What happened before the Big Bang?

By Phil Plait | July 1, 2007 9:01 am

What happened before the Big Bang? Does that question even make sense?

When astronomers think about the Big Bang, in general they don’t actually mean that one singular moment when the Universe burst into being. It’s really the name given to the model used to describe what happened an infinitesimally thin slice of time after that moment.

The problem is, right at that moment, at T=0, our laws of physics… well, they stall out. You wind up dividing by zero a lot, which causes a lot of headaches. You get things like zero volume and infinite density of matter and energy. It’s not that this moment didn’t exist physically, or that something impossible happened, it’s just that the math we currently use can’t describe it. And let me be clear: what happened after that one moment we can model fairly well. We may not have a complete picture, and the model may yet be supplanted (more on that in a moment), but we have a relatively (har har) good grasp on how the Universe behaved after T=+0.0000000000000…1 seconds. But at T=0, fuggeddaboutit. And T<0? The way the math works, that question doesn’t even make sense.

The basic trouble is that Einstein’s relativity gives us a good description of some things (large scale gravity, for example), and quantum mechanics tells us about other things (how particles behave), but no one has ever successfully combined the two, and they must be combined to understand that First Nanonanonanonanonanosecond. Einstein himself tried, and failed.

It’s possible, now, that this has changed.

Martin Bojowald, an assistant professor of physics at Penn State University, may have broken through this barrier for the first time. He is working on a theory called Loop Quantum Gravity, and it combines relativity and quantum mechanics. Using this new math, something amazing happens: at T=0, the volume of the Universe is not zero, and the density is not infinite.

In other words, the math still works, even at The Big Moment.

Loop Quantum Gravity has been around a while, but Bojowald appears to have simplified it, using different mathematical terminology. This allows solutions to be determined for what was, before, an intractable problem. And what his solution reveals is something that’s… well, it’s astonishing.

It’s been thought for sometime that there may have been some previous Universe that existed "before" ours. This is a difficult idea, because in the Big Bang model, space and time were created in that initial moment. But if Bojowald’s solutions are correct, it leads the way to understanding this previous Universe. It was out there, everywhere, and it contracted. Eventually it became an ultradense, ultrahot little ball of space and time. At some point, it got so small and so dense that bizarre quantum laws took effect — things like the Uncertainty Principle, which states that the more you know about one characteristic of an object (say, its position) the less you know about another (its velocity). There are several such laws, and they make it hard — impossible, really — to know everything about the universe at that moment.

What Bojowald’s work does, as I understand it (the paper as I write this is not out yet, so I am going by my limited knowledge of LQG and other theories like it) is simplify the math enough to be able to trace some properties of the Universe backwards, right down to T=0, which he calls the Big Bounce. The previous Universe collapsed down, and "bounced" outward again, forming our Universe. No doubt the physical aspects of this previous Universe were somewhat different; the quantum uncertainties at the moment of bounce would ensure that. It may have been much like ours, or it may have been quite alien. In his equations, it’s the volume of that previous Universe that cannot be determined. How big was it? It may literally be impossible to ever know.

In a sense, this uncertainty wipes the slate clean after a Universe crunches back down.

I want to stress that all of this is very interesting, and may possibly be borne out to be a better solution to the real physical situation of the Universe than anything we have now. Or, let’s face it: it might all eventually be tossed into the toilet. It’s a bit early to know. But it’s fascinating, and provides a glimpse into the future of cosmology, where we may not be limited by the one singular Universe in which we live. Another theory, called Brane Theory, is similar– it posits that there are other Universes as well, and they, well, they bounce back and forth, colliding every few hundred billion or trillion years. And that’s not even the weird part of brane theory… it might be able to explain dark matter and dark energy, and why our Universe appears to be accelerating. It’s well beyond what I can write for this blog entry (though it’ll be in my next book, heh heh). There is plenty of info on it on the web if you’re interested (here’s a good page to start you off).

Also, and what’s perhaps most exciting about these theories, is that they make predictions, predictions which can be verified or falsified based on observations. These are delicate experiments to be sure, but some will be possible to perform in just the next few years (for example, different cosmological origin theories predict different behaviors for the Universe at very early times, and these would imprint themselves on objects which can be observed).

These theories may seem like mumbo-jumbo or magic, but they have that very basic property of science: they’re testable.

And of course, I have to use this to stick it to the creationists once again. One thing they love to talk about is "fine tuning", how so many physical constants (like the charge on an electron, and the strength of gravity and the nuclear forces) appear to be incredibly well-adjusted to produce not just our Universe, but intelligent life in it: us.

Well, some of us.

The creationists claim that the only way this could possibly happen is if some sort of Intelligent Designer — and let’s not be coy, they mean God — set these values to be precisely what they are. Even just on its merits this isn’t right. I talked about this in the video clip I posted last week, so I won’t elaborate here. Go watch it.

But now we see another answer to the creationists: maybe this isn’t the only Universe. There might have been a string of them, reaching back in time, in meta-time beyond time. In those other Universes, maybe the electron had more charge, and stars couldn’t form. Or maybe it had less, and every star collapsed into a black hole. But if you get enough Universes, and the constants change in each one, then eventually one will get the mix right. Stars will last for billions of years, planets can form, life can evolve, and on one blue green ball of dust, chemicals can get complicated enough that they could look inside themselves, understand what they see, and marvel at the very fact of their own existence.

And maybe, just maybe, they can also figure out how it all came to be. This isn’t fantasy, folks, it’s science. It’s how things work.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, Religion, Science

Comments (415)

Links to this Post

  1. University Update - Penn State University - What happened before the Big Bang? | July 1, 2007
  2. Blogblah!!! » Blog Archive » They’re blindin’ me with science | July 1, 2007
  3. » Why religion is crap | July 1, 2007
  4. 煎蛋 » What happened before the Big Bang | July 1, 2007
  5. Hyper123.net » Blog Archive » What happened before the Big Bang? | July 1, 2007
  6. Frank151 » Blog Archive » Big Bang | July 2, 2007
  7. PrabÄ—gom #4 « taskurnubÄ—go | July 2, 2007
  8. Sekularista » Blog Archive » What happened before the Big Bang | July 2, 2007
  9. What happened before the Big Bang? « The Curio | July 2, 2007
  10. Against Bounces | Cosmic Variance | July 2, 2007
  11. Big Bang « Skeptigator | July 2, 2007
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  14. Astrolink [Global Edition] » Before the Big Bang? | Latest astronomy news in 11 languages | July 2, 2007
  15. Terug naar T=0 at Astroblogs | July 2, 2007
  16. Seed's Daily Zeitgeist: 7/3/2007 - General Science | July 2, 2007
  17. Stilte (voor de storm of Big Bang?) | Cum Grano | July 3, 2007
  18. links for 2007-07-03 at pretentious blowhard | July 3, 2007
  19. privon.com | weblog » What happened before the Big Bang? | July 3, 2007
  20. one of me » the home of paul turnbull » Blog Archive » links for 2007-07-03 | July 3, 2007
  21. the beth zone » Blog Archive » Big Bang A Gong, Get It On Dept. | July 4, 2007
  22. » Links for 04-07-2007 » Velcro City Tourist Board » Blog Archive | July 4, 2007
  23. Why this universe ? Toward a taxonomy of possible explanations. - Off Topic Forums | July 5, 2007
  24. The Endless Mandala | The Doctor Is In | July 6, 2007
  25. What happened before the Big Bang? at No Prerequisite | July 9, 2007
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  28. links for 2007-07-13 « … tuned to a dead channel | July 13, 2007
  29. Seed's Daily Zeitgeist: 7/3/2007 » Chymistry | July 16, 2007
  30. Consider the possibilities at Lay Theism | January 14, 2008
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  1. ClandestineEnder

    Fantastic post, very enlightening on whats happening on the edge of physics. As interesting as the evidence and observations are alone, your rhetoric adds to the already emince excitement. Can’t wait to read more

  2. Those interested in more technicalities can search for LQG in John Baez’ This Week’s Finds, or in the notes to his long-running quantum gravity seminar.

    I’m sure he’ll be speaking up on this development soon enough, either in TWF or over at The n-Category Café.

  3. JD

    So, the Big Bang was equivelent to shaking an Etch-A-Sketch?

    Wicked awesome.

  4. Chip

    Really fine writing! Thanks.

    It also made me wonder if black holes could be miniature models for the early universe with a different kind of bounce just before the theory leads us into a singularity.

  5. Wildride

    Let me be the first to say:

    > Another theory, called Brane Theory

    Brane and brane — What is brane?

    Wildride

  6. DenverAstro

    When I read this I wondered if you (Phil) have seen the documentary “The Elegant Universe” where Brane (short for Membrane) theory is discussed in detail. They took a kind of MTV on acid visual approach but still, I thought it was pretty well done. I would like to hear (read) your thoughts on this work, Dr. Plait :o )

  7. DrFlimmer

    Can you post the paper, if it’s out and possible? That would be very cool, as is this article! Well done and thanks very much!

  8. tacitus

    Fascinating stuff. It is, perhaps, somewhat poignant that our habitable instance of the Universe may well be the last one in a long (infinite?) line of instances. After all, with dark energy accelerating the expansion of space/time, it’s hard to see how there could be another “Big Bounce” billions or even trillions of years into our future.

    One could even go all quasi-religious and talk about how the Universe has sacrificed its own vitality and longevity so that we all could live… er… maybe not.

    But it probably means that we won’t be seeing the last of the fine-tuning crowd any time soon. After all, it won’t matter to them that the knobs were twiddled more than once before we got to this point.

  9. Edward Cohen

    Very interesting. I had a similar, simplistic idea of what the paper said.
    Question: The universe is expanding, or is it just going “around the bend”
    to come together in another Big Bounce?
    Just a rank amateur with some far out thoughts.
    Ed

  10. gopher65

    Phil is being a Klingon Bastard. Teasing us with his next book:(.

  11. Aquathros

    I love this kind of stuff. Never thought that there might have been previous universes, and possibly, another universe after ours. O.O Thanks for posting.

  12. Daffy

    I recall that James Blish used this exact scenario (Big Bounce…although he didn’t use that term) at the end of his Cities in Flight series; so I assume this notion has indeed been bouncing (intentional) around a while. Fascinating stuff!

  13. So, the idea is that our universe was created out of the rebound of a previous universe collapsing? Interesting stuff!

    What i’m wondering, though, is how that relates to the fate of our current universe. I thought they had figured out recently that our universe is doomed to expand indefinately; would that make us the last universe? I dunno, seems fishy.

  14. Adrianus V

    Is Bojowald really the first with taking the barrier of the Big Bang? April 2006 Abhay Ashtekar, Tomasz Pawlowski and Parmpreet Singh from the ‘Institute for Gravitational Physics and Geometry’ (Penn State University) also used Quantum Loop Gravity to describe the Big Bang to the very moment of T=0. See: http://xxx.lanl.gov/PS_cache/gr-qc/pdf/0602/0602086.pdf.

  15. I wrote something about this here:

    http://cosmicvariance.com/2007/04/27/how-did-the-universe-start/

    The real problem with all such models is that, from the point of view of the other side of the bounce, the entropy is decreasing as the universe collapses, which seems crazily finely-tuned. Either that, or the entropy is at a minimum at the bounce, for no especially good reason.

    Singularities are going to have to be resolved somehow, but reality is likely to be quite a bit more complicated than simple bounce models.

  16. Mark Martin

    Perhaps it should be clarified that what’s being conjoined with quantum mechanics in such a scheme is general relativity, whereas special relativity has been successfully integrated with QM for just about 80 years, i.e., the origin of intrinsic spin-angular momentum.

  17. Thanks. Now I have a headache.

  18. The concept of multiple universes will not stop the Creationists. Recently, there was an opinion piece in the York (PA) Daily Record/Sunday News by their favorite Intelligent Design correspondent that claimed ID, even though supernatural in nature, is not necessarily religious, and furthermore, the Intelligent Designer (who just possibly might be the writer’s God) could dwell in one of those “other” universes. (Discussed at The Divine Afflatus).

  19. If the universe “bounces”, wouldn’t it mean that not everything collapses to the same point at the same time? Here’s an example: let’s imagine a one-dimensional universe. An explosion happens at location 0, sending matter in two directions. Eventually, you have matter at locations -5, -2, 2, and 5. Later, the whole thing collapses, bringing all the matter back to location 0 at the same time. BUT, what if we assume a slightly more complex universe – where secondary explosions and forces affect things. Let’s say that matter at locations -5 and 5 have secondary explosions or local forces that send out matter in both directions. The matter at location 5 that is sent in the negative direction will pass through location zero *before* the big crunch, and the matter at location 5 that is sent in the positive direction will pass through location zero *after* the big crunch. What this means is that the “big crunch” doesn’t involve the collapse of the entire universe to size 0 – rather the universe shrinks to a small size (perhaps to size 4 – i.e. ranging from locations -2.0 to 2.0) before the expansion occurs again. Also, wouldn’t this situation cause a progressively larger “big crunch” over several oscillations? Would this situation involve the changing of quantum laws as Phil pointed out, or is the universe fail to shrink far enough to cause that? Any comments?

  20. Sean Carroll:

    The real problem with all such models is that, from the point of view of the other side of the bounce, the entropy is decreasing as the universe collapses, which seems crazily finely-tuned. Either that, or the entropy is at a minimum at the bounce, for no especially good reason.

    Clearly, the entropy of our Local Universe decreases at the bounce while being compensated by increased entropy elsewhere in the 10D brane gas. ;-)

    By the way, people should check out creationist linguistics.

  21. Qd

    Its a fascinating idea. It’s good to see the maths solidifying some of these theories. Just one question though. When you ridicule ‘creationists’, which I totally understand, as most of their ideas are like swiss cheese, does it also mean that anyone that believes in God, and at the same time believes in the power of science and stuff like the big bang and how it works, are the same people ?

    I find it hard to discredit anyones personal beliefs if those beliefs are untestable, IE .. straight old belief in God, and that no matter how it works, the belief that he/she has a hand in it.

    I’m really just suggesting that not all people that believe in the possibility of creation by a higher force, believe in the rediculous claims ‘creationists’ make.

    I am an amatuer astronomer (20 y), I love science, I have a great faith in the ability of scientists, and I will rarely question their collective judgement as they know what they are talking about. Sometimes however I wonder if ‘creationist’ means anyone that has a belief in God, or if its those that argue against clear science?

  22. CY

    What generated the matter or electrons or anything in existence to have caused the big bang? Is there a scientific explanation for the creation of matter ex nihilo or does science believe that matter always existed? Can matter be infinite in time and space? Don’t all things that have and end also have a beginning?
    I’d very much appreciate any replies.

  23. Qd

    I pretty sure .. as a lay-person … the model of this sort of ‘big bang’ is some sort of infinitely fluctuating universe: a cycle. It would suggest, I rekon that it’s infinite and has no beginning or end, but just keeps going through a process, much along the lines of the water cycle on earth. Water had a beginning but I think the analogy might fit. It’s not a new hypothesis, but its good to see some maths backing it up into a solid theory.

    One question. With the other popular theory of the Big Bang having no time before it, as its clearly just not possible, does it suggest with this new theory, that time also had NO beginning ? In that case, time would be an infinite thing also ? So matter(energy) and time would under this theory, be part of the infinite cycle. Of course the matter at the crunch point would break down into smaller energy quanta, and then be rebuilt in the ensuing expansion.

    Is this just the old argument of ‘is the Universe infinite or finite’, that Einstein argued about with his peers years ago ? Of course the maths is far more solid now, just wondering if its similar.

  24. Wayne

    Qd,
    The BA does a pretty good job of distinguishing between the bad ideas that are often linked to religion and the religions themselves. Although some readers may be less tolerant, I think for the most part it is accepted that people like us can hold our (untestable) religious beliefs while still being rational, scientifically literate human beings. I happen to be a professional scientist (space physicist), and I’ve never had a problem either due to my religious beliefs or from others because of them.

    Personally, I think that Young Earth Creationism and other forms of anti-science are very bad for the Christian church because it works against the Great Commission itself. It’s not central (or at least shouldn’t be) to any christian belief system and mostly has the effect of driving thinking people away and providing ammunition to anti-religious groups. I hear folks ask, “Why aren’t moderate Christians speaking out against this?” Well, I can’t speak for the others, but I do every chance I get. Bad science is bad theology! Okay, I feel better now.

  25. brooks

    Nice to see even more parallels between modern physics and eastern thought. Buddhist cosmology has always noted the ‘bouncing universe’ model.

    The universe is in an infinite cycle of expansion and contraction, life, death, and rebirth, just like our selves.

  26. How does this tye into string theory? And how do I explain it to a 6 year old?

  27. Qd

    Thanks for the comment Wayne. I sort of feel the same way. I’m NOT a baptised Christian or part of any religion. It’s just sometimes I feel that some people believe that ‘creationists’ mean, anyone that believes a god or intelligence had a hand in the process. The way I see it, a ‘creationist’ is a certain group, mainly dogmatic Christians, that argue against solid scientific theory, despite the clear evidence presented.

    From what I have read about ‘Intelligent Design’, it seems they are trying to prove God exists by using science. I’m not a scientist, but I can see clearly how rediculous that is. I support most arguments in favour of debunking ‘Intelligent Design’ as long as they are debunking the pseudo-science, and not the personal belief, which is supposed to be about faith anyway, and not really anything to do with science.

    I’m all for keeping science and religion seperate, but I am not convinced you can use science to prove, or disprove something so far beyond testing. Debunking ghosts is one thing, debunking the chance a god exists is a whole other ballgame.

    BTW .. I have read every post in the BA blog for the last few months, so now I’m hooked, hehe. I enjoy reading the articles you present too Phil, in ‘Australian Sky and Telescope’ magazine. The recent article on the full moon cleared up a few misconceptions I had about its apparent affect. Funny how you can just assume an old myth is true, if you just accept it at face value, given a few possible scientific reasons it could work.

  28. Qd

    David, I have a 5 year old nephew. One day I tried to explain the big bang to him by using a ballon and he didnt quite get it. Then I found one of these in my sisters house, http://www.dalefield.com/nzfmm/magazine/expanding_ball.html , but its a plastic one, but it essentially does the same thing, expands and contracts. As it contracts it gets denser. I tried using that to explain the basic big bang, and he seems to get a better picture of it. He loves playing with it now. He makes little explosion sounds when its expanding, hehe.

    I rekon you could use the same item to explain the expansion and contraction then the rebound, as it can’t get any smaller, then expanding again in a cycle. It’s a very rough idea, and far from the theoretical topographical model, but for a 5 – 6 year old, I rekon its a good one to start with, to get the basic concept.

  29. Mark Martin

    CY,

    It’s not that matter created the so-called big bang, but rather the other way around. With spacetime were created the quantum-mechanical fields which fill space. The particles are then quantized excitations of the fields. The fields are more elementary than the particles themselves, which are more accurately seen as symptomatic of the fields varying their energy states.

  30. Mark Martin

    David,

    It’s quite possible that it cannot very meaningfully be explained to a 6 year old.

  31. Remek

    I think what’s difficult for most people to understand is that any kind of Big Bang that originated/created our Universe didn’t happen in any “empty space” – there was *no* kind of space, empty or otherwise at t-0. The Big Bang created our entire current Universe, matter, empty space, dark matter, etc…. ie- there was no ‘space’, as we understand it, to happen in.

    (Of course, we can’t “know”, yet, if there might be some sort of much higher-dimension ‘steady state’ environment that lower-dimension Universes might re-generate over and over again. However, from our more simple 4-D comprehension, our current Universe is still contained within and ruled by the current Big Bang expanding dimensions and original quantum parameters.)

  32. Qd

    I read that last posts blog, ‘Why religion is crap’. It’s basically a philosophical argument. That doesn’t make it wrong in my view, there are some good points. I just think, if you want to keep ‘religion out of science’ .. you also may need to keep ‘science out of religion’, and stop trying to discredit the entire subject.

    No matter how big the universe is discovered to be, nor how complex, I feel it’s a bit rich to totally discredit all forms of religion as the same thing, and to also completely deny the chance some sort of inteligence exists above what we see, and can measure, using science. Just because the universe is bigger than what some bloke says it is in his version of religious or Biblical interpretation, and that his or her god is too small, doesn’t mean he even had a clue to begin with.

    Personally I don’t know if there is or isn’t some creator. I just believe, it is just as ignorant to deny it’s possibilty, as the ignorance the so called ‘creationists’ exercise. It’s a completely differnt subject, and one that science needs to back away from. Science is good at what it does, progressivly explaining our universe and its mechanics, and out place in it. But all within limits of what we can measure.

    It’s easy to discredit a ‘creationist’ when he/she makes a stupid claim about the universe that can be clearly debunked using proven science. On the other hand, its assumed by alot of people that these ‘creationists’ even understand the source of their information, the Bible. The book is not a scientific text book, nor does it make vast scientific claims. The creation account is written in such an ambiguous way, clearly just giving an overall picture of things, that arguing against the pseudo-scientific claims they derive from it is really a waste of time. It’s like using science to argue against someone that says the Lord of the Rings was real … and we all came from elves. ;p. You just don’t bother.

    Science is a great tool for helping us to understand our place in the universe, but I truly believe all these ‘science vs religion’ arguments, are really just arguments against some persons or cultures interpretation of things.

    In the end of it all, nobody can give any conclusive scientific proof, that God does, or doesn’t exist. Maybe if we left the subject alone and admitted they are different subjects, one scientific, one philosophical, we wouldn’t keep going round in circles.

  33. Doubting Tom

    The author writes:
    These theories may seem like mumbo-jumbo or magic, but they have that very basic property of science: they’re testable.
    …maybe this isn’t the only Universe. There might have been a string of them, reaching back in time, in meta-time beyond time.

    Hmm… I guess it’s really is turtles all the way down after all!

  34. Ian Smith

    Kudos on the post, I enjoyed it.

  35. d

    ok im confused..so the answer to the big bang is to say there may have been universes existing before the big bang? how does this explain anything? we are still left wondering how were the previous universes created arent we? so what if you put a million bajillion years of time further back before the big bang. this theory doesnt explain a darn thing. could scientists explain the very beginning of matter at all without pushing time further back? the time of the big bang is far enough.

  36. Perhaps someone can point me to a website, or an article, a crystal ball, whatever… but I was quite certain that there were no predictions from any of the unification theories, whether it be brane theory, string theory, m-theory, supergravity, LQG, etc. At least that is what I gathered from ‘Not Even Wrong!’

    If anyone knows what experiments Phil mentions in passing, I would love to hear about it.

    Love the Blog btw :)

  37. Basilbeard

    But doesn’t such an assumption reduce time and the universe(s) to an infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of type writers. If this process has been going on forever, there have been an infinite number of universes which have come before this one. Just like those monkeys are bound to eventually type even the most complex literary documents(thanks to the nature of infinity), anything which could happen already has happened in a previous universe(because there has been an infinite number of them). In other words, we are living out some recycled universe plot line that has already been played out trillions of years ago in some long forgotten universe. It kinda puts a damper on life, knowing that its basically equivalent to a re-run of “Cheers”. There may be something new under the sun, but there truly is nothing new under the metaphorical sun which overlooks out universe. (Of course, this assumes that this theory is correct. And frankly, I don’t see any other logical explication. I mean, the only other viable alternative “just on its merits isn’t right.”)

  38. How depressing! I’m part of a Cheers re-run. I just hope it turns out differently.

    There is so much that we don’t know, but over time, little pieces of the puzzle are talked about in different ways and sometimes unsolved puzzles are solved or partially so.

    Science Magazine `Hydrogen in Some Hard-to-Trace Form` Satisfies Prediction
    http://newsblaze.com/story/20070630110106nnnn.nb/newsblaze/TOPSTORY/Top-Stories.html

    “Drexler entered the race to identify dark matter in 2002, by utilizing Albert Einstein’s 1905 Special Theory of Relativity, Claude Shannon’s information theory, Johannes Kepler’s 400-year-old idea of re-analyzing the astronomical data of others, Occam’s razor logic of the 14th century and his career in applied physics research.”

  39. T.A.

    Wow… so its easier to believe in the Big Bang… and the recycling universe than to believe that the LORD made all things?

    Ok.. duplication of the Big Bang is a scientific principle that can’t be duplicated…

    Then why shouldn’t we all be afraid the next BIG BANG is going to

    arbitrarily show up and wreck our universe?

    NO… scientist’s won’t think that one thru.. but I guess its time!!

    t.a.

  40. I’d just like to say, this is not the EDGE of science. The idea of multiple universes was preached to me in 9th grade biology(albeit, accelerated), and is also mentioned in the playground, an interesting philosophical blog i just discovered (I put it in the website space as I do not have one of my own)

  41. Mecandes

    When you speak of creationists the way you do at the end, it is as if you are saying this answers the question of how it all started… but it seems that if true, all it does is push the question of “how did it start” backwards further… What you describe was A beginning… but it wasn’t THE beginning. No?

  42. valentine

    what a beautiful theory. to think of meta time in the universe makes everything I see seem like a movie or a re-run. I am enlightened.

  43. Monkey Turd

    We are most likely living in a simulation. Philosophy has stated this over and over.
    We may very likely be a simulation living inside of another simulation. The possibilities are limitless. But good ole Phil managed to put God in a box on the shelf once again. As long as Phil’s science proves to him the non existence of God, he’s happy.

  44. honer123

    I enjoyed the article very much myself, like the others posting here. I to agree with some above that attacking religious people by debunking their beliefs is stooping down to the level that you try so hard as a scientist to raise yourself above.
    I believe in science as a way to explain how everything is, just like most of the people posting here. There is nothing wrong with that in my opinion, because we are thinking people, not drones designed not to think.
    Like d said above and to elaborate on the subject, you still can’t explain how the fact that this universe, or any universe in time/space/dimension etc… came to being in the first place. How does something come from nothing? How is this universe, or the one before it, and before it, in existence at all? All of the religious nuts who swear this earth is 4000 years old are ignoring facts that can be proven to them, but you are criticizing people who also believe that the universe had to be created, or it’s predecessor had to be created by something/someone. To top all of this you have no proof to debunk their belief in this. It appears to me what you are so quick to criticize, is backed by, of all things, no proof, or explanation, just another theory, that this may not be the first existence of this universe.

  45. Mark Martin

    Just because “philosophy” has stated something repeatedly isn’t enough to make it so. How do you test that we are living in a simulation? To do that you need to establish what you mean by the difference between simulation and not-simulation. Then you need to actually look at the world in which you find yourself and see if it excludes one or the other. If you can’t exclude one empirically, then you cannot determine which one is more plausible.

    Really all we have are data, and those data display some mode of orderliness. That’s all. Theories are just ways of saying what to expect to see on those occasions when you look. There is no pretense in science to knowing how things truly are behind the scenes. If we are a simulation, but that simulation is so perfect in detail as to be an *emulation*, then it’s meaningless to assert any such thing as that we are only a computation running on someone else’s big computer. That’s not something we’ll know, because there’s no important difference between what we observe either way.

  46. Qd

    Question: Within this theory of ‘Loop Quantum Gravity’, does it imply that ‘black holes’ also cannot have an ‘infinite singularity’ at their cores?

    I understood the other main theory of the ‘big bang’ implied that it all came from a beginning point, which was an infinite singularity, due to a quantum fluctuation in the hypothetical ‘quantum foam’ ?

    If this other theory works, and it removes the infinite point from the big bang, does this also mean that a black hole will also have to have it’s infinite point removed also ?

    I always understood that the maths to describe the singularity in the early big bang was derived from the maths Einstein used to describe a singularity in black holes.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  47. Narky

    For as long as I can remember I’ve believed that the big bang was likely the end of a previous universe.

    I’m pretty sure the notion arose after reading the Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy as a youngster…

    I recall a passage wherein it was suggested that if the universe was ever truly understood it would be destoyed and a more complex universe would take its place … it was understood that this had already taken place …

    made sense to me.

  48. tchalla

    I believe in science and I found this post very interesting. Nevertheless, it sometimes seems to me that there is some disingenuous reasoning amongst scientist who try to “debunk” the creationist viewpoint. Why is it OK under one system to accept something as unknowable e.g the volume of a previous universe and to consider another unknowable as virtual nonsense e.g the existance of a source or a creator?

    Seems to me that regardless of what theory we apeal to be it Big Bang, LQG etc the question can be asked “why is this so…” and at some point the “honest” scientist will say “I don’t know…” The question of what happened at T

  49. tchalla

    The question of what happened at T

  50. burnsie13

    So we’ve concluded that science alone cannot resolve the Big Bang. Once Again. Thank you. The point is proven that Big Bang and Evolution require just as much “faith” as creation.

    I love the shots you take at so called creationists. Einstein and Newton both believed in a creator. Interestingly, so did Darwin. Newton thought God must be a mathematician. Darwin didn’t set out to discredit God. He just proved that life is way more complex than the simple teachings of Judaeo/Christian antiquity had professed for centuries. The existence of mutation alone proves that life cannot be a random and natural process. Pure science is the replication of an experiment and a conclusion with the same results. Well, evolution deviates from pure scientific replication of results.

    1X10 to the 21st power VS 1 provides us the mathematical probability of a single strand of DNA spontaneously forming from elemental compounds. Why is it so difficult for modern “scientists” to acknowledge what Thomas Aquinas did centuries ago: “The Lord hath made foolish the wisdom of man.”

    Your writing is very strong. Your theories, and those of the minds you follow, are excellent. None of it, however, proves or disproves the existence of a higher power or designer or whatever the progressives today wish to use as a term to denigrate those who believe in a Creator. I don’t see why science and religion need to be at war anyway. It is as if atheists need to justify their position with science so that they can label the rest of the 99% of the world as crazy. The vast majority of science-minded people are believers. They are just simply the silent majority behind the vociferous atheistic minority.

    This trend of the vocal few dictating the arena, laying field, and rules for science and debate in modern politics is frightening. 93% of America espouses traditional religious Judaeo/Christian beliefs. Why are there so many from extreme minority who try to wag the dog?

  51. phrozt

    A very good post, but try to leave the “god” argument out of it. The main reason is because “god” in every religion is defined as a bit different, and if you look at Judaism, Buddhism, and a few others, there are many religions that probably agree with your plights. Most enlightened religious individuals are not saying that your points are not correct, but just that there is still an unexplained force that triggers all of this… thus the theory of code name “god”. Yes you can go on and on about universes and strings, and infinity, but all scientists believe in a threshold, thats why we keep moving forward, to answer more and more about life. But, the theory of god has never been switched to mean something different. Put simply “supreme force that has created everything”… that is all that means.

    So after my ranting, point = don’t talk about god in a scientific argument or blog related activity, its a waste of time. Other than that, good.

  52. burnsie13

    Two more points:

    Entropy and the so called Big Bang are at philosophical odds. Entropy suggests that nature will find its own level or natural state. A cultivated field, for example, will one day become a young forest, if left fallow because seeds of trees will blow in the wind and will find soil.The land will return to the existing natural state it was before man took dominion of it. For example, grass and weeds will invade cracks in concrete if city workers don’t employ Roundup or elbow grease… nature’s natural state is replenishment of the species. All plant and animal life exists to propagate the species.

    Well, if everything here was the result of a giant explosion that was not intended or guided, then the energy from the explosion would dissipate as with every other explosion. How then could every living species, plant and animal, have in its DNA the unstoppable drive to continue the species? Entropy and Big Bang are incompatible.

    Point 2… since we are exploring theoretical physics and astrophysics, why is it that water is the only known substance to become less dense as a solid? We’ve found ice on Mars… evidence that life may have existed there some time in the past? It might lead to support for the theory that one universe led to another and another and so on.

    Here on this rock, water becomes less dense as it becomes a solid, thus enabling ice to float. The evolutionists advocate that mammalian life evolved from aquatic. Well, is this an accident or a design? The only substance to defy the laws of physics on Earth gave us the origin of life. Maybe if ice was more dense, it would sink and the ponds where the first mud creature of evolution first crawled out of the primordial ooze to gasp its first amphibious breath of oxygen might have died in a frozen mass at the bottom of he pond, which turned to solid ice with the sinking and subsequent freezing of layer upon layer of ice. The floating ice allowed the abundance of life under the surface of the water to prevail, and thus one day crawl upon the bank and then walk upright and do Calculus.

    Were these accidents? To believe so requires a remarkable leap of faith, only it is no a leap of Christian faith.

  53. burnsie13

    Two more points:

    Entropy and the so called Big Bang are at philosophical odds. Entropy suggests that nature will find its own level or natural state. A cultivated field, for example, will one day become a young forest, if left fallow because seeds of trees will blow in the wind and will find soil.The land will return to the existing natural state it was before man took dominion of it. For example, grass and weeds will invade cracks in concrete if city workers don’t employ Roundup or elbow grease… nature’s natural state is replenishment of the species. All plant and animal life exists to propagate the species.

    Well, if everything here was the result of a giant explosion that was not intended or guided, then the energy from the explosion would dissipate as with every other explosion. How then could every living species, plant and animal, have in its DNA the unstoppable drive to continue the species? Entropy and Big Bang are incompatible.

    Point 2… since we are exploring theoretical physics and astrophysics, why is it that water is the only known substance to become less dense as a solid? We’ve found ice on Mars… evidence that life may have existed there some time in the past? It might lead to support for the theory that one universe led to another and another and so on.

    Here on this rock, water becomes less dense as it becomes a solid, thus enabling ice to float. The evolutionists advocate that mammalian life evolved from aquatic. Well, is this an accident or a design? The only substance to defy the laws of physics on Earth gave us the origin of life. Maybe if ice was more dense, it would sink and the ponds where the first mud creature of evolution first crawled out of the primordial ooze to gasp its first amphibious breath of oxygen might have died in a frozen mass at the bottom of the pond, which turned to solid ice with the sinking and subsequent freezing of layer upon layer of ice. The floating ice allowed the abundance of life under the surface of the water to prevail, and thus one day crawl upon the bank and then walk upright and do Calculus.

    Were these accidents? To believe so requires a remarkable leap of faith, only it is no a leap of Christian faith.

  54. Sam Nesvoy

    Basilbeard wrote: “…But doesn’t such an assumption reduce time and the universe(s) to an infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of type writers. If this process has been going on forever, there have been an infinite number of universes which have come before this one… In other words, we are living out some recycled universe plot line that has already been played out trillions of years ago in some long forgotten universe…”

    Suppose that from t equals minus infinity till now all those infinite monkeys have been using Roman-alphabet typewriters. So we haven’t yet seen “War and Peace” in the original correctly spelled Russian (even over that infinite time span). Now let’s give the monkeys Unicode typewriters. We’ll eventually get “War and Peace,” but we’ll still be missing something. We’d probably need a lot more monkeys (and maybe bigger typewriters, too) to write the descriptions of all possible universes. More than aleph-null monkeys, I’ll bet. Maybe alpeh-one? (I have trouble even conceiving of that many monkeys!)

  55. Qd

    burnsie13 : I think if you consider the big bang as an ‘inflation’, like a balloon, rather than an explosion, the big bang makes more sense. The big bang is not supposed to work like a typical explosion, like the way we see with say: a stick of dynamite.

    I like to think of it more like a ball of compressed water (total energy), in a balloon (compressed space-time) and suddenly the balloon is allowed to expand (inflation of space time) . As the ballon expands the water rushing out with it forms whirlpools and mini currents ( galaxies ), etc.

    It’s a very rough analogy but because the realease of energy is contained within the balloon, its not effective to compare it to an explosion with no barriers, where by all the energy is scattered out away from the source, with no force to contain it. The explosions we are familiar with, are not meant to be applied to the big bang descriptively, as far as I understand.

    One point I’d like to make is that the explosion of a star and the new stars that form from the nebulae are an example of something being created from the entropic forces in its enviorment. Gravity and such wanting to put it back to its natural state, which just happens to make a star and planets in process.

    I don’t think entropy and the big bang are at odds at all.

  56. C Scott

    Einstein, one of the greatest scientific minds of our generation, acknowledged the existance of God.

    For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools

  57. slang

    Daffy wrote: “I recall that James Blish used this exact scenario (Big Bounce…although he didn’t use that term) at the end of his Cities in Flight series;”

    Those are great books, at least when read with an understanding of the scientific knowledge at the time of writing. Very entertaining, great stories, no matter how idiotic the idea of flying cities is :)

    burnsie13, the argument about the 2nd law of thermodynamics is getting really, really, really old. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/thermo/probability.html

    C Scott: “It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly.” — Albert Einstein

    Einstein did allow for a creator that did his work when creating the universe and then “stepped back”. Of course if he doesn’t influence the universe anymore, what’s the use of prayer? Always be careful when trying to use the words of greater minds than yours.

  58. I see a quote from Romans 1:21-22, I would also add Psalm 19:1

    “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands”

    Anyhue back to this idea of a previous universe and a big bounce.

    I have heard this idea before

    My problem is that for the bounce to have occured, their needed to be a big crunch which only takes place in a closed system. With the present universe we are in, the observations point to an open system with the end predicted to be the Big Chill. Why would another prior universe be different?

    Also with regard to the fine tuning argument Phil mentions, it seems he may have forgotten the conclusions of the Anthropic Cosmological Principal which had fine tuning a plenty, but was devised by atheists Christians may have used it, but it was not devised by them. I tend to think it has more weight than that theological dead end known as Intelligent Design.

  59. John Waterman

    Such foolishness…everyone knows that the universe was created when God Sneezed.

  60. And we all fear the coming of the great white hankerchief…

  61. Graham Douglas

    C Scott:
    “Einstein, one of the greatest scientific minds of our generation, acknowledged the existance of God.”

    Not in the sense you’re implying, he didn’t. Einstein most definitely did not believe in a personal, interfering god. Einstein’s god was more a shorthand for “the totality of the universe”. It probably wasn’t even as well-defined as the god of the deists.

    And that doesn’t even address the argument from misplaced authority in that post…

  62. Morgan

    For all the people posting to criticise Phil for attacking god and religion: read the last paragraphs again. Nowhere does he claim that this discovery/theory disproves god. Rather, the idea of an indefinite sequence of universes each differing from the other fundamentally undermines one particular argument for god. That’s all.

  63. Just Al

    burnsie13 said: So we’ve concluded that science alone cannot resolve the Big Bang. Once Again. Thank you. The point is proven that Big Bang and Evolution require just as much “faith” as creation.

    Oh, look, the religious are coming to try out their newfound arguments.

    I’m not sure what blog you’re reading, but the one I’m reading says we may have just made a major step forward in our understanding of the expansion of the universe, and it was done with science. Moreover, no faith is involved, since the math and physics are there for anyone to test out. And, quite apparently, they have. That’s not faith, in any definition of the word – it’s exactly the opposite. Sorry, strike one, you can’t make your point by playing semantic games.

    I love the shots you take at so called creationists. Einstein and Newton both believed in a creator. Interestingly, so did Darwin. Newton thought God must be a mathematician. Darwin didn’t set out to discredit God. He just proved that life is way more complex than the simple teachings of Judaeo/Christian antiquity had professed for centuries.

    This in no way changes the science that all of them accomplished, any more than their race or their breakfast cereal does. What’s your point?

    The existence of mutation alone proves that life cannot be a random and natural process. Pure science is the replication of an experiment and a conclusion with the same results. Well, evolution deviates from pure scientific replication of results.

    Um, no. Science is about discovering the nature of our universe – the quest for knowledge. Replication is the path to ensure that the processes used were not done incorrectly, and that the conclusions are valid (insofar as limitations of measurement go – Newton, for instance, had the right ideas, but not the tools to measure as accurately as we do now).

    Mutation is not a scientific experiment – it is a natural process. It is not governed by the constraints we humans have created to monitor scientific accuracy. Get it? One is simply nature, the other is a process man created. There’s no reason to expect them to be similar in any way.

    But you raise a good point – what purpose would mutation serve in a created/designed organism?

    And again, you also blow the science – the mutations do indeed replicate, and that’s a major factor in evolution.

    1X10 to the 21st power VS 1 provides us the mathematical probability of a single strand of DNA spontaneously forming from elemental compounds. Why is it so difficult for modern “scientists” to acknowledge what Thomas Aquinas did centuries ago: “The Lord hath made foolish the wisdom of man.”

    It wouldn’t be a creationist argument without some meaningless statistic thrown in. Where, pray tell, did you derive this number from? And since we do not (yet) know how life began on this planet, what makes you think you could calculate the process with the slightest degree of accuracy?

    And finally, probabilities such as this fail (in a huge way) in that they are attempting to express the single chance of a completed protein strand simply popping into existence, whereas science tells us that such a thing would be a process that built up over time. And bear in mind, calculating a probability also needs to take into account the conditions where it can occur. While there may be a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of something happening, if it involves something like water molecules in the ocean, there’s a very good chance it is actually happening millions of times among the billions of water molecules.

    Your writing is very strong. Your theories, and those of the minds you follow, are excellent. None of it, however, proves or disproves the existence of a higher power or designer or whatever the progressives today wish to use as a term to denigrate those who believe in a Creator.

    Nobody said it did – you need to work on your reading comprehension. What was said is that it contradicts the stories the creationists insist are “factual,” and for which no evidence exists. Whether there is a creator or not remains to be seen, but no one has yet offered even the slightest proof of such an existence. Science has, however, repeatedly demonstrated that its alternate explanations consistently stand up to examination, and moreover, corroborate each other.

    I don’t see why science and religion need to be at war anyway.

    Talk to your preacher/pastor/rabbi/whoever.

    It is as if atheists need to justify their position with science so that they can label the rest of the 99% of the world as crazy. The vast majority of science-minded people are believers. They are just simply the silent majority behind the vociferous atheistic minority.

    And your source for these numbers?

    This trend of the vocal few dictating the arena, laying field, and rules for science and debate in modern politics is frightening.

    Hmmm, let’s see. We can guide ourselves, our laws, and our research, in terms of facts, or in terms of cute little stories.

    The facts continue to lead to good knowledge and advances in our understanding of the world, advances in medicine, more lives saved, better living and working conditions, more efficient practices, and on and on and on. And remember what you’re reading this on.

    The cute stories have provided… hang on, I’ll find something beneficial in a minute… ummmm…

    Nope, sorry, all I can find is suppression of science, rampant exploitation, power-hungry religious leaders, a few crusades, a few thousand witch hunts, some pogroms… in short, a whole lot of utter sh*t in the name of some beneficial leader.

    Golly, this looks like a hard decision to make!

    93% of America espouses traditional religious Judaeo/Christian beliefs. Why are there so many from extreme minority who try to wag the dog?

    Because that’s a really remarkable and embarrassing level of stupidity. You should probably try to understand, high numbers do not indicate correctness. Or you can simply spread your statistical base outside the states and watch the numbers fall.

    Or you could also try to reconcile that those very numbers you quote, of “Judaeo[sic]/Christian beliefs,” don’t agree amongst themselves on the “traditions” you think are so important. And they’re all using the same source of information. Go figure. Or let us know when you guys have figured out what the “correct” cute little story is. Think you can do it within another three thousand years?

    Two more points:

    Are they going to be worthwhile ones?

    Entropy and the so called Big Bang are at philosophical odds. Entropy suggests that nature will find its own level or natural state. A cultivated field, for example, will one day become a young forest, if left fallow because seeds of trees will blow in the wind and will find soil.The land will return to the existing natural state it was before man took dominion of it. For example, grass and weeds will invade cracks in concrete if city workers don’t employ Roundup or elbow grease… nature’s natural state is replenishment of the species. All plant and animal life exists to propagate the species.

    Well, if everything here was the result of a giant explosion that was not intended or guided, then the energy from the explosion would dissipate as with every other explosion. How then could every living species, plant and animal, have in its DNA the unstoppable drive to continue the species? Entropy and Big Bang are incompatible.

    [Sigh] Guess not. Okay, here’s a tip: If you’re going to try and argue the logic behind some aspect of science, it would be really, really non-absolutely-idiotic of you to actually read up on the aspect of science first. That way, you won’t get your ass handed to you like this:

    “Big Bang” is just a colloquial term, and does not refer to an actual explosion. Nevertheless, what you fail to realize that, if you really want to use it like an explosion, we are inside the fireball. All energy, every last bit of it that we see throughout the universe, is the energy that you claim is “dissipating.”

    Meanwhile, entropy means a state of equilibrium, no avenue for energy exchange because all points within the system have equal levels of energy. This does not have to happen immediately, nor in a straight line manner, and in a place the size of the universe with the energy levels it has, it’s gonna take a long time. Those plants and weeds you refer to are, little by little, doing their part to balance out the energy from our sun, which will eventually flare off and die out, and those plants with it. That’s entropy.

    Point 2… since we are exploring theoretical physics and astrophysics, why is it that water is the only known substance to become less dense as a solid? We’ve found ice on Mars… evidence that life may have existed there some time in the past? It might lead to support for the theory that one universe led to another and another and so on.

    Here on this rock, water becomes less dense as it becomes a solid, thus enabling ice to float. The evolutionists advocate that mammalian life evolved from aquatic. Well, is this an accident or a design? The only substance to defy the laws of physics on Earth gave us the origin of life. Maybe if ice was more dense, it would sink and the ponds where the first mud creature of evolution first crawled out of the primordial ooze to gasp its first amphibious breath of oxygen might have died in a frozen mass at the bottom of the pond, which turned to solid ice with the sinking and subsequent freezing of layer upon layer of ice. The floating ice allowed the abundance of life under the surface of the water to prevail, and thus one day crawl upon the bank and then walk upright and do Calculus.

    Owww, my brain! Stop it! You’re making me want to kill your high school teachers!

    All right, deep breath here, we can get through this. First off, water is not the only substance that expands when it solidifies, oh heck, let’s use the proper term, “crystallizes.” Bismuth, gallium, germanium, and antimony also do it, so no, it is not the only substance to “defy the laws of physics,” and in fact, defies no such laws in the slightest. Second, water does this because of its simple chemical nature – the hydrogen atoms in separate molecules bond to each other, which causes them to stand off a bit, like allowing triangles to touch only on their points – they take up more space than if you slotted them together side-by-side. And, of course, this is also what’s responsible for the hexagonal snow crystals we know.

    Inferring design from this completely and utterly ignores the fact that countless other substances in the universe have no such properties, and are in fact hostile to life. Why so much designed that is utterly worthless to some magic sky pony’s plan? See what you get when you ask questions other than those dictated by your mindset?

    Of course life will evolve only where it has the conditions to do so. That’s really a “DUH!” thing. What else would you expect? But you know something? For something supposedly designed for us, we can use only a very tiny fraction of it. We can’t live in that wonderful water ourselves, we can’t go too high up the mountains, we can’t cope with the cold of the poles, we can’t go underground, we can’t even fly through the atmosphere.

    What a gyp! If it wasn’t for science, we’d go absolutely nowhere ;-)

    Were these accidents? To believe so requires a remarkable leap of faith, only it is no a leap of Christian faith.

    And yet, every last thing that we have discovered about ourselves, and our planet, and our universe, all indicate that this is indeed so. No faith required – you can even do the experiments yourself! And you might realize this if you took the time to actually read up on some of the stuff you’re trying to argue.

    Now, let me propose an experiment for you: Find out if I’m actually right or not. Call my bluff, if you will, and go seek out the science (and the definitions) yourself. Discover for yourself, if you have the guts, who, exactly, has been lying to you, and who you shouldn’t be placing your faith within.

  64. Crux Australis

    Just Al, bravo bravo!!

  65. bassmanpete

    To burnsie13

    I love the shots you take at so called creationists. Einstein and Newton both believed in a creator. Interestingly, so did Darwin.

    Newton, yes; Einstein, no. Darwin was originally a religious believer but later came to renounce The Bible, God, and the Christian faith.

    The vast majority of science-minded people are believers.

    Not so. I could give you some references, but you made the claim so go & do your own research :)

    To Qd

    I would say that the ridicule is directed against Young Earth Creationists rather than religion in general (although my own belief is that religion is superstitious nonsense.) The YECs seem to have a specific anti-science agenda that involves the setting up of a theocracy that would mean everyone ‘believes’ or else! I have no problem with individuals having their personal spiritual beliefs, but when someone else says, in effect, “This is what you should believe”, I think it’s time to run away from them as fast as possible :)

    Getting back on topic, I always had faith (humour intended) that someone would find a way to describe conditions at T=0 and beyond. However, I still think that the next Einstein is still to appear – hopefully in my lifetime but maybe not in this century.

  66. bassmanpete

    Just Al, after entering my meagre response I discovered that your much more substantial one had been posted. I second Crux Australis’ bravo, bravo with a hear, hear!

  67. Grand Lunar

    Fascinating article, Phil.
    I heard of this Brane Theory in Martin Rees’s book, “Before the Beginning”. I believe he dubbed the situation the “multiverse”.
    Such a theory certainly may solve some problems with our understanding of our universe’s origins. Of course, new problems may arise, but that’s the beauty of science: figuring out new problems!

  68. Basilbeard

    Sam Nesvoy wrote: “Basilbeard wrote: “…But doesn’t such an assumption reduce time and the universe(s) to an infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of type writers. If this process has been going on forever, there have been an infinite number of universes which have come before this one… In other words, we are living out some recycled universe plot line that has already been played out trillions of years ago in some long forgotten universe…”

    Suppose that from t equals minus infinity till now all those infinite monkeys have been using Roman-alphabet typewriters. So we haven’t yet seen “War and Peace” in the original correctly spelled Russian (even over that infinite time span). Now let’s give the monkeys Unicode typewriters. We’ll eventually get “War and Peace,” but we’ll still be missing something. We’d probably need a lot more monkeys (and maybe bigger typewriters, too) to write the descriptions of all possible universes. More than aleph-null monkeys, I’ll bet. Maybe alpeh-one? (I have trouble even conceiving of that many monkeys!)”

    More monkeys, yes, an degree of infinite number of more monkeys, no. The universe is made up of a countably finite number of particles, each of which can be expressed in a countably finite way, right? And as the length in time of each universe is finite, the complete history of a universe can be expressed in finite length(because finite * finite = finite). It will be a much more massive length than “War and Peace”, but infinite > really big and so the monkeys will eventually pound it out.

  69. slang

    C Scott Says: “Einstein, one of the greatest scientific minds of our generation [...]”

    I congratulate you on staying up to speed with modern technology, and using the computer, internet and blogs. The few people of your generation that I know mostly just stare out of the window.

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  71. Good article. :)
    I have some thoughts about this.

    You discuss the physical constants being changed in each universe between every “bounce”. The “bounces” would, however, require at least some constants being common for every universe.
    What if, in one of the universes, the gravity was negative? Every particle would drift away from every other particle, never being able to form a singularity again.

    Another thing the universes would need to have in common is that space need to be formed, else there would be no “bounces”.

    Third, the gravity must be large enough to stop and retract all mass and energy pushed out from the initial singularity.

    Another thought about this: if assuming several parallel universes and “bounces”, I would also assume that mass and energy could be transferred between universes.

  72. You really should take a look at Alexander Mayer’s fellowship research that has turned the astronomy and physics world upside-down. There was no big bang, there is no “inflation,” dark matter or energy and this has been known for years… but Mr Mayer’s discussions reveal the pure physics understanding of why science has been wrong for so long. Spacetime must be solved with geometry, not algebra!

  73. Excellent post! Space really is amazing to think about!

  74. OtherRob

    “But if you get enough Universes, and the constants change in each one, then eventually one will get the mix right. Stars will last for billions of years, planets can form, life can evolve, and on one blue green ball of dust, chemicals can get complicated enough that they could look inside themselves, understand what they see, and marvel at the very fact of their own existence.

    And maybe, just maybe, they can also figure out how it all came to be. This isn’t fantasy, folks, it’s science. It’s how things work.”

    Best part of a fascinating article. Even if such things do make my brain hurt…. :-)

  75. I once read somewhere that Before the Beginning, there were “Quantum Geometry Networks.” Perhaps someone can explain this in layman’s terms.

  76. Big Bang Fuel Discovered & Demonstrated
    Charles Sven
    cjsven@allnewuniverse.com
    The question of what fueled the Big Bang can now be
    answered with the latest scientific findings, delineating the
    life of the atom’s ageless proton heart in a synthesis
    employing photons, the speed of light, energy, and
    Einstein’s Ether that fills the Arena of Space prior to the
    Big Bang.

    Introduction

    Theories abound; technology lags; time drags. Then the reverse
    takes place. Today, our ingenuity propels technology at such a
    hectic pace that many great discoveries are uncovered faster than
    anyone can evaluate with the result that the relationship between
    one finding and another can be easily obscured including old
    theories that could be now answered.

    In this paper we will examine some new findings as well as
    some old concepts and marry them here.

    New technological findings

    Super-Kamiokande is a joint Japan-US collaboration that
    constructed the world’s largest underground neutrino observatory
    for the grand purpose to study our proton’s life with a finding
    that the proton’s age is basically beyond measure – ageless.

    Second: As nuclear bombs and many physics experiments
    show, turning matter into light, heat, and other forms of energy is
    nothing new. Now a team of physicists has demonstrated the
    inverse process–turning light into matter. In the September 1,
    1997 Physical Review Letters, the team describes how they
    collided large crowds of photons together so violently that the
    interactions spawned particles of matter.
    Physicists have long known that this kind of conjuring act is
    possible, but they have never observed it directly till now.

    Old theories

    ETHER and the Theory of Relativity
    An address delivered by Einstein 5/5/1920 at University of
    Leyden.

    “Recapitulating, we may say that according to the general
    theory of relativity SPACE is endowed with physical qualities; in
    this sense, therefore, there exists an ether. According to the
    general theory of relativity SPACE without ether is unthinkable;
    for in such space there … would be no propagation of light, …”

    Demonstration

    Strike a match – ageless atoms push
    light/photons going off in all directions.

