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A case against the KCA and the fine-tuned universe argument
Posted: 17 June 2011 03:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Here is the basic argument:

Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

The Universe began to exist.

Therefore, the Universe has a cause.

That’s it! It is a deductive argument. It says nothing about whether that cause is the God of the Bible. Saying that it is valid is just saying that it is coherent given that the premises are true and therefore the conclusion must necessarily follow. Coherence is not correspondence - to reality. It does not mean that the premises can not be challenged. Much argument can be brought into play depending upon how one defines the terms ‘cause’ and its entailments’, ‘Universe’ and it forms at any given point in its known or theoretical history, and the phrase ‘begins to exist.’

The SBB does not say anything about whether something existed or did not exist prior to when the expansion started. Matter/Energy could very well be eternal and what ever state or form it was in prior to the expansion could be undetectable, for now at least, or unknowable.

To assume that the cause of this is the God of the Bible is completely fallacious or even that the cause is something non-material. The KCA does nothing to prove this or even infer these things. It just says that the universe has a cause - but does that mean that Universe is equal to all matter and enrgy? I do not think that this is how the supporters of this argument would like to state it - precisely because the SBB does not say any such thing - like all matter and energy began to exist. That would be saying that the SBB says that there was nothing and then poof something - and this is precisely what the supporters of this argument try to hide and thereby make the term ‘Universe’ ambigous to the people they are trying to sway. The SBB is used as a factoid or evidence to support premise #2, but if they entailed the ‘Universe’ to mean all matter and energy from something that is non-matter and energy then they know they could not use the SBB as support for their premise. Let’s not forget that the SBB is still debated and is by no means a settled issue. Let’s simplify it - whatever the ‘universe’ is or means the SBB does not say that this came from non-matter/energy. Therefore, if I reject pemise #2, and say that the universe is eternal, and you say but wait the SBB disagrees with you, I could say sorry but the SBB does not say what you mean by ‘the universe began to exist’ because you mean that is came from non-matter/energy and that is not what it says, therefore you cannot use the SBB to reject my statement denying premise #2 nor use it to support it. If you mean the universe as we know it in its present state and our ability to see back in time to a certain point and state when it started to expand - then ok, use it - but this just makes your hope in the KCA as a means to infer and establish the existence of the Bible God or any God as fallacious. It jusst says what it says that it has a cause.

I see no reason to think that all matter and energy are not eternal and that what we know of as the present state of matter, what we can examine, is what we call the ‘Universe.’  To say that this has a cause in no way infers the God of the Bible or any God for that matter. To say that the argument is valid does not do it as well.

There may very well be some intelligence/information bound up in matter and energy - the two coexisting simultaneously - but this is in no way close to the idea of the God of the Bible or any revealed religon. Whatever it is it would be something completely different.

The bottom line is this - something exist rather than nothing so something has to be eternal -  why not matter/energy? The KCA does nothing to refute this - period.

[ Edited: 17 June 2011 03:52 AM by VeridicusMaximus ]
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Posted: 17 June 2011 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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Good analysis, I agree. And welcome

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Posted: 17 June 2011 03:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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I’d like to add my welcome, VM. I agree yours is a very good analysis.

I also notice that RHB disappeared a month ago. I didn’t think he would last long around here.

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Posted: 17 June 2011 06:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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VM, It is always heartening to hear a voice of reason

I have no expertise in cosmology or physics, but I am a fascinated and curious supporter of research into the origins of the universe.

I do have a few question about the assumption of an “eternal matter/energy” precursor to the Universe(s).

Does this eternal matter/constitute a singularity within an infinite cosmos, or is it infinitely dispersed, similar to the dispersion of matter/energy within our universe?

If the BB and “inflation” from a singularity is true, then it follows that the specific causality of this universe would have to be smaller than the current universe. Can that be reconciled with an eternal (infinite) cosmos?

The notion of a singularity would seem to support a collapse of cosmic matter/energy into a singularity so massive it had to release its matter/energy in a grand explosion, the BB.
But then the eternal/infinite cosmos would have to be consumed in the process and cease to exist outside the universe.

