Ancient and Modern Cosmology

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Ancient and Modern Cosmology

Postby Kai » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:27 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
thats not fair. i am asking honest questions and expressing my perplexity with some aspects of this creation story. i don't see how anyone could not experience some perplexity with this story. your explanations are very clear and appreciated, but that doesn't mean its something to be just swallowed hook line and sinker without question.


I have to side with Namdrol on this, Buddhism is not incredibly interested in cosmological theories or creation mythologies. Hinduism and Abrahamic religions have tonnes of those stuffs, you can go and check them out. If you want an even more accurate ones, you can look them up in the latest science magazines. :tongue:

Mahayana, especially Vajrayana, uses cosmological models either as metaphors for some profound teachings or as some hidden forms of visualization practices. We don't have to treat them too literally.........The same goes for Mahasiddhas' stories.....:smile:

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Re: Dzogchen cosmogeny

Postby gad rgyangs » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:23 am

Kai wrote:Buddhism is not incredibly interested in cosmological theories or creation mythologies


except that it has all that stuff in spades, as we are seeing.

Hinduism and Abrahamic religions have tonnes of those stuffs, you can go and check them out.


thanks i never would have thought of that.

If you want an even more accurate ones, you can look them up in the latest science magazines.


accurate by whose standard? scientific models change more rapidly than religious models do.

Mahayana, especially Vajrayana, uses cosmological models either as metaphors for some profound teachings or as some hidden forms of visualization practices. We don't have to treat them too literally.........The same goes for Mahasiddhas' stories.....


of course not literally, but going to the other extreme and treating them as fairy tales would be trivializing them. they may not be journalism but they tell a lot about how a religion or philosophy views the world. the dzogchen presentation of the basis, what exactly it is or isnt, and how things arise from it, is intimately related to questions of just what a sentient being is, just what we are, what our awareness is, where it comes from, etc. none of this stuff is trivial.
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Re: Dzogchen cosmogeny

Postby Kai » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:33 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
Kai wrote:Buddhism is not incredibly interested in cosmological theories or creation mythologies


except that it has all that stuff in spades, as we are seeing.


Interesting stories and insight into the ancient thought, thats all......

If you want an even more accurate ones, you can look them up in the latest science magazines.


accurate by whose standard? scientific models change more rapidly than religious models do.


False. Scientific models for our cosmos has not been changing for decades, so the minor details are still in debates. I don't know where you got the "rapidly changing" part but it do seem that you seldom get in touch with scientific development. As for religious models, they never change, hence often subject themselves to scrutiny and ridicule.

Mahayana, especially Vajrayana, uses cosmological models either as metaphors for some profound teachings or as some hidden forms of visualization practices. We don't have to treat them too literally.........The same goes for Mahasiddhas' stories.....


of course not literally, but going to the other extreme and treating them as fairy tales would be trivializing them. they may not be journalism but they tell a lot about how a religion or philosophy views the world. the dzogchen presentation of the basis, what exactly it is or isnt, and how things arise from it, is intimately related to questions of just what a sentient being is, just what we are, what our awareness is, where it comes from, etc. none of this stuff is trivial.


We agree on that but you will be amazing how many Buddhists here see those stories as literal. In fact, they are in the majority..........and I'm not exaggerating..........
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Re: Dzogchen cosmogeny

Postby gad rgyangs » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:49 am

Kai wrote:False. Scientific models for our cosmos has not been changing for decades, so the minor details are still in debates. I don't know where you got the "rapidly changing" part but it do seem that you seldom get in touch with scientific development. As for religious models, they never change, hence often subject themselves to scrutiny and ridicule.


