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Author Topic: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe  (Read 15616 times)

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Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« on: September 02, 2010, 11:49:35 PM »
Directly translated from brazilian Yahoo by me[/i]

London - God no longer has space in the theories about the creation of the universe, due to a series of advances in the Physics field, says the british scientist Stephen Hawking in his new book, that had some parts released this thursday.

Showing a harsher position towards religion than the one taken on the pages of his international best-seller "A Brief story about time", from 1988, Hawking says that the Big Bang was merely a consequence of the law of gravity.

"For there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself out of nothing. The spontaneous creation is the reason why something exists instead of nothing existing, the reason why we are alive", wrote the famous scientist in his work "The grand design", that will be published on "The times".

"We don't need to evoke God to shine upon things and create the universe", adds.

Hawking became worldwide famous with his researches, books and documentaries, despite suffering, ever since his 21 years, from a degenerative disease that left him depending on a wheelchair and a voice synthetizer.

In "A brief story about time", Hawking suggested that the idea of God or a divine being wasn't necessarily incompatible with the scientific understanding of the universe. In his newest work, however, Hawking mentions the discovery, from the year 1992, of a planet that orbits a star outside our solar system, like a mark against Isaac Newton's belief that the universe couldn't be originated from the chaos.

"That makes the coincidences about our planetary conditions - the only sun, the happy combination of the distance from the Sun to the Earth and the solar mass - way less importants, and way less convincing, as an evidence that the Earth was carefully projected just to please the mankind", Hawking states.

-

As an atheist who was almost killed by religious fanatics, I have only one thing to say:

I like Hawking very much more right now.

Comment me.

Offline Sabby

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2010, 12:39:42 AM »
I'm Agnostic, but sadly retarded when it comes to science :/ So much of that flew over my head... How exactly does the force of gravity create a universe out of nothing? I'm sure the guy knows what he's talking about, I'm not challenging the position :) Would just like to understand.

Offline Wolfy

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2010, 01:02:47 AM »
I'm Agnostic, but sadly retarded when it comes to science :/ So much of that flew over my head... How exactly does the force of gravity create a universe out of nothing? I'm sure the guy knows what he's talking about, I'm not challenging the position :) Would just like to understand.

Well, obviously, at the beginning, Matter and Anti-matter (or Dark Matter) were very, very close together. Gravity forces two particles to collide, resulting in an explosion. :D

....*shrugs* or I could just be completely guessing. :D

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2010, 01:05:00 AM »
There are theories that are perfectly scientific and sound that dispute both the occurrence of the Big Bang (by proposing a concept known as elasticity of space time) and the fundamental nature of Gravity (by claiming that it's a consequence of thermodynamics and other underlying complexities and not a "string" onto itself).  The facts that he's using as the basis of his atheistic claims are not facts, they are largely experimentally unverified theories that utilize consequential evidence, mathematical modeling, and theoretical posturing as a basis.  They are certainly not sound enough to lead to the conclusion that god does not, and has never, existed.

This is just another bold claim made by a theoretical physicist who is essentially utilizing young, largely untested models to his own ends.  Until we find the Higgs-Boson, better understand dark matter/matter asymmetry, and rule out other likely possibilities by actually doing experiments rather than consequential observational science, this claim cannot be honestly made.  Even then, I'm not sure it will ever be correct to apply science to something as fundamental as the origin of the universe.  Trying to find the prime mover is "turtles all the way down."

In this instance, Stephen Hawking is really doing science a disservice by misusing his position of scientific authority to perpetuate the war of thought between religion and science.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 01:09:54 AM by Jude »

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2010, 02:08:48 AM »
As I understand it God has no place in sciencetific study in the first place so Im not sure what the significance of this is. His theory also assumes that we fully understand the force of gravity (as I understand it we dont have it fully figured out yet). Acctually theres a lot of assumptions there with unproven theory. The whole thing seems...hokey at best, especially from a well respected man in the scientific community.

Offline Nyarly

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2010, 05:07:30 AM »
I have my doubts that this will end well...

Offline Hemingway

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2010, 07:38:02 AM »
I'm Agnostic, but sadly retarded when it comes to science :/ So much of that flew over my head... How exactly does the force of gravity create a universe out of nothing? I'm sure the guy knows what he's talking about, I'm not challenging the position :) Would just like to understand.

Gravity doesn't create a universe from nothing, but from everything, gathered into one tiny point.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2010, 07:43:19 AM »
100% of 0% is still 0% or to put it another way, if there is literally nothing gravity cant pull in everything because the everything is still nothing

On that topic, if there is literally nothing, that would include forces like gravity wouldnt it? Did I just debunk the theory or just confuse people?

Offline Hemingway

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2010, 07:53:26 AM »
There was never literally nothing.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2010, 08:01:23 AM »
If thats the view of science then I think theyre misunderstanding the creation with the universe with the evolution of the universe. I can wrap my head around and even believe that the universe has changed in ways that we dont understand or that science cant and maybe never will fully understand.

However, the creation of the universe is when the first thing came into existance. Whether that was a few particles, a force, a type of energy, etc. People often talk about the big bang as the creation of the universe but Ive always thought that particles creating a huge explosion that creates the universe was more a cosmic evolution theory then a creation theory. Those particles, or gravity in the case of Hawking's theory, had to come into being at some earlier time and that time is the true creation of the universe

Does that make sense?

Offline Hemingway

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2010, 08:09:06 AM »
It doesn't make sense to talk about "before the big bang", because prior to the big bang there was no space and no time. At this point I think it's safe to say that our whole understanding of physics falls apart, and anything could be possible. What I like to point out to the religious who believe this is evidence for god, is that we know nothing about the physics of the pre big bang "universe", so even saying that "something cannot come from nothing" isn't necessarily true. It makes more sense to assume that something could come from nothing, than for something intelligent to have always existed, and created everything.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2010, 08:34:20 AM »
I didnt really want to get into a religious argument here but you do realize that when it comes to creation theories between science and religion that Occams razor tends to support religion right? Think about it, the simplist answer is often the correct one. So whats simpler? The idea that there has always been an omnipotent being that created the universe, or that a couple of particles or a force or a type of energy that somehow existed before everything else suddenly blew up and somehow made everything from planets of rock and dust to something as remarkable as the human mind.

Now if youre talking about god and his creation of the universe, objectivly, youre talking about a being beyond our understanding. While on a universal scale of time a sun takes billions of years to die out and by comparison our lives are like a second in its time. However in the scale of time for god the creation and end of entire universes could be like a second in time. He is a being with such power that he can create other realities (heaven, hell and purgatory for example) apart from our own. How could anyone even begin to understand such a person?

Now looking at the idea of physics worked differently before the big bang. Well ok, I can concede that idea. Its possible that the laws of the universe were rewritten, however the idea I cant wrap my head around is getting something from nothing. It just doesnt make sense in any sense except religious ideals which is not what science is about. Edit: Although I do find some child like glee in the irony of people ingrained so heavily in science using such an anti-scientific idea to help them prove an idea

Anyway, going back to what I said. Mr. Hawkings seems to be presenting this as scientific fact (unless I misunderstood him). What bugs me is science is based around the observable. Creating a theory from data is fine, presenting it as a theory is fine, but that doesnt seem to be whats going on here. Unless he has a time machine or some way to see events in the past, I fail to see how he can present the idea as fact or really even a theory. Right now it shouldnt be anymore then a hypothosis IMO

As to before the big bang. The very theory focuses on what happened before the explosion. How can that past be ignored when the theory itself forces people to look at it?

« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 08:57:34 AM by Brandon »

Online Oniya

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2010, 08:49:56 AM »
English language publication

I think this might be a case of media spin and Hawking's characteristic bluntness.  The quote I am seeing (to the left of the ad in the article above) is that 'It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touchpaper and set the Universe going.'  This actually doesn't assume the non-existence of a divine being - it simply says that the divine force didn't instigate the Universe.

Not having read the book, I can't say if he goes any farther in this line, but if everything comes into existence at one time, that could include - well, anything.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2010, 09:07:49 AM »
I didnt really want to get into a religious argument here but you do realize that when it comes to creation theories between science and religion that Occams razor tends to support religion right? Think about it, the simplist answer is often the correct one. So whats simpler? The idea that there has always been an omnipotent being that created the universe, or that a couple of particles or a force or a type of energy that somehow existed before everything else suddenly blew up and somehow made everything from planets of rock and dust to something as remarkable as the human mind.

The problem is that you're apparently missing the fact that god - even just a deist god, but even more so the god of the bible - is not a simple explanation, but an incredibly complex one. Invoking god is doing nothing but moving the goal post. I mean, the argument goes something like this; god created everything, but god himself doesn't require an explanation, because god always was. In the words of Carl Sagan, why not save a step, and assume that whatever you're invoking god to explain, always was. Given the choice between "the matter present in the universe was always there" and "the matter in the universe was created by god, and god was always there", which is the simpler explanation again?

Quote
Now looking at the idea of physics worked differently before the big bang. Well ok, I can concede that idea. Its possible that the laws of the universe were rewritten, however the idea I cant wrap my head around is getting something from nothing. It just doesnt make sense in any sense except religious ideals which is not what science is about. Edit: Although I do find some child like glee in the irony of people ingrained so heavily in science using such an anti-scientific idea to help them prove an idea

What I said, regarding something coming from nothing, was simply meant to illustrate that explanations exist that do not require god. I can't remember whose example it was, but I heard someone suggest that our universe might be a by-product of a parallel universe in which something can come from nothing. It assumes the existence of such a parallel universe, sure, but even that is more likely than a sentient, omnipotent and omniscient being creator.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2010, 09:28:27 AM »
It's important to keep in mind that Hawking is more an icon of the media than of scientific progress in general. Einstein changed our approach to science, Hawking is a brilliant man with a tragic story but it doesn't mean that his word is the end of the matter. Einstein's wasn't, even, and he knew it.

Well, obviously, at the beginning, Matter and Anti-matter (or Dark Matter) were very, very close together. Gravity forces two particles to collide, resulting in an explosion. :D

....*shrugs* or I could just be completely guessing. :D

No, the singularity at the start of our Universe occurs before such things.

I didnt really want to get into a religious argument here but you do realize that when it comes to creation theories between science and religion that Occams razor tends to support religion right? Think about it, the simplist answer is often the correct one. So whats simpler? The idea that there has always been an omnipotent being that created the universe, or that a couple of particles or a force or a type of energy that somehow existed before everything else suddenly blew up and somehow made everything from planets of rock and dust to something as remarkable as the human mind.

I'd have to read the book (since it's not published yet...), but I think Hawking's argument is as follows

The Universe trends from a high energy, low entropy state to a low energy, high entropy state. This is true. We perceive this evolution as the passage of time - though it is not in and of itself time, it is the one process which we cannot reverse on large scales.

The singularity - the 'Big Bang' - is the lowest entropy, highest energy condition we can so far conceive of, which among other situations, also involves the unification of the electronuclearinflationary and gravitational forces. Whatever the hell that means.

Conceptually though, it creates a problem when you want to think of a willful God. Whatever form they take, sapience, perception, and desire all involve the trend towards higher entropy as I described above. That's a cold thought, literally, because if you take the simple answer - that the Universe began with a sort of cosmic one and a cosmic zero, and everything we perceive is a result of their mixing - then any God you conceive of is just as doomed as we are. Even if it exists.

There are varying, hopeful ways around this. Ultimately, if it is possible to reverse, it may be possible to find out how. There are questions that we can ask that can't be answered in our current socioeconomic state.

Personally, I would feel that doing our best and then praying to God when we know no other solution is possible is the superior solution to trying to wreck things further and praying to God by making sure no other solution is possible. The former is glorious, the latter is petty and insulting. But a great many people choose the latter path, because it is by far the easiest path to take.

Offline Talia

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2010, 09:29:30 AM »
I have my doubts that this will end well...

Heehee...so true =)

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2010, 09:40:13 AM »
The problem is that you're apparently missing the fact that god - even just a deist god, but even more so the god of the bible - is not a simple explanation, but an incredibly complex one. Invoking god is doing nothing but moving the goal post. I mean, the argument goes something like this; god created everything, but god himself doesn't require an explanation, because god always was. In the words of Carl Sagan, why not save a step, and assume that whatever you're invoking god to explain, always was. Given the choice between "the matter present in the universe was always there" and "the matter in the universe was created by god, and god was always there", which is the simpler explanation again?

Incorrect as youre missing the main point, that being the "creation" of the universe (I put creation in quotes because the big bang theory supports evolution of the universe more then creation IMO). Not what came first. Again, an omnipotent being created everything or a few particles, a force, or a type of energy caused a massive explosion which somehow formed everything. Ive gotta go with the omnipotent person being the simplier explanation of the two

If you talk about before the big bang, the even then I think Occams razor supports religion. Again it comes down to the details for me. In the case of Catholic religion it says that god created the universe, made exactly how he wanted it to work. The big bang theory however says that this huge explosion happend and somehow that created everything. The more detailed you get the more religion wins out and as they say the devil is in the details

What I said, regarding something coming from nothing, was simply meant to illustrate that explanations exist that do not require god. I can't remember whose example it was, but I heard someone suggest that our universe might be a by-product of a parallel universe in which something can come from nothing. It assumes the existence of such a parallel universe, sure, but even that is more likely than a sentient, omnipotent and omniscient being creator.

Fair enough, there are explanations that can explain how the universe was made without the presence of god. Problem is, they're just as much fiction as people claim the bible's creation myth is. Science cant even seem to explain how a massive explosion can create something as remarkable as the human mind but instead they want to look at science fiction style theories about the creation of the world? Sorry but no, thats not science. IMO thats scientists trying to turn science into the newest and most widely accepted religion. Scientifically they would have to work backwards from now to the "creation"of the universe and then before that

Interestingly, you comment on parallel universes (which I would call alternate realities) and theoretical sciences do support the idea of them (although some people claim theoretical sciences arent really science). Yet most scientists wont accept that somewhere in those realities there could be a reality that represents the ideas of heaven and hell. This leads me to believe that the larger part of the scientific community has a negative stigma with accepting any potential religious possibility

@Veksied: I did not understand any of that.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 09:47:03 AM by Brandon »

Online Oniya

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2010, 10:09:39 AM »
The basis for what Veks said is that entropy, or disorder, increases over the long run.  (Newton's Second Law of Thermodynamics)  It takes more energy to put things together than it does to let them decay.  We can't reverse this.  We can't take a rotten apple and regress it to a whole apple.  We can't cause a bit of dye to coagulate out of a glass of water.  It's possible to remove salt that has dissolved (become disordered) in water, but only by increasing the disorder in the water (by evaporating it, which involves adding heat energy, which also increases the disorder in the air by creating thermal currents).

This is what makes entropy one of 'Time's Arrows'.  In theory (and yes, there's no way to go back and verify this.  We can only create simulations using things like CERN's supercollider), there had to be one point where there was a maximum amount of order, just like if a rock is rolling down a mountain, there had to be a 'highest point' that it came from.  This is what astrophysicists call 'The Big Bang'.  The observed expansion of the Universe also suggests that there had to be a 'smallest volume' of the Universe.  Since there's no way to 'rewind' from this point, there is no 'before'.  The Universe can't become any more ordered from that point, nor can it become any smaller.  This is Time Zero - the beginning from which every other point is measured.  When the disorder begins, Time starts.  Fiat lux.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2010, 10:17:35 AM »
Incorrect as youre missing the main point, that being the "creation" of the universe (I put creation in quotes because the big bang theory supports evolution of the universe more then creation IMO). Not what came first. Again, an omnipotent being created everything or a few particles, a force, or a type of energy caused a massive explosion which somehow formed everything. Ive gotta go with the omnipotent person being the simplier explanation of the two

If you talk about before the big bang, the even then I think Occams razor supports religion. Again it comes down to the details for me. In the case of Catholic religion it says that god created the universe, made exactly how he wanted it to work. The big bang theory however says that this huge explosion happend and somehow that created everything. The more detailed you get the more religion wins out and as they say the devil is in the details

I had a long post written up, but Carl Sagan says it so much better.

Carl Sagan - God And Gods

Quote
Fair enough, there are explanations that can explain how the universe was made without the presence of god. Problem is, they're just as much fiction as people claim the bible's creation myth is. Science cant even seem to explain how a massive explosion can create something as remarkable as the human mind but instead they want to look at science fiction style theories about the creation of the world? Sorry but no, thats not science. IMO thats scientists trying to turn science into the newest and most widely accepted religion. Scientifically they would have to work backwards from now to the "creation"of the universe and then before that.

The term you're looking for isn't "fiction", it's "hypothesis". The hypotheses I've suggested, in the absence of any other evidence, and requiring fewer assumptions than the god hypothesis, are according to Occam's razor likelier than the god hypothesis.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2010, 10:45:55 AM »
My Bible says GOD created the universe in six days and rested on the seventh day, that is good enough for me.

And Usher's study set this creation at 10,000 years ago and if could be a bit longer but that is good enough for me.

But this for me is faith not science.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2010, 12:43:29 PM »
@Veksied: I did not understand any of that.

Picture a glass of liquid, split on the left and right by a film. One side contains blue dye, the other side contains red dye.

Remove or dissolve the film, and it will begin to mix, moving from a highly ordered (and not particularly interesting) state, through a mixing (and more interesting state, as complex structures will form and evolve) state, to a fully mixed (and not at all interesting) state.

This process cannot be reversed by an inside force. It must be external. Any external force must be going through the same process - you can reverse entropy on local scales, at the expense of generating a great deal more on large scales.

This actually becomes the simplest explanation for our perception of time, and the evolution of the Universe.

It's possible to depict God in some abstract manner - the continual evolution of our Universe, for example - but giving God goals, will, and thought means that God must either be subject to entropy, or there is a chance for us to overcome it on our own - because if you believe that God can do it to our Universe, it has to be done internal to our Universe in that case, subject to physics that we can affect.

Online Remiel

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2010, 03:47:22 PM »
Picture a glass of liquid, split on the left and right by a film. One side contains blue dye, the other side contains red dye.

Remove or dissolve the film, and it will begin to mix, moving from a highly ordered (and not particularly interesting) state, through a mixing (and more interesting state, as complex structures will form and evolve) state, to a fully mixed (and not at all interesting) state.

This process cannot be reversed by an inside force. It must be external. Any external force must be going through the same process - you can reverse entropy on local scales, at the expense of generating a great deal more on large scales.

This actually becomes the simplest explanation for our perception of time, and the evolution of the Universe.

It's possible to depict God in some abstract manner - the continual evolution of our Universe, for example - but giving God goals, will, and thought means that God must either be subject to entropy, or there is a chance for us to overcome it on our own - because if you believe that God can do it to our Universe, it has to be done internal to our Universe in that case, subject to physics that we can affect.

To play Devil's advocate here, couldn't you induce from that explanation that "God" could be a force external to our universe, who has the power, ability, and motivation to reverse entropy within the universe?

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2010, 03:59:30 PM »
Very nice explanation, Veks!

To play Devil's advocate here, couldn't you induce from that explanation that "God" could be a force external to our universe, who has the power, ability, and motivation to reverse entropy within the universe?

No. Our universe is a system operating under its given principles. Any extension into that system has to operate under those rules or principles. St. Augustine actually has an interesting bit to say on this where he points out that God as a timeless entity cannot interfere with what we perceive as time, in the same way that you cannot bisect a point.



On a larger note, I am not sure we should be talking about "Hawkings argument" when the book isn't publishes and the media has a long history of distorting scientific claims to make theme more sensationalist.

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2010, 04:04:10 PM »
To play Devil's advocate here, couldn't you induce from that explanation that "God" could be a force external to our universe, who has the power, ability, and motivation to reverse entropy within the universe?

I think the catch is that giving him qualities consistent with our universe, such as "goals, will, and thought" as Vekseid mentioned, puts him squarely within the realm of entropy.  Just the notion of God having goals as we understand the term implies that he is "inside" of time, so to speak.  If there is no such thing as present and future, how can there be goals?

Online Oniya

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2010, 04:12:52 PM »
To play Devil's advocate here, couldn't you induce from that explanation that "God" could be a force external to our universe, who has the power, ability, and motivation to reverse entropy within the universe?

I believe the entity you speak of is more properly termed 'Maxwell's Demon'.

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2010, 04:44:01 PM »
Oh god Oniya, that is the most brain-orgasm inducing article I've read in a long time.  Marry me.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2010, 05:28:35 PM »
To play Devil's advocate here, couldn't you induce from that explanation that "God" could be a force external to our universe, who has the power, ability, and motivation to reverse entropy within the universe?

I already addressed that in my post. Something external to our Universe either suffers the laws of thermodynamics and is thus mortal (and isn't really God in the ultimate sense), or is able to induce effects whose means and results reduce entropy in an entirely closed system - e.g. to our Universe. If that is possible, then it may be possible for us to break physics in the same manner.

Neither is really straight up, true to form impossible, per se, and there are other possibilities of renewal that don't invoke God but we can't enact, etc. and so on. Invoking God is not the simple answer when talking about creating the Universe, however - because it opens up the entire context that God exists within, and you end up asking the same question ad infinitum.

Whereas invoking the singularity as some giant zero-entropy state with infinite potential energy is actually rather simple, in comparison. Call it God if it makes you feel better.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2010, 06:54:42 PM »
The problem I see with your explanations is you fail to realize or neglect to mention that there are more answers then god being internal or external to our universe. Did you think that he might be mutable? As in part of our universe and not part of our universe depending on certain criteria (perhaps choice?). What if he was both internal and external at the same time?

Regarding Occams razor, I think were just going to have to agree to disagree. From my point of view, when we get into the details (and considering science cant answer a lot of the questions) I feel that religion is the simplier of the two answers. Of course this is not taking into account other scientific "creation" theories like the Puse/Pulsing/Pulsar theory (I dont remember which of those names it uses), its only regarding the big bang theory


Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #28 on: September 03, 2010, 07:04:36 PM »
Brandon's post reflects exactly what I think. The major thing I dislike about religion (and one reason that took me to the atheist side) is that religion offers answers too easily. If things were easy like that then the universe would not be a mistery at all. Adding to the fact that I find absurd to come to the point where "I have to stop the logic and just believe"

That and some other things I will not comment not to go deep into that and be attacked.

Online Oniya

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2010, 07:15:44 PM »
Well, even with math there are certain points where you have to 'just believe'.  When dealing with Euclidean geometry, you have to 'just accept' that 'At most one line can be drawn through any point not on a given line parallel to the given line in a plane.'.  Euclid wasn't fond of it, but he couldn't prove it.  Later on, Riemann and Lobachevsky independently proved that you could have a consistent geometry without it - but it caused other strange things to happen.

It doesn't mean that points of view that accept different things 'on faith' are any less valid.  It just means that other strange things could happen.

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2010, 07:20:12 PM »
It doesn't mean that points of view that accept different things 'on faith' are any less valid.  It just means that other strange things could happen.

I know that. But when we just accept that, we don't look for any other answers about it. For example, centuries ago we believed that thunders were magic, and many diseases were curses or punishments.

What if nobody questioned that?

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2010, 08:23:27 PM »
As far as Occam's Razor goes, it certainly cuts away creation myths.  Look at the two propositions:

The Universe exists.  The universe was created.  God created the universe.  God has always existed.

The Universe exists.  The Universe has always existed.

Anyone can clearly see which is simpler.  The Big Bang as the moment of creation is simply the fluctuation between states, not a beginning really.  Think of it as a natural process where the universe switches between being a singular point of infinitely condensed reality and what we all see now.  The latter offers for more complexity and interesting things to arise, so calling it "creation" really kind of reflects bias on our part.

The important thing to note here is that Occam's razor is not a deductive tool.  It is an inductive tool.  It can lead to false conclusions, it only works most of the time in describing likelihood not truth.  Back in Newton's day Occam's razor would've cut away relativity had someone proposed it, because it was an unnecessary addendum that wasn't supported by evidence.

The existence of god is an ad hoc hypothesis not born out by evidence, but that really shouldn't surprise anyone:  that is where faith comes in.

