, no causal gradients will exist, so absolutely nothing can happen and the universe will be dead.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 05:14:00 PM

I answered this before. It is spontaneous. Quantum fluctuations always are spontaneous.

Just because something is spontaneous doesn't mean it comes from nothing. Now we are talking about another something...quantum fluctuations.

Quantum fluctuations are energy. Actually they are zero energy and uncaused.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 05:16:15 PM
I understand what you are saying, but there comes a point where the science starts to be beyond my ability to articulate - some of the concepts involved are only fuzzily understood by me. I also know why this will not be a satisfying response to you. I know this is annoying as he!! to some people, but I don't feel a need to have an explanation of everything - I'm not smart enough to understand it even if one was available to me. I just can't make myself buy into the idea of a deity that has any actual involvement with humans - I see no evidence to make that explanation fit and a lot of evidence to say it doesn't fit at all. The only god I can make any possible sense of is an absolutely absent one, and if that's the case, why bother?

Jag, I totally get not being able to bring yourself to the place of buying in...but that is not a logical reason.  That in volitional...or emotional.  That is different and I have no argument for that.

Quote
...no? I'm not sure why you are asking though, and I admit that I haven't read every word you've posted. Plus you're asking my opinion, which is entirely subjective. Just because I don't think you've been either or those things yet doesn't mean you won't become so in the future or that I haven't missed something relevant, or even that other people might not have different opinions, so I wouldn't get too excited about me.

Ain't it fun talking to people who will argue about anything at all if given half a chance?

A lot of posts on this board talk about the illogical, delusional Christians.  I think it is a stereotype that doesn't fit us all.

And yes...it is fun talking to people who will debate and argue about anything...it is how we learn and expand our horizons.  But many atheists put us Christians down for taking what we believe on blind faith, when actually there are many who have given serious intellectual thought to why we chose the worldview we have.  Just saying...give us a break! LOL
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 05:20:20 PM

Quantum fluctuations are energy. Actually they are zero energy and uncaused.

Where can I find information on quantum fluctuation not being caused?  And this is not a facetious request.  I am really interested in finding out.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 05:24:06 PM

I'm going to nitpick here but the preponderance of evidence right now suggests that everything will emphatically not be pulled back into a singularity.  Rather, the universe will continue expanding at an accelerated rate, and the wavelength of any and all matter in the universe will grow unbounded.  Eventually, the wavelength of any and all matter will far exceed the length of the observable universe, no causal gradients will exist, so absolutely nothing can happen and the universe will be dead.

That is my understanding as well jdawg.  Our universe has a definite lifespan- a start and a finish.  I mean the fact that it is dated at almost 14 billion years shows it had a start.  And if I am not mistaken there have been calculations for its death as well.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Jag on October 10, 2013, 05:27:54 PM
I understand what you are saying, but there comes a point where the science starts to be beyond my ability to articulate - some of the concepts involved are only fuzzily understood by me. I also know why this will not be a satisfying response to you. I know this is annoying as he!! to some people, but I don't feel a need to have an explanation of everything - I'm not smart enough to understand it even if one was available to me. I just can't make myself buy into the idea of a deity that has any actual involvement with humans - I see no evidence to make that explanation fit and a lot of evidence to say it doesn't fit at all. The only god I can make any possible sense of is an absolutely absent one, and if that's the case, why bother?

Jag, I totally get not being able to bring yourself to the place of buying in...but that is not a logical reason.  That in volitional...or emotional.  That is different and I have no argument for that.

Stop right there - your response ignores the rest of what I said: I see no evidence to make that explanation fit and a lot of evidence to say it doesn't fit at all. So if you leave the entire quote in context, it's not an emotional response - if anything it could be characterized as the resistance to social pressure to accept an explanation that contradicts what the evidence tells me.

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<snip>
A lot of posts on this board talk about the illogical, delusional Christians.  I think it is a stereotype that doesn't fit us all.

Sadly, it almost always turns out to fit the ones who come visit us here. There are exceptions, yes but they're pretty rare, and eventualy the ones who stay (or return after taking some time to think things through on their own) reconsider their stance and start edging toward ours. You may be different, only time will tell, but so far the odds are against it. Here's hoping you are the exception you seem to be suggesting you are!  ;)
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And yes...it is fun talking to people who will debate and argue about anything...it is how we learn and expand our horizons.  But many atheists put us Christians down for taking what we believe on blind faith, when actually there are many who have given serious intellectual thought to why we chose the worldview we have.  Just saying...give us a break! LOL

As long as you understand from the very beginning that we take almost nothing at anyone's word, there's much to be learned for all of us. AFAIC, THAT is the meaning of like.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 05:30:03 PM
Believing in something one can not show any empirical evidence for is always illogical.

-Nam

Nam--How can we verify that belief of yours that "Believing in something one can not show any empirical evidence for is always illogical."???
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Jag on October 10, 2013, 05:31:04 PM
Almost, but not quite. I'm saying that given enough time (billions of years), EVERYTHING will be pulled into a single black hole and the whole process starts all over again.
I'm going to nitpick here but the preponderance of evidence right now suggests that everything will emphatically not be pulled back into a singularity.  Rather, the universe will continue expanding at an accelerated rate, and the wavelength of any and all matter in the universe will grow unbounded.  Eventually, the wavelength of any and all matter will far exceed the length of the observable universe, no causal gradients will exist, so absolutely nothing can happen and the universe will be dead.

See? I knew someone who could point out the flaws would come along and do so. Sigh. Point me toward some research please - I'll dig in over the weekend while I avoid more homework  :P
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 05:32:23 PM

Quantum fluctuations are energy. Actually they are zero energy and uncaused.

Where can I find information on quantum fluctuation not being caused?  And this is not a facetious request.  I am really interested in finding out.

The non causal aspect of quantum mechanics appears in many ways. Some of the other experiments are easier to understand.

For quantum fluctuations try the videos on YouTube  by Lawrence Krauss since you know of him. There are some called a universe from nothing.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Nam on October 10, 2013, 05:42:44 PM
Believing in something one can not show any empirical evidence for is always illogical.

-Nam

Nam--How can we verify that belief of yours that "Believing in something one can not show any empirical evidence for is always illogical."???

Not a belief. You can't give empirical evidence for your god, hell, you can't give any evidence for your god, therefore it doesn't exist. Saying or believing it exists doesn't magically make it exist.

Evidence is what proves things. There is no verifiable, empirical, or any kind of non-biased evidence out there to show that your, or anyone's god exists.

That's not a "belief", that's a fact.

-Nam
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 05:45:47 PM

The non causal aspect of quantum mechanics appears in many ways. Some of the other experiments are easier to understand.

For quantum fluctuations try the videos on YouTube  by Lawrence Krauss since you know of him. There are some called a universe from nothing.

