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Featured The Golden Ratio - Evidence of God

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by dfnj, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    I recently watched a video on the golden ratio which has to do with a sequence of numbers. This sequence is seen a lot in nature because of the way cells grow and divide. It turns out as things grown the cell counts follow a Fibonacci sequence. Things express a kind of fractal image in nature. An example is a tree. As the branches grow the smaller branches look like a miniature version of the whole thing. This a very popular aesthetic for most people because it expresses a kind of natural recursion we see in nature.

    So the question what does this mean. It is somewhat surprising how nature is relentless is following patterns that can be represented with mathematics. This has always astonished me how consistent nature can be. And there are two camps in response to how nature behaves.

    One side, the philosophical materialists conclude since nature follows patterns that can be represented, therefore, there is no God but just mathematics. I don't see how they can make such an enormous leap. Even further they claim because nature's patterns of behavior can be represented with mathematics there's no grand purpose to the existence of the Universe. Again, I don't see the connection or how someone can come to this conclusion.

    And on the other side is the creationists. This is the opinion or point of view expressed in the referenced video below. This camp makes the argument since nature consistently follows patterns that can be represented that this is evidence of some grand conspiracy and this is proof for the existence of a grand intelligence in the Universe which is God. Again, I think this is also a huge leap to come to this conclusion because as far as I can tell it's just a pattern of behavior. I'm not sure it really means much.



    I would like to suggest there is a third possibility. This third possibility does not support either camp or way of thinking so relax if you feel your dogma is under attack. I was just thinking how strange our Universe is in terms of how everything is NOT more symmetrical and geometric. If fact there's probably not two perfectly straight parallel lines anywhere on the planet. Nature has this amazing ability to introduce originality or variability to how things behave in very subtle ways.

    I like to think of this third way of thinking about nature as kind of like a rogue wave. Google rogue waves if you are not familiar with the concept they are quite spectacular. I think everything in nature is analog with waves of energy bouncing every which way and in every direction. At any scale of existence waves of energy sometimes converge in such a way it results in disturbances in reality at the higher or lower scale of focus. This results is all kinds of unimaginable consequences at the macro level we experience.

    I think for the two camps defending their precious dogmas there needs to be some humility. On the philosophical materialists side just because you have a mathematical equation representing nature's behaviors doesn't mean anything. You can't conclude you "know" anything about nature simply by putting mathematics to a pattern. If you really want to impress people then explain why the laws of physics show up in nature. What is IT that governs the laws. Otherwise, humble yourself. You are just a glorified number cruncher and nothing more. And given the way nature really behaves in reality we do NOT live in a clockwork Universe with hard determinism. Unless you can predict experimental error you really do not understand what is going on completely and accurately.

    And on the other side, for the creationists, the Universe is not governed by perfection. I would argue we live in Universe governed by imperfection. As what always seems to be the case. We have absolutely no evidence, not a single shred, a majority of the people would consider is valid evidence for the existence of God. Stop reaching for something that doesn't exist. People have faith precisely because there is no evidence. The only credible evidence I can see for the existence of God is ALL of existence. As far as I can tell God is choice not based on reason. If God were choice based on reason then it would not be a choice but a decision. If creationists are looking for some magical way to turn their faith from a choice to a decision I don't think it will ever exist.

    I think the best definition for the word God is God is the force in our Universe that keeps our full understanding of nature's behaviors always just one step beyond our comprehension.
     
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  2. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    I am an advaitist Hindu and a strong atheist. Hinduism is a pagan religion.
    Nice post but why did you have to write the last sentence?
     
  3. PruePhillip

    PruePhillip Well-Known Member

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    Quote - We have absolutely no evidence, not a single shred, a majority of the people would consider is
    valid evidence for the existence of God. Stop reaching for something that doesn't exist. People have faith
    precisely because there is no evidence...

    We have no evidence for aliens. We suspect they are out there.
    We had no evidence for King David in the bible. Didn't mean he didn't exist - and evidence turned up eventually.
    We have no evidence the universe created itself.
    Some things you have to prove for yourself, and not rely upon corporate beliefs.
     
  4. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    There are a couple of ways the post will offend both camps. Its offensive first because it seems to misconstrue natural philosophers as atheists and secondly because it says creationists have dogma. Its needs some different terminology.

    Materialist philosophy could not be a philosophy based on nature. It must be based on the rejection of other philosophical conjectures or their assumptions. A pure philosophical statement is like an empty pie machine, and you can add any pie filling later. People used to believe that pure philosophy was the only and best way to understand the world, but that changed. Now we have natural philosophy in addition, but the only difference is the pie at the end of the machine is tasted. This means natural philosophy is more limited since it only makes statements about what can be observed and tested. Natural philosophy can't conclude that God doesn't exist, because that is strictly not in its realm. So take care not to slander the natural philosopher and to put an argument into their mouth that they have never even tasted.


    Most creationists probably find the term 'Dogma' to be offensive. This goes to the heart of the division between evangelicals and liberals. Use some other terms if you want to be diplomatic. Maybe say "If you feel like your faith is under attack" which equally expresses the idea but without alerting mothers and children that you think their ways are nothing but stinky ****. They also don't want to be told they are in a religion or are one of many religions or that multiple religions could be Ok or that there are many paths to God or any such terminology which presupposes that they could be wrong about being in the only correct religion.
     
