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Lawrence Krauss - A Universe from Nothing
Posted: 24 February 2012 07:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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http://vimeo.com/36676883

Yes…..check out the video above and watch Krauss video with intro by Dawkins at YouTube…..it last a little over an hour, not for people with a short attention span,....hold on to your seat because it is great and entertaining to boot.

The podcast was excellent too….oh, how we starve for this type of “real” information.

This is really “good stuff”.

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Posted: 26 February 2012 04:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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It is always frustrating to see a Science v. Religion debate that doesn’t allow for any plurality on the side of Religion. It is always assumed that “God” is the Judeo-Christian deity, and that there can be no other concept of a “supreme being.” I find it to be incredibly short-sighted and narrow-minded for the science side to automatically assume that by “god” the opposing viewpoint must mean a “supernatural” figure outside of our existence that caused it all to be. What if the universe itself was “God” and we are all the “microbes” and “cells” living within it’s body. This being not being “supernatural” but exactly “natural.”  For a layperson’s perspective on origination, existence and conception please read my blog: http://kinecognition.blogspot.com/

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Posted: 26 February 2012 05:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Perhaps the reason so many of these debate focus on the Judeo/Christian/Islamic religious views is that those are the vast majority in our society, and the ones that keep trying to inject their supernatural thinking into our schools and governments.

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Posted: 26 February 2012 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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ISeeAMuse - 26 February 2012 04:14 PM

It is always frustrating to see a Science v. Religion debate that doesn’t allow for any plurality on the side of Religion. It is always assumed that “God” is the Judeo-Christian deity, and that there can be no other concept of a “supreme being.” I find it to be incredibly short-sighted and narrow-minded for the science side to automatically assume that by “god” the opposing viewpoint must mean a “supernatural” figure outside of our existence that caused it all to be. What if the universe itself was “God” and we are all the “microbes” and “cells” living within it’s body. This being not being “supernatural” but exactly “natural.”  For a layperson’s perspective on origination, existence and conception please read my blog: http://kinecognition.blogspot.com/

I am sure most here have entertained such thoughts. We can also point to the earth as Gaia and to all animals including ourselves as biospheres. Foreign organisms in and on our bodies far outnumber our human cells.
But even if you consider the universe as an organism, what does that change? The problem inevitably is that of intelligence. Where is the brain?
Without a brain the universe is just a vast expanse of space being host to a vast number of burning balls and rocks, some of which may support life, held together by gravity.

That does not mean that science rejects visions of the universe being an expanding singularity, or a fundamental connectedness of forces and universal laws (or universal constants), there is even talk about a holographic universe, as well as a fundamental fractal geometry. But intelligence, or even sentience? That concept never fails to introduce a host of logical obstacles, such as does the universe care?

[ Edited: 26 February 2012 06:41 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 26 February 2012 06:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Write4U - 26 February 2012 06:30 PM

I am sure most here have entertained such thoughts. We can also point to the earth as Gaia and to all animals including ourselves as biospheres. Foreign organisms in and on our bodies far outnumber our human cells.
But even if you consider the universe as an organism, what does that change? The problem inevitably is that of intelligence. Where is the brain?
Without a brain the universe is just a vast expanse of space being host to a vast number of burning balls and rocks, some of which may support life, held together by gravity.

That does not mean that science rejects visions of the universe being an expanding singularity, or a fundamental connectedness of forces and universal laws (or universal constants), there is even talk about a holographic universe, as well as a fundamental fractal geometry. But intelligence, or even sentience? That concept never fails to introduce a host of logical obstacles, such as does the universe care?

Is it so inconceivable that the Universe might have a mind? Is logic the only way toward knowledge? I have incredible love and respect for the scientific process, and the great innovation that science allows for, but am consistently stymied by the wide disregard for any insight that might come from feelings and intuition. We have feelings, and they are an invaluable part of our perception. So why leave them out of our processes of learning? And by that token, shouldn’t the Universe have feelings? What might the universe want? Doesn’t it care? Could this conversation even occur if it didn’t?

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Posted: 26 February 2012 07:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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ISeeAMuse - 26 February 2012 04:14 PM

It is always frustrating to see a Science v. Religion debate that doesn’t allow for any plurality on the side of Religion. It is always assumed that “God” is the Judeo-Christian deity, and that there can be no other concept of a “supreme being.” I find it to be incredibly short-sighted and narrow-minded for the science side to automatically assume that by “god” the opposing viewpoint must mean a “supernatural” figure outside of our existence that caused it all to be. What if the universe itself was “God” and we are all the “microbes” and “cells” living within it’s body. This being not being “supernatural” but exactly “natural.”  For a layperson’s perspective on origination, existence and conception please read my blog: http://kinecognition.blogspot.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheism  Belief that the universe is god is called Pantheism. There is plenty of room for Religious/Spiritual pluralism in the Science vs. Religion debates; any sentient god concept is incorrect however, no matter how it’s framed.

