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What is the best explanation for the origin/fine-tuning of the universe ?
Posted: 26 October 2009 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Adonai888 - 24 October 2009 04:24 PM
PLaClair - 24 October 2009 02:55 PM

The best explanation for the origin of the universe as we know it is the Big Bang.

If you want a further explanation, the best one is “we don’t know.”

Is this not a center for inquiry forum ?  this is a essential question, and all that you can come up with , is ” we don’t know ” ?
what a weak center of inquiry is that….. i expected ” a little ”  more…..  No imagination at all ?

I tend to agree with the way you think about this Adonai888.
We don’t know why there are numerous possibilities (if it’s true that there are).
We don’t know why one happens rather than any of the others.


All we have is, it just so happens to be the case that this is the way it is.

Some atheists mistakenly think we have more than that and others seem to think it doesn’t matter.

I just don’t understand it but that’s the way it is around here.

Stephen

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Posted: 26 October 2009 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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StephenLawrence - 26 October 2009 12:12 PM
Adonai888 - 24 October 2009 04:24 PM
PLaClair - 24 October 2009 02:55 PM

The best explanation for the origin of the universe as we know it is the Big Bang.

If you want a further explanation, the best one is “we don’t know.”

Is this not a center for inquiry forum ?  this is a essential question, and all that you can come up with , is ” we don’t know ” ?
what a weak center of inquiry is that….. i expected ” a little ”  more…..  No imagination at all ?

I tend to agree with the way you think about this Adonai888.
We don’t know why there are numerous possibilities (if it’s true that there are).
We don’t know why one happens rather than any of the others.

All we have is, it just so happens to be the case that this is the way it is.

Some atheists mistakenly think we have more than that and others seem to think it doesn’t matter.

I just don’t understand it but that’s the way it is around here.

Stephen

Have you read Adonoai888’s other posts? He’s not here to discuss cosmology, he’s here to promote his god.

I didn’t reply to this earlier because I find Adonai888’s words childish, condescending and quarrelsome. Posting a question like this here is also rather pointless. I doubt there is anyone on these forums with the scientific and mathematical background to discuss the subject intelligently, and I include myself in that characterization. But when you get right down to it, according to the cosmologists I’ve read and talked with, PlaClair is right. The answer is “We don’t know.” Not because we have no imagination, but because we have insufficient data. Postulating a god to create the universe is ridiculous because there is absolutely no evidence for such a being. Even if you believe a god created the universe you are then left with several problems, not the least of which is who or what is this god? I’ll put my faith, if you insist on calling it that, on human intellect, observations, and rigorously tested theories. Some people believe desert sheepherders received divine revelation several thousand years ago and therefore a collection of stories about bloodthirsty acts, treason, betrayal and genocide reveals the divine righteousness and beauty of the creator. That takes the type of faith Mark Twain characterized as, “Faith is believing in things you know ain’t so.” I’ll take my chances with science and leave faith to others.

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Posted: 26 October 2009 06:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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fotobits - 26 October 2009 06:30 PM

Have you read Adonoai888’s other posts? He’s not here to discuss cosmology, he’s here to promote his god.

Thanks for the heads up.

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Posted: 26 October 2009 07:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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fotobits - 26 October 2009 06:30 PM

The answer is “We don’t know.”

if my arguments are childish, you might search a thread, where the arguments are up to your ” adult ” level.

http://christianitynotchurchianity.blogspot.com/2009/03/destroying-arguments-of-atheists.html

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Posted: 26 October 2009 07:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Adonai888 - 26 October 2009 07:19 PM
fotobits - 26 October 2009 06:30 PM

The answer is “We don’t know.”

if my arguments are childish, you might search a thread, where the arguments are up to your ” adult ” level.

http://christianitynotchurchianity.blogspot.com/2009/03/destroying-arguments-of-atheists.html

The arguments in that link are born of bone-headed ignorance, and the tone is just as childish as anything you’ve posted here, if not more so. Try again?