However, if this eternal matter/energy which existed before the BB was pervasive throughout the cosmos and smaller causal singularities exist, something similar to cosmic whirlpools or cosmic black holes, which achieve a critical mass at some point and spew out all its matter/energy in a grand explosion (BB)

Assuming such a causality is possible, it would agree with the notion of multiple universes, each created from a cosmic whirlpool or cosmic black hole, which result in the ongoing creation of different universes at different times, in different locations, each with their own (different) inflationary period, size, and properties. Somewhat comparable to what we know of black holes in this universe.

This might also allow for a notion that our universal black holes are returning matter/energy back into the cosmos which in turn would support the notion of universal entropy, a recycling of matter/energy back and forth from the cosmos to the universes and back to the cosmos, while adhering to a cosmic law of conservation.

However as far as I know there no evidence that black holes are fluctuation in mass or disappearing altogether, or that the universe is fluctuating in matter/energy.

I have so many more questions, but I should stop here, lest I am wasting everyone’s time (and mine)...... cheese

Any takers?

[ Edited: 17 June 2011 06:53 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 17 June 2011 08:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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Write4U - 17 June 2011 06:51 PM

VM, It is always heartening to hear a voice of reason

I have no expertise in cosmology or physics, but I am a fascinated and curious supporter of research into the origins of the universe.

I do have a few question about the assumption of an “eternal matter/energy” precursor to the Universe(s).

Does this eternal matter/constitute a singularity within an infinite cosmos, or is it infinitely dispersed, similar to the dispersion of matter/energy within our universe?

If the BB and “inflation” from a singularity is true, then it follows that the specific causality of this universe would have to be smaller than the current universe. Can that be reconciled with an eternal (infinite) cosmos?

The notion of a singularity would seem to support a collapse of cosmic matter/energy into a singularity so massive it had to release its matter/energy in a grand explosion, the BB.
But then the eternal/infinite cosmos would have to be consumed in the process and cease to exist outside the universe.

However, if this eternal matter/energy which existed before the BB was pervasive throughout the cosmos and smaller causal singularities exist, something similar to cosmic whirlpools or cosmic black holes, which achieve a critical mass at some point and spew out all its matter/energy in a grand explosion (BB)

Assuming such a causality is possible, it would agree with the notion of multiple universes, each created from a cosmic whirlpool or cosmic black hole, which result in the ongoing creation of different universes at different times, in different locations, each with their own (different) inflationary period, size, and properties. Somewhat comparable to what we know of black holes in this universe.

This might also allow for a notion that our universal black holes are returning matter/energy back into the cosmos which in turn would support the notion of universal entropy, a recycling of matter/energy back and forth from the cosmos to the universes and back to the cosmos, while adhering to a cosmic law of conservation.

However as far as I know there no evidence that black holes are fluctuation in mass or disappearing altogether, or that the universe is fluctuating in matter/energy.

I have so many more questions, but I should stop here, lest I am wasting everyone’s time (and mine)...... cheese

Any takers?

I like your thoughts and like you I am no expert in cosmology or physics. I take the view that we should not move beyond what we already know - that is, that matter and energy exist - too what we do not or cannot know - that there is a God particularly the gods of reveavled religions. I am not sure we can rule out any of those things you mentioned. I think it is a very weak position to rely on a philosophical deductive argument that shows a cause based on an ambiguous term like ‘Universe’ and then use this conclusion to leap to the concept that this cause is the God of the Bible when we do not even understand fully what this universe entails, physically, just yet. I will take the attitude that says that whatever allows matter/energy to be eternally existing will be the answer and in support of this stance I would say that it is a million times more reasonable based upon what I have just said. There are alot of theories out there that are not in the general publics mind that butts heads with the SBB - there may yet be a revolution in physics yet to come that will overtune what we think to be settled issues.

Lets us grant that the God of the Bible exists. We would still be at a loss to explain, other than the ‘God-can-do-anything’ logic or science, how a God that is completely seperate from matter/energy, in which no matter/energy existed before the creation, and that this matter/energy is not in any way a part of or an aspect with this God, created it out of nothing. I mean that just ends all arguments both philosophically (other than just assertions) and scientifically. The KCA does not even come close to this view. At least if we are going to grant that a mind exist it would have to exist simultaneously with matter/energy or be part of it if we are to examine it under any epistemolgical method.

