Evidence for Design?

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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby Norwegian » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:58 am

gregkavarnos,

Did you even read the article?

"The discovery doesn't suggest that there wasn't a Big Bang - rather, it supports the idea that there could have been many of them. The scientists explain that the CMB circles support the possibility that we live in a cyclic universe, in which the end of one “aeon” or universe triggers another Big Bang that starts another aeon, and the process repeats indefinitely. The black hole encounters that caused the circles likely occurred within the later stages of the aeon right before ours, according to the scientists.

In the past, Penrose has investigated cyclic cosmology models because he has noticed another shortcoming of the much more widely accepted inflationary theory: it cannot explain why there was such low entropy at the beginning of the universe. The low entropy state (or high degree of order) was essential for making complex matter possible. The cyclic cosmology idea is that, when a universe expands to its full extent, black holes will evaporate and all the information they contain will somehow vanish, removing entropy from the universe. At this point, a new aeon with a low entropy state will begin.

Because of the great significance of these little circles, the scientists will do further work to confirm their existence and see which models can best explain them. Already, Penrose and Gurzadyan used data from two experiments - WMAP and BOOMERanG98 - to detect the circles and eliminate the possibility of an instrumental cause for the effects. But even if the circles really do stem from sources in a pre-Big Bang era, cyclic cosmology may not offer the best explanation for them. Among its challenges, cyclic cosmology still needs to explain the vast shift of scale between aeons, as well as why it requires all particles to lose their mass at some point in the future."


And does not Buddhist cosmology talk about cyclical universes, aeons and so on..?

With Buddhist cosmology there is no "first", and with cyclical cosmology there also is no "first".

No creator, no designer.
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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby catmoon » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:04 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Adumbra wrote:There is really no strong refutation of theism once you trade in the idea of a good and perfect creator for one who is, at best, amoral and capable of error such as the demiurgos of Plato's conception.
Of course there is, Dependent Origination, yah know???

Sherab wrote:"In general, asking what happened before the Big Bang is not really considered a science question. According to Big Bang theory, time did not even exist before this point roughly 13.7 billion years ago. But now, Oxford University physicist Roger Penrose and Vahe Gurzadyan from the Yerevan Physics Institute in Armenia have found an effect in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) that allows them to "see through" the Big Bang into what came before."
http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-11-sci ... e-big.html
Great so now the theologists... errrrmmmm... scientists that is, have discovered what existed before the creation of existence! The creator of the creator of creation!

That's just stupid!
:namaste:



Don't be... uh, hasty. Apply a little reason. First, science does not deal in creators. Second, they are saying there was no "creation" event, merely that what appeared to be the beginning may very well not have been. The idea of something existing before existence, well, that exists only in your mind, and certainly not in the scientific mainstream.
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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:16 pm

Dear Norweigan,
In a cycle, as you correctly pointed out, there is no distinct beginning and end. Even in the Buddhist cosmological model the universe is only destroyed (contracts) up to a certain "level", there is no distinct beginning or end.

The "Big Bang" theory proposes a zero point, a point where there is no universe (time/space), and 0+1 point where the universe starts to be formed (created). Now scientists say that there is a complete creation, existence and destruction in each phase. This is not what Buddhist cosmology says. It sounds a lot like Hindu cosmology.
:namaste:
PS Dear CM, refer to the bit Norweigan just quoted out of the article.
PPS Creator does not necessarily refer to a being, it can also refer to an event: the "Big Bang" as creator of the universe.
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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby catmoon » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:27 pm

The idea that the Big Bang theory incorporates a zero point is simply wrong. The math we are using does point to a singularity, however we know that the math ceases to apply to reality before you get that far back in time. Since there is no working model of the early universe, no functioning theory that encompasses the hypothetical zero point, science has nothing much to say about it. The problem is not so much a singularity as a gigantic divide by zero error.

To accurately describe the early universe, a theory would be needed that could simultaneously encompass extreme masses, densities, intense gravitational fields, relativistic velocities and the quantum principles of the very small. Such a theory does not exist. Yet.