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“Credulous at best, your desire to believe in angels in the hearts of men.”

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Posted: 26 October 2009 08:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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cmbf117 - 26 October 2009 07:27 PM
Adonai888 - 26 October 2009 07:19 PM
fotobits - 26 October 2009 06:30 PM

The answer is “We don’t know.”

if my arguments are childish, you might search a thread, where the arguments are up to your ” adult ” level.

http://christianitynotchurchianity.blogspot.com/2009/03/destroying-arguments-of-atheists.html

The arguments in that link are born of bone-headed ignorance, and the tone is just as childish as anything you’ve posted here, if not more so. Try again?

YOU might try again, searching a other thread.

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Posted: 27 October 2009 05:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Thread wars are going to get you nowhere. You may be able to find people to argue with you, but do you really want to resolve anything? if you did, you would carefully everything that has been said and really consider both sides of the discussion. If God is real, don’t you think he would encourage that?

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Posted: 27 October 2009 05:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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fotobits - 26 October 2009 06:30 PM
StephenLawrence - 26 October 2009 12:12 PM
Adonai888 - 24 October 2009 04:24 PM
PLaClair - 24 October 2009 02:55 PM

The best explanation for the origin of the universe as we know it is the Big Bang.

If you want a further explanation, the best one is “we don’t know.”

Is this not a center for inquiry forum ?  this is a essential question, and all that you can come up with , is ” we don’t know ” ?
what a weak center of inquiry is that….. i expected ” a little ”  more…..  No imagination at all ?

I tend to agree with the way you think about this Adonai888.
We don’t know why there are numerous possibilities (if it’s true that there are).
We don’t know why one happens rather than any of the others.

All we have is, it just so happens to be the case that this is the way it is.

Some atheists mistakenly think we have more than that and others seem to think it doesn’t matter.

I just don’t understand it but that’s the way it is around here.

Stephen

Have you read Adonoai888’s other posts? He’s not here to discuss cosmology, he’s here to promote his god.

I didn’t reply to this earlier because I find Adonai888’s words childish, condescending and quarrelsome. Posting a question like this here is also rather pointless. I doubt there is anyone on these forums with the scientific and mathematical background to discuss the subject intelligently, and I include myself in that characterization. But when you get right down to it, according to the cosmologists I’ve read and talked with, PlaClair is right. The answer is “We don’t know.” Not because we have no imagination, but because we have insufficient data. Postulating a god to create the universe is ridiculous because there is absolutely no evidence for such a being. Even if you believe a god created the universe you are then left with several problems, not the least of which is who or what is this god? I’ll put my faith, if you insist on calling it that, on human intellect, observations, and rigorously tested theories. Some people believe desert sheepherders received divine revelation several thousand years ago and therefore a collection of stories about bloodthirsty acts, treason, betrayal and genocide reveals the divine righteousness and beauty of the creator. That takes the type of faith Mark Twain characterized as, “Faith is believing in things you know ain’t so.” I’ll take my chances with science and leave faith to others.

In no way does “we don’t know” suggest “we don’t care” or a lack of imagination. Exactly the opposite, it is because we care so much and take the expansion of knowledge so seriously that we admit when we know nothing about a particular subject. It is because we can imagine many possibilities that we decline to form opinions prematurely.

Adonai’s unfortunate attitude represents one of the most virulent strains in human intellectual history: the insistence on thinking we know something when in point of fact we know not. Humanity took several millennia to harness electricity, to take just one example, and nearly as long to have just a rudimentary understanding of what it was. Nature doesn’t care how much we think we know and is not impressed by our chest-puffing arrogance. Sometimes we just have to be patient.

[ Edited: 27 October 2009 05:20 PM by PLaClair ]
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Posted: 27 October 2009 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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PLaClair - 27 October 2009 05:18 PM

In no way does “we don’t know” suggest “we don’t care” or a lack of imagination. Exactly the opposite, it is because we care so much and take the expansion of knowledge so seriously that we admit when we know nothing about a particular subject. It is because we can imagine many possibilities that we decline to form opinions prematurely.