OMG you're joking right? Have you heard of string theory, inflation, black hole evaporation & the holographic principle, m-brane theory, ADS-CFT duality, conformal cyclic cosmology etc etc. physics and cosmology are in the biggest upheaval since quantum theory and relativity, which was just 100 years ago! and you say "models for our cosmos has not been changing for decades"???? As for "religious" models never changing, within a given religion with entrenched priesthoods (like Buddhism) that is mostly true, but there is a whole model/group of models that has arisen in the 20th century under the name "New Age" which is not in any fashion just a rehashing of old-world religions, so even new religious models appear and change. but scientific models still change way faster.
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Re: Dzogchen cosmogeny

Postby Kai » Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:01 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
Kai wrote:False. Scientific models for our cosmos has not been changing for decades, so the minor details are still in debates. I don't know where you got the "rapidly changing" part but it do seem that you seldom get in touch with scientific development. As for religious models, they never change, hence often subject themselves to scrutiny and ridicule.


OMG you're joking right? Have you heard of string theory, inflation, black hole evaporation & the holographic principle, m-brane theory, ADS-CFT duality, conformal cyclic cosmology etc etc. physics and cosmology are in the biggest upheaval since quantum theory and relativity, which was just 100 years ago! and you say "models for our cosmos has not been changing for decades"????


The new model are adjusted to fit and built upon the older models. It does not imply that if (lets say) string theory is proven = standard model being rejected. In fact, if string theory can't prove old theories like standard model, then it should be rejected. Thats how science works. Furthermore theories like black hole evaporation, etc, are there to clarify specific details in existing theories, not to overthrow them.

And physics are not in upheaval, quantum theory and relativity are greatly accepted by almost all scientists in the world, they already have theories on how the universe begins, now they are just trying to show it mathematically using strings and quantum loops. To fill in the gap, so to say. Nothing had been revolutionized for decades since Einstein and the quantum founders....

As for "religious" models never changing, within a given religion with entrenched priesthoods (like Buddhism) that is mostly true, but there is a whole model/group of models that has arisen in the 20th century under the name "New Age" which is not in any fashion just a rehashing of old-world religions, so even new religious models appear and change. but scientific models still change way faster.


You see "new age" as religions but most people don't, we see them as cults. Interesting but not really useful......


So this question is left for us to solve on our own: either the neutral awareness of basis is multiple, not entirely satisfying for a number of reasons, but this explains how there are individual mind streams from the start; or it is singular (not entirely satisfying for a number of reasons), but gets warped by the presence of trace afflictions into individuated sentient beings; or is it neither singular or multiple (not entirely satisfying for a number of reasons) and gets warped by the presence of trace afflictions into individuated sentient beings. In the last two scenarios, the inability of awakened people to completely eradicate all traces of afflictions leaves traces of affliction left over, where they act as seeds for new sentient beings.


This one really had me thinking............... :thinking:
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Re: Dzogchen cosmogeny

Postby gad rgyangs » Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:12 pm

Kai wrote:And physics are not in upheaval, quantum theory and relativity are greatly accepted by almost all scientists in the world,


quantum theory is accepted because it works, but it is not understood by a long shot. Even Feynman famously said "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics." The continuing lack of a workable theory of quantum gravity is considered so serious as to be almost a disaster.

they already have theories on how the universe begins,


notice: "theories" plural, and there a new ones introduced all the time.

You see "new age" as religions but most people don't, we see them as cults. Interesting but not really useful......


is that the "royal we"? or the "we" as in "cults are someone else's religion"?
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Re: Dzogchen cosmogeny

Postby Kai » Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:33 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
Kai wrote:And physics are not in upheaval, quantum theory and relativity are greatly accepted by almost all scientists in the world,


quantum theory is accepted because it works, but it is not understood by a long shot. Even Feynman famously said "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics." The continuing lack of a workable theory of quantum gravity is considered so serious as to be almost a disaster.


The quantum theory gives precise and accurate results which is the most important consideration and explain stuffs that scientists in the 19th century and early 20th century can't, its a breakthrough but whether people (Feynman) like it or not, is another issue.

As for quantum gravity, its not a disaster and never was. Sometimes I wonder why people would think in this way. It only affect the first 10^-43 second after the big bang and black holes. As for its impact on our daily lives..........close to nothing. So how was that a disaster? Quantum theory works fine for 99.99% of the things we observe around us, the rest is of pure scientific speculation and nothing more.

they already have theories on how the universe begins,


notice: "theories" plural, and there a new ones introduced all the time.