    Where is the atom’s power coming from?
    No fourteen billion year old batteries found.

    Source of power must be external to atom – like a wild current
    flowing in a giant, super-cooled super-high frequency, circuit in
    the vastness of Space. [The huge Arena of Space prior to the Big
    Bang with a frequency beyond current technology’s detection.]

    This same great energy source then can easily supply the power
    needed for the Big Bang.

    Synthesis

    Ageless atom’s electron requirements, used to drive
    light/photons without batteries, must be supplied from a huge,
    external, super-cooled source that could exist 14 billion years
    without degradation. Extrapolating one atom’s requirement to all
    the atoms in our Universe – if our Universe was the size of a drop
    of water, we would require an ocean of energy-filled space to
    fuel all our atoms.

    Conclusion

    This huge ocean of energy that drives our atoms has more than enough
    power to fuel the Big Bang Explosion IN energy-filled SPACE.

    Application

    This study greatly supports my paper the Corrected Big Bang
    Model presented here at the 12th Annual NPA Conference in
    May, 2005; that describes a Big Bang Explosion IN energy-filled
    SPACE.

    Respectfully,
    Charles Sven
    cjsven@allnewuniverse.com

  77. Big Bang Fuel Discovered & Demonstrated
    Charles Sven
    cjsven@allnewuniverse.com
    The question of what fueled the Big Bang can now be
    answered with the latest scientific findings, delineating the
    life of the atom’s ageless proton heart in a synthesis
    employing photons, the speed of light, energy, and
    Einstein’s Ether that fills the Arena of Space prior to the
    Big Bang.

    Introduction

    Theories abound; technology lags; time drags. Then the reverse
    takes place. Today, our ingenuity propels technology at such a
    hectic pace that many great discoveries are uncovered faster than
    anyone can evaluate with the result that the relationship between
    one finding and another can be easily obscured including old
    theories that could be now answered.

    In this paper we will examine some new findings as well as
    some old concepts and marry them here.

    New technological findings

    Super-Kamiokande is a joint Japan-US collaboration that
    constructed the world’s largest underground neutrino observatory
    for the grand purpose to study our proton’s life with a finding
    that the proton’s age is basically beyond measure – ageless.

    Second: As nuclear bombs and many physics experiments
    show, turning matter into light, heat, and other forms of energy is
    nothing new. Now a team of physicists has demonstrated the
    inverse process–turning light into matter. In the September 1,
    1997 Physical Review Letters, the team describes how they
    collided large crowds of photons together so violently that the
    interactions spawned particles of matter.
    Physicists have long known that this kind of conjuring act is
    possible, but they have never observed it directly till now.

    Old theories

    ETHER and the Theory of Relativity
    An address delivered by Einstein 5/5/1920 at University of
    Leyden.

    “Recapitulating, we may say that according to the general
    theory of relativity SPACE is endowed with physical qualities; in
    this sense, therefore, there exists an ether. According to the
    general theory of relativity SPACE without ether is unthinkable;
    for in such space there … would be no propagation of light, …”

    Demonstration

    Strike a match – ageless atoms push
    light/photons going off in all directions.

    Where is the atom’s power coming from?
    No fourteen billion year old batteries found.

    Source of power must be external to atom – like a wild current
    flowing in a giant, super-cooled super-high frequency, circuit in
    the vastness of Space. [The huge Arena of Space prior to the Big
    Bang with a frequency beyond current technology’s detection.]

    This same great energy source then can easily supply the power
    needed for the Big Bang.

    Synthesis

    Ageless atom’s electron requirements, used to drive
    light/photons without batteries, must be supplied from a huge,
    external, super-cooled source that could exist 14 billion years
    without degradation. Extrapolating one atom’s requirement to all
    the atoms in our Universe – if our Universe was the size of a drop
    of water, we would require an ocean of energy-filled space to
    fuel all our atoms.

    Conclusion

    This huge ocean of energy that drives our atoms has more than enough
    power to fuel the Big Bang Explosion IN energy-filled SPACE.

    Application

    This study greatly supports my paper the Corrected Big Bang
    Model presented here at the 12th Annual NPA Conference in
    May, 2005; that describes a Big Bang Explosion IN energy-filled
    SPACE.

    Respectfully,
    Charles Sven

  78. CarrieP

    First, there may not be black holes. Now, we might be able to determine what happened before the big bang.

    I can’t quite grasp what’s being said here, but it’s fascinating nonetheless.

    Astrophysics hurts, but it hurts so good…

  79. Fred DiMarco

    Simplify, simplify, simplify! God was bored, put Him/Her self into a singularity, popped the big bang. We’re all part of it and will live forever within this wonderous realm we call The Universe!

  80. GK

    Absolutely fascinating. And the majority of the comments were enlightening as well.

  81. John

    It’s too bad your main motivation of these articles are to attempt to disprove religion. It really lowers your credibility.

  82. eewolf

    John,
    What evidence do you have that the BA’s main motivation is to disprove religion? I read the articles here and I don’t reach that conclusion.
    Perhaps the problem is not with the BA at all if you are this defensive about religion.

    BA,
    Great article and a fascinating topic.

  83. Shalamar

    He’s not ‘disproving religion’. Phil is disproving the ‘pseudo-science’ of creationists, which has been proven again, and again to be wrong.

  84. Troy

    Too bad there are so many comments about religion. Of course where science is still hazy religion and its rose colored glasses still function.

    Really this is an amazing triumph of the human mind. Nothing was said about string theory but ‘loop’ as well as the fact string theory is the only(?) success so far in combining quantum mechanics and general relativity is there a bit of string theory in there?

  85. Jaime

    The Cosmic egg that, for some unexplainable reason, began expanding already contained all the “stuff” required to make our universe.

    Where did the egg come from?
    What is the first uncaused cause?
    Is the “stuff” that makes the universe eternal?
    Does science really teaches that out of nothing something comes?

    Nothing new here, move along.

  86. Irishman

    The idea of the rebounding universe is not what is new here. That has been proposed and discussed for a long time. What is new is the mathematics in place to support the notion.

    Phil, is it time for that disclaimer about what you mean by “Creationist” yet?

  87. Gary Ansorge

    Topologists like to point out that an infinitely tall mountain and an infinitely deep hole are topologically the same. What you call it merely depends on your “point of view”.
    I wonder if the space/time inflation we are witnessing is “merely” the eventual collapse of this space/time? So we’re actually living in a collapsing space/time while the evidence for expansion is prehistoric.

    A truism in physics states that “anything not forbidden(by natural law) is mandatory”,,,and if you wait long enough, nothing is forbidden”. Thus the existence of a god is merely a question of definition. Of course, once it has been defined, it can be tested,,,

    God,,,is a moth,,,fluttering about my ear,,,waiting for me to hear,,,

    Gary 7

  88. n0_j0

    Qd:

    If you haven’t ready Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion”, please do. He makes some arguments for why even more mainstream religion is not something that should be respected, supported, put up with, etc.

  89. Paulo

    Hum… and where/how does all universes come into existence?

    What does support the universe?

    Or, what does support the “space” where our brane-world exists?

    How does stuff exists? The science will never be able to answer that :(

    Cells in a complex game of life don’t know, and can’t know that universe exists in a computer…..

  90. Gareth Martin

    Is it just me or does the idea of a long series of universes where everything changes for each one sound a lot like a computer performing artificial evolution?

    I mean, for an infinite series of universes an “ever-expanding” universe would have to be impossible. OR, something would have to notice that everything had gone dead and restart with a new universe.

    Of course, this could upset both the scientists and the creationists because it implies “god” exists, but also can’t visit us (or doesn’t even know about us).

  91. Fred

    It’s been my personal opinion that our universe follows a cyclical existence for years. I’m glad that this is being proved. The one thing that we see repeated over and over is a cycle, birth to death, day to night, etc. etc. This principle should hold true from the smallest example (atom with electrons in orbit) all the way up to the largest known (the Big Bounce). we’re in repetition perpetually, always chasing our tails. You could even surmise that we may just be a memory in and of ourselves, playing over and over. We would, of course, only conceive of the current time line we live in, so we could never know that this is the case, but it follows the cyclic principle. It also seems like our cycle is a resonance of some sort, with highs and lows expressed in growth and deterioration and then starting over again. We could be an expression of the quantum state of a single electron around a much larger atom (if you will) just rotating, expressing this rotation in the time dimension. One thing is for sure, though. It will all start over and occur again at some point.

  92. Does GOD exist?

    Maybe just maybe you’ll have a change of heart like Darwin did.

    There is science in anything you wish to believe, but how can you fathom a universe that created itself. After all, we were created in God’s image and we as his children are creationists.

    With cloning we can even create life as he did

  93. Fred

    Ok, Does GOD Exist,

    Creation is something that happens at a point in time, and on a larger scale, you have to remove time from your thoughts. Time is no more than a human way to understand where we currently are, and were in this cycle. It will start over, and conceivably you will ask the same question at the same point next time around, but who knows? The point is, there is no beginning and no end in a circle, and that is what we are dealing with here. A cycle with no beginning and no end. There was no creation point. You cannot get something from nothing, because God has to have energy of some sort, and he didn’t just show up without warning. No spontaneous miracles here. Everything comes from something.

  94. Fred

    And to finish my thought on God, god is a label for that which humans don’t understand. Bottom line is there was no creation because there was no starting point to begin with.

  95. Eddie

    “But now we see another answer to the creationists: maybe this isn’t the only Universe”

    An idea – no matter how mathematically sophisticated – is not an argument against anything. The creationists can only be answered with evidence.

  96. Mark

    The idea of an indefinite amount of expanding collapsing universes over time does not help our scientific inquiry, unfortunately. We have simply moved the problem from one in which we hope to find out “how the universe began” to the theory that we cannot find out how the universe begin since the “true beginning” is hidden behind who knows how many later “beginnings.” It sounds much less likely that the question of “how did the universe begin” (the first time) can be answered than ever before.

  97. Jaime

    “With cloning we can even create life as he did”

    mhmmm. Sorry, but the “stuff” you need to “create” the life you mention already exists. Can’t you start a bit earlier than that, for example, start at the point of nothing? See if you can get nsomething out of nothing.

  98. Michael

    Good article right up to the sticking it to the creationists part. I am not a creationist but for pete’s sake can’t we just ignore them and write something good and meaningful. Now this whole article is just troll bait.

    Have you ever thought about just ignoring them?? Science will prove itself.

  99. KNASA

    NASA already figured that out. Quit building up Penn State. This story shouldn’t exist.

  100. Morticia

    Two words.

    Lava lamp.

  101. Michael

    1. Is what happened before the big bang the same thing that happens when black holes collapse and disappear? Are the two related? Is our universe (the big bang) the end result of a blackhole?

    2. Can’t we conceive a value less than zero as “the impossibility of value”. Isn’t our current concept of zero presumptuous of possiblity?

  102. Genesius

    @Does GOD Exist?
    “Maybe just maybe you’ll have a change of heart like Darwin did. ”

    Maybe, just maybe you believers will get the message that the story of Darwin’s conversion is a proven hoax.

  103. justsomeidiot

    Is this a stupid question:

    What if the container holding the universe is just a really big donut shape with a very tiny hole (in cosmic terms) such that as matter expands outward as the result of the last “big bang”, it continues outward until it curls back in on itself one day to all come together again into the cosmic donut hole, where it then must burst forth again in a new big bang?

    Doesn’t that explain it all?

    And wouldn’t that mean that Homer Simpson is in fact … God?

  104. luis galup

    what i dont understand is the following assumption: just because you have a consistent mathematical framework, that reality has to obey it!

    this is, essentially, equivalent to a religious belief, albeit with the blessing of a logical framework to lend authority.

    as a mathematician, i can tell you that it is VERY easy to come up with seemingly logical frameworks that are devoid of ‘meaning’ (or ‘truth-value’) in the sense of correspondence with anything in our reality. as such, i have no expectation that ANY mathematical framework has any ‘truth value’ guaranteed by its consistency.

  105. Chris

    Heh–kind of funny that in all of this, I’ve only seen one comment that shares my view on the whole ‘expansion’ thing–that what it *really* going on is that we’ve already passed the balance point into the collapse, and we’re just watching it backwards (unfortunately, since all of our own perceptions *and* our instruments are designed for this reversed mode, there’s no real way to test or prove this).

    And something I haven’t seen anyone say about the Million Monkeys aspect of this–all of the ones that have commented seem to think that we’re the *only* run-through that got enough right to generate life (or more accurately, *our* kind of life. All the ideas that have been come up with over the years for life forms with other chemical bases and life cycles on other worlds are equally applicable to the idea of a cyclic universe.)

    A truly disturbing thought comes to mind on the subject of creationism, or any other similar ‘Intelligent Design’ theory that attributes the state of our universe to some external third party–basically, what they’re saying is that we’re in the Sims, as seen from inside. ;-)

    Meanwhile, someone (I don’t feel like scrolling back up to find the name) mentioned that the Big Bounce idea requires an even rate of collapse–that makes me wonder about the ‘critical mass’ as it were that triggers the cycle…and if maybe there actually is some ‘leftover’ material out there from a previous cycle, with different ‘laws’ than the versions we got–might explain some of the really weird stuff.

  106. simon

    Great article about the theorie and it’s of course always nice stick it to the creationists once again :-p

  107. lowbelly

    not fantasy? ha! I’d say the Lord of the Rings trilogy is more likely to be factual than this junk. …and somehow it’s supposed to be an answer to creationists? You do realize that the precarious balance of factors required to allow life is an argument creationists use, right? So if it’s even possible that electrons could exist with a different charge, it would be an opening for a creationist to say ‘God knew and made it with a -1′. Furthermore, you’ve lost your only accepted creation theory. By allowing for T

  108. lowbelly

    …By allowing for T

  109. contrarian

    Dear Just Al,
    You are the one playing semantic games, puffing up minor points, downplaying major ones, ignoring essentials and seeking to overawe your thoughtful opposition with posturing and sneering. Your bombastic nitpicking comes across as merely obsessional. To respond point-by-point is even more obsessional, and you don’t even wait for a point to be made before responding. To the extent that less talented clods cheer you on as their champion I suppose you have succeeded, if you call that success. It must be lonely at the top, if you call that the top.
    You have certainly read a different blog than us non-obsessed. Every single old-universe ‘creationist’ concept is as perfectly borne out from the fifteen-twenty billion year expansion from an ‘ultradense, ultrahot little ball of space and time…so small and so dense that bizarre quantum laws took effect — things like the Uncertainty Principle”, as from a unique Bang. The practical difference to our science is inconsequential, other than to attempt to trump your juvenile comprehension of Biblical text. In classic Jewish thought, there were indeed prior creations to this one, and the Hebrew word for ‘beginning’ used in the creation narrative is in the form of ‘In the beginning of…’, which qualifies it to our known existence. None of which is theologically important to anyone but specialists, not to schoolchildren, not to anyone with a practical interest in what to do today.
    I love the way you have the protein strand thing all figure out, while all of the king’s horses and all the king’s men, using all the king’s labs and all the king’s books have yet to produce a working protein strand. If it helps you to conceptualize without one of your migraines, call it a nuclear submarine, which is less complex in design than an amoeba. And if and when some genetic pollutant of a virus from hell or a poor dysfunctional Dolly (oops, duh, forgot the eye of newt there) of an amoeba is ever produced, it will be a crippled hack of existing life and not an actual act of creativity, let alone creation. And to avoid your anticipated caffeinated response, the same will hold true even if a perfect human clone is ever produced. Newton and Darwin and Einstein were smart enough to get that their work was but broken shells plucked off the beach, guys like you are content with picking up used condoms.
    burnsie13 ocmes across as rational and open-minded, not a Luddite to whom Big Science needs to be defended. As stated, theology is no less a search for the truth than science, with the distinction that science is zero-based, and thus limited and blinded both by past knowledge and by the natural universe itself. Note that the larger view encompasses an existence that transcends the natural Universe. At its best ‘Science’ is eternally open-minded, but in practice it is populated by groupies of a mob mentality no less than rock music and soccer. You come across as such a groupie, not as a star. And the creative side of science is an art, not a craft, and as such subjective and not irrefutable as you would have it. And the true artists of science (let’s say Newton, Darwin, Einstein) are considerably more humble than the sh!t-eating wannabees, no offense. Quacks like you kicked Einstein out of Europe, and then made him an assistant instructor at Princeton. To tell the truth, you first poisoned Socrates and persecuted Copernicus “historians of science David Lindberg and Ronald Numbers have written:
    “If Copernicus had any genuine fear of publication, it was the reaction of scientists, not clerics, that worried him. Other churchmen before him — Nicole Oresme (a French bishop) in the fourteenth century and Nicolaus Cusanus (a German cardinal) in the fifteenth — had freely discussed the possible motion of the earth, and there was no reason to suppose that the reappearance of this idea in the sixteenth century would cause a religious stir.” Beyond War and Peace: A Reappraisal of the Encounter between Christianity and Science

    Obviously, science and God are not at war. God is just our name for the holistic reality, (Reality to you) of all and everything. The known, unknown and unknowable, the established and the mystery. The free will bestowed upon humans allows you to dwell in Flatland or the Matrix, but it is pathetic of you to inflict your stenotic worldview upon those still open to beans that your heroes have not yet counted.
    The universe and nature and reality are what they are, with the proviso that with the recognition of God, everything stays the same but our consciousness changes. This is not a competition between penicillin and cute little stories, it is a recognition that penicillin came floating in through a window and landed upon a petri dish. The next dozens of our tweaks and twiggles on the penicillin molecule are orders of magnitude lower than the fact of the molecule itself.
    Et Cetera, Et Cetera, Et Cetera.

  110. Awesome Dude

    Duh, everybody knows that the previous universe collapsed, and that the soul of the last sentient being alive in that universe was absorbed into the “cosmic egg,” so that after the Big Bang, that last soul from the previous universe became Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds.

  111. contrarian

    One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him.

    The scientist walked up to God and said, “God, we’ve decided that we no longer need you. We’re to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don’t you just go on and get lost?”

    God listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the scientist was done talking, God said, “Very well, how about this? Let’s say we have a man-making contest.” To which the scientist replied, “Okay, great!”

    But, God added, “Now, we’re going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.”

    The scientist said, “Sure, no problem” and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.

    God looked at him and said, “No, no, no. You go get your own dirt.”

  112. Dennis McClain-Furmanski

    Some folks talked about demonstrating the expansion of the universe using the time honored spots on the balloon. At least one child being shown those was skeptical at first, and likely for good reason. I was too when I first saw it on (black and white, vacuum tube burning) TV. Imagine it and consider the following.

    When the balloon is inflated the spots do indeed seem to get farther apart. But that’s from the outside, a “privileged” frame of reference, which we’re not allowed to have (or haven’t been until theories such as the referenced one started popping up). From the viewpoint of the balloon, the distance is still exactly the same, using the diameter of the spots (usually said to be representing galaxies) as a metric. The spots themselves expand at the same rate as the distance between them. The little spots within the dots get farther apart, but also get bigger. Taken to the extreme, the very fabric of the balloon/universe is expanding as is everything attached to it. If this were the case, everything we’d use to measure the expansion would show none, as everything was expanding at the same rate, right down to the distance between the little dots within the spot on the balloon (I tried it, they’re there; try it yourself). Take these as smallest thing possible in the balloon universe, the equivalent to the Plank distance, and you start to get the idea.

    Clearly, at least to one kid (myself) and possibly the one mentioned above, the demonstration is goofy. To see the expansion of the universe, we must not be attached to it as the spots are attached to the balloon. We’re staying one size, but the universe isn’t. Cool. So why are we saying we see the universe expanding when we’re seeing the galaxies recede from each other? If they’re not attached to the balloon, which would prevent seeing the expansion, they should appear to stay the same size (they do) as well as staying the same distance from each other because the balloon universe is expanding (or contracting, or not, its behavior would be irrelevant) under it while they slide freely over its surface.

    Now, I’m sure there are much better mathematical treatments which answer the question. I don’t dispute them. I might if I understood the math better, but I don’t. But I do remember and understand the balloon demonstration, and falsified it with a magnifying glass, a pen and a piece of string almost 50 years ago. I’m confident it can all be explained to a 5 year old better than with the balloon. Because, after all, if you can’t explain it to a 5 year old, you don’t know what you’re talking about. (That’s my take on Rutheford’s “If you can’t explain to a bar maid in five minutes what you’re doing, you don’t know what you’re doing.” I like mine better.) Happily, I’ve retained at least part of my 5 year old mind. I use it regularly as a (neuro)scientist. It helps me see through the “obvious” to the logic (or not) beneath, and blurt out that something’s goofy when it is, though as an adult I temper my blurting with lots of words like I have here. So if anyone wants to really explain it to a 5 year old, please feel free, because on behalf of 5 year olds everywhere, I’m listening.

  113. I thought some quotes from Einstein seemed to fit well here.

    “God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.”

    “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.”

    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe.”

    “My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.”

  114. Aaron

    ClandestineEnder: It’s spelled “immense” not “emince”

  115. Cool… so you’re saying that there were aliens in this universe.

    All jokes aside a very interesting article.

  116. Michael

    Come up with a better name for the more extreme religious types who deny much of science without reason because they have a very narrow view of what their religion means. “Creationist” refers to a huge swath of people, most of whom aren’t extremists, and most who consider science, the scientific method, and scientific understanding beneficial to society at large.

    You appear to be insulting everyone who believes in God with your post instead of just those who push their anti-knowledge agenda on you in some way. I suppose it doesn’t really matter though, anyone who has had a personal experience with the divine doesn’t need to be able to replicate it in order to validate their belief to others.

  117. Gil

    Ugh.

    Circular arguments. Appeals to emotion. Appeals to authority. Ad hominem. And, of course, the twee parable for the Sunday School set.

    But no science.

    And the reason [b]contrarian[/b] is bothering to contribute to an astronomy blog would be, apart from spreading ID propaganda, what?

    Big Bang Envy?

  118. Hendrik Ijzerbroot

    Describing something does not imply it is true.
    You have things that are known to us, things that are unknown, (can become known), and there are things that are unknowable.
    Where we come from is in the last realm i think.
    It can be proved with a lot of math that everything in the universe is moving except for you, but if thats true is a quite different matter…

    (Sorry for bad English, i’m a stupid Dutchman)

  119. Chris

    Sigh. The debate between Creationists and Anti-Creationists is becoming tedious. It’s not really a conflict between religion and science — religion and science can avoid stepping on each other’s toes if they want to. The problem is that each of them is pushing an agenda, and if I had to guess who started it I would say religion, which has been around a lot longer and has a much greater history of intolerance (I can’t think of any wars started between differing schools of scientific thought). But as the wise parent says: I don’t care who started it. Just stop.

    Science, you are a tool and a (very useful and interesting) mode of thinking. But you have nothing to say in matters of spirituality or metaphysics (whatever those things may mean). And Religion, you need to accept that science is going to conclude (at least tentatively, and often decisively) that things aren’t necessarily as you would like to believe. You can either adjust your beliefs accordingly or accept that you’re going to be treated like you’re the retarded kid. Don’t expect public school science classes to go out of their way to avoid making you feel that way.

    I was taught about the theory of evolution — in Catholic school, no less! There was some mumbling about something in the Bible regarding how God experienced time in a relative fashion — “even if a day is as a thousand years or a thousand years as a day” (that’s totally not an accurate quote, I’m digging that out of some ancient synapses). No harm, no foul — everyone wins.

    Science, keep thinking and re-thinking. You’re not perfect, but you’ve been doing alright. Religion, keep doing whatever it is that you do (just go easy on the jihad/inquisition-type stuff). Science will probably leave you alone if you stop getting in its way, though if you do actually stumble across God, do share your discovery. Just try not to gloat.

  120. xav0971

    Stop with the god bs will you people. I’m sick and tired of it. The word god is useless and meaningless. It doesn’t explain anything. The “God” idea was born out of ignorance and to help simplify the universe for people that don’t understand or don’t want to understand it. Saying that “God did it” is ignorant, ridiculous and pathetic It’s called “God of the gaps” argument. Science will keep filling in the gaps and religion will keep shrinking until nothing is left; then poof, no more religion. Carl Sagan once said “Extraordinary claims requires extraordinary evidence”. I’d say that “God” is definitely an extraordinary claim so where is the extraordinary evidence? No evidence, no god sorry. “God” is not a requirement for the existance of the universe.

    Nice post Phil. Keep it coming.

    P.S. The universe has no beginning. Its an infinite loop. Get over it

  121. Robert

    WOW great work Phil, captivating reading and a truly interesting article/blog. I have a desire to continue reading this stuff now and always.

    Take a quick trip back to the second last paragraph re-read it and come back here. . . . you back? There it is the truth of matter, truth of us, truth of reality.

    Someone has stumbled on this ability to make universe’s and has a string of them with different characteristics and they’re watching to see the results of each.

    Now this brings us to the need for the mathematics to look forward to the time when mankind as we know it discovers an eye looking in and whether we all rejoice, depict it as a conspiracy theory, or even sweep it under the carpet so the kids don’t find out. Will there be litigation and will the lawyers of the day make truly astronomical amounts of money . . . . . . .

  122. Qd

    HAHA .. Chris, nicely written. It pretty much sums up the entire situation. I was trying to say something along lines earlier, but with far less wit.

    I’d like to agree with an earlier poster also, some sort of disclaimer, somewhere, on what we can all agree on defines a ‘Creationist’ would be handy. I found Google
    not really helping me out here, hehe. So many people have different ideas.

    Wondering also if the Author of the article would like to rebuke some of the comments here and/or clarify a few things, if needs be. I guess its a long thread and it’s gonna take time. ;p Understandable

  123. inaminute

    “(I can’t think of any wars started between differing schools of scientific thought). ”

    Unfortunately, wars are more often than not carried out between people of the same or similar scientific/religious beliefs. See: catholic priests blessing soldiers on both sides of WWI and II as one of many examples. And, science is such a broad encompassing concept that its hard to blame science as a whole for anything. From Biology to physics to social sciences, all are the study of the world or universe around us. And its just as much to blame for the hiroshimas and social disasters that have led to war, as religion has been. Science and Religion are not as opposite or separate concepts as most people like to think.

  124. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    There might have been a string of them, reaching back in time, in meta-time beyond time. In those other Universes, maybe the electron had more charge, and stars couldn’t form.

    Not that I am especially enamored by bounce cosmologies (for the same reason as Carroll) or LQG. But the idea that some, but not most, information survives through a physical singularity (which seems to be what Bojowald will say in the paper) is not new.

    IIRC last year there was an article on model systems that showed of it could work. Um, something with liquid drops where the separation meniscus could be used to recover some of the pre-formation liquid velocity profile, I believe.

    Btw and a smidgen OT, does anyone knows what the deal is with LQG?

    It can’t be made compatible with special relativity and lorentz covariance, as I understand it. (Lorentz contraction to zero area vs the LQG quantized minimum area.) But one of the motivations is just that it should be background independent?!

    I can understand that GR would give in the clash between GR and QM in a QG theory. But that SR disappears is harder to swallow.

    Seems a culture of mathematicians clashes with a culture of physicists to me.

    I don’t know how to make quantizations in QFT’s. But apparently one of the things QFT physicists must check after quantizing a classical, lorentz invariant field is that it is still lorentz invariant because some unphysical solutions turns up. Also, the different quantizing procedures starts with a zero particle, zero energy (nearly) vacuum state, as I understand it.

    The LQG papers I read seem to be insisting that quantizing GR is ‘obviously’ locally lorentz invariant, since GR is. But no checking is done. (Even Wikipedia does that assertion out of the blue, btw; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorentz_invariance_in_loop_quantum_gravity .)

    LQG also seem to employ its own quantization procedure, totally formal and no physical motivation as the ones used for QFT’s. And here there is no zero energy vacuum state to start from, and there is none to end up with. This too isn’t yet crosschecked with physics. Hmm.

    Maybe it is time someone started a “Bad Physics” blog? :-)

  125. Leonardo Motta

    “The problem is, right at that moment, at T=0, our laws of physics… well, they stall out. ”

    Could you please provide a rigorous definition of this statement?

    “You wind up dividing by zero a lot, which causes a lot of headaches. You get things like zero volume and infinite density of matter and energy.”

    The fact that the matter energy density goes to infinity as we approach the singularity at the origin of the universe does not mean at any way that “the laws of physics stall out”. In fact, thermodynamical quantities > to diverge at phase transitions. That is not only experimentally observed but also part of the fundamental theory of thermodynamics of phase transitions. Just because the compressibility goes to infinity at a phase transition does not mean that the laws of physics are violated.

    “but no one has ever successfully combined the two,”

    This is not true. The effective quantum theory of gravity which incorporates GR and QM works nice.

    What is true is that this theory is an effective field theory with a large number of parameters and that could possibly mean that a new description of gravity is needed at energies higher than the Planck mass. (e.g. String Theory)

    ” and they must be combined to understand that First Nanonanonanonanonanosecond.”

    Could you please provide a rigorous reasoning to this statement?

    The universe as a whole is very large, so it’s not obvious how very low-scale quantum gravitational effects would be that important to understand a large-scale structure.

    Quantum gravity is only important when we consider things like the gravitational wave production in the early universe, and perhaps the scattering of gravitons at high energies, but certainly quantum gravity is not very important to understand the geometry of the whole universe, only the specific phase transitions that it undergoes.

    “He is working on a theory called Loop Quantum Gravity, and it combines relativity and quantum mechanics”

    As far as I know the statement that LQG incorporates gravitons lacks a proof. This is only known to be true in String Theory. People can only claim that LQG incorporates gravity.

    “In other words, the math still works, even at The Big Moment.”

    If he has calculated that in LQG, then I would say that there’s hardly any math at all anyway…

    There’s also not a lot of rigorous mathematics in String Theory, or in the Standard Model of Particle Physics. A very good example is the mathematical fact that there is no such thing as a “path integral” (see, e.g. Streater’s home page). Nevertheless we use it extensively and results derived from path integral methods do indeed agree with experiment.

    It’s just a fact that High Energy Theory so far lacks any rigorous mathematical treatment, so I would hardly bother at all with “math not working”. Also, as thermodynamics teach us there is nothing physically wrong with densities going to infinity.

    OK, that’s enough of criticism :p

    Cheers!

  126. Gil

    “And, science is such a broad encompassing concept that its hard to blame science as a whole for anything. From Biology to physics to social sciences, all are the study of the world or universe around us. And its just as much to blame for the hiroshimas and social disasters that have led to war, as religion has been. Science and Religion are not as opposite or separate concepts as most people like to think”.

    LOL. Now it’s the anthropormorphizing of science!?!

  127. Just Al

    Crux Australis and Bassman Pete, thanks! I probably should have been sleeping, but I had more fun this way.

    contrarian, about the best thing I can say to your post is that I hit a nerve, but then again, your post wandered over so much territory it’s really hard to say what your point might have been, other than, “Just Al bad!” Since it would appear that you failed to notice, burnsie13 made several scientific arguments against, yes, science itself, and did so by making some pretty egregiously incorrect statements. I simply treated him with the same arrogance he displayed (pardon me for assuming gender, by the way, and if I’m incorrect, feel free to change it as needed – I simply don’t feel like dancing around pronouns right now).

    It would appear, from my experience, that if you miss addressing something, you get hounded for avoiding the issue, but if you encompass everything stated you get accused of nitpicking. Ah well, so it goes. However, I will continue to feel comfortable in correcting anyone, where and how I can, in their misuse and abuse of scientific principle. And I do note that, in your longer than average post, you did not attempt to address any specific place I was wrong.

    What I find most interesting abut your post is that you want to definitively state that religion is a holistic reality. You may be from a different country than I, and possibly ignorant of the attitudes rampant in the States, though I find that hard to believe (we’re pretty loudmouthed over here). But I can tell you very confidently that a very large portion of the religious people here do not share your view at all – blblical literalcy is the guiding principle, and yes, it is indeed very important to them to hold this against any science, or any other religion or denomination thereof, that states anything differently.

    Let’s see, you accuse me (and others it would appear) of “having it all figured out” – you are welcome, naturally, to indicate exactly where I or others showed this in any way. Otherwise I’m going to suggest you work on your reading comprehension as well. At no point have I, or anyone else, maintained that science has all the answers – if this were the case, scientists would all be out of their jobs. Yet there is no shortage of people who like arguing against this non-existent superlative.

    Religions, on the other hand, make this statement continually, and yet, have nothing to show for it. And every time some new bit of scientific evidence hits the news, the religious pop up to try and denounce it, and usually with the same poor understanding of science.

    And all too often, this poor understanding of science comes from the same sources – their trusted religious advisors. Some of it is honest incomprehension. But much of it is intentional misrepresentation. I intimated as much at the end of my post, and I’ll say it outright here: religious leaders can and do lie to further their own ends. Not all the time, not every leader. But it’s fatuous to believe that it couldn’t be YOUR leader. Some of the same old total horse hockey continues to be repeated ad nauseum despite the fact that it was refuted decades, and in some cases centuries, ago.

    Do I have all the answers? Certainly not. And you’ll notice, I invited burnsie13 (and anyone else, you included) to refute the science. I should be trusted no more than anyone else, and by my advice, that’s “little to none at all.” Plenty of people want to lie to you – it’s up to you to determine whether they are or not.

    Other than that, my post was for the readers who may not have understood what was wrong with the posited “science.” I’m not sorry you didn’t like it, and really can’t help you with your comprehension, but I thank you for your guidance on arrogance, assumptions, and character evaluations.

    And I am perhaps spoiling much of my future fun by stating that your frothy response tells me I am succeeding better than I could have imagined.

    Cheers!

  128. Silly idea

    I know very little about physics and the topics with which this blog entry deals, but I’ve just had a silly/interesting thought. Would it not be possible, if the Universe is created differently time and time again via a Big Bang – Big Crunch kind of process, that it is possible that at some point during this process a God-like figure could be ‘just created’, with the knowledge and capacity that Religion tends of bestow upon their given Deity(ies)? I expect that at the level in which the Universe existed when it was young, it would not have given rise to the potential for the immediate random creation of such a being, although I believe that I once read an article which suggested that the laws of physics in the Universe in which we now live are perhaps a by-product of the initial Big Bang, and that it is possible that there were many such occurances which repeated until the ones with the necessary constants for our particular life forms to emerge were thus. If that were the case, perhaps it would be possible that under certain (any conceivable) circumstances, such a being could be just generated?

  129. Qd

    I rekon it might be time to take some of these personal attacks to a real forum.

    The thread has gone slightly sideways from topic in some places.

  130. Chris

    Silly idea: Sure, why not. Still, that idea is going to stick in the craw of the adherents of the major religions since God is presumed to be eternal (in both directions).

    Personally, I’m waiting for the universe in which superheroes are real (Marvel, please, not DC).

    Wait a second — ‘immediate random creation’? Shouldn’t God have to evolve like everybody else? Something else to argue about…

  131. Garrett

    I have to say, duh. I wrote down this theory a while back and called it Universal Darwinism. Didn’t have the math to back it up, which I know makes this a big deal, but I knew I was right. And it will happen again. and again… and again.. which makes me wonder if our perspective on the universe itself is just totally skewed. Everything seems repetitive, what is much bigger (or smaller) beyond our puny scope?

  132. Buzz Parsec

    The spots on the balloon analogy fails because the spots expand at the same rate as the balloon. This does not make the Big Bang incorrect. It just means the analogy fails when looked at too closely. The universe is not a balloon and galaxies are not ink on rubber.

    Instead print a bunch of little pictures of galaxies on little circles of paper.
    Using a small drop of glue for each, glue them randomly over the surface of the balloon. Now blow up the balloon. The galaxies stay the same size as the balloon expands. This is a better analogy, but still not perfect. The galaxies are not moving with respect to each other, unlike real galaxies. The galaxies are not distorting space and time like real galaxies would. (IOW, the paper galaxies exert no gravitational force on each other.) Most importantly, the model galaxies are two dimensional objects on the surface of a 3 dimensional sphere expanding in 3 dimensions, not 3 dimensional objects embedded in an expanding finite but unbounded 3 dimensional space.

    Punch a hole in the balloon analogy and it pops. This does nothing to puncture the theory of the Big Bang except to expose the limits of the analogy. This is a pure semantic game, not science.

    Dennis, very good for noticing the problem with the analogy when you were a small child. It’s just too bad that no one explained why these problems didn’t apply to the real universe, or what the differences between an analogy and reality are. If you had a good teacher, you probably would have understood this years ago, but I guess unfortunately really good teachers are rare. But that’s okay, you should be able to plow on ahead just fine!

    Contrarian, on the other hand, managed to write hundreds of words of opinion and innuendo only sprinkling in a few incorrect “facts” near the end.

    I’m not an expert in biochem, but I’m pretty sure synthesizing arbitrary amino acid sequences (polypeptides or proteins) and DNA sequences can be done in any competent lab. See, for example, “Method for synthesis of polypeptides in cell-free systems”, United States Patent 6783957. (First result of a Google search on the subject.

    No scientists “persecuted” Copernicus. They merely asked that he prove his assertions, just like any other scientist (by showing they more accurately model reality than the extant alternatives.) He may not have feared persecution by the church, but his book did remain on the Index for over 200 years, so this argument is also a canard.

    Then you come up with the absurd assertion that people like BA kicked Einstein out of Europe. Unless you are actually claiming BA is a Nazi. In that case, I hearby invoke Godwin’s Law. YOU LOSE! All your base now belong to us. Please let the door hit you in the ass as you leave.

  133. Qd

    Garret says : ‘I have to say, duh. I wrote down this theory a while back and called it Universal Darwinism. Didn’t have the math to back it up, which I know makes this a big deal, but I knew I was right.’

    The article is pointing the MATHS that is backing up the theory. The theory itself is nothing new and thats not what is being pointed out in the article.

    Quote from original article: “Loop Quantum Gravity has been around a while, but Bojowald appears to have simplified it, using different mathematical terminology.”

    Its the NEW maths that is being emphasised, not the theory itself. Phil even gives a link pointing to a Wiki article on the foundations of the theory.

  134. No amount of scientific knowledge will ever stop the procreators[0] from holding to their ideas unless they can be shown that science and religion aren’t exclusive of each other.

    [0] yes that is a pun.

  135. ChrisForsyth

    Yeep…Infinite Chris’ Syndrome! I should note that the only post I did was http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2007/07/01/what-happened-before-the-big-bang/#comment-119001
    All the other Chris’ are someone else.

    The person who suggested the idea that as part of the Million Monkeys effect that you could have an ‘entity’ that matches the classic attributes of a Deity form. Good point–and equally possible is that the factors could come out right that a particular version of the universe as a whole could hit just the right factors to make the *entire universe* onto one big mega-entity.

    Hmmm. One thing that kind of amuses me about all these religion bashing science and vice versa arguments seem to miss two important points–one is that a great deal of what we are refering to ‘religion’ these days is actually ‘cultism’. The other is that if you go back and look at the fundamental (pun intended) origins, religion *is* science–and vice versa. The ultimate origin of religion is as the means to answer the question ‘Why?’, just the same as it is for science. The primary difference is that religion personifies and anthropormophises everything, describing it in terms of entities who are in some way like those making the description, while science uses mathematics and logic. Unfortunately, as a given ‘religion’ becomes more and more cultist over time, it tends to get more and more rediculous in the extent that they view their version of ‘reality’ as the only *possible* way to look at it, denying all other evidence. (Mind you, not *all* religious types are this way…but these are the kind that most come into conflict with science.)

    It is, after all, entirely possible for both to co-exist, *if* you take into acount the personification and symbology involved in the religious side, rather than taking some things *too* literally.
    One classic example is Genesis–which isn’t actually that divergent from evolution, if you don’t take the text as literal fact (One of God’s days in Genesis could be the same millions/billions/whatever extent of time for the same stage to be completed in evolution), and you can deal with that aspect of ‘God’ being a personification of the natural forces involved in the process.
    Another example might be lightning–a religious type (granted it’s a Norse religious type in this case ;-) ) would point out lightning as Thor throwing thunderbolts from the heavens, the scientist would go on about electrical potentials and cloud formation…while someone else might point out Thor in basic form is the personification of said cloud doing all the things the scientist described. ;-)

    Hmm. Weird thoughts from reading novels here…is the concept of DeSitter Space (a space of infinite mass, infinite energy, infinite everything, where a ‘universe’ is a bubble within this space) legit? If so, that may point to a single universe–the ‘Big Bang’ isn’t an explosion, it’s a *leak*, and again, we’re watching everything backwards…(weird thought about that as well–if a universe is a bubble in DeSitter space, it’s not being defined by what is there, but what’s *missing*–which would explain why we can’t ever seem to make a ‘Unified Theory of everything’. ;-)

    And to those complaining about the inability to explain the balloon model to a 5yr old–there is a very valid point there. If the universe is supposedly expanding, why wouldn’t the space inside galaxies and such expand as well as the space between them?

  136. Ramana Popuri

    Congrats for writing an extremely interesting article.
    Religion was created (by Man, no one else) at a time when it was badly needed. It brought out the best morality in man when there was barbarism across the world. But the creators went a little too far when they tried to pin down the physical characteristics of the world (the age of the universe, earth being the center, etc).
    Science, unfortunately, has attained a ‘cult’ status.. it would almost appear to be another religion, when actually, it is just looking at things the way they are (1+1=2, no matter where you come from). Well, if radioactive dating says that a certain fossil is 3 million years old, what can you do about it.. its just the way it is.. just like 1+1=2. BUT, science doesn’t care whether a person needs to be good to his neighbours or whether orphaned kids with HIV need compassion.
    And that’s where the problem begins, because religious people fear that if the bible is wrong about the age of the earth, could it also be wrong when it says ‘be kind to thy neighbour’..

  137. Gareth

    Something I’ve always wondered: If you know everything there is to know, you would never have to think about anything because you already KNOW everything. If you don’t ever think, can you actually exist? For I think therefore I am??

    What the heck, A theory (one of many):

    Matter=God, Universe = infinite loop.

    Matter(God) explodes creates new universe, Intelligent life (man?) develops from Matter(God), Man wonders about the Universe and matter(God)… Uses god to explain matter at first, science then explains God. Man dies becomes part of Matter(God). Universe slowly burns out starts coming back together, singularity forms, big pressure and BOOM… Matter(God) explodes creates new universe. Intelligent life (man?) develops from Matter(God), Man wonders about the Universe and matter… … Uses god to explain matter at first, science then explains God. Man dies becomes part of Matter(God). Universe slowly burns out starts coming back together, singularity forms…. and BOOM…. forever and ever.. You get the picture.

    Nope I can’t explain dark energy and universe expansion, but who knows maybe there is some sort of event horizon in the expansion that make the universe/matter come back together.

    The point of the story – we’re all made of energy at the end of the day. So, theoretically we do all become one entity for the briefest of moments at the big crunch, hence all matter in the universe is a reflection of God and hence matter is God and God is matter – just not a thinking god in the conventional sense, just energy.

    So don’t worry people, you will “live” forever, but, do you come back as human?? or do you come back as some gas in a star and burn for millions of years before you get another chance at the next big bang?? Hehehe. nuts indeed.

  138. Qd

    ChrisForsyth Says: ‘And to those complaining about the inability to explain the balloon model to a 5yr old–there is a very valid point there. If the universe is supposedly expanding, why wouldn’t the space inside galaxies and such expand as well as the space between them?’

    There is a simple explanation for this. Gravity weakens with distance.

    Gravity within galaxies overwhelms the repulsive force of expanding space, and the space outside these clusters is dominated by theoretical dark energy. That is, the space between galactic clusters, is so vast, that the expansion (dark energy) dominates. The space between galaxies in clusters, and stars is proportionally smaller, so the Gravity dominates in that region.

    There is a more authoritative explanation here under the heading : “Why doesn’t the Solar System expand if the whole Universe is expanding” >>

    http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmology_faq.html

  139. contrarian

    Just Al,
    My longer than average post (by intelligent design less than a third the length of yours) did not wander at all, but merely frame the debate in a sensible, that is a rational perspective while responding to your ridiculous manic tone, so characteristic of a man of science. If you thought my tone was negative or ineffective, it was a mirror of your. I was a little nicer actually.
    BA introduced the incongruent creationism theme (“I have to use this to stick it to the creationists once again”) and the dull-eyed observer will assume that the mildly interesting speculative kink out in the hundredth decimal under discussion (which is honestly described as possibly worthless) has a bearing on the ID debate. It may have no effect upon cosmology as we know it, or by poking a law as with calculations involving the square root of -1 it may yield a useful technique. Which would still have no effect on cosmology as we know it. You seized upon this slender-to-nonexistent thread to don the mantle of rationality against the mindless. This is where you went wrong.
    The word religion stems from stricture, the word faith stems from mindless acceptance. To rail against mindlessness and dogmatism is to prop up a straw man. Serious theology is an open-minded act of inquiry into the unknown, and there is an overabundance of dogmatism in the world of science.
    The Biblical God is described among other things as infinite, indivisible, eternal and unique. Often in poetic and Bronze-Iron Age terms, but these are not things that change with any degree of human advancement. I take no responsibility for naïve and simplistic views of God, regardless of how they view themselves. Our best efforts at life sciences (minus the PR puffery needed to obtain funding) amounts to no more than playing with Tinkertoys. We are like a teenager swapping a video card and ignoring a million man-years of technology invested in every subassembly and component. Universal existence and matter and life don’t just happen. There just wasn’t the time. Let’s use this example which incidentally handles your cavalier treatment of the protein strand argument (source upon request):
    But what are the odds of life coming about by sheer chance? Let’s take a look at two examples to get a sense of the odds involved in random evolution.

    Physicist Stephen Hawking, writes in his book “A Brief History of Time”:

    It is a bit like the well-known horde of monkeys hammering away on typewriters — most of what they write will be garbage, but very occasionally by pure chance they will type out one of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Similarly, in the case of the universe, could it be that we are living in a region that just happens by chance to be smooth and uniform?

    Well could it be?

    In response to Hawking, Dr. Gerald Schroeder, a physicist, calculated the odds of monkeys randomly typing an average Shakespearean Sonnet in his book “Genesis and the Big Bang.” He chose the one that opens, “Shall I compare you to a summer’s day?”

    There are 488 letters in the sonnet … The chance of randomly typing the 488 letters to produce this one sonnet is one in 26 to the 488th power, or one in 10 to the 690th power. The number 10690 is a one followed by 690 zero’s! The immense scale of this number is hinted at when one considers that since the Big Bang, 15 billion years ago, there have been only 10 to the 18th power number of seconds, which have ticked away.

    To write by random one of Shakespeare’s sonnets would take all the monkeys, plus every other animal on earth, typing away on typewriters made from all the iron in the universe, over a period of time that exceeds all time since the Big Bang, and still the probability of a sonnet appearing would be vanishingly small. At one random try per second, with even a simple sentence having only 16 letters, it would take 2 million billion years (the universe has existed for about 15 billion years) to exhaust all possible combinations
    OK, break time’s over. contrarian checking in again. This is just an example of the groupies just assuming (Buzz Parsec: “I’m not an expert in biochem, but I’m pretty sure that blah blah blah”) that someone out there has actually done the math. The example above is very clear and simple. I got a million of ‘em. But let’s grasp that a similar approach can be used for DNA sequencing, and consider that we are learning that ‘junk DNA’ is not as junky as we used to think. In fact consider that every day and every week major upheavals are occurring in decades-old scientific assumptions.

    I also think, Buzz Boy that you should know that the very first group to throw the Jews under the bus was not the rednecks but the scientific and academic establishment, those men of courage. Not Nazis, just cowards. And neither were they Nazis in Princeton, just a$$holes.

  140. A simple proposition

    As a Catholic, I have no fear of science. In fact, I yell bravo to those who expand the knowledge of our species. I sure as hell don’t have a clue as to what is going on.

    Being a Catholic means that I believe that the set of beliefs I subscribe to are the absolute truth (please bear with me. I’m stating my beliefs, nothing more). This also means that all things that are true are things that the Catholic Church must agree with. In other words, science is not-so-simply revealing what God has done with creation.

    This of course does not mean that there are Catholics who would say that what this blog is about is completely rubbish. But they are not what I’m talking about, I firmly believe that the most probable reason people do not wish to become Christian is because of Christians themselves. But I digress.

    This theory of infinite time going back while churning out universes does not overtly raise a crises of faith to me. God is without time. Quoting King David and another poster: “A thousand years is but a day to the Lord.” (my paraphrase, but thats the gist of it) Basically, God is present in every moment in time. Since God is infinite/omniscient/omnipotent it is easy to say that God can be present in an infinite number of moments… at one time, for lack of a better expression.

    In fact, it would even make more sense in a funny way for God to create an infinite number of moments of time since He, Himself, is infinite. Why would God create a finite number of moments when He could easily create an infinite number of them. Of course, though, I am hypothesizing at this point and I am also very tires. So I may not make any sense.

    Anyway, down to the rub of the whole post.

    The soul of one human being is so extraordinarily more vast in its importance and value to God that all of creation and all things that science can reveal to us about it are completely meaningless when compared to God’s love for that one person.

    So, if you want to read more on the futility of human knowledge, understanding, and wisdom… read Ecclesiastes.

    PS. The reason it is so easy for most Christians to ignore science completely is because our faith isn’t based on empirical data, it’s based on personal experience and intimate encounters with the Risen Jesus Christ. This is, of course, an absurd scientific statement. But that’s where the issue lies, once the choice has been made to allow things that are not definitive to be considered true, it becomes less and less irrational to a person to ignore that which is empirically true.

    Also, believing in God’s omnipotence means that God can do quite literally anything He wants. Hell, that logic taken to extreme could easily mean that the earth is x number of years old (where x is small) and God just hacked the earth together to make it look older than it was and is. The ridiculousness of it is that you cannot *prove* that statement wrong. Therefore, it becomes easy to believe basically anything you want.

    Of course though, I doubt God would do that sort of thing.. I’m sure there is a theological reason why it would be impossible, but whatever. God loves to see us trying to understand more of what He has done. An artist loves to see another marvel at his work. So again I say bravo to the scientists, keep on revealing the majesty of God so I may have more reason to adore Him!

  141. TasHammer

    Well, we are making process from be a little bit of fluff on some giant policemans uniform: now we are part of some sort of Brownian bubble/froth on a Galactic beer head.

  142. “Or, let’s face it: it might all eventually be tossed into the toilet. It’s a bit early to know.”

    Right. Next!

  143. Bob

    Hmm. A coupla questions here:

    1. the oscillating universe theory is one that’s been around in various forms for a while, but until recently (apparently), hasn’t found good footing to support it (although I do seem to recall theories very similar to this one being put forward, however it seems the current one has had it’s math re-arranged better). in any case, while it would ‘solve’ the question of where this particular universe came from (and where it’s headed), it still doesn’t answer the question re-phrased: “What got the whole she-bang started?” (or he-bang? perhaps ‘it-bang’ for pc purposes..i.e. not just this big bang, but, well, you get the picture.) For me, this doesn’t solve a lot – it just pushes the Big Question back a step or two…but it’s still there.

    2. Inflation seems to have kicked in again (or at least, expansion seems to be accelerating). How does that reconcile with the oscillating universe idea? If in fact true, and not just a figment of our perception, it seems that the space would continue to expand until not just everything’s so far apart they’re literally out of any hope of contact, but that objects, and even atoms would be torn asunder as a result, after a long enough time. What gives here? One thought: can it be possible that the apparent acceleration we’re seeing could really be an artifact of the nature of space-time itself, and that – perhaps – what we’re seeing is the beginning of the recollapse? Could it be that the further ‘edges’ of the universe could also represent, with a twist on spatial geometry, the ‘center’ towards which all the matter is rushing enroute towards another Big Bounce? Could it be that, because of thermodynamics and the “Arrow of Time” that, since cannot have time ‘running backwards’ (and hence make everything appear to rush towards each other, too) then the ‘solution’ is that we see an apparent expansion/inflation? Or, I suppose, it could be we’ve just got it wrong and we have no clue as to how to properly interpret the things we’re observing…yet. I dunno. What do you think?

  144. shayne

    Question.

    Lets say I managed to figure out how to go backwoods in time. Would I ever get to the singularity.

    Humor me for a second here…. I have no science background but this is fascinating.

    Assuming a Singularity has an event horison because from the ‘perception’ of the particle aproaching it, it can never really reach that point due to the curvature of time around it, can one posit that in reverse, going backwoods one would never reach that point (T=0) either?

    If thats so, is it even sane to say ‘before’ the big bang, and if theres no ‘before’ would it be meaningful to even talk about ’causes’ of a big bang, being that causality tends to need a cause to *precede* an effect, and you cant precde where that ‘before’ is effectively meaningless

    ?

  145. shayne

    By the way, its a bit annoying reading the 95% of americans are creationist argument.

    Its almost as if the mainstream churches , almost all of which are NOT 7 day creation flat-earthers dont exist.

    The popes position? The old boys rather keen on the whole big bang & evolution thing.

  146. Wye

    Even as an atheist, I find this kind of aggressive behavior against creationists/religious oriented people a bit too much. It almost seams like a reversed-scientifically witch-hunt.

    That part of society is not only inevitable, but also necessary. You need both part of the equation to have balance. Are you absolutely sure that the dark ages have stolen 500 years away from our evolution? Or maybe was that necessary, to reach our currently balanced society we live in?

  147. slang

    ChrisForsyth Says: “[I]f you go back and look at the fundamental (pun intended) origins, religion *is* science–and vice versa. The ultimate origin of religion is as the means to answer the question ‘Why?’, just the same as it is for science.”

    Huh? Science is about what, and how, it doesn’t concern itself with reasons. The question ‘why’ is reserved for religion. Some that reject religion also reject the ‘why’ as a pointless unanswerable question, and they are happy to live in a universe that does not have an underlying reason.