I have seen Krauss' Universe from nothing.  It would take me much more faith to accept what he says there then my Christian beliefs.  However there is only passing mention of quantum fluctuations in that video.  I will look for others.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 05:51:43 PM
[quote author=Nam link=topic=25495.msg573418#msg573418 date=1381444964

Not a belief. You can't give empirical evidence for your god, hell, you can't give any evidence for your god, therefore it doesn't exist. Saying or believing it exists doesn't magically make it exist.

Evidence is what proves things. There is no verifiable, empirical, or any kind of non-biased evidence out there to show that your, or anyone's god exists.

That's not a "belief", that's a fact.

-Nam[/quote]

I am sorry...but your statement about illogical belief and empirical evidence is a belief and not a fact.  If it was a fact, there would be empirical evidence of it.  Oh and existence and logic are two very different things.  One of the most illogical things there is is love.  But
just because it is illogical, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.  And my guess is that it would be hard to empirically verify.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 05:53:51 PM

Fact: The universe had a beginning.  It is more probable or logical to think someone or something outside the universe caused its beginning then to think it just spontaneously began...that nothing can produce something.  No field of science would deny the Law of Causality except physicists when it comes to the issue of cosmology.


Whatever you think is likely or logical from daily experience is WRONG. Experiments show that the universe does not work according to daily experience. Even something as simple as light reflected from a pool of water shows non causality in nature.

This is the essential difference between a person of faith and person of reason.

Nature through experiments forces a person of reason to accept the way it is.

A person of faith forces nature to accept the way he says it is.




Here is the real problem with your argument. You say here that nothing cannot produce something so god did it. You have already agreed that the bible does not say the Christian god did it that way, so your logical conclusion should be that some other god did it. Krishna might fulfil your requirements.

We actually do see something from nothing all the time when matter is produced around a black hole from quantum fluctuations.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Randyjp on October 10, 2013, 06:00:15 PM
Here is the real problem with your argument. You say here that nothing cannot produce something so god did it. You have already agreed that the bible does not say the Christian god did it that way, so your logical conclusion should be that some other god did it. Krishna might fulfil your requirements.

We actually do see something from nothing all the time when matter is produced around a black hole from quantum fluctuations.

Oh you misunderstood me.  I said you could not argue God creating from nothing from Genesis 1:1.  I never said the Christian God didn't create from nothing.

And again...the whole issue of something from nothing I am not buying...even the example you gave above there are somethings...black hole and quantum fluctuations.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Nam on October 10, 2013, 06:10:40 PM
Quote from: randyjp
I am sorry...but your statement about illogical belief and empirical evidence is a belief and not a fact.  If it was a fact, there would be empirical evidence of it.

So, to prove that empirical evidence exists one first has to find empirical evidence of empirical evidence? That's idiotic.

To prove illogical belief (which I never brought up, you did) exists one has to first show evidence that "illogical belief" exists? Okay, believing in a god/s is illogical because one can neither prove nor
disprove it/they exist.

Quote
  Oh and existence and logic are two very different things.

Who said they were the same? I sure as hell didn't.

Quote
But just because it is illogical, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.  And my guess is that it would be hard to empirically verify.

There are things of the future we can't prove but may exist. To you, and a billion+ others Biblegod  exists yet has never been proven with any reliable evidence. Therefore it's an illogical belief.

What some find illogical today about the unknowable, doesn't mean in some future date it won't be knowable; the problem with your belief, your religion, is that IT states it's knowable and the evidence it gives is itself. That's illogical.

It's an illogical belief.

Get it yet?

Of course not.

-Nam
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Nam on October 10, 2013, 06:12:06 PM
Oh, and please go to the test area and LEARN HOW TO QUOTE!

-Nam
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 06:14:21 PM
Here is the real problem with your argument. You say here that nothing cannot produce something so god did it. You have already agreed that the bible does not say the Christian god did it that way, so your logical conclusion should be that some other god did it. Krishna might fulfil your requirements.

We actually do see something from nothing all the time when matter is produced around a black hole from quantum fluctuations.

Oh you misunderstood me.  I said you could not argue God creating from nothing from Genesis 1:1.  I never said the Christian God didn't create from nothing.

And again...the whole issue of something from nothing I am not buying...even the example you gave above there are somethings...black hole and quantum fluctuations.

Not only can you not argue the Christian god from genesis creation. The story that everything began as water contradicts how the universe was actually formed. You must agree that another god is more likely than the Christian god, who did not know how the universe began.

Quantum fluctuations are the process. The material around a black hole appears from absolutely nothing. Do you see here how you have changed your definition of nothing to suit yourself? What does that tell you about your motives? I have already explained how the things in the universe condensed after the Big Bang. The something from nothing happened after the Big Bang in our own universe.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: ParkingPlaces on October 10, 2013, 06:27:17 PM
Welcome Randyjp

I'm from Eugene originally, and have lived in the Portland area. What does it feel like to be a christian in that neighborhood? Isn't a bit too liberal for you? Just wondering.

Anyway, the first thing you need to understand is that we never get any two christians with the same set of beliefs. So right now one of the things the others are doing is trying to figure out where the heck you're coming from. Are you a fundy, liberal, literal, metaphorical, etc. It usually takes us awhile to put newbies into an appropriate category so that we don't end up arguing about the wrong things. Thirty some posts isn't often enough. So confusion will continue to reign for a little while.

You do seem to be hung up on the nothing thing. Which, to me, means that your sense of incredulity is driving your beliefs. I personally find everything to fantastic that I have no way to believe any of it, except for the part that the scientific explanations, when available, seem to do a pretty decent job of making sense of things. Like evolution, geology, star formation, orbits, etc. And because they have a fairly decent track record, overall, I tend to assume that we will eventually figure out the really big questions, like where the heck did we come from? In the meantime, I do not consider the question answered, and I doubt that it will be in my lifetime. Which, although a bummer, is not enough of a mystery to cause me to go all religious on my neighbors.

Right now, for instance, some physicists are seriously considering the possibility that black holes spawn universes within them. Weird, I know, but the math shows that that is one possibility. Which would mean that we don't spring from nothing, but rather from a whole lot of very compact stuff. That goes out into the new universe, makes new black holes, and perhaps more universes. And we are just in one of them. That of course doesn't explain where the stuff came from originally, but I, for one, have never been in the mood to go to the fallback position of claiming that a god last heard from 2,000 years ago is the logical source.

I would suggest that rather than dwelling on the nothing question, you look around and see how much sense you can make of things that seem to exist. Can you make enough sense of our apparent reality to make a god fit nicely? Can you make enough sense out of your god to make him fit into the reality we have right now? Are the christian claims about him consistent with what you experience? And are you sure about that?  Can you be sure about that? Can you be sure about anything?