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Posted: 26 February 2012 07:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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ISeeAMuse - 26 February 2012 06:53 PM
Write4U - 26 February 2012 06:30 PM

I am sure most here have entertained such thoughts. We can also point to the earth as Gaia and to all animals including ourselves as biospheres. Foreign organisms in and on our bodies far outnumber our human cells.
But even if you consider the universe as an organism, what does that change? The problem inevitably is that of intelligence. Where is the brain?
Without a brain the universe is just a vast expanse of space being host to a vast number of burning balls and rocks, some of which may support life, held together by gravity.

That does not mean that science rejects visions of the universe being an expanding singularity, or a fundamental connectedness of forces and universal laws (or universal constants), there is even talk about a holographic universe, as well as a fundamental fractal geometry. But intelligence, or even sentience? That concept never fails to introduce a host of logical obstacles, such as does the universe care?

Is it so inconceivable that the Universe might have a mind? Is logic the only way toward knowledge? I have incredible love and respect for the scientific process, and the great innovation that science allows for, but am consistently stymied by the wide disregard for any insight that might come from feelings and intuition. We have feelings, and they are an invaluable part of our perception. So why leave them out of our processes of learning? And by that token, shouldn’t the Universe have feelings? What might the universe want? Doesn’t it care? Could this conversation even occur if it didn’t?

Yes the universe shows its goodness and cleanses itself from immorality with supernovae and supermassive black holes or an occasional asteroid destroying most of life on earth. Mass extinction is the only way to teach ‘em. Kinda like a “final solution”.

[ Edited: 26 February 2012 07:22 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 26 February 2012 07:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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ISeeAMuse - 26 February 2012 06:53 PM

Is it so inconceivable that the Universe might have a mind?

Yes

Is logic the only way toward knowledge?

Of course not. Acquiring knowledge requires logic, curiosity, determination, patience, intellect and creativity.

I have incredible love and respect for the scientific process, and the great innovation that science allows for, but am consistently stymied by the wide disregard for any insight that might come from feelings and intuition. We have feelings, and they are an invaluable part of our perception. So why leave them out of our processes of learning?

The problems with feelings and intuition is they are not repeatable. The scientific method is the best we have developed for acquiring knowledge. Feelings and intuition lead to all manner of nonsense, such as religion and new age mysticism.

And by that token, shouldn’t the Universe have feelings? What might the universe want? Doesn’t it care? Could this conversation even occur if it didn’t?

Why should the Universe have feelings? The Universe is made of four percent baryonic matter and the rest is nonbaryonic matter and a form of energy we do not understand. Just because we don’t understand some things doesn’t give us license to ascribe feelings to the Universe. Where is your evidence the Universe has feelings?

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Posted: 26 February 2012 08:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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The evidence that the Universe could potentially have feelings lies in the fact that feelings exist.

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Posted: 26 February 2012 08:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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ISeeAMuse - 26 February 2012 08:33 PM

The evidence that the Universe could potentially have feelings lies in the fact that feelings exist.

That is pretty thin evidence. Do you have anything substantial?

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Posted: 26 February 2012 08:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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insight that might come from feelings and intuition. We have feelings, and they are an invaluable part of our perception. So why leave them out of our processes of learning? And by that token, shouldn’t the Universe have feelings? What might the universe want? Doesn’t it care? Could this conversation even occur if it didn’t?

I just happen to be reading here as ISeeAMuse writes. I will take a quick stab at a reply, although I know I have previously read better responses to these questions. At the least I might stimulate others.

Insight is in some instances the initial step in the formulation of hypothesis, the first step in the process of identifying and testing evidence in order to determine reliable conclusions. It is certainly a function of perception, but it is useful to be ever watchful for cognitive dissonance, and beware its effect on perception. The scientific process is the only reliable method of screening dissonance, as well as bias and other inadvertent and/or unrecognized mistakes that affect objective processes and resulting conclusions.