Think of ‘purposeful action’ in general. A mind acts because of what? Simply because it is unsatisfied with the present state of existence - otherwise it would not act. In the absence of matter/energy God would have to be dissatified with something in himself or the fact that he alone exist by himself since he is the only thing that exist prior to matter/energy. Yet how can a pefect (in both senses - complete or without flaws) be unsatified with the eternal state in which he is in? Secondly, if granted, how does this being then act toward something outside of himself or upon something outside of himself when there is nothing to act upon? Thirdly, by what means does this action utilize in order to make something exist? All action is about means and ends/goals based upon preferences toward certain states of existence and what you want to be different about that present state or existence. In th Christian view of God there is only one explanation - God created out of nothing - in otherwords we do not nor can we answer this problem so we just make an assertion that is void of being able to be examined or questioned - the ‘God-can-do-anything’ logic or science. I am sorry but to a thinking person this is not satisfactory. If you want to believe this, fine, but do not kid yourself that this is supported by reason, logic, or science - just stop that non-sense and trust that your theology is right and do not engage in your psuedo attempts to justify it - that is why you have special revelation because it is not available to the natural mind or revealed through nature - yet they are constantly trying to justify God’s revelation of himslef through these means. This aspect of Christian apologetics always baffled me.

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Posted: 17 June 2011 08:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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VeridicusMaximus - 17 June 2011 08:21 PM

I take the view that we should not move beyond what we already know - that is, that matter and energy exist - too what we do not or cannot know…

Then you should drop the idea that the universe had a cause. We cannot, as of now, know what came before the Big Bang. All such talk is mere speculation. As far as we know the universe may have very well come from nothing. Nothing is unstable, and the total energy content of the universe is zero. The universe may very well be a special case of nothing. We should always keep in mind that the universe may have spontaneously arisen from nothing with no prior cause.

[ Edited: 17 June 2011 09:41 PM by DarronS ]
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Posted: 17 June 2011 09:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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DarronS - 17 June 2011 08:38 PM
VeridicusMaximus - 17 June 2011 08:21 PM

I take the view that we should not move beyond what we already know - that is, that matter and energy exist - too what we do not or cannot know

Then you should drop the idea that the universe had a cause. We cannot, as of now, know what came before the Big Bang. All such talk is mere speculation. As for as we know the universe may have very well come from nothing. Nothing is unstable, and the total energy content of the universe is zero. The universe may very well be a special case of nothing. We should always keep in mind that the universe may have spontaneously arisen from nothing with no prior cause.

I agree, it is speculation, I am just trying to show the inconsistency of the KCA as if it understands what this universe is and what came before. Your ‘Nothing’ in that sense is a special case of nothing - an energy content of zero. For the Christian there was no energy content - zero - there is no zero. Unstable is ‘something’ is it not? When they say nothing they mean no-thing period. I am saying that if the universe did have a cause then it is something of matter/energy, if the Universe is only that which starts at the BB and the BB is to be accepted. But if Universe means all matter/energy then I speculate that it is eternal and it need no cause. This is more reasonable than jumping to a revealed God figure. As far as ‘arising from nothing with no prior cause’ - I hope you know that those terms and that phrase would have to be seriouly redefined in order for it to make any sense to those outside of a specialized field using special jargon - your basically undoing what those words encapsulate with their meanings - and they, philosophically would be seriously challenged particualrly their use in the KCA. Not that I would not be open to that speculation either but just stating this is not going to get people any further in their thinking about these issues.

I think I have been clear about my speculations - that matter/energy is eteranl and that if the BB is true then it would have a cause in something of matter/energy. I think at this point it is going in the wrong direction to attack causality and redefine terms like ‘nothing’ and ‘cause.’ ‘Universe’ though is more ambigous and therefore easier to show, that depending upon the defintion, the KCA fails to show, with any satisfaction, what is actually begining to exist let alone showing that the cause of this ‘begining to exist’ is the God of the Bible.