Science has proven that you can't breed a striped goat by breeding it in front of a striped stick. I consider that more impressive that flood claims, walking on water and/or scary armageddon stories. Subdued flu epidemics, storm forecasts that allow people to evacuate threatened areas, tiny frickin' chips that I can put in my camera that hold 64 gigs of photos: those are all things that people unawed by shepherds stories have accomplished. Yes, some that participated in the discoveries required also believed in a god, but they weren't so astonished by the questions so as to ignore reality and not build on known knowledge.

So if you could figure out why you are what kind of christian you are (in preparation for discussing stuff with us) and then give us an overview of your version of that religion, we could then get into some serious discussions.

Atheism is simple. Beliefs are not. We need your take on your version before meaningful dialogue can take place.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 10, 2013, 06:33:41 PM

The non causal aspect of quantum mechanics appears in many ways. Some of the other experiments are easier to understand.

For quantum fluctuations try the videos on YouTube  by Lawrence Krauss since you know of him. There are some called a universe from nothing.

I have seen Krauss' Universe from nothing.  It would take me much more faith to accept what he says there then my Christian beliefs.  However there is only passing mention of quantum fluctuations in that video.  I will look for others.

This is what will annoy many people on this site. You think that it takes faith to accept the results of experiments.

I will repeat what I wrote above. Do you think it applies to you?


This is the essential difference between a person of faith and person of reason.

Nature through experiments forces a person of reason to accept the way it is.

A person of faith forces nature to accept the way he says it is.

(By the way I think you discuss things better than most Christians )

Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Nam on October 10, 2013, 06:34:07 PM
He's probably one of those Christians who state atheism is a religion/belief. What I get so far from him.

-Nam
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: shnozzola on October 10, 2013, 08:08:38 PM
Hi Randyjp,

  My nose is NOT that big.   :)

Anyway,
       I'm  always posting these 2 videos, but for the whole "universe from nothing" debate I love the theories here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjaGktVQdNg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGL8SesIo6Y

start about 17 minutes on this one , but it is all interesting IMO
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: screwtape on October 10, 2013, 10:22:46 PM
I know the conversation has moved on, but I cannot tolerate this being left as is.

Not really...

I am sorry, my little friend, that fails.

here is the first definition of opposite:

The first?  Not, the most appropriate given the context?  Not, the most rational?  Just the first.  How indiscriminate.  That's like marrying the first woman willing to bang you.  Or banging anyone willing to receive you.  Bad idea on all counts.

I won't quote the definition you provided.  It was irrelevant.  We are not talking about spatial relations.  For you to suggest that indicates you are not paying attention. You said everything has an opposite.  I asked the opposite of of.  You indicated that of had a corresponding... "something" on the other side of the room.  So wrong.  So not cogent.

Let us consider the whole word.  courtesy of mirriam webster:
Quote
1a :  set over against something that is at the other end or side of an intervening line or space <opposite interior angles> <opposite ends of a diameter>
b :  situated in pairs on an axis with each member being separated from the other by half the circumference of the axis <opposite leaves> — compare alternate
2 a :  occupying an opposing and often antagonistic position <opposite sides of the question>
b :  diametrically different (as in nature or character) <opposite meanings>
3:  contrary to one another or to a thing specified :  reverse <gave them opposite directions>
4:  being the other of a pair that are corresponding or complementary in position, function, or nature <members of the opposite sex>
5:  of, relating to, or being the side of a baseball field that is near the first base line for a right-handed batter and near the third base line for a left-handed batter

1a and b are physical and irrelevant.
2 a and b have some promise.
3 also is relevant
4 could be
5 also spatial.

Is there any "opposing and antagonistic position" of "of"?  None that I can think of.
How about a "reverse" of "of"?  I don't think that makes any sense.
Perhaps we can think of a " other of a pair that are corresponding or complementary in position, function, or nature" for "of"?  Nope.

bottom line, there is no opposite of "of".

You could try this for any number of words and ideas and twist your head in knots.  Opposite is a fabrication.  Opposite is a construct.  It carries baggage and makes assumptions. It is mostly useless in adult conversations.


Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Nam on October 10, 2013, 10:57:27 PM
I read all that, and the repetitive use of "of" gave me a headache[1].

-Nam
 1. I guess that's what I do to people, huh? ;)
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Fiji on October 11, 2013, 01:26:47 AM
So, let me get this straight ... as straight as you can get anything when religion is involved.
Randyjp believes in the god of the bible and accepts that Genesis is just a story, ie. made up, so ... how does he know anything at all for certain about this god of his?
Which parts of the bible are the made up stuff and which parts are to be used to construct a picture of this god thingy ... or the Jesus thingy for that matter?
I know, let's bring in empirical evidence for the resurrection or something. Which would be neat, except that ... there isn't any ... and if there were, Randyjp has already stated that empirical evidence requires faith, that he won't accept repeatable experiments.

So, maybe there's our answer, Randyjp believes what he believes because he likes to believe it. Which may be neat if he were Neo and this were the Matrix. And hey, I would looooooove to disbelieve gravity and fly home in stead of sitting in traffic for half an hour. But so far ... nothing. Damn you Douglas Adams! You lied to us!

This is why I've recently taken to describing the would-be creator of the universe 'he/she/it/penguin', since, without corroborating evidence, a transuniversal uber penguin shitting the universe into existance is just as likely as biblegod/Allah/Gaia/Ymir[1]/The Undertaker doing so.
Go on, try to disprove my shitting penguin theory[2]!
 1. yeah, yeah, I know Ymir isn't credited with creating the universe.
 2. and I even raped the word theory to make my point
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 11, 2013, 05:16:09 AM

Whatever you think is likely or logical from daily experience is WRONG. Experiments show that the universe does not work according to daily experience. Even something as simple as light reflected from a pool of water shows non causality in nature.

But isn't that exactly the atheist argument against God's existence??? God doesn't exist because it would be unlikely and illogical compared to daily experience.  You are telling me the universe is not logical according to daily experience....hmmmm

So if an atheist thinks it is likely and logical that God does not exist from daily experience it is wrong?? Or are you only saying that about Monotheists?

It is experiments which show how nature works not daily experience. Here is an experiment for you to think about which will prove that DAILY EXPERIENCE IS WRONG in deciding how nature works.

Imagine someone is shining a torch into your eyes while you are standing still. The light is coming into your eyes at a known speed. Now you run towards the torch. How will you see the speed of light change as you meet it coming into your eyes and why?

Imagine the same thing with a car coming towards you. First you are standing still in your own car and you see the car coming towards you at a certain speed. Now you drive straight towards the other car. How will you see the speed of the car change as you drive to meet it?

Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Jonny-UK on October 11, 2013, 07:00:40 AM
This is why I've recently taken to describing the would-be creator of the universe 'he/she/it/penguin', since, without corroborating evidence, a transuniversal uber penguin shitting the universe into existance is just as likely as biblegod/Allah/Gaia/Ymir[1]/The Undertaker doing so.
Go on, try to disprove my shitting penguin theory[2]!
 1. yeah, yeah, I know Ymir isn't credited with creating the universe.
 2. and I even raped the word theory to make my point
(http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd115/jonny998/godisapenguin.jpg) (http://s225.photobucket.com/user/jonny998/media/godisapenguin.jpg.html)

+1 for the penguin theory- I can see no evidence against it !
All hail the penguin god.

