An Explanation of the Big Bang and Evolution that doesn't exclude God.

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Rouge Null, Nov 28, 2004.

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  1. CitizenKane Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2004
    star 3

    It is not accurate to call it an explosion, it is more accurate to call it an expansion.

    Besides, I can cause an explosion of a soda can without any heat or spark.


    The general consensus among Big Bang theorists is that it was indeed an explosion.

    Your exploded soda contains kinetic energy and density, neither of which is accounted for in Big Bang.


    Several possibilities... all the local antimatter has been destroyed and all that is left in the local area is what we call normal matter. There could be antimatter galaxies out there that destroyed all the regular matter that was there.

    Inconsisten. If that is what indeed happened to the anitmatter, why did not neutralize all matter? The proportion between antimatter and matter must be eual according to Big Bang.

    Or there could be a property (and I have to reread a brief history of time again, but I could swear that it was mentioned) of antimatter that makes it different (and not just opposite) of regular matter (it still has a positive mass which is not opposite of regular matter for example). That property could have made regular matter more prevalent.

    Farfetched.


    Gravity.

    Just in case you haven't noticed, space is devoid of gravity. Try again.

    That logic is just made up; just like anything that starts with 'god must...'

    Try an actual refutation. Dogdes don't suit you well.

    I ask why not?

    Thats not an answer

    Besides, the stuff in an atom is something (not nothing).

    Which raises the improbablility of Big Bang to absurd levels. Thank you :)
  2. dizfactor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 5
    Just in case you haven't noticed, space is devoid of gravity. Try again.

    what are you talking about? space is in no way devoid of gravity. every spot in the universe is being pulled by something, or, actually, many many somethings.
  3. Hades2021 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2003
    star 4
    ?If this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgement on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to him??
    -Albert Einstein


    Thank you, I was just about to ask someone to give me a quote that supports Einstein's disbelief in God. Because prior to this I had seen nothing to prove that he didn't believe in God and everything to prove that he did.

    Surely Einstein must have seen his own mistakes in this statement.

    I don't think religion will ever die. People believe, with all body mind and soul, that there is indeed a God out there. It has been testified to them. Science can not and WILL NEVER explain that because it CAN'T.

    Now saying 1+1=2 is easy because that is a basic mathematical law. However, once you get into longer equations, there can be more variable and more than one right answer for "x". I can't think of any off the top of my head and I'm not going to go searching through my Calculus book.

    The square root of 9 is 3, but the square root of -9 doesn't even exist. That was until someone came up with the variable "i". Now the square root of -9 can be 3i.
  4. CitizenKane Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2004
    star 3
    what are you talking about? space is in no way devoid of gravity. every spot in the universe is being pulled by something, or, actually, many many somethings.

    Which completely debunks the possibility of an orginal formation of matter from an initial Big Bang. Empty space sees no gravity. Big Bang supposedly happened in empty space. Simple logic, IMO
  5. EnforcerSG Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2001
    star 4
    Citizen Kane

    The general consensus among Big Bang theorists is that it was indeed an explosion.

    Your exploded soda contains kinetic energy and density, neither of which is accounted for in Big Bang.


    Read something beyond a couple summaries online and if you can still say that then we can move on.

    Also you said ignited, which means through fire. See the second line of my sig.

    Inconsisten. If that is what indeed happened to the anitmatter, why did not neutralize all matter? The proportion between antimatter and matter must be eual according to Big Bang.

    No its not. I was saying that by chance there could have been locally more matter than antimatter in this area of the galaxy. So for the most part in this area, the two materials destroyed each other until one ran out, and what there is now is what is left.

    Farfetched.

    Not really. There are clearly properties of mater that are the same as properties of antimatter, not opposite (like mass), I do not see why it is so farfetched that the interactions of the forces (gravity, strong/weak nuclear forces, electro-magnetic forces) that affect atoms interact in such a way that regular mater is more stable. If you take the time to work out why that is not the case I will gladly listen.

    Just in case you haven't noticed, space is devoid of gravity. Try again.

    No it is not. If I have two objects separated by some distance, and they start moving towards each other due to gravity, then there is gravity between the two objects which is just space. This should be obvious.

    Thats not an answer

    I ask you to explain your logic and you didn't, why? I didn?t mean it to refute it, I meant to so you would show that you know what you are talking about.

    Which raises the improbablility of Big Bang to absurd levels. Thank you

    Please explain that one too.

