Challenge Vanni

Dexter Sinister

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Oct 1, 2004
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Thank you pea. Are you flirting with me? 8) I sure hope so, I like that. I haven't been entirely gone, I've been lurking around here more or less constantly, but I've also been extremely busy in real life and there weren't any threads I felt moved to contribute to, until I saw this one this morning.

Here's another thought that I like. Why is the universe as big and old as it is? It has to be in order for us to be here to see it. The best evidence suggests it's about 13.7 billion* years since the Big Bang, the sun's about 5 billion years old, and should be good for about another 5 billion before it bloats up into a red giant and wipes out the inner planets. And what does that say about design and a designer? That his/her/its planning horizons, at least as far as life on this planet's concerned, don't extend beyond 10 billion years.

I digress. The Big Bang produced mostly hydrogen, with a little helium and possibly traces of some of the lighter elements like lithium. We are made of some much heavier stuff than that, and the only place it could have come from after the Big Bang is the nuclear reactions in the interiors of stars. We couldn't exist until at least one generation of large stars had formed, burned up their fuel, and exploded, scattering heavy elements among the interstellar dust clouds.

So how does that make you feel, knowing that the atoms you're made of came from inside exploded stars?

*for the Europeans among us, that's billion in the North American usage, a thousand million, not a million million.
 

Jo Canadian

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Mar 15, 2005
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PEI...for now
So, since we don't know exactly what you believe Vanni, let's just start at the beginning, the way the Bible does.

What is your belief about the origin of the Universe?

The bible states one particular belief for the beginnings of the Universe, But no one has the true answer for that, not even the bible. The only difference between the science and faith is that science is still actively looking for how it all began, while religion believes in how Gawd got the ball rolling, and has it's faith on that belief.

Science will always find new secrets regarding the beginning, but will always find more questions. That's the fun part of the universe. So we'll never truly find the real answer, maybe when we die but who can prove that eh?

So to answer the question that was given we could post anything we believe. None of us will truly be right, religious or not.

I'm going to go for one of the native theories about when there was no sun and the raven threw a snowball which turned into the earth bla bla bla, and in the end the ravens name was Fred.
 

Vanni Fucci

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That's true Jo, science is always seeking for the truth, which may never be found...and one day the Big Bang Theory may too be relegated to the status of a creation myth...but not likely...it just fits too well with everything else to be wrong...

...but here's the difference between science and religion...science will learn from it's mistakes and make adjustments and come up with a new theory...

Whereas, religion will hang onto their myths even when they fly in the face of all reason and understanding...
 

peapod

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Jun 26, 2004
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Most of all vanni there is a group of them that want to legislate and make laws based on their idea of morality. Well they are welcome to their "morality" most of them don't even live by it themselves, yet they seem determined to trust it upon the rest of us. This is something that no free thinking person will ever accept. But the debate is going nicely, much more interesting than politics. :wink:
 

Jay

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Jan 7, 2005
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"Most of all vanni there is a group of them that want to legislate and make laws based on their idea of morality."

This isn't just a disease of the theists Pea. You need to understand that.
 

peapod

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Ya your right, its just the ones who say homosexuality is a sin, and old men in paper hats that tell a women what she can do with her own body. Its just those ones I have a problem with. I desire to see society evolve and I am not "afraid" or stuck in some "stoneage" mentality over it either. Most of all tho, what really pisses me off is the hypocracy of it all. A group of people telling someone else about "morality" when its their own morality they should be really questioning.
 

Jo Canadian

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Mar 15, 2005
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one day the Big Bang Theory may too be relegated to the status of a creation myth

That's quite possible, I'm for thinking whenever or if the Big bang is ever figured out then there will be tantilizing questions of what was going on before????

First there was nothing.
Then there was Fred...
 

tibear

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Jan 25, 2005
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Vanni,

Whereas, religion will hang onto their myths even when they fly in the face of all reason and understanding...

I think if you were to actually look into the official teaching of the Catholic Church you will find that nowhere do they say that God created the universe in 7-24 hour days. Take some time to do some research on some Catholic Bible scholars and I think you will be very surprised about what the teaching of the Church is.

Anyone who has continued to study their faith will have progressed beyond the Adam and Eve theology. The problem I have is with people that think that since the Bible can't be taken as a literal history book, then anything to do with religion is a bunch of "hocus-pocus".

I've said on many occasions that I don't believe in Adam & Eve, believe that evolution is a very likely scenario for our development, many stories in the Bible are exactly that, stories. However, to ridicule people because they have a different belief system then your own is simply wrong.

As a very wise person once said, a few people hate the Catholic Church for what it stands for, a great many people hate the Catholic Church for what they believe it stands for.
 

Jay

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Jan 7, 2005
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peapod said:
Ya your right, its just the ones who say homosexuality is a sin, and old men in paper hats that tell a women what she can do with her own body. Its just those ones I have a problem with. I desire to see society evolve and I am not "afraid" or stuck in some "stoneage" mentality over it either. Most of all tho, what really pisses me off is the hypocracy of it all. A group of people telling someone else about "morality" when its their own morality they should be really questioning.