I think e=mc2 is a well proven and accepted truth.
For there to be any chance of a god creator, am I right in assuming that  he/she/penguin would have to be able too somehow bypass this truth while they did their creation thing ?
Could there ever be a situation where e=mc2 did not apply?
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Fiji on October 11, 2013, 07:30:40 AM
^^ I said ... SHITTED the universe into existance, not 'touched' ... I see you're an apostate! A heathen of the nonshit penguin god! You're an ashitist!
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Jonny-UK on October 11, 2013, 07:44:27 AM
^^ I said ... SHITTED the universe into existance, not 'touched' ... I see you're an apostate! A heathen of the nonshit penguin god! You're an ashitist!
Sorry, it is so easy to misinterprit these religous teachings.
 I am a poor miserable sinner Oh great penguin god.

^^
I'm sure I've been called similar things before now ;D
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: jdawg70 on October 11, 2013, 08:56:45 AM
I'm going to nitpick here but the preponderance of evidence right now suggests that everything will emphatically not be pulled back into a singularity.  Rather, the universe will continue expanding at an accelerated rate, and the wavelength of any and all matter in the universe will grow unbounded.  Eventually, the wavelength of any and all matter will far exceed the length of the observable universe, no causal gradients will exist, so absolutely nothing can happen and the universe will be dead.

See? I knew someone who could point out the flaws would come along and do so. Sigh. Point me toward some research please - I'll dig in over the weekend while I avoid more homework  :P
Warning: So I know you asked for research, but I've got lots of Wikipedia ahead instead.  Sorry.

I seriously do not remember where I read the whole 'wavelength of any and all matter will far exceed the length of the observable universe' bit, but digging through Wikipedia trying to find sources, it seems that this scenario is the Big Rip[1] and is dependent on certain specific parameters regarding the rate of expansion of the universe.  As the rate of expansion and the mechanism is still so ill-understood (observed cosmic acceleration, modeled as dark energy[2]), it is difficult to point to experimental data that confidently supports this speculation (basically, it's pretty much an unknown crap shoot right now as to whether or not expansion will continue unbounded, or if dark energy is a constant or a 'thingie' that changes over time).

If the rate of expansion is bounded, that implies that expanding, outward acceleration due to dark energy is either constant or decaying, and the whole 'Big Rip' thing doesn't really happen.  You end up in heat death[3][4], so individual particles don't get stretched beyond the length of observability - just all of your neighbors are far, far, far, far away (far enough away that they cannot be observed, in principle).

So the evidence suggests that heat death is the end game, rather than a 'big rip'.  Of course, since this is really in the vicinity of speculative theoretical physics, it's all to be taken with some grains of salt.  But the data - the observed rate of expansion of the universe[5] - that supports the speculation is there.
 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Rip
 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_acceleration
 3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death_of_the_universe
 4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_an_expanding_universe
 5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_constant
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Dante on October 11, 2013, 09:12:10 AM
If the rate of expansion is bounded, that implies that expanding, outward acceleration due to dark energy is either constant or decaying, and the whole 'Big Rip' thing doesn't really happen.  You end up in heat death[1][2], so individual particles don't get stretched beyond the length of observability - just all of your neighbors are far, far, far, far away (far enough away that they cannot be observed, in principle).

So the evidence suggests that heat death is the end game, rather than a 'big rip'.  Of course, since this is really in the vicinity of speculative theoretical physics, it's all to be taken with some grains of salt.  But the data - the observed rate of expansion of the universe[3] - that supports the speculation is there.
 1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death_of_the_universe
 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_an_expanding_universe
 3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_constant

jdawg, thanks for being read up on the subject. But, at risk of offering up ammo to the god botherers, where does that hypothesis fit in with relation to the Big Bang? What I mean is that cyclical, wave-type universes makes logical sense to me, but an ever expanding universe goes against that. Does your[4] theory have any way of ascribing a beginning, or is it all about the end?
 4. yeah, I know it's probably not "yours", but...
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Jag on October 11, 2013, 09:51:14 AM
Thank you jdawg! I'll read up this weekend. Then you can explain the parts I don't understand.  :?

This is a perfect example of why I'm ok with not having all the answers, no matter who is doing the asking. People with a helluva lot more appropriate skills and knowledge than I are figuring things out faster than I could possibly keep up with new discoveries.

Science rocks - that's all I got and it's e-nuff fer me!  ;D
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: jdawg70 on October 11, 2013, 09:55:33 AM
jdawg, thanks for being read up on the subject. But, at risk of offering up ammo to the god botherers, where does that hypothesis fit in with relation to the Big Bang? What I mean is that cyclical, wave-type universes makes logical sense to me, but an ever expanding universe goes against that. Does your[1] theory have any way of ascribing a beginning, or is it all about the end?
 1. yeah, I know it's probably not "yours", but...
a) One should not ever fear giving argumentative ammo to theists (as opposed to actual ammo, which should elicit fear).  If there is truth to their viewpoint, additional ammo will help them expose that truth and I'd love to see it.  If there isn't truth to their viewpoint, the ammo will have the same effect as a blank round - it'll make a lot of noise, be pretty annoying, but other than that no harm will come from it (again...metaphorical ammo not real ammo :)).
2) It's an interesting question, and I haven't really considered it like that.  I guess I've looked at the whole 'end of the universe' set of speculations as separate and independent of 'origin of the universe' - similar to the separation I give to abiogenesis and evolution.  But certainly it's valid to ask how these topics relate, so it's valid to ask how the 'origin of the universe' relates to the 'end of the universe'.
d) These 'end game' scenarios are speculations based upon some of the same understood phenomenon that assert the validity of the 'start game' scenario of the Big Bang, so really, it is difficult for me to simply say that it's all about the end without consideration to the beginning.  To assert the validity of the 'heat death' scenario is to assert the validity of the cosmic background radiation as a signature of the Big Bang (as part of the data supporting the acceleration of the universe is derived from the redshift of the cosmic background radiation).

Basically, that's a long-winded way for me to say that the speculation on 'end game' is predicated strictly on currently observed data, but it's also the same data that establishes the model for the 'start game'.  And, I must say, both the 'start game' and the 'end game' have this big ole' wall of 'and here's where are current models and understanding of physics break down' that can lead only to non-confident speculation.  In the case of the Big Bang, that's some 13+ billion years in the past (around 100,000 years after the speculative 'big expansion from the singularity' point - when the energy density was low enough that the entire universe didn't just look a big blotch o' photons bouncing around).  In the case of 'heat death', that's some few billion years out in the future (where we don't understand fundamental things like whether protons are stable or not, or the nature of this whole 'dark energy' and 'dark matter' phenomenon).