As already explained, most of those theories are fine tuning measures, not revolutionary ones, mostly they are still revolving around the famous big bang theory....
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Re: Dzogchen cosmogeny

Postby gad rgyangs » Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:08 pm

Kai wrote:
gad rgyangs wrote:
Kai wrote:And physics are not in upheaval, quantum theory and relativity are greatly accepted by almost all scientists in the world,


quantum theory is accepted because it works, but it is not understood by a long shot. Even Feynman famously said "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics." The continuing lack of a workable theory of quantum gravity is considered so serious as to be almost a disaster.


The quantum theory gives precise and accurate results which is the most important consideration and explain stuffs that scientists in the 19th century and early 20th century can't, its a breakthrough but whether people (Feynman) like it or not, is another issue.

As for quantum gravity, its not a disaster and never was. Sometimes I wonder why people would think in this way. It only affect the first 10^-43 second after the big bang and black holes. As for its impact on our daily lives..........close to nothing. So how was that a disaster? Quantum theory works fine for 99.99% of the things we observe around us, the rest is of pure scientific speculation and nothing more.


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Re: Dzogchen cosmogeny

Postby Kai » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:48 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:Image


:shrug: :shrug: Can't help it, many people have a strange aversion towards science these days after giving all sorts of excuse and strange reasoning for not learning it properly and then (not surprisingly) prefer mysterious creation myths that seems to give "100% accurate" picture of our cosmos.
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Re: Ancient and Modern Cosmology

Postby Beatzen » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:44 am

I don't personally have an aversion to science. I just wish scientists would develop a sense of ethics in terms of forseeing the destructive, commonly military applications of their research. But that's just my green party bias coming through.

I think the Hindu cosmological model, the Vedic one, has significant bearing on all but east Asian Buddhism. It has to do with the Vedic consception of us as actors on a stage- the objective being to understand the true identity of the actor. I prefer the Chinese cosmology of Tao, because it gives a sense that the stage is "acting the actor"
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Re: Ancient and Modern Cosmology

Postby catmoon » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:06 am

Interesting that some people think quantum gravity is a disaster. To a scientist it's just an interesting topic, and something we haven't worked out yet. Not understanding everything there is to know, right this minute, hardly qualifies as a disaster.

Closer to the original topic, scientific cosmology has changed a lot since 1900. In 1900 we thought this galaxy WAS the Universe, not one of billions, and we had no clue as to the age of the universe or it's origins. Einstein raised interesting questions but they did not start to affect the general worldview until the 1930s(?) when redshift measurements were correlated and an expanding universe proven, a result which stands to this day. detailed measurements of the expansion led to inflationary theories, which seem to fit the data but are not completely solidified yet. Our current understanding of relativity and quantum mechanics can be merged well enough to create simple, plausible models of the universe that reach back to within a fraction of the very first second of time. Some might see it as a disaster, others might see it as a spectacular success.

There is nothing stopping anyone from regarding the current situation as a disaster, but if you are going to do that, and you believe in intellectual integrity, consistency would demand that any failure to understand anything (say, emptiness?) be equally regarded as a disaster.
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Re: Ancient and Modern Cosmology

Postby gad rgyangs » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:16 pm

my point was very simple: physics & its worldviews are rapidly changing. kai objects, claiming that physics changes incrementally only. i claim physics is in upheaval these days, a scant 100 years after the last upheaval of quantum mechanics and relativity, both of which fundamentally changed the way we humans think of our universe. the fact that these two major revolutionary theories have, until now, evaded reconciliation is considered a major missing piece in our understanding. string theory, which actually does relate the two, is highly controversial itself, with opinions divided between those considering it the only viable theory and those considering it pseudoscience. all of this, i believe, convincingly supports my original point in a very simple and clear way.
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Re: Ancient and Modern Cosmology

Postby catmoon » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:44 pm

Nope. Definitely not in upheaval, although I and many physicists wish it were. Quantum mechanics is stable, as a theory, and is still very much recognizable as the same theory put forward by Bohr and others near the turn of the century. Relativity is equally stable. Both theories come with some caveats and operate on somewhat different bits of reality, and it has been so from the beginning of both theories. These are the theories that anyone who needs to actually do something uses and nobody argues with them or their limitations.

