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1
Quote
An atheist is someone -- a person -- who doesn't believe in a god or gods.

The implication being that it is someone we would consider a person (whether human or not), and therefore capable of having beliefs, and an understanding the concepts involved.

So, no, the term wouldn't apply to cups of coffee, rocks, planet earth or your cat Paulie.

That is actually the correct definition, funny enough. An atheist is defined, in the dictionary, as someone who doesn't believe in God or gods. This typically extends to the supernatural in general, however this definition is completely non-controversial as it is the actual traditional definition of atheism. If one called themselves an atheist then the burden of proof would be on them on this definition as if you don't believe in God, then that means you have reasons for not believing in God.

not believing and being without belief is the same thing. Disbelief does not bear any burden beyond refuting any arguments a claimant who does belief may provide.

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Choose Your Own Topic / Stephen Hawkins. The universe is not eternal
« on: September 07, 2011, 03:03:09 pm »
choux wrote:

The first and second laws of thermodynamics when taken together state that energy could neither be created nor destroyed and that the overall entropy of the universe was continually increasing. These laws suggest that at some point in the distant past, the universe was at minimum entropy. Obviously, the universe could not be eternally constant if its entropy was constantly increasing. This shows that the universe isn't eternal.

This is only a problem if you posit the universe is only spacetime, and that the universe was always expanding. I've done neither.

Moreover, Albert Einstein's equations of general relativity showed that the universe was expanding. Soon, observations by Vesto Slipher, Alexander Friedman, and Edwin Hubble confirmed that the universe was expanding, demonstrating that it was not eternal, but had a beginning.

It proves the universe was expanding, not that it was eternal.


3
Choose Your Own Topic / Stephen Hawkins. The universe is not eternal
« on: September 07, 2011, 02:35:57 pm »
choux wrote:

The crucial non sequitur here seems to be that the First Law is relevant to the universe in which it functions. As obvious as this seems, it does appear as if this is what is being overlooked: “we always have the same amount of matter and energy.” Who is “we”? It is us, here, this, universe.

What evidence do you have that there are anything external to the universe? What evidence do you have to posit there was ever a creation of energy?

Thus, the disconnect, the non sequitur, is to conclude that “the components of our world today, our universe, have always existed.” This is sort of like sealing a box and stating that nothing can go into the box and nothing can come out. Yes, but this is within the box. Let us think outside of the box.

Complete guff. We know there are things outside of a box, because we're outside it. All that we know exists within the universe. Now unless you have some solid evidence of something outside the universe, you should just stop now.


We know that within the universe energy/matter is neither created nor destroyed but only changed. We are dealing with conservation of energy within a system. We have real science to lend credence to this but not to the assertion that energy/matter is the uncaused eternal first cause.

What makes you think there are more? Do you have evidence?

The fact that the universe is not eternal leads us to the rational conclusion that energy/matter came into being at the moment of the universe’s inception (along with space/time).

Got evidence for this? Physicists have different understanding of time than you. Nonexistence of time does not lead to nonexistence of universe, especially the universe I'm defining as "all that exists". Perhaps not universe as "spacetime" but that only means past the big bang it was simply something else- energy. Who knows at this point.

Furthermore, it is reasonable to conclude that whatever existed “before” that, whatever brought the universe into being, was without matter, or immaterial, or spirit (and timeless, or eternal and space-less or without spatial restrictions). Thus, we have real science that supports the conclusion that energy/matter came into existence at a finite point having not existed previously.

Emph mine: do you? I thought Hawking/Hartle model was unproven

Therefore, real science does not demand that energy/matter cannot be created or destroyed any“where” any“time” but only within our universe, within the box in which the Law functions


I love how you cherrypick when to use the Hawking model, while decrying my reference to it.

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Choose Your Own Topic / Stephen Hawkins. The universe is not eternal
« on: September 07, 2011, 02:21:28 pm »
choux wrote: I want some evidence that shows that THE FIRST LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS proves that there has always been energy.

What does the first law state? "Energy cannot be created or destroyed". There's no evidence there was energy ever created or destroyed at any point.

Besides, you posit that the universe had a beginning. You provide evidence for the claim.


5
Choose Your Own Topic / Stephen Hawkins. The universe is not eternal
« on: September 07, 2011, 02:14:16 pm »
choux wrote:

No, you are giving me his model that hasn't been proven.

We are talking about that model which Hawking has posited. Whether it's proven or not is completely irrelevant. What more do you want?

I never said that his model shows a beginning from ex-nihilo. I'm asking you to provide me a quote from him where he states: THE FIRST LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS PROVES THAT THE UNIVERSE IS ETERNAL. You haven't done this.


I've just given you a quote from him which states that he posits the laws of physics always holds. What do you think that means? And if time has a beginning, how could it be eternal? In fact, what would eternity have to do with anything? Hawkings as well as many scientists posit that time is a dimension, with Hawking positing it "beginning". This does not mean that without time it would not exist period.