Thank you jdawg! I'll read up this weekend. Then you can explain the parts I don't understand.  :?

This is a perfect example of why I'm ok with not having all the answers, no matter who is doing the asking. People with a helluva lot more appropriate skills and knowledge than I are figuring things out faster than I could possibly keep up with new discoveries.

Science rocks - that's all I got and it's e-nuff fer me!  ;D
Oh you don't want me explaining such things :)
At this point I've basically exhausted my "knowledge" of cosmology and theoretical physics.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 11, 2013, 10:06:15 AM
This is a wiki article about the first three minutes of the universe.

It describes how the universe began as energy and how the "something" which we call matter condensed out as the universe expanded.

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/General_Astronomy/The_First_Three_Minutes
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Dante on October 11, 2013, 10:27:07 AM
d) These 'end game' scenarios are speculations based upon some of the same understood phenomenon that assert the validity of the 'start game' scenario of the Big Bang, so really, it is difficult for me to simply say that it's all about the end without consideration to the beginning.  To assert the validity of the 'heat death' scenario is to assert the validity of the cosmic background radiation as a signature of the Big Bang (as part of the data supporting the acceleration of the universe is derived from the redshift of the cosmic background radiation).

Thanks man, good stuff.

I understand all of that, and I suppose eventual "heat death" doesn't rule out a cyclical universe event. A universe could expand infinitely, in theory, but I wouldn't think it's all that likely. Nothing is forever  ;)

You know, the only reason I'd ever want to be immortal is to watch us humans find the secrets of the cosmos. It's mesmerizing to me.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Jag on October 11, 2013, 10:36:17 AM
Thank you jdawg! I'll read up this weekend. Then you can explain the parts I don't understand.  :?
Oh you don't want me explaining such things :)
At this point I've basically exhausted my "knowledge" of cosmology and theoretical physics.

Look like Dante might be a good choice...
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Truth OT on October 11, 2013, 11:02:36 AM
Yeah...but...if something or someone (I realize you have not bit on this) had the power to create the universe...wouldn't that something/someone be omnipotent?  And that someone/something would have to be outside of space and time in order to create space and time, then it/him/her would be definition be omnipresent and omniscient.

This is about as huge a leap as I have seen made in a minute. First you reduce the initiating something(s) to a singular someone, you then proceed to made that thing all powerful, and then you presume it to be omnipresent. Why presume ANY of those things?

As I have said before, when it comes to the "creation" of our cosmos perhaps the best explanation is that SOMETHING(s), which is impossible (at this point) to identify, describe, or explain, acted or was acted upon (by something yet to be identified as well), causing the onset of our reality.

The SOMETHING(s) in question here cannot yet be identified. So to say it was a sentient being capable of making a purposeful decision is at best wishful thinking and in reality is a flat out deceitful position to promote because no evidence supports it. A better guess, but still a guess nonetheless would be to say that the SOMETHING(s) that gave rise to our cosmos was/were somehow capable of causing "creation", but again we have no way of knowing whether the capable party acted purposefully or whether our cosmos arose accidentally as an effect of its/their actions. The speculation is infinite and the definitive answers are lacking.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Jag on October 11, 2013, 11:18:03 AM
A better guess, but still a guess nonetheless would be to say that the SOMETHING(s) that gave rise to our cosmos was/were somehow capable of causing "creation", but again we have no way of knowing whether the capable party acted purposefully or whether our cosmos arose accidentally as an effect of its/their actions. The speculation is infinite and the definitive answers are lacking.

Excellent response, and the bolded part in particular caught my eye. I've never even considered that - thank you for a very thought provoking point!
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 11, 2013, 11:24:25 AM
The idea that water was the original substance is not just in the OT but in the NT.

2 Peter 3:5 — For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God [the] heavens existed long ago and [the] earth was formed out of water and by water.

The god of the OT and NT does not know how everything was formed. It must be another god who did it !
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Add Homonym on October 12, 2013, 01:22:02 AM
The idea of what nothing is, is not terribly relevant, because God gets sucked down the same hole. If something can't come from nothing, then God can't come from nothing either. Arguing using QM won't fix this problem. QM is obviously part of a created rule-set that came out of nothing, not a magical solution to this problem.

Another problem is that there may still be nothing here, now. What physics has shown us, is that there is symmetry. Whenever you discover one type of thing, there is always an anti-thing. Thing + Anti-thing sums to zero. So, given that something can't come from nothing, then it implies that there is still nothing.

Evolution has shown us that certain forms can survive and improve, if given a chance to 'reproduce'. So, it can't be ruled out that the apparent intelligence that we see in the universe, is a product of either brute-force trial, or brute force trial and then elimination of errors, by some criterion that's not obvious.

QM shows us the possibility of brute force (Multiverse), and one interpretation gives us trial and error (Copenhagen). What we observe in physics, shows us that we have enough mechanisms to potentially explain how it works, even if we can't assemble the IKEA product.

I believe the original post says that Genesis does not claim that God solved the something from nothing problem.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 12, 2013, 08:59:28 AM
AH

My idea of this thread was to show that the creation story in both Genesis in the OT and 2 Peter 3:5 in the NT does not agree with reality, and it does not agree with the statement by Christians that their god made the universe from nothing.

If Christians say that a god made the universe from nothing, it cannot be their god.

In reality the "something" in the universe came into existence a few minutes AFTER the Big Bang. We know how it happened and it was not water which formed the universe or the earth. See the link I posted above for a summary.

I discussed definitions and the beginning of the universe with Randy because I could see he was genuinely interested in the results.



Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Add Homonym on October 12, 2013, 11:05:25 AM
Oh, I thought he was genuinely interested in cornering you into a pointless definition.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 12, 2013, 01:32:32 PM
Oh, I thought he was genuinely interested in cornering you into a pointless definition.

He started that way but it only took one post to deal with. ( I know he continued some illogical definitions with other people.)

I think it is important to know that the properties of "nothing" are the result of scientific discovery rather than arbitrary choice. If people don't like the fact that nothing in empty space has "properties" that is just tough. That is how it is.

One of the problems with discussing this issue with theists is that they think they can choose a definition of "nothing" and they choose a definition so that they can say "god did it". The definition is not arbitrary. "Nothing" is not the lack of pink elephants.

Video- that's how it is - explained in 1 minute
http://youtu.be/iMDTcMD6pOw      (http://youtu.be/iMDTcMD6pOw)
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 12, 2013, 04:03:30 PM
1) The idea of what nothing is, is not terribly relevant, because God gets sucked down the same hole. If something can't come from nothing, then God can't come from nothing either. Arguing using QM won't fix this problem. QM is obviously part of a created rule-set that came out of nothing, not a magical solution to this problem.

2) Another problem is that there may still be nothing here, now. What physics has shown us, is that there is symmetry. Whenever you discover one type of thing, there is always an anti-thing. Thing + Anti-thing sums to zero. So, given that something can't come from nothing, then it implies that there is still nothing.

