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Featured Atheists, where did the universe come from?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Remté, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. PruePhillip

    PruePhillip Well-Known Member

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    Certainly that's what the bible says.
    I reckon about 100% of the religious people I ask this question
    deny this is in the bible, "Let the waters bring forth abundantly
    the moving creature that hath life, and fowl..." Genesis 1:20
    Had two JW's scramble for their bibles last week when I ask
    if they believe life came out of the sea. "How did birds come
    out of the sea?" I ask. Birds are dinosaurs, which come from
    reptiles which come from amphibians which come from fish.
     
  2. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    The same could be said about any words. Hence, any language (not just mathematics) "came with the universe" in this manner.
     
  3. PruePhillip

    PruePhillip Well-Known Member

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    There's all sorts of names for "Number 1" but the number existed before the language.
    Numbers describe the universe, but we don't understand why.
    My point is that some atheists find intellectual security in science, without understanding
    what science actually is. They think science "explains" how we came to be here. They
    think if science finds "no evidence" then something doesn't exist. They think because
    every effect must have a cause then the first effect also had a cause. And they think that
    a person who is, ie a atheist astrophysicist, they can speak with authority about religion.
     
    #263 PruePhillip, Feb 17, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
  4. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    For starters, as @Polymath alluded, there may be no fine tuning problem. We don't know that other values are even possible. Remember, gravity is a byproduct of the original superforce subjected to symmetry breaking in the first instants of the early universe, meaning that it's not necessarily an independent value unrelated to the strength of the other three forces. There is also a possibility that these forces weren't fixed at first, but varied together to values that maximized or minimized some quality in nature.

    But we can assume for the moment that there is a fine tuning problem - that the constants that define and constrain the behavior of the physical world could have been otherwise and might not have allowed for a universe capable of generating relatively stable material formations such as stars and galaxies, and then life and mind.

    You noted that you see the multiverse hypothesis as a means of explaining away this problem.. How is that different from offering a solution to the problem? If we assume that there is a fine tuning problem, we have two hypotheses that can account for why we see these values tuned as they are. One involves an intelligent designer, the other an unconscious substance capable of generating uncounted universes of all possible types, the ones like ours generating creatures capable of pondering the question and suggesting solutions. If the latter is the case, it would be inevitable that if such a thing were possible, and clearly it is since we find ourselves in just such a universe, that it would come into existence.

    Personally, I can't conceive of a third possibility to account for the fine tuning problem, meaning that if there is no third possibility that transcends my imagination, and that if there is a fine tuning problem, one of these two must be the case - a god or an unconscious source of multiple kinds of universes, some forming life and mind, others collapsing in on themselves almost immediately, and others yet doing whatever else is possible.

    So, it seems like we have two and only two possibilities to explain the fine tuning problem if indeed on exists, one of which must be the case, with no way to rule either in or out at this time. You mentioned that there was no evidence of these other universes, but that doesn't help us decide this matter. We also have no evidence for a god, either, apart from the appearance of fine tuning in the universe, which can be accounted for without invoking a god, a huge plus in the light of Occam's principle of parsimony, which reminds us that the simplest explanation that accounts for all relevant evidence is the preferred one. That puts the multiverse at the top of this list of two elements, since it accomplishes the feat without requiring a conscious, potent, volitional agent.

    But the fine tuning problems opens a can of worms for an omnipotent god hypothesis. Ask yourself this: Why would a god need to finely tune the physical constants of a universe in order for the universe to work unless that god was being restricted by laws that transcended it? How could such an entity be called omnipotent if its choices were constrained to very narrow limits? It's a godless universe that requires laws in order to run unmonitored, not one run by a god..

    Why would a god need to finely tune the laws of nature unless it is being restricted by some other laws beyond its control? What created the laws that govern the necessity for that god to fine tune the laws of nature to begin with? If these laws dictated the nature of that god's creation, then how could it be called omnipotent? How could it be called god if its creation could only be created in one kind of way? If that's the case, that god didn't actually design anything. It merely followed a set of instructions imposed on it by nature the way man does. And if that is the case, the universe needs no god.

    Incidentally, the list you provided is incomplete. A few other elements can be added to it. Our star probably needed to be solitary. Binary and larger star systems would complicate orbits in a way that might be adverse to the formation of life or even the ongoing existence of the planets and their moons, which might be drawn into and consumed by one of these suns by the gravitational effects of other(s)..

    Having a single, relatively large moon - our planet being the only one in our solar system fitting that description - helps stabilize the axial tilt of the earth to very narrow limits so that the north pole, for example, is never pointing at the sun, a situation that would wreak havoc on climate stability and living populations..

    To have terrestrial life, we need that the earth's continents not be continually submerged by too much water on the planet.

    We also probably require our ozone layer.

    And having a molten core allows the earth to generate a protective magnetic field that defends life on it from lethal radiation.
     
  5. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    The concept of a singularity has been redefined in physics. It is now the apparent increase in density to infinity in a black hole. Einstein's relativity breaks down at that point. It can no longer be used as a model for the universe. So if one defines a singularity as the point of density when GR no longer works then they apparently do exist.