    Undomiel

    You can't reconfirm an experiment or process that requires definitive, reproducible proof if you don't have the materials on which the experiment was originally generated (which is true for most everyone else in the world).

    Why can't you get the materials, why can't you go learn about the processes and do the tests yourself? I agree that it is hard for most of us (expensive, other important things in life), but why CAN?T we?

    Also there is the fact that many people do test the conclusions of science. Testing the effects of relativity are done every time a GPS is used. Finding the weight of an electron is done by nearly every grad student in the chemistry majors. Etc.

    My point is that you still can. But you cannot with religious conclusions or 'facts.' Therefore religion should be separate from science (again, I am not saying that all scientific experiments follow this logic, but I feel most do).

    Scientists today are like the priests and bishops of the dark ages. They quote from documents most people don't understand and you are just supposed to take their word for it.

    Well obviously not everyone just takes their word for it ;) Also science (usually) encourages their results to be questioned, examined and retested. Does religion?

    And again, if you take the time and effort, you can understand it. Can you with religion?
  6. Lord_Hydronium Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 5
    Gravity.

    Just in case you haven't noticed, space is devoid of gravity. Try again.


    Wrong. Gravity is created by mass. Whereever there is mass, there is a gravitational force towards it.

    Matter has mass. Therefore, matter creates gravity. The gravitational force pulls matter. Matter, exerting gravitational forces on other matter, thus accretes, forming stars and planets.

    Gravity isn't some magic property unique to planets like you're portraying it, it's a force produced by all matter. All that's required for gravity to exist is matter. That's it. It works exactly the same in empty space as it does near any body.
  7. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    Disclaimer: This theist is not trying to prove the existence of God. If she were attempting to prove the existence of God, she would have mentioned something like the first cause argument, or made an appeal to intelligent design, or tried to argue for the literal inerrancy of the Bible, instead of saying this in her first post to the thread: "I'm afraid, for all the reasons stated. There is no way to "prove" that God exists, and if there were, faith would become extinct, and so would free will. (Imagine the moral equivalent of gravity--a force which can't be denied or even resisted, except temporarily. How much free will would exist in a world with such clear "proof?")" /Disclaimer

    MasterZap wrote: Doesn't work, because the phonecall from Morpheus comes via his (simulated) sensory apparatus. He then goes on an adventure which seems (to him) be as if he is freed from the matrix. But these events also come in through sensory apparatus of Neo. If the original Matrix simulation was perfect, this new "real" world would feel identical to the simulated. He would have no way to know if he was in fact freed, or if the "freeing" was just part of the simulation, a great deception.

    Actually, I was imagining Neo's "birth" into the real world as an analogy for an actual person's death and entrance into a supernatural realm of some kind. I didn't make the distinction clear--sorry about that.

    As for whether we'd know Objective Truth if we saw it, we very well might not--and at least no Christian theist could deny it (I know less about other religions in this regard). In Christian belief, Objective Truth did arrive in the form of Jesus Christ, who was not recognized as the messiah by the vast majority of people, and was put to death as a heretic and a seditionist. Belief in God (or any Objective Truth) is accessible only to faith. (Please see disclaimer.)

    Would our inability to recognize Objective Truth negate its existence? By definition not, since this Truth would be more real than our faulty perceptions.

    I brought the issue up to point out a logical contradiction in the worst of the "science says God can't exist" arguments. These arguments appear to make an appeal to Absolute Truth, just which happens to go by the name of science in their minds. The arguments also take a materialist view of the world. When you claim that materialism is Absolute Truth, you have deposed God only to replace him with another God. This is distinct from the theist position only in that the theist position is actually logically consistent, if unprovable. The science-is-God position is logically inconsistent, since to have Absolute Truth, you need to posit that it exists outside of human perception.

    I think there's some confusion about what I mean by "posit." I don't mean "prove," I mean "assume." The existence of Absolute Truth by any name is by definition unprovable. Please see disclaimer. The issue is that even to *claim* that Absolute Truth exists, you must *assume* that such Truth exists somewhere outside the human mind, either as a God, or an Ideal Form, or a hazy, poorly conceived form of deism which happens to borrow the name "science" from a legitimate field of study.

    The only thing I'm attempting to do in this thread is show that science and theism are compatible insofar as science does not refute theism. The whole Absolute Truth argument was aimed at the very worst (but depressingly common) "science refutes religion" arguments. That was its only significance.

    IceHawk-181 wrote: The answer to the question was not to identify it as a logical paradox, but to attempt and grasp with the possibility of actually answering it.