    Even when science does use the word reason, it’s often meant as “what caused effect X”. I’ll have to except ‘reasoning’ as a thought process. Bah, don’t you love it when words have multiple meanings? :)

    “One classic example is Genesis–which isn’t actually that divergent from evolution, if you don’t take the text as literal fact …”

    That’s a huge “if”. There will always (yes I’m a pessimist) be those that do, and they will deny more and more science as it is being discovered. It is not religion, but that rejection of science based on ignorance and baseless arguments, always repeated even if shown wrong, that annoys the crap out of most people reading and writing on this blog.

    Wye Says: “You need both part of the equation to have balance.”

    Why? If science says, the sky is blue, do you need someone to tell you it’s not? When men walked on the moon, do you *need* someone to deny it? If two sides have a different answer to the same question, it doesn’t mean that both answers are equally valuable. Often one of them is simply wrong.

    A simple proposition Says: “The soul of one human”

    Lost me there. I’d love to see some empirical evidence for that soul thingy :) I’m not trying to make an argument for or against it, not trying to bash over that line, just noticing how deep the differences are between religions themselves, and the absence of belief too.

    contrarian, you mention “the ID debate”, can you please explain what the scientific theory of Intelligent Design is, without just pointing at alledged flaws in the theory of evolution? ID was claimed to be a scientific alternative to evolution, but nobody seems to be able to actually define what it is scientifically. Well, Behe could, but only after changing the definition of science to include astrology.

    As to the chance of life to emerge, that same Behe made some calculations too, and came up with a really, really, REALLY low chance that certain mutations could occur in an individual bacterium. But being under oath, he had to admit that in a ton of soil there are so incredibly many bacteria, and in only a few thousand years there are so many generations, that his “unlikely” mutations could actually occur quite often on earth. Look up Behe’s testimony in the Dover trial.

    Bob, to your second point: if there are many universes they don’t all need to collaps at the end of their ‘life’-span for some to end up expanding like ours does, and still be the result of a collapsed universe. That’s not a scientific answer, just a thought experiment to reconcile oscillation with inflation. Personally I’ve got a feeling that what lies ‘outside’ our universe might be as incomprehensible to us, as a moving sphere is to Flatlanders. “Well, call that God, and you’re there!” says my mum, and I sigh. :)

  148. Paula

    If these theories are supposed to be provable, why is the Big Bang still standing at all? It seems like every time there’s a major observation, it’s not what was predicted (oops! some stars are older than the predicted age of the universe! etc.). And the response is not to abandon the theory, but to tack another fix onto it (constants, inflation, dark matter, etc.). Back when the red shift was newly discovered, there a competing theory about light losing energy as it travels through space. Did the Big Bang win out because it was just cooler?
    What if the “expansion” is more like an optical illusion?

  149. Gleam

    I hate to be the fly in your ointment on creationism and so. But a string of universes, or different universes being possible is entirely the line with the Hinduistic and Buddhistic concept of Dharma or the Taoistic concept of, well, Tao. All being an eternal “flow” “waving” through time or meta-time. Buddhism and Taoism however don’t see the “clockworker” at work in creation, as stated it is “the flow of things”

  150. Ron

    If this theory is correct, where did the first of the bouncing universes, now evolved into ours, come from? Aren’t we back to the same old choice: you either believe in an unexplainable God of creation or an unexplainable universe standing alone and uncreated, bouncing or not bouncing. Each belief requires faith.

  151. Luke

    Paula Says: If these theories are supposed to be provable, why is the Big Bang still standing at all? It seems like every time there’s a major observation, it’s not what was predicted (oops! some stars are older than the predicted age of the universe! etc.). And the response is not to abandon the theory, but to tack another fix onto it …

    Paula, you are making the same mistake many people make about science. Just because scientific theories change doesn’t mean that they are “weak”, in fact that is what makes them strong! Theories change to fit observed facts until they account for ALL observed data.

    Think about it this way: you see what you think is an apple tree in the distance. As you get closer, you find out it is actually full of oranges.

    This doesn’t mean you have to abandon the theory that it is a tree!

  152. Hi Phil,
    I picked up your sight from a link on Universe Today. Thank you so much for your efforts here! I love the quest for knowledge and always seem to be interested in things that I simply do not have the education/training to fully comprehend without them being explained to me by intermediaries (aka teachers?) such as you who attempt to explain complex ideas to the unenlightened. I am looking forward to more articles here and you mentioned some book(s) you will/have written, I will check your sight to find them if they are listed. Heck, who knows I may have already read something you wrote! ha. ha.
    I noted your remark on “creationist” Yes; it seems to me that we are approaching a crossroad in our scientific/philosophical concepts at this time in history. I have often thought of the established religions conflict with science. The conclusion found by me, explained bluntly, is: Man has an instinct to survive. His intellect wishes never to end. A belief system promising infinite (perceptual) life offers comfort to those that cannot accept the end of their self awareness. A belief system that does not is not. Seems like kind of a “DUH” conclusion, but it is one that no one wishes to admit openly, using such vagaries as “Man needed to explain what he could not understand” or “Man needed to believe in a higher power” etc…. Of course science has now confused me a little because of the theories of “infinite universes” or “infinite realities” because using simple deduction, given a infinite set of circumstances, something we perceive as “God” would certainly have to be possible. In fact, there would have to be an infinite amount of “gods”… Maybe this explains why just about every follower seems to think he/she has the correct god to worship and all others are “not quite the same”. ha. ha.
    David

  153. Brane Dead

    I agree with shnakepup as we are in a rapidly accelerating universe which shows no sign of stopping.

    Great article! However I feel the theory is like bubble gum. The more bubbles you create the less flavour is left.

    If we are the final bounce Here’s to those who have gone before us.

  154. Luke

    Ron Says:…Aren’t we back to the same old choice: you either believe in an unexplainable God of creation or an unexplainable universe standing alone and uncreated, bouncing or not bouncing. Each belief requires faith.

    No scientist is asking you to believe anything, Ron. This theory is just the best model of the universe currently available to us, given our current data (and interpretation of that data). If you take issue with any point, you are free to do the research yourself and make an argument based on your results.

    Also, just because we have no explaination (yet) of what lies “outside” or “before” our universe (if such ideas even apply), this doesn’t mean we won’t figure it out eventually. Religion is a proposal: you either accept it or reject it. Science, however, is a PROCESS – continually moving toward new discoveries. Science can’t work if you rely on faith. If we took it on faith that Newtonian physics was correct, Einstien never would have discovered relativity.

  155. The Big Bang.

    Why do humans think that all life came about from one single happening,and as they describe in materialist ways…..billons of years?
    In all 3rd dynesty life, there is only one choice, and that is Freedom of Will.
    Man has chosen to show others a certain falseness,for gain ,power,wealth,greed,the list as you know could go on.
    To come to terms with the thoery,man has to bear in mind the power of spritit.
    Combine the two and you have your Big Bang…the meeMan is the result of the falleting of matter and spritit wanting materialist existance.

  156. Mark Martin

    “Why do humans think that all life came about from one single happening,and as they describe in materialist ways…..billons of years?”

    Why? Because they actually bother to LOOK at the Universe and take note of what it really does. It’s the LOOKING at the things which prompts the curious-minded to hunger to understand it to begin with. It would be foolish to stop looking at how things behave just at the moment when one wants to understand those very behaviors.

  157. Ron V.

    [quote]… This isn’t fantasy, folks, it’s science[/quote]

    No it isn’t. Science is the acquisition of knowledge. A principal characteristic of science is that any theory be proven by empirical evidence, which means the knowledge must be based on observable phenomena and capable of being tested for its validity by other researchers working under the same conditions.

    Anything else falls in categories like fiction, religion, philosophy, …

  158. Ron

    Luke,
    I believe in science and the God of creation, no conflict for me. If I were an atheist, which at one time I was, I would believe in science and an uncreated universe, bouncing or not; no conflict there either. Science tells us about the universe that we now have, but not how it first got here. How the universe came into existence in the first place requires faith of one sort or the other; that is not the realm of science. Honest and intelligent religious people admit that theirs is a faith; honest and intelligent atheists should also admit that ultimately theirs is also a faith, and I believe some do. Science is a wonderful tool for both; one which is ever improving. Isaac Newton stood on the great shoulders of the scientists who preceded him, so too for Albert Einstein standing on the broad shoulders of Newton.

  159. Charles Martin

    When someone can propose an experiment that can falsify “God exists”, call me, I’ll be very interested.

    In the mean time, could we try to dispose of the notion that all of religion is what philosophically unschooled Christian Fundamentalists believe? This notion of the Big Bounce, for example, matches rather nicely with at least one Hindu tradition. (No, I’m not claiming that this “proves” Hinduism either.)

    You might as well make a big deal about the disagreements between Science and Guinean cargo cults.

  160. great post..
    Let me go all Matrix on you now..
    I had a dream one night the universe was just a bubble in gods personal lab..
    Now if I can just find a couple wacked out creationists and a few wild-eyed theorists to somewhat agree it’s possible, I can get the book written and the speaking tour on the road….
    The guy that thought up the Brane theory…well, you do know drugs are illegal right?
    Seriously though..first time visitor and really enjoyed my visit here…
    kind regards,
    The hoopster

  161. wishmaster

    It makes sense. I don’t believe there could ever be “nothing”. If you have ever smoked salvia extract while doing acid then you’ll know what I mean.

  162. I was at a cocktail party in the 70′s with several NASA astrophysicists in addendance. After listening to their theories for awhile, about how our universe began, I pick up a stack of paper plates and scattered them around the room. I said, “There isn’t one universe, there are trillions, and ours started when two of them collided.” They looked at me like I was a some sort of bug. I have always believed there was never ONE universe. My position is, try and disprove it.

  163. Ben D Bannana

    What does Joan Baez have to dow ith all this? Maybe she saw truth while on vitamin A? Very interesting.

  164. Ben D Bannana

    One time while I was dorking this fat chick in college, I snorted a line of coke and passed out. While I was out, I had a vision that there were multiple universes. One of them however smelled like rotten tuna, but the others were all cool. When I awoke the fatty was gone, but she left her bra, which I now use to hold my globes.

  165. contrarian

    slang
    You ask, “contrarian, you mention “the ID debate”, can you please explain what the scientific theory of Intelligent Design is, without just pointing at alledged flaws in the theory of evolution? ID was claimed to be a scientific alternative to evolution, but nobody seems to be able to actually define what it is scientifically.”

    Before answering directly, I need to take issue with your statement that ID is claimed as an alternative to evolution, at least for my people. Taking evolution as a generally orderly process of development, ID is an alternative to random selection as the primary mechanism of evolution. It could be called guided evolution.

    Even off the top of my head, I’ll try to be a bit rigorous so excuse the compactness of the statement. As Just Al says, you get into trouble both for leaving things out and for including everything. But the essential scientific theory of Intelligent Design is to say that given EVERYTHING – that is everything known and known to be unknown, calculatable or likely about the universe, time, space, natural laws under any and all conditions, physics, geology, chemistry, biology – it is scientifically impossible for life and intelligence to have emerged by random processes. Maybe even for mass and stars and solar systems and galaxies. But let’s stick to the easy ones. Certainly there can be minor localized eddies and flows running counter to general entropy. But that’s of an exceptional nature. Not of such an organized and sustainable nature. The corollary to all this is that to oppose ID is itself an unscientifically supportable act of faith. Faith that there is no Intelligence, no Design, no Designer. This view indirectly emerges from the resistance to Biblical supernatural miracles and prophecy. However the ‘chemical soup/cosmic ray bombardment etc.’ guys fail to mention how much of a stretch their speculations require. This attitude extends across disciplines.

    Minus supporting material, the explanation ends here.

    What does ‘scientifically impossible’ mean? As stated earlier, vanishingly unlikely. Beyond improbable. Orders of magnitude out. More impossible than all of the molecules of your coffee cup vibrating in one direction at once and watching the cup leap off the desk. More impossible than finding a Kit-Kat wrapper on Mars produced by natural forces. More impossible then the blood in the driveway belonging to somebody other than OJ. I mean, it’s POSSIBLE. But not in realistic terms.

    There are certain basic characteristics that define life. Without whipping out an old textbook, let’s say they are metabolism, self-repair, reproduction. Assuming a trillion points on a graph that lead from inanimate matter to life, overwhelmingly most of those trillion points have been traversed at the point of evolution of a single-celled organism. And fossils of single-celled organisms are to be found in early geologic periods on Earth. In fact, even systematically organized life is being far earlier than previously theorized. But not to digress, the immense explosion of diversity has taken place in a cosmological instant of time.

    Opponents of ID, scientists all, refuse to acknowledge that organic molecules, say an insulin molecule is a far more complex chemical machine than humanity has attempted to produce until a minute ago if then, and that molecule existed in organisms long long before the first creature intelligently used a twig to lick termites off of. Before any intelligence at all as we know it. But forget molecules, move on to cells and tissues and organisms and locomotion systems.

    There has been a definite evolution of automobiles, and even more primitive forms of motors and carriages. Did this come about by random selection or intelligent design? Even counting social and economic and market and regulatory forces in the shaping of our automobiles, we are far removed from considering this evolution to be unaffected by purposeful decisions, even including wrong ones. Were modern stability controls implied in cars without them? No. But if they were, would they not be that much more intelligent?

    So this is how the creator of the universe works. Energy, matter, gravity, universal laws and relationships set in place as a lab, and an orderly development of particles, elements, atoms and molecules and reactions, and organic chemicals and so on. Well, how would you do it? Same way you make dinner; obtain and assemble the ingrediants, design the theme, formulate the recipe, and work your way to the finished product.

    The aforementioned Gerald Schroeder http://www.geraldschroeder.com/new.html has a very fine presentation considering the mapping of creation time to cosmology, using a logarithmic scale for each of the six days they do in fact map perfectly to the phases of geologic and evolutionary explosions of life forms, and they do indeed add up to between fifteen and twenty billion years (I forget). Links to this approach upon request. He happens to discuss evolution here http://www.geraldschroeder.com/evolubiblestyle.html as well. It should also be noted that the Biblical record following the creation chapter consisting of 6,757 years to the present likewise follows what is known and continues to be discovered of human history. But that is another discussion.

  166. Tim Eby

    It seems to me that the idea of ‘infinity’ or ‘an infinite number of universes’ and such is invoked quite freely in both the scientific and Theo-philosophical discussions and replies. I suggest that this concept is not nearly well enough defined to be used so freely. It may be useful to consider the ideas presented in the paper by Stoeger, Ellis, and Kirchner Multiverses and Cosmology: Philosophical Issues: [arXiv:astro-ph/0407329 v2 19 Jan 2006].

    In this paper they point out:
    “An infinite set, as we have already said, is one the number of whose members is open, indeterminate and unbounded. By “indeterminate” we mean unspecified in terms of a definite number. Infinity, strictly speaking is not a number in any usual sense – it is beyond all specific numbers which might be assigned to a set or system – it is simply the code-word for “it continues without end”. This definition reflects how the term “infinity” is used in mathematical physics, and in most of mathematics. The key point is that there is no specific number which can be assigned to the number of elements in an infinite set. One could say that the number of its elements is one of Cantor’s transfinite numbers, but those are not numbers which specify a determinate bound.
    An infinite physically existing set is an infinite set which is also an actually existing set – in other words it possesses an infinity of really existing objects. The number of its objects is therefore unbounded and indeterminate. That means in essence that, though it is unbounded and indeterminate in number, it is nevertheless physically realized as complete. One should note at this point that the definition is contradictory, not from a logical or mathematical point of view …, but from the point of view of physics and metaphysics.
    Can what is essentially indeterminate and unbounded be physically or really complete, which seems to imply “bounded”? Can anything which physically exists be completely unbounded? ….. But an actual infinity is conceived as extra-mentally instantiated and therefore as completed. That means it must be determinate and in some definite sense bounded. But this contradicts the definition of what infinity is. Something cannot be bounded and determinate, and unbounded and indeterminately large, at the same time. Therefore, an actual physically realized infinity is not possible.”

    It would seem that any suggestion that all things are possible in a scenario that invokes and infinite number of universes [or cycles of universes] is highly suspect!

  167. Anon

    I hate religion, and I didn’t like how needlessly brought it up. If you want to talk about how stupid religion is, go ahead, but there’s no reason to get science all tangled up with religion.

    The science stuff was a very interesting read though. It’s amazing how so many things that seem impossible are becoming possible.

  168. I have degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. I began reading at age 3, could automatically be a member of Mensa if I chose to, have always loved science, keep up with the latest in string theory and brane theory, wonder which model accurately predicts the number of physical dimensions in our universe (9 or 11 or something else?), and believe that that the universe was created in the Big Bang some 15 billion years ago.

    However, I am also a devout, evangelical, semi-charismatic Christian. The Bible devotes only a couple of pages to the creation story and gives very few specifics. It focuses on Who made the universe, not How it was made. I’m irritated at people who believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old. The Bible implies nothing of the sort.

    How do I know that God exists? Because I’ve seen his work. I’ve seen drunken, drug-ridden, wife-beating slobs become outstanding, Godly citizens. In fact, I just got off the phone call with a longtime friend whose father was a total toad before God changed him. I knew him well and he was a great mentor to me.

    I’ve seen abortionists become ardent pro-lifers. I’ve seen and experienced healings, but don’t believe for a minute the phony miracles of televangelists like Benny Hinn. I’ve seen a lady who came to a prayer group that I attend who was scared because she had acquired some “bumps” on one of her eyeballs and was supposed to have the bumps scraped off the next day. She didn’t know the medical term for her ailments and I don’t either but she definitely had a bumpy eyeball. When she went to the doctor for the procedure, the bumps were gone and he sent her home. I’ve seen people who were “infested” by demons and I have cast them out. Yes, it was scary but it’s not like Hollywood portrays it. However, if any of you scoffers had been with me, you would have freaked out at the things that were happening. Sane-minded missionaries tell me of even more dramatic healings and deliverance from demons in third-world countries.

    Last year my father was rushed to the hospital because his blood pressure was dropping. Despite drugs, fluids, and leaning the bed back to where his head pointed downwards at a 45-degree angle, his blood pressure kept dropping to the point of unconsciousness. My wife and I prayed over him when we arrived at the hospital and, during the 3 or 4 minutes we prayed, both his diastolic and systolic pressure rose by 20 points and he became conscious. Within half an hour his blood pressure was completely normal.

    Call it chance, but I’ve seen “chance” happen so many times that I believe in God’s ability to change people’s lives and change situations.

    I see no conflict between God and the Bible. All truth is God’s truth and, if the scientific evidence points to a 15-billion year old universe, then I accept it as fact. I believe in evolution yet I also believe that God has, at times, guided evolution.

    By learning about the universe, I learn about God. I believe that God sometimes chooses to intervene in the natural universe and suspend or reverse the laws of nature. Sometimes he chooses not to inervene or to intervene at a time not of our choosing. I don’t know why. I don’t know why God chooses to use weak humans like me to evangelize the world, heal the sick, comfort the broken-hearted, and show his love for people. But I do know that God’s ways are higher than our ways and I know that he loved us while we were still sinners.

    If my belief in God makes me a dull-witted, gullible victim unworthy of being a scientist, then I gladly accept that characterization along with truly great scientists like Michael Faraday, Copernicus, Bacon, Kepler, Descartes, Newton, Mendel, Robert Boyle, William Kelvin, and Max Planck. They were great men of science but they were also great men of God. The two are not mutually exclusive and believers and non-believers should all recognize that fact.

  169. John C. Toomay

    What I love about this is that, everyone being an equal authority on the unknown, every jackass and ever Nobel Laureate can comment with equal validity. Good luck!

  170. contrarian

    # Anon Says: “I hate religion…there’s no reason to get science all tangled up with religion…It’s amazing how so many things that seem impossible are becoming possible.”

    If you hate religion, then you are closed minded and unqualified to discuss it. Science and theology (more targeted term for me) both study and describe reality, with the distinction that science is constrained by the natural universe and by scientific precedent, which involves both a belief system and a limitation on creativity. Thus, not only does theology not conflict with science, but as a study of reality, it OWNS science. PWNS. Whatever.

    Looked at another way, only a clod feels that there is no more than meets the eye, or instrumentation, or even the finest intellect, given that we can measure and copy the hell out of anything but not essentially describe anything in the most elemental terms. As I explained above, our most advanced technology, as awesome as it is is no more than crude puppetry next to that mosquito you just swatted or that sunflower seed you just spit out.

    Now what was it you said was becoming possible? Multiple universes? It is what it is. Like God at the burning bush. “I am that I am”. Anyway if it’s possible today, it was possible yesterday too. Reality has not changed, only the creative aspect of man which is incidentally the Godly endowment within man. Razz.

  171. Genesius

    @Michael McCullough
    “I’ve seen people who were “infested” by demons and I have cast them out.”
    “. . .My wife and I prayed over him when we arrived at the hospital and, during the 3 or 4 minutes we prayed, both his diastolic and systolic pressure rose by 20 points and he became conscious. Within half an hour his blood pressure was completely normal.”

    Call The Amazing Randi, quick! If you can repeat these events under controlled conditions, you & God can make a quick million dollars!

    http://www.randi.org

  172. Qd

    Not that I really want to talk about religion anymore, as the religious side of the topic was the minor issue. The major issue of this topic was the new maths relating to ‘loop quantum gravity’ theory. But for those saying religion should be left out entirely I’ll point out what this topic/post was filed under :

    This entry was posted on Sunday, July 1st, 2007 at 9:01 amand is filed under Cool stuff, Science, Astronomy, Religion.

  173. Qd

    I was reading something about ‘loop quantum gravity’ this morning and need to be clear on something. For this to work does it mean you have to quantize space-time ?

    It seems like it was suggesting that space would be made of braided chunks of space etc. I don’t think its saying its related to string theory or anything.

    But if so, how would that work with the expansion of the universe?
    Do the braids stretch and get longer ?
    Do new ones form and fill the gaps ?
    Would there be a finite number of these quanta or is it unpredictable due to uncertainty ?

  174. wishmaster

    contrarian: “If you hate religion, then you are closed minded and unqualified to discuss it. Science and theology (more targeted term for me) both study and describe reality, with the distinction that science is constrained by the natural universe and by scientific precedent, which involves both a belief system and a limitation on creativity. Thus, not only does theology not conflict with science, but as a study of reality, it OWNS science. PWNS. Whatever.”

    No. Science is for understanding what we can actually measure.
    Theology is fun but to say that it is anything more than just people’s opinions (which somehow magically turn into “God’s” words, just because someone said so at one time) is absurd.

  175. Peter Gaffney

    I’m not unsympathetic to religion if (A) it doesn’t conflict with science, (B) it doesn’t claim to be the only true faith, (C) it doesn’t promote irrational or antisocial behavior, (D) it doesn’t devalue nature, the body or physical pleasure, and (E) it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

    In all seriousness, I think atheists sometimes fail to recognize that faith may have value as a psychological movement away from an unhealthy focus on the ego, and thus an antidote to fear, selfishness and neurosis. Further, prayer, meditation and other forms of religious practice may help achieve serenity and a deepening of awareness. And of course there are the potential social benefits of belonging to a religious community. However, I think that ideally religious faith should be recognized as separate from beliefs about physical reality. In other words, one should perhaps avoid thinking of God as existing “out there” or of Heaven as a future place/state of being. I believe it’s the “Song of Zazen,” by the 18th century Japanese Zen master Hakuin, which states: “At this moment what more need I seek, as the Truth eternally reveals itself? This very place is the Lotus Land of Purity. This very body is the body of the Buddha.”

    So there’s much in Michael McCullough’s post above which I appreciate, but I’m uneasy with his claims for the efficacy of prayer. When you claim that prayer is responsible for physical healing, you’re implying that when people do die it may be attributable to a failure to pray or a lack of faith. And of course it’s easy to remember the times when prayer seems to have paid off and forget the other times when no miracle occurred. Why is it, as the popular video on YouTube asks, that God never chooses to heal amputees — that in fact miraculous healing is pretty much limited to situations in which recovery is medically possible, however unlikely. It’s true that there have been occasions when blind people recovered their sight mysteriously and against all medical predictions, but to my knowledge this has never occurred to a blind person whose eyes have been physically removed (unless he’s had an eye transplant operation). Is it that God refuses to act in any way that would clearly prove His existence, because it would effectively rob humans of the freedom to believe or not believe? (If you make this claim you’re admitting that the evidence you present for God’s existence is not truly conclusive.) And — if you believe that Christianity is the one true faith — what about miraculous healing attributed to Hindu gods at shrines in India? Is this a fraud, or is there some reason God might perform a miracle knowing that it would solidify people’s faith in a false religion?

    I often wonder why it is that so many Christians (and Jews) are so invested in the premise that the Bible is the word of God. It seems like it would make much more sense to reserve one’s faith for Christ/God and recognize both the Old and New Testaments for what they in fact appear to be — fallible, human accounts of the history of man’s relationship to God. That way they would be free to believe what’s important — the essential dogmas of their faith — but would no longer have to defend the improbable, unscientific events of Genesis, the heinous bloodthirstiness attributed to God in the Book of Joshua and elsewhere, or the lurid, absurd fantasies of the Revelation. How is it that some Christians are obsessed with proving the Earth is 6000 years old, but have not yet gotten around to following Christ’s unambiguous instruction to sell all their possessions and give the proceeds to the poor? (I don’t think Christ ever even mentioned defending the Biblical account of Creation as a prerequisite for going to Heaven.)

  176. bill

    A good read. It amazes me that the more science tries to disprove God the more they prove it beyond a doubt.

  177. contrarian

    wishmaster Says:
    July 3rd, 2007 at 4:22 pm
    No. Science is for understanding what we can actually measure.

    [I too, say "No". Gee, that was easy. You are merely paraphrasing exactly what I said, with the addition of the word "No" ahead of it. Re-read please. However, my opening statement on that remains that science is ambitious about 'conquering' the unknown in phases from the bottom up. You could call it a conservative if self-limited approach. Science is approaching the limits of the knowable, as the topic article actually illustrates.]

    Theology is fun but… anything more … is absurd.

    [Actually your comment presupposes the non-existence of the unknowable, as if you or anyone else can know everything. It's actually a form of copping out. The Bible was actually taught as the ONLY public revelation to some 2-3 million people, who had personally witnessed the supernatural. This quite beats the story behind any and every other belief system, including the non-existence of what you personally cannot or refuse to be open to. This is the common flaw in atheistic thinking, and leads to a tortured stretching for the wildly improbable to avoid accepting what you consider impossible. Blindly consider impossible, by the way, you never offer any specific evidence for this belief system.]

  178. contrarian

    Peter Gaffney Says:
    July 3rd, 2007 at 8:44 pm
    I often wonder why it is that so many Christians (and Jews) are so invested in the premise that the Bible is the word of God.

    [Ah, er, because it actually contains that assertion?
    And has come down as the only direct living line of transmission from father to son and teacher to student from the bronze age?
    And documenting from earlier ages the original belief system of humankind, and because it has been independently and increasing verified by archaeological research?
    And never contradicted by such research?
    At least not for long as any such contradictions have been refuted by later and better research?
    And because the existence of God changes absolutely everything about our conception of reality and its priorities?]

    It seems like it would make much more sense to reserve one’s faith for Christ/God and recognize both the Old and New Testaments for what they in fact appear to be — fallible, human accounts of the history of man’s relationship to God.

    [See my last comment and my last post about what makes sense. What makes sense is accepting truth and reality. On that we agree I’m sure, except that you are rigging the game by an artificial constraint on the central point in the debate. You must recognize the cheating involved here, and winning the point on that basis must be unsatisfying.

    Here, let’s invert your comment “I’m not unsympathetic to science if (A) it doesn’t conflict with religion, (B) it doesn’t claim to be the only true understnding, (C) it doesn’t promote irrational or antisocial behavior, (D) it doesn’t devalue the supernatural, the soul or spiritual pleasure, and (E) it doesn’t take itself too seriously… Not to say that science can’t amuse people in cunning little ways”

    See how pompous and dogmatic that comes off? btw, pay attention to that (C), I neglected to mention that secular atheistic and self-proclaimed rational [political movements have killed more people in the last century than all of the religious conflicts of the past centuries combined.

  179. Buzz Parsec

    Contrarian -

    1) I haven’t been called a boy since the Nixon administration… Was that meant to be an insult or a compliment? 2) When you get to college, be sure to take a course in Statistical Mechanics. If you pass it, then you can mention entropy again. (That was meant to be an insult.) 3) Darwinian selection is *NOT* random selection. This makes all the difference in the world. Check out Dawkin’s evolutionary simulations as described in “The Blind Watchmaker” and much more recent work. Your typing monkeys and “proteins are too complicated to be produced at random” arguments were disproved mathmatically at least 20 years ago. 4) You claim “your people” don’t regard ID as an alternative to evolution, but as an alternative mechanism of evolution (setting up the straw man of random selection). Who are “your people”? Some cult we can read up on so we can call you on it when you change your tune? Like you did when you morphed the claim that no one had ever produced a protein or DNA sequence from scratch to the claim that no one had ever produced a novel and useful protein from scratch (probably also not true, but since you are making the claim, it is up to you to provide the evidence, not me.) Or are you just making it up as you go along?

    Why do ID proponents always repeat the same old disproven arguments instead of coming up with anything new? (That’s a rhetorical question, we all know the answer is there aren’t any, since they are *wrong*!)

  180. Buzz Parsec

    A simple proposition refered to the idea that the earth might have been created recently, but made to look old, but he didn’t think God would do something like that. You said “An artist loves to see another marvel at his work.” This made me wonder if the people who do believe this are also Milli Vanilli fans :-)

    (And Gary Ansorge, if you are still reading this thread, ASP’s remark also made me think of the fountain in “Ripple” :-)

  181. Angus Gordon-Farleigh

    Great article… made me feel that I should add some (unpublished) ideas of my own to the discussion thread.

    Firstly, it is my understanding that all of the cosmos exists in multiple dimensions beyond the usual four which we all appreciate. If this is so, then is it not possible that the expansion which we observe with our limited perception is equivalent to some opposite contraction within dimensions which we are yet unable to detect ?

    Running with this idea, such dimensions in which this contraction ultimately produces the ‘Big Crunch’ would remain practically imperceptible to us – to the very end, yet would produce the phenomenon which we could describe as the ‘ultimate infinite expansion’ at its zenith… the point at which ‘heat death’ occurs.

    In other words, is the ‘skin’ of our 4-D universe also a ‘new’ singularity existing in undetectable dimensions and awaiting our own ‘heat death’ which would be its own ‘heat birth’ ?

    Were this true, then the cosmos (which term I am using here to specifically mean the total expanse of all possible universes existing at the same time – were the concept of time more reliably meaningful !) would resemble a ‘multidimensional onion’… the successive onion shells representing a nest of ‘completed’ universes whereupon as each universe successively finds itself as the outermost shell, it is immediately also then ‘rebirthed’ as the innermost shell (singularity) to go ‘Big Bang’ and continue this infinite process !

    This concept is more easily understood upon reminder that each onion shell exists only in a small subset of available dimensions, each subset differing from another – at least to the extent of the total number of ways in which the various dimensions could be grouped -off (maybe including sets containing just two operant dimensions and others with more than four operant dimensions !)

    I am unsure whether my multidimensional onion exists with just one shell – infinitely recreating itself over and over without other shells actually existing; or whether the onion has two or any other defined number of shells extant simultaneously; or even whether the onion should exist with an infinite number of shells.

    I think that it is further crucial here to own that I also believe that within the total number of dimensions available within the cosmos, it is not necessarily true that only one of them functions as a substrate for the concept which we call ‘time’.
    I can conceive of possible universes operant with two (or more) dimensions of time – call them ‘horizontal time’ and ‘vertical time’ perhaps (maybe allowing for a third time dimension to be named – ‘perpendicular time’) – where all matter and energy exists within and travels both dimensions simultaneously (which term would obviously hold extra meaning here !!!) and a putative intelligence existing within this universe might find both perceptible &/or measurable.

    If H-Time, V-Time, P-Time and maybe others do exist – then it neatly subverts questions arising of the nature – ‘what happened before ~ ?’, at least in our current non-ineffable universe and the presence of multiple time dimensions would; I am sure; also make the concept of the heat death of one kind of universe easier to rationalise as being equivalent to the heat-birth (Big Bang) of an alternative universe.

    Because in my stated scenario, each nested universe contains different (numbers of) dimensions to the others, intelligences extant in any version would conceive of their own Big Bang expanding into absolute nothingness – a substrateless void of inexistence and in their own terms of reference they would be perfectly correct… however, the idea as a whole does raise at least one further interesting question for me – as I do not conceive that the available number and ‘kind’ of possible dimensions assimilatable to form a new universe is infinite… could this mean that upon exceedingly rare occasions – a given ‘originator’ universe might give birth to another so similar in dimensionality that either would be perceptible to the other, were observers on hand to do so ?

    There’s some things to think about, then !

  182. Darth Robo

    I’m late to this party, ain’t I? :-)

    Somebody forgot to tell contrarian that ID isn’t about God or religion, nosiree bob! It’s a real scientific theory! (snicker)

    If contrarian knows what the uh, “theory” of ID actually IS, then he knows more than the rest of the IDers…

  183. contrarian

    Hi Darth Robo,
    Yes, it’s possible I do know more than the the rest of the IDers. Why not? I start with the basic proposition that – ‘Resolved: Reality Is’; and then make some sense out of it. Another analogy:
    if upon seeing a well stocked junkyard one can rationally derive that
    a) since automobiles operate upon common scientifically described principles they must have come to being via random processes without the necessity of an Intelligent Designer
    b) and since they obviously have broad commonalities of structure and appear to have undergone stepwise refinement that would be evidence of an inexorable trend improved functionality and organization of increasing complexity.

    That makes sense. Doesn’t it? (Hint – it doesn’t. For homework: find the logical flaw)

    Actually I find it tedious to cut and paste long technical articles so I did try to assemble a synthesis of many discussions. I think it is clear and accessible on the essential issues of the debate, even if others might have their own agendas. I engaged the terms of the opponents of ID, and all I got was responses on the level of ‘(snicker)’. What’s your thoughtful take on those terms, beyond that one :-)

  184. contrarian

    Your Buzzness,
    My boyhood actually preceeded the Nixon administration, so I guess I outrank you. Hey gang, Geezer Wars! I am neither surprised at your insult, as that’s exactly how you entered the fray. However, instead of wasting valuable electrons insulting me, why don’t you summarize what you learned in Statistical mechanics class O Great One? The important stuff, like how chaos naturally crystallizes and evolves into organic entities and processes with primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary, and as yet unidiscovered levels of structure and interaction, as in the greater than 10,000 complex enzymes operating within a geologically ancient unicell, the absence of any one of which renders the unicell lifeless or dysfunctionally short-lived or sterile. Not even bringing in the organelles and DNA/RNA programming and its support and executive systems that contain the potentiation for common life processes, wings and trunks and teeth (two sets!) and dreams. Oops, that would have been in your Org Chem, Bio Chem or Microbiology course prerequisites for the rest of life.

    If that statement is too all-over-the-place for you, consider that my daughter may have the belief that dirty and scattered and disordered dishes naturally tend to cleanliness and order, but I with my higher sensibilities have the awareness that it takes an Intelligent Designer to have the dishes trend in that direction. And I don’t think the Statistical Mechanics course states anything in it to contradict that analogy.

    ‘My people’ are those who like me consider any conflict between science and theology to be an oxymoron -
    Who understand that while nature follows natural laws (duh) those laws themselves are far from no-brainers, are necessary and sufficient and critical and as yet far from completely discovered or described or adequately framed by our top domesticated Cro-Magnons -
    That the Bible does not require us to accept anything that goes against all personal and public (very important) evidence and testimony -
    But that it does document the very very few critical historic turning points in which the raised floor was opened, the wiring exposed,and a direct radical intervention on the part of the designer was allowed to stand in evidence rather than in the usual concealed manner.

    The aforementioned Gerald Schroeder is one of them, a double Phd, a physicist, marine biologist, a former member of the Atomic Energy Commission (hey, did you know each other there?), an Orthodox Jew who knows well the Bible in its original Hebrew (which Bible is lossy and pixilated in any translation possible), and who may very well have taken a Statistical Mechanics course, at least he sho ’nuff knows his entropy. A mild intellectual professorial type, not at all a Bible thumper or charismatic.

    Now, just as with cosmology, like bad comedians, evolutionary biologists like Dawkins are working with nothing. I rather enjoyed this description of Dawkins’ spastic efforts to justify his blind spots regarding ID here http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n20/eagl01_.html to wit “…Card-carrying rationalists like Dawkins, who is the nearest thing to a professional atheist we have had since Bertrand Russell, are in one sense the least well-equipped to understand what they castigate, since they don’t believe there is anything there to be understood, or at least anything worth understanding. This is why they invariably come up with vulgar caricatures of religious faith that would make a first-year theology student wince.” Nobody does condescension better than the Brits.

    I know that one needs an advanced degree to comprehend your ‘disproval’ assertion of the random generation of DNA in cosmological time and space, that must be why you didn’t supply it. I have repeatedly supplied analogies that any dullard could comprehend, while you just pompously posture and preen and imply that existence is just beyond all common sense. Guess what? I don’t believe you! Prove it! Prove anything! Dispute the elementary math that shows that the typing monkeys can produce anything but garbage in any applicable time frame! Even if and when some advanced facility has the ability to move every atom and manipulate every molecule into its proper place in a DNA sequence, are you saying that compares with its spontaneous appearance hundreds of millions of years ago, not to mention the complexity of the biological composition of spit? That’s what I meant by tinkertoys. That’s what I meant by the teenager swapping a video card and thinking he has mastered computer technology, What was your response to those? I remember now, you didn’t have one.

  185. Qd

    This thread has gone so ‘sideways’ and become a pulpit for so many peoples quasi-religious ideas that its a joke. White Noise anyone? Get back on track people … the thread is about science, with a slight remark towards creationists.

    I think I read about 2 lines of most peoples 100 line philosophical essays and my eyes glaze over. Who really believes anyone is going to read 207+ replies, after discovering 50% or more is just preaching personal religious ideas? especially when those replies are 100 lines long. Want your idea heard? Don’t write an essay, keep it to the point.

    Quit with the conjecture and present some science to your arguments. Stick with one topic and clarify it. Stop jumping from one point to another in order to ‘baffle ‘em with bu..s..t’. Quit with the personal attacks, its a waste of time, nobody cares.

    Nobody is proving anything they say. Lets just all agree many disagree (with what I am not sure anymore ) and move on. It’s obvious the Author of the article isn’t going to comment on this thread as it’s clearly a waste of time. Most people have already made up their minds that some unrelated religious issue is relevant to this topic.

  186. contrarian

    I agree. I didn’t feel compelled to respond to the previous rather tame anti-ID comments until Just Al splooged all over the topic, which prompted loud cheers for the lions from the mob, and Buzz Parsec gratuitously (and erroneously) demeaned me. I happen to think your view of this is wrong so it is a shame you avoid considering my position, but you are not offensive and that’s par for the course anyway. It is true in deference to Wayne and bassmanpete that I am not a Young Earth Creationist nor a proponent of any unsupported faith, that is I fully accept any and all substantiated data while reserving the right to reject fallacious interpretations and strained conjectures, and remain open to ever larger frameworks for present and future data. That puts me in the scientific fold at its best, that is with a perennial open mind.

    I would summarize my comment on the portion of the article that DOES attempt to impose such an interpretation that Reality Is, and by the numbers Unintelligent Nondesign cannot conceivably account for material existence, celestial mechanics, and most ultimately life, evolution and intelligence. You may or may not admit to the fact that the Bible as viewed in a knowledgable and non-juvenile manner does accurately map to what is known of cosmology and evolutionary biology, using a scheme detailed here http://yadayahweh.com/Yada_Yahweh_Genesis_Owr.YHWH and here http://yadayahweh.com/Yada_Yahweh_Genesis_Chay.YHWH , and here in a paper hosted on the Lawrence Berkely National Laboratory website by the Director of the Office of Science for the U.S. Department of Energy http://www.lbl.gov/today/2003/Feb/18-Tue/genesis-lecture1.pdf as derived from Schroeder’s books. It would take no talent by some of the posters above to deride those authors, and I have a point or two of disagreement, but I would like to see them evaluate the specific scientific treatment of the subject matter.

    Note that ID is entirely unaffected by the potential extension of some time-like phenomenon as strained through the various Uncertainty Principles before the Big Bang, and neither does it violate the centuries-old Jewish recorded comments and considerations of Biblical text.

  187. (The other) Chris

    “Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we CAN imagine.” — Arthur Eddington

  188. I can understand the notion of needing a place to start from, but do we really know that there was nothing before the big bang, bounce, whateva ya wanna call it?

    For all we know, that cosmic background could be the remnants of a Black Whole implosion that crunched everything within a given radius down to a singularity, and then puked it all back up, and the background noise we detect is the backside of the propagating wave front of that event.

    If one examines things that go BANG, even BIG ones, one notes that if not constrained by something very solid, that the effects are felt in every direction as the blast wavefront propagates in all directions. If the observer of the remnant energy, was not, in point of fact, at the very center of the event, then they would not see an even background hum in all directions. If the observer were say, halfway across the universe then the observer would expect to see different energy levels ( if measurable ) depending on the direction of examination.

    Now lets say for sake of argument that our belief that the known Universe did in fact result from a singularity that occurred someplace in the fabric of OMEGA ( can’t think of a better word to use at the moment to describe what we postulate that might have existed before the “big bang” ) and the resulting reaction caused matter to be distributed in a somewhat spherical manner. Let say we are someplace towards the edge of the known universe. Would we not see a marked difference in the energy levels that we describe as the remnant of the Big Bang, depending on where we looked? So for example, when we look toward the center, or at least what we describe as the center, of the Known Universe would it not be detected at a different energy level then say, if we looked towards the outer edge of the “expanding universe”

    It would seem to me that the inverse square law would apply to this as much as anything else we understand. If that is the case, then we should see a marked difference in energy levels if the big band theory is correct, as we look for this background.

  189. contrarian

    Love it. Just saw this one:

    “The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.” – G.K. Chesterton

  190. Richard_Dawkins

    This bouncing back doesn’t explain how this matter came to be. I understand that energy came be converted into matter and vice versa, but where did this energy come from and why does it seem infinite? The electrons in an atom are traveling near the speed of light and have been doing so for Billions of years, so what keeps the electrons moving. Quantum physicists have brought up the idea of the Zero point field of energy, but surely this energy cannot be infinite, that would go against all of what Science has tought us. I think it was einstein that brought up the idea that matter was just space folding in on itself, its an idea that sounds good, but something that I cant visualize. If someone has any insite that could help me explain these concepts better, feel free to email me Myspace.com/Buckethead_kfc2

  191. Jedi Smith

    “How do I know that God exists? Because I’ve seen his work. I’ve seen drunken, drug-ridden, wife-beating slobs become outstanding, Godly citizens. In fact, I just got off the phone call with a longtime friend whose father was a total toad before God changed him. I knew him well and he was a great mentor to me.”

    No one would deny that a radical change in belief systems could produce a radical change in actions.

    All religions have representitives that express this same idea. They were lost, then they were found, and that changed everything about them. This doesn’t prove that particular religion or philosophy, only that changing our way of thinking can produce profound effects in us.

    As my friend, who is a linguist and an AI programmer, puts it, change a persons vocabulary and you change the person.

  192. Darth Robo

    contrarian, “Everything is so complex, it MUST be designed!” (the basic idea behind ID) is not a scientific explanation. Just to be clear, I have no problem with religion. Nothing in science disproves a supernatural creator, nothing can, since a god can do ANYTHING. Which is why it is not science. I do have a problem with those who try to push their religion onto others, and ID was purely designed as a vehicle for that purpose. The whole point about the dig against creationism in this instance is the creationists habit of saying “HA! You can’t explain X so you must be wrong, therefore GODDIDIT!”. This article shows that things CAN be explained, and also that while we may not be able to explain some things now, new evidence may come to light later and science can then offer an explanation. That’s how science works.

    As for ID, the IDers tried taking their “evidence” to court. Actually, creationists have tried it many times. Each time, they failed to provide evidence. Arguments by bad analogies simply don’t cut it. But if you know more than the IDers do, then perhaps you could give them a call and tell them what experiments they could perform that can falsify ID or what useful scientific predictions that ID could possibly make.

  193. megahyper

    “If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism.” Albert Einstein

    Research prove that atom (basic building block) is 99.99% empty. the rest made of quarks and such, which is more of a frequency properties and any further probe meets limitation.

    That make us 99.99% empty, do you believe it?

    I read somewhere buddhist literature has stated that like 2 milenia ago and that truth cant be explained, it can only be experience. Something like describing the color blue.

  194. megahyper

    we have 5 senses and ants has like 2 senses. does an ant realise the magnitude of the universe? does it understand it? similarly, human and science has its limitation, what we dont see or feel doesnt mean its not there.

    The same literature has argued its best to search the answer within yourself (we r part of cosmo being, i think its meditate or such thing they refer to) rather than search the answer from the outside world.

    Big Bang or small bang, what is the answer we are looking for? or what is the question even?

  195. Robert

    If NASA were able to turn the “Galileo” probe around and return it to Earth (Traveling at the same speed in relation to earth on its return journey as its wayward journey) is any one able to say how much longer this ‘return journey’ would take than the wayward journey?
    This would be the ultimate proof of the expanding universe surely? However, as it’s so close now to the ‘edge’ of our universe I guess they’ll want to check the other side out first.

    What is the religious stand point on the expanding universe anyway?

  196. Kel

    Is it not possible that there is more than one “universe” existing at great distances of eachother?

  197. Peter Gaffney wrote:>/p>

    So there’s much in Michael McCullough’s post above which I appreciate, but I’m uneasy with his claims for the efficacy of prayer. When you claim that prayer is responsible for physical healing, you’re implying that when people do die it may be attributable to a failure to pray or a lack of faith.

    Thank you for being open-minded. The efficacy of prayer is a real problem and the apostle Paul even spoke of asking God three times for healing and not receiving that healing. Jesus even asked God the Father to spare him from the cross and was told no. Early church writers and modern writers such as C.S. Lewis have spoken of the problem of prayer yet have no simple answer.
    I myself have a disease that will require medication for the rest of my life and God has chosen not to heal me despite years of fervent prayer. Yet when I pray for other areas of my life or other people I often — though not always — see immediate or quick results. I don’t know why and at times I have been angry with God for answering no to some of my prayers.
    Miracles are not always apparently miraculous in the spooky sense. God typically uses people to do his work for him — in other words, to be ambassadors to his Kingdom. We’ve had flooding in the Dallas-area lately and, a few weeks back, my wife “accidentally” took a wrong turn in an area that she knows well and we saw a lady running through the pouring rain towards a bus stop. We pulled over, asked the lady if she wanted a ride, and she said that her boss would not take her home as he usually does and that she had missed the bus and would have to wait another half hour in the rain for the next bus. She told us that it was a miracle for us to stop and take her home. I didn’t think of it as a miracle at the time but now believe that it was because my wife has a much better sense of direction than I do and rarely takes wrong turns. One minute earlier or later and we would never have seen the woman to help her. I don’t tell this story to make myself look good but rather to show that God uses even thick-headed sinners like me to help people. God brought about the miracle to this lady and my wife and I were just the instruments that he used. I could relate many other similar stories where God has used my wife and I to help ordinary people — waiters, waitresses, people on the street — at just the time they hit rock bottom. In the years since I’ve developed a closer walk with God I find that I’m always running into people who spill their troubles to me and I’m able to help them.
    My only answer for the efficacy of prayer is that the Bible says that God’s ways are higher than our ways. I’ve discovered other people with my disease or similar diseases and found that I’ve been able to help them because they identify with me. Over the past few years I’ve come to see that dealing with my own health problems has enabled me to help others and that doing so gives meaning to my disease. It’s a lot easier to deal with troubles when they’re not meaningless. If I were not a man of faith, I would believe my sufferings to be meaningless and would slip into bitterness, envy, and anger. Since I have God in my life, I see my problems as a means to help others.
    As for the scoffers, I’m not the only one who has had prayers answered. Go to any Bible-based church, ask around, and you’ll find many, many people that have had prayers answered and have seen things that can only be described as miracles. For every phony, opportunistic televangelist such as Benny Hinn or Jimmy Swaggart there are thousands upon thousands of people who have quietly seen God’s work in themselves or others. You’ll find that many of these are exceedingly intelligent and that quite a few are scientists or engineers. I’ve found that doctors, especially, believe that God performs miracles because they’ve seen people that they considered to be hopeless cases cured after being prayed for. The church I attend has many doctors and, because of its location, an abundance of programmers, engineers, and scientists. There’s nothing that irritates a scoffer more than seeing intelligent, thoughtful, educated people who believe in God and God’s personal work in our lives. It contradicts their world view that the only people who believe in God are the feeble-minded, the closed-minded, the gullible, and the uneducated.
    To reiterate, I see no conflict between belief in a Supreme Being and science. Why? Because I see the laws of science in action every day and I also regularly seen God at work in my life and the lives of others. I put the young-earthers who ignore scientific evidence in the same class as those who hate the idea of a God. Both are ignoring reality.

  198. Skepterist

    Michael said, “God brought about the miracle to this lady and my wife and I were just the instruments that he used.”

    Its nice that you and this lady believe that there was some sort of higher intervention required, but I don’t see why. This sort of thing happens millions of times everyday, and it is simply a random act of kindness. For every one of these so-called miracles, I see real actual humans making the world a better place, all on their own. To attribute your kindness to an unseen, unproven, and uncontrollable entity somehow belittles the efforts of human beings.

    But, instead of calling so many people who want to believe in God delusional, I would rather just say as long as your belief’s don’t purposefully impede education or scientific discovery, then there’s no harm in it. People can worship a purple monkey that lip-syncs rap music for all I care, as long as their religion doesn’t try to suppress anyone else! ;)

  199. Crimefiction

    Does this mean we might be able to put a universe in your pocket someday?

  200. contrarian
  201. contrarian

    Darth 1.
    Thank you Darth, for something substantial to work with.

    contrarian, “Everything is so complex, it MUST be designed!” (the basic idea behind ID) is not a scientific explanation.

    [Yes, it is. Certainly more so than the reverse assertion. You would certainly say that about the presence of any other artifact.
    "Oh look - a hammer. There must have been a worker around here".
    "Oh look - a cigarette butt. There must have been a smoker around here".
    "Oh look - a bloody corpse. There must have been a killer around here". (Oh look - a means, motive and opportunity etc.)
    "Oh look - a cockroach. There must be a nest around here".
    Need we go on? Are these bad analogies, or any of my earlier ones? Why? You are like Oscar in The Odd Couple; when Felix moans about his gravy says "I thought the gravy just - comes". No Oscar, the gravy doesn't just come. I'm no big time mystic, but while you may be overwhelmed by a radio-telescope, you might as well be overwhelmed by the carrot you are munching on which could not be fully described in a shelf full of books exceeding those describing the radio-telescope. It's just a matter of taking it for granted.

    So all I am saying is "Oh look - an incalculably complex modular extensible interactive sustainable scalable molecular mechanism templating a diverse range of viable organisms encompassing submicroscopic plant forms to redwoods to whales to condors to worms living upon superheated ocean vents, just the usual stuff, haha I mean must have been a transcendent intelligence at work here". Why is this difficult? Not trying to confuse anybody, but I liken it to the fundamental Nyquest Theorum "Nyquist's Law, named in 1933 after scientist Harry Nyquist, states that a sound must be sampled at least twice its highest analog frequency in order to extract all of the information from the bandwidth and accurately represent the original acoustic energy". This says to me in the larger sense that the creator (excuse the expression), of a system must reside and act outside of it, and I am talking Universe here.]

  202. Skepterist

    Robert, I responded earlier to your question about the Galileo probe, but it didn’t post. (possibly because I included links?)

    Anyway, to sum up what I said:
    1) The Galileo Probe was purposefully crashed into Jupiter in September 2003.
    2) Even if it wasn’t, you still can’t simply turn it around, fire a thruster and send it back. It took years to reach Jupiter, after slinging around Venus, the Earth a couple times, and past a couple large asteroids. The orbits of the planets have changed since then.
    3) A better way to observe the expansion of the universe is to read what Edwin Hubble did in the 1920′s. Light from distant galaxies shows with some certainty that the universe is expanding, and at a measurable rate.

    Finally, most religions today don’t dispute the evidence for the expanding universe. Hundreds of years ago, the Catholic Church was so sure that the earth was at the center of the universe, that to suggest otherwise was considered blasphemy. Galileo Galilei had some trouble with the church when publishing his observations, if you recall. However, the biblical Creationists (with a capitol ‘C’) insist that the universe is between 6,000 and 10,000 years old, and that God created everything to APPEAR older.

  203. Skepterist

    contrarian, those are bad analogies. Here’s why:

    “Oh look – a hammer. There must have been a worker around here”. is a good logical assumption, but it is not a complete scientific explanation. Its the beginning of an hypothesis, but you’re not done. Are there any other hammers around? Are there any other explanations for how the hammer got there? Did it fall off of a delivery truck? Can you perform a controlled experiment to see if another hammer might appear at the same place? Etc. Its a good explanation for how the hammer got there based on your experience, but it is by no means the only answer. You obviously don’t suggest that the hammer just magically appeared from thin air, or spontaneously sprouted up out of dust.

    Now, what exactly are you saying is too complex to understand? Scientists can measure the rates of reproduction and mutation in bacteria, decode the DNA of an extinct woolly mammoth, and calculate the rate of expansion of galaxies millions and billions of light years away. This article says that not only do we have a hypothesis of how the universe began, but now we have some mathematical calculations to back it up.