What throws science into upheaval is when new facts emerge that won't fit any existing theory. Such facts are very scarce these days, and they are sorely missed, because they could potentially select one of the myriad of new models and elevate it to the status of a scientific theory. We might have such a fact in the existence of dark matter/energy, but we aren't sure. The non-existence of the Higgs boson might upset the applecart a bit too.

But basically the theorists are fighting their battles unarmed with facts these days. There is some conflict over which theory posseses greater elegance, or potential explanatory power, but what is pointedly lacking is someone like Lavoisier, who appeared on the scene armed with masses of laboratory data that completely wrecked the existing ideas. Now THAT was upheaval.
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Re: Ancient and Modern Cosmology

Postby Kai » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:50 pm

Oh, I thought you had given up, nevertheless nice to see you are trying so hard again.......hmmm interesting....lets continue, should we?

gad rgyangs wrote:my point was very simple: physics & its worldviews are rapidly changing. kai objects, claiming that physics changes incrementally only. i claim physics is in upheaval these days, a scant 100 years after the last upheaval of quantum mechanics and relativity, both of which fundamentally changed the way we humans think of our universe.the fact that these two major revolutionary theories have, until now, evaded reconciliation is considered a major missing piece in our understanding. string theory, which actually does relate the two, is highly controversial itself, with opinions divided between those considering it the only viable theory and those considering it pseudoscience. all of this, i believe, convincingly supports my original point in a very simple and clear way.


My point is very simple, you are making a mountain out of a molehill. Nevermind the simple observation that you ignore the facts that quantum physics and general relativity works very well this day with very little uncertainty and contradictions. Also nevermind the fact that 99.99% of the people out there don't give a hoot to what you call quantum gravity which is largely the plaything for scientists and has no use in most scientific developments except those that reaches high energy level. The very fact that you don't know the superstring and M theory has long taken the place of string theory as a model for quantum gravity speaks volume about your lacking of knowledge in science, typically physics.

At any rate, the current superstring and M theory is not controversial, most theoretical physicists love talking about it as some kind of a holy grail, the lesser minority prefer other theories like quantum loop, etc. The general consensus is there: Superstring theory is the leading candidate, the only considerable controversy that you will find, is people arguing that the research funds could be used somewhere more useful (Which supports my point that no one give a damn to quantum gravity unless you are free and mad enough) since it will take a rather long time and large amount of money for the particle accelerators to produce evidences that support those theories.

While its fun to see science being in constant turmoil and scientists trap in everlasting debates, the fact is the standard model, the main and current model for explaining our universe, and big bang theory are not undergoing any major changes. No reputed scientist is mad to search for its destruction. Superstring theory even if proven wrong or right, will only serve to add more facts to the model and theory or it does not.
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Re: Ancient and Modern Cosmology

Postby Kai » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:00 pm

Beatzen wrote:I don't personally have an aversion to science. I just wish scientists would develop a sense of ethics in terms of forseeing the destructive, commonly military applications of their research. But that's just my green party bias coming through.


And to ensure that doesn't happen, Israelis' secret forces and CIA are currently snipping scientists in Iran. (Not that I agree with their actions)

I think the Hindu cosmological model, the Vedic one, has significant bearing on all but east Asian Buddhism. It has to do with the Vedic consception of us as actors on a stage- the objective being to understand the true identity of the actor. I prefer the Chinese cosmology of Tao, because it gives a sense that the stage is "acting the actor"


Huh? I think you will surprise to see that Chinese cosmology are quite similar to the Vedic ones. In particular, the initial part regarding the Pan Gu (Chinese version of Brahma) who is born within a cosmic egg, awakes and split the egg into halve with his axe, followed by pushing the Heaven/sky up, hence separating both Heaven and Earth. (After that task, he died and his body was transformed in the natural landscapes)