What Penrose is doing, is trying to see if existing theories can tell us anything at all about this interesting time, and it seems he's onto something. In the absence of a complete description, he will settle for any facts he can establish, and it is not impossible that he has found a way we could learn a little about pre-Bang conditions. Far from being stupid, he is as far ahead of us on this question as we are ahead of a small child. Penrose has a long and brilliant record as a scientist and I don't think he's quite done with being brilliant yet.
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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:31 pm

So we don't really know about the whole "Big Bang" deal, we can't really say with any certainty where we are now, we can't forecast with any certainty what will happen and now we don't really know about what happened before. Now that is what I call progress! :twothumbsup:
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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby Malcolm » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:54 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Adumbra wrote:There is really no strong refutation of theism once you trade in the idea of a good and perfect creator for one who is, at best, amoral and capable of error such as the demiurgos of Plato's conception.
Of course there is, Dependent Origination, yah know???



Thank you, Greg.

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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby catmoon » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:07 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:So we don't really know about the whole "Big Bang" deal, we can't really say with any certainty where we are now, we can't forecast with any certainty what will happen and now we don't really know about what happened before. Now that is what I call progress! :twothumbsup:


Yup. Well, not sure about not knowing where we are right now. I spoze the best we can do is label it "here". We can say with confidence that the universe is expanding, and that it has been so for a long time, but even that is subject to having wrenches thrown in the works. Take a look at Will's post on plasma cosmology, it opens a huge can of worms, even if it is a fringe position at the moment.

I agree that it is progress. It's always an important thing to discover current knowledge is not as certain as previously thought. Most cosmology is speculative, but some ideas are more in accord with investigative results and current theories than others.
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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby Beatzen » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:43 am

Astus wrote:An unconscious intelligence? That is a bit absurd.
Taoist or any other mono-causal system is refuted by dependent origination.


There are many examples of unconscious intelligence. Take the cells of your body and the way they naturally intuit life-sustaining action.

The cells are not conscious of themselves, yet they "know" - similarly, a Buddha does not consciously think "I have attained enlightenment"

I wouldn't characterize the Tao in that way. It is tantamount to arguing that phenomenon arise and subside from emptiness. Of course, that is just upaya. In reality, emptiness is not a substantial substrate of existence. Neither is the Tao, specifically as Tao is alluded to in Kung Fu-tzu's analects.
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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby catmoon » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:51 am

Beatzen wrote:There are many examples of unconscious intelligence. Take the cells of your body and the way they naturally intuit life-sustaining action.

The cells are not conscious of themselves, yet they "know" - similarly, a Buddha does not consciously think "I have attained enlightenment"


Well, a Buddha can hold a conversation with someone. This is not possible if the Buddha is unaware. If the Buddha is aware, he is conscious. Right?
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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby Beatzen » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:46 am

I guess it depends on how we're using the term "self conscious"

I didn't mean an awareness. I meant self-conscious as sort of a reflexive, usually critical summarization of the current mind-body state. The running commentary aspect of self consciousness. Then again, if you're a zen Buddhist, I think the notion of a self-conscious Buddha is oxymoronic.
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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby Mr. G » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:41 pm

Beatzen wrote:Then again, if you're a zen Buddhist, I think the notion of a self-conscious Buddha is oxymoronic.


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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby Adumbra » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:28 pm

gregkavarnos wrote: Adumbra wrote:There is really no strong refutation of theism once you trade in the idea of a good and perfect creator for one who is, at best, amoral and capable of error such as the demiurgos of Plato's conception.

Of course there is, Dependent Origination, yah know???


Dependent Origination is not a refutation, but an alternative - though a damn good one in my opinion. What I'm saying is that if you admit to a first cause, as those who assert the big bang theory do, then there is no logical refutation (that I can see) which would disprove an intelligent first cause but allow for an unintelligent one. If there can be a big bang, then why not a God?