Everything that does not begin to exist does not have a cause

Matter/Energy did not begin to exist

Therefore, Matter/Energy did not have a cause

There is nothing scientifically that refutes premise #2 - is there? Nothing in the SBB model refutes this. Since we already know that matter/energy exist we are on a much more stable ground in speculating it’s eternal existence rather than specualtion that the cause of all matter/energy is a revealed God figure. I mean there may not be something scientifically that supports premise #2 but then the leap from it already existing and nothing refuting it, I see it as reasonable above and against the speculation that it does not exits eternally or that there is some eternal mind seperate from matter/energy. Furthermore, as I have been saying, the KCA argument does not refute Premise #2 if it uses the SBB as support for its premise #2. 

Anyway, hope this helps. smile

[ Edited: 17 June 2011 09:43 PM by VeridicusMaximus ]
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Posted: 17 June 2011 09:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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I agree with what you are saying about the KCA. That argument is easily refuted. I do advise that in these discussions we should not get caught up in speculations beyond what we know. Our current knowledge leads to the conclusion the universe had no cause.

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Posted: 17 June 2011 10:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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DarronS - 17 June 2011 09:44 PM

I agree with what you are saying about the KCA. That argument is easily refuted. I do advise that in these discussions we should not get caught up in speculations beyond what we know. Our current knowledge leads to the conclusion the universe had no cause.

I absolutely agree with that, as well a your other point - speculation is just that - but not all speculation is equal.

Cheers!

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Posted: 17 June 2011 11:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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My sentiments exactly, I agree with almost everything you have said.

My favotite question to theists, “if you know god and god is intelligent, what was god’s motive for creating the universe”? That usually stops the prostletizing and turns the conversation to subjects such as KCA, which can be debated on logical, if not scientific terms.

However, as much as I agree with you, the assumption that matter/energy existed eternally in physical form seems problematic to me. I feel there must have been a true beginning to energy (which I see as more fundamental than matter)

Darron, please forgive me….  confused

I have fashioned a paradigm which allows for a timeless metaphysical state or condition prior to expression in physical form (energy) which then partly converted into matter during that instant of expansion, creating matter/energy and the universe as we know it.

First, Expansion occurred at a rate much faster than SOL (speed of light), a speed which only particles with negative restmass can attain.  But IMO a particle with negative restmass is more metaphysical than physical in nature. They do not (cannot) exist in our physical reality.

Our physical event horizon stops at SOL and the only particle that can (and does) travel at that speed is the photon which has a (theoretical) restmass of 0. The double slit experiment reveals the particle/wave (matter/energy) duality of light. Travelling at SOL a photon exists at our event horizon, the boundary between physical and metaphysical.

I believe the SOL limit is due to a physical restriction in the quantum function, where reality itself cannot renew itself faster than SOL. The renewal of reality itself (quantum function) is restricted to SOL. I also believe that time is created as a by-product of the quantum function, the time required for reality to renew itself in distinct quanta packets, each quantum event being a forward causality .
Now to the pre-condition (causality) of the BB.

We know of theoretical energetic particles with negative restmass (which I consider to be metaphysical) which can travel faster than SOL. Thus if matter (mass) existed before the BB, it would have to be converted into negative-massive (metaphysical) energy during expansion at greater than SOL. This sounds contradictory to me.

Thus I cannot believe that matter (restmass greater than 0) existed before the BB. And we are left with metaphysical energetic particles with negative restmass prior to the BB.

I call this metaphysical massless pre-condition to the BB (and reality as we know it), Potential (latent energy that may become reality).

As to assumption of an eternal state of this condition. As IMO, time is created during quantum and there was no quantum possible before the BB, there was no time at all. Thus I see the beginning as a singular moment filled with infinite potential (massless latent energy), compressed into an infinitely small singularilty, instantaneously releasing this potential energy in a mega-quantum event, the First Quantum Event. As the properties of this released energy had no mass, it was possible for expansion to occur at greater than SOL.

It is during expansion, this incredibly small moment of time, that matter was formed. But matter/energy has to obey the restrictions of the quantum function and expansion was forced to slow down to SOL, allowing the physical/energetic universal evolutionary process through quantum, and marking the beginning of time.

I was inspired to fashion this paradigm by the works of David Bohm (a respected physicist), who proposed a fundamental cosmic metaphysical condition, which he called a “state of pure potential”.

In his work he drew comparison with some of the eastern Deisms. In my effort I try to stay within the realm of theoretical metaphysics i.e. a natural state beyond our event horizon.