EDIT:  As far as religion leading to unquestioning attitudes, yes, it can.  Must it?  No.  Look at the enlightenment attitude about god being a Master Clockmaker and trying to worship him by understanding his creation.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 08:28:23 PM by Jude »

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2010, 08:30:09 PM »
Quote
The important thing to note here is that Occam's razor is not a deductive tool.  It is an inductive tool. 

No.

1 - "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity" (entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem)
2 - "plurality should not be posited without necessity" (pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate)

Occam's Razor was meant to be a technique in which the person would investigate the simplest answers first, which doesn't mean that it is the answer. The original definition for that was "The simplest answer may probably be the best conclusion".

Every deduction may lead to false conclusion, every. Otherwise there would be no mistakes. The Razor was just meant to spare time.

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2010, 08:38:06 PM »
Deductions never lead to false conclusions (unless you misapply logic and therefore you don't actually make a deduction).  Deductive logic is pure, and irrefutable; you're thinking of "inductive" from what I gather.  And I think you're splitting hairs, Occam's razor basically means "The simplest explanation is usually the correct one."

EDIT:  Well, to be technical, you can make a deductive argument that's valid and still arrive at a false conclusion, but only if you use a false premise.

EDIT2:  Fixed a few vocabulary issues.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 09:36:30 PM by Jude »

Offline Vekseid

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2010, 09:35:53 PM »
The problem I see with your explanations is you fail to realize or neglect to mention that there are more answers then god being internal or external to our universe. Did you think that he might be mutable? As in part of our universe and not part of our universe depending on certain criteria (perhaps choice?). What if he was both internal and external at the same time?

I'm not sure where or why you think that being both or dynamic solves anything. My point was how God handles entropy.

By definition, any effect God has on the Universe must be internal to it, otherwise it's not affecting the Universe. Whether it does so remaining outside or venturing inside doesn't change anything. The question is where the entropy goes.

If God can't make the entropy vanish, God is mortal. If God can make the entropy vanish, it is doing so using a closed system with or within the Universe.

Quote
Regarding Occams razor, I think were just going to have to agree to disagree. From my point of view, when we get into the details (and considering science cant answer a lot of the questions) I feel that religion is the simplier of the two answers. Of course this is not taking into account other scientific "creation" theories like the Puse/Pulsing/Pulsar theory (I dont remember which of those names it uses), its only regarding the big bang theory

It's important to draw a line between theory and hypothesis. The ekpyrotic, pulsing, and other hypothesis are little more than conjecture to solve the problem with the Universe's eventual heat death. Your belief in God is not necessarily less valid than them - they're rarely simple.

The Big Bang, itself, is quite well attested.

Regarding Occam's Razor, you're using God as the answer to simplify your life. That's fine. It doesn't simplify the question, though, if you're trying to probe the nature of the Universe, because the natural response is to probe the nature of God, which most religious people don't consider to be simple - and if God has will, intellect, and is truly immortal, it isn't.

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2010, 09:44:22 PM »
Quote
Deductions never lead to false conclusions (unless you misapply logic and therefore you don't actually make a deduction).  Deductive logic is sound, pure, and irrefutable; you're thinking of "inductive."  And I think you're splitting hairs, Occam's razor basically means "The simplest explanation is usually the correct one."

This is mere use of probability.

By the way, that is the -second- definition of Occam'z Razor. You see, this concept got lost in time, and today is used more for medicine than anything else. Also, 'may probably' and 'usually' don't differ too much, right?

Quote
EDIT:  Well, to be technical, you can make a deductive argument that's sound and still arrive at a false conclusion, but only if you use a false premise.

Not necessairly. You may as well use a true premise and arrive in a false conclusion. This is most known in Schopenhauer's Reduction ao Absurdi, which consists on using a solid base and an actual logic train of thought, which ends in a false ending. For example: Sea is water + salt, cream crackers are made from water and salt, therefore, the ocean is a huge cracker.

Don't think that calling it a 'sophisma' will invalidate what I just said. After all, I am using two solid bases and a senseful logic to get into something that it is not true. You see, true base + true logic doesn't necessarily mean a true conclusion, otherwise the world would be filled with absolute affirmations. However, what we perceive as being 'logic' may not necessarily be actual logic.

Offline Serephino

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2010, 10:49:40 PM »
Here is what I don't get....  In Chemistry class the first thing we learned is that matter can neither be created or destroyed.  Atoms can be re-arranged to form different substances, but that's it.  So how can anyone think that the entire universe came from nothing?  If the Big Bang Theory were correct, all the matter in the entire universe had to have existed at some point.  And if particles colliding triggered it, the particles had to come from somewhere.  Reading this whole thing has given me more questions than answers.

I guess you could call me a Creationist, but not because I think it's the simplest answer.  That's what frustrates me the most I think.  It seems like all you scientific types assume that we religious people are that way because it's easy and we don't have to think.  Maybe some are like that (mostly extremists) but not all of us are anti-intellectuals as it has been so rudely put before.  It's just a feeling deep inside that I can't explain. 

Just as I wonder where the particles came from, I wonder how God came to be too.  I don't just accept that he always existed.  I have theories....  Also, an assumption some of you have made is that if God exists he must be subject to the laws of physics to be able to change anything.  If he is an all powerful being than that is not necessarily true.  He isn't a physical being that is of this earth.  God is a complex entity that I don't think we as humans were ever meant to understand.  We don't know what he is, so making assumptions to prove a point doesn't work well.  We just know that is he/she/it exists, we can't see or touch him/her/it.     

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #37 on: September 03, 2010, 11:15:03 PM »
This is mere use of probability.

By the way, that is the -second- definition of Occam'z Razor. You see, this concept got lost in time, and today is used more for medicine than anything else. Also, 'may probably' and 'usually' don't differ too much, right?

Not necessairly. You may as well use a true premise and arrive in a false conclusion. This is most known in Schopenhauer's Reduction ao Absurdi, which consists on using a solid base and an actual logic train of thought, which ends in a false ending. For example: Sea is water + salt, cream crackers are made from water and salt, therefore, the ocean is a huge cracker.

Don't think that calling it a 'sophisma' will invalidate what I just said. After all, I am using two solid bases and a senseful logic to get into something that it is not true. You see, true base + true logic doesn't necessarily mean a true conclusion, otherwise the world would be filled with absolute affirmations. However, what we perceive as being 'logic' may not necessarily be actual logic.
That's not a problem with deduction, the problem is that you're not using formal language.  If you want to apply propositional calculus (i.e. logic) you have to use a formal language.  Rigor to the point of a first order language isn't necessary, but use pure english language in the example you gave isn't valid deductive logic.

By the way, induction is argument from probability.

EDIT:  Not to mention the example you gave simply is just factually wrong.  Cream crackers have different ingredients than the sea and undergo a different preparation process... I'm not really sure what the point you're trying to make is with such a poor example.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 11:18:29 PM by Jude »

Offline Vekseid

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2010, 12:02:41 AM »
Here is what I don't get....  In Chemistry class the first thing we learned is that matter can neither be created or destroyed.  Atoms can be re-arranged to form different substances, but that's it.

Conservation of energy, not conservation of matter. Matter can be converted to and from energy, but the sum total of energy in a closed system must remain the same.

This can be violated over small time periods on local scales, via a means called quantum fluctuation. This has been floated as a hypothesis to explain the initial creation of matter in the Universe.

Quote
  So how can anyone think that the entire universe came from nothing?  If the Big Bang Theory were correct, all the matter in the entire universe had to have existed at some point.  And if particles colliding triggered it, the particles had to come from somewhere.  Reading this whole thing has given me more questions than answers.

Stephen Hawking seems to be saying that the simplest explanation is that it just was. It's simpler than bending over backwards trying to invoke God or some other process, at least.

Regardless, invoking a Creator for such a thing brings with it the questions of the Creator's context, including how the Creator was created. It's not simple, it complicates things immensely.

Quote
I guess you could call me a Creationist, but not because I think it's the simplest answer.  That's what frustrates me the most I think.  It seems like all you scientific types assume that we religious people are that way because it's easy and we don't have to think.  Maybe some are like that (mostly extremists) but not all of us are anti-intellectuals as it has been so rudely put before.

You keep on saying "You scientific types" like it's some sort of disease, inferior state or insult, a thing that is wrong with those of us who view the scientific method as being a good thing.

Quote
It's just a feeling deep inside that I can't explain. 

Denigrating my friends and family, insulting our life's work and foci, based on a feeling? What am I supposed to think?

Lazy is perfectly harmless. You're not lazy. You have a very narrow vision of what science is, and cling to it.

Edit: Harmless in the context of focusing your field of study. There is simply too much to know to try to know everything.

Quote
Just as I wonder where the particles came from, I wonder how God came to be too.  I don't just accept that he always existed.  I have theories....  Also, an assumption some of you have made is that if God exists he must be subject to the laws of physics to be able to change anything.  If he is an all powerful being than that is not necessarily true.  He isn't a physical being that is of this earth.  God is a complex entity that I don't think we as humans were ever meant to understand.  We don't know what he is, so making assumptions to prove a point doesn't work well.  We just know that is he/she/it exists, we can't see or touch him/her/it.     

Again, my argument is irrespective of whether or not God is within the Universe or is subject to its laws. It doesn't hold if God can violate logical principles, but that is a completely different can of worms.

It doesn't even deny God's existence, it just points out a possibility if God does.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 12:04:52 AM by Vekseid »

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #39 on: September 04, 2010, 12:24:12 AM »
wow... this is all mind boggling.
but to me Vek made the most sense.
I admit that it saddens me to see such rivalry and antagonisim between science and religon, they are not opposing views, but ways in which we seek to understand the universe, thus they are not seperate paths, trying to prove or disprove each other, the should work in harmony.
the first scientists were priests, and if I remember right Darwin was a vested member of the roman cathloic church, and Albert Einstien believed in god, he was a practicing member of the jewish community, and actually rather orthodox in his beliefs. partly because his parents were liberal.
I hate it when people try to draw a line.

oh interisting fact, Gallelo, sometimes used as a kind of "Marter of science" got credit for other scientist's findings, he put a lot of them in his book, and when mixed with folklore, and being exicuted by the inquisition, he stole the limelight. in life he was a bit of an intelectual bully who kocked down his peers.
If you look back at history Gallelo was not on trial for everything in his book, in the book he basicly calls the pope of the time an idiot, and mocked his favorite theories behind a thin veil and flowered words.
and well combined with the clamor of his peers, the inquisiton got involved, and things turned into total shit storm.
I read the book "The Gallelio (DAMNIT I can't get his name right) Affair" look it up, historical fiction, but the research was well done

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #40 on: September 04, 2010, 03:59:40 AM »
Brandon's post reflects exactly what I think. The major thing I dislike about religion (and one reason that took me to the atheist side) is that religion offers answers too easily. If things were easy like that then the universe would not be a mistery at all. Adding to the fact that I find absurd to come to the point where "I have to stop the logic and just believe"

Im not sure if I understand your point. Doesnt science in "creation" theories force people to stop using logic and just believe the theory as well? Even when I was in my agnostic youth I always felt the big bang theory had to many holes in it to even be considered a theory by scientific standards. As I mentioned before, from my point of view, it is not a creation theory but an evolution theory. As the former I feel its a ludicrous idea with no merit as the theory talks about the current form of the universe we know being created and relies on a past universe we know nothing about and just have to "believe in". The theory does not address the true creation of the universe where the first thing came into exsistance. As the latter it functions well as a hypothosis and may have some merit as an actual theory if testing could be done (I fail to see how it could be though).

That said, science has to my knowlege failed to explain a massive explosion like the big bang can create something as remarkable as the human mind, let alone basic things like planets or stars. . Still scientists tell people that they have to believe in it. To be a little cynical, its like religions of the past. Men in white robes wandered the lands talking about God and told people to believe because of this or that reason. Now we have men and women in white coats doing the same thing. Thats likely oversimplifying it but as I said thats if you want to be cynical

@Veksied: Ok I misunderstood you before, I thought you were trying to place god into a strictly external or internal being when compared with the universe. To answer your question, the idea that I think works best when mixed with mythology and metaphysical thinking/themes is that god is not effected by entropy or perhaps is highly resistant to it. To try and give an example, think about magnistim and how steel is magnetic but gold is not. So I would think he is made up of a different "material" then we are, or at least when we are in our physical forms (read: Alive).

Another explanation that comes to my mind, again Im mixing theoretical sciences and mythology here, is the idea of perhaps he is able to bleed off some amount of entropy into another realm of existance (hell perhaps?). Or in a similar idea, perhaps the entropy takes the form of "evil" souls because its currently in a weakened state which keeps the univrse alive. At the same time, that energy probably couldnt be continuially built up in hell (as per the laws of thermodynamics) so  entropy also needs to bleed back into our world and creates more evil souls and the decay of time. The entire idea perpetuates a cycle similar to life. Yet another idea, also using the bleeding hypothosis, is that perhaps entropy (as an energy or force)is slowly used up as time continues

Now in my mind science is a tool for mankind to understand how god made the universe work. I mean come on, objectivly, a being with enough experience, foresight, and power as God would create a living breathing world with laws so he wouldnt have to micromanage everything. The problem I see in this and other threads is people all to often take an anti-theist point of view as the atheists try as hard as they can to disprove anything even remotely religious. From my point of view elliquiy has a lot of scientific zealots (this is not the same as anti-theists) while the religious side who seems smaller (or at least has a smaller group who discusses things in P&R) is acctually pretty open to discussion of all types as long as things remain respectful. However I think scientific zealots and anti-theists have made that impossible over the last...probably year, maybe longer

Offline Lyell

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #41 on: September 04, 2010, 10:37:52 AM »
The problem I see in this and other threads is people all to often take an anti-theist point of view as the atheists try as hard as they can to disprove anything even remotely religious. From my point of view elliquiy has a lot of scientific zealots (this is not the same as anti-theists) while the religious side who seems smaller (or at least has a smaller group who discusses things in P&R) is acctually pretty open to discussion of all types as long as things remain respectful. However I think scientific zealots and anti-theists have made that impossible over the last...probably year, maybe longer

The problem with these debates is neither side is completely right yet, and each side's points spits in the faces of the other. If religeon is the only explaination, science has failed. If science explains away god's miracles, religeon has failed. What I find troublesome is that you're questioning the passion that those who favor the science route pursue while you are invoking the same amount on the religeous path.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #42 on: September 04, 2010, 10:56:41 AM »
The problem with these debates is neither side is completely right yet, and each side's points spits in the faces of the other. If religeon is the only explaination, science has failed. If science explains away god's miracles, religeon has failed. What I find troublesome is that you're questioning the passion that those who favor the science route pursue while you are invoking the same amount on the religeous path.

Im sure thats dead on for some people but I think youre wrong about others (including myself). As I said before I see science as a tool for mankind to understand how the universe works as god made it. I dont invalidate science by that opinion, I encourage it. I want science to discover more and help reveal the mysteries of the universe. In the context of science helps us to understand the universe I can still believe that God made it this way but thats a belief. The problem is when the antagonizing anti-theist ideals come out like the "God doesnt exist" point above (Im paraphrasing there). As I said before God doesnt belong in any purely scientific hypothosis or theory, period. To force god into a scientific theory is IMO a diservice to science. Science was not made to antagonize, goad, or threaten religion but far to many people far too often use it for that very purpose

Offline Lyell

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #43 on: September 04, 2010, 11:13:19 AM »
So science is okay so long as it doesn't or its goal is not to prove the lack of existance of God? And what if it does so unintentionally? Is it still the work of a 'zealot'? You're dead set in your belief that God created the universe, just as much so as others who are dead set in their beliefs that God didn't create the universe. Just because their beliefs differ from yours doesn't mean they're anti-theists or zealots out to destroy your faith.

And if you're right, you have nothing to fear.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 11:27:15 AM by Lyell »

Offline Aiden


Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #45 on: September 04, 2010, 11:59:09 AM »
I didnt say that. In fact I didnt say any of that.

Using science as a tool to antagonize the religious is what is wrong. That is what I said. I said it because there is no faster way to close someones mind to a different way of thinking then attacking their beliefs. It happens all the time though.

You are far to black and white with the situation Aiden. At first you said there were only 2 sides, the religious and the scientific but the third side, my side, says that both can coexist and compliment the other in different ways. Both are needed to make a successful society and rely solely on one or the other is IMO foolish. There are probably even more sides that I have not considered

You went on to say that if religion is the only answer, then science has failed. How? Science can not give a person morality. It cant make a person feel worthwhile. It cant feed the social needs of the human mind. How then has it failed when it was never meant to provide those things? Science needs religion for the things it can not do, and religion needs science for the things it cant do. As I said, both compliment each other in different ways


Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #46 on: September 04, 2010, 01:56:11 PM »
Why exactly does science need religion?  To have a conscience? Morality?  I think it's a little self-centered for the religious to claim such a monopoly on morality.  A person can feel worthwhile and live a full, happy life without religion.  By the same token, religion does not guarantee morality or a worthwhile life.

I don't like the implication that the non-religious are all immoral and directionless any more than you like the implications that the religious are all simple-minded and unintellectual.

Offline Lyell

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #47 on: September 04, 2010, 01:57:28 PM »


You're calling the entire scope of religion and science's purpose into a thread where they're discussing the validity of Stephen Hawking's statement. You're attacking people's beliefs for what you percieve to be an attack on your beliefs, personally. Disproving religion =/= antagonising it. If I wanted to antagonize a religion I'd be mentioning crusades and pedophiles. They are theories, all of it. You left out the part where I said nobody knows who is right yet.

And if religion is the only source of morality then I'm quite possibly the most amoral bastard child on the planet.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 01:59:32 PM by Lyell »

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #48 on: September 04, 2010, 02:06:45 PM »
excellent point, still hawkens is a respectable scientist, and his theories carry weight, I don't know if he's directly antagonizing religon or not, if so he has no authority to do so and it was a bonehead move, if not I'm happy to think on his theories, keep my faith, and enjoy life.

Online Oniya

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #49 on: September 04, 2010, 02:18:36 PM »
Hawkings is a public scientist, much like Sagan was public.  Ask the man in the street to name a scientist, and Hawkings will probably show up in the top ten.  From what I've seen of him, however, he's not very personable.  Combine that with the fact that his speech synthesizer makes it impossible to read his vocal inflections, and it's a recipe for misunderstanding.

As Veks said earlier, the book hasn't even hit the shelves yet.  What we are reading is the media trying to stir up a story - and not even necessarily trying to promote the book itself.

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #50 on: September 04, 2010, 04:22:14 PM »
That's not a problem with deduction, the problem is that you're not using formal language.  If you want to apply propositional calculus (i.e. logic) you have to use a formal language.  Rigor to the point of a first order language isn't necessary, but use pure english language in the example you gave isn't valid deductive logic.

That does not change one single bit of what I said. You know, attacking the way I said it is a poor counter-argument.

Quote
By the way, induction is argument from probability.

Based on what you are saying that? Because that just reduces the whole concept of logic to induction.

Quote
EDIT:  Not to mention the example you gave simply is just factually wrong.  Cream crackers have different ingredients than the sea and undergo a different preparation process... I'm not really sure what the point you're trying to make is with such a poor example.

Fine, another example:

Love is blind.
God is love.
Stevie Wonder is blind.
Steview Wonder is god.


I am trying to show that Occam's Razor, in it's -actual- meaning, is not and never was an induction, therefore there is no reason to invalidate it.

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #51 on: September 04, 2010, 04:37:11 PM »
Double posting. Ban Chevalier.

Im not sure if I understand your point. Doesnt science in "creation" theories force people to stop using logic and just believe the theory as well?

Actually, science works with probabilities and, in the case of Philosophy, with most probable arguments, that would be confirmed or denied. That's why medicine keeps saying and unsaying things all the time.

Quote
Even when I was in my agnostic youth I always felt the big bang theory had to many holes in it to even be considered a theory by scientific standards. As I mentioned before, from my point of view, it is not a creation theory but an evolution theory. As the former I feel its a ludicrous idea with no merit as the theory talks about the current form of the universe we know being created and relies on a past universe we know nothing about and just have to "believe in". The theory does not address the true creation of the universe where the first thing came into exsistance. As the latter it functions well as a hypothosis and may have some merit as an actual theory if testing could be done (I fail to see how it could be though).

In science, for something to become a theory, all it has to do is to give a logical explanation for part of what it states.

Quote
That said, science has to my knowlege failed to explain a massive explosion like the big bang can create something as remarkable as the human mind, let alone basic things like planets or stars. . Still scientists tell people that they have to believe in it. To be a little cynical, its like religions of the past. Men in white robes wandered the lands talking about God and told people to believe because of this or that reason. Now we have men and women in white coats doing the same thing. Thats likely oversimplifying it but as I said thats if you want to be cynical

But, as I said before: The lack of proof for something doesn't mean that thing is not true. Therefore there is no reason as to why the Big Bang Theory would not be valid.

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #52 on: September 04, 2010, 04:44:39 PM »
That does not change one single bit of what I said. You know, attacking the way I said it is a poor counter-argument.

Based on what you are saying that? Because that just reduces the whole concept of logic to induction.

Fine, another example:

Love is blind.
God is love.
Stevie Wonder is blind.
Steview Wonder is god.


I am trying to show that Occam's Razor, in it's -actual- meaning, is not and never was an induction, therefore there is no reason to invalidate it.
That's... not accurate.  God is not love, even if you believe in god it's a much more complicated entity than that.  You're using simplistic definitions that are not definitions.  You are not properly applying logic, your premises are false.

By the way, formal language is not the way something is said.  Formal language requires a degree of rigor and precision, it's a technical term within the realm of logic.  A first order language is the most formal language possible, but there are other passable levels of formal language where deduction works.  I really think you should study logic before you criticize it, because it doesn't seem like you're aware of how propositional calculus is supposed to work.

EDIT:  To be more precise, what makes your statements not in a formal language and thus not a valid argument is that you're using words which mean multiple things (and in formal statements all words and predicates must mean one thing and one thing only) and you're using false premises.  If you want to translate it to something closer to formality it would be:

Love is blind = Love has the property of causing blindness.
God is love = God has the property of causing love.
Stevie Wonder is blind = Stevie Wonder has the property of blindness.

Clearly the premises, in more formal language, do not lead to your flawed conclusion.  You can't even make the argument that Stevie Wonder has experienced love because you have only established a uni-directional relationship; love may cause blindness but not all blindness is the result of love, it's not a bi-directional.  Granted, it's not perfectly rigid or accurate because love does not literally cause blindness, but it's closer.  Misapplication of argument can prove all sorts of things, but that's not a fault of the logic itself, just the person applying the poor argument.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 04:56:01 PM by Jude »

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #53 on: September 04, 2010, 04:47:22 PM »
That's... not accurate.  God is not love, even if you believe in god it's a much more complicated entity than that.  You're using simplistic definitions that are not definitions.  You are not properly applying logic, your premises are false.

Not to mention the fact that "Love is blind" and "Stevie Wonder is blind" are not even close to the same meaning. :P

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #54 on: September 04, 2010, 05:22:21 PM »
That's... not accurate.  God is not love, even if you believe in god it's a much more complicated entity than that.  You're using simplistic definitions that are not definitions.  You are not properly applying logic, your premises are false.

That is a MOCKERY logic.

Also, I am using the simplest definitions to apply premises. Why is it complicated? I am  using the simplest definition of the words, just that :) It's easy to say that my premises are false, but I'd like you to give me actual arguments as to why, instead of just saying that my premises are wrong and that's it.

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By the way, formal language is not the way something is said.  Formal language requires a degree of rigor and precision, it's a technical term within the realm of logic.  A first order language is the most formal language possible, but there are other passable levels of formal language where deduction works.  I really think you should study logic before you criticize it, because it doesn't seem like you're aware of how propositional calculus is supposed to work.

LOL if only you knew.

I find it very interesting how you just invalidate all my study just because I made a mistake in the definition when I posted my answer.

So far now you are not giving me counter arguments, you are just pointing and telling my arguments are wrong. I will study logic, and you will study basic debate, alright?

[qupte]EDIT:  To be more precise, what makes your statements not in a formal language and thus not a valid argument is that you're using words which mean multiple things (and in formal statements all words and predicates must mean one thing and one thing only) and you're using false premises.  If you want to translate it to something closer to formality it would be:

Love is blind = Love has the property of causing blindness.
God is love = God has the property of causing love.
Stevie Wonder is blind = Stevie Wonder has the property of blindness.