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Choose Your Own Topic / Stephen Hawkins. The universe is not eternal
« on: September 07, 2011, 02:04:03 pm »
choux wrote:

You still haven't provided me a quote where Hawking states the First Law of Thermodynamics shows that there was no beginning.

Beginning in what sense from nothing? He makes no such claim? Show me where Hawking states energy was created in any of his theories/hypotheses. You claim Hawking posits a creation ex nihilo, you support it. His idea of universe is much closer to "it created itself" since it is finite but unbound.

Hawking wrote: By contrast, the Big Bang is a  beginning that is required by the dynamical laws that govern the  universe. It is therefore intrinsic to the universe, and is not imposed  on it from outside.

Hawking wrote: The no boundary condition, is the statement that the laws of physics hold everywhere.

The fact that in short, the Hawking-Hartle model posits there is no "nonexistence" of the universe even while mainting its finitude should put your question to rest.

To those who claim that the very idea of a Big Bang violates the First Law of Thermodynamics (also known as the Law of Conservation of Energy) that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed, proponents respond that the Big Bang does not address the creation of the universe, only its evolution, and that, as the laws of science break down anyway as we approach the creation of the universe, there is no reason to believe that the First Law of Thermodynamics would apply.

Except for the fact that you are making the claim that First Law only applies to the universe with no substantiation. Hawking Model does not posit "beginning" in the way that you are. He does not posit the universe ever did not exist. Time is a property of the universe, and the universe does not exist "in" time.

The conclusion of this lecture  is that the universe has not existed forever. Rather, the universe, and  time itself, had a beginning in the Big Bang, about 15 billion years  ago. The beginning of real time, would have been a singularity, at which  the laws of physics would have broken down. Nevertheless, the way the  universe began would have been determined by the laws of physics, if the  universe satisfied the no boundary condition.

Now how could this be? How could there be physical laws if there is no universe with which it can have the laws? The "beginning" of the universe in Hartle-Hawking depends on the "pre-existing" gravitational energy as well as quantum effects for it to take place. Because I equate energy with universe, it effectively did not have a "beginning"- beginning in the 'from something to something" maybe as Hawking posits, but not a creation ex nihilo event.

7
Choose Your Own Topic / Stephen Hawkins. The universe is not eternal
« on: September 07, 2011, 01:45:38 pm »
choux wrote:

You're talking about his unproven theory of quantum gravity along with his imaginary time.

No, I'm not. Read again.

Where does he state that the First Law of Thermodynamics proves that our universe didn't have a beginning and is therefore infinite?

warpedfx wrote: Hawking posits the beginning of the universe be rooted in gravitational  energy. He differentiates between energy and universe, with the former  being the "building block" of the universe. I simply equate the two  since I ascribe to the classical definition of universe is "all that  exists" and hence when there is "something" there is universe.


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Choose Your Own Topic / Stephen Hawkins. The universe is not eternal
« on: September 07, 2011, 01:37:31 pm »
choux wrote:

Where does he state that the First Law of Thermodynamics proves that our universe didn't have a beginning and is therefore infinite?

warpedfx wrote: it's also worth noting that Hawking differentiates between "universe"  and "energy". Universe begins, but energy (in the form of gravitational  field) simply "exists".

Hawking posits the beginning of the universe be rooted in gravitational energy. He differentiates between energy and universe, with the former being the "building block" of the universe. I simply equate the two since I ascribe to the classical definition of universe is "all that exists" and hence when there is "something" there is universe.


9
Choose Your Own Topic / Stephen Hawkins. The universe is not eternal
« on: September 07, 2011, 01:16:59 pm »
it's also worth noting that Hawking differentiates between "universe" and "energy". Universe begins, but energy (in the form of gravitational field) simply "exists".

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Choose Your Own Topic / Stephen Hawkins. The universe is not eternal
« on: September 07, 2011, 01:15:03 pm »
Also, it's worth noting:
In fact, James Hartle of the  University of California Santa Barbara, and I have proposed that space  and imaginary time together, are indeed finite in extent, but without  boundary. They would be like the surface of the Earth, but with two more  dimensions. The surface of the Earth is finite in extent, but it  doesn't have any boundaries or edges. I have been round the world, and I  didn't fall off.


Hence no need for any external agents. It's also worth mentioning Hawking's view of time is drastically different from the one that Craig proposes, in that it is a field- a dimension of the universe and hence its existence or lack thereof does not mean the universe does not exist. It is simply contained, and to ask what is external to the universe, or what could be external to it is a meaningless question.


11
Choose Your Own Topic / Stephen Hawkins. The universe is not eternal
« on: September 07, 2011, 01:10:26 pm »
choux wrote: He was quoting Hawking in his book "A Brief History of Time"

It's clear you haven't read the link to Hawkings quote in the OP.

Where does Hawking say that because of the First Law of thermodynamics the universe cannot be finite with a beginning?