Adonai’s unfortunate attitude represents one of the most virulent strains in human intellectual history: the insistence on thinking we know something when in point of fact we know not. Humanity took several millennia to harness electricity, to take just one example, and nearly as long to have just a rudimentary understanding of what it was. Nature doesn’t care how much we think we know and is not impressed by our chest-puffing arrogance. Sometimes we just have to be patient.

Well said.

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Posted: 27 October 2009 05:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Sidney Hook once wrote:

“Science or technology and religion represent two different attitudes toward the mysterious: one tries to solve mysteries, the other worships them.  The first believes that mysteries may be made less mysterious even when they are not cleared up, and admits that there will always be mysteries.  The second believes that some specific mysteries are final”  (“Naturalism and First Principles,” The Quest for Being, pp. 180-1).

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Posted: 28 October 2009 02:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Lausten - 25 October 2009 12:23 PM

why do you think it is silly to say only God or ” nothing ” are the only logical answers ? that is simply philosophical inductive inference, and absolutely reasonable.

You seem to be young, I hope you find the time to move beyond William Lane Craig.

why ? what is it, that discredits in your point of view Craig’s arguments ?

Lausten - 25 October 2009 12:23 PM

The leap to any particular God is very far from there.
.

certainly. but even, if it does not hint straight to the God of the bible, we can inquiry what essence this Got must have, and compare with religions that fit with the needed characteristics. That can bring us quit closer to desired answers of which God might be the real one.

Lausten - 25 October 2009 12:23 PM

You haven’t indicated which God you might think it was, but I’m assuming the Christian one.

yes, correct.

Lausten - 25 October 2009 12:23 PM

I really do not want to discourage you from thinking these things through or attempting to engage others, however I would like to make some suggestions on how you go about it. The world is built on compromise and learning how to do that is much more important that convincing others of your beliefs.

” to convince others ” is not my goal, despite it might look so.

Lausten - 25 October 2009 12:23 PM

  You say “all of the alternatives with respect to the universe’s existence” then list 3 and immediately dismiss one. Have you done any study in physics?

i am reading some things about physics. But i do not think all matters is to have in depth knowledge about physics.

Lausten - 25 October 2009 12:23 PM

If I want to know how the universe began, I wouldn’t start with something written thousands of years ago.

If God exists, and he revealed himself to humanity thousands of years ago, why should that revelation be dismissed ? But i actually don’t think its needed to start with the bible. Just look nature,  there is no difficulty to see design, and the need of a creator to make everything that exists.

Lausten - 25 October 2009 12:23 PM

Whether it was written by Moses or Aristotle, I wouldn’t expect to find the answer. I’m not able to sit down with Stephen Hawking, but I can get some sense that he knows what he is talking about.

Hawking certainly knows a lot about physics. But do you think just stick to Hawking gives you enough satisfying answers ?

Lausten - 25 October 2009 12:23 PM

From what I understand, we are getting close to understanding the beginnings of all the matter that we now see. One thing I discovered recently, that gets lost in the Big Bang discussion, is that there was something before that. Time and matter didn’t exist in the forms we understand them now, so it gets really hard to describe what was there, or have any mathematical equation that can. My non-scientific understanding of it is some kind of pure energy. It is, as you say counter-intuitive, but what I understand is that it can now be demonstrated that things can happen without cause.  It is not a violation of the natural laws.

So where did that energy at the beginning of the universe come from ? and could it without guide form our universe ? the universe is extremely fine tuned to life, therefor suggests a tuner. Energy of low entropy also could not exist eternally, otherwise it would have been already transformed in heath, and we would not be here anymore.

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Posted: 28 October 2009 07:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Hi Fotobits,

fotobits - 26 October 2009 06:30 PM

The answer is “We don’t know.”

Yes.

Not because we have no imagination, but because we have insufficient data.