    Since the logical possibility of God is related to whether thought experiments refute his existence, I'll take up this question.

    There are really two arguments against the logical possibility of an omnipotent of God. One involves the question of whether it is possible for God to limit his power, represented by the Einstien quote above.
  8. Undomiel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    Enforcer,

    You said:

    Why can't you get the materials, why can't you go learn about the processes and do the tests yourself?

    My response:

    Imagine what would happen if your results didn't match the accepted results of the rest of the mainstream scientific community? You would be instantly shot down.

    The secret to all this, and one you MUST acknowledge if you consider yourself a rational, logical, thinking, human being, is that in every case, be it religion or science, the participants are all human. They are prone to prejudice of multidinous variety, regardless if the subject is scientific or religious, in fact on every subject imaginable, and that prejudice will alter the results of the information and/or the experiment, if the information doesn't meet with established "dogma."

    An example of this is when a carbon-dating of a fossil doesn't match the theories already predetermined for it, the test is done again and again using different criterion until either the fossil falls within the established theory, or they pitch it in the waste receptacle because it cannot advance the established theory. This is the point Ophelia is trying to make. Science cannot be objective. It is as subjective as anything else on the planet, and as a result is no more or less enlightening than any other truth in the universe. Currently, it tries to purport itself as the only truth in the universe, a postion it cannot earn because it has no way of measuring the results objectively.

  9. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I'm not really following this much more, but I did notice one lil thing to correct:

    Which completely debunks the possibility of an orginal formation of matter from an initial Big Bang. Empty space sees no gravity. Big Bang supposedly happened in empty space. Simple logic, IMO

    There is no supposedly about it, there was no space before the BB, space and time(space-time) came into existence at the BB.
  10. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    VLM, this is the third time you've come in here, said something, and then said you aren't coming back. I'm starting to think you're toying with our affections. ;)
  11. Rouge Null Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    Well, at least we're back on topic. I'll be leaving again for a month or more, so someone else has to present the arguments that moderates can use to reconcile their faiths and science.

    I hope someone does.
  12. Undomiel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    I think at least part of the answer is in the topic of quantum physics, such as those dealing with issues like "Schrodinger's Cat."

    The moment the cat is observed, the experiment is over. Essentially, this can apply theoretically to any number of questions regarding the universe, in fact, it is the essence of faith. Once observed, the answer is known and the subject is changed, modified. Thus the scientist must have faith that the subject exists in some state, but cannot observe the state without altering the subject. Fascinating stuff, really. The point is to believe without observation, that something exists in a state of limbo, being neither dead or alive from your observation point.
  13. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    If God is a spitirtual being who's very existence transcends reality, He doesn't need a beginning.

    So for evolutionists to claim the Big Bang had no cause, it simply was, is unreasonable. For Christians to assume God has no cause is not. That everything comes from something proves there must be a god who doesn't.
  14. Rouge Null Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    Which side are you arguing?
  15. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    Rouge_Null wrote: I'll be leaving again for a month or more, so someone else has to present the arguments that moderates can use to reconcile their faiths and science.

    I hope someone does.


    What, I'm not moderate? Loud sometimes, snarky occasionally, I admit, but I've been saying all along that science and theism are perfectly compatible. Science sometimes advances theories that contradict specific teachings of various religions, but it hardly invalidates theism in general. For that matter, our ability to reason is one of the things that makes us like God--it's one of the ways we're made in his image. Therefore, I believe that theists ought to at least carefully consider the results of scientific inquiry and consider weighing the claims on their own merits. Given that the chance of science "explaining away" God are zero, how much does it harm one's faith to hold that the earth is several billion years old, for example, rather than only a few thousand? Since it's both disrespectful and ineffective to argue with people on points of faith, I'm not going to condemn someone who very seriously considers the issue and decides that the few-thousand-year-old estimate must be the correct one. However, I think people should at least look, and consider the evidence while free from fear that anything they see is going to damage the core of their beliefs.

    I hardly feel like I need to warn actual scientists that religion is not a field of scientific study-- except perhaps in a sociological sense, and sociologists primarily count and quantify behaviors and self-reported beliefs. Like all things that are primarily experiential, faith is unfalsifiable, and not a good candidate for serious scientific inquiry. I say that I don't think I need to worry about telling scientists this, because I can tell you without looking that the number of scientific grants, papers, books, and theses published on the truth or falsity of religious beliefs is precisely zero. The number has always been zero, or else very close to it, if you want to count the occasional crackpot theory here and there. Science has not "found God" because it has not been looking. It has not been looking because God is precisely the sort of thing it has no useful means of investigating. God is a non-interest to science.