I feel better knowing we can come to some sort of understanding with each other.
 

Vanni Fucci

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Dec 26, 2004
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tibear said:
Vanni,

Whereas, religion will hang onto their myths even when they fly in the face of all reason and understanding...

I think if you were to actually look into the official teaching of the Catholic Church you will find that nowhere do they say that God created the universe in 7-24 hour days. Take some time to do some research on some Catholic Bible scholars and I think you will be very surprised about what the teaching of the Church is.

Anyone who has continued to study their faith will have progressed beyond the Adam and Eve theology. The problem I have is with people that think that since the Bible can't be taken as a literal history book, then anything to do with religion is a bunch of "hocus-pocus".

I've said on many occasions that I don't believe in Adam & Eve, believe that evolution is a very likely scenario for our development, many stories in the Bible are exactly that, stories. However, to ridicule people because they have a different belief system then your own is simply wrong.

As a very wise person once said, a few people hate the Catholic Church for what it stands for, a great many people hate the Catholic Church for what they believe it stands for.

What you've just revealed, tibear, is that you are choosing to believe or disbelieve the divine word of God, to suit your personal needs.

Don't feel bad though, as this is common of most Christians in that when an aspect of the Bible becomes unbelievable, they discount it, or claim that it was mistranslated, or should not be taken literally.

The Catholic Church maintains that the Holy Bible not only contains the word of God, but IS the word of God.

New Advent: Catholic Encyclopedia

The Bible, as the inspired recorded of revelation, contains the word of God; that is, it contains those revealed truths which the Holy Ghost wishes to be transmitted in writing. However, all revealed truths are not contained in the Bible (see TRADITION); neither is every truth in the Bible revealed, if by revelation is meant the manifestation of hidden truths which could not other be known. Much of the Scripture came to its writers through the channels of ordinary knowledge, but its sacred character and Divine authority are not limited to those parts which contain revelation strictly so termed. The Bible not only contains the word of God; it is the word of God. The primary author is the Holy Ghost, or, as it is commonly expressed, the human authors wrote under the influence of Divine inspiration. It was declared by the Vatican Council (Sess. III, c. ii) that the sacred and canonical character of Scripture would not be sufficiently explained by saying that the books were composed by human diligence and then approved by the Church, or that they contained revelation without error. They are sacred and canonical "because, having been written by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, that have God for their author, and as such have been handed down to the Church". The inerrancy of the Bible follows as a consequence of this Divine authorship. Wherever the sacred writer makes a statement as his own, that statement is the word of God and infallibly true, whatever be the subject-matter of the statement.

As I've stated many, many times, I don't hate people who practice their religion, and I would defend their right to do so, so long as they do it responsibly, and don't infringe upon any of my own rights or the rights of others...unfortunately, there are elements that wish to further a Christian agenda through the government that I whole-heartedly reject...and I consider that to be impermissible...

Neither do I feel that I have ridiculed anyone with regards to their religion, and if you feel that I have done so, then I do apologize...my intent was not to ridicule, but to show how you've been so thoroughly deceived...and how terribly wrong the whole notion of religion has always been.
 

Extrafire

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The universe always existed.... it's TIME that was created during the "big bang."

(Are you serious?) Space and time are inextricably linked. Both came into being along with matter and energy in the big bang. (space-time theory of relativity, Hawking, Penrose)
 

Extrafire

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This has always fascinated me, too, whether from the Creationism or Evolution theory...

What is this "nothing" of which you speak? How can "nothing" boil and create bubbles?

Up till Einstein, conventional wisdom held that the universe was infinite both in time and space (although there was good evidence that disproved that). Einsteins general relativity theory in 1915 indicated that the universe was expanding, and that the expansion could be traced backwards to a beginning. This disturbed him greatly because, he reasoned, if it has a beginning, it must have a beginner. So he falsified his own equation to avoid the possibility of the big bang until Edwin Hubble proved the original theory correct by his observations. At this point, Einstein declared there must be a creator, a view he kept for the rest of his life in spite of tremendous pressure to recant from his contemporaries. Many scientists, such as Sir Fred Hoyle (hey, is he THAT Fred?) who first called it the big bang, were certain that further scientific investigation would disprove it. It is the most tested theory in the history of astrophysics, and the tests are still going on, and it has passed every test, forcing atheist scientists to accept it's valitdity.

Since they can't reject the big bang, they've been trying all kinds of explanations to get around the implication of a creator, things like the rebounding universe, and none will work. They've gone so far as to delve into metaphysics (which isn't science) to find a loophole. The multiple universes idea is one of the latest that can't be disproven because we can't ever know about them if they do exist. Any explanation for the possible cause of them, however, has failed until the latest, using string theory as a generator. The problem with it is the chances of it being able to produce our universe are scientifically zero.
 