    Gravitational singularity - Wikipedia
     
  6. Remté

    Remté Active Member

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    I guess it is part of the reason I asked atheists. Since atheists generally assume there is no God, though there is no such proof, why wouldn't it be easy to assume the universe has a starting point? But here we got everyone who says the idea of God is absurd and then that the logical idea that the universe has a starting point has no basis at all - it's absurd.
     
  7. FlyingTeaPot

    FlyingTeaPot Irrational Rationalist. Educated Fool.

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    If it must have had a starting point, then so must have the originator of the universe. And so must have the originator of the originator. And so must have the originator of the originator of the originator of the universe. Shall I stop or would you rather read an infinite regression of originators with successively longer resumes?
     
  8. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member

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    You invoke the term "logic". Logic and logical aren't based upon a well reasoned opinion. They aren't based upon an opinion that appears to have evidence to support it.

    Logic is a discipline with rules and a specific objective. To test the soundness of a proposition.

    Using the discipline of logic the existence of God, and His creation of all things is just as logical as blind natural forces being the creator of themselves and everything else.

    So, stating that belief in God is illogical is simply untrue.

    You may find that belief, in your opinion, and applied to yourself, as untrue, yet it is just as logical as any alternative.

    You rightly value evidence. My working life was focused on obtaining evidence, evaluating it, investigating it, organizing it, and presenting it,.

    Events can occur, say a murder, where there is little or no evidence to answer the questions of who committed it and why they committed it. The dead body and forensic examination of it prove there was a murder, but there is no other evidence.

    On the other hand, there might be a murder where much evidence is gathered. Forensic evidence, eyewitness testimony, documentary evidence, all evaluated and confirmed as pointing to Joe Smith as the murderer. Joe is found guilty, and sentenced to life in prison. The detectives and deputy district attorney's high five one another, then forget Joe.

    27 years later, a man dying says that he committed the murder for which Joe was sentenced. An investigation quickly establishes that Joe is innocent and he is released.

    All of the evidence that pointed to Joe was invalid as far as his guilt. It lead to a conclusion that was totally false.

    Evidence is valuable, and it is evidence of something, yet the conclusions drawn from it can be totally wrong.

    Regarding this thread, the creation of the universe, there is absolutely no evidence for the existence of the singularity before the BB, none, not one iota. Yet atheist cosmologists who ascribe to the BB ascribe to it';s existence completely, refusing to even consider the God possibility, which is just as logical as the universe creating itself,.,

    So, you and I disagree on the evaluation of the evidence, it's relative value, and the conclusions drawn from it, and in the end the truth of those conclusions.

    We each have a prejudice that compels us to look at issues from different perspectives, yet those prejudices do not determine truth, glimmerings of alleged evidence do not determine truth. Truth exists, and as far as the issues we have discussed and
    is singular and absolute.

    The possibilities are two, that we will know the ultimate truth of these matters, or we will go to our graves clinging to evidences that are like ropes of sand.,
     
  9. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member

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    Of course the universe didn't exist, then did. That is the whole basis of the big bang concept, for which the evidence is very strong.,

    Everything that begins will end, everything that begins must have a first cause to begin it.

    What was the first cause for the creation of the universe ?

    God is as good an answer as anything else. Those that refuse to consider it don't change the fact that it is as likely as whatever they believe
     
  10. Remté

    Remté Active Member

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    It isn't the basis of the big bang concept. I already referred to an opposing theory - or rather to the closer look at the big bang theory. In any case there was something before the big bang.
     
  11. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member

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    The scientific BB theory does in fact include a singularity. Check it out
     
  12. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member

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    Any opposing theory is not held by the majority of cosmologists.

    There is absolutely no scientific way to determine if there was anything before the BB. Scientifically, it is all speculation and imagination.
     
  13. Remté

    Remté Active Member

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    There was dark matter.
     
  14. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member

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    Dark matter was created at the BB. Everything that we know to exist, including time, was created at the BB.

    From inside the universe we have absolutely no scientific idea what, if anything exists outside the universe
     
  15. Remté

    Remté Active Member

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    Then how do you say dark matter was created in the big bang?
     
  16. ratiocinator

    ratiocinator Strange Loop

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    I did.

    Extrapolation of the expansion of the universe backwards in time using general relativity yields an infinite density and temperature at a finite time in the past. This singularity indicates that general relativity is not an adequate description of the laws of physics in this regime. Models based on general relativity alone can not extrapolate toward the singularity beyond the end of the Planck epoch.
    -- Big Bang

    We don't have a tested physical theory that can cope with the situation, therefore it can't part of any scientific theory.

    Regardless of terminology, you didn't actually address the point. No atheist (or anybody else) needs to have faith in there being a singularity. Neither is there need for faith in "no god".
     
  17. Bob the Unbeliever

    Bob the Unbeliever Well-Known Member

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    Your very silly attachment? Has things 100% backwards.