    My greatest area of concern is that quasi-science has become a type of religion in Western culture. This is unreflective, non-investigative acceptance of a hodgepodge of ideas that have practically no relation to actual science, even though it may contain scientific words or even well-grasped theories threaded together by hazy logic. What seems to have happened, as far as I can tell, is that people got sold on the idea that all religions are strict, literalist interpretations of the Bible, and since science has contradicted this interpretation at several points, it has "won out." Therefore religion is vanquished, and science gets to occupy the cultural void that religion has been banished from. Well and good for true materialists, but the problem is that this cultural void is still religion-shaped. At least unreflective religious faith made a certain amount of sense, since faith involves believing what one has not seen. Unreflective "science" is a contradiction in terms, and an enormous injustice to both science and religion.
  16. Rouge Null Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 5
    I wasn't saying you're not moderate, I was saying I hope someone opens other threads for moderates.

    EDIT: By the way there's no underscore in my name, I'm a true old-school man, as evidenced by the space in my name.
  17. CitizenKane Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2004
    star 3
    Read something beyond a couple summaries online and if you can still say that then we can move on.

    Sure:
    Here

    Here

    Here

    Here

    All 5 of my sources claim the same thing: Big Bang is about an explosion. I think you're alone in your "expansion" theory my friend.

    Also you said ignited, which means through fire. See the second line of my sig.

    Okay, I mean "incite." What was there to initiate the kinetic motion that would result in an explosion?

    No its not. I was saying that by chance there could have been locally more matter than antimatter in this area of the galaxy. So for the most part in this area, the two materials destroyed each other until one ran out, and what there is now is what is left.

    Even if that were fact, it would hard to account for the fact that our earth is perfectly designed for life and even the slightest variation could cause disaster. Any infliction done upon the matter by the antimatter would, it seems to me, result in an extremely less favorable enviorment.

    Not really. There are clearly properties of mater that are the same as properties of antimatter, not opposite (like mass), I do not see why it is so farfetched that the interactions of the forces (gravity, strong/weak nuclear forces, electro-magnetic forces) that affect atoms interact in such a way that regular mater is more stable. If you take the time to work out why that is not the case I will gladly listen

    First of all, you're taking into forces like gravity which would not have existed at the time of the Bang (because of the absence of matter). So I don't that case can be very well made without amending original Big Bang theory.

    No it is not. If I have two objects separated by some distance, and they start moving towards each other due to gravity, then there is gravity between the two objects which is just space. This should be obvious.

    Only if there were pre-exisitng matter to provide gravity could your theory work. As I've noted above, matter did not exist prior to the bang. Therefore, neither did gravity. An explosion so chaotic and violent would have surely resulted in disorder, not perfectly designed order.

    Please explain that one too.

    How does common sense support that nothingness that exploded could randomly and chaotically violate the laws of entropy and create the intricate design of the atom? It doesn't

    Wrong. Gravity is created by mass. Whereever there is mass, there is a gravitational force towards it.

    Guess what? Big Bang assumes no mass prior to it. That means no gravity. That means chaos.

    There is no supposedly about it, there was no space before the BB, space and time(space-time) came into existence at the BB.

    Then the obvious question is, how can nothingness procreate?

    So for evolutionists to claim the Big Bang had no cause, it simply was, is unreasonable. For Christians to assume God has no cause is not. That everything comes from something proves there must be a god who doesn't.

    Wrong. The evolutonist says that tornado whipped through town, took all those pieces of debris,and somehow managed to arrange of Boeing 747. The Christian says a person with logic and design created the Boeing. Which is more logically sound?

  18. Undomiel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    Enforcer

    (continutation of my previous post to you above)

    The implication is, that religion cannot be proven. Let's run with that.

    Why can't religion be proven? To each individual, it can be proven. They can witness events, experience life changing moments, see the application of various religious principles and the resulting outcomes of those principles. They can experience transcedent events, such as prophetic dreams, out of body experiences, waking visions, miracles and the ilk, all of which may or may not be the result of prayer, supernatural intervention, etc, which to them (the observer), are quite real. These events may or may not be reproducible. It is therefore an issue of personal revelation, proven to each individual as they experience it first hand or believe it blindly.

    Why can't science be proven? To each individual scientist, science can be proven. To the layman, such is not always the case and this where faith comes into play regarding science. It is therefore an issue of personal revelation, proven to each individual as they experience it first hand or believe it blindly.