  5. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone actually say that?
     
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  6. ratiocinator

    ratiocinator Strange Loop

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    Who are these "philosophical materialists" of which you speak? I have literally never seen these "arguments" presented anywhere.

    I see absolutely nothing in your post that justifies the title. Where is the "evidence for god"?
     
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  7. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    That's not surprising to me, as math is literally a conceptual language that we invented for the purpose of describing nature.

    And whenever we encounter something in nature that we can't describe with the math we have, we invent new math to do it. Like when Newton came up with calculus.

    I certainly don't say that. Case in point, I just told you that we invented math for the purpose of describing things in nature - so I don't find it surprising at all that math can describe things in nature.

    That there are patterns in nature is also not really surprising to me, as everything is fundamentally governed by laws that work a specific way - and such environments will pretty much inevitably result in common patterns.

    I know of nobody that has ever claimed this.

    Which is a leap of faith, more often then not underpinned by a fallacious argument from awe / complexity / ignorance / incredulity.

    Ok. So, appeal to mystery then?
     
  8. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me you are either abusing the term creationist, or else using it in a rarely used, technical sense that will escape most readers.

    Creationism generally refers to those who think life came to be by a special process of divine intervention, distinct from the normal operation of the laws of nature. Typically, such people disbelieve in the theory of evolution, for example, or in other theories of science. Whereas what you describe, i.e. that the presence of order and patterns in nature is taken by many religious believers to be due to a Creator, is not normally described as creationism, as it does not conflict with science.

    As for your concluding remarks, in the end people's views on whether or not there is or was a divine creator are an aesthetic preference as much as anything else. Spinoza and Einstein even merge the two, proposing that the order in nature is what we mean by God. It sounds as though what you suggest may not be a million miles from that idea - though I see you include a sting in the tail, by implying that we use "God" for that which we do not understand. ;)
     
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  9. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    Good point. I think what the philosophical materialists, or physicalists, do is to apply Ockham's Razor and say that there is no point in hypothesising entities for which no objective evidence exists. So mathematics is neither here nor there: it is objective evidence that they rely on..
     
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  10. ecco

    ecco Well-Known Member

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    On the one hand, is the "awesomeness" of an Omni-All-Entity keeping things just out of our reach.
    On the hand is the awesomeness of Nature. Everything we see and everything we can't see stemming from an impossibly small origin of unknowable "stuff".

    The latter is far more awesome.
     
  11. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    I was referring to philosophy 101 definition:

    Materialism - Wikipedia

    Whatever is the opposite of "idealism". If you took it as slander that's on you. Anyone who believes in "materialism" doesn't believe in "idealism" by definition. Sorry you found this offensive.
     
  12. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    It's only when you write about something do you truly learn what you know.
     
  13. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea what corporate beliefs mean. If you have a way to prove to yourself God exists please share it with us. As far as I can tell having a belief in God is a choice without any supporting evidence.
     
  14. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    I guess no many people read about philosophy. This is what I was referring to: Materialism - Wikipedia
     
  15. Salvador

    Salvador RF's Swedenborgian

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    "The “Golden ratio” (phi) is a natural outcome of the roots of a simple quadratic equation. It’s an inevitable outcome of mathematics, no deity needed. It appears in several places, notably in the ratioof successive terms of the Fibbonacci series, which some plants grow according to, thus the ratioappears in nature at times."

    www.richarddawkins.net/2014/01/the-golden-ratio
     
    #15 Salvador, Aug 14, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  16. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    This is such a bad response to my OP I don't know how to respond. In my OP was actually critical of the Creationists in the video who were claiming patterns in nature can be used as valid evidence for the existence of God.

    Who are these "philosophical materialists", OMG, nobody really studies this problem. Here they are: Materialism - Wikipedia
     
  17. ratiocinator

    ratiocinator Strange Loop

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    I know what materialism is - I've just never heard of the arguments you mentioned:-

    "...since nature follows patterns that can be represented, therefore, there is no God but just mathematics."
    and
    "...because nature's patterns of behavior can be represented with mathematics there's no grand purpose to the existence of the Universe."

    Both seem like obvious non-sequiturs to me. Have any philosophical materialists actually made those arguments?
     
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  18. viole

    viole Metaphysical Naturalist
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    This one is actually easy. Any plant that orders its leaves sub optimally, would be replaced by the lucky randomly mutated plants that orders their leaves slightly more optimally. Because the latter will be able, ceteris paribus, to get more light. You just have to wait long enough to have one of those mutations. And so on.

    Until you reach an equilibrium that is the result of a mathematical optimum problem, in this case the golden ratio. That optimizes light intake per leave.

    That is not evidence of creation. It is the contrary, evidence of evolution driven by blind mechanisms, successively selecting randomly generated improved solutions, that necessarily converge to some mathematical sequence.

    And when you say beyond our comprehension, I suppose you mean behind YOUR comprehension. I ask because it is quite easy, in general, to comprehend how successive blindly selected approximations can tend to optimal solutions, without a creator.

    Ciao

    - viole
     
    #18 viole, Aug 14, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  19. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member
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    Ignoring all the other stuff in your post.......demonstrate that there is a force which limits understanding.
     
  20. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Offensive? No, not to me; but I did find it had terms that would offend both of the groups you were attempting to talk to. If that was unclear then I apologize.
     
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