Clearly the premises, in more formal language, do not lead to your flawed conclusion.  You can't even make the argument that Stevie Wonder has experienced love because you have only established a uni-directional relationship; love may cause blindness but not all blindness is the result of love, it's not a bi-directional.  Granted, it's not perfectly rigid or accurate because love does not literally cause blindness, but it's closer.  Misapplication of argument can prove all sorts of things, but that's not a fault of the logic itself, just the person applying the poor argument.
[/quote]

What you said is incomplete. Summing up:

Love is blind = Love has the property of causing blindness.
God is love = God has the property of causing love.
Stevie Wonder is blind = Stevie Wonder has the property of blindness.

Based on what -you- just said, we can assume that the property of blindness on Stevie Wonder was caused by love, after all, there are no signs of the opposite and, since the lack of proof doesn't invalidate an argument, then there is no reason as to why his blindness wouldn't be caused by the love itself.

-

Now do yo usee my point? Words with multiple significations can lead to multiple conclusions, all of them looking valid, based on any seemengly valid bases can lead to any seemingly valid conclusions, even if they are invalid. And that does -not- depend of the Occam's Razor, you see?

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #55 on: September 04, 2010, 05:33:28 PM »
Based on what -you- just said, we can assume that the property of blindness on Stevie Wonder was caused by love, after all, there are no signs of the opposite and, since the lack of proof doesn't invalidate an argument, then there is no reason as to why his blindness wouldn't be caused by the love itself.
I'm sorry, but that's not how logic works.  You can't assume that because a causes b, if you see an instance of b then it was caused by a.  That's assuming bidirectional causation when you only have unidirectional.  I give up, you don't seem to understand formal logic at all.

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #56 on: September 04, 2010, 05:51:49 PM »
I'm sorry, but that's not how logic works.  You can't assume that because a causes b, if you see an instance of b then it was caused by a.  That's assuming bidirectional causation when you only have unidirectional.  I give up, you don't seem to understand formal logic at all.

::) I don't understand.

Yet, you missed my point.

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #57 on: September 04, 2010, 05:53:13 PM »
Language barrier maybe?  I dunno, agree to disagree.  It was nice discussing this with you.  Thanks for the talk.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #58 on: September 04, 2010, 05:55:22 PM »
Im not sure if I understand your point. Doesnt science in "creation" theories force people to stop using logic and just believe the theory as well? Even when I was in my agnostic youth I always felt the big bang theory had to many holes in it to even be considered a theory by scientific standards. As I mentioned before, from my point of view, it is not a creation theory but an evolution theory. As the former I feel its a ludicrous idea with no merit as the theory talks about the current form of the universe we know being created and relies on a past universe we know nothing about and just have to "believe in". The theory does not address the true creation of the universe where the first thing came into exsistance. As the latter it functions well as a hypothosis and may have some merit as an actual theory if testing could be done (I fail to see how it could be though).

The Big Bang is a theory that attempts to describe the events that occurred after the singularity. It doesn't describe how that singularity came to be. For a long time it was thought that we couldn't even attempt to.

Quote
That said, science has to my knowlege failed to explain a massive explosion like the big bang can create something as remarkable as the human mind, let alone basic things like planets or stars.

Theories of galaxy and star system formation are pretty well rounded. The math is painful and immense.

Your statement seems to imply that because everything is not perfectly understood, no further understanding whatsoever can be gained (considering how far theories of mind have developed).

That is false.

Quote
Still scientists tell people that they have to believe in it. To be a little cynical, its like religions of the past. Men in white robes wandered the lands talking about God and told people to believe because of this or that reason. Now we have men and women in white coats doing the same thing. Thats likely oversimplifying it but as I said thats if you want to be cynical

Here's the difference between science and religion.

I can describe for you, how to create a battery, force some wires, blow glass, empty it, and create a light bulb.

I can describe for you, how to lay out electrical circuits, how they are powered, what sorts of things you need to watch out for and how to create a reasonably efficient machine.

I can describe for you, how to efficiently irrigate, plant, and harvest a crop.

There's nothing faith based about it. Except that if you trust your observations, you will get results.

We could go out, build a big enough telescope, work out how doppler shifts work, what standard candles are and why, and then start mapping galaxies and their recession rates from each other. There's nothing that special about it - it's all observation and deduction. You can deny what we see, if that suits you, but that doesn't really help your case for persuading others.

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@Veksied: Ok I misunderstood you before, I thought you were trying to place god into a strictly external or internal being when compared with the universe. To answer your question, the idea that I think works best when mixed with mythology and metaphysical thinking/themes is that god is not effected by entropy or perhaps is highly resistant to it. To try and give an example, think about magnistim and how steel is magnetic but gold is not. So I would think he is made up of a different "material" then we are, or at least when we are in our physical forms (read: Alive).

Be careful about just tossing traits at God.

Picture a base logic gate. An AND gate takes two inputs, and if they are both true, returns true. Otherwise, it returns false. Okay.

Information cannot be destroyed. It has to go somewhere. All we know, from the result, is whether or not both were true. What happened to the information?

Inside your computer, it turns to heat.

Just declaring God to be immune to entropy risks also declaring that God cannot make a decision or an observation.

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Another explanation that comes to my mind, again Im mixing theoretical sciences and mythology here, is the idea of perhaps he is able to bleed off some amount of entropy into another realm of existance (hell perhaps?). Or in a similar idea, perhaps the entropy takes the form of "evil" souls because its currently in a weakened state which keeps the univrse alive. At the same time, that energy probably couldnt be continuially built up in hell (as per the laws of thermodynamics) so  entropy also needs to bleed back into our world and creates more evil souls and the decay of time. The entire idea perpetuates a cycle similar to life. Yet another idea, also using the bleeding hypothosis, is that perhaps entropy (as an energy or force)is slowly used up as time continues

Any closed circuit that such a God forms with the Universe is something that we affect and thus could potentially take advantage of ourselves.

Entropy isn't good or evil, per se. But if you somehow manage to destroy it without recovering the information it represented, you are basically erasing a part of the past.

Picture a sponge in a still pool of water. Imagine it's a sentient sponge, and wants to get to the other side. The energy of the liquid water around it is plenty enough to make this easy - except that it is all (for the Sponge's purposes) effectively entropy - countless tiny molecules bouncing off of it in random directions, impossible to harness. They aren't evil, they aren't good, they simply are neither directed nor directable by the sponge.

Quote
Now in my mind science is a tool for mankind to understand how god made the universe work. I mean come on, objectivly, a being with enough experience, foresight, and power as God would create a living breathing world with laws so he wouldnt have to micromanage everything. The problem I see in this and other threads is people all to often take an anti-theist point of view as the atheists try as hard as they can to disprove anything even remotely religious. From my point of view elliquiy has a lot of scientific zealots (this is not the same as anti-theists) while the religious side who seems smaller (or at least has a smaller group who discusses things in P&R) is acctually pretty open to discussion of all types as long as things remain respectful. However I think scientific zealots and anti-theists have made that impossible over the last...probably year, maybe longer

Observe -> Hypothesize -> Test -> Repeat

I've mentioned before, that science cannot answer questions of goals or purpose. Science can tell you the most efficient means to get to a goal, science can help you find ways to avoid violating things that you consider to be unethical or immoral. Science can tell you the consequences of your actions, science can tell you through what processes a physical thing came to be.

Science cannot, and does not, tell you when or why to use a weapon. It can tell you what the results of action and inaction will be, but it is not there to make that decision for you. If your religion is your moral framework first and foremost, you won't have many problems, at least as far as science is concerned.

If, however, you are going to declare that the scientific method can't explain something, you are probably going to get back a rather incredulous response, from "So?" to "Yes, here.". It's what science does, science does a good job of it, and it's had the benefit of millions of people working in tandem for over a century. What there is to learn is immensely humbling, and I find what is being uncovered now to be incredibly exciting, personally.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #59 on: September 04, 2010, 08:47:42 PM »
You're calling the entire scope of religion and science's purpose into a thread where they're discussing the validity of Stephen Hawking's statement. You're attacking people's beliefs for what you percieve to be an attack on your beliefs, personally. Disproving religion =/= antagonising it. If I wanted to antagonize a religion I'd be mentioning crusades and pedophiles.

Blame hemingway for that. I started out discussing just the sceintific theory as it was and my veiws on it as a sceintific theory. He was the one who had to throw god into the picture and spark this other debate.

Anyway, if Im attacking anyone its the anti-theists (and to a lesser extent sceintific zealots) that use sceince to antagonize the religious. If the regular atheists get caught up in that, then Im sorry but our beliefs run counter to one another so they probably should have expected to be offended anytime I write about God or the supernatural. A long time ago I said that if you know something is going to offend you then you should censor yourself by staying out of the discussion, I think thats still good advice. In fact its why I dont comment on "pedophile priests" anymore

Heres another problem I see from you. Youre using religion purely in christian contexts, Im not. When I say religion Im using it in all its forms from pure belief to philosophy. In this way, I dont limit myself to one set of beliefs or examples.

They are theories, all of it. You left out the part where I said nobody knows who is right yet.

Duh. The only people who know the truth are people who have died. I felt that was self explanitory so I didnt feel a need to comment on it

And if religion is the only source of morality then I'm quite possibly the most amoral bastard child on the planet.

Culture and philosophy are sources of morality. Religion is certainly both of those things but science can not be because science is a tool of humanity, nothing more. Its only when humans try to apply things such as ethics or form social groups and then cultures that science takes on the illusion of morality or culture.

The Big Bang is a theory that attempts to describe the events that occurred after the singularity. It doesn't describe how that singularity came to be. For a long time it was thought that we couldn't even attempt to.

Exactly. The big bang theory is an evolution of the universe theory, not a creation theory. If it was called a creation theory as in creation of the universe we know right now then Ild be fine with it but people nver make that distinction (or at least Ive never heard it).

Theories of galaxy and star system formation are pretty well rounded. The math is painful and immense.

Your statement seems to imply that because everything is not perfectly understood, no further understanding whatsoever can be gained (considering how far theories of mind have developed).

That is false.

Not at all, in science there is room for the answers "I dont know" or "I need more data". To me they are also honest answers and acceptable in hypothosis. However they have no place in scientific fact. As I understand it (and I may be a little rusty with the scientific process) experimentation and tests have to be done before something can be called a theory. So "I dont know" and "I need more data" shouldnt be included in theory either but thats what the big bang is, its a theory thats widely accepted by the sceintific community and to my knowlege has little to no data to back it up. Yet people are told to just believe in it

Here's the difference between science and religion.

I can describe for you, how to create a battery, force some wires, blow glass, empty it, and create a light bulb.

I can describe for you, how to lay out electrical circuits, how they are powered, what sorts of things you need to watch out for and how to create a reasonably efficient machine.

I can describe for you, how to efficiently irrigate, plant, and harvest a crop.

There's nothing faith based about it. Except that if you trust your observations, you will get results.

We could go out, build a big enough telescope, work out how doppler shifts work, what standard candles are and why, and then start mapping galaxies and their recession rates from each other. There's nothing that special about it - it's all observation and deduction. You can deny what we see, if that suits you, but that doesn't really help your case for persuading others.

Problem is, none of that is science. Its human ingenuity applied through what science has figured out.

I could say the same thing to you. You can deny what you see, if it suits you, but that doesnt help persuade others. When it comes to beliefs people should hold both science and religion to the highest of standards, they should ask all the questions they can think of and refuse to accept anything till the individual is satisfied with a logical answer.

That said, for me, science has failed to answer many of my questions regarding the big bang theory. It just doesnt make sense right now, so I refuse to accept it

Be careful about just tossing traits at God.

Picture a base logic gate. An AND gate takes two inputs, and if they are both true, returns true. Otherwise, it returns false. Okay.

Information cannot be destroyed. It has to go somewhere. All we know, from the result, is whether or not both were true. What happened to the information?

Inside your computer, it turns to heat.

Just declaring God to be immune to entropy risks also declaring that God cannot make a decision or an observation.

Any closed circuit that such a God forms with the Universe is something that we affect and thus could potentially take advantage of ourselves.

Entropy isn't good or evil, per se. But if you somehow manage to destroy it without recovering the information it represented, you are basically erasing a part of the past.

Im not sure I understand you here. Applying metaphysical themes and concepts is fine and all but that doesnt make much sense in that context. Information is a concept, entropy is a an energy or force. A concept can manipulate an energy or force (like how time manipulates things with entropy) but an energy or force doesnt have power over a concept.

At the end of the day, everything I said is purely conjecture. Although using metaphysics and combining them with scientific theories is kind of fun as an intellectual and creative process


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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #60 on: September 04, 2010, 09:00:50 PM »
it is a nice mental exercise as long as it doesn't degenrate into the old "your an idiot" "no you're an idiot" stuff...
I get tired of that

Offline Serephino

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #61 on: September 04, 2010, 09:45:53 PM »
I agree with Brandon here.  It seems like words are being put in our mouths.  I used the term 'scientific types' only to describe a group of people who view things differently than I do.  Absolutely no offense was meant.  And yet, I've been called anti-intellectual, and have been accused of being narrow minded and apparently have dangerous views.  It doesn't seem to matter what I say, I've been pre-judged, and everything will be twisted to fit into that mold.  A scientific minded person being skeptical of religion is just fine.  A religious minded person being skeptical of something scientific in nature is blasphemy on this forum.     

I never once said the scientific process was bad.  I'm just skeptical of some things, like the Big Bang Theory.  Why is it only another scientist can be skeptical of a theory or hypothesis without being narrow minded?  Like I said, the first rule of Chemistry is matter can neither be created or destroyed.  Energy can change the forms of matter, but I've never heard of it doing anything else. 

Fire is a good example I think.  It's a process in witch particles are torn apart.  The energy required for this generates a lot of heat, which makes the heated particles rise because they are moving faster than the surrounding particles of the atmosphere.  The atoms in the object being burned are not destroyed.  They are just transformed into something else that we call smoke.  It was transformed, but the matter was always there.   

I won't deny that Creation isn't the only possible explanation, but it's the one that makes the most sense to me at the moment.  Maybe one day I'll come across a theory that will make sense to me.  I'll always believe in God because that's just who I am.  However, that doesn't mean I don't think that possibly one day we'll figure out how it was all done.  Almost anything is possible.       

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #62 on: September 04, 2010, 10:03:02 PM »
I agree with Brandon here.  It seems like words are being put in our mouths.  I used the term 'scientific types' only to describe a group of people who view things differently than I do.  Absolutely no offense was meant.  And yet, I've been called anti-intellectual, and have been accused of being narrow minded and apparently have dangerous views.  It doesn't seem to matter what I say, I've been pre-judged, and everything will be twisted to fit into that mold.  A scientific minded person being skeptical of religion is just fine.  A religious minded person being skeptical of something scientific in nature is blasphemy on this forum.     

I never once said the scientific process was bad.  I'm just skeptical of some things, like the Big Bang Theory.  Why is it only another scientist can be skeptical of a theory or hypothesis without being narrow minded?  Like I said, the first rule of Chemistry is matter can neither be created or destroyed.  Energy can change the forms of matter, but I've never heard of it doing anything else. 

Fire is a good example I think.  It's a process in witch particles are torn apart.  The energy required for this generates a lot of heat, which makes the heated particles rise because they are moving faster than the surrounding particles of the atmosphere.  The atoms in the object being burned are not destroyed.  They are just transformed into something else that we call smoke.  It was transformed, but the matter was always there.   

I won't deny that Creation isn't the only possible explanation, but it's the one that makes the most sense to me at the moment.  Maybe one day I'll come across a theory that will make sense to me.  I'll always believe in God because that's just who I am.  However, that doesn't mean I don't think that possibly one day we'll figure out how it was all done.  Almost anything is possible.       

The reason why people object to your skepticism is because your science is wrong.  Nearly everything you described above is incorrect.  Matter-energy equivalency is a fundamental part of modern physics and a rather well known equation:  e=mc^2.  It doesn't seem rational, to me anyway, to weigh in on the side of skepticism when the theory in question is not one that you understand.  Being innately skeptical towards an idea that you do not understand simply is a display of prejudice based on your religious beliefs.  That's why you face such static when you say such things.

If you disagree with a concept on the basis of personal religious principle, that's fine, just say so.  Don't try and pretend like you understand the scientific underpinnings of the issue and that's why you're rejecting it.  It's disingenuous.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2010, 03:03:41 AM by Jude »

Offline Lyell

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #63 on: September 04, 2010, 10:45:56 PM »
It seems like words are being put in our mouths.


See:

Now in my mind science is a tool for mankind to understand how god made the universe work.

Also,

The problem I see in this and other threads is people all to often take an anti-theist point of view as the atheists try as hard as they can to disprove anything even remotely religious. From my point of view elliquiy has a lot of scientific zealots (this is not the same as anti-theists) while the religious side who seems smaller (or at least has a smaller group who discusses things in P&R) is acctually pretty open to discussion of all types as long as things remain respectful. However I think scientific zealots and anti-theists have made that impossible over the last...probably year, maybe longer

Very much gives the impression that, as far as Brandon is concerned, anyone not giving credit to God is wrong and incapable of having a respectful debate over the matter. The very notion that God is either not a part of the equation or not a part of the universe we live in disqualifies it as a valid argument.

Or maybe I'm just reading too deeply into the statements.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #64 on: September 04, 2010, 10:54:39 PM »
Very much gives the impression that, as far as Brandon is concerned, anyone not giving credit to God is wrong and incapable of having a respectful debate over the matter. The very notion that God is either not a part of the equation or not a part of the universe we live in disqualifies it as a valid argument.

If you keep putting words in my mouth Im going to get very pissed off. Im asking you nicely to stop it.

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #65 on: September 04, 2010, 10:59:05 PM »
Alright, while I agree with Lyell, regardless of what Brandon means, I will askely ask you to stop the animosity before I close this thread, alright?

Some people accept other opinions, some people don't. Live with that.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #66 on: September 04, 2010, 11:31:56 PM »
Lyell, most people tend to wrap the statements made by others into their own contexts and don't always intend what they seem to. This goes for everyone. If you want to have a civil debate, you need to make the effort to take perceived slights and either address them or deconstruct them, as needed. Escalating the situation rarely helps.

To be more specific, ask for examples. If they refuse, call them out for it then, but not before you give them the opportunity to at least present their grievance. It might not be addressable, but at least it's known, then.

Exactly. The big bang theory is an evolution of the universe theory, not a creation theory. If it was called a creation theory as in creation of the universe we know right now then Ild be fine with it but people nver make that distinction (or at least Ive never heard it).

The thing about it is, to a degree, it's not very helpful to speculate on, at least not with our current understanding. Hawking's no-boundary proposal is one possibility, but it's not particularly useful, compared to the potential new physics we can unlock by studying the early conditions of the Universe. For it to be useful we would have to seriously consider creating singularities like it - somewhat on the far fetched side, at this point (and by far fetched I'm stating that in a scenario where building a device bigger than our Solar System to harness half the power of our Sun for experiments is 'reasonable').

So when you talk about the creation and evolution of the Universe, you'll find people who will focus on what we know, and that involves the Big Bang.

Quote
Not at all, in science there is room for the answers "I dont know" or "I need more data". To me they are also honest answers and acceptable in hypothosis. However they have no place in scientific fact. As I understand it (and I may be a little rusty with the scientific process) experimentation and tests have to be done before something can be called a theory. So "I dont know" and "I need more data" shouldnt be included in theory either but thats what the big bang is, its a theory thats widely accepted by the sceintific community and to my knowlege has little to no data to back it up. Yet people are told to just believe in it

There is no such thing as 'just believe it' in a genuine scientific theory. Either take the time to study the evidence, or don't, but the Big Bang is a genuine scientific theory, with a great deal of data to back it up.

I've even mentioned some of the easiest bits of data for you to look up, yourself - the Universe's inflation and the Cosmic Microwave Background. You can from that data either accept it, or study why we know all of the galaxies are receding from all other galaxies, etc. and so on. You can spend your whole life studying that, if you so wish - and guess what? Some people do.

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Problem is, none of that is science. Its human ingenuity applied through what science has figured out.

It is all science. Just because you are guided through the process does not make it any less so. We call this 'instruction'. Nothing haughty about it, but the idea is that, eventually, we reach a point where we have been taught all there is to be taught about a field, and have to progress on our own.

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I could say the same thing to you. You can deny what you see, if it suits you, but that doesnt help persuade others. When it comes to beliefs people should hold both science and religion to the highest of standards, they should ask all the questions they can think of and refuse to accept anything till the individual is satisfied with a logical answer.

The scientific method is the very embodiment of your paragraph here. That's why it has the esteem it does.

Science is nothing more than a continual process of ever more rigorous observation, hypothesis, and testing. That is all it is, that is everything science is. Dishonesty is rooted out and politics only taints it, and this purity has enabled every single wonder of our modern age, because if someone lies or makes a mistake, you can test their hypothesis.

This of course gets a bit hairy when the only way to truly test something involves your entire planet.

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That said, for me, science has failed to answer many of my questions regarding the big bang theory. It just doesnt make sense right now, so I refuse to accept it

Then make a thread in Elliquiy U and ask questions. I won't be able to answer everything, but the basics of how the Big Bang was established as a theory are not that complex, and they are not going to shake your faith unless you are a literalist.

Quote
Im not sure I understand you here. Applying metaphysical themes and concepts is fine and all but that doesnt make much sense in that context. Information is a concept, entropy is a an energy or force. A concept can manipulate an energy or force (like how time manipulates things with entropy) but an energy or force doesnt have power over a concept.

Information in the physical sense is not the same thing as "I know that 2+2=4". Rather, it refers to the location and velocity of particles and waves (and other dimensionful qualities of particles and waves and the fabric of spacetime that I am not necessarily qualified to explain, I only study information theory in the context of computer science, not particle physics).

A system of pure entropy has all of the information necessary to construct any prior state (with obscene amounts of computational power) - but none of it can be harnessed to perform work, because there is no gradient in that soup to perform work with. Does that make more sense?


Offline Kane Gunlock

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #67 on: September 05, 2010, 12:17:36 AM »
the thing that gets me is i hate how both atheist and Christians are so ready to dismiss others beliefs how do you know theirs not a god it my not exists in the way one would think but how would that prove its not real I tend to take the force route of belief in higher beings in that every one the force (god, chi,ect...) is mad up of every thing that we are the universe experiencing subjectively did any one think about that?

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #68 on: September 05, 2010, 12:23:07 AM »
the thing that gets me is i hate how both atheist and Christians are so ready to dismiss others beliefs how do you know theirs not a god it my not exists in the way one would think but how would that prove its not real I tend to take the force route of belief in higher beings in that every one the force (god, chi,ect...) is mad up of every thing that we are the universe experiencing subjectively did any one think about that?

That's my base point to say "The absence of a proof does not invalidate the point".

Offline Kane Gunlock

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #69 on: September 05, 2010, 12:27:18 AM »
true but you still shouldn't dismis some ones belief if it doesn't harm you I myself worship a giant monster mad of molten steel

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #70 on: September 05, 2010, 12:37:12 AM »
this is all incredibly informitive... I'm gonna stick to the virtues, and keep my faith alive, besides even if people disagree on god, if you read any of the holy books, they usually hit on the same themes of improving one's self, helping others, and living a good life for both yourself and civilization as a whole.
I admit a few theories have gone over my head, but I got most of it.
Thank you Vesked for preventing this from degenerating further.

Offline Kane Gunlock

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #71 on: September 05, 2010, 12:41:24 AM »
this is all incredibly informitive... I'm gonna stick to the virtues, and keep my faith alive, besides even if people disagree on god, if you read any of the holy books, they usually hit on the same themes of improving one's self, helping others, and living a good life for both yourself and civilization as a whole.
I admit a few theories have gone over my head, but I got most of it.
Thank you Vesked for preventing this from degenerating further.
I agree if it improves your life why should it be a bad thing ?