    Just because we haven’t learned everything there is to know about EVERYTHING, that doesn’t mean that anything is TOO COMPLEX. If you break something down to smaller parts, and then explain those parts using the scientific method, then you rule out the need for an Intelligent Designer.

  204. (The other) Chris

    God: practical joker or sadist? Vote now!

  205. contrarian

    Skepterist, in the context of the discussion you are nitpicking. ID is everything or nothing. The alternative to Intelligent Design is Unintelligent Nondesign. The point of the analogy is not to prove there was specifically a worker, it was a shorthand to encompass any likely sequence of events that produced, transported and placed or dropped a hammer as opposed to some random event that left a flower pot or a pickle in that place.

    I don’t believe that you read my previous entries, in which I reference the likelihood of those rates of reproduction and all that. It would be tedious to cobble a summary together and this is not the ideal forum to do that, but the gist is that it has to do with orders of magnitude, with the result that the driving force for those hypotheses is that there is no designer, so that we must accept impossibly unlikely sequences of random events occurring to produce an evolution that is actually counter to everything we know about random events. The idea that those hypotheses have it all pretty well right is an article of faith on the part of scientists who are alas all too human and emotional despite their stated alleigance to rationality. I get the smaller less complex parts thing, but I also pointed out that we are far closer to bacteria than bacteria are to inanimate elements and minerals. And woolly mammoths are not one bit less complex and developed physicall than are elephants or we ourselves. There is no reason imaginable by your hypotheses that you cannot find the ecosphere writhing with intermediate biochecmical forms of some hypothetical functionality, but it isn’t. Structure is not implied by chaos, and life and intelligence are not implied by structure. Any more than ore implies nuggets implies screws implies motors implies semiconductors implies computers, at least in the absence of intelligent input.

  206. contrarian

    Sorry Darth. For some reason the software is not allowing me to post the remainder of my response to you. I thought it was just too long so I posted the first portion earlier, and I will try the rest later.

  207. Randy

    G*ddam it. All I wanted to do today was want to come home from a hard day of work, smoke a fatty (mission completed), drink a couple beers (also completed), and surf some internet p*rn (shall be completed after this post). But no… I clicked the f*cking stumble button and here I sit. Now I’m pondering myself being chemicals questioning themselves and sh*t. Now I HAVE to get my Sagan fix… Better roll myself another fatty. Peace out my homeskillets! Randall P.

  208. I am an atheist who likes to make posts in religious forums. One I was in recently raised the question about the universe having had a beginning, hence needing a “beginer’ or “creator” to cause that beginning. I replied that I always assumed it never had a beginning and that the tiny mass from which it blew up from was the contracted earlier universe. It is all natural cause and effect. Now, it would appear there is mathematical evidence I was right.

    charles, http://humanpurpose.simplenet.com

    In Google under HUMANPURPOSE, there are 2,100 of my posts!

  209. Skepterist

    contrarian, I did read your previous posts, but I was answering your specific questions, “Are these bad analogies, or any of my earlier ones? Why?” from one post. I answered those questions.

    I don’t recall stating a hypothesis, so I don’t understand your statement: “There is no reason imaginable by your hypotheses that you cannot find the ecosphere writhing with intermediate biochecmical forms of some hypothetical functionality, but it isn’t.” To what are you referring?

    You are also completely wrong with your comment on faith and science. You said, “The idea that those hypotheses have it all pretty well right is an article of faith on the part of scientists who are alas all too human and emotional despite their stated alleigance to rationality.” This tells me you have no comprehension of the actual nature of the scientific method. An hypothesis has nothing to do with faith. It is a statement that will be proven or disproven by observation and experimentation. The FACTS may prove or disprove the idea, but they have nothing to do with faith.

    Intelligent Design says that the world on which we live is too complex to have occurred by chance. Science says the data does not support that hypothesis.

  210. contrarian

    Not a great hell of a lot of evidence if you read the article. It’s similar to saying that you are a reincarnation of Julius Caesar, or Julius Caesar’s shoeshine boy. Maybe you are but so what? Let’s be aware that ‘mathematical evidence’ is a case of the tail wagging the dog. Is this a case of the ‘preponderance of evidence’? Nope. A case of ‘clear and convincing evidence’? Nope. How about ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’? I think not. More like ‘let’s goof around with some stuff and see what shakes out’. That’s ok but it has nothing to do with being The Great Atheist Hope. The ‘beginning’ certainly qualifies if necessary as all the beginning we have to care about, and the subsequent time is ‘our’ time.

  211. Buzz Parsec

    So contrarian, once again you resort to ad hominen attacks. Don’t like Dawkins’ views on religion and atheism? This obviously disproves his arguments about the irrelevence of the “million monkeys typing” analogy. Did you read the reference I provided (“The Blind Watchmaker”)? You certainly haven’t responded to it.

  212. fireflyrev

    Universe out of universe out ….. Never thought of that before as I recall. Mind blowing premise. Need to rethink my Systematic Theology in terms of Creative Urge rather than Paul Tillich’s Ground of Being. That won’t be easy for me at age 75. But I shall.

  213. Caleb

    Just wanted to add my 2 cents on the science/religion discussion going on.

    The way I view science and religion is that they have the same goal, “The pursuit of truth.” Being both scientifically and religiously minded, this leads me to think of the following whenever I see the science/religion debate come up.

    Whenever there is an apparent conflict between science and religion it is one of three things:
    1- False religion in the face of true science
    2- False science in the face of true religion
    3- False science in the face of false religion

    A favorite quote by Carl Sagan:
    “How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed”? Instead they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.” A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.”

    Truth should never threaten a dedicated scientist or believer.

  214. Irishman

    Robert said:
    > If NASA were able to turn the “Galileo” probe around and return it to Earth (Traveling at the same speed in relation to earth on its return journey as its wayward journey) is any one able to say how much longer this ‘return journey’ would take than the wayward journey?
    This would be the ultimate proof of the expanding universe surely?

    No. Here’s an analogy. Depart from New York City, drive down the Atlantic coast to Orlando, Florida. Then drive up to Memphis, Tennessee, then down to New Orleans. Drive along the Gulf coast to Houston, take a detour to Mexico City, Mexico, then drive up to the Grand Canyon, pass through Las Vegas, and finally reach Las Angeles. Now make a return trip from Las Angeles through Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and as close to a straight shot as you can go. Okay, so it took you a lot less time and distance to get back than it took to get there. That’s proof the USA is shrinking, right?

    Space probe traveling is a lot like described above. There are lots of detours and slingshotting around planets to change speed. It takes increasing speed to go outward, and decreasing speed to come inward. And the positions of the planets and alignments with respect to each other are constantly changing, so the return trip can never be the reverse of the outbound trip.

    > However, as it’s so close now to the ‘edge’ of our universe I guess they’ll want to check the other side out first.

    I think you are dramatically confused about the nature of the Galileo probe, the size and scope of the Solar System vs the Universe, and just about anything dealing with space. Galileo was sent to Jupiter, about halfway out in the Solar System. It circled Jupiter and then was crashed into the planet. Pioneer and Voyagers 1 and 2 have been sent outward from the Solar System and are reaching the edges of the Solar System. No, that is not anywhere near the edges of the universe (if the universe can even be considered to have edges).

  215. contrarian too

    I have not been able to successfully submit anything substantial here for two days, either by url or by size. Not to be paranoid. But lest we thing you go unanswered.

    For Buzz Parsec, I didn’t eagerly run to the bookstore for the Blind watchmaker book, but I did read enough summary to comprehend that Dawkins didn’t disprove anything of the sort. What he demonstrated is that it is not necessary to plow through all permutations of a change IF ONE CAN ONLY RETAIN THE POSITIVE CHANGES AND LEAVING BEHIND THE UNPRODUCTIVE ONES. WOW. So the watchmaker is not blind after all. And one does need a god because this process happens all by itself. Isn’t that circular reasoning? And he doesn’t account for the existence of a sustained process of change anyway, meaning that all he did was to satisfy himself that given a chicken, there is an improved likelihood of an egg and vice versa, however he does not account for the fact of improved chickens or eggs.

    So that Dawkins actually proved the opposite of what he said he proved, but you depended on Dawkins’ reputed ten inch IQ to relieve you of the necessity of actually figuring that out.

  216. contrarian too

    Correction to above – “And one does not need a god because this process happens all by itself.”

  217. Collapsing universes theory goes back to 1967-1970
    Poul Anderson’s book Tau Zero
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tau_Zero

  218. Tim

    The idea that the universe could collapse into a “Big Crunch” and then “reincarnate” itself in a new universe with different parameters has been shown to not match observations, as the space-time manifold of the universe is expanding at an every increasing rate. But let’s suppose that “dark energy” (the “anti-gravity” factor that drives the expansion and gets stronger as the universe gets bigger) didn’t exist and that there was enough matter in the universe to put the brakes on and stop the expansion and then to cause the universe to collapse back on itself. Where would it collaspe to? Simplistically, one would think it would be to the “center” of the universe where it all started from. But in the real universe, there is no “center” (or conversely, everywhere is the “center”). Just as there is no “center” to the surface of the earth, there is likewise no such point in the universe, which acts like a “3-dimensional surface”. The Big Bang was not an “explosion” into already existing space, but the unfurling of infinitely curved space dimensions from a singularity.
    However, if the “Big Crunch” scenario is correct, then it seems to me that this would require not only the reconcentrating of all matter back to a singularity, but also of the space-time dimensions. The orginal blog says concerning the “previous universe”, “It was out there, everywhere, and it contracted. Eventually it became an ultradense, ultrahot little ball of space and time.” Presumably, this is not intended to imply that the arrow of time itself reverses so that we first die and then get younger and younger until we begin in a moment of ecstasy and so on back to T=0, but at least the space dimension are apparently assumed to contract back to a singularity. Gravity may distort space-time, but even if it were able to brake the expansion of galaxies away from each other within space-time, could it even in theory pull the dimensions of space-time back to a singularity? I would think not. In other words, it would involve matter being attracted to each other at some point in space, which could only become a giant black hole. And since the universe doesn’t have a center, I would think there would be no way for the mass to collapse into one point. I suppose the best you could hope for in that scenario is millions of localized points (perhaps the centers of galactic clusters), but there would be no way for those to collapse together since they’d be pulling at each other in all directions within space. I’d like to know what proponents of this reincarnating universe think about the space-time dimensions in the Big Crunch scenario. What is it that would or could collaspe that back to a singularity?

  219. Darth Robo

    contrarian:

    “Are these bad analogies,”

    Yes, because although you gave natural explanations for each, we could also say “Goddidit” – yet we would have no way to prove or disprove it. Example: “Look. There’s a hammer, there must be a worker around here. Or maybe Goddidit.”

    “That’s ok but it has nothing to do with being The Great Atheist Hope.”

    Or maybe the article could be right AND Goddidit. I keep pointing out to religious types that science in NO WAY denies (or confirms) the existence of a creator. It simply points to how things happen. If a god DID do it, then that’s fine. So, to say this article is just an atheist excuse is quite daft. But the simple fact is, there is NO WAY to test whether or not ANYTHING has been done by a supernatural creator.

    Unless uh, anyone out there can STILL tell me what experiments IDer’s could perform that can falsify ID or what useful scientific predictions that ID could possibly make.

    (sound of crickets chirping)

    Thought not.

  220. contrarian too

    Darth Robo
    Oddly enough, there are days I don’t visit every web page I know. But as a matter of fact, you are not refuting me at all, only re-repeating what I have said repeatedly. It’s easy for you to win a point as long as you take both sides of the discussion and put words in the other guy’s mouth. Let’s get something straight. I am linking and quoting and pointing to sources, and you are not. Merely harrumphing that the very top… top! thinkers of science say there is no god is to duck the actual heavy lifting involved in considering the issue.

    I throw the ball back into your court to conduct or propose experiments that show that existence, life and intelligence can rationally develop in any time frame from undifferentiated energy and a few physical relationships. Go on, this is a no brainer for Rational Science Man… (sound of crickets chirping…) watch out for circular reasoning here, as in ‘it’s true because it happened that way”. But the proof cannot be from within the system, as in selecting white moths or grey moths, or long or short stalked wheat in a controlled environment that promotes the growth or inhibition of one case. That’s cheating. Create matter and life first, you have bazillions of particles and ergs and whatnot to work with.

    The intellectual evidence for ID of course is the Jewish Scriptures, but you don’t credit that – fine. The physical evidence is obviously circumstantial. Far less than the idea of the Big Bounce, sitting way out on an extrapolated proposed supposed twig at the end of a thin limb, but nevertheless. Here comes another ‘bad analogy’. If you encounter a rock it indicates nothing. If you encounter a regular row of rocks stacked up several layers high it indicates something. Even if you don’t have an eyewitness to the building or a video of it, you know it is the product of an intelligent design. It is impossible in practical terms for this to be untrue. You don’t have to be a world class genius to grok this, but even world class geniuses can’t get around it. Feel free to try. Fred Hoyle also ‘believed’ the natural selection theory, until he did the math. Sir Anthony Flew, perhaps the foremost intellectual atheist of our time is now in his old age a Deist, based upon his exposure to Gerald Schroeder’s ‘The Science of God’.

    I have no problem with this article at all. It is what it is, and I can even find ancient traditions corresponding to that scenario. The discovery could help make sense of those that are difficult to understand. For example, there was a mystic named Nachmanides several centures ago who asserted from his traditions that the initial creation was an entity the size of a ‘mustard seed’ (euphemism for an infinitesimal speck) and the rest developed from that. This seemed to make no sense until this century, was possibly even the source of ridicule by those who tend to pretend to know more than they do.

    I only take issue with the BA’s own assertion that this ‘sticks it’ to creationists (remember; for me old earth, not necessarily literal at least in common terms, etc.) Everything I need to say I have said if you would only read it. ID contradicting scientific observation or conservative extrapolation (not ‘Science’) is an oxymoron. To ask for a natural proof of the supernatural is also a logical impossibility.

  221. matt V.

    I am new here, have been studying all things space for some time now, and I do like the bounce theory. Much better than that one about the branes colliding and shooting out matter. This is one of the only questions that really catches my attention, what happened before the big bang. I have a theory of my own that i have been working on for a few years now that no one knows about. I have tried to explaine it to some of my friends but no one ever understands all the physics stuff. I dont want to go into great detail, so im gonna keep it short and sweet. The whole theory is based around black holes. We know that black holes suck in everything that gets near them, and breaks it down to its most basic fundamental forms. But we dont know where it goes. I think that a black hole is the “gate way” into a worm hole that leads to some blank empty area unimaginably far outside our universe. This supports the multiverse theory too. now i do have alot of reasearch and other stuff to support my theory but remember, im trying to keep it simple. So basically what im saying is a Black hole sucks everything into a worm hole then shoots it all out the recieving end at a blank place in space with a massive exposion, a big bang, and since black holes rip everthing apart and breaks it all down, you are left with all of the basic building blocks for a universe shooting out the other end. Thats basically the rough idea of it, I just wanted to see what other people think of it. thanks.

  222. Ram Booger

    So Basically,

    The universe is a Windows operating system, with occasional reboots (bounces) and the general wierdness of the place is due to all the patches (fine tuning) that are appied to resolve security issues and bugs.

    I wonder what the universe would be like if it ran on Linux?

  223. Skepterist

    matt V, I think Gene Roddenberry stole your idea. I’ve seen wormholes in like 50 episodes of Star Trek. ;)

  224. Skepterist

    contrarian,

    You said, “If you encounter a rock it indicates nothing. If you encounter a regular row of rocks stacked up several layers high it indicates something. Even if you don’t have an eyewitness to the building or a video of it, you know it is the product of an intelligent design.”

    Does that mean an ant hill (which is comprised of many hundreds of layers of rocks) was an intelligent design? What about a beaver dam? Or a beehive? Are you implying that a bug’s intelligence is different than or the same as God’s? Not to mention, to a geologist, that rock which you suggest means nothing can tell a great many things. So, once again your analogies do not help support your position, and only seem to confuse people.

    Perhaps instead of coming up with a bunch of bizarre analogies, you should keep things short and simple. Like when you said, “I only take issue with the BA’s own assertion that this ’sticks it’ to creationists (remember; for me old earth, not necessarily literal at least in common terms, etc.)”

    I think many of the people here (including Phil) have said many times that we’re talking about the Young Earth and/or Literal Creationists – those that insist that the earth is 6,000 years old, that evolution is a lie, the big bang didn’t happen, and everything else that contradicts the Bible is scientific mumbo-jumbo. If you’re not one of those, then why are you arguing? ;)

    Oh, and I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure the experiment using simple chemicals and water, plus a bit of electricity successfully created amino acids, which are indeed the building blocks of life. No Higher Intervention was required, unless you want to say that God made it so that when you put the right ingredients together, they will produce life.

  225. Darth Robo

    contrarian:

    “Merely harrumphing that the very top… top! thinkers of science say there is no god is to duck the actual heavy lifting involved in considering the issue.”

    Not all the “top top thinkers of science” say there is no god. Some are even religious themselves. I’m certainly not saying that.

    “I throw the ball back into your court to conduct or propose experiments that show that existence, life and intelligence can rationally develop in any time frame from undifferentiated energy and a few physical relationships.”

    In other words you’re saying: “Science can’t explain how the universe came to be or how life started, so GODDIDIT!”. Sorry, but that don’t cut it. God might have done it. I repeat (in case you missed it before) NOTHING in science makes any comment whatsoever as to the possibility of a supernatural creator. God MAY have done it. But there is no way to tell. As for science not being able to explain everything, that’s okay. We don’t know everything, but it is always possible that as we learn new things, new evidence may turn up in the future that may let us know a little bit more. That’s how science works. If Goddidit, that’s fine, but that does not help us understand HOW it was done.

    “To ask for a natural proof of the supernatural is also a logical impossibility.”

    Correct. We’re learning. You understand then why the concept of a supernatural creator is not scientific. I’m afraid you’re still using bad analogies to try to justify ID. Instead of using analogies, or just saying that something is “so complex, it MUST be designed!” perhaps someone somewhere can actually point to what it is EXACTLY about biological organisms that point to “Intelligent Design”.

  226. contrarian

    Skepterist
    I rather pride myself on my analogies, which are neither bizarre nor confusing but frame the issues in a commonsense appropriate scale. Frankly anyone can hide as much ignorance as they want in words of four syllables or more plus numbers and symbols, because 99% of people will just think you know more than they do and give you a pass when you say “You don’t qualify to participate in this discussion unless you have taken a course in such-and such”. I suggest that it is you who are being confusing by taking irrelevant potshots at these analogies and failing to engage their central point. The proper way for you to win this point is to be like the Masked Magician on TV a while back – “This trick is explained by seeing the underside of the tray, or the misdirection when the curtain is closed” etc. In order to win this one you can’t just say there is no intelligent design, you have to explain why there appears to be one even though there isn’t. I do hope you are not saying that there is not even the appearance of an intelligent design preceding the creation of ‘Seinfeld’.

    OF COURSE the anthill is an intelligent design. And a beaver dam and a beehive. Are YOU implying that a bug’s intelligence is different than or the same as Dirt’s? You and I don’t won’t know everything about even an individual bug’s intelligence for a long time, but it is reasonable to consider the hive with its specialized divisions as a single organism, with an unknown connection to parent or species-wide knowledge. Maybe a bug sees God as The Big Bug. Complexity can occur at any point in the Spreadsheet of Life; internal/external, individual/social and so on. What of the varieties of symbiosis, especially the mutually dependent kinds? Termites digest wood by means of a bacteria in their digestive organs. How long did it take for the first lucky termite to hook up with the first such bacterium?

    When it comes to young/old earth, I take your point. The reason I am arguing is because it is frustrating to me to see all this energy wasted on such a debate. I say, “Why not pick on someone your own size?” Instead, by ridiculing the straw man of the young earth guys, you imply that the point is won with the old earth guys, who happily join you on a love and appreciation of science, on the search for truth and journey of discovery, and yet consider fundamentalist atheists as closed minded and blind to the obvious. Yes, I know they say the same. Who is it who is stretching the point? Some objective criteria could be devised. I address that point in my next response to Darth Robo.

  227. contrarian

    Darth Robo

    Not all the “top top thinkers of science” say there is no god. Some are even religious themselves. I’m certainly not saying that.

    [No, but what you are saying is that their religion need not or must not have anything to do with their science, and I am saying is that any search for truth must be holistic or it is not true. We don't have to get into it, but the separation of soul/mind/body/mind/soul or abstract/concrete etc. is a philosophical one.]

    In other words you’re saying: “Science can’t explain how the universe came to be or how life started, so GODDIDIT!”.

    [Let’s not use other words, my words are fine. We have seen you before avoid engaging a direct challenge by changing the subject and putting words in the challenger’s mouth. Oh, well. In fact, I was just speaking your own language challenging me to scientifically prove intelligent design. Which I did in a circumstantial way, and which you ignored. By the way, science is probably doing ok on describing the process. Just not the feasability for that process to take place in the absence of intelligence. To use an analogy, I am drinking a cup of coffee which was produced by entirely natural means, but certainly not in a process devoid of direction or intention, and which could not have been produced that way. And now back to you, Darth, “I throw the ball back into your court to conduct or propose experiments that show that existence, life and intelligence can rationally develop in any time frame from undifferentiated energy and a few physical relationships. Go on, this is a no brainer for Rational Science Man… (sound of crickets chirping…) watch out for circular reasoning here, as in ‘it’s true because it happened that way”.”

    Perhaps someone somewhere can actually point to what it is EXACTLY about biological organisms that point to “Intelligent Design”.

    [Hokay, let’s do that. I’ll introduce that with what I left out of my response to Skeptarist, which was the 1953 graduate student Stanley Miller experiments in which he rigged up a ‘chemical soup’ and shot some eye of newt and toe of frog into it for a week and discovered some amino acids, “indeed the building blocks of life”. The problem being that bricks are the building blocks of the Trump Tower in New York, and bear the same relationship to it as amino acids do to even a microorganism. This experiment has been reported in textbooks ever since; although it wasn’t such a hot experiment by post-1953 standards after all.

    http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/did-life-form-by-accident.htm
    This is a link to a wholly scientific discussion on that point, assembling the views of:
    Ilya Prigogine, chemist-physicist, recipient of two Nobel Prizes in chemistry – zero chance of life spontaneously arising on the earth.
    George Wald, Nobel laureate, evolutionist – same conclusion
    Francis Crick, awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery of DNA – same conclusion, “the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle” with the refinement of a proposal that our solar system was seeded by frozen bacteria sent here by intelligent extraterrestrials.
    astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle, same conclusion except to add that a Higher Intelligence must have created those extraterrestrials.

    Skeptarist “Oh, and I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure the experiment using simple chemicals and water, plus a bit of electricity successfully created amino acids, which are indeed the building blocks of life.”

    These guys are experts and are as aware as all of you of the 1953 Stanley Miller experiments.

  228. contrarian

    Darth Robo

    Not all the “top top thinkers of science” say there is no god. Some are even religious themselves. I’m certainly not saying that.

    [No, but what you are saying is that their religion need not or must not have anything to do with their science, and I am saying is that any search for truth must be holistic or it is not true. We don't have to get into it, but the separation of soul/mind/body/mind/soul or abstract/concrete etc. is a philosophical one.]

    In other words you’re saying: “Science can’t explain how the universe came to be or how life started, so GODDIDIT!”.

    [Let’s not use other words, my words are fine. We have seen you before avoid engaging a direct challenge by changing the subject and putting words in the challenger’s mouth. Oh, well. In fact, I was just speaking your own language challenging me to scientifically prove intelligent design. Which I did in a circumstantial way, and which you ignored. By the way, science is probably doing ok on describing the process. Just not the feasability for that process to take place in the absence of intelligence. To use an analogy, I am drinking a cup of coffee which was produced by entirely natural means, but certainly not in a process devoid of direction or intention, and which could not have been produced that way. And now back to you, Darth, “I throw the ball back into your court to conduct or propose experiments that show that existence, life and intelligence can rationally develop in any time frame from undifferentiated energy and a few physical relationships. Go on, this is a no brainer for Rational Science Man… (sound of crickets chirping…) watch out for circular reasoning here, as in ‘it’s true because it happened that way”.”

    Perhaps someone somewhere can actually point to what it is EXACTLY about biological organisms that point to “Intelligent Design”.

    [Hokay, let’s do that. I’ll introduce that with what I left out of my response to Skeptarist, which was the 1953 graduate student Stanley Miller experiments in which he rigged up a ‘chemical soup’ and shot some eye of newt and toe of frog into it for a week and discovered some amino acids, “indeed the building blocks of life”. The problem being that bricks are the building blocks of the Trump Tower in New York, and bear the same relationship to it as amino acids do to even a microorganism. This experiment has been reported in textbooks ever since; although it wasn’t such a hot experiment by post-1953 standards after all.

    http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/did-life-form-by-accident.htm
    This is a link to a wholly scientific discussion on that point, assembling the views of:
    Ilya Prigogine, chemist-physicist, recipient of two Nobel Prizes in chemistry – zero chance of life spontaneously arising on the earth.
    George Wald, Nobel laureate, evolutionist – same conclusion
    Francis Crick, awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery of DNA – same conclusion, “the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle” with the refinement of a proposal that our solar system was seeded by frozen bacteria sent here by intelligent extraterrestrials.
    astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle, same conclusion except to add that a Higher Intelligence must have created those extraterrestrials.

    All of these guys were as aware as you of the Stanley Miller experiments.

  229. contrarian

    Sorry for the double post. May the Force delete the last one but please leave the first one.

  230. Skepterist

    contrarian,

    Its like you’re paddling upstream, and you are shouting your beliefs, but everyone here on the side is trying to tell that not only is most of what you are saying wrong, but also that you you’re on a road, not in a river.

    How’s that for a lousy ananlogy? ;)

  231. Common bloody sense

    Just Al – hear hear. Very nicely done.

    burnsie13 / contrarian (same guy) – you are an idiot. If you want to deny science, then go ahead and stop using the internet.

  232. Darth Robo

    “In order to win this one you can’t just say there is no intelligent design, you have to explain why there appears to be one even though there isn’t.”

    And yet you still haven’t answered the question. What EXACTLY points to design? (No analogies)

    “Why not pick on someone your own size?”

    Because its the creationists who are trying to force their crap into schools. It’s illlegal. They should stop.

    “I am saying is that any search for truth must be holistic or it is not true.”

    Science is not the search for truth, but the best explanation of the facts. Truth is philosophical and subjective.

    “putting words in the challenger’s mouth.”

    Well, I saw it more as like boiling it down to its basic premise.

    ““I throw the ball back into your court to conduct or propose experiments that show that existence, life and intelligence can rationally develop in any time frame from undifferentiated energy and a few physical relationships.”

    That is abiogenesis, something which no scientist claims to have all the answers to. And until they do, creationists will always complain that they won’t take their “god theory” seriously. If you are interested in abiogenesis, look here:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob

    “This is a link to a wholly scientific discussion”

    From Judaism Online…

    “Fred Hoyle”

    Wasn’t a chemist or a biologist. He was also wrong about some things, like “steady state universe” for example.

    Remember, I don’t have a problem with religion, but I do have a problem with creationism masquerading as science. Which was what ID was found to be.

  233. contrarian too

    Skepterist

    Unsurprisingly, you are missing the entire point of my many patient submissions. It is true that I am paddling upstream, but only because I seem to be in enemy territory. However, I challenge anyone to state a point of fact on which I am wrong. I am in full agreement with you and any and every mainstream scientist on their verified observations, the implication of their extrapolations, natural principles and the course of events. The timeline, the progression, no argument. No shouting, no unsupported beliefs. The difference between us is that I don’t give them a pass on their UNscientific speculations and pronouncments and interpretations and you do, such as an artificial constraint on the cause of events that occur in an UNnatural manner. Those kinds of things are obviously coming from another place, such as a closed-minded faith-based Taliban-like fundamentalist atheism.

    An example of your thinking on that (not an analogy) that comes to mind is the old ‘Spontaneous Generation’ theory of Aristotle, i.e that mice, maggots, fleas etc. just appear out of nowhere because the conditions are right for them. This idea lasted for twenty centuries among wise learned men, and when it was questioned in the mid-1600′s, the establishment ridiculed them “To question this (i.e., spontaneous generation) is to question reason, sense and experience. If he doubts of this let him go to Egypt, and there he will find the fields swarming with mice, begot of the mud of Nylus, to the great calamity of the inhabitants.”. This is where you are standing with your Abiogenesis. It makes no sense, but you cling to it because not because you have evidence for it but because you must avoid the alternative. That is unscientific.

    You and a couple of others on the other hand (you are more civil) have simply not engaged my points or explained or supported your position. Isn’t that what this ‘discussion’ thing is about? By calling me a shouter or simply even a believer you are being misleading. You demean, ridicule, patronize, cheer and boo the sides – it’s silly. Engage my points in a serious way. Explain how an ultradense, ultrahot teensy weensy little dot of uncertainty and chaos expands and crystallizes into order, complexity, life and intelligence. Or propose something that makes sense in the absence of purpose. Here is a new opportunity. …Go!

    To Common bloody sense
    Common bloody sense/Just Al, same guy. Is the best you can do to call yourself another name and compliment yourself? Pathetic. Calling me an idiot is obviously a cry for help, and I hope you get it. Namaste.

  234. Irishman

    matt V. said:
    > We know that black holes suck in everything that gets near them, and breaks it down to its most basic fundamental forms. But we dont know where it goes. I think that a black hole is the “gate way” into a worm hole that leads to some blank empty area unimaginably far outside our universe.

    The problem with the gateway idea is that if it were true, Black Holes would loss mass and shrink. Hawking radiation shows this to be true to a very small degree, but not to the degree necessary to match your thesis.

    Black holes don’t send their matter anywhere, the mass goes into the hole and gets compressed into energy. Thus the black hole grows.

  235. contrarian too

    Ah, Darth, Darth, Darth. I’m amazed at your ability to avoid or deflect what I am saying and change the subject. You have me playing ping-pong to your statements and refuse to return my shots.

    Darth: And yet you still haven’t answered the question. What EXACTLY points to design? (No analogies)
    [The same thing that points to any design of anything. The order of magnitude of complexity that exceeds mere improbability. When you say 'no analogies' you are rigging the game here. The monolith in the movie 2001 points to design. My cup of coffee and even the mug points to design. A nuclear submarine points to design, in fact to more design than the coffee mug. And the most miniscule non-visible life form points to more design than anything humans can even conceive of designing.]

    Darth: Because its the creationists who are trying to force their crap into schools. It’s illlegal. They should stop.
    [As far as I can tell, the creationists are not trying to teach the Bible or use the 'G' word. They are trying to have a minimal caveat inserted into the discussion to the effect that the random hypothesis of Life, the Universe and Everything is unconfirmed, untested, unproven, and in dispute WITHIN the scientific community, which is nothing more than the truth. And that is all I can hope to achieve as well. I don't imagine I can compel intellectual courage and integrity on anyone who insists on living in the Matrix of the background radiation of some moldy old academic/cultural indoctrination, but I hope to raise a little awareness. If you had been offered a reasonable alternative to the absurd hypothesis of something from nothing in purely natural terms, your mind would be open today.

    Darth: Science is not the search for truth, but the best explanation of the facts. Truth is philosophical and subjective.
    [That's a bizarre and picayune statement, but in defernce to your emotional need to quibble we'll work with it. On some terms I can agree. In fact, after simple mechanical and chemical observations and demonstrations, very much of what we know is by inference. Electromagnetism, 'wavicles', gravity, radiation, are all abstract concepts, measurable but not essentially described. But move on to particles, neutrinos, black matter, black energy and their existence is all inferred. For example, when you step in a stinking pile, you can infer that... never mind. Human history contains testimony conerning 'the best explanation for the facts'. What is yours?

    Darth: Well, I saw it more as like boiling it down to its basic premise.
    [Thanks, but you boiled off the basic premise and dealt with some kind of residue. Stick to the substantive.]

    Darth: That is abiogenesis, something which no scientist claims to have all the answers to. And until they do, creationists will always complain that they won’t take their “god theory” seriously. If you are interested in abiogenesis, look here:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob

    [Yes, abiogenesis is very much a topic of interest here. Your website goes to great lengths to confuse the issue by the use of misdirection, spin, misinterpretation and exaggeration of weak and fragmentary findings. It is loaded with irrelevent verbiage along and contradicts some of the generally accepted principles of scientific conduct. It has a long list of strained stupid calims for creationists, talk about setting up straw men. It brings to mind that great line from Homer Simpson "Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals..." In any case, the conclusion is not as one would hope "Q.E.D., but the usual "It didn't HAFTA be that way" The underwhelming bottom line is that life eveloped from some kinds of rudimentary proto-life that would have required insanely specialized environments to exist, for more time than was available. All this with no evidence. And although you can blame the demise of the dinosaurs upon global warming, cooling, volcanic ash etc, there is no such excuse for the lack of rudimentary and intermediate forms on the biochemical level. By the way, several scientific upheavals have taken place since 1998 when this site was last updated.]

  236. Darth Robo

    Okay, I’m guessing too many links is why this didn’t show up. Let’s try this…

    contrarian:

    “And the most miniscule non-visible life form points to more design than anything humans can even conceive of designing.”

    Uh, that’s the point. So if humans cannot even CONCEIVE OF DESIGNING a ‘miniscule non-visible lifeform’ then how on earth can we say that it is the product of “intelligent design”? I’m amazed at your ability to avoid or deflect what I am asking and uh, actually TELL me what EXACTLY points to ‘intelligent design’. Still. But don’t feel bad, I know that you can’t since even the people who invented ID can’t either. But hey, you just keep your fingers in yer ears, dude. If you wanna believe in ID, that’s fine. Just don’t expect everyone else to take it seriously.

    “As far as I can tell, the creationists are not trying to teach the Bible or use the ‘G’ word.”

    (ahem) Wedge Document. ‘cdesign proponentsists’. Dover trial. (In fact there have been a number of creationism trials since 1925. The creo’s lost every one)

    “If you had been offered a reasonable alternative to the absurd hypothesis of something from nothing in purely natural terms, your mind would be open today.”

    It’s open. I’m just waiting for a reasonable alternative. :)

    “What is yours?”

    What does it matter? I’m not a scientist, which is why I leave the ‘best explanation of the facts’ to scientists. The problem with creationists, is that they insist on arguing with scientists and expecting to take them seriously. Until they come up with something that’s peer reviewed, it’s just tuff.

    “Your website goes to great lengths to confuse the issue by the use of misdirection, spin, misinterpretation and exaggeration of weak and fragmentary findings. It is loaded with irrelevent verbiage along and contradicts some of the generally accepted principles of scientific conduct. It has a long list of strained stupid calims for creationists, talk about setting up straw men.”

    Well, since that site was written by actual, ya know, scientists, why should I even pay attention to any of your garbled criticisms? You don’t seem to have a great understanding of science from what I can tell, and if you have a problem with what’s written on that site, then perhaps you could contact them and tell them what they got wrong? It still gets monitored, and some articles ARE actually updated today. As for me, I admit I’m no scientist, so there is very little point in me giving you any detailed explanations, I usually leave that to people far more qualified (hence the link). You seem to be taking more issue with people being ‘mean’ to creationists rather than take notice of the science. However, if you are interested in the science, you can always take your questions to any of these places:

    wwwDOTpandasthumbDOTorg

    http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?act=SF;f=14

    wwwDOTricharddawkinsDOTnet/forum

    There are people there who are far more knowledgable about specific science topics than I am (some are even scientists) and they’ll always be happy to answer any science questions you may have. Maybe I’ll see you there. :)

  237. contrarian too

    Darth: Uh, that’s the point. So if humans cannot even CONCEIVE OF DESIGNING a ‘miniscule non-visible lifeform’ then how on earth can we say that it is the product of “intelligent design”?

    [If English is not your first language, I apologize any perceived impatience on my part. Let's go slower. What I said can't possibly be your point. I'm not saying you need to take an advanced logic course but really, you're embarrassing youself. Focus. Our most advanced scientific concepts and constructs and project technology do not allow us even to construct a lifeform, let alone visualizing and designing a viable one. The most we can do is some kinds of cutting and pasting in some blunt instrument manner with a low and uncertain yield of results. However with intense study we are unraveling the scale of design technology of some of the components and subassemblies of them. This unmistakably points to an intelligence that transcends our ability to comprehend it, along with the implementation abilities and the attendant meaning and implications of that fact. That is the answer to your question. It is actually so simple that I take Your inability to take that seriously as purely emotional, not intellectual.]

    Darth: “As far as I can tell, the creationists are not trying to teach the Bible or use the ‘G’ word.”

    [I am talking about the latest contemporary effort in this regard which is minimalist and focused only on the core issue. To quote myself, "They are trying to have a minimal caveat inserted into the discussion to the effect that the random hypothesis of Life, the Universe and Everything is unconfirmed, untested, unproven, and in dispute WITHIN the scientific community, which is nothing more than the truth."]

    Darth: It’s open. I’m just waiting for a reasonable alternative. :)
    [Me too. In nature, there no existence from non-existence, and that includes no advanced complex structural and functional design as an outcome from undifferentiated raw materials. The only reasonable alternative is the seeding of our earth by intergalctic extraterrestrials a la Fred Hoyle, but with a bit of thought even you can see that this doesn't buy you much. even Hoyle could not have been happy with the necessity to go there.]

    Darth: “What is yours?”
    What does it matter? I’m not a scientist, which is why I leave the ‘best explanation of the facts’ to scientists. The problem with creationists, is that they insist on arguing with scientists and expecting to take them seriously. Until they come up with something that’s peer reviewed, it’s just tuff.

    [Well, you devoting a lot of time and effort trying to discredit and refute me for someone who has no personal feeling for the topic. btw, I suppose it would be gauche of me to point out that your last statement contradicts your previous one on being open minded and reasonable. Anyway, a large creationist science advocates are working scientists or trained scientifically. I like to cite Gerald Schroeder because I have read his stuff, heard him lecture and his academic credentials and resume are muy macho. Undergrad, grad and Double PhD. Physics from MIT and Oceanography/Marine Biology (on staff at MIT for another seven years, former member of the Atomic Energy Commission, working scientist etc., plus a Biblical scholar in the original. You get the idea. I tried to post some links some of his online MP3's and WMV's here but was moderated out of it. Peer reviewed sources all the way, baby.]

    Well, since that site was written by actual, ya know, scientists, why should I even pay attention to any of your garbled criticisms? You don’t seem to have a great understanding of science from what I can tell, and if you have a problem with what’s written on that site, then perhaps you could contact them and tell them what they got wrong? It still gets monitored, and some articles ARE actually updated today. As for me, I admit I’m no scientist, so there is very little point in me giving you any detailed explanations, I usually leave that to people far more qualified (hence the link). You seem to be taking more issue with people being ‘mean’ to creationists rather than take notice of the science.

    [It's not the science I take issue with, it's the applicability to the creationism issue and its interpretation. You seem to be admitting that you personally have little understanding of the issues but rely only upon others. Incidentally, the working scientists cited on that website were not doing research on the subject of creationism at all, but the work was assembled and in a rather strained manner by the organizer of the website. He and not the scientists is at fault here, and shows evidence of being a closed-minded fanatic. There is no real connection between biochemical manipulation on the scale he is talking about and creation ex nihilo and a supernatural degree of design. For example, someone might skin a mouse and design a hyper-oxygenated nutrient solution that allowed it to survive. This might lead to improved burn treatments, but not to answer questions on the evolution of skin.]

    There are people there who are far more knowledgable about specific science topics than I am (some are even scientists) and they’ll always be happy to answer any science questions you may have. Maybe I’ll see you there. :)

    [We can clobber each other all day long with URL's to websites.
    AP story about Sir Antony Flew as discussed above
    http://www.sciencefindsgod.com/famous-atheist-now-believes-in-god.htm
    The media tab on that site includes this lecture by Schroeder
    mms://ra.colo.idt.net/simpletoremember/misc/Dr_Gerald_Schroeder-Genesis_and_the_Big_Bang.mp3

    Let's go, Mr. Open Minded. It's not so technical as to lose an intelligent layman. Let's see you listen to this and all you have to do is point out anything you find to be unscientific.

    I am here to discuss things in a sensible and reasonable way. Richard Dawkins et al are Orthodox Atheists before they are scientists to the point that they can no longer be objective, and you can see in his forum that there are far, far more topics on atheism than on science. Look at the title of his book, for Aristotle's' sake!]

  238. Dimitri Kesi

    It is great that there is a theory proposing the existence of universes before ours. I am a firm believer in the Big Bang, evolution and anything else science comes up with or tries to explain. At the same time I am a devout Christian. Ironically, the more explanations science comes up with, the stronger is the case for God. It is too bad that science and theology fail to see how much in common they really have. The possible existence of prior universes provides yet another proof of divine creation and of a truly endless string of events that cannot be explained by science. I am all for this new theory because I believe that God wants us to keep digging – with every new discovery we come closer to God; exactly what God wants. Even if we can explain what took place before the Big Bang (Event X), we cannot explain what took place before Event X. If and when we explain what happened/caused Event X, we cannot explain what happened before Event X (Event X2). When and if we explain the origin of Event X2, we’ll have to explain Event X3, and so on. To put it simply, if the Big Bang occurred on a Wednesday, what happened on Tuesday before, on Monday, three weeks before, 1 year before – if we observe the events form a cosmic bleacher as impartial observers or record keepers. Even if we propose that time and weekdays came into existence after the Big Bang, theoretically there was an independent “time” that observed the creation and collapses of prior universes. Allowing for that “time” or “God’s Time” to have the same graduated scales as ours, we can ask what happened on Tuesday before the Big Bang, or a year before. Bottomline – the very existence of science proves the existence of God. The more we dig the closer we come to God and the more we realize just how little we know. The explanations of Events X through X100 and beyond will not be accomplished by people of our generation, if ever. However, the endless quest, the obstinate, relentless pursuit of our origins is the very thing that will bring us closer to God – God is waiting for us to come knocking on his door. Eventually we will, it’s just a matter of “time”.

  239. Darth Robo

    “However with intense study we are unraveling the scale of design technology of some of the components and subassemblies of them.”

    Then uh, like I said, what SPECIFICALLY points to design?

    “This unmistakably points to an intelligence that transcends our ability to comprehend it, along with the implementation abilities and the attendant meaning and implications of that fact.”

    So uh, “GODDIDIT!”. Right? How do we test for that again? Kinda strange that only the IDer’s seem to be aware of all the evidence for ID while all the scientists actually doing biology aren’t. The other day on AtBC, the gang were all having a laugh at how many biology experiments were being done and every one was apparently “unwittingly” proving ID, according to those at ‘Uncommondescent’. These scientists who obviously know what they’re doing by doing the science, while at the same time NOT knowing what they are doing because they don’t even know they are proving ID. Here’s the link:

    http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=469b9a87ab905aec;act=ST;f=14;t=1274;st=16770

    I got a suggestion – why uh, don’t the IDer’s do some actual science themselves rather than trying to claim credit for work they’ve uh, never actually done?

    “They are trying to have a minimal caveat inserted into the discussion to the effect that the random hypothesis of Life, the Universe and Everything is unconfirmed, untested, unproven, and in dispute WITHIN the scientific community, which is nothing more than the truth.”

    I take it you didn’t look up any of these terms, then: (ahem) ‘cdesign proponentsists’. Dover trial. Wedge Document. In the Wedge Document, under “Five Year Objectives”, the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture lists: [Major Christian denomination(s) defend(s) traditional doctrine of creation]
    What is this “traditional doctrine of creation” that DI lists as one of its “objectives”, and why do they want “mainstream christian denominations” to “defend” it? Doesn’t sound much like a “minimal caveat” to me. Remember, it’s the creationists who want this “minimal caveat” inserted into schools, NOT the general science community. Oh, sure, you have the “Dissenters from Darwinism” who are actual scientists who are sympathetic to creationism, who set up their list to show the many scientists who doubt ‘Darwinism’. But they’re currently outnumbered by “Project Steve”.

    “Well, you devoting a lot of time and effort trying to discredit and refute me for someone who has no personal feeling for the topic.”

    I have no interest in “discrediting” anyone per se, but creationism doesn’t need much of a hand with that. My personal feelings for those who are interested, are that anyone can believe in whatever they like, as long as they aren’t forcing their religion or bad science onto others. It’s then that I have a problem. That’s why I have a problem with ID.

    “I suppose it would be gauche of me to point out that your last statement contradicts your previous one on being open minded and reasonable.”

    I would be open minded to any evidence of a god. (I consider myself agnostic) Maybe the universe was created by a god, I don’t have a problem with that. There just hasn’t been any real evidence yet. Certainly nothing peer reviewed to that fact.

    “Peer reviewed sources all the way, baby.”

    Uh, while I don’t doubt that Gerald Schroeder has had peer reviewed papers published, there have been NO peer reviewed creationist or ID papers published. Ever.

    “You seem to be admitting that you personally have little understanding of the issues but rely only upon others.”

    True, my understanding of science is basic, so in that respect, it’s best to leave science to scientists. I have no problem admitting that. But I do understand that creationism is not scientific, since it is not possible to prove or disprove it. That’s the problem with supernatural explanations. Maybe, if new evidence comes to light in the future, it can be considered, but so far, there is no evidence for it.

    “Incidentally, the working scientists cited on that website were not doing research on the subject of creationism at all, but the work was assembled and in a rather strained manner by the organizer of the website. He and not the scientists is at fault here, and shows evidence of being a closed-minded fanatic.”

    Well, if you’re worried about the scientists work being used out of context or unethically, perhaps you could EMAIL THEM? I found a number of email addresses of the actual scientists mentioned on the website, in fact I’m pretty sure that pretty much every article should have a link at the top along with the scientists name. Perhaps you could even persuade them to allow you to post their replies here (if they give permission of course) so we could all see what they say. I would certainly be interested to see what they make of your claim that talkorigins is ran by one “closed-minded fanatic”. (snicker, giggle)

    “AP story about Sir Antony Flew as discussed above”

    And here’s more on Flew: :)

    wwwDOTpandasthumbDOTorg/archives/2005/01/more_on_antonyDOThtml

    “Let’s go, Mr. Open Minded. It’s not so technical as to lose an intelligent layman. Let’s see you listen to this and all you have to do is point out anything you find to be unscientific.”

    Well, my net access is limited I’m afraid (hence the slow response sometimes) and I can’t really access any multimedia stuff like sounds or videos etc. But I’m guessing this (he spells “Hubble” wrong, by the way) may be to your liking:

    wwwDOTgeraldschroederDOTcom/ageDOThtml

    To which I also found this:

    wwwDOTtalkreasonDOTorg/articles/reply_to_SchroederDOTcfm

    Or let me guess, the guy who runs talkreason is also a “closed-minded fanatic”? (snicker, giggle)

    “I am here to discuss things in a sensible and reasonable way. Richard Dawkins et al are Orthodox Atheists before they are scientists to the point that they can no longer be objective, and you can see in his forum that there are far, far more topics on atheism than on science.”

    Then you could always go on there and create some more science topics and ask or talk about whatever you like. There are also religious people, agnostics (like me) as well as atheists who post on that forum. And as for Dawkins “et al” being “orthodox” atheists before they are scientists, are you saying that only religious scientists can be objective? Depsite the fact that, yes, even atheist scientists (those evil dudes) can, and have had successful careers as uh, actual scientists? Huh? What?

    Oh and uh, if I haven’t already mentioned it yet, you STILL (focus, now) have yet to tell me what experiments IDer’s could perform that can falsify ID or what useful scientific predictions that ID could possibly make or what SPECIFICALLY (with no analogies) points to ID by a creator. Still. But hey, if you’re the “intelligent layman” I guess it makes me the “unintelligent one” and since you possibly know more than the IDer’s themselves do (or are there two of you? contrarian and contrarian too) I’m sure (one of) you could tell us EXACTLY what this amazing evidence of a supernatural creator is. Other than “an intelligence that transcends our ability to comprehend it”, since it uh, obviously hasn’t transcended yours. You might just “embarrass me” some more. (snicker, giggle)
    :)

  240. contrarian too

    Then uh, like I said, what SPECIFICALLY points to design?
    [I hope you will admit that the handiwork of humans are intelligently designed, from an iPod to the box it comes in. What would you say specifically points to design of those? That same kind of thing, except more so. Answered multiple times. Natural laws, increasing degrees of structure and complexity, life, conciousness and intelligence. Molecular and micro and macro machinery and programming.]

    So uh, “GODDIDIT!”. Right? How do we test for that again? Kinda strange that only the IDer’s seem to be aware of all the evidence for ID while all the scientists actually doing biology aren’t. I got a suggestion – why uh, don’t the IDer’s do some actual science themselves rather than trying to claim credit for work they’ve uh, never actually done?

    [It doesn't matter who DIDIT, as long as men DIDNTDOIT and unassisted nature DIDNTDOIT. The scientists actually doing biology are starting long after the point of contention. Without life there is no biology. All of scientific work attests to ID. A major point of my discussion until now is that no scientists oppose ID on a scientific basis. That is, nobody has demonstrated or even modeled those things described above in a natural manner that ID'ers point to as design.

    I take it you didn’t look up any of these terms, then: (ahem) ‘cdesign proponentsists’. Dover trial. Wedge Document. In the Wedge Document, under “Five Year Objectives”, the Center for (the Renewal of) Science and Culture lists: (blah, blah, blah).

    [No, I didn't look them up. I am not on anybody's team and take no responsibility for any agendas. I am making clear points and you are failing to respond to them. I have looked at your links and you cop out of looking at mine. I point you to distinguished analysis and commentary and you point me to wisecracking clowns.]

    My personal feelings for those who are interested, are that anyone can believe in whatever they like, as long as they aren’t forcing their religion or bad science onto others. It’s then that I have a problem. That’s why I have a problem with ID.

    [Oh, I think you problem with ID goes beyond that. I also feel that anyone can believe anything they like, but those we are responsible to educate should be given an opportunity to evaluate the choices. Through only good science, which takes care of your stated problem.]

    I would be open minded to any evidence of a god. (I consider myself agnostic) Maybe the universe was created by a god, I don’t have a problem with that. There just hasn’t been any real evidence yet. Certainly nothing peer reviewed to that fact.

    [See back to the beginning of this note. You are on a merry go round here.

    Uh, while I don’t doubt that Gerald Schroeder has had peer reviewed papers published, there have been NO peer reviewed creationist or ID papers published. Ever.

    [Uh, you really need to see someone about your, uh, stuttering problem. I would put that in a different light. All of science attests that significant and increasing order never follows disorder as a random phenomenon. There have NO peer reviewed paperes to demonstrate that it does.]

    But I do understand that creationism is not scientific, since it is not possible to prove or disprove it. That’s the problem with supernatural explanations.

    [Therefore your problem is not with creationism but with the creation itself, which is not a natural phenomenon, as has been proven by the failure to test that hypothesis.]

    Well, if you’re worried about the scientists work being used out of context or unethically, perhaps you could EMAIL THEM?

    [Unnecessary, as they do not address the issue of intelligent design, and probably couldn;t care less if some crank is quoting them.

    And here’s more on Flew: :)

    I suppose you should be aware the 'pandas thumb' is run by the same crank as the talk reason site. Antony Flew is a world class philosopher with integrity. Mark Perakh is reltively speaking nobody. Geral Schroeder is a distinguished world class and multi-credentialed working scientists. Mark Perakh as before. Scroeder's Amazon sales rankings: 45-95,000 (This isn't John Grisham or Harry Potter or anything) Perakh's: 3-5,000,000. Spends all of his time trying to steal a little cxreibility by name-dropping and trashing real intellectuals and scientists.

    Available for Amazon pre-order, sales rank #47,605 in Books or so. "There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind by Antony Flew and Roy Abraham Varghese (Hardcover - Nov 1, 2007)"

    Well, my net access is limited I’m afraid (hence the slow response sometimes) and I can’t really access any multimedia stuff like sounds or videos etc.

    [Ridiculous. Weak. Very, very weak. Try the public library. Just stream it. Whatsamatter, you afraid something inside is gonna break?]

    Or let me guess, the guy who runs talkreason is also a “closed-minded fanatic”? (snicker, giggle)

    [Yes. A minor league pest whose claim to fame is reflected moonlight off his imagined opponents. Same guy as pandas thumb as I pointed out. He calimns that Geral Schroeder failed to show up to a debate. Coulda been a contender I'm sure. Ha! You know there are some people who think that NASA never landed on the moon. Maybe they also 'challenge' NASA and brag that NASA never showed up for the debate.]

    And as for Dawkins “et al” being “orthodox” atheists before they are scientists, are you saying that only religious scientists can be objective? Huh? What?

    [Well, it's tempting. But the thrust of my comment is that he commits the biggest scientific sin in approaching his field of consideration with preconceptions.]

    you STILL (focus, now) have yet to tell me what experiments IDer’s could perform that can falsify ID or what useful scientific predictions that ID could possibly make or what SPECIFICALLY (with no analogies) points to ID by a creator.

    [This is the third time (ADHD) in this note for this. The evidence for ID is not only the positive evidence of naturally impossible evolution of all kinds, but the absence of such in nature other than when it is specifically found. Schroeder expresses it much better than I do, buy a couple of his books if possible; much more developed and challenging than the MP3]

  241. Darth Robo

    contrarian

    Sure, the handiwork of humans are intelligently designed, (with the possible exception of you posts) :) but that don’t mean that nature is. “Humans design ipods so that means an intelligence made everything.” once again is a poor analogy followed by an assertion. Again, I ask what SPECIFICALLY points to design? Answer: nothing. Unless of course, you can tell me.

    “It doesn’t matter who DIDIT, as long as men DIDNTDOIT and unassisted nature DIDNTDOIT.”

