The God verses Science debates

I have become a great admirer of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens as well watching YouTube videos of their debates. I have come to wish that the debates could become more than pure polemic argument. I have come on here with hopes of an introduction of a new player in the debates. My position is that intelligent design should be taken seriously but that the designer is something other than what would be called god. As Mr. Hitchens was fond of saying we are close to the correct number of gods, so I says gods ZERO and intelligent designers GT zero…

You reject evolution?

Unknowable, is the answer. The matrix proved it. There are bunch of people that believe in Simulations. That’s a fancy way of saying there is an Engineer, and they prove it to themselves by believing there is infinite compute power available.

So, these folks reinvented the first few pages of Genesis and pat themselves on the back for having “Rationally” recreated God: ever so much smarter than “God, the engineer” in the Bible.

So, you can’t know, and no one will ever be able to know.

I read Dawkin’s “The Selfish Gene” in college. Wonderful abstractions. It’s a great way of thinking of the world. But is it correct? Almost certainly not. We cannot perceive reality, is my view. We can build abstractions on top that mimic at different levels something that is massively more complex, and with insightful folks like Dawkins, you get closer to the real world.

So, my view is humans live in a kind of dream world, and once in a while a person comes along who looks at a part of the dream long enough to bring us closer. But, no one is perfect. As an example, in “The Blind Watchmaker,” Dawkins was wondering about simulations and trials. I thought about this for quite some time, and started to realize how far away we are from the core, and that it would be very difficult to build a meaningful, general purpose simulator. As the thinking evolved, the problem became increasingly difficult to build a system in which random competition could occur yielding anything but simplistic and contrived fitness.

It did lead to some questions about the Universe, such as how perfect is the Universe? Is it possible for it to be the only one? Same with Fermi’s paradox. It’s hard to imagine that we could not make self-replicating nano probes that could explore the galaxy, say, in a million years.

These are big things:

  1. How did the universe form? Seems to me the universe forming violates cause and effect, because it seems there is a something and it came from a nothing. The existence of the Universe seems to be an insane proposition.
  2. What about consciousness? Certainly feels real. Maybe it's not? I read up on some theories, and perhaps the best theory is that if you deconstruct it, it vanishes. Yet, that feels impossible.
Without these two answers, REAL answers, it seems to me you can't say much about God, no God, Gods other universes that created this one (same thing as God to me) or simulations (same thing as God to me).

There always seems there is something that must have been before.

Well, I best stop talking about this. It makes me feel like everything is going to vanish around me!

So, it is my assessment, like many things, we simply haven’t a clue. The Bible seems kind of aged to me, but it has a lot of wisdom in it as well. However, to me it isn’t an answer, but simply another indirection, and the views of God in the Bible seem kind of dated.

The Sim folks seem more intent on solving their mortality problems, than anything, and I don’t find it interesting. Could be right! Who is to say.

And, ultimately, it’s hard to see morality in physics. So, that is constructed to, and simply a part of our human nature. Our human nature is a prison to us as well, even though it’s very hard for us to sense the boundaries.

So perhaps this is the kind of thing you were hoping to see. Good luck. We all need it, Especially since I suspect Dawkins is right: we are simply vehicles for a mindless process that necessitates death in order to function. And, as I told one of my friends, it wouldn’t be fun to live in an evolving world for two long. Eventually you will become an Ape among a new mankind.

 

Welcome Dante

 

I was educated in my University Biological Science course that evolution is currently the best explanation of the origins and diversity of the species.

 

thank you

Michael seems to have awoken a couple members. Nice to hear from all of you.

It’s possible that this universe had an intelligence behind. It’s possible that we could learn to create a universe. Not very probable at the moment though and we lack the knowledge to collect any evidence, let alone prove anything. So, interesting thought experiment, but not much to debate. Unless you are one of the smartest physicists in the world, then you might have some lengthy formula that you could discuss.

I think it was in a discussion about Intelligent Design that the following came up (paraphrased of course):

All the physics, mathematics, constants, etc. that define the universe (as we know it) seems to be “perfectly designed” for our existence / life. If the acceleration of gravity, or other basic “truths” were altered just a bit, we could not exist.

OR - Did we evolve to “perfectly” fit within these rules of Our universe?

Then went on to Maybe there are other universes with different rules and other “Life” completely unrecognizable to us.

Of course, the presentation I saw was much more eloquent.

 

Sabolina, I do not reject evolution, I believe it is key to the success and failure of species over time but I think the probability of the production of useful DNA by means of evolution makes it unlikely the evolution can be the origin of any species. I think Stephen Meyer has done great work compiling the data on this, he is someone I respect on intelligent design logic, right up to the point where he shows he believes god to be the designer… But I have heard him speak about the likelihood issues of evolution being the full answer and I side with him.

Here’s the Wikipedia intro to Stephen. There are links for those words and footnotes. I don’t need to regurgitate that here.