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #72 on: September 05, 2010, 01:07:55 AM »
I admit, this chat got me to look up the heavenly virtues, I put them in my sig so I wouldn't forget them.
that is the essence of the message, right there, I choose to be a christian, but those virtues are the one thing they all agree on.
however, each faith is diffrent in how they go about attaining them... and within diffrent cultures people place diffrent values on each virtue.
Science lacks heart... this is why it's so useful, it's solid, logical, and almost always reliable.
As long as mankind can think in illogical or unothodox ways, as long as man can think of beauty, art, passion, and poetry, faith will always have a place in our civilizations.
Science and Faith are not enemies, they are parts of us.
kind of a Brain VS Heart debate to use an analogy

Online Oniya

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #73 on: September 05, 2010, 01:46:40 AM »
Science and Faith are not enemies, they are parts of us.
kind of a Brain VS Heart debate to use an analogy

I like this.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #74 on: September 05, 2010, 01:58:42 AM »
thanks
maybe I should go on a little bit more...
I believe that as long as the heart and mind disagree, and I think they always will, we will have debate on the merits of both Science and Faith, people will be debating it for a long long time, and that's a good thing. intellgent Debate brings benifits to both, and forces people them to reexamine and improve themselves.

sorry I get philiohical when tired... good night

Online MagicalPen

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #75 on: September 05, 2010, 09:52:15 AM »
I find it interesting when people of the 'God created the Universe' thought can't wrap their minds around the 'Big Bang Theory'. I think it also has to do with the human mindset....

So, as I like to put it, why can't the Universe just have 'been there', existing? The Big Bang being the beginning of the universe. If God created the universe, who created God? If he can just 'exist', with no 'creation', why can't the Universe have existed in much the same manner?

The human mindset likes things organized. There is a beginning (birth), middle (living life), and end (death) to people and to most things in the world. We see this process everyday. We apply this structure to everything, which is why we have a hard time processing what happens after death, since something 'must' happen. Life after Death has been a common theme through out world religions - various forms of the afterlife etc, none of which can be ascertained as truth/fact. Science is very much the anti-Religion, as it explains the reason why things happen.

I am not quite sure man has the capability of wrapping his mind around how the Universe was created, or what (if anything) happens once you die. Technology has allowed man to answer some questions, but I don't think every question will be able to be answered by science or technology, which is why people rely on Faith and Religion. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, of course, but I think I side with Hawking on this matter - that God did not create the universe.

Offline Serephino

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #76 on: September 05, 2010, 10:53:06 AM »
The heart vs. brain analogy is a good one.  My heart says God had something to do with it.  My brain isn't sure what to think.  I will admit that my knowledge of Physics is limited.  I could have taken it my Senior year, but took Human Anatomy instead.  I've already stated my issues with it.  Everything has to come from somewhere; even God.  I have theories about where God came from.  The Big Bang Theory just goes against everything else I've learned as scientific fact.   

Of course, one could always educate me.  I've always loved learning.  Typing it out here would be a waste of time.  If you use 'formal' language I won't remember any of it.  However, if anyone has any videos they could direct me to...  I'm an auditory learner.   

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #77 on: September 05, 2010, 11:03:07 AM »
ahahahah...
just had the image of a couple of angels looking up, counting down "watch this... 3.... he's gonna do it" "2.... seriously?" "shhhhh 1...." they put on sunglasses.
"LET THERE BE LIGHT!"
there is a bright flash, they look at each other
"that was a big bang...."

cartoon images aside, Hawkens supposes that according to his calculations there needen't have been a creator's hand in the creation of the universe.
I don't think it's a "math says god doesn't exist" thing, but a theory in and of itself, one that cannot be proven, nor disproven, but both sides will line up and yell about it because he is a well known scientist.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #78 on: September 05, 2010, 12:31:25 PM »
Quote from: ”Ironwolf85”
Science and Faith are not enemies, they are parts of us.
kind of a Brain VS Heart debate to use an analogy

I have a bit of a problem with this.

25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

Now let me preface this by saying I do not see anyone here professing this.  My cube neighbor at work does.  In fact, he sent me a link to a presentation he gave at his church where he speaks to this.  As I understand it, in his mind, Jesus is saying that he should be so far above anyone (or anything) that compared to your feelings of your father or mother or whomever, it would appear you hate them.

My issue is that I see such 'love' blinding you to information that may, discredit the very thing you love.  This kind of unyielding love is what many fear of militant Islam.  To see it preached by some Christians really scares me.

Emotions (the heart) are not bad, but I think they should be tempered by reason (the mind).

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #79 on: September 05, 2010, 12:59:50 PM »
I agree with you there oh master of mischief.

Therein also like the difficulty, how do we know how much temperance is enough and how much is too much?
This is the battle that rages within all men, I did not intend it to be statement that they are always opposed, but that they are always in conflict, the heart struggling against it's bonds, and the mind struggling to restrain it's excessive emotions. if the balance turns to one extreme or another, one winds up with a person who is heartless or a fanatic.
finding that balance is one of the greatest struggles of mankind

oh gawd... I'm getting philosiphical again

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #80 on: September 05, 2010, 01:07:35 PM »
Personally, harming others is my imaginary line in the sand.  Whenever emotion or reason suggests I cross it, there better be a damn good reason.  And I admit even that is not a perfect solution.  I mean, what constitutes a 'damn good reason'?

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #81 on: September 05, 2010, 02:22:30 PM »
The heart vs. brain analogy is a good one.  My heart says God had something to do with it.  My brain isn't sure what to think.  I will admit that my knowledge of Physics is limited.  I could have taken it my Senior year, but took Human Anatomy instead.  I've already stated my issues with it.  Everything has to come from somewhere; even God.  I have theories about where God came from.  The Big Bang Theory just goes against everything else I've learned as scientific fact.   

Of course, one could always educate me.  I've always loved learning.  Typing it out here would be a waste of time.  If you use 'formal' language I won't remember any of it.  However, if anyone has any videos they could direct me to...  I'm an auditory learner.   

This is my understanding of it (and I'm not a scientist, just a student of physics -- minor not major, and I read a lot of science journalism):

When you burn an object you are inciting a chemical reaction in which the molecules in the object move at an accelerated rate that are adjacent to the source of heat.  Eventually a chain reaction occurs as the molecular movement reaches a critical point and adjacent molecules made of the same matter begin to move at an increased rate as well, that's what happens when the object catches on fire.  Smoke is certainly part of what's being given off in the ensuing chemical reaction, but heat is being given off as well, and heat literally is energy.  If you were to collect the smoke and remains of the object you burned into a single unit of matter, then you could calculate the amount of heat given off:

Initial Matter (pre-burning) = Smoke Matter + Burnt Remains + Lost Matter Converted into energy.  If you solved the equation for the lost matter, you could then calculate how much energy was given off by using e=mc^2, where e is the energy given off, m is the lost matter, and c is the speed of light which is a constant (you would also have to rearrange it as e/c^2 = m).  Matter would only be conserved if the lost matter converted into energy was zero, which isn't really going to happen in any circumstance practically.  Anytime friction occurs, you lose energy.  When you destroy the bonds that hold solid matter together, energy is lost.

But this isn't a one-way street either.  Energy can actually be stored as matter, this is what photosynthesis does.  The sun's burning of gases gives off photons which are then absorbed by chlorophyll in plants.  The plants have the faculties to turn this absorbed energy in the form of light into the very matter that is developed as they expand and grow.  But there is a certain innate inefficiency to the process, and this is one way that entropy comes into account.  No conversion of energy into anything else is 100% efficient;  just as plants cannot harness every last drop of the energy given off by the burnt gases in the sun that crosses their path, no machine is capable of utilizing every speck of energy fed to it in order to do work.

All of this inefficiency working in tandem with the laws of thermodynamics and entropy means that as the universe ages, pure concentrated forms of energy are going to be harder and harder to find.  It's almost like the fossil fuel crisis on a grand scale.  Couple this with evidence that it's taking longer for us to send and receive flashes of light from distant galaxies, and scientists have surmised that the universe is expanding and galaxies are drifting further apart (though another alternative hypothesis has been proposed that the speed of light is not actually constant, and that space-time are changing, not the actual distances).

If you reverse the expansion and energy dispersion that seems to be occurring, the end result is a nearly infinitely dense, hot bundle of mass that was the beginning of the universe, which then exploded to form everything (the big bang).  Because space was essentially "empty" before the explosion (or really kind of nonexistent), when the explosion occurred there wasn't anything for the "fiery edges" to latch on to in order to be absorbed like when an explosion occurs on earth.

I'm really kind of fudging the explanation here, but more or less, the echoes of the explosion are still out there and observable, they're called the "cosmic microwave background radiation," and when you extrapolate backwards, it confirms the notion of an initial explosion (it would be like watching an explosion from several miles away and knowing it happened because the light reaches you; it's just that these echos are much older and we're watching from a different viewpoint).  These echoes of the big bang are the one thing that people who propose alternate theories to the big bang can't quite account for.  The problem is, a lot of our understanding of the cosmic microwave background radiation is based on the existence of dark matter.

Isaac Newton came up with relativity (the notion that the speed of light is constant in all frames of reference), and as a consequences from this developed complicated theories about gravity.  These theories were eventually applied to large bodies very far away moving at high speeds (which is where relativity comes into account big time).  They didn't seem to describe physical phenomena right, that was when the idea of Dark Matter was proposed in order to account for the missing mass that would have to be there in order for the laws to hold.  Dark Matter is very difficult to detect because it doesn't interact with light the way matter does.  It's "there" but we don't know it's there, more or less.  This is where things get very shaky, because dark matter has basically been taken for granted as an assumption (though attempts at verifying its existence were made at the same time, so that's not really the right way of putting it), and it's supposed to be symmetric with normal matter, but by calculations the universe is about 80% dark, and 20% normal.

There have been a lot of attempts at experimentally verifying the existence of dark matter with mixed results.  It's still not 100%, and to a large degree a lot of the current popular cosmological model hinges on dark matter.  If dark matter doesn't exist, there's a gigantic hole in the theory of gravitation that we're using which largely leads to the conclusions of Big Bang model.

There are a number of alternative theories which explain away the necessity of the Big Bang and Dark Matter, but as of now they're not very competitive.  They simply aren't as likely because they don't explain as many phenomena as the Big Bang and Dark Matter do.  What proponents of science must realize is that all of the experiments and data we have collect in order to construct our theories could potentially only be one side of the coin.  As we discovered when the flaws in Newtonian Mechanics became apparent, new avenues of evidence and perspectives can be made available which fundamentally change the entire structure of our scientific understanding of physics.

We can never really know if we're seeing the whole picture or just paying attention to a set of special circumstances where the laws which we are observing are simply applicable to what we can see.  I guess that's why I feel so shaky about making propositions about the existence of everything based on science which is largely unsolved and not without its fundamental problems:  god is kind of the ultimate endgame of everything.  Until we can run a simulation of the universe's birth, death, revival, and processes without fault, I'm not willing to extrapolate anything solid about the very nature of existence from simple analysis of data.  It seems like something better left to philosophers and the religious.

EDIT:  The whole brain vs. heart thing is a fallacy of reification.  There is no heart in the sense that you're thinking.  The heart is an organ that pumps blood throughout your body to keep you living; it has nothing to do with your cognitive state.  This is more like the higher reasoning potential of your brain versus impulses and instinct.  Which isn't really anywhere near as favorable of a description of the "heart" side.

Science uses imagination, impulse, and creativity as well.  Formulating a hypothesis to test is an art in and of itself, based entirely on intuition.  You can't reject the value of following your instincts, it's just always a good idea to keep them in check with your higher reasoning too.  That's the secret to science's success.  And there's nothing stopping religion from following suit.  A little doubt is healthy.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2010, 03:31:06 PM by Jude »

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #82 on: September 05, 2010, 03:26:50 PM »
mah then maybe my analogy sucked, but you all got what I meant by it.
not getting all poetic this time.
thanks for the info jude

Offline Serephino

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #83 on: September 05, 2010, 06:44:08 PM »
This is my understanding of it (and I'm not a scientist, just a student of physics -- minor not major, and I read a lot of science journalism):

When you burn an object you are inciting a chemical reaction in which the molecules in the object move at an accelerated rate that are adjacent to the source of heat.  Eventually a chain reaction occurs as the molecular movement reaches a critical point and adjacent molecules made of the same matter begin to move at an increased rate as well, that's what happens when the object catches on fire.  Smoke is certainly part of what's being given off in the ensuing chemical reaction, but heat is being given off as well, and heat literally is energy.  If you were to collect the smoke and remains of the object you burned into a single unit of matter, then you could calculate the amount of heat given off:

Initial Matter (pre-burning) = Smoke Matter + Burnt Remains + Lost Matter Converted into energy.  If you solved the equation for the lost matter, you could then calculate how much energy was given off by using e=mc^2, where e is the energy given off, m is the lost matter, and c is the speed of light which is a constant (you would also have to rearrange it as e/c^2 = m).  Matter would only be conserved if the lost matter converted into energy was zero, which isn't really going to happen in any circumstance practically.  Anytime friction occurs, you lose energy.  When you destroy the bonds that hold solid matter together, energy is lost.

But this isn't a one-way street either.  Energy can actually be stored as matter, this is what photosynthesis does.  The sun's burning of gases gives off photons which are then absorbed by chlorophyll in plants.  The plants have the faculties to turn this absorbed energy in the form of light into the very matter that is developed as they expand and grow.  But there is a certain innate inefficiency to the process, and this is one way that entropy comes into account.  No conversion of energy into anything else is 100% efficient;  just as plants cannot harness every last drop of the energy given off by the burnt gases in the sun that crosses their path, no machine is capable of utilizing every speck of energy fed to it in order to do work.

All of this inefficiency working in tandem with the laws of thermodynamics and entropy means that as the universe ages, pure concentrated forms of energy are going to be harder and harder to find.  It's almost like the fossil fuel crisis on a grand scale.  Couple this with evidence that it's taking longer for us to send and receive flashes of light from distant galaxies, and scientists have surmised that the universe is expanding and galaxies are drifting further apart (though another alternative hypothesis has been proposed that the speed of light is not actually constant, and that space-time are changing, not the actual distances).

If you reverse the expansion and energy dispersion that seems to be occurring, the end result is a nearly infinitely dense, hot bundle of mass that was the beginning of the universe, which then exploded to form everything (the big bang).  Because space was essentially "empty" before the explosion (or really kind of nonexistent), when the explosion occurred there wasn't anything for the "fiery edges" to latch on to in order to be absorbed like when an explosion occurs on earth.

I'm really kind of fudging the explanation here, but more or less, the echoes of the explosion are still out there and observable, they're called the "cosmic microwave background radiation," and when you extrapolate backwards, it confirms the notion of an initial explosion (it would be like watching an explosion from several miles away and knowing it happened because the light reaches you; it's just that these echos are much older and we're watching from a different viewpoint).  These echoes of the big bang are the one thing that people who propose alternate theories to the big bang can't quite account for.  The problem is, a lot of our understanding of the cosmic microwave background radiation is based on the existence of dark matter.

Isaac Newton came up with relativity (the notion that the speed of light is constant in all frames of reference), and as a consequences from this developed complicated theories about gravity.  These theories were eventually applied to large bodies very far away moving at high speeds (which is where relativity comes into account big time).  They didn't seem to describe physical phenomena right, that was when the idea of Dark Matter was proposed in order to account for the missing mass that would have to be there in order for the laws to hold.  Dark Matter is very difficult to detect because it doesn't interact with light the way matter does.  It's "there" but we don't know it's there, more or less.  This is where things get very shaky, because dark matter has basically been taken for granted as an assumption (though attempts at verifying its existence were made at the same time, so that's not really the right way of putting it), and it's supposed to be symmetric with normal matter, but by calculations the universe is about 80% dark, and 20% normal.

There have been a lot of attempts at experimentally verifying the existence of dark matter with mixed results.  It's still not 100%, and to a large degree a lot of the current popular cosmological model hinges on dark matter.  If dark matter doesn't exist, there's a gigantic hole in the theory of gravitation that we're using which largely leads to the conclusions of Big Bang model.

There are a number of alternative theories which explain away the necessity of the Big Bang and Dark Matter, but as of now they're not very competitive.  They simply aren't as likely because they don't explain as many phenomena as the Big Bang and Dark Matter do.  What proponents of science must realize is that all of the experiments and data we have collect in order to construct our theories could potentially only be one side of the coin.  As we discovered when the flaws in Newtonian Mechanics became apparent, new avenues of evidence and perspectives can be made available which fundamentally change the entire structure of our scientific understanding of physics.

We can never really know if we're seeing the whole picture or just paying attention to a set of special circumstances where the laws which we are observing are simply applicable to what we can see.  I guess that's why I feel so shaky about making propositions about the existence of everything based on science which is largely unsolved and not without its fundamental problems:  god is kind of the ultimate endgame of everything.  Until we can run a simulation of the universe's birth, death, revival, and processes without fault, I'm not willing to extrapolate anything solid about the very nature of existence from simple analysis of data.  It seems like something better left to philosophers and the religious.

EDIT:  The whole brain vs. heart thing is a fallacy of reification.  There is no heart in the sense that you're thinking.  The heart is an organ that pumps blood throughout your body to keep you living; it has nothing to do with your cognitive state.  This is more like the higher reasoning potential of your brain versus impulses and instinct.  Which isn't really anywhere near as favorable of a description of the "heart" side.

Science uses imagination, impulse, and creativity as well.  Formulating a hypothesis to test is an art in and of itself, based entirely on intuition.  You can't reject the value of following your instincts, it's just always a good idea to keep them in check with your higher reasoning too.  That's the secret to science's success.  And there's nothing stopping religion from following suit.  A little doubt is healthy.

I remember about half of that, which isn't bad considering I read it instead of listened to it.  I do have a few questions though. 

First of all, the whole microwave radiation thing....  Isn't that stuff given off by stars?  The ozone layer of the Earth filters out the radiation from our sun.  And there is a life cycle of stars, and the universe has existed for a really long time, so there have been probably hundreds of stars that have lived and died over the millenniums.  Therefore, couldn't all that extra radiation be from long dead stars? 

Also, if it's taking longer to send and receive light beams, couldn't whatever is sending and receiving have just moved without the universe expanding?  I mean it would be kind of hard to pinpoint exact locations wouldn't it?  The universe is so vast....  When I look up at the stars at night they all look the same distance away, but we know that they're not.  It's kind of mind boggling to think how big the universe actually is.     

Offline Hemingway

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #84 on: September 05, 2010, 06:53:14 PM »
If you're looking to learn, I think I'd recommend Carl Sagan's Cosmos series. You can find the entire thing on Youtube. It's 13 episodes, I think, and so worth it.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #85 on: September 05, 2010, 07:10:43 PM »

I remember about half of that, which isn't bad considering I read it instead of listened to it.  I do have a few questions though. 

First of all, the whole microwave radiation thing....  Isn't that stuff given off by stars?  The ozone layer of the Earth filters out the radiation from our sun.  And there is a life cycle of stars, and the universe has existed for a really long time, so there have been probably hundreds of stars that have lived and died over the millenniums.  Therefore, couldn't all that extra radiation be from long dead stars? 

Also, if it's taking longer to send and receive light beams, couldn't whatever is sending and receiving have just moved without the universe expanding?  I mean it would be kind of hard to pinpoint exact locations wouldn't it?  The universe is so vast....  When I look up at the stars at night they all look the same distance away, but we know that they're not.  It's kind of mind boggling to think how big the universe actually is.     


On average, every galaxy is flying away from every other galaxy at a rate of roughly 70 kilometers per second per megaparsec. The visible edge of the Universe appears to be receding from us at a speed very close to the speed of light, and is currently receding from us faster than the speed of light.

This is an average, the sort of thing you look at when you see galaxies hundreds of megaparsecs away - structures that are not gravitationally bound to each other. Superclusters and walls slow down the expansion of space around them immensely, but this does not change the large scale picture.

Now, you could attempt to explain this by declaring the Milky Way or something close to its velocity to be a fixed frame of reference, with everything else in the Universe receding away from it. Relativity explicitly states that a fixed frame is impossible in our Universe.

Please start a new thread for any further questions, though, rather than asking about them in this thread.

Thank you : )
« Last Edit: September 05, 2010, 07:13:10 PM by Vekseid »

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #86 on: September 05, 2010, 08:47:31 PM »
you know what Vekseid...
this thread has become a more civil sort of debate, and it's interisting to read back.
I think we're all a little better for having learned stuff here.
wooooo self improvment

Offline Vekseid

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #87 on: September 06, 2010, 12:29:34 AM »
It's more that "Please explain Relativity" deserves its own thread, as does "Please explain the Big Bang" and so on.

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #88 on: September 06, 2010, 12:37:20 AM »
It's more that "Please explain Relativity" deserves its own thread, as does "Please explain the Big Bang" and so on.

I'm on it.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 01:01:02 AM by Chevalier des Poissons »

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #89 on: September 06, 2010, 10:45:09 AM »
Stephen Hawkings should keep his theological opinions to himself thank you very much. Let me ask since he made such a statement can he prove God DIDN'T create the universe or there is no God to me that is exactly what he ,as a scientist, is saying as a person of faith.

I don't have to prove my position its faith - God made it.

As for all this about natural law I do believe in natural law - God created it and can break it (miracles) as God wishes to do that.

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #90 on: September 06, 2010, 02:05:28 PM »
The title of this thread is terribly misleading.  As is the article it was started about. :P

Quote
"We don't need to evoke God to shine upon things and create the universe", adds.

Hawking did not say that God didn't create the universe.  He said that God wasn't necessary to understand the process. :P  Not all that surprising when you consider that he is a scientist, and therefore has a bit of a hard on for understanding things in precise, scientific terms.  I mean, just saying that God did it is the equivalent of outsourcing Hawking's job to heaven, no?

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #91 on: September 06, 2010, 02:24:31 PM »
Stephen Hawkings should keep his theological opinions to himself thank you very much. Let me ask since he made such a statement can he prove God DIDN'T create the universe or there is no God to me that is exactly what he ,as a scientist, is saying as a person of faith.

I don't have to prove my position its faith - God made it.

As for all this about natural law I do believe in natural law - God created it and can break it (miracles) as God wishes to do that.
Seems very contradictory to demand proof from other people for stated their opinion then turning around and stating your opinion every bit as strongly and saying you don't have to prove it.

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #92 on: September 06, 2010, 03:07:06 PM »
Seems very contradictory to demand proof from other people for stated their opinion then turning around and stating your opinion every bit as strongly and saying you don't have to prove it.

Ditto.

What's wrong on Stephen Hawkings giving his theological opinions, btw?

Offline Nyarly

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #93 on: September 06, 2010, 03:41:25 PM »
Ditto.

What's wrong on Stephen Hawkings giving his theological opinions, btw?
It's not conform to Christianity, so it's bad. At least that's how I understood it.

Anyway, why do people feel he need to over-interpret quotes like that? As Will pointed out, it doesn't even go against Christian belief, at least I find it hard to believe that he meant it that way.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #94 on: September 06, 2010, 04:21:50 PM »
I agree with will actually. it's not even that harmful, but it's blown out of preportian because he's a popular scientist.

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #95 on: September 06, 2010, 04:24:28 PM »
I agree with will actually. it's not even that harmful, but it's blown out of preportian because he's a popular scientist.

Pretty much. :(  Science and journalism just don't mix, apparently.  Much less with religion tossed in there.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #96 on: September 06, 2010, 04:57:51 PM »
Journalism, and I am using that term loosely, does not mix with anything.  The entire point is to sell more sensationalism.  I see this as a huge problem and one I have no solution for.  No one wants to hear about the mundane.

Offline Noelle

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #97 on: September 06, 2010, 05:07:58 PM »
I would say the problem is more societal than an actual issue with journalism itself. If you have a society of anti-intellectuals or people who are just too lazy to do any actual research into the issue themselves, then you start to get watered-down, dumbed-down versions of the original because people just don't care to try and grasp concepts they don't already know about. They want to know the scandal instead of the substance. Journalism is a business like any other, and on one hand they're just meeting their demand, but on another, they're kind of like the enablers :(

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #98 on: September 06, 2010, 05:15:42 PM »
well I'm about done with this thread, good for everyone though in keeping this civil.