Ok this is the interesting bit. Is there a reason to think that’s true? I think athiests are broadly in two camps on this 1) is the Occam camp, the universe just is and that’s the end of it and 2) yours which is we can find out why the universe is but just don’t have enough data.

the reason to be sceptical of 2) is it doesn’t look like we can get from what is and the way it works to why it is. And yet scientific answers to why questions always start with what is and the way what is behaves, before answering why something happens.

I don’t know what i think about all this, I’m a muddled agnostic but at least I know what I need to know to become a little less muddled.

1) why accept the universe just is and no further explanation exists or is necessary?

2) why suppose scientific type answers which always start from what is and the way it behaves, can provide answers if it’s wrong to accept 1)?

Stephen

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Posted: 28 October 2009 08:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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StephenLawrence - 28 October 2009 07:44 AM

Hi Fotobits,

fotobits - 26 October 2009 06:30 PM

The answer is “We don’t know.”

Yes.

Not because we have no imagination, but because we have insufficient data.

Ok this is the interesting bit. Is there a reason to think that’s true? I think athiests are broadly in two camps on this 1) is the Occam camp, the universe just is and that’s the end of it and 2) yours which is we can find out why the universe is but just don’t have enough data.

the reason to be sceptical of 2) is it doesn’t look like we can get from what is and the way it works to why it is. And yet scientific answers to why questions always start with what is and the way what is behaves, before answering why something happens.

I don’t know what i think about all this, I’m a muddled agnostic but at least I know what I need to know to become a little less muddled.

1) why accept the universe just is and no further explanation exists or is necessary?

2) why suppose scientific type answers which always start from what is and the way it behaves, can provide answers if it’s wrong to accept 1)?

Stephen

Why should we accept the universe as it is with no further explanation? That would be boring. What are to do, throw up our hands and say we’ll never understand it? Isaac Newton did that when he couldn’t figure out why the planets remained in stable orbits. Then LaPlace came along and worked out the math. Physicists are currently trying to figure out how to merge Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity. String Theory may or may not provide the answer, but it shows promise. Cosmologists are trying to figure out what causes galaxies to spin the way they do instead of how Newtonian physics predicts. They use the placeholder term Dark Matter to label what they don’t know. Cosmologists are also trying to figure out what hit the gas pedal and is making the expansion rate of the universe accelerate. They label this mystery Dark Energy. These are fascinating problems. Shrugging our shoulders and saying “That’s just the way things are” is giving up, and I very much doubt Occam meant to leave that impression.

Philosophers and religious leaders have argued for centuries that science cannot answer why, and science has been steadily chipping away at “why” by answering “how.” Every time philosophers or religious leaders have declared “No further explanation is possible or necessary” scientists have ignored them and kept searching for and finding answers. Right now we do not have enough data to know where the universe came from or why it is here, but as long as we have the capability scientists will continue seeking the answers. We may, someday, get to a point where we realize we can never go further, but we are not there yet. When (if) we reach that point, it will be the scientists who realize it and know it, not the philosophers or religious leaders.

[ Edited: 28 October 2009 08:47 AM by DarronS ]
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Posted: 28 October 2009 08:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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StephenLawrence - 28 October 2009 07:44 AM

Ok this is the interesting bit. Is there a reason to think that’s true? I think athiests are broadly in two camps on this 1) is the Occam camp, the universe just is and that’s the end of it and 2) yours which is we can find out why the universe is but just don’t have enough data.

I am going for the “Carl Sagan camp”:

“We will not be afraid to speculate, but we will be careful to distinguish speculation from fact.”
(Carl Sagan, Cosmos)

  wink

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Posted: 28 October 2009 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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fotobits,

I also used to believe that science only can answer all these questions, until my son brought a homework from school the other day where he was supposed to separate objects into “living things” and “not living things.” The problem arose when he got to decide where a banana belongs. Science can answer facts, but there is so much more to life than that. So, where does a banana belong?  cheese

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