3) Evolution has shown us that certain forms can survive and improve, if given a chance to 'reproduce'. So, it can't be ruled out that the apparent intelligence that we see in the universe, is a product of either brute-force trial, or brute force trial and then elimination of errors, by some criterion that's not obvious.

QM shows us the possibility of brute force (Multiverse), and one interpretation gives us trial and error (Copenhagen). What we observe in physics, shows us that we have enough mechanisms to potentially explain how it works, even if we can't assemble the IKEA product.

I believe the original post says that Genesis does not claim that God solved the something from nothing problem.

1) Matter is being created from nothing all the time, it is also being destroyed all the time. In QM No gods can add any energy or cause. There is no reason to assume that any "parameters" have to be set.

2) yes, in a way you could say the universe is a temporary aberration of nothing and will become nothing again.

3) I don't see any sign of apparent intelligence in the universe. The fundamental way the universe works is by a chaotic flow of energy and matter into temporary patterns which the human brain interprets as order. (The human brain has evolved to do this so that it will not be eaten by a temporary pattern, such as the one called a lion.) Scientific experiments on small parts of this chaotic flow of matter and energy allow humans to make abstract rules about the chaotic flow. The abstract rules humans have made up show that the chaotic flow of the universe is not as good as it could be. The chaotic flow of matter and energy is actually close to the worst it could be for life to exist.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Add Homonym on October 13, 2013, 08:13:18 AM
1) Matter is being created from nothing all the time

Only for the purposes of making that statement, you have defined "nothing" as empty space. Whereas, we suspect that empty space is full of some kind of grid, with strings and is thick with pseudo matter, so it's hardly "nothing".  There may be more stuff in empty space than in full-up space.

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2) yes, in a way you could say the universe is a temporary aberration of nothing and will become nothing again.

It's not necessarily temporary.

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3) I don't see any sign of apparent intelligence in the universe.
 The fundamental way the universe works is by a chaotic flow of energy and matter into temporary patterns which the human brain interprets as order.

That's being somewhat disingenuous. It could just as easily be the product of intelligence, but we can see mechanisms that explain everything that used to be inexplicable.

You just have to look at all the strange properties that have helped man along. I think the universe only requires a few elements to work, but we've been left with a load of toys to play with. Without silicon, we would have no windows, telescopes or semiconductors. Hydrogen and oxygen just happen to combine, to make a ubiquitous solvent, with a specific heat of 4x everything else. Planets have magnetic cores, which create a field that wards away radiation. There just happens to be a metal with a density of 2.6, for making aeroplanes and another one that stays liquid at room temperature. Iron, the major result of a super nova, just happens to be great for building shit, and making knives. We just happen to have copper and aluminium: two strong, non toxic non-degrading conductors; without which, electronics would never have started.

For some reason, life seems to be propelled by all these little quirks. It all seems very well planned, and it takes skill to convince yourself that it's not planned.

Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 13, 2013, 09:24:07 AM

That's being somewhat disingenuous. It could just as easily be the product of intelligence, but we can see mechanisms that explain everything that used to be inexplicable.

You just have to look at all the strange properties that have helped man along. I think the universe only requires a few elements to work, but we've been left with a load of toys to play with. Without silicon, we would have no windows, telescopes or semiconductors. Hydrogen and oxygen just happen to combine, to make a ubiquitous solvent, with a specific heat of 4x everything else. Planets have magnetic cores, which create a field that wards away radiation. There just happens to be a metal with a density of 2.6, for making aeroplanes and another one that stays liquid at room temperature. Iron, the major result of a super nova, just happens to be great for building shit, and making knives. We just happen to have copper and aluminium: two strong, non toxic non-degrading conductors; without which, electronics would never have started.

For some reason, life seems to be propelled by all these little quirks. It all seems very well planned, and it takes skill to convince yourself that it's not planned.

So the whole universe was made for people? Just so that people could build aeroplanes and make electronics ?

This assumes that brains capable of making aeroplanes and electronics were also designed. Chimpanzees don't make aeroplanes and electronics.

It is a pity that the planet was not designed well enough to prevent people from starving to death or from disease, or that the laws of physics made it easy to build spaceships to colonise other planets or build time machines.




Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: shnozzola on October 13, 2013, 10:04:59 AM
You just have to look at all the strange properties that have helped man along. I think the universe only requires a few elements to work, but we've been left with a load of toys to play with. Without silicon, we would have no windows, telescopes or semiconductors. Hydrogen and oxygen just happen to combine, to make a ubiquitous solvent, with a specific heat of 4x everything else. Planets have magnetic cores, which create a field that wards away radiation. There just happens to be a metal with a density of 2.6, for making aeroplanes and another one that stays liquid at room temperature. Iron, the major result of a super nova, just happens to be great for building s**t, and making knives. We just happen to have copper and aluminium: two strong, non toxic non-degrading conductors; without which, electronics would never have started.

Are you being facetious?  Isn't this like saying the earth is the correct distance from the sun so we have a pleasant home?  - instead of simply saying we are evolving here because this type of life is possible, with all these "tools" just because we are able with our evolved intelligence, which is questionable anyway. 

Take your copper/aluminum example - mercury is also a useful metal - but it is toxic.

 And take oil or coal or uranium, they are a mess to work with - toxic in many ways, corrosive, dangerous vapors, half-life, etc. etc.  Why wouldn't we have a fuel that we can eat and use for heat?  (Ironically, dried horse manure is safe and useful for heating, if not eating :))  Besides, why wouldn't we have a southern California type climate worldwide so we need no heat?

And why don't we have breatheunderwaterium that we rub on our lips and stay under for an hour? Why couldn't we just be "made" to breathe underwater?  Why don't we have flyatonaceus, that we eat to fly around, from nestimondium to nestimondium, the common metal that synthesizes into houses when left alone?

Did I not understand your post?
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Add Homonym on October 13, 2013, 11:01:26 AM
So the whole universe was made for people? Just so that people could build aeroplanes and make electronics ?

Argument from incredulity, and a strawman. We don't really know that anything outside our own brain really exists, let alone things outside the solar system. It could just as easily be designed to facilitate any intelligent life, or life that already attained the purpose. (We could be just rejects, if that makes you feel better.)

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This assumes that brains capable of making aeroplanes and electronics were also designed.

It doesn't assume. Tends to indicate that the system was designed to facilitate things like that.

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Chimpanzees don't make aeroplanes and electronics.

They aren't the pinnacle of creation. Anyone, or any group can be a fail.

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It is a pity that the planet was not designed well enough to prevent people from starving to death or from disease,

If it was designed in that way, it would not cause evolution. It would be created perfect, finished, and be static and pointless. Therefore no point in doing it.

Quote
or that the laws of physics made it easy to build spaceships to colonise other planets or build time machines.