    How do you know? Again, what SPECIFICALLY points to design? You say “science can’t explain life from non-life”. Wrong. At one time, you were not alive. Now you are. Life from non-life. Yours had a natural cause (I hope). We know you are the product of billions of years of evolution, also a natural process. Yes, eventually we come to that magic point of the creation of life. Who is the designer? How did the designer do it? How do we tell? What SPECIFICALLY points to design? A more honest approach would be to say: “We don’t know – yet.” Like I said, it may be that we may discover more evidence in the future that lets us have a better understanding of how abiogenesis occurs. If you really are interested in abiogenesis then by all means, look it up. Read about it. There is tentantive research going on in that area, but the scientists aren’t pointing to ID. You say: “something doesn’t come from nothing”. Wrong. At one time, the universe as we know it wasn’t here. Now it is. Something from nothing. As BA’s post explains above, it could well have formed naturally after the collapse of the previous universe. Maybe a designer WAS responsible. Who is the designer? How did the designer do it? How do we tell? What SPECIFICALLY points to design? Once again, we may not have all the answers to the meaning of the universe, but the honest thing to do would be to say: “We don’t know – yet.” Like I said, it may be that we may discover more evidence in the future that lets us have a better understanding of how the universe came to be. And that’s exactly the point of BA’s initial post. Unless of course, you could tell me the answers to my questions about the designer. And let’s not be coy, if men DIDNTDOIT and unassisted nature DIDNTDOIT, you mean GOD. Don’t you? (Unless you’re a UFO fan)

    “All of scientific work attests to ID. A major point of my discussion until now is that no scientists oppose ID on a scientific basis. That is, nobody has demonstrated or even modeled those things described above in a natural manner that ID’ers point to as design.”

    Well then perhaps you could tell that to the scientists who actually do the science that their work attests to ID. I pointed that out to you before. Remember that this has already gone to COURT over whether or not ID is scientific. Behe himself said (under oath) that ID is as scientific as astrology. No surprise, the IDer’s didn’t win the case. In fact, the creationists have lost EVERY court case since 1925. Over here in the UK, it didn’t even have to go to court. The suggestion was made to the government to teach ID in schools. They passed it on to the scientists. The scientists said “No.” So no change was made to the school curriculum.

    “I am not on anybody’s team and take no responsibility for any agendas. I am making clear points and you are failing to respond to them.”

    Good for you. My point is, that the IDer’s have ALREADY STATED THEIRS. And as for your “clear points”, I am simply trying to pin down EXACTLY what SPECIFICALLY points to ID. Yet you respond with poor analogies and unsupported assertions.

    “Oh, I think you problem with ID goes beyond that.”

    Oh? Well you must be right then. (shrug)

    “I also feel that anyone can believe anything they like, but those we are responsible to educate should be given an opportunity to evaluate the choices. Through only good science, which takes care of your stated problem.”

    What choices? If you’re tallking about philosphical or religious choices, then yeah. But they aren’t taught through science. But the choice (for example) of whether the Earth is 6000 years old or 4 billion years old is not a scientific choice. Science teaches us the latter in that case. Of course, people have the choice to disbelieve it, that’s up to them. But that’s not for discussion in a science class. Try a religious or philosophy class instead.

    “All of science attests that significant and increasing order never follows disorder as a random phenomenon. There have NO peer reviewed paperes to demonstrate that it does.”

    Correct. But randomness and disorder are really only seen from a human perspective. The universe doesn’t care if a desk is messy or untidy. It is what it is. Whether it is “tidy” or not depends on a human perspective. Science follows rules, that’s true. But you seem to think that the universe has to have a “lawgiver”. So who gave those laws? How? When? How can we tell?

    “Therefore your problem is not with creationism but with the creation itself, which is not a natural phenomenon, as has been proven by the failure to test that hypothesis.”

    Now you really are showing your misunderstanding of science. ALL of science assumes a NATURAL cause for everything, unless it finds evidence to show otherwise. I remind you that NO evidence of ID has EVER been presented yet. But like I’ve stated before, maybe new evidence will be discovered and considered at a later date. Unless you can tell us how it is possible to observe, record or test for supernatural occurrences. Uh, you haven’t done that so far.

    “Unnecessary, as they do not address the issue of intelligent design, and probably couldn’t care less if some crank is quoting them.”

    On the contrary. Scientists generally don’t appreciate their work being quotemined by pseudo-scientists or anyone else. By the way, one of the scientists on talkorigins played an instrumental role in that court case I told you about. The reason why these scientists are involved with pandasthumb, talkorigins and talkreason is purely BECAUSE of the ID movement. And they write their articles themselves. Unless that “one crank” who “runs all three” is a VERY busy dude. I think you might be mistaken there, after all you were mistaken about talkorigins not being updated since 1998. It had an update this year. But hey, if you don’t wanna email them, I might. I’m curious as to what Nick Matzke’s response would be if I told him that someone thinks that pandasthumb, talkorigins and talkreason are all just crank websites run by one “closed minded fanatic” pinching his work. (giggle)

    “Scroeder’s Amazon sales rankings: 45-95,000 (This isn’t John Grisham or Harry Potter or anything) Perakh’s: 3-5,000,000. Spends all of his time trying to steal a little cxreibility by name-dropping and trashing real intellectuals and scientists.”

    Wow. You’ve just gone to show that religion is more popular than science. Boy, I would never have guessed. Still waiting for anything he’s produced that shows evidence for ID that has passed peer review. Answer: None. In fact in the whole history of modern creationism, (100+ years or so) they have come up with zero, NO science at all. Whatsoever. Unless you could point it out to me.

    Re: my net access: “Ridiculous. Weak. Very, very weak. Try the public library. Just stream it. Whatsamatter, you afraid something inside is gonna break?”

    I don’t have my own at the moment. That means I don’t always have the time since I’m not always there. There are blocks in place that stop multimedia stuff etc. Hold on while I just go out to the library to keep you happy.

    “Yes. A minor league pest blah… ”

    See above.

    “Well, it’s tempting. But the thrust of my comment is that he commits the biggest scientific sin in approaching his field of consideration with preconceptions.”

    Well, I don’t think he cares much about sin, (snicker) but methinks you should learn more about the scientific method or read more Dawkins before you try and point out his ‘preconceptions’. Creationists are the one who go in assuming that there was an intelligence behind everything.

    “The evidence for ID is not only the positive evidence of naturally impossible evolution of all kinds, but the absence of such in nature other than when it is specifically found. Schroeder expresses it much better… ”

    I’m sure he does, since you don’t seem to be explaining it very well. Our argument here seems pointless, since you don’t seem to be actually taking issue with any actual science, you just want to be able to say (however it happened) that “GODDIDIT”. Sorry, or “who”ever. On the other hand, you seem to be quite happy to dismiss the work of scientists as “cranks” or “nobodies”, then attempt to support yourself with links from an apologetics standpoint, just because they happen to disagree with your philosophical views. Even IF there is a supernatural creator, the most that ID can tell us is that “SOMEONE did it, SOMEHOW at SOME POINT”. That’s fine, but it ain’t science. I can even think of other scientists out there who are theists, but don’t hold to ID. That’s fine too, but they always approach science by use of the scientific method. So if you want to believe in a designer, then I’m happy for ya. Just don’t expect everyone else to treat ID as science.

  242. contrarian too

    You don’t gain points for putting words into my mouth and then blithely dismissing those words. I am trying to get you involved in the discussion, by spoonfeeding if necessary, so we can have an interaction instead of a solo performance by you. You seem to be soliciting reactions or responses from me, and I am going along, but then you autistically carry on a dialogue with yourself. I did not write “Humans design ipods so that means an intelligence made everything.”, YOu did, so that it does not show me up to imply that. What I DID is to ask you what in YOUR mind points SPECIFICALLY to the intelligent design of an iPod and its packing materials. As usual I have to answer this myself, so that you can dodge really engaging again.

    To save time, we can just talk about the box. I don’t know what an iPod box looks like, but in the way of these things I know that there will be evidence of the box meeting interdisciplinary requirements definitions for size and weight and strength and protection from shock and temperature and moisture and arriving at a proper degree of effort in packing/unpacking, opening/closing/reclosing, along with display space for informational and marketing needs and possibly regulatory requirements. I don’t know what SPECIFICALLY because I am not a package design specialist but a systems analyst. The box is loaded with intelligent design to any sentient observer, even you have said ‘sure’, and this would be equally true for much more primitive packaging, let’s say crude bamboo crates lashed together to transport bananas or tigers.

    The opening article states that it is impossible to know the physical characteristics of any proposed universes prior to ours. In our universe alone, it is known that quantum mechanics are different than the Newtonian mechanics of our own experience and different from celestial mechanics, all within natural laws known and unknown. In other such prior universes the natural laws (relationships) themselves are supposed likely to have shaken out diferently. The nature and even existence of mass itself in such an environment is in question. I am saying this to highlight that absolutely nothing at all can be taken for granted, not a particle nor a star. The proposal of other universes is actually useful in pointing out the absence of inevitability for anything that exists. The anti-ID belief system is that because something exists, by definition it must exist and could be no other way. The article makes it clear that this isn’t true at all.

    The packaging example is simple and clear. There are countless biological examples of package design, plant and animal with fantastically more sophisticated requirements than our previous bananas or iPod. A seed. A pod. A husk. A membrane. An exoskeleton. An eggshell. A uterus. A honeycomb. You keep robotically parroting “What SPECIFICALLY points to design?” Back to my repeated answer, “What ever points to design in anything?” “What does not point to design?” If you were to answer those questions yourself you would be making my point. You don’t seem to get that in the face of evident design the burden of proof is upon people who do not believe there was a designer.

    The answer is, most things do not obviously point to design, and those highlight the things that do. A volcano or a river is not a designed phenomenon (in isolation of the fact that they follow natural laws which themselves can be seen as designed phenomena consistent with the opening article, but skip that for now). But even the most mechanistic adaptation of local life to the river does point to design. You may not be familiar with information technology, but the programmatic aspect of it clearly identifies intelligence with responsiveness, adaptability, extensability, scalability, etc. in short all of the characteristics we associate with life and intelligence. The more intelligence we put into a system, the more lifelike, analog and natural it appears to the observer and user. And the less intelligence we put it the more limited, failure-prone, erroneous and unusable it is.

    The fact that scientists do not point to ID to explain abiogenesis has nothing to do with ID as the rational fit to the facts and observations, but to a closed cultural belief system on their part that disqualifies that as an answer. I am not being coy about not naming God as the designer, but that would be in a process following allowing the possibility of a designer. That particular debate is incidentally not a scientific one, but a philosophical and ideological one. Your ‘bold’ questions like “‘Who designed it! When! How! Prove it! specifically!” are meaningless in context of the real question. If you have a recliner in your living room, it is no challenge to the fact of its ID if I demand “Who designed it? When? How?” Your answer may well be “How the hell do I know, and what difference does it make? The fact of its being here and functioning as it does proves the point.”

    There is a certain ideological component in claiming credit for ‘Science’ for comprehending pre-existing nature. Relativity was a great discovery and has opened other doors, but Einstein well knew that he was not the inventor or creator or designer or implementer of relativity. Neither are any of the legions of tinkerers with smaller issues, but many of them consider that they are.
    ————————————————————————–
    A more honest approach would be to say: “We don’t know – yet.” Like I said, it may be that we may discover more evidence in the future that lets us have a better understanding of how abiogenesis occurs. If you really are interested in abiogenesis then by all means, look it up. Read about it. There is tentantive research going on in that area

    [So reading about it is not learn about the subject but the state of non-progress in this area. Not for lack of centuries of effort.]

    You say: “something doesn’t come from nothing”. Wrong. At one time, the universe as we know it wasn’t here. Now it is. Something from nothing. As BA’s post explains above, it could well have formed naturally after the collapse of the previous universe.

    [You just stepped in it. "Something doesn't come from nothing" by our natural laws; by definition leaving only the supernatural. It is the very production of this universe that the Bible describes as a supernatural creation. Although he doesn't put it that way, BA's post above is saying the same thing. Nature is undefined in the absence of natural laws, and the unique laws that define our universe came into being as a framework for the physical creation. By the way, as I pointed out here long ago with regard to that it is irrelevant whether there was a previous universe or not.]

    Well then perhaps you could tell that to the scientists who actually do the science that their work attests to ID. I pointed that out to you before.

    [And I pointed out to you before that the determination regarding ID is beyond the competence, interest and motivation of the vast majority of scientists. It shouldn't be, but they operate in a constrained and artificial suspension of reason on the issue.]

    But the choice (for example) of whether the Earth is 6000 years old or 4 billion years old is not a scientific choice.

    [Straw man again. I accept all verified findings and evidence (not opinion) on the topic. Too bad you are not in a position to evaluate Schroeder's clear hypotheses, and your pet critic has to hide his beliefs or denials in convoluted verbiage that tap dances around the essential point of the hypotheses.]

    Now you really are showing your misunderstanding of science. ALL of science assumes a NATURAL cause for everything, unless it finds evidence to show otherwise. I remind you that NO evidence of ID has EVER been presented yet. But like I’ve stated before, maybe new evidence will be discovered and considered at a later date. Unless you can tell us how it is possible to observe, record or test for supernatural occurrences. Uh, you haven’t done that so far.

    [I think my understanding of science is adequate. Science can encompass only a subset of reality. That is not to put it down, but it has its limits. There are many unknowns and unknowables as the opening post makes clear. The creation of the universe and the development of life is explored entirely by inference from less than fragmentary evidence. It's fun but far from reliable. Furthermore, real science depends upon the ability to produce predicted results and to replicate them. None of that is touched by the research you think applies to anti-ID. But the real quality of true science is one of perpetual openmindedness and egoless acceptance of plain facts and evidence, something perhaps not as common as it should be.]

    On the contrary. Scientists generally don’t appreciate their work being quotemined by pseudo-scientists or anyone else.

    [Or... scientists love to be quoted and cited and recognized just like contestants on American Idol. To repeat, most of them have an amateur's understanding of the core issues of ID.]

    Still waiting for anything he’s produced that shows evidence for ID that has passed peer review.

    [A little hard to assert without actually reading or hearing the material. It is at about 50 minutes into the talk I linked to you that Schroeder builds upon universally accepted scientific consensus to add his own compelling innovation. There are many qualified scientists who concur with this approach. Furthermore to the extent that science intersects with philophy, and it does, the influnce on Flew addresses the peer review requirement.]

    Hold on while I just go out to the library to keep you happy.

    [I don't care if you do, but it is annoying to deal with your baseless assertions.]

    sin, (snicker) but methinks you should learn more about the scientific method or read more Dawkins before you try and point out his ‘preconceptions’. Creationists are the one who go in assuming that there was an intelligence behind everything.

    [Not at all. Dawkins' objection to God rests upon his insistence that the designer must necessarily be more complex than the design, and there is no scientific evidence of that for God. Embarrassing, fo Dawkins. Is that a product of the scientific method or of a sophmoric bull session?]

    You don’t seem to be explaining it very well.

    [OK, let's try again. I put a rock into a test tube and let it sit for a few billion years, and nothing happened. Proof.]

    On the other hand, you seem to be quite happy to dismiss the work of scientists.

    [No, you did it yourself earlier when I said "“All of science attests that significant and increasing order never follows disorder as a random phenomenon. There have NO peer reviewed paperes to demonstrate that it does.”, And you acknowledged, "Correct."]

    Just don’t expect everyone else to treat ID as science.

    [My expectations are indeed low. And you don't expect everyone else to treat creation ex nihilo as science.]

  243. Darth Robo

    contrarian:

    “I don’t know what SPECIFICALLY because I am not a package design specialist but a systems analyst.”

    Now we’re getting somewhere. But then again, I thought you knew more than the IDer’s? You know, the ones who can’t explain anything about ID either?

    “The anti-ID belief system is that because something exists, by definition it must exist and could be no other way.”

    Never heard of the “anti-ID belief system”. (shrug) Sure you’re not imagining things?

    “The article makes it clear that this isn’t true at all.”

    Correct. The article makes it clear that the universe could have had any number of configurations when it was formed. And if it did, it would be likely we wouldn’t be here to talk about it. Possibly some other lifeforms could be around instead to have their own philosophical debates. Or, the universe could have been unsuitable for any form of life alltogether. So unless you’re gonna make the argument that the universe itself is designed (like many creo’s do), I guess we can rule out ID for that. That leaves us with biological organisms.

    ” “What ever points to design in anything?” “What does not point to design?” If you were to answer those questions yourself you would be making my point. You don’t seem to get that in the face of evident design the burden of proof is upon people who do not believe there was a designer.”

    Well if we can’t answer any of those questions, then what use is ID exactly? Other than to say: “It just WAS designed, okay?!?” And you have the burden of proof thing the wrong way round (not that I’m surprised). I do not DISbelieve in a designer. I just don’t see any positive evidence to that fact. Like I said, science starts off with the assumption of a natural cause when one follows the scientific method. Unless uh, you have figured a way out yet to observe, record or test for supernatural occurrences. You STILL haven’t done that.

    “You may not be familiar with information technology, but the programmatic aspect of it clearly identifies intelligence etc… ”

    AGAIN more bad analogies. The difference between things that humans (or any other animals) artificially create is that they don’t occur naturally. Biological organisms DO. When animals have offspring, they have no control over the growth of their young. Just one night of passion and some time later – bang! A baby. They don’t do any designing. But there is no doubt that they are the ones who made it. Unless of course, anyone can point out how/when the “supernatural intelligent designer” intervened.

    “The fact that scientists do not point to ID to explain abiogenesis has nothing to do with ID as the rational fit to the facts and observations, but to a closed cultural belief system on their part that disqualifies that as an answer.”

    Hmmm… how to answer this one. BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAA!!! Those darn closed-minded atheist scientists – every one of them! (snicker, giggle)

    “Your ‘bold’ questions like “‘Who designed it! When! How! Prove it! specifically!” are meaningless in context of the real question. If you have a recliner in your living room, it is no challenge to the fact of its ID if I demand “Who designed it? When? How?” Your answer may well be “How the hell do I know, and what difference does it make? The fact of its being here and functioning as it does proves the point.”

    Um, no. We can find plenty of other recliners all over the world to compare it with. We can examine the materials it is made from and where those materials come from. We can look up the company that made it and contact them. We can go to their factories and see how they are made. We can look at the company’s records. We can look at other recliners they’ve made and look at the design lineage. We can determine that other forms of life on Earth just might have a little trouble designing and building recliners. And (probably most importantly) we can WATCH THEM BEING MADE. We can quite quickly determine that all this occurred without supernatural intervention. We can follow a similar process for ipods too.

    “Neither are any of the legions of tinkerers with smaller issues, but many of them consider that they are.” “And I pointed out to you before that the determination regarding ID is beyond the competence, interest and motivation of the vast majority of scientists. It shouldn’t be, but they operate in a constrained and artificial suspension of reason on the issue.” “So reading about it (abiogenesis) is not learn about the subject but the state of non-progress in this area. Not for lack of centuries of effort.”

    Well uh, if YOU think it is so easy, perhaps then YOU could figure it out. Tell us HOW the “designer” did it, WHEN, HOW CAN WE TELL or WHO IS THE DESIGNER? And perhaps what useful scientific predictions that ID makes? (sound of crickets chirping) Yep, that’s what I thought. Just because scientists don’t know the answer to everything, doesn’t automatically give credence to supernatural intervention. It simply means we don’t know everything yet. Sounds like a dig at a few scientists there. Lemme guess, ATHIEST ones, perhaps? Perhaps you could take it up with them. After all, you said you know more than the IDer’s, so like I said, help them out.

    “You just stepped in it. “Something doesn’t come from nothing” by our natural laws; by definition leaving only the supernatural. It is the very production of this universe that the Bible describes as a supernatural creation. Although he doesn’t put it that way, BA’s post above is saying the same thing.”

    Uh, no, it just means we don’t know everything yet. BA also pointed out there are things we may never know. Certainly the Bible cannot take credit for the science in BA’s post above, (being fairly vague on sciencey stuff that it is) so perhaps maybe you could tell us exactly what role ID had inpredicting any of the science in the original post?

    “By the way, as I pointed out here long ago with regard to that it is irrelevant whether there was a previous universe or not.”

    That’s not what the original post says. The point is that (if the ideas are correct) there WAS a previous universe that ours sprang from. Quantum mechanics dictates that it’s difficult to figure out exactly what it was like, but it gives us a starting ground from which to make speculations. How did ID predict any of this? A designer COULD have been involoved somewhere, but ID is also compatible with the idea that there was NO universe. If it can’t predict either way, it’s useless.

    “Straw man again. I accept all verified findings and evidence (not opinion) on the topic. Too bad you are not in a position to evaluate Schroeder’s clear hypotheses, and your pet critic has to hide his beliefs or denials in convoluted verbiage that tap dances around the essential point of the hypotheses.”

    Right. You seem to be an expert in “convoluted verbiage” yourself, especially since you can’t even grasp why ID isn’t science because supernatural explanations are untestable. And you do research on people by looking them up on Amazon? BWA HA HA HA HA HAAAA!!

    “But the real quality of true science is one of perpetual openmindedness and egoless acceptance of plain facts and evidence, something perhaps not as common as it should be.”

    More slagging off of scientists who think ID is crap. Which uh, by the way is most of them. If you don’t think it is most of them, I STILL await your peer reviewed publications of creationism/ID. Keep in mind (as I said before) that there are religious scientists who think ID is crap too. As I said, take it up with them and point out to them where exactly they are going wrong.

    “Or… scientists love to be quoted and cited and recognized just like contestants on American Idol. To repeat, most of them have an amateur’s understanding of the core issues of ID.”

    They like to be recognized in the scientific world, sure. They don’t appreciate being cited by people who twist their work into meaning something it does not. And like I said (sheesh) there are some scientists who know alot more about the core issues of ID than you do. But you’ve forgotten that court case already (again).

    “Schroeder builds upon universally accepted scientific consensus”

    Nice word game you’re playing there. Did he get THAT peer reviewed? No. Because he was engaging in standard creo apologetics.

    “is annoying to deal with your baseless assertions.”

    Aw! (cry) I could say the same thing. But I won’t. :)

    “Not at all. Dawkins’ objection to God rests upon his insistence that the designer must necessarily be more complex than the design, and there is no scientific evidence of that for God. Embarrassing, fo Dawkins.”

    Then tell him. I pointed you to his forum. Also, he does not apply his atheism to his scientific research. While he is an atheist, he has stated that if faced with evidence for God, he would reconsider. But you didn’t know that, did you? Like every other IDer, you go after “Dawkins the Boogieman” and not the scientist.

    “OK, let’s try again. I put a rock into a test tube and let it sit for a few billion years, and nothing happened. Proof.”

    BWA HA HA HA HA HA HAAA! Oh man, that’s a kid’s argument! What did you expect it to do? ‘Cuz I doubt actual scientists woudn’t expect it to do much either! :)

    “No, you did it yourself earlier when I said ““All of science attests that significant and increasing order never follows disorder as a random phenomenon. There have NO peer reviewed paperes to demonstrate that it does.”, And you acknowledged, “Correct.” ”

    Re-read. Or go learn some science. Science does deal with some things that are random (eg quantum fluctuations, random mutation) and that makes things harder to predict (but not impossible). Other things are not random. A supernatural designer IS completely IMPOSSIBLE to predict. Since he/she/it could do ANYTHING. Unless (again) you could uh, tell us how. Which you STILL haven’t done.

    “My expectations are indeed low.”

    At least that’s something. :)

  244. contrarian

    I thought you knew more than the IDer’s? You know, the ones who can’t explain anything about ID either?

    [It's possible. After all, SOMEONE has to know more. At least I know is that when an entity exhibits unmistakable intelligent design it is intelligently designed. Those like yourself can't explain anything that refutes this, and I did have a chance to look through some of Mr. McGoo's anti-ID website that you linked to.
    - If I say that the designed existence was done by the unknown and unknowable purposeful designer,
    - as evidenced and testified by an experiential event as of millennia ago;
    - and you say that it is simply unknown and give you some more time and it will be known in spite of occurring through unfathomable remoteness and uncertainty and in the face of contradicting all that is known of natural causes and events,
    - with (this is important) NO REASONABLE HYPOTHESIS OF A NATURAL SPONTANEOUS CREATION AND EVOLUTION PROCESS AND NO EVIDENCE OR DEMONSTRATION OF SUCH AND NO REPLICABILTY SO NECESSARY TO THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD,
    - what's the difference?]

    “The anti-ID belief system is that because something exists, by definition it must exist and could be no other way.”

    [Never heard of the “anti-ID belief system”. See above. anti-ID has NO REASONABLE etc., That makes it a belief system.]

    So unless you’re gonna make the argument that the universe itself is designed (like many creo’s do), I guess we can rule out ID for that. That leaves us with biological organisms.

    [Of course I make the argument that the universe itself is designed. Numerous times. Part of ID is a holistic view of life through its spacial and temporal environments. How else does a designer do it. They don't call them Terrariums for nothing. Are you reading or just writing?]

    ” “What ever points to design in anything?” “What does not point to design?” If you were to answer those questions yourself you would be making my point. You don’t seem to get that in the face of evident design the burden of proof is upon people who do not believe there was a designer.”

    Well if we can’t answer any of those questions, then what use is ID exactly? Other than to say: “It just WAS designed, okay?!?” And you have the burden of proof thing the wrong way round (not that I’m surprised). I do not DISbelieve in a designer. I just don’t see any positive evidence to that fact. Like I said, science starts off with the assumption of a natural cause when one follows the scientific method. Unless uh, you have figured a way out yet to observe, record or test for supernatural occurrences. You STILL haven’t done that.

    [Speak for yourself. Some can answer those questions, which I did not intend to be difficult ones. And the 'use' of ID is the same as the use of any advance in knowlege and comprehension, to eventually get off the pot and move to the next step. In this case it would be to explore the purpose of that design effort. And I don't believe science is supposed to start off with any assumptions at all if it is to allow for growth. Like the inhabitants of Flatland who could not conceptualize more than 2-dimensions, the real and true science must maintain a spirit and discipline of questioning assumptions and that is what we love about it. Positive evidence is produced when events take place in an incontrovertibly unnatural manner. Like creation and evolution. Unless you are saying that they have have controverted. What'd I miss? Some guys saying 'I have FAITH that in fifty years we will have the Theory of Everything (TOE), unless the budget or project plan slips,etc.]

    “You may not be familiar with information technology, but the programmatic aspect of it clearly identifies intelligence etc… ”

    AGAIN more bad analogies. The difference between things that humans (or any other animals) artificially create is that they don’t occur naturally. Biological organisms DO. When animals have offspring, they have no control over the growth of their young. Just one night of passion and some time later – bang! A baby. They don’t do any designing. But there is no doubt that they are the ones who made it. Unless of course, anyone can point out how/when the “supernatural intelligent designer” intervened.

    [You are clearly out of your depth on this one. That is an excellent analogy. Information technology has always been built by deriving from the most firmly established principles abstracted from natural phenomena at any given time. The turnaround from theory to practice in IT is the fastest of all the sciences. It is a real-world demonstration of creation and evolution, and its permanent goal is artificial intelligence, or a form of 'life' independent of the embedded intelligence of the designer. It is not of course the act of procreation that is referred to as creation in this discussion, duh, but the act of producing the template for all future independent action, thought etc. or the first organism and animal. By the way, how many billions of years did it take for the first male and female organisms to figure out that they really needed to interact? Sexual differentiation and specialization is either an intelligently designed phenomenon or a really lucky accident. Where are the intermediate forms between sexless and sexual creatures? But I digress. The supernatural intelligent designer intervened at every such point of departure, starting with organizing nature and on down to organizing organisms.]

    Those darn closed-minded atheist scientists – every one of them! (snicker, giggle)

    [Nobody objects to scientists being scientists. They most often fail in the interpretation. Se series on 'Belief Systems' above.]

    Um, no. We can find … examine … look up … go … determine … WATCH THEM BEING MADE. We can quite quickly determine that all this occurred without supernatural intervention. We can follow a similar process for ipods too.

    [The question was not about a supernatural cause. It was about a non-random spontaneous cause. And without launching an exhaustive investigation we could ask any half-wit in a halfway house if the chair was built on purpose or just came to be on its own, and get the same answer for less time and trouble.]

    Tell us HOW the “designer” did it, WHEN, HOW CAN WE TELL or WHO IS THE DESIGNER? And perhaps what useful scientific predictions that ID makes? (sound of crickets chirping)

    The designer did it in the designer’s own manner. Pretty much as confirmed by the best research we have to date, at least in outline. We have had a name for the designer for nearly 6,000 years, this is indisputable even if you don’t accept it by the really clever technique of discarding all information that precedes your own pet starting point. You are demonstrating in this statement the belief system that science has become at its worst.

    Uh, no, it just means we don’t know everything yet. BA also pointed out there are things we may never know. Certainly the Bible cannot take credit for the science in BA’s post above, (being fairly vague on sciencey stuff that it is) so perhaps maybe you could tell us exactly what role ID had inpredicting any of the science in the original post?

    [The proponents of ID claim a designer (that is a pretty cautious and non-confrontational term) who is unknown and unknowable and and referred to among other things as the Creator. The post itself is a little more non-committal but says the same (unknown, possibly unknowable, and possibly just wrong) except that it has 'No Comment' on the cause (this debate is older than the Greeks' Prime Mover idea). The record of that is in the Bible, and commentators of almost a thousand years ago quoting even older sources within the Bible tradition do in fact refer to all of the science in BA's post although the scientists before recent decades may well have called them crackpots for it. That itself could be called supernatural. (See if you can manage to get into that G. Schroeder material)]

    “By the way, as I pointed out here long ago with regard to that it is irrelevant whether there was a previous universe or not.”

    That’s not what the original post says. The point is that (if the ideas are correct) there WAS a previous universe that ours sprang from. Quantum mechanics dictates that it’s difficult to figure out exactly what it was like, but it gives us a starting ground from which to make speculations. How did ID predict any of this? A designer COULD have been involoved somewhere, but ID is also compatible with the idea that there was NO universe. If it can’t predict either way, it’s useless.

    [No, what the original post says is that our universe sprang from an ultrahot, ultradense little dot of potential energy, just as before this post, but that the dot itself might by some mathematical approach have originated from some other universe. Or not. Either way, ID for our purposes is as I said irrelevant outside of our universal existence. There is a traditional view that other creations preceded this one, interesting but not really predictive. We have lived pretty well without this idea until now, but if anything it fits into the concept that the designer, or let's call it the Scientist purposefully followed an orderly scientific method and procedure to establish them for us. Hallelujah. The post is really mostly speculative. It would have been of minor interest except for the misplaced hope that it would 'stick it to the Creationists". To which I say, there are creationists and creationists, and the ones whose view I represent are not troubled in the least by the notion of prior creations.]

    …you can’t even grasp why ID isn’t science because supernatural explanations are untestable. And you do research on people by looking them up on Amazon? BWA HA HA HA HA HAAAA!!

    [I think the disconnect is that you have a warped view of what science is, as I addressed earlier. Science can learn and grow both by positive and negative findings, as well as an orderly process of inference. But the real problem is you have the tail wagging the dog. Science is not merely a game but a real attempt to explore reality. If science as constrained by nature is inadequate to encompass reality, then a new paradigm may be born to do that. I referred to that earlier with my reference to calculation involving the square root of minus one, which are useful in designing electrical circuits. If you didn't get it yet, the sqrt of -1 is by definition permanently undefined or impossible in standard mathematics, but allowing for it opened the door on a new technique without resolving the impossibility within the system. It is a black box but useful anyway.

    I thought the Amazon thing was a pretty creative and useful heuristic on the general acceptance and credibility of a source, given the sample size of the ratings.]

    More slagging off of scientists who think ID is crap.

    [For unscientific reasons. When is a scientist not a scientist? When a tree falls in the forest? Whatever.]

    But you’ve forgotten that court case already (again).

    [Let's not read too much into it. There are certain cultural and political factors here, as in the American Medical Association's view of alternative treatments.]

    “Schroeder builds upon universally accepted scientific consensus”

    [You haven't even read or heard the material. Therefore all of your assertions for it are baseless. In the mp3 it is not until minute 50 that Schroeder adds to standard accepted peer reviewed and textbook scholarship.)

    Then tell him. I pointed you to his forum.

    [Nothing personal. Dawkins is I am sure a very nice old grandpa. He has been told by many eminent reviewers. You can take the scientist out of the dogma, but you can't take the dogma out of the scientist.]

    “OK, let’s try again. I put a rock into a test tube and let it sit for a few billion years, and nothing happened. Proof.”
    BWA HA HA HA HA HA HAAA! Oh man, that’s a kid’s argument!

    [That is what you were asking for. A negative proof that evolution does not take place without intervention]

    A supernatural designer IS completely IMPOSSIBLE to predict.

    [Backwards again. We are not trying to predict a supernatural designer, just recognizing the practical impossibility of the lack of one]

  245. Darth Robo

    contrarian:

    “Backwards again. We are not trying to predict a supernatural designer, just recognizing the practical impossibility of the lack of one.”

    Okay, now you’re playing word games and I suspect you already know this. You KNOW that ID has been rejected by the scientific community, you KNOW it’s been rejected by the courts, you KNOW that you can’t tell us anything scientifically useful about the designer. You’re simply repeating the assertion that a designer as the only possible explanation for anything that science can’t currently explain, while at the same time side-stepping the problem by not giving any information of who or what the designer is and how it does it. It’s called “God of the gaps” argument. You also say you accept all science as long as it doesn’t contradict so-called “infallible” scripture in any way, and bad-mouthing anyone (or any scientist) who disagrees. And you call scientists dogmatic? You carry on living in your bubble of ID if you want. If you do come up with anything more specific that gives ID some observable or testable credibility (which you STILL haven’t done yet) then let me know. I’m just content to know that ID has had its day and got stuffed. Even the IDer’s have given it up. And nothing will make it accepted by science, no matter what you say about it. (shrug)

  246. contrarian

    Darth Robo
    “Backwards again. We are not trying to predict a supernatural designer, just recognizing the practical impossibility of the lack of one.”

    Okay, now you’re playing word games and I suspect you already know this.

    [It is not me playing word games. it is you playing 'telephone'. You need a whole trail of call and response to make sense out of this, without having the point derailed which is apparently a goal of yours. I am writing as clearly and targeted as I can given the constraints of the timing and the medium. I suspect that this obsessive circling you do is parctically a diagnosis of the blind spot you and your cohort have on the ID issue, of which more in a moment. I also feel that your preceonceptions do not allow you to receive transmission of a complete meme in context, instead doing a panicked scanning for isolated phrases with which to mislead yourself into thinking you have won the point. You haven't. This interaction between us is as good an example as any to illusttrate it, but it's not something I feel like doing to this whole interaction. I have extracted that orphan statement of yours back to a checkpoint origin, (earliest first). I highly recommend your rereading my posts from beginning to end, as I have inevitably handled any of your points and objections within the series somewhere.

    You: you STILL ... have yet to tell me what experiments IDer’s could perform that can falsify ID or what useful scientific predictions that ID could possibly make or what SPECIFICALLY (with no analogies) points to ID by a creator.
    Me: The evidence for ID is not only the positive evidence of naturally impossible evolution of all kinds, but the absence of such in nature other than when it is specifically found.
    You: Our argument here seems pointless, since you don’t seem to be actually taking issue with any actual science, you just want to be able to say (however it happened) that “GODDIDIT”. Sorry, or “who”ever. On the other hand, you seem to be quite happy to dismiss the work of scientists (Me - this whole sentence of yours was illogical, but let's proceed)
    Me: “No, you did it yourself earlier when I said ““All of science attests that significant and increasing order never follows disorder as a random phenomenon. There have NO peer reviewed paperes to demonstrate that it does.”, And you acknowledged, “Correct.” ”
    You: [Science does deal with some things that are random... Other things are not random.] A supernatural designer IS completely IMPOSSIBLE to predict.
    Me: “Backwards again. We are not trying to predict a supernatural designer, just recognizing the practical impossibility of the lack of one.”

    And again, Me: “Science can learn and grow both by positive and negative findings, as well as an orderly process of inference.”

    Instead of addressing the plain sense of the discussion, you are determined to force it into a minmimalist scientific framework’.

    Ah well, I hope that did some good. To continue:

    You KNOW that ID has been rejected by the scientific community, you KNOW it’s been rejected by the courts, you KNOW that you can’t tell us anything scientifically useful about the designer.

    [I hvae repeatedly made the point that what you call the scientific community is merely the community of science workers who can be expected to have some degree of commonality of biases for better or worse. There is no science to disprove ID, and although metaphysics is not amenable to scientific inquiry, there is no science to PROVE anti-ID. What would that look like?
    You: "Proposed - Impossibly and immesuarbly critical and complicated stuff happens all by itself".
    Me: "Sounds good, prove it".
    You "No, YOU prove that it doesn't".

    While in this generation the culture of atheism predominates in academia, the courts are constrained to look to science for consultation. Neither science nor law are equipped or competent to rule on metaphysics, and it is cheating to say that they don't know, and they can't know, but they know enough to say that another does not know.

    You have been forced to agree that the argument agianst ID is not scientific but ideologocal and philosophical because it does not follow any of the rules of scientific methodology but merely asserts faith in the scientific approach as an all-encompassing and self-sufficient intellectual environment, a god if you will, or as an analogue of nature which is also seen as an all-encomopassing and self-sufficient physical environment, another god if you will. Yet - science has advanced to the point of butting up against the limitations of the universe and of the limits of knowledge in the region of uncertainty. That is why the BA post at top hinted at an escape hatch for desperate cornered atheists. The god of the monotheists is defined to us as infinite and unknowable, beyond Time, Space and the Imagination, and so exists in and beyond that region of existence we cannot touch. In fact, occasionaly that god is referred to as the Eternal or some variation of that. When the Greeks posited an eternal universe, that was nothing less than an assault upon the infinite god of the Israelites. In modern times, we have outlined the limitations of physical existence, an event very disarming and depressing for the atheists. To posit some timeline that extends beyond our experience and conception of Time is in a sense The Great Atheist Hope, as I amusingly referred to it sometime earlier. However, once again as I have said it is acknowledged up front that this supposition is either unsupportable (wrong), unprovable, and at best compatible with at least some longstanding counterpart suppositions on the metaphysical side.]

    You’re simply repeating the assertion that a designer as the only possible explanation for anything that science can’t currently explain, while at the same time side-stepping the problem by not giving any information of who or what the designer is and how it does it. It’s called “God of the gaps” argument.

    [That's not side stepping it at all, just recognizing the outline of the solution while admitting the inaccessability of the details.]

    You also say you accept all science as long as it doesn’t contradict so-called “infallible” scripture in any way, and bad-mouthing anyone (or any scientist) who disagrees.

    [Where have I said that? What I have said is that science cannot contradict scripture, except as the 'science' is unscientific. Both are analogues of reality, working both ends to the middle. I am struck by the thought that scripture describes 'time', while science describes 'space'. Have to give it somne thought. Was it somewhere around here that I quoted Maimonides "Anyone seeing a conflict between science and thheology does not understand either the scienceor the theology". As G.S. has said, scripture does not have the luxury of changing, while science can, should, has and does. And certainly without coercion by the faith-based community, science in recent times has been turned inside out to conform more and more closely with the scriptural record and its tradition, and I am talking about tradition of millennia and no less than many centuries old.]

    If you do come up with anything more specific that gives ID some observable or testable credibility

    [Consider it like the Dark Matter of the universe, inferred by its effects without being directly observable or testable. I have said this before here too.

    And nothing will make it accepted by science, no matter what you say about it. (shrug)

    ["And you call scientists dogmatic?" And you don't? In spite of your earlier profession of agnosticism, here the mask slips.]

  247. Darth Robo

    contrarian:

    “I suspect that this obsessive circling you do is parctically a diagnosis of the blind spot you and your cohort have on the ID issue”

    Huh? Cohort? Dunno what you’re on about there, sounds like paranoia to me.

    “I highly recommend your rereading my posts from beginning to end, as I have inevitably handled any of your points and objections within the series somewhere.”

    By using arguments from incredulity, eg “science can’t explain it, therefore Goddidit”, and poor analogies, eg “computers are created and programmed, therefore life is”. You have yet to get SPECIFIC on WHAT EXACTLY points to design, design by WHO, and HOW do we tell? You uh, STILL haven’t done that. (shrug)

    “The evidence for ID is not only the positive evidence of naturally impossible evolution of all kinds,”

    Ancient fundie argument. “positive evidence of naturally impossible” what? How can something impossible be described as “positive evidence”? You don’t seem to deny that evolution occurs, just as long as Goddidit, but could you point out to how God intervenes and makes it possible? Or point to any science on that? If evolution (or whatever) cannot do something, that would simply mean that it could not do it. It does not automatically mean that Goddidit. You have to also point to positive evidence of HOW Goddidit (or WHAT SPECIFICALLY makes something designed). Otherwise it could simply be it happened another way that we haven’t figured out yet.

    ““No, you did it yourself earlier when I said ““All of science attests that significant and increasing order never follows disorder as a random phenomenon. There have NO peer reviewed paperes to demonstrate that it does.”, And you acknowledged, “Correct.” ”

    Ancient fundie argument. Complexity never arises from simplicity? I remind you that “order” and “disorder” are terms used from a human perspective.

    talkoriginsDOTorg/indexcc/CF/CF002DOThtml

    “I hvae repeatedly made the point that what you call the scientific community is merely the community of science workers who can be expected to have some degree of commonality of biases for better or worse.”

    Ah, the old “atheist conspiracy”, then. (giggle)

    “There is no science to disprove ID, and although metaphysics is not amenable to scientific inquiry, there is no science to PROVE anti-ID. What would that look like?”

    Getting somewhere. Perhaps I haven’t made myself clear in the past. In order for something to be scientific, it has to be FALSIFIABLE. As said before NOTHING can prove or disprove an intelligent designer. Because it can do ANYTHING. So we can’r make any useful predictions. THAT’S why it’s not science.

    “While in this generation the culture of atheism predominates in academia,”

    The old “atheist conspiracy”. Again. I guess that includes all the religious scientists who also think ID is crap, then. Must suck to be an IDer. (snicker, giggle)

    “You have been forced to agree that the argument agianst ID is not scientific but ideologocal and philosophical because it does not follow any of the rules of scientific methodology… ”

    Nope. ID doesn’t follow the rules of scientific methodology for the very reasons I explained above. Remember, science makes NO claims as to the existence of an intelligent designer. Science is NOT ATHEISTIC. If there WAS any evidence found for it, that would still be considered a ‘NATURAL’ PHENOMENON because we could then OBSERVE it.

    “That is why the BA post at top hinted at an escape hatch for desperate cornered atheists.”

    Oh. (giggle)

    “When the Greeks posited an eternal universe, that was nothing less than an assault upon the infinite god of the Israelites.”

    Was it? (snicker)

    “In modern times, we have outlined the limitations of physical existence, an event very disarming and depressing for the atheists.”

    It is? Have you talked to many? Doesn’t sound like it.

    “To posit some timeline that extends beyond our experience and conception of Time is in a sense The Great Atheist Hope,”

    Uh, right. Whatever. Go tell it to the atheists, coz I’m not interested in promoting atheism. (shrug)

    “That’s not side stepping it at all, just recognizing the outline of the solution while admitting the inaccessability of the details.”

    So we agree that ID is unfalsifiable.

    “What I have said is that science cannot contradict scripture,”

    If you say so. (shrug) Of course the scripture YOU believe in is of course better than any other religion’s, right?

    “Anyone seeing a conflict between science and theology”

    I don’t. There’s nothing wrong with believing in God AND accepting science in my opinion. But belief and science are two seperate things.

    “Consider it like the Dark Matter of the universe, inferred by its effects without being directly observable or testable. I have said this before here too.”

    http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2007/05/15/hubble-finds-dark-matter-smoke-ring/

    To quote BA: “So even though we cannot see DM directly, we can see its effects.”

    So if, for example we couldn’t observe God but see its effects, we could make predictions based on that. But we can’t. Dark matter is predictable. ID isn’t.

    “In spite of your earlier profession of agnosticism, here the mask slips.”

    If you say so. (shrug) Guess you know me better than I do, huh? But hey, if it makes you feel better to call me an atheist, then go ahead. Call me names if you like. Makes no diff to me. Shades of that ol’ atheist conspiracy theory again? :)

    If BA is still watching us two sad gets um, “debating”, feel free to tell us both to STFU. Probably a pain in the ass having to moderate an ancient thread.

  248. contrarian

    Darth Robo

    Huh? Cohort? Dunno what you’re on about there, sounds like paranoia to me.

    [Being the MAN OF SCIENCE that you are, I assumed you knew the modern technical usage of the word cohort. Hint, it is not anything out of Harry Potter. In this case I referred to people of your viewpoint regarding reality.
    co·hort (khôrt) n.
    1. A group or band of people.
    2. A companion or associate.
    3. A generational group as defined in demographics, statistics, or market research]

    By using arguments from incredulity, eg “science can’t explain it, therefore Goddidit”, and poor analogies, eg “computers are created and programmed, therefore life is”. You have yet to get SPECIFIC on WHAT EXACTLY points to design, design by WHO, and HOW do we tell? You uh, STILL haven’t done that. (shrug)

    [It is possible I am overestimating your intelligence. I personally think there is something more going on. You repeatedly incorrectly tell me what I am saying.
    What I SAID is that nature is not self-explanatory, and that it is a inadequate to define science by what is known about nature. Insisting upon that puts you in the category of the plodders who stifle innovation in every age. The true spirit of science in the larger sense is a fearless exploration of reality, letting the chips fall where they may. I submit the admission to a designer is more frightening to accept than the reverse, a possible motivation for your hysterical resistance to the idea. The specific answer to your question is that every organism down to the most primitive points to design. Other aspects of creation do too, but they are like trees falling in a forest, without sentience there is nothing to talk about.]

    Ancient fundie argument. “positive evidence of naturally impossible” what? How can something impossible be described as “positive evidence”?

    [Sorry to speak in so a compact manner. Let's take one concept at a time. I said 'naturally impossible'. By that I mean impossible in a purely natural manner, that is with the component materials and forces and laws of nature alone. As a concept, it's really not a big deal. A GOOD analogy is that cup of coffee I mentioned. My cup of coffee is also naturally impossible in the absence of intelligent intervention although everything about it is natural. But nature will never produce it untended. Oh, we can suppose that some sun-scorched coffee beans could be swept into a hot spring or volcanic vent under a leaking milk tank in a dairy barn to produce some aromatic brew. Aah, delicous. But that's stupid. The presence of a cup of coffee is good enough evidence for that court you were talking about it, if that was to be a factor in some court case.]

    You don’t seem to deny that evolution occurs, just as long as Goddidit, but could you point out to how God intervenes and makes it possible?

    [God is not my lab assistant, but he probably does whatever is necessary. In fact, he does it just as you would, if you knew what to do and had the means to do it. Simple. In any discussion of evolution, don't neglect to include the very first critical mass of design for life, that is the very first organism. Also don't forget that for this particular discussion you have the burden of not only figuring out the mechanism which is after all available for inspection and analysis, but to infer a REASONABLE sequence of events that implemented it purely by natural means. Natural meaning no designer, and no intelligent guidance.]

    If evolution (or whatever) cannot do something, that would simply mean that it could not do it. [Circular]
    It does not automatically mean that Goddidit. [No, just something didit. Maybe Mongo from the Congo. Except that God has better press.]
    You have to also point to positive evidence of HOW Goddidit (or WHAT SPECIFICALLY makes something designed). [No, I don't. I can take the same shortcut as you do with 'evolution'. God did it the way he did it.]
    Otherwise it could simply be it happened another way that we haven’t figured out yet. [Even when and if you figure it out, that is not evidence relating to the primary feasibility of it and that would not be evidence against God doing it.]

    Ancient fundie argument. Complexity never arises from simplicity? I remind you that “order” and “disorder” are terms used from a human perspective.

    [An oldie but a goodie. I think we have a fair objective working handle on degrees of order and disorder in probabalistic terms. Normal distributions, mean, mode, median, standard deviation, all that jazz. It is not order and disorder that are subjective so much as complexity and simplicity. I read that stuff on denial.org or whatever it is, and the flaws are obvious despite the big words. Sort of a cheap shot for you to just link and not think, but here we go. (I'm skipping the Mandelbrot set until you personally explain what the hell that has to do with this. Judging by what follows I don't expect to be impressed.)
    1) A pan of water with heat applied uniformly to its bottom will develop convection currents that are more complex than the still water;
    [The convection currents will be influenced by more subtle environmental facts, and in any case are a more disordered state than the still water. NEXT!]

    2) complex hurricanes arise from similar principles; complex planetary ring systems arise from simple laws of gravitation;
    [The complexity is inherent in the material components as I mentioned earlier, meaning that with components of a different density or elasticity the same effect would not be observed. This is what is meant by intelligent design of more mundane creation than that of life, sentience, intelligence and spirituality. Furthermore your use of the word 'arise' is misleading in that these phenomena are of a piece, yin and yang. Chaotic planetary mass condensing and aligning and along an equilibrium is a response to the superior ordering force of NEXT!]]

    3) complex ant nests arise from simple behaviors;
    [There is that word 'arise' again. Those behaviors are obviously components of the overall complexity of the nest and not precursors, and cannot therefore be taken in isolation. Furthermore those behaviors are performed in concert and parallel as any organized activity is and it is meaningless to think of it as just a bunch of ants meandering around. NEXT!]

    4) and complex organisms arise from simpler seeds and embryos.
    [Here is where that view of complexity and simplicity can be subjective. It is beyond obvious that a seed is no simpler than the developed organism. That is because as with the still water example, is in a MORE ORDERED STATE. Just as a computer file can be compressed into a highly encoded lossless format for transmission, so is a seed a transmission of a complete information package to order nutrients and so forth into an organism as we see it. The embryo is even a worse example for you, in that far more complexity is involved in its own phylogeny (I know a few big words too) than for a develeloped organism, just as the physiology of an infant and a child on an ordered growth path is far more complex that of a more stable adult. There is even a reason to think of the seed and the plant as a single organism in different states. Next!]

    Ah, the old “atheist conspiracy”, then. (giggle)

    [No, I think it just a collective hang-up.]

    “There is no science to disprove ID, and although metaphysics is not amenable to scientific inquiry, there is no science to PROVE anti-ID. What would that look like?”

    Getting somewhere. Perhaps I haven’t made myself clear in the past. In order for something to be scientific, it has to be FALSIFIABLE. As said before NOTHING can prove or disprove an intelligent designer. Because it can do ANYTHING. So we can’r make any useful predictions. THAT’S why it’s not science.

    [We have been through this, but if science is constrained by the nature of the universe, as defined by natural laws and limits, then it cannot be a tool to investigate anything outside of the system. In that respect ID is not scientific, but not because it is false but because it is supernatural, extranatural, metaphysical or any other term you may use. But it does not take a tinfoil hat to realize that if ID is rejected, than an alternative hypothesis must be accepted to account for us, all and everything, and THAT is necessarily falsifiable. But you have refused to engage that implication, with a promise that one day that alternative hypothesis will be found and borne out. I have news for you; absolutely nothing of relevence will develop in all of our lifetimes to change the outcome of this debate, just as it hasn't in the last thousands of years. It boils down to Yes, No, or Maybe, and Maybe doesn't cut it.]

    [You are not necessarily disagreeing with me, but it is a matter of semantics and technicality. You are still looking at science in the inconsequential sense, as if it is a board game with cards and dice and rules. But just because one did not send away for the official decoder ring doesn't mean one cannot solve the puzzle. Remember, we are presented with the unique fact of our existence, and trying to work backward to a cause, and forward to a comprehension of the process.

    I guess that includes all the religious scientists who also think ID is crap, then. Must suck to be an IDer. (snicker, giggle)

    [Speaking only for monotheists rooted in the Biblical creation account, it is an oxymoron to be a religious scientist who thinks ID is crap. Remember, ID for me means just that, it does not imply contradicting, denying or stretching any conservatively validated observation or finding. Here is where I say as you do that in the event of a knowledge gap, I am content to wait for blanks ot be filled in. Every so-called contradiction to the Biblical account has fallen over time. One may be skeptical of claims when they arise.]

    “You have been forced to agree that the argument agianst ID is not scientific but ideologocal and philosophical because it does not follow any of the rules of scientific methodology… ”

    Nope. ID doesn’t follow the rules of scientific methodology for the very reasons I explained above. Remember, science makes NO claims as to the existence of an intelligent designer. Science is NOT ATHEISTIC. If there WAS any evidence found for it, that would still be considered a ‘NATURAL’ PHENOMENON because we could then OBSERVE it.

    [Let's not play dumb here or cop out. There is a science of making claims all the time about the presence of design, the degree of design, the quality of design, and the same for intelligence as well as the intelligence embodied and embedded in design. It is artifical and arbitrary to exclude design that had no human intervention from these evaluations, which is far more evidence than is demanded for far more mundane conclusions. By that argument, we are all observing it all the time.]