Offline finewine

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #99 on: September 06, 2010, 10:47:30 PM »
I see God as the author sitting at his desk with a story, it's beginning, middle and end, in mind and we are the story.
The author sits outside the story's universe and controls it's expansion to its conclusion.

A great author in writing the story will follow the rules set forth in the story's created universe, but he is separate from the effects of the story's universe and if he does choose to do so, he can step into the story as a character, part the red sea or flood the whole earth because he is the God he's created within the story's plot of redemption.

For all we know our lives are the writing of a love story by an author who has lost his beloved and wishes to have the beloved return.


The wonder of science will only ever explain the rules of our universe not the rules of the author's universe.
To bind a GOD to the rules of our universe denies his deity and dominion over his creation.

There is no conflict between science and faith.
Our logic is not capable at this time to understand beyond our universe to a universe and logic yet to be discovered because we have no reference to it nor full understanding of its mystery.
We should continue to ask questions for understanding of the mystery.

The heart of the religious/science battle is the authorship of the process of the beginning of time and space as we know it.
And if there truly is a God that has dominion over us, then we must also examine the truths of our relationship with that deity if we are to live a truly well examined life.

I submit that it is much easier to believe there is no god than to face the truth of the existence of God and his dominion over us.

Is God needed to explain the process of the beginning of time and space as we know it?
No.  Science can do that.

But I also submit that our story has an ending and perhaps it would be good if we could ask the author what that ending will be.
Because entropy and information must continually transform itself in our universe unless the author decides to close the book and write a sequel with a new heaven and new earth.

Heartsmiles,
FW
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 11:00:00 PM by finewine »

Offline Noelle

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #100 on: September 06, 2010, 11:40:48 PM »
I submit that it is much easier to believe there is no god than to face the truth of the existence of God and his dominion over us.

Many people claim that agnosticism is the easiest way out because all you have to say is "I don't know" and you never actually "have to commit" to anything. People will claim back and forth to no end which is the 'easiest' to believe (as per the argument over Occam's Razor earlier), but for one, whether or not it's "easier" bears exactly zero relevance to the argument at hand. Even if your beliefs are the "more difficult" of the two, level of complication has no impact on whether or not your belief actually has any standing.

For example, it's pretty difficult for a person to claim a firm belief that a slice of Kraft cheese is their god and that the world is a delicious sandwich of god's creation. I'm sure you're thinking to yourself that it's an absolutely ridiculous claim, almost blatantly so -- because it is. Which is also what the science vs. religion arguments can boil down to. It's difficult for some to believe that in seven days (however metaphorical), some higher entity we have no tangible proof of got bored and decided to plant two humans that eventually populated an entire earth (inbreeding, anyone? D:) It can be difficult to comprehend that at one point, humans and certain species of apes shared a common ancestor, and somehow we managed to evolve above the rest into the only animal of our kind. One just so happens to have more logical bearing, given research and development in fields of evolutionary science.

My second thought is that if it were truly the easier solution, I would argue that more people would gravitate towards it. As statistics have shown in the United States alone, Christianity continues to prevail well over every other religion including atheists and agnostics -- but Gallup polls have shown that the majority of the people (in the US anyway) believes in a god or higher power of some kind. Also interestingly enough, I've noticed that many lack a basic understanding of the sciences they tend to feel threatened by. It does seem a little funny to me that the majority would pick the theoretical 'harder choice' but not bother to try and grasp just what it is they're opposing. I think the general understanding of Christianity is much better than is the understanding of science. On a slight tangent, I've also noticed many fervently suggest that scientists really need to seriously consider God as a viable option and stop the perceived efforts (I say perceived because I really doubt science is out to destroy everyone's faith, especially considering many scientists also happen to be religious) to disprove an existence of one at all, but I see few believers thinking seriously about the hypothetical that God may not exist at all, even as a thought experiment in terms of creation/laws/etc.

Anyway, guess my main message is that easier and harder sound to me like ways of justifying one's decision to believe one thing or the other, as if a struggle automatically gives your viewpoint validity. It doesn't. And neither does choosing the path of least resistance. Which is why it's important to be vigilant and examine all angles. The end.

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #101 on: September 07, 2010, 12:30:05 AM »
If you think it's easy to be an atheist or an agnostic, you've probably never tried it.  Do a simple thought experiment with me.  Assume that there is no god.  Now think about yourself and the way you think, feel, react, plan, and perceive everything.  Now try imagine being unable to do it.  But you can't even lament being unable to do it.  Imagine not drinking, feeling, thinking, eating, sleeping, crying, or anything else ever again and even being unable to realize that you're unable to do it.

Nonexistence is the scariest thing in the entire world.  Considering that as a viable possibility every now and then when you ponder mortality is utterly terrifying, and to continue to cling to the belief that makes you feel that emotional trauma and insecurity about the possible end of your own existence is far from easy.  Add to it the realization that there may not be anything special about humanity, much less you, the potential for the entire world (and your existence) to be the outcome of randomness and pure luck, and things get really depressing.

Then imagine being surrounded by people who do have belief in god and being persecuted for your lack of belief when you want to believe, but you just can't, because fundamentally it doesn't make sense to you.  Imagine you see all of the benefits of belief, you try, but you're just not wired that way.  It just doesn't work for you.

Everyone deserves a little sympathy and compassion and it's never a good idea to judge what you don't know.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 12:32:52 AM by Jude »

Offline Lithos

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #102 on: September 07, 2010, 12:39:28 AM »
Nonexistence is the scariest thing in the entire world.

No, it is not. False assumptions are not going to further any cause. World without me is not unimaginable nor scary, and neither is world without you.

Offline Nyarly

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #103 on: September 07, 2010, 12:50:45 AM »
Nonexistence is the scariest thing in the entire world.  Considering that as a viable possibility every now and then when you ponder mortality is utterly terrifying, and to continue to cling to the belief that makes you feel that emotional trauma and insecurity about the possible end of your own existence is far from easy.  Add to it the realization that there may not be anything special about humanity, much less you, the potential for the entire world (and your existence) to be the outcome of randomness and pure luck, and things get really depressing.
Funny. The only thing I can relate to is the "end of your existence"-bit. And even that's not so bad as you make it appear. What's so bad about the non-significance of humanity? I think that's a good actually (then again, I'm slightly misanthropic...). I find the thought of being the plaything of some eldritch abomination much scarier.

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #104 on: September 07, 2010, 12:53:17 AM »
I didn't mean anything that I've said is fact, that's just my viewpoint on things; all of that is purely opinion, emotional, and completely subjective to boot.  Not trying to claim anything here, just express my perspective on the difficulty of being an agnostic.

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #105 on: September 07, 2010, 12:57:43 AM »
I fail why being an agnostic would be easy or hard.

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #106 on: September 07, 2010, 01:15:24 AM »
I struggle with it:  maybe I'm doing it wrong.

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #107 on: September 07, 2010, 01:16:14 AM »
Maybe the struggle is an indication that you are doing it right.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #108 on: September 07, 2010, 01:21:36 AM »
From my point of view, if faith could be measured on a general scale and applied to all the seperate religions then I believe Atheism would be at the top of that with Agnostic as number 2. It takes tremendous faith to believe in nothing, in my younger agnostic self it took tremendous faith in me consider that there may have been nothing. With most religions they teach that being a good person and hard work might not get you anywhere in life but it will after death (obviously theres some variation with religions like the Aesir who believed if you werent looting and pillaging you would go to Hel's domain). However boiling everything down to basicly random chance well I imagine thats scary for a lot of people.

Nyarly unless your talking about a lovecraftian pantheon, or maybe (big maybe and even then it refers mostly to the titans not the olympians) the greek one then I dont think that "Playthings of a ancient abomination" quite fits. There are dozens of religions out there, some even athiest (buddism for example), but I cant think of any one of the recent ones where I could objectivly call worshipers or just humans in general playthings, except maybe scientology but theyre an atheist religion

Offline finewine

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #109 on: September 07, 2010, 02:11:07 AM »
Quote from: Noelle
Anyway, guess my main message is that easier and harder sound to me like ways of justifying one's decision to believe one thing or the other, as if a struggle automatically gives your viewpoint validity. It doesn't. And neither does choosing the path of least resistance. Which is why it's important to be vigilant and examine all angles. The end.

Examine all angles.  Yes, I agree and my angle is one of those angles.

Life is a struggle and the struggle does give validity to life and my viewpoint.
Both camps will point the finger at the other camp and cry persecution!  Both camps have their crisis of faith.  Both camps will struggle within their faith.
I've been in both camps and it is easier to not believe in a god and not worry about the moral implications than it is to believe in a god and know that in the fullness of time the wrath of God's holiness will judge an unholy humanity.  I do not care to consider the horrors of the nonexistence and emptiness felt when banished from the love of the Master because of inexcusable disobedience.

I say ENOUGH of the pointing fingers and defensive posturing.


Join together and view the creation around us to see the struggle of life, to see the wonders of the processes that give us life and the world we live in and marvel in the complexity and beauty of it all.

The butterfly must struggle from its chrysalis to pump blood into the wings for it to survive. From the butterfly's point of view the struggle is everything for it to live.

The path of least resistance gives us beautiful waterfalls and etched canyons and rich fertile sediment on which life can survive.

My viewpoint has validity to me because it is my viewpoint just as your viewpoint has validity to you.
I do not judge your viewpoint to be less valid than mine.  Why is mine any less valid than yours?

There was no effort to understand my analogy or consider it. There was no effort to discuss that possibility.

Instead their was a defensive posture which implies to me a fear of attack which was certainly not my intent.

I was relating the whole issue to the analogy of a writer and his story hoping that those here, as intellectual writers could understand from the common point of view of the science and art of writing

One must always have the an empty cup to continue to learn and not stagnate in intellectual and emotional pride and arrogance.





Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #110 on: September 07, 2010, 02:14:45 AM »
Hm.

Quote
I say ENOUGH of the pointing fingers and defensive posturing.

Quote
My viewpoint has validity to me because it is my viewpoint just as your viewpoint has validity to you.

Munchausen's trillema: An argument is valid because of itself. Basically, is is true because it is true. It is a very interesting falacy, did you know? A typical implication of the animosity.

Of course, we all know that such animosity is inappropriate, therefore unsuited to this conversation, right? The lack of proper argumentation is another issue.

Carry on.

Offline Nyarly

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #111 on: September 07, 2010, 02:43:52 AM »
From my point of view, if faith could be measured on a general scale and applied to all the seperate religions then I believe Atheism would be at the top of that with Agnostic as number 2. It takes tremendous faith to believe in nothing, in my younger agnostic self it took tremendous faith in me consider that there may have been nothing. With most religions they teach that being a good person and hard work might not get you anywhere in life but it will after death (obviously theres some variation with religions like the Aesir who believed if you werent looting and pillaging you would go to Hel's domain). However boiling everything down to basicly random chance well I imagine thats scary for a lot of people.

Nyarly unless your talking about a lovecraftian pantheon, or maybe (big maybe and even then it refers mostly to the titans not the olympians) the greek one then I dont think that "Playthings of a ancient abomination" quite fits. There are dozens of religions out there, some even athiest (buddism for example), but I cant think of any one of the recent ones where I could objectivly call worshipers or just humans in general playthings, except maybe scientology but theyre an atheist religion
You may be right that it takes a lot of faith to believe in nothing, but what exactly does it have to do with Atheism? There are many more things one can believe into than just gods and I doubt that there is anyone who really believes in nothing and no religious person who only believes in god(s). Some believe that humans should improve society for their fellow humans, some believe that everyone should care for themselves. Some think that we should stick to the old ways, others think that we have to move forward quickly.

While religion may have a big influence in it, the believes of any human can't be just summed up with "s/he is Christian/Muslim/Buddhist/Haruhiist/etc." (Yes, I'm aware that no one actually believes in the last thing. I hope.) Exceptions my be nutjobs like the WBC, but even then there may be saner members.

While I did thought of the Cthulhu Mythos, when I wrote this, I thought more of the Abrahamic god. I find the thought of such a superpowered deity more frightful than anything else. On the other hand the comparison fits, because the deities of the Mythos are entirely fictional, just like the Christian god (for me as an Atheist, of course).

Offline Noelle

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #112 on: September 07, 2010, 03:05:31 AM »
I say ENOUGH of the pointing fingers and defensive posturing.

Maybe I'm misreading you, but I think you're very much guilty of the thing we both seem to agree on here -- that statements of 'I have it easier/harder' are fruitless and non-productive, and yet the way you've stated your own thoughts on the subject make it seem as if you're applying your own experience on a grander level, to everyone, when you say things like this --

Quote
I've been in both camps and it is easier to not believe in a god and not worry about the moral implications than it is to believe in a god and know that in the fullness of time the wrath of God's holiness will judge an unholy humanity.  I do not care to consider the horrors of the nonexistence and emptiness felt when banished from the love of the Master because of inexcusable disobedience.

It feels targeted, as if those here who don't worship any higher being are amoral, empty shells of people that are going to fry up in hell, more or less. Perhaps this wasn't the message you intended to send, but it does feel, nonetheless, very pointed at non-believers in a very indirect way. If you didn't mean it as I'm interpreting it, feel free to correct me.

Quote
My viewpoint has validity to me because it is my viewpoint just as your viewpoint has validity to you.
I do not judge your viewpoint to be less valid than mine.  Why is mine any less valid than yours?

There was no effort to understand my analogy or consider it. There was no effort to discuss that possibility.

Instead their was a defensive posture which implies to me a fear of attack which was certainly not my intent.

If you felt that I was attacking you in a way that you were uncomfortable, then I offer my apologies because that was not my intent. However, if you're uncomfortable having your viewpoints discussed at length or don't want them to be criticized, then you're probably not in the correct venue to be sharing your opinion. I wasn't discounting your point of view as inferior or 'wrong', I was simply offering my own response to something you said that I found to be ambiguous/objectionable.

Edit: And, yes, as it was pointed out, circular logic such as "my viewpoint is valid because it's my viewpoint" is kind of frowned upon ;P
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 03:08:21 AM by Noelle »

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #113 on: September 07, 2010, 03:25:24 AM »
Life is a struggle and the struggle does give validity to life and my viewpoint.
Both camps will point the finger at the other camp and cry persecution!  Both camps have their crisis of faith.  Both camps will struggle within their faith.
I've been in both camps and it is easier to not believe in a god and not worry about the moral implications than it is to believe in a god and know that in the fullness of time the wrath of God's holiness will judge an unholy humanity.  I do not care to consider the horrors of the nonexistence and emptiness felt when banished from the love of the Master because of inexcusable disobedience.
I was religious once, a long time ago, back when I was a child.  It was an interesting experience.  I did worry about the strength of my faith because it was always paltry compared to the faith that others possessed.  I remember when I took communion for the first time I was concerned that I didn't "believe enough" and as a result I would be punished by god for taking part in such a sacrosanct ceremony.  That was pretty horrifying.

Then I became an atheist, and I felt as if I saw the light.  I was practically a born again atheist, I had fun telling people things like "god doesn't exist" and I never really considered the implications of that and how it affected me, as much as I reveled in putting down other people's points of view now that I knew there wasn't an airtight basis for them (unlike what I was taught to believe in church and by my religious parents).  It was a reactionary period where I lashed out emotionally over the betrayal of trust I experienced by everyone I went to church with in how certain they all sounded when in the end they were simply spouting the gospel they learned in the same way they were trying to implant it into me.

Finally, I became an agnostic.  I realized that as an atheist I was reactionary, angry, and definitely not helping the cause of lessening the suffering in the world due to religion (or gaining acceptance/tolerance for myself).  This was the hardest position of all for me, because I found myself stuck between two camps of fervent believers being the person waving the flag of "I don't know" while trying to convince other people to moderate their confidence in their own ideology.

I wouldn't stop there, eventually I became an agnostic-skeptic, which requires even more.  No longer is it acceptable for me to rest on a particular viewpoint, now I have to constantly question my own assumptions and the logic behind every decision I make.  I want to remain objective and open to all possibilities because it's the best way to actually end making the right choice and believing the right things in the end.  The problem is, that constant self-questioning is very exhausting, and it sometimes does mean having to change my point of view.  This is taken as a sign of weakness, uncertainty, or a lack of intelligence often, especially in today's culture where certainty (religious and otherwise) are practically virtues.  As a society we practically worship people of great faith; that stubborn unwillingness to see the faults in their own views and to try and doubt/detach has became a badge of honor.  It is the opposite of objectivity and the essence of bias.

Never settling, always questioning, and being willing to change your point of view also changes the focus of debate.  It's not about winning or losing, it's a search for the truth.  A lot of people feel a smug sense of superiority when they profess their beliefs, and I don't have that luxury.  Saying you don't know is the ultimate humbling position, because face it or not, people like people with answers.  Claiming you have everything figured out is the fastest way to get people's trust and respect if it appears that you're telling the truth.

But at the end of everything I wrote I realized something:  arguing which group has it better or worse is difficult, if not entirely irrelevant.  The ease or difficulty of accepting a belief has nothing to do with its validity.  The human brain is wired for religion.  We are encouraged to engage in magical thinking by the very architecture of our being.  That does not make religion right or wrong, it only accounts for why there's such a disparity in numbers.

Persecution, and which group faces more, is another subject entirely and a debate I'd be more than willing to have with you.  but if you think that members of the majority suffer more persecution than those of the minority, I don't think you understand human nature very well.
I say ENOUGH of the pointing fingers and defensive posturing.

Join together and view the creation around us to see the struggle of life, to see the wonders of the processes that give us life and the world we live in and marvel in the complexity and beauty of it all.

The butterfly must struggle from its chrysalis to pump blood into the wings for it to survive. From the butterfly's point of view the struggle is everything for it to live.

The path of least resistance gives us beautiful waterfalls and etched canyons and rich fertile sediment on which life can survive.

My viewpoint has validity to me because it is my viewpoint just as your viewpoint has validity to you.
I do not judge your viewpoint to be less valid than mine.  Why is mine any less valid than yours?

There was no effort to understand my analogy or consider it. There was no effort to discuss that possibility.

Instead their was a defensive posture which implies to me a fear of attack which was certainly not my intent.

I was relating the whole issue to the analogy of a writer and his story hoping that those here, as intellectual writers could understand from the common point of view of the science and art of writing.

One must always have the an empty cup to continue to learn and not stagnate in intellectual and emotional pride and arrogance.
I agree every viewpoint is valid, in that it could be potentially true, but that doesn't mean that every viewpoint is equally likely.  The fact is, the evidence gathered by science shows that our universe is capable of being a closed system without the need for a god.  There isn't anything solid that has ever been observed by humanity while accounting for confirmation bias and other human-observational fallibility that necessitates the existence of god.  That is why god remains an ad hoc hypothesis, despite the fact that he/she/it could very well still exist, thus drastically lowering the likelihood of his existence (which I think is what Hawking was trying to say after muddling through it for this long).

Now, I don't have a problem with people who believe in unlikely things except when they misrepresent the odds and make a virtue of their faith.  Certainty leads to lack of change, and if there's one thing that the past 3.5 billion years since abiogenesis has shown, it's that change is the engine of progress.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 03:43:32 AM by Jude »

Offline finewine

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #114 on: September 07, 2010, 07:54:19 AM »
1. Hawkings statement as summarized by a post read earlier was that Hawkings believed that the universe is a closed system and does not need God.
I did agree
Quote
Is God needed to explain the process of the beginning of time and space as we know it?
No.  Science can do that.

2.
Quote from: Chevalier des Poissons
A typical implication of the animosity
Your deduction about my state of emotion is incorrect. There was no animosity in my mind. It was in your mind so perhaps you are the one showing animosity through your virtue of logic.

3.
Quote from: Finewine
Quote from: Noelle
I've been in both camps and it is easier to not believe in a god and not worry about the moral implications than it is to believe in a god and know that in the fullness of time the wrath of God's holiness will judge an unholy humanity.  I do not care to consider the horrors of the nonexistence and emptiness felt when banished from the love of the Master because of inexcusable disobedience.
It feels targeted, as if those here who don't worship any higher being are amoral, empty shells of people that are going to fry up in hell, more or less. Perhaps this wasn't the message you intended to send, but it does feel, nonetheless, very pointed at non-believers in a very indirect way. If you didn't mean it as I'm interpreting it, feel free to correct me.
You misinterpreted my intent.
You felt targeted, your feelings gave validity to your logic, but your conclusion was not my intent.
Quote from: Nyarly
While I did thought of the Cthulhu Mythos, when I wrote this, I thought more of the Abrahamic god. I find the thought of such a superpowered deity more frightful than anything else

The intent is to say that the fire and brimestone of the wrath spoken of is a frightening alternative and it would be much easier to just find the logic to dismiss the existence of God and not worry about such a frightening deity by making him fictional. This is a logical assumption based on human nature.
4.
Quote from: Jude
I agree every viewpoint is valid, in that it could be potentially true,
Thank you for agreeing with me. All I said was my view point was valid.
Quote
My viewpoint has validity to me because it is my viewpoint just as your viewpoint has validity to you. I do not judge your viewpoint to be less valid than mine.
5.
Quote
Persecution, and which group faces more, is another subject entirely and a debate I'd be more than willing to have with you.  but if you think that members of the majority suffer more persecution than those of the minority, I don't think you understand human nature very well.
Do not add information to my words to suit your logic.  I said that both camps point fingers at each other cry persecution (target and attack) I never said one was persecuted more than the other.
Quote
Both camps will point the finger at the other camp and cry persecution!  Both camps have their crisis of faith.  Both camps will struggle within their faith.
You do not know me well enough to tell me I do not understand human nature or persecution.[/quote]

My analogy has its own logic from a certain point of view
Quote from: Finewine
I see God as the author sitting at his desk with a story, it's beginning, middle and end, in mind and we are the story.
The author sits outside the story's universe and controls it's expansion to its conclusion.

A great author in writing the story will follow the rules set forth in the story's created universe, but he is separate from the effects of the story's universe and if he does choose to do so, he can step into the story as a character, part the red sea or flood the whole earth because he is the God he's created within the story's plot of redemption.

For all we know our lives are the writing of a love story by an author who has lost his beloved and wishes to have the beloved return.


The wonder of science will only ever explain the rules of our universe not the rules of the author's universe.
To bind a GOD to the rules of our universe denies his deity and dominion over his creation.

There is no conflict between science and faith.
Our logic is not capable at this time to understand beyond our universe to a universe and logic yet to be discovered because we have no reference to it nor full understanding of its mystery.
We should continue to ask questions for understanding of the mystery.

One may chose to believe my point of view is not likely and one has every right to do so, but one does not have the right to judge my point of view as any less valid than any other point of view.









« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 07:58:25 AM by finewine »

Offline Jaybee

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #115 on: September 07, 2010, 09:14:04 AM »
Interesting discussion you good people are having.  Here's my tuppence...I'm a Christian, converted 11 years back but I don't thump.  Unlike most people, who attempt to create logic based on faith, my faith started off as logical thinking.

I suspect Hawkings, in his extreme theorising, is forgetting a few elementals of Physics;

1) Nature abhors a vacuum;

2) Every atom had a beginning at a point in time;

3) All that can come from nothing, is nothing.

Now, rewind the clock of history, and imagine the time before the first atom came into existence; according to those three rules, matter is impossible.  Yet, here it is; you're looking at matter right now, via matter.  As far as I'm concerned, whatever power, unbound by the laws of Physics, created this universe, IS God.  He may be an extremely advanced form of energy, creating form out of formlessness, He may be an Astronaut with an IQ of billions of digits, I do not know. 

The more I thought of all this back in '99, the more I felt His hand moving in me.  Throughout my being.  It is this part that is inexplicable to a non-believer, and as a man who respects Science, I would not try to describe such an ethereal, esoteric event with any expectation whatsoever of convincing anyone else of its validity.  It merely is; although, again as a man who doffs his figurative cap to Science, I happily throw open these beliefs to considered dissection.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #116 on: September 07, 2010, 10:15:09 AM »
From my point of view, if faith could be measured on a general scale and applied to all the seperate religions then I believe Atheism would be at the top of that with Agnostic as number 2. It takes tremendous faith to believe in nothing, in my younger agnostic self it took tremendous faith in me consider that there may have been nothing.