Vanni Fucci

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Extrafire said:
Since they can't reject the big bang, they've been trying all kinds of explanations to get around the implication of a creator, things like the rebounding universe, and none will work. They've gone so far as to delve into metaphysics (which isn't science) to find a loophole. The multiple universes idea is one of the latest that can't be disproven because we can't ever know about them if they do exist. Any explanation for the possible cause of them, however, has failed until the latest, using string theory as a generator. The problem with it is the chances of it being able to produce our universe are scientifically zero.

It's my understanding that there is no evidence that points to the necessity of a creator. The fact that the Big Bang and string theory cannot be tested has nothing to do with the validity of the theory, but can be attributed to the simple fact that no force on earth can create the power necessary to replicate the event even in a scaled down and controlled fashion, and strings, if they exist would be too small to detect with our most powerful optical enhancers.
 

Extrafire

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How can "nothing" boil and create bubbles?
Good question. Nothing means no matter, no energy, no space, no time. To put it simply, if you have a positive and a negative and you put them together, they cancel each other out, or add up to zero, nothing. The theory is that if you do it backwards you get something out of nothing by removing the positive from the negative. (the real stuff is much more complicated than that and I'm not the person to try to explain it) This is impossible, as you have suggested, unless superstring theory is true, and then it might be possible.
 

Extrafire

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I'll read Greene if you read Kaku's Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension...

That sounds like the kind of book I like to read. Don't expect me to get through it any time soon though, from the amount of stuff in this thread I want to answer I won't have time for quite a while.

I found Greene a difficult read. It's graduate level stuff and you have to focus. I wanted to know what string theory was and it was recommended as a good explanation, probably about as simple as he could make it. He made it into a TV series last year, but I don't have cable so I missed it.
 

Extrafire

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...but the possibility exists, even if the probablility does not...and if all variables were satisfied, quantum theory states that the predicted result will occur, because it must...there is no design in that...

The problem is, the more variables there are, and the more fine tuning there is, the odds against it increase exponentially. Picture all of North America covered with dimes, piled all the way to the moon. One of them is red. What are the odds that you can reach in the pile and pick out the red one? When you have odd like that, scientists say it is impossible. Yet the odds you require don't come within trillions of trillions of trillions of that. That's why Hawking says he doesn't believe it to be possible.
 

Extrafire

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When I was much younger I had a theory that the universe was a ring shape and so there was no end...then I started to think....so what's outside the ring!! DOH!!

Know what? You were right, sort of. Space is curved, so that although it is a finite size and there is an end to it, we can't come to the edge and look out at nothing. We are confined within the space-time continuum. If you head straight up from where you are into space (so the theory goes) you could keep going in a straight line (and you wouldn't come to the end of the universe) you would find yourself eventually approaching where you started from, from the other direction, behind you.
 

Extrafire

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Design, and the necessary assumption of a designer, explains nothing in any scientific sense. One must then explain the origins of the designer, and the origins of those origins, and so on in an infinite regression. Attempting to terminate that regression by claiming that the designer has always existed begs the question. This is highly unsatisfactory to the scientific mind, which seeks naturalistic explanations of all phenomena.

Good points. The first thing to realise is that a designer must by definition be trancendant to it's creation, and not be bound by such things as time. We can have no comprehension of the nature a a designer other than some character traits and the knowledge that it is not bound by space and time as we are. In our space-time continuum we know that everything has a beginning, and we know that anything that begins to exist must have a cause. What we don't know is if the designer is similarly bound.

The true scientific mind seeks the explanation of nature and phenomena, whatever that may ultimately be.

. I've never been sure what the point of that argument is; to me it just says that if things were different, then things would be different and we wouldn't be here to observe them.

Simply put, the point is that the incredible fine tuning could not be the product of chance.

One possibility that has a certain appeal to me is the notion that there's an infinity of possible values for those constants, and thus an infinity of possible universes,

The people who know about that stuff believe that there are other possible values for those constants. The idea of an infinity of possible universes became popular when it had to be admitted that our universe wasn't infinite. However, infinity is just an abstract concept. It isn't possible in reality. Want a demonstration?

. There's at least one more layer of reality we haven't discovered yet, which might be strings, or quantum loops, or something else nobody's thought of yet. But invoking a designer at this point is the end of the research program; in one sense it explains everything, but in another way it explains nothing, it merely denies the need for further explanations.

Not true. Having read about string theory as much as I'm capable of understanding, I worry that I may not live long enough to see it confirmed. I'm a creationist and I'm very interested in seeing what they come up with next, and so are a number of other creationists I'm familliar with. We don't invoke a designer to end the search or explain it away. We postulate it as the best explanation based on the evidence so far, and we encourage research because over the past 25 years, the amount of evidence that has accumulated that supports design is staggering, and we want to see if it continues to lead us in the direction we're going.

that not only don't we know everything, we can't, not even in principle.

That's a creationist position.