    “When the Greeks posited an eternal universe, that was nothing less than an assault upon the infinite god of the Israelites.”
    Was it? (snicker)

    [Yes, it was. It's off topic, but your (snicker) demands an explanation. Bearing in mind that the Bible and the Israelite scholarly culture preceded that of the Greek (let's say from the time of Pythagoras) by seven centuries and drawing upon knowledge and events of a couple of thousand years before that. It's not like they weren't acquainted with each other.
    http://www.schoenbooks.com/itzkoff.html "“A nation of philosophers” is the description given by the Hellenistic Greek thinkers to the Jews when the Greeks and Jews first encountered each other, c.300 BCE."
    Specifically "Aristotle's successor at the Lyceum, Theophrastus, called the Jews "a nation of philosophers." Numenius, a Syrian philosopher of the second century and a forerunner of the neo-Platonic school, regarded Moses as the first and greatest philosopher." 'Philosopher' was the highest title and compliment the Greeks had. As things progressed the core conflicts in that philosophy led to very bad outcomes for the Jews, what a surprise. Even then, the Jews insisted upon a theology modeled upon an infinite, eternal all powerful god, along with a transcendant law. I won't even talk about the Totans and Pantheon etc., but the Greeks believed in an infinite, eternal universe with perhaps an undefined Prime Mover who or which was irrelevant to law and to life. The Greek Syriacs were quite proactive in imposing the externally oriented Greek culture and religion by force, and they particlarly disliked the Jews. Hence Chanukah. Centuries later during the Roman empire, the Greeks were still running to Caesar to complain about the Jews. Western culture and science still posesses background radiation from the Greek culture, for better or worse. But we digress.]

    “In modern times, we have outlined the limitations of physical existence, an event very disarming and depressing for the atheists.”
    “To posit some timeline that extends beyond our experience and conception of Time is in a sense The Great Atheist Hope,”
    [As above. I guess it wasn't a complete digression. Other than to say that the universe is now seen as a closed, limited system, however large those limits are to our subjective perception.]

    If you say so. (shrug) Of course the scripture YOU believe in is of course better than any other religion’s, right?

    [Well, from your point of view it has had a great and improving track record.]

    But belief and science are two seperate things.

    [No, the distinction is artificial. Somewhat more than order and disorder.

    “Consider it like the Dark Matter of the universe, inferred by its effects without being directly observable or testable. I have said this before here too.”

    http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2007/05/15/hubble-finds-dark-matter-smoke-ring/
    To quote BA: “So even though we cannot see DM directly, we can see its effects.”
    So if, for example we couldn’t observe God but see its effects, we could make predictions based on that. But we can’t. Dark matter is predictable. ID isn’t.

    [Nice posting. But dark matter doesn't exist because we asy so, it exists because it exists. I am going out on a limb here to say that dark matter is not sentient and intelligent and purposeful, and is thus predictable. So the example is not one for one but in concept you can see my basis for comparison.]

    If you say so. (shrug) Guess you know me better than I do, huh? But hey, if it makes you feel better to call me an atheist, then go ahead. Call me names if you like. Makes no diff to me. Shades of that ol’ atheist conspiracy theory again? :)

    [It does seem far more important than 'predicted' to you to insist that nobody in science will accept ID.]

    If BA is still watching us two sad gets um, “debating”, feel free to tell us both to STFU. Probably a pain in the ass having to moderate an ancient thread.

    [I don't know about you, but I rather enjoy having my conclusions repeatedly validated in a discussion like this.]

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  251. Darth Robo

    contrarian:

    “The specific answer to your question is that every organism down to the most primitive points to design.”

    That’s uh, not very specific. That’s an assertion. WHAT IS IT EXACTLY ABOUT THE ORGANISM THAT POINTS TO DESIGN?

    “A GOOD analogy is that cup of coffee… ”

    No it ain’t. Analogies don’t make science. See my (oft repeated) question above.

    “coffee is good enough evidence for that court you were talking about it”

    That’s why the IDer’s lost then. EVERY time…

    “God is not my lab assistant, but he probably does whatever is necessary.”

    That’s a little vague, Spock.

    “In any discussion of evolution, don’t neglect to include the very first critical mass of design for life, that is the very first organism.”

    Repeating myself AGAIN, evolution is a seperate discussion from abiogenesis. And if we don’t know everything about abiogenesis yet, that doesn’t mean “Goddidit”. It means “We don’t know yet.” I’m sorry if science isn’t working fast enough for ya for those ‘meaning of life’ type questions.

    “Also don’t forget that for this particular discussion you have the burden of not only figuring out the mechanism which is after all available for inspection and analysis, but to infer a REASONABLE sequence of events that implemented it purely by natural means. Natural meaning no designer, and no intelligent guidance.”

    You STILL have it backwards. A NATURAL explanation is the always the default in science, because it cannot observe/test/predict SUPERNATRURAL occurrences. I repeat even if there WAS a designer (it don’t matter if it’s a god or space aliens or anything) if we found evidence for it, it would be considered natural BECAUSE it could be observed/tested/predicted.

    “No, just something didit. Maybe Mongo from the Congo. Except that God has better press.”

    Not as a scientific explanation though. But if it makes people feel better, then that’s fine. Science in the meantime will keep trying to uncover more evidence. Whether it is God or not.

    “Even when and if you figure it out, that is not evidence relating to the primary feasibility of it and that would not be evidence against God doing it.”

    As I’ve told you before, science is not atheistic and makes no claim whatsoever about the existence of God. There is NOTHING that says that God can’t do it. He CAN do it. He can do ANYTHING. Hence, that is why it is unfalsifiable.

    “Sort of a cheap shot for you to just link and not think, but here we go.”

    As compared to just making jokes about my intelligence and dismissing any arguments put towards you without addressing them? Do you uh, REMEMBER all those questions which you STILL haven’t answered? Analogies didn’t work in court and they don’t work in science.

    “The convection currents will be influenced by more subtle environmental facts, and in any case are a more disordered state than the still water.”

    So you say. (shrug) How and/or where does the intelligent designer come into it?

    “The complexity is inherent in the material components as I mentioned earlier, meaning that with components of a different density or elasticity the same effect would not be observed. This is what is meant by intelligent design of more mundane creation than that of life, sentience, intelligence and spirituality. Furthermore your use of the word ‘arise’ is misleading in that these phenomena are of a piece, yin and yang. Chaotic planetary mass condensing and aligning and along an equilibrium is a response to the superior ordering force of”

    So uh, how/where does intelligent designer come into it?

    “There is that word ‘arise’ again. Those behaviors are obviously components of the overall complexity of the nest and not precursors, and cannot therefore be taken in isolation. Furthermore those behaviors are performed in concert and parallel as any organized activity is and it is meaningless to think of it as just a bunch of ants meandering around.”

    I doubt that’s what entomologists think either. But the ant that makes a doorway, only knows how to make a doorway, the ant that makes a wall only knows how to make a wall. They follow a simple set of rules. Birds flying in formation follow a simple set of rules – don’t crash, follow your wingman from your left (or right), stay at a certain distance from your wingman – and the end result are highly complex (predictable) patterns and shapes. Admittedly the ants one is interesting, because entomologists compare it to a single intelligent hive mind. But they don’t actually need to invoke a creator. Unless you could tell us, how/where does intelligent designer come into it?

    “Here is where that view of complexity and simplicity can be subjective. It is beyond obvious that a seed is no simpler than the developed organism. That is because as with the still water example, is in a MORE ORDERED STATE.”

    So uh, how/where does intelligent designer come into it?

    “No, I think it just a collective hang-up.”

    I guess that explains your forays into apologetics.

    “In that respect ID is not scientific”

    HALLELUJAH! By jove, I think he’s got it!!! :)

    “But it does not take a tinfoil hat to realize that if ID is rejected, than an alternative hypothesis must be accepted to account for us, all and everything, and THAT is necessarily falsifiable.”

    ID is only rejected because of the lack of evidence. I repeat, if evidence for it comes up some time in the future, it will be considered. Until then, it is just a matter of faith.

    “You are not necessarily disagreeing with me, but it is a matter of semantics and technicality.”

    Well, I was… until now.

    “Every so-called contradiction to the Biblical account has fallen over time. One may be skeptical of claims when they arise.”

    Depends on how literally it is taken. If someone tries to convince me of a literal reading of the Ark story, or that there really was a talking snake and donkey, then I’ll be just a wee bit skeptical. On the other hand, if one was to say: ‘God said “Let there be light.” and thus the Big Bang happened’, that’s fine by me, from a philosophical/religious perspective.

    “Let’s not play dumb here or cop out. There is a science of making claims all the time about the presence of design, the degree of design, the quality of design, and the same for intelligence as well as the intelligence embodied and embedded in design. It is artifical and arbitrary to exclude design that had no human intervention from these evaluations, which is far more evidence than is demanded for far more mundane conclusions. By that argument, we are all observing it all the time.”

    Repeat, science does not exclude non-human design. It simply hasn’t found evidence in nature of it yet. One can look at nature and be amazed by that, or one can say “God did it.” Both are fine, from a personal philosophical point of view.

    “I am going out on a limb here to say that dark matter is not sentient and intelligent and purposeful, and is thus predictable. So the example is not one for one but in concept you can see my basis for comparison.”

    Yep. And I pointed out why Dark Matter is scientific.

    “I don’t know about you, but I rather enjoy having my conclusions repeatedly validated in a discussion like this.”

    If you say so.

  252. contrarian

    That’s uh, not very specific. That’s an assertion. WHAT IS IT EXACTLY ABOUT THE ORGANISM THAT POINTS TO DESIGN?
    ['Uh', ORGANIZATION?]

    No it ain’t. Analogies don’t make science. See my (oft repeated) question above.
    [Sure they do. Most scientific inspiration, discovery and endeavor consists of inferences, deductions and modeling. As well as scale models and pilot projects and surveys. What are they if not analogies? Science is not 'made' going for broke full scale, until we have some confidence in the 'analogies'.]

    “coffee is good enough evidence for that court you were talking about it”
    That’s why the IDer’s lost then. EVERY time…
    [And that's why O.J. got off despite the irrefutable DNA evidence. "If the belief system don't fit you must disallow it"]

    “God is not my lab assistant, but he probably does whatever is necessary.”
    That’s a little vague, Spock.
    [OK, God, establishes and supports the natural physical environment, intervenes in probability on multiple levels, that is individual, parallel, interactive, synchronistic etc. to influence events in a targeted direction, much as one would drive a car or make a cup of coffee.]

    Repeating myself AGAIN, evolution is a seperate discussion from abiogenesis. And if we don’t know everything about abiogenesis yet, that doesn’t mean “Goddidit”.
    [Sorry, Darth. Saying so doesn't make it so. For someone so demanding of detailed proof of the obvious, it is a little transparent to blow off requests to back up the source for your unsupported belief system. It's not that we don't know everything about abiogenesis yet. We don't know ANYTHING about abiogenesis at all. Zip. Nada. Six syllables to say "Origin of life from nothing, or at least non-life'. Sure, 'amino-acids are the building blocks of DNA'. Like bricks are the building blocks of the Trump Tower. Or have we been through this already? One may be necessary for the other but in no way imply the other. As in, it makes no sense in the absence of a designer.

    And evolution is not a seperate discussion from abiogenesis. We are talking about a sequential process in the same natural framework. You can't have one without the other. While abiogenesis is a quantum leap, it is not as obvious that evolution is also a series of quantum leaps that happened in a relatively tiny timeframe, not a slow morphing. The Harriet and Robert Heilbrunn Cosmic Pathway of the Rose Center at Haydn Planetarium has a 360 foot walkway scaled to 13 billions of years from the Big Bang. That could be short by a significant figure but let's proceed. Dinosaurs on this scale became extinct two feet from the end, and human existence occupies the width of a human hair at the end. Here is a detailed treatment of the topic http://evolution-facts.org/Appendix/a15.htm ]

    A NATURAL explanation is the always the default in science, because it cannot observe/test/predict SUPERNATRURAL occurrences. I repeat even if there WAS a designer (it don’t matter if it’s a god or space aliens or anything) if we found evidence for it, it would be considered natural BECAUSE it could be observed/tested/predicted.
    [We do not disagree here. Science by your definition is limited in its assumptions and therefore in its scope and its potential reach. However, I still maintain that negative or indirect evidence may be found by measuring a variance from an expected result. For example, there is no expectation that a natural orderly universe will emerge from chaos, nor that life will emerge from non-life, nor that sentience, awareness and intelligence will emerge from mechanistic life processes. Honorton and Rhine did rigorous work along those lines at Dulce University to investigate paranormal phenomena and clearly demonstrated them without reaching any conclusions about the mechanism.]

    Not as a scientific explanation though. But if it makes people feel better, then that’s fine. Science in the meantime will keep trying to uncover more evidence. Whether it is God or not.
    [Go Jim Dandy - go Jim Dandy!]

    “Sort of a cheap shot for you to just link and not think, but here we go.”

    As compared to just making jokes about my intelligence and dismissing any arguments put towards you without addressing them? Do you uh, REMEMBER all those questions which you STILL haven’t answered? Analogies didn’t work in court and they don’t work in science.
    [Well, I could smother the discussion in URL's but I don't. In this case, if I took the trouble to engage the arguments, This and the next three examples were of complexity arising from simplicity, not of intelligent design; nice try though. It's not just an opinion, it's logic that is accessible to your disproof. Your champ there is confusing order/disorder with simplicity/complexity. I think you should have made the case personally, if you have faith in it that is. I'm not trying to put you down, but if you want to disagree you could put in the effort of engaging the logic and not just playing ping-pong. "Uh, where does the intelligent designer come into it? does not indicate that you even read nor comprehended my answers.]

    “The convection currents will be influenced by more subtle environmental facts, and in any case are a more disordered state than the still water.”

    So you say. (shrug) How and/or where does the intelligent designer come into it?
    [Don't you say so? Do you say anything about it? Certainly boiling water is complicated, but it's a complicated mess as would be expected from disrupting its state at rest. I will try to indulge your diversion with answers regarding ID. The ID argument applies to abiogenesis as a move to greater order,organization and complexity. Now why do you think this guy's analogies are cool, especially in light of that they are inapplicable? Design? Intelligence? Intelligent Designer? Get it?]

    “The complexity is inherent in the material components as I mentioned earlier, meaning that with components of a different density or elasticity the same effect would not be observed. This is what is meant by intelligent design of more mundane creation than that of life, sentience, intelligence and spirituality. Furthermore your use of the word ‘arise’ is misleading in that these phenomena are of a piece, yin and yang. Chaotic planetary mass condensing and aligning and along an equilibrium is a response to the superior ordering force of”

    So uh, how/where does intelligent designer come into it?
    [Small editing error there, sorry. I meant to conclude 'superior ordering force of natural laws'. Anyhoo, this applies to what is known as the 'anthropic principle', in which not only are things as they are, but they are also aligned in a critical manner so as to produce the life and existence we are and observe. I am not against the idea of extraterrestrial life in principle, but it certainly appears that the universe a vastly dead place.]

    “There is that word ‘arise’ again. Those behaviors are obviously components of the overall complexity of the nest and not precursors, and cannot therefore be taken in isolation. Furthermore those behaviors are performed in concert and parallel as any organized activity is and it is meaningless to think of it as just a bunch of ants meandering around.”

    I doubt that’s what entomologists think either. But the ant that makes a doorway, only knows how to make a doorway, the ant that makes a wall only knows how to make a wall. They follow a simple set of rules. Birds flying in formation follow a simple set of rules – don’t crash, follow your wingman from your left (or right), stay at a certain distance from your wingman – and the end result are highly complex (predictable) patterns and shapes. Admittedly the ants one is interesting, because entomologists compare it to a single intelligent hive mind. But they don’t actually need to invoke a creator. Unless you could tell us, how/where does intelligent designer come into it?
    [You managed to agree with me in a lot more words. The ID here comes in with the realization that the queen is nothing without the workers, and neither can live without the wall and the door and the storage rooms and so forth. Evolutionary theory would require some intermediate ant types and hive types and organization types.]

    “Here is where that view of complexity and simplicity can be subjective. It is beyond obvious that a seed is no simpler than the developed organism. That is because as with the still water example, is in a MORE ORDERED STATE.”

    So uh, how/where does intelligent designer come into it?
    [In the rest of my answer which you skipped. It was a really good one.]

    “But it does not take a tinfoil hat to realize that if ID is rejected, than an alternative hypothesis must be accepted to account for us, all and everything, and THAT is necessarily falsifiable.”

    ID is only rejected because of the lack of evidence. I repeat, if evidence for it comes up some time in the future, it will be considered. Until then, it is just a matter of faith.
    [This last statement of mine was probably the most direct and powerful refutation of your thesis. I would appreciate an answer. Here, I'll repeat it for reference:
    "... if ID is rejected, than an alternative hypothesis must be accepted to account for us, all and everything, and THAT is necessarily falsifiable"
    Isn't that great? It goes along with my earlier statement " negative or indirect evidence may be found by measuring a variance from an expected result. For example, there is no expectation that a natural orderly universe will emerge from chaos, nor that life will emerge from non-life, nor that sentience, awareness and intelligence will emerge from mechanistic life processes."

    This is exactly why the burden of proof is upon you to disprove ID. This is the elephant in your room. That we exist, and think

    Repeat, science does not exclude non-human design. It simply hasn’t found evidence in nature of it yet. One can look at nature and be amazed by that, or one can say “God did it.” Both are fine, from a personal philosophical point of view.
    [Here you are transparently saying you are not saying what you are saying. Natural non-human design is incomparably more sophisticated than human design, In brief, I call that evidence. Leaving aside your token amazement, what would qualify as evidence to you? I can't imagine it, can you? And if not, is that evidence of blinders on your part?]

    “I am going out on a limb here to say that dark matter is not sentient and intelligent and purposeful, and is thus predictable. So the example is not one for one but in concept you can see my basis for comparison.”
    Yep. And I pointed out why Dark Matter is scientific.
    [See my earlier comment about indirect proof from deviation from the expectation.]

    “I don’t know about you, but I rather enjoy having my conclusions repeatedly validated in a discussion like this.”

    If you say so.
    [Still batting a thousand.]

  253. Darth Robo

    “Most scientific inspiration, discovery and endeavor consists of inferences, deductions and modeling. As well as scale models and pilot projects and surveys. What are they if not analogies?”

    You’re conflating terms. Models predict outcomes and can be tested. ID analogies can’t.

    “OK, God, establishes and supports the natural physical environment, intervenes in probability on multiple levels, that is individual, parallel, interactive, synchronistic etc. to influence events in a targeted direction, much as one would drive a car or make a cup of coffee.”

    Yet another assertion followed by analogy.

    “Sorry, Darth. Saying so doesn’t make it so. For someone so demanding of detailed proof of the obvious, it is a little transparent to blow off requests to back up the source for your unsupported belief system.”

    Guess you know more than the scientists who actually study evolution and realise that evolution as a model works just fine without the need to explain abiogenesis. Repeat: evolution deals with what occurred AFTER abiogenesis. And uh, your saying so doesn’t make it so. (shrug) But you could still always email any of those scientists I told ya about if you are worried their work is being used out of context. I guess you still haven’t done that, huh? I’m sure they would appreciate your insights about how they all missed your “proof” of the “obvious”.

    “It’s not that we don’t know everything about abiogenesis yet. We don’t know ANYTHING about abiogenesis at all.”

    And yet you still make the claim that a designer is responsible. (sigh)

    “As in, it makes no sense in the absence of a designer.”

    That’s your opinion. (shrug)

    [link to evolution-facts] (giggle)

    Oh dear. Before you seemed to indicate you were an Old Earth Creationist (OEC). You seemed to indicate you have no problem with evolution or the big-bang as long as God had a part in them (which is fine for a personal religious/philosophical POV). If you are a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) then correct me if I’m wrong. That link leads to YEC material. They are not just disputing various facts regarding evolution, THEY DENY IT EVEN HAPPENED! If this is the stuff you think is science, then no WONDER no-one takes you seriously. If you are an OEC, then why are you linking to this crap at all? It seems kind of dishonest to me if you are just doing it to try and show that science has problems just because some fundies (who know sweet FA about evolution) have problems with it on Biblical grounds. So, did evolution happen? Is the Earth old like 4 billion years or young like 6-10 thousand? If it’s the former, you can’t really use this material. If it’s the latter, you deserve to be laughed at. I also see Gould was mentioned in that link. They also love to (mis)quote SJ Gould (he’s a creo favourite) because of his different ideas of the theory, but they fail to realise that Goulds ideas are part and parcel of today’s modern evolutionary theory. Gould also modifed his writing style after he found out that he was being quotemined by creationists and he never advocated creationism as a viable scientific alternative (see scientists DO care). Of course, fundies fail to realise this either. And I would also have to ask you why is it that every single one of these objections to evolution do not appear in ANY science journals and only in religious/creationist texts. But for now I’ll grant you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are an OEC. In which case, what makes your interpretation of the Bible correct? Obviously we can dismiss the YEC’s ideas of science because they simply don’t match up to reality (unless God is decieving us, which again, is untestable). But as for their interpretation of the Bible, it could be that theirs could be the correct one and the Bible just got the sciencey bits (the parts where it makes specific assertions about the earth and the universe) wrong. So what makes your interpretation of the Bible any better than anyone else’s? Keep in mind EVERY religious fundie claims to be the right one. And as we’ve pointed out, since ID is not scientific, it seems that nobody on Earth could POSSIBLY know any more about God than anybody else. So what makes you right and anyone else wrong?

    “For example, there is no expectation that a natural orderly universe will emerge from chaos, nor that life will emerge from non-life, nor that sentience, awareness and intelligence will emerge from mechanistic life processes.”

    Science isn’t totally random, so most of your sentence here is either straw-man or basic argument from incredulity again. Also, snowflake crystals form complex highly ordered patterns from completely natural (and random) processes. It COULD be that God interferes and makes them pretty, science doesn’t say that it doesn’t, but of course it impossible to predict (or even infer) through scientific means.

    “Honorton and Rhine did rigorous work along those lines at Dulce University to investigate paranormal phenomena… ”

    Oh. (giggle)

    “where does the intelligent designer come into it? does not indicate that you even read nor comprehended my answers.”

    Because, like in every single post you’ve made, you’ve avoided to point out EXACTLY WHAT SPECIFICALLY points do design? By WHO? HOW can we tell? BY WHAT MECHANISM did the designer do it? Babbling about order and complexity and then giving poor analogies or just saying “the designer does whatever is necessary” still doesn’t cut it. Order and complexity on their own are not indications of design unless you can answer these questions that I’ve asked you over and over and over and… which uh, you STILL haven’t done.

    “I am not against the idea of extraterrestrial life in principle, but it certainly appears that the universe a vastly dead place.”

    Well, since we are only capable of observing life in our own solar system (so far) it would be a bit premature to assume that. From a DESIGN point of view, it seems kinda unnecessary. If the universe is here for our benefit only, at most, the designer need only create our galaxy. If the designer has other ideas for the rest of the universe, seems ludicrous to me not to experiment with creating more life elsewhere. I think I’ll stick to the Drake equation, as espoused by Drake and Sagan.

    “You managed to agree with me in a lot more words. The ID here comes in with the realization that the queen is nothing without the workers, and neither can live without the wall and the door and the storage rooms and so forth. Evolutionary theory would require some intermediate ant types and hive types and organization types.”

    Maybe there were. But that’s a question to ask evolutionary biologists and/or entomologists. There were certainly different forms of insects millions of years ago than those we have of today. Some species though have stayed virtually the same for a long time, but biologists know that different organisms due to many various factors evolve at different rates.

    “… if ID is rejected, than an alternative hypothesis must be accepted to account for us, all and everything, and THAT is necessarily falsifiable”

    But uh, that’s the point. It ain’t falsifiable. At least, not yet. And until it is, there is no point in considering it if we can’t test it. To quote Hawking: “We could still imagine that there is a set of laws that determines events completely for some super-natural being, who could observe the universe without disturbing it. However, such models of the universe are not of much interest to us ordinary mortals. It seems better to emply the principle of economy known as Occam’s Razor and cut out all the features of the theory that cannot be observed.”

    “This is exactly why the burden of proof is upon you to disprove ID. This is the elephant in your room. That we exist, and think.”

    Wrong. I repeat AGAIN, science makes NO claims to the existence of a supernatural designer. It DOES NOT SAY THAT THERE IS NOT ONE. It is so far simply unobservable. This is exactly why the burden of proof is upon the ID’er to prove it. But so far, they have not provided any kind of model or testable predictions. Their entire arguments boil down to “Science can’t explain ‘X’ so therefore Goddidit!”. Then their entire argument goes down the pan, since it is illlegal to teach one religion over another, because there is always one fundie who didn’t get the memo that tells them to keep quiet about God and just call it the “unknown unidentifiable intelligent designer”. Your very argument “we exist and think” is purely argument from incredulity. It seems to be enough for you that existence alone is enough proof of a designer. Again, that’s fine from a personal philosophical/religious point of view, but it’s not science. Science and religion are two seperate subjects and neither should be taught as the other. Remember, science DOES NOT SAY that you are wrong in this respect.

    “Leaving aside your token amazement, what would qualify as evidence to you? I can’t imagine it, can you? And if not, is that evidence of blinders on your part?”

    I don’t know what would qualify as evidence, but you can’t imagine it either. But if any should come up, as I’ve said before, science would consider it.

    “See my earlier comment about indirect proof from deviation from the expectation.”

    You’re ignoring the fact that Dark Matter has observable predictable consequences. You are basically using any excuse to slip God in science somewhere, anywhere, even to the point of using YEC material. That’s what’s called apologetics. If you wanna say God did it, fine. Many scientists would agree with you. But they STILL reject ID. ID is religion. Science is science. There’s very little point in talking about football tactics in a cookery class. THAT’S why ID is rejected. Religion is not. It is simply a separate subject.

    “Still batting a thousand.”

    If you say so. (shrug)

  254. Dinosaur

    It’s amazing how someone as seemingly intelligent as Contrarian is, still believes in an old-wives tale that involves a couple of Jewish guys hallucinating in a desert.

    Darth Robo FTW!

  255. contrarian too

    Two very large posts have disappeared off the bottom of this topic. I sincerely hope this effort is not a waste of time.You are certainly trying to make it so by cherry picking the debating points.

    What happened to my response to that very important capitalized question of yours “WHAT IS IT EXACTLY ABOUT THE ORGANISM THAT POINTS TO DESIGN?” [’Uh’, ORGANIZATION?]. Ignored. You must dimly be aware that you are cheating here. Is that satisfying? What exactly gives you the sense of entitlement to claim the ‘rationality’ title. Come on, Mr. Wizard, you should be able to handle this with one hand tied behind your back. If all you have to do is ignore, deflect, (sigh), (snicker), (shrug), and (giggle) instead of really thinking and engaging and responding, you lose. You’re not making a case, just singing your camp cheer. The reason I am batting a thousand is because I answer your stuff at face value. You are the one making assumptions and assertions supported only by cultural truisms and hearsay.

    You’re conflating terms. Models predict outcomes and can be tested. ID analogies can’t.
    [Answer A - Did the teacher appoint you the model monitor? Models are an abstraction of an essential process, physical and formal analogies. That's all I'm saying. For you, the word analogy has become like 'Niagara Falls' to the Three Stooges. Whoops, analogy, no good. Ridiculous.
    Answer B - If the analogy fits, then it it is tested. An Very Important Point I made in my post that was deleted is that you are ducking the responsibility to provide the basis for your belief system that you demand of me. Reasonable, feasible, falsifiable, tested, the whole schmeer.

    You can construct your own hypothesis, but I'll try to express what I am hearing from you:
    - Given - that we exist as a component of an organized multi-systematic environment sophisticated to a superhuman degree, how did that come about?
    Let's not call it a cause, let's just call it an antecedent series. I hope you agree that every condition has an antecedent, back to the Big Bang at least when despite the opening post it makes no difference anyway.
    - Darth Proposed Hypothesis - It just came about. Out of every random possible outcome, this is the one that took place.

    OK. Love it. Now let's go about testing that hypothesis, given natural laws. Oh, I know we don't know everything about everything but we can just demonstate broad consistency, and fine tune it later. I'm waiting... trace it, model it, test it, do something. Do anything. Otherwise, isn't that just an - ASSERTION? (snicker)]

    “OK, God, establishes and supports the natural physical environment, intervenes in probability on multiple levels, that is individual, parallel, interactive, synchronistic etc. to influence events in a targeted direction, much as one would drive a car or make a cup of coffee.”
    Yet another assertion followed by analogy.

    [Not just an assertion. I am probably not smart and creative enough to come up with this explanation if I had not seen the stated description in the inherited record of knowledge from the very oldest times in recorded human history and thought. It is consistent with the observed facts and there is no competing theory that comes close.]

    Guess you know more than the scientists who actually study evolution and realise that evolution as a model works just fine without the need to explain abiogenesis.
    [No, it doesn't. Evolution is meaningless without abiogenesis. I'm not disputing that evolution in whatever form occurred after abiogenesis, it's obvious. But abiogenesis is the elephant in the room, evolution is irrelevant as an issue except in the implementation details. The page I linked to that you (giggle)d about has a good summation of why evolution doesn't stand on its own. I don't agree with much on that site but that particular page is put together in a responsible way, and highlights the weaknesses in simply accepting what every anti-ID Tom, Dick and Harry may speculate. I'm not going to cut and paste the whole damn thing here. A theory must have predictive ability. Almost none of the predictions of the theory of evolution are in evidence. Evolution does not take place in a gradual manner but in rapid radical steps. The truth is that I don't even care about the evolution controversy, ID takes place whatever the implementation detail is. The real point in my linking the page is (read the page instead of giggling) that the scientists who actiually study evolution are still mostly shooting in the dark. ]

    “It’s not that we don’t know everything about abiogenesis yet. We don’t know ANYTHING about abiogenesis at all.”
    And yet you still make the claim that a designer is responsible. (sigh)

    [Non-sequiteur on your part. We don't know anything because it is unknowable, exactly because the designer is responsible.]

    “As in, it makes no sense in the absence of a designer.”
    That’s your opinion. (shrug)
    [OK, as above, make it make sense, so we know it is not your opinion. By all means, trot out the Men of Science A Team, without just saying that some guy said so. Remember, I thoroughly trounced the ill-considered analogies (ants, boiling water etc.,) of your guys' last post]

    Oh dear. Before you seemed to indicate you were an Old Earth Creationist (OEC). You seemed to indicate you have no problem with evolution or the big-bang as long as God had a part in them (which is fine for a personal religious/philosophical POV).
    [No. Because it is consistent with the ancient written record that accounts for history as ill-supported specualtive pseudo science has not.]

    Is the Earth old like 4 billion years or young like 6-10 thousand? If it’s the former, you can’t really use this material. If it’s the latter, you deserve to be laughed at.
    I can use whatever I want and throw away whatever I want. I use the good stuff and throw away the bad.

    And I would also have to ask you why is it that every single one of these objections to evolution do not appear in ANY science journals and only in religious/creationist texts.
    [I would say for cultural reasons, just as with the court cases and all that]

    But for now I’ll grant you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are an OEC. In which case, what makes your interpretation of the Bible correct?
    [(I don't know why there is any doubt, if you read what I write without skimming.) Because it is based upon a knowledge of the language in the original, which I assure you is like the differnce between watching a home theater system as opposed to a small black and white TV. There is simply more information in the multilayered way things are expressed over simply what is expressed, which in translation often comes off as a snapshot, an approximation or a compromise when seen side by side. Because of thousands of years of study and debate and development of the material, the broad agreement on the essential knowledge and the continuing development and applicability of it in far-ranging fields of application.]

    Obviously we can dismiss the YEC’s ideas of science… But as for their interpretation of the Bible, it could be that theirs could be the correct one and the Bible just got the sciencey bits (the parts where it makes specific assertions about the earth and the universe) wrong. So what makes your interpretation of the Bible any better than anyone else’s?
    [You asked this question twice, so i will extend the above answer; because their ideas are based upon a two dimensional view derived from a flat translation of things that don't read exactly that way in the original, and a divorcement from the most ancient tradition of continuous scholarship on the Bible text and account. A really exciting approach is that of Gerald Schroeder, who does not merely take a side but actually manages to reconcile the literal account with scientific theory and observation up to the most recent in an elegant and satisfying manner. I pointed you to some of the online treatment above but someone scribbled YADAYADAYADA over the links. Oh well. I could hook you up if you are an honest seeker after truth.]

    Keep in mind EVERY religious fundie claims to be the right one.
    [Then the original would seem to have precedence.]

    And as we’ve pointed out, since ID is not scientific, it seems that nobody on Earth could POSSIBLY know any more about God than anybody else. So what makes you right and anyone else wrong?
    [I think this is the same question a third time, definitely off topic by now. There is actually a lot more to theology than the ID of creation, and it stands to reason that any and all of those who devote their lives with integrity to seeking an awareness and relationship with God will achieve it to an extent far exceeding those who don't. Duh. The human faculty that does achieve that awareness is the ability of abstraction and imagination, which are those that can transcend material reality, for better or worse. That distinction makes up a good deal of the subject matter of the Bible, in the prohibition against idolotry, images, in today's world various -isms etc. which are the erroneous investments of those faculties. It may even be that those invested overly much in materialism suffer from tunnel vision that prevents them from admitting to anything beyond that, or the atheism common to the science culture. Einsein's outstanding quallity was not his methodical technique but his creative imagination, and he could not discount the God factor. whether he faced it squarely is another matter. But it really does fit together, and that is certainly one definition of 'right'.]

    “For example, there is no expectation that a natural orderly universe will emerge from chaos, nor that life will emerge from non-life, nor that sentience, awareness and intelligence will emerge from mechanistic life processes.”

    Science isn’t totally random, so most of your sentence here is either straw-man or basic argument from incredulity again.
    [[There is no such thing as 'Science'. what you are talking about is unguided consequences starting from the total uncertainty condition at the Big Bang leading into an ordering of physical relationships. I think you are saying 'nature'. Science does not exist as an entity independent of natural existence. Of course nature does not operate in totally random ways, that's because it is an intelligently designed creation.]

    Also, snowflake crystals form complex highly ordered patterns from completely natural (and random) processes. It COULD be that God interferes and makes them pretty, science doesn’t say that it doesn’t, but of course it impossible to predict (or even infer) through scientific means.
    [The ordered patterns are implicit in the molecular structure of water and its response to freezing. The randomness that you speak off is an illusion only at the macro level in which we function and percieve. Down in the weeds of crystalline bonding it seems not so random.]

    “Honorton and Rhine did rigorous work along those lines at Dulce University to investigate paranormal phenomena… ”
    Oh. (giggle)
    [Giggle away. Are YOU saying that Duke (not 'Dulce', oops) University are just gullible fools? The lab there operated under the best scientific procedure that could be devised. The research was entirely empirical, which qualifies it for respect even if the very notion of the paranormal conflicts with your belief system. The hypotheses were certainly falsifiable and testable, the findings were statistically definite and real and repeatable. The burden then falls to the observer and scholar to deal with them, something you fortunately spare yourself from doing.]

    “where does the intelligent designer come into it? does not indicate that you even read nor comprehended my answers.”

    Because, like in every single post you’ve made, you’ve avoided to point out EXACTLY WHAT SPECIFICALLY points do design? By WHO? HOW can we tell? BY WHAT MECHANISM did the designer do it? Babbling about order and complexity and then giving poor analogies or just saying “the designer does whatever is necessary” still doesn’t cut it. Order and complexity on their own are not indications of design unless you can answer these questions that I’ve asked you over and over and over and… which uh, you STILL haven’t done.
    [No, this is the second or tenth time around the block. What specifically points to design is the presence of design. By WHO is by who or whatever is capable of it, a non-human. We can tell because the design long pre-existed humans, life, and way back even to the emergence of matter in response to physical law, much as your misguidd snowflake example. There are 200,000 books on cosmology in Harvard, all of them are about the MECHANISM. I repeat "God establishes and supports the natural physical environment, intervenes in probability on multiple levels, that is individual, parallel, interactive, synchronistic etc. to influence events in a targeted direction, much as one would drive a car or make a cup of coffee." I haven't babbled yet and my analogies are first-rate. I have answered you repeatedly.

    "Evolutionary theory would require some intermediate ant types and hive types and organization types.”

    Maybe there were. But that’s a question to ask evolutionary biologists and/or entomologists. There were certainly different forms of insects millions of years ago than those we have of today. Some species though have stayed virtually the same for a long time, but biologists know that different organisms due to many various factors evolve at different rates.
    [Speaking of babbling, you are babbling. There is no hard information about any of this. Most ancient insects are identical to today's, and if the oldest insect we have found trapped in amber is different in some detail it is still exactly as developed and complex and evolved as any today.]

    “… if ID is rejected, than an alternative hypothesis must be accepted to account for us, all and everything, and THAT is necessarily falsifiable”

    But uh, that’s the point. It ain’t falsifiable. At least, not yet. And until it is, there is no point in considering it if we can’t test it. To quote Hawking: “We could still imagine that there is a set of laws that determines events completely for some super-natural being, who could observe the universe without disturbing it. However, such models of the universe are not of much interest to us ordinary mortals. It seems better to emply the principle of economy known as Occam’s Razor and cut out all the features of the theory that cannot be observed.”
    [Babbling again. I am challenging you as above to provide a hypothesis alternate to ID. Go on, I'm waiting. Don't forget to make it falsifiable. As far as Occam's Razor is concerned, Hawking is really bright but he is being sloppy with the Razor. Occam's Razor states that when multiple competing theories are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selecting the theory that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest hypothetical entities. Not that 'cannot be observed', that is copping out. It becomes the responsibility of the analyst to construct responsible inferences for thowsethings that cannot be directly observed. In this case, natural existence is not self-explanatory, even in the 21st century, and ID cannot therefore be discarded unless it can be demonstrated as superfluous. Which it has not, and ther is no reasonor encouragement to think it ever can or will be.]

    “This is exactly why the burden of proof is upon you to disprove ID. This is the elephant in your room. That we exist, and think.”

    Wrong. I repeat AGAIN, science makes NO claims to the existence of a supernatural designer. It DOES NOT SAY THAT THERE IS NOT ONE. It is so far simply unobservable.
    [I have no argument with science. I love science in its place. The claim is made for science that it can explain existence as it is. It hasnot and cannot. The agument from incredulity is better applied to those who try to make a case for 'something from nothing' in a natural manner. And without leaving out any steps, mind you. There are no snowflakes without molecules, but where in the uncertaintly of undifferentiated energy are the molecules or even atoms for that matter? There is no life without antecedent life. Never. Impossible. Period. Unless the first life is methodically built. Any different proposal can and should be questioned. I have no objection if you have an answer otherr than blind faith.]

    “Leaving aside your token amazement, what would qualify as evidence to you? I can’t imagine it, can you? And if not, is that evidence of blinders on your part?”
    I don’t know what would qualify as evidence, but you can’t imagine it either. But if any should come up, as I’ve said before, science would consider it.
    [Copout. This is your golden opportunity to put up.]

    “See my earlier comment about indirect proof from deviation from the expectation.”

    You’re ignoring the fact that Dark Matter has observable predictable consequences.
    [Big talk after the fact. Chicken and egg situation. Before Dark Matter there was no Dark Matter, only a deviation frm the expectation. Every major discovery in science, in fact the scientific method itself depend upon this principle. Why not ID?]

    You are basically using any excuse to slip God in science somewhere, anywhere, even to the point of using YEC material.
    [I told you before, I'm not a team player. What they said about evolutio holds true, but evolution is not that big a deal to my thsis, cosmology is much more so.]

  256. contrarian

    Dinosaur
    You are well named. I invite you along with Darth Robo or anyone else to submit a reasonable, supportable testable, falsifiable hypothesis to compete with ID that explains our reality. As I said to Darth Robo, this is not a situation for dramatic (sneer)s and other gestures. A plain statement that makes sense will do it. Like
    Design needs no designer.
    Order emerges from disorder.
    Organization takes no organizing.
    Entropy runs backwards.
    Stuff just happens.
    Life needs no parent life.
    Complex structure and behavior tend to come to being spontaneously.
    Money grows on trees.

    You get the point.

  257. Darth Robo

    “ORGANIZATION?]. Ignored.”

    Complexity, order, organization yadda yadda… what’s the diff? You’re still playing with words. By what mechanism does this organization come from? Don’t forget the snowflake.

    “If the analogy fits, then it it is tested.”

    You uh, compared ID to humans making a cup of cofffee. That can be tested. ID still can’t.

    “An Very Important Point I made in my post that was deleted is that you are ducking the responsibility to provide the basis for your belief system that you demand of me.”

    Anti-ID is not a belief system. I don’t DISbelieve in a creator, I’m agnostic. You’re STILL ignoring the fact that not all scientists are atheists and the majority of religious scientists reject ID also…

    “It just came about. Out of every random possible outcome, this is the one that took place.”

    You are still making a “boogieman” out of supposed randomness. Not everything is random, yet there can still be lots of different outcomes when following scientific laws. Earth is suitable for life, but look at all the planets that aren’t. As the Drake equation predicts, there are plenty of other planets out there. Most won’t be suitable for life, but some will. Oh and uh, look what I just found:

    pandasthumbDOTorg/archives/2007/07/cosmic_soupDOThtml

    “Not just an assertion. I am probably not smart and creative enough to come up with this explanation if I had not seen the stated description in the inherited record of knowledge from the very oldest times in recorded human history and thought. It is consistent with the observed facts and there is no competing theory that comes close.”

    And you STILL haven’t told us what it is yet…

    “Evolution is meaningless without abiogenesis.”

    If you say so. Like I said, you must know more than the scientists then. After all, you know more than the IDers too. (shrug)

    “page I linked to that you (giggle)d about has a good summation of why evolution doesn’t stand on its own. I don’t agree with much on that site but that particular page is put together in a responsible way… ”

    BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAA! Oh, and uh, WHO’s cherry picking?

    “A theory must have predictive ability.”

    Correct.

    “Evolution does not take place in a gradual manner but in rapid radical steps.”

    Actually, it does both. Still misquoting Gould again I see.

    “ID takes place whatever the implementation detail is.”

    That’d be th implementation details you uh, STILL haven’t provided us yet then.

    “The real point in my linking the page is (read the page instead of giggling) that the scientists who actiually study evolution are still mostly shooting in the dark.”

    If you say so. (shrug) I see you’re still happy to accept any criticism of science from ANY source in order to slip God in there somewhere then, even if ot is from a YEC. I still think that’s dishonest. And since evolution has THOUSANDS of peer reviewed papers published and more keep coming, excuse me while I don’t take your ideas of science at face value. (another shrug)

    “We don’t know anything because it is unknowable, exactly because the designer is responsible.”

    BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAA! Sig worthy. :)

    “No. Because it is consistent with the ancient written record that accounts for history”

    If you say so. (shrug)

    “I can use whatever I want and throw away whatever I want. I use the good stuff and throw away the bad.”

    Okay…

    “I would say for cultural reasons, just as with the court cases and all that”

    Ah, the good old fundie martyr complex again. The scientists are against you, the courts are against you, even the religious scientists are against you because the culture is against you. Nothing to do with evidence then. LIke I said, sure sucks to be an IDer, doesn’t it?

    Re your interpretation of the Bible: “I don’t know why there is any doubt, blah, broad agreement on the essential knowledge and the continuing development and applicability of it in far-ranging fields of application.”

    And yet there is doubt. Or not, as the case may be, because EVERY fundie in the world is convinced that they are right. What makes YOU right? Then perhaps you could tell us of all the great scientific advancements that the Bible is responsible for.

    “I could hook you up if you are an honest seeker after truth.”

    Honest? From you who will gladly take nonsense YEC material to support your assertions? Sure, your buddy Gerald again engaged in his apologetics and the rebuttal I linked to which you dismissed based purely on their popularity on… wait for it people… AMAZON! Geralds stuff may be fine for people’s own personal philosphy, but it ain’t science.

    “Then the original would seem to have precedence.”

    It’s all about interpretation. Ask your buddy Gerald. And what makes the original correct anyway? I await those Biblical scientific advancements.

    “It may even be that those invested overly much in materialism suffer from tunnel vision that prevents them from admitting to anything beyond that, or the atheism common to the science culture.”

    Those mean old materialist atheist scientists again. Tell me, what makes the study of any kind of science more materialistic than any other? Which is more materialistic – biology, evolution, chemistry, geology, physics, astronomy, meteorology etc? Scientists who study any field and get peer reviewed papers published are doing science. No matter what their personal philosophies/beliefs are. Or could you tell me? Why is a paper done by an atheist scientist any more materialistic than the science published by a religious scientist? Don’t forget – NO science disproves God. NOTHING can. That’s not what it’s about. Don’t forget in your answer to take into account all those religious scientists who also think ID is crap. Is it just general culture again? If so, I’ll be as unsympathetic as before.

    “Einsein’s outstanding quallity was not his methodical technique but his creative imagination, and he could not discount the God factor.”

    He wasn’t trying to. But is science still fell in the boundaries of science. He never let his imagination let a supernatural explanation in there. So hey, big whoop, you found another scientist who didn’t have a problem with religion. Many don’t. I don’t. But they would never pretend it was a scientific explanation (testable predictions and all that).

    “There is no such thing as ‘Science’”

    There ain’t?

    “what you are talking about is unguided consequences starting from the total uncertainty condition at the Big Bang leading into an ordering of physical relationships.”

    That’s where quantum mechanics comes in. Tough stuff. It predicts that the universe could have had our configuration, or others with a different configuration (in which we likely wouldn’t be here). But I suspect that you’re still after that “meaning of life” type answer. So science can’t answer everything. Big deal. So “GODDIDIT!” God might have dunnit. But it’s not science. Sorry you’re so disappointed with scientists not being able to answer the really HARD stuff like “the meaning of life”. If you ain’t happy with it, go be a scientist yourself and tell us (EXACTLY) how Goddidit. (shrug)

    “Science does not exist as an entity independent of natural existence.”

    No, science is a tool developed by humans to observe/predict nature.

    “Of course nature does not operate in totally random ways, that’s because it is an intelligently designed creation.”

    STILL waiting…

    “The randomness that you speak off is an illusion only at the macro level in which we function and percieve.”

    Kinda maybe. Quantum mechanics again.

    Re: paranormal phenomena, “giggle away”

    I will. :)

    “What specifically points to design is the presence of design.”

    Oh boy. WHAT IS IT that SHOWS THE PRESENCE OF DESIGN? And HOW WAS IT DESIGNED?

    “WHO is by who or whatever is capable of it, a non-human.”

    In order to answer this, you would have to answer the first question above. Then you could begin to tell us WHO. And HOW WE COULD TELL.

    ““God establishes and supports the natural physical environment, intervenes in probability on multiple levels, that is individual, parallel, interactive, synchronistic etc. to influence events in a targeted direction, much as one would drive a car or make a cup of coffee.”

    ID and coffee again. So HOW EXACTLY does God DO IT? Just saying “he just does” does not a theory make. If God does these particular things, we could make PREDICTIONS based on that. What can we predict God to do next based on your answer above?

    “I haven’t babbled yet and my analogies are first-rate.”

    If you say so. (shrug)

    “I have answered you repeatedly.”

    You certainly have repeated alot.

    “There is no hard information about any of this.”

    If you say so. Go take it up with the scientists. I’m not one.

    “Most ancient insects are identical to today’s, and if the oldest insect we have found trapped in amber is different in some detail it is still exactly as developed and complex and evolved as any today.”

    Well, I would dispute “most”. But there are different ones today, which means evolution occurred. Unless, Goddidit and created them with a POOF. If so, perhaps you could tell us how THAT happened? We also have lots of simpler life-forms around today, which vary in “complexity” from the smallest life form to the largest. Some of those life-forms are different from those in the past, some are virtually the same. You got any problems with the specifics, take it up with the scientists. I’m not an evolutionary biologist.

    “I am challenging you as above to provide a hypothesis alternate to ID.”

    Uh, I don’t have to. ID has no theory, no model (unless you count coffee) and makes no testable predictions. Science tries to answer as much as it can, and if it cannot answer everything yet, we say: “We don’t know.” And science keeps learning more as it goes.

    “Hawking is really bright but he is being sloppy with the Razor.”

    If you say so. :)

    “Not that ‘cannot be observed’, that is copping out. It becomes the responsibility of the analyst to construct responsible inferences for thowsethings that cannot be directly observed.”

    In other words: “Make an excuse, make an excuse!”. :) You should also specialize in apologetics.

    “ID cannot therefore be discarded unless it can be demonstrated as superfluous.”

    In other words: “You can’t prove that there ISN’T a god, so GODDIDIT!” You really aren’t listening, are you?

    “Which it has not, and ther is no reasonor encouragement to think it ever can or will be.”

    Science is not here to disprove a creator. (sigh) Repeat ad absurdium.

    “The agument from incredulity is better applied to those who try to make a case for ’something from nothing’ in a natural manner.”

    So you say: “nothing can’t come from nothing.” I say: How does God make something from nothing? You uh, STILL haven’t answered that one yet (just in case uh, you’d forgotten). So, like always, the really hard stuff, we say: “We don’t know yet.”

    “I have no objection if you have an answer otherr than blind faith.”

    “We don’t know yet” doesn’t really amount to blind faith now, does it?

    “Copout. This is your golden opportunity to put up.”

    Uh, right. Since you’re interested, why don’t you tell me? You uh, STILL haven’t done that. I’m agnostic, so I have no interest in promoting theism or atheism. Why should I try to say what evidence for God would be? In fact it would be kinda silly of me, because (so far) it seems to be an impossibility to prove.

    “Big talk after the fact.”

    Science learns as it goes along. New things are discovered. We don’t even know what 99% of dark matter is yet, but we know it’s there because we can measure it’s effects. Hey, maybe it’s God.

    “Why not ID?”

    Measurable effects.

    “What they said about evolutio holds true”

    If you say so. (shrug)

    “I invite you along with Darth Robo or anyone else to submit a reasonable, supportable testable, falsifiable hypothesis to compete with ID that explains our reality.”

    Well your uh, “God theory” STILL doesn’t EXPLAIN anything, does it? As for competing with ID, uh hold on. BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAA! Let’s see. Big Bang peer reviewed papers – Thousands. Evolution – Thousands. Abiogenesis – three that I could see. You wanna know the answer to the meaing of life. As said, sorry science hasn’t figured that one out yet, but philosophers, theologians and scientists have been debating this for millenia, it certainly ain’t gonna be solved by us two bozo’s arguing on the net. So to actually expect an answer for this is kinda dumb. So sure, go ahead and shout “HA! YOU CAN’T EXPLAIN IT SO THAT MEANS GODDIDIT!” if it makes ya feel better. I’m not saying he didn’t. It won’t do much for science though. But let’s compare science to ID. Intelligent Design Creationism has NO theory, NO model, NO predictions and NO published peer reviewed papers (unless YOU could provide any of those – which you STILL haven’t done) and their own quarterly “science” journal, ISCID (where they have their OWN peer review to avoid the mean old athiest establishment) has not published anything in over 2 years and their phone is apparently off the hook. And let’s not forget that Behe himself said that ID was as scientific as astrology (in court, under oath) and his own university where he is employed put a disclaimer on their site saying that Behe’s ideas regarding IC and ID are entirely his own and are not endorsed by them. Also, ID has been rejected by the scientific community and rejected by the courts (many many times over) and cannot get government grants. They are mostly funded by mega-rich YEC fundie nutcase Howie Ahmanson whose aim is to replace the constitution with Biblical law, and gullible fundie rubes like yourselves who donate to their organizations and buy their books. All YOU can offer in the way of “explanation” is every ancient creationist argument under the sun from “stick a rock in a test tube and see what happens” to the “entropy argument” which have been refuted for 40 odd years and who the heck says entropy runs backwards anway? No WONDER nobody takes you seriously. You’re not even using the modern ID arguments either. They are just the same, but sound more “sciencey” to trick the rubes, you know, IC, CSI, EF etc. If you wanna chat with people who are more amiable to your point of view, may I suggest ID central, at:

    uncommondescent.com

    Don’t say I don’t give you anything. :)

  258. contrarian too

    [ORGANIZATION?]. Ignored.”
    Complexity, order, organization yadda yadda… what’s the diff? You’re still playing with words. By what mechanism does this organization come from? Don’t forget the snowflake.

    [Still ducking, I see. If the subject is intelligent design, then the evidence is the presence of the products of intelligence and design. Even the simple monolith in the book and movie '2001' showed that, but the case becomes that much stronger with products incorporating increasing complexity, order and organization. If natural law cannot account for such in the context of the time and materials and conditions available (you are invited to try, the 'cosmic soup' idea adressed later is trivial, irrelevant and ultimately debunked), then the mechanism is outside intervention. Outside of our 4-D perceptions and 10-D universe and its sysem of natural law that is. It wouldn't affect the statement to add a technical specification sheet and flow chart of creation, but to the extent that those have been developed have at them. The snowflake fits neatly into this as I have explained and you ignored. The organization of the flake is inherent in the molecular structure of H2O and its response to physical changes. And molecular structure is inherent in orderly natural laws which in turn however were NOT inherent in Big Bang uncertainty conditions. That's the 'diff'! ]

    You uh, compared ID to humans making a cup of cofffee. That can be tested. ID still can’t.
    Anti-ID is not a belief system. I don’t DISbelieve in a creator, I’m agnostic. You’re STILL ignoring the fact that not all scientists are atheists and the majority of religious scientists reject ID also…

    [ID can be tested by the successful rigorous scientific proof of a reasonable, sensible, explanatory and predictive and falsifiable ALTERNATIVE hypothesis (and don't forget the mechanism), and thus rendered unneccessary using Occam's Razor. There is no such hypothesis. All of your tap dancing is for the sole purpose of hiding that fact and diverting the discussion. I suggested this one - “It just came about. Out of every random possible outcome, this is the one that took place.” If you cannot prove that or a better formulation then to oppose ID does constitute an unsupported belief system. A survey of scientists proves nothing, in that without objective backup, emotional causes outside of a rational and informed consideration of the real issues can and have been found to account for the baseless faith they (and you) profess.]

    You are still making a “boogieman” out of supposed randomness. Not everything is random, yet there can still be lots of different outcomes when following scientific laws. Earth is suitable for life, but look at all the planets that aren’t. As the Drake equation predicts, there are plenty of other planets out there. Most won’t be suitable for life, but some will. [Assertion. And irrelevant wiuthout actually finding life. And further irrelevant without proving the inevitability of the presence of life. Start proving.]