That might be a bit of a backward way of looking at what our future holds. 60-70 years ago, we all thought that we would fly around in UFOs by 1990. Nobody really envisaged the way computers developed. There could be other twists, where we find ways of travelling, without moving, and ways of going back in time, without going anywhere, such as simulating this world backwards, or creating a similar world, using quantum computers. In which case the inhabitants of the simulated world will all be sitting around talking about a God who isn't there. (Or could be there, depending on who ran the simulation, or what the point of it was.)

Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Foxy Freedom on October 13, 2013, 12:02:39 PM
So the whole universe was made for people? Just so that people could build aeroplanes and make electronics ?

1) Argument from incredulity, and a strawman. We don't really know that anything outside our own brain really exists, let alone things outside the solar system. It could just as easily be designed to facilitate any intelligent life, or life that already attained the purpose. (We could be just rejects, if that makes you feel better.)

Quote
This assumes that brains capable of making aeroplanes and electronics were also designed.

2) It doesn't assume. Tends to indicate that the system was designed to facilitate things like that.

Quote
Chimpanzees don't make aeroplanes and electronics.

3) They aren't the pinnacle of creation. Anyone, or any group can be a fail.

Quote
It is a pity that the planet was not designed well enough to prevent people from starving to death or from disease,

4) If it was designed in that way, it would not cause evolution. It would be created perfect, finished, and be static and pointless. Therefore no point in doing it.

Quote
or that the laws of physics made it easy to build spaceships to colonise other planets or build time machines.

5) That might be a bit of a backward way of looking at what our future holds. 60-70 years ago, we all thought that we would fly around in UFOs by 1990. Nobody really envisaged the way computers developed. There could be other twists, where we find ways of travelling, without moving, and ways of going back in time, without going anywhere, such as simulating this world backwards, or creating a similar world, using quantum computers. In which case the inhabitants of the simulated world will all be sitting around talking about a God who isn't there. (Or could be there, depending on who ran the simulation, or what the point of it was.)

Is the universe friendly to intelligent life or hostile to it?

Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: ThatZenoGuy on October 13, 2013, 12:48:19 PM
I would say hostile, as not many living things can live in the vacuum of space...
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Benny on October 13, 2013, 12:52:36 PM

1) Argument from incredulity, and a strawman. We don't really know that anything outside our own brain really exists, let alone things outside the solar system. It could just as easily be designed to facilitate any intelligent life, or life that already attained the purpose. (We could be just rejects, if that makes you feel better.)

Is the universe friendly to intelligent life or hostile to it?
"Intelligent life" is a very broad area.  There may be life light-decades away, that we don't know about, that is resistant to most or all of the universe's troubles, and can use the"eternal nothingness" of space to their advantage.  For them, the universe is fantastically friendly.  For us, not so much.  Are we the norm?  Are they the norm?  Are we the only game in town as far as intelligent life goes?  We have no clue as to what form of intelligent life is best-suited for the universe because we have no clue what other life is out there.  And (I think) therein lies his point: we could be a failed mutation, like the woolly mammoth, just waiting for the universe to put us out of our misery.  But our success as a species is in no way a reflection on the state of all intelligent life in the universe.

(AH, correct me if that's not what you meant, but that's how I understood it.)
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: ThatZenoGuy on October 13, 2013, 12:56:19 PM
*snip*

Are you suggesting that...out there somewhere a species has become immune to the effects of vacuum, UV radiation, etc?

I mean...how would it respire?
It couldn't use photosynthesis as there is no carbon dioxide.

I can only imagine sentient self replicating machines using solar power...
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: William on October 13, 2013, 01:03:20 PM
Angus, life (as we don't know it) could use any energy gradient to organise itself.
Right here on earth we have plenty of life forms living off the sulphur vents at the bottom of the ocean.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: ThatZenoGuy on October 13, 2013, 01:46:30 PM
So hypothetically sentient spacefarring organic "ships" could exist?
Damn, i need to read more O.o...
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: William on October 13, 2013, 01:50:03 PM
I'm glad you said: "ships".  Aqueous chemistry makes it far more likely ;)
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: wright on October 13, 2013, 02:19:52 PM
For some reason, life seems to be propelled by all these little quirks. It all seems very well planned, and it takes skill to convince yourself that it's not planned.

Key word: "seems".

Seriously? As opposed to the total lack of evidence that it was planned? This sounds like a restatement of the weak anthropic principle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weak_anthropic_principle#Variants (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weak_anthropic_principle#Variants)), which is pretty easily refuted (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weak_anthropic_principle#Criticisms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weak_anthropic_principle#Criticisms)).

Could you provide an example of the "skill" you say it takes to convince oneself the universe is unplanned?
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: William on October 13, 2013, 02:40:53 PM
For some reason, life seems to be propelled by all these little quirks. It all seems very well planned, and it takes skill to convince yourself that it's not planned.

AddH, has somebody from the Discovery Institute hacked your account? ;D

IMHO it takes a devious use of "skill" to cherry pick the bits that support the notion of "planned".
There's so much wasted space and stuff in the universe. So many needless extinctions on our planet. Too many threats and challenges to make it remotely "planned".

There are now fewer cheetahs left in the wild than spots on a cheetah's skin. That's a sad "quirk" that isn't propelling anything worthwhile.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: William on October 13, 2013, 03:06:09 PM
Hydrogen and oxygen just happen to combine, to make a ubiquitous solvent, with a specific heat of 4x everything else.
Iron, the major result of a super nova, just happens to be great for building shit, and making knives.
And these two above, in the presence of oxygen, happen to combine to form rust ... fucking useless RUST!!!
Rust is not just fucking useless, it's incredibly destructive and costly to prevent.
A planned universe would outlaw fucking rust! >:(
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/8/81/Rust_from_bathtub_in_Kyiv.jpg/800px-Rust_from_bathtub_in_Kyiv.jpg)


There just happens to be a metal with a density of 2.6, for making aeroplanes ...
I give you the mosquito - made from "spruce and plywood attached to a steel-tube frame".
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/De_Havilland_DH-98_Mosquito_ExCC.jpg)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Mosquito

We would've engineered our way around the absence of aluminium without too much hassles.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Graybeard on October 13, 2013, 03:22:22 PM
I would say hostile, as not many living things can live in the vacuum of space...
I agree.

"Intelligent life" is a very broad area.

Yes, and we must not be too specific.

Quote
There may be life light-decades away, that we don't know about, that is resistant to most or all of the universe's troubles, and can use the"eternal nothingness" of space to their advantage. For them, the universe is fantastically friendly.

Were that so, would they not have proliferated, travelled/spread and detected us? I flatter myself that we are interesting. Perhaps they could be something like an amoeba but then they wouldn't be intelligent, or if they were, we would cover them with Draino anyway.

The point is that the density of the universe as a whole is very small, and yet these creatures that can survive and multiply in the emptiness would have had aeons to breed, evolve and multiply in the empty, cold and irradiated spaces.