[ Edited: 17 June 2011 11:47 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 18 June 2011 12:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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In support of Darron’s suggestion that the universe may have been created from nothing, Renate Loll an eminent physicist from Holland, proposed exactly such a theory.

Her latestt work is in the area of Causal Dynamical Triangulations (CDT) which is based on a geometric concept of space/time and so far has not been found to contain errors. On the contrary it appears to solve some conflicting issues in the area of quantum physics and offers a solution to quantum gravity.

http://www.phys.uu.nl/~loll/Web/research/research.html

It is fairly easy reading and very interesting as it involves fractal geometry, which I find find to be fascinating.

[ Edited: 18 June 2011 01:40 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 18 June 2011 07:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Write4U - 17 June 2011 11:00 PM

Darron, please forgive me….  confused

You are forgiven.  wink This is an appropriate thread for discussing your idea of Potential. Given that we have no way of knowing what, if anything, existed before the Big Bang, your Potential conjecture has just as much validity as the idea that nothing existed before the Big Bang and the universe spontaneously appeared without cause. I lean toward the nothingness conjecture for philosophical reasons: nothing existing is a logical contradiction. How could nothing exist? Nothing cannot exist, therefore something must exist.

I admit the possibility that the existence of nothing is so far above our monkey brains that we just simply cannot grok the idea.

As for time, I have been interested in that subject lately, and have been reading some books on the topic. I am coming to the conclusion that time does not exist in and of itself, it is merely a construct we developed to measure the rate of change of entropy. Look at it like this: width, length and height are not physical properties, they are measurements of physical properties. Time is the same. Time is not a physical property, it is a unit of measurement.

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Posted: 18 June 2011 02:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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DarronS - 18 June 2011 07:26 AM
Write4U - 17 June 2011 11:00 PM

Darron, please forgive me….  confused

You are forgiven.  wink This is an appropriate thread for discussing your idea of Potential. Given that we have no way of knowing what, if anything, existed before the Big Bang, your Potential conjecture has just as much validity as the idea that nothing existed before the Big Bang and the universe spontaneously appeared without cause. I lean toward the nothingness conjecture for philosophical reasons: nothing existing is a logical contradiction. How could nothing exist? Nothing cannot exist, therefore something must exist.

As for time, I have been interested in that subject lately, and have been reading some books on the topic. I am coming to the conclusion that time does not exist in and of itself, it is merely a construct we developed to measure the rate of change of entropy. Look at it like this: width, length and height are not physical properties, they are measurements of physical properties. Time is the same. Time is not a physical property, it is a unit of measurement.

I agree, when there is nothing to be measured, time becomes a meaningless concept.  But that does not negate the concept of a single instant of nothingness as a singularity (a quanta). 

My Potential paradigm allows for such a quanta of nothingness which, by virtue of being something, has an inherent Potential (a quanta of Potential). This quanta of potential has no physical properties as yet, other than being a singularity, but is consistent with Bohm’s proposition of a “state of pure potential” and the definition of Potential as “that which may become reality”.
And apparently it did…. cheese

[ Edited: 18 June 2011 05:31 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 19 June 2011 01:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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DarronS - 18 June 2011 07:26 AM

I am coming to the conclusion that time does not exist in and of itself, it is merely a construct we developed to measure the rate of change of entropy. Look at it like this: width, length and height are not physical properties, they are measurements of physical properties. Time is the same. Time is not a physical property, it is a unit of measurement.

Hmmm. Units are seconds for time, meters for distance. So what do we measure when we measure seconds or meters? Time or distance. Modern physics defines these operational. What do you do when you measure a distance? You compare with a standard length. For time you compare with a periodic event, e.g. a pendulum. See alls the introductory book on relativity of Einstein, that is really readable. He goes back to the basics: what does it mean to measure distance and time. What is the difference between acceleration and gravity, when we do not have a operational procedure to distinguish them?

Also in QM all classical, ‘simple’ units, like impulse, and energy, are operators. And as operators can behave differently when using them then simple additions and multiplications, you get such things a Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. With operators a x b is not necessarily b x a.

[ Edited: 19 June 2011 01:07 AM by GdB ]
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