    Oh and uh, look what I just found:
    pandasthumbDOTorg/archives/2007/07/cosmic_soupDOThtml

    [Once again allowing yourself a pass. I can't make assertions or analogies, You and your homeboys can. Just keep repeating words like 'boogieman', 'fundie', apologetics, personal philosophy and maybe nobody will notice your emporer has no clothes, that you have nothing better to show for your presumptions, Oh, well. The opening statement found at that webpage doesn't really say much, and the comment there by 'harold' explains why. If you weren't desperate to make a point you wouldn't have bothered with that one. I don't need to make a boogieman out of anything. In spite of your last-resort attempts to trivialize my point of view by putting me in an extremist box, my agenda here is modest. It is to scientifically consider the possible options that account for the data, not artificially excluding the most ancient recorded option that explicitly names names.]

    “Not just an assertion. I am probably not smart and creative enough to come up with this explanation if I had not seen the stated description in the inherited record of knowledge from the very oldest times in recorded human history and thought. It is consistent with the observed facts and there is no competing theory that comes close.”
    And you STILL haven’t told us what it is yet…

    [Intelligent design. Capisce?]

    “Evolution is meaningless without abiogenesis.”
    If you say so. Like I said, you must know more than the scientists then. After all, you know more than the IDers too. (shrug)
    [Let's rephrase that. Evolution may be inevitable, guided or unguided (I think not) but the whole thing is a waste of time without the first life form. Why is it necessary to spell it out? And if the scientists say different, what is it they say? :) ]

    “page I linked to that you (giggle)d about has a good summation of why evolution doesn’t stand on its own. I don’t agree with much on that site but that particular page is put together in a responsible way… ”
    BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAA! Oh, and uh, WHO’s cherry picking?
    [You assert evolution as an uncontroversial established and accepted theory. It may one day prove to be so but the evidence is not there for it despite mammoth research efforts, and this is just a collection of the gaps and problems in the theory as stated by every working expert (except Dawkins of course) since Darwin. If the theory is ever proven, it will ultimately have to overcome the problems delineated at the page. That's not cherry picking, its right on. I do believe in the tree of life, but the shape of my tree is quite diferent than that proposed by evolutionists to date, and both fits the facts and conforms to the ancient record which is an added satisfaction.]

    “Evolution does not take place in a gradual manner but in rapid radical steps.”
    Actually, it does both. Still misquoting Gould again I see.
    [Am i expected to care about this? I am not a Gould scholar, and Gould does not determine reality, that is confoming to Gould's position is not my test of anything. If Gould has anything of value to add to the discussion, bring it in yourself.]

    “The real point in my linking the page is (read the page instead of giggling) that the scientists who actually study evolution are still mostly shooting in the dark.”
    If you say so. (shrug) I see you’re still happy to accept any criticism of science from ANY source in order to slip God in there somewhere then, even if ot is from a YEC. I still think that’s dishonest. And since evolution has THOUSANDS of peer reviewed papers published and more keep coming, excuse me while I don’t take your ideas of science at face value. (another shrug)

    [I told you before I am not on anybody's team. If a YEC has something to say outside of YEC I'll listen. And let's just say that the bar for peer review of evolutionary theory is rather low, since nobody really knows personally. I don't consider ID anti-science; ID is scientific taking science as a neutral and value free investigation into the truth. It is you who actually anti-science by arbitrarily limiting its field of investigation and the boundaries of its problem space. I am pro-ID and pro-Science.]

    “No. Because it is consistent with the ancient written record that accounts for history”
    If you say so. (shrug)
    [Not to get personal, but do you type these responses consulting a Magic 8 Ball?]

    Ah, the good old fundie martyr complex again. The scientists are against you, the courts are against you, even the religious scientists are against you because the culture is against you. Nothing to do with evidence then. LIke I said, sure sucks to be an IDer, doesn’t it?

    [I think your clipboard manager is on repeat. The evidence is with ID, the scientists are being anti-scientific with regard to it.]

    Re your interpretation of the Bible: “I don’t know why there is any doubt, blah, broad agreement on the essential knowledge and the continuing development and applicability of it in far-ranging fields of application.”

    And yet there is doubt. Or not, as the case may be, because EVERY fundie in the world is convinced that they are right. What makes YOU right? Then perhaps you could tell us of all the great scientific advancements that the Bible is responsible for.

    [Not informed doubt, as with anti-ID rhetoric. And once again scientific advancement is not the basic standard for validity. Scientific advancement is the province of a tiny subset of life on earth. Consider that life in the majority of the planet, and even in the USA only one and a half centuries ago was almost identical to life on the planet thousands of years ago. Do you consider the extermination and crematoria technology of the Nazis or the introduction of rocket propelled grenades into savage cultures to be a triumph of science? The science of the Bible may be more obviously seen in the larger picture, that is in the social sciences, although the material I referred to earlier reveal the sophisticated and predictive compatibility the Biblical account has with cosmology. The Biblical society of ancient Israel featured still unexplained scientific achievments and facts, which continue to emerge. More on this if it will make any difference.]

    “I could hook you up if you are an honest seeker after truth.”

    Honest? From you who will gladly take nonsense YEC material to support your assertions? Sure, your buddy Gerald again engaged in his apologetics and the rebuttal I linked to which you dismissed based purely on their popularity on… wait for it people… AMAZON! Geralds stuff may be fine for people’s own personal philosphy, but it ain’t science.

    [Congratulations on changing the subject again. I suppose you wouldn't ask a YEC what time it is either. I think they are sincere and honest, just wrong, probably if I think about it by Occam's Razor. I just don't find it necessary to strain common sense to be in sync with the bulk of scientific findings. Note that's findings, not bull session quality speculation. But on that particular page we have no disagreement, and neither do you in light of your ad hominem non-specific non-response.
    As far as Schroeder is concerned, you are in no position to judge either the man, his science or his work. I looked at your joker's stuff before commenting, When he talks about Schroeder, he is just namedropping and trying to gain a bit of reflected glory by criticizing perhaps a popular usage of his in books written for non-specialists. You are just making assertions and assumptions without having any personal knowledge. I read and listened to Scroeder long before I bothered learning about his degree of respect and acceptance, but that's not chopped liver either. Anyway you are babbling. Schroeder doesn't deal in apologetics, ONLY in science.]

    “It may even be that those invested overly much in materialism suffer from tunnel vision that prevents them from admitting to anything beyond that, or the atheism common to the science culture.”

    Those mean old materialist atheist scientists again. Tell me, what makes the study of any kind of science more materialistic than any other? Which is more materialistic – biology, evolution, chemistry, geology, physics, astronomy, meteorology etc? Scientists who study any field and get peer reviewed papers published are doing science. No matter what their personal philosophies/beliefs are. Or could you tell me? Why is a paper done by an atheist scientist any more materialistic than the science published by a religious scientist? Don’t forget – NO science disproves God. NOTHING can. That’s not what it’s about. Don’t forget in your answer to take into account all those religious scientists who also think ID is crap. Is it just general culture again? If so, I’ll be as unsympathetic as before.

    [All scientific study of the natural sciences is obviously materialistic. Where science fails is more often in the interpretation of findijngs and in the relationship of cause and effect, IMHO largely due to a failure of the imagination. If one reads the science news espcially as a layman, one sees a comical publish or perish/tenure/grant/VC magnet pushing and shoving stampede trampling and victimizing the truth. People can't even figure out what to eat anymore. What I referred to specifically (and clear as a bell if you weren't obsessed with sniping at me with spitballs) is the mob psychology and stultifying effect of conventional thinking, abetted by the tunnel vision of specialization. What we need is inter-disciplinary thinkers like Gerald Schroeder, or at least The Professor from Gilligan's Island.]

    “Einsein’s outstanding quallity was not his methodical technique but his creative imagination, and he could not discount the God factor.”

    He wasn’t trying to. But is science still fell in the boundaries of science. He never let his imagination let a supernatural explanation in there. So hey, big whoop, you found another scientist who didn’t have a problem with religion. Many don’t. I don’t. But they would never pretend it was a scientific explanation (testable predictions and all that).

    [Actually Einstein did mightily struggle with the God question, and he was very cognizant of the relationships between science, philosophy and theology. Unlike you.]

    “There is no such thing as ‘Science’”
    There ain’t? [As an independant entity, see below after anoither one of your repetitions]

    “what you are talking about is unguided consequences starting from the total uncertainty condition at the Big Bang leading into an ordering of physical relationships.”

    That’s where quantum mechanics comes in. Tough stuff. It predicts that the universe could have had our configuration, or others with a different configuration (in which we likely wouldn’t be here). But I suspect that you’re still after that “meaning of life” type answer. So science can’t answer everything. Big deal. So “GODDIDIT!” God might have dunnit. But it’s not science. Sorry you’re so disappointed with scientists not being able to answer the really HARD stuff like “the meaning of life”. If you ain’t happy with it, go be a scientist yourself and tell us (EXACTLY) how Goddidit. (shrug)

    [Don't worry, I'm cool with quantum mechanics. You are making hash out of my response by separating it from the earlier sentence. I am saying that you use the term 'science' as if it is a proper noun. That's ok as a shortcut but nature is what it is. You are conflating (to use your term. thanks for the opportunity) all kinds of stuff here; 'Science', 'Nature', random unguided and yes, meaningless activity. If I would accuse you of cleaving blindly to an emotional need for essential meaninglessness as a positive value you would get on your high horse. However, it does expose the underlying philosophical and ideological root of your anti-ID blind spot. Truth is unlimited and reality encompasses both nature and super-nature]

    “The randomness that you speak off is an illusion only at the macro level in which we function and percieve.”

    Kinda maybe. Quantum mechanics again. [Quantum mechanics in snowflakes? Interesting. A - So what? and B - Or are you just tripping over your shoelaces again?]

    Re: paranormal phenomena, “giggle away”
    [Anything is amenable to a systematic investigation. Your problem is that you can't giggle away the findings.]

    “What specifically points to design is the presence of design.”
    Oh boy. WHAT IS IT that SHOWS THE PRESENCE OF DESIGN? And HOW WAS IT DESIGNED?
    [It can't be stated any plainer. The same qualities that SHOW THE PRESENCE OF DESIGN in anything that you would agree shows the presence of design. A house. a tree. A moth. Ad infinitum]

    “WHO is by who or whatever is capable of it, a non-human.”
    In order to answer this, you would have to answer the first question above. Then you could begin to tell us WHO. And HOW WE COULD TELL.

    [That does not logically follow. The criteria for intelligence and design are broadly accepted.]

    ““God establishes and supports the natural physical environment, intervenes in probability on multiple levels, that is individual, parallel, interactive, synchronistic etc. to influence events in a targeted direction, much as one would drive a car or make a cup of coffee.”

    ID and coffee again. So HOW EXACTLY does God DO IT? Just saying “he just does” does not a theory make. If God does these particular things, we could make PREDICTIONS based on that. What can we predict God to do next based on your answer above?

    [One of the essential qualities of God is that he transcends the natural universe, is not bound by natural laws, and cannot therefore be thoroughly comprehended or predicted. Or he wouldn't be God. However, the origin, development and existence of the natural universe itself are not self-explanatory so that you ewither need a transcendant God as creator or an alternative creative source which you may call anything you want, but you have not risen to this challenge.]

    “Most ancient insects are identical to today’s, and if the oldest insect we have found trapped in amber is different in some detail it is still exactly as developed and complex and evolved as any today.”

    Well, I would dispute “most”. But there are different ones today, which means evolution occurred. Unless, Goddidit and created them with a POOF. If so, perhaps you could tell us how THAT happened? We also have lots of simpler life-forms around today, which vary in “complexity” from the smallest life form to the largest. Some of those life-forms are different from those in the past, some are virtually the same. You got any problems with the specifics, take it up with the scientists. I’m not an evolutionary biologist.

    [Assertions on your part. Most ancient preserved bugs were bees, ants, mosquitos, cockroaches, wasps, beetles, spiders, what specifically are you disputing? To be sure there have been thousands of species extincted, a process that continues to today, but NOT because they changed fundamentally into other species or varieties. Anyway this is just chit-chat. I have no problems here, By the way, tell us about those simpler less complex life forms and their relationship to the complex ones. The point you would have to be making is that there is a relationship, especially over time.]

    “I am challenging you as above to provide a hypothesis alternate to ID.”

    Uh, I don’t have to. ID has no theory, no model (unless you count coffee) and makes no testable predictions. Science tries to answer as much as it can, and if it cannot answer everything yet, we say: “We don’t know.” And science keeps learning more as it goes.

    [Nice humility, but it is a copout. If you want to claim the universe and truth for science you have to do better than that.]

    “Not that ‘cannot be observed’, that is copping out. It becomes the responsibility of the analyst to construct responsible inferences for those things that cannot be directly observed.”

    In other words: “Make an excuse, make an excuse!”. :) You should also specialize in apologetics. [Babbling here. Have a Xanax.]

    “ID cannot therefore be discarded unless it can be demonstrated as superfluous.”
    In other words: “You can’t prove that there ISN’T a god, so GODDIDIT!” You really aren’t listening, are you?

    [Not at all. This is KEY. You don't need to demonstrate there is no God. You only need to demonstrate the LACK OF A NECESSITY FOR God given existence as we know it. After all, ]

    “The agument from incredulity is better applied to those who try to make a case for ’something from nothing’ in a natural manner.”

    So you say: “nothing can’t come from nothing.” I say: How does God make something from nothing? You uh, STILL haven’t answered that one yet (just in case uh, you’d forgotten). So, like always, the really hard stuff, we say: “We don’t know yet.”

    [While I have no inside information, my theory is that God makes something from nothing by operating from an extra-dimensional frame of reference. Just as a three dimensional object would appear to come from nowhere and disappear as it passes through a two dimensional space, and so forth. Same with the manipulation of elemental forces such as gravity or radiation to produce miracles, or with quantum level operations. Just my theory though. You might enjoy this presentation to make sense of this ideas - http://wwwDOTtenthdimensionDOTcom/ ]

    Science learns as it goes along. New things are discovered. We don’t even know what 99% of dark matter is yet, but we know it’s there because we can measure it’s effects. Hey, maybe it’s God.

    [God is certainly involved. But by reputation, God has no material existence or perceptable aspects. He is known only by his effects and influence on things that we can detect. Don't be fooled by anthropomorphisms in the Bible, somehow it is clearly metaphorical in Hebrew but jjust silly looking in English.]

    “I invite you along with Darth Robo or anyone else to submit a reasonable, supportable testable, falsifiable hypothesis to compete with ID that explains our reality.”

    Well your uh, “God theory” STILL doesn’t EXPLAIN anything, does it?
    [Why not?]

    As for competing with ID, uh hold on. BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAA!
    Let’s see. Big Bang peer reviewed papers – Thousands.
    [No problem]

    Evolution – Thousands.
    [No problem either]

    Abiogenesis – three that I could see.
    [Really? What do they say, in brief? I am not optimistic about their real relevence or value.]

    You wanna know the answer to the meaing of life.
    [This is you talking to yourself again. I have never expressed what I wanna know here]

    As said, sorry science hasn’t figured that one out yet, but philosophers, theologians and scientists have been debating this for millenia, it certainly ain’t gonna be solved by us two bozo’s arguing on the net. So to actually expect an answer for this is kinda dumb. So sure, go ahead and shout “HA! YOU CAN’T EXPLAIN IT SO THAT MEANS GODDIDIT!” if it makes ya feel better.
    [This is you talking to yourself again. I am not debating that at all here, just stating the issues in a calm, serious manner. If it makes you feel like a manly man to characterize me as a shouter I can't stop you.]

    I’m not saying he didn’t. It won’t do much for science though.
    [It might give science some humility and integrity, both of which it needs to be really productive.]

    But let’s compare science to ID. Intelligent Design Creationism has NO theory, NO model, NO predictions and NO published peer reviewed papers (unless YOU could provide any of those – which you STILL haven’t done)
    [Of course it does. The theory
    is that design requires a designer,
    and that intelligent design requires intelligence,
    and that ID precedes humanity and so the ID was done by a non-human entity,
    and that ID of unimaginably long ago remains beyond human capability and so the ID was done by a superhuman entity.]

    … and their own quarterly “science” journal, ISCID (where they have their OWN peer review to avoid the mean old athiest establishment) has not published anything in over 2 years and their phone is apparently off the hook. And let’s not forget that Behe himself said that ID was as scientific as astrology (in court, under oath) and his own university where he is employed put a disclaimer on their site saying that Behe’s ideas regarding IC and ID are entirely his own and are not endorsed by them. Also, ID has been rejected by the scientific community and rejected by the courts (many many times over) and cannot get government grants. They are mostly funded by mega-rich YEC fundie nutcase Howie Ahmanson whose aim is to replace the constitution with Biblical law, and gullible fundie rubes like yourselves who donate to their organizations and buy their books.

    [ I somehow feel fortunate that I don't know what the hell you are babbling about. Everything I say is a product of my own thinking unless otherwise labelled.]

    All YOU can offer in the way of “explanation” is every ancient creationist argument under the sun from “stick a rock in a test tube and see what happens” to the “entropy argument” which have been refuted for 40 odd years and who the heck says entropy runs backwards anway? No WONDER nobody takes you seriously
    [I would hope that thoughtful and honest people takes me seriously. Either way, how would YOU know? Personally I think you come across as having spittle excitedly flying from you mouth as you gasp for air between rants]

    You’re not even using the modern ID arguments either. They are just the same, but sound more “sciencey” to trick the rubes, you know, IC, CSI, EF etc. If you wanna chat with people who are more amiable to your point of view, may I suggest ID central, at:

    uncommondescent.com

    Don’t say I don’t give you anything. :)

    [Well, to return the favor here is the ‘Bad Physics’ page at http://amasciDOTcom/miscon/miscon4DOThtml . I just discovered this guy but I like his style. Check out “SCIENTISTS USE THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD? not quite.” pointing to “CORRECT: There is no single list called “The Scientific Method.” It is a myth. ” AT http://amasciDOTcom/miscon/miscon4DOThtml#meth

  259. Darth Robo

    Quotes:

    “The presence of design indicates design.”

    “If natural law cannot account for such in the context of the time and materials and conditions available then the mechanism is outside intervention.”

    “ID can be tested by the successful rigorous scientific proof of a reasonable, sensible, explanatory and predictive and falsifiable ALTERNATIVE hypothesis”

    “If a YEC has something to say outside of YEC I’ll listen. And let’s just say that the bar for peer review of evolutionary theory is rather low, since nobody really knows personally. I don’t consider ID anti-science; ID is scientific taking science as a neutral and value free investigation into the truth. It is you who actually anti-science by arbitrarily limiting its field of investigation and the boundaries of its problem space. I am pro-ID and pro-Science.”

    “The evidence is with ID, the scientists are being anti-scientific with regard to it.”

    “I just don’t find it necessary to strain common sense to be in sync with the bulk of scientific findings.”

    “Schroeder doesn’t deal in apologetics, ONLY in science.”

    “It may even be that those invested overly much in materialism suffer from tunnel vision that prevents them from admitting to anything beyond that, or the atheism common to the science culture.”

    “Truth is unlimited and reality encompasses both nature and super-nature.”

    “It can’t be stated any plainer. The same qualities that SHOW THE PRESENCE OF DESIGN in anything that you would agree shows the presence of design. A house. a tree. A moth. Ad infinitum.”

    “God establishes and supports the natural physical environment, intervenes in probability on multiple levels, that is individual, parallel, interactive, synchronistic etc. to influence events in a targeted direction, much as one would drive a car or make a cup of coffee.”

    “One of the essential qualities of God is that he transcends the natural universe, is not bound by natural laws, and cannot therefore be thoroughly comprehended or predicted. Or he wouldn’t be God. However, the origin, development and existence of the natural universe itself are not self-explanatory so that you ewither need a transcendant God as creator or an alternative creative source which you may call anything you want, but you have not risen to this challenge.”

    “This is KEY. You don’t need to demonstrate there is no God. You only need to demonstrate the LACK OF A NECESSITY FOR God given existence as we know it. After all, the agument from incredulity is better applied to those who try to make a case for ’something from nothing’ in a natural manner.”

    “While I have no inside information, my theory is that God makes something from nothing by operating from an extra-dimensional frame of reference. Just as a three dimensional object would appear to come from nowhere and disappear as it passes through a two dimensional space, and so forth. Same with the manipulation of elemental forces such as gravity or radiation to produce miracles, or with quantum level operations. Just my theory though.”

    “You might enjoy this presentation to make sense of this ideas – http://www.tenthdimension.com

    “God is certainly involved. But by reputation, God has no material existence or perceptable aspects. He is known only by his effects and influence on things that we can detect. Don’t be fooled by anthropomorphisms in the Bible, somehow it is clearly metaphorical in Hebrew but jjust silly looking in English.”

    “The theory
    is that design requires a designer,
    and that intelligent design requires intelligence,
    and that ID precedes humanity and so the ID was done by a non-human entity,
    and that ID of unimaginably long ago remains beyond human capability and so the ID was done by a superhuman entity.”

  260. contrarian too

    By George, I think he’s got it! Have you now become my disciple?

  261. contrarian too

    btw, I think I have detected an attempt to blacklist me which will ultimately succeed if true. So if I disappear, it’s been fun, and don’t consider it a victory.

  262. Darth Robo

    Dunno what the blacklist thingy is about.

    As for victory though, that already happened. In court. :)

  263. Big Bang Fuel Discovered & Demonstrated
    Charles J. Sven
    The question of what fueled the Big Bang can now be answered with the latest scientific findings, delineating the life of the atom’s ageless proton heart in a synthesis employing photons, the speed of light, energy, and Einstein’s Ether that fills the Arena of Space prior to the Big Bang.

    New technological findings

    Super-Kamiokande is a joint Japan-US collaboration that constructed the world’s largest underground neutrino observatory for the grand purpose to study our proton’s life with a finding that the proton’s age is basically beyond measure – ageless.

    Second: As nuclear bombs and many physics experiments show, turning matter into light, heat, and other forms of energy is nothing new. Now a team of physicists has demonstrated the inverse process–turning light into matter. In the September 1, 1997 Physical Review Letters, the team describes how they collided large crowds of photons together so violently that the interactions spawned particles of matter.
    Physicists have long known that this kind of conjuring act is possible, but they have never observed it directly till now.

    Old theories

    ETHER and the Theory of Relativity
    An address delivered by Einstein 5/5/1920 at University of Leyden.
    “Recapitulating, we may say that according to the general theory of relativity SPACE is endowed with physical qualities; in this sense, therefore, there exists an ether. According to the general theory of relativity SPACE without ether is unthinkable; for in such space there … would be no propagation of light, …”

    Demonstration

    Strike a match – ageless atoms push
    light/photons going off in all directions.

    Where is the atom’s power coming from?
    No fourteen billion year old batteries found.

    Source of power must be external to atom – like a wild current flowing in a giant, super-cooled super-high frequency, circuit in the vastness of Space. [The huge Arena of Space prior to the Big Bang with a frequency beyond current technology’s detection.]

    This same great energy source then can easily supply the power needed for the Big Bang.

    Synthesis

    Ageless atom’s electron requirements, used to drive light/photons without batteries, must be supplied from a huge, external, super-cooled source that could exist 14 billion years without degradation. Extrapolating one atom’s requirement to all the atoms in our Universe – if our Universe was the size of a drop of water, we would require an ocean of energy filled space to fuel all our atoms.

    Conclusion

    This huge ocean of energy that drives our atoms has more than enough power to fuel the Big Bang Explosion in the Arena of energy-filled SPACE.

  264. Darth Robo

    Nice book plug.

  265. contrarian

    DR
    We all know that the court system is unqualified to evaluate scientific claims, at best it can evaluate acceptance by the scientific establishment which operates more along sociological and bureaucratic principles than scientific ones. Although it might make for a good reality show to put up a Grand Inquisitorial Tribunal of Science, and let the contestants have at one another in the public eye.

    Charles Sven
    From this description as well as the website and book extracts, it is impossible for me to tell whether you are a genius or a crackpot. Perhaps Darth Robo can apply some of his incisive analysis and ironic wit to arrive at the truth. (Whaddaya think of the ‘Strike a match’ analogy?)

  266. Darth Robo

    Like I said, must suck to be an IDer.

    “it is impossible for me to tell whether you are a genius or a crackpot.”

    Well I thought you might like his book. New agey etc. So can you guess which I would say he is?

  267. Unclesharkey

    Ok so here is what happens. The universe goes in cycles of life and death. Each time it reappears the universe is exactly the same and everything in it is recycled. So when you die time passes instantly and the universe ends and then reappears. Then you are born and live your life again over and over for eternity. So your death and birth happen at the same time. The reason this can happens is that the universe ends and then restarts which restarts time and etc. etc. etc……………….

    btw …..im nuts………

    ;-)

  268. Darth Robo

    Not quite, the probability of you existing again in one of the other universes would be pretty low.

    I’m nuts too. :)

  269. First of all, there was no Big Bang– not even close, but there was a biginning of the universe scientifically. Of course this belief is not a novelty. The Big Bang Theory has almost everything wrong with its tenets and interpretations just as its critics point out– but In the case of “what came before the big bang”, many of its theorists understand what I believe is the real scoop concerning this question. The Big Bang and other scientific theories (theorists) which propose a beginning to the universe consider that both time and space are tied to matter. If there is no change in matter/energy or its relative position (motion), time does not pass and also has no meaning. Accordingly, time is only a change in the relative condition of matter. Space in the same way is matter dependent. Space is the distance between matter and nothing more. For this reason there is no such thing as time or space outside the confines of matter. This is in general the Big Bang explanation. One of the very few things BB theorists have right. Therefore, there was no time or space before the beginning. There was an entity at the beginning. Something does not come from nothing! The first change in this entity was the beginning of time. Time is therefore defined as an interval of change, such as the first interval, the second interval etc. according to this definition. Questions?

  270. contrarian

    Yes, two:

    1) Why, in the absence of a half-century of crushingly definite extrapolation of every observable phenomenon and and increasing confirmation does the Big bang Theory conflict with your description of time? I see no conflict at all.

    2) How does your summary of Time answer the question “So what am I doing in Chicago?”

  271. Darth Robo

    (I can’t believe I’m doing this…. )

    (ahem)

    “There was an entity at the beginning. Something does not come from nothing!”

    So uh, who is/was this entity? Where did it come from? Oh, and what do you propose instead to put as an explanation to replace Big Bang theory?

  272. forrest noble

    Thanks Contrarian & Robo for your questions.

    Contrarian, like the name. That’s also what I am concerning the Big Bang Theory, but yes your right, the best explanations that I’ve heard from a few BB Theorists is that which I have above and is essentially the same as my own explanation. After reading what I wrote above “many of its theorists understand what I believe…..” should have been stated that– what you see above is my own theory and is no different from that which some BB Theorists have proposed. And you’re in Chicago because you like the weather– or maybe because your family lives there. I know a good night spot or two there, maybe that’s it.

    Darth, as to your questions– sorry I didn’t see these earlier.
    They are the most important questions to be answered, followed by the meaning/ understandings of time, space, and matter.
    Either the universe is infinite in time or it had a beginning (finite). If it has been around for infinity of time than there is no beginning to explain. If it is finite it means there were a finite amount/ sequences of cause and effect incidents that brought about the Universe as we know it.

    According to this alternative theory something cannot come from nothing (even the zero point field had to have a beginning if the universe is finite). There needed to be something in the beginning that had no predecessor. In this alternative theory we could call it a particle. Leon Letterman, a Nobel Lauriat, wrote a Book called the God Particle. In this book he explains the search in particle physics today for a most fundamental particle that some believe makes up all matter– electrons, quarks, protons, etc. This same fundamental particle according to this theory was also the beginning of the Universe.

    Other than the 3 dimensions of its substance, this particle needed the potential energy to change, otherwise it would sit there alone forever. Once the first interval of change of its form occurred (based upon any definable alteration in form) then you could define time as having just started, hence the beginning. There is no meaning to the question of what came before. It would be like asking –what change came before the first change? –a contradiction in logic. This particle could very slowly unwind into a sting of identical but smaller particles, etc. the universe!! The same particle would sill be the only fundamental building block of all matter and us. No BB, nothing complicated. Questions? I have the whole book of this theory. This time I’ll try my best to answer faster.

    forrest

  273. Darth Robo

    Did you mean Leon Lederman? As far as I know does not reject the Big Bang. Are you sure you’re not confusing him with Eric Lerner?

    “I have the whole book of this theory.”

    Which book is that?

  274. forrest noble

    Hi Darth, glad to see your reply.

    Yeh, Leon Lederman– thanks for the correction. No, he doesn’t reject the BB theory, but he did bring “into the light” the “God Particle” which was my point above. Eric Lerner wrote, I believe, the best book-size critique telling generally what’s wrong with the BB Theory. Although I agree with most of his criticisms, I don’t ascribe to his Plasma Universe Theory in general or an infinite universe, but I do agree with some of his and Hannes Alfven’s theories concerning the magnetic influences he describes as being involved with galaxy form and function.

    The “soon-to-be-published” book that I referred to above is my own alternative theory to the BB. You can see the gist of it in my last reply. There’s some mathematics to it, but not too much. If you’re interested in more info, reply/ comment here or e-mail me: forrest underscore forrest at netzero dot net. Questions?

  275. Darth Robo

    So I ask about your alternative to the Big Bang, you bring up Leon Letterman – sorry, Lederman who wrote about the Higgs boson particle which doesn’t actually dispute the Big Bang, and by way of explanation you leave us with…

    ANOTHER book plug.

    Okay, got it. Good luck with that.

  276. forrest noble

    Hi Darth, honestly Thanks again for your reply.

    Thought you might guess that– i.e. a book plug. Not so!! Just want others to generally understand how everything works “like I do”. — no “BS theories like what’s out there in today’s world”. I’m willing to give you probably “the correct answers” in cosmology or theoretical physics to most any question you or anybody else might want to ask but are afraid to, with “evidence to back it up”. “Very humble”, huh? I believe at least half of the answers that I give do not follow current paradigms or theories, and you’ve probably never heard of most of it. Consider first carefully all that I wrote above, if it doesn’t make sense to you then whatever else I might tell you probably won’t make any sense either. But on the other hand if it seems logical to you and possibly intriguing that’s because it should! Ask away! Please just questions, O.K if they have to be sarcastic– or snide remarks if you must.

    A real friend to all that seek, no kidding. forrest

  277. Rob MacRiner

    Rob MacRiner rmacriner@sympatico.ca , robmacriner@hotmail.com

    Answer to Question: Why does time seem to exist only in a forward direction?

    Time seems to only exist in a forward direction because the universe is expanding. If the Universe reaches Critical Velocity and starts to contract ….then time, as we measure time will reverse according to the Big Bang / Big Crunch Theory. The reason for this is that time does not exist without change or movement….. (change or movement of particle matter or energy as we know it). If matter has no movement either expanding or contracting then time does not exit for that matter. However Time can exist around non moving particle matter if something is either expanding or contracting around it.

    If the expansion of matter increases as in the case of our universe, or an expanding object, or even light…then time increases relative to the rate of expansion. Example: if carbon A is heated and expands faster than carbon B (which is not heated) then time increases in carbon A relative to carbon B…However as Einstein pointed out…time is relative to the observer…and you need something of contrast to make that comparison….fortunately our universe offers lots of contrast …otherwise we would have a very difficult time figuring this out. Time being relative to the observer can exist at different speeds based on the rate of expanding matter. If you are on riding on a beam of light than time is much different than your friend riding on a sound wave.Of course time is relative to the observer, therefore your time is much faster only to him, or any body else who is not on a beam of light.

    If matter contracts or condenses then time actually reverses…as in the case of a contracting universe…so Planks Quantum would be measured as zero time for the entire Universe…and time starts at the point of the Big Bang (once matter is on the move again)… In the case of a black hole, relative to our expanding universe)… there is also no time. (except for matter being sucked into a black hole….this matter would be reversing in time, until at which point it becomes part of the black hole mass, then time (in a Black Hole) as in Planks Quantum is zero….which is odd because the Universe is still expanding around the black hole…but it is consistent with the theory that. Time can exist around “non moving matter” if something is either expanding or contracting

    Time as we know it is measured in a forward direction and will continue until the point of critical velocity…at which point time starts to reverse…and for a brief moment…the point where the Universe changes from expanding to contracting…time will again be zero…as in Planks Quantum. However…during the forward direction of time…(while the Universe is expanding)…black holes are continuing to suck up matter…and should in theory at some point converge with other black holes….Therefore…as the universe is expanding from the big bang…there is multitude of matter which is not expanding (black holes)…which might well be unexploded Planks Quantum matter from the big bang…and the black holes with their massive gravitational force are sucking up matter which was attempting to expand but was not able to overcome the stronger force of the black hole…like mini-Plank Quantum’s converging within the universe …When the Universe reaches Critical Velocity and then all matter in our Universe starts to contract…heading towards the Big Crunch….the multitude of black holes converging (up to that point) should in theory rapidly increase the speed of reverse time …acting as an accelerant force of a contracting Universe with there collective gravitational force …so the reverse of time.(the journey the contracting Universe is taking towards the Big Crunch)…should happen much quicker than the time it took for the Universe to go from the Big Bang to Critical Velocity…That is of course Time relative from the Big Bang to Critical Velocity ……in contrast to …….Time Relative from Critical Velocity to the Big Crunch..… Rob MacRiner rmacriner@sympatico.ca Nov 2007

  278. forrest noble

    Hey Rob,

    I agree with much of your answer above, Rob, except for the time going backwards idea. If the universe could contract I don’t believe it could happen exactly the same way it expanded. Much too complicated. Everything is much simpler than that, I think. Time as we both generally stated is simply an interval of change concerning matter, and nothing more according to the theories the I ascribe to. Of course there are many other theories like those you have posted. But I believe those theories are more complicated, therefore (according to O’cumm’s razor) , less likely to be valid.

  279. Rob MacRiner

    Forrest: I’m not suggesting that Time will reverse itself as one would rewind a movie. The point is that time as we know it can not exit without particle matter either expanding or contracting. Imaging a container of colored sand 5″ high ..packed in a 50 ‘glass tube on a space shuttle. The color images of sand particles see from outside the glass, might look like some kind of landscape. Now the sand explodes in the 50’ glass tube ….while the shuttle is docked ..and those sand particles hurl in a forward or expansive direction…up the 50′ glass tube…after the explosion. But all of a sudden the space shuttle takes off, and the G forces are very intense, at the same time the particles of sand reach their maximum expulsion. The G forces would bring the sand back down to the base of that glass tube, in a hurry, but when they arrived packed back at the base, now once again 5″ high they would not represent the color image of the landscape that was seen before the explosion….The image would be much different. Forward time would be the expansion of the sand after the explosion. Reversed time for the sand would be as the G forces drive the sand back to the based of the glasstube, and pack those colored sand particles back to it’s original 5 “. That is the image of reverse time that I see.

  280. forrest noble

    Hey Rob,

    I see nothing wrong with your above logic, but I wouldn’t personally call that process a reverse of time. I would intead say something like: — these events are cyclical. Originally the universe expanded from a certain point in time until it will reach its maximum possible extension (measured by “XYZ” and/ or identifiable by “abc” situation. At this point in time the expansion will cease and the universe will then begin to contract until…..! really having, as I see it, nothing to do with time except as an event correlation factor. As you can see above I don’t adhere to the BB theory or any theory that involves concepts that seem to me to be confounding. I think everyone should strive to promote the ultimate Occum’s Razor–”keep things simple”.–but I see nothing wrong with your logic– usually, I think, the fundamental paradigm buster for most theories is the failure of logic.

    Advice: don’t use words, if you can help it ,that can be misinterpreted. This advice is always a goal rather than something completely acheivable–but we must try.

    your new friend forrest

  281. forrest noble

    Here’s a possible paradigm buster for the BB theory that was just published. Take a look at it.

    http://www.dsri.dk/~mykal/tmp/tycho/Verschuur.doc

    Another likely paradigm buster will be the ESA telescope which has a whopping 11.5 foot diameter mirror making it the largest apetured telescope ever launched. It was designed to look for the tell-tale infrared signs of galaxies near the edge of the now observable universe, thus effectively looking back in time over 12 to 13 billion + years. The paradigm buster will be when this telescope starts detecting galaxies much further (therefore much older) than that, and which also contain as much heavy metals as the Milky Way galaxy, meaning that it could be a middle-aged galaxy. Then the BS interpretations will have to begin again, like the ones used to explain superluminosity.

    Remember you heard it first here!!
    forrest_forrest@netzero.net

  282. robmacriner

    Forrset…Thanks; that is good advice, I’ll do my best to craft a more simpler approach to communicating my idea’s…because regardless of what we think….valid or invalid….none of our ideas are worth anything unless they are communicated with clarity…….Rob

  283. forrest noble

    Thanks robmacriner,

    didn’t know you were still out there.. e-mail me at above URL if you wish.
    respectfully, forrest

  284. MG

    If energy can neither be created nor destroyed, then according to the big bang theory everything in the universe, including us of course, derives from one infinitely dense “piece” of energy.

    “Seconds” before the atoms that now comprise our bodies came under sway of the current natural laws, they shared the same position in space as atoms that are now drifting around the other end of the universe; they were all one at the beginning of time.

    Can the answer to what occurred at T=0 be answered by studying the nature of energy? While it can’t be created or destroyed, energy under our natural laws can and does age. Energy manifests itself in different ways depending on it’s position in space and time.

    Through biology we see how a certain subset of genes (specific manifestations of energy) have survived the evolutionary process on earth to exist in all living organisms located here… similarily is it reasonable to expect that all energy shares a “subset” of properties far simpler than the extremely simple laws governing our mapped genome? Perhaps these shared properties that constitute far less than .000001 % of the current universe constituted 100% at T=0, and the current deviances from these shared properties include the different manifestations we see as we gaze at the universe around us.

  285. forrest noble

    Hey, Consider (above), jump right in, the water’s fine. Atheist or whatever — it’s all great as long as you can follow logic a bit. A lot of current theories regardless of the subject will be replaced within this century anyway so test the water. Put in your 2 cents, I did.

    MG, you’re assuming it’s energy and you’re assuming it’s big. What is the meaning of big or small if you’re the first and only thing. What’s the meaning of energy, time or space without matter. Many believe the zpf is just energy– don’t believe it for a second, purely bs. Whether you believe in a finite or infinite universe, cycle or not, by the definitions of the words themselves there could be no cause for either. (look up the definitions if you don’t believe me). There are no other choices—therefore no cause (remember theists, god is supposed to be infinite, and the universe by this definition includes universes and heavens if more than 1).

    What is the difference between life and death. Life is a system that has potential energy to evoke changes in entities that are perpetually self sustaining. A metaphor is a clock that’s wound and one that is not. Stop the clock for a long enough period and it will not start up again by itself. In the same way stop the heart of an animal for a long enough period and it will not start again on its own. In death an animal does not have the chain of potential energy needed to sustain its function. The end.

    T=0 is no special time, it is not a time at all. It is just a time frame where time is not involved — where time is defined as an interval of change. Accordingly the continuing potential from T= 0 would perpetuate T=1, or T= a fractional amount, since time has an analog rather that digital character.

    In other words, there is no possible scenario that has a beginning cause, not even logical science fiction. Infinite means infinite and finite means finite– not just semantics. Pure energy without form such as matter or waves is a meaningless concept.

    Our genome or any genome is not simple, nor is its function. I believe we still hardly have a clue. Life on earth is possibly the most complicated of entities within a million light-year radius or more from us. But I agree with you that the idea of life is almost poetic. (Life’s) “shared properties include the different manifestations we see as we gaze at the universe around us.” Nice!

    Your friend forrest

  286. Jeff

    Buddhist cosmology describes universes as “flowers in the void”. There are countless universes that exist simultaneously in various realms of the void…all opening and closing, the pulse of all phenomenal existence.

    Buddhist temporal cosmology describes how a universe comes into being and is dissolved in a cycle of 4 stages ( kalpas ):

    Vivartakalpa “Eon of evolution” – during this kalpa the universe comes into existence.

    Vivartasth?yikalpa “Eon of evolution-duration” – during this kalpa the universe remains in existence in a steady state.

    Sa?vartakalpa “Eon of dissolution” – during this kalpa the universe dissolves. (we’re currently in the early stages of this eon)

    Sa?vartasth?yikalpa “Eon of dissolution-duration” – during this kalpa the universe remains in a state of emptiness (dormancy) before it begins to emerge again.

    So 4 stages: emergence, steady state existence, dissolution, death…and then it gathers itself and starts all over again. Just like a sea anemone. Or a human being (birth, aging, dying, death).

    Nothing in the phenomenal world is exempt from this process…thoughts (watch them closely) and emotions, living beings, plants, planets, galaxies…in fact, every single moment of existence follows this exact same pattern. open, close, appear, disappear, rise up, fall away, generate, degenerate, enlighten, endarken, awake, asleep. Nothing is exempt…not even universes.

  287. Jeff

    Buddhist cosmology describes universes as “flowers in the void”. There are countless universes that exist simultaneously in various realms of the void…all opening and closing, the pulse of all phenomenal existence.

    Buddhist temporal cosmology describes how a universe comes into being and is dissolved in a cycle of 4 stages ( kalpas ):

    Vivartakalpa “Eon of evolution” – during this kalpa the universe comes into existence.

    Vivartasth?yikalpa “Eon of evolution-duration” – during this kalpa the universe remains in existence in a steady state.

    Sa?vartakalpa “Eon of dissolution” – during this kalpa the universe dissolves. (we’re currently in the early stages of this eon)

    Sa?vartasth?yikalpa “Eon of dissolution-duration” – during this kalpa the universe remains in a state of emptiness (dormancy) before it begins to emerge again.

    So 4 stages: emergence, steady state existence, dissolution, death…and then it gathers itself and starts all over again. Just like a sea anemone. Or a human being (birth, aging, dying, death).

    Nothing in the phenomenal world is exempt from this process…thoughts (watch them closely) and emotions, living beings, plants, planets, galaxies…in fact, every single moment of existence follows this exact same pattern. open, close, appear, disappear, rise up, fall away, generate, degenerate, enlighten, endarken, awake, asleep. Nothing is exempt…not even universes.

  288. Jeff

    Buddhist cosmology describes universes as “flowers in the void”. There
    are countless universes that exist simultaneously in various realms of
    the void…all opening and closing, the pulse of all phenomenal
    existence.

    Buddhist temporal cosmology describes how a universe comes into being
    and is dissolved in a cycle of 4 stages ( kalpas ):

    Vivartakalpa “Eon of evolution” – during this kalpa the universe comes
    into existence.

    Vivartasth?yikalpa “Eon of evolution-duration” – during this kalpa the
    universe remains in existence in a steady state.

    Sa?vartakalpa “Eon of dissolution” – during this kalpa the universe
    dissolves. (we’re currently in the early stages of this eon)

    Sa?vartasth?yikalpa “Eon of dissolution-duration” – during this kalpa
    the universe remains in a state of emptiness (dormancy) before it begins
    to emerge again.

    So…4 stages: emergence, steady state existence, dissolution, death…and
    then it starts all over again. Just like a sea anemone. Or a human being (birth, aging, dying, death). Or an atom.

    Nothing in the phenomenal world is exempt from this process…thoughts
    (watch them closely) and emotions, living beings, plants, planets,
    galaxies…in fact, every single moment of existence follows this exact
    same pattern. open, close, appear, disappear, rise up, fall away,
    generate, degenerate, enlighten, endarken, awake, asleep. Nothing is
    exempt…not even universes.

  289. forrest noble

    Jeff.

    Just like MG above sounds kind of poetic to me. If a theory, philosophy or religion cannot be tested in any way and makes no predictions that differ from others– then what value does it have?

    Granted as a philosophy or perspective of life it sounds rather pleasant.

    your friend forrest

  290. Jimmy

    The “Big Bang” never happened. I couldnt have. If it created everything then how did it inflate? They say thare was notheing thare before it wich meand thatre was no heat wich means it couldnt expand and blow up cause thares no movement at all. And, how did it get thare? Matter cant be created or destroyed, wich means it couldnt be thare.

  291. forrest noble

    Yeah Jim, you almost have it right. There was no BB. It didn’t Inflate. “They say” — there was nothing to start with. That is also wrong. Something doesn’t come from nothing. Which means that if there was a beginning, which I believe there was, then at the beginning there was a first entity. The first change in that entity was the beginning of time. See my comment above on Sept. 17, 07.

    your friend forrest

  292. forrest noble

    Yeah Jim, you almost have it right. There was no BB. It didn’t Inflate. They say– there was nothing to start with. That is also wrong. Something doesn’t come from nothing. Which means that if there was a beginning, which I believe there was, then at the beginning there was a first entity. The first change in that entity was the beginning of time. See my comment above on Sept. 17, 07.

    your friend forrest

  293. Intersting blog post and I was thoroughly enjoying it until I was nicely told I’m an idiot for believing in God. Too bad.

    I guess I can’t be a Physics buff and believe in God?

  294. forrest noble

    Hey Russ,

    Don’t worry about it. Naturally you can believe anything you want and be a physics buff. In my opinion the only criteria for a fruitful excursion into any subject is logic. Without it you will be wasting your valuable time. There is an awful lot of BS in physic’s theory today. If you buy into these theories be ware.

    forrest_forrest@netzero.net

  295. Cosmological observations provide an incredibly rich set of clues to the pre-big bang universe. Do you see any flaws in: The pre-big bank universe at BigCrash.org?


    In the beginning (in the pre-big bang universe) there was only the vast vacuum of space and time. But this vacuum was not sterile, it was seething with vacuum energy. This vacuum energy field permeates and defines the universe, an astronomically large sphere of energy. And just as matter generates gravity by warping space and time, so does energy and this is the force that defines the size and shape of the universe, and also the force that bestows mass on matter…

    …When a virtual matter/anti-matter pair becomes a matter matter pair, the virtual particles are no longer able to mutually annihilate and they become real, stealing energy from the vacuum energy of space. This is the mechanism of slow matter creation in the first phase of the pre-big bang universe. Over perhaps a billion billion years, clouds of matter form over the entire universe, and eventually coalesce into cosmological bodies and eventually the first pre-big bang black hole, which starts the second phase of the pre-big bang universe, fast accretion of matter from vacuum energy by black holes…

  296. forrest noble

    JTankers,

    As to your question: Do you see any flaws? I agree there is a lot of good stuff in your comments. There was however no need for a Big Bang. So accordingly there would have been no pre-Big Bang universe. Simply the beginning of the universe. There also accordingly would have been no vast vacuum of space and time. Both of them are defined by and began with the first entity. What would be the meaning of space and time if simply nothing at all existed? Of course there could have been a beginning field to start with but what was its source? If none then it would seem to be a more complicated beginning I believe!

    Instead you could say that after billions and billions of years, field development progressed from a single simple field particle. Any interval of progression of this change we now describe as time. Eventually there would have been a vast quantity of this field material we now call dark matter, with its energy of motion that we now call the zero-point field or zero point fluctuations. The separation between these field entities we now call space. Eventually the densest parts of this dark matter field, by kinetic compression became the first black holes.

    Immediately surrounding these black holes some dark matter strings of field material, semi-rigid strands, were bent into loops by the same compression forces. These newly formed looped entities were the first protons and electrons which created an entire galaxy of matter surrounding each black hole. After continuous accretion of this matter and the new creation of galaxies over billions and billions of more years it would progress into the universe the way we now see it.

    At least that’s the short story of it!!

    your friend forrest

  297. I know it’s always stated in these theories that space and time began at the same time, but what about the matter? Whatever fueled the Big Bang had to exist BEFORE the Big Bang. What we are all left with is faith – whether it’s in an ever present God or in some ever present matter – you can’t get something (let alone a whole universe) from nothing. There simply are no theories that adequately deal with this simple argument.

    Religious observers have little problem admitting their faith. I feel it’s time others admit to theirs.

  298. Andrew

    “Personally, I think that Young Earth Creationism and other forms of anti-science are very bad for the Christian church because it works against the Great Commission itself. It’s not central (or at least shouldn’t be) to any christian belief system and mostly has the effect of driving thinking people away and providing ammunition to anti-religious groups. I hear folks ask, “Why aren’t moderate Christians speaking out against this?” Well, I can’t speak for the others, but I do every chance I get. Bad science is bad theology! Okay, I feel better now.”

    Well said! The same might be applied to the atheists, who insist on attacking any sort of religious belief by stating that science has “disproved” faith. They offer ammunition to anti-science fundamentalists and just push people further apart.

    Also some people here seem to have confused creationism with religious belief. Whether the universe was extant before the big bang has nothing to do with faith, by definition.

    Secondly, this sort of answer will not satisfy anyone who was not already inclined to agree. It doesn’t answer the question of “what was the origin of the universe” – as Bill2 just pointed out. To a religious observer this is a lot like saying “The Bible was just copied from previous versions of the bible” – that still doesn’t explain anything about the origin of the bible. And if it’s a loop, how did that loop come into existence?

    Again though, even if every mystery and property of the universe is explained to an infinite level of detail, that still does not preclude one from having faith.

  299. forrest noble

    Bill2,

    “you can’t get something (let alone a whole universe) from nothing. There simply are no theories that adequately deal with this simple argument.”

    The theories that I have written deal directly with these questions.

    To clearly explain the beginning of the universe, one needs to define the word Universe. This definition is only one of several that you can find in the dictionary but it is the one that I need to use to explain the beginning.

    The Universe: the combination of everything, all entities that have a state of reality—everything that is real and not imaginary. By this definition nothing can exist outside of it—it is all inclusive. It would include any spiritual entities, other universes or dimensions.

    The Universe can only have one of two possibilities concerning the beginning of time. Either it is finite or it’s infinite in time. In either case it cannot possibly have had an initial cause. This is because of the definitions of finite and infinite. If it is finite, by definition it would have had a limited number of cause and effect sequences. If is were infinite, it also by definition would have had no beginning cause. So it would be impossible for the universe to have had an initial cause, whether its finite or infinite.

    As you said, “something cannot come from nothing.”
    This is a very old concept which can be derived from writings dating back to the ancient Greeks (during the 5th century B.C.) but it is best known as an old Latin saying: “nihil ex nihilo fit” literally meaning “out of nothing, nothing comes”. This concept in logic is called The Principle of Sufficient Reason — or the Causal Principle.

    So either the beginning was infinite, and would have no beginning or if it was finite it had to have a beginning entity which by definition would have had no cause.

    The rest of the theory goes like this: You could say that after billions and billions of years, field development progressed from a single simple field particle that started it all. Any interval of progression of this change we now describe as time. Eventually there would have been a vast quantity of this field material we now call dark matter, with its energy of motion that we now call the zero-point field or zero point fluctuations. The separation between these field entities we now call space. Eventually the densest parts of this dark matter field, by kinetic compression became the first black holes.

    Immediately surrounding these black holes some dark matter strings of field material, semi-rigid strands, were bent into loops by the same compression forces. These newly formed looped entities were the first protons and electrons which created an entire galaxy of matter surrounding each black hole. After continuous accretion of this matter
    and the new creation of galaxies over billions and billions of more years it would have progressed into the universe the way we now see it.

    At least that’s the short of it!!

    Andrew,

    I believe your last statement: “even if every mystery and property of the universe is explained to an infinite level of detail, that still does not preclude one from having faith.” is certainly a true statement. I also agree that religion in general is not helped by young Earth creationists.

    your friend forrest

  300. Sandeman

    Well Paul Davies says there was “nothing ” before the “Big Bang”

    http://www.fortunecity.com/emachines/e11/86/big-bang.html

    Steven Hawking in a ” A Briefer history of Time” (published 2005 C) page 69 says “….if, as is the case, we only know what has happened since the big bang. we cannot determine what happened beforehand. As far as we are concerned events before the big bang are of no consequence and so should not form part of a scientific model of the universe. We should therefore cut them out of the model and say that the big bang was the beginning of time. This means that questions of who set up the conditions for the big bang are not questions that science addresses”
    Any one who is seriously interested in this profound question asked by man from his beginning, should read the conclusion to Hawking’s book – it may surprise both sides of the “faith” spectrum – the “scientific” atheists ( there are many scientists of all disciplines who are deeply religious) and the “religious fanatics” (who mentally line up with those who would have loved to burn Galileo at the stake). Today some cosmologists and scientists (unlike Galileo) see perfect harmony with the Bible story of creation and the big bang – However they are mostly at odds with the “six day” creationists.
    Dr Hugh Ross.
    http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/audio/newevidence.htm
    Perry Marshall
    http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/ifyoucanreadthis.htm

    Or if you are game try exodus 3:14 “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”
    or John ” 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
    58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.
    59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”

    Ok throw what you like at me. But here are two beings one claiming to be God and one claiming to be his son, both claim that TIME (present past future) and by inference (as the scientist will affirm and agree) SPACE are irrevalant to them both, go off and muse over that after reading Steven Hawking’s conclusion in his eye opening book. a Briefer History of Time.

  301. forrest noble

    Sandeman,

    as you said “Ok throw what you like at me” here comes the kitchen sink, duck, duck, oh, too bad.

    Seriously, Sanderman I’ll address you point by point.

    Stephen Hawking at the end of his book said, that he always wanted to know why there was something instead of nothing. This is an extremely simple question with an extremely simple, but absolutely true answer.

    The state of nothingness, is not a possible state of reality any more than any other science fiction entity — like a one eyed one horned flying purple people eater.

    Paul Davies never read the logic in my last posting, nor does he understand the Causal Principle described in my last posting. Something doesn’t come from nothing. The logical Proof for this is as follows:

    This law can be directly derived from the first Law of Thermo-Dynamics: “Matter/ energy can neither be created nor destroyed”.