    Exactly backwards, that is. Douglass Adams has a cute Parable that shows exactly why:

    adams puddle.jpg
     
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  18. Bob the Unbeliever

    Bob the Unbeliever Well-Known Member

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    Here-- let me destroy that point by point:

    #1 And 79% is toxic to humans, if that were all there was. Argument refuted.

    #2 Life has evolved to exist within the current gravity gradient. But, experiments in space, with micro-gravity? Show that some life *thrives* in other gravity settings. Argument refuted.

    #3 Live evolved on a planet, who's orbit varies by quite a bit (it's not circular, much to the chagrin of religious types, it's oval. Meaning the distance varies. By a lot). But since life evolved *on*earth*, life likes conditions *on*earth* as they are. Argument refuted.

    #4 What? Absolutely nonsense. For starters? The expansion rate isn't ... fixed. Argument-- if you can even call it that-- self-refutes for being incredibly silly.

    #5 Another absolutely nonsensical piece of horse exhaust. The crust's thickness? Has no real bearing on life, all that much. It *does* control the movement of the continents, sure. But life would have evolved just fine, without continental drift. Silly "argument" refuted.

    #6 Nonsense. The tilt of the earth has changed in the past, and will likely change again in the future-- yet, here life is! Silly argument refuted. Plus? #2, above also refutes this one.

    #7 This absolutely makes no sense whatsoever. If the speed of light were different? Life would be different, to match the different conditions. You have it exactly backwards. Refuted.

    #8 Yes. So what? Rabbit Trail. Meaningless diversion. Also see #2, above.

    #9 Absolute nonsense. So nonsensical, that it doesn't even need more than "DISMISSED!"

    #10 See #2.

    #11 Absolute nonsense. Even worse than #9. DISMISSED.

    #12 LMAO! Oh. My STARS that's hilarious!

    What's even funnier? You left out the moon! You totally left out an actual argument that might have made some sense! :p:p:p
     
  19. Bob the Unbeliever

    Bob the Unbeliever Well-Known Member

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    Who says it's absurd? Why must it be 100% or 0% with you? Why limit yourself to absolutes at either end? Maybe the Universe had a beginning, maybe it didn't. Maybe it has phases, and we are simply in the middle of one phase, on the way to another phase, and it's existed forever backwards.

    What if the universe is on a recursive time-loop? That is-- since it's time AND space? The universe is looped back upon itself, in a recursion, a never-ending loop of self actualization?

    As we learn more-- some of the possibilities become less likely, whereas the new information seems to point towards others, as more.

    But again, cementing yourself into 100%/0% only limits your thought processes.

    Just as the phrase "God Did It" immediately halts further thinking on the subject. Why study further, if you have "the answer"?
     
  20. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    This also doesn't speak to my comment, which was that faith-based thought is a logical error, not that believing in a God is illogical. A belief in gods could be logical if it were arrived at by properly interpreting evidence that a god or gods exist.

    Faith needn't be related to faith in gods to be a logical errior. All insuficiently supported belief is faith, and thus a logical error. Thus, faith that there is no anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is faith-based thought unrelated to god beliefs, and a logical error.

    For that matter, if one believes that AGW is occurring by faith rather than by considering the offered evidence, his thinking is just as flawed. Faith is not a path to truth, even if one guesses correctly, since he cannot know that he has guessed correctly until he is shown to be by a different method, reason applied to evidence.

    Did you want to address any of that? If you think that faith is a virtue, why?

    I think that "We don't know" is a better answer.

    I think that the multiverse hypothesis is likelier for the reason already given - the parsimony of the hypothesis.

    Incidentally, who refuses to consider that the source of the universe was a god? Atheists generally have considered the claim and found the evidentiary support for it insufficient to justify belief. Gods are on my list of candidate hypotheses for the source of our universe. It seems to me that one of these must be the case, none of which I am able to rule in or out, although I can state that I consider [4] most likely for its ability to account for fine tuning without needing to posit an intelligent designer - the least likely thing I can think of to exist undesigned and uncreated :

    [1] Our universe came into being uncaused.
    [2] Our universe has always existed and only appears to have had a first moment.

    [3] Our universe is the product of a multiverse (any unconscious source) that itself came into existence uncaused.
    [4] Our universe is the product of a multiverse that has always existed.

    [5] Our universe is the product of a god (any conscious source) that itself came into existence uncaused.
    [6] Our universe is the product of a god that has always existed.​

    Most I have interacted with make no such claim, and those that do are asked how they think that they know that there are no gods. I am assuming you mean no gods in the generic sense of the word, not that a particular god called God does or doesn't exist. We can know that some described gods, including the Christian god called God, can be shown to be logically impossible and therefore nonexistent. Even a god cannot be both perfect and imperfect in the same sense at the same time, but that doesn't rule out the possibility gods in general.

    As you can see, I have not assumed or stated that there are no gods, and that puts me in with the majority of atheists. We call ourselves agnostic atheists because we do not claim to know whether gods exist or not, and until we know that they do, we hold no god belief.
     
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