This is a common tactic, and I'm not sure whether to label it ignorant, or underhanded.

You're making two fundamental mistakes. Atheism, first and foremost, is nothing - nothing - but the absence of belief in a god. You can be a religious atheist, you can be an irreligious atheist, you can be a nihilist atheist, anything you please. The only requirement is that you not believe in a god. That's all it means.

The second fatal mistake is describing it as "belief in nothing", rather than "lack of belief". "Belief in nothing" implies you're believing in nothing contrary to evidence. "Lack of belief" implies that, because of the utter and complete absence of evidence, you see no reason to believe in the first place. It's not even a rejection of the belief.

As for atheism requiring the most faith, or the most assumptions, it doesn't matter how you try to spin "faith", the simple fact remains that the argument "something cannot come from nothing, so something must've created it", is at best moving the goalpost. If "something" can't come from nothing, but "something else" can, then "something can't come from nothing" is no longer true, and god is unnecessary. Either god is impossible, or unnecessary. There is, beyond anecdotes and your own feelings, no evidence to suggest there is a god - none. There isn't any objective evidence that could ever bring anyone, without outside influence, to believe in your particular god. It's an enormous leap of faith. Not believing is simply admitting you don't know - yet.

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #117 on: September 07, 2010, 10:44:50 AM »
Interesting discussion you good people are having.  Here's my tuppence...I'm a Christian, converted 11 years back but I don't thump.  Unlike most people, who attempt to create logic based on faith, my faith started off as logical thinking.

I suspect Hawkings, in his extreme theorising, is forgetting a few elementals of Physics;

1) Nature abhors a vacuum;

2) Every atom had a beginning at a point in time;

3) All that can come from nothing, is nothing.

Now, rewind the clock of history, and imagine the time before the first atom came into existence; according to those three rules, matter is impossible.  Yet, here it is; you're looking at matter right now, via matter.  As far as I'm concerned, whatever power, unbound by the laws of Physics, created this universe, IS God.  He may be an extremely advanced form of energy, creating form out of formlessness, He may be an Astronaut with an IQ of billions of digits, I do not know. 

The more I thought of all this back in '99, the more I felt His hand moving in me.  Throughout my being.  It is this part that is inexplicable to a non-believer, and as a man who respects Science, I would not try to describe such an ethereal, esoteric event with any expectation whatsoever of convincing anyone else of its validity.  It merely is; although, again as a man who doffs his figurative cap to Science, I happily throw open these beliefs to considered dissection.

This has really already been discussed, earlier in the thread.  Mass/energy conservation can be violated on quantum scales.  That being the case, I see no reason not to believe that it could be violated in a more profound way in the case of a singularity.

This is in addition to the notion that assigning immortal status to the universe is just as easy as saying it was created, and then assigning immortal status to its creator instead.

Offline Jaybee

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #118 on: September 07, 2010, 11:10:21 AM »
This has really already been discussed, earlier in the thread.  Mass/energy conservation can be violated on quantum scales.

I was talking about mass creation, not preservation.  I'd want proof of your assertion about conservation.

Quote
That being the case, I see no reason not to believe that it could be violated in a more profound way in the case of a singularity.

Indeed, IF it is the case.

Quote
This is in addition to the notion that assigning immortal status to the universe is just as easy as saying it was created, and then assigning immortal status to its creator instead.

It's easy to say anything in a free society; talk is cheap.  Providing evidence is a superior guage of factuality.

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #119 on: September 07, 2010, 12:23:40 PM »
I believe this was the sort of thing that was referenced earlier.

It's easy to say anything in a free society; talk is cheap.  Providing evidence is a superior guage of factuality.
I apologize if I'm being shortsighted, but I fail to see how this relates to the portion of my post that you quoted above it.

Online Oniya

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #120 on: September 07, 2010, 01:12:18 PM »
I was talking about mass creation, not preservation.  I'd want proof of your assertion about conservation.

Conservation simply means that the equations have to balance out.  Mass can be converted into a boat-load of energy (practical example would be the sun), and it should be possible to convert a boat-load of energy into mass, given the right circumstances.  It's not something that we as humans can do, especially considering the amount of energy that would be required is on such a huge scale.  One gram of mass is equivalent to the following amounts of energy:

    89.9 terajoules (About 60 terajoules were released by the nuclear bomb that exploded over Hiroshima.)
    25.0 million kilowatt-hours (≈25 GW·h)
    21.5 billion kilocalories (≈21 Tcal)

Offline Jaybee

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #121 on: September 07, 2010, 02:37:38 PM »
Conservation simply means that the equations have to balance out.  Mass can be converted into a boat-load of energy (practical example would be the sun), and it should be possible to convert a boat-load of energy into mass, given the right circumstances. 

That's akin to saying that because we can convert paper to ash via burning, the inverse is also true via some unknown process.  We've never seen evidence that energy can be converted to mass.

Quote
It's not something that we as humans can do, especially considering the amount of energy that would be required is on such a huge scale.  One gram of mass is equivalent to the following amounts of energy:
    89.9 terajoules (About 60 terajoules were released by the nuclear bomb that exploded over Hiroshima.)
    25.0 million kilowatt-hours (≈25 GW·h)
    21.5 billion kilocalories (≈21 Tcal)

The implication there is that scale is the insurmountable factor.  Convertibility is the lacking element; if we could convert energy into matter, we would only need a microscopic amount (preferably of a distinct element) to demonstrate that it could be done.  It cannot.














Online Oniya

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #122 on: September 07, 2010, 03:00:52 PM »
That's akin to saying that because we can convert paper to ash via burning, the inverse is also true via some unknown process.  We've never seen evidence that energy can be converted to mass.

The implication there is that scale is the insurmountable factor.  Convertibility is the lacking element; if we could convert energy into matter, we would only need a microscopic amount (preferably of a distinct element) to demonstrate that it could be done.  It cannot.

Would the creation of anti-matter be enough of a proof?  Honestly asking here. 

I know I've seen Feynman diagrams about the process, but the only article I could find that didn't go into advanced mathematics was this one:  http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Feynman-Stueckelberg+interpretation.  The section on antimatter (just a bit below the first screen-ful) talks of nine atoms of antihydrogen (a single positively charged positron orbiting a single negatively charged antiproton) created by scientists at CERN (and no, this has nothing to do with 'Angels and Demons').

Offline Jaybee

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #123 on: September 07, 2010, 03:45:15 PM »
Would the creation of anti-matter be enough of a proof?  Honestly asking here. 

As opposed to dishonestly asking your other questions?  :)

To be forthright, no, that wouldn't do, for the universe isn't composed of anti-matter, and as I alluded to in my paper burning analogy, the achievement of a goal isn't proof that the opposite/reverse goal can be reached.

Quote
I know I've seen Feynman diagrams about the process, but the only article I could find that didn't go into advanced mathematics was this one:  http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Feynman-Stueckelberg+interpretation.  The section on antimatter (just a bit below the first screen-ful) talks of nine atoms of antihydrogen (a single positively charged positron orbiting a single negatively charged antiproton) created by scientists at CERN (and no, this has nothing to do with 'Angels and Demons').

I will take a look at it, thank you for the link!!

Offline Lithos

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #124 on: September 07, 2010, 03:51:20 PM »
Convertibility is the lacking element; if we could convert energy into matter, we would only need a microscopic amount (preferably of a distinct element) to demonstrate that it could be done.  It cannot.

It happens all the time. Particle accelerators convert energy into subatomic particles, for example by colliding electrons and positrons. Some of the kinetic energy in the collision goes into creating new particles, and yes, if we had this happen in much larger scale, we would have enough particles to form atoms, there is only one big problem.

In a technical sense, you cannot just create matter out of energy: there are various 'conservation laws' of electric charges, the number of leptons (electron-like particles) etc., which means that you can only create matter / anti-matter pairs out of energy. Anti-matter, however, has the unfortunate tendency to combine with matter and turn itself back into energy. Even though physicists have managed to safely trap a small amount of anti-matter using magnetic fields, this is not easy to do.

So we would need huge amount of particle collisions, AND a way to keep the anti matter separate from matter. Convertibility itself is there though, just at lower level.

Also, as more importantly related thing: Whether or not god exists and how to prove it are completely meaningless questions without any value. God is something people have faith and belief on, and no theory should need to explain it. Let people who for whatever reason believe in it do so, there is no reason to dabble with it at all. Only time when decisive action is needed is if and when the religion has harmful effects on something. Society can and should force removal of individuals and ideals that cause them.

There is no need to remove religion itself at large, or try to remove "god" the concept. Pondering the whole god issue from standpoint of empiric science is meaningless waste of time. Only thing that we need is society that is understanding of religion as harmless viewpoint to life in general, and takes more agressive stance to harmful effects of religion and curbs the groups that cause these out. The whole media fuss about religion is needless waste of resources. It is just popular subject to media cause debates about religion tend to cause a lot of emotion and by that route watchers / sales figures.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 05:16:27 PM by Lithos »

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #125 on: September 07, 2010, 05:23:33 PM »
Quote
It was in your mind so perhaps you are the one showing animosity through your virtue of logic

Lol.

Falacy number two: False Dilemma. You assumed that I was having some animosity when I didn't even imply that you had such feeling. That's not polite ;) I didn't even consider that fact towards you, so don't state that to me, you don't know what goes on in my mind, alright?

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #126 on: September 07, 2010, 05:48:53 PM »
All I said was my view point was valid.5. Do not add information to my words to suit your logic.  I said that both camps point fingers at each other cry persecution (target and attack) I never said one was persecuted more than the other.  You do not know me well enough to tell me I do not understand human nature or persecution.
Note my usage of "If you think," I was not putting words in your mouth, that's a key part of what I said.  It's a conditional.
My analogy has its own logic from a certain point of view
One may chose to believe my point of view is not likely and one has every right to do so, but one does not have the right to judge my point of view as any less valid than any other point of view.
The unlikeliness of god is not a choice that arises out of personal analysis, it's a consequence of scientific principles (and experimentally proven fact -- there have been studies done on the matter).  When examining two competing theories, if one has a portion that can be removed without lessening the theory's ability to explain and interpret the data, then the theory which contains fewer non-essential (ad hoc) concepts is far more likely to be true.

I don't emphasize this because I want to beat down the religious.  I have my own series of improbable thoughts that I hold dear.  I even have religious thoughts from time to time (though my religious inclinations tend to be far more abstract and strange than what most people experience except in times of crisis where I resort to the same "god help me" thinking that most people do).  I emphasize this because the ways in which religion do harm to the world, I think, come from confidence in belief.

You don't have to be an extremist to want to do charitable acts, which is one of the better things that religion encourages people to do.  However, you do have to be a very confident extremist to believe justifications offered for holy wars, terrorism, theocratic impulses, and other forms of demented ascetic behavior.  I'm not making this point because I feel like you're an example of an extremist, not at all, you seem very intelligent and accepting.  It's simply an idea that you've given me the opportunity to elaborate on through our discussion.

I fully believe in your right to have your views and the validity of them, that's why I'm no longer an atheist (though I was more of an anti-theist really).  I even think most religious ideas are good for societal overall.  I do not believe the world would be a better place without religion.

Online Oniya

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #127 on: September 07, 2010, 08:48:40 PM »
As opposed to dishonestly asking your other questions?  :)

As opposed to saying it in an insulting or sarcastic manner, which I suppose would be a form of deception, as in that case I wouldn't care about the answer.  Text can be so limiting. :)

Edit:  And along those lines, I took the above question to be a light-hearted dig at my choice of wording.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 09:06:03 PM by Oniya »

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #128 on: September 07, 2010, 09:00:04 PM »
I ask you all for the second and last time:

Please, leave the insults behind. This is a thread in an ADULT forum, we are supposed to be MATURE.

I am not going to ask again.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #129 on: September 07, 2010, 09:18:33 PM »
This is a common tactic, and I'm not sure whether to label it ignorant, or underhanded.

You're making two fundamental mistakes. Atheism, first and foremost, is nothing - nothing - but the absence of belief in a god. You can be a religious atheist, you can be an irreligious atheist, you can be a nihilist atheist, anything you please. The only requirement is that you not believe in a god. That's all it means.

The second fatal mistake is describing it as "belief in nothing", rather than "lack of belief". "Belief in nothing" implies you're believing in nothing contrary to evidence. "Lack of belief" implies that, because of the utter and complete absence of evidence, you see no reason to believe in the first place. It's not even a rejection of the belief.

As for atheism requiring the most faith, or the most assumptions, it doesn't matter how you try to spin "faith", the simple fact remains that the argument "something cannot come from nothing, so something must've created it", is at best moving the goalpost. If "something" can't come from nothing, but "something else" can, then "something can't come from nothing" is no longer true, and god is unnecessary. Either god is impossible, or unnecessary. There is, beyond anecdotes and your own feelings, no evidence to suggest there is a god - none. There isn't any objective evidence that could ever bring anyone, without outside influence, to believe in your particular god. It's an enormous leap of faith. Not believing is simply admitting you don't know - yet.

I would ask that you call it neither, because I misused the definition. I tend to think of atheism as a belief that there is nothing beyond what mankind can percieve, but youre right thats not the definition. The definition of an atheist is a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

Ive pointed out that there are atheist religions before and I wasnt reffering to them in this case. I was reffering to your regular everyday atheist who wont believe in anything they dont see for themself or the scientific community wont acknowlege (or at least the ordinary atheists that Ive met think that way)

Offline Lithos

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #130 on: September 07, 2010, 09:32:01 PM »
Science deals with real world, therefore indeed things that it deals with need to be to some extent observable. Religion deals with things outside of the real world, where proof or observation does not matter. Scientist trying to explain some phenomenon by higher being or some other thing that cannot be observed or measured or deduced from something based on observations and tests is just as much silly and wrong as religious person trying to explain observable world based on their scripture instead of actual data. These thing should not be mixed, only things benefiting from the attempts are tabloids.

Humans will likely never learn to be comfortable with saying "I do not know how this or that works yet" without filling the void with some fantasy, therefore gods will always exist.   
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 09:42:05 PM by Lithos »

Offline Shoshana

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #131 on: September 07, 2010, 09:42:34 PM »
Quote from: Hemmingway
You're making two fundamental mistakes. Atheism, first and foremost, is nothing - nothing - but the absence of belief in a god. You can be a religious atheist, you can be an irreligious atheist, you can be a nihilist atheist, anything you please. The only requirement is that you not believe in a god. That's all it means.

Well said!

I suspect many people aren't aware that, in certain religions, there's nothing uncommon about being a 'religious atheist.'
 
It's quite common in Judaism--every synagogue seems to have its atheists and agnostics. There are, I think,  two reasons for this. One is that Judaism is sort of a culture as well as a religion. (A culture you can convert into, but still a culture.) The other is because Judaism holds that deed is much more important than creed. You don't believe in G-d? Who cares? There are far more important questions, like what are you doing to help heal the world? Or even simpler questions, like will you help make a minyan (a quorum) so someone can say Kaddish while mourning? And, some rabbis might add, will you be an observant Jew regardless of what you think (or don't think) about G-d?  ;)

Outside my own tradition, I've come to realize that certain forms of Buddhism also lend themselves easily to atheism, as do a few minority schools of thought in Hinduism. And, of course, you'll find the odd atheist or agnostic lurking even in creed-based religions like Christianity.

So the moral of the story is that atheism is no bar to being religious.  O:)
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 09:45:42 PM by Shoshana »

Offline Nyarly

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #132 on: September 08, 2010, 12:28:23 AM »
I thought that atheism, while mostly the non-believe in deities, is the general lack of believe in any supernatural things. But if some forms of buddhism and some other religions are considered atheist, then that doesn't seem to be the case. Now I have to wonder if there is a term for any rejection of the supernatural...

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #133 on: September 08, 2010, 12:33:58 AM »
I thought that atheism, while mostly the non-believe in deities, is the general lack of believe in any supernatural things. But if some forms of buddhism and some other religions are considered atheist, then that doesn't seem to be the case. Now I have to wonder if there is a term for any rejection of the supernatural...

The term "Atheism" comes from the lack of Theologies, with the 'a' being the prefix for 'denial'. Atheism could be translated as non-Theism. It necessarily means that the person doesn't believe in any deities, which doesn't necessarily mean a denial. It is the same relationship as cold being the abscence of warm.

Something like that.

Offline Starlequin

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #134 on: September 08, 2010, 01:03:01 AM »
I'm not too sure that atheism can be translated as non-theism. I seem to recall an article (or something, that I have neither a title nor a link nor any other form of reference for) that agreed with Nyarly's definition for atheism, 'lack of belief in the existence of any form of supernatural power, entity, etc.' I think the problem here is just a confusion of the words, as they are (ridiculously) easy to transpose (atheism and nontheism). Nontheism is, I think, better defined as 'lack of concern regarding the existence--or nonexistence--of any form of supernatural power, entity, etc.' To put it simpler using a part of a discussion I once had with a friend on this topic:

Ask four people if there is/are (God, gods, ghosts, any other supernatural force).

A theist will say 'yes'.
An atheist will say 'no'.
An agnostic will say 'I don't know'.
A nontheist will say 'I don't care'.

(I know this is simplifying an impossibly complex issue to an almost ludicrous level, but it's only for illustrative purposes to hopefully help people form their arguments in more productive manners. If it helps someone, great; if not, just think to yourself 'well, this guy's an idiot' and move on with your discussions. Thank you.)

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #135 on: September 08, 2010, 01:04:04 AM »
Quote
I'm not too sure that atheism can be translated as non-theism.

I don't recall the exact language, but the origin of the term is that one I explained earlier.

Offline Starlequin

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #136 on: September 08, 2010, 01:12:39 AM »
Okay. <points to his 'this guy's an idiot' clause>

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #137 on: September 08, 2010, 01:14:46 AM »
Okay. <points to his 'this guy's an idiot' clause>

* Chevalier des Poissons is an idiot? D=

Offline Starlequin

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #138 on: September 08, 2010, 01:19:14 AM »
Nooo! This guy! Me! The one writing the post that you're reading right now! <points to self> OTL Not you, Chev. I'm quite certain you are far, far from being an idiot.

We apologize for the confusion.

Offline Jaybee

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #139 on: September 08, 2010, 04:22:45 AM »
As opposed to saying it in an insulting or sarcastic manner, which I suppose would be a form of deception, as in that case I wouldn't care about the answer.  Text can be so limiting. :)

Edit:  And along those lines, I took the above question to be a light-hearted dig at my choice of wording.

Quite right, it was.  When I'm posing a particularly contentious question, I sometimes follow it with, "That's not a challenge, merely a request for information", and let the other party handle it with whatever maturity, or lack thereof, he may possess.  There are few ways to smooth over a question, that happens to be my personal favourite.  Police are told to avoid 'why?' questions when speaking to witnesses/suspects etc, and instead use, "What were your reasons for..." as they have found the former can be perceived as a challenge that actually obstructs the flow of the desired information in situations where time is short.

Interesting point you make about sarcasm or veiled insult being a subcategory of deception, adds depth to the saying that "Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit".  And feel free to dig back, anytime.  :)

Offline Hemingway

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #140 on: September 08, 2010, 09:57:23 AM »
Ask four people if there is/are (God, gods, ghosts, any other supernatural force).

A theist will say 'yes'.
An atheist will say 'no'.
An agnostic will say 'I don't know'.
A nontheist will say 'I don't care'.

A theist will answer yes only to the question of gods. An atheist, likewise, will only say no to the question of god. As far as ghosts and anything else supernatural goes, both can say either yes or no.

An agnostic will say "I don't know", but can be either theists or atheists. I would probably go so far as to say that you are never entirely agnostic, with no opinion at all - you either believe, or you don't.

As for "I don't care", that answer would probably come from an apatheist.

Non-theism is, as far as I can tell from half a second of research, an umbrella term. It seems to overlap with atheism, though.

As for a person lacking religion entirely, I prefer the term "infidel", because of its nice connotations.

I just felt the need to make this clear, because accurate definitions really are required in these debates. Otherwise you get arguments like, "atheism is a religion" and "atheism requires just as much faith as theism".

Offline Nyarly

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #141 on: September 08, 2010, 01:50:33 PM »
As for a person lacking religion entirely, I prefer the term "infidel", because of its nice connotations.
As someone who does lack religion entirely, I don't really know what I should feel about this. Nothing positive, that's for sure.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #142 on: September 08, 2010, 02:12:44 PM »
As someone who does lack religion entirely, I don't really know what I should feel about this. Nothing positive, that's for sure.

Look it up, and you'll find that definition, among a few others.

Online Oniya

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #143 on: September 08, 2010, 02:55:08 PM »
While 'infidel', etymologically speaking, does indeed mean 'not (of the) faithful,' it has been used in a pejorative manner by Christians and Muslims alike.  This will probably overshadow any other definition when it is used in conversation, regardless of intent.

Offline Azrael Annavianna

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #144 on: September 08, 2010, 03:06:16 PM »
Just commenting that I have read several of Hawkings' books and he contradicts himself in them, using some laws to justify his theories and forgetting laws to allow his theories to take 'flight.'  He is merely looking for more book sales...


Offline Lithos

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #145 on: September 08, 2010, 05:00:33 PM »
Just commenting that I have read several of Hawkings' books and he contradicts himself in them, using some laws to justify his theories and forgetting laws to allow his theories to take 'flight.'  He is merely looking for more book sales...

I am curiously awaiting references on this one

Offline finewine

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #146 on: September 08, 2010, 10:44:53 PM »
Lol.

Falacy number two: False Dilemma. You assumed that I was having some animosity when I didn't even imply that you had such feeling. That's not polite ;) I didn't even consider that fact towards you, so don't state that to me, you don't know what goes on in my mind, alright?

May we review the sequence of the whole conversation, my good fellow.

I think you were indirectly suggesting that I had animosity because of my comment about my viewpoint being valid. There was no need to remind me that  animosity is unsuited to this conversation if you did not suspect I may have felt animosity.
Quote from: Chevalier des Poissons
Munchausen's trillema: An argument is valid because of itself. Basically, is is true because it is true. It is a very interesting falacy, did you know? A typical implication of the animosity. Of course, we all know that such animosity is inappropriate, therefore unsuited to this conversation, right? The lack of proper argumentation is another issue.

I had no animosity.
And because you were quoting a rule of logic to support your position for implication of my animosity, your brain may have well been the brain harboring an animosity towards my viewpoint. Such associative behavior is taught in psychology classes in university.
I therefore wrote
Quote from: finewine
It was in your mind so perhaps you are the one showing animosity through your virtue of logic.

Quote from: Chevalier des Poissons
Falacy number two: False Dilemma. You assumed that I was having some animosity when I didn't even imply that you had such feeling. That's not polite  I didn't even consider that fact towards you, so don't state that to me, you don't know what goes on in my mind, alright?

Your first fallacy rule of logic did in fact imply to me that I had such feelings.
I shall ask you to also be reminded that you do not know what goes on in my mind.
 
The logic unfortunately has led to the wrong conclusion based on an implication that is false.

For any offense that I may have caused you, I apologize, dear Chevalier des Poissons.




Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #147 on: September 08, 2010, 10:59:14 PM »
Then apologize twice, because you just tried AGAIN to distort my explanation and invent what I wasn't thinking.

Analyze my words AGAIN:

Quote
Munchausen's trillema: An argument is valid because of itself. Basically, is is true because it is true. It is a very interesting falacy, did you know? A typical implication of the animosity. Of course, we all know that such animosity is inappropriate, therefore unsuited to this conversation, right? The lack of proper argumentation is another issue.

Carefully, this time.

Is there ANY implications that I was referring animosity to you? No, I was -not-. And yet you insist on that even if I denied twice. NOW I state something: You are being arrogant. You are denying not only what I stated about you (I did NOT imply that you had animosity) but also denying what I state about MYSELF.

This is offensive. And I will ask you to refrain your opinions about what I am thinking or seeing, because all I did was to point a logical falacy in your argument. I didn't even try to think about the person saying those arguments.