    Particle Physicists have seen particles appear from a vacuum (void) and conversely disappear into a void. Some theorists have proposed that the whole universe was generated from the void of space. This principle does not apply to “voids” where particles or forces could exist.

    “Nothing”, as here defined, doesn’t apply to space which might have the possibility of generating matter or energy. It applies specifically where “nihilo” is (for the purposes of this concept) defined as a theoretical state of nothingness, and “nihil” is defined as “no thing” (no matter, substance, force, energy, space, etc.). It seems probable that logicians, scientists, and layman alike, by using the above definitions alone, this principle would be self evident.

    Conversely, the related principle would also logically follow. “Something cannot become Nothing”. If there is something to start with such as matter, substance, force, energy, etc., it might change its form into something else, i.e. matter into energy, etc., but not disappear into nothingness without leaving its equivalence in one form or another.
    Going against either of these principles violates a number of laws of physics — plus one other well known principle. Invent no new physics if a simpler explanation is available within the physics that already exists.

    As far as God would be concerning, of course no one could ever prove the negative. That there is no God. However, if you can show how thunder and lightning really works, you don’t need to believe in the god of the clouds, that bangs his hammer to create thunder. If you can show by enough evidence that the general principles of evolution are true and accordingly man is just another animal, then you don’t need a god to create man. If some day we can show how life itself could come from non-life then we wouldn’t need a god to create life, etc.

    As far as the bible quotes above, I believe the bible is an interesting book with a lot of valuable perspectives to consider concerning reality and morality. It accordingly would have been written by divine inspiration, the belief in a divine being that inspired all of these writers to write an interesting book. The council of Nicea was also an interesting editor as far as the Christian bible is concerned and the new testament. The old testament is even harder to swallow in the face of the evidence developed by today’s sciences.

    As Andrew stated above “even if every mystery and property of the universe is explained to an infinite level of detail, that still does not preclude one from having faith.”

    your friend forrest

  302. forrest noble

    To truly understand time, please read my reply above on Jan 16, 08.

  303. forrest noble

    should have read “for an explanation of time, please read my comment on Jan 16, 08, or for a more detailed description of any of the subject matter above, e-mail me
    forrest_forrest@netzer.net.

  304. Unclesharkey

    Damn, and I thought aliens created the universe.

  305. forrest noble

    Unclesharkey

    Now the readers have several choices. My explanation, your explanation, and other alternative explanations — or maybe god is an alien.

  306. Unclesharkey

    If there is a creator I think that his science is much greater than ours. ;-P I really don’t think many people (even super religious ones think that God is a magician)

    How are you on evolution? I have a question I have been thinking about lately and maybe you or someone here can shed a light on it.

    Basically it goes like this.

    Evolution starts from simple elements that stick together which in turn make more complex elements then at some point we have life. Then evolution and now us.

    My question: (is evolution still taking place on a microscopic level)>?

    In other words in the ocean where things are mixing together and you have different elements forming are there new elements and new life forms (besides the ones we know about) still evolving>? What new stuff do we know about? Or is evolution still doing pretty much the same old thing?

    In regards to peoples beliefs. There are over 6 billion people on this planet and everyone has an opinion. I find that some times my beliefs change from day to day or even hour to hour. I place equal value on both the believer and non-believer. The yin and yang of the world. Life would be pretty boring without it. How did the universe start…..kinda like trying to figure out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop………the world may never know……and then when you do figure it out the mystery is gone…..kinda anti-climatic if you ask me.

    You can choose a ready guide
    In some celestial voice
    If you choose not to decide
    You still have made a choice

    You can choose from phantom fears
    And kindness that can kill
    I will choose a path thats clear
    I will choose free will

    Rush

    “Because, the best-laid schemes of mice and men, often go awry.”

    Steinbeck

  307. forrest noble

    Unclesharkey my friend,

    If you have the ability to change your mind from time to time in the light of new evidence, it is apparent that you are ahead of most of us and are still truly thinking.

    I think it goes down like this: In the area of cosmology and theoretical physics I have been writing technical papers, and a soon to be published book of theory for almost 50 years now. My theories become more detailed as time passes but few have changed in general. Ten of my seventy predictions have already been observed in this area. All of my theories of physics are contrary to current theory so are generally quite different.

    As far as evolution is concerned:

    “Evolution starts from simple elements that stick together which in turn make more complex elements then at some point we have life.”

    I would strongly assert that this (your own words) is in general the correct theory. It is called Abiogenisis. After acquiring the characteristic that you first mentioned of stick-togetherness, step 1) would be replication, the final steps of life are that an organism must acquire the ability to 2) grow through metabolism, and 3) posses the power of adaptation to its environment through changes originating internally.

    There are crystalline structures that might meet criteria 1) they bud off of each other into other crystalline forms and 2) which metabolize surrounding chemistry selecting out the proper chemistry for their needs. But they cannot adapt to a changing environment.

    We have nano-bacteria that seem to have all the qualifications. They live within us as well as other animals and perform all 3 of the required mechanisms above. But on closer inspection they cannot replicate outside living cells so they meet the definition of a parasite, which have incomplete systems to perform all three functions. Viruses are a similar example. There are countless thousands of viruses in the world but none of them can meet all of the required definitions of life. They have no cell structure and cannot live outside a living cell of a host organism. They seemingly evolved from a “higher” bacterial predecessor which lost some of its functioning genetics and became a specialized parasite.
    They do adapt their genetics by evolving by means of the survival of the fittest. In the next lets say 50 years or so, I believe that abiogenisis from scrap will be achieved by man.

    Is evolution still taking place on a microscopic level?

    You betcha. On all levels. Not a very pleasant example would be humans. If the least intelligent, for example, were having the most kids then the average intelligence of human race as a whole would be going down, since intelligence to some extent is known to be partially an inherited trait like longevity.

    Since the chemistry, and environment of all microbes, plants, and animals on earth must adapt to changes created by man, only those which can adapt will survive unless artificially protected. Other hardier species will evolve and expand to take their place. That’s the way it has always been since time 1. Some species will dominate the earth in a certain environment and all the others will have to adapt or perish. Many have specialized niches. Indigenous species often cannot compete with more hardy foreign invaders and are replaced. Many species when they have the chance to intermix; only the hardiest genetics for a particular environment would prevail.

    Evolution is always completing one cycle and moving on to another. Evolution, for the most part, more often chooses complexity over simplicity. Some of the most complicated organisms on earth are plants which have almost 3 times as many genes as humans. They are very complex, but we could never know it by just observing them.

    I like the poetry and philosophy too. “when you do figure it out the mystery is gone…..kinda anti-climatic if you ask me.”

    Of course a life where you are in control, as apposed to a leaf in the wind, often has big advantages and provides time to philosophize as apposed to our early ancestors that lived in “harmony” with their environment but had to worry from moment to moment whether they, their parents or progeny were going to live or die. That’s kinda sad too.

    I vote to work hard for the betterment of mankind first and then bring along as many of our animal and plant buddies with us that we can. One of the most important factors for a pretty picture will be birth control.

    your friend forrest
    forrest_forrest@netzero.net

  308. Unclesharkey

    Forrest thanks for the info. The reason I asked about microscopic life is that my father worked for a state agency as a marine biologist in water quality for 32 years. He spent most of his day looking at water samples through a microscope. He would draw pictures of the little creatures that he saw and then had to figure out how many of the little buggers were in each part per million or whatever he was counting.

    I know evolution progresses slower than a snail but I was just wondering if any now creature living or non-living has popped into existence lately.

    Good luck with your book and whatever it is you are tying to figure out. I really wish we could figure out how to make a car that gets over a 100mpg ;-P or an electric commuter car that does not cost as much as a house.

    Every once in a while my brain feels the need to think of things that are beyond its ability to comprehend and I often end up on sites like this. Then there are times when I read about religion or philosophy or cars or computers. I try not to dwell too much on one thing. To me it keeps things fresh and new and different.

    “A mind always employed is always happy.”

  309. forrest noble

    Unclesharkey,

    I was just wondering if any now creature living or non-living has popped into existence lately?

    There are continuously newly discovered species of plants, animals, insects, microbes, etc. To me none have ever been asserted to be newly created. Even if it were true, there seemingly would be the scarcest of evidence to support such an assertion, and it would be bad science to make unsupported speculations.

    We now have 100MPG motor scooters if that’s your bag, or maybe an electric motor scooter.

    best regards, forrest

  310. Jason Thompson

    I love how creationists out there, oh let’s not be coy, I mean Christians try to convince atheists of Creationism, and other “controversial” Christian theologies. The problem is that you’re going about it backwards. Why should we expect those who don’t acknowledge Christ as their Savior to believe that the world was created by God? And think about this for a second, let’s say we convince an atheist that the universe is a creation? What good have we done? If they don’t accept the fact that they are a Sinner and the only ticket out of Hell is through Christ, then they are still destined to Hell.

    Think about it this way, if my buddy did not have an XBox 360, would it be to my advantage to convince him to buy Halo 3? Not really. Even if he buys Halo 3, he couldn’t play it. I got it all backwards. Perhaps I should tell my buddy the benefits of a 360. After they decide on their own that a 360 is a great idea, then I can talk to them about Halo 3.

    So in a round about way, I wouldn’t bother this guy about creationism. If he accepts Christ as his Savior, then it might make a good conversation. I know as well as anyone else that both ideas takes faith, but arguing about the details will just alienate people.

  311. forrest noble

    Hey Jason,

    I agree with your comment “I know as well as anyone else that both ideas take faith”, and feel sad to say that both creationism and the Big Bang theory will soon pass from the memory of mankind, both to be soon replaced by better ideas which are almost completely contrary to both positions.

    Comments? My e-mail address is posted on May 1st comment above — if you are interested in further discussions with me. Although I am an atheist I have no personal bend to convince anybody of anything, something like your logic Jason; for what reason should I do so? Asking questions where I already have clear logic to answer, is my method of discussion.

    your friend forrest

  312. lol@u

    Nice article. But one thing, please stop raving about god. You can’t prove it either way and its just very, well….unscientific. Also, it will probably avoid these sort of epic threads.

  313. infinite loop

    So, stuff has always existed. It never “started”. There was never a state of absolute, complete nothing. Eternal, timeless something. God. (no, not the barbaric biblical one)

  314. lol@, I didn’t notice any “ravings about god” above , some opinions and suggestions maybe. The on-topic thread is “what happened before the Big Bang”, which assumes that there was a BB in the first place, which is certainly the mainstream theory. “Before” is posited as a possibility only. I agree that the topic of God was somewhat off topic but so were many of the comments above including mine on genetics.

    infinite loop, “stuff has always existed, where “always” means for all time. It doesn’t necessarily mean for infinity or that it is eternal. I proposed above (as do most BB models) that time is finite, yet you could say that time has always existed according to this definition of “always.”

    Your comment ” it never started” is a contrary position to a finite beginning — although the only evidence for either position is what can be observed around us which has been interpreted, and I believe misinterpreted, in many different ways.

    your friend forrest

  315. Ben

    You know, I didn’t read all of the comments to see if anyone else said this…mostly cause I don’t have enough time. But one thing that was left out was the answer to this question: even if we “bounced” out of another universe and as Phil says “There might have been a string of them, reaching back in time, in meta-time beyond time”, where did the first one come from?

    You must either believe matter always existed and randomly, accidently, life spontaneously appeared, or you believe in a Creator.

  316. Ben,

    Scroll up to April 17, 2008. You will find the answer to your question. If not the entire explanation and related theory can be found at pantheory.org. , briefly described on page 107, concept #29.

    your friend forrest

  317. …It’s a cycle… Big Bangs & Black Holes..

    how I see it…

    …It’s a cycle, Big Bangs & Black Holes.. that’s the answer, Two of the most fascinating subjects in Physics.

    The two are just opposite ends (well a circle really) of ONE process the process of mater and energy and time recycling if you like within, and then outside our universe.

    As we know the mater that was first created in the big bang is transformed into heavier elements by stars, some of which then finds it way into a black Hole. there it is returned to it’s original state within the singularity. ie it looses its mass and returns to pure energy.

    When enough mater has been transformed to energy within the Black Hole, Black Hole may become ‘intolerable’ to our universe. ) more about this in a moment) Until this happens it is linked and so balanced by the energy/mass/time within our whole universe and so even though the black Hole has immense power this is still tiny compared to the balancing force of the whole of the rest of the Universe. Eventually however the tug of war becomes either a stalemate, a failure (and the mater is slowly returned to our universe proper) via radiation or the singularity becomes to powerful to remain linked to our space-time and the ‘link’ becomes longer and longer like a neck of a balloon if you like, eventually it can stretch no more and the connection breaks…!

    In this nanosecond the balancing force of ‘our’ universe that was acting as a guvnor or restrict is gone.

    The Black Hole event horizon then snaps shut and the now separate space-time bubble collapses onto around the singularity the unrestricted compression (perhaps something like the principle within an atom bomb at detonation ‘crushes’ for want of a better word) the singularity sounds silly how can you crush something that has no volume… well anyway the result is an enormous explosion The Big bang …well a big bang to be precise…

    …and a new universe is born…!

    Avon Xzavia… avon_xzavia@yahoo.co.uk

  318. sorry about the typos… can the moderator fix ??

  319. Avon Xzavia

    To the moderator. Why did you remove my entry ?
    I presume it was because you thought I was repeating
    some of what other people have said but, I have read back
    through this blog and I mentioed new details not already
    covered and in any case I developed that
    theory some fifteen years ago…

    an explanation would be decent of you.

  320. Avon Xzavia

    I’m confused it’s back again perhaps it’s my computer if so very many apologies !!

  321. Avon,

    If you believe in an infinite cycle than you believe in an infinite universe in time. There presently is little or no evidence pointing to this possibility or any other model for that matter. Even the Big Bang model itself has almost insurmountable problems, the newest one is called the density problem. If the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate it would have been denser in the past. No observations have ever been made which indicate the universe was denser in past epochs — see pantheory.org for more info. View Technical paper concerning the density problem with the Big Bang model.

  322. Avon Xzavia

    Greetings Forrest,

    Thank You for your response… You Said:

    “No observations have ever been made which indicate the universe was denser in past epochs”

    let’s turn that on it’s head:

    OK the universe will not last forever, In it’s present form, that is.

    It will very slowly loose mass as matter is removed by the process I have described above. As it very slowly becomes more rareified, there is less gravitational attraction because of the loss of mass, hence the acceleration of expansion.

    In the end… or better to say, Much Later… to a gradual change of state, which will probably not be able to support the reality we experience now, And in the very far future of our particular uni-bubble the laws of physics as we understand them will also perhaps gradually change or even breakdown.

    in fact this is probably already and has always been happening, we just don’t see it for two reasons: First, (and most importantly) We are in it ! & second even if we were able to observe ‘from outside’ the change would be to slow.

    Imagine countless different universes all with different time speeds and longevity:- (to us) (but within them all feeling perhaps far more, or even precisely same/similar) some lasting a massively longer time than our own, others a micro second, though we will never directly interact externally or internally with them so it is a moot point.

    We must not think in terms of the Linear but more in infinite time bubbles neighbours or like Russian dolls as just two of many indescribable scenarios, not even touching more than 4 dimensions. Think infinite bubble bath, in a public baths of infinite bathtubs all overlaping in slightly different phase… infinite bubbles going through infinite life-re-cycles in infinite phases .

    And we are somewhere in there…

    …Sorry about all the infinites…

    Avon Xzavia.

  323. Avon Xzavia

    Hello Again… I’ve always wanted to discuss these matters with other interested individuals but never had the chance before…

    Re: Pan Theory, I have looked at the basic idea and fundamentals, And I think it is a very strong contender, it may very well be the nearest to the truth that we have been able to touch thus far.
    The basic principle is simple which immediately makes it more likely to be true than conventional ideas which are very complex and require at best loads of qualification and ‘tinkering’ to allow them to even approach coherency…

    …’Simple’ answers are often the correct ones as ‘nature’ for want of a better word is if nothing else the great economist. not to mention Occam’s Razor…

    Avon Xzavia.

  324. Terry H

    This is what i think – A big bang was a black hole which cannot hold any more matter and erupts. Imagine thousands of big bangs – exploding matter from each big bang flys out at 360 degrees and will eventually crash into matter from other big bangs and will either create a new black hole or enter an existing black hole and they will eventualy erupt as another big bang and the process starts all over again.

    Terry.H

  325. Avon Xzavia

    Hello Terry,

    You, I think are assuming that the various big bangs you mention could interact, this is not possible (within my theory) as they are dimensionally separated, what I mean by this is they create their own realities, space-time bubbles as a product of their own propagation, Imagine a storm in a teacup, (and the storm itself creates the tea, and the cup) there may be other cups with their own storms, but each storm is self contained and cannot affect or interact with any other storm…

    ..hope this helps…

    Avon Xzavia

  326. Jean Verkest

    Well, good read I would say. But I came up last week with a new idea of the universe. I’m 17 years and I have still a lot to learn. So plz just be critical and don’t laugh. It’s still just an idea and I want to make some research later on if it’s possible. I’m very interesting in it and i’m also making a work about the Higgs particle for my finishing work in my retorica.

    So imagine the universe would have the same aspects and qualities as a point; a dot. Just like in mathematics.
    What do we know about a point. It has no size. How small is it? How big is it?
    What form does it have?
    And what dimension does it have?
    A point you could discribe like a collection of many different, an infinite number of other points. And you go on like that.

    I’m have now examinations, but if someone thinks this is interesting, you can mail me and we can talk about it.

    -> jeanverkest(at)hotmail.com ( (at)=@ )

  327. Avon Xzavia

    Hello Jean,

    There is no reason why our, and or any or indeed every other universe couldn’t be like a dot or point in size as you suggest, as size is relative to the observer. It’s all a mater of your viewpoint. Whatever an object’s size if you are either very much bigger or smaller or even extremely close or far enough away then it is either all encompassing or an infinitely small dot…

    …Outside our familiar physical world scale, the rules that we subconsciously apply are no longer appropriate…

    Avon Xzavia.

  328. Internet Hate Machine

    lol delete the universe post haste

  329. Thanks Avon Xzavia for your favorable opinion concerning the Pan Theory. I haven’t looked at this site for awhile so I missed your postings by more than a month. If you wish to discuss any particular facet of the Pan Theory, Cosmology, or reality for that matter — please contact me at pantheory.org@gmail.com I would enjoy the conversation I’m sure.

    Jean Verkest

    The man-made Cartesian dimension system or something like it is needed to explain the relative position of individual parts of reality. Time as a fourth dimension is a measure of the change of this condition. A dot or point is only a relative position as to the whole. A point in both space and time, which has been called spacetime. Even the idea of a point particle or the dimensionless point of a black hole, although acceptable mathematically, may have nothing to do with reality according to the alternative theories that I ascribe to. Infinity is another valid mathematical concept that would seemingly have no ultimate reality in a finite universe. It is a conceptual summation unlike a point which can be a real, defined position within a given time frame.

    respectfully, forrest

  330. IVAN3MAN

    *Crickets* *Crickets* *Crickets*
  331. I was just watching a show on Foxtel about Black Holes and the beginning of the Universe. I once again wondered about what existed BEFORE the universe arrived in whichever manner one likes to assume. This website and all the letters I’ve scrolled through still doesn’t answer the question. What was here before??? My human brain cannot wrap itself around the possibility of nothing. If someone can please explain ‘nothing’ to me I would be most appreciative. An absence of anything at all seems impossible. There must be something and I would love to know what it could be. Help me out here!!!!

  332. Linda,

    If you believe in a finite universe like the primary BB model, then there could be nothing before the beginning. I would be like asking what change came before the first change. This is logically based upon the meaning of the word finite: a limited number of cause and effect sequences. So by definition nothing could possibly exist before the beginning and likewise the beginning could not have had an outside cause. It must be based upon self perpetuation of change resulting from an initial and continuous potential to change.

    If there instead was a cause for the universe, then what caused that, and so on. Then we are talking about a universe infinite in time. Some Big Bang models propose an infinite model but not the mainstream version of it. It must also be noted that an infinite universe model could not have an ultimate cause either without realizing that the cause could have had no cause because of the definition of infinite.

    Bottom line would logically follow. Regardless of weather you believe in a finite or infinite model of the universe — the universe could not possibly have a cause. This fact is based solely upon the possibilities that exist for its creation, and the meanings of the words finite and infinite.

    respectfully, forrest see pantheory.org or pantheory.org@gmail.com

  333. Linda,

    That individual above, forest noble, is simply promoting his own non-peer reviewed hypothesis — it does not even have a Wikipedia entry!

    You would be well advised to check out Evidence for the Big Bang at the TalkOrigins.org/faqs/astronomy/bigbang.html web-site — click on my name for the link — which has a large list of “frequently asked questions” and answers about the Big Bang Theory.

  334. I find it unfortunate that people can’t conceive of the possibility that God and science are not mutually exclusive. Got may well have “created” using a set of rules, nobody seems to know what “caused” the random vacuum fluctuations that purportedly lead to the big bang, and there is nothing that rules out God’s choosing a particular set of characteristics. Yes, I do have some issues with the camp that counts generations in the Bible and decides the Earth has only been here 6000 years, none-the-less, I’ve also had the experience of direct intervention in my life. I don’t think science can answer the question of whether or not God did it, only how it was done, I’ll add to that I’ve yet to see any purely mathematical theory, be it quantum loop gravity, or string theories or brane theories predict anything testable.

  335. IVAN3MAN

    @ Robert Dinse,

    Yes, but who ‘created’ God, then?

  336. Mr. Mitz

    Well, all these comments were a very interesting read …

    My theory …

    God … being bored one day decided to created a handful of cosmic dust … and threw it within dark matter to see what would happen … unfortunately some of that cosmic dust contained DNA for George Bush …. just a theory ….

  337. martin khairnar

    thanku for this knowledgable knowledge..

  338. Kuhne

    This is a great theory but this theory in my opinion starts going into territories that even hot shot scientists will not dare to answer.

    Sure, it’s easy for scientists to say “the big bang started everything”
    and if you ask them, then what started the big bang?

    since they have no answer and they are to big on themselves to say they dont know, they instead answer “the question doesnt make sense, because before the big bang nothing existed, not even time, it all came into being at that point in time, so the question you ask is irrelevant”

    And thats how they get away from that one question sience will never be able to answer.

    With this theory (it’s a really good theory by the way) you say it never came into being, rather, it has been happening for a while now, or dare I say, forever? so the universe has been expanding and contracting over and over again… for how long? it has to start somewhere, right? what caused it to expand in the first place? or is this something that has been going on forever and will keep going on for eternity?

    Once you touch on this subjects, all sience comes to a halt again, because there’s no such thing in sience as something that lasts forever or something that didn’t start at some point.

    In other words, the word “Forever” is a religious word more than a sience word, once a scientist starts talking about something eternal, he is starting to get into territory he isn’t very comfortable with.

    If you ask what I believe? I am one of those people who is actualy happy to answer “I dont really know”

    but if you force me to answer I will say I believe that everything did start at some point, somehow and that it wasnt some all powerfull being that set values and numbers and chemical compossitions that somehow once he put it all in a blender, everything came to be.

    but I also dont believe that stuff just happened, out of the blue. I do believe that something, somewhat, something, somewhatever, is responsible for what happened in the universe.

    Maybe as you say, it is a trial and error kind of thing, maybe it has been happening in many, many universeses until they got it right, or why are we so vain? why do we think they got it right with us? maybe we are a mistake. Maybe it has been geting it right forever? maybe they wanted to create stars and we are just some kind of virus that poped up out of nowhere due to the warm light and other things that happened in the planet.

    How can sience explain these things, after all, sience explains the how, and that is only sometimes. but it can never explain the why. there’s allways a why to everything. there’s a reason why it rains, there’s a reason why planets move, there’s a reason why gravity exists etc… but why did the universe start? or as I say again.. has it been going on, forever?

  339. Kuhne

    I know it’s easy to say there is no reason for the big bang, since there is no time, no space, etc. There can be no “why” since there was nothing before it.

    This in my opinion is a way of geting off answering the tough question.

    There has to be a reason why something happens, even if there was nothingness before the universe started. there’s a reason why the big bang suddenly happened. It’s much braver to say “I just dont know” than to say “it’s irrelevant or impossible”

  340. ronald

    that was an awesome article very intresting.

  341. Anthony

    Right. You cannot envisage it, so create another; endlessly avoiding the question… but, why can none of you see that as long as you treat Universe as a “thing” or a “system” then you need an environment for it to operate in and you need an observer to watch it…. and naturally, no one can explain at all the total elegance of Universe… or even why humans feel… the truth is Universe contains as many worlds as you with to create… and the question remains the same and just as unanserable… because you cannot observe a whole simply because you are at once part of that whole… see RBF, Scenario Univserse in Synergetics….

  342. Spencer

    I thought matter cannot be created or destroyed, How did those particles get there before the Big Bang?

  343. Great,

    Lots of good comments lately,

    Kuhne,

    Whether right or wrong, all theories should be able to provide simple answers to any questions without the hemming or hawing by those explaining it. Often these answers are hypothesis where alternative hypothesis are also available. Those theories/ hypothesis that can not easily do so are probably lacking in their predictive ability. Every “why” question concerning the universe should be easily answerable without hesitation.

    Like “why must there have been no cause for the beginning entity? or, why was it not possible for the beginning entity to have started from nothing. Both of these questions are extremely easy to answer based upon the definition of the words themselves, as well as very simple logical principles. The first question “why must there have been no cause for the beginning entity? The word “beginning” means the first, it could have had no cause otherwise it would not have been the beginning.

    The second question “why was it not possible for the beginning entity to have started from nothing, or that nothing was its cause.” The answer is simply that nothingness is not a possible state of reality, something like “an immovable atomic particle” , And the principle in logic that something cannot come from nothing — yet the universe can certainly be finite and have had an initial cause. I think your ideas on this matter are based upon insight which is often not the case for others that espouse dogma.

    Anthony,

    If the answers to these questions require deep thought and are not easily understood by you then you may have been listening to dogma too long without regard to your personal logical inquiry. In my opinion if an explanation is not generally simple and logical, without contradicting observations and continuously changing details, then it’s probably the wrong explanation or theory.

    Spencer,

    Your question, I think is a good one. If the Big Bang is the correct model of the cosmos, and if something existed before it, then its cause must also be explainable or else it could be part of some kind of infinite cycle of some kind. If there are other universes their beginnings must also necessarily be explained, otherwise the theory is at best incomplete. There’s only two choices, either the beginning of the universe was finite or infinite — either it had a beginning or it did not.

    respectfully, forrest

  344. Pat2

    just a quick thought .how can we pack 10 lb. of aneything into a 5 lb. bag ..if all the mater/energy that ever existed fit into one tiney point in one spot in all the vastness of space .what caused it to explode .doesent make sense .if this singularty contained all the matter/energy in all the universe an it was just sitting out there alone what caused it to exploded i no that You big brain guys use math to prove your ideas on paper but dont You Fokes want to how all the energy was pulled together in the first place .if energy is in fact a constent never being cerated or distroyed then the big bang seem an inposibality..ps please excues my poor spelling ..I have an idea that were looking at this thery of every thing very short sightly

  345. Think you’re right on course concerning your thinking Pat. Although the Big Bang idea may not make a lot of sense there is a truth to the beginning, and would the truth make sense to most people if they heard it? As I discussed above, almost everyone can agree that the universe is either finite or infinite for example. But when I discuss the idea that regardless of whether the universe is finite or infinite it could not possibly have had a cause, this does not make sense to most people. Yet look at the definitions of the words themselves. Finite Time: a limited number of cause and effect sequences, and Infinite Time: an unlimited number of cause and effect sequences. Based upon these definitions and logic, the universe could not possibly have had a cause unless you adhere to a different definition of the words. Most people cannot understand the logic involved in this statement.

    Although I don’t adhere to the Big Bang model at all I do agree with one of the mainstream ideas of the theory, that the universe is finite. Whereby “What happened before the Big Bang” for the same reasons that I have given could be a meaningless question unless you may be considering the possibility that the universe is infinite.

  346. Pat2

    me again with one [tho maby not the last] thought..it seem a lot of fokes have a lot of diferent ideas on how thing got started.i feel like were standing on the shores of a vast sea look out not being able to realy see te other side.kinda like people did a million years ago or so..do We realy need to know everthing now befor we even get out of Our own solor systom ..why not wate till we can move off thid blue ball an clear this solor systom befor making absolut judgments ..i think we mite better spend our time trying to solve the time space riddle that we experence every day ,,how about insted of Exclereating small particals of matter we try to slow down an stop one ..I kinda feel this is also an inposibality ..every thing in the universe is in a state of constent movement ..boy my very poor spelling is realy limiting whsat it is i’m trying to say ..an my typing skill are no better.if one could stop matter in a fixed place stop it on every level incouding the subatomic then we posibaly get a glimce of what space an time realy are.nuton had his prisim that could show how light was realy more then just one wave lenth .is ther some way to stop matter in a fixed place .if there were I thimk we would realy have a chance to understand time much better ,,now all we have is matter traveling through space an it seem at a prity constant rate of speed except of corse for the Exceptions ..ie super nova an black hole drag ,,by the way you dont realy think that those gravity well or magnetic well on over drive are actualy hole in the fabric of the universe do you ..im still thinking about that singularty .a thing so small an dence .do you think that it was self repperating ..make copys of the gravey an electriromagnetic feels as it expanded also that would mean thw the lighter an haver elements would also have been reproducing them self an in a realy realy big way

  347. T.I.

    Hi Pat2,
    “if all the mater/energy that ever existed fit into one tiney point in one spot in all the vastness of space” – Pat, you have to first consider the following: When these guys with high IQ’s are thinking about the different possibilities that dance within their minds eyes – Even when they discuss LQG and GR, I think it might be said thay they think with a mind that cannot escape certain learned truths that do (it seems) apply to the universe in which we exist. Unless I’m way off here, and it’s likely I will learn so very soon from those we share our thoughts with here, Einstein is telling us – and I don’t know of anyone who can currently show a better model to refute his, at least in respect to space-time – that “one tiney point in one spot in all the vastness of space” that you describe, did not exist as you think of it ….. There was no “Space” as we think of it, nor “Time” as we think of it, as both were a result of the “Big Bang” OR perhaps the “Big Bounce”. They (space and time) are two manifestations of the same thing, so intertwined that Einstein called it Space-Time, created at the same instant (for lack of a more desciptive context). You (we) really can’t describe one without the other. At least in a mathematical sense.

    I’m not at all sure of the seeming validity in this idea that as ‘space’ expands, or increases it’s volume over time, that the ‘arrow of time’ travels in one “direction”, and then subsequently, when ‘space’ begins to contract, or decrease in volume over time, the ‘arrow of time’ must suddenly (ok, prob not so suddenly) reverse it’s “direction”. I tend to think that the arrow of time simply curves along with space, and for those sentients existing within it, time would seem to continue in the same “direction” that we perceive it to travel now. Clocks aren’t going to change their “direction” and wind backwards. I’m not gonna’ put ketchup back in the bottle every time I eat a hot dog. And I’m pretty sure I’m not gonna’ regurgitate the hot dog I ate when the universe was expanding.

    You also bring into the discussion the idea of matter/energy: “if all the mater/energy that ever existed”…….

    As with space-time, matter and energy really can’t be separated.
    See E=MC^2.
    When the events AFTER t=0 are discussed relative to Big Bang OR Big Bounce, in intervals of t that are incredibly tiny, we know that at the temperatures that are thought to have existed in those first moments, matter as we know it really didn’t exist. The first instants of the birth or perhaps re-birth of the universe likely consisted of a nearly homogeneous soup of space-time and energy. As this space-time increased in volume, the energy within it cooled. At some significant time later, this nearly pure energy field, a thermal field if you will, cooled sufficiently that in slices of t<0.000000000001 (an arbitrary number) quantum effects took place in which some of what we might call "thermions" essentially condensed into electrons, gluons, and quarks (the mathematical representation would be difficult for someone such as myself to comprehend to any significsnt degree) which when brought together compounded to become hydrogen nuclei and free electrons (and some small amount of deuterium and possibly even helium were compounded later, but still long before the first stars). I think it might border truth to say that this is when we truly had the beginning of the concept of a thermal/electro-magnetic field. It's likely that at the earliest moments of the t scale that the 'gravity field" did not exist. It would seem that it should not be possible to invoke gravity until there was "matter". The concept then of "inflation" is a bit easier to swallow without a gravitational field to resist it. 'Nuff said 'bout that. Just one more comment.

    You mention: "the lighter an haver elements would also have been reproducing them self". The elements don't reproduce themselves. All the elements (those which are naturally occuring elements) except hydrogen and some small amounts of helium, are manufactured by stars. And just as we discussed earlier about matter condensing from the primordial form of energy, we can turn that around and show that in the fusing of lighter elements into heavier elements within stars of all types, the resulting mass of a fused (heavier) element is less than the total mass of the fusing elements … and that difference in mass is shown to be mass that has been converted into energy.

    There's a lot of stuff out there. Keep looking up.

  348. T.I.

    I’ve been reading here for hours, and unfortunately, most of what is shared here seems to be a battle between “Contrarian” and “Robo”.

    Any chance we can get back to a discussion of science?

    Respectfully.

  349. Pete2

    “Why not wait till we can move off third blue ball and clear this solar system before making absolute judgments? ..i think we might better spend our time trying to solve the time space riddle that we experience every day.”

    In my opinion this is all simple stuff for those that try to understand which is not hard at all. Those that cannot understand must wait until they can. Understanding is not difficult if you pay close attention to the definition of the words being used. There is no time space riddle. Nothing in all of reality, I believe, is complicated at all. Everything that exists can be explained with uncomplicated words including both types of relativity and quantum mechanics. The mechanisms of biology are probably the most complicated science today but still are totally logical, where today’s explanations in physics and cosmology are not.

    T.I.

    Einstein had a lot of interesting and valuable ideas but unfortunately a lot of logic went out the window with his theories which still have validity but their explanations are not very good at all for really understanding what is involved. The same thing is true of Quantum mechanics. It’s completely full of B.S. but the mathematics and statistics are the best predictive system for the quantum world because the system is based on many decades of observation. The verbal part, quantum theory however, is just a big joke that in 50 years will be laughed at by all — according to me.

    Your statement “There was no “Space” as we think of it, nor “Time” as we think of it, as both were a result of the “Big Bang” is a good one. You could have left out “as we think of it” as both were defined by the beginning entity. You could leave out the Big Bang also as a fantasy– according to me. Space-time is also a simple principle to understand: A point in space at a particular time. What would be the meaning of this same point in a different time frame? It would have no meaning and would again need to be defined as a relative position. There is no such thing as a point excepting as a relative position to matter which is continuously moving relative to other matter.

    “I’m not at all sure of the seeming validity in this idea that as ’space’ expands, or increases it’s volume over time, that the ‘arrow of time’ travels in one “direction.”

    You’re right about that Pat. Time has no arrow. Time simply means an interval of cause and effect sequences. It’s only the not-so-bright mathematical idea that it is something in and of itself that gets scientists into trouble concerning the simple understanding of it. Time as a changing relative condition of matter, however, is an indispensable mathematical tool. The expansion of space is another idea that will be laughed at in about 50 years. Space is simply the volume that matter occupies and has no characteristics of itself that are not defined by the matter which occupies it.

    Pure energy is another one of those laughable concepts. Energy is simply the relative motion of a substance which is moving relative to the field which contains it such as E.M. radiation. Much of what physics teaches today is partly or totally wrong –according to me. The problem is that everything seems complicated to them, but in reality everything is simple. Eventually they’ll figure it out.

    The last statements that you made T. I. are all pretty much true with one small exception. The fusion of elements with larger atomic numbers than iron all require energy for atomic fusion rather than giving off extra energy. The result is that for these heavier elements the newly fused nuclei are all heavier than the combined weight of the elements that were needed for their fusion.

    respectfully, forrest

  350. Shamil

    Hi,
    very interesting and amazing, i really like the research and hardship you put on your posts.
    Thanks for the information.
    Keep it up.

  351. carlos monroe

    interesting..i just happen to be writing a book..and in one of my topic which is called: before the big bang..i go to try to explaine, what was there, meaning before the universe existed..leave alone in t=o, as hard as it is to imagine, after years poundering on the idea and studying and doing research, i have come to a conclusion, of what might have existed and still is before the big bang theory.. what you people have written here is very interesting and most of you have already given some ideas and clues without even knowing, which is all well for me, as it gives futher evidence on my own thoery. so therefor I thanks you all…AND SHALL COME BACK TO THIS SITE IN A FEW WEEKS..see what more interesting stuff has been writen. anyone interested in what my book about can get in touch with me at this email.. mfe_science@yahoo.co.uk or wait for the introduction in utube.. any comments, ideas are most welcome, but please send to my email, also anyone who has such passion…even if not professional in science let me know, you could contribute towards my book and your name be credited along with mine…

  352. carlos,

    I sent you an e-mail a couple of weeks ago but haven’t heard anything back from you yet.

    As you can well image “before the big bang” assumes there was a big bang in the first place.

    In my own theories and book the big bang is replaced by a quasi-state-state model whereby the universe is much older but not infinite in age or size. If you wish to converse with me my e-mail is forrest_forrest@netzero.net. My website is pantheory.org.

    Best wishes on your new book.

  353. John

    NOTHING, COMES FROM NOTHING!!!!!

    All of this philosophizing and theorizing, is just so much wasted time. USE YOUR INTUITION AND FORGET THE CLEVERLY SPUN THEORIES. Too much rational thinking, is as bad as no rational thinking…..the Buddha said, IN ALL THINGS, CHOOSE THE MIDDLE PATH!!!

  354. george

    You wrote what appears to be a brilliant article demonstrating your grasp of quantum physics and all the rest. However, you are still clueless which is demonstrated by all your “what ifs” and “coulds” not to mention “perhaps” and “possibly” and of course, the “we don’t really know”. What we do know is that the pathetic, Godless Universe that many of use are trapped in is one of “cause and effect”. What existed before this awful sewer came into being with the laws of cause and effect in place was likely “God”. God would be a being that is outside the laws of cause and effect, however, he gave us those laws to play with. Anything more than that would be over most peoples heads. It is what makes him God and us fools.

  355. Chopper

    george, You wrote a ridiculous load of drivel. However you are still an idiot which is demonstrated by your critical report of this article by complaining that he doesn’t know exactly how it happened.
    Then you propose that is was most “likely” God. Brilliant.

    Great answer

  356. YouRang

    re #125 and Rutherford’s comment and the balloon. The only problem is that you drew spots on your balloon. You needed to glue coins to the balloon. The metric of the coins stays the same. I.E. the coins don’t inflate because there is something about being a coin or being a being on a planet explaining to a barmaid that generates a scale. The balloon represents just the non-unified metric associated with the gravitational field, and it changes size. The “something that generates a scale” are the rest of the fundamental forces seemingly (and maybe really) dissociated from the “force” of the gravitational field.

  357. jonathan forte

    if god didnt create the universe then what did and if it was the big bang then what created that, and what created the thing that created the thing that created the big bang? there is no answer. so the only logical reasoning is that god created everything.

  358. Poppadom Dave

    Will the end of the universe be the same as the beginning of the universe? I can’t comprehend what existed before it or where any sort of matter appeared from (some might use God to explain it – but then how did God come about?). It’s like comprehending death – it’s the same as before you were born: nothingness.

    Perhaps eventually all matter will be reduced to its basic elements (The Big Rip) as the universe accelerates and expands/disintegrates. Matter will curve its way along toroidal paths (implying an external force that defines the universe topology) back to the centre before condensing and reaching infinite mass again to form another Big Bang (The Big Bounce where Quantum Mechanics comes into play). To the untrained eye, this may appear like a big bang event forming out of nothingness but is a loop of space-time.

    … I used to be religious but it was because of being indoctrinated by other people from my childhood and allowing myself to follow like a sheep due to irrational insecurity. Now I’ve freed my mind – I prefer to keep an open mind and look at facts and evidence.

    I’m comfortable in a Godless universe. I’ve realised that if you put your mind to it, you don’t need a God, deity, or whatever to exist righteously.

    Or is God an atheist?

  359. john,

    We can start with the logical statement that something cannot come from nothing. This idea is very old and is also based upon the first law of thermodynamics where: energy/ matter can neither be created nor destroyed. The next concept involves possibilities. There are two possibilities concerning the origin of our universe and time. If the beginning was infinite in time then there was no beginning to explain. If the universe is finite in age (13.7 billion or any other age) then it had a beginning. If our universe had a cause for its beginning then what was the cause of that and so on. In other words if everything has to have had a cause then you’re back to an infinite sequence of some kind or an infinite creating entity where there was no beginning of it.

    The appropriate definitions required for this logic would be: Universe(s): The total combination of everything that has existence. Time: is an interval of change in form, motion, or relative position of matter. “Finite time”: would be a limited number of cause and effect sequences of change. Based upon these definitions, a beginning entity could not have had a cause. So whether finite or infinite, it is not logically possible, using these definitions, for the universe to have had a cause based upon the meanings or the words themselves “infinite time” and “finite time.”

    So, based upon these definitions and the stated logic, the easily comprehensible idea/ answer would be that the universe had no ultimate cause regardless of what kind of universe that it may be.

    But if one does not like these definitions and/ or the logic then there may be no other logical explanation then what came before the Big Bang, and before that etc.

    jonathan forte and george,

    If there always has to be a cause for every effect then what created god. This is the logical problem with requiring a cause for every effect. Bottom line is that the original cause could not have had a cause before that, whether it be an infinite or finite universe (that does not logically rule out a God, Gods, or any other original cause).

    Does that make sense?

  360. Mark

    You could have summed up this entire column by saying, “I don’t know what happened.”

    Creationists win again.

  361. Avon Xzavia

    First, thanks Forrest,

    Every so often things seem to degenerate a little here, and need a nudge back to ‘sanity’?!* ha ha.

    Second, what existed before the big bang (note to all the people who have said this has not been answered), well it has by me Please see my previous posts. Were brainstorming here folks room for differing opinions I hope…

    Third, people seem to have a real problem with anything they cannot visualise. and then dismiss it as impossible.

    Well if I asked you is it possible to draw a straight line on a piece of paper never changing direction without ever reaching the edge what would you say folks TRUE or FALSE ?

  362. Why can’t we think of an Extra Universal Time (Imagining our universe to be a part of a bigger ‘Mother Universe” inside which many bigbangs are taking place)
    For us, the time started with the origin of OUR universe, but why can’t we speak about a point of time outsie the universe when the bigbang took place? WHat is wrong with the idea?
    I don’t understand why most of the scientist just say it absurd to think of a time outside the universe.
    Now it’s time to think differently.
    I hope the ideas will change once we reach to mathematise completely the tome zero of big bang, following the LHC experiment going on

  363. Thank You Avon,

    I think one of your prior comments is one of the main purposes of this and all dialog: to exchange ideas and opinions as you suggested, and there’s always room for more.

  364. Lincoln Fitch

    This article is complete fantasy and speculation. No one should be fooled by it. Instead of ‘scientists’ having to prove their theories – that something must have existed before the Big Bang- now we hear that there never was a ‘beginning’, just some sort of ‘inflationary, cyclic balloon system!’ That is no answer at all, just a misdirection.

    OK then scientists, let’s get back to the main point and answer the question – “Where did all the materials come from to create this universe?”

    Every year a new unfounded and completely fantastic ‘theory’ on the origin of the universe. All of them absolutely unsubstantiated.’ To those thinkers out there, don’t be fooled by these bluffers and cheaters.

  365. Lincoln Fitch,

    “This article is complete fantasy and speculation.”

    I agree this article is just speculation but there is a lot of qualifying phrases within it that lets the reader know that it is speculative, I think, so they’re really not trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the naive, are they?

    I agree that the BB may be a big crock and that they may have hardly a clue concerning the big picture, but maybe it’s the best the mainstream has to offer at the present time, it would appear. Lincoln, these guys may be misguided in their theory but you are also too cynical, I think, by calling them bluffers and cheaters.

    As an alternative, what do you think of my explanation in posting #392?

  366. What happened before the Big Bang is going to be a question that’s going to be around as long as the BB theory itself or until it loses favor. Maybe about 20 years — my guess/ prediction.

  367. James

    As per usual scientists dismiss the ultimate question because of an abrupt failure in answering it. This article is yet another example of one of these failures.

    Usually the common argument is ‘the universe has always existed’. Even without time something can’t just ‘start existing’ without speculating so redicuously heavily in the scientific area you may as well say they don’t even have an argument at all. Reading over numerous scientific ‘explanations’ I have to say none truly have a reasonable answer and are such a ‘shot in the dark’ it’s insane. There’s never any evidence to even slightly back up their theories, and there never will be. Scientifically speaking too, none of us exist, because it can’t be proven that we do.

    Additionally there are scientists about nowadays far more intelligent than Einstein, yet for years on end they fail to come up with any decent evidence (at the expense of us paying taxes to fund these jokes of people that we know will never come up with anything besides more questions). We pay out for huge machines to be made that effectively do NOTHING for advancement of the human race.

    It also amuses me that scientists are so naive they can only believe their own scientific answers exist. That’s until they’re disproven.

    Because of all the speculation, you have to be open-minded. Scientists will always be in the mentality of trying to defeat religion because they so badly want to. Only problem is they will always fail, at the amusement of us…!

    What a waste of time and money.

  368. James,

    “Because of all the speculation, you have to be open-minded. Scientists will always be in the mentality of trying to defeat religion because they so badly want to. Only problem is they will always fail, at the amusement of us…!”

    It appears that you are cynical concerning science. I’m sure you realize all the wonders of modern living and medicine are based upon the sophistication of modern science. I don’t think most scientists are against religion, but it is very difficult to believe many of the biblical stories with a modern day eduction which includes science.

    Yes, “before the Big Bang” may be pure speculation especially if there wasn’t any Big Bang or anything like it in the first place. But before scientific theory fully develops, speculation and hypothesis are the leaders. From predictive theories much of modern science and our modern civilization has been built. Science is a slow self-correcting process that does not always go forward or follow a straight path but I believe its progressive destiny concerning humanity is to be an honorable servant.

  369. The only big bang was the atomic bomb and its successors.

  370. tim

    Does anyone else think it is ridiculous that the counter argument of creationism is to say that endless amounts of universes would probably create life at some point in time and space?

  371. BigBum

    Wow dude this totaly confuses me what is it with “space!”
    dude awsome speech hangging on the beach here now having a BBQ!
    DDDDDDDUUUUUUUDDDDDDDEEEEEE!

  372. Michael,

    Maybe the biggest bang ever on Earth was the collision of a Mars sized proto-planet that theoretically created the moon. Some pre-historic meteor hits were also supposed to be pretty big. In modern times fission/ fusion type bombs have been the biggest bangs on Earth as you suggest. And as you seem to suggest maybe the BB theory model is just a misguided theory based upon mis-interpreted observations.

    But as to the cosmos, there have been some pretty big real bangs out there which can be observed as supernovae. But Based upon these facts another big fantasy hypothesis may be dark energy. Maybe both the BB and dark energy may be place holders until better explanations are recognized.

    tim,

    “Does anyone else think it is ridiculous that the counter argument of creationism is to say that endless amounts of universes would probably create life at some point in time and space?”

    This is not “the” counter argument “of creationism” nor is it “the” counter argument against creationism. It could be “an” argument against creationism. You also might have misunderstood the argument as to its wording; one of the more common arguments concerning an infinite universe in time, matter, and space which accordingly would sooner or later have created life of some kind, probably in many versions. This was the common phraseology of this argument back in the 1950′s when it was more commonly known.

    Then it was a “Steady State” argument against biblical creationism.

  373. SimplyLogical

    i think i have an easy equation that could be considered a possible means to a “before the big bang.” . it sits to well with me, i don’t trust it…. any math whizzes please help if you can…
    ~(x) is any sum.
    ~rise (x) to the power of Zero and (x)=1

    Next
    ~ (G) represents the math process called “A Perceptual Differentiate.”

    So…. we have something like this…..
    (x^0)+G is equal to or greater than (2)

    which would explain how the universe might of acted before and after what i call “A State Of Absolute Origins” how one side of a diamond starts at a single point then expands… only to reach a point it starts canceling out itself instead of growing…. until u reach the other single point of the diamond… now place two diamonds together and you will have ether before and after the “big bang”

  374. xenophilius

    All right. So there was another universe before this one. Great. Now we know where THIS universe comes from… where did the universe before come from? We didn’t take care of the problem of where the universe came from–we just pushed it back a few trillion years. I suppose none of you have heard of the law that matter cannot come from no matter? A true LAW has no exceptions. If this had any exceptions, it would not be sufficient to govern the universe. Without any guiding force, how would this law know that it was supposed to break in order to allow a universe to form? And also, energy cannot come from no energy. The amount of energy in this universe remains constant. This law (one of the laws of thermodynamics–catch that word LAW in it?) suggests that if we were to make a graph of the amount of energy existing since the beginning of time, the graph would just be a straight line hovering somewhere in the tens of decillions of watts–or whatever that amount is. According to the law, that graph cannot have any changes. But something had to have led up to this. So the graph would be hovering at zero for an eternity back in time, and somewhere on that graph, there would be a sudden spike up to the amount of energy in our universe. What caused that? We all know the logical, simple explanation.
    Indeed, it makes sense that a god created us. Read comment #156 for more about this. God existed before time; the reason we disagree with this is because we are finite, time-bound beings that cannot even begin to wrap our minds around such a concept. He was able to exist for eternity because eternity is a concept invented by time-bound beings to explain time stretching on without an end. I believe that time is not a line, going on in both directions, but a line segment; that is, it started (it was created), it stretches on, and it ends once God’s Word is fulfilled and there is no more in this universe. God created and God will destroy time.
    Again, this is all not accepted by many that still do not believe in God. One roadblock I have already destroyed (how could God have existed?), but there are still several. You say, “Aha! You hypocrite! You say matter cannot come from no matter, but you are no better off; how did God create matter from no matter?” Good question, but it is not without an answer (unlike the theory of the Big Bang, which can easily be brushed away with a “We don’t know yet”). Let’s take a look at the universe before time. God was not bound by these laws–BECAUSE HE HAD NOT YET CREATED THESE LAWS. He was (and still is) an infinitely powerful being with infinite potential for creating anything. He made the Universe, all of the matter in it, and then He made the laws to govern it.
    But there still is the matter of one theory I saw: that the laws of science were formed at the Big Bang. Of course, it was worded fancier than that, but that is the general idea. Here’s a big problem. So, laws were formed at the Big Bang? What about the law that nobody should steal somebody else’s property? Was that law made when somebody hucked a pen at a piece of paper, and that pen formed the words, “Don’t steal other people’s stuff”? Of course not. And that law is just words. What about a law that actually governs the universe? Much more complex, and yet somehow it just came into being.
    There is more, of course, but the bottom line is, I don’t see how the Big Bang could have happened without God’s help; it makes much more sense that God created it. Why the God of the Bible, and not the Greek gods or the other gods? To explain it in detail would take up too much space here, but it is because Christianity is the most persecuted religion. For me, this is solid evidence for Satan; why would any one religion be targeted by so many, and one that held such a grasp in this world for so long? I believe that Satan saw that there was more reason than ever not to believe in God, so he put Christianity in his crosshairs, attempting to eradicate the one true religion in a futile attempt, a final stand before God returns and he is barred from Earth. This is the main reason, the other simply being that Christianity just feels right. I know in my heart that it is true, and I fervently wish that others would come to that same realization.

  375. David B. Wiita

    Hi I’m a 14 year old boy, and I’m a Christian.
    I go around anywhere, online or outside, trying to witness. Your idea of there possibly being more than one universe only delays the problem. WHERE DID THOSE OTHER UNIVERSES COME FROM? Do you scientists no the Laws of Thermodynamics? The first law is, matter cannot be created or destroyed. If God can do anything, he can get past that law, seeing that he made that law. And the second Law of Thermodynamics is, *increasing entropy* that means everything gets worst! How can we start from bad and get better over millions of years if everything tends towards decay? God gave us the power to make choices because he loves us. you’re either a slave to the world (Satan) or a slave to God, and that, is your choice.

    If evolution were true answer these questions for me: Where did the space for the universe come from? Where did matter come from? Where did the laws of the universe come from (like gravity, inertia, and so on…)? How did matter get so perfectly organized? Where did the energy come from to do all the organizing? When, why, and how did life come from dead matter? What did the first cell eat? What did the first cell reproduce with? How do mutations increase information? (Recombining English letters will never make Chinese books) How and why did single-celled plant become multi-celled plants? When, where, why, and how did skin, hair, claws, eyes, feathers, scales, nails, etc. evolve?

    Which evolved first, the digestive system, the appetite, or the digestive juices? The drive to reproduce or the ability to reproduce? The nervous system, repair system or hormone system? The immune system or the need for it?

    Hey, how come the “transitional lifeforms” had to have sex to survive, and modern man has sex for pleasure?

    Please, If any atheist can answer my questions (or even one),
    Email me at – benwiita@hotmail.com

  376. @xenophilius,

    I also believe that many questions that you have brought up here are real problems with existing theories and hypothesis in science. I disagree however, that there will never be valid scientific answers to these questions — and that religion has the answers.

  377. @David B. Wiita,

    Remember David, if not mainstream science, science in general can provide an answer for any and all questions as I did for you :)

  378. Mojtaba
  379. Stubbmled accross your blog and decided to have a very quick study, I don’t always do this, but I found this blog excellent. Excellent to see a web site for a change that isn?t full of spam and rubbish, and actually makes some sense. Awesome blog

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