    Science cannot claim to provide reproducible evidence for the rest of society any more than religion can claim to provide reproducible evidence for the rest of society, because you have to observe it yourself in order to know its true, unless you have faith that it is true, whether you have seen it for yourself or not. Now think about those implications.


    The layman must take the scientist word for it, or else become a scientist to prove it to themselves. The moment the layman launches on the journey to becoming a scientist, he is instructed what the rules of science are and what is and isn't accepted theory, and why. Automatically, from the outset, his future experiments are prejudiced in some fashion by established theory. Any attempt to backtrack in any given theory to test areas that remain undiscovered, would be seen as counterproductive to the forward movement of science, and thusly vast reservoirs of knowledge would be overlooked.





  19. Undomiel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    Ophelia,

    You said:

    Unreflective "science" is a contradiction in terms, and an enormous injustice to both science and religion.

    My response:

    Well, not always. For example, in the case of "Schrodinger's Cat", faith turns out to be a useful scientific tool. It has to be or the experiment fails. As faith is typically seen as counterproductive to science, I think such a change of paradigm, no matter how minute, is a new leap in a good direction.
  20. GrandDesigner Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2003
    star 2
    Science is a good thing and it's based solely on human interest. It is not there to disprove or prove the existence of G-D. If science were to stumble along and prove or disprove such a thing, fine. But oddly enough, I 'd guess it would keep going...because it's not something that reaches a goal and says "ok...thats enough science" or "we've learned all we can ever know.." Scientists, like anyone, are not really in a position to say one way or the other on something so grand. Curiosity killed the cat, and we all know what happens when a kitten dies, but does curiosity kill a human.


    G-D
  21. Obi-Ewan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2000
    star 4
    Which side are you arguing?

    I'm arguing the Evolution standpoint. I also happen to live in Texas, which is the epicenter of textbooks debatres across the country, where far right-wing theocrats are trying to replace science with religion in our textbooks, by trying to slip "intelligent design," which is basically creationism without directly mentioning God, into textbooks, so that they can have Sunday school all week long.
  22. Undomiel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    Obi-Ewan,

    Not all those who argue for intelligent design do so because they believe God is the biblical God and therefore the intelligent designer. Some do so because they believe in a Creator of some sort, aliens, many gods, sentient beings capable of bringing forth life. The moment we managed to create a branch of science called "Cloning," was the moment we gave up the argument that such a thing as intelligent design was impossible.
  23. EnforcerSG Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2001
    star 4
    This reply will be briefer than I would like, simply not enough time.

    Undomiel

    I feel you are missing my point. I am saying that science CAN have its results checked and confirmed whereas religion cannot. If I have the time, effort, money, etc, I can retest nearly any experiment ever done and get the same results. How can that be done for say... the resurrection?

    I am not saying that science does always retest things, nor that prejudice is completely removed, however I never clamed that it was (but I would not mind saying PPOR to your clam that it happens with carbon dating, not so much doubting you so much that I want details).

    Also, in terms of proving religion, I never said that per say. I said that God cannot be put under a microscope. I say that because whenever a non-theists asks for a miracle to study, or to find and examine some aspect of God, that is the line that theists give back, that God cannot be scientifically studied. So until you can give scientific data for your God, how am I wrong? Until you can put things like the resurrection, like parting the Red Sea on demand, people turning into pillars of salt in a lab and study them, Christianity, and I would say that most religions in general, are outside the realm of science.

    Yes, there is obviously personal proof, yet philosophically that is not enough. If you 'know' there is a God due to a personal event, why should I 'know' that there is a God just from you telling me?

    Citizen Kane

    All 5 of my sources claim the same thing: Big Bang is about an explosion. I think you're alone in your "expansion" theory my friend.

    This is one of those things I will have to concede, although I still do not agree simply because by definition an explosion is not what happened. But I obviously can't win this one.

    Okay, I mean "incite." What was there to initiate the kinetic motion that would result in an explosion?

    The pressure of everything, the 3 fundamental forces (of 4) that can have repulsive forces, especially at the small distances involved.

    Even if that were fact, it would hard to account for the fact that our earth is perfectly designed for life and even the slightest variation could cause disaster. Any infliction done upon the matter by the antimatter would, it seems to me, result in an extremely less favorable enviorment.

    You are stretching that so far it is not funny. This is an entirely different argument than the one over antimatter. You asked why there is mater if it should have been destroyed by antimatter, and I answered it. Please explain why what you just said has anything to do with that specific question?