Feelings about perceptions are no different from all feelings: they serve to attract our attention to a condition, and afterward are immediately best discarded, or at least isolated and carefully monitored to prevent their interference in subsequent efforts at achieving rational processes. This requires practice, the amount depending upon an individuals existing mindset, but persistent practice does make it possible to recognize feelings, limit or mitigate any negative impact they may introduce, and utilize the experience of that feeling (and all others) to recognize that one is separate from one’s feelings, just as all reality is separate from feelings. And that is my brief intro to mindfulness practice, which in my opinion is integral to critical thinking and skepticism.

The remarks about the Universe anthropomorphize an entity that, as is already noted in preceding comments, exhibits no characteristics of sentience, nor any possibility of possession of (a) mind. I am aware of no evidence which exists to support this surmise. It seems to me it is a concept purely imaginative, which while something perfectly legitimate to muse upon (sorry), remains pure speculation. Not unlike speculation upon the concept of a supernatural deity. In truth, substitute the word God for the word universe, and the proposition is virtually identical to deity concepts. Speculation devoid of evidence does not constitute a proposition that is necessary, or even advisable, to accept.

As with the concept of supernatural entities, the notion is unfalsifiable and therefore not a testable hypothesis. Having said that, and mindful that I am virtually certain there is no possibility the universe feels, thinks, cares, or is in any way capable of such processes, the most honest response I could offer as to whether it is possible the universe may do all of the things listed above, and in fact it may be necessary that the universe must be capable of these actions in order for this or any conversation to occur, is: “I don’t know.”

EDIT: Sure enough, it takes me so long to say what I want that a 5-way conversation transpires while I slog to the end, and it contains great answers. I become acquainted with Baryonic. And Muse injects Anselme’s ontological argument, which usually is waiting in the wings when singularity is posited:

‘The evidence that the Universe could potentially have feelings lies in the fact that feelings exist.’

I’m a little disappointed with this particular ontological approach. If this proposition were true, rocks could have feelings. Magma. Molecules. Atoms. Protons. Infinite regression.

[ Edited: 26 February 2012 08:48 PM by 1984isnow ]
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Posted: 26 February 2012 09:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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ISeeAMuse - 26 February 2012 08:33 PM

The evidence that the Universe could potentially have feelings lies in the fact that feelings exist.

How would that work? Our feelings are purely the result of our biochemistry.

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Posted: 26 February 2012 09:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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By feelings I guess I might be proposing levels of awareness, where thought and reason are, as yet the most highly “evolved” form of cognition. The question that gets me is what is doing the cognition? If we can all be broken down into various elements and chemical reactions, what is directing our choices? Where do our opinions come from? What is a perspective? This is what makes me believe in belief, and in the idea of a soul.

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Posted: 26 February 2012 09:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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1984isnow,

You did stir a question of “what are feelings and what causes feelings”? And how does the universe experience them?

I think we can safely rule out feelings produced from our experience by the 5 senses. Whatever the properties the universe has, it does not see, hear, tastes, smells, or touches (in human terms).
Thus we are left with emotional feelings. But this requires at least a psychological ability or mindset to experience a sense of the difference between right and wrong, i.e. morality, or feelings of love, hate, disgust, i.e. personal emotions.

Can anyone point to a universal condition which can be explained as “knowing or experiencing” the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, love, hate, etc?  And if we were to use those as examples by which to fashion our human existential feelings, how would these feelings dictate our behavior?
Any concept of a “right, good, and loving” universe leaves out all the balancing forces which are dictated by universal rules. Thus the concept of a singularity that is all right, all good, and all loving is logically wrong. It would require a seond singularity which is all “wrong, bad and hateful”.
And now there are two!  Human spiritual feelings that assign a morality of any kind to the universe are logically contradictory.

[ Edited: 26 February 2012 09:59 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 26 February 2012 09:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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The questions that you ask are a good starting point for continuing to self examine those areas….Who are you? What makes you, you?  You need not have an outside force nor a soul for you to make choices, to have ideas, to have a conscience or morality, to have an imagination, etc. 

Human Consciousness is a bit of a Trickster and can lead to a deceptive view of Reality.  Do not fear to look at this area of self reflection without giving up believe in the sense that there is some kind of controlling soul that is miraculously making/helping make choices for you.  Think of all the choices your body made today,....how many of them were even considered at a conscious level, not many….. and then of the choices you think you made, how many of these, so called choices, were really you rationalizing that they were your choices after the fact….a self validation of the self.

The major point though is that you do not need a soul for any of this.  The idea of a soul is a soothing story that tricks us into thinking that we a something constant and consistent….and, maybe really fraudulent, something that exists forever.

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