And this mythology actually came from a Taoist.........
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Re: Ancient and Modern Cosmology

Postby gad rgyangs » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:19 pm

Kai wrote:Oh, I thought you had given up, nevertheless nice to see you are trying so hard again.......hmmm interesting....lets continue, should we?

gad rgyangs wrote:my point was very simple: physics & its worldviews are rapidly changing. kai objects, claiming that physics changes incrementally only. i claim physics is in upheaval these days, a scant 100 years after the last upheaval of quantum mechanics and relativity, both of which fundamentally changed the way we humans think of our universe.the fact that these two major revolutionary theories have, until now, evaded reconciliation is considered a major missing piece in our understanding. string theory, which actually does relate the two, is highly controversial itself, with opinions divided between those considering it the only viable theory and those considering it pseudoscience. all of this, i believe, convincingly supports my original point in a very simple and clear way.


My point is very simple, you are making a mountain out of a molehill. Nevermind the simple observation that you ignore the facts that quantum physics and general relativity works very well this day with very little uncertainty and contradictions. Also nevermind the fact that 99.99% of the people out there don't give a hoot to what you call quantum gravity which is largely the plaything for scientists and has no use in most scientific developments except those that reaches high energy level. The very fact that you don't know the superstring and M theory has long taken the place of string theory as a model for quantum gravity speaks volume about your lacking of knowledge in science, typically physics.

At any rate, the current superstring and M theory is not controversial, most theoretical physicists love talking about it as some kind of a holy grail, the lesser minority prefer other theories like quantum loop, etc. The general consensus is there: Superstring theory is the leading candidate, the only considerable controversy that you will find, is people arguing that the research funds could be used somewhere more useful (Which supports my point that no one give a damn to quantum gravity unless you are free and mad enough) since it will take a rather long time and large amount of money for the particle accelerators to produce evidences that support those theories.

While its fun to see science being in constant turmoil and scientists trap in everlasting debates, the fact is the standard model, the main and current model for explaining our universe, and big bang theory are not undergoing any major changes. No reputed scientist is mad to search for its destruction. Superstring theory even if proven wrong or right, will only serve to add more facts to the model and theory or it does not.


ok kai, lets try it this way: please answer the following two questions:

1) do you agree that quantum theory and relativity, as they developed in the early 20th century, revolutionized the western worldview of how the universe works?

2) do you agree that some current theories, like the multiverse with its implication of the weak anthropic principle, have the potential to cause a similar worldview revolution?

if you answer "yes" to both of these questions, then we have a common starting point from which to have a further discussion. if you answer "no" to them, then I don't think have enough commonality to continue a fruitful discussion.
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Re: Ancient and Modern Cosmology

Postby catmoon » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:45 am

Looking at your point 1, a strange line of thought arose. While it is true that QM and relativity revolutionized scientific thought, bringing atomic weapons and consumer electronics in their wake, I really do wonder if they revolutionized many people's worldview. In most cases, general understanding of relativity ends with mouthing the platitude "everything is relative" as if it were a philosophical theory or something. And in most cases, the general understanding of what QM is and says is a big fat zero. So the great mass of humanity continues forward, buying and selling, eating and drinking, fighting and trying to get laid just like they always did, with a few new technological toys thrown in. The science has been revolutionized, but the impact on who and what we are as a species has been just about nil. The monkeys have iPods, but they're still monkeys.
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Re: Ancient and Modern Cosmology

Postby catmoon » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:53 am

Might as well look at point two.

There are theories out there with the potential to revolutionize science, but it's an unrealized potential at the moment. The multiverse theories have been around a long time, and some are even considered acceptable interpretations of QM math. But they are ivory tower stuff still, and have had no impact on the world at large that I can see.
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Re: Ancient and Modern Cosmology

Postby conebeckham » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:16 pm

http://web.ccsu.edu/astronomy/tibetan_cosmological_models.htm

Thought some of you might appreciate this....
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