As an alternative to this 'first cause' nonsense, however, Steven Hawking has speculated that after the big bang comes a big crunch and then another big bang which seems to imply that we may be caught in a time loop. The cause of the universe's creation may lie in its demise! Future events can influence the present. Now, whether Hawking believes that after the big crunch everything will repeat itself exactly or a completely new chain of causation will form is something I could not discern from his books. Still, it's an interesting idea.
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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:30 pm

Adumbra wrote:Dependent Origination is not a refutation, but an alternative - though a damn good one in my opinion....
If the universe is dependently originated then that is a refutation of the existence of a creator. Why? Because you cannot have a (independently existing) creator within a dependently arisen universe, coz then the universe would not be dependently originated.

So just because dependent origination doesn't start off like: " 1 In the beginning there was no God that created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was not hovering over the waters because there was no God." Doesn't mean it's not a refutation.
:namaste:
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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby Adumbra » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:22 am

If the universe is dependently originated then that is a refutation of the existence of a creator. Why? Because you cannot have a (independently existing) creator within a dependently arisen universe, coz then the universe would not be dependently originated.


But what if God isn't independent of the universe? The ancient Gnostics and the non-so-ancient Mormons consider God to be immanent, not transcendent. To put it more plainly I suspect 'God' might be an alien and we are his experiment. Perhaps our universe is just floating around in the extradimensional equivalent of a petri dish.

The again, what we think of as the universe could be nothing but foam on the cosmic ocean. The word itself implies that what we know of as the universe is self-contained -- but that may not be the case.
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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby catmoon » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:33 am

Well, scientifically speaking, it comes down to educated guesswork. Science is evidence-driven, so one might go looking for evidence of God. For instance, if someone spent decades praying to God and then acquired the ability to heal people of any disease, just by touching them, that might be regarded as evidence. If it was found that a Bible, when burned, released many times the energy science predicts, that would be evidence.

Such evidence is in noticeably short supply. Everyone says things like well, miracles used to happen a lot, but for one reason or another, not just now. Then they continue to insist the miracles did in fact occur, even Buddhists. It really interested me to read recently of a teacher who inhaled smoke from a cigarette and the made it issue forth from his fingertips. I didn't have the heart for an argument at the time, so I did not point out that this "miracle" is a well known magician's trick, just like the rabbit and the hat. Or the pigeons and the frying pan, or the $5 bill that turns into a $100 bill.

http://www.ehow.com/how_7566312_do-smok ... trick.html

So anyhow, the only evidence we have for a creator is the universe itself. Unfortunately, it takes considerable education to understand how things can come to be without a creator, and most people are not educated to that level. So we will have to get along with theists for the forseeable future.
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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:59 am

Adumbra wrote:But what if God isn't independent of the universe? The ancient Gnostics and the non-so-ancient Mormons consider God to be immanent, not transcendent. To put it more plainly I suspect 'God' might be an alien and we are his experiment. Perhaps our universe is just floating around in the extradimensional equivalent of a petri dish.

Image
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One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby Adumbra » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:37 pm

:rolling:
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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby cog » Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:58 pm

I am an atheist. But I could imagine an intelligent entity capable of creating our universe, for example, in some kind of a computing machine. Thus, the creatures that are inhabitants of this universe-software are not able to verify the existence of the creator.
The problem is: who designed the creator?
If in the future we become able of simulating a universe with sensient beings, would we be considered gods?
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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:18 pm

cog wrote:I am an atheist. But I could imagine an intelligent entity capable of creating our universe, for example, in some kind of a computing machine. Thus, the creatures that are inhabitants of this universe-software are not able to verify the existence of the creator.
The problem is: who designed the creator?
If in the future we become able of simulating a universe with sensient beings, would we be considered gods?
A theistic atheist computer geek. Great! Now we are definitely on track!
God_at_computer.gif
God_at_computer.gif (35.26 KiB) Viewed 209 times

Now exactly what we are on track towards is a completely different question!
:namaste:
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One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Evidence for Design?

Postby Mr. G » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:53 pm

The Simulation Argument:

http://www.simulation-argument.com/

ABSTRACT. This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.
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