Stephen C. Meyer (born 1958) is an American author and former educator. He is an advocate of intelligent design, a pseudoscientific creationist argument for the existence of God,[1][2] presented with the claim that it is “an evidence-based scientific theory”.[3][4]

Dante, I agree with many of your points and would argue against a few, but I think you reach out too far looking to grab the big answer to the biggest question, and I am looking to stand on shoulders of those who have some seemingly good answers and try to see the next level up. I think this is the only path evolve our knowledge base, we must stick to the scientific method. Certain of the big questions have little chance of answers, I agree with you on that, but the answers that can be found are worth reaching for and the scientific method is the way to reach

Lausten, I am an amateur weekend physicist at best, but I do have a BS in engineering so I have a strong basis in the scientific method. I see the potential in the two slit experiment and my mind goes off wondering if those real physicists have exhausted the parameters of the experiment. Have they varied the ways of introducing the observer. I have heard suggestion of placing an ape in the room to see if that effects the outcome. I have hope that some out-of-the-box thinking could bring this experiment to production of significant insight

Mrmhead, I too have heard the thoughts on the parameters of the universe and them being part of the designers design, and this would be one of the interesting big questions to answer but there is no basis currently to build from to seek the answer. Surely the determination of the nature of the designer, let alone the presence or existence of a designer is the step to understanding the design along that logic path. Understanding the observer presence effect on quantum probability collapse seems to me a path that can be followed and I believe that the answer would point in the direction of a life force energy related designer

My father was raised jewish and my mother protestant. No form of religion was practiced in my family but my parents relationships were with people of the faith they were raised with. This gave me huge curiosity about religion that I studied to extremes going back as far as childhood. At 8 I discovered Star Trek and studied science fiction. By 10 years old I concluded that religion provided tradition and a core of ethics and morality but could not be trusted when it came to existential answers. For thinking about the big questions I much preferred what was presented by science fiction

At age 12 I discovered Kurt Vonnegut Jr. And I read Sirens Of Titan. Vonnegut described UWTB as a belief system and a fuel for space travel. UWTB stands for Universal Will To Become. That concept has haunted me since age 12. Every time I come across an existential concept I think back to UWTB. To demonstrate will is necessarily to demonstrate thought, cognito ergo sum, and with existence and thought is implications of intelligence. I came to believe that the energy of UWTB with it’s intellect was the core of existence. Science seemed so much more useful to think about for finding the big answers than religion. Now this is the mind of a 12 year old but over time being taught about Einstein and Schrodinger the thought of energy manifestations being everything in the universe seems like a good basic block to build on. At some point it made sense to consider intellect being an attribute of energy and it became amazing what logic extrapolations came from that thinking. Anyway I bring this up as my childhood platform for coming to believe that intelligent design has it’s place in existential thinking. By the way, through my teens, when asked my religion my response was UWTB ?

 

I have heard suggestion of placing an ape in the room to see if that effects the outcome. -- M
Are you sure you have not heard this wrong? It is not the existence of an observer or not, it's the existence of a tool to measure. It's only in non-scientific explanations that I see a graphic where an eye or something like that is introduced, and that alters the experiment. But any scientific explanation I hear or see talks about how we can't measure accurately because the instruments that do the measuring affect the things being measured. It's not a matter of human or not human.

I have heard discussion of a wide variety of suggestions of what could be an observer. Almost no experiment claims have I seen for any discussions other than the one we discussed yesterday. I agree with you that one sounds more like an ESP experiment than serious science, but that is my point… How extensive has the experimentation been to find the observation types that do or do not effect the experimental results. At the core I agree with you that the heisenberg uncertainty principle will restrict meaningful measurements but this just means that the experimental parameters need to consider the potential limitations of a given attempt to introduce measurements

How extensive has the experimentation been to find the observation types that do or do not effect the experimental results. -- M
This is a famous experiment, that has been done over and over. The "observer" as you call it is an instrument, a detector. They know exactly what effect that has, and they turn the detector off and the effect goes away. What other "observation types" are you talking about? It seems you are trying to make something up that can't be demonstrated, and then you can make up a reason for your unobserved phenomenon.

Not at all. I am just asking how much has been done to determine the mechanism of the probabilities collapse. As you point out the measurement attempt would tend to be invasive and I sure experimenters would consider this. I just wonder if OOTB attempts have been made to parameterize the mechanism. I have no agenda here. I just am trying to find out how thoroughly the experiment has been conducted. I am sure you are right. It is a famous experiment. It has surely been conducted extensively. I have just had poor luck finding information about them

 

By the way, this is the best source of the history of the experiment I have found:

https://physicsworld.com/a/double-slits-with-single-atoms/

 

I have just had poor luck finding information about them -- M
I think you are looking for something that doesn't exist. You can't really even describe what you want.