I don't think you're getting it. Hawking's "beginning" is a qualitatively different than the beginning that a god-creation is. Hawking posits a beginning, but he does not posit that there was ever a nothing. No energy created or lost.

You don't understand what scientists believe about that law.

Oh, I do. It's clear that it is you who does not.

12
Choose Your Own Topic / Stephen Hawkins. The universe is not eternal
« on: September 07, 2011, 12:58:16 pm »
choux wrote:

Quote from the article:


As a consequence of its inability to be described within the conventions of classical spacetime relations, the singularity is a point at which all the known laws of physics break down.[2]

Bold emphasis mine. He makes an interesting error with regards to what the Big Bang states, which actually is pointing out the flaw in using the GTR to describe the pre-planck conditions.

He says:
In order to coherently explain the contentions of the kalam argument it  is necessary to have a basic understanding of the Big Bang, since that  is the model of cosmology upon which the argument rests. Big Bang  cosmology is based on Einstein's theory of general relativity which  states that the curvature of space time is dictated by the density of  matter in the universe. The universe, if sufficiently dense, will curve  to a point at which all space time paths converge, thus constituting the  beginning of spacetime itself. According to the Friedman solutions to  Einstein's equations, our universe possesses an isotropic and  homogeneous density that is expanding at a successively slower rate. The  further one travels into the past, the greater the rate of expansion  becomes until one reaches a point at which the curvature and density of  the universe is infinite and the radius is zero.

This postulate is based solely on the classical GTR as he points out, which we now know is incomplete and thus gives rise to such erroneous results.

From what I read on Scorzo's article he seems to be ignorant of quantum mechanics and is relying solely on the einsteinian physics. In fact, he makes reference to the Hawking model of the 60s that Hawking himself has discredited due to it not taking the QM into account.

As a consequence of its lawlessness, the singularity is inherently unpredictable, any configuration of particle emissions just as likely as any other. The explosion of this singularity into the present expansionary phase of the universe is what is referred to as the Big Bang.

What's funny is that despite your (and evidentily Greg's) contention, the fact that this view is now largely discredited is pointed out by the fact that effectively Vilenkin's 1982 paper and many other cosmological models are essentially getting away from the singularity. Vilenkin posits a quantum tunnelling. Hawkings has discredited his own past theory to posit one that takes into account the quantum mechanics.

In short the article uses outdated data and thus draws erroneous results from them.

13
Kalam Cosmological Argument / Name 1 thing that has Ever Began To Exist
« on: September 07, 2011, 12:09:59 pm »
MorleyMcMorson wrote:
Quote from: warpedfx
Quote from: MorleyMcMorson
Quote from: warpedfx
Quote from: MorleyMcMorson
Quote from: warpedfx
Quote from: MorleyMcMorson
No. it DOES matter to point out when they do form, because otherwise you can't say they do- you can at best say they're simply conversions of states.


That doesn't follow.  You can give general guidelines like "When the bonds form" or something like that.  You don't have to say, "At 8 o'clock on March the 4th, one oxygen bonded with two hydrogens..."

Except the problem is that you CAN'T say any more than you can say where the beach ends and the ocean begins, or where the grains of sand become a desert.


Chemistry begs to differ.  Chemistry is not one big sorites.


it is a part of it. Science is linked- each describing different aspects of its observations.


Okay.  How does any of that matter?  On your view chemistry is still hopelessly misguided, thinking there are things that actually are formed like, I don't know, water.  OR ANY OTHER COMPOUND.

Nothing misguided here. I'm not the one thinking the formation of compounds entail they're forming necessarily new things- water is just the rearrangement within the total energy within it- "water" is simply a structure of the energy within the universe- a portion of it that's not a distinct, discrete thing in and of itself.


What you've been arguing is either trivially true or nonsense.  Moreover, it sets up an a fortiori argument for the kalam.  Why would anybody seriously keep pressing this issue?

No, it's not trivially true or nonsense. It highlights the very flaw in claiming "whatever begins to exist has a cause" precisely because we have no evidence of anything beginning to exist at all.

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Choose Your Own Topic / Stephen Hawkins. The universe is not eternal
« on: September 07, 2011, 12:07:05 pm »
choux wrote:

Quote from: warpedfx
actually not quite. laws of einsteinian physics break down, hence leading to quantum effects taking its place.


Nope. All physical laws break down.

Got evidence to support that? At the point of singularity what we do understand is that the theory of relativity breaks down which is why they initially proposed that the universe had a creation ex nihilo event at the big bang. With the quantum mechanics now in place we know the GTR is incomplete.

Besides, if quantum mechanics could create universes we should be experiencing it now within our realm. We do not.

Er, why would we? The conditions here are in no way identical the Initial Energy Density that allow for quantum mechanics to have such an effect.

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Choose Your Own Topic / Stephen Hawkins. The universe is not eternal
« on: September 07, 2011, 11:44:18 am »
actually not quite. laws of einsteinian physics break down, hence leading to quantum effects taking its place.

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