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Are we the norm?  Are they the norm?
It is more likely we are. Well, not us; something we can point to as "life". In order to deal with basic raw materials to make a civilisation, they would have to be a reasonable size.

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we have no clue what other life is out there.  And (I think) therein lies his point: we could be a failed mutation, like the woolly mammoth, just waiting for the universe to put us out of our misery.  But our success as a species is in no way a reflection on the state of all intelligent life in the universe.

I agree but we are talking percentages here, and percentagewise, we are looking at something of a reasonable size.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Benny on October 13, 2013, 04:09:06 PM
(NOTE: This post is entirely speculative.  Obviously we're not talking about this life form as if we know it exists, we're just discussing the logistics if there is such a creature.)

Are you suggesting that...out there somewhere a species has become immune to the effects of vacuum, UV radiation, etc?

I mean...how would it respire?
It couldn't use photosynthesis as there is no carbon dioxide.

Fair point.  I'd have to go out on a limb and say that there might be a form of stored energy that allows them to have all/most of the energy they need for survival at birth.  Maybe a mitochondrion-like structure that takes up most of the room in the creature's body (save for the brain.)

Were that so, would they not have proliferated, travelled/spread and detected us? I flatter myself that we are interesting. Perhaps they could be something like an amoeba but then they wouldn't be intelligent, or if they were, we would cover them with Draino anyway.

The point is that the density of the universe as a whole is very small, and yet these creatures that can survive and multiply in the emptiness would have had aeons to breed, evolve and multiply in the empty, cold and irradiated spaces.

Probably, but I doubt something even on the scale of an amoeba could travel at near-light-speed and maintain any sort of structure.  Sure, there's been quite a lot of time since the Big Bang, but I think it's absolutely possible that they can exist without being able to detect our existence yet.  Maybe they're a rather new species, not around eons ago.  And, if my "mitochondrion-like structure" hypothesis above is considered, maybe their locomotion skills are far weaker than their intelligence.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: jdawg70 on October 14, 2013, 12:50:00 PM
Are you suggesting that...out there somewhere a species has become immune to the effects of vacuum, UV radiation, etc?

I mean...how would it respire?
It couldn't use photosynthesis as there is no carbon dioxide.
Not sure exactly what you mean by immune, but unless you mean that in the most literal sense (as in completely unaffected by), then one need not to look 'out there' somewhere to find the species you are looking for:

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

I'm not suggesting that tardigrade's would be capable of spawning a technologically sophisticated civilization in the vast emptiness of intergalactic space, but I am suggesting that the bounds and constraints of the set of conditions necessary for life aren't known with any real confidence.  The knowledge of the bounds and constraints for sentient life are just about as squishy.
Quote
I can only imagine sentient self replicating machines using solar power...
Next time you're at the bottom of the ocean, have a peek at a hydrothermal vent.  Solar energy isn't the only known base of the energy chain.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Benny on October 14, 2013, 01:06:55 PM
I'm not suggesting that tardigrade's would be capable of spawning a technologically sophisticated civilization in the vast emptiness of intergalactic space, but I am suggesting that the bounds and constraints of the set of conditions necessary for life aren't known with any real confidence.  The knowledge of the bounds and constraints for sentient life are just about as squishy.

...which is why I think a tardigrade-like intelligent species is plausible.  Imagine a tardigrade with a similar brain-to-body ratio that a human has.  That would be a deadly combo.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Truth OT on October 15, 2013, 11:27:29 AM
I'm not suggesting that tardigrade's would be capable of spawning a technologically sophisticated civilization in the vast emptiness of intergalactic space,

The above gave rise to this thought:

I believe we are guilty of attempting to personify all possible forms of intelligence that may exist. Our own biases and limited understand seems to want to mold anything that can be civilized or advanced into our human prism. We expect for them to be bi-pedal, stand upright, and utilize technology to make their lives more advanced without even considering the possibility that they may not have human limitations that require the type of technological assistance we require. Additionally, an alien species may not be limited to the 5 senses we are limited to in experiencing and defining what reality is to us. They may have other senses we have yet to imagine and they may communicate in ways that wouldn't even reveal to us that they were even sentient beings. We would do well to come to grips with the ideal that what we have or can even imagine may only be but a small fraction of what exists or of what is possible within existence.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: jdawg70 on October 15, 2013, 12:48:02 PM
The above gave rise to this thought:

I believe we are guilty of attempting to personify all possible forms of intelligence that may exist. Our own biases and limited understand seems to want to mold anything that can be civilized or advanced into our human prism. We expect for them to be bi-pedal, stand upright, and utilize technology to make their lives more advanced without even considering the possibility that they may not have human limitations that require the type of technological assistance we require. Additionally, an alien species may not be limited to the 5 senses we are limited to in experiencing and defining what reality is to us. They may have other senses we have yet to imagine and they may communicate in ways that wouldn't even reveal to us that they were even sentient beings. We would do well to come to grips with the ideal that what we have or can even imagine may only be but a small fraction of what exists or of what is possible within existence.
Hell, non-alien species aren't limited to the 5 senses we have.  Ask a shark.

You are right; we look at the rest of the universe through human-colored goggles, and I think it is important for us to recognize that.  At the same time, however, I do see the value in making certain bias-laden assumptions when engaging in an exercise such as 'searching for life'.  As I said before, with what can be reasonably called 'life' (which is yet another interesting topic of discussion), we are kind of flying blind as we do not have any real knowledge of what the true constraints are, or rather, what actually is necessary for life, in general, to exist.  In order to make any kind of search meaningful, we've got to put some constraints around what it is we are looking for.  Things like 'presence of water' or 'presence of organic material' are, in a sense, artificial constraints brought about by our own hubris.  But we've really only got 1 data point (Earth-like life) to extrapolate from, and we have to have some kind of starting point.

So I do think it prudent for humanity to make some biased assumptions when trying to find alien life.  But until a) a coherent, agreed-upon definition of life is established and b) the requirements and constraints for what would or would not enable said life to exist is determined, we need to keep in mind that it's possible that we just plain don't recognize alien life when we see it.
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Fiji on October 16, 2013, 01:42:12 AM
We have more than five senses jdawg70, we have a sense of time, temperature and motion to name just a few.

I agree that looking for a place with water, carbon and energy makes sense. But, yes, who knows what we might run into? In Star Trek they had these intelligent inorganic microcomputers in a layer of soil that had all kinds of metals with salty water running through it. Who's to say that that is utterly impossible?
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: ThatZenoGuy on October 16, 2013, 02:03:52 AM
We also have this rare one called common sense.  :P
Title: Re: In the beginning was......WHAT ?
Post by: Benny on October 16, 2013, 02:19:41 PM
We also have this rare one called common sense.  :P

I don't know why it's called "common sense."  With the amount of mindless preachers that come to this forum, it's easy to see how uncommon it is ;)