    First of all, you're taking into forces like gravity which would not have existed at the time of the Bang (because of the absence of matter). So I don't that case can be very well made without amending original Big Bang theory.

    Um, for there to be an 'explosion' there must be something to explode, so there was something at the time of the big bang.

    Look, scientists do not know what there was 'before' the big bang, maybe there was nothing, maybe there was something, we don't know.

    Only if there were pre-exisitng matter to provide gravity could your theory work. As I've noted above, matter did not exist prior to the bang. Therefore, neither did gravity. An explosion so chaotic and violent would have surely resulted in disorder, not perfectly designed order.

    Maybe not but mater did exist during the big bang.

    How does common sense support that nothingness that exploded could randomly and chaotically violate the laws of entropy and create the intricate design of the atom? It doesn't

    Because the 2ed law of thermodynamics was not violated. The heat transfer (and therefore negative entropy) involved in such atomic and chemical bonds more than makes up for the order of those bonds.

    And the rest of the stuff you asked about was not mine.
  24. Undomiel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 4
    Enforcer,

    Noooo, I'm not missing your point at all. I'm adding to it, and disagreeing with it.

    You said:

    I feel you are missing my point. I am saying that science CAN have its results checked and confirmed whereas religion cannot.

    My response:

    But religion CAN, in the same fashion that science CAN. You simply have to search it out. It's the same in both instances but one tries to claim that the other has no proof, because they haven't experienced the proof. That's not the basis for anything. I haven't experiened the workings of a particle accelerator first hand, nor have I seen the behavior of quarks with my eyes. I have to have faith that the scientists who study these things, know what they are talking about, become a scientist myself to prove it, or else, disregard it entirely.
  25. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

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    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    Undomiel wrote: Well, not always. For example, in the case of "Schrodinger's Cat", faith turns out to be a useful scientific tool. It has to be or the experiment fails. As faith is typically seen as counterproductive to science, I think such a change of paradigm, no matter how minute, is a new leap in a good direction.

    Edit: I'm a little confused. Are you just suggesting that religion plays a role in science too? I won't deny that--I think it plays a role in everything. I won't try to convince non-theists of it, since I don't think you can argue someone into faith, but personally, I don't deny it at all.

    Original post--->

    I guess I'm not sure where faith comes in in that example. FWIW, this is what Schrodinger said about the cat:
      "One can even set up quite ridiculous cases. A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following diabolical device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small that perhaps in the course of one hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges and through a relay releases a hammer which shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid.

      If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The first atomic decay would have poisoned it. The Psi function for the entire system would express this by having in it the living and the dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts."
    He's illustrating a point about how subatomic particles behave as both particles and waves, and how they are somehow *both* particles and waves until you do something to them to make them "decide." In theory, if you never looked, the particle would never decide, so if you attached some either/or Newtonian-world outcome to it's "decision," *both* the "either" and the "or" outcomes must be simultaneously true, just as the particle is both a particle and a wave. Therefore, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead.

    To me, this shows the limitations of thought experiments, and of traditional science in general, since normal ideas of predictability and cause and effect break down at the quantum level. This could be a refutation of reductionism and/or determinism (and I've used it as such before), since if everything is knowable and/or predictable, what do you do about that damned cat?

    Attempting to hold two mutually exclusive beliefs in one's head at the same time is a good reminder that we don't know everything there is to know, and that "there are stranger things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy." However, I'm not sure we're really at the point where faith in the religious sense kicks in. There are people who have faith that the paradox will eventually be resolved and one day the world will look all Newtonian and reductionistic and/or deterministic again. Such people forever forfiet the right to laugh at theists and their reality-denying, security blanket faith, but unless we're talking about a more sophisticated version of science the quasi-religion here, I'm not sure how faith--and certainly not unquestioned faith--relates.

    Just FWIW, I don't see unquestioned faith as a good thing. God is undeniably God--there's no question about that. The isssue that needs examining is whether we recognize him when we see him, which is tricky, as some of the non-theists have pointed out. To use a Biblical example, there are true prophets and false prophets, and we can occasionally find ourselves on a path that we think leads to God, but leads to something else entirely. I think it's very important to stop, take stock, and question here. Unreserved trust is indeed a beautiful thing to offer God. However, we need to look with careful, narrowed eyes at the path we think will take us to him. People have sometimes gotten so lost that they found themselves worshipping something that is not
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