You used false dilemma to corner my posts into both state that I was wrong (that is fine) and that I had the animosity in myself, which is also not true. In any moments I gave any signs that I was trying to guess what happens inside your mind and even stated it clearly. Yet, you deny it. I won't even wonder why, you made me too disgusted. You just complained about what you did to me three times. I am not going to say anything about it, because when I didn't say you thought I was doing something - and ignored when I said otherwise, of course - so, if I say what I am thinking, you will probably take me as a stalker who is invadind your life ::) And I was just trying to help you with your debate. I am an idiot, I know.

Please, don't drive your words to me anymore. I am going to add you to my ignore list and forget you ever existed.

Thank you for nothing.

Offline finewine

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #148 on: September 08, 2010, 11:28:28 PM »
Note my usage of "If you think," I was not putting words in your mouth, that's a key part of what I said.  It's a conditional.The unlikeliness of god is not a choice that arises out of personal analysis, it's a consequence of scientific principles (and experimentally proven fact -- there have been studies done on the matter).  When examining two competing theories, if one has a portion that can be removed without lessening the theory's ability to explain and interpret the data, then the theory which contains fewer non-essential (ad hoc) concepts is far more likely to be true.

Your point on your word usage is noted.  "If you think" is a challenging phrase in conflict resolution.

But I will say that studies can be biased towards the group that funds them and who truly knows the truth anymore in our age of information overload.  Selective spin doctoring is an art especially when you have billions in grant money riding on the results.  I will always try to find the funding source of all studies scientific.  I'm not discounting the science already proven and experimentally repeatable.  I will be a skeptic until I can trust the source of the studies or see the evidence for myself.

I'd be concerned if God could be proven easily with the scientific principles and experimentally proven fact of our finite human minds. To be able to confine God into our finite human existence would mean that he is only a construct of our minds and not the infinite being.
Who knows, Jude, perhaps we are nothing more than the embryo and the 'big bang' was the moment of conception and the universe is the womb. What does the future hold? It is exciting to contemplate on it.
Quote
I don't emphasize this because I want to beat down the religious.  I have my own series of improbable thoughts that I hold dear.
I would be interested in reading them.
Quote
  I even have religious thoughts from time to time (though my religious inclinations tend to be far more abstract and strange than what most people experience except in times of crisis where I resort to the same "god help me" thinking that most people do).  I emphasize this because the ways in which religion do harm to the world, I think, come from confidence in belief.

You don't have to be an extremist to want to do charitable acts, which is one of the better things that religion encourages people to do.  However, you do have to be a very confident extremist to believe justifications offered for holy wars, terrorism, theocratic impulses, and other forms of demented ascetic behavior. I'm not making this point because I feel like you're an example of an extremist, not at all, you seem very intelligent and accepting.  It's simply an idea that you've given me the opportunity to elaborate on through our discussion.

I agree with you.  You can also be extremely confident and do great things for  humanity as well.
I think the harm comes from the human heart that seeks to make religion the bitch/slave to the agenda of man.
The truth of God as I know it is not one of man conquering or killing man for political agendas.

Quote
I fully believe in your right to have your views and the validity of them, that's why I'm no longer an atheist (though I was more of an anti-theist really).  I even think most religious ideas are good for societal overall.  I do not believe the world would be a better place without religion.
It's a pleasure to have a conversation with you, Jude.  Thank you. 
I would like to read your improbable thoughts in a new thread or PM if ever you'd like an audience or have the inclination to share them.

Offline finewine

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #149 on: September 08, 2010, 11:51:03 PM »
Then apologize twice, because you just tried AGAIN to distort my explanation and invent what I wasn't thinking.
Then I shall apologize to you thrice, and what is the word for 4X, 5X and 7X 700, my good fellow.

Quote from: Chevalier des Poissons
I did was to point a logical falacy in your argument. I didn't even try to think about the person saying those arguments.

Quote
A typical implication of the animosity
I do not understand why it was important in the exposition of my error that the first rule implied animosity unless you wanted to generate animosity.

I didn't realize you were trying to teach me how to debate?
Now that you've said that, your reason for writing the fallacies is better understood.

Quote
so, if I say what I am thinking, you will probably take me as a stalker who is invadind your life ::) And I was just trying to help you with your debate. I am an idiot, I know.

Olive branch and white flag are offered.

You are not an idiot, you are not a stalking invading my life, and I thank you for trying to help me with my debate.
If you wish to say what you are thinking, you may.

Heartsmiles,
FW

« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 03:41:40 PM by finewine »

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #150 on: September 08, 2010, 11:58:03 PM »
But I will say that studies can be biased towards the group that funds them and who truly knows the truth anymore in our age of information overload.  Selective spin doctoring is an art especially when you have billions in grant money riding on the results.  I will always try to find the funding source of all studies scientific.  I'm not discounting the science already proven and experimentally repeatable.  I will be a skeptic until I can trust the source of the studies or see the evidence for myself.
How skeptical would you be if the results of the studies were in line with your beliefs?  There is evidence that people tend to treat evidence differently depending on how it affects their beliefs and opinions.

My point is that you can always find a reason to discount any piece of information.  If nothing else, I can say that I don't personally know all of the people involved in the study, and therefore the whole thing is invalid to me.  Any one of the people involved could have fudged the results in some way.  But at some point, it becomes counterproductive, and casts science in its entirety as suspicious and unusable.

We do have a peer-review process.  I believe that most of the people involved in science today actually care about the truth, and about finding it.  That's not to say that there aren't despicable assholes out there pandering to the hand that feeds them (or to their own preconceived notions, even worse), but to write off science completely because of that is unfortunate and unnecessary.

Offline finewine

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #151 on: September 09, 2010, 03:41:08 PM »
How skeptical would you be if the results of the studies were in line with your beliefs?  There is evidence that people tend to treat evidence differently depending on how it affects their beliefs and opinions.

Yes, exactly my point.  Even scientists are susceptible to such bias.  Everyone is susceptible to such bias.

Quote

We do have a peer-review process.  I believe that most of the people involved in science today actually care about the truth, and about finding it.  That's not to say that there aren't despicable assholes out there pandering to the hand that feeds them (or to their own preconceived notions, even worse), but to write off science completely because of that is unfortunate and unnecessary.
I agree with you on your points.  Would you consider that even in a peer-review process, you will still have some bias towards the group's premise of belief.  There will always be a bias because of one's own beliefs and so any study will begin from that premise of belief.
The seeker of truth will not discount any possibility for the answers and may even find the answer in the impossibility because the seeker of truth will look outside one's own premise of belief.

What is the truth?

I agree one should never write science off completely.  I think science and faith go hand in hand.
Our finite science still has to find the keys to open the mysteries.




Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #152 on: September 09, 2010, 03:48:49 PM »
Yes, exactly my point.  Even scientists are susceptible to such bias.  Everyone is susceptible to such bias.
I agree with you on your points.  Would you consider that even in a peer-review process, you will still have some bias towards the group's premise of belief.  There will always be a bias because of one's own beliefs and so any study will begin from that premise of belief.
The seeker of truth will not discount any possibility for the answers and may even find the answer in the impossibility because the seeker of truth will look outside one's own premise of belief.

What is the truth?

I agree one should never write science off completely.  I think science and faith go hand in hand.
Our finite science still has to find the keys to open the mysteries.

Experimental processes are designed specifically to limit the influence of that bias.  Peer-reviewing limits it further. 

You say that you don't believe in writing off science completely, and yet you see rampant bias everywhere.  If you don't believe a scientific study can be made in an impartial, dependable manner, then what is the value of science?

Offline Hemingway

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #153 on: September 09, 2010, 06:07:31 PM »
What is the truth?

I agree one should never write science off completely.  I think science and faith go hand in hand.
Our finite science still has to find the keys to open the mysteries.

I'm sorry to butt in, but I take issue with this. Faith and science couldn't possibly go hand in hand - they're diametrically opposed. I mean, by definition, faith and science ( or rather the scientific method ), are opposites. If you have evidence, you don't need faith. If you don't have evidence, well, then faith is worse than guesswork, because you're assuming something based on nothing at all.

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #154 on: September 09, 2010, 06:10:50 PM »
I'm sorry to butt in, but I take issue with this. Faith and science couldn't possibly go hand in hand - they're diametrically opposed. I mean, by definition, faith and science ( or rather the scientific method ), are opposites. If you have evidence, you don't need faith. If you don't have evidence, well, then faith is worse than guesswork, because you're assuming something based on nothing at all.

*shrugs* They can go hand in hand if you want them to.  They don't for me, mind you, but it can be done.  The trick is that you have to disregard large portions of both to make them fit.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #155 on: September 09, 2010, 06:33:15 PM »
I'm sorry to butt in, but I take issue with this. Faith and science couldn't possibly go hand in hand - they're diametrically opposed. I mean, by definition, faith and science ( or rather the scientific method ), are opposites. If you have evidence, you don't need faith. If you don't have evidence, well, then faith is worse than guesswork, because you're assuming something based on nothing at all.

Faith can lead to goal setting, which is not something that science does or provides - it can help with finding subgoals, but it never presents a picture of how we should shape the world, just how to do so.

I can't say I support using ancient dogma for such a thing, but that is a realm where faith can 'work with' science.

Online Oniya

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #156 on: September 09, 2010, 07:10:57 PM »
If you have evidence, you don't need faith.

"...and then God vanished in a puff of logic. And Man went on to prove that white is black and black is white, and got himself killed on the next zebracrossing..."
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

[/random levity]

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #157 on: September 09, 2010, 07:58:33 PM »
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." - Albert Einstein

It seems to me that there is only perceived conflict between science and religion because some people want conflict. Generally speaking the behavoir of the two groups is often Aborrhent, instead of respecting each other and agreeing to disagree while admitting that neither side has concrete proof they breed animosity and hatred toward one another. To me this shows a relative immaturity between the two groups and desire to antagonize each other (Note: I was generalizing through that entire paragraph)

I think whats often overlooked is faith and religion is not just the belief in god or the supernatural. It is philosophy, it is history, it is culture, it is morales. It compliments science in every way by providing things that science can not and in turn science compliments faith with the one thing it doesnt do. You need both to form a successful society, when a society lacks one of them (either one of them) it is doomed to failure.

Offline finewine

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Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #158 on: September 09, 2010, 08:22:36 PM »
Experimental processes are designed specifically to limit the influence of that bias.  Peer-reviewing limits it further. 

You say that you don't believe in writing off science completely, and yet you see rampant bias everywhere.  If you don't believe a scientific study can be made in an impartial, dependable manner, then what is the value of science?

A study can be made in an impartial, dependable manner.
My contention is which ones are reliable and which ones are not.

The value of science is to discover the why of the world around us and use it to make our world a better place to live.

Tell me this, please.
How do you think the study of the expanding universe at the quantum level will benefit the world and improve our lives?
What are they searching to find and why?

Quote from:  Oniya
"...and then God vanished in a puff of logic. And Man went on to prove that white is black and black is white, and got himself killed on the next zebracrossing..."
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

I enjoyed Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.  Thanks for that bit of laughter.  I needed a good chuckle after a long day at work.



Offline Noelle

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #159 on: September 09, 2010, 08:37:57 PM »
A study can be made in an impartial, dependable manner.
My contention is which ones are reliable and which ones are not.

What is your criteria for what you think is dubious and what isn't? How exactly do you go about deciding which ones are "reliable enough" and which aren't?


Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #160 on: September 09, 2010, 08:40:26 PM »
The argument that religion is a necessary part of society is pretty lacking my view (not that I think anyone has made it specifically yet).  I don't think faith is what's important as much as belief (though I suppose they are sort of one in the same).  Belief can take a number of forms, be a guiding principle of a person's life, and avoid religious connotations.  It's possible to be guided by a philosophy which includes moral concepts and be a productive member of society who has no need for religious beliefs.  As such, I don't see why supplanting religion with a particular philosophical bent wouldn't work for an entire society the same as it does for an individual.

The religious like point at failed states that were Atheistic as a counterexample to this, but they fail to take into account several errors in their judgment:

1)  There have been very few Atheistic states.  Certainly not enough to form any sort of reliable sample for judgment.

2)  All of the examples of Atheistic states that are true examples also happen to be Communist states; there are two correlations here, and they're not controlling for that as a potential cause for failure (as opposed to the purely secular component).

3)  They often give examples of states that were in fact not at all Atheistic while making their arguments, such as Nazi Germany.  Nazi Germany was not an Atheistic state.

4)  There has never been, to my knowledge, an Atheistic society to actually judge.  In Modern Western Society we don't really have religious states, we have nations that happen to have religious cultures, but the government takes no position.  If a state enforces Atheism as part of its government, that is essentially a Theocratic arrangement.  Judging Theocratic arrangements as a "proper example" of a secular society is obviously going to skew the data if liberty leads to stability (which most would agree it does).

To be able to actually judge fairly you'd have to find an example of a largely secular society that has conditions, rules, and a constitution similar to other Western Societies.  Clearly the data is lacking.  I suppose it could go either way, maybe it's true that society can't exist without religion, but until I actually seem evidence either way I'm choosing to believe in the potential of secularism (see what I did there?).

EDIT:  As for what studying cosmology and the origins of the universe is good for, well, you need a very solid model before you can make predictions about the phenomenon that is being modeled.  If we come to understand how the big bang happened precisely then we can work forward through time from there and understand the formulation of literally the entire universe.  A greater understanding of that will allow us to better predict the behavior of our own solar system, to understand the likelihood of finding other earth-like planets, and it will also lead to a greater understanding of the underlying patterns in our universe.

While we work on grasping that problem, we also refine other laws and concepts.  Attempting to understand the Big Bang has highlighted potential errors in other fields of science.  String Theory certainly wouldn't exist without some of those concepts, and string theory has the potential to greatly unify our understanding of reality.

When we actually travel in space, and we will have to some day if we want to survive the death of our solar system, all of this information will be of immense importance for us to understand.  Right now, it's true that there isn't a whole lot of practical use, but in the future it will be very important.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2010, 08:51:00 PM by Jude »

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #161 on: September 09, 2010, 09:04:31 PM »
Tell me this, please.
How do you think the study of the expanding universe at the quantum level will benefit the world and improve our lives?
I tend to think that knowledge is its own reward.  We are an inquisitive species, so I don't find it odd that people would research something even if there were no apparent applications for it.

Even so, quantum mechanics has plenty of possible applications (Our computers could end up running a lot faster, for sure).  But even if it didn't, I don't see how that would make it less worthy of study.  Plenty of things we take for granted in our world came about by accident, with no one "planning" on inventing them.  Penicillin comes to mind.  With that to consider, can you imagine what sorts of technology could come from understanding the most fundamental aspects of our universe?  My mind boggles.   

Quote
What are they searching to find and why?
They're searching for the truth, for understanding, because that's what humans do.  Do you think they should stop?  What are they hurting by looking?  I have to say, I'm having a hard time pinning down how you feel about science in general.  You've questioned the integrity and worth of the entire field, while still maintaining that it goes hand in hand with faith.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #162 on: September 09, 2010, 09:15:45 PM »
The sceintific community itself has protocols for questioning and disproving theories, why is it wrong for the average person to question it?

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #163 on: September 09, 2010, 09:17:07 PM »
There's a difference between questioning specific pieces of information for the purpose of finding the truth, and questioning the entire field for the purpose of dismissing it.

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #164 on: September 09, 2010, 09:25:11 PM »
It's not wrong for anyone to question it so long as they actually have the knowledge and experience to do so.  The problem is, the average person doesn't have the knowledge or the experience to do so.  Their criticisms are typically non-scientific.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #165 on: September 09, 2010, 09:26:22 PM »
I dont see anyone dismissing the entire field, in fact I see people trying to promote it. Unless someone says science has to be dismissed because of XYZ reason(s) then you're assuming things which is your problem, not theirs

Offline Nyarly

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #166 on: September 10, 2010, 02:09:09 AM »
I think whats often overlooked is faith and religion is not just the belief in god or the supernatural. It is philosophy, it is history, it is culture, it is morales. It compliments science in every way by providing things that science can not and in turn science compliments faith with the one thing it doesnt do. You need both to form a successful society, when a society lacks one of them (either one of them) it is doomed to failure.
I highly doubt that religion is needed to form a successful society. Of course, that's purely hypothetical as there is no culture that was shaped without religion.

Online Oniya

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #167 on: September 10, 2010, 02:30:53 AM »
At the very least, there is the need for a system of defining proper behavior.  In existing cultures, this is initially codified in one religious text or another, be it the Ten Commandments, the Rede, or the appropriate verses in the Qu'ran.   (I was able to find them at 6:150 and 6:151, but I don't know if there's an official name.)

Most of the laws that we follow derive in some fashion or other from those religious codes - at least, the framework does.  I'm not sure about things like it being illegal to get a fish drunk, or walk an alligator without a leash.  I'm not saying that it's impossible to reach this framework in the absence of a religion, only that such a framework is necessary, and I don't think it can be provided by science alone.  Morality is a far softer discipline than science.  It's that thing that says - at a bare minimum 'I wouldn't like that done to me, so I won't do it to someone else.'   

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #168 on: September 10, 2010, 02:40:53 AM »
The frequency with which religion influences society only implies that the human mind is built for faith.  It can't really prove that religion is a necessary component of society.  As was said earlier, there haven't been nearly enough examples of non-religious societies to draw any conclusions about that.

Obviously any society needs a moral compass.  Obviously it won't come from science.  But it doesn't have to come from religion, nor does it have to come from any kind of metaphysical/supernatural belief system of any kind.  I don't have any codified set of beliefs myself, and yet I manage to not kill people on a daily basis.  Hell, sometimes I even let people out in traffic.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 02:41:59 AM by Will »

Offline Lithos

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #169 on: September 10, 2010, 02:48:00 AM »
Also, it can be added that religion has never prevented killing people on daily basis, often promoted it. It is very hard to build any system for moral beliefs that is fool proof though. Religion has been made by us humans just the same as regular laws, and both fail horribly many times. Perhaps forgetting grand ideals that tend to become more valuable than human lives and trusting common sense might be decent ways?

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #170 on: September 10, 2010, 03:13:40 AM »
I may have misunderstood you but it sounds like you guys are blaiming the faith instead of the people. Credit (or blame in this case) should be given where credit is due. If a person twists faith to create a war then it is the person, not the faith, that is at fault. Likewise it is the power involved and the steps they will go to to ensure compliance that is yet another problem. I recall Pope Benedict XVI once talking about his youth and being forced into the Nazi party (in this case the Nazi's were a philosophical and political group) because of their overwhelming power over Germany. His father opposed them and in turn was punished in some way (I dont recall how). Agian blame the people acting on it

Does that make sense?


Offline Noelle

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #171 on: September 10, 2010, 03:28:17 AM »
You'd likewise have to agree that people are motivated to do good deeds of their own accord, too, which essentially makes religion an unnecessary tool for moral framework.

And actually, what I think Lithos is referencing is the fact that a good portion of the Bible speaks of wars and selling your daughters and such. If you're building moral framework from religion, it's not always the perfect tool because of things like this.

Offline Nyarly

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #172 on: September 10, 2010, 05:07:18 AM »
Faith is also created by people. Despite what some fundies say, no one is born, "knowing" that there is a god.

So, I don't really see any noteworthy differences between blaming faith and blaming people.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #173 on: September 10, 2010, 05:19:01 AM »
Accountability. Lets say hypothetically by using science someone creates a dangerous strain of bacteria. That bacteria gets out, there could be a number of reasons for this like faulty testing conditions, failed equipment, or faulty maintenance on the testing facility. Whatever the case that bacteria gets out and kills millions of people, perhaps even clears out an entire country or continent. By that logic, everyone could put the blame sqaurly on science and the scientific community. It doesnt matter if Dr. Lesko was the guy who was in charge and purposfully released the bacteria to get a better idea about how it would effect a bigger populace. The idea (science), not the person, is responsible.

Does that make more sense?

As a general note I dont like what if situations in the first place because the one presenting them gets to make up the details and twist it into an impossible to win scenario (I tried to be fair here). However I felt it was the best way to get the point across
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 09:19:03 AM by Brandon »

Offline Hemingway

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #174 on: September 10, 2010, 05:27:15 AM »
Faith can lead to goal setting, which is not something that science does or provides - it can help with finding subgoals, but it never presents a picture of how we should shape the world, just how to do so.

I can't say I support using ancient dogma for such a thing, but that is a realm where faith can 'work with' science.

Well, that is different from what I had in mind, but I see your point. Faith and evidence going hand in hand, to me, seemed to imply finding answers - that is, explanations for things science can't yet explain - in faith. If providing a purpose is what was meant, then you can to a large extent disregard what I said.

Offline dominomask

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #175 on: September 10, 2010, 09:14:12 AM »
Using science as a tool to antagonize the religious is what is wrong. That is what I said. I said it because there is no faster way to close someones mind to a different way of thinking then attacking their beliefs. It happens all the time though.

Heya gang,

I realize I'm jumping into this late, and in the middle, as such I'll try to be brief and clear.

Brandon, I agree that antagonism is unproductive, and science and religion have been in an antagonistic relationship for a long time, but only substantively in a political sense.  And I would argue that  (irrelevant as it may be to right and wrong) religion did kinda fire the first salvos in that conflict.  I realize that that could blossom into a whole tangential debate, and that's not my aim, but it's important to recognize the amount of unnecessary trouble that can be had from interpreting simple dissent as antagonism.  The early scientists who were persecuted as heretics were never saying "God doesn't exist."  They were just saying "Hey, look what I noticed!  And it happens every time!" and religious leaders responded with "I don't understand/I feel threatened by knowledge I can't dictate, so God thinks you are wrong.  If you anger God, God will punish us, so I am justified in punishing you to make God happy."  When God is being used as a reason to kill you and your ideas, it becomes understandable (not necessarily right, but reasonable) to insist that God be proved.  So it goes back and forth, religous thought being biased by the antagonistic notion that reason is the enemy, scientific thought being biased by the idea that faith is harmful.  The best minds on both sides (and I count Hawking as one of those as relates to his life-long work on gravitation and time) don't participate in such pointless antagonism, but that doesn't stop the media from jumping on anything that might be controvertial and trying to start the fight up again, which is what is happening here.  Hawking is a scientist, and scientists are required, by definition, to state their findings, even if they may contradict previous assertions that that scientist had published.  Hawking famously published that he felt there might be a scientific reason to believe in a God-being.  He has since found evidence to make him doubt that conclusion, so he is honor-bound to say so.  Saying "I think I've found a logical scientific reason to believe in God." and then saying "Oh, wait, that's not conclusive, my bad." is not the same thing as saying "There is no God. Religion is stupid and no one should believe." 

Inventing antagonism from a neutral statement is the real antagonism, in this case.  Aggrivated by sensationalist headlines, certainly, but despite being understandable, your hostility is misdirected.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #176 on: September 10, 2010, 09:35:58 AM »
Stuff

I think you should read this post because it delves into the behavoir more then I had previously mentioned. I do not compare the corralation to science and religion of the past because objectivly its meaningless beyond a history lesson or a lesson on how to teach people what not to do.

How scientists were treated in the past is a far cry from how they are treated today and has nothing to do with behavoir of those who use science to antagonize people in the present. It would be like if I took 1 incident out of history and applied it to all of that cultural group to prove they were bad, evil, no good, whatever you want to call it while forgetting everything else they have done throughout history (and people do do exactly that quite a bit around here)

Quote from: Brandon
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." - Albert Einstein

It seems to me that there is only perceived conflict between science and religion because some people want conflict. Generally speaking the behavoir of the two groups is often Aborrhent, instead of respecting each other and agreeing to disagree while admitting that neither side has concrete proof they breed animosity and hatred toward one another. To me this shows a relative immaturity between the two groups and desire to antagonize each other (Note: I was generalizing through that entire paragraph)

I think whats often overlooked is faith and religion is not just the belief in god or the supernatural. It is philosophy, it is history, it is culture, it is morales. It compliments science in every way by providing things that science can not and in turn science compliments faith with the one thing it doesnt do. You need both to form a successful society, when a society lacks one of them (either one of them) it is doomed to failure.

Oh and just in case anyone was wondering, why did I leave Albert Einstein's quote in there? Because its awesome  ;D


Offline dominomask

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #177 on: September 10, 2010, 10:01:42 AM »
Tell me this, please.
How do you think the study of the expanding universe at the quantum level will benefit the world and improve our lives?
What are they searching to find and why?

Let me make an analogy, and hopefully stop myself before it goes too far.

The question was asked of Galileo what point there was in looking into the sky with a telescope.  What might he find that could possibly justify the risk of angering God?  What he found was evidence for a vastly simplified model of how the earth moves relative to its neigbors.  A similar question was asked about the point of studying things too small to see.  The point, ultimately, was cellular biology, virology, antibiotics...hell, just proving the importance of hand-washing has made more practical good of that abstract inquiry than can be easily measured.  Then it was asked, why look with x-rays, why look with electrons?  What was the "point" for that matter of creating a machine that required thousands of punch-cards just to do basic arithmetic? 

To put it another way, unless you're a Jehova's Witness, a fundamentalist Buddist, or a pessimistic Nihilist (all of which I'm pretty sure just walked into a bar together:) then your philosophy probably admits that there are wonderful and beautiful mysteries in the world.  Unless someone has convinced you that it's a sin, there's no reason not to look for an answer, and every reason to do so.  We live in a world so saturated by the benefits of scientific inquiry that we are more likely than not to forget that they are even there.  EVen if you believe that these are ultimately gifts from God, you have to admit that he delivered them to us in the package of science.  It would be silly to have a gift from God waiting on your doorstep and never bother to take off the wrapping paper.

 

Offline dominomask

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #178 on: September 10, 2010, 10:11:29 AM »
I think you should read this post because it delves into the behavoir more then I had previously mentioned. I do not compare the corralation to science and religion of the past because objectivly its meaningless beyond a history lesson or a lesson on how to teach people what not to do.

A lesson I really don't think you're getting. 

Oh well.  I've been on message boards long enough to know that when someone has dug their heels far enough into a premise "publicly", they're unlikely to give even the most justified inch.  Mr. Hawking has that integrity, which is the source of this whole mosh pit.

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #179 on: September 10, 2010, 11:03:14 AM »
Einstein is a funny example to use as a scientist who eschews the conflict between faith and empiricism.  You see, his work on relativity led to an understanding that there was something very special about light.  When the basics of relativity are applied and at the same time there is a move to the subatomic level, quantum mechanics is essentially a direct result.  In that way, Einstein's own theories basically gave birth to Quantum Mechanics.  Yet when asked about the consequences he said this:  "God doesn't play with Dice."

Einstein's faith led to his rejection of Quantum Mechanics (which we know now without a reasonable doubt to be a physical law).  Therefore he's really a poster boy for the incompatibility of blind faith and empiricism, not the other way around.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #180 on: September 10, 2010, 11:35:32 AM »
That doesnt mean his philosophical outlook on science and religion was wrong, only that his blind faith and possibly disgust with being forced to choose one over the other stopped him from continuing the search for answers. Had he not been forced to choose one or the other Einstein likely would have contributed far more to scientific pursuit

This goes back to what I said before, its the people who want conflicts, not the ideas.

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #181 on: September 10, 2010, 12:30:40 PM »
What exactly forced him to choose one or the other?

Offline Nyarly

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #182 on: September 10, 2010, 12:55:26 PM »
I would be careful with this quote. It often gets used outside of context and often wrong. Maybe it would be better if people would use the full quote instead.

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #183 on: September 10, 2010, 12:59:05 PM »
The full quote doesn't really change the context.  His faith led him to believe that quantum mechanics was wrong.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #184 on: September 10, 2010, 03:00:33 PM »
Einstein is a funny example to use as a scientist who eschews the conflict between faith and empiricism.  You see, his work on relativity led to an understanding that there was something very special about light.  When the basics of relativity are applied and at the same time there is a move to the subatomic level, quantum mechanics is essentially a direct result.  In that way, Einstein's own theories basically gave birth to Quantum Mechanics.  Yet when asked about the consequences he said this:  "God doesn't play with Dice."

Einstein's faith led to his rejection of Quantum Mechanics (which we know now without a reasonable doubt to be a physical law).  Therefore he's really a poster boy for the incompatibility of blind faith and empiricism, not the other way around.

Hardly.

Quote from: Albert Einstein, responding to Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein
I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.

If you study quantum mechanics, the Universe it paints at the smallest scales defies our typical logical understanding of everything we know. Einstein was not shown to be wrong and Bohr not shown to be vindicated until after both of them were dead.

Einstein was perfectly capable of owning up to when he was wrong (see the Cosmological Constant).

What Einstein was rejecting was that the Universe at the smallest scales takes actions based on probability and not by cause. "God does not play dice with the Universe." being the original quote. If you're going to call Einstein's rejection solely faith based, at least endeavor to comprehend the context. I wouldn't fault anyone for feeling squeamish about that, and no doubt most of the people in this thread would be if they take the time to wrap their heads around it.

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #185 on: September 10, 2010, 03:57:17 PM »
Einstein rejected Quantum Mechanics because he didn't like the idea of things happening on a probabilistic fashion because it rejects design (his belief) and instead implies that things happen because they are what is most likely.  Some of that has been described on this thread, but the way light moves, how it reflects and cannot refract like sound, and the very fundamental instability of the universe.

If you're going to disagree with me by saying "hardly" please give an actual example and explain your logic.  I know what I'm talking about (at least I think I do, I'm open to being actually shown I'm wrong instead of being rejected in one word -- which I think is pretty offensive), I've taken classes on Quantum Mechanics and I don't feel that you've actually presented any evidence to contradict what I said.

EDIT:  The full quote is even more damning:

You believe in the God who plays dice, and I in complete law and order in a world which objectively exists, and which I, in a wildly speculative way, am trying to capture. I hope that someone will discover a more realistic way, or rather a more tangible basis than it has been my lot to find. Even the great initial success of the Quantum Theory does not make me believe in the fundamental dice-game, although I am well aware that our younger colleagues interpret this as a consequence of senility. No doubt the day will come when we will see whose instinctive attitude was the correct one. (Albert Einstein to Max Born, Sept 1944, 'The Born-Einstein Letters')

There was nothing "instinctive" about the dice-players attitude, as he put it, because that's not how science is supposed to work.  Instinct is only utilized in formulating ideas that fit that data to test, but the moment that better ideas fit, you're supposed to be objective enough to switch your points of view to them.  Einstein's attitude denied evidence and the success of the quantum model because it didn't fit with his views on the nature of reality.  I don't see how you can take this as anything but an example of science failing to be properly executed due to the intrusion of faith exemplified in one of the most influence scientists of the 20th century.

EDIT2:  And actually, if Einstein had accepted the clearly better theory and helped work on it he would've contributed far more to science in his lifetime.  The last 20 years of his life were devoted to working against it, and he never got anywhere.

I don't think you understand the situation Brandon.  He was not being asked to choose between his faith and science; ideas were being proposed that he did not agree with on the basis of their conflicting with his theological viewpoints.  This was the first half of the twentieth century when even scientists were not atheistic in large numbers.  There's no evidence of anyone painting a conflict between science and religion, it's simply that religion didn't like what science was saying, so it made the conflict.

Just... as it did during the Heliocentric model controversy, evolution, and many other times throughout history.  As you can see, there isn't really a controversy being manufactured here as much as there is religion not being comfortable with getting facts wrong.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 04:30:26 PM by Jude »

Offline Vekseid

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #186 on: September 10, 2010, 06:06:24 PM »
Einstein rejected Quantum Mechanics because he didn't like the idea of things happening on a probabilistic fashion because it rejects design (his belief) and instead implies that things happen because they are what is most likely.

When Einstein said "God does not play dice with the Universe", he was appealing to causality. I mentioned this in my prior post. He made no such appeal to design.

See here:
http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/rochelle.f/Bohr-v-Einstein.html

QM was not vindicated until both of them were dead (tests of Bell's inequality). QM proposes a model of reality that is completely alien to classical understanding. Einstein did not want to accept that, did not want to accept that there can be limits on knowledge, and did not want to accept causality being trumped at small scales.

Again - proper tests of quantum mechanics were not done until after he was dead. In order to claim that faith blinded him, it would be necessary to show him an experiment and have him refuse to comprehend the result.

Quote
  Some of that has been described on this thread, but the way light moves, how it reflects and cannot refract like sound, and the very fundamental instability of the universe.

If you're going to disagree with me by saying "hardly" please give an actual example and explain your logic.  I know what I'm talking about (at least I think I do, I'm open to being actually shown I'm wrong instead of being rejected in one word -- which I think is pretty offensive), I've taken classes on Quantum Mechanics and I don't feel that you've actually presented any evidence to contradict what I said.

EDIT:  The full quote is even more damning:

You believe in the God who plays dice, and I in complete law and order in a world which objectively exists, and which I, in a wildly speculative way, am trying to capture. I hope that someone will discover a more realistic way, or rather a more tangible basis than it has been my lot to find. Even the great initial success of the Quantum Theory does not make me believe in the fundamental dice-game, although I am well aware that our younger colleagues interpret this as a consequence of senility. No doubt the day will come when we will see whose instinctive attitude was the correct one. (Albert Einstein to Max Born, Sept 1944, 'The Born-Einstein Letters')

There was nothing "instinctive" about the dice-players attitude, as he put it, because that's not how science is supposed to work.  Instinct is only utilized in formulating ideas that fit that data to test, but the moment that better ideas fit, you're supposed to be objective enough to switch your points of view to them.  Einstein's attitude denied evidence and the success of the quantum model because it didn't fit with his views on the nature of reality.  I don't see how you can take this as anything but an example of science failing to be properly executed due to the intrusion of faith exemplified in one of the most influence scientists of the 20th century.

Again, over the parts Einstein was arguing about, he was dead before those tests were even carried out - how can he have ignored evidence he didn't even see?

That's like blaming Thomas Jefferson's belief in design of the Solar System even though our understanding of solar system formation couldn't even have a theoretical basis for another 150 years. If you criticize someone, it's important to do so based on their own perspective of the world, rather than your perspective of theirs, and judge them by mistakes they could not possibly have realized that they have made.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #187 on: September 10, 2010, 06:10:46 PM »
Jude, stop falsifying the data. You said yourself that he was asked about the consequences of his findings then you later said there wasnt any data to suggest someone made him choose one or the other. That is a contradiction. The person who asked that question was the one to force a choice. If the data had really been so damning before the question was asked he would have never released it to the public

Offline Chevalier des PoissonsTopic starter

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #188 on: September 10, 2010, 06:14:35 PM »
Faith is also created by people. Despite what some fundies say, no one is born, "knowing" that there is a god.

So, I don't really see any noteworthy differences between blaming faith and blaming people.

Faith - for me - is merely the wish to have something to comfort us everytime. It doesn't even have to be a religion.

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #189 on: September 10, 2010, 06:15:41 PM »
When Einstein said "God does not play dice with the Universe", he was appealing to causality. I mentioned this in my prior post. He made no such appeal to design.

See here:
http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/rochelle.f/Bohr-v-Einstein.html

QM was not vindicated until both of them were dead (tests of Bell's inequality). QM proposes a model of reality that is completely alien to classical understanding. Einstein did not want to accept that, did not want to accept that there can be limits on knowledge, and did not want to accept causality being trumped at small scales.

Again - proper tests of quantum mechanics were not done until after he was dead. In order to claim that faith blinded him, it would be necessary to show him an experiment and have him refuse to comprehend the result.

Again, over the parts Einstein was arguing about, he was dead before those tests were even carried out - how can he have ignored evidence he didn't even see?

That's like blaming Thomas Jefferson's belief in design of the Solar System even though our understanding of solar system formation couldn't even have a theoretical basis for another 150 years. If you criticize someone, it's important to do so based on their own perspective of the world, rather than your perspective of theirs, and judge them by mistakes they could not possibly have realized that they have made.
If you read the quote I gave he admits that Quantum Mechanics is better supported within the very letter he's writing.  There were tests going on for quite some time that pointed to Quantum nature of light, and the rest is a direct result from that.  His own experiments on light being absorbed and then released were the basis of the theory of "units of light" which formed quantum mechanics.  Experimental verification wasn't done on the backend until after his death, but it was done on the initial premises which led to Quantum Mechanics before it was even formalized.

The fact that Einstein mentions god in his rejection of a particular theory seems to heavily imply that his faith played a role in the formulation of his ideas.  I really think you're being obtuse when it comes to the obviousness of that, and quoting some random webpage full of conclusions made by someone named " Rochelle Forrester" isn't exactly a good source when Einstein's own words mention god in the context of scientific concepts, which suggests a clearly unholy synergy going on (not literally).

Design as part of Einstein's theology wouldn't really make sense to begin with (which is an error that I made and you corrected me on; I was wrong there).  The man was a pantheist in that he believed in the universe as an entity of supreme order and law unto itself; a quantum universe conflicts with the black and white he expresses in many quotes:

I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. [He was speaking of Quantum Mechanics and the breaking down of determinism.] My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance -- but for us, not for God. (Albert Einstein,The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press)
Quote from: Brandon
Jude, stop falsifying the data. You said yourself that he was asked about the consequences of his findings then you later said there wasnt any data to suggest someone made him choose one or the other. That is a contradiction. The person who asked that question was the one to force a choice. If the data had really been so damning before the question was asked he would have never released it to the public
I don't appreciate the accusation of falsification of data, but if I am guilty of it then I have no right to complain.  Please quote what I said in order to draw out this apparent contradiction that you have accused me of.  I believe that all I have said is, "no one has asked him to choose science versus religion," and I don't know where you're getting the rest from.  Einstein was criticizing scientific theories because they conflicted with his religious viewpoints; the question you're assuming is there doesn't have to be, he seems to be offering his viewpoints unsolicited to criticize the theory (you know, what young earth creationists do now every time a scientific find that strengthens evolution occurs).
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 06:43:12 PM by Jude »

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #190 on: September 10, 2010, 06:26:57 PM »
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein
Quote
Quantum mechanics is certainly imposing. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the 'old one'. I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice.

    * Letter to Max Born (4 December 1926); The Born-Einstein Letters (translated by Irene Born) (Walker and Company, New York, 1971) ISBN 0-8027-0326-7. This quote is commonly paraphrased "God does not play dice" or "God does not play dice with the universe", and other slight variants.

That sounds like a rejection to me, if not of substance, then of worth.  And an "inner voice" telling him that it wasn't worthwhile because it didn't help to understand God.

Regardless, this whole exchange just illustrates how counterproductive it is to use quotes in a debate. :P

Offline Vekseid

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #191 on: September 10, 2010, 06:42:17 PM »
If you read the quote I gave he admits that Quantum Mechanics is better supported within the very letter he's writing.

He makes no such assertion. He grants that it was initially successful. So was Newtonian mechanics. He claims it is incomplete.

Quote
There were tests going on for quite some time that pointed to Quantum nature of light, and the rest is a direct result from that.  His own experiments on light being absorbed and then released were the basis of the theory of "units of light" which formed quantum mechanics.  Experimental verification wasn't done on the backend until after his death, but it was done on the foreend before Quantum Mechanics was even formalized.

You are not addressing Einstein's argument, or mine, in the slightest. Einstein specifically attacked the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Quantum Entanglement and what they represented - a breakdown in local causality. Those aspects were not properly tested until after his death, and some people still argue that they still have not been properly tested.

He never denied that it was -an- explanation for the Universe, he denied that it was a complete one within its realm. That he now seems to be wrong is a reflection of what came later - not what was known at the time.

Quote
The fact that Einstein mentions god in his rejection of a particular theory seems to heavily imply that his faith played a role in the formulation of his ideas.  I really think you're being obtuse when it comes to the obviousness of that, and quoting some random webpage full of conclusions made by someone named " Rochelle Forrester" isn't exactly a good source.

Einstein makes his views on what he thinks God is rather clear - it's not a God driven by faith - it's the culmination of Nature itself. That you see the word God and instinctively heap connotations on it is your problem, not Einstein's.

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #192 on: September 10, 2010, 07:08:55 PM »
He makes no such assertion. He grants that it was initially successful. So was Newtonian mechanics. He claims it is incomplete.
Success and support is the same thing.  Newtonian Mechanics was better supported for a long time until the cracks started to show; I don't understand what your point is.
You are not addressing Einstein's argument, or mine, in the slightest. Einstein specifically attacked the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Quantum Entanglement and what they represented - a breakdown in local causality. Those aspects were not properly tested until after his death, and some people still argue that they still have not been properly tested.

He never denied that it was -an- explanation for the Universe, he denied that it was a complete one within its realm. That he now seems to be wrong is a reflection of what came later - not what was known at the time.

Einstein makes his views on what he thinks God is rather clear - it's not a God driven by faith - it's the culmination of Nature itself. That you see the word God and instinctively heap connotations on it is your problem, not Einstein's.
Einstein did have faith; he had faith in determinism and a world that was governed by concrete law.  His opposition to the probabilistic nature of Quantum Mechanics stems directly from the fact that it eschews absolute determinism and law in favor of statistical law; he doesn't want to believe in a universe where induction comes into play, he wants absolutism.

I'll explain as briefly as I can how Einstein's own experiments led to Quantum Mechanics and the very thing he railed against:

It all began with experiments that measured the absorption of light and then its radiation from black bodies.  Einstein started work on the Photoelectric effect, which eventually ran to the realization that the energy given off seemed to follow a pattern of a particular underlying unit multiplied by a constant whole number.  This led to the realization that light is Quantized, i.e. it is made up of individual units called photons (this was suggested by Einstein himself).

This information allowed for examination of subatomic states using the properties of light, as well as models of electrons as quantized objects.  Doing so revealed a great deal of information about matter on quantum scales.  With the concept of matter and light both quantized, as well as observations of strange properties of both on quantum levels, particle/wave duality became a serious possibility.  Particle/wave duality was then experimentally verified throughout the 20s and 30s.  The double-slit experiment was used to establish similar concepts for light.

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is a direct consequence of particle wave duality, which was experimentally verified.  To say it had no data backing it up is completely incorrect (though I suppose you could say that as a theory it hasn't been directly test, but neither has the big bang which you spent the first half of the thread defending).  Rejecting Quantum Mechanics as he did, was no more logical than the rejections of the Big Bang you've refuted throughout this thread.  Far less, I'd say, the claim is not as fantastical.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 07:48:15 PM by Jude »

Offline Vekseid

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #193 on: September 10, 2010, 07:54:02 PM »
Success and support at the same thing.  Newtonian Mechanics was better supported for a long time until the cracks started to show; I don't understand what your point is.

Einstein was arguing that quantum mechanics was incomplete in its own realm. He had no better alternative to propose (which is a sin) except to say that physics should overall obey a consistent set of laws (which might not be).

Quote
Einstein did have faith; he had faith in determinism and a world that was governed by concrete law.

You initially accused him of having faith in design. Design wasn't his argument.

Quote
His opposition to the probabilistic nature of Quantum Mechanics stems directly from the fact that it eschews absolute determinism and law in favor of statistical law; he doesn't want to believe in a universe where induction comes into play, he wants absolutism.

He's dead, ignoring attributing to him actual modern wants...

Quote
*snip*

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is a direct consequence of particle wave duality, which was experimentally verified.  To say it had no data backing it up is completely incorrect (though I suppose you could say that as a theory it hasn't been directly test, but neither has the big bang which you spent the first half of the thread defending).  Rejecting Quantum Mechanics as he did, was no more logical than the rejections of the Big Bang you've refuted throughout this thread.  Far less, I'd say, the claim is not as fantastical.

Einstein's claim was not that Heisenberg uncertainty wasn't real, his claim was that it was the result of some currently unknown property of reality, rather than a fundamental limit on what can be known, as Bohr argued.

This is above and beyond the fact that in order to be useful, theories do need to be tested both theoretically and physically. Science is not about "Oh hey let's go this way" and running off a cliff.

Offline Brandon

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #194 on: September 10, 2010, 10:45:42 PM »
Quote
When the basics of relativity are applied and at the same time there is a move to the subatomic level, quantum mechanics is essentially a direct result.  In that way, Einstein's own theories basically gave birth to Quantum Mechanics.  Yet when asked about the consequences he said this:  "God doesn't play with Dice."

Quote
He was not being asked to choose between his faith and science; ideas were being proposed that he did not agree with on the basis of their conflicting with his theological viewpoints.  This was the first half of the twentieth century when even scientists were not atheistic in large numbers.  There's no evidence of anyone painting a conflict between science and religion, it's simply that religion didn't like what science was saying, so it made the conflict.

Contradiction right there.

To explain, you started out by saying that he was asked about the consequences of his research in the context that it disproved Einstein's belief in God's plan.

You go on to say that no one painted a conflict between science and religion but your previous statement contradicts that one. The question he was asked created the conflict between the religion he believed in and the scientific studies he pursued. The question forced him to pick one over the other rather then letting him maintain his belief that both could exist in a kind of symbiosis


Offline Vekseid

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #195 on: September 10, 2010, 11:15:05 PM »
The God Einstein was referring to in that quote is not the sort of God which is capable of planning. He viewed God as the raw majesty of Nature in all its glory, not as a goal-setting agent.

Offline Jude

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #196 on: September 10, 2010, 11:18:10 PM »
To explain, you started out by saying that he was asked about the consequences of his research in the context that it disproved Einstein's belief in God's plan.
No Brandon, the consequences I was referring to is scientific consequences, i.e. the end result of his changes to physics:  Quantum Mechanics (the very thing from the previous sentence -- you know, the way pronouns are supposed to work).  That is what Einstein said of Quantum Mechanics, not of the conflict between science and religion.  You're seeing what you want to believe; I did not say what you are attributing to me (which is something you often get very upset at people for, if I recall).
You go on to say that no one painted a conflict between science and religion but your previous statement contradicts that one. The question he was asked created the conflict between the religion he believed in and the scientific studies he pursued. The question forced him to pick one over the other rather then letting him maintain his belief that both could exist in a kind of symbiosis
You've completely misinterpreted things and filled in the blanks to suit your own agenda, while at the same time accusing me of falsification of data.  I don't know what to say.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 11:20:27 PM by Jude »

Offline Caesar

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #197 on: October 26, 2010, 05:27:12 PM »
I think Forums like this matter not. Even in our understanding of space and science we have not even hit the tip of the iceberg of this beautiful and immeasurable space we call the Universe. There is still mysteries out their there are still mysteries here on earth and I can only conclude that we have not even found a fraction of the answers of this world called earth, let alone the entire universe. To say that there is no God and try to provide proof you are only showing the answer to the small portion of the entire problem, so in other words you have not given the correct answer. Believe in God or Don't it is your life and their are tell-tale signs of proofs on both sides of this debate, so make the decision yourself not on what else who may seem to understand more might say. In the Grand scheme of things Mister Hawking knows just as much about the entire universe as the average joe.

If you Believe in God good for you in your heart resides hope, love, peace. But be careful to not judge because in my understandings of the religious texts there is no teacher that preaches violence on another.
If you dislike those that believe in God your heart is sadly filled with angry, resentment, and with as much ignorance and bigotry as those you claim to be bigots. For you I ask that you understand the religion more before you base your ideas on just the followers.
If you believe in God but resent those that do not then shame on you! You do not understand the texts and the words that you try to base your life on.
If you do not Believe in God but do not resent others then you are an Honorable person!

We humans are small and ignorant things and we make mistakes all the time. All of us have our vices, or sins, our mistakes that we wish we could erase from history. One must take responsibility for ones own actions and understand that we live in a world that has it's faults because of the people that live in it. Is there a God? I for one do believe so, but then again I don't know even know a fraction of this universe.
 

Online Oniya

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #198 on: October 26, 2010, 06:02:28 PM »
Um - if you don't think that forums like this matter (and I'm assuming that you mean the Politics and Religion forum, not Elliquiy in general), why bother posting here at all?  This area is set aside for debate on possibly controversial topics for the express reason that it makes it easier for those people who don't enjoy such debate (or who find that such debate makes them uncomfortable) can avoid those threads easily.

Offline Will

Re: Stephen Hawkings says that God didn't create the universe
« Reply #199 on: October 26, 2010, 06:11:32 PM »
In the Grand scheme of things Mister Hawking knows just as much about the entire universe as the average joe.

This is... painfully false.